Friday, May 24, 2024

Queen of Tears

An unusual premise sets up the series.  A man is about to announce his desire for a divorce, but his wife first tells him she has been told she has three months to live.  Their back story is interesting.  They met at summer office  work.  He was strongly attracted to her, but seemed to feel  she would not be able to earn a living, but felt he was smart enough to earn money for the two of them.  In truth he was from a farming background, but really was smart enough to be a lawyer and earn lots of money.  On the other hand she was the grand daughter of a powerful corporate owner and actually was very competent.  Their love has many ups and downs including divorce..

Another theme is corporate corruption.  It is a common theme and one supposes most of us feel there is some basis for it.  The "Queen" refers to the name of the corporation.  It is easy to imagine there are rivalries and jealousies and certainly sycophants.. 

Flashbacks are common enough and in this series they are used effectively to give different perspectives of critical events.  One in particular makes a strong point that may catch a viewer off guard.

One criticism is the series is too long while others love the details and nuances (me).  It takes a top notch cast and crew to engage you over the series and they come through.  Here are some key ones.

Two directors share all 16 episodes.  Kim Hee-won has 8 directing credits, 2 for assistant directing and one for producing including "Crash Landing on You" ((2019-1020), "Vincenzo" (2021) and "Little Woman" (on my upcoming list).  Jang Young-woo has 9 directing credits, 3 for producing and 1 for assistant director also including "Crash Landing on You" (2019-2020).  Check

Park Ji-eun wrote the script.  Early in her career she wrote for radio talk shows.  She has 10 writing credits and 2 with additional crew including "Crash Landing on You" (2029-2020) that is one of my all time favorites.  Apparently "Queen of Tears" surpassed it in terms of online viewings up to 1.75 billion.

Kim Soo-hyun played the lead male, Baek Hyeon-woo.  He is popular not only in South Korea, but also China, Taiwan  and most eastern parts of Asia.  His mother had encouraged him to take acting lessons in school to help with his introverted personality  Soo-hyun is perhaps the top endorser for Korean cinema.  At one time he endorsed 17 products simultaneously and is now has over 35, including other nations.   He has 19 acting credits, 1 as a composer and one for a soundtrack  ("Queen of Tears" (2024).  Other credits including "The Thieves" (2012), "Miss Granny" (2014), "Crash Landing on You" (2019) and "It's Okay not to be Okay" (2020).  Check 

Kim Ji-won played the leading lady, Hong Hae-in.  She started as a singer.  She has 20 acting credits inluding "My Liberation Diary" (2022).  

Park Sung-hoon played the creepy, but sophisticated villain, Yoon Eun-seong.  Lots of theatre experience.  He has 23 acting credits including  "The  Glory" (2022-2023).

Jung Jin-young played the powerful Grandfather Hong Beam.  He has 56 acting credits including "The King and the Clown" (2005) and "The Good the Bad and the Weird" "(2008). 

Lee Mi-sook played Mo Seul-hee who you will all come to hate.  She had been one of the top three film stars in Korea during the 1980's, but quit in 1987 to get married.  Ten years later she resumed acting and has accumulated 49 film credits (very often as leading lady)

Sebastian Roche played a German doctor Dr. Braun.  From the age of 12 to 18 he lived on a sailboat with his parents and brothers traveling around the Mediterranean, Africa and South America.  He speaks French, English, German, Spanish and Italian.  He has appeared on American and French tv and altogether has 116 acting credits including "The Last of the Mohicans" (1992), "The Namesake" (2006) and "Safe House" (2012).

With such an outstanding cast and crew it has become so popular.  Available on Netflix subtitled and dubbed.  Highly recommend.

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