2 April 2017 | AppleEye2U
Refreshing Look at Gender Roles
Strong Woman Do Bong Soon is a hilarious rom-com, with an undertone of gender issues. The show has the usual elements of k-drama: the rich, good looking chaebol heir, his cold, antagonistic family; the sassy girl; the love triangle; and the boy gets girl story after overcoming difficulties, but it managed to be so much more.
The plot: Do Bong Soon (Park Bo Young) is a woman, who's born with superhuman strength. "The Force" runs through the female line in her family. It can only be used for good or she can lose her strength forever like her mother did. She loves her father who is a gentle warm character, and her twin brother, Do Bong Ki, who works as a doctor in a hospital. Bong Soon can't find a suitable job, but she wants to be a game developer.
There are two other men in her life. One is her childhood friend, Guk Doo, a stern police detective played by Ji Soo. She has a secret crush on him. Also she hides her strength around him, since he claims to have a soft spot for tiny, fragile women, just like Bong Soo seems to be at first sight. The other man is Ahn Min Hyuk (Park Hyung Sik) the lanky, baby-faced CEO of AIN SOFTware, a gaming company. One day he witnesses Bong Soon's superpowers against a group of gangsters, and he hires her to be his personal bodyguard to protect him against a mysterious caller, who has been making death threats against him. At the same time a serial kidnapper starts taking tiny, fragile women off the streets. Guk Doo wants to catch him, Bong Soon comes to his aid. Can she help both men to track down the culprits?
The Good: this show is a wonderful blend of slapstick comedy, old fashioned romance and a refreshing look at gender roles. First there's a hidden message in the story, that loving a strong woman makes you a better man. It works that way for ages in the Matriarchy that is the Do Dynasty. Second there's a subplot about the young chaebol, who pretends to be gay. This image helps him with free publicity, protects him against unwanted female attention, and last but not least: keeps his lovely "Peanut King Kong" close by his side without alarming her. He even teases her with his supposed attraction to Guk Doo, saying he has a nice butt. His male secretary really seems to be gay, but not out of the closet yet, and the male office manager is openly gay trying to get his dear master into his nail painted clutches. Also the show makes fun of the Korean Patriarchy: the police office, the youth gang, the gangster mob in the neighborhood, and the patriarch of the chaebol's family, they are all absurdly dysfunctional.
The Bad: there aren't many flaws IMO, but tastes differ. I find the romance very sweet, but it could be old fashioned and slow paced to others. The slapstick elements, and multiple use of sound effects, are not everyone's cup of tea, but I liked it. See for example the scene with a drunken Bong Soon urging her boss to 'log out', meaning 'to come out' with the sound effect of a computer logging out. Finally I don't like to see the women molester, but I can understand his impact in this drama.
So I give Strong Woman Do Bong Soon a 9 out of 10, because I like the story lines, the action, and the actors are well matched.