Golden Bride – Summary

Sarang Anda!

That is the familiar line that rings to me everytime I watched Golden Bride and I also wanted to say the same to this drama too. I like to take this opportunity to thank Anne for leading me to watch this drama. It is the first long drama I watched on a weekly basis. In the past I have done long length drama via DVD.

I was not familiar with these two young stars, although briefly I have seen Lee Young Ah in the first 20 minutes of Episode 1 of MBC’s Love Can’t Wait. Of course her name was quite close to another better known Lee (Lee Young Ae), I was curious to see who she is. She won herself a Baeksang award before beating quite popular known actresses including Yoon Eun Hye from Goong. Song Chang Ui appeared in Wedding? Well, I never noticed him in that drama at all.

The expectation of this drama for me is that Lee Young Ah is not an outright beauty which means she will have to appeal to me with her acting skills but I was pretty taken with Song Chang Ui’s looks. I like Jin Ji Hee and he reminded me of that actor. The drama started for me which there is over exaggeration in Lee Young Ah’s (Nguyen Jin Joo) acting. As I do not understand Vietnamese, I believe her Vietnamese accent came into some criticism. Hey, give her a break, it is not easy to try to speak like a naive in a short span of time. Those people should try it.

Then the whole drama somehow has a whole list of deceptions. There is a 30 years old cold war between Mrs Kim and Mrs Kang. Mrs Kim stole Mrs Kang’s first love by faking a pregnancy. I thought why Mrs Kang should fault Mrs Kim? Mr Kim must have done something that enable Mrs Kim to falsify the pregnancy. The guy should be at fault two timing between these two women. Destiny later unfolds for these two women that they have to face each other as in-laws whether they like it or not. The truth is even worse for Mrs Kim that she never been loved by Mr Kim. She hold Mr Kim for thinking of Mrs Kang and even had an illegimate daughter by another woman. Pretty sad for a woman who had loved him since she was 15 years old.

Then there is Mrs Kang going off Vietnam looking for a wife (since no women in Korea wanted to marry her mentally ill son) but does not tell the candidates that there is actually seriously wrong with her son. He is unable to function normally outside his own home as a result of rough lock-up time in the States when the ex-girlfriend (Ok Ji Young) calling the cops on him when he went to get an answer why she broke up with him. Ji Young did not explained herself and was only concerned her then rich boyfriend (Kim Young Min) should catch her with her poor ex-boyfriend. That failure resulted in her whole world collapsing when the past is all revealed. A note to Ji Young, she is selfish throughout the drama and apologising for her actions is just a mean to get herself out of a situation.

Jin Joo on hearing that her mother is going blind and wished to see her birth Korean father before she lose her sight, volunteered herself as a foreign bride to Mrs Kang. She appealed to Mrs Kang on the fact she is half Korean and could speak Korean at least. They had such a difficult time with the other candidates. Jin Joo also deceived them on her motive to marry to Korea. After all, she came ‘cheap’ so to speak, she did not asked for anything compared to the other girls.

Ji Young made a whole deception of her past, the biggest con artist of them all. She sheer panicked when she realised Mrs Kang knew Mrs Kim and made Kang Jun Woo helped her to cover her past and Jun Woo in order to help her agreed to the marriage with Jin Joo. Later she tried to ‘blackmail’ everyone else to do the same and in the end she did it to herself by blasting her mouth off. It was always be a mistake for her.

Actually, it is quite common to hear that Asian culture used a celebration like birthday or wedding to sort of boost or enlighten the ‘down’ atmosphere, so to speak. (There is a another Chinese drama really on the same parallel with Golden Bride that I noted the similarity between the two drama. I will shared it if anyone is keen to see this Chinese version of a ‘Golden Bride’)

True enough, despite a very reluctant husband/patient and the sheer endurance or stubbornness, Jin Joo make leadways in a thousand fold in Jun Woo’s health. I really loved the way she took a plant as a representation of Jun Woo and cared for it till it bloomed flowers which is said to be difficult. You always have Jun Woo standing nearby to receive Jin Joo’s care in the form of talking or singing. I am glad I did not have to wait too long as things really got better after Episode 17 when they really beginning their life as husband and wife. I must take a count of how many times our couple are in a hugging position in bed. This is one of the most affectionate couple I have in seen in my years of watching kdramas and I vote that Kang Jun Woo is k-drama’s No 1 Husband.

Jun Woo is a man now thanks to Jin Joo and was able to secure an important position in a international company. With the prejudices around them especially in the form of Hoobae who is in love with Jun Woo, Jin Joo gets her insecurities thinking herself lacking basing on the women in Jun Woo’s past. Great that she managed to overcome it when Jun Woo gave her almost a tick-off for the lack of confidence in his love.

After that is resolved, then there is the truth about Jin Joo’s father who is none other that a very rich Mr Kim linking Jin Joo with Ji Young’s husband, Young Min and Sae Mi’s boyfriend, Young Soo. Somehow, I still think that issue of family related marriage is not condone in the Korean society a little strange. I am also of the fact as there is no adverse effect on the next generation, I am all for it. In Chinese customs it is quite common for the offsprings by two sisters to be able to marry. Looked for the reference in the Chinese classics, Dream of the Red Chambers, the hero had the affections of two of his cousins and married one of them.

At least after all the objections, Mr Kim finally is man enough to tell his family that he has an illegitimate daughter. I think Jin Joo is really serious in treating Mr Kim as a stranger after he fulfilled the wish of her mother and the women were happy to leave it as that. A true women of their words, women of honour. So I will believe that she will have nothing to do with the Kim family.

I making a guess that the TV show is about Mr Kim acknowledging Jin Joo as his daughter but perhaps Mr Kim now would have passed away. Anyone care to elaborate further. Our Golden Bride found happiness with her husband and married into a loving family and the best topping she had a successful business. After all, she is a daughter of a businessman.

I loved to see the ‘after 5 years’ scene with their son, Star but has they stopped working to get Sun and Moon? I believe the Koreans considered women as patroits if they deliver more babies. I heard Korea has a low birth rate. I think that is why Byuk Soo wants to have a 3rd child quickly after the twins. Free apartment, free education, etc.

I like to thanked the people who have journeyed with us with this dramas and I found so many good friends too. I enjoyed every comments and translations made to further extending our viewing pleasure.

To all of you, Kamsahamida!

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15 Responses to Golden Bride – Summary

  1. Marika February 1, 2008 at 12:04 am #

    what’s the name of the chinese drama?

    thanks.

  2. Jackie February 1, 2008 at 3:02 am #

    The 31 episodes chinese period drama is called Maid Wan Xin (Hui Niang Wan Xin) starring Li Ping Ping and Li Zong Han

    I can share it with you why I deemed it as the Chinese ‘Golden Bride’

    Maid Wan Xin
    Husband – Wu Hui Xiang
    Wife – Ye Wan Xin

    Golden Bride
    Husband – Kang Jun Woo
    Wife – Nyugen Jin Joo

    1. Both Hui Xiang and Jun Woo were ill at the begining of the drama
    2. The two mothers got them a wife for similiar reasons. They wanted to have a marriage to bring a drastic change in their sons’ illness
    3. With the marriage, Wan Xin and Jin Joo had to nurse their sick spouses and beared with swing moods but both women won their husbands’ heart by making them laugh with their antics.
    4. Both Wan Xin and Jin Joo are from poor background and are not consider a compatible match under normal circumstances
    5. Wan Xin and Jin Joo are successful in nursing back the health of their husbands
    6. Hui Xiang and Jun Woo both credit their wives for saving their lives bringing them back from near death.
    7. Hui Xiang and Jun Woo in all circumstances defended the woman they loved against social prejudices
    8. Wan Xin and Jin Joo both gained the love of the family. In Wan Xin’s case, it took a longer time to get her father-in-law’s but she finally got it too.
    9. Wan Xin and Jin Joo both became successful in their own rights. Jin Joo with her skill in rice cakes and Wan Xin rose from a mere subsititute wife to the actual rank of principal wife.

    I thought I share these simliarity between these two dramas. I quite enjoyed Maid Wan Xin even though he had a one night stand with a malcious maid but she planted herself in his bed while he was drunk and he was calling Wan Xin’s name thinking he was with his wife the whole time. I suppose I can forgive him because Wan Xin did. I think women in those days have to take a lot of nonsense from their men. Although the writers purposely killed her in the end but I can end the drama with a happy ending before the villian second brother entered their second wedding with a gun.

    We know that Jun Woo is doing everything with his whole being to make sure Jin Joo is happy and nothing is more firmer than this promise.

    Jin Joo remembered that the first date she ever went in her life is with Jun Woo. Jun Woo told her that he want to recover for the times she lost. He wants to make up for the tears she shed because of her father and from now on, their days will be only filled with happiness so she can tell her father that she is happy even without him. No wonder he thinks Jin Joo is better off without Mr Kim when he rejected acknowledging Jin Joo.

  3. meonhi February 1, 2008 at 7:45 pm #

    Hi Kamsahamida,
    wow…so glad to hear that you are willing to share the Chinese Drama….kinda similarity to “Golden Bride” with Chinese Version!!! Is it possibility for me to borrow from you that Chinese Drama???!! You know what….I AM TOTALLY TOUCHED WHILE WATCHING THIS KOREAN “GOLDEN BRIDE” DRAMA, THOUGH!!! Moreover; I am Vietnamese! So…would you please let me know if I am applicable to share the Chinese drama?!!

    Thanks VERY MUCH!!!
    Fan of Korean Drama
    meonhi.

  4. Marika February 1, 2008 at 8:05 pm #

    thnkx for the info! :) would it be possible to see it online?

    thnkx for everything.

  5. Lizzy February 1, 2008 at 10:00 pm #

    jackie1048: Could you pls. let us know what is the name of the chinese Golden Bride movie? Would appreciate it if you cud share it with all of us. Pls. flag or sent an email if u are going to share it. Anne. Kamsahamida for downloading the Korean GB movie. Do appreciate it very much. What;s next? God bless u.

  6. apdy February 2, 2008 at 8:31 am #

    Watch a few clips of the drama online over on tudou: Maid Wan xin – 徽娘宛心

    These two drama share similarities but not as engaging as Golden Bride. I like the first half where the female lead persistent in curing her husband’s sickness. I don’t adore the male lead due to one mistake he made later on the story, which was a major turn off. Junwoo is still the perfect husband in the drama world in my book.

    What’s next? We plan to cover On Air, though not in a speedy manner as Golden Bride. Jackie1048 will cover the review where I”ll supply the video. But consider On Air is a primetime drama and popular casts I assume others will upload it on Youtube so I don’t think I’ll need to. We’ll see.

  7. Jackie February 2, 2008 at 9:14 am #

    Watch all 31 episodes of Maid Wan Xin at http://www.xiaoli.cc/video/detail/1175

    However since it comes with Chinese subs you probably need to be able to understand or read Chinese to get by. I understand it is available in Vietnamese sub but do not know where you can watch that online. Someone can help out with this information.

    When I was watching it I had to rely on my very limited basic knowledge of Mandarin to get by.

    I agreed with Anne that Jun Woo is a top rate dependable husband while Hui Xiang was kind of weak.

  8. Marika February 2, 2008 at 12:48 pm #

    do u know in which time period the drama is taking place? I don’t speak Chinese so I’ll have to rely on facial expression and limited expressions.

  9. Marika February 2, 2008 at 1:42 pm #

    ah and also what is the cause of the male chinese lead? death of his previous wife or being cheated on like in Jun Woo’s case?

  10. Jackie February 2, 2008 at 1:44 pm #

    It is at the end of the Ching Dynasty (Last Emperor) and the start of the Warlord period just before the Republic era.

    Kindly note there is a major reference to being ‘lotus feet’. This is better known as bound feet where chinese girls in order to marry influencial families had their feet bound and a young age to form a 3-4 inches ‘arch’ appearance. They will need to break bones of the girl’s feet to be able to achieve that. Ouch!

    Our Wan Xin did not have those feet because she is from a poor family. She had to pretend that she had ‘lotus feet’. It was kind of cute when Hui Xiang discovered that she is not and covered for her too.

    Now in China any women with bound feet are all in their 80s or 90s as it is not longer in practice.

  11. Jackie February 2, 2008 at 1:59 pm #

    No, Hui Xiang just had this year long illness. I am not sure what it is. He was not married before. Although Wan Xin was just his substitute wife to begin with but he refused to marry anyone even when his father tried to arrange for him to marry someone proper because he loved Wan Xin.

  12. Marika February 2, 2008 at 3:29 pm #

    but why the white streamers at the beginning don’t they put those up for mourning (and the Groom to be was in white too) ? by the way I took a peak at last episode and I totally understand why you said to stop before the crazy brother arrival. Man what a &*%$ ending. Then again I notice with a lot of chinese period dramas main characters often have that typical ending. (I’m trying not to spoil it for the others :).

    What does substitute wife mean? concubine? If she is the first one to be married doesn’t that make her by default first wife or can he choose which rank she’ll have?

    Just thinking of foot binding and I am in pain. This semester I’m studying East Asian History and we are doing late Qing period and the rest kind of cool to see that sort of stuff and besides more excuses to watch asian dramas mouahahahahaha.

    sorry for all the questions (I’m sure u must be like – okay anne can we just kick her out she’s driving me crazy :)) but I’d like to know more. For anyone who watches this drama like jackie I recommend u end episode 31 (the last one) at 35 minutes. Better ending. Trust me.

  13. yms18 February 2, 2008 at 5:15 pm #

    jackie did you read my golden bride season 2 i posted it up on ep 62 section so Im kinda waiting for you ya if you like the story or not tho anyway there is going to be more to it tho.

  14. stare March 9, 2008 at 6:48 am #

    thanks… i enjoyed ur posts. i’m still in epi 17… i’m crossing my fingers that i’ll be able to finish this… almost 50 more episodes to go hehehe

  15. nathalie September 15, 2010 at 10:23 pm #

    Marika,

    Well, I saw Maid Wan Xin before and I can answer some of the questions you had. The first episode in the beginning, yes, the white streamers are a sign of mourning the dead. As you can see Hui Xiang is reflecting on his days with Wan Xin, and then gradually the episode shifts to the past when Wan Xin first marries into the family.

    I’m not sure if you watched it with some sort of subs or understood the chinese spoken in the episode but if you see when Wan Xin is in the carriage (palanquin) being brought to Hui Xiang’s house one of the maids stops the entire entourage of people carrying the palanquin and loudly tells them to go into the ceremony hall through the back door. This symbolizes, going through the back door, that she is not officially becoming a real wife this way. What they meant to use Wan Xin as is not a first wife but perhaps more on the lines of a concubine. I say this because later on hui xiang’s father wants to marry him officially to another girl as his official wife while he does not look at wan xin has his real wife.

    In the first episode they refer to bringing Wan Xin in as Hui Xiang’s temporary wife as “chong xi”. It’s a chinese term to describe saving a (ill) patient’s life by giving him a wedding to scare away/counterattack bad luck. Because she’s only brought for this reason she’s not given the respect by hui xiang’s siblings when they don’t call her “sister in law” and even hui xiang’s mother only looks at her presence as a “chong xi”. Later on when wan xin gains everyone’s approval and respect they begin to see her as part of the family. At first Wan Xin greets hui xiang’s mother as “Tai Tai” which means Mrs. in chinese. It’s very polite but because Hui xiang’s mother gets fond of wan xin she allows her to call her “Ma”.

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