Realizing one of her students is being abused, school teacher and bird researcher Soo Jin impulsively kidnaps the girl and acts as a substitute mother in an attempt to take care of her. (Source: MyDramaList) Edit Translation
Where to Watch Mother
Cast & Credits
Being a single mother in South Korea can be quite hopeless, that´s where this story is coming fromYes, you should watch it.
As the title suggests, "Mother" deals with the archetypal theme of 'motherhood'. When is a mother a (good) mother? Once a mother = always a mother? Who can become a mother? Who has to be, no matter what? ... So far "Mother" isn't necessarily specific to Korea in terms of its story. (Actually the original is Japanese). But "Mother" is also (and most importantly) about the stigma of single mothers - and for South Korea that is outstandingly detrimental. From this point of view, this KDrama becomes immediately socially critical: if the position of the single mother in South Korea weren't so hopeless, then the whole story wouldn't have developed the emotional drive that it has.
In this context, "Mother" also confronts the viewers with two other socially sensitive issues in their manifold entanglements: child abuse and vigilantism. It is a dramatic fact around the world on the subject of child abuse that dealing with domestic violence is legally difficult. If you go the official route, you can only intervene when it is already too late. In the case of "Mother", essentially almost all mothers featured are to some extend criminals before the law (of one kind or another).
The hearty fare in terms of its sensitive content is, however, in a digestible way illuminated with all the proven stylistic devices of KDrama. The subject is dark and exhausting, but there is still room for light, color, joy and heartwarming in the presentation. Despite all the traumatization, the abused child is primarily a ray of hope (isn´t poetic freedom just wonderful!). It's no surprise that up-and-coming actress Heo Yool was named "Best New Actress" at the 2018 BaekSang Arts Awards... Her play ist simply amazing! (And not just hers...)
"Mother" aired on South Korean television during weekdays at 9:30 p.m. Regarding the scenes about child abuse, the age rating here has been set at 16, as opposed to the more usual 13 years. The KDrama "Mother" was released in 2018. It may it be simple coincidence or even correlation: the KDrama just happened to present a burning topic of society at the time: In 2019 there was a change in law, which means that at least abortion now is legally possible for all women in the first 14 weeks without punishment.
-------------------- Side note: --- Orphanage and Single Motherhood in South Korea ---
If you are unmarried and happen to get pregnant, in South Korea you will have a hard time, still today. Exclusion, hostility, mobbing, unemployment, pressure from all sides are not uncommon.
If you are the child of a single mother, trauma of some sort is almost certain - mobbing, devaluation, child abuse, orphanage and/or adoption, you name it.
Noticeably, the 'orphanage' often plays a role for one of the protagonists in KDrama. That's not because it's such a stirring story hook, but because it's a current influence in the lives of many children (and now adults) of South Korean descent. Since the 1950s, the number of officially and unofficially adopted South Korean children, mainly from abroad, is estimated at 150,000 to 200,000. Another global leading position for South Korea... At first there were many war-orphans among them, otherwise there were also children from poor families. But since the 1980s, the main causes have been that the mothers are single parents. Desperate women - for whatever reason single with a child - often have no choice (to give themselves and the child a promising chance in life) than to give the child away - thus giving them a new chance with the option of being adopted to a solid family sooner or later...
For the children in the orphanage, the parents are not necessarily dead. However, their mothers gave up their parenthood at the door for a good reason: because society with its traditional value system does not accept a concept beyond ´traditional´ family. Single parents are not welcome. However, since abortions were also undesirable - i.e. forbidden for ages, unmarried pregnant women always found themselves in great distress... It was only in 2019 that the ban on abortions - that had been in force up to that point - was declared unconstitutional, so that pregnant women are now at least up to the 14th week without specifying abortion without punishment, in the case of rape up to the 24th week.