In time for Chuseok, the Mid-Autumn Festival in South Korea, and Thanksgiving Day, a number of new Korean drama series are premiering. However, all eyes may be on two major ones that present an intriguing portrait of the origins and future of the Korean content industry. The first is Narco-Saints, a high-profile crime drama on Netflix that tells a sweeping and explosive story about Korean masculinity. The outstanding female-driven Little Women, on the other hand, is blazing a trail into the future.
Little Women is the most innovative and original drama to come out this year, despite being an adaptation of the same-named 19th-century book by Louisa May Alcott, albeit a very slack one.
Three sisters from a low-income family who struggle to support one another are portrayed by Kim Go-eun (Yumi’s Cells), Nam Ji-hyun (The Witch’s Diner), and Park Ji-hu (All of Us Are Dead). Oh In-ju (Kim), the eldest sister, works as an accountant for a large corporation, while In-kyung (Nam) is a tenacious television news reporter and In-hye (Park) attends a prestigious arts university.
On In-birthday, hye’s which In-ju and In-kyung have managed to raise 2.5 million won (US$1,800) for in order to support her going on a school trip to Europe, the show premieres. However, In-ju and In-kyung are left to raise the money again before the end of the week when their envious mother, Ahn Hee-yeon (Park Ji-young), vanishes in the middle of the night with the money.
In-ju, who has already been shunned at work, tries to get a salary advance. When she is unsuccessful, she seeks the help of her friend Jin Hwa-young (Choo Ja-hyun), the lonesome person who lives on the floor above. Soon enough, she unintentionally finds herself at the centre of a corporate theft investigation. Director Shin (Oh Jung-se) and the dashing Choi Do-il (Squid Game’s Wi Ha-joon) assign her the task of finding a 70 billion won slush fund that has vanished.
She is being criticised at work for her emotional broadcasts in the meantime, but when she starts investigating Park Jae-sang, a possible Seoul mayoral candidate (Um Ki-joon from The Penthouse), she finally catches her boss’ attention. In-hye resents her sisters’ overly adoring attention and declines to pay for the trip. In-ju, who is upset, follows her to the Won Sang-ah (Uhm Ji-won) household, where In-hye is teaching their daughter.
In a story full of suspense, surprises, and enigmatic blue orchids, all three sisters—each facing their own demons—find themselves on a collision course with one another and strong forces.
The main female characters in Little Women are predominately female, and the same is true of the supporting cast. The series was developed by renowned screenwriter Chung Seo-kyung, who also wrote the Park Chan-wook classic The Handmaiden as well as the 2018 drama Mother. Her witty dialogue and clever plotting are delightful to observe.
If Little Women continues to perform as well as it has, Chung may win the award for best Korean drama and best Korean film of the year (Decision to Leave). The drama, which is being directed by Kim Hee-won of Vincenzo, features atmospheric sets created by Ryu Seong-hee, a production designer who has previously only worked on comedies with Park Chan-wook.