Dal Ja's Spring


Reviewed by: sukting

February 15, 2008

Rating: three

How long
22 episodes

Foreword
Gone are the days when Chae Lim often acted as innocent or gullible roles. She takes on as a mature, slightly-silly and frank woman. Can you accept her change here? Many thanks to my colleague, Li Xin for lending me her DVDs.

Story/Introduction on characters

1. Wu Da Zi (33): Chae Rim
She is 33 years old and is still single. She starts off inexperienced but now she is more on task as a producer for Hando Channel. It is a channel for advertising goods to be sold out on the same day. (Similar to 'Sunshine Upon Me') She goes out for a while with the supervisor, Shi Tao. However, he is a player and dates Xuan Zhu too. Xuan Zhu is her star crossed enemy at work – always refusing to wear slacks and also argues with her over the script.

In order to save her pride, she hires Tai Feng to be her 'lover' for a month. But slowly, she starts to admire Xuan Zhu for her guts in love and work ability. She decides to remain friends with Shi Tao even though he wishes to woo her again after seeing her with a younger 'boyfriend'. She is attracted to Qi Zhong and Tai Feng becomes her love consultant. But what a disaster she has created on her first day at work with him!

Qi Zhong meets her colleagues formally. In order to impress him, she puts on lipstick but she doesn't notice that the stains are on her teeth! After that she tries giving him coffee – although he touches her hand accidentally, this doesn't mean a thing but she brags about it to Tai Feng. But she soon realises that she doesn't mean anything to Qi Zhong as he deems her as a loose woman. She proves her ability when the launch of the lingerie catwalk is a success.

She decides that this is the time to show her charm. She lets down her hair and walks close to him….but Shi Tao chooses to vomit on her at this perfect timing! She is disgraced instead and not having any clothes to change, she has to call Tai Feng to bring extra clothes for her while she hides in the toilet. She is thrilled when Qi Zhong lends her the clothes and practises with Tai Feng on mannerisms in meeting him.

Tai Feng really shakes his head on how she reacts. She gulps a whole glass of wine, talks too much and tries to seduce by touching his leg with her toes, removing her shoe! Is she so desperate for Qi Zhong? He finally makes her behave elegantly and Qi Zhong pays the bill, wishing to meet her again at a Thai restaurant the next time. (See how large her eyes become upon seeing his VIP gold card!)

But an unfortunate encounter comes – she gets slapped. Thinking that she is Qi Zhong's wife, she apologises to her. This woman turns out to be one of Shi Tao's girlfriends. She gets slapped for nothing and is very mad over it. She gets drunk with Shi Tao. Shi Tao contacts Qi Zhong and passes his handphone to Da Zi to speak to him. Da Zi asks him to date with her. Qi Zhong is surprised and his reaction comes slow. Not hearing a prompt answer, she shuts her handphone…even not listening to him when he calls back! Qi Zhong is definitely amused by this.

The two are drunk but they can still remember to call Tai Feng to bring them to her home! Qi Zhong suddenly appears at her doorstep in the morning. She is in a sticky situation when her mother and grandmother arrive to see the three men. They argue that all of them look fine to them and want her to make a choice. She walks out and Qi Zhong gives her a ride. Her eyes open big again as he has a chauffeur. She has wanted to explain to him about the men but he sees no need to. Both men have clarified with him that she isn't a loose woman. Unknown to them, there is a woman who is sitting in a car watching them and clenching her hand on the car wheel.

The next day, this woman comes to see Da Zi. Da Zi protects her own face to avoid getting slapped but she kneels to her, wanting her to let go of her husband, Qi Zhong. This ex-Mrs Yan looks demure to all to those watching from the outside glass but she is ruthless in her words. Since Da Zi is so old at 33, she should know how to back out! Da Zi has an inner struggle – what must she do when meeting Qi Zhong later at the Thai restaurant? She imagines herself slapping him or splashing a glass of water at his face. But sad to say, there is no glass on the table!

Before Da Zi can speak, Qi Zhong holds her shoulder and wishes her to wait for him to be back from a Japan assignment. She protests weakly but she helps herself to the food heartedly when it arrives! Qi Zhong is also thoughtful o arrange his chauffeur to send her back. Da Zi sighs – will she be stupid to reject a man who has such good qualities?

Her resistance becomes weaker per day when he sends her different roses as he doesn't know what she likes. All advise her to stay away from Qi Zhong. Even though he is separated from his wife for 2 years, they have yet to settle their divorce. She masters her courage to tell him that his wife has looked for her and he is speechless. He apologises for not telling her but he will end it soon. He wants her to accept the watch he has bought for her but she pushes it back to him. Mrs Yan is angry to see them doing that from her car.

Mrs Yan attempts suicide and this scandal causes her to be transferred to another notorious department, the customer service section. Luckily this is where Shun Ai works and she can watch over her. Mrs Yan can still be cocky to get discharged on the same day to mock at her. Da Zi is mad with what she has done to her family and tells her that she will not let her off the next time.

Da Zi works hard and soon gets recognition from Xin Ci. She admires her ability to transfer her back to her department but she keeps crossing swords with the ex-Mrs Li. She becomes more insecure when Tai Feng doesn't return for the week to take care of Xi Yan. Tai Feng questions her back about her feelings as she also walks off on him to go off with Qi Zhong even when he is around. Both finally confirm their mutual love towards each other.

Da Zi approaches Xuan Zhu for help to attend Jing Zhong's party. Laugh when Tai Feng waits for her at the entrance, making a lookout for her to turn up in her usual explosive hairstyle. He is startled to see her elegantly dressed but she is upset when all comment that she is much older than Tai Feng. Seeing that Xiao Zhen pulls Tai Feng aside to meet other lawyers, she becomes bored and is relieved to see Qi Zhong. She turns up, hoping that Tai Feng will practise law again but Shun Ai doesn't want her to force him.

Da Zi's confidence is crushed when Xiao Zhen reminds her that Tai Feng has not said that he loves her. (This is very redundant. Why do so many people love to listen to these 3 words to confirm their love?) Da Zi rushes to hospital upon learning that Tai Feng's head is hit by a brick. She cries for the wrong person as she is too worried. Da Zi returns the money to Ying Xin as they should respect Tai Feng's wishes.

Ting Ai knows that Da Zi is a person who prefers to suffer alone. Tai Feng should find a decent job is he treasures her. Da Zi knows that he wishes to be a chef so she takes out her money to finance his studies. But she is delighted that he becomes a lawyer again – but is dismayed that he works with his ex-love. She can't ignore this fact and he can't reveal to her his work contents. Although he assures that nothing happens between them, she isn't feeling secure. Can't she believe and trust him? She only wants to hear the 3 words.

Da Zi is uneasy when knowing that Xiao Zhen is also invited to Tai Feng's home for dinner. She hides the plastic bag of food behind her when seeing Xiao Zhen's hampers. More so when Mrs Jiang gets Tai Feng to sit beside Xiao Zhen. Xiao Zhen pretends to lament that she should reject coming upon knowing that she is here. Da Zi nearly wants to spill coffee on her. She decides to leave earlier because of indigestion.

Da Zi decides not to burden Tai Feng. She takes up Shi Tao's scholarship to study in the U.S. for 2 years. She returns but doesn't keep contact with him. She is promoted and still sells Qi Zhong's company products. She goes to matchmaking at Ting Ai's insistence at the restaurant that Tai Feng works now. She has written a card for him in the past and he writes another for her back – it changes from maybe to must be. Both are finally back together again.

Chae Lim finally proves that she can take on a different mature role this time. She injects sufficient humour and also relates well on how insecure Da Zi feels for not being attached. Da Zi is a career woman who remembers helping all her colleagues except herself. Chae Lim isn't afraid to make herself unattractive to capture our attention. A big welcome to this change!

2. Jiang Tai Feng (27): Lee Min Ki
He is paid for being someone's lover according to the hours. Da Zi uses him to spite back at Shi Tao and he is always prepared - a hotel room card. He is always on call for 3 hours service daily. However, this man doesn't follow Da Zi's acting script. He is supposed to pretend to be a lawyer by wearing the classy clothes that she gets for him. But he claims that he has resigned. In reality, he works with his friend at his clothes stall and deposits money into his limping girlfriend's account.

He knows that Da Zi never knows what love is and decides to coach her. Can you believe that he tries to show her how to kiss in the dark lane? This makes Qi Zhong mistaken him as a molester. He is amused when Da Zi doesn't correct Qi Zhong and plays along in the game. He laughs when seeing how Da Zi regrets not being persistent enough to hitch a hike in Qi Zhong's car to try to act classy.

Tai Feng notices that Mrs Yan destroys Da Zi's car tires and also splashes paint on her front door. This not only notifies her neighbours of her 'affair' – her mother gets to know about it too. There is still a week to the expiry date but Da Zi doesn't contact him even though she transfers to a new department. Feeling worried, he tails her as she sends goods to a poor man's home.

Both get trapped in the snow and have to stay overnight at a motel. Have fun upon seeing how both are dressed in traditional clothes – one as Huang Zhen Yi and another as Jun He. Mrs Jiang discovers this and demands him not to waste his wife away. But he dislikes the life arranged by his father. Tai Feng gets chased by the underworld gangsters. Not because he owes them money but because he doesn't return home for a long time so his grandfather has to seek him out, using his power.

He finds himself falling for Da Zi – even buying gloves for her when recalling how he places her hand inside his jacket pocket from the cold. On seeing her with Qi Zhong for dinner, he gets jealous to ask her out. This becomes her third meal as she has also eaten at home. When she throws bills in front of him to demand better service, he initially hugs her and then kisses her. Both later confide their feelings but she suddenly has a stomach-ache. Worried, he holds her hand in the hospital but is amused to know that she suffers from indigestion for eating too much!

This time round, he gives Da Zi money and wishes her to be his lover for a month. He even persists to stay in her home and works in her mother's eatery. Xuan Zhu is harassed by loansharks and he comes to her aid. Both women are dumbfounded as he passes them a namecard, declaring that he is a lawyer from the renowned 'Lee and Chang' firm but is taking a break for a year. Da Zi is confused – is this the truth?

This is the following that Qi Zhong gets on him. He had the top results to get into the law faculty in 2000. He is so brilliant to get his masters in 2002. 'Lee and Chang' admires his talents to hire him to work for them even before his graduation. Xin Xu visits him, trying to ask him to return home and finding an excuse to see Ying Xin. He will not change his mind.

Valentine's day is his birthday but Da Zi hasn't return home because she works overtime to produce the chocolates that the clients order. She manages to solve the shortage crisis but gets too exhausted to sleep in the office. Tai Feng visits her and puts his coat on her tenderly. After returning home and Da Zi fixes him a meal for amends, both of them land up sleeping together.

His teacher, Jing Zhong invites him to his birthday but he is uninterested to meet business associates again. But he gives in to Da Zi, upon knowing how she yearns to attend a party. Sure enough, he can't help grinning at the way she shows her excitement upon seeing influential people and movie stars. But he doesn't realise that he is the centre of attraction. Although he has not practised law for a year, he still looks dashing in his suit.

Ting Ai doesn't allow Tai Feng to work for her anymore after knowing that he is Ying Xin's son. She can't let a man who only wants to open an eatery to marry her daughter to suffer together. He becomes a construction worker and the young couple quarrel over the money issue. The rent is raised and he can't help much. Da Zi doesn't understand why he chooses to suffer.

To give her a secure future, he returns to the law firm to work for Jing Zhong. He is startled to know that the first deal he handles with Xiao Zhen is the purchasing of HanDo company. He has a car now and visits Da Zi's family. Both women are shocked to know that he can command 1 billion won yearly. He is so young and can earn so much. He gives his first month pay to Da Zi and also refunds the fees for the chef course. He is moved when Da Zi uses the money to buy furniture for him.

He keeps the ring he buys for Dai Zi in his drawer. His family approves of them to be together but she doesn't know that. She even suggests a breakup and he keeps the ring. Why does she feel tired? She has no confidence to keep him – is he staying because of responsibility? Has he said that he loves her? What does she want since she forces him to work in the law firm? (I also don't have the answer – she is fickle-minded.)

Tai Feng throws his suitcase in his office and sleeps on the sofa for days. Xiao Zhen hopes that he moves out of Da Zi's home to move into her apartment. He tells her that he only has working ties with her and nothing else. Both have not learned to accept the world. Love is caused by the feeling of the heartbeat. Tai Feng are in terrible shape after the breakup. He isn't in the mood to be polite to her.

He even asks if she is happy with Qi Zhong! Although he is still angry with her, he is still happy to see her. She lies yes and she is going overseas in 3 weeks' time. Tai Feng asks the other shareholders to reconsider the deal. All start to hesitate and Xiao Zhen is angry with him for ruining the firm's reputation. He insists of protecting his clients' benefits as he has conscience. It is not because of Da Zi but he will still resign.

He initially ignores Da Zi at the corridor but later hugs her to kiss her, wanting her to stay for him. He finally says he loves her - doesn't she know it? Da Zi doesn't want to keep promises to each other as se loves him too. He arrives too late at the airport with the ring as she has left. He packs his things at the workplace to find a postcard sent to him by her. It has the words – maybe they will meet again.

Ying Xin forces him to go for matchmaking but he still can't forget her. He works as an apprentice at a restaurant and is saving hard to open his own eatery. He sees Da Zi on the street but misses her. When they finally meet again, he brings her to his new eatery.

I must voice out how disappointed I am in Min Ki's dull performance. I have expected much more from him. He lacks the passion required – it is like a dish that lacks salt or pepper. I don't know whether if this is due to Tai Feng being a reserved person that makes me dislike so much. I find him a very selfish person who only wants to live for himself. So I could hardly feel Tai Feng's affections for Da Zi at all.

3. Yan Qi Zhong (36): Lee Hyun Woo
Qi Zhong has a successful career in the advertising industry. He sees Tai Feng and Da Zi in the dark lane. Thinking that Tai Feng has evil designs on Da Zi, he stops them. Da Zi pretends to be a victim and declines his offer to send her home. He doesn't give her his name card and just drives away. Da Zi is annoyed that he isn't persistent on her and scolds Tai Feng for ruining her chance.

Qi Zhong then turns back, wanting to give his name card but really goes off this time as he discovers that they are acquaintances! Poor Da Zi can't run after him this time. Shi Tao is upset over his breakup with Xuan Zhu and hugs her. He gets to see this again! She is unlucky indeed.

She is astonished to know that he is her superior. Qi Zhong has a poor impression of her after seeing her with different men. More even so as she keeps gazing at him during meetings to make him feel uncomfortable. He questions over her working ability and she vows to prove herself. The launch show is a success indeed. Seeing that she wears little as Shi Tao dirties her dress, he puts his coat and scarf on her….but wants her to return them to him after sending them to the cleaners at an arranged dinner! She turns up with the coat and he shows his experience in French wine.

He is back from a Japan trip and wishes to meet Da Zi again. He doesn't notice the hesitance in her eyes. Upon returning home and listening to his telephone messages to find his wife's voice mail in it, he tells his lawyer to settle their divorce papers. She bears a grudge and wants to jump down from the television station building. She ends up falling on top of Da Zi to cause her to injure her neck and close to lose her job. Qi Zhong rushes to the hospital and asks how it happens.

Da Zi tells him to go in to visit his wife as she isn't sure of her injury. To her surprise, Qi Zhong is not asking about his wife but he is concerned how she is! She still decides to back out although she is reluctant. He is puzzled when not seeing Da Zi at the meeting and realises that she loses her position because of him.
Xuan Zhu requests him not to approach the proud Da Zi as she is coping with her new job. But how can he ignore this after knowing it?

Xuan Zhu asks him if he is sincere to Da Zi. If not, he should let her go. Even though he joins the three in the discotheque, he doesn't join them in dancing. He is unable to reveal his heart to others but he is willing to open his heart only to Da Zi. Qi Zhong appears at Da Zi's department – he shouldn't come at this crucial timing but he misses her. He asks if he has a chance as he will settle the divorce in a week.

Da Zi is taken aback and before she can react, Tai Feng appears from nowhere and rejects him – citing that he is her guardian now! Da Zi gasps – is she involved in a love triangle as hoped? She imagines this to be in a newspaper report. But she is angry with Tai Feng for making the decision for her and becomes a glutton. Qi Zhong overhears their conversation and still decides to woo her. He comes to her home to take her out for dinner at a barbecue shop. (Unknown to him, she has already eaten.)

He knows that he is not a romantic and concentrates solely on his career. His marriage fails as his wife only wants attention from him. This becomes overbearing for him and he starts to treat romance as a matter-of-fact. He brings Da Zi to his home for cocktail but she leaves, knowing that he is unsuitable for her.

He is about to give flowers to Da Zi but Tai Feng goes a step ahead of him to pass her the money to want her to be his lover. He doesn't give up and asks Da Zi out to watch a musical, after seeing that Shi Tao also invites Xuan Zhu. Be amused that he can be so tense for this date to ask his secretary if his approach towards Da Zi is too abrupt and he takes time to choose the clothes for this important date. However, both women do not turn up. He returns home to scrub the bathtub in anger but still turns up at Da Zi's home to want to know the reason.

A shock lies for him when Tai Feng opens the door. He is unaffected as he knows that Tai Feng is the one who is thick-skinned to stay with Da Zi and she has not approved of that. He gets his man to check on Tai Feng's background. Through the check, he finally knows why he is so confident. His wife finally signs the divorce papers. She has never seen Qi Zhong so angry before. This happens on the day when Da Zi is transferred. Qi Zhong has been determined not to see her again but he loses his temper at her then.

She apologises to Da Zi for her mistake. She doesn't expect Qi Zhong to detest her even more now. So she entrusts him to her. Her following description of Qi Zhong will make you crack up – he looks perfect (very true indeed as we often see him using tissues to clean the tables. Even when Ta Feng offers him a drink, he will clean the surface thoroughly before putting it on the tissue!) but petty to bear grudges easily. He pretends to be strong and regards work most important in life. He will scrub the bathroom whenever he is unhappy. So please don't let him feel lonely.

Qi Zhong is still persistent and gets his secretary to help him. I simply crack up upon seeing him reading 'little candy' comics and books on how to get in love. He often calls his secretary up to find out the story development. Despite knowing that Da Zi now likes Tai Feng, he still waits for her to take her out. But seeing how fast she gobbles her food, he knows that she is still lost and offers to give her more time.

Qi Zhong finally gets a chance to invite Da Zi home. He comes over to her side and holds her hand. He knows understands how his ex-wife feels. He also becomes cautious and unsure like her. His ex-wife is always faster than him to take the initiative to hold his hand or hug him. Qi Zhong is normally sure of getting whatever he wants except her.

Da Zi knows that he is warmer than she thinks but she can't accept him. What makes him attractive to her are his qualities. Qi Zhong is aware of it but doesn't wish to admit it. She doesn't have to voice it out or apologise to him as he understands. The company runs short of chocolate stocks so Da Zi has to return to work. Qi Zhong gives her a warm hug from behind before she leaves.

He is upset over her refusal and his home becomes a mess. His ex-wife comes and mistakens that there is a break-in to call the police. She is pleased that he hasn't changed the home lock number. Please do not get the wrong idea – it is not because he can't forget their wedding date but it is simply too troublesome to change it! She leaves him a box of chocolates and he eats them as he reads a box on how to recover from breakups. He finds another box in his fridge and informs her that she bakes well.

Still, he isn't happy that she keeps on looking for Da Zi and is wary of her. When knowing that Da Zi is ill, he can't contain his concern and nearly wants to go and look for her but his secretary reminds him that both of them have ended. So it is better for him to send flowers over. Qi Zhong is very alert – he knows that the domestic helper is very different from the usual one to clean his home to include flowers in a vase. Sure indeed, he discovers that the person is his ex-wife.

Qi Zhong attends Jing Zhong's birthday party because he is their company's law consultant. He is fascinated by Da Zi's beauty when she arrives with Tai Feng. Hearing others' sharp remarks on how old she is, he protects her, commenting that he isn't that old. He assures her that the dress suits her and he is touched when she gets a cake for him. Of course, Tai Feng doesn't like to see this.

HanDo company is facing a purchasing over crisis so Qi Zhong invites Da Zi to come over to his company if she gets retrenched. Seeing that Shi Tao is getting tense over meeting Mr Wei, he speaks from experience to give him assurance. He only needs to treat him well and he will know it. He knows that Da Zi is unhappy that Tai Feng works with his ex so he comes to HanDo specially to look for her.

Is she really all right? He holds his arm. He isn't special to her but he will be with her if she is down anytime. He has overheard of their breakup. He has tried escaping from work when it goes too smoothly because he worries too much. The same applies for work. When it is rocky, he feels the urge to set it right. When it is too calm, he becomes hesitant.

By right, he should be gloating over their misfortune to pretend to console her but he prefers to wait for the right chance. Tai Feng isn't happy to see them together when both parties are supposed to discuss about work. Seeing that Xiao Zhen wants to interrupt Tai Feng and Da Zi's conversation, Qi Zhong deliberately spills his wine on her dress to stop her. (Cheers for him – he has done what Da Zi longs to do!)

His ex-wife turns up for Da Zi's farewell celebration and Qi Zhong thanks her for decorating his home with the flowers. Qi Zhong has stayed in the U.S. for a long time so he initially finds Seoul boring upon return. Qi Zhong is glad that his ex-wife is finally independent to open a new café.

Hyun Woo brings out Qi Zhong's warmth despite Qi Zhong's cold exterior. Like Tai Feng, he is also alert whenever he senses something different at home, knowing that it is his ex-wife's doing. I really laugh at how he makes Qi Zhong to be fussy on cleanliness. Be entertained too whenever he consults his secretary over love problems when he reads her comics!

4. Wei Xuan Zhu (33): Lee Hye Young (as Xuan Yu's sister, Xuan Ting in 'Save the last dance for me')

She is an arrogant compere who likes to show off her curves on television. She doesn't like clothes provided by her sponsors and adore short skirts. She is at loggerheads with Da Zi frequently over work and the same man. But soon, we find that she is a career-minded person who has high standards on men. Although she sleeps with Shi Tao once, she soon finds him boring after listening to the conversation shared by Da Zi and Shi Tao.

She then ditches him and goes out with another man. However, she is quite genuine in helping Da Zi out to get a cab for her quickly for work. She even helps out in the programme not meant for their team. Their strained relationship improves when she drives her debtors away. Da Zi even cooks porridge for her when she is ill. So when Da Zi is about to lose her job because Mrs Yan tries to kill herself, she stands up for her and will resign too if that happens. Da Zi's recommendation on the right products cause the sales to be among the top 5 yearly – how can they afford to lose her?

But still, she is disappointed with her – she has thought of her to be a professional to love her job very much. She also voice up for her staff. But why is she so soft when coming to face her own problems? Seeing that Da Zi is depressed to be out of their department, she and Shi Tao approach her and Qi Zhong separately to bring them together for a talk.

She once has a failed marriage so she doesn't trust men. Her ex-husband causes her to be in debt and she can't pay off the money. She declines to meet Shi Tao's father. She can't help worrying and comes – to find that he has found Da Zi as a stand in. However, the old Mr Shen prefers Xuan Zhu to Da Zi as she makes him coffee and urges Shi Tao to woo Xuan Zhu.

Xin Ci makes Xuan Zhu work with a new presenter for a week. This junior is actually the director's niece. She is displeased with the junior's performance as she hardly reads her script to cause lots of blunders on television. She nearly wants to quit but Da Zi advises her to stay. Once, the junior even forces herself to wear a very small blouse but the buttons get loose when she hosts midway to run away. Xuan Zhu manages to hold the forte calmly.

She realises that she is pregnant and forbids Da Zi to tell Shi Tao. She has sensed that Shi Tao is hesitant and plans to go for an abortion. His buying of a wedding ring and baby shoes makes her change her mind. However, this affects her job as she often dozes off at work. Although she wishes Shi Tao to stay beside her throughout her pregnancy, she suggests a breakup to allow him to further his studies in the U.S.

Xuan Zhu loans Da Zi her clothes and shoes without hesitation for her to attend Jing Zhong's birthday party. She even suggests her to go to a salon to do her hair. After giving birth to a daughter, all can't stand her getting so arrogant and becoming a paranoid. But they are puzzled why she keeps rejecting Shi Tao's marriage proposal. That is because she wants to propose to him first! He accepts her readily! I can't help laughing at these two. They are extraordinary indeed.

It is rare that love rivals become friends but it happens in this drama. Hye Young is very persuasive as the tough, haughty but considerate Xuan Zhu. She shares equal limelight with Chae Lim as being the lead actress in this drama. All mature women will definitely look up to her as their role model in life.

5. Shen Shi Tao (33): Gong Hyung Jin (Alone in Love)
This television producer is a Casanova to win over women to sleep with him but….yes, he is very boring. Why? He says the same words and goes to the same places with different women! Challenging to lure Da Zi in bed is his greatest desire but when it fails, he goes for the sexy Xuan Zhu instead. This man is very selfish – he will not be happy to see anyone wooing his ex. That is why he is displeased to see Tai Feng coming for Da Zi.

But alas, this is the first time that a woman can ditch him before he does to say that he is boring! His confidence is shattered to pieces and thus tries to woo both women back. But he finally realises that he loves only Xuan Zhu. He can cover up for her when seeing debtors running after her at their workplace. He even gets Da Zi and Tai Feng to take care of her with him when she is ill. That slowly moves her.

He treats Da Zi as a friend now and is devoted to woo Xuan Zhu. He is unhappy that Xuan Zhu picks on the junior and both have disagreements. But he realises that she is not picky but is a true professional so he leaves the matter to her. Upon knowing Xuan Zhu's pregnancy, he becomes confused and lost but later decides to take up the responsibility. He takes pains to organise a wedding proposal – to place yellow roses on a line on the floor to lure her into a hall where he places a big bouquet of roses on the stage. But he is dismayed when he is rejected!

Shi Tao sees Xuan Zhu with another man and suspects him to be her other lover. He turns out to be her father. The old man even defeats him in a squash game. When he wants to bring Shi Tao out to drink cocktail, his nightmare of vomiting on Da Zi returns. But he gets drunk this time and the old man has to send him home. He is relieved that communicating with him means accepting him. Mr Wei is impressed with Shi Tao at work and reveals that his ex-wife runs away with another man when Xuan Zhu was five. Since then, she has not experienced true feelings but he can detect that she is warm to Shi Tao.

Shi Tao gives up his chance to study in the U.S. to be with her. This poor man has to put up with her over concern over their daughter and needs to become a homely husband. You will pity him when he keeps on explaining to the other colleagues over her bizarre behaviour. He is great!

6. Zheng Ting Ai: Lee Kyung Jin (as Xuan Zai's mother in Beautiful Days)
She ditches Xin Xu for a ring to marry Da Zi's father. But soon his business fails and dies of an illness. Being strong, she opens an eatery to bring up Da Zi and takes care of her mother-in-law. She hires Tai Feng and is pleased with his working ability. But she opposes to him being with Da Zi. In fact, she gets so mad that she uses a broom to hit her but it lands on Tai Feng when he shields her instead. She is startled that Da Zi hasn't raised the issue of marriage to him so she takes the initiative.

7. Grandmother Li Min Shun : Kim Young Ok (Her House)
She is the scary dowager at home but she dotes on her only granddaughter. Tai Feng hides in the balcony when she comes with Zhi Ai but soon she knows that they are cohabiting as she finds his shaver in the toilet. Strangely, she doesn't blow up at him but asks him how their relationship progresses instead! Shun Ai opposes to Da Zi going overseas but she trusts her.

8. Jiang Xin Xu: Kil Yong Woo
He is a university president but seldom communicates with his son – both can't even have a meal together at the same table. However, he is genuinely concerned over him. Knowing that he doesn't like to be controlled, he allows him to stay out. He gets to know that Tai Feng is working in the eatery and tries in vain to change his mind. Tai Feng has found it tough to live up to his expectations and cause a man's death when he works as a lawyer. That is why he takes a one year break.

He is speechless to see Mrs Wu. She is his first love. Knowing that his wife doesn't trust him to think that he has an affair with Ting Ai, he leaves home. Tai Feng reveals that he leaves home because of him, not because of his mother because he can't stand him always neglecting Mrs Jiang. Xin Xu knows that he owes him too much and their relationship turns for the better. So after his father-in-law talks to him, he returns home and promises to treat his wife better.

He neglects Ying Xin when working hard to become the president. So he hopes that Tai Feng will not be like him. The two families finally meet up and introduce each other formally but the young leave midway( they are fools indeed!) Xin Xu shakes his head – their plan backfires and should not rush into it. You will never guess that the two have another meal together later! After Da Zi's departure to study overseas, Ying Xin keeps going to the women to play cards while he cooks often for his father-in-law.

9. Mrs Jiang-Sun Ying Xin: Kwon Ki Sun (Super Rookies)
She pampers Tai Feng but doesn't understand why he wants to choose a tough life. Xin Xu is cold to her after marriage so she pins all her hopes on Tai Feng. He goes to the best school and works as a lawyer, according to her wishes. She is tongue-tied that Tai Feng loves an older woman who has an explosive hairstyle and doting on hideously dark nail polish. So she tails Da Zi to work – to learn from Mrs Li that Da Zi is a third party in her marriage. Mrs Li comes to ask Da Zi how to make business from making pies.

She notices that Xin Ci is Da Zi's superior and spills the beans. Xin Ci is normally unfeeling over everything but can't contain her surprise this time. She tells Mrs Jiang that she suspects that Da Zi is pregnant. Mrs Jiang nearly beats Tai Feng up after knowing this. The young couple try to please their future in-laws. Da Zi goes to all the places Mrs Jiang goes to keep her company.

Mrs Jiang gets mad to find both her husband and son cheating on her – one can't forget Zhi Ai to keep her photo while another to cohabit with Da Zi – her love rival's daughter. She gives Da Zi money – not for parting but to make sure that she gets nice food for him. She wants Da Zi to report on Tai Feng's daily life to her then. Xiao Zhen insists that their feelings are mutual and Da Zi is hindering them. Ying Xin then invites both women home to have dinner.

Upon seeing that Da Zi leaves earlier unhappily, Tai Feng also stands up but has to sit again because of Xin Xu and Grandfather. He protests that he will only want to marry the woman he loves at the right time. Xiao Zhen smiles evilly, thinking that Ying Xin is going to propose the marriage to her. To their shock, she asks Tai Feng if he is waiting till Da Zi grows old?

How can she take it since he is meeting Xiao Zhen daily? Xiao Zhen should give up since they cohabit. Tai Feng can't contain his surprise – so this is why she looks for Da Zi. But she is too impatient to leave early. She has discussed with the men to let them marry the next year after meeting Da Zi's family the next week. Xiao Zhen yells – his mother never changes and still loves to mock at people. Well, I don't mind if the person is her because she is too nasty! Tai Feng grins to allow her to drive his car while he takes the cab.

The two mothers what happens between the two when they do not get news. Mrs Jiang starts to side with Da Zi now as she helps Tai Feng back to work. She also treats her well and is polite to elders. Shun Ai also praises her for bringing up Tai Feng well to be so capable at such a young age. She worries that Tai Feng will resign so they decide to let both families meet.

10. Jiang Xin Ci
She seems to be cold and nasty but she sets very high demands on herself and her staff. She doesn't like Shun Ai to be late because her daughter is ill. Even if her son is going for an operation, she still insists of working. However, she is still distracted at work – to get tripped by a wire. The stumble is like a tree being uprooted from the ground.

Xuan Zhu and Da Zi find her very professional but too inflexible. Xuan Zhu's mother died when she was young and so she understands what Xin Ci's son is going through in hospital without his mother around. So they take over her task and force her to visit her son. Xin Ci has never liked divorced women or the third parties but she starts to admire their abilities.

Da Zi is transferred back to the same department but is tactless to tell Xin Ci not to be inflexible in work. She never expects Xin Ci to become her new superior again. She also doesn't understand why Xin Ci arranges the director's inexperienced niece to work with Xuan Zhu to ruin the programme ratings. This green horn doesn't bother to read her script but is only wary of her dressing.

Da Zi is touched to know that Xin Ci has requested for Da Zi's transfer and this is the exchange condition. It is Da Zi's last day so her colleagues hold a small farewell celebration for her – Xin Ci even sings a song for her. Of course, she also gets promoted since Da Zi is promoted for her hard work.

11. Grandfather Sun Wan De: Kim Sung Kyum (Miss Kim's Adventures in Making a Million)
He finances Xin Ci through university and he works hard to become the university .He is disappointed that he has never called him father but always addressed him as father-in-law.

12 Zhang Xiao Zhen.: Kong Jong Zhen (Super Rookie/On the Green Prairie)
She is the daughter of a well-known lawyer. Her father, Jing Zhong is also Tai Feng's teacher. This woman doesn't help Tai Feng when he is in agony. She even finds him inattentive to him. She deliberately gets another man to spite him back and initiates a breakup. Surprisingly, he agrees to it and even takes a break from the firm. Knowing that he has no intention to return, she attributes it to Da Zi's doing.

When Tai Feng turns up with Da Zi for her father's birthday, she shakes his hand and also kisses him. She wants to know how much Tai Feng likes Da Zi but he doesn't see the need to tell him about his personal life. Does she think that he still likes her? She assumes so as he dislikes crowded places but she doesn't know that he only gives in to Da Zi. They have known each other for 10 years and dated for 3 years. She raises the suggestion of breaking up. To her dismay, he agrees readily. He doesn't like to be tested on love.

She assumes that Tai Feng is just lost for a while and only cohabits with Da Zi out of boredom. They shouldn't be deeply in love since he hasn't said 'I love you' to Da Zi. That is why she throws sharp remarks at her when she meets her. She holds his hand when they work and rests her head on his shoulder. She feels refreshed with him around but Da Zi is upset to see this. Tai Feng knows very well that she doesn't love him that much – she only wants to own him.

Jong Zhen resembles Kim Tae Hee in looks. Although she only appears in the later episodes, her image sinks into our minds. Even her acting is similar too – equally desperate to get her man back through forced means but do have fun to see how her evil plan backfires!

13. Nan Duo Shou (44): Oh Kyung Soo
He is the deputy leader of the team. Although he seems to be like a simple man, he speaks up for his staff when available. They simply adore him and like to work with him. But…..why must he tell Mrs Jiang so much about Da Zi's past to make her loathe her more?!

14. Gao Shun Ai (37): Kim Na Woon
She is Da Zi's friend who is married with a daughter and tries to give her more ideas on loving someone. Thanks to her, she prevents Da Zi from being cheated by Shi Tao. She helps Da Zi when she is in her team. Her husband leaves home after losing his job. She has to work overtime to make ends meet and blames herself for wanting a second child. Her baby son is premature and her husband returns, sharing her joy. She is pregnant with a third child when Da Zi is back.

15. Hong Xi Yan (25): Seo Yeoung (What's Up, Fox?)
She is limping but rejects money from Tai Feng. He insists that she accepts the money to recover for her parents' sake. Her parents were bankrupt as their company folded and Tai Feng refuses to help them as their attorney. His heart was as cold as the sandwich that he was eating. He only regretted after they died and they left a final warm meal at his office. Since then, he wants to prepare warm dishes for others to take a break from work so he works at Zhi Ai's eatery.

Tai Feng accompanies Xi Yan to go for her operation and Da Zi thinks that both are a couple. After knowing the truth, Da Zi also visits her as the operation is a success. She becomes independent to look for a job on her own.

Most favourite character
If I am Da Zi, I will definitely choose Qi Zhong. He goes all out to woo Da Zi but he doesn't force himself upon her. He is also a gentleman not to ruin their relationship but to create chances for them.

Most hated character
Tai Feng – there are so many other jobs that he can go for but Tai Feng chooses to become a construction worker to worry Da Zi!! I mean – is it really torturing him to get a desk bound job?! No wonder all others think that he has given himself up. If not for Ting Ai's insistence, I doubt he will give in to Da Zi. He is also not filial to his family to worry them and staying away from home.

A close second is Qi Zhong's secretive ex-wife – we never know what her motive is for being nice to Da Zi and later haughty to her colleagues. It seems that she has a split personality. Does she change for the better? There is no answer. Credits must also be given to the actress. She is creepy although she looks sheepish.

Interesting facts

Min Ki was puzzled on why he was kept being paired with older actresses. All treated him as their younger brother and joked that he might be a younger Jo In Sung for having the same fate.

Hyun Woo isn't a married man in real life. What's more to act as a divorced man? He replied that he could only relied on his imagination. He was amused that he was often asked to act as professionals - a doctor, managers and an ambassorder. He lamented that he wanted a change!

This was Chae Lim's first Korean drama after her divorce. She was approaching 30 years old. Although her marriage failed, it made her grow mature. She took up Mandarin classes during her 2 year stay in China.

Many were impressed by her lively acting and the viewership was good. She won the top excellence award in 2007 in KBS television awards.

Conclusion

The story is similar to 'Witch Ma' where a man teaches a woman how to attract her man. But I don't like them to keep on harping on Da Zi's age. Is age 33 spelling the end of a woman's world? Moreover, they depict the woman to be loud in dressing, adoring hideous-looking dark-coloured nail polish and hairstyle. If not for Xuan Zhu being a successful model of a working woman, who knows how many single women will parade on the streets to protest over this tarnishing of their images?!

The story is quite entertaining – we see how hard Da Zi tries to protect her rice bowl and also her love. She is initially unsure of who she loves as she is blinded by Qi Zhong's good qualifications. When she falls for the 'less successful' and younger Tai Feng, she becomes hesitant as they have to go through many other barriers. Tai Feng is only impulsive and selfish to cohabit with her to neglect many other areas, leaving her to struggle on her own. Not just on the money issue but also leave her to face both families alone too.

This pair always doubt each other's feelings, unlike Shi Tao and Xuan Zhu who are more or less settled. I definitely don't have enough of them. Shi Tao is at his wits' end when Xuan Zhu keeps rejecting him. Xuan Zhu is also a typical independent woman who doesn't need to be pampered by normal means – this makes his task even harder than usual.

The supporting cast also helps to make this drama work. They are obviously having so much fun, trying to bring the two couples together. Especially the cast as Da Zi's colleagues who help her in her work and protect her from harm.

The story could have just stopped at the part where Tai Feng runs after Da Zi, wanting to let her know that his family has accepted her. Just let them marry and end the story! But the producer wants to waste our 2 precious extra hours to see how he breaks them up before letting them to be together again. I find this utterly redundant and absurd. This only tortures viewers as we find no more anti-climax after that. Initially I was thinking of giving it a 3.5 but decided to cut down because of this.

Sukting's ratings :

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

On story : *** (Scale of 5)


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