25 years ago, Haesung group lost their grand daughter Choi Eun Seok. The girl was found and raised by Seo Tae Soo as one of his twin daughters Seo Ji Ahn and Seo Ji Soo, They grew up rich but their father bankrupted and they had to experience the hard life of a dirt spoon. Ji Ahn now is a contract worker at Haesung group who would do anything for a job while Ji Soo is an air headed part timer who has a one sided crush on Sun Woo Hyuk, Unknown to her that Woo Hyuk was in love with Ji Ahn in high school.
Choi Do Kyung is Haesung Group oldest grand son, he is gentle and kind but being too good yet still single makes his employees spread weird rumors about him, he meets Ji Ahn in a car accident and comes to know her sad situation but his biggest shock is when his mother reveals that his lost sister is Ji Ahn.
Where to Watch My Golden Life
Cast & Credits
My Review contains spoilers
I want to start of nice and say the character introduction was done so well. In fact I would say the first quarter of the drama was soo good I looked forward to it each weekend.
Then they ruined it, either they ran out of their creative juices or the switched writers or the first part of the story was stolen from a different writer before it was finished. I have tried to come up with so many reasons why a perfectly good drama was ruined.
I am completely fine with the male lead giving the female lead her space to grow professionally and emotionally that part is fine. HOWEVER there are SOOO many plot holes.
The relationship between the 2 youngest siblings was such a disappointment. The Cinderella youngest daughter's character deserved a better story line than she was given.
Woo Hyun Deserved a stronger characterization that he was given. In this drama he is basically just a crush boy and a good friend. His own character has no depth.
I also have many questions
Who was the man that rich mom was seeing? where did he end up with his life?
Where does the relationship with DK and grandpa stand at the end?
Does poor mom remain financially dependent on her kids?
Why were we introduced to their home sharing roommates if there was no story to tell?
How did Jisoo come to forgive her rich family after all they did to her poor Dad? Why did we never get that confrontation?
The summary of the drama is pretty accurate, so I won't tell much more about it. If I did, it would probably contain spoilers that should only be revealed by watching the drama yourself.
This drama has so many charming points that it's actually quite difficult to find a starting point. If I had to point out the biggest strength, it would probably be the writing and the cast. Especially the veteran actors impressed big time. Every time the drama seemed to drag, they pushed the story forward and really made me care for their characters. Chun Ho Jin and Jun Noh Min... Two actors I respect a lot. They are so versatile in all of their roles, that I'm always happy to see them in a drama. And goddammit, they were awesome here.
The leads themselves stood their ground and were one of many driving wheels of the story. Actually, the whole cast was so well balanced that it's hard to find a weak link. Of course, I had to pay special attention to Park Shi Hoo since he was not that impressive in his previous drama. And what can I say other than that he found his confidence again. In the first couple of episodes he seemed shaky and nervous, so I was still skeptical about him. I couldn't force myself to ignore his flaws, so I hoped he would get a grip soon. And he did. It took some time but he finally managed to find his old acting self again. From that point onward it was not difficult anymore to enjoy his performance. Though I also have to mention that in some of the later episodes he got unsteady again.
Something that needs to be emphasized in this drama is the development of every single character. Everyone is going through some very dear and life changing situations which pushes them in unexpected directions and shapes their growth vastly. Forcing some of them to make a bunch of inevitable decisions, I didn't always like the direction they were taking. On the other hand they made them so understandable that it was also hard to oppose it.
Family dramas are usually not my thing because the sheer length of the episodes is bound to get draggy at some point. I can't deny the fact that this drama has some difficulties as well, but the amount of these parts is fairly acceptable and doesn't weigh too much into the enjoyment of the drama. And the reason for that are the couples. Each and every one of them had a very interesting story to tell. Whether it was the leads, their families or their friends. Especially the two male friends of Do Kyung (PSH) were a pleasant add to the main character. If one of the side stories got too depressive, there was always another "supposed to be" couple that ensured some lighter moments and lifted the heavy atmosphere.
I'm praising this drama so much and yet my rating only stays at 8.5... What to say about that. I had some issues with the ending. It was not a shocking one and I get parts of it. Yet, the way they wrote it seemed too exaggerated and estranged some characters a bit for me. Not only did they include one of my most hated drama tropes, they also gave the final resolution a torn connotation. Therefore I was not able to fully enjoy the end of the drama.
Overall, I would still recommend My Golden Life. It has some really sweet but also touching and heartbreaking moments, great character development and an endearing bunch of actors and actresses. And who knows, maybe you are more tolerable about its final minutes than my humble self.
One warning though:
There will be a character who will bring your darkest side to light. He is obstinate and stubborn and arrogant till the end, so prepare yourself for some seriously hair-pulling and fist-clenching situations.