Guardian Angel


Reviewed by: sukting

October 22, 2003

Rating: two-point-five

Year produced
2001

How long
16 episodes

Foreword
Kim Min Jong has always been in office wear in dramas. Do you wish to see him acting as a hooligan? Or Song Hae Gyo as a single mother? This serial is able to satisfy your curiosity then.

Story

Xiao Xiao grows up in an orphanage. Because she loves to smile, the orphanage gives her the name. The smile never disappears from her face when she grows up. She fulfils her promise to her adopted sister to stay with her. One day, she goes for a picnic with her friends after her high school graduation. She meets a hooligan, Tai Yong. Tai Yong is the illegitimate son of a drinks’ company owner. He drinks with other hooligans at the same spot. He quarrels with Xiao Xiao over the spot.

Later, Xiao Xiao’s sister and brother-in-law die in a car accident. Their car collided with the car of the drinks’ company owner and the drink owner is dead too. The culprit is the drinks’ company owner’s cousin, Shi Xian. He should be arrested for reckless driving but he escapes from the law, framing his cousin for it. Still, he feels guilty over it.

Xiao Xiao knows of the accident and demands Tai Yong to send her to hospital. Her sister begs her to take care of her newborn baby girl after her death. She agrees and 4 years later, the girl is still with her. Many think that she is an unmarried mother. In her heart, she is prepared to be her mother anyway so she doesn’t correct the mistake.

Tai Yong is still the reckless but loyal friend to all. He falls for her at first sight but loses contact with her after the accident. 4 years later, he finds her helping out at an ice shop. He also gets to see the rental of her room notice so he moves in to stay with her. He then becomes her guardian angel.

Tai Yong’s uncle, De Hao is aging and can’t perform magic tricks anymore to earn a living. He wants Tai Yong to find a decent job instead of a boxer at a nightclub. Tai Yong happens to send the drinks’ company owner to the hospital when he comes to the accident spot with Xiao Xiao. To repay him, the owner’s father still gives him a drink can. This is not a gift but he wants to repay Tai Yong for the favour if he follows the address on the can to work for him.

Shi Xian finds out about Tai Yong’s real identity and tries his best to belittle him so that he himself can inherit the rich fortune. Somehow, the old chairman happens to know about Tai Yong’s real identity first and he tries to change him. This man gets into trouble in the department that he works in because he is not used to office wear and a serious working environment. Laugh when the old man even gets his personal assistant, Zhi Xiu to dress him up too.

Zhi Xiu looks down on Tai Yong because of his humble background. Her eyes are set on Shi Xian so that she can become rich in future. Despite her high position, she doesn’t stay in a big apartment but in a small, old apartment. Her father is also a rubbish collector which makes her feel very ashamed. Knowing that Shi Xian’s position is unstable, she tries to frame Tai Yong every now and then.

Zhi Xiu is injured in an accident and learns how to cherish her relationship with her father. She becomes a better person in the end, although she might end up walking with a limp in future. Shi Xian is remorseful for causing the injury and he becomes a better person too. The truth is also uncovered as he is sent to jail. Tai Yong finds it difficult to accept the truth so he decides to be friends with the old man from the start.

Will Xiao Xiao be together with Tai Yong in the end? Of course, they will as this story has a happy ending but I will leave you to find out the process. However, it is not very exciting as it is very predictable.

Introduction on characters

1. Xia Tai Yong – Kim Min Jong

Tai Yong has a heart of gold despite his complicated background. He talks of loyalty and treats all his old buddies very well. He inherits his uncle’s surname after his mother’s death. His uncle has not wanted him to acknowledge his grandfather but decides to do it as his health worsens. This decision throws him into a completely different environment that he is not used to at all. The scenes where he tries out the business suits at the departmental stores and learning etiquette are sure hilarious. The way that he talks doesn’t match the way he looks!

He becomes colleagues with Xiao Xiao in the same department, under the deliberate arrangement of the producer. Xiao Xiao is even his landlord. Both become lovers later. But all will be amused that he even thinks that Yu Zhen is her real daughter. He has forgotten completely that he met her 4 years old ago and the child is also 4. How can he be so ignorant?

All are shocked to see Min Jong’s new look in here. No business suits, no ties and no leather shoes. What greets us is a man with red hair wearing loud-coloured shirts over his white singlet. His hair is very short too and he talks loudly. I must confess that I can’t accept his image at first. What has he done?? His past image is still imprinted in my mind. But slowly, I get used to it. However, even in the business outfit, I really laugh when he often loosens the tie because he doesn’t know how to tie it. Can you believe that his uncle ties it for him?

Although Min Jong isn’t that impressive in projecting a rough image, I still admire him for his efforts to look and behave like one. It is indeed a big challenge.

2. Jiang Shi Xian – Yin Duo Xun
Shi Xian is a selfish person who will stop at nothing to achieve his aims. He tries to force Xiao Xiao to leave the company by threatening to tell all that she is not Yu Zhen’s natural mother. The poor woman leaves and Tai Yong has to spend a long time to get her back. He is too guilt-stricken to see her all the time at work as she reminds him of his crime. He later admits to his crime after it is revealed.

I don’t think he is very good in here. This actor still needs to brush up his acting skills.

3. Zheng Xiao Xiao – Song Hao Gyo
Xiao Xiao is a cheerful person who is not afraid of setbacks. She will remind you of Che Yang Shun in ‘A Bright Girl’s Success’. She keeps her promise to bring Yu Zhen up but she follows it too closely that she is so frightened that others will find out the truth and hurt the child. So she will do anything to protect her. I still think that this is silly as she might not understand anyway.

I also don’t find her very good in here. Although slimmer, her expressions look as uninterested as in ‘Hotelier’. I don't feel any chemistry between her and Min Jong.

4. Hong Zhi Xiu – Kim Min
She becomes an ambitious woman after growing up in a poor family. She is a very successful personal assistant and strives very hard to work to the top. However, she is so hard-hearted to ignore kinship and is unwilling to admit her humble background.

You will be pissed off by her disgusted looks at Tai Yong when she is forced to bring him for a make-over. But when he shows up in the suit after the fitting room, she realizes how refined he can be. But she is really dismayed by how he behaves at the restaurant later when she teaches him table manners.

As displeased as she may be, she still takes on the task just to please her boss. To climb to the top, she is willing to do anything. I don’t really like this snobbish character. But her final ending still deserves pity. However, this actress can be quite stony in many scenes. I wonder whether it is true that she has undergone plastic surgery and can't show expressions freely as rumoured.

Song
Surprise, surprise, it is sung by actor Park Yong Ha. He sings quite well although I wonder why Min Jong doesn’t do it as he is also an accomplished singer.

Interesting facts

This was Min Jong’s work after his painful breakup with his girlfriend and also Hae Gyo’s attempt after ‘Hotelier’. Many were surprised over Min Jong’s changeover and they took it well. Many commented that he didn’t lose out to the experienced actor, Duo Xun at all.

The serial’s viewership was more than 30%, which was very good. Min Jong dyed his hair red while Hae Gyo lost a lot of weight to act as the single mother. Duo Xun was a comedian and he tried to shed 9 kg for the role. In fact, most viewers were curious to find out how a successful comedian could act a villain role. Many were surprised by his youthful look – even Min Jong said that he looked like his friend or younger brother (too exaggerated a remake to me, though).

There were rumours that Min Jong and Hao Gyo were an item during the filming. Both denied, saying that they only treated each other as siblings. Min Jong also laughed it off, saying that it is simply not possible as he is 9 years her senior.

Duo Xun said that they had meal gatherings almost everyday. All tried to grab the chance to give the treat. The film crew begged the cast not to have any more gatherings as they gained too much weight. The word ‘loyalty’ became their often-used phrase. Many joked that it must be because of Min Jong’s character.

One day, a small child wanted Min Jong to sign an autograph for him. His manager said no as he was busy. The little child begged him to be loyal to do it for him. Seeing that he was so pitiful, Min Jong was amused and took time to do it for him in the end!

Conclusion

I would say that the story lacks originality. Tai Yong is the illegitimate son so he can be a hooligan and yet in the end, he is still a rich young master. This is the usual tactic of Korean dramas – the lead actor still becomes a prince charming in the end. Being devoted isn’t enough so it is still better to have a good financial status to take care of the angel, Xiao Xiao. Viewers will still like the idea of the male being rich and devoted. It is important to have love but bread is also crucial.

Thus you should only watch it if you are faithful fans of any of the above leads. It is only an average drama to me.

On acting : * * * (Scale of 5)

On story : * * * (Scale of 5)


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