Chief Kim takes a look at the world of high finance, corrupt corporate business practices, and personal greed. Sounds sinister, doesn’t it? However, this drama chooses to take the evil edge off the plot by adding humor – and it works! Without its silly, slapstick-type comedy this show might have ended up like Golden Cross – tense, dark, and heavy. Instead, it was a bit like Fated to Love You – light, entertaining, and worth a decent amount of smiles.
Accountant Kim Sung-Ryong once worked with gangsters, doctoring books to make their illegal activities look legit. Although prosecutors would go after him and he was audited every year not a single shred of evidence was ever found to convict him of any wrongdoing. However, he decides to leave that life in order to make some big money by working at a large corporation, TQ Company. In his way of thinking, with the knowledge he has it wouldn’t be hard to filter money from such a huge company and in no time at all he’d be rich! But when he lands the job of middle management in the accounting department he becomes aware of some not-so-honest things the company is involved in and it all ends up hurting “the little guys”. That’s when Chief Kim decides to put away his own selfish desires and work to help the cheated employees at TQ Company.
Denmark. That’s Kim Sung-Ryong’s goal. He wants to make a million dollars and move to Denmark. This man has a Robin Hood mentality – taking money from a huge company won’t hurt them at all, so why not help himself to some of it? He is quick-thinking, clever, and down right brilliant when it comes to accounting. And he doesn’t like to loose. The pursuit of justice, served up with a healthy does of revenge, transforms Chief Kim from a money hungry swindler into a tender hearted, selfless human being.
TQ Company’s assistant manager in the accounting department is Yoon Ha-Kyung. When she realizes the company she works for is doing some shady business and stiffing the employees, she teams up with CEO Do’s wife to fix the damage her husband has done. Although she’s a bit skeptical at first where Chief Kim is concerned, once she finds out exactly where his loyalties lie she’s happy to join hands with him.
Seo Yool was a prosecutor who went after big corporations that were violating the law. But that career lacked the money, power, and glory a big part of him desired and, because he wanted more, he quite his job and became the director of finances for TQ Company. He is very aware of the illegal and immoral practices of CEO Do and uses his knowledge as a former prosecutor to help hide it all. Although he’s on the “bad guys” side he’s a decent man who really isn’t as rotten as he thinks he is.
Hong Ga-Eun is a prosecutor working undercover as an intern in TQ Company’s finance department, trying to secure evidence of their illegal activities. She can’t tell Chief Kim who she really is but proves to be a worthwhile ally since they are both after the same thing – exposing CEO Do for the horrible, cheating man he is and making him pay for his crimes.
Namgung Min, who plays the title role Cheif Kim Sung-Ryong, has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Chung-Ang University. His acting debut was in the popular 2001 feature film Bungee Jumping of Their Own. He’s received many acting awards and can play any kind of character convincingly – from his psychotic, evil roles in Remember and Sensory Couple to his sweet and funny roles in Beautiful Gong Shim and Chief Kim. He also proved his talents go beyond acting when he wrote and directed the 2015 short film entitled Light My Fire. That show is how he met and began dating model-turned-actress Jin Ah-Reum.
Nam Sang-Mi plays the part of Yoon Ha-Kyung. For the first few episodes I kept wondering where I had seen her before. She looked familiar but I didn’t know why until I googled her name and found out she played the main female character in the yummy Kdrama Gourmet. I also saw her in Sweet Spy which happened to be her first starring role. She was good but I wasn’t impressed with the show. She began her acting career after someone posted pictures of her on the internet because they thought she was pretty. During that time she was working in a fast food restaurant.
Taking the part of Seo Yool is Lee Jun-Ho. He first became known when he won Superstar Survival in 2006, competing against 11 other teenagers. Then, he signed with JYP Entertainment, coming in first out of 6,500 competitors! Later, he became one of the members of the Kpop group 2PM. Aside from Chief Kim the only other time I’ve seen him was when he made a cameo appearance in the wonderful drama Uncontrollably Fond. His best scenes in this show are when he’s sparring with Chief Kim. They’re relationship is entertaining and complex with darling chemistry. They play off each other so well.
I’ve seen Jung Hye-Sung, who plays Hong Ga-Eun, in eight of the 13 Kdramas she’s been in. She began her acting career in 2009 with the Kdrama Friend, Our Legend. You might remember her in the Kdramas Pride and Predjuice , Blood, Oh, My Venus, Remember and most recently as the full-figured princess who slims down in Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, just to name a few. She is currently (the first part of 2017) on the variety show We Got Married as Gong Myung’s “wife”.
Chief Kim‘s screenwriter is Park Jae-Bum, the same guy who wrote Blood, Good Doctor (a truly superb drama with an amazing acting job courtesy of Joo Won), and all four seasons of God’s Quiz, all serious Kdramas. This drama was his first attempt at writing comedy, and guess what?… he does it well. There’s so many cute scenes – Chief Kim’s ceiling falling on top of him, gangsters unknowingly breathing helium and talking like Mickey Mouse, the handle of a mop being accidentally thrust into Chief Kim’s crotch, a slow motion slip on some ice, Chief Kim talking to an angel and a devil on his shoulders… But it’s not just actions. There are funny lines, as well. My favorite, and the one that made me laugh out loud, was when Chief Kim says, (speaking of a bag) “…it has a souring smell and it’s driving me crazy! It stinks like an army poncho during rainy season!” Now, I’ve never smelled an army poncho during rainy season but I can certainly imagine how awful that must be. I plan on using that phrase sometime in the future!
KBS Media will be publishing a book entitled Chief Kim’s Work Book which is said to be filled with “great tips for work life.” The book will contain the drama’s best scenes, best lines, and all of the illustrations at the end of each episode that were drawn by webtoon artist Yang Kyung-Soo. It’s not my favorite cartoon style but it fits in well with the lighthearted humor of the show. It sounds like a fun book.
Just a bit of trivial, fun information – the main character’s name, Sung-Ryong, is the nickname the people of South Korea have for Jackie Chan.
As far as music goes, it’s all excellent. Must be the Money, performed by South Korean rapper DinDin, is what I would consider the show’s theme song. I can’t listen to it and sit still. It’s a song that just makes you have to move. Unbelievable is a soft ballad sung by R&B group Soul Star. American pop band After Romeo sings How it Happens, my second favorite song on the show. Starlight Falling Night, performed by Song Yu-Bin from the new Kpop boy group MYTEEN, is another great song. The soundtrack is just chock full of wonderful music! A+ and wahoo!
All of the scenes have a perfect background to compliment what’s happening. The one thing that stands out is the vast difference between the office the accounting department has and the one for the finance department. Chief Kim’s team works in the basement part of the building, just over the sewer and the smell in the office makes that quite obvious. It’s small, dark and crowded. The finance department, on the other hand, is several floors higher, spacious, modern, and brightly lit. A visual difference showing how the two “teams” are thought of – the finance department is respected, the accounting department is tolerated.
Even though I know nothing about big business or accounting I really enjoyed this drama. The people and the relationships they have are fun and serve to keep us interested in what’s going on and each main character shows tremendous emotional growth. I highly recommend Chief Kim.
Score : 8.5
A fair amount of comedy
Fun relationships between the characters
Tremendous character growth
Nothing I can think of