This Review of Cinderella and Four Knights Contains Some Spoilers in the Form of Fangirl Squees
I didn’t go into this drama with exceptionally high expectations. I wanted something bubbly and fun with lots of cutesy romantic moments. I didn’t think that was too much to ask for. Plus I have enjoyed Jung Il Woo in everything I’ve watched of his. Also, I adore Lee Jung Shin, CNBLUE is one of my favorite bands. It had potential to be a fun bit of brain candy. There was so much potential in this show, loads of it. Sadly, it never took advantage of any of the story opportunities. Combined with the flat writing and cliche plot points I was disappointed, even with my low expectations. Don’t get me wrong, there were things to like with this drama, but the things I could live without overwhelmed what could have been a fun drama.
It was a struggle at the end there for me to want to finish this drama. But, I kept going for two reasons. One, I committed myself to recapping it. Two, Park So Dam. Honestly, I don’t know why I keep recapping things! I am super excited to do so at the beginning and it always ends up being a chore and I think it decreases my enjoyment of the show. The only show that I enjoyed recapping was ER Couple. When you are talking about every scene and dissecting it in a recap you notice things that make it really hard to use your enjoyment filters. What I mean by that is there are some shows that you know going in are just going to be pure brain candy and if you expect that and adjust your filters to just see just the fun then you are in for a sweet and easy ride. When you are recapping there’s no way to do that. Still, when I set out to recap I do try to finish it. (I know, I know I need to finish my recaps of Oh My Venus, I promise I will!) So I kept at it. Then there was Park So Dam. She was amazing and adorable. This is my first time seeing her work, but I’ve fallen in love. The scenes she was in were bright and made up for a lot of things.
It has taken me two months to write my overall review, that’s how difficult it has been for me to want to spend more mental energies on this drama. Especially since I have been joining the lovely people over at The Problematic of the Unproblematic for their Squeecaps of this show. I wanted to get my final thoughts out, but didn’t want to spend too much more time on it I decided that a Pint-Sized review was perfect. I spoke often in my recaps about what bothered me and what I loved, but I wanted to briefly touch on the main things here.
What could I have lived without? All the extra stories that didn’t add to the whole of the show or make much sense in the story narrative. What stories you ask? Well the step family, they served a purpose in the beginning, but after the first few episodes in which they appeared they were unnecessary and caused the story to drag badly. The possible biological father being someone from her mother’s past. Grandpa’s wife and her machinations. Those were the most annoying of the side stories. When her father said such horrendous things to Ha Won and kicked her out… there is never an excuse for that, ever. It doesn’t matter of he believes that Ha Won is the product of an affair, she is the child he raised as his own. To top it off she forgives him, that irked me. The utterly terrible way that Grandpa treated everyone except for Secretary Lee. He’s selfish, rude, arrogant, and has eyes only for his legacy. Edit: I totally forgot the most worthless character ever seen in a drama, Hye Ji. Seriously what was the point of her? The only things she did was majorly annoy me, suck the joy and happiness out of everyone around her, and cry that life was unfair. However, my biggest disappointment and frustration with this show was the character of Ha Won. We are introduced to a really awesome character, one that is different than most of the drama female leads out there. She’s witty, smart, self-sufficient, tough, and knows martial arts. Despite all the hardships she’s endured she has a sunny outlook on life and knows what she wants. But! This able-bodied young woman becomes a quivering waif, a maiden in need of rescuing from everything! When she’s assaulted by the girls in her school she cries and whimpers and lets them beat on her! When the boys manhandle her… she let’s them and pouts at their mistreatment! Where are her great martial skills? Where did her confidence go? What happened to her self-sufficient ways? UGH!!!!! It was so horribly frustrating to watch her crumble and mew and becoming a completely different character a third of the way into the drama. There’s more that I could have lived without, but that is enough for this quick review.
I want to add the few things that I did enjoy in the show. Like I said above, Park So Dam kept me coming back week after week. I do so hope that she has a much-much better project soon because I’m on board to watch it for sure! She is just so effervescent that it is a joy to watch. It is too bad that this character was so badly written. The uneasy bromance between Ji Woon, Hyun Min, and Seo Woo. Once they reached a sort of truce in Sky House they were pretty adorable together. Secretary Lee!!!! When is Choi Min Sung going to be given the lead role in a drama? Huh? Because I’ll be watching that in a heart beat! He was amazing! And his character was so freaking awesome! I loved him so much! Ha Won’s BFF Ja Yeong was a hoot and her love for Seo Woo was adorkable! The Housekeeper was the best. She was wise and caring and loving. And she meddled just the right amount to get the kiddos to move in the right directions. When the OTP was alone without the rest of the gang their moments were super sweet and I did enjoy them a whole lot.
My final verdict on this show? Not really very good. Would have been better as a web drama with shortened episodes or as a regular drama with fewer episodes. There was so much that could have happened here that didn’t. There was too much that bogged the story down and made no sense. Too few things that I actually enjoyed. I’m glad I watched it so I could discover Park So Dam and Choi Min Sung, but otherwise I wish I could get those hours back!