Series Review

'The Chair': Fun lessons on the pitfalls of academia in a woke, new world

Centred on the first woman of colour to run a university English department, the comedy series finds fertile ground for softly barbed satire

29 August 2021 - 00:01 By tymon smith

In the politically charged era of Twitter outrage, few places have been as full of electric tension between old ideas and the righteous indignation of the young as university campuses. The Chair, Netflix's new six-episode comedy series - written by actress Amanda Peet and academic/screenwriter Annie Wyman - takes on the eggshell-strewn environment of the modern university with a gently comic touch that addresses some important issues without taking sides or resorting to the kind of kneejerk reactionism that characterises so much of the cancel culture debate.

Set on the campus of the fictional "lesser Ivy League" Pembroke University, the story is focused on the misadventures of English professor Ji-Yoon Kim (Sandra Oh), who's landed the job of her career, becoming the first woman of colour to take up the position of chair of the English department...

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