The Director | TELEVITES

Crisis. A word that has been too present in recent months, linked to health, the economy, the social and also the political, both in Chile and in the world. Crisis that now comes to Netflix as one of the essential elements of “The Director”, the series that has as one of the key axes of its narrative the economic predicament that the University of Pembroke is experiencing, especially the Department of English of this prestigious American institution, after the enrollment in several of its chairs decreased.

This complex scenario becomes the biggest challenge for Dr. Ji-Yoon Kim (Sandra Oh) after she assumes the direction of said department, becoming the first woman, and of Asian origin, to assume that position – known as ” the chair ”in the American university milieu, after making a name for herself and earning the respect of her male colleagues as a prominent local scholar. But what was meant to be a moment of celebration is quickly replaced by a concern to save her section from “looting”, as she herself claims.

To attract more students, her first task is to give her African-American colleague Yasmin “Yaz” McKay (Nana Mensah) the “distinguished chair”, as she is one of the most popular teachers in Pembroke, making her classes some of the busiest. of the University. A decision that Chancellor Paul Larson (David Morse) questions because there is something more important that Kim must prioritize: getting three of the oldest teachers in his department to agree to retire, since their salaries are the highest, but his courses don’t attract much attention.

An unexpected problem that further complicates Dr. Kim

The three respected professors who have been in college for more than 30 years on average are now unproductive. So Elliot Rentz (Bob Balaban), John McHale (Ron Crawford) and Joan Hambling (Holland Taylor) become one of the points where Kim and Larson differ the most, because she does not want to get rid of their partners just because they are old. . However, there is little he can do when Professor Hambling, an expert on Geoffrey Chaucer’s poetry, is moved to a run-down office located in the basement, next to the gym and where the internet signal is not reaching.

A new complication comes to the new director from where she least expects it: the widower William “Bill” Dobson (Jay Duplass), one of her friends and colleagues, and who clearly inspires a different kind of feeling. He is another of the teachers preferred by the students, but in recent days he has been more distracted than ever, after his daughter went away to study and left him alone at home. He falls into a state of carelessness that leads him to inadvertently put on a video of his disappeared almost naked wife and to make a gesture that looks like a Nazi salute in class.

These events do not go unnoticed by Bill, because in minutes he reached social networks, classifying him and Pembroke as Nazis and raising a series of student protests. This leads the rector to force Dobson to make a public apology, in addition to removing him from his position indefinitely and making the least expected person his replacement: the famous David Duchovny, the actor from “The Secret X Files” who studied literature – yes, he actually did it at Yale and Princeton – and who offered to replace him.

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A mix of drama and comedy that overcomes the reiteration of conflicts

Away from the academic field there is something else that worries Ji-Yoon, the problems that his daughter Ju-Hee (Everly Carganilla), or Ju Ju, has had at school. In addition, the little girl does not want to hug her and repeats that she is not her real mother very often recently. The same girl of Latin origin that she feels like her real daughter and whom she decided to adopt after her relationship with another descendant of Koreans ended. These conflicts will transform Bill and his experience as a parent into a great help.

Thus, with this mixture of complications at work and at home, Ji-Yoon Kim becomes the focus of six chapters that combine drama with comedy -even with some physical humor by the character of Bill-, to take away. the viewer through an interesting and entertaining journey through the experiences of this new director, her colleagues and family members, which also has an additional ingredient: making visible the racial, gender and age problems that are still present in the workplace in many countries .

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Although at times it sins of reiteration of conflicts and places young people as the villains of certain situations, “The Director” far exceeds the mediocrity of what is known as dramedia, betting on a little-explored scenario such as the academic world. This especially thanks to a cast that has Sandra Oh (“Grey’s Anatomy”, “Killing Eve”) as its main figure, in the company of renowned names such as the experienced Bob Balaban (“Midnight Crime”, “The Politician “) And Holland Taylor (” Two and a Half Men “,” Hollywood “).

Original title: The Chair
Director: Daniel Gray Longino
Country: USA
Year: 2021
Gender: Comedy, Drama
Duration: 30 minutes
With: Sandra Oh, Jay Duplass, Bob Balaban, Nana Mensah, Holland Taylor, Everly Carganilla, David Morse,
Screenplay: Amanda Peet, Annie Wyman, Richard Robbins
Song: Stephanie Economou
Production: Tyler Romary, Hameed Shaukat
Web: See here
Release date: August 20, 2021
Platform: Netflix

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The Director | TELEVITES