Outrageous Women


Reviewed by: sukting

December 06, 2010

Rating: three

How long
18 episodes

Foreword
Do you wish to see how Kim Bum looked when younger? This drama allows you to have a good look at him. This is the Korean version of desperate housewives. It tells of how a divorcee who has a son and seeks revenge on her ex-husband. She never expects herself to fall for her landlord. In the meantime, will her ex-husband make her life difficult too? I bought this set of dvds for my friend's birthday after borrowing to watch from my colleague, N.N.

Story/Introduction on characters

1. Song Mei Zhu – Yoo Ho Jung
She is a divorcee. She is direct, stubborn and reckless. Xi is her first love and she married him when she was 20 years old. She became a mother when she was 23 years old. Xi had an affair with his patient when she was 27 years old. Without hesitation, she filed for divorce and brought Xuan Jun to stay in the US. After 10 years, she becomes a dentist and returns to Korea when the 16 year old Xuan Jun wants to be independent. Her only motive is to seek revenge on Xi.

When she is staying alone, she becomes an expert in changing light bulbs, fixing a broken pipe or electrical appliances. But she is terrible in cooking and will be uneasy if the home is neat. She has forgotten how to cry when bringing up Xuan Jun. She will exercise at the gym when she feels down. To get close to En Ying, she works at her hospital – right on the day of En Ying's wedding anniversary and calls herself Alice.

She is very delighted to know that her rented house is just next to Xi's house. But her first night ends with staying with Rookie and both quarrel non-stop. She begins her revenge but her careless and kind nature causes her unable to be ruthless.

She starts to fall for Rookie. She invites him home but discovers that there are no fruits left in the fridge. She is about to cancel their meeting when Rookie hurries over upon getting her call. Both go for shopping and Rookie gets her to make starch cakes for him. He starts to find ways to go to her place. Xi keeps reminding Mei Zhu that Rookie is too young for her.

Mei Zhu then hurts Rookie and he storms away. He sees Da Lin outside his home, begging for a reconciliation. He rejects her and comes to Mei Zhu's place. Xi is there, ruining the plants that Rookie has grown for Mei Zhu. He snaps that Mei Zhu doesn't want them anymore. Rookie still fixes them back and is startled to find Xuan Jun's registration certificate that has Xi's name.

He finally knows their relationship and roars at Xi when Xi quarrels with Mei Zhu. Xi wants him to mind his own business. He never gives up but Mei Zhu decides to return to the U.S. She comes to the baseball centre to look for Rookie and wants to have a farewell dinner with him. However, he has arranged to meet his coach. She goes to the airport the next day and is relieved that he doesn't pick up her call. So she leaves a sms for him, wishing him well.

Mei Zhu returns to the U.S. and returns for holiday a year later. She snatches a ball from Xi, acts like Rookie to pitch a ball and hit a homerun. She tries running all the bases but gets too tired during the process to give up. She later stays with Rookie to be at a villa for the night and their romance continues.

2. Zheng Xi – Jung Woong In
He is a plastic surgeon and is in charge of this unit in En Ying's hospital. He is a narrow-minded, indecisive and petty. He bullies the weak and is afraid of the rich. He chooses love over Mei Zhu and Xuan Jun. After marrying En Ying, he discovers that love isn't as grand as he has thought of. As En Ying is also working, both have to share the housework.

He sometimes misses the way he talks loudly to Mei Zhu. Mei Zhu learns from En Ying that she is unsatisfied with Xi's performance in bed. She gets EnYing sexy lingerie and red wine. She also passes her a bag of salt wine, saying that it makes men stronger. In reality, that is a bag of laxatives. He gets even more hysterical upon getting Mei Zhu's call that her revenge plan is ending after she opens his vault. She steals his bank passbook and threatens to tell En Ying.

He is scared upon seeing Mei Zhu but seeing Xuan Jun rekindles the fatherly love in him. He drops the idea of confessing to En Ying. He wants to make up to Xuan Jun to buy s skateboard for him and both spend a happy day together. On the other hand, Ha Na is scalded by hot water but En Ying can't get him but to seek help from Tai Jun instead.

He frowns upon seeing photos of Xuan Jun taken with Rookie. He is not happy to hear from En Ying that Rookie likes Mei Zhu. To make sure that Rookie doesn't have a chance to be Xuan Jun's stepfather, he keeps killing his chances. What a selfish man! He also starts his revenge by inviting Xuan Jun and Mei Zhu over for dinner. When tasting the spaghetti, Mei Zhu has a stomachache and rushes to the toilet. He has used the exact laxatives that she has passed to En Ying.

Rookie prepares snacks and red wine. He then invites Mei Zhu to the backyard. Xi has a stroll with En Ying and learns about this. He imagines Rookie to propose to Mei Zhu and hurries home. He insists of joining them to spill wine on her dress. Then, he even pulls out the whole table cloth after pretending to be unable to find the napkin. This ruins their day and Mei Zhu detects Xi's jealousy. She walks in to change into a sexy dress. Both men can't take their eyes off her.

Xi secretly memorizes the secret code into Mei Zhu's house to search for the passbook at night. Jun hears noises when he gets water. Thinking that he is the same thief who breaks their window(he is in reality), he tells En Ying that there is a thief. En Ying calls the police and all crowd around Mei Zhu's house. Xi panicks and calls Mei Zhu to save him. (What a coward!) But in the end, his ploy still fails when Zhi Huan subdues him when he escapes – bringing shame to his family.

The two meet at the hospital rooftop where he demands for the passbook. The two have another argument and Mei Zhu ends up losing the passbook as it drops to nowhere from the top. Xi jumps but Mei Zhu insists that it is not her fault. Thinking that both are having an affair, En Ying adds GPS to Xi's handphone and tails them again.

Upon seeing them together, En Ying wants Xi to take out his wallet. He obliges, thinking that she is going to increase his allowance. To his dismay, she cuts his credit cards and she only leaves a few small value bills inside it. When knowing that En Ying is the one having an affair, he doesn't forgive her easily now.

3. Zhang Yu Zhen/Rookie – Lee Ki Woo
He is a cheerful and well-mannered baseball player who is an orphan. When his ego is hurt, he becomes very choosy. He is a professional player since his high school and university days. As he is an orphan, he has a greater desire than others to have his own home. So he uses his earnings to buy a house. His agent makes a mistake to rent it out to Mei Zhu.

When he is about to get ready for the tournaments, his old shoulder ailment acts on again due to Mei Zhu. His doctor warns him that he has to give up his career so he can only give up to look for another job. How?
He is about to change his clothes when Mei Zhu charges in. In his haste, he trips and worsens his shoulder injury. He returns to the hospital for a check-up and uses this as an excuse to get her to clean the house for him. Both are at loggerheads from then onwards.

Rookie overhears the conversation between his coach and manager that he can never recover. His coach encourages him to go for the operation but he prefers to give up his career if that doesn't affect his normal life. Rookie leaves the hostel to suggest to stay with Mei Zhu but she refuses. But she changes her mind after knowing what has happened.

Rookie feels frustrated and throws his equipment everywhere. Mei Zhu trips when picking them up. Rookie decides that he can't just forgo this spot and returns. Upon seeing this, he quickly reaches out to hold her in his arms. Da Lin sees this and thinks that they are together. (Not for now but surely they develop later.) Seeing that Mei Zhu is down, Rookie sets up a baseball court in the house courtyard.

Rookie tells Mei Zhu that he is having a shoulder operation after serious consideration. If anything goes wrong, he will need to sell the house to pay for the operation so Mei Zhu must be present. Mei Zhu refuses to go but is worried about him. She comes to the hospital but hides aside upon seeing Da Lin and his manager helping him out.

Rookie knows that Mei Zhu has come to visit him and takes a photo of her with his phone. Everyone's hurt is written on the face. He will examine her photo carefully to treat her wound. She is touched by his words.
He sees Da Lin dating Yi Nian and breaks up with her. Da Lin accepts it as she also prefers Yi Nian. But he still can't forget her.

Rookie is discharged but can't move his arm freely. Thus, he gets Mei Zhu home to do housework for her. She is clumsy and trips over him. Both fall on the bed. Da Lin comes to visit him and witnesses this. She can't bear losing to Mei Zhu and vows to win him back.

Rookie and Mei Zhu have conflicts initially but learn to understand each other better through time. He doesn't understand why – he is tidy while she isn't. They are total opposites. He even falls for her in the end but is a strong person so whatever Xi does can't deter him. He concentrates on his baseball career when Mei Zhu is away and becomes a famous player now.

4. Jin En Ying – Ren Zhi Hui
She is also a dentist and owns a small hospital. Xi remarries her and they have a daughter. She is selfish and also greedy. She puts on a false mask and she must get what she wants. She looks down on everyone and gets Xi by feigning to be demure. To make sure that Xi doesn't think of his son, she forces him to burn his photo in front of her.

She is the third party in Xi's first marriage. After marrying Xi, she doesn't trust him and yet she herself has affairs with Xi's senior, Tai Jun. En Ying befriends Mei Zhu during a seminar and gets her to join her hospital. Xi doesn't like the arrangement but he has no say.

She loves Xi deeply and finally breaks up with Tai Jun. Both become good friends but upon knowing that she is Xi's ex-wife, her attitude changes and accuses her of trying to wreck her marriage. She demands a divorce. Mei Zhu teaches Xi to say 3 sentences to save his marriage. (You will need to find out herself.) When she wants to return to Xi's side, Mei Zhu's revenge causes her to sink into a bad situation with Xi.

5. Yang Zhi Huan – Jang Dong Jik
He is a boring and conceited workaholic, growing up in a rich family. He is also a perfectionist since he graduates from Korean University and was a judge in the past. Now, he is a famous lawyer after investing well in shares and housing.

He has thought that beautiful and obedient women make the best wives and thus chooses the ignorant Xiang Mei. However, her frequent stress on dressing herself and doing housework bores him. He meets his secret admirer ex-classmate who isn't pretty but smart so they often meet for chats as friends. She later becomes his secretary and Xiang Mei kisses up a fuss as a photo of her hand is taken when he is caught speeding on the way to send her home. Xiang Mei overhears the woman saying that she loves him. But Zhi Huan's heart still stays with Xiang Mei.

6. Bai Yi Nian – Zheng Jun He
He is the second son of a businessman who owns huge holdings and now manages a holiday resort. He learns business management overseas in a famous university. He is polite and his upbringing is good. He is a real man but the only flaw is his looks or he will make a perfect husband.

It is love at first sight for him after his matchmaking session with Da Lin but her two-timing ways make him suffer for the first time. He waits patiently for her to return to him. Luckily, this isn't in vain.

7. Zheng Xuan Jun – Kim Bum
He grows up without a father but is very sensible. He even hopes that Mei Zhu will remarry and after observing Rookie, he knows that he is interested in his mother. That doesn't bother him as long as she is happy with it. That starts a war between his father and mother. Mei Zhu is enraged upon knowing that Xi buys a phone for Xuan Jun.

She sends an sms to Xi using Xuan Jun's phone to meet him at a sauna house. He goes there happily. Mei Zhu then throws a fire can at his neck to leave a mark there before escaping. Xi knows that he is being made fun of and thus throws a stone at her house to break a window upon seeing Rookie walking in. Xuan Jun never know his parents' complicated relationship.

He goes fishing with Xi and En Ying follows them through the GPS she fixes in Xi's handphone. Xi cooks instant noodles for Xuan Jun. Seeing him claiming them to be delicious, Xi's eyes turn red and gives him a present – a stethescope that fixes his name and Mei Zhu's name on it. Seeing En Ying coming, Xi hurries Xuan Jun away. Xuan Jun drops the object and En Ying picks it up. She finally learns that Xuan Jun is Mei Zhu's son. She hates the two for keeping the fact from her but still pretends not to know it.

Xuan Jun knows the truth and ignores Xi for a while. He can't tolerate Xi for being so irresponsible towards him and Mei Zhu. Despite knowing that Xi can be nasty, he is aware that Xi genuinely cares for him. So he cooks seaweed soup for him on his birthday – at Rookie's home! With Mei Zhu's absence, Rookie and Xi learn to be friends with Xuan Jun's help. After knowing that He Na is his half-sister, he dotes on her even more and He Na also becomes very attached to him.

8. Yang Da Lin – Oh Joo Eun (as Yun Er in ‘Lovers In Paris')
She plays the cello and graduates from the music faculty in university. She is innocent and sexy in her outlook. Growing up in a rich family causes her to have high expectations. She loves lying to others but she yearns to have true love one day. She looks down on those who go for plastic surgery but her body is full of needle marks caused by liposuction.

Her dream is to become a mother and thus chooses music that most men love. Her looks attract many suitors and she is proud of it. She dates with Rookie for a year but something is lacking. He is stable but he always looks for adventures. She wavers between Rookie and Yi Nian after a matchmaking session.

She never expects Rookie to love an older Mei Zhu who isn't as attractive looking as she is. What's more with a teenage son? She uses all her ways but Mei Zhu is not easy to deal with too. She loses to Mei Zhu as Rookie still can't forget Mei Zhu after 1 year so she chooses Yi Nian.

9. Gao Shang Mei – Sa Kang
She looks classy and approachable to be a perfect wife in the public's eye. She is Zhi Huan's nanny in reality as she is weak in her studies. She uses her beauty to marry Zhi Huan after coming to Seoul for a year. Many envy her but she finds the wide educational gap between her and Zhi Huan. To kill time, she goes online to get into chatrooms or play games besides doing housework.

She pretends to be blissful and loves children. She yearns to have her own kids after looking after Ha Na. However, Zhi Huan is cold to her and she suspects him of having a mistress. Mrs Yang keeps on looking for remedies for her and Da Lin keeps looking down on her, making her upset.

10. Zheng He Na – Park Ji Eon
She is the daughter from Xi's second marriage. She and Xuan Jun are close to each other, not knowing that they are siblings. Xuan Jun protects He Na and he himself gets hurt. Xi gets very anxious and carries him to the hospital on his back. En Ying demands to know why Xi ignores the frightened He Na totally. It is then now that Xi realizes that she knows the truth and explains that he doesn't do it on purpose and begs her not to tell Xuan Jun about it.

11. Mrs Yang – Kim Hyung Ja
She gives Xiang Mei a lot of pressure when she is still not pregnant after being married for a few years.

12. John – Joo Ho
He is Rookie's baseball friend who thinks that it is a waste of his talents to retire so young. Thus, he keeps coaxing him to go for the operation. However, it also takes him a long time to accept the fact that Rookie has an older girlfriend.

13. Ju Tai Jun – Choi Woo Je
He is En Ying's lover and also Xi's senior. En Ying, Mei Zhu, Xi and him attend a couple's meeting. That is to raise funds for a kid who suffers from burns. En Ying is mad when Tai Jun buys a necklace that she likes to pass it to Mei Zhu. The jealous Xi even tails him when he goes fishing with Mei Zhu.

Mei Zhu is curious when Tai Jun gives Xi a flower basket. She asks Tai Jun out, forgetting her movie date with Rookie. En Ying suspects Mei Zhu of liking Xi and tails them. Rookie learns from Xuan Jun that Mei Zhu is now at the café and comes over. En Ying warns Tai Jun not to reveal their affair to Xi but Mei Zhu overhears that. Mei Zhu keeps silent but Xi still gets to know about it anyway.

14. Qiu Ji Yan – Jun Won Joo
She is a very nosy neighbour. Xi wants to buy a handphone for Xuan Jun but he doesn't want his family to know about it. The shop owner mistakens that he is having an affair and suggests a lovers pair model. Ji Yan overhears this and tells En Ying. En Ying then mistakens that Xi has a mistress.

Most favourite character
Rookie, he is such a gentleman and is very sociable. Despite his age, he is more mature than Mei Zhu to make future plans well. No wonder Xuan Jun enjoys being with him than his own father.

Most hated character
En Ying comes in top. She is only thinking for herself in every aspect. See how vicious she is to cut Xi's ties with Xuan Jun before their marriage. When she suspects Xi of committing adultery, she hasn't thought of herself being the main culprit to ruin her marriage. She keeps on blaming others but not herself.

A close second is Xi, you will dislike him at first sight. He is incorrigible and snobbish. Part of the reason of him marrying En Ying is she can help in his career. Mei Zhu hates him falling for a dentist and that is why she picks up dentistry to be reborn to a professional and not to be a simple housewife anymore. Mei Zhu really have both to thank for her success.

Most pitiful character
Not Mei Zhu who gets ditched as she has a son to depend on. He is Tai Jun – poor chap. Despite having a successful career, he is like a kept man. He is even more successful than Xi to work in a big hospital. He loves the wrong person – his junior's wife and has to keep their affair under wraps. He also has to endure complaints and repeated warnings from En Ying. In the public eye, he has to act as if he likes Mei Zhu.

Sigh, who is as magnanimous as him? No one can be like him –when getting his lover's call, he helps to send her daughter to the hospital. And the child is not his own flesh and blood!!

Conclusion
This drama is a frank and light story about the happiness women dream of, and their outrageous imagination/truth that they keep from their men. It shows realistic roles who work towards their dreams. Their target is “The greatest success in life that we are pursuing is happiness”.

So it tells their way of racing towards happiness they have each defined in their own way. They work separately, unlike ‘Desperate Housewives' who work together. Their stories tell all that they can fail or feel lost but this is not the ending. They search for and find a new starting line. What the four women are pursuing is happiness.. Many housewives have been thinking if the boring days are what they suit for till the end of their lives. This drama gives them hope for the next day.

It has a cast of unknowns but they do it well. It brings a lot of comic relief. You will laugh at Xi's stupidity. He is a coward in front of his wife but likes to throw his weight around in front of others. The highlight will be how he is caught in his pyjamas outside Mei Zhu's home.

Mei Zhu's attempts to seek revenge on Xi is funny too. There is so much bad blood between the two of them that you will wonder if they will pull each other's hair in the next scene. Kim Bum's role is minor but he is so sweet and sensible! Any parent will want this teenager as his son. In fact, I find him acting better here than in ‘Boys Over Flowers'.

If you wish to take a break from tragedies or revenge, this is a drama that offers insight into women's multiple roles – wife, mother, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, friends and even love rivals. That doesn't include their working profession – how extraordinary! I really admire their adaptation level for that. Men can find out how these women work from all these complicated tasks and learn from them.

Sukting's ratings :

On acting : *** (Scale of 5)

On story : *** (Scale of 5)


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