Origin and release year: South Korea (2023 – The Good Bad Mother)
Korean title: 나쁜엄마
Starring: Ra Mi Ran, Lee Do Hyun, Ahn Eun Jin, Yoo In Soo, Choi Moo Sung, Jung Woo In, Hong Bi Ra, Seo Yi Sook, Kang May Geum, Jang Won Young, Kim Won Hae, Park Bo Kyung, Gi So Yoo, Park Da On, Baek Hyun Jin, Choi Sun Jin, Park Cheon, Lee Sang Hoon, Oh Ha Nee, Joshua Newton, Kim Chae Hyun, Jo Jin Woong, Lee Kyung Hoon, Son Sang Gyu
Screenwriter: Bae Se Young
Director: Shim Na Yeon
Synopsis: Young Soon is a single mother and pig farmer who raised her son Kang Ho alone. Despite her love for him, her strict parenting caused Kang Ho to view her as a bad mother. As an adult, Kang Ho became a cold-hearted prosecutor and kept his distance from his mother. However, an unexpected accident caused him to return to his hometown and start over with Young Soon. (MyDramaList)
This is the kind of K-Drama that will give you all the feels but also simultaneously break your heart then have you laughing in the next instant.
Firstly, the storyline is quite profound. Whereas the English title The Good Bad Mother gives immediate redemption to our mother figure, Jin Young Soon (played by Ra Mi Ran); the Korean title of the drama doesn’t return the favor. In Korean, the title of the drama 나쁜엄마 (read as na-ppeun eom-ma) translates only to ‘Bad Mother’.
The Korean title provides the nuance of how complex and layered this mother-son relationship is. It makes you think about how complex Jin Young Son’s relationship her son Choi Kang Ho (played by Lee Do Hyun) is and how their relationship can easily be misconstrued from the outside. This relationship builds up beautifully in the drama and the script was very well-developed with great narrative execution.
Not to mention that both actors gave breathtaking performances filled with an emotional conviction that could bring one to tears.
Not only was their relationship beautiful but all of the relationships in the drama were heartwarming. We once again had a ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ (an African proverb) type dynamic with all the people who lived in the little village. It was extremely wholesome and reminded this writer of the dynamic between the villagers in Hometown ChaChaCha.
Additionally, some K-Drama fans were dogging the chemistry between Lee Do Hyun and Ahn Eun Jin but this writer honestly didn’t see the problem. Not every K-Drama is gonna have an explosively passionate couple going to all sorts of extremes to prove their love for each other.
This couple’s connection was deeper than that and had an understated subtleness to it that made it all the more endearing. There was no love to prove so no need to exaggerate. It was simply a matter of finding each other again in the right circumstances.
Overall, this was definitely one of the best dramas of the year and will have you in your feels with its wholesome and profound narrative.
What did you think of The Good Bad Mother? Let us know in the comments.