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The Pork Cutlets: Episodes 1-2

MBC’s short-script drama, The Pork Cutlets, drops us into small-town life with a village chief on the verge of vasectomy and a boy about to face circumcision. With their masculine miseries at the forefront of their minds, they team up to save a Don Juan dog from being neutered. What it lacks in logic it makes up for in color, with zany antics that add adventure to the dramas of daily life.

 
EPISODES 1-2

We start with the head of the village, JUNG JA-WANG (Jung Sang-hoon), on the loudspeaker looking for a dog named BAEKGU. We learn that Baekgu is quite a player, having pups all over town and upsetting all the neighbors. And since the village chief’s name means “sperm king,” it seems like Baekgu isn’t the only one who’s spreading his seed.

It’s not exactly the same, since Ja-wang is happily married, but he’s got three little boys at home and his wife, IM SHIN-AE (Jeon Hye-bin) is pregnant again — this time with twins. (And her name is right on the money too, since imshin means “pregnant.”)

Along with all the villagers screaming for Baekgu to be neutered, now Shin-ae is also screaming for Ja-wang to have a vasectomy. But there are protests on both sides. Ja-wang tries to pass the responsibility for not getting pregnant again onto his wife (who tells him that the procedure is much easier for men than for women). And Baekgu’s owner, the village elder CHOON-SHIM (Kim Young-ok), doesn’t want to neuter her dog. Her little grandson, BOK-CHEOL (Jo Dan), is also against it because he’s Baekgu’s best friend.

A secondary problem in the town is that the local production of yams is not selling as well as it used to. After an altercation about Baekgu between two local ladies (Park Kyung-hye and Kim Soo-jin), Ja-wang gets an idea for how to kill two birds with one stone. He calls the TV show How is it Possible? and wants to promote the yams by claiming that Baekgu’s stamina comes from eating so many of them. As a bonus, the show will pay for the neutering.

But when it comes time to consider his own vasectomy, Ja-wang has to be pressured to speak to a doc (that is, Shin-ae leaves the house and won’t return until he agrees to it). We learn that the yet-to-be-born twins are also boys — and it’s Ja-wang’s dream to have a daughter. Even with five sons, he doesn’t want to give up the chance for another child, in case it’s a girl.

But wifely pressure weighs on him and he finally agrees to the surgery. And it just so happens that on the same day he’s scheduled to go under the knife, Bok-cheol is also being duped into going to the hospital for a circumcision. His grandma tells him that they’re going into town to eat donkatsu (pork cutlets), and the poor thing has no idea what’s about to happen to him.

After both procedures, Ja-wang and Bok-cheol find themselves at the same table eating donkatsu, while Bok-cheol sobs his eyes out from pain and the added trauma of being lured in with a favorite food. Man and boy are in too much discomfort to ride home in the car, and they instead saunter home together and bond over their shared sadness from surgery.

Later, before the TV crew has a chance to arrive to do the story on Baekgu, Ja-wang gets drunk on ginseng homebrew and lets Baekgu off his leash. In his mind, there’s still hope for Baekgu and there’s no reason to put him through what he and Bok-cheol have just endured.

The next morning, when the TV crew is there and the dog is missing, Ja-wang finds himself on a sudden mission to find Baekgu. But with flyers and all over town and pork cutlets left out as bait, months pass (the twins are born) and there’s still no sign of him. It’s a big deal because now the town’s yam sales are wrapped up in finding this dog.

At re-election time, Ja-wang is opposed for his seat as village chief by his life-long frenemy, town gossip PARK DEOK-SAM (Lee Joong-ok). The townspeople decide that whichever of them can find Baekgu first will be elected. And so, the two men spar by preparing donkatsu non-stop to try to attract the dog.

After some time passes, we learn that Bok-cheol has been hiding Baekgu this whole time in a storage shed. And even though Ja-wang finds him there first, he decides not to give up the secret because Bok-cheol is so convincing in his wish to not have the dog go through something so painful as he went through.

Then, with Ja-wang’s re-election uncertain, another mishap occurs: Shin-ae is pregnant again. How can it be when he had a vasectomy? Everyone’s first thought is that she cheated on him and so Ja-wang leaves home to pout. But in reality, the clinic didn’t tell Ja-wang the important news that he needed to clear his body of any leftover sperm before having sex with his wife again. Whatever was left in his system was enough to do the job. And even though they’re not happy at first, the good news is that baby number 6 is a girl.

In the meantime, Bok-cheol dyes Baekgu’s fur dark so no one will recognize the once-white dog if they spot him. It’s not a great costume, though, and when Deok-sam stumbles on Baekgu in the storage shed, he gathers the villagers to prove he’s found the dog and should win the election. Everyone knows it’s Baekgu but pretends not to know just to give him a hard time.

And so, since Baekgu is still “missing,” Ja-wang goes on the TV show himself to promote the yams. He boasts that he got his wife pregnant even after having a vasectomy and claims the yams were what helped his sperm survive. So, in the end, Baekgu appears to have escaped his fate. Ja-wang got the daughter he always wanted. And the town’s yams are sure to sell. It’s satisfying for everyone all around — except Deok-sam, who doesn’t get a chance to be the village chief.

Well, the plot doesn’t make total sense (like, no one cares about the original problem of Baekgu prancing around creating puppies), but the point here is about the process. It’s a bunch of zany events that follow one after another in the everyday lives of small town nosy neighbors. The fun comes from the colorful characters (with familiar faces), and a series of cute puppies and newborn babies that don’t get nearly enough screen time.

Full of wacky humor, punny wordplay, and enough innuendo around chili peppers to last a lifetime, the two-episode drama scores highest in the convivial connections between the villagers and the way adversaries become easy friends. It’s a bit basic and a little loud, but its upbeat tone and offbeat comedy are enough to push it forward and make the time pass quickly.

 
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Thank you @dramaddictally for saving my time for other dramas, nothing sounds appealing for me here, perhaps also because as a mom of twins (number 3 and 4) I can much more identify with Wife.
(I'm also horrified with dragging a small boy to a circumcision under a pretense, against his will.)
This is a case where me and Kotean humour (and cultural background) differ too much.

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Surprisingly enjoyed this drama. I adore watching a family drama with a good normal lifestyle. No truck of doom, no serial killers just everyday life.

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I'm 99% sure this was a post-vasectomy care PSA.

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I like the kdrama

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I have finally watched this snd agree it was low key fun but no logic. I was disappointed that the extra cost of puppies no one planned was not factored in. Keeping a dog irresponsibly regardless of the grandson’s love for the dog was a bit much to accept. I am sure if the unwanted puppies were dumped on grandma to raise sell etc. she would manage the dog better.
I love the in your face PSA for one man single handedly raising the birthrate.

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