K-Drama Review: A Long Chapter of A Woman’s Hasty Revenge in ‘Nameless Woman’

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Korean Drama and the Revenge

Just like in other nations, you will come across the subject of revenge as the main theme of daily television series in South Korea. No matter how different the cultural aspect in each country, revenge is an unspoken rule which can be understood by everyone. Although frequently seen as negative and inappropriate, revenge is the result of human’s desperation after going through an unfair situation that may not have had to happen in the first place, if only the people who caused such circumstance have a conscience and morals. Realistically speaking, the desire for revenge is a human tendency after experiencing horrible things that were not supposed to occur.

As a country which produces tons of public, cable, and web-broadcast dramas every year, South Korea’s production houses have created revenge-themed dramas which ranged from one to five series. In 2017, Nameless Woman was included in the line-up of family/revenge dramas, gaining attention because of the veteran and senior stars who appeared in the KBS2 series. In this article, Channel-Korea will tell you all about the drama Nameless Woman, its synopsis, lead cast, original soundtracks, reasons to watch, and ratings. So, keep reading!

‘Nameless Woman’: a Melodrama of Revenge After Getting a New Identity

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Otherwise known as Unknown Woman and The Woman Without a Name, the series was broadcast every Monday to Friday at 19:50pm, having the slot which was previously occupied by First Love Again. Running for 102 episodes of 30 minutes each, Nameless Woman tells about two women of different ages, who have motherly love for their own children. Hong Ji-won (played by Bae Jong-ok) grew up at an orphanage. She studied hard and graduated from a prestigious university in order to run away from her initial poor background. Ji-won’s hard work paid off when she was accepted to work as a secretary at a large company, which then led her to marry the company’s owner and give birth to a son. Unfortunately, her beloved son has a disease, yet she never gives up on him and she will do anything for her child.

On the other hand, the other woman is Son Yeo-ri (played by Oh Ji-eun), a woman who was raised by wealthy foster parents who later abandoned her. Not only does she have to cope with the loss of her foster family, but Yeo-ri also lost her boyfriend who ditched her for the rich woman who was also her enemy during her school days. As if her misery was not enough, Yeo-ri also had to go to prison in order to protect her child and her life, which was ruined by people in the past. The similar story of motherly love between the two central female characters in Nameless Woman will collide and make an impressive melodrama series in 2017.

‘Nameless Woman’ Cast

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Due to its status as a daily drama, Nameless Woman included a hefty list of actors and actresses who starred in the drama. Therefore, we have summed up all the important characters of the drama below!

  • Oh Ji-eun as Son Yeo-ri / Yoon Seol
  • Bae Jong-ok as Hong Ji-won
  • Park Yoon-jae as Goo Do-chi
  • Seo Ji-seok as Kim Moo-yeol
  • Choi Yoon-so as Goo Hae-joo
  • Byun Woo-min as Goo Dae-young, Ji-won’s husband
  • Joo Seung-hyuk as Goo Hae-sung, Jiwon’s son
  • Han Kap-soo as Son Joo-ho, Yeo-ri’s adoptive father
  • Seo Kwon-soon as Seo Mal-nyeon, Yoon Seol’s mother
  • Sun Dong-hyuk as Yoon Ki-dong, Yoon Seol’s father
  • Bang Eun-hee as Jang Ae-nok, Moo-yeol’s mother
  • Lee In-ha as Kim Yeol-mae, Moo-yeol’s sister
  • Choi Hyun-joon as Kim Ga-ya, Moo-yeol and Hae-joo’s son
  • Kim Ji-an as Kim Ma-ya / Son Bom, Moo-yeol and Yeo-ri’s daughter
  • Park Joon-hyuk as Oliver Jang, Yoon Seol’s ex-fiance and Ae-nok’s boyfriend
  • Yeo Hoon-min as Jjang-goo, Do-chi’s friend

‘Nameless Woman’ Drama Soundtracks

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Unlike the typical Korean drama, which is filled by many songs for the soundtrack, Nameless Woman only has two songs. The first is Take It by KissN. The beginning of the song is started in a somber way as KissN brings the hurtful and emotional feelings of Yeo-ri when she sang the song.

The second and last song is Love, And by Shin Ihan. Different from the previous song, Love, And is a slow ballad which is accompanied by the strings of a guitar. The song came out in the later episodes when the pace slowed down and the characters are about to resolve the problems within the universe of the drama.

5 Reasons You Should Give ‘Nameless Woman’ A Try

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Melodrama-holics will get absorbed into Nameless Woman as soon as they start to binge-watch the drama. From the beginning, the viewers will get to see which characters will be the center of the plot, anti-hero, and villains who are exciting to be observed in the future episodes.

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The enemy-like relationship between Hong Ji-won and Son Yeo-ri is fun to watch. While Ji-won may be seen as a cunning and dominating anti-hero in the earlier episodes, Yeo-ri is able to catch up with her snake-like behavior because of her revenge. It may even be understandable, because who doesn’t get mad when your life gets ruined?!

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Despite being the youngest characters in the drama, Kim Ga-ya and Kim Ma-ya hold important places in the drama. In most dramas, child characters mostly only appear in a few scenes. However, Ga-ya and Ma-ya’s screentime is as plentiful as that of the adult characters, showing that their roles are as significant as the others and cannot be underestimated in supporting the development of the story.

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Unlike his real-life characteristics, Park Yoon-jae becomes a romanticist in Nameless Woman. As told in his interview on Entertainment Weekly, Park Yoon-jae is different from Go Doo-chi (his role in the drama), who has a sweet and gentle nature. He said that he cannot bear to act like that in reality. Even so, we believe that Park Yoon-jae is just as good as Go Doo-chi, because both of them are charming and likable.

Lastly, Nameless Woman ends on a good note. Though the main premise of the drama is having an act of revenge, the drama does not shove it throughout the finale episode. This kind of ending certainly gives the viewers some relief, because they already have to sit through the whole dramatic, tense plot for more than 100 episodes, which without a doubt is stressful to deal with. Therefore, the happy ending of Nameless Woman will fulfill everyone’s hope that the certain resolution is that the best revenge is actually to make peace and not war.

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Through its teaser, which was released prior to the premiere, Nameless Woman gains its potential viewers, especially the housewives and the elders, because the drama revolves around the subject of family, the closest and most relatable subject in South Korea. The daily drama runs for 102 30-minutes episodes or 51 regular episodes, a long journey to uncover layer within layer of the families involved in the story. While we are not an avid fan of makjang drama because of its overused plot that somehow is so easy to predict, we think that Nameless Woman has its own definition of fun. Though many viewers think that the drama resembles the earlier television series Heaven’s Promise, the drama has its own characteristics that are mostly owed to the superb performance of the whole cast. Each of them notably delivered great acting for so many episodes, hence respect is certainly given. Nameless Woman may not be for us, but it may suit those of you who love an intense and tear-jerking series. You can start watching the series in the video below!

‘Nameless Woman’ Drama Ratings

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Aired for the first time on April 24, 2017, Nameless Woman began quite strong in its ratings. Based on TNmS Ratings and AGB Nielsen, the lowest rating of Nameless Woman is between 11.4 – 13.1% on episodes 5 and 7, whereas the drama’s highest ratings are on episodes 98 and 99, at between 21.7 – 26.3%. The increase may not be considered unusual, as these episodes contain turn-around moments of the drama leads, hence the high ratings. On average, Nameless Woman’s ratings were around 16.2 – 20.3% in both nationwide and Seoul area, scaled.