Here at DramaFever, we're commemorating Mother's Day by taking a look at some of the fiercest, most memorable mothers to grace the landscape of Korean dramas.
We begin by ranking some of the evilest, most conniving, sometimes-hated kdrama mothers of all time.
1. Song Kang Sook of "Cinderella's Sister"
In this Kdrama reinterpretation of the classic Cinderella story, legendary actress Lee Mi Sook plays the role of Song Kang Sook, the evil step-mother to Seo Woo's Goo Hyo Sun. Though manipulative and conniving, Song Kang Sook is far from one-dimensional. She is a complex woman who puts her maternal instincts on overdrive in order to ensure the survival of herself and her daughter. Even if she is a villain, Song Kang Sook manages to elicit a sense of admiration and sympathy for her fearless tenacity in the face of poverty and tragedy.
2. Yoon Na Young of "Flames of Desire"
Yet another evil step-mother, only whose scheming and greediness are tenfold that of any villain. Yoon Na Young is the step-mother of Kim Min Jae, the soon-to-be heir of a massive corporation. Unlike Kim In Sook, who justifies her duplicity in the name of survival, Na Young's blindly greedy pursuit at the expense of her husband and step-son is stunningly intense, even exciting.
3. Kang Hee Soo of "Boys Over Flowers" and Moon Boon Hong of "Secret Garden"
Kang Hee Soon and Moon Boon Hong: also known as the mothers of dashing leading men Goo Jun Pyo and Kim Joo Won. Both women are successful, with powerful positions in their respective companies. Though their sons can have their pick of some of the most eligible bachelorettes in Korea, both Jun Pyo and Joo Won fall in love with poor, quirky girls who make up in spunk for what they lack in pedigree. But the cold, money-hardened hearts of these mothers can't stomach the love-conquers-all approach their sons opt to follow. Hee Soon and Boon Hong use and abuse their power and money to damper these romances -- delightful drama and romance ensues.
Now we pay tribute to the mothers we imagine when we celebrate Mother's Day -- mothers whose unconditional love and resolute strength endear us all.
1. Lee Young Shin of "Thank You"
Some say Lee Young Shin is kind. Too kind. Suffocatingly kind. She is berated, looked-down-upon, even ostracized in her small village when others discover that her young daughter has AIDS. Yet Young Shin continues to exude kindness and optimism. Though some may say Young Shin's angelic qualities are excessive, she has a biting sense of humor and feistiness that inspires her daughter, and in turn the viewers, to have courage and to embrace life, even in the face of devastating illness.
2. Seo Hye Rim of "Daemul"
Seo Hye Rim is not just any ordinary single mother -- she's the first female president of South Korea! After being widowed, Hye Rim, then a journalist, decides to enter the chaotic and corrupted world of South Korean politics in order to right the social ills she observes. Who can forget the Hye Rim's emotionally-taut speech given in the rain, beseeching for a nation that her son can be proud of? Her attempt to have her voice heard becomes a beacon for her child and eventually, the entire nation. Bravo Seo Hye Rim.
3. Jin Pal Kang of "Stars Falling From the Sky"
We wrap up this list of memorable, amazing mothers with an unusual choice. Technically speaking, Jin Pal Kang is not a mother in that she's never given birth. She does, however, become the surrogate mother for her five brothers and sisters when their parents suddenly pass away. Pal Kang must keep the family together. Through the responsibilities of motherhood, Pal Kang transforms from an immature, irresponsible fluke into a self-made woman of iron will and spirit. Her growth is a true testament to the amazing qualities it takes to be a mother.
If any of your favorite kdrama mothers are missing from this list, comment below! A Korean drama without a juicy, drama-wielding mother is a chocolate chip cookie without any of the chocolate chips.
To all the mothers, Happy Mother's Day!