A good start, funny and emotional. Solid cast. I would give it a 8/10 for a first episode.
A classy woman (Hwang Ji-an) escapes a building. She runs and loses her shoe in the stairs like a perfect Cinderella. Once outside, she shields her eyes from the sun. Got it: She’s an office woman accustomed to neon tubes and air conditioning.
Police station: An ahjussi drags a screaming delinquent by the ear.
The man (Park Kwang-suk) wants to erase the kid (Park Tae-kang) from the family register. The kid says “please do” and “good riddance”. Well status quo for now: It’s not something you can do on impulse, documents to bring and all. The dad is pissed off and the kid tells him to beat him if he wants to. This way he can re-enter and charge him for aggression. We get to know the fight started because Tae-kang bought a motorbike with the money of rich daddy (normally for his tuition). So here we go with the dysfunctional family. Daddy gives up the fight but not without kicking the bike first. Little detail: The bike is called Beyonce. I’m ashamed for Tae-kang, really. I can’t picture myself calling my car Hyun Bin even to save my life. *cringe*.
Tae-kang decides to make good use of that sunny day and drives Beyonce on the little streets of Seoul. He sees a woman crossing the road in front of him at the last second and has the reflex to go to ground before colliding. Everyone is alive but the adrenaline get them into a dispute right away. The brat only cares for his bike.
Since the ahjumma stood up by herself then everything is fine, right? The ahjumma says never mind, he is just a brain less kid and she has an important appointment. Problem is: Traffic jam. Since money solves everything these days, the deal is quickly settled. Repair bills for a taxi ride. And the poor ahjumma to scream her lungs out until they arrive to destination. She got so scared than she forgets to give him back the helmet before rushing in.
Fashion show. A female boss (played by the actress who was the bitchy boss in Color of Woman) is scolding the staff for ruining her presentation: Someone messed up with the sizes.
Stupid girl says it’s because all the foreigner models look-alike… Wonder woman arrives to save the day. She asks for scissors and glue and iron. She cuts ribbons from the skirt of stupid girl. She downsizes and customizes the shoes on the spot.
All done for nothing tho since the HBIC dismisses her, saying she has found a replacement in the meantime. A really bad day for Ji-an who decides she has had enough. She tells her employees to pack all the shoes and go back to the HQ. Everyone starts fighting for the shoes while the two alpha women stare at each other. It’s quite ridiculous AND intimidating. The witch threatens to sue but Ji-an says she doesn’t care: No husband and no kid. If she has a mattress to sleep on then it’s fine. You can tell she’s deadly serious.
“What do you prefer? Sending me to jail? Or should i take responsibility?”
After the fashion show, Ji-an runs again and barely pays attention to Tae-kang who is still waiting for her. He tries to keep the rhythm but fails. Ji-an arrives after the battle: The birthday party for teacher Hwang Yeong-gak is already over. She calls on the phone to have some news. Her mom says daddy is furious and she knows what happens when he gets mad… So our future lovers have both angry daddy issues?
Ji-an runs off again and tells Tae-kang to follow her. She’s heading to the train station so she could talk to her parents before they go back to hometown. Angry daddy shouts at the daughter and the mom. Even Tae-kang is startled when he sees the scene.
Ji-an says she did all she could to please him (hotel, catering and logistics) but she really had to leave the party to solve an urgent matter at work. Daddy says he doesn’t care about her showing off: All he wanted was to see his only daughter once in a year. Or just once before he dies! He tells her to stop sending money to them and not to come home anymore. Maybe he will erase her from the family register too since she doesn’t care for them in her heart. Mom and dad jump in the train and Ji-an finds herself alone on the station platform. Not exactly alone: Tae-kang is silently standing there. Looks like he knows well the emotional pain she’s feeling.
Ji-an walks aimlessly in the street, Tae-kang following her slowly like she asked, pushing his bike. She finds a park to sit and cry and Tae-kang hands her a paper tissue… With the price of the repairs for the bike on it. Cause obviously she has no time to search for this so he took the initiative. Bwahaha! Practical but mean. Realistic? Before leaving he tells her not to worry: The laws have changed and you can’t be erased from the family register so easily anymore. He knows that cause HE wanted to do it for himself. Ji-an is hit by the irony of the situation and starts giggling like crazy. Which triggers a hysterical laugh in Tae-kang. The ice is broken.
They go to drown their problems and discuss their lives on a poorly lit cafe. Tae-kang says she is lucky. His own father only cares for money, he wouldn’t mind not seeing his son for ten years. So he decided he would start a business to show him what he’s made of. He needs to take revenge.
Fashion, mogul wannabee and revenge on crappy life? Now we just need a sexy rival to steal your girlfriend. I would stay away from rooftop pools if I were you…
The waiter of the bar is a funny guy but he needs to work on his approach. He tells them he has a new alcohol cocktail for couples having their first date. It’s called the “Horny-Blushing” cocktail. No, I’m not blushing at all for those who wonder. Ji-an answers thank you sir, but no: They could be mother and son. Tae-kang plays the nice guy and tells her she looks absolutely younger than his mom: 27, 28 at most. The evening goes on and they both start to get really drunk. Tae-kang feels comfortable enough to tell her she shouldn’t be so aggressive and cold: Men like women with cuteness and a fragile side. And they need to feel needed, they want to be loved for their brain too. Ji-an tells him she knows all that. It’s not than she doesn’t know how to do it. She chooses not to, cause men are all the same: Immature and ignorant and superficial. Tae-kang: “You must have been hurt badly to think that way.”
Ji-an tells him to mind his own business. He is just a kid who knows nothing about life, as expected. She pinches his cheek hard. Tae-kang confides he has been abandoned by his mother just after his birth.
Tae-kang: “But it’s OK! I understand why she could have done it. A lot of reasons could have forced her to do so. That’s life. I don’t need pity.”
Ji-an gives him a noona-dongsaeng knock on the head: He knows all this and still he puts his father in misery? Unfilial son! They leave the bar completely wasted and Tae-kang tries his best to put her on a taxi but when she says she doesn’t live in Seoul but in Gong Joo instead, Tae-kang dismisses him. Is it her real address or did she give the one of her parents?
Anyway they end sitting on the sidewalk and the rain starts to pour. Tae-kang tells her he looks like a nice guy but he is not one truth to be told. So he is going to leave her there and pray so that nothing happens to her. Ji-an replies she understands: Everyone is alone on life anyway… She dozes off and wakes up only to realize than the selfish bastard has returned with a sunshade taken from a bar to shield her from the rain.
Ji-an: “You’re so busted. How will you survive in that cruel city with such a soft heart?”
Tae-kang: “It’s the law of the streets: Abandoned kids have to stick together. It’s raining and we are both depressed.” They start playing word games while walking… And the morning sun finds them naked in bed, back to back.
Both wake-up at the same time but none of them wants to be the first moving (or even talking). Ji-an can’t even remember who’s in bed with her and finally asks. Tae-kang answers in coded language: Motorbike. They both cringe in embarrassment. Ji-an says she doesn’t remember anything and Tae-kang pretends the same. She tells him to get up first and he politely asks her to hand him his underpants which are… Under her pillow. Bwahaha… Someone remembers where he disrobed apparently. Selective amnesia, my old friend… They “fight” for the possession of the sheets so he can put on his clothes privately. Which I find funny visually but stupid psychologically: When you just had sex with someone I don’t understand why you should feel timid or ashamed. Specially as a 36 years old woman. I will use the artistic license card and pretend it’s for dramatic effect. Anyway, Tae-kang grabs the rest of his clothes and leaves the room, without taking a shower (ewww). “Good bye ma’am and have a nice day.” For me, THAT is awkward. Sorry writer-nim but I choose the breakfast together with a good laugh to start the crazy day. They are ADULTS. At least her.
Anyway, Tae-kang now walks head down on the street while Ji-an prepares herself to go to work. She visits her shoe dressing and picks the lucky ones for the day. At the “Jinny Kim” office, all the team has gathered and waits anxiously for the deserved mega scolding of their boss. Ji-an stays totally cold and the silence is even worst. She orders everyone to get back to work and gives Stupid Girl her credit card to buy a new skirt. Nice and fair.
Tae-kang returns to the bar of his friend to take his motorbike and is questioned. His father tried to call him repeatedly but he didn’t answer his phone. What happened? Did he spend the night with the girl? The answer is yes and the friend dies laughing, half proud and half incredulous.
“You said your first would be Kim Tae-hee and you lose your virginity like this?”
Of course, daddy is waiting for him at home. He already knows he spent the night with a girl and he wants her name. Choong-baek the barman has spilled the beans. I always thought barmen were the best at keeping secrets… Daddy tells him it’s ok to see girls but he should be careful. Accidents happen and he could end up like him: Dumped by a girl because of an unexpected baby. Heee… Tae-kang replies than the first thing he will do when he has enough money is do a paternity test. Cause his father actually behaves like a step-father… LOL.
Ji-an visits the store who sells her shoes and gets upset when the boss tells her the sales are not good. Too many fakes selling on the street and they can’t compete with their prices. In a corner, a client is complaining. For one pair here she could afford 2 pairs elsewhere. And they are not even comfortable.
Ji-an stares at the ceiling and mutters she should wear jogging clothes if she values comfort so much. And obviously she shouldn’t buy high-heels but sport shoes. She asks for the customer to leave the store right now. She doesn’t care if she’s the daughter of the President: She insulted her creations so she feels in her right to answer back. The woman gets mad, takes off the shoes and throw them on the floor before leaving. The sellers even have to restrain Ji-an from running after her. Yes, someone here needs anger management sessions. Ji-an calms down a little bit and wipes the dirt from the shoes with her sleeve.
Sadly, we discover than the seller of the imitation shoes is… Tae-kang. And the producer is his dad. Conflict of interest here I come. Dad and son get a fright (busted by the cops?) when Choong-baek arrives suddenly to show them a book about Spicy Pepper, the one night stand. In fact she’s a famous business woman in the shoe industry. Tae-kang takes the book to read it at home and learn one or two things from his rival and mentor in the profession. He remembers the day they were together: She told him she was just an employee… Ha.
Ji-an skips lunch once again and eats crackers when one employee comes to brief her about the petition for Korean Intellectual Property. Ji-an decides to do something on her own: She will patrol on Itaewon to find the source of their problem and everyone will have to participate by doing extra-hours. I guess if it’s that or losing your job because of insufficient orders… The secretary informs her she received a call from the hospital for her and she has an appointment with them.
The female Doctor: “I don’t know where to start. It could be difficult to handle for you.”
Must be Scent of a Woman memories: Seeing Kim Sun-ah talking with a doctor just gives me cold sweats.
Ji-an: “Whatever it is, I don’t want to have surgery. Not now”. She starts talking at high-speed, shaking like a leaf: She has a lot of work to do, business trips scheduled, employees who count on her for their pay check. Can’t she just take medicine until everything calms down? I swear I heard my heart pumping in my ears. The doctor tells her it’s not a health problem strictly speaking. But she has to prepare herself. Her hormone levels are decreasing rapidly and her uterus is aging prematurely. She will be menopaused in 1 or 2 years. Ohh…
Ji-an talks with a friend who advises her to get a shot of hormones to delay the process. Ji-an tells her it’s not a big deal, really. It’s almost a good news in fact. No more menstrual cramps, no more fatigue. And no more pressure to get married. And I thought I was cynical… Doesn’t she want to have kids? Not that much. And she can adopt if she ever changes her mind. She adds she never liked kids anyway so no need to worry about that in the end. Life is beautiful. Ji-an changes the topic of the conversation and asks her friend about her own love life. Divorced, reliable alimony, 3 kids to love, new lover each month. All that thanks to a healthy uterus who is the best financial product in the world. Wow! just wow…
Of course, Ji-an is in reality shocked by the diagnostic and starts looking at her reflection in the windows. Her phone rings at the same moment and it’s mom. She brings good news: A man has asked for a blind date with her. Not too old, good income, only son. His job: Gynecologist. Bwahaha…! Mom asks her precious daughter to accept a meeting, just once. To please her father. Ma In-tak from Can Love Become Money must have rubbed off on me: I smell a gigantic conspiracy from family and friends. Ji-an does not and asks where and when.
The doctor’s name is Jo Eun-sung. His first words are: “You’re a beauty”. And I spit my coffee on my keyboard. Handsome men should warn us before saying that! Ji-an is unimpressed, good for her. The dinner is absolutely boring (the man can’t stop comparing her to his “mum”) and she keeps yawning. Or maybe it’s a strategy to discourage the guy. Well, it doesn’t work.
Instead the man demands to see her forehead, to judge her personality. I swear, the all thing screams Medical Examination In Disguise. He finally asks her about the serial yawning and she uses the occasion to drop the bomb: She has a sickness and her womb is the one of a 50 years old woman.
Eun-sung : “Is this the new way for women to reject men on blind dates?”
Ji-an: “Actually no. What I’m trying to say is that I want YOU to reject me. I came here to please my parents but I have no intention to marry in the future. If I reject you my parents will be mad at me. So I ask you to reject me instead. This way no one will be hurt.”
Eun-sung starts laughing: “Seems like none of us came for the good reason today. I don’t want to marry either. The “mum” word is the best solution to be quickly rejected by women so I used it in every sentence tonight.” The guy says he has an even better technique to make girls run away: A tube of mascara in his pocket. He just has to show it and say: “Pardon me. I need to go and fix my make-up. When I come back the woman has left. Never fails.“
Bwahaha… I love that guy already, but for the records I maintain it’s a conspiracy we have here. The man is too cute to be inoffensive. Ji-an asks him about the family gatherings. Is it as hard for him as it is for her? The questioning from everyone, the stress, the social pressure… He says it’s not a problem: When a family event is planned he takes his co-workers with him for business trips. They are his alibi and he is their Santa-Claus. That’s it. I want to work for that guy. Ji-an says she uses the same trick but still her nickname at work is Medusa, not Santa Claus. Haha…
She obviously enjoys her date but notices the late hour and excuses herself. She has thieves to catch. Eun-sung gentlemanly walks her to her car and asks to see her again. Informally. Once in a while. Like colleagues or friends. SSS Alert: Sticky Suspicious Seducer. Ji-an thanks him for the offer but she doesn’t intend to keep in touch. Poor oppa/ahjussi gets teary-eyed: He has been rejected twice in a day by the same woman. He wishes her good luck and hopes they will meet accidentally but not at the hospital. Someone wants to bet with me?
On Itaewon district, things are going nasty. The cops are patrolling and inspecting all the little stores to find counterfeiters. Dad and son put the shoes in big bags and run like burglars in the night. Tae-kang bumps into a woman again, who happens to be one-night stand ahjumma. Ji-an sees the shoes escaped from the bag and can’t believe her eyes. Tae-kang runs off without demanding anything…
To be continued…
- Kim Sun-ah’s character furiously reminded me of Bong-sun in Me too, Flower. I even checked the name of the writer but no, it’s not the same since I do, I do is a mahnwa adaptation. Still, the female lead character is basically on the brink of depression and unsatisfied with her work. She has no men in her life and keeps them at a distance. She has a troubled relationship with her father. She’s a control freak and proud of being independent. She doesn’t understand her passive but kind mom.
- I find the shoes beautiful but I will stick to my guns: They are torture devices and they can stay in the store window. Or on the feet of the anorexic models.
- I hoped they wouldn’t use the “let’s sleep together because we are drunk”. I wished they use the “let’s do it cause we are adults and we want to”. But I guess older woman/younger man intercourse is still highly taboo in SK. Plus they have to be irresponsible now to allow character growth later. It also helps to explain why an educated city woman would forget about condoms or control pill…
- That sexy Eun-sung oppa/ahjussi is definitely fishy. Now that he is in “friend” territory she won’t pay attention to him. And this is when you get caught off-guard. I will wait to place my “I KNEW IT”.