K-Drama Review: Angry Mom. The drama maybe will make you cry a lot because of the mom-and-daughter love!
MBC (2015) 16 Episodes, Grade: A-
High School Melodrama – Comedy, Crime
I had mixed feelings about this high school melodrama, “Angry Mom“ (2015), which was written for a screenwriting contest by Kim Ban Di and won first prize. Although the topics covered were very serious and really affect countless high school kids around the world today (mainly student bullying), the ways during which the scriptwriter addressed them were sometimes too cartoonish for my taste. once they played scenes for dramatic effect alone the show had a far better foundation and truly seemed wise occasionally, but once they aimed toward comedy the facility of the drama was shaken off that foundation and seemed unrealistic, frivolous, and downright silly. While the author brought in some fresh material to her script occasionally, there have been still enough typical K-drama cliches to create a number of the story a touch tedious, particularly when it came to most of the villainous characters during this story, who was quite a kitchen utensil, almost like other one dimensional K-drama villains we have seen within the past. little or no originality there. I’m really looking for the day when someone writes a K-drama script and deliberately doesn’t use one typical K-drama trope: wouldn’t that be refreshing and amazing?
I think serious topics like school bullying, pedophilia, and corruption in government schools should be addressed seriously. There’s nothing to tease about any of those things. The ratings appeared to match my very own concerns, they were very average and for much of the show actually went down instead of up, something the Korean drama industry clearly doesn’t want to determine. Despite these misgivings, however, I still enjoyed the show.
The main characters of “Angry Mom”
What kept me watching and enjoying the drama were the fine performances which made the script better than it had been on paper, especially the brilliant performance by the lead actress Kim Hee Sun (“Faith”, “Sad Love Story”), who was in her mid-thirties when she made this drama, but who could easily pass for somebody twenty years younger. In fact, at times, she looked younger than the actress playing her teenage daughter, Kim Yoo Jung (“The Moon Embracing The Sun”).
Also, special mention should be focused on two other thespians who were interesting to observe, Ji Hyun Woo (“Queen In Hyun’s Man”, “Awl”, “Trot Lovers”), who played a naive teacher so well that you just wanted to place your arms around him … and SHAKE HIM, yelling like Cher, “Snap out of it!” He loved the scholars but he seemed blind to the intense issues they were facing.
Kim Hee Won (who played a detective in “My Love From Another Star”), mutually of the most male villains you liked to hate within the drama, should have received multiple acting awards for his performance. it had been bone-chilling; for a decent 90% of the drama, he made his character so repugnant that you simply wanted to kill him yourself. I can not believe the industry didn’t recognize this acting achievement. His character also goes down some surprising and dramatic paths (unlike the opposite villains) hinting at a possible reformation, and darn it, within the entire drama it absolutely was actually one in every one of his scenes – near the tip – that was the sole time I cried within the entire drama! If you’ve got watched it already you’ll know exactly what scene I’m relating to… if you’ve got not seen it yet it’s worth watching the whole drama just to work out it! Kudos to him.
Another solid performance was given by relative newcomer to acting, Ji Soo (“Page Turner”), who began the drama looking sort of a bully but who by the center to finish of the drama showed the emotional complexity of a personality whose growing up years were but ideal and who wanted to change: despite appearance, he wanted to be a decent guy, but his “home” situation didn’t show him a way to grow in this direction. It also was very cute that his character developed a crush on Kim Hee Sun’s character, although she was much older — he couldn’t tell her real age, and even after discovering it he still maintained his boyish crush on her. (It also was funny that whenever he appeared in a very scene all the teenyboppers went crazy within the comments section on the Viki screen – you could not even read the comments they were all coming in so thick and fast). There was also another young idol the young viewers gave the impression to follow: Baro, who played a student with a crush on Kim Hee Sun’s daughter’s character. He was good too, but it had been obvious out of the male student body cast Ji Soo had the foremost enviable role.
Then I used to be happy to work out actor Kang Sung Min (who played the psychiatrist in “49 Days”) provides a rousing job because the main prosecutor who was going after the corrupt adults running the so-called “privileged” high school. Running it into the bottom that’s …. literally! Gosh is he smooth during this role, they actually need to provide this fellow lead role rather than supporting all the time.
The Story of “Angry Mom”
Jo Kang Ja (Kim Hee Sun) was once a hometown legend for being the toughest, wildest, most feared troublemaker at her Busan high school. nobody bullied her … unless they majorly wanted to regret it later. She would even target the teachers who were mean to her, for example egging their cars! When she gets pregnant in her late teens, from a strangely quiet student she liked, who then sadly dies in a very violent confrontation along with his dastardly gangster brother An Dong Chil (Kim Hee Won), she drops out of college and tries to vary her ways and live a good life, becoming a responsible mother to her daughter, Oh Ah Ran (Kim Yoo Jung).
However, always breathing down her neck is that the angry, revengeful Dong Chil, who blames Kang Ja for his younger brother’s death, while he himself was really responsible.
She marries a weak-kneed building inspector named Oh Jin Sang (Im Hyung Joon), and lives with him and his cantankerous old mother (Kim Ji Hyung), running a restaurant to assist make income for her family. The husband and mother are lazy and expect her to try to do everything for them, even cook them meals at the hours of darkness after she’s been cooking all day in her shop, and that I couldn’t quite understand why she put up with them. It wasn’t enough that he was willing to marry her when she had a baby by another man and under dubious circumstances as well; that was good, but we would have liked to admire this husband as someone further — but his neglectful demeanor toward his family made it exceptionally difficult to love or feel for him noticeably. If there was one major flaw during this drama it’s that we actually see no father-daughter relationship in the least between Jin Sang and Ah Ran, while when confronted by his wife he claims to like Ah Ran.
Ah Ran maybe a teenager who seems to avoid coming home any time soon after school (always a nasty sign with kids). Kang Ja and Ah Ran have a contentious mother-daughter relationship, with Ah Ran ashamed of her quick-tempered, foul-mouthed, sashimi knife-wielding mother. Mom means well but doesn’t seem to grasp that her daughter is embarrassed by her. Oh well, Kang Ja reasons to herself, the one that loves more in a very relationship is that the weaker one actually.
When Ah Ran befriends the category outcast, subdued little Jin Yi Gyeong (Yoon Ye Joo), it makes her the target of the varsity bullies who then proceed to form her life hell, hitting her repeatedly, even calling her a lesbian publicly because she is so near the suffering Yi Gyeong; yet she’s too proud to inform her mother what’s happening in school.
When Kang Ja finds out that her daughter is getting bullied, after her daughter is beaten so severely she goes into shock, she decides to require matters into her own hands, after visiting police who demand more evidence before they’ll proceed with an investigation. (I was shouting at the screen, “What reasonably police are you?!!”).
Unbeknownst to Ah Ran, she enrolls in her daughter’s high school as an undercover student with the assumed name “Jo Bang Wool” (a name which makes the scholars laugh), to search out out who is hurting her daughter and to show those bullies a lesson. She soon starts to find out more secrets about this school than she bargained for, especially when the children at the college see how strong she is and begin to respect her, and start to divulge her heart’s contents to her. When she learns that there are bigger, darker problems within this educational system itself, within the type of a corrupt board of education, stupid weak principal, a lecherous teacher named Do Jung Woo (Kim Tae Hoon from Operation Proposal and My Love Eun Dong) who gets student Yi Gyeong pregnant, then Kang Ja makes it her mission to place a stop to the college violence and corruption, with the assistance of sympathetic students Ko Bok Dong (Ji Soo), Hong Sang Tae (Baro), her recovering daughter Ah Ran, a naive and idealistic homeroom teacher Park No Ah (Ji Hyun Woo) the son of a sympathetic judge, and an old highschool lady friend Han Gong Joo (Ko Su Hee) and her two comical underlings who run a nightclub. These latter characters were fun to observe but sometimes I felt their comedy returned the way of a really serious storyline. Maybe a significant story about children getting hurt and killed didn’t really require a comedy relief team.
Yi Gyeong appears to kill and so her pregnancy is discovered by autopsy. Some suspect that pedophile teacher Jung Woo murdered her but there is no proof, a minimum of straight away.
The stronger mother-daughter Kang Ja and Ah Ran’s relationship becomes, the stronger they become as a team in fleshing out all the bad guys who are destroying the varsity and students for greed, including property developer, crime boss Hong Sang Bok (Park Young Gu), and even a person seeking the presidency, Kang Soo Chan (Park Geun Hyung from Sandglass and also the Suspicious Housekeeper). they appear to urge away with all their shenanigans … until the college building actually starts to collapse from the utilization of cheap building materials, killing several students, further as others. (Many audience members looked as if it would think this was touching upon the Sewol ferry disaster of April 2014, since shady higher-ups and their bad business decisions were largely liable for that tragedy as well).
Will Mom and Daughter and their supporters win the day within the end and make the varsity safer for college students, uncover the reality behind Yi Gyeong’s death, and put the criminals behind bars? Will we have a contented ending or a tragic one? Who will find yourself with whom romantically?
This is a posh, sometimes frustrating, but ultimately worthwhile Korean drama to look at, mainly due to all the dynamic and varied acting performances from the complete cast. I should also mention the OST is sort of different from the norm, with jazzy numbers often underscoring the action. Very creative and enjoyable. I’m visiting need to attempt to track this one down!
The soundtrack of “Angry Mom”
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