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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cinderella and the Four Knights" Episode 3

2016/08/21

This is the episode where Ha-won and the three princes of Sky House are thrown together and forced to get used to each other by sheer proximity, and because of a mission passed down by CEO Kang. The princes flesh out their stereotypes, but still are not much more than their textbook definition. Where progress is made is in how Ha-won slowly learns about each prince. "Cinderella and the Four Knights" still very much seems like a live action shoujo/girl-aged manga, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's light-hearted, cute, and is a great way to pass the time.

A character I haven't given much attention to is Yoon-sung, CEO Kang's right-hand man who executes his will and attempts to help Ha-won manage the rogue cousins. An often repeated line of his is "because it's the CEO's orders". I hope that this character can become more than that just as I hope the cousins will overcome their pain and become family. I also hope that change moves upward towards CEO Kang who believes that money makes his word heaven's mandate. He may act kindly to Ha-won, but he is manipulative with his grandsons. His grandsons are equally manipulative. Hyun-min using his manly charms to try and get his way. Ji-woon using his temper to keep people away. Seo-woo uses his fame as excuses to isolate himself. Continuing in this line of thought. Hye-jin, while she is justified in her hurt because of her crush on Hyun-min, she is the person pursuing him after multiple rebuffs and I cannot pity her because she refuses to listen. It's the perpetual second lead illness of not listening and only pursuing one's own desires. In my mind, she is more useful as a romantic figure for Ji-woon until he discovers Ha-won than as a character in her own right, which is sad. She should be built up as her own person. But as this is a romantic drama based on a manhwa, the focus is the meet-cute situations, the romantic run-ins, the awkward physical proximity, and the fact that all three princes are interested in Ha-won for one reason or another.

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A few juicier thematic explorations are poverty and how that skews perspective. One example is poverty. Ji-woon was impoverished until recently when he acquired great wealth. Ha-won is still frugal and self-sufficient. While they both come from similar backgrounds, the juxtaposition between them is interesting. I also liked the intrigue provided by Ha-won's father. He searched for someone named Kang Young-jin. I want to make the connection between that "Kang" and Skyhouse "Kang", but because surnames in Korea are ridiculously common, it may not be the smartest supposition to make. In any case, Ha-won's father's involvement might shine more light onto her home life, his nasty attitude towards her, and the reason for her poverty and misery. Y'know, besides the fact that her step-mother and step-sister and the typical Cinderella-type step-family that is both cruel and unusual in their treatment of her.

I expect this show to throw darker themes and situations into the mix without bringing own the total mood of the drama, which is light, fluffy, fun, and, of course, adorable. That aspect I truly enjoy. It's a breezy watch. It's just a little difficult for the reviewer in me to find a nice juicy bit to gnaw on. But, sometimes that is not the purpose of the drama, is it? Sometimes we're just supposed to shut our brains off and enjoy!

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Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'

"Cinderella and the Four Knights" is directed by Kwon Hyeok-chan, written by Min Ji-eun and Won Yeong-sil, and starring Park So-dam, Jung Il-woo, Ahn Jae-hyun, Lee Jung-shin, and Choi Min-I.

 

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