It’s been a while since I finished a K-Drama series, the last being Love In Contract which was my 106th series. That makes Queenmaker my 107th. I have a lot of unfinished ones from then until now. This was too engaging to put off and I ended up watching all 11 episodes in 3 days. Queenmaker stars Kim Hee-ae, more known as Dr. Ji Sun-woo from The World of the Married. Somehow I just know a drama is going to be good when she’s in it.
This time Kim Hee-ae plays Hwang Do-hee, the “fixer” (think Olivia Pope of the American series “Scandal”) of Eunsung Group, one of the biggest conglomerates in Seoul. Do-hee is a PR person and cleaner rolled into one, taking care of any and all scandals the family members behind the Eunsung Group are always getting themselves into. However when Eunsung Group’s son-in-law’s affair with a female employee gets out of hand and results in her suicide, Do-hee is rocked to her core. To top it off, Eunsung’s chairwoman tells her to cover up the suicide and help their son-in-law become the mayor of Seoul. Do-hee refuses and decides to leave Eunsung Group which she had been working for for the last 10 years.
Eunsung Group doesn’t want to let Do-hee go but she is adamant. So they make it hard for her — they don’t give her severance pay, take away her car, her luxury condo… and even get her sick father kicked out of the hospital where he is confined. Do-hee’s life crumbles before her and she vows to take revenge and destroy everything the Eunsung Group has ever built.
Do-hee meets Oh Kyung-sook, a labor lawyer and political activist who had been rallying for the Eunsung Group’s dismissed employees. She convinces Oh Kyung-sook to run for mayor and bring about real change in Seoul. Do-hee is determined to help Oh Kyung-sook win at all costs.
Ultimately, the Seoul mayoral election will be the final battleground between the Eunsung Group and Hwang Do-hee.
I can’t say it enough but Queenmaker is such an awesome series. I was hooked right after the first episode. Well-cast, well-acted, and well-written, it’s so hard to stop watching once you start. Yes, it’s a revenge drama which seems to be the in thing these days… but it’s a revenge drama done exceptionally well. I loved the idea of having two strong female leads. Plus, the fact that this series has absolutely no romance makes it quite a refreshing watch. It’s like a complicated chess game from the get-go, I couldn’t wait to see how Do-hee and the Eunsung Group would counter each other’s moves. Character development for the two leads is portrayed really well. The pacing is perfect too. A lot happens in each episode and there are no useless fillers or extenders.
Kim Hee-ae won the Baeksang Best Actress award for The World of the Married and she shows us once again exactly WHY she did. She, Moon So-ri (Oh Kyung-sook), as well as the supporting cast all turn in Baeksang-worthy performances.
Queenmaker’s ending hints at the possibility of another season, here’s hoping they actually push through with it. This series is exclusively available on Netflix.
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