Sorry Jaypee. But Cinderella’s Sister is a Korean Drama that I already actually watched and enjoyed way back when it first aired in Korea (so Baker King is on the back burner again).
This drama puts a creative twist on the classic tale of Cinderella by showing it from the perspective of Cinderella’s Sister (hence the title). Think “Wicked” versus “The Wizard of Oz”.
Cinderella Sister stars the brilliantly talented Moon Geun-Young as Zaren (yes, I hate the local name), a smart but feisty girl who grew up under the nasty wings of her mother. Zaren grew up with a cold and nasty perspective towards life because of her mother as wonderfully played by Lee Mi-Sook. Her mother is the typical social climber – she uses her personal relationships as a way to improve her status in life.
Her mother’s most recent relationship involves a drunkard whose young son is a fat innocent boy who will eventually grow up to be Taecyon from 2PM. Both mother and daughter finally call it quits with this drunkard when an argument leads to violence. Zaren’s mother runs away and eventually meets a rich wine maker, played by veteran Kim Gab-Soo, who is the father of “Cinderella”. The Cinderella in this story is Briana, a spoiled kid who is actually good at heart as shown by the sensitive yet sometimes irritating performance of Seo Woo.
When Zaren’s mother and Briana’s father develop feelings for each other, this eventually leads to a marriage that binds together the sweet-hearted spoiled kid and the angsty little grown-up. This is definitely the start of drama of epic proportions.
Throw in a love interest in the form of charming Chun Jung-Myun as Timothy and beefy Taecyon – and you have one of the most enjoyable melodramas of last year.
The main conflict between “Cinderella” (Briana) and her step-sister (Zaren) feels similar to the Filipino Melodrama Classic Mara Clara so I have a strong feeling that local audiences can definitely connect to this. The difference in their personalities makes for wonderful plot fodder as they try to outwit each other in the battle for the love and approval of their parents and the guys.
As expected, the big stars in this drama (Moon Geun-Young, Lee Mi-Sook, Kim Gab-Soo) also deliver powerful and nuanced performances that are both endearing and irritating at times. I cannot heap enough praises on their acting, which is why I am partly sad that most Filipinos won’t be able to enjoy the original Korean version and dialogues. Anyway, the biggest surprise was Taecyon from 2PM. Despite being another idol crossover actor, I am quite impressed with his performance here. He managed to preserve the innocence, intonation, and even mannerisms of the young step-brother of Zaren!!! It makes the fat and adorable kid actually growing up to be the well-built and good-looking Taecyon quite believable!
Another reason why I loved this drama is the beautiful cinematography. My favorite is this fantastic shot of Moon Geun-Young being chased by Chun Jung-Myun but she is so light on her feet as he only manages to grasp the pin on her hair as the smooth strands untangle in a dramatic-I-can’t believe-this-is-not-a-shampoo-commercial moment.
That being said, the plot and writing isn’t perfect. It starts off as quite promising then starts to go downhill with teary melodrama (as I said Mara Clara). But if you get hooked empathizing with the lead characters like me (with Moon Geun-Young) and my dad (he loved Lee Mi-Sook) then you will sort of enjoy this to the end…much like sado-masochism for the heart.
Cinderella Sister airs every weekdays on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida right after Kristine.
Thanks to pnoytv1 for the video.