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“QUEENMAKER” KDRAMA REVIEW [WE ARE BACK!]: A political drama with striking semblance with Philippine Elections

YES! WE ARE BACK IN THE SANDPIT. As some of you might be waiting for our Japan Trip updates and travel guides, I wish to share my review of QUEENMAKER which was my first binge-watch upon my returning from vacation. And though we know that all of it are fictional, my Filipino heart can immediately see a few semblance of it with our very own politics back home. With that being the case, work of arts such as the QUEENMAKER can mirror actual lives and scenarios with the purpose of creatively presenting a situation that will leave the audience to think, act, and (possibly) change for the better.

Dramas have the power to exaggerate, see-through any situations in advance, and even provoke our minds to think since they can’t be a direct presentation of an actual situation to avoid any negative implications (thus the legal disclaimers). But if the plot is somewhat similar to one, or two, or more situations, then it could also mean then that the drama is trying to present not just a compelling story but a culture, a generic situation, or even a status-quo that needs urgent attention.

The QUEENMAKER opens with the first episode trying to establishing the main character’s capabilities as a corporate fixer. After the global success of The World of the Married in 2020, Kim Hee-Ae once again took a very challenging role as Hwang Do-Hee, a Corporate Strategy General Manager and “fixer” for the major conglomerate, Eunsung Group in QUEENMAKER. She is in-charge of the corporate image and public relations for the company as well as the members of the family. For some, her job may be viewed as a “dog” doing everything that her master wills.

Until that pivotal incident that challenged the principles of the lead character – an incident involving the untimely death of one of her staff in the department. This pushed her to decide to go against the very family that she is serving as a fixer” and try to salvage the remaining principles and dignity in her by doing something “good” – and eventually work on revealing the cause of death of her staff and the many layers of corruption and irregularities of Eunsung Group.

Her role as a Queenmaker took a positive turn when she encouraged and tried to transform a civil rights lawyer into becoming the next mayor of Seoul — and take down her former employer, much more to defeat the candidate coming from Eunsung Group (the greedy and ambitious son-in-law, a womanizer who was eventually revealed as the cause of death of her staff).

The election campaign showed a see saw battle between strategists from both camps, each coming up with plans to outwit each other and lead the poll. Surprisingly, with the two main candidates (male – coming from Eunsung Group; and a female – a lawyer/activist), it “somehow” bear a striking semblance with the recent elections in the Philippines (in my own opinion alone). The direct plan to boycott and turn down any political debate, the heavy use of fake news and social media propaganda, plus the attack on a candidate’s family members was also highlighted in the drama. Of course, it can be issues that’s also prevalent in many other countries… or in Seoul itself. The coincidence could always be so close yet must only be viewed as a work of fiction.

And in keeping with the culture of giving us compelling, diverse, and must-watch Korean storytelling, the writer of QUEENMAKER gave us a positive ending where the evil does not proper and the good being triumphant in the end. But just when we thought that all is good until the proclamation of the newly elected mayor of Seoul, another controversy broke out with a carefully planned strategy of Hwang Do-Hee to completely put a big blow to the conglomerate she once served. That’s leaving no stones unturned to her revenge and self reflection that even caused her to be put to jail in the end (after being involved in accepting political bribes).

Did they even foreshadow a sequel by showing another potential candidate asking her service for his future political campaign? We will know soon if there’s a second part in the drawing table. But as the story ended that way, it only showed the main character’s impact as a QUEENMAKER.

During my vacation, binge-watching K-dramas and Youtube vlogs are some of the things that I missed doing. So when I got back to Doha and had few more days of rest before resuming at work, I saw Queenmaker on Netflix and it glued me from my seat until the 11th Episode. And as a fan of this genre (including medical, courtroom, conglomerate, crimes, etc.), it gave me that adrenaline rush to see through its ending. Most of the time, it would be favorable and positive ending… but at times, it could be shocking and mind-boggling. But every time, it’s a feast for K-drama lovers like me since it gave us an opportunity to stretch out our inquisitive minds.

Watch QUEENMAKER on Netflix and see how, as a responsible viewer, we can make a difference in our own communities and societies.

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