Eun Ha Won is in the third grade of high school. She hopes to become a teacher which her late mother always wished for. Ha Won has a bright personality and a strong set of morals, but she is unhappy at home. She's unattached from her father, step-mother, and step-sister and also mistreated. Ha-Won works various part-time jobs to pay for her upcoming university tuition fees. She knows she needs to make more money to pay for the storage of her mother's ashes at the cemetery. Her mother's ashes were recently removed because of unpaid bills.
Meanwhile, Ji Woon , Hyun Min and Seo Woo are spoiled cousins and live together in the mansion Sky House. With their different personalities - Ji Woon is a tough guy, Hyun Min is a playboy and Seo Woo is a musician - they don't like each other at all. Additionally, Ji Woon likes Hye Ji who likes Hyun Min.
One day, their grandfather orders his 3 grandsons to attend his 5th wedding ceremony. Hyun Min doesn't want to go, but he hires Ha Won for 3 hours and takes her to his grandfather's wedding ceremony. His plan is to upstage his grandfather's wedding ceremony with the surprise appearance of Ha Won. There, the grandfather witnesses Ha Won's no-nonsense attitude towards Hyun Min and decides to hire her as a live-in butler at the Sky House. He hopes she is able to change the ways of his grandsons.
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But let's start with a compliment:
I enjoyed the lead female character. This kind of nice, independent, no-nonsense lead female character has been a rare item in the Korean drama industry. I'm saying she's strong as in not TOO comically strong or bratty as well. Eun Hawon character is really likable, and it's the only part that makes sense why this kind of reverse harem plot works. The boys in the house genuinely like her, and I accept it. Most of the Korean dramas that go for either this generic reverse harem plot or the strong lead girl plot usually fail to deliver them naturally. I grew fond of her the most and her character made me stick around.
Another good point that somehow kept me around was the sweet moments and the chemistry between the lead characters. I could feel that they really care for each other. Nothing was forced. The love story wasn't rushed. I enjoyed it. Sometimes the sub plots dragged on for too long and their sweet moments would restore my faith for this show.
Now onto the bad part:
From the title: Cinderella and Four Knights, there are no four knights at all. They're trying to sell that this is a reverse harem kind of story, with one lead girl and four lead guys and such, but it only lasted probably up to the first few episodes. The first few episodes promised you a love triangle which was cliche but still entertaining.
From somewhere early in the series, however, out of *four* knights: 1) one of them loses complete interest in the lead female and goes back to the second lead female he ditched long ago for unexplained reasons, 2) one of them grows to like the lead female yet takes care of the second lead female to an unreasonable extent, 3) one of them likes the lead female genuinely but, of course, the plot won't allow them to even meet and talk properly, 4) and the last one of them leaves the *knight* title ever so quickly and branches out to his own super cliche sub plot although he has so much potential in everything from acting to his looks to his chemistry with the lead female.
It felt so much like the writers lured us into such F4 - Boys Over Flowers kind of settings, then ditched us to an extremely cliche plot that revolved more around the second lead female – who I have to use the word "annoyingly boring" to describe. I like Son Naeun as a member of A Pink, but I believe her acting is very bad – or this character does not shine a light on her as an actress at all. Her character is an "I-only-look-at-you" kind of pitiful(?) girl, but somehow the story (or her acting) made her evil. I thought she was going to grow into a likable second female lead because she was one of a few second leads that don't act evil towards the lead female character. However, her damsel-in-distress situations only turned her into a "I don't care if I look evil, I just want to own one of these rich guys" kind of character.
She has the looks and she's from a well-raised background. She was also incredibly stubborn for (literally) unsaid reasons while she could just go out and have a happy life while forgetting these main guys. Plus, her interest in fashion design seemed useless. It played no part in the plot, and I wish writers would stop stereotyping fashion design major as a "high class" thing. Beautiful barbie-like female characters don't need to like fashion to look sophisticated. Try harder.
Likewise, I didn't enjoy the stereotypes in this story at all. Jung Ilwoo's character (Kang Jiwoon) was built around a quiet, rebellious guy with a troubled past, so they gave him a street-racer persona while in the story it was just him fidgeting with his toy cars from time to time. It didn't look cool and rebellious. It looked pathetic.
Ahn Jaehyun's character (Kang Hyunmin) – the playboy successor of Haneul Group – can he be even more cliche than this? I mean, playboy chaebols are fun to have in a story, but this characteristic of him progressed to nowhere. He was out with random girls for only 2 or 3 episodes at the beginning. At the same time, he's a supposed successor of their family business, but I see him lazing around inside the mansion the *entire* series. In fact, he doesn't seem very aloof. He has a heart, but they didn't make use of it at all.
Lee Jungshin's character (Kang Seowoo) is a musician. Why? There's no back story to his characteristics. He's popular and is a good singer and he's very nice. Rich and romantic, yet he seemed the most unattached to the entire chaebol family. Again, there's nothing bad about this, I just feel like this musician character is very stereotypical. And again, for a chaebol grandson who's *finally* nice and decent, he's out of the picture from the first half of the series. He likes the main girl alone, feels sad alone, and lets her go alone. His music plays almost no part in putting his character together with the main girl or other guys, and despite that, there's no explanation in why he fails to convey his love to the main girl at all. (Oh, wait, why? Because the writer doesn't want that. Then WHY did they even make his character up at all?)
I still forced my way through the end purely because of the lead female character. She was the only decent one in the entire series. The "missions" and "part-time job" that put her in these guys' mansion made me cringe though. And although she's naturally kindhearted, genuinely wanting the boys to reunite as a family was a bit odd, given that she hasn't been raised in a warm *family* as well.
even it is hard to watch all those cringe scene and script but i manage to pull through this drama solely for park so dam and jung il woo.. i always love their drama..
the character was meehhh~~ but i did jump like 6 y/o when those cute scene between ha won and ji won.. the hardest character that i was forced to accept was hyeji, my god~~!!!! the development of the character was shit!!! i'm wondering what are the writers thinking during the development of the character.. it's like the writer are so diligent in the 1st halve of the drama and gettin lazy by the end of it~~
well, the most character that i like is *drum rolls* YOONSUNGie~~~~ why?? because he just too gorgeous when he smile.. not to mention, among 4 of them, he is the truest knight (for me) XD