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All About Eve (MBC TV Series) (US Version)

YA Entertainment // Unrated // June 28, 2004 // Region 0
List Price: $99.99 [Buy now and save at Yesasia]

Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted September 27, 2004 | E-mail the Author
The Mini-Series
All About Eve is a Korean television mini-series that through twenty highly dramatic and gripping episodes tells the tale of two girls and how their lives were destined to intertwine. For better or for worse, their interactions affect the outcome of their lives and more importantly, those around them. This series provides a great platform for an entertaining romantic drama, filled with stories of deception, greed, jealousy, lust, and love. It's a very good series that has a wonderful cast and an amazing story that will leave you wanting more.

One of the strongest points about this series is its cast. Like many other successful television dramas, this series does very well with its characters. They're presented in a manner that leaves you feeling for and really caring about them. This was one aspect of the series that I felt was really strong. Simply because as the characters developed and unfolded throughout the series, it was easy to get lost in their emotions. When they felt pain, love, anger, and happiness, it was almost as if it had struck me. The series also does a very good job, by taking really likeable characters and twisting them into just the opposite, leaving you disliking and distrusting them. It's a typical love to hate role, but they're done very well.

The four main characters in this series are Jin Sun-Mi (Chae Rim), Huh Young-Mi (Kim So-Yeon), Kim Woo-Jin (Han Jae-Suk), and Hyung-Chul (Jang Dong-Gun). Sun-Mi is your typical girl with a heart of gold. In some series, the overly good demeanor can get annoying, but Sun-Mi is the kind of character that you just have to love. On the other hand, Young-Mi isn't your typical girl. Unlike Sun-Mi, she was raised without the finer things in life. But after a live-altering event, Young-Mi was given the opportunity to flourish. However, she's the kind of girl who is willing to do just about anything to get what she wants. She's a dark and twisted individual, who brings a great deal of emotions like fear, anger, and hate to the series. Woo-Jin is Sun-Mi's best friend from childhood. He's another good guy, but after meeting Young-Mi he slowly turns into a dark and bitter person. Lastly, we have Hyung-Chul who could have almost anything he wants. He's rich, smart, and has a very good station in life. He's surrounded by friends who care about him. But like everyone else in the world, he has his own personal problems. In addition to the main cast, there are several support characters. Each of whom are presented and developed very well. They all add their own wonderful perspectives to the series.

The major strength of this series is the interaction between the cast. Considering that the bulk of this series is based upon that concept, I was pretty happy that it was done well. The character interaction provides some great entertainment, as well as some wonderful opportunities for each character to really develop. One of the most exciting aspects about the character interaction revolves around Young-Mi's personality. Because of her troubled past, she has a mentality that is filled with jealousy, hate, and fear. This becomes Young-Mi's greatest weapon as she advances in life, with the sole goal to take everything that Sun-Mi has. Young-Mi repeatedly uses misdirection to manipulate innocent and meaningless situations to prey upon the fear of the individuals that she is manipulating. It's a wonderful, yet dark aspect of this character, and the resulting interaction is simply entertaining. Young-Mi's interaction with the other characters also provides a strong foundation for the development of characters like Woo-Jin. He was a once good hearted guy, who becomes dark and bitter. It's simply amazing to watch him be repeatedly manipulated by Young-Mi. Additionally, the way that Young-Mi manipulates everyone around her rival, Sun-Mi is great. She consistently molds various situations to make Sun-Mi look like an awful person.

The relationships that develop throughout the series also provide another exciting aspect about the character interaction. My favorite was between Sun-Mi and Hyung-Chul. They seem to be rightfully made for each other. Anyone who's a sucker for sappy love stories will fall head over heels for this couple. Watching their relationship unfold and develop is really a positive experience. As well, the relationship of Sun-Mi and Young-Mi is pretty fascinating. As mentioned before, the trickery that Young-Mi uses against Sun-Mi makes for some great stories. There's also some other great relationships, with a couple of devastating love triangles. She loves him, but he loves another girl. This really helps with the character development, making more than one person filled with jealousy.

In general, the episodes are slightly repetitive. Each episode seems to present the same kind of issue, but in a slightly different context or with different characters. In some cases, the repetitiveness can ruin the demeanor of a television series, but in this case, it is something that makes the drama in this series simply gripping. We repeatedly see situations similar to a previous one, but they provide deeper insights into the personalities of the cast. In effect, it promotes character development, which in turns really helps to make this a gripping series.

Prior to my viewing of All About Eve, I had never witnessed the kind of drama that Korean television has to offer. In the past, I've viewed a few Japanese television dramas, none of which can compare. I was really blown away, head over heels in love with this series and its cast. It's a wonderful romantic drama, filled with other intriguing elements like deception, greed, and jealousy. In the end, it all adds up to make for a truly entertaining and gripping series.


The picture quality of All About Eve is in a word, stunning. The video is given in 1.33:1 ratio full frame color. The picture clarity is excellent, depicting detail nearly without flaw. There is a very slight grain in the picture, but most of the time it's difficult to even notice that it's there. In comparison to most television on DVD releases, the picture quality is very good.

Like the great picture quality, the audio sounds great. The audio track that is supplied with this DVD release is in Korean 2.0 Dolby digital stereo sound. The dialogue sounds a little flat, but is very clear. There is also music that sounds very full and rich and adds a wonderful element that enriches the dramatic moments in this series. The subtitles in this feature are in both English and Chinese. I was quite impressed with the near-accuracy of the English subtitles. There were a few grammatical errors, but for the most part it provided dialogue that was very easy to follow.

There aren't really many extras included in this release. There is a synopsis for each episode, which explains the events of each episode. I would recommend not reading them until after you've watched the series, because they contain spoilers. However, they do not explain the direct details of each episode, nor do they provide the same attractive quality that the series holds. If you do read them, they won't totally ruin your experience with All About Eve.

Final Thoughts:
At the very beginning of this Korean television mini-series, I thought that the show was a little dry. It seemed to start off a little too slow, lacking any entertainment value. However, as I started to get through the first episode, I found that my initial impressions were very wrong. Sure, the first episode started off a little slow, but once things got rolling, I was hooked. All it took was a wonderfully detailed cast, some riveting interactions, a few sappy loves stories, and some truly deceptive plots. So if you're looking for a very entertaining and gripping drama, this series has a lot to offer. I highly recommend it.






Highly Recommended

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