My Lovely Sam-Soon was the most popular TV drama of 2005, and it's easy to see why, though the series doesn't fully work for me. Kim Seon-A is totally convincing and likable as the title character: a brassy, unglamorous, vulgar young woman with her own mind, but who still feels the tug of social expectations. They are her expectations too.
Kim Sam-soon is a high school graduate who went to France to study as a pastry chef. Returning to Korea, she acquired a boyfriend, a spoiled and disturbingly pretty rich boy. When she discovers, at the beginning of Episode 1, that he has been cheating on her casually, she flees to bawl her eyes out in a restroom stall. A knock on the stall door interrupts her; she learns that she'd run into a men's restroom by mistake. The man who knocked is another disturbingly pretty rich young man, Hyeon Jin-heon (played by Hyeon Bin), and even if you hadn't seen him in the opening credits, you'd know by the conventions of TV drama that he's the one. The question, as Sam-soon flees again, is how to get from this embarrassing first meeting to Happily Ever After.
Before you know it, Sam-soon has stumbled into a job as pastry chef in Jin-heon's chic restaurant, so you know that it's only a matter of time -- sixteen episodes, to be exact. All they have to do is get past Jin-heon's Gorgon of a mother, President Na Hyun-sook (Na Moon-hee); his former true love Yoo Hee-jin, returned from several years in California (Jung Ryeo-won); Henry Kim, the studly Korean-American doctor (Daniel Henney) who followed Hee-Jin to Korea from California; and all the other obstacles that a talented and sadistic writer can throw at them.