Mina


Reviewed by: sukting

February 13, 2005

Rating: three

How long
20 episodes - by KBS

Story

Mei Na is a popular singer. She is worn out by her hectic schedule and insists of being in love with Tai Xun despite her manager, Jun Xi's protests. Tai Xun's father runs a huge conglomerate and his wife opposes them together too. They feel a singer isn't fit enough to be their future daughter-in-law and they try to get him involve in match makings. Tai Xun is unhappy over it. Tai Xun goes against them and is overjoyed that Mei Na agrees to his marriage proposal.

Mei Na suggests retiring but Jun Xi turns her down. He is enjoying his rising status as a successful manager and will not allow this to ruin his life. Shui Lian looks like Mei Na and sells coffee at a mall to support her family. Her father, Tai Fu's business fails and he sponges on the family. Still, he dotes on Shui Lian. Shui Lian has 3 good friends, Ying Ai, Xiang Kui and Han Xiu. Her younger siblings are different - sister Shui Zhen is diligent in studies while brother Shui Yong often play truants.

Shu Lian wins a small singing contest. Mrs Jin disapproves of her singing but Tai Fu agrees to it. Her friends think that she should build up her own style instead of imitating Mei Na. Sometimes, she is mistakened as Mei Na and enjoys signing autographs on her behalf.

Tai Xun and Mei Na try to escape from reporters when they are dating. As a result, they have a car accident and Mei Na is badly injured. Tai Xun is remorseful upon seeing her face in bandages. Knowing that she is disfigured, Mei Na refuses to see Tai Xun. Jun Xi sends her for plastic surgery but it fails.

Jun Xi happens to see Shui Lian singing in a mall. So he signs an agreement with her - she will impersonate Mei Na till she recovers. Three years is the maximum and he expects her to go downhill because of age and will not be useful to him anymore. How selfish he can he!

Mei Na is unaware over this and goes to U.S. for treatment. Shui Lian keeps this from her family, lying to them that she needs to work overseas. In actual fact, she stays in Jun Xi's home and goes through all the training and makeover. Tai Xun is surprised to see "Mei Na" on television and wonders why she doesn't tell him that she has recovered and comes to see her. Tai Xun is puzzled that Shui Lian behaves differently from Mei Na. Mei Na drinks fairly well and loves late nights.

There is once he gets her coffee in a park but she has sore feet after wearing hard boots. She sits on the bench. He is appalled upon seeing her removing them when he is back! When both go to have a western meal in the restaurant, she eats the steak till the juice spreads over her lips and she doesn't notice it! Can you imagine Tai Xun walking to her and using his own napkin to clean for her! And when he hugs to kiss her on the lips, she is so stiff! You will have to watch these comical parts to find out.

Jun Xi lies to Tai Xun that Mei Na loses her memory. Tai Xun is remorseful and treats Shui Lian well. Shui Lian tries brewing him coffee and she almost reveals that she is an expert in it since she sells coffee. She is so distracted that she breaks the glasses. Tai Xun is concerned and pretends to hurt his hand to get her attention. Shui Lian is moved when he proposes her with a ring and wears it. But Jun Xi tells her to remove it when she works. Jun Xi doesn't understand himself - he is soft to see how Shui Lian misses her family.

He grants her a few days? leave. He then lies to Tai Xun that she is sick. Shui Lian visits her friends after that and reveals the truth. They keep the secret for her. Tai Xun comes to visit Shui Lian in her van upon learning that she is still working. This is a close shave as she manages to return to the van on time to pretend to be Mei Na again. She pretends to cough profusely. Poor chap to get tricked - Tai Xun gets so worried and has only enough time to hold her shoulders for a while before returning to work. Jun Xi apologises to make Shui Lian sick but he has already arranged her to work later so as to get him to leave.

Shui Lian feels guilty but is unable to tell him the truth as she loves him now even though Jun Xi hands her the phone to talk to Tai Xun. Tai Xun detects something amiss upon hearing her sobbing voice, saying that she is sorry to him. Mei Na has a successful operation and is shocked to know about it. But now, she returns with a new face and who will believe that she is Mei Na? She tries calling Tai Xun but Jun Xi keeps his handphone. Jun Xi only returns the phone to Tai Xun later. Mei Na waits at the usual caf?here Tai Xun plays the piano but he doesn't turn up.

Before she approaches Tai Xun, Jun Xi warns Tai Xun that she is a reporter and claims to be Mei Na to harm Shui Lian. So Tai Xun ignores Mei Na and this hurts her when she tries to approach him at his office. She doesn't try too hard to convince him as she returns illegally. Shui Zhen suspects that Shui Lian gets her pay through illegal ways. She refuses to accept her money. She will rather work part time to support her education. Shui Lian is tired although she enjoys popularity but has to oblige to Jun Xi's demands.

Tai Xun is concerned that Shui Lian is 'sick?. Despite his busy schedule, he tells his subordinate to get her medicine and food to her home. Mei Na is jealous to see how Tai Xun shows his concern for the wrong person. She approaches him and tries telling him the details that only both of them should know but Tai Xun thinks that she gets the information because she is a reporter! Shui Lian is touched but is disillusioned when reminded by Jun Xi that Mei Na can be back anytime. Tai Xun meets his doctor friend in the caf?o discuss ways to help Mei Na regain her memory.

He frowns and drinks upon thinking how ?bad? Mei Na's condition is. Later, when hearing from the caf?wner that Mei Na waits for him at the caf? few days earlier, he is delighted and blames her for not telling him earlier. He thinks that she has regained her memory and comes to her home. He is so impatient to wait for the lift that he runs up the stairs. But he gets to see Mei Na in the flat with Shui Lian. Shui Lian is too shocked to react upon knowing that Mei Na is back. She trembles even though both stand to look at him eagerly. But?..as expected, Tai Xun hugs Shui Lian to sit beside him and console her!

Sure enough, Mei Na points out to Tai Xun that Shui Lian is an imposter and says something intimate that both share together. He gets confused but still believes Shui Lian. Mei Na leaves because Jun Xi threatens to call the police. Jun Xi is angry that Han Xiu knows the secret but wants her to keep it to herself.

Believing that Shui Lian loses her memory, he tries to use fragrances to remind her. He also believes that her earlier outburst is due to stress. Upon seeing her overly exhausted, he brings her to the villa to rest. Shui Lian feels guilty and asks if he can accept a normal woman as his wife. He admits he will rather have a girl who has nothing to herself so that he can provide for her. It is best to be simple. Tai Xun quarrels with Jun Xi for making ?Mei Na? overwork. Jun Xi is angry and also worried when Shui Lian is missing so he realizes that he has fallen for her.

Ever since Mei Na's appearance, Shui Lian makes blunder at work. After a failed performance, she decides to give up the career to marry Tai Xun. Tai Xun's parents know that Tai Xun still loves Mei Na so they decide to stop Mei Na from endorsing their company's products. This might cause them to drift apart since they get to see less of each other. The reporters are baffled when Jun Xi is normally strict with artistes. When the person makes a blunder, he will stop promoting her. However, he puts up with Shui Lian's mistakes. Tai Xun decides to tell his parents that he wants to marry her.

Shui Lian is elated but also scared that he might discover her secret. In the meantime, Mei Na keeps appearing in front of Tai Xun. Her mannerisms resemble his Mei Na and this confuses him. She claims to be Christina and her career is ruined by Mei Na. He promises to help her if she stops harassing Shui Lian. Mei Na tails Shui Lian and is impressed that she imitates her every movement. But she tells her that Tai Xun may know the secret soon. Shui Lian is willing to give everything back to her except Tai Xun.

Jun Xi happens to know of the engagement plans. He tries in vain to change Shui Lian's mind. Thus he decides to throw discord among her and his parents. He spreads untrue rumours on ?Mei Na's? past romances to give them a bad impression. Tai Xun is unmoved over it and Shui Lian is annoyed as she is aware that it is Jun Xi's doing. She visits her family and they suspect her motive in earning the money.

This hurts her. Tai Fu tails her back home and is alarmed to see her impersonating Mei Na. He suspects her having a twin. Mrs Jin is angry upon hearing him saying that. Mei Na also gets to know about it too as she follows Shui Lian home too. Shui Lian is becoming hesitant over the coming engagement on whether to tell the truth. Mr Zheng reminds Tai Xun to focus his mind on work. Tai Xun and his subordinates experiment a new wine product. He has planned to call it 'the drink of love? for his big occasion.

Shui Lian has sleepless nights so Tai Xun goes to the CD shop, thinking of what to get for her. Mei Na is there to get Mei Na's favourite cd for him and he is grateful to her. Shui Lian misses the day when she is supposed to meet Tai Xun's parents because she has no courage. Tai Xun wants to bring her to his doctor friend for treatment but she refuses. Mei Na shows photos of Shui Lian with her family to Jun Xi and threatens to give them to the press. Jun Xi has to give her money so that she can look for a company to promote her as a new singer under the name Christina.

Shui Lian finally knows that she is adopted from an orphanage. She is sad and tells Jun Xi about it. Jun Xi tells her about his background. He is an orphan and is adopted by Tai Xi's parents. He has to please them for his own survival. Jun Xi is willing to give up everything to be with her but she rejects him as she loves Tai Xun. Tai Xun is upset that she doesn't turn up.

He sends an MMS of them together to Shui Lian and she is touched. Tai Xun is unhappy to go to the recording company and not to see her or Jun Xi around. He finally knows that Jun Xi has hindered him to be with ?Mei Na? all along by deleting his sms to her and is angered. He tells a reporter that he will marry her soon - even though she might not turn up in public to be his bride.

Tai Xun goes to the bar for a drink. Mei Na is there, singing their favourite song and he is stunned when it reminds him of their past. He walks unsteadily and nearly trips. Shui Lian slaps Mei Na upon seeing them together. Both quarrel and Tai Xun is devastated that she becomes so unreasonable. Jun Xi dares Mei Na to remove her gloves and admits her identity to Tai Xun. She has no courage as her fingers are badly burned.

Tai Xi confronts Jun Xi for coming between him and Shui Lian. He later knows from him that she undergoes a lot of pressure and regrets not understanding her earlier. Thus he gives her a call to apologise to her. At this time, Shui Lian's parents try to dissuade her from impersonating Mei Na further but she refuses. She agrees to stop after earning enough money.

Jun Xi wants Mei Na to promise not to appear in front of Tai Xun again. She is later cheated by the manager - it is just Jun Xi's ploy to get his money back and to teach her a lesson. But both being busy with this, they can't stop another thing from happening. Tai Xun and Shui Lian reconcile after serious thought and they announce their engagement to the press. Jun Xi is alarmed but it too late to stop it when he rushes to the venue to see them kissing each other. Tai Xun's parents are equally displeased with him. Mr Zheng is so angry that he nearly gets a heart attack. They give Jun Xi money to break up the couple and he agrees.

Mei Na is so angry that she gives Tai Xun the photos. Jun Xi tells him that Shui Lian's father is her poor uncle so she keeps it from him. But Tai Xun is not taken in easily - he sees that her hair is black and Mei Na is a frank person who will not keep this from him. He is already suspicious earlier on when Shui Lian says the cd is not going to help her to sleep as the music is noisy. But he knows from his doctor friend that a person suffering from amnesia will not change his/her likes or dislikes. How can this happen?

After the marriage announcement, Shui Lian's popularity dips. The real Mei Na confesses her identity to Tai Xun and he is badly affected while she is bitter that he doesn't even recognize her after she changes her face. He discovers from his doctor friend that it is impossible for a badly burned victim's hands to recover. Tai Xun suspects Shui Lian now as he finds no scar on her hands and knows nothing about Canada. He starts to avoid Shui Lian as he starts to find Mei Na familiar to him.

Tai Fu is excited to have a rich son-in-law and comes to the company to look for him. He even visits his parents but the Zhengs never acknowledge Shui Lian as their future daughter-in-law.

Mei Na is angry that Shui Lian still insists on impersonating her, wanting Tai Xun to be with her and doesn't want to revert to the poor life again. Shui Lian even tells Mei Na to return to Canada. Mei Na threatens to tell the truth but Shui Lian's parents tell her to confirm her parentage with the orphanage. Mei Na finds out that Shui Lian is her twin younger sister. Her adopted parents only wish to adopt her so they took her away. Their mother passed away after giving birth to them. She doesn't know what to do. Jun Xi tries to stop Shuui Lian from marrying Tai Xun as she can't deceive him forever but she will not listen.

Jun Xi is angry that Tai Xun checks on Shui Lian. He wants Tai Xun to give up as he has what he wants now. He even threatens Tai Xun to give Tai Xun's rivalry his new wine discovery information. Tai Xun is worried and wants to bring forward the promotion. He knows that Mei Na gets cheated and is concerned so he tries to look for her. Shui Lian refuses to listen to her mother and insists continuing to impersonate Mei Na. her popularity dips and wishes Tai Xun to keep her company.

However, Tai Xun is busy with the wine promotion. He finally finds Mei Na and recognizes her. Shui Lian follows him and wants Mei Na to vanish. There is only one Mei Na and the real Mei Na can never be the same with her new face. Mei Na decides to return to Canada. Tai Xun overhears their conversation and appears, demanding to know Shui Lian's identity. He reprimands Jun Xi for making fun of him by finding a substitute. Jun Xi has nothing to say except to tell him to forgive Shui Lian. Shui Lian loves him too much to do this. Shui Lian faints and is hospitalized but still hopes that Tai Xun will return to her.

Mei Na warns Jun Xi not to hurt Shui Lian and he apologises. Mei Na is contented that Tai Xun still loves her and wants to leave. Tai Xun doesn't understand the change in her and begs her to stay but she is indifferent. Shui Lian still thinks that Tai Xun will forgive and love her despite Jun Xi's advice. Tai Xun is cold - does Jun Xi teach her to act again? Shui Lian nearly kills herself but Jun Xi saves her. He is willing to be with her because he causes her to be in this predicament.

He decides to hold a farewell concert in Mei Na's name. He wants to put an end to it but Tai Xun refuses to attend the concert. Mei Na brings him to Shui Lian's home and reveals Shui Lian's identity to him. She coaxes him to go and he agrees. Shui Lian is too nervous and a lamp nearly drops on her. Jun Xi is seriously injured on the head while trying to save her. The three wait anxiously for the news. Mei Na wants to console Shui Lian but Tai Xun feels it is better to leave her alone.

Shui Lian ponders over the past and removes the ring that Tai Xun gives her from her finger. She starts to realize how much Jun Xi loves her upon recalling how Jun Xi tries to stop her from killing herself. Jun Xi even wants to die with her. She prays hard for his recovery. Shui Lian starts to understand how he fends on his own all these years without anyone caring for him.

Mrs Jin tells Shui Lian about her parentage and apologises to Mei Na for not bringing up Shi Lian properly to cause all this trouble. Mei Na wants to acknowledge Shui Lian but she is too shameful to face her. Shui Lian has taken everything from her and is also responsible for Jun Xi's hospitalization. Shui Lian admits that she envies Mei Na when Mei Na is on stage. She wishes to be like her because she isn't inferior.

Thus she doesn't reject when the chance comes. But Mei Na can understand her feelings and hugs her. Jun Xi wakes up but the doctor isn't optimistic because of his head injury. If there is another relapse, it can endanger his life. Shui Lian takes care of him and recalls the moments with him. She finally knows that she loves him and not Tai Xun. She tells Tai Xun that she is blinded by his care and concern.

But this is not love and Tai Xun is just a dream to her. She hopes he can treat Mei Na well. Tai Xu nis relieved upon hearing her words. But he doesn't expect Mei Na to tell him that she is returning to Canada to learn songwriting. Korea has too many sad memories for her and she is unable to concentrate. Poor man to have this shock at this time! He wants Mei Na to stay with him so that he can help her wound to heal but she is vent on leaving.
Shui Lian and Jun Xi are finally open to each other. Jun Xi worries about her future life but she ensures him that she has enough savings to open her dream pizza shop. Shui Lian returns home so Tai Xun takes care of Jun Xi. Tai Xi admits that Tai Xun is always the target to surpass. Because of this, he is always jealous of him. Now both finally get to know each other better and arrange to exchange their identities in their next lives.

Jun Xi's condition deteriorates and he dies, making the three upset. Worrying about Shui Lian, Mei Na stays and this gives Tai Xun a chance to woo her again. Shui Lian's life gets back to normal but she will always miss Tai Xun.

Introduction on characters

1. Jiang Jun Xi ? Ahn Jae Mo
He is an unscrupulous and selfish manager. He controls the twins with an iron hand. But he has a sad past. Being an orphan and adopted, he has to carve his own path. But he is also sentimental and will do anything to protect Shui Lian once he loves her. Initially, he tries to come between her and Tai Xun. Later, he gives in to the two. But upon seeing Shui Lian anguished by Tai Xun's wanting to seek the truth, he wants Tai Xun to give up and even threatens him with his project. You will feel touched by his gesture when he sacrifices his life to save Shui Lian.

2. Zheng Tai Xun - Kim Seung Su (as the hateful Xia Jun Rui in ?Bad Friends?)
He is Mei Na's secret boyfriend. He is rich but he has a pleasant personality. He is gentle and caring to Mei Na. He is the future successor of his father's commercial company. He is dedicated to work and has good prospects. His parents have high hopes for him and wish to get him a good wife but they are dismayed that he falls for their company's model - Mei Na instead.

Can you imagine how hurt Tai Xun is when Mina lies to reporters that he is her cousin when they see them together? It is so sad that they need to hide from public when on dates. However, he bears with it and puts up with the act. He is remorseful over the accident and treats her very well. Her rejection to see him hurts him again. A completely changed Mei Na who remembers nothing of their past also disturbs him.

Unknown to him, he is facing her twin, Shui Lian later. He has more than he can handle when both fall for him. But he is only devoted to Mei Na. He feels guilty to her for believing an imposter. He is still forgiving upon knowing the sisters? identity and tries to treat Mei Na better by making up to her.

3. Mei Na - Jin Sheng Zhu / the later part by Chae Jung Ahn
She is a very arrogant singer because of her success. She is given away when she is young because of financial difficulties. However, an accident changes her fate overnight. She loses her career, lover and has to have a new face. She tries in vain to prevent Shui Lian from taking over her place and is in despair. She can't prove her identity as her fingers are burnt and she returns to Korea with a forged passport. She is very upset to see her lover caring for the wrong person. But upon knowing that Shui Lian is her twin younger sister and has a difficult life, she gives her the best and even offers to disappear for her sake.

4. Jin Shui Lian - Jin Sheng Zhu
She is Mei Na's twin but she has a different life. Mei Na's foster parents refuse to adopt her so she is taken in by the Jins. She struggles hard to have a better living. She is easily contented when she earns enough. When success comes, it nearly blinds her but she still preserves her innocent nature and conscience. Upon seeing Tai Xun blaming himself for her ?misfortunate?, she feels sorry for him and starts to fall for him. but she becomes impossible to keep him beside her despite knowing that Mei Na returns and tries to chase her away. She even slaps her and demands her to leave because she has a different face now.

5. Jin Tai Fu (as Jin Yun Xi's influential father in ?Hotelier?)
He is the twins? father. He may be irresponsible in supporting his family but he still cares for them.

6. Gao Ying Ai
She is Shui Lian's childhood friend who keeps her secret under wraps..

7. Han Xiu
He is Shui Lian's childhood friend who suspects Shui Lian impersonating Mei Na to inform the Jins about it when Shui Lian doesn't work at their company.

8. Jin Shui Yong
He is Shui Lian's younger brother who only dreams to be a great dancer. He doesn't do well in his studies and often plays truant to dance on the streets. Shui Lian has a hard time bringing him home.

9. Jin Shui Zhen
She is Shui Lian's younger sister. She may be gentle but also sensible and stubborn to be independent.

10. Mr and Mrs Zheng (the actor is as Tai Xi's grandfather in ?Glass Shoes? and the actress is as Sheng Cai's mother in 'summer Scent?)
Both oppose Tai Xun to be with Mina because they think she is not good enough for him. She might only be materialistic to marry into the family. This is natural as they are so rich.

Conclusion

My friend, Gin doesn't like this serial but she recommends this to me because of Ahn Jae Mo. This is the first time I see so many unfamiliar faces in a serial - in fact, I have only seen Seung Su's work before. I am new to all the rest. The supporting cast is so plain looking and bland in acting - no star appeal. However, the producer is wise to focus his attention on the four leads and not to confuse me.

I am not used to Mei Na's stage makeup - the highlighted golden hair is too shiny while the makeup is ghastly. As Shui Lian, the wig is too obvious. Maybe this is common in Korea. Sheng Zhu has better flair in singing and dancing than acting. Her face is almost twisted and emotionless in most scenes. Jung Ahn is better than her in crying scenes and looking pitiful.

The guys are better - probably they have more acting experience. Jae Mo is okay as the aggressive and wicked Jun Xi. Seung Su is also presentable as the devoted lover. Both guys save the whole serial. This is only an average story so we can't expect too much from it. No dashing guys, stunning ladies but an acceptable plot. This is not too bad after all. Only stay away if you are looking for dudes and a very attractive storyline. This serial may not be suitable for you if you have very high expectations.

Sukting's ratings :

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

On story : *** (Scale of 5)


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