'The Chair': Will Ji-yoon and Bill get together? Season 1 hints at budding romance
If you're a fan of Sandra Oh's work and let's be honest, who isn't, then get ready to binge her new show, 'The Chair' on Netflix.
The synposis reads, "The Chair follows Dr Ji-yoon Kim (Sandra Oh) as she navigates her new role as the Chair of the English department at prestigious Pembroke University. Ji-Yoon is faced with a unique set of challenges as the first woman to chair the department, and as one of the few staff members of color at the university." If you're looking for more Netflix titles, consider checking out 'Valeria', 'Bankrolled' and 'The War Next-door'.
Right off the bat, Ji-yoon sets out to a rocky start, seeing that the proverbial fires that she has to put out are endless. Having to send some of her older colleagues into retirement due to her department's financial constraints, Ji-Yoon begins to feel the heat of her new role.
However, none of it compares to the decisions she has to make regarding her colleague and friend Bill. Bill, who is going through a tough time post the death of his wife, unwittingly makes the nazi salute during a lecture caught on camera and filmed by students as feel. His actions send the department into a frenzy, with the call for him to be fired getting increasingly loud. On a personal note, it's not all daisies and roses for Ji-yoon at home either, seeing that her adopted daughter, Ju-Hee, known as Juju, keeps acting up at school.
Although the juggling act seems like a never-ending one, she finds respite when Bill, who has been suspended, seems to get along with Juju, as she opens up to him in the absence of a father figure. However, his position at the university finds itself in jeopardy when David Duchovny, a self-obsessed celebrity, wants to get his PhD. Although she manages to thwart him by convincing him to pay a donation instead, Ji-yoon seems unaware of the mutiny brewing below her nose. When her comment to a student is misinterpreted as her trying to silence them regarding the 'Nazi Salute' incident, Ji-yoon's own department sees it as the perfect opportunity to vote her out.
The outcome of Bill's hearing is pretty evident as he is fired --although Ji-yoon openly states that token changes will not be enough to appease students. Unfortunately for her, her entire department voted her out of her position, resulting in her going back to teaching. While it can be viewed as a loss, Ji-yoon has always been passionate about one thing: teaching. For her to return to it sees her in her element and even Bill notices that without the department's burden, she is far calmer.
Whereas for Bill himself, being a tenured professor means that he can sue the university for firing him. When Ji-Yoon asks him about the same, he mentions that he won't be taking the university to court but instead, he will be fighting to get his job back, having been inspired by Ji-yoon's return to the classroom. The ending of the series does set up for a possible Season 2 -- the question of Bill getting his job back still hangs in the air, and there is also his budding romance with Ji-yoon, as the two share a kiss, right before his hearing.
Having known each other for years and the fact that Bill gets along wonderfully with Juju all seems to hint in that direction, but at the same time, dating Bill would complicate things for the both of them work-wise. And finally, we have Joan, a professor who has been at the university for 32 years but has always been overlooked. Ji-yoon votes for her to be the next chair, continuing her legacy of a woman taking over the department. With Joan finally getting the recognition she deserves, it would be interesting to see how she manages things.
'The Chair' is now streaming on Netflix.