Edited by Seo Hae Lan
Translated by Cho EK
After The Penthouse: War in Life ended with the 3rd season, several new dramas came out. Among the newly launched projects, One the Woman became a hot topic for starring Lee Hanee, who became a box-office actress with The Fiery Priest and Extreme Job, and her playing multiple roles in the series. Garnering rave reviews since its first episode aired on September 17th, the drama quickly became the No. 1 drama in its time slot. So, without further ado, let’s get into One the Woman, the drama that now has become the most-watched program in its time slot amidst stiff competition.
Prosecutor Jo Yeon Joo knows well about the world of authority and law enforcement. Plus, she has the drive to succeed, and she sometimes engages in moderately immoral behaviors. The reason she chased the scammer who disappeared three years ago was to investigate an unsolved case that her boss tried to solve years ago. However, after losing all her memories in a car accident, Jo Yeon Joo gets mistaken for Kang Mi Na. The other woman, Kang, is the youngest daughter of a conglomerate family as well as the daughter-in-law of Hanju Group. Although she was brought up in a prosperous environment, both families have abused and despised her. Meanwhile, Yeon Joo, who happened to live Mi Na’s life by accident, gets to experience the rude and unkind people from both her families. However, this time, she drops savage comebacks at them. While everyone is confused by the changes in the reserved woman, only Han Seung Wook, Mi Na’s first love, who now became her husband’s cousin, realizes that she is not Mi Na. The two join hands to protect the missing woman and to fight the conspiracy of the Han family.
One the Woman‘s greatest strength is that it delivers intensely satisfying comebacks to its villains. Yeon Joo, who has lost her memory but not her personality, does not tolerate unnecessary pressure from those around her. Her point-blank words and actions tear apart the solemn funeral and call out the chaebol family’s hypocrisy, selfishness, and evil attitudes. But she didn’t stop there. She begins to confront the people of the Yu Min group who have been demeaning Mi Na for her birth and gender and the prosecutors who only listen to the powerful and the rich. Plus, she points out the unacceptable discrepancies in law enforcement. Since she’s said everything we ever wanted to say in reality, it is natural for us to feel great satisfaction.
While Yeon Joo’s narrative is the main part of the work, the other stories in the drama are also exciting. For example, why did Mi Na disappear, and where is she now? And why did Yeon Joo become a prosecutor and decided to engage in corrupt practices? Above all, if the factory fire that killed Han Seung Wook’s father 20 years ago was not an accident, who is responsible? To solve all these secrets, she joins hands with Han Seung Wook and turns to her peer prosecutor, Ahn Yoo Jun, for help. While doing so, unusual feelings rise among them, and those cute romances provide us with much entertainment. Yeon Joo and Seung Wook begin to have feelings for each other beyond that of partnership as they wrap their head around the situation and cooperate on the same goal. However, they are still not sure about their feelings for each other yet. That is where Yoo Jun, who has a crush on Yeon Joo, comes in between them and forms a love triangle. Meanwhile, Yeon Joo and Seung Wook have definitely met each other in the past, but they don’t remember their encounter. These facts are expected to give a big shock to the two in the future.
In the end, One the Woman is a mixture of various genres like comedy, social criticism, mystery, and romance, so the key is to strike a balance among them. Both the pictures and the script are well balanced, but above all, it is the actors, especially the lead actress Lee Hanee, that create the perfect harmony. In fact, One the Woman is Lee Hanee’s one-woman show. The fact that Yeon Joo and Mi Na are the complete opposite of each other is impressive enough. However, what’s more remarkable is how she interpreted and portrayed Yeon Joo. The female prosecutor is a complex character. She is lively but discreet, and she is very well-organized and patient yet has a hot temper. Lee Hanee well-portrays all exciting aspects of Yeon Joo and balances them out evenly to excellent effect. Therefore, she allows us to feel the radiating energy and confidence from her and lets us enjoy the show to the fullest.
The drama has now passed the mid-point. It was revealed that Mi Na’s disappearance and Yeon Joo’s investigation all led to one point: the Han family’s past deed. Also, the drama suggested that Yeon Joo’s father was involved in the death of Seung Wook’s father. Yeon Joo has found her memory, but she decides to live as Mi Na for the time being for various reasons. Now what remains is Yeon Joo’s one good strike at Han Joo family and her bringing justice to them for what they did so the heart and mind of the innocent can find peace. When I think of such an end, I already feel greatly satisfied. If there’s one more thing I could add, I hope Yeon Joo finds her own happiness after everything is over.
Verdict: A Cool Comedy That Will Break Your Mind Free (7.5/10)
Editor Seo Hae Lan: I’m not picky and like all genres. I am in constant search of a balance between criticism and a fan’s heart.
Translator Cho EK: I’m a big fan of Korean dramas and movies.