Drama Recaps
Dating Agency Cyrano: Episode 1
by | May 28, 2013 | 102 Comments

A zippy and fun opening for Dating Agency Cyrano, the fourth show in the Flower Boy series on cable network tvN. With likable characters and a story that’s easy to follow, one can easily forget how quickly forty-five minutes can pass in the blink of an eye. Oh, and there’s plenty of eye candy. As if I needed to remind you.

They say that good things come in fours and Cyrano is no exception. With four experts of love running this ship and a coolheaded captain at the helm, we’re on course for what might be a delectable series ahead.


In a dimly lit restaurant, a man breaks into a nervous smile in front of the woman sitting across from him, who smiles bashfully in return. The wine, the flowers, the mood – everything is perfect.

At a nearby table, GONG MIN-YOUNG (Sooyoung) looks on encouragingly. We hear her narrate: “There are so many things in this world where the time and place are crucial. But what could compare to this moment — the moment you confess your feelings?”

She tells us there is a principle that one mustn’t forget: True love can only be achieved through sincerity. Then she gives her client (Ji Jin-hee) his cue.

He launches into his confession, nervously stuttering his words of admiration towards his date. It doesn’t matter if things don’t work out later on down the road; he believes that there’s merit in a confession of love. With one last burst of courage, he asks her for a chance to prove himself.

The camera briefly cuts to a mysterious man sitting at a different table before the woman (Lee Chung-ah) gives her answer. She thanks him for his bold confession, which now gives her the courage to face her own cowardice.

Then she downs the rest of her glass, rises from her seat, and confesses her own feelings to the sommelier. HA.

We pause to learn more about Min-young, a bright-eyed young woman who works at a bustling matchmaking company. Her dream is to help those find their love match before they’re left forever alone. There’s a streak of idealism in her that I like, and she tells us with a smile: “That is what I wanted to do.”

Her clientele is a different story, however, as they name qualifications like a good family background or a successful career. She strains to keep a smile on her face until another voice cuts in, asking if there is such a thing as sincere feelings.

That voice belongs to the man we saw earlier, who asks for a chance to confess his feelings to a fellow client whom he believes to be his perfect match. He recognizes that she’s out of his league but he’ll regret it if he lets her slip away.

Min-young contemplates his words against her boss’s strict reminder to stick to the methodical system of relying on statistical data and analysis for creating matches. She makes a decision and grabs the necessary file before heading out.

The sight of the woman in question leaves Min-young to wonder whether she’s doing the right thing or not. Just then, a man bumps into her, causing her to drop her things, and she sneers at him when he leaves without a word.

She isn’t surprised to find that the lady isn’t keen on participating in yet another blind date, especially after a string of unsuccessful matches. But Min-young insists that this is a perfect match, adding that it could be destiny.

They’re interrupted by the crashing sound of a dropped wine bottle. Interestingly, the woman changes her tune and agrees to the date, to Min-young’s delight.

Min-young gives her client some last-minute words of encouragement before sending him out to the battlefield. Now we replay the opening scene in a different light, and SEO BYUNG-HOON (Lee Jong-hyuk) smirks at Min-young’s wide-eyed wonder from a nearby table.

He keeps a watchful eye out with the help of a camera and listens in on their conversation, thanks to the microphone hidden in the flowers. On cue, Byung-hoon sends in the sommelier to congratulate the potentially happy couple, and at the woman’s words of gratitude, he says aloud: “There’s no need to thank me.”

Byung-hoon keeps a tight rein on the entire operation, feeding the appropriate lines to seal the deal. Then he orders his team members to pack it up, and leaves an utterly shocked Min-young in his wake.

Min-young and her client sit on the steps, completely baffled by the situation. She pulls her hair out trying to figure out exactly what went wrong – everything was perfect, wasn’t it?

Her client tells her not to beat herself too much about it, and places the blame on himself for going after a Grade A woman when he himself is a Grade F man. He does, however, thank Min-young for giving him the courage to own up to his feelings and helping him find closure.

He sweetly adds that he admires the fervent passion she has in her line of work, and hopes that it will find a home.

Min-young gets an earful from her team leader about the unapproved pairing over the phone. She slumps against the back of the van. When she rests her head against the window in defeat, the back door unexpectedly opens.

Her mouth falls open at the sight of the van’s interior, lined with hi-tech equipment, including audio equipment and computers. Then her eyes grow wide when she sees an image of the woman her client was trying to woo that evening on a monitor.

Min-young backs away, but she jumps when she finds herself face to face with the van’s owner. He furrows his eyebrows as she tries to explain herself. He tells her, “Stop…”

…which is when she accidentally slips and knocks herself unconscious.

The night’s events flash before Min-young’s eyes and she wakes her with a start. Ominous music plays as she surveys her unknown surroundings. She jumps when a machine suddenly comes to life, its gears whirring. Then a friendly voice asks brightly: “Noona, are you okay?”

Let’s introduce the Cyrano crew members: ARANG (Jo Yoon-woo) ignores Min-young’s subsequent questions about where she is, and the reappearance of MOO-JIN (Hong Jong-hyun) spooks her. Frightened, she backs away just as Moo-jin tries to warn her: “Stop…”

But it’s too late, and Min-young falls backwards. The fake wall comes down (Moo-jin continues: “…it’s gonna fall.” Heh), and we get a glory shot of Byung-hoon, donned in his trademark black trenchcoat. He deadpans: “A loud entrance, as expected.” HA.

Her fall jogs her memory and she finally recognizes their faces. After a quick scan of the whiteboard which outlines the details to the entire operation, she asks if they’re conmen, scamming others for a living.

Byung-hoon answers: “Con artists? I’d like to call ourselves an agency.” Their job is to merely open doors for their clients who are in love.

Min-young is appalled to find a picture of herself on the board, and Byung-hoon asks her how it feels to act of her own accord, outside of company protocol. She points out that their interference ruined everything, and turns the question on him: How does it feel to stomp all over someone’s sincere feelings?

“And what about our client’s?” Byung-hoon counters. He argues that love isn’t always about sincerity and there are times when people don’t know how to express their feelings. That’s where he comes in.

She argues that his tactics are impolite, to which he tells her that those so-called romantic overtures are the ones that are impolite. In other words: “If you want to achieve sincerity, you have to understand that person.”

Reading his client’s file like a textbook in her presence won’t get you very far, Byung-hoon explains. We see that he intentionally broke the wine bottle so that the smell would trigger her memory about their previous awkward encounter. Then it was his agency who fed him the lines of his confession of love.

He summarizes that this is what it means to fully understand someone: If sincerity is to be valued, then one must be thorough.

When Min-young scoffs, asking where he gets these ideas, he taps his temple as if to say, From this think bank. Hahaha.

He tells her that her words of encouragement will eventually hurt her client in the long run. Feeding him false hope is like poison in the world of dating.

Min-young admits that her intentions were good, but what is it to anyone now? Then Byung-hoon flashes a business card – how about a job then? She scoffs at the offer – she would never subject herself to such grunt work.

In response, Byung-hoon reminds her of her dream: “Didn’t you want to help people fall in love without relying on the specs written on their resumes?”

He then explains that he was merely trying to help someone else in need. And a moment later, she receives a text indicating that she’s fired.

Byung-hoon says that her name suits her, and he draws close to ask about her surname: “Does it stand for ’empty’ Gong?” Haha.

Thankfully, Min-young’s boss looks favorably upon her and instructs her to stick to protocol next time. But that triggers her client’s words of admiration about building destined relationships and her original dream. She quits on the spot.

We’re introduced to another character – chef CHA SEUNG-PYO (Lee Chun-hee) – whose restaurant sits across from the Cyrano dating agency. He breaks into a small smile when he sees Min-young loiter outside the agency entrance.

However there’s none of that warm demeanor when he finds her using her restaurant as a temporary place of refuge. He mistakes her as another potential customer and tells her to take the last courageous step towards Cyrano.

Min-young gives herself a pep talk, and turns around when an actual potential client shows up to ask “if this is the secret place where they make people fall in love.”

Min-young ushers the client inside to Cyrano Agency with great enthusiasm. It’s adorable how Arang lights up to see her, and Byung-hoon tells her she’s right on time.

A few telling clues on the man’s clothes and hands is enough for Byung-hoon to deduce that their potential client is a veterinarian. He’s sharply observant, that’s for sure.

The team listens as their interviewee, Joon-hyuk, recounts about how he fell in love with a local librarian the day he found her feeding a stray cat in the rain. Min-young loses herself in her empathy with her descriptions about all of the overwhelming feelings that come with falling head over heels in love.

It’s Byung-hoon who puts them back on track, and he commends Joon-hyuk for retracting his casual invitation to dinner. He remains resolutely professional and declines any further information – they’ll do the research on the target from here on out.

Then he tosses the car keys to Min-young and asks if she can drive.

So it’s on the job training at the library where Min-young insists that she hasn’t fully committed to working at the agency yet, though her actions have clearly said otherwise.

They keep an eye on their target (Lee Yoon-ji), and avoid her gaze when she gets up and furiously marches through the aisles. Turns out she’s looking for the culprit who’s been ripping pages out books, calling it an “act of terror.”

That gives Byung-hoon an idea, and promptly tears out a page before handing the book back to Min-young. Off she goes, then. Ha, I love her shocked Who, me? expression.

The situation goes as well as you might expect and the librarian is startled at the damning evidence before her. As Min-young insists upon her innocence, Byung-hoon lurks behind their target, gathering clues in the brief moment of distraction.

Min-young pelts Byung-hoon with questions once they’re out of the library, her voice filled with annoyance. Instead, he counters that he noticed Min-young jot notes on their subject, and asks her to brief him on her observations.

She happily reports that librarian Jae-in is an quick and efficient worker who loves her job. Her face falls when Byung-hoon tells her that her report falls far below his expectations.

She asks him to enlighten her then, and Byung-hoon amuses her. In truth, Jae-in finds her job boring and could care less about the library patrons, let alone her admirer. Thus, in a desire to break free of the monotonous routine, she enjoys crime-mystery novels and is highly skeptical.

Min-young excitedly asks if Byung-hoon has a strategy in mind, and he gives a knowing smile.

So she’s thunderstruck and confused when Byung-hoon declares that they’ll reject the case. The boys aren’t surprised in the least, and Arang quips, “It’s a money issue, isn’t it?” Heh, I love that they can see right through him.

Byung-hoon sends him a look and avoids giving a direct answer, spouting roundabout excuses instead. It’s an effort to keep what’s left of his pride, he firmly insists, NOT a money issue.

Cut to: Byung-hoon hanging off of a rooftop ledge, held by a rope as a couple of gangsters who threaten him to pay up. Hahaha. Byung-hoon vows up and down that he’ll repay his debt.

It seems that this is a common occurrence, though it’s highly amusing to see the suave, collected team leader left to the mercy of a pair of thugs.

Down below, Min-young wonders if Byunghoon will be all right, and Seung-pyo assures her that with though the men might threaten him, they won’t kill him. She’s surprised to hear that Byung-hoon is a former genius theater director.

Seung-pyo is far more pleasant this time around, and he’s impressed to hear that the newbie has already been out in the field. He figures that Byung-hoon must find her competent then, and introduces himself as “Master.”

It’s worth noting that Moo-jin casts a dark expression in Master’s direction, though we don’t know why just yet.

And up above, his life hanging on a literal thread, Byung-hoon hollers: “Guys, prepare the case!”

Inside, the Cyrano team members brief Byung-hoon on Jae-in, a librarian who knows hapkido and enjoys reading crime novels in her spare time. She often gets in trouble for her strong sense of law-keeping within the library, hasn’t been in a relationship for some time, and shuts down her suitors.

Byung-hoon takes all of this information and deduces that Jae-in will be drawn to the characters in her favorite detective novels. Thus, their client must also have an air of mystery about them.

Their tactic? “Hard-boiled Dr. J” – a hard-boiled-type character much like the fictional private detective Sam Spade, from the novel The Maltese Falcon.

Team Cyrano implements the first step of their plan to stall Jae-in at the train station, like how Arang deliberately runs into her to slip Joon-hyuk’s library card in her purse.

She naturally misses the train, which is when Joon-hyuk steps out to the platform, looking like a character who just stepped out of a 1930’s crime novel. She barely has time to gaze longingly before a crowd gathers, and the same thugs menacingly walk past her.

Her suspicion radar pings, and Jae-in takes the bait. They run into a small wrinkle, however, when she initially searches for the police officers, and Min-young runs ahead to create a distraction.

Jae-in roams the platform until her eyes fall upon Joon-hyuk sitting mysteriously on a bench. Byung-hoon instructs his client to lift his head and wait ten seconds…

Like clockwork, Jae-in rushes forward to lead Joon-hyuk away. Without a word, he gently pushes her into the train just before the door closes.

Caught up in her own whirlwind, she finally discovers the hidden name card. And on the sidelines, Min-young casts Byung-hoon an impressed look.

Byung-hoon commends his team on a job well-done, and he assures Joon-hyuk that he’s made a lasting first impression. Which is why they’re all surprised to see Jae-in get off on another platform, having doubled back to find her mystery man.

They disperse and Min-young teases about how Byung-hoon didn’t expect this outcome, to which he defends himself, saying that he can’t control for all the variables since Jae-in’s behavior is atypical for a civil servant.

He spots Jae-in approaching, and swiftly pulls Min-young close to him, telling her that their target will readily recognize her. Now it’s his turn to tease her, asking if the close proximity makes her nervous.

Min-young denies it, and pushes him away from her. But she starts to lose her balance, and Byung-hoon grabs her just in time, pulling her in closer.



What an adorable show. The show’s setup and characters may be new to some or familiar to those who have seen the 2010 movie Cyrano Agency. You can place me in the latter camp, although I purposefully kept myself in the dark in order to watch this show somewhat blind. So I was pleased to find that this show satisfies my recent craving for a breezy romantic comedy with quippy dialogue and an idealistic heroine who wants to see her clients find happiness in love.

I like that her dream is a simple one, almost naive and purely optimistic in nature. What’s more is that we’re introduced to Min-young when that her dream has suffered under realism, which has taken over her day-to-day lifestyle. Then it takes a realist for her to challenge her to do what she originally set out to do. Furthermore, I like that we don’t get the classic side characters attached to our heroine. There’s no mother to nag her about her career or a best friend who yaps on about the mundane everyday bits of dramaland.

It’s this sense of independence around Min-young that I love, where her decisions are her own and doesn’t have to answer to anyone. In that same vein, I’m surprised that Sooyoung folds in nicely with the rest of the cast, given that I haven’t seen any of her previous projects.

What I love is that each character seems like an integral cog to the narrative, including the clients the dating agency serves. It’s no easy feat, considering how little we actually know about these characters. Take for instance, the Cyrano boys, who barely got a few lines in the episode and were never actually addressed by name. However, the brief glimpses that we got dropped enough clues to inform us that they understand Byung-hoon better than anyone else, and even then, he’s still a mystery.

There’s still so much to know about Min-young and the rest of our characters, and yet it already feels like we’ve gotten to know them on a first-name basis. If anything, the character descriptions hint that there is always more than what meets the eye.

Lee Jong-hyuk may not be the typical flower boy you may have imagined in your head, but boy does this man ooze charisma. A character like Byung-hoon with a distant and calculating personality may sound very dramaland hero cookie-cutteresque, but Lee Jong-hyuk adds some much needed depth to the character. Not only is Byung-hoon super observant and practical, he gets people and knows what makes them tick. Which explains why the role calls for an older actor to play a character who understands people based upon years of various experiences.

I love that we’ve already zoned in on the dating agency setup. This is really where the meat and potatoes are at, and I can only begin to imagine the hijinks that will emerge from these four. Not only that, this allows for encapsulated mini-arcs of story as the Cyrano team tackles a new client who has a unique story to tell. What they’ll make of the story below, only time will tell.


102 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. alua

    Oh, glad to see you recapping this! At least the first ep…

    • 1.1 alua

      I’m a total newbie to this one, not having watched the movie (and I’ll wait until the drama is over).

      Still warming up to Lee Jong-hyuk, whom I don’t really know at all as an actor and he’s indeed not that typical kind of flower boy. Hasn’t captured my attention just yet (though the dangling off the roof scene at least suggested something more interesting to his character than the ‘know-it-all’ we initially got).

      I don’t get though why they have to cast the OTP with such an age gap. Don’t get me wrong, I think both actors are fine so far, and I don’t mind them at all, just that there are too many dramas/films that have huge age gaps between the actors for no apparent reason. Of course relationships with age gaps happen, but the quantity in drama casting seems… excessive.

      How old are the characters supposed to be? (I haven’t read much about this drama yet, so I’m totally uninformed…)

      • 1.1.1 On a QIHM High

        I agree about the age gap; if the actors look close to their actual age it can really put me off. In this case, I thought Lee Jong-hyuk was in his early 30s and Sooyoung passes for late 20s so I thought it was fairly believable (Lee Jong-hyuk’s actual age kinda surprised me). I have no clue what their drama ages are supposed to be but not intending to find out (I feel the less I know going into a drama, the more I tend to enjoy it =D)

        I like Lee Jong-hyuk’s acting from A Gentleman’s Dignity; I feel he has the right combination of comical + serious to make it work. His acting isn’t phenomenal but it’s good enough that I enjoy watching his characters. And Sooyoung is doing a fine job thus far. Combined with an amusing plot (that has room for development), I think I’ll be following this drama.

        (Yay, I have shows to watch that are not sagueks or melos! Mischievous Kiss + Monstar + You’re The Best Lee Shin Soon + Running Man + Dating Agency Cyrano =D Plus 3/5 are getting recapped on DB =D)

        • owl

          I also grew to like LJH from A Gentleman’s Dignity. His characters both dramas exude ‘cool hotness’ somehow. The age gap between him and SY is played out in how he assumes superiority, but her own heart and cleverness comes through (even though he doesn’t acknowledge that yet)

          Interestingly, he was married to an older woman (he was the kept man) in Gentleman’s Dignity.

        • ilikemangos

          I put Lee Jong-Hyuk in the same camp as Yoon Sang Hyun under sexy ahjussis.
          Both men are hitting their 40’s although they can play a character that is much younger, and can actually pull it off. These guys can still get chemistry goin on even if their costars are much younger than they.
          “I feel the less i know going into a drama, the more i tend to enjoy it”
          Amen! I came into this show without a clue about our characters or their ages. All i knew was, that it had to be a show about a dating agency. So, i wasn’t too quick to judge their chemistry or anything.
          Lee Jong-Hyuk is adorable. I only watched bits of Gentleman’s dignity but he was hands down my favorite character, because he really pulled off that comical part rather well for a man his age. I think he’ll be able to make our hero really come alive, and i’ve been tired of recent flower boys. I need me a flower MAN.
          I never watched any of sooyoung’s works but i always thought she was the prettiest of girls generation. Even so she was an idol and i always have reservations about them acting. She fit the character well and it seems she has natural screen presence.

      • 1.1.2 CutiieAngiie

        I don’t know if this is reliable but from what I read and understand, the actors of the movie Dating Agency, Uhm Tae Woong and Park Shin Hye have a big age gap (1975-1990). Similar to Lee Jong Hyuk and Sooyoung (1974-1990). In the movie, PSH’s character, if I reckon, was the student of UTW’s character and was in love with him.
        Maybe, the writer of the drama wanted to draw that similarity even though Gong Min Young is nothing like the two female characters of the movie (PSH the student and Lee Ming Jung’s character, the first love)

        But it also works for the opposition between the two characters : older man with tons of experience on love and younger woman dreaming and idealizing love.

        • KimYoonmi

          The character, as written is also different. Min Yeong of the movie is a savvy, well-rounded person that comes off as intelligent rather than naive and innocent. She also actively takes passes at the main male character in some nice little side swipes. She’s also better in the movie at doing the setting up and guessing what a woman wants than the main character.

          Out of innocent v. winking at you, I kinda like the winking at you type more, but I don’t mind the innocent/naive type either.

          Both are different enough to hold on their own (so far). The drama does capture much of the feel of the original and even manages to make the back stage look similar too. The drama feels like a prequel in some ways…

          • Kat

            This drama is supposed to be a prequel. It’s based on the web toon and about what happened before the movie. I haven’t read the web toon but it’s possible the drama’s plot won’t connect with the movie’s.

    • 1.2 superficial

      where are the flower boys?

  2. owl

    Love the bubby acidic chemical reaction between Soo Young and Lee Jong Hyuk – oh, and, I’m guessing Lee Chun Hee (Master, restaurant owner) as the third leg of that love trainagle . This feels really fun, clever, and high energy – no slow start, thanks for that!

    Byunt hoon to Min young: “I wasn’t expecting much but you didn’t even meet that” –ha!

    Thanks for recapping, gm! Yay for another fb drama 🙂

    • 2.1 owl


  3. snow_white

    Thanks for the recap….haven’t started it yet but will definitely watch it…..and I’m glad the drama is different from that super boring film 🙂

  4. CutiieAngiie

    I absolutely adored that first episode. I was already waiting this drama with anticipation and I have to say I’m not disappointed because it has everything that you love in romantic comedy.

    At first, reading that Lee Jong Hyuk and Sooyoung would be together I doubted how they were going to work it because they have 16 years difference and you can’t imagine these two together kissing or whatever but the episode proved me wrong. I keep replaying the last part when he grabbed her and she stared at him intensly. It just screams CHEMISTRY !

    For Sooyoung’s acting, I’m glad that you kind of approved of her. Just finished reading some comments from netizenbuzz and I’m utterly disgusted because they aren’t objective at all but whatever, although she isn’t on the level of Lee Jong Hyuk and Lee Chun Hee, I’m sure she is going to improve.

    I like the two Agency boys even though they don’t have much lines. But they are so mysterious that you can’t help and be curious about them especially with Hong Jong Hyun’s character because I keep wondering why he stared at Lee Chun Hee’s character when he talked with Sooyoung’s.
    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH, I’m so curious LMAO. I can’t wait for the second episode.


  5. someone

    I really liked the 1st episode it flew by. lots of guest appearances , it was really fun. And let me say I never heard of Soo Young when I watched her in third hospital, but was really drawn to her, and her character here seems so lovable, this young lady is really a joy to watch, she has a natural talent for acting honestly one of the best idols I have seen.

    • 5.1 ilikemangos

      Seriously, so many cameos and familiar faces!
      I loved it!
      Lee Chung Ah, Jin hee Ji, Lee Yoon Ji all in the first episode.
      If we could get more cameos posing as people looking for love throughout the rest of the show, that’d be so cool.

    • 5.2 Mak

      I loved the Flower Boy cameo tie-in!

      And as a watcher of Hundred Years’ Inheritance, Choi Won Young (aka Mamma’s boy Chul Gyu) could really use this level of intervention. Thankfully, he is well below this standard.

  6. srkambbs

    I love the characters but I cant seem to ignore the fact that sooyoung is younger than jong hyuk by 16 years. They shouldve had an older actress imo.

    • 6.1 alua

      I think in a way her age fits with her character (from what we’ve seen so far) – kinda naive & super duper romantic about love.

      I’m fine with the actors so far, although I think less of an age gap (the guy being younger) would have been preferable. I don’t know how old the characters are supposed to be, but I could imagine the male lead as a 30-year old…

  7. junkijinki

    THANKYOU so much for recapping this!
    i was wishing for the recaps for this drama!

    i have watched the first episode and its really funny! hope it keeps getting better!
    sooyoung ♥

  8. shopgirl

    I love Sooyoung’s acting. Pretty decent to me. but I think she got overshadowed by Lee Chung Ah and Lee Yoon Ji. Even they come only for cameo but their acting really make this episode more interesting.

    • 8.1 pigtookie

      yes that’s what i felt too. when lee chung ah came on screen, i went, ahhh that’s why they picked her for the lead of the first series. at times i feel like sooyoung’s playing it safe, in case she goes too over the top, but she could step it up. nevertheless, i like her minyoung, as a bit understated when there’s plenty of other situational comedy.

  9. Sm

    i hope this drama has hilarity like it’s predecessor.Then again, It’s sad to see,that it doesn’t match up to fbnd , there’s no character with depth like dok mi. but i should have expected this from a dating-drama.!
    Thanks for the recap!

  10. 10 sunwoo

    i liked it, not the best but honestly my standards are really low at the time. so many bad dramas lately hopefully this doesn’t disappoint

  11. 11 exquisitemelody

    Random question – how fast are dramafever subs? For some of the more popular ones, viki can get them up late night (eastern US time) same day. Is DF the same?

    • 11.1 On a QIHM High

      It really depends on the drama. For some, it’s a simulcast so they can have it up during/right after when the drama actually airs. Others they get up same day/next day. While others it takes them a few days. In general it takes them 1-2 days. Cyrano ep 1 was up today (airing yesterday). I don’t know if they have popular ones up earlier but I reckon so (by popular, I mean net popular not necessarily ratings popular).

      Also, keep in mind that both work with licensed dramas now so sometimes Viki doesn’t get licensing for a drama but DF does and vice versa (they offer some different dramas).

      • 11.1.1 exquisitemelody

        Thanks! I was contemplating getting an ad-free DF since they’re offering a lower price, but I guess I’ll just put up with it.

        • pigtookie

          I don’t know if they’ve changed it recently, but before when I watched videos on their site, if I could catch the episode usually soon after it’s been posted (day of posting), there are no ads yet, and when I go back a few days after they’d added it in.

    • 11.2 Anonymous

      Remember though, this is an SNSD drama, so look out for K-pop fan subs that will probably come out like like lighting. So don’t get stuck with DF or Viki if you really want to see it faster.

  12. 12 JoAnne

    Thoroughly enjoyed this first episode – I’ve really been looking forward to this. I loved the movie when I saw that, and the whole idea just really tickles my fancy. I’m so GLAD this was well-done and entertaining!

  13. 13 LizJ

    I’m almost to the point of crying tears of relief that we’ve got a rom-com to watch now! Lee Soon Shin often has veered into that direction (and is wonderful when it does) but it’s been so wrapped up in the mothers melodrama recently that there isn’t much time for anything else.

    As far as DramaFever subs…most of the time they aren’t very speedy. Usually it’s a 2 to 4 day wait. They got this first episode up quickly. The last time I remember them being speedy (within 24 hours) was when Bridal Mask was airing. Lee Soon Shin is taking about 3 to 5 days. Gu Family Book is taking about 2 days.

  14. 14 exquisitemelody

    Just started watching and WHAAATT – a Ji Jin-hee cameo?!? Roped me in. Okay, I’ll keep watching.

  15. 15 kopytko

    I like it! Finally a cheerful, light drama with a lively plot and likable characters.
    I knew Lee Jong Hyuk is a fine actor (JungRok is my ultimate oppa ;)) but Sooyoung is such a nice surprise for me! She seems the real sunshine girl – young, naive and spontaneous but thankfully not an idiot. Finally a young female character who could survive in real world. I am truly happy about this casting and don’t care about her being a member of a girl band.

    The plot starts light and I hope it stays that way. Whether there will be a romantic relationship between the two characters – I’m fine with any development. Gong MinYoung is a young adult(!) woman, so she can be a partner to another adult (as opposed to an eternal damsel in distress, who is merely a pet).

    • 15.1 yukiNYC

      “The plot starts light and I hope it stays that way.”
      Is it possible to make a light Cyrano?

  16. 16 ninji

    Oh, I am so happy this seems to start of as a good drama. tvN doesn’t really seem to disappoint..ever. <3

  17. 17 Ace

    I liked this. I like the actors playing all their characters, the directing, and the writing (so far).

    Sooyoung was pleasant and wasn’t stiff in her acting compared to her other SNSD members.

    Lee Jong-hyuk’s character was a cross between Sherlock (BBC) and Anthony Kim.

    It’s cute, and hopefully it doesn’t lose steam in the second half like the previous tvN flower boy drama (FBND).

    • 17.1 manquant

      “Lee Jong-hyuk’s character was a cross between Sherlock (BBC) and Anthony Kim.”

      Can’t agree more~

    • 17.2 ilikemangos

      I loveeeeeee sherlock(bbc), and i love how he is portrayed by benedict cumberbatch.
      I noticed our hero also has a very keen eye like sherlock, who is able to tell you about someone’s life based off of appearances. So that was a plus in my book. He’s also very realistic, and originally gives off that “cool/mysterious” vibe, but i love how they showed us that his ways doesn’t always work — like when we see how he has no money from turning down projects he knows won’t work.
      I think that’s where he differs from Anthony Kim though, because he’s not all about money.
      He is very smart though.

    • 17.3 Abbie

      I was actually thinking the same thing! Just like Sherlock. Although Sherlock is a tad more annoying.

    • 17.4 Saima

      Have yet to watch this epi but whatttttt? LJH’s character bears resemblance to Cumberbatch’s Sherlock!! HOMGGGGGGG!! THIS is pretty much the last push I needed to watch this show.

  18. 18 chickenwing

    I missed you so much since Incarnation of Money, gummimochi!!

    I think the real star of ep 1 is Ji Jin-Hee. When he came on as the guy who’s being helped, I didn’t think i could believe him as an unattractive guy. As the scene progressed i had to pause the clip multiple times because of the intense second hand embarrassment i felt for him. Real life grade A guy to drama grade F guy. Just incredible!

    Lee Jong-Hyuk also really good. Jaded with a right mix of playful. Sooyoung- i don’t feel bad abt her acting but i guess i don’t like the way her character is written- too idealistic for my taste. Nasty ajusshi prefers nasty ajusshis

    The directing is so good. Blast of rock music as King Jong Hyuk is introduced. Ah, and the recurring joke “stop” + random object behind her

    • 18.1 ilikemangos

      I think all our heroines start off pretty much idealistic in dramaland. Then the hero comes, shit happens along the way, and she changes. That’s the journey i can’t wait to see.

      • 18.1.1 alua

        That’s a bit sad though, don’t you think?

        There should be more than just heroines that start out idealistic and heroes that know-so-much-better.

        Obviously, they’ll both grow and that’s good, but I wish there weren’t quite so many naive girls in dramaland. Definitely not my favourite kind of character, especially since there is masses of them, which I think kind of sends out the wrong message. :-/

        • ilikemangos

          Yup. that’s the sad reality of k-drama heroines. Which is why it’s such a breath of fresh air when there’s a heroine that isn’t your typical naive, innocent, idealistic gal. Maybe even immature (usually reserved for our heros)
          I like to see more of the end result, however. Because that’s what makes the journey that much more satisfying. When you look back and see how much they’ve changed.

  19. 19 manquant

    Really enjoyed the first two episodes of Cyrano while waiting for the finale of All About My Romance today~ ^^

    Can’t keep myself from squealing. If that wasn’t chemistry between Jonghyuk oppa and Sooyoungie, then I don’t know what else to call it. The age gap can easily be ignored. Chunhee sure has that mysterious air this time, two-faced even, I must say. Jonghyun and Yoonwoo, these two of course, are warmer flower boys.

    (Still have to see Third Hospital for Sooyoung and White Christmas for Jonghyun. But I sooooooooo love Jonghyuk oppa since A Gentleman’s Dignity. Jungrok would always shine in his scenes and he and his Chungdamdong manyeo wife are my OTP so there~~ Chunhee’s chef character is the same from his previous project, Thousandth Man and same always-smiling Yoonwoo from the first installment of Flower Boy series.)

    gummimochi, thanks for recapping. ♡

  20. 20 ilikemangos

    Simply charming.
    I watched this episode after i saw your recap, gummi. I had forgotten yesterday was the premiere. I like to thank you for introducing my latest crack monstar and now cyrano which is making its way up there. I was wondering why you weren’t recapping monstar but it turns out you were holding out until cyrano! I’m glad you’re recapping this series.
    I never watched the movie, so I can’t judge how well the show portrays its concept of a dating agency based on the first episode. I can say, however, that i really enjoyed it. Maybe the fourth one of tVN’s flower boy series will finally be the one that hits it home for me.
    I don’t dig sooyoung’s hair — i find it adds years onto her actual age — but perhaps that’s the point. I didn’t realize they had such a big age gap until i read some of your comments above, but from someone who came in blind, their age difference wasn’t apparent to me.
    I like our hero, and i like how instead of a flower boy we get more of a flower ahjussi. And it’s a bonus that he’s sexy/oozes charisma. I like how he’s all about realism while our heroine is all about an ideal romance. Looking forward to all the hijinks to come!
    I find it funny how currently i am enjoying cable’s dramas — Monstar, Dating Agency, and Cruel palace — over the big three stations SBS,KBS,MBC, which has sort of put me in a lull lately.
    On a side note, i noticed Shark as been added to “recapped series”. Is headsno2 back in the game, too? I missed you guys!

    • 20.1 HeadsNo2

    • 20.2 gummimochi

      We missed you guys, too! ♥ Glad to be back 🙂

      • 20.2.1 On a QIHM High

        Thanks for recapping this series and Monstar episode 1! Your recap led me to watch Monstar which has now become my new crack =D Ahh, I wish you could recap Monstar too…if only the fourth dimension didn’t pose such problems D= (must find javabean’s secret =P)

  21. 21 ida

    There’s nothing particularly horrible about this show, except the sometimes excessive use of sound effects and music. But it’s bearable. Just.
    Lee Chun Hee and Lee Jong Hyuk were as expected good (and smoking hot, but in different ways, man, do I love Chun Hee both as an actor and a male human), and soo young didnt do too badly either. Admittedly.. there’s nothing extremely challenging about her role atm, but she’s fine.
    And as loose and somewhat vague the core theme and plot is, there is the original story as well as the film from which I’m sure they’ll find plenty to run the steam train with.. Just gonna hope there’s some semi realistic plotting and story telling included amongst the eye candy.
    And just on a side note, but who else didnt recognise lee cheong ah at the beginning with her hair down? I for one couldnt.
    It does feel lacking in some ways, which the slight over production seems to be trying to mask, but I’ll keep watching for a bit more if only for the two male leads and the stories that may come…

    • 21.1 ilikemangos

      I had to do a double take because i had no idea that was lee chung ah in the beginning with her hair down and straight. Of course, that changed when i saw her hair curly and put in a bun again, like her flower boy next door character.

      • 21.1.1 ida

        YES! Same for me!! I was like, who the- oh, I recognise that lady with a bun now. Lol

  22. 22 ida

    Oh I forgot to mention lee yoon ji is freaking great! Gah, I admit she takes her character and rolls with it like a steam train that it kinda puts soo young on the sidelines somewhat in comparison, but that is to be expected.. Lee Yoon Ji needs a good drama to lead in. Seriously.

    • 22.1 ilikemangos

      Seriously. when is that girl going to have her own drama where she stars as the heroine? And i would like to say that to Hong-Soo Hyun too.

      • 22.1.1 ida

        Yes, agree totally. There are quite a few others I’d add to the list.
        Nam Sang Mi,and also Lee Chun Hee as well! He needs a lead role in a good drama. He’s just so good as an actor.
        There are many others but I’d have to go on forever, and if not me, others would add more names to the list.

  23. 23 pogo

    Thank you for the recap, guys! It’s convinced me to give this one a shot, I wasn’t super into the movie but this sounds cute.

  24. 24 Abbie

    TvN never fails to disappoint me. Yet another amazing drama from them. I’m actually amazed by how much I like this. I haven’t seen the movie, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but this is positively amazing. So fresh and breezy and just a joy to watch.

    I haven’t seen Sooyoung in anything else, though I love Girl’s Generation, and I’m actually surprised by how well she fits here. I’m not sure if I buy a romantic relationship between her character and Lee Jong-hyuk’s, but I guess we’ll see. The major problem I’m having with it, is the age difference. Sorry, but he’s almost 40 right, and she’s in her 20’s. I’ll have to see how the show handles it, though. If that’s even where the show is headed.

    All in all, I’m pretty satisfied with the cast and writer and PD.

    So thanks for the recap, Gummimochi!

  25. 25 WM

    Just saw this today and absolutely loved it. Like a lot of you, I’m definitely in the mood for a light, breezy, romantic comedy, and this fit the bill.

    The second time she fell and hit her head, I was thinking they needed to get the girl a helmet! lol I’m wondering how many more times she’s going to end up doing completely embarrassing things that most of us would end up doing, too.

  26. 26 KimYoonmi

    I know this is enough to get me excommunicated… but I don’t find the male faces all that attractive in this drama. So I’m 100% into this for the story.

    • 26.1 alua

      I agree with you except for Hong Jong-hyun. 🙂

  27. 27 Mystisith

    I really loved that first episode. A nice introduction for a pure feel good drama. I like all the cast and that is exceptional for me.

  28. 28 j

    Thanks for awesome recaps<3
    Totally hooked after watching the first two episode~

  29. 29 Annie

    This site seems to have a bunch of people who are so stuck up on age… my gosh, two adults possibly forming a romantic connection, the HORROR! Who’s going to leap into the screen and save her?

    • 29.1 Mystisith

      I know right? I blame the young age of the commenters. 😉
      I’ve seen, IRL, couples in all kind of combinations when it comes to age. Moral of the story is: Don’t close doors, life will do it for you. For my dramas, what I want is 2 consenting adults and chemistry. For the rest…

      • 29.1.1 Annie

        My philosophy exactly. Not a minor = not a problem.

      • 29.1.2 ilikemangos

        “2 Consenting adults and chemistry”

        Seriously. I think sooyoung and lee jong hyuk has fine chemistry, and there’s alot more room for them to build some more. This is just the first episode.
        They’ve made her up to look older than she actually is, and lee jong hyuk has always appeared younger than his actual age. I don’t see what the problem is.
        Ironically, joo won and choi kang hee had a smaller age difference than sooyoung and lee jong hyuk, but it was evident they couldn’t muster up any chemistry. Comes to show it’s not all about numbers.

      • 29.1.3 saranga

        i agree, i think lee jong-hyuk + sooyoung pairing is all right. it doesn’t feel wrong to me, despite the 15 year age gap. they do have chemistry. visually, lee jong-hyuk looks younger and boyish for his age. sooyoung looks just right, like a girl who is nearing her mid twenties or is already there.

        really significant age gaps do bother me though, both in dramas and in real life, although the latter doesn’t have much bearing here. unless, of course, it’s the way the story was written. here, though, i find it all right because A) arguably, a 15 year age gap seems pretty standard in drama/movie land B) the actors look all right together. he does look older, but they still look good. and visuals, where the two actors look well together, contributes a lot to the whole chemistry thing in my opinion.

        and i think looks might be the most important thing. sometimes smaller, not very significant age gaps can feel wrong if the actors don’t look right together. say, if one actor looks much older for his/her years and the other looks much younger…

    • 29.2 KimYoonmi

      Age gaps don’t bug me as long as it’s legal. Above Korean age 19, and it’s fine. No jail bait please.

      More, I’m a little bugged by the fact that a lot of the agency from Min Yeong of the movie was added to the main male character, but it’s only episode 1, so I’m giving the drama a chance to flesh her out a bit more so she isn’t only klutz attack soon jeong type. I get why they did it, but still… a tad disturbing… just a tad.

      Good story otherwise.

    • 29.3 alua

      My problem with it is often less with what is happening on the screen, and more so in terms of the casting.

      Because it sometimes like it feels like part of a larger pattern that I don’t like – not exclusive to K-dramas or K-films, but also present in other Asian dramas, and films anywhere.

      See: http://www.vulture.com/2013/04/leading-men-age-but-their-love-interests-dont.html

      I do know noona romances can be fashionable too… but it still seems more tilted towards the male being older. In half the shows I’m watching it’s male actor being older (Itazura na Kiss, Nine, Cyrano, Lee Soon Shin; Kamo, Kyoto he iku, Kasuka na Kanojo), in the other half they ~equal-age paired. Even Gu Family Book has a 7 year gap between the leads! In some cases, the age gap is part of the story although not always for an apparent reason, in others (Itazura especially) it’s not. Don’t get me wrong – all of those are dramas I enjoy watching and, e.g. with Itazura na Kiss I think they picked the best actors to play the roles, but the casting trend still concerns me.

      In real life, if not a minor, I don’t care about the age gap. That’s people’s own business.

  30. 30 Sajen

    I’ve never seen the movie but I did like the first episode. I have a question does anyone know if they’re going to have a client of the week type thing with lot’s of guest stars, or if they’re going to just focus on one client. I hope it’s a new client every week because while one client might work for a movie it won’t for this kind of drama.

    • 30.1 KimYoonmi

      The movie had 2 clients… well a third if you count the ending…

      I’m also hoping for client of the week, maybe with the classic Korean overlap occasionally.

    • 30.2 ilikemangos

      I’m predicting its more of client of the week kind of thing, considering alot of the famous actors/actresses cameo-ed, so they’re not here to stay for the whole run. I think that makes it more interesting and alot more to work with, giving us a breezy, fresh storyline every week. I’m also really looking forward to this show considering its the director of Secret investigation record and writer of tamra, the island.

    • 30.3 exquisitemelody

      I hope we get new clients every episode. It makes it a little less drama-like and more like American TV. I also love the cameos – I think it adds to the experience because even if we don’t know the characters, it almost feels like we do because they’re familiar actors. I don’t know if I would’ve finished the episode had it not been for Ji Jin Hee and Lee Yoon Ji.

  31. 31 Noelle

    I liked this show a lot.

  32. 32 Redenzione

    Hmmm, don’t think I will be watching this – not really in the mood for breezy, I need something stirring and dramatic. But this looks good – I look forward to your awesome recaps!

    • 32.1 Tartani

      Dramatic and stirring is all over dramaland atm lol. Just started watching this because Chunhee is another one of my beloved ones (i have too many!) and so far it’s great! No problems with any of the actors! It really helps being a breath of fresh air from the sageuk overload lately.

  33. 33 sotongpok

    gummimochi, I believe you’re looking for the word ‘observant’ here, in place of ”obervative’, haha xD

    sorry for nitpicking, but it’s been bugging me since I read it… other than that, excellent job as usual! (:

    • 33.1 gummimochi

      Oh whoops, whaddaya know. It’s been fixed. Thanks!

  34. 34 exquisitemelody

    Finally finished the ep, and I’m intrigued! I got really confused at the beginning because I had no idea what was going on, but besides that…I like! I don’t know what to expect, but it seems like fun. I’ll keep watching this one!

  35. 35 Aria

    If you want to watch a breezy rom-com, you should try “All About My Romance”. It’s really funny and cute, and while it tries to aim for a more serious tone right now, the drama still retains its original charm.

    • 35.1 Kate

      I agree! It’s such a waste really that the drama’s not getting more attention. I like it a lot.

  36. 36 opheliadrowning

    I am loving this so far! I really enjoyed the movie and am looking forward to see how the show changes things up.

  37. 37 panshel

    I’m in this for Lee Jong Hyuk, but the team is adorable, especially Jo Yoon Woo. (How ’bout that Flower Boy Ramyun Shop reunion?) I didn’t realize how big of a role SooYoung had in this drama from watching both the trailers and the original movie.

    So far, I am loving Byung Hoon’s no-nonsense personality — cutting off their potential client and nonchalantly ripping out a page from the book. I had to laugh at the Moo Jin Rubik’s cube equals genius trope.

    After the first episode, I could care less if there were no love line, but if there must be one, I hope it’s between SooYoung and Lee Chun Hee. I just can’t picture SooYoung with Jong Hyuk. But my greatest wish is that Dating Agency Cyrano doesn’t turn out to be one of those dramas where all the boys fall hopelessly in love with one girl. Please leave Hong Jong Hyun and little Yoon Woo out of the love pentagon.

  38. 38 saranga

    this show is super cute, and just exactly what i’ve been missing/wanting. i hope it keeps it up. i had a hunch that snsd sooyoung might be good. out of the nine, i always thought she was one of the ones with a practically ready made career in entertainment after snsd, whether it was in acting or MCing, just judging from the fact that she can talk really well and is quite natural—in fact, the most natural—in front of a camera.

    every single member of the cast too, i like really well. that’s rare for me, i’m so picky. there’s always a relatively prominent character in a drama that i can’t stand, but not the case so far here.

    and i’ve always loved lee jong-hyuk. he’s definitely sexy! i remember having a huge crush on him when i watched green rose in high school, and have made a point of watching nearly everything he did ever since. i have to remind myself that he’s married with two (super cute) kids, that’s he an ajusshi… but the fact that he’s such a cool dad/dude on dad where are you going doesn’t help! hehe

    one gripe: one thing i’m NOT NOT NOT a fan of when it comes to tvn dramas is the filter, or whatever the sepia cast is called. it just drives me insane, vision wise. i feel like i can’t see anything clearly, like there’s a fog over the whole thing. the flower boy series had the same issue, and i felt that it made me sleepy. eventually, i couldn’t finish any of those. shut up flower boy band was the worst, it was REALLY dark, visually.

    i get that it can prettify the drama, but it does drive me cuckoo. am i the only one who notices these things? T.T

  39. 39 Perrie

    Ahhhh man! It’s been a really long time since I’ve had a romantic Kdrama that I was excited for! This definitly fills the void. Lee Jong Hyuk is way too attractive for his age. He makes this show fun! Sooyoung is really doing well in her role as well.

    I can’t help but think of Junsu every time I see his dad, hahaha! Such a fun show! Makes me want to give the movie a second chance (I can’t remember why I didn’t finish it). I hope Daniel Choi guest stars, that would be so fucking awesome! Can’t wait for next week
    Cyrano fighting!

  40. 40 rainerust

    Breezy and fun! Finally a decent rom-com that I can really get into. Sooyoung’s acting is serviceable (which is saying a lot, considering how much I wish idol actors and actresses would please stop taking away jobs from real actors and actresses, although some idols do have pretty decent acting skills and work hard at it) and there’s some serious chemistry going on between her and LJH, which hurrah! Age gaps don’t disturb me – its usually whether I buy into their chemistry or not (and even serious actors/actresses doesn’t mean they have good onscreen chemistry).

    I think MY as a character, while not keenly observant and highly idealistic, adds a sense of romance to the agency creating romances. She’s also pretty quick, thinking on her feet, as evidenced by her fainting at the police officers feet while covering her face with a brochure so that she doesn’t get recognised while stalling the police officers. I like her as a character and hope she manages to get under BH’s skin as much as he has gotten under hers.

    As an aside though I’d like to say that I actually really love the original french play this was based on aka Cyrano de Bergerac. I wish more of the original premise could have been retained but its still entertaining to watch how the play was adapted into a movie and now drama.

  41. 41 Fun-Lugha

    Thank God LJH is doing breezier roles lately cuz he’s been doing a So Ji Sub for as long as I can remember, until Gentleman’s Dignity that is. And for the love of God are all the ladies in Korea blind? How can a fine species such as Ji Jin Hee still be single?!! (he is single right?!!)

    • 41.1 Fun-Lugha

      Now I feel so dumb cuz a wee peek at google would have told me dude’s been married almost 10 years now-whoops!

  42. 42 Enz

    Now, I am hoping jung il woo and lee ki woo will make a cameo appearance too!! Thanks for recapping.

    Jung il woo!!! Please make an appearance. Eun bi did.

  43. 43 PennyRoyalTea

    from reading all the comments, i’m glad this show doesn’t disappoint…I will definitely watch it till the last episode.. i love Hong Jong Hyun after i saw him in Beloved, and Lee Jong Hyuk, i really really really like him in Appa Eodiga with Junsu and Taksu.. the coolest dad ever just like Yoon Min Soo to his son Hoo.. thank you for recap 🙂

  44. 44 Alka Paule

    Thank you Gummimochi for your recap ! I very much hope you’ll be recapping the next episodes,
    Looking forward to reading your impressions again 🙂


  45. 45 come2noona

    I loved the first episode! Oh JJH, you are so damn cute with your glasses and your awkwardness!

    I am surprised at how much I enjoyed Sooyoung’s acting. In my opinion, she is doing a much better job (so far) than a “more seasoned” actress, in another drama, has been doing for 16 episodes now *cough*whenamanloves*cough*. I may be in the minority here, but I think LJH looks every bit his age. Despite that, the age gap doesn’t bother me. I’m looking for chemistry, age doesn’t matter.

    Hopefully this drama will stay as fun as the first episode! I’m looking forward to it!

  46. 46 ILoveSushi.

    Am I the only one who fangirled over the end where Jong-Hyuk’s character grabs Min-Young off the railtrack?! O.o so many feels.. OY. Not a SNSD fan but Sooyoung was OK although I felt her voice was a tad loud @ times LoL =P
    She seem 2 b @ ease doin physical comedy (: Watched the mov & it left much 2 b desired.. will give this drama a shot tho 2 early 2 judge.. for now heh.
    The beginning scene looked like they were a part of Mission Impossible or Leverage!

  47. 47 Jessica

    Thanks for the recap! I’ll probably check this out 🙂

    Also, just to make sure, for their first setup, the sommelier was their client right?

    • 47.1 ilikemangos

      That confused me too, but yes. The sommelier was cyrano’s client and he basically stole the gal from min young’s client. haha

      • 47.1.1 Jessica

        Heehee, thanks!

  48. 48 momoi

    I want to watch this but I have to finish Flower Boy Next Door. It’s stalled like on episode 14 for me.

  49. 49 hanny

    this drama sounds fun.. gonna watch this.. thanks for the recap.. it intrigues me more to watch it.. ^^

  50. 50 Lilian

    I liked the first episode. Soo Young is doing great so far. First time watching her act! Lee Jong Hyuk is awesome here. Loved the gangster scenes and all the cameos were awesome too!

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