Reviewed by: sukting

September 03, 2003

Rating: three

How long
24 episodes


This serial shook the Korean community after ‘Fireworks’. No one expected the producer to touch on such a sensitive and daring topic. Bae Yong Jun has now concentrated his career in making movies. If you are interested to see how his ‘younger brother’ acts in his debut serial, go for this one!

This serial is said to be the Korean version of the Japanese drama ‘Terms of a witch’. But instead of being sadistic, it does provide laughs in some episodes, to add a fairy tale atmosphere to cool the heat in the disturbing scenes.

Introduction on characters/Story

1. Cui Guan You – Kim Jae Won
A happy-go-lucky and rich high-school student till his father’s suicide. He has to bear the responsibilities to provide the needs for his family by working part-time. Despite his difficulties, he is still cheerful and positive towards life. He faces strong opposition for falling in love with Cai Yuan. Both have to give up and when he thinks that they can be together after his graduation from high school, he still faces a lot of pressure.

Although Ru Xiu tries to open his heart for many years, he is still in love with Cai Yuan. He opens a jeans stall and dreams of setting up his own brand.

At first, he tries to avoid Cai Yuan after he knows the truth of his father’s death. He even refuses help from her when she wants to introduce artistes to wear his jeans. But his love for her makes him tear the suicide letter as evidence and forgives the act. Not believing in fate, he resists all opposition and both are married.

This actor’s smiles really resemble Bae's! No wonder many think that he is his younger brother although they have no blood relations at all. He is very natural in many scenes and provides many laughs. You will feel his joy and sorrow. Good acting from him in his debut.

2. Li Yin Shi – Jin Cheng Huan
He is the general manager of Cai Yuan’s father’s company. He causes the downfall of Mr Cui’s company and forces him to commit suicide. From then, he tries to destroy every single evidence that he can find. I am not sure whether he really loves Cai Yuan but he is very determined to win her heart even though she refuses him repeatedly. He ends up getting drunk and sleeps with Yun Xi. Upon knowing that she has been ‘raped’ by him, he is remorseful and rescues her from the nightclub. But he wants her to tell Guan You to transfer to another school. Guan You stubbornly refuses and he is in shame when the teacher-student affair is publicised.

After being together for 3 years and she has his baby, Yin Shi ruthlessly tells her to go for an abortion as he is marrying Cai Yuan soon. Cai Yuan finds out his affair and breaks off the engagement. He still doesn't gives up. But when Yun Xi produces the evidence, he starts to plead with her. Finally, he realizes his mistake and is together with Yun Xi in the end.

Very artificial acting from this actor. It does not help although he resembles Won Bin in looks.

3. Cui Zhang Bi
He is Guan You’s younger brother. He is unable to accept his father’s death and infidelity. Once, he tries to jump off from the bridge in to the sea but stops himself in time. He ends up with a group of gangsters and even beats up Guan You. Guan You is devastated and tries to change him. He only changes for the better after being sent to the boys’ home for stealing motorcycles. After his release, Guan You hopes that Zhang Bi will get into the university but he wants to be a boxer instead. Although Guan You is disappointed, he still supports him in his decision.

4. Cui Gong Ming
I always have a weak spot for children – no exception for this child. He is so pitiful and cute in here. He is the child of Mr Cui’s mistress and she dumps him at their doorstep in order to be with another man! His appearance shocks the whole family. Even Guan You is 15 years his senior. Only Guan You accepts him with open arms.

He is so close to him that the first word that he learns is ‘brother’. When he is older, he waits at the doorstep for him to return home daily to give him a hug. I am very touched by the brotherly scenes. Especially the fear that he shows when facing Mrs Cui – thumbs up for his acting!

5. Han Cai Yuan – Kim Ha Nuel
She is the daughter of a very rich man but chooses to move out to become a teacher. Her whole life is distorted when she falls in love with Guan You. She initially tries to resist his charms but fails miserably. Laugh at her stupidity in creating the blunders upon seeing him.

Later, when her parents oppose to her love relationship, she quits her job to let Guan You stay on in the school. Upon her return 3 years later, they miss their arranged date and she decides to marry Yin Shi. However, upon knowing the truth, she returns to him and both are finally together.

I am definitely not amused to see how a teacher has behaved this way. This is such a disgrace to the profession. There must still be some reality in projecting the image. But I must admit that Ha Nuel has done quite well in many scenes. But I wonder why she is always being paired with younger actors. In ‘Piano’, she is the elder sister of Gao Xiu and in here, she is older than her boyfriend too.

6. Xu Min Zhu- An Yan Hong (Wei Mei in ‘The 4 sisters’)
She is Cai Yuan’s roommate and works in Mr Han’s company. She has a good impression of Yin Shi and thus encourages Cai Yuan to be with him. She is alarmed to find her secret love relationship and tries to talk her out of it. When she is happily preparing to be her bridesmaid, she is dumbfounded to know of Yi Shi’s affair but still supports her decision to seek happiness.

7. Cui Yun Xi – Jin You Ying
She is Guan You’s elder sister. Unable to cope with the fact that her family has become poor, she still tries to maintain her rich lifestyle in giving treats to her friends. In order to support her lavish lifestyle, she works part time in Mr Han’s company and also in the nightclub.

After listening to Guan You’s advice, she decides to quit her job but she has no money. She falls for Yin Shi and decides to make use of him. She pretends to spend the night with him. But later she is willing to be his mistress.

Her hatred for Mr Cui diminishes over the years and she feels remorseful for remembering the wrong date for his death anniversary. She is very upset upon knowing that Yin Shi doesn’t wish to marry her when she becomes pregnant. She stubbornly wants to keep the child. Upon knowing that he caused Mr Cui’s death, love turns to hatred. She deliberately tells Cai Yuan to go personally to the hospital, to see for herself on how he forces her for the abortion. This ends all his hopes of marrying Cai Yuan.

Yun Xi even wants to send the letter to the authorities but Guan You manages to stop her. She forgives Yin Shi in the end and is willing to wait for him to return from his job attachment overseas with their child. She also helps Guan You to fight for his own happiness.

Also mediocore acting from this actress.

8. Li Mei Hui
She is a dedicated teacher and a loyal friend. She will punish the students severely for smoking. But she has one weakness – she is a heavy smoker herself! I really laugh at the times she is so desperate for a puff and she has to hide on the rooftop to do that! And the alarmed expression that she shows whenever she hears footsteps and throws the cigarette butts on the ground in her haste! Only Cai Yuan knows this secret. Mei Hui doesn’t understand why male teachers are allowed to smoke but female teachers are forbidden to do so. She knows of the affair and has tried hard to keep it a secret.

She also tries to protect Cai Yuan when she is reprimanded by her parents. But saying that Cai Yuan is only 25 and too inexperienced to be a teacher doesn't convince me. This is not really true as in real life, some teachers are even younger.

9. Yin Ru Xiu
She is rich and looks cool as Guan You’s class monitor. But she is actually a warm person and starts to open up after knowing Guan You. She takes good care of Gong Ming so that he can concentrate on his part-time jobs. Upon knowing Guan You's love relationship with Cai Yuan, she is in despair and also jealous as she likes him. She objects and declares her love for him.

She gives Zhang Bi free tuition as she knows Guan You wants the best for him. She even cuts her hair according to Cai Yuan’s hairstyle just to please Guan You! It's a pity that despite what she does, she doesn’t win his love in the end.

10. Mrs Cui
She is bitter upon knowing that Mr Cui is a coward for killing himself and is unfaithful to her. Unable to find a good job, she vents her frustrations on Gong Ming. She deserts him at Ru Xiu’s door. Guan You is so worried that he gets him back, much to her anger. But later, she learns to cope with the change.

Zhang Bi’s imprisonment and Yun Xi’s pregnancy depress her. Even the sensible Guan You loves his teacher, something which she strongly objects to. This poor mother really goes through so many disasters all these years so I don’t really blame her for being ruthless at times.

Interesting scenes

Guan You’s friends are about to demand therapy expenses from Cai Yuan when her car knocks them down. But Guan You is so attracted by her beauty that he only allows her to pay for their medical bills. They are so mad with him.

The second time the couple meet is at a flower festival when she trips and he helps her up.

Later they have a drink at a café. They ask about each other's ages. Guan You lies that he is graduating from university after discovering in alarm that she is 6 years older than him! As for Cai Yuan, she lies that she is a secretary upon knowing that he dislikes teachers. Do laugh at the pack of lies they come up with!

They met again when going to an island on a holiday. They miss the final ferry and have to spend the night in a hut. Both are eating noodles. Guan You thinks that she wants for more when she screams out that it is very hot so he kisses her repeatedly! The fact is he has overturned a bowl of noodles on her lap so she screams in pain! He is so embarrassed by it!

Guan You enrolls into the new school and is delighted to see Cai Yuan. His form teacher hears him addressing her as Miss Cai Yuan and corrects him. Both are alarmed and angered to know the truth.

Guan You has trouble with his gangster classmates so he pretends to be a 'big brother' from another gang. But once they leave him alone, his legs nearly turn wobbly.

Mrs Cui ill-treats Gong Ming and doesn’t bathe him or feed him food. Cai Yuan is at Guan You’s home for a home visit and can’t find anything at home to cook for him! Pitying him, she brings him out.

Guan You is framed by the gangsters for having cigarettes. Mei Hui is so angry that she gets him to hold the cigarettes up with both hands outside the classroom. Cai Yuan is disappointed upon seeing this and walks away, not giving him a chance to explain.

Cai Yuan has the habit of asking each student to recite a line everyday. Guan You reads out this line – falling in love has no boundaries and age is only a number. She is very annoyed by it.

The next day, she wears stockings of different colours to school as she is worried about facing him. This move must have been borrowed from ‘Hotelier’. Sometimes I really wonder why Korean women adore knee stockings so much.

Cai Yuan can’t concentrate on teaching when Guan You’s eyes follow her in the class. She feigns illness to rest in the sick bay. Guan You follows suit to be with her and makes her uncomfortable.

Cai Yuan is shocked and upset to find many bruises on his body due to overwork and beatings from the gangsters.

Guan You is desperate and works almost the whole night, first as a pianist at a restaurant and then as an odd-job labourer carrying goods. Finally, he helps to distribute brochures. Ru Xiu becomes his first listener in the restaurant although he longs that Cai Yuan will be there. Cai Yuan finally goes in secret but he has already ended his shift so she leaves in disappointment.

Mrs Cui gets a job as a cleaner. She is alarmed to know that she is going to work at Mr Han’s factory and also Yun Xi’s university. As much as she tries to hide, she still gets discovered by Yin Shi and Yun Xi at both places. This is bad enough – later she works as Ru Xiu’s cleaner and is told to wait on Gong Ming. This scene is classic – she really cries her heart out when she cleans him in the tub!

Mrs Cui deserts Gong Ming. Guan You returns home wearily but is still prepared to play with his younger brother. He is alarmed to find him missing and questions his mother. Upon knowing the incident, he goes everywhere in search of his brother. Finally he finds him at Ru Xiu’s home and is so relieved. He carries him on his back home.

The next day, he is so worried that Mrs Cui will dump him again so he brings him to his classroom. Cai Yuan allows him to stay there upon seeing the brothers so close together and Gong Ming listens to her lessons in silence.

Guan You has no money to buy the uniform and requests to wear his old school uniform till his graduation. His form teacher is very angry with him. Cai Yuan talks back at him to protect him. That makes all suspicious as she is only the subject teacher.

Both decide to end their relationship before it is discovered. Cai Yuan makes up her mind to accept Yin Shi. They visit Mr Cui’s grave together and are caught in the rain. Guan You has a fever so both have to stay overnight at a hotel.

They are alarmed when one attendant questions about their particulars. They question each other, asking whether they really look like a teacher and a student. Cai Yuan later tells Guan You to go to the room calmly as she handles this. She is relieved when the attendant calls her the second time because she has forgotten the keys.

Cai Yuan goes out to get medicine for Guan You and the hotel is on fire. She is about to run in to save him when she finds him in tears upon seeing her doing that. She decides to go through all odds to be together and returns the ring to Yin Shi. Yin Shi screams at her.

Their relationship is exposed when Guan You's gangster classmate takes a picture of them together. Mrs Cui begs Cai Yuan to let her son off. Parents also complain to the principal, requesting her dismissal.

No one attends Cai Yuan’s classes except Guan You and Ru Xiu. Many students even throw eggs and chalk at her. She tolerates their actions. She goes overseas in silence but makes a pact to meet Guan You 3 years later. If they don’t meet at the café, it will be the end for both.

Guan You dresses neatly while Cai Yuan nervously does her hair for the big day. But she is involved in a car accident. She has a concussion and a bandaged arm. When she rushes there, he has already left. She then decides to marry Yin Shi.

Cai Yuan goes to visit Guan You at his shop. Both deny having returned to the café on that day and lie that they are happy that they have forgotten the past. Cai Yuan has problems eating her bowl of noodles because of her injured arm, so Guan You offers to feed her. Both are reminded of the previous incident about the noodles and look at each other sadly.

Guan You gets to know that Yun Xi is Yin Shi’s mistress. He gets so mad that he tries to talk to Cai Yuan when they are shooting wedding photos outdoors. When she doesn’t listen to him, he carries her away! I am totally speechless upon seeing this. He only tells her about Yin Shi’s affair but he doesn’t reveal the name of the mistress in order to protect his sister.

However, Yin Shi confesses the truth to her later. He wanted to spite back at Guan You. She is shocked by the news.

Guan You finds out from Min Zhu while Cai Yuan finds out from Ru Xiu that both have been to the café. Both look for each other and hug each other in joy.

Cai Yuan goes out with Guan You but she is mistaken by shop owners to be his elder sister. She is unhappy and he consoles her.

The Cui siblings get to know the truth of Mr Cui’s death. Yun Xi becomes bitter while Guan You finds it hard to make a decision whether to continue his relationship with Cai Yuan as his mother still opposes to them together. He tries to avoid her calls and she falls sick. He finally gives in to her.

The couple kneel for a long time. Their parents are moved and allow them to get married in the end.

Guan You and Cai Yuan return to the school. Guan You announces his marriage proposal over the PA system.

The last scene of them taking wedding pictures in the park is also a classic. Both are very shy when they have to kiss each other in front of friends.

Interesting facts

Kim Jae Won had to balance his studies with filming. But on one day, he was so sleepy that he forgot to remove his contact lenses and dozed off. He was alarmed when he couldn't take them out the next day! The poor man had to rush to the hospital to get a doctor to remove them!

The noodles scene took them many ngs as Jae Won was very shy. Many made fun of him as they joked that he must be thinking that the number of kisses weren’t enough for him!

At first, this serial was boycotted by parents and teachers. Later they were curious to know the development of the story and the ratings soared in the end.


The teacher-student love relationships don’t go well with me. I believe as educators, they should be able to draw the line. Although it was common in the olden days for male teachers to marry their students later, it is very rare (or so far not even a case in real life) that a female teacher will marry a student.

This serial shows how disrespectful a student can be to a teacher in class, which I don’t approve of. How can he so openly declare his love for his teacher? This is affecting both their lives – doesn’t he know that? I thought he is mature enough after the family tragedy.

But I must say the agony that both face is quite realistic. They are so frightened to admit in public and have to do many things secretly. I shake my head - they might as well not have started it at all. Why not wait till he graduates to start the relationship? I am glad that Guan You is later sensible to tell Cai Yuan to wait for him for 3 years to finish his studies first. He can then appear in front of her as a man.

However, I can’t stop my laughter upon watching the hilarious scenes. The leads really have good timing with each other. The close sibling relationship is touching in a way. The cast really acted well. You may still wish to watch it to find out why it is so popular in Korea.

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

On story : * * * (Scale of 5)


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