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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jugglers" Episode 11

2018/01/08 | Permalink

So I appear to have confused Mr. Bong, who was Yoon-i's boss in the first episode, with Mr. Jo (played by In Gyo-jin), who has been the antagonist since then. On one end I want to apologize for being too stupid to realize that these are two completely different characters. On the other end I'm now struggling to remember how Yoon-i even knows Mr. Jo in the first place, or why he would have ever thought she would be on his team. Well, I guess it doesn't matter.

I only bring it up because we're seeing a lot more of Mr. Jo's secretary, Bo-na (played by Cha Joo-young). Like most of the other characters, Bo-na does not especially like Mr. Jo or understand what his goals even are. As is usually the case for characters in "Jugglers" we understand Bo-na less through her actual work and more through unrelated characterization. Her father is a deaf shoe repairman. That's really about it. I guess that makes Bo-na more sympathetic?

The question mark is because Bo-na's motivation is not clearly enough defined for her characterization to really matter in the first place. Yoon-i and Chi-won do at least get an interesting conflict, though, in that Mr. Do (played by Kim Chang-wan) is sick, so Chi-won and his ex-wife Do-hee (played by Seo Eun-woo) end up going to the hospital together to visit him. Do-hee is Mr. Do's daughter, which is actually a pretty good way of emphasizing how Mr. Do and Chi-won have a very strong relationship.

Mr. Do is one of the more important characters, because he's clearly been helping to shepherd Chi-won's career and general lifestyle. He, rather than Mr. Jo, was the main person to get Chi-won to take Yoon-i on as his secretary. So it's genuinely unclear whether Mr. Jo wants Chi-won and Do-hee to get back together, or whether he just wants them to move on and find happiness somewhere else. That Chi-won and Do-hee don't really know this either is what makes their relationship conversations interesting.

It also allows for the episode's sole funny joke, when Yoon-i appears to have stumbled across one of these conversations. Unfortunately there's not much else going on for "Jugglers" right now. Mr. Jo's plan is too vague to be interesting, and all Jeong-ae does is cover for the pointlessly complicated lie that is her backstory. I guess there was the comic book chat scene. That one was almost interesting.

Review by William Schwartz

"Jugglers" is directed by Kim Jung-hyun-III, written by Jo Yong and features Baek Jin-hee, Choi Daniel, Kang Hye-jeong, and Lee Won-geun.

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