Oldie but Goodie: Successful Story of a Bright Girl (2002) Kdrama Review


I needed a breather from intense Kdramas. It wasn’t too long ago that I was living and breathing Chuno. Then I watched Midas, then I started Secret love affair and watched the Flu. After that okay, time to watch Tree with Deep Roots. I’ve watched 3 episodes, and I thought to myself, I need to put this aside for a moment or I’m going to spiral into a deep abyss of tragedy. I love Tree with Deep Roots so Far, but I needed a shot of Kdrama Romance before I continue it so I don’t intense drama overdose.

So the perfect solution? Continue to watch Jang Hyuk, but watch him in the 2002 Romantic Comedy Successful Story of a Bright Girl. My first reaction “Oh Dear… what is up with his hair? Is it blondish orange? Is it brown? I can’t tell. Whenever he’s in the sun it looks blonde. His hair distracted me for the first couple episodes (which I admit is very petty). But once I stopped thinking about that, and accepted it as the style of the time, (along with the now very dated looking style in men’s suits) I started really enjoying this drama. It’s so cute.

With Jang Nara and Jang Hyuk (the two leads in this drama) reuniting this summer in the remake of the Taiwanese Drama “Fated to Love You” I also wanted to see how these two performed together. They have great chemistry in this drama. They argue non-stop, but even with their arguing you can sense the underlying connection and attraction.

Quick Synopsis: Yangsoon (Jang Nara) is a poor, but bright and cheerful country girl with con-artist parents. She meets Kitae (Jang Hyuk) by chance. Kitae is a spoiled, childish CEO of a cosmetic company with severe anger issues. His parents passed away in an unfortunate accident when he was still a child. He has lived alone since he was 15. He didn’t work hard to become CEO but rather inherited the company from his parents. Yangsoon moves to Seoul to become a housemaid and meets up with Kitae again. 


**The Spoiler part**

Kitae (really by his own stupidity) gets tricked into losing everything. He completely loses his mind and would drown in his own sorrow if it wasn’t for Yangsoon. He eventually pulls himself together to try and win his company back.

Favorite moments

Although the two leads argued about 80 percent of the time, they had some very sweet moments together where you could clearly see how much they meant to each other.

Here are a few of the moments I really appreciated:

Yansoon’s Makeover


Kitae’s face was priceless when Yansoon had her makeover. It seemed to be the eye opener for him.


This is really the first time he sees how truly beautiful Yansoon is and I don’t think he sees her the same way after this reveal.

bright-girl11 bright-girl12

Yansoon and Kitae Baseball moments

Yansoon and Kitae both really liked to play baseball. They would often play together and those were the times they seemed to forget everything else and just enjoy each others company. I liked their playfulness and their baseball hand signals.


Kitae teaches Yansoon how to date


So at this point Kitae is completely in love with Yansoon, but with many failed attempts he decides to teach her how to date. I guess this is the safe way of asking her out. They hold hands, they laugh.. it’s very sweet.

Yansoon says goodbye **Spoilers**


Yansoon has made up her mind that it’s best if she leaves so Kitae can continue to fight to get his company back. She doesn’t tell him she’s leaving. They both finally are able to admit they love each other. She shows tenderness towards him, but she looks very sad. This is her way of saying goodbye while surrendering to her feelings.

Another cute moment

So Kitae really is clueless. This scene with Yansoon’s father in the bath house really illustrates that perfectly. Yansoon’s dad just finished scrubbing Kitae’s back as they have a heart to heart.


When he’s done, he hands the sponge to Kitae, so that Kitae in turn can scrub his back. Clueless Kitae doesn’t get the hint and starts cleaning his arms with the sponge. Haha – Too funny.


Final thoughts

Although this drama now seems pretty dated and some of the scenes are almost too intense in an over exaggerated sort of way, it’s super charming and easy to watch.

Kitae was like a kid throwing constant temper tantrums. Jang Hyuk’s acting has come a long way since this drama, but I think he acted Kitae very well. There was nothing subtle about Kitae, so I feel Jang Hyuk played the character the way he should have. Jang Nara and Jang Hyuk have beautiful chemistry in their roles which makes me feel even more overjoyed that they will be performing together again this summer in the Korean remake of Fated to Love You. I do hope, and believe though, that their sweet innocent love will be more adult like in Fated to Love you. Here’s hoping for some good smoochy-smoochy (fingers crossed)

If you want to read more reviews on this drama, you should check out DramaFan’s Review. I honestly like her review more than my own. She really does a better analyses and digs a lot deeper than I do. I barely skim the surface. At the bottom of her review, the discussion is also very insightful and opened up my eyes a bit more.

My rating: 4/5


11 thoughts on “Oldie but Goodie: Successful Story of a Bright Girl (2002) Kdrama Review

  1. Where can I watch this with at least 90% English subs? I’ve checked lots of sites and most are playing the version from GoodDrama.net where tye subs cut out completely during the last crucial 15 monutes! Please can anybody help?


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  3. Aw this is so funny! I literally just watched this because of Jang Nara and Jang Hyuk re-teaming and I loved it. So cool that I find a review from just a few days ago! The lead couple just had a very special chemistry that was noticeable even with all the bickering. It really makes me wonder what other gems I’m missing out on. I loved Jang Hyuk already, but I had never seen him in a rom-com and I suddenly got so curious about what he’d be like! Both of them were awesome! Looking forward to them this summer!


  4. This is true! they argued until the last scene lol! I loved them. You are a sweety for saying my review is better than yours. So not true but thanks for the compliment.


    1. I feel really biased. I watched with very little critisism and blindly enjoyed watching hyukie. Your review was a bit of a reality check and opened my eyes to some flaws I was choosing to ignore. You weren’t overly critical though. I thought your review was perfectly balanced and I love that you watch dramas with your mom.


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