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  • Score: 8.0 (scored by 11,174 users)
  • Ranked: #1226
  • Popularity: #130
  • Watchers: 18,015

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Completed
omnichelle
64 people found this review helpful
Jul 15, 2012
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
“One cup of coffee, five kilocalories. Equivalent to five minutes of kissing. What is the total calorie of all the kisses we shared over three years? And the calories of love?”

Kim Sam Soon is the driving force behind my love for this drama. While the other characters are also well portrayed, Kim Sun Ah essentially steals the show with her sassy and pugnacious, yet thoughtful, talented and sensitive portrayal of a broken-hearted patissier.

Although she can be fierce and unrelenting, at her core, Sam Soon is simply a woman who yearns for true love--as most people do. Does it really exist? And if we find it, can it stand the test of time? Where does the love go when we fall out of it? These doubts and questions are the driving force of this drama, and the characters of Kim Sam Soon boldly charge forward looking for the answers--despite knowing there might be consequences and pain along the way. Sam Soon in particular is truly someone who loves while leaving no room for regret. Something I find refreshing and admirable in a drama heroine.

The storyline of this drama isn’t particularly original, but what makes it sparkle are the subtleties in the writing and acting. Hyun Bin holds his own as the leading man against Sun Ah (not an easy task), and they often go toe-to-toe during heated arguments. Some of my favorite scenes involve the two of them going back and forth with killer timing. Hyun Bin also has a knack in this drama for saying much without saying anything at all.

I have a pet peeve for female antagonists in Korean dramas, as I feel they are usually the exact same girl, only played by different actresses. In this drama, however, she’s quite different... I’m not sure I can even label her “the antagonist.” Like Sam Soon, Hee Jin is also bold and unrelenting, stopping at nothing for love. Her approach is very different from Sam Soon’s and I personally don’t respect her rationale. But she’s an interesting character analysis, nonetheless.

Last point, the soundtrack to this drama is stellar! Clazziquai provides the two main themes, alternating between with the sultry "She Is" and quirky, upbeat "Be My Love." As if that's not awesome enough, the series flirts with fun French pop tunes and other melodic grooves to set various moods.

Bottom line, this drama is so well acted, mature, funny, thoughtful and witty that you’ll potentially see the same old drama clichés as something new and fresh! Each episode always left me hungry for more... and sometimes for a piece of cake or cookie, too! :)

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Completed
manicmuse
27 people found this review helpful
Jul 3, 2012
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 10
Every once in a while I will watch a drama that will make me re-agonize over my top 5 list, and this is one of them. I knew from the very 1st episode that this would be one of my new favorite dramas, even though I'm about 7 years late. I literally stayed up all night ,and into the morning, because I could not stop watching. In a lot of ways, this is just another k-drama rom-com with a familiar plot, but it's so well done that it truly stands out.

Kim Sun Ah made Kim Sam Soon one of my favorite K-Drama leads ever! Sam Soon is loud, stubborn, charming, emotional, unfiltered, and absolutely hilarious. She was equal parts frustrating, & inspiring to watch. She's not the usual passive female lead, and I loved watching her take charge of a situation. She is matched up with Hyun Bin as Hyun Jin Hun, who walks the line between arrogance & charm so expertly well. At first I didn't recognize him, because he looks so different in this compared to Secret Garden, but his performance in this reminded me of all the things I loved about him in that drama. Together, their chemistry made them a rom-com dream team. The fact that they didn't fit seamlessly together, and that they were not always good to each other, made their relationship feel more honest. I think they were the perfect blend between discord, and harmony. I could literally watch them go at it all day... in fact, that's exactly what i did. lol.

The lead performances were a clear 10 for me, and every minor character in the supporting cast was also really great, but I feel like I have to deduct at least 1 point for the 2 supporting leads. It's clear that Daniel Henney's purpose in this drama was to be eye candy. Most of his scenes involve him smiling at people while they teach him Korean language & culture. His acting was decent enough, but far from good. Jung Ryeo Won's performance was also underwhelming. As much as I loved to hate her character, there were also quite a few moments when I cringed through some of her acting scenes (in both languages). It was initially jarring to hear so much english spoken in scenes, with actual fluent speakers, but it made their acting inexperience much more obvious to me. The only moments of boredom I felt during this drama was when these two were the focus.

I admit that the plot wasn't exactly original, but it wasn't typical either. The love stories in this drama are far less innocent than the k-drama norm, which was nice to see. There were many great rewatchable rom-com moments between Hyun Bin & Kim Sun Ah, and they share one of the best kiss scenes that I've seen in a drama.

Music also plays a key element in the story, which I liked, but I wasn't particularly impressed with the soundtrack.

Overall, It's lol hilarious, yet emotionally realistic. Even when the tone of the drama began to change, It never lost it's momentum. I continued to be excited about watching each episode, and I enjoyed every one till the very end. This drama could have easily ended with a pleasingly cheesy conclusion, but instead the ending was simple, and inspiring.

I think all rom-com fans should have this on their "to watch" list. Forgive the old school phones, and the ugly clothes, and I think this stands up against any current drama. I agree that "My Name is Kim Sam Soon" is one of the best dramas that I've seen, classic or not. I can see myself easily watching this drama again, & again... while eating a lot of pastries, of course : )

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Completed
amrita828
29 people found this review helpful
Jul 12, 2011
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 4.0
I am well aware my numbers for this show are all over the place. That's because I'm trying to be fair and at the same time true to myself. I'm not sure I am succeeding.



In order to be fair, I have to give this drama what is its due. Script, acting, direction, music are VERY good. The script is downright brilliant, with many lines worth of being quoted. Kim Sun Ah is fantastic: self-ironic, convincing, funny and determined. Hyun Bin has to portray a distasteful character, and does so with a seemingly effortless performance. All the side characters are wonderfully characterized and likable.

The music is perfectly chosen too, with just the right mixture of irony and pathos-building required by the story.



But I also have to be honest. And to do so I have to admit I didn't like this drama. I spent more time cringing and shivering in embarrassment than laughing or falling in love.

Each character is unique and wonderfully portrayed, but for the duration of 16 episodes I kept on asking myself: why? Why should these two like each other?

When I watch a drama and instead of rooting for the main couple I concentrate on the scenery, the cake, the old mother or the child it means something is wrong, at least for me. And when the first kiss doesn't make me smile in delight, something is even more wrong.

I could never feel sympathy for Sam Soon & Jin Heon. Not as a couple. By the middle I was terribly annoyed by both: by him because he couldn't be a man and decide; by her because she slowly morphed from the anti-conventional woman she used to be into a sort of human ivy, spying on her "man", shouting too much, crying too much, asking for rings, declarations and all the most conventional paraphernalia attached to your usual relationship. Had I been the man in the situation, I would have flown to Mars in order to escape the torture.



Possibly, the acting is too good: had the characters been more wooden or less expressive, I would have felt nothing for them and had had no reason to cringe. How ironic is this?



To summarize: I believe a review has to be fair. When confronted with a good show/movie/book/painting one has to be objective and recognize its value. This is why I gave it an overall 8 when, on a mere emotional and personal level, I would barely have given it a 6.

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Completed
Jacqueline
10 people found this review helpful
Sep 21, 2014
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
If it were ever possible to overdose on euphoria and emo-tastic happiness, then holy-friggin'-hell I'm about to keel over right this damn second! My Lovely Sam Soon is basically the best drama ever made ever, ever, EVER!

Alright, Jacquie...calm yo’self and chill. *Pauses to wrangle in my copious fangirling.* I gotta pull this spazzing down a level, and keep my raving to a minimum. Let me calmly explain to you why this drama is so flim-flammingly made of tasty awesome-sauce!

Firstly, it has all the right tropes to hook you: poor misfit unattractive heroine/rich Mr. Perfect hero. But, let me lay it all on the line because guys, these are just the building block tropes that NEVER turn into cliches! Rather than just being a dumpy, badly attired heroine in oversized glasses or whatever other weak-ass magic trick the wardrobe department typically pulls to make our lead "frumpy," this drama goes the extra mile without going the extra mile. Our heroine, Sam Soon, instead is legitimately overweight, without the "Let's Just Throw Her In A Fat Suit And Bad Clothes" trend. Nope, instead, we get a tall, Rubenesque female lead with frizzy-but-realistic hair and clothing that doesn't look like Barney's diarrhea.

Why am I going on and on about the wardrobe and physicality of Sam Soon? Because guys...do you REALIZE how nice it is to have a misfit heroine that isn't a walking joke?! Oh, and did I mention she totally has a spine? As in, this girl will ALWAYS stand up for herself, but simultaneously knows when to be reasonable at the appropriate moments and how to compromise AND negotiate. Basically she isn't a shrieking Too Stupid To Live female lead, and THANK YOU DRAMA GODS FOR THAT!

And as AWESOME as Sam Soon is, that's how equally kick-ass the rest of the entire cast of characters are! Yep, you read that right folks; literally every single character in this drama has individual personality with believable motivations, and there's not one evil antagonist rubbing their sinister hands together in the shadows. Every time this drama could have pulled a cliche, it didn't. Disapproving male lead's mother? Guess what, turns out she's multifaceted and nuanced! Contract dating? Guess what, turns out this acts as only the set-up rather than some angsty BS! Heroine falls in love with the hero first? Guess what, she doesn't morph into a doormat or mop bucket full of embarrassing bullshit! Hero is a cold fish who doesn't believe in love? Guess what, his evolution is well paced AND layered in backstory and frontstory!

Do you KNOW how amazing it was to be sucked so hard into a story that doesn't give-up out midway through like a deflated whoopie cushion?! Do you appreciate how spectacular it is for a drama to shrug its shoulders and go, "Hey, guess what! We're gonna put these two leads together through some bumpy trials that won't turn into melodramatic screaming-at-the-sky tribulations?" Thank you, My Lovely Sam Soon, THANK YOU! Thank you for showing that a couple can have disagreements and turbulence in their relationship without feeling the need to utilize diabolical parents, laughably stupid misunderstandings, random cancer, or amnesia!

You gave me a fun ride of a hero unwillingly falling in love with a heroine not his type, but kept it grounded and believable. You gave me comic relief that didn’t come at the expense of the heroine. You gave me some hella hot chemistry that was subtle but ever present. And, most importantly, you sucked me in with quality storytelling and amazing characters that had me finishing this 16 hour drama in two days. I honestly don't know if any other drama can compete with you, and I just wanna snuggle with you and your awesome characters, plot, pacing, comedy, drama, and cuteness!

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Completed
Hira-M
9 people found this review helpful
Mar 1, 2014
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
I have very mixed feelings about this drama... I liked it enough that is didn't bore me, but I was very frustrated with the characters.

This was a noona romance but it didn't feel like it and I'm glad it didn't! Because I'm not much of a fan of noona romances. It was a typical chaebol romance story. It reminded me a lot of Bridget Jones... But this drama was very... real. Like, the story and the characters were very life-like. And while I do like real, relatable characters, these characters seemed too real. Too flawed. I see enough of that in real life, I don't want my drama characters to be selfish and so complicated as well.

I honestly don't know how to review this drama... I'll just list down the things I liked and the things I didn't like.

Things I liked:

The story was, in a way, interesting. I didn't like the plot repetition and some things were pretty unbelievable. But the story was still interesting enough to keep me watching

Henry. He was honestly my favorite character. He was funny and so adorable and I was rooting for him from the beginning!

The restaurant staff. The were funny and I really liked them.

Sam Soon's sister. I really liked her! She genuinely cared about her sister. Plus her relationship with that Bon Apetit chef was funny.

The kisses! This drama had, if not the best, then some pretty good kiss scenes. And the chemistry between the lead couple wasn't bad either. Though, Jin Hun and Hee Jin looked better together.

Things I didn't like:

Jin Hun. I love Hyun Bin! And I really tried to like his character. But I couldn't. He was selfish and I couldn't accept his actions, whatever the reason.

Sam Soon. People say she stood up for herself and was a strong character. Yeah, she did have a backbone sometimes. For like, 0.1 seconds. I really liked her when she did stand up for herself and was cheering for her. But then she would throw away her self respect and do something that made me so mad at her!

Hee Jin. The main reason why I didn't like her is because she couldn't see how amazing Henry was. I also didn't like her because everyone said she was strong but to me she seemed weak.

The violence. Honestly, I've never seen so much violence in any Korean drama! Everyone loved to beat each other up and that annoyed me a lot! I know it was supposed to be funny but they used it one too many times. The amount of times poor Hyun Bin was beaten up, I lost count. I think he got beaten up twice or thrice in the first episode alone. And an episode wasn't complete unless someone got beaten up. The only person who wasn't violent was Henry. He fought only once and it was because Jin Hun punched him.

Scene repetition. The match-making date scene happened, I think, 5 times. The "Don't look at anybody else!" scene happened, I think, twice or thrice. And I bet there were many other scenes that were repeated. It was at those moments I wanted to stop watching the drama.

Final Verdict: Even though there are more things I disliked about this drama than liked, it was entertaining and I would recommend it if you can look past the flaws.

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Completed
purplebichonhorse
12 people found this review helpful
Aug 2, 2012
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 4.0
Here's what I liked about the plot: it featured a heavier set heroine instead of the typical skinny one, also it featured an older women younger man which again isn't the norm for dramas, there was quite a bit of comedy woven into the story line, the sub plots were enjoyable. I really loved the cooking aspect of this drama

What I didn't like about the plot: the male lead's semi-flip flopping between her and the other girl, the parts with the other girl and the doctor seemed unnecessary and boring, it never really elaborated on why the male lead was so mad at the other girl, the guy who dumped her trying to get her to two time, and the ending was kind of a let down IMO.

The acting by all characters was very well done and I especially enjoyed the acting by the main lead, the male lead, and Mi Joo his niece.

The music was fine and I thought it was fun that they threw some some american songs in as well, which doesn't happen very often.

Rewatch value is just ok for me since while I liked this drama, I didn't fall head over heels for it like most people and I'd be ok with just seeing it this once. However if I was desperate for something to watch or bored out of my mind I would maybe watch an episode or two again.

Overall this was just a good drama for me because although the plot had some interesting themes and quite a bit of variety, I had a hard time getting into watching this drama (I started watching and put it on hold after ep3 for a few months before I picked it up again and finished it). The acting was excellent and the little girl was adorable, the music was good, and the rewatch value as state before is ok.

You may like this drama if you liked baby faced beauty, full house, flower boy ramen shop, Biscuit teacher star candy, or other older women/younger man and love contract dramas.

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Completed
Rourou
13 people found this review helpful
Apr 27, 2012
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
1-The reason I watched this : I remember watching this on TV with some friends a long time ago.

2-Storyline/Plot : It was surprisingly good since it can be considred as an old drama; the struggle of an old fat girl to fulfil her dreams and fix her love life at the same time. Events went in a smooth way that's why slow moments were almost absent.

3-Acting/Cast : I believe this was Hyun Bin's debut; he was really good in her. Sam Soon was good too but she can became a little annoying at some points.
Overall, the acting was really good plus supporting roles were good enough to add some appealing developments to the general story.

4-The music : I don't actually remember it but I believe that it wasn't that bad.

5-Rewatch value : I can't do so but I can't deny that some people would love to repeat the whole drama again including my friends who watched it with me.

6-The ending : It was a good final although I expected more.

7-Overall : As one of my first dramas this was quite good because it was one of the steps that started my passion for Asian dramas.

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Completed
Jeaniessi
6 people found this review helpful
Apr 7, 2011
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
This drama holds a special place in my heart as the first one I ever watched. I am so glad it was the first because it's also one of the best I've ever seen. I want Kim Sam Soon to be my friend! I think somewhere out there Sam Soon and Sam Shik-ah are still together and probably have toilet paper stuck up their noses. There is so much humor. Pitch perfect. Great acting, great writing, great story. Laugh and cry and laugh again. Don't miss this. The best reason to become a fangirl of Hyun Bin ever!
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Completed
crazykid
6 people found this review helpful
Dec 16, 2013
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
It started out great. You had Sam Soon, a strong and funny lead, paired up with realistic yet funny events that made an enjoyable watch. But by the middle of the show... eh...
My main concern with this was the main couple.
Many may not agree with me, but I felt the romance was empty, annoying, and from Jin Hun's side, quite wavering.
Ugh... don't let me get started on Jin Hun. I can normally put up with controlling male leads, but not when they hit girls at one point and, to top it all off, are male versions of Bella Swan. The second half of the drama basically revolved around him bouncing back and forth between Heejin and Sam Soon (which took a toll on Sam Soon's personality, making her clingy).
I wanted to give this a 7, but there were other aspects in the drama that raised my initial score, such as Sam Soon's side stories, her sister, etc. Plus, the first half of the drama deserved a 9, so I chose something in between.
Putting aside the flaws, this drama stands out from the rest, and I get why many consider it a classic. If you're into mature comedies, and don't mind male Bella Swans, then I recommend it.

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Completed
boredandtwitchy
6 people found this review helpful
Apr 16, 2011
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
There's just something about this drama that's so right! Even Daniel Henney's terrible acting couldn't mask how amazing this show is. A woman and a younger man engage in a dating contract, and just so happen to fall in love. Of course, there is the ever present obstacle of the ex-girlfriend who shares a sad past with our hero, but it's not a drama without that little bump in the road. The main theme by Clazziquai ("She Is") perfectly captures the mood of this story, which is pretty frank about its depiction and discussion of sex. Plus, "She Is" has great replay value. Overall, this is a rom-com in its own league---quite possibly the most mature and adult drama I've seen so far.

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Completed
Lily_B
8 people found this review helpful
Dec 20, 2013
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 2.0
My Name is Kim Sam Soon is my first South Korean drama. I found it hard to rate this and had to think about it for a long time. In the end I decided that other dramas that I've rated higher... well, they left me feeling more satisfied, and that's that. I write this review because I see that most people really love this drama, and I wanted to offer the point of view of somebody who didn’t like it quite that much.

I liked it more in the beginning, I guess the first half or so, and then I began to wonder what was taking them so long… There were definitely many things I liked about this drama, though. Such as the main character (but it did take me one or two episodes to get used to her and learn to understand her), most of the time I felt that I could understand and relate to her. As for the main plot, well, while it wasn't very special, there was also nothing wrong with it. There were many cute and funny moments, and the characters did grow in some respects. There were scenes that I liked a lot. I did like everything about Mi Joo.

BUT there were too many things that annoyed me. Jin Hun was really hard to stand sometimes. While I can sort of "understand" him (poor little rich guy with a unpleasant mother who was deeply hurt in the past…) I really don't approve of the way he acts a lot of the time, seriously! He has a gentle and caring side, too, which is a good thing. (Again, I’m glad Mi Joo was there.) But after all, he was the male lead in this drama so it’s not an overstatement to call him an important part of the overall impression…

Even more than that, I really disliked Sam Soon's ex. A good thing about Sam Soon is that she's capable of telling people what she really thinks of them. If somebody treats her badly (even Jin Hun), she doesn’t just take it – she talks back, or she hits them where it hurts… but even so, that guy just didn’t get it, and that annoyed me a lot. (Speaking of hitting; these characters do hit each other a lot! I found that very strange.)

One reason why I was impatient a lot of the time when I was watching this was that there was just a little bit too much of everything. In other words: I found this drama too long. Even when I did like how the love story was progressing, there was a lot of repetition, too much bickering back and forth where the characters were going through same things over and over again. (I did like the side story with the sister and the chef, but even this bored me during the last few episodes because it was getting old – and this storyline never even got a proper ending.) There were too many little twists and turns that I felt weren’t needed at all (such as a large part of the main conflict of the last episode, among other things).

I had a problem with Hee Jin. I liked her in her first scene. During the rest of the drama I liked her sometimes, but I mostly disliked her because that thing she did… or rather, didn’t do… No matter how you look at it, her reasoning doesn’t make sense to me. BUT she wasn’t an evil person, and not half as annoying as other characters I’ve seen in dramas. Also, she was cute. And Henry was cute. I really liked their scenes together. Except when I felt that the two of them were so adorable that they weren’t cute anymore… I think that Henry was probably too good to be true, but at the same time I liked that he was so patient and smart enough to see things clearly when Hee Jin didn’t. At the same time I’m not sure if this isn’t a bit too unrealistic?

The acting was good; I complain about the characters, but that’s not the actors’ fault, they make me believe in their roles. Especially Kim Sun Ah.

I gave a higher rating to the music than the story! Most of the time I don’t even pay attention to the music in dramas but in this one I actually enjoyed it.

Overall I felt that there were too much screentime for the supporting characters and too many unnecessary scenes. (I wouldn’t have minded more kitchen scenes, though. Sam Soon is a pastry chef, after all…) I believe this drama could have been five episodes shorter. To me it felt like this drama’s great potential was lost because it went on and on forever. And even so, I did enjoy it, a lot of the time… but definitely not enough to want to re-watch it.

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Completed
TheJ
4 people found this review helpful
Oct 13, 2012
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
Story: The story wasn't horrible. It wasn't exactly fantastic, but it was enjoyable. A lot of rom-com cliches that I actually didn't mind sitting through.

Acting/Cast: Most dramas these days seem to enjoy casting idols as one of the lead roles. One of the reasons I wanted to watch this (aside from people always recommending it) was because of the fact that it had trained actors as leads. And you could definitely tell the difference. The acting by the cast of this drama was just tugging at my heartstrings a lot through the middle of the drama. Somewhat angsty moments had me absolutely bawling.

Music: A few of the songs were starting to get really repetitive as I watched this. They weren't bad songs, but they were the kind of songs you could only listen to so many time before wanting to mute it.

The songs were all good; they just needed to cut back on some of the replaying of them.

Rewatch Value: I really liked this show. I would love to watch it again in the future.

Overall: Overall, as much as I loved the acting and the cast, I had to give it an 8.

Much like a few of the songs in the show, the whole thing started to get really repetitive. It was the kind of drama where it was a constant back and forth of I-love-you-but-now-I-hate-you-but-I-really-love-you-when-I'm-not-hating-you a lot of the time. It got old. Very old.

One of my biggest pet peeves about shows that do things like that is that people never try to avoid misunderstandings. Instead of just mollifying the person who's misunderstanding, they just stand there and let the person's emotions fester. That also got very old.

I did love the character of Sam Soon though. Throughout the whole show, she never changed. She started off as a strong character, and she ended the show as one. She fell in love along the way, and had no problems crying over a man, but that didn't stop her from letting him control her life. In a lot of dramas, when a woman falls for a man, it's like she forgets who she is. This drama scored big with me for not going down that road.

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