“Castaway Diva” was released in 2023, has 12 episodes, and is currently streaming on Netflix. It is Romance, Comedy, Musical, and inspirational for those who dare to dream. But there were also serious moments of Drama as it addressed the sensitive topic of domestic violence and abuse.
What happens when a young girl with dreams of becoming a famous singer has her dreams upended when she gets stranded on a deserted island for 15 years?
Seo Mok-Ha is cast as the “Castaway Diva”. She was a 16-year-old high school student who entered a singing competition. She would have been on the road to fame and fortune had she not fallen off a boat and ended up on a deserted island. By the time she was found 15 years later, she was 31 years old, and … what about her dream?
♦ From Dream to Deserted Island
In “Castaway Diva” a teenage girl named Seo Mok-Ha tries to escape an abusive father and chase her dream of becoming a singer. She was so desperate to get away that she jumped off a ferry boat and ended up being stranded on a deserted island for 15 years.
One day a volunteer clean-up crew shows up on the island and one of the members of the team has a drone. While others are picking up trash, he uses his drone to explore the island. Seo Mok-Ha sees the drone and begins running after it. The team member tried to navigate the drone away from her to keep her from damaging or breaking it.
Seo Mok-Ha managed to pull the drone out of the air and it broke. But by then Kang Woo-Hak, the drone flyer didn’t need a drone camera because he could see her face-to-face, standing in front of him. His brother, Kang Bo-Geol, was running after him and also saw her.
The brothers are shocked to find that a person is living on the island. But to say she was shocked at seeing them would be an understatement. Words can not express how Seo Mok-Ha feels when she sees another human being. Finally, she has been rescued.
But now that she has come back, at the age of 31, can she still pursue her dream of becoming a singer? Hmmm … ? Her friend told her something that he said his mother used to always say: “If you wish hard for something, with all your heart, one way or another, it’ll come true.”
♦ Two (2) Storylines in ‘Castaway Diva”
In “Castaway Diva” there are two storylines woven together.
- One storyline was about the castaway, Seo Mok-Ha, a teenage girl who lost 15 years of her life because she was trying to escape abuse. All alone on a deserted island, she had to learn how to protect herself.
Being stranded on a deserted island is not illegal. But a child should not have been pushed to make such a perilous life-threatening decision. Why was it that when she called the police, they did not protect her?
- The other storyline is about Seo Mok-Ha’s friend, another teenager, who was also trying to escape abuse. For 15 years, while Seo Mok-Ha was struggling to survive alone, he, his brother, and his mother survived by stealing the identities of people who had died. Yes, what they did was illegal. But the law was not protecting them, so they had to figure out how to protect themselves.
Identity theft is illegal. But in most cases where it occurred, the reasons included revenge, hiding a crime, and financial gain. etc. But when you change your identity for your safety because you’re abused, stalked, injured, terrorized, etc. then you have to ask: Why didn’t the law protect them so that they did not have to go to that extreme?
- Seo Mok-Ha (played by Park Eun-Bin, “The King’s Affection”, “The Ghost Detective”)
- Kang Bo-Geol (played by Chae Jong-Hyeop, “See You in My 19th Life”, “The Witch’s Diner”)
- Kang Woo-Hak (played by Cha Hak-Yeon, “Joseon Attorney: A Morality”, “Bad and Crazy”)
Viewership and Rating:
- IMDb: 8 out of 10 stars
- My Drama List: 8.5 out of 10 stars
- NME: 3 out of 5 stars
- Rotten Tomatoes: 3.5 out of 5 stars
My personal rating is 9 out of 10 stars. Seo Mok-Ha was extremely talented and could have taken the music world by storm … if only. IF ONLY she had a supportive parent instead of an abusive parent, who tried to crush her dreams. Her high school friend was very intelligent. But he, along with his brother and mother, had to break the law to escape their situation as well.
Through a work of fiction, this series addresses or highlights very grave social issues about REAL violent domestic abuse.
DID YOU KNOW?
- “Globally, 1 in 2 children aged 2-17 years suffer some form of violence each year.”
- 30 % of women (worldwide) have experienced domestic violence. “Domestic violence is a serious crime affecting roughly one-third of women worldwide (WHO 2021).”
Please note these statistics are based on “reported cases”. Often abuse goes “unreported” because the abused live in fear of what might happen if the law does not protect them and make them safe.
“Castaway Diva” deserves a high rating for raising awareness of domestic violence and painting a picture of the various scenarios abused people experience. This Kdrama series is extremely popular so it’s not surprising that many reviewers want to offer their points of view.
LINKS OF INTEREST:
- Castaway Diva: 10 Reasons Why This K-Drama Offers a Refreshing Story | MovieWeb
- Castaway Diva on Netflix: Everything You Need to Know About Park Eun-Bin’s New Korean Drama | Y! Entertainment
- Netflix K-drama review: Castaway Diva – Park Eun-bin drama closes on satisfying note but leaves viewers wanting more | South China Morning Post
- ‘Castaway Diva’ ends with record-breaking ratings; ‘Welcome to Samdalri’ surges in popularity with second episode | Times of India
Netflix K-Content. “Castaway Diva | Official Clip | Netflix [ENG SUB].” YouTube Video. YouTube, October 25, 2023. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlfWSpshBnY.