One More Happy Ending: Episode 1
Get ready to laugh, because One More Happy Ending is bringing the funny in a big way. The setup and the characters are nothing new, but the execution alternates between hilarious and heart-melting, while the characters draw you in with their flaws and missteps. Love finds many different ways to beat you down, so when you’re at the end of your rope, there’s nothing left to do but take drastic measures and hope it all works out.
For now this is just a one-time recap, to introduce everyone to the show.
EPISODE 1 RECAP
An anime version of Cinderella plays out, where Prince Charming puts the glass slipper on Cinderella’s foot, confirming her as his princess. Her homely dress magically changes to a fancy ball gown, and all the light in the ballroom light up in celebration.
“Will you marry me?” asks Prince Charming. “Abso-fucking-lutely!” shrieks Cinderella. They seal their love with a kiss, and then the lights go out. Story over.
A couple (cameo by We Got Married couple Kwak Shi-yang and Kim So-yeon) stand before a judge to get a divorce, both looking belligerent and angry. The judge grants the divorce, and the wife celebrates while the groom wilts.
But the tide turns when she gets the children, but a much smaller amount of child support than she wanted, and she screams that he owes her since he cheated. The husband makes hilarious Whatcha gonna do? faces at the wife while she rants at the judge.
In voiceover she says that a divorced Cinderella hasn’t got much left to her name… shoes that have lost their shine, a pair of kids, and barely enough alimony to eat. She has to remind her ex to send the money every month, and if that’s not bad enough, her body is falling apart. Meanwhile, ex-jerk is running around in fancy cars with younger women.
Cinderella tells her sad tale to HAN MI-MO (Jang Nara), co-CEO of Brave Wedding, a matchmaking company that specializes in second chances. She's hoping to marry someone even better next time. Mi-mo mentions that her young children could be a problem for a prospective groom, and the jilted wife stammers that she just wants to find someone who can afford to raise them… uh. Whoops.
Mi-mo makes it clear that she would have to have something pretty special to offer, to convince a rich man to raise another man’s children. She doesn’t have any assets, or even a good job, but Mi-mo does allow that her looks are fixable.
She advises Cinderella to get rid of her friends who tell her she can find a better man next time. Second marriages fail due to unreasonable hope, and the only way to succeed is to be realistic. She’s here to tell women the truth, and make sure their clients have realistic expectations on what they can offer a man, and what they will receive.
Unfortunately, our sad Cinderella is starting out with the lowest level of qualifications. She’s advised to stop expecting a young, handsome, rich man to come save her, and start getting real with herself. Luckily, men want to remarry beautiful women, and Cinderella’s best asset is her looks.
Encouraged, Cinderella signs on, and she tells Mi-mo that she heard she was also divorced. She asks if she also plans to remarry, and Mi-mo evasively says that she will, soon.
Mi-mo’s confident, professional veneer slips once Cinderella leaves, and she slumps in her chair. Someone she’s got saved in her phone as “Spy” calls, and she perks up when the man on the other line, who she calls Chun-gi, tells her that today is the day she’s been waiting for.
He works in a restaurant, and apparently the chef hasn’t taken any reservations for today. He has a suite booked and three thousand roses were just delivered. Aha, Mi-mo must be dating the chef, because she swoons just hearing this news, and Chun-gi advises her to wear matching underwear.
Mi-mo skips back into her office and informs her business partner BAEK DA-JUNG (Yoo Da-in) that she’s getting married. Ha, her friend is just like, Again? She doesn’t approve of Mi-mo getting excited before he puts a ring on it, but Mi-mo is certain that that’s what the suite and roses are for. Plus, she had a dream that a man proposed to her… though his face was strangely unclear.
Da-jung is a major downer, reminding Mi-mo that she’s been dating this guy for two years with no sign of commitment, not to mention his scandal with an actress. Mi-mo doesn’t want to hear it, but her friend just doesn’t want to see her hurt.
There’s someone here to interview them for an article on past idols, as both Mi-mo and Da-jung used to be in an idol group. Mi-mo’s mood goes sour, remembering what she suffered at what should have been the best time of her life.
We go back to their youth, when they’d been in a five-girl group called the Angels, and they’d been preparing for a TV performance. The lead singer and most popular of the group, Seul-ah (cameo by Sandara Park), had whined that she had to do all the dramas, commercials, and movies, and their manager says it can't be helped, everyone requests her.
Seul-ah had griped about getting paid the same as the other members when she does so much more, calling the other four needy. Mi-mo and member HONG AE-RAN (Seo In-young) had fought back, saying that the agency is just promoting Seul-ah first and they'll get their turn.
But their words seem to upset fifth and least popular member GO DONG-MI (Yoo Inna), and she finally grabs Seul-ah by the collar and tells her to her face to stop bragging. She threatens to shut her up if she doesn’t stop, and storms out.
Mi-mo asks the manager about her recent audition results, but apparently the main actor refused to be in the drama if she was cast opposite him. Ouch. And what’s worse Seul-ah got the part. Double ouch. But Mi-mo did get a role… as Seul-ah’s servant. Triple ouch.
The worst insult is that Seul-ah didn’t even audition, and she crows that Mi-mo can’t do any better than servant. She rubs it in until Mi-mo can’t take it anymore, but just before the other girls are ready to attack, they’re called to the stage.
The animosity continues during the performance, as Mi-mo does her best to overshadow Seul-ah, pushing her and making faces at her whenever their backs are to the audience. Seul-ah retaliates by blocking Mi-mo’s face with her gigantic angel wings. It’s hilariously childish.
As they walk offstage, Seul-ah purposely stomps on Mi-mo’s foot, and now Mi-mo has had enough. She executes a huge jump-kick and plants her foot in Seul-ah’s face, and the two have a vicious catfight right there backstage. The other girls jump in to try to pull them apart while bystanders snap photos, and soon the Angels’ breakup is announced.
Back in the present, Mi-mo and Da-jung do the interview, and the reporter is impressed with their success in matchmaking for divorced people. She brings up the Angels, and Mi-mo says that they’re all still friends — except Seul-ah.
We see mousy Dong-mi at her current job as a teacher, and hoo boy, these days she’s quite the frump in her baggy clothes and frizzy hair. She still has that volatile temper though, as she screams at errant students at the top of her lungs, and they literally run in fear.
Ae-ran, on the other hand, runs an online shopping mall and occasionally models, and her bathing-suit-perfect body gets plenty of attention as she struts for the camera.
Of the two who work as matchmakers, only Mi-mo is divorced, and Da-jung is still happily married (though her voice catches on the word “happily”). Mi-mo is quick to tell the reporter that she’s getting married again soon, and that once it’s official she’ll let their magazine know first.
At lunch, her three friends are all disbelieving that Mi-mo’s boyfriend Jung-hoon will propose, calling him a womanizer, which Mi-mo either doesn’t notice or brushes off. She skips out early and takes the afternoon off, to get ready for her supposed big night.
Elsewhere, a mysterious woman gets out of a car and heads into a women’s clinic, tailed by two men taking photos, one of whom is wearing a wig and makeup. She sees them and they peel out, and as they try to keep an eye on her in their rearview mirror, they rear-end a parked car. One of them gets out to follow the woman, while the one in drag stays behind to report the accident.
The car they hit was Mi-mo’s, and she catches him trying to take off and just leave a note. She automatically assumes he’s was a woman (ohmygoodness, he’s also wearing a fake pregnant belly, HAHAHA). Mi-mo assumes he’s a woman and calls him “ajumma,” until he speaks and his deep voice startles her.
He argues politely that he has an urgent situation and wasn’t trying to run away, calling her “ajumoni” and offending her. She plays the “don’t you know who I am” card, but he clearly hasn’t a clue, not even when she says she was in Angels.
Determined to jog his memory, she actually starts performing their hit “Loving You” right there in the street, and now it’s his turn to think she’s off her rocker. He lived in the States during that time, and none of it rings a bell. They’re both feeling weird and awkward now, and Mi-mo lets the guy go when the insurance company arrives.
The guy in drag, SONG SOO-HYUK (Jung Kyung-ho) finds his partner in the clinic, and they wait for the woman to come out of the exam room. The partner is very familiar with Angels when Soo-hyuk asks him, though he only remembers Seul-ah.
The other three friends are still in the restaurant, and Ae-ran moans that her single life is over. She was proposed to, and impressed by the size of the rock, she reflexively said yes. But she feels no passion for him, so she’s scared, and the wedding is in a week.
Once again, Dong-mi grows quietly furious and then blows up at her friends for being so fickle, but she calms herself as she thinks about the group blind date she’s going on this afternoon. She’s optimistic, determined to meet the love of her life today.
Mi-mo primps for her big night, choosing sexy lingerie and a pretty outfit. As she gets ready, she remembers that her beau Jung-hoon didn’t want couple rings, so he gave her a necklace instead. She puts the pearls on now, then debates how many condoms she’s going to need tonight.
Soo-hyuk’s partner, Hyun-gi, falls asleep while they wait for their quarry, and he says he’s so tired because his wife is pregnant and cranky because the baby is late. He cries that she’s not the woman he fell in love with anymore, she’s so meeean, ha.
Their target emerges and they train their hidden camera on her, getting their photos and immediately heading out to find the father of her supposed baby. They follow her to a fancy resort, and put on their game faces to get their story.
As it turns out, Mi-mo’s boyfriend didn’t even ask her out for tonight, and looks alarmed to hear she’s coming to see him. He yells at her not to come, just turn around and go home, and she assumes he’s just not ready. She says it’s fine, all she needs is the ring.
She doesn’t get his screaming hints, and just happily continues on her way to the hotel. But a text from him, saying he wants to break up, has her screeching to a halt. She calls him right back and he says that he’s serious, and that he was going to do it correctly tomorrow, but she forced his hand.
Mi-mo screams wordlessly, and Jung-hoon hangs up on her. He’s in a hotel holding a huge bouquet of roses and a ring, and when the hotel room door opens, he hits his knee and proposes… to Seul-ah. Oh noooo.
She doesn’t even look happy and just berates him for making a spectacle, and sure enough, Soo-hyuk and Hyun-gi are right around the corner furiously snapping pictures. Soo-hyuk complains that it’s no good if they look like they’re fighting — they need a picture of the two being happy together. But Hyun-gi gets a call that his wife is finally in labor, and he has to leave.
In the swanky hotel room, Jung-hoon and Seul-ah discuss her doctor’s appointment. She is indeed pregnant, though she seems unhappy about it. Jung-hoon is thrilled but Seul-ah accuses him of dragging her down.
A young boy and girl watch TV and eat snacks, and the girl marvels that the boy’s dad is such a good cook. He says his dad is good at everything but seducing women, and she tells him he should just show his dad how it’s done. The boy shrugs that girls just like him, he doesn’t actually do anything.
Jung-hoon takes Seul-ah down to his restaurant, but she’s still pouting. Soo-hyuk tries to get into the restaurant by posing as a customer, but he’s stopped at the door. While he’s arguing with the maitre’d, Mi-mo stomps right past them both, dark fury in her eyes. She walks right up to Jung-hoon and slams a fistful of food in his face, as the waitstaff and Soo-hyuk all watch in shock.
Mi-mo yells at Jung-hoon for breaking up with her in a text, not even buying her dinner first. She doesn’t recognize Seul-ah right away because she’s wearing giant sunglasses, though she admits she’d like to pull her hair out. Seul-ah does recognize her old bandmate, and says it wouldn’t be the first time they fought. She takes off the glasses and the full horror of the situation hits Mi-mo like a ton of bricks.
Seul-ah maintains that she’s not happy about this situation either, but Jung-hoon tries to stop the fighting and suggest he and Mi-mo meet another day to end things. Mi-mo accuses him of only caring about Seul-ah, and says that breaking up on a different day won’t make a difference. Mi-mo sees the ring on Seul-ah’s finger, and thinks to herself that Da-jung was right — she shouldn’t have assumed anything until she had a ring.
While this is happening, Dong-mi prays fervently at church to meet the man of her dreams today. She doesn’t ask for much, just a guy who dresses nice, with abs of steel, who looks sexy in his underwear. Da-jung is struggling with a husband who wants a divorce, and Ae-ran’s fiance gives lavish wedding gifts to her family while she cringes nervously.
Mi-mo goes to the beach and stands in the water, uncaring that her heels are being ruined by the salt water. She cries over the pearls that Jung-hoon gave her, but swears that one tear is all he’ll get from her.
Soo-hyuk sits at a nearby cafe, writing an article to go along with the scandalous pictures he took today. He notices Mi-mo standing by the water, and sees her throw the pearls into the ocean. But she remembers how much those pearls were worth, and after a brief argument with herself, runs back into the water to find them.
Soo-hyuk freaks out, thinking she’s trying to drown herself, and runs down to holler at her from the water’s edge. He makes a mighty leap to rescue her… and lands on his hands and knees about three feet in. HAHAHAHAsnort, that’s the funniest thing I’ve seen in… well, ever.
Mi-mo doesn’t even notice as Soo-hyuk flails and screams his way towards her, and it’s quickly clear that he’s a terrible swimmer. By the time she realizes that some crazy person is in the water with her, he’s near to drowning himself, and she has to save him.
She yanks his head out of the water by his hair and pulls him to shore. She performs mouth-to-mouth and revives him, and he leaps up and grabs her in a hug, making her shriek. Soo-hyuk screams that getting dumped isn’t the end of the world, yammering on about how much she has to live for, not even listening to her try to explain that she was just looking for her jewelry. OMG, this is hysterical.
Da-jung meets with a male client (yet another cameo — this time it’s Oh Jung-se!), and he pretty much describes his ideal woman as the exact opposite of his ex-wife. He’s annoyingly specific and picky, and I’m almost certain that the woman he wants doesn’t exist in this reality.
It’s not until the tense drive back to the city that Soo-hyuk discovers that Mi-mo doesn’t recognize him from before, since he was dressed like a lady and all, but she suddenly remembers and blurts out, “Oh right. Pervert!” He tells her he’s a reporter, and coincidentally, he’s from the same magazine that interviewed her earlier, Masspunch. She concludes that he’s been following her all day and gets all worked up, but he says it was just an accident. They only follow top stars… oops.
Mi-mo goes all quiet and asks where he lives, and both are surprised to find that he lives right across the hall from her. They both mutter at their rotten luck, and stomp into their respective apartments. Soo-hyuk’s stomach growls, and he remembers how Mi-mo had barked to Jung-hoon that he could have at least bought her a meal before dumping her. Her stomach had growled then, too.
He finds a note on a photo of his son, who turns out to be the little boy who told his friend his dad has no game. From the photos all around, it looks like he’s a single father who adores his son, awww. He whips up a quick but fancy meal, and shows up at Mi-mo’s door with a peace offering of food.
Mi-mo reluctantly accepts the food and invites Soo-hyuk in for a drink. It looks like she’s already well on her way to drunk judging by the bottles everywhere, and she tucks into the food voraciously. She pours Soo-hyuk a huge drink, and starts in again herself.
Da-jung and her husband, Geun-hak (Kim Tae-hoon) are called to their child’s school to discuss some concerning things in his homework. All of his writing and pictures are sad, and Da-jung blames her husband for creating a negative atmosphere at home.
Soo-hyuk and Mi-mo discuss love and its pitfalls with all the intense insight that alcohol brings, and Soo-hyuk grows sad when they talk about divorce. Mi-mo likes that you can’t get divorced without permission from the government, but he’s more bleak about it — if someone wants to leave you, they’ll leave.
They finally introduce themselves, and Soo-hyuk laughs wryly at Mi-mo’s name, saying that she reminds him of another Han Mi-mo he knows. When he mentions her nickname, Mi-mo darkly asks him how he knows her nickname.
It dawns on them both — they went to elementary school together, and once played Romeo and Juliet in the school play. Right as Romeo was about to kiss his Juliet, Soo-hyuk had gotten a nervous stomach and had run offstage to throw up, leaving Mi-mo alone onstage.
It had ruined Mi-mo’s school life, and all the kids teased her that Soo-hyuk couldn’t stand to kiss her. Soo-hyuk enjoyed the same popularity as always, which infuriated Mi-mo’s sense of fairness. She’d run out to where the boys were playing soccer and leaped at him… and pantsed him. HAHAHA.
Now, drunk Soo-hyuk wails that he can never go out without a belt because of her, and Mi-mo barks back that it’s his fault she has a phobia about first kisses. They scream that that was the most humiliating moment of their lives, and after a silent, tension-filled moment, Mi-mo adds that he also saw her humiliated today.
That kills Soo-hyuk’s anger, remembering how bad he felt for her in that moment, and Mi-mo’s eyes fill with tears. Her mouth quivers as she tries to hold them back, and she says that the only thing worse than being humiliated in front of people you know, is watching the man you trusted propose to another girl.
Soo-hyuk lets her get it all out, and she tells him the whole sordid story of her breakup. Something about her sadness reminds him of another woman, calling him a jerk and crying, and he asks Mi-mo softly how she can cry so beautifully.
And then he kisses her. Whoa.
He says that this is what he didn’t get to do last time, and when Mi-mo calls him crazy, he says he’s not finished being crazy. He asks her to do with him, the thing she didn’t get to do today. Did he just propose??
Dong-mi dresses in her frumpy best and shows up for her group date but she’s horrified to find, not the man of her dreams, but a room full of old, bald, unattractive men. She ends up drinking herself into a stupor, figuring she can at least get back the money she spent in wine, and eventually blacks out.
Mi-mo narrates that when she was twenty, she had her first mixed drink and discovered a world without the pain of breaking up. Back then, everyone lived happily ever after. We see a whirlwind of scenes, of her and Soo-hyuk happy together, rose petals everywhere, picking out a giant fake ring.
She wakes the next morning, for some reason wearing a cow onesie, and answers a call from Dong-mi. Her friend teases that she registered her marriage immediately so the guy couldn’t run away, and what the what now? At first Mi-mo has no idea what Dong-mi is talking about, but then she sees the huge fake ring on her finger. Ooooh.
Soo-hyuk is pretty sick himself, and gets a text from a friend — a picture of himself and Mi-mo kissing, holding up some papers. He calls his friend, who tells him that that’s not his neighbor he’s kissing, it’s his wife. They really did get married!
Mi-mo finally looks around her apartment and sees the roses, and her underwear flung all over the room. She finally remembers Soo-hyuk’s drunken proposal, and another one later when he’d gotten on his knees. She’d shrieked, “Abso-fucking-lutely!” and the deed was done.
Soo-hyuk’s legs go out from under him as he zooms in to see that the paper he’s holding is a marriage registration. Both he and Mi-mo let out bloodcurdling screams — they got married.
Well, this has got to be one of the most fun premieres I’ve seen, maybe ever. Hilarious, heart-warming, great characters and a light but promising premise. The casting is perfection — I love Jang Nara and Jung Kyung-ho in comedies, because they both have the ability to be completely ridiculous without ever going too far or making me feel secondhand embarrassment for them. Not many actors could scream as much as they did in just one episode, and have me laughing instead of cringing. And yet they also have the ability to make you feel for them in an instant, so their characters never become caricatures. Motto mention, their chemistry together is already off the charts.
I find Mi-mo very endearing, though that’s not unusual for me with Jang Nara. She’s just so tiny with those big eyes, and she plays vulnerability well without ever seeming fragile, but she can kick some ass when it’s called for. I just instinctively want to love all of her characters. Mi-mo is adorable and feisty, and she’s obviously a smart businesswoman who knows how to help people meet their match with realistic expectations. But when it comes to her own love life, she ignores huge flashing neon signs that her man is far from perfect — scandals, his avoidance of commitment, even her friends’ universal negative opinions of him. She’s decided that he’s the ideal man, and not even obvious proof to the contrary makes her see reality. She even convinces herself of events that are patently not true, such as that Jung-hoon was so eager to break up with her that he did it in text, when he had just told her that he was going to do it kindly the next day but she forced his hand. Mi=mo knows how to lay out the harsh truth to her clients, but when it comes to her own love life, she doesn’t listen and she doesn’t seem to have any self-protective instincts. It’s an interesting dichotomy about Mi-mo’s personality, and makes me curious to learn more about her, and how she can be so blind to one person’s faults when she clearly understands men, as long as her own emotions aren’t involved.
And Soo-hyuk is just plain adorable, with his dry humor and his earnest desire to help people when he sees a vulnerability in them. I wonder if it’s the father in him, seeing someone struggle and wanting to just swoop in and fix it. And he’s not just trying to fix Mi-mo’s sorrow with that proposal — clearly he wants to right his own past wrong, when he had a chance to save his love and didn’t take it. But I love that he’s not a pushover, and can meet Mi-mo’s hot temper toe-to-toe. We don’t know as much about him a as person yet, but it feels like their relationship will be one of equals, which I think they both need.
We didn’t get to see a lot of the four ladies’ friendship either, but I like what I see. They’re all very different but they don’t feel like stock characters — there’s a lot more going on underneath their surface personas. I’m anxious to spend more time with each friend and learn more about them individually, as well as see them all together being besties and helping each other.
The show itself is nicely balanced, so that while the humor can get a little overblown, it stays just on this side of funny and never goes off the deep end. And it’s never expected, so I find myself laughing as much from surprise as from the actual humor, which makes me really pay attention because I don’t want to miss even the tiniest joke. But the show also does a good job of balancing the humor with beats of real emotion, moments of vulnerability and sadness. None of our characters’ lives are as happy as they want everyone to think. They expend so much energy trying to present a happy facade that it all crumbles so easily, especially for Mi-mo, who actively ignores even the most direct advice. A lot of it is that all four friends are waiting for something external to make them happy — the perfect man, the perfect husband, the perfect marriage. They haven’t figured out yet that you make your own happiness, and I have a feeling that’s what this show is all about: taking your life into your own hands, and making what you want of it. It’s a lesson we all could take to heart.