I have been looking forward to this drama even since it was announced. I am a big fan of the US series, so when I heard that tvn was doing a remake, I was sold. Having watched the original in its entirety, some comparisons are inevitable. In fact, I feel that if I wasn’t familiar with the original, I might not have stuck around for the second episode.
The show retained the major plot points, and in fact the case in the first episode also felt like it was based loosely upon a case from the original. Did it live up to my expectations? Yes and no.
Yes, mainly because Jeon Do-Yeon is awesome as Hye Kyung. She gave off a vibe of despair at the beginning when her husband’s scandal came to light, then we go back to her some time later on her first day on the job at her old friend, Joong Won’s law firm. She’s a bit like a fish out of water, a newbie but not exactly young and energetic like the other new lawyer at the firm. He comes off as very privileged and posh little boy, wet behind his ears but ready to impress the bosses.
The other partner in the law firm is Myeong Hee, who seems ever so formidable and no-nonsense, much like Diane (one of my favourite characters). We don’t get to see much of her yet this episode, but she doesn’t seem too fond of Hye Kyung. Joong Won is Hye Kyung’s old friend from law school, and he’s the one who hired her after her husband’s scandal. There is definitely a twinkle in his eye when he interacts with Hye Kyung, and I am interested to see how that develops.
As for the scumbag husband, here he’s played by Yoo Ji-Tae, who gives him a malicious vibe right from the start. I don’t like him already, whereas it took me longer to go into hate mode with Peter. We get to see him conspiring a lot even though he’s behind bars, planning his political return.
There is also Kim Dan, the firm’s investigator, who helps Hye Kyung along with her case this episode. She is wily and resourceful, and proves to be a bit of an enigma to us and Hye Kyung. I think Dan’s character surprised me the most, as I didn’t think the show would be able to replicate the essence of Kalinda’s character. Dan managed to project some complexity and the actress also made her interesting. I found myself really enjoying her scenes, alone or with Hye Kyung. I hope their relationship develops well through the series and hopefully we will see her working with the other lawyers in the firm too.
My only concern is that with the kdrama format, the general storyline has to be condensed into 16-20 episodes. What I hope will happen is that the writers would have picked out the best bits from the original and included it into this to make it a strong drama. Hye Kyung isn’t your typical main female character. Most kdrama female leads would have been a sobbing mess given the circumstances she’s in, but Hye Kyung didn’t shed a tear through the episode. She was angry at her husband and stayed strong for her children. She does what she needs to for her family. As a lawyer, she’s still a bit idealistic and that’s all very believable. I think Jeon Do-Yeon is doing a fine job selling Hye Kyung’s story. We rejoice with her little triumphs and feel for her in her setbacks.
Yes, and there is a David Lee character – this was how he was introduced to us and Hye Kyung. I loved it. This is reminiscent of the style of the original as well, to inject humour in unexpected ways.