After a busy few weeks, finally found the time to finish watching The Good Wife. The entire series ended on a heavyweight case involving all our leads, which was built up very well. It did not disappoint; k-dramas are rarely as well rounded as this. I suppose having the original version to draw upon meant that there was plenty of material to explore (even opening up for a possible continuation).
I thought that they had stayed very true to the spirit of the original, and I am ever so grateful that the k-drama gave me more satisfaction throughout the series despite being shorter. Ultimately, it has and always will be about Hye Kyung’s journey. How she found her own identity independent of Tae Joon, and how she fights for what she wants rather than being the ‘good wife’ who puts everyone else above her. The show articulated her struggle perfectly. She had to choose between the unknown or being trapped in a loveless marriage. What was very empowering was how she made her choice and stuck with it. And she realised that her world didn’t fall apart. (Because she was the thing holding it together.)
And also, thank you drama for not killing Joong Won and giving us such wonderfully strong female characters apart from Hye Kyung. I particularly enjoyed watching Hye Kyung with Myung Hee. I think people need to see that it is possible for two capable women to work together and have each other’s backs. Yes, people mess up and make mistakes like Hye Kyung might have in the penultimate episode, but successful people focus on the solution first rather than pointing the finger. Dan’s relationship with Hye Kyung is also another thing that was so much more enjoyable in the k-drama. Dan made a mistake, but like Kalinda her friendship with Hye Kyung was genuine, and it was good that they both moved on from Dan’s past.
The ending case was pretty cool, although it would have been nice to have an Elsbeth equivalent in the k-drama, the dramatic punches were better with Hye Kyung defending Joong Won. I love that he struggled to be completely honest with her at first, because that was more realistic and made Joong Won vulnerable. When she stepped up to the game and one-upped Tae Joon, it was so satisfying. I think the casting is spot-on for picking Yoo Ji Tae to play Tae Joon. Because who else would make people swoon while also hating his character?
In the end, Hye Kyung still stood by Tae Joon as he launched his political career, but the Hye Kyung on that stage could not be different from the one in Episode 1. She made her choice, but Tae Joon’s grasp on her is lost. He is the one who needs her, not the other way around. I liked that they did not cave and tie the ending up in a neat bow. I suppose some people might be unhappy that Joong Won would seem shortchanged with this arrangement, but in reality, he got the girl. They are both happy! And in the end, Hye Kyung didn’t exactly give a toss what other people thought about her – she was ready to let the sneaky prosecutor leak photos of her with Joong Won. She knew what she wanted, she knew her children were okay with her being happy, and that was all that mattered.