Tomato


Reviewed by: sukting

February 10, 2004

Rating: three-point-five

How long
16 episodes

Foreword
This is one of the earliest Korean dramas that I was introduced to. I like the story very much although it is very predictable. The main reason is the cast act quite well with lots of ups and downs. The two leads are very compatible.

Story

Sheng Jun is a lawyer and his mother is the owner of Hui Xing shoe company, Ying Shu. He has been on bad terms with his mother since his parents’ divorce and she did not see his father before he died. All along, he stayed with his father and financed his studies. Although Ying Shu has wanted him to be her successor, he is uninterested and gets his elder cousin, Qi Jun to be the company manager instead.

Shi Lan and Han Ni are a pair of good friends since high school. Shi Lan is the daughter of Hui Zi, the owner of another shoe company, Terra. Han Ni leaves Jiju island, hoping to become a shoe designer. One day, Sheng Jun is in charge of a case and offends hooligans. To get away from them, he runs and gets knocked down by Shi Lan’s car. Shi Lan is frightened and drives away but Han Ni stays to send him to hospital.

Her dress is stained with his blood although she tries in vain to clean it. She leaves after he is admitted. She finds a button of a special design and decides to keep it. She has a pair of glass shoes and throws the button into one of the shoes.

Ying Shu and Qi Jun visit him. Sheng Jun wants to find his life saviour. (‘Loving you’ steals the idea from here too) He happens to watch a television interview and sees Shi Lan. He remembers her in his vague memory and goes to meet her. This woman claims the credit shamelessly upon seeing his good looks. He looks very different from having the swollen face earlier.

Han Ni and her friend, Yu Na rent a room together. Yu Na is cheated of the rental money when she believes that a fraud can help her become a famous singer. Finally, both have to move out. She ends up staying in a place with Sheng Jun. She thinks he's a molester when he enters the house and tries hitting him with a broom. After knowing that Yu Na has tricked her, she is annoyed but has no money to rent the place elsewhere. Sheng Jun only agrees to tolerate her for one night.

Shi Lan comes to visit Sheng Jun and is shocked to see Han Ni there. But she is relieved upon seeing that they don’t seem to get along well with each other. The next day, Han Ni doesn’t know where to move out. In the evening, Sheng Jun feels bad that she has to loiter outside when his friends come to visit him. She walks on the streets and picks a stray dog home. She is so thick skinned to stay and Sheng Jun has to keep her. Both decide to share the rental cost.

Yu Na befriends Hao Tai. She despises him for being a good for nothing. He vows to work hard but Shi Lan looks down on him. Upon knowing that Hui Zi keeps his late father’s assets and doesn’t hand it to him, he approaches Sheng Jun for help. Sheng Jun analyses that he has the right to get the money. Both guys hit off well and Sheng Jun doesn’t charge for his services. Hui Zi is annoyed but has to give in.

Sheng Jun visits an orphanage. Shi Lan happens to be there with Han Ni. Han Ni enrolls in Hui Xing shoe design contest. She tells herself, if she isn’t selected, she will return home. Sheng Jun sees her drawing but doesn’t tell her about his relationship with Ying Shu. Shi Lan has been jealous of her success in art all along. She lies to Qi Jun that Han Ni has stolen her design, telling him to disqualify her. He obeys her.

Later she pretends to console her. Han Ni decides to return to Jiju island. She gives Sheng Jun a yoyo as a present. Sheng Jun suddenly feels reluctant to let her leave but he says nothing. Ying Shu is angry with all the unoriginal designs till she happens to see Han Ni’s drawing. (This part probably gives ‘A bright girl’s success’s producer some idea to help Yang Shun too.) She doesn’t believe that it is a copied Terra design because the idea is completely different.

She sends a fax to Han Ni’s place and Sheng Jun receives it. He rushes to the airport to tell her. Han Ni is so overjoyed that she keeps shaking his hand. Han Ni works as a temporary staff at Hui Xing company. Sheng Jun is happy for her but Shi Lan is dismayed. But she is happy that she is getting such a low post. Ying Shu warns her that she can get fired anytime. Shi Lan is with Sheng Jun to visit the orphanage again. She sees Han Ni already there with the children and she gets so shocked. We can see how despicable she is. She pretends to faint, giving herself a chance for Sheng Jun to drive her car to send her home.

Sheng Jun and Han Ni rush for work but keep on knocking into each other at home. She works in the manufacturing section under an old supervisor. Ying Shu has a special intention – she likes Han Ni’s designs but wants to train her the hard way. She isn’t professional but she likes shoes. The two cousins play tennis together and Qi Jun is glad that Sheng Jun finds his life saviour. But he has no idea that it is Shi Lan. Shi Lan has been going out with him secretly.

Ying Shu wants Han Ni to find out why the shoes are rejected although there is nothing wrong with the design. Han Ni can’t find the answer. To thank Sheng Jun, she cooks red bean rice for him. He finds it too hard and teaches her the correct way to cook. Han Ni then rushes to work upon knowing the reason for the shoe rejection. The cow’s skin is too hard to wear. Ying Shu is impressed and transfers her to work with other designers.

Shi Lan introduces a case to Sheng Jun and he finally knows that Hui Zi is her mother. Hui Zi dislikes Ying Shu but she can’t help liking her son. That means that he is handling deals for his mother’s rival company. He realizes why Shi Lan keeps it from him, lying to him that she is only working in an ordinary company. But to him, it doesn’t really matter as he is not working for Ying Shu.

Sheng Jun and Han Ni grow tomato plants. He asks her why she grows them. She replies that the reading for it backwards and forwards is the same. She then makes fun of his name, saying that it sounds like a car when reading it backwards. When he returns to the office and reads the newspapers, he reads the names of celebrities the same way and finds it amusing. His secretary guesses that he is in love but he denies it.

He plucks the tomatoes away for Han Ni. She scolds him but later realizes her mistake. The orchard owner says that this is the correct way to help the plant grow faster and healthier. She apologises to him. Sheng Jun is amused that she has little knowledge of growing plants.

Han Ni finds out that Ying Shu is Sheng Jun’s mother. She is angry with him for keeping the truth from her. Sheng Jun tells her about his past bitterly. Ying Shu was very career-minded and it led to her divorce. He seldom saw her and had to handle his father’s funeral alone. He only met her when he was older and still finds it hard to forgive her. Han Ni feels so sorry for him.

Sheng Jun tries to find a document but can’t find it. He starts blaming Han Ni for messing the home and both stage a cold war. Later, his secretary calls him to tell him that it is at the office. Sheng Jun feels bad for wronging her and apologises to her. Later, he feels down after losing a case. Han Ni cheers her up by teaching him how to play yoyo at the balcony at the top of their home. He smiles after mastering the skill. Shi Lan comes and is so jealous to see them so intimate together.

She plans to drive Han Ni out of Hui Xing. She knows the shoe designers and has a lunch session with them. She says nasty things about her being a thief during their school days and then steals a wallet from one of them. She takes the money but places the wallet back into her bag. All women start to bully Han Ni after the incident. They don’t allow her to explain herself. Shi Lan pretends to worry for her and tells Sheng Jun about it. Sheng Jun has noticed that Han Ni is not her normal self, looking very upset the previous night but he is too busy with his work to ask her.

Upon hearing the story, he believes that Han Ni is innocent. Why? From his experience with criminals, it is common for them to throw away wallets after taking the money to destroy all evidence. It is unlikely that the culprit will want to leave anything behind as evidence. And her behaviour the last night shows that she is genuinely upset. Moreover, he understands her feelings as he has been framed in the army the same way before. Shi Lan has to give a forced smile as her plan backfires.

Shi Lan knows that Hao Tai and Yu Na have set up a new record company. Both plan to ask Han Ni and Sheng Jun out for a celebration. They have asked both to visit their office earlier and notice that they are not on talking terms. Han Ni is angry with Sheng Jun for being close to Shi Lan but yet doesn’t tell him the actual reason. Sheng Jun is troubled as he doesn’t know what he has done wrong.

But he is delighted that Hao Tai asks him to be his legal adviser. He can then get to see Han Ni often then. The four enjoy themselves at the restaurant. Shi Lan deliberately asks Ying Shu to have lunch there. Ying Shu is furious to see them together and storms away. Han Ni is disturbed.

Under Qi Jun’s deliberate attempt, both visit Sheng Jun and Ying Shu is shocked to know that they stay together. She forces Han Ni to move to the workers’ hostel. It is against the rule to let temporary staff move in but she breaks the rules. Ying Shu is determined to break up the couple. If Han Ni refuses, she will lose her job. Han Ni moves out reluctantly. She leaves one glass shoe, the dog and a tomato plant at his home to keep him company.

Ying Shu later makes her a waitress during the company’s celebration event. Sheng Jun feels tormented upon seeing her being ill-treated. Poor Han Ni is being tripped by her colleagues who dislike her and she drops all the plates. Sheng Jun offers to help her up but she ignores him, running away in tears. Later he tries to console her in a lift but Ying Shu spoils his chances by interfering.

Sheng Jun asks Han Ni to meet him in the garden at night. She intends to go but is held up by work. The man has to hide in the telephone booth and waits for her in vain. He leaves in the rain and gets home soaking wet. He can’t help feeling disappointed, unware that Han Ni rushes to the garden after work but does not get to meet him.

Sheng Jun falls sick and develops a high fever to stay at home the next day. Han Ni calls his home and is concerned to hear his weak voice. This stupid woman tells Shi Lan to take care of him. Shi Lan cooks abalone porridge for him and looks at him when he is eating. Poor Sheng Jun feels so uneasy. She then covers the blanket over him tenderly when he is sleeping again. Qi Jun calls Sheng Jun out for a drink. He is surprised to hear Shi Lan’s voice and starts to get suspicious.

Sheng Jun recovers and thanks Shi Lan for her help. Hao Tai and Yu Na see him later and notice that he looks wan. Both tell him that they are meeting Han Ni at the amusement park on Sunday. They then hide somewhere to let the couple to be together.

I really laugh upon seeing how cunning Sheng Jun can be. Han Ni looks around for the couple while he hopes that the two will not return! He even acts innocently that Hao Tai arranges him to come and that he doesn’t know that Yu Na also asks her out. He tries so hard to please her. Han Ni is thirsty and he goes to buy a drink for her. But not knowing what she likes, he buys a few cans of the different flavours.

The two sit on a bench, not knowing what to say to each other. A mother requests them to look after her daughter while she looks for her missing son. The two of them enjoy babysitting to make the child happy. The child gives Sheng Jun some colourful beads as a gift while her mother gives them a complimentary dinner ticket. Both go to the restaurant and the waiter snaps a photo of them together.

Sheng Jun keeps the photo and gives Han Ni the beads. When both return to their different homes, Sheng Jun uses a magnet to place the photo on the refrigerator so that he will look at it daily. Han Ni places the beads into the glass shoes together with other beads and his button.

Han Ni is sad that the little dog is dead and scolds Sheng Jun for neglecting it. She takes back her tomato. Ying Shu lends Han Ni a designing book and Shi Lan gets to see it. (I find Han Ni so stupid to hold the book so obviously – to show off???) She steals it, pretends to be ill and throws it into a cab. She doesn’t want Ying Shu to help her. Han Ni is upset that it is missing. Later, she gives the book to Sheng Jun to return to Han Ni. She steals this chance to tell him that she loves him. Sheng Jun is uncomfortable but gives her his handkerchief to wipe off the stains from her dress.

Sheng Jun passes the book to Han Ni and confesses that he likes her. She avoids him. The next day, his secretary asks whether he is okay as he looks sick. Sheng Jun is too troubled and was sleepless the last night. Shi Lan uses Sheng Jun’s handkerchief to clean her dress again when she meets Qi Jun. Stupid woman – later in the night, Qi Jun sees Sheng Jun opening a wine bottle with a handkerchief of the same design and smells a fish.

Qi Jun realises that Shi Lan has deceived him. He also knows now why Shi Lan wants to take back the photograph that he had with her at the restaurants. He tells Ying Shu that he has never met Shi Lan before and lies that he is curious to know Sheng Jun’s life saviour. Ying Shu introduces them during a meal. Shi Lan is alarmed but is puzzled that Qi Jun pretends not to know her.

Ying Shu wants Han Ni to come up with 10 designs to enter a selection contest for the autumn season. She tries her best but only one is selected. However, it is being chosen as the main item for display. She is overjoyed and wants to celebrate with Sheng Jun. But Shi Lan drags Sheng Jun out to miss the date.

Han Ni finds that that Shi Lan has been framing her all along. She vows not to let her off. Both are close competitors in work now. A famous violinist wants to choose a pair of shoes to wear to her performance. Shi Lan designs a pair of high heel slippers with precious stones while Han Ni designs a pair of normal black shoes. In the end, she wears Shi Lan’s shoes and Han Ni can’t help feeling disappointed. Both companies receive Mei Lan’s letters later.

She tells Shi Lan in her note that her shoes are uncomfortable and has disturbed her from the starting to the end. Her note to Ying Shu is that she praises the design for being simple but yet comfortable. Ying Shu is so mean – she keeps the note and decides not to tell Han Ni about it. She doesn’t want her to get arrogant. Poor Han Ni still thinks that she is the loser.

Ying Shu and Hui Zi are forced to work together to get a deal. Shi Lan and Han Ni have no choice but to work together. Shi Lan gives up halfway as she can’t find the manufacturer to make the sample. Han Ni refuses to give up and succeeds in the mission. However, Shi Lan seizes the credit and the deal comes under Terrra’s name. Ying Shu scolds Han Ni for being so incompetent.

Sheng Jun finishes his work and misses Han Ni. So he waits outside the hostel for her. He is alarmed to see her crying when he asks her whether work is smooth. Han Ni sobs in his arms and he gives her a light pat on her back. He then asks whether the work is too tough. Feeling shy, she retracts. Sheng Jun doesn’t know what is wrong and still asks her to approach Shi Lan when she needs help! How ignorant he can be! Han Ni is frustrated and tells him to leave.

To get close to Sheng Jun, Shi Lan asks him to help her to draft a plan. Actually, she has already abandoned the plan. Sheng Jun agrees to help to pay her the favour. Upon completion, Shi Lan steals a page and Sheng Jun thinks that he has lost it. He starts blaming himself as it must have caused Terra damages. She is touched later upon seeing Sheng Jun working as a volunteer to help the poor. He tells Qi Jun later that he is only treating Shi Lan like a friend.

Qi Jun gives Sheng Jun two tickets to watch a musical. He invites Han Ni to join him and lies that she might be rejected for dressing so simply instead of wearing a gown. She gets worried but relieved that there are other women in casual wear too. She chides him for sprouting nonsense but he only smiles at her. Qi Jun deliberately asks Shi Lan to go with him. She pretends to be ill upon seeing the couple. Qi Jun brings her out and proposes to her. He knows that she is lying to him. She is shocked but consents to consider.

After the performance, Sheng Jun and Han Ni have a stroll. They pass by a department store and Han Ni asks him what he thinks of a pair of shoes on display. That is the first pair of shoes that she has designed. Sheng Jun answers that it only looks normal to him.

This scene is quite classic on how low Shi Lan can go to get the man she wants. Shi Lan lies that it is her birthday and wants Sheng Jun to celebrate at his home. Sheng Jun tells her frankly now that he already has someone else in his heart. She is angry as she knows that the person is Han Ni. She invites Han Ni along and tricks Sheng Jun to go out to buy food for her. She only wears a sexy undergarment when Han Ni is there. Han Ni is disgusted to think that both are together and leaves. Sheng Jun returns at this time and Shi Lan wears back her clothes.

Seeing her so angry, he runs after her but she refuses to face Shi Lan again. He doesn’t understand why there is bad blood between the two women. She only tells him to treat Shi Lan better since he has chosen her.

Sheng Jun asks Han Ni why she is treating him so hostilely. Can’t he just come when he wishes to see her? He is troubled because of her. Han Ni tells him not to feel troubled over her. He replies that his happiness lies in her decision. Why must she avoid him as she can give him despair and hope?

Shi Lan gets her desserts later. Qi Jun places a ring on the table and presses her to agree to it. He deliberately asks Sheng Jun to meet him there. He then hides in the toilet to see her reaction. Shi Lan is terrified to see Sheng Jun and is unable to hide the ring on the table. Sheng Jun sees the ring, gets the idea and leaves. He doesn’t say that he is looking for his cousin and so Qi Jun is successful in his plot.

Shi Lan tells Han Ni to leave Sheng Jun. Han Ni asks Sheng Jun out to give the presents that she has prepared for him for 3 occasions. This is to end their ties once and for all. The first is a tie clip for staying at his home. The second is a tie after getting her first pay. The third is a handkerchief as his birthday present. Not giving up. Sheng Jun asks Han Ni out the next day again.

He wears all the things that she has given him. She is overjoyed that he likes all the items. He also gives her a present in return. She opens it and is overjoyed to see a pair of shoes that she has designed.

Qi Jun divulges Han Ni’s design to Terra under Shi Lan’s insistence – on the condition that she agrees to marry him. Poor Han Ni is sent home when Ying Shu thinks that she is the culprit. Sheng Jun is late when he misses her at the airport. Yu Na knows her address but she doesn’t dare to tell him. Upon seeing him so upset, she gives in to him. Sheng Jun rushes to see her but fails to bring her back.

Sheng Jun asks Shi Lan out to make the request of her to help Han Ni. Both are at the Italian Fiago restaurant. She praises the food, saying that it is her first time here and she will come again. Sheng Jun stops walking – he recalls her telling him that she has been here before and knows that the chef is a fat man. Qi Jun also tells him that Terra has already shelved the plan and has no intention to get the deal. He starts to suspect her of lying to him. Both cousins talk. Qi Jun talks about his poor home background. Sheng Jun makes him feel better, saying that he is Ying Shu’s capable assistant. He himself has no caliber for business.

Sheng Jun asks Shi Lan out again. He sees Shi Lan scolding a child in a lift fiercely for dirtying her dress with his ice-cream and is appalled. This scene is also classic because she doesn’t see that he is right behind her in a crowd so she does it openly. He recalls her carrying an orphan tenderly – how does she change so much? He tries to find out whether she sponsors the orphanage but she lies that she always donates as an unknown so the owner may not know her. However, this lame excuse fails to convince Sheng Jun.

He calls up the hospital to find out who sent him to hospital on that day. He is disappointed that no one remembers. Sheng Jun then finds a nurse. She recalls that the saviour wears a yellow dress. Sheng Jun is furious as he remembers Shi Lan telling him that she wore a red dress on that day. His anger rises upon finding out from the orphanage owner that Shi Lan is not the sponsor.

She has only seen Shi Lan coming twice with Han Ni. Han Ni is the one who often visits the children. He asks Shi Lan out and says that she is not a truthful friend who lies to him. He recalls her whole pack of lies – she has never visited the Italian restaurant and no one has seen her at all at the ER. Shi Lan is startled to see him so angry. This scene is sure enjoyable when a nice man finally shows his temper for once and we can get to see more later. Shi Lan is sure speechless when he uncovers her evil deeds one by one!

Qi Jun forces her to accept his marriage proposal as he wants to meet Hui Zi. Shi Lan goes to see Sheng Jun but he refuses to see her. He plans to visit Han Ni at Jiju island. He has given her a call, telling her that he will look for her after a law conference there. But alas, Shi Lan chooses to kill herself by eating a whole bottle of sleeping pills in her car outside his home. He has to send her to hospital and misses his flight. Han Ni is disappointed as she has been waiting for him eagerly.

Qi Jun tells Han Ni the truth of framing her. He brings her back, wanting to let her to create a new design to defeat Terra. So Sheng Jun can’t find Han Ni when he reaches Jiju island. He happens to see a girl with his button from his suit that he wore on the day of the accident. Han Ni has given her the button with the beads to play with them to kill boredom. Sheng Jun recognizes it as his father had the suit specially tailored for him. The buttons have his name engraved on them. He is overjoyed to confirm that Han Ni is his saviour and exchanges it with a yoyo before rushing home.

He shows Han Ni the button and affirms her identity. Both are delighted to know the truth. Shi Lan still doesn’t want to give Sheng Jun up. She sets meetings with Ying Shu and Hui Zi. Although both are business rivals, they reluctantly give in since their children are dating. Sheng Jun knows about the meet and goes to see the three women. Shi Lan feels guilty upon seeing his angry expression.

He demands to know what Shi Lan is up to. He wants her to tell the truth but she runs away in shame. The two old women are puzzled. Sheng Jun then reveals that Shi Lan isn’t his life saviour. Han Ni is the one. Ying Shu is surprised.

Han Ni is going to have a new exhibition on new shoe designs. Shi Lan wants to follow suit to have it on the same day at a different hall in the same building – shamelessly using Han Ni’s design. Qi Jun wants Sheng Jun to apply for a court order. Sheng Jun meets Han Ni on his way back to office. He assures that everything will be set right in future.

On the day, Shi Lan has to cancel her exhibition. Sheng Jun has applied a copyright to sue Terra for infringing their copyright if that happens. She sits stunned on the stage alone. She goes to the next hall where Han Ni is happily receiving her congratulations from Sheng Jun and the others. Sheng Jun ignores her. Qi Jun knows that she has learnt her lesson and sure enough, she returns to him.

Sheng Jun asks Han Ni out and both look at each other’s tomato plant. Both argue that each is better. He then takes out the glass shoe, saying that the glass shoes must be together. These Koreans are sure wishy-washy in their words. He is disappointed when she rejects him. he is then overjoyed that she wants him to be frank to say that they get married! He is so happy that he hugs her in the garden.

Introduction on characters

1. Li Han Ni – Kim Hee Sun
She is a simple girl who is pretty, cheerful and kind. She is so gullible to get backstabbed by Shi Lan for so many times. I really feel like screaming at her for being so stupid. She always makes Sheng Jun upset or misunderstands his good intentions. Is she really so blind???

She wears different hair bands to match her clothes. This makes her look very sweet. I don’t think she has shed her image as a princess. Her expressions are the same. Always making viewers worry and feel unfair for her poor treatment – just like a Cinderella. She reminds me of her previous role as Han Xiu Yan in Sunflower, equally long-suffering. However, the chemistry between her and Suk Hoon is great! I really adore the scenes of them together.

2. Yin Shi Lan – Kim Chi Ying
She is a career woman who is Hui Zi’s great helper in the company. She looks pure and polite on the outside but she is very ambitious and easily jealous of Han Ni’s success. Another word to describe will be thick-skinned – she has the cheek to enjoy Han Ni’s labour of success after framing her and claiming the credit to be hers. How chilling this can be!

She is also direct to reveal her feelings to Sheng Jun. This is a scary hidden enemy for a friend. She always carries tales and creates discord. Many will get worried for Han Ni – thinking how she is going to harm her in her next plan. Some may say that she is 10 times worse than Yin Mei. I totally agree because she has NEVER helped her.

She is also brilliant in choosing her man. She isn’t sure whether Sheng Jun will want her so she uses Qi Jun as a spare tyre. But I like the part where her evil schemes are revealed one by one. Her evil nature is no longer hidden and becomes clear to all. I really laugh when she meets her match – Qi Jun. She finds her every move blocked by him, unlike Sheng Jun who is easier to deceive and manipulate. When in front of Qi Jun, she is at a loss.

She is a villainess that I admire. She is as good as Kim So Yeon's Yin Mei in ‘All About Eve’. I wonder why she isn’t famous and is always given supporting roles. Is it because she isn’t pretty enough? This is so unfair. She is a versatile actress to show the many faces of Shi Lan.

3. Che Sheng Jun – Kim Suk Hoon
He is a polite, refined and upright lawyer. He is capable in work and fights for the poor. Ying Shu is angry with him for only seeing her to request her to arrange jobs for them in Hui Xing. Because of his parents’ divorce, he is unable to show his feelings freely. This is just like Xiang Zhe in ‘All About Eve’. However, he changes under Han Ni’s influence. Han Ni is displeased with him for wasting money. He doesn’t share the milk and the newspaper she buys. Why must he spend the extra money and rather leave the milk to get over due to throw away? He then learns to care and share.

From then, he is very devoted to love and never gives up easily. He only realizes his feelings for her when she moves away. Although he misses her, he can’t appear at her hostel that often so openly. However, he may be too polite to reject Shi Lan. He could have avoided the trouble caused later.

He is a younger version of Taiwanese compere Wu Zong Xian but he is better-looking than him. He is presentable as a lawyer. Many will like his outlook with short crop hair – he is really dashing in business suits. Many have described him as ‘an actor of a thousand faces’. He has played roles of an angel, devil, pugilist expert or a lecturer. He fits in all roles well.

4. Che Qi Jun – Jin Xi Chong
He is Sheng Jun’s elder cousin and both are as close as brothers. He knows that his aunt doesn’t really treat him like a successor so he works hard to gain her recognition. He is ambitious and sometimes does wrongs to Hui Xing just to please Shi Lan. He really loves her very much – strangely I don’t really blame him although I dislike him. We can place the blame on Shi Lan because she can be so stupid.

Fortunately, he finally knows that he has to act tough to win her back. And I admire him for being so wise and also frank. He doesn’t talk to Shi Lan as softly as before now. He is firmer with her and really drives her to a corner and gives her no way of escape. He confesses his mistake to Han Ni. And he does it by lawful means this time to gain Sheng Jun’s help in applying the court order. Although he knows that she may not be sincere to him, he is content to have her by his side.

5. Yin Hao Tai – Jin Zhen
He is at first a good for nothing. He isn’t interested to work in Terra and only loiters around in the company asking his mother or the supervisor for money to spend. He is Hui Zi’s son and also Shi Lan’s elder brother. He is actually a nice man and you will laugh at how much he dislikes Shi Lan, to the extent of helping Han Ni instead of her! He always wants to be a successful music-maker but he fails so many times. He and Yu Na later work together towards their dream.

6. Yu Na – Jin Rou Li
She is very naïve and dreams to be a singer. She is kind but is very inexperienced. That is why she gets cheated easily. She is lucky to meet Hao Tai. He helps her to make her dream come true. Knowing that Sheng Jun likes Han Ni, Yu Na tries to bring them together with Hao Tai’s help.

7. Luo Hui Zi - Jin Zi Yu
She is Shi Lan’s mother and comes from a well-to-do family. Terra is her family business and she inherits it. She trains Shi Lan to be her successor and she becomes a snob exactly like her. However, she bears no grudges against Sheng Jun as she finds him a fine man. She is always at loggerheads with Ying Shu and most laughs are created by both in the serial.

8. Cheng Ying Shu – Piao En Shu (as You Zhen’s mother in ‘All About Eve’)
What a striking appearance! This woman adores men’s clothes very much – can you believe that 90% o her clothes are ties and business suits? She has short hair and that makes her look like a man! This is sure a tactful way to project her career-minded image. She comes from a poor family and sets up the company with her own hands. She senses Han Ni’s talents but she makes her work hard so as to achieve better results.

She looks very authoritative. And when she is angry with her designers, she will throw their work pieces back at their faces. Later, she slowly accepts Qi Jun and promotes him. But being a mother, she has hoped for a better catch for Sheng Jun. She tries hard to bring Sheng Jun and Shi Lan together despite her disgust for Hui Zi. However, the outcome is unexpected and she only tells Han Ni to work hard. I take that she accepts her as her future daughter-in-law finally.

All must watch this actress in here. She is so good to be fierce, demanding and yet comical. I find her acting in ‘All About Eve’ and ‘Her House’ not as good. Because the other characters aren’t that interesting?

Favourite character
Sheng Jun. He is so nice and kind to others. Although he is a lawyer, he always thinks of the poor’s interest and helps the unfortunate during his free time. A close second will be Ying Shu. Are you surprised? I find her too harsh to Han Ni at first. But I realize that it is for her own good as she has very high expectations of her. I don’t approve of how she treats her like a rival later though but I can feel her concern for Sheng Jun. She feels remorseful for neglecting him but has tried hard to make up to him.

Most hated character
Who else – of course it is Shi Lan! If you watch this serial, you will know why I dislike her so much. She is a horrible creep and is sure a deep one. To think that even her mother is kept from the truth of her saving Sheng Jun – I am totally impressed by how she can come up with one lie after another. Those who wish to learn the trick of lying can learn from her.

Song
The themesong is a humming theme. The sub-theme songs by a male singer are really nice. They sound very romantic. I like a song that has the line ‘going on a point of no return’. Anyone has the idea where to get the song?

Favourite scenes
Han Ni and Sheng Jun together. They are compatible and can be funny at times. However, it is a pity that they hide their feelings and always give each other hints instead. They only hug each other twice throughout the serial – what a pity!

The scenes where Shi Lan tries to harm or frame Han Ni. Splendid in showing how ruthless she is.

How Shi Lan is trapped between Qi Jun and Sheng Jun to show her true colours. We can see adverse reactions here. Qi Jun is surprisingly calm even though she has done him wrong. Sheng Jun is not that kind to her. He loses his temper in public and even embarrasses her in front of the two mothers. But I like it – it really serves her right for doing so much injustice to Han Ni!

Scenes where Hui Zi quarrels with Ying Shu. They are sure hilarious.

Interesting facts
This serial is considered a classic before ‘Tale of Autumn’, ‘All About Eve’ and ‘Hotelier’ are shown. The producer is the same person who filmed ‘Popcorn’. She is Li Xi Ming. She likes to use food to describe love. In here, Han Ni plants tomatoes and gives one to Sheng Jun to take care of it. She likes it because when it is green, the outer skin is also green. When it is ripe, it is also red. She is encouraging him not to hide his feelings and must be brave to face it.

The viewership was more than 50% when shown in Korea. The simple storyline attracted many. The rivalry between the two women and the two mothers. The simple love between Hao Tai and Yu Na. It is very suitable for the young. The shots seem dreamy and fairytale-like too. Moreover, the dialogues are kept simple and interesting.

There are many scenes showing Han Ni and Sheng Jun playing the yoyo. All notice that Han Ni likes it so much that she plays it when she is strolling or thinking of Sheng Jun. This starts a trend between the young. They play yoyo everywhere – in school and also on the streets!

The serial built up Kim Suk Hoon’s image as a prince charming. He is mild-mannered and is very caring towards women. He is also hardworking and initially studied in Seoul Acting academy. However, he only studied there for a year and rejoins Chung Yang University’s acting faculty to graduate from there.

This serial also helped Kim Suk Hoon to win the best acting improvement and also one of the 10 acting artistes awards during SBS television anniversary show.

Conclusion
The highlights of the serial will be how Shi Lan steals Han Ni’s designs and claims them to be hers. Not only that, she even accuses Han Ni of copying them. When she knocks Sheng Jun down, she runs away to leave Han Ni to do the rescue. Yet she still deceives him that she is the saviour. The part that makes me boil is the part she pretends that she is having an intimate relationship with him to force Han Ni to give up. This woman is sure a vixen to stoop so low– her face doesn’t turn red or show any guilt. This is unbelievable - how did she get away so many times?

But there is normally no way you can hide a secret or a bad deed for long. The real highlight will be seeing how Shi Lan is helpless right in front of Qi Jun. He really eyes her like a hawk and she feels trapped – not knowing how to come up with excuses to deceive him. He has seen through all her tricks and is not taken in easily now. Moreover, he has a strong build and can be so intimidating. Both are really a suitable couple. I think only he can control her.

Many will be happy to see that Han Ni is not bothered by the setbacks to defeat Shi Lan finally. Moreover, it has a happy ending of her and Sheng Jun together. However, the love journey might be too long, tiring and pretentious for impatient viewers. But let’s look at it this way. If we minus the misses, we will also minus the fun. But sometimes, I feel like beating my own chest when I see the leads so stupid to miss each other so often. Is their timing really so bad? But I must say that they act well and the misses don’t look that fake or deliberate after all – unlike other serials which can’t produce the same effect.

Han Ni is like Shan Mei. Seeing her being bullied but to stand up quickly again is easy to satisfy the audience. As for Sheng Jun, his refined and handsome looks are also at par with Director Yin Xiang Zhe. That is why it makes this serial popular. This is one of the few serials that I feel the urge to keep rewatching. It is partly due to the perfect couple image – they look so unreal for looking so outstanding but yet they are breathing alive! And also the marvellous acting from the supporting cast – without them, it will be an average drama with a predictable storyline.

I tend to compare it with ‘Loving you’. You can see that the latter copies some plots from here. But as the cast there doesn’t act that well, the impact is only a minimal one. ‘Tomato’ makes you realize why it is well-received. It has chosen the right people for the correct roles. You will feel romance floating in the air and yet feel nervous whenever the wicked is out to create trouble. It is a fair mixture of both elements so please get the vcds or watch the serial if you have the chance!

Sukting's Ratings :

On acting : ***1/2 (Scale of 5) (I have wished to give a 4 but Kim Hee Sun doesn’t act that well so I need to make a slight deduction)

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


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