Cheongdamdong Alice – A Mad Trip Through The Rabbit Hole! Wheeeee!

Cheongdamdong-Alice1 (6)With Park Shi Hoo and Moon Geun Young cast as the main characters, this drama was already destined for my Watch List. The synopsis, however, led me to believe it might just be a recap of the “The Devil Wears Prada”. Broadcasting Saturdays and Sundays on SBS, the series is only 8 episodes along, but the drama is proving to be an exciting change of pace. Forget waiting until the drama has ended to review it – I can’t wait to share!

Storyline/Synopsis: My rating So Far 10/10

Avoiding too many spoilers, this drama is indeed about an aspiring fashion designer, but her aspirations reach beyond fashion: she’s tired of being poor and down-trodden. She has come to the conclusion that nice girls finish last and something needs to change. Her unintentional objective is a delightfully neurotic, psychologically damaged CEO of a major upscale fashion brand. Wonderful and original twists prevail in every episode so far.

alice in wonderlandOne thing I found interesting from a cultural perspective is the premise for the movie: the gut-wrenching despair Han Se Kyung feels brought on by the belief that escape from her station in life is impossible. Although she is educated and has a great work ethic, her lack of an overseas education severely hampers her job prospects. Her family, although hard working, barely makes ends meet and will never get ahead. Medical bills drown Han Se Kyung’s long-term boyfriend. There is prevailing sense of resignation to their hopeless fate.

Americans have been spoon-fed the concept no situation is hopeless. This is, after all, The Land of Opportunity, where nothing is impossible and no one is bound by his or her situation (theoretically). Hopelessness and despair certainly occur, but without the inherently hierarchical society that Koreans know, it is difficult for Americans to comprehend the ingrained cultural conviction that one’s fate is inescapable.

Script/Acting: My Rating So Far 10/10

Cheongdam-dong-Alice-Episode-6The script is witty and engaging. Park Shi Hoo (“Prosecutor Princess”, “The Princess’ Man”) is absolutely brilliant as a mad man. (Not truly psychopathic, but hilariously neurotic.) Moon Geun Young (“Mary Stayed Out All Night”, “Cinderella’s Sister”) is bringing an intriguing dramatic character to life.  So Yi Hyun (loved her in “Heartstrings”) is perfect for the role of nemesis/mentor. Kim Ji Suk (“Personal Taste”, “I Need Romance”) rounds out a great cast of interesting characters.

Cinematography: My rating So Far 7/10

So far, the cinematography is pretty good. While there are the standard “This is the building” scenes, there are also great examples of fabulous camera angles and shots that make the viewing a real pleasure.

Music: My rating So Far 9/10

The music is mix of trendy and retro. If you like the musical style of “A Gentleman’s Dignity”, the feel is similar. They went all out grabbing top-notch recording artists for this drama: the main song, ‘Daddy Long Legs’ sung by Baek Ah Yeon is a sweet treat. K. Will sings “Love Like This”, F(x)’s Luna sings “It’s OK”. Listen to Beast play “Hateful Person” in the following trailer:

Overall Charisma: My rating So Far 10/10

All I have to say is: Just wait for the bunnies. Oh. My. Goodness. I’m sure there’s going to be a major marking blitz to come, but in the meantime I’ll be making a set for myself.  They are just one of the little tidbits that make this drama extra fun.  But then, I have an odd sense of humor at times. 😉

“Do you think I’ve gone round the bend?”

“I’m afraid so. You’re mad, bonkers, completely off your head. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are. ”

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

 I’ll keep watching with my Cheshire Cat grin….

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