“Unkind Women”: First Impressions

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Like any caring matriarch, mothers worry about their children. They might even go see a fortune teller to see what the future holds – which is exactly what Kang Soon Ok (Kim Hye Ja) does in “Unkind Women.” The first few episodes reveal that plenty of hardships are hitting each of the “unkind” women. Rather than being unkind, they are strong women who have to persevere as they encounter adversities.

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Let’s meet these so-called not-so-nice ladies.

The Matriarch: Kang Soon Ok

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A cooking class instructor, and Mama Bear to two daughters and a granddaughter, Kang Soon Ok is a widow. Her biggest (and oldest) beef? Her late husband’s girlfriend, with whom he cheated on her. She’s been out of the picture – well, until recently.

The Gambler: Kim Hyun Sook

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Gambling addiction is a frightening thing, and one that has captured Hyun Sook (Chae Si Ra), Soon Ok’s daughter. Her husband’s backpacking somewhere in Spain (Santiago’s way, perhaps). She’s done some colossal damage with her gambling this time around, tossing all her mother’s life savings down the drain. She’s not afraid to throw down some adolescent bullies, and is quite possibly the craziest of the bunch. One minute she’s suicidal, the next – she’s wheeling and dealing again.

The Professor – Er, Part-Time Lecturer: Ma Ri.

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Soon Ok’s granddaughter, and Hyun Sook’s daughter, Ma Ri (Lee Ha Na, a gem in “King of High School“) gets fired from her teaching job because of the missteps of a certain reporter. She, in her naïvete, offered to hand out A’s to students when she tried to rally up some school spirit. (Handing out A’s, though? Even in jest…that’s something else.)

The Anchorwoman: Kim Hyun Jung

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Soon Ok’s older daughter, Hyun Jung (Do Ji Won), is smart, successful, and can fish out workplace gossip like stealing candy from a baby. She’s also got a sharp eye and a chilly presence.

And then, of course, we’ve got everyone else in their world.

The Most Elegant Lady You’ll Ever Meet: Jang Mo Ran

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Jang Mo Ran (Jan Mi Hee), Soon Ok’s husband’s girlfriend, is much scorned and forgotten by Soon Ok. Until Mo Ran picks the unconscious Hyun Sook off the ground, takes her home from the hospital, and gives her a cool million and some new threads. She also might be Hyun Sook’s biological mother – but you didn’t hear it from me. 

The Teacher-Turned-Novelist: Na Hyun Ae

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Apparently Na Hyun Ae (Seo Yi Sook) is responsible for ruining Hyun Sook’s life back when Hyun Sook had her as a high school teacher. She accused Hyun Sook of stealing which resulted in Hyun Sook getting expelled. She’s got a cold smile, this one. God only knows the secrets hiding behind that icy mug. (Sidenote: is it me or is Seo Yi Sook getting typecast?)

The Best Friend Enabler: Jong Mi

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Jong Mi (Kim Hye Eun) is Hyun Sook’s one and only friend. She’s around so much she’s practically part of Hyun Sook’s family. Even though she rags on her bestie for her reckless gambling, she’s an enabler at heart: she loans money when Hyun Sook’s chips are down and out.

The Careless Reporter: Lee Doo Jin

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A bit hungry for a piece of journalism on a slow news day, Lee Doo Jin (Kim Ji Suk) reports on Ma Ri’s students and accidentally gets her canned. He’s also Na Hyun Ae’s son. Doo Jin is likely a potential love interest for Ma Ri further down the line, though there’s no sign of that now.

The Handsome Stranger In The Shower: Lee Roo Oh

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Well hello, Lee Roo Oh (Song Jae Rim), aka the only real eye candy so far. He’s the one Ma Ri showered adjacent to when she accidentally (mmhmm) walked into the wrong locker room. He was the sleepy headed bloke napping away in an empty classroom, which Ma Ri mistook for student support. (Sidenote: let’s hope we see Song Jae Rim with more screen time.) Previews allude to a bit of romance between the two.

What do you think the future – and romance – have in store for these ladies?