Seven K-Dramas Where The Poor Girl Gets The Rich Guy

high society
‘Master's Sun’
The Heirs
Secret Garden
Fated To Love You
Boys over Flowers
My Lovely Samsoon
Bride of the Century

Korean dramas often rely on the plot device of the Cinderella story, where poor, downtrodden women are plucked from their dire circumstances. Their wealthy and handsome heroes usually face opposition from their parents or other meddling relatives, who attempt to maintain social order through means fair or foul. 

SBS' "High Society" approaches this trope from the perspective of Yoo Chang Soo, a conglomerate heir, who bows to the wishes of his mother. He breaks off his relationship with Lee Ji Yi, an innocent and poor woman, but actively rebels by drinking. As enters a path of self-destruction, his mother is faced with the reality that he will not submit to an arranged marriage, as he continues to love Ji Yi. 

Ji Yi is an atypical heroine, who dreads Chang Soo's mother but stops slightly short of calling her mother-in-law. She is a formidable opponent for his mother, proving that might be his best match. 

Viewers have to wait until July 28 to learn whether Ji Yi and Chang Soo will receive a happy ending. Until their conclusion is revealed, here are seven K-Dramas where the poor girl gets the rich guy. 

1. "My Lovely Samsoon"

The 2005 romantic comedy, "My Lovely Samsoon" is the classic example of a K-Drama Cinderella story. Kim Sam Soon (Kim Sun A) is brash and mannerless, but she is able to catch the attention of Hyun Ji Heon (Hyun Bin), a wealthy restauranteur. 

2. "Secret Garden"

Ha Ji Won is currently winning hearts in "The Time We Were Not in Love" but one of her most lovable drama roles is stunt woman Gil Ra Im in the 2010 supernatural series, "Secret Garden." Hyun Bin rocks a sparkling tracksuit as Kim Joo Won, an arrogant businessman, who falls head-over-heels in love with Ra Im. 

3. "Boys Over Flowers"

One of the most beloved Cinderella tales is the 2009 teen drama, "Boys Over Flowers." Gu Jun Pyo (Lee Min Ho) is an obstinate and egotistical conglomerate heir, who is used to ordering around adults, as part of the F4. When he meets transfer student Geum Jan Di (Gu Hye Sun), his meticulous world is turned upside down. Actress Lee Hye Young stars as Jun Pyo's mother, a character that continues to be one of the scariest potential K-Drama in-laws, to date. 

4. "Master's Sun"

Gong Hyo Jin portrays Tae Gong Shil, a poor woman who is plagued with the gift of communicating with ghosts, in "Master's Sun." She mistakenly discovers that Joo Joong Won, a wealthy department store heir, is the antidote to her ailment. The pair develops a strange co-dependent relationship which develops from being a tale that is commonly referred to in K-Drama as  "Candy Girl" to a substantial love story. 

5. "The Heirs"

Park Shin Hye is Cha Eun Sang, an overworked high school student, who struggles to make ends meet with her mute mother. Lee Min Ho is Kim Tan, her knight-in-shining-armor, who saves her from the rough streets of LA, before developing romantic feelings for her, in Korea. "The Heirs" represents the struggle of a young conglomerate heir who wishes to defy the wishes of his parents, to find true love. The perspective of Tan is similar to Chang Soo in "High Society," only Chang Soo has the leverage of a working adult. 

6. "Bride of the Century"

FTISLAND's Lee Hong Ki is Choi Kang Soo, a second generation conglomerate heir, whose family is believed to be cursed. Yang Jin Sung portrays Na Doo Rim, a poor woman who is tricked into serving as the substitute wife for Kang Soo, by her doppelganger. Kang Soo and Doo Rim develop a timeless love, which defies the constraints of the alleged curse. 

7. "Fated to Love You"

Based on the 2008 Taiwanese drama, "Fated to Love You" provides a nuanced perspective on the Cinderella trope. Jang Nara is Kim Mi Young, an innocent pushover, who is bullied at work and in her love life. Her circumstances change when she meets Lee Gun (Jang Hyuk), a wealthy heir who believes that he will die while he is in his thirties due to a hereditary disease. Mi Young gains confidence while Gun derives strength from true love. 


About the writer: Adrienne Stanley is a contributing editor for KDramastars. She is also a contributing writer for KpopStarz, MTV Iggy, Viki and CJ Entertainment's KCON blog. Her passions include a love of K-pop and Asian drama. When she is not writing, she is hanging out on Twitter (@retrogirladdy).

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