Drama Recaps
Standby: Episodes 5-14 (Highlights)
by | April 29, 2012 | 47 Comments

More Standby!

So here’s the deal: I won’t be recapping (or weecapping) MBC daily sitcom Standby on a regular basis, because that’s just a level of commitment I’m not ready to make. Furthermore, the show is a pretty simple watch, and not always worth examining on a deeper level… ’cause I’m not sure it HAS a deeper level. Ha. Not that shallow is bad. Shallow gives us glorious abs and bro-bonding and silly pettiness—no complaints here.

On the other hand, I’ve been following it daily, and every once in a while there’s a hilarious moment that makes me giggle, or snort, or clutch my sides cracking up. But since not every episode is memorable, I’m pulling out some favorite moments for a highlight reel, so to speak. I may do this again for future weeks, or I may not if there are no scenes worth highlighting. We’ll play it by ear.


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This post covers Weeks 2 & 3 of the show. If you haven’t had a chance to get acquainted with Standby, take a look at the introductory post, covering Week 1 and establishing the premise: Episodes 1-4.

Highlight #1: So-min & Ki-woo

Episode 6. So-min offers to buy Ki-woo dinner to make up for eating his noodles, falling in his lap, and dumping water on him. He plays a prank on her, purposely ordering up a storm while knowing she’s on a small budget, just to see how she’ll react. He ends up paying anyway—he’s a prankster, not an ass—and that makes her feel bad for all the leftover food. So she downs a pitcher of beer (he only drinks milk, natch), and gets drunk.

Mountain girl So-min is an agile tree-climber, as she demonstrated previously when rescuing a child’s balloon from a branch. She stumbles out of the restaurant and squints up at a tree, arrested by the sight of a hat hanging from it… and climbs Ki-woo, the human tree. HAHA.

Highlight #2: Shi-wan & Kyung-pyo

Episode 10. Idiot Trio leader Kyung-pyo is constantly cutting class to play games, so noona Soo-hyun asks new classmate Shi-wan to keep an eye on Kyung-pyo at school and prevent him from ditching. Shi-wan takes his job seriously, blocking Kyung-pyo from leaving campus and getting stern—which includes wrist-grabbing, shoulder-shaking, and falling on top of him (accidentally, pulling him out of a motorcyclist’s path).

Thus Kyung-pyo, who’d initially scoffed at Shi-wan’s feminine looks (read: weak and puny), now sees him in a different light. A masculine, forceful, attractive light. Suddenly, Kyung-pyo is flung into the throes of indecision—could he, gasp, actually have a crush on Shi-wan? Omg.

The storyline’s kind of awesome, not because it’s funny—though it’s funny—but because this is the rare occasion where sexual-identity crisis plays out in a way that isn’t a total cop-out. As in, Korean dramas love to flirt with gay subtext, but it’s always in an ultimately “safe” context—a wink-wink, We know this is just a joke scenario.

Consider all the bromancing that occurs between idol boys, variety show regulars, and even drama characters—all the rampant homoeroticism is, when all is said and done, not treated as real. It’s cheeky, or joke (or slashfic) fodder. Like in Personal Taste, where the two boys crack jokes about the assumption that they’re gay, or in The Moon That Embraces the Sun, where the king purposely plays up the gay rumors about him and Woon, because it amuses him.

The closest I’ve seen a show explore sexual-identity confusion is in Coffee Prince, which did a strong job with the hero’s inner turmoil… although it all turns out fine in the end because the object of his affections is actually a girl. Same with You’re Beautiful’s Jeremy.

So far this show hasn’t explored the Kyung-pyo confusion much, and frankly I wouldn’t get my hopes super-high that Standby means to take this anywhere progressive. But I’m impressed that they bothered to do it in the first place. Gay text instead of subtext—who knew, K-dramas?

Highlight #3: Moon/Sun parody

Episode 11. This one’s not really much of a highlight, but it’s a Moon/Sun reference and it ties in to Highlight #2, so in it goes. Kyung-pyo is so rattled by his sudden attraction to Shi-wan that he agrees to date Ye-won, who has been pestering him for ages… only to find that she’s also recently discovered Shi-wan’s masculine charms and has transferred her crush to him. Ha, beard attempt fail.

Shi-wan rejects her advances, but she’s persistent and drags him out to dress up as Yeom, since that’s the drama character he resembles, wink-wink. She dresses up as Princess Min-hwa, which doesn’t seem like the ideal model for a romantic relationship, but I suppose they’re not working with a lot of options…

Highlight #4: Ki-woo & Suk-jin

Episode 11. Here’s what I mean by homoerotic subtext used as joke fodder. (Which, by the way, is not a denouncement—I’ll take it.) Suk-jin becomes antsy when Ki-woo comments on his resemblance to his high school classmate, Su-do—a geeky, uptight kid with bad teeth and an allergy to raw garlic that once made him crap his pants. In class. Because of a prank Ki-woo played on him.

So now, Suk-jin harbors a lingering grudge (he keeps a running tally of the times Ki-woo pisses him off), but he can’t cop to being Su-do and revisiting that shameful past. Therefore, when Ki-woo’s co-workers urge him to bring in a photo of this funny guy Su-do so they can see the resemblance, Suk-jin panics. Must. Intercept. Photo!

That prompts Suk-jin to make friendly overtures, like going out for drinks after work and pretending to get drunk, so that Ki-woo would take him home for the night—giving him a chance to snatch the photo.

That doesn’t work since Ki-woo takes him back to the station instead, and another attempt gets them both nekkid and sharing a sauna. Rawr. Hold on. I need a minute to get my staring fix in.

The sauna trip is wasted (for Suk-jin, that is, not for us), so Suk-jin asks his new “friend” Ki-woo to put him up for a night while his apartment is being worked on. Ki-woo puts his photo away to take to work with him, and in a fit of I-don’t-know-how-else-to-steal-it, Suk-jin grabs Ki-woo in a massive backhug, which Ki-woo takes for an expression of affection. Ha.

(Suk-jin gets his photo and dumps Ki-woo as friend, resuming their former prickliness, saying they’re too different to get along. Heh.)

Highlight #5: Aerobicizing Ryu Jin

Episode 12. Jin-haeng, in ajumma shorts and flower-print tights, jazzercizing away. No explanation needed.

Highlight #6: More So-min & Ki-woo

Episode 13. This is still my favorite pairing and storyline. So-min finds out that Ki-woo has been jerking her chain this whole time and vows to tell him off. But he has a way of twisting any conversation into a joke, and she needs a way to express her displeasure without getting thrown off-track. So her roommate Soo-hyun offers the advice to change up her image: Go cold and haughty.

They role-play the scenario, with Soo-hyun directing So-min how to talk. If Ki-woo tries to cut her off, hold out her hand and yell, “Stop right there!”

But So-min gets so nervous that she writes a cheat sheet on her hand, and in the midst of her flustered tirade, she yells, “Stop right there!” with the wrong hand. Ki-woo reads her whole speech and teases her some more, which ruins the whole effect.

So-min declares she won’t let him trick her anymore, so the next day when he’s sent to pick up Soo-hyun’s suit for a TV segment, So-min refuses to let him take it. No sense giving the boy who cried wolf free access, right?

Ki-woo takes the suit anyway, leading So-min to grapple with him (rawr) and chase him out. Sadly, the suit is the casualty in the tussle (spliiiiiit!)

Highlight #7: Even more So-min & Ki-woo

Episode 14. Insufferably, now Ki-woo is teasing So-min about crushing on him—you know, since she enjoyed that backhug a little too much and keeps running into him. Could she be staking out his movements to plan their encounters? Ki-woo: “I don’t mean to brag, but I am pretty popular with the ladies.” He’s clearly teasing, but she’s so aggravated that she wants to find a way to get him back, and good.

She finds out that Ki-woo has also been pranking Shi-wan: He pretends that a collision with Shi-wan injured his arm, wears a cast, then guilts Shi-wan into acting as his servant. Shi-wan agrees to join her in revenge, and suggests the means: a booby trap with a bucket of flour, a tripwire, and a pool of water.

Thing is, Shi-wan finds out that Ki-woo faked the injury as an excuse to lend Shi-wan his laptop (in “payment” for his servant duties). Shi-wan has been excessively stiff and formal with the Ryu family, declining their offers of help or money, not wanting to incur any debt against them. Now that he sees how far Ki-woo went to give him what he needed, he thanks him and accepts the laptop… and then realizes Ki-woo’s headed straight for the booby trap.

Shi-wan races there first and finds himself the victim of his own trap. On the upside: So-min and Shi-wan are able to play it off as an accident, so Ki-woo doesn’t know what they were plotting, and both of them decide that Ki-woo’s not such a bad guy, and that they should let their grudges slide.

But on the downside, Ki-woo is incorrigible as always, and teases So-min endlessly about her crush on him, offering her “tips” on where to find him to plan their chance encounters. So-min fumes, and I sit in glee, awaiting the day when Ki-woo will find himself falling for So-min. ‘Cause with that level of cockiness he’s got to fall first, right? And it will be sweet.


47 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Noelle

    Yay! I really want to watch this so thanks so much for doing a review.

    • 1.1 Noelle

      HAHAHAHA Ryu Jin I love so much more. It takes a man to jazzercize in ajumma gear.

  2. milkmustache

    I burst out laughing at Ryu Jin in ahjumma pants doing aerobics. That’s just priceless. xD
    And I haven’t tried watching this yet because I’ve been too lazy (and caught up watching Love Rain, Rooftop Prince, King2Hearts, & Marriage Plot). But it seems to be cute and funny.

  3. Mystisith

    Definitely a nice cute and funny show. I watched the first eps and gave up because of all the other weekly good shows. But now i want to resume watching this one.

  4. Carho

    HAHA what i thought was more funny was in moment#7, where shiwan ended up taking the flour to the head but when he fell, he wasn’t tall enough to reach the pool of water meant for ki-woo’s height

    • 4.1 Elaine

      Hence the bloody nose, hahaha.

  5. Arhazivory

    Highlight #5: Aerobicizing Ryu Jin – LOL. LMAO! That…was funny!

    I agree with you JB. Ki-Woo better fall for her first. Hehe. Really though, I love this show and I’ve only seen the first 5 eps. These highlights make me excited for what’s to come. 😀

  6. sUn

    Looking for more subs coming…
    thx for recapping.

  7. KDrama Fan

    Thanks JB for giving us these highlights and photos:) Oh my gosh that won of Jin-haeng doing aerobics was daebak!

    I started this drama yesterday. In the 1st episode I was put off by the canned laughter but in the subsequent episodes time just zipped along without me being bothered by it at all.

    Look forward to seeing the subtitled episodes highlighted above.

  8. jessly

    I have a feeling this recap is just for the sake of showing that sauna pic. Lol.

  9. mellowyel

    thanks for the highlights JB! this looks pretty hilarious. i might steal a peek once I have more time and there are some subs up. Also – saunas FTW!!!

  10. 10 Trina

    The best was Ryu Jin jazzercise.. I laugh soo hard.. My coffee was all over the computer that day…. When I watched it raw without sub… I can not wait to watch it with english sub…

  11. 11 OMG

    Where can i watch this show???

  12. 12 Jules

    So-min and Ki-woo are my favourite part of the show (at least so far), though I kind of love hapless Jin-haeng and the possibility of Soo-hyun and So-min bonding now that they’re roomies.

    I’m also loving So-min and Shi-wan’s friendship, because it’s adorable, and potentially heart-breaking if he falls for her and she falls for Ki-woo… eek.

    The one character I truly dislike is Simon D, so hopefully his role will remain relatively small.

    Standby is cute and I’ll keep watching, but I don’t have the same emotional connection to it that I had with High Kick 3. Ah well, maybe it’ll develop alongside the story and lovelines…

  13. 13 gg

    wow, i don’t have any interest in watching this show but the first screenshot made me click on this post.. hahahah

  14. 14 ck1Oz

    Thank you 🙂 Wasn’t expecting a recap at all so it’s all good.
    I’ve been following this drama daily. It’s not bad and easy to follow. It would be just about perfect if they remove the canned laughter.

    I am definitely interested in Shi Wan and how he fits into the family in the end. Cos’ at the moment am really irritated with the dad. He’s mean, I still haven’t forgiven him for removing all the dishes on the table from him.

    • 14.1 ck1Oz

      Oh yeah Ki Woo is so cocky and smart alecky- that I hope he has competition and SUFFER.

    • 14.2 bjharm

      yes can not stand that canned laughter!
      Is it only me but dosnt the actress that plays So-min look very much like Suzy A or Miss A?

      • 14.2.1 Anna

        I seriously can’t wait for the day Ki Woo falls for So Min. And I hope he has to win her affection for Shi Wan, and get really really jealous. Ah, the awesomeness that would be.

        And yeah, I’ve seen people say Suzy looks like Jung So Min and vise versa. They are both cute, but I find Suzy more on the cute side and So Min more of the pretty side. Funny, because the former is four years younger than the other, yet looks the same age.

        • eoan

          I agree, they do look alike and cute … Suzy more on the cute side and So Min more of the pretty side. They could play sisters in a drama.

      • 14.2.2 im_eve

        & know what they do have something in common…they were both noticed to resemble YOON EUN HYE! so they DO have some semblance hehe

  15. 15 Val

    Came here only to ogle at Ki woo’s chocolate abs. Delish if i may say so myself!

  16. 16 momogi

    I think you just want to write about So-min and Ki-woo, it’s like you give us a fanservice for us. No complaining since I love So-min and Ki-woo the most. 🙂

    Thank you javabeans.

  17. 17 Val

    While im at it (teehee!) who’s gor a better bod? LEE KI WOO or CHOI SIWON? Siwon’s also known for working that bod!

  18. 18 Cam

    Ooo, I DIDN’T expect that this recap “Standby” is already out now! Haha. (cuz’ I am falling behind right now, ouch.)


  19. 19 makoto

    I’m sorry if my comment is out of topic but I’m really curious about Lee Ki Woo. Is he really a moslem? I wish anybody here could give me answer and the valid link that confirm it. Thank you. 🙂

  20. 20 hydesamagirl

    Thanks for posting the song, I just heard it in a cafe scene in Inhyun’s Man.

  21. 21 Cinderella

    I totally agree with you! So-min and Ki-woo are my absolute favorite pairing and storyline in the drama! I know that I should watch the drama in its entirety but they are seriously the only ones I enjoy watching. I find myself giggling and jumping in joy whenever they’re in a scene together.

    I hope you would continue to do highlights, if not for the drama itself, then maybe for the So-mi & Ki-woo pair!

    Thanks a bunch JB!

  22. 22 FunnyBunny

    Haha I liked that it was important to know that So-min’s talent is for climbing TREES specifically.
    Of course, of all the reasons to climb Lee Ki-woo like a tree, retrieving a hat is not one that had crossed my mind….. *blushes while remembering the sauna scene* Can he go to the sauna everyday? Or just be shirtless everyday? Either one works for me ^_^

    I have to find this show, it just looks like so much fun! A big thank you to Javabeans for bringing this quirky show to my attention!

    • 22.1 Anna

      She also said she is awesome at killing roaches. LMAO. Too much info!

  23. 23 annie

    whatever! i love to watch SHI WAN and JUNG SO MIN..thank you javabeans for the recap.

  24. 24 eoan

    same here… i’m into somin-kiwoo story line. can’t wait for the day somin will get her sweet revenge. and i’m interested too in somin-siwan friendship. on the other hand, i find papa ryu so mean. i wonder how they gonna redeem his character.

    thank you javabeans for at least giving us the highlights.

  25. 25 Christy

    LOL aerobicizing Ryu Jin is daebak!

  26. 26 Mel

    JB–thanks…OH NO!!!! SobX100…no recaps not weecaps after this beautiful recap? … Where do I get the Eng sub for this??? Help!!! Wanna know the KiWoo-SoMin story… Ryu too! Oh well… Thanks JB fr always a fan….

  27. 27 Neeko

    This show makes me happy~

  28. 28 cocoonedsoul

    i love this show more than every other drama i’m watching at the moment because it’s just fun fluff. in fact, i’m sure a few brain cells have died while watching this. just perfect to take my mind off things.

  29. 29 yuna

    this is my first time to watch such a long series. i was actually after the plot line of SoMin-SiWan-KiWoo. but now, i’m liking this is a whole. thanks JB 😀

  30. 30 allenif

    i love this show…. i love somin-siwan…… and i love kiwoo’s abs. 😀

  31. 31 lolly

    I want the English subbed versions of these episodes to come soon! Anybody find something for me? I’m stuck on 6 to 14, nothing is subbed.

  32. 32 hanjiyoon

    Soo Hyun and Jin Haeng hwaiting!

  33. 33 DB5K

    I changed my mind about Standby. It’s better than I initially thought. The episodes are a lot more fun to watch now that the setup has been established. As JB said, it’s nice to watch when you’re in need of some light fluff. I actually found myself grinning during the episode about Sukjin’s past photo. He’s one of the more amusing characters. Basically, as JB said, we’re watching it for the eye candy. Without Jung So Min or Lee Ki Woo (and Ryu Jin. And Siwan. And Ssam D ^^), there would be no reason to watch it because the story and the writing in and of itself is not meritable enough.

    Bets are on that this drama is going to get shortened unless the low ratings somehow dramatically improve.
    I guess the format of sitcoms is still a bit unfamiliar(?) to Koreans, and that they prefer to watch daily family dramas? Iono. I have a 3G theory about ratings; basically, a solid family drama with three generations will generally get the highest ratings~~

  34. 34 jeankaycee

    thank javabeans for the highlights for stand by!

    kinda sad that you wont be recapping it but at least you enjoy watching stand by!
    and glad that you like the same highlights of the show!

    and thank you for showing So Min- Ki Woo storyline some love!

    yeah, revenge will be so sweet when the time comes that Ki Woo will fall for So Min! I hope Ki Woo will be jealous as hell to Si Wan! hehehehehe!

    hope you will still give us Stand By highlights in the future! ^_^

    thank you again javabeans for being daebak as ever!

  35. 35 Wendy

    Thank you so much for posting the highlights!!! They don’t have barely any in English so I have to wait. This helps so much! I love So Min and Ki Woo!!!

  36. 36 zoe

    I love this sitcom:) It’s really enjoyable and so funnyxD I hope Ki-Woo will fall for So-Min soon! I’d love this couple~.^

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