Monthly Archives: June 2011

New Tales of Gisaeng Review episodes 11-20

Here’s the next brief recap of the story line from episodes 11-20. Sa Ran is finally pushed into joining the gisaeng house, so in the next part we’ll see how that works out. Her step mum really stepped up to the wicked step mother role here and succeeded in making me angry! She is so manipulative using different tricks to make Sa Ran financially support the family. And Sa Ran’s dad is so weak he was annoying me even more! He just sits back and agrees with everything his wife decides to do. Even when it comes to telling Sa Ran about her real mother. I felt sorry for Sa Ran and was disappointed that even though she stands up to her step mother, she falls for her manipulative tricks in the end too. Some family secrets are revealed, Da Mo and Sa Ran break up, and  Da Mo decides he may as well get married -to anyone – as long as they are rich and acceptable to his family! Ra Ra changes dramatically – She has to grow up quickly after she learns more about her family. She becomes more mature but luckily now there’s another spoilt brat on the scene to take her place – Da Mo’s new girlfriend!

Sa Ran and Da Mo’s story

Da Mo is still having problems at home and is frustrated about the way his dad treats him and his mum.  He tries to get his mum to stand up to his dad. But she won’t – when her husband comes home drunk and shouts at her, she obediently rushes off to get him his usual honey water. And in the morning when he complains that the kimchi in the chi-ge (stew) is not soft enough, she meekly tries to explain that there’s not much time in the morning to cook. His reply is that she should get up at 4am to make sure it’s cooked properly! Nice chap. He couldn’t be more different to Sa Ran’s dad. Da Mo tries to support his mum in these situations but she stops him when he tries to say something. She doesn’t want an argument and just wants to keep the peace. Why does she put up with this all the time?

Da Mo tries to stand up to his dad, New Tales of Gisaeng, SBS Continue reading

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All About Eve episode 4

In the 4th episode, Young Mi works on getting Woo Jin to fall in love with her to make Sun Mi jealous. In the UK, Sun Mi’s friendship with Hyung Chul develops too and then she comes back to Seoul ready to tell Woo Jin how she really feels….

Woo Jin’s mum shouts at Young Mi for dressing like a tart. She tells her to behave herself and never to dress like this again! It sounds like she’s nagging but underneath she is probably trying to help her. But Young Mi seems to soak up the criticism as though she knows she can never be good.

Young Mi, All About Eve, episode 4, MBC, 2000 Continue reading

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The Nameless Adjumma in New Tales of Gisaeng episode 9

We often see adjummas (housekeepers) working in the homes of the rich in Korean dramas. No well-to-do family would be without an adjumma. But they are always in the background; nameless characters in aprons. I believe it’s actually pretty common for wealthy people to have adjummas working for them in Korean society too – not just drama. And some families may have more than one – perhaps one to cook and one to clean. Adjummas can work full time in the same home or part time  a couple of days a week in different homes. I started to think more about the role and status of adjummas when I was watching the ‘baby on the door step’ story line in New Tales of Gisaeng, (SBS)

Ra Ra’s dad and grandparents discuss how to find the adjumma, New Tales of Gisaeng SBS Continue reading

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New Tales of Gisaeng episodes 1 – 10 review

I’ve been trying to write up what happens in each episode of this drama in order, but it takes ages to do as this drama really jumps around from scene to scene often only giving us short clips of the different characters in each family. Time is moving on too, and episodes 45 and 46 are on this weekend! I’m still only on episode 22 so I’ve decided to do quick overviews after each ten episodes and if anything of interest pops up -there seem to be some interesting Korean sayings used now and again –  then I’ll do separate posts on that. So here’s what’s gone on in the first ten episodes and some thoughts. 

Sa Ran and Da Mo’s relationship

Sa Ran meets Da Mo when she goes to his house to do a Korean dance performance for his grandmother. He seems arrogant but interested in her at the same time. But she acts indifferent towards him – she’s realistic and aware that a rich boy is unlikely to want to marry a poor girl like her. But then Sa Ran and her friends and Da Mo and his friends go to a ski resort for a Korean style blind date (소개팅 so-ge-ting) and both of them are surprised to see each other again there. Sa Ran’s selfish and bossy friend Ra Ra decides that she likes Da Mo and fixes the situation so that she will get to spend time with him on the date.

But Da Mo shows no interest in Ra Ra. He wants to get to know Sa Ran but she is partnered with his friend who also likes her – until he hears that her parents are uneducated and she lives in a cheap area of town. This puts him off and he says his mum would not allow him to get involved with a poor girl! (Well at least he’s honest, I suppose.)

소개팅 Sa Ran and Da Mo meet again at the so-ge-ting, New Tales of Gisaeng, episode 2, SBS Continue reading

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The New Tales of Gisaeng News: Lim Soo-hyang

Source: Star Today

Lim Soo-hyang who plays Dan Sa Ran in The New Tales of Gisaeng appeared on an SBS entertainment show on the 16th June and she brought her high school graduation album with her!  Apparently there have been rumours that she is quite a bit older than she claims to be. She is (Korean age) 22 and graduated from high school in 2009 but it seems some netizens have suggested that she is more like 29!  Some have commented on internet forums things like “there’s no way she’s younger than me.”

So to clear up the issue she revealed her high school pictures in the interview. She says that in the graduation photo she is actually wearing a wig so the hairstyle is a bit weird. (wow I would never have thought of wearing a wig for a school photo! Actually I’ve never worn a wig, but I’m starting to think about it now…) The comment on the bottom of the group picture (above) 포즈도 조숙한 ~ ( pose do cho-suk han ~) means that she looks more grown up than her friends in the picture. (cho-suk ha da = precocious / early maturity).Lim Soo-hyang also added that this is her first appearance in a drama and she got the role by auditioning – not through the back door with connections.

I suppose she does look more grown up than the others in the picture but I hadn’t really thought about her age while I was watching the drama.. I wonder if this will now clear up the rumours.

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All About Eve episode 3

In this episode Sun Mi meets Hyung Chul in the UK and Young Mi decides that she needs a job that pays more money than the usual hourly wage, so she goes to work as a hostess in a karaoke bar.

Sun Mi arrives in the UK. She has to go to the college office to sort some things out for her course but she can’t make herself understood. Hyung Chul happens to be in the office too and notices that she is Korean. But he doesn’t say anything to her. Then she goes off to join her very weird 60’s style English class! Afterwards on the bus on the way home she is thinking about Woo Jin and Young Mi. She is not concentrating and so when she gets off the bus she starts crossing the road on a red light and ends up getting hit by a car. Hyung Chul happens to be driving the car and is shocked that he has hit someone. Meanwhile Young Mi and Woo Jin and family are enjoying themselves and eating in a restaurant. They have just helped Young Mi move into a flat. But Woo Jin’s mum is still suspicious of Young Mi. She knows she’s trouble.

All About Eve 2000 MBC Episode 3

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All About Eve episode 2

In episode two of All About Eve Young Mi starts to dig her claws into Woo Jin, and Sun Mi is not amused, especially since she goes to the UK to study and has to leave Young Mi alone with Woo Jin..

Sun Mi and Young Mi All About Eve 2000, MBC episode 2

Mr. Jin goes to the workshop to see Young Mi. She is grateful for all he has done for her and starts to cry. As he hugs her Mrs. Song walks in and sees them in an embrace. Continue reading

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All About Eve episode 1

All About Eve is still one of my all-time favourite dramas. For classic rivalry this drama is still hard to beat. It was a romantic drama that aired in 2000 on MBC and starred Jang Dong-geon and Chae Rim (Oh My Lady) with Kim So-yeon (Iris, Prosecutor Princess) playing the jealous villain. Two young women from very different backgrounds end up on the same course at the same university. They both want to become newsreaders. One of the girls, Sun Mi, (Chae Rim) is sweet and kind and has led a sheltered and happy life with her father who runs a construction company. She has a good friend Woo Jin (Han Jae-suk) who she has a crush on. Young Mi (Kim So-Yeon) on the other hand has had a hard life growing up in poverty with an alcoholic father. She has had to be tough to survive and envies Sun Mi’s nice life. But from the beginning Young Mi decides that she wants to take away everything that Sun Mi has. The rivalry between the two young women begins.This was the last drama Jang Dong-geon did before concentrating on films. (Too bad!) Here’s a summary of episode 1.

The rivals Sun Mi (Chae Rim) and Young Mi (Kim So-yeon) in the MBC drama All About Eve 2000 Continue reading

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The New Tales of Gisaeng Episode 1

I found episode 1 of the SBS drama The New Tales of Gisaeng quite a mix. The two leads Sa Ran and Da Mo are sullen and serious and have issues with their parents. Sa Ran’s spoilt friend Ra Ra looks like she is capable of creating lots of trouble along with her materialistic aunt. And there is the classic K-drama feature of identity issues and family secrets to be discovered. The episode jumps around filling in the story from three different families plus the gisaeng house. And there are some bizarre humour elements too.

Episode 1 has a quirky start. We see Dan Gong Joo, Sa Ran’s step sister, in pajamas and curlers dancing to funky music in her bedroom in the evening. She looks sullen and seems to be taking her dancing very seriously, twisting her hips and throwing her arms in the air. The scene goes on for quite a long time to the point where I’m wondering why it’s going on for so long! At this point I’m thinking she must be the lead. Then suddenly we see a thief on the roof outside her room with a stocking over his head and he’s staring in at her through the window. It’s dark outside and she’s oblivious to the fact that she’s being watched. Then the stockinged man (still on the roof) starts dancing too! Gong Joo’s friend Son Ja is walking outside and calls her mobile. When she stops dancing to answer the phone she glances out of the window and sees the thief dancing on the roof and their eyes meet. At the same time Son Ja looks up from the street and sees the thief too. The fast paced music stops and Son Ja shouts “thief” into the silence.

There’s a dramatic shift in mood and pace as the modern music changes to slower, sedate traditional Korean music. Now we are in a wealthy home where the dance student Sa Ran is dressed in elaborate hanbok doing a traditional dance in front of her teacher’s friend (Da Mo’s grandmother). Sa Ran performs slowly and gracefully and we can assume she has spent hours perfecting this at her dance school. Da Mo’s grandmother sits on the floor in her hanbok watching Sa Ran with an appreciative gaze. Continue reading

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Who’s Who in The New Tales of Gisaeng

I’ve just had a short K-drama break, but now I’m trying to get up to date with the weekend drama now airing on SBS, New Tales of Gisaeng. The story is about a modern day gisaeng house and this appealed to me – mixing modern life with the traditional gisaeng element. I’ve watched the first ten episodes and so far I’m enjoying this drama. There are some quirky elements to it, but I’m liking the romance that’s building between the two main characters Da Mo and Sa Ran. There are lots of new faces in this drama and at times some of the acting seems a little stiff, and sometimes the humor interludes seem a bit odd to me. But I’ll look more into that later. So far we are learning about the intertwined relationships of the characters so there hasn’t been that much about the lives of the actual gisaengs yet. But I’m guessing there will be more of that to come.

Anyway, here’s an overview of the families involved in the story and a little bit about the plot and characters. Everything revolves around three families and a gisaeng house.

Ah Da Mo is the son of  a rich family. (top left) He begins to date Dan Sa Ran a poor dance student. (top right) But Sa Ran’s friend Ra Ra likes him too. The couple date in secret so what will Ra Ra say? (bottom left) Continue reading

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