Drama Recaps
Playful Kiss: Episode 2
by | September 4, 2010 | 243 Comments

Okay, I’ll give you this, Kim Hyun-joong. You are improved. I’m still not entirely sure that the entire range of human emotions is something you feel, but I can see that of what you’re feeling, you are showing. Jung So-min, on the other hand, is pretty much born to do this role. There’ve been a lot of comparisons to Yoon Eun-hye, because of her looks and the Goong similarities, but I think she’s got a different range than Yoon. Yoon is more understated as an actor—naturalistic, because she’s got more charisma than downright acting ability per se. She’s magnetic because she’s her, not X character.

Jung gets a little hammy, for sure, but she’s more in the acting her socks off camp, and because I’ve seen her in Bad Guy, I know that she’s capable of subtlety. She’s delightfully expressive, and totally readable, making her character endearing, even if her bumbling antics are a little staid. I think she’s got quite a career ahead of her, especially if she carries this drama on her shoulders the way she’s doing now.


Ha-ni reels from the shock of seeing Seung-jo, of all people, standing in front of her. He cocks his head sideways, taunting her like the bully that he is. Heh, well I suppose if you’re going to be mean, I’d rather you own up to it rather than be oblivious to the fact that you’re making her squirm. I have to say, I sort of like him mean, because it’s definitely a step up from bland.

He offers to help carry her bags, but then glibly reminds her that she swore up and down never to receive any of his help. All she can do is shake her head at him, and then privately freak out over this unfortunate series of events.

The family sits down for introductions, and the dads confirm that they were as close as two boys could be. Their friendship is adorable. Mom asks Ha-ni if Seung-jo is disliked at school, supposing that people don’t like his prickly personality and the way he looks down on others. She can’t disagree, so she smiles awkwardly. Seung-jo’s little brother turns out to be a Mini-Me version of him. Great. Just what the world needs. He refuses to greet Ha-ni because she “looks dumb.”

Mom takes Ha-ni upstairs to her new room, which she has redecorated expressly for her. Ha-ni can’t believe such a pretty room is all for her, and Mom squeals in excitement over having a daughter in the house to buy pretty things for, and hang out with. Aw, they’re so cute. At least she’s got one ally in the family.

Seung-jo gripes at her for causing him inconvenience—now that she has this room, the two brothers have to share a room. He tells her to stop bugging him at school, and she declares that she wouldn’t want people to know that they’re living together anyway. He corrects her that they’re not living together; she’s living off his family.

That sends her into a fantasy tirade Matrix-style, where she accosts him with two pink pillows, dressed in black patent leather from head to toe. She pillow-attacks him till he bleeds and cowers in fear, all the while taking out her aggression on the pillows in her room, shouting, “Well I hate smart guys like you!” At that moment, Seung-jo steps out of the bathroom and into her doorway, sending her to the floor in mortification.

In the bathroom, Ha-ni sits down the toilet and giggles to herself that it’s warm, and that they’re in a toilet-sharing relationship now. She can’t actually manage to do her business for fear of noise, and when she catches herself cooing over their matching toothbrushes, she tries to talk some sense into herself, that he doesn’t like her and she shouldn’t bother him.

The next morning she can’t believe she’s having breakfast with Seung-jo, as he continues to look at her with disdain. He does seem fixated on her though, despite his cries for her to leave him alone. He may look down on her, but he’s definitely feeling her presence keenly.

He abruptly gets up to go to school early, making Ha-ni chase after him, since she doesn’t know the way to school from his house. She catches up to him, crashing into his back when he stops.

He looks at her like she’s a fly, announcing that they can walk to school together just this once, and tells her not to start any rumors at school. On second thought, to pretend she doesn’t even know him. He makes her walk a few paces behind him too.

Ha-ni sneers at him from behind, swears welling up, as she calls him a jerk under her breath. Finally! Hello, backbone! Nice to see you! She says bitterly that she can’t believe she liked this guy for three years, feeling regret over all the tears she wasted on him. There you go. Good girl.

Seung-jo comes to a full stop on the way to school, insisting that she walk ahead of him, since her legs are short and she can’t keep up. She hmphs at the insult and walks on ahead, and Seung-jo takes note of a trenchcoat pervert hiding in the bushes. Random. I’m sure you’ll make an appearance later.

At school, Ha-ni frets over the midterm test that she has to ace, and decides that she’ll make the class proud and conquer it. Duckie arrives with his lackeys in tow, and asks where Ha-ni’s temporary house is. She hems and haws, and he declares they’ll go together after school, since he needs to know where “his girl” lives. Cute. Why don’t you just date this guy? He’s adorable!

Ha-ni stays behind at school, studying till late, which is unusual for her, or anyone in Class 7. She peeks into Seung-jo’s special study hall, reserved for the top fifty students, and witnesses the special treatment that they get, like A/C and their own computers. She looks at the placement chart, sighing that she’s got quite the distance to travel, from last to first.

Duckie, who’s been waiting all this time for her to finish studying, prepares to escort her to her new house. So Ha-ni, rather than making up a plausible excuse or just saying no, ditches him on the subway to keep him from finding out where she’s staying. Tsk, tsk. Poor Duckie.

She then takes a taxi all the way BACK to school, thinking that Seung-jo is still there, waiting to walk back home with her. Seriously? You’ve known this guy way longer than me, and I can tell you there’s not a chance in hell he’s waiting there for you.

And yup, Seung-jo is sitting peacefully at home, until Mom asks why he came alone, when Ha-ni is unfamiliar with these streets and there are crazy people about. Seung-jo remembers the trenchcoat pervert, and starts to get a little worried as he sits outside. Exclaiming how annoyed he is, he heads out. Aw, Softie so soon?

Sure enough, Ha-ni encounters the trenchcoat man on her way home. He’s quite the bumbling flasher, and resorts to begging her to look, just once. Erm, gross, dude. Who’s going to say yes to that? She loses her shoe in an attempt to get around him, so he picks up the shoe and takes off running.

She gives chase, wanting her precious gift from Seung-jo’s mom back, so finally they strike a deal—he’ll promise to give the shoe back if she promises to look, just once. And then, stupid girl that she is, agrees to it!

She asks for a moment to prepare, and Trenchcoat starts to unbutton his jacket…

…and just as opens up his coat to flash her, Seung-jo appears behind her, putting his hand over her eyes. He turns her around to face him. She’s stunned when she realizes what’s happening, as her heart starts to race.

Seung-jo gives chase and Trenchcoat instantly lands on his knees, begging not to be reported since he’s new at this and has a family. He swears never to do it again. Seung-jo gets Ha-ni’s shoe back, and lets the man go.

He returns her shoe like a proper prince, and Ha-ni asks if he came out to look for her, because he was worried. He claims it was to go to the convenience store. Ha-ni: “But the timing was so perfect.” Seung-jo: “That’s just my bad luck.” She smiles, and scurries behind him all the way home.

Ha-ni stays up late in an attempt to study, but can’t get past the first pages of any of her books. Mom comes in with a late night snack, wanting to bond with her, so they look at baby pictures of her, and then Seung-jo. The best part? They cast a little girl to play the part of Little Seung-jo! Pwahahaha. Brilliant meta.

Mom confesses to wanting a little girl so badly that she raised him like a girl when he was little, but then eventually had to fess up when they were found out at a community swimming pool. Seung-jo was apparently scarred from that as a child. Um….yeah, I should say so, Lady! She thinks that maybe this has something to do with why he’s so cold now. She adds that he thinks all these pictures were burned, but she’s still got the negatives, so she holds onto them. Ha-ni smiles deviously to herself.

The next day at school she can’t stop laughing over last night’s discovery. Just then, Seung-jo appears in the doorway of her classroom, motioning for her to come out. With everyone looking on, he tells her to come outside with her gym clothes. She doesn’t know what’s up, but she complies, and realizes when she takes them out of her bag that their clothes have been switched. Cute. Love setups like this.

With the entire class watching them from the window, they go outside and exchange gym clothes. Ha-ni takes this opportunity to go in for the kill. Ha-ni: “Why didn’t you just wear them? You should be used to girls’ clothes by now.” And with that, she takes out the picture of him as a little girl.

All of a sudden his calm exterior disappears, as he frantically chases her up and down and around a tree, desperate to get that picture out of her hands. Aw, I love it. Kids actually playing like kids! He finally pins her against the tree, at which Mean Girl and Duckie both freak out from their window. After much chasing and hullabaloo, Ha-ni finally tells him he can have the picture back, but at a price.

She asks him to tutor her for the upcoming exam. He reminds her that it’s in a week’s time, and he’s not a god. Pfftt. Is it bad if I like it when you’re a pompous ass? He adds that he’d be a fool to help her, since he’ll lose the bet, and then have to piggyback her too. So she wants his help, and then a piggyback ride? She takes the piggyback off the table, saying that if he agrees to help her, the bet is off. She adds that she’s resolved her feelings for him, and has no desire whatsoever to be piggybacked by him.

“Oh, really?” he challenges her, leaning in close, within kissing distance…

Everyone at the window gasps…

…and then we cut away. Wha?? Why are we cutting away? Listen, in my old-school vocabulary, cutting away in that moment means And Then They Kissed, which is totally not what you are intending to say, Show. And since they didn’t kiss, I want to see her reaction, and his taunting her. Why with the cutting away?

Regardless, I do like that Seung-jo isn’t totally oblivious to Ha-ni, and that he pretty much sees right through her. His manipulative side is actually quite catty, since he’s taunting her on purpose, knowing how she feels about him.

At home, Seung-jo and Ha-ni begin their study sessions. The parents are shocked and pleased, and Little Brother Eun-jo is angry that Ha-ni is monopolizing his brother. It goes about as well as can be expected, with Seung-jo babbling on and on about log x and binary code, and Ha-ni making moon eyes at him.

At one point he snarks that it’s amazing how much she doesn’t know, and Ha-ni counters with, “Do you know everything? Do you know who these people are?” She holds up a picture of Super Junior, rattling off their names one by one. She adds that it’s simply that their interests vary; that’s all.

She plasters post-its all over the house and loses sleep, earning dark circles and the worry of her friends, but at a certain point, when Eun-jo comes in and yells at her for stealing his brother’s attention, she doesn’t even hear him because she’s so focused. Seung-jo looks over at her, impressed that she’s finally learned to concentrate. He cracks a smile.

He falls asleep while waiting for her to finish her practice test, and she thanks him sweetly for helping her, if only because he can’t hear her. Mom comes by later with snacks, and walks in to find them both asleep at the desk together. She squeals from the cuteness, whispering, “Daebak!” while running to get her camera. Haha. I love her.

When they get to school on test day, Seung-jo throws her a nonchalant, “Do well,” as he walks into class, startling Ha-ni but making her smile. She takes the test and when the results go up, she goes straight to look at Seung-jo’s score, relieved that he still scored perfectly, despite losing sleep that week to help her.

Seung-jo, on the other hand, goes right up to check on Ha-ni’s scores first. Oh, you two. He walks away, and Ha-ni catches up to him, telling him that he did a good job. He congratulates her too, which is when she runs over to see that she did actually make it—50th place, earning her a spot in the special study hall.

She runs over to him, so happy and grateful, that when he sticks out his hand, she mistakes it for a handshake. She shakes his hand up and down, thanking him profusely. He pulls away asking what she’s doing, and tells her he’s waiting for her to hand it over…the picture. He snatches it out of her hand and warns her not to tell anyone and walks away.

Too happy to have her mood killed, she shouts at him, “Thank you!” He smiles, with his back turned away from her.

But just before he can get away, Ha-ni’s teacher calls him out for the bet—the one to piggyback Ha-ni if she scored in the top fifty. Ha-ni tries to explain that the bet was called off, but the teacher goes on and on about how proud she is, and how he can’t go back on his word. He tries to ignore her, but then she starts chanting, “Piggy-Back! Piggy-Back!” and all the students join in. Hahaha. This is ridiculous. But hey, if we get a piggyback ride out of it, I suppose Teacher will be everyone’s hero.

Seung-jo looks back at Ha-ni incredulously, as she tries to indicate that this isn’t her idea…

Will he? Won’t he?

What’s a girl gotta do for a piggyback ride?


Episode 2 was a marked improvement from Episode 1, which really should have been condensed into a twenty-minute intro rather than a series premiere. Ha-ni and Seung-jo are far more interesting with each other, and the hate dynamic is fully in play, making every forced situation with them delightfully awkward in that teenage love/hate way.

I think they have good chemistry, which is surprising, really, since I thought it would be extremely one-sided as far as acting goes. But I actually think that they work well together and that there’s plenty of potential for a cute love story here.

Plot-wise, there’s very little going on in terms of big story moments, which is fine, but makes this feel much more like a daily family drama. It’s actually lacking the sort of narrative urgency of other trendy dramas, which have to go the course of a relationship while getting through all the major story arcs in fewer episodes. Like javabeans noted, this one lacks the high-concept elements that made longer-running series Return of Iljimae or Goong work with more languid pacing.

I don’t mind the mundane stories and the smallness of just following two characters in their day-to-day, but there does seem to be something lacking in terms of story space. It’s possible that it’s humor. While I find everyone adorable and sweet and very pretty, I don’t laugh out loud while watching this. Don’t get me wrong—I don’t think this drama is trying to make me laugh out loud. I just sort of wish it were.

As for the couple who hates each other, forced to live together, and piling misunderstanding on top of misunderstanding? I love that stuff, and get such pleasure out of watching them squirm. Here’s hoping the situations get even zanier, and the actors tap into that energy.

A flawed beginning for sure, but I already like the Duckie / Ha-ni / Seung-jo triangle, and I trust the director, so I’m optimistic that we’re going somewhere…worth going.


243 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Autumn

    I don’t know, maybe it’s because I had exceptionally low expectation of this drama, I don’t find it really that bad, in fact, I actually enjoyed it tremendously. Sure, the pacing could’ve been better, especially the fantasy/daydream segments, but other than that, I am pretty much pleased with everything else.

    Jung SoMin is probably the main reason why I love this show. She is able make her character, cute, endearing, clumsy, thickheaded but NOT ANNOYING. Man, what a relief! Honestly, that was one major problem I had with the Taiwanese version, as talented as Ariel Lin is, her portrayal of XianQin, good grief, was endlessly annoying.

    Hyun Joong isn’t bad, but I didn’t really have any expectation of him to begin with, but right now, I am happy with the way his character is progressing.

    Thank you so much for the re-cap btw.

    • 1.1 YM

      If only we had the girl from this one and the guy from the the taiwanese one! LOL. But you;re right, the reason I was a little afraid of this one was definitely Ariel Lin’s Xianqin. But I love this girl. She’s adorable and plays her character well.

      • 1.1.1 Dafné

        But Ariel Lin was awesome !! she’s got lot of charisma, and truth I liked better season 2, but the story in itself would make the girl annoying : a stupid girl “madly” in love with the cold and genious guy !!

        Am I the only one that doesn’t really like to identify myself with a stupid girl ACTING stupid? LOL
        When watching a drama, I like to dream, even if that sound REALLY stupid

        I believe the korean story will be better, Ha-ni doesn’t seem stupid, it’s more like she doesn’t care about studying…

        • [email protected]

          I so agree with you on that one. I absolutely adore Ariel Lin in ISWTK. The character was a dumb girl……. and i love how lovingly stupidly in love she was. That’s her charm.

          Well Playful Kiss is a lot better than i expected. Kim Ji Hoon surprised me. I had zero expectation he could pull that off.

          • ***

            ditto. i got annoyed with Ariel Lin’s character in iswak at times, but that’s cuz she did so well being so DUMB. i was surprised how she really acts behind the scenes.

            with PK, i’m just reading the eps right now. i don’t wana watch ep 2. last tym i watched it, i ended up watching half of iswak & had 4 hrs of sleep. not ever again.pls.

    • 1.2 javabeans

      I kind of loved Episode 2.

      • 1.2.1 Kfan

        Yeah me too!! People who read the manga know that the storyline will get better and better!!

      • 1.2.2 Linh

        I agree. After episode 1, I was feeling like I wouldn’t watch anymore. But I watched episode 2 anyway and I feel better about this drama.

      • 1.2.3 junaly

        somehow your shaded box thing didnt appear. i almost scrolled by you without it!
        and yeah, this episode rocked!!! thanks for all the recaps!!!

      • 1.2.4 melanie

        same here! episode 1 was pretty bad and episode 2 was a huge improvement. i was enjoying episode 2 and then the part with super junior made me love it even more. kinda reminds of you’re beautiful with the scene where mi nam was remembering the names of super junior 🙂

    • 1.3 flo

      like you I really like how Jung So Min portray Hani and how her acting is so expressive that it seems she IS Hani more than Ariel. And GF is right she is carrying all the show on her shoulders.

      I know I will repeat myself KHJ has improved but it make me tired to watch him sometimes because he is so blank without expression and I was so happy to see Jung So Min to come to his rescousse with her energy. There some part where I find him ok like the scene where he is running after the naked-under a coat guy or when he teached Hani. I felt his liveliness but right after he slept back.

    • 1.4 karened

      Lol! Same here. I have low expectations because:
      1. I know HJ’s acting
      2. I don’t know the female lead
      3. I’m convinced that there’s no need for yet another adaptation of Itazura Na Kiss.

      Maybe because of the lower expectations, the show managed to hit the bottom mark and deliver. And HJ remains as prettyboy as ever, yay!

      • 1.4.1 karened

        Oh, and also that fact that HJ kind of fits Naoki’s character. Naoki’s cool, aloof, cold….so it doesn’t require that much acting. It’s only when his emotions get stirred up by Kotoko that the character requires some deeper acting. I feel.

  2. Elisa

    Haha I thought episode 2 was a lot better than episode 1 … And I adore the mom… Shes so cute~~ as for the brother he was funnier in the Taiwanese version cause he was chubby but it’s ok.and is it just me or was the picture she was blackmailing him with not even with blackmail.. I thought there were other pictures in the album that would’ve been more mortifying…

    • 2.1 Elisa

      I meant worth blackmail ***. Ah stupid iPad.

      • 2.1.1 amhrancas

        when you look at the original pics in the manga, they were of him in a full-out pinafore and curls. MUCH more worthy of blackmail, in my book. XD

      • 2.1.2 Dara

        Think so too, other pic would be more intimidating.

    • 2.2 nattacatta

      I think he had a nametag on in the picture she used?
      If she used any of the other ones there was no guarantee it was him, I guess.

      • 2.2.1 jeankaycee

        got to agree, coz the other pics even though its much more girly looking, it doesnt have any names on it so he can deny it ever he were ask about it.

  3. spuf

    The little brother stole some laughs out of me.

    • 3.1 mmmaggie

      YES! He’s such a little scene-stealer. I consider him my reward for watching Episode 2 after the disaster that was Episode 1. I love how blatant his contempt is for Ha Ni. Lol.

  4. Tae Hee

    thanks for the recap for the episode 2 of mischievous kiss.really love it =) <3

  5. Natalie

    Yay! Thanks for the recap GF! I actually really liked episode 2. I think that they are adorable and have very good chemistry. I love how SJ pretends not to care, but always takes time to notice Ha Ni, whether it be just looking at her or wishing her luck.

    P.S I love how you call him duckie! He was another adorable and lovesick character..

  6. Tae Hee

    thanks for the mischievous kiss episode 2 recap .. love it <3

  7. Gina

    I love this episode, so funny and cute.

    I really like the mean, cocky SeungJo. I think HuynJoong nails the role perfectly with his cold, stuck-up and but handsome image. So Min is just simple adorable in that character, very sweet and innocent.
    I can see the chemistry between the two leads beginning to build up. Very cute!

    thank for the recap

  8. jeane654

    my current fave ep of pk!
    now..off to read!

  9. saetbyul

    episode 2 was 10 times better than episode 1. i’m satisfied 🙂

  10. 10 Laica

    No comparison between episode 1 and 2 – this was SO much better.

    I’m actually liking KHJ. I agree, he’s much more interesting as a bit of a jerk. This character seems to suit him. And I like his chemistry with JSM, who is amazing. I didn’t watch BG so this is my first time seeing her, and I love her. She’s so good at expressing the awkward embarrassment of a teenage crush. And is it just me, or have I seen my first ever kdrama actress blush onscreen?

    Interesting what you said about it lacking humor. I think it doesn’t lack it completely, i chuckled a few times, but there’s no comparison to the laugh-out-loud hilariousness of MGIAG. And it can get a little too cutesy for me at times, like when the parents are all sitting around smiling sappily at each other (I like the parents, though).

    I don’t mind that there are no huge conflicts or high dramatics. My life is so busy and stressful right now that I’d rather watch something cute and light like this. So looking forward to next week!

    • 10.1 renazil

      now i’m curious, which part do u see her blush?

  11. 11 Yin

    Mundane story lines really allow for complex character study, while I find that high concept dramas tend to get lazier in that sector. Here’s hoping that Playful Kiss fully exploits the opportunity for characterization, since the chemistry between the leads is, for me, what this show is predominantly about.

    On a side note, I like how the rather imaginative daydreams which Ha Ni has had so far present her as an inventive/creative individual who may not be as stupid as her grades indicate. I think the Korean version, compared to ISWAK, does a much better job at fleshing out her character.

    • 11.1 Yin

      Also, thank you so much for the recap 🙂

    • 11.2 Laica

      I agree, Ha Ni has a way of looking at the world that Seung Jo could probably benefit from, and this is explored well in PK, even in the second episode. The way she’s so curious, for example, and her caption about light things getting heavy if you carry them a long time. Whereas in ISWAK that was sort of implied, and yet XQ was just so dumb and bad at EVERYthing. We never really knew exactly what Zhi Shu saw in her. (Still loved ISWAK though.)

      • 11.2.1 Yin

        I liked ISWAK too (and the AWESOME SOUNDTRACK), but like you, I couldn’t understand what Zhi Shu saw in Xiang Qin. The actors had good chemistry, but plot wise the relationship felt a little circumstantial.

        • Laica

          Yes, I LOVED the soundtrack! 🙂

          • Steph

            The soundtrack is still love!


            and YIN, I think Zhi Shui liked that Xiang Qin wasn’t a quitter. I mean, the girl wasn’t that smart, but she was adorable, funny, had a good heart, and didn’t give up easily. He was serious, but she made him laugh and never failed to surprise him, good or bad.

          • jamieguo

            Yeah, I think like, 50% of why I like ISWAK is because of the soundtrack. The other 50% is because of Joe and Ariel’s chemistry, and their lovable, funny relatives.

        • Diadda

          one of the things I play at work repeatedly. Fav Song is Can or Cannot by Jason and Landy


          • Laica

            And “Joke”, the ending theme. I can replay it forever!

      • 11.2.2 Dara

        The Taiwanese version had me laughed out loud many times because she was so unexpectedly stupid beyond I could have imagined and that’s the charms.

        As for the question why he liked her? I believed he sensed her good heart and found her to be adorable. I remembered there were lines where he told her dad as to why?

        • therainhouse

          I’m sorry. but my comments are probably going to get criticised yet again. I just have to say it.

          Everyone can start stoning me now. That’s practically all I ever get on Dramabeans anyway.

          Dara, does there really have to be a reason for liking someone? Does there?

          The proposal scene showed that Zhi Shu loved Xiang Qin and accepted her completely, weaknesses and strengths. Her heart was not why he liked her. He just needed her just as much as she needed him.

          We might like characters who are not so doormat-ish. But, Xiang Qin is so lovable. Yes, in reality, it would be tiring to constantly get her out of the scrapes that she lands all of us in. She might seem stalker-ish but at this point, they’re more than acquainted.

          You guys. You all profess to dislike people who are as dumb as Xiang Qin. Well, I’ll tell you, there are people like Xiang Qin in real life. Are you guys gonna diss them too? Can someone be blamed for having a low IQ? Can someone be blamed for having few talents? Is that so wrong? So unforgivable? Is it a sin or a crime, for goodness’ sake?

          How on earth is being unintelligent make someone unlikeable? Sure, she follows him around. What’s a girl to do? She’s in love with him.

          Group 8 is really, really ruining it.

          Naoki/ZS doesn’t think of anyone as inferior. He actually has a kind heart. But, this drama makes him seem as he’s a big jerk who doesn’t care about anyone beside himself. Naoki/ZS just doesn’t show it easily. He is aware of Kotoko/XQ’s feelings and he uses it to his advantage. That’s true. He’s Not looking down anyone. He’s just really practical and realistic. He’s just freakin’ smart. He’s not rejecting her because he finds her dumb. He’s just puzzled by her actions. Why on earth would someone spend all that time following someone else around when she can use it to improve herself?

          Also… Kotoko in Japanese version was twenty times more annoying than Xiang Qin probably because of the pitch of the actress.

          They reduced the roles the parents and younger brother played in the original.

          Plus… this one I really don’t get. Why on earth did they make Ha Ni’s sidekicks so …
          It’s like they purposefully chose someone plumper than JSM in order to make JSM seem the prettiest. The two girls are practically there for comic relief. Except for the running scene in Ep 1, I don’t see anything else.

          Even the teachers. Freak.

          The reason why ISWAK and TKA was so well-liked. The reason I liked it so much was because it was so realistic.
          That’s the way people act in real life. Aside from the main plot, the interactions.

          Plus, this drama. Do Korean students really sit around the lounge and kick vending machines all the time? Do they have nothing better to do?

          Watch ISWAK. Watch TKA. Heck, watch the anime.

          And not all the action is centered in school. It’s everywhere. Plus, ISWAK has better pacing.

          JSM is good and she does pull off Xiang Qin’s personality.

          KHJ has improved.

          The mother, bless her! She’s great but I wish they give the other family members more screentime.

          Another problem. The father’s love story wasn’t like that all. I don’t see a single hint of respect to Kaoru Tada in this adaptation. Plus, the teddy bears? That’s not Goong. Come on. That’s Group 8!

          They had stuffed toys for BOF too. Next thing you know, you’ll see those teddy bears on the shelfs of toy stores or next to the DVDs in video stores.

          Heck, it’s alright to make money. Empty my bank account if you want but don’t do it at the expense of the story.

          Bloody murder! No respect for the original creation at all.

          It’s all Group 8. If they know what ISWAK so popular in South East Asia in the first place, they wouldn’t have made Playful Kiss like this. If they even want to do as well as ISWAK did.

          Plus, what’s up with the pacing of the story? If you ever want them to get married by the end of the drama, better speed it up.

          For those of you who think this is good, watch ISWAK again. Of course those of you have already seen it know. Don’t compare this to Goong. Compare this to ISWAK.

          Come on. Burn me at the stake. I’m all prepared. It’s a common practice I’m used to by now.

          • therainhouse

            I said JSM’s good and she does pull off XQ’s personality. But… not really. I mean in XQ’s flashbacks, Zhi Shu would never be hit by her. XQ would more probably dream of being kissed by Zhi Shu then actually beating him up or coercing him to be with her.

            The swan lake fantasy is more characteristic of XQ. The forest dream part too. Except that it was too long. They could have condensed 2 episodes into 1 if they did it properly.

            KHJ has improved. At times, still stiff.

            But, better.

            JSM is good and she looks better with heavy makeup on.
            Like in the biker girl dream scene.

            There are ways to handle a drama and do justice to the original without changing the characters’ personalities and the plot.

          • jo

            different strokes for different folks…i watched both ISWAK and the japanese version and couldn’t stand ariel lin’s character. she was too annoying and clingy and dare i say it, totally aware of her “damsel in distress role” and playing it to an extreme that’s almost unrealistic. the japanese version of kotoko was more believable in that she did seem really clueless and klutzy but she’s also completely oblivious about it.

            also, there’s a reason why its called adaptation, because the writers and directors are interpreting a book/manga/story and adapt it in whatever way they want it to be. comparing PK to ISWAK is a bit unfair as both are just interpretations of the original manga and are probably geared towards different audience/cultural contexts.

            peace! 🙂

          • Hannah


          • djes

            I agree.
            While in real life I probably can’t stand a girl like Xiang Qin – i have low patience level, but I guess Zhi Shu likes her because he can see that XQ loves him unconditionally.
            and…i guess opposite attracts?

            And I also agree the jap version Kotoko was waaayyyy more annoying, especially her high pitched voice! hahaha.

            I like ISWAK story..that’s why I tell my friend I won’t give up on this even if this would be a boring drama…but thankfully so far it shows its potential, and Hani – Seungjo’s chemistry is pretty good.

            But nothing can beat Ariel – Joe’s chemistry,yet.
            I love their pairing sooo bad.

            I’m looking forward for more screen time for little Eunjo, he looks meaner than the Taiwanese version who was more grumpy than meanie.
            Will they have a dog too? I love the ISWAK dog!

          • Mythili

            well said…they have changed Kotoko’s character a little…i mean come on yaar Han Ni is not too dumb and stupid and she’s actually pretty also…why would a guy find it difficult to fall for her or adjust with her unless he purposely distancing away himself from her??…the only weakness i saw in her till now is that she’s weak at studies…in the remaining aspects she looked pretty strong…

          • Dafné

            LOL !! I think what you said was pretty intersting, even if I don’t agree with everything… Ok, I love ISWAK, and I totally agree with you about Zhi Shu and Xiang Qin relationship.. that Zhi Shu was just practical and logical, and that being a genious made his thinking different from Xiang Qin’s and most people, that’s why I believe he seems cold. Also in season 2 he explains a little part of why he likes her… because she’s not like him, because she doesn’t react like him in the same kind of situations, etc…
            But about what you said, about people disliking dumb people, I don’t totally agree…but saying otherwise would be kind of hypocritical I guess.. Intelligence is widely appreciated in our society nowadays because of the principe of meritocracy, no?.. With hight intelligence you’re supposed to get status, power, money, etc…aven if that’s not really realistic.. being smart is a way to be successfull… who wants to be stupid?

            but on another hand, why are you getting mad about telespectators who want a smart heroine? would you like to identify yourself to someone who is kind of dumb and who embarass herself? wouldn’t you be embarassed for her?
            Lol sometimes I almost scream at my screen “don’t do it! don’t do it!” when you obviously know the upcome…did you never do something stupid? Why would you want an heroine do the same mistakes you could, or may have done? lol
            That’s probably why you seem used to intense reactions, because what you said was like “why do you like beautiful people, and not ugly ones?” LOL you’re upset about a whole society’ criterias…
            Also I think we all know people who are less smart than ourselves, as well as people who are smarter… sometimes you can see when someone has difficulties to follow your logic, or to understand something you did in 2 seconds..but that doesn’t mean you can’t like them, you have to take into consideration other’s people caracteres too, don’t you think so?
            And I say it now, but I didn’t like the fact that Xiang Qin had to work so hard for mediocre results, it didn’t seem fair to me…so I was upset with the fact that she is dumb…
            Well, I’m probably too much into the caracteres… ^^’
            As for being realistic in the painting of humans relationship, I guess japonese drama are way better tha koreans ones if you want to try… 😀

          • Seri

            omg it’s like I was posseseed and you wrote this but in a less “I WANTTO KILL THE PRODUCTION TEAM” type of way ROFLLLL

            *hugs you* YOU UNDERSTAND T_T Tw version had overkill sometimes but it was like… even in real life there’s overkill… and I could sorta just forgive it cause the characters felt like real life people I could meet. The chemistry between romantic and non-romantic characters was beautiful… The friends felt like friends and not comical relief. Even the tennis senior felt like a real guy…. Jebus. I just… *facepalm*

          • marj

            AMEN TO THAT thereainhouse…I TOTALLY LOVED/LOVING/WILL STILL LOVE ISWAK AND TKA FOREVER..ITS MY MOST FAVE DRAMA OF ALL TIMES..PART OF IT IS BECAUSE OF THE SOUNDTRACT, THE LITTLE LOL MOMENTS AND MOSTLY BECAUSE I LOVE THE CHEMISTRY BETWEEN ARIEL AND JOE…IM TOTALLY CRAZY OVER IT ..I would just like to comment on what you said that XG would never imagine hitting ZS, if i remember it right there was an imaginary scene by XQ wherein she was hitting ZS in the bus until he got a bloody nose and was acting like a total wuss..this happened after XQ met a bus pervert on her way to school. she was really angry that ZS didnt help her..i think it was in episode 2..

          • therainhouse

            @ jo,

            Clingy? I don’t think she was playing it to an extreme standard. Her portrayal was so believable. I believe that there are people like Xiang Qin out there. Rather slow. Very persistent. Tenacious. Hardworking. Single-minded. Bumbling. Ariel Lin played it realistically, so realistically that I think, still think, that she is Xiang Qin. But, of course, I never thought Xiang Qin was Ariel, one, because I was acquainted with her other works, two, because I tend to separate people from their works.

            Different strokes for different people. Yes.

            Adaptation. Adapt it in whatever way they want it to be, however they see it? However they interpret the story? I suppose how they interpret it but not how they want it to be. Because every adaptation that doesn’t respect the original creator is just going to be slammed over and over again. The Chronicles of Narnia : Prince Caspian got criticized because they added a romance to the story between Caspian and Susan. I think LOTR is a good example of how stories should be adapted. It was beautiful. They kept almost everything. What they took out, they took out due to the length of the films. Thank God for the director’s cut and extended scenes. Thank God for commentaries.

            How is comparing the two adaptations unfair? It’s perfectly fine. And have we not been doing that?
            1. It’s based on the same story.
            2. It has the same theme.
            3. It has the same audience. (Fans of ISWAK will likely watch Playful Kiss. Perhaps those who watch Playful Kiss may watch ISWAK . Unless of course they don’t want to be disappointed with Playful Kiss, because anyone who watches ISWAK will know within one episode that ISWAK is the better adaptation.) People of the same age groups watch these stories. Preteens, teens, young adults, possibly grandmothers who watch TV while knitting.
            4. The different cultures shouldn’t affect the storyline at all. If this version was set in New York, now, then things would be rather different.

            When I put myself into Group 8’s shoes, this is what I see. It Started with a Kiss and They Kiss Again (I know some/many of you didn’t like it) were so popular that people loved it. For our next series, why don’t we take a tried-and-true story and adapt it? It’s sure to sell well.
            But, a lot of fans say they didn’t like the Taiwanese version of Kotoko, so let’s make our Ha Ni less ‘Kotoko’ by giving her more ‘character’, make her stand up to Seung Jo. That’ll make them like it. We must keep the cool headed genius though. People like that Mr. Darcy kind of thing.

            When I look at things from Hwang In Roi’s perspective, here’s what I see. This is the story of two people whose paths wouldn’t cross easily in real life. How are we going to make a love story between two people drastically different believable? By bridging the gap, by toning the characters down. So, of course, let’s do the set up for the characters first. Go in depth. That’s why he used 2 episodes. In ISWAK, by the end of the episode, Xiang Qin was already being asked the question.
            When you watch ISWAK, you won’t feel bored. This proves to be a limitation with Group 8, seeing as at most this story will only be 24 episodes, unless by popular demand, they decide to extend the series. But then, they have always overcome that by combining plot devices.

            I put myself in everyone’s positions and think. Why? How? What? Kim Hyun Joong.

            He has to prove that he’s stepped up, that he’s working hard to improve his acting. This is probably what he’s doing.

            Jung So Min. I know little about her. She can play Xiang Qin but she’s not Xiang Qin in the same way that Ariel played her.

          • therainhouse

            @ djes
            Opposites attract, yes, but… I’m sorry there has to be a ‘but’ in almost every statement that comes forth from my mouth. I’m really sorry that it seems like I am rebuffing practically every statement. It does appear so.

            It’s really hard to explain why Zhi Shu and Xiang Qin like each other. It’s like, like, she breathed some life into him with all her bumbling, the words, her actions all spelled out ‘I like you. I like you so much.’ At first, he found it annoying. After a while, he grew accustomed to it and sometimes, I find, he relished the attention she lavished on him. Then, poof, he realized that he might be losing her. Then, he woke up and suddenly realized the truth : that he was head-over-heels crazy in love with her, just as much as she was in love with him.

            I see it this way, had Zhi Shu continued wearing girls’ clothes, he probably would have grown up believing in fairytales, like Xiang Qin, of course he would still be very intelligent. Now, I really don’t think Xiang Qin would have fallen for someone like that. Opposites attract. But, attraction can only last for so long. He was drawn to her because.. it’s hard to explain. All I know is, he was in love with her before he even realised it. Also, people become more like each other, they adopt each other’s traits after they get married. Which is what Group 8 will find difficult to do in the sequel, if they have a sequel, since they’ve made Ha Ni like this.

            Xiang Qin’s perseverance, beliefs show that she’s idealistic, she believes in the best of people while Zhi Shu, let’s put it this way, he understands the ways of the world and is burdened by his limitations. Xiang Qin believes that as long as we work hard, we can do anything. Zhi Shu, even as he’s a genius, hits road blocks in his life, most of them brought on by Xiang Qin herself, but it was essential that he experience them.

            Yes, anyone who has watched ISWAK and is now watching Playful Kiss will find that Ariel – Joe tops Jung So Min – Kim Hyun Joong. Has anyone thought of a name for their pairing yet? So Joong. So Hyun. Oh Hani similar to Oh Honey. So, here goes, ‘Oh Hani, I’m home.’

            I love the banter between the brother and Xiang Qin. It was so natural. I hope they’ll give him a lot more screentime.

          • therainhouse

            @ Dafné

            Zhi Shu is actually a lot like other people. So, I wouldn’t say that his thinking is different from others just because he’s a genius. Of course, if you’re the type to stop and think out all the possible solutions to a problem, then you’re probably like Zhi Shu. So, Zhi Shu is actually like a lot of people.

            We have yet to find someone who appreciates ‘stupidity’ as a virtue. Listen. If you have a high IQ but do nothing to advance yourself, you’ll still be in the same rotting pit. I know people and in fact, I can point to one who has a very high IQ but is in fact in ‘hibernation’. If you have high IQ and you’re good at what you do, I suppose that will get you a good job. But, can a high IQ lead you to a position with money, power and fame? These days, anyone can acquire money, power and fame. Hello, Sarah Palin. Oh my Lord, the woman is a freaking high profile commentator. Hello, Levi Johnston. Yes, hello to you, Spencer Pratt. Heidi Montag.

            I wouldn’t include Paris Hilton in my examples. Hilton is freaking smart. She knows that people like to see dumb blondes act out. She knows very well. She plays on that. She’s one hell of a marketing genius. She knows how to sell herself to the media and the public.

            Yes, who would want to have a low IQ? I appreciate that I am able to read and write. But, I envy Xiang Qin. Her tenacity, her persistence, her character. I want that. Put in the same situation, if I found that a guy I liked did not like me at all, I’d probably give up within a few weeks.

            I identify with Xiang Qin. I do. I find myself rather stupid, intellectually stupid. I don’t understand Mathematics although I find it fascinating but then I get bored very easily. Yet, when I want something, I will do everything I can – short of breaking the law- to get my hands on it.

            I can’t cook. I haven’t burned the kitchen down though. But, it is one of my greatest weaknesses. I suck at most things girls excel at. I suck at experiments. I suck at pretty much everything. I am, a real-life Xiang Qin. There. I identify with her.

            I have never, not once, said, ‘Don’t do it.’ to Xiang Qin. I believe, that everyone has to experience what they need to in order to grow and mature. If she had not joined the tennis club, she would never have learnt to play tennis –if not for Zhi Shu- she wouldn’t have done something she had little interest in. If she did not try cooking, her cooking would be worse in the later years of her marriage. If she did not drink 4 cups of coffee at the restaurant Zhi Shu worked at, she probably wouldn’t have a chance to sleep in Zhi Shu’s apartment. There was no way he would allow his mom to let Xiang Qin stay over unless the circumstances forced him to. If she did not go out on a fake date with Hao Qian, she wouldn’t have a chance to have a date with Zhi Shu.

            No. What I meant was, ‘Why is it so bad that a girl does not excel in tests, cooking, sports and everything? Because what would you guys do if there was such a person in your circle of friends? Would you still call her annoying and dumb almost to the point of retardation?’ If by retardation, you mean, simple-minded, autistic, or Down’s Syndrome afflicted, I would like you to know that those retards are simply adorable, because they’re smiling all the time.

            Of course, I understand what you guys meant when you all said that, I don’t however, agree with the way you guys said it. If a person possesses a low IQ, that’s alright, we may still like them, but if that particular person tends to follow you around, we might get frustrated.. and if we didn’t like that person, it could be chalked up to stalker-like behavior. Rather, think of it as that person admires you so much, why should we get annoyed for being the object of admiration?

            There are things like that. Xiang Qin works very hard when she’s fully focused and when she’s motivated, but life is like that, sometimes the results don’t match the efforts. Life is unfair. If it were fair, every time we watched a sex scene, we’d have our eyes gouged out. If it were truly fair, BP would close down. BP would stop burning dolphins and turtles and instead save them.

            I find Japanese dramas dive more into the fantasy realm. I realize this is part of their culture and the way they think. Japanese tend to adore stuff like cosplay or maid cafes or love hotels because it allows them to indulge in their personal fantasies. Nodame Cantabile. Love Shuffle. Love Game. The drama that characterized people realistically was Code Blue. Code Blue was awesome. It was Japanese Grey’s Anatomy in my opinion. I thought I Litre of Tears was very realistic. Then again, it’s based on a true story. Other stories that I found rather realistic in terms of the interactions between the characters are Proposal Daisakusen and Shinzanmono. But, Code Blue and 1 Litre of Tears topped them all.

            I like realism but I enjoy fantasy as well. I like it even better when the two elements are mixed well to make a beautiful story. ISWAK leans slightly toward the fantasy element but it is rather realistic as well. TKA was so realistic, every moment of it, I was thinking, this is how a married couple acts in real life.

          • therainhouse

            @ Seri

            Okay. *hug back*

            Thanks! I really like the fact that the characters in ISWAK felt like people we can meet in real life.

            I like it too.

            I really do regret the fact that Group 8 decided to make her best friends… well, like that.

            Yes. Duckie is cute. But Jiro was believable. He was Ah Jin while Duckie’s just Duckie.

            Well. I keep reminding myself that a butchered drama is better than thousands of lives lost. Then again, I can’t help but criticise this. If it had been a different story, maybe I wouldn’t care about it. But, this is… well. It Started with a Kiss. It’s Itazura na Kiss.

          • therainhouse

            @ marj
            Haha.. Yes, you’re right.
            Ah.. That part where she was in the classroom. Okay. I don’t remember that scene but I just went and checked it out. Yes. You’re completely right.
            I suppose that’s in line with her character. But, for XQ to imagine beating him up with a pillow just because he said a few things harshly? I think that’s way out of character. See, in the scene where she hit the pervert who turned out to be ZS, it was because she was rather miffed because ZS didn’t help her and she let out all her frustration on him in the fantasy. She would never do that just because he said a few harsh things or because she wanted him to be with her. Agreed?

          • FF

            I’m sorry people burn you an effigy on this site but I do see your point of view. Your analysis of ZS is spot-on. I’ve never thought ZS was a cruel character, he was quiet with few words and actions. Due to his mien and intelligence, people may perceive him as snobby or cold but he’s simply just misunderstood. I loved – no, adored is more appropriate – ISWAK for the character sketch/development and the family scenes. The dynamics were REAL, the emotions were REAL and though there were definitely funny moments, I lived and breathed ISWAK for its heartwarming and heartbreaking scenes.

            Comparing Playful Kiss to ISWAK is a natural inclination; however, I don’t think it’s right to beat PK over the head with every single scene that deviates from the original. It’s another remake and should be given the chance to develop it’s own spin. Granted, it is my personal opinion that PK’s first two episodes are a bit rough with the pacing, acting and script – weaker than ISWAK was comparatively – but it is also common to have series stubble a bit at the beginning before they find their footing. I recall that I was initially quite unimpressed with the first episode of ISWAK when it first came out.

          • Yin

            I don’t think it’s a matter of disliking “people as dumb as Xiang Qin”, as it is a refutation of the validity of such characterization (or lack thereof) in the first place. The problem for me is precisely that such overt emphasis of a character’s stupidity departs from reality.

            I didn’t read the manga so maybe in rendering Ha Ni “smarter” an argument could be made about Playful Kiss’s disloyalty to the original, as well as the loss of the essence of a theme that is centered upon the fairy tale conquest of odds. Fair enough. All I’m saying, though, is that I personally appreciate the multi-dimensionality of Ha Ni which makes her feel more like a person in real life. But I agree with you that there doesn’t have to be a reason for liking someone.

            I guess I prefer to see ISAWK and Playful Kiss as two entirely different stories. To each their own 🙂

          • jo

            @therainhouse, i think i should have explained myself better re: adaptation. what i meant was, i don’t think its fair to compare PK to ISWAK and treat the latter as it is the original material. like i said before, both are adaptations and should be viewed as such.

            i think its futile to compare these dramas against each other without looking at the source material, which in this instance is the manga. i’m assuming that you read the original manga because you are obviously very passionate about the story. based on my own interpretation of it, i personally think that the story of kotoko and naoki is about two people who are on the opposite sides of the spectrum in terms of how they view the world — i.e. kotoko is more right-brained while naoki is more left-brained. one is spontaneous and mainly guided by her emotions and the other is very logical and objective. and what makes it a great story is that despite (or maybe because of) being polar opposites, they find themselves drawn to each other more and more.

            in view of this, i find PK very interesting and enjoyable because it is closer to my own interpretation of the manga. sure it has a lot of flaws and the pacing is slow but i’m excited as to how this drama will unfold, which was something that i definitely didn’t feel watching ISWAK because half the time i was just cringing at XQ’s character (nothing against ariel lin, i think she is a very good actress).

            but like i said before, it is purely a matter of personal preference.

          • jo

            also, i just had to say this. but in the future, please refrain from using the word “retards”. i work with children with special needs and this term definitely leaves a bad taste in my mouth. i understand that you don’t mean this in an offensive way, but no, they are special not because they are smiling all the time. in fact, some of them hardly ever smile. they are special because they are who they are, just like you and me, and everyone else is special.

            peace. 🙂

          • therainhouse

            @ jo..

            Alright, I’m sorry about using the word ‘retards’, I meant no offense. The kids I see have no problem smiling. I don’t know if it’s because it’s a cleft palate problem but the kids I see seem to be smiling all the time.

            That’s why I said that they smile all the time. And of course, they’re certainly special and cute and really smart and fun.

            Regarding Zhi Shu and Xiang Qin, I have a particular feeling that Zhi Shu is equally left-brained and right-brained. He may be analytical and he may look at things objectively but he’s also rather creative.

            Also.. I like ISWAK better because it is 99.99% faithful to the story. Playful Kiss has deviated a lot and unlike the Taiwanese production they haven’t even said a word of thanks to the author. All I see is the intent to make it different from ISWAK. Group 8 wants Playful Kiss to stand out so badly they changed practically everything.

            The characters. They added new characters. They changed characters. They changed the personalities of the sidekicks. Look at Joon Kyu/Joon Gu/Duckie’s friends. They hardly have any lines.

            Also. The fact that they changed Ha Ni’s dad’s love story and personality was a huge blow. It changes a lot.

            The fact that Seung Jo’s mom only met Ha Ni’s dad after he moved in. It changes the dynamic, the development.
            Everything’s gone haywire.

            There are ways to stand out without changing so much.
            Group 8 just didn’t have faith that they could do it without changing the source material. And so they did.
            Put yourself into the author’s shoes. Honestly how would you feel if someone took your work into his hands and said ,’Okay I’m going to take this out. Let’s change this.’ What would you say? What would you do?

            That’s your baby. Something you’ve worked on for a very long time and now it’s being butchered right in front of you. How would you feel? That’s the worst part, they didn’t involve any of the copyright holders in the production creatively. Considering Itazura na Kiss is based on a true story. They should have. It’s a mark of respect as well as sincerity. All I can see from Group 8 is their failure to hide their intentions to make money.
            There’s nothing wrong with making money but I feel like to them, money’s more important than the story itself.
            This is art. This is a story. What’s more, it’s based on a real-life couple.

            Criticising a less than faithful adaptation is the only way I can live with this being handled.

            Adaptations are cool but unfaithful adaptations aren’t.

          • therainhouse

            Well. Yin. As I’ve mentioned before, there are people like Xiang Qin in the world out there. They may not be common but they’re out there and I’m proud to be one of them. So, it really doesn’t depart from reality, does it? I may not have Xiang Qin’s intelligence but I do, find myself rather like her. I really do like Xiang Qin.

            She felt real. She is real. She’s based on Kaoru Tada herself.

            By making Ha Ni smarter, they’ve put themselves in a tight spot, because by the way things are going, Playful Kiss will be fairly popular and if it even reaches the 20% range for ratings, I’m pretty sure they would do a sequel. And in the sequel, what would they do then?

            I suppose if you treat it as two entirely different stories, then it’s better, like it’s not an adaptation at all. That would be easier to handle but I can’t handle that they’re calling Playful Kiss an adaptation when it’s so far gone.

            Group 8 is really horrible. If I had the money, I’d sue them over a lot of things and not just Playful Kiss.

            Group 8 in a really horrible production company. They can’t seem to handle multiple productions.

            Adaptations should be handled by fans because fans are more likely to treat the stories with care.

            Look at LOTR. Look at Harry Potter. Look at Dune.
            LOTR films were so beautifully done, it was amazing.

          • therainhouse

            @ FF

            Thanks for the compliment about my analysis. I don’t want to beat up Playful Kiss, I want to beat up Group 8, a little deviation is okay. They haven’t just changed the scenes, they changed the characters. Lord, I feel like all the producers can see is dollar signs. They’re not just marketing this to the Korean citizens. Group 8 is fully aware of the international fanbase and they’re selling this story to them. Let me tell you, if it does even half as well as BOF did, there’s going to be Ha Ni and Seung Jo teddy bears in video stores all over South East Asia.

            A little deviation, tiny differences here and there. Sometimes, it’s needed. There’s 24 episodes. Surely there will be some changes. But, the changes here were unnecessary. They weren’t given the chance, they didn’t even ask… I feel like they’re robbing Kaoru Tada of her story. They never even consulted her family on what to do. It’s not just a remake, you know.

            This is not like the Grimm Brothers’ tales or Hans Christian Andersen’s stories where everyone has a right to spin it the way they see it. Those tales are folktales, legends, lullabies sung to children. This is like LOTR albeit with a much smaller fanbase. Not everyone has the right to spin it however they want. They have to be passionate about the story.

            Fans of Twilight might know this piece of information but someone approached Stephenie Meyer and asked her for the adaptation rights. They wanted to set it in a ski resort or something like that. They wanted to make Twilight a full blown action movie. Meyer said no immediately. If Kaoru Tada were alive, she’d probably say no to Group 8 too.

            The most important part of an adaptation is respecting the author and her work. ISWAK was gorgeous, they adapted it, paid tribute to her and made money even while doing so. Group 8 has gone out of line. The sequence for their production : make money, adapt, make money.

            ISWAK’s first episode was fine, it wasn’t the best in the entire series but it was good.

            This is all so commercialized. I really, really do not like Group 8. There are ways to make money and lots of it while bringing stories to the small screen. See, I really loved ISWAK not just because it was faithful but because the entire cast and crew knew fully what they’re doing… I doubt that in Playful Kiss, anyone ever really cares about the original. Because it’s changed so much, there’s practically no need to read the manga, they can just rely on their scripts, can’t they? And are they not doing that?

            Playful Kiss has got it 70% wrong… I think it will do well but it may not be as popular as ISWAK. Of course, if you guys like it, then well, I’m disappointed that you all decided to settle for less than perfect. Because when you’ve been to heaven, you don’t want to go back to the world again. Everything seems so mediocre and dull in comparison. But, I suppose you all are content with Playful Kiss. That’s the way things run.

          • Yin


            The very fact that you’re able to make sustained and substantiated arguments in favor of ISAWK and against Playful Kiss demonstrates that you’re far from thoughtless, no? Now if they had shown that kind of capacity in Xiang Qin I would have found her more realistic. 🙂

            Not to say that I dislike Xiang Qin – I really don’t! I admire her perseverance, but felt that she was almost made to be so silly only to emphasize that kind of dogged spirit.

          • therainhouse

            @ Yin

            I thought about what you said. Really reflected. The answer is yes and no. If this debate had been carried out in real life and I’m facing all of you, I wouldn’t be able to argue in favour of ISWAK and against Playful Kiss. Over the internet, my points may make sense. But, in real life, had any of you egged me on or said, ‘Lol.’ or snickered at my statements like some of you probably are doing, I would have been furious. I think I would be able to speak my mind in real life, these points would still come out but I would have been very emotional about it. So, yes and no, I am thoughtless in real life and I appear to be rational and analytic. I can type a comment, look it over, edit it until I’m satisfied with it and then post it so that my statements appear insightful. Perhaps that’s what I’ve been doing.

            I believe each person is shaped by his upbringing, social and cultural environment, experiences in the womb and outside the womb, as well as how he perceives the way others look at him. Each individual is a composite of everyone around him. I have a trait of yours and you might have a trait of mine.

            This is my theory… I’m exploring the veracity of it and so far, it’s yet to be proven wrong. Suggestions and constructive remarks are welcome.

            @ Yin, of course I understand that you like Xiang Qin but you would have liked her even more if her character’s intelligence level wasn’t highlighted and emphasized to the point of driving so many viewers off the cliff. But, I felt that this was necessary, it was true to the plot and it was in line with what Kaoru Tada wanted. Also, like someone else mentioned, they made Ha Ni a 7 and Seung Jo a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. The theme of the story is unraveling quickly. It’s not as strong as it was. If they had made a 2 or 2.5, that would have been better for the storyline. Because the first part of the story is about her chasing him and occasionally, him slowing down or stopping at that point in his life so that she could catch up. But, now that they’ve downplayed the characters’ personalities, they’ve made the chase easier, it’s not so much a chase anymore. This was never the point of the original story.

            What I like about ISWAK is the production team’s reverence for the original material, they were passionate about the story and it showed. It still shows. They were so respectful of the author’s world and treaded ever so carefully. What Playful Kiss’ production team is doing is that they’re tearing apart the story. It’s almost like the executive producer took one look at it and said, ‘It was popular in Taiwan but I don’t like it and so I’m going to change it.’ This would never have gone down in Hollywood, when changes are made, it’s because it was necessary due to time constraints or other limitations, but they didn’t affect the story overall. Stephenie Meyer was involved in the first three of the Twilight Saga films and she’s one of the executive producers for Breaking Dawn. Even with The Lord of the Rings. Even with Dune. Even with the BBC series based on Austen’s novels. What Playful Kiss’ producers could have done was to ask for the copyright holder’s input but have we seen any initiative from then?

            Let Me In is the American remake of Swedish film Let the Right One In. People who watched the original said this, ‘How do you improve perfection?’ While It Started with a Kiss is not perfect, it’s rather close. Playful Kiss. I think the producers want Playful Kiss to surpass the Taiwanese adaptation in terms of popularity. The first two episodes were unanimously deemed weaker than the first two episodes of the Taiwanese version. Of course, who doesn’t want to do well both critically and comercially? But, it seems they want to be markedly different from ISWAK and Itazura na Kiss and in a bid to do so, they’ve changed the source material.


            If I were to give Playful Kiss a review looking at it as a normal drama and not as an adaptation of Itazura na Kiss, I would say this : among the three ‘romantic comedies’ airing now – My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, Sungkyunkwan Scandal and Playful Kiss – Playful Kiss stands in last place. First of all, the pacing is very slow. Second of all, the supporting characters don’t seem to be supporting characters, they’re there for comic relief. Whether this is done intentionally or not, it is a very bad move. While the cinematography in Episode 1 was beautiful – we saw it in those fantasies of Ha Ni – how does it advance the plot? How does the setting contribute to the story? A lot of characters that were added were just confusing. For example, that girl- what’s her name, Chang Mi/Jang Mi ? – she’s in one of the lower classes, isn’t she? What role does her character play ? If they wanted a Mean Girl/Queen Bee, they could have chosen someone from Seung Jo’s class, a predecessor to Lee Si Young’s character but someone not as subtle as the character so that Seung Jo would have found her annoying. Now, she’s just um, squealing whenever she sees Seung Jo with Ha Ni or making fun of Ha Ni. Thirdly, besides the mother, it seems none of the other family members are instrumental to the bonding between Ha Ni and Seung Jo which downplays their roles, making the relationships (Ha Ni with SJ’s family members) unbalanced. Fourth, the dialogue is fine. Indicative of conversations in real life. Except for um.. Ha Ni’s teacher. I find her very cartoonish. Style. If they wanted to make Seung Jo’s teacher an older replica of Seung Jo, they shouldn’t have made the teacher wear those glasses. Now, it just makes the teacher look a serious geek who has bad taste in glasses. Generally, Kim Hyun Joong and Jung So Min are styled well. But, I do not appreciate the fact that they chose someone plump and someone who acts smart but isn’t to play her best friends. It just seems like they’re trying to make Ha Ni look normal next to them. This is a really bad move.

            If Playful Kiss was not an adaptation of Itazura na Kiss, here’s what I would grade it : 60%

            Since it is an adaptation and a very unfaithful one at that, here’s the grade : 40%


            This is something most of you might want to read, especially those of you who disagree with me. Here’s a tip on how to refute my statements. Some of my points are double-edged swords, they can be used in favour of Playful Kiss as well as against it. Think about the statements I made regarding Playful Kiss and you could use them to paint Playful Kiss in a sympathetic light.

            When you’re thinking of a reply to my comment, do consider what I’m going to say in response to that and please respond to what you imagine I’m going to say. That way, I’ll be stumped. That’s the way I do it. Whenever I intend to make a reply, I think of what that user is going to say next and then I respond to that. And it goes on and on.

            I will probably relax my iron-fisted grip on Playful Kiss once I’ve seen the worst of it. When I’ve seen the worst, everything else will seem good to me. The reason why I’m still criticizing Playful Kiss is because I haven’t seen whether they’re going down or up yet. That will probably happen around Ep 12 or Ep 16.

            Perhaps you might want to consider using reverse psychology on me. I don’t know if it works on me but you can try. If you start criticizing Playful Kiss so badly, I might be convinced that it’s not so bad after all and I would, perhaps, endeavour to convince you that Playful Kiss isn’t as bad as you think or don’t think. Or you could just ignore what I have to say. Like the Girl Who Cried Wolf, after awhile my comments and posts will be completely ignored. You could try that if you think you can bear what I have to say about Group 8’s treatment of Playful Kiss.

            Also. If you insist on pushing me to the extremes by cussing and using swear words or any dirty words in any language, you’re just going to egg me on and I’ll come right back with more arguments against the subject you’re in favour of. I am highly opposed to profanity, I find it degrading and condemnatory. Virtual profanity is the most cruel form of bringing someone else down and it is safest for the person whose mouth releases those words as the recipient can only retort in kind but cannot defend himself physically.


  12. 12 Laica

    Also, sorry for the double post, but does KHJ’s voice remind anyone else of Chun Jung Myung’s?

    • 12.1 junaly

      i dont know. the only male actor’s voice i can remember is jang geun seok’s. haha random!

      • 12.1.1 mmm

        me too

    • 12.2 kimmy

      yay! my friend was just commenting to me the other day about how she loves khj’s singing voice, very soothing and tender with a hint of timber.
      gotta agree!!

  13. 13 melibu

    first of all, irrelevant but thanks for all the recaps of most of the korean drama. it really helps as i dont have time to watch all.

    back to topic on hand, not particular about the expectations… just wanted to see how the koreans are gonna do the series. i like the taiwanese version very much so hopefully playful kiss will give me the feeling too.

    so far, despite it’s low ratings – i am quite happy with the first 2 episodes.

    oh ha ni is cute and jung somin is pretty convincing with her expressions. kim hung joong has improved much from boys over flower and yes he does make a handsome seung jo.

    however, in this episode when he was teaching ha ni and suddenly he scolded her loudly… at that moment, i feel that lee min ho would be a better choice. cos i did not feel the power of his ‘YAH’!

    otherwise, i am looking forward to seeing more of playful kiss and hopefully the chemistry between the two leads will get better and better.

  14. 14 lulu

    The best part would be when SeungJo chases Hani around the tree, and the reaction of the class. So darn funny and cute! I really really like this episode.

    A genius, mean and ignorant beautiful boy versus a not-so-bright, unrealistic average looking girl. Yet their chemistry is so strong and sweet.

  15. 15 Angela

    I still can’t get behind this… it was disappointing on all fronts, and I have no interest in watching more. But at least you and JB have interesting observations and comments… so I can read the recaps rather than waste time actually watching the series myself, lol.

    So thank you for taking one for the team!! Hope it continues to stay painless for you both. ^_^

  16. 16 Niki

    KHJ I owe you an apology. Playful Kiss I also owe you an apology. The second episode was so much better than the first, that I’m actually looking forward to this drama. It probably helps that I’m one of the five people on the planet that hasn’t seen any of the previous versions of this story, so everything feels new and fresh to me.

    The girl that plays Oh Ha Ni continues to act circles around everyone else, but I don’t feel burdened by it.

    Also thank god there’s only one daydream sequence in this episode … less really is more.

    • 16.1 Anonymous

      LOL Then I think I’m the only one who didn’t finish the previous series. Both Japanese and Taiwanese version. It didn’t interest me. So, i hope This one will. ^^

    • 16.2 beggar1015

      I guess I’m another 1 of the 5 who hasn’t seen any version of this story. And after attempting to watch the Korean version (and not getting very far) I can fairly say that I will remain someone on this planet who has not seen it. I hope they don’t try an American version.

  17. 17 jeane654

    as i said, i LOVE this ep!

    probably since there are more important happenings here i guess..

    The chasing-under-the tree-leading-to-a-looking-like-they’re-kissing scene is my favorite….haha..the reactions of their classmates were hilarious..especially Joon Gu..he looked like hes thinking”gahh…that should have been mine!”

    the little brother as of the moment act like he has feelings for his bro and wants his full attention…haha..i love it!

    im excited for ep 3….it seems soo funny..

  18. 18 Purpleclouds

    I did expect KHJ to do better because he’s heard enough criticism about his acting and he has mentioned that many times & that he will try really hard to do better. It’s only ep 2 but i do enjoy this drama and will watch the whole thing anyways. I’m his fan so enough said. Let’s see if the show has good surprises in store.

  19. 19 amhrancas

    OK, I have to say that I LOVE that you both are calling him “duckie”
    *revels in her Hughesian youth*

    I am also totally dying at the heart-shaped chest hair on the flasher XD

    “Is it bad if I like it when you’re a pompous ass?” If it IS bad, then I don’t want to be good. [/lame quip]

    Having read the manga ages ago (but not seen the anime or the TW version of this) I’m coming into this rendition with a clean slate, and I do like that as silly as they’re making Ha-ni, they’re not making her as “OMFG, dumb as a rock!” as Kotoko was in the source material. I haven’t actually watched these first two episodes yet, as I was waiting to get both of your inputs first, but after reading this I’m looking more up at the prospects of the show.

  20. 20 dannaluk

    thanx GF!!…ws waiting to see ur reaction…i LOVE Jung So Min…i ws pretty annoyed by the character in both ISWAK and TKA that i sometimes found it hard to sympathize with her…..but Jung So Min portrayal totally has me… Hani is stupid but not crazy and definitely has more of a backbone…and i totally adore the side characters…always loved their families in all versions but i also adore the friends here especially Hani’s

  21. 21 Jane

    I enjoyed it and like the fact that it’s not trying to make me laugh. Instead, it’s just telling a story. While I also like to laugh, I also enjoy a simple story told in this tone.

  22. 22 Carmie

    First off I love you for calling the second male lead Duckie.

    I had no expectation for It’s Started with a Kiss. I hated the Taiwanese version. If you think the first episode of this version was draggy that’s nothing in comparison to how the entire Taiwanese version was. And for once I like the female lead of the story. Ariel Lin is cutesy I’ll give her that but she’s obnoxious and ridiculously stupid/dense as Xiang Qin. Also the drama doesn’t really have much to work with in terms of plot. The manga and such is really full of fluff so with what they are working with I think that they are doing remarkably well.

    The second episode is what got my interest piqued. I like the chemistry between the actors and Kim Hyung Joong definitely improved although I never disliked him acting-wise to begin with. He actually made me like the Rui character more and I absolutely detested that character. To this day I have no idea why Makino was attracted to him. Not even hottie Oguri Shun made me like that character.

    Anyways thanks for the recap. ^.^

    • 22.1 Selli

      Um, maybe because at least Rui stopped those guys from raping her, and didn’t actually instigate it XDDD

      About Playful Kiss…I think it’s good that you guys didn’t watch other versions, or read the manga, because then it won’t be as old for you XD Jung So-min is adorable and really pretty! There’s just something about her that makes me a bit wary or something XD Still, I hope you’ll have fun watching this ^-^

  23. 23 ripgal

    Ep 2 was slightly better than the first, cos the leads had more interactions together. And KHJ finally showed more expressions.. phew..

    KHJ still has a long way to go. He has improved, but still not quite there as the intelligent and cold Seung Jo he’s supposed to be. I still cringed at some of his facial expressions… they were just ??? to me. I didn’t know what to make out of them.

    On the other, I pretty much agree with everyone that Jung So Min’s carrying the drama. I came in praying that I’d not die from the annoyance of the “stupid and leech-y” girl (that was of Ariel in ISWAK – I hated that so much!) character… but Jung So Min proved that she could take the character as her own and MAKE it her own.

    So far so good, but then I didn’t have any expectations to begin with…

  24. 24 Noypi

    MUCH BETTER than Episode 1… MUCH BETTER!!

    Episode 2 will make me look forward to next week, and hopefully next week will make me watch the week after, and so on…

    Thanks for the recap GF!!

    You and JB’s insights definitely help me being optimistic about this drama…

    although my LOVE is all for MGIAG =)

  25. 25 Scarlett

    The ratings made me so sad. Only if others saw the drama the way I do 🙂

  26. 26 what is

    wow… reading this recap make me maaaaybe want to continue watching episode 1 so I can go on to episode 2. From the recap, it sounds muuuuuch better than the taiwanese version. (having never watched the japanese version) maybe… just maybe. haha!

  27. 27 asianromance

    Thank you for the recap! Episode 2 is definitely better and provided some good laughs! I agree that KHJ is better being a bit mean. I want him to act as a high school bully/gangster in a movie/drama. I also want JSm to act as a gangster too!

    I stand by my previous comment on how as great as JSM is, the rewrite of Kotoko/HaNi does not present her as that far removed from Seung-jo. She’s great at everything except studying, which doesn’t make her much of an underdog for me. Itazura Na Kiss is a story about a girl who loves a guy who is way out of her league. She’s a 1 and he’s a 10- opposite ends of the spectrum. It is an impossible pairing that ending up beating the odds and became possible. That is the overarching concept that is missing, imo. Here, she’s more of a 7 and he’s a 10. It is a stretch that needs a ton of elbow grease to make work but other equally un-smart heroines have managed, so it’s no biggie. I don’t want Ha-Ni to be a 1 (that would be a complete rehash of previous versions)..but maybe a 3. I feel like the distance between the two should be much wider than the average distance between two typical korean leads. That distance and the miracle of that distance being closed is what makes this the love story to cherish.

    Even though miracles won’t really be performed in this series, I’m still enjoying all the little moments, i.e. KHJ doing a credible job, JSM’s joyful acting, the parents, music, Seung-jo getting one-upped by Ha-Ni, Lee Taesung (can you imagine having to keep up that accent. mad props to this guy, seriously!! i feel bad that he is being overshadowed!), etc.

    and what’s with these trenchcoat perverts in asian dramas?! I love to meet one just so i can kick him in the balls with my sneakers with the ridged soles.

    • 27.1 asianromance

      I also hope the ratings will pick up for this series. It’s really sad how low they are. And it’ll be another few weeks until Baker King Kim Tak Goo is finished, right? Does anyone know if Playful Kiss is doing reruns and if the reruns are doing well?

    • 27.2 justkat

      Of course, I have never read to the manga so I can’t argue that the drama is not being faithful to the manga. But I’d rather see a small difference then a huge gap in abilities between the leads.

      From reading some of the comments comparing the TW heroine and the K heroine, I sense that the heroine rated 1 with a hero rated 10 got on some people’s nerve.

      I like my heroine’s with some backbone not some pushover with the “woe is me, I’m a victim with a pure heart” complex.

      I pretty much adore how JSM is portraying Ha Ni.

      • 27.2.1 Diadda

        She wasn’t a victim in the others. She hated herself for liking this jerk of a man too many times to count. She also fought back on more than one occasion against his meanness. It was simply she was no good at anything. She was nice and tried her best, but sucked at it all. If anything every time she wanted to give up he would come back after her and convince her not to. A theme they are already using in the Kdrama.

        Pride and perfection go out the window with her(usually because she klutzes something up) and he in-spite of himself has fun in all of these hyjinx and falls in love with her. First date episode is good example. He has fun but ends up soaking wet and running around without a shirt. Then confesses with a smile that he likes getting these “tests” of character every day.

        I agree with asianromance making her a 7 changes the story and the dynamic entirely, but it looks like they are compensating by making the male lead nicer from the beginning. You don’t need her to be that dense if he is not that mean, but the scene mentioned above will mean much less since the characters are not that far apart in the grand scheme of things. Hopefully they will further change things as needed for this new story they are telling.

    • 27.3 Laica

      I agree, I wish they hadn’t made the gap so small either, because the miracle of them bridging the gap is the whole point of the story. Otherwise it’s just two high school kids falling in love.

      They could have made her have backbone without making her super-multi-talented. And she could have been just a little smarter, a 3 like you said.

  28. 28 wenlin

    reading your recap makes me want to start on the series. darn!

  29. 29 ann

    I swear that pervert guy made me laugh out loud. And the heart chest hair!! LMAO!!!!! Luv the leads!!!

    • 29.1 yen_nguyen

      Me too, I don’t think he’s something dangerous. And the heart on chest, ha ha, and the way they make a deal: she looks – he give her shoe back.
      Ha Ni’s cool.
      And she’s quite intelligent to become 50th after just 1 week.

      • 29.1.1 Lee

        I think it’s more telling that they make a good team rather than her being as intelligent. I hope they go in line with that they both bring out the best in each other and they fall in love while doing so.

  30. 30 Mel

    Ep. 2 was okey, it made me smile a couple of times :). LMAO at the trenchcoat man.
    The leads have great chemestry! So I’ll give it a try! :)…… plus I have nothing to compare since I haven’t seen the previous versions which is a good thing!

  31. 31 Mel

    Ep. 2 was okey, it made me smile a couple of times :). LMAO at the trench-coat man (He was new at flashing ppl! hahahha).
    The leads have great chemistry! So I’ll give it a try! :)…… plus I have nothing to compare since I haven’t seen the previous versions which is a good thing!

  32. 32 Mimi Hyun

    Seriously,how do you recap them so fast?

    now im so addicted to kdramas i cant sleep and right now its 12:24 AM

    *splashes water in face*
    aaah *falls asleep*

    *talks in sleep*


    • 32.1 girlfriday

      It involves a complicated system of levers, pulleys, and a door to the fourth dimension.

      Also, we’re just hardcore.

      • 32.1.1 Laica

        And we LOVE you for it.

  33. 33 justkat

    Thanks for your recap.

    I really liked this episode and the interactions between the two leads.

    The pervy flasher had me laughing out loud in a quiet house and startling the family…but I couldn’t help it.

  34. 34 Diadda

    I placed a lot of hope on PK and was so disappointed in episode 1 I wanted to cry. I felt seriously betrayed for all the hype and interest I had felt for the last year.

    Episode 2 redeemed itself to me on 2 fronts. The first is KHJ. He showed some range of acting ability unlike episode 1 where I swear I was looking at one of the Ent’s(walking trees) from Lord of the Rings. Within the first 5 minutes his face actually changed 3 times. NOt that I was counting, It was more that it happened so infrequently episode one it stood out when it happened here. As for the character it sort of make sense that he shows more emotional reaction when Ha Ni is around. His humanistic side is supposed to be brought out because of her. So I will cut the creators a bit of slack in there portrayal of Seung Jo.

    The next thing that caught my attention in episode 1 and I did not care for was Ha Ni having skills of any kind. She could do things like draw and get soda from a machine. The Kotoko character is to be the polar opposite of the male lead who is perfect in everything. She has trouble walking in all other versions let alone anything else. And here she is working in the family restaurant and nothing was breaking or falling apart. That was a very big change and it required a big change for the male lead if this was going to work. His cold character is logical and correct in almost everything but the emotional impact of what he does to others. Lots of time is used to change this and open his eyes a bit. He was going to have to be more fragile and more humane quickly in order to make the love line believable.

    In episode 2 it was resolved. He was toned WAY down in meanness from other versions quickly. On the way to school he has her go ahead because he noticed the pervert and then stared him down. On his way to get her that night he was obviously out looking for her for a long time. She mentions the ice-cream he has in the bag has completely melted. For him to show this much concern this early and they haven’t even studied together yet has NEVER been done. But it fits since she is a more normal girl and not just an extraordinarily stupid one. A normal girl would never put up with the level of cold in all other versions.

    Also the comedy is more subtle since they toned down the extremes. Instead you get a small vignette with Bye Bye Sea and the trench coated pervert running around a light post and off to the horizon to flash someone else. This was the most giggles the show had. I don’t blame them for that either since this is also a series about how the couple came to be. It is simple romantic and cute and supposed to make you smile.

    PK won’t be my favorite thing on right now. In fact I already decided to hold off on watching any more of it till something else I like better finishes. But if the rest of it is as good or better than episode 2 at least it won’t suck outright.

    • 34.1 endodo4ever

      I totally agree with you! I actually had zero expectations for this drama and the first episode did slightly better than I had even dreamed of. Yet KHJ was so inconsistent and dull in the first episode, that I felt that his acting may not have improved since BBF. Thus the second episode came as a delightful surprise ’cause KHJ actually showed slightly varying degrees of facial expressions. They also came when I least expected it, which pleased me more. I still don’t think he’s a natural and convincing actor, but improvements are always welcome! It is definitely a really cute drama, but like you, I will be pushing this to the side. It needs a little more “oomph” for me to be excited about it. There’s just so very little plot that it’s not usually grabbing onto my emotions from the get-go. So my decision? I’m going to be watching Gumiho first on Wed-Thurs and saving PK until I have time.

      • 34.1.1 leila8mae

        I agree with YOU! there’s something amiss.. episode 2 definitely was better than the first.. but then, I feel that it hasn’t pulled me in just yet.. I’m still at the door taking a peek.. this is where I stand now.. So hopefully next week, my feelings will change and this show will provide that “factor” for me to be able to connect.. i have no background of this story so I’m practically clueless.. having said that, I’m wishing to be drawn in.. and I do hope that Kim Hyun Joong will continue to improve.. his emotions still needs to be more expressive for him to connect more to his audience and for me to feel him more.. coz right now, i feel like its superficial.. good acting (than in BOF) but it can be better.. he has all the next episodes to improve!! so AJA!!

        and Ha-ni, i think she’s the one who really stands out.. for me, I’m satisfied with her.. not annoying at all..

  35. 35 Simmy

    Thanks for this recap! you echoed everything I felt about the 2nd ep, except maybe I’m a little more lenient. I thought Ariel in the Taiwan version was SOOO annoying and weak! I mean, I hated her and her stupidity was torture. however, Ha ni is likable and this actress is really giving it her all. I also like the main guy. He’s a terrible brat, but somehow I don’t hate him as much as the Taiwan version and I like that Ha Ni can stand up to him in spite of a crush. I thought this would be bad because the source material is so full of cliches, but I’m pleasantly surprised! Thanks again!

  36. 36 ata

    Just like someone mentioned in here before,KHJ probably bitch slap all over us with his acting. He definitely improved and i’m enjoying the drama better than ISWAK.

  37. 37 arwenarya

    good thing its has a little imaginary things because really it becoming so annoying…i so love this story and as far as episode 2 is concern well i’m not yet quite satisfied with it but we will have to see for its still far away before the finish line and they would probably add more sweet and spice to it…thanks for the recap…

  38. 38 coramoon

    I’m surprised no one has noticed out KHJ’s unnatural looking nose. I’m only saying this because if it was an actress with a nose job, everyone would’ve been making numerous snarky comments about it by now.

  39. 39 SadieStarr

    Aghhh thnx sooo much GF…lol..first of all…the things that made me gasp &go “what the..” was the flasher scene…LOL…not used to that..that was soo freakin random..but it was funni :p …how much do i luv the mom? shes soo awsum!!! &i realli lyk their chemi…their so cute..i think KHJ is deffi doing better…realli good…&JSM is reallli reallli good…she makes the character so fun to watch…you can realate to her aswell…but oh gosh..the pervert guy was lyk the LOL moment of the epi..the heart chest hair! LMAO!!!

  40. 40 nattacatta

    Thanks for the recap!
    I like this show, and I didn’t hate episode one, probably because I find Jung So Min ADORABLE and excellent in this role so I don’t mind a bit of ‘slice of life’ type narrative if it is cute (I adore her two best friends and Duckie- so sweet, such energy).
    Kim Hyun Joong… eh. I think he did improve from BOF. But still, compared to my very new found crush of Duckie, I don’t find him too riveting. However, I do like him with Ha Ni.
    She is a lot less stupid and annoying than Kotoko (I’ve only seen the Jdorama) which is probably due to both her acting and the less exaggerated character. And I enjoy this change, because Kotoko, while I liked her, annoyed the hell out of me. I find Ha Ni believably dim.
    Anyway, I’ll keep watching!

  41. 41 estelle

    Episode 2 seems wayyy better than the first (judging from girlfriday’s brilliant recap, since I didn’t watch the episode)! Great job PK! Stay adorable, JSM! And may KHJ keep it up.

    Looking forward to the next episode!

  42. 42 Hannah

    Heh, that shoe pervert bit cracked my shit up when I first saw it (although I watched the preview first, and saw it before I watched the episode).

    And this is definitely a story with very little plot development except the love story. But that’s meant to be it’s charm anyway, if they can pull it off 🙂

    Thank you for the recap!

  43. 43 Misa

    Thanks for the recap. Episode 2 had me sold. The pervy guy had me tearing up. And I loved how Seung-jo is slowly warming up to her. The mom again was awesome. I’m excited about watching this drama. I think its cause i’ve tried watching the japanese and taiwanese versions of it and couldn’t get past the fist 3 min! But yup looking forward to ep 3 ^_^

  44. 44 Dara

    I’m gonna say this, I’m drooling over KHJ’s glares and smiles. This is enough to keep me going with the drama (of course their chemistry is a plus). While I was watching ep2, he actually had me smiled. Seriously, KHJ’s acting had me smiled and that’s epic!

    The Taiwanese version wasn’t that bad, otherwise we wouldn’t have heard about it, so please cut it out for the hearts of people who love it.

    What I do like in PK is that SJ started to show his feeling/awareness of Ha-ni a lot faster than any other versions. His version of caring for Ha-ni in ep2 has already differentiated itself and I suspect there will be more.

    Thanks for your recap.

  45. 45 kit

    i actually enjoyed episode 2 a lot
    i think the parts where he was tutoring her (or trying to, rather) really made me laugh. he can’t believe how stupid she is, but tries hard to explain it in a way she can understand. like that xfiles reference. or the binary numbers and how it was used to find aliens etc. and heh, the suju thing. his expression was so dry and ‘o rly’ and she had a maddeningly superior air and gah this couple might actually get somewhere <3
    kind of worried seung-jo is already warming up to her, but kdramas always find such emotional fuel to keep it going soooo …

  46. 46 Jam

    i like the chemistry between the both of them. they are so cute together.

    but the drama is a bit ‘quiet’, in the sense that the background music are too soft for the drama, and most of the time, there is no background music.

    • 46.1 Dara

      That’s what I thought too, too quiet.

  47. 47 Ssh

    Love the recap! Thank you…..Duckie has totally captured my heart!!! His Busan twang and Sha Na Na ways just had me in laughter every time he appeared! Can’t wait for ep 3!!!

  48. 48 prncssptri

    thanks for the recaps!!! i agree with you, while i didn’t like the first episode, i gave the second episode a try and i think there’s a lot of improvements in the episode. You can definitely see their characters’ improvements. So i think i’m gonna try to continue watching Playful Kiss 🙂

    but i gotta say, so far the best thing about Playful Kiss is Seung Jo’s Mom! hahahahha i love her!! she’s so adorable, she’s like a really cute matchmaker lol…. oh and probably Bye Bye Sea snippets XD

    thanks again!

  49. 49 theedie

    “Don’t get me wrong—I don’t think this drama is trying to make me laugh out loud. I just sort of wish it were. ”

    Mte. My whole misgivings with having Hwang In-roi as the director was this was the exact same thing he did with Goong. The shots he films are absolutely beautiful, but that’s all he has going for him imo. Goong and Playful Kiss are both based off of romantic comedy manwha/manga that have a lot of zippy kind of energy that goes hand in hand with the comedy genre. Hwang takes these stories that have so much potential and drains the energy that would take the drama to a higher level by making things draggy and having quieter moments. Hwang would be better suited to do more melodramas and leave these romantic comedy/trendy kind of dramas to someone else.

    • 49.1 ross

      hmmm that’s what ISWAK endears me most ..it could make me laugh at times but has poignant scenes as well that could make you tear up ..i wonder if the director here can do the same ..nevertheless, i enjoyed watching PK especially the subbed version of epi2

      • 49.1.1 ***

        oh my gosh. this wkend, i ended up watching alot of iswak & had little sleep. once again, i laughed alot in all eps. it was hilarious, i forgot how funny the characters cud be! my gosh. also, i felt so giddy just seeing the 2 leads together, specialy wen the guy leans in on her wenevr he speaks to her.

  50. 50 ilikehim

    2 is way way way better than 1, hands down.
    Though this drama isn’t making me laugh like Gumiho, I do find myself chuckling at the exchanges between Hani and Seungjo, like when she congratulate him for still being 1st place, he retorted of course, its his first time studying, EVER, how can he NOT get 1st?

    And why did u not mention the part when Eunjo asked Hani abt the homework? That was quite funny. I honestly thought that was more worth the descriptive outline that her matrix fantasy.

    Its also awesome that there’s only on daydream scene in this ep.
    Hope things pick up more and propell…soon.

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