Drama Reactions & Reviews
Cain & Abel: First impressions
by | March 3, 2009 | 107 Comments

Caveat: This isn’t a proper recap. It’s not even a proper review. After catching the first few episodes, I wasn’t intending to write about SBS’s new Wednesday-Thursday drama, Cain & Abel, but I got a lot (a lot!) of emails from people asking what I thought of it and requesting recaps.

The thing is, I didn’t know how I would feel about Cain & Abel going in, but was expecting one of a few scenarios: to love it or to hate it. To be drawn in right away or turned off right away. To be impressed or to be disappointed.

What I did NOT expect, however… was to be bored.

SONG OF THE DAY

Cain & Abel OST – “미련한 사랑” (Foolish love) by G (So Ji-sub) (he’s the rapper) and Chae Dong-ha [ Download ]

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Cain & Abel isn’t a bad show. I won’t say it’s good, either, but it’s got its definite strengths. It’s shot well, it has good music, it has a sense of style. And the cast — no complaints there.

What was odd about Cain & Abel for me, then, was that despite all its strengths (and some weaknesses), it left me feeling strangely blank. After I saw the first episode, I sat there wondering why I had no opinion about it. I mean, that’s rare — if you’ve been reading this site for a while, you’ll know I have opinions on the triflingest of details. After an hour of one of Korea’s most-anticipated dramas of the year, starring some really big names and featuring a huge budget, and I feel… nothing?

 

 

The characters, in brief

We start off with one of those “My life flashes before my eyes as I die” moments, which then jumps back to how things got started. It is narrated by So Ji-sub, who tells us he was shot in the head and left in the desert in China to die. Frankly I liked this idea better when it kicked off Green Rose, but the sequence is wonderfully shot and has more emotional impact than the next two episodes put together. (I just hope it’s not the best thing about the entire drama.) And then we zip backward to the start:

It’s pretty standard stuff: So Ji-sub plays Dr. Lee Cho-in, the good and considerate doctor (the “Abel” character, although these archetypes are never expressed explicitly; it’s just a cool metaphor, I suppose, to describe the brotherly dynamic but which has no actual bearing on the story). Cho-in goes out of his way to treat his patients well and make them comfortable. Cho-in and Sun-woo aren’t actually blood brothers, although they grew up treated as such; their father took Cho-in in and lavished all his affection on him, leaving little for his biological son. While the brothers maintained a loving relationship, this was not met favorably by Mom/Stepmom, who feels Cho-in is a usurper.

(Dad was hospital director before falling ill, and Mom is on the board as an assistant/deputy director.)

Shin Hyun-joon is Dr. Lee Sun-woo (Cain), who lives right on the corner of Wildly Talented and Too Much Ambition. He returns to Korea for the first time in seven years and has a happy reunion with Cho-in, although his mother (the ice bitch queen) makes no attempt to hide her hatred of Cho-in. His mother’s Machiavellian ways don’t appeal to him, but Sun-woo may be temped over to the Dark Side sooner or later…

Chae Jung-ahn is the girl who’s known them from youth, Kim Seo-yeon. She grew up with a crush on Sun-woo, and saw Cho-in more as a friendly brother type. As they grew older, she grew more in love with Sun-woo, but he’s taken it for granted that she’d always be around. He hurt her and left, and when he returns, he wants to pick up where he left off with Seo-yeon, only to find that she’s fallen in love with Cho-in in the interim — he has stayed by her side and been her source of strength. Of course, Sun-woo’s sudden reappearance shakes Seo-yeon up badly, even as she has just accepted Cho-in’s proposal. And she has a heart condition.

And Han Ji-min is a plucky, perky tour guide, Oh Young-ji, who lives in China and scrimps all her savings to get her North Korean refugee family safely into South Korea. To this end, she has secured South Korean passports for everyone in her family except for herself; she’ll acquire the last when she’s earned enough.

 


So Ji-sub, Shin Hyun-joon, Han Ji-min, Chae Jung-ahn

 

The story

Hospital politics figures largely in this setup, with the board of directors evenly split on plans for an upcoming clinic, which, simply put, places Cho-in squarely opposing Sun-woo and BitchMom (how convenient!). The two hospital proposals are for neurosurgery (representing Cain’s ambition) versus emergency care (representing Abel’s altruism).

Cho-in travels to China to watch a surgery, which both brothers want to perform soon on their father, who lies unconscious with chordoma. BitchMom takes advantage of this to delay Cho-in’s return so he will miss the board meeting and lose support. In the interim, she works on swaying doctors to her side, working closely with another sonuvabitch of a director who hires the thugs in China.

The thugs outsource the surveillance of Cho-in to tour guide Young-ji, who is assigned to keep watch on his movements and report back. She’s been told he’s a no-good, scam doctor, so she has no qualms about pinching his South Korean passport and adding it to her stash. This is also why she sticks to him (or tries to) like a buzzing gnat, because she’s told if she lets him out of her sight, she won’t get paid. As the huge payment will enable her to move her family to freedom, this is a key motivator for Young-ji.

On a side trip to treat poor villagers with free medical care, Young-ji falls ill with appendicitis. Cho-in recommends returning to the city for surgery, but she begs him not to. When push comes to shove, she insists there’s a reason she can’t go to the hospital, and pleads for him to take care of it himself (she’s deathly afraid of the authorities for fear of being sent back to North Korea). He operates on her and, seeing his kindness, Young-ji starts to reevaluate her opinion of him (and returns his passport).

 

 

When Cho-in’s absence from the hospital in Korea doesn’t have its intended effect (the emergency center still has strong support), the other director (Mom’s colleague accomplice) instructs the Chinese gangsters to get rid of Cho-in “forever.”

Now convinced Cho-in’s a good guy, Young-ji rushes back to the hospital to warn him of danger. Helping Cho-in puts Young-ji at risk, and the thugs steal her carefully prepared passports, forcing her to run and hide to keep herself safe.

At home, BitchMom overhears the other director making arrangements to dispose of Cho-in’s “body” and fears things have gone too far. She insists the order be stopped, but it’s too late — Cho-in has already been dragged into the desert, shot in the head, and left for dead. The director warns her ominously that they’re in the same boat now.

Sun-woo doesn’t know about the scheme (although you’d think he may have a clue but is choosing not to know), and operates successfully on his father. But from the instant his brother is shot, his grip starts to falter — is his hand betraying him? Are his surgery days over? Is this a bad plot point or symbolic gesture?

And in the desert, Cho-in’s body is found and dragged back to civilization… where he recovers with amnesia???

 

 
General impressions

The first two episodes were pretty bland, despite the competence in directing and acting. Episode 3 was a lot better for all the development between So Ji-sub and Han Ji-min (and oh, the attempted murder), but whenever we head back to the overdramatic hospital politics, the story shifts back into cold blankness. The hospital power play is to Cain & Abel what ghostwriting was to A Star’s Lover, which means it’s already in danger of being dragged out and beaten like a dead horse of an overextended metaphor (much like this sentence). (Also, Ice Bitch Mom may be to the former what Evil Manager Seo Tae-seok was to the latter).

I’ve complained about the excessive use of music in Boys Before Flowers, which is made all the worse because that drama’s music is pretty bad to begin with, or at least very mediocre. Cain & Abel, on the other hand, has beautiful music and score — but I’m finding it just as obtrusive. Too much reliance on music tends to feel manipulative. (I’m thinking “미련한 사랑,” posted above, is going to be Cain & Abel‘s “Paradise.” Three episodes in and I’m already sick of it.)

Cho-in is kind of a straightforward character, and if not for So Ji-sub, I wonder if he’d be at all interesting. He’s just so damn… good. He’s friendly, he’s talented, he’s kind, he’s good with kids, he treats poor patients for free, everyone loves him. No doubt So Ji-sub is very cute as the cheerful doctor, but he’s kind of a Mary Sue.

(To be fair, Kim Rae-won managed to be compelling playing a similarly good guy in Gourmet, but there are a few key differences — Gourmet wasn’t an angsty revenge drama, for one.) I’d hope Cho-in returns from China with an anger condition and a raging desire for some country justice, for the sake of his character and the plot.

I am totally fine being in a minority on this drama. Like I said, it’s not bad. It just doesn’t stir any excitement in me, and I can’t help thinking the great cast is somewhat wasted on a humdrum plot. It doesn’t look like viewers responded as well as hoped in the ratings, but this drama will probably pull in decent-to-good numbers as the second-place drama for its time slot.

When we’re talking story, Cain & Abel is not really that similar to East of Eden, but I see it as drawing much the same audience. Which boils down to: not me.

(Disagree? Go ahead, let me have it!)

 

 
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107 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Kender

    I felt much the same way about The World They Live In, despite my fangirl attachment to Hyun Bin.. Somehow it’s always worse when a drama leaves you blank/numb/unemotional, because you keep expecting it to arouse SOMETHING within you. I was even toying with the idea of watching Cain and Abel, but I don’t think I will now that I’ve read your impressions. (I’m not overly fond of OMGREVENGE!dramas to begin with, so it’s not a hardship.)

    On a side note, I love your blog.. I’ve been a silent reader for a few months now, but I’ve only recently had things to say. Also, your Kdrama scripts made me ridiculously happy when I found them. ^^v

    Keep it up! You’re amazing!

     (0)


  2. Ichiru

    Hi, thanks for the post!

    I haven’t watched any episode of this drama, but might as well since you think it’s not that bad…and I like revenge stories…and dramas that involves families..

    I only see and heard news about So Jisub around the net –mostly from here–but I haven’t really seen any dramas that he acted on, is he really good?

     (0)


  3. popcorn

    I generally have a different taste than other people. Hmmm, i like the feel of this story. I will give it a chance once I hit Spring Break!

    Thanks for the caps Dramabeans!

    appreciated,

     (0)


  4. el

    As far as the OST goes, I think almost every drama is guilty for excessive use of THAT one song. We’re all just extremely primed to be outraged by it with the utter shittiness that is the musical directing of BoF. I personally didn’t find C&A’s OST hindering in any way.

    I’ll admit that for the first 2~3 episodes I was mostly watching for So Ji Sub love, but the plot does develop some in the 4th episode and I thought it was actually pretty good. This is, of course, given that you actively restrain any knowledge you have ever accumulated about the brain and about memory.

    Before you write it off, give the 4th a try. If after that you decide it’s still not worth a watch, I think it would be a fair, if not better-informed decision

     (2)


  5. sang hee

    Likewise this drama didn’t really click on me first few episodes — besides they showed the operating scenes where i cringed at the sight of blood so i looked away from those scenes. Also if you have an answer to this javabeans, please, why was Ji Jin Hee axed from this drama? I heard of the initial casting with him & of course SJS but I was amissed in following up on this that I need to ask you as JJH is one of my fave actors!
    Re music or songs Paradise from BBF I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks same way as that song & others which are frequently played in most of the scenes just wears me off! I agree the scores of BBF isn’t that impressive, normally I love most Kdrama songs but the BBF selections are not really great!

     (1)


  6. 7in1shot

    thanks for this 3-episode review… after so much anticipation for “A Star’s Lover” last year because of its casts, i have learned my lessons – big time actors doesn’t equate to excellent drama. But in all fairness to A Star’s Lover – acting is good and the music is well used and well thought of.

    I hope Cain & Abel proves otherwise.

     (1)


  7. xiahkixiri

    Ah, really? Boring? I do very much hope not. Don’t the rules of kdrama amnesia state that you wake up with completely the opposite personality? I’d planned on waiting this one out until it was finished… I also wish you’d included a shot of SJS and HJM together, I was anticipating the height difference. ^^ Boring first episodes really suck… hoping it finds it footing soon. DAMN hyped dramas that let you down.

     (0)


  8. orual

    so jisub playing a good guy with no angst just sounds wrong!

     (0)


  9. kaonamp

    anyhow thanks for posting this. Beginning is a bit slow but I think episode 4 really picked up. I’m not into revenge themes as well but I’m hoping this is more than just a revenge drama.

     (1)


  10. 10 loveydovey

    I COMPLETELY agree with you about the BOF soundtrack. You like, took the words right out of my mouth. Seriously. And hard to believe but I watched the first 5 minutes of Cain&Abel and i have to say i wasn’t that impressed either. I love So Ji Sub and Han Ji Min of course, but the doctor/hospital/Grey’s Anatomy stuff was just ehh..maybe cause hospital/law stuff bore me. I’m one of those East of Eden fans (although kinda got lazy and stopped a while ago), and i was expecting this to be similar but better, but so far, I’m only gonna keep watching becasue of SJS, HJM, and possible character developments?

     (0)


  11. 11 belleza

    “Ah, really? Boring? I do very much hope not. Don’t the rules of kdrama amnesia state that you wake up with completely the opposite personality?”

    First 3 episodes are really just a lengthy setup for Cain and Abel, kinda like the equivalent of the childhood story arc. It doesn’t kick in until the amnesia plot, and Lee Cho In’s personality is not as erm “sunny” as before. Also, the amnesia plot opens up the “thriller” part of the storyline . Cho In has hooked up with fugitives, and the fugitive leader happens to be very important to one particular female character in the story. In true SBS Melodrama fashion, everybody is connected.

    If you didn’t know Cain and Abel’s concept went through a few genre changes before the current version, you’d still sense that with the show. They’ve decentralized the medical part of the medical drama. Meaning, a lot of times when people get treated, it’s in various locations not related at all to the hospital. On paper, it seems like a good idea and it adds a new wrinkle to the action part of the story. However, taking the treatments out of the hospital also sucks the blood out of the hospital part of the show. It’s like a cop show without crooks, or a romance without romance. At the same time, the attention paid to the hospital intrigue means there’s also gaps in the thriller part of the drama. For example, it’s not clear how the heck Lee Cho In survived a gunshot to the head without seeing a hospital. It’s like, because we’ve already seen So Ji Sup get shot time after time in shows, we’re supposed to reflexively accept that point-blank gunshots can’t kill him . . . yet. And, remember, Cain and Abel is a medical drama that’s allergic to hospitals. Yay!

    The amnesia plot may improve on this though. It gives more room for both storylines to kinda develop. Having said that all that, all the lovely location shoots in SE China makes me kinda wish this show was Lovers in Suzhou.

     (1)


  12. 12 Auntie Mame

    At the end of episode 1, my one word reaction was … lackluster.

    The opening scene was beautifully filmed. But, the flashback scenario reminded me of Lee Dong Wook, in “La Dolce Vita”, which was a drama that did not insult anyone’s intelligence.

    Then, the drama took a real nose-dive, for me, when So Ji-Sub and Han Ji-Min first met at the airport. I yelled, “What kind of a fool are you to turn over your passport to a complete stranger?!!!” The writers expected too much allowance on the part of the viewing audience with that tidbit.

    I haven’t had the incentive to watch more episodes. Perhaps, when I have loads of free time.

     (1)


  13. 13 Moomincandylalala

    Not expecting it to get interesting until it hits at least the half way mark. That’s when I’ll pick it up and skim through the beginning.
    @ belleza
    Of course SJS is immune to bullets! This is the type of drama where he’s the “kick me harder and I’ll come back stronger” tragic hero of the drama a la SSH @ east of eden! Hope this drama doesn’t turn into the latter despite all the comparisons already made.

     (0)


  14. 14 Angela

    This has nothing to do with your post, but I just have to say that I love your site banners! They’re so pretty. Right now, I see Kim Bum (whom I adore), and just a second ago, I saw the Yi-jung and Ga-eul header. Just gorgeous! :)

     (0)


  15. 15 Alvina

    I know what you mean javabeans; A World that they live in as well as East of Eden (I know! omg!) left me feeling the same way while Boys Over Flowers somehow immediately captured my interest…

    On the other hand, the song is quite nice… it’s definately a “I’ll listen to it again” type of song. Kind of like when I had this obsession with J-Walk’s Suddenly >_<

     (0)


  16. 16 coolsmurf

    it just left me feeling flat after episode 1, hospital dramas just not my thing.

     (0)


  17. 17 belleza

    “Of course SJS is immune to bullets! This is the type of drama where he’s the “kick me harder and I’ll come back stronger” tragic hero of the drama a la SSH @ east of eden!”

    Yeah, but the difference is that Song Seung Heon was a robot sent back in time to protect Lee Yeon Hee from being eliminated by Lee Dae Hae. Oh wait, you meant the *TV show* haha, ah my bad ;)

    (But, yeah, I’m an East of Eden fan, and sweet Shin Tae Hwan is my Doumyouji. His evil makes me swoon *sigh* :D )

    I wouldn’t say So Ji Sup is immune to bullets. But I think bullets find So Ji Sup sexually attractive.

     (0)


  18. 18 Akiyuki

    This drama came out as lackluster to me also. Of course i was still interested in seeing it as it is So Ji Sub’s come back drama since his military service. First few episodes were kind of boring in my opinion, but episode 4 kind of got me interested.

    @Sang Hee- Not sure if anyone addressed your question already but I’ll gladly answer. Ji Jin Hee to my knowledge wasn’t axed he simply dropped out of the drama alongside actress Jung Ryu Won due to a lot of delays in the production of this drama. Ji Jin Hee left to pursue the Main role in his drama “Spot Light”, while Jung Ryu Won left to do her role in “Princess Ja Myung Go”. They just left because of drama delays and only So Ji Sub to my knowledge from the main cast stayed with it.

    After pointing that out i simply would love to know the regular script and storyline made for “Cain & Albel” before those two dropped out seeing as the drama has changed quite a bit due to their departure if it even changed at all. I do not mind the change with Jung Ryu Won and Han Ji Min. I love Jung Ryu Won but i love Han Ji Min more haha. She’s so cute with her accent in this series <3 =D

     (0)


  19. 19 belleza

    “They just left because of drama delays and only So Ji Sub to my knowledge from the main cast stayed with it.”

    Normally, Cain and Abel would have been scrapped altogether (kinda like how Daemul was.) But So Ji Sup, for whatever reason, stayed on with the project. Cain and Abel’s storyline was going to be similar to East of Eden, so it’s understandable that they completely redid the story.

    Honestly, even when this project was initially announced, it didn’t have lot of appeal outside of casting. The storyline about North Korean refugees in China is actually interesting, though. And I like the budding chemistry between So Ji Sup and Han Ji Min.

     (0)


  20. 20 KATE

    @Javabeans,..i really wanted you to like this drama because of So Ji Sub and Han Ji-min..oh well..as usual thanks for the recaps…

     (0)


  21. 21 Pretendingtobe

    lets look at a K-Drama cliche list in just the first 4 episodes:

    -evil stepmother complete with sidekicks
    -north Korean defector
    -poor girl doing everything she can to get money
    -female lead with life threatening disease
    -OTHER female lead with life threatening disease
    -Father in coma
    -adopted son
    -Love triangle bwt brothers
    -kidnapping
    -overuse of medical terms and having subtitles of what they are but still having no idea what they are…
    -confession of love while singing
    -attempted murder
    -big explosions and main character dodging bullets at point blank range
    -amnesia with complete memory loss except everything learned in 10+ years in medical school remains intact

    The only thing I found unique was that instead of having the typical Korean Gangsters they used Japanese gangsters that spoke Korean… pretty clever, no?

    well im being overly sarcastic but this drama really lacks any wit or charm in the script… There is no underlying themes in any of the dialogue, its what you hear is what they mean and its what you get…
    Dramas with good scripts have poetic meanings that extend out of the scenes, My Lovely Kim Sam Soon pops into my mind. Dialogues in ‘Cain and Abel’ are so dry, medical terms are used for the sake of medical terms and there is nothing I get out of it. I have no idea who I am rooting for, the exiled stepson, the son whom his father did not love, the mother who watched her true son receive no love, the spunky north korea defector? ill stick aorund for a couple of more episodes but i have no high hopes…

    btw…
    Im glad Jung Ryeo Won decided to pull out this drama…
    the two main females roles are ones she mastered already…
    the sickly female girlfriend (My Lovely Kim Sam Soon)
    and the spunky poor girl (Which Star are your From)

     (0)


  22. 22 belleza

    “lets look at a K-Drama cliche list in just the first 4 episodes:”

    . . . And this is why I love SBS Event Dramas. :D

     (0)


  23. 23 vudoolady

    Although my last impression about Cain and Abel is quite the opposite of this one, but I really appreciate your effort to write this review. It’s sure not easy when you don’t like the drama or indifferent to it. Thanks Javabeans!

    Usually I don’t watch medical shows. But for So Ji Sub, I definitely have to give it a try. Initially I agreed that the story wasn’t that interesting. Brothers-love-hate-relationship, amnesia, bullets are obviously Kdrama clichés. And the last 5 minutes of the first 3 episodes failed each time to push the curiosity of the viewers to a higher level. Could this be the reason why Cain & Abel left you a bland impression? Probably.
    But then episode 4 came, it gave you a totally different atmosphere, so much stronger and a lot more intriguing. Knowing that the next episodes will be very dramatic and heavy, but I really can’t stop watching it. It feels like a black hole sucking you in, and once you fall in it you’ll never get out ^^!

     (1)


  24. 24 ed

    “There is no underlying themes in any of the dialogue”

    yes there is, and that is to provide means of gawking at So Ji-sub Hotness!
    :P
    i find myself fast-forwarding to ahn nae-sang’s scenes. he’s a hoot. i believe it’s a variation of his comic scoundrel from First Wives Club. except he’s more at ease this time. you can see some of the background “doctors” almost cracking up during serious scenes over the Comatose Dad!

     (0)


  25. 25 ripgal

    Beans, I get your point…agree with you.

    I was so looking forward to the drama because it’s SJS’s comeback drama… but yeah, it was quite lackluster and boring..albeit the cute and endearing scenes between SJS and HJM.

    It kinda picked up from Ep 4 onwards.. whereby the rugged/bad boy Cho In comes in.. hope to see your caps, if not, just general comments on the drama in future..

     (0)


  26. 26 Hype

    What the hell happened to 2 brothers, one’s criminal and other one’s cop? GAHHH.

     (0)


  27. 27 stay

    @ Pretendingtobe:
    “The only thing I found unique was that instead of having the typical Korean Gangsters they used Japanese gangsters that spoke Korean… pretty clever, no?”
    wait what? They were so not Japanese. Some of them were Korean and some were Chinese.
    anyways…
    I really do feel the same way about this drama. The medical parts are really not interesting.. and I’m still debating whether the problem the big brother has (as in physically.) is really necessary or not.

    I think I’ll keep watching it though. So Ji Sub and Han Ji Min have great chemistry together and they are very good at their roles. Shin Hyun Joon also gets into his character well and I really like his character development at the moment.

    As for Chae Jung Ahn….. :X I can’t stand her face. sorry.

     (0)


  28. 28 ms483836

    2 pretendingtobe:

    “-amnesia with complete memory loss except everything learned in 10+ years in medical school remains intact”

    LOL!!!!! soooooo TRUE!!!!!!!! =D

    and yes! i was anticipating this one too because of SJS!!! but after hearing / viewing everyone’s opinion eh maybe i’ll wait awhile!!!

     (0)


  29. 29 missmartypants08

    Hmm, I’m not quite sure on what to think of this show. I think with good character development this story’s gonna be good. I’m holding judgement until it starts getting really good, which I heard in episode 4 it takes off. Javabeans I usually always consult your opinion, but for this one I’m gonna watch this show myself to make my opinion

     (1)


  30. 30 boshky

    Thanks for the recap Dramabeans! :)

    I checked out this drama because…heck…so ji sub = love, but it’s true that this drama hasn’t brought anything new or fresh yet. I feel like I’ve seen this many times before, different characters, different setting but same core.

    I really hope that they turn up the heat because I think there’s lots of potential here – but they just have to make sure they channel it to “wow” and not “meh”. But I guess when it comes down to revenge-ish type dramas – they either go all out and become epic…or all out and become confuzzled and self-contrived. Let’s hope it’s the former!

    Keep up the lovely work <3 Love reading your blog :)

     (0)


  31. 31 fizzle

    I refuse to read your recap until I start watching it. Just so I don’t spoil it for myself ^^

    This is probably my most anticipated drama, like, ever. It pains me that everyone is either disappointed because the script sucks, or indifferent because they had no expectations in the first place. After stupidly watching a bunch of episodes of East of Eden (20 hrs of my life I’ll never get back) I should probably be hesitant to dive headfirst into another star-studded drama (keeping expectations low for IRIS). But I can’t help it! It’s So Ji Sub! I’ve already seen the pictures of the much-lauded shower scene, yes I have.

     (0)


  32. 32 belleza

    “As for Chae Jung Ahn….. :X I can’t stand her face. sorry.”

    I felt her chemistry with So Ji Sup is better, though. There’s texture in her scenes with the two brothers.

    “cracking up during serious scenes over the Comatose Dad!”

    I feel bad for Comatose Dad though. His son was picking at his brain and accidentally paralyzed him. OOPS!!! I swear, kids today. ;)

    “indifferent because they had no expectations in the first place”

    Yeah, but that’s the thing. It’s a classic SBS star-driven product. Occasionally, you get something like an Alone in Love or Painter of the Wind, but most of the time you get something like All In (which I love) or the Lobbyist. Lots of money, lots of star power, and lots of K-drama cliches and implausible stories. It’s part of the devil’s deal when you sign up for these things. If you can kinda accept it for what it is, you’ll probably enjoy the show. But if you actually want a plausible, meaningful story . . . uhhh . . . shower scene? :D

     (0)


  33. 33 chasen8888

    I watched all four episodes and I have to say like my predecessors its bland for the first three and picks up at ep. 4. So I’m enjoying it right now, I want to see what they are doing to do with this drama and I really hope it does not copy EOE at all which I stopped watching at ep 44 because it was going on with crap, went downhill and I lost interest. For those who want to see if this show is worth watching try up six episodes , from then on you can make a decision as to continue watching or not. My decision is if they continue bringing up interesting eps like 4 I may continue watching it to the end as I had a lot of questions as to the possibilities that can be done with the story.

     (0)


  34. 34 mel

    sorry i have to disagree with everyone. i am definitely enjoying this drama. yea at first it was a slow start but after the first episode, the storyline does pick up a little bit. Cain & abel fan haha

     (1)


  35. 35 lor

    I usually agree you shouldn’t judge too quickly and definitely not before watching one full episode (two would be better) but there’s NO WAY I’m going to stick with a drama for six frigging episodes just to see if it gets better! That’s asking too much in my opinon. I’m not hooked yet and four hours is enough time for me to call it quits.

     (0)


  36. 36 najmuthakib

    hmmmm…i watch first half of Epi 1 and it look good….sad to here otherwise!

    I left it coz i can’t handle more then two drams at a time….right now I’m waiting for BBF Epi 17 recaps….I believe java’s working on it right now!

    oooooooh! it’s coming!!! I can feel it!

    (I’m soooooo smart) :P

     (0)


  37. 37 so ji sub me

    i too think it’s lame, but sticking to it for Han Ji-min and So Ji Sub. I did a lot of fast forwarding … makes it more interesting!

    mk

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  38. 38 yubikiri

    like the actors, like the music…

    but I just find the drama pretty….how should I say….ordinary fromt the others…I mean…the storyline is the same as previous dramas….lost of memory, amnesia, brother loves the girl that the other brother used to love, mean mother, daddy is almost dying, borther revenge because snatch everything from him….you know…typical….similar….nothing new ….maybe because I just finished watching “Time between Dog and Wolf” with lee jun ki….I know it’s not the same story, pretty different cause it involves mafia and revenge…but some scenes and ideas are pretty similar to the drama here…anyhow…BUT to me…….when I first saw the two episodes, I was like “ah, okay…” or “ah well…”…I don’t know……the actors are great and I like the music….BUT…..I don’t know something seems wrong….maybe it will be better in the next episodes….I am willing to give it a try….i’m usually not so picky….

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  39. 39 jennifer

    OMG! I was just about to comment/email you to check this drama out and hopefully recap it, but I see javabeans is one step ahead (:

    well, i just started watching cain and abel yesterday and already finished eps 1-4 and i must say i grew to love this drama. In the first episode, i wasn’t too sure about it, but the 3rd and 4th episodes really secured my interest. I really hope that you, javabeans, can stick it out and hopefully grow to love cain and abel like i do now and recap!!! :D

    btw, i really love so ji sup in this drama (: because of the same reason why you’re doubting the character cho in xD he’s just so gooood , and i think that’s what makes me drawn to him :)

     (1)


  40. 40 lidge_fan

    Am I the only person liking this?….lol

    Seriously, I was gonna skip it b/c any comparisions to EOE isn’t a compliment IMHO, but had nothing to do so saw the trailer. It was great so I checked it out and found myself liking it. HJM and SJS are the last 2 people on earth I thought would have any chemistry, but I adore them together in C&A. Absolutely love the boat scene where she’s yelling at him on the bridge and he did the heart sign.

    Dissappointed that you don’t like it, javabeans. Thanks for taking the time to write about it anyway! :)

     (1)


  41. 41 Carina

    After looking at the photos posted, I felt a strong resemblance between Shin Hyun Joon’s character and Sean Penn.. is it me or what..

     (0)


  42. 42 mina

    I wasn’t really excited about this drama…and obviously I don’t feel the anticipation as I do with BOF but there’s something in here that kept me watching it! and i would definitely continue watching! The music score is beautiful and some scenes are worth looking out for especially the desert part, i love it!

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  43. 43 daffodil

    Very boring drama. Same old story with some changes to the main plot .
    The difference is – sub plot, location in china, that’s all.

     (0)


  44. 44 angelsnow2u

    SBS entertainment is a good enter with many drama interesting such as temptation of Jang seo Hee, Queen of the game of Joo jin moo & Lee Bo Young.
    I think east of eden or boys before flowers are good drama of MBC & KBS with many famous actor & actress. But with east of eden I like Shin Hyun Joon, Chae jung ah & So Ji Sub They make feel have the true love in life.
    The star’s lover of Choi Ji Woo is story about the love but it of two people.
    in cain & abel we can the love, the family, the friend have in this drama.
    I like episode1(5/7) Kim So Yeon singing & say Love Cho In
    episode3(5/7) Lee Cho In in china & say I don’t die & return korean
    episode4(5/7) Lee seon chu & Kim So Yeon find Lee Cho In in china. I like casting SHin hyun joon & chae jung ahn in this episode. SHin hyun joon make me cry when he don’t have love of chae jung ahn.
    & I feel the music theme is good. i live it & love cain & abel.
    Thanks all(**) cain & abel SO ji sub, chae jung ahn, shin hyun joon & han ji min they bring us many feeling about the love, the friend & the life

     (0)


  45. 45 wollie

    I think Cain & Abel will be a great drama
    I love So Ji Sub and Han Ji min!!!
    SBS is really great. most of my favorites are from SBS….ON AIR especially
    hohoho
    It’s much better than East of Eden in many ways…..e.g. the plot, the music, the castings, etc.
    I’m looking forward to this drama!!!
    Hope you can give us recap ^^
    ow, after all, thanks for the review

     (1)


  46. 46 nanun

    @ichiru:
    so ji sub had a role in drama series “what happens in bali a.k.a memories of bali” and “i’m sorry i love you”. you should check it out, i love so ji sub in both series.

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  47. 47 Yuri

    For some reason, I couldn’t finish episode 1. It did not have the pull, though I like most of the actors. Somebody already mentioned “lackluster” same for me. I bailed after the desert scene…hahahahah

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  48. 48 Jill

    For my undying love of So JiSub ..i will watch it..

     (1)


  49. 49 NuttyNan

    I never made it past the first 15 mins…same as “the world they live in”…it was just as you said…blankness

     (0)


  50. 50 Agnes

    Ya, co-incidentally, I felt the same way about this drama. Opens well, nicely shot, agreed, especially the desert scene. After that, I never go beyong the first episode. No motivation to retun, somehow.

     (0)


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