First Impressions: Jugglers, Black Knight, and I’m Not a Robot

This batch of new dramas is all about hardworking women: a secretary who can and will do anything for her boss to gain a promotion; a travel agent who’s working her butt off to live a modest life; and a young entrepreneur who has to pretend as an android robot to earn. Though they have a pretty similar type of heroines, the worlds they’re in are totally different. Let’s take a look at this week’s set of premieres!

Network: KBS
Genre: Romantic comedy, workplace
No. of Episodes: 16 (60 minutes per episode)

First of all, can we have Sung Hoon as a permanent cast in this drama? It’s only a cameo appearance?


But, seriously, can’t we?

Jugglers is a drama about hardworking and obedient secretary Jwa Yoon-yi (Baek Jin-hee) who meets a boss (Daniel Choi) who is completely uninterested in others and has no consideration for others. In other words, he doesn’t need Yoon-yi. Actually, we’re no longer stranger to seeing this kind of set-up in dramaland where we see CEOs having their right-hand man or assistant who runs errands for them. The difference of this workplace drama is the shift of spotlight from the bosses to their secretaries. The first two episodes were funny enough to deliver some giggles, big thanks to Baek Jin-hee’s excellent acting. I love how she’s going all out to portray a secretary, who can even sacrifice her personal life, to score her boss a promotion. Although I’m not supportive of her covering up her superior’s extramarital affair, I understand that it’s purely ‘business’ for her. The cat-dog relationship between her and her new boss Nam Chi-won is a familiar one, but I’ve always had a soft spot for bickering-turned-romance dramas, so I’m eager to see it play out as it progresses. There have also been snippets of the other secretaries and their would-be bosses, and I hope they’ll bring much more layer to this rather simple story.

Verdict: I think Jugglers will delve more into the relationships among the people in the office, rather than tackle workplace issues like how it’s done in Misaeng. It’s not addictive, but it’s a fun watch. But can’t we really have Sung Hoon as a permanent cast?

Black Knight
Network: KBS
Genre: Fantasy, romance
No. of Episodes: 16 (60 minutes per episode)

Is it like Goblin? No. Despite sharing a lot of similarities—a poor girl, a ‘mighty’ leading man, and a number of mysterious and power-wielding supporting characters—Black Knight is way too far from the hit fantasy romance, both on story and quality. I think the biggest failure of Black Knight is its failure to establish its mythology. It’s two episodes already but the story has introduced more questions than answers. The pilot was dreamy to the point, it’s sleepy. However, I have to admit that it picked up in the second episode, mainly because of the undeniable chemistry between Kim Rae-won and Shin Se-kyung and how Slovenia provided a beautiful backdrop to their fated encounter. Looking at the characters, I love how honest Hae-ra (Shin Se-kyung) was about her thoughts and feelings during their conversations and how obvious that Soo-ho (Kim Rae-won)’s already smitten by her. He kept throwing hints about liking her, like when he said that it’s fortunate that Hae-ra and her beau broke up, and how she makes a man’s heart beat fast seeing her cry and eats ice cream. But the character who I found the most intriguing was Sharon (Seo Ji-hye). It crept me out when she said she’ll give Hae-ra a reason to live, but they’ll have to swap lives. Finally, I think Shin Se-kyung is really good when she’s at her element but I wish she could do more varied roles other than an impoverished, hardworking girl (see The Girl Who Sees Smells, Blade Man, Bride of the Water God).

Verdict: Slovenia is way more memorable than the drama itself.

I’m Not a Robot
Network: MBC
Genre: Romantic comedy, Sci-Fi
No. of Episodes: 32 (35 minutes per episode)

I’m Not a Robot is touted as Yoo Seung-ho’s first ever rom-com, so I came in really excited to see our how our resident tear-jerker actor will fare in comical and heart-fluttering scenes, and you know what? He delivered! Yoo Seung-ho as Kim Min-kyu is too adorable for words. Chae Soo-bin was also endearing playing dual roles as the passionate entrepreneur Ji-ah and the android Aji-3. This drama might have an absurd set-up where a human-allergic company CEO meets (and eventually falls in love with) a woman who pretends to be a robot for money, but that is, its charm as well. It’s like an anime brought into life. It’s actually a little reminiscent of Chobits minus the sexy undertones. The CGI and special effects were also something to boot, so I hope they’ll be able to maintain it until the end.

Verdict: If you love rom-coms, and you’re willing to suspend a lot of disbelief to enjoy one, then I’m Not a Robot must be included in your watchlist. And if you’ve finally decided to tune into it, follow Grumpy Ahjumma’s episodic review of this new sci-fi offering from MBC.

Busy Ahjussi’s Final Ranking:

  1. I’m Not a Robot
  2. Jugglers
  3. Black Knight

What’s your favorite so far? Let us know!


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