What a great week for High Kick 3. If they keep pouring out the humor as well as addressing some realistic issues like they did with these episodes – count me in. We skim the surface of some deep-seeded troubles our characters are faced with and served some light-hearted funny that keeps this week engaging, quick, and enjoyable.
SONG OF THE DAY
High Kick 3 – “엔딩송 (목소리)” Ending Song by cast member Lee Juck. [ Download ]
EPISODE 5 WEECAP
The rest of the Ahn family follow Nae-sang into the underground space, which turns out to be an old make-shift tunnel that dates back to the Korean War. Safely hidden, Kye-sang chases out the rest of the debt collecting ruffians out the door.
The next morning, Jin-hee thanks them for the previous night and Ha-sun asks after her situation. After hearing that she doesn’t have a place to stay, Ha-sun mentions that though she’d like to help, she can’t give the okay to let her stay, since the property technically belongs to her cousin, Ji-won.
At school, Ji-won is sent to go retrieve a rogue ball that goes flying over the fence in gym class and spots a lost little boy in the middle of a busy street, crying. Her attempts to calm him down makes the poor kid cry even harder until Kye-sang walks up to them, greeting the boy in adorable jondaemal (formal language). He gives the boy a root to suck on and takes his hand to go find his mother.
Kye-sang notices Ji-won’s gym uniform and sends her back to school, but she insists on seeing the boy reunited with his mother before returning to class. The reunion of mom and child triggers a lingering memory of Ji-won crying for her father.
In her haste, she forgets the ball she was to recover, and Kye-sang tracks her down from across the street. He teases that he has a strong arm, especially useful for dodgeball. She challenges him to give it his best shot, and he scribbles a playful smiley before fireball shooting it straight for her stomach. Oof.
The gangsters pay another unannounced visit to the house which entraps the family inside the tunnel all day. Because the space is so humid and uncomfortable, Nae-sang comes up with an idea: they’ll dig an escape route in case the loan sharks come for them again. He’s reluctant to drill it himself (he’s got a rare blood type), so the others take turns drilling through the tunnel until he’s finally forced to by Yoo-sun.
Scammed out of the deposit money, Ji-won allows Julien to stay with them for the time being, and Julien agrees to keep the living arrangements a secret from the school.
The problem is Jin-hee, who returns after roaming around the city all day, chased out of the gosiwon and even shoved out of a spot by a homeless man at the train station. She pleads that she has nowhere else to go to, and asks if they can house her for a few more days. She promises that she’ll remain hidden like a ghost. Poor girl.
Lee Juck narrates that this is indeed how she lives – clinging to the wall to avoid running into anyone, disappearing after making a noise in the kitchen. She even waits for Julien to leave before doing her business. Little does she know that Nae-sang is busy below ground, drilling his way up.
A loud crash calls everyone’s attention to the bathroom where Jin-hee painfully squeaks that something drilled into her bottom. Then, Nae-sang peeks his head through the crumbled toilet bowl.
EPISODE 6 WEECAP
Ji-seok flies off the handle when he hears that Nae-sang has brought upon more trouble for the family, with the neighbor’s damaged bathroom and sending a girl to the ER. Nae-sang takes the brunt of the rage in silence but sets his foot down when Kye-sang offers to pay for the damages: He’ll take care of the situation in any way possible.
Nae-sang gathers the family for a team pow-wow and draws up a plan with three objectives: (1) Offer to repair the bathroom in lieu of paying for the damages (2) Check on the severity of Jin-hee’s wound and have her treated by
Dr. Piljoo Kye-sang (3) Convince fake Kim Tae-hee, aka Ji-won, to keep the tunnel in place. Each family member tag-teams with one of the neighbors (apart from Soo-jung, who skips out for a date with Julien) and it’s moderately successful, except for Ji-won who rejects the proposal for keeping the tunnel open.
But a simple no doesn’t deter Nae-sang from trying again, this time with a fancy schmancy powerpoint presentation. His tunnel proposal to the ladies are simple: (1) They can feel free to come over to use their bathroom at any time, (2) The men can come in to save them from burglars and other break-ins (3) They’ll save money by utilizing one bathroom. Alas, the dramatic music and flashy side-effects prove futile and Ji-won vetoes the idea.
That night, Ji-won reflects on the chance encounters with Kye-sang earlier that day and she grows curious to explore the tunnel. She runs into Kye-sang on his way to treat Jin-hee, and is pleasantly surprised to hear that he lives next door. Yes, I’d love for my budding crush to be the boy next door!
The next morning, Nae-sang receives a call from Ji-won saying that she’s changed her mind – they can keep the tunnel. Thinking that the presentation did the trick, he rubs in his accomplishment to Kye-sang, that he should tell little bro-in-law that he can take care of situations himself.
A ball rolls to Ji-won’s feet at school, and the same playful grin from the other day greets her back. She tucks her Wilson safe in her locker and happily heads out to class.
EPISODE 7 WEECAP
Project Repair Bathroom turns out to be an overwhelming undertaking and Nae-sang nearly finds himself buried alive when the tunnel collapses, creating a temporary block between the houses.
Given the loan sharks’ constant unannounced visits, (especially after a close-call with Nae-sang running out of the shower) Nae-sang proposes that they implement a fail-proof evacuation drill: If a thug appears, the person will yell, “Yoon Jong-shin” twice (when asked, Nae-sang explains that one of them resembles singer Yoon Jong-shin, heh) and hit the gong. The rest of the family will hear at least one of these signals to hide underground.
Drill Sergeant Nae-sang runs them through the routine over and over again until they (literally) can do it in their sleep – Ji-seok arrives late one night and hits the gong and the Ahn family rush to the tunnel still in their pajamas.
All their practice goes to hell when the gang actually shows up at their door. Yoo-sun mixes up the code name and the others hide, but poor Nae-sang is stuck on the john, the thugs zeroed in on his position, waiting for him on the other side of the door. Thankfully, Ji-seok arrives and threatens to call the cops on their uninvited guests. The empty threat falls flat on them but they reluctantly leave an obviously shaken-up Nae-sang in their wake.
Meanwhile, Kye-sang drops by to treat immobilized Jin-hee, who is embarrassed to let him examine her. He says cheerfully that he’s a physician and be it butts or arms, they’re all the same. It gets less awkward after some time but she’s left mortified when she forgets to cover herself up afterward. Cute doctor + awkward moment = humiliation.
Things are looking up because Jin-hee receives a call from a college unni who works at a small broadcasting company and scores her an intern position. She heads out the following morning and slowly limps her way to work. Everyone else rushes past her and a grandmother trots past with her walker. Hee.
As per Kye-sang’s orders, she’s clear to walk but not from sitting down to prevent tearing the healing muscle. The staff meeting, however, runs longer than usual and Jin-hee hovers over her seat, enduring each painful moment through her teeth.
She clears out of the office early and heads straight for the hospital, the mortifying moment with Kye-sang still fresh in her memory. In the middle of her examination, he happens to drops by to visit Lee Juck. A quick glance to the table, he recognizes Jin-hee immediately and the nurse asks the question we’re all thinking, “You identify a patient just by looking at their bottom?” Awk.ward.
Kye-sang isn’t offended that she went to the hospital but notes that the wound seems to have gotten worse.
Back at home, Nae-sang slips into full paranoia, fearful that the debt collectors will be back for him at any moment. Each night he moves to a spot closer and closer to the tunnel until he practically lives in it, his wife bringing him food in a tray like in prison.
EPISODE 8 WEECAP
Yoo-sun worries about the kids being unable to attend school and suggest that they finish school around the area. Both brother and sister are against the idea: Soo-jung still wants to return to L.A. and Jong-seok is in his senior year of high school.
Mom knows that the real reason is that Jong-seok still misses his hockey team and asks Ji-seok to convince him to attend the school here. So the two go out for a jog and Ji-seok gruffly explains to Jong-seok that there’s no future for him in hockey. Given their current financial strain, his dad can’t support him should he continue. But Jong-seok has heard enough and speeds ahead, with Ji-seok calling after him out of breath.
The stress and paranoia is enough for Nae-sang to worry about the possibility of stomach ulcers and consults Kye-sang about his health concerns. He suggests that his brother-in-law get an endoscopy performed and if it turns out to be serious, he’ll go under the knife. He says all of this in a wide smile which annoys Nae-sang into asking him how could he say all of this so cheerily. He simply responds that it’s better than telling Nae-sang with tears in his eyes. Hah.
His fear concerning surgery triggers nightmares about incompetent doctors who let him die because they don’t have enough of his rare blood type. I’m sure you’ve got some O negative lying around in dream world, right? Or conjure it up? But I digress.
Soo-jung and Julien’s chummy relationship is another wrinkle in his forehead (it doesn’t help that Julien refers to him as ‘Mole Man’ because of their first encounter via a toilet bowl). He snaps at Julien whenever he comes over, but overhears that he and Julien share the same rare blood type. You can imagine the lightbulb going off in his head – Julien can step in for an immediate blood tranfusion
Begin Operation Bromance as Nae-sang nuzzles up to Julien, spending every waking moment together for the next day. Julien confides in Nae-sang that he appreciates his friendship – it’s been lonely for him since he arrived in Korea. He even thinks that he and Nae-sang can be BFFLs. So Cute.
Seeing exhausted Nae-sang (fake bromances can wear a guy out!) spurs Jong-seok to visit his old hockey team and greets his coach who invites him to tag along to their scrimmage that day. Jong-seok decides to suit up and play just as sincerely as he would in any other match. With a final snapshot, he closes the chapter of his hockey career.
Julien accompanies his BFFL to his endoscopy and jokes that he hopes that Nae-sang didn’t bring him here just to use his blood. Nae-sung assures him that isn’t the case (but tells the doc he brought him for that very reason). Oh innocent, dense Julien.
Once drunk on anesthesia, Nae-sang mumbles that the doctors have to drain every drop of Julien’s rare negative AB blood, much to Julien’s horror. The endoscopy is successful but as Julien leaves first, he trips and falls down the stairs…
Cut to Nae-sang waking up with a needle stuck in his arm. He’s confused – wasn’t he finished? The nurse quickly explains that Julien’s been injured and they need his rare blood type – stat. Karma’s a bitch, ain’t it?
Back at home, Nae-sang returns to his old mean streak towards Julien who regards him as his life savior. They’re not BFFLs anymore?!
EPISODE 9 WEECAP
Yoo-sun compiles her shopping list at home and pauses when she notes to buy tampons. Come to think of it, her period hasn’t come in a while. She couldn’t be…?
The doctor tells Yoo-sun that though she’s not pregnant, her body has entered the initial stages of menopause. She’s baffled at the news: she’s too young at 46, and the doctor continues that extreme stress can set off menopause early.
The news offsets her mood for the rest of the day. She’s quiet at dinner, but Nae-sang works her temper about not buying fish at the market and she finally explodes – the news about her menopause seemed much more important than some silly fish and she leaves the dinner table in a huff.
The rest of the family comments that Nae-sang should be more considerate towards his wife and Kye-sang notes that it’s a sensitive period for his sister. If Nae-sung doesn’t support her through it, she could slip into depression.
So Nae-sang makes an extra effort for the next few days to be nice to Yoo-sun, noting how ‘considerate’ he’s being to her. She sees right through the act, but too tired to argue. While watching TV, she’s nostalgic of happier times when she would go out for a fancy dinner with her friends. Nae-sang doesn’t comment, but notes her longing sigh in the back of his head.
The transition to public school seems to be easier for Soo-jung, who’s already made friends, than for Jong-seok. He mainly concentrated on sports in his previous school, and it seems absurd to him to actually study (Korean children can apply to specialty high schools such as in music or the arts, so it’s plausible that Jong-seok attended a sports school).
He’d rather doodle on his textbooks (converting the titles to more humorous ones) than studying in class so Ji-seok is displeased to hear that his nephew is falling behind. So he temporarily places Jong-seok into Soo-jung’s class, neither happy about the arrangement.
Meanwhile, Nae-sang surprises Yoo-sun to a fancy dinner, just like she dreamed. She’s wary given that they’re strapped for cash, but he reassures her that it’s fine. He assures her that things will get better – he’s in talks about a promising business venture, so they should enjoy themselves.
A call in the middle of the dinner interrupts their short-lived happiness. Nae-sang doesn’t comment but it’s clear to both of them that it’s not good news and they eat in silence.
Later that night, Yoo-sun bids farewell to the final egg leaving her body, her future hopes with it.
Given that I haven’t watched any of the High Kick series prior to this third season, I’m super excited about High Kick 3. I’m particularly fickle when it comes to daily sitcoms because the expansive 100+ episode length alone deters me from watching in the first place. I tried to keep up with All My Love, but one missed episode quickly snowballed into 2, 4, 8, and so forth. But seeing how popular the series and its dedicated fanbase, I figured it was better late than never to jump on the bandwagon.
Last week’s wrap-up focused on some promising female actresses, so it’s time to spotlight some of the men who tend to play characters similar to previous roles. Take Yoon Kye-sang and Lee Jong-seok, for example. Kye-sang’s character is an extension of Pil-joo from Best Love, and Jong-seok, similar to Sun from Secret Garden. There are subtle differences in their portrayals here, but it’s still relatively early to draw any substantial comparisons.
Lee Jong-seok is the only rookie actor here who’s been getting the most screen time, so he’s on top of my list for grabbing an express ticket to stardom. He still strikes me as green in terms of his acting chops (probably because of his breakout role in Secret Garden) but he’s got plenty of time and potential to develop his character. His bickering relationship with Ji-won has me in a fit of giggles because he’s finally met his match and she’s not afraid of anyone, let alone him.
What I particularly enjoy about High Kick 3 so far is their approach towards relative life issues. An example of this would be the news about Yoo-sun’s menopause and how this major life transition affects not only how she sees herself but also how she interacts with other people in her family. The situations the Ahn family are faced with, be it marital, relational, financial issues are relevant and all topics we can relate to, so it adds some realism to the show. Right now, no birth secrets (please no birth secrets!) or other makjang topics have been touched upon and I hope it stays that way.
I’m waiting with great anticipation for what the High Kick 3 writers will churn out this week but if I could wish for anything – more bromances!
- High Kick 3: Episodes 1-4
- High Kick 3’s family tree, relationship chart, and lovelines
- Official posters for High Kick: Counterattack of the Short Legs
- Promo photos and poster shoots for High Kick 3
- First look at upcoming sitcom High Kick 3
- High Kick 3 cast revealed
- Producers talk about High Kick’s controversial ending
- High Kick 2 fills out its new cast
- Unstoppable High Kick