Yes, you read the title right.
Currently watching Woman of Dignity starring Kim Sun-a and Kim Hee-Sun. I was feeling nostalgic on Sun-a’s past dramas where she constantly proves that acting is a craft that needs to be enhanced with time. Both ladies are killing it in Woman of Dignity, however, a mid-review will be up soon on the drama. But, for now, let’s talk about My Lovely Sam Soon/My Name is Kim Sam Soon. If you are a K-drama junkie and you have not seen this drama, then, you are pretender. If you are new to K-dramas, this should be the next watch on your drama-watching list.
Quick Summary: A rom-com about a woman who is just trying to find love without any complications.
So, real quick, let’s have a checklist of what this drama entails. (SPOILERS)
- Hyun Bin and Kim Sun-a; that’s all the chemistry I need
- Great story-line
- Hilarious and realistic for the most part
- Second-leads were not annoying, just real people
There are lots of blogs that have either recapped this drama or wrote a review on it, so not to repeat, I will talk about how I see the drama’s perspective in 2017 vs 2009-2016 (the years I watched the drama) and no I won’t talk about bad haircuts and horrendous dress styles. Hehe! This drama aired in 2005, where dramas male leads were chaebols with bad attitude and family issues. So, this drama was no exception to that rule. I remember when I first watched this drama, I wanted to kick Hyun Bin‘s Hyun Jin Hun, aka Sam Shik (his reference name), in the shin. Utter ass, completely insensitive to the Kim Sun-a‘s Kim Sam Soon, but sweet to others, well, except to guys that were jerks.
However, re-watching this drama within the past two days (yes, it was a marathon), it dawned on me, this guy wasn’t insensitive, (fine, he is), but he hadn’t matured yet. He was still living in the past which had stunned him to live in the present. He wasn’t acting as a spoiled brat, but a guy who lost his family and his first love at once and did not know how to deal. So, the best way was to rebel against his mother who was trying her hardest to make her son live again (though constant hitting was not the answer).
It was a different perspective I found while watching this drama. Male leads from early 2000s to mid 2000s are now written completely different, but the trend is still the same.
Sam Shik was a 27 years old who needed closure. His brother and sister-in-law died in an accident where he came out to be the only survivor, so, he had been blaming himself about their death for years and his girlfriend of eight years, suddenly decides to move to the US while he was still recovering from the accident without any warning. Of course, the hurt was still there. Now, that he was back on his feet, his mother wanted him to get married so that he became a parent to his niece who would have a mother, while wanting him to work for the family business. Brah-man needed a break. So, he opened his restaurant, but that was not enough for his mother who kept setting him up on dates. But then pops in Sam Soon with a proposition that was too good to pass up as an escape from his sad reality.
Sam soon’s family was going through family drama that could leave her and her family homeless. With a brave gusto, she asked her boss, Sam Shik for the money and he saw the perfect opportunity to escape his reality and enter a world full of lies and deceit. It worked well, until the past showed up and forced him to face the life he tried to run away from.
This is where Sam soon shone. At first, when Sam soon told Sam Shik that she liked him, I was like whoa, back up girl. Her reason was because he confided in her about the death of his relative. She saw him vulnerable and realized that she wanted to be there for him. I completely understood that, but for a woman who hates cheaters, I thought she would see to reason that Sam Shik needed to deal with the past before moving on. So, when the dude decided to hang onto Yoo Hee-jin (Jung Ryeo-won), his first love, I was not angry this time. This time, I realized that this was a transition that needed to take place organically, meaning, he needed to realize himself, through experience, that his love for Hee-jin had burnt out. Why? Shouldn’t he? It is not easy to throw away eight years of love and Hee-Jin was practically family.
However, at this time, Sam soon told herself that since he is with Hee-jin, she would just have to move on which I gave mighty kudos to because she fell hard for the sucker. But, then Hee-Jin decides to be all up in Sam-soon’s face because she realized a long while that Sam Shik was not hers anymore. It then hits Sam-soon that she does have a shot at winning Sam Shik.
This drama then turned to be about two women vying for the love of an oblivious, emotionally conflicted guy who thinks he is still in love with the past, not realizing that his love is in the present. His moment with Sam soon at the hotel, where he confided in her was his therapeutic moment. A moment where he had to let his guard down and just be. Now, Hee-Jin wants to steal the new Sam shik. Sam soon was not having that. So, she fought, till she won. I think that when she won, she realized that the transition was a necessary process because she had Sam shik all to herself; a dedicated man who loved her for who she was and just loved her unconditionally.
Sam soon was a strong woman who knew how to hold her ground, but she had flaws. When she loved, it was hard. The only way to destroy that was cheating and her ex, Min Hyun-woo (Lee Kyu-Han) was not making the breakup any easy with his slimy self crawling back to her even with a fiancee-turned wife. So, when Sam soon began fight for Sam Shik when she told Hee Jin that she would fight hard to win Sam Shik because he might her last shot at love, I saw a woman who was defeated and needed to hang on to a possibility. She was 30 years old, but who said she couldn’t find love? She did.
She had already written herself off in finding love because she was afraid to try again. She knew that Sam shik is a lover and not a cheater; he was a dedicated soul, look how long it took for him to move on from his first love. She saw something good and stuck to it like gum. To me, I saw a woman who was afraid to be alone (issues could stem from her dad dying at a young age and a single mom). She wanted a man who liked her for who she was, yet she was trying hard to run away from that.
For example, her constant urge to change her name due to the embarrassment it brought her. However, there were constant reminders in the show that people just did not care, but she never saw it like that. In fact, they thought her name was unique. Being bullied as a young girl due to her name had an effect on her which she could not shake off. It was after constant reminder from Sam shik was when it dawned on her to begin to see herself anew. It is best to love yourself first before loving others. Luckily and unfortunately, Sam Shik was guy who helped her realize that she is SAM SOON. Sometimes, we need others for us to come to this realization.
There was one constant though in every slump, which was her blind-date. I thought he was a suitable man that liked her, but she was never herself around him. She had to be an extra funny and docile in order to be at ease. This was not the outspoken woman we all came to love. So, it made sense that anytime she was on a blind date with the dude, Sam Shik had to step up because it is fate. Hehe. Let’s leave it at that.
The only weird factor in this drama was Dr. Henry Kim (Daniel Henney). He was the daddy-long legs and a doctor to Hee Jin who was sick. I appreciated how he knew that he could not press Hee Jin to love him back until she was completely free of her own baggage.
Overall, it was a lovely drama. Funny, realistic, understandable. Watching Sam soon was like watching myself and besides, who wouldn’t want Kim Ja-Ok as a mother/mother-in-law. Hehe.
DROP COMMENTS BELOW ON YOUR TAKE ON THIS DRAMA!
Drama recommendation: 5/5
Photo credit: Google Images, MBC