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Boyfriend: Episode 1

One word: gorgeous. tvN’s new romance about a pair of lonely souls who find each other in an unlikely place is absolutely breathtaking, whether you’re talking about the cinematography or the wistful, dreamy feel of its story. These two already have a lot to overcome if they’re going to be together, and I predict that it will be equally lovely and painful to watch.

 
EPISODE 1 RECAP

A flurry of news sounds bites quickly tell us of CHA JONG-HYUN, the mayor of Seoul, and his beautiful, nationally-beloved daughter CHA SOO-HYUN (Song Hye-gyo). They appear to be the perfect political power-family. Soo-hyun married the son of a prominent businessman, but the marriage ended after only two years, leaving Soo-hyun with only a floundering hotel as alimony.

She laments her agreement to attend yet another birthday party for CHAIRWOMAN KIM (Cha Hwa-yeon), her former mother-in-law, which was apparently part of the divorce agreement. She arrives, and Chairwoman Kim compliments her suit (which she’d picked out for Soo-hyun), but criticizes her choice of purse.

Soo-hyun’s ex-husband JUNG WOO-SEOK (Jang Seung-jo) seems annoyed that Soo-hyun has made her hotel successful enough that she’s opening another one in Cuba. She asks him to get remarried so she can stop going to these parties, especially since he’s the one who met someone else and asked for the divorce, but he gloats that his mother will keep her claws in Soo-hyun forever.

On the ride home, DRIVER NAM (Go Chang-seok) tells Soo-hyun that when he and her father were in school, they once decided to play hooky and went to Namsan Tower. He wants to take Soo-hyun there now, but she sighs at the news article that’s already been posted online about her appearance at the party, and she says that she’s had enough of reporters taking her picture for one day.

A young man we’ll come to know as KIM JIN-HYUK (Park Bo-gum) strolls through the backstreets of Cuba, taking pictures of the locals going about their daily lives. He lets himself through an open gate leading to a huge empty house, and he wanders outside to find a lush, expansive backyard.

A man finds Jin-hyuk and says it’s just an old garden, but that once it belonged to his wife. He says that her love started here and ended here, and Jin-hyuk smiles. He seems like the kind of guy who finds joy and beauty in even the smallest things.

Soo-hyun and Secretary Jang are in Cuba on business concerning the new hotel. Secretary Jang is annoyed when their Cuban driver texts and talks on his phone while driving, and sure enough, he nearly hits a pedestrian and swerves the car. It slams into the cafe table where Jin-hyuk happens to be sitting, missing him by mere inches.

Soo-hyun sends Secretary Jang to talk to Jin-hyuk, who moans sadly that he’s fine, but his camera is broken. Secretary Jang offers to replace the camera, but Jin-hyuk turns her down, saying that it was a gift from when he was born. The car is blocking traffic, so Secretary Jang gives Jin-hyuk her card and he promises to call her.

The following day, Soo-hyun gives a speech to the press about the new Donghwa Hotel. Afterward, she’s distracted by a commercial on television showing the famous El Malecon Beach sunset.

Jin-hyuk is sitting on a wall, reading, when a street performer strikes up some music. An adorable little girl asks him to dance, so he shyly complies.

Soo-hyun asks Secretary Jang if she compensated the guy with the camera so he won’t become a problem. Secretary Jang replies that he’s refusing the offer of a new camera so she wants to offer him money, and Soo-hyun looks out the window just as they pass the very man in question, still dancing in the street with the little girl. She says with a tiny smile, “He won’t take money.”

Secretary Jang wants to try out a local restaurant for dinner, but Soo-hyun says that she’s going to take a sleeping pill and go to bed, to help adapt to the time difference. She tells Secretary Jang that she’ll skip dinner and eat a “high-quality breakfast,” and Secretary Jang backs down with an amused grin, appearing to know what that means.

But before Soo-hyun takes that sleeping pill, she notices a postcard on her dresser with a picture of the El Malecon Beach sunset. She calls Secretary Jang, who’s let her hair down at the poolside bar. Soo-hyun invites her to go to El Malecon Beach, but Secretary Jang says it’s a place to visit with a lover, and that she’s off the clock anyway.

When Soo-hyun grouchily asks if it’s worth losing her job, Secretary Jang shouts that it’s an empty threat since Soo-hyun won’t accept her resignation anyway. She whines that she just wants to have some fun, so Soo-hyun snaps at her to have fun as she flies home in economy class, ha.

The hotel concierge hails Soo-hyun a taxi to El Malecon Beach, telling her that it’s the perfect place to fall in love. The taxi is about a zillion years old and breaks down on the way to the beach, so the driver points her to the ferry instead.

Nearby, Jin-hyuk is testing out his broken camera when he accidentally captures Soo-hyun in the background of a shot. He seems a little mesmerized as he watches her walking along the ocean. She takes the ferry, then has a long walk to the beach, and along the way she stops to rest. Her purse is stolen by a pair of young men, and she’s so tired that all she can do is gape in disbelief.

With no other option, Soo-hyun continues on to the beach, and when she comes upon some street musicians with an audience sitting along a wall overlooking the water, she decides to stop. She fights to stay awake as the sleeping pill begins to catch up with her, but she loses the battle and tips forward, in danger of falling.

Someone grabs her just in time — it’s Jin-hyuk. Soo-hyun just slurs that she’s sleepy and falls asleep on his shoulder. Jin-hyuk looks down in time to see Soo-hyun’s shoe slide off her foot and fall all the way to the pavement below, but he’s helpless to do anything with Soo-hyun fast asleep beside him.

Back at the hotel, Secretary Jang decides to check on Soo-hyun when she stops answering her phone. Worried, she checks with the concierge, who tells her that Soo-hyun took a taxi to see the sunset at El Malecon Beach.

Soo-hyun wakes up, still leaning on Jin-hyuk, as the sun begins to set. She looks up at him sleepily for a moment, and he stares back, before she realizes their faces are only inches apart and backs away.

He tells her that she’s been asleep for an hour, and that he caught her before she fell, but that her shoe slipped off. He starts to go, but Soo-hyun sheepishly asks him to help her get her shoe back. As he turns to fetch her shoe, she marvels at the sunset, which is even more beautiful than in the pictures.

They forget all about the wayward shoe as Soo-hyun gazes at the sunset, and Jin-hyuk gazes at her. He pulls out his phone and some earbuds, telling her that the view is twice as lovely with music. Soo-hyun listens as she watches the ocean, and the people gathering to enjoy the beautiful evening.

She thinks about her hectic, politics-heavy life back home. Jin-hyuk realizes that she’s having an emotional moment, so he quietly slips away to get her shoe, thinking that she seems familiar.

Soo-hyun offers to repay him for his help, but Jin-hyuk says that it’s enough that his shoulder got lucky on his last night in Cuba, ha. She asks if he has any money, and he asks how much she needs, so she says just enough for a beer. She’s serious, but Jin-hyuk laughingly says that she’s adorable.

He tells her to sit tight while he goes to get the beer, thankful that he’s got a few dollars left in his pocket. After he goes, Soo-hyun grins at the idea of being seen as adorable and wonders how old Jin-hyuk is.

As they drink together, Jin-hyuk asks Soo-hyun how she ended up here, asleep with no money. She tells him that she took a sleeping pill but then saw a picture of this place, and that someone stole all her money. Jin-hyuk offers to help her catch a taxi back to her hotel, and he gallantly holds out his arm to assist her down from the wall.

She’s got a blister from her heels, so Jin-hyuk suggests she just go barefoot, insisting that the people in his neighborhood do it all the time. Soo-hyun can’t bring herself to do it, so Jin-hyuk offers her his battered old sneakers. But Soo-hyun asks if it’s true that he knows lots of people who go barefoot, and, enchanted by the evening, she joins him in kicking off her shoes.

As they walk, Jin-hyuk tells Soo-hyun that he sells fruit, and though he seems surprised when she calls him a fruit vendor, he agrees that that’s what he is. She’s surprised that his camera still works since it’s twenty-eight years old, and he says that it’s always taken great pictures… until today.

He tells Soo-hyun that his father’s friend had a photography studio, and that he gave his father this camera to take photos of newborn Jin-hyuk. His father was too busy providing for his family to take many pictures, but he always treasured the camera, so when Jin-hyuk was in school, he used the camera to take pictures of his parents.

He stops when they get to the main road and offers to buy Soo-hyun some sandals from a street vendor, since the road here isn’t clean. In his enthusiasm, he grabs Soo-hyun’s wrist, but she’s startled so he drops it and apologizes for being rude. Soo-hyun says it’s okay and looks at the sandals, promising to pay Jin-hyuk back for everything later.

She tells him to choose any sandals, since she only has to wear them long enough to get back to her hotel. He seems a little overwhelmed, but he finds a pair that he likes and holds them up nervously, and it makes him happy when Soo-hyun accepts them and slides them on.

They continue on, and when Soo-hyun asks if Jin-hyuk still has some money, he says that he has enough to feed her. They stop at a local place to eat, and Soo-hyun muses that the food is better than at her hotel. She notices a poster advertising a salsa show at a nearby club, and she asks Jin-hyuk if he has enough money left to buy tickets.

He hesitates, then checks his bag, and Soo-hyun laughs when she sees that he’s down to just a few dollars. Jin-hyuk puts the money away, pouting that it’s not funny, but she protests that she only laughed because he’s adorable, like he did to her earlier. He grins and jokes that it’s a young boy’s money, and when Soo-hyun grumbles at his implication that she’s old, he charms her out of it by reminding her of the salsa show.

At first Soo-hyun seems taken aback by the raucous show. The audience gets up to dance, and Jin-hyuk pulls a shy Soo-hyun onto the dance floor. She lets herself go and takes Jin-hyuk’s outstretched hands, and before long they’re dancing and laughing like they haven’t got a care in the world.

Afterward, Soo-hyun asks for Jin-hyuk’s phone number so she can contact him and pay him back for tonight. He tells her to think of his help as simply a kind gesture, and when she insists, Jin-hyuk jokes that he’ll look like he had an ulterior motive of getting a beautiful lady’s number if he lets her pay him back.

They grow a little awkward as they locate a taxi, both seeming hesitant to say goodbye. Finally Jin-hyuk asks if Soo-hyun is free to buy him breakfast in the morning. He says that he’d consider her debt paid, and that he has something to ask her, but he wants time to refine the question.

Soo-hyun says she doesn’t know her schedule for tomorrow yet, so Jin-hyuk says that he’ll wait for half an hour, then leave if she doesn’t show. He puts her in the taxi and waves her off, and they both take one last look as she rides away. Jin-hyuk only now realizes that he still has Soo-hyun’s heels, but he figures he’ll return them when he sees her in the morning.

Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun both settle into their respective hotel rooms, big stupid grins on their faces as they think about the evening they shared.

In the morning, Soo-hyun learns that the owner of the building they’re converting into the new hotel wants a written clause added to the contract saying that the garden won’t be altered — ah, she must be buying the building that Jin-hyuk visited. Someone is on the way to sign the new contract, but Soo-hyun grows nervous as it gets closer to the time she’s supposed to meet Jin-hyuk.

Jin-hyuk shows up early to the cafe, and he waits over an hour past the time they agreed on. After an hour and a half, he has to leave to catch his plane, but he leaves a note behind on the cafe’s bulletin board.

At the airport, Jin-hyuk spots Soo-hyun not far away, but he also sees Secretary Jang with her. Soo-hyun sees Jin-hyuk too, but something stops them from saying anything, and they just nod awkwardly to each other. After one last hopeful pause, Jin-hyuk realizes that Soo-hyun isn’t going to approach, and he walks away.

He’s waiting for his departure when Soo-hyun does approach, and awww, the happy look on his face is gorgeous. She apologizes for not meeting him this morning, and for not telling him that she already knew who he was last night. She offers to have him upgraded to business class as compensation for his generosity last night.

Looking uncomfortable, Jin-hyuk explains that he worked a part-time job for a year to save up for this trip, and that he wanted to see how far he could travel on what he’d earned. He says that even though the long flight is uncomfortable, it’s also part of the experience.

He asks Soo-hyun to understand why he wants to end his trip as planned, so she says that she’ll consider her debt paid. She walks away, and Jin-hyuk watches her go, looking deeply disappointed.

Soo-hyun seems fine, but she thinks back to two hours ago, when she’d shown up at the cafe just minutes after Jin-hyuk left. When she didn’t see him there, she’d left without seeing his note. Now she asks Secretary Jang to find a camera identical to Jin-hyuk’s that they broke, reminding her to be respectful that his original camera has great sentimental value.

Jin-hyuk still has Secretary Jang’s business card, and after landing in Korea, he does an internet search for Donghwa Hotel. He’s a little awed to see that Soo-hyun is the CEO of the hotel that’s about to expand to Cuba. As he watches Soo-hyun leaving the baggage area, he gets a call from a Donghwa Hotel employee informing him that he passed his final interview.

He can still see Soo-hyun as she walks past the window where he stands, and he considers hanging up without accepting the job.

Epilogue.

When Jin-hyuk sat down at the outdoor cafe table, a man had asked him if he’d mind moving, since it was his regular table. Jin-hyuk had been happy to comply, and had moved to the table where he would soon meet Soo-hyun.

 
COMMENTS

What a lovely drama this is looking to be. I particularly enjoy the slow burn of the story — this first episode felt unrushed and languid, as if there’s a tale to tell but no hurry to tell it. The cinematography was absolutely breathtaking, with saturated colors and soft edges combining to create a dreamlike feel, so dreamlike in fact that I nodded off once or twice while watching. I mean that in the best possible way! There’s nothing boring about Soo-hyun and Jin-hyuk’s romance, it’s just that the show has this relaxing quality to it that made me feel pleasantly comfortable. I know it’s too much to hope that things will feel the same after leaving Cuba, but I really hope the show finds a way to continue the magical aura now that our hero and heroine are back in Korea.

I really have high hopes that the director will continue to tell a lovely visual story as well as a lovely romantic one, because the way that colors and camera angles were used to create certain moods was just masterful. The scenes in Cuba were rich with warm colors and soft lighting, while the scenes of Soo-hyun’s unhappy home life were washed out and sharp. This was used to particularly dramatic effect when Soo-hyun was watching the sunset and remembered her life back home, and suddenly everything went from comfortable and cozy to stark and cold. It’s rare that a drama moves me as much from the visual artistry as the acting and story, but I think this will be one of those dramas.

That’s not to say that the story and acting aren’t great, and goodness knows that our leads make a strong contribution the visual impact of Boyfriend. Both Song Hye-gyo and Park Bo-gum are ridiculously beautiful, but more importantly, they’re experienced, nuanced actors who know how to build a scene around a feeling or a significant moment even when there’s no dialogue. In fact, Soo-hyun and Jin-hyuk seem to be the sort of people who don’t use many words unless absolutely necessary. And that gets me as excited about this show as anything else, because nothing is more lovely than watching two people who don’t need to talk to fall in love.

Aside from the beautiful look and feel of the show, I found myself drawn to the characters relatively quickly. Part of that is my admiration of Song Hye-gyo and Park Bo-gum as actors, but the characters themselves are just incredibly interesting people. Jin-hyuk is not wild and irresponsible like I was anticipating after hearing the character descriptions, but instead seems to be very wise and insightful, but a little insecure and with different priorities in life than the mainstream. Soo-hyun is quiet and reserved, always doing what’s expected of her and never rocking the boat… but that seems to be more a product of self-preservation after living her life in the spotlight (including her disastrous marriage) than her true personality. There were moments when she showed great insight, like how she knew that Jin-hyuk wouldn’t take money from her, or her mostly-hidden wicked sense of humor, such as when she threatened to fire Secretary Jang for not hanging out with her. I’m very much looking forward to seeing Soo-hyun’s true personality blossom as Jin-hyuk’s carefree and open nature begins to influence her.

I can already tell that these two are going to break my heart in all the most painful and wonderful ways. They liked each other so much on the night they spent together, but they each also showed a lot of insecurity and uncertainty, too. That first scene at the airport was awful, the way it was so obvious that they were happy to see each other but too nervous or scared to admit it. Thank goodness Jin-hyuk figured out who Soo-hyun is, and he may even be her employee soon, but I’m afraid of what the future holds once they realize what a huge social and financial chasm stretches between them. Their love story will be epic and painful, but I’m totally ready to dive right in and see where this takes them.

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My god even his breathing is gorgeous lol

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True. Park bo gum = gorgeous

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When he smiles, it is like he is opening the doors of the whole world to us! 😍
I have never watched him as the lead, but I like him very much.
Just like Lollypip says, this story will be both, epic and painful. 😓

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Everything's fine and pretty and all but what I don't understand and buy is, how come somebody goes through all the stages of a recruitment process and passes final interview for a job without looking up the company website and about the owner? Jin Hyuk seemed to be shocked to learn Soo Hyun's the CEO of the company he interviewed for :/

This was not a difficult info to find, esp. when just a mere googling about the hotel told him who the CEO was.

Found this very weird.

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I also dint know my cmpany ceo until i get my job haha

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Me too!
I never bother to look for :D

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Didn't he think she looked vaguely familiar and wondered if she was a celebrity? So he probably did look up the company before the first round interview, but it just didn't click when he met her in person.

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it could have been that fleeting moment when he saw her in the car! but even that may have been too fleeting.

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In Korea and Japan where it is so competitive to find a job for fresh grads ( cue dozens of dramas on civil examination taking and rigorous job hunting) . I doubt u can remember the faces of the CEOs in all 20 job interview you went for or the even 2-3 shortlisted ones. Especially when they are wearing red dress and lipsticks. LOL

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He did say she looked familiar. Perhaps she looked different in real life when compared to the pictures he saw of her.

Or maybe it's the red dress hehe.

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I only found out the name of my CEO 1 year after i joined my company so... not that weird lol.

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How is that weird? I mean forget the CEO, I don't even know the name of the director in my area 😂 What is familiarising myself with the board of directors gonna do for me? I just go to work and do my job then go home. It really isn't that deep.

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I don't bother looking at the CEO either lol. from my many many interview experience, normally looking up potential interviewers and company direction/message/products are enough. a lot of times there arent even photos of CEO on websites, so it isn't strange at all.

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To tell the truth, I'm horrible at placing people after meeting them several times. It's like a memory-gap. 😅

I know a person A in a client's place as one of the managers. Met her several times and chatted. Then out of the blue, I see person A in my home shopping area and I blank out. I just say er, "Hi!' and person's name escapes me!!! Because she's in the 'wrong' setting. LOL.

Jin Hyuk must have seen photos of the daughter of the politician on TV, but he'd never have expected to meet her in Cuba, walking the streets alone. So, there's that 'memory-gap'. 😉

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i also dint know my CEO company until i get my job, maybe its a kind of weir in Korea, but i dont know, i think his rol doesnt worry about this thinks, but in the real life its a fact. We dont serch the picture of the CEO and memorice him, not if you are in a pleassure trip.

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I dont find it unusual tho, I don't know our CEO too until he was introduced to us. When you are looking for a job, the HR people are the one handling the interview.

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I totally agree about the visual artistry and the wonderful ability of the production team to set the mood of the story with cinematography, transitions and even music cues.

I was swept up in Jin Hyuk and Soo Hyun’s characters almost immediately and I’m totally onboard with this soft and slow romance. Part of it is that Park Bo Gum and song Hye Kyo are excellent actors, but the writing helped them a lot too. I’m relieved because I heard that this writer’s previously dramas weren’t good (although her movies were?). But if the rest of the show goes the way of the first two episodes, then I’m positive this show will land in my top five for 2018.

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Woohoo, LollyPip! Thanks for recapping!

I quite enjoyed this first episode. PBG seems to be playing himself, as far as I can tell from watching him in variety. I like Song Hyegyo's character a lot -- she is still kind even though she's the chaebol CEO, and she's good enough friends with her secretary to have her yell at her boss in banmal, lol.

And just a PSA, people: don't take a sleeping pill and go sit on a high wall (unless PBG is in the vicinity).

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After watching episode 2, this was EXACTLY what I was thinking. Did the writer write about PGB? LOL

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Wow I’m sold. I had my reservations about this drama after hearing the casting. With such big names as Song Hye Kyo and Park Bo Gum there was a lot of anticipation for this drama. Personally, I love the two actors individually, but I wasn’t sure how I felt about seeing them as an OTP. However, after watching the first episode, with the way they acted and the writing, I’m sold. The first episode was indeed beautiful! Also, even though the writer and director are different I can’t help but make comparisons with Something in the Rain, since it is also a recent noona romance. Since I’ve been burned with that drama I feel as if I’m holding my breath while watching, waiting for the crazy mother to pop out. And we all know she’s coming. Hopefully the good start of this drama doesn’t go downhill like SITR!!!

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Yeah, pretty noona was indeed a great disappointment. But wait, this is not the same writer, is he/her??? 😱

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Yep it’s not the same writer. The writer is Yoo Young A. Her other dramas were Entertainer and Bel Ami. She’s written a bunch of movies though

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Bel ami sucked! 😂 But for my taste «Entertainers» was actually quite good. I liked it and I loved some of the OTS. 😊
Let's see what she does here...

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Please please don't make the mothers as crazy as Something in the Rain's mother. Let's lean toward the mother in What's Wrong With Secretary Kim - no screeching or treating the kids like chessboard pieces.

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Definitely gorgeous. I was swept away and became wistful of my own travels past. Park Bo Gum definitely delivered. Although I am yet to be convinced why he was smitten. Song Hye Gyo was purposely dressed in red and it created such a delicious visual contrast.

On a side note, they just HAVE to meet and fall in love at a vantage point the hotel staff said was a magical place of love. Ugh! Love and hate this at the same time. Lol.

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@light I agree with your comment. Their romance line felt a bit forced, perhaps clinched.

But I must admit, I enjoyed the 1st episode; the gorgeous sights and sounds of Cuba set as backgrounds for the already ridiculous gorgeous Song were just too too perfect. 😘😍

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It feels clichè just because of what the hotel worker said, true. (Between us: It was kind of unnecessary from our writer), but they didn't exactly realised they were falling in love that night, they just were comfortable with each other, and I loved how respectful they both were toward each other. The following day at the airport: no resentment, even though she didn't come.

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Maybe the writer was going all out with the 'magical' romance. True it was a respectful date. They were comfortable. I could see Bo Gum was entranced.

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The "Do you have money?" part of their date was cute. Maybe that's what entranced him?

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It is cliched! But who doesn't love a meet-a-soulmate-in-a-foreign-land romance? Lol. I wish it happens to me. I live for sunsets! But i haven't met a soulmate watching sunsets so far!

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To me it looked that he thought she was very pretty and was amused by her. There was slight attraction and flirting when they said goodbye. I don't think the leads were meant to fall for each other, just to have a pleasant meeting so they would remember the magic later. Also, next morning we were shown the story from different perspectives so we could see that none of them thinks that their meeting was so important for the other...

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It was so heavy handed, I felt like I was slapped across the face.

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LOL, me too. Slapped then looking around all confused like "What the..."
But after watching ep2, all those seemingly random pieces found their place.

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I love it! It looks like we're in for a delicious romance - everything wrong but everything oh so right! Count me in.

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I mean, I was a bit iffy about ep 1. The ending realisation of who she is, suddenly made me think this would be good.

Because tbh Park Bo Gim's character came across as a conman to me - particularly laughing and dancing on the street like that. 🙄 Soon Hyun just got lucky since he wasn't. To all ladies: fair warning. Unless his face is Park Bo Gum's face, he's 200% a conman no matter how romantic the backdrop. Particularly if you're travelling abroad

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yes! what you are saying is sad but true...!

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Is that real life? And here I was thinking how much Jin-hyuk reminds me of myself on my past travels: barefoot, poor, even the damn analogue camera! Armed with ample of useless stories about my childhood and whatnot to share with strangers...this show really makes me nostalgic.

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I'm glad to hear you're an exception. Frankly speaking, yes - that IS real life. At least, that is life as I know it.

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actually... ESPECIALLY if he has a park bo gum's face, they are definitely conman hahahahhaa

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Definitely gorgeous! However, to me, it seems the actors lack a bit of chemistry (gasp) 😮.

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This may be an age difference related thing.

People are still mesmerized by Song Hyegyo but PBG is like new commodity, a younger viewer may perceive PBG instantly as why does he like her

Likewise an older, or simply more of a veteran viewer, may not even know who PBG, like literally what PBG stands for, is.

despite his recent accolades and the actors themselves may realize this hoping knowing would notice.

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this drama reminds me of something in the rain, bur maybe will be heavier with all the divorcee and chaebol aspect on the 'noona' side...
But I love ut so farr

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Park Bo-gum's hair....now, I was one of those people who was making fun of the people that hated it.

Then I saw it in motion. I want to apologize to all those people who were right.

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i stand partly corrected too, haha. but still excited that he cuts his hair!!

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Before PBG, I was 100% sure that I loved men with long hair, but he is now on the exception list.

Never thought I would say this, but here it goes 😱😬😲

...I'm so glad Park Bo-gum cut his hair!😋

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Me at the beginning of ep 2: "Oh no! He cut his hair! Ah, well, Bogummie still looks good."

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I liked the first episode. All the Cuba scenes were beautiful! Now I'm curious if the story will work in Korea. I'm not yet convinced by their couple.

I have one issue : the close-up on their faces. They often zoomed on their faces and it was a little bit weird, I understood : they're beautiful/handsome, but less close-up please.

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I'm glad I'm not the only one that was annoyed by the zoom on their faces. With PBG always smiling and SHK always having a sad face, the zoom made it worse. Back up camera man!

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thanks LollyPip for the recap, and welcome back Bogummie and SHK! nice to have his boyish charm back on screen ;) as for SHK, my mom watched ep 1 with me and she was like, "why is that lady so dazed?" i had to remind her (mom) about the sleeping pills haha.

anyone else thought that the scene at the fortress wall was *kind of* CGed? the scenes where their back was facing the camera and the scenery's all real, of course, but I couldn't help but think that the scenes shot from the front was a little 'green screened'.

it's a pleasant watch so far, and of course the cinematography is wow. secretly happy that Bogummie's hair is short(er) from ep 2! haha. >.< the one scene that gave me a bit of chills was that moment at the park where they stood in silence together, waiting for each other to make the first move.

locations thus far:

Hotel Havana - Hotel Nacional de Cuba: https://koreandramaland.com/listings/hotel-nacional-de-cuba/

Parque Central (Central Park Havana) (where they parted): https://koreandramaland.com/listings/central-park-parque-central/

Café del Angel – Jacqueline Fumero Boutique (one of the cafes Jin-hyeok passed by): https://koreandramaland.com/listings/cafe-del-angel-jacqueline-fumero-boutique/

(of course) Incheon International Airport: https://koreandramaland.com/listings/incheon-airport/

exterior of Donghwa Hotel - Lotte Hotel Seoul: https://koreandramaland.com/listings/lotte-hotel-seoul/

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also! think the context that the drama poster now has (of the back facing view of Soo-hyun resting her head on Jin-hyuk's shoulder) is interesting. not quite the 'romantic' feel that many would have thought of when it was first released. more serendipitous than anything else!

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Funny you mentioned the frontal shots on the wall. I was wondering how they were able to get the camera so high up their to film their faces while sitting on the wall.

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*so high up there
(oops)

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Via drone.

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Not very likely in Cuba.

You would have to smuggle it in. Or be super organised and start arranging it months in advance with "connections". But then again, they must have done quite a lot of arrangements to get to film at all, given the locations where they shot.

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haha - i don't think it would have been impossible to do so (technology is more than advanced to!) but there was just something about the shots that didn't seem... real. and since there's dialogue, i don't think the humming of the drone's blades could be easily drowned out either!

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It's not a joke, they really do use drones for some shots. And as far as the humming of the blades and how that gets drowned out, Another Oh Hae Young does a great job of explaining movie sound.

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ah sorry, didn't mean for it to sound like i considered it a joke >.< i understand that using drones is a possibility for sure, and i've seen lots of shows (drama/variety) that use them of course, just that they're mostly used to shoot location scenes so no dialogue required/the sound is layered with background music. thanks for the tip from AOHY, will see if i can look it up.

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In the 1 hour I was totally swept up in the characters story which I find is hard in many (premiere) shows. The slow burn feeling of this show, especially the dialogue is what pulled me in and Park Bo Gum and Song Hye Kyo’s soothing voice was calming to listen to and watch. As one of the people extremely wary about this pairing they seem to fit really well especially because their characters are interesting to watch onscreen. The music and beautiful directing also helped create that atmosphere which made it an enjoyable watch. I didn’t check the time once and that’s saying something.

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I'm actually surprised by how much liked the first episode. While the pace is slow, I found myself not bored by it all. I was even surprised when the ending credits rolled. It's as if time just went by and not a lot of dramas can do that for me. Everything in this drama is indeed just so gorgeous, from Cuba, to the OSTs used, to the leads themselves, to the story. I'm definitely looking forward to the next episodes.

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This is the story of my thoughts as I was reading this (still haven't watched the actual thing & don't know when I'll do it, but meh ~~)

"...He seems like the kind of guy who finds joy and beauty in even the smallest things."
Me: Just like PBG

"An adorable little girl asks him to dance, so he shyly complies."
Me: Just like PBG would

"He pulls out his phone and some earbuds, telling her that the view is twice as lovely with music."
Me: WHY WOULD YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHEN YOU HAVE THE BEAUTIFUL SOUND OF THE OCEAN WAVES TO LISTEN TO ?!!?!

"...and he gallantly holds out his arm to assist her down from the wall."
Me: PBG would do that

"...so Jin-hyuk offers her his battered old sneakers."
Me: Park Bo Gum would do that

"...He tells her to think of his help as simply a kind gesture..."
Me: PBG would say that

I WONDER WHY PARK BO GUM CHOSE THIS DRAMA AND THIS CHARACTER AS HIS COMEBACK DRAMA??? Yea?? Yea?? *wink wink*

Jokes aside, I really do like the vibe of this drama and-- just like how @lollypip describes it-- how dreamlike it seems :) More than a story about a man and a woman turning into star-crossed lovers because they keep running into each other and can't forget the night they spent together while abroad, the setup and mood that the writers and director has given me is that this is a story of kindred spirits who will discover the possibility of becoming lovers but will have to fight tooth and nail before anything comes to fruition because-- again, just like @lollypip said-- of their differences in social and financial status which holds heavy weight in a society such as South Korea's

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I’m laughing so hard, because it’s just too true! 😂

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@bammsie RIGHT?!??!!? Park Bo Gum is SUCH A SWEETHEART IN REAL LIFE, TOO!!!

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He has been #1 on my Grin List for so long now, because I can just see him and feel joyful.

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It's the same for me whenever I see him or Park Hyung Sik :) I can't help myself but automatically smile or grin whenever I see either of the 2

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@bebeswtz Oh, yes!!! Him, too! They’re just too precious. I remember watching Two Lights and deciding that yep, he’s one for the books (and the list).

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@bammsie Definitely ;)

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Yep, they disguised PBG with the long hair to try to fool us into thinking his character is NOT PBG. :)

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It's not working

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Thank you so much for your recap. I have watched two episodes and enjoyed them both.

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I just thought that Park Bo Geum just play as himself in this drama. He's just super duper adorable cutest to the max that my cheeks hurt for smiling from start to the end.

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You and him BOTH. PBG smiled so much in this first episode, it was weird. But if he's playing himself, that would make sense.

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The cinematography is great and I understand the slow pacing since it sets to give that melancholy feel.

But, the little silly plot just to set the stage for encounter really annoyed me. Lady, you are a hotel's CEO, ok? So, you consumed that sleeping pills and suddenly decided to go to the beach alone (ok, I understand your secretary refused to accompany you) and instead of hiring a hotel driver which you can afford, you took a cab. And when you started feeling drowsy, aren't you supposed to find a tree or a bench to lay your back on. Instead, instead you sat on the ledge and on the verge of falling to your death until thankfully and magically, a young man pulled you in time otherwise this drama would be over in less than one episode. My god, I can't brain this.

Not that I have anything against these two actors but Song Hye-Kyo acting is pretty much the same and Park Bo Gum's acting is all over the place (I mean, I have seen him doing much better job in Reply and IRY) I got that he is supposed to be that happy-go-lucky but his free-spirited expression tend to be a bit exaggerated.

I'm still holding on the hope that it will get better the following episode.

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thanks for sharing this! yes - lots of little holes in the story. mirroring the #2 comment above from Tazzo about how Jin-hyuk didn't know that she's the CEO of the hotel he applied for...

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My biggest WTF was when she didn't try to report her purse being stolen. I mean, her credit cards' limits must have been in the 6 figures! I would've have frozen those cards ASAP.

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no it's actually quite natural....... my dad has a high position in his company and he often goes hiking on his own and brings nobody with him LOL. I think it's because Kdramas portray all these presidents, CEOs blah blah as someone high up while in private they enjoy doing every day things, often alone too.

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...But she is in a foreign country, dropped off at a place that's different from her known destination, surrounded by locals that she's not familiar with, and she is getting forceably SLEEPY.

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When I mentioned that she is a CEO, is not that I think she couldn't venture around alone.... What I meant is that a CEO rightfully has enough logic to know that she could easily fall to her death when she decided to sit dangling at the edge of the fortress when she was feeling drowsy and about to doze off anytime. How can anyone make me believe she is a CEO when she couldn't take care of herself?

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I think it has to do with her mental health. I get the feeling that she has high-functional depression, in that she can function normally like a normal person but is basically a walking ticking bomb.

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LOL @ "My god, I can't brain this."

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Yeah, that one is going on my list for future use at work.

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I really enjoyed the first episode (Park Bo-gum's smiles greatly added to that enjoyment!).
Between this drama, the fact that I'm currently reading a book about Havana AND I've just sent out an article about Cuba... I think the universe is trying to tell me something, no?

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Hi... Kindly share the book title please,

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It's called Havana: A Subtropical Delirium by Mark Kurlansky. Just started it. It's like a short and not-too-academic history of Cuba.

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Thanks

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I don't know what to say that hasn't already been said. It IS beautiful, Park Bo-gum IS amazing, and yes I AM sold! 😍

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VISUALLY GORGEOUS!!! - Beautiful Cuba; Bogum's dreamy smiles, and SHK's red dress....

I'm sold in the first episode...

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PBG ans SHK's acting make this simple story special and heartwarming. Am loving the story so far and admired production team for making this drama so beautiful, simple yet dramatic. PBG and SHK visuals also makes this more pleasing and beautiful. Well deserved high rating

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It is such a refreshing and enjoyable episode. I love the pace and the content. Both SHK and PBG were amazing.

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Is it wrong that I'm hoping for a big story line for the ex-husband? I really want to see him as a lead in a drama.

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"Do you have any money?"-This is the new pick up line. I predict that that we will hear this every episode lol. It works coz KJH and the actor himself is super nice in real life that he's willing to spend lots of money for the pretty woman who's obviously more well off than him. Yes to more male leads with nice personality!

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I aspire to be so beautiful that something like that could work as my pickup line.

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Confession: I've never been a fan of SHG. I just never really warmed up to her acting, and have never ever completed any of her dramas. Yes, this *does* mean that I've never completed DOTS. Regardless of the fact that every other main actor in that drama is actually a favourite of mine. And I adore Song Joongki to bits it's ridiculous.

But I somehow managed to catch Episode 1 of this drama (apparently my love for Bogummie trumps everything) and well hmmm.

I agree that the cinematography's amazing. PBG - so far - seems to be playing himself, mostly. Not that I mind. Bogummie is love. There were moments where I enjoyed SHG's acting, especially her banter with her Secretary. I do think that the chemistry between SHG & PBG is currently a bit weird and awkward, like they're both just a bit too aware that they're acting. And at times it felt like PBG was trying too hard, and the whole thing felt forced. And yet, at times, when it's just right, the both of them sparkled.

Maybe it's early days yet.

For the love of Bogummie, I shall persevere.

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I never watched DOTS at all (can't stand the writer) but SHG also isn't someone I would per se watch a drama for, she's just ok in my book. Same for PBG. I'm not compelled by their acting in this drama yet, SHG doesn't feel like ice princess to me, her supposedly "cold" moments just seem a bit flat to me. And PBG, well, I thought he was starring in a toothpaste commercial throughout with his constant too-big-smile. I found him much more compelling in Reply and Hello Monster.

There whole romance is also bit too "fated" – so many coincidental encounters and fateful signs (the garden) and their first encounter actually seemed ... very tame.

And having spent quite a bit of time in Cuba in the past two years (about 2 months total), the Cuba presented on this screen seemed quite clinical to me (and some factual inaccuracies... there's no train to the airport! And if there were, you do not take a train to get somewhere on time in Cuba. And no direct 17h flight to Korea either.).

And who wants beer on their first trip to Cuba? Rum! Mojitos! Seriously, lady! (And don't have a character order "cola" in Cuba, unless you're willing to go into the complexities of Cuba, e.g. US blockade. Lemonade or juice would have be fine.)

But I'm wondering why LollyPip thinks PBG's character is "a little insecure"? He's pretty clearly in his own world, and that doesn't strike me as insecure at all.

So, overall, I'm in the "hmmm" category too, but I'll watch for another couple of episodes I think before deciding whether I'll continue or not.

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I was surprised how much I liked this episode, but I have to agree that I did think of toothpaste commercials every time he smiled that big gleaming smile.

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"And having spent quite a bit of time in Cuba in the past two years (about 2 months total), the Cuba presented on this screen seemed quite clinical to me (and some factual inaccuracies... there's no train to the airport! And if there were, you do not take a train to get somewhere on time in Cuba. And no direct 17h flight to Korea either.).

And who wants beer on their first trip to Cuba? Rum! Mojitos! Seriously, lady! (And don't have a character order "cola" in Cuba, unless you're willing to go into the complexities of Cuba, e.g. US blockade. Lemonade or juice would have be fine.)"

In your one comment, I learn so much about Cuba and learned how so little the writer knows about Cuba. Great observations! The only thing that stuck out to me was how tamed the local's salsa dancing was. It's not what I'm use to seeing in American shows.
Your toothpaste comment is spot on! SMILE for you :)

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Thank you for your first hand experiences in Cuba. I just enjoyed seeing all the classic American cars. With the stormy past the US and Cuba has shared, it has only been recently that US citizens could even go there. And now I think this administration has made it difficult again. I recently had acquaintance able to go as part of a humanitarian delegation and she was utterly charmed with the people and culture. However, the poverty is palpable everywhere you go.

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The cars are real, but they are American only in part, and will have a German motor, a French this, a Chinese that... because that's the only way they can maintain them, sort of. For lack of having, everything is recycled (amazing sort of creativity really).

It's not more difficult to go to Cuba now, there's actually more directs flights there from the US. It's just discouraged by the current administration, while the previous one made direct travel there possible.

Cuba is beautiful and its people are beautiful, but it's also very complicated (and poverty is indeed everywhere). Some things are very hard to explain – things you would just expect to be there elsewhere, that you just can't assume in Cuba –, you have to go there to understand (and you'll get a deeper insight if you speak Spanish, which I do). The main observation I can make is that Cuba is "layered" – you can keep peeling away, and you'll find more things, and still never understand fully.

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i also felt some scenes of PBG and SHK a bit too awkward.

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i think they purposely acted awkward as its the first time meeting in the show for the characters. it's a build up story. we are not going to see amazing chemistry from the get-go. it will slowly creep up through the many obstacles they are going to face together.
at least thats what i inferred from the writing.

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I agree. They're complete strangers who were still getting to know each other. Of course it's gonna be awkward. I think they captured the awkward-but-curious-about-each-other vibe perfectly.

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Wow that was quick. And I agree with everything you said without adding a single word.
I wish everyone would just stop talking about Bo Gum and his freaking good looks. I know ALL TOO WELL how handsome he is, and I don't need a reminder (esp in ep 2 where they say it A LOT)

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I've noticed that a lot in Asian dramas where people keep harping on how handsome/beautiful someone is to their face. It just seems so superficial, as if that's the only thing that mattered.
Do people actually do that in real life in Asia?

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yes they do unfortunately. It puts a lot of pressure on people.

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Oops, I repeated your question before seeing this comment. It does feel superficial and feels like a slap in the face to the other people that you don't say the same thing to...like the rest of PGB's new team members.

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Phew I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. It's just... weird. And annoying. It can lower other's self esteem. And sure KJH smiles and say thank you but I bet it's awkward for him too.

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Oh yeah! It's got to be SUPER awkward for the recipient of that compliment. What do you say in response to that? "Thank you" then look around at the other people like a heel?

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I noticed that in ep 2 also. Are Koreans THAT direct about a person's looks (good or bad)?

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Yes, they are. In fact, the most uncomfortable thing is when you are will a group of Koreans and they want you to compare one's looks against another's. If you try to sidestep or saying they are both good looking BOTH of them will correct you.

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Bogum's smile could cure every illness.

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Hmmmmm I thought his constant smile was overkill. Seemed like someone had told him he had a great smile so he decided to flash it every single chance he got. But then I was never much of a Park Bo Gum fan and only really liked him when he played a serial killer in Hello Monster and didn't smile that often. I'll admit he is very attractive, but I just think there is too much with the smiling. It feels so unnecessary. I'd rather he'd save the smile for special occasions so it seemed more genuine.

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Well he's playing a very sort of positive, genuine, happy-go-lucky character, so I don't really agree that his smiling was over the top. I smile all the time too. If anything I find it refreshing to have these openly smiley, happy leads amongst the many brooding, stoic drama men who only smile once in a blue moon (though I like those too).

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I smile frequently, too, but... not with lips open, teeth showing. I save that for special. There's a big difference between those two type smiles and Park Bo Gum often has the smile with mouth open and teeth showing, even when he's alone. I think that's what puts me off to his smiles feeling they are a little forced.

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I guess we'll agree to disagree :)

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Absolutely @Kat What a boring world this would be if we all liked exactly the same things. And what a dangerous world it would be if we all expected others to like exactly what we do. :-)

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Never thought I missed Bogummy this much TT__TT Don't fail me Show! puhlease

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Perfect, a drama so far free of defects. I was surprised by the good chemistry of the leads, they are really good and well paired, with others it would have become all so obvious, with them we have class, attraction, without cliches and vulgarity

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I watched the first episode. I may be the minority here since I didn’t ‘feel’ it. May be it’s my bias against SongHye. I found her acting a bit stiff. And way too many close up shots for my liking.
I did enjoy seeing Cuba in such warm tones.
I also liked that we have a female character who is not clumsy, silly etc but is a CEO! Thank you writers.
BoGum is too puppy faced for my liking. But I did like him in some of this earlier works. Right now he was smiling a bit too much in the streets of Cuba.
Do we really need a chaebol chairwoman antagonist? I mean, divorced yet remain in the clutches of ex mother in law? Seriously? I am not looking forward to this segment.
Will watch the second episode to see if I warm up to it a bit more.

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I took it as her character was stiff -- stiff by habit, not by nature. She's had to live in the spotlight all her life, and only seems to be able to express herself to her loyal driver and secretary, who seems like the closest she has to a friend. She really wanted them to let her have ramen at the rest stop before she left for Cuba, but they talked her out of even that. Talked her out of rolling her car window down. The fact that she was able to lighten up a bit, do what she wanted without fear of repercussions, with this stranger she met on the street was first-in-a-lifetime for her character.

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I got that about her character. Now I know what bothered me so much, It's HER HAIR!! why isn't anyone else bothered by her hairdo.

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I'm loving it so far. Bo Gum's locks were gorgeous and his smile is to die for as always 😍. I liked him and he is delivering, so I'm already cheering for this young man to succeed in whatever he wants to do. As for Song Hye Kyo, she comes across as a bit aloof and distant, but I think it suits the role.
I find refreshing that in this romance we have a poor Candy man and the rich CEO is the woman. Also she seems serious at her job and that makes the character more realistic. The story has potential because for a famous CEO woman it wouldn't be easy to date an employee, and also men usually don't take well that the lady has more money/power than them, so there is room for a lot of longing and love angst between them....ahhh, I want that type of romance! I wonder how the show will navigate through all this. But I'll watch at least for Bo Gum, haha!

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100% agree with you. I am not rich, but I can compare it with dating a man that has not the same level of education I have... at the beginning I would be cautious, although again, it is like being prejudiced against people without education, which is not the case, but again... I have always thought it is harder to keep a long conversation with people without education because you would run out of themes to talk about very soon, unless there is a story behind and whatever something the two people would do together...
Anyway, I understand and I am also looking forward to see how the writer handle the social gap between them

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Yeah, I know, will they become bitter about their differences at some point? I would be also very cautious. I think this is how it's going to be here; both of them will likely backpedal if they feel they are falling for the other...but since impossible loves are the sweetest, there will be no escape for them, haha!! I'm crossing my fingers for a super-romantic story.

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I love a romance where there is enough respect between the leads, but also enough trust and some skinship doesn't hurt 😂
I really wonder how it will be here. Except for I hear your voice, most K-noona romance have disappointed me at some point, or even the whole thing! 😂

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Same here. I'm ok with age differences, doesn't matter if the older is the guy or the woman...I've always dated younger guys myself, haha! So in principle noona romance would be my cup of tea, but I hear your voice is the only one I remember that I truly loved.

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Something I like from PGB's character: he is honest, humble, a total artist and a poet. He has another view about things. And it is like he wears some violet googles that makes his life beautifully colorful; full with energy.
I hope the writer will stick to this principle and allow the character to remain true to himself throughout, because I can see many storms coming on to his way.
Many times in dramas we have this sassiness and positive energy only at the beginning, and then the character turns to a soapy, boring and whiny melo guy or woman until almost the end of the serie 😂😂😂😂😂😂
Please, let him not be the case now.
In regard to Song Hye kyo, I have never seen her in any drama, so I don't know how she acts, but so far I am ok with her.

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love, love, love this drama so far. already rewatched episode 1 twice.

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I really liked it. The colours were amazing. TvN also posted images with the colour palettes that matched on Instagram. Amazing.
They are two very interesting characters. She seems to be lonely although she does have her friend who works for her as a secretary. I thought she would be all posh any uptight but she is relatively down to earth. It will be an interesting story for sure.

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The comments are on point. Thank you for the recap @lollypip. I particularly loved the scenes that had no dialogue. The feelings were so beautifully captured using the lovely music.

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I have never watched Song Hye-gyo in anything before. But, I adore Park Bo gum. So, I was a bit cautious. After the 1st episode, I am onboard the OTP. Also, I identify with the heroine more. So, fingers crossed for this one!

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Thanks @lollypip for the recap!

I think I'm one of the few who just thought this episode was okay. But it did keep my from pausing, which is something that's been happening a lot with most dramas the fast few months. I think for me, I couldn't get it out of my head how the rest of the drama would turn out. There are so many ways this drama could lose me.

The romance was super cute, and their initial meeting did make me a little giddy. But I think I can finally say I'm just not a PBG or SHK fan, though I can't say why.

Will continue though, if only to keep up with the reactions of beanies.

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Thank you for your great recap. The plot is nice and camera loves the Cuban scenery and their faces! But what I was intrigued in the drama is that I find Park Bo Gum and song Hye Kyo look as if they are siblings. I cannot point out the similarity but this pair looks more like siblings or at least look similar compared to other parings in dramas. Has my eye sight progressed worse? or is it because both give off a mysterious feel as if they are non human?

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Lollypip's recaps are so masterful that often it has happened that I find a drama more meaningful 'after' reading her recaps. Like this one. I loved some parts of the first episode and I cringed at some but after reading your comments they just seem to fall into the right places. Already looking forward to the episode 2 recap!

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Me too! Thank you @lollypip!

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I'm not sure how I feel about this. The scenery was beautiful and there were elements I liked, but I was a little bored. I'm going to give it a few episodes before I decide if I should continue to watch it.

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I giggled throughout the first and second episodes. My heart just fluttered for the couple. This drama will be the death of me. I just know it!

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Ikr!I mean its just the first episode and I'm usually not into noona-dongsaeng romance but I'm surprised I keep giggling and I'm convinced he is smitten and she as well..Excited for this..

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Thanks for the recap.

Anyone knows the title of the song at 57:00?

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Thank you for writing this!! I have been waiting for a recap. This first episode is so beautiful I actually teared up. It is melancholy in the way the scenes are shot, with warm, rich colour and slow jazz music. The first episode itself I can re-watch over and over again like a movie. It can be its own story even if there is no episode 2.

Besides the beautiful scenery and the amazing camera work, I have to compliment on Song and Park's acting! I have always known that Park's forte lies in his expressive eyes and natural expression. I didn't realise that Song is naturally great at silent scenes like these too. I could feel right away that Song is depressed, that she is only just breathing through life and not living. I could tell in her eyes how much she craves for freedom and love, yet all these are done without words. I almost cried watching her watching the sunset, it is almost as if I could feel her pain and feel her awe in watching something beautiful for the first time. Park, on the other hand, I feel like the character is written just for him. He IS jin-hyuk, in every way, the way he moves, the way he speaks, the nervous gesture he does with his hands. I love these two together!

The story itself if refreshing. I am so happy to see recent dramas steering away from the typical chaebol male lead falling in love with spunky poor female lead. I love that Song portrays a very capable and successful woman, but without all the evilness typically seen in strong career woman characters. I love that Park portrays a younger, but just as wise, man who enjoys every beautiful moment in life.

I am waiting for episode 2 recap! It is even better! I LOVE IT.

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I loved the beginning of this drama~ The beautiful scenes shot in Cuba made this lovely drama so pretty from the beginning with our beautiful actors. I don't want to make my mind about this drama bc it was only the first ep but wow everything about it was so gorgeous. I really want to take a trip to Cuba and see the exact same sunset.

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I think I swooned approximately 239498752934 times during this first episode. I am already in love.

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So far I'm loving the slow pace and the hints of possible tension in the future
. Cinematography was awesome and ofcourse Song Hye Kyo and Park Bo Gum's visual is superb!I can't wait to see the Ice Princess "outburst" due to situations and how her character develops upon meeting Park bo Gum's...I'm sure sure we are in for a whole lot of emotion...heart fluttering crying moments...Overall, I'm sold! Goodluck Encounter/Boyfriend!

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I'm just so happy @Lollypip is recapping this! I guess I missed all the initial fangirling, so here is my attempt to catch up. I recently saw Park Bo-gum on Hyori's Homestay, where his ultra-intuitive consideration of everyone in that bed-and-breakfast was unreal. Like, NO ONE is that intuitive, NO ONE is that considerate, NO ONE is that lovely to have and be around. Then while watching the first episode, I kept thinking, maybe it's all the dramas that he's been in that he is that considerate. He's just learned how to be. But then I think that you can't learn to be how he just is. In real life (or at least on reality TV) he is exactly how he is in this show. I tend to wonder if the writer just wrote this expressly for him to play in. I don't really even see him acting here. He's just being himself and making us all swoon. I did like the cinematography with them in separate hotel/hostels but thinking about each other. That was sweet.

Some nit-picky things. 1. If he was "backpacking" and I've met some backpackers abroad, he would need a much bigger duffel bag to survive in a foreign country. 2. He should have accompanied her back to the hotel in the taxi. She had already had 2 run-ins with car problems and been pick-pocketed the same day and he just puts her in a taxi and says, "see ya later?" 3. I'm with a lot of people when he didn't know she was the CEO of the company he applied for. I guess I would have tried to know that, but then my husband told me he has no idea what the Secretary of Defense looks like and he's his boss. I guess he has a point. 4. The salsa music was great, but then they cut in with the Korean OST, not so great. Who's the music director? There's a way to do this without it being so jarring! 5. The English was so cheesy, but PBG has great pronunciation which is awesome! 6. I'm really disappointed that the long hair was gone in the previews for the next episode. :'( I was one that really liked it.

And I wonder how many screencaps lollypip took of Bogum smiling, because I had a million--maybe 50. He smiled a lot in this first episode.

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Ok this show is far from perfect from what i judged from the 1st episode .
Let me start of with the cons:
1. Coincidence trope is heavily used. I dont mind coincidence trope but using it too much feels like lazy writing
2. I dont usually nitpick but if i notice something it really hampers my viewing experience. The walking montage of song hye kyo to reach mount cabara was nice but it completely ruined it for me when i can easily realize that they are using a double for walking .That scene wasnt necessary if they had to use a double or they could have shortened scene and used the shots of song hye only.
3. Another Unnecessary cgi of the bird scene.
4. Some of it felt really cringey
Pro :
1. Park Bogums smile. It can easily win you over. Srsly
2. Strong female lead
3. Though it will have the typical tropes and it wont be a critically acclaimed drama or my favourite drama, it has the potential to develop a good story which will have the elements of healing and a good romance. Hoping they dont drag the drama but i wont be surprised if they do.

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Thanks so much @lollypip!
I read your recap before choosing to watch the show. Then I watched both episodes at one go. I felt that reading about it was great, but the 1st episode in particular has to be visually experienced. There is so much (besides the beauty and colour) that is said without words.

Cheesiness and ridiculous choices aside, I find myself drawn in by the loneliness of Soo Hyun. All those scenes of the camera following really directly behind her, as she walked mechanically, spoke of her aloneness in the throngs that she had to smile at, for the sake of her dad, her family, her husband ... ending with the lonely walk to divorce. It is only much later, when she could be more herself, that we get to see her face. Before that, it might as well have been a robot, so seeing her expressions were 'not necessary'.

I like how well she treats her secretary and long time family driver, and how they can be friends as well as employees. Other than them, in her isolated world where she has to be in control and to rigidly control her image, she is alone. I found it understandable that she was surprised and pleased to inadvertently make a friend. And given the chance, to keep that friendship. The sad complications will develop from there.

In real life, I understand that PBG was at her wedding and played the piano as part of the celebrations. So there's real friendship too that will leak through in their portrayal of being people in a relationship.

I will not be surprised if show slips into the usual tropeyness, since it's another star-crossed lovers and opposing chaebol elders premise, but I do hope that show will go for some unique twists and be more free-wheeling like JIn Hyuk in Cuba and less conservative like Soo Hyun everywhere. I also hope we get lots more great cinematography and music that contribute to the mood and that tell the tale. 😌

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