Chief Kim Korean Drama Review

Chief Kim tells the story of a quirky accountant (Nam Goong Min) for gangsters who becomes a manager in an office with plans to steal from them, but finds himself a reluctant hero of sorts as he stands up for the mistreated people at the company and finds he actually wants to help them.

I’m terribly sad to say that I ended up being completely disappointed in Chief Kim. It’s especially disappointing considering how much I was looking forward to this drama. I also appear to be in the minority as fans raved about the show week after week.

So why didn’t I care for it when so many others loved it? Simply put, I was bored out of my mind. But why was I bored when others weren’t? Well, for me, there were several things that just did not work.

Now on the surface, this looks like a drama I would love. A shady but goodhearted gangster accountant gets a job at a company with plans to steal from them, accidentally becomes a hero, and finds he wants to help the people. Add in an office filled with characters to add humor and some heartwarming stories along with scheming bad guys to cause some trouble, and it should be just my kind of drama! But that’s just not how things worked out.

First, I do want to point out that the drama did have one spectacular shining spot in the midst of everything I didn’t like though. Nam Goong Min. He plays our gangster accountant Kim Sung Ryong. And I have literally nothing negative to say about him. He put forth a stellar performance that was heartwarming and extremely humorous.

He has some very poignant moments throughout the drama where the emotion just oozes out of him in such a moving way. The intensity he conveys goes very deep, and he delivered a fantastic performance.


Of course, the main thing in this drama is that he is absolutely hilarious! Nam Goong Min is so charismatic and puts so much into his characters. The faces he makes are priceless, and he did give me some truly laugh out loud moments.

So that brings me to my first issue. The funny and talented Nam Goong Min just wasn’t enough for me. It felt like I would spend 15 minutes utterly bored and then have a minute or two of hilarity and then the cycle would repeat episode after episode. So I was only really enjoying 5-10 minutes of each episode. That just doesn’t cut it.

The main reason I was bored was due to an issue that I’m sure many can relate to: the business politics. There were multiple bad guys at the company and plenty of secretive scheming. I usually can’t stand that stuff. But if other things are working, it’s something that I can overlook. But the entire drama completely centered around constant business maneuvering, and I just could not get into it.

I also couldn’t figure out how to feel about Sung Ryong’s main nemesis Seo Yool (Lee Jun Ho). He was a competent villain-type character, but he just felt so one dimensional. Jun Ho definitely had plenty of charisma in his delivery, but for me, the drama just didn’t make him redeemable enough. He is super scummy for the bulk of the drama.

He just wasn’t ever a character I felt any empathy for. I counted only a handful of times where the narrative attempted to show a softer side of him in the first 3/4 of the drama. But I didn’t feel that even these moments really gave us much of a window into him.

Of course, he had an intense rivalry with Sung Ryong, but it’s important for me to really connect with the villain on some level. I want that even if he’s a really bad villain just so he feels more real, but I especially want that when it’s clear that he’s supposed to be a redeemable nemesis. Of course, the last few episodes see that important growth, but it was way too little too late. The drama just didn’t execute his character well for me.

Nam Sang Mi was very pleasant as Yoon Ha Kyung. She’s a strong and spirited woman who becomes an ally for Sung Ryong. I enjoyed her more towards the beginning of the drama and found she became more bland as the drama progressed though.

I was hoping the office would be filled with some fun supporting characters to really tug at my heartstrings, but they just didn’t do that. I outright didn’t like half of the office workers and the ones I did like such as Ha Kyung and Nam Ho (Kim Won Hae) were just average.

So overall, Chief Kim was thoroughly disappointing. While it seemed to have so many of the elements I love in a drama, the boredom was just too strong. The slow moving plot, constant business politics, characters I didn’t bond with, and not enough humor to make up for the shortfalls just made for a disappointing drama. I only ended up completing it because of how captivating and hilarious Nam Goong Min was, but even then I debated dropping it multiple times.

Now this is a drama that a lot of people really loved, so it is one that I would encourage you to check out for yourself to see if it is your style. It’s not like it did anything horribly wrong, it just wasn’t interesting for me. But who knows, you might love it!

My Rating: 4/10

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About Kay

Greetings! I’m Kay, creator and author of Kdrama Kisses. Kdrama Kisses is dedicated to bringing you the latest in kdrama casting news, drama trailers, reviews, and more. Happy drama watching to everyone!
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21 Responses to Chief Kim Korean Drama Review

  1. kwenzqoatl says:

    Nam goong Min’s hair threw me off. I had seen some promotional material for this and didn’t recognize him. O.O”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. raistlin0903 says:

    Wow, I don’t remember that I have ever seen a review by you that scored this low (well at least since I have started following that is). I’m sorry the series did not live up to your expectations. It is always disappointing when you look forward to something and it ends up badly. Well, I was not planning on seeing this one anyway, but after reading this I know that plan was a good one. I did enjoy reading your review though. Luckily there are plenty of good dramas still heading our way, that are worth the time 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      I definitely don’t rate dramas that low very often. Let’s see, I did rate The Man Living in Our House the same, and you were around for that one. I only have a handful of others rated the same and just one rated really low at a 2 😛

      But yes, it’s always disappointing when a drama really doesn’t work out. Objectively, it’s a not a terrible drama, you just have to enjoy lots of business politics mixed in with some zany humor. But it just wasn’t my thing. And from what I know of your tastes, I agree that there are plenty of other dramas you would probably enjoy more 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • raistlin0903 says:

        You are correct forgot about the Man living in our house (probably because it was such a disappointment lol 😂). But yeah you are right. It luckily does not happen very often, mostly things that I look forward to are worth the wait 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kay says:

          Probably, lol. But yes, I’m glad I don’t end up with complete disappointments like this too often. I like dramas in general, so I usually have at least an average experience with a nice helping of truly good ones 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    • Ken says:

      This drama is worth watching. It grows on you and captures your emotion. This rating doesn’t give it justice. Well each to his/her own I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmm. I have only seen good reviews before this. I’m glad to have your opinion on it. It’s coming to dramafever soon so I’m still deciding if I will check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Timescout says:

    LOL! Now, let’s hear what you really thought of the drama. 😀 Well… most romcoms, court room shows and especially makjangy melos get a similar reaction from me. We all have our preferences. It’s a good thing there is enough variety to fit most viewers.

    I’m one of those who loved Chief Kim; characters, office shenanigas, shady business dealings et al. It was such a fun show for me, never a dull moment. Each to their own, eh.:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Haha, well I guess I could keep going… 🙂 I seriously hate writing negative reviews though. I just don’t have to do them that often. Chief Kim appears to have so many of the things I love, but it just didn’t work out. And of course, I do like me some good old rom-coms and melos 🙂 But I’m glad this one worked out so good for you. There’s something out there for everyone 🙂


  5. Sondra says:

    Thanks Kay for stating my objections so perfectly. Nam Goong Min is one of my favorite actors. What a waste. In fact my whole feeling was this was a waste of my time. Each episode I hoped for improvement. No such luck. Haven’t finished watching and probably won’t. Well maybe on a rainy afternoon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      It’s good to find someone else who had a similar experience! I’ve only found a couple of us who were really unhappy with it. I was bored early on and knew around episode 6 that this wasn’t looking good for me. I wanted to drop, but really wanted to see Nam Goong Min’s performance. And of course you hope it will somehow get better. Sadly, it didn’t 😛


  6. I tried watching this… But sad to say, I didn’t like it as well… I didn’t get the chance to finish the first episode…

    Liked by 1 person

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  9. Jaya says:

    Exactly my thoughts!
    Honestly I am still watching this and I am on episode 14 but I am just much bothered by Yul i.e. 2nd lead. He does most of the legwork to create trouble in the office and people’s lives and he still doesn’t have any backstory to explain what makes him to go to such great lengths. I don’t love villian in general but sometimes they exceed my expectations and make me fall for them with their wits and evilness. Yul is the same character, he doesn’t slide off things and makes no mistake but he is still irritating because he makes no sense to me. A truly one dimensional character.

    Same goes for others. No one has anything extra special with them, except having an amazing dynamic with male lead. I can also see why you said female lead’s personality became bland because it does. Now, I don’t notice her presence much. The story is too much about office politics and terms they use makes me confuse. I even ended up skipping those parts because in the end, I don’t care about it except male lead getting his revenge and those hilarious funny tricks he plays.

    I think I am gonna just hold out until the last like you because of Nam Goong Min.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Oh wow! Nice to see someone else who had a similar experience with this (though maybe not so nice for you since it’d be better if you loved it! hehe). I don’t come across them a lot.

      Nam Goong Min was really the only reason I stuck this one out. He’s so good and does such wonderful comedy that I hated to miss out on it. It was a challenge though. Best of luck on those last episodes 🙂


  10. Keira says:

    I thought it was just me. I have exactly the same thoughts as you, I have read a lot of good things about Chief Kim but while watching it I found myself pushing the forward button. For some reason, I really found it boring.. And yes you are right I may have laughed really hard maybe once or twice in an episode and there were so many plots and characters I cannot really relate matter how I tried.. I have watched Hot Stove League which I found really really nice and it is the reason why I started Chief Kim. Sorry but I am dropping it. I love Namgoong Min but this one does not work for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Wow, you do sound like you had a similar experience as me with this one. I absolutely loved Nam Goong Min, and he definitely made me laugh a few times, but so much of it was boring for me and just couldn’t hold my interest. It’s great that so many people loved this drama a lot, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. And apparently not yours, hehe. I hope your next drama is much better for you! 🙂


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