Drama Recaps
Ad Genius Lee Tae-baek: Episode 1
by | February 23, 2013 | 69 Comments

This first episode of Ad Genius Lee Tae-baek, KBS’s newish Monday-Tuesday drama, ended up being a lot more engaging than I thought. The story sets up pretty quickly, and the relationships between the characters are established immediately. No need for waiting on a long buildup! If that is how the series is going to be throughout, then this could be a very entertaining drama.

Note: This is just a first episode recap.


Lee Tae-baek (Jin Gu) is an aspiring adman with a dream to influence people on a daily basis to buy certain products. However, despite his talent and go-getter attitude, he has little success in job interviews. His resumé is lacking, as he dropped out of college and has a low TOEIC score.

However, he does have a catchy slogan – “I may seem like nothing more than a shabby lighter [pulls out lighter], but if you flip me open I’ll become a spark for advertising ideas [flicks on lighter].” It’s a cheesy gimmick, but the interviewers have to recognize his spunk.

On the other hand, Addie Kang (Jo Hyun-jae) is returning from the States to join the famed Geumsan Advertising agency. (I really hoped his name was Eddie Kang but his card says Addie… for “ad man”!?)

An actress, Han Byul (Yoo In-young), recognizes him on the plane and decides to bother him for advice – should she sign with Weston or Origin brands for a coffee endorsement deal? He immediately says Weston, because they hire Geumsan for their ads. Ha.

It turns out that Addie wasn’t exactly recruited into this top-notch agency, but more like forced to come back by his father, President Kang Han-chul (Choi Jung-woo).

Tae-baek actually works for Billboard Heaven, a company that puts up billboards for agencies on a contract basis. Their current contract is with Geumsan, and Tae-baek’s colleagues need his help in putting up a new billboard for Daesung cars.

As he hurries, he nearly hits Baek Ji-yoon (Park Ha-sun), who’s rushing on an errand. Her boss is Go Ah-ri (Han Chae-young), an account executive who uses her skills in making connections and appealing to people’s tastes to win their approval, rather than presenting unique concepts for advertising. Of course, Ah-ri is an intern’s worst nightmare for a boss.

Tae-baek finally arrives to help his colleagues, but he left the draft proposal back at his interview, which informs them how to put up the billboard. Unsure of the original plans, he decides to do something new – and hangs the horizontal billboard vertically.

It’s a unique concept, and it attracts Addie’s interest as he passes by. Through the windows in the meeting room, Ah-ri freaks out when she sees the billboard because it was not part of the agreement, and sends Ji-yoon to have the men fix it. They have exactly 30 minutes before Representative Noh from Daesung arrives to see it. If it’s not done, the contract with Billboard Heaven is canceled, and Ji-yoon will be fired. Ji-yoon and Tae-baek recognize each other on the rooftop, but there’s no time – they have to change the billboard!

They change it in time, and Tae-baek rues Geumsan’s lack of creativity with ads. Even Representative Noh is unimpressed with the horizontal billboard when he arrives for the meeting. But the next thing they know, Ji-yoon receives a call from Addie. He’s discovered that she’s the one in charge of the billboard, and orders her to change it back to its vertical position. Since he outranks Ah-ri as the new Planning Director for the company, Ji-yoon has no choice but to change the billboard again.

This time, though, Tae-baek’s colleagues have already gone for a break and so it’s only him and Ji-yoon on the roof. Luckily, she knows how to rock climb, so she willingly ropes herself up and swings over the rooftop to help Tae-baek.

Representative Noh is also unimpressed with Ah-ri’s presentation on Daesung cars and feels that she is wasting his time. He’s ready to end his contract with Geumsan when Addie speaks up. If Representative Noh gives them two weeks, he’ll have a new creative concept ready for them. Representative Noh: “I’ll give you 30 seconds.”

Well then – Addie pulls up the shades in the meeting room and shows Representative Noh the billboard hanging across the street. It’s vertical again. Representative Noh is duly impressed, and he grants the two week extension.

This means that the advertising team is back to the drawing board. Addie takes Ah-ri and her account executive/concept team, and Lee Eun-hee (Hong Ji-min) and her copywriting team together. They will now work under his supervision. Instead of coming up with the concept and approving or disapproving them, Ah-ri is to work like her fellow colleagues in drawing up new concepts for the ad. Eun-hee and her team will continue to copywrite those ads, and he’ll do the actual approval/disapproval.

In a way, it’s a temporary demotion for Ah-ri, who’s no longer in the seat of control.

As for Ji-yoon, she is under Eun-hee’s team as an aspiring copy editor, and so she is assigned to take pictures of different cars and find a creative way to present them to the world.

That evening, Tae-baek goes to pick up his little sister So-ran (Han Sun-hwa from Secret) at her part time job. Since she has to wear a skimpy outfit as a model for a store, the boss flirts with her, knowing that she can’t say no. But Tae-baek doesn’t care about those consequences; he beats up the sleazy boss and takes So-ran home on his motorbike. She doesn’t get paid, and it seems this is a common occurrence for the both of them.

They live with their grandmother, who’s happy to hear that Tae-baek might have succeeded in his interview. If he gets the job, he can pay So-ran’s tuition for college. Tae-baek also hopes that he can get the job to be a successful adman, as he had once promised his old girlfriend Bok-hee before she went to the States. Five years since he last spoke with her, he’s still waiting for her call saying that she’s back in Korea. Strangely enough, she looks similar to Ah-ri.

Back at Geumsan, Ah-ri is spending more time trying to get Mrs. Noh’s schedule than actually coming up with a new concept. She means to lobby and appeal to Mrs. Noh, then hopefully get on Representative Noh’s good side. At the same time, Billboard Heaven keeps trying to contact her to receive payment for their recent job. Getting no results, Tae-baek takes the matter into his own hands and calls Ji-yoon.

He meets her at the lobby, and asks her to help him meet her superior. After all, Billboard Heaven did whatever Geumsan told them to do. He bows to her deeply, and it embarrasses her. She finally relents and brings him up to a conference room to wait, and notifies Ah-ri. B

efore Ah-ri can go and settle this matter, Addie confronts her on her lobbying tactics. Lobbying to the representative’s wife makes it clear that she is trying to hide that the concept is weak. Instead of “cheating” and spending time on the phone, she ought to be drawing.

Suffice to say, she’s quite angry and humiliated when she enters the conference room. But imagine their shock when they recognize each other. “Bok-hee?” Tae-baek says excitedly.

She surprisingly softens up and informs him that she now goes by Ah-ri. She hasn’t contacted him because she’s decided to give up on her past. When she left for the States, she also decided to leave her “inferior boyfriend” who had worse prospects than she did. Tae-baek is deeply hurt, and even though he’s so angry he wants to slap her, the feeling of shame overwhelms him. He’s more ashamed that he’s come to her in his current condition and leaves first.

Ah-ri decides to take her anger out on Ji-yoon instead, and slaps her across the face. She warns her never to bother her with such useless matters again. Harsh.

A flashback reveals that Tae-baek and Ah-ri were high school sweethearts, and when he sent her off to the States, he promised to be a successful adman by the time she came back.

Clearly that didn’t happen, and what’s worse is Tae-baek receives a call rejecting him for the job he interviewed for. Frustrated, Tae-baek screams over the bridge overlooking a highway.

That evening, Ji-yoon returns to her aunt’s winter gear store, exhausted. She’s only come for a change of clothes before having to go back to work again. It appears that the aunt has raised Ji-yoon, so we don’t know about her parents. But there is an old, wealthy-looking man watching her outside from the backseat of his car. Perhaps this is her long-lost father?

On his way home, Tae-baek sees his grandmother coming out of a restaurant, where she’s worked for a day’s wages. He scolds her for working despite her bad knee, then wraps his grandma up in his jacket and brings her home to massage her legs. It’s adorable to see such a filial grandson. So-ran, on the other hand, bursts into the house with numerous shopping bags. She’s bought a nice tie for her brother, but a whole new outfit for herself because she has an audition for a Daesung car commercial the following day. Dangit – she is the typical younger sister who spends, spends, spends while the hero has to save, save, save.

Tae-baek recalls the day before Ah-ri left Korea, when she had been preparing her portfolio and was starting to get scared about leaving for the States. He gave her his portfolio, which he had made while waiting up with her on those late nights that she was working. If she ever sought out comfort in the States, then she could look at the portfolio and be reminded of him. They were really in love back in the day…

But it’s there that he gets inspiration on how to get Geumsan to pay Billboard Heaven. He starts drafting a new concept for the Daesung ad, which he overheard Addie yelling at Ah-ri about. If he could lend his talents to the company, perhaps they could pay Billboard Heaven, and let all of them get their overdue salaries.

At the same time, all of Geumsan is in a tizzy trying to come up with a new concept, but Addie has a secret weapon. He’d already come up with a concept several weeks back, and shows it to his father. He just didn’t reveal it to his team yet; their desperation will make his idea seem like a savior, but it could very possibly result in some innovative thinking.

Tae-baek is stuck in a rut, but he gets inspiration when he sees his boss’ son addicted to a car racing game on the phone. The thrill of being in the front seat of a car and racing through the roads is addicting for both child and adult. Later that evening, he catches Ji-yoon as she’s coming out of the building to show her his idea. He needs help with the copy editing for this “project,” and since she wants to be the best one in her field, she can start with this. Ji-yoon is too tired to deal with more copy editing, since that’s what she’s been doing all day.

But Tae-baek is persistent. He follows her to her bus and hands her his drawings. They’re unique enough that suddenly Ji-yoon gets a burst of ideas. She tells him to shut up as she sorts out a catchphrase that can capture the excitement of his drawings. After a long while, she finally gets her inspiration: “Play Dreaming Driving.” (I’m going to guess that this is an instance of really awkward English-to-Korean… but I’m gonna go with it for now…)

The following morning, Tae-baek waits for Ah-ri in front of the building. He hands her his concept and Ji-yoon’s copy editing. Ah-ri tries not to show it, but she recognizes it as a good idea.

Tae-baek lets her present the idea in her name, but if this idea gets chosen she must clear a check to Billboard Heaven. Ah-ri even dangles the possibility of an intern position for him, but he doesn’t want it.

At that moment, Addie’s already handed his concept to Eun-hee and her team, and they think it’s a good idea. Since it’s been “accepted,” Addie’s ready to move forward with his concept for Daesung. But Ah-ri hurries to him and hands over Tae-baek’s concept (with her name). He initially blows her off because she’s late with submitting her ideas, but promises to look at it.

The concept is “Play Dreaming Driving! The car life you’ve dreamt of.” And he likes it a lot.

Ah-ri calls up Tae-baek to inform him that the team already made their decision, and that his idea won’t win. She’s sorry about it, but at least they tried.

It bothers Tae-baek — he’s had so much faith in his idea — and he calls Ji-yoon to find out what the winning idea was, and how good it was to have beat his. Unfortunately Ji-yoon doesn’t have access to this top secret presentation, but tells him that if he comes to the building at a certain time, he’ll be able to see it.

That evening, the presentation has been prepared, and Representative Noh arrives at Geumsan. He looks up at the building across the street, but doesn’t see any billboard hanging ostentatiously. He is led to a private room, in the middle of which is one reclining leather chair. Representative Noh sits down, facing the windows, and the lights turn off.

Across the street, a giant TV screen illuminates. Addie hands Representative Noh a phone to use as a controller, and the racing game begins. The two of them race each other, and Representative Noh really gets into the game. As for Tae-baek, he rides up to the front of the building of his motorcycle and recognizes his design.


Underdog stories are fun to watch when you know that your hero is not perfect but is willing to overcome all odds. That’s why this episode was actually quite enjoyable – we already have our first test of his skill and he just so happens to go up against the “genius” in the field, Addie Kang. I understand that it is hard to come up with fresh ideas at times, but what I find strange is accepting that a billboard turned on its side suddenly makes it infinitely better. Sure it’s eye-catching, but it’s even more difficult to read.

I’m glad that Tae-baek isn’t portrayed as a complete country hick – even though he is a little cheesy (comparing himself to a lighter? I saw that line a mile away and had to roll my eyes and chuckle). I find him quite sincere and that he isn’t going to be easily fooled by those city execs. I was a bit hurt that he willingly gave up his good idea to Ah-ri so easily, because that moment just set up a lot of potential conflict that’s so overused in workplace dramas (taking credit, and trying to take back credit). But I’ll try and view it as him doing his one last magnanimous gesture to the girl he loved.

The biggest highlight for me was Ji-yoon, and how Park Ha-sun played with such aplomb — she was never too shrill or too hopeless. She’s a very capable woman for herself, and I know she isn’t just a Candy girl type. I truly enjoyed her performance for this episode.

I feel that this plot is quite straightforward, but crazy birth secrets for Ji-yoon could pop up. More workplace drama could entangle our characters further if Tae-baek ends up working at Geumsan; I hope he doesn’t, as I don’t feel Geumsan deserves his originality and Tae-baek would be better going head to head against Addie Kang than working with him. Of course, this recap is several episodes behind, and so others already know what has happened, but since this is just a premiere recap, discuss away! I hope you enjoy this lighthearted series.


69 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. dany

    This is so weird because I like Jo hyun jae a lot but I really can’t watch this show. The ladies are ok, but the leading man is annoying.
    But I am curious to read your recap and your comments, off to read now, thank you.

    • 1.1 fewmore

      what ladies are ok?? they are super good looking than many leads out their…

      • 1.1.1 dany

        Ok, so they are more than ok, they are beautiful, what i meant is that I have no problems with them, that they are not annoying or anything like that.

    • 1.2 Van

      i find the leading man annoying too.

      I like park ha sun character, she has spunk.

      HCY is doing a great job as a bitch.

      JHJ for a first time bad guy is doing an awesome job. I already hate his character.

      i really wanted to like this drama because i like jo hyun jae so much. but the lead actor is so unappealing and so annoying! does he have to shout so much?

      i watched until ep 4, then i watched the preview of ep 5 and saw that lead actor is still going to shout in ep 5. will he be shouting until ep 16?

      anyway, decided to drop the drama at ep 4. not even my overwhelming love for jo hyun jae will make me endure 16 hours of an unappealing lead actor shouting his way up to the end.

      bye, jo hyun jae! promise i will watch your next drama as long as there isn’t anyone there shouting.

  2. kdwkyah

    i loved park ha sun in high kick, but i don’t think ill be able to watch this drama- too much on my plate!
    and thanks for the recap!

  3. Mystisith

    Yeah! I like this show! Cruelly underrated, in all the senses of the word (those ratings, OMG!…). I love the fact than it’s done after the real life of an ad-man but romanticized of course. The balance between serious, funny and sad is good.
    I saw the 6 eps already and the only thing which bugs me is the mandatory sadism between employees shown at the “World Company”. Seems recurrent in Kdramas: Your boss has to slap you, at least once. “I’m Evil!” As far as I’m concerned, that would end pretty badly for the aggressor. *Keep details for myself*.
    Once that said, it’s a nice drama which focuses on the human aspect. I’ve been surprised with the common points between this drama and the J dorama Pricele$s which finished airing weeks ago: Even the preaching side (that I like, sue me!) is here…

    Thermoses! Rivals! Useful girl in the shadows…

    I find the cast well suited for the characters. I pretty much love everyone and that’s rare.
    Now I just hope than the writer won’t bend the story & go all melo on us to catch more viewers. And please, don’t give us an ending a la Fashion King…

    • 3.1 prE

      The ratings make me so sad, it’s such a good show. Oh well..

    • 3.2 shiku

      I also like it and I like all the leads. I feel so bad for the actors and staff involved in the show as the ratings are horrible but what can I do?

      • 3.2.1 Jump Free

        Here, here! The same! Hope they wont cut it shorter because of the numbers. Id be mad, sad, angry… add whatever fits in! I so love this show!

        • Farhana

          They had better not cut it! Otherwise I’ll be writing an extremely badly written google translate angry letter to the broadcaster. In fact I may send several just to get my point across.

      • 3.2.2 df

        I hope the fact that it’s a good show with interesting characters is some consolation…it would be a little bit for me if i was an actor.

  4. Noernov

    It’s awesome drama….Iove it,love it a lot but sadly it’s underrated 🙁

  5. RockPaperScissors

    I agree with the previous comments that this is an awesome & underrated drama. I too have seen all six episodes that aired so far and will advise anyone in the fence to give this one a chance.

    Thank you for the recap, even if it is a one-time deal.

  6. austriandramalover

    I went into the drama with zero expectations and was ready to drop it since it’s not the only drama I’m watching right now (and studying should get some attention as well xD).
    But I find it really enjoyable and the first six episodes were great.

    I also hope that the show doesn’t go too melo because I got enough melo with the other stuff I’m watching 😀
    The balance of light hearted and thrilling story just makes my day.

    I am really looking forward to the next episodes 🙂

    And yes the drama is totally underrated!!!

    Thanks for the recap 🙂

  7. Zombo

    Han Chae-young AND Yoo IN-young?!!! Oh my God…talk about a couple of tall good ‘uns… o) 🙂 😉

  8. Kiara

    Thank you kaedejun :). I was really looking forward to this and I hope its good.

  9. Daisy

    Pity that this show is getting such low ratings. But The storyline isnt that intersting. Jo Hyun Jae is like the only person I like in this show basically. And it bothers me how he’s not the lead XD

  10. 10 Fun-Lugha

    The leads r killing me, their acting just makes me cringe! the 2nd leads are slightly better but overall they are all just meh! I am shamelessly still following it but it’s not like am biting my nails all week waiting for the next episode…

    • 10.1 Dominique

      In the drama, two characters were educated in the US and now working in South Korea: Addie Kang and Go Ah RI.

      Watch Addie Kang and Go Ah Ri as they volley English words back and forth between them, without the slight understanding of these words or the concept behind them. With such fakery forced down viewers’ throat, I am not surprised by the low rating.

  11. 11 bjharm

    is there ever going to be a kdrama about korean companies where senior staff do not slap junior when they in a bad mood? and get away with it. I know korean union are pretty much a joke but it is still a civil crime to just slap someone. Ow well guess with fathers using golf club to beat up their kids getting a slap on the face is nothing once you grow up..lol
    Frankly I can not think of a more cowardly act than hit someone who can not defend themselves.

    • 11.1 TS

      Second that.

  12. 12 opheliadrowning

    I am very much enjoying this so far. I do not speak Korean but I think the acting is pretty good, but perhaps something is lost in translation?

    This show has been a nice slow burn, and I am excited that it is being recapped! It is my favorite o the current crop of shows airing. I am interested in pretty much all the characters so far and I look forward to seeing how it rides out.

  13. 13 Amg1

    My Dear KDJ!!!! Thank You, for this recap, this is one out of two dramas that I am watching , out of this season, and all i can say that the show is the most underrated of this season.

    I like the fast pace, and progress of the show, and I have fallen for the main female Lead, it is a breath of fresh air, to see a female lead, be independent, intelligent,not afraid of taking, risk, and furthermore, not depending on Dad’s money, or another man for her trying to find success.

    I really like the second female lead also, I like the fact that she has chosen to be bad, and is going all the way, instead of playing safe, I hate when villains do a half ass job.

    I like the fact that the male lead, is a guy that lives in the real world, and he is not waiting around for things to be handed down to him.

    The second male lead, has just the right amount of bad, in him, and his reasoning’s, for doing bad are more in the gray area, than the female lead.

    Over all what I like the most, is that the story line does not get stuck in one single issue, but problems get resolve quite fast, unlike other dramas that drag to much….

    Again KDJ, thank you for the recap, and also thank you for the IRIS2 recap, you still one of my favorite writers around here..Cheers!!!! : 0 >

  14. 14 khina

    same idea as Hyundai’s car advertisement and you can find that race game app at play store. i love to play it during my free time.

    • 14.1 vcarrington

      This show is loosely based on the life of Yi Jeseok, who did an ad for Hyundai. Maybe that is why the idea is similar.

    • 14.2 Jheybhee

      What’s the name of the application? I am searching it at Play Store but no luck or maybe I am running out of the “related” words for it. Thanks 🙂

  15. 15 Rach^^

    I’m loving this drama so far, had enough of all the melo crap these days. I hope the terrible ratings (4%!) won’t turn off Jin Gu (I feel especially horrible for him, his first drama in donkey years…) and Jo Hyun Jae from doing another drama soon. :X

  16. 16 Saturtledaisy


    • 16.1 Saturtledaisy

      I… Somehow got cut off because of my clumsiness .__.
      I just want to say I’m really enjoying this drama so far~ and I don’t get how the ratings can be so low.

  17. 17 Kauaitone

    I totally agree… This show is underrated. Actually…I dont KNOW what the ratings are…but if its not at least the same or higher than IRIS 2 or level 7 civil servant…then thats just criminal. hehe.
    I thought it would just be like every other workplace drama…and it kind of is…but just…better. I love love love the female lead. I think there should be more leads written so strong. She’s independent. thinks for herself. isn’t completely dense. and seems genuinely good hearted. More real than the normal candy girls of dramas. I like the male lead too…not as much as the female lead but hes good too. They have such cuteness together. I actually like that the beginning of their relationship isnt the hate each other kind but that they just get along.
    I was wondering what I would watch after FFND finished and now I know. <3 AGLTB

  18. 18 Gidget

    Thanks for recapping this show. I think it’s been a fun one to watch. It’s conflict leaves me curious about what happens; but with a light and happy vibe. It’s a welcome break from the more emotionally taxing shows I’m watching. Kinda like the sorbet you have between heavy courses at dinner.

  19. 19 Katigie

    I like this a lot–the two leads are appealing, and the secondary characters–the former ad man, the elderly thermos company owner–have interesting quirks and habits. There’s something about it reminiscent of History of a Salaryman, if not as dramatic or funny yet. I find it thoroughly fun, and love the male lead’s appealing looks–not a flower boy but such an engaging personality. The ad world is a compelling setting, too

  20. 20 kumi

    Would be nice, if this drama continues getting recaps.

  21. 21 Nokcha

    So happy to see this recap. If nothing else, hopefully it’ll get others on board this drama. I’m enjoying it much more than Civil Servant, and even to a degree, Flower Boy Neighbor. I find the characters much more realistic and enjoyable to watch. The plot is predictable, but the way it’s portrayed by the characters is REAL. I think Jin Gu doesn’t have the bright-eyed bushy-tail puppy dog appeal has some others who have portrayed similar roles and I think that’s why I like him in this role. He doesn’t come across naive and innocent to infinity degree and, though obviously disappointed about the girlfriend situation, he doesn’t seem to be losing much sleep over it. He’s getting on with his life, which seems much more realistic rather than wallowing in grief and misery. Ji Yoon is also displaying the kind of strength you’d expect. Bottom line, the story isn’t following your typical character descriptions typical of this kind of drama.

  22. 22 Suzi Q

    I liked Park Ha Sun who plays Ji Yoon and almost dropped this drama when she got slapped by Han Chae Young who plays Go Ah Ri. Eye roll. I absolutely hate it when they include face slapping in a drama!
    Also, Tae Baek acts like a schmo with his former girlfriend and gets his idea stolen. So far, all of the other characters are unscrupulous and unsympathetic.

  23. 23 kaye

    I am saddened that this show doesn’t receive a lot of love…I am excited to see Jin Gu on his first lead role on TV and I believe he is a pretty good actor. I hope the ratings will improve as this show is promising.

  24. 24 df

    THANK YOU FOR RECAPPING!!! omg I hope more people will start watching this wonderful show now!

    My mom in particular loves this show. She does a ministry that helps homeless people so episode 4 really got to her. I love the positivity of Lee Tae Baek. He’s really an inspiring character.

    • 24.1 df

      I also thought he would be a mean douche who would move forward using unscrupulous methods because of the way he looked in that promo picture and I was not really looking forward to it but gave it a chance and was pleasantly surprised!

  25. 25 Mary

    I just still can’t believe that HCY and JHJ are relegated to second leads…I wonder whether it would have been better if they had carried the show (character traits not withstanding)…

    • 25.1 Pipit

      You’re not alone in this. But I like the fact that there are plenty of rooms for stories that will give me a chance to still love Jo Hyun .

      • 25.1.1 YY

        Who knows, they may decide to switch the leads half-way, make Kang-ah the lead after the young guy gets zapped by lightning while fixing a new ad up on some tall building. Then young guy goes into a coma like that show ‘Big” so Kang-ah takes over. Yeah, I’m desperate.

        • DudeMeetsDrama

          Hahaha this was funny. JHJ and HCY hmmm nostlagic

    • 25.2 YY

      Me tooooo….ah, the waste!

      • 25.2.1 YY

        And he’s called Kang here too….Addie Kang-ahhhhhhhhhh

    • 25.3 KANGly

      I read in JHJ fan forums all dramas where JHJ is 2nd lead, the drama rating is always low. JHJ Korean fans don’t like when he plays 2nd lead.

      AGLTB has the lowest rating (so far) of JHJ dramas where he is 2nd lead because he is bad guy here. In other dramas where he is 2nd lead he is still a good person.

  26. 26 Farhana

    Yay I’m so glad this is being recapped! I love Tae-Baek it’s such a heart warming show and our main character always makes me smile! I’ve never seen him in a drama before but there’s something about his eyes that had me within his first scene!

    I hate the second lead actress and actors’ characters. They’re both horrible people that deserve each others company and nothing more!

  27. 27 Jill

    Oh my goodness I was watching this and really liked it and I thought something was wrong with me because no one else was watching it and it doesn’t receive good ratings either :/

  28. 28 DHM

    I’m really enjoying this show, a lot more than some others that have higher ratings right now. The casting really works, the actors all carry their roles well, and I am really interested in the characters and their stories- esp the main pairing. I like their relationship a lot. I love that they are beginning as friends, not people who hate each other and say the sort of rude, hurtful things that in real life would be nearly unforgivable.

    They make a much more believable couple to me than that pair on Level 7, Civil Servant.

    • 28.1 poh

      agreed…most korean dramas started of with the leads bickering with each other…from hate straight to love. But in this drama, they have some bad encounter for the 1st ep when he almost ran into her but thats it. They were cool about it and become friends, close friends. I like how tae baek also sought her out for ideas and opinions on his ad

  29. 29 merry

    Thank you K for the recaps. I have been saying a silent prayer that you would so i can get the feedback from others. Thank you fellow commenters. If this is semi-autobiographical, all the more interesting for me. It opens up a world I have great admiration for and don’t really know much about. It is like King of Drama but for the advertising world. Funny how they got SWOT (strengths, weakness, opportunities, threats) and other business class lessons in here.
    My 2 cents worth of opinion on why it is not rating highly — is it because the main lead is kinda gritty cute, not brooding (which ironically attracts females) and not chaebol looking? But i am loving the girl lead. Haven’t seen her before but she is good. I really liked Only You where our second leads starred in. I don’t know if anybody noticed, but i find the female actress aged more than the male. Life’s really unfair.

  30. 30 John

    kaedejun, thanks for the recap.

    I like it so far. I like Park Ha-sun’s character, plus, I think she’s pretty.

    The evil team of ad execs can get lost. Team under dog all the way.

  31. 31 gelai

    Yey. Recap! Thanks so much! I thought Dramabeans is totally ignoring this drama.

    I’m one of those that got excited and really anticipated this when I found out that this is a Han Chae Young-Jo Hyun Jae reunion drama.

    It didn’t have a strong debut for me but it keeps getting better and interesting. There’s chemistry amongst the foursome. I’m surprised that I actually like the leads (never seen any of their previous works) while Han Chae Young and Jo Hyun Jae are really effective being bitches as I’ve been hating their characters since ep2, I think. I think I can see why Han Chae Young and Jo Hyun Jae accepted the roles. It’s challenging and something different for them.

    I hope they can keep it up 🙂

  32. 32 Lilian

    I’m enjoying the drama for now. The ad ideas get better. For me, the best ad idea so far is the one for the homeless. That was pretty catchy and attention-grabbing. Love the chemistry between jin Goo and Park Ha Sun too.

    • 32.1 poh

      i love the homeless ad too~ kinda touching how he get the idea of the newspaper

  33. 33 poh

    i love this drama~ jin gu & park ha sun have chemistry. I dont understand y ppl are complaining about JHJ & HCY not being the leads. The director cast them for a purpose and obviously JHJ & HCY does not fit the lead characters.

    I like how the they deviated from most dramas where the guy is the chaebol while the girl is poor. How they become best friends and partners before they actually have feelings for each other

    • 33.1 Van

      you don’t have to be a criminal to play the role of a criminal. you don’t have to be ordinary looking to be able to play the role of an ordinary joe. … if you get my drift…

      • 33.1.1 poh

        if the characters of Eddie and Ari are not interesting to play or if JHJ and HCY felt like they should be playing lead roles, they wouldnt have accept the roles given to them in the drama.
        Obviously they wanted to act in something new, and they are interested in the roles given. So y are even ppl complaining when JHJ & HCY like their roles.

  34. 34 Funfare

    I love this drama. I am very thankful that you are doing the recaps. I hope that more people will tune in once they read your reviews. I think the actors/actresses are great and the storyline has originality.

    If you have not tuned in – PLEASE DO!!!! You will also adore the story.

  35. 35 AnastasiaWun

    Thanks for the recap. Seems like the storyline is quite predictable. However, one look at the two male leads and there goes my appetite. Pity, since the female lead JiYoon looks very down-to-earth and likeable. Will probably watch it only if there is nothing else better than AD Genius.

  36. 36 LangitBiru

    Thanks for the recap. Just watched this drama today and love it. So far so good and it kinda fast paced. Why I confused Jo Hyun Jae with Ryu Jin. Is it because they also be the 2nd lead or what.

  37. 37 Van

    story is very predictable and very repetitive, especially the parts of the lead actor. so repetitive that it has become so borrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggg. and that is such a bad thing because most of the story is about him so i end up fast forwarding for most of the drama.

  38. 38 Gidget

    I think the lead is cute. It’s nice to see a masculine guy in a kdrama instead of just the overly pretty &/or overly refined &/or overly sensitive ones that usually occupy the lead roles.

  39. 39 Pakykul Gunk

    Thanks for the recap.
    I think this drama is going to be fun too!

  40. 40 Stephanie Leung

    Surprisingly this is my favourite drama at the moment. The plot is interesting enough, and it’s moving along quickly. Why is everything else I’m watching turning into melo poop!! (I can’t stand melos.) I also like rooting for underdogs 🙂 My only complaint is……. Han Chae Young’s acting is still really really bad. She’s just pretty to look at.

  41. 41 Xabi Alonso

    Why isn’t there a recap for Yawang/Queen of Ambition? This show is awesome. Recaps will be appreciated.

  42. 42 lalala

    I so dig this drama cause of the theme. I can totally relate. So would/will the other drama fanatics who are in Ad/Marketing/Business field. I love how they portray the competition, the underdogs’ winning spirit, the lead’s simplicity and the romance handling.

    Anyway, I’m in PH and I’m updated up to the eleventh episode. (They’re on their 12th ep yesterday). Will watch it until the end.

  43. 43 xzy

    Where are the other episode recaps? I think this has a good story.

  44. 44 areen

    i actually watched maybe to 10th eps. it got boring but to give it credit they have very amazing advertising ideas like the stair and the mountain its stuck in my head

  45. 45 Richard Bost

    All in all, I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.
    I like the themes a lot, I like the leads and it had an ending that was pretty good, after leading us down some dark trails.

    I found some of the ad ideas quite good.

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