Netflix came out with a new legal drama titled Partner Track on August 26, 2022. The well-paced ten-episode series features a young New York lawyer, Ingrid Yun (Arden Cho) on her quest to become a partner at a big but old-school law firm. The often patchy series was extremely smart in its execution but lacked depth in most parts.
Based on Helen Wan's 2013 novel The Partner Track, the series was created by Georgia Lee. Sitting somewhere between a decent social commentary and a sloppily done romance flick, the series was an odd combination of highs and lows. While there was ample story to keep viewers invested throughout the ten (quite long) episodes, there was not enough depth for serious impact in the long run.
Read on for a detailed review of Partner Track.
Partner Track review: More enjoyable if you think less
If we were to judge Partner Track for its entertainment value, while simultaneously ignoring its many negative aspects, it would be quite a decent weekend binge.
It follows a Korean-American female lawyer struggling to hold her place in a sea of typical white men with their judgemental eyes spinning faster than the wheels of Lewis Hamilton's car.
The series had ample time and opportunity for social commentary of every kind. Although it did venture in that direction and in a good way, the main focus of the series was often misdirected or scattered.
The three-way romance, for instance, with Ingrid struggling to find the perfect suitor, often drove the episodes but resulted in a patchier narrative. This could have worked better if the chemistry between the leads was brilliant.
However, that is one of the sections in the story that did not work out at all. Recklessly jumping between Nick (Rob Heaps) and Murphy (Dominic Sherwood), the show ends up with sloppy chemistry. Neither does the chemistry generate any calm magic nor does it have the sparks that could set Ingrid's romantic life apart.
Another bothersome thing about the series is the exaggerated dialogs. When a single character exaggerates dialogs, it can be attributed to characterization. However, with every character speaking lines like they are in a 1940s fantasy film, it takes away the charm and realism of a legal drama. These small things contributed to making the show way duller than it needed to be.
The story, if not exceptional, had a lot of potential but only a few shots hit the target.
Among them were two of Ingrid's colleagues - Tyler (Bradley Gibson) and Rachel (Alexandra Turshen). The two characters added a lot of maturity and depth to the show, which it seemed to lack from the first episode. Tyler, in particular, was one character who could have been handed more screen time. He seemed interesting and worth investing in.
The pacing of the series was also good till the eighth episode. Each episode had enough story and often ended in a cliffhanger. The last two episodes seemed much more rushed. This ultimately gave off a feeling that the creators were trying to wrap things up in any way possible.
Other than that, Partner Track is not terrible in any sense. It is quite enjoyable if one were to ignore certain aspects of filmmaking. It could serve as a decent weekend binge.
All ten episodes of Partner Track are now streaming on Netflix.