A big hurray to NewKDramaAddict, who helped me access online the first episode of Glorious Day that aired today (4/26) in Korea! Thanks, Bel!
Now, onto my thoughts on the series. My quick assessment of the series after just the first episode?
I like it. No, let me amend this last statement. I really like it. As in I. REALLY. LIKE. IT. 😉
Want me to elaborate?
Just three words really…or rather six. Lee. Sang. Woo. Park. Se. Young. Incidentally, I think Lee Sang Woo has finally chosen to portray a character whom I can totally adore. Why? Keep reading for the recap and musings… 😉
The series starts with Han Song Jung (Kim Mi Sook), who daydreams that she’s seeing her youngest daughter marry. Despite the traditional image of mother and sisters wishing the bride well, the actual words that are exchanged are ironic as the mother warns the daughter to never have children who will be her doom and the daughter promises to only seek her mother when she’s in need of help.
The mother wakes up, and we learn that she’s actually a loving mother who has spent the bulk of her young life working herself silly just so that she can provide the basic necessities for her three single daughters. The husband apparently died at a young age, leaving the wife to fend for their three daughters alone.
As for male lead’s family, we have a multi-generational family that is headed by loving grandparents, anchored by equally loving parents, and of course, rounded out by the ever handsome male lead Seo Jae Woo (Lee Sang Woo 😉 ) as the conscientious and upright first son and Seo In Woo (Kim Hyung Kyu) as the rascally second son.
On the morning of Jung Da Jung’s (Park Se Young) first day at a local school as a nutritionist, the family celebrates news of the mother’s first novel hitting the top ten spot in Korea, barely edging its way into the bestseller’s list. Clearly showing the family’s affection for and closeness with each other, the daughters engulf their mother in hugs, kisses, and congratulations. 🙂 All of them are hopeful that this is just the beginning of a new life for them.
As the day starts, we start to see just what type of person our leading man is as he reluctantly yet truthfully tells his superior his thoughts on her new haircut…and only at her insistence. If nothing else, he is ever truthful and professional in his desire to just focus on his work and to do it well…and conscientiously. Unfortunately, this desire to be truthful makes for a bit of a bumpy working environment for our male lead. 🙁
As for Da Jung, she is beside herself with joy at her first day on the job as a nutritionist. We learn that she’s worked diligently for three long years to just get a chance at this position. When no one is around, she quietly shouts her pleasure and waves her hands in utter delight.
Unfortunately, she witnesses an incidence of bullying, and in her efforts to help the victim (we learn later that this is the son of her older sister’s boyfriend), she is caught on camera by one of the bullying students…and the next thing we see is her pleading with the school’s principal to help her since she doesn’t want to lose her job, especially on her first day at work.
Jae Woo returns home to a doting grandmother who wonders why he keeps resisting his mother’s efforts to get him married. Apparently, the grandfather has purchased the house next door in anticipation of having Jae Woo and his new bride live there next to them. All that’s missing is a bride, and Jae Woo keeps refusing his mother’s efforts to set him up on blind dates so that he can acquired said bride.
Jae Woo explains to his grandmother that he just wants to find his future wife on his own. His mother, despite her best intentions, has never once asked him what type of girl he likes; she just tells him that she’s set him up on a date. He doesn’t want to find his bride like that. Aw…he’s a romantic and an idealist. I like! 😉
On the day of the most recent blind date, mother enlists the aid of her brother-in-law, a hotel owner, who drops by the Seo family’s Korean cake store. It becomes quickly apparent just what type of relationship the younger brother has with his older brother who sides with his father-in-law and good-naturedly asks his brother to pay for the dduk that he’s just nibbled. Heh. I love these brothers already!
It turns out that since Jae Woo (son #1) has refused to meet the daughter of a wealthy and well-connected family, Mama Seo has enlisted the help of In Woo (son #2) in exchange for giving him a hefty allowance…yes, even though her younger son is a dental resident, has expensive tastes, and is quite the lady’s man. Not trusting in her younger son’s word to show up, the mother meets him at the hotel, only to hit him when she learns that he’s change his car…again. *shakes head* In Woo promises to help her with the blind date situation and smoothly tells his mother to not worry and instead to take herself to the bank and to deposit the money for him. After all, he’s overdrawn on his bank account. Oh, this second son is going to be fun to watch. 😉
Uncle, after dropping his sister-in-law at the hotel lobby to meet her son, meets one of his younger and “former” girlfriends who greets him brightly, tells him that she’s about to return to her boyfriend, but first, she needs to meet this son of a Korean cake (dduk) company. As her insulting and careless words start to sink in, Uncle firmly tells her that she’s not appropriate for his nephew and ushers her away–far away–from even making it to the meeting place.
Meanwhile, Da Jung has been called to the same hotel by her mother’s publisher, an old friend of the family, for a meeting. As she waits for him, she catches a glimpse of In Woo and simply gawks. Heh.
In the classic case of mistaken identity, Da Jung raises her hand to hail the publisher, who acknowledges her but silently excuses himself to answer a phone call.
Unfortunately for In Woo, he mistakes Da Jung’s hand wave to be a signal for him and promptly sits himself down across from her…but not before showing his disgust and displeasure to the audience. 😛
LOL. Da Jung’s reaction at seeing this “vision” sit at her table, much less engage her in conversation, is adorably hilarious! Her disheveled hair alone is a sight to behold! 😉
And in the course of their unusual conversation, we see Da Jung’s complete infatuation with In Woo as the camera captures him in soft lens. Pfffft.
His mother, in classic meddling mother form, hasn’t left the hotel after all. Ha! Why aren’t we surprised? 😉 She calls him from a nearby table and tells him to ask for a second date. She hasn’t deposited the money into his bank account…yet…and she thinks that Da Jung looks like the perfect future daughter-in-law who will do anything her husband wants of her. She comments that Da Jung doesn’t look like the daughter of such a rich family, and she likes this down-to-earthness about Da Jung.
In Woo, after speaking to his mother on the phone as though he were speaking to his supervisor at the hospital, loudly asks Da Jung for a second date tomorrow…at this exact place…and that’s when the publisher returns, and In Woo discovers that Da Jung was actually waiting for the publisher, not him.
Meanwhile, Jae Woo enters the hotel to meet his uncle. *gazes in adoration* I’m saying this now and warning those of you who haven’t experienced the allure of Lee Sang Woo yet: Be prepared to have your hearts slowly but surely ensnared by this man and his smile. Heh. He’s one of the most intelligent actors in the Korean entertainment industry and definitely easy on the eyes. Hee hee~! Eye Candy…I may just have to replace SJS with Lee Sang Woo for the remainder of 2014. 😉
OK, back to the recap…
Jae Woo goes to see his uncle at his penthouse on his uncle’s request. What’s the request? The uncle has two possible locations for his next hotel venture, but he can’t trust the advice of his employees/advisors. He wants Jae Woo’s honest opinion because he feels that Jae Woo is the only honest person whom he can trust.
In true Jae Woo form, the nephew looks over the proposals and asks his uncle how he can possibly give him sound advice from just the paper proposals. At this comment, the uncle beams and tells him that this is why he can implicitly trust his nephew. He always speaks his honest opinion…no ulterior motive of saving face or of personal gain…or of any kind.
As Jae Woo continues to look over the documents, the uncle muses why Jae Woo is still single.
Teasing his nephew, the uncle edges forward and asks Jae Woo if he’s ever…if he’s ever…?
When Jae Woo protests this awkward invasion of privacy, the uncle grins and asks if Jae Woo has ever kissed a woman, making smooching sounds and lip gestures for added emphasis. LOL
Meanwhile, Da Jung is having a different type of discussion with her mother’s publisher. She discovers that the publisher has unscrupulously purchased thousands of her mother’s novel in his attempt to catapult her novel onto the bestseller’s list. His reasoning? Bestsellers sell books because people buy bestselling books. Ugh…talk about circular reasoning.
Very quickly, Da Jung learns just how much her mother has had to work to support their family, and she tearfully and emphatically tells the publisher that he is not to breathe a word of what he’s done to her mother. She demands that he cancel all of his plans for a book signing at the hotel, a book signing that probably no one will attend, and to keep the details of his actions to himself.
As she storms out of the hotel cafe, Jae Woo reenters the hotel lobby, trailed by his uncle who teases him about how a man his age has yet to kiss a woman. Jae Woo, showing evidence of a quick wit, parries his uncle’s teasing with a question of his own: Have you ever been in love with a woman.
Ha! Touché! 😉
As the episode nears its end, our two leads finally meet in the last minute as Jae Woo overhears the ruckus between the publisher and Da Jung as the publisher insistently asks Da Jung to help him. At first, he tries to listen to his uncle and simply ignore what looks like a man trying to seduce a young woman, but as Da Jung walks out of the hotel, still protesting and resisting the publisher’s efforts to gain her support, Jae Woo can’t stand any more and forcefully separates the publisher from Da Jung. Hailing a cab, he then bundles her inside and gives the cab driver enough money to take her safely home. Aw….
Then looking her straight in the eyes, (*swoon* ladies, don’t lose your heart…yet) he tells her to avoid situations like these in the future.
Da Jung can only sputter and speak incoherently…completely in shock over this stranger’s help.
The episode ends with her being driven away from the hotel while Jae Woo stalks back to join his uncle.
OK, I probably shouldn’t have seen this episode given my current schedule right now–and I definitely shouldn’t have blogged about it–but I simply Could. Not. Resist. 😀
Ever since I saw Park Se Young in We Got Married with Woo Young, I’ve found her enchanting, and Lee Sang Woo…well, let’s just say that he’s actually closer to my ideal eye candy than So Ji Sup. Heh.
In any case, back to the series. I really like what I saw in episode 1.
We have the makings of a classic family rom-com with the multi-generational, stable family meets single-mother family. And the best thing is that I love all of the major and minor characters already! From the playboy second son and rascally uncle to the wonderfully honest male lead and the feisty yet goofy female lead, I’m finding myself already trying to figure out how to make time to watch episode 2 tomorrow. 😉
If episode 1 is a taste of the rest of the series, I think it’ll be safe to say that we will have a solid family drama on our hands to entertain us for the next however many months to come. The interactions among the family members–from within and from without–promise some solid character developments and pacing. And more importantly, I can’t foresee any sort of the usual angst associated with these weekend dramas…at least not yet. Here’s hoping that ugly ANGST stays far away from this series.
Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate conflict and its necessity in character and plot development, but Korean dramas have a tendency to go to the extremes (makjang), and I find those highly distasteful. 😛
For now, this series hints and promises of fun, family bonding, budding and maturing romances–yes, in the plural!–and so much more. Hopefully, the writer and the director will keep it this way. 😉 *crosses fingers*
Let me know if you’re going to be joining me on this adventure. I can’t wait to share in this fun with you! Until episode 2 then!