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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jugglers" Episode 15

2018/01/22 | 350 views | Permalink

The great team-up between Mr. Jo and Mr. Bong has never really gone that well, since instead of actually working collaboratively to come up with better evil schemes, Mr. Jo and Mr. Bong just end having gratuitous dinners together where they pretend to hold each other in mutual respect. The ending to this episode actually implies that Mr. Jo might have been expecting Yoon-i to sabotage Mr. Bong. Which would, by Mr. Jo's standards at least, be relatively smart.

There's a fairly interesting subtext here, suggesting that the bosses are actually pretty useless without their secretaries. Observe how Yoon-i makes a special point here of dealing, not with Mr. Jo, but Bo-na. Even with the main competent boss, Chi-won, we see that he's mostly just kind of sad without Yoon-i around at any given moment to cheer him up with more coffee. Chi-won is also the only boss who doesn't take his secretary for granted, and shows appreciation for whatever she can do.

Well, all right, technically Bo-yool appreciates Jeong-ae. But every further moment of exposition in their relationship continues to rile me. Why does the drama call such attention to the fact that Jeong-ae has been committing multiple frauds, only for Bo-yool to forgive her unconditionally without explanation? Jeong-ae is such a sweet, kind character I'm honestly kind of impressed that "Jugglers" found a way to turn me against her. Her redemption arc is that unearned.

That storyline is also so incredibly far removed from everything else that happens in "Jugglers" that it might as well be happening in a completely different drama. The closest we get to a connection is the reminder that Chi-won and Bo-yool, for previously explained contrived reasons, are now living in the same house together. This leads to a mildly funny gag when Yoon-i come to visit them, although I was not on the whole all that terribly impressed.

Which is pretty much how I feel about "Jugglers" as a whole. Even when the drama has its moments, they never build up to something impressive because the script is too disjointed. Consider how much screentime here is dedicated just to various co-workers doing their best to cheer Chi-won and Yoon-i up. While these scenes are all very sweet in the way they show workplace solidarity, the plan to take down Mr. Bong is so straightforward that if you blink you'll miss all of the set-up. 

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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