1 May 2020 | Hwangkidong
Family, love, happiness, redemption...
I only started watching kdrama a few months ago. My wife found this old drama after we watched I Hear Your Voice and liked the female lead Lee Bo-young. I didn't mind this being from 2012 but had I known from the start this was 50-episode long I probably wouldn't want to watch it. I was hooked after the first few episodes.
In retrospect I think the story is fairly old fashioned and classical: a poor but super smart and self confident girl with family problems met an obnoxious rich guy and fell in love. As the title implies, a central theme of the show is the relationship between Seo Young and her father. It would not be a big giveaway to say there's conflict between them.
The reason I like this show so much is that it quickly attracts the viewers sympathy for the heroine and other key characters. The beginning is fairly fast paced with sufficient humor to keep the story fun and dynamic. Then the serious stuff begins and our heroine makes a monumental on-the-spot decision that will greatly affect her life and that of people closest to her. We the viewers are stunned. How can such an intelligent and morally upright person make such an unbelievable mistake? Yet, while we screamed at her stupidity and stubbornness, we also understood her action because it was believable. We are just worried how she will pay for her lapse of judgment.
As Seo Young and several main characters directly related to her are tormented one way or another, one supporting female character gradually stands out and provides the sunshine in the show. She warms our heart so much that our smile will intertwine with our tears.
While some subplots are more interesting than others, most characters grow on us as the story moves on. Ultimately, the lure of the series is in rooting for our heroine despite her flaws and to see how the family drama and love stories play out. Despite the poor family vs rich family stereotype, the characters from humble background are not completely blameless and the rich ones not always devoid of humanity. What is common amongst them is the desire to break free from past trauma or the rules of society that hold them back from happiness.
What will you do in the name of love? What won't you do in the name of pride? Is redemption possible? Perhaps most importantly, how can you forgive others - and yourself?
At the end of the day, watching My Daughter Seo Young brings up lots of joy, frustration, sadness and hope. That's what I expect from a good melodrama and I've enjoyed the ride.