Bossam Steal the Fate Review
Synopsis. Bossam Steal the Fate is a 2021 historical kdrama about the struggle for power and those swept up in its wake. One man, living his life as a commoner, has a side hustle of bossams. “Bossam” is the remarriage kidnapping during the Joseon period. Widows could not remarry. A man would kidnap (by consent or force) the widow and marry her (per Asianwiki). One night he bossams the wrong widow and ends up with a princess, daughter of the current king and daughter-in-law of the king’s nemesis. Dismayed he’s lost the king’s daughter; the nemesis tells the big lie – the king’s daughter has committed suicide. The nemesis will stop at nothing maintain the big lie. He sends his minions to ensure the king’s daughter never resurfaces alive. The man that has kidnapped the princess succumbs to his son’s pleas to save the princess and his own inclinations to help her. They go on the run. Will the man save the princess, or will the nemesis permanently silence her to maintain the big life? Will a kingdom topple in the ensuing power struggle between king and nemesis?
What I liked about Bossam Steal the Fate
Writing. The foundation to a great series is a script that has character development, complexity, and an overarching story built with effective episode endpoints that draws to a satisfying conclusion. Writers Kim Ji Soo and Park Cheol crafted a compelling chess match between political powers – the king, the nemesis, factions, foreign entities, and those trying to navigate the twists, turns, and reveals. The cadre of characters was varied and contributed the story tides. There were chess match moves and counter moves galore.
Ensemble Cast. While the leads can be highlighted, the contributing characters spanned every spectrum of society. The king’s foibles didn’t negate his humanity. The nemesis was a villain with a long game plan. He didn’t win all the time (a pet peeve of mine). The second male lead loved the princess but mattered more to the story than a lovesick lead. All the characters added to the story’s sum. There were no “nails on the chalkboard” annoying characters. It felt like every actor knew they’d have their moments to shine and took full advantage.
Couple with an Uncertain Destiny. Our male lead, Ba Woo (Jung Il Woo), was forced out of a quiet life into twisting himself to save those he loved. He fell for our female lead, the princess, Soo Kyung (Kwon Yuri), who was more than the meek woman we first met. The odds were stacked against this couple. Their end point was uncertain until the final episode. Jung Il Woo has selected stellar historicals since his return from mandatory service. As a longtime fan of this actor, I was impressed with his thoughtful portrayal of a leading man battling his past and present to forge a future focused on family. Kwon Yuri imparted a steely will into the lovely and surprisingly strategic princess.
What I didn’t like about Bossam Steal the Fate
Subtle depth of emotion. This is a nitpick. There weren’t grand emotional whirlpools every episode. You were incrementally immersed into the story and became fully vested in the conclusion. It was more of a steady state ride versus sweeping highs and lows.
Did I enjoy the OST?
Yes, the prolific OST of 20 vocal songs matching the number of episodes. The variety of songs included ballads, “old school” nods to historical songs, that weren’t worn out with repetition during the series.
Would I recommend Bossam Steal the Fate?
Yes. Superb writing and ensemble acting elevated this series. This series was a chess match with moves and counter moves galore. There was an honorable hero, a stronger than we initially thought heroine, a second male lead that mattered to the story, and a cadre of watchable characters when combined with excellent production values and a voluminous well matched OST, made this a stellar historical series.