|Update: Unfortunately all the images for this article were being hosted on a site that shut down without warning and did not give access to people to download their pics. I can't seem to find the pics in my files, either. Sorry for those that happen across this old article.|
Fluffy, yet down-to-earth... would be an accurate description for Sweden Laundry, in my opinion. I came upon this fun fantasy comedy thanks to xoxo's post on my feed about it. When I read her words, "The female characters in this show are giving me life", I knew I had to watch it and commence watching immediately. Grocery shopping? Cook dinner? I can't, bruh. Because Sweden Laundry, that's why.
I was thinking long and hard how to write this without ruining many moments I feel are best met freshly. What do I mean by that? Well, I feel sometimes in telling you about why you might possibly be interested in a show, there's the chance of taking away the enjoyment of waiting for what's going to happen as opposed to anticipating what will happen. Maybe I'm simple and all I needed was one sentence to get me revved and speeding off, but I can say that the best part about watching the past 7 episodes was not really knowing too much about what was going to happen. But you're probably not as super simple as I am and want some dang on information, don't you? Fine then. However, I'm going to keep it light and there will be quite a bit of ambiguity. I'm just sayin'.
Kim Bom is a woman in her late 20's that suffers from severe middle-child syndrome. Her older bookworm know-it-all brother is adored by her Mother while her younger bratty actress sister is coddled. Even though she's the only offspring that's ever contributed to household expenses, she still receives little respect and warmth from her family —in a very comical way. The story centers around a laundromat she owns and operates, born from her precious love for cleaning clothes. The laundromat serves as a starting place for various mini-missions she needs to complete each episode, which in turn, help her grow as a person.
The Misfit: Kim Bom
Being the middle child definitely doesn't get Kim Bom (Song Ha Yoon) down. She's upbeat, friendly, loud, and eccentric. Her temper can rise as fast as her fists can fly. She usually looks like a walking billboard for Disney World and/or Bruce Lee films. Decorum isn't something she's all that familiar with. And you better believe she'll speak her mind when she feels like it. She's not your run-of-the-mill heroine, but she's a good one. With a shiny gold heart, earnest intentions, and a passion to help others, she's still a heroine you want to win in the end.
The Polished Thug: Bae Yong Mi
If there is anyone in this drama that gives me life the most, it's Yong Mi (Bae Noo Ri). She is the fountain of life. Just everything about her makes her so. Her unusual family-run occupation, her taste in men, her unyielding friendship towards Kim Bom, her perseverance in getting what she desires... But most of all, her high level of I-don't-play-that. Yong Mi has me in stitches often, and she is a great atypical tough best friend character.
The Connected Artist: Yong Soo Chul
His charm lies in his mature innocence, which is actually what gets him mixed up with Kim Bom in the first place. Soo Chul (Chang Jo) being inadvertently connected with random people – regardless of age or social status – comes in handy frequently for Kim Bom's mini-missions, as well as his quick-thinking. But is he just a sidekick or a possible love interest?
The Clueless Love Interest: Park Ki Joon
A smart and kind friend of Kim Bom's older brother whom she's had a crush on since she was in high school. However, he always misses all the signs (literally). Also, Ki Joon (Kim Ian) unwittingly is her older brother's rival in life achievement and intelligence in front of their busybody Mother. He's a doctor already with his own practice, tall, handsome, intelligent, and filial. The perfect son- boyfriend- husband- type of material, but will he end up as any of those?
The BusyBody Mother: Kim Bom's Mother
A Mother (Hwang Yeong Hee) that openly displays her unwarranted disdain for Kim Bom while showering affection on her other two children. A good amount of her time is taken up with attending to her son's numerous fussy demands while he prepares for the bar exam. Even more time is spent doting on her younger daughter to support her budding career as an actress. What affection she has left, she puts toward Park Ki Joon; her ideal son-in-law. Or is he an ideal son? Either way, she's determined to make him an official member of the family via her uninterested younger daughter. Will she succeed? And what about poor Kim Bom?
The Arrogant Man-Child: Kim Eun Chul
Kim Bom's older brother, and their Mother's "hopes and dreams", is a 31-yr old man working on getting into a law career. While Eun Chul (Oh Sang Jin) is extremely proud of his brain, he's never used it to generate any income or care for himself. His Mother takes cares of all of his meals, to the point where he won't eat if they aren't prepared on time. Despite not contributing to the household in any way, he demands high quality food, meticulous preparations, an allowance, and just about anything else his self-absorbed self can drum up. However, after boasting and looking down on others, he has some high expectations to meet.
The Wanna-be Actress: Kim Eun Sol
Like her brother in many ways, Eun Sol (Hwang Seung Eon) is also working towards her own career but as an actress. However, she's struggling with landing roles where she can't easily be replaced. She is another moocher that receives money for acting academy fees, clothes, and more that stem from Kim Bom's monetary household contributions. She's the other half of their Mother's "hopes and dreams" in regards to career and getting Ki Joon in the family. And like her brother, despite not contributing to the household, she has a high-strung attitude with an insulting tongue. But she can't overcome her struggles alone and may find herself learning how to catch more bees with honey.
The joy of Sweden Laundry is all the different situations these characters get mixed-up in and their oftentimes hysterical ways of handling them. It's warm and fluffy without being cheesy, and introduces a fresh round of the unexpected. Following such shows as Let's Eat, Witch's Romance, and Misaeng, I'm seeing a great new trend develop in Korean Dramaland. Networks are taking risks with plots, and easing their toes out of their tired drama boxes. I'm here for it. Yes I am! I'm looking forward to what new laughter Sweden Laundry will bring, as well as other shows to come like it that are off-the-beaten track.