'The Chair' Trailer: Sandra Oh Takes Charge In New Satire Series

Sandra Oh has a brand new set of problems to work through. On the bright side, they don't involve psychopathic assassins!

In her new six-episode satire series The Chair, Oh has been put in charge of the English department at the very prestigious Pembroke University. It's an exciting new role, making her the first woman to chair the department, but it comes with a couple of sizeable caveats: a rebelling staff, a media scandal, plus all her personal life drama which was already a struggle, to begin with. But she's a professional and it's all manageable...probably.

The trailer paints a pretty clear picture.

A Chaotic New Job

Usually, a promotion is meant to be celebrated and while Oh's Dr. Ji-Yoon Kim isn't totally mourning her old position, she does seem a bit frazzled by the change. At one point she actively calls her role a "ticking time bomb," which are not the words of a woman thrilled about her job, but maybe she's over exaggerating?

Based on the trailer, Dr. Ji-Yoon has her fair share of adversity to overcome as she slips into this new role. A good number of crises are brewing just as she gets started, not to mention her crush on Professor Bill Dobson (Jay Duplass) who also happens to be at the center of the university's latest scandal. But if anyone can handle this level of chaos, it's Sandra Oh.

Here's the official synopsis for the show:

The Chair follows Dr. Ji-Yoon Kim (Sandra Oh) as she navigates her new role as the Chair of the English department at prestigious Pembroke University. Ji-Yoon is faced with a unique set of challenges as the first woman to chair the department, and as one of the few staff members of color at the university. The older staff fear change, while new blood, like professor Yasmin McKay (Nana Mensah), agitate for it. Ji-Yoon tries to juggle her new administrative responsibilities —clashing with close co-workers who were confidants before she became the boss— with motherhood to her young daughter Ju Ju (Everly Carginilla) and caretaking for her father Habi (Ji Yong Lee).

The Chair looks to be a fun blend of comedy and drama, which is perfect for the ever-impressive Sandra Oh. The Emmy-winning actress may be best known for her roles in the drama series Grey's Anatomy and Killing Eve, but she also has masterful comedic timing. Oh was a standout in the HBO sitcom Arliss, added levity to the sardonically hilarious Catfight, and manages to breathe life (and laughs) into otherwise innocuous characters like Vice Principal Gupta in The Princess Diaries.

The Chair was co-created by Amanda Peet (IdentityThe Whole Nine Yards, 2021), who serves as showrunner, writer, and executive producer, making this her first writing credit. Her fellow executive producers include husband David Benioff and his longtime Game of Throne collaborator D.B. Weiss along with Oh herself. The show also stars Holland Taylor, Bob Balaban, Nana Mensah, and David Morse.

The Chair hits Netflix on August 20.