Cleaning Up: Episode 1 (First Impressions)


Cleaning Up: Episode 1 (Initial Impressions)

Primarily based on the UK tv show of the very same name, JTBC’s Cleaning Up tells the story of 3 cleaning ladies who choose to take benefit of insider trading intel to earn some a lot-required money. The initially episode is spent setting the scene and introducing our trio of workplace cleaners, a single of whom is specifically desperate to adjust her economic circumstance.

Editor’s note: If there is enough interest, drama coverage will continue with weekly Drama Hangouts.


Initial off, I haven’t observed the original British version, so I didn’t go into this drama with a lot understanding. From the premise and the teasers, I anticipated a thing cheeky with an edge, and that is fairly a lot what I got. Even though the tone feels playful, it is not specifically a lighthearted drama. Like quite a few a drama these days, class inequality is a significant theme with dollars and the lack of it driving questionable choices for each the haves and the have-nots.

Our most important protagonist is UH YONG-MI (Yeom Jung-ah), an exhausted mom functioning two jobs and barely generating ends meet. Her principal job is as a cleaner for the brokerage firm Vested (across the street from WeWork wowork) exactly where she and the other cleaners are virtually invisible to the economic advisors and other white-collar staff functioning to make the wealthy richer.

Yong-mi struggles to juggle her jobs and single motherhood, though also dodging the loan shark who comes knocking at her door with a bat. Even though Yong-mi is relatively gloomy and bitter (for probably understandable factors), her coworker and buddy AHN IN-KYUNG (Jung So-min) is very the opposite. In-kyung is optimistically saving up to invest in a coffee truck so she can commence her personal traveling organization. They make an intriguing pair, the globe-weary Yong-mi and the innocent-seeming In-kyung.

We only get a short introduction this episode to the third member of our promised trio MAENG SOO-JA (Kim Jae-hwa), one more cleaner at Vested. Most of the cleaners look to resent her for normally sucking up to their manager, but Yong-mi understands it is all about survival. And Soo-ja’s method is efficient – their manager is the kind who enjoys even the most apparent flattery.

It is straightforward to see why Soo-ja curries favor exactly where she can when the cleaning ladies are not getting ignored, they’re getting treated like private maids. One particular of the economic managers orders In-kyung to clean the cup stains off his desk given that he apparently does not know how to use either a coaster or a napkin.

The cleaning crew frequently operates just after-hours, a thing the larger-up staff do not normally contemplate. Even though Yong-mi is taking a break nearby, DIRECTOR YOON (Song Jae-hee) talks to an individual on the telephone about current investigations and worries about finding caught. (Perhaps do not speak about your criminal activities in the workplace, then.) His anxiousness tends to make it look like he may perhaps not be carrying out this of his personal accord, but perhaps he’s just jumpy.

Director Yoon really helpfully talks about an upcoming merger and not only writes down but verbally repeats the name of the business everybody is supposed to invest 50 million won in. Yong-mi requires that all in, and, while she may perhaps not know specifically what it suggests, she knows it is shady and significant.

But for the moment, Yong-mi has far more pressing matters. She meets up with her ex-husband JIN SUNG-WOO (Kim Tae-woo) to demand his late kid help payments. Their connection is contentious, and there’s clearly resentment on each sides. They may perhaps have divorced more than Sung-woo’s infidelity, but that wasn’t their only trouble.

Sung-woo pointedly asks if she’s resolved her gambling debt, assuming it is why she came all the way to his operate to demand the dollars. Ah, so that explains the loan shark. Sung-woo even tells her he’ll take the youngsters, questioning her fitness as a mother. As if factors weren’t poor adequate, now Yong-mi’s landlord is threatening to kick her out thanks to the chaos of bat-wielding loan sharks and noisy, unsupervised youngsters.

That evening, Yong-mi is shocked to hear a report about a enormous jump in stock value for Worktech Electronics – the really business she heard Director Yoon mention – just after an announced merger. At operate, Yong-mi overhears a couple of economic staff in the bathroom speaking about insider trading, how really hard it is to prove and how wealthy it can make you.

Even when a noise alerts them to Yong-mi’s presence, they maintain speaking given that a single of the ladies scoffs that it is not like Yong-mi would have an understanding of them anyway. Wow. Yong-mi requires it upon herself to discover almost everything she can about insider trading, reading books and watching videos. She requires to eavesdropping at operate and even snooping via documents on desks to find out trade secrets.

It is no surprise provided Yong-mi’s economic desperation that she sees a enormous chance in spite of the dangers. She also understands that her uniform provides her cover, generating it straightforward to go unnoticed and unsuspected. Yong-mi tries to bring In-kyung in, but In-kyung is a lot also truthful to be tempted into carrying out a thing illegal for money.

Yong-mi gets one more take a look at from the loan shark, this time at her component-time job. He provides her ten days to come up with the dollars, so she then tries to get her brother Yong-kyu to loan her dollars. From his reaction, this is not the initially time. Yong-mi tries to guilt him into it by claiming it is his insistence on studying abroad that meant she couldn’t go to college and reside a much better life, but he’s unmoved.

Yong-kyu calls Yong-mi out on her gambling debt, unwilling to give her dollars just after she squandered her personal away. Issues get tense, so their mom pretends to faint to quit their fighting. Ha. When Yong-mi leaves, she vandalizes her brother’s costly vehicle in retaliation for his refusal, which appears like a specifically poor move when you are currently in debt. Plus, it is rude.

Yong-mi moves on to her subsequent target: In-kyung, who proves to be a lot far more sympathetic. As they stand on a bridge, Yong-mi shares that she just about committed suicide there twice, after when her youngsters have been small and once more just after her ex-husband cheated. But Yong-mi couldn’t go via with it and leave her youngsters alone. In-kyung, getting way also good, decides to support Yong-mi get began with her criminal enterprise.

Their initially step is to bug the workplace, so In-kyung orders some low-priced listening devices on the internet … that do not operate. Fortunately for them, Yong-mi has just began renting out her attic space to LEE DOO-YOUNG (Na In-woo), a family members buddy and PhD student. In spite of the sketchy circumstance, sweet and timid Doo-young aids repair their low-priced bug and buys Yong-mi’s explanation that it is to catch In-kyung’s cheating boyfriend.

Armed with their now functioning listening device, Yong-mi and In-kyung set their program in motion. In-kyung stands lookout though Yong-mi slips into Director Yoon’s workplace to plant the bug. Of course, their manager spots In-kyung in the hallway and leads her away, leaving Yong-mi on her personal. Proper as Yong-mi manages to open the ceiling vent, the workplace door opens. In walks Soo-ja, catching Yong-mi red-handed as the episode ends.

I guess that answers how Soo-ja gets involved in this scheme. Primarily based on the really small of her we’ve observed so far, she appears like the kind to money in on an chance. Now the query is irrespective of whether she’ll want in on the action suitable away or will use it as leverage for a thing else.

With the setup out of the way, I’m seeking forward to seeing these ladies get began for actual. For after, they’re fortunate that folks barely notice cleaners given that that suggests they do not have to be excellent at sneaking about. Yong-mi and In-kyung clearly have no thought what they’re carrying out, and I for a single am prepared for some faux spy hijinks.

Associated POSTS

  • Premiere Watch: Physician Lawyer, Why Her?, Cleaning Up
  • Cleaning Up and snooping about with Yeom Jung-ah, Jeon So-min, and Kim Jae-hwa
  • News bites: May well 7, 2022
  • News bites: April 30, 2022
  • News bites: March 26, 2022



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