Pre-Recap Thoughts: It’s official; this is going to be one zany, quirky ride of a drama. I think this picture alone speaks volumes for what lies ahead for us. Heh. Due to my schedule, I’m going to be writing short recaps, but I don’t think very many of you will mind since you’ll probably be tuning in to watch the actual episodes themselves, right? It’s definitely worth the viewing. I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in quite some time. Yoon Shi Yoon…you slay me with your panda hat! Heh
Video: Click here to view the episode with English subtitles.
Recap: The first episode lays out our characters well:
Charachter #1: Go Dok Mi, a copywriter, lives isolated in her own little world–her apartment–and wakes up each morning to her neighbor’s schedule. Deeply in a one-sided love with her neighbor across the building, she wakes up when he wakes up, brushes her teeth when he does, exercises when he does, etc. She does anything and everything to avoid physical contact with people, arranging for her boss to mail her work through the post office so that she doesn’t have to go outside to the office and interact with people. Instead, she spies life through her yellow binoculars (she wins them at a convenience store when she receives a lottery ticket). Heh. In particular, she keeps a close eye on her good-looking neighbor and his dog, “Blackie,” her name for the dog.
Character #2: Enrique Geum, the “God of Gaming,” arrives in Korea from Spain to much fanfare. His gaming fans and reporters greet him at the airport as well as his good friend, a young woman who seems to be in love with Enrique’s “big brother,” Han Tae Joon (also Dok Mi’s neighbor). Everywhere he goes, people are entranced by his easy smile and brilliant personality, from a crying boy on the airplane to the airport customs trainee. His purpose for his trip to Korea? To act as Cupid’s arrow. He tells his friend that he’ll research before he acts as Cupid’s arrow since a wrong shot can wreck havoc on people’s lives. He asks her pointedly if she loves Tae Joon, a question that leaves her quiet.
Character #3: Oh Jin Rak, Dok Mi’s next-door neighbor, is an aspiring webtoonist who, along with his younger friend, Dong Hoon, tries to get a local webtoon company to accept his latest work, “Zombie Soccer.” Unfortunately, the director rejects it on the grounds that it’s too similar to Enrique Geum’s game. The gaming community will have a fit if they publish it. (The company director is simply hilarious with her dark circles. Pfft) Without missing a beat, he then suggests another concept: a city Rapunzel who lives in her apartment…surrounded by flower boys! His younger friend asks how he can swallow his pride like that for a possible contract, and Jin Rak shrugs and says that pride won’t get him anywhere. He returns home to contemplate his new concept, one centered unexpectedly on his reclusive neighbor, Go Dok Mi.
One day, Dok Mi sees Tae Joon return to his apartment in the middle of the day, leaving a hot boiling teapot on the kitchen table. In fear, she watches until the last moment when the teapot falls…right where Blackie was napping. Summoning all her courage, she ventures outside to tell a departing Tae Joon that his dog is hurt. Unfortunately, he drives off before she can gather enough courage to say something. Meanwhile, Jin Rak spots her as he reluctantly leads a number of his fellow tenants in a protest against the building owner.
Dok Mi chases after Tae Joon by taxi but is continually unsuccessful in telling Tae Joon and instead meets a swindler/fortune teller. She tells him (short guest appearance by Lee Jong Hyuk) her one-sided love story and then quickly leaves the fortune teller when she remembers the reason why she came outside–Blackie!
She returns home and crosses over to Blackie’s apartment, pressing her face against the front door to check if he’s all right…only she comes face to face with Enrique and frantically crawls away.
It seems that Enrique has come to visit his older brother and adorably suggests that the brother buy a new larger TV so that he can watch soccer. Chuckling, the older brother suggests that Enrique try changing his lifestyle while he’s in Korea. Heh. Yeah, Enrique doesn’t like that suggestion; his expression alone is priceless!
Later that night, Dok Mi spots Enrique in Tae Joon’s apartment and hides herself so that he doesn’t see her spying on his brother’s apartment. A short game of hide-and-seek ensues as Dok Mi tries to look while Enrique tries to catch his suspected peeping Tom…or in this case, a peeping Thomasina.
Even later that night, Dok Mi stays up to write about her one-sided love, her solitary existence underscored by the stillness of the night and the isolation of her life. Hmmm…I wonder if she’s an aspiring writer by night.
The next morning, she opens the window to look for Tae Joon and comes face to face with an unknown face…on the fourth floor! Her reaction?
Dumb-founded stupor, but a reaction that Watanabe, her new neighbor from Japan, finds adorable. He apparently saw her from her window because he went up one of those cranes/belts that Koreans use to move tenants into high-rise buildings.
Meanwhile, Jin Rak labors over his new webtoon series about Dok Mi, the city Rapunzel, with tissue in his ears to block out his roommate, Dong Hoon. A note wedged in his front door distracts him, thought, and he reads a short yet cute letter from Watanabe to Dok Mi, introducing himself as her new neighbor and his hopes that she’ll be his friend. Aw…As for Jin Rak, his eyes light up at bit at this new development. Hmmm…I’m thinking he’s excited by this new development for his webtoon series.
Unaware of Watanabe’s interest in her or Jin Rak’s, Dok Mi spies through her binoculars a healthy Blackie playing with Tae Joon. Relieved, she continues to scan Jae Joon’s window…
…and comes smack dab against a frowning Enrique, half-naked except for an adorable panda hat. Gesturing “I’ve caught you red-handed,” Enrique races down to confront her at her apartment while Dok Mi panics as a dreaded person-to-person confrontation seems imminent.
Post-Recap Thoughts: I’ve already said it, but I’ll say it again: Oh my hilarious goodness! This episode is sooooooo zany! If for no other reason than that these lovable characters bring out the cute and the unexpected in spades.
I hope you get a chance to watch this episode because it’s simply adorable. It honestly took me a while to get into the swing of the story, but once I did, I’ve taken the bait, hook, line, and sinker! 🙂 I’m loving the characters and can’t wait to see how their personalities and stories with each other develop. Oh, I could say so much more, but since I have lessons to prepare for tomorrow’s classes and episode 2 to watch, I’ll leave you with just one thought: Yoon Shi Yoon in Panda Hat! Ack! What a visual treat this episode is in so many respects. If you want the episode, you’ll know what I mean. 😉
As for the music…perfectly in sync with the action of the story!
Hope you enjoyed this truncated recap!