Welcome to the final week of our ‘Korean Drama Throwback’ series, where we featured reviews for dramas that aired 10 years ago. It has been a pleasure sharing some of the great dramas of the past and it’s protagonists with you. After being in love with Korean dramas for well over a decade, it was time for some official reminiscing. Fasten your seat belts and join us on this weeks journey down Korean drama memory lane with ‘City Hall’.
‘City Hall’ takes us behind-the-scenes of politics at the fictitious Inju City Hall. Although containing plenty of comical relief, it does not skip over the serious political schemes luring about.
Original Release Date: April 29, 2009 to July 2, 2009
Kdrama trivia: ‘City Hall’ was written by Kim Eun Sook, who also wrote the popular dramas ‘Secret Garden’ (2010), ‘A Gentleman’s Dignity’ (2012), ‘The Heirs’ (2013), ‘Descendants of the sun’ (2016) and ‘Guardian: The Lonely & Great God’ (2017), in addition to others.
- Kim Sun Ah as Shin Mi Rae
- Cha Seung Won as Jo Gook
Shin Mi Rae
Shin Mi Rae (Kim Sun Ah) works at the Inju City Hall as a low level government employee. Her job basically consists of serving coffee to the higher ups and her salary does not amount to much either.
To make ends meet, Mi Rae also works as a contractor on the weekends.
Despite her position at the City Hall and her less-than-ideal circumstances in life, Mi Rae displays a never wavering confidence.
But besides being loud, quirky and sometimes downright weird, she also has a sincere kindness about her and her friends know it. She is always ready to help out those around her.
Her kindness has also gained her genuine like and popularity from most people within the small community of Inju city.
There is one major thing Mi Rae has been hiding from everyone: She absolutely hates being asked questions or her opinion by two opposing parties.
As a child, she did not like her parents asking her who she liked more between the two of them. As an adult, she detests being prevailed upon as a deciding vote.
In her experience it has never done her any good to provide input that will directly influence the outcome of a matter.
Far more intelligent than she lets on, Mi Rae usually refrains from voicing her opinions and likes to remain in the background.
However, when she discovers a local beauty pageant will be handing out a hefty money prize to the winner, she decides to join.
With increasing calls from her credit card company demanding she pay off her debt, this opportunity could not come at a better time.
To her surprise, she is told that she exceeds the age limit to enter the contest.
Determined to not let this golden opportunity pass her by, Mi Rae starts a strategic plan to reach her goal.
Mr. Deputy Mayor
Jo Gook (Cha Seung Won) is a young successful politician who aspires to one day become president.
Intelligent, ambitious and with the support from a popular former politician as his mentor, all things point to him making his aspiration a reality.
When his mentor suggests he go to Inju City and take on the position of Deputy Mayor, Jo Gook is less than thrilled. He was born there but has not been back for years. And he has no desire to take a stroll down this particular memory lane.
But at the urging reminder of his mentor the positive influence this move would have on his political career, Jo Gook agrees.
His arrival to the small city has the whole community in uproar for various reasons.
The ladies swoon over his good looks and winning personality.
His new colleagues view his arrival as threat, fearing the changes someone of Jo Gook’s calibre will bring about. Although careful to reveal their true feelings, Jo Gook quickly catches on to the overall sentiment towards him.
Friend or foe
Jo Gook meets Mi Rae for the first time at her boss’ office when he goes to introduce himself to the latter.
His impression of her? Somewhere in the neighbourhood of ‘slow witted small town secretary with a lack in hygiene’.
Nothing more than fodder for jokes with his assistant.
He finds out about Mi Rae’s weekend occupation when he needs someone to replace some wallpaper and do some painting at his Inju house.
From the start Mi Rae, like most ladies, is far from immune to Jo Gooks charms. But there is another matter that initially far outweighs her attraction to him.
She figures he is the ideal candidate to help her remove all obstacles to her entry into the beauty pageant.
Reluctant at first, Jo Gook ends up helping her. Subsequently he gets roped into assisting her along the way as she prepares for the pageant.
On the big day she even gets him to be her dance partner for a tango during the talent portion of the event.
Throughout their time spent together, Jo Gook surprisingly discovers a whole other side to Mi Rae.
Contrary to her seemingly laid back personality, she is one determined individual once she puts her mind to something.
Unforeseen events result in the towns need to elect a new mayor. Mi Rae is by far not everyone’s first choice, or a contender at all.
In the aftermath of participating in the beauty pageant, her life took a further downward turn and she lost her job at City Hall.
However, fed up with being pushed around and used by others, Mi Rae decides it is time to step out of her comfort zone to let her opinions be heard.
As Mi Rae prepares to run as mayoral candidate, she discovers in her a strength and untapped capabilities she never knew she had.
Her relationship with Jo Gook also seems to steadily improve.
Meanwhile, Jo Gook is torn between support for this woman he has come to admire and his own political ambitions.
How will he decide?
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