[Review] Strong Woman, Do Bong Soon – 힘쎈여자 도봉순


Do Bong Soon (Park Bo Young) was born with superhuman strength.  Her strength is a hereditary gene that’s passed down to the women in her family.  However, her strength can only be used for good or she risks losing it if it is used to hurt innocent people.  Despite that, she wants to be dainty and elegant so that she can be the ideal type for her crush, her childhood friend and detective, In Guk Doo (Ji Soo).

Through a chance encounter, she meets Ahn Min Hyuk (Park Hyung Shik), a chaebol and the CEO of a gaming company, and gets the job as his bodyguard.  Unlike Guk Doo, Min Hyuk has no regard for rules and has a natural dislike for policemen.  One day, a series or kidnapping cases breakout in Bong Soon’s neighborhood.  She becomes determined to catch the culprit who is targeting women in Dobongdong area.  With Min Hyuk’s help, Bong Soon trains and learns to manage her superhuman strength and the two find their relationships developing into something more.

Right off the bat, the most interesting thing about the drama is the title female character.  I love the dichotomy that makes up Do Bong Soon.  She is physically strong but she’s got all the charms of a cute, uncoordinated girl.  Park Bo Young was made for this role as she embodies sugar, spice and everything nice.  It’s so refreshing to see the heroine coming to rescue the heroes.

Every Single Day – Super Power Girl

에브리 싱글 데이(Every Single Day) – Super Power Girl

Park Hyung Shik and Ji Soo have some rip-roaringly hilarious bromance scenes and I did enjoy watching the romantic triangle unfold between the main three characters.  However, I think the biggest takeaway from the two main male leads are the make-up of their characters.  Min Hyuk comes across as a helpless chaebol in that he relies on Bong Soon to be his bodyguard and protect him.  On the other head, Guk Doo is bullheaded and macho.  Despite the differences in these two stereotypical male heroes, I love that Bong Soon gets to choose between them.

Having said that, I love that Min Hyuk is the lead in this drama as we often see too many Guk Doo types being the lead in K-Dramas.  What makes Min Hyuk so irresistible and unique is that he sees a strong woman like Bong Soon and he is not taken aback by her superhuman strength at all.  He fully supports her and is not afraid to let her take the lead on things.  Even though it is in his instinct to want to protect her and tries to do his part in giving Bong Soon whatever assistance she might need, he is completely secure in his manhood to let her do the heavy-lifting (pun intended).  It takes the idea of the “knight in shining armor” and it flips and reverses what that concept really means.

Beyond the main cast, it’s also worth keeping an eye out for some up and comers in the K-Drama world and I had previously discussed the rise of Jang Mi Kwan in a KCON panel earlier this year.  I also discussed the rise of Ahn Woo Yeon as well but he has a much bigger role in Circle.  However, this model turned actor gave a powerful performance in this drama in his debut role as Kim Jang Hyuk.  Certainly, many viewers had a loooot to say about Jang Mi Kwan’s impactful performance and I will just leave it at that so that you can savor it.

The drama also boasts a large supporting cast and I did feel that they sometimes seemed a bit random and unnecessary at times.  Mostly, they provided comic relief in the drama but I realized that these characters of various stereotypical men.  Whether they are gangsters, senior male colleagues who relish in mansplaining, detectives and even psychopathic serial kidnapper, they all undermine women and specifically Bong Soon in some way or another.  In that way, I love the world of character that the writer has created.  In retrospect, especially now in the age of the #MeToo campaign, this drama makes it plain to see how people are oblivious to these patterns of behavior.  That includes women as we often accept this type of behavior and let it go.

In this day in age when more and more women are stepping up to take a swing at that proverbial glass ceiling, this drama feels like it’s made a good attempt at illustrating that world.  Even as it is wrapped up in this lovely K-Drama fantasy, romcom package.  It’s like the drama is telling women, ‘We can definitely have our cake and eat it, too.’  In that way, this drama has a special place in my heart.


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