It was one of the most highly anticipated Korean dramas of this year. Not only was it getting publicity before it even aired but when rumours and spoilers (of the cast, not the storyline) leaked, it became an issue in an instant. The famous and award-winning actress Jeon Do Yeon was going to be playing the main character. She had only been shoot movies for a while and it was going to be her “big bang” coming back to the TV screen. With the famous and line up of cast members, this was going to be big, and it was big.
The story started off pretty average. It felt very similar to the original American series, nothing seemed too different or off. It went very smooth and very similar to the original. However, slowly and with intricate details, the actors facial and emotional expressions showing the difference between a North American POV and Korean (or should I say Asian) POV, the cast was able to pull this off and create a series of their own. Yes, the bone and marrow of the story were the same as the American version but it was different in many different ways and in good ways.
During the 16 episodes, there were times when I thought to myself “what? this is the same as the original. I should just skip through this episode”. However, every single time that thought came into my mind, something about the storyline or the characters made me watch it. All the way through, without skipping.
Overall, it felt like it was a shortened, condensed, and bolder version of the original. But they did a good job of making the characters come to life the “Asian” way. One of the characters that really surprised me was NANA from Afterschool who played KIM DAN. This was the character Kalinda in the original who plays the law firm’s investigator. NANA had many concerns up her sleeve cause it was her first time acting and people were saying how, since she used to be a singer, that she wouldn’t be able to do a good job. However, that turned the table in the first episode. She was bang on. In her own style and in her own very sexy way.
YOON GAE SANG who played SEO JOONG WON was totally different than how Josh Charles played Will Gardner. He was more strict, down to earth and had a bit more sex appeal. It was in his facial expressions and the details he focused on that made him different. In that 0.5 second moment of letting out his love and affection for KIM HAE KYUNG played by JEON DO YEON was so well played that it even convinced me of how complicated everything was for this character. The fact that he did feel something for her but that he didn’t want to show it. The fact that there was a link between them, something was going back and forth, and that you could see it just by looking at the way they looked at each other was amazing. These little details were so well played out by both actors that it was surreal.
YOO JI TAE playing LEE TAE JOON who is Peter Florrick in the original was very, very different than Chris Noth. If Chris Noth was more on the soft looking on the outside but intelligent and intricate on the inside. YOO JI TAE was smart, fast, and had that very sharp intricate detail in his eyes. He was more agressive that Christ Noth and more on the dangerous side. This actually gave the story more depth and gave me a weird attachment to the story. I always ended up thinking “what would he do next, what the heck does that man have under his sleeve this time!?” and it was in a good way. It drew me more and more into the storyline.
One of my favourite characters was KIM SUH HYOUNG playing SUH MYUNG HEE, which is the character, Diane Lockhart in the original. Although SUH MYUNG HEE was a much younger character than Diane, this character was on the dot all the time. Not taking crap from anyone. Even her brother SEO JOONG WON. She was very strict, always on top of the ball game with her smart brains, this character was very strong and charismatic. She believed that a lawyer must always act on the truth and the facts. No emotional attachments should be made with a client, very different than JEON DO YEON’s character who made an emotional attachment to all her clients. KIM SUH HYUNG was born for this role. It was like this charcter was made with her in mind. She played it so well I almost fell in love with her!
The whole storyline overall made me, as a housewife want to get out and work. Build my own career and start over just like the “GOOD WIFE”. I guess I was more attached to this one than the original cause it was targeted for Koreans. The morals and standards that they went with were more for the Asian-minded. I’m not saying it was a bad thing but it was very nicely worked out and played. Good story line and good cast worked their magic and made me count down then time to Friday nights.
The ending, though. Are they going for season 2? Is that why? I don’t know. It was very open, very on-going and didn’t seem like an ending.
However, the last curtain call. Oh, my. What a brilliant idea!!! It was like I was seeing a curtain call after watching a play at the theatre or something. Wonderfully planned and it literally made me clap (although I was only watching this on my laptop).
Good work tvN. You did well. Hopefull this is going to continue on with “GOOD WIFE Season 2”????