7 Types Of Singaporean Mothers You’ll See In K-Dramas
If you’ve watched your fair share of Korean dramas, you’d know that mothers have a strong presence and often play an integral part in the plot. The dramas may be based on Korean culture, but we are sure that at some point, Singaporean K-Drama fans might watch and think, “OMG, she behaves just like my mum!” Ever thought that way? Scroll through the gallery for seven types of Singaporean mothers found in Korean dramas and see which one best fits your mum.
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Image: SBS Drama’s YouTube
1. The Young-At-Heart Mum
The Young-At-Heart Mum still swoons over her favourite idols and isn’t embarrassed to act immaturely in front of her children. In the hit nostalgic drama Reply 1997 that takes place in the ‘90s, high-school student Sung Shin Won (acted by Jung Eun Ji) is a massive fan-girl of the legendary K-pop idol boy group H.O.T and devotes her time and energy to chasing them. Not only does her mother Lee Il Hwa (acted by Lee Il Hwa) not stop her from chasing after her idols, she herself swoons over male celebrities with her daughter. She also has an adorable relationship with her husband — one minute they are screaming their heads off at each other, the next they are flirting and being lovey-dovey. Although Shin Won’s mother can seem a bit childish at times, in reality she is the glue that holds the family together and becomes a pillar of strength in times of need.
Reply 1997 is available on Viu.
2. The Tiger Mum
The Tiger Mum is an all-too-familiar sight in Singapore. She watches over her children’s education like a hawk and sets high expectations, constantly pushing them to be high achievers. In high-school drama School 2013, model student Kim Min Ki (acted by Choi Chang Yub) has a mother (acted by Kim Na Woon) who is relentless in her pursuit for her son to achieve academic excellence. As chairman of his school’s parent council, she gets involved in his school life by going down to the school to demand that test questions be harder and to complain about negative influences around her son. She also actively uses her connections to get Min Ki advantages during examinations. Her meddling results in him being shunned by his classmates, and the pressure from his reluctance to follow his mother’s wishes yet still wanting to make her happy almost causes him to hit his breaking point. Ultimately, her love for her son trumps over everything and she agrees to take a step back to give him the space that he needs
3. The Youthful-Looking Mum
Have you ever gone out with your mum and had people asking if she was your elder sister? The Youthful-Looking Mum takes good care of her appearance and will not resign herself to looking like an ‘Auntie’. Former beauty queen Kim Sung Ryung took on the role of conglomerate heir Kim Tan’s (acted by Lee Min Ho) mother Han Ki Ae in romance drama The Heirs and gained attention for her youthful looks despite being a real-life mother in her mid-40s at the time. She is always dressed to the nines in the drama and although she appeared to be selfish and self-centered in the beginning, eventually won audiences over with her adorable antics and love for her son.
The Heirs is available on Viu.
4. The Working Mum
Most modern mothers would be able to relate with The Working Mum, she is constantly juggling the demands of being a mother, wife, and career woman. In office drama Incomplete Life, Deputy Director Sun Ji Young (acted by Shin Eun Jung) must cope with her heavy job responsibilities and long working hours. Although she tries to strike a balance between her work and parent responsibilities, she is unable to avoid arguments with her husband over things such as whose turn it is to pick their daughter up. At home, she also must handle the household chores and take care of the needs of her husband and daughter. Eventually, she realises that she had been so busy trying to fulfill her various roles that she had neglected spending time with the most important person—her daughter. She vows to spend more time with her daughter noting that working herself to the bone is not worth her daughter having an absent mother. If you grew up with a working mother or are a working mother yourself, you might be able to identify with this.
Incomplete Life is available on Viu.
5. The Protective Mum
The Protective Mum always has your back and will not be afraid to stand up for you if she knows you have been wronged. You can find an extreme version of her in comedy-drama Angry Mom. Top actress Kim Hee Sun plays Jo Kang Ja, a feisty former high-school delinquent who upon discovering that her daughter Oh Ah Ran (acted by Kim Yoo Jung) is being bullied in school, takes it upon herself to enroll as a student in order to find the culprit. Although the premise might sound ridiculous, the drama is able to show how a mother can truly understand what her child and peers are going through in school because she has experienced it for herself. Although she was dismayed to find out that the adults were often the ones disappointing the children, Kang Ja is determined to fight back for them and tries her best to inspire and give them the strength that they need.
Angry Mom is available on Netflix.
6. The Tough Love Mum
This is like the personification of most Asian mothers: She is armed with a sharp tongue and always seems to speak harshly, but her tough exterior masks a heart of gold and pride in her children. In courtroom drama I Hear Your Voice, Eo Choon Shim (acted by Kim Hae Sook) often bickers with her daughter, lawyer Jang Hye Sung (acted by Lee Bo Young) and is stingy with praises for her. However, she is undoubtedly her daughter’s number one supporter and is the proudest of her achievements. She firmly believes in Hye Sung and always stands up for her but is also quick to put her daughter in her place when she feels that Hye Sung is in the wrong. Her love and faith in her daughter are unwavering and for all their constant bickering, Hye Sung also fiercely loves and respects her mother.
I Hear Your Voice is available on Viu.
7. The Self-Sacrificing Mum
Although she might not have much, she still wants to give her children the best that she can. In Reply 1988, a family drama that takes places in the ‘80s, Sung Sun Woo (acted by Go Kyung Pyo) is a model student who is a loving son to his mother Kim Sun Young (acted by Kim Sun Young) and caring brother to his younger sister. His mother wants to earn some extra money by being a part-time cleaner at a bathhouse so that she can buy Sun Woo new clothes and shoes when he goes off to university. She knows that Sun Woo has never asked her for much because he understands their financial situation. She does not want Sun Woo to know about her part-time job as she is afraid that he will worry about her and get upset but she is determined to get the money to buy something for him and continues to go work even when she is falling sick.
Reply 1988 is available on Viu.