Drama Recaps
Myung-wol the Spy: Episode 1
by | July 11, 2011 | 138 Comments

Myung-wol the Spy makes me giggle, for all the right reasons: It’s funny, it’s flashy, it looks good, and it’s entertaining. I was hoping for a deft directorial hand, and with the director of Sungkyunkwan Scandal behind the camera, Myung-wol has an assured, stylish air. It’s mindless fun in the sense that you can sit back and enjoy it without taxing your brain too strenuously to follow the story, but it’s not mindless, per se. By which I mean, there’s a plot here with lots of components, and while we haven’t seen the full extent of the world yet, there are glimpses of multiple storylines and objectives and layers.

The plot itself is, naturally, absurd. But within the context of this campy spy world the drama has set up, the story actually works, and there’s an internal logic about the (ridiculous) events that makes it zippy fun.


Bobby Kim – “사랑이 무서워” (Scared of love) from the Myung-wol the Spy OST
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Right off the bat we start with a sequence intercutting our two leads: KANG-WOO (Eric) and HAN MYUNG-WOL (Han Ye-seul), both engaged in battle.

Kang-woo’s is a rooftop standoff with a police officer (cameo by Kim Sung-oh), which is quickly revealed to be a glorious, tragic ending scene in one of his action movies. High-ranking military officials watch the movie from their Pyongyang, North Korea, headquarters, and the superior officer marvels at his star power, wondering why they don’t have an actor of that magnitude on their side.

Myung-wol’s scenario, on the other hand, is a higher-stakes challenge. She dodges bullets and takes down her pursuers with an explosive, then sweats nervously while she faces a ticking bomb, which she must disarm.

Something flies into her field of vision, though, and Myung-wol is briefly distracted — it’s a butterfly — which is long enough for the bomb to tick down to zero. Thankfully, it’s not a real bomb — this was a test — but alas, she has failed.

It’s Myung-wol’s dream to work for the special forces unit, but today’s lapse means she has failed in the final round. She tells the special forces agent, CHOI RYU (Lee Jin-wook), that she will re-apply in three months, ignoring his suggestion that she stick to what she’s good at.

Ryu refers to the work she currently does, as she’s currently a member of the Hallyu crackdown squad, and it tickles me that there’s even such a thing. Her unit deals with illegal distribution and smuggling of media such as South Korean dramas, and she gets back to work on one such case.

Acting on intel, her team locates one such source and arranges a hand-off. Myung-wol tracks him down and arrests him as he’s screening Kang-woo’s newest drama. (The girls salivate over his charisma and good looks, and even the men admit he’s got appeal.)

General Kim — who happens to be father to a Kang-woo superfan — discusses a mission with Ryu, which he declares must proceed with utmost secrecy. For it, he selects agent Han Myung-wol, who has stellar records and, conveniently, no family or close friends.

Ryu warns, however, that despite her outstanding profile on paper, she has a fatal flaw: She acts before she thinks.

Nevertheless, Ryu accompanies Myung-wol to Singapore, where they act as guard to General Kim’s daughter Eun-joo. That means keeping a close eye on the teenager and taking her to Kang-woo’s concert.

There’s a part of this mission that isn’t revealed to Myung-wol, who’s told merely to stick to her direct orders. Ryu keeps a tight lid on the details, which suggests there’s a bigger goal out there.

As for Kang-woo himself, it appears he’s quite the perfectionist — no idle idol is he. He puts on a flashy show, then nitpicks every little flaw in the planning despite the successful performance. He’s got an ego, sure, but it’s far from Dokko Jin proportions (the latter of whom practically needed a separate planet to deal with the weight of his self-importance). Interesting trait, given that his image in front of the cameras is that of an easy-going, smiling top star.

Eun-joo tries to sneak out of their room — the same hotel where Kang-woo is staying — to find her star, only to be stopped by Myung-wol, who reminds her that she isn’t to show her face in public. Eun-joo pouts that all she wants is a single autograph, since she’d worked so hard to come in the first place (she’d gone on a hunger strike, which weakened Daddy General’s opposition, heh).

Eun-joo tells Myung-wol to get the autograph instead, taunting her that surely an elite agent such as she would be able to manage it. So Myung-wol tries to slip by security to accost Kang-woo by the pool, only to be turned away. She turns to leave, but Eun-joo’s words goad her onward, and she comes back for round two.

Rationalizing that it’ll just take ten minutes of crazy to wrap up this task, Myung-wol dons a wig and follows him through the hotel. When she catches up to him, she thrusts a pen and pad at him and demands an autograph. She might want to work on her powers of persuasion.

No surprise that Kang-woo declines, even when she gets pushier and keeps indicating that he should sign. She refrains from speaking in Korean, probably to keep her own cover, so most of this is communicated via gestures and somewhat broken English. Finally, he gives in and scrawls something, but it’s a taunting smiley face and Myung-wol, growing ever more incensed at his ungracious attitude, pursues him doggedly. This must be the weakness pointed out by Ryu, that she’s prone to acting on her own feelings and instincts before thinking everything through.

That takes them through the streets of Singapore as Myung-wol stalks him through the marketplace, muttering all the while about the arrogant bastard who can’t be bothered to oblige her this very simple little thing.

Intent on her quarry, she doesn’t see Ryu out in the courtyard, who meets with a fellow agent and confirms their mission rendezvous tomorrow. Must be the thing he’s keeping Myung-wol in the dark about.

He spots Myung-wol moving through the crowd, just as he witnesses a mugging in the street. The victim is JOO IN-AH, movie actress and hotel heiress who’s here for two reasons: (1) To “coincidentally” run into Kang-woo — her co-star and, if she had it her way, future boyfriend (2) Oh all right, she only cares about Reason #1, but her hotelier grandpa tries to get her to show interest in their hotel while she’s here trying to snag her man.

Ryu sees In-ah losing her purse to the thief and thinks quickly, jumping in to efficiently dispatch the twosome. He returns the purse and In-ah puffs up to realize that he’s Korean, expecting him to recognize her any second now. He doesn’t, and turns away with cool disinterest, to her annoyance. Heh. What better way to set down the big-headed star than by poking a hole in that ego-filled balloon?

Kang-woo is wise to his stalker, and remains elusive as he keeps a step ahead of Myung-wol. For an elite spy, you’d think her tracking skills would be sharper, but let’s pretend he’s picked up a thing or two from his many action movies.

He finally shows himself to her, assuming she’s gone through all this trouble to drool over her hero, and warns her to back off or be forever banned from his concerts. Myung-wol finally speaks, and in Korean no less, advising him to sign the damn autograph in 5 seconds or have it taken by force. Ha, now there’s a scene I’d like to see.

Kang-woo concedes, agreeing to give her the signature, but pauses to tie her loosened shoelace, calling it an act of fanservice. After all, she’s the crazed fan who went to such lengths to see him — and what exactly has her so enraptured?, he wonders. “My handsome face? My voice? My manners?”

It’s only now that Myung-wol notices that he’s tied her shoelaces to each other, and as she fumbles with the knot, he swoops in and kisses her on the cheek.

That startles her, and he explains that the kiss far outweighs an autograph — so she can take this memory, cherish it, and quit following him.

Myung-wol happens to see Kang-woo as he’s leaving the hotel that night, on his way to a formal event. She follows him there, then gains entrée by offering her valet services to one partygoer…and availing the woman of her gown and mask. Ha. There’s that fatal-flaw doggedness rearing its head again; she’s like a dog with a bone. Sure, it’s just an autograph, but by now it’s taken on all sorts of implications, like she can’t let this punkass star get the better of her.

At the masked party, she spots Kang-woo and follows him to the auction, where he is (unhappily) joined by In-ah, who pesters him to leave this boring event so they can go party. Once again In-ah has surprised him by showing up unannounced, even as he tells her he’s not interested. But spoiled princesses, heiress daughters, and movie starlets are nothing if not used to getting their way, and In-ah’s all three in one. She sticks around, undaunted.

Kang-woo displays a marked interest in the auction, and in particular an ancient book up for bidding. Hm, is he a mere art connoisseur, or does this piece have special meaning for him?

One thing’s for sure: It has special meaning for Ryu, who watches the bidding from a separate room and prepares to move out.

Just as the bidding escalates to $1.5 million, Myung-wol receives orders (via her earpiece) and hurries to leave, which attracts the attention of the room. She fumbles along and makes a bid to cover, although she’s saved from having to make good on the $1.8 million by Kang-woo’s bid of $2 million, which wins the book.

On her way out, she’s distracted by the sight of Kang-woo being given the book, and pauses with the intention of trying one more time for the autograph. But before she can act, Kang-woo is set upon by masked intruders, and Myung-wol acts instinctively to fight them off.

The leader entangles her with his whip and goes after the book in Kang-woo’s hand, but Myung-wol — not registering that this is Ryu — throws a dagger into his hand, then makes her own escape.

Back in Pyongyang, she’s reprimanded by Ryu for ignoring orders, and put on probation. Worse yet, he bars her from applying to his special forces squad, which shakes her.

A flashback reveals the source of her desire to be a part of that unit, because her doting father — now dead — had been one of their agents. With his memory weighing on her mind, Myung-wol appeals to Ryu again, asking for one more chance. It appears they’re better acquainted than they’d seemed at first glance, although they are strictly professional in all their interactions, because Ryu understands her private reason for being a special forces agent. He is, however, unmoved by her plea, being highly principled.

It’s now that Myung-wol notices Ryu’s bandaged hand, then sees the book on his desk with photos of the book at auction. Realizing now that Ryu’s secret mission-within-a-mission had been to steal that book from Kang-woo, Myung-wol feels the responsibility for thwarting that mission. Deciding that she’ll take care to right her own wrongs, she vows to settle this matter.

She takes a leave of absence from work and sails in to Incheon Harbor in the South to begin her own private mission. It’s like she’s gone rogue, only it’s to help her unit, rather than defy it.

Tracking down Kang-woo’s fairly easy — he holds a press conference to promote his upcoming drama series, Assassin, which is the same series that got those North Korean fans arrested. Aw, could you imagine your biggest drama crushes leading to jail time? And here I thought the addiction did enough damage to our priorities and sanities.

Getting access is slightly trickier, but not impossible. Myung-wol manages by dressing herself as a high school student, stealing a ticket from a fangirl, and slipping into the press conference. Ha. Poor fangirl.

Myung-wol bides her time through the preview screening and the shoot, with the attendees allowed to watch the open set as Kang-woo and In-ah film a chase/explosion scene.

Kang-woo’s professionalism rears its ugly head, though, which drags down the mood of the shoot as he objects to the flashy emptiness of the material. HAHA. Which is hilarious, given the irony of the meta statement. But Kang-woo’s one pretty boy who wants to be taken seriously, and accordingly takes his work super-seriously, even humorlessly. His agency president tries to reason with him, saying that the reason they’re so rushed is because he dragged his feet to sign the contract.

After In-ah flubs a take, they call a ten-minute break and usher away the fans off the moody set to give Kang-woo some space alone. Myung-wol hangs back, her eyes widening in shock to see that the dangerous conditions of the set — gas lines, pipes, sparks — are about to set it ablaze, literally.

With barely a second to spare, she throws herself at Kang-woo (rawr!) and knocks him clear of the blast. The noise brings everyone racing to the set, but Myung-wol dashes off set before witnesses get a good look at her, leaving Kang-woo wondering about her identity. (Hee, it’s like the Little Mermaid! The Disney version, I mean, with Eric. HA.)

Kang-woo asks his team to find her, but she’s disappeared. Kind of. As they drive away from the filming location, the driver screeches to avoid hitting someone — Myung-wol, woozy from the explosion, who collapses.

The news is abuzz with reports of the mysterious high school student who saved Kang-woo’s life, all wondering who she could be and why she disappeared.

The news even travels as far as the Pyongyang officials, who see the hazy shots of the accident site and the barely-discernible schoolgirl as she runs away. They have their suspicions that this is Myung-wol, since the facts fit, and the general orders Ryu to confirm her identity asap.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Seoul in a run-down investigative agency, two men watch the news reports of the explosion and puzzle over the girl’s identity. Well, it’s really DAE-KANG (Lee Kyun) who’s interested, while the elder man, HEE-BOK, is less so.

Dae-kang is riveted at the idea that finding the schoolgirl heroine would net them a huge cash reward, since Kang-woo will surely shower his savior richly, right?

Hee-bok, on the other hand, dismisses him with a grunt and settles down to his nightly activity: listening to a midnight radio show. The DJ relates a story sent in by a caller about a missing grandmother, and immediately Hee-bok recognizes something odd about the message — it’s coded.

Reaching for his decoding kit, he gets to work unraveling the hidden message in the story. And when he’s done, simple words like Grandma, dementia, and dinner become Secret Agent Target Star Infiltration Report, capped off with the name Han Myung-wol. Ooh, an undercover spy?

After being picked up by Kang-woo’s entourage, Myung-wol is taken to the hospital and undergoes surgery. When she’s in recovery, Kang-woo hovers over her bed and calls for a nurse — only to find that the hallway is lousy with reporters, who spot him down the corridor and hurry toward him.

Kang-woo hurries back into the room and calls his team for backup, leaving his managers to try to block the persistent paparazzi. They force their way into the room anyway — but turn away in disappointment when they find it empty. Well, of Kang-woo — the nobody patient is of no interest to them.

It’s the commotion that stirs Myung-wol out of her sleep, and as she opens her eyes, she slowly takes in her unfamiliar surroundings…registering the hospital bed…and sensing a troubling presence nearby.

Hesitantly, she lifts up the bedsheet, and finds Kang-woo looking up at her, motioning for her to remain quiet.

Myung-wol opens her eyes in alarm, just as he claps a hand over her mouth. Shh! Don’t alert the others!


What works for me is the drama’s tone, which is solidly comedic and fast-paced, but not too broad or slapstick. It has a stylish campiness that tells us it knows exactly what it is, and doesn’t try to be too serious, or too badass. Its flair is more along the lines of those older Bond movies rather than the harder-edged new ones, without going too far into Charlie’s Angels territory. It’s campy, but not a spoof. Fun and energetic, like Level 7 Civil Servant. Or True Lies.

I anticipate it’ll get even wackier once the premise is fully established tomorrow [SPOILERY] and Myung-wol is ordered to off, then marry Kang-woo. Plus, we’ll have to wonder how long it’ll take Kang-woo to piece together his multiple encounters with her to realize they’re all the same person.

Eric is pretty much perfect casting for this drama — it’s like the role was written expressly for him, taking into account his idol background, his acting transition, his star status. I don’t know that they could’ve picked a more suitable actor, because he’s essentially playing a version of himself, albeit one with enough differences from his real-life persona to give us an extra layer of fun in laughing about the meta. (Case in point: I kind of enjoy how uptight Kang-woo seems, especially about his career, given what we know about Eric’s wacky 4-D tendencies. Plus, it’s that much more amusing to hear him lecture about the substance of his movies when, well, substance hasn’t exactly been the thing to make either star — Kang-woo or Eric — the celeb that he is.)

Han Ye-seul seems to be one of those polarizing actresses who is pretty popular but who attracts a lot of derision as well. I wouldn’t call myself a fan, exactly, but she’s definitely grown on me over the years, depending on the role. I do think she’s someone who needs to pick carefully, and does well with more exaggerated characters. Like Anna in Fantasy Couple, and Myung-wol here. For now, I’m fine with the casting — she suits the character, with this mix of badass spy skills and a bit of sheltered naivete. Plus, to be shallow, she and Eric are just gorgeous. Individually, and together.

I feel hopeful that Myung-wol the Spy will be refreshing summer fun. It’s got bright pep and a lovely look, with a plot that suggests lots of fun twists — perchance not supported by the strongest real-world logic, but which are buoyed by its own internal logic.

Which brings me to this clarification: We talk about “logic” a lot around these here parts — but what we mean isn’t that the drama’s plot points must exist in the real world, or even be feasible in it. (That would single-handedly strike out all fusion sageuks, superhero stories, and cross-dressing romances with a single blow.) Rather, the plot has to make sense within the world that the drama has created, and not contradict itself or go all haphazard with plot contrivances and shortcuts when it runs low on ideas.

If Myung-wol the Spy can stay true to its upbeat, lively spirit and keep delivering lots of hijinks — and, to be shallow again, the shirtless Eric shots! — I’ll be happy.


138 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. sandra

    yay recap is here!!!

    • 1.1 sandra

      omg…I AM FIRST!!!! sorry but it does feel good being first

  2. Uca

    It looks promising! 🙂 The one of dramas I’ve been looking forward so far after A Thousand Kisses. hehe
    but, I’m kinda confused who’s the real leading man in here. Is it Eric?

  3. Arhazivory


    Ok…I skimmed through JB’s comments. lol. So excited.

    Thanks for the recap. 😀

    • 3.1 Joanne

      I’ve long since given up restraining self from reading recaps…they’re just too much fun! 🙂

      • 3.1.1 skelly

        Hrm. Quite a few times, they are more fun than the drama…

        • watchingvsreading

          Agreed. But I do feel like I lose out on the experience/excitement of just watching things unfold on their own.

  4. samsooki

    Woo HOO!

    Go ERIC!

  5. ck1Oz

    Thank you just loving it.

    One thing I love more…fast subs.It’s now at 96% woo hoo thank god for Ericlovesme. Guess who she is a fan of with a handle like that 🙂

    • 5.1 Arhazivory

      Viki is doing this one as well? I didn’t find a channel for it.

      • 5.1.1 ck1Oz

        It’s called Beautiful Spy.

        • Pikachu

          link please

        • ck1Oz

          Darn it I logged out and it looks like it’s hidden.

          However don’t quote me but I am pretty sure it will have softsubs.At least according to the viki grapevine.

          • Arhazivory

            lol yeah…I get ‘Oh noes! It’s gone’.

            Thanks for the intel though ck. ^_^

    • 5.2 sandra

      oh where do you watch it? i really want to but there’s no site with it yet…

      • 5.2.1 Celexa

        I watched it on DramaFever… it’s available to premium *paid* members.

        • Jo

          its available to everyone in usa and canada.

    • 5.3 rin6

      yey!!! i’ve been refreshing this site hahaha and finally!!!
      whoohoo~ its so fun, i love this 1st episode..

      the character really suit Eric..it’s just him! i’m LOL-ing when KW lecturing MW..thats really Eric! *remind me of Eric in twitter..lecturing his fans* LOL

      thank you so much javabean for the recaps~ i’m looking forward for more in the next episode 🙂

    • 5.4 Fall

      where are the subs? i tried watching it RAW and gave up, can’t understand much

  6. tegami

    Yay! Another Han Ye-seul drama! Thanks javabeans for the recap…I wish I could give you a cake for all the hard work you and everyone at dramabeans does.

  7. cflh

    i had to squeal when i looked at the IN PROGRESS part down below…you will be recapping two more dramas!!

    aw yeah!! u guys rock!!

  8. czak

    while Myung-wol the Spy makes JB giggle, for all the right reasons: It’s funny, it’s flashy, it looks good, and it’s entertaining.

    JB make me me giggle, for all the right reasons: she recapped Myung-wol the Spy which is funny, flashy, looks good, and entertaining.

    I love you JB!!!

  9. Ani

    Okay, so I never ever thought Eric was cute. He never had real appeal for me and I always wondered why he was one of the more popular member of Shinhwa. I loved the other boys more because I loved how talkative they’d be on variety shows and sadly I missed on on the parts where Eric may have shown his funny side. But this drama, just from the stills above, make him look really hot. Maybe it’s his hair or maybe his face matured while he was in the military. Whatever the case, I think he looks uber hot in this series. And yay for HYS!!!! Fighting~

    • 9.1 Kasie J.

      You should see him in Que Sera Sera. Ohmygoodness, that was THE DRAMA that made me just go gaga over him. He was so hot and intense in that drama. *drools*

      • 9.1.1 popa

        he was pure hawtness in QSS 🙂

    • 9.2 grany

      To be fan-girl honest, I am watching the show to find Eric hahaha..

      When I initially know SHINWHA, Eric was the last on my list too hahaha..(he can be sooo distance and quiet in reality show) but he can be cute and funny too, especially when he interact with the fellow members.

      Eric and Hyesung singing Banana (crack the hell out of me)

      The show is very promising..I adore Eric, yet I wanna see how much he’ll go this time. He’d done such a great job in Que Sera Sera. With different tone of drama, I wish he can show more than a funny cute acting here.

      Eric fighting!!

  10. 10 hookedonmonix

    Thanks for defining logic how you use it in reference to drama. There are definitely people who interpret it as “just like real life.”

    I’m excited to watch this one!

  11. 11 Kasie J.

    Haha, Secret Garden cameo by Kim Sung Oh made my day! Cute secretary acting all serious, yo. 🙂

    I can’t wait for tomorrow’s episode. And it must be a testament to how many dramas I’ve watched because a shower scene with Eric didn’t even faze me. I mean, I was staring but it didn’t really startle me. My brain probably knew it had to be coming sometime. XD

    • 11.1 Kasie J.

      Also, can I add how much I love that both main leads can speak English pretty well? I mean, it’s really really really awesome! I always feel so awkward when Korean actors speak English and act as though it’s absolutely perfect…like in Secret Garden.

      • 11.1.1 Ani

        Han Ye-seul can speak English, not so sure about Eric. Even jb herself once said that back in her Shinhwa-fan-girl days she used to cringe when Eric rapped in Engrish. Has he improved? From clips on youtube, the best I can grasp is that Eric speaks decent English: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwB4I7X-6qI

        • Ani

          Decent compared to HYS I mean.

          • Laura

            Eric is american. He went in korea at 17 years.

      • 11.1.2 popa

        I like to call this the awkward-English-moment.

        In fact I dont have a problem with people having problems when it comes to english (and english pronounciation for that matter)

        [because Im not a native speaker either and I cant get rid of that ridiculous German accent…. *damn you high school English* I mean. Seriously. Not even a sexy French accent. its just an super weird-German accent]

        – but acting like its super professional oxford english and not even cringe….wow. thats hardcore.

        • cmrprindle

          German accents are lovely in English! I had a German seat-mate when I used to commute to work and I liked hearing her speak. It was kinda faint, but I met up with a German family last fall where the mom didn’t speak English as well as the Dad, and the kids barely at all, and the sound of it was great!

          • dork kim

            I recalled Eric spoke terrible English in Firebird. He must have stayed in K-town all his years in America and not ventured out to see the world. P.S. Lee Seo Jin, also in Firebird, spoke bad English, and he has an MBA from the University of New York.

      • 11.1.3 Sayuri

        It’s even worse when they try to speak french. French is my first language and I swear, sometimes I have no idea what they’re saying!

      • 11.1.4 tinyviolin

        Oh, I know! Even the prosecutor in City Hunter had me cringe when he spoke English with the supposed “American” businessman, whose rhythm was good, but I couldn’t understand half of what he said, either.

        I think this happens a lot when you become semi-fluent in another language (I know I’ve done it): you talk too fast because you’ve got the rhythm down, but your pronunciation is still not up to par.

        The problem happens when you don’t recognize this and think you’re super awesome at the language, then get offended when people genuinely have trouble understanding. People are especially sensitive about their English skills, I think, because it’s “the” language to know, and know well, if you’re an educated person. Like French used to be, I guess.

        Or maybe I’m just more aware of it, because English is my native tongue.

        I think Eric and Han Ye-Seul speak some pretty brilliant English in this episode and I appreciate it! Hooray!!

        Also! I laughed hysterically at the ~ German? Russian??~ woman whose clothes Myung Wol stole at the masked party. So good.

        • tinyviolin

          Also. I love how they have Western actors who are either native English speakers, or people with flawless accents, instead of obviously Eastern European people pretending to speak English, like, all the time at home in Estonia, yo.

          Even “Best Love” had that. It makes little or no difference to Koreans, likely, but it drives me nuts.

          So, good on you, Drama! I’ll be stalking on you now. 😛

          (…and I get that people communicate in English even when it’s the native language of neither party, but that not the intention I’ve gotten from the use of Western actors in dramas ~ instead, they’re supposed to be American.)

    • 11.2 Cabbage

      I think Song Seung-heon has ruined all other showers scenes for me…

  12. 12 Noelle

    YES!!! I can’t wait to watch this.

  13. 13 Molly

    Sounds like just the thing to balance the intensity of City Hunter! Thanks for the recap; I’m looking forward to this.

  14. 14 bananamilk

    lol this recap totally made my day! can’t stop smiling when reading this haha. eric is lookin’ fiiinnneee ^_^ thanks javabeans for the recap!!!!

  15. 15 SherYah

    Thanks JB for the recap!!

    Ericccc… swoonnnn…

  16. 16 Niki

    Love the summary JB. And it’s ironic how the tables are turned….in the Disney version of the Little Mermaid…the prince was named Eric as well. XD

    Aaahh…i miss seeing my hubby in action! i want to see that 4-D personality of his again; that totally random, childish and hilarious to boot antics. Welcome back, Eric!

    • 16.1 Saima

      ok, it may be my ignorance but what’s a 4-D personality?!!

      • 16.1.1 JiHwan

        It’s when you’re wacky, strange and eccentric in a good way.

        • mandelbrotr

          thanks, I was wondering too

  17. 17 HeadsNo2

    Does anyone know of a place to watch this with English subtitles? Viking or DramaFever hasn’t picked it up yet… Thanks so much.

    Love this recap.. Was already looking forward to the show but now I can’t wait now that it has the JB seal of approval.

    • 17.1 love 49

      check kimchi.net or dramacrazy…both are my fav site for kdrama’s

    • 17.2 zgznoona

      I believe dramafever will star tomorrow

  18. 18 dare

    thanks for the recaps.

    yes this drama definitely looks promising. all the encounters between eric and Han Ye-seul have been very funny!

  19. 19 snow

    am glad the drama is off to a good start! i’ve always liked eric and han ye seul seems pretty suited for this kind of wacky role, so hoping the drama keeps getting better!

  20. 20 samsooki

    Sigh, Han Ye-seul…. 탈락.

  21. 21 zashi

    I am so happy Eric is back and it looks like a good one! I hope this one will be a keeper.

  22. 22 dare

    i wonder what the other shinhwa members think when they see eric in this drama? lol

    off topic, but i miss shinhwa, can’t wait till they all get together again

    • 22.1 rin6

      off topic but if you wanna know the members’ reaction, you should see this lol


      Eric said that the members only care about yeseul and hee jin but not him lol

      • 22.1.1 Zain

        lol that is so funny. Poor eric not having his members support.

        • rin6

          LOL they did it on purpose..but of course, in the other side we know the members supporting him..because they did watch the drama ^^

      • 22.1.2 Niki

        No matter what they say, “the water” is attracted to “the oil” and vice versa as shown through their convo. XD

    • 22.2 shinhard

      oh yeah, watching Eric totally made me miss Shinhwa! oh the good old days

  23. 23 love 49

    i think i’ll watch this….

  24. 24 Ace

    I was waiting for your recaps before watching this. Well, I’m actually waiting till episode 4 if it continues to be better before I watch this. (I’m still disillusioned from a previous Mon-Tue drama that went downhill after the first week so I’m overly cautious).

    Anyway, thanks! Off to read now…

  25. 25 Daniela

    Aww, I really wanted to watch this episode today, but I dont have subtitles :(. But I loved your recap! Thank you! I wasn’t expecting the tone, so inclined to comedy, but Im not complaining either.
    I saw a couple of scenes (the little dance that he made after he tied her shoes was glorious) and I liked it. It looks like the dramas I put on pause, will continue on it.

  26. 26 samsooki

    HYS’s English is about as good as any Korean actress I’ve seen.

    Is she from America?

    • 26.1 hmm

      Yes, she’s Korean American.

      • 26.1.1 samsooki

        Makes me so envious.

        If I had a choice between near perfect fluency in Korean and English, or a million dollars, I’d choose the fluency.

    • 26.2 Zain

      It says that she was born and raised in LA, California in wiki.

    • 26.3 liz

      According to wikipedia, she was born and raised in California. She even went to high school and college in the States, which surprises me because her Korean is more fluent than her English…

      • 26.3.1 liz

        Oh, and my friends have spotted her in Rowland Heights. Guessing she has family there?

  27. 27 Pyoungsang

    I don’t know… it’s kinda a mixed bag. One, it’s a rather easy part for Eric to play… a Hallyu star who’s in a boy band and a TV star??? How hard can that be to play for him? To be honest, it’s kind of hard to buy Han Ye-seul as a North Korean spy. I’m a bit confused as well… is she supposed to be a totally inept spy or is she just a badly written character? It also seem that she was not severely punished after the failed mission in Singapore. I not sure to laugh or sympathize at times. Not that great to be honest. It’s well shot at all but it doesn’t really grab the audience. I might give a couple more episodes a shot but I honestly don’t give this show much of a chance.

    • 27.1 L

      Her mission was supposed to be a secret since she was accompanying the general (?)’s daughter to see Kang Woo which is a big no no.. that’s why she didn’t get punished.

  28. 28 missjb

    I LOVE the first episode.. This is what I was expect from Myung wol The spy … Can’t wait to wtach next episode, thx JB!

  29. 29 samsooki

    Hehe, just finished Ep 1. SLICK SLICK SLICK.

    The production values are through the roof. Is this the future of K-dramas or did they blow the entire budget on just ep 1…

    • 29.1 birdscout

      Long time no see (or read, to be more accurate), samsooki!
      (Still enjoy re-reading your fabulous City Hall recaps every once in a while.)

      • 29.1.1 samsooki

        Thanks for the compliment. Who knows, I might have another turn at the wheel….

  30. 30 kirara

    Thanks for the recap, been waiting for this! but I think I might just wait till ep 2 airs and then watch in all one swoop.. in the meantime.. I can stare at pictures! 🙂

  31. 31 tomboy26

    Oh Lee Jin-wook .. I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for him because my first k-drama starred him so this is a must watch for me.

    And I do agree, more shirtless Eric scenes please 😀

  32. 32 hmm

    I wonder where they filmed the streets of Pyongyang. It really looks like they filmed it there.

  33. 33 laya

    Yay! Thanks for the recap!

  34. 34 nixxochick

    I’ll watch anything Eric is in, I am completely biased to anything he does, but besides my bias this drama looks super promising 🙂

    • 34.1 Ironethel


  35. 35 Fanny

    OH YAY! This one seems fun! Definitely going to give it a try. Thanks JB 😀

  36. 36 samgetang

    Javabeans, thanks for recapping this kdrama!

    I did not plan to watch this but when you said that the SKKS director is the one on the helm of this kdrama, my interest was understandably piqued. (I miss SKKS!)

    Is SLICK going to be the future of rom-com kdramas after City Hunter?

    It looks like it.

    And now, I’m off to watch….

  37. 37 Stephanie

    Hehe I can’t wait to watch it and see how much 15h of work amounts to.

  38. 38 Zain

    I am so happy ur recapping this drama. I loved Eric in Que Sera Sera. He may not be the best actor but he was intense in that drama. His 4D personality is hilarious. He posted pictures of himself in a golf bag. I mean who does that? lol. I am happy that this seems like a fun drama because the plot seems so wacky but hilarious. Can’t wait to Watch it. Thanks JB and i love Bobby Kim’s voice.

  39. 39 sosoxrah

    LOL at the Little Mermaid reference! Just watched it today, and I’m enjoying the story and characters. I like how they didn’t make Eric all shallow and dumb. I can definitely see that Kang-woo’s smarter than what he portrays as a superstar, which offers so much more room to heighten the complexity of the storyline. I think Han Ye-seul fits this particular drama in that she has an aura of sadness and yet can show that she’s determined. I love that she’s naive bc she can learn from her mistakes and develop as this drama progresses. I just hope they are successful in actually developing her character. And finally, we’ve got two actors whose English doesn’t totally suck and make me cringe when they open their mouths! They still sound a bit awkward in terms of their acting in English, but I’ll take that anytime over Korean actors trying to pass off as so-called fluent English speakers w/ the worst accents! I can’t wait until we can see more of Ryu’s feelings for Myung-wol and how he presents them to her. Looking forward to the next episodes! Let the marriage begin!!

  40. 40 Angelina

    Can’t wait to watch this…cos it’s my country (Singapore) LOL!!

  41. 41 pepermint.tea

    yaaayyy!!! thanks db!!! I cant wait to watch eric oppa on screen again!!

  42. 42 f1yh1gh10

    omg omg! my grandmother used to teach eric the piano when he was very young! 😮 i used to not believe her, but gah! 😀 she says he kind of looked mexican when he was little because he had these long eyelashes and very dark skin ! lol my grandma… her descriptions.. she saw him on tv, and she pointed him out to all of us! i was like..you’re kiddin..right? this hottie? haha

    i like this drama already! 🙂

    • 42.1 Kiara

      He does look Mexican hehe.

  43. 43 marj

    WOoot!!! Here goes the influence of Little Mermaid again..First it was My Girlfriend is a Gumiho what with Miho being a non-human entity in love with human Daewoong…then second it was Secret Garden and now this…woah..the Little Mermaid really has deep roots in Kdramaland

    • 43.1 Cynthia

      BOF, too.
      (Ji-Hoo & JanDi down on the banks of the Han where he describes her as an “otter”.)

  44. 44 mrskimchee

    Thanks jb!!! i didn’t know you’re going to recap this drama…yayy!!! can’t wait to watch this with sub..

  45. 45 lover

    I hv not watch it yet…but i can’t help myself from reading your recap!!
    i swear i must watch it tonight!!!
    hope that the rating will go up tonight!!!
    eric first drama after his return from army~~~

  46. 46 rukiaichigo

    kyaaaaaaaaaaa ~ thanks for the recaps… i really love this drama. well, firstly it is because Eric! but then, the storyline also is really interesting. can’t wait for 2nd episode tonight!!

  47. 47 almontel

    Thanks for the recap!!!

    so far I like it…and they’re very nice looking couple to watch!

    i’d like to see more…hopefully tomorrow’s ep will be as hilarious as this one?!

  48. 48 appie

    Oh.my.god, I’m restraining myself from reading the recap but can’t wait for subs ;-;

  49. 49 azulGirl

    I’m gonna love this….

  50. 50 Phi

    thanks for the quick recap JB.
    Watching without sub, I thought this epi was a little jumpy from scenes to scenes, specially from in the 1st half. So reading your recap make the plot clearer, specially Myungwol’s mission(s).

    I wonder if getting/stealing the ancient book (which Kangwoo won the auction) is Choi Ryu’s personal interest or it’s one of his missions from the North. It said that’s a series of 4 books but the other 3 disappear…. don’t know why but I have a feeling THIS book or the series of the books will come to play at later episodes….

    So far I am loving the drama. Fast pace (a little too fast for me in the 1st half of the epi), great looking cast and the clear English dialogs from Yeseul & Eric are great bonus, specially for me who depends on sub 😀

    Hope to see more meaty share of Jang Hee Jin… so far her character is the weak link in this episode. I am getting addicted to Bobby Kim’s Scared of Love here….

    LUV the chemistry between Yeseul & Eric already, specially the little mermaid save her prince scene + the under blankie scene + the shoes tying scene (gotta love that little dance when Eric walks away hahaha)

    Last but not lease, bravo to JB for bringing perspective to ‘the logic’ when it comes to drama/movie world. As it crazy as it may sound, as long as it chives well within the context of the drama/movie, that’s all that matters.

    Can’t wait for Ep.02!!!!

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