Just when I thought I was done with one chaebol drama, I’m hooked on another. As soapy as High Society is, I found I was quickly taken with the story and the characters in it. And hellooo… there’s Sung Joon.
Acoustic Collabo – 그러지마요 (Don’t Do That)
The drama has a lot of characters so bear with me as I go through them as the relationships in the drama is quite complicated. Jang Yoon Ha (Uee) is the youngest daughter to the head of Tae Jin Group. She was always dubbed the outcast of her family. Although she grew up rich, she secretly works part-time jobs so that she could have money to live on her own, without them. She only seems to have a good relationship with her older brother, Kyung Joon (Lee Sang Woo).
Choi Joon Ki (Sung Joon) grew up poor and his only aim is to obtain money. Even though he did not grow up with money, there was a lot of love in this family. His mother works to support her disabled husband who is no longer able to work himself.
Yoo Chang Soo (Park Hyung Shik) is another chaebol who wants to attain money and status to overtake his brother. He’s the typical arrogant chaebol who sees marriage as a business opportunity but hopes to have a separate relationship outside of his marriage.
Lee Ji Yi (Im Ji Yeon) may have grown up poor and alone but she happily works at the Food Market to support herself. Her warm, personality is what drew Yoon Ha to befriend her but Ji Yi has no idea yet that Yoon Ha is actually a chaebol.
Yoon Ha’s family dislike her and she supposes that because she’s jinxed, she drives all the people that she loves away.
Her oldest sister, Ye Won, only cares about taking over the company and will do anything to get it. Her main opponent is Kyung Joon, who also wants to take over the company as the only son in the family. However, Ye Won reminds Kyung Joon that he’s got a weakness. He’s been hiding the fact that he’s depressed after the fallout of his marriage. Her other sister, So Hyun, is the typical chaebol princess who seems to have a grudge against Yoon Ha and often bullies her.
Yoon Ha’s parents marriage is filled with a lot of bitterness. It’s clear that her mother dislikes the fact that Yoon Ha’s dad has mistresses but is unable to separate from him. She’s so accustomed to the money that her marriage offers her and plays the part of the dutiful wife for public functions. One particular mistress, Kim Seo Ra, is a permanent fixture in their family and even has an apartment which I assume is paid for by Yoon Ha’s dad.
Because Yoon Ha often faced so much animosity at home, especially from her mom (Go Doo Shim), she assumed that she was the product of an affair. However after doing a DNA test, she discovers that that isn’t the reason. Her mom wants to get rid of her and thinks that the only way to do that is to marry her off to another rich family.
Yoon Ha is set up on a prospective marriage meeting with Chang Soo. Instead of dressing like a chaebol, she shows up in ripped jeans and a t-shirt because she has no intention of being in the same miserable marriage as her mom. Chang Soo doesn’t have any feelings towards her either but is arrogant enough to be offended.
Meanwhile in Joon Ki’s household, he’s seen his father work hard only to be put down by people who were above his status. So Joon Ki’s aim in life is to gain money in order to gain power. Despite his outwardly cold personality, he loves his parents and not ashamed of where he comes from. He’s just seeking a better life. Joon Ki’s mom happens to be the housekeeper for Yoon Ha’s dad’s mistress which just makes things feel like they come full circle. On the other hand, it’s most likely a drama plot set-up that’s meant to make things more complicated for Yoon Ha and Joon Ki later on.
Joon Ki and Chang Soo are good friends but it is clear that there is a social divide between them. They both know where the line is but sometimes they cross those lines.
Finally, there’s Ji Yi. She’s the average girl with big dreams. She knows that Yoon Ha has her secrets but doesn’t pressure Yoon Ha for more information about it. Instead, she supports her friend the best way she can by cheering her up and listening to her as she knows exactly what it feels like to be lonely and not have any support in the world.
While she initially had a crush on Joon Ki, she’s turned her eyes to Chang Soo. Ji Yi and Chang Soo’s first meeting didn’t quite go as smoothly but the fact that Ji Yi isn’t an easy lay seems to be what draws Chang Soo to her.
At the moment, he seems to want to be her knight in shining armor but Ji Yi neither accepts him with open arms or pushes him away. I like that she’s very practical about her feelings for Chang Soo. She admits that she is growing to like him (which he likes) but knows that she could be thrown away at any minute. So she asks him what he can give to her while he’s interested? Looks like the superficial Chang Soo could be swept off his feet by her honesty and I can’t wait to see what happens next in their relationship, only because the first 4 episodes have been hilarious.
As for Joon Ki, he’s discovered Yoon Ha’s true identity before she admits it to him herself. He’s dated rich women before because of his desire to obtain money and status. And yet, his voiceover tells us over and over again that he doesn’t believe in fate but rather he believes in his choice.
Since Yoon Ha’s brother has died, possibly from self-inflicted suicide, it seems that Yoon Ha’s dad will look to groom Yoon Ha into the role of heir. Something that intrigues Joon Ki very much as he tries to get closer to Yoon Ha.
Somehow I don’t believe Joon Ki’s voiceover as we all know he’s going to fall for her Yoon Ha but the road there will be complicated and full of tears.
What I think is really interesting about this drama is that the four main characters are all seeking money in some way but the reason why they need money are entirely different. Yoon Ha is searching for freedom. Joon Ki wants money to attain a new social class. Ji Yi is chasing her dreams. Chang Soo wants money to boost his ego.