It took me a long time to post this. To be honest, this is more of a review than a first impression of Mother, the Korean remake of the famous Japanese Mother drama. Even now, as I write this, my heart aches in a way that is hasn’t been before.
Mother is a drama that documents the journey of a woman who rescues an abused and neglected child and goes on the run with her. Soo Jin is a socially awkward bird researcher is currently between jobs as she prepares to go to Iceland to fulfill her dream career. She has a cold and distant personality which leads her to stay out of complicated situations. However, her attention is drawn to mature and pitiful child in her kindergarten class that she is the substitute for. She noticed the telltale signs of abuse on the poor child and grudgingly helps a fellow teacher pursue the case. Time after time again, she encounters Hye Na and can’t help but have emotional flashbacks to a past trauma she also endured. It finally comes to a point where Hye Na’s mother leaves her for dead in a trash bag by the curb. Soo Jin decides she will take this child and go on the run with her to save her. She fakes Hye Na’s death and thus begins their arduous quest out of the country. Their journey is incredibly difficult and then encounter many unfortunate situations. However, Soo Jin and Hye Na, who goes by Young Bok, develop a deep emotional relationship. Young Bok sees Soo Jin as the mother she never had and just soaks up all the love that Soo Jin gives her. She learns to let go of her past and embrace each day as it comes. This journey also matures Soo Jin who learns to accept other’s help and brings down her tall wall that she had built around her heart. Without this journey, she would never have encountered her birth mother along the way or made up with her adoptive mother.
Without giving away the ending, I must say it is one that is very realistic, but also so optimistic and perfect. There was not one episode where I was not crying. The story is incredible touching and it features all types of mother and daughter relationships, good and bad. It showcases the sacrifices a mother is willing to make to protect her child, whether they be biological or not. The story is very dark and has a lot of triggering content, so please watch at your own risk.
I must say that there was not one character that was wasted in the story. You even feel twinges of sympathy for the unlikable characters as most of them are molded by their circumstances. Lee Bo Young is very talented at playing the role of a “mother” as showcased by her previous drama, God’s Gift, where she was also searching for a child. She is so natural and raw in this drama, that you can feel her pain. And now, Heo Yool, god what an AMAZING child actress. This is her first drama and she carried it on her back! I can’t believe that this is her first one as she is so immersed in such a difficult role for a child to play. Can you imagine playing an abused kid in the drama? She has a air of maturity that you just don’t see in kids her age. I just am astounded at what a masterpiece this drama was and it will be forever in my favorite dramas list even though I used a whole box of tissues while watching it.
Do Gyun and Hyun Ju grab ice cream
I was not a fan of Do Gyun, but that has changed. The more I see him interact with other people in the house, especially Hyun Ju, the more I believe he’s thoughtful. He doesn’t say a lot but he seems to be a good listener. Exhibit A: Do Gyun remembered exactly what Hyun Ju was craving – ice cream – and the exact flavor. This was something Hyun Ju herself even forgot that she mentioned. There is not a lot that we get as viewers from this interaction. We don’t learn anything new. We already know Do Gyun is crushing pretty hard on Hyun Ju.
Young Joo takes a step toward Hyun Woo
If Young Joo keeps making a move on Hyun Woo, she might end up heartbroken. Ugh. It’s great that she took the initiative and went on a date with Hyun Woo, but I am not sure this is leading anywhere. I would rather her focus her efforts on Gyu Bin. She could get to know him better and give him a chance.
The Christmas Dates
Hyun Woo and Hyun Ju
The two meet at a coffee shop then go to a VR cafe. Lastly, dinner.
I felt like Hyun Woo was surprised and not necessarily overjoyed to see Hyun Ju. That changes during the date.
- Hyun Woo turns out to be super caring, putting food in Hyun Ju’s plate and cutting her food for her. He was also being that way with Young Joo in the previous episode so now I am confused.
- As usual Hyun Ju was her bubbly self, which got on my nerves. I’ve said this before but given her age the aegyo seems fake. Ughh, it also rubs me in the wrong way how the love forecasters keep praising Hyun Ju. It’s like they are trying to force her down viewers’ throats.
- Hyun Ju seems possessive and jealous. On the date at the coffee shop, she keeps asking questions that give hints: Oh, did you come here with a woman before? Was your ex-girlfriend from Busan? She also indirectly asks how he feels about Young Ju…
- When it comes to Hyun Woo, the charisma is slowly wearing off. During the date, I found him slightly shy. This is not what I’ve seen of his personality in the previous episodes.
- Overall the date was pretty cute. There definitely is potential for a relation here. I was shipping Hyun Woo and Young Joo, but I am not so sure anymore.
This drama is such a waste of time. If you haven’t started yet, please don’t even consider watching the show.
The only thing this drama has to offer is the attractive cast. That’s it. Nothing else to see there.
The story is based on the French epistolary novel “Dangerous Liaisons” by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. I absolutely love this book. This book, although written in the 18th century, has been the subject of many adaptations. One of the best adaptation is the 1988 movie with Glenn Close and John Malkovich.
The story goes like this in the K-drama version: Three childhood friends, somewhat entangled in a love triangle, are known for creating a mess everywhere they go. Choi Soo Ji, Kwon Si Hyun and Lee Se Joo, are rich heirs who live carefree and purposeless lives. Things take an interesting turn when Soo Ji asks Si Hyun to help her take revenge on her ex-boyfriend.
The revenge plot is simple: Si Hyun will have to seduce the ex-boyfriend’s first love and forever crush, Eun Tae Hee. Of course, this wouldn’t be dramatic enough if Si Hyun didn’t end up falling in love with Tae Hee.
What I dislike about Tempted
Disclaimer: I dislike almost every thing about this drama.
If you haven’t already, check our first post on Heart Signal 2!
With everyone’s occupation and age revealed, the dynamics are slightly shifting. This can be a good or a bad thing depending on who you are. For Hyun Woo, the reveal is great. He was already perceived as charismatic but given his age, he also appears more mature. Also, what’s not to find attractive in a man who cooks?
However, the age reveal was bad news for Gyu Bin. He turns out to be the youngest. I can see him heading for the Friend Zone and staying there. I doubt that we’ll have a dongsaeng-noona romance here. Sad.
There are a few highlights in this episode. Let me walk you through the most important scenes. Spoilers ahead.
Heart Signal 2 is a dating reality TV show, which brings together a group of women and men together in the same house. Without further ado, let’s talk about the cast.
Oh Young Ju (27 years old)
If I had to use one word to describe her it would be poised. I’ll confess: Young Ju is my favorite so far. I love how natural she is. Like everyone else, she is here to play the game but she doesn’t try too hard (aka playing desperate). Sadly, I am worried this might not last long. She’s clearly shown interest in somebody who doesn’t seem to reciprocate her feelings. I hope she keeps it moving and finds somebody else to like.
Jung Jae Ho (28 years old)
Occupation: Founder of a IT startup
If I had to use one word to describe him it would be considerate. Jae Ho cares for every one in the house. This is something that I’ve noticed since the first episode. As one of the few people to arrive first in the house, he warmly welcomed all his other housemates. In addition, he often takes the lead but not in a overbearing way.