K-Drama Review: ‘Woori the Virgin’ Comedy Drama Behind the Mask of Soap Opera

Woori the Virgin review

Edited by Kim Won Hee
Translated by Kim Hoyeun

Woori the Virgin review
Credit: SBS

Woori the Virgin is the Korean remake of the famous American series Jane the Virgin based on a Venezuelan telenovela. It’s a rom-com about a woman, who kept her virginal purity, getting pregnant after accidental artificial insemination. Due to the dramatic storyline of the original series, the news of the series getting a Korean remake has made headlines from the start. On top of that, Im Soo Hyang and Sung Hoon reteamed the third time after New Tales of Gisaeng and Five Enough, heightening expectations.

After recording 4.1% viewer ratings with the premiere episode, Woori the Virgin has constantly stayed in the 3% to 4% range, making it look like a drama “that only fans watch.” But to those fans, it’s actually called a drama you watch “to clear your head.” There are no foreshadows or hints that you have to keep track of, so you can enjoy the story lightly, and just the right amount of dramatic directing and story add to the pleasure. What is the charm of this drama that it ended up with such a pleasant nickname?

The most eye-catching part of the show is the unique plot. The main character, Oh Woo Ri (Im Soo Hyang), has been a virgin all her life, but gets pregnant after accidental artificial insemination by her gynecologist. The baby’s father is Raphael (Sung Hoon), the CEO of a cosmetic company and Woo Ri’s first kiss. Additionally, the startling fact that Oh Woo Ri’s biological father, who she believed to be dead, is actually Choi Sung Il (Kim Soo Ro), the star of the soap opera she’s working for as an assistant writer, is revealed. To make matters worse, Raphael’s wife Lee Ma Ri (Hong Ji Yoon) and her mother Byun Mi Ja (Nam Mi Jung) are actually con-artists after Raphael’s money, Raphael’s father Kim Duk Bae (Joo Jin Mo) gives Oh Woo Ri a large sum of money to make her keep the baby, and a murder takes place at the hospital that Raphael and his father run. Yes, all kinds of soap opera stories appear at once. But unlike other soap operas, Woori the Virgin doesn’t take these stories seriously and instead stresses the cliches and allows viewers the pleasant feelings of enjoying a fun, pleasant drama.

The swift pace of the storytelling is also impressive. The premiere episode shows Woo Ri getting pregnant and her boyfriend Lee Kang Jae’s (Shin Dong Wook) proposal at once. In episode 2, Oh Woo Ri decides to give birth as she projects her relationship with her single mother to the fetus. Episode 4 shows Raphael wanting a divorce from his wife and reveals Choi Sung Il as Woo Ri’s father. The dramatic events rush out one after another, giving the viewers stimulating fun. Unusually, a series of frustrating episodes will follow after a big event, but Woori the Virgin resolves the conflicts in the very next episode and refreshes the vibe, all the while thrilling viewers with its swift development.

Woori the Virgin review
Credit: SBS

The relationships between the characters also catch the eye. And of course, the love triangle between Oh Woo Ri, her boyfriend Lee Kang Jae, and the baby’s biological father Raphael is at the center. The relationship between Oh Woo Ri and Lee Kang Jae gives a big laugh by portraying him as a man who is more “obsessed” about keeping Oh Woo Ri’s virginity until marriage. Raphael is someone who “bothers” Oh Woo Ri, who is in love with Lee Kang Jae, which, for Lee Kang Jae, inevitably makes Raphael an intruder between him and his girlfriend. The second couple of the show is surprisingly Oh Woo Ri’s parents, Oh Eun Ran (Hong Eun Hee) and Choi Sung Il, and they emphasize the “romance aspect” of the show even more so. The two reunite after nearly 30 years, and Choi Sung Il persistently showcases his love for Oh Eun Ran that he had kept all this time.

Woori the Virgin has aired about half of its story, and so far, the romance between Oh Woo Ri and Raphael has not been so prominent. Oh Woo Ri broke up with Lee Kang Jae in episode 6, and Raphael is doing everything he can to divorce Lee Ma Ri, who wants to keep their relationship going. Will Oh Woo Ri give birth to the baby like in the original series and blossom her romance with Raphael? Or will the story take an unexpected turn, unique to Woori the Virgin? I can’t wait for the remaining episodes. (6/10)

 

Edited by Kim Won Hee: I am a person who needs more than 24 hours in a day because there are so many things I love. I am amassing various genres in the jewelry box in my heart.

Translator Kim Hoyeun: If you are a fan of K-drama, K-movie, and K-pop, I am your guy. I will continue to provide you with up-to-date K-entertainment news.

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