From the Queen’s Vantage Point:
When you look at Kdrama, it is hard to miss the fathers in the series. Whether he is rich or poor, good or bad, Dad always adds some form of spice to the mix. A good father is the salt of the earth and a bad father is like cayenne pepper. Just enough of it and the flavor is not lost to the bite, but just a pinch too much and the flavor is lost to the fire. Older actors chosen to play the fathers in some Kdramas are so much into the part that it is hard to identify the same actor when the father role changes for the next series. Like a seasoned veteran, these men change into the role with all the finesse of their younger counterparts.
My favorite father is Kwang Ryul who portrayed Goo II Jong in Baker King Kim Tak Goo
. Chairman Goo raped Tak Goo’s mother, who was his maid and she became pregnant by him. When his own wife could not bear him a son after a couple of trials, he felt cheated and because he had longings for this young woman he took her one night in his study. Chairman Goo’s own mother was a witness to this shame but for want of an heir, hid her knowledge for many years. She took care of the maid and her child but sent her away from the family home an d made sure to support her for years out of her own pocket because she loved this girl and felt guilty about her son’s action. The Chairman hid his shame at what he had done, but he never forgot this woman, or their child. Years later when she came to his home demanding that her son know his father and be given the lifestyle of his sisters, the Chairman could not deny her. He made the decision to raise this child as his own even giving him his charboel name, Goo.
Why could I not be upset and angry with this man? Kwang Ryul is the reason. He made the Chairman in fine gentleman, a real friend, a loving father, a great baker, and a wonderful teacher. Young Tak Goo was treated poorly by his stepmother who had cheated on her husband,and produced a son with the Chairman’s to hold onto the pretense that she had given birth to the heir apparent, Goo Ma Joon was portrayed by a pouty Joo Won. The two “brothers” were in constant conflict, even over the woman that Tak Goo had loved since childhood, Shin Yoo Kyung (Kim Yoo Jin) who has her own set of crosses to burn. Tak Goo is really his father’s son taking after him with a love for baking and his methods of refining his craft. Chairman Goo embraces the boy and teaches him all he can. He even follows him to a baking school to see that he is continuing to learn, and to watch him take part in a baking contest. Later, Tak Goo realizes that his father knows all along that he is the only real heir and has left everything he owns to Tak Goo.
Another loving father is portrayed by my second favorite older male actor, Choi Il Hwa who portrays Chairman Hong in Cinderella’s Sister
. He really makes you want to crawl into his lap and be his child. This man is patient, loving, kind, and loyal. Even when he realizes that his wife married him for position and prestige, his loyal, loving, patient and kind to her and her child. His own daughter is spoiled and lazy, but his stepdaughter takes everything he has to offer with no love in her heart for him at all. Angry that her own mother has shunned her in favor of the husband’s child, she is rebellious and petty. The part of the Cinderella is wonderfully portrayed by Moon Geun Young. Her stepfather longs for her to love him, but he never pushes. There are times you want to strangle her for denying him a little affection. However, she saves the family business and realizes too late that he loved her. It is in death that she finally says the word he longed to hear from her while he lived, father. If there are no tears in your eyes as you watch his ghost embracing his daughters who have finally united at his memorial, then you must be made of stone.
Of course for every good dad, there has to be a villain, right? One of the worst was Seo Jae Myung (from Young Love Jae In), played with all the charm of a rattle snake by Son Chang Min. This father is a murderous, evil, lying, conniving, vicious, tax evading wretch! He placed nothing above his greed. He kills his best friend, batters his son, steals the company and steals from the company. He professes a love of his country while stealing tax dollars needed to run it and even on his deathbed, he confesses nothing. What a devil was President Seo. I am not an advocate of children hitting parents but there were times I wished his son would just find the nerve! The only person that he was kind to was his whiny wife.
President Seo destroyed every life he touched, including his nephew who is as evil as the President. Jae In , who the President had ordered found and murdered as a child turns up years later with no memory of who she is or what she is entitled to which is Godae, her father’s company. President Seo employs every dirty trick to keep that from happening. He even moves Jae In into his home! So sad that he did not realize that he could have had it all if he had just ignored her altogether. If he had not been so overzealous, Jae In would have gone through life thinking that she was the illegitimate child of Player Kim Young Kwang’s father. The only problem then would have been how to not have feelings of love for your “brother”. So, at least we are grateful that because in the end, he was foolish, they could be in love and maybe even get married. The Queen does not hate easily, but from her vantage point, this dude was the devil’s own.
For those of you watching Padam Padam, there is another evil father in the ranks. The problem is that I have seen him in other series and I do not recognize this man as the kind, sweet, wonderful person from those other shows. Of course, the actor here is none other than Jang Hang Sun portraying Detective Han. Oh my, every time he stomped our hero, Yang Kang Chil, you want to just kill him and when he spits! He makes spitting seem like a sin worse than death! How do you manage to put evil Detective Han next to the lovable Master Pal Bong of Baker King Kim Tak Goo or Team Leader Kwon Young Sool of Crime Squad. You almost want to research his family to find out if he is a triplet. From the Queen’s vantage point, this man is a true artist of the trade.
Fathers in Kdrama are handsome like Chun Ho Jin (Choi Eung Chan in City Hunter) or conflicted like Kim Sang Joong (Lee Jin Pyo also of City Hunter). They can be rich or poor, good or evil, but no matter what the persona, in Kdrama, Dads do not just hold the family honor but they also make the family decisions. Whatever you may think of them family comes first and even when they have been away for years and suddenly return as the dad did in Me Too, Flower, he is still father and his place in the family is still his place. So who is your daddy, Kdrama? Whether fair or foul, no drama is complete without him. Keep them coming because whether you love him or hate him, he is the foundation of the family and the story.
For more from the Queen on Boys Over Flowers, Secret Garden and more, click here!