strong woman do bong soon (2017)


Drama: Strong Woman Do Bong-Soon (힘쎈여자 도봉순)
Network: JTBC
Episodes: 16
Release Date: February 24 – April 15, 2017
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Bong-Soon (Park Bo-Young) was born with superhuman like strength. Her strength is hereditary and passed along only to the women in her family. Her dream is to create a video game with herself as the main character. One day, Bong-Soon helps out a bus driver who is being attacked by a thug. Soon, a small mob of thugs attack Bong-Soon, but she is easily able to wipe the floor with them. During this time, Min-Hyuk (Park Hyung-Sik) drives up to the scene of Bong-Soon beating up the group of thugs. Min-Hyuk is the CEO of video gaming company Ainsoft. He has recently received anonymous threats and even followed by an unknown person. Min-Hyuk believes Bong-Soon would make a great bodyguard with her amazing strength. Besides offering Bong-Soon high pay, he even offers her the chance of working in the planning department of his gaming company if she does well.

Meanwhile, crimes against women take place in the neighborhood where Bong-Soon lives. Detective Kook-Doo (Ji Soo) also lives in the same neighborhood. They have been friends since they were kids. Bong-Soon is also madly in love with him, but he has a girlfriend. Kook-Doo tries to solve the case and Bong-Soon and Min-Hyuk are pulled in.

Park Bo Young – Do Bong Soon
Park Hyung Sik – Ahn Min Hyuk
Ji Soo – In Guk Doo


I heard a lot of people saying this was funny and great series so even though I’m not familiar with the cast and I though the story might be juvenile, I tried watching this show. In terms of the cast/characters, there were a lot of contradictions in the Bong Soon character. At first I was very annoyed when uses her ‘baby’ voice to talk to people – but then i’m thinking maybe she is doing it as if trying to sound like a teenager will “weaken” her strong physical capabilities or maybe she really was just trying to act cute. She seems like she is tough when she faces the  bullies and is softhearted coz she tries to help other people, but i couldn’t understand why she was so rude to Minhyuk when she first joined his company. I thought she was so unprofessional. She accepted the job as a bodyguard and she didn’t seem to take it seriously. She uses brute force instead of honing her skills (maybe like trying to become fitter or practicing martial arts, etc), was belligerent to Minhyuk and talk back to him – if she were in a real company she would have been fired so fast her fists wont be able to help her. She acted cute like she was the offended party whenever Minhyuk tells her to act professional and as his bodyguard and was so petty – she should even thank Minhyuk for giving her a job she was clearly unqualified for. And she has the nerve to negotiate to move to the Development team when she has no prior skills or experience. But later during the show we see her become more mellow as she fell in love with Minhyuk and she started liking her job.  With Minhyuk’s help, she was able to control her temper and strength and use them in a better way without endangering the people around her. She still didn’t have a lot of brains til the end but at least she was more humble than when she first started. As for Minhyuk, I really liked his character and was surprised how well the actor acted – his facial expressions are super funny and totally outperformed Ji Soo. Minhyuk was smart, successful, rich, sweet, compassionate, took care of Bong soon a lot. I liked that he was willing to extend a hand to Bong soon and the police to help catch the killer and even to the point of almost getting killed himself. Ji Soo’s chracter was the one that was tough to like (in my case) and I think it’s mostly because of the actor -I think he also had one or two facial expressions the entire time. In terms of competency – he is tenacious for trying to solve the serial murder case to the end, but i also felt like he was always one step behind without Bong soon or Minhyuk to feed him clues.

As for the overall plot or storylines, I felt like there were too many side plots and too many characters that made the stories confusing and some episodes /characters that were not necessary. The first story about Minhyuk hiring Bong Soon to find out who his stalker was a disappointment. I already guessed that it was the brother that he was close to, but the story didn’t say why the brother did it – jealousy? and he just made a sad, i-was-kind-to-you-when-you-were-a-kid and Minhyuk was so quick to forgive him and the storyline ended just like that so I thought it was just put there so there’s a reason for the couple to meet. Then the whole side plot about the group of gangsters and the construction in the neighborhood, meeting the fake religious person was also boring and i couldn’t see the point of how to relates to the entire story. the side plot about the mom and her friends and her relationship with her husband and jealousy over Ji Soo’s mom was also so-so and just prolonged the episodes. The only side plot i kind of liked was Hee Jin and Bongsoon’s brother’s relationship and the gay officeworker who looked like the gangster – that was a bit hilarious though it eventually got old coz he just kept complaining and whining.

As for the main storyline of the serial killer, while it was thrilling trying to catch the guy, it was also a bit unbelievable because the guy doesn’t seem to have any work aside from a junk shop or even military experience but seemed so smart and outwitted them all. He seemed very handy with electronics and guns, he was also a nobody. it also doesn’t explain why he was doing it – i liked the whole idea of him becoming obsessed with a play he watched and trying to replicate it but then he never did get to complete his plan because then it became a personal grudge and starting targeting Bong soon and her friends. and like i said in the early paragraph, how come the police are so dumb not to have any clues on him at all?? they have to rely on him communicating with them to find out where he is and they had to use Bongsoon to catch him. The only useful thing that group of gangsters did was help them find out which boat he is taking to escape to China.

And for the talk about physical strength vs mental strength and women empowerment, they could have done a better job handling the topic. While Bong soon did mature a little bit by the end of the series, she was still basically using her physical strength and not a lot of smarts. and i dont think she was able to empower other people (and even women) because she just kept hidden /behind the scenes, so even though she helped a lot of people in their everyday lives (kind of like a neighborhood Spiderman), i didn’t feel like she made a difference.

In terms of the love triangle, i think there was no contest – Minhyuk was just the better guy – and i really dont know if it was the actor’s acting – but i never felt like Kook Doo really liked her. Even if he said that he didn’t realize that he already did, it was too late, etc., he didn’t really fight for her and showed her enough and i guess that’s why it was easy for Bong soon to fall for Minhyuk, who early on showed his interest and took care of her.

Overall, if you like fluffy young-ish romance with a bit of mystery/suspense and a couple of laughs, try this drama series. The show is very easy and addicting to watch.

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