Updated: Nov 12
The SBS comedy One the Woman wrapped up its successful run on November 6 with ratings of 17.8%, making it one of the most highly rated miniseries of 2021. With its fun plot, fast pace, and flawlessly hilarious performance by Honey Lee (Lee Ha-nee) in dual roles, it’s easy to see why! In this review we tell you why we think this k-drama deserves to be your next weekend binge.
Cho Yeon-ju (Honey Lee) is a smart, ambitious, and seemingly unscrupulous prosecutor with a fiery temper, shady connections, and a grudge to settle.
Kang Mi-na (also Honey Lee) is a timid woman who is abused and bullied into domestic servitude by the chaebol family she married into—the wealthy and wicked Han family of the Hanju Group.
The fates of these two strangers who look exactly alike intertwine due to an accident, and Cho Yeon-ju inadvertently ends up taking Kang Mi-na's identity. Now suffering from amnesia, Cho Yeon-ju struggles to navigate life as her submissive look-a-like. As she slowly starts to figure out her true identity with the help of Han Seung-wook (Lee Sang-yoon), Kang Mi-na's cousin-in-law, she finds herself going up against the powerful Hanju Group and uncovering the truth behind the crimes that changed her life 14 years ago.
One the Woman is extremely entertaining from start to finish, and one of the most fun dramas I’ve seen from this year’s crop.
Beyond having a general sense that—this being a big network comedy series—things would end well for the good guys while the bad guys would get their just deserts, I couldn’t predict how things would unfold. Even some guesses which I was confident about, having seen so many other k-dramas and being fairly familiar with their tropes, turned out to be wrong.
Honey Lee is pitch perfect as Cho Yeon-ju/Kang Mi-na. I personally love it when extraordinarily beautiful actresses throw vanity out the window and act in ways that are unflattering—and Honey Lee is one of the few who can flawlessly pull off being drop-dead gorgeous, wackily campy, and hilarious at the same time. Although her role as Cho Yeon-ju is similar to that of her previous drama, The Fiery Priest (2019) headlined by Kim Nam-gil, being One the Woman’s main character gives her the opportunity to show a wider range of emotions. She must have truly enjoyed taking on dual roles—one of which involved speaking four languages and taking on more than a dozen gang members in the drama's numerous super fun fight scenes.
There isn’t much of a spark between her and Lee Sang-yoon who, while being tall, handsome, and a decent enough actor, is honestly kinda bland as a romantic lead. Thankfully, the requisite romance is just a side story, with the main attraction really being Cho Yeon-ju's quest for justice against the Hanju Group and a corrupt system that favors the rich and powerful.
While the few romantic scenes were fairly cute and sweet, it was much more fun to watch Honey Lee with the show’s solid lineup of veteran actors including Jeon Gook-hwan (Crash Landing on You) and Na Young-hee (Legend of the Blue Sea) as Kang Mi-na’s evil in-laws, Kim Chang-wan (It’s Okay to Not be Okay) as the kind head legal officer of Hanju Group, and the always-hilarious Kim Won-hae (Strong Woman Do Bong Soon) as Cho Yeon-ju's corrupt prosecutor boss.
Jin Seo-yeon also turned in a memorable performance as Han Sung-hye, the Hanju Group's only daughter who is determined to become her father's successor.
A search for screenwriter Kim Yoon's previous drama credits turned out blank, so it would be reasonable to assume that One the Woman marks his or her big debut. That would explain why, despite employing some familiar k-drama tropes and themes, One the Woman feels fresh and unpredictable. With nary a dull moment, this fast-paced comedy keeps you guessing until the end as you root for its flawed yet lovable heroine.
Stream: If you like underdog stories that make you laugh and cheer.
Skip: If you're looking for toe-curling romance.
16 75-minute episodes. Available on Viu.