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[HanCinema's Drama Preview] "The Good Wife"

2016/07/02 | Permalink

Remakes and adaptations are a bit of a painful subject for Korean drama. Be it based on an original webtoon, a novel or a film, there is many a failure out there. TvN is not deterred by this, as they bring us two dramas based on popular North American series, one of which is "The Good Wife". Let us take a first look at this quite daring effort for the industry.


Kim Hye-kyeong (Jeon Do-yeon) is a woman who has lived as a housewife for over a decade. When her famous prosecutor husband, Lee Tae-joon (Yoo Ji-tae) becomes involved in a sex scandal and is sent to jail, Hye-kyeong has to re-enter the workforce as an attorney and support her family while re-discovering herself as her own person.

The Worrying

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Handling Original Content

Trying to adapt a multi-season series from another culture into one season is no easy undertaking and there are a lot of things to consider. An Americanized version of a Korean story will likely not work very well. It is important for the drama to find its own path and shape its own identity while respecting the name it carries.

Writer Han Sang-woon

Writing a tense courtroom drama takes some skill and writer Han mostly has drama special experience. It is his work in "Spy - Drama" which worries me the most, however. Its action and suspense were nicely done, but the characters and relationships were weak. The series also threw its female lead and woman-centric focus under the bus in favor of young, attractive romance.

The Reassuring

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Powerful Leads

Having names like Jeon Do-yeon and Yoo Ji-tae in your work is quite an accomplishment and with a diverse overall cast including some solid talent, "The Good Wife" is looking mighty fine. Good actors do not make a good work, but powerful ones considerably raise the need and hopefully demand for good work done around them.

Responsibility of Adaptation

The weight of making an adaptation does not mean everyone takes that responsibility seriously. One look at works such as "Tomorrow's Cantabile", "Cheese in the Trap" and even writer Han Sang-woon's own "Spy - Drama" reveals just how little Dramaland cares sometimes. Even so, my hope is that "The Good Wife" being a globally popular show, rather than one for a niche market will keep them in check.

Final Thoughts

Expectations are high for "The Good Wife" and its cast, so its production is hopefully capable of meeting them. The basic premise is interesting, the promotional material exciting and there are plenty of ideas the creators can use and adapt from the source material. Let us see how good "The Good Wife" is.

"The Good Wife" begins its run on July 8th and will air every Friday and Saturday at 20:30, on tvN. It is directed by Lee Jeong-hyo, written by Han Sang-woon and features Jeon Do-yeon, Yoo Ji-tae, Yoon Kye-sang and Kim Seo-hyung.

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Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'

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