Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Haeundae Lovers Episode 1 Recap

  Okay, so I've decided to try my hand at recapping. I think this show is a good place to start, because I'm not sure it will be all that great. However, this show may do a quick turnaround and prove me wrong. I sure hope so. 
Episode 1:

   Prosecutor Lee Tae Sung is on a stakeout for a drugs bust (yes, sometimes I think I'm British). Things go south and Lee Tae Sung goes all Rambo on the gangsters. 

  Boss man makes a getaway in a motor boat, but luckily Tae Sung is half torpedo, because he's pretty much able to keep up.
  He then jumps into Go So Ra's fishing boat and spills her catch. Ah, the first meeting neither of them will remember, since they never see each other's faces. (Don't worry, they'll definitely remember their next meeting. That is, So Ra will.)

  Tae Sung chases Boss through the streets and beach of Busan. Boss has pretty much the best idea in a chase ever, and throws money from his briefcase into the air in the middle of the crowded beach, effectively making enough commotion to escape.

  Tae Sung rebukes the cops on the case before leaving for Seoul. They wonder why he has to go back to Seoul and find out that it's his wedding day. He'll be back in Busan for his honeymoon, though, so that he can finish this case. Sounds like a dream honeymoon for his lucky bride. 
  We next see So Ra's "family" getting ready for the morning of a Big Day. We get several shots highlighting the uncles' tattoos and skills with knives. (I love Boo Young Do's pink frilly apron and Hello Kitty tattoos, especially.)
  Eldest Uncle Lee Soon Shin gets a phone call from the "Prosecutor's office" asking for his credit card number and pin. Youngest Uncle Lee Dong Baek takes the phone and curses out the guy on the other end. (I love how they use English words like lotto and lingerie as swear words in some dramas. I also love Young Do covering So Ra's ears.) He calls the guy an idiot and then So Ra's father starts bashing him over the head screaming "I'm not an idiot!" (His character description is that he's a former mob boss who suffered a brain injury, which has made him kinda simple.)

  The family discusses why today is such a big day. They have finally paid off their debts and can look to their happiness. Young Do puts a damper on things by complaining that they only have a shop to show for all their hard work, and So Ra's dad is "like this". When will they get their hotel? So Ra looks at a picture of Haeundae Hotel and swears to find it/get it back.

  Later, Boo Young and Dong Baek are dressed as a crab and a squid, respectively. So Ra prepares to make deliveries and gets a phone call telling her that Shoon Shin's daughter Gwan Soon is working at a club.  Dong Baek warns So Ra not to slam on the brakes because the lid of the fish container isn't on tight and the fish will go flying if she does. As she drives off, the uncles complain and we find out she's set to marry "that Min Goo guy". They hand out their fliers while being tortured by the kids on the boardwalk.
  Yoon Sae Na is anxiously waiting in her wedding dress, hoping her phone will ring. Her friend Joo Hee tells her that she is making a mistake, since Tae Sung is evidently not into this whole wedding thing—he hasn't bothered to call to tell her where he is and he didn't even help with the preparations. Sae Na sweetly explains that no matter what, she is lucky because she gets to marry Tae Sung. If it weren't for her family connections, she'd never have a chance with him. She then doubles over in pain, but brushes it off as being from worry. Maybe it's really a sign from the heavens.

  The guests are filing in to the ceremony and we see a bloody and disheveled Tae Sung run in. His father rebukes him. When Tae Sung is getting dressed for the ceremony, his father cutely checks that he's not seriously injured and threatens the guys who did this to his son. However, when Tae Sung asks if they can push back the honeymoon, his father decides to finish the job the gangsters left undone. But then he changes tack and tries to give his son advice instead. Yeah, good luck with that.
  After he leaves, Tae Sung's mother comes in and slaps him. She rebukes him for using Se Na for his own ambition and tells him to wait to have kids—she doesn't want to see him become the head of household over her real sons. She then tells him to waive his inheritance and warns him that he'd better not smile during the ceremony. 

I want to go to there!
  So Ra heads in to Seoul and stops to help a grandma. She gives her a ride to Haeundae Hotel, but we're shown her hesitance to go there.

  On their way there, Yook Tam Hee, the wife of the hotel's president, spots them and instructs the security guard to stop the truck at all costs.

  Choi Joon Hyuk pulls up to the hotel and is greeted as "Vice President". He mentions how cool the hotel is, because, it is gorgeous. Like him.

  Security guard jumps in front of So Ra's truck, causing her to slam on the brakes and spilling fish all over Tam Hee's Mustang. So Ra jumps out to try to save her fish, then tries to apologize, and is slapped by Tam Hee. They get in an argument and Tam Hee tells her that they don't want her fishy smell to infect the hotel. So Ra retorts that in her days at Haeundae Hotel, people weren't blocked from coming in, no matter their station. Tam Hee tells her that times have changed, and trash like So Ra isn't allowed in the hotel. Tam Hee asks for compensation for her car and clothes, but So Ra refuses, saying that it's Tam Hee's fault and that she should at least apologize if she wants compensation.

  Tam Hee's Grandma and Joon Hyuk look on—she angrily, he admiringly (so cute!). So Ra then tells Tam Hee that she actually owes her compensation, since her goods have been damaged, her delivery has been delayed, and she has suffered emotional distress. Tam Hee "compensates" by dumping a bucket of water on her.

  So Ra tells her that the rumors will just start over again, since there are so many onlookers. Tam Hee motions to them that So Ra is crazy, while herself looking completely insane. So Ra leaves, and Grandmother goes over and rebukes Tam Hee, then tells her she's there to bring kimchi to the president.

  So Ra meets Joon Hyuk, who refuses to shake her wet, fishy hand and then plucks the falsies off her cheek and hands them to her. Later he attends a meeting about the hotel and tells them he knows the board is full of crap and that they're all gangsters. He's done research before coming from the States and knows what's going on. Tam Hee comes in as he's leaving, and he tells her that unless she actually has something to do with running the hotel, she shouldn't come to any more meetings.

  Back at the wedding venue, Se Na's meddling friend Joo Hee stops Tae Sung and tells him that he's not worthy of Se Na. He tells her to mind her own business and goes to find his bride. Se Na is still in agony, but hides it when Tae Sung walks in.

  During the ceremony he is stony-faced and looks almost bored. This may or may not have something to do with his mother's request to not smile. I can't tell, honestly.
  On the way to the airport for their honeymoon, Se Na marvels that she is married to Oppa, and is thrilled for their honeymoon. He shows his affection by continuing to work—reading briefs and answering phone calls. She asks about his birth parents, and he says he can't remember. "Isn't that why he wanted to go to Busan?" He tells her to stop there, and that he won't forgive her for bringing that up. When he finally notices she's in pain, he asks her to hold out until they get to the airport, because there's a pharmacy there. She doesn't make it that far.

  We next see her being wheeled on a gurney and they are told she needs emergency surgery. It will take 5 hours and then she'll need a week to recover. Tae Sung asks hopefully if they need to postpone the honeymoon, and the doctor says yes. Se Na tells her allegedly loving husband that she is scared, and he tells her to listen to the doctor. He even manages to maintain a concerned look until the doors close. 

  Here's where Tae Sung shows himself worthy of Husband of the Year, by waiting a whole 3 seconds (he even counts it out) to whip out his phone and start making plans to catch the gangsters at a nightclub. Bravo, Tae Sung, you just proved yourself to be the ultimate douchebag.
  So Ra shows up at the same night club, where her dong saeng/"cousin" Gwan Soon is in trouble for spilling expensive drinks. Instead of paying for the alcohol, So Ra is coerced into performing the Odong Show, which is apparently a striptease done wearing a hanbok. First she ties up her cousin in the truck so she can't escape. Gangstered!
  Of course, Tae Sung decides he's the only one who can go under cover, and comes looking for his contact. He's been told she's the performer of the Eoudong Show and that the code word is "This kind of feeling is a first." He tries the catchphrase on So Ra, but she thinks he's referring to the way he feels from the head wound she just accidentally gave him by whacking him with the door.
  Before Tae Sung is able to clarify things, the club owner comes and tells So Ra she has to go onstage. I have to say, despite her initial outrage at being asked to perform the Eoudong Show, her performance shows that she seems pretty aware of what it entails. She also doesn't seem that uncomfortable doing a sexy dance or making eyes at the audience until the patrons start yelling at her to "take it all off". 
  Tae Sung watches the performance, and is clearly attracted to So Ra. So, not only are you at a host club "for work" within hours of getting married, you're already lusting after the first girl you see. While your wife is in surgery. Way to stay classy, Tae Sung. 
"This kind of feeling is a first."
  When So Ra runs offstage and hides in a private room, Tae Sung follows the club owner and his goons to find her. He spots her hiding under a table and repeats his code word, before telling her that they need to leave quickly. She still thinks he's losing it from his head wound, but accepts what she thinks is his offer to help her escape.

  Before they can leave the room, the goons come looking, and they hide behind the door. Sexy music plays as they are pressed up against one another in the tight space until the goons leave. They have a brief moment.

  As So Ra peeks out the door, her hanbok gets caught on a nail, but she assumes it's Tae Sung being a pervert and pulling on her costume. When she tries to run away, her skirt gets pulled off and she runs back in the room to fix it, banging the door into Tae Sung's head. She then tries to kick him, but he catches her foot and stops her.
  Okay, the only pity I have for Tae Sung at this point is for the multiple head traumas he's suffered. It's not only the two from the club, because there were some earlier in his initial fight scene with the gangsters. I'm pretty sure all this damage leads to the amnesia we know he'll have, causing him to think he's really a gangster.
"What's with the eyeliner? Are you trying to be David Copperfield?"
  Other than that, I think he's a complete jerk. I really hope post-amnesiac Tae Sung is more likable than pre-amnesiac Tae Sung, because I pretty much hate him. Also, I'm already biased in favor of Jung Suk Won, and would love to see him as the lead of some drama. I'm willing to let Tae Sung win me over, but in this first episode, he does nothing for me. I guess I feel that way about this series in general. 
  I did laugh a few times during this episode, but I wasn't usually laughing with the show, but at it. I can see how this drama could work, and it might end up being decent, but it has so much potential for a major train wreck. (However, not on the same level as Dr. Jin, because no drama can compete with a brain fetus. Unless the brain fetus moves on to Haeundae Lovers and is the true cause of Tae Sung's amnesia. Please, no.)
  I like how So Ra is tough and sweet all at the same time. Her character is quite interesting to me so far, and I see lots of potential for her development. She has a lot of love and kindness, but there is still the scrappy mob boss' daughter (who duct tapes her cousin) under it all, and I hope we'll get to keep seeing that side of her. I love her extended "family", too, and I also hope that we'll get to see more of their antics. I think they will be the major source for comedy here.
  I also like Se Na, which I wasn't expecting. Usually the love rival is obnoxious and petty, but she is very sincere in her love for Tae Sung (why? I don't know, but she is), and she seems to be a pretty decent person. I don't quite know why this drama wants me to prefer So Ra for him, so it had better give me some good reasons. 
  Also, I feel it's a little weird that the synopsis states that Tae Sung and Se Na are only engaged, but they totally get married in the first episode, on the first day. (So that adds extra squickiness to the amnesia situation, which I thought I could handle with there just being an engagement.) Wait a second, isn't that the whole premise of Couple of Fantasy? I haven't seen it, but I'm pretty sure the Hong Sisters already did this drama. But maybe this is also a take-off of Samantha Who, where she learns how awful she was before her amnesia and tries to change not only her personality, but her reputation as well. We can only hope.


  1. I don't know if I'm brave enough to watch this show without recapping it. Sometimes it's easier to watch a show when you have all the time in the world to make fun of it.

    I do have a cartoon of the pickled baby if you ever want to try incorporating it into this series.

  2. I really like some of the little things you put in...it makes it entertaining to read and not boring...I like pictures...rather than bunches of text...sometimes it spoils it but this is just right ^^ NICE JOB!