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‘Samsoon’ last episode hangs on hope

July 22,2005
The last episode of MBC’s popular drama “My Lovely Samsoon” finished its red hot 16-week run Thursday night, capturing the attention of one out of two viewers, according to a ratings survey.
It finished with an impressive audience rating of 50.5 percent. Only five dramas have achieved ratings over 50 percent since 2000. Dramas are usually considered a success with a 20 percent rating.
The drama is the story of an overweight, 30-year-old single woman described as “overly eligible” who has an honest, spunky character.
Working as a pastry chef, she falls in love with her employer, a handsome young restauranteur who gradually opens his heart to her.
Another dynamic: He was younger than Samsoon. While they end up dating, the series surprisingly doesn’t end with an engagement or marriage.
Instead, the last episode merely shows Samsoon dreaming of having a family with her boyfriend.
“The biggest message this drama gives to society comes from the character Kim Sam-soon,” said Joo Chang-yun, a professor at Seoul Women’s University.
“She is overweight but honest, which has become a new model for women in their twenties and thirties who are stressed by trying to look beautiful,” she said.
Whether Samsoon would marry her love has been the talk of the town, and yesterday’s episode was a clever mixture of fantasy and reality. By showing Samsoon’s dream of a happy marriage with children, the show wrapped up with her soliloquy: “I may break up with him. But I’m not afraid. What I should do now is do my best to bake cakes and to love myself.”
This ending is what makes the drama different from the typical surefire Cinderella story. Pop culture critic Seong Gi-wan defined the show as “a step forward in Korean TV drama history.”
The series also boosted sales of products featured throughout the series. A German novel titled “Momo,” for instance, has been a best-seller at numerous bookstores in Seoul. The pastry chef profession has reportedly become a more popular career option. Politicians have also commented on the drama.
“Samsoon” also gave birth to new star actors like Hyun Bin and the Korean-American model-and-actor Daniel Henney.


by Chun Su-jin, Choi Min-woo


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