New MBC drama A New Leaf is here taking over the Wednesday – Thursday slot. I’m amazed how the show efficiently managed to smoothly move from comical situations to more serious and dramatic ones. We have been introduced to the players and their relationships and I liked the first week of the drama, which was a nice mix of everything — bickering leads, charismatic lawyers, unscrupulous guys, thoughtful silences.
Let’s have a brief summary of what happened in the first two episodes. Kim Suk Joo (Kim Myung Min) is a successful lawyer at a prestigious firm owned by Cha Young Woo (Kim Sang Joong). He has a funny and weird encounter with Le Ji Yoon (Park Min Young) at a wedding attended by both, which results in her thinking that they spent the night together. Turns out, she is one of the new interns at the said law firm. She is too embarrassed to face him after she finds out that he is one of the senior lawyers there. Finally, they come face to face and decide to not make a huge issue. Suk Joo is indeed impressed by one of her suggestions regarding some case and takes her into his team. He later tells her that nothing happened between them that night but she is unable to hear it as she is wearing earphones.
The firm gets a new case — son of a rich businessman rapes his ex-girlfriend, who is also a struggling new actress. Although Suk Joo doesn’t want to take such a case, the son is his old friend and his father pressurizes Young Woo to give this case to their ace lawyer Suk Joo. He reluctantly takes it. He is about to win the case by using whatever means, which hurts not only the victim but also Ji Yoon who sympathises with her. The victim tries to commit suicide and Ji yoon goes to meet her at the hospital and suggests her to settle with the culprit outside the court as the chances of winning are too low. She agrees. Later, we see that the rich son gets murdered, and the police arrests the actress. Suk joo is shocked but maintains his calm. While he is going on his way, a bike comes and hits him, resulting in a fall. And as he is lying there in a trash, something falls over him from above.
I like that the show has flawed characters. Suk Joo is very cold and money minded and workaholic, but he is not your typical jerk that are so abundant in dramaland. He is thoughtful and though we don’t know what is going on in his mind, it’s clear that he is not happy or proud of what he does to win a case. The only thing matters to him is winning and completing his work with full dedication, even if he is on the wrong side of justice — which is mostly the case as he has rich clients for whom he fights. I would have liked to know more about him before his accident but I think this is better as we know enough to see the change in him post amnesia, but the unpredictable nature will also remain as the series will progress. I’m sure more layers of his personality will be peeled one by one as he’ll piece together his life. We can see that he has warmth in his nature by the care he shows for his dog.
Next is our leading lady Ji Yoon. Yes, she is righteous and idealistic but practical enough to not make a huge issue and argue with her senior at the firm, where she might get recruited later. She did her bit by meeting the victim and giving her suggestions but she knows that she has no power yet to fight in her support. Also, I liked that she shows interest in JIn Yi Han’s character, which is so unlike the heroines who are usually reluctant to show their affections or admiration of a handsome man. I like the scenes between Suk joo and Ji yoon — they provide much-needed lightness and fun from rest of the seriousness — and I can’t wait to see more when he’ll start changing. Presently, Ji Yoon thinks of him as a cold and merciless person, which he is but I think there is more to him than meets the eye.
Finally, we have the head of the firm Young Woo, who is another fascinating character. I don’t know what to think of him except that he is more cunning, practical, emotionless and money-minded than Suk joo. But there is also a sense of humour attached with him that I enjoyed in his interactions with Suk Joo and Ji Yoon.
I do admit that the pace is a bit slow but not boring. Also, the conversations that involved the rich son’s father and Young Woo were mostly all Greek to me — only that scene was boring. Anyway, I like the unusual tone of the drama which is actually quite natural, fluctuating from normal and light workplace vibe to the serious case-related one. Also, Suk Joo is a serious man, who is very closed-off. Plus, I’m loving the natural witty acting by Oh Jung Se, who plays Suk joo’s best buddie and coworker Park Sang Tae.
Overall, a nice start!