Saturday, June 10, 2023

The Good Bad Mother

"The Good Bad Mother" (2023) is one of my two favorite series so far this year.  A complex plot not fully appreciated until the end is one factor, but also the presentation including acting, cinematography, editing,  music and more is top notch. 

Relationships are often based on circumstances and (mis)understandings.  We are always surrounded by circumstances beyond our control.  Our birth establishes limitations and pathways.

Pigs play a role in the story.  We first see Jin Young-soon being proposed by Choi Hae-shik accompanied by a baby pig.  They operate a pig farm as she becomes pregnant.  Although an honest man Choi Hae-shik crosses a gangster and a corrupt prosecutor which results in his death, with the viewers well aware he was murdered, however the culprits get away with it. Years pass while her son Choi Kang-Ho becomes very studious while his mother restricts him in many ways in her way seeking revenge for her husband's death. He has a girl friend Lee Mi-joo and they are close until he breaks up and shortly makes moves to get close to both murderers of his father.  This all happens in the first two episodes which ends with an accident that renders Kang-ho as an amnesiac with the mentality of a seven year old.  Many ups and downs follow with lots of misunderstandings and surprises. 

There is comic relief among the neighbors of Jin Young-soon who provide their own sub plots.  Pigs provide her livelihood, but are resented by many resulting in a fire.  The viewers are told that pigs are naturally clean animals and have one unusual limitation--they cannot lift their heads to look up.

Here are a few of the cast and crew who helped turn out this very good series.

Na-Yeon Shim was the director.  She has 5 film credits. including "Beyond Evil" (2021).

Se-yeong Bae was the writer.  She has 12 film credits.

 Ra Mi-ran plays the mother  JinYoung-soon.  She is labeled good and bad, because after her husband was killed she determined that her unborn child would be tough.  In actuality she became an exceptional mother although for awhile treated very poorly.  She started in the theatre.  She has 57 film credits including "Thirst" (2009), "Hope" (2013) and "Black Dog" (2019).

Lee Do- hyun plays the son Choi Kang-ho who becomes a brilliant student and eventually becomes a chief prosecutor.  His personality seems to change and he alienates a lot of people close to him and then has an accident that takes away his memory and makes him the equivalent of 7 years old.  He has 13 credits including "The Glory" (2022-2023).

Ahn Eun-jin plays a single mother, Lee Mi-joo.  She started in musical theatre and has 12 credits including "Diary of a Prosecutor" (2019).  

Jeong Woong-in plays the duplicitous prosecutor.  He has 44 film credits and notably was awarded best villain for 2013.

Moo-Sung Choi plays the gangster and is also very menacing.  He has 10 film credits.

Available on Netflix. If you have found Korean drama series to be worth your while, this is especially good.

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