Glass Slipper is a Korean television drama (K-drama) produced by the South Korean television network SBS in 2002. The series is made up of forty episodes, which have been released on DVD in two separate volumes. Volume one contains the first twenty-one episodes and volume two the final nineteen episodes. The show is highly romanticized and melodramatic. For a K-drama, Glass Slipper gets two thumbs up. From start to finish, it is an intense show with one great soapy development after the other. This review covers the first volume.
The story of Glass Slipper begins with the unfortunate past of the Kim family. Kim Hyun-ho (Ha Jae-young) is a loving father who gave up everything to be with the one he loved. His father Pil-joong disapproved of his bride-to-be and demanded he choose the family (and all of the riches that come along with it) or his wife. Hyun-ho chose love and went on to live as a poor man. They had two children, Tae-hee (Kim Ji-ho) and Yoon-hee (Kim Hyun-ju). While his wife was giving birth to their second child, Yoon-hee, she passed away. Hyun-ho went on to raise Tae-hee and Yoon-hee by himself. Unfortunately, Hyun-ho's days were numbered. He has leukemia and ironically dies after being hit by a car.
After the death of their father, Tae-hee and Yoon-hee run away. With only a picture of Pil-joong, they hope to find him. Otherwise, the girls will be separated and put into an orphanage. Coincidentally enough, Pil-joong learns about his son's death and decides to care for the girls. Unfortunately, he can't find them. The girls go into the city and cross paths with a delivery boy Jang Jae-hyuk (Han Jae-suk) and local thug Lee In-soo (Lee Ki-young). The boys start of a chain of events that led to the girls being separated and Yoon-hee losing her memory.
As the events continue, when Jae-hyuk learns that Tae-hee's grandfather is Pil-joong, president of the Jaeha group, he teams with In-soo to manipulate Tae-hee. In-soo attacks Tae-hee and drives her into Jae-hyuk's arms. He uses that trust to reconnect her with Pil-joong. For a reward, Pil-joong sends Jae-hyuk to the United States to study. Meanwhile, Yoon-hee was hit by a car. The driver Hwang Guk-do (Lee Hee-do) and his live-in girlfriend Oh Geum-soon (Song Ok-sook) take Yoon-hee home with them. They are afraid of what the police will do if they find out they hit the little girl with their car. The flipside is that Yoon-hee lost her memory and thinks her name is Lee Sun-woo. Guk-do, Geum-soon, and daughter Sun-hee (Kim Min-sun) abuse and mistreat Sun-woo.
Fifteen years later, the story picks back up. Sun-woo is desperately trying to make it in the world. She dreams of working for the Jaeha group as an executive. Unfortunately, she is forced to slave away in the family restaurant business. All the while, her lazy stepsister Sun-hee wastes away the days chasing boys and partying. She is madly in love with Park Chul-woong (So Ji-sup). Chul-woong has his eyes on Sun-woo, which causes a lot of tension between the stepsisters. Also, Jae-hyuk returns to Korea and takes a position of head of the Jaeha communications. It is a business about to tank and Jae-hyuk has three months to prove he is a capable businessman by saving the division from failure.
The show's dramatic side really starts to shine when Sun-hee does something very dark and twisted. Tae-hee is still desperately looking for her lost sister. She works with her cousin Seo-joon and the best private investigators. The latest lead takes them to Sun-hee's family restaurant. Sun-hee, who stole a momentum from Sun-woo (her only connection to her past), convinces Tae-hee she is her sister. Sun-hee gets thrown into a life of luxury. Sun-woo, on the other hand, continues to struggle.
Sun-woo and Tae-hee's paths begin to cross, unknown to them of their true relationship. Sun-woo works her way up in the Jaeha group, starting as a janitor and later becoming an office assistant. She also catches the attention of Jae-hyuk. He starts to fall in love with her, despite his close connection to Tae-hee (who wants to marry him). The relationship between Jae-hyuk and Sun-woo does not only affect Tae-hee, as Chul-woong is in love with Sun-woo. He joins In-soo's gang, with the hope of having more power will help him get Sun-woo back. As the first volume continues, the drama unfolds with the love triangles at the fore, Sun-hee constant scheming against Sun-woo, Jae-hyuk's true nature being revealed, and more.
From start to finish, Glass Slipper, Volume 1 is an intense and exciting experience. One of the best parts about the show is that so much is going on. There is nonstop drama, with new developments around every corner. The writing is also very good and handles the transitions from event to event well. The show also has a great cast. Kim Ji-ho and Kim Hyun-ju are wonderful leading ladies. They are very adorable and fit into their respective roles well. Likewise, the leading males are strong. Of note, So Ji-sup offers some great comical moments to the show. He carries his character (during the happier moments) with a fun energy that will put a smile on your face.
Overall, Glass Slipper, Volume 1 is an exciting and entertaining drama with a story that would only happen in a soap opera. For those who enjoy strong K-dramas that offer nonstop melodrama and emotionally strong characters, Glass Slipper is a must watch. The story is exhilarating to the point it is impossible to stop watch. In just one episode, you will be hooked.