The intense tears have begun and "Kind Words" manages to keep them relevant to the theme of the show without catering to dramatic effect. It's a surprising strength of the show because the material calls for pain and tears and could easily become overwrought. Instead, "Kind Words" thoughtfully and honestly explores human emotion, opinion and reaction.
Although "Kind Words" is strong for the most part, there are a few exposition vehicles that are a little cumbersome in the show, like Eun-jin and Mi-kyung's cooking teacher involving herself and providing commentary that foreshadows the next plot move. But that is not a large offense, especially as communities of women, like in cooking classes, do tend to get nosy and over-involved in each others life - no matter what country you're in!
Some of the commentary provided by the cooking class touches on subjects the show should explore much further: getting help from mental help professionals and divorce. The cooking teacher sent Mi-kyung to a hokey mental health care professional, but I wonder if the show will brave addressing the issue of mental health care when people are going through times of severe mental anguish. Mental health carries a stigma everywhere and I personally would like to see that challenged.
Divorce, a subject mentioned often, but not truly explored, seems to be often mentioned but handily avoided. The family unit is central in Korean culture and the desire to preserve it is paramount to personal needs. This is seen in the actions of all. The cooking teacher brought up the point I most want explored: no matter how often divorce happens (a lot in the United States, not nearly as much in South Korea although it's on the rise), it is painful for each and every person. The individual should also be a consideration when talking divorce; not just the family. Half of Mi-kyung's pain stems from her desire to preserve her family unit for her two sons studying abroad. Is her stemmed pain worth it?
That pain is a central part of "Kind Words", how pain alters people and their thoughts and behavior. It begets unforeseeable change: nasty tempers and attitudes, violence, never-before-seen behaviors. In even-tempered Min-soo his pain for his sister was the catalyst for him causing Eun-jin's car accident. He is the one who later advises Mi-kyung to let go of her resentment and anger because it controls one's life negatively; it holds people back and keeps them from moving on.
Aside from the subject material, there is one particular actress who is just absolutely winning: Han Groo. Her character Eun-young is upbeat, blunt to a fault and adorable because of those qualities. It is why Min-soo and Mi-kyung like her. It's why I like her. Han Groo plays her with effervescence. She is a breath of fresh air in the dark show who also carries foreboding simply for being the sister of a cheater. She has been a brilliant character thus far and I hope they use her well because she and Yoon-jung, Eun-jin's daughter, are the only two characters who can really make the downtrodden leads smile.
Written by Raine from Raine's Dichotomy
Journalist, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Her Korean husband laughs that she knows more than he ever will about dramas and K-pop. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Kind Words" Episode 10"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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