I was a bit hesitating on whether or not I should watch Queenmaker. However upon reading the synopsis, which said that it is a drama about Korea politics where the leads are (nearly all) strong women characters, it is too intriguing to miss. The story is about accomplished fixer named Hwang Do-hee who works for Eunsong Group, chaebol (by now I realize how fixated and classic is chaebol theme for nearly all Korean writers) that focuses on retail and real estate (this also pretty classic). She fixed nearly unfixable situation with gusto. On the other side, we have Oh Kyung-sook who is a human right lawyer with nick name “the rhino of the justice” which is like a blunt weapon that hit her adversary (chaebols, of course) very hard. The story involves politics of Mayoralship in Seoul (“second most powerful position after Blue House”). The story line is very pleasantly fast paced, feisty (in-your-face powerful conversation without boring fillers), full of intrigue and there is even a bit of suspense and thriller involves dissapearing of potential scandal of Baik Jae-min who is son-in-law of the Chaebol chairwoman Son Young-sim and husband of Eun Chae-Ryong. The story revolved how Hwang Do-hee at some point in time after being fixer for so long, fixing those nearly unfixable and yet still called mutt, start to question her already broken moral compass, how low can one be to prove loyalty to the company and family one work for.
Just like Olivia Pope’s Scandal, beautiful clothes and accessoriesget made as part of the story and thus for someone who enjoys all things beautiful, the drama is eye feast for its glitzy costumes. This is a bit similar WWW drama which filled with gorgeous dresses and lipsticks (I was quite fixated at some point in time with their lisptics), but Queenmaker balance the beautiful clothes with the ordinaries that is worn by Oh Kyung-sook and her circles. Location setting are also much a bit more gorgeous than the usual location being used (maybe interior has been decorate more stylish and realistic).
This storyline can easily become very classical melodramatic, however superb acting from veteran actress (probably it is apt to call her industry goddess or legend) Kim Hee Ae who won many many awards and have giant numbers of hits under her belt and as well Moon So Ri who has equally many many awards and equally massive numbers of hits, the story become truly mix between melodrama, fast-paced action and even a bit of comedy. Baeksang Awards (Kim Hee-Ae) and Venice International Film Festival (Moon So Ri) recognitions after all cannot be triflled with. However Ryu Soo-Young acting as Baek Jae-Min is equally powerful that punctuate the kdrama moral compass question, as well as Seo Yi-Sook, who played the powerful and cold hearted martriach of the family. Not to mention Lee Kyoung-Young (Carl Yoon), Jin Kyung (Seo Min-Jung) and Kim Sae-Byuk (Eun Chae-Ryoung) who are all supporting actors and actresses award winners, strongly play all supporting casts that the drama truly earth shattering powerful.
For sure this is a must watch drama for those who loves drama powered by powerful women cast but not trapped too much into makjang genre (maybe a bit) and political backstory. It is one of those drama that you can have endless conversation for all girl’s night out but also good for conversation with team mates at work (who watched kdrama that is) as well as husband at home (who will be thankful that you have no anger issue like Eun Chae-Ryoung or scary mother-in-law that demand absolute dedication like Seo Yi-Sook).