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The Suspicious Housekeeper 

Soosanghan Gajungboo (original title)
A drama about a housekeeper Park Bok Nyeo, who gets hired to work for a family which has just lost its mother, leaving just the father and 4 children. But, she's strange. She is unsociable ... See full summary »
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2013  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Ji-Woo Choi ...  Park Bok Nyeo unknown episodes
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Storyline

A drama about a housekeeper Park Bok Nyeo, who gets hired to work for a family which has just lost its mother, leaving just the father and 4 children. But, she's strange. She is unsociable housekeeper who is perfect in what she does around the house but doesn't smile or show her feelings due to her mysterious past. Bok Nyeo will help the family healing process and rebuild their bonds. Written by DramaWiki

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Drama | Mystery

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [South Korea]

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean

Release Date:

23 September 2013 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

The Suspicious Housekeeper See more »

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Trivia

This drama is the Korean remake of Japan's hit drama, Kaseifu no Mita, which aired in 2011. See more »

Connections

Remake of Kaseifu no mita (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An unusual theme for a K-drama that's equally workable & unspectacular.
4 January 2014 | by cremeaSee all my reviews

The Suspicious Housekeeper/Strange Housekeeper is a 20 episode Korean TV Drama from late 2013.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

This is somewhat of an odd show for Korean television; it's a very disjointed mix of family values and adult themes, with a murderous secret back story thrown in. In many ways, it often feels much more like a Japanese life lessons drama for teens, or an older American type after school special, than it does a modern Korean melodrama (except, it goes on a crazy revenge tale bender for a while in the middle of things).

Here's your story: Choi Ji Woo stars as the titular character, and she is one strange housekeeper to say the least. She's hired by a recently widowed husband with a family of 4 young kids to be maid/nanny/cook of the household. The Housekeeper is essentially a mirror image of Mary Poppins; she can do everything and anything and even comes with a magic bag from which to pull whatever is needed for any given circumstance. She's also very precise, never smiles, and is completely devoid of emotion. As such, at first blush, it would almost appear she must be some type of sentient android or ghostly reincarnation or what have you.

After a rocky start between them, the kids eventually take a cautious liking to their new housekeeper while their dad is busy trying to get his sh*t together; the dad is primarily portrayed as a cowardly man & absentee father for much of the early part of this show. Thus, the kids start to rely on the housekeeper more and more, and since she obeys EVERY order requested of her, they quickly find she can be quite useful. Being kids though, they frequently make some awfully rash requests that entail killing, sex, &/or general mayhem. SPOILERS NOTE: there is no actual killing or sex involved, since the kids come to their senses &/or chicken out before any real damage can be done.

Over time, the housekeeper helps the kids learn & heal & grow via some often unconventional methods; the kids then slowly come to think of her as more of a mom than a housekeeper, and they eventually want her to join their family to replace the mom they just lost. First though, they need to figure out what happened in her past to make her so emotionless and help her become more a loving human being once again. Along about this time, a maniacal businessman is introduced into the story; the housekeeper is convinced this is the person responsible for ruining her life, and she sets out to make him pay for his perceived sins. This amounts to a very strange interlude to the tone of the original story, but it nevertheless serves as the means to uncovering the housekeeper's history and having her heal her own past wounds.

That's basically it. Otherwise, it's just a matter of following along to see if kids & dad can grow closer and move on with life, see if housekeeper can resolve her past & present issues with the mysterious businessman (if she doesn't outright kill him), and to see if housekeeper is willing & ready to become part of a new family.

Choi Ji Woo is rather good as the housekeeper, but this is such an unusual role; she's afforded few opportunities to break from her rigid character, though she is quite effective while acting within it. Lee Sung Jae adequately portrays the flawed man that tries to become a better dad & person over time. The businessman guy and love interest girl do their jobs well enough. There are a couple of other side characters as well: the clutzy aunt, the father in law & the housekeeper agency boss with their own relationship,and some neighbors, that are primarily on hand for some filler and buffoonery. Then, there are the kids, and, well, Yikes!

The kids are focused on considerably throughout (particularly the 2 girls); each of the kids get their own story line, and the eldest daughter gets her own recurring sub story as a member of the lamest group in the history of KPop. The purpose of this story line isn't really focused on their music, but they are laughably bad performers nonetheless; however, the young actress that played this role did give a very nice performance overall throughout this show. The rest of the kids get progressively younger though, and they often have some difficulty handling the subject material in a satisfactory manner. I'm not going to sit here and bash a bunch of child actors/actresses, but it's awfully hard to expect what looks like a 5 year old girl to keep up with the manic shooting pace of a KTV drama, let alone sufficiently pretend to comprehend and deal with her mom's suicide, a crappy dad, and all the other adult themes swirling around her; this poor little girl can barely even read her lines, yet she's practically THE central figure in trying to build a familial relationship with the robotic housekeeper, and this obviously creates some considerable problems during some of the more dramatic scenes involving the two of them.

All in all, I didn't think this show was all that great, though it does have its moments here and there. It's such an unusual mix of flavors, tones, & story that I'm not even sure who the target audience for this thing is supposed to be; it's often too mature for kids, likely not flashy or sexy enough overall for late teens & young adults to identify with, and, it's somewhat unsuited for more seasoned K-drama viewers looking for a traditional melodrama fix. In addition, I think this probably would have been a far better show if the housekeeper/businessman relationship was completely omitted in lieu of focusing solely on the life lesson/family value/personal healing aspect that serves as its foundation.

Bottom Line: 6.5 out of 10 stars.


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