There’s not A Divorce Lawyer in Love in this Kdrama, there’s two. Well, if we get even more technical there’s really four. So, I guess a more appropriate title for this show would be Divorce Lawyers in Love, right?
Go Cheok-Hee is a cut-throat, ambitious, ruthless, divorce attorney who will do absolutely anything to ensure her client emerges from their case victorious. Her subordinate co-workers hate her so much they refer to her, behind her back of course, as “Chucky,” referring to the evil doll character in the American horror movie of the same name. She’s arrogant, bossy, rude, and just plain rotten. One day, her kind office manager, So Jung-Woo, points out she had illegally obtained evidence for her case and tries to stop her from submitting it in court. However, not heeding his advice, she ends up using it, causing disastrous results which, consequently, ends up with her license being suspended. And Cheok-Hee assumes Jung-Woo squealed on her.
Three years later she is hired to be the office manager at another law firm where So Jung-Woo is now the divorce lawyer. Neither one is happy about the situation but since no one else will hire a lawyer who has a suspended license, there’s no way Cheok-Hee is leaving. And Jung-Woo’s not about to walk away from his first job as a brand new attorney. So the two have to find a way to peacefully co-exist without the other office workers finding out about their miserable history. Now, since the title of the drama is A Divorce Lawyer in Love you know the bad blood between them will turn into something positive and the fun is in watching that happen.
There’s lots of different divorce cases in the 18 hours of this show with the reasons for them being varied and interesting. The writer also added two sub-plots which are carried throughout the entire show. Sorry, but I’m not going to even give you a hint about the first one, but the other is a (kind of) mystery that was so good I wasn’t able to figure it out. That helped make the show a bit more enjoyable. And the writer also gives us two supporting characters to put a little more spice into the romance end of things. The owner of the law firm that Cheok-Hee and Jung-Woo work for is enamored with Cheok-Hee while Jung-Woo’s lifetime best friend is deeply in love with him.
I’ve already given you the basic idea of what Go Cheok-Hee is like. I really, really disliked her smug, bully-type character and was quite relieved when the writer began to soften her up a bit. I guess love has a way of bringing out the best in a person, thank heavens.
Jung-Woo is a nice man with a tender heart. He hasn’t seen or heard from his father since he left when Jung-Woo was in the fifth grade. His mother struggled financially so it looked as though his dream of becoming a lawyer would never be fulfilled. But his mother told him his father came up with the money for his tuition to law school and he eventually became a divorce attorney. Even though his job is to dissolve marriages, he first tries to find a way to keep the couple together. If that fails he takes the case and does his absolute best to help his client win, always through honest means, unlike “Chucky”.
The tremendously wealthy lawyer who owns the law firm Cheok-Hee and Jung-Woo work for is Bong Min-Gyu. In my opinion, he’s the most enjoyable character in the whole show! He’s so rich he doesn’t even have any idea just exactly how wealthy he really is. He’s generous, almost to a fault, and his overwhelmingly naive nature is quite endearing, and funny. I adored Min-Gyu!
Jo Soo-Ah has loved Jung-Woo for 26 years. She lives with him and his mother and he thinks of her as a sister, having no idea how much she likes him. They were going to take the law exam together but something prevented him from getting there on time. Soo-Ah passed the test, however, and became the lead attorney for a huge company. Once Jung-Woo became a lawyer, years later, she secretely hoped they would be able to open a law office together.
Go Cheok-Hee is played by Cho Yeo-Jeong. She began her acting career as a magazine cover girl at the age of 16. If you don’t like her in this, give her a try in Haeundae Lovers and I Need Romance. Her characters are very lovable in those dramas, which are the only other things I’ve seen her in so I was quite surprised that she could play that obnoxious and irritating Cheok-Hee so well.
Yeon Woo-Jin also began his career as a model and then turned to acting. He was in Kara: Secret Love, playing the boyfriend in my favorite story of the five. However, I didn’t like the selfish, sneaky character he played in When A Man Loves. He’s darling in this drama as So Jung-Woo. His whole face lights up when he smiles!
Bong Min-Gyu is oh, so wonderful thanks to actor Shim Hyung-Tak. He’s been in one musical theater production, two feature films, and has been making dramas since 2004, yet the only other thing I’ve seen him in is God of Study. I really enjoyed that Kdrama but I loved his character in this, and he played Min-Gyu so well. I don’t know how much of it was writer and/or director and how much was just how Hyung-Tak perceived Min-Gyu to be but, I’ll tell ya, he was my favorite part of the show!
Wang Ji-Won trained at the Royal Ballet School in England and studied dance at the Korea National University of Arts and then in 2009 she was a member of the Korea National Ballet. I wonder what made her go into acting. I’ve seen her in five of the seven dramas she’s been in but none of them had her dancing in them. Hey, Kdrama writers, did you ever stop to think that Wang Ji-Won would be great in the staring role of a love story about a ballerina?
The show would have been a lot better if Cho Yeo-Jeong wasn’t such a good actress. She played her irritating character so well she really ruined the first part of the show for me. However, I’m glad I held out and persevered because it got much better once her character mellowed a little less than halfway through the show.
I’m sure this Kdrama is classified under the genre “romantic comedy”, however I didn’t do any laughing. There are some cute scenes but nothing that actually warrants a giggle or snicker. It’s probably thought of as a comedy because of the stuff they put in it, like a wild west background as Cheok-Hee and Jung-Woo are facing each other in a stand-off, seeing who will be the first to give into the other person’s demand. I’m not really fond of that kind of humor (although, somehow it worked for me in Fated To Love You, probably because that show really is a comedy) but, fortunately for viewers, it doesn’t last long. By about the seventh episode the writer and/or director began to take the show to a more serious level and that’s when it gets interesting.
The soundtrack is okay. Nothing spectacular comes to mind but at least it doesn’t have any awful songs, and the scenery was pleasant. Check-Hee’s family’s fish market was a fun scenery bonus and Min-Gyu’s house in Busan was pretty spectacular.
As far as love stories go, this isn’t one of the best. However, if you can hold on until Cheok-Hee turns into a real human being you just might enjoy A Divorce Lawyer in Love.
The characters Bong Min-Gyu and So Jung-Woo
Interesting divorce cases
The horrible character of Go Cheok-Hee (first part of the show)
Silly things to try and make something funny