Invitation


Reviewed by: sukting

November 05, 2003

Rating: two

Chinese title: 只爱陌生人

How long
16 episodes

Foreword

This is the first Korean drama that I have watched but it nearly killed my interest in other dramas with its doubly slow-moving pace. I wondered whether I was watching a Taiwanese drama instead. It is basically a drama on 6 lovers – 3 men and 3 women. The 3 women are high-school classmates but their friendship is being tested due to troubles created by men. Will they still be friends later?

Introduction on characters/story

Cui Ying Zhu – Lee Ying Ae

She is engaged to Dong Xi but she is unhappy because her future mother-in-law dislikes her. She gets to know her ex-classmate, Sheng Zhen through her workplace and falls for him. She works in the same hotel as him. Little does she know that he is Mei Yan’s boyfriend and Mei Yan is carrying his child. Upon knowing it, Ying Zhu persuades him to return to Mei Yan and gives him up. But still both should be together in the end – I presume that because I see both walking towards each other in the end.

She looks like the person who suffers the most but I feel that Mei Yan deserved more to be pitied. Ying Zhu faces pressure at work because she gets promoted too fast. Her senior always sizes her up as I also feel that she still lacks the capability – late for work and slow in responding to customers. She deserves it! And Sheng Zhen’s relationship with her invites more sarcasm.

Lee’s acting is the same way in looking innocent and fragile, as in ‘Fireworks’. I don’t know why many pity her in here and also in there for being the third party. Just because she looks weak doesn’t imply that she can be forgiven so easily. Ying Zhu has been in love with Dong Xi for 6 years and this is nothing compared to Sheng Zhen?

Song Shi Hui – Chu Sang Mi

She is a cheerful gynae and has broken up with her boyfriend. Her junior, Xian Tai moves in with her and gives her a lot of trouble. This fellow is persistent to ask her for sex all the time. I am disgusted by the thought – why doesn’t she just chase him away? She does not even consider going out with him at all because he can be very childish and she is two years older than him.

She is cute and chubby looking. Being calm, she is always there to solve her friends’ problems. However, upon knowing her 2 friends’ complicated relationships, she doesn’t really know what to do. She has wanted Mei Yan to terminate her pregnancy but upon seeing how she desires to be a mother, she tries her best to help her. Her ending? She is happily married to Xian Tai and she is pregnant in the end.

Chu is okay as the friendly person but I really hate the way she gives in to Xian Tai to have sex before their marriage. Since she is persistent all along, why not wait till their wedding day?

Jiang Mei Yan – Kim Min

She can be unreasonable but you can’t blame her. She grows up in an orphanage and lacks family love. She loves Sheng Zhen and is angered when he loves her best friend, Ying Zhu. Overcome by jealousy and hungry for revenge, she still pretends to be concerned about her and asks her why she ditched Dong Xi and accepted Sheng Zhen. Not wanting to give up, she even persuades Dong Xi to court Ying Zhu back. It is strange that all along, these two women don’t mention about their lovers' name at all. If they do it, all is known and the story just ends here!

You will feel the creeps upon seeing how she shadows Sheng Zhen. Sheng Zhen nearly gets a mental breakdown and what a stupid man, he doesn’t even know that the two women know each other. Later, the beans are spilled and both leave him. Mei Yan has wanted to use her pregnancy as a threat to tie him down. Later she is determined not to return to him although he is willing to bear the responsibility to be her baby’s father. She has made up her mind to be a single mother. She has difficulties carrying the baby girl to full term but she doesn’t give up. She even opens a photography exhibition and invites all her friends to join her. This shows that she has really let go of the past.

I have the feeling that Kim Min has undergone plastic surgery. Her features look too sharp and unreal. I was not that impressed with her acting.

An Dong Xi – Li Chang Xun

Dong Xi is a successful DJ in a radio station. He tries hard to iron out the differences between Ying Zhu and his mother because his mother despises Ying Zhu’s mother for being a divorcee. In Korea, divorced women, single mothers and widows have very low status. They are considered unable to raise up their children single-handedly. I am very appalled by their traditional thinking as it’s the 21st century now!

This poor man doesn’t know why he gets ditched and thinks that the problem lies with him. He drinks daily but still tries to salvage the situation. To his despair, Ying Zhu is insistent in her decision and he is upset to find her loving another man so soon. All along, he gives in to her but she is surprised that he doesn’t agree to the breakup this time. He even pushes the marriage plans forward. He finally lets her go in the end upon knowing that she doesn’t go back to him even after breaking up with Sheng Zhen.

Huang Shen Zhen – Kim Seung Kin

I hate this coward – he is a two-timer. He knows Ying Zhu and Shi Hui for a few months when both are in high school. From then, he has liked Ying Zhu. Later his diplomat father brings him to Germany and they lose touch. At this time, Mei Yan transfers into the high school and becomes good friends with Ying Zhu and Shi Hui. He gets to know Mei Yan when he returns and both do not publicise their relationship as they wish to concentrate on work.

Right after his first meeting with Ying Zhu, he suddenly finds Mei Yan detestable. To think that they have been together for 3 years and are about to get married! His attitude turns cold to her just in a few weeks. How fast a man can change his mind – just like Ying Zhu too. I hate this unfaithful pair – they only care for themselves. He also keeps on telling Ying Zhu that Mei Yan refuses to let him go and he doesn’t love her anymore.

Which is the part I like best? It is the scene where both women wish to introduce their boyfriends. Sheng Zhen chickens out upon seeing both women together. This must be the greatest shock of his life. Another will be of him trying to trash things out with Mei Yan in her car and tries to hide when he sees Ying Zhu approaching. What a coward!

Serves him right for getting no woman at all. I can’t stand men who are so indecisive and yet want the best of both worlds. Huang is okay in his acting torn between which love he should choose.

Jin Xian Tai – Li Min Yu

I detest this character too. I have never seen such a thick-skinned man to request to stay in a home where the woman he loves is in it. Because the main problem is – this woman, Shi Hui, treats him like a younger brother and not a lover! When he moves in, he tries to sleep in the same room as her and later demands to be together on the same bed. What a dirty mind he has when he says that this is to test love from another degree. I am very disgusted by his thought. I don’t think that he really loves Shi Hui at all.

This actor is quite good in delivering comical lines but too bad this character is not to my taste.

Favourite character

None, because none of them pleases me in any way.

Most hated character

Xian Tai and Sheng Zhen – who show the worst side of men. Just hope that we don’t get to see such people in real life.

Interesting fact

This was the first Korean drama that was shown in Singapore in 2001 after viewers cast their votes in a poll to choose this serial over two other Japanese dramas Le Bellome or Christmas in Summer. Many are curious to know why Taiwanese are crazy over Korean dramas. This spawns more Korean dramas to be shown and all of us are being introduced to other Korean artistes.

Songs

The theme song "Sugar" is a fast-paced song by a female singer while the subtheme song is a slow one by a male singer. I like both songs although I have no idea who are the singers.

Conclusion

Can love only appear the last minute right before the wedding? I guess this might happen although the possibility is small. But I hate the way Sheng Zhen and Ying Zhu handle their problems. They just evade their responsibilities and keep it under wraps. No wonder their future spouses are so mad with them. Maybe the producer’s intention is to give us a bad example and not to follow their footsteps?

This is a very slow drama which requires lots of patience to watch it. I don’t really like it and wonder why it is named ‘Invitation’. A sign to show that they can just invite lovers to destroy a well-built relationship anyway? I don’t have the answer.

Sukting's Ratings :

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

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

Screenshots:
http://www.kbs.co.kr/drama/invitation/


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