In this episode Sun Mi and Young Mi compete for the media studies scholarship. Although I’m sure we’re all wanting Sun Mi to win, it’s Young Mi who really needs the scholarship money. They both practise interviewing and reading the news at home but in very different situations – we can see the difference in their lives again. Sun Mi can practise with her loving dad in their nice house. She has a large wardrobe with a wide range of clothes to choose from. And she gets chauffeured to school in the car by her dad. Meanwhile Young Mi practices alone, goes to school on a crowded bus and has to patch her old shoes up as she doesn’t have any others. Watching this time around I have a lot more sympathy for Young Mi. Having said that, her vicious streak drives me mad. If only she could just be happy with Woo Jin instead of having to be so competitive and ruthless all the time… but then it would be a boring drama!
The rivalry continues between Sun Mi and Young Mi, All About Eve, episode 5, MBC 2000
The students gather in one of the lecture halls at the university and are introduced to the judges – the anchor woman Joo Hee is one of the judges. For the first part of the test the candidates have to complete various tasks. Their friend Cho Jeh has to read the news in the style of a child. Sun Mi has to interview Joo Hee. Young Mi snarls in the audience as Sun Mi happily asks Joo Hee about her love life and when she plans to get married. (This is ironic since Joo Hee is in love with Hyung Chul who will fall in love with Sun Mi) Sun Mi is light hearted and the the students appreciate this. In contrast Young Mi is asked to imagine her future and the greatest moment of her career as an anchorperson – she pretends that she has just won the Pulitzer prize. She is cold and ambitious and driven and completely the opposite to Sun Mi, but the judges seem to respond well to her.
The candidates are given their next challenge: appeal to the public. All About Eve, MBC, 2000
But then for the next part of the test the candidates have to show that they can appeal to the public. So this time they will be judged by the other students. They are given an hour to prepare something on the topic the autumn of a freshman before they read it out over loud speakers to the whole university. Sun Mi looks nervous and can’t think of what to say while Young Mi looks as confident as ever. She enjoys watching Sun Mi clearly worried about the challenge. But Sun Mi finally managed to come up with an idea at the last minute and rushes flustered to the studio where Young Mi is waiting calmly and prepared.
Young Mi watches Sun Mi prepare for her speech
Young Mi confidently reads out her work. But she isn’t popular with the other students. They think she is stuck up and they don’t like what she talks about. Sun Mi starts off nervous but the students like her topic about getting low grades. They can all relate to her and she gets lots of votes.
The scoreboard showing how the students have scored the candidates. Young Mi has red stickers. Sun Mi has blue stickers.
(When I went to school in Seoul to study Korean, the teachers used this sticker method quite often to let the students mark each other’s work. We would have to put our Korean writing up on the walls and then go around and read each other’s work and decide whose piece was the best. Then we’d put a sticker under that piece of work. Great if you get lots of stickers. Embarrassing if you don’t get many!) The other students obviously didn’t like Young Mi. She only got a handful of stickers. She is humiliated and angry and demands to know why she didn’t win when she believes she was clearly better than Sun Mi. She’s told it’s because her speech was too academic.
So Sun Mi wins which means she wins the scholarship and gets to be one of the MCs for an upcoming event. Young Mi is really upset but her ambition alienated people and she doesn’t connect with others – that’s the problem. That’s one of her problems. She’s trying too hard and trying to be too perfect and clever.
Again Young Mi is enraged that Sun Mi has beaten her and they have another encounter. This time Sun Mi tells Young Mi that Woo Jin is not really in love with her – He just pities her. This hits Young Mi hard because in her mind there is a possibility that this could be true. (That was a mean thing to say by Sun Mi but she was pushed) Sun Mi’s words have affected Young Mi and later she is cold towards Woo Jin and tries to push him away when he comes to cheer her up for not winning the scholarship. Sun Mi celebrates her victory with her family but Woo Jin is noticeably missing. Sun Mi tries to look happy but she still misses him and envies Young Mi’s relationship with him.
At the venue where the event is going to be held, Sun Mi arrives to practise with the other MC. Young Mi stands at the back of the hall and looks on enviously. (She spends a lot of time in this episode standing around in the shadows looking envious and sullen) One of the staff members tells Sun Mi that he will put her bag backstage and when Young Mi sees this she suddenly and suspiciously disappears. Sun Mi sees her leaving the hall and wonders where’s she’s going… Sure enough, backstage we see a hand grab Sun Mi’s bag…
It’s the day of the show and Sun Mi’s friend Cho Jeh is trying to help her put her makeup on but Sun Mi looks terrible afterwards! In the end Cho Jeh gives up and decides to put some of Sun Mi’s skin toner on herself instead. (the skin toner that Sun Mi had in her handbag ) But as soon as she applies the toner her face starts burning. She squeals in agony and her face is bright red and stinging. Sun Mi rushes to the pharmacist with her where they discover that the liquid in the bottle was acetate: someone must have put acetate in Sun Mi’s toner. Who could that possibly have been?
Cho Jeh puts some of Sun Mi’s skin toner on her face and it stings.
In a rage, Sun Mi leaves Cho Jeh in the pharmacist’s and rushes to Young Mi’s flat. She accuses Young Mi of the crime but Young Mi coolly demands to know if she has proof. Of course she doesn’t and Young Mi’s arrogant attitude when she is clearly guilty drives Sun Mi mad and she slaps her face. They get into a cat fight slapping each other’s faces and pulling each other’s hair until Woo Jin comes in and pulls them apart. Although Young Mi was holding her own before Woo Jin arrived, now when he comes in Sun Mi is on top of Young Mi and it looks like Sun Mi is the baddie attacking the defenceless Young Mi. As soon as Woo Jin pulls them apart Young Mi cleverly starts to cry weakly professing her innocence and shocked that anyone could think that she could do such a terrible thing. Her acting is successful and she gets Woo Jin’s sympathy.
Woo Jin probably thinks Sun Mi is just jealous of Young Mi and is trying to frame her. This is hard to watch as he immediately takes Young Mi’s side. Even though he has known Sun Mi for years and Young Mi for five minutes. Sun Mi is like a little girl trying to tell him what she thinks Young Mi has done but she has no proof and Woo Jin doesn’t believe her. She shouldn’t have said anything because Woo Jin is too blind to see what is going on right now and in his defence she has shown that she really is jealous of Woo Jin and Young Mi’s relationship. Young Mi starts packing saying she can’t stay there anymore and is going to go and live on the streets (she knows how to get her way) Woo Jin is annoyed with Sun Mi, demanding that she apologise. Sun Mi can’t believe what’s happening. She storms out. Woo Jin follows her and tries to talk to her but she is too angry and storms off – she says how can he not believe her when he knows her so well. This is true. It’s amazing how quickly things can change between two people.
Young Mi looks on as Woo Jin watches Sun Mi walk away.
The show begins and Sun Mi seems to be doing well as an MC on stage. Young Mi looks on jealously. It seems there is nothing she can do now. She has lost and that’s it. But wait. Young Mi is the master of grabbing opportunities and when she overhears Woo Jin on the phone saying that Sun Mi’s dad has been in a very minor accident, she sees her chance. Sun Mi’s dad is fine and he is on his way to the show but Young Mi pretends to overreact at the news and with fake worry she rushes off to find Sun Mi. The next thing we know, Sun Mi is rushing out into a taxi to go to the hospital. Now they are short of an MC for the second half of the show…
Young Mi’s plan works like a dream. She hangs around backstage strategically until she is asked to fill in for Sun Mi. Young Mi is soon on the stage introducing the next act Ju Yu Hoon. She even takes over the other MC’s lines too and then blames Sun Mi for marking the lines as her own. Sun Mi’s dad and Mrs. Song arrive all dressed up with flowers ready to see Sun Mi on stage but discover that she is on the way to the hospital. They call her and although she is relieved that her dad is not seriously ill in hospital, she is disappointed because she can’t get back in time to finish the show. She arrives to find her dad congratulating Young Mi for a great performance! No wonder she is angry. She knows Young Mi must have done this on purpose and she confronts Young Mi shouting at her in front of everyone wanting to know how she could pretend that her dad was ill. Young Mi apologises meekly. (even though she totally did this on purpose!) It’s unbelievable how none of the men see through Young Mi.
Sun Mi’s dad is upset with her for not getting along with Young Mi. The only one who believes her is Mrs. Song. She can see through Young Mi too. For some reason Young Mi has been given the scholarship money instead of Sun Mi. Just because Sun Mi had to leave half way through the show? I don’t really get this bit but anyway, Young Mi tells Woo Jin that she wants to give the scholarship money back to Sun Mi since she won the competition. Woo Jin knows that Young Mi is short of cash and he offers to pay her tuition fees with money he has earned from his part time work. (Don’t do this Woo Jin. You hardly know this woman) Young Mi then meets Sun Mi and gives her the scholarship money and adds with relish that she doesn’t need the money since Woo Jin has said he wants to pay her tuition fees. Sun Mi can’t believe it.
Young Mi arranges to meet Woo Jin in the evening for a date. But Mrs. Song is not happy about this and won’t let him go. She makes him work in the convenience store so that he can’t see her. But Young Mi waits for him all dressed up in her flat and she’s bought a cake. It must be a special occasion. She waits and waits but he doesn’t come. She knows it’s because of his mum so she goes to see her at the convenience store and tries to persuade her to let them see each other. Mrs. Song refuses saying she knows what Young Mi is really like. She is not fooled like all the men seem to be.
Young Mi resorts to threats saying she will take Woo Jin away from her if she doesn’t allow them to date. Mrs. Song angrily slaps Young Mi’s face. Tears come to Young Mi’s eyes and that’s perfect timing because Woo Jin arrives just at that moment, shouts at his mum and drags Young Mi away. They go and sit on the river. He’s drinking. Young Mi says he won’t be able to change his mum’s mind and she wants to die. She cries again. They walk around and now Woo Jin is drunk. He can’t walk straight and Young Mi wonders what to do. Then she looks up and sees the lights of a hotel. She has an idea and her face is smug – this is not going to please Woo Jin’s mum at all…