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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jugglers" Episode 7

2017/12/25 | Permalink

Other characters are curiously oblivious to Chi-won's motives, even when he's explaining them pretty explicitly. Chi-won doesn't like it when people harass his secretary. Chi-won probably doesn't like it when any of his subordinates are harassed, really, yet Mr. Bong and Chang-soo both get extended sequences where they are confused as to why Chi-won is singling them out for rough treatment when all they did was make Yoon-i severely uncomfortable.

I think "Jugglers" might be going for a sexual harassment angle with these characters. Unfortunately it doesn't really work because Yoon-i's relationship with Mr. Bong and Chang-soo is fairly specifically defined by their backstories. There's little indication that Mr. Bong and Chang-soo act like this with women in general, and what hints we do get to that effect suffer from the whole show, don't tell effect that has undermined "Jugglers" a lot in general.

The Bo-yool / Jeong-ae storyline is still running strong, although that's a fairly relative statement. There's a funny moment where it seems like Bo-yool is goofing off and not doing his job at all, then we discover that actually he was doing his job all along. Like most of the exposition in "Jugglers", this would have worked much better several episodes ago. Really, that entire sequence would have been a much better explanation for how Jeong-ae became Bo-yool's secretary than just coasting in on Yoon-i's recommendation. Recall that Jeong-ae knows nothing about being a secretary, or sports.

We even see this highlighted at the Best Boss Awards. It turns out the event is structured like a talent show. Again, why "Jugglers" couldn't just explain this ahead of time was not clear to me. Anyway, Jeong-ae's attempt to help Bo-yool succeed at the Best Boss Awards, while sincere and sweet, is undermined by how comically low tech it is. This is especially true considering that the tech guys couldn't be bothered to aim the camera at her cards, but then they're not the most competent bunch, as we see.

Ugh, what a missed opportunity. We could have had actual build-up to sabotage. We could have had one-off jokes about how the tech guys find the content of the Best Boss Awards inscrutably boring, since it consists entirely of discussion about corporate leadership. Instead, a bunch of events just stumble into place to provide more clumsy exposition of Chi-won's backstory. Is it really this hard to just write a more naturalistic script?

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-jung, and Lee Won-geun.

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