This last winter after I had moved into my apartment in Arizona, I ditched cable for Netflix. One day I was totally bored and decided to grab some snackage and rip thru a few hours watching tv. While trolling thru all of Netflix's offerings, I came across a Korean tv show, and the synopsis sounded interesting enough to at least give it a go.
Oh Tae-Bong believes he's the son of a billionaire, but doesn't know who his father is. While he works as a bellboy at a luxury hotel to prepare for being a wealthy heir, he's confronted with a cancer diagnosis that throws his life into turmoil.The synopsis is wrong, he works at the hotel hoping he can either finally meet his father, or that one of the guests will know who he is. The only clue to his fathers identity that Seok-bong has is a medallion his father gave to his mother. No name, not what he does for a living, nothing. In the photo from above Tae-Bong is the one with his eyes closed.
The cancer diagnosis throws him into financial turmoil as he is relatively poor, and begins taking on all the extra work the hotel will give him. He needs the money for specialized treatment that assures a complete cure. Enter the hotel owner's daughter, Lee Sin-Me, who is short tempered, and extremely frugal, and difficult to please. In the photo she is wearing white. Due to no one at the hotel wanting to work with her, Tae-bong becomes her personal bell boy, during her stay at the hotel. And yes, she runs him ragged, and he doesn't like her one bit, but sticks it out for the extra money.
The fella in the tux is Chu Woon-Seok, who is a "prince" of wealth. He has a huge crush on Sin-Me and chases her all over, of course she wants nothing to do with him. The girl in red is Bu Tae-Hee, whose father is enormously wealthy, she is spoiled rotten by her dad, when she is sad and loudly pouting, to shut her up he closes a store so she can shop in peace! All Tae-Hee wants is to marry Woon-Seok, that's it, oh and to finally win against Sin-Me. A classic love triangle with Tae-Bong tossed in for interest.
At this point in the story, it all sounds rather generic doesn't it? How many times have you seen the same story, dozens if not more I'd wager. But in some alchemy of story pacing, clever plot twisting, crazy funny parts, interlaced with sad moments, and a dash of, "oh no she didn't!!!" moments I was hooked by the end of the first episode. The downside of this program was that each episode ended on a cliff hanger!!! Causing me to watch the next one, then one more, then "oh my god! I have HAVE to see if......" I learned to watch one then to the middle of the next episode, where the storyline slows down enough to wait to watch it until tomorrow.
The interesting thing about Korean tv shows is they usually run for only 20 episodes, more like a lengthy mini-series. Which is nice in the fact if you find a show you like there isnt a huge backlog of years worth of episodes, and that is the downside as well. By the end of the program you feel like you know them, however the writers wrap the endings up in a manner that leaves contentment and completion, no loose ends, no wondering whatever happened to _____.
I can't knit to Korean shows as I can't read and knit and watch, so that is a downside to them. Since this first brush with Korean tv/movies I was hooked and have now watched so many foreign movies and tv shows that most of my recommendations are all foreign!
Oh, yeah and there is this as well, lovely lovely hot eye candy....yeah. Yes it was gratuitous, but hey I'm not complaining, nope not one wee tiny itty bit. I swear Namgungnim Min has abs for miles.....
Oh, and yeah all this watching of foreign tv/movies has had its own side effect, tis well odd now to watch tv and not have the subtitles on, as I'm so used to "reading" tv...