Reviewed by: sukting

November 05, 2003

Rating: two-point-five

How long
20 episodes


This is the first time that I write a review for a Korean drama. Sorry for the translation of the names of the cast in Chinese as I don’t know how to write their names in Korean pronunciation.

Introduction on characters/story development

Han Yi Guan – Zhao Zai Xian

He was once a gangster and an irresponsible father to have Zai Xiu out of wedlock. He has the intention to abandon him on a train. However, upon seeing Hui Ling’s eyes, he changes his mind. He married Hui Ling in the end and becomes a baker, trying to go straight. Their happiness is short-lived. He tries hard to gain the forgiveness of Hui Ling’s children after indirectly causing her death. He is so upset when both refuse to call him father at all. Whenever he faces Xiu Ai, he looks so frightened and insecure. He even thinks of providing for their university education first before giving Zai Xiu the chance.

Many shed tears upon seeing him suffer for them – either getting scolded or badly beaten up. The poor man gets Xiu Ai’s recognition first and finally Jing Hao’s understanding after shielding him from being killed from Snake. It is tragic to see him die in the end for him.

This is really a tearjerker character that I can hardly tolerate. Seeing Yi Guan’s bloodshot eyes and over-exaggerated acting in emotional scenes reminds me of Man Tse Leung. But he still won the best acting award. Probably Koreans are moved by the sad story.

Hui Ling – Zhao Min Xiu

She is a piano teacher and a beautiful widow. She is a sweet woman who treats everyone well. Knowing that her own children don’t accept Yi Guan to be their father, she tries hard to bring them together. But her death on their wedding anniversary day causes conflicts between them instead. You will never believe how she died. She saw the bouquet of flowers that Yi Guan bought for her floating away from their boat so she leaned over to try to get it back. But she drowned while Yi Guan was nearly engulfed by the strong waves when their boat overturned.

Han Zai Xiu – Gao Xiu

He is Yi Guan’s natural son. When he was young, he was involved in a fight with Jing Hao. This caused the two brothers to be at loggerheads with each other. He can never forget his first meeting with Xiu Ai when she bandages his wound for him. Hui Ling treats him like her own son, teaching him to play the piano and he feels the mother’s love that he has longed for. However, this marriage causes displeasure to Xiu Ai and he is troubled when his other siblings blame Yi Guan for Hui Ling’s death. To atone for his mistake, he takes the rap for Jing Hao for killing Shuo Zhe, who tried to rape Xiu Ai.

Although he is jailed for 6 months, he still manages to complete his medical degree and works in a hospital. Knowing that his father tries hard to save money to buy back their house, he also forsakes his chance to study in Seoul. He is forever faithful to Xiu Ai although he has attracted 2 women who arouse her jealousy. But I hate him to use Min Jing as a shield either to be his girlfriend or future wife to escape from reality. I thought only women will use this silly tactic?

He falls hopelessly in love with Xiu Ai. However, she rejects him again and again for the sake of Zhu Xi. Zhu Xi is born after the marriage. How is she going to face her siblings when this happens although both are not blood-related? Moreover, she is an older sister to him. However, in the end, they overcome all odds to be together. Touching, although very draggy. Gao Xiu’s acting is quite natural in how he is tortured by love – he is an actor who can really cry well. He deserves to win the best newcomer award.

Li Jing Hao – Zhao Ren Cheng

This person is the root of all troubles. When young, he gets involved in fights and smuggles drugs. He enjoys being hostile to Zai Xiu too – never thanking him for going to prison on his behalf. Probably his hatred for Yi Guan is too great for him to forgive them. When he grows up, he deliberately joins Snake’s gang just to spite Yi Guan. Doesn’t he know that Yi Guan treats him even better than he treats Zai Xiu? Because of his rivalry with Shuo Zhe, they deliberately cause Xiu Ai to lose her bank job. What kind of brother is this?

He loves Yin Zhi but look at the way that he ill-treats her – he is always hurting her with abusive language. He only treats her better when she is dying. We only get to see his gentle side when he is with Zhu Xi or Yin Zhi’s son, Zai Min.

I don’t really like the way he acts and am definitely not impressed – he is very wooden and his tears look more like eye drops to me.

Li Xiu Ai – Jin He Lu

This is another character which I can’t stand. Must she cry in every episode? I am sick of seeing her watery eyes every now and then. Yes, life is bitter but face it then! She rejects Zai Xiu and regrets later when seeing him with Yin Zhi or Min Jing. She even agrees to go for a date with her secret admirer, a middle-aged colleague named Wu. I pity Yi Guan’s poor treatment from her, he has tried endless times to persuade her to stay with him and has failed miserably. Sending her to hospital does not get a word of thanks from her but worrying about her health, he gets Zhu Xi to take care of her.

I really don’t know what Zai Xiu sees in her – she is forever weak in health (getting hospitalised twice and making the family worry) and also in character. If not for Yi Guan’s blessings in the end, do you think she will fight to be together with Zai Xiu?

Han Zhu Xi

The youngest sister who is so cheerful. Jing Hao and Xiu Ai find it hard to hate this young sister. She is forever there to provide smiles to their faces. Because of her, Xiu Ai and Zai Xiu are hesitant to proceed with their relationship and break off a few times. Knowing that Xiu Ai hates Yi Guan, she tries hard to knock sense into her head. She can’t bear to see her poor father suffering anymore. Of course, she is very pleased when Xiu Ai finally accepts him and even calls him ‘father’ in the end.


This is the root of evil. He never gives Yi Guan peace although he is already out of the gang. He is actually eyeing to get rid of the former head, Piao. Yi Guan was only holding the third post while he held the second so he didn’t pose a threat to him. But he is annoyed upon seeing how his subordinates respect Piao so he makes use of the reckless Jing Hao to be his pawn. He died in the end in Yong De’s hands, who is still in the gang.

Piao Xue Xian

He is no longer in the underworld but many still respect him even after he comes out of jail. He opens a bakery and teaches his subordinates bakery skills that he learnt in prison so that they can go straight. However stern he looks, there is a hilarious scene when Yi Guan consults him on how to write the word 'love' on a cake for Hui Ling. He gets angry and tells him off. But later, he tries out on a cake and creates a mess because he himself doesn’t know how to write it too!

Zhang Yin Zhi

The first woman to fall for Zai Xiu when both are in high school. She even pretends to get knocked down by a car to get his attention. However, repeated tries show no success so she gives up and gets married. She becomes a widow and her son, Zai Min gets so badly affected and refuses to talk anymore. However, he smiles upon seeing Jing Hao and she also falls for him. But Jing Hao often hurts her and when he is ready for her, she dies of a nerve illness.

Yu Min Jing

She is the hospital director’s daughter and works as a nurse in the hospital. To woo Zai Xiu, she learns the piano and also kisses him or asks him out openly. She is frank and responsible in her work. A pity that she isn’t accepted in the end.

Favourite character

None, I would like to choose Zai Xiu but he is too weak in my opinion.

Most hated character

Jing Hao, for being so stupid to create so many mistakes.

Unforgettable scenes

Yi Guan cries upon seeing how ugly baby Zhu Xi is for resembling him and wishes that she could have resembled Hui Ling. Hui Ling has to hug him to offer him comfort.

Zai Xiu gives Xiu Ai a pager and the number is only a number different from another which he buys. 6 years later, he finds it still in her home – he is so touched that he breaks into tears.

Knowing that Xiu Ai is sick, Yi Guan hurries to carry her on his back to send her to hospital.

Zai Xiu requests to elope with Xiu Ai and gets slapped. The next time he declares his love, she breaks a bowl and use a piece to cut her hand, threatening to kill herself.

After his first rejection, Zai Xiu goes to Director Yu and cries in front of him in his office. The poor man does not expect this and has to ask the nurse to arrange all his patients to see him later.

Zai Min can’t speak but the way he hugs or clings to Jing Hao will move you.

The scenes where Yi Guan begs forgiveness from the two siblings and kneeling in front of them.

Yi Guan begs Snake to let Jing Hao off.

Because of Yi Guan not working after Hui Ling’s death, they lose the house and the piano. Xiu Ai finds the piano one day and is astonished to find the buyer also staying in their old home. She begs the buyer to sell the piano to her but the old woman refuses, only agreeing her to let her play it when she wants it. Yi Guan is equally mad to know that someone is staying there but she can’t chase them out because this home is for the orphans and the aged.

Xiu Ai faints upon seeing Min Jing kissing Zai Xiu. Zai Xiu gets so worried and carries her to the hospital, refusing Min Jing’s help to take care of her and stays by her bedside.

Yi Guan rushes to hospital and is stunned to see the intimate way Zai Xiu treats Xiu Ai. It is like a bombshell falling on him and he slaps Zai Xiu later.

Xiu Ai starts to accept Yi Guan. She buys him a sweater to congratulate him on being the head of a bakery Branch. He is so delighted that he walks home in it – without his coat in the cold weather, saying that this present is enough to keep him warm.

Interesting facts

This serial is SBS’s 2001's viewership no. 1 serial. The 36 year old Zhao Zai Xian won best acting award as many were touched by Yi Guan’s unconditional love for his children. His career soared after his win. Zhao Ren Cheng’s role as Li Jing Hao won him a nomination for the best newcomer award. But the winner turned out to be Gao Xiu in the end.

Jin He Lu, Zhao Ren Cheng and Zhao Zai Xian were supposed to promote this serial in Singapore in 2002 but they were too busy and their trip was cancelled.


I find it difficult to stomach with the so-called incest arrangements. We saw this in ‘Endless Love’ and ‘Winter Sonata’ and more in here. The same thing is both lovers aren’t blood related but this case is more complicated as they do share the same younger sister.

It is unbelievable to see how these people make such big sacrifices for each other.

Too many crying scenes and many characters are simply too weak.

Is the underworld so formidable that even the policemen can’t do anything? I am baffled that despite so many harassment cases, Piao doesn’t report the cases to the police!

Creepy ending of Zai Min playing the piano piece that Hui Ling only plays at their empty, former home. Where did so many people go? Are all of them ghosts???


No idea who sang both theme and subtheme songs in Korean but they are very touching. The main theme was later translated to Mandarin and sang by Fan Yi Chen, which made him popular. Actually we have heard of the Cantonese version long ago. It was by Cheung Hok Yau – (真情流露).


This serial is on fatherly love and might not go well with most viewers. Many scenes are certainly too slow for my taste. I don’t really like the sad story line as I prefer the family to stay together in the end. Actually I don’t see what the fuss is about for this drama and it certainly doesn’t deserve to have no. 1 in viewership. It is too predicable and is a replica of Endless Love. Yi Guan need not die to show how great he is in delivering his fatherly love. If you dislike tragedies, this serial is certainly not for you.

Sukting's Ratings :

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

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


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