Article: Have you seen a drama as sensual as Money Flower recently? 

I’m reposting this article because I love it! 

Translation by Prettysup (Thank you for posting this on Soompi. I hope you don’t mind my reposting here) 

Original Soompi post

Original Article

Have you seen a drama as sensual as Money Flower recently? 

Money Flower, a popular drama with good reasons 

When I first heard the title, ” Money Flower “, I had a misunderstanding about the drama. It was a drama that I could easily miss. Saturday night at 9 p.m. is MBC drama’s prime time slot. Even the prime time was considered a bit shallow, rather than brilliant. In this time slot, previously they aired ‘Pots of Gold’, ‘Jang Bo-ri is Here!’ and ‘You Are Too’. It was a time slot which I could easily imagine what kind of dramas were on the air. 

Moreover, the material of ‘Money Flower’ is not significantly different from those broadcast at that time. Again, there is a chaebol and a birth secret involved. The only difference is that the person with a birth secret is a male, and a heavy-weight actor named Jang Hyuk appearing as the incarnation of revenge. However, Jang Hyuk’s appearance alone did not necessarily mean that I have high expectations for the work. However, there was a raw curiosity to see what character this good-looking and atmospheric actor can introduce to a drama within this time slot.  

In ‘Money Flower’ which is nearing its finale, not only is Kang Pil-joo (played by Jang Hyuk) not damaged, but he has even grown more beautiful. The drama is about Kang Pil-joo’s work on building a block of a revenge play, and at the same time, a detailed description of the secret face of a male protagonist who hides his bloodline of the chaebol.

There are many interesting dramas, but fascinating ones are rare.

How charming is a man with a secret? And how awesome are the moments when the man retaliates the bullying snobbish people with his own ability? Here, Jang Hyuk’s particular weight falls like a drop of an espresso, and ‘Money Flower’ proves that a male lead role in a revenge story can be so beautiful and atmospheric. 

No, in fact, it is not only Kang Pil-joo, played by Jang Hyuk who is attractive. The drama is one of the most fascinating drama I have seen in a long time. There are many interesting dramas, but fascinating ones are rare. Even at some point of time, the title of ‘Money Flower’ which I had thought was appropriate for a comic book, is read differently. 

In fact, the title of the drama contains all the messages that the story contains. And you would agree with this if you are watching the drama. The people from a huge chaebol who are lead by the fragrance of the flowers that stem from money. But one day, as the flowers are falling, the humans are swayed according to the direction of the money, or according to the character of Kang pil-joo who is shaking his flow of money.

Perhaps the word ‘Money Flower ’ and the atmosphere it represents can been seen in a single character – Jung Mal-ran (Lee Mi-sook). She who stays on in Cheong-A group even after her husband’s death, has a beautiful face to match her desires. Her efforts to put her son, Jang Seung-jo, into the chairman position, who is not even related to the family, are appalling. But I can’t take my eyes off the Jung Mal-ran all the time when I was watching ‘Money Flower’. And actress Lee Mi-sook characterizes the relentlessness and greed of the character that was so fascinating. Having had to play comical characters and the role of the protaganist’s mother at one point, she succeeded in showing her own charm once again through this drama.  

In addition, although ‘Money Flower’ shows the typical process of bloodshed through the fight for money, it contains an unseen power. It is because I do not miss the unique classical and elegant atmosphere of this drama. The story is provocative, but the drama itself is static. Although the reversals are repeated, they are as graceful as a ballerina’s rotation. As such, viewers feel as if they appreciate a modern tragedy centered not on the usual melodrama, but it is on money. 

Moreover, I have never seen a more sensual drama than ‘Money Flower’ recently. There are no provocative or awkward skin exposures in this drama. However, the drama dramatically increases the tension between people and their situations to a sensual level. In the relationship between Kang Pil-joo (Jang Hyuk) and Na Mo-hyun (Park Se-young), there is no sensual feeling. There is only a lyrical tragedy like the romance that didn’t work out between them. 

However, much sensual tension flows between Kang Pil-joo and Jang Boo-cheon, as well as that between Kang Pil-joo and Jung Mal-ran. They want each other, but they doubt one another, they steal each other’s secrets, and they dream of destroying them someday. In the meantime, the feeling of desire is aroused, and sometimes the suspense of the desire is captured as a classical or elaborate sexy performance. Especially, the ending scene of the 20th episode of ‘Money Flower’ which is the best part of the production. At the moment when a tense situation seems to be Kang Pil-joo leaning in to kiss Jung Mal-ran, it was really a scene of Kang Pil-joo confessing that he is Jang Eun-cheon, the bloodline of the chaebol group.

As such, ‘Money Flower’ has done an excellent job of cooking using the most popular ingredients. It shows an impressive sense of balance between calm and tension. In addition, the stellar performances of the actors also boosted it. So, it is natural for it to capture both the ratings and quality.

20 responses to “Article: Have you seen a drama as sensual as Money Flower recently? 

  1. @DramaFan, I’m responding to you here because, as you know, everyone’s not caught up over at kjtamusings –

    Looking back on that scene where Mal ran has the crazy look in her eyes about the prison clothes – THAT WAS BRILLIANT! I had stated that the show jumped the shark at that point UNLESS they show her losing her mind later…

    I could see all types of crazy in Lee Misook’s eyes during that scene but up until then, the show hasn’t portrayed her as crazy (unless, of course, you count being a greedy murderer of men, women and children as crazy but by that measure the Chairman was crazy too). But other than her OCD of hand picking, and typical rich person delusion of grandeur, we weren’t shown outright space twiddly out-of-reality behavior. In the context of what happened later, that scene was amazing!

  2. Just finished MF and yes, eps 20-23 were off the chain exciting. But please explain Ep 24 to me… PLEASE! Did Pil joo die and those were flashbacks or did he live and those scenes were his future? (I was sooo sleepy when I watched and dozed a bit, I even rewound it a few times, I just didn’t get what happened)

    • I’ve seen different interpretations but to me, he lived. Try rewatching when you are not sleepy. I’ll wait for KJT to get there so we can comment more.

      • Jussssst great! I don’t like endings left open to interpretation. I’m okay when things aren’t spelled out in detail as long as the scene and logic make the assumption of what happened next obvious.

        This would’ve been my perfect first love melodrama. Dratz & Curses!

        • I don’t think the ending is that open. To me it was pretty obvious? I’m glad he lived.

        • I’m reposting here a translation from Prettysup: “I started shooting after receiving only 3 episodes of the script, so it was filmed without knowing what is going to happen next. When we were deliberating whether this drama is going to have a happy or sad ending, the director says, “I will not shoot a drama about dead people”, so the ending reflects the writer’s idea. From my point of view, getting back the name Jang Eun-cheon means a complete ending. In the last episode, there was actually a scene which Pil-joo and Mo-hyun look at each other, but it was edited out. If they have looked at each other, it would mean a new beginning. Editing this out leaves viewers with a lingering expectation.”

          • I read your other post first that contains this interview. Thank you so much for this. Although I’m still a bit dissatisfied. For me, it’s like if somebody has to explain a joke or a painting – then the storyteller’s job isn’t done.

            Had they left the deleted scene in, I think the drama would’ve ranked a 8 in my book. (not 10 because I wanted a bit more detail on the people that were loyal to Pil joo and why they lived him so; and his mom’s death (although I realize that wasn’t important to the story – we know her tragedy contributed to her death.) And not 9 because despite watching the ending from the point of his stabbing several times, it just feels like an incohesive transition from that point forward.

            I really got super into this from episode 20 on so it’s too bad the last 15 minutes ruined what I would’ve chalked up as the best melo I’ve ever watched.

            • I see your point although I don’t agree. I think focusing on explaining every single detail would make the story longer and tedious. It was suggested that Kang Pil Joo had supported Young Goo when he was young and Young Goo was in great need of that support. We also know they lived at the same small town. The heartfelt scene they had at the hospital was enough for me to understand they ir friendship was deep and based on gratitude. The rest, I can imagine and personally I have no problem with that. It allows for extrapolation which is valid in works of art and fiction. I like it because it allows the viewer audience to engage and participate in the construction of the story when all details are not spelled out. The same could apply to any form of art. A painting does need to be understood. It needs to be felt. A poem, Im really bad at understanding the meaning of poems, but I can appreciate their rhythm or feelings they may evoque, etc. The fact that you mentioned jokes, bring me to another point, true, if someone needs to explain the joke to us, the joke failed on us. But unless a joke clearly fails with 100% of its intended audience, we can’t be sure if the actual joke a bad one or if the issue is we didn’t get the joke (maybe because of cultural background or personal taste) right? It’s tricky. This is something I ask myself when people praise the movie The Hangover lol! I never know why I found it totally unfunny since I actually can enjoy the stupidest comedies usually. But maybe that is simply not my kind of humor just like you can’t enjoy “incomplete” stories? Personally I wish I had seen a proper kiss between KPJ and NMH but I understand why the PD left it out and I think the story would’ve worked either way.

              • DF – I am okay with movies not spelling out everything (and maybe I slept thru it because I didn’t catch that Pil joo’s side kick was from his home town – darn M.S. makes me sleep even when I’m totally engaged) but those types of endings that are open to interpretation have to be done well and the last 15 minutes of MF, left me feeling it was disjointed and not done well. imo, of course.

  3. Haha feel free to share articles here! Glad u like my post!

  4. I had to stop reading because I haven’t watched episode 20 yet but I sincerely hope that the word “sensual” was, perhaps, not exactly what the author meant. Lost in translation, maybe (hopefully?)?

    And if she did mean “sensual”, I don’t see it at all with ANY character. I see it hinted at, in the most stilted way, as if the network is afraid to allow sensuality between the characters. And I did see “something” tangible between Pil joo and Boo cheon but nothing sensual at all. Perhaps more like Pil joo believed Boo cheon was his younger half brother for years and developed that type of caring for him that can’t just be shut down just because Boo cheon’s by-blow biology was discovered.

    Perhaps the author was just caught up in Jang Hyuk’s raw sensuality 😋 and the repressed emotion that we see smoldering under the surface.

    That’s how I see it anyway. Maybe prettysup can weigh in and clear this up for me. BTW, I’m so glad and appreciative that she took the time to translate it and post it and that Drama Fan snurched it for those of us who don’t frequent Soompi to see.

    • Hi Beez. Hmmm I think they meant it but I can’t be sure because as you know I still don’t know korean 😋. But I see it. I feel the heat, and strong chemistry mentioned in the article. I’ll ask Gumi to also weigh in on what the article meant. I hope she can cause, as usual, she is super busy.

    • Also, I think what they show is perfect. It works for me. I don’t see it as the network not being allowed to “show” but as a choice to create a sensual atmosphere as opposed to explicit, raw and sexual which frankly is the opposite of sensual to me. It is the insinuation that messes with our minds what is probably impressing some viewers such as the writer of the article and me. I have never seen Jang Hyuk be this sensual, sexy or hot before either and I don’t think its simply his sex appeal? (He has it in him, but we don’t always feel it?) So I supposed its intended to be shown in the drama.

    • @Beez Gumi answered me. She said the korean article used the word erotic. So yes, Prettysup’s translation is quite accurate.

      • Yes the original word was erotic, but I thought it too crude so I changed it to sensual haha

        • Awwwwww snap! Now I can’t wait to see episode 20!

          Crap! That I have so much to do today before I can sit down and watch it.

      • Wow. Not that I doubted prettysup, I just know that things can be lost in translation just because sometimes there isn’t a better word to use.

        I agree that sensual is not always showing skin, touching & EVERYthang but Pil joo is so cooooollllld that I don’t see “sensual” in his interactions.

        I especially don’t between the two male characters, certainly no homoeroticism; do you?

        • I see sensual in all his interactions except unfortunately with NMH. That has been left on an ethereal, untouchable realm. I even agree with the article on that, the OTP relationship feels like that of “the couple that could never be”, it’s full of angst but it totally lacks sexual tension (at least to me) while the other scenes are charged with all kinds of tension.

    • Haha u have to watch ep 20 to see why the author used this word!

      • I’m watching on Viki and the subs are slow to get put up. But I saw yesterday that it’s ready so that’ll be my guilty pleasure tonight. Maybe I’ll pick up my fav Haagan daz flavor so that I’m ready to indulge tonight!

        *ummmmm* Jang Hyuk being sensual and chocolate chocolate chip Haagan Daz!

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