I loved a lot of things about Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (most prominently the absolutely adorable fluffy romance) but by episode 13 I was bored. The criminal storyline had dragged on way too long (and only got resolved in episode 15…), and I just wanted to see Do Bong Soon actually move forward in what she wanted to do. I had planned to write a more critical review, but Episode 16 pleasantly surprised me and was a nice completion to a lot of factors that had been left unresolved.

Bong Soon’s main goals at the start of the drama were to have a stable job and to develop her game. She has a job (not yet officially on the planning team) and she’s begun developing her game, but that was all put on the backburner — even when not really necessary — to focus on a creepy criminal storyline that really should have been resolved earlier. Episode 16 let us see the resolution of that as she pitches her game and demonstrates her capability. Yet, she also seems to later abandon that career and go forth to fight crime and solve problems with her strength.

I was unhappy that they never really addressed the inference that Do Bong Soon’s mother beat up her father and I had assumed he would come back from his “running away” trip and there would be very little consequences for his wife. I’m not sure I like that the issue was only explained in E16 with “I prefer to crush people with words” (same): she apparently pushed him in a fight and he apparently fell and hit his face on a sewing machine – which is still totally not okay, but was at least (I suppose) not on purpose. Their unequal relationship never seemed to mesh well for me, even though at times they got along well (as seen by the end of Episode 16).

My main issue with the drama was how long it took to solve the central crime. Firstly, the fact that police are that stupid is terrifying. Secondly, why do we have to sit through creepy men kidnapping women on television all the time? We’re already horrified to hear about it on the news and worry it might happen to us if we walk alone or are near strange men (the world sucks, guys). Thirdly, a little crime + a lot of cuteness could have still made a very successful drama – the first half really showed that very well (à la Let’s Eat franchise).

But, the last episode went back to the cuteness, it resolved the issues I felt needed resolving and it made me rethink my opinion of the drama. More positive than I had intended.

The romance in the drama was one I really enjoyed. Overall, it was a very equal relationship – even when it was a working one, they each challenged each other in different ways. Park Hyung Sik has developed into a fantastic male lead full of boyish exuberance and playful flirting. It’s been wonderful (even though I haven’t seen all his dramas) seeing the transition from supporting character (Heirs, the first drama I saw him in) to a second lead that was more likeable than the lead (High Society) to a main character that was more likeable than the lead (Hwarang) to a lead (SWDBS) – each time improving and demonstrating a different side to his acting. Park Bo Young can excel in any role and Do Bong Soon was no exception. The romance was adorable. A fluffy and supportive working relationship develops into friendship and romance… what else could a rom com fan ask for? 

Good bits:

  • Do Bong Soon’s teenage gang/adult gang
  • Ahn Min Hyuk reacting to basically anything Bong Soon does
  • Min Hyuk being supportive of Bong Soon’s dreams and loving her both with and without her strength
  • That a writer who wrote makjang shithouse My Love Eun Dong managed to write decently healthy romances and a plot that didn’t become a trainwreck (sorry, not sorry, still burned)

Bad bits:

  • Dragged on a bit at the end (could have condensed to 12 episodes?)
  • I love Ji Soo but his character was so bland and pointless, even his acting… kind of ruined him for me
  • They could have used Ahn Woo Yeon (who played Bong Soon’s brother) more – he’s a good actor and could have had a better storyline outside hospital/home that didn’t involve Gook Doo’s girlfriend (the one with the horrific acting) – in fact, if they didn’t need a police officer involved in some way, it would have been nice to have no second lead and a bigger story for the brother…
  • Length of the crime stuff (don’t get me wrong I love crime dramas but it’s not a crime drama and doesn’t need so much of it in it)
  • The babies scaring Min Hyuk so much that he needs to hire people to care for them (I get that he’s only scared because they can’t control their power, he’s not scared of them, but it’s a kind of sad note to end on – he’s become the weaker one in the relationship, just like Bong Soon’s father)

Overall a super cute drama, would rewatch in a year or so and definitely recommend to others.

4-4.5/5 stars.


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