K-Drama Review : The Prime Minister and I (Yoona’s Dramas)

As a huge fan of the Kpop group, Girls’ Generation/SNSD, I knew that one of its members, Yoona, is also an actress. When I saw Hulu had not one, but two of her dramas, I knew what I would be watching next.

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I watched The Prime Minister and I first out of the two dramas and was very pleasantly surprised with Yoona’s acting abilities! Unfortunately, Yoona’s acting abilities and star power could not save this drama. Though it had a lot of potential, The Prime Minister & I really didn’t live up to it. The chemistry between the two leads was nonexistent and the show was actually quite sexist and shallow.

 

bloggingwithdragons.com - Watch kdramas - The Prime Minister and I Review
Yoona is a paparazzi/tabloid journalist before becoming the Prime Minister’s trophy wife.

Yoona was very believable in the role of Nam Da Jung, a determined reporter for a tabloid. What was not believable in this drama was the chemistry between the two leads. I don’t know if it was the age difference or what, but I was just not buying that these two completely different people suddenly fell in love. I also didn’t feel like Da Jung had any chemistry with the second male love interest either. I love a good romance, so this made the drama a bit of a bore for me. Even with some of the cutely written love scenes between the Da Jung and the Prime Minister, it just seemed forced.

 

bloggingwithdragons.com - Watch Kdramas - The Prime Minister and I
This scene and others between the two leads just made me uncomfortable.

 To top it off, I couldn’t help but feel that this show was very sexist in its portrayal of women. And I’m not just talking about Yoona’s casting opposite an actor 25 years her senior. Every portrayal of women in this show from Yoona all the way down to the bickering, shallow housewives of the other politicians seemed very stereotypical. And I found it bothersome that the second Da Jung entered her contract marriage with the Prime Minister, she was forced to quit her job at the tabloid and didn’t appear to miss it at all.

 

bloggingwithdragons.com - Watch Kdramas - The Prime Minister and I
Da Jung in her wedding dress and becoming a trophy wife.

This really didn’t make any sense to me. She basically became the epitome of a trophy wife, who stayed home all day (unless she had a charity to be involved in), was dressed perfectly (and entirely differently than she dressed before).. Most days she was simply delivering snacks to the kids and the Prime Minister. Um, hello–she wasn’t even making the food, they had maids to do it! So I was completely perplexed by what the actual hell this go-getter career woman—who even got herself arrested for pursuing an interview with the Prime Minister at the beginning of the show—suddenly did all day and how she wasn’t miserable, unfulfilled, or bored, like I admittedly was watching this show.

 

bloggingwithdragons.com - Watch Kdramas - The Prime Minister and I
Da Jung transforms from career woman to housewife overnight.

I was even more stupefied when all of her doing nothing somehow added up to her falling in love with the Prime Minister for real. Is this a case of Stockholm Syndrome or something? Shouldn’t even a part of her resent him for changing her appearance, career, lifestyle, and making her a mother to his three children? As much as it pains me to admit, I also couldn’t help but think that with her father suddenly not just having Alzheimer’s, but dying, Da Jung was looking for another father figure in her husband. Not exactly what I was looking for in a romantic comedy and it made the whole thing kind of gross. And let’s face it, Da Jung and the Prime Minister’s first meetings were not on friendly terms, with one initial appearance that the Prime Minister was yelling at a unruly teenager, (which was a disturbing scene), not a potential love interest who would become his wife. Hitting this point home is the fact that Da Jung never calls her husband by his name, but addresses him as “Prime Minister.” Not exactly romantic or even slightly equal. I know this is Korea and respecting one’s seniors is important, but damn it just wasn’t cute in this show.

 

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But The Prime Minister & I doesn’t just show off the stereotype of a trophy wife. The Prime Minister’s extremely capable secretary, Seo Hye Joo, on the other hand, was portrayed as a workaholic, unhappy bitch. In fact, before Da Jung married the Prime Minister she was even tasked with digging to find out if Hye Joo and the Prime Minister were more than just employee and employer—because why else would a woman be the successful secretary of a Prime Minister, right?

 

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And of course, it’s not just because the beautiful Hye Joo was extremely intelligent, educated, and resourceful, it’s mostly because she’s been in unrequited love with the Prime Minster since college. This love often drove her to jealousy and caused her to stoop to questionable methods to meet the Prime Minister’s goals. And when she was particularly frustrated with her unrequited love, she had a tendency to walk around slapping people.

 

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Had to include this picture. Poor Kang In Ho being the victim of Hye Joo’s frustrations.

While she never resorted to plotting against Da Jung and even came to her aid on occasion, I still felt that she mainly just served the typical purpose of fitting into the classic K-drama spiteful second woman mold.

 

bloggingwithdragons.com - Watch Kdramas - The Prime Minister and I
The Prime Minister flashing back to when his first wife was still with them.

And if those stereotypical portrayals of women weren’t enough, near the end of the show, the writers threw in that the Prime Minister’s late wife was actually alive. She just faked her death and was in hiding, because you guessed it, she was actually having an affair with another man and was planning to leave the Prime Minister. What a surprise that yet another woman’s actions in this drama were because of a man! Thank god that the Prime Minister didn’t seriously consider leaving Da Jung and getting back with his ex-wife for too long, or I might have finally given up on the show with only about two episodes left. Though I did think it strange that a man who kept his late wife’s very nice piano locked up in a spare empty room because he couldn’t bear the reminder of her, didn’t appear to be more conflicted about her miraculous return to life and his feelings for both her and Da Jung. Huh. Oh well, whatever (pretty much sums up my entire feelings toward this drama in one sentence).

 

bloggingwithdragons.com - Watch Kdramas - The Prime Minister and I
This is one show that ends with a handshake–not a kiss–between the two leads.

But regardless of what the show was lacking, I was  just glad that the show gave Da Jung and the Prime Minister the typical happy ending and that it was over. While it wasn’t all bad and displayed Yoona’s acting abilities (I completely believed she was Da Jung and not a member of SNSD/Girls’ Generation), the show could have benefited from some less stereotypical writing, more believable character motivations, and perhaps most importantly, better chemistry between the two leads. The fact that this drama ended with a handshake and not a passionate kiss between the two leads was very surprising, but also a relief because I didn’t want to see them kiss again. If you’ve never seen Yoona in a drama and want to watch one with her in it, do yourself a favor and skip this one with its nails on a chalkboard lack of chemistry and watch Love Rain instead. You can read my Love Rain review here.

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Posted December 28, 2015 in K-Dramas, Watch

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