I have been wanting to write about this 2011, 113 episodes MBC Korean drama since i started watching it on Channel U recently and finally found the time to do it now :)
Hubby and i have been watching this drama daily and would prerecord it whenever we could not catch its broadcast at 7pm, Mondays to Fridays as it is not available online at Xinmsn catchup TV. This is another entertaining, touching and fun to watch family drama like those shown previously on Channel U during its 7pm weekdays timeslot. It is a suitable drama to watch with your family and relax after a hard day at work. The drama does a good job of making the characters believable and sucks viewers into the story and makes you feel for the characters. It also provides viewers with a fascinating glimpse of Korean culture and traditions at the comfort of their own homes.
The characters in the drama are so endearing and hubby and i could not help rooting for the main characters Yeong-shim and Shin-Woo as they try to overcome all obstacles from their family to get married despite their vast age difference, educational and family background. The love story between Shin-Woo's elder brother Jin-Woo and Yeong-shim's sister-in-law Hye-Won also provides more entertainment for viewers as they also faces challenges from their love ones. The little girl who played Hye-Won's daughter Viviana in the drama is also really adorable and pretty and i love watching her whenever she appears in the scenes.
The story revolves around a family of women living in a historic 300-year-old house. The Kim family has been dealt with many tragedies and each member has their own stories and share of secrets. Once a prosperous and reputable family, the Kims now has no sons to continue the bloodline as one has passed away and the other has left the country for good. These desperate women who have faced many crises in life find that they share the same plight. In spite of the prospects of having no male heir in the family, the women bravely march on to find happiness!
The matriarch of the family Choi Mak-Nyeo was married to the 11th male descendant of the Lee family clan and she keeps her daughter, daughter-in-law, granddaughters, and great-daughters-in-law on her toes. Before she was even 20-years-old, her husband died. Since then she has taken care of her family and family matters. She is a very traditional women, strict, stubborn but also childish at times.
Granny Mak-Nyeo is always concerned but can't help being upset with her only daughter Kim Geum-Sil who is divorced but keeps hoping to find new love. She feels that Geum-Sil's embarrassing behaviors with men she is attracted to would not reflect well on their family. Granny Mak-Nyeo is also strongly against the idea of her eldest granddaughter-in-law finding new love after the death of her beloved eldest grandson as she cannot accept that Yeong-shim would have a change of heart so soon after the death of her husband.
The daughter-in-law of the 12th generation, Cha Hye-ja also lost her husband when she was still young. She thought her fate was to be the first daughter-in-law of this family and she is always busy taking care of her family and mother-in-law. Her life is especially stressful as her overbearing mother-in-law never ceases to berate her while having to watch over her own children and daughters-in-law facing difficulties in their life.
She was delighted but troubled at the same time when her first lover Jang Suk-Nam suddenly shows up in front of her as she is afraid her family would know of their past relationship. Suk-Nam is still in love with Hye-ja and has opened a cafe nearby named "With Hye-ja" so that he can be near her and look and protect her from a distance. Hye-ja is glad that Suk-Nam is always around to console her whenever her family faces a crisis. Suk-Nam had wanted to marry Hye-ja after her husband passed away when she was young but Mak-Nyeo had objected to the relationship and separated them. He still regrets letting Hye-ja go and advises her to support her eldest daughter-in-law Yeong-shim in her new relationship so that she will not waste so much precious time like they did.
Hye-ja's sister-in-law Kim Geum-Sil who is a divorcee falls for Suk-Nam without knowing his relationship with Hye-ja and it was really funny and comical how she kept pestering him as she really believes that he is in love with her! She ignores his constant rejections and treats it as him being too shy to reveal his love for her!! She remains oblivious to his feeling for Hye-ja and Hye-ja also could not bear revealing the truth to her. I can't imagine what will happen when she discovers the truth!
Oh Yeong-shim is the main character of the show and the daughter-in-law of the 13th generation. She is a positive and bright woman. She is an excellent cook and runs the household superbly. With her down-to-earth, friendly personality, she is adored by her in-laws and treated like an elder sister by her husband Kim Hong-Koo's 2 younger sisters. Yeong-shim felt guilty that they have no children for the past 10 years of her marriage and hopes to fulfill her in-law's wish soon.
She was devastated when she found out her husband was having an affair with his colleague, a younger and pretty TV host Im Ji-Eun. The arrogant Ji-Eun demanded that Hong-Koo divorced Yeong-shim and marry her. Although he felt guilty for abandoning Yeong-shim, Hong-Koo ended up filing for divorce as he was afraid that Ji-Eun would really left him as threatened. He hurt Yeong-shim deeply when he professes his love for Ji-Eun and finds Yeong-shim unattractive and claims he has no more feelings for her anymore. The whole family had stood by Yeong-shim and insisted Hong-Koo stay with her. Yeong-shim was saddened and upset when her husband died in a sudden car accident after he had realized that he still loves her and regretted divorcing her.
Yeong-shim is an orphan and she treats her husband's family as her own and decided to stay with them and take care of them even though her friend advised her to live her own life and not be tied down by her in-laws. She managed to find employment at Hong-Koo's company working as a call centre staff in the customer service department and met with Moon Shin-Woo. Shin-Woo was working there secretly to understand the company operations before he starts work as a director there.
The second son in the family that founded the Queens Group. He spent most of his childhood abroad and graduated from a prestigious university where he was a business major. After spending a few years working at Wall Street firm, he returns to South Korea to join the family business. He is handsome and has a cool demeanor. He also appears aloof... He doesn’t show much interest in dating girls but once he finds a girl he’s charmed with, he’ll go out of his way to win her heart. But he finds himself turned down for the first time by an older woman Oh Yeong-shim who turns out to be widowed.
Shin-Woo is attracted to the kind and hardworking Yeong-shim and is pained to see her working so hard taking on 2 jobs to help pay the Kim family's debt. He also helped out at the restaurant despite her chasing him away. He wishes to give her happiness and protect her and does not give up although she kept rejecting him. Yeong-shim also started to develop feelings for Shin-Woo as she is touched by his love and support for her. However she avoids him as she is both inferior of her status and also mindful of the Kim family’s dependence on her. Yeong-shim finally gathered the courage to accept his love after he disregards his own safety to save her from a fall.
Shin-Woo's mother Hyun Myung-Joo is horrified by his choice of girlfriend as she has high hope of him finding a nice and highly educated girl with a good family ground to match their own. She strongly objects to his relationship with Yeong-shim and is afraid her husband would faint from the shock of knowing Shin-Woo's girlfriend choice. Myung-Joo kept pestering Yeong-shim to leave Shin-Woo and creates alot of havoc at Yeong-shim's house which angers Mak-Nyeo and Hye-ja. It also turns out Myung-Joo and Hye-ja are from the same village and are not on good terms with each other. Shin-Woo's ex-girlfriend also came into the picture and what effect would she have on their relationship?
However Shin-Woo believes that Yeong-shim and him can overcome all obstacle as long as they stay together. The couple finally manages to get married but will his parents truly accepts Yeong-shim into their family and how will the couple convince them that they are meant for each other and nothing can tear them apart?
Moon Jin-Woo is Shin-Woo's elder brother and he is a kind and mild-mannered man. He is struck in an unhappy marriage arranged by his parents. Their father always favor and trusted Shin-Woo over him and feels that Jin-Woo is not as smart and capable as Shin-Woo to succeed his business empire. His father is constantly belittling Jin-Woo and scolding him for being weak and indecisive. However Jin-Woo is contented with just managing the family hotel business and does not wish to fight for more which irritates his wife Park Se-Ryeon. The couple faces lot of stress in their relationship as they have been married for 10 years and are childless.
Se-Ryeon suffered from 3 miscarriages and has given up on having children which angers Myung-Joo. Se-Ryeon is also angry at the Moon family for not helping her parent's who were facing financial difficulties in their business and forced to file for bankruptcy. She schemes to get the unsuspecting and kind-hearted Jin-Woo to fall for her university friend Han Hye-Won when she saw pictures of them meeting each other by chance and Jin-Woo having a fondness for Hye-Won's daughter. She plans to accuse him of adultery and hired a private investigator to follow him and take pictures so that she could be awarded 50% of his properties. Jin-Woo had met Hye-Won while helping her to get away from the loansharks who were chasing her for payment at his hotel.
Hye-Won is the second daughter-in-law of the Lee family and her husband had told her to secretly divorced him when his business failed. He was forced to hide in Philippines as he owes alot of money and has also gotten in trouble with the law. He turns out to be a womanizer and has gotten a new girlfriend there and still constantly calls Hye-Won to ask for money. He has no plans to return to Korea. She was forced to stay with the Kim family and could not bear to reveal the truth to them after the tragedies they have gone through the past year. Hye-Won was forced to lend money from Se-Ryeon after the loansharks came to the Kim family to demand payment.
Se-Ryeon seized the opportunity to get her to work as a housekeeper at the Moon family's hotel run by Jin-Woo to create chances for them to develop feelings for each other. She arranged for Hye-Won to clean Jin-Woo's office daily so that they would have more opportunity together. She also belittles Hye-Won in front of him so that he would feel pity for her and increases his feelings for her.
Se-Ryeon eventually shows her true color and Jin-Won was hurt by her actions. This further pushes Jin-Won to seek solace from Hye-Won and the couple starts to have feelings for each other. Jin-Woo is glad to have Hye-Won by his side when he faces objections from his father to divorce Se-Ryeon and give her half of his assets. He ended up proposing to Hye-Won and Se-Ryeon is upset at the couple for finding happiness and her mother-in-law for accepting Hye-Won. She plots to snatch it away and creates more havoc in the Moon family as Myung-Joo hated her for hurting Jin-Won and wishes to let him and Hye-Won be together. Jin-Won is also insistence in getting a divorce and refuses to give her another chance. When will Se-Ryeon learn to let go?
Kim Yeon-jeong is the eldest grandchild in the Kim family clan. She currently works as a chef at the Queens Hotels which is owned by the Queens Group and is good friends with Shin-Woo. She is sassy and a blunt talker. But she also has a good heart. When she dates men, she likes to fawn over them and get fussy to keep them on their toes. Her goal in life is to get married! But her boyfriend of ten years abruptly breaks up with her to marry someone else. This sows a deep mistrust of men in her... She is supportive of Yeong-shim's relationship with Shin-Woo although she was attracted to him previously.
Kim Soon-Jung is the youngest in the Kim family and a 19 year old student. She finds herself pregnant and abandoned by her boyfriend who shrinks all responsibility. She was further upset by him when he got his unreasonable mother to force her to go for an abortion. Soon-Jung wishes to keep the baby but is afraid of her family's reaction when they discover her secret. Yeon-jeong discovers her pregnancy and supports her decision although she is upset with her for disappointing their family. She decides to help Soon-Jung in her difficult journey.