Starring Song Joong Ki and Lee Sung Min, Reborn Rich’s ratings soared to 24.94 percent making it the highest-rated drama of the year. It has broken Crash Landing on You’s record and become the second highest-rated drama in cable history. The chaebol-themed drama thrills with the vicious fighting among heirs, which is reminiscent of South Korean corporation Samsung’s real-life scandals.
Reborn Rich revolves around Korea’s largest chaebol Soonyang Group and the internal war among family members vying to be the successor. Lee Sung Min’s powerhouse acting brings to life the ruthless and arrogant patriarch, who later morphs into a pitiful, bedridden senior fighting illness.
While Song Joong Ki did not flex his acting skills and mostly had one expression throughout the drama, viewers felt he may be burdened by his “male god” image. However, this criticism may be too harsh as it requires acting prowess for him to portray his character from 20 to 40 years old.
The dramatic story behind Reborn Rich is said to be reflective of the real-life struggles behind Samsung’s founder, Lee Byung Chul. He originally planned his eldest son Lee Maeng Hee to be the successor, but the latter lacked business acumen. When Lee Maeng Hee found out his father would change his successor, he reported that Samsung had smuggled 55 tons of saccharin into the country disguised as construction material. This led to second son Lee Chang Hee taking the blame and going to jail on behalf of his father for half a year.
After he was released from prison, Lee Chang Hee assumed that his father would name him as his successor in gratitude, but unexpectedly the empire was left to third son Lee Kun Hee. In a fit of rage, Lee Chang Hee and Lee Maeng Hee joined forces and disclosed their father’s slush funds. Although this did not shake Samsung’s status in the country, Lee Chang Hee was exiled from the family and an attempted restraint to a psychiatric hospital in the United States for delusional behavior.
During his 30-year leadership as Samsung’s chairman, Lee Kun Hee built up the company’s core products in technology and transformed it into a premium brand before passing away in 2020.
This article is written by Kiki for JayneStars.com.