Monday, May 9, 2016

Kdrama Mothers

On Mothers Day we not only think about our own mothers, but all mothers. My grandmother watched out for all the children in the neighborhood. They always knew they could count on her for a popsicle in the summer or a cookie in the winter. My mom always had kids running through her house, helped with children's programs at church and in 4-H, and was a teacher to her grandchildren and neighborhood kids of things like wheat-weaving, bug collecting, and paper folding.

Being as how this blog focuses on Kdramas, it is natural to think about how mothers are portrayed in them. Agreed that many mothers in dramas are terrible (the Demon Moms in Boys Over Flowers and Secret Garden). The good ones can get killed off (I Hear Your Voice - I still haven't forgiven the writers) or aren't the focus of the story (Reply 1997, Kill Me Heal Me).

There are good single moms (Last Scandal of my Life, Punch). But I remember most vividly the women who mother someone not her own child. The first of these is Lady Choi, who watched out for and advised her nephew, the leader of the king's guard (Faith).

My favorite are the women who you watch getting to know and slowly care about children that come into their orbits. In two stories that were nearly ruined by the-return-of-the-not-dead-wife (Prime Minister and I, Blade Man) the lead ladies connected in a tender way with children who had lost their mothers. A woman in Bad Family was the fake mom to the little girl whose real mother was killed in a wreck. Watch as she takes responsibility for that little girl. The latest is Ok Da Jung (Ms. Temper), who first shows sympathy and then a kind of hard-line support for the little boy who lives across the hall.

These women, though fictional, represent real women who show these kinds of qualities. They all deserve recognition, especially on Mothers Day. And it would be a better world if there were more people like that. And fewer Demon Moms.