Initially I was drawn towards the plot because it breathed an air of freshness into the rich man-poor woman (replete with a bitchy second lead), formulaic kdrama setting:
An incisive development of love and achievements in young people. A drama on the conflicts and love of two characters working in the shoe business. Ha-ni used to work at a department store but then she applies for a design certificate and becomes a shoe designer. By chance, she gets acquainted with Seung-jun, the son of the chairman at her company and subtle conflicts with her frenemy Se-ra arise. Sae-ra approaches Seung-jun for her ambitions but success and love all come to Ha-ni.
My thoughts on the series
I’m inexplicably biased towards kdramas (and shows in general) from the nineties, and so I began watching the drama with high expectations. The first few episodes were light-hearted, very 90s and trendy. From the get-go, Se-ra’s character – cunning, complicated and calculating – was the most appealing of the lot. Ha-ni is your average kdrama Candy: kind, guileless and ever well-meaning; nonetheless, misfortune never seems to leave her alone.
It’s a shame that there was almost zero character and romantic development as the series progressed. Every episode seemed repetitive and worn-out, especially after episode 7 / 8. Don’t get me started on the endless trail of failures. Oh puh-leez, even an idiot could do better. I remember thinking for the umpteenth time, this is it! Perhaps Ha-ni will finally succeed in something. Or, at least the guy will muster the guts to speak up (I’m not specifically referring to his feelings. I just never saw him own up, despite him being “righteous” and all)… or, give Ha-ni a back-hug… or, at the very least, wrist-grab her? Nope. Mr Hopeless Lawyer was frustrating to watch till the very end.
Even the last episode appeared to head nowhere… it seemed as though the series needed 10 more episodes to wrap up. And it did, except that it settled for a very rushed and dubious ending instead, which I did NOT buy. The writer concocts a massive concoction of WTFery and, out-of-the-blue, expects us to believe that all is well, no hard feelings? Riiiight.
Acting-wise, the second leads were consistent and did a good job throughout. Both characters were layered and complex: Se-ra was detestably duplicitous and Ki-Joon was a-mysterious-weirdo-in-lurrrve. While the female lead was cute and likable, I hated how utterly clueless she was (most of the time). The male lead is a limited actor, in my opinion. I couldn’t warm up to him. He was so spineless and unmanly that he can’t even be termed a “noble idiot”. Oh, and except the second leads, every other character seemed unbelievably childish and caricature-like.
As for the whimsical title, it hints towards the fact that the leads grew closer together through caring for tomato plants. Uhhh, it still sounds weird. After all, how many kdrama titles out there are well thought-out and / or appropriate?
Nothing ground-breaking or distantly memorable. Overall, a disappointing series.