Strong Woman Do Bong Soon was ultimately a diamond in a rough. It wasn’t perfect and it could have used some tightening in the story line as the story struggled to fill up time with characters and plot lines I cared about. This drama excelled in viewership and created a lot of buzz due to the likability and chemistry between the two leads, Do Bong Soon (Park Bo Young) and Ahn Min Hyuk (Park Hyung Sik). With some polishing, the diamond could have shone a bit brighter. Aside from some minor setbacks, Strong Woman Do Bong Soon was just a lot of fun to watch. And after the end of a particularly long and taxing day, it’s the kind of story I really, really appreciate.
If you’re ready for a HEA (happily ever after), come on in!
When it comes to drama watching, I’m fickle. I won’t even deny it. Strong Woman Do Bong Soon was the only currently airing drama I watched this cycle. Nothing else was calling to me, so I put all of my energy into this one. For that reason, I’m probably a bit more nit-picky than usual, but I’d rather get the not-so-great stuff out of the way.
In the beginning, the mobster/gang stuff was actually pretty funny and so was the music that accompanied those scenes. I loved them for the first few episodes, but as time dragged on, we continued to spend time on story and characters that were going to do literally nothing to further the plot. That’s my major gripe.
To be quite honest, I still don’t understand the relevance of their scenes. Initially, there was comic relief but it just faded away because I couldn’t find a way to give a crap about any of them — not even fully casted/bandaged mobster who thought he had a bug in his butt but it was actually just a bandage lodged in there the whole time. Yep, not really sure why or how that was important or why we had to spend so much time on that nonsense. This also applies to the high schoolers and the random scenes between the ahjummas at the walnut shop. It just didn’t do it for me, but that’s nothing new. I usually have a lot of beef with side characters and stories, so really this could just be me.
As far as adults went, I had a hard time tolerating Bong Soon’s mother. The only one she was ever nice to, and I mean really nice to, was her son and Min Hyuk. Everyone else got shit on by her – especially her husband and then her daughter, Bong Soon. I hated how her excuse for being tough on her daughter was because the girls are born strong while the boys are born week in the family, thus she was softer on her son. I felt so bad for the dad as well—that he resorts to hiding money for himself and is constantly on the defense when his wife appears.
That is so far from a healthy and loving relationship that I’m surprised that Bong Soon was as sweet and unaffected as she was. I mean, no wonder her dad ran away for a bit there. His wife is an emotional tyrant most of the time. Yikes.
I loved when the grandmother/mother/daughter bonding scenes happened, but I was really sad to see how short lived they were. We’re talking about a family legacy of strong women and we barely get to see them bonding and being supportive of the other. Really show, really? The grandmother was great and we barely got to spend any time with her.
For the first half of the series, we spent a decent amount of time on Min Hyuk’s family and their problems. And then his family just magically vanished for the rest of the series. Because, let’s be real, a lot of the time outside of our leads was spent on those mobsters. Sigh. To be fair, Min Hyuk’s family sucks a lot, but I think it would have been nice if we had at least better closure on that chapter of his life.
Now that I’ve cleared up the “rough” areas of this drama for me, I want to focus on what I loved. And let me tell, there was so much that I loved about this drama that the negatives were more of a bad aftertaste for me. It’s a lingering aftertaste but, hey, it could always be worse. I forewarn you all for the gif spams of Park Hyung Sik. I really should rename this review “The Many Adorable Faces of Park Hyung Sik as Ahn Min Hyuk” as you’re going to see a lot of him randomly. Sorry, guys. Well, I’m not sorry, but I love this guy and his expressions and his adorable ears! I’m going to wrap this up here and get back on track.
I love, and I mean, I love everything about Do Bong Soon’s character. She’s tiny, cute, quirky, honest and loyal to a fault. Not only that, but she has this gift and power which is extremely burdensome to her, but she goes out of her way to use her power for good. (She can’t stand to see an innocent person hurting.) The stipulation of her strength is that she can never use it on an innocent person or she’ll lose it. For something that has caused her so much grief and has rendered a normal life for her impossible, this is one girl who is not only physically tough but mentally as well. And it’s so freeing to see Bong Soon fly free and do her own thing by series end.
And then there’s Min Hyuk. Rich CEO aside, this was the kind of male lead I could get behind. Even when he discovered Bong Soon’s strength, he never treated her any differently. In fact, he worried about her a lot and was trying to protect her even when she didn’t need protecting. He taught her how to control her strength, he gave her a job, and even though he teased her constantly, he gave her a chance to make her dreams come true. Her game became a reality thanks to his help. Not to mention, he was incredibly charming and cute whenever he interacted with Bong Soon. My ovaries pretty much combusted while watching the last two episodes. Too. Much. Cuteness. Gah!
The creepy serial killer plot ended a bit anti-climatically, but I loved when Gook Doo and Min Hyuk worked together to help Bong Soon capture that creep. They don’t like each other, but it was pretty sweet to see them come together and put differences aside for that night. Although, I’m a bit sad that they didn’t end on better terms, at least Gook Doo is man enough to quietly move on and let Bong Soon be with Min Hyuk. It was a smooth move on his part.
Also, speaking of Gook Doo… I am crushing so hard on Ji Soo in this series. While Park Hyung Sik is so cute and adorable (and my number 1 here!), Ji Soo nailed the darker, brooding type so well. I actually enjoyed his character. He was an idiot for never directly telling Bong Soon about his feelings earlier, but I thought he was still a great and loyal friend to her. Gook Doo was always tough on her and scolding her, but it was his way of protecting Bong Soon. The only thing I would have liked to see was Gook Doo moving on and finding someone for himself.
Whether it was the confession scene or anything, Bo Young and Hyung Sik oozed of chemistry and sincerity. I’ve always been curious why Bo Young was unable to call Hyung Sik as “sweetheart” in the series but she was able to lock lips oodles and oodles of time. How cute that a simple word like that had her all twisted up and nervous! Whether just friends or something more, these two made this series for me with their cuteness.
This review is a bit all over the place, but it’s late, so I’m going to try to wrap things up before I spam some more close ups of Hyung Sik.
I had so much fun in the last episode. I enjoyed that the criminal was finally locked up and that we had an entire episode to tie up our puppy couple! But let’s take a brief moment to appreciate one of their kisses. Sizzle, sizzle!
There was a proposal! A wedding! Twin girls! Bong Soon protecting her town like the superhero she is! We had quite a few time jumps but that was okay. It was a nice touch to actually see the married couple have children. But ouch for Min Hyuk’s swelling eye. It looks like he has his work cut out for him with a family of three strong females.
And there you have it! Strong Woman Do Bong Soon is over, so I’ll probably experience withdrawals shortly. I honestly had a lot of fun while watching this drama. There were quite a few elements of this series that I didn’t care for, so my heart wasn’t as into it as I would have liked. That aside, Park Bo Young and Park Hyung Sik really made this drama special for me. I’m a romantic girl at heart, so when the central story is centered around these two, I’m ready to puke up rainbows from the cuteness in a good way. (Yep, maybe we should take a tally of how many times I’ve said ‘cute’ in this review. Sorry all!) Let’s not forget that I’m a sucker for a happily ever after, so watching these two struggle and ultimately get together was very satisfying. It’s not every day that you see this level of cuteness and skinship in a drama, so I enjoyed every, single second of it.
I rate Strong Woman Do Bong Soon as a solid B. I went into this one thinking about how I really didn’t want to watch another series about superheroes/superpowers, which has been very, very abundant in Western culture the last few years. Strong Woman Do Bong Soon handled the superpowers in a way that was fun and not cringe-worthy at all, so I’m giving credit where credit is due to the writers for managing to engage me in the story.
It’s time to say goodbye to Min Min and Bong Bong. Until we meet again.