Friday, July 30, 2010

SUMMARY: K-DRAMA: Cinderella's Sister, Ep. 01

Title: Cinderella's Sister (신데렐라 언니)
Episode 01

Characters in This Episode (in order of appearance):
- Song Eun Jo
- Han Jung Woo (as a kid)
- Song Kang Sook
- Han Jung Woo's dad (don't know his name...)
- Goo Hyo Seon
- Hong Ki Hoon
- Goo Dae Sung

The episode starts of with a shot of the rice cooker and then moves to show Song Eun Jo making a meal.  Their soup boiling on the stove while she's cutting up kimchi, which Han Jung Woo steals a bite of.

While she is making this meal, we hear a man and a woman arguing in the background.  It turns out to be Eun Jo's mother, Song Kang Sook, and Jung Woo's father.  Eun Jo's mother is upset because Jung Woo's father abused her while he was drunk, and she didn't sign up for that.  So she's getting ready to leave, while Jung Woo's father is begging for forgiveness and asking her to stay.  And while all that is happening, Eun Jo is trying to get in as much food as she can because she doesn't know when she'll be able to have a decent meal again.  Jung Woo realizes it's the same for him, if Eun Jo leaves, and starts to eat hurriedly too.  Before they even make a decent dent in the meal (which looks pretty good to me), the fighting escalates as Jung Woo's father is threatening Kang Sook with a bat. Eun Jo and Jung Woo abandon there meal and get to the other room just in time to disarm and disable him, and Jung Woo gets rid of the bat.

After that, they have to run away.  Eun Jo wants to get away as fast as they can, but her mother is hesitant and actually wants to go back.  Of course, Eun Jo thinks she's crazy until she realizes her mother wants to go back because of something...a very shiny diamond ring which Eun Jo happened to swipe before they ran out.  So now Kang Sook is all happy and in a rush to get to the train station.  They get on the train, and Kang Sook immediately wants to get changed because she likes to look good.  She's...quite something.

Anyway, Kang Sook falls asleep and Eun Jo stares out the window as the train pulls into another stop.  As she's looking out, she notices gangsters getting on the train and realizes they're after her and her mother, because of the ring.  She thinks about abandoning her mother and saving herself, and almost does it, but she chickens out in the end.  Instead, she wakes her mother and they run through the train as the gangsters chase after them.  They reach the end of the train with nowhere to go except two restrooms...and that is how they meet Goo Hyo Seon.

Goo Hyo Seon is a bubbly, sort of ditzy girl.  They left the diamond ring with her for safe keeping, but she's lost it...or so she thinks.  We see her talking to Hong Ki Hoon, who she is in love with, and he tells her that nothing is lost forever.  She then tells him that she'll believe whatever he says, even if he tell her "the moon is square" or something like that.  He drops her off at school, where she gets in trouble for being late and gets punished by having to kneel in the hallway with her hands up.  That is where Kang Sook finds her.

Kang Sook has come for the ring, so Hyo Seon takes her back to her house.  On the way there, Kang Sook complains often, but when she realizes that Hyo Seon's family is actually very wealthy she stops her complaining and keeps walking.  Sometime after they arrive, her clothes get dirty and she has to change.  Hyo Seon giver Kang Sook some of her late mother's clothing, and soon thinks Kang Sook resembles her mother.  After Kang Sook learns of this, she hatches a plan to get close to Hyo Seon's father, Goo Dae Sung, and marry into the family, so that her and her daughter can have a better life.  It also helps that Hyo Seon grows quite attached to her, even so far as being happy to have a splinter so that Kang Sook can kiss it and make it all better.  (CRAZY GIRL! lol)

Meanwhile, Eun Jo, who was taken back to Han Jung Woo's father, thinks her mother has abandoned her.  She's getting ready to run away and set out on her own, thinking she'll live a better life without her mother.  But just as she's about to go, Ki Hoon and Hyo Seon's uncle are there to pick her up and bring her to Hyo Seon's house.  But she doesn't go willing, and uses that old "I have to go to the bathroom" trick to try and run away.  But Ki Hoon is ready and chases after her.  There's a cheesy scene where he pulls at the pencil holding her hair up, which loosens it and causes it to fall, cascading down her back, causing him to stop in his tracks (because it's so beautiful? xD).  After he shakes off his daze, he chases after and catches her.

But even when she gets to the Goo house she's still resistant.  She argues with her mother and tells her she's not going to stand for this, because she thinks it's the same as always and that this is just another man her mother is going to go through.  She tells her mother they shouldn't depend on men, and should just live on their own.  Her mother insists this is different, and that this is the last one.  After having her mom repeat that it's the last time and promise that, if it ends up like before, she'll let her go, Eun Jo gives in.


HI! It's been a very long time since I last posted.  Mostly because I haven't been watching dramas, because I haven't had time.  Even though it's been summer for the past month and a half, I've been super busy with work and school.  But now I'm free!  So I've been watching dramas.  I just finished You're Beautiful, and started Cinderella's Sister the other day.

In the past, I mentioned that I was going to start doing summaries.  Well, they will be extremely detailed, and I'm going to start that with these two dramas.  I've actually started writing the summaries for the first episode of both dramas.  I just wanted to post a little update, and give a heads up. :)

So look for that...and happy drama watching!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

K-DRAMA: Shining Inheritance

Title: Shining Inheritance (찬란한 유산)
Episodes: 28

Cast (mentioned in post):
Go Eun Sung - Han Hyo Joo
Sun Woo Hwan - Lee Seung Ki
Park Jun Se - Bae Soo Bin
Yoo Seung Mi - Moon Chae Won
Baek Sung Hee - Kim Mi Sook
Sun Woo Jung - Han Ye Won

Find more at Drama Wiki:


Cinderella, with some twists. Go Eun Sung thought she had a happy life with her father, stepmother, stepsister, and younger brother, until her father died. Then her stepmother kicks her out and takes the insurance money, leaving Eun Sung to fend for herself as well as her autistic younger brother. Eun Sung endures much hardship, including losing her brother, until coming across a Grandmother, who happens to be the President of a food company. She helps the Grandmother after she is injured and has a case of amnesia. In return, when the Grandmother regains her memory, she offers Eun Sung a place to live, a job, and help in finding her brother. But living at Granny's house means living with Granny's grandson, who doesn't seem to like Eun Sung very much. That could be due to the fact that Granny has announced the Eun Sung will be the inheritor of all the Granny has, though. The grandson, Sun Woo Hwan, is also linked to Eun Sung's stepsister, Seung Mi. (They have a more-than-friends,-but-less-than-romantic relationship.) And Seung Mi can't believe what her mother did and tries to help Eun Sung when she can, though she becomes torn on what to do when she realizes that Woo Hwan and Eun Sung may be falling for each other, making Eun Sung her love-rival. Eun Sung also becomes a love-rival for Woo Hwan's younger sister, Sun Woo Jung, when Jung's crush, Park Jun Se falls for Eun Sung. Phew...what a triangle, er...square? Whatever, seems like they're all connected somehow. Oh, and let's throw this in...Eun Sung's not really dead. Drama, drama, drama!

I began watching this drama on the recommendation of a friend. It is not what I would consider a hit drama, though it seems to be the hot drama of the season. Most of the characters are not very likable, and I think that's something that contributes to having a good drama. If you're going to have evil characters,'s understandable if those characters aren't likable. But to have your male lead character not be such a likable guy...who's going to root for him? He can be a jerk, but he should also have his moments where he can be a very likeable guy (a-la Goo Jun Pyo, from Boys Over Flowers, or Lee Shin, from Goong). Sun Woo Hwan hardly has any moments where he's portrayed as a likable guy. He just seems like a bratty jerk who has no respect for his Grandmother and throws money around, that he hasn't earned. There is allusion to the reason for why he's like this, but it's never expanded on, so I feel no sympathy for him. Just...disgust and annoyance. His sister and mother are also characters that are annoying, as they are shallow and vapid, throwing around money when they've never worked a day in their life for it. Eun Sung's stepmother is very conniving, and is one of the characters I'm happy with because she plays it well. This is one of those characters I was talking about, that's not meant to be likable and so can be portrayed as so. I have no strong opinions on the other characters, which is not such a good thing, because that means the main female character didn't strike a chord with me like I think she was supposed to. In my opinion, the main female lead character should be able to gain sympathy for her plight from her audience, but still be a strong person. Sure I felt sorry for her, but...sometimes I thought she was way too nice and understanding, way too naive. Oh, but one character I did like was Jun Se...he's a very likable character. He seemed to care for Eun Sung a lot.

Aside from the characters, the plot was pretty good. Some episodes were a bit boring though, and I did skip through some scenes. There's plenty of drama in this one. I found hardly any comedy though. Also, I found the romance to be lacking, and considering that there's supposed to be a love triangle going on, that's a very bad thing. I don't really like watching dramas like this, as I prefer ones with a healthy balance between comedy, romance, and drama. It was an entertaining watch the first time around, but I don't think I'll be watching it again.

Rating: ★★★

Review Rubric of Sorts

Hello!  I'm starting to get back into watching dramas, now that I have more time, so I thought I'd post a little review rubric of sorts.  This is basically what I'm looking for when I watch a drama, to consider it a good drama (or anime or movie, but I'll just refer to them all as "drama" to make it shorter).

1. A well-written storyline.
I have no problem with remakes of past dramas or the same basic story being told, because let's face it...most of the dramas are like that.  Most of them end with the main male character and main female character getting through all the obstacles and ending up together.  Most.  As long as the storyline and dialogue is well-written and there are some twists involved, it's all good.  Even better if I don't see it coming.

2. Well developed main characters and good side characters.
This is a pretty big one.  Obviously, the characters are what make the story happen.  They should be well developed and have personality, as well as some flaws.  No one wants to watch some perfect person get everything she wants.  I know I don't, unless it's Disney and we're dealing with princesses and prince charmings and glass slippers and fairy tales.  It's a major turn off from a drama, for me.  Characters should be pretty realistic, but I don't mind if they're a little goofier than normal with anime-type expressions and such.  As long as it's not overused.

3. Good acting.
I think this is another big one, as the actors are the ones who bring the character to life.  Bad acting can totally ruin a drama, even if it sounds like it has a good storyline. 

These first 3 points are definitely major ones.  They are deal breakers, when it comes to my rating scale.  But the last one is also key.

4. Good ending.
Finally, a drama must have a good ending.  It doesn't have to be a happy ending, but it must be plausible (unless it's of the fantasy/science fiction genre).  I would love it if it tied up all the loose ends.  Or, if the creators wanted to leave it open to a sequel, if it was done in a realistic manner with a good cliff hanger.  I don't know how else to describe what I'm looking for in an ending...but I can give an example of a recent ending that I was a bit disappointed in: Shining Inheritence.  Actually, I was a bit disappointed in the drama overall.  It didn't live up to the hype, for me, but that's another story that you can read about in my review!

Which leads me to some of advice: take all recommendations with a grain of salt UNLESS you know you definitely have the same tastes in dramas/movies/anime as the person who is recommending.

And yeah, those are the 4 main things I look at when I review.  I also take into account other things from time to time, but these 4 are the deciding factors on whether I'll recommend or not.

Also, as I mentioned before, I will be reviewing one or two episodes at a time from now on, since I hardly have time to watch a drama straight through anymore.  This will let me remember the main points of each episode and what I thought of the episode.  Then, when I've watched all episodes, I'll go through and write a review of the whole drama, referring to my episode posts and following this rubric.

Look for my next review on...You're Beautiful! :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

J-DRAMA: Hanayome to Papa

Title: Hanayome to Papa (花嫁とパパ)
Episodes: 12
Watch: VEOH

Cast (mentioned in post):
Ishihara Satomi as Uzaki Aiko
Tokito Saburo as Uzaki Kentaro
Taguchi Junnosuke as Miura Seiji

Find more at Drama Wiki:


Uzuki Aiko is a 20-year-old woman who has just started working at a fashion company.  She's super excited, because she hopes this will help her father realize that she is no longer a child.  Her father obviously loves Aiko and is very overprotective, to the point that he makes her follow his house rules, including a 7 PM curfew, which are a bit ridiculous for a 20-year-old to follow. At her new job, she meets and eventually falls in love with her coworker Miura Seiji.  But will Aiko's father accept Seiji?  And what about Seiji's family?

Hanayome to Papa is a cute rom-com drama.  The characters' antics are almost anime-ish in character.  And speaking of characters, I would have to say Seiji is my favorite, though I may be a little biased.  His character is very sweet and optimisticc, as well as dedicated.  He tries his hardest to get Aiko's father to accept him and give him permission to date Aiko with the intention of marrying her.  Aiko, on the other hand, is not a character I liked at times.  She gave up way to easily on her relationship with Seiji several times.  Also, since she lived a pretty sheltered life because of her father, she is pretty naive, and that can get annoying.

Though it is a romantic comedy, it still has its serious moments.  Such as Seiji's parents trying to arrange a marriage for him, even after he has told them he loves Aiko.  I think these serious moments definitely give the drama more depth and make it more interesting.  The storyline was pretty much about family.

Rating: ★★★