The Faculty Party
Episode 2 of The Chair Season 1 begins with Bill’s lecture blunder going viral online. After his gesture last episode, things do not look good. Meanwhile, Ju-Ju has a new babysitter but things go horribly wrong when she walks in on the woman on the toilet.
Back at the uni, Ji-Yoon is concerned that there’s not more people of colour working in the department. She wants to recruit more but that could cause problems among the other faculty members. At least according to one of the men anyway.
Well, Ji-Yoon is thrown in the hot seat and immediately forced to speak up on the issues at a dinner that evening. Only, she skips out at the last second and picks Yasmin McKay as the one to give the distinguished lecture. Ji-Yoon meanwhile, learns that Ju-Ju has gone missing and races off to find her. It turns out she ran away from her Grandfather’s house, determined to walk home.
As Ji-Yoon tells off her daughter for this, Ju-Ju suddenly lashes out and claims that Ji-Yoon is not her real Mum. In the middle of this dramatic moment, Ji-Yoon decides the gang need to blow off some steam and encourages them all to head off bowling instead. All the while, Bill’s gesture continues to trend and gain traction online.
On the way home, more slapstick ensues as Ji-Yoon accidentally runs over Bill’s foot. Inviting him in, the pair have clear chemistry but for now decide not to follow through and turn that into romance.
At work, Ji-Yoon receives an urgent set of text messages. When Bill bursts into the room, calling himself an asset to the university, their chatter is overshadowed by protests outside. Angry students carrying placards call for “Professor Hitler” to be dismissed following the classroom incident.
The Episode Review
Remember what we said in episode 1 about numerous different styles of comedy thrown together? Well, episode 2 continues that trend with bathroom humour, slapstick and awkward jokes alongside….a Hitler salute joke? I’m not quite sure who thought that final point was a good on but it only reinforces how off the mark this show is.
The Chair feels confused over whether it wants to be a wacky workplace comedy or a heartfelt dramedy – and even a social examination of an English department. As a result, most of the elements here fail to mesh together in a consistent way.
We’ll have to wait and see what direction this one goes but at least the acting in this show is good, which is enough to keep things watchable.