My Lovely Sam Soon

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My Lovely Sam-soon
My Name is KSS.jpg
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
Original language(s) Korean
No. of episodes 16
Producer(s) Kim Sa-hyun
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 60 minutes
Original network Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation
Picture format 1080i HDTV
Original release June 1 (2005-06-01) – July 21, 2005 (2005-07-21)
Related shows Ako si Kim Samsoon
External links

My Lovely Sam-soon (Hangul내 이름은 김삼순; RRNae 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.[1][2][3][4][5] Touted as the Korean version of Bridget Jones's Diary, it starred Kim Sun-a (who gained 15 pounds for the role[6]), 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.[7][8] 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.[9]


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.[10]


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[11] AGB Nielsen[12]
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%
Average 36.9% 38.1% 37.6% 39.6%


My Lovely Sam-soon
Original Soundtrack
Soundtrack album
Released June 18, 2005 (South Korea)
Genre Soundtrack
Label UMG Korea

The My Lovely Sam-soon soundtrack was released on June 18, 2005.[13] 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
No. Title Artist Length
1. "Bonbon O Chocolat I"     2:40
2. "Be My Love"   Clazziquai 4:39
3. "She Is"   Clazziquai 3:54
4. "WFS"     2:26
5. "Goodbye"     4:33
6. "Farewell without Farewell"   Jisun from Loveholic 3:47
7. "Bonbon O Chocolat II"     2:24
8. "Goodbye II"     3:28
9. "Can't Let Go"     3:53
10. "Gravity"     2:14
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[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result
Mnet Asian Music Awards
Best OST "She Is" by Clazziquai Won
Grimae Awards
Best Actress Kim Sun-a Won
MBC Drama Awards
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
Baeksang Arts Awards[14]
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[15] Best Miniseries My Lovely Sam-soon Won

International broadcast[edit]

  • The series first aired in Japan on cable channel KNTV from August 15 to October 4, 2005.[16] Reruns followed on satellite channel WOWOW beginning July 6, 2006 on Thursdays at 8 p.m.,[17] on the Fuji TV network as part of its Hallyu Alpha programming block beginning February 1, 2010,[18][19] and on cable channel DATV.[20]
  • 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.[21]
  • In Vietnam first aired on Hanoi Television beginning July 9, 2006, with reruns on HTV9 from July 31, 2006.
  • In Thailand first aired on ITV beginning September 23, 2006, with reruns on Channel 7 from August 11 to September 16, 2008.[22]
  • In Sri Lanka, it airs on Rupavahini.[23]
  • In 2013, it made its own debut in Jamaica on TVJ.

Stage adaptation[edit]

A stage adaptation (which was based more on the original novel than the TV series) ran at the Sangmyung Art Hall in Seoul from January 21 to September 25, 2011.[24]


A 2007 Indonesian remake titled Darling starred Nabila Syakieb and Baim Wong.

A 2008 Philippine remake titled Ako si Kim Samsoon starred Regine Velasquez and Mark Anthony Fernandez.[25]


  1. ^ "김삼순의 에피소드, 대부분 내 경험담" (인터뷰) 소설 <내 이름은 김삼순>의 작가 지수현씨. OhmyNews (in Korean). June 19, 2005. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  2. ^ '내 이름은 김삼순'이 궁금하다 - 베일에 쌓인 사람: '...김삼순' 원작 소설가 지수현. Woman DongA (in Korean). July 2005. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  3. ^ "All About My Name Is Kim Sam Soon Novelist Ji Soo Hyun". My Korean Corner. January 30, 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  4. ^ "소설 Translation: My Name Is Kim Sam Soon Prologue". My Korean Corner. February 4, 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  5. ^ 내 이름은 김삼순. Aladin (in Korean). Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Kim Sun-a Gains Weight to Win Hearts". The Chosun Ilbo. July 20, 2005. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  7. ^ "My Name Is Kim Sam-soon Tops Ratings". The Chosun Ilbo. July 20, 2005. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  8. ^ "Top 50 highest-rated TV dramas of all time". Electric Ground. December 8, 2010. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  9. ^ "KOREAN TV DRAMA REVIEWS: 내 이름은 김삼순 (My Lovely Sam-Soon)". Twitch Film. October 21, 2005. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  10. ^ "MBC Drama Sparks Kim Sam-soon Syndrome". The Chosun Ilbo. July 4, 2005. Retrieved May 29, 2013. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "My Lovely Sam Soon OST (MBC TV Series)". YesAsia. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  14. ^ "42nd Baeksang Awards Nominations (+Winners)". Twitch Film. April 14, 2006. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  15. ^ "Drama category winners - 1st SDA 2006". Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "My Lovely Sam-Soon: Company Credits". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  18. ^ Kim, Lynn (February 10, 2010). "Korean actresses keep Hallyu doors open after Yonsama". 10Asia. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Kim Suna Holds First Fan Meeting in Japan and Hints at Film Role". KBS Global. January 27, 2010. Retrieved July 21, 2014. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ Santiago, Erwin (May 29, 2009). "AGB Mega Manila TV Ratings (May 26-28): Three Kapuso shows occupy top slot in the primetime race". Philippine Entertainment Portal. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  22. ^ กระทู้เฉพาะกิจ สืบเนื่องจากรีวิวซีรีส์ My Name is Kim Sam Soon "ฉันนี่แหละ...คิมซัมซุน". (in Thai). March 22, 2010. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  23. ^
  24. ^ "My Name Is Kim Samsoon gets adapted for the stage". Dramabeans. January 2, 2011. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  25. ^ Dimaculangan, Jocelyn (June 25, 2008). "Ako si Kim Samsoon airs pilot episode on June 30". Philippine Entertainment Portal. Retrieved September 9, 2013. 

External links[edit]