I haven’t reviewed a daily drama in a very long time. Why? Because it’s hard to write a full review about something that you didn’t care for or didn’t finish. So, it’s with joy that I finally found a drama that not only did I like, I liked the ending, the characters, the development and for once the irritating mother in laws didn’t illicit too many curse words!
Jung Sung Woon as Park Young Min
Seo Ji Hye as Yoon Shin Ae
Hyun Woo Sung as Han Jung Min
Park Jung Ah as Lee Min Ah
Lee Shi Eon as Yoon Shin Joong
Dok Go Young Jae as Park Kyung Joon
Jang Mi Hee as Hong Sun Joo
Moon Hee Kyung as Park Kyung Ja
Ryu Tae Joon as Baek Ki Ha/CEO Baek
Na Young Hee as CEO Baek’s mother
Han Ye Won as Jung Suk Kyung
Yoon Ji Min as Yoo Hwa Young
Sun Woo Eun Sook as Bang Jung Shim
Yoo Hye Ri as Hwang Myung Soon
Episodes: 114, 40 min each
Can money buy happiness? A drama about two women, Mina, who has grown up as the daughter of a rich family and Shin Ae, the daughter of a housekeeper. Not quite friends or enemies. Shin Ae has lived as a woman who has always lived only to marry, have a husband and children; just being happy in her career. UnlikeMina knew that her life was controlled by her family; who she marries, love were all apart of their agenda. However, these two women learn about the true value of money and the friendship of women through relationship and changes in their lives.
I was told that this was a good drama! I was hesitant to believe how good! I started off watching it pretty regularly for about 50 episodes but then I got side-tracked and just kept putting it off over and over again. No, not because it wasn’t interesting but because there was so many good Japanese and a couple Korean dramas that I felt I MUST watch now!
There is no doubt that my favorite main couple were these two: Young Min and Shin Ae. These two were never meant to be. Shin Ae had a serious one-sided crush on Young Min’s cousin, Jung Min (more on him later). It was after his final rejection that the old “get drunk and sleep together” story line was used to get these two in a relationship. What was different was how much these two disliked each other! When Shin Ae found out she was pregnant. I loved how the writer let her tackle what her decision would be.
I was surprised that she even considered abortion; I was NOT surprised that Young Min’s mother (super BEOTCH played by Yoo Hye Ri who always plays these type of roles) even tried to force Shin Ae to the hospital. But, the beauty of this drama was the fact that Shin Ae wasn’t a pushover! She fought hard for what she wanted and what she wanted was a father for her son! Which means she was very insistent on Young Min marrying her!
You’ll never see two people NOT happy about getting married! The wedding was sad! And don’t let me get started on the wedding night when Mr Dunce aka Young Min went out to meet Yoo Hwa Young (you’ll hear more on her later) who goes on to drug him which causes him to miss even sleeping in the same room of his hated wife! I have to admit, Shin Ae handled it like a professional, who really didn’t give a damn that the man didn’t show up! As far as she was concern, the most important thing was the the registry of her marriage! She didn’t need him for that! She only needed his father, Park Kyung Joon!
The relationship truly became a partnership with the birth of their son. They were Appa and Eomma to their beautiful little son played by my dimpled sweetheart, Choi Ro Woon. The family scenes together were simply wonderful. I wished this story line had lasted until the end. Sadly, the writer decided it wasn’t makjang enough and it was in the 70s when we had memory lost, the return of the BEOTCHY mother in law, subterfuge and other nonsense. But actually the drama remained watchable. Why?
These two. The evolution of their love relationship was great to see. I enjoyed watching their bickering, hateful comments, and finally the realization that these two actually loved each other. It is one of the best build up of a couple that you will see. Especially in a daily drama! No third wheel stupid triangle, no mother in law that interferes (successfully); it really was great! These two are the reason you must watch this drama!
Now contrast this with our second couple, Jung Min and Mina. Lovers since college, the problem was that Mina was destined to follow whatever her parents deemed as necessary for the growth of the business. Her life was designed to be a certain way, her marriage was already arrange and as much as she tried, she wasn’t going to get her way.
Jung Min, as Young Min’s cousin worked at the family business run by his uncle. A chemist who worked in the beauty industry, Uncle Kyung Joon loved his nephew and put a lot of stock in him, contrary to his own bum of a son, Young Min. The problem was Jung Min knew he was better than Young Min and also thought he was entitled. He also thought too highly of himself which caused a major issue for the company and resulted in him being shipped overseas. In addition, you add in the fact that the woman he loves rejects him to marry someone else, doesn’t sit well and then he begins a useless revenge against his uncle and the woman he knew had no choice.
Mina was a damsel in marriage distress! Sadly, she went into this willingly and my sympathy was limited; however, it was the relationship she had to tolerate with her mother which was brutal. You have to admit that seeing time after time where women of wealth are bartered off like brood mares in dramas is rather disgusting. Mina went into this marriage with her eyes open and a willingness that bothered me. Damn her mother for teaching this girl that the business was everything! The fact that Mina followed her mother’s every whim was also disheartening. Married to a man, Baek Ki Ha who not only didn’t love her but also loved another woman, Yoo Hwa Young. Remember her? The roofie girl in the hotel with Young Min? It took a long time before I felt any sympathy for this chick! The things she did to both Shin Ae and Mina were what you’d expect from a woman with seriously low self esteem.
Now let’s talk about some mother in laws. What I liked about this drama is that you didn’t get the usual mother in law/daughter in law relationship scenes where the MIL was a super BEOTCH and treated the DIL like dirt. NO! What we got were two rich BEOTCHES that I loved watching the power struggle between as they dealt with their married children’s relationship. Now, Mina’s mother, Hong Sun Joo was a trip simply because of the control she lorded over poor Mina and the nasty attitude she had towards poor Jung Min.
But contrast that with Mina’s MIL, Ki Ha’s mother. She had this really weird relationship with her son. Sure, they were close but a little too close if you ask me. The scene where Mina finds them both together in their palatial bathroom and the mother is sitting in a chair next to the bathtub while her son is bathing. Weird much? I sure thought so.
Lastly, and I much mention this was the fact that through the entire drama, you knew Mina and her husband, Ki Ha had fathers as they were mentioned constantly as “The Chairman”. But what is funny is the fact that you never see these guy…..NEVER! Maybe even these guys preferred to live in another country (I think Mina’s father was in Africa) than to live with their own wives.
Other characters like Mina’s mother Secretary Jang was one of those guys you couldn’t help but love! In the beginning when he was supposed to be watching Mina and making sure she didn’t meet up with Jung Min, he continued to protect her and her secret rendezvous with him. There was one point he even suggested that the two run off! What a lovely guy!
The Park family consisting of Young Min’s mother and father as well as Jung Min’s mother were fun! Sure, Young Min’s mom was a BEOTCH but she really was kept in control by not only her husband but a lot of times by Shin Ae herself! Jung Min’s mother was a spoiled widow who lived at her brother’s home and constantly listened to her sister in law threaten to throw her out. Those two. In the end, they realized they couldn’t live without each other.
Shin Ae’s brother, Yoon Shin Joong was a lazy bum! He finally came around after his marriage to Shin Ae’s best friend, Jung Suk Kyung who had been in loved with the brother for forever; don’t ask me why! She could have done way better than him.
Shin Ae’s mother as the housekeeper for Mina’s family, I just couldn’t understand the woman. She belittled her daughter’s worthiness for the lazy son. I know, nothing new for K-Dramas. But she was so blatant, I couldn’t feel sorry for her and the brass treatment she received from Mina’s mother. I think 3/4 of the drama had been over before I even started liking her at all.
Of course, what would a daily be without introducing another male character for Shin Ae to run interference between her and Young Min. The character of Kim Jin Wook, played by Lee Jae Woo was such a wonderful and sweet guy, I really had a hard time telling myself that Shin Ae belonged with Young Min. As the childhood friend who she once dated in middle school, he still held that crush for Shin Ae. I loved that he let Young Min know that he had competition and the jealous periods of Young Min were cute. This character development was nicely done and the “if only” thoughts will definitely run through you mind about him.
So, do I recommend this drama? Absolutely! The first 50 episodes I watched over a month or so but those last 64 episodes were watched and done over 3 days! I really like the cable daily dramas. They are generally written well, the endings are decent and the story flows. It goes very quick, the story is fun at times, sad at times but the ending was nice and I loved it.
MDL Rating: 8.5/10