17 July 2014 | cremea
A Predictable and Lazy K-Drama...Not Recommended!
The Prime Minister & I. Korean TV Drama17 episodes Late 2013 - Early 2014.
Be forewarned; I have very few positive things to say about this show. Perhaps if you're a younger viewer, haven't seen very many K-dramas, or a huge fan of a particular Girls' Generation member, than this show might work for you. Otherwise, you're probably better off watching something else.
Here's your story: A prime minister needs a new wife for himself and a new mother to his 3 little brats. A young reporter wishes to find a proper man to marry to grant her dying father's wish. The prime minister & young reporter are completely mismatched, yet they are forced to be together for some preposterous reason. Romance, comedy, and melodrama are supposed to ensue as the young reporter slowly wins the hearts & minds of the prime minister & his kids over time.
The Prime Minister & I follows a standard blueprint for this genre, but there is very little effort devoted to any creativity here, and therein lies the bulk of this show's problems. Everything about this show is overly formulaic, and it's quite clear this show is just going through the motions right from the get go; the litany of stock clichés, plot points, predictable characters, circumstances, etc. are as endless as they are unexpected. As a result, there was never a moment during this show where I was truly engaged with the story itself or anyone involved. As a seasoned K-drama viewer, this show did not go over very well with me, and I've seen everything it had to offer done much better in many other shows both past & present.
This show doesn't waste any time letting you know how weakly written it's going to be. The dialogue is not particularly bad, but the overall storytelling is quite lacking. They couldn't even think of a proper mechanism to have the two main characters be together in the first place; believe it or not, this is it: A photographer takes some after-hours pics of the two leads together. These pics go public, but they aren't really scandalous or even newsworthy, and they could easily be explained away as the innocuous photos they actually were. Instead of simply rectifying the situation, the two leads reason that it would be better to pretend they are dating to avoid a scandal. This subsequently leads to them both agreeing to pretend to be married to further the façade they've created. The prime minister somehow thinks all of this will help protect and advance his political career, and the reporter girl somehow thinks this is an acceptable way to make her father happy before he dies. Unfortunately, none of this makes any sense whatsoever. I've seen a lot of tenuous motives for two people to be together in K-dramas over the years, but this is quite possibly the dumbest one ever; there is no logical reason or benefit for the prime minister to agree to any of this, and the reporter girl's father can hardly even remember who his daughter is (much less determine if she's married or not) thanks to his severe and highly selective bout of Alzheimer's (i.e. he conveniently gets worse or better according to what's useful to the plot at any given time).
You're introduced to the secondary cast as the story unfolds; they are the standard jumble of anticipated characters (the annoying kids, the annoying housekeeper, the annoying alternative love interests, the annoying uncle/step-brother antagonist, etc). Every one of these roles is written as a tired stereotype that's devoid of any range or depth. As a result, I did not care about any of these characters, what their motives or personal problems were, or how their story-arcs were progressed & resolved. They were nothing more than mere nuisances and contrivances throughout the story, and were so bland and one dimensional that I couldn't be concerned enough to like or hate any of them.
Lethargic storytelling manifests itself throughout this entire show. This is never more evident wherever the secondary love interests are concerned; these 2 are attracted to the 2 leads, but their reasons for liking them are never fleshed out in any meaningful or convincing manner. It's as if the writers simply said "Here's the designated secondary love interests/antagonists because it's mandatory we include them". There is very little romance or comedy to be had in this show either, and both of these aspects rarely hit acceptable marks; what passes for comedy (and often romance for that matter) basically consists of the two leads accidentally falling into each other's arms again and again while trying to avoid some faintly awkward misunderstandings. There are a few early dream sequences that actually had some comedic promise, but this is never fully capitalized on. Ultimately, neither the comedy nor the romance works very well during this show, and the romance angle isn't helped any by the dubious pairing of the two main leads to begin with.
Lee Bum Soo plays the prime minister, and Im Yoo Na portrays the reporter girl. He's a veteran of Korean films whose been popping up in KTV dramas more recently, and she's a K-Pop star turned actress that's about 15 years his junior. Needless to say, they aren't really well suited to act opposite each other in a show like this in the first place, and, this does manifest itself on-screen...they each do "OK" by themselves, but the required chemistry between them never quite materializes to help benefit this show.
Summary: While not outright terrible, this show simply doesn't work very well as a whole. It lacks too many of the necessary ingredients to be a compelling watch. It's neither romantic enough, intelligent enough, amusing enough, creative enough, or dramatic enough, and, thus not memorable enough. There are some occasional worthwhile &/or endearing moments here and there, but not nearly enough to recommend.
Bottom Line: 5 out of 10 stars.