204

Smart Prison Living: Episode 1

The long-awaited comeback of our Answer Me production team is here, and it’s a promising start. It’s a combination of dry humor and rootable characters that are familiar to the Answer Me audience, but the prison setting compels the story and our ensemble in a new direction. It’s a long first episode, but we’re given solid introductions and backstories to our main characters with a couple surprises in the mix.

 
EPISODE 1 RECAP

It’s October, the height of baseball season, and the fan chants echo through the baseball stadium. As the game starts to conclude, the coach calls for a pitcher change. Pitcher KIM JE-HYUK (Park Hae-soo) is called up to the mound from the bullpen, and he walks toward the bright stadium.

It’s another night, and pitcher Je-hyuk positions himself to swing at the batting cage. Fans line up against the fence to take pictures, and they wonder aloud if he’s forgotten to put in the coins for the ball machine. Bingo—Je-hyuk was waiting to bat without loading the machine, and the fans post on social media about how he may be a talented pitcher but he’s an idiot with common life skills. Ha.

Later that night, Je-hyuk walks on dimly-lit streets listening to his mother nag him on the phone about checking up on his younger sister. We see the different points where the street surveillance cameras catch him as he enters his sister’s apartment building.

Then, we hear a woman’s scream, and Je-hyuk chases a man down the stairs. He chases the man through the streets and to the edge of a building, where they exchange blows. Je-hyuk ends up being choked on the ground with a shard of glass directed dangerously close to his face. In the struggle, he spots glass trophy in the corner of his eye, and his fingers inch towards the trophy until he finally grabs it to hit the assaulter.

The assaulter crumples to the ground, unconscious. Je-hyuk lies on the ground catching his breath, and the surveillance cameras catch everything.

We speed up to the day of the first trial, and the news reports on the famous pitcher, Kim Je-hyuk, who had attacked a man who tried to sexually assault his sister. The reporter predicts that Je-hyuk will likely receive probation for his crime since it was in self-defense, but a jail sentence is still plausible because the man suffered serious injuries resulting in a coma.

A car pulls up in front of an apartment complex and LAWYER RYU (Yoo Jae-myung) calls Je-hyuk to warn him about the swarming reporters. Je-hyuk tells him that they can take his car.

Je-hyuk gets ready in his fancy apartment, buttoning up his shirt (through which we see a scar on his abdomen) and sipping on coffee leisurely. He reads articles about his upcoming trial, and the security guard rings his doorbell to notify him of a package of abalone. Je-hyuk assures the guard that he’ll be home shortly and can pick up the food later that night.

Just before leaving his apartment, Je-hyuk peeks over at his open window and looks a little somber. In a close-up to the window, we see his calendar on the month of January and a plane ticket receipt for a flight from Incheon to Boston scheduled to depart in a few weeks.

In the car, Lawyer Ryu scolds Je-hyuk about eating a popsicle in such cold weather. They chat casually about the forecasted snow that day and seem generally unconcerned about the upcoming trial. While Lawyer Ryu searches for sunglasses to upgrade his look, a picture of Je-hyuk and another woman (his girlfriend?) falls from the visor. Je-hyuk quickly snatches it and hides it.

Je-hyuk scrolls through a fan blog about himself and asks Lawyer Ryu if he runs the blog. Lawyer Ryu vehemently denies being this stalker and warns Je-hyuk to watch out for such ardent fans. Je-hyuk stops browsing on his phone because of his low battery and looks out the window, pondering that snow would be impossible when the weather is so nice right now. Lawyer Ryu comments that the impossible often happens.

We see newspaper cut-outs of Je-hyuk, shelves of videos, and piles of hard drives belonging to our hardcore Je-hyuk fan as the radio plays “Time To Say Goodbye,” as requested by many Je-hyuk fans on the day of his trial. A man gets ready for his day, and we’ll later know him as LEE JUN-HO (Jung Kyung-ho). Jun-ho checks on a sleeping figure covered in a blanket in his living room before heading off to work.

As Lawyer Ryu approaches a tunnel on the drive, Je-hyuk prepares to hold his breath because he’s heard that his wish will come true if he can hold his breath through the entirety of the tunnel. Lawyer Ryu tells him not to worry and assures him that the momentum is on their side.

We enter the dark as the car goes through the tunnel, and we hear the sentence in voiceover: Due to excessive violence that caused serious injury, Je-hyuk is sentenced to one year in jail. By the time he exits the tunnel, Je-hyuk is sitting on a prison bus with other inmates in handcuffs. His younger sister calls him, but his phone dies. He looks out the window, and it’s snowing. The impossible has happened.

Behind him, a young man asks if he’s the famous pitcher, Kim Je-hyuk. The young man (Kim Sung Chul), who we’ll later know as “LAW MAN,” says that everyone knows who he is and lists all of Je-hyuk’s accolades, including his plan to join the Boston Red Sox. But he says drily that he’s a fan of another pitcher because he’s better looking (pfft). He wonders why Je-hyuk has been sent to the western county jail location, since all the famous people are committed to the Seoul and southern county jails, which are like hotels.

A confused guy (Lee Kyu-hyung), who we’ll later know as “Second-generation Chaebol,” next to the young man asks in a slurred high-pitched voice if they’re headed to a hotel. The young man recognizes that the guy is drugged and sympathizes that he’ll have a rough time in jail if he’s used to the hotel life. Chaebol requests something of the bus driver in Japanese, and a water bottle gets thrown at his face, along with a string of curses.

Law Man notifies Je-hyuk that they’ve arrived at the facility, a 20-year-old institution with questionable showers. Je-hyuk wears a look of disbelief as the bus rolls into the jail.

An older woman hails a taxi and asks to be driven to the western county jail to see her son. The taxi driver gives her a pitiful look as the mother says that she’s packed some food for her son. When they arrive at the jail, the taxi driver refuses payment, but she seems offended that he won’t take her money.

At reception, the jail guard rudely denies visitation due to her stack of food, but she’s saved by her son, who’s actually a guard, not an inmate. This is jail guard Lee Jun-ho, and he eats with his mother, who worries about him working with all these thieves. Jun-ho assures her that the prisoners are human too, and he heads off to respond to a call.

Jun-ho has a skip in his step as he tells his junior guard that he’s headed off to meet Kim Je-hyuk, but the junior guard reminds him of their supervisor’s call. That kills fanboy Jun-ho’s vibe, and he reluctantly heads to his responsibilities, wondering when he’ll get to see Je-hyuk.

Je-hyuk stares blankly at the welcome sign in the jail, and we see that he’s surrounded by a variety of inmates, from hostile mob rivals to drunk drivers. Law Man sits next to Je-hyuk and explains his tub of jail necessities and the prison account system, where his friends and family can send him money.

Je-hyuk asks what’s left, since he’s already finished his physical exam. Law Man informs him that the real exam awaits: the rectal exam. The young man explains that inmates often hide weapons and drugs up there, so they check their assholes with a camera. The jail guards listen in on this conversation with amusement.

Law Man is called for this rectal exam and tells Je-hyuk that he’ll see him later, since they’ll be roommates. The guards wonder who that guy is, and drugged Chaebol says that the young man is obviously a mansplainer. Chaebol slides over and lies down on Je-hyuk’s lap, which makes him visibly uncomfortable.

Je-hyuk enters the examination room, and he’s ordered to drop his pants and squat on the rectal examination device, which is basically a camera in the floor. Other guards enter the room one by one with random excuses, but they’re all really there to get a look at Je-hyuk’s unmentionables. Luckily, Je-hyuk is saved from any further mortification by CHIEF JO (Sung Dong-il), who orders the guards to get back to their posts. As the guards leave, they giddily confess that they’re fans of Je-hyuk.

Guard Jun-ho accompanies his junior on an emergency transport of an inmate who swallowed game pieces, a spoon head, and a nail clipper. The ambulance doctor suspects that the inmate will be hospitalized for a few days, which irritates Jun-ho because he won’t be able to see Je-hyuk until later. Everyone who works there seems to know that he’s a huge fan, and the doctor assures him that he’ll get a chance to meet Je-hyuk before his appeal.

Je-hyuk and Law Man are escorted to their jail cell, where PROFESSOR MYUNG (Jung Jae-sung) introduces himself as the room leader. He tells the new inmates to introduce themselves, and it seems like a few of the current inmates recognize Law Man from his frequent visits to jail. They call him “Law Man,” meaning that he’s a child of the justice system, as he’s frequented jail since he was young.

Professor Myung turns to Je-hyuk for his introduction, but the news on the TV introduces Je-hyuk for the room as a famous prisoner who’s joined the western county jail. Professor Myung reaches out his hand as a gesture of welcome, and the whole jail erupts in cheers, welcoming the famous baseball pitcher.

Back in the ambulance, the doctor remembers that there’s a really bad guy in Je-hyuk’s jail cell: low-life gangster Gal Dae-bong (Lee Ho-chul). In the cell, Gal Dae-bong introduces himself as “SEAGULL” and his minion as “HENCHMAN.” An elderly man seems starstruck as he greets Je-hyuk, and it’s finally Professor Myung’s turn. Professor Myung says that he has another name, but everyone calls him “Professor Myung” because he’s very knowledgeable.

With that, Professor Myung suggests that they call it a night, but Seagull won’t pass up the opportunity for an initiation, especially for Je-hyuk. The roommates hold down blindfolded Je-hyuk, and Professor Myung prepares the ceremony with the sharpened end of a toothbrush and a sanitary cloth. He tells Je-hyuk that they will become blood brothers through this ceremony.

They change from Je-hyuk’s left to right arm because he’s a left-handed pitcher, and Je-hyuk begins to shake with anxiety. Professor Myung tells Je-hyuk to lift his right foot if he feels his body becoming cold from the bloodloss, and he begins the ceremony. Professor Myung ties a cloth as a tourniquet and stabs Je-hyuk’s arm, which starts gushing with blood.

Je-hyuk cries out in pain and lifts his right foot as he feels his body temperature drop, begging for mercy. Professor Myung lifts Je-hyuk’s blindfold and tells him that he’ll let him by this one time because they are brothers. Then, he licks the stick, and Je-hyuk sees Seagull holding a tub of kimchi in front of him. The oozing cold blood was actually just kimchi juice, ha! With that, they call it a night, and Je-hyuk rolls into fetal position.

The inmates lie side by side in the room, and Seagull orders Je-hyuk to turn off the lights. Je-hyuk searches all over the room for the light switch, and Chief Jo asks what he’s doing after noticing Je-hyuk wandering aimlessly in the room. Je-hyuk says that he’s looking for the light switch, and Chief Jo clarifies that there are no light switches in jail. The inmates hold in their laughter, and Chief Jo tells them to take it easy on Je-hyuk.

Je-hyuk lies awake in his bed and seems fed up with the radio still playing “Time To Say Goodbye” due to the relentless requests. We peek into Je-hyuk’s apartment, where the rain seeps in through the open window and soaks his plane ticket receipt for Boston. It’s truly time to say goodbye to that dream.

In the morning, Je-hyuk looks hopeless as he stands in the tiny bathroom. Professor Myung hands him a fancy face cleanser and offers to procure any items that he needs. When he’s done washing up, Professor Myung tells him that he’s ordered room service, also known as their morning food ration.

The server (Lee Hoon-jin), known as “PORTER,” walks through the hall delivering the breakfast meal. Seagull isn’t pleased with the amount of food and demands for more side dishes, but Porter apologetically says that he can’t give them more until everyone has gotten their share. Professor Myung stops their bickering, and they proceed with the meal.

Seagull asks Law Man why he was convicted this time, and Law Man explains that he couldn’t repay the loans he took out for his mother’s hospital bills. Professor Myung compliments his honorable conviction and asks Je-hyuk if he’s enjoying the food. Je-hyuk confirms that the food tastes good, and Professor Myung says that the chef was convicted of murdering someone and chopping them up into little pieces, but has great cooking skills. Je-hyuk stops eating immediately.

Lawyer Ryu visits Je-hyuk and assures him that he’ll probably only be in jail for another month until his appeal, considering the public sentiment. Je-hyuk asks for a favor, and Lawyer Ryu assumes that it’s a request for a single room.

But actually, Je-hyuk asks that Lawyer Ryu pay his bills, pick up the abalone at his apartment, and turn off his heater. Plus, he remembers that he promised to send gloves and baseballs to Lawyer Ryu’s son’s baseball team. Aww, that’s sweet. Lawyer Ryu tells Je-hyuk that he should worry about himself and reminds him to keep training.

But Je-hyuk barely has room to do anything in the tiny jail yard and stands stoically in disbelief. He’s asked for name suggestions for a fellow inmate’s newborn, and things get awkward when he says Law Man’s name suggestion—his mother’s name—sounds stupid. Fortunately, the awkwardness is quickly dissipated by Chief Jo, who breaks up the group.

Je-hyuk asks Professor Myung if he can acquire a baseball, but Professor Myung seems doubtful. Je-hyuk requests his second-best option, an apple, and Professor Myung finds this to be a more feasible request. They make a deal, and they’re interrupted by Chief Jo’s call for visitors—one for Law Man and two for Je-hyuk.

In the waiting room, know-it-all Law Man explains that they only have ten minutes with visitors. Je-hyuk’s first guest is his mother, and Law Man asks who his second visitor is.

In the visiting room, Je-hyuk’s mother worries about the jail conditions, and Je-hyuk assures his mother that he’s fine. He also tells her not to bring his younger sister, since she’s probably crying too much anyway. His mother then steps aside for Je-hyuk’s second visitor.

Je-hyuk’s second visitor, KIM JI-HO (Krystal), sits down with a pout and asks if hasn’t told his mother that they’d broken up. Oh, so they were a couple. Ji-ho starts to bite her nails, and Je-hyuk reminds her to stop. She asks if he’s doing okay, and he honestly replies that he’s not okay, that the food is bad, and that it’s cold at night.

Then, Je-hyuk comments that Ji-ho’s shirt seems a little too revealing, and Ji-ho reminds him that they’re broken up. He smiles, which seems out of place, but he can’t help it. Ji-ho tells him to beware of people, and he reciprocates the warning. Ji-ho says that she’s always careful, and Je-hyuk jokingly asks if they should fight again.

The one-minute warning goes off, and suddenly, Ji-ho seems to realize the brevity and reality of the visit. Je-hyuk tells her not to worry and not to visit, and Ji-ho irritably says that she doesn’t plan on it, though her tears say otherwise. Crying, she tells Je-hyuk that he didn’t do anything wrong and says that they’re all on his side.

The timer goes off, and Ji-ho continues to cry and tries to fit in one last word. But when she looks up, Je-hyuk has already left the visitor’s booth. She curses at him and wipes away her tears.

In the cell, Seagull orders the old man to clean the bathroom, and the old man obediently follows the orders. When Je-hyuk walks in, they ask who his visitors were and if he has a girlfriend. He says that it was his ex, but they interpret that as “X,” as in “no.”

Seagull goes to the bathroom to take a leak while the old man is cleaning, peeing practically on top of him, and Je-hyuk is shocked. He tells Seagull to stop and apologize to the elder, but Seagull refuses to. He’s angered by Je-hyuk’s audacity and looks like he’s about to burst, but the old man intervenes, grabbing Je-hyuk’s collar and begging him to ignore him. Seagull smiles in satisfaction, and Je-hyuk looks enraged.

Today’s deliveries arrive in the cell, and Je-hyuk looks incredulously at Porter as he hands out a variety of material goods in the cell, including the face wash and other snacks, like it’s a personal shopping mall. Porter hands Professor Myung the apple and wonders why he wanted it. Porter then turns to Je-hyuk and tells him that he can order anything he needs here. Ha.

Professor Myung throws the apple to Je-hyuk and says that he was messing with him. But the teasing doesn’t seem to sit well with Je-hyuk, who looks annoyed and betrayed.

In the locker room for the shower, Law Man explains to Je-hyuk that the old man doesn’t have any money, so he needs to work for any goods that he wants to order, since the roommates each take turns paying for the deliveries. So when Je-hyuk stood up for the old man, he wasn’t doing him any favors.

Law Man asks how Je-hyuk’s visitation went and presumes that his mother cried a lot. Law Man shares that his older sister visited to update him about their mother, who’s in critical condition and needs surgery that day. He calmly says that there’s nothing he can do, and he seems completely unaffected. He shares the misfortunes of his family very matter-of-factly—his father’s death, his uncle stealing all the insurance money, his grandmother dying in a fire, and his older sister suffering a major burn in the fire.

Law Man says that his mother worked constantly and was hit by drunk driver on her way back from work. She suffered severe brain damage in that accident, and he took out lots of loans because he thought that this most recent surgery would be her last. Still emotionally distant, Law Man says that he thinks that she’ll inevitably die this time.

The wave of men come out of the shower, and Law Man signals that it’s their turn. He seems excited about the hot water, but Je-hyuk still seems to be absorbing the heavy life story.

Je-hyuk stands still in front of the showerhead while others around him scrub furiously. Law Man offers his soap to use, but when that seems ineffective, another man offers the remnants of his shampoo. Je-hyuk accepts it gratefully and begins to wash his hair, but suddenly the water goes cold. You snooze, you lose.

Jun-ho returns from his transport shift and looks up news articles on Je-hyuk. A fellow guard greets him and updates him that Je-hyuk is doing just fine. But he adds that Je-hyuk seems a little clumsy and may request a single room soon. Jun-ho isn’t surprised by this fact and says that Je-hyuk’s fans all know that his personality is unique.

In the cell, Je-hyuk holds his apple-baseball and observes Seagull ordering the old man to eat all of his snacks at once. The old man complies, and Je-hyuk stares at Seagull, who’s provoking him under the guise of a joke. Seagull says mockingly that he can’t do anything under the watch of a superstar.

Back to the guards, Jun-ho explains that Je-hyuk is usually slow and a pushover, but when he’s provoked, he’s no joke. He becomes real scary and crazy.

As everyone sleeps in the cell, Je-hyuk throws his apple-baseball in the air, deep in thought. Then he suddenly gets up and shakes Seagull awake. Seagull gets up and asks if he’s crazy, and Je-hyuk tells him to speak with respect and punches him in the face.

Je-hyuk stands with his crushed apple in his hand while the rest of the inmates hold back a furious Seagull. Chief Jo arrives at the cell, and Seagull calls Je-hyuk a madman and accuses him of punching him. Je-hyuk acknowledges this, and Chief Jo orders Je-hyuk to come with him.

In his office, Chief Jo offers Je-hyuk special goods—like cigarettes and glass bottle drinks—saying that these items are hard to obtain in jail. He explains to Je-hyuk that there are rules within the prison society, and he also needs to abide by them. Friendly Chief Jo decides to let him off this one time, and Je-hyuk promises to return the favor.

On that note, Chief Jo requests that Je-hyuk return the favor now, in the form of money. He writes down his bank account information and tells Je-hyuk to wire the money in through his lawyer. He wants a large sum of money (about $30,000), and Je-hyuk’s eyes show his disbelief.

Jun-ho interrupts the conversation and reports another incident that Chief Jo needs to address. Chief Jo stays amicable and whispers a reminder to Je-hyuk before heading out. He tells Jun-ho that his fanboy wishes have been granted and tells him to escort Je-hyuk back to his cell.

Jun-ho sits across from Je-hyuk and takes off his hat. Je-hyuk’s head has been down this whole time and he finally looks up… and his expression changes immediately. He lets out a huge breath and says, “Jun-ho-ya!” They’re friends?! They speak informally to each other, like they’re longtime friends. Je-hyuk didn’t know he worked here, and scolds Jun-ho for visiting so late, to which Jun-ho blames the spoon-swallowing moron.

Je-hyuk asks about Jun-ho’s arm, and Jun-ho says that he’s fine and that it’s been a long time since then. Je-hyuk also says that he’s fine.

We go back to 2005 at a high school baseball championship game. It’s the final pitch to decide the game, and the pitcher winds up while the rest of the team nervously waits. The pitch lands in the catcher’s mitt as a strike, and the team goes wild in victory.

Two of the boys eat ramyun together at home with a young girl, and it turns out to be their coach’s home. They’re living with their coach’s family, and Coach buys them beers to celebrate their victory. The boys look excited and rush up the stairs to indulge in the beers.

Coach’s wife can see that Coach is saddened by the idea of the boys leaving Gwangju and moving up to Seoul. He seems more worried that only one of the boys—the pitcher who closed the championship game—is making it big and getting professional team offers. He seems to believe that the other boy would make it big in the long-term, but Coach’s wife seems doubtful.

Closing Pitcher wakes up and laughs at his friend, who’s passed out drunk. He goes downstairs for a drink of water, and Coach’s wife informs him that his friend already did his morning workout and passed out.

The boys pack up their things for their move up to Seoul, and each one thanks Coach’s wife for her generosity. They load the car, and Coach drives them up himself. Coach’s wife tells her daughter to say goodbye to Dad because he’ll be going far away for the long drive.

But then the news reports of a car crash that killed a Gwangju high school baseball coach and left two boys in the hospital in critical condition. Closing Pitcher receives the news from the doctor that his injuries are not severe, so he can get surgery and recover fully to play baseball. But the other boy hears bad news that his shoulder injury was very severe and could affect his sports career.

Jun-ho is the one who decides to go home, and the doctor seems regretful about his decision because surgery could have allowed him to continue his career. He was the one who suffered fewer injuries, but he decided that he didn’t want to continue to play baseball.

Coach’s wife visits young Je-hyuk in the hospital and thanks him for his commitment, and Je-hyuk turns out to be the friend, the one with no major league prospects. She says that Coach would have cried with regret if both of them had given up, and she forewarns him that recovery will be a long process. Je-hyuk accepts this and says that he’s slow anyway, which makes them both laugh a little.

Coach’s daughter sits next to him on the bed, and he pulls her hand away so she stops biting her nails. Omo, is that Ji-ho? Je-hyuk says that he’s ready to be patient and fix everything to make this happen.

Back in the present, Jun-ho asks about Je-hyuk’s conversation with Chief Jo, and Je-hyuk doesn’t say anything about it. He requests to make a phone call, and Jun-ho stops at the door to listen in on the conversation. We hear Je-hyuk calling Lawyer Ryu, but we’re not privy to the details.

Jun-ho comes home to a mess, and his roommate urgently asks him for details about Je-hyuk. He calls Je-hyuk his hyung, and Jun-ho smacks him for ignoring his real older brother right here. Jun-ho’s brother is Je-hyuk’s superfan blogger, and he says that his hyung should feel lucky to be friends with Je-hyuk. Jun-ho tells him that he was actually better than Je-hyuk at one time.

Jun-ho’s brother says that they’re completely different, saying that Jun-ho is like a crystal—light and easily breakable—but Je-hyuk is someone who doesn’t accept defeat. He asks for Je-hyuk’s jail cell number again, but Jun-ho just walks away silently, ignoring the explosion of geekiness.

The next morning, Henchman sings along to the morning tune but replaces the words about laws protecting them to money protecting them all. Seagull complains aloud about rich people not facing their punishments.

Then the door to their cell slams open, and Chief Jo harshly orders Je-hyuk to get up. He’s placed in solitary confinement as a punitive measure, but Je-hyuk celebrates in monotone about having a room to himself.

Seagull seems satisfied with justice being served, but Professor Myung finds the timing of the punishment curious. Instead of punishing Je-hyuk last night, Chief Jo punished him today. We see that Chief Jo did not find the promised amount in his bank account in the morning, which explains his sour mood and delayed punishment.

Je-hyuk’s stomach growls, and just as he asks for food, a ramyun gets delivered to him. It’s from Jun-ho, and he scolds him for not telling him about Chief Jo last night. Despite his friendly demeanor, Chief Jo has a nasty personality, and Jun-ho says he could have helped him handle the situation. Je-hyuk assures his friend that he can handle that much on his own.

At the breakfast table, Law Man stuffs his face while bawling, and Seagull wonders why he’s so emotional about food this morning. But we see in flashback that Je-hyuk had called Lawyer Ryu last night to ask that he pay for Law Man’s mother’s surgery.

Sitting against the door, Jun-ho warns Je-hyuk against being so kind and generous, because all of these inmates are bad people. He says that the old man in his cell has nine previous convictions and has come back to jail with a murder conviction. Apparently, he stabbed a passerby twenty times for no reason.

Jun-ho warns him not to trust anyone because everyone here is a thief. He tells Je-hyuk to control his temper better and heads out to work. Je-hyuk stops eating and leans his head against the wall, knowing that he’s hardly going to adjust to prison life.

 
COMMENTS

I liked this first impression of the show. The characters, their motivations, and the potential for growth are all there, and fortunately, I also like our main character. Je-hyuk is an interesting hero to read and root for because he barely emotes. Situationally, it was funny to see the deadpan face with everything happening around Je-hyuk—his expression remained the same through the bus ride, the rectal exam, his first day in jail. But I think Park Hae-soo is skilled in subtly changing his expressions and glances, which allows me to understand his mood shifts. It’s a lot of body language that he uses to communicate his emotions, and as long as he doesn’t get stuck in being too subtle to the point of obscurity, I think it’s unique.

I enjoyed the introduction of Je-hyuk’s past relationships, which seemed so important to his current being. I was surprised that Jun-ho wasn’t the fanboy but actually Je-hyuk’s longtime friend, which completely shifted my expectations in their dynamic. It was a good shift in dynamic, since it melted the hard exterior shell that Je-hyuk carried through most of this first episode. It’s interesting to see how both Je-hyuk’s and Jun-ho’s life trajectories changed after the tragic accident, and I’m eager to learn more about their motivations. I also found the relationship between Je-hyuk and Ji-ho kind of sweet, and very reminiscent of the Answer Me 1994 relationship. Je-hyuk is really giving me Oppa vibes, but I’m not complaining (#TeamOppa).

I don’t find this show to fit the “black comedy” genre—outside of the fact that it’s literally dark and set in a prison—but I don’t think that’s a flaw. It was just the advertising. I think this show will be too genuine to be satirical, which I think is actually a strength of the show. I sense a theme of nostalgia and the trope of a generous hero who’s too pure and noble to betray his values. He’s a fish out of water, and he’ll possibly never fully adjust, but there’s beauty and comedy in that. I’m looking forward to seeing how Je-hyuk proves his friend wrong—that all these inmates may not all be so bad after all.

RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , , , ,

204

Required fields are marked *

IT'S HERE. OMG. OMG. *But I haven't watched it!!* *noooo* *cries*
*Why still no eng subs??*

P.S. Thanks for recapping this @dramallama

8
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The feeling of not able to join the recap party because one cannot find subs for the drama is like going to a birthday party but no one is allowed to eat the cake because someone forgot to bring candles.

Would someone please go out and get some freaking candles? My blood sugar is low.

20
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

im hoping it's not getting subbed bc it's thanksgiving weekend and this wont be issue for the rest of series. smh i was looking forward to watching the episodes during break.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you dramallama for the wonderful recap helping to wet our appetite for the show. It is great to learn from other Beanies that Netflix will release the first episode with subs soon so we can all join the fun in the discussion!

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Just watching it on Netflix now. As usual, those subs are subpar (pun intended). Netflix makes it super easy to watch but I think I'll be hanging out here to get a better idea of what's going on.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Je hyuk doesn't look hero material to me somehow. :/ He isn't that impressive as a kdrama hero maybe? Just saying. On other hand, jung kyung ho looks good in uniform!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I haven't been able to watch, waiting for the subs, but i am glad JKH fixed his Missing 9 ugly hair, his hairstyle and color was so irritating, it wasted his good looks, he looks much better in this hairstyle, reminds me of Cruel City days.

7
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Watched it raw, just until Jung Kyung-ho came out. I really miss the guy! Anyways, thank you for the recap. I will be back once we get proper subs.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Loved the premiere,it really had that Reply feel..U can't really judge a book by it's cover indeed and this case it's really pointed out when talking about the inmates and our hero as well,the fish out of the wather himself...I wasn't really suprised by the old man's revelation as i knew he wouldn't be there by being nice and once again the cover hides the inside...Liked that little back into the past of our main leads and the reversal that Junho was the great one among the two sports wise yet Je-hyuk's determination and not knowing to quit made him the superstar he is now known...Before the big reveal of Je-hyuk&Junho friendship i actually believed the later was his stalker...I actually felt quite sad seeing how he ended in jail when he tried so save his sister and catch the guilty one...
I must say i like our hero,he is reserved even clumsy and quiet vut also has endurence and fire in him when he is ticked off,he isin't flashy and somehow i love this...
In the end this story is about people and i'm all behind our hero hoping he will navigate safely this new enviroment having by his side his once best friend...
kinda sad that VIU doesn't sub it and hope Viki would get the license for it...

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Where are you even seeing it w/o subs? I can't find it anywhere. Viki and DF don't carry TvN it seems and the online site I use hasn't shown it either.

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Even though I almost dropped it halfway through the episode I still managed to finish it. So far I like Jun-ho a lot more than Je-hyuk. Hopefully the next few episodes will get me more interested because the premiere episode hasn't caught much of my attention.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

*group hug for the no sub squad* Apparently Netflix is releasing the subs on Tuesday

10
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm glad it will at least be available, but does this mean we will always be a week behind? Because that would stink. :( I was really looking forward to this show, too...

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yey for some good news! :D

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

which tuesday? as in the 28/11?

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

it's Tuesday now. It's not there. I'm thoroughly annoyed.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Wait—that's Kim Je-hyuk's haircut before he goes to prison?!

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I really really REALLY wanted to like this drama... even FINISH the first episode... but I couldn't :(
I was watching for Jiran Sookbu from SFD_< and yeah, kinda slow.

Thankful for the recap bc I don't think I can sit through such long episodes (even AM88 was getting ridiculous after a point... just please, why cant you go back to short & sweet episode lengths -_-)

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The one show that I had been waiting for so long and still no subs!! Will we always be late to recaps if the subs come out so late every week??

Thanks for recapping this @dramallama- I can at least read how the first episode went even though I am not gonna spoil other episodes for myself by reading the next ones!

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Too much male 😁😂😁

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Wow, the successor drama of Avengers Social Club has a recap now. Meanwhile, Avengers Social Club ended without getting recapped here. I am side-eyeing dramabeans since then.

5
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Um, I think DB has the choice of what drama they'd LIKE to recap and be kind enough to share with us. It's not an obligation.

I for one am glad they're able to recap sooo many dramas, so thank you dramallama (and the other recappers) for this! :)

14
reply

Required fields are marked *

Really? You do realize that DB team members are NOT your servants to cater all your wants & needs, right?

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

This is one of the rare occasions where I approve of the super short bowlcut (note: Je-hyuk). Park Hae-soo nailed the deadpan face so well that I relish the moments when his emotions change. The two JH's open-but-not-so-open bromance, oh yeah!
Other than that, the comic timing and flashbacks gave good pace to the show and even the side characters are scene-stealers of their own (note: Jun-ho's brother aka Je-hyuk's superfan). And finally, the cherry on top—using hip-hop/R&B music as BGMs. *runs off to replay OST*

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

So apparently Netflix bought the liscence so no one is subbing this TT.TT
And sadly, Netflix will not release it for Australia, I think only USA netflix has access....
That's sucks
But I'm glad I'm multilingual so I can watch the show with Vietnamese sub :D

0
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I seems it will be available in Europe via Netflix - at least for my country it is listed as upcoming

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

It's just like with "Black" which is only available for Netflix Canada, Australia & United Kingdom so far. Where did you get the info that Netflix AU won't have it?

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Black is available via Netflix also in other European countries, not only UK. This I know for sure because I watch it there :-)

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Actually US Netflix seems to hold back until the drama has finished airing so that it can be binged watched. They did that for Argon, Forest of Secrets, and Man to Man. They have yet to stream a currently airing show here. It looks like Netflix Canada might be in luck though.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks so much for recapping this show, dramallama! :)

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

any idea if i can watch this episode with english subtitle?

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you so much for the recap, @dramallama! This would have taken so long since the episode is so long. Thank you for this, especially for us who do not understand Korean. I'll be sure to join in again on the ~recap party~ once I've seen the episode. But I read this recap just to see if I'm even really interested in the show and YAY I AM!

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

A really good and refreshing first episode. Can't wait to see where it goes.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for the recap dramallama!

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm surprised nobody is subbing it when nowadays, even 100 episodes daily drama gets subbed. And there are idols in this as well.
Hopefully it will get fan subbed like Avengers Social Club.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Can anyone tell me is it worth watching if I'm only interested in JKH? I'm so upset he is not the main lead as I originally thought..

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Not sure about this drama yet... I'll check one more recap (if there is one) and then decide if I wanna watch the drama.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Just like any Reply series, this show started out full of heart. It has been a while since I got hooked onto a drama, but this looks promising. I do hope that it stays this way (and not lengthen each episode like before...) because the duration and the pacing feel just right.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

When I heard the main char was a famous baseball player, I was reluctant to try this because kdrama rich/famous characters are almost always played overly spoiled and rude for comedic effect, but it always rubs me the wrong way. But this guy just seems like a really genuine lug, and I love him. Super excited for this drama now!

(PS- there are subs on newasiantv!!)

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Coming back here to gush 'cos I just watched the first ep and I'm in love with this show already! I loved the twists - Je Hyuk being friends with Jun Ho, even Law Man's mom too. At first I thought she had died and I was bawling my eyes out but then I cried some more when it wasn't so and found out why.

I agree with you dramallama, Je Hyuk is giving me serious Trash Oppa vibes too mixed with a little bit of Samcheonpo - not complaining cos R94 was my fave. Park Hae Soo is really killing it, esp the way he turned all crazy and serious.. gave me chills. And I didn't feel bored at all even though it was 1 and a half hours long.

I loved that in the beginning since it was all light and funny you forget that the other characters were inmates - then the show reminds you so starkly never to trust people cos they're in jail for bad reasons. I'm looking forward to the show showing us the narrative richness in understanding how some may not be so bad, but may have been forced due to circumstances (like Law Man)

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Dude, I cried so hard during the scene where Jailbird cried because Jehyuk paid for his mom's surgery.

So far so good! I like how this started but I hope they will shorten the time. An hour and a half is just too much.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

And Kim Sung-cheol was so great in the scene. Crying his heart out, out of gratefulness. So raw, so moving.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for the recap! I just started this show today and I am liking it already! (except for the episode being extra long). I got lost for a while when they showed us 2005. I didn't know which boy was which even when they revealed their names (I found them to look very similar...). But the recap cleared that out for me! Thanks for recapping @dramallama ❤❤

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Okay, as promised with @obsessedmuch and the rest of this show's appreciation club, I'm here to discuss. I'll try to keep it as spoiler-free as possible, since if newcomers read this I'm sure they won't want to find out the end.

Four things I hate this PD for:
-Convincing me Sung Dong-il was more than a cameo.
-Seriously confusing me after the end of episode 2.
-Not giving me any closure on the stories of the inmates who left. I get that we see most of this show through Je-hyuk's eyes, but I'm still pissed.
-Convincing the naive me that he wouldn't rip my heart out this time (if you've seen episode 15, you know what I'm talking about).

Four Things I Love This PD for:
-Giving Park Hae-soo a lead role. This man is a phenominal actor.
-Always managing to get me rolling around laughing at his gags, and then crying later on.
-This show's great soundtrack.
-This show's AMAZING characters.

All of this is just an understatement - if you added about a thousand exclamation points to each of my comments, you'd understand how profound a punch this drama has. Everyone needs to watch this drama.

10
16
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh yayy you came! I am still watching ep 16 but all the comments you made are sth that I can still talk about!!

Four things you hate this PD for:
-I agree!! I never could have imagined that Sung Dong-il would be just a cameo. Specially cuz he was such a prominent figure in all AM series till now! I read an article recently and they talk as if he was part of the whole show. He wasn't. And that is unfair. http://m.koreatimes.co.kr/phone/news/view.jsp?req_newsidx=242861

-I still don't completely understand why 'cyborg' did what he did in ep 2. Yes, they explained that he was a lackey but I still don't understand his character completely.

-I am actually quite happy with the stories of most of the inmates who left. They got a lot of screen time despite not being main characters. Or if I phrase it differently, the writers gave each character a chance to be the main character when their stories were revealed. So we had the continuing story of Je Hyuk but we got at least an ep, or sometimes more, of other characters. And I really haven't seen any other show which has accomplished this feat with so many characters!

-I have never been a victim of Answer Me PD's "husband hunting games". Either I was in the right ship (AM 97) or I was not that invested in who got the girl but rather the lovely relationships (AM 88). Plus I got spoiled so I was expecting it. Still hurt like hell. Still made me question if we really needed it.

And I whole- heartedly agree with the four Things You Love This PD for!

This show was brilliant! And I am taking my sweet time with ep 16 cuz I am missing it already! But I will be back with my final points! :)

3
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

This show was so mean to put Sung Dong-il and some other characters that quickly disappeared in the posters, because that totally made me think they would be more prominent! Shin Jae-ha also left quickly, which was sad.
I kind of had to piece everything together myself after episode 2 because I was completely in the dark. My guesses are that, as Seagull's underling, he felt obligated or was threatened into getting revenge. Then Je-hyuk was transferred for his safety?
I understand that one of the things to take from this show is that a lot has happened and will happen over Je-hyuk's life, that he'll meet and part with many people, but it'll keep on going (which I love, by the way, this show was actually made very unique by going in this direction). I still would have liked at least a glimpse of how Kaist and Go Baksa and Min-chul-ssi and poor Han-yangie fared after leaving Seobu. It was still massively impressive that they managed to cast a spotlight over everyone without ever feeling bias or unbalanced.
I was also spoiled, which admittedly did soften the blow. I was annoyed that I'd been spoiled at first, but now I'm a little grateful because that scene would have been so much more painful if I'd gone into it blind.

6
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Now that I have watched the last episode, I agree! I would have loved a tiny scene of all the previous inmates and what they are up to.. They could have easily not shown so much of the whole prison publicity campaign and instead given that time to show what everyone is up to since they left.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hello everybody - I've just finished watching it and absolutely loved this drama. I'm trying not to make this into an essay and to do this without spoilers.

@frabbycrabsis I actually really liked not getting closure on the stories of some of the inmates. It was (in my view) a very interesting decision of the PD to indicate that in prison life many things are out of your control - such as who is in your cell and who gets moved where. Moving characters out of the drama, and not giving us closure (like with Kaist) was a way of giving us viewers that same experience. We can't control who's on our screen like they can't control who's in their cell.

What I loved were the great sound effects! Whenever that whistle noise came, it had me in stitches.

What I didn't like was that Ji-ho as a character had no real depth but was 'the girl who bites her nails' and just supports Je-hyuk. For a while, I justified this by thinking that it was all about the guys in prison, but by the end I felt I knew more about Captain Yoo's brother than I did about Ji ho. That's why I probably never got that interested in the romance. If she was studying medicine, I would have at least once seen her with a patient. She never did anything other than look at books. Just a minor niggle.

That actually brings me to one of the other things that I found fascinating about this drama: that I cared less about the main character's story than about the stories of the other inmates and prison guards. And this is not a criticism at all - actually, I thought that was what made it this drama so interesting and quite different to a lot of other things I've watched recently.

Je-hyuk is the catalyst for a lot of people around him changing but he himself doesn't actually change that much over the duration of the drama. He's a decent person with anger/violence issues in the beginning - which is what gets him into jail - and he's still a decent person with
anger/violence issues in the final episode.

So more than showing what prison does to people, the drama highlights the difference that a person can make on the ones around him, which I thought was a great choice for an ensemble drama like this.

8
7
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yay! A friend!
You know what, I agree with you about how not getting closure on the stories of the inmates was a smart directorial choice, I just find it frustrating to just lose characters I've spent so much time coming to adore. This PD is a genius, but he's never been nice to his audience! I'm satisfied with Min-chul-ssi, and somewhat okay with Go Baksa, but Kaist's goodbye was awful.
The sound effects were good - it's basically the sheep bleat of the Reply series. Shin Won-ho's sense of humour is clearly very slapstick and gaggy, which are my favourite kinds of comedies. See: Rooftop Prince.
I also agree with you about Ji-ho - in a massive ensemble cast, one of the supposedly most important characters was overlooked. We knew very little about her, other than that she's always studying for something and has a bad history with boyfriends and that she's devoted to her Oppa. She always brought the solutions whenever Je-hyuk was in trouble, but she never had her own spotlight.
I just eat up dramas with ensemble casts because they have so much more potential than one story does by itself. That's what made Reply 1988 so great, and this team knows it.

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oops I wrote an essay and have possible spoilers in my comment below! :P

And I just noticed how similar our take on Ji Ho is!

I agree about how the lack of closure indicates how life goes on. But i would still have loved a glimpse of each of the characters. Just a glimpse- like maybe just sitting in their cell in another prison, reading sth, or working. It would have been like bidding farewell to them as it were.

I think that whistle is actually bird's chirping sound. The sound effects with this PD are always funny- like the sheep bleat in the AM series. And perfect timing as always! :P

5
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

So at the moment that the show pulled that Kaist bit on us, I was so devastated. I had difficulty breathing because my sobs were too much for my chest. I couldn't see the screen through the tears. It was everything compounding together, Kaist with his son and then the leaving.

But now that I've seen the whole show, I don't even mind not knowing about them now. Because like y'all said, it's told from Je-hyeok's perspective and it's very realistic that way.

But what this show did was to make me believe that all of these characters are real and that they're actually living their lives and continuing them right this second. I sometimes imagine them, what they're doing. Sometimes I smile but sometimes it breaks me, especially when I think about Hanyangie and Jiwon.

I mentioned this as a comment in the fanwalls but the bit with Hanyang, while it was happening, my heart was breaking and so miserable, but my brain was like: this is statistics. This is what really happens.

But good lord, it was so painful.

Anyway, on a lighter note, LOVE THE SOUND EFFECTS!!

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

I JUST TEARED UP AT WHAT YOU SAID

I love what you said how Je-hyeok was still the same old kinda-dumb, with-anger-issues-sometimes guy, but his effect on the whole prison was felt. Early on, I was bawling my eyes out along with Jailbird when he paid for his mother's surgery. And still, in the end, he kept on helping others and treating them kindly. He even gave Crony a chance to change and Crony even made me cry when he was crying and telling Je-hyeok that he was the first person to treat him as a person. I'M CRYING NOW!

If you told me early in the show that Crony would made me cry, I would have laughed at you BUT HELLO THIS SHOW IS MAGIC

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

The biting nails thing is my pet peeve! I agree with your thoughts about the character, Ji-ho having no depth, but I feel that the show also wants us to know that she's Je-hyuk's rock. She knows him the best! When he was going through the Steven (sorry can't remember the name) disease, her solution was the simplest: "X" marks the spot. And it worked! Ji-ho was the one he looked for when he was released. They didn't need the kiss, just the warm hug says 'Happily Ever After'.

4
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I totally get that Ji-ho is Je-hyuk's rock. But it's the one place where I thought they could have done it so much better.

How much fun would it have been to see her do important stuff in a hospital for example and then taking Je-hyuk's call to give him baseball advice (there could have been a different patient eye-roll as an ongoing joke). Instead, I think I'm right in saying that she was always reading some books either in the library or in her flat.

It seemed like a missed opportunity in a drama that did such great things with the other characters.

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, yes, I see where you are heading with this! Patient eye-rolls and all!

4

hola here!

i loved, loved this drama to pieces! but i do have some unfulfilling feeling to go with it. so let me outed my most unfavorable part of this drama first:

1) this drama touted as giving hope to people/healing some sort of. it does serve his purpose at the end of the day, but i still have some misgiving about Hanyang arc. there are multiple ways for them to say he revert back to drugs, but they chose the most sadistic way to go with it. so, the message they want to convey with Hanyang that he is a lost case and no hope whatsoever to reform him from drugs? yeah, i get what people argue that Seobu penitentiary has no facility whatsoever for him to rehab, but at the end they rip my heart to pieces with his arc. and that damn ring on Jiwon's hand....TT.TT. what did you have to torture me again with ring scene, Shin PD?!!
2) they should never extend that pervert chief arc for too long. i mean, i basically fast forwarding the last 2 epi because of him.
3)like you said, some of cameos, was not stated as cameos properly and get people hoping that they will come back somehow. especially the good guy.

but the good thing always balance the bad thing
1) the cast is a KILLER! they teamwork is amazing! i watch Lee Kyu Hyung in Secret Forest before, but he's definitely the scene stealer in here(much like Ryu Jun Yeol come out of nowhere and make us swoon and cry,hehe) along with Kaist and Paeng. somehow, they outshine Park Hae Soo too with their scenes.
2) the same sex love story. the team got my respect for creating a very beautiful love story between Hanyang and Jiwon. i do hope we actually got some closure with this two somehow. it pain me how much they love each other but the barrier is Hanyang inability to say f*** off with the drugs.
3) the BROMANCE! Je hyuk and Joon Ho is truly BFF. the way Joon Ho supporting him in the prison and also love life is truly friendship goal. i also like that Joon Ho is there to smack and scream at Je Hyuk when he go to noble idiot route with Ji Ho.
4) the dark comedy was well delivered lol. that graph of happiness will always be my favorite. Park Hae soo expression seeing the year 2016 was amazing.
5) the Hanyang vs Kaist(come at me, you mackerel!!) vs Capt Yoo(the recent Lee Soo geun slap gift) and vs Min Chul(the flying dustbin still making me lol) battle. all of them are perfect!

8
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

The Lee Soo-geun slap gift, yes! HAHAHAHA

And how everyone knows to take away their food off the table when Kaist plans to attack Hanyang because he'll flip the table. Hahaha!

5
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

hahaha... Lee Soo Geun will be so proud if he know about this. that slap is perfect, his reaction, Capt Yoo reaction. marvelous lol. but then, that happiness does not last long, too bad.

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

That was awesome. I loved Han-yangie and Captain Yoo's last fight, where Han-yangie locked himself in the bathroom. Had me in stitches.

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

We should add a DO NOT READ BELOW THIS POINT. SPOILERS ON THE ENDING AHEAD. For the poor folks not at that point since, as @frabbycrabsis pointed out. READERS BEWARE 👻

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

SPOILERS ahead, so if you are here for only ep 1 related comments, please skip this.

What a wonderful ride was this show! I seriously enjoyed every moment of it! I wish I could mention all the characters but I don't remember every name.. but will still try.

Lt. Paeng was such a sweet character, played to perfection by Jung Woong In. I was ready to hate him given how he has played mostly villains till now (his chilling performance from I Can Hear Your Voice is still fresh in my mind- almost 3 years since I saw that show), but he was surprisingly the nicest person in the prison! The way he took care of the prisoners was so heart-touching. He acted all tough but he was a real softie at heart. Also how much did I love that my other BrOTP sailed too. Min Chul hugging him and telling him that he likes him more than anyone in the entire world (obviously quickly backtracking the next second with "I like my daughter more" :P) had me all teary-eyed. As did Kim Je Hyuk's special mention of him during that interview.

Joon Ho was perfect. There is no other word for it. He was the best friend, boyfriend and colleague one could hope for. I liked the growth in his character. From a reluctant "I will just do this while preparing for sth else" kinda officer, he ended up liking his job. His criticism of Lt. Paeng and how he will never become like him ended with him hurling abuses where abuses were deserved. One can't always turn a deaf ear/ blind eye! And that last scene of him walking the halls of prison mirrored that of Paeng doing the same.

Also, consent!! He asked if he could kiss Je Hee before doing that! He asked her for her hand instead of grabbing it. He calmly discussed what he felt was wrong instead of misunderstanding it. He was the most understanding bf ever!

I don't think I should even start with the bromance between Je Hyuk n Joon Ho here. Suffice it to say- it was perfect!

Je Hyuk. I am not sure I loved the character as much as the show wanted me to love him. He was so wonderfully unexpected and funny in the beginning, but towards the later episodes, he lost a lil bit of his charm. Yes he was the central character and the show revolved around him but I was slightly more interested in other storylines than his. But I think I liked how he touched other ppl's lives and how we got introduced to others through him. His romance with Ji- ho was pretty one dimensional for me. I never knew Ji Ho beyond what she was to Je Hyuk- the anchor that supports him whenever he falls, the one who will always know what Je Hyuk needs to do to overcome his problems.. But I never knew much abt her own life.

The other female character- Je Hee- initially felt like a plot device but she shone more than Ji Ho gradually. Her slow burn romance with Joon Ho was one of my fav parts of the show. I wish we got to know why Joon Ho ignored her gift to him in the past.

Jan Baljang was an early favourite and I loved that his character grew! That...

8
14
reply

Required fields are marked *

contd...

That reunion with Min Chul abeoji was one of the most emotional scenes of the show. (Now that I think of it Min Chul got many heart-touching scenes and Choi Moo Sung was brilliant!). Seungyoon was one of the many reasons that I wanted to watch the show. And I am so happy that the boy did a good job. Hope he gets more roles in future :)

Other characters that I really liked- Jailbird, Captain Yoo and his bro, Joon Ho's bro, Hanyang, Go Baksa, Kaist, Officer Song and... basically just everyone except that creepy ex- workshop chief! :P

Apart from the characters, the soundtrack was brilliant too! All the OSTs were so good! Obviously my personal fav is Yoonie+Mino+Zico's Door but I might be a lil biased there ;)

Thank you show for being so wonderful! You shall be missed!

6
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh, I loved OK by Bewhy. I want to analyse the lyrics and how they relate to the characters when I have more time!

5
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh yes! It charged me up whenever it played!

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

When Eric Nam;s Bravo My Life was playing during the ending bit where Je-hyeok was in the mound, TEARS TEARS TEARS

I didn't even associated that song to something that would make me cry but it was like the culmination of everything and IT WAS JUST SO FITTING

4
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh yes! I had goosebumps. No tears but a whole lotta feels.

And I love Bravo My Life. I wonder if it is a rendition of an old song or has changed lyrics. I remember Hoonie singing it for their first radio appearance last year.. Have yo heard it? He doesn't sing well but the whole thing was really emotional cuz he was talking about the members and how they have overcome a lot- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFSPqfjBNTk

1

Eric Nam's version of Bravo My Life is my absolute favorite with a very close "Door" behind it. When I first heard it and had not checked the lyrics yet, from what I made out from the chorus, I just felt that it was Je-hyuk's song. Needing courage to live on.

I'm sure it was mentioned by someone on the wall that this song was also on Chief Kim. Eric's is a remake. Both versions are very good!

5

@obsessedmuch Yes, it was just a rendition because I've heard Hoon's version before too! Hahaha. That's how I realized that it's not an original.

2

It's a shame you didn't feel a lot for Je-hyuk, I thought he was a wonderful character. Despite his reserved nature and tendency to keep his thoughts and feelings bottled up, he made up for his shortcomings by having a bigger heart and more patience and forgiveness than most people can manage. Heck, he formed a friendship with the man who could have jeopardized his career by stabbing him, and by extension the rest of his life! Perhaps a hero less loving would have been hard to root for in this kind of show?
Plus, I have to give my props to Park Hae-soo - I saw him in Legend of the Blue Sea when that aired, and I'm blown away by how different these characters feel. That man deserved a lead role faaaar sooner.

7
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I liked him a lot actually. I just liked other characters more than him. Most of his decisions were the major plot twists of the show. But when the focus shifted on other characters around the later episodes, he lost a lil bit of the gravity I expect from the hero. Park Hae Soo did really good in all the scenes where he had to showcase emotions but when acting as the "pabo" where he just had to smile and act stupid, I thought the character lost out a lil bit. I dunno how to explain it.

I remember him from LotB. I liked him there and loved him here. He deserves the lead role for sure. I am mostly talking abt the character rather than the actor.

1
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

No, okay, I get that. Often, he seemed to cause the flow of the plot rather than being directly involved in it.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ooohhh, I thought his "pabo" mode/acting was good! I think the director was also pushing for that too because his pabo moments are almost always soundtracked with that chirping/whistle. Haha! His expressions are mostly subtle and I love how fitting they are for his character. I'm a big fan of the natural-looking "underacting" and I thought Park Hae-soo was so good in that, AS EVERYONE ELSE. It's my first time to see Park Hae-soo and I wanna see more of him!

But I do agree though that in the first episodes, he was the driver of the plot but in the latter, as we got to know our other characters more, he only guides the flow of the plot and not its main driver. @frabbycrabsis

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Just realised I needn't have written my comments - I could just have agreed with yours!!

One other thing I did want to highlight is how funny this drama was all the way through. Each episode had me in stitches about something. In the last one, I laughed so much at Capt Na's school years. That was hilarious.

4
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Lol really? Even the not liking Je Hyuk more than the other characters part? And loving that particular OST? (I am a Winner fan and love everything to do with them)..

Oh yes! The humour was right up my alley! And it wasn't really "dark humour" like it was advertised. The situation of each character was dark but the prison set was surprisingly bright and the humour was simple yet on point.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Young Captain Na was such a cutie but he’s as annoying then as now. His bestfriend was right when he said he was worst when he was young. Lol

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Does anyone know what that scene where Captain Yoo wouldn't let Han-yangie sleep on his lap meant? You know, where Han-yangie says, 'You know, don't you?' and seems generally upset when Captain Yoo answers. I'm sure it's a nod to homophobia, but that would make me genuinely dissapointed in Captain Yoo.

2
26
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yup. It was a reference to Hanyang being a homosexual and Capt. Yoo having seen him with his boyfriend. I am not very disappointed however. It is a normal response if you situate the show in S.Korea, specially coming from an army-man. I am pretty sure Korean army, as armies elsewhere, stress upon what "macho men" are supposed to be like. And homosexuality is still not as widely accepted as we would want it to be.

1
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

But it's sad how that factor always affected his opinion of Han-yangie - because he's gay, Captain Yoo always saw his affectionate, dependent and clingy nature differently. He saw it as a means to well, project his sexuality on others I suppose. The two of them could have been good friends, but it's sad that one of reasons they never did was something so sad.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

True. It was really unfair that Cap Yoo saw Hanyangie's natural skinship as sth underhanded. But again, I felt it was realistic. There will always be people like Cap Yoo who are actually good people but not very open minded. I prefer to focus on Je Hyuk and Joon Ho's reactions. They were surprised but they didn't let it affect how they behaved with him.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I felt bad for Hanyang in that scene because JunWoo even accused him of using his sickness to take advantage of them.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Their entire relationship was built around prejudices:
-Captain Yoo's prejudice against druggies. It didn't seem to occur to him that anyone in Han-yangie's position could have wound up the same way if they were weak and vulnerable.
-Han-yangie's stubborn refusal to see Captain Yoo as anything over than a cold-blooded killer and a scumbag.
-And Captain Yoo's prejudice towards Han-yangie's behaviour as being directly linked with his homosexuality.

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

It was about Han-yangie being gay - plus it was the moment when I had to accept the fact that my favourite ship wasn't going to sail LOL.

3
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hahhaha... that slapstick comedy with the bathroom door in ep 15 had me crying cuz it was so funny! And then the other 3 watching it as if they were looking at their daily dose of entertainment! 🤣 🤣

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes ;A; this was my first concern too. I really thought they were going to sail this ship.
They consistently showed Ji-won looking haggard whenever he visits Hanyang and I thought they were going to do a 'breakup' story-line for the couple. That's when we'll get Captain Yoo as a potential boyfriend for Hanyang XD

0
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

That's what I thought too! Clearly constant bickering clearly means they actually love each other but are in denial.

I think the show teased us with that at one point, where they had some 'love' music play when Kaist was brushing his teeth and Capt Yoo and Looney were fighting in the background.

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Can you imagine a scene where Hanyang is acting all depressed because of the breakup and Captain Yoo calling him stupid for letting a guy give him so much heartbreak?! And then Captain Yoo finally snapping because he couldn't stand seeing Hanyang moping and still hung up on his ex-boyfriend?!?! AAAAAHHHHHHHH omg

# The Ship That Got Away

3

Yup, that scene now exists - in my head.

1

Actually, I was really disappointed and saddened and maddened by what Captain Yoo said and did in here. After that, I couldn't love him completely or I feel guilty for loving him as much as I did. I know that the South Korean society is like this and given the context, that's the norm for them. Either way, I wanted him to change his views too later on but I didn't get that. Him saving Hanyangie in the infirmary didn't really make me feel like he now accepts him because like he said, one's life is more important than anything else. Oh well. This was one of my quibbles with the show. Along with the mostly weak female characterization.

2
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

that knight in shining armor moment in the sick bay was not meant for him to understand Hanyang as one of LGBT, but more to his heroic tendency that unable to see any injustice going on, even when its related to his sworn enemy lol. it is more like an small arc for them to be more civil with each other. it does not change his view on Hanyang as a gay.

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, exactly, which made me feel sad. Of course I love that he saved him but that's just because that's really who he is. Oh well, I guess we can't have it all. I mean, HELLO HANYANG AS A REMINDER WE CAN'T GET EVERYTHING THAT WE WANT

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I was disappointed in Captain Yoo, but in many ways it made the character more human. He wasn't a black and white character. He had his serious flaws. @obsessedmuch makes some good points. Sadly, not everyone in the world is accepting of differing sexualities.

I did enjoy their bickering though!!!!! One of my favorite aspects of the show actually.

5
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Also, in a narrative standpoint, it makes sense to have someone not as accepting as everyone else is.

My mind gets it but my heart is just sad HAHAHA

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, from a narrative standpoint, it made total sense. I just wished they'd chosen a different character to have that view.

0

I think Jung Wo is slowly accept Hanyang and his sexuality preference, when Hanyang ask about JW hate him being that way, JW just say that he is uncomfortable and something that JW can't understand. JW didn't say that he is hate Hanyang for that.
In the first time is Hanyang who say that he is hate people like JW, who use to hit people.
But, in the end, they share problem, JW even ask for Hanyang's advise bout his problem, JW also share his snack and they really like friends.
I think, is not about JW hate or not accept homosexuality, it just about something 'odd' and new experience to interact with them, he need time to adjust his self and perspective.

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, that line stuck to me. "I won't judge. I just don't understand." I held on to the fact that JW wasn't exposed/used to this sexuality growing up so somehow, that justifies his prejudice. But still, it was sad watching him break Hanyang's spirit during this scene. I felt so dejected on behalf of Hanyangie ;A;

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Actually, to defend Captain Yoo, if a straight guy - and I'm just going to assume that you're female - wanted to lie down with his head on your lap and you think he might fancy you, you probably wouldn't feel very comfortable with that either. So that bit I totally got. Then some harsh words were said which were less forgivable, but I felt they made up again when Capt Yoo asked advice for how to deal with his brother.
And then they back to their fighting and physical contact again after that. LOL

I actually really liked the scene where Han yang told Je hyuk and Joon Ho that he was gay whilst the three of them were huddled up together on that bench at the baseball practise greenhouse. What I love was that nobody moved. Well, Joon Ho crosses his legs but neither he nor Je-hyuk moves sideways to avoid the physical contact. It was a visual scene of acceptance and really well done.

6
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oooohhh, I like how you viewed that scene when Hanyang told Je-hyeok and Joon-ho about him being gay. Not moving and showing acceptance through their actions. I didn't quite catch that and now I think I love that scene even more.

1
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

That scene was great.

'Ji-won is a man.'
*HEAVENLY MUSIC*

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I REPLAYED THIS SCENE OVER AND OVER. Such a classic sound effect. It surely heightened the "revelation" moment XD

2

I don't know if it's with the subs but in the Netflix subs, I remember Jung-woo saying "if I knew someone who's like that (gay), I'd punch them".

That's what really made me sad. I understand that he was uncomfortable so I don't mind that he wouldn't let him sleep on his lap. It's just that bit that I couldn't let go. cc @cabanaalbana

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

He did say that. And before that, when he found out he’s gay he said he’s disgusted of him.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

It's one of many really well-written scenes. Jung-woo starts off by saying: 'I'm not going to judge...' giving the impression that it's going to be fine, so that when he says the 'I'd punch them' line at the end, you know these are actually his real feelings about someone being gay and it's even more appalling and hits harder.

I did feel, however, that there was acceptance of Hangyang in the end. Not that this will have changed his prejudices about gay people but probably about this one person.

But then, if he ever found out what Hangyang did as soon as he got out, he'd hate him all over again...

3

Things Smart Prison Living / Prison Playbook taught me:

I. Butler tips from Crony:

1. Never serve anything without a tray.
2. Always have a towel on your arm at the ready.
3. Only look at your master.

II. Tsundere tips from Lt. Paeng (and life tips, lbr)

1. The amount of cursing is proportional to how much you love them.
2. Choose kindness.
3. Do not seek credit for being a decent human being.

III. Romance tips from Joon-ho

1. Ask for consent. (OHMYGOD I DIED AT CAN I KISS YOU)
2. Be understanding. If you need to reprimand/demand something, do it gently, explain it well, and be respectful.
3. Send over your dongsaeng if you can't go. (HAHAHAHA it was so funny every time Joon-dol was the proxy)

IV. Tips on being the best Papa Bear from Minchul

1. BE KIND.
2. But know when to put your foot down too.
3. Continue learning. (I was so inspired by all those certificates he had!)

V. General life lessons from Je-hyeok

1. BE KIND. (Everyone's so kind, I'm just repeating myself.)
2. WORK HARD.
3. Self-care (There's this bit he said early on by the shower when Yoodaewi told him it seems like he fits in prison well. And he said, I don't like to be here too but I have to live. To me it striked as doing whatever it takes so it makes life easier. Whether that's to stop being angry and start sniffing the roses/flowers, or trying to change the lives of others for the better to help yourself find something good in the world that feels like it has forsaken you.)

12
20
reply

Required fields are marked *

Pffffft @ butler tips and tsundre tips! 😂😂😂

Joon Ho really used his poor dongsaeng quite often. But then again, the dongsaeng gave as much as he got! :P

4
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Joon-ho hitting Joon-dol with a pillow as if it's a bat and that background sound = ACES

Joon-dol was so precious. He's so like a kid and obviously a younger brother to Joon-ho but like other younger siblings, sometimes they're also far wiser than their older siblings in other areas, because they just know their sibling so much.

6
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

There are so many gif worthy moments in the show. I plan to go on a gif hunt this evening :P

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm so tempted to download the show (I usually don't download a show if it's on Netflix) and make gifs out of everything but I think I'll just go watch all the clips tvN has uploaded on Youtube and make gifs out of those. Hahaha!

1

Lieutenant Paeng's finger heart to Joon-ho, though. It caught me off-guard! It expected a gruff thank you, but that was so much better!

8
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

I know!! When I saw him reaching into his pockets, I was like "he isn't...OMG! He did! He made a tony fonger heart" Lt. Paeng was an amazing character.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I know!! When I saw him reach into his jacket I was like "he isn't...OMG he did, he made a tiny finger heart" 😆💕 Lt. Paeng is an amazing character. He really shined in this drama.

6
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Dude same!!! I couldn't believe that he actually did that!!! As soon as he put his hand in his jacket, I knew what would happen but couldn't believe it! :P Joon Ho's response or lack thereof was got me snorting! :D

5
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

It was totally unexpected. He caught me off guard as well!!! And it gets funnier because Joon-ho fell for it the second time. He totally looked serious when Lt. Paeng called him again to show him something XD AAHHH Joon-ho is just too precious.

3

Smart Prison Living: Defying Expectations

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

I love your butler tips! Just wanted to add about Joon-ho asking for permission to kiss Je-hee. She was a victim of sexual assault. Usually, there's some kind of trauma and the victim may become wary of physical contact. Asking for permission shows that Joon-ho understands what she went through and became such a swoony gentleman. Sigh!

6
7
reply

Required fields are marked *

YES! I feel bad because sometimes I was urging my screen for Joon-ho and Je-hee to have more skinship but then I catch myself and reprimand myself for wanting to rush that when Je-hee suffered from sexual assault and might be wary/afraid of physical contact even if it's with someone she knows and trusts. I'm just glad Je-hee found Joon-ho and they're together because he's such a gentleman and thinks of her interests first. And he always cares about her agency! Always asking what she wants, what she's okay with. Gah.

Loved that bit when Je-hyeok, even though he already knows about Joon-ho and Je-hee, still acted like an older brother and wanted to beat up Joon-ho. <3

5
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

OMG that last bit was too funny. It was a fire extinguisher Je-hyuk was holding, right? And Joon-ho trying to milk his sympathy coz his name wasn't mentioned. I already miss this show!

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, it was a fire extinguisher! And to be honest, I hit rewind when Je-hyeok was making his speech because I noticed that he didn't mention Joon-ho. So I checked if he really didn't. And that was the next scene so it was so funny! Hahaha! And the perfect time to say that he's dating his yeodongsaeng because they're now even. Hahaha!

5

On another note, how amazing is Je-Hyuk’s love for Je-hee. I cried buckets of tears when his only demand for contract is that no one mentions Je-her in his comeback and loved how Joon-Ho understood that without even asking.

5
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

It was so heart-touching! Je Hyuk was only concerned about Je Hee and Joon Ho knew that his friend would never go for media play and found his own answer! <3

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

At that moment, I thought "I wish I had an older brother like Je-hyeok". I know I always say I cried but it's just this show really made me cry a lot. I also cried at that because it was so sweet and protective.

And yes, @obsessedmuch, Joon-ho is really Je-hyeok's BFF because he knows him well that he would never want media play for himself. THAT BROMANCE IS LIFE

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I completely forgot about that! No wonder she looked a little scared when he leaned in to kiss her.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Asking for consent is super-swooney. I thought that when Se-hi did it in BTLIOF and I thought so again now.

Take note future dramas: less of the wrist-grabbing and more of the consent-asking.

8
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I wonder if it is a TvN thing.. Both the shows are from the same network! :P

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I like Captain Na. Most of friends don’t really like him but I missed him on screen when he’s not there lol. I think he’s just a straight-laced kind of guy. He might seem like extreme at times but it’s true that prisoners really do come ti prison because they committed a crime. I think there’s a scene after Kaist was transferred and the officer told them that they cannot tell them the reason of his transfer and that they are not entitled too that I realized that even though I think they’re like a teddy bear to me, it might not be the same with society.

Loved Lt. Paeng though. He’s such a tsundere.

7
14
reply

Required fields are marked *

Captain Na was the only realistic person out of all the people. I saw him as someone on the opposite spectrum of Lt. Paeng, another fork for which Joon-ho could turn into. At first, Joon-ho was like, all prisoners are garbage (except my dear BFF Je-hyeok) and that's very Captain Na (although Capt. Na is on another league of his own). But slowly he resembled Lt. Paeng (I lived for the moments he learned to be soft and kind to Jailbird, Crony, Hanyang, etc) and even his ending was so parallel with how Lt. Paeng does his rounds by the prison.

Captain Na was the necessary "evil"/reality the show had to show.

6
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

*out of all the correctional officers

And yes, @frabbycrabsis, he was just doing his job! Although he also manipulates people so he definitely has a ~villain~ air in him at times, but he isn't bad. He's just straitlaced.

And yes, he even got a flashback! Which was so cute and the kid actor resembled him too!

5
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

IKR when they asked his friend: did something bad happen in his past and he said: no, he's always been a jerk, I laughed so much. And then that flashback to round it off. I could totally tell which kid was him because of how they styled the hair. That was so well done.

5
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

That hair! And that straight face.

I liked how they didn't give Capt. Na some sad backstory because it feels so meta too? Like, the audience is Lt. Paeng too, very curious why he's like that. We almost always think that people are "bad"/mean/apathetic because something happened in their past and as the audience, we're almost always ready to forgive and be accepting. Also, the show conditioned us to believe that everyone's kind and nice if we just get to know them.

So for a character to just be a plain jerk/straitlaced/uptight is so refreshing too and added another joke that I enjoyed. Hahaha!

6

The show seemed to forget sometimes that it wasn't realistic in the slightest - therefore, Captain Na was treated like a villain, when really he was just doing his job. I feel like I learned more about him than did the girls. He even got a flashback!

7
reply

Required fields are marked *

Agreed. I was worried in the beginning that they were going to make Cpt. Na bad and was so releaved to discover that he is just straight-laced and super uptight. (Side note: and super cute! )

3
8
reply

Required fields are marked *

SO CUTE

At first I felt guilty whenever I thought he's cute because he could be so apathetic/mean but IT IS WHAT IT IS HE LOOKS LIKE THAT

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I loved it every time he did that eye-roll when the prison warden acted like a Je-hyuk super fan.

7
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Haha. That was so funny. I also liked that everytime Je-Hyuk looked at the wardern during the millions of interview that he arranged, he will just send finger hearts.

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

'You're my dongsaeng, so you'll do this for me, right? Je-hyuk-ahhhhh~'
*sigh* 'Yes, hyung.'

4

You know who I thought would be bad? Capt Yoo's lawyer! Like I kept thinking he will be in cohorts with the real murderer and his politician father. I guess I don't trust kdrama lawyers!

And I didn't trust cyborg butler till like halfway through the last ep! I even thought that he was the one who put cigarettes in Min Chul's bag! Clearly, I should take a page outta Je Hyuk's life-story and learn to trust people!

7
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Haha! I didn't trust Crony at first but when they paraded like a gang in front of the other gang/group? I knew that was it. HAHAHA

At first I was scared that Capt. Yoo's lawyer would be bad too! But after a while, I realized that he's really on the good side. I guess I always doubted a person first but I'm also easily swayed that they're actually good, given some evidence. And maybe I realized that PP isn't Forest of Secrets with the ever-shifting alliances and whatnots.

6
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Lol yes! I should have realised then that he was too far gone if he was strutting with the gang!

Capt. Yoo's lawyer actually reminded me of Capt. Na a bit... maybe it was the basic look that they wore? Or maybe simply similar styling? And he was a good actor too! The casting director for WPL was really good!

Haven't watched FoS still! :( Will pick it up someday!

3

Ohhhh, I loved the parade! Captain Yoo revving the chainsaw in the preview had me so worried, and then it turned out the Cell Gang was just making a scene! XD

4

Oh, JW is not type of person that easly showing affection, skinship etc to other people. Even with his brother, he os to awkward to show his love for his bro. When he want to comfort MinChul hyung, he just take MC's hand and give him a nod as sign that everything will be OK. He need a time to slowly accept Hanyang's behavior that seem to wird, gross for him, I think that is from his background, soldier and their manly symbolism.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

These are my same thoughts from my wall. Just discovered this thread thanks to @obsessedmuch

Looney!!!! Why?!? I wanted such a happy ending for him. It was hard to see him turn back to drugs (even though that scene totally felt like entrapment). Actually, I was surprised by how much this show demonized drugs and drug users in general. I guess this shouldn’t be as much a shock knowing how Korea generally regards drugs, but this really highlighted it.

My dream Looney ending would see him sharing a cell again with Captain Yoo and they would both drive each other bonkers till released. I was really hoping he would appear in the last episode.

I loved how they portrayed Je-hyeok as a simpleton yet he had a wonderful clever side to him. The results were always shocking and funny.

6
10
reply

Required fields are marked *

The dichotomy that is Je-hyeok is that he can be super clever and yet super dumb too. So it's even funnier whenever he showcases one or the other because you know that he can also exhibit the complete opposite in the spectrum of being clever/simple. Hahaha!

3
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

The same applies for Min-chul-ssi, right? I mean, he has about fifty qualifications and doesn't know what to do with any of them! XD

5
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, oh yes. Omg when Jung-woo said that "I thought you got 700 on your English test" and Min-chul went "oops" while posed like one of 'em French girls had me busting a gut. HAHAHAHA

And Crony listening to his 3D idea and being hit because he's too honest. HAHAHA

5
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

"Oh no. Untouchable."
Kekekekekeke

5

I loved Looney. Any thoughts about the red flower he was wearing in the car? Trying to see what the show was trying to depict.

1
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Wasn’t he wearing the same jacket when he got arrested last time? That was right after their movie date.

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

It should be the same jacket, but I wonder if the flower was there. It's just that the flower and the color was so vivid in the dark when he was sitting there, I can't help but think it meant something. But like umbrellaman mentioned, it could represent something in Korean culture that we just don't know about.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

He would be wearing whatever outfit he went in wearing. So, not sure if there is a hidden meaning other than stylistic. Though, it could represent something in the Korean culture that we just don't know about.

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hmm... I thought it could be a gift from the prison guards for his release and in that case it would have contrasted well with their wishes for him to live a life free of addiction and perhaps congratulating him for surviving without drugs for 2-3 months.. dunno for sure though....

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm obsessed with the red flower! I think drug dealer gave it to him. He targeted Hanyang. I'm going bonkers. 😂

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think some of the Prison Appreciation Club hasn't found us yet. Who isn't here yet... @earthna? Anyone else?

3
9
reply

Required fields are marked *

Me! Can't believe I'm missing out, so I'm just catching up on all the discussion here. I've just rewatched the final episode again because I missed everyone, and a few thoughts occurred:

1. Regarding Yeom, is he perhaps gay? I remember in one of the earlier episodes, just before Joon-ho came and saved Je-hyuk in a knight-in-a-shining-armor moment, Yeom was grabbing Je-hyuk, touching him inappropriately and even sniffed his neck? I thought it was to humiliate Je-hyuk, but later on when he blackmailed him and asked him to "come alone" and "pay with your body", it sounds like he plans to sexually assault him. I'm so glad he got his comeuppance. Good riddance.

2. I really can't pick a favourite character, everyone shines in their own way, and I'm forever grateful for Shin Won-ho PD to always take the risk of casting lesser-known but talented actors for his projects, because it always pays off, and the audience gets introduced to new names and by the end of the drama we all have new favourites. Park Hae-soo, Lee Kyu-hyung, Park Ho-san, Kim Sung-chul are frequent flyers in the musical/theater industry but not so much in TV, so it's great that they're now more exposed to the mainstream drama viewers. It also has cemented my love for Jung Kyung-ho (Oppa!), Jung Hae-in (So cute!), Jung Woong-in (so versatile!), and Choi Moo-sung (Papa Bear!). I look forward to watching their future projects.

3. It's cute that some of the actors get to keep their real first names as their character names, examples are Captain Na (Hyung-soo) and Officer Song (Ki-doong). I see that Captain Na has accumulated some fans, but who else thinks that the CRPT captain is rather cute? He has limited screen time but his charisma suits the role so well and seems so swoon-worthy.

4. I'm still bitter about Han-yang, and how he disappointed his parents and Ji-won with one regrettable act. How is he going to face them? What's going to happen to him now, where will he get sent to? Will his new cell-mates be as accepting as the avengers? and most importantly, will he still be Looney? Even when he doesn't show up in the last episode, my thoughts are with him.

5. Je-hee's moving permanently to Gwang-ju so Joon-ho may be having a long-distance relationship. I hope it works out for them. I kind of want all four JHs to be each others' brothers and sisters in law. You know who'd be the happiest with this? Joon-dol.

6. Will Jean Valjean and Min-chul's daughter be brother and sister, or will it develop into something more? (they do look good together, I was hoping we'd see them welcoming Min-chul together when he got out). Either way, I'm happy that Min-chul now has a family to come home to.

7. When will Captain Yoo get released? How come re-trial takes so long (they say it can take up to 2 years). Jung-woo's initial sentence is for 3 years, and he has served almost a year, so what's the point, other than clearing his name? He needs to get out ASAP so...

6
7
reply