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One Spring Night: Episodes 1-2

The latest from director Ahn Pan-seok, One Spring Night promises a complex story about love and expectations, and how the two ideas come into conflict in many different ways. Our heroine Jung-in has grown accustomed to her uneventful days and “boring” relationship, until she has an unexpected meet cute with our leading man, Ji-ho. Fate and coincidence start to work against her, even as Jung-in tries to stick to her easy, undramatic life.

 
EPISODE 1

It’s a late winter evening, and our heroine LEE JUNG-IN (Han Ji-min) jokes with her friend SONG YOUNG-JOO (Lee Sang-hee) as they stumble back to Young-joo’s apartment for some after-drinking drinks. Jung-in’s phone rings, and she and her boyfriend KWON KI-SEOK (Kim Joon-han) have a mundane conversation about what their plans are for the next day.

Young-joo notes that Jung-in doesn’t even say, “I love you” as she hangs up and laments that long-term relationships are the worst. Jung-in insists that she and Ki-seok have never been overly affectionate, and Young-joo retracts her earlier joke that she’d like to take Ki-seok off Jung-in’s hands. “You can keep him,” she smiles as they toast.

While the ladies drink, our leading man, YOO JI-HO (Jung Hae-in) plays rec basketball with some friends. As he’s leaving, his friend stops him at the door to introduce him to a new guy joining their league, Jung-in’s boyfriend Ki-seok. The guys trade some gentle competitive jabs at one another before Ji-ho departs.

The next morning, Jung-in wakes up on Young-joo’s floor, late for work. As she rushes out, she stops at the pharmacy in her friend’s neighborhood, where it just so happens Ji-ho works as a pharmacist. He opens the hangover medicine for her and Jung-in gulps it down, but then she realizes that she’s left her wallet behind at Young-joo’s.

Jung-in asks if she can return later to pay, but she gets suspicious when Ji-ho seems to amenable to that. So she demands his account number so she can just transfer funds, and when he stays silent at that, she digs herself in deeper and tries to place the blame for her taking medicine she didn’t have money for on Ji-ho, ha. She offers to give him her number, just in case he doesn’t trust her to return. Instead, Ji-ho recites his own number to her, even though she doesn’t have her phone out to save it.

Jung-in heads out to figure out how to get to work, and Ji-ho follows out with some money for a taxi. He says he knows she’ll pay him back, and they finally introduce themselves right before she heads off to work. In the car, she finally gets a hold of Young-joo and confirms that her wallet is at her place. Jung-in doesn’t tell her friend about her run-in in the pharmacy, but she recalls Ji-ho’s number, and types it into her phone to add him as a contact.

While Jung-in struggles to get her day started, newscaster LEE SEO-IN (Im Seong-un) has already recorded her news segment. As the cameras stop filming, Seo-in ducks down to check her phone. She’s got a text from her husband, NAM SHI-HOON (Lee Moo-saeng), that reads, “don’t touch any of my stuff.”

Seo-in winces as she reads it. Meanwhile at home, Shi-hoon mutters to himself as he picks up a picture frame, only to shatter it against the wall in a growing rage.

Jung-in eats lunch with her coworker Oh Ha-rin, who wishes she could meet a guy and let the relationship grow like her growing friendship with Jung-in. Jung-in suggests that a single meeting could be enough, like destiny, and Ha-rin scoffs that “boring” Jung-in doesn’t even believe in horoscopes, let alone destiny.

As they eat, Jung-in’s phone rings with a call from Ki-seok. It seems that she sent a message to him by mistake, asking for an account number. Jung-in doesn’t mention her pharmacy encounter to him either, and lies that she meant the message for a client at work.

Jung-in manages to sent a message to the correct number, but Ji-ho is too busy closing the pharmacy and heading home with two of his friends to respond. Meanwhile, Ki-seok picks Jung-in up at work and they head to Young-joo’s neighborhood to pick up Jung-in’s wallet.

On the way, Ki-seok broaches the topic of marriage, but it’s very casual, as if he were just continuing on with the discussion of his day. Jung-in shoots him a look, and the conversation further declines when Ki-seok suggests that Jung-in just get dinner with Young-joo while he goes and works at home. Ki-seok accuses her of sulking, but Jung-in’s eyes are actually on the pharmacy where she met Ji-ho as they drive past.

By the time Jung-in meets Young-joo at the door to her apartment building, her scowl lets Young-joo know exactly how she’s feeling. But instead of eating with Young-joo, Jung-in grabs her wallet and hops back into Ki-seok’s car. The next floor up, Young-joo’s neighbor, who just happens to be Ji-ho, catches a brief glimpse of the scene as he grabs supplies from the balcony.

Ji-ho turns inside to his friends who are over for food and drinks. They talk basketball, and mention that Ki-seok’s dad is the chairman of the foundation that supports their team, and that Ki-seok helped them rent the gym. That gym also happens to be in the school that Ki-seok’s girlfriend’s father (i.e. Jung-in’s dad) is the principal of. They’ve heard that Ki-seok’s girlfriend is hot (you’re not wrong), but they’ve never met her. But they’re hoping to get the whole group together to meet some girls, and one of Ji-ho’s friends suggest that Ji-ho get back out there instead of spending all of his time at the pharmacy. “I mean, it’s not like he committed a crime,” his friend says. Uh-oh. Sounds like Ji-ho’s got some baggage…

The awkward drive home continues for Jung-in. Ki-seok moves on to the topic of moving in together so they wouldn’t have to worry about making dinner plans. Jung-in asks if he wants to move in together to avoid hassles. By the time they finally arrive at Jung-in’s door, all he can muster is a cheek pinch, and Jung-in heads inside.

Huddled in an alcove outside Jung-in’s apartment is her little sister, LEE JAE-IN (Joo Min-kyung). Jung-in is surprised to see her, but brings her inside, along with her luggage. Inside, Jung-in wonders if their mother knows she’s returned, while Jae-in grouses that Jung-in’s kimchi isn’t their mother’s kimchi and digs in to the ramyun her sister prepares for her.

Jae-in confesses that while she was in France, she was pursuing a guy, and he eventually issued a restraining order against her. Jung-in is scandalized, while Jae-in just shrugs that she returned to Korea to avoid becoming a criminal.

Ji-ho finally gets a chance to rest after his friends leave, and that’s when he notices the message from Jung-in demanding his account number. Even though he looks exhausted, Ji-ho throws on his coat and heads out.

Back at her apartment, Jung-in stares at her phone from the floor as her sister sleeps in her bed. Ki-seok sends her a coupon for fried chicken with a reminder to not get fat eating the whole thing, and Jung-in musters a smile at it. But there’s still no reply to her message to Ji-ho.

Ji-ho arrives at his parents’ home. He walks in, and his dad ushers his mom away as Ji-ho enters a darkened room quietly. He sits down on the bed, and a young boy wakes up. “Dad!” he exclaims, and hugs Ji-ho. Surprise! Ji-ho is a single dad.

EPISODE 2

In the morning, Ki-seok meets with his dad, Chairman Kwon. Dad is also thinking about marriage for Ki-seok, but he has a colleague’s daughter, not Jung-in, in mind. Ki-seok reminds him that he’s dating Jung-in, and Dad reminds his son that marriage isn’t a game, but a part of their business.

Chairman Kwon hops in a car and heads directly to Jung-in’s dad’s office at the school. Jung-in’s dad is busy reading up on how to get rich quick before retirement, and his expression turns from friendly to concerned when Chairman Kwon asks why it’s taking so long for their children to get married and insinuates that maybe they’re not that serious. “Your oldest daughter married well, I’m sure Jung-in will do the same,” he says, and just as quickly as he arrives, Chairman Kwon is out the door.

But this encounter sends Jung-in’s dad into a panic, and soon Jung-in receives a call from her mother, who wants them all to meet for a family dinner. Young-joo, who is also Jung-in’s coworker at the library, confirms that Jung-in will turn up at her place afterwards, and Jung-in demands that she stock up on booze. When Young-joo mentions stopping by the pharmacy, Jung-in immediately pounces and asks if Young-joo goes there often. Her friend wonders about her interest in the pharmacy, but Jung-in plays it off.

Shi-hoon is on the phone with Seo-in, and asks if she told her mom what’s going on, since they invited him over. She tells him to just come over, and he refuses. Jung-in catches up with her older sister, Seo-in, just as she hangs up on Shi-hoon, and the two sisters head in to dinner with their parents together.

Their mother wonders about Shi-hoon’s absence from dinner, and Seo-in says that he’s just busy. Dad brings up Ki-seok with Jung-in, and Jung-in refuses to say whether or not she plans to marry him. Dad gets more upset as he pushes her to make a decision, and Jung-in apologizes to her sister before she retorts that she won’t be forced into a marriage like her older sister. She plans to weigh her options. Dad turns to Seo-in and asks her if he forced her into marriage, and her response is, “Yes.”

After the dinner, the two sisters decompress together in the car. Seo-in confesses to Jung-in that she’s getting a divorce. She says that it’s not happening right away, but she’s determined to get there. Jung-in asks if Shi-hoon has agreed to it, and it sounds like that’s still in progress. Jung-in shares that Jae-in is hiding out at her apartment, and they laugh at what a mess the Lee sisters all are. Jung-in promises to be there for Seo-in no matter what, and the two hug.

At the pharmacy, Ji-ho’s fellow pharmacist spots the falling snow and is excited to leave work and maybe find a date. As she leaves, in marches Jung-in, ready to repay Ji-ho. She asks why Ji-ho never sent her his account info, and he responds that he’d hope that she’d have to see him in person one more time if he didn’t.

Ji-ho asks if she’d like to get dinner, and Jung-in responds that she doesn’t eat with strangers (not, you know, that she has a boyfriend). Ji-ho laughs that she memorized his phone number, so he can’t be such a stranger, and Jung-in says that she just has a good memory.

Ji-ho watches as Jung-in leaves, and after a beat he feels compelled to race after her. He runs down the street through the snow, but Jung-in is already gone. As he turns back, Jung-in exits the corner store that she ducked into and heads for Young-joo’s place.

At Young-joo’s, the door buzzes and Jung-in goes to retrieve the chicken they’ve ordered. But ahead of the delivery guy is Ji-ho. Jung-in assumes that he’s somehow followed her, but Ji-ho says nothing and just keeps walking up the stairs, until he opens his own door and goes inside.

Jung-in grabs the chicken and goes back inside flustered. She begins to ask her friend what she knows about her upstairs neighbor, the good-looking guy. Young-joo isn’t really sure, she thinks it may be a couple living together upstairs. Young-joo teases her friend about constantly thinking about this guy. “It means you’re interested. Just know though, that qualifies as cheating too.”

In his apartment, Ji-ho cracks a beer and looks at his messages. He’s got a text from Jung-in, apologizing for the misunderstanding. He smiles, and then peeks out the window as he hears Jung-in outside getting into a taxi. He texts back for her to have a safe trip home. And then suddenly, Ji-ho has his coat on and he’s running down the stairs of his apartment and into the snow.

Outside the pharmacy, Jung-in is waiting for him. She almost wimps out and leaves, but he arrives just in time and lets her into the pharmacy so that they can talk. He brings over paper cups of hot tea, and at the same time, Jung-in confesses that she’s in a relationship, and he admits that he has a son.

Jung-in asks if he’s married, and he shakes his head. Jung-in’s suspicion clears from her eyes, and she says that him having a son doesn’t make him less of a good person. She says it quickly, but a smile spreads over Ji-ho’s face just to hear it. Jung-in smiles and suggests that they could be friends, but Ji-ho says that he wouldn’t be comfortable with that arrangement.

The scene changes as the time passes, and now Ji-ho sits alone in the pharmacy next to Jung-in’s tea cup. Jung-in is back at home, scrolling through her text messages in the dark.

It’s Jung-in’s day off, and she just wants to stay in and read, while Jae-in begs her older sister to take her out for Ki-seok’s basketball dinner party. Jae-in notes that it’s probably the last snowfall of the season, and that drives Jung-in out of her sweats and out for the dinner.

The sisters arrive at the gym as the game is still in progress, and Jung-in’s face freezes as she spots Ji-ho out there on the court. Ji-ho and Ki-seok collide in a foul, and as Ji-ho shakes it off, he glances up into the bleachers and spots Jung-in. His face freezes on her and he totally zones out as he misses a pass to him. He returns back to the game, but he keeps darting glances up into the stands.

The game ends, and Ki-seok smiles widely to see Jae-in in the stands. While those two catch up, Jung-in stays seated, and she and Ji-ho stare at one another.

 
COMMENTS

Ah, what a cliffhanger. I love shows like this that focus in on the emotions of the core characters right away, and let the action and plot build slowly around them. There’s no life or death stakes here, and yet I am desperate to watch the next two episodes to see how this dinner works out (or rather, how it doesn’t).

What I think is especially great about this final moment is the imbalance of awareness the two characters have, and how that builds for even more anticipation from the audience. Jung-in knows what forces brought her to the gym, but Ji-ho has no clue how she’s related to this. My chest filled up with such anticipation, awaiting that moment where he gives himself a second to hope that she’s there to see him, only to have that moment taken from him when Ki-seok strolls up to her. So yeah, I’m watching the next episodes as soon as I’m done writing this.

But it’s not just the ending that has me impressed with this show. There’s just something so earthy about all these scenes. There’s no flash, no big boardroom or chaebol company (well, not yet anyway. We’ll see how Ki-seok and his dad shake out as things progress). The big scenes happen in dimly lit hallways and basketball courts inside schools. The action is all internal, what these characters are thinking and processing and then taking baby steps towards. It’s the perfect kind of show for those who love slow, emotion-driven stories.

Jung-in’s reaction to her meet cute with Ji-ho unfolds slowly over the days. Their meeting is really nowhere near cute, much more uncomfortable and awkward. But even as she reassures everyone around her that she loves her boring, predictable life, she withholds from everyone any detail about that moment in the pharmacy. She won’t even admit to her closest friend that she had a strange interaction with someone, let alone that she has any kind of mixed feelings about it.

But just because she refuses to admit things doesn’t mean her friends don’t notice, and I so appreciated that Young-joo knows her well enough to read between the lines, and also to be the one to push Jung-in towards the realization that even the smallest indulgence of these feelings, even if she never acts on it, was perhaps a betrayal of her current relationship status quo.

I’m very glad that Jung-in went right away to confess the truth to Ji-ho about her availability. Even as they both inevitably realize that even with these barriers, they have an undeniable attraction, they’re going to do so now without the burden of anyone leading anyone else on. When Jung-in admits quietly to Ji-ho that she was briefly enjoying the small bit of attention, it’s so honest and heartwarming. Now they have a strong foundation of raw honesty to build on.

But Ji-ho doesn’t allow her to get by and have it both ways, and I think he was right to decline her offer of friendship. Of course, I say so fully knowing that by the end of Episode 2, he’s staring up at her in the stands, so…

And what makes this all the more complex is that Ki-seok isn’t a monster. He’s not the only one at fault for the blandness in his relationship with Jung-in. Both of them have contributed to that over the years. And Ki-seok is loyal. He doesn’t jump at the chance to move on with a marriage that would benefit his company. He wants to move forward with marriage and moving in together with Jung-in, he just doesn’t see how that might not be what either of them actually wants. This relationship is nebulous, and while I suspect it will be impossible to not root for Ji-ho, it is definitely going to come with a healthy dose of regret for Ki-seok, who perhaps had the chance to see this all coming, but didn’t.

This is looking to be a larger ensemble cast, but there’s great pacing to the introduction of characters that keeps it from feeling overwhelming. Rather than slamming them all out at once to keep up the pace, these episodes take their time and give characters one-on-one time. I loved how slowly each of the sisters was introduced and woven in, and I’m so excited that each of them has something to contribute to the larger picture of what this show wants to say about love. The three Lee sisters are all at different odds with love, but they are united together as a front determined to get what they want from it, not what others want or think is right for them. I’m so excited to watch them support one another.

I’m also a little nervous, honestly, to continue watching, because I liked what I saw in these episodes so much. I really want this show to make it to the end with a great, quiet achievement in hand. But I’ve also seen the reactions to this director’s other recent show, Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food, and I can’t help but be wary. I’m glad that I’m going in without the baggage of the previous show, and am willing to trust this show to hurt me in all the right ways by the end.

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I enjoyed the dramas for the same reasons @abirdword stated. However, unfortunately because of Pretty Noona everything about this drama screams messiness. From her father to her boyfriend's father. From the fact that her boyfriend and Ji-Ho have met. From the fact that her boyfriend seems to be a good soul to their bland relationship. Just mess, my hope is that it is a glorious heartfelt mess and not the frustrating screaming mess that was Noona. Also thanks for the recap.

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The fact that there are already so many hidden opposing forces to their possible relationship and the murky waters of their emotional baggage/ current relationships means that this drama will be such a roller coaster. But I really like the support between the elder and middle sister, though the younger one seems like a wild card. Also I really liked how awkward yet memorable their first encounter was to set afire the flames of subtle attraction.

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Thanks @abirdword for the great recap!

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The first time they talked about this drama, it was about a married couple. After the story changed and I was worried it looks like too much like Pretty Noona. I'm one of the few who loved it but I didn't want a copy.

But I just loved it. We can't miss the similitude with Pretty Noona : the atmosphere, the music, the actors but the characters are pretty different.
I like the sisters bond, united against their father :p I like the friendship. I recognized Lee Sang-Hee's voice but I coudn't say where I saw in. Her role is very different from 20th Century Boy and Girl. I like her role in this drama, she seems to be a very good friend.
Surprise! Ji-ho is a single dad. I was afraid that the kid was absent like in Romance is a Bonus Book. I'm exciting to see Jung Hae In's scenes with his son.
I was smiling in all the scenes of HJM and JHI, I liked their dialogues and their honesty. I liked their subtil reactions.
I'm the kind to listen the same song during a long period, so I'm not bother by the ost, on the contrary it makes me anticipate the scenes.

There is a lot of room for conflict : her father, her boyfriend, the biogical mum of his kid, etc. But I'm more curious than afraid :p

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I like this trend of more mature, layered love and relationships. Despite the ending, I really liked Pretty Noona and hopefully I will like this one even more. I just hope there are less screaming harpies in the background.

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Ditto!

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Thanks for the recap!
I was traumatized by Pretty Noona, so I'm not yet ready to trust this PD and I'm debating on whether I should watch this.
I will definitely keep tabs on this, and I really hope this will heal my and the other Beanies Pretty Noona trauma.
I just don't know if I could handle watching JHI be awesome in a terrible drama AGAIN.

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I am so, so tempted. But I'm going to wait to see how this all pans out. Especially since an above commenter said that even the music has a Pretty Noona feel. Like....even if it's the best drama to have ever graced the screen my entire soul recoiled from that comparison.

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I loved him in prison playbook and while you were sleeping... 😢 smh

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Same in PP, but he wasn't the main lead!

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Show, please redeem Pretty Noona. So much similarities I'm afraid, but I was hooked nonetheless.

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I LOVE Ahn PD, so I had to try this despite my reservations after Pretty Noona. So far, I am enjoying it. I love this PD's understated style and focus on relationships and social stigma. There are noticeable similarities to Pretty Noona, as other Beanies have pointed out, but it doesn't feel like an exact copy. And I liked the first half of that show a lot, so I don't mind the similarities I'm seeing. The only thing I'm wary of right now is the parents...I wasn't able to stick it out last time, but I hope this will not go down the same road.

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So far so good! It feels like all good warmth oozes out of that loving smile of Jung Hae In!

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I liked it. A lot.
I liked the interactions between the leads, the fact that they instantly clicked and then seemed so in need to see each other or only to receive a text from the other.

The realtionship between Jung-in and KS is so realistic. There are a lot of men and women that continue staying together out of habit, and that get married because "it's time" or because society in a way or another imposes to do so. The lack of joy in those situations is very sad.
So, JI's "awakening" is really meaningful.
And I like that her boyfriend is a decent man, I don't want to root for the lead beacause the other man is bad, it would be too easy and almost mandatory.

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Right? This writer won't let you off the hook by making the boyfriend a jerk. The lead is going to have to figure things out for herself and be willing to be the bad guy or to go along with societie's expectations I think.

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1st time i watch HJM was familiar wife. She was good. But 2nd drama with NJH, she was familiar acting. This drama is another familiar acting n boring. Drop both dramas.

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Hah? Whatever
You are missing out a good drama then ,
You might think that because you weren't able to shake the vibe of
her Familiar Wife's character
Because the gaps between both drama are only a year ..
These three characters are different!

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I recommend you check out
Rooftop Prince
She is so good there

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I was glad there's a recap, thank you. I love the first 2 episodes. As @abirdword said, i liked and longed for emotionally driven dramas. Maybe because it is mostly romcoms that i have watched and dramas like this that is raw, real and no bodyguards laying around is a breath of fresh air. I am still cautious since i was also burned by SITR. But just the 1st 2 episodes, there's great improvement. Writer can redeem herself if this proves to be good until the end. There are a lot of conflicts that i see but as they say, it is always better to love and be loved in return. Very nice conversations too, i love the Lee sisters that whatever happens, they have each other's back. I also believe the father will not be as annoting as the mother in SITR. This is my current crack and i am closing all my fingers and toes, that what i enjoyed the first 2 episodes will be maintained until the end. Great start so far.

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I’m sorry, but may i know which series is SITR?

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Something in the Rain = Pretty Noona

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I enjoyed watching the first two episodes. Mostly because of the mature theme going on. I've been bored out of my mind trying to finish Touch Your Heart so this new drama was a breath of fresh air and very much needed. I guess my kdrama tastes keep changing as I grow older. Can't wait for the next episodes. Also, thanks for the recap!

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LOL I've been feeling the same way. It's really odd but I've felt like, for the longest time, all I wanted was to see fluffy romances in kdramas, and to see the relationship aspect. But the weird thing is that now that those are more common (Her Private Life, Touch Your Heart, What's Wrong With Secretary Kim being the most prominent ones), I've found myself craving more and more emotional depth from what I'm watching. Here's to tastes changing over time :)

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There's something about the stylised nature of Korean rom coms that fails to resonate with me. I'd kill for some frothy romance right now but I find the Korean ones just leave me cold. I want to really invest in a couple but there's something almost antiseptic about how many of these shows portray romance. I wasn't going to touch Her Private Life or Reach of Sincerity after What's Wrong With Secretary Kim and I don't regret it.

It's why I often find myself gravitating to Taiwanese stuff. As silly and makjang as they can get, the couples and the relationships often feel more real and more accessible.

In the end, I often opt for dramas that aren't romances at all because at least then I don't get annoyed by the romance plotline.

Having said all that, I'm waiting to see how people feel about this drama in the back half. I thought Pretty Noona was possibly the most depressing drama I've ever seen so I don't want that again.

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I love that word you used to describe it - antiseptic. That really is a great way to capture it. There's something so...separate about the romances portrayed in those trendier dramas that I listed, that I cringed more than squealed, which isn't the kind of feeling I want when watching a romcom.

Ooh, I haven't watched a Taiwanese drama in a very long time - can you suggest a few that you've really enjoyed? The dramas that have stuck with me more recently have been Because This Is My First Life and Tomorrow With You, and I think it's just because those are very much character driven dramas (though the latter is more time travel intrigue oriented hahah).

I'm holding onto hope here that the writer has received feedback on what didn't work before and will improve upon it now! Because I'm already so invested in this show and these two characters <3

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Honestly, the plotting in the average Taiwanese drama is so bad that I would struggle to recommend one that isn't a train wreck. But I do like how the characters tend to have real conversations with each other and feel like real people.

Having said all of that, I've been struggling with this a lot. I haven't seen a really great romance in a very long time. I'd ben interested in one myself.

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You know what I surprisingly enjoyed?
A shorter Taiwanese offering called What is Love. It's on Netflix. The plot is really predictable - women who believes in true love meets playboy who's only interested in conquest - but I found they way they executed it really interesting. And I really ended up liking the OTP.

Give it a try anyway. It's didn't rate super well on MDL but worth giving it a go.

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You should watch In Time in Love. It's not a new Tdrama (2011) but it was one of my favourite.

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thanks for the recommendations!! I'll be sure to check What is Love! And I think I've started In Time With Love, yet never finished it. Will revisit :)

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Is What is Love the one with Chris Wu? (love him)

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Yes I think it is Chris Wu.

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I will have to look it up. I watched more of Princess' Stand In than anyone should just for C.Wu,

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Hi, anyone khow what is the song title in this drama?

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No Direction and Is It You by Rachael Yamagata

Spring Rain by Osear Dunbar

The problem is i can't find these songs anywhere. I hope they will release these OST's

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I think they're probably exclusive releases for the OST. Rachael Yamagata did songs specifically for Pretty Noona as well, so I guess she's a frequent collaborator

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I LOVE THIS DRAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!seerasly, so realistic. the details. the reactions. OMG. love the songs too!!

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I loved it, too. The actors, the characters, the slow but realistic way that people meet and are drawn to each other. The sisters' relationships feel real and warm, which is a welcome departure from the bro/dis relationship in SITR. I really like the way they are playing the long term boyfriend, he seems to be a decent guy. I am a little worried about 2 comments about him, that he has a lot of pride that he doesn't let show and the little sister's comment that he has a pretty forceful personality... I hope that getting dumped doesn't turn him into a monster. BUT, done well, even that can be realistic...
I have watched ep. 1-4 twice already and cannot wait for the next episodes! I even like the OST. The songs really stick in my head.

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Jung Hae In went from -20 communication in Pretty Noona to 200% communication here.

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Yes, also the female lead character went from every one pushing her around to, she holding her forte and saying no and even learning from others mistake. It's like finally someone decided to use their brain!

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Thanks @abirdword
As I said in the OT thread, I'm watching with cautious optimism. I should actually just pick up this drama for no other reason than that finally we have a Lead who is a Librarian. I'll be happy checking out the library scenes, beloved and familiar.

Yes to the liking of "shows like this that focus in on the emotions of the core characters" and where the "action is all internal, what these characters are thinking and processing and then taking baby steps towards. It’s the perfect kind of show for those who love slow, emotion-driven stories." This will be such a nice change from the usual rom-com ... but I still feel some trepidation, because it is different. May the weaknesses of Pretty Noona not rear their head!

Remembering that Pretty Noona had some workplace challenges which left me cold, I'm hoping we don't get that here. Just navigating 2 controlling dads, a rather immature sister who's set her sights on Ji Ho, the fallout from older sister's divorce and the hurt from current boyfriend, is quite enough, I feel. I'd like that at least one thing remains relatively 'boring' or somewhat peacefully unchanged, ie her Library job!

I'd like to see her make the decision to change other aspects of her life, as a result of her own internal dialogues and strength, and not because she was given no choice or because of extraneous circumstances. By show's end, I hope we'll have a more lively, positive and interesting Jung In, living a life in contrast with the "uneventful days and “boring” relationship" that we see in Ep 1.

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I'm dying to see Jeong-In grow as a character. I've always loved Han Ji-min as an actress and am already so in love with her character here, flaws and all. It would be amazing to see her transform and take control of bringing joy into her life, even if it makes things more difficult in the short term.

The workplace drama from Pretty Noona was a huge turnoff for me. I understood that those were real issues that people face day to day, but it really made me feel nauseous to watch it >< Here's to keeping the drama within the family only, pls.

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I love that they made a main character a librarian but have been bracing for bad stereotypes. So far, it's a really realistic workplace and reminds me of my office at my library. 😁 I hope it continues that way!

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So far from Ep 1-4, the library work is not much but the little I saw was authentic!

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I enjoyed the first episodes of the show, I just loved the way they re falling in love, so cute. So far I like the male lead more, she, on the other hand is a little too annoying for my taste. And her hair and clothes are soooo boring....

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um so like was it just me, or did anyone else notice the familiar settings from Pretty Noona? Han Jimin uses the same room as Jung Hae In did. And they use the same actors too! Jung Hae In, Joo MinKyung.. Gosh I hope it's so not Pretty Noona 2, because I'm liking this show so far but that's what happened with Pretty Noona and its previous episodes.

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And they use the same kind of mood for the music and also they use the same mom!

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I will continue to watch the show just for the comparison/discussions with Pretty Noona. One Spring Night has foreshadowed many of the same "drama" elements to interfere with the leads relationship.

Pure speculation on my part but I think the climatic conflict for this series will be when Hae-In's ex comes back after Ji-Min has fallen for him and his son. And if the PD wants to shatter the viewer expectations, I would suggest cameo of the ex-girlfriend be played by Son Ye Jin.

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I would laugh if the ex is Son Ye Jin and then be angry about Pretty Noona all over again.

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Call me crazy but I always look forward to the emotional and social baggage that comes with PD Ahn's dramas. I get sucked in by his realistic and unforced approached to sensitive matters.

A boring female lead, stuck in a rut even though she think she'd be happier if she made a change because it's more comforting to stay the same as not to disturbed the social order.
Making the same mistakes over and over, taking one step forward and 2 steps back is not unreal.

I'm looking forward to how they are going to tackle the discrimination and prejudges against single parents etc.

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Oh dear, you've reminded me of what bothered me most in Pretty Noona. Over time, nothing much changed. The greater depth in the relationship that could have been reached, wasn't.

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Realistic but frustrating.

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I feel the female lead is a lot smarter here: she can even learn from her sisters mistake and not be pushed around. That is what I loved the most here. And no pretty noona lacked this quality,she never learnt from even her own mistakes

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Even a smart independent girl will still have trouble standing up to her parents and what is considered socially excepted.

It’s pretty darn hard to go against traditional values even if they seems outdated.
There is going to be self doubts, indecisiveness etc.

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This show somehow reminds me of Anna Karenina (book, not movie)

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The story seemed great and the first episodes were strong. However, I have a serious issue with the music/ost: wow, it distracts me so much! In pretty noona, the music bothered me so much, I could not get pas the first 2 episodes. I am afraid I am having the same issue here. I find it loud and inadequate. Music is such an important component of a drama, that I have a hard time understanding why they would use this type of music. It's a real turn off for me. Hopefully, I am able to get past it and enjoy thr story...

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I hear you. Never have music in kdrama turn me off as much as pretty noona. This show has the same vibe as pretty noona and that, sadly, includes the music styling :(

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I have liked one of the songs in the 1st hour but the rest leave me cold, I know we are in the minority here, so many like them. Im hoping they add some different ones I like.

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1-2 episodes in and this is already so heavy. lol
I live the story, although I always have to remember that being a single dad/mom in Korea is still not an accepted situation like in Europe.
It was a bit annoying to see so many familiar faces from Pretty Noona. I did not like the mom in that one, and her she is again playing the mom of the female lead. mmmhhh...
Ki-seok to me is just boring...he is following the usual rules of society. We have been dating for x years, so marriage should come next, even though the relationship does not seem to have much in it anymore.

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I've got to give props to @abirdword for taking on the job of recapping this show. Fighting!

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Thank you for the lovely recaps and comments. Fully agree that having been burnt by PNWBMF, I'm cautiously going into this one. But I love both the leads and the sisterhood. The character building and slow unfolding of showing and not telling is great story telling. I feel vested in the characters even though we are at episode 2. I see that there are 32 episodes! Which is unusual for a Korean drama, but it is not too long if it continues at this pace and quality. Keep up with the excellent re-caps!

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I think that there are 32 30min episodes, so it's basically the standard 16 hour format

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I initially stayed away from this show because of its connection to Pretty Noona since I had been interested in starting PN but comments mentioning some ugly ongoing harrassment made me steer clear, (sometimes I can deal, sometimes not) and the fact shes meets him while in a committed relationship, but by the end of these episodes my heart was pounding when they spotted each other at the game- I am such a sucker.Now onto 3/4.

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What struck me about this first episode was how sparse the soundtrack was. So many of the conversations were conducted in silence, with only the ambient noise of the winter night or the slight sound of electricity or the grill of meat in the background. It gave it a verisimilitude but also a sense of isolation and claustrophobia.

I admit I had some sort of PTSD response to seeing Mum at the dinner table - her character in Pretty Noona was probably the character I've hated the most in recent memory - but I'll force it down.

It was a good first episode.

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Hello! First time to comment. I’m just really curious about the book he read on episode 11. Anyone know the title? Thank you in advance.

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