Pre-Recap Thoughts: For a first episode, Standby wasn’t bad. What was funny was that I was visually–yes, visually–quite impressed by the show’s opening segment. LOL. The show is definitely planning on utilizing its beautiful/handsome cast of men–OK, make that just two men–in luring the female audience. Heh…that’s one way to use Ryu Jin and Lee Ki Woo. 😉
Recap: The episode opens with dramatic close-up shots (with rock music) of Ryu Jin Haeng ( Ryu Jin) getting ready for his upcoming broadcast…in the bathroom! LOL. The toilet flushing sound is hilarious in direct juxtaposition with Jin Haeng’s seriousness. Unfortunately, he gets startled when a staff member comes to remind him that he’s set to go on air anytime now, and down fall his cue cards. Obvious plot device, but still…oh-no! As he fumbles to collect his cards, he misses one that’s fallen down on the corner of the bathroom sink. Of course, in his rush, he doesn’t bother to check that all his cue cards are in order and hurries to assume his position as a segment announcer.
The filming commences and the two MCs, Park Joon Geum and Ha Suk Jin, welcome the audience to another episode and comment on how they are looking forward to their 300th episode next week. They then quickly introduce Jin Haeng’s corner, world news, but are rudely shocked when Jin Haeng starts to read nonsense; he starts off reporting about politicians but end up talking about how seals dive deep in the ocean.
Chaos ensues as the two MCs attempt to do damage control with smiles plastered on their faces. Once off camera, however, the veteran Park Joon Geum lays into Jin Haeng, demanding to know if television broadcasting is a joke. Well, Jin Haeng hasn’t earned himself the title of our beloved, fumbling announcer for nothing, a title which in and of itself is an oxymoron since Korean announcers are anything but that.
Kim Soo Hyun, a producer and college hoobae of Jin Haeng (and NOT to be confused with the KIM SOO HYUN of The Moon That Embraces the Sun and Dream High), encourages and comforts him and walks back home with him since they live right across from each other. When they return home, we get a glimpse of their home life: Soo Hyun lives with a younger brother who finds delight in Jin Haeng’s bumbled broadcast while Jin Haeng lives with a father, who is trying to marrying him off for better business connections, and a younger brother Ryu Ki Woo, who is “as tall as a lamp post” yet still continues to drink milk because he “plans on trying out for the NBA.” LOL. Of course, Ki Woo jokes. He’s just tall and loves to drink milk. 🙂
Jin Haeng’s father tells him that he would like Jin Haeng to meet the daughter of a potential business contact on a blind date. Although Jin Haeng tries to tell him that he can’t, the father railroads him into setting a date with the girl. Hmmm…I see the dynamics of this father-son relationship already.
The next day at the television studio, Soo Hyun learns that her crush Jin Haeng will be fired soon and that the next episode will be his last. When she demands to know if they can so easily fire him after one tiny mistake, Park Joon Geum reminds her of Jin Haeng’ previous mistakes: 1) having stayed up all night to practice for his first news anchor broadcast, Jin Haeng oversleeps and barely makes it to the news desk in time but can barely speak…and since then, he’s never sat down at the news desk 2) giving a bloody-nose to a guest as he interviews him on the streets of Korea. The studio had to negotiate to prevent the guest from filing a law suit 3) reporting during a World Cup game against Argentina and excitedly yelling “Goal!” only to realize that it was Argentina that scored the goal…against Korea! Poor Jin Haeng…As Soo Hyun tries to convince Joon Geum to give Jin Haeng a second chance, the veteran MC wonders why Soo Hyun, so usually professional about everything, is always looking after Jin Haeng. Is it because….? As Si Wan gulps in nervousness that her secret crush will be revealed, Joon Geum finishes, “he’s your sunbae from college?” Whew~her secret is still safe. 🙂
Meanwhile, Jin Haeng, unaware of the situation at work, goes on the blind date as requested by his father. He then later meets his girlfriend and her high school senior son. Today is a momentous day since he’ll be meeting the son, Si Wan, for the first time. When the son asks how the two met, Jin Haeng recounts the tale of their elevator meeting…because both of them were bothered by a piece of thread on a fellow elevator passenger, indicating that they are both neat-freaks. Despite the son’s good manners, he acts coldly towards Jin Haeng when his mother vacates her seat to answer a phone call. The reason for his uncharacteristic coolness? Because he works part-time as a waiter, he witnessed Jin Haeng meeting that younger woman on a blind date just hours before meeting his mother. Owww….He tells Jin Haeng to leave his mother alone; she doesn’t need to be toyed with like this.
Later that night, Ki Woo eats some ramyun at a convenience store and steps out a bit to answer a phone call. Enter Jung So Min, who works at the convenience store and anywhere else she can find some work. Seeing the almost brand new cup of ramyun and thinking that the owner left without throwing it away, she happily starts to gobble down the noodles. Unfortunately, Ki Woo walks in on her in mid-bite, noodles streaming down from her mouth. He comments that she must have been in an awful rush/hungry to eat someone else’s food. LOL She quickly apologizes and offers to buy him another bowl, but he politely declines.
The next day, she falls asleep on the bus and wakes up barely in time to get off her stop. However, as she tries to exit the bus, she realizes that Ki Woo–Mr. Ramyun Man–is seated next to her. Embarrassed from the previous encounter and not wanting to wake him up, she attempts to quietly step over his long legs (her comments, not mine) but ends up sitting on them instead when the bus abruptly stops. Of course, he awakes, recognizes her, and comments that she must have been in a “rush” again. Heh…I get the feeling her nickname is going to be “Rush Girl” or something.
Meanwhile, Jin Haeng tries to score some points with Si Wan by meeting with him separately and giving him an autograph from SNSD. As Jin Haeng tries to get on his good side and wonders if Si Wan doesn’t approve of him because Jin Haeng isn’t a successful announcer, Si Wan finally reveals that he witnessed Jin Haeng’s secret blind date with another woman at the restaurant where he works. He demands to know if Jin Haeng’s keeping his relationship with the mother a secret because he’s ashamed of them.
During Jin Haeng’s last broadcast, he bids his farewell to Soo Hyun and invites Si Wan and his mother to watch him film his segment. Unbeknownst to him, though, his father has also invited his blind date and her father. As Jin Haeng prepares to say his thanks and farewell to his audience, he belatedly notices his father…and the two unwelcomed guests. Stunned, he momentarily loses his composure but manages to regain it at the last moment to get what he needs said. He announces before the entire audience that he loves a woman and wants to marry her. Then in dramatic fashion, he proposes to her on the air!
Stunned happiness from his girlfriend while his father walks up to Jin Haeng and proceeds to pull at his son’s hair. O-M-G!
Post-Recap Thoughts: There are a lot of visual gags and puns (Jin Haeng’s name meaning “advance” or “progress”), but I don’t mind them…after all, this a sitcom.
For a first episode, it wasn’t bad. The show set up a solid premise, and the audience has a clear idea of the main characters, each of whom have some odd hang-ups, but those are what make characters loveable, so I’m looking forward to seeing how this group of people develop.
I’ll try to have episode 2 up soon. I hope you enjoyed reading the recap. I’m going to try this format (all prose and little/no pictures) for a while; otherwise, I’m afraid I may burn out before the series ends. 🙂