Money Flower: Puppet Master

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Tis the season for antiheroes, falalala lalala! It seems like my favorite currently airing dramas all lack your traditional good hero/heroine. Instead we are focusing on characters who are less than virtuous who need a little moral streak in their life. The story focuses on Pil Joo’s revenge and manipulations. With a tragic childhood, Pil Joo grew up the hard way and learned how to survive by his wits. However, a chance encounter brings him into contact with Boo-Cheon, a chaebol son who just wants to play. Pil Joo earns himself a spot in their household by becoming whatever they need, basically their hunting dog. However, he possess the intelligence, wits, and combat skills that he is the master rather than the slave. On the outside, he is their esteemed and skilled lawyer, but internally he smoothes and manipulates situations to the families favor. Things come to a head when Boo-Cheon loses his company that his mother built so devotedly. Pil Joo concocts a plan to have Boo-Cheon marry the future President’s daughter. Mo Hyun, the daughter, is a emotional and soft being who fantasizes about fated love. She is everything Pil Joo has given up, his humanity and emotions. Unfortunately, he realizes that she had saved him in his childhood and slowly he develops affection for her. He has to make the two fall in love, but naturally. He coaches and feeds Boo-Cheon’s every word and step. With his already twisted plans and ideas, he is only driving the knife deeper into himself.

Jang Hyuk is an acting GOD. Pulling his emotionless mask from Beautiful Mind, he is equally if not more cold in this drama. He keeps all his emotions under a tight lock and only lets a few rare ones escape. He is the puppet master in the family and everyone depends on him. He knows it and uses it to his advantage. I am just waiting for the moment that Pil Joo will snap. He is just so tightly reigned in, its going to be hell when he unleashes all his grievances. Meanwhile, I am interested in seeing Park Se Yeon in a innocent role. She has often played the second lead female that we all like to hate. She plays that to a T. However, I am enjoying this naive side to her and I hope that Pil Joo’s manipulations don’t shatter her heart to a million pieces (even though we know that is going to happen). I am also happy for the reunion of these two as they weren’t fated in Beautiful Mind. As for Boo Cheon, wow, is he so annoying. I revel in the moments where Pil Joo gives him a few deserved right hooks for his foolishness. They have an interesting dynamic where the master is actually the slave. It is likely Boo Cheon will stab him in the back when he gets the chance too. As for Lee Mi Sook who plays Boo Cheon’s mother, she usually plays the mother that we all like to hate. However, so far, I feel pity for her situation where all that she has worked hard for is being given away at the drop of an old man’s hat. I am so excited to see how Jang Hyuk manipulates future situations so that he comes out on top!

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New Tales of Gisaeng

Original Title: 신기생뎐 / Shin Gisaeng Dyeon / New Gisaeng Story

Episodes: 52

Year: 2011

Country: South Korea

Channel: SBS

Theme: Romance, Makjang, Birth Secrets

        Plot: A huge 52 episode drama, New Tales of Gisaeng is as complicated as it is long. An intensely makjang piece, New Tales is an often overlooked gem. This drama focuses on the developing relationship between a young couple as well as the relationships of family and friends beside them. The story starts with the blossoming romance between Saran and DaMo, a young classical dancer from a poor family and the rich haughty heir to a company. While Saran keeps her dignity amongst her rich friends, DaMo lives looking down on women, a trait he had learned from his affection-less father. Intrigued by SaRan’s dignified demeanor, DaMo slowly opens up his heart to her and the two enter a clean relationship focused on honesty and trust. Though as all dramas will have it, SaRan encounters financial difficulty as well as learning that she was adopted. Coupled with a hurtful breakup with DaMo who lied because he was afraid of their status differences, SaRan makes drastic decision to enter a gisaeng house, Buyounggak.

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