Monday, 4 February 2013

24. Cheongdam Dong Alice

Broadcast: Dec 2012 - Jan 2013
Episodes: 16, Romance/Comedy
Moon Geun Young as Han Se Kyung
Park Shi Hoo as Cha Seung Jo/ Jean Thierry Cha
So Yi Hyun as Seo Yoon Joo
Kim Ji Suk as Tommy Hong
Kim Yoo Ri as Shin In Hwa

The title of this drama is a play on words or a direct comparison of the fantasy novel Alice in Wonderland. It's about Han Se Kyung chasing her white rabbit.

This is the first drama I have seen with Moon Geun Young. I think she is a great actor. In this drama she is smart, tough and honest. 

Han Se Kyung, when she broke up with her boyfriend In Chan due to poverty issues, she decided she would be like her high school friend Seo Yoon Joo, to grab hold of a white rabbit so she can step into Cheongdam Dong which is a high class suburb within Gangnam in South Korea. With Seo Yoon Joo's help and diary (how to be dirty to get into Cheongdam Dong :)), she started her journey.

She met Cha Seung Jo, mistaking him for being the secretary of Jean Thierry Cha who was a rich CEO of a luxury brand company called Artemis. She fell in love with him and this was an obstable because her target was Jean Thierry Cha. Secretary Kim was in actual fact Jean Thierry Cha. He also fell for  Se Kyung but did not reveal his true identity until later.

Later on, Se Kyung found out the truth about his identity without him knowing. She was shocked but happy at the same time. She kick started her plan. Along the way, she was found out and confronted by Seung Jo (akas Jean Thierry Cha but I'll call him Seung Jo for the rest of the review).  Her main plan was to secure her place in Cheongdam Dong through Seung Jo but she was sincere and genuine in her love for him.

Everything turned chaotic. Amidst the chaos, how can she prove her love for him?  The ending is a happy one, although there were implications asking viewers if it was reality or still a dream that she was living in like Alice. I think this part was put in to confuse viewers or to challenge us to think about what is reality and what is a dream.  My take on the ending was that it was reality and it ended well :)

Se Kyung was a fashion designer in the drama but yet we didn't see many of her designs. I thought that was a shame. I loved her character. I thought that she was smart, strong, honest, calm and dealt with the consequences of her actions quite well. Never once did she run away.

Seung Jo is an eccentric, immature and petty character but lovable at the same time. He was funny too, cracked me up with his dancing. The way he shooked his head whenever he danced was so comical. He was quite good looking, but at times the makeup was too white and his lips a bit too red for a male. 

Seung Jo's best friend Dong Wook reminded me a bit of Yoon Ah In (Fashion King). Perhaps an older brother? 

The characters Seo Yoon Joo and Tommy Hong who helped Se Kyung in her climb, they were initially all enemies. When you have a common goal, you get together and friendships develop. I really liked the fact that they all hated each other but ended up being good friends who cared about each other near the end. 

Seo Yoon Joo was a developing character. Good on her in the end to finally stand up for herself and not worry about status and money. She was poor in the end but she was happier.

The moral of this drama to me was that lies and manipulations never get you anywhere, but accountability, honesty and sincerity can help and save you. This drama touched on poverty issues, family relationships, the attitude and behaviour of the rich. 

Se Kyung said a couple times in the drama that hope and working hard will not save you from poverty, or help you get where you want or to be happy. I disagree with that. I believe working hard, having hope and trying your best, you will achieve something. Never fall down, but keep trying. The journey along the way will make you a stronger person. This in turn is already a wonderful thing to realise and an amazing experience to learn. This usually leads to appreciation in life and happiness.

OST, this drama had a very nice soundtrack. Songs that stood out: It’s Okay – F(x)’s Luna; Daddy Long Legs – Baek Ah Yeon; Love Like This – K.Will; Stop Hurting – Melody Day;  Rain
Shower – Every Single Day; Sorry – Lee Seung Hwan (Feat. Yozoh).

This drama is very typical of kdramas  where poor girl meets rich guy, falls in love, trouble happens, love will overcome the obstacles, and a happy ending. I still liked it. Maybe I'm a sucker for such fairy tales. It was entertaining. Highly recommended.

Rating: 5/5

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