Cunning Single Lady Korean Drama Review

Cunning Single Lady is a romantic comedy about a woman (Lee Min Jung) who divorced her husband (Joo Sang Wook) when he was poor, but years later she learns he became rich and successful. She ends up getting a job at his company, and the two have to face the past and their feelings for each other head on.

Cunning Single Lady came out in 2014 which is at the tail end of a time period I really like. And this drama definitely embodies romantic comedies of the time. It has this dramatic background music to liven things ups as well as several catchy songs on the soundtrack. Then there’s just a certain tone and vibe that I find particularly fun. They just don’t make dramas quite like this anymore!

Lee Min Jung plays Na Ae Ra. She initially marries Jung Woo with hopes for a good life as a housewife. But when his dreams of starting a business leaves them poor and struggling to get by, she decides she wants a divorce.

Little did she know that he would eventually make it big. Of course, she is taken aback and even wants a little revenge on him, but she eventually starts questioning what she really wants. And for those who may be concerned about her motives from the plot and character descriptions, she’s not some woman just out to get Jung Woo’s money. There’s a whole lot more to her than that.

Joo Sang Wook is Cha Jung Woo. Jung Woo had big dreams of being a successful IT developer, but when it takes longer to succeed than anticipated, he loses his marriage. He does ultimately makes it big as a CEO though, but lingering feelings for Ae Ra and her showing back up in his life shake things up a bit.

Kim Gyu Ri as Kook Yeo Jin. She is an elegant and smart woman who is an heiress and works as a director at Jung Woo’s company. A painful past left her extremely heartbroken, but when she develops feelings for Jung Woo, her world starts to get a little brighter.

And I sure felt bad for this girl! Her tragic past was awful and then when she starts having some hope, of course it’s for a guy with a complicated relationship. She definitely does some not so nice things, but I felt bad for her.

Then we have Seo Kang Joon as Kook Sung Hyun. He is Yeo Jin’s younger brother who hides his identity and gets a job at the company. And he’s oh-so-sweet just like a good second lead. So that means he takes a liking to Ae Ra. But there may be more than just sweetness to this guy.

Cunning Single Lady was a pretty fun drama. It had been on my watch list pretty much since it came out, but I had never gotten around to it. I have one of this site’s amazing readers, Kate, to thank for giving me the push to go ahead and check it out because of her glowing recommendation. Thanks Kate!

There were quite a few things I liked about the drama. Our main couple of Joo Sang Wook and Lee Min Jung would have to top the list. They are such a great couple with some nice chemistry between them.

I thought Lee Min Jung was very humorous as Ae Ra. She has a bold personality and makes some great faces. But she’s also a very solid and well-rounded character. And of course, Joo Sang Wook is very charming, and I really enjoyed his character too. Not to mention he also has some truly amazing hair throughout most of the drama!

The relationship between Ae Ra and Sung Hyun also stood out. He’s upbeat, sweet, and has a nice rapport with her. He’s also very open and steadfast in his feelings for her. There’s really no backing down on his part. And the further the story progresses, the more determined he becomes. It was an interesting relationship for sure.

This drama does a little something I really enjoy too. It has quite a few scenes imagined by the characters that poke fun at the situations they are going through and also common drama cliches. These scenes are always a lot of fun since they show the characters in some interesting and exaggerated scenarios. They always made me smile.

The drama did have some drawbacks for me though. My main negative was the lack of screen time that Jung Woo and Ae Ra had together in the first third of the drama. Since this is a story where the couple are divorced, they aren’t around each other in the beginning, and when they do meet up, they don’t get along. Then him being the CEO of the company and her being a lower level worker keeps them from spending much time together.

I tend to like couples to have a good chunk of screen time together pretty early on, especially in romantic comedies where the story is very much focused on them and their relationship.

Of course, the story takes time to establish where each of them are in life and the new dynamic between them. There are also a lot of other supporting characters circling around them to add to the story. I just wish they would have thrown them together a bit more as well as had more lovey-dovey moments.

And it does take quite a while for them to really start showing their feelings for each other. But eventually, they get to spend more time with each other and that’s really when things start getting good.

I got such a kick out of Jung Woo starting to rekindle his feelings for Ae Ra. He would get jealous and do all kinds of things to spend a little extra time with her. That’s where some of Joo Sang Wook’s comedic abilities begin to shine.

He’s so fun as this powerful CEO who becomes a jealous lover just wanting to be around Ae Ra. Not to mention how he tends to revert back to his timid and awkward ways around her. He’s just fun!


The characters in Cunning Single Lady definitely have some growing to do, and their stories deepen as the drama progresses. I liked seeing them finally address their past issues and really begin to understand each other.

The drama remains pretty fun throughout, but that last quarter gets pretty dramatic with a host of issues standing in the way of our couple’s happiness. There are a lot of emotions running high not only for them but also for the other characters. Feelings, relationships, and company issues all come to a head to make for quite a bit of drama.

Cunning Single Lady was one of those very pleasant watches. It had a couple things I would have preferred to have gone differently, but that mostly comes down to personal tastes. It had a lot of actors I enjoy, a solid romance story, and was packaged in a classic romantic comedy style that is very entertaining.

My Rating: 7/10

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Greetings! I’m Kay, creator and author of Kdrama Kisses. Kdrama Kisses is dedicated to bringing you the latest in kdrama casting news, drama trailers, reviews, and more. Happy drama watching to everyone!
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29 Responses to Cunning Single Lady Korean Drama Review

  1. BiblioNyan says:

    Excellent review! This was my first K-Drama I had ever seen and I enjoyed it a lot for what it was. It also made me fall in love with the actor Seo Kang Joon, who was phenomenal in Are You Human?. Thanks for sharing this! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I also liked this drama. It was too perfect but main leads are good actors. Now that I got remembered about this drama, I will add to my dramas to re-watch list. Atleast few episodes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Glad you liked it too! I really loved both of the leads in the drama. Joo Sang Wook and Lee Min Jung were just fantastic together. Hope you enjoy your re-watch 🙂


  3. D says:

    I was going to watch this because of Seo Kang Joon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      He’s a good reason to watch it. Second lead syndrome could definitely happen because of him 🙂


      • D says:

        I won’t be able to watch it as it isn’t available on Viki for me. Should have watched it on DramaFever. Never mind. Hopefully it will one day be available on Netflix. 😒

        Seo Kang Joon is such a good actor. I was so impressed with him in AYHT. I’m watching the third charm at the moment and he is doing an awesome job. I’m impressed even more.

        Btw, I’m currently watching Master’s Sun. I noticed you have not watched it yet. Is it on your watch list?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kay says:

          Well darn! The continued effects of the dreaded DramaFever shutdown 😦 I agree, Seo Kang Joon is great. I really liked him when I first saw him in Cheese in the Trap, but he also really impressed me in Are You Human Too?. He’s one I’ll definitely be looking forward to seeing more of 🙂

          I have actually watched Master’s Sun. I have about 20 or so dramas left that I watched before I started doing reviews. It used to be more than that, but I have slowly been adding reviews for them when I get the chance. I did think Master’s Sun was a mostly enjoyable, but it didn’t completely win me over. Hopefully, I’ll eventually get a review for it. It’s just that I watch so many dramas I can barely keep up with my current ones, lol. Most people absolutely loved Master’s Sun though, so I really hope you do too 🙂


          • D says:

            Re Master’s Sun that makes sense. It must take you a lot of time to write reviews. I’m glad you also didn’t think it was so great. 6 episodes in and I have dropped it now. Though I love the leads and Seo In Guk it was not enough for me to go on. O well. I really wanted to like it.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Kay says:

              Yes, I try to put a lot into my reviews. When I do a drama I haven’t seen it a while, I like to go back and at least rewatch some of it so I can do it justice. So that always cuts into my drama hours. I’ve done most of my favorites first, but that’s why Master’s Sun wasn’t high on the list since I just found it decent.

              Sorry to hear you didn’t really like it either. It was disappointing since most people loved it. And it’s the only Hong Sister’s drama I didn’t love. It’s funny, it was the first drama I saw Seo In Guk in and I really did not care for him, lol. It was a bad first impression. It took me a couple more of his dramas after that to warm up to him, and now I love him though 🙂


  4. Ann says:

    You finally watched it!! 🙂 I loved this one, one of the reasons is that it has this classic romantic feel to it as you mentioned. I agree there were some parts that could’ve gone differently but I really enjoyed this drama overall. That’s why I got soooo excited when I heard they’re reuniting again. I loved Seo kang Joon here, apart from him always looking great, he’s definitely got the skills too. I liked how they didn’t drag the love triangle bit, it was done just right and it was never annoying.

    This really made me take notice of the three main actors and look forward to their next projects. I fell in love with Lee Min Jung. She perfectly embodied Choi Ae Ra. I think one of the reasons I wasn’t so bothered with them not being together much early on was that they were such interesting and strong characters on their own.

    And she looked absolutely stunning especially in that wedding dress 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Yes! I’m so glad I finally checked this one out 🙂 And I know what you mean, I just loved that classic rom-com feel this drama had. Sure, it had some things I would have liked to be different, but it was still so much fun, and I loved the main couple.

      And although I tend to prefer the couples to get more screen time together, the reason you said is exactly why this drama still worked for me. Both characters were solid on their own, and the drama crafted their individual stories well. Getting that point right made me still really enjoy the drama when many other times I might not have 🙂

      And it is great that they are reuniting again for Fate and Fury. It could be interesting switching to a melodrama. I too liked how they handled the love triangle. Seo Kang Joon was great as the second lea,d and I like his relationship with Lee Min Jung. And yes, she looked gorgeous in that dress! I loved the wedding photos because they both looked so stylish and beautiful 🙂


  5. Kate says:

    Oooh so glad you liked it!! Your review makes me want to watch it again! I agree that I like rom-coms where the lead couple share a lot of screen time (always amazes me the number of times dramas contrive to get people to live together one way or another early on), but I didn’t even notice it in this drama until you mentioned it! Must be what Ann said about them being so interesting on their own. All of the lead actors did such an amazing job and the chemistry was what had me hooked from start to finish. Watching the oh so cool and competent CEO slowly devolve into a jealous puppy was completely hilarious and fun and Joo Sang Wook was perfect in that role 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      It was such a fun drama! Seriously, thank you for recommending it to me 🙂 And yes, I do think it’s just like Ann said. The characters were so well done on their own that it really made up for the lack of early screen time together. Getting that right was crucial. Plus, the other characters were interesting too.

      Yes! I loved watching cool and suave Joo Sang Wook morph back into nerdy and awkward Joo Sang Wook. He was fantastic and just completely hilarious and entertaining to watch. He played that role so perfectly 🙂 Thank you again for encouraging me to watch it!


  6. Fred says:

    If you gave it at least an 8, I would have decided to watch it next. HAHA.
    But in a way I am happy it is not an 8. I still have a lot of dramas I am interested to watch. Too many options these days. But hey! I might change my mind and watch this some day. HAHA.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      I know what you mean about way too many options! I can barely keep up! It’s a fun drama for sure, so maybe just save it for that rainy day and prioritize other dramas for now 🙂


  7. MyKDramaticLife says:

    Hi! I think this drama deserves at least an 8 from you. (Well it was an 8.5/10 for me. :D) I watched Cunning Single Lady (8.5/10) after I fell in love with Joo Sang Wook in Birth of a Beauty (9/10). He was fantastic in that drama too. You see I am a sucker for romantic comedies with lots of different great things to really enjoy. I found this drama as one of the romcoms I really like much. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kay says:

      I’m glad you loved this one so much 🙂 It really was such a fun drama! It’s just my personal preference for rom-coms where the couple interact more and fall in love more quickly that gave it a bit lower score than yours. But I still really enjoyed it, thought the story was great, and really loved both Lee Min Jung and Joo Sang Wook. I liked Joo Sang Wook a lot going into this. I absolutely loved him in Grand Prince earlier this year. He was super serious and intimidating in that drama. But it just highlights how great he is at both serious and comedy 🙂


      • MyKDramaticLife says:

        I am anxiously excited with Grand Prince. With the score of 8 you gave on it, I believe it’s an epic historical. But I just couldn’t watch it yet because of you know haha.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kay says:

          8.5 to be exact 🙂 And honestly, I could have easily rounded it up to a 9. I just loved it! I will give you a heads up though. Reactions to this drama were very mixed. Lots of people didn’t like it but plenty of us did. I’ll be interested to see what camp you fall in 🙂


  8. Fred says:

    I finally finished a drama! The last drama I finished was Romance is a Bonus Book which I watched around March. So imagine how many dramas I have dropped mid-way. Haha.

    I was just browsing Netflix for some non-Korean movies. Then made just one quick look at the kdramas. Luckily, you have a review of this drama. For some reason, I remember you giving this drama an 8.5. It is only now that I realized you gave it a 7. But that imaginary 8.5 made me watch this drama. HAHAHA.

    Anyways, I loved this. I’d give it a 7.5 or an 8. And I really agree with you that this bygone era of Kdramas is gold. It’s more simple yet also more amazing. They even have the same set-up of their houses! Reminds me of Shining Inheritance. LOL.

    Just very happy that I finally got to finish a drama after a long time!

    There are only 3 dramas left that I’m excited for this year:
    1. Vagabond (because of Suzy and Lee Seung gi)
    2. Hotel ‘DE LA’ Luna (because of IU and the Hong sisters)
    3. Arthdal (because of Kim Ji Won hehe)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      At least you’ve added another completed one to your list even if it did take awhile 🙂

      Haha, sometimes faulty memories make for good decisions! Yes, I do really love this era of kdramas. The overall feel is just wonderful, and they really do well at making simple stories great. I was in the mood for an older drama and recently completed Triangle. I really need to work in more classics!

      Well, those are 3 of my most anticipated dramas too! I really wish Vagabond hadn’t got pushed back so far, and then they’re doing this split season with Arthdal. At least Hotel Del Luna is coming soon. All 3 of those dramas seem so promising. I hope they keep you glued to your screen too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Fred says:

        Yes, I felt very sad when I read that Vagabond got pushed back. But at least Hotel ‘DE LA’ Luna is starting soon. Hopefully the Hong sisters will deliver us the magic of Gumiho! A good contender for the ‘Top Kdramas’ spot.

        Liked by 1 person

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