Hancinemas Drama Review Strong Family Episodes 35 36

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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 17-18

For the first time, Cheon-il uses his tracksuit for its intended purpose- as workout clothes, in anticipation of the big company athletic competition which he ends up taking far, far too aggressively. I was a little disappointed that Cheon-il's training montage is just general athletics. It would have made for a much funnier overall joke if Cheon-il had been taking mixed martial arts lessons and his performance on the field was a result of his mis-applying those skills in the wrong context.

Elsewhere, Ik-hee starts taking private tutoring lessons on the behest of her mother, which predictably backfires since Ik-hee made very clear her desire to continue going to a private classroom rather than take prviate lessons. This story was noteworthy to me mainly because the tutor is played by Park Jin-joo, an actress I rather like even though she has trouble getting anything better than third tier roles. Still, Ik-hee's rude albeit reasonable question about employment prospects was fairly funny.

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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 19-20

Cheon-il is a good guy. One of the big riddles of "Strong Family" is that most of the time, Cheon-il has no idea how or why he is being a good guy. Sometimes the expectation game is not his fault- as is seen with the opening conflict, sometimes the more obviously beloved behavior of other people is what makes Ra-yeon start to overthink things. Elsewhere, Cheon-il's determination to see the worst of life is his biggest weakness. Poor Cheon-il. He just doesn't know how to read a room.

Which does segue into the conflict of episode twenty pretty well, as Cheon-il comes across secret information and quickly proceeds to use it in a stupid way. What Cheon-il often fails to understand about himself, and the way people see him, is that they genuinely like Cheon-il for who he is. It's not that Cheon-il makes a special effort to do special things. It's all the small things Cheon-il does, just as basic obligations, that best show off who he is as a husband and boss.

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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 23-24

The South Korean Presidential Election is today, you might have heard. I bring this up because the twenty-third episode of "Strong Family" is an obvious nod to this fact, as the lead characters engage in the kind of political campaign that people who don't know anything about politics come up with. Which is to say, that rather than talk about why they want power, Cheon-il and Ra-yeon simply come up with elaborate tactics that fail to convince anyone that they even understand what the position they're campaigning for even does.

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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 25-26

Romantic appearances are the main element at play in these two episodes of "Strong Family". First in the twenty-fifth episode we Ra-yeon ponder that all-important question- are you living with the person that you love? Then in the twenty-sixth episode we get the somewhat ominous implications of what happens when the answer to that question is no. And with that, another implication that these questions are constantly asked on a regular basis and never really go away.

But these episodes aren't as dour as I make them sound. They're actually quite lively as they get into difficult questions of what love is and why it works, while still maintaing the cuteness that is the hallmark of "Strong Family"'s comedic style. The recurrence of sillier one-off jokes actually helps to reenforce the point that yes, sometimes love is existential angst, and other times it's just getting overly obsessed about dumb stuff like age differences and other times it involves meowing. That's all love.

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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Strong Family" Episodes 29-30

The romantic subplots in "Strong Family" are really good in how they relate to each other. We have Ik-hee going through the adolescent awkwardness of a teen romance where no one knows what they're doing, Jeong-min being generally giddy about a relationship that will most likely end in marriage (because of her age), and then Miss Jo contemplating a late lifetime romance. Incidentally, Cho-seop (played by Nam Kyeong-eup) is my favorite love interest of the bunch. The man really rocks his late fifties facial hair.