Maids is the type of dramas you’d be looking for a reason not to watch but it surprises the heck out of you and gets you hooked. Yes it was so good. Maids is a saguek which tackles slavery, classes, women’s roles, political corruption, ambition, power, love, family, freedom and survival. It basically presents all the human questions in an intriguing manner that leaves you helpless. You find yourself forced to look for answers knowing you’ll end up empty handed. You can’t completely hate anyone-two people excepted-. You’ll sympathise, empathise, cry, shout, pull your hair, throw things and smile through your tears. You’ll have many WTF moments. But you’ll love every second.
The story revolves around slaves; those who born slaves and those who fell into slavery because of ”treason”. Is a slave a human? Much less a citizen? Nobles treat slaves like chess pawns, toys and objects while slaves should treat them like their ”parents”. If a master commits a crime against the slave, the slave can’t accuse their masters. It’s another crime.
Slave realising that law, tradition and the world is against them, they can’t but bond together. They cover for each other and save one another. They avenge their comrades. Though at times they cannot but abandon each other to save their own lives or those they love, we see them regretting and begging for forgiveness then getting along again. They’re humans, in the true and naked nature of a human; contradicted and selfish but caring and loving.
Power is emphasised in the drama. The historical era is a sensitive one. It’s the era of foundation and royal family members are fighting over the throne. There’s no care or love left between them. There’s only power and the throne. A son exiles his father. The father kills his sons. And the story goes on. What connects them is the desire to get rid of each other to secure the throne. ”A monarch is not a human”; is what King Taejong replied to his father (King Taejo)’s question on how he could do what he did to his family.
Beneath all the agony, the political agendas and the selfish ambitions lies love. Love here is different from romantic stories in other dramas. How can I express it?! Deeper? More human? More real? Though nothing could stop them, they tried to stop. To be able to survive, to help the people they care about survive, they tried to stop. There was so much between them -I’m talking about all stories here-; social class, ideology, memories and future. They were aware of all that and they knew life was stronger than they were. So they did try to stop, to escape, to lie and to deceive. But nothing worked. For them that was Fate and it was stronger. But that was Love and that’s why it won.” Relationships are like this; if one side doesn’t let go, it never ends.”
The role of gisaengs is also presented here; how they actively participate in the behind scenes of power games. And I was disappointed when the gisaeng here (Ga Hee Ah) started as strong and ambitious then faded away.
Special things about the drama:
Put the superb acting and the BEAUTIFUL love story of In Yub and Moo Myung aside; there were so many cute and lovely things about the drama.
First; the hairpins. Well, I know I shouldn’t mention this the first thing but man I always stare stupidly at the hairpins in all dramas. They’re just so fascinating!
Park Chul Min’s role here is serious. Still, he couldn’t help being funny. I enjoyed his moments here. He was as brilliant as always.
All the supporting actors were cute but my favourite was Yang Seung Pil who played Ba Woo (Eun Ki’s servant). He looks so much like Kim Kimbum I would stare at him whenever he’s on screen.
The best thing about the drama was Sa Wol. I love Lee Cho Hee. Wherever she is she always gives me a warm feeling. She’s funny, cute and talented. And I can see her talent growing and getting more noticed. As Sa Wol; she was the sister and the friend of In Yub. Without her In Yub wouldn’t have made it through all that torture. Her love, loyalty and dedication were so touching. And she made me cry all through. At the end she broke my heart and I still cry whenever I see photos of her. God she’s a sensation.
Eun Ki’s change of character, the hate and anger in his eyes, his dented pride, his broken heart and how it all turned him into a ‘bad’ guy trying to get his woman back was epic. Eun Ki’s character was the most intriguing. He buried the kind and carefree young scholar under the vengeful one and he did a great job at being an arsehole. I applaud you Kim Dong Wook.
I loved how the bad people got what they deserved. No silly redemptions. ” It’s just that simple. There is evil. And there is good.”
The best moment in the drama was when Moo Myung saved In Yub and they fled on a horse. He pulled down his mask and gave her a look. And oh my!! It was the most beautiful look ever and it summarised all his love and care for her. It sent butterflies down my stomach.
Disappointing things about the drama:
This was the most intriguing thing for me. I couldn’t make up my mind about it. I thought it was a slave organisation to emancipate slaves and abolish slavery. It clicked to all those radical beliefs I had in college and the rebel in me was struggling because I was on In Yub’s side and they did ruin her life. Still I kept thinking about the great cause and whatever. In Yub as well was an arrogant noble and that didn’t help. But when it turned out to be consisted of people trying to personally avenge themselves and bring an extinct nation to life, the image shattered into pieces. I was really disappointed. All the thrill and mystery of the organisation vanished. That was a big let-down.
By the way the actor playing King Taejong is Ahn Nae Sang. Yeah Great Ahn Nae Sang. And what was the role exactly? Not main, not supporting, not cameo, not anything. I was really exasperated. You don’t do that to a veteran and talented actor. Seriously!
There was no OSTs! Yeah I mean it! Imagine! No OSTs!!
WTF moments (excuse my French!):
It’s been on my mind for a while but, why on Earth didn’t noble couples sleep in the same room? I mean, what was that all about?
The drama is laden with deep thoughts and controversial questions. Everyone chases the truth but is everyone ready for its burden? How can we know a person? Or more precisely, can we at all? People manage their grief and break-ups way differently. Nobles want to always win. ‘They cannot afford to lose anything; because they’re nobles.’ How much of our beliefs and memories are true? How deceived are we in some things? Why do people seek revenge? And then what? Can people get reborn and lead new and maybe better lives under worse circumstances? Is life about surviving no matter what? As long as we’re alive, can we achieve everything we dream of, or at least hope? What’s Heaven’s will? What about human will? Does karma exist? How valid is the saying; what goes around comes around?
Maids is about the journey of the life of each of us, through good and evil. It’s about how we deal with troubles, heart breaks and epiphanies differently. It’s about us.