Strong Woman Do Bong Soon
(힘쎈여자 도봉순)

 jTBC | 2017 | 16 Total episodes
Romantic Comedy, Grade: B+
Korean Drama Review by Jill, USA

Sometimes you are simply in the mood for something lighthearted, fun, and freshly piquant, with no really big social message other than that a strong woman can be rewarding to be around and observe, as well as to get to know and fall in love with! This cute show Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (2017), featuring an adorable performance by Park Bo Young (Oh My Ghostess and the film A Werewolf Boy), is perfect when you are in the mood for those qualities in a TV K-drama, instead of something depressingly melodramatic.

To be sure it has some scary scenes in it, having to do with various villains committing crimes whom our leading lady gets the best of eventually, but they were never the main focus of the show. The title character's strength through adversity, her resilience against evil, her odd way of looking at the world because of her daunting super powers, her not so secret crush on the second male lead character in the beginning, and her growing attraction to the first male lead character instead, were the main delights of the drama. I give it a B+ for its many fun qualities and the strength of its character growth.

Along for the ride as Park Bo Young's two love interests are up and coming popular young male stars Park Hyung Sik (Nine: Nine Time Travels and Heirs) playing a rich chaebol, and Ji Soo (Page Turner and Angry Mom) playing a cop. Almost right from the beginning it was Park Hyung Suk whom I was most drawn to. His honest and unpredictable banter with Park Bo Young's character often had me laughing out loud, and a funny character will almost always win my heart sooner than a too serious character.

Of course I was also predetermined to like him because I had liked his character as the young Sun Woo in
Nine: Nine Time Travels so much. If you liked Park Hyung Suk in this drama then make sure you check him out in Nine, too. When I first noticed he was the lead in this drama I thought "Hooray, finally an actor always put in secondary roles before lands a main lead role instead, way to go, Korea! We need more of that, not less!" Graduate more second male leads to first male leads and I'll be a happy camper.

Park Hyung Sik in Strong Woman and Nine

The Story:

Do Bong Soon (Park Bo Young) is the perky and pretty daughter of two restaurant owners but she keeps mostly to herself because of a strange super power she possesses which can get her into trouble easily if she displays it too often. She can stop a disabled bus from hurtling over a bridge just by the power of her slight body, can break someone's hand just by shaking it, swing a human being into the air with one push, break someone's teeth and nose with one slap, and on and on.

One day she can't help herself and intervenes in a fight between gangster thugs blocking a street entrance and an older driver who wants to get through; she can't remain idle when she sees an old man being slapped and knocked around by immoral thugs. Single-handedly she knocks the lights out of every single gangster who comes after her, and they all end up at the police station, trying to accuse her of brute force against them ... this tiny little thing who can't be more than 5 feet tall. Of course the police don't believe the men's story and she denies having touched them. Children who had overseen what she had done try to tell the truth but they aren't believed either.

However, Do Bong Soon is happy to be at the police station for one big reason: her childhood crush Gook Doo (Ji Soo) is the cop in charge of taking her statement and she can stare at him to her heart's content. Then a young man named Ahn Min Hyuk (Park Hyung Sik) who is a rich chaebol, having started his own gaming company called Ainsoft, arrives at the police station. He had been a witness to two times this little woman had showed super human strength. He is in need of a bodyguard because someone has been threatening his life over the phone with a deep, disguised voice, and it won't serve his purpose if this little lady has to go to jail. He wants to hire her instead.

Ji Soo, Park Bo Young, Park Hyung Sik

Given a second chance at life in becoming this weird chaebol's body guard and earning some decent money for a change, Do Bong Soon suddenly becomes immersed in his life to a huge degree, taking her attention away from her long time crush little by little. Ahn Min Hyuk depends on her more and more, making fun of her too transparent crush on the cop, trying to find creative ways they can be together a lot so that he feels safe, and so that he has a new, intimate friend he can chat with about all kinds of life issues since he's estranged from his blood relations. Do Bong Soon is told if she protects him properly that at the end of her term as his body guard she will be able to design her own video game, a private goal she has had for a long time. How about a game featuring a super woman just like herself?

Not only does she get involved in catching the man who wants to kill Ahn Min Hyuk, she also gets involved in hunting down a serial killer of women as well, who has been making a lot of publicity for himself on the news due to his many crimes. Although she is a gentle soul and usually very kind and upbeat the evil of the world ends up threatening to destroy her as well. This killer begins to target her as well.

Will she always be able to keep her super powers? Will she ever get her childhood crush to fall in love with her, when he seems to care more for elegant female creatures instead of her cute, perky, strong self? What circumstances will start to make her care for her strange employer more and more, instead of her old crush? And if the crush finally starts appreciating the strengths of her character, as well as her physical strength, will it be too late for him to win her heart back from the chaebol?

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon comes from the team of director Lee Hyung Kin (Ms. Temper and Nam Jung Gi) and writer Baek Mi Kyung (My Love Eun Dong). The extended cast includes Jun Suk Ho as Kong Bi Seo, Kim Min Kyo as Ah Ga Ri, Ahn Woo Yeon as Do Bong Ki, Sul In Ah as Jo Hee Ji and Yoo In Soo. It's a cute, pretty much lightweight romantic comedy that won't bore you and it doesn't have too many K-drama cliches but tries to be fresh and new and witty. With so many wallflower types in the history of K-dramas it's a nice contrast to see a female lead with spunk and strength, physical as well as moral. She's a doll. Enjoy it.