KDRAMAGUK : Korean Drama Soup

a landing site for quick, completely biased, and totally snarky korean drama reviews


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Cinderella's Sister (2010)

Cinderella’s Sister
신데렐라 언니
(Mar – Jun 2010)

who’s in it
Moon GeunYoung (Painter of the Wind)
Chun JungMyung (What’s Up, Fox?)
Seo Woo
Taecyeon (2PM – member)

what’s it about
Seo Woo depicts a child who has lost her mother to cancer at a young age and lives with her withdrawn but loving father, who is the head of a rice wine brewery at a gorgeous community of traditional Korean buildings. Seo Woo plays the recognizable Cinderella, a nice girl who is full of optimism despite the loss of a parent.

This drama, as we all know by the title, is not about Cinderella, but her sister. This sullen role is fulfilled by Moon GeunYoung who attempts to shed her pure and innocent image with a shower of raven black hair and fierce eye anger, not too dissimilar to the types of rancorous glares I often shoot at bad drivers who are one wild swerve away from killing someone. Back to the show: Moon GeunYoung’s rock of burden is her mother, an insecure and unreliable woman who has a history of picking up deadbeat men, and like Atlas, Moon GeunYoung’s teenaged sufferer is unable to just shrug everything off. The latest faux-father figure is a beater, and no ordinary basher, but one who enjoys the feel of a home run on a woman’s backside. He has a son, a chubby but good-hearted kid (who will later grow up to be hotstuff Taecyeon) who loves Moon GeunYoung—the implication is that his affections reach beyond platonic sisterly worship.

In his comeback role (after the obligatory military service in Korea), Chun JungMyung plays a secretive employee at the brewery who develops an interest in Moon GeunYoung’s broken character. Again, his long gazes indicate feelings beyond mere neighborly concern.

Moon GeunYoung becomes Seo Woo’s older stepsister when their parents marry. When Cinderella’s father dies…well, we all know the Cinderella story…

20 episodes


wildcard factor
Let’s say on a scale of 1 through 10, if were to measure melodrama, 1 being floor and 10 the ceiling, then Cinderella’s Sister sat right in the middle. It’s not as dark as I’d expected and made a definite effort to tell its story with one hand on the rope of sanity—and this was the type of story that could definitely have fallen into the swamp of despair. How hard you fall for Moon GeunYoung’s brooding character will mostly certainly determine how much you will love this one.

And, of course, there is 2PM’s Taecyeon. No doubt his fans will see the drama through to its very last millisecond.

first impressions
I guess it’s true, the cheese really does stand alone…but in the end, as D.H. Lawrence advised, we must go as we are impelled, and with that in mind, I proudly proclaim my lack of love for Cinderella’s Sister. Yes, it was winning the ratings battle in Korea in its timeslot and yes, fans seemed to love it passionately. I don’t think the fans were wrong to enjoy it. Individual acting seemed above criticism, including Seo Woo’s depiction of a chirpy Cinderella, who, by the way, was an actress that did not seem to deserve the loads of petty cruelty directed at her in the press and by viewers regarding her appearance. Anyway, acting appeared good, the story seemed original enough (to an extent, as the twisted sister story in itself was not a new concept), and the chemistry between the characters seemed alright. It all seemed…alright.

Perhaps I was just not that interested in the story concept, I’d always been more of a Beauty and the Beast type of girl, not Cinderella.

Possibly I was too enraptured with the other dramas I’d been watching to be seduced by another one, my plate already full and my emotions bucket already at the brim.

Likely my distaste for romances between adults and teenagers in their charge also tainted my initial gut reaction to the show.

Conceivably, my ambivalence for actor Chun JungMyung was making it more difficult for me to fully engage with his good guy character and therefore made it hard for me to sink into the flirtation between the two leads. Normally I do love dark and broken characters like Moon GeunYoung’s…but try as I might, she did not break down my cynical barrier to find that spark between what was on screen and in my heart.

I guess there’s no way to sugarcoat it…I was bored.

gave up
So…I do regret stopping before the time jump happened, where 2PM’s Taecyeon made his grand ab-tastic entrance. I had looked forward to his acting debut. With the drama scene crowded with pretty idols in their respective comedic roles, I thought his sober character had the potential to be a real star-making vehicle. So why didn’t I just grit my teeth and go on for a few more eps, you ask?

I’ll tell you why and the answer is simple: because I don’t have to.  ; )

Dramas come and go and it’s not all that unusual to find my Personal Taste veers away from the unanimous fan favorite (heh, yes, I was actually enjoying Cinderellas rival Personal Taste very much). Mr. Lawrence was divinely right, you know, it’s best not to deny the direction one’s instincts guide. Not to mention, there really aren’t enough hours in the day to linger at every pit stop, especially ones that dont suit.


  1. hey there.. like i said, catching up on your reviews.. aw.. this is one of those rare cases where we disagree but although I don't concur with you, I do understand what you are saying and why you might be feeling bored.. to tell you the truth, cinderella sister was the drama I looked forward to the least because I thought the concept was too dark for my current mood. Maybe that was why it was the drama that surprised me the most in a positive way.. I didnt expect much enjoyment and like you, I'm not too much into the concept and Cinderella for that matter and as a result, it ended exceeding my expectations.. but now that they are time skipping to the adult part, i'll have to wait and see if I like the change. btw, i agree that seo woo does not deserve the hate but here character HS is surprisingly two-faced.. i expected the writers to make her just simply pure and perfect but i was pleased with the twist of character. anyways, as a conclusion, i guess that right now, i am still following oh my lady, personal taste, cinderella sister, and prosecutor princess... all pleasant but without any real standout for me right now. although prosecutor princess is surprisingly growing on me ep after ep... so do the other dramas now that i think about it. *sigh* yep, no real standout. I guess I have to overload for a while. btw, if you like beauty in the beast, are you going to watch the movie Beastly?

  2. You'll have to keep me posted about Cinderella's Sis. I won't finish it but I'm curious to know if it'll keep fans satisfied until the very end. Hmm...I'm not sure about Beastly but I am intrigued...maybe...I'm actually really liking Personal Taste. Heh, I think I'm alone in that fan island...

  3. hihi.. I'm really liking Personal Taste too.. especially now that ive watched ep 4 and the chemistry between the two is starting to grow strong... I especially loved the TV scene.. too bad they didnt show them watching brokeback mountain. so no, i dont think you're alone in that fan island. i know quite a lot of friends who are in love with the drama. i'm not there yet but still enjoying it. and the same goes to the other dramas actually. i like them but that's it. and yeah, the main reason i'm continuing CS is because it's the only drama i dont know the outcome of.. for Personal taste and oh my lady.. its quite obvious who's going to end up with who. and for prosecutor princess, i'm betting on hye ri ending up with the lawyer. so while the other 3 matches my current drama mood right now, i want to know how CS is gonna end but im not sure if im going to finish it till the end. If I am, ill update for you. see you next!


A Jerk-Free Zone: this is a site for friendly debate, please be respectful and courteous to others. Comments that violate that spirit will be removed. This will be strictly enforced. Thank you.

Recent Posts

A Year End Review
Biased & Worst of 2013

Badasses & Bromances

First Impressions
Let’s Eat (2014)
식샤를 합시다
(Nov 2013 – Mar 2014)

JTBC, Monday -Tuesday
Aired May- July 2013

Marry Me Yoo AhIn!
Dramas and drama-ish show I talk about after the jump: WINMaster’s Sun and Good Doctor.

The Girl Who Cried Wolf
Dramas I talk about after the jump: Master’s Sun (eps 11-12). If you haven’t watched Master’s Sun yet, don’t read on. Major ass spoilers ahead...because major ass things went down!

Funny Mathematics
Master’s Sun (eps 9 & 10) is the only drama I chat about after the jump. But I am pretty sure I am going to start Good Doctor this week.

Heartless City (2013)
무정도시 / Cruel City
(May – July 2013)

Crossing Imaginary Lines
Dramas I will spoil after the jump: Master’s Sun (Eps 7-8). I am still watching Who Are You, but I have little to say on it, other than Kim JaeWook continues to be a handsome spectral figure. Oh, and I had to officially drop Goddess of Fire.

More fangirling over JiSub and HyoJin after the jump, and Master’s Sun (Episode 5 and 6) will be the only drama I yap about and spoil. It was the only one I managed to watch this week.

I Can Hear Your Voice (2013)
너의 목소리가 들려
(Jun – Jul 2013)

Bright Bright Taeyang
Dramas I will talk about and spoil after the  jump: Master’s Sun (until Ep 4). And some more thoughts on The Blade and the Petal (up to Ep6), and Who Are You (up to Ep6). And also, the craziest thing I saw this weekend: Kim WooBin fighting killer female robots.