~ Warning! Spoilers! Korean Drama Review: “My Name is Kim Sam Soon” aka “My Lovely Kim Sam Soon” (2005) ~
This drama is a romantic comedy which follows the life of a chubby woman nearing her 30’s and her search for love. It stars Kim Sun-Ah as the brash main character, Kim Sam Soon, and Hyun Bin as Hyun Jin Hun, a young and rich restaurateur. In addition, Jung Ryeo-Won plays Jin Hun’s ex-girlfriend, Yoo Hee-Jin, and Daniel Henney plays Hee-Jin’s doctor, Henry.
This drama is absolutely hilarious. There are quite a handful of memorable funny scenes, and I respect Kim Sun-Ah so much as an actress; she is amazing in this. Also, I can’t believe that Hyun Bin is actually the youngest of the four main leads. He really held his own here. By the way, poor Hyun Bin, he got hit so many times in this. It was funny though but a bit excessive since there was his mother, Sam Soon, Sam Soon’s mother, etc. Anyways, there are a few sad scenes sprinkled in between the humor which was done really well. Overall, this was a solid drama with a great cast and entertaining plot. I am watching this in 2017 and still think it’s good which means this drama definitely passed the test of time. I’m glad that my friend kept pushing me to go back and watch it. Yeah, there are some old-school k-drama cliches such as the rich overbearing mother, cancer, car accident, etc. However, I had fun watching it.
I do have some complaints though. Firstly, can Asian drama stop calling non-fat girls fat? Secondly, stop trying to tell me Jin Hun is a dream boat because he’s not. Technically, he was dating two girls at once. Then, he never cared for Sam Soon’s insecurities and only made it worse with his actions leaving Sam Soon to have to solve it herself. That’s how this dramas ends which I didn’t appreciate. Two people need to work together to make a relationship work, and it’s not about the insecure one having to fix themselves. I don’t understand why he stayed in American longer than he had promise. At first, I was all for Sam Soon not forgiving him and moving on because truthfully that’s a jerk move. Then, the movie busted out “The Notebook” move and actually there had been postcards all along. WAIT! Which one came out first? Let me go on Google – – – “The Notebook” was released in 2004. so it’s first. Yes, so “My Name is Kim Sam Soon” did follow “The Notebook” suit with hidden postcards. Since there are now miraculously postcards, we have to forgive… REALLY? How does Jin Hun always know when to show up? It’s like right when Kim Sam Soon is ready to move on, he pops up and grabs her, so she will come back to him again. Those are my two main complaints, but it honestly didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the drama all that much. Moving along, here are some extra commentary about the drama.
Mi Joo is so cute, but why are her first words after being able to talk again filled with tears? It was something about asking her uncle why he was yelling so loudly. Instead of being emotional, I wonder why then and why that. So, that scene didn’t work well with me. Also, President Na’s secretary could have been such an interesting character, but she is just left on the burner and then somehow goes off to pursue her dream of traveling and possibly finding love in the last episode. She could have been made so much more, but I felt her characterization was stunted which is a pity. On a side note, I liked how all the female characters in this drama eventually seem successful in the pursuit of their dreams, career wise. Sam Soon opens her own bakery with her sister. (What happen to her sister’s love line? It was just dropped with no real ending.) Yoo Hee goes back to school to become a doctor and have plans to practice medicine in Africa with Henry. OMG! Daniel Henney is so good-looking and such a kind and innocent soul in this, so I kind of felt like he could do better than Yoo Hee. Her character is pretty despicable with all the lying and pity party. Yet, what can one do? He utterly loves her.
Lastly, Jin Hun stayed longer in American to study hotels to become a better man for Sam Soon. After this, he can take over the family business and hand over his restaurant. I don’t really know if this makes him a better man. I was kind of disappointed with the ending because the alternate reality sounded way better. I know it was a decent ending. It was a bitter-sweet and correct ending because the message rings true about how love needs to be worked on. However, like I said, it seems like Sam Soon is the only one truly putting in effort.
Ignoring my slight distaste for the conclusion, I would totally recommend this drama. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, a little sad, and really entertaining. I would give it a 4/5.