Cheongdamdong Alice Episode 16 Recap

Most weekend dramas are of the longish variety so when I first heard Cheongdamdong Alice would be the typical weekday drama length of 16-episodes, I worried there wasn’t enough time for the entire story to be told properly. Turns out I was right but for the wrong reasons, there was enough time, the writers just wasted most of it on pointless conflicts and redundant discussions. Over and over this drama went like a hamster running a wheel when it could have been a rabbit bolting for the finish line. It wrapped up today with all the hallmarks of K-drama flourishes – most everything is brushed aside while the groundwork is finally laid for the OTP to head towards their happy ending. It was tedious watching this episode pile on the Alice in Wonderland references and allusions, complete with Seung Jo’s dream state and everyone talking about Alice in Wonderland’s ending. As the drama wound down, I was really watching only for Yoon Joo, a character I disliked at first sight played by an actress I haven’t loved in a drama in years. Tommy also captured my interest in the last few episodes, and watching these two interesting characters get wasted highlighted the fundamental flaw of this drama.

There is so much that is interesting and can be discussed and explored by the characters and their inherent situations, but the drama didn’t do anything with them leaving the viewer feeling unsatisfied at the end. But if all that narrative potential was sacrificed for the OTP, did they at least get an happy ending? My personal feeling is that I frankly stopped caring about them episodes ago. Of course I still want them to get their happy ending, but seeing it wasn’t going to miraculously wash away my misgivings or make it all better like sticking a bandaid on a boo boo. I felt like poor Moon Geun Young and Park Shi Hoo was required to keep acting out the same scenes and conflicts repeatedly and its by the grace of their ability they could sell it by the very end. This drama buttressed two years, with the first half airing in 2012 while the second half aired in 2013. It similarly felt bipolar watching it, as if the creative and interesting writer who wrote the first half was kidnapped as a replacement snuck in for the second half. CA – you coulda woulda shoulda been so much better, and I maybe oughtta stick firmly to my rule not to recap weekend dramas rather than getting lured in with honeyed hopes.

Episode 16 recap:

Se Kyung tells Tommy that she can see the ending now, and the ending of Alice in Wonderland is that Alice wakes up from the dream. Tommy asks his assistant who is bringing the coffee if she knows how Alice in Wonderland really ended but she doesn’t either.

Yoon Joo tells Seung Jo its obvious who bought the painting – his father Cha Il Nam. She would suspect that if she was Seung Jo since he’s the son of a rich man. Seung Jo points out his dad made him sign away his inheritance but then remembers Se Kyung’s earlier talk about how she has no good luck so she can’t even believe in hope. Yoon Joo says she could be wrong, but then again, she doesn’t have the luxury of believing such good things can happen to her. If it was her, the first reaction would be fear over why this is happening.

Yoon Joo leaves, without asking Seung Jo for help, and looks up around the rich homes in that area.

Seung Jo sits there thinking back to his interactions with his dad. He thinks he proved to his dad he could succeed on his own, his dad asked back whether his revenge was successful then? Seung Jo heads out to the art gallery for confirmation. Seung Jo finds out at the gallery that his painting was sold a few days ago, back to the same person who donated it, who turns out to be the father of the painter.

Seung Jo goes to his dad’s office and pokes around since his dad just left, finally locating the painting there. He remembers back to Yoon Joo pointing out his dad wouldn’t let him suffer just like that, and Se Kyung saying that Seung Jo got a lucky break.

Seung Jo’s dad arrives and Seung Jo confirms his dad bought his painting a few days ago, and was also the same person who bought it a few years ago in Paris.

Se Kyung is at home cleaning out her work box and thinks back to Seung Jo asking whether she ought to be forgiven simply because her poverty drove her to take such means.

Seung Jo asks why his dad did it and dad points out Seung Jo wouldn’t have accepted money from him. This rocks Seung Jo’s world and he’s furious because he believed he succeed on his own. Dad says Seung Jo did succeed on his own merits, and just because he came from a wealthy family that could use money to help him doesn’t negate his own hard work. He finally sees Seung Jo not as his successor but as his son who also loves art and is capable, this is what Se Kyung said to him. Dad says he couldn’t watch Seung Jo live as a beggar which is why he bought the painting, that is all. There was no ulterior motive. Seung Jo staggers off.

Se Kyung sits in her room looking at the various rabbit sketches she drew before making the stuffed animals. Yoon Joo is in her car being driven somewhere and she texts Se Kyung asking what would have happened if they didn’t run into each other recently? Se Kyung would have lived her life the same way, but Yoon Joo thinks this ending for her would have happened no matter what. She started off angry at the world like Se Kyung, but somewhere along the way she became someone who lived in fear and anxiety. She’s ready to leave Cheongdamdong and start over.

Yoon Joo goes to Min Hyuk’s office and presents HIM with the divorce. She might be worth a lot to him if she can make the business deal happen, but he’s not worth the same to her anymore. She no longer wants to be the wife of GN Fashion. Booyah!

Yoon Joo walks out and says goodbye to the assistant warmly. When she walks to the elevator, In Hwa is there to smirk some more. In Hwa brings up Seung Jo helping Yoon Joo, but Yoon Joo derides this life that is motivated by business deals. Yoon Joo asks if its chafes In Hwa to know Yoon Joo holds the change of a huge business deal in her hands? In Hwa admits it does. Yoon Joo wipes her smirk off by telling her that she just divorced Min Hyuk so In Hwa should go in and comfort her brother. Hahaha, this would be more satisfying if In Hwa and Min Hyuk had even a shred of decency.

Dong Wook goes to Seung Jo’s place and finds him sleeping and refusing to get up. He calls Seung Jo’s dad and promises to take care of him. Seung Jo’s dad calls Se Kyung for help and she heads over.

Seung Jo dreams about his mom leaving him when he was a kid, and she promised that she wouldn’t forget him.

He wakes up when Se Kyung arrives, though he bitterly asks if she’s here to rub it in for being right, or because others are again worried he’s going to die? Se Kyung backhugs him and says she’s here because she misses him. Forget all the issues – who bought the painting, Secretary Kim, President of Artemis – she misses him so much she feels like she can’t live.

If this isn’t love then she doesn’t know what is. She loves him. Seung Jo turns around and hugs Se Kyung back as they both cry.

This turns out to be Seung Jo’s dream (or is it?) and he wakes up on the sofa. He calls out for Se Kyung and it turns out she is here and she walks in. He asks what she is doing here and Se Kyung says she is here to say goodbye properly. There is no way for her to prove her love, so she wants to him to see all of her and he can decide. Seung Jo points out that she lied to him and wanted him for his money, chances are he can’t accept her like that. She is fine with it and then he asks her to prove her love by earning the same amount of money he has and that will show him she doesn’t want him for his money. LOL, Seung Jo, you are seriously a kid.

Se Kyung says that is tantamount to them breaking up now because it can’t ever happen. She wishes him well and to live a good life before leaving. Seung Jo sits in his living room processing everything.

Se Kyung goes shopping for a presentable outfit and then meets up with Ah Jung, who still hopes there could be a happy ending. Se Kyung says she couldn’t have pretended to be a Candy forever, and really loving someone is loving everything about them. Ah Jung then drops the news that she’s dating Secretary Moon and Se Kyung wishes her friend happiness.

Seung Jo goes back to work and takes a business meeting with his dad about the outlet deal. Seung Jo’s dad wonders how his son can refuse to see him privately but be fine meeting for business, though he is pleased to see Seung Jo not wallowing in misery anymore. He heard Seung Jo was eating and sleeping well and he’s relieved. Seung Jo heads to another meeting.

Se Kyung is dressed smartly and headed to an interview. Seung Jo sits in an interview room and looks at a resume with a girl named Se Kyung. Turns out Se Kyung’s interviewing with another design house while Seung Jo is interviewing a Shin Se Kyung.

In Seung Jo’s interview, he finds out this girl had to take time off school to work jobs and pay the rest of her tuition. When he asks why she’s wearing such an expensive outfit, she explains its necessary when interviewing to look the part, which makes Seung Jo flashback to one of his earliest conversations with Se Kyung. He wonders how he would have rated Se Kyung if she interviewed with him in the past?

In Se Kyung’s interview, she admits to leaving GN Fashion and not studying abroad, but shows them the design portfolio she did as the personal stylist for the President of Artemis. The interviewers recognize her now as the fiancee of Jean Thierry Cha. They all erase the original low scores they gave her and bump it up. Se Kyung knows that and admits that even after breaking up with Seung Jo, she’s still using him in a way to succeed.

After Se Kyung leaves the interview, she runs into Tommy. The guy has been busy dealing with his work woes hence hard to reach, but he’s here to show Se Kyung the book he tracked down with the original ending to Alice in Wonderland.

In that ending, Alice was woken up by her older sister. After Alice told her story to her older sister, she realized that if dreamt again she can keep half her eyes open and straddle both reality and wonderland. Se Kyung thinks the older sister is quite wise indeed.

Seung Jo is driving through Seoul when he sees Yoon Joo and pulls over. They greet each other warmly.

She catches him up on her divorce and moving to a small place. He brings up her mentioning a chance to save her marriage but Yoon Joo brushes that aside. Yoon Joo asks if he’s broken up with Se Kyung and Seung Jo says she left because she couldn’t prove her love. Yoon Joo says Seung Jo must have asked her since he doesn’t trust people.

Seung Jo says no, he lives in reality now. He knows his dad bought his painting, he knows that Se Kyung liked him and liked his money both. So what is there to prove? Yoon Joo scoffs at that, pointing out that no matter what Se Kyung said to try and prove her love, deep down Seung Jo would still be suspicious. Yoon Joo says the Se Kyung she knows never runs away, so Seung Jo must have pushed her away.

Seung Jo brings up the dream and then realizes it wasn’t a dream. Se Kyung cries that she did like Secretary Kim first, then when she found out he was President of Artemis she liked him more and felt very lucky and happy. That is all. She does feel guilty, but it doesn’t negate her love. She hands him her yellow pad with her list and tells him to read her real thoughts. He did push Se Kyung away by telling her to prove her love and by saying that he couldn’t read her yellow notebook which contained her real thoughts.

Seung Jo runs to Se Kyung’s place but she’s not there. He goes into her room and finds the yellow notebook with her list. After reading it, he stands on the roof thinking for some time before taking off running.

Se Kyung has been hired as the new full time designer a the company she interview for. She knows she used her connection with Seung Jo to her advantage. She’s still angry at this unfair world but now she won’t show it anymore by lashing out. She’ll continue her hardworking Candy existence again. For years she lived in a Candy dream with In Chan. And when that ended she lived in another dream with Seung Jo. But now that dream has ended and she’s finally woken up.

Seung Jo runs into the lobby of the building and Se Kyung wonders if she’s dreaming again. Seung Jo acts like he’s here for work and walks past her before turning around and asking if she’s not going to grab onto him. Didn’t she say she would hold onto to him and never let go? Didn’t she say she would never run away? Se Kyung says she never ran away but she doesn’t have time to play games with Seung Jo since she’s new on the job here.

Just like Se Kyung can’t differentiate between loving Seung Jo and using him, he can no longer differentiate between the real Se Kyung and Candy Se Kyung. But that doesn’t matter anymore, because he likes the her that is standing right here in front of him.

Seung Jo pulls Se Kyung in for a hug. Se Kyung asks if he trust her and he vows to try. She wonders if she doesn’t need to act anymore in front of him. They both know they don’t full understand each other, but they want to try. Se Kyung brings up the millions he asked her to earn as proof and Seung Jo smiles and says he will help her earn it.

Se Kyung laughs and asks if he’s proposing to her now. Seung Jo finally gets to use the quote he had prepared in episode 3 when he was showering his largesse on her and In Chan – he needs Se Kyung because he loves her, he loves Se Kyung because he needs her. It’s impossible to differentiate the two anymore. They kiss and the camera swirls around them.

Tommy is getting out of his car when he runs into Yoon Joo carrying bags of stuff. They smile at each other and stop to catch up. Hhhmm, can these two get together? They are interesting people with depth and experience and have thoughtful discussions and enjoy each other’s company.

He asks why Yoon Joo didn’t take the chance Min Hyuk offered and she admitted that she was angry at them so making them lose the big deal was her way of getting back at them. She now knows how angry Se Kyung felt at the world. Tommy asks if she regrets it and Yoon Joo laughs and says of course she does! But Tommy points out that she looks pretty at ease right now. Both of them lament how things are not going well – Tommy’s lost some income now that he’s not matchmaking while Yoon Joo’s business isn’t exactly taking off.

They discuss Se Kyung and how she’s used her own way and gotten back together with Seung Jo. They are dating, but who knows what the future with bring. Neither Tommy nor Yoon Joo are the maudlin types who believe in happy endings, though Yoon Joo is happy that Se Kyung did well. Before she leaves with her brother, she hands Tommy her card and teases that he should keep her in mind if he needs to matchmake.

Seung Jo’s dad is meeting with Se Kyung’s parents and turns out the couple has gotten married in the end and now Seung Jo’s dad wants her parents to move into a house nearby to bakery store #5 and to run the store. Se Kyung’s and refuses because he doesn’t want to be seen as selling his daughter to a rich family and mooching off her. Seung Jo’s dad wants Se Kyung’s mom to step in and help convince her husband, since it would look bad to the reporters that they still live in the same small home. Se Kyung’s mom says its all up to her husband and refuses to get involved. Seung Jo’s dad throws in the towel and says Se Kyung’s dad is as stubborn as she is.

Seung Jo and Se Kyung hang out in the backyard of their mansion. Seung Jo picks Se Kyung up and carries her off. Se Kyung narrates about how the real ending of Alice in Wonderland is Alice’s older sister half-asleep and half-awake, dreaming of wonderland but still in reality. Similarly if we half close our eyes, we can imagine ourselves in Wonderland even if we can still see reality.

Thoughts of Mine:

Happy endings are not all the same. The satisfaction comes from the journey, and here I felt like everything was half-assed. The writers couldn’t figure out whether they were telling a story rooted in reality, or a parable of a fairy tale but set in modern Seoul. The characters were written to dance like puppets on a marionette, without any consistency of thought process or character flow. They weren’t complex and written well because they were written to do whatever the writer needed to keep the story moving in a certain direction. Business-minded In Hwa suddenly turned into a wronged woman sneaking around to steal a video and undermining her family’s future to win over two no-nothing women? Please don’t insult my intelligence. Tommy suddenly going from street-smart experienced bootlicker to warm daddy long legs #2 for Se Kyung. C’mon! I really dislike it when the writer manipulates the characters to serve a purpose, rather than let their actions flow from the personality traits originally written for them. That is why so many K-dramas feel so disjointed these days. Initially the drama posited so many interesting characters, which is why it feels so disappointing to see nothing meaningful came from them. As much as I enjoy the many shades of Yoon Joo, and it was awesome to see her hand Min Hyuk his own petard, I’m not certain it was in her nature to let it all go in the end especially because she knew how horrible the rich are and what she was getting into from the very beginning.

I’m happy Se Kyung and Seung Jo are together, though really its not a relationship I feel has any merit as a well-written one or even one that reflects a semblance of reality. Seung Jo is one of the worst male leads I’ve come across in ages. Yes, he is a good person inside, and smart and hard working, but that’s about it. He is SO DAMN INSECURE. I can imagine being married to him being a lifetime of making sure he feels loved and appreciated and cared for. He’s the kind of guy who texts and worries when you don’t return his text right away. Good lord is that exhausting. I don’t feel bad for Se Kyung because she chose him, but if I were here, I would have taken a good hard look at Tommy. I don’t know if the ending was half real, half wonderland, what with all the talk about Alice in Wonderland and eyes half open and half closed, because frankly this drama lost me on trying to discern a deeper message and I was just watching the ending for closure. Cute doctor Dong Wook was just a cipher and plot device to be Seung Jo’s BFF, Se Kyung’s family flitted in when required, Yoon Joo’s brother made obligatory appearances every few episodes, and the Shin family served as the requisite evil villains of this tale. In the end, Se Kyung and Seung Jo decided to give their love a chance and all the obstacles between them fell away easily because it really never was such a big deal to begin with. Now I can put this one to rest as a romantic fantasy that tried so hard to be romantic and thoughtful but ended up being rather shallow and pointless

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Comments

Cheongdamdong Alice Episode 16 Recap — 75 Comments

    • i dropped this drama too somewhere at ep 8-9, im happy i did. it wasnt because of the writing, guess im not that analytical ad others, but more of the leads compatability. There was just no spark betwen these two, and the more i stare at MGY the more i think, her face looks like an upgrade down-syndrome face. Sorry, if i offended u. just my cent. but no question about her acting talent, her body figure. im just commnting the face. sorry again.

      • wow… that comment is just simply mean. I’m not one of MGY’s fans, but really, I am offended by this. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all, please.

      • lol, you’re loser coz you dropped this drama because of the lead look πŸ™‚ she’s really pretty in last four episodes. Change make up, change hair style πŸ™‚

    • I guess I’m one of the few that enjoyed this drama…lol. I had no expectation from the start and from all the previews before the show was aired I was actually horrified at what MGY picked for her comeback. It turned out to be fun and entertaining with a bit of irregular plot line…but I still like it.

      • I enjoyed this drama. It was cute, and I simply adore the actors/actress. To me, this drama like all k-dramas is just a fantasy that lets the viewers see something besides their reality. Just like in the old days during the depression, people flocked to the movies so they can enjoy something different from the real world. Watching this movie, I enjoyed it very much, the characters, their conflicts/obstacles, etc…and still concluding with a happy ending (like most kdramas). Watching dramas like these I always enjoy because it takes me away from my humbug boring life…

  1. Thanks for the recap.. I really enjoyed the Cheongdamdong Alice. Surely going to miss this:) Se Kyung and Seung Joo; Tommy Hong and Yoon Jo… thanks

  2. this was one of the best drama’s ever and the actors, staff everyone involved well done for the hard work and amazing show they have shown us; i will miss this drama but at least the ending was good, so i am very happy to move on, knowing the couple ended together. for those who don’t like the show its there loss. its one of the best dramas you will be miss out on πŸ˜›

  3. As much as I love leads the ending fell flat for me! It’s all wrong everything is wrong episode 15 have the chance for redemption a good almost an hour conflict could have been resolve in 15mins but instead they ran around the circles… I’m so exhausted watching episode 15… Such a waste talent. I watch this because of the leads and I have to agree with Ms. K that Yoon Jo stole the show her story is more interesting and the only story that was executed the right way… Way to go Yoon Jo I do believe that she will succeed in her own way that she will be back jan Cheongdamdong with vengeance! I wish that Seung Jo did have PTSD I’m so disappointed that he is just a coward and insecure person up to the end! Se kyung left me confused. Writers I hope you can get your act together. The talent of the leads were a waste. Only the character of Yoon Jo is put in too good use I’ve come to love her. Thank you Ms. K. I hope you’ll recap TWTWB. I think it looks promising I hope you will consider…

      • Next time geun young should carefully examine the writer of drama.. not only who was her co star.

  4. So much potential. Such a waste.

    Going into the drama, I loved the Alice in Wonderland allegory. Too bad they pretty much only did lip service to it. I didn’t see Alice in Wonderland being used in any meaningful way.

    The rich/poor divide has been overused in K-drama, but I agree with Koala that the issues brought up in episode 15 were interesting and worth discussing. Two people who were brought up in vastly different circumstances fall in love and have to deal with existing prejudices, concepts that have been shaped over the years. Now there’s actual conflict!

  5. I am glad this drama has ending, I was really quite disappointed with it. For a story that talk alot about being high end fashion, there is barely any designing on her part. I enjoyed watching baby faced beauty and thought this might be even more interesting. But the was really none. It was all about the back and fro relationship between two very good actors with very little plot. I feel so bad for actors when they are let down by bad script.

  6. News reported that this was a drama that experiments with US-style team-writing. So how did it fare? It did well in coming up with unexpected twists that makes one look forward to the next episode. It can be tightened and be a 2-hour movie instead of 16 episode drama. The biggest winner? —3 songs/sound tracks and musical background. Park Si Hoo is another winner for not wasting the role that was given to him. Moon Geun Young delivered in a way that only she could deliver but even with her high performance level, there was something amiss in the way she was handled in this project. Her character, HSY, was the most believable and satisfying as writers were consistent with her character and made her point-of-view win in the end. For a drama project that appeared to want to deliver a profound message but did so by creating a twisted lead male character and lots of explaining and talking, the viewers were supportive and rewarded with very decent ratings.

  7. Well with evrything goin on with this drama I loved it I love both of the OTP though some episodes were barely entertaining I wanted to see more yet I was afraid it will get more exaggerating but u can’t diney u had fun!!! THANKS mrs koala YOU ROCK but I’m still confident that if it were to end at 10 episodes with all the greatness there was it would have kickedass!!!

  8. If there were to be a spin-off with Yoon Joo as the main character, I would definitely watch it! It could tell how she picked up the pieces and built herself from the ground up.

  9. Thanks for the recaps Ms. Koala, I empathize with your decision to stick with it, despite your disappointment. I felt the same. I started out watching the drama wanting to really like it, and I did, but then somewhere along the way I realized I had followed the writer(s) down a rabbit hole that had promised to be sly and subversive and funny and was now none of those things, and most of it felt like gibberish. I thiiinnnk the message this show was trying to send was that true love means seeing your other half as they really are, and being willing to overlook their faults, thus the eyes half shut stuff. I’m not really sure though, but it sounds good so imma just gonna go with it. Really though this show had so much wasted potential that it makes me feel cheated. I’m bitter I didn’t get to see AJ and Sec Moons courtship, not to mention an OTP whose chemistry seemed to dissipate into thin air. Or maybe it was my emotional investment in them that dissipated. *shrugs* whatevs…my feelings now that it’s all over? I don’t regret watching it, but I won’t be rewatching anytime soon…if ever.

  10. This drama could have been great. The otential was all there for us to see the first 7 episodes…. what a waste. The drama lost its sense of purpose suddenly from ep 9 onwards and was stuck in the maze for a long time only to find themselves exhausted finding the way out.

  11. l totally agreed with u that this dramas hooked me for at least 8 eps before l feel bored and do no more watching, instead just read your recap to know what’s going on. l didnt watch and even read ep 14 and 15. Nevertheless, l’m still hoping for a real ending, be it happy or otherwise, yet the happy ending just not satisfy me. The scene shown just not emotion enough, or just pretty light done. More satisfying on both 2nd leads character in ep 16. Tommy and Yong Joo, why not put them together or just a hint so we understand they attracted to each other. They faced experience and understand each other better than the leads.

    SK, for me dont really bother of what her heart feel.Even, yes, its a lie, but dramas should show that she’s hurt for his harsh words. Is this call love? And he dont bother to apologize. Kiss scene is needed but it is not to the extent that we should cry or smile in relief.

    But anyhow, at least l watched them for few eps (since other dramas airing) do not interest me. (Just started with 7th Grade Civil Servant – looks good).

  12. Thank you so much for finishing the recaps of CA Ms Koala! I too feel like I have to finish watching this for closure despite seeing the hole it was heading into.
    I don’t know why so many kdramas are making me feel this way lately. Is it the too tight filming schedule and last minute changing of script that is ruining the potential of these shows??
    I personally loved Big for the OTP couple and the soundtrack it produced and CA led me to discover PSH whom I’m going to watch The Princess’ Man for (held off due to knowing I will be hugging the tissue box). But both series did the same thing with a change in the the style and character development. Both had great actors whom had to deliver the best they could with the limited script.
    Cudos to PSH and MGY for their hard work.
    On a side note if you haven’t already read Ms Koala’s recaps on FBND then you should and go and watch it bcz I’m enjoying it !
    I’m giving Civil Servant Level 7 a chance. Wish me luck that the same doesn’t happen !

  13. There are so much to complain about the plot in this drama and how the supporting characters were not flesh out as they should have, but one message that does transcend to reality and has been featured towards the end is the fact that the outside trappings and connection still matters to get ahead or get a job, not necessarily the ability. About the drama, well I’ll look at it with a glass half full view that way I don’t feel too let down (which sounds like HSK and CSJ’s view to get happy ending):D

  14. Yup. Totally agree.. they waste the time only to linger the pointless discussion. I’m disappointed with the two last ep πŸ™ and the story line. Too many similar conflicts. One think that so bothersome for me… i don’t think MGY fits that hair style.. from front or side look the hair didn’t look good. She looks like mannequin. Her best appearance was back then when she played Cinderella Sister.

    • I also don’t think she fits with that hair. But last four episode, her hair style is better than before πŸ™‚ I think her hair style in CA is better than MMM :-).

      • Beside her hair… i wonder why her stylish always make her wear dark color outfits… i don’t think it fits with Alice theme..

  15. lol I don’t get you guys, you drop the drama but on every nw episode you guys says ”I’m glad I dropped it” then next episode airs and you ”I’m glad I dropped it” and post it over and over, okay, we get it, you guys dropped the drama, good for you, and if you really don’t care about the drama like you like to say, why not move on about dropping it?

  16. So this is the ending… what a flat…once again kdrama which’s big expectation at beginning but flat at ending. but that’s not made me stop to wait every sunday and monday for your recap. thanks anyway…

  17. i tried to like this drama as much as i can cos i love MGY.

    the first 4 episode of cinderella sister are masterpiece and one of the best korean drama i’ve ever seen eventhough it kind of went magjang on me..

    in alice, MGY looks not attractive at all- the hair style and the way she dress made her look chubbier even though she is super thin..

    the storyline is confusing as well… what do they try to tell you is so transparent and not clear..
    i don’t get the message writer tried to send out to audience.

    • I love mgy so much. I watch her movies and dramas. I bought her drama,movies’disks and put in my computer. So, whenever i miss her, i can watch. Yes, MMM and CS couldn’t satisfy me the first time when i watched them. Especially MMM. But, re watching make me more pleased πŸ™‚ yes, i watched CS over ten times and MMM too. So, CA, I know i will watch you at least 10times. But have to wait subtitle with my mother language. πŸ™

      @mm, you also have to rewatch πŸ™‚

  18. love it when a new drama starts and you fall in with the story the couple the ost , such was this drama

    i would sit and try watch it live but the internet is slow

    so when the story falters and you are left wondreing what in the world i chose to go watching while i was in seoul i watched it live no subs and understoodeverything got all giddy again its over but what alet down after investing all that time watching i had more fun readung recapps by koala at timess

  19. Thanks Capt K for the recaps. And what a crazy ride… it was good and thrilling and then, just kinda there and a little boring.

    Personally as viewer, I felt so unsatisfied watching the ending. I felt like MGY and PSH were really wasted in this series. The first half was good but the rapid downhill decent from there was just hard to watch. The collective talent of just those 2 made it still watchable, as well as the supporting cast. They are capable of so much more I felt than what the characters were written as. I was really tired of the whole Alice thing. I felt like they just had to use it, but they really didn’t have to and didn’t have to in the end. I don’t think it added much for me personally, but maybe for other viewers. The last few episodes, they were really killing the goodwill had to for PSH’s character SJ, and he just barely redeemed himself in my eyes. I have to liked a lot of lousy male characters but something about his character just didn’t get redeemed fast enough almost. In any case, I guess I will miss the fire btw our OTP that disappeared way too fast – I loved it while it was there. πŸ™‚ Sigh. I will probably eventually rewatch the cute scenes that I liked.

    Overall, I think my expectations were probably just too high but with a cast like that and PSH and MGY – how could I have expected anything less than good. I will miss seeing them onscreen though. I already do.

  20. I admit I skipped watched this drama quite a bit to keep up with my watching pace. but I enjoyed the last ep16 enough to redeem the flaws from the story telling plot in the last few ep….I reckon the twist in mid-ep16 when they broke up came at a surprise and then the story ties in all the plots and inspire us on thoughts on our perceived values of our world our life, etc is deeper than normal k drama. I think I start to fall for PSH, going to check princess prosecutor later.

    P.S. CA’s OST is great…love every single songs and bgm

    • Being a fan of PSH, I was disappointed with this drama. He and MGY did not share the type of chemistry I saw in his other dramas. Princess Prosecutor was good, but The Princess’ Man is my favorite PSH drama. I still like PSH a lot. I just think this drama was not as well-written, and it wasn’t his fault.

  21. I Love this Drama so much..:) Very Beautiful I like the role of Han se Kyung but i know its one in a million chances to have a luck like that. but still i love the story line.

  22. I really enjoyed the drama too!! I agree that I felt the writers were lost or that they were unsure where they wanted to go. However, I still enjoy the journey.

  23. This drama started really well, became disappointing when the ‘heroine’ turned into an ‘anti-heroine’ and then in my opinion really became exciting when she gathered her courage to be real. The dialogue at the airport was audacious.

    I found the lead actress either too immature at first and then too stiff for my liking, but all the other actors truly rocked. The actors who played Tommy Hong and Yoon Joo were incredible to say the least. Park Shi Hoo, wow!!! I don’t know if I have seen another actor with so much soul and depth as he is able to delve into.

    I was surprised that I was somewhat satisfied with the last episode. I think a second season would be exciting in exploring more of the “realities” and hopefully some revenge for Yoon Joo. Amazing actress. I also have to say the Tommy Hong character was so refreshing.

  24. Honestly I love both MGY and PSH; I had expectations for this drama and probably the only reason why I lasted till the end (or even started in the first place) is because of them both, and maybe the character of Yoon Joo. I was OK with the ending, because I’m always game for a happy ending anyway.

    I wonder why so many dramas flop towards the 2nd half after the rush of live-shooting and late script writing – it doesn’t work trying to please everyone and sometimes ratings aren’t everything. Unfortunately they work by sponsors and ratings in Korea means a lot…

    Frankly the two dramas I loved last year were Answer Me 1997 and Queen InHyeon’s Man, both worked so well because the PD trusted the writer and the characters so much and to focus on directing.

    Last year were lots of wasted talents. Let’s hope for a better year.

  25. Haha why do I get the feeling that SeonJo was the “Alice” in the drama while SeKyung was the white rabbit? She was kind of leading him on in this “dream” and in the end he wakes up.

  26. Thanks for finishing the recaps, Koala. I haven’t been commenting much on this series since I’ve been feeling underwhelmed with the 2nd half of CA. I stuck it out for the leads and after so many episodes, I knew I would have to see the ending.

    Like many others, I’M SO TIRED of dramas that start off full of potential: crackling chemistry, good story-telling, interesting characters…etc… that throw all that down the drain and limp along on plot contrivances until the thing finally fizzles out.

    I was so eager for CA to get started! I mean…how could you go wrong with 16 eps of Park Shi Hoo & Moon Geun Young, right? Oh well. The more anticipation going in, the bigger the letdown. When will I learn to keep my expectations in check?! :-\

  27. I have to agree with you and I felt they didn’t concentrate on the OTP..I wish Tommy Hong is another contender for SK, it would have been more exciting but he ended as fairy Godfather instead.I love the ending it made me teared but not enough to make me love it over the moon. MGY and PSH didn’t flex their full potential to the maximum, I know they could make it smoking hot OTP and its sad.YS was not a smart lady, she could have done lots of saving here and there while being married to the rich person..but I still happy how it ends with her.Thanks for recapping till the end.

  28. “Just like Se Kyung can’t differentiate between loving Seung Jo and using him, he can no longer differentiate between the real Se Kyung and Candy Se Kyung” –> just like us, don’t know wheather we really love and enjoy about this drama or not. Because,most of us said “drop this drama on eps..”. “I’m tired of this drama..” Bla bla bla…. BUT we still watched or read this recap isn’t it? Say YES if YES, say NO if NO. I think the message of this drama is : what is love??? What is pure love?do you still believe in love? I don’t what is love, maybe we can ask mother theresa. honestly I watched this bcs MGY, but I think I became PSH fan. Just realized this guy acting is amazing, very deep person, his voice so sexy,very handsome,never had enough of PSH. My next drama is The Princess Man. Hope the best for PSH. I love u so much PSH

    • Totally agree w/ you, PSH’s innovative acting saved this drama. I had the best time watching it mostly because of PSH’s character. I think CA was a very good drama actually, really good storyline, characters, settings, OSTs & etc. But I believe, the OTP was the main reason why others didnt like it so much (poor mass appeal), it didnt seem to work well as MGY is too babyface. I know MGY is a very good actress, but she’s not too convincing in her role here as a Fashion Designer, she looks somewhat ‘shabby’, even if you’re poor I know there are ways you could carry clothes looking classy even if not from famous brands. Anyways, still enjoyed this drama, I could watch it over & over again, because of PSH!

  29. thank you so much for the recap.
    in the end, this drama, like a dream, is quite forgettable.
    i’m a fan of both actors and i hope that they get much better material in the future.

  30. i really enjoy the drama though. i guess different people have different perspective in this drama. but i agree that the whole conflict could be settle in just a short minute but the writers make it longer and well mostly ruined everything. seung jo character was great even though he is insecure i can’t help but laugh out loud to see his character in the earlier episode. the ending was like the usual k-dramas but it ended up happily and i am happy with just that.

  31. Wanna thank this drama for the comments and discussions it provoked. The drama, Koala, and everybody who commneted managed to change my views on many subjects. Thank U and see you around

  32. Davia, pinkrabbit.

    Agree with your comments on PSH. He gets better with each drama and movie… very amazing and awesome acting. He is very talented, handsome, sexy and yet humble and generous. I love PSH very much too.

    Besides, the Princess Man, I also love him in his other dramas – Family Honour, The Procecutor Princess, Queen of Reversal.

    I am going to miss Cheongdamdong Alice (CDDA), especially CSJ/JTC. It has liven up my weekends for last 2 months. What am I going to do this weekend without CDDA?

    Just like CSJ cannot differenciate whether he loves the ‘candy’ SK or the ‘changed’ SK (‘confused’)… some viewers cannot appreciate the drama as they are confused by the realism in drama..disliking the characters because of their imperfections or because they see their imperfections in the characters??

    I enjoyed CDDA and its imperfect characters and the happy ending for the OTP.

    CDDA cast have done well, including all the 2nd leads (TH, YJ) and rest of the cast (Dr, Secretary Moon, SK’s friend, SJ’s father)…

  33. Thank you Capt. K for finishing the recaps even as you wanted to give it up. I quite like the way it turned out. I was struck in the beginning by the brutal honesty of In Chan and could not find my way out of the situation he and Se Kyung were in. Then there was discomfort when Se Kyung started talking about a White Rabbit. It was the first time i felt that in a drama. Then, this ending was quite unexpected (as i totally forgot about Alice in Wonderland). I just let it play out, without any expectations, even as you were critical, still i hanged on for the lollipop Seung Jo. What i carry with me was that simple conversation with the two friends– where the friend mentioned about the world being like that, but you just don’t say it. I’m still thinking why it was for me. What would the alternative be– be angry and destroy yourself in the process. Or as Yoon Joo found out, be angry and destroy them. She could have stayed on and destroyed herself by feeling subservient and totally beholden to them. But she did not and that was quite redeeming. SEung Jo would have wanted a Candy, but realised he just has to accept Se Kyung for what she is if he truly loves her. For making him think of the other as other and not an extension of his desires, truly Se kyung has matured him. And for Se Kyung, she deserves Seung Jo. OTP were brilliant. Kudos!

  34. Oops, here’s more. Cheongdamgong — that place, signifier of success for many. One can be born into it. But more likely, many would not be. One does need the brains of Se Kyung to figure it all out. As her friend YJ found out, it is quite an ‘evil’ world; where relationships can just be business. It could very well be for most people. If everything can just be planned, it would not be quite right as well, esp. for love relationship. Hence, Se Kyung had to think and reflect and have the guilt. But since love was planted in her heart and she found the love of her life, one does need to fight for it. But as Se Kyung found out, not to the extent of belitting yourself as well — proving your love. So, it was a good point to throw in the towel and move on. success comes to those who knows when to let go. Know thyself (warts and all), yet not lose your inner bearing, and you know when to move on, when to love, when to forgive and ask forgiveness, …

  35. Thanks Capt.K for finishing the recaps despite your disappointment in the drama. Surprisingly I still find e drama enjoyable and addictive although I was disappointed when HSK turned from Candy girl to ” gold digger” initially.

    The main draw is the OTP and I really like the chemistry between PSH and MGY especially after watching the BTS scenes. For me, their acting more than made up for the plot simplicity and I am really shipping for the Hoo Geun couple. The side characters are wonderful and too bad that there is not enough time to flesh out their stories, Kudos to PSH and MGY !

  36. I am missing CDDA already. I really like this drama and especially so because MGY was in it (she remained the only one who was able to tug my heartstrings). I guess when the drama is over and new shows start airing..I’ll start missing MGY again. There are really plentiful of gorgeous and handsome actors out there but only a few are really good in acting. It really does take talent to act out a badly written character and still loving it till the end.
    Ms.Koala thanks for your recap. I might not drop by to comment again until the next MGY project is airing. hehehehe..

  37. Well at least this drama has brought some happiness to me. And that’s more than enough. Its just that I was hoping too much for the final episode and it turns out to be final resolution for only the first leads. And btw I just love the concept of loving in this drama. Its just epic

  38. I feel the same way as I did for Seo Eun Gi’s char in Nice Guy for Seong Jo’s character. Which is coincidentally acted by MCW, PSH’s OTP in TPM. one of the reason I’m having a hard time connect with their character

    And Yoon Jo is the reason I continue watching CDDA. Such an interesting character. If only we will see 2nd female lead can be potrayed as interesting as Yoon Jo and Jae hee in nice guy more often in kdrama land.

  39. I think the actor’s did a great job with the script they were given. Someone stated,”they were trying to follow a US format.” I am American and think American TV and movies are basically garbage, hence why I watch Korean productions. Please,please stay with your own style of writing which if you want to do a match up is more like the quality of work produced under the old Hollywood contract system not today’s trash.

  40. I really think that MGY should return to star in a movie ASAP. I have watched all of her movies and i love it! As for her dramas, I have only finished 1 which is Painter of the Wind and I have been pretty disappointed on her drama choices. Hope I can see her cute face in the big screen πŸ™‚

  41. I just love this kdrama. I loved all the characters in it. I have to admit that the storyline is a bit complicated and difficult to digest but yes, the CDDA managed to relax me after a long day.

    Thanks Koala sis for the wonderful recaps.

  42. I have finished this drama though isn’t that good.it’s all because my love for MGY. I’m just feel lil’ bit dissapointed on her project.i have to admit the storyline is slow n ambigious. I can’t see chemistry between two leads. MGY could act better than this. or maybe my expectation too high for her came back ha ha ha….hope to see her on next project soon. Fighting MGY… You can do much much much better than this.

  43. Off course there are some loose ends…
    1. I wish the kiss scene would be improved! hehehehe
    2. I wish Tommy Hong would have a chance with Se Kyung
    3. I wish Se Kyung and Seung Jo would wait until a few months before they would get back together again
    4. I wish Yoon Jo would have a chance to see her ex-husband being married to another heiress but feeling miserable
    5. I wish Se Kyung would be more successful when Seung Jo meet her again

  44. Ms. K you cracked me up about the statement, “If you were her, you would take a long hard look at Tommy!” Actually, I concur, yet the way you said it is so funny!

  45. MGY is a good actress but I can’t ever take her serious after Mary Stayed Out All Night. Saw her in Love Me Not the other night and she was good. I only finished this Drama because I was curious as to how much worse it could get. I was exasperated to say the least. An incredible cast gone to pot. My 7 yo asked me why MGY always looks like she’s sad. Her face is pitiful in all her dramas, I said. The fact that she can act her butt off redeems her but this drama, like the first one I mentioned don’t do her justice.

    I would be nice if she stopped playing the mousy roles and started to look like the grown-up she tries so hard to portray.

    As for the male leads… both hotties but also wasted talent in these roles. Yoon joo was great but she too was wasted on this crappy story.

  46. I tried to watch this one because it looks promising and very interesting. And I’m dying to watch any Asian drama during my summer break and a good replacement after my marathon of Innocent Man. But at its very first episode, I had a bad feeling that this won’t work out for me. And I never thought that many felt disappointed with the drama as well.

    But what made me drop this drama initially was the odd pairing. I don’t really see chemistry. Moon for me is not suitable to be around a more adult actors. For me, her looks is still young, more appropriate for dramas like Boys Over Flowers, Itazura Na Kiss and the like. I don’t see her suitable to be Park’s love team. It looks to me that the pairing resembles Lolita (sorry for the relating it to the story). I just don’t like the man looking older than his woman. It won’t work in this kind of drama.

    And also, the story was so complex. I don’t understand the plot at all. I don’t like Park’s character. I’m not used to his crazy-man act. Doing serious acting is what’s best for him, like his impeccable acting in Princess’ Man.

    Lucky for me, I didn’t waste my free time to watch the whole drama. These recaps satisfied my curiosity as to how the story would run. Thank you Koala. You save my time! I hope I won’t be seeing another epic fail drama like this. It’s such a waste. It makes me feel Park’s and Moon’s nice credibility in acting was somewhat tainted.

    Oh well. Time to move on. I’m hoping for good and worthy upcoming dramas.

    Thank you once again Koala. ^__^

  47. I try to watch this drama because i’m curious about MGY acting…sorry to say, but i’m not too impressed maybe because of the lack script.

    Same with PSH too…really don’t like his acting in this drama, for me he’s too over and annoying.
    As a lover couple, i don’t see their chemistry at all.

    From my personal opinion, PSH looks best in Family Honor ( best script, acting-wise, amazing chemistry with the lead actress, Yoon Jung Hee ) even though from TPM he got some local and international awards.

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