Woohoo Waikiki: Episode 1
I don’t know if I can handle the levels of cute that Woohoo Waikiki delivers in this premiere episode, all due to the cutest baby that ever existed and the three young men who are thoroughly traumatized by its sudden presence in their lives. The plot may not be complex or full of dramatic secrets and reveals, but I honestly don’t care. It’s sweet, funny, and even a bit silly, and the characters are so endearing that they tugged at my heartstrings from the very start.
EPISODE 1: “New world/A family is born”
A sun-and-fun-filled glimpse of the beautiful and exotic Hawaii morphs into a much bleaker reality — a completely trashed guesthouse in Seoul, with two slovenly friends still sleeping wherever they happened to fall after a wild bender the night before.
One of the guys, KANG DONG-GU (Kim Jung-hyun) wakes when something nasty ends up in his mouth, drinks water from a bottle that inexplicably contains several live guppies, then somehow locates his ringing phone among the party detritus. He comes instantly awake, and morosely delivers the news to his sleepy friend, BONG DOO-SHIK (Sohn Seung-won), that their water is being shut off because they haven’t paid the bill.
The shutoff happens right away, causing their third friend, LEE JOON-KI (Lee Yi-kyung) to stagger downstairs covered only by a towel and a thick layer of soap suds. Joon-ki thinks they’re playing a prank, and Doo-shik has to correct his aim when he accidentally points an accusing finger at the wall.
Dong-gu informs him that the water was shut off, and they end up fighting over who’s at fault. Joon-ki blames Dong-gu for not paying the bill, and Dong-gu blames Joon-ki because this whole guesthouse venture was his idea. They intended to make money entertaining guests to finance a film project, but it hasn’t exactly worked out.
Dong-gu is frantic because they’re already deep in debt, and not having water won’t help them bring in guests. Doo-shik tells him to stay positive, and Dong-gu leaps over the couch at him. He grumbles that he was nuts to go into business with a couple of idiots and storms upstairs, while Joon-ki cheers up Doo-shik with a naked sexy dance, hee.
Up in his room, Dong-gu is startled to hear an unfamiliar noise coming from the bed. He creeps over and slooowly pulls back the curtain, quickly shutting it again when he spies a baby staring back at him. HAHA. He opens the curtain again and screams, drawing Doo-shik and Joon-ki upstairs.
They lean in close to get a good look, and sure enough, that’s a real live baby. They guess that the baby somehow showed up when they were drunk last night, and they check the diaper bag to see if there’s a note, but there’s nothing.
They freak out when the baby starts crying, and Dong-gu is nominated to figure out what’s wrong. A quick poke into the baby’s diaper reveals the issue, and the guys freak out again at the sight of a little poop. Okay wait, I have to watch that whole scene again, that’s hilarious.
Once they’re calm, they take the baby downstairs, and again Dong-gu is chosen to lead Operation Diaper Change. He steels himself and pulls the diaper back, only to stammer in shock, “There’s… there’s nothing there. It’s a girl!” He argues that it wouldn’t be proper for him to change a girl’s diaper, and Joon-ki praises his gentlemanly manners before yelling at him to get on with it.
Eventually Dong-gu and Doo-shik get the job done while Joon-ki retches in the corner. Dong-gu claims that it was a breeze and they all laugh in relief, until they hear a loud POOT a few seconds later. BWAHAHA, this is the best.
Poor Dong-gu looks downright shell-shocked by the time the baby is changed and strapped to his chest, because she keeps crying no matter what he does. He wants to take her to the police, but the guys think they should wait a day in case her parents come back.
Dong-gu stands to ease the pain in his back from carrying the baby, and she immediately stops crying. Relieved, he sits back down, but she starts wailing again (and awww, she pouts at him like he just destroyed her tiny world). She stops when Dong-gu stands up again, ha.
He begs Joon-ki and Doo-shik to switch with him, but they both suddenly remember that they have to be anywhere else. Left alone, Dong-gu gets a call from his girlfriend asking him to meet with her right away.
Her name is MIN SOO-AH (Lee Joo-woo), and she’s working as a model to try to pay off some loans. She’s surprised when Dong-gu shows up with a baby, but she just wishes him good luck with that and breaks up with him.
He wants to know why, but she says it will take too long to tell him all the reasons. He insists, so Soo-ah launches into a long, detailed list of every single one of his faults until his head swims (highlights being immaturity, incompetence, and the noise he makes when he eats).
Eventually Dong-gu stops her and asks if she ever loved him. She says she did, but love isn’t enough. She offers his couple ring back, but Dong-gu blusters that he doesn’t want it, and even flings his own ring across the room.
Joon-ki is an aspiring actor, and he arrives at the set of a movie where he’s been cast as an extra. He gets a chance to meet the star (cameo by Park Sung-woong), and he’s mystified when all Park Sung-woong does is point at him.
Joon-ki’s PD friend informs him that it meant he likes Joon-ki’s eyes. He warns him that Park Sung-woong doesn’t speak much, and gets annoyed when people don’t understand him. It happens again while they’re filming their fight scene — Park Sung-woong stops everything and points to Joon-ki standing in the middle of the extras.
Joon-ki has no clue what’s happening, and Park Sung-woong just keeps pointing, growing angrier and angrier until he finally walks off the set. Joon-ki’s friend barks that he was telling Joon-ki to take a step back, and Joon-ki wonders how he was supposed to know that when a few minutes ago, the pointing meant he has nice eyes.
Joon-ki is still in a bad mood that evening when he runs into Doo-shik, on his way home from his part-time job at a convenience store (and eating expired tuna kimbap, hurl). He tells Doo-shik about Park Sung-woong’s odd quirk of not talking, but Doo-shik annoys him by knowing exactly what the pointing means when Joon-ki acts it out, ha.
They find a very depressed Dong-gu at home, bouncing the baby as he tells them that Soo-ah broke up with him. Joon-ki immediately guesses that Soo-ah is ready to get married but Dong-gu obviously has no future, ignoring Doo-shik’s attempts to get him to shut up. Dong-gu tells them how he told Soo-ah he doesn’t need her and dramatically tossed his ring away, and the guys yell at him for throwing away perfectly valuable gold.
They want to keep the baby one more day, but Dong-gu says they can take care of her for a while and turns around so they can unfasten the carrier. Joon-ki and Doo-shik run off instead and lock themselves in a room, Dong-gu hot on their heels. He threatens to get the hammer and break the door down, and they open the door just long enough to brandish the hammer at him and scream (LOL). He’s still there in the morning, guarding the door, but when he opens it, Doo-shik and Joon-ki have escaped out the window.
He gets another call, and this time it’s bad news about the electricity. He asks the baby what he should do, and her gaze fixes on his hand and gives him an idea.
He heads back to the photography studio to search for his ring, scouring the break room with no luck. When Soo-ah shows up for work, Dong-gu pretends that he came to talk to her about politics, lol. He keeps looking around the room as he stalls for time, and he finally spots his ring in a potted plant.
Unfortunately, Soo-ah buys his story, and she launches into a long-winded opinion about nuclear weapons. Dong-gu manages to snatch up the ring when she briefly looks away, and he rushes out, leaving his cell phone behind.
He runs to a jewelry shop and drops the ring (and a handful of dirt) on the counter. Soo-ah catches up and finds him, and she asks if this is really why he came to her studio this morning. Dong-gu guiltily explains that he needs the money to pay bills, and instead of getting angry, Soo-ah gives him her ring to sell, too.
Joon-ki gets to the movie set to find Park Sung-woong apparently telling the whole crew about his misunderstanding, and they all laugh as though his series of points makes perfect sense. Joon-ki approaches him to offer an apology, and Park Sung-woong points at him again. Taking a chance, Joon-ki thanks him for forgiving him, and Park Sung-woong stands and pats his shoulder. Success!
Today the fight scene goes smoothly, and Joon-ki gets another point when he thanks Park Sung-woong. This time he thanks Park Sung-woong for the compliment and earns another shoulder-pat. Park Sung-woong is in such a good mood that he points to Joon-ki’s friend, which obviously means he’s treating everyone to beef.
At dinner, Joon-ki excuses himself to the restroom, and Park Sung-woong comes in right after him. He points to his own cheek, indicating that there’s a grain of rice stuck to Joon-ki’s face, but Joon-ki doesn’t understand this one. Taking a wild guess, Joon-ki leans in and kisses Park Sung-woong on the cheek. Best. Cameo. Ever.
Back at the guesthouse, Joon-ki slams his head on the table repeatedly as Dong-gu explains to Doo-shik that his acting career is over. Joon-ki explains in turn that Dong-gu got caught selling his couple ring, but Dong-gu moans that he couldn’t bring himself to sell the rings.
Joon-ki sighs that they’re pathetic, and they all collapse on the couch in despair. Dong-gu says they should just give up on the guesthouse, but Doo-shik argues that they’re supposed to make money, make a film, and go to Cannes.
Joon-ki agrees that this isn’t working, but he wonders what they should do about the baby. Oh right, that little thing. Dong-gu says that her parents obviously abandoned her, and they should take her to the police now.
Doo-shik thinks they should feed the baby first, but they’re out of her formula, so they head to the store. There’s one can of formula left, and Dong-gu sets it down while they discuss whether they have enough money.
A woman grabs the can of formula while they’re talking, so Dong-gu politely tells her that they were going to buy that. She says it’s hers because she picked it up, but Dong-gu grabs the can, and they both tug on it until a store employee shows up.
The employee tells the guys to give up the formula because they’re younger, and Dong-gu completely loses it. He yells that they’re doing their best but nothing ever works out, and Doo-shik jumps in to list all the improvements they made to the guesthouse.
Even Joon-ki bellows that they can give up on everything else, but not that formula, and he snatches it back with a loud war cry. They walk home triumphantly, raising the formula to the sky in victory.
Joon-ki and Doo-shik cackle dramatically until Dong-gu asks if they’re filming a movie, and they complain that he’s such a moodkiller. They tell the baby not to forget how her oppas got food for her, hee.
The adorable tyke attracts four young women, and Joon-ki spots their suitcases and guesses that they’re foreigners on holiday. He perks up when they say they don’t have anywhere to stay yet. Before long the guesthouse is filled with the girls and their friends, and Dong-gu realizes that they have enough money to pay both the water and electricity bills.
In a great mood, the guys head downstairs where Joon-ki is taking care of the baby. Dong-gu is grossed out by Joon-ki’s baby talk, which of course just makes him do it even more, until Dong-gu pounces on Joon-ki to make him stop.
They leave the baby on the couch for a moment while they go to the kitchen to make her a bottle, and they wonder what they’ll do if her parents don’t come back for her. Joon-ki thinks she’s good luck and wants to keep her, but Dong-gu says that’s nonsense.
When they get back to the living room, the baby is gone, and they catch a glimpse of a black-clad figure running out of the house with the baby. The guys give chase without even thinking, following the kidnapper through a marketplace and up and down alleyways.
At one point they split up, and it’s Joon-ki who finally catches up to the kidnapper. He rips off the kidnapper’s hoodie, only to find himself face-to-face with a pretty young woman. He’s immediately all manners, politely introducing himself.
They take the young woman, HAN YOON-AH (Jung In-sun), back to the guesthouse where they learn that she’s the baby’s mother. She cries and apologizes for leaving her little girl, whose name is SOL. Doo-shik asks why she left her baby there, where the baby’s father is, and where she lives, but Yoon-ah is crying too hard to answer his questions.
Dong-gu snaps at her to answer so they can take her home, and Joon-ki snaps at him to back off. Doo-shik invites Yoon-ah to spend the night, and when Dong-gu argues that the rooms are full, Doo-shik says that she can use Dong-gu’s sister’s room since she’ll be studying at the library all night.
Dong-gu still objects, but Joon-ki tells Yoon-ah that he’s just cranky because he got dumped. Dong-gu snarls that it was mutual and stomps off to the roof, where he stares glumly at the couple rings. Meanwhile, Joon-ki shows Yoon-ah to her room for the night, where she hugs little Sol and bursts into tears.
In the middle of the night, a woman stumbles into the room where the mother and baby are sleeping. She peels off her shirt and climbs into bed, then screams bloody murder when she realizes she’s not alone. She leaps out of bed and grabs a hanger, brandishing it at the intruder.
Summoned by the commotion, all three guys burst into the room, but they relax when they see that it’s just KANG SEO-JIN (Go Won-hee), Dong-gu’s sister, who came home early. Joon-ki introduces Seo-jin to Yoon-ah, but he gets distracted mid-sentence when he realizes that Seo-jin is in her bra, hee.
Everyone relocates to the living room for explanations, and Seo-jin is super polite to Yoon-ah until she’s told that she’ll have to share her bed. She argues that she can’t sleep with someone else in bed with her, but the guys just snap at her to deal with it and go back to bed.
Forced to share Seo-jin’s bed, it’s adorable how Seo-jin and Yoon-ah toss and turn and end up draped all over each other. It’s a bit awkward in the morning, but Yoon-ah politely reassures Seo-jin that she only farted a few times.
At breakfast, Joon-ki and Doo-shik invite Yoon-ah to stay longer since she has nowhere to go, but Dong-gu loudly objects. Yoon-ah insists that she doesn’t want to bother them, but her stomach growls loud enough for everyone to hear, so they convince her to stay for breakfast.
She must not have eaten in a while, because she stuffs her face eagerly. Sol starts crying, but Yoon-ah figures she’s just hungry and yanks up her shirt to breastfeed. PWAHAHA, everyone in the room suddenly finds the ceiling extremely fascinating, though Joon-ki accidentally gets a good look and walks into the wall.
They retreat to the hall, and Yoon-ah announces worriedly that Sol isn’t suckling. She declines Doo-shik’s offer of formula because Sol has a weak immune system and must be breastfed for her first year. She thinks that she could pump some milk, but she doesn’t have a breast pump.
Joon-ki asks what a breast pump is, then leaps into Dong-gu’s arms when Yoon-ah turns to face them with her shirt still hiked up. She tells them that you can buy pumps at baby stores, but they’re expensive. Joon-ki wails that he’ll buy her one if she just turns her back.
Joon-ki is still shocked from the sight of Yoon-ah’s bare breast when he and Dong-gu get to the baby store. Dong-gu stops to play with a sweater on a mannequin, mystified by the weird zippers in the sides. A saleswoman pops up (cameo by Jung Soo-young) to cheerfully inform him that the zippers are to make it easier for a breastfeeding mother to expose her breasts.
A few minutes later, that same saleswoman finds Joon-ki, and she explains in excruciating detail what the breastfeeding pad he’s holding is used for. Poor guy somehow manages to stammer that he’s looking for a breast pump.
At the guesthouse, Seo-jin desperately tries to think of something to say to Yoon-ah, so she decides to compliment the baby and says that he’s a prince. Yoon-ah informs her that Sol is a girl, so Seo-jin chirps that her daddy must adore her, only for Yoon-ah to say they broke up. Whomp whomp.
Trying to recover the situation, Seo-jin says that being a single mother isn’t that bad, because the baby’s grandparents can just love her twice as much. Yoon-ah: “They died in a fire when I was two.” Seo-jin wisely stops talking.
Dong-gu and Joon-ki are subjected to a painfully thorough lesson in how breast pumps work. Dong-gu goes glassy-eyed, and Joon-ki looks like he may throw up, ha. Finally Joon-ki begs the saleswoman to just sell them one and stop explaining.
As they leave, Dong-gu spots Soo-ah walking nearby and teleports several feet to hide behind a pillar. Joon-ki says that if he still has feelings for her then he needs to beg her to take him back. He warns Dong-gu that he’ll regret it if he doesn’t, then heads off home, leaving Dong-gu behind.
Deciding that Joon-ki has a point, Dong-gu follows Soo-ah to a park and approaches her. He gets on his knees to apologize for trying to sell their couple rings, but before she sees him, a man shows up to take her on a date. Cue actual needle-scratch, lol.
Thinking fast, Dong-gu hits the pavement face-down and refuses to get up when Soo-ah’s date worries that he’s sick. The guy tries to get Dong-gu to lift his face, but he just groans and shakes his head.
When Joon-ki gets home, Seo-jin throws herself at him like he’s been gone for years. He gives Yoon-ah the breast pump, then flings himself backwards over the couch when she whips her shirt up again. Unfortunately, Yoon-ah quickly realizes that the pump won’t work because her mammary glands are clogged up from not nursing for a couple of days.
She tells the traumatized Joon-ki and Seo-jin that massage would help, so Joon-ki makes a call, but the therapist is booked for the next week. He tells Seo-jin to do it but she says he’s nuts, and he admits that he’d be happy to do it for a living if he could but Seo-jin is the only option.
Dong-gu is committed to staying hidden from Soo-ah, so he keeps his nose to the ground until her date calls for an ambulance. As soon as he gets a chance, he flings his shirt over his face and makes a run for it. He can’t see where he’s going so he ends up right back where he started, but he keeps running, tripping over benches and food carts until he finally escapes. Smooth.
Seeing how much pain Yoon-ah is in, Seo-jin resigns herself to her fate. She dons a pair of rubber gloves and goes into the bedroom where Yoon-ah waits, and reaches out with shaking hands. Joon-ki paces in the hall until he hears a shriek, and Seo-jin exits the room with wet hair, comparing the experience to striking oil. Gross.
Things are much calmer by the time Dong-gu drags himself home, looking like he literally dragged himself home. Everyone tells him that Yoon-ah and the baby left, but he thinks they’re acting suspicious. They hear a baby cry, and Yoon-ah comes out to announce that she’s clogged up again, so Joon-ki tries to pretend she’s someone else entirely (calling her In-sun, the actress’s real name, heh).
Dong-gu attacks, and Joon-ki appeals to his compassion, but Dong-gu snaps that he doesn’t have any such thing. He struggles to get at Yoon-ah but the others latch onto him, begging him to let her and Sol stay. Joon-ki yells to Yoon-ah to run as they all topple over in a heap.
So much cute, I don’t even know where to start! I already love these weirdos so much. I was smitten the moment the guys found little Sol and fell apart, and I would have been all-in even if that was all we got. But I was surprised to like the ladies just as much once they entered the story. They’re all just so odd and flaily and hapless, it’s amazing they manage to dress and feed themselves every day. But no matter how much having a baby around scares them and makes them uncomfortable, they still do whatever it takes to give her what she needs, whether it’s a diaper change, or an awkward breast massage so she can eat. I can already see them forming a sweet little family centered around that adorable baby, and I’m not sure my poor heart can handle it.
Honestly, the only thing cuter than baby Sol is her mother, Yoon-ah. We know almost nothing about her other than that she’s a single mother with no family or place to live, but she seems very naive for someone who’s been through so much, which is probably why Joon-ki feels so protective of her already. I really hope her story doesn’t turn out to be any more tragic than just a series of bad circumstances, because I don’t feel as though the show needs it. I’ll be perfectly happy if what we see is what we get, and we can just enjoy the cuteness as these six people start to become a family.
In a way, the Waikiki boys remind me of the three bears from the fairy tale, with Yoon-ah — and Sol by extension — as their unexpected Goldilocks. As the “papa bear” of the group (although they mentioned that Joon-ki is actually the oldest), Dong-gu was incredibly grumpy even before his break-up. I’m not sure why he’s so prickly, but the way baby Sol looked at him just melted my heart, and I can’t wait to see her turn him into a responsible adult whether he likes it or not. Joon-ki is definitely the mama bear, always first to feed their hungry guest or get her whatever she needs, even if it makes him uncomfortable. And Doo-shik is undoubtedly the baby bear, a bit innocent and easily startled. In the story, the bears chase Goldilocks away — but here they take her in and care for her, and I’m eager to see where the show goes from here.
I think I officially fell in love when the guys’ breaking point turned out to be the fight for a can of formula — after their horrible day, the formula became a symbol of the unfairness of it all. But they fought and they won, and that formula came to stand for their tenacity in the face of this cruel world, giving them a renewed sense of determination. How can you not love that? Plus, I like the idea that Sol will give them something more concrete and real to work towards than “someday we’ll make a movie and be famous.”
This is probably the funniest premiere I’ve seen in ages, and there were several scenes I had to watch multiple times because they just kept cracking me up. I gotta give the show credit for not letting its humor devolve too far into crudity — with a plot centered around a baby, it would be way too easy to fall back on poop jokes, which can get really old, really fast. But after that one obligatory diaper-changing scene, it kept things a bit more “clean,” so to speak. I thought that the breastfeeding dilemma was handled in a really cute way, and was embarrassingly funny without being too graphic. The guys were playing up their trauma a bit, but it didn’t feel over-the-top to the point that it was uncomfortable to watch, so I just found their understandable upset over being in this situation amusing, but not overblown.
I was expecting Woohoo Waikiki to be fun, fluffy, and a little bit silly, and that’s exactly what we got, but it’s somehow even better than that. It’s all about the characters, who really aren’t all that unique, nor do they seem to have hidden secrets or deep dark pasts. Yet each and every one of them is endearing in their own special way. I think this will be one of those shows that can just rely on its adorable characters and the wonderful actors who bring them to life, without having to add in much drama or conflict, and we’ll still adore every minute.