If you've ever watched a drama movie that you thought could have done with being a little bit longer, to flesh out the characters and the story, then The Chair is the perfect series for you. With just six 30 minute episodes, it's essentially like a long film.
The premise is that Ji-Yoon Kim (Sandra Oh, Turning Red) is a tenured professor at a prestigious college. Having just been voted as The Chair of the English department, she must navigate her new role and sort all the problems that come with the title. And there are a lot of problems to contend with.
Firstly, some of the longer-standing professors are no longer attracting students to their classes. With budget cuts on the horizon, three of the highest-paid teachers are also three of the oldest and they don't want to retire. Secondly, the most popular English professor is contemporary author Bill Dobson (Jay Duplass) whose own personal problems threaten to derail his career and create even more headaches for Ji-Yoon.
Thirdly, Ji-Yoon is a single mother with an adopted daughter who is constantly in trouble at school. But with only her elderly father to depend on, the plates that Ji-Yoon has to spin are in danger of crashing to the ground. So with the Dean breathing down her neck, her authority constantly being challenged, her colleagues turning on her and the students threatening to riot, life as The Chair is not all it's cracked up to be.
The thing with The Chair though, is that it's actually quite funny. It's witty and flows beautifully largely due to how good Sandra Oh is. Of course, the rest of the cast are well able to hold their own and the show manages to tackle the absurdity of academia when things don't go to plan. It's very easy to watch and you'll probably end up bingeing the entire series in one sitting.
Summary Of The Chair
As a story, it works well. However, if you're expecting some sort of twist or revelation then you are out of luck. It's a short satirical drama that gives us a close up of the absurdity of faculty life and all its flaws in an ever-changing world.