This light heart warming drama is something I never thought I would stick with for 6 months. But after 53 episodes, several tears, grunts of annoyance and hearty laughs, here is my review of All About My Mum.
When you spend every weekend for 6 months with a drama you expect it to go on forever.
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Story and Cast
All about my mum is a 2015 korean drama about San Ok, her husband Dong Chul and her three children Jin Ae, Hyung Soon, and Hyung Kyu. The drama touches on motherhood, love and the stages of life in comedic and touching ways.
As much as the drama first delves into the antagonism between Jin Ae the daughter and her mother San Ok, it really does well to give attention to all three children, their love interests and many aspects of Korean family life.
The first 20 episodes I came from not really understanding the mother to deeply symphatize with her character and adjusting to her temperamental nature.
It frustrated me that she always took the side of her eldest son despite the numerous times he was in the wrong. I was annoyed at their good for nothing father for putting the family constantly in difficult situations especially financially and the youngest son Hyung Soon, while I sympathised with his struggle of being a graduate unable to find a good job, his love arc with Chae Ri drove me mad.
So my heart was no doubt with Jin Ae, who was no doubt the rock of the family, sacrificing a lot of her own wants and needs to bail her family out.
But as the story progressed I found that I was really warming up to this dysfunctional nuclear household, while they bothered me to no end, I especially found it incredible how much I began to understand Ok, and realised just how epic of an actress Doo Shim Go actually is and just how well written her character San Ok was. I couldn’t help but really admire her.
Jin Ae played by Eugene, is the middle child of Dong Chul and San Ok. A hard-working career driven young woman who can’t wait to be separated from her overbearing mother. Jin Ae’s progress and development throughout the series is really something, as a viewer you immediately sympthasize with her and at once only regard her as probably the only sane one in the family.
Her love story with “Mr.fix-it” Hoon Jae Kang, was really warm and sweet. There is something about seeing them go from strangers to parents.
I really connected well with Jin Ae’s ambitions and values and despite her hard headed nature, she was very similar to her mother. While there were some annoying tidbits to Jin Ae’s choices during her courtship arc, such as allowing her mother-in-law get in the way of her romance with Hoon Jae.
I was glad to see Jin Ae soften up to her own mother and have her eyes opened to how much her mother actually loves her.
Hyun Soon the youngest child played by Tae-Joon Choi is the heart-throb womaniser. Straight out of college and jobless, he isn’t too confident in himself and abilities, but his development as a character really is when he meets Chae Ri Jang and begins his fling with her.
Hyun Soon compared to his elder brothers pretty decent and treats his parents far more better than his siblings, but he really lacks in having confidence in himself and possibly connecting himself to the unfiltered daughter of a major corporation was the best thing for him. What started off as a lie became genuine feelings.
While for 2 25 year olds they were annoyingly immature about their relationship running around for the first half of the series as two 16 year olds- I grew a liking to them as a couple.
The eldest, Hyung Guy played by Min-Seek Oh is an accomplished lawyer who wants to excel in his field. However he has a selfish worldview and takes advantage of his mother’s preference towards him as a means to benefit himself.
He possibly is the meanest towards h9is parents, and a lot of his activity at the start of the series is questionable. Hyung Gyu if you haven’t already guessed is not my favourite character and he is the slowest to change. He doesn’t really have an “awakening” till the last couple of episodes due to a family tragedy that really wakes him up.
Even with his relationship with single mom Hye-Joo Sun. Hyung Gyu learns to communicate his feelings a bit better, you see his selfishness and ingratitude for his mother sprout in new ways.
As frustrating as Hyung Gyu was he was really interesting to watch once you place all your frustrations aside. And while there aren’t any obvious signs of change it happens subtly.
The combination of all 3 siblings makes for entertaining viewing, and there
Back to the story, episodes 40-53 the mood of the drama really takes a dramatic shift, from it’s upbeat and friendly tone to a more serious one. I have never cried so much for a drama in awhile, it could be that I am more sensitive now as an adult or that I have too much of an empathetic nature but there is something about sticking with a series for 50 episodes that makes you feel like part of the family and their struggles.
I have to admit there were even times watching this drama that made me say that it’s worth being a mother even with its aches and pains, the sound of laughter and the joy that is shared is worth it.
I don’t think there is a song to be hated at all in this drama. With two of my favourite songs being “I will” by Kim Hyun Joong and Beige, a powerful duet with sweet notes that I like to dub as Jin Ae and Jae Kang’s song. There’s also “I Like You” by SunnyHill, this upbeat pop song that is always fun to listen to.
All About My Mum is a fun series, that is fun for all ages. While it is pretty long it makes for a great Sunday watch, especially is you pace through two episodes per week. The characters are fun and the story isn’t one dimensional, by even giving our side characters story arcs and dimensions to their characters that leaves you feeling very involved. I thoroughly enjoyed the series and I give it my highest recommendations. While this doesn’t hit 5 out of 5, a very generous rating, it gets the next best thing.