Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sassy Girl, Chun-hyang


"Sassy Girl, Chun-hyang" is the 2005 interpretation of the "Legend of Chun-hyang". The story begins when Lee Mong-ryong is transferred from Seoul to a high school in Namwon, North Jeolla Province. Chun-hyang does her best to help Mong-ryong, her first love and the son of the Namwon Police Station chief, to enter a prestigious university. However, after meeting with Mong-ryong's first love, Chae-rin, Mong-ryong's love toward Chun-hyang is shattered, although Chun-hyang's love remains unwavering.

One day, Byeon Hak-do, CEO of a famous entertainment company, appears in her life. He exudes confidence that he can make any woman fall for him. But as Chun-hyang shows no interest in him, his self-esteem is damaged profoundly. Byeon Hak-do is determined to make her love him.

The production team of this drama says they wanted to present a whole new image of Chun-hyang in line with modern times as she is an attractive female character who showed courage in choosing her love in the Joseon period, when Confucianism was a dominant value.

This fusion-style drama makes various new attempts in terms of genre, such as mixing rap with Pansori (Korean opera) for background music.

Delightful Girl Chun Hyang is the 2005 interpretation of the Legend of Chun-hyang. The story begins when Lee Mong-ryong, son of a famous chief of police, is transferred from Seoul to a high school in Namwon, North Jeolla Province, because he is a trouble maker. He accidentally bumps into Chun-hyang, shoots embarrassing photos of her and ends up swapping her cell phone with his. As a result, they are constantly in touch with each other and find out they attend the same school. Mong-ryong constantly bullies Chun-hyang and thanks to him, she becomes slightly sick. Feeling guilty, he visits her, only to mistakenly drink a whole bottle of wine, assuming it is juice. He immediately falls asleep on the only bed in the house, which consequently is the one Chun-Hyang is sleeping in. Thus, they spend the night with each other. Nothing sexual occurs, but thanks to their best friends, who know what happened and accidentally announce it on the school intercom, they are forced to marry each other in order to save their families' reputation, seeing as everyone at school assumes they have slept together. They eventually fall in love with each other, but Mong-Ryong's previous crush, Hong Chae-Rin, after rejecting him, then discovering his marriage, becomes jealous and tries to win him back. There is also the problem of Byun Hak-Do, an extremely successful talent agency director who falls in love with Chun-Hyang.
In order to help him get to college, Chun-Hyang helps him to his study so that he could be with Chae-Rin at Han-guk University, the most prestigious university in Korea. They are both accepted, but as she is unable to pay the tuition, she does not attend and tells her family-in-law she will meet them in Seoul, not revealing that her mother is actually on the run. When Mong-Ryong finally does find Chun-Hyang, he tries again and again to reveal his feelings for her, while unearthing her feelings for him by moving into her new location. When he finally confesses outright, she denies him, claiming she never loved him, because of Chae-Rin's harsh statement that Mong-Ryong was merely pitying her and wished only to pay her back.
When the two finally do confess to each other, there is still one more problem. Byun Hak-Do, being rich, handsome and successful, assumes he could have any woman in the world, but when Chun-Hyang rejects him, he attempts to take her by blackmail. Several days before the real wedding between Mong-Ryong and Chun-Hyang, Mong-Ryong witnesses a woman being assaulted and attempts to save her. It turns out to be a plot, and so Mong-Ryong is now a criminal on the run. Byun Hak-Do carries an edited video of the security camera, putting Mong-Ryong in a bad light, and threatens Chun-Hyang that unless she goes to him, he will expose the video to the world. Chun-Hyang agrees and so Mong-Ryong is freed, but now, Chun-Hyang pretends to want to divorce him immediately to keep her end of the bargain. When the divorce is complete, she goes to Mr. Byun and the two of them prepare to travel to Japan, but at the last minute, she runs off and hides from both Mr. Byun and Mong-Ryong.
Several years pass and Mong-Ryong is now a famous prosecutor, the District Attorney of Seoul. Chun-Hyang has snuck off to Busan and now owns an accessories factory. Mr. Byun has just returned from Japan and people assume that his "fiancee" is still there as well. At the wedding of Mong-Ryong's and Chun-Hyang's two best friends,Bang Ji-hyuk and Han Dan-hee, Chun-Hyang sneaks in to drop off a present, and as she leaves, Mr. Byun sees her. In a rush to leave, she accidentally scrapes the car next to her, which is consequently Mong-Ryong's car. The two start a heated argument through Chun-Hyang's assistant, Kim Dong-Su, who goes to pay Mong-Ryong the money they owe for his car. Several crooks who follow assume Kim Dong-Su to be an informant and kidnap him. When the police rescue him, they discover the wedding picture from high school between Mong-Ryong and Chun-Hyang and show it to Mong-Ryong. When he sees it, he uses it to find Chun-Hyang again, but she still acts unhappy to see him, still frightened from knowing what Byun Hak-do has.
Finally, Byun Hak-do realizes that there are just some things in the world that he can't have, and finally releases the full unedited version of the tape so that everyone can see Mong-Ryong's true intentions.
To add to the happily ever after, Mong-Ryong re-proposes to Chun-Hyang and the two are married again.

Sung Choon-Hyang- Han Chae Young
Because of poverty, Chun-hyang has to hold several part-time jobs to make her living. She delivers newspapers, cleans ponds and works as a photographer. Nonetheless, she studies hard at school and achieves good academic performance. She is regarded as the beauty queen of her school. She is seen as a usually sweet, gentle and kind girl, but when angered, she throws away the sweet side and immediately begins to take action. Although she is normally considered the school's beauty queen/ top student, she also likes to go clubbing. She's on the poor side, living alone with her mom in a small apartment (her father died when she was two), and that gives her a sense of responsibility, and so she takes on various odd jobs, such as delivering newspapers or fishing through ponds. One day, she meets Lee Mong-Ryong, an irresponsible boy which she ends up getting in trouble with and being forced to marry. She eventually falls in love with him.

Lee Mong-ryong - Jae Hee
Lee Mong-ryong is a tough but very simple-minded and hot-tempered guy. Although he is the son of the police station chief, he always gets into trouble in school. With the help of Chun-hyang, he enrolls into a prestigious university, achieving both love and career success at the same time. However, his love toward Chun-hyang is put to test when he meets his first love, Chae-rin.

Byeon Hak-do - Eom Tae-Woong
In the classic "Legend of Chun-hyang", Byeon Hak-do is a corrupt public official. But in this drama, he is the CEO of an entertainment company, who helps Chun-hyang whenever she gets into trouble, reminiscent of the "Daddy Long Legs" character.

Hong Chae-rin - Park Si-Eun
Chae-rin was Mong-ryong's high-school senior. She is the first love of Mong-ryong and Chun-hyang's rival. As an opportunistic character, she knows that Mong-ryong likes her, but keeps ignoring him until Mong-ryong passes the difficult state bar exam. She is a sinister character, who interferes with the relationship between Mong-ryong and Chun-hyang, eventually making them break up with each other.

Han Dan-hee - Lee In Hye
Dan-hee is Chun-hyang's best friend, and dreams of being a successful actress.

Pang Ji-hyuk - Moon Ji Yoon (Gelo Pang)
Mong-ryong's best friend in Namwon, and is in love with Dan-hee very much.

Kong Wol-mae - Kim Chung
Chun Hyang's mom, she is a cabaret singer who loves her daughter, but hates Chun-hyang's nagging. She wants Mong-ryong to be her son-in-law.
Mong-ryong's father - Ahn Suk Hwan
Mong-ryong's dad, and the chief of Namwon police station. He believes that Chun-hyang can change his son from a simple-minded, irresponsible, hot-tempered, son, to a responsible, smart,and not a trouble-maker son. He approves of Chun-hyang and Mong-ryong's wedding, and takes care of Chun-hyang very well.

Mong-ryong's mother - Choi Ran
Mong-ryong's mother, and very protective of her son. Unlike her husband, she disapprove of Mong-ryong and Chun-hyang's marriage, and thinks She like Chae-rin better as her daughter-in-law. She often gives Chun-hyang a hard time in their house.
Four of the cast were featured at My Girl, with Ahn Suk Hwan and Choi Ran as the main stays and Jae Hee and Han Chae Young as cameo roles at the final episode.

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