Cunning Single Lady (Sly And Single Again) premiered this week as the new Wednesday-Thursday drama and aired two back to back episodes. I really liked the first episode which was funny, fast and established our main plot. The main attraction for me was of course to see Joo Sang Wook in a romantic comedy, but I was also interested in the premise. Yes, dramaland doesn’t lack in ‘second chances in love’ stories but still the idea of a cunning heroine who seduces her ex-husband aroused my curiosity. And I’m glad that we have enough reasons and situations to reach beyond this one line description we were given in the promotional phase. The two episodes received quite good ratings of 5.4% & 6.4%, considering that they were up against the finale of You From Another Star.
P.S. This will be more like a mini-recap.
Na Ae Ra (Lee Min Jung) is a girl who believes that a woman has two opportunities, the first is for herself to succeed and the second is to meet a man who is well-off. She is someone who never thinks before action. Her mother owns a restaurant where we see our hero Cha Jung Woo (Joo Sang Wook) sitting. She tells Ae Ra that he is the best in studies and he studies something related to computers.
Next we find that Ae Ra is trying to approach Jung Woo. She breaks her laptop and then gives it to him to fix. He is a shy and nerdy man (but adorable!). Thus follows more meetings and we see him passing civil servant exam. Finally, we see that the two have gotten married.
Ae Ra has settled to be a housewife while Jung Woo works. She is happy with him but there is a little bit sadness as well for their not-so-rich condition.
One day Jung Woo tells her that he resigned in order to pursue his dream of doing business. She is shocked.
Ae Ra juggles through multiple jobs to run the household while JW is working day and night on his idea. Clearly, she is struggling a lot, they are living in a very poor condition, filled with debts and no funds, not even to pay rent and gas bill. She falls sick one day while working and her friend Min Young (Hwang Bo Ra) helps them with money. But that is supposedly the last straw as we finally move forward to three years with the caption “after divorce”.
Now Ae Ra is living with Min Young and is working at a shopping centre. There she gets an offer to star in a reality program related to blind dates as the original actress ran away. Initially she rejects.
She is surprised to see Jung Woo featured in a magazine and that he has become immensely successful in social networking business.
Jung Woo remembers his past during an interview with bitterness as we see flashback when after four years of struggle, Ae Ra finally gave divorce to him. He tried to avoid it but she replied that there is no hope for him as he is working hard for so long with no fruitful results. She said in straight words that they were a couple when he fed her, but now she has to feed him. She can’t take this anymore.
Jung Woo has a secretary Gil Yo Han (L) and he also rejects a marriage proposal arranged by his dad.
Ae Ra is angry that she did so much for him when he was struggling and now he didn’t even contact her while getting popular. She finally decides to take part in that reality show.
Gook Yeo Jin (Kim Gyu Ri) is Jung Woo’s business partner and the woman who asked her gangster father Chairman Gook to invest in him as she became impressed by his ideas. Jung Woo and Yeo Jin argue on certain business matters. Also, she is not fond of her father’s gangster ways.
Ae Ra wins all rounds in the show and also meets a doctor who shows interest in her. After the completion of the program, they are in touch and she is as happy as a sandboy with hopes of marriage in future. But he turns out to be a douchebag as he tries to fix her with an older and married senior of his and also admitting that he attended the reality show for publicity. Ae Ra slaps him but is sad nevertheless.
To add insult to injury, she sees Jung Woo on the big screen on the road and then all these things lead her to drinking. There she overhears some men talking about the famous CEO Jung Woo’s ex-wife and that she came and asked for stocks now that he is rich. She irks at this and starts a fight with them, and accidentally throws food on them.
Cut to police station. When she mentions that they were belittling her falsely, the cop as well as those men think that she is lying about being Jung Woo’s wife. Min Young also comes there and supports her statement but later Ae Ra denies that. She is put in jail. Min Young calls Jung Woo (on his older number which he still keeps) and asks him to come there to save Ae Ra. At first he refuses that she is a person who has no relationship with him. But we see that at last, he comes there and both Ae Ra and Jung Woo look at each other.
I was wondering how the show will deal with the uphill task of making our heroine likeable. But I’m glad that we saw that she is not just a money-loving lady. I think she did her best to support the marriage and her husband, especially when I didn’t expect that — considering her initial nature, when she was more after money. I agree that she approached him because she thought she would get a well-off life with him but still she worked so hard in their struggling days. And it is human nature to get tired of the everyday struggle one has to put up with and getting no care in return. On the other hand, I think Jung Woo is more to blame as he neglected her totally and only thought about his work. He forgot that his wife is more important and should be the top priority. Well, both of them are responsible for their failed relationship and I love that the drama established their nature and perspectives regarding it so quickly. I need to see more Jung Woo to know him better but I think Ae Ra is likeable even when she wants to depend on others for her improved conditions. I hope she will learn that it is herself who can work to achieve her dreams. Other than that, I love that she has spunk and knows how to answer back. Also, the drama was fast and sprinkled with lots of funny moments with Lee Min Jung giving a deft performance delivering comedy as well as emotional depth. Joo Sang Wook was adorable in his earlier get-up and totally hot later. I loved the smoothness and breeziness in tone and also the music. I liked that the arguments and fights were minimum and the divorce was not about misunderstandings, but how both of them looked at their conditions. She saw no hope and care from him while he thinks that she didn’t fulfill her promise of being together through thick and thin. Both are right and wrong. Let’s see how the drama will unfold more layers of this relationship. Lastly, I loved the friendship dynamics between Ae Ra and Min Young.