It’s time for our #TBT post again! We are reviewing kdrama classic – My Lovely Sam Soon, so whether you heard of this series or not, check it out to see if it’s you should watch it (again)!
- Kim Sun Ah as Kim Sam-soon
- Hyun Bin as Hyun Jin-heon
- Jung Ryeo Won as Yoo Hee-jin
- Daniel Henney as Dr. Henry Kim
- 16 episodes
- Original run: June 1 – July 21, 2005
When rich playboy Hyun Jin Heon hires “old maid” Kim Sam Soon as the pastry chef of his restaurant, he probably did not expect anything more than that. However, the story unfolds as the pair begins a fake romance to the displeasure of Jin Heon’s mom. What does he do when his ex-girlfriend, Yoo Hee Jin – the woman who left him for years – comes back into his life? Does he take her back or does he actually fall in love with the lovely Sam Soon?
A classic is a classic for a reason. If Winter Sonata is the the original melodrama, Dae Jang Geum the original historical, then My Lovely Sam Soon also known as My Name is Kim Sam Soon must be one of the original romcoms that shaped the Hallyu and got us all to start following kdramas.
I will not lie and say I was into kdramas before kdramas were cool, because my real foray into the drama world wasn’t until 2007, a couple of years post the start of the wave. HOWEVER, what I can be certain of is seeing Sam Soon on TV when I was in China for the summer and proceeded to purchase a probably bootlegged version of the series from the local store. The DVD still rests nicely by my TV for a rewatch any day now.
The series itself is fun from the beginning to the end, and really resembles Bridget Jones Diary, another favorite of mine, in many aspects. For example, its got the male lead who is cold and reserved, but is really harboring a passionate and caring flame on the inside. It also comes with the bumbling and clumsy female lead for whom, every time she is on screen, you cringe because she is going to do something stupid, yet AGAIN. At the same time though you can’t help but fall in love with both of the character because they come with some sort of hidden charm that just propels you to keep watching.
Aside from the ex-girlfriend, I loved all of the characters, even the meddling mom who is really just an old trickster. Now that I’m more well versed in the world of dramas, I finally have come to appreciate the multiple themes and storylines that series after have borrowed from Sam Soon, and what a trendsetter it is (noona/dongsaeng couple anyone?)!
Should you watch it? Yes, even though it does not have the best fashion (but remember this was in 2005 and things were different then) or HD quality pictures, but it does have Daniel Henney, you know, before he faded into kdrama oblivion…
This & That:
- This series won numerous awards, including the Baeksang Arts Awards Grand Prize for TV, and the Grand Prize at the MBC Drama Awards for Kim Sun-ah.
- Sam Soon literally means “thirty” in Korean, which is what her age is supposed to be.
- After three years of legal battles, Kim Sun Ah returned to the television in 2009 City Hall with Cha Seung Won who recently starred in You’re All Surrounded.
- Hyun Bin once starred in film Late Autumn with Chinese actress Tang Wei. The film was hugely successful in China and is to date the highest grossing Korean film to show there. Late Autumn also screened at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival where Bin walked the red carpet.
- Daniel Henney’s American debut was in 2009 as Agent Zero in Hollywood blockbuster X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He recently starred in Korean film The Spy: Undercover Operation.