A Model Family is a 2022 Korean drama series, with 10 episodes, currently streaming on Netflix.
Park Dong-Ha is a model citizen who has fallen upon hard times. He found a bag of money in a car filled with dead people. He should have called the police and reported it; but instead, he took the money.
Ma Kwang-Chul is the leader of a group of criminals who find out that he has the money. Rather than kill him and take their money back, the criminals decide that Park Dong-Ha has “a model family”. The kind of family they can use to do their dirty work because police would never suspect them. If only Park Dong-Ha had not yielded to temptation.
♦ What Exactly is a Model Family?
“A Model Family” is about Park Dong-Ha, an ordinary man who could be described as a “model citizen”. But that’s only because he has never been in trouble with the law. He has never even had a traffic ticket.
But what about his family?
- His son is very sick with a heart condition but he wishes his mom and dad were happy together.
- Park Dong-Ha used the money that was saved to pay for his son’s medical treatment intending to earn it back.
- When his wife found out, she added that to the list of all of the other reasons why she wanted a divorce.
- The daughter is angry and tired of listening to the parents arguing. She wants to leave home but she isn’t old enough.
Most people would probably not describe his family as “a model family”. But a hardened criminal like Ma Kwang-Chul, thinks Park Dong-Ha, his wife, his daughter, and his son are “a model family”, mainly because law enforcement is not likely to suspect them. The Park family makes excellent “mules”; i.e. people used by criminals to transport money or other products like illegal drugs.
♦ It’s a Short Distance Between Bad Luck and Hell!
Money is not the root of evil. But a bag of money in a car full of dead people? Logically thinking, the money could probably lead to evil people!
Park Dong-Ha is experiencing extreme financial difficulties and he is doing everything he can to save his marriage and family. While sitting all alone in his car on a deserted road, banging his head against the steering wheel, trying to come up with a solution to his problems, another automobile slams his car from behind. Great! That’s just what he needed. A car accident!
He gets out of his car and approaches the vehicle that slammed into him. He sees that all of the passengers in the car are dead and it is clear that their deaths were not caused by slamming into his vehicle. Clearly, they had suffered a violent death. Not only are there dead bodies but there is also a large bag filled with money.
Against his better judgment, instead of calling the police, Park Dong-Ha steals the money. He tries to reason that perhaps his bad luck has changed. Surely the thought must have crossed his mind that a large bag of money like that probably belonged to some unsavory people. But so what? Who’s going to know? How will anybody find out that he has the money?
Ma Kwang-Chul is the leader of a gang of organized criminals. It didn’t take long for him to find Park Dong-Ha and figure out that he had the money. Rather than kill him and take their money back, Ma Kwang-Chu decided that the Park family was “a model family”. This family is just the kind of people that can be used to cover up his criminal activities. And just like that, Park Dong-Ha had traveled a short distance between bad luck and hell!
- Park Dong-Ha (played by Jung Woo, “Miraculous Brothers”)
- Ma Kwang-Chul (Park Hee-Soon. “The Policeman’s Lineage”)
Viewership and Rating:
- IMDb Rating: 6.6 out of 10 stars
- My Drama List: 7.5 out of 10 stars
- Letterboxd: 3.4 out of 5 stars
- Times of India: 4 out of 5 stars
My personal rating aligns with My Drama List. It was OK entertainment but not very impressive. The moral of the story is crystal clear. If you find a car with dead bodies and a bag of money, call the police! However, Park Dong-Ha is such a nice guy, that you get hooked and want to follow through to The End. Park Dong-Ha put himself and his family in an impossible predicament. Ma Kwang-Chul is EVIL! You just have to know if Dong-Ha figures out how to escape the clutches of Kwang-Chul and save his family. Is it possible to escape hell?
LINKS OF INTEREST:
- ‘A Model Family’ review: domestic bliss goes bad in a suspenseful Korean crime thriller | NME
- A Model Family Season 1 Review: The dark, twisted and gripping K-Drama is binge-worthy | Times of India
- Netflix K-drama review: A Model Family – Breaking Bad this isn’t; crime drama starring Jung Woo merely serves up reheated leftovers | South China Morning Post
Netflix K-Content. “A Model Family | Official Trailer | Netflix [ENG SUB].” YouTube, 27 July 2022, www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3Pu78FXrak.