Drama Recaps
Personal Taste: Episode 1
by | April 1, 2010 | 137 Comments

The ratings for the Thursday episodes shifted slightly, but the order remained the same as the first day. Cinderella’s Sister was first with a 14.5%, Personal Taste remained in second with a 12.5%, and Prosecutor Princess crept up slightly to an 8.7%.

Since I outlined the basic plot in the first impressions post, let’s dive right in to Episode 1.


Personal Taste OST – “말도 안돼” (It Can’t Be) by Younha [ Download ]

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Morningtime is a vastly disparate experience for our two leads: one awakens in a crowded workshop and scrambles to get ready, while the other awakens in a spacious room and leisurely prepares for the day. Hers is an old-fashioned Korean-style house; he lives in a modern, upscale home.

Let’s start with PARK KAE-IN (Sohn Ye-jin):

Kae-in jumps up clumsily at the sound of her alarm clock, already late. She’s a furniture designer and has worked through the night, sleeping on the floor of her woodshop.

She darts around her place while dressing for today’s special occasion, ditching her usual loose-fitting sweats for a little black dress. It comes out of her special armoire, which is still taped shut to indicate how rarely she makes use of anything fitted or pretty. But even dressed “up” like this, she still manages to ruin the LBD effect by tossing on a puffy blue jacket and serviceable boots (after breaking the heel on what is probably her only pair of pumps).

JEON JIN-HO (Lee Min-ho), on the other hand, occupies a chic, orderly room, and finds himself with an unexpected bedmate. He’s not the type to get worked up over surprises and dryly tells his companion to give up pretending — he knows she’s not sleeping. This is NA HYE-MI (Choi Eun-seo), whose little joke has not produced its desired shock effect. From Jin-ho’s non-reaction, we can suppose that he’s used to Hye-mi’s childish pranks and forward advances.

Hye-mi pouts, asking how he can reject a sexy woman like her. She asks teasingly, “Do you maybe like men?” Jin-ho banters back, “Didn’t you know that I do?”

Jin-ho’s mother calls out from the hallway, and despite his own nonchalance at Hye-mi’s appearance, he moves quickly to hide her presence from Mom, shoving her out onto the balcony. When Mom asks where Hye-mi is, he fumbles for an answer — shouldn’t she still be in Canada?

(Trivia: Jin-ho’s mother is played by musical actress Park Hye-mi, who by the way played the mother to Lee Min-ho’s best buddy Jung Il-woo in Unstoppable High Kick. Take that, Kevin Bacon! In Korea everything is measurable by two degrees.)

Kae-in is running late and Jin-ho’s car is blocked in, so both end up on the street hailing taxis. The very same taxi, in fact. While they argue over who was technically first, someone else slips in and claims the cab. Both are relegated to the bus.

The mutual annoyance kicks up a notch when Jin-ho claims the sole available seat. (Kae-in is expecting some show of chivalry, but Jin-ho suffers no such scruples.) Sitting down, his eyeline falls upon Kae-in’s visible panty line (ah, that scourge of modern womanhood!) — and although he’s regarding it with distaste, Kae-in catches him looking at her butt and thinks he’s being a perv.

She self-consciously adjusts her dress, but just then the bus lurches and she stumbles backward. Jin-ho, keen to protect his building model, throws his hands up in front of it… connecting squarely with her butt.

Jin-ho defends himself by saying it was to protect his model. Affronted that his hunk of plastic is more important than her body part, she insists on the bus taking her to the police station to report the pervert. Jin-ho once again demonstrates his coolheadedness, pointing out calmly that she’s being far more of a public nuisance by inconveniencing everyone on the bus — is her butt more important than everyone else’s time?

Aggravated, Kae-in returns the favor and grabs HIS ass. (If only we all had such excuses.) In shock, he drops his model, which crashes and breaks. Oops! Kae-in didn’t mean for that to happen, and quickly ducks off the bus.

The reason this is a big day is because she is launching her own line of furniture at an expo. (The brand’s name — Kae-in Story — like the drama’s title, is a pun that also means Personal Story.) Her furniture is tailored for the “happy single” and features innovations like making a single table function as dining surface, workspace, and vanity in one.

Kae-in is pleased at a congratulatory flower arrangement that her boyfriend Chang-ryul has sent her, waving off the fact that he didn’t come in person. Her sole employee, LEE WON-HO, clearly doesn’t approve of Chang-ryul’s indifferent gesture, especially when his big work presentation is in the very same building.

It’s the same presentation for which Jin-ho has been preparing with his work partner, NOH SANG-JUN (Jung Sung-hwa). With little time to spare, Jin-ho and Sang-jun get to work repairing the model.

They’re interrupted by the appearance of a rival architect — Kae-in’s own HAN CHANG-RYUL (Kim Ji-suk) — who smirks and tells them there’s no use bothering with the model, since he’s going to win. The guys trade barbs back and forth, Chang-ryul mocking the teeniness of Jin-ho’s firm, Jin-ho insinuating that Chang-ryul’s only successful because he has everyone else doing his work for him.

Chang-ryul hands over two invitations for his wedding tomorrow, and can’t resist adding the barb that he’s only doing so to give the guys a rare taste of hotel food (which in Korea is shorthand for fancy and expensive cuisine, not dinky Continental breakfasts and free refills of Sanka).

The two are part of several firms bidding for the contract to build the Dream Art Center, and Chang-ryul presents first for his firm, Mirae Construction. He’s smooth and confident — until a minor hiccup stymies him completely, proving Jin-ho’s point that he’s only good when he can take credit for someone else’s work, but on his own he falters.

Jin-ho presents for his company, M, incorporating the model into a hologram — that’s right, a hologram! — as he emphasizes his focal point of harmony, blending nature with people and culture.

To ensure that our main couple dislike each other as thoroughly as possible before being forced to change their minds, we get Round 3 of the Kae-in/Jin-ho clash while the architects take a break while the winner is decided. Jin-ho and Sang-jun wander over to the furniture booths, stopping in front of Kae-in Story. Sang-jun thinks the multi-function pieces are ingenious, but Jin-ho scoffs, calling the designer an egoist who has clearly never cooked for someone else, who cannot communicate, and is likely a “hysterical spinster.” I don’t even know what a hysterical spinster would be (screaming cat lady?), but it must be bad from the disparaging way Jin-ho says it.

And yes, Jin-ho’s kind of a pretentious prat. He’s got a point that the table isn’t suited for proper dining, but he’s also missed the point that it serves a different purpose than formal diningware, and is tailored to the space-saving single person. Kae-in had hidden away to avoid encountering the perv again, but at his criticisms she pops out to set him straight: There are some people in the world who don’t have someone to eat with, you know.

The architects head back to the convention hall for the results, and here is where I decide I love Sang-jun, who prays to his almighty God to win this account, then threatens to convert to Buddhism if they don’t. (The humor is all in his delivery.)

Alas, Mirae (hence Chang-ryul) wins the bid. A man sitting nearby — whom we will later learn is CHOI DO-BIN — takes note of Jin-ho’s disappointed reaction. This character, played by a dandified Ryu Seung-ryong (snerk, for those of you who’ve read the novel), will surely figure in the upcoming episodes.

Kae-in congratulates her boyfriend on his successful presentation. Since it’s been ages since they’ve been out, she suggests they go on a date the next day, not knowing that he’s got quite a different activity prepared for tomorrow. Fighting his cowardly nerves, Chang-ryul attempts to break up with Kae-in, trying to ease into the discussion by first pointing out all his flaws as a boyfriend. It’s too bad that Kae-in jumps to his defense and contradicts him, saying that even though he USED to be a big playboy, he’s not one anymore since he’s with her!

Chang-ryul looks increasingly nauseous, and forces himself onward. To make his point clear, he gets down on his knees in front of Kae-in and reaches in his pocket for the wedding invitation.

There are only two reasons for someone to kneel in front of you — to beg forgiveness or to propose — and with all this nervous stammering about the progression of their relationship, Kae-in thinks it must be the latter. Surely he’s reaching inside his jacket for the ring, right? Flustered (but pleased), she gasps that this is so sudden! She needs some time to think about it — can he give her some time?

Chang-ryul sees that this has taken a horrible turn and tries to get up and protest (she pushes him back down, ha). Serves you right, cheating liar!

This scene is interrupted by a grim-looking Jin-ho, who has recalled Chang-ryul’s pre-presentation comment that fixing the model was useless. Chang-ryul must have worked out some kind of backdoor deal to win the PT before it was even given. Jin-ho asks if he or his father messed with the process again.

Now we get a bit more insight into the bad blood here. Jin-ho’s now-deceased father used to be the president of Mirae, but now Chang-ryul’s father has taken a senior position. (Hence Chang-ryul’s success despite what appears to be a tainted work ethic.) At some point afterward, Jin-ho set up his own small firm.

Chang-ryul walks away, leaving Jin-ho stewing. Kae-in gripes that Jin-ho ruined her proposal by butting in at a crucial moment — and this strikes Jin-ho as odd. Obviously she must be deluded, since he knows Chang-ryul is marrying tomorrow.

Jin-ho has bigger worries, though, because construction on one building is running behind schedule and is in danger of not being done on time. Jin-ho has used all the company money on paying the workers and preparing their PT, and they’re in dire need of funds.

With a sigh, Jin-ho suggests they take on a museum project that they wouldn’t otherwise do — it’s their only viable source of work. Sang-jun warns that he may be getting over his head, but Jin-ho is firm. He wants to meet the museum’s Director Choi. They don’t know him, but Sang-jun remembers Chang-ryul’s wedding. Not only is it a good opportunity to network with contacts, the bride is also a curator at the museum. Therefore Choi ought to be there.

The meeting is broken up by the arrival of KIM TAE-HOON (Im Seul-ong), who bursts in and asks, with great indignation, how Jin-ho could dare lock Hye-mi out on the balcony.

Tae-hoon calls Jin-ho “hyung,” indicating that they’re on a pretty friendly basis. He is also an employee at the firm, though it seems to be a running line that Jin-ho wants Tae-hoon to quit.

Over drinks, Jin-ho assures Tae-hoon that he only thinks of Hye-mi as a little sister. This is not at all convincing to Tae-hoon, who is greatly aggrieved that Jin-ho supposedly stole a look at Hye-mi’s bosoms (according to Hye-mi), and that he’d promised to marry her. No matter that he only said that to shut her up when she cried and kicked up a fuss, and at age 14 to boot. Overwrought with jealousy and the angst of youth, Tae-hoon drinks.

Girls’ night at Kae-in’s house. She drinks with her two friends, LEE YOUNG-SUN (a photographer and mother, played by Jo Eun-ji) and KIM IN-HEE (Wang Ji-hye), the latter of whom is marrying tomorrow. In-hee has been living with Kae-in in this house but has recently moved out in preparation for her marriage, which is something of a whirlwind affair with a man she began dating only a month ago.

In-hee acts a little uncomfortable every time the girls mention her mysterious groom, whom they have never seen. When In-hee hears Kae-in announce brightly that Chang-ryul almost proposed to her, she excuses herself to make a phone call. She hisses to Chang-ryul that he was supposed to tell Kae-in the truth!

Chang-ryul works up his courage and calls Kae-in out to a restaurant, mustering the nerve to break the news. She, of course, thinks this is a nice romantic date, and that he’s going to finish the proposal that he started.

He starts by highlighting all his negative points, as though to soften the blow, saying that he’s hurt her a lot. Kae-in is happy to let that slide, because he’s the first man to see someone like her — not pretty, dense — as attractive. Her comments just make him feel worse, and he fights through this conversation wearing a worried constipation-face.

Finally, he dives right into it and gets to the point: “Kae-in, I beg you… Now… With me…” She waits in breathless anticipation, just as he finishes, “…let’s break up.”

Stunned, she asks if she did anything wrong. He says he didn’t love her, and I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for thinking he might have loved her initially. He says she was like a puppy that followed him around: “I think I felt pity for you.” She was the girl who always messed things up and had never loved before, and he’d felt sorry for her.

Hurt, Kae-in gets up and walks away from the table without another word. He calls her back — so she stops in her tracks and storms back. (Nervously, Chang-ryul scoots his water glass closer, keeping it out of her reach.) But she’s angry at herself more than him, and says with difficulty, “I’m sorry. You were trying not to hurt me all that while, but I was so thick I didn’t know.”

The three men have relocated to an outdoor pojangmacha, where Tae-hoon challenges Jin-ho to a drinking battle. If Jin-ho loses, he has to date Hye-mi.

Sang-jun says that’s all backward, but Tae-hoon means it — Hye-mi has to be happy for Tae-hoon to be happy. That’s what love is! Jin-ho retorts, “So have that love between the two of you. Leave me out of it.” Still, he agrees to the drinking match under the condition that if he wins, then Tae-hoon has to quit working at the office. Commence soju!

Depressed, Kae-in calls out Won-ho (her employee) for drinks and gets very drunk, drowning her shame in alcohol. Rather than taking out her anger on Chang-ryul, she’s upset at herself for being so blind and stupid.

Nervous Won-ho takes this as his moment to confess his feelings for her. His comments don’t register with her, partly because it sounds like mere consolation words and partly because she’s in that mumbly, half-conscious phase of drunkenness. Perfect for wooing!

So it is that both Jin-ho and Kae-in wind up at a motel. Jin-ho has taken on the task of mopping up after Tae-hoon — a duty that he apparently trades off with Sang-jun — and deposits Tae-hoon on the bed. The jacket and shirt come off because Tae-hoon has unceremoniously vomited over himself.

Jin-ho leaves after scrawling a note on the mirror: “Congratulations on being fired. You go on the date!” (Meaning with Hye-mi.)

Meanwhile, Won-ho looks down on a sleeping Kae-in, and sneaks in a kiss. Then, getting carried away with his emotions, he starts to unbutton his pants — at which point Kae-in opens her eyes and groggily asks, “What are you doing?”

Won-ho bursts out, “I love you!” and jumps on top of her. Kae-in feels betrayed — she confided in him, and he takes advantage of her? — and lets her dissatisfaction be known. She chases him around the room, kicking and hitting as best she can in her tipsy condition.

She chases Won-ho out of the room, where he collides with Jin-ho before scurrying on. She looks up in recognition: “It’s the pervert.” He also recognizes her: “Proposal?” Mockingly, he notes that her groom has changed.

But he gets knocked off his high horse soon enough, because just then a voice cuts in, “Hyung!” It’s Tae-hoon, still a little addled from the liquor but conscious enough to have read Jin-ho’s parting message. In an anguished tone, he asks, “Do you mean what you wrote on the mirror? You can’t do this!”

Tae-hoon falls on his knees and begs, “Hyung! Please don’t do this! My only crime is loving!”

Kae-in naturally thinks this is a lover’s quarrel, and chides Jin-ho for being really mean. Jin-ho sighs that she’s got the wrong idea, but doesn’t bother to clarify the situation. As he leaves, Tae-hoon cries after him, “Don’t go!”

Feeling sorry for the heartbroken guy, Kae-in offers some consolation words: “They say that the one who loves more is the weaker one.” Clinging to this source of sympathy, Tae-hoon grabs her in a hug, crying, “Noona!”

(Law of Kdrama says: Just as there is a tacit rule that actors must be shown shirtless at least once in their first drama after army service, so must there also be a rule about idol stars and the same.)

Kae-in comes up to Jin-ho in the street and apologizes for misunderstanding in the morning. She makes grabby hands in reference to the butt incident, thinking that he must be clear of such an offense now because he’s gay. She sighs, “You have a difficult love.”

He retorts that hers is worse. He asks what she’s planning on doing today, to get an idea of how much she knows of her ex-boyfriend’s perfidy. She says her friend has a wedding, so he figures she’s still in the dark and starts to share a story of a “friend.” This woman didn’t know her boyfriend was marrying another woman, and showed up at the wedding. Kae-in laughs at that — who could be so dense?

She asks to know what happened to the woman, and Jin-ho answers, “You’ll find out.”

Having drowned his cowardly woes in drink, Chang-ryul stumbles to Kae-in’s house with the wedding invitation, which he slips inside the gate. He also leaves a voicemail message: “The one marrying In-hee tomorrow is me. Kae-in, I’m really sorry. I know this is asking too much but it’s my last request — don’t come to the wedding tomorrow. Please.”

Being lazy on top of spineless, Chang-ryul therefore thinks he has done his duty and assumes that Kae-in got the message (literally). And you know what happens when you assume!

The next day, In-hee is worried because she hasn’t heard from either Kae-in or Young-sun — and she’s sure she’d be hearing a LOT if they knew the truth. Chang-ryul promises her that he absolutely, positively took care of everything. But just to make extra-sure, he gives a photo of Kae-in to his secretary and orders him to keep her out of the venue.

And now another highlight: Jin-ho and Sang-jun come to the wedding as a networking opportunity, and on the way up to the wedding hall, Sang-jun fiddles with his zipper. He’d gone to the bathroom and his shirt got stuck, and he can’t get it free. Jin-ho takes over the task, and Sang-jun can’t help from cracking a joke at the compromising position, fake-moaning things like “Mmm, aw, good.”

The joke backfires when the elevator doors open silently behind Jin-ho, to reveal Young-sun (and her young son) standing in shock as Sang-jun continues his joke-groaning.

They don’t notice that their conversation just confirms Young-sun’s wayward thoughts, and Sang-jun asks what happened with Tae-hoon last night. Jin-ho says, “Don’t even ask. I took him to the motel, and thought I was gonna die.” Sang-jun laughs, “Two men at a motel — must’ve been fun.”

Of course he means this sarcastically, but tell that to Young-sun, who covers her son’s virgin ears in shock.

Young-sun arrives at the hall, and the instant she sees the bridal photos, she is furious. In-hee and Chang-ryul? Fuming, she storms into the room to confront the couple and tears into them. She asks In-hee scathingly, “Did you Botox your brain?” (which is an insult I’m totally tucking away for future use). In-hee has lots of men — why did she have to steal Kae-in’s?

In-hee seems to feel genuinely sorry to hurt her friend (though not sorry enough to have done the right thing, but whatevs, it’s twoo wuv!), and promises she’ll make it up to her. Young-sun says harshly, “Listen up. If I were you, I’d stop this wedding immediately.”

Kae-in had in fact missed seeing the wedding invitation and shows up at the wedding hall blissfully unaware. Young-sun does her best to waylay her, but as she is late, Kae-in is eager to get inside asap.

Her attention is distracted by the sight of Jin-ho, and mistakes the sight of Sang-jun wiping up spilled coffee for something much more intimate. Thinking of poor Tae-hoon and his heartbreak, she mutters, “Jerk. So he ditched his boyfriend because he found a new one.”

Young-sun tries again to reclaim Kae-in’s attention to tell her the truth, but this time another sight diverts her gaze — it’s the bridal party, walking toward the wedding hall to take their places.

Stricken with confusion, hurt, and disbelief, Kae-in follows them into the hall. In a daze, she walks down the aisle, dumbly. Young-sun tries to grab her aside, but Kae-in is lost in her thoughts and unaware of everything else but the couple at the altar.

With growing realization, Kae-in arrives behind the couple, eyes fixed on Chang-ryul, who stutters in shock at the sight of her. Then her eyes move toward the bride, who is doing her best to keep her face turned aside. Kae-in draws the veil up to uncover the bride, and looks at her friend’s familiar face.


As I said in yesterday’s first-impressions post, one of the highlights of Personal Taste is in the casting. Everyone is well-suited for their roles, and not only that, everyone brings a little something extra to these characters. I can say that with particular certainty because in this case, we have an original novel to compare with. (I don’t intend to make comparisons between the drama plot and the novel beyond this post, so rest assured I won’t belabor this point.) After reading about these characters on paper and building up an idea of what they would be like, even before most of these roles were cast, I can say that I’m happy with the actors who were brought onboard, and like them all more than I did in the book.

For example: Kae-in is cute and good-hearted, but also dense enough that she mistakes situations that often turn out badly because of her lack of perception. This is a trait that could make her unlikable (they don’t call that trope Too Stupid To Live for nothing) — and when a character is exceedingly dim, she can get aggravating. Think Park Shin-hye in You’re Beautiful — adorable, but good lord how dumb could Mi-nam be, right? Sohn Ye-jin makes Kae-in credible, and the misunderstandings are arranged so that they’re not entirely the fault of her lack of acuity.

Jin-ho is cool without being heartless — a great way to differentiate this role from his high-profile turn as Gu Jun-pyo. I love that he doesn’t merely repeat the Jun-pyo character here, even though it would have been easy to do so given that they share similar traits — cool, polished, prickly. Lee Min-ho has softened the edges to make him warmer and more likable than the novel’s Jin-ho.

The sidekicks and second leads I also find refreshingly funny — they’ve got the potential to steal scenes and infuse the drama with hilarity. Take Sang-jun, who on paper fulfills the typical kdrama role of good-natured best friend. You know — nice but not very special. But Jung Sung-hwa has this wonderful, warm, mischievous vibe, and the way he rolls with the elevator scene is pure fun. Kim Ji-suk, as I mentioned before, must be having a ball — his Chang-ryul is wimpy and weak, but also haughty and cocky. Yet through all this, he retains a sense of humor, and I don’t actually hate his character. In fact, I think he and In-hee are well-suited for each other. Jo Eun-ji has often been cast as the plain sidekick, but she does it well. And Im Seul-ong — his character is not unlike Tae-kyu of Wish Upon a Star with his immaturity and sense of the dramatic, and in both cases I enjoyed the comic flair.

Can’t wait to see where Episode 2 takes us!


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137 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. lsk4020

    Thanks so much for the recap! =]

  2. kisa101

    yes tx. im so happy this is finally out, and Cinderella’s Sister (so cool) & Oh My Lady (loving it)

  3. mie

    The elevator scene stole the show. I’m surprised the ratings didn’t go up after that.

  4. Quaggy

    Thank you for the recap, Javabeans! So far the show looks even better than I expected! (And I was expecting quite a lot!)

    “Did you Botox your brain?” (which is an insult I’m totally tucking away for future use).

    You and me both! An all too apt description if you ask me!

  5. J

    Thanks for the recap! ^^

    Haven’t started watching this drama because till now it hasn’t stirred much of my interest. Will be waiting for Javabean’s take on the next few episodes and if the reviews continue to be positive, I may consider picking this up =)

    Also, hoping that Javabean will recap Cinderella’s Sister. Out of the 3 Wed/Thu dramas, that’s the only one which I’ve started watching and its first 2 episodes were great!

  6. mikoh

    first here!thanks!

  7. heejung

    oh god, there’s a scene in ep 2 in which jinho and sangjun are in a room in kae-in’s house and it sounds like they’re gettin it on. cracked me up! this drama does humor SO well XD

  8. takekane

    I’m soooo glad you choose to recap this one!
    Thank you!

  9. nabi

    I agree. The casting is THE highlight of this drama and there were so many funny scenes. The bus and the elevator scenes… haha. Love the actors’ facial expressions. I really like Jung Sung-hwa and Jo Eun-ji.. they add so much to this drama.

  10. 10 jossy

    can I just say how much I adore and love you so? ^^ feel free to adopt me JB! lol Thanks a mill..

  11. 11 LMF

    Thanks JB for the recap!
    SYJ is wonderful as always, and LMH is not bad at all!
    And did I mention that he’s very good looking??
    Enjoyable, though not a fantastic drama, as yet.

  12. 12 Kender

    I kept refreshing all day to see which one you’d decide to recap first, and I’m pleased to see you chose this one. Although a recap of Cinderella’s Sister probably would’ve been better understanding-wise (I can mostly understand the language in PT, but I’m not quite as lucky in CS), I loved PT and I laughed throughout pretty much the entirety of this recap. So good.

    I agree, this is quite well-cast. Seulong had me flailing with laughter, and I kind of adore Sang-jun. XD

    Out of curiosity, when are you going to post the rest of the novel? I’m not in a hurry or anything, especially now that the show is actually airing, but I hope you don’t forget about it completely. :)

  13. 13 Amg1

    JB, Thank you for your hard work! I am really liking this drama, Sohn Ye-jin has totally own this character, I think this is my favorite so far, and “Prosecutor Princess” my second favorite, the “free Sanka refills” totally crack me up! Thanks again!!!!!

  14. 14 Molly

    Ooooh this is so exciting! :) -reads-

  15. 15 coollady

    what i find refreshing about this drama was how the misunderstanding of Jin-ho being gay is played out. at first, i thought they would just show one silly coincidental incident that causes Kae-in to mistake Jin-ho as being homosexual, but there were several scenes that were all credible and hilarious. the elevator scene was the just plain awesome and i laughed like crazy at it (however, i would assume the same thing because Jin-ho and Sang-jin seem a little too comfortable with each other than is natural. haha love it.). although Cinderella Unni is my favorite of the three, Personal Taste is a nice breathe of fresh air as well. thanks for the recap.

  16. 16 tina

    thank you for posting!! i’ve been waiting for this all day!!

  17. 17 linz

    i want to watch this sooooo bad!!! viikii has spoiled me :( now i actually have to wait for subs lol. Thanks for the recap!

  18. 18 Carinne

    I’m still giggling the fact you used an entire image block (maximize) focusing on that highlighted elevator gay scene, while other scenes were minimized thereafter. Jung SungHwa surely is doing a great job delivering his punch lines. Like he said, “N-I-C-E-H!

    Your “Law of Kdrama” gravitates onto ep.02 as well. Hehe! I barely started to watch MNET Scandal and here (ep.02) I see this idol take it off. It’s a good thing to obey the Law. LOL!

  19. 19 hjkomo

    Thanks for the great recap! 😀
    Sanka! Is that stuff still around? o_O 😛

    Jung Sung-hwa is a HOOT!

    And don’t fret…not all crazy cat ladies are hysterical spinsters. 😉

  20. 20 QT

    I so cant wait to watch this drama when the subs are out >_<
    thankies for the recap

  21. 21 mmmaggie

    Yeeeeah, so glad you’re recapping this series! Despite the fact that I’m head over heels for Lee Min Ho, I’m getting a Will & Grace vibe here where the sidekick characters — Noh Sang Jun and Lee Young Sun — may end up stealing the show. Seriously, the elevator scene nearly killed me. I was cracking up. I also love the actress who plays Lee Young Sun. She reminds me of a Korean Judy Greer — a perennial sidekick, but one that brings her own brand of feisty humor every time. Can’t wait to see how this series unfolds.

  22. 22 Marie

    Thank you so much JB for recapping this series as I cannot watch it anywhere with subs. You are the best. Thanks once again.

  23. 23 joicy

    2nd Episode is even better, be prepared, Girl!!

  24. 24 momosan

    Still snickering at the elevator scene, although there was a scene in ep 2 that had me rolling as well.

    Can I say how much I loved Kim Ji-suk? Just cracked me up like crazy in both episodes.

    And can I give props to the stylist for this show? That suit that Lee Min Ho is wearing with the double lapel…very snazzy. Kim Ji-suk’s suits as well. Verrrrry nice.

    If this is a series where the secondary characters are as strong as they were in the first episode, I’ll be a happy camper. (and since I was adoring General Choi, you’d think I’d be in the PPrincess camp – but no, I’m over here with Wang Son so far)

  25. 25 Alison

    “Take that, Kevin Bacon! In Korea everything is measurable by two degrees.”

    Hahahahaha, oh JB i love how you can always crack me up in your recaps.

  26. 26 jj

    thanks so much for recapping this series- was really really looking forward to it but as it is, crunch time in work/school and i don’t have time to indulge in actually watching it. so hoorray for jb recaps!

    side note- absolutely adore the (what’s been released) of the OST for PT. especially younha’s.. really suits the light breezy tone of this drama.. i’ve been playing it on repeat on my ipod.. woots

  27. 27 Princess61

    Thanks so much for recapping. Looking forward to actually watching it once the English subs are available. Lee Min-Ho is HOT!

  28. 28 bleh

    thanks for the recap, JB!

  29. 29 celestialorigin

    JB, Thank you for the recap! I can’t wait to see the real thing!

  30. 30 oi

    thank you very much for your recap
    your recap gives additional info that Chin-subbers have left out

  31. 31 le meera

    LEE MIN HO <3

  32. 32 zheisya

    I like the novel, but not the drama. Because actually I don’t like nuna-dongsaeng relationship. Just my own opinion..

  33. 33 Vic

    the cast is so wrong :s.
    the dude from bof and the girl from summer scent? no chemistry at all unfortunately

  34. 34 artisticpal

    I’m so glad you decided to recap this one among the three dramas!!!!!

    Thank you so much for your hard work —
    It must have been exhausting *cyber massage for ya*!!

  35. 35 looveygood

    I think this drama not about nuna-dongsaeng relationship.
    Lee Minho played 31 years old character.

    This is just 1st episode, don’t judge too fast.
    The chemistry will grow in the following episodes, at least that’s what I hope…

  36. 36 Spacegal

    Vic, did you ACTUALLY see the drama?
    I think their chemistry was awesome. According to Korean articles this morning, their chemistry was ‘very good and rhythmical’.

  37. 37 Spacegal

    Yes, it’s JUST your own opinion.
    BTW, Noona-dongseng dramas have been a trend recently in Korean dramas.

    As looveygood said, Lee Minho PLAYS an older character (than his age).

  38. 38 miniejungle

    i love your recaps, as usual :) thank you so much for that! could you do epi 2 too? 😛

    reading it makes me understand the story line much better than streaming live and figuring it out without understanding the language. i think this drama is very well casted and i hope Yejin would not disappoint me as Kae-in. I think Min Ho did a great job so far!

  39. 39 observer

    Hi, can anyone tell me where I can watch or download this show?

  40. 40 blyssxoxo

    Thanks JB! I’m hoping you will continue to share about the novel! Really looking forward to that!

  41. 41 deannadsc

    “Did you Botox your brain?” (which is an insult I’m totally tucking away for future use).
    JB,,,I’m tucking that away too, for future use!!!

    (Law of Kdrama says: Just as there is a tacit rule that actors must be shown shirtless at least once in their first drama after army service, so must there also be a rule about idol stars and the same.)
    JB…you had me laughing out loud w/ that…cuz it’s sooo true!!! I just watched “White Night” yesterday & saw GO SOO..not just shirtless….. but bottomless, as well!!!
    & what an awesome body he has!!! OMG, had to rewind that part at least 4 times!!! still can’t get over it!!! LOL!!! (it’s on dramasub.com, BTW!!!)

  42. 42 lolly :))

    GUYS. Where can I watch Personal Taste with english subs??? I’m just keeping myself updated here, which by the way thank you sooo much JavaBeans! :) but then still not enough to fee my Lee Min Ho addiction ^^

    Guys any sites that you can recommend? :)

  43. 43 poo

    oooohh…..thank you! thank you! thank you! javabeans ^_^

    @39 observer and 42 lolly:
    U can watch it on viikii.net
    Itz not there yet…but it ll be uploaded soon…keep checking the site.
    U wont be able to download it though…but trust me watchin it online on viikii is the best option.

  44. 44 fiey

    Thanks JB for the recap!!
    i hope you continue recapping this drama!

    anyway i agree with you. great casting for PT. JSH does not just play a role of a friend in here, SJ is hilarious. same goes to all the other actors. their characters are all very interesting. SYJ is undoubtedly amazing. i dont really favor comic characters/expressions in kdrama but i love her Gae-in. Seulong is a bit OTP for me at times. it sometimes comes off funny and sometimes not. still acceptable for me tho. LMH is really charismatic. love his JH already. JH is so manly and despite his coldness he’s thoughtful. the moment he steps into Gae-in house, omo my heart beats so fast lol.i didnt feel this way for full house because they only keep bickering. but here, with such a man in a house alone, i’ll die lol! but not gae-in. omo that scene of her being a ghost with that saw omo omo. i laughed so hard! ops sorry this is in ep2. cant wait to read your recap for this ep! its another hilarious episode. next week will be more exciting with them being roommate now. cant wait! i agree though about this episode having a lil slow pace at times. i dont know if its bcoz i dont understand a word, but there seems to be many dialogues that i sometimes feel this drama is so quite at times. still, i enjoy PT so much so far. and i hope it will only gets better.

    again, thanks a lot for the recap! sorry for the long post

  45. 45 birdscout

    This looks like so much fun! I haven’t seen the first episode yet, but your recap is hilarious, as usual, and I was laughing as I read it. Thank you!

    Thanks for the explanation about the Kae-in Story/Personal Story pun. The added gems of info that you include in your recaps take your writing to the next level. I am a very appreciative fan!

  46. 46 arivle


    THIS DRAMA HAD ME LAUGHING NONSTOPP !!!!!!!!!…and the whole cast is perfect…and I can see and feel the chemistry between the leads…..I can’t wait for u recaps for ep. 2 caused that episode is even BETTER…….I’m loving the whole DRAMA……

  47. 47 bleu

    I don’t understand the Kevin Bacon remarks, anyone care to explain?. That aside, I have yet manage to catch PT, CS comes first :) .

    May I just say that I always..ALWAYS love JB recaps. She can recap a phone book for all I care, I would still read it – Oh..wait, I sound like Randy Jackson..eeekk! – so yeah, Big LOVE to you JB. ^^

  48. 48 obivia

    “Law of Kdrama says: Just as there is a tacit rule that actors must be shown shirtless at least once in their first drama after army service, so must there also be a rule about idol stars and the same.”

    Haha. So true.
    I hope this is the drama you choose to recap for us! But I’m sure we’ll be happy w/ whatever you decide. Especially if you divulge other awesome laws like the one above. Have a great weekend!

  49. 49 helpless

    thanks for the recap….I think from the recap LMH is really doing well in his acting. Although he needs to learn more, but I think he is teachable. Nice LMH….thanks to the casting director. and everyone….I hope to get whole copy as it finish sometime soon…..whipeeeeeeeeee….

  50. 50 moira

    @47: From what I understand, Kevin Bacon has acted in so many films that he’s probably worked with every actor/actress out there – or he’s worked with actor A who’s worked with actor B. The latter is an example of two degrees of separation, through actor A, Kevin Bacon is connected to actor B.

    Kevin Bacon — A — B
    = two degrees of separation

    Kevin Bacon — A — B — C
    = three degrees of separation

    There’s a game called Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon where you can name any actor and there is a connection of at most five actors between him/her and Kevin Bacon.

    But since the Korean entertainment industry is much smaller than Hollywood’s, so there aren’t as many actors, that’s why JB’s term is ‘two degrees of separation’.

    I hope I described that properly. There are a lot of other stuff, but I think that’s the gist of it. :)

  51. 51 kaedejun

    Yay!!! Personal Taste for the win!!!!!!!! It’s getting recapped!!!!! :)

    i love how all the conversations are so modern and lighthearted – and yet can be SO MISCONSTRUED! especially the elevator conversation – i know my friends and i would joke around like that, without care for what others who overhear may think!

  52. 52 Brendel

    Thanks for the recaps. This will definitely make watching ep1 more enjoyable!

  53. 53 Babypatts

    The elevator scene was so gay. HAHAHA! :)) Funny drama. Can’t wait for the next.

  54. 54 Tammy

    I love it!! Thank you! :)

  55. 55 karen

    thanks javabeans for the recap..! i love this drama too…

    i thought that SYJ’s role might be a bit irritating, but she is not…. she makes the character so funny… and i really love the hoodie she wore in epi 2(?)…she is really cute in it……(look out for it…)

    LMH was the main reason that i watched PT..and i was worried for him initially.. i was wondering if he can get rid of his Goo Joon Pyo image…and my worry was unfound…he proved he was well-deserved of the 2009 KBS & Baeksang best newcomer award…

    The supporting cast also deserved the credit…

    Personal Taste fighting!

  56. 56 JJ

    i’ve always been a huge fan of son ye jin but i still can’t envision her in a comedy so this is her side of her i’d like to see. i also like the second lead actor can’t recall his name now but he was also with Yoon eun hye in Vineyard Man, he’s so adorable too. Thnx for the recap JB!

  57. 57 grace, the one from Jersey, USA

    javabeans ~
    I’ve seen the first two episodes of this lovely series,
    (but without any English subs) :( so I really appreciate it,
    that you’re writing these re-caps for me, and for a gazillion
    other people, all of whom………..THANK YOU SO MUCH!

    I didn’t “get” the fine points of the conversations among the actors,
    but I certainly know how “to look at the pictures.” And according to
    the pictures, “Personal Taste” suites my personal taste just fine.
    I like the way that the script has been written, slowing adding pieces to
    “the puzzle of confusion” so that the two leads end up having NO CLUE. :)

    I don’t understand the people who are complaining about Sohn Yi-jin.
    I think she’s perfect for this role. She does such a realist job of living
    that particularly messy lifestyle, that you forget that she’s acting at all.

    And Lee (Mr. Fireworks) Min-ho?
    In this role, can you say………Mr. Subtle Fireworks? :)


  58. 58 all4movies

    I was surprised to see how funny Sohn Ye-jin appears to come across, even in the pictures.

    She’s very cute and has some funny expressions. Kim Sun Ah, watch out.

    I will certainly check this one out.

  59. 59 djes

    (Law of Kdrama says: Just as there is a tacit rule that actors must be shown shirtless at least once in their first drama after army service, so must there also be a rule about idol stars and the same.)

    it’s not a complain right??? because every Kdramas should really obey this law.

    Im Seul Ong, you didn’t disappointed me so far. Please Taec, do not disappoint me too!

  60. 60 Moe

    Thanks!! the house of the girl is beautiful :)

  61. 61 Sa5m

    so cool i wanna watch it …

  62. 62 mayadee

    I’m in love with your recap, I mean… this drama. I think I have already loved it, but your recap is awesome. And it makes me want to catch up with episode 2 quickly! Thanks!
    Btw, am I the only one here that can’t download the soundtrack? the link won’t appear on my browser, weird… -___-;;

  63. 63 robotdollsheart

    thx soooo much you are really good at telling the story with some of your coms XD i can´t wait to watch the drama ep with subs ^^

  64. 64 jjwu

    I agree on what was said in the First Episode Impression post that this episode was slow. I had the urge to hit the stop button when I was half way through. If it wasn’t Lee Min-Ho, I would of have already done it. I didn’t find it funny, probably is simply because of lost in translation. The Chinese sub version I watched was incorrectly translated in many scenes. Based on the preview of the second episode, seems interesting enough but often time, previews are misleading. I need to find a version that has better subtitles and will see how it goes…

  65. 65 dee

    does anyone know where i can watch Personal Taste, subbed, online?

  66. 66 okdubu

    kae in’s employee wonho is bong taegyu by the way. HE LOOKS SO DIFFERENT!

    but yes, about to watch episode 2 now wheeee!

  67. 67 okdubu

    and only slightly related, but apparently there WERE to be topless chun jungmyung scenes in cinderella unni (as in, they were already filmed), but he specially requested the editors that it not be put in. T ^T

  68. 68 toby

    “…to reveal Young-sun (and her young son)..”


    thx Javabeans, as always.

  69. 69 yagie

    thanks much javabeans :) i was a bit sad because there are no video episodes uploaded in viikii. but here it is to feed my addiction. thanks again! :)

  70. 70 marbleloaf

    as always, i thoroughly enjoyed your recap. i really like this drama and i’ve decided to stick with it!!

  71. 71 Trang Briggs

    thanks JB for recap this drama.I can ‘t thanks you enough for your times to give us none korean speaking alot of joys by your recap. You are the best

  72. 72 fionnula

    @javabeans – I don’t know if you’re aware but a certain Lee Jun Ki has been posting your drama recaps of Personal Taste on viikii. I just thought you should know just in case you hadn’t approved of it.

  73. 73 bleu

    @Moira, ahh…now I understand, thank you ^^

  74. 74 bbm

    Thanks for the recap JB, i stayed out of the net yesterday and i missed this TT
    i haven’t watched the episodes yet, but reading your review and everyone comments i think i’m gonna love Sang Jun and Young Sun (i always like this actress for every sidekick role she played before) 😛

  75. 75 dalisay

    irst of all, thank you for the recap. i always look forward to your recaps, you do them so well, that i feel like the scenes are playing in my mind while i read them… simply awesome!

    “Think Park Shin-hye in You’re Beautiful — adorable, but good lord how dumb could Mi-nam be, right?”

    i totally agree! as much as i love kang geun-suk, i couldn’t get myself to totally love YB because of how PSH protrayed mi-nam in the drama. i think her acting approach to the character was totally off. it was hard for me to sympathize with her character because of it. regardless of how much i love KGS, i couldn’t get through watching YB. granted it wasn’t nearly as bad BOF, but i think PSH acting takes a bit of getting used to.

  76. 76 asianromance

    thank you for the recap! loved your comment abt the degrees of separation!

    I’m a bit peeved that JIn-ho didn’t warn Kae-in about the wedding- but then again, if he did, we probably wouldn’t have a story =D I agree that having two scenes that could be misinterpreted as Jin-ho being gay makes it more credible.

    Anyways, this series sound pretty interesting so far from the first episode. it is light and funny and has a downtrodden heroine who will hopefully be successful in the future!

  77. 77 Lemon

    Loved the recap dramabeans!!! Can’t
    wait to watch the Eng-subbed version 😀

  78. 78 Fatty

    I was really looking forward to Personal Taste, but wasn’t impressed by the first episode. Maybe I shouldn’t have watched the extended trailer because I was a little bored by the unfolding of events. And Kae In hasn’t quite won me over (yet). It’s good to see Lee Min Ho again though as he’s got promising depth and breadth as an actor. I’ll definitely watch a few more episodes and hope I can latch. I could use a fun, light-hearted show! 😀

  79. 79 twins

    Tnx so much! I’m anxiously waiting for your recap because I could not watch it here in the Philippines. I hope it will be aired here soon. I love lee min ho very much.

  80. 80 anaa

    i like this one better than cinderella… i will wait for the other episodes… love ya for ur hardwork… <3

  81. 81 Dara

    Finished both episodes and love the drama. I ‘m starting to see different LMH in the second episode. Hope the chemistry between the main couple getting stronger over time. Thanks for your recap.

    Lots of comments on LMH short trousers though. May be trendy?

  82. 82 Sally

    haha.. thanks for the recap.. omg! I love lee min-ho!

  83. 83 HT

    Thanks JB for your recap. You’re a life saver because I was about to go insane as there is no English sub for this drama yet.

    In Hee is such a b!tch! She stole her best friend boyfriend and invited her to the wedding knowing how much he meant to Gaein.
    ROFL at your comment Did you Botox your brain(which is an insult I’m totally tucking away for future use).

    I was wondering if you knew how the rating in Korea work because apparently this drama had created a lot of buzz ( in reference to some articles I read on Internet) but why the rating went down on the second episode.

    looking forward to your recap on episode 2

  84. 84 Porcelain

    So cute! Squishes tight!

    I dunno but I like all the gay jokes… That Sang Jun guy in the lift is really hilarious by description… fake moans! Wahahaha…

    And THIS… WORD!!!
    (Law of Kdrama says: Just as there is a tacit rule that actors must be shown shirtless at least once in their first drama after army service, so must there also be a rule about idol stars and the same.)
    I agree!!! And I am not complaining just yet… but 2AM boys have awesome bodies.. hello… Seul Ong!!!

    Someway, someday soon around… I hope Kae In pop out from her dense-ness, else its going to be quite a ride… And wow Jo Eun Ji… I missed her… always plays the best friend material… I love her best-friend-ness fierce… she always bring along a very comforting presence…

  85. 85 gee

    lol at your comment -“hysterical spinster would be screaming cat lady”
    when i was watching the 1st ep, i had the exact image of a crazy screaming cat lady… who threw her cats at people she didnt like!!


  86. 86 janie

    I did not understand a single word when I watched the 1st and second episodes on line. I didn’t care, I just want to see Lee Min Ho in another Kdrama again. He looks different ; that’s good to separate him from his Jun Pyo character. The shorter haircut suits him. His skin looks lighter, too. What makes him a good actor is his facial expressions. He does not have to deliver a line to be effective. Very good for a young actor like him. But sometimes viewers get distracted by his good looks. Can’t wait for his character to start smiling. He is always grouchy in the first two episodes.

  87. 87 schatzky

    watch Personal Taste with English sub at viikii.net (much better download the plugins)…I’ve waited for this for so long, and that the time is come :))

  88. 88 serendipity

    Hmm. I found this a little bit too painfully contrived for my personal taste (haha! Pun!). And yet, I found myself reaching for the “watch ep 2″ button. Why must Lee Min Ho be so irresistibly watchable? Why is candy bad for me? Damnit!

  89. 89 schatzky

    done ep2 :) Lee Min Ho better in this drama than in BOF especially his hair 😀 .. waiting for ep3 :(

  90. 90 mariolawpanda

    hm, it was interesting, with some *yawn* parts. it IS the first episode so its all about the introductions. i love how JinHo’s “homosexuality” was a bit solidified in just the first episode. with the ridiculous motel scene and with KaeIn’s friend accidentally discovering the two men fixing “something” on the elevator. LOL.

    how do you spell bad luck? K-A-E-I-N. KaeIn is another ditsy clone. i don’t really understand these characters cause the problems are almost always glaring out already. however, Kaein is still a step above the brainless Minam.

    overall it was an interesting episode, enough to keep me wanting to find out more about the characters. the other cast members are also looking like integral characters not just “the second leads and the rest” cast. i just wish it had a bit more exciting or grabbing (forgive the pun) moments.

  91. 91 Gloria

    (Trivia: Jin-ho’s mother is played by musical actress Park Hye-mi, who by the way played the mother to Lee Min-ho’s best buddy Jung Il-woo in Unstoppable High Kick. Take that, Kevin Bacon! In Korea everything is measurable by two degrees.)

    LOL i laughed so much when i read this x)

    good recap! :) as always

  92. 92 DancingTears

    I loved your recap, JB. Thanks as always. I wasn’t that impressed by the first two episodes for some reason. It def had some “LOL” moments (like the elevator scene) but I think that the overhype might have dampered my mood.

  93. 93 cristy

    you mentioned a Personal Taste book, where can i buy one. i live in FL in really wants to read the book first. Also, where do you live? Do you know if I can get Korean channel from my US cable tv provider. response please. thanks.

  94. 94 twins

    My co lee min ho fans in korea, will you make Personal Taste no. 1 in rating? tnx

  95. 95 JiHwan

    I can’t say I’m entirely on board with this drama yet. The first two episodes have been pretty predictable and not to mention slow. We know how the set up is, so I wish they would cut to the chase.

  96. 96 MoMo

    ha ha ha so funny. wish be succeessful. thank u sooooooooooooooooo much luv u so

  97. 97 cathy

    I like LMH but not lead actress , she was the one in April snow , acting was boring in that
    movie i wonder why she got award for that
    .. In this drama she is too old for LMH , is this the trend now , older lady with handsome young guy , i really feel sorry for the guy .my opinion

    • 97.1 justin

      in the drama SYJ’s age is just right 28..it’s LMH who is too young for the character (not that he did not do a good job) but CAN YOU DO THE MATH CATHY?

      and in APRIL SNOW..you wonder why she got an award? that’s because YOU’RE NO CRITIC and clearly HAVE NO UNDERSTANDING of the type of movie APRIL SNOW was…

  98. 98 Dodo

    @ 95 My thoughts exactly…oh man another drama down the drain…I was really looking forward to this drama too.

  99. 99 butterfly

    I watched episodes 1 and 2 in viikii.net. And I agree that the story is slow and the lead actress I think is not well matched with lmh. But still I will watch it because lmh is there. I hope the rest of the episodes will improve.

  100. 100 shinebright

    omg the drama was awsome ! loved it so much. i agree the lead actress is not matched well with lee min ho but still it was really good!! cant wait for ep 3! :)

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