Wow! It is have been a long time since I can write a drama review in the midst of its airing with a smile on my face. Not since Cheongdondamg Scandal (2014), that was pleasing to watch even without subtitles and more recently King’s Daughter, Soo Baek Hyang (2013) that thrilled us right until the end, have I been more satisfied with a drama. Sure, we get some of the same character types woven into the story that you would expect; however, in some ways, this drama goes much, much deeper. Read on.
Kang Sung Yun as Yoo Ji Yun
Kim Ji Young as Jo Kyung Soon
Hwang Woo Seul Hye as Oh Jung Mi
Ahn Jae Mo as Yoon Il Hyun
Lee Jong Won as Han Ki Chul
Hwang Dong Joo as Lee Sung Ho
Kim Dong Hyun as Yoo Dae Gam
Choi Ji Won as Yoon Ha Na
Lee Bo Hee as Hong Geum Sook
Jung Yoon Hye as Han Gong Joo
Jin Ye Sol as Jo Soo Jung / Jo Kyung Ja
Yang Hee Kyung as Kim Bong Soon
Ahn Hye Kyung as Oh Eun Young
Park Dong Bin as Na Kwang Soo
Choi Won Myung as Na Min Kyu
Jung Yoo Suk as Do Hyung Min
Choi Ji Ho as Chal Seu Jung
Myung Ji Yun as Myung Ji Yun
Kim Ri Won as Lee Eun Joo
Lee Sook as Son Heung Ja
Han Kyung Sun as Jo Mi Mi
The Great Wives” is about three women from the same apartment complex, who go through murder, a risky marriage, divorce and terrifying revenge. These three women went to the same school and maintain a secret relationship.
Episode Count: 120 episodes, 35 minutes
It is funny sometimes when you start watching a drama with little or no expectations. No expectations because you have been disappointed time and time again while watching a drama, especially these dailies. So, I started Great First Wives, not because of the cast as I am not very familiar with any of the women but out of sheer curiousity. Hwang Woo Seul Hye (Oh Jung Mi) was the middle sister in Glorious Day; Lee Jong Won (Han Gi Cheol), I’ve seen many times but the rest of the cast, I’ve never (or hardly) seen before in any dramas or movies. So, it really was the plot line that brought me in. Plot line of cheating husbands? Okay, this is totally unusual for me. Infidelity subject matter generally isn’t my forte. Having survived a horrendous marriage with a Cheating GolfPro of my own (I’ll refer to him as a Cheating MilitaryPro), I really do not gravitate to this type of drama.
So what makes Great First Wives different? The main thing is the focus on friendship. We have three women that have known each other since high school. Though they weren’t close friends (Oh Jung Mi was truly the glue between Yoo Ji Yun and Jo Kyung Soon), they have always been there for each other (well, in between fights). I enjoyed the relationship that the women have with each other. Most of my friends live no where near me and I’m not fortunate to be close with anymore nearby so it is nice to see this continuous relationship.
But nothing gets you prepared for the men in these women’s lives. Now, I’ve seen the worse of the worse now! Let’s start with Kyung Soon (nicknamed Hercules*) and her husband Han Gi Cheol (Cheater GolfPro*). Their marriage was a shotgun marriage. Hercules loved her husband. She loved him so much that her willingness to be treated as a maid, babysitter, caregiver but never a true wife is absolutely amazing! From day one, Cheater GolfPro has never been true to his marriage. He has had so many affairs over the years that even his mother in law and daughter have reached the point of ‘making excuses’ for him. It is pretty sad to watch. What makes it even sadder is the fact that his Kyung Soon knows about all the women! Not only does she knows about them, but in many situations, she has paid them off! I mean, how sad is that?
The final nail in the marriage coffin was Cheater GolfPro’s relationship with Lee Eun Joo. This woman was a scammer and dumb-dumb didn’t even realize it. She was taking their relationship to the limits of fake pregnancy and everything while milking him of millions of won while she was at it. Cheater GolfPro took insulting your wife to the max when he brings Eun Joo to his parents’ memorial ceremony to introduce his future wife and supposed son in the womb! Oh yes, folks! The man went there!!
As of now, she has moved on (somewhat) and going on blind dates. She shed many pounds and changed that damn hair do and them whack clothing! The florals and florescence are prevalent in her closet! So glad to see something else. As we approach the 60’s, it is obvious that she hasn’t fully ‘let go’ of her husband. Oh well, writer. Would have been nice to see her totally “move on”.
Now Oh Jung Mi and her husband, Lee Seong Ho, we really don’t know what to make of these two. Seong Ho, for most of these early episodes, gave us the ‘gay’ vibe as he preferred to spend more time with his friend and military buddy, Charles Jeong. The man literally runs away from his wife and sex! Seriously! She wants to have a baby; he somehow thinks that can be done without any interaction from him! Damn! Oh Jung Mi cannot talk him into doing in-vitro; no sex involved! It’s sad and funny at the same time!
If that wasn’t enough, his relationship with his mother is so abnormal, it not only makes you shake your head but you, the viewer will be stunned!! This must be the year of featuring “Momma’s Boys”! This is the 3rd drama that I’ve watched this year that features this! What exactly is going on? While Seong Ho and his mother, Kim Bong Soon’s relationship is borderline sickening, it really makes me wonder who is the writer basing this on; a real life character? Definitely makes you wonder. One of the funniest scenes was Oh Jung Mi trying to encourage her husband to make a baby with pictures. First she starts with a sexy picture of her face photoshopped over a woman wearing a bikini. Well, let’s just say Seong Ho runs out the room screaming “Eomma”! What follows next is a series of pictures that will have you running out of the room screaming…with laughter!
Well, did I save the worse for last? It is hard to say. I feel this is the most traumatic relationship that you will watch that represents a total demise of a marriage. Yoo Ji Yun (nicknamed Helmet Hair) and her husband, Yoon Il Hyun (nicknamed Prof-X) is the worse because of the actions of his lady love, Jo Soo Jeong (nicknamed Vixen). Vixen has no care of who she hurts. She has no care for Helmet Hair, Ha Na, her mother and definitely not her sister; a sister that has supported her and paid all her expenses but she has the audacity to say she has had no love and constantly whines because she has no father.
Vixen’s selfishness is just unbelievable! Helmet Hair has really remained as a doormat and takes the abuse not only from her selfish (ex)husband but also from his woman. Vixen thinks nothing of calling her, visiting her jobs, texting her pictures and nasty messages. She has gone so far as telling the world through an interview that Ha Na is not Yoon Ji Yun’s child as a way to justify their illicit affair. Yes, she really has no moral compass.
Even though I want (and hope) to see more of a backbone from Helmet Hair in the future, I cannot help but have such sympathy for this woman. Not only is she trying to handle what is happening around her but she is also dealing with her father’s financial problems while Prof-X denies her financial assistance through alimony simply because he has let Vixen totally control him. The useless man went so far as to put their home in Vixen’s name who turned around and sold the home, then refused to give Helmet Hair any of the proceeds but wanted her out of the home immediately. Prof-X really isn’t worthy of being called a father or even a husband. As we get more and more into the story, I’m at the point that this is one man that redemption is not an option. Vixen? Redemption? Writer-nim, you BETTER not go there!
I did mention that Ha Na was not Prof-X daughter, right? Well, it seems that when Helmet Hair was in college, she was in a love relationship with Do Hyeong Min (Cutie-X).
Their love was strong; however, he let his family split them up and he left the country not knowing that Yoo Ji Jun was pregnant. Sad. Why? Because he never married but Ji Jun rushed to marry Yoon Il Hyun because of her pregnancy; no, Il Hyun knew she was pregnant and willing married her for financial and personal gain. Upon finding out that Ji Jun had married, Cutie-X was sad and angry until they met again. Once he finds out that she is divorcing, he is making roads to rekindle their relationship once again.
What? You thought the writer would make that love transition easy? Oh H-E-L-L NO!! It wouldn’t be a daily if Writer Hwang Soon Young (who gave us Ruby’s Ring and Two Mothers shockingly) made it that easy. She’s introduced Oh Eun Yeong (nicknamed Lawyer Lady) who fancies herself in love with Cutie X. So in love with this man that she hasn’t even given him a chance to say what he feels. Wait, she doesn’t seem to care but feels like she is entitled to his love. Yeah, we got one of these! One thing for sure, Writer Hwang has learned her lessons from those two previous travesties called daily dramas! But how much of a lesson remains to be seen as we still have 60 more episodes to go!
So What’s in Store for the Rest of the Drama? I don’t expect all the couples to move on from each other. The writer has pretty much given us enough hints up to this point which couples will be together at the end.
Hercules loves Cheater GolfPro way too much! Sure, she divorced him but I think his actions caused her reaction! Hercules has forgiven that man so many times, I expect them to continue down the road to forgiveness right until the end.
Oh Jung Mi and her husband, Lee Seong Ho will remain husband and wife. With her recent plans with his friend, Charles Jeong to make him jealous, maybe we will finally see that baby she so desperately wants.
Writer Hwang? Not only your International fans but from what I have read from Soompi, so will the Korean fans revolt if Yoo Ji Jun and Do Hyung Min don’t end up together. These two represent true and first love that was interrupted by a stupid mother’s interference. Now that Do Hyung Min knows that Ha Na is his daughter, and that we has seen the worse actions by a man towards his wife as well as his daughter he raised, there is room for forgiveness…they MUST remain separate. Make it so, writer Hwang.
Overall, this has been one solid drama. Sure, it will have you cursing at the screen, throwing objects at some of the characters; however, the story has evolved nicely and let’s hope that as we continue through the last 60 episodes that it continues to do so. I expect there to be big interference for Cutie X and Helmet Hair by Lawyer Lady. The woman doesn’t know the words:
Excuse the language…but watch the drama and you’ll understand!!
Where to Watch
Available on OnDemandKorea for U.S. and Canada viewers. They are running 2-3 weeks behind the broadcast schedule.
Don’t forget to check out my fellow and favorite daily drama watching buddy, Nelly and her mid-review! Yes, you can tell she likes it!!
*Thank you, Soompiers for the great nicknames!!