Strong Woman Do Bong Soon just ended hours ago, and I am overflowing with awe at the finale, even though getting to the end was a slightly rough journey.
The premise of the drama was around a female protagonist going by the name of Do Bong Soon (played by Park Bo Young), who has superhuman strength, enough to lift huge weights, break through metal doors and what not. As she explained in the first episode, her gift of strength is one that is passed on from a female line, and so if a daughter of the family bears a daughter in the future, the daughter will be endowed with the same gifts as its mother. The only way to lose the gift is by misusing it in order to hurt another person.
The whole idea of having a woman take up the mantle of ‘saving the day’ was a greatly
refreshing concept, especially because it challenges most of Asian society as well as many preconceived notions about women. We often hear this phrase, ‘ You’re a woman. A woman can’t do this.’ Many times we wish to prove people around us wrong but there are occasions when we are proven right and we realize that we are incapable of performing certain tasks, even though if we try we probably can do them. Hence Do Bong Soon is the reply to the statement that women can’t do x, y, and z.
It is because some of her noblesse oblige in the first episode that she runs into the CEO of Ainsoft, a software gaming company. The CEO, Ahn Min Hyuk (played by the officially crush-worthy Park Hyung Shik) falls head over heels in love with her for her superhuman strength. Rather than be fearful or suspicious of her powers, he embraces them, finding her ‘sexy’ because of them. He offers to hire her as his secret bodyguard, in the guise of a secretary. The romance between these two was off the charts, making my heart flutter along with that of Bong Soon, every step of the way, to the extent that I wanted to hide my face as well.
Min Hyuk played the illegitimate son of a chaebol, who developed a business empire from a gang, and has several links to various gangs who run errands for Min Hyuk’s father. The gang we meet often in the story is Baek Tak and their story, though added for comic effect was a waste of our time and energy. With all of the unnecessary poop jokes and the objectionable Hindu with a Muslim name from India, that had most people from my part of the world offended, this made for the weakest plot point. Though I was glad that the scriptwriter did make a nice save with Nizamuddin at the end of the story, but it was just horrible when the character first appeared.
The story starts out as two to three isolated strands that very slowly become intertwined as the story progresses. One is the Do Bong Soon strand. Second, we have a deeply disturbing strand of a murderer, and possible rapist on a kidnapping spree for young women with slim figures. The kidnapper has a name: Kim Jang Hyun (played by the rookie Jang Mi Kwan).He seems to be obsessed with a French folktale about Bluebeard, and seems to enact it out with having a number of wives who he treats cruelly. The audience only waits for this misogynist to be set straight by our protagonist, who is nothing like what this kidnapper expects a woman to be. Over here, I must give a shout-out to Jang Mi Kwan, for playing the creep to the tee. Considering he’s such a new actor, one would not have expected such brilliant conveyance of the creep factor on his part. He let me know by the fifth episode that he is superbly handsome, and was perfectly in character. Also, being Kim Woo Bin’s friend, earns him further brownie points with me.
One of my favourite parts of the story was definitely the super cheesy romance which was executed so perfectly by our lead couple. I also did not mind the little love triangle with In Gook Doo (played by the dashing Ji Soo), because well, which Juliet doesn’t want two Romeos fighting over her?
Generally, it was a solid story line especially because of how it blatantly challenged the notions about women and their status in our societies. That is why the end of the show was truly satisfying, because despite all the sensitivity Bong Soon showed in her romance, she was able to exercise her strength wherever she needed to. The chase in episode 15 was impressive and played out beautifully, keeping the video game theme alive. All the shots where Bong Soon was painted as a superhero, made me root for her so much. Most of us may not have the physical strength of Bong Soon and the women of her household, but it is definitely our duty to show strength when we need to and also teach our daughters to be strong individuals, standing up for justice, fighting thickheaded, illogical men when we need to. We all can be the Strong Woman Do Bong Soon for those around us, all of us can be superheroines if we want to. I am a strong woman, too.