Drama Recaps
Paradise Ranch: Episode 1
by | January 25, 2011 | 181 Comments

Paradise Ranch is the long-awaited (?) — or perhaps it’s more accurate to say long-shelved — drama starring idol pop star Choi Kang Changmin of DBSK in his drama debut, alongside Lee Yeon-hee. For lots of reasons, there’s been an undercurrent of unease about this drama, with its inability to secure a broadcaster or a timeslot for months, which led to a pretty lengthy time spent in limbo. In fact, the entire drama was wrapped and completed practically a year ago, and there was speculation that it might never see the light of day.

But SBS picked it up for its Monday-Tuesday 9pm timeslot, which has in recent months been home to lighter dramatic fare (I Am Legend, It’s Okay Daddy’s Girl, Dr. Champ). The timeslot hasn’t seen a hit since Wish Upon a Star a full year ago, so I wonder if SBS will continue to slot it with dramas (the other stations don’t air dramas in that slot) for much longer. But that’s a discussion for another day, another post. I mostly mention it because I happen to have seen all the dramas in this hour minus one (Angel’s Temptation) and for whatever reason, I seem to have more lenient expectations of them. I don’t know why.

Paradise Ranch was neither as good nor as bad as I was hoping it to be, which puts it squarely into that category of meh for me. It isn’t horrible — as I was expecting from its awful trailers — but it’s not really that exciting or interesting, either. But it’s also benign enough that it doesn’t really merit heaps of snark, either. Yet. We’ll see.

SONG OF THE DAY

Winterplay – “You’re In My Heart.” This song plays in one scene toward the end of Episode 1. [ Download ]

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EPISODE 1

The story is simple enough: Two young kiddos in love attempt to run away and elope against their parents’ wishes, but due to her age — she’s 19, he’s 21 — they require parental consent. So instead, they return home and beg the adults to agree to the marriage, and surprisingly it’s his grandfather who relents first and convinces the others to let the kids marry.

The couple has their honeymoon period of wedded bliss… and then, inevitably, problems arise (though we are given no specifics in our heroine’s brief introduction). They divorce after six months and go their separate ways.

And then, we’re six years later.

Now for our real introduction to LEE DA-JI (Lee Yeon-hee), now 25, a veterinarian with a specialty in horses. She works at Paradise Ranch, a small farm on Jeju Island where she lives with her father and her pesky younger sister DA-EUN.

Da-ji loves horses but doesn’t actually seem to be very good with them, which is either a weird quirk or a flaw in the writing of the drama. I can’t decide which. Her boss cluck-clucks about her inability to go 10 minutes without getting herself into some sort of trouble, which seems pretty on the mark. She’s bubbly, vivacious, and optimistic, so it’s easy to like her although one wonders how she managed to become a vet, as her competence has yet to be demonstrated.

She is sent by her cheapskate boss to a horse auction in Australia, with specific instructions on what kind of animal she is to buy. As she looks over her top pick, another prospective horse-buyer notices her — her ex-husband, HAN DONG-JOO (Shim Chang-min).

Dong-joo, now 27, is the spoiled, lazy heir to Dongin Group and director at DI Resort, a sprawling new development on Jeju Island that neighbors Paradise Ranch. In fact DI’s presence is encroaching on the ranch’s own — it’s a You’ve Got Mail-esque battle between the little guys and the big corporate power — but the kids don’t yet know the connection.

Dong-joo seems pleased to see Da-ji at first, but his face tightens when he overhears her cooing to her horse about the handsome other horse-buyer standing nearby — his soon-to-be rival SEO YOON-HO (Joo Sang-wook). Da-ji doesn’t think Yoon-ho understands Korean so she speaks freely and admiringly, which makes Yoon-ho smile and Dong-joo scowl.

She spots him and greets him warmly, but Dong-joo’s jealousy has him treating her with iciness, saying curtly that he isn’t at all happy to see her despite six years apart. She’s hurt and doesn’t understand the reason for his coldness, and this adds to the tension when they realize that they’re bidding on the same horse.

Dong-joo has been sent by Grandpa to buy this horse for the resort, threatened with being cut off financially if he refuses. The antagonism he feels toward Da-ji has him outbidding her at every turn, and that raises her hackles. In a fit of pique, she outbids him — and it’s only after the auction closes that she does the math and realizes she’s exceeded her budget by more than triple.

She can’t go home empty-handed, and she can’t afford this horse, so she goes to Dong-joo’s room later to plead with him to buy the horse instead, since he wanted it anyway. He’s still feeling upset and has no inclination to make her life easier, and flatly refuses.

It’s here that Da-ji gets her first glimpse of Dong-joo’s new ladyfriend, PARK JIN-YOUNG (Yoo Hana), an interior designer who seems to be quite free and casual with Dong-joo. Just as Dong-joo felt upset to see Da-ji seemingly flirt with another man, Da-ji can’t help feeling a little put out by this, although she hides it and excuses herself.

Giving us a glimpse of the marshmallow heart under Dong-joo’s prickly exterior, however, later he calls his man back at home to look into buying the horse at the inflated price anyway, which would take it off Da-ji’s hands.

That evening, Da-ji sits at a bar and moans about her predicament. She doesn’t immediately notice the guy sitting next to her — Yoon-ho — who looks at her with affectionate amusement. She’s pretty cute, the way she reads the menu and sing-songs to herself, “Why are you so expensive?” and worries that she’s dead for making the mistake.

She assumes that Yoon-ho is a horse dealer — he bought 13 horses — although we know (from the character descriptions) that he’s actually an investor and specialist in resort development.

I’d say that Jin-young is much more into Dong-joo than he is in her; he’s friendly with her, but a little uncomfortable with her free affection.

Hence the flare of jealousy again when he sees Da-ji and Yoon-ho together at the horse stables again, this time because the latter has heard her worries and offers to help her out. If she doesn’t buy the horse she bid on, she’ll have to give up the deposit, and that only leaves her with a relatively small sum with which to buy a different horse.

Yoon-ho accompanies Da-ji to look at other horses, and find one that fits the bill. Dong-joo looks on grimly as Da-ji exults with Yoon-ho, and when he gets word that the original horse is no longer for sale, he drops his pursuit of it. It seems he’d only insisted on buying it when it would have helped Da-ji, and now he doesn’t care. Aw. I can see how the marriage fell apart if their communication was always this stunted, even if they had the best of intentions.

And it’s clear that whatever broke them up, it hasn’t killed their feelings. I wouldn’t say they’re still in love, but that kind of baggage doesn’t go away so easily, and later on he walks by with Jin-young on his arm, just as he sees Da-ji with Yoon-ho again. This time he puts his hand on Jin-young’s shoulder, in a taunt-like gesture, making sure Da-ji sees.

She does, but so does the perceptive Yoon-ho, who in return puts his hand on her shoulder. That’s what we call a strategic backfire, and Dong-joo is not pleased.

It’s only when they’re both back in Jeju that they realize that they’re neighbors — or rather, that Dong-joo is now Da-ji’s evictor. He has bought the ranch, intending to usurp the space to fold into the neighboring DI Resort, but Da-ji supposes that he must have been scammed. There has been interest in selling the ranch, but a week ago, Da-ji and her father had bought the house themselves.

While the secretary checks on the contract details, the erstwhile couple have a terse conversation. At least, it’s terse on his end, and he’s surprised to see her here in Jeju, and a vet no less. One must suppose that she’d had different goals for her life — her father repeatedly says he’s sorry to her — but that they didn’t work out.

Alas, they soon discover that Dong-joo’s purchase is legally valid, meaning that Da-ji is the one who’s been scammed. Furthermore, she’s not the only one — all the other residents have been taken in by scam contracts, and are given one month to get the heck out of there before DI Resort kicks them out and begins its overhaul.

Da-ji vows to find out what really happened, determined not to lose her home like this. The editing of this segment hints at the likelihood that our culprit is none other than the charming, suave developer Yoon-ho, who arrives at DI’s offices for a business meeting with Dong-joo.

During the meeting, Dong-joo casts suspicious glances at Yoon-ho, trying to figure out what happened, wondering at Da-ji’s predicament and finding something fishy about this guy.

But Da-ji remains oblivious, and when she runs into Yoon-ho at the ranch (still believing him to be a horse dealer), she lights up in happy surprise and greets him warmly.

 
COMMENTS

As I said, there’s nothing that’s really outright bad OR good about this drama so far. On one hand, that means there’s room to hope that it’ll tap into that elusive quality that gets a drama’s claws into your skin — but on the other hand, it could lead you down that maddening path of hanging in there for a long, painful ride as you hope it becomes more than it actually is.

The plot is fairly standard with its dynamics and love rectangle, and I find myself wishing that the one aspect that sets it apart — the youthful romance and divorce — were explored more. I can see where the drama may want to deliberately keep us in the dark as to what happened, so as to make the reunion more suspenseful, but frankly I’d like to see what made these crazy kids fall so madly in love in the first place. We’re told practically in the same breath that they married and divorced, which gives the romance no weight in my mind. I’m not pulling for them to get together because I don’t know that they’re any good together. Not yet. So more hint of the mystery behind their courtship and separation would have helped.

Acting-wise, I’ll say that Lee Yeon-hee is much better here than she has been in the past. She’s got a gorgeous face and the camera loves her, but she’s been the very definition of anemic in her performances (namely, East of Eden). She does overact the cute here, but like Kim Tae-hee, I think she’s much better being bubbly and sweet than quiet or melodramatic, so I’m more willing to go with this characterization than I was with her other roles.

If Joo Sang-wook ends up being the villainous mastermind type, I’d be all for welcoming it, because otherwise he’s just the perfect prince who swoops in to save the day for Da-ji, which is a plot device I’m really tired of. Yoo Hana has barely been onscreen so I’ll hold off on judgment there, although I fear she’ll be relegated to one-dimensional second lead stuff, which would be a shame because she was so adorable in Sons of Sol Pharmacy. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a bratty character as much as I did her Eun-ji, who was sweet and bubbly.

Sorry to say that I find Chang-min to be the weak link here. He’s not as bad or wooden as some other idols in their debuts, but he IS very awkward with the camera, and you can see that in his self-conscious deliveries. The camera captures his discomfort and unease, and that translates into this weird sense of unease about his character. At least for me. He’s not horrible, but he’s not really compelling, either. At best, he seems miscast for the role of a smooth, spoiled chaebol who doesn’t care about work, since he seems more like the earnest dork with communication problems.

But it’s early days yet. I don’t feel the pull to be invested in Paradise Ranch just yet, but who knows? Stranger things have happened.

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181 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. micheal

    first.
    thanks for your recap.

    • 1.1 Blueskymaiden

      The first episode was so-so but the second episode I am enjoying the storyline more. Lee Yeon Hee is surprisingly refreshing and very cute. And so far Shim Chang Min is doing fairly well with the acting. It feels like a sleeper that doesn’t grab you the way that Secret Garden did in the beginning but rather it is quietly alluring and slowly sucking me in.

    • 1.2 Ms Guccibabie

      Does anybody else beside me, thinks that Chang Min looks like he could be taiwan actor Jerry Yang (Meteor Garden) younger brother?

      • 1.2.1 Bex

        OMG! Haha, now you’ve pointed that out, I see a resemblance. 😛

        • 1.2.1.1 Carol

          I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks they look similar!

      • 1.2.2 fortune_liz

        haha…yes you right…even my mom say the same..^_^

  2. misa

    Haven’t watched this yet…. i think i might watch it with caution….

    thanks for the recap

    • 2.1 thirteen

      Hmm, I’m not sure about this, if what they do revolves around horses. Doesn’t seem all that conflicting

      • 2.1.1 Doofus

        it odesnt revolve around horses so its okkay

  3. UJ

    being a JYJ/TVXQ fan i await anything that these guys have lined up 😀
    best of luck to changmin for the new drama 😀

  4. superdunz

    thanks!

  5. Alixana

    “A miscast” is a perfect description of Changmin in this drama. Rich, bored, lazy chaebol role requires someone charismatic and calm. He’s just plain awkward. He’s a cute guy and I see him more doing supporting, earnest roles like Kikwang in My princess. He’s way over his head with this one

    • 5.1 Alvina

      no, I know. Even the screencaps didnt translate all too well :/

      • 5.1.1 dorispngPinas

        yap….even the screencaps captured his ‘awkwardness’, might have given this a try if the lead is Joo Sang Wook as I’ve loved him in Giant and wish to see him in a lead role someday…..

        • 5.1.1.1 paper

          I want to watch this for Joo Sang-wook 😀
          I fell in love with him from Kimcheed Radish Cubes <3

          But I kinda don't find Changmin appealing & I don't get the feeling of wanting to watch this drama :(

          I'll wait until it ends and sit through it in one go :/

          Thanks for the recap JB <3

    • 5.2 asianromance

      same here! I think also something like a role in a huge family drama or a drama with a stronger focus on an ensemble crew instead of the typical love square would have been more beneficial.

  6. mary

    Why are all secretaries hot? (or pretty?) — referring to the last screencap… haven’t we seen that guy before?

    Anyway, you’re right. Paradise Ranch does seem meh for now. Let’s hope it improves with the latter eps (like Dream High!)

    • 6.1 dee

      But Dream High is improving in second half of the first episode. But well, let’s just see..

    • 6.2 hjkomo

      Park Soo Hyun – Gumiho’s Revenge, Eight Days, Conspiracy in the Court

      • 6.2.1 mary

        Thanks! :)

  7. Alvina

    It’s like watching a Harlequin romance on the screen lol. Only korean with an awkward hero. Poor Changmin; he’s so pretty but… not working for me.

    • 7.1 YAY

      i agree. this show is even below meh right now.

    • 7.2 indigowine

      OMO! That’s exactly what I thought after reading paragraph 1..

      Huh, ex-husband showed up with a very much pending affection towards the ex-wife? Calling for every Harlequin’s reader out there xD

      • 7.2.1 shu

        totally, intrigued now. =]]

      • 7.2.2 elle loves kdrama

        No wonder I kind of liked the first ep. I was a Harlequin reader in a past life :)

    • 7.3 Laica

      Here’s how it would go if it was a Harlequin novel:

      The former couple meets after a few years. They still have Feelings for each other, but both hide them, afraid of getting hurt again. Plus each has a New Love Interest. Somehow they get entangled with each other, and a Common Enemy appears! Omo! And they must team up to fight against him, reluctant and bickering. Their Feelings become stronger and harder to hide. Jealousy rears its head on all sides. Eventually the Feelings develop into True Love, most likely helped along by some kind of Mortal Peril for one or both of our leads. The two also find out the reason they broke up all those years ago – it was all a Big Misunderstanding caused by miscommunication and/or Evil Interlopers. All is forgiven, and we have another wedding, this time to last forever. (Or at least until the last scene.)

      The End.

      • 7.3.1 swui

        Omg…Harlequin reader owning up here..but I gotta agree…the plots are usually repetitive but a no brainer…which is partly why I read them…haha…to relax my brain.

        • 7.3.1.1 Laica

          Hey, that’s why I watch kdramas. I have enough difficult stuff to deal with in real life. Bring on the fluff! :)

      • 7.3.2 HappyEndings

        lol, that sounds like a kdrama

        • 7.3.2.1 Laica

          The two have a lot in common, at their most basic.

  8. YAY

    yea i was totally turned off by the trailer. Maybe I’ll start watching it if it gets better. Thanks for the recap!!! I do wonder how they fell in love when they were 19 esp since changmin sorta has a stone personality.

  9. dramalover2012

    thank you! it was pretty interesting…will keep on watching. :)

  10. 10 lol

    Changmin should play a nerd/geek instead. His awkwardness reminds me of Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”

    • 10.1 myra

      Lol IA with this.

  11. 11 JD

    blehhh changmin…and i love him, too x_x

    • 11.1 grateful1

      blehhh changmin

      My sentiments exactly.

  12. 12 secretflavors

    UGH I already don’t like how the love rectangle started developing so early. I also have a bad intuition about the cliche characters: the ideal arrogant man, the ideal gentle man, the ideal beetch, and the stupid optimistic girl (a type of character I was never drawn to). Please don’t sprial downwards from your wedding-divorce mystery like Secret Garden did.

  13. 13 shu

    omggggg you are reviewing this!! yay!!!

    i like yoo ha na, but she’s not like the lead here … =/

    • 13.1 HappyEndings

      I love Yoo HaNa ever since My Lucky Star. She could have done great as the lead character, since she does bubbly clumsy so well.

      Aw…I would totally watch if she was lead…

      But I’m just gonna watch for little glimpses at her

    • 13.2 CAnjell

      Me too. I like Yoo Hana & Joo Sang- wook.
      What should I do?

  14. 14 K.

    I felt even more awkward watching Yunho in Heading to the Ground.

    • 14.1 gea

      i love TVXQ with all my heart but he’s drop dead retarded in HTTG!

  15. 15 doozy

    Changmin is playing a 27 year-old?! What the…

    • 15.1 maldita

      I know right?! He barely even looks his age (22)! It’s kinda weird to see him trying to act all grown up.

  16. 16 jen

    im going to wait out and see. i heard from the director that changmin does get better :)

    so i hope you will continue with the drama 😀

  17. 17 Brittany

    Just seeing Joo Sang-wook in this drama pains me. After finishing the awesomesauce that is Giant, this drama is a huge downgrade.

    Thank god Thorn Birds is coming soon…

    • 17.1 Kristal

      I know, right! Lets hope Thorn Birds isn’t terrible. *crossing fingers, toes, and everything else she can think of*

    • 17.2 Kristal

      And whats up with the horrible ascot?! SHEESH

      • 17.2.1 queencircles

        Omg I kept saying to my sister, ‘I hope he ditches that ascot soon…’

    • 17.3 ahjummabunny

      here! here! why is giant undefeated in my heart!

  18. 18 erraticsoul

    I actually like Changmin in this. I thought his awkwardness was cute. Or, perhaps I am just blinded because I think he is cute….oh well, time will tell.

    I am wondering if they actually divorced due to some kind of misunderstanding deliberately caused by their families, and not because they didn’t love each other.

    There is definitely potential in this drama. I enjoyed the facial expressions and funny bits which make the plot more palatable in my opinion.

    • 18.1 Doofus

      yesss, im blinded because he’s way too cute

    • 18.2 Gloria

      Haha normally I’m critical, but we all have our biases.. I can’t help but think his awkwardness is cute since 1) I’m used to it and 2) I’m a sucker for awkward guys anyway :)

      • 18.2.1 miran

        Omg i soo agree with you!! I can’t tell whethr im being biased about ths drama or not? lol.

        but ngaww you just gotta LOVE his awkward :)

  19. 19 buttercups

    thanks for the recap….i very much enjoyed the first episode…lee yeonhee is so cute…love how straightforward she is…changmin is a lil stiff in some parts but considering this is his first acting project, i think he did a good job!

  20. 20 hohoho

    this is a great review; you touched on some of the same contentions i had with the pilot, as well as the same thoughts in regards to its future. thanks for this! :)

  21. 21 queencircles

    My sister and I just watched this. We got the feeling that the gentle guy was a bad guy. I’m not sure why. Seems like he’s hiding stuff, I don’t know. It’s ok for now.. like others said, I hope it gets better like Dream High!

  22. 22 Good day

    I see EP.1. And this SO GOOD! Really so good!)
    Love it!!! Love it!!! Love it!!!
    OST too!:)

    I liked this drama MORE than Dream High or My Princess…
    After Secret Garden this drama my new favorite!)))

    Excellent romantic drama!^^

    • 22.1 Bobo

      Really is better than My Princess! Now I shall look Paradise Ranch)

  23. 23 joyyyeo

    “The earnest dork with communications problems…” LOL miscast definitely. Changmin is truly more of a dork in real life than a spoiled chaebol heir. I’m not watching this until more eps are out coz I’m wary of idols-turned-actors. It really does depend on how MUCH they want to transit into acting coz I think that determines their effort. Sadly, Changmin didn’t get the chance to hear public opinion as he improves (if he does) with the drama since it’s already pre-produced.

    And Joo Sang Wook…. I’m madly in love with you after Giant but considering that this was filmed before Giant, I shall be less judgmental and just enjoy ogling at you. If you are the villain, I just hope that you are also as human as you were back in Giant so that we can empathize with you rather than simply hate you outright.

  24. 24 Light7

    I watched this too. And this drama really good!
    Paradise Ranch fighting!

  25. 25 Ani

    This Chang-min kid looks like Jerry Yan from Taiwan (I mean the similarity is uncanny: http://asiatic101.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/max-jerry.jpg).

    And people, don’t raise your hackles about whoever being the prettier than whoever because they’re both pretty I guess. But if this is old news, than sorry I’m behind on the kpop scene because I know less than 1% stuff about TVXQ/DBSK except that members include Micky and Yunho and that they’re down to two members these days. And that they were on X-Man (or was it NEW X-Man?). DANGYUNHAJI!

    I hope to see more and more of Yoo Hana in dramas, not just for her role in Sons of Sol Pharmacy, but because I enjoyed her spunk in My Lucky Star. Anyways, good luck to this drama. HWAITING~

    • 25.1 lin

      Haha. And yunho looks like vaness wu!!

  26. 26 Dara

    YaY JB for the recap! I’m all in for this one and I think it will get better, please continue with this one.

    Love the female lead and the second male lead *drools*
    For Changmin, he’s cute, I ‘d say he got potential. The story intrigues me, six years apart and their jealousies still there? Aw .They must have loved each other so much then. Back story will come around to us. Phew! I thought I’m the only one eyeing on this one.

  27. 27 crazedlu

    HUUUGE miscast. i’d rather have yunho as the chaebol. i fear this will not fare well for all parties involved.

    • 27.1 maldita

      Yeah. I actually think Yunho can work the chaebol role better. He tried so hard for his character in “Heading to the Ground” but it just didn’t work for him. At least now Yunho has the “Poseidon” gig. Not the lead actor, but at least he has less pressure to carry a whole drama by himself.

  28. 28 maldita

    Actually, I really only wanted to watch the pilot just to ogle at Changmin. All I wanted was for him NOT to be bad, and the show to not be as bad as everyone thought it would be. Thankfully, it really isn’t. I actually quite enjoyed the 1st episode. I agree that Yeonhee works better in a role like this one, and Changmin really wasn’t as hilariously bad as he used to be (OMG those Banjun dramas from 5 years ago). I’ll give this show a few more episodes to reel me in. I’m really curious how they got together in the first place. I really liked the cute Changmin and Yeonhee scenes. :)

    • 28.1 dreams

      LOL. Same here. I sort of cringed when I saw JB had written the recap/commentary cuz I thought JB was going to be HARD on CM but I sighed relief after I finished reading. haha.

      I, for one, was very surpised by CM. I also didn’t think he was going to be any good-actually, thought he was going to be just plain awful, really. He did really well and his voice was awesome. I thought his delivery was pretty good, some of his interactions were kinda awkward. He needs to work on his facial expressions also but all in all, very proud of him (sorry, big time bias!) I also wish he was cast in an ensemble for his first drama but I like the comedic lightness of the drama and think CM can only improve :) YeonHee is so pretty and she def is better with the cute roles. Yoo Hana’s character is the only one that I don’t like or understand. I hope it gets developed more.

  29. 29 love^^

    Thanks for your recap. PLEASE continue it!
    It drama so cute!!!

  30. 30 Autumn

    The 1st ep really wasn’t as bad as i thought. i like the tone and the country-side setting; the music wasn’t bad either.

    I agree that Changmin was a miscast, not feeling the spoiled chaebol vibe from him. He also has this tendency to glare at the most inappropriate times.

    I usually have pretty high tolerance for OTT characters (e.g KTH in MP and LDH in MG), but i simply could not stand LYH in here. I don’t think i will be able to watch anymore if she continues to grate on my nerves with her overacting.

    thanks for the recap.

  31. 31 Cats

    If it is fair… for me ep.1 Paradise Ranch is much more interesting than ep.1 Dream High

    • 31.1 wehelpyou!

      I think so too.

      • 31.1.1 Cool

        I too)

  32. 32 Omo)

    I watched ep.1 and ep.2 too.
    Paradise Ranch is going to be an interesting drama!
    The story line is looking good.
    I continue see this drama.

    thanks for recap

  33. 33 starling

    thanks for the recap!
    i hope it gets better :S
    yeah changmin is really pretty but his acting is.. lacking
    but i do love the setting and scenery
    cant wait for the next one :)

  34. 34 Bis

    The 1st ep really so good

  35. 35 Laura

    lol actually I think Changmin was perfectly chosen, because he has never given me the impression of the dork, he actually does give the impression of a stuck rich boy, who has an attitude and doesn’t care!!!! Just give him time, I think he did really good!!!!

  36. 36 dramafan88

    Who is acting as Yoon-Ho? I find him really hot! Hotter than the lead in fact – tvxq fans pls dont bash me. Hehe.

    Second-lead syndrome!

  37. 37 crazy

    I not fan TVXQ/DBSK… but this drama is looking good
    THANKS for the recap!!!!!

  38. 38 pigtookie

    I recognize the second female lead(?), Jin-young, or Yoo-Hana as the lead from a well-known Taiwanese drama My Lucky Star.

  39. 39 diadda

    Horrid editing aside, they obviously had issues getting changmin for certain scenes and shot his separately from the rest of the cast. That kind of stuff especially for a first episode of a drama that has been sitting on a shelf for a year is inexcusable. No one from production thought it worthy enough to fix up the shots at all? Dropping in a small reshoot for the episode that has the most impact would have killed you how?

    Also reshooting the most awkward honeymoon ever could have been done too. Obviously Changmin’s acting got better as they went along (at least for this episode it did) so why not reshoot that cringe worthy honeymoon sequence.

    I understand that budgets are fixed things and casts are doing other stuff, but most of the scenes that would need reshooting only involved Changmin and Lee Yeon-hee.

    As for the plot. Um…I like the show cause Changmin is in it! MAX TIME forever! OK fangirling aside. The plot is trite but MAX TIME is a cute show about people being cute, at least that is what I got out of it. The girl is supposed to be smart, but she is cute. The guy is supposed to be spoiled and rich, but he’s cute. The second mail lead is supposed to be handsome and put together, but he is also cute. And I love horses. So it hits all my happy.

    MAX TIME = cute fluff

    • 39.1 bibis

      I love horses too)
      And Max so cute in this drama!

  40. 40 Tia

    Thank you jb, finally I understand a bit of what they said. I have watched episode 1 and 2 without sub and still find it very entertaining. As for Changmin’s acting, I think he has improved a lot from the past (DBSK’s banjun dramas) and though the spoilt-boy image is totally opposite of his real-life character, he pulls it off not bad ;)). Hope that the more episodes out, the better his acting is

    I will continue watching this and hope you guys will continues recapping this!

  41. 41 bibis

    jb thanks for your recap!
    and continue it please!!!
    Thank you!)

  42. 42 Doofus

    Thankyou for the recap!!!
    but it was short and cut out alot of parts from the drama ><
    looking forward to it anyways :)

  43. 43 tofu_fishy

    i think you should continue with this drama =) even changmin’s acting is a little lacking, im sure it will get better =p if you put a GOOD FILMEd drama PLUS a awsome recaps by pro recappers =) its the Ultimate dream!

  44. 44 tomoto

    Thank you!

  45. 45 malala

    OMG! Joo Sang Wook! He so cute)

  46. 46 Laica

    I wasn’t going to touch this with a ten-foot pole, but after reading your recap I’m intrigued…

    We’ll have to wait and see how it develops.

    Thanks for the recap, javabeans!

  47. 47 hjkomo

    JB, have you been adding something special to your coffee? 😛

    From the Facial Twitching School of Acting to the Create-Your-Own-Earworm Score…there was plenty of snark fodder to be had. For me, at least. 😉

    • 47.1 hjkomo

      Oh, and Joo Sang Wook needs to stay away from cowboy hats and neckerchiefs. Far, FAR away…

      • 47.1.1 Kristal

        I thought his hair looked better under that cowboy hat than all prickly up front like when he got into business man mode. The ascots/neckerchiefs have got to go though fo realz! Is it supposed to make him look sophisticated cause it ain’t workin…

        He looks ways to old to be on this show to me too. I mean he’s like 31 or 32 I think and they all look like little babies in comparison.

        • 47.1.1.1 hjkomo

          Yes, that wavy sorta-pama-but-also-looks-like-the-stylist-forgot-about-him-in-the-makeup-trailer has also got to go. 😛

          • 47.1.1.1.1 Kristal

            He had a similar hairstyle going on at the beginning of Giant but luckily it was slightly tamer and wasn’t paired with the neckerchiefs but just some questionable 80s ties and suits.

  48. 48 Lily

    Thank you, javabeans, for recapping the first episode! I checked back more than usual today to see if it would be up. Changmin’s acting is self conscious, but it got gradually better in this episode, so I’m hoping that it will keep going in that direction, lol. I’m crossing my fingers that you’ll do episode 2 as well (:

  49. 49 Selcaqueen

    Though I find the trailer uninteresting and the storyline too typical, I’m still going to watch this just because of Joo Sang Wook. I’ve been madly in love with the guy since I first saw him on QSD. He gets a lot of praises these days for his role on Giant but that one’s too long I don’t think I’ll have the patience to watch it (with QSD, I only watched episodes 20 until the ep. when Mishil died XD). So I’ll just settle with this drama since it’s shorter. And even if JSW turns out to be a very, very bad guy, I’m pretty sure I won’t hate him. He can be a serial killer and I’ll still drool over him. XD

    • 49.1 CAnjell

      Watch Kimcheed Radish Cubes. You’ll love him more.
      He starred with Park Shin Hye.

    • 49.2 ahjummabunny

      You have to see Giant! Don’t say nonsense like it’s too long again! His character’s storyline is reactionary but still important to the central storyline. I haven’t seen him in QSD and I won’t be watching QSD to see him act but I am recommending Giant.

  50. 50 kjt

    thanks heaps jb! dying for the next recap.

  51. 51 Vendetta

    Totally agree, “awkward” is the right word. The lead idol boy is pretty and cute but awkward for this drama…hmmm I don’t know. I would love to see him in a “uke” role ;D

  52. 52 nelkk

    aww comeon give it a chance! i know i am going to..i like both the leads so im going to watch it…

  53. 53 polin

    Thank you!
    I watch it…

  54. 54 p3rk3le

    thanks for your recap~!!!!
    Surprisingly i like the first ep more than the second, but things will probably start moving by nect week, so i’m happy ^^

    you’re right about changmin~ well, other idols have been worse so i dont actually mind his acting so far, but i heard he gets used to it later so i’m guessing his acting will get better in later eps..

    anyway, i totally wanna see what happened in their past. i’m pretty sure someone got involved, like you said it must have been a communication problem. thats what i can tell by changmin’s character..

  55. 55 wulanastasiaz

    after reading your recaps i find it bit more interesting.. and decide to give this drama a chance.. well actually that what i did everytime there’s a new drama.. recently it tooks me 10 eps of skks, 6 eps of dream high, and u never dissapoint me javabean.. idk what i’m gonna do without u.. thanks

  56. 56 gingeranna

    I kinda liked the premise, a couple who divorced 6 years ago because they were too young! (or whatever other reasons they have in mind – they might pull out an ex lover or something later). But for now this seems bo~ring!!! Is there really still hope? For Mary I had hope for some episodes… like 10 (I know, way too much) but that’s because there were hints of… a better Mary? In another world? Every now and then there was something interesting, or fresh, or both. This seems boring all in the same way 😛

  57. 57 sjsmnn

    main lead guy is so ugly. I wish Joo Sang Wook was the lead.

  58. 58 Ace

    Huh. I’d rather not say what my first impression of Changmin was in this episode (sorry, not a DBSK fan. Though I’m fond of SME artists, I don’t like the way JYJ is being treated right now). My second thought was if SMEnt would cast someone pretty, I would’ve preferred Heechul in this role.

  59. 59 supah

    I only checked this out because of the whole y’know ‘challenge’ of it. Not that I’ve never watched a bad drama in my life, I’ve been scarred by plenty, but This? This. Was.Strange. It was like some straaange, sickening nightmare unfolding.
    Seiously if any broadcaster was going to pick out any drama from the crapheap – they should’ve picked Birdy Buddy. UEE and her awesome superbitch persona is one thing but UEE wielding golf clubs is a whooole ‘nother level. <3

    But yeah, MAX-TIME is a fail, and I feel awful for everyone involved, this must be really, really embarrassing for them. Poor Joo Sang-wook, I'd flee the country if I were him.

    @diadda
    But hey, if it floats YOUR boat. *does a thumbs up to diadda and jumps off boat, gets rescued by dubu*

    • 59.1 Kristal

      OOO, if JSW flees the country he can come to America and stay at my house. *holds up large welcome sign with Kristal ♥’s Joo Sang Wook written in fluorescent pink and yellow*

      • 59.1.1 Janna

        JSW: Is no place safe for me?! (Uses neckerchief as face mask) I just needed to make rent money! (sobs)

        • 59.1.1.1 Kristal

          It’s ok. There’s always…Thorn Birds… *hands JSW a tissue and pats his sticky-over gelled-head*

    • 59.2 Janna

      (Looks off the port bow) Aye, she got away…. (Puts bubble pipe in mouth, stares at majestic ocean view of like… horses and Australia and stuff)

      Eric: Hey, who are you and how did you get on the Poseidon?!

      Janna: I uhhh…errr….

    • 59.3 diadda

      MAX TIME Forever! I’ll live happily in my fangirling and ignore the …well everything else.

  60. 60 coffevampire

    Thank you for the recap. You saved me. I think I’ll pass on this on but I’ll probably see the ending and see if I don’t go through it in one shot. Thank you for sharing.

  61. 61 Dara

    It’s not that bad. The scenery is beautiful, the ost is lovely. After a while, strangely I find his(CM) awkward acting kind of cute. I have a feeling I will love his character later on. We’ll see.

  62. 62 PP

    Lee Yeon-hee’s acting is not good. Other girl is prettier!

    • 62.1 asea

      yea… I like yoo hana and I think she can pull off the cute more than the main girl… She looks cuter with black hair tho :(

      • 62.1.1 rway

        i think the main girl is super cute & pretty! her face is very unique and i heard she’s natural. yoo hana is very pretty too, but, she’s just like another 2nd-lead-woman-pretty. imo tho.

  63. 63 karz

    thank you for recap! I’m liking it so far ^^
    I never watch any of the casts’ acting before so I have no expectation. I see some flaws here and there, but there are also some lovable things that makes me giggle :)
    I quite like the male lead, his character is cute ^^ (I think he IS a nerd -with all that comics and game consoles). I have a feeling that the 2nd lead is hiding something or has dark past.
    .
    I’m not an avid drama watcher so my standard seems to be much lower than many people here. Nevertheless, I think I’ll continue watching this.

  64. 64 Daniela

    Surprise! I didn’t think that you would recap this drama. I was bored so I watched the first episode. I had seen the trailer and, as you said, the trailer was bad. But I’m always attracted to this kind of stories (you know, feelings that doesn’t disappear, the boy that at some point has to win the girl again). The first episode was entertaining.

    But I just can’t get over the ages of the leads. 27?! It’s hard to believe that he has 22 in the first place. For me, she looks older than he. They are the same age (even in “real life”, I google it) and when they are together it looks…weird. Maybe because they look like me when I’m with my younger brother, so yeah it’s weird.

    I’m waiting the subs for episode 2. No rush.

    Thank you for the recap!

  65. 65 pofy

    Thank you for the recap! It good drama!

  66. 66 Jomo

    Yes, I was 12 when I read my first cowboy Harlequin Romance.
    *Sigh* If they wrote this as an homage,/i> or even a self-conscious re-boot of an HR, it could work.

    I have never seen Changmin sing, and I am not a fan (yet), but as Dong-joo, the romantic lead? Never never never in a million years would I buy it.

    He is too…smooth and glassy. No friction. From his hair to his beautiful face and figure, he betrays disinterest in his leading lady. Best friend, maybe?

    Yoon-ho is more compelling as a romantic lead. I’m hoping for some big time confusion-causing pressure from him. I know he eventually will be evil and all that, but, god!, he out frictions DJ by an acre.

    And what about that sweet doctor guy who likes her? He is so interested in her estrogen, wink wink nudge nudge. He is also a better choice.

    So you say Smoothie gets better? Maybe if they mess up his hair, or get him real dirty. REAL dirty. Maybe they need to change up his feed, a lot less estrogen and a lot more testosterone.

    I’m just saying…

  67. 67 Venus

    Thank JB for recapping the 1st episode…I actually looked in to this drama, caused I need something in between DH and MP..and I found that the 1st episode wasn’t that bad at all. I like the premise of young love/get married/divorced/ fates reunites them. I guess I read too many romance novels during my days…:P
    But i’ll give this drama a try, hey maybe it could surprise us all.
    Acting wise it was really ok for me over all, specially the Idol guy, Changmin, he looks more like a 18 yr than 27..lets see if he in proves, the mail lead girl is ok also, I was blown away either…..
    Well I’ll keep tunning in that for sure!!!!…… 😀

  68. 68 shoothoothoot

    No offense. He’s like a keiy. lol

  69. 69 makdoongie

    i have a feeling this whole delaying of setting an air date is just a strategic marketing scheme . right around the time the drama was supposed to air, JYJ left SM and put TVXQ into a funk,, and now as they got back on their feet and started to increase their fanbase again, they air it

    i think im gonna watch this. its not the most well written or well executed drama and may lack in a wow factor, but the cliched love rectangle brings me back to the days when i first started watching (bad) kdramas and was so addicted to them back then.

    personally i like the whole divorced-reunited touch, since it allows us to avoid a whole awkward sequence of first meets between the two leads, which are usually my least favorite part of first episodes.

  70. 70 Janet

    Changmin’s secretary is the 2nd president of the action school (not Jong-Soo) – the one that usually helps Binnie (Mr make-a-lot-of-money) get together with Ra-im, right?

    • 70.1 Jomo

      It doesn’t list him in Wiki as the same.

    • 70.2 queencircles

      No, but he’s one of the sunbae judo guys from Dr. Champ though if you watched that. I think the 2nd president from the action school was wayy cuter than this guy. Aw I miss him. He’s going to be in that Come, closer movie so I’m excited for that.

  71. 71 Anjo

    I couldn’t finish the first 20 minutes of this series… I love my Dongbang boys… but this is definately a miscast… Changmin the awkward boy playing a lazy spoiled brat? That’s…. no…

    • 71.1 dreams

      see, i didn’t think Dong Joo was suppose to be an arrogant, spoiled brat. he actually is the awkward boy. even in the drama, in the beginning it said something about how DongJoo followed Da-ji around for years (if my korean serves me correctly). Dong Joo may appear like the arrogant spoiled rich boy but I think, inside, the character is suppose to be really kind hearted and kinda awkward…
      kinda like Changmin in real life, who can throw snark around like nobody’s bizness but he really seems very awkward and sweet irl.

  72. 72 SujuSarang4Eveer

    Its alright now.. but I think it will become better as the show progresses…
    I also felt a little awkward looking at Changmin act.. but I think it will be come better soon :)
    I understand you Javabeans, about the whole wanting to have an evil second male lead… but I like the sweet Yoon Ho… he is so perfect and I think he should just go around wearing his cowboy outfit all day… he looks adorable in it :)

  73. 73 girlatsea

    It just seems so uninteresting to me. And I keep hearing the same responses from people.

    And I honestly do not have the time to watch another drama.

  74. 74 ed

    I dont know why this page gives bad comments about YH everytime she is in a drama or Movie,,, for me the drama is doing good and the rating no bad,,, what about other dramas that started even worst and now they in 1st in rating…. so i dont care if this page keeps looking for bad things just to give dumb comments Paradise Ranch will do good.

  75. 75 Celest

    I think that this show does have some potential plot-wise. The whole married early and then divorced theme seems like a somewhat fresh idea. They could totally explore different fields of emotions with that. But what I’m failing to get out of this drama is chemistry. Changmin looks cute and all but to me he seems a little too stiff at times.

  76. 76 hmmmmm..

    Lee Yeon Hee, the camera really loves her. BUT why is her hair like that? however, her pretty face just blurred out her hair. and she’s cute! i too think she’s much suitable in happy character. just like she was in Hello Schoolgirl movie.

    but Changmin.. let give him a chance since he’s been a good boy. and for being so cute 😉

  77. 77 mycorrhizoid

    Changmin was born in 1988.
    He is currently a month shy of 23.
    This drama was filmed in 2009, while he was still 21.
    And they expect us to believe he’s 27 kr/26 int’l? No way. He could still pass for a high school student. Couldn’t we rewind and switch Changmin for KHJ? Because Baek Seung Jo in real life = Changmin.

  78. 78 jul's

    Thanks for the song “you’re my heart” !! i was searching like crazy this cover version!! I’m so happyyyyyyyy!!!!!! TTTTTHHHAAAANNNNKKKKKKSSSS!!!

  79. 79 more

    Sorry but this show looks corny will not be watching

    • 79.1 less

      no need to be sorry. dont watch. we dont need ur opinion here. and, dont spamming.

  80. 80 Carinne

    I’ll give the first and second lead actors to y’all ‘cos I’d rather have Yoon-ho’s assistant, now that guy is HOT. I’d like to get to know him better.

  81. 81 sujulove

    i liked it!!! It’s way better than dream high…

    • 81.1 pofy

      For me it’s drama better than dream high too!

      • 81.1.1 A

        agreed!
        I like dream high’s premise and all, but somehow the show doesn’t seem to have much dramatic tension imo.. it’s like the misfits vs. the chosen ones and their battles are sort of lacking for me.

  82. 82 Janna

    Max-time watchers unite!

    Yeah I felt like Lee Yeon Hee was conjuring up her inner Nodame in this show. The Nodame that apparently likes horses and not pianos.

    Max is lucky he started in this type of role. I kind of wondered how he said more English lines than Mr.America himself, aka Joo Sang Wook. He got away apparently speaking English in the background of the one scene. Or so they have you believe. Good job on that writers.

    If you’re hating hard on this show, just replay that clip where Max gets hit in the head. Nice catch indeed m’boy. Nice catch indeed.

  83. 83 Eggie

    Haha, strange that you say it, because for me, Changmin actually did a pretty good job here. Apart from this odd scene when they were supposed to be teenagers or sth, he was pretty natural in my opinion.

    He does seem young though. But I’m hoping it will eventually “invisible” like in the case of LSG i Shining inheritance.

  84. 84 juicyy

    I’m already enjoying the first two episodes…the pace of the drama is not to fast nor too slow …hopefully we find out more about why they divorced…and why Changmin’s character seems to still be bitter after 6 years…but i do like that yeonhee’s character is always so cheerful…i think that changmin’s character is going to give her some hard times in the next episodes to come…definitely looking forward to the next episodes to come.

  85. 85 momo

    I like this drama though. The main girl is cute and pretty, and seems like her role suits her. The main guy I don’t like but I do like the second guy totally hot!

  86. 86 Angskeet

    What the hell…when did this air? how can i miss it! darn it but it’s okay cause it’s never too late..it’s only episode one

  87. 87 jaejoongwangja

    i like it!

  88. 88 milk tea

    I first watched Yoo Hana in the Taiwanese drama, My Lucky Star. Although she was dubbed you can hear her speaking Mandarin quite excellently in the off scenes. ^^;;. I love Changmin but I’ll read the drama recaps to see if this drama is any good.

  89. 89 BJ

    Thanks for the recap! I still haven’t made up my mind as to watch PR or not.. not really a fan of Max and the plot looks pretty cliche. Hmph… maybe when i have time i will give it a try!

  90. 90 SECRET GARDEN

    so far, so good. im starting to like this drama. im not a big fan of tvzq, i dont hate them but changmin doesnt seem right for the role 😐 Like cmon, his ment to be a 27/28 year old and his so immature still. Maybe having a small role yes but not a main character

  91. 91 Kara

    The drama is pretty fun. Lee Yeon Hee is adorable in my opinion, and Joo Sang Wook is hot… But Changmin is ehhh, like u said, he’s very very awkward and… idk but his lips are really weird… O__O hope he will improve.

  92. 92 billydbeagle

    joo sang wook is way too old for this drama.

  93. 93 anonymous

    ohmygod! WHAT THE… YOO HANA!?!
    LOLLLL. I skimmed through the first episode (really quickly…) and totally did not see her.. LOLL.
    NICEEEE.

    I guess the beginning didn’t catch my interest much either, but I’ll still watch further ^^

    Thanks for the recap!

  94. 94 queencircles

    I hope she keeps doing recaps for this! I just love reading jb/gf recaps after I watch a episode of a drama. They are so funny! They make it more fun to watch any drama!!

  95. 95 YOO

    oh god i really can’t see myself watching a show about a ranch in korea . not that there’s anything wrong with it i’ve gotten into stranger plots that this but really show ? really ?

  96. 96 Heather

    Congratulation! Joo Sang wook for you Asia Star Model Award. You look so great and handsome!I am watching this drama because of you!Great success in your career and I hope I will see you in person . JSW Fighting!
    love you forever!!

  97. 97 eunyoung

    javabeans, are you going to keep recapping this drama? because i would really like to know what they are actually saying(lol) well anyways thanks a whole lot!

  98. 98 sosoxrah

    I’ve watched the first two episodes, and I’m enjoying it for the fact that it takes place in Jeju-do, thus creating a fairly isolated setting that’s away from all the busi-ness of Seoul. Right now, I’m in the mood in which I just want to watch something that’s light and different from all the standard k-drama settings. The plot devices may be similar to many dramas we’ve seen, but I’ll continue to watch it since I’m curious to see how their young marriage ended. As for the hurried presentation of the marriage and divorce, I felt that it was okay that they didn’t go so much into depth with the two characters’ emotions for each other. They were young, naive, and they just couldn’t keep it together. I’m looking forward to finding out what kinds of characters they are in later episodes.
    Chang-min is alright as an actor, but thankfully he’s not horrible or else I would’ve stopped at ep1. And I want to see how Joo Sang-wook’s character plays out in the later episodes. Hope the drama doesn’t go downhill from here, although it won’t be much a loss if it does.

  99. 99 cassie

    OMO!! Lee Yoon Hee… I’ve been waiting for her next project since East of Eden. Eventhough i don’t feel good about Max Changmin as her sparring, i’ll keep watching for Lee Yoon Hee and Joo Sang Wook.

  100. 100 kdrama lover

    ehhhhh i fell asleep by ep 2 hahaha
    drama seems okayy — it gives me something to watch after My Princess 😛 LOLs

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