We had forgotten just how good Korean dramas can be when they understand the assignment. At its heart, The Good Bad Mother is the story of a parent and a child. Despite the unusual circumstances described in the drama, it is also a reflection of the damage done to the parent-child relationship due to the pressures of success in the modern world. It is a clash of intentions and misguided execution that is present in almost every household. This is how the first episode of The Good Bad Mother covers it.
Why Does Jin Young Soon Want Kang Ho To Become A Prosecutor?
Jin Young Soon is leading quite a happy life with her husband, Choi Hae Sik, and is expecting her child to be born any day now. But things take a terrible turn when her husband s pig farm is burned to the ground after he refuses to sign the form for its demolition to clear the way for the Olympics parade. Hae Sik takes the case to court, but all of his witnesses turn hostile, and he loses the case. Not one to give up, Hae Sik continues to collect evidence and goes to meet his attorney, Oh Tae Soo. He has a recording of his witnesses, stating that they lied in court because they were either threatened or paid off by the company. He also has evidence that there have been similar cases of arson wherever Song Woo Byeok was involved. Oh Tae Soo reassures Hae Sik that they have enough evidence for an appeal, but the moment he leaves, the attorney calls up the Chairman. The attorney is just another guy who works for Woo Byeok, and this phone call proves fatal for Hae Sik, who is found hanging by a tree the next day. Young Soon is devastated and cannot accept that her husband committed suicide. But Oh Tae Soo, who has received a hefty bribe from the Chairman, lies to her, saying that Hae Sik had visited him and said he wanted to die. He gives her Hae Sik s bankbook as final proof.
Young Soon is devastated and packs up her entire life to move to the village of Jou Ri. She is initially met with some resistance from the villagers, who don t want a pig farm in their area. But all conflict is put to rest when Young Soon goes into labor. Moments after she delivers her baby boy, another woman s water breaks, and she gives birth to a baby girl. These two babies grow up to be Choi Kang Ho and Lee Mi Joo. Mi Joo protects Kang Ho from the bullies at school, especially Sam Sik, who makes fun of him for always studying and smelling like a pig farm. When Kang Ho fights back, he is reprimanded by his mother. She tells him that people will continue talking until he becomes more powerful than them by studying hard to be a prosecutor. Another child in his position would probably be protected by his parents, but Kang Ho is thrust into a responsibility much greater than his age. This continues into his teenage years. He has developed the habit of not eating too much so that he can avoid the drowsiness that accompanies a full stomach. Meanwhile, Mi Joo is completely in love with him and is quite forward with her advances. Kang Ho is not as front-foot, but he likes her as well, and we believe their relationship develops further after they get locked up in the room.
A few years later, they are dating, and Kang Ho is on his way to give his law exam. Mi Joo is there to cheer him up, but when she gets into an accident, Kang Ho skips his exam so that he can take her to a hospital. When Mi Joo comes back to consciousness, she is in tears at what Kang Ho has given up, though he assures her that it is alright, and he can always take the exam next year. But unlike what he tells her, everything is not okay. Young Soon is furious at Kang Ho for giving up his exam. She wonders why he had to make such a sacrifice when there were others who could have taken care of Mi Joo. Kang Ho is annoyed and yells back that he has no life to speak of. His mother has pushed him beyond his limits, neglecting that in her endeavor to protect him from hardships, she has deprived him of any and all happiness there is. They both decide that the only way for Kang Ho to gain some independence and happiness is for him to become a prosecutor.
Does Choi Kang Ho Become A Prosecutor?
A few years later, Kang Ho has indeed become a prosecutor. His mother still prays for his success every day that he win each and every case that comes his way. He is currently arguing a case where he points out how a manager is responsible for the death of an employee working under him. But outside the courtroom, the wife of the accused approaches him with evidence. She tells him that her husband is being framed by the company he is working for, and she can t approach her own attorney because he has been employed by the company itself. She hands him her husband s old phone containing the evidence, trusting him with it. But unknown to her, Kang Ho is not as straight-laced as he seems. At the end of Episode 1 of The Good Bad Mother, Kang Ho immediately makes a call to the Chairman of the company, Song Woo Byeok. When he goes to meet him, it is clear that he is not going to help the woman because he is just as corrupt as Oh Tae Soo once was.
Looking at this final twist in the tale, we can say that Kang Ho s story might be one of redemption, which he gains as he repairs his relationship with his mother. Otherwise, we have also considered the angle that Kang Ho s partnership with the Chairman is part of a long-term plan to expose his misdeeds. Only future episodes will tell us what the real deal is.
The Good Bad Mother is the story of a parent and a child and the price that each of them must pay for success. Despite its initial jovial undertone, it was heartbreaking, to say the least. The first two episodes of this drama are going to be the set-up for what is to come next, and it is a job well done so far. We can tell that this is a drama we will be looking forward to.