East of Eden


Reviewed by: sukting

July 03, 2011

Rating: three-point-five

Foreword
The drama is on two men whose fates are crossed from the very first day that they were born in the same hospital. When he was young, Dong Zhe witnessed the death of his father. From then on he promised to seek revenge Tai Huan who caused his death. But the fact is Dong Zhe's younger brother, Dong Xu, was switched at birth with Tai Huan's son, Ming Xun. What will Dong Zhe do when he finds out that his real brother is raised by Tai Huan and that the brother beside him all these years is the son of his enemy?
Many thanks to my ex-colleague, Ming Hua for lending the discs to me.

Story/Introduction on characters

1. Song Seung Hun as Li Dong Zhe
He soldiers lots of responsibility being the eldest son. He is a very passionate person. He wants the best for Dong Xu and sacrifices his own future for him although he is good in studies. When he is in Macau, he still sends money to his family as an odd job labourer and underground casino. After rescuing Ying Lan from the triads, he starts working in Mike's casino.

Mike finds him too capable and transfers him to work for Da Hua as the security manager instead. From then on, he works in the underworld but he still portrays innocence. He uses his sincerity to command his men. Zai Xi and Mei Ai find him trustworthy so they often speak up for him.
He finally returns to Korea and reunites with his family after much difficulty. Dong Xu is tortured in jail so Dong Zhe has no choice but to help Da Hua to transfer the secret funds out of the country. His family has not wanted him to work for Da Hua anymore. So he thinks of getting Tai Sing electronics. After getting it, he proceeds to get the shares of Tai Sing property.

His world collapses upon knowing that Ming Xun is his real biological brother. Life is in vain for him. However, he tries to treat Dong Xu the same way but things have changed between them. Dong Zhe becomes arrogant, suspicious and often tries to bring him in the police station for questioning. As for Ming Xun, he is glad that he has decided to stay with them after knowing the truth.

Dong Zhe's only weakness is Ying Lan. He will give in to threats when she is kidnapped. He becomes Da Hua's successor overnight in order to protect her and promises 20% shares to Jack, a Macau underworld synicate leader who threatens him with her life. Dong Zhe has questioned him over the secret funds issue but he keeps mum to protect him. He feels hurt when Dong Zhe even suspects him of drug trafficking when drugs are planted in his casino by Tai Huan's men.

Dong Xu learns of the truth and comes to rescue Ying Lan. Dong Zhe shields him to get killed by Jack. He has lived for others and hardly for himself this lifetime. Seung Hun has shown improvement in his acting but he still have many signature expressions from 'Tale of Autumn'. However, you will get to listen to him speaking fluent Japanese and halting Mandarin in some scenes.

(i) Shin Dong Woo (5 years old) - He is overjoyed to have a little brother and Qi Zhe has always taught him to be an upright man but he witnesses how Qi Zhe is killed and this makes him grow up overnight. This child actor is good in crying scenes and I believe that he will go far one day.
(ii) Kim Bum (15 years old) - He becomes a father to Dong Xu after Qi Zhe's death. when Dong Xu burns Tai Huan's home, he takes the rap and is sent to the boys' home. After knowing that Chun Xi is ill, he gets away. Tai Huan is also eyeing for his life so he has no choice but to flee to Macau. Kim Bum is terrific in the role - much better than the deliberate way he acts in 'Boys over flowers'.

2. Yun Jung Hoon as Li Dong Xu He looks up to Dong Zhe as a father and studies hard to top the university entrance exams and later in university results. However, he is involved in pupil movement activities and is badly tortured in the cell under Tai Huan's instruction. Dong Zhe does his best to rescue him out. He becomes the family pride when he becomes a public prosecutor. He vows to help Dong Zhe seek revenge.

His love life is put to a halt when Zhi Xian has to marry Ming Xun after being pregnant with Ming Xun's child. Hui Lin expresses interest in him but he doesn't accept her. however, his world is crushed when they find out that they're not brothers. He moves out of home. Tai Huan starts to help him to become a 'star prosecutor' by giving him evidence so that he can present on television to become famous. Tai Huan even bribes Kui Xiu to pass Da Hua's criminal evidence to him personally so that he can 'show off'.

Before dying, Da Hua tells Dong Xu that he keeps Tai Huan's criminal reports in HK bank. Dong Xu insists of arresting Da Hua but he dies on the ambulance. That causes bad blood between the brothers. Now, he is only keen to keep up his image to prove that he is a fair person even though he is handling Dong Zhe's case. He even wants to exchange Ying Lan's detention over the drug issue with Dong Zhe over the master tape that tapes the conversation between Tai Huan and Kui Xiu. He doesn't trust Dong Zhe anymore.

Anyway, Tai Huan sends the tape to the commissioner to prove that Dong Xu is his son and he wants to help him. Dong Xu has no access to the deposit box as it can only be opened by Ying Lan or through a court order. Mei Ai can't stand him still helping Tai Huan so she gets Qing Tai to play the tapes on how Tai Huan wants to frame Dong Zhe with drugs and also nearly killing Chun Xi in the car accident.
She also gives him the password to open the deposit box - Dong Xu then realises the truth but it is now too late for him to repent. He can only concentrate to help to bring up Dong Zhe's daugther. I find Jung Hyun acting better in the first part as he gets stiff towards the end.

Park Gun Tae (10 years old)
He is hardworking and obedient. However, he gets into lots of trouble when young. He rejects Ming Xun's present so Ming Xun is forced by Tai Huan to beat him. Even though, Ming Xun tries to show him good will, he will not accept it.

3. Park Hae Jin as Shen Ming Xun He is brought up as Tai Huan's son but Tai Huan always finds him too gentle. He tries to be as ruthless as him to destroy Chun Xi's home. This incident causes the death of a neighbour's child and he feels remorseful. Seeing Zhi Xian siding with Ming Xun makes him hate Dong Xu more. He rapes Zhi Xian and she gets pregnant. Even though they are married, they are not a happy couple. He feels guilty over this.
Ming Xun is shocked by Tai Huan's illegal activities and wants to make them legal. He is now in charge of Tai Sing electronics. Tai Huan forbids it and implicates Ming Xun to bribe officals for 88 Olympics so that officials can stay in their hotel. Ming Xun feels helpless and is overshadowed by a more capable Zhi Xian. He tries very hard to be a good father to Tai Hao.

After knowing his real identity, he feesl apologetic towards his biological family but they hope to keep thins to remain as it is. Blood is still thicker than water when he finally stays with them. It is rightful of him to get his position back. He also brings Tai Hao to see Chun Xi. He loves Zhi Xian and is even willing to give up Tai Hao's custody to divorce her to make her happy.

Dong Xu wants to stop Dong Zhe from buying Tai Sing property by showing a letter signed by the previous owner. Dong Xu claims openly that he is Tai Huan's son in the directors' meeting. Dong Zhe rebutes that it is void since Tai Huan has threatened the man. Dong Xu has thought that he has no proof but Ming Xun turns up to prove it. He can even get the medical bill from the hospital to prove that Tai Huan has sent men to beat the owner up.

After knowing that Zhi Xian is framed for the Olympics issue, he surrenders himself and gets evidence to prove Tai Huan's crime. Qing Tai kidnaps him but he doesn't stop here. He still passes the documents to the police. Ming Xun gets his family back. I find Hae Jin looking tired and restless most of the time. Definitely not in his top form but his sentimental scenes are good.

Won Duk Hyun (10 years old) He is a nice boy and doesn't look down on the poor. He envies Dong Xu for having an elder brother and learns their hand gestures from them. He likes Zhi Xian then to shower her with gifts but she prefers to be with Dong Xu. That changes him and he tunrs to be cold after this.

4. Han Ji Hye as Jin Zhi Xian
Her mother has her out of wedlock. She doesn't know who her father is and is brought up by her grandfather. Chun Xi despises her when she sees her with Ming Xun. Zhi Xian tries in vain to change her impression of her. After the rape incident, Chun Xi even tells Zhi Xian to leave Ming Xun so that he will not affect his future. Zhi Xian hates Chun Xi from then on.

Suffering from anguish and filled with hatred, she marries Ming Xun but she doesn't want to have any more children with him. She is in charge of Tai Sing Hotel but Tai Huan also lets her be involved in Tai Sing construction. He sends her to Iran for a project and she bribes to get the contract. Anyone can see that she is a greedy and ambitious woman who eyes Tai Huan's position and even vows to exceed him.

She is adamant to keep the truth under wraps after knowing from Ming Xun. She wants to remain in her position in order to pass to Tai Hao. She also can't erase her hatred for Chun Xi. Chun Xi chides her when Tai Hao shows the gestures that only the brothers know. She rebukes that Chun Xi will regret her act soon. After Ming Xun leaves home, she tries to get into Dong Xu's good books.

A call from the police station crushes her hopes. She is detained in the cell but luckily Ming Xun helps her out. She decides to leave Tai Huan after hearing Tai Huan wanting to use her as a scapegoat and not even tells her what he tells the lawyer to do for her. She should know her own limits for being unacceptable for Dong Xu to be his prospective match.

To him, Dong Xu deserves a better person and he is only making use of Zhi Xian all along. She supports Ming Xun in his decision and later reconciles with his family. She has transformed in this hateful role. Thumbs up for her acting.

Nam Ji Hyun (10 year sold)

She is a sweetnatured girl who treats the brothers well. Knowing that they dislike Ming Xun, she will never wear the gifts that he gives her to hurt them.

5. Lee Da Hae as Min Hui Lin She is always no. 2 in her university results behind Dong Xu. However, she shows no jealousy and helps him in the student movement. She even uses her father's connection in order to save him. Many have thought that she comes from an ordinary family. She is actually the illegitimate daugther of President Min, the owner of Han Shi newspaper.

She is talented and knowlegeable. She disapproves of President Min's doing for often siding the rich and doesn't stay with them. She doesn't attend parties with them. Dong Xu's family has thought that she has betrayed them but later discovered that they have wronged her.
President Min later has a liver problem. She has to move home to be in charge. She has liked Dong Xu to introduce him to hr family but he can't accept her. She then concentrates on her work. Upon seeing Dong Zhe clinching a business deal with Zai Xi over secret country planes matters, she agrees to keep it a secret.

Dong Zhe helps her to move an ailing Hui Lian home and she is grateful to him. She insists ot injecting new life into the newspaper and is a successful reporter. She likes Dong Zhe to invite him home but stops abruptly after attending Qi Shun's wedding to realise that he is Dong Zhe's elder brother. Wanting to improve, she takes a 2 year leave to study law in Harvard.

Da Hae's acting is stagnant. She is just reading lines from the script. But I really want to laugh at the scenes when Hui Lin brings the guys back home and nothing works. Good grief - for a person in danger, who has the time to apply such perfect make-up although she is casually dressed?

6. Lee Yeon Hee as Guo Ying Lan She is Da Hua's only daughter who is unhappy all along. She is in love with Dong Zhe since 19 when in Macau. She calls him uncle while he calls her 'ladle' when seeing her scooping soup clumsily with it. She doesn't mind his status and gets along well with his family, willing to learn how to cook. She wants to take over the casino so that Da Hua will not get Dong Zhe to work for him. She becomes a couper in the casino and refuses to work in the admin department.

She is jealous when seeing Hui Lin getting a pot of plants for Dong Zhe to put in his car. She has known her all along but becomes unfreindly to her after that. However, Da Hua forces her to marry Mike. Dong Zhe has to force himself to attend their wedding. She has to leave him to return to Korea when his life is in danger. That rekindles love between them but Dong Zhe only wants to protect her.

Knowing that Da Hua also wants to acquire Tai Sing electronics, she tells Da Hua's quotation price to Chang to keep it as a secret. She becomes Da Hua's assistant and lies to Dong Zhe that she is pregnant so that he leaves Da Hua. She leaves home after seeing Da Hua insisting of ruining Dong Zhe's plan to build a resort for the poor in his hometown.

Da Hua is dying of lung cancer and she moves home to take care of him. She nearly tears her hair when Da Hua makes Dong Zhe his successor. She prefers to start from scratch but Dong Zhe knows that this is impossible. He will not leave her alone as others eye on the casino. They gets married when are on the run for the drug issue. He dies when trying to resuce her from Guang Xun and Kui Xiu. A year later, the family celebrates their daughter's birthday and they call her 'little ladle'. I find her resembling Ha Ji Won in looks. Despite her young age, she does a terrific job.

7. Dennis Oh as Mike Packard His father is an American while his Korean mother is the third wife. Dong Xu rescues him from getting killed but he is suspicous of him. After finding out that he is a true person, he becomes his friend. However, both men do fight due to Ying Lan at times. He loves Ying Lan but she will not agree to his proposal. When she is in Macau with him, she slashes her wrists and is in hospital. Dong Zhe has to visit her secretly but Ying Lan still knows it.

Mike takes care of her to want her to recover soon. Still, he marries her but his second brother is only eager to get rid of him. Thus, he entrusts Ying Lan in Dong Zhe's care. Dong Zhe saves him from his second brother and sends him to Malaysia. That doesn't help him as he is later killed at sea. Although his body is beyond recognition, his DNA proves it. Da Hua is enraged that he is attacked by assasins at Mike's funeral. Thus, he gets someone to kill Mike's brother.

8. Jo Min Ki as Shen Tai Huan
He is an orphan and ditches Zai Xi to becomes rich due to Run Ji. He hides his past from the rest. .He is greedy, corrupt and powerhungry. He inherits Tai Sing enterprise from President Wu and enlarges the company into big scale. He is evil and will do anything to save his own skin. He finds Qi Zhe threatening as he often gets workers to go against him. Thus, he gets Qing Tai to kill him. He also establish his business through illegal ways.

He is cruel to leave an injured President Wu in his office, wanting to get full control of the enterprise. He is dismayed that President Wu makes Ming Xun sign the authorization letter instead. He destroys the letter to continue claiming the power. He learns that Dong Xu is his son and is pleased that he is as smart as him. He makes this public and claims to help him by giving him the documents. He totally forgets what Ming Xun has done for him but is still nice to Tai Hao.

He pretends that he has no regrets going to jail in order to help him. Dong Xu can't put up with his pretence and breaks all ties with him. Tai Huan's soft spot is Zai Xi. This is the only woman he loves. He is willing to give his shares to Mei Ai to exchange for her safety. He has thought that Ming Xun has betrayed him to give them to Mei Ai but the real spy is Qing Tai. He never expects to be killed by Mei Ai in the end.

9. Lee Mi Sook as Yang Chun Xi
She is the brothers' mother who has wanted to abort Dong Xu as she is too poor but changes her mind. She braces herself to bring them up after Qi Zhe's death. She has a stubborn streak in her and burns Tai Huan's condolence money. She is hostile to Dong Zhe for leaving home but later welcomes him home with open arms after knowing that Dong Xu is the one burning down Tai Huan's home.

Her hatred for Tai Huan is great so she pins all hopes on Dong Xu to become a prosecutor to fight for justice. She opens a small construction company now. She can't take it after knowing that Ming Xun is her son. Dong Zhe has not wanted her to know about it and gets Zhen Zi to hide from her but she goes to ask Father Han. She starts to fall ill and blurts the truth to Dong Xu in her unsound state. That badly affects Dong Xu and she doesn't keep him when he leaves home. She recovers later and feels that it is time for him to return to the Shens.

She has wanted to treat him the same way but can't stop her suspicion. Dong Xu can't attend Qi Zhe's death anniversary anymore and can only pass her the money to convey his gratitide. She later showers her love for Ming Xun to let him stay in Dong Xu's room when he is injured. But this causes Dong Xu to leave. Dong Xu doesn't visit her in hospital when Tai Huan tamples on the car blakes. Dong Zhe and her nearly die due to it. She gets fed up when he doesn't believe that Tai Huan wants to harm them.

She finds Zhi Xian hindering Dong Xu's future and tells her to leave him. Upon seeing Tai Hao showing the gesture, she tells Zhi Xian off again. Knowing that Tai Hao is her grandson makes her guilty for being hostile to him. She tries to make up to him by visiting him. Zhi Xian is irked and tells her to leave Tai Hao alone. Chun Xi is sad for injecting too much hatred in the next generation but is consoled when all stay together again. Excellent performance but can be over exaggerating at times.

10. Lee Jong Won as Lee Qi Zhe He is the children's father who is the leader of the miners' union. He fights for their rights but later dies when Tai Huan plans the killing.

11. Jun Mi Sun as Liu Zhen Zi She is Qi Zhe's first love and she comes to look for him. She is very young and has yet to complete her university education. Although Chun Ji is nasty to her, she refuses to leave. She treats her better later but wants her to marry another man after Qi Zhe's funeral. However, like Chun Ji, she can't love another man.

Moreover, she is also pregnant with Qi Shun. The two women are strong to bring up the three children to go through all kinds of poverty and insults. They are as close as sisters and Dong Xu reveals the truth to her first but she can't carry this burden for long. She opens an eatery to support the family.

12. Park Hyun Sook as Yang Yu Xi She is Chun Xi's cousin who is a beautican and hairstylist. She helps to do Zhen Zi's hair but is later astonished to know her identity. She is cheated of her savings and return to Chun Xi for help. She stays to take care of the children too. Being a money digger, she accepts money from Mei Ai. Mei Ai has felt guilty upon seeing how they struggle for a living.

She also tries to impress Hui Lin and Ying Lan when knowing their status. She dreams of becoming a successful actress but often gets supporting roles. However, she isn't an evil person. She has treated Dong Xu as one of them and feels sad to see him leave their home.

13. Jun So Min as Lee Qi Shun She is the brothers' sister. Although they have different mothers, they dote on her. She works in the factory to finance Dong Xu's education. That is why Dong Xu finds him owing the Lis too much upon knowing that all of them have a part in sacrificing for him.

She is dismayed that Ming Xun wants to buy the factory. Ming Xun doesn't know why he has a soft spot for her. Jian has kidnapped her once, wanting to use her to threaten Dong Zhe. However, in this process, he starts falling for her when she doesn't blame him. Both later get married but they do not blame Dong Zhe when Tai Huan's men come to ruin the wedding. She is puzzled why Ming Xun also turns up but later knows that he is her elder brother. However, they take some time to develop the closeness.

Jin Ji Hee (9 years old)
She is very adorable and all like her. Whenever her brothers are punished, she will kneel in front of Chun Xi to beg for them.

14. Kim Sung Kyum as President Wu
He is a morally upright person and has not approved of Tai Huan's high-handling ways of dealing with business to put him in bad light. He has once removed him of his important duties but give him his power back when he helps in development. However, he is tormented upon knowing how vicious Tai Huan is from Dong Xu. He has asked him to meet him but Tai Huan accuses him of hurting President Wu when he faints to hurt himself. That is why Dong Zhe has to resort to illegal means to rescue him.

He dotes on Ming Xun and wants him to manage his business. He learns that Dong Xu is his grandson so he entrusts him to take care of Run Ji and Tai Sing before he dies. Ming Xun gets Dong Xu to carry President Wu's photo during the funeral before leaving to stay with the Lis to give him his position back.

15. Na Hyun Hee as Wu Run Ji Tai Huan marries her because of her wealth and she resigns to her fate, knowing that she is not the one he loves most. She is jealous to know of Zai Xi and insists of meeting her. Tai Huan tries to lie or divert the topic whenever Zai Xi is mentioned. To be aware that Tai Huan is a killer is bad enough. She is speechless to know of Dong Xu's real identity but can't acknowlegde him. She can only apologise to Chun Xi.

She still treats Ming Xun like her own and Ming Xun still cares for her. She takes care of President Wu and also looks after Tai Hao. She is very clear what kind of person Tai Huan is and tries to talk to her about it. She visits Chun Xi in hospital when she is injured in the accident. Both mothers finally have the chance to talk face to face and thank each other for bring their sons up.

16. Lee Won Jae as Qian Qing Tai He is Tai Huan's personal assistant after becoming a miner for many years. He betrays Qi Zhe by leaving the union and also causes his death. He is very greedy for money and Mei Ai finds it easy to bribe him to work for her. He is pleased after drugging Tai Huan to see Mei Ai and both drown later to get his money. However, Kui Xiu has the last laugh to murder him and get the suitcase.

17. Yoo Dong Geun as Guo Da Hua
He is a casino magnate but his wealth accumulates through illegal means. He is also greedy for money - he wants a merger so he gets to become close to Mike's father. Getting a marriage wll stabilise his career even further. He treats Dong Zhe like dirt, getting him to tie up his loose ends for him - that includes saving Ying Lan from kidnpas besides giving him a career.

However, a showdown finally comes when Dong Zhe buys over Tai Sing electronics - the company that he wants to own. He is enraged when Dong Zhe goes against him and always hinders his future projects and love life. That includes breaking him and Ying Lan up. Initially, he despises Tai Huan. Yet he can even work with Tai Huan to get the land that Dong Zhe needs to spite him.

Ying Lan looks down on him and they quarrel. He vomits blood and learns that he is in the final stage of lung cancer. He carefully plans the transfer of everything to Ying Lan but annouces that Dong Zhe is the successor. He feels sorry to implicate him but he knows that he has placed his daughter in good hands. It is a pity that he doesn't survive to see them getting married.

18. Jung Hye Young as Zai Xi She knows Tai Huan as they come from the same orphanage. But Tai Huan forsakes her and she marries Mike's eldest brother. She becomes a widow when he dies in a car crash planned by Mike's second brother. Her father-in-law has regarded her as capable in helping out in the family business. She is an international negotiator and has many diplomatic links with many diplomats. Being softhearted, she sometimes helps him out when he is in trouble.

19. Shin Eun Jung as Liu Mei Ai She is once working as a nurse and is pregnant with Tai Huan's child. Tai Huan doesn't want her to hiner his future so he gets someone to cut up her stomach to remove the foetus. She bears a lot of hatred and exchange the two babies at birth. From then on, she can never conceive again.
She happens to look after HK bank GEO and marries him to help him to manage the bank. She has a good impression of Dong Zhe and helps him to borrow the funds. She smiles coldly upon seeing how Tai Huan tries to get close to Zai Xi again. After knowing that he is Dong Xu's brother, she is shocked but still continues to buy over Tai Huan's company shares. Tai Huan is surprised over this and gets his men to try to kill her in a car accident.

He is unware that Ming Xun is also in the car. Mei Ai yells the truth as she thinks that she is going to die. It is amusing to see all these people affirming the truth from her - Ming Xun, Dong Zhe, Zhi Xian, Run Ji, Chun Xi, Dong Xu and Tai Huan. She can't wait to see Tai Huan's downfall so she also reveals to President Min on how she is nearly killed. All find her ruthless for committing the act as this has changed all their lives. She ends her life with Tai Huan as she wants to put a stop to everything.

20. Kim Hak Chul - Jiang Qi Wan
He has betrayed Du Se for the gold her he finds to work for Tai Huan but turns over a new leaf after Tai Huan cheats him of the gold bars. He marries Yu Xi to become Dong Zhe's uncle but still works for him.

21. Lee Hyo Jung - Qian Ying Xi
Guo Hua wants to curry favour with him as he is seen as the next president. He is the man who helps Dong Xu out of prison. Zai Xi also goes to him for help when Dong Xu is in trouble. He is interested in Zai Xi for a while. When he loses his power, he is glad that Hui Lin and Dong Zhe still come to visit him. He is loyal to Da Hua and only admits that the money squarandering issue is due to him.

22. Lee Suk Joon as Father Han
He has witnessed how Mei Ai loses her baby but he can do nothing about it. He is a consultant on many affairs when many come to see him. Although he is skeptical of the truth, he still tells Chun Xi despite Zhen Zi's begging as she has the right to know about it. He also reminds Zhi Xian and Dong Xu to walk on the correct paths upon seeing them on the wrong track. He is glad to officiate Dong Zhe's wedding.

23. Kim Hyung Min as Wang Jian
He is older than Dong Zhe to be in the boys home and Tai Huan's men want to kill him. Upon knowing his parentage, he pities him and both sneak out. He is later caught again but Dong Zhe escapes. Thus, he thinks that Dong Zhe has betrayed him. Morevoer, Dong Zhe also works for Jian's father's enemy, Da Hua who seizes his company. Jian turns to work for Tai Huan as Ming Xun's assistant.
He learns from Qi Shun about the truth and helps Dong Zhe instead. Dong Zhe never leaves him in the lurch to come and rescue him in exchange with the shares that he has just seized from Tai Huan. Jian is touched and works for Dong Zhe later.

24. Go Yoon Hoo as Du Se
He is Jian's buddy but also betrays Dong Zhe for the gold. He is framed to be jailed by Tai Huan. Dong Zhe waits for him outside the prison on his day of release. He bursts into tears and works for him later on. He will solve all problems for him, even ironing the conflicts between him and Jian.

25. Park Chan Hwan as Chang He is formerly Qi Wan's man who sends his goods overseas. He is an experienced sailor but has very good diplomatic ties with everyone. Seeing Dong Zhe in trouble, he sends him to Macau to ensure his safety. He is very observant and warns him of trouble. Ying Lan entrusts him with the electronics deal which he keeps from Dong Zhe to seal firmly. He is like a father to Dong Zhe and is interested in Yu Zi to buy things for her to make her happy.

26. Park Geun Hyung as President Min
He is the owner of Han Shi newspaper. He has once given in to authority but Hui Lin manages to change him after that. He is a fair person to record all the correct details.

27. Jung Young Sook as Pei Hua Mei
She is Hui Lin's first mother and she has to accept her into the home after Hui Lin's mother dies. She considers Hui Lin an outsider and is always at odds with her. She brags of Hui Lian marrying a rich man. The tension grows when Cheng Xuan ditches Hui Lian in order to woo Hui Lin and Hui Lin becomes ill. Their rivalry vanishes when both apologise to one another and stick as a family.
She knows Mei Ai for a long time but she conceals her past from her. Knowing that she can't stay in the hospital for long, Hua Mei brings Mei Ai home to recuperate.

28. Jung So Young as Min Hui Lian
She is an accomplished pianist and is well-protected by Hua Mei. She has thought of herself to be lucky to find Cheng Xuan. Cheng Xuan's 'betrayal' leaves her badly affected and she can't carry out her performances anymore. Since then, she becomes very sickly and Hui Lin feels responsible for it.

29. Park Sung Woong as Bai Cheng Xuan
He is Hui Lian's fiance but breaks up with her to woo Hui Lin. Hua Mei tells Cheng Xuan about Hui Lin's parentage but Cheng Xuan doesn't mind it. When this doesn't work, she tells his parents. Cheng Xuan is adamant to get what he wants. Hui Lin has no choice but to accept him when he helps Han Shi newspaper when it gets into trouble.

Upon seeing Hui Lian very ill, Hui Lin breaks up with him. He then accompanies Hui Lian overseas by seeking treatment. By the way, Sung Woong is Shin Eun Jung's husband in real life but they only have a scene together - where Mei Ai has a meal with them.

30. Jung Yoon Suk as Shen Tai Hao
He is Min Xun's son who is cute and innocent. He is close to the brothers although they hardly meet. Zhi Xian brings up him well as he respects elders and is very polite. He only wants his parents to be together.

31. Yoon Dong Hwan as lawyer Jin Tai Shan
He is once Guo Hua's lawyer but betrays him or money. Although grateful to Dong Zhe for letting him off, he still kidnaps Ying Lan to extort Guo Hua. He never expect Dong Zhe to turn up again and he gets arrested this time. Grateful to Dong Zhe, he becomes his law consultant and helps him to garner Tai Sing shares by checking the documents carefully.

32. Hwang Jung Eum as Jin Su En
She is the commissioner's daughter who works as a reporter in Han Shi newspaper. She seems to be interested in Dong Zhe when he is drunk after knowing his parentage. She listens to him when he pours his woes. She is very impartial but listens to Dong Xu to publish what he has for her. This is amusing indeed - Tai Huan makes use of Dong Xu and he makes use of her.

Many have thought that her presence is created to replace Hui Lin but she only appears in some scenes. Maybe the actress is still not up to mark to have a meat role.

33. Na Kwang Hoon as Luo Guang Xun
He is Guo Hua's personal assistant. Upon knowing that Guo Hua is dying of cancer, he stages a rebellion by trapping the Guos at home. However, his plan fails when Dong Zhe manages to rescue them. After getting a sound beating from Dong Zhe, he gets out of his sight. But soon, he appears to kill him.

34. Kim Hak Chul as Commisioner Jin
He is Su En's father and also Dong Xu's superior. He has seen how well Dong Xu is but doesn't want him to commit any mistake so he reminds him every now and then. He should have taken Dong Xu out of the case if he really wants to show that he is impartial. More so when he learns that he is Tai Huan's son. This man is already getting out of control, eager to outshine his colleagues without checking the facts.

35. Moon Sung Hyuk as Huang Kui Xiu
He is Da Hua's subordinate but Da Hua often makes use of him. He then switches camp to work for Tai Huan instead. Tai Huan agrees to give him 20% of Tai Sing shares if he volunteers information to Dong Xu and not to anyone else. He obeys and gets the boxes of cash, framing Da Hua for doing it. That makes Da Hua being detained for questioning for a while but he is let go.

His hatred for Da Hua never stops. He even wants to jeopardize his wake and kidnap Ying Lan. Dong Zhe has forseen this and that is only an empty front. He has hidden Da Hua's body at the church with Father Han. Kui Xiu still manages to kidnap her later to cause Dong Zhe's death.

36. Lee Eun Mi as godmother
She is Tai Huan's godmother and he often runs to her for help when he gets into financial difficulties. She sometimes helps him but also chides him for forsaking Zai Xi. Zai Xi also comes to visit her but she doesn't approve of her ways to help him.

Most favourite character
Dong Zhe, he is very noble, trustworthy and kind. He has done a lot for others and hardly thinks for himself.

Most hated character
Tai Huan, he is a total jerk to make use of everyone. A close second is Da Hua for the same reason. The third will be Dong Xu who is totally blinded by attention to achieve success to go against Dong Xu.

Interesting facts

Ratings started at 11% but soared to 32% in the end. This was a bit upsetting for the cast as they expected more. Maybe not many can stomach the serious storyline. Still, they were overjoyed that it won 'Boys over flowers' for many days. The initial plan to increase 4 episodes made it to 6 to end at 56. The shooting of 'Queen of wives' was not smooth as the preparation was not enough. Even the cast was not complete so MBC had no choice.

Seung Hyun lowered his acting fee by half. He could get the other half from the overseas copyright if it sells well. He saw how tough the crew was and he wanted to share the burden and joy. Dae Hee stopped filming in the midst of the production, citing personal reasons. It was hectic when the producer had to change the script to make her exit.

Others also expressed their dislike and delayed filming for a few days. The storyline did not come well with the script as it was very uneven. Some even felt like leaving the production with her. Park Geun Hyung and Jung Young Sook who acted as her parents stayed on although there were rumours that they would also leave. Some thought tht Da Hee should have finished her part and considered from the whole picture.

Yeon Hee was pressurized to work with an experienced crew but was touched when all offered her help. Seung Hyun knew that she was very nervous and calmed her. They looked so photogenic together that all wished that they could have been a couple in real life.

Below were the awards won in 2008 MBC Drama Awards despite of the negative reports :

Daesang (Grand Prize) (Song Seung Hun), Top Excellence Award - Actress (Lee Mi Sook),
Excellence Award - Actor (Jo Min Ki), Excellence Award - Actress (Han Ji Hye) , Best New Actor Award (Park Hae Jin), Best New Actress Award (Lee Yeon Hee), Golden Acting Award (Park Geun Hyung), Golden Acting Award (Yoo Dong Geun), Golden Acting Award (Shin Eun Jung)

PD Award (Yun Jung Hoon), Special Child Actor Award (Park Gun Tae, Shin Dong Woo and Nam Ji Hyun) Best Couple Award (Song Seung Hun and Lee Yeon Hee), Popularity Award (Song Seung Hun and Lee Yeon Hee), Writer of the Year Award (Na Yun Sook)
Many jumped at the result - so was I. Seung Hun getting Daesang award?! I thought that he did not deserve it as he was still not in his best. As for others, some said that it was a insult to Kim Myung Min whose performance in 'Beethovan virus' was breath-taking. They should not be sharing the award together. I also felt that he was the rightful winner of the award too after watching the drama
Conclusion

The story is interlinked to show the changes in Korea. There is trust and betrayal, revenge and payback between the leads. If they have another choice, how will this be? Things get really complicated when they know the truth. How has this affected their lives?

56 episodes is too long. The beginning part is too heavy going. The centre is fine but we can't find the focus. They keep dwelling on the same point and the cast keeps repeating the same thing continuously for many episodes. Moreover, some offer stage-like acting that I can't stomach for long.

The ending also sucks - it rushes just to make a closure hastily. Anyone can see that the work is shabbily done. Luckily, the cast has tried their best and they must be commented. It must be hard on them to put up such high standards although they had complains but they are really professionals. Korean stations needs to be more careful in planning the work.

Sukting's ratings :

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

On story : *** (Scale of 5)



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