Matthew was recently watching the new Netflix series “The Chair“, whose first season comprises six 30-minute episodes. It’s basically “ER” set in a college—the fictional Pembroke University in New England.
Sandra Oh—the one character who’s very well acted plays Ji-Yoon Kim, the new chair of Pembroke’s English department, and has to face the usual travails of a chair: how to choose a distinguished speaker, dealing with faculty who don’t teach well, schmoozing the dean, listening to a colleague kvetch about poor office space, and so on. The plot is complicated by the fact that her ex-husband (Bill Dobson, played by Jay Duplass) is a professor in her department, is acting erratically since his second wife died, and he wants to reunite with Kim.
They’ve inserted some woke stuff to create drama, the main trope being Dobson’s quick Hitler salute when he mentions Hitler in a class. That, of course sets off a huge fracas.
I’ve watched the first three episodes (I guess there will be a second season), and I’ve pretty much had it. While Oh’s acting is good, much of the other actors overdo it, and the drama—sustaining a Hitler salute over the entire series (don’t read the Wikipedia summary if you want to watch it), is boring. I’m giving up. Matthew thought it was okay, but he’s recommended that I watch “The Wire” instead, and that’s what I’m going to do. It’s a much bigger investment—60 one-hour episodes—but it’s received universal critical acclaim.
In the meantime, you can see the official trailer for the “The Chair” below: