Memories


Reviewed by: sukting

September 10, 2003

Rating: two-point-five

How long
16 episodes

Foreword
Due to a rise in the popularity of Korean dramas, TCS acquired a big number of them and I have been watching all of them lately. The more I watch, the more similarities I discover and the less they appeal to me.

Most plots are very simple and repetitive with only a few people for the cast. Some act well, though. And this one is no exception. This serial was shot after Choi Jin Sil's popular rise in 'Wish upon a star' and before Kim Seung Woo's starring in 'Hotelier'. You may be interested to find out how they pair up together.

Story/Introduction to the characters

1. Xu Yuan Ying - Choi Jin Sil
She marries Zheng Hao impulsively. After finding him a male chauvinist and being unable to stay at home to be a housewife for long, she divorces him. She returns to her previous job in an advertising agency and keeps her divorce under wraps. Their son is placed under Zheng Hao's custody.

This woman is proud - when Heng Jun is cautious with his words upon knowing her divorce, she is unhappy. We also don't know what this fickle-minded woman really wants. When Zheng Hao is drunk and asks for a reconciliation, she refuses.

But when she sees Zheng Hao with Zhu Ji, she gets jealous. So bad that she even wants to give up the commercial director post to someone else upon knowing that she is going steady with him. When he decides to sell the apartment that they both own, she starts to feel reluctant to part with it.

At least she is clear who she loves and rejects Heng Jun immediately when he intends to woo her. This doesn't waste his time, unlike Zheng Hao who doesn't know what his final choice is.

I don't really like this character although she has tried to be a good mother. What a change in Choi's looks as a mother and career woman! She has shed her demure image from 'Wish upon a star'. But she looks very scary with the dark make-up which makes her look like a demon.

2. Li Zhu Ji - Gao Xiao Ying
She is a successful model and a cheerful woman. After knowing Zheng Hao, she starts to become more mature. She treats Shang Yu well and tries to be a good future stepmother. She also tries hard to get her mother to accept a divorcee as her future husband.

Unknown to her, the commercial director that she shoots for is Yuan Ying. At first, she doesn't know her identity and talks to Zheng Hao on the phone during breaks, making her jealous. Both women communicate in discomfort when she tells her how to take care of Shang Yu. However, both still become friends although Zheng Hao doesn't choose to be with her finally.

3. Wu Shi Jing
She is jealous of the attention that Yuan Ying gets from Heng Jun because she is secretly in love with him. That is why she is very harsh to her and gives her a hard time when they work together. However, upon knowing her divorce, she feels sorry for her and even volunteers to take over her commercial director's post seeing her so miserable over Zhu Ji's appearance.

4. Han Zheng Hao - Kim Seung Woo
He is a third rate music composer for commercials. Because of his low income, Yuan Ying offers to work but this hurts his ego and they quarrel which leads to their divorce. After that, he still doesn't change much and insists on producing high quality music. Zhu Ji changes his style and thus is later recognised.

Although he is grateful to Zhu Ji and is willing to marry her, he finds himself unable to forget his ex-wife. At first, he can be so unreasonable to tell Yuan Ying not to visit Shang Yu at all so as to forget her completely. He finally returns to her in the end.

I don't like this fellow as his indecision hurts 3 people - 2 women and his son. He's also irresponsible, what ground does he have to blame his friend for not looking after Shang Yu when he goes missing on an occasion? His poor friend has to become his childsitter when Zheng Hao is busy. Pity the man who has to arrange to have dates with his girlfriend at home! This is so unfair to him when he helped to search for him too. It is of no fault of his because Shang Yu sneaks out of the house upon seeing how loving this couple are and how quarrelsome his own parents are.

The poor boy only misses his mother and loses his way back home. If not for Zhu Ji who discovers him, something terrible might have happened to him. Kim's flat delivery is exactly the same as when he played Tai Jun in 'Hotelier', so no surprises at all.

5. Cui Heng Jun - Sun Chang Min
He is the successor to the commercial company and is such a nice guy. He is a good friend of the couple and finds it strange that Zheng Hao allows Yuan Ying to work. But he isn't a person to probe into other's affairs. So as to help her adapt to working life, he guides her along, much to Shi Jing's jealousy.

He is a loving husband and allows his wife to pursue her studies overseas. However, he misses her very much and contacts her through phone daily. He gets Zhu Ji to shoot a commercial. After realising her identity and Yuan Ying's divorce, he becomes very sensitive in order not to hurt her. This poor man always has to apologise to her continuosly although I don't think this is his fault!

Missing his wife, he goes to visit her, only to discover her affair. He leaves for home early to nurse his broken heart. To the extent of wishing to stop the commercial filming process. Shi Jing and Yuan Ying don't know about his divorce and chides him for being unprofessional.

He picks himself up and concentrates on his work after agreeing to the divorce. He later falls for Yuan Ying but gets rejected. He gives Zheng Hao advice to woo Yuan Ying back before he decides to continue his career overseas.

Sun is a natural actor. I must confess my interest in this serial remains partly because of him. He really shines in this serial as a man successful in career as well as a lover in love.

6. Han Shang Yu - the child actor as Xu Tai Zhi in 'Happy Together'
You will pity this child. He is so neglected by his parents when they are at work. They dump him at his grandmother's place or with Zhu Ji so he is happier when with them. It seems that only his grandmother and Zhu Ji really care for him.

The kind of mess Zheng Hao creates at home daily will have you wonder how he is able to take good care of his son. Shang Yu even has to remind him of things he should buy for the home. He yearns for their attention and is overjoyed when they finally reconcile.

Conclusion

One thing I can't stand is the make-up of the actresses in here. They adore dark purple lipsticks. Maybe it was the in-thing in Korea in the late 1990s but I can't tolerate the colour. All look like vampires with it!

Nothing glamorous, no surprises. This simple serial just tells of a couple who regrets their impulsive decision to divorce. Somehow, it brings across the message that one should make serious considerations before getting hitched.

The two leads can be so selfish. I pity the people around them. Especially Zhu Ji - she has tried so hard to go through all odds to be together with Zheng Hao. Although this serial has a happy ending, I am still not happy with it because the two have caused a lot of damage and hurt to others.

I commend the good performance of Gao, Sun and the child actor. They managed to upstage the two leads and made the viewers sympathize with them. It was a big disappointment that the leads did not give a good performance in here.

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

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

Screenshots:
http://www.imbc.com/drama/memory/html/photoshop/photoshop.html


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