[Review] Prime Minister and I – 총리와 나

MR. MR. PRIME MINISTER

As a hotshot politician, Kwon Yul (Lee Bum Soo) is lined up to become the next Prime Minister of South Korea.  Popular with the working class and dedicated to his job, he aims to make a difference.  However, he struggles with raising his 3 kids by himself.  In comes Nam Da Jung (Im Yoon Ah) who is a young reporter eager to get the scoop but always misses the mark.

After a comprising photo surfaces of the two, they enter into a contract marriage and she becomes an affectionate to his kids.  Through her, he’s able to get to know his kids better when feelings for each other begin to emerge.

I was originally skeptical about this drama because of it being produced by SM C&C but lately the stories have been improving.  It’s a fun, light romcom where a bulk of the drama’s success lies in the chemistry of the leads.  Lee Bum Soo can make chemistry work with almost anyone and Im Yoon Ah holds her own in this effervescent drama even with the age gap.

Tae Min [Shinee] – 발걸음 (Steps)

태민 [샤이니] – 발걸음 (Steps)

The only issue I had with their chemistry was the drama’s unwillingness to have these characters show more signs of affection with each other especially as the drama winds down. There was a lot of playful skinship early on in the drama but not so much in the end.

Not that I’m asking for unnecessary kissing scenes that bears no weight to the plot overall.  Although I’m not opposed to it as they’re just bonus points in my book but it felt like the drama (Or maybe the actors.  Who knows?) was afraid to throw in another hug or kiss because of the awkwardness of their 20 year age gap.  Isn’t that the point of the rom in romcom?

Having said that, that wasn’t the only issue I had with the drama.  Kwon Yul is a widower whose brother-in-law, Park Joon Ki (Ryu Jin), despises him because he blames Yul for his sister’s death which also ties in Kang In Ho’s (Yoon Shi Yoon) backstory.  I couldn’t quite buy Joon Ki’s hatred for Yul and then his willingness not to vilify him in front of his children.  Just felt like a flimsy plot point and the conclusion of that storyline does no better as it ends up feeling contrived and so convoluted that it detracts from the leads in the drama.

Thankfully, most of the drama is filled with a cast of characters who round out the comic and heartwarming elements.  From Da Jung’s fellow reporters to Da Jung’s dad (Lee Han Wie) to Kwon Yul’s 3 kids named Woo Ri (Choi Soo Han), Na Ra (Jeon Min Seo), Man Se (Lee Do Hyun), respectively.  (Strung together their names mean: Viva Our Nation, a line of lyric from the Korean national anthem.)

In the past, I have dismissed SM C&C dramas as vehicles for SM to promote their stars and not much else.  I still think that if Im Yoon Ah weren’t part of Girls’ Generation and SM, then it would have been less likely that she would be cast opposite Lee Bum Soo.  Having said that, I did enjoy the pair despite lackluster skinship opportunities.

While SM C&C’s storytelling has improved but I can’t say that they’ve totally figured out the formula yet for creating unique arcs with their plot.  Prime Minister and I seemed to have cute and interesting start but to me it appeared that they were too afraid to go all the way with their main characters.  Therefore substituting their onscreen time with other trivial plotlines.

Rating

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2 thoughts on “[Review] Prime Minister and I – 총리와 나

  1. I am curious to hear if you see the same problem in the other SM drama airing at the same time, Miss Korea. There’s age gap also but somehow I think it’s less of an issue there. But I do agree with you, why create a romantic pairing only to chicken out in the showing of affection later. Pretty dumb, IMO.

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