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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Divorce Lawyer In Love (Episode 1-4) First Impression

Drama: Divorce Lawyer In Love ( 이혼변호사는 연애중)
Airs: Sat & Sun
Episodes: 16

Quick Recap of Divorce Layer In Love Episode 1-4

Go Cheok Hee, a ruthless divorce lawyer who believes in using whatever means to win her case... even if the methods are outside of the law a bit. However, Cheok Hee's assistant, So Jeong Woo (hero) greatly disagrees with her method and even tries to stop her from using a piece of evidence that was obtained illegally right before she goes to court. In a stand off in the man's bathroom, Jeong Woo threatens to flash the evidence down the toilet while Cheok Hee fights back by holding Jeong Woo's newly purchased laptop hostage. 
Cheok Hee ordering Jeong Woo to go buy her new stockings
Cheok Hee tricks Jeong Woo into giving her back the evidence and wins the big court case. Unfortunately, winning the case means Cheok Hee offends the biggest law firm whose hundred percent winner streak is marred by her. Chairman Bong (the boss of the biggest law firm) orders his people to take Cheok Hee down by whatever means. When it rains, it pours. The poor celebrity client, Han Mi Ri who Cheok Hee won the divorce case for actually turns out to be a ruthless woman who paid her husband's secretary to seduce him so she could win a large amount of settlement. Tragically, the woman's client couldn't handle the public backlash from his affair (Cheok Hee's evidence was a video of the man having an affair with his secretary) and commits suicide. 

Chairman Bong's people bribes one of Cheok Hee's assistant and rats Cheok Hee out for using illegal evidence. It was too hard to do since none of Cheok Hee's employees liked her. Coupled with the husband's suicide, Cheok Hee's lawyer's licence is soon revoked. 

After a time jump we find Cheok Hee in a seafood market selling fish for her father. However, thanks to her sunbae, Bong Min Gyu (he is actually Chairman Bong's son) Cheok Hee gains another chance to work in a firm... but this time as a lowly assistant. 

I find Min Gyu a really intriguing character. A chaebol who seems to have more money than he knows what to do with, Min Gyu's goal in life is to work as little as possible while filling his life with the highest quality of material goods. Engaged to a woman whose name he can't even remember correctly to further his father's business, there seems to be very little in life Min Gyu cares about. However, Min Gyu does seems to have a fondness for Cheok Hee... although we can't tell yet if he likes Cheok Hee more than just friends. 
Cheok Hee cheerfully walks into the office and Jeong Woo, (now finally a lawyer himself) who has been sitting behind a desk quickly stands up bowing respectfully "You are here." Surprised to see Jeong Woo, Cheok Hee naturally replies back "Oh, ok. Long time no see!" and sits down in Jeong Woo's chair that he has quickly vacated for her. 

Pausing in mid action after realizing they are not boss and assistant anymore, Cheok Hee and Jeong Woo both snap out of their routine and ask "why are you here?"

Standing in Min Gyu's office, Jeong Woo and Cheok Hee both insist that they can't possibly work together. Citing the emotional scars he suffered while working for Cheok Hee, Jeong Woo asks Min Gyu to not hire her. Equally unwilling to work with the man who she believed betrayed her, Cheok Hee also agrees that she can't be an assistant to Jeong Woo. Coolly, Min Gyu reminds Jeong Woo of the contract he signed with the firm and tells Cheok Hee that she is welcome to leave anytime.  Begrudgingly, Jeong Woo and Min Gyu becomes co-worker. 
As expected, Cheok Hee doesn't adapt well to her new role as an assistant and feels the need to put in her two cents whenever Jeong Woo works with his clients. It doesn't help that Jeong Woo will often actually tries to convince his client to work things out with their spouse instead of seeking a divorce. As a woman who only ever cared how to help her client to divorce as quickly as possible, Cheok Hee is simply speechless by Jeong Woo's approach. 

After another instance when Cheok Hee steps over the line by convincing one of Jeong Woo's client to catch her "cheating husband" at the hotel only to find out that the husband was planning a surprise party for his wife, Jeong Woo finally loses it and shows his rare manly side by pushing Cheok Hee against the wall. 
While Cheok Hee's life has just been going down hill since actress Han Mi Ri's case, but thanks to her husband's suicide, Han Mi Ri was not only able to inherit all of her husband's money but also gain the public's pity. Seeing Han Mi Ri gracefully accepts an acting award after shamelessly using her husband's death to uplift her own image, Cheok Hee tells Han Mi Ri that she will make it a mission to reveal her true nature. Not worried at all, Han Mi Ri tells Cheok Hee to go ahead and try "it might be more interesting than my movie." 
Not exactly winning any popularity award at work, Min Gyu finally tells Cheok Hee that they will have a vote on whether Cheok Hee gets to keep staying at the company or not. 

Overjoyed that he might finally get rid of Cheok Hee for good, Jeong Woo and his buddy (also worked for Cheok Hee before and now works in the same company) is sure that Cheok Hee will never get the vote she needed to stay since Min Gyu and the firm manager (who follows Min Gyu's every decision) are the only two people who would vote for her. 
Furious that Cheok Hee would actually pawn off the busy work he assigned her to someone else, Jeong Woo storms right over to Cheok Hee's house vowing that he is going to give her a piece of his mind... only to find that Cheok Hee and her father is busily preparing for Cheok Hee's mother's death anniversary. Faced with Daddy Go who still has no clue that Cheok Hee's lawyer licence has been revoked, Jeong Woo can only pick up his old role as her assistant. 

In a flash back we see a deathly ill Mama Go begs a young Cheok Hee to use all the money that was intended for her own hospital bill to pay for her own school fees. In a moment of weakness Cheok Hee obeys her mother's request. As she watches the money being deposited, Cheok Hee all the sudden realizes what that money means to her mother's life and tries desperately to get the money back. However, before Cheok Hee can get the money back, Mama Go dies. Blaming Cheok Hee for Mama Go's death, Cheok Hee's little sister has never forgiven her. 
Having never done the jobs of an assistant, Cheok Hee has no clue how to officially submit a lawsuit to the court and ends up getting sneered at by Chairman Bong. Standing not far off, Jeong Woo is angered to see how Chairman Bong treats Cheok Hee but before he can come to her defense, Min Gyu steps in and tells his father off. 

Min Gyu gives Jeong Woo a tongue-lashing for standing by while Cheok Hee is being ridiculed by his father. Cheok Hee tries to speak up for Jeong Woo but Jeong Woo stops her by putting a hand on her wrist. This is probably the first real hint we have that maybe there is something other than fear and dislike Jeong Woo feels for Cheok Hee. 
On the day of the vote, after a long hesitation Jeong Woo starts to write a big X on his paper but ended up changing it to a circle at the last minute. 
Sitting in a fetal position in his office, Jeong Woo bangs his head on the wall and wonders why he did what he did. Believing that there is no way Jeong Woo was the one that voted for her, Cheok Hee happily gloats to Jeong Woo that she will still be working with him. 
An interesting side note is that Jeong Woo has a deep fear of riding in the subways and in a flash back we see that when he was younger he went through a horrifying subway accident. Jeong Woo almost lost his life in that accident if it wasn't for a girl who fed him a candy. 

The show has already given some clues that Cheok Hee might be that mystery girl who saved Jeong Woo and some other passengers' life. 
Out on an reconnaissance in hopes to get evidence on a cheating husband so their client could get custody of her daughter, Cheok Hee and Jeong Woo are staying over night at a romantic resort. We end episode four with all of the Cheok Hee's co-workers gathering around in the office with their wild imagination that perhaps on a drama like outing, the two sworn enemies like Cheok Hee and Jeong Woo might actually form a love connection. 

First Impression

DON'T judge this show by the first episode. While first episode wasn't terrible, it was slow enough that I was tempted 2/3 of way through to just stop watching. Thankfully I pulled through and the last 10 seconds of the first episode had me intrigued and I went on to watch the next three episodes. 
Two second leads. The female second lead is actually Min Gyu's secretary
and is Jeong Woo's childhood friend.  
By episode four I am definitely very interested in this show and I just love the mostly fear with a tiny speck of "love?" kind of relationship our hero has with Cheok Hee.  The writer has not only successfully created two very intriguing leads but I also like the second leads as well. I didn't cover the seconds leads much but I like the fact that they are both very likable and interesting people that also keep my attention whenever they are on screen. 
I am quite excited to see how Jeong Woo and Cheok Hee's relationship develop. I usually lose interest when a strong personality heroine is paired with a timid hero, but in Jeong Woo's case he really is not timid but actually has a strong masculine side... it just often wanes when Cheok Hee is around. So now with their past roles reversed, Jeong Woo and Cheok Hee are finally seeing different sides of the other person and of course things are going to get interesting from here on. 

There is certainly some over the top comedy in Divorce Lawyer in Love but thankfully the show employees them quite rarely and is able to successfully make me laugh just by using subtle comedic situations.  All in all, a show with some mystery, heart warming/wrenching divorce cases, an alpha heroine and a hero who while not exactly the alpha type does show case his manly side from time to time... so I am putting this one on my watch list.  


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