Cheongdamdong Alice (Review) 청담동 앨리스

cdd alice
Source: Soompi

This drama is beyond what I had ever imagined. Lackluster promos, a cliche poor girl meets rich man storyline, and an OTP pairing that was 9 years apart somewhat repelled me initially, but boy were we trolled. Whoever was doing the marketing for this show must have known that people will tune in no matter what for Moon Geun Young and Park Shi Hoo, and thank goodness I adore MGY enough to have been able to catch this drama. I’ve LOVED every episode and am currently obsessedwith it…

Careful, spoilers ahead.


The story revolves around Han Se Kyung, an aspiring fashion designer who was trained domestically (S. Korea). She is having a hard time finding work since all the luxury fashion brands only want to hire foreign-trained (read: Parisian) designers. She is hired by GN Fashion as a rookie and later finds out that the wife of the CEO is her old high school nemesis, Yoon Joo. Yoon Joo toys with Se Kyung and thus their friend/enemy relationship blossoms.

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Meanwhile, Se Kyung’s current boyfriend, In Chan, is running around selling defective Artemis (a brand) bags in order to try to pay for his mother’s cancer treatments. Their sob story ensues as In Chan breaks up with Se Kyung because of poverty. Se Kyung tries to help and gets in contact with Artemis’ CEO to prevent Artemis from suing her ex; there she meets Cha Seung Jo (better known to the Cheongdamdong society as Jean Thierry Cha). Their paths cross, and after In Chan takes Se Kyung’s money and ditches her to go start a new life in Germany (I know… why Germany), Jean Thierry becomes increasingly curious about Han Se Kyung’s back story having become enamored with her hard working attitude. Ironically, au contrare, after all of this, Se Kyung realizes her attitude about life sucks and wants Yoon Joo to give her the secrets on how to marry a rich man. Through their encounters, Se Kyung becomes Jean Thierry’s personal stylist, and the viewers get to watch with angst as MGY and PSH’s chemistry melts our computer screens.

What I love:

I love that there is a twist on the typical hard working girl meets rich guy story line. Rather, it’s literally a story about trying to marry rich. She’s looking for a rich husband. That is that, there’s no “working hard and accidentally meeting a rich man that decides to fall in love with you because you’re so sweet, innocent, and loving” baloney. No. This is about a woman that’s tired of not being able to make it because of her birth. She’s tired that no matter how hard she works, she cannot get ahead because of her lack of connections and wealth. It’s about the harsh realities of a field that caters to the 0.1% of the population. She deems it unfair, and she wants in. I love that about the writing. Why can’t a girl want something better for herself? Why can’t she find a lover that just so happens to also have a couple billion dollars laying around? Why can’t she live comfortably and not have to witness the daily tears her parents shed because of economic disparities? While the real world is not so clearly dichotomized, I am loving how our protagonist is not afraid to pursue what she wants. (Holla for a unabashed female lead!! Excited already).

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Secondly, I am loving Jean Thierry Cha. This here is a man that needs very little to shoot beams of happiness through his smile. Yes, he’s petty and weird. Yes, he holds grudges and has got daddy issues. But his genuineness makes up for it all. He was hurt, but he still wants to believe that pure love exists in this world. His child-like sincerity makes me adore him. He’s a little eccentric, but gosh, that makes me love him even more. (Not to mention that megawatt smile PSH comes with, phew, girl friend here needs to keep a defibrillator on hand.) I can’t wait to see more of him in the coming episodes.

The supporting characters are amazing. Let me give kudos to So Yi Hyun for that freakout scene in the car (Ep 6). This woman is so good at relaying to the audience her anxieties with the fidgety batting of her eyelids and the subtle lip biting. She’s got so much depth as just the second lead. While Tommy Hong has yet to reveal his brilliance to me thus far, I’m waiting to see what the writers can do for me to help me understand and perhaps also appreciate his character.

What I dislike:

There does exist a gap between the poor and the rich in the world, but the way the story dichotomizes the rich and the poor makes the story a little less believable. While Se Kyung wasn’t living in abject poverty to begin with, the way the writers depict societal disparities is a little unrealistic. Also, does everyone know every other person in the drama? Why’s it that anyone that’s on the main list of casts is always somehow all connected? Is the world that small? But hey, whatev’s, it’s a drama.

What’s to come:

I can’t wait to recap some of my favorite scenes. I don’t have time for entire episodes, but there are some scenes that I found were so well done I just have to share!

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Am I the only one that noticed that PSH gulped during this scene? This add such detail to the entirety of the almost-kiss.

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