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Last Updated 23.02.2024 | 1:16 PM IST



Strong Girl Nam Soon Mid-Season Review: Jung Yoo Mi, Ong Seung Wu and Byeon Woo Seok starrer fantasy rom-com is entertaining yet a childish sequel

en Bollywood News Strong Girl Nam Soon Mid-Season Review: Jung Yoo Mi, Ong Seung Wu and Byeon Woo Seok starrer fantasy rom-com is entertaining yet a childish sequel

Sequel to Strong Girl Bong Soon, six years later writer Baek Mi Kyung returns as series writer with the sequel.

K-dramas fans have been attached to the iconic characters BongBong and MinMin for several years ever since the Strong Girl Bong Soon starring Park Bo Young and Park Hyung Sik released. In all their childish (yet sometimes mature) glory, the couple inadvertently gave us ‘couple goals’ and are one of the iconic pairings in the K-dramaland. Soon, the lead pair became a fan-favourite and the K-drama started to have a cult-like following. Now, years after the fans waited for something more on the story, the wait is finally over. A spiritual sequel of the show has hit the block and has been entertaining the fans. The K-drama is none other than Strong Girl Nam Soon starring Squid Game star Lee Yoo Mi and Ong Seung Wu, and Byeon Woo Seok. The drama premiered on October 7, 2023 on Netflix. It is scheduled to have 16 episodes of which eight have aired so far.

Strong Girl Nam Soon Mid-Season Review: Jung Yoo Mi, Ong Seung Wu and Byeon Woo Seok starrer fantasy rom-com is entertaining yet a childish sequel

Strong Girl Nam Soon tells the story of Gang Nam Soon, a young 21-year old girl who reunites with her family in South Korea who disappears as a child during a trip and ends up in Mongolia. She possesses immense physical strength which is no less than a super power. She inherited this power from her mother. It is a tale long told that the women in her family possess superhuman strength. Now that she is back with her family, she begins a new life in South Korea. Unbeknownst to her, she becomes entangled with a drug case investigation and so do her mother and grandmother. The three of them carry a strong sense of justice in them. Since their powers cannot be used for selfish or incorrect purposes, they put their powers to use to better the society and help those around them.

Strong Girl Nam Soon is quite an entertaining drama. Nam Soon, the titular lead, is quite childlike and cheeky with an innocent purview of the ongoing events in the world as compared to Park Bo Young’s Do Bong Soon. Within the eight episodes aired so far, we see that the workings of the capitalist system surprise and shock her again and again. She has an optimistic and helpful outlook towards things around her. That is why she ends up helping a homeless couple with as much monetary help as she can.

Kang Hee Sik, the male lead played by Ong Seong Wu and Nam Soon’s love interest, is a wonderfully inspired version of Ahn Min Hyuk. He does not have the antics that MinMin had but he is funny in his own way. He is a diligent police officer with a strong sense of the right versus the wrong. He ends up crossing paths with Nam Soon and her family because of the ongoing drug case investigation. While certainly not the best of meet cutes, Hee Shik and Nam Soon’s initial introduction to each other is quite distinctive.

In the drama, we also meet with Gang Nam Soon’s family. Her mother Hwang Geum Joo (Kim Jung Eun) and grandmother Gil Joong An (Kim Hae Sool) have had successful businesses and now live a life of immense wealth and luxury. Her parents got divorced after she went missing, and her younger brother developed an eating disorder. The women in this family think with their heart first and sometimes manage to blow the matter out of proportion bordering on dark humour. The men in the family more or less fear the women owing to the women’s immense physical strength. This is often used to elicit a chuckle or two from the audience. Since the women have also earned great wealth and luxury, the stereotypical roles of men being the family head are missing. The family structure is largely matriarchal in nature with the gender-defined roles visibly reversed. It is good to see a change in the roles, but it does not mean that a sense of equity and equality should go for a toss. This was also seen in the previous story.

With Nam Soon’s brother Nam In, we see the effect of lack of parental love on a child. He developed an eating disorder after he saw a neglect from his mother who was fully devoted to finding her missing daughter. While his father was present, Nam In missed the affections of maternal love. In the later episodes we see that after having failed multiple attempts at reducing his weight, he gives in to the promises of a diet pill. There is nothing valid or legitimate about the pill, but Nam In succumbs to the temptation as one last resort at getting slim. As Nam Soon, her mother and her grandmother get more and more embroiled in the drug case, we see how easy it is to manipulate the weak.

Ryu Si Oh (Byeon Woo Seok), the show’s antagonist, is drenched in greed for a better and stronger physical body. He is violent when things do not go his way. With an utter disregard for long-term benefits and good for those around him. In the previous week’s episode, we see that Nam Soon got to get closer.

So far, we have met all the pivotal and supporting characters in the show. Each has their own part to play adding to the entertainment value. We have eight more episodes to go and the storylines which were initially introduced individually are starting to overlap now. Like a centrifugal force that pulls in the nearby elements closer, each character knowingly or unknowingly contributes to the main storyline of the show. While Nam Soon’s mother Geum Joo is guided by her strong sense to do good, her grandmother Joong An is living a blissfully retired life. Nam Soon’s father lived a life of guilt and regret for having lost his daughter. It strained his relationship with his wife as well. Geum Joo is ruled by her heart and does not think much before speaking, which ends up hurting those around her, including her loved ones. Her obsession with her daughter’s welfare puts a strain on her other relationships as well.

Lee Yoo Mi and Ong Seong Wu’s chemistry as Nam Soon and Hee Shik is quite delightful to see. The sheer innocence of both their feelings, Nam Soon’s cheekiness to Hee Shik’s careful approach serves as a good point for their characters’ chemistry adding just the right amount of playfulness and honesty. Their characters complement each other and bring out the best in each other.

Byeon Woo Seok’s Ryu Si Oh is rapidly gaining the fans’ attention. So far, we have seen him do soft boy characters. Ryu Si Oh is a drastic change from that set and it is quite welcome as well. His pointed features add to the evilness of the character he portrays in this drama. Playing a negative character is not an easy task, especially when the character is so violent and morally corrupt. Byeon Woo Seok’s screen time is also increasing with each episode, and we get to see more of his evil plans in action. It will be quite the confrontation when he finally learns of Nam Soon’s true identity and comes face to face with Geum Joo as well.

Strong Girl Nam Soon is more showy, action driven but also cartoonish at times as compared to its modern classic Strong Girl Bong Soon. The drama highlights the negative impact of drug usage and the lasting effects it can have on an individual’s life. It also shows how greed and unwarranted desire can lead to one’s downfall. Strong Girl Nam Soon carries the essence of Strong Girl Bong Soon, whose leads also made a cameo this season, but it lacks emotional connect. While action sequences still have the similar gag as its predecessor, the sequel is more ambitious but doesn’t hit the right chords. However, the show’s ratings are really good, there’s already a lot of adulation for the lead characters and Byeon Woo Seok is definitely grabbing a lot of attention. Overall, there’s a lot more for Nam Soon in store and how she will tackle her powers.

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