Han Se Gyeong was a normal girl who believed that with hard work, she would succeed despite her lack of money. But when her life comes crashing down around her, she comes to realize that without money, she would forever be stuck in an endless cycle of failure.
Determined to raise her situation in life, Se Gyeong decides to find a white rabbit, who would let her enter the exclusive world of Cheongdamdong, in Cha Seung Jo, the president of luxury brand Artemis Korea.
However, when Se Gyeong genuinely falls in love with Seung Jo before discovering who he is, things start to spin out of control. Se Gyeong is about to find out that the tunnel to Cheongdamdong is a lot more complicated then she had thought.
Se Gyeong is a poor girl. Her parents could never afford to send her to Europe to study design, so she has a hard time finding a job in her field. When she finally is accepted into a big company, she ends up only as a contract worker and finds out that it's all because of her enemy from school - Yun Ju - who married off rich and now is the madame of the company. After her boyfriend breaks up with her and her life seems to be going all wrong just because she is poor, she decides to become like Yun Ju. She wants to marry someone rich, no matter what. Good thing, that just in that moment in life there appears a rich, young man who seems perfect for her.
This drama starts off like many other Korean dramas. Nothing bad but also nothing too good. I kept watching it and got a bit excited for episodes 3-6 but after that, not anymore... Se Gyeong doesn't really grow, she is busy pitying herself and trying to act nice and happy in front of everyone while her feelings are killing her - any kind of feeling. I didn't really enjoy it, even though it was something new. All the other characters as well! They might seem good and human, but there were no scenes that made me feel excited, very sad or very happy. I was just watching it for the sake of finishing it and for Seung Jo. Seung Jo was the only character that made the drama fun. He was crazy and abnormal, he reacted very nicely and played well. I enjoyed every scene with him.
What I really liked about the drama was the way they solved the problem. The betraying-story isn't new anymore, it happened many times that a big lie was blown up in the end for the final 2-3 episodes drama highlight full of tears - but not here. It is still obvious that her lies had to blow up one day, but it's not the usual way. I enjoyed thinking about what all the involved people would do! So the last 3 episodes were also very exciting and good. This wasn't a case of endless tears, but also not too cold. If they had used more of that in the rest of the drama, I would probably give it more stars... It had good points, but mostly they were only good. The main girl was too plain and unsettled. Most of the time I was just cursing her for being stupid.
Also, the Alice theme wasn't as strong as I hoped it would be. There is the great white rabbit she has to use and they reffered to Cheongdamdong as wonderland Alice wants to enter... But I think that's it? Oh yeah, they also had some nice references at the ending... But for other characters, I'd have to guess what or who they are. Was the main guy mad hatter? And who was the heart queen? Don't tell me it's Yun Ju...
Yeah, but after all, it wasn't all that bad. It's okay to give it 3*, but not more. The endling kind of saved it from getting 2*.
Alice in Cheongdamdong is an entertaining watch, and a gem as one of the rare shows that manage to successfully portray (to a certain extent) the fashion industry.
The plot seems basic enough: girl creates a plan, boy and girl fall in love which complicates the matter (and breaks trust) when the plan gets out. However, the key difference here is how the plot branches out to cover other topics, including why everyone wants to get into the cut-throat world of being rich, when there's more peace of mind in being middle class.
And the characters help elevate the plot. The male lead is eccentric but capable. Damaged but able to get past it to live a relatively normal life. The female lead, while strong and plucky, is also tough, strong-willed and witty. And the second leads are characters that grow and change, becoming more three-dimensional as we see beyond the caricature of villians.
Keeping the story fun, there are some points where it spins its wheels a bit. But the plot never goes off the deep end, the acting remains great and the directing helps bring the show higher.
A fun watch, a definite recommended for the romantic comedy fan,