Mothers. Everyone has one. I am one. Many kdramas have at least one. But kdramas are infamous for the cold hearted diva moms and overbearing, conniving in law moms.
But today, on Mother’s Day I want to pay tribute and celebrate three kdrama mothers that deserve our love and a big pat on the back.
What better than to start with Kang Ja from Angry Mom. It is fresh in our minds and is rightfully deserving of the mother of the year kdrama award.
A former high school badass dons a school uniform to protect her daughter from bullies. Naive to be sure but her heart is in the right place. She doesn’t give up just because it is an impossible feat. She goes the distance and despite proving ineffectual time and time again, she carries on and fight her fight. Granted, she is surrounded by a great supporting cast, her best friend and confidante, Gong Joo, who is also deserving as the fake mother to Bang Wool. Her support of Bang Wool is unconditional and well deserving of praise.
Kim Hee Sun and Go Su Hee were perfect in transforming these characters from fairytale to super hero moms and gave us a good dose of laughter and heart rending moments along the ride.
My vote for the ultimate selfless kdrama mother is none other than Young Shin, played by the talented Gong Hyo Jin in Thank You.
Being a single mother is enough taboo in a society that scorns the impropriety of children born out of wedlock, let alone one infected with HIV. To top that, she also has the burden of caring for her grandfather who has Alzheimer. Young Shin balances all these responsibilities with grace and aplomb. She never plays the blame game and instead of being overprotective, she teaches Bom to deal with her illness. Her technique may come across as cold but it serves a purpose so Bom can grow up to be strong and independent. Hers is the story of a mother’s ultimate sacrifice. By remaining silent about her daughter’s birth secret and illness, she chooses her daughter above the perceived security of a comfortable home, the father of her child and her long time love.
Gong Hyo Jin is simply awesome in this role, always delivering the right touches and nuances and never overly dramatic which makes this drama so touching and easy to watch. It is simply spectacular.
Who can forget the scene where Geu Rae dug into the cold watery squid containers in his brand new suit.
Geu Rae’s mom is the classic portrayal of the self sacrificing mother who will give up her own comforts for her children without expecting something in return. She initially chose the practical option, going with the cheap suit but on second thoughts returned it for one she clearly cannot afford. All because she wants her son to fit in and have confidence among co-workers that have credentials far exceeding Geu Rae’s. The way she hands over the suit to him in the lobby speaks volumes of her love for him as she tries to appear nonchalant so he won’t feel obliged.
Mother’s pride and joy also shines through that New Year morning. Wanting to shield her son from their relatives’ nagging and reproach she asks Geu Rae to go for a long walk. But, instead of being ashamed of him for quitting Baduk, she is effusive in her praise of his perseverance in front of their relatives. He learns that in his mother’s eyes, he is not a failure.
Her role is minor and understated but it shows the depth of a mother’s love and their scenes interweave nicely into the drama. It is the sum of such poignant moments that make Misaeng the masterpiece that it is.
So, who are your favourite unforgettable kdrama moms?