Buam Dong Revenge Social Club – now that is a mouthful if there ever was one, so let’s call the drama BokJa Club for short. That’s what the members ended up calling their club too. *g*
I have a feeling a lot of people bypassed the drama thinking it’s one of those heavily melodramatic revenge stories, typical for Korea. Well, that’s not the case at all. Despite of the name, BokJa Club isn’t really about revenge but rather about self discovery and finding the courage to stand up for oneself. Aided by some awesome, new friends.^^ Revenge has its place in the story but it mainly acts as the vehicle for the ‘fabulous foursome’ to bond. Just as well, as they are rather bad at it. Their attempts at revenge do work at times but then there are the times things go askew in hilarious ways. 😀
It’s been a while, so I don’t really remember what made me initially check Show out. Probably the cast. Be what it may but BokJa Club turned out to be a delightful little drama. It’s poignant, heart warming and frequently funny. The three ladies are simply awesome! Ra Mi Ran, Lee Yo Won and Myung Se Bin are great in the roles. It was a joy to watch them bring Do Hee, Jung Hye and Mi Sook alive. Do Hee is such a great older ‘sister’ to the other two. Jung Hye especially is so starved of love and affection that it’s no wonder she sort of adopts Do Hee as her unni. The ladies have very different personalities and they come from different backgrounds but somehow they just match. Jung Hye is a chaebol daughter shunned by her family and trapped in a loveless arranaged marriage, Do Hee is a widower who runs a fish stall at the local market and Mi Sook is a genteel but rather repressed housewife with a family tragedy. I’m of the opinion that each brought something the others needed to the mix.
Rounding out the Revenge Club is Lee Joon Young’s Soo Gyum and despite of being a highschool senior, he fits right in with the three ladies. I had no idea that LJY is an idol (Jun of U-Kiss ;D). I honestly thought he was one of these noobs that in the recent years have been popping up like mushrooms after the rain. Color me surprised when I saw a clip of him auditioning for The Unit! Boy is going places, mark my word. I have such a soft spot for Soo Gyum, ha. He’s a great kid – very down to earth, polite, good natured, smart and with a soft heart. Plus tall and handsome, LOL! Soo Gyum is not a seoulite by birth but originally from the boonies and talks with saturi. I’m not going into the reasons he came to Seoul as that could be considered a spoiler.
Show doesn’t have a very large core cast. It’s mainly just the 4 Avengers and their families with couple of more prominent secondary characters. The four families are just as different as the main foursome but only Do Hee’s can be considered as a ‘normal’ loving family. To me Do Hee is the heart of the BokJa Club, the one who has enough love to go around to include even the ‘2 stray kitties and a puppy’ she sort of gets attched to. 🙂 I really loved her relationship with her kids, son Hee Soo and daughter Hee Kyung. Hee Soo is such a cutie and like Mi Sook’s daughter Seo Yun, attends the same high school as Soo Gyum. Yup, another one of those kdrama specialities – ‘the only school in town’. 😀 It’s a given that Hee Soo and Soo Gyum quickly become BFF, even though Hee Soo is about a year younger. Hee Kyung is studying for the civil service exam but she too ends up working in the school for a while. Seo Yun starts out as bit of an enigma. She is rather prickly and her relationship with her parents is clearly strained. But she has her reasons and I quite liked her once we got to see more of what makes her tick.
The “Villains” of this show are not really all that villainous but more of a comic relief. Just like our Avengers they rather fail at their misdeeds. None of the male trio Lee Byung Soo (Jung Hye’s hubby), Baek Young Pyo (Mi Sook’s hubby) and their crony from university days, Hong Sang Man (Principal of Buam Dong High School) is particularly sympathetic and all deserve what’s coming to them, but at least the two husbands aren’t totally irredeemable as human beings.
Soo Gyums mother Han Soo Ji isn’t really a baddie per se either, but she sure has a talent of making poor boy’s life a trial. She is a gold digger, always looking for ways to make an easy, fast buck. Rather dim and ditzy but quite selfish, she left Soo Gyum with her parents right after he was born, but now that he’s made it up the social ladder, she doesn’t shy away from using the ‘mom’ card. If this was a different type of drama Soo Ji would be very unappealing but in this show you just can’t take her seriously. I loved how truly awful her fashion sense was. All those ghastly, ghastly outfits and o.m.g, the wigs! Show’s cast of characters also includes the standard school bully and his snooty momma, who is just so ridicuously stuck up and convinced of her own importance that it’s hilarious. Both get put to their places with ease in the end. Jung Hye’s family is pretty awful too and they treat her like sh*t but they are still not anywhere near the worst example of a snooty chaebol family we’ve seen. I also think that Jung Hye taking agency and standing up for herself impressed at least Big Sis in the end.
Buam Dong Revenge Social Club is one of those dramas that left me with a happy afterglow. It’s basically a feelgood drama and if you like stories about ‘found/made families’ and friendship, this just might be for you. I’ve already re-watched BokJa Club once, as well as watched several clips of all the epis, so I can attest to that it doesn’t loose it’s luster with multiple viewings either. Even if Show mostly leans towards comedy, it does also tackle some more serious topics and manages to give those the attention they deserve without loosing the flow. Lot of dramas botch up the mixing of the funny and the serious, but not this one. I never felt like I was aprubtly thrown out of the narrative or that the story came to a screeching halt because of a sudden change of direction. Someone described BokJa Club as meaningful and funny, which I find quite apt… so let’s close with that. 💕