The Good Witch
좋은 마녀
SBS (2018) 40 Episodes
Melodrama, Romance, Grade: B
Korean Drama Review by Jill, USA

I watched this Korean drama for certain cast members I loved in other dramas, but honestly I was disappointed in The Good Witch (2018) for the most part. First of all the title was stupid. Lead female actress Lee Da Hae (Chuno) plays twins, one good-hearted, and the other selfish and ambitious, so if the writer was going to concentrate mostly on a good character (and she did) it should have been called The Good Sister instead ... the good sister was never once remotely a "witch". The only spiritual power she had was not supernatural, based on magic or sorcery, but simply being a person motivated by goodness who has an inordinate amount of love and compassion for others, even people who are sick or twisted in nature. One can see the writing on the wall early on that she is going to be taken advantage of by a lot of people.

Second, at 40 episodes this series stretched out waaaaaay too long. It could have covered the same basic plot points in twenty episodes or less. I guess from the actors' standpoint that gives them more money so they aren't about to complain to production staff and say, "you know, we're dragging this story out, it COULD be shortened." :)

Third, I'm getting tired of seeing one of my favorite actors Bae Soo Bin (Shining Inheritance, 49 Days) playing second male leads, often playing twisted characters negatively controlled by past mistakes or greed. Here he played the good sister's husband and he really was a weak character negatively influenced by his family members (mostly his domineering mother) to the point where it risked his marriage on numerous occasions. Bae Soo Bin has the acting chops and the looks to be first male lead characters but he rarely gets the chance to do so. Plus in this drama they gave him a very poor hairstyle and makeup (probably on purpose) and it was actually painful many times for me to even look at him! Bad mistake on the part of production staff. I think they did it so he wouldn't look more attractive than the lead male character (actor Ryu Soo Young, Rebirth: Next).

Lee Da Hae did a great job playing twin sisters
with opposite personalities
The Story:

Two young teen twin sisters see their cop father die early due to a poor on the job decision, and they and their mother are kicked out of their home and have to seriously downgrade their already compromised living standards. (I kept wondering since he died on duty why wasn't there a pension to his wife / family? Stupid!). In reaction to his loss and financial stress one sister decides to overcome evil with good, and the other one plans her escape through personal ambition, no matter what it takes or who she might hurt.

Cha Sun Hee the good sister (Lee Da Hae) becomes a housewife when proposed to by a clown named Bong Cheon Dae (Bae Soo Bin - yes you read that right - a professional clown!). Her husband is often unemployed because he's essentially a silly over-emotional loser, so she has to take odd jobs when she can to help support her family. They have a bright young daughter
named Bong Cho Rong (Lee Han Seo) who easily sees the lay of the land on the true nature of her parents, and she often has to point out reality to her own mother.

Marrying A Clown

Cha Sun Hee's twin sister, Cha Do Hee (Lee Da Hae in a dual role), leaves home early and sets her ambitions on becoming a great flight attendant for the aerospace company run by her elders Oh Pyeong Pan (Lee Deok Hwa) the owner of the firm, and the female manager Oh Tae Ri (Yoon Se Ah, Just Between Lovers), who takes an instant shine to her during her interview process for the job. Do Hee does an outstanding job and is often voted the best flight attendant in the company. However she has a rather contentious relationship with the chief pilot in the company who is always winning awards for being the best on his job, Song Woo Jin (Ryu Soo Young). 
Although they are identical twins, the sisters have completely opposite personalities. Cha Do Hee (the ambitious sister) becomes involved in a situation which leads to Cha Sun Hee (the good sister) to pretend to be her flight attendant sister, so they have to switch roles. While pretending to be her sister she starts to fall in love with pilot Woo Jin, although fighting her feelings because of her marriage. He starts to feel close to her for the first time, not realizing it's a different person than the flight attendant he didn't get along with before.

Meanwhile other people on the sidelines are becoming emotionally involved with this developing situation, including Oh Tae Ri who really starts to fall apart emotionally out of competition against Sun Hee (playing Do Hee) now that she seems so much changed. There are lots of twists and turns in this story but to an experienced K-drama watcher there really is nothing here that is unpredictable or surprising. There's a rather pat ending which seems contrived, but by that point I was just glad this series was over and I could find something else to watch, and that ended up being the much better My Mister K-drama.

If you love the actors, particularly Lee Da Hae, and are curious to see how she does playing two opposite characters, then by all means check this K-drama out; you might enjoy it more than I did. Its production values ARE sophisticated for what it is, but I would really urge you to watch her in Chuno instead, if you haven't already. That's a masterpiece .... and this is tabloid fodder. ;)