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This drama is currently airing on MBN, Saturday and Sunday at 11pm. Genre : Romantic Comedy. 20 episodes scheduled for now.

Disclaimer :

-  I am biologically unable of staying serious when talking about dramas. If you want a serious master class, not sure you’ll be happy with me…

-  The previous work of the male lead is still haunting me, so expect random appearances of the Vampire Prosecutor Universe. You didn’t watch it? Then marathon the damn thing and comeback later…

-  Jae Ha is the king in The King2Hearts. Ha Ji Won is… Herself. Meaning a badass girl, and a role model for me.

All starts with a woman confessing out loud the first trauma of her life: When she was a little girl, she witnessed her humiliated parents facing the seizure of the family belongings. Hello stickers men!  Lesson 1: Public Law is almighty and ruthless. The camera does a close up on an alarm clock and we see the digits fast forwarding. The girl is now 18 years old and sees her mother passing away at the hospital, from a cold in midsummer. I shouldn’t laugh, but i can’t help it… People cry, violins play, everything is right in melo land. When attending the low-cost funeral service, the girl gets lesson 2: People die because of poverty. Well, technically people die from illnesses or loan sharks beating, but i won’t argue with a mourning teenager. In the next funeral room a young man is experiencing a similar hardship. He looks more angry and bitter than sad. The girl reaches her emotional  limits and climbs on the roof to shout her sadness to the sky. The boy stops midway in the staircase. Seems he had the same idea but instead he watches the girl crying from a distance.

Time jump again and we arrive nowadays. Seoul at night. I can’t get enough of those sumptuous city views. A procession of limousines is escorted by motorcycle cops. Harley Davidsons? And now i want to see a T 1000 with reflective shades… The destination is a chic building where an award ceremony is taking place. We see the VIPs getting out of their cars, and finally appears the one everyone is waiting for: Vampy!! Hum… Ma In Tak, aka The Gold Diggers Target. The man winces in pain because of the camera flashes and shields his eyes. Am i the only one who finds that suspicious? Next thing we see is the face of In Tak reflected in a pool of blood. WHAT?? OK, it’s just the scarlet red crystal ball of a fortune-teller showing things. The person who’s asking for an advice is Da Ran, the Unfortunate Girl we met before. The medium tells her a man will bring dramatic changes to her life. I would bet on chronic anemia… He falls in transe and mutters incantations (hilariously, he uses Japanese to do so). He sees death. Ho Ho!

Back to the award ceremony. Ma In Tak seems extremely bored and blasé at his table. He is finally called on the stage to collect his Life Achievement prize (at 30 something years old, not too bad!) and evocates his nickname: Miracle Midas. My pick after browsing morewords.com is Mighty Misfit. But no one ever listens to me… In Tak does his speech of thanks in English. Don’t plug your ears people! He’s actually quite good. At the end, he asks jokingly if the award is pure gold. BAHAHAH! Funny guy! The MC doesn’t reply, so he repeats himself in Korean: “Is it 24 carats gold?”. Oh crap, everyone stops laughing. The MC is embarrassed and gets the info from behind the curtains. Yes, it’s pure gold. In Tak: “Let’s try to find out”. He bites the award to verify. Who volunteers for the dentistry check up? I’m quite busy myself… After the event, In Tak gives an exclusive interview to a sexy female journalist. But he gets distracted by something and keeps staring at the… backside of the lady. Is he a pervert? Interesting! The lady seems happy having attracted his attention and sits closer to him, while complimenting his eloquence. He asks her to stand up and she gets shy, thinking he wants to admire her silhouette. Tired of discussing with the flower-pot, the pervert puts his hand on the lady’s ass (Yeah ! Action !) and pushes her down the sofa. The awful truth is revealed: A thread is protruding from the cheap seat, and the poor secretary guy gets scolded for not doing his job properly (note for self : Never work as a chaebol’s secretary. Better selling veggies in the streets).

In tak leaves the interview on the spot but is caught by another woman with a cute face and scary circle lenses: She’s his second secretary. She tells him the reporter wants to sue him for sexual harassment, so what should we do? She suggests some material compensation (handbags, shoes or money), but he coldly retorts HIS money is in HIS wallet so no, he won’t give her a cent. He replies that what he touched was not human buttocks but a lump of silicon, so technically he didn’t touch her. He adds than maybe he should inform the press of that detail? What a nice way to put an end to a conflict. I love accurate jerks.

   

Da Ran gives us our 3rd lesson: “Money gives authority, authority will create a tyrant. The one who can tame the tyrant is… A woman.” She is in a good mood today and arrives at work smiling, only to deal with a pain in the ass  demanding customer. That lady wants a refund for a bra bought 6 months ago. Funny thing is, the employee and the client know each other from high school days. When the lady says one side of the bra is uncomfortable, the employee asks discreetly if it’s because she had breast plastic surgery. The lady cow slaps Da Ran violently as an answer, and starts a commotion: The customer always comes first, bla bla bla… Darling, i could retort so many things to you but readers would fall asleep, or get shocked… Da Ran keeps her cool and checks her handphone which was in vibrate mode. Crazy girl gets even crazier from being ignored and attempts a second slapping. Furthermore she asks for the CEO to come here and now. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s official : That b***h won’t get out alive from the lingerie department. Please bring me oranges in jail. Thanks. Da Ran gracefully catches her flying phone and seems pleased with what she hears. She quietly hands the bra and a resignation letter to the customer, precizing that she’s not a saleswoman anymore thanks to that phone call. She is generous enough to give crazy girl a free advice: No matter how much PS you do with your face, it can’t conceal a rotten heart or a wicked mind. She calls her by her old nickname: Vomit face. Damn, i love that woman! And now we have two characters who can’t stand plastic surgery or liars. Crazy girl goes for the 3rd physical assault and i can’t even believe it. But Da Ran her, goes for the kill: Her boyfriend has passed the bar exam, and soon she will be the wife of a Prosecutor. Bwahahaha ! If only you knew what i know… Lesson 4: Never give up on your dreams, specially when life is hard.

     

Flashback of her when she was studying intensely to pass the bar exam for herself. Nosebleed! Vampy will love that girl.

In Tak meets his new chauffeur, supposedly the best of the best. I have a bad feeling about this…  In Tak proposes a challenge: If he can reach the destination in 20 mins, then he will reward him with a big tip. Challenge accepted, and we discover than the chauffeur is a former car racing pilot: The face of In Tak turns to green in the vehicle. Everyone gets safe to destination, and in time. Sorry Deeno… The boss gladly gives the promised check to the proud conductor, plus a bonus… For retirement. Because he hates excitement, and because his irresponsible behavior is a nuisance for the Korean country: It badly affects the life expectancy statistics. Ha!

Ma In Tak despite having sweat a bit has a pleasant business meeting, talking about juicy investments on a coveted piece of land inherited from his grandmother. One condition to get the deal though: He has to get  married in the year to be qualified, since the will gives the land to «the future wife». ????. In Tak then quietly affirms that staying single is not a problem for him, thank you very much. The ahjumma who is also attending the meeting blows her top, saying it can’t be like this! It can’t happen! She gives a few reasonable reasons for him to marry, but is dismissed each time. The last point seems to impress him a bit more: Single men live shorter lives. What’s with the longevity obsession in this show? And vampy is supposed to be dead anyway. In Tak looks troubled, and the ahjumma takes advantage of the situation to slide a photo on the table. She lists all the qualities of the prospect girl. In Tak immediately asks her about the commission amount for matchmaking. The answer is: A lot of zeros. In Tak is impressed and agrees to go to the blind date. After all, she’s «a relative with financial problems, and that could turn into a family war». Am i seeing empathy here? I have a doubt somehow… He says he understands why she’s doing this: She’s aging, her brain is probably starting to deteriorate, and she has to prepare her old days… Seriously are you anti old people In Tak?

     

Who are those people to Ma In Tak exactly ?

A coffee-house somewhere in Seoul. Da Ran hears the most flat and boring marriage proposal ever, but still cries from happiness. It’s so cheesy and unromantic that you seriously want to grab the girl and run away. At the same place and time, In Tak is coincidentally having his blind date. He starts with the usual compliment about her prettiness to lower her defenses to make her comfortable, and she congratulates him in return for the Achievement Award, explaining that she did some searching about him. He then shows her the result of his LITTLE bit of searching about her: Basically he accuses her of being a man-eater because she has an inferiority complex. The girl is pissed. Why? He’s just trying to beat Jae Ha at the King of Jerks game… Da Ran eavesdrops and catches fragments of the conversation. She starts asking questions to her own partner: Is she good enough to marry a prosecutor? Will he be proud of her? He says of course, and then suggests she could now resume her artistic studies. We learn that they first met in an art gallery. But there is one thing he doesn’t know: He thought she was a painter, she was just the cleaning lady there. Oops! BIG problem ahead… Anyway, he wants to set a date ppalli ppalli for the meeting of the parents. Da Ran ends the date by giving him the usual envelope, to help paying back the credit for their new apartment. We get to know she also lent her name so he could obtain the credit. She gets all excited at the idea of moving in together. I say ALARM !!

     

At the other table, the unpacking of the dirty little secrets keeps going on: False diplomas, plastic surgery, symbolic job in daddy’s business, shopping addiction… In his eyes she has the Princess Syndrome. He points to the woman at the next table and says that she at least is more guenine, and cuter. Da Ran feels like a cold breeze and spits her coffee: The worried future husband asks if she’s a psychic. LOL. A glass crashes on the floor and startles them: The insulted princess has thrown the water at the jerk’s face. She is fuming and clenches her fists. Everyone starts observing the fight, and Da Ran presumes the guy is a swindler unmasked by his girlfriend. She adds that the guy is an ugly eyesore. OMG ! Seriously ? She sucks so much at judging people… Da Ran invokes female solidarity and asks her fiancé to never ever help that kind of bastard in his life. He promises, on the name of the Justice. OK, i give up here… Finally, the princess slaps the jerk and leaves. In Tak is drenched and speechless, and starts reminiscing his past. His parents died when he was young, and he was adopted in a family with a mum, a big brother, and a granny. The grandmother always took care of him, because he was a loner and a love phobic. She cleverly decided that after her passing, the precious land she owned would be given to In Tak (who’s gifted with money), instead of the legitimate hyung, BUT with that infamous condition: If hyung wants his part (and the same goes for In Tak), he is bound to find a good wife for little bro. We know now why the hyung also insisted so much about the wedding at the business meeting. And since In Tak heard the fateful conversation between his brother and the granny, we know why he himself is not super excited: For him, the money is what ties together all the members of the family. Once the inheritance is shared, In Tak probably believes he will be abandoned once again… What a twisted situation. Fascinating !

War council between the hyung and the female secretary. Hyung asks if In Tak is really against the concept of marriage at all. She thinks so, because of the money of course, but also because of an old grudge: After all, he didn’t come for the funeral of In Tak’s father. Wait. Are they like hostile half-brothers, with In Tak as the illegitimate son?  So, In Tak really doesn’t want to share the land with him! Hyung decides to step up his game and changes his strategy: He has to find a woman who will stick to In Tak even at the cost of her life. A truly desperate girl. Several pictures of preselected candidates are placed on the desk, but they don’t catch his eye. The female secretary quickly adds that it’s just a sample. She’s trying hard to find “women on the verge of death, but still beautiful”. → Insert the name of all the depressed actresses you could think of.

Da Ran meets her father to give him a briefing for the parents meeting. He needs to look handsome and most importantly, wealthy enough. Daddy surprises her, saying that he understands the situation very well. He even already printed false business cards, to pass as a representative of a big company. To top the cake, we learn that U Suk, the future husband, still believes she graduated in the US. Damn, this drama is what Lie To Me should have been! I love the brutal honesty of In Tak even more now. Daddy wants to help with the wedding costs, but he is unemployed and has no money. I think i smell troubles. His daughter tells him to just be happy for her, she will take care of everything. Super Daddy meets an Investment Advisor, who looks as honest as i’m platinum blonde. The advisor asks if maybe he is scared to sign the deal because he had been cheated in the past… Clever daddy confesses to him : He has been cheated countless times before. Hahaha! Now i WANT to play poker with that guy: I will do a massacre! To convince him, the swindler counsellor shows him a magazine: Ma In Tak invested this morning in that same diamond mine in Africa, and the man is known to be cautious and extremely selective when it comes to play money. Daddy falls in love with the advisor, and i’m dying from laughter…

     

On a shooting set near the Han River (it’s in the hills of Seoul actually, but it sounds more dramatic this way), an actress called Hong Mi Mi hears she’s been replaced. She falls on her knees in front of the director to plead her cause, and a man observes the scene from afar. The director explains it’s not his idea but maybe he could help solving the problem if she helps him with $$$. Since when actors pay the Director ? She tells him she’s broke so he suggests another way and brushes a lock of her hair, and i puke on my monitor. He tells her to think about it and grabs her ass. Excuse me reader… I have to leave for a second, cause the guy is not exactly Hyun Bin. Mi Mi sits on a bench and cries all she can, cursing the pig. A man walks to her spot, and we get to know his name : Kim Seon U. He says her temper is still the same, and they start chatting. He saw the indecent proposal scene, and comforts her, saying the guy is a scumbag. He adds than the movie will crash and burn, and maybe her being dumped from it is a blessing in disguise. Mi Mi gets suspicious (at last someone with a sane mind!) and asks for the reason(s) of his presence after all those years. He says he always thought she was a good actress and maybe they could start working together again: He has a special project in mind. “You’re curious, right ?”

     

They go to a coffee-house in order to talk quietly, and Seon U starts : He knows she has financial problems (a gambler ex husband, and a house which is not hers anymore). She’s also a humiliated C-list actress. Daebak! Another jerk! She asks if he’s doing this to take revenge for the past, and he answers she’s not important enough to him that he would want to do such a thing. All those lies exhaust me… He hands her a magazine with CEO Ma In Tak on the cover, telling her he is her new oppa. “This man will change your life”. Because she will have to wear scarves 365 days a year? He instructs her to meet The Target at a movie conference on Jeju Island, and boosts her self-confidence before the battle: She will surely be rejected the first time they will meet, because he has a very suspicious nature. But she has no choice, she must be as persistent as him.

     

Ma in Tak lands at Jeju airport and waits for his chauffeur with his dalmatian dog. Da Ran is also there for the elders meeting and is waiting for a taxi. She devours the handsome man with her eyes. Obviously she doesn’t recognize the «swindler» of the restaurant. Later on, she admires the sea from her hotel room, and muses about why she came there alone: Her father had an important business meeting, and the Prosecutor fiancé is delayed because of his job. Both promised to join her later and be in time for the parents meeting. I want to start a drinking game : One shot every time someone lies in this drama.

Da Ran decides to use her free time for facials, while Mi Mi and In Tak are at the movie press conference. After the event, In Tak has an appointment for another blind date, and he takes the elevator for the 11th floor. Another man comes in: It’s Da Ran’s father, all excited to attend his investment meeting. He checks himself in the mirror and picks his nose while In Tak rolls his eyes in disgust. Sadly for him, proud daddy remembers his face from the magazine and starts talking to him like a crazy Star Wars fan who would bump into George Lucas at the bakery. He jumps around, grabs his hands and almost kisses his feet. It’s absolutely hilarious, and totally devastating. When daddy tells him he followed his steps and invested all he had in the diamond secret placement, In Tak simply tells him to look at the TV on the elevator (Hey! We don’t have TVs on our elevators in France!). News Special Bulletin: A massive investment scam has been revealed, and we see the cops  searching for documents in a well-known upside down office. Daddy has almost a heart attack, and In Tak gives him a free advice. “Trust no one”. I just wanted to place a X-Files mulderism here.

     

Coffee place again. How many gallons of coffee did they drink for that episode? The recycled actress meets The Target. She wants to be cast for his new project, a movie he produces. She asks him if he remembers her, because they met before. In Tak is skeptical, but starts looking at her closely. He declares she went under the knife, then he looks at her cleavage with laser eyes. She shields it with her hand, but he tells her to remove it: He needs to check something. Is it possible to shoot such a scene without cracking with laughter? Seeing the mole on her chest, he has a lightbulb moment: She played in that atrocious movie, Wild Beast Woman where the female lead was… atrocious. My poor abs! Have mercy! She replies he must be a fan of underground erotic movies then. In Tak says the time limit interview is over, and he prepares to leave. But the actress has a last card in her game: She says her name is Hong Mi Sun. In Tak sits back and try searching his memory, only to tell her there are thousands of Hong Mi Sun in Korea. And he is not into older women or crappy actresses anyway. Game over. Pssst!! Jae Ha! Come here, i found a jerk worst than you!

     

In her hotel room, Da Ran tries reaching her father on the phone one more time. U Suk is also nowhere to be seen. She hears knocking on the door, and runs off to open it. Only to face a bunch of angry loan sharks. Oh! We have a cute idol loan shark in the group! Mine, mine, mine! She is taken away and we find ourselves in a pool hall for a bit of intimidation. She asks why U Suk is not there. The bad guy says with a romantic tone that he misses him too… Very much. Da Ran says it must be a misunderstanding: They pay the interests conscientiously every month. Angry boss tells her he never saw one cent returning back to him from U Suk and now they are all stuck in Jeju, in hotel rooms that cost you an eye. U Suk must be in Brazil for what they know. Poor man has a headache, and i want to give him a hug. Da Ran is in complete denial, so he has to be clear: U Suk is not from Jeju but from Seoul, and he has no parents that you could meet. She’s in shock. As father, as daughter, that’s what i say. The situation starts to heat up, and she tries defending herself with a mop. Hummm… You’re not Ha Ji Won Darling… Angry boss ends the fight, shooting her in the head.

     

…She wakes up disheveled from her nightmare and finds herself lying on a sofa. The gang is playing pool, patiently waiting for her to regain consciousness from the traumatic revelation. The boss tells her he has now an interesting little movie with her as the heroine. His opinion? HOT BODY! He thumbs up. That said, she has one week to return the 100 millions wons or he will post the video on the net. One last thing: If she wants to escape, daddy is dead. I say it’s the best news of the day for Desperate Girl.

ONE TARGET, TWO HUNTERS… MARRY OR DIE !

Comments: That show starts like a rocket, and a lot of things happen. Nice detailed characters, hilarious situations, sharp dialogues. I had fun watching it and even more fun when i rewatched it for recapping. The drama has an interesting premise: If you want to survive in this world, you have to sharpen your teeth knives: Beauty, money or brains. The female characters are interesting and entertaining. I can’t even hate the dumb female lead. I choose to hate the dad from Hell instead. And I can’t wait for the love feelings to screw everyone’s life plans. There is plenty of possibilities of evolution for the characters, a lot of lies and conflicts of interest, and some well guarded hearts. I want to know the reasons for the ex boyfriend to reappear in the actress life. I want to know if the secretary has a hidden agenda for her boss. I want to see some real bromance between the two brothers/rivals. I want to see the idol loan shark on my screen a bit more. I bet on a marriage contract and some forced cohabitation later in the story. I’m here for the long run. Yun Joong Hun is excellent in the role of the jerk who lacks fibers in his food. He has a very expressive face, like a mime. He is not your typical handsome, but he has an undeniable charm and a cool elegance. And that smile…

Preview for episode 2 : Extreme make-over session (a treadmill !!), Han river, and

THIS…