Drama Recaps
Summary: Dal Ja’s Spring, Episode 1
by | February 25, 2007 | 15 Comments

So I’ve been writing these episode summaries for Dal Ja’s Spring on soompi — a site to which, if you are a kdrama fan and are yet unfamiliar, you must hie on over and acquaint yourself immediately. Since I wrote up recaps for many (though not all) episodes, I figured I’d post them here as well. Why let hours of perfectly useful procrastination go to waste, right?

Episode 1: “Things That Drive Her Crazy”

OH DAL JA (Chae Rim) is 32 going on 33, successful and competent in her career as a mid-level manager of a home shopping channel. She’s stumbled her way through her twenties, making mistakes left and right, and learning her lessons, it seems, a bit haphazardly.

Currently, she lives alone in a nice apartment and makes a decent living, but has never been in a serious relationship. On the cusp of turning 33 (Koreans consider themselves aged on New Year’s Day, rather than on their birthday, which is why they measure seniority by birth year but not so much actual date of birth), Dal Ja is the dreaded old maid of modern Korean society — capable, attractive, and self-sufficient, but still seen as somehow inadequate because she is without boyfriend or husband. Kind of like Bridget Jones, except without all the alcohol, dating, and sex to take the edge off spinsterhood.

That is, until she finally works up the courage to ask out the co-worker she’s been pining over since her first day on the job eight years ago: Shin Sae Do, a PD (producer-director) at the network. Blind to his playboy tendencies, Dal Ja blissfully indulges in her first romance, despite missing crucial signs that their relationship is doomed — signs that anyone else with the least bit of dating experience would recognize off the bat.

Needless to say, it isn’t very long before Dal Ja’s romance comes crashing down around her when Sae Do decides their other co-worker, the glamorous show host Wee Seon Joo, is more his type. He breaks up with her coolly, and Dal Ja, needing to save face, determines to play off her rejection lightly. Unfortunately, she runs into Sae Do and his date in a hotel bar, and her pride and sense of self-preservation force Dal Ja to insist she’s there to meet her date as well.

At a loss for a readily available male to phone to come to her rescue, she settles for calling someone she met earlier that day: Kang Tae Bong (Lee Minki). He’d given her his card earlier when he accidentally collided into her in the street and broke her cell phone, and as Dal Ja is desperate to save face with her co-workers, she calls Tae Bong to be her fake boyfriend for the evening, in exchange for an exorbitant fee.

Tae Bong arrives at the hotel bar, and Dal Ja presents her handsome young “boyfriend” to Sae Do and Seon Joo. One awkward elevator ride later, she finds herself in a hotel room with her on-call boyfriend, crying into a bottle of Johnnie Walker.

The next day, Dal Ja’s mortified to find that rumors of her dumping by Sae Do have been greatly exaggerated. Worse, they’ve spread throughout the office, and she’s affronted at becoming an object of pity. Sae Do and Seon Joo tell the co-workers that Dal Ja has nothing to worry about, what with her cute younger boyfriend and all. Caught in her lie, Dal Ja is at a loss to respond to her curious co-workers. But out of nowhere, Kang Tae Bong arrives, announcing himself as her boyfriend, leaving Dal Ja mystified and frustrated as to just what the hell is going on….

(end of episode 1…)

15 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Jessica

    I’m looking through you’re archives and it’s nice to see your reviews on this 🙂

    It’s interesting how this is somewhat similar to Bad Couple’s “Career Women” theme. Maybe Korea is starting to finally acknowledge this?

  2. ?avabeans

    I think career women have been making more of a mark on society as a whole, so it makes sense that we’re seeing that represented more in a lot of dramas in recent years.

  3. Karina

    I can’t help but admire your ability in writing, as well as your creativity in putting up pictures with your summaries. Currently I’m also reading your coffee prince. I check my computer everyday. I haven’t watched the series yet but I think your summaries are way better (hehehehe okay I’m exagerating!). Thanks for doing this!. I’ll start reading Da Ja’s spring while I wait for Coffee prince too.

  4. Paula

    I’ve heard many good things about Dal Ja’s Spring, but I never really thought of watching it. Now that I’ve read your 1st episode summary on it, I may just give it a try. Thanks!

  5. Sephia

    I think korean drama these days are geared towards what ajuhmmas would want to see. 30 yr old something finding her way to be success in both love & career. Rude women, Bad Couple have the older female lead going out with the handsome young man. Well, not so handsome in Dal ja’s case (compared to the other two!), but nevertheless… go ajuhmmaaas!!!

  6. Roly

    Thanks so much for reccing this show – I just started watching and I’m already totally in love! It’s just the kind of drama I’ve been waiting to see. Was it really a book first? It seems the whole unoriginality thing isn’t just limited to North America (where every movie you see is a remake of *something*). Still, the show is so good, who really cares?

    I finally have something to take my mind off the stress of life, school and work. Thanks girl 🙂

  7. potensvita

    I love this show. ^^ thanks

  8. Anonymous

    I was wondering if you by any chance knew what background music was in the first episode at 11.47? I think i’ve heard this somewhere before but i couldn’t figure out what it was. If you can help, I would appreciate it ‘cuz it’s really nice and I would like to get it. thanks! and thanks for all your work with k-dramas. I find your site to be awesome!!!!!

  9. ngtngp

    i loved this drama! thanks for the recaps. can you please tell me where you get all the pics from the drama? thanks!

  10. 10 sol mi

    I love daljaaaas

  11. 11 afra

    i looove this drama to death i saw like a million drama but this is my fav to the end “)

  12. 12 daisy!

    i just watched ep number 1 and i really like it, plus the male lead is soooooo gorgeous!!

  13. 13 Raine

    I just started this. The first 15 minutes were so boring, but it snapped me up just after Min-ki showed up…heehee

  14. 14 everriell

    My search for this recap in 2007 was the reason i stumbled upon you in soompi and eventually dramabeans. Since then I became an avid reader. Thank you for creating this wonderful site…I really appreciate it. ü

  15. 15 Kelly

    Hi, it looks like the images aren’t loading or working in this recap. I’m really interested in reading about this drama, so I would appreciate it if this was fixed!

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