It’s been a while since I finished watching Show, so some details may have been forgotten, but quirky fun is something that’s synonymous with Show and I wouldn’t forget how I looked forward to new episodes every week. Chief Kim is your unconventional Kdrama, with no lovelines between the main leads and it’s also an atypical underdog saves the day story.
What I really love about Show is our titular Chief Kim, or Sung-ryong (Namgoong Min) if you prefer, isn’t your regular righteous hero and he didn’t intend to be a hero, but he grew into the role and made use of his street-smart personality to take down the corrupt chairman of TQ Group. He knows where his strengths and weaknesses lie, and he knows how to use people effectively. True to Show’s alternative title Good Manager, Chief Kim IS a good manager because not only he grows, he encourages growth in people around him.
I thought it’s not unexpected that Junho‘s Seo Yul is not corrupted as he appears to be, and I find his character really interesting. He may be cold and abrasive to most, but when it comes to food he’s like a little kid. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s somewhere on the autistic spectrum – highly intelligent yet struggles with social interactions. His grudging bromace with Sung-ryong is something I can watch endlessly. Their chemistry is so good I wasn’t surprised to learn that Junho and Namgoong Min actually ad-libbed a good portion of their dialogues.
Not to be sidelined, the girls here are also not your usual Kdrama females, in the sense that they’re pretty resourceful and independent, be it Ha-kyung (Nam Sang Mi) or Gwang-sook (Im Hwa Young). While Ha-kyung represents the more conventional office worker who had to suppress her true self to fit the stifling office culture, she opens up more as her interactions with Sung-ryong increased. Gwang-sook may not be highly educated, but her street-smartness and her longer exposure to Sung-ryong than those at TQ makes her equally helpful in taking down the corrupted higherups at TQ.
All supporting characters in Show are important, be they on Chief Kim’s side, or antagonistic characters. Team work is a theme that is reinforced throughout Show, and it gets increasingly stronger as more people are influenced by Sung-ryong. Through him, all who belonged to the Financial Department learnt that one can elicit change, no matter how small, instead of being the mindless office worker afraid of getting into trouble. The biggest change had to go to Myung-seok (Dong Ha), from the playboy chaebol heir to a responsible and empathetic young man. His grudging acknowledgement of the wrongs his father did, and thanks to Sung-ryong, he felt the need to correct the wrongs.
True to the ending credits of the last episode, Chief Kim is not about Sung-ryong alone, but the teamwork required to enable change. We may be busy with life and other mundane stuff, but it doesn’t mean that we should encourage the growth of injustice because we’re too busy. Ideals remains as ideals if we don’t make them into reality, and that’s where Chief Kim comes in as an inspiration!