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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Prime Minister and I" Episode 5

2013/12/23 | Permalink

Now that the wedding is over and done with, Da-jeong and Yool are in the thick of their manufactured relationship. Some fun scenes happen at home- most particularly with that ridiculous outfit Da-jeong keeps wearing. I'll admit it's pretty looking, but what's it even supposed to be? A hanbok? A dress? Some kind of weird fusion houserobe? I was quite relieved when another character straight up asked for her to explain the wardrobe.

Unfortunately, outside of this moment there's relatively little personality clash, making for a rather weak episode that fails to make good use of the strength of its cast. Almost the entire conflict this episode is a direct result of Man-se's innocent childish playtime. Except it's not really innocent at all- I don't know what the rules are in the Kwon family household but I can't imagine that going into other people's room and messing with their stuff is all right. Especially considering what happens to Da-jeong when she so much as expresses curiousity about a forbidden room.

Now, kids do misbehave, certainly. The trouble here is that an essential plank of this drama is Da-jeong's being able to be a good influence as a surrogate mother. She is most definitely not doing that by just letting Man-se get off from this indiscretion unchallenged, without even making it clear that what he did was inappropriate. I can only hope this is a personality problem the script will deal with eventually. I'd hate to think that Da-jeong will just let the kids run roughshod over her for the drama's entire run.

Again, though, the kids are a fairly small presence here as Da-jeong instead moves to undo the damage Man-se has done. Also there's an entire extended storyline about a spy operating in the Kwon household. This narrative has some potential, but it's badly hobbled by the fact that we don't really have much of a villain yet. Yes, Yool has political enemies- don't all prime ministers? The problem is that as of yet it's not terribly clear what he's even up against.

We do at least find out some important information about In-ho (played by Yoon Si-yoon), and now have some idea what his goals are, even if the direction isn't terribly clear yet. So far he's the only character outside out of our two leads with clearly defined personality and ambition. Although, really, I'm starting to wonder if this political spy and revenge stuff has much place in the drama at all. There's just way more charm in watching Yool instruct his kids in swordfighting whilst getting distracted by memories of Da-jeong's kiss.

Review by William Schwartz

"The Prime Minister and I" is directed by Lee So-yeon-I and written by Kim Eun-hee and Yoon Eun-kyeong and features Lee Beom-soo, Yoona, Yoon Si-yoon and Chae Jung-an.

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