The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Glass Slippers - 유리구두 - Yuri Gudu



A March to July, 2002 Korean drama that starred SO JI-SUB as Park Chul-woong, the muscle-bound son of a chauffeur, who's boss is the president of a media conglomerate.

The story revolves around two, young sisters living with a single father who is not only dying of leukemia, he gets hit by a car and dies, leaving them stranded & alone in a poor, seaside hamlet away from Seoul.
A boy and a gang mess with the girls, causing them to get separated, and while Jang Jae-hyuk (Han Jae-seok) seems like a nice guy, his intentions are anything but honorable.

And as MOST Korean dramas go, surprise-surprise! the girls are actually blood-relatives of one of the richest men in all of Korea.
And yes, he's the media mogul So-fine's character's old man chauffeurs.

Kim Tae-hee (Kim Ji-ho) and Kim Yun-hee (Kim Hyun-joo) become separated when the street gang messes with Tae-hee, and Yun-hee runs in front of a pick-up truck, gets conked on the head, and ends up with amnesia.
Naturally, the trucker is a no-account gambler not interested in going to jail, so he takes Yun-hee home, where she ends up being enslaved by the guys caustic girlfriend and verbally abused by her young daughter, Woo Seung-hee (Kim Min-sun).

Yun-hee is wearing her mother's wedding ring about her neck, so she figures her name is Lee Sun-woo, and that's who she grows up to become.
She's an adorable, little girl with a pleasant nature and overly optimistic yet entirely unrealistic outlook on life based solely on the way she ends up being raised.

The beginning of this drama could have been explained in 2 episodes and not 7, but whatever.
Tae-hee is helped out by Jae-hyuk, who takes her to her grandfather, the rich guy from Seoul.
Then, they spend the next, several episodes worrying about, wondering about, crying, and trying to find Yun-hee.

Naturally, Yun-hee grows up in a deplorable environment while her older sister is thriving in the lap of luxury.

sigh

BUT THEN PARK CHUL-WOONG APPEARS AND MY INTEREST SUDDENLY GROWS!

He's a hot guy punking at a billiard hall, and a local gang of thugs shows up to give him a hard time when Yun-hee's character happens upon them, looking to collect the dishes she delivered.
Chul-woong proceeds to kick everyone's ass with his 'I'm a Bruce Lee wannabe' persona, and some damn, sweet moves ~ and then Yun-hee conks him on the head with a tray, demanding that he reimburse her for the dishes he broke in the melee.

Chul-woong & Su-tak

I'll bet you can see where THIS is going, eh?

Meanwhile, in 'every Korean's dream-land', rich Tae-hee is excited that her long-time crush and first love, Jae-hyuk, is returned from the USA, where her grandfather sent him after he delivered Tae-hee to the manse in Seoul.

The caustic bitch stepsister, Seung-hee, intercepts a letter to Yun-hee, asking about her lineage, so Seung-hee does what ANY person would do - she pretends SHE'S the long, lost sister to that wealthy, pie-in-the-sky dreamland otherwise implied as Korean nirvana.
Seung-hee steals the wedding ring from Yun-hee and arrives at the doorstep of the manse, where she proceeds to fit in surprisingly well - which made me laugh since she didn't, actually show her true colors until WAY later in the game.

Seung-hee pretending to be Yun-hee

I thought she was pretty, then ugly, then pretty again - I never, quite knew WHAT to think.
At least she got to wear a lot of totally cool clothing instead of the dowdy, frump attire MOST actresses wear in these dramas.

Ok ~ this is where things get Korean-tricky, so try and keep up ~

Bitch, Seung-hee is crazy about hot-ass Chul-woong, who falls in love with poor, pathetic Yun-hee, who's rich sister, Tae-hee, is in love with supposedly good-guy Jae-hyuk, who bumps into and falls desperately in love with Yun-hee, who gets a job working at the media empire first as a maid, and then as an office assistant because Jae-hyuk can't control himself.

MEANWHILE, Chul-woong's gorgeous, younger sister, Yeong-woong (Kim Jung-hwa), meets Tae-hee's equally gorgeous cousin, Yun Soo-jun (Kim Chung ryeol - no data), who owns an America-style bar, but Chul-woong's adorable friend, Su-tak (whom I'll assume here was Seo Hyun-ki since there's NO info on the guy), has a mad-on for Yeong-woong.

Su-tak and Yeong-woong

And since stereotypical nonsense MUST abound, we have the ubiquitous and worn-out adages re: social status thrown in the mix.
Rich stay rich or die trying whilst the poor stay poor AND die.

sigh again!

The point of Glass Slipper was supposed to be (at least I think it was) that Yun-hee was meant to suffer since she's got such an awesomely UNrealistic personality.
The same for poor, sweet Chul-woong, who though a gangsta, remained trustworthy, honest, upright, and grounded while still ending up at the wrong end of life's unpredictable club despite his best efforts.

However, rather late in this 40-episode drama, it was revealed to us that Seung-hee's character was the actual star of the story - in a pretentious, quirky sort of way at any rate.


Everyone was in love with someone else, and no one (save Park's beautiful sister and the rich, hot cousin) ended up finding true happiness.

This is probably going to be the LAST Korean drama I watch this summer.
Maybe for the rest of this year, unless something spectacular comes along online to change my mind.

I know they're old, and that the world of Hallyu may have changed since 2002, but the feeling I get after watching stuff like Glass Slippers is too haunting, too dreary to make me want to do it again any time soon.

This was an intense drama, and old in that they used a lot of the whirlwind, make-you-wonna-vom camera spins, the slow-paced start that made me want to drop out after the 4th episode, and that annoying recap/repeat at the beginning of each episode.

It became SO repetitive in fact, that by episode 12, I gave it a two-day break.
When I went back to it at aznv.tv, I was SHOCKED to discover that it wasn't a 20, but a freakin' 40 episode drama!
Thank the Lord it starred So-fine, because there's NO WAY I'd have given Glass Slippers that much of a chance to impress me.

Again, I understand that they air these things once a morning or night over there, so 40 episodes would be good in that instance.
The anticipation factor alone would make a drama of this caliber worth tuning in to see what happens next.
Undisciplined in the art of moderation, however, it's practically impossible for someone like me to 'watch just one' a day.


and now for my personal observations ~

I never, quite got into Han Jae-hyuk -
he reminded me a lot of Judd Nelson from
The Breakfast Club



really loved his apartment though!
neon-blue everywhere.
Isn't that dangerous, or lethal or something?


his assistant, Oh Hwan Young (Son Young Joon) made me nervous.
Was he in love with Jang-hyuk, or what?
He was a hotty, though!


Makes me wonder if and WHY guys like him, Kim Chung ryeol, and Seo Hyun-ki faded into acting oblivion after making a drama.
Why isn't there any, further info on these two?

Isn't this gorgeous?
I want to walk down this street at night when I visit Korea



She was pretty in a Liv Tyler kind a way


you always know THIS'll never happen when it's said or even implied


for a guy with no job, yea?
I mean, where did Chul-woong get the $$ for this awesome bouquet?
It's beautiful, though.


I'm in love cuz you remind me of my 38-yr-old aunty from Queens


what would a Korean drama be if it didn't have
the prerequisite, middle-age BITCH whose only job it is
to make everyone else miserable?
This one needed a good lay ~ BADly


and here it is again!
the dead sea-slug hug!



2 comments:

  1. Enjoyed your personal witty comments. Good, so now I don't have to watch the draggy episodes.
    "the dead sea slug hug"...hahaha..the usual stunt, just roll your eyes till the next scene.

    Kim Hyun Joo didn't act well in the last scene when her husband died in her arms...one would expect her to hug him close during his last moments - not at arm's distance till the last moment. Besides, she never smiled at him. She doesn't deserve a good man.

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  2. I read somewhere that the "slug hug" is because the girl hasn't given her heart to the guy yet. As witty as your opinion was on the show, I must say 40 eps is much too long and it had slow progressions. As for the Aunt's character, it took a while to show why she was such a witch. First reason, she never wanted to live with her father and second, she doesn't trust love. It would seem like an easy solution for her to find a man, but who would if you were betrayed badly once...hard wound to heal I guess.

    As for Seong-Hee, the grandfather, aunt and cousin were suspicious of her, and she only fit in "easily" because she was selfish and greedy. I still couldn't hate her character since she was cheeky and the actresses' facial expressions reminded me of a classmate in college.

    Tae-Hee was recognized for being smart, but it seems as Jae Hyuk stated, that she's too nice, rather naive to smell the ish Seong Hee was exuding. Well, I'm in the middle of watching and only fast-forward on repetitive convos, otherwise I want to but can't skip for I don't want to miss a certain clue. I like that the Grandfather, Aunt, Cousin and Jae Hyuk have their suspicions of Seong Hee, so I want to see that come to light. Jae Hyuk assistant was a leech and a greedy prick. I didn't find him attractive, but I guess someone out there will, lol. Thanks for your recap, thoughts and jokes :)

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