Tuesday, December 10, 2019

[Advent drama calendar 2019] Day 9: The Best Womance

I was hesitating between Search: WWW and Tale of Nokdu and after a whole day of pondering over it I'm picking Nokdu as the winner.
At this point I should probably stop participating, right?

The relationships among women are of different kinds in Tale of Nokdu - first we have the Widows Village. It started as a refuge for women raped and therefore shunned by their own families during the Japanese Invasion (Imjin War, 1592-1598). There were women who lost families during this period as well. And it became a small village where no man was allowed. So the women there developed a sense of shared trauma and ways of dealing with it. There was no judgement there. 

Kang Soon-Nyeo, Park Bok-Nyeo and Lee Mal-Nyeon were three main Widows who took care of Nokdu when he came as Widow Kim and they all developed a sense of camaraderie. Thanks to Nokdu not having any filter between his brain and mouth, it was sometimes put to the test. What's more, Mal-Nyeon was very, very understanding and compassionate of Widow Kim's apparently humble bosom.

Then we have a gibang where gisaeng entertained the male patrons - it was the only place where men could be present. It served as both an income source and a political hubbub of sorts. The head gisaeng was treating every girl like a stray in need of helping and apart from her political involvement she did exactly this - she took every orphaned girl and gave her a home and opportunity to learn to become a gisaeng. And even though among gisaeng there was a slight rivalry, whenever something bad was about to happen, they could stay together. Like Dongju cutting her hair and agreeing to some sleazy guy was to save a girl and protect her from being raped.

And lastly we have Muwol Corps (Muwoldan) ladies - a paramilitary unit defending the Widows Village and what's more - deeply involved in political scheming. It was because of them that Nokdu left the island to search for the one that survived the attack on his family which led him to the Village itself. And friendship Nokdu formed with Muwoldan leader, Kim Ssuk, survived the reveal of his true nature (Ssuk wasn't particularly shocked but that woman wasn't shocked by many things) - they conspired together, helped and saved each other which led them to include Nokdu into their ranks when they left Han-yang. 
All of the above were not just props that writer tends to forget in episode 4, they were present throughout all 16 episodes, especially Ssuk, who came full circle - from carrying Yulmu's orders to turning against him. 

And then we had a short surrogate mother-daughter relationship between Widow Kim and Dongju. 

Honorable mention:
Search: WWW.  

The friendship between three women here survived the trials and tribulations they all went through. Turns out, nothing's impossible - not even taking on the President - if three brilliant and stubborn women work together.