Wang's Family


Reviewed by: sukting

December 13, 2014

Rating: one

Foreword
                                                                                                                                          
It is on how Wang family faces a number of challenges in Korean society, such as elitism, discrimination, the power dynamics between husband & wife and between parent & child, and the decision when to marry and have a child.
  
Story/Introduction on characters

1. Wang Feng – Jang Yong   
He is nearing 60 years old and as his name has the word Feng – top of the mountain, he stresses a lot on principles. He is the vice principal of a high school and is kind to all. As he still has to support two more children till their working age, he can’t retire early. In addition to his jobless 35 year old younger brother and mother, his burden is a heavy one.

However, he is given the sack and has to work as a security guard of a condominium. The gullible Xiu Pu loses the house deed to cause his whole family to move to a small unit on a small hill. Luckily, his sons-in-laws manage to find the cheat and prevent his house from audition to get it back. 

2. Lee An Qin – Kim Hae Sook

She works very hard after marriage and faces lots of chides from Gui Xin for giving birth to 4 daughters. Having Da Pu as the last child gives her a sense of relief. As her daughters keep supporting her, she starts to dote on them. But she only pampers Xiu Pu most as she helps her most economically.

Hao Pu is deemed useless in her eyes as a scrooge. Feng doesn’t like her for belittling Hao Pu but can’t do anything much to change her mind till Hao Pu has a miscarriage. She wants her children to do best but all of them fail her expectations. 

3. An Gui Xin – Na Moon Hee

She is Feng’s mother and spoils Dun rotten. She doesn’t see why Feng can’t continue supporting his younger brother. When they lose the home, she bravely collects cardboards to contribute to the family income. It is like what she always says – this is nothing as compared to the war.

4. Wang Dun – Choi Dae Chul                                                                                                                                  He is 35 years old but lives off his brother, always working as a temporary staff. He later likes Ying Da and vows to work hard. He works as a pizza delivery man and later participates in a contest to win a pizza outlet to manage. 
  
5. Wang Xiu Pu – Oh Hyun Kyung
                                                                                                                         
Xiu Pu is the eldest daughter who gets the most love from An Qin to get completely spoilt. Her whole family describes her as the woman who has never washed her own underwear. She is in the Miss Korea pageant before – she keeps stressing that but drops out after Feng discovers that she is cohabiting with You Da. She thinks that Hao Pu is the one who spills the beans and hates her from then on.

To her, the most important thing is to marry a rich man. She doesn’t bother to take care of her father-in-law. She is the mother of a daughter, Ai Zhi and baby son, Zhong Zhi but leaves to An Qin to do the babysitting for her. She never knows how to do housework or cook. She only wants to own expensive things all her life.  

Her nightmare starts when Min Zhong goes bankrupt. He rents a small apartment but she still refuses to work and learn cooking to keep ordering outside meals. She even orders an expensive pram from overseas to show off at the departmental store without the baby sitting in it. The security guards suspect her of shoplifting and she nearly goes nuts. 

In the end, they have to move into her parents’ home since she protests staying with Gao. She works for You Da when they meet again and harbours dreams of marrying him since he has a divorce. She has affairs with him and Min Zhong decides to divorce her. She steals the home house deed for You Da, wanting to earn more money through investment. She loses it instead as You Da is a cheat.

This becomes a wake up call for her as she starts washing dishes to earn a living at a small eatery. You will laugh when the eatery owner sneers at her for being unable to wash dishes properly as an ex-miss korea contestant. Later, she works in a branded bag company. She wants to reconcile with Min Zhong but he declines.

She is initially adamant to be with her children but after knowing Mei Hu’s parentage, she leaves her children in Chun Zhen’s care to seek her working dream overseas. She makes me giddy – how can she be changing her mind so quickly?            

6. Wang Hao Pu – Lee Tae Ran   
        
Hao Pu is mistreated by her mother since young. When Xiu Pu is playing with dolls, she is doing housework. She has wished to continue her university studies to be a broadcaster but gives up her chance to Xiu Pu.

However, Xiu Pu wastes this chance to be with You Da instead although she graduates later. She also has Xin Dong out of wedlock and Shi Da is a year younger than her. She has two sons, Xin Dong and Fang Dong.  She wants to give the best to her sons even though Shi Da is jobless so she refuses to give money to Xiu Pu to rent an apartment although An Qin pleads her to. She buys an apartment for her family instead.

Shi Da’s infidelity leaves her hurt and her boxer coach stages a kidnap plan to see if Shi Da loves her. Shi Da is late to raise the ransom and she files for divorce. It takes her a long time to accept Shi Da again.

She is promoted to manager to shoot commercials to become attractive and Shi Da feels insecure to make her pregnant when she is drunk. An Qin is bedridden after a fall and she is often called home to do housework. She has a miscarriage and this irons out the tension between the mother and daughter.  

7. Wang Guang Pu – Lee Yoon Ji
                                                                                                                             
She is the third daughter and has natural beauty, unlike Xiu Pu who goes for plastic surgery. She is waiting for romantic love to appear. She often settles the quarrels between family members. She becomes a primary school teacher for 7 years. She resigns to be a writer. Shang Nan gets to know her from Da Pu. Through misunderstandings, they like each other and later get married.


However, it is a tough challenge for her to gets into Da Shi’s good looks as she offends him before. She is grateful to get Chun Zhen’s help but feels bad upon knowing that she indirectly causes Xiu Pu’s marriage to break up. 

8. Wang Hai Pu – Moon Ga Young                                                                                                            

She is an intelligent student who aces in her studies. An Qin pins her hopes on her to be a judge to bring them out of poverty. To her dismay, she signs up for nautical studies instead as she wants to become a sea captain. It takes An Qin time to accept this.

9. Wang Da Pu – Choi Won Hong
 
He is the only son of Feng who does poorly in school. Feng keeps their relationship under wraps. He has no dreams in life until he meets Shang Nan. He has wanted to quit school but Guang Pu forbids it. This is how he brings them together. Feng’s dismissal makes him realize how important it is to get a job. He promises to work hard to at least finish high school to get a job.

10. Gao Min Zhong – Jo Sung Ha    
 
He is the first son-in-law. He is also the eldest of a family of 4 sons and a daughter. Xiu Pu is the reverse of him. His fate starts to change after his bankruptcy. Xiu Pu only vents her anger and doesn’t support his new courtier service. An Qin starts sneering at him and he finds life difficult to stay at their home.

With Feng’s help, the two start to hit off better and she is like his late mother, giving him hope. He is a filial son but is annoyed when Xiu Pu doesn’t want to see his father often. He meets Chun Zhen again and both rekindle their love. Upon knowing Xiu Pu’s affair, he moves out and files for divorce. He realizes that Mei Hu is his daughter but he shows preference more to Ai Zhi.

11. Xu Shi Da – Oh Man Seok  

He is the second son-in-law. Just like his name, he is arrogant and stresses a lot on appearance. He is Dun’s friend and he is sick of Hao Pu to keep hitting or belittling him. He has a law degree but doesn’t work. He is bitter when the Wangs keep comparing him to Min Zhong. That instills hatred and when Hao Pu buys the apartment and includes his name, he brags in front of Min Zhong who is now homeless.

With Hao Pu’s help, he starts to work at the hotel and meets the hotel director. He has an affair with her. He is shameless to get Hao Pu to even prepare food for them as they go outings. Through the kidnap, he realizes how much he loves Hao Pu to leave Mei Lan. As his punishment, he becomes a househusband and now treats Hao Pu better.

12. Xu Ying Da – Kang Ye Bin

She is a typical Barbie Doll inside out. She has affection for Shang Nan as she is attracted to rich men. However, after he marries Guang Pu, she develops feelings for Dun after getting pregnant over their one night stand. She eventually marries him.

13. Piao Shi La – Lee Bo Hee

She is the siblings’ mother who claims to run a beauty salon in Myeongdong at first. She opens a hair salon in the neighborhood and tries in vain to get Hao Pu to invest in it. Upon knowing that Hao Pu buys an apartment, she is thickskinned to move in with Ying Da without invitation.

She initially hopes that Shi Da strikes rich to be with Mei Lan that she encourages the divorce. Upon knowing that they part, she then offers Hao Pu with free skin samples and cooks for her grandsons. She hopes that by doing so, she can still stay there. She later opens a cosmetic shop with her daughter and gets to know Da Shi. She pretends to be demure in front of him. When Man Zhen appears, she shows her tough side to her. 

Strangely, Shi Da opposes to her having a boyfriend even though Ying Da has no objection. When he is nine, Shi La is cheated by a man and runs into debts. He is frightened that she will desert them. This is funny – that happens many years ago – how can he feel frightened since he already has his own family? He is a mother’s boy indeed – luckily he doesn’t oppose later.       

14. Cui Sang Nan – Han Joo Wan

His father calls his Shang Nan in order to make him the best man. He works hard towards the dream till he reaches the second year of high school. Da Shi loses everything and he has to quit his studies. His father disapproves of it but he persuades him to buy construction machinery instead of paying off his university fees. He becomes a contractor and becomes a CEO. He is proud of his job.

He is gentle and righteous to be warm. He doesn’t feel that there is a need for him to get a degree. His PR skills are good but he is hurt by his first love and doesn’t want to love again till he meets Guang Pu. He tries breaking up with Guang Pu because her family despises him as he is a high school dropout. He has a lot of knowledge and life experience so he finally wins them over.  

15. Cui Da Shi – Lee Byung Joon                                                                                                                          He is the father of Shang Nan. He is enemies with Guang Pu at first as she is rude to him so he prohibits his son from dating her. To prevent this, he even comes up with a daughter-in-law competition but Guang Pu becomes the winner with Chun Zhen’s help.He fails in his marriage as his ex-wife, Chun Zhen's sister is a compulsive gambler.

He does not like Shang Nan to help his in-laws even though they are in financial trouble. He has feelings for Shi La after she runs his hair and starts to woo her. Both overcomes Shi Da’s objection to be together. After Guang Pu pours her woes when getting drunk, he starts to treat her better to let her manage a café and also continue her writer career.  


16. Wu Chun Zhen – Kim Hee Jung

She is the aunt of Choi Shang Nam who previously dates Min Zhong to become the mother of Mei Hu.  She is forced to breakup with him as she needs to marry a rich old man to help repay her sister's gambling debts. She later has a divorce and becomes the housekeeper of her brother-in-law.


She is gentle and often keeps to herself. She pretends to be a nurse to help to take care of Mr Gao when he is hospitalized. That rekindles their love. I do not know why she doesn’t want to let him know about Mei Hu’s parentage and Da Shi is the one to tell Min Zhong about it. 3o years later, she refers Wang family as her maiden family – does she get married to Min Zhong in the end??
 
17. Jo Mei Hu – Yoon Song Yi

She is Chun Zhen’s daughter and is also Da Pu’s girlfriend later. She likes Da Pu and she is very well-mannered to go to his home every time. She is also the biological daughter of Min Zhong. She keeps giving in to Ai Zhi but this brat behaves exactly like Xiu Pu to want everything to herself.

18. Mr Gao - No Ju Hyeon

He is Min Zhong’s father who stays in the countryside. Xiu Pu doesn’t like anything that he gives them but he hopes well for Min Zhong. He is also bitter that Min Zhong has to stay with his in-laws but Feng assures him that he will take good care of them. 

19. Gao Min Shu – Kim Mi Lo

She is the only daughter but her in-laws is not doing well too. She doesn’t understand why Xiu Pu doesn’t help to take care of her injured father-in-law to keep troubling her. She chides Min Zhong for giving in to Xiu Pu all the time. 

20. Yin Mei Lan - Kim Yun Kyung

She is the hotel director who has a failed marriage. Thus, she sets eyes on different men to tempt them with her wealth. Shi Da sinks desperately as he enjoys the attention and luxury that he gets. He does not hesitate to file the divorce papers.

When Mei Lan refuses to give him any money to save Hao Pu, he tries to steal but gets caught. He is chased away to walk in the cold weather, only wearing boxers. Even the servant admits that he is the only man who manages to stay the longest with Mei Lan.      

21. Wu Man Zhen – Kim Yoon Ji

She is Chun Zhen’s elder sister who causes havoc everywhere. Shang Nan harbours some hope before meeting her. After seeing her still staying with a man and not stopping gambling, he gives up on her. Man Zhen manages to find out his present status. Thus, she puts up a false front.

Chun Zhen is not easily taken in. She locks her up in the storeroom to prevent her from ruining Shang Nan’s wedding. Da Shi still lets her stay at his place and she steals his expensive things. She also bullies Guang Pu and she bears with her to uphold her good image in front of Shang Nan. This causes their marriage to be strained due to her. 

Upon knowing that Guang Pu finally gets back the money that Man Zhen has stolen, Shang Nan gets Man Zhen to leave. Man Zhen is later ditched by her boyfriend and tells Guang Pu that she is opening a café in another town before leaving finally for good.     

22. Hu Nan Heng – Choi Jae Hoong                                                                                                                       He is Feng’s friend who works in Da Shi’s company. He favours Guang Pu and hopes that Ying Da will lose. He gets the two men to sit in front of him to settle their differences. The two hit off well in the end. 

23. XuYou Da – Lee Shang Hyun                                                                                                                          He is Xiu Pu’s ex-boyfriend who opens a property firm. Xiu Pu works for him but he has no intention to marry her as he is divorced with a son. He is only interested in her money. He tricks her into getting the house deed and An Qin’s savings for him. After that, he absconds with all the money together with other victims’ money.

Shang Nan sees him when he is back from a business trip at the airport. He quickly gets Min Zhong and Shi Da to surround him to get the family home back.   

Interesting facts from Wikipedia
It almost scored 50% viewership in the end. That was a big shock for me – how can this happen as I dislike it so much?! How can the Koreans like this drama so much? Is it a joke?! And won so many awards?!

2013 KBS drama awards
Top Excellence Award,
Actress Kim Hae-sook Nominated Excellence Award,
Actor in a Serial Drama Jo Sung-ha Won
Oh Man-seok Nominated Excellence Award,
Actress in a Serial Drama Lee Tae-ran Won
Lee Yoon-ji Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Oh Hyun-kyung
Nominated Best New Actor Han Joo-wan Won                  
Best Young Actor Choi Won-hong Nominated
Best Young Actress Moon Ga-young Nominated
Best Writer Moon Young-nam Won
2014 7th Korea Drama Awards
Best Drama Wang's Family Nominated

This drama talks on the conflicts between in-laws and siblings. It also talks about marriage. The unfair treatment of the children will also hurt the parents when they grow up. It also stresses that life can still go on without a degree. Although many viewers found the ending abrupt and sudden, they liked the closure.     

Most favourite character

Hai Pu, she is intelligent and sweet. She also cooks well – that is something that Guang Pu lacks and Xiu Pu doesn’t know at all. Despite knowing that An Qin will object, she insists to pursue her own dreams.  
                                                                                                                         
Most hated character

Almost all the others, they talk about plenty of nonsense but when it comes to telling the truth or to explain themselves, they keep mum.

Conclusion

Right from day 1 when I see veteran actresses Kim Hae Sook and Na Moon Hee in the trailer, I know that it is almost impossible for me to like this drama so they often act as shrews in many dramas. True indeed, there is no exception for this one as they quarrel almost non-stop. This drama is among the top of my most hated list.

Another thing I dislike is the arrangement of the two jobless men. It is not that they do not have degrees – they just don’t wish to find jobs! I can’t believe it – one can live off the brother and another the wife for years! But yet…when Shang Nan announces that he drops out of high school, they can despise him. Are they able to judge others when they can’t even support themselves?    

50 torturous episodes with plenty of fighting and shouting daily is tedious for me to bear. Xiu Pu blames others for her plight and not reflecting on her mistakes. Hao Pu slogs till she loses her baby and doesn’t even tell her family about her pregnancy to suffer on her own. Guang Pu does not go home on New Year’s day with Shang Nan as Da Shi wants her to cook for his employees – he is doing it on purpose and she also bears with it.

Da Pu’s wanting to quit school is also a part which I disagree. What can a drop out do? He can’t be working as he is under-aged and no one will hire him. Dreams can’t appear without bread and butter. Chun Zhen is the most extreme case – she can be wronged so many times but never explains.      

This drama is simply showing the ugly side of everyone being selfish. To endure and suffer is certainly not the best way out. The abrupt ending is there just to show that everything is there to please everyone. But…is there a need for Chun Zhen to be with the Wangs to hint that bigamy is fine with them?!

If there is a ½ or a zero rating, I will definitely choose either of it. The characters just like repeating their trademark lines. I don’t think this drama deserves so much attention and good feedback. Only watch if you have the time.    
   
Sukting’s ratings :
On acting : * (Scale of 5)   ( too much crying and shouting)  
On story : 1/2 (Scale of 5) (please believe me, it really sucks!)


 


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