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Trot Lovers: Episode 2

The show continues on its zippy pace as both Chun-hee and Joon-hyun reluctantly realize how vital it is they work together to make Chun-hee a singer. But while Joon-hyun is focused on his bank account, Chun-hee is focused on her family. Hilarious hijinks ensue when Geon-woo and Soo-in finally meet, or at least hilarious for him, mortifying for her. But at least they seem to have enough chemistry to make a second-lead pairing believable. As for our leads, well, of course they’re going to end up together, because not matter how much they bicker, there’s still the glimmer of affection between them. Or maybe I’m just blinded by all the sequins.

EPISODE 2 RECAP

After Joon-hyun’s furious outburst at the “Medal Meddler” for ruining his reputation and career, all he’s met with is a hilariously awkward crow sound and a confused Byul wanting to know this “ahjussi” is. He responds to by putting on his trademark sunglasses and flashing a beaming smile. Oh, the ego.

It’s that ego that makes him storm off like the diva he is as he shouts that he can’t, no, he won’t train Chun-hee. She just watches him go, wondering what made him show up out of the blue.

Joon-hyun stands forlornly outside with his suitcase and guitar, wondering where he should go now that he’s been kicked out his fancy apartment. He’s startled by the sudden appearance of President Jo (sporting his own pair sunglasses and broad smile, ha), offering him a ride.

During the drive, Joon-hyun tries to explain that it simply isn’t possible for him to train Chun-hee. President Jo wryly asks if that means Joon-hyun’s talent only can go so far, and Joon-hyun quickly tries to explain that it isn’t about talent, exactly — or at least, not about his talent. It’s about the bad relationship between him and Chun-hee. There’s just no way the two of them can work together.

President Jo seems to accept this, but orders his chauffeur to drag Joon-hyun and his luggage out of the car. Joon-hyun coddles his precious guitar, confused as to why they’ve stopped outside of a courthouse — until President Jo rattles off the amount of damages (billions of won, so millions of dollars) Shine Star has accrued since Joon-hyun’s scandal. They’re at the courthouse because President Jo is going to sue Joon-hyun for breach of contract.

Joon-hyun puts on his best pouty face as he begs on his knees for one last chance, but President Jo reminds him he already gave him another chance.

Which means Joon-hyun sadly drags his suitcase and guitar to Chun-hee’s house, nearly doubling back as he tells himself there’s no way he can do this. But he enters her house anyway, muttering to himself that this “evil fate” can’t get any more evil.

Except maybe it could, since right now there are two loan sharks in her living room, demanding to know where her father is so he can repay his debt. Chun-hee is less than thrilled to see Joon-hyun, but the loan sharks are delighted at the chance to get their money back.

Since it looks like they’re going to hang around for awhile, they might as well get proper names: Loan Shark #1 is LEE CHUL-MAN (Jang Won-young) and Loan Shark #2 is LEE YOO-SHIK (Yoon Bong-gil). To motivate him with a proper scare, they bury Joon-hyun in the ground up to his neck. Chun-hee frantically tries to get the loan sharks to stop, promising that she’ll work a ton of part-time jobs and pay them back, bit by bit.

As he continues to get dirt shoveled at his face, Joon-hyun bursts out that she can actually make money quickly because she’s about to sign a contract with Shine Star. The loan sharks are surprised that she can sing, and when she denies it (despite Joon-hyun shooting her desperate glances), they continue to bury him.

The phone rings, and from this end, it sounds like they’ve found Chun-hee’s father. Yoo-shik orders whoever is on the other line to “plant” him, because someone needs to die unless the debt is paid back. In desperation, Joon-hyun says she can sing, and fights back years as she performs the now-familiar “With You.”

Yoo-shik is charmed by Chun-hee’s performance, and Chul-man is amused at Joon-hyun’s supportive fan chants coming out from under the paper bag covering his head. Appeased, the men leave to check out Shine Star, and Chun-hee is left to dig out Joon-hyun.

Geon-woo is playing Go with his father, and President Jo is delighted when he wins the game. For his prize, he asks Geon-woo to take over the company for a year, and after that he’ll hand it over to a professional manager.

He doesn’t have very high expectations for his son, but asks that he at least do a small fraction of the training he’s received as a chaebol’s son. Geon-woo flops back in his chair with a sigh, far from pleased.

Chun-hee has managed to free Joon-hyun up to his shoulders. I don’t know if I would be giving her grief about singing trot when she’s the one who holds the instrument for your freedom (and the ability to keep those oh-so scary worms away), but it doesn’t matter when she gets a call from the morgue saying they’ve identified her father. She drops the shovel and runs off.

Thankfully, the man turns out to not be her father. But Joon-hyun is totally forgotten, and as night descends, he freaks out about scary animal eyes and movement in the bushes. Which turn out to be… a cute little bunny. HA. But he manages to free an arm and grabs the shovel.

To ease her stress and anxiety, Chun-hee runs laps around the track field. Her old coach watches her for a moment before greeting her with a teasing “Have you finished warming up?”

Chun-hee explains how relieved she was to discover that it wasn’t her dad in the morgue. But then she became suddenly angry once she knew he was still alive. Tears stream down her face as she wonders how her father could abandon her and her sister, leaving them without word.

Her old coach tells her about a time when Chun-hee’s father visited the school after she fainted. Since Chun-hee is the stubborn type to run and never give up, he begged the the coach to rein in his daughter before she got hurt. The coach points out that Chun-hee’s father loved his kids more than anything, so if he disappeared, it’s probably for a good reason.

At home, Byul opens the door, expecting Chun-hee — and is surprised to see an exhausted and filthy Joon-hyun. Her sister told her to never open the door to suspicious people, but as Joon-hyun collapses on the floor, he wearily tells her he’s not a suspicious person; he’s a well-known celebrity.

She seems to accept his explanation (or at least takes pity on him). He whines that he’s hungry, so Byul shows him the rows of prepackaged triangle kimbap in the fridge. He’s delighted at the sight of food, but Byul stops him, warning him that he has to eat the ones on the bottom row first, because they’re older. Once he realizes the expiration date of the newest kimbap was back in April, he drops it in horrified disgust.

As she leaves the Shine Star building, trainee Soo-in flags down what she thinks is a company car sent to take her to a sudden dinner with the new president of Shine Star. She’s on the the phone with her mother, YANG HOO-JEE (Yoon Joo-sang) asking petulantly if she can just eat and run after putting on a pleasant face.

She also pretties herself up in the backseat, putting on hosiery and makeup. When she notices the driver watching her, she’s creeped out — but the driver is none other than Geon-woo himself, amused as he listens in on her conversation.

When they arrive at the hotel restaurant, he leaves the car with valet and naturally follows her inside. Soo-in assumes he’s following her because she forgot to tip him, so she hands him a few bills. At first he seems offended, but he takes the money anyway. And continues to follow her in.

She’s about to call him out for his stalking when her mother greets the new president of Shine Star, curious as to why the two of them came together.

Soo-in is flabbergasted, but quickly recovers and tries to appear as demure as possible while her mother asks him if he’ll be running the company just like his father did. Yang Hoo-jee is politely deferential to Geun-woo’s wishes since he’s her superior at work, but still manages to get him to agree to her terms of him judging the Shine Star auditions (and, of course, reminding him that her daughter is a trainee who will be auditioning, too).

Chun-hee finally arrives home, surprised to discover Joon-hyun there. She asks him why he keeps talking about President Jo and training to be a singer, and he admits he doesn’t understand it either.

He reminds her that she has to repay her father’s debt — does she have a better idea? Oh, and also a hair dryer? She kicks him out, and he grumbles as he huddles up on the platform outside their house.

Byul and Chun-hee snuggle up in their blankets, but Byul is too excited to sleep, as she chatters on about her sister becoming a singer and wearing a shiny sequin dress like their mother. She’s thrilled that Chun-hee might appear on television, and that their father might see her and come home sooner. Chun-hee just smiles at her sister’s enthusiasm, and as Byul falls asleep, Chun-hee clutches her mother’s CD to her chest like a security blanket.

A sudden downpour disturbs Joon-hyun, who’s uncomfortably trying to sleep on the outdoor platform. Lucky for him, Byul takes him in out of the rain. They tiptoe past a sleeping Chun-hee, and Byul lets him sleep in their father’s room (where there’s a towel and hairdryer left out, aw). But Chun-hee’s eyes open — so I guess she’s decided to let him stay.

The next morning, Yang Hoo-jee is busy making sure the audition judges will vote for her daughter, while Soo-in is trying to work her own wiles by finding out what Geon-woo’s preferences are, particularly his taste in women. She could just ask him herself, since he arrives just in time to overhear the last question. Busted.

As they ride the elevator together, Soo-in apologizes for thinking he was just a driver. He shrugs it off, saying he never bothered to correct her. She tries to make light of the situation, asking if he’ll buy her dinner if she wins the audition.

He coolly replies she should be the one to treat if she wins. Oh, and about the money she gave him as a “tip” — she holds out her hands, thinking he’s going to return it — he says he’ll spend it wisely. He smoothly exits the elevator, leaving her in stunned silence.

Chun-hee and Joon-hyun are waiting outside the president’s office, but no one is there. Joon-hyun goes off to investigate, and Chun-hee puts in a call to the child care center, asking if they’ll drop Byul off.

Geon-woo is trying to punch in the door code to the president’s office, but is having issues entering the correct code (well, it is his first day of work). He hands over his sports drink for Chun-hee to hold, and she suddenly realizes where she’s seen him before — he’s that crazy guy from the sports club.

When his failed attempts to enter the president’s office sets off the alarm, he reaches for his phone to call security — but realizes he’s left his phone somewhere else. He reaches out for Chun-hee’s phone, who then chases after him to get it back.

Yelling at him for being a kleptomaniac, she snatches her phone back and realizes too late that they’re locked in the stairwell. Geon-woo merely marvels at the building’s security features.

Joon-hyun is busy asking around for the president, but no one is taking him seriously. He stops in his tracks when he sees Soo-in, and takes the chance to give her back the song he wrote for her. It takes some convincing, but she finally accepts it. She points out his phone is ringing, and he reluctantly answers — it’s Chun-hee.

As they wait in the stairwell, she goes full-throttle with her accusations, wondering what he does and what right had he to try to open the president’s door, reminding him of his actions at the sports center. He’s just pleasantly amazed at how fast she can talk.

Joon-hyun suddenly opens the door, chiding her for getting into trouble already — until he sees Geon-woo. He asks Chun-hee who “that guy” is as he sliiiiides on his trademark sunglasses. Hee.

They quickly discover that he’s the new president, and Joon-hyun relaxes confidently in the office as he informs Geon-woo that President Jo actually wanted to bring them here to sign a contract. He hands over the documents, but Geon-woo hands them right back — Joon-hyun is astonished to discover that it isn’t a contract, but an invitation to audition for Shine Star’s talent search program. It’ll be broadcast on television, and there’s a prize of a hundred million won (about $100,000) prize.

Chun-hee and Joon-hyun are dejected at this discovery, and they find a quiet corner in the Shine Star offices to figure out what to do next. They have to decide soon, because the audition is tomorrow.

He’s for going for it, but Chun-hee says she never wanted to be a singer. Since it’s not a guaranteed contract like she originally thought, she doesn’t want to do it. Her priority is finding a job, taking care of Byul, and repaying her father’s debt. She apologizes that he got buried on her behalf, and says goodbye.

But Yoo-shik and Chul-man are waiting for her as she leaves the Shine Star building. She tries to convince them that she’ll find a job to repay the money, but once they see the amount of the prize, they decide to take matters into their own hands.

In one of their nightclub dressing rooms are all the shiny sequined costumes a trot singer could desire. Chun-hee is horrified at the over-the-top options they present to her, but the two men are adorably excited as they focus on trying to pick out the perfect dress.

When his card is rejected at the ATM, Joon-hyun discovers the hard way that he’s totally broke — he doesn’t even have enough money for a cup of ramyun. President Jo finally returns his call, asking Joon-hyun how the training is going. After reminding him how the president is always watching (and ready to take him to court to sue him for billions of won), Joon-hyun blusters that they’re preparing well for the audition tomorrow.

Joon-hyun’s ex-manager Tae-song is trying to become a singer in his own right, and meets with a super shady entertainment agency executive who recommends some pretty drastic plastic surgery. (Is it really trendy to look like the Joker?) But the creepy, run-down surgery clinic is just too much for him, and he scurries away.

As he sighs in relief at his escape from what was surely going to be a cosmetic surgery disaster, his phone rings: It’s Joon-hyun’s rival SHIN HYO-YEOL (Lee Yi-kyung), and it turns out Tae-song is now his new manager.

Joon-hyun is home when Chun-hee arrives, and assumes she agreed to the audition when he sees the shiny red sequined dress in her arms. She wants to know why he’s so invested with her doing the audition, but he sidesteps the question to focus on preparing for tomorrow. First, they need to decide on a song.

Chun-hee tries a variety of different styles, from cute ballad to hip-hop, but Joon-hyun diengs! her out each time, National Singing Contest style, as he grows more and more depressed at how terrible she is. Then she begins to sing her favorite trot song, and he admits defeat: She can only sing trot. They work through the night as he coaches her on pronunciation, rhythm, and posture.

On the morning of the audition, Soo-in decides to conveniently wait to take the elevator with Geon-woo. But any hopes at private conversation are dashed when the elevator doors open on another floor, revealing Joon-hyun and Chun-hee — in all her red-sequined glory.

She’s embarrassed by her flashy costume, and is even made more insecure when Geon-woo reminds Joon-hyun that only Chun-hee was invited to audition. He’s forced to step out of the elevator, leaving Chun-hee behind.

The audition waiting room is filled with trainees practicing, and Chun-hee finds a corner to nervously go through her routine. But she’s immediately spotted by NA PIL-NYEO (Gag Concert’s Shin Bora), who uses her position as the most senior trainee to bully the new kid into refilling the water dispenser.

Soo-in steps in to help explain to Chun-hee how the hierarchy works in the trainee world, and the two girls have what seems to be a genuine moment of bonding as they laugh about Pil-nyeo’s ego (and outfit). But Pil-nyeo’s haughty demeanor only lasts so long, because even though she starts out well in her audition (singing 2NE1’s “Lonely”), she quickly falters and forgets a few lines. Sobbing, she returns to the waiting room, having been cut.

Next up is Soo-in, who performs Ailee’s “Tears Stole the Heart” (from the Secret OST). Her voice sweetly fits the gentle ballad, and everyone in the auditorium is enthralled — particularly a besotted Joon-hyun, and a very pleased mother watching from the television in her office.

By now Chun-hee is the last one left in the waiting room, and Joon-hyun sends off a bunch of texts reminding her to stand tall — this a battle between her and judges, no one else. She pictures him saying the words, and for just a brief moment her confidence is back as she stands up straight. But she’s soon back to slumping in nervous anxiety.

Finally, it’s Chun-hee’s turn. She awkwardly greets the judges, and they’re curious about her choice of a trot song. As she explains that her mother used to sing trot when she was growing up, President Jo slips into the back of the auditorium. The song she chose is actually a song that her mother performed as a remake.

One of the judges is surprised to discover that Chun-hee has no stage experience and has never sang in public before, and seems about to disqualify her right then and there, but Geon-woo overrides his concerns as he encourages Chun-hee to begin.

As the opening strains of “Hot Pepper” (originally by Yoo Ji-na) blare from the speakers, stage fright overcomes her and Chun-hee spins around, her back to the audience and judges. Her voice trembles as she sings, but she feels the small hands of Byul around her waist. Imagining the encouraging face of her sister, Chun-hee is able to turn back around.

But instead of the audience, she sees her parents and Byul, happily dancing and cheering her on. Breaking out into a wide smile, her nervousness is forgotten, and she throws herself, heart and soul, into her performance.

Soon she’s got all the ahjummas and ahjussis clapping and dancing along, including the loan shark duo who are swiftly becoming her biggest fans. Joon-hyun looks around in amazement at the overwhelmingly positive response to her music (even tapping his fingers to the beat, ha!). Geon-woo and his father are also pleased at the reaction.

Most important, though, is the broad smile Chun-hee wears as she performs the song her mother once sang.

 
COMMENTS

What a fun ride! So far I am loving everything about this show. True; it isn’t the most original of scripts, but the plot is very satisfying for what it’s trying to do — be a sweet rom-com about an underdog who learns to pursue her passion. I’m mostly surprised at how quickly everything is moving. Normally for a story like this, I would expect everyone to still be figuring out there is a competition. If nothing else, I was expecting we’d get more than just a few minute montage of Chun-hee practicing and training for the audition.

This isn’t a complaint, necessarily. I have no problems that we’ve pretty much jumped headlong into the story instead of waiting for a couple of episode of background build-up. But that does mean I’m slightly concern that this zippy pace won’t be sustainable, and about halfway through everything will crash and burn, and it will be nothing but angst and more angst until the end. I am pleased, though, that we’ve managed to cram quite a few drama tropes together all at once, such as the forced cohabitation (which I adore). How adorably domestic they are, now that Joon-hyun’s barged into Chun-hee’s house and life!

Hopefully there won’t be too much angst. I mean, how can there be, when we’re surrounded by the shiny sequins of trot and it’s peppy one-two beat. I’ll admit I’m a secret fan of trot (er, not so secret any more!), so I’m pretty happy that we’ll be spending another fourteen episodes dwelling on Chun-hee’s unabashed love of trot. If she can make a convert out of Joon-hyun, I’m pretty sure she can convince nearly everyone that trot is barrels of fun (because it totally is!).

Thank goodness, though, we got another trot song other than Nam Jin’s “With You.” It’s a fine song, but by the end of the first episode I was already a little tired of it. I’m hoping we’ll get more and more of a classic trot line-up as the show goes on. (There’s also a teeny part of me that hopes this will make trot a little trendy, but I’m not holding my breath.)

As much as I’m enjoying everyone on the show, I do admit I’m a little confused about the secondary characters. Geon-woo continues to baffle me — I get that he’s an absent-minded kleptomaniac who doesn’t want to run the company, but I also feel like there’s got to be something more to him. I just haven’t figured out what, yet. Maybe it’s too early to complain that I haven’t been able to pin down a character yet, but it’s still a little annoying that I’m not sure what his motivations are, or even what he truly cares about. I mean, why does he care so much about Chun-hee going forward in the audition except that he seems vaguely amused by her (and because his father told him to)?

Also I think I like Soo-in, but her character confuses me, too. I don’t mind that she’s moved on from Joon-hyun to shift her attention to Geon-woo, because she cares less about romance than about furthering her career. Which is a bit of a welcome relief from the standard second-lead who is so often of the “how dare you try to steal my man” ilk. I also was pleasantly surprised at how nice she was to Chun-hee, but I’m not sure if that’s just because she doesn’t consider Chun-hee to be a threat. Yet.

But how delightful is Jung Eun-ji as Chun-hee? I love her. She truly manages to light up and convince me that trot touches her down deep in her soul, because it reminds her of her family. I was figuring the trot would be just a fun, slick thing to give the drama some purpose and differentiate it from the other gazillion rom-coms out there, but it actually has a deep-rooted purpose — the memory of her mother. And she gets to use this memory of her mother as her tool to save her family from being destroyed by her father’s debt. I think that’s beautiful.

I also think Ji Hyun-woo’s face is pretty beautiful, especially when he gets to make those ridiculous expressions. I can’t take his character too seriously right now, but I do appreciate that the show has managed to convince us there’s the potential for him to be more than just the egotistical jerk who’s desperate to return to his former glory. Also, I have huge respect for the fact that it looked like he really took some dirt to the face in those scenes when was buried.

But I would be remiss if I didn’t give at least one squee-filled shout-out to Sohn Ho-joon, who gets to be an adorable sidekick (I’m assuming — I mean, he can’t continue to work for Joon-hyun’s rival, right?). I’m hoping that his dreams of becoming a singer means he’ll get to be decked out in a shiny sequin tracksuit ala Secret Garden. I think I’m also having trouble differentiating Tae-song from his character in Answer Me 1994 since they seem so similar (especially since he gets to use his satoori) — but that isn’t really complaint, either, because I was the self-declared captain of Team Haitai.

Overall, I’m really pleased and delighted with how this show has managed to delight and entertain me. There are a few minor quibbles, sure; but I have hope that this drama will remain secure in the time-honored plot of underdog-making-good (while getting the jerk-with-a-heart-of-gold to realize he loves her). And have a ridiculously fun soundtrack.

And lots and lots of sequins.

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This is nice so far, and I think I'll stick with it. It reminds me a little of King of Dramas... King of Dramas/ God of Music fallen from a huge scandal, perk and sass filled rookie chock full of talent who is involved in the hero's downfall and eventual changing to become a better person... Although, let's be honest, Joon-Hyun is no Anthony

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I still don't like the main male lead. What is happening to me? I'm feeling like Ji Hyun Woo is trying too hard, but it's all wrong. I'm falling head over heels for the second lead actually- Geun Woo is so amazing! And his sexy hairstyle is driving me nuts. Also, I love that Chun Hee can wear t-shirts and her signature fringe and still outdo Joon Hyun in many ways. She has the main lead guts. And Haitai, Baby, you need no plastic surgery. You are so beautiful!

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same same same thoughts as you about the second lead! he also happens to have oodles of chemistry with eun ji. much more than ji hyun woo who's character strikes me as a paler version of dokko jin. and i'm not happy about anybody trying to copy my favourite drama hero.

something is amiss...

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Shin Sung Rok is very funny here and he reminds me of silent film stars like, perhaps Buster Keaton most of all. that constant surprise in his eyes and the gestures! Classic stuff in acting. Tested and reliable.

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Spot on, girls! Oodles of chemistry is the exact phrase. And his ditzy dumb-blondness (no offense to any blonds) do's me right in, and I go for him- heart and soul. My body was first, but that's another story. And I agree with redfox, 'paler version of Dokko Jin'. Honestly, DJ wasn't my favorite drama hero, Joo Joong Won was- and all that So Ji Sub glory- but Dokko Jin and Joo Joong Won had alot in common, but they weren't the same person (but they fell for the same actress, that's a different story), and the director didn't even try to make JJW a copycat version of DJ. But here, JH is so much of another Dokko Jin. Another JJW. But he has a lot to learn. And his chemistry with Eun Ji lacks, like, a lot. And I used to LOVE him in Queen In Hyun's Man. I hated Shin Sung Rok in YWCFTS with a passion. I never knew he could be hilarious and cute and adorable and God Damn Sexy like this! Help me, guys, I'm being diagnosed with Second Lead Syndrome, and they say its vital....

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Yep, chuck me on the second lead wagon as well. From the first minute we met him in episode 1 and he was trying to open the locker with the stolen key, I was a goner. His little grin when he took the money from Soo In in episode 2 just killed me. I love his hair too.

I was reminded of Greatest Love at the beginning of episode 1, but I think that's just because when you have a conceited actor or singer character, that's just what they're like. So, being reminded of Dokko Jin isn't too unexpected. Lee Hyun Woo does seem to overplay it a bit, but it will either be toned down, or we'll just get used to it. I'm sure.

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*Ji Hyun Woo, whoops

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Oh I agree about SJS. I became a thorough SJS fan after his stint as Joong Won. I think the Hong sisters are supremely talented at creating frustratingly over the top male characters. I loved both shows just for the men. While initially Joong Wong seemed like a caricature of Dokko Jin, I think SJS did everything in his stride to make the character his own. One of the most engaging characters in k-dramaland. As far as Cha Seung Won's Dokko Jin is concerned, I quit watching Greatest Love the first time around because I found the character sooooooo annoying. But with every subsequent watch, I'm turning into a bigger fan. Cha Seung Won and So Ji Sub are both my favourites because of the two dramas.

And Zoey, you are so right about JHW. He was adorable as Boong Do in Queen In-Hyun's Man. This role....if it hadn't been perfected by the two actors above, then he might have stood a chance. I think we all crave a heart melting gentlemanly vibe from JHW. Can't shake off the sweetness that he was in that.

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ooh yes, So Ji-sub made a total convert of me after playing Joong-won, because that performance was legitimately great. And Joo Joong-won was no Dokko jin, but the difference was pretty subtly brought out, which si a difficult thing to do.

Joon-hyun is kind of like the more comedic version of Dokko Jin at the moment, and even though I like him and find Ji Hyun-woo charming, I'm waiting for him to really win me over instead of just make me laugh.

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I agree jhu. If JHW can be a little less... Dokko Jin Copycat, and bring out his inner Boong Do he'd be memorable here as well. But still, I guess I'd be loving Sung Rok more. Damn, that boy has the charms! The moment he tried to open the locker, like Caitlyn said, he stole my heart and soul and sealed it in that locker. Yup. I'm that far gone for the second lead Geon Woo. Geon Woo-ya, don't be different. Be as you are, that's a good boy. That's the way to every red blooded woman's heart.

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Haha. Do leave some space on your sinking ship for me!

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The premise reminds me so much of King of Dramas, and I've actually been really missing that show!
God of Music/ King of Dramas fallen after a horrific scandal and a rookie chock full of talent and sass that took part in the downfall and eventually changes our hero into a better person...

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I was thinking that it is more like a remake of "Gloria", except not 50 episodes long with all the dumb family issues. But with only two episodes, we will see.

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I am loving this show so far! It's comfort food for me!

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Thanks for the recap! I've been constantly checking in on dramabeans every few hours for this.

Though the storyline is simple and hackneyed, I still find it rather enjoyable, mostly because of Eunji and SSR, who continues to boggle my mind. I mean really, his character is so ditzy but I love it.

My favorite part was probably when Eunji was trying out different songs in front of JHW in her living room. Hee, she is so cute. :)

And I can't wait for episode 3 to come out! :D The preview looks awesome.

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This is over-the-top but I don't mind it. Ji Hyun-woo is just a cutie, but I remember his very subtle and reserved acting from Queen In-hyun's Man (and I recognize that that was a very different kind of character), so I hope his character here will get some kind nuance later despite all the comedy. (Also, he looks so much like Won Bin in this drama, it's bringing me back 10 years.)

And Jung Eun-ji I've loved ever since 1997. She's doing great so far and is very easy to root for. I'll keep up with this show and see how it goes!

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So far I am liking this a lot better than I thought I would - I am kind of a sucker for these unknown-to-stardom dramas I guess. But not just that, I think the lead actress really fits her role well.

For me, this seems like a lot more fun than JG, which sadly is already boring me to death, despite me being outnumbered 883 to 1.

I think how well it does from now will depend a lot on the other characters and hopefully the lack of over the top angst where mothers start murdering the competition.

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Yay! Thanks for the recap!! Thanks for writing recaps that can be read without me actually watching it. I wish you all recapped everything! You all have the best ones.

I might go back and watch the geon woo scenes. I have no idea what his issue is, but he seems hilarious.

Maybe when Hyun woo stops being ridiculous, I'll start watching. Until then...recaps and QIHM reruns! Kim boong do...you perfect man!

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A sex scandal manufactured by an agent angry at being ditched....Hey, why does that ring a bell? It reminds me of what happened w a K actor last year.
It must be tough for these guys:
Get a gf and risk being found out, or Go for 1-night stands and risk being found out/ruined.

I'm loving the cartoonish feel of this show, from his outrageous hair, clothes and expressions, his head bobbing under the paper bag in unison w her singing, stage lights suddenly popping up outside the girls' apartment when she sings, to the weird 2nd male char.... It's good clean fun fun fun.

The fallen idol is interesting, but I miss Kim Bong Doo.

I didn't know what trot was before this show aired; now I understand it to be the kind of music that was popular around Asia in the 70s and 80s. Even now, there are "Nostalgia" concerts that cater to older crowds, featuring such songs.

Pleasantly surprised by this show. Enchante!

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I find it strange that some people are put off by Joon Hyun. I agree that Ji Hyun Woo's portrayal is over the top, but I don't think that that is a fault on his part. It very much suits the overall outrageous comedic style of the drama. It is a simplistic style of comedy, but when actors really commit to it, it is a style that I find to be successful in the romcom drama genre. I know it's absurd, but that's why it's funny.

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Me too, don't get the hate for JHW, he's very sweet and cute to be honest, only watching for him.

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Thank you for the recap! I really enjoy this drama so far. Although, I'm having deja vu since it's sort of like the beginning of Dream High. Being forced to audition to get out of a father's debt. So the reason is similar but besides that a little more original. I really like the idea because they could have done any other music genre, but I feel like I get more insight on Korean culture, or in this case, music. How often do we hear trot or hear OF trot in Korean dramas? Pretty much zero, except maybe in period dramas, but those too are pretty rare. I love the casting choice and acting. Looking forward to more!

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Captain!!! Bwahahah. Nice reading your recap. I feel like ji hyun woo tries too hard to be comical but then again if you wanna get to eunjis level you really need to bw over the top.

Omg the casts from school 2013, reply series, man from the stars and inhyuns man!!! I cant believe all my favs are in one drama. So happy.

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Well, Lee Yi-gyeong was also in "You From Another Star" as Shin Seong-rok's secretary Bum.

Anyways, glad to see him here. XD Also, he can sing since he was in MBC's "Birth of a Star" season 1

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Great recap! Since this drama is basically about trot music... I've been trying to find what this song is called

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hp8vT2LcQL8

And so when I saw this episode, I noticed that the mean senior trainee sang (mocked?) part of this song when she was talking to Chun-hee

Can anybody tell me what the song is and who is it by?

Thank you! Again, great recap! I'm loving the fast pace of the show it's better especially because this kind of plot is over used a lot so it's easier for me to watch if we just get straight to the point!

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얄미운 사람 - this is an approximate translation but something like "Loathsome Person" or "Detestable Person"

by Kim Ji Ae

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Thank you so much! I've been looking for this song for days!

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfzCkS-jY20

Here's the original singer performing live.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ktP-hgS400

The recorded version?

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Actually the satoori Hojoon is speaking here is different from the one he spoke in Answer Me. Nowmhe speaks a Kyoungsando dialect whereas he spoke a Jeollado one in the previous show.

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"Geon-woo continues to baffle me — I get that he’s an absent-minded kleptomaniac who doesn’t want to run the company, but I also feel like there’s got to be something more to him. I just haven’t figured out what, yet"

It might be just me but I hope there's not more to him, I want him to be the absent minded kleptomaniac who doesn't want to run his fathers company, and nothing more.

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Ditto to that.

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Oh, Haitai, I was in his team as well...

I'm still finding my way to Joon Hyun, I guess I need to find some gravity in him to care.

Geon Woo and Soo In look good and smexy together.

Love the 2 loan sharks. Perhaps also because of my sentiments for "Let's Eat".

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I watched this drama but just got feeling leads act too over that make their acting becoming unnatural. I gave it try because some people said Jung Enji's acting is good. But idk, seems for me her acting is too over. and pressed too much. The story is quite funny though.

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This episode is better than the first one. I'm enjoying SSR's acting. He's pretty hilarious. I might continue watching this drama just to get a weekly dose of Geun Woo. LOL.

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Geun woo!!! Haha.

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Her makeup artist should apply her foundation on her neck too. Or match her face tone to the shade of her neck.

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This show is sooo funny! Like, laugh-out-loud funny at times. I wasn't convinced after the first episode, but this one was much better. I love the craziness, I love the cast, especially Shin Sung Rok. I hope they let him sing as well, he has such a great voice.

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"Soon she’s got all the ahjummas and ahjussis clapping and dancing along, including the loan shark duo who are swiftly becoming her biggest fans"

I *love* the loan shark duo turning into #1 Fans. I hope they get loads of screen-time. :D

Thanks for the recap!

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Liking this drama a lot too and wondering about the relationship between record company chairman and our herone'smother. Thanks for the recap.

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odilettante ~

Thank you for the recap.

Shin Sung Rok's character is funny. He's playing it just right.

Jang Won-young as a loan shark, I've enjoyed his acting in Miss Korea and Let's Eat.

I hope Son Ho Joon's character is worthwhile. He was just kind of there in Beyond the Clouds.

I hope to see more of Shin Bora. I wasn't familiar with her, but what a surprise. She's really talented, it would be a shame if she isn't featured more.

With so many talented singers, keep the songs coming. YTBLSS had singers and they rarely sang.

The makeup people need to get their act together. Eun-ji's face was way too white.

Looking forward to next week's episodes.

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Thanks for the great recap!
Am enjoying the drama and all the characters, both leads n secondary ones.

I find SSR's character amusing as I have not encountered a character in KDRAMA who treats his father with a deft touch of irreverence and affection for a chabeol son - 'Since you have spent so much on my educayion - I should at least hear your nagging.' HA!

Both Eun-ji n JHW's characters are fun to watch.

Like some recent dramas, the hair color, and make up will get toned down after a few episodes - hope this drama follows that trend.

I AM DIGGING TROT!

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I really like JHW, but the characters, Geon Woo and Soo In look are totally outshining him here!

Also, please fire JHW's make-up artist! His face is ten shades lighter than his neck, how can no one see that when they edit it?

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This is definitely a very fun show and it's making me very happy at the moment. I too though am surprised by how fast it's speeding along. This is good because I feel like we're sort of racing through the more clichéd parts, but as you wrote I'm a bit afraid that this is going to lead to a bunch of angst in the middle.

I'm enjoying it being a bit more fluff. I generally have second lead syndrome and this case is not different...but I think I just am greatly amused by the character. I don't necessarily think he'd be good in a relationship. First leads I often find over the top in the beginning and then they grow on me. This seems right no target for now...although I am pleased that he seemed to genuinely care for someone in the first episode.

I do get some Dream High vibes, especially with the loan sharks pushing her into her dreams and becoming happy fans.

I just hope it stays this much fun!

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Some of this reminds me of Invincible Lee Pyung-gang, especially with Joon-hyun getting kicked out and ending up at Chun-hee's, and she has a younger sister. Also the resort in ILPG was Shine Rose, and now we have Shine Star. :D

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I think part of the chemistry issue is that both JHW and JEJ are suffering comparisons to the chemistry they had with former costars- they had fantastic chemistry with Yoo In na and Seo In Guk, respectively, and when the same magic isn't quite there right off the bat, it's hard to feel like they're suited even though it's not bad.

I would give it time, though. Currently JHW's character is a horrible brat and still smitten with Soo In, and JEJ's character is totally uninterested in anything other than saving her family. I think it will feel like an improvement once the characters get just a little friendlier.

Besides, I'm continually reminded that these are all strong actors. JHW slayed me in the last scene of the audition, where he manages to look skeptical, disbelieving, and intrigued simultaneously in his cut shots as Chun hee sang. As long as the script doesn't go completely off the rails, he should be able to handle the transformation.

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I'm more intrigued by the second leads right now. SSR's Geun Woo is hilarious, and Soo-in's humiliating scenes and friendly hand to Chun Hee make her endearing so far. LSY plays her without malice but still ambitious.

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I keep reading comments saying that this drama reminds people of other dramas/isn't very original, but I haven't seen any of the dramas they say it reminds them of, so I'm not really having the same problem. Yeah, it's an underdog story with a jerky male lead, but I think there are more then enough things different about it to separate it from the pack.

And those gangsters have to be two of my favorite side characters in a drama ever. Especially the one in charge. He. Is. Fabulous.

That being said, what person in their right mind responds to gangsters dragging them to the woods to bury one of them or trying to grab them off the street in broad daylight like that? I would have been kicking and screaming and causing a scene. Even if it didn't end up helping, you've got to at least Try.

Also, I really want to find that song, Hot Pepper, because I freakin' love it. It just makes me want to dance, lol.

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I'm kind of loving this right now - if I didn't already, that shot of Chun-hee's face as she sings would have sealed the deal. I would love for this to be a ratings hit but I do realise it's asking for too much.

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Where can I find the hot pepper song I love it so much I need it?

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I've been looking for it too! I found it on iTunes. It's called 고추 by 유지나. I've only found it in Hangul. If you can't type the Hangul in the iTunes search engine, go to youtube and type in hot pepper yoo ji na and a video should come up at the top of the list. There is a link to buy the song on iTunes. Hope this was helpful (if you haven't already found it, lol)

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I'm oficially hooked

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tge title of the song plz ? right before the rap . its when they choosing song

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