Drama Reactions & Reviews
Queen of Reversals: Series review
by | February 5, 2011 | 175 Comments

Strangely enough, the most crack-addled I’ve been over a drama of late isn’t a snazzy one, or even a zippy fresh one at that. It’s the very classic and simple, almost throwback workplace drama Queen of Reversals, which just completed its 31-episode run on MBC this week. So if it wasn’t new and exciting, just why on earth was I so addicted to this drama about an ajumma who gets her groove back?

 
SERIES REVIEW

I never saw this drama’s quasi-spinoff-parent, Queen of Housewives, but I was happy not to have competing expectations. I also know, having watched Reversals, that I much prefer the reversal to the straight story. And that, in essence, is why I like this drama. Because it’s about a woman who falls in love, gets a divorce, dusts herself off, and then puts herself out there to love again. It’s totally How Tae-hee Got Her Groove Back, which is basically fantastic drama fodder.

Kim Nam-joo has pretty much always played leading ladies, but I sort of love that her character Hwang Tae-hee began this drama as a total bitch-monster from hell, who rules her team with an iron fist. She begins the series so high and mighty that we’re basically just itching for the moment when she gets unceremoniously knocked off her high horse. And you know she will. It’s the first of the great reversals.

When she chooses love over work, she gets usurped by her competition, Baek Yeo-jin, played by the winning Chae Jung-ahn (Coffee Prince). Chae is one of those actresses that I love, despite her always playing characters I mostly dislike. She’s like Moon Chae-won for me—I like the actress despite the characters she plays. I even liked her in Coffee Prince, even though she made me want to throw things. And she’s actually worse than Moon, because Chae Jung-ahn isn’t really a naturally good actress. I just like her. It’s weird.

Tae-hee returns from her honeymoon to find Baek Yeo-jin sitting at her desk, having scooped her title out from under her. And it turns out that Baek Yeo-jin, (who Tae-hee always calls, “Baek Yeo-woo,” meaning white fox) has two reasons to make her life a living hell: the torment she endured from Tae-hee when she was the low woman on the totem pole, AND the fact that Tae-hee’s new husband…is her first love.

And that’s all before we get past the first four episodes. What I really liked about the series initially was how fast things moved. In one episode, Tae-hee meets her husband-to-be, Bong Jun-su (played by Jung Jun-ho) and they go through their whirlwind courtship and marriage before you can say “commercial break.”

And the relationship is actually quite interesting, since Jun-su is a total beta male with no dreams and goals, and little talent to get him anywhere. Tae-hee, on the other hand, has been the alpha dog her whole life, and worked her way up with her whip-smart business sense. But their marriage is her first major left turn that takes her off the fast-track.

What we come to find is that theirs is a marriage wracked with problems, but it stems from this reversed-dynamic of beta male and alpha female. Not that it’s a dynamic that doesn’t work, but that it’s one THEY haven’t come to terms with. They spend five years with Tae-hee at home raising their daughter and Jun-su struggling at work, when really, it should’ve been the other way around. Play to your strengths, right?

In the end they divorce because Tae-hee finds out about Jun-su’s past with Yeo-jin, which he kept secret the entire time they were married. It’s not so much the reason for the split, but more the camel-breaking straw. She stops being able to trust him.

It played quite realistically—the way they handled the divorce—because though each character struggles with it immensely, they constantly butt heads because they’re trying so hard to save face and keep their pride. It’s actually quite tragic if you think about how many couples can’t get past massive issues because they can’t communicate how they really feel. And in the end, they realized that they had grown too far apart.

All of this story took a while, mind you, and the angsty divorce was no picnic in the park. I almost dropped the series a few times in this middle stretch when the marriage and divorce took center stage.

But then a curious thing happened…Second Lead Gu Yong-shik (Park Shi-hoo) got a reversal of his very own. I’ve said elsewhere that this drama is the worst case of Second Lead Syndrome I’d had all year (2010, when this drama started), but for once, it actually paid to root for the underdog.

The biggest reversal in this drama is that the hero, the guy who’s classically supposed to get the girl, doesn’t—he gets her and then gets kicked to the curb halfway through. The reversal is that the second lead…becomes the hero. I KNOW!

And it actually is a case of hero-swapping, not just in the romantic sense, but storywise. Gu Yong-shik was a day-player in the first half of the drama, showing up for the occasional moments, but in the latter half of the drama, he becomes the full-time hero, complete with tragic backstory and cutthroat battle to the top.

Once Tae-hee goes through with the divorce, Yong-shik’s crush takes center stage, and all the romantically-charged moments happen between them. I went from thinking it was a pipedream for Yong-shik to get the girl, to thinking that there might actually be a chance, to gasping that they really were going to let him win. It was such a nice progression, to feel like I’d wished for a unicorn, and then…poof! Unicorn!

And what happened in the latter half of the series was just unabashed adorableness at every turn, because Gu Yong-shik went all-out professing his love, and because Park Shi-hoo is just inexplicably magnetic.

I actually started this drama before last year’s cult favorite, Prosecutor Princess, and he was a huge reason I caved and finally watched that sucker. He’s one of those actors you would never look twice at, until you watch him in something, and then all of a sudden he’s insanely hot and you don’t know how you missed him. Mostly, it’s charm (and acting chops) over looks. He’s like the anti-Song-Seung-heon.

There’s something I just love about a hero who goes against the Darcy-grain. I’m SO tired of cold, proud jerky heroes who don’t reveal their feelings, and then get hit with a case of Noble Idiocy when it’s convenient for the story. Gu Yong-shik has all the outward markings of a classic Darcy-type: he’s a chaebol, he’s the prodigal son, he likes to grab wrists.

But he turns out to be silly, hilariously immature, warm, kind-hearted, and best of all—he’s a shout-it-from-the-rooftops kind of guy. Once he realizes that he’s in love with her, he literally spends the rest of the series in one heart-stopping, romantic declaration after another, being alternately cute and swoonworthy, sometimes with a little raw emotion thrown in. It’s So. Good.

It’s actually one of the cutest romances I’ve seen in a while, because it’s not riddled with larger-than-life histrionics and plots to turn them into Romeo and Juliet. They’re just two adults who work together (albeit in a very dramatic workplace), who have to get past the very realistic situation of life after divorce. Can she trust again, can she move on, can she let herself fall in love again?

Gu Yong-shik’s reversal into hero-dom and the stirrings of their romance are what took this drama from just cute and watchable to give-me-my-next-hit-of-crack-or-I-will-chew-my-arm-off. And interestingly enough, with Yong-shik’s character being so openly in love, it’s the heroine who gets hit with a bout of Noble Idiocy late in the game, to protect him from losing everything because of loving her.

I loved that while the characters struggled with their feelings, there was enough cuteness and levity to keep me rooting for them despite their reservations. This drama actually does a great job of turning mundane objects and little interactions into running gags, that eventually become emotionally fraught with meaning.

Like the pair of tangerines that they exchange, one with a smiley face that he draws for her, and one with a frowny face that she draws for him (since she’s always crabby and nitpicky while he follows her around like a googly-eyed puppy). They each take the tangerines home and put them on their nightstands, and though it doesn’t change anything or bring them physically together, it gives us a visual cue that they’re thinking of each other. One of my favorite recurring bits is Tae-hee venting at her tangerine every time Yong-shik does something annoying.

The same type of thing is done between Gu Yong-shik and his odd-couple roommate, Mok Young-chul (played by the delightful Kim Chang-wan of Coffee Prince and every drama ever). They have this running gag that Young-chul moves into his house and can’t ever manage to figure out which toothbrush is his, leading to hilarious bathroom run-ins and Yong-shik’s grossed-out faces every time he realizes they’ve been swapping again.

Mok Young-chul is one of the highlights of the drama as a side character who finds out that he has terminal cancer, and faces his mortality in a charming, winning, understated and beautiful way. When he dies, Yong-shik cries over their toothbrushes sitting in his bathroom, and then later makes a habit of visiting his ashes with a bottle of soju and a new toothbrush. It’s the cutest thing ever.

And that isn’t even the only bromance that Yong-shik has, since he’s got the sassiest secretary who ever lived, in the form of his best-friend-turned-secretary-slash-nagging-mom. He’s half in love with Yong-shik and half sick to death of him, and their interactions are really the best comic relief I’ve seen in a while.

This isn’t a drama that does anything new or revolutionary, but there’s something to be said for shows that follow a formula well. They’re like comfort food. There’s also something commendable in pulling off a formula the right way, as most dramas will show is not so easy a task. I was firmly with the heroine through all her ups and downs, and I held my breath at every will-they-won’t-they cliffhanger, tuning in because I literally HAD to find out what happened next. That’s actually rarer than you’d think, especially with a drama I’m not recapping.

But what I found refreshing about the story was that it handled divorce in a hopeful way—that it could lead you to rediscover yourself, find out your weaknesses that you have to face, and perhaps even bring you to the love of your life. What’s satisfying is not that Tae-hee gets her Cinderella ending, (because it wouldn’t have mattered if Yong-shik were rich or poor) but that she and Jun-su manage to wish each other well with heartfelt sincerity. It’s refreshingly mature, grounded, and progressive.

I love that Tae-hee actually ends up bonding with her rival Yeo-jin in their cautiously wary Cold War way. They sort of bond over how much they mutually hate each other, which runs its course in the drama and eventually ends at a sort of hilarious détente, where they’re the kind of people who shout that they hate each other, all the while sharing a drink or eating a meal like a couple of girlfriends. It mirrors the cute lifelong frenemy relationship between the two mothers-in-law.

In the end what Tae-hee confesses to Jun-su: that she was swayed by Yong-shik because she’d spent her whole life chasing the people that she loved, that she didn’t even know that she COULD be loved this much—just breaks my heart. And in turn the fear that she confesses to Yong-shik: that love is always this heady in the beginning, but that in five years everything changed for her…what’s to say it won’t happen again in five more?

It’s so simple, and honest, and universal to be scared by love after wreckage. The fact that we follow Tae-hee through the course of two whole relationships and that we’re rooting for her the entire time is a testament to her character and her journey.

Overall the drama was well-made and beautiful to look at, but it followed a very classic formula (despite the reversals), like the kid who colors strictly within the lines. That’s not to say that you can’t get a beautiful product when you stay inside the lines, which this drama pulls off quite addictively.

There’s always a place in the world for kids who follow directions to the letter, and dramas that color within the lines. And there’s one thing that results from doing this, and doing it well: a satisfying drama that delivers on all its setups and leaves me happy that I invested, that I cared, and wished for unicorns.

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175 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. pumpkinattack

    Thanks, girlfriday! I was hoping to see this. :D

    • 1.1 Peachy

      Thank you! Now, I will start watching this drama. I love the second lead too. I’m so glad he got the girl. YaY!

  2. kaedejun

    yay! thanks for the review. makes me want to stick with it. i’m actually only on ep 10 and wanted to stop watching after ep 9, but people told me to stick with it.

    gah – interesting that you didn’t mention what happened to jun soo. guess he remains a loser? if so, i feel bad for jung joon ho – i thought his character in IRIS was a bit loser-y too since he let himself get pulled around…

    as for SoRa – what happened to her?! i wonder what kind of daddy PSH would be to So Ra. Although – i wouldn’t mind if he were my daddy! actually – no, i’d rather have him as my hubby…

    • 2.1 girlfriday

      A spoiler for you, since you’re worried about Sora:

      • 2.1.1 kay

        awwww cute cute cute

      • 2.1.2 myra

        Loved this scene!

      • 2.1.3 kaedejun

        THANK YOU! *mwahz*

        dammit – why can’t i be that little girl!?

  3. yosi

    Gf,

    I’ve been wondering whether you’d do a review on this series or not. But thankfully, you did it!!

    I love this drama, well most likely because of PHS, but can he drop his hair style here? I dont like it at all.

    Nice series…

  4. esther

    Aw. I left this drama in the middle because they were taking so long with the divorce and marriage thing, but after reading this recap I want to start it again!! Thanks for recapping, girlfriday!! :)

    • 4.1 dorisPngPinas

      sooo glad to have read this recap….coz am so curious about the ending….for the first time I want to know the ending first before continuing on with QOR, I also started late in this one coz don’t want PSH to be the 2nd lead and not get the girl but alas, can’t help my self knowing that PSH has a new drama and not be able to take a peek, so here I am slowly taking a peek and am now at ep24, still crossing my fingers that PSH will win in the end and how am glad to know that my prayers were answered!….lol…am really glad, now will start marathoning this till the end knowing that my lovely PSH wins in the end!

  5. lunarscope

    I fell in love with Park Shi Hoo in Prosecutor Princess so chances are i’ll fall in love with him in this too… defz saving this for when I have the time :)) Thanks for the overview GF!!

  6. Biscuit

    I started late in the game, but I loved it when I watched it.

    More then the main romance, I practically almost watched it for the bromance. Secretary + Yongshik = WIN.

    Though at time a bit irritating, because he seemed like the writer’s tool to explain things directly to the audience when he oh-so-obviously has to point out EVERYTHING.

    It’s as if this was the year for secretary bromance with their bosses! Hopefully no one has forgotten Secretary Kim?

    Overall, this drama was simple. But it was fun to watch a person grow in a different way then what we’ve seen in most dramas. The unrealistic maknae elements were down to half, and when someone did die, it left a bigger, realistic impression and impact.

    I think this drama wins in the area that it has realistic life elements, but incorporated enough of things we might now see in real life to make it entertaining. We got a lot of both.

    • 6.1 Biscuit

      I forgot to mention, but I think another great pull is the fact that Yong-shik starts off as the second lead. And that’s the problem. He has so much chemistry with the lead female and he’s not even the lead!

      So you have second-lead-syndrome at it’s highest, but the fact that it looks like he’s overtaken the lead but you don’t know gives you that crack addiction to see how the ending will turn out. I seriously believed we’d get a “In the end, we can’t be together and must follow our own paths.” type of stuff, and the Tae-hee would reunite with her husband.

      Sort of makes you want to know how QOH could have been if they did the same. I would have bowed to the writers and named it my ultimate favorite drama. *Sigh*.

      • 6.1.1 tildy

        I also started watching after about half the episodes had aired, which allowed me to marathon through the first half until I was well and truly hooked!

        One thing I also loved were the akpul bits between Gu Yong Shik and his dad. So cute.

      • 6.1.2 anais

        I KNOW!!!!! How wonderful it would have been to have Yoon Sang Hyun/Heo Tae Joon end up with Kim Nam Joo/Chun Ji Ae. I love me some Oh Ji Ho hotness, but the chemistry between the first two was just so cracktastic. And I fell in love wiht Yoon Sang Hyun, thanks to his wonderfully immature/mature/thoughtful but you wouldn’t know it Heo Tae Joon.

  7. Quaggy

    Thank you, Girlfriday! This is awesome! I’ve been curious about The Queen of Reversals since I found out that Park Shi-hoo wins out in the end. Which makes it the second time he was cast as the secondary lead and still managed to walk away with the girl! (That has to be unprecedented!)

    I’m currently watching How To Meet A Perfect Neighbor and I totally get why they rewrote his character to get the girl in the end. By Episode 5, the official lead was still annoying me and Park Shi-hoo was making me swoon with the way he would start to smile every time he looked at or even thought of the heroine. And he was supposed to be playing an icy Darcy-like character! Yeah, it didn’t take him long.

    Queen of Reversals sounds a lot more adorable than I was expecting. (If I can manage to get through all the angst and divorce.) The toothbrush thing made me laugh… especially since my two brothers managed to do something similar when they were in middle school. Their expressions of disgust were so funny when they figured it out!

    It sound like this is going to have to go on my Dramas To Be Watched list.

  8. molly

    Thanks for the summary. While they aren’t remotely alike, this reminded me of the drama That Woman with Shim Hye Jin – have either you or Javabeans seen it? It was about a woman losing her husband to an affair, then after divorcing, falling in love with the other woman’s husband, and I recall it being well done.

  9. grasya

    i have three more episodes to go, but i’m so happy, yong shik got the girl! what’s with park shi hoon that his character always manages to steal the girl from what you thought was the male lead [like in Prosecutor Princess].

    thanks for this!

  10. 10 haydn

    I LOVE THIS DRAMA! <3
    watched it every time it showed on tv with mom. :D

    gahhh GU. YONG. SHIK. i love you. nuff said. <3
    is it weird that me & my mom would be fighting over him? LOL we both swoon as soon as he shows up on the screen~

    ah also, i LOVE that secretary of his! hahah they have such cute bromance it makes me all giddy LOL and the whole ROOMATE thing was so adorable. (the tooth brush incidents! <3)
    i cried an ocean when he passed away :(

    overall, this was one drama that was so.. simple but beautiful and made a lot of sense.

    oh & that creepy lady with the short hair and the BRIGHT RED LIPSTICK CREEPED.ME.OUT. forreals. every time she came out, i had to refrain myself from staring @ her angelina-jolie-lips. -_-

    and to end, i love kim nam joo. & her poofy hair. :D

    • 10.1 haydn

      oh and this drama was WAYYYYYY better than Queen of Housewives. (as much as i loved KNJ + “Oska” LOL i forgot the name of the actor… uh Yoon Sang Hyun? hahaha)

      idk the idea of kimnamjoo + younger actor = very appealing? hahaha

  11. 11 Funkypicklez

    So does Gu Yong Shik end up with Hwang Taehee? Sorry. Didn’t watch the end. Got too caught up with Dream High.
    Btw totally agree on the whole Song Seung Hyun and Park Shi Woo comparison. And it’s really sad that Song Seung Hyun is much more popular when Park Shi Woo far surpasses him in acting

    • 11.1 haydn

      same! i haven’t watched the last episode. i’m like 2 episodes away though. & yeah he gets the girl! FINALLY~ <3

      ahahahah dream high = takes up my entire drama week. <3 i rewatch all of the episodes (particularly #5. LOL :)

      • 11.1.1 funkypicklez

        omg! so the second lead gets the girl!??!?!
        i might have to start watching it again.
        i stopped watching it cuz it was one of those dramas… where honestly the second lead is so much better for the girl and you just want to slap her and tell her to wake up!
        *beethoven virus -.-;;;*

  12. 12 Senstar

    i think this is the year for second leads. Or it could even be a new rising trend. In the Taiwanese drama, Summer’s Desire, the nice guy/second lead, Ou Chen gets the girl instead of the first lead. Of course, the circumstances were somewhat different in that drama, since there were nice-guy and first-lead characteristics to some degree in both male leads, but still….I wonder if switching the male lead was the reason that Queen of Reversals decided to extend their drama? If the drama had ended earlier, then Tae-hee and her ex-husband would have probably gotten together again, but because the drama was extended, Tae-hee’s and Yong-shik’s relationship got to develop enough for them to be together at the end.

  13. 13 Htagged

    Thanks for the review. I was actually waiting to see if PSH would end up with KNJ. He has loads of charm and that is what made me like him in Princess Prosecuter, not much of his character….

    Upcoming marathon for QoR!!

  14. 14 danna

    idk why but the fact that the second lead got the girl here totally made me LMAO like no tomorrow when i found out……i wonder if it would have been the same had it been someone else or if this hadn’t been extended

  15. 15 Rhea

    I absolutely adored this drama. I had watched Perfect Neighbors (drama) and fell in love with Park Shi Hoo. He is very engaging as an actor. When I found out he was going to be in QOR I decided I would put this on my To Watch List…which was a great decision on my part lol. This was a lovely drama with a wonderful cast of characters. The story might not have been new but it was well told…and the acting and chemistry between the actors was enjoyable to watch. Park Shi Hoo totally stole the show (at least for me lol) but I also loved everyone else in this as well and that is rare. I definitely recommend this drama to everyone who wants to watch a really well made and acted drama!

  16. 16 sora

    thanks a lot. now i feel like giving this drama a chance

  17. 17 My2Girls

    Hello GF,

    I just have to say a big “thank you” for taking the time to write this. When I read your opening statement:
    “Strangely enough, the most crack-addled I’ve been over a drama of late isn’t a snazzy one, or even a zippy fresh one at that. It’s the very classic and simple, almost throwback workplace drama Queen of Reversals.” I gave out a loud “Amen.”

    I have loved watching this show. It has also been frustrating because as a non-Korean speaking viewer the subs have taken FOREVER. In fact, I watched the final two episodes raw and though I only caught about 20% of what was being said I understood it all.

    I love that the “second lead” male and female both win in the end. There are so many wonderful characters and relationships in this series. I was never bored no matter who was on screen (and I find in work place dramas I am often tempted to fast forward through a lot of the business stuff). In QoR they gave you a little business but the heart of the piece is in all of the many relationships between the employees. I am also a sucker for underdog stories and the planning team had me rooting for them like a cheerleader.

    I felt that the story line with Mok Young-chul “played by the delightful Kim Chang-wan of Coffee Prince and every drama ever” (Brilliant!) was beautifully done and when the inevitable happens I sobbed like a baby.

    31 episodes is the longest that I have ever committed to a Kdrama (although I guess if you consider that I have watched MNIKSS three times through and that is well over 31 – err but repeat viewing shouldn’t count!) and I don’t regret a minute of it.

    Thank you again for your time, thoughts and excellent sense of humour.

    Amy

    • 17.1 mya

      @Amy, then you should watch Park Shi Hoo in Family Honor. That’s 54 episodes in total… I’ve done my re-watch just yesterday and it makes 108, the longest I can ever remember! LOL

    • 17.2 One

      This drama elevated me onto even higher level of K drama addiction — I had to watch 2 last episodes raw… I think I’ll have to learn Korean…

  18. 18 Nana

    I, too, was thinking I was just smoking on a crack pipe about the PSH to get the girl. But heck yeah, I was throwing my books, pillows, chair, my arms and legs to the air when my pipedream came true.

  19. 19 min

    thank you so much for this wonderful review girlfriday!

  20. 20 Pat

    I hope I never see another ” total bitch monster from hell” K drama again I have had my fill. I like the actors ,but still…

    • 20.1 Kyu

      Tae-hee is the total bitch monster from hell in the beginning but that doesn’t last long at all. I think you should give it a try!

  21. 21 aX

    Wow, AM I the only one who’s a little dissappointed that she didn’t end up with her (ex) husband? I actually really enjoyed their chemistry and their love story from what I’ve seen thus far.

    I mean, I knew they were going to divorce, but I was hoping eventually that they would get back together. I’m a little dissappointed but I’ll finish watching it. I like the characters but not as much as Park Shi Woo just yet. Something about his character that irritates me!

    • 21.1 Lisa

      I thought the same thing. I felt the story would’ve been more real if she’d ended up with her husband. Also, it would’ve been more satisfying to see them overcome their pride, their weakness and work things out, slowly but surely.

  22. 22 stilachic

    i thought there was going to be a 32nd episode, so i was a little disappointed when 31 ended…that’s how much i enjoyed the series!

    this drama just sort of sneaks up on you. PSH was just so winning in oh so many ways. i love girlfriday’s new nickname for him…”anti-song-seung-heon”. LOL! PSH is a breath of fresh air!

    and despite KNJ’s ajummah helmet hair (it was pretty distracting in the first half of the drama), i found myself rooting for her all the way. in fact, i couldn’t help but root for the entire underdog special “loser” team…all the characters had such spunk and heart, especially mok bujangnim! and the sassy secretary was awesome!

    *spoiler-my only disappointment was that bong jun soo and baek yeo jin got together…i really thought she’d end up with the police man! that was a pretty funny side story.

    thanks for the review, gf!

  23. 23 Biankoy

    Another Park Shi-hoo character to fall in love with!!!

  24. 24 cutie_pie

    I’d never thought you pick this drama and make review on it ^^ I’m halfway to finish watching this … and really really surprise reading your review. What you wrote is so so similar with what I felt for this drama. Such a long time for me seeing again “classical” kdrama that’s very close to reality.

    I want to drop it when the strory gets frustrating, but i find it so addictive and I couldn’t stop and stick with it. Yupppp, Park Shi Ho is the bigger reason why I keep watching this … he’s so damnnnn hawtttttttttttttt :D

  25. 25 missy

    Thanks Girlfriday for the recap. I really enjoyed this drama as there are plenty of cute and funny moments. I watched it straightly because of PSH but I found that overall the cast were great. It was a bit slow in the middle but once PSH – KNJ storyline started it was very addicting.

  26. 26 WendyBird

    Girlfriday!

    That last paragraph was one of the most beautiful conclusion paragraphs I’ve ever read! WOW! Just….wow!

  27. 27 ROMA

    Thank you for the recap GF, i totally agree with you that its a classic ,beautiful story of how to handle divorce in a very positive way.I just fell i love with Tae Hee and Jung Soo at the start and later with the second lead Yong Shik.I giggled when YS always professed his love to TH (in the cutest possible way).I really thought that she’s going to give a 2nd chance to Jung Soo,since after the divorce it was only then that JS realized that he wanted a fresh start/reconcilliation with his wife and , even trying to stay away with Yeo Jin…but i didn’t imagine that she’s going to end up with YS at the end.Oh well , they do look good together and the fact that TH is much older than YS is not really a big surprise when you love each other.I highly recommend this type of drama to all couples out there who wants a second chance at finding LOVE….Its a great drama!Youre going to enjoy it for sure!

  28. 28 Emi

    I loved this drama, and was so thrilled when PSH got the girl. Go 2nd lead power! I also adored how his character acted once he fell for her. I think one of my favorite PSH moments was early on when he kept riding up and down the elevator at his apartment hoping for the perfect timing to be in the elevator when she got on it. I was like ‘ah hah! so that’s how kdrama characters always have conveniently timed encounters in elevators! one of them plans it!’ :)

  29. 29 mariama

    i fell in love with park shi hoo in family honor and i am officially obsessed with this guy. he is just so amazing and you just cant take your eyes of him. thanks girlfriday for the recap, now i can watch this drama because, i was already having the second lead syndrome and there was no way i was going to watch if she had not choose him. PARK SHI HOO fighting! love you.

  30. 30 Hana

    I watched the first four episodes before i found it boring, where is the best place to pick it up from i.e where it gets interesting again ???

  31. 31 JAM

    THANK YOU!!!! for this review. I was keeping my fingers that you would but didn’t think you will and you did!!!!

    Anyway, you’ve said it all – its an amazing addiction. I’ve also discovered 2 actors that I would like to see more of – Kim Nam Joo and of cos, Park Shi Hoo. Just thinking about QoR today and lamenting that there’s no more new eps to look forward to. Guess I just have to watch the show again. :)

  32. 32 koalabear

    thanks for doing a quick recap of this drama Girlfriday! I’ve actually seen Queen of Housewives and since then anticipated this drama. The only similarity between the 2 Queen dramas is that the heroine tried her best to help her husband become the best even if she needs to do something that might affect her life as well and aside from that factor the 2 dramas are really different story wise. I almost gave up watching the drama after Episode 3 since I found the pacing too fast and left me bored at some point but due to good reviews of the next few episodes in the drama’s Soompi thread, I decided to jump back in and I’m currently at Episode 14, where Yongshik is starting to fall for Tae-hee. This is also the first time that I’m rooting for the second lead ever since I’ve started watching K-dramas. Park Shi-hoo definitely deserves an applause as his character wasn’t really annoying and his sincere acting made me understand his character more. Kim Nam-joo was great in both “Queen” dramas so I really liked her here. The only thing I’m disappointed about was how Jung Jun-ho’s role was ruined in the show, though he was really supposed to be a loser anyway, I think since I’ve seen him most portraying strong male characters in his past productions so I was quite hyped that he won’t become a total loser but anyway he was still good and I still like him as an actor. I now look forward in finishing the drama even if I already read some spoilers :)

  33. 33 Ani

    Truthfully, I don’t think Yong-shik would have won the girl over if this drama was only 16 episodes long. But after the gazillion extensions, they were able to work that story in. But I’m still on episode 28, but I’m thankful I get my ending the way I want it. X)

  34. 34 kay

    yay!!! i’m a few episodes away from finishing but i’m so happy yong shik gets the girl! i agree that when i first saw a photo of PSH, i was like meh. but once i saw him in action, he became insanely hot and adorable. i feel like rewatching family honor now. that’s the longest drama i’ve seen and it was all for PSH!

  35. 35 bluelime

    thanks for taking the time to write a QoR review. i really enjoy reading it. =)

  36. 36 daisies

    I think that the reason I was hesitant, before it came out, to watch this was because I watched its predecessor, Queen of Housewives.

    I constantly rooted for Taebong and when he didn’t get the girl, I, and probably many other viewers, was disappointed. I felt like they were going to have a similar structure in that sense with a Tae-hee and Jun-su pairing in the end.

    THANK GOODNESS I decided to watch it. (Mainly because of Park Shi-hoo, who I saw in Prosecutor Princess)

    QOR was so fun. There were times when it was dull but, overall, it was addicting. I’m sad it’s over but I have no regrets since it ended perfectly. :D

  37. 37 joyyyeo

    OH GOSH i love this show! It’s my crack too! I mean I watch it for Park Shi Hoo at first but then I started watching for Kim Nam Joo because her character has the best bickering relationships with her mother, husband and even her superior! I love how they banter to and fro relentlessly but you know that despite the harsh words, it was simply a way of how they express love (Tae Hee and her mother. Award-winning.. this is the kind of relationship I have with my mum so it really does reflect what I am living out!)

    I love the reversal of how Tae hee changed from Mdm Iron Fist to a Team leader(though technically not since she’s a contract staff but her team respects her from her past role in the company) who encourages and pushes for excellence.

    All in all, I’m glad the Park Shi Hoo effect led me to a great drama. I enjoyed it tremendously though I had picked it up as an easy watch after my meals in between my studying time. Like GF, I was initially unsure that Yong Shik would get the girl such that when eventually it dawns upon me that IT IS COMING TRUE, I couldn’t stop rooting for him.

    I’m still at Ep 30…. AND I THOUGHT IT WAS A 12 EP EXTENSION SO SHOULDN’T IT BE 32 EPS + 1 EP for the Asia Cup pre-empt? SOB SOB SOB!!! =X And I thought I was going to have 3 more eps of QOR goodness….

  38. 38 Joy

    This drama made me watch Park shi hoo he is so adorable .
    Thanks for the review.

  39. 39 sg

    I loved QOH but I love QOR more because of its un-politically correct ending! If only, they could remake QOH and let Taebong get together with KNJ-character (can’t remember the name..) What a waste of great chemistry!

  40. 40 Abie Lee

    PSH was the only reason I started watching this drama, and that it was conveniently airing on MBC America. I’m kinda dragging my feet with it though cause I just wanted that evil corporate lady to fail but it’s taking such a long time. I’m glad you mentioned the bromance with the secretary. I think he’s cute and very hilarious, sort of in the same realm as Hyun Bin’s secretary in Secret Garden.

    As for the Darcy-ism.. is it from Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice?

    • 40.1 hookedonmonix

      yep- classic romantic lead archetype.

  41. 41 Cherry

    So Park Shi Hoo got the girl! Yaaaaay ^__^
    Even though i didn’t watch this drama i always rooted for this guy ♥

  42. 42 jo

    “He’s one of those actors you would never look twice at, until you watch him in something, and then all of a sudden he’s insanely hot and you don’t know how you missed him. Mostly, it’s charm (and acting chops) over looks. He’s like the anti-Song-Seung-heon.”

    EXACTLYyyyyyyyyy!!

    Totally fell for him in Prosecutor Princess!!

    • 42.1 mey

      The same goes for Yoon Kye Sang, in my opinion. Park Shi Hoo is unbelievably charming and such a good actor to boot. And you’re right, if a guy that looked like him passed by, I wouldn’t even look twice, but PSH in Prosecutor Princess in sunglasses, brooding, or smiling slyly before swooping in for a kiss I can watch over and over and over again.

      • 42.1.1 blahblahblah

        At first I would say “No, PSH is hot!” but if you really think about it, GF is right he isn’t someone you’d find insanely good-looking like SSH. I think it’s the fact that PSH is so charismatic, charming, and just such a great actor that everyone is drawn to him. The fact that he is so appealing in a not exactly physical way makes him attractive.
        Damn, PSH has skills! LOL

      • 42.1.2 kay

        totally agree about YKS. his ability to act makes him so darn attractive. and he has beautiful hands. haha

        • 42.1.2.1 mey

          I never noticed YKS’s hands, but you know whose hands I don’t like so much? Song Seung Heon’s. When they showed his hands in episode 10, I cringed a little. Give PSH and/or (but can it be “and” please???) YKS over SSH any day.

          • 42.1.2.1.1 Songie

            I feel the same; PSH over SSH any day!

    • 42.2 hookedonmonix

      All of my actor crushed are like that. To see a picture of them, you’d think “meh” but to see them in action, they become so appealing.

  43. 43 trish

    I’m so happy you wrote about this drama!

    I was following it periodically (with some raws) because it’s so addictive and I’m not even close to fluent..

    I love Park Shi-hoo and will literally watch (at least bits of) any drama starring him ^^

  44. 44 news

    AAAHHHH….I LOVE this drama!!! Love love love it for all the reasons you’ve stated!!!

    It’s like the Seinfeld of Korean dramas.
    The story, characters, plot, and all the understated humor made a lasting impression on me.

    I’m waiting for subs for the last two episodes.
    Ah, I’m totally going to chew my arm off! ^^

  45. 45 mochi

    tx for the recap girl friday! its pathetic. but i stopped watching after the 2nd episode b/c it just didnt click with me. After reading your review, i’m going to go back and give it another chance!

  46. 46 @lfani

    Thanks GF!!!
    I love this drama, especially recently I had the Second Lead Drama Syndrome too…. badly!!!
    from Coffee House(JinSoo-SeungYeon), Dream High (SamdongHyemi)…and Queen of Reversal had give me the end that I want… (not that I’ve watched ep31 yet…) but reading your review give me more motivation to wrap up this series….

    Thank you again!!! :) :) :)

  47. 47 bellefleur

    I loved this drama …and like most who have commented – I watched it because of PSH who can be so charming yet so intense and single-minded!

    But most of all what I appreciated is the fact that it went against the grain on so many levels – a career woman wanting marriage, having it all and discovering that it is not a bed of roses; divorce albeit korean style and yes this did drag on somewhat but a very good portrayal of the pain; the exploration of redundancy in South Korea which is so relatively new to that country – introduced around late 1990s; office politics korean style which is based on relationships rather than ability; the relationship between a boss and his employee and the age gap …where wisdom and experience help mentored the young leader; and a young man falling head over heels in love with an older woman, a divorcee and a single mum!

    PSH in his role blew all the status quo to pieces in his single-minded pursuit of KNJ. But what this drama also explored was how the loss of his birthmother at an early age lead to his determination to protect and hold what he loved dearly – KNJ. I found it so moving seeing PSH losing both his birthmother and KNJ at the same time and his despair – yet fighting spirit to persist.

    I have to agree with other comments here about KNJ plate like hairstyle – she looked great in the beginning but that hairstyle which was meant to portray her as an ‘ahjumma’ just did my head in everytime. I loathed it!!! Sometimes screaming at the screen for her to change it! It was aging. And at times she did look at little plastic … her face has changed quite significantly from her ads just 2 years ago.

    Can’t wait for the next PSH drama – he is real swoon material.

    • 47.1 Rose T

      I couldn’t agree with you more! I loved the story, but most of all, loved PSH . . .

  48. 48 miss

    i think park shi hoo is way more handsome than Song Seung Heon. But maybe…. My bias effected my statement lol

  49. 49 luvbo

    I love this drama it was better than I’d expected
    and yes the reversal of the male lead in the second half made this one of my favorite dramas

  50. 50 ceire

    So PSH gets the girl? It’s safe for me to watch this after all? YES!

    • 50.1 rainee

      I share the same sentiment with you. I’ve been waiting to hear who gets the girl. Been heartbroken by QOH is enough for me ^^

    • 50.2 MiMi

      Still watching it! I’m SO glad it’s not second-lead syndrome! PSH! Hwang Tae Hee has officially become one of my favorite characters!

    • 50.3 asea

      :P I downloaded all the episode to look at the scenes with him on it.. I decided to wait watching it properly until I am sure he gets the girl lol..

    • 50.4 elle loves krama

      Half way through their romance, I started to wonder if he would end up with the girl, but then I reminded myself… it’s PSH! Come on! He simply HAS to get the girl :D

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