The Chair is a Netflix series created by Amanda Peet and Annie Wyman starring Sandra Oh as the Chair of the English department of her college. The series is also executive produced by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the showrunners of Game of Thrones.
The Chair Series Cast
- Sandra Oh as Ji-Yoon Kim, newly appointed, first female Chair of the English Department of Pembroke College
- Jay Duplass as Bill Dodson, A professor in the English department who lost his wife a year ago and his daughter just left for college
- Holland Taylor as Joan Hambling, A colleague of Ji-Yoon’s and a professor in the English department
- Everly Carganilla as Ju-Hee “Ju Ju” Kim, Ji-Yoon’s adopted daughter
- David Morse as Dean Paul Larson, The dean of Pembroke college.
- Bob Balaban as Elliot Rentz, another one of the professors in the English department
- Ji-Yong Lee as Habi, Ji-Yoon’s father
The Chair Series Plot
Ji-Yoon is the newly appointed first female Chair for the English department of Pembroke College. The department is not at the best state because of declining enrolment, old professors and its rooted sexism and racism. Ji-Yoon is given the helm for the already plummeting department.
Bill Dobson faces the consequences for his inappropriate joke and fails to do the damage control. While Joan is given an office in the basement and she tries to get her moved from the small and untidy room.
The Chair Series Review
The Chair series showcases the ongoing in the department of English in Pembroke College. The department is not the best as it used to be and Sandra Oh’s Ji-Yoon Kim is given the position to lead them. Sandra Oh’s Ji-Yoon is put in an uncomfortable position throughout the series due to various situations and she shines through it all. Ji-Yoon becomes the target of many dramatics in the college and Ji-Yoon finds ways to tackle them as she tries to get a handle of her daughter and her life.
The 30-minute episodes keeps the viewers engaged by showcasing the inner workings of a department that has been following the systemic approach of racism and sexism that has been ingrained in them for decades. And they try to change it by appointing an Asian professor as chair but it is not enough. The struggles that Ji-Yoon faces because of other professors and everyone’s demands, where no one is ready to take accountability for their actions make her realize that maybe she is not the one that can change the department.
The titular role in the series is played by Sandra Oh’s Ji-Yoon, where she is the one trying to get everything together but no one understands her perspective, no one assists her but only burdens her with their theatrics. Ji-Yoon has to act like a mother to everyone of her colleagues and along with it all she can’t understand her daughter. Her father is the only one who helps her by looking after Ju Ju but he is also limited because of the minor language barrier and because of Ju Ju’s actions.
The series becomes frustrating at times as we look into the series through Ji-Yoon’s perspective. The cringy moments and the second-hand embarrassment come along the ride as well. Bill Dobson played by Jay Duplass has been grieving his wife’s death and puts himself in uncomfortable positions and makes it even worse and all while he does have a hold of his life, as he feels all alone after his daughter left for college. The appearance from David Duchovny was a pleasant surprise and it was interesting to find out about his academic achievements.
The conflict between the students and the college feels justified but never dragged. The conflicts are caused by various things from an ill-fated joke to racist, sexist and white privileged methods of the college and as the series dabbles into these serious topics, that are not the easiest to showcase in a sensible manner.
The subtle humour among all of this is still persistent. The wittiness displayed by all hits the mark almost every time, even in unpleasant situations. Even though the series is about how Ji-Yoon balances her life between her work and home, her professionalism and her friendship, the comedy in the dramatic theme is constant and offers a pleasing watch.
The Movie Culture Synopsis
The Chair starring Sandra Oh shows her comedic side and it is a delight to watch her. It is actually a delight to watch her play any role and the supporting actors in the series like Jay Duplass and Holland Taylor are likeable and engaging as well.
The Chair premiers Friday, 20th August and is available to watch on Netflix worldwide.