A couple of days after she rescues her friend from a serial kidnapper's clutches, the title heroine of the South Korean drama, Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, returns to work on cloud nine.
In Gook Doo (Ji Soo), a cop she has worshipped since their schooldays and the only person in her life who hasn't caught on to the fact that she has superhuman strength, has been fussing needlessly, but sweetly, over her safety since the incident.
This morning, he escorted her (Park Bo Young) to the online game company that employs her as a bodyguard. Yesterday, he took the unusual step of asking her boss, Ahn Min Hyuk (Park Hyung Sik), a hotshot he can't even stand, to shelter her from the abductor.
"He probably thinks that the culprit is after me. Of course that will worry him," Bong Soon gloats, in the voice of a girl who lives in a wonderland of rainbows, butterflies and unicorns. The kidnapper is a "pretty bad" person after all, she admits, grinning non-stop like a romcom heroine who has gone bananas.
Min Hyuk informs her that she is being scary. "You always surprise me right when I'm about to get used to you," he declares.
Seriously, though, she's being adorable. So is the show, which has the demented perkiness of a romantic comedy that often forgets it is also a superhero story and a small-town thriller.
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The superhero story-thriller- romance was getting a little tired after a trio of blockbusters, My Love From The Star (2013), Legend Of The Blue Sea (2016) and Goblin (2016), each of them a little more super-duper than the others. (Imagine how the pitch for Goblin was made: "Their alien gets the girl after 400 years? Our goblin meets the girl after 900 years!")
Strong Woman Do Bong Soon feels refreshing, mainly because it has the tra-la-la tone of an itsy-bitsy show about regular people with regular problems.
Bong Soon may come from a long matrilineal line of superheroes - an origin myth that is told in a brisk comic-strip style - but she just wants to become the kind of frail flower fancied by most guys, from the cop to the criminal.
Min Hyuk is an average rich guy with average rich-guy problems. He hired Bong Soon after he received death threats.
Absurdly, his bodyguard comes with a police bodyguard of her own (either Gook Doo or one of his colleagues), which is really cramping his style.
Primarily, the show is a love story and maybe one of the more serious problems it does present is: How does a guy protect a girl who will never be a damsel in distress?
Min Hyuk comes up with a way, though. A video of Bong Soon drunkenly ripping out a dance pole goes viral and she is mortified.
Her boss quietly goes to her rescue by asking a fellow technopreneur to remove the video.
He understands superheroes have feelings too and it has fallen to him to protect hers.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2017, with the headline 'She's the superhero, he's the damsel'. Print Edition | Subscribe
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