Sunday, August 24, 2008


I'm sorry if I wasn't able to update the blog in the past weeks. I've been busy with Kim Sun Ah's new drama "When It's At Night" since it just ended last week. And I still won't be able to update in the next few weeks because I'll be busy preparing (with other Filipino fans of Kim Sun Ah) a few small gifts for Kim Sun Ah on her birthday this coming October 1st.
I was able to watch "Ako Si Kim Samsoon" until Week6 and I have first drafts of post per episode. But I haven't gathered the screenshots yet. And I haven't got the chance to watch the next episodes too.
But still recording the episodes and still looking forward to watching it after our preparation for Kim Sun Ah's birthday is over... even though it was really disappointing already (as far as week 6 is concerned). And, honestly... I kinda miss Kim Samsoon Buot in one way or another... But I'm also missing the love of my life - Kim Sun Ah - and it's her birthday.
I'll be back really soon!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

EPISODE 9 July 10, 2008

Samsoon & Cyrus' Rules of (Contract) Dating:
1. Wala akong obligasyon sayo. Wala tayong obligasyon dahil hindi kita girlfriend. (Cyrus)
2. Wag na wag mo na akong hahalikan kayaga ng ginawa mo kanina kasi kung hindi mapapatay na talaga kita. (Samsoon)
3. Pwede kitang akbayan... halikan sa oras na gusto ko. Lalong lalo na pag kailangan kong patunayan kay Mama na girlfriend kita. (Cyrus)
4. Ayoko ng tanong nang tanong lalo na tungkol sa personal kong buhay. (Cyrus)
--- all rules are from ASKSS Episode 9

1. I don't have an obligation to you. We don't have an obligation with each other because you are not really my girlfriend. (Cyrus)
2. Don't you ever kiss me like what you did before, else I'll kill you. (Samsoon)
3. I can wrap my arms around you... kiss you whenever I like. Especially if I need to prove to my mom that you are my girlfriend. (Cyrus)
4. I don't want you to ask intrusive questions repetitively about my personal life. (Cyrus)

Sam Soon & Jin Hun's Rules of (Contract) Dating:
1. Hyun Jin Hun and Kim Sam Soon voluntarily agree to pretend to date until December 31, 2005
2. Hyun Jin Hun won't initiate any intimacy. The same applies to Kim Sam Soon.
3. If a display of affection is necessary it'll be done under consensus.
4. Kim Sam Soon will not ask Hyun Jin Hun any intrusive questions. She won't ask again when he doesn't want to answer.
5. Hyun Jin Hun will respect Kim Sam Soon's personal rights.
6. We'll only pretend to date but we won't really date. Ever! And no two-timing allowed.
Clause 1, 2, 3, & 6 from MNIKSS Episode 3
Clause 4 & 5 were mentioned only on MNIKSS Episode 4

(Jin Hun will try to re-write the contract in MNIKSS Episode 7 & 13)

Although Samsoon reached number 10, she did not go home. She lurked around and we met Amber (Mi Joo) for the first time as Samsoon listens to the little kid's rendition of "Ikaw" ("You").

+100 overall execution of meeting Amber
Even if I love the cinematography of this scene in the original MNIKSS, I also like how they were able to capture the same mood even with the simplicity of the execution in ASKSS. Maybe it's the presence of the kid that keeps the same mood.

In MNIKSS, Sam Soon went to the restroom since she feels nauseated after she deliberately said "Saranghaeyo" (I love you) to Jin Hun, to make their pretend relationship more realistic, while Jin Hun talks with his mother about Sam Soon, their relationship and Hee Jin (Hannah). We missed the Hee Jin part in ASKSS because until now, Hee Jin hasn't appeared and wasn't even mentioned yet. While the mother and son is having a heart to heart talk our Sam Soonie lurks around the house and found the cute Mi Joo playing with her xylophone.

+100 for Amber
I like that Amber plays the piano. Isn't it so cute to see a little kid playing the piano? And speaking of cute, I find her really cute. Even though Amber's personality is more reserved than her all-smiles Korean counterpart Mi Joo, I kinda like her shy and about-to-cry face. She looks cuter in television than her photos. Too bad they did not have a close-up shot of Amber. As I've mentioned before, kids are one of my weaknesses, as long as they can act well they can melt my heart. Amber's scene is too short, thus I can't tell yet whether she's good or not. But as long as Cheska can act as good as Suh Ji Hee, she will be my new darling.

Seems that Mi Joo's personality is more cheery because she was grinning when this strange ahjumma* approached her (*ahjumma is a Korean term for older women). Well, if I were Mi Joo I must've laughed as well. When Sam Soon was about to introduce herself to Mi Joo, she retracted before she was able to say her name completely and immediately changed it to Hee Jin. And out of the blue, she asked the clueless kid if her dad's name is Sam Shikie. At that point, she was able to capture the kid's heart and they had their bonding moments in the Hyun's kitchen. And as Mi Joo enjoys the company of her new-found ahjumma friend, Sam Soon enjoys bashing the entire Hyun family through her doughs.

In ASKSS, Samsoon asked Amber to teach her how to play the piano. I just wished they had longer bonding moments in ASKSS.

+50 points for Nicole
I was surprised that I will find the characterization I'm looking for in this series through a cameo character first. Even though she was so mean and condescending on the previous episode, when she apologized to Cyrus about her behavior and explained her side, I can't help but somehow feel for her. I hope this will be more evident and hopefully consistent in Hannah's character.
I would have given a higher point for this, but Nicole suddenly went back to her usual evil self when Cyrus attempts to defend Samsoon.

+50 points for Cyrus' attempt to defend Samsoon one more time
Although I missed Jin Hun's heart-melting description of Sam Soon on the last episode, I'm glad there was another attempt from Cyrus to defend Sam Soon. "Oo nga bata ka edukada maganda, pero wala kang binatbat sa pagkatao ni Samsoon," Cyrus told Nicole (Yes, you are young, well-educated, beautiful. But you are nothing compared to Sam Soon). This time it's much better, but still not as good as Jin Hun's description of Sam Soon.

This time, Samsoon found out that Amber is not a mute through the family's maid. Instead of through the drunk Jin Hun. But I don't think it makes a big difference anyway.
I'm just thinking whether "Momo*" will be present in ASKSS. I really hope it will still be. However with Samsoon's personality it's quite unlikely. But I'm still hoping. It would break my heart if "Momo" will not be present in ASKSS.
(*Momo is a character in Michael Ende's children's book with the same title. Momo is a little girl who doesn't talk not because she is mute, but because she prefers to listen to other people's problems. Sam Soon likes to associate Mi Joo to Momo. And the book plays a part in Jin Hun and Sam Soon's love story as well. That book became famous as well after it was mentioned in MNIKSS. It took me sometime to be able to get my own copy because it's always out of stock in bookstores and internet shops.)

+500 for not letting Cyrus play the piano yet
Jin Hun picks-up Mi Joo from the kitchen, thanks Sam Soon for making Mi Joo a ring (made of dough) and deducted one month's interest on her debt. The uncle and niece went ahead and Sam Soon was left in the kitchen (I don't know up to know why they did that. She's their guest right? Maybe he was thinking that Sam Soon should clean up the mess she did in the kitchen before she can go upstairs). Sam Soon went upstairs afterwards. She heard a piano being played which prompted her to enter the music room (uninvited). We saw Jin Hun cutely playing a nursery rhyme ("Three Little Bears" from "Full House") to the equally cute little Mi Joo. Secretary Hyun Sook requested Jin Hun to play "that" song. Jin Hun obliged and plays "Can't Help Falling In Love". As he gracefully touch every keys, Sam Soon stood still, dumbfounded, blushed and all. She may not have fallen in love yet with this gentleman who plays the piano effortlessly (err... not really effortless since Hyun Bin is not comfortable in playing the piano. He had to take a crash piano lesson prior to MNIKSS, whereas it was really Kim Sun Ah who plays the piano well), but she must be thinking that "This jerk knows music?" as what our local Samsoon verbally blurted out in this episode ("Tignan mo nga naman, maski pala pusong-bato mahilig din sa music!").

I love that Amber is the one who plays the piano in ASKSS. If we have cliches, Korean dramas have theirs too. And it's the piano scene. It's quite rare (especially in MNIKSS times) to find a drama without a piano scene. Because in Korea it seems like almost every kid had to take piano lessons. We also had our share of piano lessons as kids, but not as popular as it is in Korea.
Although we missed Sam Soon being swayed in Jin Hun's music, it's fine that they did not let Cyrus play the piano yet. It may look awkward at this point. It's not very common to meet a guy who knows how to play the piano here in the Phillipines. And it's equally unlikely that if you find one, he will suddenly sit down and play the piano voluntarily. It's good enough that they establish that Cyrus knows how to play the piano by letting us, and Samsoon, know that he's the one who taught Amber how to play "Ikaw". In that way, it won't be too awkward if he will play the piano later on.

+500 "Ikaw" vs "Over The Rainbow"
Nice choice... a very nice choice indeed. "Over The Rainbow" is a beautiful song (and a beautiful 'piano song' as well). It's very popular in Korea. But it's kinda very elitist here in the Philippines. If you ask around, how many people will tell you that their favorite song is "Over The Rainbow"? But how many Filipinos consider "Ikaw" as their favorite song or their theme song? And on how many weddings was it played? I had my "Ikaw" moments as well before. It may not be my favorite song anymore, but I still like it.
I also love the short exchange of dialogues between Cyrus and Samsoon when she was trying to lure him to play "Ikaw". It was funny. I just hope he stalled a little bit more to make everyone curious why he hates the song that he taught to Amber.
I hope they will also give justice to "Ah Reum Da Oon Saram", another important song in MNIKSS.

-250 for the second kiss
They kissed again... yes, it's funny but still my point is I'm loosing the thrill of the first real kiss, the more their lips meet unnecessarily.

+300 for the rules of dating

Samsoon & Cyrus' Rules of (Contract) Dating:

1. Wala akong obligasyon sayo. Wala tayong obligasyon dahil hindi kita girlfriend. (Cyrus)
2. Wag na wag mo na akong hahalikan kayaga ng ginawa mo kanina kasi kung hindi mapapatay na talaga kita. (Samsoon)
3. Pwede kitang akbayan... halikan sa oras na gusto ko. Lalong lalo na pag kailangan kong patunayan kay Mama na girlfriend kita. (Cyrus)
4. Ayoko ng tanong nang tanong lalo na tungkol sa personal kong buhay. (Cyrus)

1. I don't have an obligation to you. We don't have an obligation with each other because you are not really my girlfriend. (Cyrus)
2. Don't you ever kiss me like what you did before, else I'll kill you. (Samsoon)
3. I can wrap my arms around you... kiss you whenever I like. Especially if I need to prove to my mom that you are my girlfriend. (Cyrus)
4. I don't want you to ask intrusive questions repetitively about my personal life. (Cyrus)

Sam Soon & Jin Hun's Rules of (Contract) Dating:
1. Hyun Jin Hun and Kim Sam Soon voluntarily agree to pretend to date until December 31, 2005
2. Hyun Jin Hun won't initiate any intimacy. The same applies to Kim Sam Soon.
3. If a display of affection is necessary it'll be done under consensus.
4. Kim Sam Soon will not ask Hyun Jin Hun any intrusive questions. She won't ask again when he doesn't want to answer.
5. Hyun Jin Hun will respect Kim Sam Soon's personal rights.
6. We'll only pretend to date but we won't really date. Ever! And no two-timing allowed.

MNIKSS' rules of dating might be more clear and detailed, but I like the casualness of ASKSS' rules of dating.
Another cliche of Korean dramas are contract dating. But here in the Philippines, it's very unlikely. A pretend girlfriend or boyfriend, yet there is, but literally a contract - I don't think so.

In MNIKSS, after leaving Jin Hun's mom's house, they went to a nice restaurant. Jin Hun was still furious that Sam Soon asked him to play "Over The Rainbow", Sam Soon, although apologetic, was already mad as well with how Jin Hun treated her. It leads to their first attempt to cancel the contract and we witness a funny discussion on how Sam Soon will be able to pay her 50 million won debt. As Sam Soon was about to walk out, Jin Hun recognized a 'detective' of Na Hyun Sook. He wrapped his arms around Sam Soon immediately and that leads to their "written rules" of dating.

In ASKSS, Samsoon was expecting Cyrus to drop her off at her house. Cyrus told her that he is not obligated to do that and that started his rambling about HIS rules.

One thing I noticed was again the hint of weakness in our local Samsoon. Both contracts were dominated by Cyrus / Jin Hun's rules. In ASKSS, Samsoon simply input "Don't kiss me again, or else I'll kill you". But in MNIKSS Sam Soon managed to add "Hyun Jin Hun will respect Kim Sam Soon's personal rights" which is more powerful (and she'll use it against Jin Hun in a future argument).

+25 points for Samsoon's retraction
I was about to hate Samsoon again when she said that she liked Cyrus' kiss, but before I can managed to react, she retracted immediately and insulted Cyrus in a very Sam Soon-ish way.

+15000 kilig* points for Cyrus Oppa*
(*kilig - a jittery feeling normally expressed when you are thrilled with something /someone *Oppa is a Korean term used by females to address their older brother, an older male or their boyfriends)
Although I can't understand why he needs to smile like that at that point in the story, I can't help but be thrilled with his sweet smile while looking at the very unladylike Samsoon calling a taxicab. Is our Cyrus falling in love as early as now? Or he just can't stop himself from smiling at the thought of this weird girl who knows nothing but bicker with him?
Samsoon, I wish you saw him smiling like that.

-5 for Maureen's dialogue
I just have to say this (although it got nothing to do with the storyline), when Maureen told Samsoon, "Oh, you're wearing make-up today", I can't help but laugh sarcastically. Isn't Samsoon wearing make-up everyday even if she was sleeping? Go figure!

+50 points for the funny Sonia
Sonia got me laughing once again when she was getting paranoid about her children's whereabouts. It was just funny seeing her behaving like that, while being clueless that her youngest is just upstairs sleeping and her eldest is paying off their debt. And who can forgot her punchline to Samsoon, "Sosyal ka na pala ngayon!?" ("So you're an elite now?")?

Following the plot up until MNIKSS' 4th episode, I was surprised that it made a big leap to MNIKSS's 9th episode. But I'm not too sure, because from this point forward, it was really difficult to determine which MNIKSS episode / scene they are trying to interpret. So I just made some assumptions based on context clues, dialogues and reactions. I might be wrong though, so I would like to apologize as early as now.

I associated Mrs. Ruiz and Marcus' conversation to Na Hyun Sook and Yoon Hyun Sook's conversation in MNIKSS episode 9.
In ASKSS Mrs. Ruiz and Marcus was talking about a strategy to get rid of Samsoon in Cyrus' life.
In MNIKSS Na Hyun Sook and Yoon Hyun Sook was talking of a scheme on how to use Sam Soon to get rid of Hee Jin in Jin Hun's life (and Na Hyun Sook said she will deal with how to get rid of Sam Soon afterwards).

-500 for the money offer cliche
I was actually enjoying this episode until I reached this part. Two Claras* offering 2 million pesos for Mara* to stay away from Cyrus. I feel like I was watching another afternoon melodrama. (*Clara is a character in a long-lived soap opera "Mara Clara" in the 90s that displays the stereotypical villainess in Philippine Drama history; *Mara, the heroine of the said soap opera depicts the stereotypical martyr female heroine)
I am unsure whether they seriously included this sequence as it is or they have the intentions of showing this as a parody. Again it they are, it is still not working.
The best parody for me in this situation was the one that was presented in Dal Ja's Spring. The rich mother of Dal Ja's boyfriend was against her. She meets with Dal Ja and handed an envelope full of money (checks). Dal Ja thought that she was trying to bribe her to stay away from her son, so she started her litany about her self, her pride, her stand, her love - and was just embarrassed at the end because the money is actually meant to be her boyfriend's allowance.
If ASKSS will try to do cliches with the intentions of doing parodies, I hope they will have the same clear approach.

-10 points for the Money-Rain scene
Nothing's wrong with the scene from Samsoon's imagination but it just reminds me so much of "My Girl", So, for a second, I was a bit confused whether I was watching MNIKSS remake or My Girl remake.

The closest scenes I can think of from MNIKSS was the temple scenes in Episode 9. Na Hyun Sook may not have offered Sam Soon money to stay away from her son, but she used her to get rid of Hee Jin. She called her to join the Hyun family as they show respect to their deceased family (Jin Hun's older brother, sister-in-law and father) in a temple. It was at the time when Jin Hun and Sam Soon already terminated their contract, thus they are no longer a "couple" and Hee Jin already returned. Sam Soon despised the fact the she was being used by both Na Hyun Sook and Jin Hun. She don't want to meddle with their family affairs any longer, thus resulting to her filing her resignation from Bon Appetit (though, of course the main reason for her resignation was the incident from Episode 8 - SPOILER: when she lovingly cooks congee and bakes a cake for Jin Hun only to find out that he and Hee Jin are back in each others arms).

I like Regine's acting. I like that she answered back. But I hate it that she was crying. Seems like our Samsoon loves to cry often. Well anyway, if I were in Samsoon's place I would have cried as well. How evil can Mrs. Ruiz get? Directly insulting Samsoon right on her face. It is still making me feel uneasy seeing a character as evil as Mrs. Ruiz in ASKSS.

+100 points for Eugene's one-liner
But thanks to Eugene's one-liner, I was able to recover. "Layas ba o balik? Paano ba?" ("Go away, or go back? Which is which?")
(Mrs. Ruiz went out of the kitchen, saw the employees eavesdropping, shouted "Go away! Go back to work!", then Eugene blurted out, "Go away or go back? Which is which?")

Samsoon handed her resignation a bit too early than in MNIKSS. With a reaction a bit dramatic. And Jin Hun a bit too furious. I cannot gauge this scene yet because I'm not sure whether they were trying to do an interpretation of Sam Soon's first resignation attempt or they simply added this as an independent scene. But one thing is for sure, I hate Samsoon's dream.

-1000 for Samsoon's dream
I hate the simplicity of Samsoon's dreams. Another indication of her weak personality. I'm not saying her dream is worthless, it was indeed a good one - yet too lousy and overused. She was simply dreaming of having a simple quiet life with her family which was almost the opposite of the distinct and clear dreams of her Korean counterpart. In MNIKSS Sam Soon said that she don't want to live a simple life - like her dad. She wants to be "someone". She wants to be able to open a bakeshop that will be the most famous bakeshop in Korea. And of course to be able to get married to a guy that won't cause her any pain. And, let us add her ultimate goal of changing her name.
I still want to give our Samsoon the benefit of the doubt. In MNIKSS, Sam Soon's dreams were mentioned all throughout different episodes. Although Kim Samsoon Buot's dream was mentioned in general, I hope she is just telling this to make it clear to Cyrus that she don't want him and his mom to mess with her anymore. I hope there will be another venue for her on the next episodes to redeem herself and be the strong and determined Sam Soon that I used to know.

RATINGS: 30.9% vs My Girl 19.7%
(ratings courtesy of: aria_Productions of RVMM)

EPISODE 8 July 09, 2008

Na Hyun Sook: I wonder how much you love my son. You don't want to answer me Sam Soon?
Kim Sam Soon: Mother, there's this female writer. She'd write all night, and leave the manuscript on her husband's desk. Then he would wake up in the morning and read it before he goes to work. He'd be his first reader every day. I want Jin Hun to be the person to have my first cake every day. I want to give him the first and best cake I made. That's how much... I love Jin Hun.

Mrs. Roccio Ruiz: Gaano mo siya (Cyrus) kamahal?
Kim Samsoon Buot: (cellphone rings) Excuse me ho.

Mrs. Roccio Ruiz: How much do you love him (Cyrus)?
Kim Samsoon Buot: (cellphone rings) Excuse me ma'am.


Hyun Jin Hun (explaining to his mother why he likes Sam Soon): She's better than the ones you set me up with. She works hard for her dream. She's not like the idiots who wear designer clothes with their parent's money. She has a realistic perception of herself. She knows what she has to do, and how to live in the future. She has healthy values and principles. She's a great woman.

Cyrus Ruiz (explaining to his mother why he likes Sam Soon): Mabait si Samsoon Ma. Saka maasahan kaya nagustuhan ko siya.

Cyrus Ruiz (explaining to his mother why he likes Sam Soon): Samsoon is kind mom. And she's dependable that's why I like her.

It's kinda obvious with the script comparison what would be my overall verdict for this episode. But let's do this one by one.

-150 for the boring first part
A combination of Eliza's school scenes and Mrs. Ruiz and Marcus' evil tandem equals b-o-r-i-n-g.
At this point, even Jennica's screen presence is not enough for me to bear with her school scenes that are totally not related to Kim Samsoon. Yes, Yi Young have her own moments in MNIKSS but it was very minimal and not intercutting with Sam Soon's scenes.
Also, the Roccio-Marcus tandem is starting to get into my nerves. They are so evil in this episode, making their characterization as flat as a cardboard. I hope their characterization will develop real soon. I'm thinking if they are trying to do a parody or satire out of their evil-ish scenes together. However, if they are, it's not working for me. Both Carmi and John are good, but it makes me uneasy seeing a complete evil villain in Kim Sam Soon.

Pretty-woman scene
+50 for being funny
-25 enough of the old-school allusion
-75 what's the point?
-10 Maybe It's You - again?

Before, I've always wondered why MNIKSS doesn't have the common scene among Korean dramas wherein the very unladylike girl will have to wear something formal and feminine, then the girl will go out of the dressing room / fitting room / hallway, the guy looks at the girl - stunned, then the scene will turn into slow motion and the girl's background getting blurry while the guy stares dreamily.

My answer... because Sam Soon will never be pretty. She was not made to be pretty. She was made to represent the ordinary girl.

So in MNIKSS, in preparation for meeting Jin Hun's mother, Jin Hun simply picked up a decent outfit for Sam Soon. Done.
ASKSS on the other hand exerted an extra effort for this scene. They created the "newest" allusion - Pretty Woman.

But what's the point of the pretty-woman scene? Isn't it that in Pretty Woman and in it's hundreds of allusion in different forms of media (movies, dramas, programs, etc), she finally picked up the right dress that made her look pretty? Samsoon may have picked up the dress that looks decent on her, but not enough to make her stunning.
And I think there's so much of this Pretty Woman allusions already over the years (Kim Sun Ah had her share of this in her 1998 drama, Regine had hers in one of her movies in the 90s). I can't believe they are still doing it these days.
I don't see anything wrong with it, but I was actually half expecting that they will surprise me at the end. Maybe they will treat the scene as a parody, or at least they will show something new or different. But guess what? "Maybe It's You" was played once again as Samsoon goes out of the fitting room with her decent dress. The more I wasn't able to get the point of the scene.

But if we are talking about being funny. Yes, it's funny. With Regine's funny antics and Cyrus endless complain about Samsoon, it was indeed funny. And tell me about girdles and faces turning blue plus the wordplay between swan and suman* (*suman is a type of rice cake from the Philippines often steamed and wrapped tightly in banana leaves; it is often said that if a fat person wears tight clothes he/she looks like 'suman').

Meeting Mrs. Ruiz
+40 points promising
-400 points disappointing

The first scenes were actually promising.
I like it when Samsoon said that she's uneasy because it's the first time that she'd be introduced by her boyfriend to his parents. That was one of the traits of the ideal guy of the original Sam Soon. Although our local Samsoon did not include that in her ideal guy list on episode 4, I'm glad she mentioned it here. Meaning Harvey never introduced her to anyone as his girl (so... Samsoon agreed to marry him even without meeting his parents?)

I also like that Samsoon's weird imagination is at work again when she was being paranoid that Mrs. Ruiz might hurt her.

And when I heard the classic question "Samsoon, how old are you?" I prepared myself to witness a battle of wits between Samsoon and Mrs. Ruiz - but I was disappointed.
My expectations were a bit high because this is one of the unforgettable scenes in MNIKSS. Plus it is Carmi Martin and Regine, with Mark and Sweet in a long sequence together, so I was hoping for a good exchange of dialogues.

Although I appreciate the funny punchline of calendars and lotteries as the answer to Mrs. Ruiz question, I don't understand why Samsoon won't tell her age. She may not be proud of her age, but it's disrespectful not answering the question asked by your "boyfriend"'s mother.

I also don't like Samsoon's habit of looking down (I think Regine is trying to show her double chin to make her look fat) as compared to the Korean Sam Soon whose always in chin-up. It makes our local Samsoon appears weaker. It's very evident if we are going to watch this sequence side by side.

And of course, I missed Sam Soon's witty answer when she was asked how much she loves Jin Hun:
"Mother, there's this female writer. She'd write all night, and leave the manuscript on her husband's desk. Then he would wake up in the morning and read it before he goes to work. He'd be his first reader every day. I want Jin Hun to be the person to have my first cake every day. I want to give him the first and best cake I made. That's how much... I love Jin Hun."

I was not expecting the local Samsoon to answer with the same level of profundity since it was not established in her characterization - yet (something that was already evident with the Korean Sam Soon as early as MNIKSS' first episode). But I was expecting an equally witty answer... okay... witty or not, I was expecting AN ANSWER at least.

On top of that, I missed Jin Hun's description of Sam Soon:
"She's better than the ones you set me up with. She works hard for her dream. She's not like the idiots who wear designer clothes with their parent's money. She has a realistic perception of herself. She knows what she has to do, and how to live in the future. She has healthy values and principles. She's a great woman."
Hearing it coming from Jin Hun's lips makes my heart melt. He may be telling this to her mother to prove to her that he really likes Sam Soon, but if you listen carefully and made a reference on MNIKSS's previous episodes, what Jin Hun was saying is really how he can best describe Sam Soon.

Cyrus' explanation to his mother why he likes Samsoon did not melt my heart, and unfortunately that's the best way he can describe Samsoon based on her characterization in the previous episodes - as simple as being kind and dependable. But I like his attempt to defend her in front of Nicole by telling her that Samsoon is not a mere cook but a pastry chef.

Samsoon defends herself
+40 for the script
-20 for the execution
Finally I saw a hint of strength in Samsoon. I thought she will just keep quiet while Nicole bash her. I'm glad she finaly speaks-up. Yet, just a little softspoken. It could be better if her voice was a bit strong too. It's just ironic that when it comes to her shameless behaviors she talks relentlessly, but when it comes to defending her self she tends to be reticent.

Counting 1-10 with Samsoon +100 points
I simply love this scene after Samsoon walked out. She can't decide if she'll stay or go home. So she told herself she'll count 1-10, and if she reached 10 and Cyrus won't be there to take her back inside, she'll leave.

isa... dalawa... tatlo... (one... two... three...)
Although this scene was non-existent in the original MNIKSS, it gave me the same feeling of sadness for Sam Soon and disappointment in Jin Hun as I did in MNIKSS' Episode 7's Jeju Island sequence (SPOILER: when Jin Hun left Sam Soon in the middle of a highway) and Episode 15's ending (SPOILER: when Jin Hun did not return).

pito... walo... siyam... sampu... (seven... eight... nine... ten...)
The episode ended with Samsoon reaching number 10... without a glimpse of Cyrus.

RATINGS: 31.3% vs My Girl 21.3%
(ratings courtesy of: aria_Productions of RVMM)

Friday, July 25, 2008

EPISODE 7 July 08, 2008

"Saan mo ba gagamitin ang pera. Ah alam ko na, let me guess. Mag-papabanat ka ng mukha para magmukha kang lalong mas bata o magpapasaksak ka ng isang daanglipo para matanggal ang taba mo dyan. Para ano nga? Para magpaganda? Para may pumatol sayong lalaki? Para ano? Bumili ka ng lalaki?"
--- Cyrus Ruiz

"Hindi mo kilala ang pagkatao ko kaya wag mo akong husgahan!"
--- Kim Samsoon Buot

"Where are you going to use the money? Oh, I know. Let me guess. You will undergo botox treatment so that you will look young. Or you will undergo a hundred liposuction sessions to get rid of all your fats. For what? To make yourself beautiful? So that you can lure a guy? For what? To buy a guy?"
--- Cyrus Ruiz

"Don't you dare judge me! You don't know me well enough."
--- Kim Samsoon Buot

+10 Cyrus caught off guard
I find it funny that Cyrus always has his share of embarrassing moments every now and then. On the early part of this episode, Samsoon caught him off guard while trying to act pitiful for his mother. In MNIKSS Jin Hun can always get away with his embarrassing moments. At Sam Soon's second attempt to borrow money from him, he was actually online, researching about Mijiwang / Lunatic Prince (the movie that I've mentioned in episode 5), but he was fast enough to close his browser, before Sam Soon got the chance to see him.

The whole sequence of Samsoon agreeing to Cyrus proposal and borrowing money was almost the same as the original scene, but as always, executed differently.

In the original MNIKSS, at Sam Soon's first attempt to approach Jin Hun, she backed off. But when she got home, she found her mom and her sister still faced with their family's predicament. She must have felt that it was time for her to do her part. Though she almost backed out again on her second attempt, she swallowed all her pride and she finally approached Jin Hun.

In ASKSS, being the eldest daughter in their family, Samsoon shouldered all the responsibility. She don't have the time to think about her pride, so she immediately approached Cyrus. Although I always complain about Samsoon being weak, at least for a short period of time, she showed her strength. I also like how direct she was in borrowing just a "small" amount of money - 1 million pesos ($22,740.00 USD / ₩22,906,196.00 KRW). It seems like she was just asking for 100 pesos from Cyrus. +100 points for Samsoon

(TRIVIA: In the original MNIKSS Sam Soon borrowed 50 million Korean Won. That's equivalent to 2.5 million pesos or 49,840 US Dollars in the year 2005. In our Tagalog dubbed version last 2006, they used 50,000 pesos only.)

In MNIKSS, Jin Hun spared Sam Soon the difficulty of directly asking him for money and surprised her a bit by immediately asking "How much?". And with no questions asked, he transfered 50 million won into Sam Soon's bank account right there and then.

In ASKSS, Cyrus was apprehensive about the 1 million pesos. And I can understand his reaction more than Jin Hun's reaction. Even though he is rich, 1 million is still 1 million. I'm not sure if there are really rich people who behaves like Jin Hun in Korea, but for sure there are a lot of rich people here who behaves like Cyrus. +100 points for making Cyrus' reaction more realistic. But I'm not saying that I don't like Jin Hun's reaction. It fits his characterization - the carefree, rich and arrogant guy who could care less about his money (and also connected to a later part of MNIKSS). Cyrus reaction was just perfect for his characterization so far, although he is as arrogant as he can be, he is not as easygoing as Jin Hun regarding the things and people around him.

And how arrogant can Cyrus get? Just look at how mean he is when he insulted Samsoon. It was him who needed her in the first place. Though I understand he was surprised by her "asking price", he doesn't have the right to say those things to her. +50 for Mark's effective acting. I pity Samsoon and I almost wanted to kick Cyrus' shin.

And I'm glad that it was Samsoon's reaction as well. She may not have kicked Cyrus' shin but she beat him up with her bag and told Cryus that he doesn't have the right to treat her like that just because he is rich. Which was the same dialogue that Sam Soon said in an earlier episode in MNIKSS (during the time that she was drinking right after Jin Hun ruined her blindate). +100 points for that scene

In MNIKSS, Sam Soon still tried to save a bit of her pride by promising Jin Hun that she'll pay him as soon as her sister would be able to sell the apartment. She also offered to pay it with interest. And she even stalled a little and asked Jin Hun how come he didn't ask her the reason why she need that big amount of money. Jin Hun simply asked her back if there is a reason why he needs to know. She said no and that ended their converstation.

In ASKSS it's the other way around. Samsoon walked out after being insulted by Cyrus. Apparently, among the things that fell off her bag was the document (notice of final eviction) indicating that their house was foreclosed. Thus Cyrus already know the reason why she needed such a big amount of money.

-50 points short from Over The Rainbow
While feeling depressed because her plan didn't work, Samsoon accidentally glanced at the wristwatch given to her by her father before he died. Memories flooded her thoughts and we went back to the time when his father was in his death bed, making Samsoon promise that, being the eldest, she will take care of her mom and Eliza.

In MNIKSS, Sam Soon is on her way out of the house when she accidentally glanced at their yard. Along with "Over The Rainbow" background music, we joined her journey back to her childhood days when her dad was still alive. This flashback deals with her name as well. Her dad named their flowerbed, a tree and a new swing as Sam Soonie's flowerbed, Sam Soonie's tree and Sam Soonie's swing respectively, while the young Sam Soon is crying her little heart out desperately asking her dad to change her name to Hee Jin.

Though both scenes were different from each other because of the different priorities of the local Samsoon and the Korean Sam Soon, it was excellently executed in MNIKSS - the combination of the script, the lighting, the music, the mood, the camera shot and the simple transition to the present time in the swing was simply perfect for me, marking this scene as one of the most unforgettable ones in MNIKSS.
I don't see anything wrong with the local version of this scene but it doesn't stand out for me. Maybe it's too dramatic. Maybe if they used a kid and a music at par with Over The Rainbow it might work. But I like to commend the great acting shown by both Regine and Dido. +10 points each

+50 as Samsoon returned to reality
We went back to present time with Sam Soon on the swing nostalgic about their house - her flowerbed, her tree and her swing.
In ASKSS we went back with Samsoon crying her heart out, asking her deceased father for help.
Although I find the entire flashback scene better in the original MNIKSS, I felt the same feeling I had when the scene returned to Samsoon. Maybe it's how Regine said her lines, "Tay, tulungan mo naman ako" (Dad, please help me!) that gave me the same sentimental mood.

But -200 for Samsoon's admission of defeat
With her over-the-rainbow-flashback in MNIKSS, Sam Soon was prompted to find a way to look for money (thus resulting to her first attempt to approach Jin Hun).
But our local Samsoon's flashback resulted to - nothing. And she simply said, she'll just pray instead. Yes I know she went to Cyrus already before the flashback, but still, she shouldn't have given up. It's another manifestation of Samsoon's weakness. At the same time it shows the stereotypical Filipino trait reflected in our dramas and movies for many decades now. Our reliance to prayers. Not that I have anything against prayers, but merely depending on prayers alone without actions or at least plans for the next action is so cliche and can go back as far as our movies in the 50s. I thought we already moved on, but to bad it's still here in ASKSS.

Samsoon was lucky that her prayers were answered immediately by the being-sensitive-again Cyrus.

+20 for Cyrus' "golden heart and check"
At first, I was like - why does Samsoon have to hug Cyrus? In MNIKSS even if Jin Hun lend Sam Soon 50 million won, she still sees him as an arrogant jerk. In fact she did not even thanked him (because she was surprised with his reaction and she did not have the time because he pulled her out of his office immediately).
But I must admit, I was moved when Cyrus went down and gave the check to Samsoon. If I were Samsoon, as hopeless and as helpless as she is at that moment, I would have hugged Cyrus too.
I also like it when he did not admit why he suddenly changed his mind and let her have 1 million, giving us a little sense of mystery.

I like it when Samsoon made it clear that she is just borrowing the money from Cyrus and she will pay it as soon as possible. Because earlier she asked for the money directly, then she said she'll borrow instead when Cyrus did not bite her bait. I was a bit confused with their set-up about the money (because it has something to do with later episodes), but again, it's good that Samsoon made it clear. Although, at the moment, no one knows when and how she can pay it (unlike in the original MNIKSS they are just waiting for Yi Young's apartment to be sold).

The school scenes of Eliza that are not related to the story of Samsoon is starting to get into my nerves especially if I am so engrossed with the Cyrus-Samsoon scenes and they have to intercut it with those scenes.

-50 for the announcement
+100 for the Cynthia-Dina tandem

The announcement made by Jin Hun in Bon Appetit that he and Sam Soon were dating for about two months already was so funny. Top if off with Sam Soon's funny-surprised reaction.
ASKSS' version is so simple. And I hate Cyrus' dialogue, "Simula ngayon gusto ko na respetuhin nyo si Hannah kasi girlfriend ko na siya" (From now on I want everyone to respect Hannah because she is now my girlfriend). Does it mean that it's okay not to respect Samsoon before? Does it mean that they must give special treatment to her now because she is the boss' girlfriend? Or is Cyrus just trying to defend Samsoon because he overheard that Cynthia is reprimanding her? I don't get what they are trying to say. It made me a bit confused. Poor word choice I guess.
But Cynthia and Chef Dina's extreme reactions were the saving grace of this scene for me. I simply love the chemistry of Sheena and Eugene. It's fun to see them together.

RATINGS: 33.5% vs My Girl 19.8%
(ratings courtesy of: aria_Productions of RVMM)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

EPISODE 6 July 07, 2008

"Ate... ate... umalis na tayo dito. Nagmumukha na tayong kawawa. Bumalik na tayo sa bahay natin. Ate ayoko na dito"
--- Eliza Buot

"Unnie*... unnie... let's go home. We look so pitiful here. Let's go back home. I don't want to stay here any longer."
(*Unnie is the Korean term used by girls to call their older sister / an older female)
--- Eliza Buot

As episode 6 opens, picking up from last week's cliffhanger when Cyrus asked Samsoon to be his girlfriend, I hear "Maybe It's You". Again? Seems like they don't have any other songs. I love "Maybe It's You" almost as much as "Inside My Heart" but I hope they will only use that song in appropriate scenes.
And then we are once again lured into Samsoon's imagination. She and Cyrus were strolling in a park and when they were about to kiss, he turned into a demon. I don't like the execution very much. It's very cartoonish / caricature-ish for me. It's not the same as the "suicide methods" dream sequence. -20 for the opening dream sequence

+300 for Bitoy's Funniest Video
But I suddenly burst out laughing when Samsoon assumes that they were in "Bitoy's Funniest Video - Yari Ka" (a local show which is a combination of America's Funniest Home Video and Candid Camera). Especially when she waves and smiles while holding a picture frame (that she thought was where the hidden camera was located). A nice replacement for the rice in Jin Hun's face.

Although I miss the its-difficult-to-cross-the-Pacific-Ocean-alone explanation of Sam Soon (and the Mijiwang / Lunatic Prince discussion I've mentioned in Episode 5), Samsoon was still able to explain well why she don't want to be Cyrus' pretend girlfriend. That's good enough for me.

-400 Samsoon is still not over Harvey?
I almost fell off my seat when Samsoon said, "Di bale sana kung siya si Harvey" (It would have been better if he is Harvey.) while she was walking and thinking about the childish proposal of Cyrus to her. So our heroine is not yet over with that jerk? Well, this is the result of having a short-lived romance with Harvey. Although in both MNIKSS and ASKSS, Harvey/Hyun Woo is the first boyfriend of Sam Soon, in MNIKSS Sam Soon and Hyun Woo's romance lasted for three years. So over the years Sam Soon was able to realize Hyun Woo's real personality. She matured and her view towards love changed.

However there was a leap of time in MNIKSS. It was Christmas eve when Hyun Woo dumped Sam Soon, and it was Springtime when we see Sam Soon again as she starts looking for a job (probably around late February to early March). In ASKSS we are watching Samsoon in realtime. After Harvey dumped her, they immediately went back home to witness their family bakery burning into ashes which prompted her to look for a job the soonest possible time. In MNIKSS, it was mentioned once by Bong Sook (Sam Soon's mother) that Sam Soon was crying non-stop last Christmas. ASKSS might be showing us this part in Samsoon's life. But still, opting to show this side of Samsoon gave the audience solid hints of her weakness (and foolishness).

Or... they may be interpreting the scene when Sam Soon cried in the bus after talking to Harvey.
I didn't realized this until I moved the episodes forward. I thought that the entire sequence of Samsoon trying to follow the existing-only-in-her-imagination Harvey along the night streets is an independent sequence of ASKSS and non-existent in MNIKSS. But it was prior to the scene when Eliza was waiting for her at home.

-200 crying over Harvey vs crying over the empty promises of love
ASKSS jumped a bit. In MNIKSS Sam Soon and Hyun Woo crossed paths unexpectedly in Bon Appetit. They pretended they don't know each other (well it was Hyun Woo who acted as if he don't know Sam Soon and Sam Soon just acted along with it). Hyun Woo, later on, called Sam Soon and asked her out so they can talk. He thank her for pretending not to know him (in front of his fiance Chae Ri). They had a very good conversation and I'm hoping that it will still be present in ASKSS in the upcoming episodes.

On her way home, Sam Soon cried in the bus. She cried over Hyun Woo's empty promises. Hated herself for believing those promises. And hated herself more for crying over those things just like what she was doing at that moment.

Our pathetic Samsoon was crying over Haaarrvveeeyyyy, while her stronger counterpart was deeply crying for lost promises that unfortunately she believed when she was still young and intoxicated with the feeling of being in love.

Again, I'm not saying they should do the same thing and say the same dialogues. But the few seconds Samsoon spent crying out for Harvey while sitting in the park could have been used to just quickly tell herself that she should not be behaving like that anymore. At least it could give the viewers a clue, that although she might not be over Harvey yet at that moment, she is smart enough to know that she should move on and not cry over a worthless bastard.

+100 for the homage of driver's quarrel
I simply laughed when Samsoon was having an argument with the taxi driver because at that time I haven't realized yet on what scene from MNIKSS it came from because it was not obvious. But when I found the bus scene, I remembered that Sam Soon had an little argument with the bus driver as well. Both scenes were funny in their own way.

+500 for the pitiful and funny Buot family
In MNIKSS they didn't reach the point that they have to move out of their home. Sam Soon was able to patch it up right on time, so the Kim family wasn't given much "moments".
I like the time given by ASKSS to the Buot family and let us witness their emotions and the problems they are facing. It gives a more solid foundation for Samsoon's decision later on.

A big part of the points was actually for the entire Buot family thinking hard where to spend the night while carrying their things (and the how-can-i-not-notice-the-oh-so-precious rice cooker!) in the middle of the streets. I don't know whether I'll cry because of their misfortune or I'll laugh with their antics. And tell me about migrating!

+500 for the Samsoon-Eliza sister tandem

I'm really loving their sister-tandem. I like their short bickering moment while they were on the streets. The way they talk to each other feels like they were really sisters in real-life. It's something that I love with Sam Soon and Yi Young. I'm glad they were able to achieve that in ASKSS even if Eliza is the younger sister. I hope this will continue.

+5000 for Jennica
Although the ending may be a bit overly dramatic and bit cliche that I almost felt like I was watching an afternoon soap opera, I can't help but feel for the Buots. And as soon as Eliza started her dialogue I broke into tears. Just right after she bickered with her sister in an earlier scene, she transformed into a scared loving-little-sister to Samsoon. And she ended the episode with flying colors.

RATINGS: 25.7% vs My Girl 23.4%
(ratings courtesy of: aria_Productions of RVMM)

Monday, July 21, 2008

WEEK 1 Viewing Experience

I really don't have the heart to watch this series, but I told myself I would give "Ako Si Kim Samsoon" a week to show me what it got. I told myself that if after a week and I will not be pleased, I would not waste my time to watch it anymore - no matter how I love "My Name Is Kim Sam Soon"

I never expected that I would be impressed as early as now.

Although I'm still missing the "magic" I felt when I first watch the original, it is not bad at all. I appreciate how they were able to deviate from the original yet maintain the same mood and feelings. So instead of being bored to death in following a story I already know by heart, I still have a what's-going-to-happen-next feeling - something I never actually expected. In that way they were able to cater to both MNIKSS viewers and non-MNKISS viewers (though I know that some of MNIKSS fans may not like ASKSS yet).

It also makes my blogging more exciting and extremely challenging at the same time. I first thought that doing the comparison will be as easy as copy-paste-ing each scene - and bashing the local version. I didn't realize that it is more difficult than what I thought. I ended up going through my MNIKSS screencaps and scrubbing (rewinding and forwarding) through my MNIKSS' episodes just to look for the scene they were interpreting, jumping from one episode to the next. Plus it lets me keep an open-mind, changing perspectives, doing mental analysis and considering cultural differences every now and then. It is also fun because it test how well I know "My Name Is Kim Sam Soon". It gives me the motivation to keep on blogging until the final episode.

Even though it was good, there's still a lot of room for improvement. I hope that they will move one step back from sitcoms, avoiding the use slapsticks cliche and gestures for their comedy scenes. And I think it would be better if they linger a bit for important scenes. Their fast pacing is good in killing the humdrum, but there are just scenes of utmost important and I hope they can give the viewers ample time to absorb the feelings manifested, before rushing to the next one. And hopefully they can keep up with the same mood even with the appearance of the other characters anytime soon. I'm just a little scared that the mood will be ruined with the appearance of other cast - especially the extended cast not present in the original.

And most importantly, I'm still looking for the Sam Soon that I know. Seems like Kim Samsoon Buot is still too nice. She still lacks the stubbornness and wittiness of the original. I hope they will develop her character really soon.

Overall, it was a job well-done for Week 1. I can say that my first week's watching experience was enjoyable. And since my expectations in this series were really low to begin with, I was really impressed with what they have presented. But now that I have seen what they are capable of doing, it makes my expectations higher this time. So they have to, not just keep up with what they are doing now, but also improve further.

They have very good story to tell and I'm glad that they are not close to ruining it (but I'm still keeping my fingers crossed).

I am hoping that GMA-7 won't be complacent with the mostly good reviews given on their first few episodes.

WEEK 1 Synopsis from iGMAtv
June 30 to July 4, 2008: An Unusual Romance

Sunday, July 13, 2008

EPISODE 5 July 04, 2008

"Hindi mo ba ako gustong maging boyfriend? Pwes ikaw gusto kitang maging girlfriend. Oo Samsoon. Kaya magmula ngayon, girlfriend na kita"
--- Cyrus Ruiz

"Don't you want me to be your boyfriend? I want you to be my girlfriend. Yes Samsoon. From now on you'll be my girlfriend."
--- Cyrus Ruiz

+75 points for the first meeting of Samsoon and Mrs. Ruiz

The original scene was funny but it was on the slapstick side. Na Sajang together with Hyun Sook barges in Jin Hun's apartment, beats Jin Hun for ruining his own blind date yesterday, and almost had a heart attack when she finally noticed an almost naked chubby woman inside his son's apartment. She shoved Jin Hun inside the bathroom. As she beats him continuously off-screen we were left laughing with Sam Soon and Hyun Sook's sign language. When everyone calmed down, Na Sajang found out that the woman was Sam Soon. And the sequence ended with Na Sajang misunderstanding everything.

Our version was a lot calmer and I like it. It wouldn't look good seeing Carmi Martin beating Mark Anthony Fernandez.
At the onset of the scene, Samsoon introduced herself to Mrs. Ruiz, thus creating the misunderstanding part earlier in the sequence. I find it funny when Samsoon said, "Good morning po*. Mommy mo?" ("Good morning. Is she your mother?" "안녕하십니까. 혹시 너의 어머니예요?") (*po is a level of formality used in the Philippines, somehow similar to the korean endings -yo and -imnida). I also like how they remedied the impossible-to-be-almost-naked-Samsoon-thanks-to-the-fat-suit by letting her wear the top of Cyrus' pajamas.

-5 points for the too nice Cyrus
Seems like Cyrus is being too nice in this episode. Nothing wrong with that but I kinda miss the overly-arrogant Jin Hun, in this episode at least. Hopefully he'll go back to a more arrogant Cyrus on the next episodes.

-100 points for taking Piggy home
I wonder why they let Samsoon take Piggy home? I was almost yelling "Put that down! Put that down!" to Samsoon while watching. In the original, Sam Sook has quite a big role in Sam Soon and Jin Hun's life. And it's funny that no matter how many times Jin Hun attempts to get rid of the piggy stuffed toy (or return it to Sam Soon), Sam Sook never lands in Sam Soon's house. I wonder what are their plans for our local Piggy.

+500 points for the wonderful twist of the return to the restaurant scene
At first I was not happy that Samsoon and Cyrus did not go to work together. Why did Samsoon have to go home first? I thought they will completely ignore the funny moment when they finally return to work. I was wrong.
Although I missed a few more bickering and a little discussion about Mijiwang* (*Mijiwang is a Korean movie about an arrogant guy who thinks of himself as a Prince. Mijiwang can be roughly translated as 'Lunatic Prince'. And Sam Soon likes to associate Jin Hun with Mijiwang) and Jin Hun taking Sam Soon's seat in the bus while going to work together, I was still given the funny moment of their return to the restaurant.

In the original, Sam Soon asked Jin Hun to come in 5 minutes after her, so as not to create any speculations among the employees. When she came in, she was reprimanded by Chef Hyun Moo for being late. Jin Hun, who obviously did not comply with Sam Soon's request, entered the restaurant. In a voice audible enough for everyone to hear, he told Hyun Moo not to be too harsh on Sam Soon since she was only late because they spent the night together. And right there and then, Sam Soon became the female employees' Public Enemy No. 1.

I love how they created a new approach to this sequence. It made me laugh.
After Samsoon was reprimanded for being late, Cyrus entered the picture. Since Samsoon asked Cynthia, "Boss Cyrus is already here?", he answered her back with a question, "Yes, I'm here. Why are you asking? Don't tell me you missed me already?". He then returned Samsoon's earring, that apparently, she left at his place. After hearing what Cyrus said, all the female employees became furious to our Samsoon.
The funniest part for me were the non-existent scenes in the original. Samsoon tried explaining her side to her co-workers but she ended up making the situation looks/sounds worst, thanks to her poor word choices.
And when Cynthia directly told Cyrus, "You don't have a taste!", I feel kinda off. Why are they showing disrespect to their boss? But before I can organize my thoughts on this part, Samsoon cluelessly blurted out, "You don't have a taste!" too. I ended up laughing so hard.

+150 for the entire welcome party scene
Before I can pull myself together, I was greeted by another familiar funny moment, "Hee Jin's" welcome party.

There's one thing that I really hate though, Samsoon's manners when she was introduced by Chef Dina. She went "on-stage" with strips of food hanging from her mouth. Isn't showing her devouring on food every now and then not yet enough? If you'll be introduced to your new co-workers, you wouldn't behave this way, right? I hope they will stop doing this to Samsoon. -50 points deducted!
Anyway, the dream dance sequence was executed well, eliciting as much laughter as the original's, but then again, it's something that could look better without the fat suit - and less lipstick.
Back to reality, we were entertained with a familiar funny dance step that we see on every gap. Seems like the local Samsoon dances better than her stiff-as-stone Korean counterpart. Both of them were funny though.

+10 points for the Halla Mountain clue
I just have to say this. I was so happy when they gave an early clue (through Cyrus' picture) about the presence of Halla Mountain sequence in ASKSS. I'll be looking forward to this episode.

-5 points for mentioning Harvey
When Cryus ask Samsoon if she still have contact with her ex-boyfriend, she answered, "Harvey? Not anymore." I hope she did not mention the name anymore and just gave an answer right away. Given that our Cyrus is more sensitive than Jin Hun, he could have made an association with Harvey easier on latter episodes. But of course it's too early to tell. I'll just wait, i guess.

+15 points for keeping the mood
I like how Mark, once again, captured Jin Hun's casual and blunt proposal to be Sam Soon's boyfriend. This time, minus the rice on his face.

"Hindi mo ba ako gustong maging boyfriend? Pwes ikaw gusto kitang maging girlfriend. Oo Samsoon. Kaya magmula ngayon, girlfriend na kita" ("Don't you want me to be your boyfriend? I want you to be my girlfriend. Yes Samsoon. From now on you'll be my girlfriend.")

And that question leaves Samsoon and us hanging... and that concludes ASKSS' first week.

RATINGS: 35.5%
vs My Girl 20.3%
(ratings courtesy of: Les Samsoon of RVMM)