I enjoyed this drama more than I expected to. Gorgeous actress Kim So Yeon is a delight through the whole show, and the rest of the cast did a very professional and enjoyable job too. If you like shows about various law issues, like I Hear Your Voice or Pride and Prejudice, along with nice romances, then you will like this drama. It's very lighthearted in the beginning but by episode 5 it gets pretty serious. I shed a few tears during this show, it wasn't all romantic comedy. It's like I always say: don't pay strict attention to genre labels in K-dramas: romantic comedies will always have sad or tragic scenes, and melodramas will always have funny scenes. A show with a good balance of both is one worth watching, and Prosecutor Princess fits the bill.
Hye Ri Ma (Kim So Yeon), a new lawyer, has just passed an exam to become a prosecutor. After a graduation ceremony for the passing students she is expected to go to a prosecutor workshop afterward but she begs off, tearfully claiming that a relative is dying and she must rush to the hospital, but it's a lie. She rushes to a luxurious ski resort instead, to treat herself to a vacation ... all on Daddy's money!
Karma is a B however because nothing goes right once she's there. A thief steals her purse and car keys and runs off, the room that was booked for her was mistakenly given to another patron, and then her car tires deflate! When she knocks on the door of the room she thinks was reserved for her a handsome man opens the door named In Woo Seo (Park Shi Hoo from Cheongdamdong Alice) and tells her he already paid for the room. The hotel manager is called in to settle the situation but since the room was already paid for by In Woo, and Hye Ri's credit card was stolen with her purse, she has no choice but to back down.
In Woo kindly offers her one of the bedrooms in the suite. "Why don't we share?" but Hye Ri looks at him as if he's crazy and runs away. Later, desperate and scared, trying to sleep in the hotel lobby late at night with no success, she timidly knocks on his door again and asks if the offer is still open. He smiles and says yes. He seems gentlemanly enough, so Hye Ri settles in and takes a nice long bubble bath. She is so comfortable that she falls asleep in the tub, sinks under the water and can't get back up. In Woo comes to the rescue when he hears her in distress and pulls her up in the tub -- and looks down at her naked breasts. I think it was love at first sight for him after that! LOL!
Hye RI recovers and is happy to attend a fashion show in the hotel where a company is showcasing their latest gowns. Unknown to her she is sitting next to a spy for another fashion company who is recording the new fashions in an attempt to copy them. Her future employer is there too, Se Joon Yoon (Jung Soo Han from Arang And The Magistrate) a lead prosecutor who is canvassing the area for a criminal, along with his assistant Woo-hyun Lee (a very early role for cutie pie Lee Jong Suk from I Hear Your Voice, Doctor Stranger, and Pinocchio).
A fracas develops at the fashion show and Hye Ri and Se Joon bang into each other and he is knocked to the floor. He looks up at Hye Ri and seems amazed (later we are to learn why, that she looks very much like his wife who died from cancer). He ends up losing the criminal he was pursuing because of Hye Ri, a fact that is rather foreboding when she shows up at his place of employment as the new rookie prosecutor and he pretends he doesn't recognize her.
Hye Ri ends up staying in touch with In Woo once they are both back in the city. They agree to stay casual friends. "I like you," he confesses. Since she's so used to men falling for her because of her beauty she doesn't give it much thought. Her real troubles stem from the workplace: she dresses like a fashion designer, instead of in a black pantsuit or skirt and blazer like the other prosecutors, and she insists because she is a civil servant that she can leave exactly at 6pm while the others have to stay behind for hours to catch up on a huge workload. She alienates everyone with her silliness and so she is eventually given her own office away from everyone -- and no cases. For a girl with an IQ of 168 (she claims) she sure doesn't display a lot of common sense. Eventually she realizes she's being punished, that they don't even want to eat lunch with her anymore, that they can't even trust her with simple traffic cases.
She calls on In Woo, who reveals himself to be a private practice lawyer, for advice on how to get out of the dog house. He says that she should solve her own criminal activity cases to make a name for herself. So she pretends to be a lady gambler to uncover a racket but the men in the organization discover her spying and chase her in an attempt to either assault her or even kill her. She screams for help and who should come running but her boss at work Se Joon, with In Woo in the rear. In Woo had planted a GPS device on her and then had phoned Se Joon about the place of the gambling racket. It's Se Joon who saves Hye Ri directly and not In Woo, who looks on from a distance, perhaps a bit jealously, but Se Joon is stabbed in the arm while saving her. Suddenly Hye Ri fancies him as her Knight in Shining Armor and convinces herself she's in love with him.
However, a new case she works on, an alleged assault case between two women who hate each other, goes awry and the falsely accused woman is irate, and throws a box of tomatoes in her face on the outdoor steps of the public courthouse. It's all recorded by someone with a cell phone and makes the nightly news. She decides she has had enough and gets a plane ticket to Japan. In Woo rushes to the airport to dissuade her. "You're going to put all your co-workers in tight spots again, they'll have to do your workload for you." She is stubborn and says she doesn't care, and In Woo walks off in a huff.
She gets on the plane and her conscience begins pricking her. She sees the terrified face of a little girl named Jimini whose child abuse case she was handling before she ran off, and then the middle aged man who molested her sits up next to her. How can she leave a precious child with no prosecutor to convict the bad guy? She leaves the plane, much to In Woo's relief later, and recommits to her profession. She wins the case in court against the sexual predator, putting the child's fears and her mother's fears to rest. (I wish I knew who this little child actress was, but no one seems to have identified her, not even Wiki: she was outstanding!).
From left to right: Park Shi Hoo, Choi Song Hyun,
Kim So Yeon, and Jung Soo Han
Hye Ri confesses to In Woo that she is in love with her boss, and he pretends to be supportive of her finding ways to get closer to him. He suggests she move closer to where he lives --- not telling her that the place he recommends is right near his own apartment and that they'll be able to see each other if both of them stand on their verandas! She moves in and then discovers In Woo's apartment is close by. However, no matter how hard Hye Ri tries she can't seem to catch Se Joon's attention. This is a man who still talks to the framed picture of his dead wife by his bedside. Se Joon can't get over her, even though it's been three years since she died. He also has to care for his 7 year old daughter and Hye Ri doesn't exactly seem the sacrificial motherly type.
She sends a nice card to Se Joon inviting him on a picnic with her, but his little girl hides the card; Hye Ri waits for hours for him until late at night and then picks up and leaves for home. Meanwhile his daughter feels guilty and shows him the card; he rushes out to see if he can find her, but stops dead in his tracks when he sees Hye Ri standing with In Woo. In Woo notices him and says to Hye Ri, "Let me help you out," and pulls her to him and kisses her, shocking her. Se Joon sees them kissing, gets jealous, turns and walks away, and has to work through his own heightened feelings for Hye Ri: are they love, or just attraction because she reminds him of his dead wife?
It doesn't help Hye Ri any that another female prosecutor at work seems to be in love with Se Joon too, Jung Sun Jin (Choi Song Hyun). Although Sun Jin dresses conservatively, wears glasses, and doesn't pressure him, Se Joon has bonded with her through friendship and trust, and they seem to be a much better match for each other. Will Se Joon ever figure out that Sun Jin loves him? Se Joon tries out a few dates with Hye Ri, but although they become more friendly it never seems to progress beyond just basic affection. (There is one really cute scene between them, though, where they exercise together in the morning before work, and it's one of the highlights of the drama because it's so sweet and funny).
Eventually Hye Ri finally realizes the person she is really in love with is In Woo, and as the sparks fly between them and they eventually kiss passionately, it's In Woo who suddenly seems to draw back from her, as if he is suffering from some form of guilt over pushing their relationship so hard to get her to trust him. What is he hiding? Could it have something to do with his past, or her past? His family background, or her family background? She doesn't understand what is going on with him, but a lady close to him in his law office, whom he seems to confide in more than he confides in Hye Ri, makes Hye Ri suspicious of his real intentions toward her.
She keeps her concerns and troubles to herself for the most part, since when she tries to confront him he becomes silent and withdrawn; meanwhile she is becoming more and more a professional prosecutor and learning what it takes to win various cases and to hold her own in the office with all the other workers. In Woo advises her on all kinds of legal issues so she wins more cases. He himself has cases he needs to work hard on, and a deep dark secret which might cause Hye Ri great distress. When lack of trust between them rears its ugly head, will that negatively affect their relationship, or even destroy it?
Prosecutor Princess wasn't too original in plot, and there were some standard cliches like the piggy back ride, the wrist grab, the back hug, etc. but overall I liked the chemistry between Kim So Yeon and Park Shi Hoo. When he kissed her I felt he meant it, and when he cared for her as a person and not just as a sexy chick, it warmed my heart. This show will make you feel that true love is really possible, but that two individuals who are very different have to work extra hard to make that relationship flourish. That's true to life, isn't it? Definitely recommended for all you romantics out there! After I Need Romance 3 and IRIS this is my favorite Kim So Yeon drama, and after Cheongdamdong Alice this is my favorite Park Shi Hoo drama. Don't miss it!
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