Three Brothers


Reviewed by: sukting

December 06, 2010

Rating: three-point-five

Foreword
This is a story about 3 brothers having different personalities. Their father, Xun Jin is a retired police officer. How will things change when the eldest brother, Jian Kang returns to stay with his family after his divorce? "Three brothers" talks about their relations full of conflicts and love. Although all have clashes with their spouses, they manage to iron their differences but do you wish to know how they do it? It amuses me when some characters have strange names.

Story/Introduction on characters

1. Jin Jian Kang (healthy) – Ahn Nae Sang
He is the eldest son who makes many wrong decisions in life. He marries a woman whom his parents oppose to, moves out and later ending up being divorced as she commits adultery. He also goes bankrupt by speculating on the wrong shares. He loses his house and has to rent a small room. Unlike Ke Fan who spoils him rotten, Xun Jin is very strict with him.

Even so, his taste for branded products has never changed to insist on using them although he is down and out. With little working experience, he still dreams of getting a prestigious and well paid job. He even grumbles that Li Xiang gives him too little money and Xian Jin doesn’t give him a manager post in his sauna house. He is very scared of meeting his father. To avoid that, he goes for a double lid operation.

This time round, he removes his piles so that he has difficulty walking. This man is very timid. He even asks Chao Ji to be beside him and gets him a skirt after his operation. His family finally discovers his pathetiic situation and gets him to move back home. He gets remarried to Chao Ji but Xian Jin has to fork out the expenses. He doesn’t save some of the money but to squander it on shares again.

His whole family shake their heads over this. He is still as unpractical as ever. He loafs on the job but he turns hardworking upon knowing that Chao Ji owes others debts. He even sells rice biscuits on the roads during winter in order to earn more money. Although he loses money, he is never in debt. When knowing that the gangsters with Piao as their boss seize Xian Jin’s gym and function hall, he confronts them..

He uses a bat to destroy Piao’s car. Although Jian Kang can be quite thin to get bashed up, he has a scary streak in him that the gangsters decide to let Xian Jin off. Jian Kang is dealt with a hard blow when knowing that Chao Ji has a son, Zhong Nan. He sleeps over at the sauna and ignores her totally. However, he soon misses Zhong Nan and brings them home. He becomes sensible after this saga.

Through Zhong Nan, he learns to become a father even though he never likes children. Although he is hesitant upon knowing that Chao Ji is expecting twins, he braces up to the challenge under Xian Jin’s advice. He approaches Ke Fan for a loan to buy a junk yard since he can no longer work for Xian Jin. Ke Fan forks out the money out immediately and he accepts it, not knowing that the money actually belongs to Xian Jin. After knowing it, he promises to pay back as soon as he earns money.

He feels hurt when Chao Ji keeps chiding him for not regarding Zhong Nan as his own. She chides him for not appearing at Zhong Nan’s meeting parent session or celebrating his birthday as he is too busy. And why can’t they sign him up for an elite English class too?

Jian Kang has to remind her constantly not to say that. He is trying very hard to be a father within his means. Luckily, Xian Jin offers him an option of a cheaper English class that Zhuang Tai goes to. The birth of their twin boys add to the joy. Knowing that Chao Ji is bitter over her little education and can’t help Zhong Nan in his studies, he helps her to make her college dream come true.

Chao Ji has thought that Ke Fan will give her the heiroom ring but she passes to Bang Yong instead. She feels sad being an orphan. Thus, Jian Kang also gets her to wear the white wedding gown after Xian Jin’s wedding. Chao Ji is glad that Ke Fan treats her like a daughter now.

2. Jin Xian Jin (cash) – Oh Dae Gyu
He is Xun Jin’s 36 year old second son. He is the envy of the town and pride of his father. He runs a number of businesses which are quite successful. In reality, he is in debt and is very thirfty. He doesn’t buy a new suit easily and keeps mending his old shoes. He works so hard to win over parents’ love. He provides them with money and acts as the elder son as Jian Kang doesn’t stay with them.

He is deprived of a univeristy education due to Jian Kang who gets the chance. Ke Fan leaves him with his grandmother as she takes a weak Jian Kang along with her as Xun Jin goes out station. Ke Fan never bothers to console him when he is sick and picks on him as he often sides for his grandmother. He is sick of Bang Yong’s complaints to him about Chao Ji and Ke Fan who mistreats her. Only Ran Xi understands all his problems and he ends up nearly having an affair with her. He slogs, not knowing who he lives for.

Fortunately, he has a clear mind to reject all her advances. This causes his downfall when Ran Xi steals his seal to sign a contract, making him lose everything in one night. He is crushed when Ke Fan refuses to mortgage the house after helping Jian Kang. He leaves home with Bang Yong to open a cabbage roll restaurant with Song Er. Both vow to make it big before returning. They get everything back in the end and get their own apartment. He also has more time with their sons now.

It then occurs to him that he has not married Bang Rong through the proper procedures when Hui Sui asks him why they do not keep any wedding photo. Both have Hui Sui out of wedlock and he recalls how he hurts her by avoiding her for some time upon knowing that she is pregnant. He has married her unwillingly then. Thus, they have a wedding and this brings tears to her eyes.

3. Jin Li Xiang (aspiration) – Lee Joon Hyuk
He is a senior police inspector and treats his subordinates well. That is why they get along well with him. Even though he has chances of promoting, he refers to stay at his own rank to learn more. He works irregular hours and can’t tell others what the operations are. He gets to know Yu Ying as she drops her bra cookie when drunk. Even though she has a boyfriend, he doesn’t stop wooing her. Their fathers’ feud separates them for a while but when he is seriously injured in an operation, this brings them together again.

Ke Fan opposes strongly to this as Yu Ying is three years older and she grows up without a mother. Li Xiang insists of marrying her. It also incurs her wrath upon knowing that he is moving to stay with his in-laws. In her eyes, this is a way of belittling him.

They marry in impulse and find their differences right on the first day. Li Xiang wants to be a father but she doesn’t. Li Xiang also finds her selfish for being unwilling to loan money to his brothers or finding excuses not to visit Ke Fan. Li Xiang always thinks for his family without discussing with Yu Ying. He also finds her irritating when claiming that Tai Bai belittles her. These problems escalate till they go for a separation as he moves back home.

Fan Ren asks him to think from Yu Ying’s stand even though he disapproves of Yu Ying’s act at times. When Li Xiang learns that Yu Ying has put aside money for Xun Jing, he immediately celebrates her birthday with her. This saves their marriage. Their next hurdle is to have a baby. It is hard for her to conceive and she has a miscarriage. He hides it from his family, claiming that he is the one having the problem. Later, she manages to give birth to a boy 3 years later and they are happy parents.

4. Jin Xun Jin (policeman) – Park In Hwan
As for the last son, Li Xiang follows in his father's footsteps by becoming a police officer. Xun Jin has gone through many promotion exams but never makes it to become a senior inspector. Even his juniors overtake him. He has been after Fan Ren as he is from a secret society. As the society holds Fan Ren’s daugthers hostage, he has no choice but to frame Xun Jin.

Xun Jin is jailed but manages to clear his name a few years later. He has never forgotten about Fan Ren and is distressed to know that Li Xiang is dating Yu Ying. He opposes to them together bur gives in later. He fails his last promotion exam and Ke Fan is disappointed. An old woman gives him 2 oranges to thank him to help her grandson to prevent becoming a gangster.

This is photographed and the police suspect him of corruption. They send him to work in a remote island before retirement. This stupid man doesn’t explain himself and resign hastily. He has thought that his superiors should know his character best. Even though the air is cleared, he has no intention to return to the police force. Ke Fan nags at him as he stays at home but he will not work at Fan Ren’s company. What will others think if he works for an ex-convict?

He works for a law firm but is too shy to recommend lawyers to his ex-colleagues. He quit his job and wants to set up his own fried chicken business. He is too dense and eager to prove to Ke Fan that he can still work without her advice – even though she has warned him not to touch his pension. He is clueless about cooking but he works hard. Without checking the facts properly, he is conned of his pension. His brain is dense indeed – why not choose to be a shareholder of Xian Jin’s restaurant instead?

Ke Fan shows resentment as she contributes a lion’s share of it when he is jailed. She also keeps harping on the past of how she is being bullied by Xun Jin’s mother and how he ignores her. So he moves to stay with Xian Jin for a while as he can’t take it anymore. He finally learns that he is not cut out to be a businessman.

He loves trekking and some die in a mishap. Jian Kang brings Ke Fan to a crematorium and she witnesses how family members grieve for their loved ones. Ke Fan regrets her act, thinking that he is dead. She is relieved when he is back and treats him better. They even go trekking together. The synicade is broken and they recover the money. Both do voluntary work to lead the problematic youths or ex-convicts to the right path and also help out at orphanages.

5. Quan Ke Fan – Lee Hyo Choon
She is a scary mother-in-law. Look at the way she treats Bang Yong – even a maid gets better treatment. She makes her do so much – cooking meals at different times, cleaning the house and taking care of the boys. When Bang Yong has backaches and has to apply plasters, she complains about the smell and how incapable she is to provide meals for 10.

I also detest the way that she treats Jian Kang. She pampers him rotten so he relies on his parents all the time. She isn’t satisfied with her first two daughter-in-laws and Yu Ying also proves not to reach her standard. She finds fault with everyone.

She boasts to everyone about Chao Ji and later lowers her head in shame upon knowing the harsh truth. She doesn’t even want to admit Zhong Nan’s existence. Chao Ji leaves home due to that and later, it becomes Bang Yong’s turn. Chao Ji moves back home but she is too lazy to do housework. Ke Fan has to do everything for them and starts to treasure what Bang Yong has done. She hates herself for sprouting hurting words without thinking when she starts to suffer from aches herself.

Bang Yong sneaks home to give her flowers on parents’ day. They finally reconcile as Ke Fan helps to look after her sons when they tend to the shop. Xun Jing has wanted to sell their house to stay in a smaller apartment but Ke Fan decides not to. She agrees to stay to help Chao Ji look after the twins. She also does community work during her free time.

6. Yan Chao Ji – Do Ji Won
She is a single Enhwa University graduate like Yu Ying and is 34 years old. She is a successful insurance agent and is going to have a huge garden with a large condominium. Her parents are in U.S. She is very pampered so she knows nothing about cooking.

All of the above are only her lies. I can’t believe that Jian Kang and the rest are so easily taken in as she is very uncouth. She drops out of school after secondary two and is an orphan. With no parent to guide or educate her, she is terrible in housework. Her age is 42 – 3 years old than Jian Kang and not younger than him. Her sales are often at the bottom and she has been renting a room all along. She even lies that her parents are too busy to attend her wedding and also due to H1N1!

She is a single mother with Zhong Nan after Xing Xian is jailed. While there is nothing wrong to pursue happiness, many can’t agree with her way of spinning lies repeatedly. She gets Lan Zi to take care of Zhong Nan while she herself woos Jian Kang in Seoul. What kind of mother is this?!

Before they marry, she has to confess that there is no condominium when he asks to look at the flat. After they get married, she finds excuses not to do the housework, pretending to hurt her fingers and also to fuss in front of Ke Fan. Can you believe that she still gets Bang Yong to wash their clothes and she doesn’t even know how to cook rice?

After putting up with her for long, Bang Yong finally beats her up in the playground and warns her not to bully her again. Chao Ji then lodges a complaint to the rest but is dismayed when none believes her. Why? Bang Yong bursts into tears and cites how wrong she feels. She then tells Chao Ji to stop her nonsense as she is not the only one who can act! Chao Ji becomes frightened of her.

Chao Ji has to wash the dishes when Bang Yong is away when Ke Fan discovers her ugly past. When Chao Ji brings Zhong Nan home, Bang Yong feels sorry for her. But she just throws him to Bang Yong to get her to care for him. Bang Yong gets fed up when Chao Ji keeps calling her to find out how he is fed and how she disciplines him. She throws Zhong Nan’s wet bedsheets to Chao Ji to wash instead.

Chao Ji helps Jian Kang to manage the junk yard. Ke Fan is sore that Xun Jin is no longer working and demands $200,000 won allowances from her sons. Chao Ji is extremely cunning to ask for extras from her sisters-in-laws. Only Bang Yong will not give in. Jian Kang is disgusted by her act when she claims that this is the allowance for her messenger service. He is determined to pay more than his younger brothers.

Seeing that Chao Ji is getting out of hand and often throwing her clothes around, Ke Fan wants to set things right. She is strict on her to cook instead of using instant flavouring to get her way through. Chao Ji changes her ways when knowing that Ke Fan really treats her as a daughter-in-law. Ke Fan has allowed Zhong Nan to be the eldest son of Jian Kang and wants her to show a good example to her children.

7. Tao Bang Yong (maid) – Kim Hee Jung
She is the second daughter-in-law and dreams to move out to be independent. The selfish Ke Fan often looks down on her due to Song Er. But she is unwilling to let them move out as no one will serve her then. Even though Jian Kang gets married later, she still ties her to their home. Seeing that Xian Jin is tired when he comes home, she sleeps with the boys. She is as thrifty as Xian Jin too.

Xian Jin knows her as they are high school classmates. However, Xian Jin can’t move out till Jian Kang returns home. When he does, the whole family is mortified by his divorce so her plans are deterred. Even after Chao Ji moves in, things have not changed as Chao Ji claims to be a working woman while she is a housewife. Chao Ji even harps on seniority and she gets very annoyed.

She buys empty gourds to break them one by one per day to release her anger. Tired over having to prepare offerings for the ancestors yearly, she makes a rule that all daughter-in-laws must take turns to be in charge. But things usually crop up and she ends up doing all the washing on her own again. Thus, she is very strict after that so that no one can get away with it.

Bang Yong teaches Chao Ji a lesson so that she will not be looked down. Upon knowing that Ran Xi is in love with Xian Jin, she cites her stand but often has to eat the humble pie as Xian Jin is too dependent on her. She gets very upset when Xian Jin buys a brooch for Ran Xi to persuade her to stay on as he has never gotten anything for her since their marriage.

Seeing that Yu Ying is so straightforward to speak her mind, she advises her to please Ke Fan as much as she can. As Xian Jin keeps ignoring her, she decides that life can’t go on like this anymore. She signs up for a cooking class and intends to attend night classes to get into university. Ke Fan says no flatly – who is going to take care of the housework?

Bang Yong replies that Chao Ji and Ke Fan can help out. It is time for her now to pursue her belated dream. All oppose except Xun Jin who buys stationary for her. Thus, she has no time to prepare breakfast so Ke Fan and Chao Ji help out clumsily. Ke Fan has lost touch as she has not worked for a long time. Yu Ying has to stand in for a while for a few days too. Yu Ying cries in despair as she is unused to manual work.

When she learns that Xian Jin is still devoted to her, Bang Yong decides to shelf her studies plan to just continue her chef studies. Her routine partly returns to normal. When Xian Jin is deceived by Ran Xi, she assists him in trying to persuade Ke Fan to mortgage their home. Xun Jin is willing but not Ke Fan. Bang Yong then decides that they should not be treated as slaves anymore and will support Xian Jin if she can upon getting her chef certificate.

She is strong-willed and isn’t deterred by the setback. In fact, she is thankful to Ran Xi to help her win her husband back. Both even plan to have a daughter if time permits. Ke Fan also changes her impression of her after many issues and gives her the tradition wedding ring, regarding her as her first daughter-in-law. She even helps Bang Yong to prepare for her second wedding.

8. Jin Hun Sui (coma) - Kim Jin Seong
This is the elder brother who often bullies the younger brother. Jian Kang tells Zhuang Tai to respect Hui Sui but Xian Jin disagrees as Hui Sui is in the wrong. The two adults end up always quarreling but Jian Kang learns valuable lessons from this. Hun Sui takes care of Zhuang Tai when their parents are at the shop.
He once cooks noodles for Zhuang Tai and ends up scalding his foot to leave a scar on it. Bang Yong feels sorry for this and blames herself.

9. Jin Zhuang Tai ( condition)
He is the younger son who often doesn’t give in to Hui Sui. Bang Yong often punishes the two to read a book on brotherhood. The two brothers are older than Zhong Nan and do like Chao Ji to often telling them not to bully Zhong Nan when sometimes it is the other way round. Later, the three boys get along well.

10. Xia Zhong Nan – Jung Yoon Suk
He is Chao Ji’s 6 year old son. In order to pursue her own happiness in wooing Jian Kang, Chao Ji leaves him with Yu Zi and runs away to Seoul. She spends a lot of money on Jian Kang and seldom visits Zhong Nan. Zhong Nan misses her a lot but keeps to himself. He later goes to Seoul but he still can’t stay with her as Chao Ji keeps his existence from the Jins. She puts him up at the crèche.

One day, Zhong Nan falls sick and Chao Ji brings him to the pharmacy. Jian Kang is also there to get medicine to treat his piles. This is where he finally knows the truth and it takes him a long time to forgive her. Zhong Nan’s illness makes him treasure him even more.

He is close to Jian Kang and doesn’t become close to Xing Xian even after he visits him after his release from jail. He only calls him uncle. Jian Kang registers him under his surname but Ke Fan doesn’t allow him to bow to their ancestors during a ceremony. This upsets Chao Ji and after some time, she acknowledges him as the eldest grandson.

11. Ji Song Er – Lee Bo Hee
She is Bang Yong’s mother who married 4 times. She has 4 children fathered by different men. Knowing that Ke Fan looks down on her, she avoids meeting the Jin family when she comes to Seoul from Jiju. Bang Yong has an elder brother who is often in and out of jail. Her two younger sisters treat Song Er like a nanny, wanting her to take care of their children so even though she has nowhere to go during Chinese New Year, she will not look for them.

Being a spendthrift, she often gets money from Xian Jin after spending everything. She also gets free lodging in Fan Ren’s home. She has a hold on both men as they sign contracts with her and she keeps them to remind them repeatedly. She becomes Fan Ren’s housekeeper and treats his daughters well.

Song Er keeps asking Bang Yong to request Xian Jin to give Bang Yong’s elder brother a manager job in one of his companies. That is the last straw that Bang Yong can take and she yells at Song Er. Song Er is also aware that she is too much. So she has to tell her son off for sponging on Bang Yong even though he is an ex-convict. Bang Yong comes to visit her regularly and is pleased to know that she is fine.

Song Er is very observant to know that Ran Xi has designs on Xian Jin. She alerts Bang Yong who later nearly has depression due to this. She warns Ran Xi not to destroy Ran Xi’s family. Bang Yong’s family comes to her when they move out. Although her rented room is small, they stay with her and she even sells away the apartment that Xian Jin buys for her in the past to set up the cabbage restaurant.

She gets along well with Fu Ying but Yu Ying treats her as an outsider. Upon knowing that Fan Ren loves Song Er, Song Er is told to stop working. The poor man has to go to the cabbage shop secretly to peep at her. He even makes adjustments to the poster to make her happy. She gives up the hopes of marrying till she learns that he is hospitalized for a check-up.

It is later known that he has a tumour. Even though the checkup has not confirmed it to be cancerous, she bravely marries him without telling their daughters. She checks him into the hospital to have the operation right after their wedding to go through thick and thin with him. He is later found to be fine.

Knowing that Yu Ying has problems conceiving, she tries to get herbs for her. Yu Ying still finds it hard to address her as mother till the night she has a miscarriage. Feeling frightened when she bleeds, she cries out to her as mother for help. Song Er is touched that she finally accepts her.

12. Zhu Yu Ying – Oh Ji Eun
She is Fan Ren’s elder daughter but is more like a mother to Fu Ying by bringing her up when Fan Ren is in jail. She lies to Li Xiang’s family that her mother is dead when she remarries someone. She carries her baby sister on her back to school and thus, she is very protective towards her and doesn’t trust people easily. She also has a mind of her own and is determined not to be dependent on others.

Thus, Ke Fan finds this undesirable while Xun Jin understands her. She only wants to have a baby later to focus on her career. Li Xiang has thought of her to be selfish but she has set aside some money for Xun Jin’s retirement. Every visit to Li Xiang’s home leaves her nearly suffocated as Ke Fan keeps harping on her upbringing and fires her with burning questions.

She insists of praying to her ancestors first before going to Li Xiang’s home so that Fan Ren will not feel lonely. There are no sons in their family so she feels the responsibility to help out. Why must she be around when Li Xiang has brothers? Li Xiang understands this and requests to return home late but Ke Fan doesn’t. Yu Ying even tells Li Xiang to return home alone at times as she doesn’t know how to face Ke Fan.

Yu Ying feels that his family and Tai Bai come into their marriage. Both often quarrel and Li Xiang keeps saying that having a child will not make them to turn out this way. He returns home to stay for a month. The divorce issue comes to her mind even though her family dissuades her, citing her to be overly headstrong. She also questions on Song Er’s motive to be with Fan Ren – is she eyeing over their family fortune? She doesn’t like her past as she has several marriages before.

She thus takes matters into her own hands – can you believe that she arranges matchmaking sessions for Fan Ren. Fan Ren dislikes the way that he is being treated like a son instead of the father and walks away in a puff. He even goes on a hunger strike and secretly contacts Song Er to bring him food overnight. Upon seeing how deeply they are in love, she has to give in.

Yu Ying makes her own reflection and decides not to be inflexible anymore. It takes her some time to change. She regrets her decision not to have a baby upon knowing that she has difficulty conceiving. She is touched when Li Xiang lies to Ke Fan that he is the one having the problem and Fan Ren has been praying for her in the mountains.

After her miscarriage, she overeats till she vomits but she insists to build up her physique. Her family is alarmed that she is over doing it. Li Xiang tells her that she is the most important person to him and they should let nature take its own course. She is finally successful getting a son.

13. Zhu Fu Ying – Jang Da Yoon
She is Yu Ying’s younger sister who is still a university student. However, her heart is not entirely on her studies as she loves to go dancing and also fortune telling to find out who will be her future lover. Unlike Yu Ying who is hostile to Song Er, she gets along well with her. She even uses her tips to get Mo Dan’s attention but gets his irritation instead. Although he treats her like a maid, she doesn’t mind it.

She knows that Mo Dan is the only one for her and often brings food to his apartment. When she quarrels with her family, she sleeps over at his place. It takes a long time for her to accept Fan Ren’s past. She lies about being pregnant so as to marry Mo Dan young. She feels that she is not cut out for studies but her family insists that she must continue her studies so she can only stop for a term.

She is soon pregnant and Yu Ying discovers her lie. Unlike Yu Ying, she has a happy marriage and has made plans for their future. She becomes very sensible, not knowing when Yu Ying disapproves of Song Er. Even though Fan Ren might get conned by her, he looks so happy and it is fated when that happens. She is right as they have no right to intrude into his life and Yu Ying should ponder over her failing marriage.

She sulks when she can’t shop as freely as before with her classmates as her belly is getting big. She also feels out of place as she has been a housewife for too long. Yu Ying consoles her as it is a blessing to have a child and she can continue her studies later.

14. Zhu Fan Ren (criminal) - No Joo Hyun
He is a criminal in the past to work in the underworld. He is an ex-convict who frames Xun Jin to be locked up for a few years before gaining his innocence to be released. Since then, he dislikes cops and shivers at the sound of a police whistle. He also avoids passing the police station.

Thus, he tells both daughters not to like policemen. Yu Ying knows the reason but Fu Ying doesn’t know his past. He has not wanted Song Er to stay at his place but she takes out the signed agreement that he owes her a favour. He is now the chairman of a jewel company and Yu Ying is now his assistant.

He dotes on Yu Ying and treats Dao Wei as his future son-in-law. Not knowing their breakup, he gets tonics for Dao Wei. When both reconcile, he even gets Yu Ying’s latest jewel design for Dao Wei’s mother as an engagement gift. But after knowing that he lets her down, he gets his gangsters to beat him up. He is pleased when Yu Ying dates Li Xiang but changes his mind after knowing that Xun Jin is Li Xiang’s father.

He is nearly caught by Xun Jin and runs away with Yu Ying. The opposition is not for his own sake. He doesn’t want Yu Ying to suffer in Jin’s family. Seeing Yu Ying will remind Xun Jin of Fan Ren. Later, Xun Jing is willing to bury the hatchet and both are like close friends. He knows that Ke Fan is not satisfied with Yu Ying and he often eats the humble pie. He also picks on Li Xiang to make Ke Fan realize that she is also not treating her daughter-in-law well.

It is destined that he is afraid of policemen and yet gets them as his sons-in-law. He treats both sons-in-laws well. Li Xiang is mature while Mo Dan is thoughtful. He deliberately arouses Li Xiang’s jealousy to treat Mo Dan better so that he can also reflect on Ke Fan’s actions to share Yu Ying’s feelings. Li Xiang and Mo Dan give him advice on how to woo Song Er in return. He finally wins her hand in marriage.

15. Wang Dao Wei – Go Se Won
He is Yu Ying’s ex-boyfriend who breaks up with her due to Xiang Mei. He is brought up by his widowed mother and doesn’t want to be poor anymore. Since he becomes a prosecutor, he must go up the class ladder. He only sees Yu Ying reluctantly when she lies that she is pregnant. After recalling that both have sex 6 months ago and her stomach is flat, he realizes that he is tricked.

He maintains that he will never return to her but is jealous upon seeing Li Xiang with her. Li Xiang is fed up with him for bullying Yu Ying and beats him up. Dao Wei then signs up for a boxing class, wanting to improve himself and not losing out to Li Xiang. But he still ends up being defeated.

Dao Wei deliberately transfers to Li Xiang’s division to become his superior. He makes Li Xiang’s life difficult when he makes him wait for him and doesn’t approve the search warrants on time. He also has evil designs kissing Yu Ying in front of Li Xiang to hurt him. This makes Yu Ying return to him and he is pleased. But his infidelity gets him into nowhere.

After seeing Yu Ying and Li Xiang happily together, he recalls his past with her. She goes through the bad times with her when he studies his degree. Yet he forsakes her. He then challenges Li Xiang for the last time. He loses again in the boxing ring. This time round, there is no bad blood between them. Dao Wei tells Li Xiang Yu Ying’s likes and dislikes. Although he helps him now, he isn’t that magnanimous to drink with him. Li Xiang’s unit is relieved when Dao Wei transfers out.

16. Ju Liu Shuo (cell) – Son Jong Bum
He is newly transferred into Li Xiang’s unit. Known for his bad temper and not cooperating well with his ex-colleagues, he doesn’t know why Li Xiang wants him to be in his team. Li Xiang knows his capabilities and tries to melt this ice. However, he doesn’t comply easily till Li Xiang gets his son a birthday present after knowing that he misses his birthday.

Even so, Li Xiang has a headache when Liu Shuo often naps criminals without waiting for the search warrants or permits. Li Xiang discusses this with Xun Jin and is surprised that Xun Jin agrees with Liu Shuo. Sometimes, it might be too late when the permit is out. Unfeeling as he may seen, he actually agrees to work with Li Xiang’s teammates in Li Xiang wedding proposal plan.

17. Bai Mo Dan (bullet) – Lee Jang Woo
He is a 26 year old inspector who is Li Xiang’s subordinate. But both guys are as close as brothers to help him in wooing Yu Ying. He looks like an expert but in reality, he has no experience at all. Mo Dan even goes to see her alone upon knowing that she intends to break up with him. Fu Ying gets smitten with him after meeting him the first time as he helps to stop a snatch thief from snatching her handbag. His parents stay in Pusan so he rents an apartment to stay alone.

He gives Fu Ying his key and treats her like a maid. He doesn’t only expect her to cook for him but also to iron and wash his clothes! When he faces dilemmas in his job, he also shows his displeasure to her but she doesn’t mind it. He admires Li Xiang’s guts to marry Yu Ying even after knowing Fan Ren’s background as this might affect his future. Thus, he also does the same.

Although he finds Fu Ying too young, he knows that she is the right one for her. His parents own business in Pusan and initially oppose to the marriage. He goes on a hunger strike to force them to agree. Yu Ying is puzzled when the two elders do not oppose to Mo Dan staying with them for the time being or condemning Fu Ying for getting pregnant out of wedlock.

She later realizes that they have been hiding the fact from her but it is too late for them to do anything. Fan Ren often lends him clothes to wear, making Li Xiang jealous. Being with Fu Ying sometimes makes him youthful too and this keeps their marriage going. They have a son and later a daughter, who is born on the same day as Li Xiang’s son. Have a good laugh when Li Xiang worries that his son will end up being the youngest but is relieved when Fu Ying gives birth later than Yu Ying.

18. Tai Ran Xi – Kim Ae Ran
She is also 36 but looks younger than Bang Yong although both are ex-classmates. She only uses branded goods and loves Xian Jin secretly. She has a failed marriage 2 years ago and works as a manager in Xian Jin’s sauna. She is the only one who knows that Xian Jin runs into financial difficulties and tries to help him out as much as possible.

Even though Jian Kang works in the sauna and demands privileges, she is very strict on him to let him be a helper there. Seeing him being bullied by his gangster shareholders, she offers to fork out her money but he refuses. She shares his pain when he sells out his petrol station and hair salon to leave the sauna left as it has sentimental value to him as his first company.

She wants Xian Jin but Xian Jin will not yield to her. The last straw comes when Song Er and Bang Yong come to humiliate her at work for being a third party. She then steals Xian Jin’s seal to transfer his company away to Piao. Even though the two plead with her, she will not change her statement. She keeps sneaking on them at the restaurant, hoping that Xian Jin will change his mind. But Xian Jin remains undeterred even after a motorcycle incident when sending orders.

Bang Yong feels indignant over their loss. She then plots with Xian Jin to pretend that they are having a divorce. Ran Xi is not being taken in easily as she even bribes their shop employee to spy on them. to make the act convincing, the couple pretends to be hostile to each other. Xian Jin pretends to get intimate with Ran Xi and kisses her. Later, Bang Yong comes to demand for him, citing that Ran Xi has to sell her apartment to come up with her damages if they really commit adultery.

Xian Jin has a good laugh at this at home later. If not for Bang Yong appearing, he doesn’t know what to do. Bang Yong has come to his aid on time. Bang Yong then reveals that she has pretended to be a victim to cry over Chao Ji’s ‘lie’ then – she has confronted her to beat her up indeed. Xian Jin is amazed over this.

Bang Yong then buys over the employee to lie to Ran Xi that they are indeed separating before the trial. Sure enough, Ran Xi changes her statement and Xian Jin gets everything back. She is dismayed that she is being deceived later. She has offended Piao and is scared to return home. After spending all her money, she has to beg Bang Yong for help. Li Xiang settles her case and arrests the gangsters so she sells her apartment to stay overseas with her brother. She tells Bang Yong not to forgive her.

19. Zhang Xiang Mei – Im Seo Yeon
She is Dao Wei’s fiancée and is a lawyer. Her father is an attorney and her mother is also from an influential family. Dao Wei gets engaged to her out of greed as her parents buy an apartment for them as their marriage present. Dao Wei is a two-timer and lies to Yu Ying that this is their new home.

Yu Ying comes to the apartment to cook for Dao Wei. Xiang Mei comes and Dao Wei’s lie is uncovered. Dao Wei has claimed to Xiang Mei that Yu Ying is stalker. Xiang Mei gets Yu Ying to remove all the food and she also feels sick upon knowing that Yu Ying has used her toothbrush to throw it away too. Yu Ying dumps all the food on Dao Wei, reprimanding him for lying to her.

The next scene is unexpected – he actually wants her to explain to Xiang Mei! What a spineless man – no wonder Yu Ying gives him a hard kick. Neither is Xiang Mei this easily to deceive too as she also throws their wedding invitations into his face. She knows that things are not that simple between the two. Yu Ying later goes steady with Li Xiang and tells Xiang Mei to accept Dao Wei.

Xiang Mei’s love for him is deep so she intends to forgive him. However, Dao Wei also discovers that his heart stays with Yu Ying so he requests for more time.

20. Li Tai Bai – Yoon Joo Hee
She is the new prosecutor at the unit after Dao Wei’s transfer. Her first encounter with Li Xiang is an unpleasant one. Li Xiang tries to stop Xun Jin from running after Fan Ren to knock into her and damages her notebook. She doesn’t trust him although she knows that he is a policeman to call him right on the spot and ensures that the number is correct.

Li Xiang’s whole unit grumbles as she wants files to be presented on their first coming meeting. Li Xiang then gets Mo Dan to find out her details but Mo Dan has little information on her as she is new. He only knows that she is capable and not that easy to please.

Tai Bai doesn’t like Li Xiang’s attitude when he tries to settle the issue with money. When meeting Tai Bai, Mo Dan calls Li Xiang to inform him that. Tai Bai overhears the conversation and is annoyed when Li Xiang comments that he will compete with her through the law means although she is a hard nut to crack.

Li Xiang’s nightmare starts when he realizes her identity the next day. Tai Bai doesn’t want to be difficult with them but she doesn’t want to waste time talking about unrelated issues during their first meeting. She stresses that cops catch robbers but she protects the civilians. Thus, she has thought that they can work well together but she will not retreat if he wants to spar with her.

They soon find her easygoing as she treats them to meals and is a very impartial person. She still tries to be close to Li Xiang even after his marriage. She feels that he deserves someone better as Yu Ying is not good enough for him. Thus, she often has sharp comments for her when Yu Ying comes to look for Li Xiang.

21. Pei Yu Zi
She is Chao Ji’s friend whom she knows at the orphanage. After her divorce, she cohabits with different men. Chao Ji takes her for granted. In order to get close to Jian Kang, she throws Zhong Nan to Yu Zi to take care of him on her behalf. She gives Yu Zi little and sometimes no money even after her marriage as she hides about Zhong Nan’s existence from Jin family.

Yu Zi gets very fed up when her boyfriend keeps questioning her when she is going to drag this further. She then presses Chao Ji to take Zhong Nan away soon as she wants to sell her provision shop in order to be with her married boyfriend. When Chao Ji keeps stalling, she gets very mad and forces Zhong Nan to get on a bus to Seoul on his own.

It proves a wrong choice for her again as he sponges her dry. Dejected, she returns to Seoul with Chao Ji’s family to stay at the junk yard, looking after the goods at night. She gets to know Inspector Chi and pretends to be a demure woman. However, she finds it hard to hide the facts from him for long. Thus, she confesses to him but Inspector Chi doesn’t mind her past and accepts her.

22. Xia Xing Xian
He is Chao Ji’s lover and both do not register their marriage even though Zhong Nan is born. He is often jailed for crimes but this time round, he promises to turn over a new leaf. However, Chao Ji gives up on him and moves away with Zhong Nan. She even undergoes plastic surgery.

Xing Xian learns of Chao Ji’s coming marriage when she visits him for the last time. He pleads with Inspector Liu and Xun Jin to look for her. They go to their old hometown but get no result. Xun Jin even discovers Yu Zi but she claims not to see Chao Ji at all under Chao Ji’s conspiracy. He only gets to see Zhong Nan with Yu Zi.

The small IC photo that he keeps all along with him is the old Chao Ji so Xun Jin doesn’t recognize her even though he finds her familiar. Another thing is she also hides her past from Jin family. Xing Xian counts down before he can be released to seek her out again. True indeed, he hunts them down and demands a reconcilation.

Chao Ji will rather drown herself with him than to be together again. He beats Jian Kang up but this doesn’t change a thing. Seeing how attached Zhong Nan is to Jian Kang when he is ill, he leaves and lies to be an uncle. He is contented when he calls him father once before he settles in another town. Chao Ji hopes that he can find someone better and he sends a birthday present to Zhong Nan.

23. Inspector Chi Guan You
He is very grateful to Xun Jin. If not, he might become a gangster in his younger days and not go on the right path. He is a widower and is the only one besides Xun Jin’s family to know well of his entanglement with Fan Ren. His 20 year old son is a pathetic victim of a riot to be injured by demonstrators after they know that his father is a policeman. He might go blind in one eye. Inspector Jin is very upset over it.

He meets Yu Zi by chance and is annoyed when she mistakens him as a thief. Both get into arguments till Jian Kang clears the air. Both start dating in secret as they cook for each other and are finally a pair.

24. Inspector Cui You Xian
He is once Ju’s subordinate from another unit but he gets his promotion faster than him to join the team. Thus, he is very stuck up and keeps insulting Ju when he is free as he can do somersauts. The other members do not like him too. Ju is irritated and often nearly go into blows with him. That also inspires him to work hard for his promotion and to train himself harder. But even though he gets the same position as him, Cui still thinks that Ju is a level lower than him.

25. Sergeant Liu
He is also Li Xiang’s subordinate. Even though he is suave, he is a letdown when he has cold feet during an operation. The others charge in to arrest the criminals but he stays outside in fear. Li Xiang is injured during the process and he is very remorseful over the act. He nearly wants to resign but Li Xiang urges him to stay on. He and Inspector Cui are interested in Tai Bai but he ends up being the winner, marrying her.

26. Senior Superintendent Li Shang Han
He is the chief and is also Tai Bai’s father. He has Tai Bai at old age as his wife has difficulty conceiving so he dotes on her. He often goes out with the team during their operations. He hides her identity from the rest and tells her all their operations. That is why she knows them so well. He tries to matchmake her with Li Xiang but is disappointed to learn that he is attached. Thus, he mixes other matchmaking sessions for her.

Most favourite character
Li Xiang – he is very thoughtful for others. He has a great sense of humour to woo Yu Ying. Who will be like him to issue a parking summon which a restaurant address is stated on top and he is booking her for illegally parking in his heart! Like Yu Ying, he speaks his mind but he doesn’t hurt others. He can’t communicate well with her initially as she is overly sensitive.

A close second is Bang Yong – she makes so many sacrifices for the family for 10 long years. She wins over everyone with her wits and patience. That is why the other daughters-in-laws so to her for advice. Top scorer for her acting to turn her tables against Chao Ji and Ran Xi. Both have taken her for granted as a dumb housewife but she is so much wiser than them.

Most hated character
Chao Ji – she really comes up with packs of lies too often that you will not know when she is telling the truth. She also enjoys taking advantage of people. After I list her shortcomings above, can you still like her? Luckily, she becomes a better person in the end. A close second is Ke Fan – you have to find out why she leaves Yu Ying almost breathless after each meeting.

Interesting facts

This drama involved mostly B rated cast but the ratings were quite good averaging from 30% to 44% at highest point. Many advertisers loved it and even requested KBS to increase the episodes but KBS decided against it as they already had the story developed carefully.

It was the second highest viewed drama at 34% for 2010. Lee bo Hee won bestsupporting actress award at KBS drama awards 2010.

Do Ji Won had been in the entertainment circle for 18 years. This was the most unfavourable role that she had taken up. Many were convinced by her role and disliked her so much. She nearly suffered from depression and could not talk to the working crew for about 3 weeks. Luckily, she recovered fast and communicated with them later after that.

Lee Joon Hyuk took up this role right after ‘City Hall’. He was happy as his past experience in other dramas help in this role. He was relieved after knowing the high ratings. The cast had worked with him before so he was not that pressurized. It was tired filming a long sitcom but the high ratings made them forget about exhaustion and could work quickly.

His best advantage was to gain fame from this drama and to get his next assignment. He worked well with everyone, especially those who were his ‘policemen colleagues’. Whenever the dating scenes were filmed, the weather changed drastically – it would either rain or suddenly turned very cold. The filming crew joked that Li Xiang and Yu Ying were destined not to be together easily from the start since even the weather was not helping them.

Joon Hyuk admitted that he was like Li Xiang to be totally devoted in every relationship. He had dated someone older than him before. Although the wooing technique was different, he did make the first move earnestly and did not give up easily.

His Chinese name is called Jun He. ‘Jun’ was not the Chinese character, handsome. The left Chinese character was water instead of horse. It meant it hoped to have the depth like water. He meant to be cheerful. He admitted that he was not very cheerful by nature but as he belonged to A blood group, friends will remain friends with him forever. He befriended many besides the entertainment circle as he pursued advertisement studies in university and is now studying for masters in creative arts.

Conclusion

The drama focuses well on the characters’ conflicts. However, some offers for solutions can be very forceful and look very awkward to solve the problems hastily. It is showing more flaws in the women than the men. It is kind of strange to see Ke Fan helping outsiders in the end – is this a punishment for treating her family members shabbily in the past? Ke Fan is a terror indeed – doing nothing but yet keeps on picking on others. I doubt anyone can get along with such a mother-in-law.

Chao Ji is undesirable too – her flaws are major and not minor. She is also unrepentant initially over her mistakes and often looks for short cuts. Yu Ying is also another who can be unbearable. That is why Bang Yong can’t tolerate her for being rude and looking down on Song Er. I really like the part when she forces Yu Ying to say sorry to her! So what if she is rich – she can’t throw her weight around just like that.

The men are also having lots of flaws so they tend to have as many discussions among them as the women. Through the quarrels and looking through another point of view, each also discovers their own mistake to correct them and apologise to their wives.

It shows how conflicts arise among them before and after marriages. Things are not as simple as they seem and may worsen if ignored. Thus, it is very important to iron out the differences soon instead of keeping to oneself in order to keep a family going. The cast did a good job – making every character realistic. I strongly recommend to all to watch this heart-warming drama.

Sukting’s ratings :

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

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



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