"Kind Words" continues to challenge conventional thoughts on relationships, how to perceive them, and how to deal with them. Its quiet look into family live as it exists in society is inspired as well as the portrayal of its highly flawed characters. The show carries the viewer along and makes the journey towards the answers a satisfying watch.
One of the most delightful characters in the show is Eun-jin's and Eun-young's mother, Kim Na-ra (Go Doo-shim). She's a wonderfully expressive and colorful character who seems particularly human, like Mi-kyeong does. Both women have wild, but understandable, swings in mood and opinion, but always manage to support those they love. Na-ra makes a point of treating her children with equal attention despite her personal suffering, a strong message to be passed to viewers.
Mi-kyeong continues to be one of the meatiest characters in the show and Kim Ji-soo is phenomenal at showing the wide range of emotions that Mi-kyeong suffers. She cannot seem to come to terms with her cheating husband, Jae-hak, and fights a losing battle against societal expectations. "Kind Words" shows this battle in detail without being overbearing. It's a delicate mixture of monologue, discussion, arguments, and a few happy moments sprinkled here and there to keep the show from being stifling.
Kind words is also making some huge statements on gender roles: men financially support the family and women support it by housework and raising children. Men go out of their way to support and sometimes go too far, like taking out unsustainable loans. They are so pressured by their roles that those roles, at times, control them for the worst. Same for the women. They struggle to fulfill their traditional roles without complaint despite how much pressure they are under, and that kind of stress pushes them to the breaking point. This episode showed Mi-kyeong fighting back against her mother-in-law's rigid expectations of her. The mother-in-law is not inherently cruel, but she is extremely demanding and has been a huge obstacle in the way of Mi-kyeong's happiness.
There is not only loads of social commentary, but the characters in the show have to face real repercussions for their decisions and deal with those repercussions in a way that is easily relatable. It could very easily veer the way of the overly-dramatic, but "Kind Words" steers away for that and instead focuses on realism of behavior if not in situation and coincidences. It keeps the show going strong during a point in airing that shows normally falter.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Kind Words" Episode 12"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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