Rich vs. poor has always been a classic way to add drama to a story. While the poor live in small spaces and think twice before opening their windows because they probably won’t close them again, the rich take advantage of them without any remorse and kill what few dreams they have.
Kim Hee-Little Won’s Women is one of these kinds of stories about the Oh sisters. Oh In-Joo (Kim Go-Eun), the oldest sister, will do anything to make sure her younger sisters have a much better life than she did. Oh In-Kyung, played by Nam Ji-Hyun, is a hardworking reporter who wants to dig deeper and find bigger stories than the ones she’s been given. She doesn’t let money run her life like it does her sisters. Instead, she would rather live a life that is much more honest and simple.
The oldest Oh In-Hye (Park Ji-Hu) looks up to her younger sister, Oh In-Hye (Park Ji-Hu). They always want her to be happy and to never feel like she has to worry about being poor or that people at her high school look down on her. But these women have no idea that they will become involved with Korea’s most powerful and dangerous political family.
Oh In-Joo works for the Wonryeong Group, and she only has one real friend at work. Jin Hwa-Young, played by Choo Ja-Hyun, takes her under her wing and teaches her how to be a sophisticated woman. Since In-Joo was always the oldest in her family, I think she really looked up to Hwa-Young and wanted to be taken care of by her. But when she sees that Hwa-Young has killed herself in her own home, her whole world comes crashing down. She does, however, leave 2 billion won for In-Joo. Finding out where the 2 billion won came from leads her to a slush fund of 70 billion won and also brings Choi Do-Il (Wi Ha-Jun) into her life. He cares about money more than anything else, so he makes a deal with In-Joo that they will share the money equally in the future.
In-Kyung finds out that a story about people who lost their money because a bank’s plan went wrong is a lot bigger than it seems. Her investigation shows the truth about Park Jae-Sang, who is played by Uhm Ki-Joon and is a power-hungry politician who is running for mayor of Seoul. But things get complicated when she finds out that her younger sister, In-Hye, is actually his daughter’s best friend, and that the two girls are so close that In-Hye moves into their shady mansion to feel more at home. But guess who doesn’t know what “normal” means? It’s Park Jae-crazy Sang’s wife, Won Sang-a (Uhm Ji-Won), who talks about killing people as casually as we talk about our daily meals.
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The plot keeps getting more complicated as the three sisters spend more and more time with Jae-Sang and his family. I think that Chung Seo-Little Kyung’s Women is very different from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, other than the name. The March sisters and the Oh sisters are very different, and their stories of how they went from being poor to being rich are also very different. Because I never knew what would happen in an episode, I often watched the show with wide eyes and my jaw dropped. You can tell a story is good when you read or talk about every possible theory and still can’t say anything after each plot twist. In the 12 episodes, there is corruption, living two lives at once, and hallucinogenic plants, but talking about them in detail would give away too much and make it less fun to watch.
Kim Go-Eun does a great job of playing In-Joo, who is gullible but also wants to know everything. This is the first time I’ve seen her in a Korean drama, and now I understand why so many people like her. I was also looking forward to seeing how she gets along with Choi Do-il. Everyone loves romantic K-dramas, but getting romance in a genre where it shouldn’t be is one of the best things ever. His character always seemed grey, and he was the first person people thought of when something went wrong, but his actions showed her he loved her much more than his words. I would watch a spin-off show about just them falling in love any day.
Out of the three sisters, In-Kyung has to be my favorite. She was smart and fought for the right things. With fire in her eyes, she challenged Park Jae-Sang in a brave way. Even the last episode didn’t do a great job of explaining the Jeongran Society, which was basically a cult with people who wanted strange things. I’m still not sure that it really exists. But it’s so sweet how Jung-Ho (Kang-Hoon) has supported her obsession from the start. Both In-Kyung and In-Joo were lucky to have partners who were always there for them.
In a genre that is usually written by men, this story was written by women, and the main characters and the bad guy were both women. I thought Park Jae-Sang was the bad guy for a long time, but his wife is the real bad guy. A crazy serial killer who plays with young girls to make herself feel better about a mistake she made years ago. With Uhm Ji-chilling a’s performance, she is easily one of the best bad guys ever. Oh, Hye-Seok is another woman in this K-drama who stands out (Kim Mi-Sook). She is the Oh sisters’ great-aunt and the only person in their lives who looks out for them. She was a badass woman who didn’t want to follow the rules that society set. What a shame that her character was cut off in the middle.
Even though the story is dark, each scene in Little Women is full of color. This is one of the main things that makes the show so interesting to watch. In fact, color is a big part of the whole story, like with the blue orchids that keep coming up or the scary red heels or the dark walls of the room. As with most TV dramas, the camerawork in Little Women is very good. The cinematographer shoots scenes in such a way that we don’t know what’s going on until later, even though it was right in front of us.
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After Vincenzo last year, director Kim Hee-Won gives us all another scary story. I also love TV shows that start with a beautiful scene, and Little Women is a winner in that category, too. The pictures in the beginning that show what’s going to happen in the story make you want to open your eyes and take a close look at what could happen in the next episodes.
The fight between In-Joo and Sang-a at the end of the story reminded me of the fight between Scar and Simba in Lion King. Both charge at each other with all their strength while the whole kingdom of Orchid burns to the ground, just like Scar’s version of Pride Rock goes up in flames as the two lions fight.
I went into Little Women not knowing what to expect, and it turned out to be like nothing I’d ever seen before. So many things about it shocked me, and I couldn’t wait for the next episode. Now that the show is over, I’ll feel empty on the weekends, but I’m secretly hoping for a second season.