I am Legend, starring Kim Jung Eun of Lovers in Paris fame is a drama about a 30 something former band performer Jeon Seol Hee who marries into the wealthy family of lawyer Chai Ji Wok, and suffers countless heartbreaks because her mother in law hates her for her lack of social pedigree.
After several years of marriage, Seoul Hee, who has has had enough of her mother in law’s abuses calls it quits with Ji Wok after her husband fails to defend her when his mother prevents her from donating her bone marrow to a sister who is terminally ill, saying that this will affect her chances of producing an heir for the family. To make matters worse, she discovers that Ji Wok has been unfaithful to her with his fellow lawyer Oh Seong He, who is divorced from Jang Tae Hyon, a songwriter whom Seol Hee admires. The court grants their divorce after a long and bitter battle.
While there is the typical Korean drama formula at work in I am Legend — an abusive mother in law, a love triangle, a rich husband and cool guy who secretly loves the main actress, the series is only romantic up to a certain degree. It focuses on Seol Hee’s life after the divorce, how she picks up the pieces and shows her strength without her husband to support her. The show is mainly about the empowerment of women when Seol Hee, reforms her former band, and despite being “older” than most superstar groups, tries to pursue of her dreams of making music and becoming successful. The drama also touches on the difficulties of juggling career and family responsibilities, especially for married women with kids — but shows that it is possible if the family is supportive and priorities are properly set. It is very relateable to women who fit these demographic.
As with other Korean dramas, the story is fraught with a lot of subplots, mostly court cases involving Seol Hee (who works part time as a legal secretary) and Ji Wok, who find themselves working the same cases on opposite sides of the table. A lot of tears are shed, a lot of music is played, and the ending is not your typical Korean fare where somebody dies or somebody gets married. Those who are rooting for either Ji Wok or Tae Hyon would also not be disappointed as it is open ended, and leaves the viewers to form their own conclusions. It is a very good drama, in my opinion. Not too sobby and not to happy, but very realistic.