When I first saw the teaser of this drama on Netflix, I got very excited. From the teaser alone I can definitely say that this drama oozes with strong and powerful women. As a believer of the feminist movement, I was very happy that a drama like this one is again shown on the mainstream streaming platform. The feels of Sky Castle, World of the Married, and Penthouse came rushing in; that alone was a solid enough reason to binge the drama. It’s another drama from TvN replacing the time slot previously held by Vincenzo.
So, when it finally aired I binged and with the first two episodes I was not disappointed. Here’s our take on this new drama that promises to be intense, powerful, and feministic.
Lee Bo-Young as Seo Hi-Soo
She was a star actress who gave up her career to marry Han Ji-Yong who is the third son of Chairman Han of Hyowon Group. Through the marriage, she became the stepmother of Han Ha-Joon, Han Ji-Yong’s son in his first marriage.
Kim Seo-Hyung as Jung Seo-Hyun
A daughter of another chaebol family and is married to the first son of Hyowon Group’s Chairman Han. She hides a past that may allow society to judge her and her credibility.
Lee Hyun-Wook as Han Ji-Yong
The third son of Chairman Han with his deceased mistress and the husband of Seo Hi-Soo. From the looks of it, he is the most viable candidate for the next Chairman position in their company.
Park Hyuk-Kwon as Han Jin-Ho
The eldest son of Hyowon Group and the husband of Jung Seo-Hyun. He is a womanizer, an alcoholic, and a gambler.
Kim Hye-Hwa as Han Jin-Hee
The middle child of Hyowon group and the CEO of the company’s 3000 bakery branches. She is a brat who is very slow to anger and likes throwing and smashing things.
Jeong Hyun-Jun as Han Ha-Joon
The son of Han Ji-Yong on his first marriage. He’s a smart kid who loves rap music.
Cha Hak-Yeon as Han Soo-Hyeok
The eldest grandson of Hyowon Group. He is the son of Han Jin-Ho during his first marriage. He stayed abroad for his studies and has recently returned to South Korea following the sad news pertaining to his grandfather.
Park Won-Suk as Yang Soon-Hye
The wife of the chairman. She is very insecure with the late chairman’s mistress.
Jeong Dong-Hwan as Chairman Han
The Chairman of Hyowon Group and is presently in a hospital.
Jo Eun-Sol as Park Jung-Do
The miserable husband of Han Jin-Hee. All he wants at the moment is to be free from his wife through divorce.
Ok Ja-Yeon as Kang Ja-Kyeong
She is the new tutor of Han Ha-Joon. From the looks of it, she seems a very ambitious woman intent on getting the things that are not hers. She will surely cause ruckus at Hyowon.
Jung Yi-Seo as Kim Yu-Yeon
The newly hired maidservant at Cadenza and can potentially be the love interest of Han Soo-Hyeok.
Ye Soo-Jung as Mother Emma
She is the headmistress of Ilshinhwe. She is also the woman that provides counsel to Seo Hi-Soo. The opening scene of the pilot has her reporting a murder scene at Cadenza.
This drama delves into the lives of the rich and powerful and the family dynamics that they have in staying into power. From the characters of the drama, we get to see a picture of sad, complicated, and pitiable lives amidst the opulence and wealth. It is a narrative of desire, ambition, passion, and the dangers of repressed emotions.
Opulence, passion, repressed desires and a looming taste of betrayal, deceit, and murder are the perfect words to describe the drama and I am living for it. The premise rests on the lives of the rich and their dynamics including the hierarchy amongst themselves. As an audience who is only on the working class side, to watch a drama that captures how the rich live their lives is such a fantasy not to mention the tensions and the struggles that they face regardless of the wealth that they possess creates a humanistic angle that even we, as the proletariat, can relate to.
The first two episodes alone is a display of such opulence and the troubles that these characters bear as the ones at the apex of society. Moreover, I appreciated the characterization that allowed the players to have layered personalities which will be very promising to witness unfold.
The juxtaposition of the servants and their employers is also put on highlight in this drama. How these servants view their employers is an irony which I like. The statement from the butler of the family saying that he pities the family is very interesting for how can one pity the lives of the rich right? But his words rung through. You’ll know when you start bingeing.
The only thing that I don’t approve of at present is the seemingly romantic affiliation of Han Soo-Hyeok and the maid. It clearly is becoming a Cinderella arc and I don’t like it. I can only hope that this Cinderella arc will get a twist in the upcoming episodes for it not to be flat as it is. Overall, this drama is definitely worthy of our monthly Netflix subscription. If you’re in it for the desires, passions, and struggles of the rich, this drama is right up in your alley.
What to expect for the upcoming episodes
1. The looming affair
The beautiful tutor and her subtle machinations towards Han Ji-Yong might bear fruit in the next episodes. The shots they had towards the end of episode two are very telling of what’s to come next between them. I felt that this is bound to happen which will create a tension in the marital life of Seo Hi-Soo and Han Ji-Yong and to Hyowon in general.
2. The blossoming feelings of Han Soo-Hyeok and Kim Yu-Yeon
I don’t like this arc narrative but based on the aired episodes it is very likely to happen. What started as an exchange of beds might end up into something more serious come the next episodes.
3. Marriage on the rocks
The marital life of Han Jin-Ho and Jung Seo-Hyun will continuously be put on fire. How he copes with his insecurities and the secret of Seo-Hyun will put more strain into their marriage. It’s not getting any better from the looks of it. One way or another it will explode.