The story starts with the happy ending to the Cinderella story. This gives way to reality in divorce court where Kim So Yeon and Kwak Si Yang make a cameo as a couple splitting up. Kim So Yeon’s modern day Cinderella is left to raise their two children with minimal alimony and child support funds from her ex-husband.
Cinderella wants to remarry well in a bid for revenge. She consults with matchmaker, Han Mi Mo (Jang Na Ra) who ruthlessly assesses her remarriage prospects as pitifully low. Cinderella seems happy enough with faint hope, but before she leaves, she asks Mi Mo why she hasn’t remarried. The very idea causes Mi Mo’s throat to clench, and brings on a coughing fit.
However, Mi Mo is not averse to the idea of marriage; just hard pressed to explain why her boyfriend, Jung Hoon has not yet proposed to her. She has turned one of her boyfriend’s staff into an informant. The spy, Choong Gi calls to report a flurry of activity at the resort where Jung Hoon is a renowned chef. All signs point to a marriage proposal that very day. Mi Mo is thrilled, and happily reports her impending nuptials to her colleague, Baek Da Jung (Yoo Da In). Da Jung is skeptical, and fears that Mi Mo is jumping to conclusions.
Da Jung turns her attention to an interview they have been asked to do, because she and Mi Mo used to be members of a popular Kpop girl group, Angels. Mi Mo snarls at the thought of the Angels, and we flash back to 2003 to see what made Mi Mo so wroth.
In the dressing room of a music show, the members of Angels wait for their turn to perform. Goo Seul Ah (2NE1’s Sandara Park in a cameo) is pissing the rest of the girls off by complaining about her popularity then throwing it in their faces. Go Dong Mi (Yoo In Na) is especially sensitive since it appears that she is the least popular member. Hong Ae Ran (Seo In Young), meanwhile, is convinced that given the right sexy video, she would be more popular than Seul Ah.
Just as the Angels are ready to throttle Seul Ah, they are called to stage. During their performance of their hit song, Seul Ah undermines Mi Mo repeatedly. The last straw is when Seul Ah purposely steps on Mi Mo’s foot as they exit the stage. Mi Mo launches a flying foot to Seul Ah’s face. Unfortunately, this skirmish is caught by multiple camera phones and makes the headlines.
Back to the present, Mi Mo and Da Jung are being interviewed by a reporter for Mass Punch. The reporter asks about the former members, aside from famous actress, Seul Ah. Mi Mo pointedly remarks that they are all the best of friends, except for Seul Mi. Dong Mi is now a dowdy, but fearsome primary school teacher, while Ae Ran runs her own internet shopping mall, for which she does many bikini photo shoots. Meanwhile, Mi Mo and Da Jung are running their own marriage agency, specializing in second marriages..
At lunch later on, Dong Mi and Ae Ran are as skeptical as Da Jung about Jung Hoon’s possible proposal. Mi Mo is cheerfully oblivious to their concerns, and leaves lunch with an empty stomach in anticipation of dinner with Jung Hoon.
Reporter, Song Soo Hyuk (Jung Kyung Ho) is dressed as a pregnant woman while he and his colleague shadow a woman attempting to remain incognito as she enters a obstetrics clinic. They are so focused on their target that Soo Hyuk drives into the back of a parked car.
The car turns out to belong to Mi Mo, and she catches Soo Hyuk just as he is leaving his business card on her windshield. He tries to make a hasty retreat, but Mi Mo objects, not trusting a man posing as a woman. Soo Hyuk further aggravates Mi Mo by calling her a middle-aged woman, and she pulls the “Don’t you know who I am?” card. Unfortunately, Soo Hyuk does not know Angels, nor recognize their Kpop standard when Mi Mo does an impromptu performance.
Leaving behind a humbled Mi Mo, Soo Hyuk catches up with his colleague inside the obstetrics clinic, and asks him if he knows who Angels are. His colleague is flabbergasted that Soo Hyuk is unaware that the woman they are following is former Angels member, Seul Ah.
Back at the restaurant, Ae Ran equates her sparkly engagement ring with a ball and chain. The impending marriage lacks the passion that Ae Ran craves. A jaded Da Jung tells Ae Ran to just test run the marriage while Dong Mi is angered by Ae Ran entering marriage halfheartedly. Dong Mi, meanwhile, has taken the day off to go to a meeting of accountants at 5pm, prepared to find her future mate.
Back home, Mi Mo cheerfully primps herself for the special evening. The finishing touch is a pearl necklace given to her by her boyfriend in place of the usual couple ring. Thinking ahead, she considers bringing some condoms then, in anticipation of building a family, puts them away.
At the obstetric clinic, Soo Hyuk’s unconvincing pregnant woman act is making hospital staff suspicious, but he covers up by pretending to comfort his colleague, whose wife is actually pregnant, and ready to pop at any moment. Seul Ah finally emerges from the doctor’s office, and the reporters get the money shot. They follow Seul Ah with the intention of identifying the baby daddy, and end up at an ocean side resort. By the time they arrive, Soo Hyuk has changed back into his own clothes.
Mi Mo is headed to the same ocean side resort when Jung Hoon calls her. He freaks out once he discovers that Mi Mo is on her way to see him. She is cheerfully oblivious as he orders her to turn around and go home. After they hang up, Mi Mo gets a text message from Jung Hoon suggesting that they break up. She sobers up right away, and calls him, only to learn that he intended to break up with her the next day. Mi Mo flips out in the car as Jung Hoon hangs up.
It turns out that the intended recipient of of Jung Hoon’s elaborate proposal is none other than Seul Ah. Soo Hyuk manages to photograph the moment, but finds the evidence of their relationship lacking. He decides to hang around to wait, but his colleague gets a call from his wife that her water broke. His colleague takes off running as Soo Hyuk protests ineffectually.
Back in the hotel suite, Jung Hoon is happy about Seul Ah’s pregnancy, but she can’t share his joy. Mi Mo, meanwhile, is sobbing in her car, still driving to the resort. Her screaming face cuts away to a dinosaur roaring on a TV watched by two kids. As one kid exclaims over how awesome the food is, the other complains about his father’s lack of prowess with women.
In the meantime, Jung Hoon and Seul Ah have moved location to the restaurant. Mi Mo’s spy, Choog Gi frantically tries to reach her, but she is not taking his calls.
As Soo Hyuk attempts to get into the restaurant, Mi Mo marches right by and throws a dish in Jung Hoon’s face. When Mi Mo discovers that the other woman is Seul Ah, she feels even worse. Jung Hoon begs her not to make Seul Ah uncomfortable, and tells her that they should break up at another time, but Mi Mo is more upset at the fact that he started up with Seul Ah before he had broken up with her. In the background, Soo Hyuk is ready to capture the disaster, but pity causes him to put the camera down.
In other news, Dong Mi prays fervently in a church for a sexy man with great abs. Da Jung refuses to grant her husband a divorce. Ae Ran, meanwhile, finds herself uneasy with her fiancé as the wedding day quickly approaches.
Mi Mo goes to the beach and flings the pearl necklace from Jung Hoon into the water. Belatedly, her practical side kicks in as she remembers how much the necklace costs and she runs into the water to retrieve it. While typing up his article in the hotel café, Soo Hyuk witnesses Mi Mo’s frantic dash into the ocean, and goes running to the rescue, believing that Mi Mo is attempting suicide. Mi Mo ends up having to rescue Soo Hyuk instead, and fails to find the necklace. After some CPR, Soo Hyuk sits right up and frantically hugs a resistant Mi Mo, telling her that Jung Hoon isn’t worth throwing her life away.
Back at the office, Da Jung meets with a demanding new client (a cameo from Oh Jung Se), who wants to find a better wife than his last. Da Jung looks skeptical at his ridiculous list of expectations, but calmly writes them down.
As Mi Mo drives Soo Hyuk back to Seoul, the two of them bicker about Soo Hyuk’s attempted rescue. Partway through, Mi Mo suddenly realizes that Soo Hyuk was the pregnant woman from earlier. He explains that he’s a reporter, but she’s even more perturbed at this explanation. She demands to know why he’s following her, and how much he saw. Soo Hyuk admits that he saw everything, but is then forced to point out that he was following Seul Ah and Jung Hoon, and not Mi Mo. Mi Mo threatens to throw him out of the car.
Their awkward encounter continues as they discover that they live across the hall from each other. The two of them flounce off to their own apartments, but it’s not long before Soo Hyuk’s rumbling stomach reminds him of Mi Mo’s noisy belly. Soo Hyuk cooks a meal for both of them and takes it over to her apartment, where he finds a mess of food packaging and empty bottles. Mi Mo announces that, having been dumped that day, she must drink, and proceeds to mix them a beer soju cocktail.
At a parent-teacher conference, Da Jung and her husband discover that their 8-year-old kid appears to be depressed. In the parking lot, they argue over whose fault it is, but Da Jung’s husband is insistent that they would be better off living apart.
The wet napkins build up on the ceiling as Mi Mo and Soo Hyuk get tipsy and teary. Mi Mo admits that she wants to get married, because it makes it harder for the couple to break up, but Soo Hyuk points out that people leave, no matter what.
They discover that they knew each other as children, having played Romeo and Juliet in a school play. At the pivotal kiss scene, middle school Soo Hyuk gets sick and runs off stage to vomit. When Mi Mo gets teased for it, she decides to take it out on Soo Hyuk, by pulling his pants down in front of everyone to check if he’s a man (since he can’t kiss her).
They fight in the present in outrage over their trauma from that incident, but in the end Mi Mo gets weepy over the fact that she was humiliated much worse by Jung Hoon and Seul Ah. When Mi Mo calls her ex-boyfriend a bad guy, Soo Hyuk is reminded of his ex-girlfriend doing the same to him, and he drunkenly kisses Mi Mo.
Dong Mi, meanwhile, arrives at the accountants’ dating event to find that all the men are considerably older. Annoyed at having spent $200 to go to the event, Dong Mi drinks until she passes out. Mi Mo and Soo Hyuk, meanwhile, spend the rest of the evening having a great time in a drunken haze.
Mi Mo wakes up in rough shape the next morning to a call from Dong Mi, who asks about her marriage registration. Mi Mo has no idea what she’s talking about, but notices an unfamiliar ring on her finger. Meanwhile, Soo Hyuk receives a photo of himself and Mi Mo, just as he finishes praying to the porcelain gods. He calls the friend who sent it, who reminds him that Mi Mo is now his wife.
The two of them react with horror as they realize that they are now married.
There sure was a lot of screeching in this first episode of “One More Happy Ending”, though I can’t say I mind. I prefer characters who get things off their chest rather than suffer in silence or take the higher moral ground. Plus, indignant screaming is much more entertaining than noble idiocy.
The entire cast seems game for milking the comedic potential of every scene, but Jang Na Ra and Jung Kyung Ho do a good job of giving their characters the semblance of depth. Only time will tell if the show will fully flesh out the two leads, or at least, keep the tone ludicrous and fun.
One final thought about the show’s start. When Kim So Yeon appeared, I feared a technical malfunction had caused another show to air. Then I realized that her soon to be ex-husband was played by her fake spouse from “We Got Married”, Kwak Si Yang. With that, “One More Happy Ending” instantly gave me hope that this will be a fun drama to watch.
One More Happy Ending (한번 더 해피엔딩)