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Title: High Society [Wikipedia, Asian Wiki, Drama Wiki, Korean Drama]
Episode: 01
Aired: June 8th, 2015
Wathced: June 15h, 2015

June 17th, 2015

Hello there ladies and gentlemen of the Internet!
How are you all doing? So, I finished my Supergirl pilot episode review today, and I thought: omg, I missed this and I haven’t missed this at the same time?! What can I review now, to revive this blog? [you can ask Piplup, I almost said those exact words]. Recently, Munchlax got me addicted to this Korean drama [Omg Ponyta, ANOTHER Korean drama?! You KNOW you never finish those!” and that’s true, with the exception of Liar Game, I haven’t been able to finish watching any Korean drama… but you know what? I’m gonna persevere, and, well you already know that I won’t make promises that I can’t keep about this one, haha] and I recently (just now) decided: why not review it while I’m in pain and anguish because I don’t have any new episodes to watch [of course, I’m gonna be scheduling these to pick up after Garo: The Animation, just in case I don’t have the time to scheduling anything else after school starts]??

Synopsis: taken from various websites: “Jang Yoon-Ha is the youngest daughter of a chaebol (family owned conglomeration). Even though her family is extremely wealthy, she holds a part-time job at a food market. She hides her background as an heiress and attempts to find a man that loves her for herself.

I haven’t touched a Korean Drama in awhile, ever since I finished watching The Liar Game some time ago, but Munchlax basically piqued my interest by saying that by episode 2, they already introduced a half-naked guy. Mewtwo jumped at this, and then, they both joined together to drag me into this drama, which I’ll admit, I wasn’t expecting to actually like, but here I am, making a review about it!

I guess we’ll talk about the “main characters” for this first episode. First, you meet Jang Yoon-Ha, who is the youngest daughter of a very rich family [Note, in case I forget: she’s from the Tae-Jin group; but I’m not well-versed enough to tell you why her family name isn’t Tae Jin? If you know, just educate us in the comments! 😀 ], as you can read from the synopsis. You’re introduced to her as she goes about her day, speaking up after being mistreated by a customer at the food market [not just any food market though, a food market specifically for the rich people] where she works as a part-timer.

She admits to the audience that she’s actually an heiress (the youngest of the family actually) of a rich family [the first hint that we have of this fact is that she says that she’s eaten a pretty costly fruit at home and knows that it’s pretty tasty, and the rich customer says that she must have stolen it since someone poor cannot afford such goods]. In the flashback though [let’s talk about this flashback, because it seems like they’re at a funeral, which is why most of everybody wears black, and one sign seems to point at the fact that it was a member of her family, then, her big brother tells the eldest sister not to forget what their father did to his siblings, so I’m guessing that the person who died and whose funeral is subtly hinted at would be Yoon Ha’s uncle], we find out that her family is highly dysfunctional [her father just throws his jacket hatefully at her motherand that it seems like no one in her family appreciate her [her sister (who seems to be slightly older than her but has a bad attitude) nudges her to stand next to their brother since they both wear white, but she stubbornly says ‘no’ and ends up being hit by her sister in front of people [one has to wonder how much that can hurt, or if someone has stubborn as she is would actually show weakness and allow her sister the benefit of seeing her hurt I wouldn’t. Personally, I think Yoon Ha should’ve expected her sister to do something low like hitting her or nudging her since she kept baiting arguing with her]), her mother scolds her but not her older sister, for making a ‘riot’ in front of the public, and says that she only scolds Yoon Ha because Yoon Ha has always been the problem in their household].

She’s a stubborn girl, and shows this repeatedly during this episode, as she tells her superior at the food market that she wasn’t wrong in refusing to open the wrapped fruits to give the customer and will not apologize. Her superior says that she has no ambition and doesn’t strive to gain a better job, and yet, still nitpicks and talk about human rights [I guess that’s because she’s idealistic and knows how it’s like to be treated like a human being or what it’s like to be abused, so she fights against that in every facet of her life]. She also displays this characteristic as she tells her mother that she has always done as her mother said, but that, when it comes to marriage, she will not accept a marriage for convenience, and only wants to marry with someone she will love [it was revealed earlier by her mother that she had had multiple failed “blind dates” with fellow rich heirs, too].

At first, when I saw that she was basically throwing out the clothes carefully chosen (to look rich) as well as the makeup and the hairstyle which had been styled by professionals, I thought that perhaps Yoon Ha wanted to meet up with Chang Soo wearing poorly chosen clothes in order to see if he would still be interested in her… more eccentric ways rather than being only attracted by the fact that she’s from the Tae Jin group and that she’s rich [she must’ve known he was also rich though]. Maybe that was part of her intention, I think, but as I re-watched the drama, I realized that her mother had said that if she failed yet another arranged marriage proposal, then her mother would “throw away marriage proposals for good” and that, I remember, had made Yoon Ha perk up almost instantly. However, as she was being treated badly by Chang Soo and was removing the makeup, I wonder why she was crying? I mean, didn’t she succeed in ‘rejecting’ yet another suitor? Or was she sad because what she was doing was ultimately going to make her mother (and her father) mad at her? Or was it because her meeting Chang Soo had shaken her up because he “saw right through her” [he ‘guessed’ by seeing the way she acted, that no one listens to her in her household, and that that’s why she has to ‘act out’ in order to get what she wants] and told her that she still had a lot to learn about the world? Or did his words hurt because she knows they’re true and that even a stranger knew that, but that her family members don’t even see it enough to change their attitude towards her?

This is an aside, but I wonder what kind of secret her mother’s butler has that she knows that she threatened to reveal. Is it something like the butler is in love with the mother [isn’t he a bit old though?] and that’s why he’s so focused on serving her and on answering everything that she needs even though he gets scolded by other rich people? Or is it that he’s been secretly stealing funds from the Tae Jin group in order to support the mother if she ever fell out of grace? There are also rumors that say that Yoon Ha isn’t the biological daughter of the Tae Jin company, would that be true? Or… maybe Yoon Ha is her mother’s daughter but not the Chairman’s? Somehow?

Lee Ji Yi is Yoon-Ha‘s best friend, and also a part-timer at the same food market. She is shown to have interest [romantically or maybe she just really admires him?] in Joon Ki (we’ll talk about him later). Despite the fact that Lee Ji Yi tells Yoon Ha everything, she reveals to us that Yoon Ha says very little about herself [especially the part about being an heiress, of course]. Despite this blatant lack of trust that Yoon Ha has in her, Lee Ji Yi still doesn’t push her too much it seems [What will happen when Yoon Ha reveals to her friend that she’s an heiress?], and tries to cheer her friend up no matter what [she even came up with a cheerful song which Leafeon thoroughly abhors which almost never fails to cheer Yoon Ha up]. Lee Ji Yi is optimistic, and a great friend overall [she understands her friend and knew Yoon Ha must’ve wanted to quit after the horrible incident with the bad customer, but Lee Ji Yi commends her friend’s strength at staying no matter what (everyone needs a friend like Lee Ji Yi)]. It’s also revealed to us later on during the episode why she has a crush on Joon Ki [is this the origin of her song though? Because he said that it was a palindrome the moment she introduced herself to him?], it’s because he helped her become a better worker and was nice to her when she was in need of help. Not only that, he didn’t technically help her, but he gave her an advice on how to improve herself. Perhaps the reason why she wanted to be promoted to a full-time employee was so that she could have a chance to meet him (and of course, higher salary). She’s very cute as a girl in love [it’s so cute that she can’t stop saying “yes” to him and doesn’t know exactly what to say when he asks her the question about the problem in Premium Food Market, but I think that Yoon Ha probably knows], haha. They did a good job of writing her as such a good friend to Yoon Ha, and Yoon Ha to her, I mean, Yoon Ha knows what kind of foods that her friend would want to eat (for her birthday, I think it was?). I love their relationship together [sisters before misters forever, ok [I think you may or may not have heard me say this sentence over and over again, but I do feel like friendship should be stronger than a man, who could be completely temporary]????!!! I’ll be so very much upset if the writers begin to script that these girls’ friendship falls apart because of Joon Ki (or Chang Soo). I will also be completely honest with you and also say that I would not mind if, in the end, Yoon Ha decides not to get married at all and decides to be roomies with Lee Ji Yi and they live happily ever after [INDEPENDENCE, WOMEN POWER!], but who am I kidding, this is Asian, and this is a drama, this isn’t gonna happen…]. When she’s upset about what’s happening in her home, Yoon Ha goes ahead and calls not someone from her household [or some rich friend that I imagine she must not have since we haven’t seen any], but her only friend who seems to accept her for who she is and not for her status, Lee Ji Yi.

Don’t lie, we all know you wanted her family’s influence in order to kick YOUR brother out of the business.

How were we introduced to Chang Soo [played by a Ze:A (kpop group) member, may I even go ahead and add?]? By Yoon Ha‘s superior, who says that “because there are such stupid people above us, the company president’s son was put in charge, so our profits keep falling” during his lecture to Yoon Ha on how their superiors (Chang Soo and the board of directors) will pick on the lowest members of their company chain (part-timers and official full-timers) because of the continuous decrease in profits. The image that we have of him then is that he’s lazy and doesn’t care for the position that he was awarded. Right after this lecturing scene, we see Chang Soo‘s older brother lecturing him in front of the whole board of “people in charge” of different facets of the company (Joon Ki talks about the profits earned by the electronics store, for example, and adds that the Food Market (directed by Chang Soo) has decreased its profit by 15%). As he reveals to us while talking with his best friend Joon Ki [Joon Ki really is his best friend, I mean, he even goes as far as to say that Joon Ki is like a family member to him, and also doesn’t mind putting his hand on his friend’s lap and commenting on how tense he is (even though Joon Ki did sort of threaten him)], Chang Soo feels like his brother and he only entertain a business relationship, but I feel like perhaps his brother really is trying to motivate him by putting him down, because he knows that his brother is something like a fighter, and that once he’s insulted, he’ll start doing better just to show that they’ve underestimated him Joon Ki says that his brother is trying to kick his little brother out of the company. What we know of Chang Soo is that he’s the one who seems to have pitched the idea for the Premium Food Market for the rich people, and he’s the one who said they should trust him with the responsibilities. Chang Soo’s older brother [what’s his name?] gives him an ultimatum to make the profits rise in the span of three months, or else the supervision for the Food Market will change to him instead.

Even though he had planned to marry Yoon Ha in order to get more money and influence from this marriage, in order to “overthrow” his brother or just to keep his job as the director of the Premium Food Market, upon seing Yoon Ha, Chang Soo quickly decides that he doesn’t want to. He gives her a lecture and makes a bull’s eye when assessing her family situation (maybe it’s because his family situation is somewhat the same? We’ll see later), guessing that she has a boyfriend already [she denies this, and even admits that even though she doesn’t have one, she doesn’t want marriage, and tells him to reject her due to her rudeness rather than her clothes (because she doesn’t want her parents finding out about the types of clothes she was wearing, as well as the type of hair she had, I guess)] and that this is why she doesn’t want to marry him. He doesn’t like pushovers, so he drops water onto her [after telling her that he was scaring her by telling her that he would tell his household he wanted to marry her, and it made her feel reassured] and tells his mother that she’s got a boyfriend and that she’s crazy and he won’t have anything to do with her.

Joon Ki is introduced to us as a main character because he begins narrating some time after Yoon Ha stopped. He says that as long “as [he] has love, he’ll be happy with doing anything. Those are the words of my parents. I won’t get deceived“. We get to meet with his parents, who are two of the loveliest people I’ve yet to see on screen (his father has some kind of a handicap [it seems like it might be the results of a heart attack, because he sort of cradles his arm the way my grandpa used to after he got a heart attack, but maybe it’s just me] but still tries to provide some kind of food [her favourite, which makes her smile] or to set the table to help his wife, and the wife lovingly takes care of him and admonishes him half-heartedly for scaring her). It shows that he’s had good role models [his parents], even though he doesn’t see it [it means then that his character is likely to look for a marriage/relationship for money and status rather than for love at least at the beginning of the series, because he doesn’t want to live poor and happy [Joon Ki even has this theory that poor people are still poor because they would rather live happy than to escape their poverty]].

I realized that at first, I didn’t like Joon Ki because of the way that he treated his girlfriend [now, it’s his ex-girlfriend, Minjung] but now that I’m re-watching, I understand his reasons for being an a**hole to her. Even though he distances himself mostly from his father (and his mother) [as I’ve previously mentioned], he respects his parents so much that when the girl says that his parents are a nuisance [apparently, she offered money to his parents for their living expenses if he got married to her, and also put in as a condition: “don’t order me around”], he’s like: “Here goes, I didn’t want to bring this up now, especially since I don’t want to talk about your background but: your family’s business is failing and I ain’t plunging in that shit, plus you have no charm, so no. Let’s end this“. I wonder if he liked her, but then I know that he doesn’t want to follow love, but wants to follow background and influence, so that’s why maybe he wanted to break up. Later on, he reveals to his friend that he thinks MinJung was too kind and nice for him, maybe he was mean to her so that she could go and find someone who really loved her instead of him, who would use her to get to her money and influence?

Joon Ki is really good friends with Chang Soo, that he lets his friend answer the phone for him (especially if the interlocutor is Joon Ki’s mom), but knowing that he climbs up the ladder of society and tries to get a marriage out for means rather than for love makes me wonder if their friendship wasn’t fabricated by him in order to get advantages that Chang Soo can give him. I thought about this as I watched their bike race [I liked that they let us listen to an English song?]. I mean, didn’t he just slow down at that last part in order to let his friend win? Did he do it on purpose because he always lets his friend win, so as to not fall out of favor [I mean, even Joon Ki‘s mom knows that Chang Soo has done a lot for her son, which is why she just thanks him in various ways]? Or does he do this because he knew that his friend needed a win at least once that day, because he was feeling down? I wonder if these things will be addressed properly in the next episodes…? How would Chang Soo feel if he knew that his friend had been letting him win all this time? Would he still stay friends and demand that Joon Ki not indulge him? Or… [Chang Soo did remind his friend right after that bike ride that he hated when people used him, in this scenario, doesn’t it mean that Joon Ki is basically using him?]? Well, I hope to see the evolution of their friendship [they seem good friends now, but like, it can only grow, no? I hope it doesn’t fall apart at the sight of one pretty girl, that would be like… A BIG NO NO].

What we know about the “world” in which this drama is placed in:

  • Tae Jin group is super rich and has Yoon Ha‘s older brother [Vice President] and oldest sister as well as their father in charge [the male of course being the most important character whereas the older sister (she’s older than him) seems to be struggling to keep her place in the company].
    • The Tae Jin company is being boycotted by protesters for some unknown reason [from listening to the Vice President speak, it seems like the only part of Taejin group being boycotted is being run by the sister, Ye Won].
    • Ye Won (biggest sister) doesn’t like her brother. She thinks he was born with gold and greatest of luck, and even if he messes up for some reason, he gets praised. I think she means that she runs around and works hard, and yet, people tell her to be satisfied with what she has.
    • It is implied that the Vice President [Kyung Jin or Kyung Joon? They refer to him as so many different names] of the company has cheated on his wives (he’s single now though) because he’s often “swayed by cute part-timers”.
      • I’m not sure if it’s true, but I think he has a daughter: Hae, who’s going overseas to study, and to distance herself from her parents since they’ve recently divorced (him and his ex-wife). Kyung Jin asks his mother to go check up on Hae overseas to New Jersey, because Hae is young and is experiencing her parents’ breaking up.
      • He knows that So Hyun (middle sister)’s engagement was off, and says he’d like his mother to get the middle sister married before Yoon Ha, to which his mother says that “she/So Hyun just needs to date”, but she won’t let Yoon Ha do the same, is this another way in which she shows she would like to get rid of her youngest? Well, she puts it as if Yoon Ha marries, at least she’ll have everything, she’ll have some kind of power.
      • It seems like he really believes in his youngest sister (whereas he dislikes Yeo Wen strongly). He keeps telling his mother that Yoon Ha should stay in the company and she has more possibilities than So Hyun.
    • The middle sister (I don’t even know her name) is bratty and talks back to everyone, but often doesn’t get scolded by her parents. She is the one who socially interacts with “normal” people via social media [she got scolded REALLY BADLY by her father (because her mother doesn’t seem to mind it as much)], so that, as she puts it, the ‘normal people’ don’t hate their family as much as they would. There are people who would go and buy the clothes that she wears, too, so I guess she has some kind of value. It seems like she had a marriage, also, but that her engagement ended somewhat recently, and that she’s keeping it a secret from her father.
    • Main Mistress (whom Mewtwo tells me that she’s rooting for the Mistress, since she keeps the things interesting) is in competition with other mistresses as well as the mother. We know that she calls the mother “Hyung Nim” [link to its meaning here and here and here], so she may be implying that there’s a huge age gap between the two of them and is calling the mother a “big brother”? Or she’s referring to her as a “crime boss”? I’m… well it’s EVIDENT that I’m not Korean… so I don’t know. Main Mistress (because I never catch her name it’s Han Nam Dong) makes it her business to let the Mother know of all the recent mistresses that the President/Chairman has and can’t seem to help but rub it in that she’s the one who keeps the Mother in her place as “Queen” of the TaeJin group by fighting off the young mistresses (I don’t understand their desire to be with such an undesirable man who doesn’t even seem to like the attention that they give him). I think that the Main Mistress implied that the Mother had chosen Director Hong (her butler, I keep calling him) as a lover, since she said that the Mother was too kind and should have looked for a “younger face”. I do like the way she treats Joon Ki‘s mother well [I mean she teases her here and there, but she also lets her go home early to her ailing husband, and she invites her to eat with her].
    • The Father is superbly acidic and seems to always be frowning. He might be a good business man and/or killer-of-siblings but he mistreats the member of his family and is incredibly realistic. I mean, he knows that his family is basically only living off the money that he makes, and thinks he’s entitled enough because he provides this to them, to take on as many lovers as he wishes. He blatantly tells his wife (The Mother) that she can leave whenever she wants, since she doesn’t seem to like living in wealth, but then does a 360 degree turn and blocks all of the funds that she has so that she can leave him [readers, please avoid choosing significant others who are too emotionally insecure to let you leave their side and still berate you and mistreat you when you DO stay by their side]. He has a bad personality and drives out all the men in his household [is this another sign pointing at his assassinating his brother? And a bad sign for his son?].
    • The Mother, we’ve established, highly dislikes her own daughter, because of her temperament. She doesn’t live with her husband because she wants to, she does so because there seems to be nowhere else where she can go. Not only that, but she needs to keep her husband “somewhat happy” by staying by him and by bending to his ways, because she needs to protect her son (not her daughters, because who cares about daughters, yeah? (I’m joking, she should care more about her daughters but it seems she only maintains a good relationship with her son)) as well as her family, since her family’s company is linked to the TaeJin group and that if she makes her husband unhappy, he’ll stop supplying clients to her family’s company [via advertisement]. She works in a charity (for what?). It also seems like she lost her mother and that, since then, she’s been working on making sure her family would be provided for. For that reason, she needs to eat her pride and go apologize to the despicable man that she married [of course, she also takes out her frustration [her husband just told her that she’s pitiful when she asked when her funds will be restored, because she needs to visit their granddaughter and make sure Hae is ok] about her life on her youngest daughter, who seems like she is either a reflection of herself or a reflection on her father, whom she (Mother) despises]. There’s one flashback in which a man who reads into the family horoscope and other, seems to say that she should have avoided marrying the man? But then again, he also goes and mentions Yoon Ha as having a bad temper [which is why Mother has to reign Yoon Ha and tame her because she’s gonna “devour” her, so maybe that’s why Mother is so mean to Yoon Ha].
    • I’m glad they keep mentioning Hae In (whom the Mother will go and see the day after this episode), I wonder if she’ll appear any time soon.

With all of this being said,
let’s hope this series won’t be too bad?
I’ll see you all next week!
(゚д゚)ハァ? Ponyout!