SBS from December 1, 2012 to January 27, 2013 on Saturdays and Sundays at 21:55 kst for 16 episodes
Also known as Alice in Cheongdam-dong
Genre: Romance, Drama
Based on Cheongdam-dong Audrey by Lee Hye-kyung
Written by Kim Ji-woon, Kim Jin-hee
Directed by Jo Soo-won, Shin Seung-woo
Moon Geun Young as Han Se Kyung
Park Shi Hoo as Cha Seung Jo/ Jean Thierry Cha
So Yi Hyun as Seo Yoon Joo
Kim Ji Suk as Tommy Hong
Han Se-kyung (Moon Geun-young) believed in l’effort est ma force, meaning “hard work is my strength.” The aspiring fashion designer couldn’t afford to study overseas, but won many local design contests and mastered French on her own.
She slowly begins to lose her positive outlook toward the world when her father’s small bakery closes down after losing customers to larger retailers. Se-kyung’s boyfriend of six years (Namgoong Min), who has to pay his sick mother’s medical bills, runs away with her savings.
After much struggling, Se-kyung finally lands a job as a designer at GN Fashion, an apparel company in ritzy, image-conscious Cheongdam-dong (a small, insular, and particularly posh neighborhood in Seoul’s Gangnam District). She is stunned to find out, however, that her actual job is being a personal assistant to the president’s wife ― who turns out to be her high school classmate and rival Seo Yoon-joo (So Yi-hyun).
Her “official” boss In-hwa (Kim Yoo-ri) is the president’s younger sister, at 29 only two years older than Se-kyung, who became the youngest person to be appointed to her position. “What sucks is your taste, not your resume,” In-hwa bluntly tells Se-kyung. “Taste is an accumulation of what you see and think, as well as the kind of things you are exposed to, from the moment that you were born.”
What she says completely shatters Se-kyung’s life philosophy rooted in hard work and consistent effort. Upon this despairing realization, Se-kyung changes her life’s course. Seeing how Yoon-joo’s life has changed compared to her own, Se-kyung decides to do exactly the same thing: marry a rich man. She enlists Yoon-joo’s help and embarks on the project to become a “Cheongdam-dong daughter in-law,” a term referring to stylish young married women of the upper crust living in that wealthy neighborhood. Her bitter disillusionment leads her to seduce Jean Thierry Cha (Park Si-hoo), the youngest CEO in the luxury-brand industry. Cha, whose real name is Cha Seung-jo, harbors a petty side and is determined to get back at the people who have hurt him in the past. And despite his line of business, he feels a strong hatred towards women who marry for money and are obsessed with designer labels. Seung-jo falls for the genuine, idealistic Se-kyung, but not knowing this, she gives up being the person she wanted to be, and decides to live like those she once despised.
The title is a word play on Alice in Wonderland, referring to the heroine’s fish-out-of-water status in said neighborhood, as she navigates the strange new world of designer clothes, gossip and consumerism, and learns the meaning of real love and happiness. Wiki.
episode guide 1-8