Drama Recaps
Hong Gil Dong: Episode 1
by | January 4, 2008 | 75 Comments

Hong Gil Dong is (finally) here!

First off: Hong Gil Dong is what they call a fusion sageuk. It’s a historical drama but not a pure sageuk like Jumong or Jewel in the Palace; rather, it’s been updated with a modern twist. Ergo the “fusion.”

A drama like Legend had some modernish elements to it (the language was simple and easy to understand for the contemporary viewer, unlike the stilted ancient Korean that sageuk characters typically speak), but it’s not really a fusion sageuk. If anything, it’s a fantasy series.

Hong Gil Dong has a completely modern vibe while remaining set in the Chosun era (1392-1910) — the language isn’t merely contemporary, it’s positively slangy. The drama frequently jumps out of its period setting to make anachronistic use of modernisms (Gil Dong sports dark sunglasses, the performers breakdance).

The first episode isn’t as immediately hook-y as the writers’ previous dramas (My Girl had me addicted within the hour; Delightful Girl Chun Hyang took a mere ten minutes), but it’s still got the Hong sisters’ trademark comedy flair and winsome characters.

SONG OF THE DAY

Lucite Tokki – “토끼와 자라” (tortoise and the hare) [ zShare download ]

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EPISODE 1 RECAP

We start out at some kind of festivity hosted by the town magistrate, where upper-class attendees eat and drink as they enjoy a dance and drum performance. Right away, you’ll know this is a fusion sageuk from the breakdancing and hip-hop dance moves, as well as the camera work, swishing and panning like this is some kind of music video.

Sailing into the revelry is a woman attached to a hang glider; she lands onstage, then leads the dancers in more hip-hop moves as the magistrate enjoys the show.

She’s HEO ENOK, and she’s not so much a dancer as she is a bandit infiltrating the elite gathering. Two additional intruders sail over the walls and take out the guards, and then it’s all-out attack as more bandits storm inside.

The bandits are outnumbered by the magistrates’ guards, but they’ve got the superior fighting skills. The guards’ arrows are neatly intercepted by a boomerang —

— thrown by the ever-so-cool HONG GIL DONG.

Yup, he looks pretty suave, but his accomplices know him well enough to mutter, “He just came late to make a flashy entrance.”

Gil Dong swaggers into the mix; the battle continues; our group of bandits wins. They saunter out, chiding the corrupt magistrate for his abuses of power, and the commoners outside cheer their champion. Because, the historical figure of Hong Gil Dong, elevated to myth-like status by a fictionalized book written in the late Chosun era, was something of a Robin Hood, stealing from corrupt officials and giving back to the oppressed masses.

And then, we jump backward, to some time before……

…back when Gil Dong was just a lazy scoundrel, enjoying women and gambling and trouble. He’s got a devil-may-care attitude, is quick to a fight, and harbors no real motivation to do anything useful with himself. Naturally, he’s charming, but even his boyish appeal isn’t enough to outweigh the trouble he causes everyone. Mothers invoke his name to scare their little girls into behaving (“If you don’t behave, I’ll marry you off to Gil Dong!” — which, by the way, would totally just be incentive for me to keep misbehaving, but I digress) and shopkeepers rush to close business when he’s near, because he invariably fights and breaks everything. He’s an unholy terror.

After a long, hard day’s work of hell-raising, Gil Dong sneaks onto an upper-class estate where the servants react to his presence with a mix of dread and exasperation. This is his father’s home, and the servants wince as he wanders among them and snatches food — specially prepared for the ancestral rites.

Gil Dong watches the rites performed by his dignified father (government official MINISTER HONG) and older half-brother (HONG IN HYUNG) from just outside. Gil Dong isn’t as impervious to emotion as he seems; his cavalier façade crumbles just a little, and we see a hint of how such a capable man turned into such a ne’er-do-well. Because, you see, Gil Dong is illegitimate.

He flashes back to his youth, when he was a smart young boy full of eager dreams of being useful and worthy. But his father countered every hope with severity, telling Gil Dong that he couldn’t achieve those dreams, so he’d better give them up. He’s a nobleman’s son but his illegitimate status makes him of the servant class, so he can’t do those things. “You don’t have to do anything with your life,” his father always told him.

But Gil Dong doesn’t let himself sink into too much self-pity, and we jump over to Enok’s story, who’s on a boat to Korea with her grandfather. They’re on their way back from China, and starving. Or at least Enok is; her grandfather sneaks a sweet bun while her stomach grumbles. She finds that he’s been hiding food from her, and they fight to claim the bun. Enok wins, and runs outside to enjoy it in peace — and spots a mysterious, elegant stranger: LEE CHANG WHE, who’s lost in painful memories about his past.

She tries to get a closer look at him, but Chang Whe assumes she’s going to attack and lashes out, asking why she was staring. She indignantly says she was merely looking at him because he was good-looking. Chang Whe tells her to scram; Enok sees that he’s crushed her precious sweet bun under his foot, and yells: “Cancel what I said about good-looking!”

Not at all amused, Chang Whe tells her coldly not to play around with him — he’ll kill her. He’s obviously upper-class and important (the silence and entitlement are prime clues); he also travels with a bodyguard/right-hand man, CHISU.

 

Gil Dong runs into a Buddhist priest, who challenges him to a fight (as Buddhist priests are wont to do) — if Gil Dong loses, he has to do a chore for the priest. (Extortion! Buddha’s new path to nirvana.) Thus Gil Dong is roped into digging shallow graves for the heads of beheaded thieves who’ve been executed by the court. Times are tough and thieves abound, all trying to survive. The people know the situation is their incompetent king’s fault, but nobody dares talk about it for fear of being executed.

Gil Dong asks why the priest is always making him do this kind of work. The priest answers, “Because it’s your job. The king busies himself with tyranny, the officials are corrupt, and the people’s grievances reach toward heaven. …Gil Dong, when you look upon these wrongs, don’t you feel anything?” Gil Dong: “Nope. Why should I feel anything like that for this country? I’m going to leave soon.” He wants to leave his unfulfilling life here and head for China.

The priest curses him for his selfishness, then wonders, “Did I misjudge him?”

 

Enok’s boat docks, and she (literally) runs into Chang Whe again on the pier. Although it’s an accident, he remembers her and asks if she’s following him before coldly dismissing her.

Enok and her grandfather have brought back what they think will be their ticket to wealth — some special Chinese medicine. But when they try to sell it to Mr. Wang, one of the merchants in the marketplace, he tells them they’ve been scammed and refuses to buy it.

To recoup their losses, they pull off a scam of their own — pretending to be Chinese, Grandpa announces that his demure granddaughter will give her hand in marriage to the man who can beat her in a fight. Because why court a girl until you know how well she’ll take a beating? The eager men line up, only to be soundly defeated. Contrary to her looks, Enok’s a skilled fighter (and her grandfather sneaks his help in when needed).

They reveal their “secret” to Enok’s success — the medicine — and peddle it to their audience. Gil Dong hears that a girl from China is selling lots of medicine, and rushes over to ask Enok to teach him Chinese. She’s busy selling medicine and turns him away, so Gil Dong gets her attention in another way: By taking her up on her challenge.

She’s a good fighter, but he’s better. Soon he’s manhandling her easily in front of everybody, not merely outmaneuvering her but embarrassing her to boot. Grandpa tries to help, but that backfires, and the fight ends with Gil Dong the clear winner.

Which means… now she’s gotta marry him, per the rules of her challenge.

Next thing we know, they’re alone in his room and he rushes to take off his shirt, while Enok pleads to be released from the agreement. Gil Dong tells her with a leer, “Now that we’re married, let’s hurry and get to it! I’m in a rush!” He grabs her while she tries to deflect, and it’s part hilarious, part creepy, until he sits her down at the table and clarifies — he wants to start his Chinese lessons immediately.

But it’s not a complete misunderstanding on our part, because when she asks, “Are Chinese lessons really the only thing you want from me?” he tells her, “Well, if you’re disappointed, I could give it a try—” while fumbling to take his pants off.

Enok stops him, and agrees to give him Chinese lessons if he’ll do one thing for her — which he misinterprets, again fumbling eagerly for his pants. LOL. I love that Hong Gil Dong is horny. But no, Enok wants him to help sell the medicine, since it’s his fault she lost her potential customers.

Meanwhile, we get another glimpse into Chang Whe’s past, flashing back to a great fire in the palace where he was once a young prince and his mother the queen.

Knowing that someone was out to kill him, the queen sends off her son into hiding with Court Lady Noh. His mother sacrifices herself for his sake so he can escape (if it were known that he survived, the assassination attempts would continue). She gives him her hairpin and tells him he must survive, as he’s the true heir to the throne.

As an adult, Chang Whe suspects that the one behind the attempted murder was his very own older brother — the current ruler, a hedonistic and debauched man. As an illegitimate son, his position wasn’t possible when Chang Whe was alive, but now that he’s believed to be dead, he’s king by default.

 

Gil Dong manages to sell Enok’s medicine, although he practically forces it upon the fearful villagers. Already the two have settled into a pattern of familiar bickering — she tries to hit him when he’s being mocking, which causes her to bump into Chang Whe yet again. This time he’s even more annoyed, and tells her that the next time he sees her, he’ll assume she’s stalking him and break her legs. He unknowingly drops his mother’s royal hairpin, which Enok finds and wears.

Gil Dong drops by home, and comes upon his father. When his father asks what he’s been doing, Gil Dong answers, “I’ve been doing nothing at all,” just as his father has always insisted was his lot in life. He’s not bitter, but the words are loaded.

His father asks Gil Dong to light his pipe for him, and we get the sense that this is not a usual occurrence. Even the smallest gesture of concern seems to affect Gil Dong, hinting at a lifetime of feeling unwanted and unloved. His father comments that Gil Dong is like him (which seems to affect Gil Dong profoundly), then gently dismisses him.

Gil Dong’s half-brother In Hyung comes by, and the brothers are not on great terms. In Hyung is a bit shallow and petty, whereas Gil Dong, while reckless on the outside, has hidden depths that his brother lacks. (The relationship reminds me of the one between Lee Seo Jin and Jung Chan in Lovers, with one son vying for the father’s attention and always coming up short, as his father prefers the other.) The father recognizes the disparity, and to his own dismay, his legitimate son is limited in skill, while his son with great potential is restricted by the social system and reduced to wasting his talents.

At a club, we have our second modern-style dance sequence, this time a trance-y dance with flashing lights worthy of an Lee Jung Hyun “live” performance of techno gyrating. Chang Whe and his bodyguard Chisu observe, out to collect info relating to palace matters, while Enok arrives separately looking for her grandpa.

Enok sees Chang Whe, remembers his warning, and sneaks off to avoid him — but that causes her to run into a different table. The patron is the hotheaded In Hyung, and he drunkenly mocks Enok. She pushes him back into a table, which infuriates him so much he insists he’ll have her killed.

Chang Whe sees the hairpin she’s wearing and realizes he has to retrieve it before someone recognizes it as a royal artifact. However, he can’t do so without attracting notice to himself, and starts to follow Enok out, who’s shouting for someone to help her while being dragged away by In Hyung’s men.

And then, someone jumps in to rescue her — Gil Dong.

Gil Dong grabs Enok, and the two run off while In Hyung and his sidekicks chase them outside.

 

Additional thoughts:

The verdict?

Episode 1 isn’t the best first episode I’ve seen, but it’s a solid start, and the series has definite potential to be a good one.

Sung Yuri is thankfully much better than I’d feared — the bold character works for her. I’m not so sure she’d do well being subtle and moving, but like Han Ye Seul in Fantasy Couple, this exaggerated role suits her. There was a lot of preemptory talk comparing Sung Yuri to Yoon Eun Hye in Coffee Prince, but I see her much more as channeling Ju Yoorin (Lee Da Hae) in My Girl. In fact, I’d say she’s got a great chance at being completely adorable IF she trusts herself enough to move away from the Yoorin character, otherwise she’ll be relegated to Yoorin 2.0 status.

I’m less impressed with Jang Geun Seok, who comes off kinda wooden. Although it’s only the first ep, I wouldn’t automatically assume his lack of emotion is a writing flaw — Kang Ji Hwan conveys much more pathos with one sad look than Jang Geun Seok does with full-on tears. But there’s plenty of time for improvement.

Kang Ji Hwan is reliably wonderful. The fact that he makes me feel pangs of sympathy for his character’s past with so little yet revealed is testament to his charisma as an actor. Plus, I’m a sucker for reluctant heroes. And “outwardly strong, inwardly vulnerable due to lack of love” types. And reformed scoundrels who start out damaged, but then suck it up and choose to live up to their inner greatness. And people with inner greatness. *sigh*

In terms of characters and background tableau, Hong Gil Dong has really fantastic story potential with nicely complex characters. Gil Dong’s eventual transformation from wastrel into the legendary icon has so much room for great stuff there. There’s a tendency in the first two episodes to dip into over-the-top comic-bookishness, which is a risky style choice because while it lends fun energy to the action, it has the potential to lead the drama astray into too much jokiness (which I thought was the main detractor to the enjoyable but sometimes farcical Fantasy Couple). I really, really hope Hong Gil Dong lives up to its potential.

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75 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. all4movies

    Thanks so much for the detailed recap. I’m really looking forward to checking this series out when it’s available. Love your comparisons to other kdramas as it lends a lot of flavour and insight to your comments. Keep it up.
    ps Boy did Kang Ji Hwan look hot in the beginning, it definitely made my heart beat faster.

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  2. ripgal

    Finally, you’ve written, Beans!
    Have been waiting for your verdict on the 1st ep..

    Anywayz, I was pretty disappointed with Ep 1. Maybe I had expected too much..
    The effects were just way too much for me.. I know we’re talking about the Hong Sisters here, but again, maybe it’s me.

    I agree with you that KJH’s really good. He’s probably the only one who nailed his role perfectly..

    About SYR, she’s alright. She’s quite adorable..but rather than seeing Yoo Rin in her, I thought about Lee Ji Ah as Sujini in Legend seeing SYR play Heo Yi Neok. hehehe..

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  3. Anonymous

    I’m looking forward to this show, thank you for your wonderful website and analyses. I did watch episode 1 of “Robbers” with Lee Da Hae and Jang Hyuk, and it is well-written, thoughtful, and a mix of comedy and serious drama (sorry, I know that is off topic).

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  4. Jenny

    i really want to see this, it seems exciting and funny.
    And the screencaps are so great ^^

     (0)


  5. bamidele

    Thanks for the wonderful summary, I have been checking everyday for you to post it up. I definitely want to check this drama out!!

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  6. haezi

    thanks for the awesome recap. i did enjoy the first two episodes, although the opening fusion dance scene was a little awkward (i’ll let it slide since it’s not the focus of the show). hong gil dong’s first appearance was too cool, however, and the whole gang reminds me of the japanese anime, dragon ball. i love the glasses!
    sung yuri’s transformation is surprisingly natural and a 180′ from her snow queen days. it looks like the hong sisters have another great drama. on a side note, the other two dramas playing during the same time are also promising. new heart is interesting because of its slant on the highly stressful field of cardiothoracic surgery, although the supporting actors can be a little annoying. bandits is also surprisingly fun in the first episode and lee da hae is similar to her my girl character, although less over-the-top. so many dramas and so little time!

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  7. Cartman

    hmm..I don’t know…I’m having this kind of feeling: The wind is trying to pull me but I’m still resisting. I guess I’m gonna hold on to that thought. I’ll stay for a while then see if it’s really good. But so far it’s fairly satisfactory. but just like javabeans said, they started with a solid ground. now, that’s not so bad right? :)

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  8. invisibelle

    Excellent, it looks promising to me. Thanks for the recap! :)

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  9. Lenrasoon

    I was so nervous to read your 1º review about this episode LOL, I really shouldn’t have such high expectations for Hong Gil Dong but i can help to cheer everytime Kang Ji Hwan shows up on screen :-)

    thanks for the recap javabeans!

    just curious, did you watch Robbers too?

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  10. 10 MiscellaneousJo

    Thanks for the summary! Looking forward to the series! 강지윈 오빠 너무 멌있다~~

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  11. 11 canyayasis

    Sung Yuri must have the best agent in Korea. This is not the performance I had hoped for.

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  12. 12 La Plume

    FINALLY!!!!
    You know what? During the Coffee Prince fever, you used to post at 1am (French Hour) your recap… So since last Wednesday I’ve been refreshing and refreshing and refreshing… But finally it came THANK YOU!!!

    As I am in my exam period I couldn’t watch both episodes and just settled on some extracts and the first 20mn of the 1st episode. Personally I was thrilled by what I’d seen apart from Sung Yuri’s acting though it is probably because I watched extracts and not the whole thing.

    Anyway I was really anxious to see your reaction. Hong Gil Dong managed a good rate start with 15% for the first two when Robbers dropped of more than 3% between the first and second day. I know you don’t care about rating but it’s interesting to see it comparing soompiers’ reactions because from what I’ve seen the Robbers thread is much more lively than the Hong Gil Dong one. Problem of Robbers probably is how they’re gonna keep the “funny” and “entertaining” atmosphere they’ve managed to build in the first two episodes with that kind of story…

    Anyway coming back to Hong Gil Dong and knowing your taste, I was really afraid that you would just become completely disappointed which seemed to be the reaction of most of the soompiers… Or maybe because of lack of time dunno…

    Glad it seems you’re gonna stick to it. I think people may have a hard time “getting into” this drama, as you’ve said seems risky to be as jokey from the very first episodes but it may also have raised Korean viewers curiosity… Looking forward to your next recap…

    By the way Are you gonna make one for Robbers as well ?

    PS: I also though KJH was perfect in the few scenes I’ve seen

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  13. 13 Shen

    The fusion element really reminds me of the anime Samurai Champloo.
    Your recaps are great!

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  14. 14 dadani

    I wonder when it’ll available on Widenet??? today or at least tomorrow~ it seems that Yoon Eun Hye gets high admiration from many fans around here. Frankly, i have no interest in her acting… it stays the same from drama to drama. I think Sung yuri is much better than ‘cos her roles are a bit from each other~ well~
    i like Kang Jae Hwan with Han Ji Min~ they’re perfect couple (despite the big gap in their height^^) in Scandal in Gyeongseong (old seoul). He looks a bit weird in some caps~haha. this seems quite fun~a stunning drama of KBS for the early 2008.
    A new couple made up by KJH and SYR~ I saw some extracts from KBS drama awards and was so curious about their affair in this drama.
    Anyways, thanks for recaps^_^

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  15. 15 Susie Q

    Thank you javabeans for your recap and analysis. I’ve been a faithful reader for awhile now, and I always enjoy your commentary and screencaps. I have not seen any other dramas the two leads have been in, so I don’t have any comparisons to make. Both of them are great, and Sung Yuri makes me laugh (I have not seen Legend or My Girl, so I don’t know whether she’s channeling the females from those dramas). I very much enjoyed the first two episodes – I like the fusion, the action, and its general freneticism (I can’t stand sappy, weepy k-melodramas). Anyway, I hope that HGD only gets better as it progresses! I’m looking forward to your commentaries!

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  16. 16 bethany

    hello! haha, as already stated by the 20 people before me, ive been waiting to read this too. i couldnt find the honggildong ep1 at first, so caught robbers…. and i really, really liked it. esp after having just watched “my delightful girl choonhyang”, i really enjoy lee da hee’s performance! and jang hyuk. haha… we’ll see if you recap that as well, but yes. then! i watched hong gil dong…

    and i think i was a little biased because everyone and their mom at soompi was bad mouthing it (slight exaggeration) but then i watched it… and perhaps due to my poor korean i really didnt get a lot out of it. something just felt a litttttle off? the production? the effects? but i’m reluctant to quit on it, especially because you speak so highly of … everyone. minus yuri. so i’ll be reading/watching faithfully until proven otherwise, just wanted to drop by and say thank you!

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  17. 17 cathy

    finallly!there’s something to read in here lol!but like the other post too, its just that your writing shine the most by these kinds of review.thanks javabeans!

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  18. 18 blue4u

    Thanks for the recap! I enjoyed some of Kang Ji Hwan’s drama…now i think i have to wait and see its next episode!

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  19. 19 Stawr

    So a couple of things, hahaha.

    1) Thank you so much for the summary! I always love reading your reviews, opinions and comments. They’re quite insightful.
    2) I think majority of the soompiers who are watching this drama need to back down and lay off a bit. I think for most of us this whole “fusion” thing is really new and it needs some time getting used to and understanding the functionality of it all. I know I’m having some trouble trying to catch on what’s going on and keeping up with all the weird camera angles, subtleties, etc.
    3) I feel as if Sung Yuri’s overplaying the obnoxious card. She did come out better than I expected though, bold really suits her, but if she doesn’t want to be the next “Yoorin” or “Sujini”, she’s got a lot of work to do…

    Finally, 4) There seems to be quite a few similarities between Hong Gil Dong and Sun Woo Wan (Capital Scandal). Both aren’t really committed to anything, both have fathers whom they desire affection/approval from, both like to screw around, flirt, drink, have fun and get into all sorts of trouble. I was disappointed with the first episode because I was hoping for KJH to pull out something new… There were some moments when I just went, “What the hell?” and groaned. Nonetheless, halfway through, I warmed up to it and laughed at some of the scenes. I don’t like dramas that overdo the “sappiness”/”jokiness”/”seriousness” so hopefully, this drama won’t do anything too risky…

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  20. 20 godzillaicecream

    Hopefully the series will warm up. You can’t beat the first episode of Delightful Girl.

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  21. 21 kotatsulove

    i’m a little nervous to see this since your response is sort of lukewarm, but the screencaps and summaries look promising. thanks for the summary!

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  22. 22 JiHwanner

    as always, great recap! thanks a lot!

    my two cents, the camera loves JGS and SY. but KJH owns the show. he is one of those rare actors who can be convincing in both comedy and drama – a difficult skill. the scene where he is among the tree branches gazing down at the ancestral rite is my favorite and i feel a very important characterization scene. it captured who hong gil dong is. all bluster, all heart. and KJH acted it out beautifully.

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  23. 23 Marzy

    yey!! thanks sarahbeans!! waiting for ur verdict.. well in HGD thread.. there are those who liked it and those who werent impressed. many soompiers, were saying the special effect vs fusion saeguk thing. i dont dwell to much on the fusion thing, but it is new. for me though, its ok. it was a nice start. i didnt expect to much. those special effects were ok to me, im used to seeing them on stephen chow movies etc.

    kang ji hwan was just the best id say… the acting.. he lights up the screen for me.. he makes me love HGD the character..
    the story is interesting thus far.

    yuri, was a surprise. i didnt expect it. but its better than what id thunk.

    id think if they mold this in the way hyang dan was it would be awesome and unforgettable. this has good potential and i think it could be really good. maybe once the expectations were let down ppl would be able to enjoy more.

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  24. 24 Marzy

    Oh btw, a group called KST released ep1 subs of HGD. Does that mean WITHS2 will not continue with theirS? im more comfortable and like WITHS2 subs as well. But this is a nice appreciated effort.

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  25. 25 hjk

    Thanks for the recap! I’ve missed them.
    I really enjoyed the first episode. I couldn’t stop laughing when the horny HGD was fumbling with his pants. The hand gyrations were because his pants were tied really tightly with a string, right? And what about the part where he sneaks the food and chooses the veggies but leaves the boochingae/pajun? because he has to lose weight? LOL! I think a lot people will just have to wait for the subs to understand all the witty dialogue. This show has a lot of potential, and watching the many expressions of KJH are well worth the wait.

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  26. 26 marcel

    ooo… i’ve never seen a fusion sageuk before… this looks like a fun one…

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  27. 27 rach

    I’m currently watching this episode right now and I’m at the part where Hong Gil Dong is watching the ceremony his father and brother are presiding over.
    As I watching him stuff his face full of pancakes and whatnot a though came across my mind: “If Ju Ji Hoon stuck with this project, it would have been weird to watch him stuff his face full of food like a beggar (however it would have been highly adorable!)”
    Oh well, Kang Ji Hwan is just as adorable (from what I’ve seen so far…)

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  28. 28 teokong

    Thank you for your wonderful summary. Looking forward to watch this fusion saeguk drama and reading the next episode summary. Love the character of KJH act.

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  29. 29 frankly

    does song yuri scamming the villagers under the pretense of offering her hand in marriage channel vicki zhao a la xiao yan zi in this really old chinese drama? see – http://mysticalaura.com/hzgg/gallery/xyz3.jpg at least to me it did, and i found it very amusing. the clothes, hair and the fact that pulling off such scams was something very xiao yan zi-ish.. ><

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  30. 30 Rong

    To state, i’ve not watched Bandit although i intend to. but i find HGD really cute after eps 1. i have to agree that his expression is really priceless. if it was JJH, i don’t think i’ll see much. haha… but SYR’s expression is a bit too much for me even though i’ve not seen her in SnowQueen. i hope it’s good and i’ll enjoy it as time passes. but one thing to note, i’m sure the Hong sisters won’t let us down. just when i thought FC was going to fail me, it picked up! hee, so let’s just hope wait for the best part to show! =)

    p.s. is bandit really tt nice? hello miss started out funny too, for 5 eps… :S heh…

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  31. 31 Di

    AAWWww damn I really wanna see it NOOOOOWW…but *waits patiently for clubbox DL* ._.

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  32. 32 estelle

    Kang Ji Hwan is great! The first 2 eps r funny indeed… =)

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  33. 33 ripgal

    #30 Rong
    The first ep of Bandit/Robber/Robbers was an impressive pilot episode, with a good plot, unique storyline, out of the ordinary characters, and most importantly, amazing music score. I’ve only seen Ep 1 and I already love it..

    I’m a fan of both LDH and KJH, I really don’t want to compare.. but Robbers is really, just more interesting for me. hehehe..

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  34. 34 kate

    i watched the Hong Gil Dong. i like it, the plot is intriguing and the characters are interesting. looking forward to the next episode. Javabean, do you know anything about “Cain and Abel” with So Ji Sup that is the drama I have been wanting to see!

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  35. 35 ...

    ooo… finally uve posted! don’t dare start a watching this new drama because i will be hooked and i’ve got some serious exams coming up! damn… i’ll have to wait! but thanks for the recap! it sounds quite interesting.

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  36. 36 maltesers

    ooohh…i love your recap! thank so much!! i eagerly wait till the subs are complete!!

    happy new year, javabeans…

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  37. 37 Nicole

    awww…i’m so happy that you’re doing the episode summaries for this series!! =D Thank you so much for this…like so many others…I can’t wait to see where the story leads to next. Thanks a million again–watching it w/o subs is really hard but this helped clear some things for me.

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  38. 38 Anonymous

    Thanks for the recap!!! I’ve only watched a small segment of it, but I think Yuri looks gorgeous XD

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  39. 39 marie_s

    i really hope that it lives up to expectations. i love kang ji hwan, i think actingwise, he’s far way better than joo ji hoon. but i don’t know! joo ji hoon has got me completely hooked on him, perhaps the mystery, plus he’s soooo handsome! i read that he rejected this project two weeks before shooting started because he wanted a salary as high as what yoon eun hye is getting from coffee prince per episode. if that’s the reason, that’s utterly ridiculous! this is a potentitally good drama that may follow princess hour’s feat! (the devil was okay, but let’s admit it, it didn’t do well with the ratings! and the story is not for the liking of many.) it would have been such a pleasant sight to see joo ji hoon doing comedy upfront (although princess hours was a comedy, his character was a bit restrained)! why oh why! oh gosh! it’s really an opportunity thrown in the trash! in as much as i like kang ji hwan, i really hoped joo ji hoon starred here!

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  40. 40 marie_s

    yes indeed it’s a fusion, much like abs-cbn’s (philippine tv station) adaptation of princess sarah, the famous story of the girl sarah crewe! it was really funny i must say! i love fusion, mixing history with modernism!

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  41. 41 vrosemarie

    Thanks for the recap!
    I really enjoyed the first episode!! KJH had me kicking my legs in the air!!! His touching scenes were well done too… I agree with Jihwanner about the tree part… That was a lovely scene… SYR’s acting seems to be perfectly acceptable here… I quite like her bold and noisy! I read the recap before I watched it but I still laughed real hard… The costumes are really interesting looking and I laughed when he put on those funny yellow sunnies! I think I’ll be watching more of this drama… :)

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  42. 42 tealeaf

    Even in this first episode, i thought that Kang Ji Hwan takes on his role quite well. I don’t think that i’ve ever doubted that his performance will be subpar. Sung Yuri’s performance is fine also. No doubt that KJH is charming, it’s the series that lacks the charm factor for me (so far) – whereas DGCH’s first episode was really awesome. Directing (obviously Hong sisters styled) and production didn’t quite impress me. But like you’ve said, the storylines are promising and they can really go far with these characters. I hope that they’ll tone down the exaggerated physical comedies and give us more meaty stuffs soon. Count me in as one of those who are hanging in there for now. Go KJH.
    @ripgal, will check out Bandits next. You’re a great saleswoman.

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  43. 43 kitty

    hgd is a good drama, i prefer hgd than robber. sincerely hope that people can accept sung yuri in hgd as i find her acting skill is very fine here. she is a talented actress as she has protrays very well in different dramas, such as one fine day, snow queen and hgd.

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  44. 44 Kiongna

    Just reading your summary I can tell KJW must be doing a marvelous job, sounds like just up his alley! Reminds me some of Capital City but this alla Saguek mode – luckily no matching hats/ribbon with suit LOL I can even feel him enjoying himself immensely in this role – bet all the NGs would have the whole crew laughing themselves silly and loads of camaraderie – how lovely….I’m looking forward to your following summaries! Thanks, Hugs E

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  45. 45 JaneSc

    I like the 2 episodes aired so far. Its refreshing and its different from the usual K-dramas due to its fusion theme. Its also not too heavy and i really enjoy it. You are right, the bold character suits Sung Yuri here.

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  46. 46 thunderbolt

    I watched Ep 1 today and was surprised how much I enjoyed it. It’s wild, wacky and very entertaining but not comic-bookish. KJH is perfect for the role; I can’t imagine anyone else doing it. SYR’s more than okay too. She’s definitely improved after Thousand Years of Love where her acting was just a joke. I think she and KJH had good sparks in Ep 1 so things look very promising.

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  47. 47 wandergirl

    This isn’t available on the D-Addicts torrent tracker yet, huh?
    I guess I’ve to dl from Clubbox this time.

    Thanks for the episode summary. I can’t wait to watch it.

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  48. 48 E

    I read two paragraphs of your summary and went to watch the episode for myself. I have to agree- the moment I Saw Sung Yuri on that boat with her grandfather I thought – why is she acting so much like Lee Da Hae in My Girl? The resemblance was uncanny at first but then I do realize that it’s SO much better than her wooden, depressing girl roles (which always made me think she couldn’t act – i couldn’t finish watching snow queen..or thousand years of love).

    Believe or not, this is my first Kang Ji Hwan drama/mpvie that I’ve seen…ever. I think I’ve heard of him before ~~ I think he’s doing a great job as Hong Gil Dong – he pays the funny and sad parts well ~ Jang Geun Suk on the other hand – he’s sure charismatic! I think maybe it’s just his character that’s all stuffy…anyways can’t wait to watch the next one!

    Thanks for the summary!

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  49. 49 jinkzzmec

    thanks for the recap javabeans…i really like this drama so far .

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  50. 50 jinhee

    Thank you for your summary! It cleared a lot up for me. I thought Episode 1 was great! I just hope it keeps getting better, instead of shooting downward like many other reent dramas have.

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