I really like the way that Kim Jung-eun manages her fight scenes. They just look so...casual. Deok-in doesn't resort to any especially outrageous theatrics. She just hits her opponents hard as quickly as possible. Although admittedly there are a few moments there where it looks like Deok-in was dodging hits more out of luck than skill. There's just something terribly appealing about an older woman with a harsh tongue and no patience for nonsense punching her way out of trouble.
Although Deok-in does have a soft side, too. The flashback with her son is extremely sweet, if only because writer Ha Cheong-ok correctly appreciates that it's the little memories about a lost loved one that linger on the longest. When it comes to more outrageous dramatic events, well, you can get those anywhere. But there's very few people in the world who you can share subtlety with- be so comfortable with them that you're fine just pestering them, knowing it won't cause any permanent ruptures.
So any scene featuring Deok-in is pretty good. Unfortunately, those scenes do not make up a majority. The rich family plotline is even stronger here than it was in the first episode- and its relations to the main interesting parts of the central plotline are even more tangential. I can plot how these characters and their relationships trace back to Deok-in- but it requires a very large and complicated chart. There's literally a dozen characters here I don't particularly care about.
But the much worse sin is the way "Make a Woman Cry" is underutilizing Song Chang-eui. Jin-woo barely even appears in this episode at all until the end- for what it's worth, his scenes are strong too, and I think our leads have a very good rapport going. She's the no-nonsense ajumma with enough sense to realize that there's a time and place for sentimentalism that's not during fight scenes. And he's the math teacher who just does everything kind of incompetently.
The cliffhanger indicates that "Make a Woman Cry" at least knows what its strengths are. I want to see how Deok-in and Jin-woo are going to weasel their way out of this dilemma. That's a good hook for next time. The entire bullying plot point is solid. By contrast, everything dealing with stuff like marriage drama or people easily getting offended by social standards is just tiring. I'm puzzled as to why exactly half this story is interesting- hopefully in the episodes to come this will be better explained.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Make a Woman Cry" Episode 2"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jing Bi-rok" Episode 20
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