Drama Recaps
Nice Guy: Episode 1
by | September 13, 2012 | 191 Comments

There’s No Such Thing As Nice Guys is off to a fantastic start, and hits the ground running. The production feels assured and comfortable as it takes us by the hand and leads us into the hell of our characters’ own making. How far would you go for love? How much is too much?

I love that ‘love’ in this drama is such a questionable thing when it blurs the line between true love and obsession, making for some rich character conflicts right out of the starting gate. Another refreshing quality? The story starts now. Not later, not after a two to four episode backstory, not after breakfast. We’re thrown right into the deep end, and I’m loving it.

Also, Song Joong-ki. Need I say more? (Read below to see me say more.)


Massive Attack – “Paradise Circus” [ Download ]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


We open as an eager young man in white doctor’s wear halts at the sight of a news report, unable to suppress a smile as he watches. His name tag tells us he’s KANG MARU (Song Joong-ki), and he playfully tsks at the screen, “My ajumma is causing trouble again.”

That same ajumma ends the report with her name – HAN JAE-HEE (Park Shi-yeon) – just as Maru is called off to work.

After the opening sequence, we return to Maru scuttling behind a large group of doctors led by SUK MIN-HYUK (Jo Sung-ha). They go from patient to patient while Maru takes notes, until he finally raises his hand to ask why he and the other doctors-in-training are being ignored.

Min-hyuk’s the prickly type, and swiftly puts Maru back in his place – just because he’s wearing a doctor’s coat doesn’t make him a doctor. Maru protests, but Min-hyuk remains firm in his belief that none of the students could give him any useful answers, so why bother with questions?

Their attention is drawn away by a sick boy causing a fuss, though tests have been unable to diagnose the problem. Min-hyuk takes this opportunity to test Maru’s worth, and finally asks him a question he so wanted to hear: “What is this patient’s cause of illness?” Maru gets two hours to find out.

All the signs point to head trauma, though there’s no history of it. Maru agonizes over what to do, until the boy wakes up and tries to pull his IV out. Maru stops him, and the two adorably bicker, even though the subject matter is grave – the boy wants to be discharged since his brother has no money to pay the bill, and Maru eventually agrees to take charge of his hospital bills.

He gives the boy a playful hit on the head, only to have the boy start vomiting. Realization dawns on Maru’s face as he marches back to Min-hyuk with his diagnosis: a brain hemorrhage.

This doesn’t fit with the negative test results or the boy’s insistence that he’s fine, though Maru uses his younger sister as an example of how strong a child’s will can be.

Their escalating disagreement is cut short when the results of the boy’s angiogram come in, with no trace of an arterial tumor to be found. With no more ground to stand on, Maru backs down and admits that he must have been wrong.

The boy gets the all-clear for a discharge, and Maru gets some privacy as he stares at his reflection in a bathroom mirror.

Later that night, the boy is readmitted to the hospital, and new tests confirm Maru’s earlier diagnosis. Min-hyuk asks a fellow doctor to get in touch with Maru: “I need to tell him that, ‘I was wrong and you were right.’ Tell him that, as a teacher, it is very humiliating.”

Having earned his senior’s approval, Maru heads to his very humble home with chocolate in hand, calling for someone named Choco, who turns out to be his little sister.

…Who he finds barely conscious on the floor of her room, running a sky-high fever. He goes into crisis mode and prepares to take her to the hospital until he gets a phone call from ‘Jae-hee Noona’.

Jae-hee is in a panic, as she cries into the phone: “I think he’s dead. No, no. He is dead.” Maru is caught off guard as Jae-hee screams at him to come right away, and though he’s momentarily torn between Jae-hee and his sister, he picks Jae-hee. Ouch.

To rub some extra salt in that wound, Choco desperately begs for Oppa not to leave her alone while she’s sick. He presses a bar of chocolate into her hand and promises he’ll be back before she can count up to five hundred.

Sick and crying, she tells him that she’ll die from her sickness if he goes to Jae-hee. Maru’s conflicted but not conflicted enough, as he leaves her with the promise that he’ll be right back. Famous last words – no one’s ever ‘right back’ when they’re in dramaland.

He sends his home one last lingering glance before he rushes to a motel, and collects himself before he cracks the door open. The first thing he sees is a man lying in a pool of blood, with Jae-hee huddled near the bed.

“Is he dead?” Maru asks, and a shuddering Jae-hee replies that she doesn’t know. He slowly kneels next to the body and checks for any sign of life, and when there is none, Maru sinks back as Jae-hee parrots his same question: “Is he dead?” Maru nods.

She seems genuinely confused, or genuinely in denial, when she asks why he died. It’s a dead (har) giveaway that Maru only has to look at her for her to break down as she proclaims her innocence over and over again, each time with more conviction than the last.

After covering the body, Maru kneels in front of her as she shatters the broken bottle she used as a weapon. His voice is nearly shaking when he tells her to turn herself in – if she was just acting in self defense to keep the man from hurting her, then the police will understand.

This isn’t a viable option for Jae-hee, who knows she’ll lose everything she’s worked for even if that’s the case. Maru doesn’t see how losing her reporter status would be the end of the world, claiming she could just start over – a thought that gets her screaming and reaching for the glass shards to kill herself.

In hysterics, she cries that she can’t go back to the hellhole that she came from and would rather die instead. Maru tries to grapple the glass out of her hand as she cries that her world is over – she’s endured fifteen hard years on her road to being an anchorwoman, and without it, she has nothing.

Maru ends up with a cut on his wrist during the scuffle, but his face has changed. “Can’t I be a reason?” he asks. He claims that he’s spent thirteen years living only for her, like the light at the end of a dark tunnel. “A guy like me… can’t I be a reason for you to live?”

It’s a little eerie that the two of them can sit so close to a corpse, but now that she’s calmed down, they talk a little about God while Jae-hee resigns to turn herself in. She’s barely able to eke out a few words to the police before Maru, looking dead ahead, grabs the phone away from her.

He grabs her in a deep and desperate kiss before he starts to clear the room of fingerprints. Is he doing what I think he’s doing? “I killed this man,” Maru says in a shaky voice. No no no. Snap out of it, man!

“Don’t ever turn back,” Maru tells her, but she doesn’t want to leave him. He tells her that it doesn’t matter to him if he doesn’t become a doctor, but she can’t live if her dream is shattered. Wait, so he’s taking the fall because he thinks he’s the only one who can?

To add insult to injury, he smiles in the face of such a bleak future and reassures her that he’ll be fine. “Just go, Noona.”

We cut to SEO EUN-KI (Moon Chae-won) as she picks up a reluctant man she calls Director Choi for carpooling. There’s a weird, nervous energy around her, like crazy just waiting to happen.

When asked why she doesn’t have a chauffeur, she replies that she’s too temperamental, and when he keeps calling her agasshi, she wonders if he’s purposefully looking down on her. There’s a juxtaposition with the words she’s saying and the tone in which she says them, kind of like sugarcoating a pile of barbed wire.

It doesn’t seem like Director Choi means any offense, even though she’s become his supervisor at the mere age of twenty-three, with only a Harvard MBA. At least, that’s the sort of talk she knows he’s been doing behind her back. Eek.

As they near a tunnel, Eun-ki basically tells him to hold on tight as she starts aggressively driving and talking business statistics at the same time. Whoa. This girl is hardcore.

She accuses him of skimming a little off the top as far as business dealings are concerned, and displays her knack for road rage when another car forces her to skid to a stop. This is almost bipolar, since she yells at the other car before returning to her sweet-yet-not tone with Director Choi.

They finally come to a stop, but the home they’re in front of is where we find Jae-hee standing in Maru’s clothes. She hands a file over to a man she calls ‘Chairman’, and it becomes clear that the murder (or at least the meeting gone awry) might have been something he ordered.

Jae-hee fights back her tears as she asks him, “To the man as precious as my life… Do you know what I have done to him?” He embraces her, while Eun-ki glares from the car.

Maru waits for the police to arrive in the hotel room, with Jae-hee’s words about repaying the debt for the rest of her life echo in his mind. The sound of sirens engulfs him as he calls his little sister, and fights back tears as he tells her: “I’m sorry. For not being able to keep the promise.”

Everything finally starts to seep in once Maru hangs up, and his struggle to hold back his own tears is equally heartbreaking and… well, strange. I don’t know whether to feel sorry for him or whether to give him a good shake of the shoulders. I think I want to shake him, but in reality I feel only pity.

In voiceover, we hear a judge sentence Maru to five years in prison. (Five years for murder? Seems a bit light.)

Six years later. Maru stares soullessly from a Tokyo hotel window as he gives the woman he spent the last night with money instead of warm and fuzzy feelings. She’s an infamous gold digger, and Maru coolly explains that he just doesn’t have the kind of money she’s looking for.

She tries to stop him from leaving with a confession of love, and instantly falls into his arms the second Maru says, without expression, that he believes her. With frighteningly dead eyes, he returns her embrace.

Eun-ki’s in the suite next door, dreaming fitfully of her mother before the man keeping vigil at her bedside accidentally wakes her up.

Turns out she’s slept in because he was concerned for her health, especially with a pre-existing medical condition. Needless to say, she’s pissed, and fumes at PARK JOON-HA (Lee Sang-yeob), who is revealed to be her lawyer.

She springs out of bed and gives him a cold warning – if the business negotiations fail because he let her sleep in, it’ll be off with his head.

Unable to get business off her mind, Eun-ki emerges from the shower wearing nothing but a towel and a poker face as she discusses a cosmetics complaint with a nervous Joon-ha, who tries to keep his eyes averted.

In an interesting turn, Eun-ki reveals that Joon-ha is gay (orrrr is he?), and assures him that she’ll carry his secret to the grave.

Eun-ki meets with the Japanese woman who filed a complaint against their cosmetics brand, and bows formally in apology. She hands over an envelope of money that helps to butter the woman up as they share a meal and dessert, but Eun-ki’s demeanor turns cold as she gifts the woman with the cream that supposedly ruined her face, claiming that the same cream was in their dessert.

It sounds gross, and it still is gross even when Eun-ki claims that their products are so organic, that they’re edible. And if the cream contains metals as the woman said, Eun-ki promises that they’ll both be in the hospital by tomorrow morning.

Eventually Eun-ki gets the woman to drop the act, and reveals her as a Korean immigrant trying to act Japanese. Joon-ha is present as she hands over proof that their competitor paid the woman around $40,000 to file the bogus complaint.

The woman blusters at Eun-ki’s biting remark that she ruined her face for such a tiny sum, but the odds are no longer in her favor. Eun-ki swears to Joon-ha that she’ll make their competitor pay, and if I were them, I’d start running.

She walks outside, barely missing Maru and his lady friend having a one-sided smooching session underneath a tree. Again with the dead eyes. Maru, there is a soul in there, right? *knock knock*

Eun-ki’s vision blurs and she stumbles, though Jae-hee is right there to catch her and fuss over her. Jae-hee is at the resort with Eun-ki’s father, and tends to Eun-ki like a mother even though they look more like siblings.

Once the sweet act is dropped, Eun-ki accuses her of acting concerned only to put on a show. A child comes running out and latches onto Eun-ki, his noona, who’s none to happy to see him. “I guess it runs in the family,” Eun-ki coldly tells Jae-hee. “You both are tactless. And you cling to whomever you see fit.”

Jae-hee just claims that her son, Eun-suk, just likes his noona. Is that such a crime? Eun-ki holds him at arm’s-length, looks him straight in the eye, and says, “What older sister? I don’t acknowledge you as my younger brother. I’ve told you more than one hundred times. Do you still not know what’s going on? Are you stupid?” Harsh.

Jae-hee asks how she can say that to a child, but Eun-ki reminds her that before he’s a child, he’s her son first and foremost. She holds a grudge against Jae-hee for becoming her father’s mistress when she was young enough to be his daughter, and accuses her of driving his wife away.

And because of that, she’s scared of Eun-suk, who could one day try to take the company away from her. She leaves, and Jae-hee is left to comfort her son, only a hop skip and a jump away from Maru.

Maru has his own crying person to care for, friend PARK JAE-GIL (Lee Kwang-soo), who was totally not just sobbing over a girl. Weirdly enough, Jae-gil asks if Maru succeeded when he hands over a bank book.

Ah, so the gold digger originally stole Jae-gil’s heart and money, and Maru sexed the money right out of her. I guess… that’s a cool thing to do for your friend? Does sleeping with someone to get your friend’s money back make you a good friend, or a weird one?

Maru sleeps on the plane ride back to Seoul, and Jae-gil catches a girl eyeing Maru. Hilariously, he writes a warning and holds it next to Maru’s head, replete with pointing: “He’s a pervert and player, and he thinks women are servants.” He also writes a note singing his own praises, heh.

When Maru gets up to use the bathroom, Jae-gil takes the opportunity to hit on the girl, only to be stopped by an imposing gangster, who she reveals to be her boyfriend by writing it on her palm and flashing it his way. Jae-gil immediately backs down. Hah.

Eun-ki emerges from the bathroom only to fall into Maru’s arms, and I love that Maru’s just like, Sigh. Another one? He must get this a lot.

But Eun-ki’s sick and dripping with sweat, and Maru gently lies her on the ground before he checks her pulse. I’d almost forgotten he was a med student once. Is my short-term memory that bad, or is Song Joong-ki’s acting that good?

He leaves her to the flight attendants, who use the loudspeaker to ask if there’s a doctor on board. Jae-hee is in first class too, and worries over Eun-ki’s waning pulse. “Nothing can happen to her,” Jae-hee frets.

Maru’s content to leave his headphones on until Jae-gil jabs him to do something – he was in med school once, after all. Maru’s still not biting, and it takes Jae-gil forcibly removing his headphones and declaring that his sister, Choco, would have died long ago if everyone acted like Maru and passed her by.

Maru finally gets up to escape Jae-gil’s rambling, and Jae-gil smiles: “I knew it. Choco always works for you.”

Eun-ki’s still unconscious and sweating when Maru goes to take a look at her, and he declares that the situation is serious. He asks for her guardian… Oh, crap.

None other but Jae-hee herself emerges, and the shock of recognition registers on both their faces. He looks her in the eye and tells her that he dropped out of medical school, almost like an accusation. Or hell, it’s probably a flat-out accusation, considering the why of it all.

He demands to know their relationship, and Jae-hee admits that she’s her daughter… not biologically, but from her husband’s previous marriage. That’s already a big ouch for Maru, and to add insult to injury, Eun-suk is traveling with them and calls for his mommy.

You can just see Maru’s world crashing down as he struggles to control himself, but things aren’t looking good with the closest airport being thirty minutes away.

He douses his hands in alcohol and begins an emergency procedure to remove the excess water and air out of Eun-ki’s lungs, by sticking a huge and very scary needle into her chest.

Eun-ki starts coughing, and Jae-hee starts freaking out. Maru asks her if Eun-ki’s ever been in a car accident, though Jae-hee can’t focus enough to tell him. He snaps at her, “Has she ever injured her ribs from an accident? You said that you are her mother.”

And damn, does he have a nasty bite to his words. He’s both fishing for information and taking jabs at her, making for some awesome subtext.

He sticks another needle into Eun-ki’s lungs even as she’s coughing up blood, and Jae-hee is nearly hysteric as she tries to stop him. But she says the very un-magic words: “You’re not even a doctor! I told you to stop!”

And Maru just shoots her this look.


Hold me, I think I’m in love.

Putting my Song Joong-ki bias aside, this was a really solid opening. The whole production feels very assured, and we can at least sit back knowing we’re in good hands. The talent is certainly up to par, and I love when a first episode leaves my head spinning with all the juicy dramatic possibilities. There’s just so much to work with.

If I’m relieved about one thing, it’s that we have two characters with a long history and we’re not shown, in excruciating detail, a long flashback of their childhood and how they grew up together. It leaves a lot to the imagination as to how Maru and Jae-hee grew up, and I like the fact that we don’t know everything right off the bat.

For instance, we don’t know or understand why Jae-hee ended up murdering a guy in a motel room, but we know that it’s maybe somehow connected to Eun-ki’s dad. Why? We don’t know. How? We don’t know. We can guess, maybe that Jae-hee was doing whatever it took to climb up the social ladder, but it’s hard to know for sure. Why was Maru none too surprised to see her in a shady motel in the first place? How far does this go?

Maru is a pitiable character for sure, which is something that’s both not surprising (because who doesn’t feel sorry for a martyr?) yet still somehow surprising, because he had a moment where he could choose between his sick sister or his desperate girlfriend, and he chose the latter. But I almost felt bad for the guy, because he looked so conflicted about it, while at the same time he seemed simply unable to fight the invisible pull Jae-hee had on him.

But then we enter a conundrum on how far our pity should go when he brought this upon himself, no matter the reason. It’s like, either he’s the best boyfriend ever or a complete masochist with a martyr complex, someone simply incapable of living just for themselves.

Which makes it doubly interesting that it’s been a year since his release and the plane meeting seems like the first time he’s seen Jae-hee since prison, so we’re left wondering what all transpired in that time between. Or at least I am. That vicious look he gave? Oh man. He is going dark, and I love it.

I thought it was interesting when Jae-gil called Maru out for being a selfish bastard, because all we saw him do before his prison sentence was give, give, give. Granted, the giving was mostly going in Jae-hee’s direction, but something seems to ring false about his facade of Not Caring. Especially when he went out of his way to get Jae-gil’s money back by sleeping with his gold-digging ex. I mean, if that’s not friendship, then what is?

So far, Eun-ki is the character that emits the least sympathy compared to the rest of the characters (though this is pretty debatable with Jae-hee dumping Maru to marry up), but I don’t find her character either too bitchy or too annoying. I kind of like the manic quality she has about her, and how she can turn her Evil-o-Meter from a two to a ten all in one sentence. She’s got her eyes on business, and it’s hard to blame her for disliking her incredibly young stepmother, especially if Jae-hee had something to do with kicking Eun-ki’s biological mom out of the house.

So I guess she does warrant some sympathy, maybe more so than Jae-hee, since it’s hard to get a read on her. I wonder if she sleeps well at night knowing that Maru served an (admittedly shortish) prison sentence for her. I wonder if Maru sleeps well at night knowing he threw his life away for a girl who’s left him. I wonder how well I’ll sleep at night waiting to find out more.

Either way, I’m stoked. Bring on the pain, Nice Guy, because it hurts so good.


191 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. javabeans

    Thanks for the awesomeness, as ever!

    I’m liking it. Story’s a little predictable, but the acting is fantastic.

    I LOVE Moon Chae-won in this. Bitchy, yes, but bitchy with purpose. She’s such fun to watch.

    • 1.1 girlfriday

      Dude, Moon Chae-won could scare the needles off a porcupine in this. So. Great.

      • 1.1.1 meecheellee

        I just LOOOVE her attitude in this. “I’m driving like there’s no tomorrow and oh, [business statistic] , and also you better stop your shady business, I gotta eagle eye on ya. NBD.”

        Moon Chae Won, I likey. πŸ˜€

        • edge

          thank you for the recap! =D

          and also, what does NBD mean?

          • meecheellee

            NBD= no big deal.

    • 1.2 cleo

      Oh, wholeheartedly agree with you, javabeans. Episode 2 is getting even better! πŸ™‚

    • 1.3 GaksitalPyong

      Song Joong Ki is nailing it as well, but Moon Chae Won is totally killing it. With her limited screen time thus far, she is totally the stand out. I think this was highlighted even further in Episode 2 where she just nails every scene, and she has even changed her mannerisms and it’s hard to explain but even her presence has this cold vibe. Her words carry a sharp tone. I’m just so used to seeing her shy, reserved, and elegant image that she has cumulated thus far, and this is a complete 180. Going to watch the drama for her. I wish they can keep this bad-ass Eungi FOREVER.

    • 1.4 ilikemangos

      O.mg. i was just telling my friend how i LOVE how our heroine is such a badass BITCH.

    • 1.5 lin

      looooove MCW in this. right now her character is why I will keep watching. As handsome and talented SJK is, I feel no sympathy for a guy who chooses a girl over his sick sister who never complains about being sick unless she is really sick sick and then goes on to give up his dreams and goals in life for said girl which leaves said sister alone while he is in prison to learn to cope and survive on her own. he is in a hell oh his own making, he made that bed and had to lay in it. I can understand why he wants revenge but at the same time JH never asked or forced him to jail, he chose that all on his own.

      • 1.5.1 jjmintz

        Well that’s why we have to keep watching, ep 2 finally tells us how he started on the path to revenge… Can’t wait for next week!!! Both song joong ki and moon chae won are my favorites!!

      • 1.5.2 lizzie

        let’s not forget Jae Hee did threat him. If she had to face her crime she would kill herself. She being someone important to him, he couldn’t lose her so he did it.

        Buuuut he lost her anyway. lol

    • 1.6 zsa

      SJK is just as awesome as I’d imagine him to be for this role!!! And MCW doesn’t need any introduction to good acting….even PSY is stepping it up real well compared to her La Dolce Vita days where she plays similar conflicted character….BUT i’d give away my last dollar for Song Joong Ki…BRAVO!!

    • 1.7 KDrama Fan

      Thanks Heads. This drama looks really exciting. Thanks for all the SJK screen shots:)

    • 1.8 Kgrl

      If you watch Ep 2, you’ll see that the story definitely has a twist to the “big revenge” and how it all started. ChaeKi hasn’t even talked and they have such sizzling chemistry.

      HeadsNo2, awesome recap. I don’t know if I can sleep well at night either. I’m dying waiting to see ChaeKi aka EunMa (as in the chocolate brand ^-* ) actually talk.

    • 1.9 ladida

      I LOVE how calculating she is, and how she just knows exactly how to deal with the people around her so that she gets what she wants. Moon Chae Won <333!

  2. kristi

    Earmarking this for later (have seen the ep but need food), but just wanted to say I’ve been looking forward to your recaps of NG forever. πŸ™‚ Thrilled to see your first salvo. Hurrah!

  3. chara

    what do you think about park si yeon?

    • 3.1 javabeans

      Much improved. If she plays the character conflicted, I’ll love her. If she resorts to something more stock (as in, I’ve done one terrible thing so I may as well be terrible forever), I’ll probably hate the character.

  4. Arhazivory

    Damn…the opening is solid as expected, but I’m still afraid of diving into this one. But damn…SOng Joon Ki has such great intensity just from the screencaps alone.

    And…welcome back to Recap world Heads. πŸ˜€

    • 4.1 True2u

      The guy seriously impressed me in “Tree With Deep Roots” so after seeing his acting prowess there, i have no doubt that he will give nothing shorter than his best.

    • 4.2 ilikemangos

      dive in and join us!
      episode 2 gets better and i am just prepping myself for this melo show that isn’t too overdone. perfect mood for me. satisfies my thirst for a well-done revenge story without the makjang-y twists.

  5. Miichiyeo

    oh my god, this sounds SOOOOOOO good! I can’t wait!!

    And it’s funny that I kept refreshing your page to see the recaps and just decided to watch the episode (which just came out). When I was done I check and you posted!!!! Thanks for the posts and keep them up! We all appreciate them!

  6. eh

    For a melo, this was remarkably understated which imo is a good thing and I hope it stays like this for the rest of the drama.

    The acting all across the board is really excellent but of course special props to SJK who I like a lot (I mean it’s hard not to since he’s so pretty!) but who has really proven in his past couple projects that he’s not just a pretty face. The scene where he’s looking out the window waiting for the cops and the camera is just focused on his face? He says so much without even saying anything.

  7. ricky

    I was thinking about skipping this one, but from this recap I don’t think I’ll be able to. Really good and interesting so far. Definitely one I need to watch.

    So far it seems worthy to replace gaksital’s time slot. Thanks for the recap!

  8. Noemi

    Awesome! Thanks for the recap, HeadsNo2! I watched the first episode this evening, and I definitely think it’s going to be one heck of a ride.

    I was kind of curious…I guess since Maru went to prison for straight-up murder, he didn’t try to plea self-defense at all? Since that’s what he was going to have Jae-hee plea, I’m wondering what explanation Maru gave for the murder. If he actually gave any, that is. Not that it’s vital to the plot, but I would be curious to know.

    “In an interesting turn, Eun-ki reveals that Joon-ha is gay (orrrr is he?), and assures him that she’ll carry his secret to the grave.” Yeah, I’m pretty sure the relationship chart had a little heart between Eun-ki and Joon-ha…I’ll be interested to see how that develops.

    • 8.1 Anne

      Well, maybe he figured that if he’ll try to defend his way out of prison then it’ll end up in an investigation, then they’ll discover jaehee’s involvement. Which would then render his “sacrifice” useless.

      • 8.1.1 Noemi

        Interesting point!

      • 8.1.2 brittni

        Yeah I was thinking the same thing. I was like wait cant the show time of death and prove he didn’t do it? If I was his sister I would totally say he was with me at this time do he couldn’t have done it. So I’m kinds confused as to why the fidget didn’t step up and say hey check his phone records but okay… anywho I LOVED this episode Song Joint Ki was amazing I am spazzing out waiting for the episodes too be dubbed damn my limited knowledge of the Korean language!! Haha

        • brittni

          Smart phones are not very smart… damn you auto correct.

    • 8.2 ilikemangos

      haha. i find the actor that plays lawyer joon-ha quite handsome, and considering how nervous he looked when she stepped out with only a towel, i dont think this guy is all that truthful.

    • 8.3 ravens_nest

      I’m fairly certain he actually did plead self-defense and got involuntary manslaughter which is why he only did 5yrs instead of 20…

      • 8.3.1 Noemi

        Oh, ok…that would make sense then why his sentence was so short.

      • 8.3.2 Meghan

        I think the same thing. If he had no connection to the guy, no history, and no clear motive for killing him, it would be hard to get him on a murder charge. If he confessed, like he did, he most likely got a plea deal, so therefore the shorter sentence.

    • 8.4 mab8901

      It has to either be self-defense or accidental killing. There’s no way you get off that light for straight up murder.

  9. Mia

    Thank you for the recap HeadsNo2!!!
    I was wondering if anyone will recap this cuz IT IS good~
    The acting from Joong-ki and Chae-won are so scary. Omg you’d think they’re the antagonists instead of the main characters.
    WOW Joong-ki is on a roll! I also can’t wait for Wolf Boy!

    • 9.1 Mia

      Also anticipating Lee Kwang-soo as Jae-gil and Lee Yoo-bi as Choco. πŸ™‚

  10. 10 Bakachild

    My Song Joong-ki bias was showing when i was watching the first two episodes. It’s really good anyway and hopefully it continues on this path of intrigue but I’ll be honest in saying that I picked up this show for Joong-ki and I’ll finish it for him. I’m just so happy he’s got a leading role in a drama.
    Loving this show, keep up with the recaps, they’re great πŸ˜€ please and thank you

    Also wondering, is it just HeadsNo2 recapping by herself or are javabeans and girlfriday going to jump in sometimes?

  11. 11 mary

    I want the “gay” lawyer to just pretend to be gay to keep close to Eun ki.

    And SJK is just… O_O is this really Yeo rim?!

  12. 12 Onichick

    Oh this drama is going to hurt. Part of me is going to love Dark!Joongki while part of me is going to be all NO HE IS MADE UP SUNSHINE AND PUPPIES AND I LUBS HIM!

    I may need therapy afterwards…and chocolate. Mostly the chocolate.

    But sooo excited *rubs hands together*

  13. 13 trixicopper

    What a great start! I love a show that throws you right into the action.
    My only request (which will probably be ignored) is PLEASE no “who’s your daddy” story line. Just once kdrama, let the old man be the kids father.

    Thanks for the recap HeadsNo2! πŸ™‚

    • 13.1 Anne

      If this drama is going to make Joongki the dad of that kid, then /ragequit for sure.

      • 13.1.1 ReY

        somehow I doubt that.. I think somewhere she said that he’s only four years old -> it’s been six years since Maru and Jaehee last met so it’s hardly possible he’s the father IMHO

        • Anne

          I honestly hope your right. I know this drama probably wont do anything novel plotwise and its going to be one standard those makjang (sp?). JUST. NOT. THE. MYSTERIOUS. BABY. DADDY. PLOT.

          It’ll separate itself from the other melos with superb acting from all characters for sure.

    • 13.2 ilikemangos

      ahahah i was swearing to god the same thing.
      but eun-sook is definitely not maru’s, considering the boy’s only 3-4 and he was in prison for 5 years.
      i’m just going to hope this writer doesn’t toss in birth secrets.
      i think we can all handle a good melo without the makjang. lol

  14. 14 Anne

    Watched this for Joongki, but right from the bat i figured Moon Chae Won is goung to be my fave character here.

    • 14.1 Jushi

      Same. But then, I’ve been rooting for MCW from the very beginning – based on her character’s description alone. Seeing her play Eun Gi though solidify my interest in her character.

      • 14.1.1 Anne

        I sincerely hope she continues being a headstrong woman who takes no BS from others. If they make her the standard weak-soon-going-to-die heroine after falling in love with Maru, i am going to be very upset.

        • Jushi

          Haha. My god! I have that same apprehension, too. The amnesiac Eun Gi is what I am dreading. Because I am loving every bit of her character now.

        • girlatsea

          My thoughts exactly. I like the current Eun-Gi. I really don’t know if I would still watch if they made her weak.

          • Anne

            Praying to drama gods that they keep her as an HBIC. Because we hardly get lead characters in melos who can stand up for themselves.

            I tbh dont even know why most people are so surprised with moon chae won carrying the bitchy role so well, she afterall got famous playing the bitchy other girl in shining inheritance. Tho, she started playing nice girls after that. So it must be why people keep seeing her as demure or w/e. and she can rock any role. Good or bad. I luff her!

          • cleo

            I think it has things to do with the way how she talks in real life. very soft spoken and demure

          • toystar

            Great recap!! Can I 2nd that girlatsea. I’m loving Eun-Gi she’s a bad girl with a purpose.

  15. 15 Kiara

    I knew it I knew I shouldnt have looked. Ah…Song Joong-ki <3.

  16. 16 Laica

    Awwww yeah, another HeadsNo2 recap! πŸ™‚

    I was a little iffy in the first half, what with the totally stupid decisions Maru made for a girl who doesn’t seem worth it – hello? She won’t even go to jail, but you sure will. And what about poor sick Choco, who actually IS your responsibility? But it’s Joong-ki Oppa, so I kept watching. Plus I realize that we have to have some messed-up shiz go down in the beginning for all the revengey melo to get going.

    The rest was great though. I am totally with you on jumping right into the story without the 4-6 episode childhood portion, which is long enough that you get attached to the child actors, and then they disappear and you have all these strange faces that evoke no sympathy. I love that we jumped right into the real story too.

    I kind of hate Jae-hee already. If she really loved him, she wouldn’t have let him do that for her. But then there is a long history between them, and maybe that’s the pattern they’ve had for the last thirteen years – she gets in messes, he cleans them up.

    Song Joong-ki is KILLING it. That glare at the end literally made the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

    I love the entire cast, actually. Park Shi-yeon and Moon Chae-won of course, but there’s also Lee Kwang-soo (I love their friendship!), Lee Sang-yeob, the teddy bear ajusshi who played the head doctor in the beginning – I don’t know his name but I hope we see him again. I like the girl playing Maru’s little sister too, first time seeing her.

    Thanks for the recap, I’m so happy you’re doing this one! I heard the Jin recaps were epic, but I have a weak stomach when it comes to medical gore. So glad to be following a show with you again. πŸ™‚

  17. 17 Ara

    SJK looks so much like a little boy even though he’s in his late twenties!

  18. 18 Jushi

    I am quite invested on this drama because I have started early on in this. Like, knowing the BTS and how things are developing. I am just hoping (really really hoping) that the awesomeness would continue till the end.

    By far, acting and directing are great.

  19. 19 Suzi Q

    Your right.It is a bit predictable, but very slick and stylish. Nothing outstanding to mark it any different from other Kdramas.

    However, Song Joong ki is playing against his usual type, Mr. Nice, but he acts very wooden. He is playing a very low despicable gigolo character after he gives up everything for his girlfriend.This is very dark compared to his previous roles. He was compassionate as a med student, but has lost his humanity while in prison, and he treats women like trash. Actually, Maru is no longer nice or innocent as the title implies.

    So far, I love the actors, but I dislike all of the characters in this drama. They’re awful personalities. If this is following the line of predictability, I bet you the kid is Maru’s son.

    • 19.1 ilikemangos

      actually, *mini spoiler*
      in episode 2, you understand more about why maru chooses to do what he does.
      it’s not that he treats women like trash, it’s that he’s a gigolo trying to get money from women in order to pay for all of choco’s bills, considering no one wants to hire an ex-convict.
      It’s actually really sad that he had to resort to that. And they tell us that he was actually waiting for Jae hee all this time, so im thinking his indifference to the women he slept with is to keep his emotions detached; not hard considering prison probably changed him.

  20. 20 Kdrama fan

    I was a little hesitant about seeing this drama because The only SJK roles I’ve seen have been happy go luck types. But goodness gracious is he awesome in this. I loved how sweet and considerate he was in the beginning of the episode. The usual characters he’s played. But then the change in him. The deadness in his eyes in the Japanese hotel, the lack of emotion and interest is so palpable that I felt it throughout the later part of the episode. Again WOW!

    MCW is awesome as the smart, bitchy, demanding daughter. Man the change in character from being so “nice” to being vicious was another awesome acting to see. WOW! I was cheering her on when she showed her smarts by spouting numbers at the director and how calm she was yet cold. Then suddenly she’s showing her passion and fury when she lets loose with the curing put down on the driver who cut her off! Whew, so glad I’m not at the receiving end of that. It’s another no holds barred. Wow. I also love the actor playing her father. I’ve always loved his acting. It’s going to be interesting to see what their relationship in this series will be like compared to Princess’ Man!

    Can’t wait to see the next episode!!!!

    • 20.1 Kiara

      Watch Tree With Deep Roots. I loved him in Sungkyunkwan Scandal but damn he was even better as King Sejong. I knew he was born to act and I was born to watch him. I hate melodramas but I cant resist this one because he is in it.

      • 20.1.1 Kdrama fan

        Kiara, I forgot about that! He was very intense in that series, too. But gosh, as Maru the intensity… Or should I say the darkness, the brooding, the hatred, etc. are out of this world for SJK. I’ve found new respect for him as an actor.

        • Kiara

          That much intensity in the first 2 eps, imagine what it’s going to be like later. I love watching an actor that can move effortlessly into any emotional area and Joon-ki is so good at it. He’s got this expressive voice and body that was spot on in TWDR ….. made go whoa this kid is going to go places.
          I may not like the story but I’ll watch the hell out of it because I really dig his acting.

          • Kiara

            err made me

    • 20.2 jjmintz

      Oh yeah, I forgot they were father and daughter before!! This will be cool lol…

  21. 21 KDaddict

    I watched for 15 mins., n the melo got to me. I was thinking:
    If you love a snake, you r going to get bitten by one.
    Take care of that sick dongsaeng, n do the right thing, or you can go running to your gf, choose to cover up her murder, n let things go to hell in a hurry for you! Life is about the choices we make. When the melo in a drama is about the lousy hand that ‘fate’ deals the characters, it makes me sad. When the melo is of their own making, it makes me mad.
    Love SJK n MCW!

  22. 22 Anne

    I dont like melodramas so much. I hate it with passion when characters are all weak and sick and being cruely stepped on by evil characters. That just screams “give me pity!” which i dont really enjoy.

    This melo on the other hand have all shrewed characters, so maybe i can get through this.

    Plus i like that all though it’s a melo, the emotions are protrayed in a subtle way without being over the top emotional, sans jaehee’s post murder freak out which is acceptable given the situation.

    Plus moon chae won is an awesome little bitch. /worshiiiip

    • 22.1 ilikemangos

      Yup. i can’t go far with makjang shows, but i think nice guy does a great job at displaying our character’s feelings without being over-done.
      oh jeez, we don’t need a bunch of tears or angst in order to feel it.
      I love how our main character’s are all so crazy cold! this is definitely something i haven’t seen in k-dramaland, where the hero/heroine are both just very cold people. Usually we have one of the character’s display a very positive and affectionate quality, but i am definitely curious as to how both will heal through each other.

  23. 23 ColleenRae

    I watched this last night on Viikii and thouhgt it was awesome!!! The acting, writing, directing everything just comes together really well. SJK does seemingly dead and soulless really well. I love MCW’s manic sassiness, when she has her prey cornered she leaves them no room for escape, it is awesome. I am totally in!! Thanks for the recap!!!

  24. 24 quirkywhit

    YAY! You’re back! I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m totally a HeadsNo2 fangirl — kinda have a crush on your writing. =) And this time you have a (seemingly, hopefully, please be) good show to recap! Awesome post (as always) and I absolutely LOVE Song Joong Ki in this.

    Watching him act makes me realize how often I’ve watched a Kdrama full of people that couldn’t really act; there is something so seamless about it. Especially taking into account the fact that he seems to be a terribly nice guy in real life. And I can’t see any of that while watching him on the screen — he’s completely immersed himself with his character (and I know this sounds like a lot of praise for the first episode, so does it help to say I watched the second as well?) and is offering so much subtext that it’s amazing. What that guy can do with his eyes…

    I’m also loving Moon Chae Won in this and realizing that she does a lot with just her eyes as well. And WOW is she fierce and intense in this (I’m watching The Princess’ Man right now as well and it’s kind of startling to see how much range she has — obviously in a good way). And Park Shi Yeon is absolutely gorgeous as usual and has me truly curious about her character. Usually I’d write such a character off, but there’s vulnerability to her that makes me wonder what all she was willing to do to find what she would consider stability and a semblance of happiness (you know, besides the obvious murder).

    Anyway, this is getting long and I just seriously wanted to cheer that you’re back. =) One more for the road: YOU’RE BACK!!!! πŸ˜€

  25. 25 James

    I have to say that I am disappointed… I guess κ°μ‹œνƒˆ, μ λ„μ˜ λ‚¨μž, and 솑쒅기 in λŠ‘λŒ€μ†Œλ…„ made my expectations higher.

    • 25.1 Mamy

      Did you see Wolf boy?

  26. 26 infinite7l

    I find the story boring but strong acting by Song Joong ki.

  27. 27 v

    I really need to stop myself to watch this drama before the final episode…cos its ending is anything like Bad Guy…. I will stay 10 feet away from it….

  28. 28 jyyjc

    I’m quite liking this drama. I expected to started with 3-4 episodes of the backstory with their childhood and all that jazz but it’s surprising that we dive right into the story on the first ep.

  29. 29 girlatsea

    Yay Heads! I’ve been waiting for this all day! Thank you so much. I really liked the first episode~ Oh man, Joong-ki is hitting it out of the park (that look at the end). PSY and MCW are great too! And the directing is A+. I especially love the feel of the drama. The music is a bit much but I have to remind myself that this is a melo.

    I have to agree with GF, I think MCW’s character is my favorite so far. And our resident giraffe LKS is always a cute.

    Ah, I’m so excited for more!

    • 29.1 girlatsea

      Oh yes and Lee Seung-yeob! I’m so excited to see him after ILICDD, I hope we get to see a lot of him!

      • 29.1.1 girlatsea

        Lee Sang-yeop** oops, I’m just really excited hahah

  30. 30 ilikemangos

    omg Heads, i was debating out of all the other currently busy recapping team that you’d be the one to possibly pick this one up.
    and here you are, recapping a show that i’m diving in with uncontrollable thirst.

  31. 31 pigtookie

    nice, after one dark conflicted hero we get another dark twisty conflicted hero (or is he a hero?). the acting and directing, I like. I haven’t watched the main trio act much before though I do like SJK from RM/SS, but I’m intrigued by all of them.

    glad to have you recapping, Heads!

  32. 32 bishbash

    yay more HeadsNo2 goodness!!

    and Song Joong Ki! OMG this noona here is waiting so long for his return to the small screen!!!

    *enters 4th dimension*

  33. 33 wowow

    Yay Moon chae won! :DD Loved her since ages ago <3

  34. 34 baNTai

    Koalasplayground make the fastest recap for NG there..they look more passionly about NG..So.,i visit them instead here..I’m so thankfully whoever make the recap for NG…

    • 34.1 hawaiianseoul


    • 34.2 Anne


    • 34.3 Hafy

      You don’t have to say that you know.. You can just go there and not to say anything about it here.

    • 34.4 GaksitalPyong

      This comment was rude.

      • 34.4.1 heads2yes

        No it wasnt. She was thankful for the recappers she was just saying koala is faster. I guess it helps to know that heads is doing the recap from a coffee shop. ehehe

        • Mystisith

          And she has the time zone difference in her favor. ^^

  35. 35 hereoR

    After finish both two early episode…
    I already know NG will be end with a Sad Ending..
    but i promise i’ll endure the pain in my heart and watch this drama until the end to cry together with Eun Gi..
    poor EG…
    poor Maru…
    thanks for NG recap..

  36. 36 Vincy

    OMG. I haven’t read the recap properly.
    BUT. OH. MY. GOD.

    It’s my weekly dose of thriller, since Gaksital has finished airing.

    I LOVE IT.

  37. 37 ilikemangos

    After finishing episode 2, i am confident to say that Eun-Gi is my favorite character as of now.
    Such an interesting personality. You got that bitchy tone, that strong demeanor, that cold stoned face, and that crazy temper..
    We dive a bit more into why she’s that way in episode 2, and then we’re given more details as to why she’s turned out such a badass porcupine-scaring bitch..

  38. 38 Jillia

    LOVE it!!! Nothing more to say.:D

    Thanks for recapping! I’m looking forward to your 2nd episode recap. :3

  39. 39 Reena

    hahahaha Joongki and Gwang Soo scenes! Can’t help but remember all of those Running Man moments! ^^ Gosh, I didn’t think much about Joong Ki because I though he’s all puppies and rainbows but after watching him in this… Phew! Awessssooome! He found another fan in me! ^^

  40. 40 joujoujou

    I wasn’t going to watch this show for its dark theme.. But after reading your recaps, I’m definitely watching it!
    Thanks for the great recaps πŸ˜€

  41. 41 namemelydia

    Watching this for Moon Chae Won. My bias.
    I love this character right now as Eun Gi. However I hoping she doesn’t become a damsel in distress when she loses her memory.
    Although, if she does become one after she loses it, I hope when she regains her memory she’ll become uber bitchy πŸ˜‰

    Song Joong Ki is good too. His eyes, tells me he has became better at expressing emotion through them.

    And lol, the family from TPM has come to modern times.
    The father, mother for MCW in that drama are here too. Same relationships also. But different feelings toward one another.

    Honestly, Maru left his sister… when she could have died! Doesn’t sit well with me. And then he offered to take the fall from Jaehee.
    He basically chose his path…

    Too bad he realised that he gave it all away for a woman who left him.

    Park Shi Yeon is doing well with Jaehee.
    This drama doesn’t feel overdramatic as melos normally are.

  42. 42 FishFillets

    this is so AWESOME!!!!!!!! <3
    fantastic cast i must say ^^

  43. 43 Viki

    not reading this at the moment…I’m going to watch this on-going…but will start after I finish this week’s homework!!!

    omo, why so much homework during times when there’s so many good dramas out? =/

  44. 44 Jushi

    I thought Nice Guy have 20 episodes. Not 16.

  45. 45 subject

    You, my dear, going to deal with MASTER of melo writing – Lee Kyung Hee. Oh, that woman knows how to write a story of revenge mixed with pain, cruelty and obsession and make us, the viewers, despite the difficulty to come back for another dose. So, I prepared myself ahead to contain all the sadness and here I am, joining to the WILD ride.

    So far, after watching only a raw of episode 1 and reading your recap, I have few things to say:
    1. Why a young man throw away his life in the name of the love? What does that sacrifice says about Maru? Is this action forces the circumstances so in fact he takes ownership of Jae Hee’s life? – I saw Jae Hee crying on her lost future if she accused of murder, but I didn’t imagined in my wildest dream that Maru will take the blame instead of her. From here begins the slope and the way down is quick, short and brutalΧ₯
    2. Am I the only one that thought Eun Ki as rich-bitch? the opening scene with her and Director Choi was odd and creepy. Same with her lawyer. Dude, she’s MEAN to men in general! Is she throws her relationship with her father to all men, and therefore behave like that or she really is a bitch? And again, a cold sholder to her little brother. Oh, gosh! As much as I LOVE strong women, I hate mean and nasty ones. Lets see how writer Lee gonna portray her character in human light.

    Thanks for the recap, HeadsNo2.

    • 45.1 shms

      Q no. 2: you should get your answer in ep. 2

    • 45.2 Jushi

      Haha. I think that is interesting about her character isn’t it? We’re questioning her motives why she’s a bitch. I think that’s the reason I’m drawn to her. She’s a bitch but why?

  46. 46 amberscube

    HeadsNo2…. you’re an angel. tahnk you for the recap.

  47. 47 lilly

    thanks for the recap. i think dramabean is not going to recap nice guy and i’m a little bit fustrating because i regularly visit this site for recaps. and now i’m so happy to read the recap. MCW bitchy role as eun gi is more likable than the role in legal legacy.

  48. 48 Dorotka

    I just loved that they jumped straight into the story – everything what we were given before airing happens within the 1st half (which I admit I often FF). And then we meet the 6yrs older characters and we are given so many questions…

    Although I’m not a melo type person and I checked the episode just for Song Joong Ki, I may continue watching, because now I’m curious about all of the main characters. (Not talking about the chemistry SJK and MCW have (why SJK and PSY had none? Because of the dead body??) – I may sound morbid, but I even found sexy when Maru injects the needle…)

    Thanks for the recap.

  49. 49 Farpavilions

    Thanks HeadsNo2! I’m fangirlishly excited about your recaps since I loved all the intense analysis you did for Tree with Deep Roots.

    The writer for Nice Guy also wrote A Love to Kill, which is one of the few makjangs ever to make it to my guilty pleasure rewatch list (although the directing and music were probably stronger than the plot).

    Here’s hoping that Song Joong Ki (love pretty much unconditionally) + Moon Chae Won (love the brittle madness but it seems a tad overdone) will be as crackling as Bi + Shin Min Ah … and that the ending won’t be anywhere near as bewildering!

    Q: Don’t writers do their research? If Eun-Gi was 23 in Korean years that made her 22 at the start of the show and unless she was a child prodigy it’s pretty much impossible to get a BA, MBA, and have started work all by that age. And 5 years for murder/manslaughter + evidence tampering? *facepalm*

    • 49.1 E

      It’s not impossible to get a MBA and bachelor’s at that age. You can go to college at the age of 17 and then take a 5/6 year program which includes an bachelor’s and MBA degree. Bachelor’s can be done in 2.5 years if you take an intensive load, and MBA takes 1.5 – 2 years.

      • 49.1.1 Farpavilions

        Hmm good point … I’m just baffled because kdramas keep featuring these young chaebol hotshot bosses (I Do, I Do) who come back to Korea armed with MBAs well before 30 … and all the MBA folks I know say the course makes sense only after a couple of years of work experience. Or is it actually common in Korea to send rich kids off to MBAs right after college?

        But whatever am I doing demanding realism in dramas in the first place..? ^^

    • 49.2 Shi Kyung widow

      OMG it’s the same writer as A Love To Kill? I’m totally in! The plot was horrible sometimes, but damn, the chemistry was amaaaazing and I never cried so much in a drama!

      Raaaain I miss you <3

      The thing about makjangs is: you have to be prepared for a bad ending. You can't expect a happy ending after so much darkness and revenge and sadness. That said, BRING IT ON, Nice Guy!

      • 49.2.1 Farpavilions

        Oh oh oh I just went back to the (awesome) DB recap of A Love to Kill ep 1 and realized it was also done by HeadsNo2!

        I’m hearing similarities in the (atmospheric, intense, occasionally Latin-inspired) music and locations (hilly, poor, protagonist apparently doesn’t have indoor plumbing and has to do laundry outside), even with a different director (not sure about the music guy for NG).

        After downloading the Love to Kill OST I haven’t been able to stop playing K.Will’s Dream. So moody, so sexy, so perfect a complement to the plot. Nice Guy had better live up to the revengey emoness of its predecessor!

        PS: Can we start keeping count of how many times Park Si Yeon breaks her heel? (1 time as of ep2 … not much of a spoiler) πŸ˜‰

  50. 50 yhjh

    OMG! Is that Song Joong-ki? He really has a different character in this drama.,. Not the goofy and funny Song Joong-ki that I used to see.,. I loved his transformation.,. Unpredictably awesome.,. πŸ˜€

Add a Comment

Stay civil, don't spoil, and don't feed the trolls! Read the commenting policy here.

 characters available. Comments will be truncated at the word limit.