I know I said I would be busy the next two weeks but after finishing The Good Bad Mother and seeing all the effusive praise for it, I had a myriad of thoughts travelling through my head and I couldn’t help myself. If it sounds like I’m rambling on aimlessly… you’ll know why.
Really excellent rant/review :) Over and above specifics of narrative, etc that you mention, there are so many factors playing out with kdrama atm. which I think are impacting the quality of viewing experience. With regards to Bad/Good mother despite current pedagogy/psychological insight, I think that culturally there is a huge netizen following would forgive the anachronistic 'spare the rod, spoil the child' especially where there would seem to be a redemption arc or insight re abusive behaviour, the abuse is overlooked. Her brave, stalwart character in the face of such a tragic life is what predominates. In this show the conflating of severe abuse and kindness, is confusing and disturbing, although I'm sure it goes on IRL all the time. I agree the mother/son relationship is "odd", I think a healthier reaction on his part would be to keep his distance from such a toxic woman. But what predominates is probably the narrative that "sells" the best.
Moreover, I feel that with the massive worldwide popularity of kdrama and culture, as lucrative as it is, this would of course potentially impact the type of production, narrative, making it a more homogenous, predictable, blander viewing experience. I think Tale of the Nine Tailed 1938 is an example of this. It comes across with a Marvel vibe, but was adored and revered on MDL. Really for the same reasons western shows are liked.
I probs started watching asian drama around 4 years ago and like most people found it a welcome, fascinating relief from purely western cinema etc. However naturally you come to see that what seemed so innovative and different, becomes formulaic with ridiculous, repetitive tropes/plots etc. And so fewer and fewer shows really stand out eg My Liberation Notes. I find these days I'm FF ing/dropping a lot and watching more J and C dramas. I guess the honeymoon phase is over lol!!!