I am Sam or A-i Em Saem (2007)

Jang Yi-san is a geeky, a bit slow, timide and full of good intentions school teacher at the problematic classroom 8.
Shin So-yi is an art teacher at the same school.
She likes Yi-san and he likes her but since they are both rather timide and slow, it takes forever for them to manage a date.
Yoo Eun-byul is the daughter of Yoo Jae-gon, the head of a gangster organization.
Despite her father’s wishes that she gets a good education, studying is not her first, second or third priority and she drives all of her private tutors away.
Eun-byul has had it with her private tutors who suck up to her, she wishes that there was someone who will not treat her nicely just because of her father.
Enters Yi-san, who is taking a walk with So-yi one evening and wants to show her how much he cares about today’s youth.
The couple bumps into Eun-byul, as she sits on a park bench after having a fight with her father and leaving the house in anger.
She is holding a cigarette butt that she’s found on the ground so Yi-san thinks that she is going to smoke it.
He tells her off and also warns her against staying alone outside at such a late hour.
Eun-byul asks him to walk her home (since it’s late and so dangerous outside) and then asks him for some money.
Yi-san assumes that she is a runaway and tries to help her out.
When she returns home, she tells her father that she has decided to study again.
The next day, Yi-san returns home after a long and tiring day and discovers to his dismay, that all of his stuff is gone.
He is then being escorted to Eun-byul’s house by Jae-gon’s, and there, he is being forced to let her be a student in his class and become her live-in tutor in exchange for one million dollars that he will be payed once Eun-byul graduates.
He is being told that if he doesn’t teach her properly or treats her badly, he will die.
Since it’s a matter of life or death, he really has no choice but to agree.
Other than having to live with his student, he also teacher her in his classroom when she becomes a student in his school.
While Eun-byul’s develops a crush on her teacher, her father wants her to get married to Kim Woo-jin, his right-hand man, who has known her ever since she was a kid and is in love with her.
Chae Moo-shin is a quiet student, from a poor home with an alcoholic father.
He has become a legend after beating up 30 troublesome students from a rival school and is known to be violent when being hit.
Despite his tough and somewhat unstable and crazy image and his involvement in fights and shady business, Moo-shin has a gentle side and he helps and protects his friend and classmate Han Tae-sung.
After Eun-byul slaps Moo-sin and after he saves her from the gang that he fought with and won, he starts liking her.
Min Sa-kang has a sick brother and she has to work to support herself, since her mother doesn’t have much money.
She is a tough kid who, studies hard, in hope of having a better future for herself and her family.
Sa-kang likes Moo-shin but suspects that he likes Eun-byul.
Despite their different backgrounds, Eun-byul and Sa-kang become friends.
Heo Mo-se is the principal’s son, all the girls are in love with him but he has his eye on Eun-byul.
Yi-san is too awkward to make his move on So-yi and misses every chance when his new, strange and uncomfortable arrangement with Eul-bul gets in the way and he has to lie and miss dates.
Ji Sun-Hoo is the new, hunky school doctor who is interested in So-yi.
He was once part of a boy group but a mysterious accident, made it impossible for him to continue in his idol career.
Sun-hoo is always there to advice and comfort So-yi as she gets disappointed time and again and becomes distrustful of Yi-san.
So-yi’s introduces Yi-san to her domineering father but after Yi-san has to help Moo-shin pay off a debt, and is forced (by Eun-byul) to use all of his savings to do so, he has no money left to buy a house and provide for his future wife.
Things get more and more complicated as suspicious students start to investigate about the teacher and his student relationship, mobsters try to hurt Eun-byul and Jae-gon decides to marry Eun-byul off to Mr Kim and send her to study in the states.

The main problem with this series is that the idea is a good one – a teacher who is forced to live with his student because of her gangster dad. Sounds like lots of fun, right?
Well, other than the fact that it takes forever and a day for anything interesting to happen, when something finally happens, it is not worth the wait.
The teacher is very slow, I don’t know who accepted him as a teacher. He can’t possibly handle a class of wild teenagers.
He lies and lies when he can easily just trust the woman that he loves and tell her the truth.
This could have prevented so many misunderstandings. I mean, you don’t live with your student because you want to but because you were forced to and you fear for your life.
So-yi must be a really trusting woman, up to the point of stupidity.
Taking your boyfriends word when when he breaks off date after date is one thing but when he introduces you to his father, who is only about ten years older than he is, is another thing altogether.
Is she blind?
Introducing someone who disappoints you so many times, to your parents is a strange decision.
Moo-shin could have been a great character but he hardly gets any lines and it’s unclear why he has decided to like Eun-byul.
As for the gangster’s child, she wanted someone who will not suck up to her out of fear and is then busy, trying to change him and turn him into someone who will suck up to her.
The whole thing is very badly written. Just for example:
Sa-kang and Moo-shin have a clever plan to help Yi-san and Eun-byul meet but if Yi-san’s visit and race around the house was so spontaneous, how did Sa-kang and Moo-shin manage to be there at the right time, to fool everyone?
How and when did Mrs Hong decide to betray her employers trust and help Eun-byul ran away with her teacher and how did Sa-Kang and Moo-shin know about it?
Such a plan can work, only if everyone involved, knows about it ahead of time.
They say that a pistol that appears in the first act, fires in the third one but alas, despite the knowledge that Sun-hoo had a nasty “accident” that ended his career as a member of a boy-band and despite the fact that he told So-yi that he has received a phone call from the person who did it, who was perhaps a member of his boy-band, we don’t hear anything else about it, so why is it even part of the story?
What’s the point of telling us a useless detail about a character? It didn’t make me feel closer to him, it didn’t make him seem real, he didn’t get to sing or perform (apart from one, tiny bit) and the “accident” was made to be so mysterious that the audience must think that this mystery will be solved at the end, but it’s not.
The whole complication between Moo-shin and the police detective and the way in which it was solved, was really silly.
In short, this was a very slow torture.
I have nothing against Yang Dong-geun, he played his part well but sadly, he talks so slowly and so lazily that it made it almost impossible for me to watch the series.
I thought that perhaps, he was speaking this way because of the part and started watching another series of his, just to discover that this is indeed the way he naturally speaks.
No offence, perhaps it’s just me but it was hard to bare after a while.
I’ve watched this show because I wanted to see T.O.P’s debut series but he had such a tiny part and spent most of the time being silent and brooding.
Lee Min-ho was amusing and I was surprised and sad to see that Park Chae-kyung, who plays Sa-kang, didn’t take any acting jobs since 2007.
Favorite moment 1 – Moo-shin gives Eun-byul one his earrings.
Favorite moment 2 – Yi-san and Kim Woo-jin have to sleep together in the living room.
Favorite moment 3 – The students make a touching surprise for their absent Saem.

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