"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Monday, June 13, 2022

First Impression Ramblings on Cinderella and the Four Knights

Hello and happy June, friends!

How has your summer been? Mine has been dominated by work and a summer course, but I'm managing to squeeze in time for blogging today. I'm bringing you guys something I've been meaning to start for ages. Movies Meet Their Match was created to review books and movies (Really? Surprising that I haven't had a review since July of last year...11 months...). When I started watching shows I wanted to do the same thing, but they are time consuming. I wanted to talk about every episode, but that does not always happen. If it's a mini series or show with only 1 season (about 6-9 episodes) that's a walk in the park. When we branch into further seasons, things get trickier. I've done it in the past, like when I reviewed all 39 episodes of the Robin Hood BBC separately, but that was rare.

MC, couldn't you review the whole season in one post and not delve into episodes? I could, but my hyper-systematic self says that is not sufficient. Usually I end up just never talking about these things I enjoy, and that's the real point of this blog, sharing stories!

So, today I'm initiating something. When I finish a tv series, I'm going to write a bunch of rambling. If I made it through a show, then it has taken up a chunk of my life and I'm going to have Thoughts™. It will not be anything structured, professional, or philosophical. It will merely be a celebration of the vast story that is now part of me. No critiques, just me "fangirling". The format will vary from post to post, but right now I'm inspired by Miss Megan talking about The A-Team.

If it is a well-known show I will give a warning for spoilers at the beginning of the post and have them throughout. If it's a show that I have only heard a few people seeing--or none at all!--then I will keep it free of spoilers unless in specific parts, but those will always be in white text and need highlighting to read. This post is SPOILER-FREE.

This series it being kicked off with Cinderella and the Four Knights (2016)

Before you go any further, listen to this song while reading this post.
It is one of my new favorite songs. It is an absolute BOP and anytime it started in the background you knew the scene was going to be amazing.

Where to start? I have an acknowledged problem: if any story says "Cinderella" in the title, I am going to consume it. Scratch that, it doesn't need Cinderella in the title, any form of a retelling gets me. That tells why I was interested in it. That, and the Netflix preview caught my interest by Ha-Won's immediate way of taking control. I've been wanting to watch K-dramas for forever and this seemed like the perfect place to start. 

But, some of you might not be as interested in something merely based off the title, so I'll give you the premise (don't worry, still spoiler-free!).


Eun Ha-Won is working many jobs in order to pay for college. When the wealthy chairman of Hanuel Group, Mr. Kang, sees her capabilities, he offers to pay her to whip his three grown grandsons into shape. They all hate each other, but have no one else in the world besides their grandfather. All living at the same house supervised by Secretary Lee, Ha-Won tries to fulfill the missions issued to her by Mr. Kang. If she fails, she'll have to leave, but she also has no where else to go because her family hates her. It would all go alright if the boys didn't have plans of their own...


Eun Ha-Won:
Gosh, there isn't a way to say how much I love this girl. She's so spunky, fun, and brave. She cares about everyone and is diligent in her work. She finds joy in everything. She has the greatest respect for family, and it is probably the most important part of her life. She wants to be a teacher, and she will be the best at that because she takes no nonsense. She is so relatable, especially with dealing with feelings! She is a cupcake in human form. I just love her way too much.

The Kang cousins:

Epitome of cool, amiright? #squadgoals
(Well, they all hate each other at the time of this gif, but...)

Kang Hyun-min:
I had the hardest time liking Hyun-min at the beginning. But his character arc really came around and explained everything, knocking my socks off. I am still confused as to which of Chairman Kang's sons were these guys dads, which I think could have cleared even more up. Anyway, back to Hyun-min. He's a playboy and seems to want nothing but to have fun. He flirts non-stop. But, he is competent when he puts his mind to it. Guys, he can solve a Rubik's cube SO quickly. (To all you Marvel fans, kind of sounds like Tony Stark, right? Well, if you combined Ji-Woon's skills with mechanics, then yes, the two of them would be Tony.) Oh, and he has the coolest car. It's an amazing blue. He's always trying to have a carefree exterior, but he actually deeply cares.

Kang Ji-Woon:
Guys, I love Ji-Woon so much. He is literally the kindest person deep inside, and if you ever need anything he'll be there. Taking care of people is what he does. But, he. hides. this. side. of. him. Whhhhhhhhhhhhy. He is so mean to everyone without reasons. "Get lost!" Sometimes by protecting one person, he really hurts someone else. Which is rude. Come on, baby, you can be nice to everyone, you don't have to pick favorites. He values being alone and is never bored. He wishes his life could go back to being normal. I know I just had a whole talk about not picking favorites, but...

His smiles are so rare that I keep every one of them close to my heart! My gorgeous boy!

Kang Seo-woo: 
Ah, the one Kang cousin who doesn't think he has to act all tough. Seo-woo is an UTTER SWEETHEART. Seriously, unlike the other two, there is nothing wrong with him, so why does Ha-Won have to whip him into shape? Because, according to his grandfather, he is "a good-for-nothing". No! Playing music is a wonderful career! He is so successful, but he learns it is not about the money or fame, but expressing himself. He is so naturally considerate, it is hilarious when he stops himself and asks, "Why do I care? Why am I going to the effort?" Because you're angelic, that's why. Your cousins are a bad influence to you. It is hilarious, I'm exactly like his manager, because I get so excited and say, "He's all grown up!" when he makes big decisions.


Other characters:
Secretary Lee: 
My sister and I dubbed him the Korean Tim Curry. Like, have you guys seen Clue (1985)? His job as butler is the exact same. He's in charge and gets stuff done. I'm going to talk about this later, so I'm restraining myself, but his style?? Fabulous. If the person who ruled the world was the most well dressed, that person would be Secretary Lee. He has to put up with the shenanigans the boys get into and take care of everything else. He seems so calm on the surface, but the turmoil he is undergoing! Ack, poor Secretary Lee!

Park Hye-ji:
When we first met her, I thought she was sweet. Going on I thought she needed to get a life and stop obsessing over a certain Kang cousin. Then, BACKSTORY was revealed and I understood and loved her again. She had been through so much! Secretary Lee wins for top style of all the boys, but Hye-ji gets that award for girls. Which makes sense because she designs clothing. I have some head cannons about what happens after this show, which my sister wishes would have been more clearly stated. Its in the same vein, but different than some problems I had with Heidi: Bienvenida a Casa--wait, you guys haven't read my ramblings on that. Look for it in the future! Question, does the title "Four Knights" mean Secretary Lee or Hye-ji? My sisters and I have differing opinions on this.

I'm not going to talk about the characters I don't like, so let's move on to what happens when you put all of these characters together. But, shout out to Ms. Beolgyo!

Relationship dynamics:

I'm not going into too much detail because spoilers, but I will give you general thoughts on how these characters interact.

Eun Ha-Won and the Kang cousins:

You can't tell, but that's Ha-Won he's giving the fist bump too.
(I could not find a picture of them all together that did not contain scenes/items that had spoilers, so I am upset. Therefore you get three different pictures with each of them separately with Ha-Won)

There seem to be three methods the boys take up when dealing with Ha-Won: flirting, ignoring, or being a decent human being. There is no other option. She, on the other hand, takes care of them all. She uses so many methods of persuasion, I've lost count of her tactics. She wants what is best for them, and in addition to following out Chairman Kang's requests, she thinks the missions are good for the well-being of the boys. If nobody can find Ha-Won, the boys go from not caring to instantly being the most concerned friends of the century. 

The Kang cousins and each other:

I really want to talk about Seo-woo's impeccable style here...but I won't.
We don't get into a lot of what happened before Ha-won came besides they sometimes trashed Hanuel house. They are so similar, but they don't like each other. That is the whole reason Ha-won is here, to make Chairman Kang's grandson's get along. The main animosity is between Hyun-min and Ji-woon, because, let's face it, Hyun-min's mission in life sometimes is to rub people's feathers the wrong way. Ji-woon doesn't want any part of this rich life, but as soon as Hyun-min questions his place, Ji-woon is defensive as can be. Seo-woo often is just annoyed with both of them making a fuss. The dorks.

The face offs are intense, guys. I'm as nervous as Ha-won.


I already had you guys listen to Jessi's My Romeo, but that is not the only good song. All of the songs are either a bop or heart wrenching. There is no in between. And I don't even know what they are saying, but the "Hey, yeah!" does things to my heart. I am wounded by the music of this show and enlivened by it at the same time.
If my timing is correct, you guys just finished the song? I may read faster or slower than you, though, so no worries if the timing did not line up that way! If you have, then here, have another song to listen to.


I need more people to be part of this fandom and put better photos on the internet because I could barely find any of my favorite outfits. Anyway, here's a photo dump of some amazing flair and panache. Get ready for lots of Secretary Lee's suits, because he never wore the same one twice! How!?
First, the how not to example:
Orange and purple nightmare.

Now for the good stuff. In no particular order. Except the last two. Because the last two are my absolute favorites and I want those outfits now for myself, please.

Purple suit? Fantastic.

I would've thought these colors were too close to each other, but he pulls it off.

Peach and stripes? Suave.

I don't know what the pattern on this shirt is, but I love it.

The bow is so elegant.

Ha-won is more of a casual outfit girl, which is totally me too, but every once in a while she has something awesome. Like this in this promo shot.

Pinstripes with diamonds?? Only Secretary Lee could pull this off.

Yes to all this.

The little hearts! You guys can't see it here, but the rest of the jumper is so cute.

Now are you ready for the pièce de résistance?
The. yellow. coat.

Ombre flannel??? The coolest thing I have ever seen in my life.

And yes, both are worn by Ji-woon. Just so you make note of that.

Final photo dump:

This does not need much explanation. I'm just trying to convince you guys to watch it.

You tell him, Ha-won!

That is the Chairman. I'm sorry I haven't had a picture of him until now.

Cheese, anyone?

Aww, Seo-woo cares about everyone!


She is so serious here, but is it an empty threat?

This situation was Comical with a capital C.

Ah! This gif wasn't working on my computer, but as soon as I uploaded it here, it worked again! Thank you Blogger. This scene was HYSTERICAL.

I didn't mention Hong Ja-yeong, but I love her. She is so bubbly.

This aesthetic is *chef's kiss*

This kinnnnnnd of has all three of them. But we don't get to see Seo-woo's adorable face.
I'm so proud of my girl!

The drama™.

Anyo! This is what I said when the show was ending.

Giving me major Totoro vibes *dies of laughter now thinking of Secretary Lee as Totoro* It works!

I now want to live in Korea. Because:
A. Everyone is so fashionable. 
B. All. the. food. I get hungry watching the show. I have the exact same expression as Ha-Won anytime she watches anyone cook. 

I learned so much about the culture here, like how important it is to eat with people. And thumb pricking?? I had never heard of this, and I wouldn't want anyone to do it to me no matter how bad I was feeling, but it seems to work well. And I just couldn't believe I hadn't heard of it.

And, everyone knows how to fight? Well, there are characters who either prefer to use their charm (Hyeon-min) or never get into those situations (Seo-woo), but I was so impressed. These characters are so capable! My one question is where is this set? Is it Seoul? Then why do they always go to the same convenience store??

You guys probably didn't know this (I know I mentioned it in a tag but that was years ago), but I once started learning Korean. This show has made me want to pick it up again. So many things like yes, no, and thank you were familiar! Yes, this is all in Korean, and I recommend 100% "subs not dubs". I watched this on Netflix, and I think the only option is subtitles. As it should be. I've read articles that compare it to Boys Over Flowers, another K-drama. I'm not familiar with that one, but now I'm interested. Have any of you seen that one?

For any one curious, this show, Cinderella and the Four Knights, is one of the cleanest I have come across. There is a lot of grief that is explored in powerful ways, and the tragedies why people are sad are talked about but never shown on-screen. There is kissing, but it is sweet and doesn't go farther than that. If you have an extra 16 hours and want to see part of another culture, this could be the show for you.

Guys, I downloaded 54 pictures/gifs to use. And obviously I couldn't use them all, which made me very sad. That doesn't include all the photos I picked after I counted those. Then about half of my gifs locked and wouldn't move, so what's the point? I only used 49, showing great restraint.

Anyway, I now love this show. Thank you for coming to my ramblings. What show do you want me to ramble about next?

What shows have you guys watched lately? Have any of you seen this? If you haven't, how convincing is this post? What are other k-dramas I should watch? Any other international shows? Do you like this format for posts? How is your summer?

Have a great day!

Chloe the MovieCritic


  1. I enjoyed reading your ramble. I've never been a big K-drama fan, but I do love anime. One I recently finished was Ouran High School Host Club and I have a feeling you would like it. (Also, I'm on team dubs because I hate reading subtitles, but I have nothing against people who prefer subs.)

  2. I agree, this was a fun ramble to read! Unfortunately, I don't think I have time to actually watch it...but hey, maybe someday! It sounds like something I'd really enjoy.

    I love all the outfits, and that ombre flannel is *chef's kiss*. I NEED SOME.

    Korea does seem like it has excellent food and fashion, but one of my coworkers lived there for three years and says that she never saw blue sky even once because of all of the pollution. So...maybe you don't want to move there? ;)


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"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, where you stop your story." -Orson Welles