Drama Reactions & Reviews
Queen of Housewives (MBC)
by | April 7, 2009 | 93 Comments

I found MBC’s Monday-Tuesday drama Queen of Housewives [내조의 여왕] to be a pleasant surprise, as I hadn’t had any expectations for it. At first glance, it’s possible to dismiss this show from its unexciting synopsis and a cast that may be solid but not quite buzzworthy.

But no, Queen of Housewives is light and funny, and easy to watch. I breezed through the first four episodes in no time, and find myself wanting to keep going. I do have a few issues with it, which I talk about below, but on the whole find this series pretty enjoyable.

A couple things: This covers Episodes 1 through 4, but it isn’t a proper recap. Also, I don’t think I’m going to do individual recaps for this series, but I may decide to weigh in periodically, if I keep liking it.


Queen of Housewives OST – “여우랍니다” (I’m a fox) by Lee Soo-young [ Download ]

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The high school queen bee who was once at the pinnacle of popularity marries a man with lots of promise who graduated from Seoul National University, but their life doesn’t turn out the way she expected. Now in her thirties with a 7-year-old daughter, she is frustrated by her husband’s inability to hang on to a job; he’s good-natured and simple-hearted, but his insistence on doing the right thing often gets him into trouble. His latest stretch of unemployment prompts her to suggest divorce, but she gives him one last chance when he tells her of a job interview he’s secured at a top corporation. The wife goes all-out to smooth her husband’s path and help him land the job, which brings her into the corporate wives’ inner circle and all the adolescent jockeying for power at its center.



Back in high school, Ji-ae (Kim Nam-joo) was the quintessential queen bee — not too bright, incredibly vain, wanted by all the guys, and envied by all the girls (who sucked up to her, then sniped behind her back). Her one staunch defender was ugly duckling Bong-soon (Lee Hye-young), who practically worshipped Ji-ae. True, Ji-ae didn’t treat Bong-soon very nicely, but she did look after her in a carelessly backhanded sort of way. Not because she cared, but perhaps because she liked having a groupie.

However, even Bong-soon’s unwavering loyalty had its limit, and it came when the schoolgirls invited Ji-ae on a group blind date — they didn’t really like Ji-ae, but needed her inclusion to secure the date with boys from another high school. Ji-ae agreed, but on the condition that Bong-soon was included. (An example of one of Ji-ae’s backhanded gestures.)

At the date, when the moment came time to partner up, the result was predictable — all the boys wanted Ji-ae. Except for one, who chose Bong-soon instead.

This thrilled Bong-soon, since she’d never been singled out for attention. But petty Ji-ae wasn’t used to failing to capture every boy’s attention, so she picked Bong-soon’s guy (Jun-hyuk, actor Choi Chul-ho) — not beceause she liked him, but just to prove a point. Flattered, Jun-hyuk changed his mind and picked Ji-ae instead, but the damage was already done. Bong-soon had already fallen for him, and the betrayal was enough to sever her blind devotion to Ji-ae.

Ji-ae grew to like Jun-hyuk, but ultimately ended up dumping him (and as these flashback segments are interspersed through the drama, we don’t find out immediately why). She married Dal-soo instead (Oh Ji-ho), leaving Jun-hyuk still pining for her at the time of her wedding, just as Bong-soon was pining for him.

And now, for the present state of things:



Years later, Ji-ae isn’t as obnoxiously vain as she used to be, perhaps since everyone’s grown up and faced that great equalizer, Age. Now that she’s married, her energies are poured into trying to figure out how to get her husband Dal-soo back on his feet.

Dal-soo is a decent guy, but perhaps too decent to survive in cutthroat corporate culture (he lacks the savvy necessary to get ahead; hence the constant firings). He’s also scared of Ji-ae, because her temper is a thing to behold. He promises to do his best on his upcoming interview with the top company Queens Food, although he faces an uphill climb because his main competition happens to be the nephew of one of the senior directors.

Ji-ae isn’t going to let this opportunity slip away, and gets working. First, she finds out through the grapevine that Queens Food is known for its particularly fierce wife culture — at the top of which sits Young-sook (the fab Na Young-hee), who holds special power over her husband, a senior director.

Ji-ae maneuvers her way into Young-sook’s acquaintance and makes herself the perfect sycophant. She then turns her attention to the next wife on the power ladder, only… it turns out to be Bong-soon!

Over the years, Bong-soon has grown out of her awkwardness (with a little surgical help), gained poise and confidence, and is nearly unrecognizable. Having been treated so shabbily in high school, she also greatly enjoys this reversal. Not only is Bong-soon living in luxury while Ji-ae ekes out a meager, common living, Ji-ae is here to beg for help, as her husband’s future is dependent on Bong-soon’s mercy. Thus she gets a kick out of ordering Ji-ae around, holding the upcoming interview over Ji-ae’s head gleefully.

Ji-ae grits her teeth and endures. In the end, Dal-soo ends up being hired — but with a condition. He’s going to be taken on for a three-month-long internship, and so is his competitor (the director’s nephew). At the end of the term, they will both be evaluated, then hired or fired. This increases the competition between Dal-soo and the younger man — and between their wives.

Oh, and there’s one more complication: Bong-soon’s manager husband happens to be Jun-hyuk. He’s now Dal-soo’s boss, and he’s never quite gotten over losing Ji-ae.


At the very top of the chain is Tae-joon (Yoon Sang-hyun) with the Gu Jun-pyo hair, the current president of the company. He’s a chaebol, meaning his position is inherited, and he lives in careless luxury. He’s stuck in a loveless marriage to So-hyun (Sun Woo-sun), whom he’s known since childhood, and is still bitter that he was forced into an arranged marriage with somebody he’s never felt anything for.

Actually, their story reminds me quite a lot of Boys Before Flowers, if you imagined that Jun-pyo married Jae-kyung. So-hyun refused to call off the wedding despite Tae-joon’s pleas (he had been in love with another woman whom his family opposed). Now they pretend to be happily married to the public, but their home life is cold, and Tae-joon flaunts his affairs in her face to try to get her to divorce him, which she refuses to do.

It’s obvious she has feelings for him — while he doesn’t care — but she’s tired of being miserable and alone, and finally stands up to Tae-joon and tells him defiantly she’s going to have an affair. With one of his employees. What’s the twist? She happens to be a college acquaintance of his newest employee, Dal-soo (he was her sunbae). Not only that, she’d liked him and confessed her feelings during their university days, although Dal-soo hadn’t reciprocated. Now when they meet up again, she’s his boss’s wife while he’s still the same, sweet man she’d once liked.

So-hyun is also the only woman who outranks Young-sook (below), although she’s not part of the wives’ circle.

Next in rank is Hong-shik (above), Young-sook’s husband, who is pretty much the guy in charge since Tae-joon is really just the face of the company.

As I mentioned, Young-sook holds particular influence with her husband, and thus enjoys a great deal of power among the other wives. They all scramble to impress her — and she’s a fickle leader, only happy with the latest extravagant gesture that is bestowed upon her. More on that in the section below.

Below Hong-shik is Jun-hyuk, a senior executive and Bong-soon’s husband. This is another example of a loveless marriage, and in these first four episodes I’m not quite sure why Jun-hyuk married Bong-soon, because it’s clear he still has lingering feelings for Ji-ae. Bong-soon presents the picture of the perfect wife, always attentive, organized, solicitous of her husband’s every possible wish, graceful — the quintessential Stepford wife.

On the other hand, Jun-hyuk treats his wife with cool composure, until the day they cross paths with Ji-ae — and suddenly, this awakens his angrier, grumpier side. Now, he’s short-tempered with his wife and cranky with Dal-soo, shooting glares at the other couple as though blaming them for his lack of happiness. He also makes it a point to make Dal-soo’s new job as intern as difficult and demeaning as possible.


The wife culture of the Queens Food family is really what makes this drama enjoyable. It’s a little like Desperate Housewives, only funnier and less absurd (but just as desperate).

The wives’ power plays are directly correlative to their husbands’ positions in the company. That means, the higher-ranking the husband, the higher-ranking the wife. Young-sook rules with deceptive politeness — she issues her “suggestions” in a languid, unassuming way that everyone understands to actually carry the force of a full-on order. (If she says, with a tone of thoughtfulness, “What a nice purse, but I wonder if it’s not right for me?” she is saying, “This purse. I want. Get it?”) Therefore her words sound light, but the underlying meanings are so clear that she is able to command her troops with military precision.

What’s interesting is the obviousness of all the politicking — everyone is aware that all these grand gestures and ass-kissing are mere flattery, but it’s the name of the game, and sincerity has no part in it. On the other hand, a wife cannot be TOO honest, either — we may all know that Wife A wants a promotion for her husband, for instance, but she can’t say, “I want a promotion for my husband.” Instead, she has to hint and curry favor and offer gifts. Innuendo, slyness, and political maneuvering are the name of the game.

As an example of the jockeying for power, Young-sook invites Ji-ae to a company picnic, saying sweetly that there’s no need to prepare much, as it’s only a small, simple gathering. This means the wives all scramble to outshine the others — one sets up an elaborate barbecue pit, while another brings in fresh lobster. On another occasion, a wife-minion pleases Young-sook with expensive food, and is almost the “winner” of this particular event — until another wife-minion rushes in, out of breath, bearing a selection of seafood fresh from the ocean. One quickly learns that when Young-sook says, “Please don’t go out of your way,” this means, “IMPRESS ME, LOWLY CRUMB.”

Ji-ae is a great hand at this game, and although she’s the newest addition to the circle, she quickly supplants the other women — think of them as courtiers, or ladies in waiting. Ji-ae has a gift for flattery and manipulation — her experience dealing with fawning male admirers has probably helped — and makes things seem effortless. She appeals to Young-sook’s vanity, but knows when to pull back and gain the older woman’s confidence. The other wife-minions, on the other hand, all struggle to one-up each other, but many of their efforts are labored and obvious.

Ji-ae’s path to success would be clear, if not for Bong-soon. (However, Ji-ae has one thing keeping Bong-soon in check, and that is her knowledge that Bong-soon used to be a loser.)


On the whole, Queen of Housewives is a bubbly, fun drama and I honestly wish I didn’t have a problem with it. I do like it — it’s just that there are a couple of sticking points that prevent me from embracing it fully.

First off, Ji-ae. I actually do enjoy her character, but every time I start to root for her, this drama reminds us why she was such a horrible person in the past.

She’s set up to be this underdog, going up against all these fancy rich ladies and (hopefully) emerging victorious, and who doesn’t love a story of a underdog triumphing over the big guys? Yet, this story also incorporates a lot of flashbacks to high school and university days, almost enough so that we’re watching two dramas unfold. And in the past, Ji-ae’s really hard to like — in fact, Bong-soon is the underdog there. After all, she was picked on in school, abused by Ji-ae repeatedly, had the only boy who ever showed interest in her stolen by Ji-ae purely as a point of pride. Now that she’s reinvented herself as the rich and glamorous woman, shouldn’t we be rooting for HER now?

I could accept this if the adult storyline took on a “Ji-ae redeems herself” angle, only she doesn’t ever face up to having been a horrible bitch in high school. And the story keeps dropping little things just as I’m warming up to her.

For example, I could kind of forgive Ji-ae stealing Jun-hyuk away from Bong-soon. It was a dick move, for sure, but she admits that she came to genuinely like him. We find out that the break-up was not her fault, but the result of manipulation. Finally pushed beyond her limit, Bong-soon took the opportunity to break them apart by faking an injury, appealing to Jun-hyuk’s kindness, and making it seem like he stood Ji-ae up to be with Bong-soon. She made sure that Ji-ae got the wrong impression, knowing Ji-ae would dump him.

However, even after Ji-ae broke up with Jun-hyuk, he hadn’t gotten over her, so Bong-soon had begged her former friend to tell him there was no hope. If she did that, perhaps Jun-hyuk could open himself up to the possibility of a new relationship — with her. And what did Ji-ae do? She coldly told Bong-soon that she had no hope, prompting Bong-soon to cry, “Why not? Why can’t I have a chance with him too?” In response, Ji-ae sent Bong-soon a box full of mirrors with a note that said, “This is why.”

I mean, OUCH. Right? I don’t know, after that flashback was revealed, I found it really hard to support Ji-ae at all.

Adult Bong-soon is snotty to Ji-ae, but hasn’t she earned it? Why does this reversal scenario paint Bong-soon as the bitch instead of showing that Ji-ae is just being paid back by karma? After everything, Bong-soon is still stuck in the loveless marriage, while Ji-ae has a warm family. Isn’t that unfair?

The problem isn’t that Ji-ae is unlikable — on the contrary, Kim Nam-joo makes her very engaging. She plays Ji-ae with a hilarious mix of steely determination and bubbly exterior. It’s a hoot seeing her confront every obstacle head-on and come up with creative solutions.

(Example: Ji-ae has a subplot involving Tae-joon, although she doesn’t know he’s the Queens Food president. He hits her car, so she demands compensation. However, he’s such an arrogant dick about it that she gets angry and decides to go for the insurance route, faking injury and taking up residence at a hospital, hoping to collect a big payday. Tae-joon suspects she’s faking, but she does her best to keep up the ruse, running around and juggling her schemes while trying to keep all her balls in the air.)

Instead, the problem is that it feels like Ji-ae shouldn’t be likable. It feels like this dynamic is all upside-down and backward, and I’m unable to get fully onboard with it.

My next problem with this drama is easier to overlook, but I still can’t help but bristle at this depiction of wives as secondary to their husbands’ successes. Why are all the executives men and all the minions women? I know that realistically speaking, most corporations are run by men, but this drama approaches this in a fairly stereotypical way that feels dated by about twenty years. It’s like an affirmation of the adage “Behind every great man there is a great woman” — which is one of those things that is misguidedly sexist. Sure, it means to be chivalrous, but really it just reinforces some very backwards ideals of gender roles.

I mean, I get it, and the story is genuinely funny, and it wouldn’t work as well if the Husbands Circle and Wives Circle were both mixed-gender in an effort to be politically correct. In fact, I hate when things are politically correct just to be politically correct. And yes, how can I complain about sexist tropes in Korean dramas when I’m so entertained by offenders like Boys Before Flowers and practically every Cinderella drama out there?

The difference, I think, is that other dramas often fail by making their women weak, but it’s never the intent to make the women weak — they just happen to be poorly written. Queen of Housewives, on the other hand, actually necessitates this sexist construct for its story, and I find that problematic. There are several instances where it’s pointed out that a woman’s most important duty as a wife is to support her husband, which just feels… off.

There are things I do like, such as Ji-ae’s marriage with Dal-soo. Despite her annoyance with his unemployed status, they do seem to love each other, and Ji-ae is a kind of an amusingly offbeat mom to their daughter, Jung-won. Contrast that with Bong-soon, who sends her 7-year-old son Hyuk-chan to fancy English classes and dresses him in designer duds, in another example of the commoner being held up as the ideal, instead of the rich elite. (Ordinary is in these days, and the commoner is cool again!) There’s even a cute little storyline (romance?) between the kids.

The wife-politics are as hilarious as they are an interesting sociological study — these characters may have outgrown the petty high school fixation on physical beauty, but it’s not like they’re any more mature. They’re just as jealous and insecure as ever — it’s just that the social currency has changed. Now, a husband’s job and prestige are the barometer for success and power, rather than mere popularity.

Like I said, I’m somewhat able to push the problems to the back of my mind when watching Queen of Housewives, because I find the show entertaining. But I can’t get them out of my head entirely, and that sorta sours the experience.


93 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. fizzle

    The title of this show just completely turns me off. Sounds just like an ahjumma drama I would hate to watch and skimming through your recap, there doesn’t seem to be anything trendy about it. Plus, I’m not particularly drawn to the cast although I did like Lee Hye Young in Dalja’s Spring and Oh Ji Ho in Fantasy Couple.

    • 1.1 WOW!

      Wow! How wrong you are!!!!!!!!!! Soooooo wrong! I just can’t believe how wrong you are. This show is amazing and is funny and has the added bonus of varying subplots and subtle underlevels. You can’t go wrong by watching this show!

  2. gracie

    hi! do you know where can i watch this online with english subs? i love oh ji hoo : )

  3. cosmopolite

    Thanks for the impressions! I think it’ll great if you can chime in once in awhile to let us know what you think.

    I got the same reservations as you as I was watching this. I couldn’t get behind Ji-ae at all! Actually, to be honest, the problem is I can’t seem to get behind ANYONE. It’s sad because I always like to be able to root for at least one person in a drama wholeheartedly and this one makes it difficult.

    Also, I get bored during stretches of the show and I’m not sure why. I just kinda tune out and it takes some refocusing to get back into the drama. So for me, it’s watchable but in a I-have-nothing-else-to-do-let’s-leave-this-on-in-the-background type drama.

  4. Susan

    this drama has been a much welcome reprieve from the hysterics and melodrama of most other shows and so far, I’m really liking it. I did initially have a problem with the fact that the only role of the women is to support their husbands but I got over it, after all, it’s only a drama =)

  5. miss_procrastination

    I completely agree. I have literally just watched the past six episodes today, and I find myself puzzled by the character dynamics. I want to like Ji-ae but she was just so cruel. The mirrors, ouch. The writers really don’t make it seem as if she has learned her lesson for all the cruelty she had imposed. I like the Tae Yeon character (despite his blatant adultery–when he cheats on his wife it is painful to watch how much he wants to hurt her). But i’m going to give the series a fighting chance, after all I liked it enough to spend hours watching it today!

  6. Ashleigh

    I agree with everything you said about the dated concept of gender roles in this drama. So while I plan on watching this breezy and fun drama for a while longer, my enjoyment is somewhat hampered by the K-drama’s stubborn adherence to sexist stereotypes of what a woman’s place and worth in society should be. And though you compared Desperate Housewives unfavorably to Queen of Housewives (for shame!), the former at least has always addressed the ladies’ struggles with balancing their (former or present) careers and life as a housewife (with the possible exception of Susan, ugh).
    BTW, just as it has with you, that saying, “Behind every great man there is a great woman” has always bugged me. I’m glad someone else feels that way as well! 🙂

  7. jdb

    I cant imagine how they are going to put the story of 3 in one shot…but yea its quite interesting a little break from the usaul drama boy meets girl but already married couples….i’m at the mercy fo your recap…. a MILLION THANKS to you…i love this site since the coffee prince days………

  8. snowanh

    Gracie…..You can watch this drama on Viikii.net…it show eps 7 now….

  9. hjkomo

    I have exactly the same complaint about the Ji Ae vs. Bong Soon ship. I just can’t bring myself to support Ji Ae, even though I know I’m supposed to root for her. If she were self-reflective and understood that karma was coming back to bite her in the *ss (and actually felt bad about the way she treated Bong Soon)….then, I could bring myself to sympathize with her. But, as it stands, I feel more sorry for Bong Soon and So Hyun.
    Ji Ae desires wealth and prestige, but she’s the luckiest of the three wives because she has a loving marriage, and she doesn’t even know it.

    I am enjoying the drama, though….and it doesn’t hurt to have three hot men as the leads, either…hehe 😉

  10. 10 djes

    I’m looking almost everywhere to get this with English subs, but can’t find it..I think it’s only available with Chinese subs, and my reading skill of Chinese is terrible! 🙁
    Oh I wanna watch it!

  11. 11 ndegeocello

    I haven’t been paying attention to this drama, but I did notice ratings went over 20% this week. I wasn’t kidding around before when I said Kim Nam Joo is an ahjumma magnet. They lurve her.

  12. 12 neihc

    i have been following this drama since the very first epi..and i totally love this show..

  13. 13 Kobe

    If you guys are bothered by the dated concept of gender roles in this drama then you should watch the 2005 SBS drama ‘Bad Housewife’ where the roles are reversed with the wife bringing home the bacon and the husband doing household chores and taking the kid to daycare etc. It’s a hilarious drama and one of my favorites but I hardly know of anyone who has seen it. RAWs are available at myaigoo and subs at d-addicts – Give it a chance!


    The new layout of your blog looks good…better than the earlier version 🙂

  14. 14 tiffany80

    I swore I thought that Sun Woo-sun was Park Jungah from Jewelry looking at the first picture. hmm hopefully things will get better as the story progresses or the pds lightbulb turns on and realizes what can be improved.

  15. 15 lavy

    @ Kobe: you mean the one with Son Chang Min and Shin Ae Ra, right? I really enjoyed it back then, too.

  16. 16 Nea

    I understand your issues with the show and I do have some of the same but I still like the show very much. No, not a show that I want to watch every part of every ep every week but a nice change from BOF all the same.

    I also don’t really know if I like Ji-ae at all. Honestly, I wanted to know more about Bong-soon’s character, so much so, this very desire was the reason I decided to watch the show in the first place. I was actually disappointed to find that the first ep was filled with Ji-ae and not enough Bong-soon.

    This is a drama that I can’t wait to see unfold and hope ends in prosperous way for each couple. Break up or no…I look forward to the conclusion.

    Thank for the summary! Can’t wait to read the next collection.

  17. 17 Jerlyn

    Many thanks for doing a recap for this series.

    I have watched the first 6 episodes and really enjoyed it. Loved how the charaters interact. I must say Lee Hye Young’s acting is great!

  18. 18 vrosemarie

    This sounds veeery interesting to me! I love dramas about household squabbles, it’s the little everyday things in life that are so charming to watch if executed correctly… The lead actress doesn’t sound particularly likable, but Oh Ji Ho looks adorable in all the stills and promo shots!! Although the idea of watching a bunch of women constantly squabble or fall over each other to please the queen bee is not my cup of tea, at least all the men are hawt! I hope all these couples find their happy ending whatever it may be….

  19. 19 soysauce

    It’s different from the typical K-drama…but I don’t know if it’s gonna appeal to younger audience. Queen of Housewives?? sounds like something for ahjummas…might as well be an American soap opera.

  20. 20 etsy

    I wanted to watch the show since your recep was good, until I read your criticisms. I can’t stand dramas where a character doesn’t face karma. It would bother me so much for the writers to portray the main character as someone who has a warm family, is happy, etc. when she was such a bitch in the past and never had to face any consequences for it. I would understand if the writers showed how she had to deal with her mistakes now and how she has evolved, but from your recap, the writers don’t seem to show that. They just flip the bully role and expect the viewers to root for the main character.

  21. 21 Biscuit

    I just started this drama, and it one of the most fun dramas I’ve watched in a while (so far, besides BBF)

    @etsy: But different viewers may look at something differently than another person ^^

    Like how Javabeans mentions “depiction of wives as secondary to their husbands’ successes.”
    I completely understand and would agree, but when I’m watching I don’t think about it (but thats just me ^^)

    So I really recommend at least watching the first episode as you might see it differently ^^ (since it’s overall a really fun drama ^^)

    @Kobe: I remember that drama :O 4 years already? Since I watch it as it airs on tv, I often missed it (unless I went to the store to rent the videos.. but too much hassle…) and while I never finished it entirely it was really fun to watch ^^ I loved all the Bad series (Bad Family, Housewife… and theres one more I’m sure )

  22. 22 bjharm

    the main lady sounds a bit like the one from Fantasy Couple and even more the one from Get Karl! Oh Soo Jung both also staring Oh Ji Ho, certainly the school bit.

  23. 23 majata

    To Kobe:

    You said that the subs are available at d-addicts but I searched and couldn’t find it.

  24. 24 majata

    can anyone tell me if this drama will be subbed?

  25. 25 Biscuit

    @Majata: You can either go to Viikii or watch it at Mysoju (which is practically the same since for QOH vids are hosted by Viikii) to watch it. Ep 1 – 4 are already up w/subs ^^

  26. 26 j

    when i caught glimpses of the drama while my mom was watching, i was like… wth, that seems sooo absurd for wives to be kissing arse like that to a “higher ranked” wife. but then my mom tells me that’s how it really is. so ridunkulous

  27. 27 Jessica

    @ majata

    I think this is it 🙂


  28. 28 smiley6yrl

    @ Jessica, haha you made me happy for a few seconds there, but that is a completely different drama. It’s not the same one, as you can tell since that drama subs are complete while for Queen of Housewives, only 6 eps has been aired.

  29. 29 smiley6yrl

    *8 eps has been aired. Sorry about the typo.

  30. 30 cc

    I’m thinking of watching this drama too~
    Looks quite interesting and the ratings this week were pretty good!

  31. 31 koalabear

    thanks for doing a quick recap for the drama, it is one of the dramas I’m watching right now, though still catching up on BOF…I agree that Kim Nam-joo is such an ajumma magnet, even if I try my best to avoid watching these type of dramas, can’t help to fall in love over them, still wondering why they are addicting, and sometimes habit forming

  32. 32 Kobe

    @majata & smiley6yrl

    Sorry, I might have caused a bit of confusion with my comments regarding an older drama called “Bad Housewife” in which I said subs are available at d-addicts. There are, however, currently NO english subs available for Queen of Housewives, but I’m hoping some kind soul will eventually sub it since it’s rating very well.


    I enjoyed both Bad Housewife and Bad Family a great deal, but the third one Bad Couple left a lot to be desired. Some people also think Bad Love is part of the series due to its name but actually has no relation to the “Bad Series” whatsoever 🙂

  33. 33 IloveNY

    Thanks for the recap I was unsure if I wanted to watch this drama but now I think I will give it a shot. As much as many people do not want to admit it, it does show some of the reality of corporte wives.

    I am a corporate wife and my job is similiar to these women. I have an image I portray for the other wives and the companey. Behind every great man is a great woman. I am there to support my husband. I am educated and do have a career. I choose to have a career in reality I do not have to work. But my status in this circle is stil judged by my husbands job. With corporate wives and NBA or NFL wives the status is based on the husbands position so our job is to support them. I have no problem doing this because I love my husband and the lifestyle that he has provided for me.

    You might thnk I am materilastic but so what. Money makes the world go round. I would rather have it than not.

  34. 34 Nomeamesca

    Thank you for alerting me to this piece of gem..! This show is one of the reasons why I love Korean drama so much, subtle charm, strong cast. It actually reminded me of bad couple, absolutely fun to watch. It’s definitely not a drama that’s geared towards the same age group as BBF and it keeps its sentimentality in check. Ummmmmmmm…

  35. 35 ajooma

    come on! this is only a drama! enjoy it for what it is. if you want to be politically correct, socially conscientious, stick to the pbs. don’t look for it in korean dramas.

  36. 36 dogstar

    i must watch this!!! anyone know where can i find this online?
    I really like that lady that was on heroin 6 and Dal Ja’s Spring, Lee Hye-young.


  37. 37 otk

    I knew this would happen. QoH is really fun….beats all dramas in that timeslot imo. Too bad no one is subbing it >.<
    i wish MBC America tvrips were available , I;d sub it so fast

  38. 38 JiHwan

    I understand that Bong Sun is the victim in this situation but I can’t help but dislike her. What Jiae did to her was wrong, but retaliating just puts her on the same level as Jiae. Isn’t it time for her to let the past go?

    dogstar – you can catch this drama on mysoju.com or viikii.net they’ve released up to episode 6.

    Bad Housewife, Bad couple and Bad family (loved this one) were all apart of the same series? I never knew that.

  39. 39 ic3cream

    awesome im glad you like it i’ll follow you and check it out , i’ve been wondering what to watch during the break !

  40. 40 C_Janeth

    Just saw a couple of episodes and it doesn’t look bad. It’s interesting. Like Desperate Housewives, but not as sardonic. But cute and quirky. This will deffinately be a drama that I will like.
    And Like everything else, if there isn’t SOMEHTING wrong with it, we wouldn’t talk about it. But I think that that’s what makes a drama interesting, afterall it is a drama, it’s not like it’s real, although I could think of a few people who might end up in similar situations.
    But anyhow.
    It’s no BBF, but it is intertaining.

  41. 41 gkim

    I thought of Ji-ae as being a real person. She has her bad points and her good points. She did horrible things where karma doesn’t touch her. In real life this happens to everyone. I’m a firm believer that everyone did something to hurt someone else, more than once. We don’t always get punished for it. Hell, we forget about that we even did something wrong or weren’t even aware of it. We all have people who hates us and who loves us. So, I never was bothered about her. She did annoy me at times.


    I think you are so lucky. I wish I could be in your position. I unfortunately have to work. If I had a choice I would just be a house wife. I always want to be a house wife. I can’t tell people that because people will give you weird looks. People look down on house wives. I only work because I have to. I do like my job but it’s not my love. I don’t like bringing home the bacon. I like cooking it. QOH interested me because it was about house wives. The house wives jockeying for power do reflect the working world. There’s always someone at the top and to move up you have to be friendly with them.

  42. 42 Biscuit

    @gkim: “People look down on house wives.”

    ahh I’ve met people like those, but usually it’s from my girl friends. On the other hand, all my boy friends get happy at that idea >.<

    “I don’t like bringing home the bacon. I like cooking it. ”

    lol. I agree XD

    But yeah, its true that Ji-Ae is like a real person… just because some one is mean from the beginning doesn’t mean their gonna be like that til death. I mean, it was high-school and people mature as they age ^^

    @Kobe: Bad Couple! yeah that was it… it was fun in the beginning, but when the drama started I slowly lost my interest. I still watched it, but I did click the fast forward button a few times just to see the ending. (and I did get all giggly when I saw their kids. Cuteness.)

  43. 43 Icanhaz

    I watched the first episode and just couldn’t continue watching the show. I know very well how bitchy women are to other women, and because that is basically the premise of the show (women demeaning women), I have no interest in continuing to watch it. I don’t see how this is a light fair–it conjured up every single psychologically damaged woman with inferiority complex and envy that I have had the misfortune to encounter in my career. I cannot imagine sitting through the show without wanting to beat the hell out of each and every one of the wives. The vicious lunch dates the women have and the nasty salon encounters, etc.–it was all nothing but a big bitchfest—what about the show is remotely light and fun? As a woman, the episode left me seething and offended.

    There is not a single character in the show that I would root for! And I do think that while in reality women are the worst enemies of other women (evolution, etc.), media also perpetuates that. This show epitomized it. I am thankful that for every psycho ajhumma I have come across, I have had the pleasure of having a normal, helpful, loving female friend as a counter. The show needs to add a loving female counterpart because otherwise it is nothing more than a bunch of catty women with no life or life that revolves around men.

  44. 44 Hannieoon

    Actually, this drama is pretty interesting. I’m watching episode 6 right now. It’s not the best but the story plot goes by pretty fast. And I agree with Dramabeans about the main character. Just as you’re about to like the character, we get reminded what a b***h she was to Bong Soon. But in Ep 5-6 there’s not much of the flashbacks so she doesn’t seem as bad. Oh and another thing I agree with is the marriage between Ji Hae and her husband. It seems like they do love each other.

    I thought it was HILARIOUS to see Lee Hye Young looking not so fab. Such a huge character change from Dalja’s Spring (which I enjoyed by the way), well, at least in the beginning anyways.

    If you have lots of time (like me) and need to kill time, it’s pretty good. I’d rate it a 75%.

  45. 45 junsungmin

    after reading your summary.. I thought.. I have to watch this..
    mainly because oh ji ho.. and I did! at viikii yesterday. just finish the first episode.
    and I’m loving it!

    but I like this kind of genre.. sort of like mean girls (lindsay lohan) but the older and corporate version.

    however, forgive me for saying this.. I don’t think the grown up bong soon is pretty. well prettier from back then but she cannot beat JiAe or So hyun..

  46. 46 g12eentee

    thanks for the recap javabeans! i decided to check this drama out due to your excellent recap, and got addicted as well.. watched up til episode 7.. I agree Jiae was obnoxious as hell in high school, and the part with the mirrors was a bit harsh, yet I still find myself almost understanding her actions. After all, she was only in high school and she must have felt betrayed when she saw JunHyuk with BongSoon right after he canceled on their date. Maybe it was mostly her pride acting out, but I think she was hurt on some deeper level, because she did say that she started liking Jun Hyuk. I really hope the show maintains your interest so I can continue reading your recaps!

  47. 47 cc

    Just watched ep 1-7 today~ OMG this drama is sooo addicting~
    Love Ji-ae & Tae-joon!!!
    Jun-hyuk is HOT!
    I really like So-hyun too.

  48. 48 geekinthepink

    i love this show! thanks for doing the write up. i love love taejoon and jiae but i doubt they’d end up together 🙁

  49. 49 peppero

    there is one thing i don’t agree with you though…
    i think bong-soon’s character is meant to be “unlikeable” because it just shows how revenge can make the victim into a total bitch. it also shows that the real pitiful person is bong-soon. i do in fact feel sorry for her but i think she’s in the wrong for stooping to her “friend’s” level. she deceived her husband and her friend so this just makes her an even hateful person than ji-ae.
    that’s just my opinion though…
    thanks for the recaps javabeans! i’m loving the series. d(^O^)b

  50. 50 Cecilia

    I actually really liked the mirrors gesture! It was so brilliantly thought out and concisely executed (with just two sentences in the card) – the perfect cut.

    Though I agree with you in the whole having issues thing. The sexism isn’t that big of a deal in a drama, but it seems inconsistent with me that Ji Ae seems so much weaker now after high school when she used to be much better at holding her own. And Ji Ae begging just doesn’t seem … right. I wish she was a much more consistent character – either still “hard” now or was also “soft” in the past. The other thing is rather minor. Even after plastic surgery, Bong still is pretty ugly looking which seems senseless to me

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