In my last review I just wrote about Sa Ran and Da Mo’s relationship as the post was starting to get very long! So here is an overview of the other characters and story lines in this section of the drama. In a nutshell, Ra Ra’s parents get divorced and so Ms. Oh tries to get closer to Dr. Geum. She fails as Dr. Geum is going to marry Ms. Han. Ra Ra plans to get married too. Ra Ra’s uncle gets in trouble when his wife discovers he has a love child.
Ms. Oh hears that Ra Ra’s parents are getting divorced and she is pleased because she thinks that now she has a chance to finally be with Dr.Geum who she has liked for a long time. But she is shrewd and knows that she will have to win Ra Ra’s grandmother over first if she is to have any chance at all. So she starts to casually meet her. She gives her presents and takes her to spas and gives her a shoulder to cry on when she needs to talk about what’s going on in her family. She acts like a concerned friend but really she is softening her up to the idea of a new daughter-in-law. And it seems to be working…
OK, So Sa Ran becomes a gisaeng. But then she starts making even crazier decisions! In a nutshell, after Sa Ran joins the gisaeng house, Da Mo tries to date other women but can’t forget her. He finds her and tries to get her to leave the house and marry him. She won’t because she doesn’t think she’s good enough for him. She decides that the only way to get Da Mo to leave her alone is to have her hair raised in a gisaeng marriage! She meets an older, rich, single guest and he agrees to raise her hair…
The New Tales of Gisaeng, 2011, SBS
When I watched the drama Dae Jang Geum, about the cooks at the Joseon royal court, it really made me want to become a better cook. I make Korean food most days but I stick to fairly simple dishes so I thought about joining a cooking class but never did. Now I’m about half way through New Tales of Gisaeng and Ms. Han, the head chef at the gisaeng house is spending a lot of time at Doctor Geum’s house trying to win over her future mother-in-law with her cooking. It’s making me think about cookery classes again! She’s cooking lots of good food so much so that anyone who is against the marriage but tries her food is charmed by her amazing cooking – I’d like to be able to cook like that! It makes me hungry watching it! Tonight I made golbengi muchim for dinner – served with rice and soju of course!
The ingredients are
finely sliced carrot, cucumber, onion, mild chillies, and cabbage
1 tin of whelks (golbengi 골뱅이)
sauce – Korean chilli paste, chilli powder, sugar, salt, vinegar, crushed garlic, sesame oil, and sesame seeds
Mix it all together and voila!
Episode 20 had one of the funniest scenes so far for me. Now that Ra Ra has stopped acting like a spoilt brat we needed a new bad girl and she has appeared in the form of Da Mo’s new girlfriend.
Da Mo’s new girlfriend is no lady.
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
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
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
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.
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