Drama Recaps
My Name Is Kim Sam Soon: Episode 16 (Final)
by | September 22, 2011 | 152 Comments

In a heart-wrenching turn of events that I totally did not see coming, Jin Heon did not come back. He didn’t come back! Against her better judgment, Sam Soon allowed Jin Heon to take Hee Jin back to America. Jin Heon hugged Sam Soon and promised to come back, but then nothing – he did not return. And now, for part 2 of the finale. It is with equal parts love and trepidation that we turn eyes back to Sam Soon. She’s going to make it, isn’t she?

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Episode 16 – Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt Before

Maddeningly, Episode 16 opens with the mundane – a daily scene of Bon Appetit hard at work. It’s a single long take, with a lone tracking camera following members of the Bon Appetit staff as they move through the restaurant. None of the main characters are here, however. The implicit lesson appears to be that life continues to move regardless of whether we are there. Here, the camera follows the Kitchen Assistant Ki Bang, who creeps up on the Assistant Pâtissier In Hye and surprise-kisses her on the lips in the bathroom before running away. In Hye is first horrified and then extremely pissed as her romantic “first kiss” dreams have gone up in smoke. This too seems like a lesson. Sometimes, the dreamy fantasy kiss doesn’t comes true and instead you get a hairy Ki Bang ambush-kissing you in a restaurant bathroom.

While In Hye seems to be headed toward therapy, cute little Mi Joo has likely graduated from therapy and is back to her old self. She talking (a lot) and Mi Joo’s grandmother, Chairwoman Na, could not be happier. But then Mi Joo asks about Jin Heon, and when he is returning to Korea. Time seems to have passed, and Jin Heon has still not come back.

And in still more news, the catatonic assistant to Chairwoman Na, Assistant Yoon, is quitting after decades of service. Without warning, she lays off her resignation to her boss. She’s gone in a week, to see the world. It’s odd, but then again, it’s not really that odd. Everybody must live and keep on living, if not for others then for yourself.

Finally, we get to see what Sam Soon has been up to. In another voice-over, we learn that Jin Heon hasn’t called or written in two months. But Sam Soon is her own person and has continued to grow. Her piano ability seems to have improved ten-fold, and now Sam Soon can play the Elvis song “Can’t Help Falling In Love” without sheet music. Maybe this is Sam Soon’s anthem song – a person with such a heart that can absorb the pain and yet still thump and throb when love passes by.

And aside from the piano playing, Sam Soon goes about her life and her living. She goes from store to store, picking up sundries for her pastry shop and scouting the wares.

Sam Soon (VOICE-OVER): I thought I understood how hard it is for one person to understand another. I knew I was just kidding myself to think that I could understand that man, but this is beyond even that. Then again, since I don’t really know myself that well, how can I understand others?

Am I still waiting for him, have I given up on him – I don’t even know the answer.

Following the shopping, Sam Soon is waiting at the bus stop, her bus not yet arriving. She puts down her sundries and notices a billboard on the side of her bus stop booth.

Love, like you’ve never been hurt before – Alfred D. Souza
Dance, as though no one is watching
Love, as though you’ve never been hurt before
Sing, as though nobody else is listening
Work, as though you didn’t need the money
Live, as though today is the last day of your life
.

It’s enough to bring one to tears. For Sam Soon, hadn’t this been her life principle?  What is the result of all of the tears, the embarrassment, the sleepless nights and the waiting?  She is standing at a bus stop, alone, having been burned yet again, and this time by the person she thought would be her last chance at love. This has been Sam Soon’s deepest fear, that she would end up alone just like this, for the rest of her life.

Sam Soon: And sincerely, I wanted this to be true. To love as though I’ve never been hurt before. But in the end, it’s not like that. I want to change the sentence to read, ‘if you don’t want to get hurt, then don’t fall in love.’

Would this really be Sam Soon’s ending? No, I refuse to believe that. The essence of Sam Soon is that she holds her heart in her hands, waiting for love to fill it. If she withdraws her heart, then where can love go? What would Sam Soon be, if she gives up on love?

At that moment, a voice calls out to her, “Kim Sam Soon?” OMG! IT’S GOOD LOOKING BLIND DATE GUY! I love that guy! What are the odds! Oh, relief! Good Looking Blind Date Guy has a new ‘do and looks a little thinner, but other than that, he hasn’t changed or aged a day. Plus, he notices Sam Soon’s tears and immediately his face turns to worry. Good looking AND empathetic! Things are looking up! YAY!

And of course, Yi Young feels happy for Sam Soon too. Sam Soon is doing prep work at her pastry shop, and Yi Young is on the computer. Yi Young jumps up at the news and asks if Sam Soon rejected Good Looking Blind Date Guy. A noncommital Sam Soon says no, they have a movie date planned for this weekend. Yi Young congratulates Sam Soon, but Sam Soon is less than enthusiastic. Methinks she’s still hung up on he who shall not be named.

If only their pastry business were going well. Sam Soon blames the name of their shop – she was in favor of naming it Momo. They’ve been open for more than a month and not a single online order yet. But then suddenly, “ka-ching!” goes Yi Young’s laptop. It looks like an order for a honey cake!

Sam Soon and Yi Young go bonkers, and we get a shot of the outside of the shop. The name of the shop is Patissier Samsooni – still her name, but the way it is written in Korean has now changed to 삼수니 (Sam Soo Ni). Her name sounds the same if you say it quickly, but the meaning is now far and away different from before.

It’s date time! Good Looking Blind Date Guy drives up and gets out. Sam Soon is all dolled up and she looks good too. He asks Sam Soon what she wants to do, and Sam Soon has no answer really. Good Looking Blind Date Guy notes that he has movie tickets. Hmm, a little light on the excitement side, isn’t he? But, you know what? That’s okay. Not every guy has to be a barrel of snarky monkeys, right?

At least he’s not going to hurt her like that good for nothing Sam Shi-

HOLY SHIK! Speak of the devil. Good Looking Blind Date Guy stops short as a man blocks the road. It’s SAM SHIK! I mean, the cynics among you are probably like, “Yeah, he had to come back – it was unresolved, he’s a main character and this is the last episode” but seriously, this is a shock.

At least Sam Soon is shocked. And Good Looking Blind Date Guy is REALLY shocked. He cannot believe his bad luck. I mean, this guy probably woke up that morning, thought happily to himself, “It’s fate. After all this time and two extremely odd failed meetings, I get to go on a real date with Kim Sam Soon!” He would have bet his car that there would be no chance whatsoever that Sam Soon’s ex-boss would show up A THIRD TIME and ruin the date.

Jin Heon walks around to the passenger side and tells Sam Soon to get out of the car. But Sam Soon claims she doesn’t know this person. Then she tells her date to keep driving. The car drives off, leaving Jin Heon wondering what happened.

Sam Soon and her date are at the movies, and Sam Soon is staring off into space. But a flashlight shines in her face, and it’s Jin Heon again. He tells Sam Soon to leave, but this time Good Looking Blind Date Guy stands up in the movie theater and tells Jin Heon to leave – this woman doesn’t like you. But Jin Heon won’t leave. This is so unfair to Good Looking But Too Mild Mannered Blind Date Guy. To stop this pointless bickering, Sam Soon stands up. She bows and apologies to her really pissed date, who has now been torpedoed three times by Jin Heon. Poor guy!

Jin Heon thinks that everything is now back to normal, but Sam Soon doesn’t. She’s done with Jin Heon. Jin Heon tries to ask what’s gotten into her, but Sam Soon won’t listen. Not this time.

Sam Soon walks up the long hill to her house, and Jin Heon is there again. Sam Soon tucks her hands behind her back to quickly take off her couple ring (wow! she was still wearing it!). Jin Heon gets on his knees to apologize, but Sam Soon doesn’t accept his apology. Sam Soon gives Jin Heon an earful, telling him that it wasn’t just Sam Soon who felt betrayed, but her mom and sister too. Her mom, who wondered whether Jin Heon got into an accident, and prayed at the temple daily until they learned that Jin Heon’s family got a postcard. And even then, Sam Soon’s mom was more relieved that angry, since that meant that Jin Heon wasn’t hurt. And her sister, who always claimed she didn’t like Jin Heon but secretly wished for Sam Soon and him to be together. Jin Heon betrayed all of them.

Jin Heon has no words in response. And when Sam Soon goes inside, Jin Heon tries to reason with Sam Soon’s mom, but Sam Soon’s mom throws salt in his face and tells him to take back the dog that he had given as a gift. Jin Heon has no idea why Sam Soon and her family are acting this way – didn’t they get his postcards? Sam Soon doesn’t even laugh, she’s so angry at the lame excuse. But at the mention of the postcards, there’s hope that what Jin Heon said is true. What happened to the postcards?

That evening, Jin Heon is still camped out in front of Sam Soon’s house, together with the dog. From Jin Heon’s point of view, the (over)reaction by Sam Soon and Sam Soon’s mom just needs some time to be whittled down. Jin Heon doesn’t realize what has happened, but his decision to stay put within earshot until he is forgiven is both fortuitous and cultural (perhaps a more extreme version can be seen in Episode 21 of Goong (궁) when Princess Chae-Kyung messes up and goes on her knees near the throne room until the King forgives her – her formal action was called Seok-Go-Dae-Jwoe – 석고대죄). While Jin Heon may not be able to do Seok-Go-Dae-Jwoe, he’s not going to give up until he finds out what happened.

Luckily for him then, the missing box of postcards finally arrives at Sam Soon’s house that very night. It had been sent to the wrong address, and finally after weeks and weeks, someone delivered it. Sam Soon spends all evening reading all of the postcards that Jin Heon sent. I knew it, btw. I always liked Jin Heon better than Boring Blind Date Guy.

Sam Soon heads outside and brings Jin Heon in. Jin Heon finds himself in a similar suplicative position to the last time he was there. The postcards show that he had true intentions, but don’t explain why he took 2 months to do it. Jin Heon explains – since he has been in need of a greater understanding of the world, he set out to visit as many different hotels as he could, learning as he went. He didn’t call because he wanted to make sure that he finished what he set out to do – become a person who can provide for Sam Soon.

Sam Soon’s mom doesn’t quite look convinced, so Jin Heon asks if they should go back to the noh-reh-bang – LOL! That brings a cackle out of Yi Young and even Sam Soon’s mom can’t quite hold back her smirk. All seems to be forgiven! I would squee but I’m a wary of yet another set-back, even in this last episode. Can’t be too careful, especially with k-dramas.

Like Jin Heon, Chef Lee is ruined for other women. He’s got Yi Young on his mind, and not even “no no no no you’re a drag no no no no no no no no no no no no” seems to get him to reconsider. He calls Yi Young out again, but Yi Young keeps treating him like a stranger. Yi Young seems to just want him for the occasional tickle in the hay but nothing more, and won’t even consider using less formal language when speaking privately with him. That’s pretty harsh, but Yi Young has been pretty up front about everything. She likes her fun and doesn’t want the commitment of marriage or the potential consequences of a “let’s just live together” kind of dealio.

Chef Lee stalks Yi Young and zeroes in on her home. If Yi Young won’t see reason, maybe Yi Young’s mom will listen. Yi Young stops any further conversation between Chef Lee and her mom, however, ruining Chef Lee’s plan. Yi Young brings out Samsooki pig and shoves it into Chef Lee’s chest. Nice try trying to win me with this kid’s toy, Yi Young sniffs, and then waltzes back inside. An exasperated Chef Lee then scolds Samsooki, saying “You had TWO months to do your thing, what the heck have you been doing?!?!” Hehe!

Jin Heon has borrowed Sam Soon for the night and they are snuggling under the covers. Sam Soon shows her empty ring finger to Jin Heon but then shows the ring, explaining that she took it off because she had such anger toward him (but still kept the ring since she still loved him). Jin Heon flips the covers over their heads and there’s a giggle and some other kind of noises- but then Sam Soon reappears. Jin Heon hasn’t said he loves her! Jin Heon appears to have a mental block about saying things like that- he’s never said it to anyone. In response, Sam Soon literally squeezes it out of him. Hehe!

They go back under the covers, but a new problem appears: no thingamabob. Sam Soon doesn’t want to be preggers in a wedding dress, so she kicks Jin Heon out of the bed to go get pack of thingambabobs.Jin Heon tries one drugstore, but the shelf is empty. He asks the clerk if they have any, you know. The clerk has no clue, and inquires as to the function of the thing that Jin Heon is searching. Hehe! Jin Heon leaves, not wanting to be seen as a perv. A second store is closed. Jeez! The third place, he gets beaten to the snatch by another customer.

Meanwhile, Sam Soon is all hot and bothered and waiting, but Jin Heon is striking out all over town. But then Sam Soon gets a call on the phone and surprise surprise, it’s… Hee Jin? Hee Jin is calling from America, to say thank you for the jook, and letting Jin Heon go to America with her.

It’s an odd conversation, and finally Sam Soon just comes right out and says it.

Sam Soon: You know, um, I hope that you won’t call me any more in the future. I’m not actually glad to hear from you.
Hee Jin (the slightest of pauses): I feel the same way as you. There won’t be a reason for me to call you again. Nor to meet you again.

Interesting. Hee Jin didn’t have to call to thank Sam Soon for the jook and for allowing Jin Heon to go to America. It was unnecessary. But I do think Hee Jin called to thank Sam Soon for helping Hee Jin to become reborn again, to be able to live again. And it looks like, Hee Jin will be able to do that, with her new beau Henry. Henry has done what he said he would do, which is stick by her no matter what.

So grats to Dr. Henry for sticking with it and getting his woman, and a second grats to Dr. Henry for getting accepted into the Doctors Without Borders program (is there anything this guy doesn’t do)!

In one of the days that follow, Sam Soon and Jin Heon finally have their formal meeting with the elders of the Hyun family, including the patriarch, Jin Heon’s uncle. Jin Heon’s uncle is funny and adorable (a scene stealer, the criminally underused Kim Seong Kyeom). And despite Sam Soon’s age, lack of education, family wealth or background, Jin Heon’s uncle is far too human to let those things stand in the way of love. Since Jin Heon’s uncle is the oldest, Jin Heon’s mom has to keep her trap shut as Sam Soon graciously and confidently answers every question.

Still, Jin Heon’s mom tries to stop this before it gets any further by asking to see Jin Heon in the kitchen. Jin Heon’s mom tells Jin Heon that Sam Soon just won’t do. But Jin Heon is ready for that and offers a deal – him working at the family hotel in exchange for his mom’s blessing on marriage to Sam Soon. Jin Heon’s mom scoffs at that, so Jin Heon brings out his “but she’s preggers” card again. But this time, Jin Heon’s wily mom says, fine, then tomorrow let’s just visit a personal friend I like to call Dr. Oh Bee Gee Why En.

A frantic Jin Heon literally drags Sam Soon to his apartment for DEFCON 5 emergency unprotected sex, because Sam Soon has to get preggers like right now – their marriage might depend on it! Sam Soon protests though, she wants to be thin for her wedding but Jin Heon drags her into bed anyway. Hehe!

Hours later, both Jin Heon and Sam Soon are lying in bed exhausted – both with tissue paper stuffed up their nose to stop their respective nose bleeds. Now, k-dramas often depict nose-bleeds as being the result of extreme efforts to study (i.e., see Kim Myung Min as the gangster Oh Dal Gun in the last episode of Bad Family, trying to pass his high school exams (interestingly, Sam Soon’s dad – the actor Maeng Bong Hak, plays Dal Gun’s high school teacher)). But seeing as they can’t leave things to chance, they flip the switch and study some more.

Late that night, Sam Soon wakes up to the noise of a Korea-Nigeria U-21 soccer game on television. Without disturbing Jin Heon, Sam Soon creeps out to the living room and finds her dad sitting there with a beer and anju (snackies). Sam Soon freaks out because her dad is just chilling watching television in another man’s house, and asks him what he’s doing here! Her dad tells her to relax, since this is just a dream. Sam Soon’s dad asks if she’s happy, and Sam Soon nods.

But all of a sudden, Sam Soon starts to weep again, very much like she did back at the outdoor restaurant when she thought she could not handle any more pain. Sam Soon’s dad immediately notices the change and asks her what’s wrong. Aren’t you happy?

Sam Soon: It’s just that things are going so well right now. I am so happy right now… but… I am so afraid that everything will just disappear.
Sam Soon’s Dad: Sam Soon ah.
Sam Soon (crying): What if everything goes away? Daddy, I’m so afraid.
Sam Soon’s Dad: You dummy. Getting hurt, not getting hurt, why are you worrying about things that might never happen?

Sam Soon’s Dad: My dearest third daughter has to live her life to the fullest, okay?
Sam Soon: Yes, Daddy.
Sam Soon’s Dad (holds up a fist): Hwaiting?
Sam Soon (wiping away her tears): Hwaiting! Hwaiting! Hwaiting!

After all that she has been through, Sam Soon has realized what a monumental climb she has left to attain her goals. What if she never gets married? What if Jin Heon’s heart changes again? What if her business fails? What if, what if. It is like her whole life is still resting on the razor’s edge and even a single mistep can bring it all crashing down. But her wonderful and gentle dad, never leaving her side, gives her love, hope and a balanced way to live – without fear.

And so it is that our dearest Sam Soon, so strong to the world but so vulnerable to her heart, can find her way to live and love.

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Epilogue.

Sam Soon gives a voice-over which shows her dream of marrying Jin Heon and having three kids – two daughters and one son, and in the next scene, showing an expanded and upgraded Samsooni Cake, complete with outdoor seating and an in-house florist. In reality, those dreams haven’t happened, yet. But Sam Soon did manage to attain one small dream, to play her Elvis song, “Can’t Help Falling In Love” for her love, Jin Heon. Sam Soon’s technique has improved so much – her even tempo and the richness of her playing is evident, perhaps as a metaphor for how much this woman has grown.

And in the last scene, Sam Soon and Jin Heon are holding hands and talking as they stroll down the city block towards the stairs near the Nam-San Cablecar Station. Ahead, they see an enormous staircase they have to climb, perhaps a bit symbolic of the challenges that they have yet to face.

And Sam Soon says this:

Sam Soon (VOICE-OVER): Sometimes, the thought comes to me that we might one day break up, since that’s part of being in love. But I won’t be afraid of the future. I understand the things that I have to do now:  do my best to make my cakes and do my best at love, just as if today is my last day, just as if I’ve never been hurt, and to love myself, Kim Sam Soon, more.

Comments:

There are so many things to say. This was my first drama, and though I didn’t know it at the time, it would be and remain my favorite drama. Until very recently, however, I was a little bit upset at the ending. My thought was, where is the happy ending? Couldn’t the writers have given Sam Soon a happy ending? Would it have killed the drama? With monster ratings smashing the 50% barrier, Episode 16 could have been Sam Soon and Hee Jin playing Go Stop for an hour to determine who gets Jin Heon and ending that way. It wouldn’t have changed the ratings at all. The writers chose to end the series this way despite the fact that they absolutely knew that half of Korea was desperately rooting for Sam Soon. And by happy ending, I mean, they could have had Jin Heon and Sam Soon get married.

I mentioned this thought to Javabeans and to Girlfriday, about whether they thought that Sam Soon had a happy ending. Both had interesting responses, and I want to share them with you first before concluding.

Javabeans’ Comments:

I’m pretty sure I would’ve been happy had Samsoon and Jin-heon gotten their neat, happy ending. But that final-episode satisfaction would have chipped away a little at my love for the overall series, which comes in part because the drama steps outside of the mold of traditional Cinderella stories. Samsoon still bears a lot of the hallmarks of a conventional K-drama (and a conventional rom-com, at that), so I don’t think it’s necessarily groundbreaking in that sense. But historically speaking, Samsoon was the point at which the heroines got to be crass and rude and still lovable, the everywoman instead of the paragon, and I think giving her the fairy tale would have diminished what the drama so wonderfully achieved all series long. She doesn’t fit in that box, so she should get her own story, not follow the preordained footsteps of Cinderella and her ilk.

I think the point may be that times are a-changin’, and the mainstream ideal for a successful, beautiful woman now includes someone like Samsoon, whereas previously she’d be the cautionary tale, the loudmouthed spinster constantly told to lose ten pounds. And that the mainstream ideal for a successful, beautiful life as a modern woman doesn’t necessarily require marriage and husband and mother-in-law stamp of approval. I would have felt betrayed if Samsoon fell in the trap of all those self-sacrificing, demure, infuriatingly wan heroines of yore and got the same ending they got, too. She was a representation of what was there outside of the conventional trappings, so to leave her with nothing but conventional trappings? Ouch. She’s realistic enough to see her world and her place in it without feeling that she’s necessarily “less than” Cinderella/Candy. So her happiness isn’t necessarily “less than” theirs, either. I find Samsoon’s ending affirming and empowering much more than a marriage or a ring would have achieved.

Girlfriday’s Comments:

I think the series did a great job of giving both a satisfying and open-ended ending, which is frankly hard to do. Samsoon as a character was about breaking the mold. She was a heroine designed to break the heroine types of old, and I see the ending in the same light. It’s part and parcel of the same thing — the heroine need not be thin and waify, long-suffering and good, chaste to the old-school standards of purity, censored and demure. And her endgame need not be marriage. It can be part of what she wants, but the point is that it’s not the end all be all.

So then why would a writer back out of that, to satisfy traditional ideas of what a satisfactory ending is, based on the dramas that came before? If I had spent all that time writing a groundbreaking new kind of heroine, I certainly wouldn’t give her the same ending as every other Cinderella who came before her. That’d be lame.

Samsoon is certainly not the inventor of the open-ended finale, but the ending manages to be satisfying despite lacking a traditional happily-ever-after because it stays true to its themes. Personally, I don’t think not getting the pat ending isn’t a lack of happy ending. I think it’s part of what she has to discover about life, and the conscious choice to love somebody and give him her all, not knowing the outcome. Her biggest struggle throughout the drama is the decision to go headlong into love despite her fears of the future, and her triumph over that fear is her biggest victory. It’s not that marriage isn’t a part of that, but it’s the fact that she learns to put the endgame aside and love someone in the here and now. And that’s pretty awesome.

Samsooki’s Revised Comments:

I’ve changed my mind. Here are my new thoughts on MNIKSS.

While at first, I really did think that this drama was just a love story (an epic one, but still just a love story). But it’s not just that, it’s a lot more. The drama is a story of a woman who initially is determined to get married to a decent man, her reason being that she’s afraid of growing up and growing old by herself. Sam Soon’s problem isn’t that her dream is bad, but that her dream is ill-fitting with a woman who wears her heart on her sleeve and cannot help but be true to her desires. And she desires more than just a decent man.

The whole issue with her name is fundamental to this. I think Sam Soon’s reason for changing her name, long after school kids had stopped teasing her, was because she felt like she couldn’t get married if she kept her odd-sounding name. She wanted to be cool and special, and it wasn’t until Jin Heon showed up that she started to believe it. And so, when she finally decides to keep her name, at the end of Episode 15, this is her most important victory. It is a victory for self, for Sam Soon, who needn’t worry about what her name means in Chinese, or what others may think. She IS special, she IS awesome, she DOES rock, she IS beautiful, and she DOES kick ass.

I realize now that Sam Soon’s happy ending is that there is no ending. Her life will continue to have challenges, ups and downs. And her happiness will come from her ability to stay her course without fear, without regret, and with living life to the fullest. That’s why Sam Soon gets her happy ending. Her happy ending is the rest of her life – I can’t imagine a more fulfilling ending.

***

Finally, I want to thank Javabeans and Girlfriday for giving me the opportunity to come back and re-live one of the truly outstanding Korean dramas of all time.  It was a hoot to recap, it was a joy to watch and re-watch, and it was an honor to do it for dramabeans and for each of you. I treasure every comment by every reader, and hope that you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane as much as I have.  Until next time!  *wave*

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152 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Emely

    First?! :) Thank you samsooki for recapping this awesome drama!! Looking forward to seeing your recaps again soon.

    • 1.1 Chantal

      Is thz the last epidose… i love this movie

  2. Yessie

    2nd!!!!!

    • 2.1 Yessie

      I LOVE THIS SHOW
      AND THANX FOR RECAPPING IT <3

      • 2.1.1 Birthday Girl

        The recaps made me feel as if I watched it all over again –except with a friend. Thank you!

  3. Emely

    Just two more words… HOLY SHIK!! Love your work, samsooki. :)

    • 3.1 djinni

      lol… i am totally stealing this for my new curse word replacement. great work, samsooki!!!!

  4. Hipployta

    Until next time! Thank you for recapping and reminding me of this great drama. Samsoon was my 4th drama, my first live watch, and the second one I finished (I skipped to the end of Stairway to Heaven and What Happening Bali but finished Damo).

    Great memories.

  5. kasieunha

    I knew there was a reason why I’ve rewatched this drama many times since I first saw it on video from the local Korean market back in 2005.

    I’m so glad and grateful that this drama got recapped! At 14 years old, there were some things I didn’t really understand but whenever I chose to rewatch it and reading your awesome (and very insightful) recaps things click much better for my 20-year-old self.

    Has it already been six years since I first saw this drama? Time sure does fly by. . .

    Definitely planning on watching this during winter break when I’ll have hours of free time for now I’m just trying to get through this semester.

    And I’ve learned Korean dramas and school work do not mix. Ever. XD

    • 5.1 Stacy

      “And I’ve learned Korean dramas and school work do not mix. Ever.” Truer words were never spoken! Case in point – I need to be doing Statistics homework but I’m reading this recap instead.

      And Samsooki, thank you so much for recapping MNIKSS. I enjoyed the drama when I first watched it a few months ago and when I rewatched it with my mom just recently. But I’ve found a whole new appreciation for the story and the characters through your writing. Hope you’ll recap another show soon.

      • 5.1.1 VanillaSalt

        so true, so true. I’m supposed to be doing psychology homework, but instead I’m reading the recap and stuff haha!

    • 5.2 danni

      “And I’ve learned Korean dramas and school work do not mix. Ever.”

      -So true, and yet so sad. Still, got to get that education.

  6. momo

    Amazing recaps of an awesome drama!!! Thanks from the bottom of my heart!!!

  7. Anime1234

    dear samsooki,

    Kamsahamnida, merci, arigato, for recapping my favorite k drama. I loved your insights and amusing comments. Today you got me with the Holy Shik! and I fell for the name of the doctor as well for a split second (Dr. Oh is a nice Korean sounding name. *smile* ). Good thing I wasn’t sipping my morning coffee at that second or I would be cleaning off the computer screen when I lol’d.

    I too had the same change of heart over time watching the end of MLKSS. Maybe we matured as well between those times. I hope you recap here again soon. *wave back*

    Hwaiting!

    • 7.1 msim

      I thought it was a great ending right away – it actually spoiled me for the rest of k-dramas. I thought k-dramas heroines were funny, loud, round and curvy, and wore comfortable clothes and were sexually assertive.

      Imagine my shock when I realized KSS was the exception and not the rule!

      Merci beaucoup Samsooki! Toda raba, meegwetch, shukriya and moltes gracies.

  8. kdlover

    Thank you so much for the awesome recaps!! Sam soon was my 2nd kdrama and still my fave romcom!! My first kdrama was stairway to heaven and although i love it i was really emotionally drain after that drama! After sam soon my thought was..ahhh..i wish all drama were like this!!

    • 8.1 Pat

      Sam soon was my 2nd drama too ( Winter Sonata was my first, which I really disliked but could not stop watching …
      Disbelief I guess) Anyway I thought I would check out just one more Kbdrama and discovered to my everlasting delight this
      wonderful actress who so beautifully embodied Sam soon’s
      angst. Having recovered from WS, this is by far my favorite
      drama and I am still here 4 years later. Thanks for the
      memories, samsooki.

  9. So3

    Thanks so much samsooki for the recap and the trip down memory lane.

    The ending of MNIKSS is forever one of the best ending in drama history (and not just kdrama I dare say)! Realistic yet satisfying.

    And it’s amazing how this episode kinda echoes with the recent drama of KSA (Scent of a Woman), which also had a satisfying semi-open ending. I felt that what Samsoon’s dad said to Samsoon in this episode and the lesson she learnt can be directly applied to KSA’s character as Yeon Jae in SoAW. Sigh I guess I’m having withdrawal symptoms…

    Anyway, thanks once again! Hope to see you again soon :)

    • 9.1 Jomo

      I thought the same thing.
      In SOAW, as in KSS, the open end allows us to understand to look for our happiness in the journey, not the destination.

      • 9.1.1 So3

        Looking at your comment, now I just want to pluck in a CD and play Aerosmith’s Amazing… :) but alas, now I’m sitting right here at office… pfft

  10. 10 min

    may i know what is Seok-Go-Dae-Jwoe – 석고대죄 in chinese character?

    • 10.1 samsooki

      I think it’s 席藁待罪.

      • 10.1.1 min

        hmm… neve come across that phrase b4, probably havent understand chinese idioms good enough yet.

        thanks samsooki for the recap and the answer.

        MNIKSS is my very first k drama and i fall in love with her immediately! never knew it was so out of the box until after reading the recaps.

        thks again!

      • 10.1.2 min

        ok, did a search online and realise that is the links are either link to goong or japanese. so i guess is not chinese idioms. thks.

  11. 11 mary

    Thanks for recapping this drama…

    Now go recap my favorite drama ever: Delightful Girl Chun Hyang.

    *whip whip*

    • 11.1 cingdoc

      hmmm…I’m slightly annoyed at your comments…

      • 11.1.1 mary

        Hahaha… that’s ok hun. Sorry about that.

        I’ve been here for some time now so I was just pulling samsooki’s leg. I didn’t know it might offend other people who didn’t know me. Sorry. :D

  12. 12 ori

    Great recaps–I learned so much from them. I love your funny asides and insights. I hope you take this as a compliment: you recap like a girl….with lots of empathy and depth.

    Any plans for other oldie-but-goodie recaps?

    • 12.1 Sobia

      “I hope you take this as a compliment: you recap like a girl….with lots of empathy and depth.”

      It’s so true– Samsooki, you’re wonderful! You’re a treasure!

  13. 13 nhttuwe1rd

    I used to think the name of the cake shop was Sam and euni since it was both Sam soon and yi young’s business. :p. Glad that I found out it meant differntly! Thanks for the wonderful recaps!

  14. 14 Angel

    Thanks Samsooki! :D

  15. 15 kobi

    Thanks Samsooki!!!
    I enjoyed the recap and really can’t wait to watch the series.. Since I’m new to K-dramas, hence it’s very helpful in finding good old dramas.. ;)

  16. 16 mollywinks

    Thanks, samsooki, for your amazing recaps. This was my first drama too so it’s been a bittersweet, wonderfully nostalgic ride!

  17. 17 Hope

    Thanks so much for this beautiful recap and so in tandem to Scent of a Woman also starring KSA. She’s one fantastic actress.
    When I first watched MNIKSS I also felt that the ending was a less than happy ending but now I fully agree with you, DB and GF. I also note that it is similar to that of SOAW. The fact that she is planning for tomorrow with LJW is the perfect ending.
    Hope to read more of your recaps in the future.

    • 17.1 skelly

      I was thinking the same thing, that this open-ended but optimistic and life-affirming ending was a lot like SOAW. According to rumor, the PD and staff of SOAW intended for KSA to die at the end. When the script of the final episodes arrived, the PD didn’t like it and sent it back to the writer for re-writes. This rejection may have had something to do with the fact that petitions were circulating online to let KSA’s character live, or have some sort of less-then-tragic ending. I wonder if at this point the writer turned to MNIKSS for insipiration…

      And yes, Kim Sun Ah is fabulous. I know a few people find her voice annoying, but I think she is one of the best actresses out there.

      • 17.1.1 So3

        actually, according to the latest interviews with Kim Sun Ah – the ending of SOAW was decided way before they started shooting.

        The only 3 people who knew about the ending would be the writer, the PD and KSA herself. She said she had a hard time pretending not knowing this ending (7 months and 2 days). KSA felt so touched by it that she accepted this role without seeing any of the script.

    • 17.2 zsa

      Thank u so much samsooki…I was really afraid that no one appreciates MNIKSS or love KSA as much as it/she deserves…but it’s nice to bask in your admiration of both the drama and the actress. I love her, seriously, and get so angry when ppl compare her unfairly to the opposite leads who are more attractive (thus better). It’s so superficial…I’ve also read yr city hall recaps..please don’t stop writing…you have such insights to share…fighting!!

  18. 18 birdscout

    Holy Shik! You’ve done it again! What a great, heart-felt recap of a great drama. Thank you samsooki, javabeans, and girlfriday for your comments that make this kdrama one to treasure.

  19. 19 Bogo shipta

    Thanks Samsooki, you surely have a knack for this recapping thing that you do so well. I have seen this drama more than 7 times but I failed to see the steps up the NSeoul Tower symbolism in the last scene. Now that you mentioned it, I think it serves to represent the challenges that lie ahead of them

  20. 20 mini me

    Reading the recaps through your eyes is an eyes opening. Thanks for sharing..Thanks for recapping and lastly, thank you Samsooki, Javabeans & Girlfriday for all the hard-works. Appreciated & treasured (^-^)

  21. 21 mandelbrotr

    Hi Samsooki, Thank you so much for doing this entire run of recaps.

    I have a question from today’s. What is the meaning of “Sam Soo Ni”? Is it simply a more cute name than “Sam Soon”?

    • 21.1 samsooki

      I think an example will make it clearer. Let’s take any random girl. Call her…. um… Sam Soon. Hehe.

      1. So, you want to call out to Sam Soon. You might say, “Sam Soon-ah!” The “ah” part is a particle added to the end of the name to indicate that you are ADDRESSING her.

      2. Or you might want to say that Sam Soon is pretty. You would say, “Sam Soon-i yeh-bbeu-da.” The SUBJECT of the sentence is Sam Soon, and the “i” (pronounced ee) is the particle that indicates that Sam Soon is the subject.

      3. Or, you might want to say that Sam Soon is your woman. Now, Sam Soon is the TOPIC of the sentence but not necessarily the subject. In English, “Sam Soon is my woman.” In Korean, it would be something like, “Sam Soon-eun na-eui yuh-ja-da.”

      In case 1, you put an “ah” at the end of Sam Soon.
      In case 2, you put an “i” at the end of Sam Soon.
      In case 3, you put an “eun” at the end of Sam Soon.

      Different situations, different particle endings.

      So, with respect to Sam Soon’s pastry shop – the English name is Samsooni. Now, since we know her name is Sam Soon, this looks like a “case 2″ situation, i.e., Sam-Soon-i.

      But the Korean spelling belies that. The name is spelled, “Sam Soo Ni” which is totally different.

      Long story short, it’s just a play on the pronunciation of her name versus the spelling. Like, if your name were “Sophie Ling” and you named your pastry shop, “So Feeling” or something like that.

      • 21.1.1 Aphrodite

        But still, Sam Soon is that 3rd daughter of something (I don’t remember what), what Sam Soo Ni actually means and makes it better?

        • 21.1.1.1 samsooki

          I think you are placing too much emphasis on meaning.

          Sam Soon, in Korean, has no meaning. It’s a name, just like “Ronald” is a name. What does “Ronald” mean? In American English, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s a name. But in old Norse, it could mean “ruler with counsel.” But if a guy these days says, “I hate my name Ronald” I really doubt that he hates his name because it means “ruler with counsel.” Maybe he changes it to “Ronaldo” and likes it better. If you ask, “does Ronaldo make it better”? I guess so?

          • 21.1.1.1.1 Aphrodite

            I though it was about the meaning of the name and not about how beautiful it sounds or not. thanks for your explanation!

      • 21.1.2 mandelbrotr

        Super! Thanks. “So Feeling” is a great example.

      • 21.1.3 aznative

        Good illustration. Thanks!

  22. 22 alexe

    Thanks for this witty and tender recap . Whatsoever I would have preferred a marriage . Actually KSA married only in City Hall ? Maybe it will be 21 item of her list in SOAW .
    Waiting for your next recap ! such a pleasure !

  23. 23 Mojo

    so heartstrings is over, now the recaps for My Lovely Kim Sam Soon is finished… my wednesdays and thursdays are once again empty

    le sigh -_-

    • 23.1 heite

      There’s Princess’ Man and Protect the Boss on Wednesdays and Thursdays to watch :D.

  24. 24 wabbit

    Dear Samsoki

    THANK YOU so much!!!!

    *the ‘holly shik’ makes me laugh out loud! hihihi.. epic!!

  25. 25 Rachael

    Thanks so much for recapping MNIKSS Samsooki! It was a great trip down memory lane as this was one of my earlier dramas. Are you considering recapping any other classics?

  26. 26 jandoe

    Samsooki i hope you come back to recap another drama, i really enjoyed the walk down memory lane with this drama recap and most especially having you be the one doing it :)

  27. 27 joonni

    Thank you samsooki. It was a pleasure reading your writing and your thoughts. I look forward to you next recap!

  28. 28 skelly

    Question: What does Sam-Soon-Ni mean?

    • 28.1 samsooki

      Asking what a name means is always tricky. In Korean, neither “Sam Soon” nor “Sam Soo Ni” means anything. They are merely names.

      For example, if you ask what the name, Alan, means, then the answer depends. In American English, Alan doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a name. In Celtic, however, Alan might mean “handsome” and in Gaelic, it might mean “bright.”

      Of course, if you name a person, “Apple,” (like Gwyneth Paltrow’s child), then you can say that “Apple” is both a name and also has a specific meaning – an apple is a pomaceous fruit off of a tree.

      Same thing in Korean (mostly). Names generally don’t mean anything. They are just syllables. The meaning almost always comes from the Chinese, if there is a rerivation. But there’s not always a derivation (Chinese or otherwise). Some Korean names have no foreign root words at all.

      • 28.1.1 skelly

        Thanks! (sorry to be asking the same question, comments were coming in fast and furious at the time…)
        And thanks so much for all of your insightful recaps.

  29. 29 Oli

    Thanks for recapping! ‘hope you can recap other exceptional dramas of the past.

  30. 30 Dorotka

    Despite watching the drama many times, I always looked forward to your recaps and felt impatient like the drama were currently aired…
    Thanks a lot.

  31. 31 DMKO

    Thank you, Samsooki for one awesome ride thru “My Lovely Sam soon” World. This was my first trip, and boy was it grand. I laughed and cried and fretted and most of all I yelled at Jin heon, so many times. Boy, that was great. Thanks so much for your insights and wonderful recaps. You really helped me see things in such a different perspective then my own that in the end I really started to think Jin heon would be a better partner for Sam soon than Good looking blind date guy. Love your comments and hope to see you again soon.

  32. 32 cingdoc

    I’ll just say it plainly but sincerely Thank You…

  33. 33 jangerr

    Such an amazing drama! And it has become even more amazing by your recapping, samsooki! You’ve definitely shed new lights and insights that made the show even more meaningful than it already was…

    Thank you so much! Looking forward to your next recapping. Hope we won’t have to wait too long… Till then, God bless!

  34. 34 ahjummabunny

    Samsooki,
    On behalf of the future dramabeaners wondering what to watch: Thank You! And a personal thank you for your wonderful memory lane recaps. See you soon!

  35. 35 Zoee

    AWwwwwwwwwwww I am going to miss reading SAm Soon’s caps, they where so entertaining and yalls comments made me see the story on a more analytical way. As for Sam Soon, she is still my favorite heroine in Kdramaland! This is probably the first drama that i felt understandable of the problems she was facing. For instead, her name, my name also has a weird meaning in english, “fatima”…the 1st letters “fat” , and then some ppl would miss pronounce to “fatty ma”… There wasnt many ppl in high school who point out that similarities, but ones in a while immature people call me out on the fact. And to make matters worse, I am rather chubby, making the meaning of my name greater notice. Sam Soon’s body insecurities and the way she portrait it, I am yet to find another heroine who embraces her insecurities and actually points them out! The process of the drama help me embrace my name, my body, and hope for one day find my own SAm Shik to cuddle and fight with. 5/5 ratings to the cause of my drama addiction!

  36. 36 Porcelain

    Thanks for the awesome recap. Drama is indeed like the anthem of my life… that age… that insecurity…
    Ah… Kim Sun Ah… portrays it all…

    Now you make me want to pop in the dvd for a rewatch marathon!

  37. 37 all4movies

    Samsooki,

    You have made my Sam Soon experience complete.

    Thanks for the wonderful memories and the enlightening comments.

    Bless you.

  38. 38 LYJ

    First of all thanks for recapping this wonderful drama.

    I learnt a lot more about this drama because of your insightful and thoughtful analysis.

    I have much more love for this drama. Kudos to you again.

    I will miss your recaps!

  39. 39 webfoot

    Thank you Samsooki ! And Mrs Samsooki too for lending us your wonderful insightful funny husband! *waves back* Auf wiedersehen!

  40. 40 Michelle

    Wow! This was my first drama too and it was a hell of an introduction for someone who knew next to nothing about Korean culture at the time. Thanks for taking the time to do these recaps and explaining some of the things that I missed the first time I saw the show. I love the show and I have an even greater appreciation for the show and I am totally going to go back and re-watch it now.

    Thanks again! Looking forward to future recaps from you when you are able!

    • 40.1 Gasenadi

      Ditto from a repeat watcher in 2013. I didn’t know from dramabeans when I first saw MNIKSS. All I knew was there was this fantastic comedienne who also dominated every other emotion she was called to portray. THIS time, I had the benefit of your insights, cultural knowledge AND alternate translation of key dialogue. Thanks to you, javabeans and girlfriday I GET it now. Mil gracias desde Puerto Rico!

  41. 41 x0mi07

    Wow. What a great read. *cries*. I cried a lot reading your recaps. Thank you so much for sharing them with us. *hugs*

  42. 42 mvl

    thank much samsooki for sharing u’re talent of recapping my lovely sam soon!!!

    just a few ?s

    does kim sun ah sing any of the songs on the ost?
    what does hwaiting mean? i have thought it was fighting & that may be i got it from some subbing.
    how does she come up w/the name sophie & how did both sam shika & hye jin both know who henry was talking about? of course i should have asked these ?s before but before u move on to another k-drama i would love the answer to these.

    i have enjoyed this trip which will add to my next watching of my lovely sam soon!

    • 42.1 samsooki

      Kim Sun Ah does not sing any of the songs on the OST.

      “Hwaiting” (also pronounced “fighting”) is general term of encouragement. It’s like saying “Go team!”

      When Sam Soon first meets Dr. Henry Kim in Jeju, she introduces herself as Sophie. The name Sophie probably what Sam Soon called herself when she was studying in France to be a pâtissier.

  43. 43 funkster316

    From the bottom of my heart, thanks for resharing /making me relive Kim Sam Soon again through your thoughtful and great writing of this drama’s recap. It is my all time fave too! Only drama I watched 6 times! Once two times back to back-bad English sub from Chinese and Chinese subs.

  44. 44 Cynthia

    Beautiful retro-recap, Samsooki!

    To me, your one comment of “The essence of Sam Soon is that she holds her heart in her hands, waiting for love to fill it.” is the core belief of this drama.

    And now that MNIKSS is over, please take a ride over to “Can’t Lose” and have a sit-down with our leading man, who just can’t seem to communicate with his other half.
    You are well-equipped to teach a master class in the fine art of understanding women and what makes us “tick”.
    Thank you.

    :)

  45. 45 snow

    thanks for the lovely recaps, samsooki! it was awesome revisiting samsoon’s world again, such lovely memories. definitely one of the best k-dramas for a long time, and 6 years on, still makes me ship kim sun ah and hyun bin!

  46. 46 mvl

    just wanted to add luv how u turned on blind date guy & called him boring in the end. u made me laugh & cry!

  47. 47 Celexa

    Thank you samsooki, for taking this fairly new Kdrama lover down memory lane. MNIKSS was the second Kdrama I watched and it will always be my favorite. It’s filed with my other classic favorites: Isaac Asimov’s, Foundation Series, Jane Austin’s, Pride and Prejudice, Audrey Hepburn’s, Sabrina and now Kim Sun Ah’s, My Nam Is Kim Sam Soon.

    I smiled, laughed and cried every time I read your recaps and relived this drama’s pain and uplifting hope once again… the best part is that I got to experience it with a man’s point of view. It’s a woman’s dream come true… now if only I could get Pride and Prejudice recapped with a man’s point of view!

    • 47.1 bbstl

      I heartily second that! All of it. And thank you, samsooki, for returning and taking on MNIKSS. It really was my dream that this drama would appear one day in a dramabeans recap, and you have realized that dream for me, taking the best k-drama ever up to even a higher level. I believe more than ever that if everyone on the globe were to watch MNIKSS, we would have world peace! The only thing wrong with MNIKSS is that no other k-drama can ever match it. But I keep watching and hoping.

    • 47.2 MAC

      I think I have read Pride and Prejudice from a man’s point of view…. Will try to find it.

  48. 48 babylind

    thank you very much for the recaps, knowledge, wisdom and laughter you shared! it was really great reading your recaps! i’m quite sad that MNIKSS recaps ended but i’m looking forward for your next project! i became a fan of yours! and i also have a Samsooki (the stuff toy version)! =)

  49. 49 My2Girls

    Dear Samsooki,

    I would have never believed that I would enjoy a recapping of a drama I have watched countless times so much. But I really have loved reading these and I am sad to see them end. I am in a little bit if a kdrama funk of late. My older daughter is back in school (4th grade!!) and my younger daughter naps a good deal (she is only 1) so I actually have some free time to sneak in a drama and the sad thing is I don’t feel the pull towards anything. And this from someone known for watching 5 or 6 shows at a time. So I thought perhaps, since I know that you have wonderful taste in Dramas, you could recommend a few for me to watch? Or perhaps could just tell me what you are currently watching that you enjoy. The only shows I have watched in the past 6 months are – Protect the Boss (my only current show) 49 Days, Baby-Faced Beauty, I Need Romance, The Best Love and Secret Garden. The real surprise is that I love Kim Sun Ah but I have not watched Scent of a Woman – I really struggle with the cancer angle in shows. But I am thinking I should take the leap. Anyway I really hope that you had as much fun writing these recaps as we had reading them.

    Take care, Amy

    • 49.1 samsooki

      Disclaimer: I have a limited taste in dramas. I like dramas that I like, and there’s no accounting for taste sometimes.

      Here’s a very small list of dramas that are fun to watch. I’ve left out about another 30-40 dramas or so that I would also highly recommend, but start with these? Also, check out Javabeans / Girlfriday’s reviews and ratings page here: http://www.dramabeans.com/about/ratings/

      1. 9 End 2 Outs – light but not fluffy rom com. See Girlfriday’s review: http://www.dramabeans.com/2011/03/bottom-of-the-9th-with-2-outs-series-review/

      2. Story of a Man – drama – not light, not fluffy. See Javabeans review: http://www.dramabeans.com/2009/12/all-told-a-pretty-fun-year-year-in-review-part-4/

      3. Bad Family – light, fluffy-ish rom com. Stars Kim Myung Min and Nam Sang Mi.

      4. City Hall – romantic drama. light but not fluffy. I’ve heard it’s pretty good. :) (I recapped this http://www.dramabeans.com/2009/07/city-hall-episode-1/).

      5. Coffee Prince – light, not fluffy, rom com. See Javabeans’ recaps: http://www.dramabeans.com/2007/07/coffee-prince-store-1/

      6. Dal Ja’s Spring – light, not fluffy, rom com. See Javabeans’ recaps: http://www.dramabeans.com/2007/02/summary-dal-jas-spring-episode-1/

      7. Goong / Princess Hours – light, sometimes fluffy, romantic drama. Stars Yoon Eun Hye and Joo Ji Hoon.

      8. Gourmet – light and fluffy-ish drama about Korean food. Stars Kim Rae Won.

      9. Hong Gi Dong – romantic drama fusion sageuk. See Javabeans recaps: http://www.dramabeans.com/2008/01/hong-gil-dong-episode-1/
      Hong Gil Dong

      10. My Girl – light, fluffy rom com. Stars Lee Da Hae and Lee Dong Wook.

      11. My Girlfriend is Gumiho – light but not fluffy rom com. See dramabeans recaps – http://www.dramabeans.com/2010/08/my-girlfriend-is-a-gumiho-episode-1/

      12. Save the Last Dance for Me – romantic drama with plenty of amnesia (but it works!). Stars Ji Sung and Eugene.

      13. Seoul’s Sad Song / Conspiracy in the Court (CitC): period piece. Not light, not fluffly.

      14. Super Rookie. Light and fluffy comedic drama. Stars Eric Mun and Han Ga In.

      15. Temptation of Wife. Not light. Not fluffy. More than 120+ 30 mins episodes. This is for a very specific portion of k-drama watchers who like “mak-jangs” aka over-the-top soap opera-ish dramas.

      16. The Snow Queen. Not light. Not fluffy. Romantic drama. Stars Hyun Bin and Sung Yuri.

      17. You’re Beautiful. Light, fluffy rom com. Javabeans recaps: http://www.dramabeans.com/2009/10/youre-beautiful-episode-1/

      • 49.1.1 My2Girls

        Thank you SO much Samsooki for all the great suggestions. As I suspected we do have very similar taste in Dramas but there are a couple on the list I have not seen and will give them a try. But I think I will pass on Temptation of wife 120+ is more of a commitment than I can make to anything.

        And thank you Zsa for the words about SOAW I know you are right and I will cave and watch it soon.

        • 49.1.1.1 samsooki

          You may pass on Temptation of Wife, but honestly, it is like an addictive drug.

          If you think k-dramas can be addictive, there is nothing like a mak-jang to turn that up a few hundred notches.

          Summary: There’s this guy, Dirtbag. He’s an immoral scumbag and a coward and liar and everything else that could possibly be bad. He’s also from a rich family. There are these two women who were almost sisters growing up. Woman A is this good girl, chaste and hard working. Woman B , as a child, lost her parents in a car accident, and secretly blames Woman A’s family. Woman B grows up in Woman A’s family though. They separate after high school. Woman A and her family are poor. Woman B and Dirbag hook up once and then Woman B goes off to a foreign country and becomes quite a talented cosmetics person.

          Dirtbag then latches his eyes on Woman A, gets her drunk, date-rapes her. Woman A gets preggers from the encounter, and is forced to marry Dirtbag. Dirtbag’s family loathes Woman A, and constantly tries to get her to leave. But Woman A will not raise a bastard child, and so she stays, bearing all manner of humiliation.

          Woman B suddenly returns, a bastard child of her own in tow, and finds that Dirtbag and Woman A are married and Woman A is preggers. Woman B suddenly does everything she can to destroy Woman A and get them to divorce. Dirtbag and Woman B basically kidnap Woman A and drag her to the ocean to scare her, but the water is deep and the riptide drags Woman A (who cannot swim) out. Both mother and unborn child are never found and presumed dead. Dirtbag and Woman B lie to cover it up.

          Dirtbag and Woman B then get married. Woman B then opens her own cosmetics shop / beauty spa.

          But Woman A isn’t dead. She washes ashore almost dead, and is found by a rich family who also recently lost a daughter. She survives but loses her child. She swears eternal revenge. Coincidentally, the rich matriarch of the second rich family has a vendetta against Dirtbag’s rich family.

          Woman A has always been weak, scared of everything, skilled at nothing. The vengeful Woman A, however, is freaking MOTIVATED. She changes everything about herself, she fixes her teeth, rips out bad fingernails, learns to dance, becomes totally confident in herself. A BADASS. With the backing of the matriarch of the second rich family, she becomes the lost but now returned daughter of the matriarch and re-enters high society.

          Needless to say, Dirtbag is scared shik-less that it’s Woman A, but Woman A is like, “Who is Woman A? I am Woman AAA!” Woman B also suspects Woman AAA is Woman A, but isn’t sure.

          Woman A then does her best to seduce Dirtbag so as to split up Dirtbag and Woman B. But Woman B didn’t live for years overseas with a bastard child and return to Korea to murder (accidently) Woman A and her unborn child, just so that a look-alike Woman A could steal her husband. It’s war between Woman B and Woman A.

          More complications are thrown in when the real daughter of the rich matriarch, who actually was in an insane asylum, comes back and finds she’s been replaced by someone else. She swears revenge, eventually teaming up with Woman B.

          Oh, and there’s a nice guy (Nice Guy) who falls in love with Woman A, but Woman A can’t hook up with Nice Guy until she destroys Dirtbag and Woman B. Oh, and the real insane daughter of the rich matriarch, she is also in love with Nice Guy.

          Oh right. And Woman A’s nice brother used to have a relationship with Woman B before Woman B hooked up with Dirtbag.

          Oh and more. Dirtbag’s younger sister (who is a kind simpleton), she falls for Woman A’s nice brother.

          Oh and more more. Dirtbag’s younger sister isn’t her real younger sister. She’s the love child of Dirtbag’s dad and the matriarch of the second rich family.

          And if that sounds unbelievable, then you won’t believe what happens when they REALLY get into it and start scheming. Addictive doesn’t even begin to describe this.

          • 49.1.1.1.1 blue_star

            umm, addicitve IS the word to describe Temptation of Wife indeed. *hangs head in shame for finally admitting that i’ve watched* =p

            oh, but some factual errror (must be the passage of time!): dirtbag’s sister was actually presented as dirtbag’s AUNT (ie. dirtbag’s dad’s much younger sister)… only that she turned out to be dirtbag’s older sister, the lovechild of his dad and the rich matriach of the 2nd rich chaebol family. anyway’s this sister-aunt is a hoot! she provided much laughter in the uh, makjang to the core kdrama.

            actually i’m rather piffed at the ending. but that’s a story for another day.

            i digress… what I wanted to say was (before i got distracted by Temptation of Wife):
            thanks samsooki, for the MNIKSS recaps!
            till next time! *waves*

          • 49.1.1.1.2 MAC

            Samsooki, your sense of humor is truly precious.
            Btw, what is a mak-jang?
            Whoever wrote this convoluted story has to get an award ;-) So how many episodes will this epic be?

    • 49.2 zsa

      i hope you won’t pass on SOAW…the cancer angle is painful, but there’s element of hope and preciousness of life…plus it’s KSA…plus LDW…after this drama, you’ll not only love her…you’ll adore her

  50. 50 PILK

    MNIKSS to me was a show about affirmation and the importance of getting on with life, which can be scary or challenging but ultimately worthwhile. All the characters were in some form of stasis when introduced to us, but through kismet, karma or some other catalyst, their lives were upended and ultimately enriched. The writing is humane and humorous and the acting and directing superb. It’s a show that set the bar for dramas, few of which have matched up. One of my all-time favs, enriched tremendously through your great recaps. Many thanks, Mr Samsooki!

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