Starring: Park Shi Hoo (Prosecutor Princess, What Star Did You Come from?, How do Marry a Perfect Neighbor, Queen of Reversals, The Princess’ Man, etc.), Yoon Jung Hee (Dear Heaven, Blissful Woman), Lee Hyun Jin (Heartstrings, Operation Proposal, etc.)
Synopsis: Ha Dan Ah (Yoon Jung Hee) is the only daughter of a traditional Korean family that still maintains all of the old values and rituals. She married in her early 20s but became a widow before she could even have a honeymoon. Strangely, despite her reserved manner, she is pursued by two men, Lee Kang Suk (Park Shi Hoo) and a younger Jung Hyun Kyu (Lee Hyun Jin), who looks exactly like her deceased husband of so many years. The series explores the joys and difficulties of the Ha family and how they try to preserve their family name/reputation. But overall, what the series does so well is examine the meaning of family throughout all of life’s variations.
Musings: I stumbled upon this series (my first Saturday-Sunday drama and the only one I’ve seen besides A Thousand Kisses) one day while I was surfing youtube and fell in love with it. Yes, the 54 episodes makes this selection a 3-day marathon rather than our usual 2-day marathon, but those blurry-eyed few days were definitely well worth it.
The show starts off a bit slowly, so it was a good thing that I first saw a clip of a middle episode to hook me in for the first few episodes, but once the story gets rid of the “old” and ushers in the “new” circumstances of the two brothers and their sister, the story really takes flight. Episode after episode, I couldn’t help but be enthralled by the relationship between Dan Ah and Kang Suk. And you all know how I can’t stand really frustrating plots…this one deals with conflicts but in a non-frustrating way. 🙂
More than anything else, though, what I appreciated about this series is that it helped elucidate a certain part of Korean culture that I wasn’t FULLY aware of since my parents don’t observe some of these older Korean traditions like bowing to your ancestors every morning; I’ve been taught to honor them but not bow to their images for religious purposes. Anyhow, this drama will definitely give any viewer an appreciation for the “old” Korean culture and one family’s struggle to maintain their traditions, yet at the same time adjust to the changing times.
Final words? I would totally spend the hours watching this series again…if I only had the time. 😉 Enjoy!