Rating:
Average user rating 4.0
82

Plus Nine Boys: Episode 1

Coming-of-age drama Plus Nine Boys* premiered over the weekend on tvN, and I’m happy to say it’s as cute as advertised. It’s witty and full of funny meta references, but more importantly it has everyday, relatable characters and an earnest vibe. I already love the song choices in the first episode, and in fact the entire series is presented as a mixtape, which just makes it all the more endearing.

[*The title Plus Nine Boys is really awkward to translate—it’s more literally boys whose ages end in 9, or even boys with nine luck, which isn’t really much better. Basically, our four heroes are ages 9, 19, 29, and 39, and “plus nine” seemed the simplest way to get at the concept of every decade plus nine. The drama’s premise hinges on the superstitious belief that every decade plus nine is cursed.]

 
SONG OF THE DAY

Standing Egg – “고백” (Confession) [ Download ]

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

 
Track 1: “The plus-nine effect”

A man narrates about a series of famous people (comedians, athletes, actor Park Hae-il) who have all encountered misfortunes at ages ending in nine. Hilariously, they are not at all tragic, but the narrator seems to think that this is evidence of the fact that the plus-nine curse is very real.

The numbers 9, 19, 29, and 39 flash ominously over dark storm clouds, as we’re introduced to our family of boys, in quick flash-forward snippets. Each of them wonders to himself what is happening, and the narrator tells us that this is the beginning of their cruel plus nine year…

A woman fidgets uncomfortably in a fancy restaurant. At first it seems like she might be on a date, but then she calls the man sitting across from her a fortuneteller. He reads fortunes dressed in a suit and tie over formal dinners? The woman agrees to a multiple-course meal, and then eagerly takes out a picture of her family.

This is Mom, who introduces her sons, each ten years apart in age (she explains the regularity of the age gap as the result of a ten-year anniversary vacation her husband always took her on, which cracks me up).

Eldest is KANG JIN-GU (Kim Young-kwang), age 29. The fortuneteller says he looks like a player, but Mom assures him that innocent, hard-working Jin-gu only knows his work at the travel agency, and knows nothing of women. Cut to: half-nekkid Jin-gu partying it up on a sudsy dance floor surrounded by girls, ha.

Her second is KANG MIN-GU (Yook Sung-jae), age 19. The fortuneteller reads anger in this one, and Mom says he did hit other boys growing up, but he discovered judo and has since matured—he now has his sights set on college. Cut to: Min-gu playing video games at the PC bang and throwing an angry tantrum at his friends.

The fortuneteller says he recognizes her youngest, KANG DONG-GU (Choi Ro-woon), age 9. Mom eagerly asks if he’s seen Binding Scandal (a play on Speed Scandal). She says he did a bunch of commercials after that movie that paid for the house they live in now, and after taking a break from showbiz, he’s about to go back.

Last but not least is the boys’ uncle GU KWANG-SOO (Oh Jung-se), age 39. This is Mom’s little brother, whom she describes as the bane of her existence. He’s a variety PD for Music Camp (the title wordplay is just going to be a thing in every possible reference, isn’t it?) and rather successful, but she says it’s all useless because he’ll never marry.

The fortuneteller looks at the picture and says with foreboding that they’re all in their plus nines, and one of them in particular is going to do enough angsting for a lifetime all in this one year. His finger points ominously at her eldest son, Jin-gu.

Mom asks what can be done, and the fortuneteller texts her a talisman (lol, are even talismans digital these days?) to be sent to all four boys. She sends instructions for it to be placed as their wallpaper on their phones, as the fortuneteller told her to do.

She calls Jin-gu to make sure he listens, and he finds the whole thing rather silly. He’s sweet to Mom, but after the call, he erases the talisman from his phone. Ruh-roh.

Jin-gu is indeed a smooth-talking playboy—he turns heads wherever he goes and throws smiles left and right to all the women who notice him. He reaches the top of Namsan Tower where his co-worker from the travel agency frets over the terrible weather, but he breezes that it’ll be fine.

A young woman, MA SE-YOUNG (Kyung Su-jin), leads a group of Japanese tourists but doesn’t know how to deal with their disappointment at the obscured view. Across the way, Jin-gu leads his group of Japanese ajummas who are thrilled to hear about this being a famous spot where Jang Geun-seok shot a drama.

He tells them they’ll skip the rest of the tour to go shopping instead, and the ladies all cheer and take pictures with him. Se-young turns back to her group and finds that they’ve all jumped ship to Jin-gu’s tour, save for one lone man.

It turns out they all work for the same travel company, and Se-young warns her co-worker not to swoon too much at Jin-gu because those new CCTV cameras were installed at their offices because he was caught sneaking around with various women at work.

The co-worker thinks bad boys are kinda hot, but Se-young points out his obvious player tendencies—how he knows to stand at the perfect distance away from women, the way he turns his body 15 degrees, or sticks just his thumbs in his pockets, and always appears busy so that he leaves them wanting more. Hm, for someone who hates him, you seem to know an awful lot about his behavior.

It’s Jin-gu who’s been narrating since the start, and he comes back in voiceover to introduce himself as a 29-year-old tour planner. He finds Se-young waiting for him inside and sneaks up to backhug her: “Were you waiting for oppa?” He coos and calls her his Sam-shik, and she brushes him off in exasperation.

This seems to be normal dynamic between them—he’s syrupy sweet and she’s grumpy, and she likes to point out how full of himself he is. She calls him out for flirting with the ajummas and enjoying the attention, while he denies it and complains that ajummas grope the worst. Ha.

Se-young wants to stop and eat, and Jin-gu’s eyes glaze over when she orders the most giant fried cutlet I’ve ever seen. He narrates that no matter how she’s feeling or what she’s doing, Se-young must eat three square meals a day—hence his nickname for her, Sam-shik (three and shik as in shik-sa).

He calls her a mystery of the universe, for somehow remaining the same exact petite size for 26 years no matter how much food she puts down.

As they walk back to work, her giant scarf comes undone, and he insists on fixing it for her. He pulls her so close that she starts to feel awkward, and he teases, “Why, do you feel so fluttery you’re going crazy?” She grouses that he’s the crazy one and they tussle playfully.

She notices their co-worker PARK JAE-BUM (Kim Hyun-joon) nearby and calls out to him (calling him oppa as well). He greets them stoically, and Jin-gu tells us that Jae-bum is his bestest friend.

Jae-bum is robotic but loyal and never afraid to speak his mind, and whether happy or sad, he is implacably cold and prickly. We get a photo collage of Jae-bum’s emotional states from happy, depressed, surprised, to excited… and the faces are all exactly the same. Hahahaha, I’m dying.

Se-young asks Jae-bum to join them for coffee, and happily swings on the boys’ arms between them. They tell Jae-bum about their day at Namsan, and when Jin-gu brags about saving the day, Se-young wonders what on earth women see in him.

He leans in close and tilts her chin up: “Do you want me to show you?” But she tells him to get lost, seemingly unaffected by his charms.

Se-young notices JOO DA-IN (Yoo Da-in) sitting at the next table over and calls her “my unni,” though they have different last names. When Jin-gu compliments Da-in for looking especially pretty today, Se-young warns him to stay away from her unni, because she’s too innocent to be sullied by the likes of him.

Mom calls Jin-gu to double check that he saved the talisman that she sent, and he lies that he did. She says she’s on her way to take maknae Dong-gu to an audition today, after which she’ll go to see Min-gu’s judo competition.

Min-gu psychs himself up before the big match, mostly admiring himself in the mirror. His coach thwaps him upside the head for being distracted, and tells him he has to win today to get into his dream school. He’s feeling confident, though we see that his contestant number happens to be 199.

Meanwhile, Mom picks Dong-gu up from school where she has to pry him away from the other kids who want autographs, and he wears sunglasses and never once looks up from his phone like a little mini celebrity. The car breaks down as soon as he gets in, making him late to his audition (for Gift of Room 9, heh) and she feels a sense of dread as she has to press 9 in the elevator.

The other stage moms worry about their kids’s chances when Dong-gu arrives, and he narrates that he’s been on lots of auditions, but he’s always been the star. But when he’s called into the room (wearing number 29), the director is shocked to see how much his face has changed, including a missing front tooth.

They have him act out a sad scene where his dog has just died, and pwahaha, he’s terribly stilted and emotionless. The boy next to him, named Do Min-joon, of all things, takes his turn and brings the whole room to tears.

Dong-gu comes out of the audition not knowing where things went wrong, and the other moms whisper that he’s growing up to be another Macaulay Culkin or Daniel Radcliffe, as in, not cute anymore.

At his judo competition, Min-gu does well until the semi-finals, when he meets a particularly strong opponent. They’re evenly matched, but then Min-gu suddenly gets a rumbly stomach and tenses up.

It’s bad enough that he gets knocked on his back and pinned down without much of a fight, and by then all he can do is plead with his opponent not to push down on his stomach because he might poop his pants.

He holds it for as long as he possibly can, and then a sigh of relief passes over his face. Oh no, he pooped his pants in front of all those people? Also, why do I always get the pants-pooping episodes? Min-gu narrates that on that day, Kang Min-gu, age 19, fell from the top.

My math says we still have two unlucky boys to go. Uncle Kwang-soo is busy at work during a live broadcast of Music Camp, and only half-listens to the urgent call from his noona about the talisman. He erases it and gets back to work. His co-worker worries about the unknown indie rock band they have on the air right now, but Kwang-soo assures him that they might look crazy, but they’re a great band.

Meanwhile, Jin-gu rides the bus home with Se-young, and it happens to be Bus 909. He teases her playfully as always, but things take a turn when the bus driver falls asleep at the wheel just long enough to swerve.

Thankfully there’s no accident, but Jin-gu hugs Se-young close to keep her from falling, and hangs on much longer than he needs to. He’s enjoying it a little too much, and when she pries herself away, he teases her about her bra size. No wonder she finds him infuriating.

But later when she’s dozing off in the seat next to his, the way he looks at her changes completely—he gazes at her intently, and feels a jolt when her hand grazes his. Gah, you loooooove her.

He reaches around her to let her head rest on his hand, and beams when she leans on him for a split second. He shrinks back when she stirs awake, not wanting to be caught, and spends the rest of the ride just grinning at her as she sleeps. It’s adorable.

They get off at the same stop and he tells her to call if she misses him, which she just scoffs at. He waves and watches her walk away, and then narrates that Bus 909 doesn’t go anywhere near his house—he just wants to ride the bus with Se-young. Awww.

Back at the broadcast station, Kwang-soo directs the music program as it goes live, and cuts over to the rock band when it’s their turn to perform. Suddenly in the middle of the song, the lead singer drops his pants and flashes everyone (this actually happened in 2005 at MBC with indie band Couch).

Kwang-soo freezes in horror, and scrambles to get something, anything else on the screen. But the damage is done, and the worst has already been broadcast. My favorite reaction is Mom and Dong-gu, who watch it happen on TV and just sit there with their mouths hanging open.

Kwang-soo walks like a zombie through the corridors of the station, as everyone else runs frantically around him. He narrates that he though maybe, just maybe, he could get through age 39 without incident. Clearly that won’t be the case.

With 9, 19, and 39 knocked down, there’s only 29 left standing. Jin-gu visits an old co-worker who left the company to open a bar, and the friend asks if he’s still hung up on Se-young. Ah, this friend is aware of the long-standing crush, and wonders how Jin-gu could be so popular with all the ladies and so inept when it comes to his one-sided love.

He asks if it’s because of “that incident,” and assures Jin-gu that he couldn’t help it and Se-young will have forgotten about it by now. Jin-gu doesn’t seem so sure. He rides the bus home and swoons at pictures of her, and then gets jolted out of his happy reverie when Mom texts him to hurry home.

Mom sits the three boys down to warn them about their doomed curse of the nines, and tells them to be cautious about everything. Jin-gu argues that she shouldn’t believe in that silly superstitious stuff, but she points out that in one day Dong-gu failed his audition, Min-gu got the poops and lost his judo match, and Kwang-soo suffered that awful embarrassment.

Jin-gu’s the only one who hasn’t seen the news, and has to stifle a laugh when Min-gu shows him the pants-dropping snafu online. Still, he argues that he’s perfectly fine and doesn’t see why every single person in a plus nine year is cursed. Mom points out all the bad luck they’ve had over the years at those ages, and adds that the fortuneteller said Jin-gu would have the worst luck of all of them.

He asks warily, “You didn’t buy a bunch of talismans again, did you?” Mom says guiltily that she did nothing of the kind, and then Jin-gu goes to his room to find the ceiling plastered in talismans and straw dolls under his pillow.

He narrates that Mom had always believed in this stuff, but when their dad passed away eight years ago, it turned into religion for her. Even at the breakfast table she’s full of wary admonitions, and they can hardly do anything without her turning it into a sign of the curse.

It’s Valentine’s Day, and Jin-gu gets showered with chocolates at work. Of course the only person he really wants chocolates from is Se-young, but she just gags at the lines he tosses out to other girls. He asks why she doesn’t give him chocolates and pouts when she says she’d rather eat them all herself. Jae-bum, on the other hand, is as cold as ever and rejects both chocolates and dinner invites.

Min-gu broods at a convenience store with his teammates, as they wonder what to do about college when medaling in judo was their only real shot. The boys squeal in excitement when they spot a pretty girl, and even Min-gu looks mesmerized as she walks past them.

It’s getting late at the office, and Jin-gu and Jae-bum complain to each other, wondering if they’ll ever get out of there (hee, they call their boss Gap-dongie). Jae-bum decides he’s just going to get up and go, but Jin-gu can’t manage the same kind of bald-faced defiance and sits back down in his seat.

He does notice a box of chocolates stuffed into his bag though, and beams when he reads the card from Se-young saying that she made them and they’re messed up and she was going to throw them away anyway, so he can have them.

She assumes he has a date tonight but he runs out to catch the bus with her, and they spend the ride talking about their moms and their endless worries. He just goes googly-eyed staring at her, as “Pretty” plays over the radio.

Then the DJ comes on and a caller says he’s had a crush on his co-worker for a long time, and she made chocolates for him on Valentine’s Day—what does it mean? They insist that she likes him back and it’s a green light for him to confess his feelings, and play Standing Egg’s “Confession” (posted above) to encourage him.

Both Jin-gu and Se-young are acutely aware of how closely this describes them, and Se-young looks for a funny video to share to break the awkward moment. Jin-gu bravely puts his arm around her… but can’t bring himself to actually touch more than the back of her bus seat.

When they get off the bus, he haltingly tries to say something twice and just ends up telling her to get home safe, and just waves from a distance like he always does. Agh, why are you so tongue-tied?

He slumps on the bench and sits there for a while, mulling over his inability to say the words. He takes out her chocolates and comes to a decision, and takes off in a run. Yay, go tell her how you feel!

He runs excitedly all the way to Se-young’s house, but suddenly stops short in the street. Up ahead, Se-young is looking up at someone and smiling sweetly… it’s his best friend, Jae-bum. Oh noes.

He stands there in disbelief as Jae-bum bids her goodnight; and then he pulls her in for a kiss. OOF. Poor buddy. He backs away slowly, and as he walks through the streets, the bad-luck-meter shows 29 falling to join the rest.

He narrates that the plus-nines isn’t some terrible curse. We watch as Dong-gu gets the official rejection for his movie audition, as Min-gu looks wistfully at his dream of being a judo medalist start to drift away, and as Kwang-soo packs up his desk at the network and walks out.

“When something shows up to get in the way of a long-standing dream or a love we’ve dreamt of for a long time, when it’s no different from a rejection that came yesterday but you somehow feel more anxious and lonelier… that is plus-nine luck.”

 
COMMENTS

Aw, the just-friends trap is one of my favorite romantic conflicts, and they really made Jin-gu’s one-sided love surprisingly endearing from the start. I wasn’t expecting it when he was presented as such a smooth-talker who’s popular with women wherever he goes, but I love the twist that he talks a good game but has been harboring this secret crush for a long time because he can’t work up the courage to confess. He actually becomes kind of stupid around Se-young, which does a good job of negating the potentially greasy vibe I thought he’d have when they introduced him as silver-tongued and girl-crazy. It’s nice to start a drama with a hero who’s already in love and pining alone.

I like the characters individually, but I hope there’s more family interaction in store. I can see how separating them and giving us their introductions and personal crises is more important for the first episode, and the fortuneteller was a good device for that, but now I want to see them being brothers and affecting each other’s lives. And we’d better get more screen time for Uncle Kwang-soo in the next episode, because I really like Oh Jung-se and I can’t wait for his antics.

When presented with the premise, I wondered how believable this plus-nine curse would be, but Mom’s superstitious nature works to ground the concept because she can be outrageous in her fears, and the boys can remain skeptical. She clearly wants to believe that this is real and attributes rather harmless misfortunes to these larger workings of fate, while anyone else might argue that any age ending in 9 sucks because you’re facing a new decade which naturally brings change. While they seem inordinately dogged by the number 9 and unlucky all at once (The obsession with the number 9 (gu) is even in their names: Jin-gu, Min-gu, Dong-gu, and Gu is Mom and Kwang-soo’s surname.) I like that their troubles are really not anything stranger than everyday growing pains. It’s just a coming-of-age story for four boys facing some particularly rough waters in life and love, and they happen to be connected by Mom, who believes that it’s a wave of bad luck.

The writing is witty and a little obsessed with wordplay, but I like most that the episode lands with earnestness and leaves us feeling like there’s potential for character growth and lots of endearing relationships. I already love Jin-gu and Se-young’s crossed-wires friendship, so I have hopes for the rest of the boys and their romances, and am especially looking forward to the boys’ family relationships. They all have their different crosses to bear in their cursed year, but overall it seems to be a fall from grace for each of them—and when boys who are used to being at the top of their game fall flat on their faces, we ought to see some interesting chain reactions.

 
RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , , , ,

82

Required fields are marked *

Looks promising! I'm gonna watch this :)

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I can't believe I got so wrapped up in this drama after only two episodes. One of the things I like is that we have 4 love lines, not one. It keeps the story interesting because we have love stories for 4 major life periods. It'll be interesting to see how they are handled.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I watched for 30 mins. and walked away. I guess I'm not real fond of the actor who plays the smooth-talking tour operator. And I find the jinx over ages ending in 9 too strange to suspend disbelief over.

0
11
reply

Required fields are marked *

What I kind of like about it is that it doesn't really require a suspension of disbelief. Like girlfriday said, the plus-9 idea works as a device in the context of the mother's superstition which imbues the boys' misfortunes with supposedly supernatural significance (and allows for lots of jokes and puns related to number 9), but the story is really about four people going through rough patches in various areas of their lives, and how they deal with that. To my mind, you can relate to that part of the story without having to believe in the plus-9 jinx. And the plus-9 thing isn't any stranger than a lot of other superstitions, and certainly less strange/unbelievable than a lot of other kdrama premises from the last year or so.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm with you regarding the 29 male lead. His character is written well enough, but the actor is just zzzzzz. Pretty, but no spark. I really like the other three though (so far), so I'll stick with it a little while longer, depending on how much screen time goes to the 29 couple. I'm guessing it will be a lot, based on the first two eps. Boo.

I'm kind of surprised the actor accepted this role. You'd think his handlers would be a little careful about having him do roles where he has an arrogant, shallow vibe, given the actor's issues that way. I'd have pointed him to a couple of perfect second lead roles to make us all think he's a nice guy again.

0
9
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think his character's pretty lovable actually so I'd say this is probably a good role for him. In fact, I think I'd find it harder if he played one of those super nice second leads because it would be such a sharp contrast, but since this character has a way of being a sweetheart (well, at least, to me), while still being a bit conceited and shallow, it almost tricks me into loving the actual guy again...if that makes any sense. Now I'm of course feeling this way because I love the way he's playing the character so far (I think he's got that spark!) so if you don't, I can definitely see why the role wouldn't seem like a smart choice.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think the character's vibe is supposed to be more fun-loving with a sweet side than arrogant and shallow. So for me I think this actor is a fine choice so far.

But I tend to avoid all news/interviews with actors, Korean, European, or U.S. The feet of clay are ubiquitous and I would rather respond to the character when I watch something instead of the actor.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

i love his character, actually. i kind of assumed that jin-gu and jae-bum would be in love with da-in, the quiet, pretty girl, and that se-young would be the one with the one-sided crush on jin-gu, from her analysis of him that obviously required close observation and how she seemingly appeared to be unaffected by his antics, so i love that it subverted my expectations. maybe it's a little typical, but i also really like how he's a player, but secretly harbors this pure, unrequited love. i have a weakness for characters like him...and i must admit that i quite enjoy the angst and jealousy that are inevitable with one-sided crushes in dramas. i'm a little less interested in the trials and tribulations of a nine-year-old celeb, but overall, the characters have already grown on me over the course of one episode.
superstitious mom is believable, and as girlfriday notes in her post, the skepticism of the boys also make the premise easier to swallow. looking forward to the rest of the show<3

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

If I recall correctly from the teasers, I think Da In is supposed to be paired up with 39; I think in the second episode [VERY SLIGHT SPOILER] she's mentioned as one of his early girlfriends, from college days or something.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

While he's clearly a playboy, I wouldn't say that JinGu comes across as shallow. He flirts with literally everyone, not just pretty young women. And his character is in love with a girl who is gluttonous and funny and a little odd and not quite as conventionally attractive as he is (at least according to the annoying people on Viki who keep complaining that she is too much of a plain jane to be paired up with KYK and they can't buy this couple because you know, attractive people only date people who are equally attractive). Anyway, point is Ma SeYoung is not the kind of girl you'd expect someone like JinGu to be interested in but of course, he's head over heels for her. In addition, while he's certainly confident and accustomed to women falling at his feet, his character is not as abrasive as some playboy types can be, IMO.

1
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

OMG. Those comments on Viki drove me crazy! I mean, seriously, she has a freakin' gorgeous smile and is a totally kick-ass character. How is she not deserving of his love? Seriously. Some people.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Maybe they're just jealous that she can eat a whole box of size XL pizza but still stay in that shape?

0

That's actually been one of the selling points for me of kdramas. They seem to pair all sorts together, not just all hot people all the time.

And yikes. Viki commenters are GRATING. Every six months, I turn them on (having apparently forgotten how bad they can be), and it doesn't last 20 minutes before I have to turn them off again. Then again, I'm kind of a dyed in the wool feminist, and all of the fangirling about some of the more misogynistic stuff just kills me.

As to 29, as you can probably guess, one of my least favorite aspects of kdramas is how gruesome male leads can be about making mean comments about looks/eating/etc. Second lead shipper over hear, for life. You're right though, he's not that much worse than your average chaibol heir. I just personally don't find the actor strong enough to overcome my natural distaste for that sort of thing, as opposed to, e.g., Woo bin in Heirs for example.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

BTW, that's not to say I'm not enjoying the drama. Overall, I'm really enjoying it.

0

Lol all the Meta it's fantastic ?

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I've been so looking forward to this drama! Yay for something fun again and very different, too. :)

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I watched the whole 1st episode, but can't seem to find the pull to watch the second one. I may change my mind, considering the last pool of my current dramas are wrapping up this week…sigh…I still miss King of Highschool soooooo much.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I hadn't planned on watching this drama. Maybe give it a watch after it finished airing, but somehow I just got sucked into reading your whole recap, girlfriday.

First episode wasn't so bad. Glad Jin Gu isn't a total player. Thanks for the great recap. ^^

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I was interested in this drama and judging by the recap we're off to a good start.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks for the recap Girlfriday. Hopefully all 16 episodes of Plus Nine Boys will be recapped on Dramabeans.

Episode 1 of Plus Nine Boys [aka Age Ending in Nine Boy] lived up to the promos and my expectations. Excited about their storylines at 9, 19, 29, & 39.

What a delightful surprise to have Kim Mi-Kyung open the drama. Whenever I see Kim Mi-Kyung I can't help but think of her role in Faith as the awesome and formidable Court Lady Choi; as Joong-Won's aunt Joo Sung-Ran in The Master's Sun; as Park Hee-Nam in Heirs with her ever present notepad and use of sign language; and last but not least as Manager Baek in Babyfaced Beauty - 1st and foremost in spite of the fact that I've seen her in other projects.

Growing up is hard to do. It's even harder if you're a child actor because once they past puberty, some are never really seen again. Kang Dong-Goo's storyline as a child star/celeb loved and fawned over for his irresistible cuteness now transitioning to a different phase - growing up from a preschooler or gradeschooler to his middle childhood years piqued my interest the most.

1
9
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm not sure if this happens to other people but I find it odd to have the same actor or actress playing multiple parts in different current shows. I wish they would just give it a break. This actress for instance, she is rather good, but she is so omnipresent that I'm tired of her. She picks one role after another on dramas, I don't think she even sleeps.:) Right now she is the mom in IOIL and now she's in Plus 9 too??? The mermaid detective from SP and MSH was very strange to me too.

0
8
reply

Required fields are marked *

he even appeared in high school love on i think! suddenly this guy, whom i have never seen before, is in three current productions.!

0
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Which episode was it that he appeared in Hi School Love On?

His name is Ahn Kil-Kang. His filmography dates back to 1997 and he has been acting in kdramas since 2006. Apparently this year he has had more roles in kdramas than in previous years:
* Three Days as Kim Sang-Hee - Chief Director of Presidential Bodyguards.
* Surplus Princess as An Ma-Nyeo - former male mermaid now living as a human.
* My Secret Hotel as Kim Geum-Bo - Detective with a strong habit of staring at himself in mirrors.
* Discovery of Love Episode 5 - as the vendor that collides into Yoon Sol at the bottom of the escalators.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

It must be the recent episode. Either that or it was discovery of romance. It was brief and i dont think a recurring character in that drama. I would need to look through both dramas to be sure but i know it must be one of them!

0

enz ~

The actor is Ahn Kil-Kang. He was awesome as a bad guy, (Chil-Sook), in The Great Queen Seondeok. He even had a tragic love affair in that role too. I thought that was a nice twist, you don't often see villainous henchmen with a love line.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I disagree with you on Kim Mi-Kyung. But, I feel the same way when it comes to some of the older male actors cast to play the disapproving father of the Chaebol son in drama after drama.

Kim Mi-Kyung is a character actress. Her presence in the various dramas hasn't reached the point of oversaturation for me because her characters vary and are almost always different.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think they are just trying to make a living. Those actors that don't have lead or secondary lead roles get relatively little screen time, so will have much less pay... they'll need to do multiple projects at the same time, though if they are smart they'll choose very different kind of characters. Nothing worse than seeing the same person play the same kind of character all the time (evil mother-in-law is something a few actresses seem to specialise in).

The Taiwanese system is worse IMO, they seem to have a dozen or two actors only that they repeatedly cast in lead roles, so it's like they shuffle around the pairings and the same people end up as couples a few dramas down the line (sometimes within a year or two). Even if there's chemistry, that gets tiresome real quick.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I know, but everybody is just trying to make a living and does Korea really have such few actors? I always wonder if sometimes, for every role one of these people get, isn't there another as talented actor that was out of a job because of some political reason.

It's not they I dislike all of them, some I dislike some I like but I really can't get used to them showing up so often. The mermaid detective for instance is really not playing such a small character in MSH.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

it seems they have a very small pool of middleaged actresses, or is it that the pool is large, but only a handful are talented enough to carry off different roles?

as in hollywood, there are far and few between good roles for middleaged women, also.

*sigh*

not enough love for ahjummas.... we disappear into the woodwork...

wrt the taiwanese dramas -- literally, there are maybe 10-12 actors/actresses that appear in all the dramas! it gets confusing, if you having lingering memories of the previous drama characters...

but where did roy qiu disappear to??
: (

0

I fell for this one. I love all the boys and the puppy love crush is so cute. I also love the uncle and want to see more of his story.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I've found my new favorite drama. I am now obsessed over Kim Young Kwang (which is dangerous because he's a douchebag in real life) but Jin Gu is my absolute favorite type of character -- playboy on the outside but secretly in love with his best friend on the inside. "Why, do you feel so fluttery you're going crazy?" She may not be (but let's be real, she is because this is a drama), but I certainly am. I want their friendship in real life. Bickering between leads always means love. Kudos to Kim Hyun Joon for staying in character and not breaking from his nonexpression.

Dong Gu's cringeworthy acting cracks me up and how he keeps emphasizing he's a celebrity. Living in the past, are we? Min Gu pooping in his pants immediately brought me back to Marriage Not Dating. Oh tvN and their bathroom humor. It is neat how the lead singer flashing on live TV was based on a real event. I love how the OST lyrics describe the situation perfectly -- Garlixx's "Cuz, He Is Handsome" for a shirtless Min Gu and lovesick ballads for Jin Gu.

Thanks, girlfriday, for giving me a place to fangirl my new love. I am so excited for how the rest of this drama will play out.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Everything you said is fricken perfect.

I've been a Kim Young Kwang fan since Can We Get Married (honestly that thing turned into a train wreak but I watched the entire show in less than 24 hours so it all kinda blended together to where I only remember how much I loved him, Han Groo, and Sung Joon) and I'm legit dying over him in this drama. He and Se Young are so cute I'm going to die. I feel like I could just watch them talk for hours.

The OST is hilarious. Oh my god. The scene in the bathroom the music just fit perfectly. XD

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

A-dorable. Loved it! Can't wait for more. Must watch it.

Thanks for the recap, GF!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I regret reading Kim young kwang interview, I can't seem to enjoy his acting after knowing his IRL personality

0
7
reply

Required fields are marked *

I agree. He should never answer questions truthfully. Oppa is a model and should love all the women on this planet. Fat, ugly, stupid, not to his taste basically. Only rainbows and unicorns. How about those little girls who can't handle the reality of our world would start watching shows with "ugly" actors in it? Cause we watch Kdramas only for them, right?
My sarcasticmeter is broken...

1
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

First off, lets try not to let this get out of control here and focus on enjoying the drama :)

No, seriously. I'm mad at myself for even writing this comment because we should just stick to the show. BUT I have to say one thing. I still like the guy and he's allowed to answer questions truthfully, but he was referring to people, not just women and he implied that it wasn't even a matter of not being attracted to them, it was a matter of him not even wanting to be friends with people who are fat. It's a shame, but it only makes sense that some people don't like him as much as actors that, well, don't say hurtful things like that.

Now excuse me while I go slap myself for even getting involved!

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Right? I feel like this stupid interview will follow him in his grave. This is why I read interviews where actors only talk about acting... or food. Everybody likes food. ;)

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I've read that interview too but I don't have a problem enjoying the drama. He is not someone that would call me a friend in real life (since I would not be good looking in his eyes) but I wouldn't want to be his friend either. But I like his character in the drama. I've never had a problem separating the real person from the actor. I've read that Harrison Ford can be a jerk, but I still like his movies (when they are good). Same for Tom Cruise. Sometimes he comes out with something that I want to watch, even though I wouldn't want to be in the same room with him for more than 5 minutes. And have you heard about Kim Soo Hyun? There are many negative comments about him, and that scary list of requirements for a girlfriend that he wrote online four years ago turned me off completely, but he is amazing to watch. On the other hand there are actors that I LOVE that come out with stuff that I can't stand. I like Kim Ji Hoon and I enjoyed his work in Flower Boy Next Door and recently in Jang Bori but I hated his character in Goddess of Marriage (and the drama itself). So I watched the first few episodes and the last three just out of curiosity. My love for him could not make me sit through the whole thing.

1
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think it depends on what the real person does though.

I can't separate the real person and real life for people like Park Shin-hoo and Kim Hyun-joong from the actor / their characters anymore (not trying to start a debate here, just saying I can understand where people are coming from when they say they can't quite enjoy KYK's acting anymore).

Kim Young-kwang's remarks were deeply unpleasant, though they don't quite go into the territory of can't-watch-your-stuff-anymore. Well, I watched the first two episodes not realising who Kim Young-kwang really was, and was only reminded by the comments here. But I'll continue because I enjoyed the first two episodes (in particular KYK's character) and because I have some hope that life will teach him, and make him realise one day that what he said what utterly wrong. Counting on karma that one day he meets the most amazing person ever that challenges every single prejudice of his. ;-)

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Of course those are extremes. I can't imagine watching them either, and I was actually rooting for Kim Hyun-joong this year! But this guy made some stupid comments on an interview. When I read the interview I felt he was prompted a little bit, in a joking way. The magazine actually tried to clarify that it was actually done in a joking manner. Whether this is true or not the damage was done, because he was stupid enough to make those comments. Even if he didn't mean those comments he is just plain stupid to be caught up in that kind of conversation, so he won't be on my bias list anytime soon. But I'll still enjoy this drama (I hope).

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

regarding Goddess of Marriage -- kim ji hoon played that character super well -- he goes thru such a process in that drama, i think you won't regret watching it all the way to the end!

you'll still love him... maybe even more.
; )

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Nice recap, girlfriday, thanks. I like this well enough. The fortune teller was pretty important in helping set the pace for something to look forward to. The concept of +9 has a lot of promise, I hope the story delivers. I remember liking the actor who plays the uncle in Mirae's Choice (he was her brother), I think he's a quirky character with potential.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

girlfriday ~

Thanks for the recap. I liked the two episodes, (yay for 2 a week).

Kim Young-kwang and Kyung Su-jin have a good on screen chemistry. Su-jin has stepped up from her role as the lop sided love gangster girl, (Park Da-mi), in Secret Love Affair.

Looking forward to next week. From the preview,it looks like we'll have a longer look at Oh Jung-se's character and see more of Park Cho-rong too .

1
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

thank goodness someone has revealed to me who she was as another character!!! it was driving me nuts coz she looks so familiar and i knew i had seen her in something recent but for the life of me i couldnt place her. i did a search too but somehow SLA didnt come up!! thanks John!

1
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

I've found that asianwiki.com is a great site for helping me with those oh,s/he looks familiar, what have I seen her/him in before moments. Anytime I start a new drama, I have that site open in another window so I can quickly check what I've seen the actors before.

0
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Because of Reasons ~

Yes, I do that as well. I am able to match names with faces for some of the bigger stars.

Usually though, when we watch a show, my wife and I will say something like, "It's that ahjumma/ahjussi", when we see someone in a secondary role.

I find it interesting that actors appear in so many shows, sometimes in two shows that air at the same time.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ah nice, can you look up the opponent of Min-gu in the wrestling game? I've seen him play a childhood character not so long ago.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I couldn't find him -- none of the cast lists I found go to that level of guest star detail. But he was recently cast as a murder suspect in "A New Leaf": he was the kid who'd killed his parents and got away with a lenient sentence. I feel like I've seen him in something else before that, but I can't put my finger on it, and none of the drama wikis I usually check are helping me out (probably because the role was too small).

0

Yes yes, New Leaf! Thank you Because of Reasons! (Oh my he'd killed BOTH his parents??)
An yeah I know what you mean, New Leaf is fairly recent, I think I've seem him in something else before too. Wasn't he a highschooler, perhaps in School 2013?

0

Watched it. Like it.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

YAY. I'm so glad to hear that it got off to a good start! I was really excited for this one :) But I had a hard time starting it because apparently I was so obsessed with Marriage Not Dating that I really didn't want to come to terms with it ending lol. That and I was just really busy. If a good drama is taking it's place that makes me so so happy :)

Off to watch right now!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, DB is recapping (at least, the first episode of) this! This drama feels like comfort food - we've seen some of these setups before but I want to see more after the first two episodes. Kim Young Kwang, let's see what you've got!

So many references too! Gapdongie lol, "Trash", Do Min Joon, ...

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Loving all the TvN dramas recently. This one here is no exception.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks for the recap girlfriday! I agree with you on all counts.

I am so watching this for Oh Jung-se. I love him more than everyone else in the cast put together, and I hope they do justice to him in this show.

Does anyone know the song that played when poor Jin-gu got his heart smashed into bits? (That surprisingly hurt a lot, even though we just met these characters. A good sign.)

0
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

10cm - 이제.여기서.그만 (Now.Here.Enough)

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks girlfriday!!!!

really liked that song too.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks so much! I love 10cm. :)

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

wow! tvN is really upping the stakes-they are virtually unbeatable in slice of life.. King of High School Savvy was definitely one of my favorites this year. AND just a few days later we have another one that's so heartwarming and fun..!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I hope they show more of Chorong soon <3

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks for th recap GF!.

Loved premise of the show and Ep 1 n 2 did not disappoint. Glad for a good drama to follow after the fun Marriage, Not Dating.

Am enjoying it.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks for the recap, tvN is on a roll. And does anyone know the song when Kang Jin Goo ran to confess to se young?

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

ah Jin Gu. worst luck ever.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

this is actually the only drama i really look forward to at the moment. i love the unspoken one sided crush on the best friend coz it has a real believable ache and one can certainly empathise with the agony of deciding whether to confess or not, even if one has not been in this position.

cant wait for next week.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks for the recap GF!

I really like this drama. It is reminiscent of Answer Me 1997 in terms of following the ups and downs of an ensemble cast. I am a bit curious as to what happened with the 'incident" they mentioned between Jin Gu and Se Young which I hope would shed some light as to why Jin Gu is so comfortable putting the moves on any other women except for Se Young.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Aww, Jin Gu acts like a dog who goes around sniffing all the girls' butts, but in reality, he's just a smitten kitten!

I love that the heroine is nice, but also very much empowered and comfortable in her own skin. I'm also really digging the OST. So far, so good!

Thanks, GF!

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Wow I loooooooove this drama already! The feeling it gave me is almost as good as it's predecessor...and that's somethin'.

Love all the boys and their misfortunes. I felt bad for the 9year old when they called him ugly. WHAT look at him!
I cringed for Min-gu the 19year that pooped his pants. Mortification!
I thought the flashing band was hilarious, OMG that actually happened for real?? It's not Kwang-soo' fault, how can they fire him tsktsk.
Jin gu is such a player but has eyes only for one girl- his best friend of all people, I love it. But the poor guy is friend zoned for life. Adorable! I think I like Se-young. Or not. I was swooning over Jae Bum the moment he appeared with his one grumpy expression. Grumpy oppa is kawaaaai. But huhhh she likes him too?? Pffffftt.

It's funny that they're all so arrogant and overconfident but fall flat on their faces. And on top mom is this superstitious, it fits so well. I like this premise.

Just the first episode got me thinking too much about my life. 1. I am kinda glad that I am not 29 yet while watching this drama. 2. My mom is superstitious herself too, the smallest thing could bring bad luck according to her and her ancestors(her reasoning that she is not making them up).

I can't wait to watch them go through the rest of the (mis)fortunes of their plus nine ages!

Thanks for the recap.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

"Because the friendzone is the fictional exile of the entitled. “Sexual partner” is not a woman’s default mode."
@HarrisonMooney

sorry, just had to put that out there. i abhor the word "friendzone"

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

No problem. In my book, friendzone is still an innocent term.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think I'm in love with this drama.
The scriptwriter is so good about the meta, when Seyoung said that her face look like Yoona, and Jingu said she's Yoonhoo (Appa odiga) instead of Yoona, ha! I like it...

Thaks for the recap GF..

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Am so liking this drama. Love Mr "I go to church too, don't call me a Buddhist saint" fortune-teller.

Fun drama all around.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm kind of digging the mom. I mean, she'd drive me insane in real life, but at the moment her superstitions crack me up... and even more so when her rebellious brood tries to defy them (the 19 year old moving to sit at the corner during breakfast, bwahahaha!)

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I totally got a LSG-vibe from 29 (might be the coat, it reminded me of the "Return" MV; but also his smiling face <3) - and when his crush said she's been called 3-sec-Yoona, I laughed out loud

And then I got a total SIG-vibe from 19 (hair, friends, sports - all veeery High School King)

All in all the first ep was cute, the intros were well done (and over with, so we can get into the juicy middle parts right away)

I just NEED to see more of 39, because he is awesome (at being sad) and I luuuurve him.

0
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I got a SIG vibe from 19 too, in terms of a bit of a physical resemblance, and I think they're shooting and styling him in a way that emphsizes that. Plus the haircut is similar to SIG's from High School King, with that dip in the middle.

And agreed about 39; I've seen him in a few things lately, playing very different characters, and I'm always glad to see him, because he brings something good to his roles.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I was getting SIG from 19 too! If SIG didn't already play his HS self, then 19 could.

And I'm with you on 39 too. He was one of my favorite parts of New Leaf, which, considering the rest of the cast? Not an easy thing to pull off.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yeah I like the 19 year much more because of the SIG resemblance. xD
And the 29 year old is totally giving me a Lee Chun Hee vibe.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

TVn is on a roll!

The setup is hilarious for all of them. All the brothers are interesting, including their events. I mean pooping during a Judo match? Epic hahah

I think I'll need another slice of life drama after IOIL ends, maybe this might be the one. Definitely gonna keep an eye on it.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yaaaaay, I'm so glad you guys are covering this. I watched the first two episodes last week and I really enjoyed them. I already feel invested in the friendship love line and I think KYK is doing a great job of showing how smooth and on top of the world JinGu is generally but how vulnerable and earnest he is when he's alone with SeYoung. I also love the way they film the slow motion scenes of SeYoung where she looks beautiful and happy because you can tell that that's how JinGu sees her all the time. I'm really enjoying this couple so far and can't wait to see their relationship play out. I also thought the musical cues were all fantastic, especially all the songs on the bus ride. Thank you for posting Confession, girlfriday.

The modern 'shaman' cracked me up as well as JaeBum's non-expressions and DongGu's terrible acting.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Aww feel bad for Jin Gu but I like the idea of Se Young with Jae Bum. He's this expressionless prickly goof and she makes him smile and laugh. That thought gives me the warm and fuzzys. Damn, my Second Lead Syndrome is acting up again. I thought I was cured!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

m 19..! now m scared!!!! :P

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I am 29 and after reading i think may be its possible i rost year i am facing

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This isn't related to the storyline of the drama exactly, but how on earth are all of them wearing so many layers of clothing in Summer?! I feel a heatstroke coming on just watching them. Kudos to the cast though!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Currently Airing

Prime-Time Shows This Week
Monday-Tuesday (March 30-31) Wednesday-Thursday (April 1-2) Weekend (April 3-5)