Mental Coach Jegal: Episode 1 (First Impressions)


Mental Coach Jegal: Episode 1 (Initial Impressions)

Oh, it is very good! I wasn’t certain if tvN’s new healing sports drama would have sufficient heart to pull me along for the ride, but boy does it ever. From the framing to the setup to the characters — I enjoyed it all.

Editor’s note: Continued drama coverage is pending primarily based on Beanie feedback.


Mental Coach Jegal: Episode 1 (First Impressions)

They had me at the opening scene — seriously. A kickass hero-esque song plays in the background, and we see our hero JEGAL GIL (Jung Woo) gradually producing his way down a corridor, bruised and limping. This brief scene is fundamentally the drama in a nutshell: the funny juxtapositions make you laugh, but it is also poignant and touching so that you really feel it suitable in your heart. The highs are higher and the lows are low.

Gil’s story begins in the previous — initial with tales of his gambling-pleased father who taught him that life is 70% luck and only 30% talent and to rely on his later cards. Gil grew up feeling the opposite way, although, and as a young taekwondo athlete competing for the national group, he swears, “This is my life and I’ll save it from the sewer with my talent.”

Mental Coach Jegal: Episode 1 (First Impressions)

Sadly, Gil’s story is one particular exactly where he learns the truth about life: talent is not normally sufficient for good results. And it is not for the reason that he’s not talented or determined or hardworking — he’s all of these factors. No, it is for the reason that talent is frequently overshadowed by corruption, specially in the globe of experienced sports.

In Gil’s backstory, we see how he and his teammate and chingu CHA MOO-TAE (Kim Do-yoon) are bullied and beaten (really actually, and with a metal bat) by other sunbae athletes, and the wounds they sustain from one particular interlude in distinct make their qualifying match practically not possible.

Mental Coach Jegal: Episode 1 (First Impressions)

We nonetheless see the match, although. Gil’s knee is hanging with each other by a proverbial thread, but he will not shrink down from the round with his opponent — the snide, violent, and horrible human identified as GU TAE-MAN (Kwon Yul). Gil puts up a glorious fight in this David versus Goliath encounter, but when Tae-man fights dirty — and the corrupt “judges” requires his side — Gil is left with a shattered knee and a shattered dream.

Thirteen years later, although, we meet him once more — all smiles and sweetness. He’s come to be a renowned counselor for athletes and has a schedule stacked with book signings and speaking engagements. His logline is fundamentally: cease attempting so really hard to accomplish factors in life and producing your self miserable. As an alternative, be your self and be at peace with it.

Mental Coach Jegal: Episode 1 (First Impressions)

Gil appears to think each word he says, and so do his scores of fans and the athletes that are down and out and come to him for aid. We see him take on a new client in distinct — a young girl who’s just lost her dream of experienced basketball. He talks to her so kindly, encourages her, and empathizes so substantially, we can see why he’s a profitable mental coach. (Dangit, Jung Woo, why are you normally in a position to pack so substantially heart into these appears?!)

But the query, actually, is if Gil is definitely pleased with the path he’s taken in life. When his old buddy Moo-tae — who also retired as an athlete due to injuries for the duration of their previous fights — seeks him out, although, factors commence to modify.

Mental Coach Jegal: Episode 1 (First Impressions) Mental Coach Jegal: Episode 1 (First Impressions)

More than dinner, Moo-tae asks Gil to aid his tiny sister — he’s noticed how profitable Gil is in assisting other athletes overcome their slumps, yips, and far more. His dongsaeng is CHA GA-EUL (Lee Yumi), and it is basically a hilarious scene for the reason that he initial shows Gil the photo and says he desires him to meet her… but it completely sounds like he’s attempting to set up a blind date rather. Gil protests that he’s also old lol but then learns the actual purpose.

Ga-eul is a gold medal athlete and speed skater who, just after winning gold, hasn’t even been in a position to qualify for the national group. Due to the fact Gil has an absolute tofu heart, and he owes his buddy such a debt of gratitude, he agrees to meet her.

Mental Coach Jegal: Episode 1 (First Impressions)

At initial glance Ga-eul is prickly and terrible, but when we see inside her, we see not only the immense stress she puts on herself to succeed, but later, how substantially is stacked against her. Her coach is fundamentally a very good-for-nothing at all, and the show tends to make it clear he’s as corrupt as they come — parents bribe him, he manipulates the other athletes into putting and performing how he desires them to strategically, and so on. It is abhorrent, and so is he. With all that functioning against her, it is no wonder Ga-eul can not look to execute.

Right after spending some time with Ga-eul and her brother, Gil quickly sees himself — and his personal struggle against the corrupt machine — in her. Her drive to win regardless of all the odds stacked against her is substantially like his personal drive, so numerous years ago.

Mental Coach Jegal: Episode 1 (First Impressions) Mental Coach Jegal: Episode 1 (First Impressions)

Ga-eul desires nothing at all to do with Gil, naturally, and sees him as a sellout — she mocks his book and mocks his company. She even mocks his injury (he utilizes a cane to get about for the reason that of his shot knee), claiming he gave up on rehabbing it and then made use of it as a company model to make funds.

Of course, there is some truth in her harshness, and just after Gil reflects on her words — and comes face-to-face with his previous once more — every thing is set to modify. As the initial episode ends, we see his leg give way, and in the agony of resurfacing traumas, his old self emerges. Gil has not only been confronted with his nemesis once more, and known as out by a young skater, but he sees his life’s message lead to the suicide of one particular of his mentees. These 3 factors culminate, and it is clear that factors are about to modify for our hero.

Mental Coach Jegal: Episode 1 (First Impressions)

I will give most of the credit to Jung Woo’s acting, but I adore the character of Gil so substantially currently — and no, it is not just the “safety pin” cane and really hard-fought self-restraint — but I appreciate how sincere the story is about the war going on inside him. How, when Tae-man shows up in his face once more, Gil can fantasize about punching him in the face, but in reality tells himself, “I’m practically 40, I’m an adult,” and holds himself back.

Gil embodies so completely this guru-sort who’s willingly tapped out of the endless battle of winning and losing — but also, in moments, we see hints of the fire that is nonetheless in him, and we know that Ga-eul’s story is going to bring it out in him once more. The previous may be in the previous, but it is certainly not more than for our hero — specially with a slimeball like Tae-man infecting the Olympic committee (and a huge fat pfffttt that this man handles Human Affairs).

For all that Tae-man was a villain with a capital V, although, the drama offers me hope that there will be far more than what we get on the surface, or in the initial hour of the show. In distinct, the beautiful narrated moments exactly where the drama did freeze-frames more than the characters and their inner struggles was really poignant I’m hoping they will tease this out far more. God knows Kwon Yul could play a beautifully complicated character, so I hope there’s far more to it than him just instigating and finding fantasy-punched (not that I’m against it!).

Mental Coach Jegal: Episode 1 (First Impressions) Mental Coach Jegal: Episode 1 (First Impressions)

The feelings ride higher in the drama, but they’re balanced with humor — most of it thanks to Jung Woo’s wonderful overall performance so far — exactly where he can curse somebody out for Ga-eul’s advantage and then exclaim smiling, “Ah, that was refreshing!” or just be silly scribbling case notes about Ga-eul’s temperament. A different favored scene was when he was introducing himself to her for the initial time. He says, “I’m not an ajusshi, I’m your oppa–” She cuts him off horrified, but he later continues: “I’m your oppa’s friend” lol. (Provided the two jokes about their age distinction so far, I’m feeling free of charge and clear of any romantic plot lines, phewf).

So far, this drama feels like catnip for any underdog story lover (*ahem*), and does such a good job of positioning our characters and their struggles that even somebody like me — with zero interest in sports — can watch a speed skating qualifying round with bated breath, and really feel the agony of our heroes’ defeats.

Having said that, what tends to make the story so very good is that it is about far more than just qualifying rounds, satisfying kicks, and terrible sportsmanship — it is about how to face the challenges of life, how they shape you, and how to reside a life that you are proud of. I’ll have far more of that, please!

Mental Coach Jegal: Episode 1 (First Impressions)

Associated POSTS

  • Premiere Watch: Mental Coach Jegal
  • Jung Woo tends to make his personal way in new Mental Coach Jegal teaser
  • Script reading for tvN’s healing sports drama Mental Coach Je Gal-gil
  • News bites: September ten, 2022
  • News bites: August 31, 2022
  • News bites: March 19, 2022



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