What Happened in Saengchori?

Spoiler Code: GREEN (What is this? Check out our spoiler scale)

Well… they came up with a nice plot, but casted totally unknown actors for the leads, so drama watchers didn’t even bother with it because there is no mainstream actor in it. This drama has to be the highest-underrated Korean drama of all times (if that makes any sense). Okay so now go watch it!!!! Hurry, pali, pali.

If you are still here is because that didn’t convince you, which makes me happy. It only means you are willing to try this drama for the right reasons.

Once Upon A Time In Saengchori

Title: Once Upon a Time in Saengchori

Genre: Comedy, romance, suspense

Number of episodes: 20

Network: tvN

Serialized: from Novemeber 5, 2010 – March 18, 2010

Time aired: Friday at 11:00pm

Synopsis: Seven employees from a brokerage firm get relocated to the most desolated parts of the quiet rural village of Saengchori. On the surface, everything is fine in the village, however, soon the employees’ start experiencing bizarre occurrences, and the village people seem to have a deep secret for which they are willing to do anything to keep it hidden. When a murder mystery takes place, the employees are left with even more questions; is it someone from the strange village of Saengchori, or could it be one of their own group? Meanwhile, love starts to blossom.

You are still here? If this didn’t get you to start watching it… you, my friend, are a tough cookie 😉

To start, I will get the eye-candy issue out of the way. I know we all (including me) like to watch something that is easy on the eyes, and what not… but, taking into consideration that what is eye-candy for me, might not be for you, I have to keep an objective point of view (ill try to) and hope you do the same.

The leads:

– Ha Suk Jin, as Jo Min Sung

This one is a keeper, no?

He is!! XD. Still not convinced? *throws objectivity out the window*

Let’s save some fanning for the next cutie.

– Lee Young Eun, as Yoo Eun Joo

She is a cutie… guys? No? I have more weapons muawhahahaha

I said she was a cutie :p

– Kim Dong Yoon, as Han Ji Min

This one is another hottie… just wait!

Told ya 😉

Okay so for the rest of the cast, lets quickly skip through:

–  Kang Nam Gil, as Lee Man Soo

– Jo Sang Ki, as Choi Dal Gook

– Jung Ji Ah, as Park Min Young

– Kim Kyung Bum, as Bong Jin Soo

– Kim Hak Chul: as Park Kyu

– Bae Geu Rin, as Park Bok Soon/ Victoria

Cameos (anybody you know? ^^):

– Yoon Shi Yoon, as Park Shi Yoon

– Choi Daniel, as a client

Now that eye-candy issue is out of the way, lets get to the real juicy stuff: the amazing plot, directing, and acting.

Like the synopsis says, this comedy has suspense and romance. I thought it was a different take on rom-coms, to have mystery thrown in there, and a murder nonetheless. Personally, I love mystery and suspense, its my favorite genre, and if it has a little bit of romance at least, I become a happy-camper. 🙂

This drama in particular was more than I expected. I would say, instead of being suspense with comedy and romance, it’s a rom-com with a twist that you wont see coming.

In the romantic aspect of it, it has the typical elements of a Korean romantic-comedy: Love quadruple; male lead is arrogant and cold; female lead is cheerful, sweet, and understanding. There is the typical bratty princess, and the second lead we would all love to see end with the protagonist. However, because this drama has somewhat supernatural elements as well, and there being a big mystery surrounding all the characters, there is room for all sorts of incongruity to take place, and it makes the drama very unpredictable. You don’t know who will our sweet, caring girl pick at the end. Or whether she will be with any of the two leads. This made the ride the more appealing to me. Because one thing that is true about most rom-coms, is that the main leads will always end together. I have to be drawn to the story by other elements that would make it interesting for me. What matters is not the end, but what happens while rushing there. I didn’t have to worry about that with this one; this drama has plenty of sub-plots, and all kinds of bizarreness to keep you guessing for at least more than 15 episodes.

On a scale of 1-10, I would say the romance is about an 8. Yep! That high.

The comedy aspect of it: When you find yourself laughing two hours after you finished watching an episode… trust me, its damn funny. Of course, I guarantee you that if you finish one episode, you wont have time to laugh for that long because you will want to watch what happens next immediately.

Kang Nam Gil is one of the funniest actors I have seen in Korean dramas. He is also very talented. I always thought being a comedian was the easiest way of acting… I was wrong. Its harder to make people laugh than to make people cry. But he is not the only one with the comedy act, braze yourself because you are in for a fun time with Kim Hak Chul. This man will make you laugh so hard; your brain will hurt afterwards. :p

There are funny moments at every corner of this story. The way the comedy is incorporated and mixed with the mystery is one of the best aspects of this drama. I have not seen a Korean drama that has been able to mix both genres so deliciously well as this drama has.

There is even a parody mixture of Baker King and Secret Garden at some point in the story (not to give away when). At first, when I read some comments about this being part of the story, I was afraid it would be one of those things that has nothing to do with the story and gets thrown in there just for comedy purposes… nah, this drama is flawless.

The story kept me watching more for all the strange events happening around this group of employees, and the comedy, than because of romance.

Comedy is a 10. You will cry of laughter.

The suspenseful aspect of it, I found to be quite good. It was there, ever constant in each episode, but done very subtle and in no way clashing with the comedy or romance. The more you go into the story, the more mystery you will find. Its like if you were opening a big gift box: nothing mysterious, probably some big teddy bear will come out; but wait! You found yet another box inside, now you are curious.

I don’t wish to say more for fear of giving away key points in the story. Ill leave it at: the more you dig, the deeper you are in.

Suspense, 9. Get the popcorn going.

The acting is not off the wall AMAZING; I wont lie. However, between the veteran actors and the younger cast, there is a slight difference that goes unnoticed once you start to get lost into the mayhem of Saengchori. I give you about ten minutes from starting the drama. I’m modest. 😉

To finalized this rant/discussion/review/manipulative-attempt-to-make-you-WATCH IT (if you watch I’ll give you candy)… I have to say the directing in this drama is good. One of the directors is Kim Young Ki… are we talking High Kick Through The Roof?

So… good directing, more than average acting (way more than average), and awesome plot! What more does it take to convince you? … candies? ^^

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Posted on January 12, 2012, in Dramas/Series and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. This drama sounds really interesting. I’m surprised it’s not already on my list. If I had seen the MDL page for it, it would definitely have been added. It’s on their now. Lots of eyecandy in this one 😉

    • Sleepy you will like this drama Im sure because one of the directors is the director from Unstoppable High Kick and you are enjoying that drama… its got plenty of dorky and off-the-wall humor that you like, but not Taiwanese drama style if you know what I mean lol 😉

  2. I’ll add this to my watch list!! hehehe 🙂 I’m into jdramas at the moment but after that, I’ll start with this right away! seems like a good drama! hohohoho..what a nice way to end the background music and my comment! hehehe

  3. This drama was once on my list, I know it was – but when I went to check – I must have deleted it! D: Mianhe! Haha. You’ve convinced me to watch it though (: Okay yes the eye candy did help in parts :p And that Yoon Shi Yoon has a cameo?? 😀 But I also like rom-coms that stand out and are different – so I want to watch it for all the different things that you said take place in the story! (: Great review!! 😀

    • WHAT????? hahahaha, why did you delete it? I know it has 20 episodes, but trust me, you wont notice it. I can’t really say one real funny thing that happens to the main character because its a huge spoiler, but trust me, it is one of the sub-plost I was talking about and its just freaking funny and weird. It keeps you watching… just try it, you’ll see.
      Thanks for the comment c4u 😀

      • Hahaha I don’t know! It was when I was trying to make my list shorter :p And haha I’ve seen dramas with longer episodes so it’s fine (: And haha I will try it, maybe not my next line-up but definitely afterwards!! Haha /me has been having trouble watching more than an episode a day lately =__=

        And your welcome 😀

  4. Lovely review!!!!
    And you know what? I’m one of the tough cookies, so tough I even skipped the eye-candy part (ok, I might have given those abs a peek, but that’s irrelevant).
    You got me at the “there is room for all sorts of incongruity to take place, and it makes the drama very unpredictable”.
    Incongruity is something I truly like. Something I’m in dire need right now, for I have been sooo not into drama, as you very well know.
    So my dear convincing reviewer/drama-shrink, you got me on the boat.
    You definitely deserve some special cookies.
    And a big hug 😀

    • Truly? Im going to be after you to find out if you are watching it hahaha :p nah Im just joking.
      How did I knew you might skip the eye-candy part? 0.o I guess its that “twin sister” thing kicking in :D.

      I like when others watch what I recommend, but aside from that, this drama really is something to watch. I went for it because I felt I needed to break out of the trendy dramas for a bit, and I did not regret it. In fact, it has made me appreciate my time much more. Now Im more selective of my dramas.
      Hope you do watch it, and that it helps bring you back to the drama world.
      Thank you for leaving a comment Rita-chan. 🙂

      • Sorry twinny, 😉
        I’m always late in seeing comments and replying to them. I know what you mean with the trendy drama thing: there’s a tiny part of me – or is it not so tiny? – that needs to go against the flow. So much so, that the more I hear something praised by a million people, the more I start disliking it for no other reason than … strawberry. LOL

        Call me salmon.

        By the way, please go check at the gift corner later in the day: I should have the postman deliver a little something to you over there. If he’s late, blame it on the post office. 😉

        And because lateness is my middle name, HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY my friend!! How does it feel to come of age? :D:D
        Love
        R

        • “So much so, that the more I hear something praised by a million people, the more I start disliking it for no other reason than … strawberry. LOL” I have always been this way with things, even since I was little always wanted the skinny ugly kitten because I felt nobody else would hahaha, my mom used to call me Mother Theresa :p Aside from that, this drama is not an ugly kitten but an “ugly ducky” it will transform while you are watching it. 😀

          Salmon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! haha love it. Thanks for all the wishes and the gift 😉

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