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“A Well Raised Daughter Ha-Na” Review: Long, long and epic, just epic…

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Our four main leads...nice~

Our four main leads…nice~

Overall Review:

A really exhausting ride, one that may be the funnest of times, or the most torturing of times; it really depends on which ship you sail with. But one thing is for certain – you will definitely stick around for other reasons other than the romance.

Hey guys, I’m back again with another review! This time it’s a daily drama that I had randomly picked up a week ago after realising who the main protagonist was (through utter shock!) and that the amazing Lee Tae-Gon was in it too. After looking up online that there was not really a lot of reviews out there about this drama, I decided to give it a try myself and see how I would find it.

This is in fact the longest drama that I have ever watched. And even though each episode is only 35 minutes long,  the whole drama still clocks up to over 60 hours worth of content. It just seems so scary that I was able to finish this entire drama within a time span of a week… Oh dear, my addiction is official (not that I wasn’t aware of that before) And it’s slightly worse with this drama because objectively speaking, this wasn’t exactly the best drama I’ve ever seen…

On a side note as well, there is a certain section that does include spoilers. Please be aware and venture forth with caution. It has been marked and labelled, don’t worry, but just…be careful, ‘kay?

Not exactly manly, but if she said that she was a guy, I'd probably buy it *shrug*

Not exactly manly, but if she said that she was a guy, I’d probably buy it *shrug*

Name: A Well Raised Daughter Ha-Na/ One Well Grown Daughter/ Good Daughter Hana (잘 키운 딸 하나)

Broadcast Date: 2nd December 2013 to 30th May 2014

Number of Episodes: 122

Note: I marathoned (is that even a word?) this drama over the course of a week, months after it finished broadcasting. I also had an idea of who the main lead ends up with, but had no idea about how the story went; knowing this ending didn’t hinder which ship I chose to sail with though 😉

Synopsis:

Jang Ha-Na (Park Han-Byul) is the 4th daughter of a family that has been producing soy sauce for generations. For 400 years, this family business has followed the tradition of only passing the right of inheritance to the sons of the family. Due to certain family circumstances, she is forced to disguise as a male from a very young age in order to become the leading male representative of the family business. Will Jang Ha-Na, now using the name Jang Eun-Seung, be able to win the battle against her half-brother to inherit the family business, and finally bring justice to her wrongfully treated mother and sisters?

Initial Impressions:

Honestly, I didn’t really have a good feeling about the whole drama at first. The whole “makjang” mambo-jumbo kicked in really early, but I knew that I had to hold on at least until Han-Byul unni or Tae-Gon oppa appeared. When they finally appeared, things did turn out better, as we got more plot-driven scenes, along with some romance that made us either squeal out in cuteness, or swoon into a puddle due to how attractive our both “true” male leads were, especially when together.

But we’re talking about initial impressions, aren’t we?

Initially, in regards to both the characters and plot that we are introduced to, was not great at all. Due to a woman’s inability to produce a male heir, she and her daughters are all driven out of the house that they were living in for years. Instead, an outsider who forces a one night stand on this woman’s man and ends up producing an heir, is welcomed into the family without question and becomes the new ‘Madame’ of the house. Was this tradition that strict and final? Did it honestly need to be a man that can only inherit this family business? And are you seriously telling me that for 400 years, there has not been one generation where there was no true-blood male heir to inherit the business?! Just looking that these questions seem to highlight the plot holes that were bound grow bigger and bigger as the drama continued. Not to mention the gender issues that arose simply from the introduction. However, what really took me by surprise was in fact that despite the horrendous excuse of a plot this drama had, the writer still somehow kept me hooked, no matter how frustrated I became.

That was probably due to how hateful the antagonists of this drama were. We knew right from the beginning that these people were willing to do anything, and I mean anything, to bring the biggest misfortunes towards Ha-Na’s family. The fact that they were just down-right greedy and selfish really boiled my blood from beginning to the end, but I’ll get into that a little later. Basically, if they wanted to keep me on the ride just for the sake of raging at these annoying and horrible people on screen, then this drama has certainly achieved their goal *clap, clap, clap* As for the heroes of the story, they really drew out all of the sympathy you can ever share. We really felt the distress and unfairness that these poor characters felt, and we unconsciously can’t help but root for the victims because the villains are just that hateful.

So, I guess you can say that my initial impressions weren’t that positive, but they indeed got me interested to see what would happen next.

Opinions about the drama:

Basically, this whole drama was not well-written in terms of plot. We caught onto that right from the start. But, I do have to give credit to the writer, Yoon Young-Mi, for writing something so frustrating that somehow got me, like many others, trailing behind the story like a lost puppy. While I was planning and brainstorming about this review, it was surprisingly to find out that she is also the same writer for the drama “Birth of a Beauty” which I am currently finishing up now as well. In terms of absurdness, I do have to give credit here and say that she does well in writing it. Really.

As I have mentioned before, this is the longest drama that I have ever watched (in terms of episodes) in my history of watching dramas of any kind, and never before have I been so committed to finishing a drama as ridiculous as this one. I mean, what really shocks me was that content-wise, this can’t compare to dramas like “49 Days” or “Coffee Prince” even – it just mysteriously captivated my attention for over 60 hours. Sure, there was a lot of skipping that need to happen (it is a daily drama after all) but still, I never skipped parts because I got bored of it – I skipped in order to find out what happened next faster. Crazy, huh? Right now as I’m writing this drama, I’m still trying to explain to myself what was it that really got me hooked. Was it the silly plot, the desire to see the demise of these horrible people, or the typical love triangle/square that appears in every drama?

Perhaps it was a mix of them all…Let us discover it together!

The Positives:

1. Jang Eun-Seung/Ha-Na is a really easy character to root for and love

Especially if you felt absolutely offended of how everyone treated her by the first 10 episodes or so. We understand how difficult it must have been to be disguised as a man, and be forced to fend for one’s self when no one is there to protect you from the direct harm you face each day. The way that she approached every situation was so admirable, and she was also so self-sufficient that you just can’t help but feel great whenever she gains a sign of approval from her grandfather, or wins a battle against Jang Ra-Gong (Kim Joo-Young), her rival and half-brother. It was this sense of strength that drew me in, and drove my desire to root for her, so that she could achieve the greatest she possible can.

When we are first introduced to her, she was so lovable yet so badass as well. There was always that sort of rebellion side of her which sometimes was not predictable. As time passed, although she changes and grows as a character due to the greater challenges that she faces (which are ridiculously impossible for one person to conquer), never does she change in a way that is unexplainable or honestly ‘out-of-character’ – you understand why she acts in this certain manner due to the issues that erupt and force her to react in such a way.

She looks pretty badass in this pic

She looks pretty badass in this pic

And I guess another reason why we enjoyed watching Ha-Na and how she resolves the problems she faces, is probably due to how ‘her’ world works. Now, before I get into more about the other characters, I have to be honest here and quickly mention that if you are some sort of hardcore feminist, then this drama is definitely not your calling; you will probably be screaming and pulling other people’s hair out before you even get to the first 3 episodes. From the get go, we are told that sons are more superior than daughters, just because.

Yep, that is what we are told to believe, and so we have to follow along with the drama, seeing time and time again why it is so crucial for the next heir of the Soy Sauce company to be a male rather than a female. Just because. Which is probably why I rooted for the main lead even more than it needed to be necessary,  because this drama kick-started the feminist mini-me inside, and I swore at those enemies to all end up in hell or at least somewhere similar. And so, not only did this drama frustrate me right from the start, but it also got me hooked to see how the hell are these people going to turn out when they are all mentally functioning in the anti-clockwise direction.

Now, one of the main issues I found about the way the drama has been written overall, was that if you were not able to gain a liking for Ha-Na, than this drama is practically dead to you. Sometimes, some dramas are able to be redeemable through other characters however, with this drama, if you never end up warming up to her, don’t even bother trying to finish this, because the main focus is honestly just her and who/what she encounters. So take note of that if you are interested in watch this. Thankfully, I liked her as a main character therefore I stayed for the ride 😉

2. Han Yoon-Chan is the man worth watching for

I personally found this scene to be super adorkable~ Te-he~

I personally found this scene to be super adorkable~ Te-he~

Oh my gosh, where do I even start? Yoon-Chan is possibly the most greatest character out of the entire drama – even greater than Ha-Na in my opinion. The main reason behind this is because his character, right from the start, is the man we see for the entirety of the drama. He was just simply solid from start to finish, and never did he act in a way that didn’t make sense, nor allow us to randomly go on a rant-fest against him. It is for these reasons also that I enjoyed watching Yoon-Chan over Do-Hyeon (Jung Eun-Woo), because for half the drama, Do-Hyeon almost seemed like the opposite of what Yoon-Chan was.

A man as wonderful as Yoon-Chan was, should honestly put any other leading male to shame. I may seem slightly biased at this point, but Tae-Gon’s character was simply perfection. That voice, with his particular stance, and the way he looks when he is working *swoon* How is it possible to not fall for this man?! *clears throat* But, it wasn’t simply the way Tae-Gon visually appeared in the drama that got me hooked; it was in fact his character itself and how he had been written.

Yoon-Chan was a man who was very clear on who he was and who he wasn’t from the very beginning. We are told right near the beginning about how he feels towards Ha-Na, man or not (which is an amazing statement in itself!) This was a man who never hesitated to act for the one he cared for, whether it meant using his fists, or to use his brains. Yoon-Chan was a man who stood up for himself and others when he knew that justice was not being served, and never gave up even though he knew that the situation had not been favourable. He was a man who made the other men who stood around seem him small and weak, and never could anyone compare to how strong his presence was in every scene. He never denied anything when he knew he was in the wrong, and was always first to admit and acknowledge another person’s efforts or work. Never have I seen such a genuine and solid man like him in any other drama before. If this man was a real person then please, somehow get me to hook up with him because I will probably be the most luckiest girl on the planet, period. This man seems too good to be true huh? *sigh* I guess he was….

I loved~~~ that smile of his! ^o^ It's just so...swoon-like *sigh*

I loved~~~ that smile of his! ^o^ It’s just so…swoon-like *sigh*

My most favourite bit from the drama relating to Yoon-Chan was this particular moment that I have quoted below. Read it, and try to admit to me that you would not fall for him after hearing that, just try lol

“Hold my hand
I’ll give you three tickets
You can’t see them, but pretend you got them
When you’re having a hard time, when you’re scared and when you need someone, call me
I won’t ask anything and will do what I can do for you”

Credit to http://mincisensei.com/ for quoting

The Negatives:

1. How absurd the plot became

What I want to do...Credit to Drama Troll

What I want to do sometimes…Credit to Drama Troll for the fantastic gif >//<

As with most daily dramas, it is understandable why they would create a plot so frustrating – in order to gain a greater audience that is willing to tune in every day to watch the drama, the writer and production crew have to create something that allows the audience to follow along and want to pop in and watch it everyday. But for someone like me who tends to either marathon the drama after it’s finished broadcasting, or hop along with the ride towards the end once I’ve been convinced that it is a pretty good drama to follow, this drama was just in it’s own category and group. I have to admit, the plot wasn’t horrible in terms of “nothing made any sense” type of horrible; it is more like “you are so absurd that I have to discover how much more insane could you get?!” Basically, the plot/whatever-story-there-is-left hooked me in but, if I was to read the plot written on a piece of paper and judge whether or not the story itself is good, then this gets a HUGE no. Just no. If this story was written as a book, I would probably never pick it up, ever – the fact that it was a daily drama kinda saved it, weirdly enough.

Basically, I found the mess to be quite entertaining (hence why I stayed and finished the whole thing) but I can’t really say that I liked the plot for being a plot, if you get what I’m saying. This was mainly due to the fact that the only reason why this story was going on for so long, is all due to how down-right evil the antagonists were. I mean, these people just don’t give up. Never could they take a hint to leave the Jang family alone, and just hung onto them for dear life. But, if we looked at it from a different perspective, without them, there would not be this 122 episode drama; it would probably be just like any other typical 20-30 episode drama. So, I guess in that case, thank you for being so evil?

And also, I have to make note of this and say that due to how evil these people were, the ending in my opinion was just so much more satisfying than any other drama I’ve seen before, simply because I finally thought in my mind “Yes, FINALLY they get what they deserved”, and it made me think that all is right in the world again lol

SPOILER ALERT! Do not read this section if you don’t wanna know about who Ha-Na ends with.

2. Not knowing who the main male lead was

Yoon-Chan and Do-Hyeon...Who is main lead??!

Yoon-Chan and Do-Hyeon…Who is the main lead??!

This was an aspect of the drama that got many, such like myself, absolutely frustrated. As I have stated quite clearly above, Han Yoon-Chan was definitely a big reason why I continued to watch this drama; that I hoped this man’s ending isn’t as bad as it started to seem. But why am I thinking in this manner? Since he is so great (and not to mention, the actual main lead!), how come he isn’t with the girl? Well, it’s because that the other leading man, Sol Do Hyeon, is with our Ha-Na for the majority of the drama. I mean, they are literally together (almost like a married couple) for about 75-80% of the drama!

For the longest time (at least until the 60-70 episode mark), I thought that I had the most serious case of second-lead syndrome, but everything is flipped upside-down when I realised that Yoon-Chan was in fact the main lead after reading around online. And then I began to question everything!

“If he is the main lead, how come he is left in the background half the time?!”

“If he is the main lead, how come Ha-Na has absolutely no clue about his feelings towards her, despite him being quite clear about him so early on?”

“As the main lead, isn’t he being slightly unproductive relationship-wise? Yoon Young-Mi-shi, what are you thinking??? Don’t you want Yoon-Chan and Ha-Na to get together?”

*sigh* As I kept watching on, gradually my hopes and wishes faded away, as it seemed like Yoon-Chan’s chances of hooking up with Ha-Na grew smaller and smaller. I even started to question about everything that I read online. I mean, as the main lead, how come he is left chillin’ on the side while he watches these two develop their relationship further and further? I swear, it must have been a conscious decision made by the writer in order to get silly people such as myself, hooked and wanting to see what will happen to Yoon-Chan oppa!

Thankfully (for me anyway), Yoon-Chan does end up getting the girl in the end, after what seemed an enormous roller-coaster ride for the both of them. However, one thing that I can sadly admit that may ruin the genuinity of this couple is due to the fact that during the drama, there was not a lot of couple moments between the two that could convince many about how these two could have got together. We see Do-Hyeon and Ha-Na together quite often during the drama, sharing hugs and kisses and really romantic moments with each other that really convinced us how in love they were. However, to have Ha-Na suddenly shift towards Yoon-Chan when it got quite close to the end seemed…sudden? I felt that all of this may have been too hard to swallow for the people who shipped for the Do-Hyeon/Ha-Na couple. However, since I wasn’t on that ship, I didn’t find too much to complain about, except for the fact that Yoon-Chan and Ha-Na didn’t kiss in the end….major disappointment in my opinion LOLOLOL

In my own opinion, I felt that the Yoon-Chan/Ha-Na couple had the slow build-up of becoming a couple by about the time Eun-Seung returns as a woman. As they gradually gained more time and interactions with each other, their relationship slowly morphed into something more than just business partners or close siblings. And I personally felt that Ha-Na realised that too towards the end, by thinking back to all the times when Yoon-Chan was there for her rather than Do-Hyeon.

Finally, the main reason why I was against the Do-Hyeon ship is because, by the midpoint of the drama, I felt a huge shift in his character in comparison to the one we were introduced to initially. In the beginning, I didn’t mind his character because he was just so adorable when he was with Ha-Na; how could you love him then?? However, after the first time he split from her, he just seemed to be too different for my liking, regardless as to whether or not he was forced to act that way or not. If he really loved this woman, he wouldn’t need to change the way he is in order to get her. But instead, he did, twice. It’s just when we compare Do-Hyeon to Yoon-Chan, Yoon-Chan just never changed in terms of who mattered to him most. Ha-Na was the most important person to him, and he made sure that she knew that too. I know, this may seem not that fair since so much was happening that tried to drive Do-Hyeon and Ha-Na apart on purpose, but honestly if Do-Hyeon really wanted her, he should have just ran away with her, rather than just using words to reassure her. Put your words to action, ya’ know? So yeah, not a huge fan of Do-Hyeon as much towards the end >_<

END OF SPOILERS!!!

Final Rating:

So overall, I felt that this show was quite average in many ways, story and acting-wise. Even though there was indeed plenty of time to ties all loose ends together, sadly not everything did, which was slightly disappointing. However, I do have to admit that this 122 episode journey was indeed entertaining to watch and follow, and I do have to admit that I absolutely adored our leading characters.

Personally, I felt that this drama allowed me to realise what I really care about in terms of the values I consider in life. Family is such a huge aspect of my current life, and I do consider it to be the most important part of my life. “A Well Raised Daughter Ha-Na” really personified what I want to be to my family – someone who is capable to fend for myself and become that protective barrier to them in order to shield the world from them. Ha-Na, in particular, displayed characteristics that I relate really close to, and demonstrates what I should probably strive to gain as I grow older in both age and maturity. As for Yoon-Chan, I seriously just need to seek a man who at least shares a majority of personality traits like him 😉

So, borrowing the rating system from the lovely goddesses of Kdrama reviews themselves Javabeans and Girlfriday, I would rate “A Well Raised Daughter Ha-Na” as:

How much I liked it: 6.5/10

How good was it objectively: 5/10

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Thank you to the cast and production crew for bring us such a wacky roller-coaster ride that I surprisingly still enjoyed enough to stay on for the entire time. Although not everything was perfect, and the drama was not fantastically great from start to finish, I still liked it, so that probably counts for something. Don’t forget everyone; make sure that you know what or who matters to you most, and let them know that you are there and that you care ❤

Thank you everyone for reading this super long and possibly boring review, and I’ll see you in the next post xoxo

❤ Yami Hyunnie ^^~

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Author: Hyunnie

Hello~~ ^^ I'm a young blogger opening her first ever blog in order to share to the world reviews on some of the best and worst Asian dramas, movies, music; you name it! I am also currently guest-posting on Dramafever News. Mainly, I post about dramas on that site so if you are interested, check me out there! Please fill free to comment on this site and maybe suggest some stuff for me to talk about ^^ Hope you guys enjoy and see you later!

20 thoughts on ““A Well Raised Daughter Ha-Na” Review: Long, long and epic, just epic…

  1. You are so on point!!!!! As I watched this when it was airing, you would be surprised that a lot of people that were on the Do Hyeon/Ha Na ship, abandoned ship because they didn’t like his character. When he married the sister, a lot said “Forget him” and switched to our wonderful Yoon-Chan who had truly been there for Ha Na from the very beginning. And then when Do-Hyeon’s dad was doing all his evil deeds and Do-Hyeon just sat back and did nothing, that was like the last straw. At the end of the drama, what DH/HN shippers that were left were totally silent before we even had reached ep 100! So, you are correct! The writer did a wonder job in building a wonderful Yoon-Chan character that all us women wanted but cheated the man out of a true romance! I suggest you watch Assorted Gems. Tae Gun is done justice in the romance department. Or if you can find Golden Fish, even better. Also, I wonder if Han Byel and Jung Woo were already dating which might have changed the drama. If so, we got ripped off. Here’s hoping Tae Gun’s next drama is much, much better. Good Job!! Great review!

    • Hi, thank you! Ahhh, did a lot of people root for the Do-Hyeon/Ha-Na ship? See, this is the problem with me marathoning everything at the end lol! I can totally understand why they would, but for some darn reason, he just never caught my attention like Yoon Chan did.

      After discovering this drama, I have literally became a Tae-Gon addict. Since finishing the drama, I’ve been looking into his other dramas, and discovered that he only is ever in super long dramas *sigh* I think Assorted Gems will be the next one I’ll plan to watch of his, since I looked everywhere for Golden Fish and just could not find it! I was so heartbroken when I found out that the drama was no where to be seen!

      From what I’ve heard, Han-Byul and Jung-Woo decided to get together a little after the drama finished. On set, they just seemed to get along, like everyone else did. So, following that, I am praying that we weren’t scammed of a proper romance between Yoon-Chan and Ha-Na.

      Thank you again for your lovely comment (seriously, your comments always seem to make me smile :D) and yes, let us pray together that Tae-Gon oppa will have an even better drama! See ya around!

      • Yes, Golden Fish is nowhere to be found. Might find it unsubbed but that is it. Winter Bird, you can find on drama.net and Dramafever. I have his first drama, Dear Heaven. Someone sent it to me but I haven’t watched it yet. But Assorted Gems was GREAT; rushed ending as usual but the romance makes up for the poor one in WRD! Big time! I cannot wait for your comments on that one!!

  2. great review. You are so lucky it was all done when you watched. I remember impatiently waiting for subs each week while watching this one:)

  3. A great read! I haven’t seen the drama but I love reading reviews of shows which I skip…lol…..I’m sure this one was ignored because of its length…it’s great when we ship for the right person…. 🙂

    • Haha yes, how lucky were we? And I don’t blame you for ignoring this one since the length equates to some form of dedicated commitment lol! As per usual, the main reason I stayed was because I shipped for the right guy…if I didn’t, this probably would have been dropped too >_<

  4. Pingback: “Birth of a Beauty” Review: Doctor/Ahjumma couple forever~ *peace sign* *sigh* Relationship goals… | Asia Reviewer Maniac

  5. Thank you so much for your great review and I totally agree with you. I do stand for Yoochan from the very first episodes. The way he silently love her. I love the way he cared for Hana even if he had to use his fist or his brain to help her without asking her anything in return. I love the way he looked at Hana, smiled to himself and then said nothing when she asked him what caused that. I do love the way he worked so hard to help her take revenge on his father who abandoned and made use of him first. Actually I almost wanted to drop the drama when Hana decided to take Do Huyn’s side. But then I thought that there is something special between Yoochan and Hana and it was so lucky that my patience did not fail me at the end. So touching when their relationship was built so slowly enough to guide her who always be with her through her most hard times. And thanks to the writer who made this main character so sexy and amazing. A real man will do anything for his only love even though he had to run against his powerful father and also her defenses towards him. I re-watched the drama for several times just to look at Yoochan as well as his well-built figure >….<

    • Hey Tam! Thank you so much for the awesome and lovely comment 🙂 Likewise, when I realized that Hana would take Do Hyun’s side, that was a turning point for me where I realized that I was gonna stick to Yoochan, and as we both that totally paid off 😉

      And lol at you rewatching the drama; I totally did too, especially at those small and precious moments between Hana and Yoochan. *sigh* So sexy~

      Anyway, thanks again for your comment! It feels so good to hear from someone who reciprocates the same feelings you have for a character!

  6. Hey Yami, can I borrow your review and put it in our LTG’s fanpage? I really want to translate and share it to our friends. Thanks a lot for your help. ^^

    • Hey Tam, sure that’s fine by me 🙂 I’m honoured that you think it’s worthy of being translated *blush* Thanks again Tam!

      • Yes, sure my friend. I highly appreciate your review due to its honesty as well as your interest in the Yoon Chan character. Some do not agree when YC ended up with Hana for some reasons related to his age, his looking or his role for not being Hana’s first love, blap blap… A little annoyed when they did not pay attention to the drama flow but the appearance of actors/ actress while Hana slowly grew her love towards Yoon Chan at the final eps. While Yoon Chan always tried his best to help her taking revenge on SS group and even almost sacrificed his life to cover her from the bullet and not asked her anything in returns. I do love the scene when she replied to DH that her personal love could be changed but the love to her family always remained unchanged. ^^ Hana is quite different to other female leads of other dramas who often stick to her first love in an illogical way. To me, Yoon Chan was the best in this drama and if fate got them meet at the first time, so time would guide them at the end of happiness.

        Anyway, your review is a rich source for my use. Thanks Yami <3.

  7. Hi, your review on this drama is very thorough, but I do want to leave a comment on your question about the Asian tradition of clinging on to the male heir. This is VERY TRUE!!! Due to the old impression that only sons can carry on the family name, despite that more and more people believing in male-female equality nowadays, most elderly people in Asian families still believe that a son is necessary to continue the family. Since ancient time men had been forced by their parents to marry a second wife because their first wife could not give birth to a son (the husband could either divorce and then remarry or just simply marry the second wife while still married to the first wife)! Men would be accused of not fulfilling filial piety if they don’t have at least one son. Daughters usually were often called by some very conservative people as “an investment that would never regain any benefit.” In the traditional routine of the Asian wedding ceremony, the bride’s mother would splash a basin of water outside of the house after the groom picked up the bride, representing that the daughter now has become other family’s property and could never be taken back (fortunately nowadays people do it because it’s part of the routine in the ceremony, the meaning of this action has weakened comparing to early days).

    Thankfully, due to the promotion in equality of education between genders, daughters from those families have more and more chances to prove themselves to be as good as sons (if not better). I fell in love with this drama exactly because of the female protagonist’s situation (of course pretending to be a boy usually doesn’t happen in real world, I mean the situation which daughters were not highly valued), her struggles, and her final success. This is exactly what a lot of women (at least in Asian world still) are still fighting for nowadays – to prove that they can support the families just as well as (or even better than) the sons. I am very touched by the story of this drama because I came from this kind of family (and I just turned 22!). Even though my family does not have any family business like the drama shown, my grandmother had always wanted a grandson and I grew up hearing that I should have a brother otherwise “nobody” would be able to take care of my parents when they get old, that “daughters are useless to the family in the future;” and my mother had been pressured very hard to give birth to a son (and unfortunately couldn’t). Therefore, I have been studying hard, getting good grades, participating in various activities, in order to show that I can do just about everything a son can do and I will be able to take care of my parents in the future. My grandmother has finally started to recognize my effort (since it’s kind of impossible to get a grandson now). I still haven’t start my career and there is still a long way to go; however, by watching this drama has inspired me to continue working and move forward. Jang Ha Na is really the kind of daughter that most women (at least in Asia) in my generation wish to become!

    • Hi AGJL, thank you for the highly informative and eye-opening comment. It still surprises me a lot today that there are still so many families that are so strict on the desire of having a son as a true heir, to the point that there is a clear imbalance of the number of women to men in certain countries such as China, and now for most men it is almost impossible for them to find a mainland wife since many young babies were orphaned or killed.

      I am the oldest and I only have another younger sister by 6 six years. Growing up, I was constantly told and reminded by my late father how much he wished I was a boy, and how much he wished he could teach his son the skills of trade and how to help the family do a lot of manual work around the house. Despite me reminding him constantly that I am capable of doing the same job as a man, and that he can treat me as if I were his son, he was still strictly conservative and still refused to teach me anything. I can relate very closely to your feelings and experiences, which is also why I did enjoy this drama despite its flaws. Ha-Na ended becoming a role model for many individuals out there who had dreams and goals, and weren’t afraid to fight for them.

      By the way, I’m turning 22 in 2 months time; we’re practically chingu! I am so happy for you that your grandmother is finally recognising your efforts, as you have truly proven to many that you are just as capable, hardworking and successful as any other ‘son’ could have done. I’m proud for you, and I’m wishing you all the greatest success in your studies! Stay strong, and remember to be confident and happy!

      ❤ Yami Hyunnie ^^~

  8. GIRL!! I just loved your review!! It´s PERFECT! After reading it, o can put a end to the series. After watching it for a week, it made me feel empty when it ended.
    I just finished marathoning (let´s belive it´s a word) the series, AND I CAN´T BELIEVE MY SHIP WON! YOON-CHANNNNNN!!
    I made some marathons before, BUT NEVER WITH 122 EPISODES. I dind´t think i was addicted, but after this dorama, i’m sure as HELL i am.

    Thank you for giving me clousure xD!

    • Awww thanks Ellen! Glad to hear that you found some closure. Like you, I was sooooooo happy that our ship sailed; I definitely can relate!
      And LOLOL marathoning is totally a word *cough cough* hehe thank you again for the comment and I hope you have an awesome day!

  9. They did try kind of to suggest the reasoning behind a son rather than a daughter in modern times rather than just a cultural thing being based on the idea that physically men and woman are very different..ie they have the story line very early that men power of smell is much better than females and how important that was to the secret way they used to make the sauce. It funny I kind of always knew what guy she was going to end up with even though the age gap between them was a bit off putting at the start, but that common enough theme in K-dramas to get past. The very fact he ‘felt’ he was a she right from the start was always a good indication.

    • Hi bjharm! Thank you so much for the comment! True that, they did try to justify it at the beginning with the ‘men having stronger senses than women’ argument; I almost forgot about that part lol. But, it probably would have made that whole factor more important and can crucial to making the sot sauce if they tried to emphasise that point much more throughout the drama. Maybe that way I wouldn’t have gotten so touchy with the male heir plot point.

      And really?? With the way the drama was going I totally would have thought that he had no chance at getting the girl (Pre-determined K-drama plots and all). And wow, you knew from the get-go too? Your 6th sense clearly is a lot better than mine; I felt more on actual visual evidence than anything.

      Thanks again for the awesome comment, and I hope you have an awesome day!

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