"Glass Slipper" DVD Box 1 chronicles the unbelievable saga of two sisters, separated as children, unknowingly reunited as adults, who end up competing in love and life while surrounded by countless obstacles.
Tae-hee and Yoon-hee are sisters who were raised in a rural area by their single father. Their mother died when Tae-hee was about 6 years old while giving birth to Yoon-hee. Times are tough for the small family. They don't have much money, and their landlord is after their rent. When tragedy strikes, leaving Tae-hee alone to care for Yoon-hee, things only go from bad to worse. Penniless and homeless, all they have are the clothes on their backs, and the gold wedding bands belonging to their parents. Tae-hee keeps their father's ring, and gives their mother's ring to Yoon-hee.
Determined not to be separated and stuck in an orphanage, the two sisters decide to run away. But the fates are against them when Tae-hee loses Yoon-hee in a crowded marketplace. Tae-hee is desperate to find her younger sister, and is helped by a young guy named Jae-hyuk, but together they are unable to locate her. It would be 15 years before they would meet again.
Tae-hee ends up being rescued by her grandfather, whom she had never met. He is a very wealthy man who had disowned her father when he disapproved of his marriage to Tae-hee's mother. Feeling guilty over forcing his son out of his home, and wanting to make things right again, he takes Tae-hee in, and tries to help her find Yoon-hee, but they are unsuccessful. Tae-hee ends up growing up in his wealthy household and becomes a forceful, strong, and intelligent businesswoman. Jae-hyuk, who had helped Tae-hee search for her sister, is rewarded for his effort by being sent to America for schooling, with the assumption that he would eventually return to Korea and work for the grandfather's company, the Jeaha Corporation.
Meanwhile, little Yoon-hee does not have things go so well. She was struck by a truck in the marketplace, and, fearful of getting in trouble with the law, the people who hit her smuggle her to their home instead of calling the authorities. They are a poor, unscrupulous, and selfish family who run a restaurant. When Yoon-hee regains consciousness, she has no memory of Tae-hee or even her own name. Her new family doesn't want to be saddled with another mouth to feed, but they eventually take their new "daughter" with them when they move to Seoul. Yoon-hee, unaware of her past, assumes the new name of Sun-woo, which is the name she found engraved on the gold ring that was around her neck when she was found. Sun-woo grows to adulthood amidst this unpleasant family, suffering the abuse of her selfish, narrow-minded new "sister" Sung-hee.
As adults, Tae-hee and Sun-woo would meet again in a set of unbelievable events, yet all the while, they will have no idea that they are sisters. Tae-hee has been searching for her sister for 15 years. At the same time, Sun-woo has been working like a slave in her family's restaurant. Events really start to move fast when Sun-woo ends up landing a job at a branch store managed by the Jeaha Corporation.
Sun-woo is a very "pure" character. She is poor, but good, always persevering in the face of incredible odds. She worked her way through evening classes to earn a college degree, still works in her family's restaurant, yet always strives to make everyone around her happy. Other people soon begin to recognize Sun-woo's goodness, and two men eventually try to win her heart. The first is Chul-woong, a local street punk who is an excellent fighter. He falls for Sun-woo at first sight, and is completely devoted to her, even though Sun-woo seems to only see him as a friend. The second suitor is Jae-hyuk. Freshly returned from America after extensive schooling, he has assumed control of the communications division of Jeaha Corporation. Jae-hyuk is promised to Tae-hee, but finds himself interested in Sun-woo. The love triangles form quickly, and travel through many angst-ridden twists and turns.
"Glass Slipper" DVD Box 1 contains the first 21 episodes of this 40 episode series. At about an hour per episode, this is a good 21 hours of drama and romantic angst. This drama is so…. melodramatic. It is a true soap opera. There are incredible coincidences, unbelievable near-misses, and outlandishly fiendish villains. The heroines have to put up with dying parents, amnesia, sudden wealth, gangsters, betrayal, illness, and love triangles. For most of this series, almost every single adult figure surrounding Tae-hee and Sun-woo (aside from their departed father) is a total waste of a human being. In Tae-hee's case, everyone is cold, unfeeling, selfish, and wealthy. For Sun-woo, they are poor, greedy, foolish, and lazy. "Glass Slipper" is the poster child for Korean drama clichés— I seriously think they must have been working from a checklist here— yet I really enjoyed it. I admit it, the twists and turns of the plot and all the disasters that befall the sisters had me glued to my TV, even though, most of the time, it was dreadfully obvious what was going to happen.
"Glass Slipper" does suffer from extremely obvious plotting. They place too many hints and clues too far in advance about bad things that are going to happen, so it is easy to predict what the next disaster is going to be. And there always is another disaster looming just around the corner. The characters have no idea of course, so the audience can only watch helplessly as they walk into what seems like such an obvious trap. The writers throw every bad thing they can at the two heroines, and at times it can all feel a bit cartoonish. Everyone has a secret agenda they are trying to advance for their own greedy ends.
However, in spite of all the clichés and the obvious plotting, I was still somehow invested in the characters and could not resist watching disk after disk to see what would happen next. Sun-woo is such an annoyingly perfect character. She is TOO unselfish and pure. Yet I still ended up hoping things would go well for her. Tae-hee is a more complex personality— she strong and capable, but blinded by what she wants to see. After watching this box set, I really wonder how they can keep up this drama for another 21 episodes. It seems almost exhausting, but I look forward to finding out!
"Glass Slipper" is presented in a full screen 4:3 aspect ratio. It looks great.
This set has one audio track- a nice Korean Dolby Digital 2.1 track. This series is almost entirely dialog-driven, wit very little in the way of fighting, except for the occasional gangster fistfight. It does not really require a dramatic full-stage audio treatment. I found the Korean stereo track to be more than adequate. There are English and Chinese subtitle tracks.
With 21 hours of video in this box, there are no extras to be found. Those are saved for Box Set 2.
This DVD set comes in a lovely box that is nicely designed. The cover art is minimal yet eye-catching, and the packaging is very sturdy. The box is sealed with a small magnet. Opening it reveals three multi-disk keep cases. The first two cases contain 3 DVDs each, with three episodes per DVD. The last case holds one disk with the last three episodes in the set. The box is lined with a nice velvety-fuzzy paper. YA Entertainment produces some great box sets.
This drama is horrifyingly engrossing. I mean this in an affectionate way. I seriously couldn't look away from my screen. How much bad stuff could possibly happen to these sisters? How many coincidences could the writers come up with? How many clichés could the fit into 21 hours of drama? The crazy plot twists, scheming bad guys, hopeless love triangles, and shameless melodramatic attempts to play on the audience's sympathy had me glued to my couch. This is great stuff. Now I need to watch box set 2!