In ‘The Good Bad Mother’, a son who thought he had a “bad mom” had no clue and resented her for making him study to become a prosecutor. Kids like to say parents just don’t understand. But it’s usually the other way around. Kids are clueless. They don’t realize that before they were born, their mom actually had a life.
“The Good Bad Mother” was released in 2023, has 14 episodes, and is currently streaming on Netflix. It can be categorized as Crime, Legal Drama, and Slice-of-Life series.
♦ Why Must Evil People Interfere with ‘Happily Ever After”?
“The Good Bad Mother” started as a slow, adorable, feel-good Korean drama. A man proposes to a woman by offering her a pig. She says yes but they do not live happily ever after. The first episode took the viewer from feel-good to feel-angry fast!
Representatives from a Korean conglomerate want him to sell his property. When the husband refuses to sell his pig farm, some awful malicious wealthy wicked people burn it down. Of course, the murderers have the wealth, and the manpower to cover up their crimes. So that’s not all they do. They kill the man who owned the farm and make it look like a suicide.
The wife, Young-Soon, was pregnant with their first child. She was told or rather she was lied to and told that her husband chose to commit suicide. Even though it made no sense that he would do that, there is nothing else that could prove otherwise. So she accepts his death as a suicide and carries on with her life. How does she carry on? She buys a property and starts another pig farm.
The child, Kang-Ho, never got to know his real father and grew up building and arranging his life around two erroneous beliefs.
- Error #1: His father was a coward who abandoned his family and left them to fend for themselves. He resented his father for that.
- Error #2: His mother only cares about money and power. So much so that she did not allow him to have joyful moments when he was growing up. He resented his mother and even described her as a “bad mom” in his school documents.
Indeed, his mom did not allow him much free time to do anything else but study. Yes, she did go to the extreme. But she had her reasons and intended it for good. She was not a “bad mom”. Nevertheless, once he was an adult and chose to work as a prosecutor, he stopped speaking to her and became a “bad person”. That’s not how his mother taught him to live.
♦ Never Underestimate Your Enemies
Kang-Ho built the foundation of his life on two erroneous beliefs about his parents and continued building on them by making more bad decisions. His worst decision ever was when he decided to become a crooked prosecutor.
Another bad decision was underestimating how ruthless the people were that he was working for, and dealing with. To become a part of their “inner circle”, he convinced the head of a conglomerate to adopt him as a son. He planned to marry into a prestigious family of a man who was running for president and wanted to be considered “worthy”. The man only adopted him because he was enemies with the man running for president. The man running for president already had plans for who his daughter would marry and Kang-Ho was not his pick!
When it came to being vicious and ruthless, Kang-Ho was inexperienced. Both his adoptive father and the presidential hopeful, who might have been his father-in-law, must have taken lessons from Satan. Kang-Ho was so focused on breaking ties with his “bad mom” that he did not see the trap his future father-in-law had set for him.
The father-in-law convinced his daughter to kill Kang-Ho. It was arranged to look like an automobile accident. But the best-laid plans don’t always go according to plan. Kang-Ho was supposed to die. Instead, he ended up paralyzed, had no memory of his life as a prosecutor, and had the mind of a simpleton. Who do you think willingly took care of him in that condition? The Good Bad Mother. She helped him start his life all over again.
- Jin Young-Soon (played by Ra Mi-Ran, “Highway Family”, “Bossam: Steal the Fate”)
- Choi Kang-Ho (played by Lee Do-Hyun, “The Glory”)
Viewership and Rating:
- IMDb: 8.4 out of 10 stars
- My Drama List: 8.9 out of 10 stars
- Dramabeans: 8.2 out of 10 stars
- India Today: 3 out of 5 stars
My personal rating is 9 out of 10 stars. The entire cast convincingly portrayed their characters. Ra Mi-Ran, in particular, made the viewer want to applaud her performance as “The Good Bad Mother”. Were it not for her dogged determination, her son could have easily ended up as a vegetable. The scriptwriters are to be applauded for penning such a realistic plot with themes of suicide, murder, betrayal, misguided ambition, and the triumph of the human spirit.
Some reviewers expressed that the K-drama did not properly represent people who suffer from disabilities. I choose to interpret this series as a message of hope. If you become paralyzed, know that it is possible to walk again. In real life, many have recovered. (REF: “Quadriplegic Recovery: How It Works & Success Stories | Flint Rehab”.)
LINKS OF INTEREST:
- ‘The Good Bad Mother’ review: authentic and unapologetically raw | NME
- K-Drama Review: “The Good Bad Mother” Explores How Excess Emotional Baggage Impairs One’s Capacity to Foster Sound Relationship | kdramadiary
- The Good Bad Mother Review: Lee Do Hyun and Ra Mi Ran’s drama is worth investing your emotions in | India Today
Netflix K-Content. “The Good Bad Mother | Official Trailer | Netflix [ENG SUB].” YouTube Video. YouTube, April 18, 2023. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzVi_hIZ3mc.