Unfinished Business: Cinderella's Sister

Monday, October 14, 2013

You know that drama that you started way back when, watched a couple of episodes, maybe even reached half-way, but somewhere along you just lost interest in it. Either it didn't rock your world or it lost its appeal after the novelty had worn off. So you just left it there, unfinished, thinking to yourself that maybe you'll someday complete it once and for all. 
For me it's a regular thing, as I am a compulsive non-completer of dramas. Which means that there are tons of shows that I have some unfinished business with. 

So today, I'm gonna talk about Cinderella's Sister, which I have started re-watching numerous times but I always get stuck half-way. The first time I watched it I got up to about episode 16 but I decided to drop it and just read Dramabeans' recaps to know how it ended. But even though I'm roughly aware how the show wraps up, I've never counted Cinderella's Sister as drama that I completed, nor as a drama I've dropped. Instead, I've thought of it as a drama I'm going to finish someday. Probably. Maybe.

Why I did never complete Cinderella's Sister?

Well, I have a love-hate relationship with this drama. There are many things that I love about the show. For instance, I have endless love for the way the main characters are written. But I have as much love for the cast and how they portray these characters. I have mentioned many times that the heroine, Eun Jo, is one of my all time favourite drama characters and I consider this one of the best, if not the best, performances by Moon Geun Young. Chun Jung Myung doesn't fall far behind either.
One other thing that I truly appreciate about this drama is that it has a lot of meaningful moments (mostly in the first half of the drama, though) which are not only superbly acted but also wonderfully filmed and directed. There is some really good stuff here that reaches down to my heart. It is not very often that I am sincerely moved by a melodrama, because melos usually tend to get rather outrageous for my taste and I usually find it difficult to connect with characters that have gone through such utter tragedy. Cinderella's Sister thankfully avoids such common melodrama tropes like rape, murder, amnesia and birth secrets, concentrating on more relatable topics like loneliness, hopelessness, guilt and, most prominently, yearning for parental/sibling/romantic love. In these respects, the drama is better than any other melodrama I've ever watched.

HOWEVER, the story itself drove me nuts. It's slow, it's uneventful, and it's emotionally quite draining considering the amount of tears and angst we get in every episode. After about 7-8 episodes the drama tends to get repetitive - not much happens and instead we get lots of angsty staring that never leads anywhere. I'd like to believe that if Cinderella's Sister had been about 12 episodes long, it would have made a much better drama. There is a lot of potential, but it kills me that all the good things about this show are outweighed by poor story writing. 
The story isn't the only thing that's frustrating. The characters are as well. Although I have much love for them, I can't deny that there are moments when I want to shake them by the shoulders and make them realize that they are making things harder than they have to be. But I guess the characters seem more realistic because they are frustrating. There are million reasons why people won't do or say the things you want them to: embarrassment, fear, insecurity, ignorance, unawareness, anger, spitefulness etc. Because of that, I feel more accepting of the way the characters of Cinderella's Sister respond to different situations - I think I'd react similarly. It still doesn't make the show less frustrating to watch, though.

The reasons I should complete Cinderella's Sister:
  • I love Moon Geun Young's portrayal of Eun Jo to pieces
  • characterizations and acting are marvellous
  • the OTP is tragic but super shipworthy
  • once I  almost made it to the end, I can't do it again with the help of FF-button and recaps
  • I want another drama in my Completed Shows-list
  • this scene
The reasons I should drop Cinderella's Sister:
  • they cut off Moon Geun Young's beautiful long hair - unforgivable
  • after the 4th or 5th attempt at completing it maybe it's time to give up
  • from episode 8 onwards, nothing ever happens - everyone just stares at each other teary-eyed and full of angst
  • the scenes from the promotional music video were not in the show but I expected them to be
  • Dramabeans' ratings were rather low
  • I already read the recap for the final episode and I remember it being disappointing

Now you see that my feelings towards Cinderella's Sister are both strong and contradicting, making it really hard for me decide whether I ever plan to complete it or not. Yesterday I started the show once again and I got to about episode 10 (armed with Dramabeans' recaps and the always trusty fast-forward button) when I finally decided at 2AM that I should probably go to bed. I'm not sure I'll continue watching it tonight, but I know for sure that it won't be the last time I come back to this show.  

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  1. :)

    Great post! I've caught on your drama bug: "I'll finish this someday. Probably. Maybe." Sounds very familiar.

    Cinderella's Sister is a drama that's been up on my to-watch list. Maybe I should give it a spin. I hear the beginning's really good. That'll make the unrambling that much harder to take.
    I've never seen Moon Geun Young practice her magic. Though I have heard she's pretty good.

    Maybe you'll complete this one day ... bit by bit. But each time you start you might need a refresher on the previous bits. heh.

    1. Yup, the beginning of Cinderella's Sister *is* very good, which is probably the reason I am so intent on someday completing the drama. I can't vouch for the other half of the drama, though.
      Moon Geun Young is so good as Eun Jo. She really is. She's fierce and dark, but also vulnerable and gentle in her own way. And she knows how to be intense without giving us the dreaded buggy-eyed look, which is something that would have happened if Eun Jo was played by some other actress.

  2. So, your post about how you hope to (maybe) finish "Cinderella's Sister" may have instead tempted me to give it a try...? Ha! However, I already have a decently long list of drama's to watch that are put ahead of it. ^^ (I'm currently working through- and LOVING- "I Hear Your Voice".)

    1. Well, it seems that if I fail to finish Cinderella's Sister then at least somebody here will :D

      I should check out I Hear Your Voice, too. I totally ignored it for some reason when it was airing. Maybe because noona romances tend to be heartbreaking.

  3. Well, well, this drama dragged, however - thanks to Moon Geun Young amazing acting, I finished this drama. All to Eunjo. I need to know how she ended. If she succeded.

    1. Yeah, Eun Jo is the main reason I haven't simply dropped this show.


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