Four Sisters

Reviewed by: sukting

September 02, 2003

Rating: two-point-five

16 episodes

This serial comes out right after Chae Rim’s appearance in ‘All About Eve’. This is a story about 4 sisters, their lives and also the men they love. This serial doesn’t get high ratings in Korea because many find it boring.

Introduction on characters/story

1. Zheng Hui Zhen – Hwang So Chin
Hui Zhen is the daughter of Dr Zheng’s mistress. He brings her home when her mother dies. She wished to take up medicine but she learns nursing instead as she gave the chance to Wei Zhen. She tries to make her stepmother treat her better but she fails. She is sweet and caring in helping her father to take care of the patients.

She falls for Ying Xun but hides her feelings upon knowing that Wei Zhen loves him. But she really yearns for his love. Her secret is found by Jun Xia. Professor Min wants to kill Ying Xun to make it look like a car accident. She is nearly knocked down and Jun Xia saves her. It is then that she realizes that she loves him.

When she is with Dong Zhu, her mind is on Jun XIa and rushes back to the hospital to be with him. She takes good care of him but upon knowing that Dong Zhu is also wooing her, Jun Xia tells her to stop visiting him.

Jun Xia gets troubled when Dong Zhu woos Hui Zhen. She starts to think of marrying him to repay his kindness in buying hospital equipment for them. However, he calls off the wedding when she confesses her feelings towards Jun Xia. She marries Jun Xia in the end. Mrs Zheng is a little unhappy that such a good catch has gone to Hui Zhen as she does not like this daughter that much. But Hui Zhen deserves this happiness, doesn't she?

Hwang’s acting is only okay here – It is no different from how she has acted as the self-sacrificing sister in other serials.

2. Zheng Wei Zhen – Chae Rim
I can’t understand how Ying Xun can choose her over Hui Zhen. Wei Zhen has been very unreasonable since young, and she treated her eldest sister so badly - so what does he see in her? When she grows up, she sees herself as her father’s only successor. Despite arguments, she and Ying Xun are together. But a misunderstanding causes them to part. Ying Xun thinks that Dr Zheng is the cause of his mother’s coma. To seek revenge, he even takes over the hospital.

Wei Zhen is desperate but is determined to stay in the hospital as a normal doctor. There is a scene where she is supposed to operate on Wei Shan because she has heart failure. She can’t bring herself to do it in the operating room and becomes hysterical. Ying Xun is so pissed off with her that he takes over and chases her out of the room. Really serves her right!

Xiu Zhen’s sneering and Dr Min’s taking control of the hospital force both sisters to leave. At this time, both sisters have ironed out their differences. They go on house visits but are troubled over the medicine source. Their friends steal from the hospital but Ying Xun turns a blind eye as he knows the real culprit of his mother’s predicament now. He is remorseful but he has to get engaged to Xiu Zhen. This hurts Wei Zhen.

Later, the hospital’s and Dr Zheng’s reputations are restored. Ying Xun has no more courage to face the Zheng family so he stays in the countryside to give free medical services. Wei Zhen has to come to persuade him to return to the hospital and both reconcile in the end at Hui Zhen’s wedding.

I don’t think Chae Rim can go far if she stays this way. I find all her expressions are no different from how she acted in ‘All about Eve’. Although she cut her hair shorter and had more office suits, her acting skills show little improvement in scenes where she acts jealous and displays tantrums. She looks too young to be the second sister.

3. Zheng Wei Mei – An Yan Hong
This woman is the most materialistic among the four. She is a songwriter while Tai Xi is a film maker. Both pretend to be at loggerheads in the office but are lovers in secret. She only believes in getting richer, so she dumps Tai Xi for Zai Yan. But she starts having trouble even before marriage. Her future mother-in-law wanted her to sign a contract before it, making sure that she will not ask for alimony if the marriage fails. She regrets and wants to return to Tai Xi but there is no turning back.

She has an unhappy marriage and Zai Yan ill-treats her. He even drives Tai Xi out of Korea to kill her desire for him. But she fights back to win her freedom, and manages to get evidence of his dirty, underhand methods of doing business. She wins in the end and marries Tai Xi.

This actress resembles Chae Rim but isn’t as pretty as her. But her acting is still acceptable.

4. Zheng Wei Shan – Piao Yi Zhen
She worries her family because of her heart problem. She is also the student that none of the teachers will want to have. She woos her teacher, goes to his home to prepare dishes and cleans up the place for him. I will definitely disapprove like Mrs Zheng. This is really too much! Does she know what she is doing? How can she do this to her high school teacher?

Ji Zhe tries so hard to avoid her and even resigns to teach in a village. This woman goes there to look for him and marries him. Another worry comes when she is pregnant and wants Wei Zhen to operate for her. She lacks the confidence and finally does it with Ying Xun’s help. I will say that this girl builds her happiness on others’ misery. She is a very selfish woman.

5. Min Xiu Zhen
She is Jun Xia’s cousin and is determined to get the man she loves. She goes all out to humiliate the two sisters whenever she has the chance. She knows that Ying Xun doesn’t love her but she still pesters him. She takes care of his mother to get into his good books and forces him to agree to their engagement. However, she tells the police about her father’s wrongdoing in kidnapping Ying Xun. This proves that she still has the conscience and can differentiate right from wrong. Knowing that she has no chance even after working with him for a long time in the village, she leaves.

6. Mrs Zheng
A very stubborn old woman because she only gives all her love to her own children. She ill-treats Hui Zhen and only hopes to marry her off. Sometimes, I pity her for not knowing how to handle her relationships with all her daughters. She has never liked Ying Xun and yet Wei Zhen likes him. Her youngest daughter elopes with her teacher while Wei Mei’s marriage is a failure. She is quite pitiful actually. She turns better after the ordeal and is in tears when she finally gets back the hospital.

7. Min Jun Xia
His father is the hospital director but he has no interest in running the hospital. He works in a company as a sports manager. He is a baseball fan and arranges the matches. His father arranges for him to see Wei Zhen and he is stunned by her beauty. He decides to woo her.

Well, I must say that this man is very unromantic. He grabs her hand at the stadium despite her protests. He wishes to give her a ring. But she rejects him and tells him that she loves Ying Xun. He throws the ring from where he stands. Later he regrets his action and spends a whole day looking for it before he finds it. His mind is focused on taking back the hospital when his uncle grabs it from his father.

He is concerned about Hui Zhen but never realises that he likes her. When Dong Zhu appears, he starts to feel threatened. He confesses his feelings to her but to his amazement, she doesn’t believe him as she thinks that he is still in love with Wei Zhen. He realizes his feelings only when he saves Hui Zhen, and he wins her love in the end.

8. Li Ying Xun – Han Jae Suk
He thinks that his mother has abandoned him for another man. Dr Zheng felt sorry for him and took him in. Mrs Zheng never liked him because his mother had him out of wedlock. Ying Xun knows his position at home so he works hard for a medical scholarship. He later succeeds and returns as a successful surgeon.

He later discovers that his mother is at a nursing home in a coma. He mistakens it as Dr Zheng’s doing so he plans his revenge. He establishes a good relationship with Dr Min and takes full control of the hospital. However, he smells a rat when looking through old medical records and realises that Dr Zheng was operating on another patient on the same day his mother was being operated on. He finds that Dr Min is the culprit, so he tries to look for witnesses to prove his crime. That is why Dr Min tries to kill him but poor Jun Xia becomes the scapegoat.

That is why Ying Xun tries to help the sisters secretly whenever he can to reduce his guilt. Later, Dr Min kidnaps Ying Xun before he can go to the police. He finally escapes but suffers from dehydration. He rushes to see Wei Zhen before fainting in her arms. He is so afraid that he might not see her again. This man is smart enough to leave a tape of his conversation with his policeman friend so Dr Min is jailed.

Han isn’t that good in this serial. His outlook is different from his character as Xiang Zhe in ‘All about Eve’. My friends comment that he looks weird. I can accept it as it is still a change. However, there is some improvement in Han’s acting. The part where he discovers that his mother is still alive is quite touching. The shock and grief are so real on his face. He hugs her and cries non-stop.

9. Xu Zai Yan
This man is very possessive and is only concerned with his own reputation. He is mad when Wei Mei commits adultery and thinks of ways to break them up, such as threatening to cause his films to disappear from cinemas and stopping her from working. Still, all his plans backfire.

10. Han Tai Xi – Chi Zheng Xi (the man acting as Song Hae Gyo’s boyfriend in Si Niang)
This man is talented but he is too loving towards Wei Mei. How can he agree to let her go to another man just because he can’t satisfy her? However, he fights for their happiness in later episodes.

11. Jin Ji Zhe – Piao Zhe (Xian Da in 'All About Eve')
This man is also impossible – how can he continue to lead Wei Shan on? Avoiding her will not settle the issue. It still baffles me how he softens each time in the end. He should be firm and stand his ground!

Many are astonished to find him so slim and tall here as the PE teacher. So am I - actually he should have looked this way in 'All About Eve'!

12. Dr Zheng – actor as Ming Zhe’s father in Beautiful Days
What a change from his evil-father image from there. He is such a doting and caring father here, and the spectacles are a nice touch to add to the refined image he portrays. He gives all his care and love to all his children. However, he doesn’t deserve such a sad ending where he suffers a heart attack and Dr Min throws his pills aside, leaving him to suffer in agony. This is sure a painful way to die. The poor man is also framed for Ying Xun’s mother’s operation, in which he has no part at all. Even his daughters blame him for it!

13. Dr Min
This is a terrifying, scheming character. His medical skills never reached Dr Zheng’s standards so he persuades him to cover his mistake. He is very jealous over Dr Zheng’s success so he frames him even after his death. His hunger for power causes him to work with outsiders to gain control of the hospital. He is later jailed for his misdeeds but he still doesn’t admit his mistake.

14. Zheng Xing Xu – Cui Jun Yong (Cheng Shui in ‘All About Eve’)
He is still comical in here. Do have a good laugh at all his jokes when he woos a colleague, Xin Xi. He always acts like a love advisor and tell Jun Xia what to do regarding love. But when the real thing happens to him, he has to consult Jun Xia. What a man!

15. Jin Dong Zhu – the producer in All about Eve who is very strict in punctuality. If you remember him, he always sits besides Xiang Zhe when he chairs every meeting)
He is genuine in his love for Hui Zhen. However, he is about 10 years older than her. Actually he makes a fine choice because he is a caring and understanding man. He doesn’t force Hui Zhen to marry him. How I wish that he gets his Miss Right!

The subtheme song is ‘Confession’, which is sung by a male singer. The main theme song is the Korean version of ‘The moon represents my heart.’ It comes in 3 versions. The first is the fast-paced version sung by a female singer. The second version is a hummable tune, while the last is a sad slow violin version. All songs are worth listening to and fit the serial well.

This serial is quite disappointing for me. I expected more from this serial, given the cast, but it is a letdown. It doesn’t go much into healthy relationships. I oppose teacher and student romances. Wei Shan's actions irritate me – she shouldn’t have pursued her teacher too openly. I believe it should start only after the student has completed the studies.

It is never explained why Wei Zhen hates Hui Zhen so much. Being unreasonable isn’t persuasive enough. In contrast, her younger sisters treat her well. I feel so sorry for Hui Zhen when her efforts aren’t appreciated. Maybe Wei Zhen is jealous that Ying Xun treated Hui Zhen better when they were younger and she vents her anger on her?

Wei Mei is too submissive. She is married and she should give up on Tai Xi. She has no intentions to leave her husband at first but she still returns to the studio to look for Tai Xi! What is she trying to do – to disrupt his career and be a two-timer? Jun Xia shouldn’t have been so stupid to trust his uncle so much. Hasn’t Ying Xun warned him beforehand? It is too late when the tables are already turned.

Those who are unhappy that Shan Mei and You Zhen don’t end up together in ‘All About Eve’ should watch this serial then. I guess this serial is produced to pacify them. Only watch it if you have nothing to do. The pace is too slow and I kept on yawning when watching it.

Ratings :

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

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

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