Drama Recaps
King of Dramas: Episode 2
by | November 17, 2012 | 87 Comments

A solid start to a funny, well-crafted, fast-flying drama that has just enough real feeling to balance out its satirical humor. Which I love. I was a bit on the fence after the first episode, which I liked but not whole-heartedly, but Episode 2 was enough to get me onboard. The drama has all the stuff to make it a keeper: fantastic visuals, sweeping score (whose grandiosity is sometimes a point of humor in addition to being pretty to listen to), wit, sarcasm, and another outstanding performance from Kim Myung-min, with Jung Ryeo-won holding up her end well. And while Siwon doesn’t make his appearance till the next episode, by all accounts he is hilarious. Good signs all.

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EPISODE 2: “Fall of the King”

Anthony gets doused in orange juice by one mightily pissed-off Go-eun, but frankly that’s the least of his worries since he’s being Jerry Maguire’d by his company. His preoccupation is with scrambling to salvage his career, not dealing with her.

Go-eun says that what burns her up the most is that the drama world is run by garbage like him, but that his end will come. She storms out, and Anthony gets back to his client list, or soon-to-be-ex-client list, to poach as many of them as he can. As he works his way down the list he gets more and more desperate, and the conversations more hostile—especially since he’s done his share of screwing everyone over. There’s a life lesson in here about golden rules, and not burning bridges you might need later.

He pins his hopes on No. 1 on his list, who is last to decide. Unfortunately, she’s sitting right next to Writer Jung from Elegant Revenge. He apologizes to Writer Jung for that whole mess, but she snaps that he’s finished.

And he is. He’s ejected from his cushy office, and takes one last mournful look outside his window. I love the epic music of the moment, making this scene just SO TRAGIC. In fact, this drama’s ability to mock pomposity by amping up the pomposity is one of my favorite things about it.

Anthony takes the walk of shame out his doors, and then, we’re three years later.

Empire has a new CEO, and Anthony? He’s orating to a darkened room, much like he did in the first episode, relating a story about his life like he’s recording it for posterity, or Inside the Actors’ Studio. “I have always lived a brilliant life,” he says. “Of course, there was shade as well. The problem is, that shade has persisted for the past three years.”

Turns out: This is therapy. Hahaha. He tries to spin everything in a positive light, how the tough times weren’t really so tough, but it sounds more like denial. Anthony fiddles with his unadorned pinky finger, bereft of its maaaagical Absolute Ring, and explains how he moved his office around and sold his house, and you know, that wasn’t really so terrible.

The facade cracks. “But…” he adds, bursting into tears. In the past three years, the formerly tear-less Anthony has found himself randomly assailed with crying fits. Ha, he would think it was random, though the doctor points out that whenever he’s uneasy he toys with his finger—perhaps there’s a connection.

Anthony doesn’t care about getting to the psychological root of the problem, he just wants to be put back on his prescription. His shrink advises that medicating isn’t a permanent fix, but he argues that the drugs kept him 100% tear-free.

Then his credit card gets denied for exceeding its limit at the pharmacy. Ha. I love that Anthony continues to dress the part of the big exec—ordinarily I’d say it’s an attempt to keep appearances up to the world, but in his case I seriously think it’s an attempt to keep himself fooled.

The dinky offices of his World Productions are another hilarious bit of overcompensation—from Empire to World, eh? There’s the great visual gag of Anthony’s extravagant CEO desk set in this tiny office: It’s half corner office, half folding chairs and peeling wallpaper. I love this kind of humor, which is thoughtful but not played up for the laugh; if you notice, great, and if you don’t, no matter because it’s all a part of the character’s world.

Anthony’s also months behind on office rent, the gas bill, and his sole employee’s salary.

What about Go-eun? She’s left behind showbiz entirely (not that she had a choice, having been blackballed from it) and now works at her mother’s restaurant, Eunie’s Go-Kalbi. When the ajummas miss part of a drama scene, Go-eun amazes them by rattling off the plot, which to her is obvious. They gasp that she should be a writer, and her smile fades. Mom notices the change, and it hurts her heart.

Anthony returns to Empire Entertainment and gets the cold shoulder from everybody. He wrangles Director Oh into conversation and suggests that they work together again, despite the director clearly wanting nothing to do with him… but his therapist’s words ring in his brain (“You must acknowledge reality and recover”), and he lets the guy off the hook. Aw, he’s trying.

He’s here to meet with his replacement (and hoobae), CEO Oh Jin-wan, who occupies his old office. Anthony asks for a loan, lying that he just happened to get in a fender-bender outside and wanted to pay off the other guy with a small amount ($3,000) and forgot his wallet. It would be too humiliating to reveal that he needs it for basic necessities.

CEO Oh blows him off with an excuse, but gets in a dig about a Japanese investor who’s giving him a headache. They want to invest in a Korean drama, and have 10 billion won to toss at it, but on the stipulation that it be a drama about the Japanese occupation years. Uh, does that mean they’re very contrary investors, or just ballsy? You do remember what those years were about, don’t you?

CEO Oh offers up this information condescendingly, like, Why don’t you give it a try? He doesn’t consider Anthony a real threat, since they’ll never find a script about one man’s fierce struggle during the colonial years. Just one more reason why this world is dramametaland, not dramaland, where Gaksital has yet to exist.

And then, Anthony flashes back to one such script. Kyungsung Morning, which he’d dismissed for its uselessly huge production budget and tossed in the armoire with a bunch of other discarded scripts. Wheels… turning…

Go-eun’s mother is sensitive to her daughter’s abandoned dream, and tells her to go back to writing. Go-eun says she’d rather work with Mom, but Mom heaves a sigh, knowing that’s not true.

Anthony makes a hasty exit from the meeting, then ducks in a closet to hide away the rest of the workday. After everyone leaves and the building is locked up, he finally emerges to claim his meal ticket.

Only… that armoire is empty. Meal ticket go bye-bye.

Anthony heads to another executive’s office and continues his search. There, stacked in a heap under a desk, is a pile of scripts. I know this is a tiny plot point but it’s filmed like a spy movie, split-screened with the night guard doing his rounds, and it’s surprisingly suspenseful with the score and sleek look. I’m diggin’ it, and rooting him on.

Finally, pay dirt. He grabs Kyungsung Morning, hearing the night guard approach with just enough time to duck out of sight. Phew.

Anthony takes it back to his office and starts reading. Properly, this time. He’s satisfied with the results, deciding that it’s rough around the edges but capable of being a success. He gets to work, writing long into the night, and the next. Finally he’s done, and sends off an email to that Japanese investor, Watanabe Productions.

Soon enough, the call comes. It’s fantastic news: the CEO loved the script and wants to invest. He wants to meet… in Japan tomorrow… along with the scriptwriter.

Anthony agrees, of course, but now he’s got to convince Go-eun to work with him. Worse yet, the phone number on the script is invalid, and none of her former colleagues know her current one. His assistant suggests they take it to an inquiry agency, so off they go. The investigator quotes them a price they can’t afford and Anthony looks like he’s about to make some Very Bad Decisions… just as a commercial comes on the TV. For Eunie’s Go-Kalbi. Starring Lee Go-eun. HA. (Coincidences that solve problems rank high on my list of hated drama clichés, but as satirical punchlines? Love it.)

Anthony turns down the investigator’s quote flat, and then the investigator hurriedly slashes his price in desperation. Heh.

Business is already booming at Eunie’s, where Go-eun strains to hear Anthony’s call. Hearing herself referred to as Writer Lee has an effect on her, and she starts to tear up as he introduces himself as World Production’s CEO, who happened upon her script and wants to contract her and make her drama.

He offers to come to her, and then steps inside the restaurant.

He greets her with a friendly salutation, at the sight of him she suddenly hardens. “Get out right now,” she orders.

He acknowledges that he wronged her, but that does nothing to smooth things over. She’s not buying his pretty explanation for finding sincerity in her work, and tells him to cut the crap. So he levels with her: “I used your script to entice a rich old man.” That makes more sense to her, but it doesn’t make her any more willing to accept the offer.

He admits to being completely ruined, with not a penny to his name: “But I can stand again. King of Dramas Anthony can stand again. To conquer the world again, I need you.”

She says, “I don’t need you. So leave.”

Awesome Mom steps in to tell Anthony fiercely that he took enough tears from Go-eun three years ago, and that he’d better go if he doesn’t want to die by Mom’s hand.

Anthony asks for one last word, and tells Go-eun, “Yes, I’m a bastard and nasty and cold-hearted. But what does that matter? How is my being a bastard and you giving your dream another attempt related? Do you want to spend your life here? And one day in the far-off future you’ll tell your kid, ‘Your mother once had a dream,’ and leave it at that? Dreams aren’t made to be memories. They’re made to be achieved. And when tonight passes, the very likelihood of that will disappear. You can hate me. But don’t commit a wrongdoing to your own life.”

That speech is a lot more persuasive, and Go-eun is shaken. Anthony walks out to his car, and waits anxiously for hours. He’s so desperate for her to agree that another crying fit comes on, and he pops pills like they’re a lifeline. He thinks despairingly that this was his last chance: “Will it all end like this?”

Awesome Mom, whom I think of as Mama Bear, keeps quiet all night but doesn’t miss a thing. Like how Go-eun is lost in thought and near tears all night, thinking of her lost dream. So when Go-eun looks at her and thinks, “I’m sorry, I want to go,” Mama Bear telepathically thinks back at her, “Don’t worry about me and go.” Then, to ease the moment, Mom tells her, “It’s for the best. You sucked at grilling go-kalbi. Girl, you’ve just been fired.” Aw.

Go-eun stomps over to Anthony to accept, with two points to make: “First, I hate people like you. Know that you’re a dirty, greedy mercenary.” Anthony: “Thank you. Next?” Go-eun warns that if he screws with her again, she’ll kill him. Anthony: “Make sure I die without pain.”

Go-eun has a warning message from Mom, too, who gives an awesome glare and makes a throat-slitting gesture at Anthony. She’s so badass.

Off to the airport they go. Anthony catches Go-eun’s eye in the rearview mirror and smiles at her. She shoots him an “I’m watching you” glare, with pointy fingers and all.

Chairman Watanabe’s rich enough to send them a swanky private jet, which Go-eun finds impressive. (Ah, he’s Korean-Japanese, which sort of explains his drama interests.)

During the flight, Go-eun reads over her contract with World Production… and balks. There’s zero signing fee? He slaps down a 10,000 bill (ten bucks), saying that’s all he can offer her now until they get the first installment of the investment. Go-eun gives him an incredulous look, but pockets the cash. Ha.

In Japan, a stretch limo awaits to take them to their lodgings. Anthony directs them to the ultra-luxe hotel and thanks his guide, confirming their morning meeting. As soon as the limo pulls away, he heads straight for a taxi. HA.

Now that there are no witnesses, he takes them to a cheap, rundown motel, which is still expensive enough that he does the mental math and despairs of taking out two rooms. Instead, he turns to Go-eun, taking advantage of her lack of Japanese skills: “Oh no, there’s only one room available.” Pffft. I love when tropes are spun around on their heads. Coincidence is lame, but cheapness is always funny.

He takes the bed and leaves her to sleep on the floor. In the morning, they head back to the fancy hotel, so they can look appropriately posh when the aide comes to pick them up. Naturally every excess must be experienced, so the next form of transportation is a yacht—a yacht!—and then the chairman’s lavish estate. At least, I think it’s his estate. It could be a resort. Or his personal island.

A Japanese actress makes a brief cameo here (Fujii Mina), and Anthony takes a moment to ogle (discreetly, of course) as she serves tea. Too bad for him she’s Mrs. Watanabe.

Once again, Anthony makes cheeky use of his language advantage, “translating” for Go-eun. He doesn’t see the need to fluff up her ego by telling her how much Watanabe loves her script, or that he expressly arranged the meeting to meet her.

Instead, Anthony plays it cool and says that Watanabe was uncertain on the script but saw glimpses of potential, and throws some self-praise while he’s at it—like how Watanabe was swayed by his faith in Anthony. (The bragging goes both ways; he translates Go-eun’s comment into Japanese, conveniently adding a part about how Anthony was a huge help in the writing process.)

Watanabe wants to contract the drama, with one big condition: It must be on the air within the year. Can they make that happen?

That’s beyond his power to lie, so Anthony tries to explain that the timeslots for the year are likely filled. But Watanabe’s kindly mien suddenly turns hard, and Anthony makes the promise.

The contract is signed, and the first deposit is set to pay today.

After the meeting, they are escorted to the guest quarters where, in the privacy of his own room, Anthony finally lets out some of his glee. “My empire is coming back!”

Go-eun has humbler goals, and thinks, “I’ll show you I can do it, Mom. I’ll become a drama writer you won’t be ashamed of.”

Both are dead-set against letting this opportunity slip through their fingers. Their sentiments are, tellingly, similar and yet opposite: She vows to prove her naysayers wrong with her sincere writing, and he vows to seek revenge on his detractors by wielding his power.

A bit later that night, Anthony heads outside, and catches an unexpected glimpse of Go-eun taking a dip in the hot spring. He ducks out of sight and wanders in the other direction, coming upon a storehouse.

He hears sounds of fighting, and peers inside to see an unnerving sight: gangsters beating up one of their own. The victim begs for mercy, but the leader reminds him that the cost of breaking a promise is death. He pulls out a gun and levels it at the man’s head.

Watanabe steps in and stops the shooting. He pats the fallen gangster in an avuncular way and says, “Promises can be broken.” The gangster breathes in relief. Watanabe takes the gun and shoots, adding, “But promises broken with me get you killed.”

Anthony gasps in shock, not least because, uh, he just made a promise with a very high likelihood of breakage. His stumble is heard inside, and the gangsters look up curiously, just as a hand slaps across Anthony’s mouth to shut him up.

 
COMMENTS

Maybe not the most suspenseful cliffhanger (it’s clearly got to be Go-eun, having heard someone mid-bath), and even the conflict is a bit oversimplified to be realistic. But this drama cracks me up not merely for plot points, but for its attitude—there’s bombast and cheek and Importance, served up with a heavy dose of irony.

So while I don’t expect to be surprised or kept on my toes by the story itself, I think the execution will be the thing to carry the day. In addition to being an interesting take on the meta-world of drama-making, I just find this drama fun. It flies by, and the little details always get a laugh out of me, whether it’s Anthony’s little character tics, or the visual gags like him dressing for a power meeting in a shabby motel.

As much as I love the cracked-out humor, though, it’s the show’s current of sincerity running through the performances that really gets me. I wouldn’t say the story is sincere, but Kim Myung-min and Jung Ryeo-won play these characters with complexity and commitment. The drama is funny, but they know that the humor comes from the absurdity, and not by trying to be funny.

I appreciate the groundedness of Go-eun, especially in a character who sounds, on paper, a bit of a fuddy-duddy. She’s the idealistic humanist, pitted against the cynical blowhard. Sounds like a recipe for a flat stock heroine, all lily-white and damsel-in-distress-y, no? Yet Go-eun is strong and fierce, and if her mother is any indication, has solid hints of being badass as well. I love that about her.

In Episode 1, I wondered whether Kim Myung-min was treading too closely into past character waters, with pompous Anthony bearing quite the resemblance to his maestro in Beethoven Virus, with some of his White Tower imperiousness as well. But with the character’s fall from grace (or at least fall from success, since it’s not clear whether he was ever blessed with much grace), we see a really wonderful dichotomy to Anthony that makes him such a treat to watch. He’s got the hilarity of the out-of-touch Former Bigshot, but it’s the desperation that makes him compelling. I love the occasional cracks in his facade, the way that we get to see past his powerful outer shell and into the soft, bleeding heart underneath. It’s almost like I feel privileged to get that access to his character, since I’m part of the omniscient audience and not, say, a character to whom Anthony remains shut off. It’s fascinating, and I’m intrigued.

I thought the main setup between Anthony and Go-eun had the potential to fall into the same tired old tropes, because it’s a classic case of opposites attract, taken to an extreme. I do find the character conflict simple, but thanks to the acting (and the deft directing, which knows just how to cut a scene to wring the laugh) I find it working. It’s banter and bickering, done in a smart way to be revealing of character. A lot of rom-coms throw in bickering as a requisite step in the dating dance, but here the repartee is smart; I appreciate how Anthony and Go-eun cut each other down because they see through each other’s self-defensive bullshit. No need for euphemisms or self-denial here; call the spade a spade.

I don’t even know if I need these characters to be romantically involved, because I find the dynamic rich already at the platonic level. Er, would platonic mean they had to be friends? Fine, at the reluctant-enemies-in-detente level.

I like it already, and that’s not even throwing Siwon into the mix. He may not be the most technically sharp actor around, but he gets props for being game to poke fun at himself and make himself a ridiculous character. Bring it on, King of Dramas.

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87 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. twentyonebuds

    I adore this drama so much!! Thank you for the recaps :D

    • 1.1 twentyonebuds

      I love the tone of this drama! Its cheeky but has an awesome suspense feel to it at times which keeps you on your toes and the characters also resonates emotionally. You’re right, I’m loving them together even when they’re not yet romantically involved!

    • 1.2 Ivoire

      Thank you Javabeans for the recap! I personally LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this drama. Thank you again!!!!!! I am so glad you guys decided to recap this drama. I usually learn a few things by reading your recaps, so I really appreciate them. I LOVE all the characters in this drama (and the actors and actresses playing them), even the “baddies.”

  2. clairol

    Its really funny and catchy im so hooked can’t wait for next episodes;)♥

  3. edge

    thank you <3
    couldnt sleep, but this came to save the day! :D

  4. Minnetter (aka: Min)

    well I can honestly say that I’m looking forward to Siwon’s entrance :) this drama is funny but I’m still on the fence about it.

  5. Anne

    This series is really bad with cliffhangers, i sure hope it get better. Other than that, i love it.

    • 5.1 Mystisith

      Here is the thing: If the drama is well done and interesting enough, you shouldn’t NEED a cliffhanger in order to hook your viewers for the next week. I’m personally tired of that trick which consists on putting cliffhangers at the end of each and every episode. Like, will the hero die at episode 2? Suspense! Cliffhanger is just a narrative technique. I’d rather have my writer working on a satisfactory ending for the show. *Insert names here…*

      • 5.1.1 Orion

        I agree. Cliffhangers are just there to make sure people return for more next week, which should be what every element of the series does, by being good and interesting. For me, a cliffhanger is a lack of confidence and an attempt at manipulation rather than capturing one’s interest.

        That said, a good cliffhanger which does not leave the viewer at “life and death” situations is very much needed. It’s a part of any series. Good series. I like the cliffhangers here more than in most dramas. They excite you for what is coming instead of making you panic and getting angry.

      • 5.1.2 Arhazivory

        Agreed. If the story telling is great then we don’t need the proverbial cliffhabger.

      • 5.1.3 Koirv

        So darn agree. The drama itself has good scenes beefed up in each episode. :-)

    • 5.2 nomu nomu nomu

      One of my pet peeves of Dramas is what they do with the “cliff hanger” at the beginning of the NEXT episode. I could probably lists hundreds of examples but I’ll just give the first that just happened to popped in my mind. Remember, when Kang-woo slapped Myung-wol across the face in-front of the PUBLIC. Next episode, nothing happened (pardon my geek but: Every Action has an Equal and Opposite Reaction) no consequences, no fallout, no “celebrity scandal”, no anything, swepted under the rug. It happens all the time in numerous and countless dramas.

      It’s just used to trick the viewers to come back again NEXT episode if you want to know what happens, plot be damn.

  6. luci8le

    Thanks for the recap ! I’m already in love with this drama :)

  7. LingLing

    Well, sorry to tell you, but your cliffhanger assumption might actually be incorrect…. Anyways, thanks for recapping!

    • 7.1 cg

      ya…..i also think that the person is that investor’s wife….. :D

  8. cg

    I liked episode 2 more than ep 1 and this is the only drama i’m watching(among the currently airing ones)…
    yay….for a javabeans recap!! :)
    loving the show :D

  9. djes

    I don’t even know if I need these characters to be romantically involved, because I find the dynamic rich already at the platonic level.
    Agree. I watched all 4 aired eps and kept thinking, uhh, they don’t need to fall for each other. I think this story will be great even there is no romance side in it.

    I like this drama. And like you said, and probably now have watched on the next eps, Siwon did quite a nice job playing shallow stupid full of himself superstar..

    Thanks for the recaps!

    • 9.1 nomu nomu nomu

      I agree,
      Jung Ryeo-won last drama, History of the Salary, didn’t exactly heat up the screen in the Romance department (it was played low keyed) and it was one my favorite drama to date.

      • 9.1.1 nomu nomu nomu

        lol, *History of the Salaryman

        • 9.1.1.1 mary

          That would be an interesting drama, History of the Salary:

          Once upon a time, I got my salary. Then it was gone.

          :)

          I’m glad DB is picking up King of Dramas though, everyone seems to be liking it so far!

          • 9.1.1.1.1 nomu nomu nomu

            sorry, mary

            that story has already been copyrighted. That’s my life story. :-)

      • 9.1.2 Orion

        For me, Salaryman was the first time I didn’t mind not getting a couple kiss. It was just a different kind of romance. A comedic and honest one. I found the couple hilarious and adorable. One of my favorite ones, even if the romance wasn’t done in a “make hearts flutter” way. It was written well and the characters cared a lot for each other and did a lot for each other. To me, caring for a person is much more romantic than angst or “flirting”.

        As for this drama, I do want them romantically involved, just not “kdrama romance”. No silly andshallow had-a-peck-and-think-it’s-wuv romance. They are adult people and well-written characters, so I want their romance to have an impact and a point and mean something instead of just peddling “thump thumps” for fangirl hearts and cuteness for kyaaing. So, even if it’s the more serious version of a Salaryman one, I’ll like it.

        And I have to agree with some voices who think the lack of a pretty-boy lead is what has everyone saying there’s no need for romance. Replace Kim with Siwon and honestly ask yourselves if you’d feel the same.

        • 9.1.2.1 nomu nomu nomu

          *nods in agreement* with everything until the last sentence. since we’re using Salaryman as an example, I was one of the few that didn’t want any romance between Hang-woo and Woo-hee because he was a JACKASS.

          also, in case anybody misunderstand, I would like a romance storyline in King of Dramas, but more similar romance tone to Salaryman.

          • 9.1.2.1.1 Orion

            Oh hell, I was yelling at Woo Hee to dump him right till the very end! But that is why Salaryman succeeded. THAT couple was more mainstream, so it pleased the majority of people who want such romances in kdrama (God of Dramas knows why *rolleyes*), while the main couple were for us who appreciate more varied types of romance. It kept everyone happy that way.

            So yes, I don’t want this to be a romantic series with other stuff, I want this to be other stuff + romance. Like in Salaryman, the romance rocked as much as everything, but it never became the focus so long that it would become stale.

            I want that here too.

        • 9.1.2.2 pipit

          Very well said! Agree with everything you said. Un believable as it is ‘romance’ seems to have a ‘bad’ name here. And as much as I love romance I’m not a fan of the scene where the girl stands to be kissed by a guy like a dead fish nor do I like how most romantic scenes and storylines are beeing shot and written (e.g. meaningless romantic kissing scenes). The audience could be shown how much the leads love and care for each other without even a kissing scene let alone a meaningless one.

          With KMM’s character here it would be more profound to let us know the process of how he falls for the writer through compelling stories that are as compelling as his own character. It would be more satisfying to see scenes where we could see how much he really love her than the easy normal routine of ‘confessing’ scene. And I would rather see a slow process of how she starts to see the real man beneath all his tough calculating facade then figures it out herself that he loves her.

          It’s a kdrama. It has to have it’s main ingredient. But with the tone of this drama I would prefer the romance to be delivered cleverly instead of romantically.

    • 9.2 ranisa

      Heck, I don’t even know how they can be romantically involve. That would be the most awkward moment ever!

    • 9.3 Chickletta

      I saw a few comments already about how ‘they don’t need romantically’ involved. I soooo want them to be romantically involved but not in a silly way. I trust the writerr and more than anythign I trust the actors that they can do a good job out of it. Part of me believes that it’s the lack of the ‘pretty boy’ look of the main male actor that sways the viewers towards no-romance. I fin him quite hot! Adn I am rooting for the romance between them.

      • 9.3.1 Jinsight

        It’s not the fact that he isn’t hot – it’s the ginormous age gap that gets me. He looks like her uncle, and seeing them together romantically feels inappropriate and WEIRD. Ugh. Definitely in the non-romance train.

        • 9.3.1.1 Chickletta

          That ginormous age gap is about 10 years. Quite manageable – at least for me.

  10. 10 ladysarahii

    I love the subtle details they throw in to the characters. Anthony’s perfectly ironed three piece suit. Go-eun’s hair that increasingly becomes more frazzled the more stressed she is, and the warm tones of Anthony’s offices vs. the cold black-and-white interior of Jin-wan’s.

    I wasn’t sure at first how I liked the final twist of Watanabe being possible yakuza, but I know this show is going for outrageous silliness. Definitely ups the ante by about a thousand percent, doesn’t it?

  11. 11 mjfan

    I totally fell in love with this drama , I just love everything about it , it gives you suspense , good humor and touching moments as well , KMM & JRW are AWESOME , and siwon is totally hilarious , I just found my new addiction , and I cant wait for the next episodes ….

  12. 12 Arhazivory

    His mis-translation was so evil but so funny. I love how he speaks his mind and is so blunt. “Some rich guy got hooked on your script”. He just says it like it is – he’s broke, that’s all for the contract fee. And then he lies through his teeth in another instance.

    I also thought he was going to keep a cold, on-top-of the world personality too. So seeing him breakdown like that was hilarious.

  13. 13 Jushi

    I am currently watching Episode 2 and I’d say I love the smartness of this show and the overall feel.

    Anyway, just to rant a bit. During Go Eun’s scene at the bank (is it a bank?) while lecturing the clerk that her writing job is not a so-so job (episode 1), Ryeo-won’s eyes look so ahmmm dead (?)…. Her nostrils are flaring and so is her mouth but her eyes aren’t joining the party. Hmmm. I just…I just don’t know what to feel during that particular scene. It felt like her eyes robbed all the punches that her dialogue suppose to deliver. O well.

  14. 14 Robin

    What I love about Kim Myung-min is his absolute investment in his role (as always) and his ability to be this over-the-top awesome jerk with control and, dare I say it, subtlety. He does it with his voice and mannerisms – that basso growl, those dulcet threats, and those eyes that watch everything like a hawk. My favorite bit in episode 2 was his reaction to Go-eun’s warning that she’s gonna hurt him if he screws her again. The ability to drop that witty retort so softly is the hallmark of KMM’s mastery of language and nuance.

    And Jung Ryeo-won has won me over (bless you, History of a a Salaryman for making me no longer despise her!) too because I feared that she’d be a simp. She’s nice, but no patsy. Yay!

  15. 15 Jushi

    I’m jumping on board without prior research of this show and I just learned that they were actually planning for a LOVE ANGLE? Unnecessary I guess.

    And for the first time, can’t they make a series that celebrates friendship (opposite sex) or even singlehoodness (if there is such a word)? It reminded me of the show Big (Gong Yoo) where they heavily played the romance between a teacher and an 18 year old boy when it could have been more poignant if they ended up as friends with a noona-dongsaeng relationship.

    • 15.1 Annie

      I also wished that the Hong sisters took that route with BIG… it would have been a heck of a lot better than chickening out and using Gong Yoo at the end because no one actually wanted to see Lee Min Jung with an 18 year old kid… go figure!

  16. 16 Lilian

    My latest crush. Siwon is hilarious n the coming episodes…

  17. 17 Kelinci Biru

    Seeing the premise from recap (haven’t watch yet) this is a drama I wish they don’t throw any romance at all. Its hilarious and romantic already. The world is romantic coz I got the feeling like the writer romanticize the world because they love it so much.. Besides its so realistic (gasp!).

    Oh, I can’t wait to watch it!! Thanks Javabeans and Heads!

  18. 18 Pinkeu

    This drama is incredibly well-written!

    The wit and the humor rolled up in the characters of Anthony and Go-eun, which the actors played so passionately. So into this drama. WTH!

    And! What a way for Kim Myung-min to be stiff-headed (like his Kang Mae and Jang Junhyuk) in a romantic-comedy drama! This is a totally new KMM experience for me. Let’s see how stiff Anthony goes. :-)

  19. 19 Mystisith

    I could spazz over that drama for hours. I don’t even know if we can call that a romantic comedy: There is a bit of James Bond in that show. I’m going to trust the writer here: If he doesn’t give us a love line, it’s OK. But if he goes for one, I’m certainly not going to refuse! They are so like fire and ice those 2…

    • 19.1 Pinkeu

      Fingers crossed: Hoping for a romantic angle here. Whether it be a love triangle, love square or a love pentagon. I want it so badly! :-)

      That writer has my full trust really. The writer has enough intelligence to include percentages in the first episodes and eloquent metaphors in the conversations of the characters.

  20. 20 ranisa

    The lack of romance in this drama is what I really love about it. I know some people watch dramas for the love story, but with the downpour of rom-coms and melodramas in dramaland, I just need this one to breathe. And it’s working all right. I love the honest bickering and the consistent backstabbing (for later episodes), and I just love that I am liking all the characters as well, even the rotten ones.

    Episode two just set the pace and brought the conflict to a higher level. It’s not just about making the drama anymore, it’s about living and how to stay alive. And I like how this is becoming a drama that is full of promises, in the literal and also in the figurative sense.

  21. 21 saranga

    main photo/scene was PRICELESS.

    • 21.1 Pinkeu

      DITTO!

      Can’t get any better!

    • 21.2 Arhazivory

      lol. It was also one of my favourite scenes. And the scene where he’s shooting glasses at the wife. Such a nicely written character.

  22. 22 ilikemangos

    Alright. The rave about this show has got me super interested.
    Was already interested when Heads put out her first recap — now i’m definitely gonna check it out.
    Is this gonna be a team duo of Heads+JB?
    Awesome.

  23. 23 Wendy

    There are so many aspects that I like about this drama, it’s just a breath of fresh air.
    Although the cliffhangers haven’t been that interesting (I knew who the mouth covering person was almost immediately), it hasn’t diffused my interest in the least.
    The lack of romance isn’t really a problem either, since I’m hooked on the story itself. :)
    Haven’t really watched a drama in a while, excited to see where this goes.

  24. 24 Chickletta

    I am hoping for romance here. There may be a love triangle of sortst. But I don’t want the love plot to be the main plot. I love seeing all the shannanigans involved in making a Korean drama. Its so suspensful. KMM is brilliant and Ryowon is a delight. Siwon – I don’t care a whole lot about but he may bring more comic moments. He said in a press conference that his character will change a lot. Doesn’t he sing “You raise me up to more than I can be” at the begining? and didn’t the writer girl promised to write in such a way to prove that he is a great actor. I thin he’ll fall haed over heels for her.

    • 24.1 iPodClassic

      Exactly my insights and hopes for this drama! I’m wanting romance for this drama so badly, but not outshining every other plot that singles “love” as the main plot.

      Fighting!

  25. 25 Melmax

    I was looking forward to this and am enjoying this.. It’s a dramedy, I’m sooo glad… KMM to me is always so invested in his roles. I’m looking forward to JRW (love her in drama and comedy…) and of course Shebrows–abs..

    I’m so glad this has lots of comedic turn with KMM leading the pack… Thanks JB, I’m looking forward to your take on the whole drama… I’ve already seen ep 3 & 4 ( I love it so far!!) and can’t wait for your recap, soon I hope…

  26. 26 bgr

    after the “pain” of Nice Guy and the current “darkness” of I Miss You, this drama may be what we need as a recovery measurement. Hoping recovery will be sped up with viewing of Jeon Woo Chi. *fingers crossed*

  27. 27 Annie

    Anthony Kim and Go Eun were clearly set up for a romantic relationship down the road and they definitely have the chemistry for it. I’m glad it won’t be as ‘in your face’ as the out and out romantic comedies but you can bet your bottom dollar that it’ll be there. SMH at the Kim Myung Min naysayers… I have a feeling you’ll be swooning soon ;-)

    • 27.1 iPodClassic

      Swooning as early as Episode 1. I actually felt a strong chemistry and there were millions of butterflies in da stomach when **SPOILERS AHEAD*** Anthony wanted to find “the bag” and Go-eun was hiding it. My gosh, the way he looks at her. There was no love theme in the situation, but that’s how strong the chemistry is.

      • 27.1.1 Annie

        Haha, YES. I also love how he couldn’t help staring at her while she was bathing. He’s already attracted to her in spite of himself.

    • 27.2 Chickletta

      agreed. I’ve been swooning over him for ages. Such a great actor – and I can’t believe so many women fail to see how attractive he is. kk

  28. 28 Koirv

    Kill me for this because I’m confident that I’m alone in this. Yes, I’ve always hated cold men in K-dramas. But:

    I actually find Anthony Kim hot.

    So, yeah. I hate myself for that.
    I’m facing reality right about now.

    • 28.1 Annie

      You are not alone. Kim Myung Min is getting up there in years but he rocks megalomania like no other and is swoonworthy in so many ways. *sigh*

    • 28.2 Orion

      Because most cold men are jerks without reason for it other than having money and love themselves too much before they suddenly grow a conscience. Right about the time they grow balls and realize women aren’t only for doing your laundry. Anthony has shown signs of knowing he is a jerk and feeling bad deep down inside for it. Which makes him a sad character and also lets viewers see him more as a person.

      It takes writing, directing and acting to make a good character. Any good character.

      This is written and directed well and while some cold men are portrayed by actors with a charm so weak it makes plants, some are portrayed by actual talents with charisma. Kim Myung Min has charisma and a pull that many of those don’t. Being hot isn’t always about having a “pretty face” and looks aren’t what one is really attracted to. ;)

      So, you’re not alone in this. ^_^

      • 28.2.1 Orion

        *makes plants wither. Where is my “wither”, interwebs!?

    • 28.3 whitewire

      I’ve been in-love with Kim Myung-min since 2008 (Because of that Beethoven Virus thing I got a terrible Kang Mae syndrome), when I was still 15 years old.

      15 years old. Yes, you read that right.

      My Korean teen friends laugh at me for loving Kim Myung-min. Because they love Lee Junki, Jo Insung, Lee Minho, Jang Geunseuk and other K-actors with pretty faces.

      I choose to say the same thing:

      I love Kim Myung-min. He’s THE actor you’re looking for. You don’t need another model to prove one’s an actor.

      Anthony Kim is INDEED hot. :-)

    • 28.4 Arhazivory

      He’s hot.

      • 28.4.1 Chickletta

        Indeed, my Korean friends are crazy about baby face, very effeminate kind of guys like Song Jeungki and other kotminams (flower boys) who wear make up, girly outfits and more accessories than a Jewish grandma. that’s okay, but I love Kim Myung-min for being a man and acting like a man. Of course I don’t like his bastard side but he’s proven that he’s not such a cold=hearted snake – going to see the family of the biker and giving them $100,000. He did give the biker a choice stating all the dangers. The biker was not homeless. He had a job making more than an average salary in Korea, but he was greedy too, and he paid for it. They are all flawed. Korea, in general, is a society obssessed with material goods and looks. That drama rings so true. Goeun and Anthony fighting!

        • 28.4.1.1 Orion

          “Indeed, my Korean friends are crazy about baby face, very effeminate kind of guys like Song Jeungki and other kotminams (flower boys) who wear make up, girly outfits and more accessories than a Jewish grandma.”

          I am so stealing that. Aahaha.

        • 28.4.1.2 Arawn

          Really? You mean your Korean female friends? Wow. I’ve kind of thought that “manliness” would be appreciated around the world.

          Personally I do like some of the “flower boys” like Lee Jung-Ki, but I prefer them in manly clothes. Sometimes Korean drama fashion leaves me utterly confused (like one silver jacked worn by Lee Min-Ho) but if they like it, it’s their business. However, there are so many “manly” Korean actors to like, too, like lead of this drama – and many have already expressed their liking of him. :) I haven’t seen Kim Myung-Min in anything before this but I certainly find him very charismatic and good looking besides being a great actor, of course. Anthony is such a great character. I just cannot wait for his character development. I do wish for a romantic side plot for Anthony and Go-Eun if not for any other reason but to see Anthony’s disbelief for his feelings and then his awkward pursuit of Go-Eun.

          • 28.4.1.2.1 pipit

            I can not imagine him pursuing anylady who doesn’t amount to $ terms. But I can imagine Anthony expressing his love the way Master Kang does
            (in his book giving his beloved ring is tantamount to saying I love you forever and ever). I’m looking forward to see how Anthony Kim’s character deals with this annoying and unprofitable emotion^-^

  29. 29 mommai

    This drama has been fun and interesting so far. I need to get back up to speed! :)

    I also enjoy dramas and books and such where the romance is in there, but isn’t the main or only focus. History of a Salaryman has been fun so far, and I really enjoyed Bad Family, where I felt the relationship was more natural and real than crazy usual k-dramaness. Does anyone have any good recommendations for dramas in a similar vein (at least in the way they portray romance and don’t over-complicate it)?

  30. 30 JoJo

    Love your recap, JB…thanks.

  31. 31 Kim Yoonmi

    First: I’m a huge fan of Rom Coms. I just like them and it is sometimes irrational.

    That given, if this drama never gets around to doing a romance at all, I’d be 100% fine with that. If it does do a romance, I rather the romance be sidelined. I want to see more about the drama world and have the romance be a last consideration over the brilliant other plotlines we have going (so far) The laughs and the self-referential humor is what is getting me to come back.

    Plus I have to wonder if the Orange Juice was a real sponsored drink, which would be doubly funny at this point…

    With how the drama is going (so far) I hope it has the same appeal that History of a Salaryman did for me. It might come into a firm second place for me if it did. (’cause Answer Me 1997 is hard to beat out for this year)

    High hopes for this drama.

    • 31.1 Chickletta

      the sponsored drink is Perrier water. it appeared at least 10 times so far. each time I see it I laugh

  32. 32 m

    After Nice Guy, KoD has been a witty upper for me. As said by JB and all of you, it’s the smart script, the subtle irony and, of course, the acting. I love the contrasts — Anthony’s pristine dandy suits and power desk vs. his slovenly assistant and the shabby office. Anthony is greedy, cold-hearted and cynical, but then you get glimpses of his vunerablity.She’s the idealistic writer, but is badass enough to stalk into his office and dump him with oj! He smiles at her in the car and her response is a glare with pointy fingers. And what the actors can subtly convey without words—JRW exchange with her mother before she leaves, and the look in KMM eyes as he watches her spazz over the private jet’s plushness. I, too, am loving KoD so far.

  33. 33 yammy

    i really like the scene when go eun and her mom conversed telepathically. It’s a realistic and touching one <3

  34. 34 Kit

    Heh, it’s clearly got to be Goeun. Heh. These two episodes were stunning and had me directly on board so I’m excited you’re covering it! And Siwon really is a hoot I’m embarrassed every time he comes up onto the screen.

    • 34.1 Chickletta

      Why ‘clearly’? Isnt’ there a Japanese wife there, too, who Anthony went all gaga over?

  35. 35 Hmm

    I kinda want a spin off drama for Kyungsung Morning…

  36. 36 crazedlu

    I think it’d be great without the romance.

  37. 37 jubilantia

    I agree with you, but I feel like having the guy being an actual gangster who kills people to be a bit frightening for the future. Here’s hoping the drama balances well on the fine line between irony and silliness.

  38. 38 V

    This episode had me cracking up when it revealed he was in a psychiatrists office. I also love how his desk is so HUGE next to the paltry surroundings. I love this drama so far.

  39. 39 asianromance

    Thanks for the recap!

    I loved the therapy scene. At first I was tickled to find out that his interview was really a therapy session, and then I lost it and cracked up when he started crying.

    I love the meta in this drama and also the feeling of Anthony and Go Eun being underdogs. Rooting for them and their drama!

  40. 40 kirst3n

    Just finished the first two episode a minute ago. Loving it. I love how sometimes it looks over the top. The quirkiness of this drama is hilarious!

  41. 41 ladyana2j

    Omg, I ve been waited recaps of ep 2 and really surprised, you jb, did it!

    will it be Javabeans-HeadsNo2 callaboration this time???

    After watched until ep 4, I prefer first 2 episode better actually.. and really wonder, what do you think?

    Oh yeah, thank you very much for recaps! I hope recaps for ep 3 and 4 wont take too long time, please.. :-)

    • 41.1 uri

      I like ep 4 the best so far.

  42. 42 ilikemangos

    I just love the fact that they added the whole gangster issue to the mix because I for one think it adds to the whole dramatic-ness this shows got goin on.
    What happens if they don’t air within the year? They die. No really, they die.
    I also like how there doesn’t really seem to be any forced attraction between the two leads in the first few episodes. I think this is one of the few realistic things about this show. If anything, Go-Eun and Anthony will learn to love in a much slower, realistic pace.
    Too many times i see dramas try too hard to get the two leads to have some hot chemistry but i say let it just happen organically.

    • 42.1 whitewire

      I couldn’t say it in any better words!
      This is a true insight!!! Thanks ilikemangos!

  43. 43 needlight

    Thank you!
    patiently anticipating the recap for the next episode. :)

  44. 44 risa

    “In fact, this drama’s ability to mock pomposity by amping up the pomposity is one of my favorite things about it.” IKR?

    OMG– I seriously love that first screencap. And the drama. And the recappers.

  45. 45 Fasiris Fay

    I actually kind of forot Si-won was supposed to be in this, until I saw the preview! Originally I was very excited about him, but so far, I’m really enjoying what they’ve set up so far.

  46. 46 CATFUL

    it great i hope will not change but i noticed the japaense hrew them selves in any korean drama i wonder why?

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