NewsLetter DailyWeekly
My HanCinema | Sign up, Why ? Your E-mail   Password    Auto| Help
HanCinema :: The Korean Movie and Drama Database, discover the South Korean cinema and drama diversity Contact HanCinema HanCinema on TwitterFaceBook HanCinema PageHanCinema on Twitter

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 1-2


Late night situation comedies are apparently all the rage these days, which is where "Strong Family" comes from. It's a fairly standard set-up. There's the dad, Cheol-il (played by Park Hyuk-kwon). He had ambition once, but now sits around the house in a goofy red tracksuit on his days off. There's the mom, Ra-yeon (played by Park Sun-young), who struggles to feel pretty in an ugly world. There's the daughter, Ik-hee (played by Kim Ji-min) who desperately wishes she was special. And that's what they all fight against. The encroaching dread of normalcy.

"Strong Family" is what I would describe as mirror television. Because it's kind of like looking into a mirror, at some points almost literally. I rather liked the sequence where Cheol-il and Ra-yeon bicker over whether she should watch so much bad television. That Cheol-il also lacks good habits is part of the joke. The vanity inherent in Cheol-il's stress-o-metter was funny, as was the inevitable outpouring of support that makes him feel like slightly less of a failure.

Ik-hee's motivation, relating entirely around impressing Yoon (played by Yoo Jun), are also oddly relatable. It's not that Gwi-nam is presented as being an exceptionally attractive boy, or that Ik-hee is particularly in love with him. Ik-hee simply wishes to be distinctive somehow. The moment where she gets frustrated, having studied intensely yet only having come up with the same mediocre results as usual...that's a common average person moment rarely seen on television.

The jokes in "Strong Family" generally run along the same non-pretentious lines. Take another plotline where Ra-yeon starts obsessing about food selfies. The sequence is funny because, rather than focusing on how Ra-yeon's vanity is a social commentary, "Strong Family" is instead about the immediate results. How does this attention make Ra-yeon feel? And more importantly, what happens with the food?

Even while poking fun at these modern concepts of self-esteem "Strong Family" also maintains a surprisingly optimistic disposition. Take the final setpiece, which just involves Cheol-il trying to get a nice picture. It starts out with the same sort of groaning incredulity about other people's vanity that defines most of the second episode, yet by the end we actually get to see all three of them being themselves and having a genuinely good time. It's really quite cute, and shows in its own way how even a normal family has to be a "Strong Family" too in this day and age.

Review by William Schwartz

"Strong Family" is directed by Choi Moon-seok, written by Jin Yeong and features Park Hyuk-kwon, Park Sun-young, Kim Ji-min, Uhm Hyo-sup, Park Hee-von, Kim Ki-ri and Lee Ho-won.

Copy & paste guideline for this article
Always put a link back to the source and HanCinema permalink

Creative Commons License"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 1-2"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

Related movies/dramas

Attention You're reading the news with potential spoilers, make them spoiler free, dismiss



 Previous news

Subscribe to HanCinema Pure to remove ads from the website (not for episode and movie videos) for US$0.99 monthly or US$7.99 yearly (you can cancel anytime). The first step is to be a member, please click here : Sign up, then a subscribe button will show up.


Remove ads

Sign up




Visible, hide

Learn to read Korean in 90 minutes or less using visual associations

About | Privacy policy | Contact | Partners

Mobile version