Becky’s Back (aka Baek-Hee Has Returned) is a four-episode Kdrama that was aired on KBS2 in June of 2016. Although not new, this drama is cute enough to be put on your watch list.
At 18 years old, Yang Baek-Hee fled her small island town of Seomwoldo due to a scandal that turned her life upside down. Now, almost two decades later, and using the name Yang So-Hee, she has returned to her hometown along with her husband and high school-age daughter who happens to be quite a handful. Wanting to keep a low profile from old acquaintances, Baek-Hee warns her rebellious daughter, Shin Ok-Hee, to stay out of trouble. However, because of her tough-girl attitude and the huge chip she has on her shoulder, Ok-Hee definitely calls attention to herself, even though it’s not deliberate, and it doesn’t take long before she is surrounded by a few male villagers who, for some reason, feel the need to shower her with attention. Ok-Hee soon begins to wonder if one of the three men who have taken a personal interest in her could possibly be the biological father she’s never known. As she begins to dig into her mother’s past, hoping to discover who her real dad is, she stirs up memories and feelings that Baek-Hee and the three father candidates had kept hidden for so very long.
When Yang Baek-Hee was in high school she was the leader of the “Baek-Hee gang”, a small group of wanna-be delinquents. Although she was well known for her fighting abilities and was able to beat up almost any guy, to this day, some people claim she dated half the young men in town. One of the boys interested in her said her only flaw was being “way too pretty.” After running away to escape a scandal, Baek-Hee is now back in town and she’s brought her family with her. She provides for them by making jeotgal which is sold via a home shopping network. Baek-He has kept her entire past hidden from her daughter which may be one of the reasons the two are constantly at odds with one another.
Woo Bum-Ryong, nicknamed “The Golden Fist,” had a bright future ahead of him as a Taekwondo athlete. He won gold medals at the National Athletics Match while still in high school and Baek-Hee believed he could even win gold if he went to the Olympics. Bum-Ryong is a quiet, sympathetic man who lives with, and cares for, his mother who suffers from dementia. In order to make a living, he drives the ferry and is also a delivery man. Ok-Hee claims he is simple-minded, ignorant, and would be “a dad who is ready to fall for anything, anytime.” She refers to him as her “godfather.”
Cha Jong-Myung was Baek-Hee’s first boyfriend and he wasn’t happy when their relationship ended and she began dating Bum-Ryong. While in high school, Jong-Myung was the manager of a cola disco. He was the only one of the group that went to college and now that he’s a businessman he claims to be the richest person in the district. Although Ok-Hee calls him her “best friend” she thinks he nags a lot and feels, “If he was my dad, our relationship would have been similar to a war.”
Hong Doo-Sik had a huge crush on Baek-Hee in high school which he may not completely have gotten over. He is now married, with four children, one of which is a year younger than Ok-Hee. He takes great pride in the fact that he has so many kids and thinks of himself as a great lover. Doo-Sik is a farmer, and he’s more than happy to hire Ok-Hee to work for him so she can have some pocket money. Although she refers to him simply as her boss, she thinks he feels like every daughter in the world is his daughter!
Ok-Hee was raised in Seoul by her single mother until she was 14-years-old. When her mother married a doctor, the first thing Ok-Hee wanted to do was take a professional family portrait. Now, her relationship with her step-father is cordial at best. Although she’s smart, she doesn’t always make smart decisions. She and her mother often bicker, so much so that she’s run away from home on a few occasions, but has always come back. She looks tough and can fight like a pro, taking on several people at a time. She would like to be a singer/idol someday.
Shin Ki-Joon’s sweet smile and loving words would make anyone think he was an attentive husband and father but they’d be wrong. Selfish Ki-Joon merely tolerates his step-daughter and treats his wife like a piggy bank since she is the one paying off his gambling debt. He knew Baek-Hee from high school and married her in spite of the ugly scandal that surrounded her.
From the time they were young Baek-Hee, Bum-Ryong, Jong-Myung, and Doo-Sik would hang out together all the time and the friends became known as The Fantastic Four. However, an “internal war broke out when they hit puberty,” probably due to the young men’s amorous feelings for Baek-Hee, but still consider each other friends.
Forty-year-old Kang Ye-Won (who plays the title character Yang Baek-Hee), born Kim Ji-Eun, began acting in 2001 and has been in films, TV dramas, and one musical. You might remember her in My Nineteen Year Old Sister-in-Law and Bad Guys.
The second I saw Kim Sung-Oh (the man who plays Woo Bum-Ryong) I remembered him from his role as Kim Joo-Won’s secretary in Secret Garden. I love that drama and he was darling in it. Forty-two-year-old Kim Sung-Oh was married in 2014 (to someone not in the entertainment industry) and is the daddy of a little boy.
The character Cha Jong-Myung is played by Choi Dae-Chul. He began his career as a theater actor in 2004, made his way to the silver screen after that, and then went on to TV in 2011. I’ve seen him in Super Daddy Yoel, Who Are You: School 2015, The Time That I Loved You, 7,000 Days, Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, Melo Holic, Jugglers, Evergreen, The Beauty Inside, When the Camellia Blooms, Psychopath Diary, and Born Again.
In Gyo-Jin’s role is that of farmer Hong Doo-Sik. He went to Dankook University, majoring in English Language and Literature. His acting debut came in 2000 by way of the long-running TV series Lifetime in the Country. At the beginning of his career, he used the stage name Do Yi-Sung but then decided to go by his birth name in 2012. He dated actress So Yi-Hyun (who co-starred with him in three productions) for ten years before getting married and later having a daughter. Gyo-Jin and his little girl were cast members on the variety show The Return of Superman. In 2017 he and his wife added a second daughter to their family.
The gal who plays Shin Ok-Hee is Jin Ji-Hee, who is not new to the entertainment world. She has been acting since she was four-years-old, beginning her career with the drama Yellow Handkerchief in 2003. She appeared in her first movie, Cello, two years later. I’ve seen her in Fight My Way.
Philip Choi plays Baek-Hee’s husband, Shin Ki-Joon. The 41-year-old actor began his entertainment career in 2005 with the TV drama Young-Jae’s Golden Days. He was involved in the theater around that time, as well. In 2011 he made a cameo appearance in Head, his first feature film. The only other things I’ve seen him in are Soulmate, Star’s Lover, and High School King of Savvy.
Although I didn’t laugh, there are several comedic situations in the drama, which gives what could be a serious story more of a light feel. Broken hearts, a dysfunctional family, a troublesome scandal, a mom with dementia, a wanna-be juvenile delinquent, a high school girl gang that has gone on for 19 years… all very serious and heavy topics but the drama doesn’t come across that way at all. I think you’ll like it.
The writer decided to let the audience find out who Ok-Hee’s real dad is little bits at a time. It makes things fun to try and piece together clues, and second-guess situations to figure out which of the three friends is the one Ok-Hee has been looking for. It also makes things more entertaining when we have to guess what Baek-Hee’s high school scandal was all about.
Becky’s Back had decent ratings, averaging a respectable 10.6%, and was the recipient of two Excellence Awards in the Short Drama category at the 30th KBS Drama Awards – Kim Sung-Oh and Kang Ye-Won both took one home for their performances.
I can’t recall any songs from the show, and when I went to YouTube to refresh my memory there wasn’t anything there so I can’t give you any information about the soundtrack. Sorry.
The scenery is quaint yet beautiful but we wouldn’t expect anything less from a Kdrama that is set in a little village on an island.
With it being double the length of a regular movie, Becky’s Back is a pleasant choice you could finish in just one or two sittings. So block out some time on your next free weekend, grab a bowl of popcorn, and give this light Kdrama a shot. I think you’ll be happy you did.
Comedy lightens the heavy aspects of the show
We figure things out alongside the characters
Quaint yet lovely island scenery
Only four episodes/hours