The climax to episode thirty six is a school concert that I had mostly forgotten was even a plot point until it pops up, and which as usual just goes into the usual father-daughter bonding. More than the catharsis I actually somewhat perversely liked the general low quality of the performance. It's about the level of musical talent that would be expected from normal high school students, which is quite a contrast to the usual overly high production values that tend to accompany such storylines.
The overall best scene is when Ra-yeon and Si-ah go in for a combined shaman consultation and of course, as is to be expected from a Korean drama, they receive a cryptic prediction that is obvious in ways they are as yet unable to contemplate. This also leads in to a follow-up shaman scene, which is really just a silly reference to the more flamboyant roles in the acting careers of Park Hyuk-kwon and Park Sun-young.
There is some pretty decent emotional resonance in the Miss Jo / Choon-seop romance, as the conflict ends up coming from Miss Jo's own family. I rather liked the arguments Miss Jo makes in response about how while she's always there emotionally for her daughters, they're never around for her. In context it's a lot less meaner than it sounds. Miss Jo's a pretty strong woman who doesn't really need looking after, and technically speaking, the whole conflict is about her looking out for Choon-seop. All the same, she knows he cares, and that means a lot.
Elsewhere that's as far as Jeong-min when it comes Gwi-nam. She knows that he cares, and she knows that she cares too however much she pretends not to, and that hurts. Although really, Jeong-min's feelings are only a subset of the larger corporate plot where we once again learn that everyone in Cheon-il's office is one hundred percent willing to stick up for each other.
While we've seen that often enough, that kind of warm fuzzy feeling is the kind of thing I don't mind feeling more than once, especially compared to the usual zany situation comedy antics of Cheon-il being dopey and silly. We know, in general, that everything will work out in "Strong Family" because...that's why they're strong. They can always be relied upon in a tough situation, or even one with relatively minimal dangers. Love is just an extension of that attitude.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 35-36"
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