Chief Kim Review
If I had to keep this review short, I would leave you with this: Loads of Fun.
|Also known as||‘Chief Kim’|
|Original Release||January 25 – March 30, 2017|
|Written by||Park Jae-bum|
This drama is serious loads of fun. This is a pretty belated review, considering the fact that this drama finished airing back in March, but better late than never. The reason for my lateness is because this drama actually didn’t really appeal to me too much, because I don’t particularly like dramas that are focused on the daily toils of the office, where salarymen try to gain their own voice — probably because I’m too afraid to adult in my own real life. Sure, these dramas are pretty rewarding in the sense that you learn a lot about life and will likely experience a strange kind of warmth embracing your heart quite frequently — but meh.
I finally jumped on board after resisting for a good 2 months because the TQ Psycho Chief Kim (played by Namgoong Min) and Gluttonous Sociopath (played by Lee Junho) went on Happy Together and I became enchanted by (1)their nicknames in the drama (2) the fact that the drama did so well against Saimdang and (3) those hilarious clips. And so, I gave this drama a try, and it’s a pleasant try.
To be completely honest, it’s not quite right for me to write this review when I still have the last 2 episodes to watch, but I am doing this to give an honest review even without any loose ends tied so I can avoid being a curt and all-knowing potato that will shoot out spoilers about the end.
As many know, and as Happy Together has pointed out, Namgoong Min is kind of stuck in psychotic roles because he’s just so good. In ‘Remember: Son of War’ he seriously made me hate him down to the very last hemoglobin molecule in his blood. In ‘The Girl Who Sees Smells,’ he was as creepy as creepy can get. In ‘Beautiful Gongshim,’ he stepped away from the villainous roles to play a cute, but still a little crazy lawyer. This time, he continues his good guy streak as he plays an accounting genius — a man who is gifted with accounting fraud. Okay, sounds contradictory? I don’t disagree, but he is just that – Kim Seong-Ryeong was famous in Gunsan for helping out thugs do seamless makeovers on their accounting books. He was so good that he evaded investigations year after year, but finally he gets kicked out. What better timing for Seo Yul (Lee Junho) to hire this nobody to do a dirty job for TQ Group – a major corporation that has its presence in almost every industry that can be named?
Seo Yul, himself, was that typical cliched ace prosecutor who’s rude as heck, but gets hired by the evil Chairman to join the dark side. A serious glutton, he is capable of using those calories to power his foul mouth and merciless antics. However, he’s not rotten to the core yet, as he has moments where he struggles with his conscience. He and Chief Kim fight a whole lot, but when the situation requires them to set their personal issues aside, they get right together in the ultimate alliance — or should I say bromance (tee hee).
The story mainly starts when the whistleblower Chief Lee of the Business Operations department “commits suicide” (gee~ I wonder.) and the Chairman decides to get Seo Yul onboard. With Chief Lee as a vegetable (thank goodness he didn’t die), his vacant seat requires a minion who will do the dirty job and heed the master’s every word. Here comes Chief Kim, who is trying to embezzle 1 million dollars to immigrate to Denmark, a place free of corruption, and start anew. His plan, however, is too innocent for the shady TQ Group, who wants Chief Kim to be a disposable wipe – clean things up and dump yourself in a landfill. Chief Kim quickly realizes that these peeps mean serious business, but fate has it so that he accidentally becomes known as Mr. Righteous. He still plays dirty, but now for the good of others, and not himself. Chief Kim goes on to win over the hearts of his comrades in the Business Operations, and their little department of office workers becomes a team who learns how to dream and put justice in front of staying quiet to protect their positions again.
I find Chief Kim someone who is easy to cheer for, because his character was engineered to be this way and also because he’s just so crazy. The Gluttonous Sociopath is no pushover in this category either, because although he’s pretty awful, you can’t really hate him 100% because he still has hope (lol, villain syndrome is a disease). I don’t really cheer for Gluttonous Socio-Yul, but I can’t help but laugh when he’s always eating.
Assistant Manager Yoon (Nam Sangmi) is the primary partner in the name of justice to Chief Kim, but sometimes I’m confused because I feel like she plays a very passive role — a role that’s just a convenience to the plot. Ms. Yoon meets Chief Kim in the typical cliched kdrama kind of way – misunderstandings, misunderstandings – bam – oops, becomes friends. She has a huge sense of justice, and acts as a catalyst that drives Chief Kim’s metamorphosis into someone who’s willing to fight for people like Chief Lee’s wife and the abused employees of many of TQ’s subsidiaries. She also is that character that catches the eye of the powerful good guy (Chairman’s wife) who was shoved into the backseat, but really wants to make things right again. She is also that character that manages to have heart-to-heart conversations with the bad-but-not-compeltely-bad Seo Yul. You see what I mean? Nevertheless, I admire her spunk (and her batting skills).
Another character is Hong Ga Eun (Jung Hye Sung) who plays an undercover Financial Detective who is an Intern in the shadiest of the shadiest Accounting department in TQ. At first, she just wanted to do her job, as in wire-tapping everyone and gathering information to pass on to Prosecutor Han, but the more she wiretaps Chief Kim, the more her sense of justice flairs up, and she ends up helping out Chief Kim, and later acts as the bridge between the Prosecutor and Chief Kim to uproot the baddies. Her character is unbelievable cute, but badass in her own right.
Overall, this drama’s charm is mostly from the characters. Since this is one of your “throw the shady corporation into a frenzy for justice” dramas, you’d expect it to be slow BUT, realistically speaking, something like this would be a long process. However, the characters generate so much excitement at every turn, that you lose track of time. Give this a watch 🙂 and you just might be pleasantly surprised enough that your try will be a pleasant try too.
Leave a comment below – what you think of the Drama or my Review 🙂