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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jugglers" Episode 16 (Final)

2018/01/23 | Permalink

As expected very little effort is required to take down Mr. Jo. In fact that entire storyline is wrapped up within half an hour, after Mr. Jo engages in a petty act if spiteful revenge against Yoon-i. Why he would do this is unclear, since it's implied that Mr. Jo received a promotion once Mr. Bong was fired. And come to think of it, isn't that what Mr. Jo wanted all along, was just a promotion to be earned by getting Chi-won fired? So what does he care about Yoon-i and Chi-won now?

The short answer is because Mr. Jo is the villain, and in lieu of particularly evil motivations the production team has instead just decided to broadly draw him as being a petty ineffective jerk. The key words there being petty and ineffective. When Chi-won gives Mr. Jo a funny gag gift, that kind of jerkish behavior is painted as being funny. And it is a funny joke. I didn't know anybody even sold that stuff in long unbroken quantities.

Another fairly decent joke is the extended epic everybody puts on their coats shot in slow motion. There the humor is in how there are so many minor characters putting their coats on it takes a surprisingly long time for the gag to end. Even unrelated characters assume that the joke was simply going to go on indefinitely. I mean what do you want? it's been brutally cold outside lately.

...But yes, the story. Once we got to the thirty minute mark and all of the central conflicts had already been solved, "Jugglers" has to move on to minor conflicts so incidental I completely forgot that they ever even existed. Had there ever been any actual discussion of Mr. Do needing to retire in response to his illness, or was this just something made up at the last minute so there could be a scene where he rides a motorcycle into the sunset? There was no gag at the end of that scene, which disappointed me. I was hoping for a gag.

In that way "Jugglers" has left me thinking about the same thing I did for most of the drama's run. I hope there's a half decent joke nestled in here somewhere, because the plot is the exact opposite of compelling. The premise is fine- flashbacks to the first episode reminded me of how much more interesting Yoon-i and Chi-won were back when they had clearly defined motivation. Nothing much since then though.

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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