The Good Bad Mother Season 1 Review – A highly emotional story of family and new beginnings

By Nathan Sartain
Published: April 28, 2023 (Last updated: June 2, 2023)
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An emotional series touching on redemption, corruption, and family.

We review the 2023 Netflix K-Drama series The Good Bad Mother, which contains minor spoilers.

It’s hard for life to pan out exactly how we plan it to. That’s a lesson Jin Young-soon, a single mother whose life was turned upside down following the murder of her husband, learned the hard way.

For her unflinching strictness towards the person she stayed alive for, her son Choi Kang-ho backfired to the point the prosecutor severed familial ties completely upon his engagement to assemblyman Oh Tae-soo’s daughter.

The Good Bad Mother K-Drama Review and Plot Summary

Yet, sometimes we get second chances in the most unexpected ways. Like a car accident that sees your disconnected son thrust out of his cynically influential life and back into your reach.

Quite how Young-soon copes with her shot at parental redemption is another thing entirely.

Amidst emotional, occasionally subtle commentaries on parental pressure, the impact of a lack of paternal influence and restricted freedom is genuine heart in Sim Na-yeon’s The Good Bad Mother.

This story of loss, redemption, and the wear and tear of life is just as affecting as it is uplifting. And in the same vein, equal parts thought-provoking as it is tinged by well-placed humor.

It does, of course, help that the surface-level stuff is highly entertaining. Bae Se-young’s script brings excellent depth to two sides of this show’s world; the working class, rural villagers, and the upper-echelon white-collar types who dictate the state of play, whether ethically or otherwise.

Then, in showing Kang-ho’s struggles of never quite fitting into either of these portions of society comes genuine intrigue, which in turn helps highlight to the viewer both the best and worst of people.

Moving on, Lee Do-hyun is a triumph as the aforementioned Kang-ho. The 28-year-old seamlessly capturehis character’s struggleser as he goes from a suffocated child to a muddled teen, all the way to an imprudent adult.

The burden of a hard life, then, is clear on Kang-ho’s face as he is depicted in each scene, the undertones of regret and morality evident as the prosecutor falls deeper into a pit of vice.

After his exceptional showing in The Glory, it’s already noticeable Lee Do-hyun has continued his momentum with another star-making performance.

Also strong is Ra Mi-ran as Young-soon, a woman with the best of intentions in her heart but without the execution to back it up. Her fall from an optimistic, simplistic mother-to-be to an overly dedicated, harsh parent comes with plenty of resonance, and Ra does a very good job of demonstrating all sides of this equation.

Young-soon obviously wants her child to succeed in a way she couldn’t, yet her desperation for justice when it comes to Hae-sik gets things untidy.

Is The Good Bad Mother good or bad?

With this in mind, it’s easy to become gripped by The Good Bad Mother and all it has to offer.

Its complex-yet-digestible plot will have viewers firmly hooked, while things like the tight scriptwriting and commendable acting should ensure the show keeps to a consistently high quality.

Is The Good Bad Mother worth watching?

So, all in all, if you’re wanting something syringed with high-stakes emotion, though carefully smattered with slice-of-life style storytelling, The Good Bad Mother may be for you.

At the very least, it will give you something poignant to reflect on.

What did you think of the Netflix K-Drama series The Good Bad Mother Season 1? Comment below.

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