Jo Su-Hui is Bang Su-A’s mother in Crash Course in Romance, and even when the show is populated by problematic moms who ruin their kids’ health and lives with their obsessions with education, Su-Hui serves as one of the major emblems of the problem.
There are many mothers in Crash Course in Romance, who when combined, make up the monolithic force of antagonism in the show. These mothers represent the education problem that plagues Korean society (and Southeast Asian society at large).
However, a few among these mothers are more emblematic of the problematic parents than others, and Jo Su-Hui stands as one such example of horrible parenting use of her privilege.
Jo Su-Hui is the mother of Bang Su-A, the constantly envious and upset classmate of Hae-e at Woorim High. However, Su-Hui is also the unofficial leader of the group of moms who govern and influence the decisions of the Pride Academy faculty.
These moms wield privilege and wealth, two things that come with the resulting perks, like the connections to other powerful people that it avails them. Su-Hui is clearly established as the leader of her group due to the many connections she has with people in powerful positions.
It is these very connections that enable her to get Hae-e unfairly kicked out of the Pride Academy’s All-Care program. Colluding with another powerful person, she gets in contact with the director and gets the less privileged Hae-e dropped from the program.
She also runs an online blog and constantly uses it to her own ends. She uses her online prominence to really unethical ends, such as when she tries to gain leverage against Chi-Yeol and get him to stop tutoring Hae-e by posting a video of him with Haeng-Seon and spreading rumors of his affair with the aforementioned lady.
Throughout the show, Su-Hui uses her powers and privilege to crush and deprive the underprivileged of succeeding her own daughter, who also has a visible attitude to life and other people, something she had clearly inherited from her mother.
Su-Hui does all the aforementioned stuff for two reasons; the first one is her own reputation among other moms and to uphold and maintain that reputation, and the second one is the obsession she has with her daughter’s education and her academic excellence.
It’s revealed early on in the show that Su-Hui didn’t complete her education to the extent that other mothers in her group have. And like most mothers in the show, she also wishes to live and achieve her dreams vicariously through her child.
This has led to her ruining not just the chances and opportunities for the less privileged folks like Hae-e, but also her own daughter, Bang Su-A. Such is Su-Hui’s obsession with education and ensuring Su-A’s continued academic excellence, that she doesn’t pay heed to the fact that this pressure on her daughter is affecting her mentally, as well as physically.
It’s not until the very end of the show that she realizes that Bang Su-A has been suffering really badly due to her studies, which has developed in her a condition that makes her head hurt and the words on the sheet float. Her anger management system goes haywire, and she finds herself physically lashing out at her academic rival Hae-e, even hallucinating killing her multiple times.
Su-Hui also ignores her marriage and husband in the face of her obsession with the societal appearance that her husband’s extramarital affair keeps flourishing right under her nose and through her money, until the very end when her “reputation” and dignity are destroyed by the viral clip where she beats up her husband and his girlfriend.
While a bit late, Su-Hui does come around and at the end of Crash Course of Romance, she has turned a new leaf, and cares for her daughter beyond her studies. And it bears fruit as well, as Su-A now excels in her education while also not suffering from any of the adverse impacts she might have due to the burden of competition and expectations.
Whereas she always was a conniving rival of others who were in her way, and those who didn’t conform to her ideas about what to do with their children, she has now become an amicable person, working as the counselor at the Pride Academy.