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My 19-year-old Sister-in-Law attracted viewers’ attention because it marked the acting debut of Yoon Kye-sang, a pop stars from the music group G.O.D. The cast included a number of top pop stars in addition to Kye-sang. Lately, Jung Da-bin has starred as a leading actress during the peak of her popularity. My 19 Year Old Sister-in-Law competed against Full House starring Rain and Song Hye-gyo as they were aired in the same time slot. Its tension-filled story kept the drama interesting until the end, and well-scripted dialogue won the hearts of viewers.

● Drama Information

Director: Lee Chang-han
Cast: Jung Da-bin, Yoon Kye-sang, Kim Jae-won, Kim Min-hee
Broadcasting Station: SBS
Aired: July 28–September 23, 2004, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 21:55
Homepage: http://www.sbs.co.kr/new/tv/19/ (Korean)

● Synopsis

Young-ran runs away with Jun-seok, the son of plutocrats, and lives a happy life after giving a birth to their daughter, Hae-won. Jun-seok and Young-ran run a small diner in the countryside, and Im Chong-ok and Song Gyeong-ok are their employees. Gyeong-hwa is the single mother of Su-ji, who is the same age as Hae-won and lives a secretive life, but they form a sister-like bond nonetheless. One day, Jun-seok hears that his mother has passed away so he heads to Seoul. On his way, he gets into a car accident, loses consciousness, and is hospitalized. When her mother also passes away, Hae-won is left all alone.

Hae-won is eventually adopted by Gang-pyo’s mother and begins a new life as Yu-min. However, her happiness does not last long. Her stepfather dies and her stepmother runs away. She struggles to make a living in a village by the sea with her ailing brother, Gang-pyo. The only joy in her life is running into Min-jae, a doctor at Gang-pyo’s hospital. By chance, she is asked to act as Min-jae’s fiancée. Then, Min-jae’s brother Seung-jae and other people from her past show up and the secrets shrouding Hae-won are revealed one by one.

● Character Background

★ Han Yu-min (Chung Hae-won), played by Jung Da-bin
An ill-fated princess, she is abandoned at a train station after her father goes missing and her mother passes away. She is adopted by Gang-pyo’s mother and begins a new life as Yu-min. However, she drops out of high school to earn money and look after her younger brother, who suffers from kidney disease. She is a loveable character who has a crush on Min-jae, a doctor at Gang-pyo’s hospital, and her bright personality makes everybody smile. She occasionally does something truly off the wall, but she is more mature and tenderhearted than anyone else. Naturally, she is kind-hearted and easily moved to tears, but she always appears brave and strong.


★ Gang Seung-jae, played by Yoon Kye-sang
Seung-jae is a smart boy with an extraordinary interest and talent in mathematics. However, his mother forces him to apply for a foreign language high school instead of a science high school. He resists his mother’s will by refusing to attend the school and ends up transferring to another high school. His bold personality makes him difficult to get along with and he enjoys his own seclusion and is dissatisfied with the world. Although he has a short temper, he is actually kind and emotional. Having a pure and simple heart, he can never let go of his first love, Hae-won, even as an adult. Although he acts strong and arrogant, he is warm-hearted inside.



★ Gang Min-jae, played by Kim Jae-won
Obedient to his mother, Min-jae appears kind and submissive. However, after getting to know him a little better, one realizes that he is not all that bad natured. When his love, Seo-yeon, leaves him, he loses interest in everything and lives a dull life. However, as a talented doctor being kind to his patients, Min-jae is a gentleman who attracts many women. Unable to get what he really wants, he is a miserable character who is continually suppressing his desires.
★ Choi Su-ji, played by Kim Min-hee
The daughter of Song Gyeong-hwa, Su-ji is friends with Ye-rim, the daughter of Mrs. Im. However, Su-ji despises her mother, who is financially dependent on Mrs. Im. She is not only pretty and smart, but also tactful and witty. Sometimes, she premeditates her approach to a particular person and she is very obsessive. Because of her vanity and irrational pride, Su-ji suffers from an inferiority complex. She likes to go after others’ possessions, and she never feels happy with what she has. She has had feelings for Seung-jae ever since she was a little girl, but is frustrated that she cannot have him.

● Filming Locations

Lotte World

Seung-jae lies to Yu-min and tells her he got a job as a lecturer at a university, when he actually takes a part-time job at an amusement park. He leaves home neatly dressed every morning, yet all day long he smiles, waves, and picks up trash at an amusement park in Seoul. Scenes of an amusement park in the eighth episode, with Seung-jae looking cute and pretty, were filmed at Lotte World. Since Lotte World is open late, it is possible to enjoy the theme park well into the night. It is also adjacent to Lotte Department Store, Lotte Duty-free Shop and Lotte Hotel, which makes it easy to use the various amenities. Lotte World is a major theme park located in Seoul.

Address: 40-1 Jamsil-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul
Directions: Get off at Jamsil Station (subway line 2 or 6) -> Exit 4 is connected to Lotte World via an underground passage
Homepage: http://www.lotteworld.com (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Telephone: +82-2-411-2000 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Tickets: Adult admission: 24,000 won; One-day pass: 34,000 won; After-five admission: 21,000 won; After-five pass: 26,000 won

→ Visit the Lotte World site

Jungang High School

Yu-min transfers to the same school that Seung-jae and Su-ji attend. All three study at the same school and Seung-jae bickers with Yu-min about everything. The school where Yu-min makes fun of her brother-in-law, Seung-jae, and where Seung-jae quarrels with Yu-min is Jungang High School located in Seoul. More famous as a filming location for Winter Sonata, this school is actually an all-boys’ school. The school’s classical appearance is especially magnificent. It is accessible on foot from downtown Seoul, so it makes for a good benchmark while visiting areas such as Insa-dong or Jongno.

Tourist Information: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Address: 10 Gye-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Directions: Get off at Anguk Station on subway line 3 and go out Exit 3 -> Make a left turn toward Hyundai Construction & Engineering and walk straight -> Continue straight along Gye-dong Street. The school is at the end of the dead-end street

Casa Loca at Yeoeui-do

In episode 7, Seung-jae runs into Yu-min again after five years. Seung-jae goes to a restaurant with Su-ji, where he finds Yu-min smiling happily at Min-jae. Seung-jae had been missing her very much all this time, but he feels angry when he sees her with Min-jae. The foursome’s encounter was filmed at Casa Loca, a Mexican restaurant in Yeoeui-do. The place is a popular spot frequently visited by celebrities. The restaurant offers healthy fare free of MSG, artificial colors and animal fat. It is a good place to visit with several friends, as the portions are abundant.

Telephone: +82-2-780-8133 (Korean)
Tourist Information: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Homepage: http://www.casaloca.co.kr/ (Korean, English)
Hours: Monday–Friday: 11:30–22:30, Saturday: noon–22:30., Sunday: noon–21:30
Address: Daehan Building, 1st floor, 25 Yeoeuido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul
Directions: Subway line 5, Yeoeuido Station, Exit 3 -> Go straight. Turn left in front of Kookmin Bank, and continue straight (about 5 minutes on foot)

Pinocolle

In episode 3, Min-jae proposes a contract engagement to Yu-min. He explains that he is being forced to become engaged and is willing to pay Yu-min if she agrees to pretend to be his fiancée for just one day. Yu-min accepts the offer. The restaurant with a large window where the two have this conversation is Pinocolle, an Italian restaurant meaning, “pine tree hill.” Located within a 900-pyeong-pine tree garden, Pinocolle is a traditional Italian restaurant specializing in brick oven-baked pizzas and pastas. Located outside of Seoul, it is most convenient to get to by car. The restaurant is a popular date spot.

Tourist Information: +82-31-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Address: 48 6-3 Mulim-ri, Soheul-eup, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do

Seoul Station

In the first episode, orphaned Hae-won is abandoned at Seoul Station. Clutching a teddy bear, Hae-won cries for her mother and father in a bustling crowd. This heart-breaking scene was filmed at Seoul Station, a gateway to Seoul. Seoul Station has been renovated since then, making it challenging to find the sights seen in the drama.

→ EVisit the Seoul Station site

Sorae Port

Seung-jae takes his mother’s favorite pet dog with him when he runs away from home. Because of Shasha, his pet dog, he is forced to help out at Yu-min’s diner. This sashimi diner where Yu-min and Gang-pyo live is located at Sorae Port, which is a famous site in the Incheon area. Also, this is the place where Yu-min and Seung-jae bicker with each other and slowly begin to develop feelings for one another. A major fish market in Incheon, Sorae Port is a perfect destination for fresh seafood at affordable prices. Also, it is possible to experience the lively atmosphere of a Korean fish market.


Tourist Information: +82-32-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Directions: Get off at Jemulpo Station on subway line 1 -> Take city bus no. 21 at the bus stop in front of the subway station (every ten minutes from 6:35–23:00; duration: 40 minutes) -> Get off at the Sorae Port Gate bus stop

Ilsan Hospital

Ilsan Hospital is where Min-jae works as a doctor and where Yu-min’s brother is treated. It is also where Yu-min falls in love with Min-jae at first sight. Opened in 2000, Ilsan Hospital is a general hospital with 13 floors and five basement levels. The cheery interior creates a comfortable and cozy atmosphere. With its simple and quiet environment, spacious floors and a unique overpass, Ilsan Hospital is a famous spot in Ilsan where many other dramas were filmed, including Spring Days, Love Story in Harvard and Wife.

Address: 1232 Baekseok 1-dong, Ilsandong-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do
Telephone: +82-31-900-3114
Homepage: http://www.nhimc.or.kr/ (Korean)
Directions: Baekseok Station on subway line 3, exit 7 -> Go straight toward Daehwa. The hospital is on the right after the first intersection (ten minutes on foot)

Millennium Seoul Hilton Hotel

In episode 10, Min-jae finds Yu-min crouching dejectedly outside the hotel. He sits down beside her and consoles her upon learning that she was hurt by Seung-jae’s remarks that he is a terrible person. Located in downtown Seoul with easy access to Myeongdong, Seoul Station, Namdaemun and Namsan, Millennium Seoul Hotel is an ideal spot for enjoying nature in an urban setting. Shuttle buses operate between the hotel and other highlights throughout Seoul such as Yeouido, downtown, Itaewon, and Yongsan, to make touring Seoul easy and comfortable.


Homepage: http://www.hilton.co.kr/ (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Telephone: +82-2-753-7788 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Address: 395 Namdaemunno 5-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul
Directions: Hoehyun Station on subway line 4, exit 4 -> Go straight 200 meters toward the Daewoo Foundation Building -> Turn left toward the entrance of the Millennium Seoul Hilton Hotel parking lot -> Enter through the parking lot and take an elevator to the hotel lobby

*Photos courtesy of SBS and CINE21




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