Chief of Staff – First Impressions

I had forgotten about Chief of Staff, but I knew that I wanted to see it so I started up on it. Other than the fact that it’s all about power and politics and the struggle to keep the power and get some more — I can’t tell you very much about it — other than the fact that I’m still enjoying it!!

This is the official synopsis: “The story of politicians and their aides who try to climb up the political ladder.” Normally that wouldn’t pull me in but I did want to see Shin Mina and Lee Jung Jae so here I am.

I find that I don’t really NEED to know exactly what is happening..I’m more interested in seeing HOW sneaky..HOW manipulative…HOW ambitious and ruthless these people can be. THere’s enough tension to keep the audience entertained..we all know who we’re rooting for but I guess the question will be..does our hero even deserve our support? He’s no pristine character either and he has his own methods to get what he wants. THe characters are all driven by the same ambitious motivations but there is one character who is driven by other sentiments and I think this is where we go to get a breather from this nasty environment.

I’m only on ep 4 but look forward to watching the rest!


PS – this reminds me so much of Punch and I LOVED that one!!!

#chief-of-staff, #lee-jung-jae, #shin-min-ah

Look Back: Arang and the Magistrate

This review was written for Korean Quarterly, 1st quarter 2014 issue.

Here is some advice before viewing the fantasy period drama, Arang and the Magistrate: let the story unfold like any good ghost story told before a crackling fire on a dark and stormy night, but pay attention! There are hundreds of little plot details that are laid out in each episode. In fact, this drama unfolds like a complex mystery novel, or perhaps a better analogy would be painting a picture. You begin with an initial sketch and the composition is interesting, it tells a story, but as the layers and layers of paint are added the image becomes richer and more nuanced. As each incremental piece of the tale is revealed, you become more and more engaged in it, wanting to know why someone is a particular way and what will happen next… and then bam! You get the answers, and they shock you!

In an opening that is reminiscent of Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol,” in which the reader is told that it’s important to believe that Jacob Marley is dead (or else you won’t believe in the miraculous tale that unfolds), the drama begins with a similar explanation. There is something odd about things these days; the barriers between the living and the dead have altered and now ghosts roam freely among the living. Oh, and ghosts have the advantage of being able to see humans but not the other way around. Except for one person, that is: a young man by the name of Eun-oh.

Continue, to read more of this review (plot-related spoilers content: low)

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#arang-and-the-magistrate, #han-jung-soo, #hwang-bo-ra, #kang-moon-young, #kim-yong-gun, #kwon-oh-jung, #lee-joon-gi, #lee-junki, #park-joon-kyu, #review, #shin-min-ah, #yoo-seung-ho, #yun-woo-jin