Wonderful Life (2005)

  • Title: 원더풀 라이프 / Wondeopool Laipeu
  • Genre: Drama, comedy, romance, family
  • Episodes: 16
  • Broadcast network: MBC
  • Broadcast period: 2005-Mar-07 to 2005-Apr-26
  • Air time: Monday & Tuesday 21:55
  • Theme song: Babo by Park Hye Kyung


Han Seung Wan and Jung Se Jin bumps into each other at the airport and accidentally take each other’s passports. They meet again and Seung Wan and Se Jin end up spending the day together. Both having to deal with love complications, they end up drunk and having a one night stand. Back in Korea, Se Jin discovers she is pregnant and leaves to have the baby alone. A year later, Se Jin’s clueless sister ends up spilling the secret to Seung-Wan at his engagement party, showing up with his baby daughter. Seung-wan and Se Jin are then forced to marry by their respective families. Complicated love takes place between Do Hyun, Se Jin, Chae Young and Seung-Wan. The rest of the story revolves around the family’s journey in learning to take responsibility, and learning to love each other.


Kim Jae Won as Han Seung Wan :: The original smiling angel hit it big in Wonderful Life as the immature Han Seung Wan. Despite being childish in mind and heart, Han Seung Wan is studying to be a pilot (talk about being ambicious). Even though all his friends are a grade higher, he does not let that bring him down. Heck, in the beginning, doesn’t seem like anything can bring him down. EXCEPT, his two-timing girlfriend – Lee Chae Young (Han Eun Jung). Seung Wan is seriously so blinded by his feelings for Chae Young (in the beginning), he fails to admit that she was merely cheating on him. But, he gave her the benefit of the doubt .. he’s so loyal! After he’s informed of his daughter’s existance, he gets married and starts maturing little by little. Apparently, these things takes time .. years even. From what I’ve noticed, his true emotions come out when he is around Jung Se Jin and his cute little daughter, Han Shin Bi. Kim Jae Won really made this role his own, with his childish features matching his childish character. In the beginning, he had brown hair and years later, approximately 5-6 years, he has black hair. I much prefer the brown hair though. Anyways, Kim Jae Won’s portrayal of Han Seung Wan is perfectly executed!

Eugene as Jung Se Jin :: Eugene (of S.E.S.) plays Jung Se Jin, a young optimistic girl who crosses paths with Han Seung Wan in a not-so-friendly way. Throughout the series, you constantly see a sad expression on her face because of her feelings toward Han Seung Wan and his “girlfriend” Chae Young. However, all of her happiest moments are spent with Seung Wan and their daughter, Shin Bi. Even though she’s not afraid to speak her mind, she’s afraid to express her emotions (except anger, she shows that quite a bit). Unlike Seung Wan, Se Jin’s feelings were definite from the beginning. You can see that she’s fallen for him, but she’s afraid to admit it to him and even herself. This has caused a lot of hair-pulling as I watched this drama. Eugene’s portrayal of this character was done very well. This role is much more spunkier than her past roles, like in Save the Last Dance for Me and Loving You.

Lee Ji Hoon as Min Do Hyun :: When I think of Lee Ji Hoon, the first thing that comes to mind is – BIG BOTTOM LIP. It’s not singer or actor, but lips lol.  You have to admit, they do stick out the most out of all his features. Anway, Min Do Hyun is the nice-guy-that-watches-from-the-sidelines kind of character. And that is literally what he does throughout the entire drama. Just when you think he’s gonna step up to the plate and challenge Seung Wan, he doesn’t. In the beginning, Seung Wan disliked him because he was the “other man” in Chae Young’s life. However, Seung Wan not only disliked him but also challenged him numerous times when it came to Se Jin. Do Hyun should have challenged Seung Wan for Se Jin, that way Seung Wan can admit to Se Jin that he loves her. You know .. give him that little push/shove/kick in the right direction. Overall, Lee Ji Hoon does a good job playing the nice guy that doesn’t do much except watch the woman he loves .. love another man.

Han Eun Jung as Lee Chae Young :: Once again, Han Eun Jung plays the mean girl trying to steal the leading man away from the leading girl who was once hers. We all know that saying – you snooze you lose. Well, in her case, she really did lose. She had a greatly devoted man, but she just had to go and cheat on him for a guy with more money & a player-like attitude. When Se Jin’s sister, Il Jin, showed up with Seung Wan’s baby and announced to everyone that it was his child, she was so furious at him. However, it’s not because the man she “loved” had a baby with another girl, but the fact that he “cheated” infuriated her. She just can’t take what she dishes out. In your face, Chae Young! Should’ve realized what a great guy he was sooner. Also, because of THIS girl, Seung Wan and Se Jin had many misunderstandings due to her incessant lies as an attempt to win/steal him back. Too late woman! I’ve said it before, and if I haven’t I’ll say it now, Han Eun Jung was born to play mean girls.

Jung Da Bin as Han Shin Bi :: One thing is for sure – this little girl is the epitomy of adorable and cute! Han Shin Bi, the daughter of the immature Han Seung Wan and spunky Jung Se Jin. She brings her parents closer than anyone could have imagined. Even though their marriage was for her sake, she’s still the reason they are together through thick and thin. There is nothing to really hate about this character (I mean she’s just a little girl anway haha).  Not only is Jung Da Bin cute, she’s a great actress in the making.

Storyline & Relationships

Two unlikely characters meet, have a one night stand that produces their daughter, and unwillingly get married. Now, what are the odds of that happening to .. anyone? Sure it’s happened, but not this way. It all started in Singapore, Han Seung Wan was there to surprise his girlfriend for her birthday and Jung Se Jin was there to bid farewell to her dead lover. They bump into each other at the airport and things are anything but friendly. Their passports are accidentally switched and that begins a game of cat & mouse. Throughout the chaos that happened in Singapore, Seung Wan finds out that Chae Young was cheating on him and Se Jin drags him around all the tourist attractions (since he has her belongings hostage). After a day of non-stop walking, bickering, and heartache, the two retire to a hotel where only 1 room is available. There, they get kind of tipsy and have a one night stand. They return to Korea (not together) and resume their own lives. However, Se Jin finds herself pregnant and decides to keep the baby without telling Seung Wan anything. A year later, Il Jin shows up to Seung Wan’s father’s birthday party and announces to everyone that the baby she’s holding is Seung Wan’s daughter, Han Shin Bi. From there, the chaos begins again. Seung Wan and Se Jin are forced to get married. They come up with a contract stating that their marriage will only last 5 years. Approximately 4-5 years later, we see Han Shin Bi as a cute little toddler and Seung Wan back from his military service. Seung Wan is still attending flight school and Se Jin is looking for a job. They meet Min Do Hyun and Lee Chae Young again. This time Chae Young plans to steal Seung Wan back with Do Hyun trying to protect (not really) his marriage to Se Jin. Why? Because he’s fallen in love with her since .. since .. the day she asked him to run away with her, drunk. BUT, the dude missed his chance! Your loss~. This starts a lot of misunderstandings between Seung Wan and Se Jin while little Shin Bi watches on the side. Poor girl T_T. However, once Shin Bi has leukemia, it brings Seung Wan and Se Jin together at long .. damn .. last. Actually, this not only brings the main couple together, everyone else bonds as well. Yes, including Chae Young .. even though half of me thinks she doesn’t deserve it.

Min Do Hyun and Lee Chae Young, these two are simply players who are trying to out do each other in my opinion. In the beginning, she’s two-timing and once he finds out .. he dumps her when opportunity strikes. Basically, she states that she chooses him and he flat out rejects. HA! I really didn’t see the chemistry at all between these two. She thinks he’s some prince charming with loads of money when in fact he’s just the illegitimate son. She acts like a good girl who’s really a two-timer. You’d think she’d learn from the past when people made fun of her for lying about being rich. But noooo .. she had to cheat on the guy who helped her through those tough times. Talk about selfish. Tsk tsk tsk. Not only that, but when she lies to Seung Wan about Do Hyun and Se Jin dating (well something like that), Do Hyun just lets her. He doesn’t even try to clear things up with anyone. If I were him, I’d b**** slap her back to Singapore. Okay, that finally released some of my frustration x]

The relationship between Jung Se Jin and Min Do Hyun was mere friendship. Although on Do Hyun’s part, it was one-sided love. He knew she only had eyes for Seung Wan, so as a friend he listened to her when she needed someone to talk to. I would have liked to see Do Hyun try to pursue her a bit more, that way Seung Wan can step up a bit. Overall, these two were cute in a friendship kind of way. I mean, I’ve never seen a guy just watch the girl he loves so much. With all the watching-from-the-sidelines he does, it felt like he was just sitting and watching a movie.

Now, onto the worst couple in this series – Han Seung Wan and Lee Chae Young. In the beginning, it had to be the worst relationship I’ve ever seen (well not THE worst but one of them). You have a guy who does practically anything for his girlfriend while she cheats on him. He comes and bends to her every will, it sickens me. I bet if he were more aloof then she’d probably take more notice of him. After she returns from studying abroad with Do Hyun, she vows to steal Seung Wan back from Se Jin. Girl, you had your chance! Let him live a happily (sorta) married life with his wife and daughter. Seung Wan should have just told Chae Young that he’s in love with Se Jin, but out of respect for what he did to her .. he didn’t. Forget about what he did to Chae Young, she cheated on him first! Even though she didn’t have another guy’s baby .. still! I bet she was more angry at the fact that he actually paid attention to another girl besides herself.

Instead of talking about just Han Seung Wan and Jung Se Jin, I’m going to include their sweet daughter – Han Shin Bi. Even though these two fought a lot on their first encounter, you can tell they were going to have interesting chemistry. This is a good example of all those love/hate relationships we seem to see so much in dramas. They started out as enemies —> friends —> husband & wife (that dislike each other) —> loving family. The development of this relationship is thanks to Han Shin Bi. Without her, these two would have never gotten married and fallen hard for each other. Granted that Se Jin already did like Seung Wan before she came about, she just doesn’t admit it. In fact, I felt that Seung Wan liked Se Jin as well but was tied down to the cheating Chae Young. About half-way through this series, I felt bad for Shin Bi who had to watch her parents fight (secretly) because of a certain cheating/lying/I-just-want-to-punch girl. Seung Wan and Se Jin were so frustrating to watch; they should’ve just stated the way they felt about each other instead of assuming the other had a relationship with someone else. As sad as it was to see Shin Bi diagnosed with leukemia, that’s the incident that brought Seung Wan and Se Jin together in the end. At least Shin Bi lived, thanks to a bone marrow transplant from Do Hyun. He’s such a nice guy! Too bad he didn’t do a thing about his feelings for Se Jin; that chicken. And they all lived happily ever after .. in a not so fairytale-like kind of way.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

This has been a Haejin review.

info &* synopsis credits to wiki.d-addicts


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