HMD: Intriguing Mom (Final)

Two daughters. Two moms. One drama. One post.

Mo Ha So (Kim Sung Ryung) and Wang Ja Shi (Lee Mi Sook)

I chose to discuss them together because they are opposite sides of the same triangle or coin. Without one, there would be no use for the other (story wise); one carrying traits the other desperately needed to make them a rational whole. And if they weren’t after the same man, they might actually have been friends. These two women highlight some of the best and most revered combinations a woman can possess: beauty, intelligence, favor and respect. Both women encapsulated these attributes and had ample opportunity to reign and wield them. The amount of potential they had to be outstanding women of their time was paramount and the influence they possessed indomitable, though inimical to one another. Therefore, ultimately these women were a product of their times, in personality, position and parenthood.

Ja Shi was cunning and spiteful, and wise in the ways of the world. She knew how to read people and use their resources to her benefit. She was a mother that demonstrated courage and determination to gain what she desired, while never retreating from her claims to what was hers. For Ja Shi, love was a commodity that ensured little return but believed that knowledge, position and power produced bountiful reward. And unfortunately, she wasn’t entirely wrong.

Mo Ha So, on the hand, had very little ambitions beyond being a good wife and mother. She also wasn’t wrong. For she was kind, caring and thoughtful; a bright and wise personality in rightful living and for that, everyone loved her. As a mother, she was easy going and easy to confide in. A mother that had unrelenting faith in something (or someone) beyond herself and the ability to be fully trusted.

Both women birthed daughters and were mother to one child and together make up one functional royal mother figure. Ja Shi being motivated and politically savvy, while Ha So is doting and supportive. If they had joined forces,  their girls could have been the least dysfunctional princesses of their time and dominated their world as they ruled fair but firm.

A running theme in life is that one circumstance won’t alter the root or core of who you are and that rule holds true for motherhood. Like all the previous mothers, Mo Ha So and Wang Ja Shi’s most valuable assets as mothers were their greatest strengths as women and as human beings.

This collection of mothers is only the tip of the dramaberg of women that exemplify the idiosyncrasies of being called “Mom.” The list of mothers is endless, whether they were the worst drama moms or the best, but the ones that stick with you are women that draw effectual attention to the life they lead. Motherhood never diminishes the realities or demands of being a woman, or a friend, or a wife.

Some mothers wear their ambitions like a breastplate or banner, while others subtly coo their desires like nursery rhymes, while they all pursue their dreams and cascade glimpses into to the deepest parts of themselves and one of the most misunderstood mysteries on the planet: Femininity.


4 Replies to “HMD: Intriguing Mom (Final)”

  1. Ohh… Ja Myung-go. Now there’s an underrated, misunderstood, but also infuriatingly spotty drama. Lee Mi-sook was delightful as ever as Queen Bi…atch Ja-shil. She breathed nuances into what could easily have been a mono-dimensional character.
    Kim Seong-ryeong on the other hand was the opposite and I j’detested. Her performance killed the character for me.
    Tell you who was the unexpectedly best mum here; Sung Hyun-ah as Hodong’s stepmum and bitter rival. Loved the character, loved the performance. She was brilliant.

    1. I’m in love with Lee Mi-sook, it’s only her recent stint on LR that has given me headaches from my furrowed brows. Yun Hee is so hollow! Ja Shi was all the things you can respect in a villainous character, for you always understood her reasoning, her determination and her motives. Though I rarely agreed with her methods, she wasn’t a character that you hated for being evil, you hated she resorted to evil deeds to accomplish her goals.
      And I get your thoughts on KSR as well, that’s why I focused on their characterizations as mothers and though Haso annoyed all that’s righteous and holy out of me, I still liked the dynamic of the two. I understood the point but the execution was horrendous.
      Now the actress’ portrayal of the Queen was solid but I can’t get on-board with her role as mother. I abhorred the woman. There was nothing I understood in her. Not when it came to Hodong. Her actions were despicable. Though I recognized her position, her jealousy and murderous attitude towards a child? No, I’m unforgiving in that area. Hodong was destined to grow up and be her “enemy” of sorts but she birthed his disdain and diabolical feelings toward her, which I found unnecessary. I wanted him to crush her at any cost before it was all said and done. She made him so pitiable! Ugh! I can’t stand a treacherous woman.

      1. But the ending scene in the finale, her words her emotions. It KILLED me. It was poetic that she would be the one to mourn that person and with such a lingering attachment with dare I say it, affection. It was ironic and cruel but a brilliantly unexpected…
        Not only that, I loved the real her, when she was outside of the confines of her queenly status, she was a real tomboy.
        Yes, she was cruel and evil to Hodong which made her deplorable as a character but then, she was upstaged by both her husband Daemushin and Ja-shil and her hairpin… that moment still makes me squirm in the sheer horror of it.

      2. I can agree on Daemushin, for he was a fool in that drama, allowing his own pride, insecurities and penis to turn him against his son but Ja-shil, I don’t. She may have upstaged her by the scene but not in motivation or overall sentiment. The Queen’s actions toward Hodong were malicious and spiteful, despite knowing him and how he viewed her. He was a child she knew, yet she used, lied and manipulated Hodong, then tried to kill him, knowing him personally, being fully aware that he considered her his mother. If she could never love him, fine. Though I still find that crazy, I can concede to that but willingly and willfully hating him for what he represents, when he needed and loved her so much? No, I can’t wrap my mind around that. She really had no valid reason.
        Ja-shil, on the other hand, was wrong but stabbed the child the moment it was born, creating no emotional connection or relationship. To her, the baby was a problem, like a rodent. So she killed it. And any manipulation of Puku/ JaMyung from that point on was of a kid/adult she never knew, raised nor bore friendly ties, on either side. I don’t excuse it but I have no problem admitting that I could understand her, though stunned and repulsed, where for the Queen, that would never happen.
        In the political arena, I get both women, but humanly speaking, the Queen’s actions toward Hodong as a child boils my blood. Adults know the circumstances and consequences, therefore, for those things, I never cared one second for her or her feelings afterward.
        Ultimately, both women were similar but I identified with their circumstances in different ways. I never felt the Queen needed to be backstabbing or conniving. She in my opinion was in a better position to be a better woman, yet chose to be disappointing and manipulative. Ja-shil made similar choices, but rarely felt what she was doing was wrong, though almost every move she made was underhanded. To me, there in lies the difference.

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