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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Witch's Castle Episode 1-8 First Impression

Witch's Castle First Impression by Ninja
Drama: Witch's Castle (마녀의 성)
Airs: Daily

Synopsis: Growing up with the burden of accidentally killing her own parents in a house fire, our heroine Oh Dan Byul's life seems to be destine to be mired in tragedy when she also loses her newly wed husband. When circumstances force Dan Byul's estranged mother-in-law (divorced) and sister-in-law (also divorced) to start living with Dan Byul, the three women are finally able to work through their grief and embrace their new lives.

Witch's Castle Episode 1-8 Overview
As you guys probably can tell, this show focuses on the heroine's story more than the hero's but I am going to veer off my normal path and introduce the hero and the 2nd female lead first.

General Manager of Marketing at a big corporation, our hero Shin Gang Hyun is the rising star in his boss, President Moon's eyes.
Despite President Moon's secret hope that Gang Hyun could become his son-in-law, his only daughter Hee Jae dislikes Gang Hyun on sight when Gang Hyun refuses to treat her like a rich princess. Gang Hyun's already bad relationship with Hee Jae takes a turn for the worse when he refuses to let Hee Jae use her position to hire her crush (heroine's husband) as the company's lawyer. So here a hint that the 2nd female lead is not going be likable at all. Undaunted by her crush's married status, Hee Jae was determined to use her background to make him hers. 
Growing up with the scars of accidentally causing her parents' death in a house fire when she was young, our heroine Oh Dan Byul (Choi Jung-Won) gets a second chance at happiness when she falls in love with her husband Joon Young (Kim Jeong-Hoon). However, Dan Byul's path to a blissful wedding is filled with obstacles when Joon Young's mother refuses to allow her son to marry Dan Byul.
Vehemently regretting her moment of kindness that made her decide to raise little orphaned Dan Byul in her own home, Mama Yang is furious that the son she is so proud of would fall in love with Dan Byul. Ignoring a kneeling Dan Byul pleading to be accepted, Mama Yang vows that she will not go to her own son's wedding.
Rushing to her wedding in running shoes, a breathless Dan Byul apologizes to her groom for being late. Immensely relived to see Dan Byul, Joon Young readily accepts her excuse of being delayed due to her effort to help someone that was a victim of hit and run. Immersed in their joy of their wedding, neither Joo Young nor Dan Byul notice Hee Jae who is seething with jealousy as she watches her long time crush smiling happily with his glowing bride.
So, the victim of the hit and run is actually our hero Gang Hyun who wakes up later in the hospital with only a vague memory of seeing a woman in a wedding dress right before he was hit.
In a stark contrast to the first time Gang Hyun encountered her, the second time Dan Byul runs into Gang Hyun is on the day she lost her newly wed husband. Dazed with grief, Dan Byul doesn't notice the honking car as she squats in the middle of the road to pick up her wedding ring. Jumping out at the nick of time, Gang Hyun saves Dan Byul from being run over. A bit puzzled by the zombie like Dan Byul who didn't even spare him a glance after he saves her, Gang Hyun doesn't recognize Dan Byul as the girl in the wedding dress.
Blaming Dan Byul for her son's death, Mama Yang faints from grief after screaming at Dan Byul that she killed her own parents and now she has killed Joon Young as well. Unbeknownst to Joon Young's family, the real reason he died was because he was trying to save his father's mistress from a bunch of thugs that was chasing her for debt.
Losing her will to live now that her precious son is dead and her husband is determined to marry his mistress, Mama Yang tries to commit suicide. In the mean time, convinced that her existence must bring tragedy for those that love her, Dan Byul is ready to end her life as well...until she receives an urgent phone call from her sister-in-law that promptly sent Dan Byul racing to Mama Yang's side.
Three years time jump! Our two leads' paths cross once again when Dan Byul beats Gang Hyun up when she mistakenly thought he was a thief. Sheepish once she realized her mistake, Dan Byul promises to compensate Gang Hyun monetarily for his watch that was damaged during the chaos.
A brief overlook of what the secondary characters are doing after the time jump.
  • Left with nothing but a house after her divorce, Mama Yang is now working as a taxi driver to support herself. 
  • Tossing aside any guilt she might've felt for causing Joon Young's death, the mistress is gleefully spending Daddy Gong (Mama Yang's ex husband, Joon Young's dad) money on herself and her daughter.
  • Heart broken after Joon Young's death, Hee Jae (2nd female lead) had left the country three years ago but is now back in the country and working with the hero at her dad's company again. 
  • Still harboring a dream to become a star one day, Dan Byul's sister-in-law Se Sil feels no qualms in asking Dan Byul for money and uses her as a free babysitter. Knowing how much her mother wants to cut off all association with Dan Byul, Se Sil tries to hide her frequent interaction with Dan Byul but usually ends up in a fight with Mama Yang when she is caught. 
First Impression:
 Hmm... It's too early to tell yet since episode 8 is where we have officially finished setting up the background story but I am being optimistically hopeful about this one. I am a little biased though because I've had a soft spot for Seo Ji Suk (hero) since watching him in Gloria (2010). It doesn't hurt that Seo Ji Suk's Gang Hyun character here in Witch's Castle reminds me a lot of the character he played in Gloria.
Judging by the drama's synopsis, our heroine will eventually end up living in the same household with her sister-in-law and mother-in-law. Mama Yang of course still carries a whole lot of resentment towards Dan Byul at this point so I think the story will spend a good amount of time on how these three women will become a true family together. 

I am a little concerned with the Dan Byul's tendency to blame everything on herself and willingness to be taken advantage of by her sister-in-law but the writer has given the heroine enough spunk that I am hopeful as the story progresses she will start to shed the baggage of her past. My other concern about the show is the annoying side characters that are already everywhere at this point. Other than the two leads, Mama Yang and a few other characters, everyone else is already painfully annoying so I worry how bad this is going to go. 
Still, all those concerns are pretty typical for a K-daily and if the writer can deliver an intriguing story for our two leads then the annoyance of secondary characters can be easily ignored...and thanks to my love for Seo Ji Suk I will probably be extra patient with Witch's Castle. 


  1. Thanks for your recap of this drama! No english subs yet, so your recap really helped to explain the plot :)
    I squeed that Kim Jeong Hoo pulled a cameo in this drama, since he & Choi Jung Won & Kim Jeong Hoon were
    adorable together the JTBC drama Her Legend in 2013.
    Regarding Seo Ji Suk, I last watched him the drama OBGYN Doctors in 2010, and I enjoyed his performance as the playboy doctor.

  2. Just started this with my drama buddy! I'm with you! I've had a huge soft spot for Seo Ji Suk since Gloria (a drama I've watched at least 3 times!).Can't say I've seen much of Choi Jung Won but Kim Jeong Hoon, I've always wanted to since Goong!