Written by Kim Eun Sook (Secret Garden), this drama is probably one of the best dealing with politics and romance hand-in-hand. If I had to list my top ten dramas, this will be in that list.
Summary from Wikipedia:
For the past seven years, Shin Mi-rae has been the lowest ranking public servant working in Inju City Hall. Her main job is to serve coffee to the high-ranking public officials. Mi-rae has a great deal of credit card debt, so she enters a beauty pageant to win the first prize of ₩20,000,000 (approximately US$20,000). But when the prize money ends up in the corrupt mayor’s pocket, Mi-rae holds a one-person demonstration in front of city hall. After a series of ups and downs, Mi-rae gets her prize money, but has no choice but to resign from her job. When the situation is leaked to the press, the mayor resigns as well. The job of mayor is up for grabs and Mi-rae becomes nominated as a mayoral candidate. With the support of her followers and the backing of Jo Gook, the powerful deputy mayor, she becomes elected as the youngest major of Inju. With no political background but filled with the desire to genuinely work for her constituents, Mi-rae begins to reform the bureaucratic culture of the city hall administration. But in the process she butts heads with the cold-hearted and cool-headed Jo Gook, who had an ulterior motive in installing her and has presidential ambitions of his own.
Cha Seung Won plays Jo Guk, a man who is determined to climb up to the Blue House (White House of Korea). Kim Sun Ah takes the role of hearty and earnest Shin Mi Rae. Lee Jong Hyuk is Ha Soo-In or Jo Guk’s right hand man. You will remember him from City Hunter. Yoon Se-Ah from a more recent A Gentlemen’s Dignity plays the role of Jo Guk’s fiance, Go Go Hae.
Politics is originally a boring topic really, for us drama-watchers, unless you are a male(I won’t discriminate but well, that’s a truth!). City Hall however has done wonders by exploring this genre without too much angst. In fact, I’m always nervous when I’m watching this, insistently rooting for our heroine (and hero) to gain the hearts of the people and win. It’s quite interesting to see how Shin Mi Rae go through the voting process as well, with absolutely no financial supporter (except Jo Gook) and lack of experience. She begins really naive and innocent, just another pawn in politics but her growth is worth watching. At the end, even though she is still earnest, she has grown some horns and is able to use her wits to protect the town she loves. If all politicians were like her, the world would be at peace(except this is purely fiction, but it makes me somehow believe in the world again).
The OST for this drama is quite nice as well and I believe it fits in well with the overall feel of the drama (breezy and nice like the seaside town of Inju)
Uncertain Love by Horan of Clazziquai
Smile by Cha Dong Hae
It’s the typical naive- girl- who -charms- everyone- around- her- especially- the -scheming -male- lead -thus -turning -him -to- good story. It also has that underdog theme, where our poor bumbling heroine rises against all odds. Even then, it’s a good story and really worth watching! It may be surprising that I’m writing quite little about this but it all boils down to how I feel when I watch this. It brings soo much feel good feelings that I just can’t express with words. And because I’m not in film school so I can’t describe what directing magic captivated the audience.
Bottom line, watch this if you love Kim Sun Ah or Cha Seung Won. Watch this even if you don’t.