In this Little Women K-drama review, we talk about the never seen story in depth and the void it’s left behind for us!
The rich vs. the poor has been a classic plotline to ensure drama. While the poor live in cramped spaces and think twice before cracking open their windows because they most likely won’t shut back, the rich exploit them with zero remorse and kill what little hope they have of fulfilling their dreams.
Directed by Kim Hee-Won, Little Women is one such story about the Oh sisters. Oh In-Joo (Kim Go-Eun), the eldest sister who’ll literally go to any extent so her younger sisters can live a much better life than she did. Oh In-Kyung (Nam Ji-Hyun) is a dedicated news reporter who wants to dig deep and uncover bigger stories than she’s currently been assigned to. Money doesn’t rule her life as it does for her sisters, she’d rather live a much more honest and simple one. The youngest Oh In-Hye (Park Ji-Hu) is the apple of her older sisters’ eyes. They always want her to be happy and never feel burdened by poverty or looked down upon at her high school. But little do these women know that they would get tangled up with the most powerful yet sinister political family in Korea.
Oh In-Joo works for the Wonryeong Group and has only one true friend she can rely on at her workplace. Jin Hwa-Young (Choo Ja-Hyun) takes her under her wing and makes a sophisticated woman out of her. In-Joo has always been the oldest in her household so I guess she really looked up to Hwa-Young in a way that she always desired to be taken care of. But her whole world comes crashing down when she sees Hwa-Young has hung herself in her own house. What she does leave behind though is 2 billion won for In-Joo. Finding the trail of where the 2 billion won came from leads her to a slush fund of 70 billion and also brings Choi Do-Il (Wi Ha-Jun) into her life. He loves money more than anything and cuts a deal with In-Joo to split the money equally in the future.
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While uncovering a story about victims who lost their money after a bank’s scheme went wrong, In-Kyung realizes the story is much bigger than it seems. Her investigation shows the reality of Park Jae-Sang (Uhm Ki-Joon), a power-hungry politician who is currently a prime candidate for the mayoral elections in Seoul. But things get tricky when she realizes her younger sister, In-Hye is actually his daughter’s best friend and the two are inseparable to the point where In-Hye weirdly even moves into their shady mansion to get a sense of normalcy. But guess who does not have normal in her dictionary? It’s Won Sang-a (Uhm Ji-Won), Park Jae-Sang’s absolutely insane wife who talks about killing people as casually as we discuss our everyday meals.
As the three sisters get involved with Jae-Sang and his family more and more by the day, the plot keeps getting thicker. Written by Chung Seo-Kyung, except for the name, in my opinion, Little Women has nothing else in common with Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. The Oh sisters and March sisters are poles apart and so are their stories of how they go from rags to riches. The series often left me wide-eyed with jaws dropped because of the constant unpredictability of the episode. You know a story is good when you read/ discuss every possible theory and yet it leaves you speechless after every plot twist. Over the course of the 12 episodes there’s corruption, double lives, and hallucinogenic flora but talking about them in detail will open up a can of spoilers that will take away from being surprised while watching.
Kim Go-Eun perfectly portrays the gullible yet curious to know everything In-Joo. This is my first time seeing her in a K-drama and now I get why people are so fond of her. The chemistry she has with Choi Do-il is another thing I looked forward to while watching. Romantic K-dramas are loved by everyone but getting romance in a genre that’s not supposed to be romantic at all is one of the best things ever. His character always seemed gray and he was the first suspect when things went wrong but his gestures for her said I love you way more than his words. I would any day sign up for a spin-off series of just the two falling in love.
In-Kyung has to be my favorite out of the three sisters. She was rational, she fought for the right things and she boldly challenged Park Jae-Sang with that fire in her eyes. The whole Jeongran Society which basically was a cult that had people with rather crooked desires felt a little stretched and not too well-explained even in the last episode. I’m still not that convinced about its existence. But the way Jung-Ho (Kang-Hoon) supports her obsession with this from the very beginning is so endearing. Both In-Kyung and In-Joo were blessed with partners who supported them no matter what.
In a genre that’s usually dominated by men, this story was made by women, with women as the main leads and the antagonist. For the longest time, I felt Park Jae-Sang is the evil one but his wife is the real monster. A psychotic serial killer who uses young girls as her toys in order to justify to herself a mistake she made years ago. Uhm Ji-a’s chilling portrayal of her easily makes her one of the best villains of all time. Another female character that shines in this K-drama is Oh Hye-Seok (Kim Mi-Sook). She plays the great-aunt to the Oh sisters, and literally the only guardian figure they have for themselves. She was a badass woman who refused to adhere to the norms set by society. What a shame it was to see her character being cut off mid-way.
One of the major reasons why Little Women is so addictive to watch is that even after having a dark story, each scene is full of color. In fact, color plays an important role throughout the story, Like the recurring blue orchids or the scary red heels, or the walls of the closed room. Just like most tv dramas, Little Women too has noteworthy camerawork. The cinematographer smartly shoots scenes where mysteries are revealed later and we don’t even realize things were right in front of us. Director Kim Hee-Won delivers yet another story that has all of us shook after Vincenzo last year. I also love Tv shows that have beautiful introductions and Little Women has won in that category as well. The illustrations in the introduction reflecting everything that’s going to happen in the story make you want to open your eyes and closely look at what the future episodes could have in store.
The fight in the climax between In-Joo and Sang-a reminded me of the fight between Scar and Simba in Lion King. Both fiercely plunge at each other while the whole kingdom of Orchid burns to the ground, similar to how scar’s version of Pride rock goes into flames while the two lions battle it out.
I started Little Women with zero expectations, and it went on to become nothing as I’ve ever seen before. It left me flabbergasted for so many moments and made me eagerly wait for the episodes. With the show now being over, it will definitely make me feel empty on the weekends but here’s secretly hoping for a season 2.
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