I’m eagerly awaiting episodes 5 and 6 of the Korean drama Mine, which Netflix and tvN (Korea) are simultaneously broadcasting worldwide. If you wondered what Parasite the movie would be as a TV show, here’s that world again. And instead of a two-story house with a secret basement level as the setting, Mine takes us to the elite Parasite couple’s grand-daddy’s residential complex where the buildings have their own names and are accessible by golf cart.
If you’re looking for a show that’s not too hard to figure out, but still has some plot twists, then this is for you. The characters have simple desires. And the action has simple plot turns at steady intervals. It may look like a B-level soap opera at first, but that’s because the characters have simple objectives they can’t have. They struggle to greedily grab onto what’s ‘mine’. With an ensemble cast each with their own subplot, you’ll be grateful that their desires are simple because you have to keep track of about eight storylines.
Immediately you’ll recognize the villain (college counselor) from Sky Castle and one of the psycho villains (female demon) from The Uncanny Encounter. They have more screen time in this show and they give their performances everything they’ve got.
You’ll also see very famous actresses and veteran actors from K-dramas throughout the decades. If you’re wondering who embodied the ‘prettiest’ girl in the room of each decade in modern Korea, you see them in the actresses cast in various age ranges in this show. It’s really cool. Familiar and comforting because we remember. But jarring and shame-inducing since they don’t fit in with the new trends in our minds.
Beautiful Cinematography & Feast for the Eyes
One of the maids who gets kicked out of the complex in the first episode said it best – she was going to miss her job because there were so many interesting things to see. Dishes, peacocks, art, architecture, food, clothes, closets, and jewelry. If you want to see the best materialism of Korea on display, this show does it. All the scenes are shot really well like a movie with great lighting and depth.
All the Characters Trying to Desperately Grab What’s “Mine”
The writer is trying to make the point that no matter how rich you are everyone is trying to grab onto something that’s theirs. Through the mysterious nun character, the show actually says the rich are the hungriest and least satisfied and therefore are in the most pain. No one gets to have what’s ‘mine’ – at least not yet.
- Does she get the love and acceptance of her adopted son?
- Can she get back the son she had to give up to another woman?
- Will she ever have her husband’s heart more than his mistress does?
- Is love across class lines something she can even dream of having?
- Does he dare own his own life and decline the programmed life he’s bound to honor?
Jungle of Psychopaths
Lack of empathy and self-entitlement are off the charts in these characters. Add to the mix lots of money and time to feed octane to their desires and boom! Conflict! Oh, and did I mention it’s also a murder mystery? The show starts off with a murder and goes back in time to see how we got to the point where someone’s blood is on some very expensive imported marble.
We know what the Sky Castle actress’ character wants but can’t have as ‘mine’… a female love! It was hinted at starting episode 1 and then it got abundantly clear by the end of episode 4 that this mother feels unquenchable pain for leaving her lover somewhere behind. It’s definitely progress to see this theme in a major tv show storyline.
The equivalent of car chases or gun battles in a drama like this is a good ole fashioned cat fight that’s been reimagined and botoxed up for 2021. And this show delivers. If you want to see how Korean moms play the ultimate Mean Girls chess, then here it is. Plus, see the slap heard around Seoul! These women do not play. They slay.