A suspense drama depicting mothers engaged in a fierce social media battle to destroy each others' happiness for their own, to free themselves from oppression, hurt, and secrets, and regain their true selves. (Source: HanCinema) ~~ Adapted from the novel "Haengbokbaeteul" (행복배틀) by Joo Young Ha (주영하). Edit Translation
- Português (Brasil)
Where to Watch Battle for Happiness
Cast & Credits
Despite all the catfights there is a deeper grounding to the story. Intelligent. Emotional. Opaque."Battle for Happiness" is based on a novel, the author herself having written the script for its KDrama version on PayTV, too. The story offers refreshing substance - with insight into honest emotional worlds underneath a shimmering dishonest surface. Powerful, intense women, who also have their sore, hidden wounds, shaping a surprisingly powerful story. Hats off!
The story is set in the elite world of elite Gangnam mothers in the elite (fictional) Gangnam housing block Herinity. But even though the ladies may have made it into the upper league of society by marrying a lawyer or doctor or having wealth in some other way, they are still far from happy - even if they do almost everything to make it look as if...
Perhaps one could say that the KDrama is (again) a reckoning with the dubious concept that gives preference to the radiant, shimmering external appearance over truthful, sincere substance. But that's quite abstract. Actually, “Battle for Happiness” is rather precise. The battles are taking place in the mud of the protagonists' hidden secrets and weaknesses. That is dirty. That is mean. That is malicious. That is cruel. But that's what the life of those Gangnam mothers is all about. The societal backdrop is characterized by the overall social pressure to perform and compete for pole position in the race for the top spots in the social pyramid. But this is actually just the backdrop. It's actually less about the children. They are ornaments of their mothers. The mothers, on the other hand, are in the spotlight - wealthy, frighteningly powerful, influential women. Vulnerable people, nonetheless.
Admittedly, at the beginning I was tempted drop – those bitches! So false, so dishonest, so calculating, it was almost unbearable... The social media in their function, to spice up one´s own life a little more gloriously on the outside, are elaborately integrated into the overall dramaturgical structure. However, I stuck with “Battle for Happiness” because despite all the catfights there is a deeper grounding to the story, whose charisma can eventually fully unfold.
In fact, I'm glad I stuck with it, because the story offers an exciting rollercoaster ride of assumptions and suspicions. "Battle of Happiness" suddenly turns out to be a captivating crime thriller in which an inconspicuous private person takes the investigation into her own (unexperienced and sometimes naïve, impulsive) hands. Yet, even more appealing to me is the naturalness in which this KDrama gives a hand for compassion - even with the worst of the she-devils: the lady, who as the incarnated princess of hell in designer clothes initially got people´s minds running wild...
It´s the ladies, who rock the show. They are mothers, wives or single. In any case, you can't get past them. And they, for their part, cannot avoid facing their own sore wounds, which are catching up with them one by one. We consistently dig deeper into the hidden emotional worlds of those women (plus also a couple of men and some children). They must face their personal emotional battles, even if they don´t want to. In the best case scenario, they become their actual battles for happiness, as they lead to their very personal questions and truths - what is REALLY crucial in my life?
There is a dubious mathematical equation circulating among those ladies that goes something like this: 'The amount of misfortune I cause someone else becomes a factor for my personal happiness.' Well, even if I'm myself not great at math: If you multiply whatsoever by zero, as far as I know, zero still remains, isn´t it... So eventually, those ladies are forced to work on THIS point in the equation (the zero!)...
...and some of them actually take advantage of this opportunity as an outsider penetrates the aloof world of the Gangnam ladies. One, who doesn't think much of all the elitist concepts of happiness and competition, but instead innocently keeps looking for the perpetrator.
I wouldn't have thought so at first, but in my opinion "Battle of Happiness" is clearly one of the better, more substantial productions that 2023 has to offer so far. Comparisons with existing KDrama productions that are set in a similar milieu and/or wade in the mud of the glittering elite may perhaps come to mind. But "Battle of Happiness" tells its own story! And in my opinion it is definitely worth watching. (...if you are not looking for Romance or Oppas or Comedy…)
Most of us may never get near such exclusive worlds. However, wanting to fool others (and ourselves), feeling better when others are feeling worse, sometimes doing something to others that we wouldn't want to be done to yourself... hardly anyone might be immune to these human impulses. If we take away the exclusive luxury world, from which many may easily distance themselves, then we're still left with the beastly temptation that may linger in all of us. Maybe/hopefully we just don't let the beast in us out of the bag so uninhibitedly...
So I could summarize: I appreciate the intelligent, yet still highly emotional approach and the opaque processing of those different relationship dynamics between the protagonists.
A Battle for Happiness and to What End for those involvedI'm not gonna lie here, ok. I was very skeptical going into this drama.
Happiness Battle aka Battle For Happiness is GIVING me exactly what Green Mother's Club couldn't in the FIRST episode ??
-rich moms influencers influencing
-Main Characters introduced immediately
I've watched 3 of the 5 episodes available and I'm loving where this one is going, hoping the momentum continues.