Glass Shoes


Reviewed by: sukting

February 13, 2005

Rating: two-point-five

How long
50 episodes - which is very long - triple the length of a normal drama! - just like Mother, Sister

Story/Introduction on characters

1.Zhang Zai He - Han Jae Suk
Xian Hao seizes his family business and causes his father's suicide. His grandfather also dies of a heart attack. Thus Zai He plans to seek revenge. He pretends to save Tai Xi from the gangsters. Bi Zhong is wary of him and sends him overseas. Upon his return, he holds a business development unit manager position in Ji He company. Many question his ability but he proves himself to be capable.

How does he meet Yun Xi? Both of them run after a thief and he helps her. Upon seeing the wound on her head inflicted by Sheng Xi, he thinks that it is caused by the incident. Seeing that she wishes very much to join the company to work, he tries to place in her application for her but is rejected when the applicant must turn up personally. Upon seeing her so upset, he quietly gets it back from the dustbin after she throws it.

When Tai Xi brings Sheng Xi to see Zai He to introduce her as her long-lost younger sister, his first instinct tells him that she doesn't resemble Tai Xi at all in looks and mannerisms. And sure indeed, he is sharp to admit that in front of them to make Sheng Xi uneasy. Thus he becomes a thorn in her flesh.

Zai He moves chairs for Yun Xi at her workplace. He is amused that she isn't intimated by his authority and treats her to a meal. He has expected her to order a steak but is surprised that she only wants normal noodles. She doesn't dare to get into his expensive imported car as she is afraid of dirtying it. But she gets in due to his insistence to send her home.

Tai Xi falls for him. Other men will be flattered but he feels alarmed instead. So scared that he doesn't dare to receive her calls. He is interested in the new cleaner, Yun Xi instead. He even gives her his house keys, depicting that he treats her differently. She manages to make him forget his revenge. He can tell her freely about his past, which he can't do in front of Tai Xi. Even though Sheng Xi tries to blackmail him with his past, he isn't intimated and reminds her of her background instead.

Torn between love and revenge, he chooses love to be with Yun Xi. But Xian Hao manages to know his identity when he resigns to leave with Yun Xi . Through the torture in jail, he decides to marry Tai Xi to seek revenge. It becomes a painful breakup for both him and Yun Xi as they still face each other at work.

Since Bi Zhong is so determined to ruin him, he will take his most precious granddaughter away from him. He nearly rapes her but stops himself on time. It is unexpected that Bi Zhong leaves the bulk of company shares to him because he is remorseful for causing his grandfather's death. He feels bad and thus decides to be devoted to Tai Xi.However, he is unable to suppress his love for Yun Xi. Upon knowing that she is dying, he tries his best to help her.

Zai He is furious with Sheng Xi's attitude so he gets Wen Rong to check on her. They are more careful this time to start their investigations at home. Zai He happens to know that Yun Xi is Bi Zhong's long-lost granddaughter. He doesn't know how to face the two sisters so he wants to resign from his job. Tai Xi manages to persuade him to stay with the company but Zai He decides to return to America to open other branches. The sisters send him off - just like what Tai Xi did 15 years ago.

Jae Suk does quite well in here. The way he depicts Zai He in seeking revenge is better than how Ying Xun does it in 'The 4 Sisters'.

2. Piao Zhe Xiong - So Ji Sup
He is a gangster who earns money through extortion and playing pool bets. How does he get to know Yun Xi? He once goes to Guo Tu's shop, breaking the dishes and asks for protection money. Yun Xi fights back and he is attracted to her. He is unfeeling to Sheng Xi but his heart opens to Yun Xi. You will be touched by how much he cares for her. However, he never manages to win her love and dies on their wedding day.

This role can be so funny too. You will laugh at his ?honourable? past. He still wets his bed when he was 11, gets drunk when ditched at 13, wanted to meet Bruce Lee in Hong Kong by leaving home but ended up being stranded on an island, causing his father to bring him home. Knowing that Yun Xi likes a dress, he gets Yan Hong to buy for him. But not wanting to tarnish his image, he wraps it up with newspaper before giving her. This can be so hilarious.

But later, the anger he shows in smashing the things in Sheng Xi's home with a baseball bat after knowing that she is nearly raped can be so scary. But he becomes cute again to sit and sleep outside her room to protect her. Another classic scene is he oversleeps, Yun Xi is unable to wake him up and removes his blanket. She is shocked to see him naked!!! He hurries after her down the stairs, covering himself with a blanket and demanding what she has seen. She blushes at first but later says that he has nothing left for him to see. Poor man - he doesn't know whether to cry or get angry over it.

He fetches her home on the public bus. On one occasion, she is so sleepy that she dozes off even on a standing position. He threatens a man to give up his seat for her. When the other commuter gets off the bus, he sits beside her and allows her to sleep on her shoulder. How sweet! But upon seeing Zai He helping Yun Xi to prevent her from being hit by gangsters, he becomes jealous and hits him. It is only then when Yun Xi tells him that he is only a friend to her.

Upon learning that Yun Xi gets the job, he gives her the dress. She is delighted so she gives him a kiss. He gets injured by gangsters and is hospitalized. He is touched to see Yun Xi sleeping near his bedside, taking care of him?..so he carries her onto his bed to sleep beside him! The poor woman blushes upon waking up, wondering how she lands up in bed with him. This cunning man can pretend to fall asleep to give a mischievous smile.

He joins the underworld for her sake to pay off her debt. This is such a stupid decision. Although Ren Xiu gives him a choice to leave because he doesn't wish to worry his folks, he insists of staying with him. He buys a business suit to dress up impressively and gets her a bouquet of red roses. However, he is crushed to see Zai He revealing to Yun Xi about his love and hugging her at this time. He leaves after stepping on the roses and this is sure heartbreaking.

Upon knowing that Yun Xi is dying, he helps her to fulfill her wish to be together with Zai He. But she chooses to be with him. He leaves the gangsters and finds a decent job to be a truck driver. But his past doesn't leave him. He gets killed while trying to save Yun Xi from his rivals on his wedding day. He manages to give her the ring before he dies.

Jae Suk is good but Ji Sup is remarkable. I adore the scenes that he presents Zhe Xiong's boorish nature and his unending love for Yun Xi. He also handles the loving scenes well with Hyun Joo.

3. Yin Rui Jun
He is young and his mother has high expectations of him inheriting his grandfather's business umpire. He is also the sisters? cousin. He doesn't mind the sisters? return and isn't jealous at all. He knows his limits and is contented that his grandfather lets him manage a western restaurant. He helps his elder cousin, Tai Xi in her search for her sister. Later, he crosses swords with Yan Hong and thinks that money can solve her problem. But later he discovers that she is actually sweet and kind at heart.

Upon knowing that she is jobless, he hires her. But this man gets jealous very easily. He is amused to see how many plates she breaks daily because of her clumsiness but he is angry with the way that she smiles at male customers. This is basic courtesy but he doesn't like it and even accuses her for seducing men!

Knowing that the elders are sad over Zhe Xiong's death, he mentions marriage to them at this time. He wants to be their grandson and son that they have lost. They are touched by his kind gesture.

You will laugh at the scenes where he doesn't mind being tortured by her. In fact, he enjoys it so much to tease her and make her angry daily. Whenever she gets calls from Xiu Zhuo, he becomes jealous and answers them for her! He is also a comedian like Yan Hong.

4. Jin Bi Zhong
He is the sisters' grandfather. He manages a big business organization and is a fox. He is wary of Zai He because he can see that he is making use of Tai Xi. His wisdom - or rather his slyness makes him suspicious of Sheng Xi for not being his granddaughter but he observes her secretly. Even though he knows the truth, he commands Sheng Xi to continue the act because he doesn't want Tai Xi to get hurt and concentrate on doing the business.

He finds affinity with Yun Xi although he doesn't know that she is his granddaughter. He consoles her when she is down. This is something that he doesn't do to others. He is hesitant to tell her that he is the company's chairman. Upon knowing that she comes between Zai He and Yun Xi, he tells her to resign to protect Tai Xi. When he realizes her identity, he blames himself for the ill treatment but dies before he can see her in a car accident with Gui Zhong.

5. Wu Ren Rong
He is Zai He's junior who returns with him after knowing him in the U.S. He is too nerdy and boring to your liking to talk like a machine. But all will be stunned to know how cold-blooded he is. He can defy Zai He's advice to command Ren Xiu to get Zai He's diary from Gui Zhong by using any means. Even abducting the sisters leaves him unmoved. But upon seeing Zai He in jail, he starts to reflect his action and tries to save him from jail. Thanks to him, Yun Xi's identity is uncovered. When Zai He decides to return to America, he also accompanies him.

6. Han Xiu Zhuo
He is Zhe Xiong's close friend and 'subordinate? who agrees with whatever he says. But upon knowing that he wants to be with the underworld, he tries hard to dissuade him. He is interested in Yan Hong. Although he doesn't get her in the end, he doesn't mind it.

7. Chen Shang Wan
He is Bi Zhong's scheming secretary who eyes Bi Zhong's position and waits for a chance. And seeing that Tai Xi is so young to take over the position after Bi Zhong's death, he looks down on her. Tai Xi knows it and commands him to give her more respect.

8. Piao Gui Zhong (as Shan Mei's father in ?All About Eve?)
The siblings? loving father who is a nice man and working as Bi Zhong's chauffeur. He dotes on Yun Xi, thinking that only she can control Zhe Xiong. Gui Zhong is upset upon knowing that Zhe Xiong becomes a gangster but is relieved that he changes for the better. Ren Xiu orders Zhe Xiong to get Zai He's diary from him and Zhe Xiong is so shocked upon knowing that he has hit his father!

You will be sad to know that a call from Sheng Xi causes the car accident. Although he knows the truth, he is unable to move or tell Yun Xi and others about it. Although Tai Xi doesn't blame him for the accident, he feels bad about it. Zhe Xiong's death gives him a hard blow but he is contented to have a son-in-law.

9. Huang Guo Tu
He is Sheng Xi's stepfather who has designs on Yun Xi all along. All will hate him when he tries to rape her after drugging her. He keeps asking money from Sheng Xi. Sheng Xi becomes desperate so she hires killers to go after him. Guo Tu doesn't dare to appear again and becomes a beggar. He feels bad when Yun Xi still gives him money after what he has done to her. So he visits her in hospital upon knowing that she is ill. Unable to hide his guilt, he spills the beans to Zai He.

10. Li Ren Xiu
He is a hooligan but he is a word of honour. He once abducts the sisters when they are young so he can never forget their eyes. Both sisters grow up to be stubborn and daring as they are young. They treat him hostilely upon knowing that Zai He or Zhe Xiong is connected to him.

Ren Xiu saves up every cent that Zai He gives him to build up his reputation. He admires Zhe Xiong's guts but he dissuades him to join his gang as Zhe Xiong has a family, unlike him and the others. He entrusts his brothers to Zhe Xiong when he is in jail. Being tired of the rivalry of gangs and under Zhe Xiong's advice, he decides to seek a normal life.

11. Madam Ji
She is Zhe Xiong and Yan Hong's grandmother. Her shop is near Wu San's shop. She is kind towards Yun Xi and tries to help her when she needs her. I am puzzled though - Yun Xi knows her for so long and yet doesn't know that Zhe Xiong is her grandson?

12. Jin Xian Hao
He is the sisters? father who has a sad life. He defies his father's wishes to marry a poor woman and leaves the family. But the whole family is burden by poverty. It worsens when his wife dies of labour after giving birth to Yun Xi. He is later involved in a car accident and dies.

12. Wu San (as Jun Xiang's mother in ?Winter Sonata?)
She is Sheng Xi's materialistic mother. She doesn't feel remorseful and ill treats Yun Xi to work for her in the small eatery. She is in the conspiracy with Sheng Xi to trick the Jins so as to get their money. But she feels guilty upon knowing that Yun Xi is dying. When she leaves the house after Sheng Xi abandons her, she meets Guo Tu. She is grateful when Yun Xi still gives her the keys to the house to stay and gets her shop's deed for her despite the nasty things they have done to her. Zhe Xiong also brings Sheng Xi back to her to let them reunited. Unfortunately, they are repentant but Sheng Xi isn't.

13. Jin Yun Xi/Li Shan Yu - Kim Hyun Joo
She is the long lost younger sister of Tai Xi. She is given the name of Shan Ning when she loses her memory after a car accident. She wears her mother's ring that engraves her name and thus thinks that the name is hers. The Han couple knocks her down with their van and adopts her because they are afraid that they might be sued. She is gentle but can be strong to prevent others from bullying her.

After Sheng Xi steals her ring and impersonates her, she has nightmares. Zhe Xiong steals the chance to kiss her. She is angry and threatens to reveal to all that she has seen him sleeping naked. But laugh at his response - he doesn't mind since he is hers!! Sheng Xi quarrels with Yun Xi and a few boxes of goods knock her out. Yun Xi is fired and needs to pay the debt as the goods are damaged.

So she applies to work in Ji He as a cleaner, she stands on the meeting room table after removing her shoes to wipe it. Zai He is overjoyed to see her again and is amused that she doesn't feel inferior even though she wears the cleaner uniform. To her, the top priority is to pay off the debt. Zhe Xiong is angry to know that, thinking that she is there because of Zai He.

She is very endearing so Zai He reveals his past to her. Once, he is out with Tai Xi and Tai Xi gets him supper. Upon returning to the office and knowing that Yun Xi hasn't taken her meal, he gives it to her. Yun Xi is uneasy to eat alone so he sits beside her to drink a cup of tea and chat with her although he has just taken his dinner. Tai Xi is angry because he never smiles heartedly in front of her.

After taking care of Zhe Xiong who is injured by rivals, she has a massive nose bleeding at work. Zai He is nervous and hands her his handkerchief. He even stays beside her and reveals his likeness towards her. But she tries to avoid him because of Tai Xi. Zai He gives her the assurance and reveals his likeness towards her. She finally masters the courage to be with him.

Sheng Xi wants Wu San to pretend to be sick so that she will lose her job. Zai He meets her to find out that she is framed and informs her that he recommends her for an assistant post. He even buys a handphone for her. Yun Xi can detect that the model is similar to Zai He's model and it must be expensive. Many like her after working with her. Zai He teaches her how to use it. She tries hard to put up a brave front after the breakup. Upon knowing her illness, she puts in her best in the final project before she resigns.

It spells bad luck when the project clashes with poor weather. There is a storm when they have a promotion outdoors. All are worried but Yun Xi will not give up. She distributes flyers to all the shops nearby and this boosts their morale. Zai He is worried over her health upon knowing her illness and accompanies her. This causes Tai Xi to get jealous again.

Zai He is angry that Tai Xi allows her to leave her post and reveals her health condition. Both feel bad and visit her together. Yun Xi finally recalls the past in her dream and both sisters are reunited. After knowing her identity, she still gives Zai He to Tai Xi and decides to marry Zhe Xiong. His tragic death on their wedding day leaves her his ring. So whenever anyone woos her, she shows it to them.

I don't like this character. She only thinks of accomodating to her sister or Zhe Xiong to marry him. But she has forgotten that Sheng Xi also loves him and this will break Zai He's heart! She is very selfish.Her teary scenes make others cry but leave me completely eye dried because I detest what she has done.

Hyun Joo is excellent in crying scenes. But I don't know why I am immune to all the actresses? crying here. Maybe Sang Woo's sobbing in 'staircase in heaven? touches me so much that I expect more from others.

14. Jin Tai Xi - Kim Ji Ho
She is Yun Xi's elder sister who doesn't give up hope all these years. She might look strong to manage the family business but she is actually very vulnerable in love. She is capable and knows the company's weakness. This causes Zai He to change his impression of her.

She can't tolerate the fact that Zai He doesn't love her and is only making use of her for revenge. I don't like her throwing herself to Zai He - even kissing him, making her first move. She seems to be too desperate for men - too direct to propose to him. The poor man gets so scared that he tries to avoid her as much as possible. This will happen to any guy if a woman becomes so direct.

She has never doubted that Zai He has never loved her - never even asks him how he feels for her. She only remembers her own promise but has not asked him. Initially, she is unreasonable to see him being intimate with Yun Xi. But she straightens her thoughts to let them together. Upon knowing that Bi Zhong frames Zai He to get him jailed, she offers to marry him to save him as she still loves him. However, she is disappointed that he doesn't even look at her during the engagement.

Upon seeing the couple still talking together after their engagement, she refuses to break off with him. She wants to control his life for revenge. She treats Yun Xi badly and is remorseful of her act after finding out the truth. Upon knowing that Yun Xi has leukemia, she saves her by donating her bone barrow. She is willing to return Zai He to Yun Xi but is appalled that she gives in to her instead. However, she decides to put her attention into managing the business instead.

The only part I like about her is when she shows her anger openly when she drives Wu Shan and Sheng Xi away from home. They have deceived her long enough and this is the right thing to do. They deserve such treatment and the two are frightened by her outburst as she is demure all along.

Many will feel like yelling at her - she has zero instinct!!! Can't she see that Yun Xi resembles her so much in her looks? And doesn't her name rings a bell to remind her of her mother? Sheng Xi is so many miles of difference from her even after straightening her hair! Being blinded by jealousy, she treats Yun Xi harshly.

Ji Ho does quite well in crying scenes but the character is too shallow in becoming an unreasonable person. She isn't strong enough as a career woman as we only see her focusing her attention on Zai He and throwing tantrums in front of him. But this is no fault of hers because the producer makes it this way.

15. Piao Yan Hong - Jin Jing Hua
She is Zhe Xiong's younger sister who becomes Yun Xi's close friend after Madam Ji rescues Yun Xi from her ?home?. She only wants Rui Jun's apology over the car accident and is fed up with him when he uses money to settle the affair. When she gets fired from her previous job, Rui Jun engages her to work as a waitress in his restaurant. Being tomboyish and careless, she breaks many dishes but he teases her.

Many will be flattered to get a first kiss by a handsome man. But Yan Hong's reaction is very unexpected. She gives him a slap and a kick - not because she dislikes it but she finds it too sudden. But later, she kisses him back, claiming that she doesn't wish to be taken advantage!

She is jealous upon seeing him in a matchmaking session with his childhood friend. She feels inferior but Rui Jun is determined to marry her despite her low status. They are together in the end - viewers must be relieved after seeing a long span of tragedies in this serial.

Jing Hua is young and impressionable. She creates so many laughs in this serial. No wonder she gets another younger sister role in ?Into the sun? with Sang Woo.

16. Yu Sheng Xi - Jin Min Shan
She is the vicious woman who claims Yun Xi's identity when Tai Xi comes to look for Yun Xi. Actually, she does it to spite Yun Xi after knowing that Yun Xi is staying in Zhe Xiong's home. People might think that she is mad to give herself a frightening permed hairdo. She steals all the fortune from Tai Xi for her mother. Sheng Xi kisses Zhe Xiong and wants more from him, clinging to him like a spider. I do think that this part resembles Tai Xi - so maybe this is why Tai Xi never suspects her to be her sister.

She is afraid that Yun Xi will return and being afraid that Zai He will expose her identity, she steals his diary from Zhe Xiong and feeds Bi Zhong with the details. This causes Zai He to be jailed. She tells the same thing to Tai Xi, turning her into a revengeful woman to torture Zai He.

At least, she tries to be a filial daughter to let Wu Shan stay with her in the new home. Of course, her misdeed is uncovered in the end. How? She loses the ring to Yun Xi and makes an imitation. Tai Xi discovers it and is angered to drive her away. Giving up, she deserts her mother to be a dance hostess. Be put off by her attitude when she still claims to be Bi Zhong's granddaughter after she hits someone when drunk. Tai Xi is so furious that she gives her money to break ties with her.

Although Yun Xi is forgiving to her, she thinks that she is sneering at her. Hating Yun Xi for snatching Zhe Xiong from her, she pays his enemies to abduct her but this causes Zhe Xiong to get killed while trying to save Yun Xi. She is behind bars but never wakes up from her mistake.

Min Shan manages to make all viewers dislike her in this role. However, Sheng Xi's hatred and vicious nature is too superficial to my liking. She can be nastier but she looks a bit restrained.

17. Jin Xian Zhi
She is the sisters? aunt. She marries a film star despite Bi Zhong's opposition and divorces him in the end. Bi Zhong regards this as a disgrace. But in order to make sure that someone takes care of Tai Xi to teach her manners, he has no choice but to accept her and her son back into his home. She is displeased that Tai Xi searches for Yun Xi for over 15 years. She has wanted her son to take over the company. Tai Xi's presence annoys her as her chance is weaken and plus ?Yun Xi's presence, things go worse. There is never peace in the family when she is around.

She keeps on trying to find out how Bi Zhong distributes the money in his will. She isn't satisfied with the villa she gets and tries to matchmake Rui Jun with a rich girl. But she gives in to him in the end and establishes good ties with Yun Xi after she returns home. It is sure unexpected that she even prepares her wedding for her! Initially, she wants to make it a quiet affair because Zhe Xiong isn't rich but later, she turns it into a big scale celebration.

Interesting facts

This serial won "Winter Sonata" in viewership in Korea. Many Koreans adore the exaggerating plot (which I can't interpret or understand) and they commented Hyun Joo to be the 2nd Hae Gyo. She was pure as a white lily and has undying crying ability. Many also adored her smiles in her. To me, both serials are too parallel in the storyline so I don't really like it.

Unlike others who give up or put their studies on hold because of acting, Ji Sup was adamant to complete his university studies. Even though he was busy with acting, he seek to complete his assignments faithfully.

This prompted Hyun Joo to pick up her books again. Although all her ex-classmates had graduated or doing their national service, she had no problem mixing with her juniors.

It was rumoured that Hyun Joo and Ji Sup were an item. They got along well on and off screen. Many viewers thought of pairing them together again. The filming crew knew that Hyun Joo envied Ji Ho of getting happily married to an actor and having a daughter. She also wishes to be like her.

Ji Sup had mixed feelings filming with his ex-girlfriend. Although they have claimed to the public that they have broke off, they still met each other frequently through meals. If there are intimate moments in the filming process, he would act naturally like a real lover - or perhaps to him, he is the real lover.

The filming crew described the scene where Yun Xi tried on her wedding gown. When she walked into the dressing room to try it out, he was extremely excited and happy. When she stepped out, it was obvious to all that she struck him as he was completely stunned with his mouth open. Upon seeing him reacting like this, Hyun Joo blushed.


Songs
The two slow-paced subtheme songs are ?I will guard you? and "Please help me, lover" by Li Zhong Yuan. He has a husky voice. I prefer the theme song as it is more lively. But I have no idea what the title is.

Conclusion

Why is it called ?glass shoes?? Sheng Xi wants to wear the glass shoes to lead the luxury that she longs. Is that wrong? Let's recall Zhe Xiong's answer - that is not what she works hard for. The size isn't suitable so even though the shoes are good, she can't force herself into them!

Can such a forgiving and self-sacrificing person like Yun Xi exist? I doubt so - she must be factory-tailored. The ending has the sisters being with no one in the end. They visit their parents? graves and hold hands together to face the future. This is quite unexpected but at least this is different from the usual serials.

You may notice that I am not in the urge to do a detailed story telling as I did to many others. Although SC and many colleagues encouraged me to give this serial a try, I can't stomach all these crying and coincidental parts that can be found in all other Korean dramas. Perhaps even more in here than in any others. My colleague rented the discs when she missed some episodes. Another even bought the vcds but later sold them because she was tired of the story.

This serial is too long for me. Although Ji Ho and Hyun Joo are excellent criers, the story doesn't appeal to me. I dislike the draggy development - it seems that the producer only wants to fit the space in the plot. It is like an old Qiong Yao drama with a new packaging.

I only admire the scenes where Hyun Joo and Jae Suk are together. They look compatible and sweet when the normally cold Zai He becomes warm to Yun Xi. You will have to watch yourself to find out. In contrast, the scenes of Hyun Joo and Ji Sup are hilarious to make you laugh non-stop.

Jae Suk improves in his acting from 'the Four Sisters? but it is undoubtedly a delight to watch Ji Sup. I often see him in cool and educated roles. This change is a big surprise for me as a ragged gangster. Please stay away from this serial if you dislike tragedies. This is not the right one for you.

Sukting's ratings :

On acting : *** (Scale of 5)

On story : **1/2(Scale of 5)


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