Cinderella and the Four Knights is here! This K-drama recaptures the old fun from popular dramas like You're Beautiful and Boys Before Flowers with the "pretty boy" squad and plucky, poor heroine who wins all their hearts. The real question is, how will our Cinderella ever be able to choose? Here's a recap of the first episode!
|Sweet and plucky Eun Ha-Won|
The episode starts out with the heroine, Eun Ha-Won, whose life closely resembles that of Cinderella, working endless part-time jobs while dealing with a selfish step-mom and step-sister.
|Kang grandsons: Seo-Woo, Ji-Woon, & Hyun-Min|
We also meet the three Kang grandsons: very different cousins who don’t get along at all. Kang Seo-Woo is the quieter cousin who focuses on his music. Kang Hyun-Min is a womanizer who is constantly breaking up with girls (and giving them expensive parting gifts to soften the blow, lol). Through flashbacks we see he’s been with his rich grandfather, CEO Kang, the longest. Kang Ji-Woon is the newest addition – he was found recently, the long-lost child of Grandpa Kang’s son who passed away years ago making Ji-Woon the “illegitimate” addition to the family.
|Ji-Woon & Hyun-Min|
Hyun-Min and Ji-Woon fight the most; Hyun-Min treats him like he’s beneath him while Ji-Woon gets angry and (almost) uses his fists. Things get angsty again when Bodyguard Lee Yoon-Sung orders the three grandsons to show up at their grandfather’s wedding. No one is enthused about Grandpa’s fifth wedding and they swear they won’t go together.
Another source of contention between the two cousins is Hyun-Min’s recent ex, Park Hye-Ji, a beginning designer. She’s still drawn to Hyun-Min but hangs around Ji-Woon, who is a friend. There’s a sense that Ji-Woon feels more for Hye-Ji.
Cinderella Meets Two Princes
|Ha-Won meets Hyun-Min|
Ha-Won crosses paths with Hyun-Min and captures his attention with her charisma (after she makes a very rude customer apologize for his behavior). Hyun-Min pursues her to her other part-time job at a convenience store and makes her an offer – one million won (about $900 dollars) if she’ll be his date for one night. Ha-Won ignores Hyun-Min’s offer and focuses on how she’s getting into college.
Later on, Ji-Woon happens upon the convenience store but he forgets his wallet leading into an argument with Ha-Won who doubts his integrity.
When Ha-Won visits a memorial visiting center, she’s devastated to learn her mother’s remains are being kept in storage for lack of payment. Ji-Woon (who’s there to visit his own mother’s remains) happens to see Ha-Won (and recognizes her as the employee) begging the employee to help her out.
The Climatic “Ball”
Ha-Won agrees to go out with Hyun-Min for the money. He makes up a story about his grandfather passing away and asks Ha-Won to pretend to be his fiancée. She agrees but has to leave by midnight (nice touch, hehe) and Hyun Min gives her a gorgeous dress. At the wedding, all the grandsons end up attending. But Hyun-Min starts walking Ha-Won up to the altar in an attempt to mess up his grandfather’s big day. Ha-Won realizes that Hyun-Min did this all to be rude and literally forces him to his knees, apologizing to Grandpa Kang for the both of them. Grandpa’s anger turns into admiration at her skills. Hyun-Min milks the fiancée lie to the end and introduces her to Hye-Ji before they leave. Hye-Ji tries to be kind but Ji-Woon, furious for Hye-Mi’s sake, interrupts angrily. He recognizes Ha-Won as the employee who doubted his integrity before, and now he turns the tables, tossing money into her face and accusing her of being Hyun-Min’s fiancée for a few bucks.
Awww! What an adorable and very cute beginning! While I was hoping this would be a fun drama, I did worry about the execution of a story that is hardly new. The story is your usual tropes – Cinderella, reverse harem, poor sweet spunky heroine, rich jerk hero(es) who really have good hearts hidden somewhere deep, deep inside. I’m not against tropes by any means, but prefer the story to be retold in a fresh and enjoyable way. I feel like Cinderella and the Four Knights delivered for the first episode, keeping a fun pace and never lagging.
I enjoyed the different looks into the grandsons’ lives. Hyun-Min is fun as the over-the-top rich brat who thinks that money and women revolve around him. I laughed when Hyun-Min gave his ex his car as a parting gift and when he literally carried Ha-Won to the altar. He’s got some pride issues, though I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s hiding some kind of pain with his debonair lifestyle. Rebellious Ji-Woon looks like a James Dean imitator with a careless attitude and fists constantly flying. I was really moved, though, by the sadder moments when we see how really lonely he is with his newfound wealth. I guess money really doesn't buy you everything. Not much has been shown of Seo-Woo; he seems the most chill of the cousins and I’ll be interested in seeing more of his character fleshed out.
Actress Park So-Dam is absolutely adorable as Eun Ha-Won and easy to relate to. I find tiny little heroines that are (super) strong funny and cute. The other actors seem well-chosen for their roles. I like the Bodyguard, who’s stern and extremely serious. I see a lot of potential for fun hijinks with the cohabitation coming up. Already we can see that Grandpa Kang has found someone who can finally get his grandson to behave. Let the fun ensue!
Cinderella and the Four Knights is available only on Dramafever.