Nooo! Why did this show have to end? My Saturday and Sunday mornings would start with this show and now that it has concluded, I have nothing to kickstart my weekend. Now how am I supposed to know that the weekend has arrived?
Cinderella and Four Knights (2016)
Cinderella and Four Knights is a 16 episode Korean romantic drama about a poor girl named Eun Ha-won (Park So Dam) who lives with her stepmother and stepsister in a small house. Her father is always travelling for work and is seldom at home. Ha Won’s stepmother and stepsister take his absence as an opportunity to harass Ha Won and make her do all the house chores for them. Ha Won dreams of becoming a teacher and has been doing several part-time jobs to collect money for her college fee. One day, she happens to meet a rich businessman, CEO Kang (Kim Yong Gun) who offers her the job of uniting his unruly grandsons as a family. If she accepts the job she will have to stay with the three boys under one roof under the condition that she can never date any of them. In exchange, grandpa will sponsor her entire college education and even send her abroad for further education. At first she refuses his offer, but later due to a twist of fate, she finds herself amidst the three cousins. The rebellious and flirtatious Kang Hyun Min (Ahn Jae Hyun), the aloof and cold Kang Ji Woon (Jung Il Woo) and the sweet and kind Kang Seo Woo (Lee Jung Shin).
Let’s weigh Cinderella and Four Knights on our show beam balance and see how well this rom-com fares.
Ah Jae Hyun: I liked him from his first scene itself. His chemistry with the Park So Dam was far more electric than that with Jung Il Woo. I was rooting for Hyun Min (Ah Jae Hyun) for the longest time despite knowing the fact that Ha Won will eventually end up with Kang Woo. I was actually hoping for the show makers to surprise the audience and let her go with Hyun Min. His chemistry with Hye Ji (Son Na Eun) was just meh… maybe because Hye Ji herself was so meh on the show. Couldn’t they have given him more screen time? He was so good!
Park So Dam: This new age Cinderella is smart strong, brave, and indomitable. So Dam may not be an exceptional Korean beauty but her tomboy looks helped her look convincing in the show. She isn’t the perfect Cinderella but most certainly was the perfect Ha Won. She acts well and shares good chemistry with all the three Kang cousins.
Melodious OST: I give the show’s OST a big giant humongous thumbs up! Ji Woon and Ha Won’s love song ‘For You’ (the ballad version) gives you the feels. Its beautiful lyrics ‘…you’re the only one for me….I’m the only one for you’ perfectly captures what Ji Woon feels for Ha Won. ‘My Romeo’ by Jessi always reminds me of the first few episodes that were dominated by Hyun Min. It is a fun and peppy song that suits all the amusing and mischievous instances on the show. Finally, the song played mostly when someone (read Hye Ji) was brooding on the show, Apink’s ‘Without You’ is a song that will stick in your memory even when you do not really get the lyrics.
Too Farfetched: Now tell me why will a chaebol (extremely rich businessman) grandfather hire a young girl to change or reform his young grandsons? Why would a grandfather keep a young girl in a house full of testosterones ooops…. I mean young good-looking boys and not expect her to fall for even one of them? He is aware of how rebellious those boys are, so what made him think that a lame ‘dating’ ban will stop the girl from falling in love with any of the boys. Had Grandpa threatened them with disownment; they would have all come wagging their tails behind him and he would have to neither spend money on Ha Won nor face the threat of one of his grandsons falling in love with a poor helpless girl.
Too Clichéd: Actually, rom-com’s like these are always heavily clichéd. The hero is always there to help the girl under every circumstance. He always reaches her wearing a jacket so he can offer it to her. He will always be around her when she is lonely and upset. He will always offer a shoulder to cry on when she is sobbing. This show had it all. It is a typical romantic drama and is nothing out of the box.
Aww and Wow Moments
Episode 1: Ha Won arm-twisting Hyun Min at his grandfather’s wedding was neither an aww or wow scene but a HAW :O scene. It was the last thing I expected her to do. I know she is well trained in martial arts but I didn’t expect her to show off her skills in front of everyone by hitting the rich and famous playboy, Kang Hyun Min. That’s one kick-ass Cinderella.
Episode 4: Hyun Min and Ha Won’s kiss! OMO!! It was borderline magical. She trips, he holds. It was the smoothest accidental fall I have ever seen. The way he holds her head to keep her from falling makes him look so caring awww! I liked Hyun Min from the start of the show and this scene just sealed the deal.
Episode 7: Ha Won’s rejection of Hyun Min’s proposal was telecast live across her school and later uploaded online. People on the streets are now laughing at Hyun Min who has absolutely no clue of what has happened. Once he comes to know about the viral video showing him get rejected by a girl, he goes into hiding. He runs around trying to hide his face. He even consults a plastic surgeon to alter his appearance completely. Hyun Min is so so so cute! I hated the fact that this episode onwards his screen time started reducing as he isn’t the main lead. I wanted to see more of him. I guess I will just have to watch another show of his because I am now a fan of this lanky dude.
Episode 8: Till this episode, I always rooted for Ha Won and Hyun Min’s paring despite knowing that Ha Won’s hero is Ji Woon. But when Ha Won and Ji Woon kiss for the first time I finally see some chemistry and I realise that Hyun Min is now officially out of the game. Ji Woon, who is always so guarded, looks extremely adorable doing the aegyo gestures (a Korean way of hand gestures and facial expressions that show love and affection). His drunken ‘I love you’ and her annoyed ‘get lost’ was so damn cute! And their spontaneous kiss just nails it. It was the cutest kiss I have ever seen. It looked like two children kissing for the first time not knowing what they are actually doing. Someday, if I ever make a list of the cutest kiss in drama land this one is sure to feature in top five.
Episode 12: Hyun Min deliberately sips some beer persuading Hye Ji (his childhood friend and first love) to drive them to Sky House since he cannot drive after drinking. Hye Ji has a driver’s license but has never driven a car before. But Hyun Min is adamant and sits in the passenger asking her to start driving. She is scared and starts driving cautiously. Hyun Min holds on to his seat belt shuddering at her driving skills or rather a lack of it. It was not just an aww but also a hahahaha moment. I always liked Hyun Min better with Ha Won but here…this scene was just hilarious. Then we have the much-awaited Ji Woon and Ha Won kiss in the hills. Wow! What a beautiful place to set a romantic scene! The light colours of their attire perfectly complemented the green scenic hills. It was a well thought of and executed scene.
Episode 16: The final episode showed something I had been suspecting for the last few episodes. The actual connection between Ji Woon and Ha Won. That’s the way to end a romantic story. I love it when there is a past connection between the main leads and we do not know of it until the end. Ji Woon and Ha Won finally realise that they have a much deeper connection and reunite with a sweet kiss.
Though the show beam balance tilts with good weights, Cinderella and Four Knights is not a perfect drama. It is not even an ideal drama. It is a typical clichéd drama where you know what will happen next. However, despite the predictability people watch such dramas only for the ‘aww’ moments. And this show has plenty of them. Its good-looking cast is the cherry on the cake. I liked this show because it was funny and sweet. There was nothing complicated was entertaining for me.
I give this show 3 out of 5 rating. If you like predictable stories with lots of lovely moments to swoon over then go for this one. Binge watch it over the weekend. Trust me you will not regret it.