My Lovely Sam Soon
|My Lovely Sam-soon|
DVD cover for My Lovely Sam-soon
|Also known as||My Name Is Kim Sam-soon|
|Based on||My Name Is Kim Sam-soon
by Ji Soo-hyun
|Written by||Kim Do-woo|
|Directed by||Kim Yoon-cheol|
|Opening theme||"Be My Love" by Clazziquai|
|Ending theme||"She Is" by Clazziquai|
|Country of origin||South Korea|
|No. of episodes||16|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Original network||Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
|Original release||June 1– July 21, 2005|
|Related shows||Ako si Kim Samsoon|
My Lovely Sam-soon (Hangul: 내 이름은 김삼순; RR: Nae ireumeun Kim Sam-soon; lit. My Name Is Kim Sam-soon) is a South Korean television series that aired on MBC from June 1 to July 21, 2005 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 21:55 for 16 episodes. It was based on the internet novel of the same title by Ji Soo-hyun, which was published on March 9, 2004. Touted as the Korean version of Bridget Jones's Diary, it starred Kim Sun-a (who gained 15 pounds for the role), Hyun Bin, Jung Ryeo-won and Daniel Henney.
"Sam-soon" is an old-fashioned name in Korean culture. It is translated as "3rd daughter" (sam (삼) is three, soon (순) is meek or feminine).
The romantic comedy-drama series was a huge hit, with an average viewership rating of 37.6%, and its peak rating of 50.5% (for the finale) makes it the 26th highest rated Korean drama of all time. It also won numerous awards, including the Baeksang Arts Awards Grand Prize for TV, and the Grand Prize at the MBC Drama Awards for Kim Sun-ah.
Kim Sam-soon (Kim Sun-a) is loud and brash, yet insecure about her weight. She has always been embarrassed by her old-fashioned first name, and nearing her 30th birthday, she dreams of changing it. Coming from a lower-middle-class family, she didn't go to college, but she saved up to go to France where she trained to become a pâtissier. Desserts are her real passion, and she's an excellent baker. On Christmas Eve, Sam-soon gets dumped by her cheating boyfriend (Lee Kyu-han) and loses her job. One of the witnesses to her public humiliation is Hyun Jin-heon (Hyun Bin), the owner of upscale French restaurant Bon Appetit. Upon recognizing her talent, Jin-heon hires her as Bon Appetit's new pastry chef. From their first meeting, the two have an antagonistic relationship (she calls him the equally old-fashioned "Sam-shik"), and sparks fly.
Jin-heon is the son of a wealthy hotelier (Na Moon-hee), and his mother constantly nags him about succeeding her in the hotel business. She also keeps setting him up on matchmaking dates, saying his niece Mi-joo (Seo Ji-hee), who hasn't spoken a word since the childhood trauma of her parents' deaths, needs a mother figure. When Sam-soon finds herself in need of ₩50 million (approximately US$50,000) to prevent the foreclosure of her mother's house, Jin-heon proposes a deal: in exchange for the money, she agrees to become his pretend girlfriend. They draw up a complicated contract, of which the most important stipulation is that they should never fall in love for real. But as they spend more time together, Sam-soon and Jin-heon grow closer and gradually fall for each other. But just when things are going well, Jin-heon's ex-girlfriend Yoo Hee-jin (Jung Ryeo-won) returns from the United States.
Hee-jin had suddenly left Korea years ago, right after a car accident that had killed Jin-heon's older brother, his sister-in-law and a motorcyclist, and left Jin-heon (who was driving) seriously injured. Though Jin-heon's leg eventually recovered, emotional scars remained, a mixture of sorrow, guilt, and anger at Hee-jin's abandonment. But what he didn't know was that Hee-jin had been diagnosed at the time with stomach cancer, and she'd broken up with him because she didn't want to add to the tragedy he was already experiencing. Now in remission, she returns to Korea to ask for a second chance, followed by her Korean-American doctor Henry Kim (Daniel Henney), who is in love with Hee-jin and eager to learn his roots. Upon learning the truth, Jin-heon reconciles with Hee-jin.
Broken-hearted, Sam-soon resigns from Bon Appetit, and she and her older sister Yi-young (Lee Ah-hyun) decide to open an online pastry business using Yi-young's settlement from her recent divorce. Meanwhile, Jin-heon can't stop thinking about Sam-soon and realizes that he wants to be with her. After several run-ins in which he sabotages her blind date and immaturely invents reasons to see her, he finally confesses his love for Sam-soon. After a difficult break-up with Hee-jin, Jin-heon proves to Sam-soon's mother and sister that he's serious about her and the couple begin dating happily.
Then Hee-jin asks a final favor of Jin-heon, to accompany her back to the U.S. to rejoin her parents there. Sam-soon is initially resistant, but later gives her blessing when Jin-heon reassures her that this journey will be a form of closure for him and Hee-jin. He promises to return after one week. Sam-soon goes once again to the city clerk's office to have her name changed, but finally believing that her name is special and an important part of her identity, changes her mind at the last minute and tears up the papers.
Two months pass, with no calls or letters from Jin-heon, and Sam-soon has given up on him and gone on with her life. She reads a poem on a poster at a bus stop: "Dance like no one's watching. Sing like no one's listening. Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt before. Live like there's no tomorrow."
When Jin-heon arrives, she gives him the cold shoulder. But the misunderstanding is cleared up when two-months-worth of postcards gets delivered to Sam-soon's house; they had been sent to the wrong address all this time. Jin-heon had spent the two months traveling and inspecting hotels all over America; in his desire to be a man worthy of Sam-soon, he is finally ready to take up the reins as his mother's heir. Whatever obstacles come their way (including his mother's continuing benign disapproval of their relationship), Sam-soon and Jin-heon decide to face the future together, doing their best at work and love, and living life to the fullest.
- Main characters
- Kim Sun-a as Kim Sam-soon – 30-year-old pastry chef
- Hyun Bin as Hyun Jin-heon – 27-year-old owner of Bon Appetit restaurant
- Jung Ryeo-won as Yoo Hee-jin – Jin-heon's ex-girlfriend
- Daniel Henney as Dr. Henry Kim – Hee-jin's doctor
- Supporting characters
- Kim Ja-ok as Park Bong-sook – Sam-soon's mother
- Lee Ah-hyun as Kim Yi-young – Sam-soon's sister
- Na Moon-hee as Na Hyun-sook – Jin-heon's mother
- Seo Ji-hee as Hyun Mi-joo – Jin-heon's niece
- Yoon Ye-hee as Yoon Hyun-sook – CEO Na's assistant
- Lee Kyu-han as Min Hyun-woo – Sam-soon's ex-boyfriend
- Lee Yoon-mi as Jang Chae-ri
- Won Jong-rye as Chae-ri's mother
- Maeng Bong-hak as Sam-soon's father
- Kim Sung-kyum as Jin-heon's uncle
- Restaurant staff
- Yeo Woon-kay as Ms. Oh – manager
- Kwon Hae-hyo as Lee Hyun-moo – chef
- Han Yeo-woon as Lee In-hye – Sam-soon's assistant
- Kim Hyun-jung as Jang Young-ja – dining room captain
- Kim Ki-bang as Ki-bang – kitchen assistant
Some critics believe its huge success was due to the show's focus on the life of a single woman in her late twenties. Particularly, the heroine's chubby physical appearance and frank, flawed yet lovable personality broke long-held Korean drama stereotypes, greatly increasing its popularity due to its resonance with many Koreans.
In the table below, the blue numbers represent the lowest ratings and the red numbers represent the highest ratings.
|Episode #||Title||Original broadcast date||Average audience share|
|TNmS Ratings||AGB Nielsen|
|Nationwide||Seoul National Capital Area||Nationwide||Seoul National Capital Area|
|1||Life is like a box filled with bonbon au chocolat||June 1, 2005||17.4%||17.8%||18.3%||19.2%|
|2||Shall we try dating?||June 2, 2005||22.9%||24.2%||21.3%||23.1%|
|3||How does one write a love contract?||June 7, 2005||28.5%||29.2%||27.8%||29.6%|
|4||Over the rainbow||June 9, 2005||31.2%||32.1%||32.7%||30.8%|
|5||Love is supposed to be childish||June 15, 2005||35.3%||36.5%||35.4%||38.9%|
|6||The calories of a kiss, the calories of love||June 16, 2005||35.1%||36.1%||35.1%||38.2%|
|7||Madeleine, in search of lost time||June 22, 2005||35.0%||35.9%||35.6%||38.0%|
|8||Daddy, why is my love life so hard?||June 23, 2005||37.7%||39.1%||37.7%||39.8%|
|9||You played with my heart as if it were a toy||June 29, 2005||37.4%||39.2%||40.7%||43.8%|
|10||My name is Kim Hee-jin||June 30, 2005||39.9%||40.3%||41.7%||43.5%|
|11||Don't say it was a mistake. This is the second kiss.||July 6, 2005||43.4%||44.7%||44.2%||46.2%|
|12||What's the big deal? I've only just turned 30!||July 7, 2005||42.8%||44.0%||44.6%||46.5%|
|13||The way to break up with her||July 13, 2005||45.0%||46.8%||44.7%||46.9%|
|14||The elements of a romance||July 14, 2005||44.0%||45.1%||44.1%||46.9%|
|15||The rules of romance||July 20, 2005||46.0%||47.8%||47.9%||50.2%|
|16||Love like you've never been hurt before||July 21, 2005||49.1%||51.1%||50.5%||53.4%|
|My Lovely Sam-soon
|Released||June 18, 2005 (South Korea)|
The My Lovely Sam-soon soundtrack was released on June 18, 2005. Korean electronica band Clazziquai contributed two songs to the soundtrack: "Be My Love" and "She Is", the former of which became the show's theme song. The show's popularity brought the group increased media and public attention.
|My Lovely Sam-soon OST|
|1.||"Bonbon O Chocolat I"||2:40|
|2.||"Be My Love"||Clazziquai||4:39|
|6.||"Farewell without Farewell"||Jisun from Loveholic||3:47|
|7.||"Bonbon O Chocolat II"||2:24|
|9.||"Can't Let Go"||3:53|
|11.||"Inside My Heart"||Kim Jung-eun||4:28|
|12.||"Be My Love (Inst.)"||4:47|
|13.||"She Is (Inst.)"||4:40|
|14.||"Bonbon O Chocolat III"||2:32|
Awards and nominations
||Best OST||"She Is" by Clazziquai||Won|
||Best Actress||Kim Sun-a||Won|
||Grand Prize (Daesang)||Kim Sun-a||Won|
|Top Excellence Award, Actor||Hyun Bin||Won|
|Top Excellence Award, Actress||Kim Sun-a||Won|
|Excellence Award, Actress||Jung Ryeo-won||Won|
|Best New Actor||Daniel Henney||Won|
|Popularity Award, Actor||Hyun Bin||Won|
|Popularity Award, Actress||Kim Sun-a||Won|
|Best Couple||Hyun Bin and Kim Sun-a||Won|
||Grand Prize (Daesang) for TV||My Lovely Sam-soon||Won|
|Best Actress (TV)||Kim Sun-a||Nominated|
|Best Screenplay (TV)||Kim Do-woo||Won|
|Seoul International Drama Awards||Best Miniseries||My Lovely Sam-soon||Won|
The series first aired in Japan on cable channel KNTV from August 15 to October 4, 2005. Reruns followed on satellite channel WOWOW beginning July 6, 2006 on Thursdays at 8 p.m., on the Fuji TV network as part of its Hallyu Alpha programming block beginning February 1, 2010, and on cable channel DATV.
It first aired in the Philippines on the GMA Network from February to April 2006, during which it received a peak viewership rating of 40.2% and an average viewership rating of 34.9%, placing it among the top ten highest rated Asian dramas to air in the country. It was rebroadcast on GMA Network in 2009 and again in 2015.
In 2013, it made its own debut in Jamaica on TVJ.
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