Another new drama in the drama neighbourhood! Wonderful Mama is the newest weekend drama that takes over the slot that was occupied by My Love, Madame Butterfly on SBS. I give the first episode a try because I really adore the leads and I am instantly hooked. Wonderful Mama is indeed wonderful!
The drama is mainly about a family of four, consisting of a single mother and her three spoiled, grown-up children. Playing the mother Yoon Bok-hee is Bae Jong-ok, whom some of us might recognize her from her latest drama That Winter, the Wind Blows as Secretary Wang. She’s a successful woman, owning a loan company (some sort of loan shark). Her hardship when her husband died, leaving her with three mouths to feed, drove her to set up a loan business in the market. She continuously strives to make more money for the family but she happens to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Go Young-chae is the eldest child of Bok-hee. Jung Yoo-mi is the adorable Yong-chae here, a 180-degree change from her recent and most memorable portrayal of the evil Hong Se-na in Rooftop Prince. She’s a fashion freak and that makes her a brand lover girl. Go Young-soo is the first son but he’s actually twins with Young-chae, with him as the younger one between them. He’s a jobless bum, living off his mother’s money but he trusts people easily. He’s said to be someone with bad English skills. This is surely different from Kim Ji-suk’s character Tommy Hong in Cheongdamdong Alice! Rounding up the three siblings is the youngest son, Go Young-joon. A playboy in the making, he spends his time in clubs instead of concentrating on his school. Think he’s a cutie? He surely is and Park Bo-geom made a short appearance in Bridal Mask as well as the younger version of Kang Ji-hwan in the movie Detective Cha.
A lead girl is not complete without her man, and Jung Kyu-woon is here to make you swoon (Hey, that rhymes!). He plays Jang Hoon-nam, a guy who dreams to become wealthy after living a hard life together with his deaf brother. He’s a Team Leader at a company and unlike his name (the direct translation of his name is ‘warm guy’), he appears cold and distant, especially in front of Young-chae. His family and the people at the company makes up the rest of the cast and for now, I think the introduction is enough for us to embark on the journey for episode 1^^
I find it interesting that all the main leads, except Park Bo-geom, acted as the evil characters in SBS dramas before this. But it’s a nice thing to see them in this drama, being the good ones instead of being hated 😉
[EPISODE 1 HIGHLIGHTS]
Young-chae and Hoon-nam’s first meeting:
It’s such a rare coincidence for two people to have the same car model, but it’s logic. So that’s the first meeting is all about: Young-chae thinking that Hoon-nam is trying to do something bad to her when he takes her car. LOL, her nature of freaking out without thinking about it properly is hilarious, with Hoon-nam giving her a judging stare at this weird ahjumma. When she finally realizes her mistakes, she blames it on his choice of car, making her confused. Hehehe! Ahjusshi is handsome but he has quite a temper too~
Bok-hee’s signs of Alzheimer’s:
The drama doesn’t hold the plot for too long. Bok-hee shows symptoms of the disease right in the first episode and they are getting more severe. It starts off with forgetting simple things and then progresses into temporary memory loss. Just like what I felt about Madam Bok in The Incarnation of Money, I am more concerned on Bok-hee’s safety. Imagine she going somewhere and then suddenly forgetting everything about herself. For that, I wish to see her right-hand man, Han Dong-soo (Lee Seok-joon) to stay beside her all the time. I freaked out during the last scene, when Bok-hee completely lost track of what she’s doing when she went to the saloon alone. Gosh, it’s such a scary moment for her, and for me who’s watching…
Introducing the men of the Go family:
One is a faithful brat while the other one is a playboy in the making. Young-soo is like the male version of Young-chae in some aspects, but he’s more toned down, unlike his outspoken twin sister. It’s rare to see a man so faithful and so easy to put his trust on something, as shown when he doesn’t even realize that his girlfriend is trying to take advantage of his mother’s influence. I think all the player traits went to Young-joon, who’s cheating even with his girlfriend around. He truly deserves the two slaps and a kick. Ouch.
Go family, where all disputes can be solved by blocking the credit cards:
Sad truth, but that’s how the family works for the time being. Any effort of uniting them involves the manipulation of the money. It’s amazing how Bok-hee manages to raise these three kids since they are so different and that is the main cause of their small quarrels. I still find it hilarious that Young-chae and Young-soo are twins and that explains a lot why they are so good at arguing with each other. As for the maknae Young-joon, he’s the cheerleader for his brother but that doesn’t mean he’s in the same boat with him.
Hoon-nam and Ki-nam; a brief look at the other family:
Hoon-nam is a sweet little brother to his one and only family, his brother Jang Ki-nam (Ahn Nae-sang). They are so close with each other since their parents passed away when they were young and Ki-nam was the one who took care of his little brother. Despite his deafness, Ki-nam is a talented man in fashion design. In one of the flashbacks, it’s shown how young Ki-nam made little Hoon-nam ran away while he’s being hit by a restaurant owner because they didn’t have the money to pay. Poor children 😦 That explains a lot why Hoon-nam wants to be rich: because he wants to make his brother happy!
The mother-daughter pairing:
Ah, Bok-hee and Young-chae. The memories of the hard life during her childhood isn’t pretty, but from her point of view, it’s sort of understandable how high Young-chae put Bok-hee in her eyes. Although she was bullied for having a mother who loves money so much, she knows that Bok-hee worked so hard for her children to live a better life, even without their father. Bok-hee’s words made me cry, because she endured the humiliation for the sake of her three kids.
I never thought that I would despise a character so much right from the first episode. Lee Jang-ho (Lee Min-woo) is one cold man. Urgh. He’s cheating with his secretary and that witch (I don’t even bother to check out her name LOL) is so clingy to him, but he doesn’t seem to show any sign of affection for her. I can’t imagine how did he first go out with that witch, considering how little interest he has for her. Maybe this is just the first episode and I’ve yet to see his true self.
But another thing that made me hate him because of his way of treating his wife. His wife, Oh Da-jung (Lee Chung-ah) is like the sweetest girl in the world, but he still cheat on her. They even have a son! Ack! I started watching this episode without any background of their characters and I was surprised to see that the sweet and kind Da-jung is married to a man like him. Huh. Was it an arranged marriage between the families?
…that sometimes leads to a big, very big problem. She’s a close friend of Da-jung and when she finds out about Jang-ho, who’s cheating on her best friend, she doesn’t hold herself from confronting the witch secretary in front of Jang-ho. Hahaha. Serves that witch right, but it’s just that the place isn’t that suitable for a cat fight, and she ends up destroying the fashion show that Hoon-nam made for getting an investor. Bad timing! Not to forget that the show was part of an event organized by his company, where Jang-ho is the CEO and it belongs to his lover, Lee Soo-jin (Yoo In-young)’s family. Oh, what will happen to these two?
Ratings for Episode 1: 7.7%