Starring: Lee Young Ah, Song Chang Ui, Choi Yeo Jin, Song Jong Ho
Also known as: 황금신부 (Korean title), Bride from Vietnam
I admit that I only looked up this show because Heechul of Super Junior was in it. I was still new to the drama world, as this was my second drama ever. It is also my favorite to date. Honestly, I don’t think that will change for a long, long time.
The story is about Nguyen Jin Joo, a half-Korean, half-Vietnamese girl, who agrees to marry a man she’s never met in order to find her father. That man is Kang Jun Woo (Song Chang Ui), who suffers from a posttraumatic stress disorder after his girlfriend and fiancée, Ok Ji Young broke up with him. She has since married Kim Young Min, a rich man she met while studying overseas in Chicago. Unbeknownst to either of the couples, their families have bad blood because the head of the Kim household was once the boyfriend of Jun Woo’s mother, but was stolen away by another woman – Young Min’s mother.
This drama is on the longer side (64 episodes), but oh my GOD, it is worth it. It is set up so that you mainly follows the two women: Jin Joo trying to help Jun Woo overcome his disorder and win his love, and Ji Young as her past returns to haunt her and threatens to destroy her perfect life. Amidst all the turmoil between the families Kim and Kang, Young Soo (Heechul) and Jun Woo’s younger sister Sae Mi fall in love and decide to marry.
One of the (many!) amazing things about this drama is the issues it brings up related to love and life. Is it okay for a woman to be ambitious, like Ji Young? Intercultural marriage and the stresses involved – can Jin Joo and Jun Woo stay together, even when everyone looks down on Jin Joo? Does the age difference between Won Mi (Jun Woo’s older sister) and Dong Gu (who was previously Sae Mi’s boyfriend, and is around her age) really matter if they love each other? Is the love between Young Soo and Sae Mi not as true or pure because they are young?
I also love how the lives of the two main women are completely opposite from the get-go. Jin Joo shows ambition paired with acceptable qualities ~ a huge heart that loves easily and deeply, the ability to compromise, etc. Ji Young has ambition with all the wrong personality traits: greed (for power and wealth), deception, manipulation. Jin Joo becomes successful and happy, while Ji Young becomes pathetic, and loses everything.
The ending, however, is happy for everyone. It even hints at Ji Young getting a second chance after she leaves the country to reflect on her mistakes and self. There are so many misunderstandings and twists along the way though, folks! Still, if you’re a fan of amazing plot and characters, you have 0.03 seconds to watch this before I hunt you down. STARTING NOW.
Rating: 5/5 (I WANTED TO GIVE IT 1.5 BILLION / 5)