Preview: I’m probably half way this drama and it’s so good it’s hard to wait for the next episodes. It’s funny with a brilliant cast and quite thorough with its wok-cooking theme. Honestly, I’m picking up some handful tips on how to cook, wok chef-style. Although, I was mainly after Jang Hyuk, Lee Joon Ho is making a mark and is so admirable here.
Summary: Kang Pil Joo, the most capable lawyer of one of the biggest and most powerful and influential Chong-ah group has been waiting for that crucial moment to take over the company. But he’s got competitions! Lots of them, all very powerful and influential. Since he’s very determined, he is willing to do everything including giving up the woman he loves.
Likes: How can I resist a wonderful drama with Jang Hyuk but putting my man aside, Money Flower is one exemplary drama about people who are driven by greed. People who think they can control everything with money. We’ve got here a fantastic story with equally fantastic cast. The outcome is simply breathtaking, heart-pounding, heartbreaking, full of surprises and emotions. This is one top-notch drama in pulling threads. Whoever has the most money can control more. Interesting as well as entertaining!
Why breathtaking? Look out for those scenes like the one at the bird sanctuary where Kang Pil Joo was observing the girl he loves but was ready to give her away. The Jung Mal Ran scene as she was entering the room to meet the father of her future daughter-in-law. The revelation and bowing scene by Kang Pil Joo to the honorary chairmain finally revealing himself as the eldest grandchild. This drama is full of these breathtaking moments so brace yourself!
Why heart-pounding? Ah yes it did to mine, a lot! Heart-pounding moments are those moments which are… almost. Yes, almost. Almost-stabbed, almost-strangulated, almost-poisoned, almost-died! But we also have almost-kissed, almost-runaway with him, almost-happy ever after?
Why heartbreaking? Ugh, yes the heartbreaks! Lots of ’em too! Our top leads suffered a lot from this. Kang Pil Jo, basically, since he was little as he lost everyone around him. Na Mo Hyun, what a heartbreak when you’re given away by the man you love!!!
Why full of surprises and emotions? There’s no doubt for these. We’ve got incredible cliffhangers, crazy revelations (equates to “I’m your father Luke!”), turning of events and characters… crazy rollercoaster ride but fun!
Okay, now to our cast. This is also one top-notched cast. I love Jang Hyuk to begin with. I love his sad facial expression throughout the drama. He’s so handsome even when he’s sad. Park Se Hyung, is a wonderful actress. She did well in her character. But 3 actors caught my attention…
Jang Seung Jo as Jang Boo Chun – I was surprised to see how great this young actor was. Very natural! He switches from each emotion to another with ease. Naturally talented!
Lee Mi Sook as Jung Mal Ran – This lady is not just beautiful but a brilliant actress as well. In her character as Jung Mal Ran, she portrayed a classy, rich, controlling woman whose mere ambition is for her son to take over the family’s business. She was excellently ruthless!
Lee Soon Jae as Jang Gook Hwan – This veteran actor is no veteran for nothing! He was awesome as the honorary chairman of Chong-ah, the founder, the father of them all! Even at his age, he was wise, powerful, influential and very ruthless.
Additional icing to the cake…
- I love the bitching between Boo Cheon and Yeo Cheon.
- The bromance between Kang Pil Joo and Boo Cheon.
- The OST is worth checking out!
- The Jang House is worth checking out too! It’s called Gyeongwonjae Ambassador Incheon – it’s a hotel!
- Jung Mal Ran’s classy outfits! She wore them all well.
The ending? I love how it ended! I was prepared and I think it was reasonable.
Dislikes: Nothing worth mentioning.
Summary: Cheon Bong Sam, a son of a former merchant started from scratch after his father died. He honed his business skills when he started to work at a stable. From there with personal and business trials that never left his side, he worked his way to the top as one of the most influential businessmen during his time.
Likes: World of merchants Joseon style! That for sure was a new sub genre for me. It’s interesting to see how they do business and trade during that time. Tough world to survive but already there was ambition, passion, determination, ethics even tradition from these hard-working pioneers.
I love the costumes and the realistic setting. From the hats, sandals, clothing of the peddlers to the traditional hanboks of the wealthier merchants. The markets looked convincingly real and the stable looked appropriately right with the tough guys living at the place.
Though it’s heavily focused on business, it’s got its fair share of love and tragedy. The love of our merchant for the most beautiful woman in their world and how that happiness was taken from him. This side story was essential in keeping the interest in the whole business thing :).
Formidable characters and the actors who took the roles. Definitely an impressive performance by everyone. Let’s start with…
Jang Hyuk as Cheon Bong Sam– if the great merchant was really handsome then JH was a great choice. A wise character with an excellent business skills. Tough stable guy but became softhearted for the lady he loved. A great leader like his father who always protected his flock. It sounds too good to be true, right? Let’s just say he didn’t get or acquired everything but he always ended up victorious.
Lee Duk Hwa as Shin Suk Joo – LDH is a great actor and portraying the smart and powerful Shin Suk Joo is an addition to his very attractive resume. I love how his character who started at the top dropped vertically after he met his lady love curse.
Yoo Oh Sung as Gil So Gae – he was annoying from the very beginning and he stayed like that until his very end.
Kim Min Jung as Mae Wol – her love for Cheon Bong Sam was deadly. She’s gonna be remembered as the ex-peddler, ex-pristess who almost got what she wanted but didn’t.
Lee Dal Hyung as Choi Dol – I’m giving him the best actor award for his topnotch performance as Bong Sam’s close friend who was quite slow for his age but the most loyal and was willing to sacrifice himself for his friend. It was heartbreaking to let him go.
I love all the dramatic character-ending in this drama. The ending of Shin Suk Joo with the setting sun. The terrifying death of Jo So, Bong sam’s wife. The sad but heroic ending of Choi Dol. The fate of Gil So Gae which was like his father’s. All tragic but makes me remember them more!
All Bong Sam’s speeches in this drama were very touching. He could easily start a rebellion at that time through his powerful speeches but in the end, his being a great speaker was used to teach his young followers how to be a great merchant themselves.
Dislikes: Too long for this kind of theme.
Sometimes women were so perfectly made up, it doesn’t look like Joseon era.
Summary: Prince Wang So known as the cursed prince was destined to be the successor to the 1st king’s throne but only if he would get married to a princess that would serve as his light and guide to be a true leader. Without knowing, he married a former princess who has that fate but right away separated from her without even seeing her face. After a few years, their paths had crossed again and began to fall in love.
Likes: I always love a historic setting and seeing Jang Hyuk in prince costumes makes me always swoon. SWOON! Love sageuk and love Jang Hyuk!
The story got me hooked from the very beginning. Characters were well introduced – who’s the good guy – what are his potentials, who are the baddies – what bad things are they capabale of doing… made me interested in each one of them right away. Well done!
Too many pretty faces in this drama. Not that I’m complaining, in fact, that made me always look forward to another episode.
As mentioned in my pre-review, the chemistry between Wang So and Shin Yool was overwhelming. 2 great looking leads who very well complemented each other.
That interesting showcase of powerplay seen in most sageuk drama is once again in this one and I just loved it! How can they all be beautifully sneaky?
Excellent sword-fighting scenes! But when it comes to fight, my favorite is the princes’ tournament. This is where the
ladies are hooked (right?).
The characters, let’s dissect the top ones…
Prince Wang So – very well portrayed by Jang Hyuk who I think lost weight to exactly look like a poor swordsman then later, an old king (barely recognized him but he was still sexy). I love how Wang So fell in love, changing from a very focused leader to a child-like personality and I love how he would stare at his lady love. To top it all, he was funny, strong and brave!
Shin Yool – I always wonder how this delicate and beautiful being survived in that era. Yes delicate, beautiful, smart and very wise. She was just too lovable. No wonder why princes and generals were smitten by this beauty.
Prince Wang Wook – Oh dear, though he was competing against Wang So, he was definitely a top contender. Towering, good-looking, can fight but seems gentle and every inch a prince, a proud prince [swoon]. I love the music that’s being played everytime Wang Wook is in the scene, it’s light with a tinge of sadness.
Princess Yeo Won – I like the lady. She wasn’t the typical evil other princess but a beautiful, politically motivated, smart and powerful person. She was definitely giving it a fight to be on top. No nonsense. Just no love life for her, it was the price she was willing to pay.
Everyone else did a great job. Special mention to Wang Sik Ryum (the evil uncle), the brother king, Seo Won (sad for his tragic ending though) and to my favorite, Shin Yool’s brother who was funny though always causing trouble.
Dislikes: I don’t really like the ending. No matter how I think of it, it was a sad one. Realistically, Wang Wook would choose to be king (like how it was shown) and sacrifice his love and ended up as an old king who always longed for his lady love (as shown how he kept those memorabilias in his secret room). But what I don’t like most is to confuse viewers with a “there might be a happy ending” scene. I just don’t understand the very last scene. Was that a “what if” or he really lived as a king and went to see her from time to time??? For me, it’s either a Titanic ending or not, nothing in between.
I was disappointed how that battle ended up. They were talking about an army so big but couldn’t show that much. As what Shrek says, “You and what army?” Sorry but I expected an epic battle scene.
They could have been more creative with the title. It just doesn’t sound sageuk.
Summary: Lee Gun, a chaebol who manages his family’s company wanted desperately to propose in Macau to his girlfriend but by fate he met Kim Mi Young, a shy secretary in a law firm back in Korea who was also in Macau for a trip. Mi Young got pregnant with Lee Gun’s child after one night of spending together. Lee Gun, after knowing that had to take Mi Young as his wife.
Likes: I’m sure I’ve seen it before but this kind of story is something I would always watch over and over
again. Reminds me a lot of BOF. They’re the candies of dramas. Addictive, fun, teasing makes you swoon on the (male) leads and has a big production giving our girl that cinderella effect. Tis the reason why I watch kdrama, that one day I would be enjoying another entertaining show like this one.
Very, very attractive leads! Let’s start with…
Jang Hyuk – totally handsome and sexy! Yet another crush of mine :). Have you seen his nose? Perfectly crafted to match his sexy face haha! Actor aside, I love Lee Gun too. The way he laughs, cries and looks at his very shy wife. Wahh! I wanna have him! You saw how sexy he was when he was trying to be the endorser of his own shampoo, so hot! And that long hair, I wish he never had a haircut!
Jang Na Ra – pretty face that exudes innocence just perfect for her role as Mi Young. I love how Mi Young would adjust her eyeglasses while flickering her eyes. So natural.
Wang Ji Won – though her beauty is a bit too edgy for a ballerina, still a pretty face. I thought her role would turn
evil but she remained defeated.
Choi Jin Hyuk – tall, handsome and successful. Just the perfect rival for the almost perfect Lee Gun. Glad they picked someone who’s equally desirable :).
Lots of teasing moments which always ended up as cliffhangers. Always makes me watch the next one and the next…
Lots of funny moments! Prenatal class was top! Prenatal teacher who appears as different characters throughout the drama was a great comical relief.
Love the cameos of Clara and that another guy (probably famous sportsman) as the endorsers of shampoo.
Happy ending for everyone!
Dislikes: I found it a bit too trying hard to show that the two had a happy end. Could have done it without the kids.
It was somehow stiff in the end.
Jang Hyuk with short hair, not much my type. He still looks handsome with short hairdo but his long hair was an important feat. I mean just imagine Gu Jun Pyo without his long, curly locks.