Drama Recaps
Bachelor’s Vegetable Store: Episode 1
by | December 21, 2011 | 68 Comments

Another premiere! Bachelor’s Vegetable Store, which premiered today on Channel A, is both more than I was expecting, and less.

I was hoping it would be light and heartwarming, which it is. There are some truly aww-inducing sweet relationships, with characters you can imagine yourself falling in love with, with conflicts clearly established for the future. On the other hand, there’s also a dramatic thread running through it that veers melo, in a way that works with the story but isn’t really my cup of tea.

Basically, it’s Bachelor King Tak-gu’s Vegetable Bakery. I don’t know if it’ll get as crazy-makjang as Baker King did, and perhaps it’s more like Baker King’s sweeter, calmer cousin. Or maybe it’ll expand on the hint of Makjang Things To Come and be just like it.

I’m sticking with it for now, because what Episode 1 does accomplish is getting you to care about these characters and make you eager with anticipation to see how they grow up.


Healing Me – “별볼일” (Not much) [ Download ]

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2000, Winter. In a crowded marketplace, a cabbage stand owner spies two children sweeping up fallen cabbage leaves and accuses them of stealing. The younger sister is indignant and sassy, but her older brother puts on a smile and charms the man, pointing out that the cabbage they’re taking is just going to get thrown out. The stand owner starts to drag off the kids to the police, but stops when confronted by a frazzled grandmother.

Seeing that her troublemaking grandson has been at work, she thwacks him with her cane and bemoans her fate — her daughter dead, no-good son-in-law abandoning their two children, those kids always crying about being hungry. She’s so mean to her grandkids that the bystanders murmur in sympathy, and even the cabbage man relents.

And so, the two kids walk away carrying cabbages with a spring in their steps. Ha! Grifter family! Love it.

At home, Granny checks to make sure the boy’s not hurt — not likely, since she’s sewn a layer of fluffy padding into his pants. The kids’ names: oppa HAN TAE-YANG (to be played in adulthood by Ji Chang-wook), sister HAN TAE-IN (to be played by Lee Se-young).

Tae-in is game to try her acting skills at the butcher’s tomorrow, but Tae-yang feels guilty for turning Grandma into the bad guy. He says glumly that there’s nothing he can do to provide, but Granny tells him that everybody’s capable of doing something, if you look for it.

The next morning, Cabbage Man finds Tae-yang at his stand, talking to the vegetables and standing them upright. Tae-yang cheerily explains that he’s here to express his thanks, and that the cabbages in the back take longer to sell and therefore wilt; by bringing them out and standing them up, they’ll stay fresh longer. Happy cabbages, happy customers.

A dream sequence shows us the wishful thinking of a girl, JIN JIN-SHIM (to be played later by Wang Ji-hye), who falls asleep in church: She imagines having a mother with whom to share picnic lunches and wear matching hairclips. When she wakes, we see that the mother in her dream is actually the mother to another girl, who wears the clip she’d dreamed was hers. They catch Jin-shim staring, and she rushes out of the chapel, embarrassed.

Jin-shim seeks solace in her hideaway, a beat-up old ice cream truck. Tae-yang finds her there and holds out a taste of his new batch of cabbage kimchi, made ‘specially for her. Aw, he’s adorably bashful; clearly he has a crush on her.

He and Jin-shim read comics in the car while Tae-in sleeps in the back, one small, happy makeshift family.

At school, two teachers argue over who is more deserving of financial aid, Tae-yang or Jin-shim. They mean well, but their words get overheard by a crowd of curious students, who now know that Tae-yang’s father ran away and that Jin-shim’s a penniless orphan. The kids mock them with that special brand of schoolyard cruelty, sniffing, “If you told us how horribly poor you were, we could’ve helped, you know. [smirk]”

Some boys mock the two and say they should date, since they’d make the perfect Dirt Poor Couple. They lead the crowd in chants (“Date! Date!”) and Jin-shim surprises everyone by stepping right up and planting a kiss on Tae-yang, right then and there. Jaws drop. Ha, crowd effectively shut up.

Tae-yang walks Jin-shim home carrying her schoolbag. Oh, so cute. Jin-shim tells him that she did it because she didn’t want to be remembered years later as those needy kids. Now, the kiss will be first thing they think of. Aw, see, this is how you combat pissy people in the world: Make better memories.

Adorably, Tae-yang has to get one last bit of confirmation, though: “Even still — it was because it was me, right? You kissed me because it was me, Han Tae-yang?” She smiles, he smiles, I smile.

Tae-yang goes to sleep thinking he ought to buy Jin-shim some kind of present, to commemorate their big day. When his classmate shows him the pager her oppa-boyfriend got her (when it beeps, she thinks of oppa), it gives him an idea.

Jin-shim lurks outside of a posh girl’s dress shop owned by that dream-mother, CHOI KANG-SUN (Hwang Shin-hye). Her daughter, GA-ON, catches Jin-shim loitering and invites her inside for an awkward tea party. Daughter’s kind of a brat, but Mom’s gentle and warm, and tends to her when Jin-shim cuts her hand on the cup she breaks.

Ga-on explains to Jin-shim that she’s a loner ’cause she goes to private school (Jin-shim: “It’s not because of your rude mouth?” hee). But this is something of a bonding experience, since Ga-on confirms that Jin-shim is a good student, then takes that as her cue to declare that Jin-shim will henceforth be her homework helper and playmate.

Ga-on invites Jin-shim home to play, and this time she’s friendly. Mom Kang-sun approves.

In the ensuing days, Tae-yang busily joins the ajusshis in the field harvesting vegetables to earn beeper-buying money. He wheedles his budding-actress sister into singing, attracting a crowd, then declares that Tae-in’s singing pipes come from his wondrous parsley.

Tae-yang constructs an entertaining story about the properties of the plant, charming the listeners. They don’t necessarily believe him but find him adorable. As do we all.

With the proceeds, they ponder taking the next step up the business ladder: raising chicks. Brother and sister giddily count their chickens before the eggs they will hypothetically lay have hatched, dreaming of egg-farm riches. When they’ve sold more vegetables, they can start the chick phase.

Their earning power attracts the attention of a bully, however, who blackens Tae-yang’s eye and makes off with his cash. We can see the siblings’ differing personalities in their responses to the incident: Tae-in says he was going to get robbed either way, so don’t bother with the getting hit part. Tae-yang argues that being cowardly is worse. Grandma says worse than losing a fight is running away in fear. Tae-in retorts, “Winning is still best!” Ha, I don’t think anyone’s arguing with that point, honey.

Tae-yang continues working in the field, and the same bully comes by to steal his harvest, leading to a chase through the streets. Running fast and pumped up with fury, Tae-yang throws his shovel and almost hits Kang-sun and Ga-on, who do not accept his apology graciously.

Jin-shim is worried that Mom may turn against her for being friendly with Tae-yang, so when Ga-on invites her along, she’s quick to ditch Tae-yang to join them, relieved to still be in their good graces.

She finds him at the ice cream truck later, though, and tends to his roughened hands with lotion. She apologizes, and he lets it go easily. The girls have gotten close by now, calling each other best friends and writing a diary of secrets to each other.

The same bully reappears days later to swipe more of Tae-yang’s cash, only this time they’re interrupted by neighborhood ajummas who quickly size up the situation, ready to come to Tae-yang’s aid. But one ajumma’s daughter recognizes the bully — Bin — and he immediately bows his head self-consciously. So Tae-yang lies and assures them that Bin wasn’t stealing from him, he was just scolding him as a hyung.

Bin roughly drags Tae-yang down the street, knocks on a door, and hands over the tub of parsley to the woman who answers. He adds gruffly that the lady — a restaurant owner, looks like — should get her parsley from Tae-yang from now on, and walks off before his pride shrivels too much in the face of having done a kindness.

Bin mutters a thank-you for covering for him, and Tae-yang explains that he understands how he felt. There’s this girl he likes, see, and he wouldn’t be able to stand looking bad in front of her. But, he adds, hyung had better grow up into a really cool guy, “Otherwise I’ll be too sorry for that noona who believes in you.” Oh, he is too cute. Bin fidgets and twitches, before accepting that with a smile.

At Kang-sun’s store, her ajumma friend reads a magazine and comments on the chaebol divorce in the news. Kang-sun grabs the article to read that a chaebol, MOK IN-BUM (Jeon No-min) is divorcing his wife after being unable to have children. Kang-sun’s strong reaction tells us this is important news, and a flashback shows us that they were once together — until he, the executive director of Mok Young Group, announced his engagement to another chaebol.

Mok In-bum had been willing to give up his position to be with Kang-sun and their daughter, Ga-on (born with a telltale star-shaped birthmark on her wrist), but she’d resisted. Instead, she argued to take their daughter, live in quiet and raise her properly as befits her status. Then they could reunite as a family later, presumably once Dad grew some balls and could stand up to his chaebol family without being disinherited. Because without his fortune, it’s not worth it, apparently. I’m pretty sure we can hate her right off the bat.

So when Kang-sun calls In-bum that night, he’s expecting her and asks to see his daughter. With the divorce, presumably the three can be together now and Kang-sun and Ga-on can come out of hiding. Does this make sense? Not totally, but since it’s a crucial point, we must go with it. (I’m assuming that the parents feel that his chaebol family will be more willing to accept the secret not-wife and child now that Dad’s put on his big boy britches. Whatever.)

This explains Mom’s insistence on Ga-on’s endless lessons — violin, ballet, horseback riding — and now she ups the intensity, wanting to polish her up as much as possible. Kang-sun tells her the time has come to meet her father.

Tae-yang finally earns enough to buy the pager and rushes to the ice cream truck to find Jin-shim, only she’s with Ga-on, to his disappointment. With Jin-shim becoming closer and closer to her new friend, he feels his place next to her shrinking, and it makes him cranky.

Ga-on joins them in their streetside vegetable-selling endeavors, playing the violin while Tae-in sings. Kang-sun happens by and blows up, accusing her daughter of making herself a spectacle. Ga-on doesn’t understand Mom’s hypersensitivity and accuses her of wanting to ingratiate herself to the man who left her, earning her a slap.

When Jin-shim drops off Ga-on’s violin later and apologizes, she’s shocked to hear Kang-sun no longer intends to let the girls associate. Ga-on was born with “very special” blood from a very special background, and was fed, given, and dressed in the very best since birth. Jin-shim isn’t fit to be her friend.

Jin-shim is hurt and baffled — but Mom was so good to her. Kang-sun replies coldly, “There is no need for me to be a good person to you. I just need to be a good mother to Ga-on.” Jin-shim replies that she’s right, “But I don’t think someone who can’t be a good person can be a good mother.”

Sadly, Granny starts feeling ill, though she hides it from the children. Tae-yang goes to the doctor who wrote Granny’s prescriptions to ask what’s wrong with her, and the kids come home in tears. Tae-yang takes out his fear on Grandma, asking accusingly how she could keep it a secret. How could she die on them, and before their father has a chance to come back to them?

Granny tells them she was looking for somebody to take care of them before telling them, to keep them from the orphanage. She cries that she couldn’t die in peace if the kids were separated — “How would I be able to face your mother on the other side?” She entreats them to stay together, no matter what.

Tae-yang comes to the truck and cries, telling Jin-shim — who’s crying in the front seat — not to look at him. So they sit there, sobbing to themselves over the families they’ve lost.

Once they’ve had their cry, they sit together and talk out their situations. Apparently the orphanage where Jin-shim lives can’t take Tae-yang and Tae-in, being full as they are. He vows not to split from Tae-in, or to leave this neighborhood: “Because you’re here.” Finding their optimism again, they urge each other not to lose hope.

Ga-on wonders why Jin-shim is avoiding her now; Jin-shim has heeded Angry Mom’s words and now pretends she’s weary of being friends. To get the point across, she throws insults at her, telling her to hang out with her mother instead.

At least Ga-on is sharp enough to suspect more to the story, and she accuses Mom of interfering with her only friend.

Tae-yang, Tae-in, and Jin-shim do some research into prospective adopters, asking them to take them in. Oy, they’re so cheerful about it and yet it’s heartbreaking, to hear little Tae-in piping up about how useful they’ll be.

The first couple they approach is open to the idea of taking Tae-in, but that doesn’t work for their needs, and the three children deflate.

Tae-yang drags his sister out although she resists. The older kids are of the mentality that she’s too little to understand the situation, but hilariously, Tae-in bursts out that people need to have a few tricks up their sleeves, geez! Since the couple liked her, she was strategizing of ways to wriggle her way into their affections and then convince them to take oppa, too. Haha. And awww. Frustrated, she accuses oppa of ruining everything and sighs that she’ll have to take their fates into her own hands, like a little grown-up.

The next time he heads to the truck, Tae-yang’s annoyed to find Ga-on there instead of Jin-shim. She’s anxiously waiting for her friend and asks him to pass along their shared diary, emphasizing that it has to be before tomorrow.

She doesn’t much care if he takes a look since he won’t understand it. The reason becomes clear when he opens the book, dying of curiosity — they’ve written in a sort of nonsense code. (Actually, it’s just written in backwards syllables, but at first glance it’s nonsense. This like ten writ tence sent a like.)

Thus when he finds Tae-in giggling over the diary, he first scolds her for reading it… then asks, “Can you read what it says?” Haha.

Armed with the code, Tae-yang reads through the diary, which includes little mundane stories but has an entry where Jin-shim talks about him and describes him as “Mom, Dad, heart, home.” I love his tortured response to this — she thinks so highly of him, yet here he is, stealing a glance at her diary.

Apologizing to Jin-shim and promising to stop after this last look, he reads Ga-on’s last message. Then he races to find Jin-shim at school, full of anxiousness and fear, insisting, “Don’t go anywhere.” He doesn’t hand over the book.

In Ga-on’s note, she tells Jin-shim that she’s going away, but that she wants to ask her father to let Jin-shim live with her, “Because I want to make a family for you too. Since you’re my precious friend. If you have faith in my feelings, I’ll wait for you after school at the car. I’ll wait.”

Struggling with himself, Tae-yang rips out the last page. He eyes the clock anxiously that night, worrying that Ga-on is still waiting, telling himself she can’t be.

She is, and the car is accosted by teenage hoodlums with fireworks. They leer menacingly, taking enjoyment in her reaction, prompting her to run away. The boys chase her to an old shut-down carnival, where Ga-on climbs into an operating booth and hides.

The boys spot her, and in her fear she bolts again, this time climbing up the roller coaster. The boys laugh and chase her up the side railing, and she backs up fearfully, crying… and falls.

Worried that her daughter hasn’t come home, Kang-sun calls Jin-shim looking for her, and they head out to search for her. Running into Tae-yang, they ask if he’s seen her, and he mumbles, “Is she still waiting?”

He hands over the diary page, admitting that he was afraid Jin-shim would read the note and follow Ga-on away. They head to the car, finding it empty, and hysterical Kang-sun blames the children for the disappearance, just as they find the doll Ga-on dropped.


I loved the first half of this episode, which put a smile on my face and warmed my heart. The kids are adorable, their interactions so sweet and true to life as a young adolescent, and the tone so chipper — these were kids facing some pretty downtrodden lives, but always ready to perk up at the end of the day and take a positive outlook. They didn’t have much, but they had each other, and that was enough to make them feel secure and safe.

And then the second half came along and slapped a bunch of chaebols and gold diggers and secret babies on us, and I was about ready to shake somebody for turning a cute story into a makjang melodrama, with the evil lady with the evil eyes stirring up all sorts of trouble. I don’t think it’s much of a spoiler to say that Jin-shim is persuaded to assume Ga-on’s identity and grows up as a chaebol’s daughter, with only our core group of characters knowing otherwise. URG. I mean, I get it: She wants a mother, and Mom wants money. It works. But still: Blerg blerg blerg!

What makes me groan about this setup is that it’s not even about our bachelor hero, so what is the point? Isn’t the draw of Bachelor’s Vegetable Store… the bachelor’s vegetable store? And the motley crew of bachelors in the Six Pack who come together to run it as a team and turn a tiny shop into a nationwide franchise? Isn’t it a success story about our resourceful, industrious hero? Why, drama, why?

We have Baker King and Man of Honor and East of Eden and The Duo and Cinderella Man and a whole host of dramas covering the chaebol-switched-babies premise. Et tu? I mean, I highly doubt Coffee Prince or Flower Boy Ramyun Shop would’ve been all that much more compelling if one of the characters was a secret orphan or a secret chaebol.


So I’m of two minds about this show. I’m still in it because we have yet to see the adult cast, and as much as I enjoy the child actors, I’m eager to get to the grown-up story. I want to see how Tak-gu — er, Tae-yang — gets started in his business, and how he assembles his crew. We’ve seen his affinity for vegetables already — though, thankfully, he’s not some vegetable genius or anything — so how does he make the leap into business owner?

Tomorrow, I think, will be the deciding factor.


68 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Abbie

    This looks interesting! Thanks JB!

  2. HeadsNo2

    No matter how compelling child actors can be, I’m always left wishing we could just get to the adult cast. I was soooo excited to see Ji Chang-wook. But there is none. πŸ™ Sad day.

    • 2.1 cv

      Yea, me too. i wish they had just started off…with ji changwook. ^^

  3. crazedlu

    ergh. can’t believe them. let’s see how tomorrow fends. i’m thankful for your recap because i didn’t want to tune in today. ha. even though i love myself some ji chang wook, i’ll only skim through the drama if it proves to be melo driven. plus, wang ji hyyye. :’/ if it had been any other actress (ok, of the ones i genuinely like and admire), i might’ve cared more. come on, drama!

  4. Carrie

    Your comments are spot on to what I was thinking. It was such a cute drama until they went all “makjang” on us. Did somebody have to die already? πŸ™ I thought the friendship between the two girls was a great touch as little orphans like her (in dramas) hardly ever have a (girl) friend but then they just kill her off? ._.

    “I don’t think it’s much of a spoiler to say that Jin-shim is persuaded to assume Ga-on’s identity and grows up as a chaebol’s daughter, with only our core group of characters knowing otherwise. URG. I mean, I get it: She wants a mother, and Mom wants money. It works. But still: Blerg blerg blerg!”

    ERGH Please, NO

  5. asianromance

    Thanks for the recap!!

    I love all the kids! Sadly, my interest in the episode died when it turns out that Ga-On’s mom is evil. What a whiplash! I really like Ga-On and I sort of hate Taeyang now for ripping out that diary page. I know it’s not his fault but I’m still upset!

  6. sally_b

    Appreciate the recap ( q◠‿◠q)β™‘

    For myself…I’m just not interested in another soapy-opera. I finally had to give up on A Thousand Kisses even though I very much liked the cast. Too many birth secrets and evil bitches and ~crawling-in-circles-plot.

    I’m into fun & silly…with a heart. So it’s Vampire Idol and whatever else comes around the bend in 2012.

    Anyway….appreciate the heads-up. πŸ™‚

  7. danna

    WAIT! what? this aired today?!!!…*runs of to find out more*

  8. cv

    I just really hope that they don’t spend too many episodes with the kids characters. I know that usually the first few episodes are kinda set up the plot and storyline but still, couldn’t they have done it as flashback instead? lol
    Come on drama, keep it short and sweet and let’s get to the good stuff.

    And I do agree, I want fluff and straight up story…don’t need no secret birth or chabeol family. Couldn’t they have gone with ordinary people working their way up instead of having such a complicated hidden agenda?

    Oh well… just hope it gets better.

  9. Abbie

    Okay. Well…. I was hoping this would be like Flower Boy Ramyun Shop. But it’s not. So, I don’t know where I stand with this drama. I’m sad Ga-on died. I wasn’t expecting that. But the follow-up, as you pointed out Javabeans, is pretty obvious. And Jin-shim really wants a mother and now she can get one. But at the expense of her best friend’s life? That is just wrong. I can’t help feeling that if Tae-yang hadn’t torn out the page, the story wouldn’t happen. And we could have gone in a completely different direction, story wise.

    The whole chaebol/secert child thing is a little annoying. No not a little, a lot annoying. Am I the only one who thinks In-bum’s parents will demand a DNA test? I would. Then they wouldn’t be able to fake it. Just drawing the star shaped birthmark on her wrist wouldn’t be enough.

    I’m already starting to see problems with the future story. However, I won’t throw in the towel just yet. I’ll wait until tomorrow to pass judgement on this show.

    Anyway, thanks for the recap, Javabeans.

  10. 10 Steamy Bun

    Potential for lots of makjang? Count me in!!! I love it, personally. And little Tak Gu (that’s his name, right?) is so adorable! He’s going to be really handsome when he’s older.

  11. 11 Noelle

    Just finished the FBRS recap so now I’m off to read this one! Thanks for the recap!

  12. 12 diorama

    Lol at the veggie genius bit. I guess even that would be too much for a kdrama.

  13. 13 cherkell

    JB, thanks for taking on the recapping! You are made of hardy stock, my dear!!

    Sigh. I didn’t set my expectations too high, as I figured the first two episodes would be heavy with the child actors and huge with the character development right off the bat. I thought it was beautifully filmed with very vivid colors, and it *was* being promoted as a melodrama, so no surprises were waiting to leap out at me. I found it also amazing that Oh Jae Mu was channelling so many of JCW’s mannerisms and speech patterns, so that was a masterful piece of casting. But how many of you thought as I did when Tae-yang started conversing with the cabbages: “He’s the Veggie Whisperer!!” πŸ™‚

    Even though the kids are soooooo freakin’ cute, you all know I’m foaming at the mouth waiting for The Bachelor to finally grow up and morph into His Hotness (can’t wait for the almost-naked forklift scene again!!!). So if this Show doesn’t get its (bare) butt in gear by the end of next week, waking up at 3:30 AM on Wednesdays and Thursdays just to watch live is gonna get old fast… πŸ™‚

    It also looks like the viewing public didn’t react too kindly to the first episode either — it pulled in a paltry .364% of the nationwide ratings (according to AGB). OUCH. I’m wondering how much of that was the result of catching everyone by surprise due to changing the airtime from 9:20 PM to 8:50 PM the morning of its airing!! I’m in it for the long haul no matter what… so bring on Episode 2!! BVS FIGHTING!!!

    • 13.1 Noelle

      Veggie Whisperer LOL

    • 13.2 YY

      No kiddies. Want bachelors. 6. 6 sets of abs. 6 showers. 6 veggie plots. 1 tub of auto-warm veggie oil. 1 shaft of strong white light.

    • 13.3 Lahlita

      Veggie Whisperer? LOL. That is the funniest thing ever. But I am also ashamed to admit that when I read that, my mind also went to another place, one in which “veggie whispering” could also be The Most Wrong. Thing. EVER.

      Heh. Hmph.

      • 13.3.1 JoAnne

        Every time I see you, I love you more.

  14. 14 Noelle

    Hate the ending. If this is a foreshadow of all the sadness to come then I’m done. I need cheerful after A Thousand Day Promise.

  15. 15 PL

    This would have been hilarious if Yoon Shi Yoon was still cast, not in the sense of the drama itself being hilarious, but in the fact that it would have literally been Vegetable King Han Tae Yang.

    • 15.1 JoAnne

      With Flowers, Too.

      Vegetable King Han Tae Yang with Flowers Too

      • 15.1.1 reeen

        Cauliflower King Han Tae Yang? πŸ˜€

        If they want to make this Tak Gu reloaded it’s kind of ridiculous to use the same child actor… If Baker King fans are the intended audience, wouldn’t they feel weird about the same kid growing up into a different-looking adult, but with a similarly makjangy storyline?

  16. 16 anna

    So let me guess, with her real daughter dead, she’ll “adopt” Jin-shim as her own daughter and uses her to be with the chaebol? Ugh.

    • 16.1 anna

      Or maybe not. From the poster, doesn’t look like adult Jin-shim is wealthy.

  17. 17 dancinfff

    I don’t know why…but I get super duper happy when ever I see Gwangsoo…like I’ll just be scrolling down Drama Beans uninterested and then Lee Gwang Soo pops up and it’s like heaven! What has running man done to me!!!!!!

    Anyway, hope the subs come out soon (:

    • 17.1 srkambbs

      Trust me you are not the only one. I searched through the comments to find lee gwang soo ones lol

  18. 18 loool

    As soon as a i saw the picture, i went: OMFGGGGG KWANG SOOO πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Now I’ll definitely watch this drama πŸ˜€ – yes because of kwang soo πŸ˜€

    • 18.1 Ani

      Aaaaaaaaaw, Kwangvatar love for the WIN! XD

  19. 19 Cam

    YAYAYYYYY!!!! \^_______^/

    It’s very interesting to watch all of young kids actor & THAAANKS for this recap ~ ~ ~ <3

  20. 20 jazza

    This is interesting.

    Oh Jae Moo grew up handsomely. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the recap. i’m curious to find out on what will happen.

  21. 21 Ani

    Erp derp. I really wish the makjang aspects were left out. *crosses fingers and hopes for the best*

  22. 22 Cynthia


    I’m going to say it LOUD and I’m going to say it CLEAR.

    All I want from this drama is a continuous showing of
    ROCK HARD ABS displayed by our 6PACK while they are joyfully cavorting in a vegetable field armed with a wildly splashing garden hose!

    Is that too freakin’ much to ask?!!

    I didn’t think so, and I KNOW I’m not alone here.
    Get busy, Show. Pronto.

    • 22.1 YY

      Let’s just skip the prelims and get to the CORE of the story: 6 bachelors. Veggie planting. Shower. Oil. Abs.

    • 22.2 Linda165

      Chop! Chop!

      • 22.2.1 JoAnne

        Careful with that chopper…

    • 22.3 Mystisith

      Amen, Sisters.
      I want kids at the END of the show, lovingly concieved by our 6Pack daddys. May they be married or still bachelor, just pick one way ! I’m open minded when it comes to build a happy family . But i’m not soo easy going about Evilness i guess…

  23. 23 marina garcia

    @javabeans et al

    i’d like to know what makjang is…….thanks

    • 23.1 Mystisith

      @ marina garcia : makjang as explained in the very instructive glossary of DB :
      makjang :: a sylistic, tonal, or narrative element in dramas that chooses to play up outrageous storylines to keep viewers hooked despite how ridiculous the stories become (adultery, revenge, rape, birth secrets, fatal illnesses, and flirting with incest possibilities are some makjang favorites). Shows can be part of a makjang class of dramas (Wife’s Temptation is a makjang series), or they can have makjang tendencies (Mary Stayed Out All Night went makjang toward the end). Generally considered a negative thing (β€œGah, how makjang can you get?”), unless a drama intentionally embraces the style (such as Baker King Kim Tak-gu or Flames of Desire).

      • 23.1.1 JoAnne

        If you are familiar with the english term ‘potboiler’, it’s kind of like that as near as I can figure.

  24. 24 Claire

    thanks for the recap!!

    i’ll watch this just for kwang soo…i expected this to be a little bit comedic though and i hope they became adults already…although i love the kid actors/actresses and they’re good, i just love to watch the adult ones already…

  25. 25 bjharm

    one day they going to make a drama where all the men/boy go around without shirts on, but the only keep the shot on their six pack abs for the entire show..fan girl delight..heck skip any lines just boy band music in the back ground to tell the ‘story’ wow think i just made a new hot show!

  26. 26 Arhazivory

    -_-‘ Didn’t Ji Chang Wook get enough makjang with Smile Donghae and WBDS? I wanted this one to have a light and fluffy tone. I’ll still tune in for Chang Wook though.

  27. 27 zenti

    If it has a makjang flavor then I have this feeling that Jin Shim will pose as Ga-on …

  28. 28 Linda165

    All the makjang in the world won’t keep me away from MY baby. So… bring it on!

  29. 29 cherkell

    Oh ye of little Absilicious Faith… just finished watching Episode 2, and I’m dancing around my house like a giddly schoolgirl. I personally don’t care if the Show goes all makjang on me — I would watch my Changwook-ssi read the back of a cereal box if the process is as cute as he grows up to be older Tae-yang. VEGGIES FTW!!!

  30. 30 dany

    I completely forgot about this, what’s wrong with me?! On the other hand, from what I see in your recap, no adult cast yet so I’m waiting for the second episode. Thank you!

  31. 31 pauper

    Not sure if it’s just me but this episode is very reminiscent of Giant in the earlier episodes.

    Can’t wait for the appearance of the adults.

  32. 32 Misheru

    Thanks for the review… at least now I know more or less what I’m getting into.

  33. 33 anicheung

    While reading the first half of this recap, I was persuaded to maybe give this drama a try. I’m not a Ji Chang Wook fan, so I was curious, but not quite interested in it. But after the birth secret and the lies and the gold digging and now a dead rich man’s daughter… all in one last half of an episode. I was a all laughing about the first ten minutes of Baker King and how predictable the devices were, so I don’t know how I’d take this cute to suddenly melo-makjang series.

    Guess I’ll just keep skimming the recaps and hope it pulls me in somehow.

    Thanks for the recap, javabeans!

  34. 34 DB5K

    I watched the drama thinking that the makjang wasn’t too bad, until the I saw the ending where Gaon gets chased by those creepy teenagers and falls to her (presumable) death. Okay, first of all, those creepy teenagers making pervy, pedo remarks like, “isn’t she pretty” and “running away only makes us want to chase you more” were incredibly disturbing. Veer into makjang territory, if you like script writers, but no pedo overcasts please.

    I will be very disappointed if Gaon gets killed off because I liked her character and it would have been interesting to see her grow up and also as a character foil for Jinshim.

    I guess javabeans was hoping for something more like Coffee Prince or Flower Boy Ramen Shop. Instead, we got something rrrrreally similar to Baker King, Kim Takgu. In fact, I suspect the writers heavily drew upon BKKTG for inspiration. The similarities are endless, starting from the premise: both are (very) loosely based on true, rags-to-riches stories involving famous chain stores.

    I’m actually glad that this drama isn’t another version of Flower Boy Ramen Shop and I welcome the makjang elements. I’m looking forward to watching another rousing success story drama. I hope, however, that the makjang doesn’t get too dark/twisted/heavy/overboard. It should be in balance with the heartwarming aspects and the lovable, bright characters. I’m hoping for lots of sweet moments and laughs~~

    And our dear little Kim Takgu is just as adorable as Taeyang!!! *squeee* Except now he has more defined facial features and an unsteadier voice proinde puberty.

    I’m predicting Gwangsoo will be the neighborhood bully turned gruff hyung. And I’m excited to “meet” the other bachelors.

    Also, for those who want to watch episode 2, here’s a tudou link: http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/o8OQGOvCfY8/ (source: bada.us).

  35. 35 myra

    gosh, the little Tae young is the little baker king, tak gu! he’s so……grown up!

    • 35.1 JoAnne

      That’s little Tak Gu? I need to see him, he was so adorable!

      • 35.1.1 Alvina

        I cant believe he looks so grown up and handsome! And lost all his baby fat lol. πŸ˜€

  36. 36 Alvina

    It always breaks my heart when they kill off a kid in a drama. And, it’s only episode 1. I dont know if I can take the drama, especially when I’m looking for something light-hearted during the holiday season :/

  37. 37 Elana

    Where is the recap for the second episode?
    I’ve been waiting for hours.
    Please hurry πŸ™‚

    • 37.1 Dalena

      i don’t think it’s coming.. πŸ™

      • 37.1.1 Elana

        so sad πŸ™
        and she said she was going to stick with it too

  38. 38 kdramafan89

    hey this might not be what everyone’s expecting but im willing to give it a chance because it sounds interesting.

  39. 39 Gwinna

    I was traumatized just reading a recap of this. The worst part is, I was actually interested in watching it for a moment, and then they had to go kill Ga-on. The friendship between the two girls was one of the main things I liked! And how horrible to kill off a child just in order to have another character pose as a chaebol or whatever they plan on doing. Drama writers, you are really callous.

    It’s probably a good thing my interest died though since I don’t really like the concept of bachelor vegetable stores and flower boy ramyun shops and the like. Too much like harem manga, which I hate.

    On another note, I haven’t watched Baker King Kim Tak Gu, but the story sounds similar to Giant to me, minus the revenge. Tae-yang is Gangmo, poor boy who gains riches through hard work, Tae-in is Miju, his little sister who becomes a singer through hard work, and Jin-shim is Jeongyeon, the sort-of daughter of a rich man who nevertheless doesn’t fit in, and also has mother issues.

    Oh well, I guess if Ga-on lived they’d just make her into a rival or otherwise a stumbling block to Jin-shim rather than continuing their friendship. *tries to be philosophical*

    • 39.1 beggar1015

      Just saw the first episode myself and agree it turned from bright to really dark there at the end. I would have liked to see the friendship between the rich and poor girl develop through the years. Do we know if the girl is really dead or in a coma and will come back awake later in the show?

      Now that Gwinna has laid it out, it does sound like Giant. But Giant was good, whereas I’m not too sure about this veggie tale.

  40. 40 shaily

    the kid who plays young taeyang is so adorable . he was that young tak gu if i’m not mistaken … looking forward for this kid to grow up and become one great actor

  41. 41 seattlebabe

    I must have been so used to the makjang aspect in the Kdramas , I am no longer affected by it . But I like the story of the young ones told straight to my face instead of being hazy flashbacks.They are good actors -let us see how the adult actors will fare.

    Frankly, I did not expect anything in this drama -but I was hooked the more I stayed to watch.They could have produced an entire separate drama for the kids – ala All My Children series instead of always a background story. SK have a lot of talented kids that don’t have yet the inhibitions and self consciousness of the adults. It is heartwarming for kids to have seen the real world early on without deceptions and without being colored by false expectations .

  42. 42 moidiom

    That little girl is the cutest little girl I’ve ever seen. Her oppa looks like Jihyuk’s group mate, Geonil. These are reasons enough for me to want to continue watching!

  43. 43 malta

    Finally got to watching this first episode and the similarities to Baker King Tak Gu are way, way too much. I liked the first half, but by the time we had *random,* got-nothing-better-to-do hoodlums (me ripping my hair out!!! Already too!) harassing poor Ga-on. And then she’s dead…coma or whatever. Don’t know. WTH. Bet nobody’s gonna investigate her this and those random plot device hoodlums will not be found or convicted of anything.

    Where’s the story about the veggie store empire?….I want vegetable store hijinks, but this first episode was like the set-up for a murder mystery. Gahhhhh!

    Bring on the adults! Quickly please! I really, really want to like this drama so meet me half-way Show.

  44. 44 Marie

    I believe that Tae-yang’s father is that of Ga-on …so if Jim-Shin took the identity of Ga-on and Tae-yang fell in love with her…will there be a problem…?

    Hmm, i dont think so,coz eversince…Tae-yang knew that Jim-shim was adopted by Ga-on’s mom…thus, they are not related. But Ga-on’s father will definitely hinder the relationship between Tae-yang ang Ga-on (aka Jin-shim)

    Do i making sense here?lol!

  45. 45 DramaQueen

    It took me forever to start watching this drama but I am glad I finally did. Its amazing, I can’t say enough about it. Just in the 1st ep. a lot has happened. I can’t wait until for the next ep.

    Thank u for the recap.

  46. 46 noi

    so who got the scholarship in the end? or they don’t care about it since they’ve kissed? the first half is so cute but the second half…. err…

    btw, who is that cutie little actress play jin jishim? she’s really pretty omg!

  47. 47 Jaime M

    I love your blog sososooo much β™₯ Since I’m not korean, it helps me understand what I’m watching so much better. SOO thank you thank you thank you!!!~ ^^

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