I'll be honest, when I first heard the premise of "Angry Mom", I thought it would be silly and cheesy. But I was absolutely wrong. "Angry Mom" gave me a thoughtful, emotional drama, complete with an amazing cast and great writing. All of the characters were well rounded and had their time to shine so that we can really get to know them. "Angry Mom" truly showcases how writing should be done: straightforwardly and naturally. The drama went above and beyond my expectations and deserves any and all acclaims it received.
These episodes lay down a strong yet unusual opening. Jo Kang-ja (Kim Hee-sun) finds out that her daughter, Oh Ah-ran (Kim Yoo-jung), is being bullied at school. Yet Ah-ran refuses to say who's responsible, leading Kang-ja to ultimately infiltrate her school as an undercover student. This premise may seem simple and childish on the surface, but it soon develops into a complex and deeper story. "Angry Mom" guides us to expose and experience a world full of bullying and more corruption than initially perceived. Case in point, although everyone believes her friend I-kyeong's death to be a suicide, Ah-ran knows that's not the truth. Yet no one would take her words seriously because she's being hospitalized from the mental toll of being bullied. So the drama leads us to think that Kang-ja is fighting against Jeong-woo (Kim Tae-hoon) at this point, a teacher at the school and the person Ah-ran suspects as responsible for I-kyeong's death.An intriguing mystery and well developed characters capture my interest.
These episodes also introduce us to two important characters: I-kyeong's bully Go Bok-dong (Ji Soo) and homeroom teacher Park No-ah (Ji Hyun-woo). As we soon discover, Bok-dong doesn't have a great life back at home. He is in fact vulnerable and easily manipulated, but he's forced to put on a mask of toughness to survive his harsh environment. Meanwhile, No-ah is an altruistic, caring teacher who not only wants his students to succeed, but to confide in him with any problems they may have. He's a breath of fresh air in a school where students and teachers alike count down the time until they're out. "Angry Mom" starts strong with an intriguing mystery and well developed characters that capture my interest.
"Angry Mom" kicks into full on comedic mode with Ah-ran returning to school and now being classmates with her mom. This leads to many hilarious scenes of bickering and antics between the two. I appreciate that the humors of "Angry Mom" are well placed and natural, rather than forceful and awkward. It's nice to see the comedy flow naturally as Kang-ja interacts with students so many years younger than her. Another benefit in having Kang-ja as an outsider at school is that she can help uncover the inner workings and conflicts of the students and the faculty. She brings to light their worries and concerns, facilitating the viewers to sympathize more with them.
In terms of the plot development, the story is moving along quite nicely. Kang-ja works diligently to unmask the mysteries behind Jeong-woo, and how he's really related to I-kyeong's death - if at all. She finds a few pieces of incriminating evidence and brings us one step closer to solving this puzzle. "Angry Mom" successfully keeps me engaged and leaves me anticipating the next episodes that can help me unravel the entire story.
The next few episodes of "Angry Mom" provide a deeper look into Bok-dong and No-ah's character development. Interestingly, we're invited to examine Bok-dong under both humorous and serious lights. The drama shows him struggling to do the right thing because of how he's raised. It's a realistic way to demonstrate that in a new environment, kids will be exposed to different ideals and they have to make their own choices of right or wrong. Despite having different views from his guardians, Bok-dong's development towards his own identity is done gradually and subtly, rather than rushed or drastic. This is the way I think characters should grow to be convincing and relatable.
Meanwhile, in these equally important episodes for No-ah, he learns a crucial secret about his job and also tries to do the right thing. His actions speaks to his character of valuing hard work and honesty. To me, this is one of the most comforting things to look forward to in a drama with much deeper corruption than what's shown on the surface.
One of the things I love about "Angry Mom" is that it's a story focused on family and friendship rather than romance - something we're rarely treated to in Korean dramas. Rather than creating conflicts solely for the purpose of advancing the storyline, "Angry Mom" goes a step further to convey a message about growth and introspection. Kang-ja and Ah-ran are defeated time and time again, but they refuse to give up. They firmly believe that they will power through and divulge all the lies and secrets of the school. As a result of what they have been through, Kang-ja and Ah-ran actually grow closer as mother and daughter. By the same token, we also see Ah-ran's other classmates with strenuous family relationships get their happy endings as well.I love that "Angry Mom" is a story focused on family and friendship rather than romance.
Unfortunately, things don't always go as planned and the mother-daughter team incurs more casualties in the fight against the school. But Kang-ja doesn't back down even amidst the chaos and obtains another piece of incriminating evidence that is sure to turn the odds in their favor. It's a great lead up to the finale of the drama, where we hope to see Kang-ja and Ah-ran serve justice to those behind the corruption.
In these final episodes of "Angry Mom", the antagonists of the drama get what they deserve and everything is nicely resolved. The drama leaves us feeling satisfied with the closure and gives a ray of hope for the characters we've seen grown thus far. Although the epilogue implies that corruption and lies are still concealed in the world, Kang-ja's voice over reassures us that there are people who will always fight for the truth.
"Angry Mom" delivers a heart-wrenching, bittersweet story, coupled with phenomenal character development and writing. It leaves me in pensive reflection about the world we live in and I won't be moving on from it anytime soon.
Written by: Monisha from 'Funcurve'
Funcurve is a new kind of reviews site. Their reviews help readers visualize the ups and downs of a drama from start to finish with an impression graph. Read more Korean drama reviews at funcurve.com.
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