First Impressions: Mother

Next up on the First Impressions list is Lee Bo Young’s new drama Mother. This show is a remake of a 2010 Japanese drama by the same name.

Here is a quick synopsis of the premise. Soo Jin (Lee Bo Young) takes a temporary job as a teacher and happens upon a student Hye Na (Heo Yool) who at first glance looks to be a bit unkempt, but once Soo Jin digs deeper into the girl’s home life finds that she’s being abused. After the system seems to fail the little girl, Soo Jin kidnaps her and becomes her mother.

Reasons to Watch

Lee Bo Young

I have enjoyed every character Lee Bo Young has played, even if I haven’t stuck with the drama. She is almost always the main focus, and I would say has a unique wielding power as a women in the Korean entertainment industry. Most narratives are focused around the couple or the man’s story, but she is at the helm of her dramas and I find that refreshing. This drama is no different. She plays a somewhat standoffish women who would prefer to track bird migrations than interact with people.

The job she takes as a temporary teacher is out of financial necessity rather than wanting to teach. She’s a very smart and capable women and it’s a delight to watch this awkward outcast of a girl draw Soo Jin out of her shell.

Heo Yool

Holy acting skills! This is Heo Yool’s first drama. What? For her first outing she is involved in some pretty deep and gritty scenes and hast to portray lots of complex emotions, and the little girl is doing a bang-up job. Hye Na goes through a lot in the first two episodes and it makes you want to scoop her up and take her home. Thus the premise of the drama.

Atmosphere and Cinematography

The mood of this drama is somber, yet tense. You kind of sit on the edge of your seat waiting for the next event to happen, while being in awe of all the ways the horror is unfolding in front of you. There are many scenes where there is so much space, it allows your stomach to churn and the vomit to rise. Sorry, maybe a little too visual. It was hard to watch as poor little Hye Na was placed in situations where you wanted to run in and rescue her, but you knew her savior would eventually come.

Yet, until the very end of episode one, you weren’t sure how Soo Jin could be that person. She wasn’t running in blazing with the police to investigate the abuse. She was quiet during many of the discussions with the police or the school officials.

Soo Jin and Hye Na’s relationship

I think by the end these two will have saved each other. Hye Na drew Soo Jin out and engaged her, which led to these two lonely souls connecting. Probably in a way that only victims can. Soo Jin separates herself from society and prefers birds, while Hye Na exists within her small town by wandering around and observing, but not really interacting. And in the end Soo Jin acts impulsively by kidnapping Hye Na, but she’s not the wise adult with all the answers. This is very much their journey to freedom, together. They will encounter many obstacles, but I feel like they will learn and grow together.

Reasons you might want to skip

Child Abuse

If you have a hard time watching child abuse this may not be the drama for you. It’s possible they won’t show any more abuse after the first two episodes, but there are always flashbacks. And the child abuse went beyond her being hit (not that this type of abuse isn’t hard to watch by itself) but there were things and situations with Hye Na’s everyday life that were hard to stomach.

Intense and depressing

If you are looking for a light drama this would not be the right choice. The subject matter is dark. Also, for most of the drama the characters will be on the run from the police and I’m sure they’ll just keep throwing in more obstacles they have to face. It’ll be an interesting dichotomy cheering for her to evade the police while knowing they just want what is right for the little girl.

Mother is available on Viki and airs Wednesday & Thursdays if you want to join me for a thrilling ride.

Drama Geek of Drama With a Side of Kimchi

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2 thoughts on “First Impressions: Mother

  1. “She’s a very smart and capable women”

    I just don’t understand why A VERY SMART AND CAPABLE WOMEN who work as science teacher like Soojin kidnapped the kid without proper planning?? She’s also easily being deceived and tricked by an old woman who later known as one of passport mafia gang and then she lost some money. And what’s with making ‘drama’ about the kid’s death. I can only think that she endangers not only hers but also the kid’s life. i dont even wanna think about the ending.

    • I guess I look at her reasons for kidnapping the girl stemmed more from her being a victim herself, than from being stupid. They also establish she’s not good with people so I can see why she’d fall for the old ladies schemes. I guess I deferred to smart and capable more because of her job.

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