Louisa May Alcott’s coming-of-age literary classic Little Women has been adapted into a riveting new K-drama of the same name.
The novel has been televised and filmed over the decades since its publication in 1868, but this new South Korean drama is the first of its kind, reimagined as a crime thriller involving class friction.
Class division is a common theme in K-dramas, but this retelling skips the fairytale fluff often woven into typical South Korean soap plots and instead features dark scenes as the sisters navigate rough terrain torn between family loyalty and their own desires is.
The new series, directed by Kim Hee-won, airing on Netflix, has received praise from viewers who have compared it to the Oscar-winning film Parasite.
Cast joins new K-drama Little Women, which sees a class battle erupt when three sisters become involved with a wealthy family
Echoes of Alcott: The female characters are very different, but can all be fitted into a “guy” that parallels Alcott’s beloved March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy
Critically acclaimed screenwriter Chung Seo-kyung was part of the team that brought contemporary film Little Women to screens this year, and she read the original book as a child
It premiered on the streaming platform earlier this month and a new episode will be released every week until October 9th.
The new Little Women series is just one in a string of hit Netflix hits produced by Korean producers, including the cult hit Squid Game (2021) and Romance is a Bonus Book (2019).
Alcott’s novel centers on sisters, Meg, the eldest, who tries to take care of the household, Jo, who is hot-tempered and boyish, Beth, who is gentle and sweet, and Amy, the youngest, who is often described as vain becomes.
The K-Drama deviates from the original text by depicting three sisters instead.
Kim Go Eun plays the role of older sister Oh In-ju who, like Meg in the novels, grew up taking care of the rest of the family.
Actress Nam Ji Hyun portrays Oh In-kyung, the middle sister who works as a journalist. Kyung is moral and she believes that money doesn’t buy happiness.
The youngest sister, Oh-in-kyung, who may portray Amy March in Louisa Alcott’s original novel, attends a prestigious art school
The three sisters Oh In-ju, Oh In-kyung and Oh In-kyung, depicted as “little women” in their small kitchen while living a life of poverty
Park Ji-hu plays the youngest sister, Oh in-kyung, who is studying at a prestigious art school.
The plot is a mixture of thriller and stylish drama, with hints of old age cinema reminiscent of the original novel.
The three sisters end up in a very wealthy family after getting involved in a big crime.
This pits them against the powerful wealthy family as they struggle to uncover the roots of the mystery.
The plot sees the siblings locked in a clash where they are threatened, use guns, engage in dangerous hacking and double agent schemes to uncover the truth behind the wealthy family.
A blend of thriller and drama, the series wowed viewers and reviewers alike upon release
Grime and Glamour: The juxtaposition of poverty and wealth coalesces into a common theme that runs through Korean pop culture, where the two worlds usually collide on opposite sides of the fence
Viewers have already drawn comparisons to 2019’s Korean film Parasite, hailing it as “another complex depiction of class struggle.”
One Twitter user said: “It uses the theme ‘is it stealing if it’s already stolen?'”
Another fan said they were confused by the complex twists and turns of the plot, saying on Twitter: “ghost orchid, vietnam war, hwayoung, plastic surgery, puppets, games, park jae-sang, singapore, ledger, 70 billion won.”
“This is literally me watching this show without understanding anything.”
One user said the sisters are a “force to be reckoned with”.
The main female series was dubbed “influential” — one tweeted: “Little Women is the drama I really wanted all along. Written and directed by a woman who gives us the best lines, plot and amazing direction, with flawed women as the main characters? EVEN THE MAIN BEAUTY IS A WOMAN. It’s so EFFECTIVE, let’s be honest.”
Fans took to Twitter to draw comparisons to the Korean Little Women series and 2019 film Parasite, but some say the complex storylines were confusing