Last episode we met Jang Joon Hyun (Ji Hyun Woo), a pop star who meets and annoys Choon Hee (Jung Eun Ji) who supports her family and loves trot music. Rounding out the core characters are Jo Geun Woo (Shin Sung Rok), a record company president’s aimless son, and Park Soo In (Lee Se Young) a singer anxious to make it big.
Joon Hyun imagines telling Choon Hee exactly what he thinks of her, but in reality he blusters a bit then leaves confusing Choon Hee and her little sister Byul why he showed up on their doorstop.
Joon Hyun is evicted from his apartment. He stands outside the building with a suitcase and his guitar unsure of what to do next. The record company President Jo picks him up and they discuss Choon Hee’s tutoring. Joon Hyun declares he cannot tutor her, there are personal issues between them that he cannot get past. They pull up in front of the courthouse and President Jo exits the car as does Joon Hyun. President Jo clearly tells Joon Hyun, if he elects not to tutor Choon Hee, he will sue him for breach of contract and all the expenses the company incurred during the scandal. Joon Hyun begs for a second chance. The interaction is amusing and a bit campy. I’m ready for it and enjoy it.
Meanwhile 2 debt collectors arrive at Choon Hee’s house telling her she must pay back her father’s debt. Joon Hyun walks into the house, suitcase in hand, stating fate has driven them together. The debt collectors immediately think maybe Joon Hyun can give them money. When Joon Hyun and Choon Hee disavow a relationship the debt collectors decide they must plant (bury) one of them and choose Joon Hyun as it would be rude to bury a girl. Next scene has Joon Hyun up to his next in dirt begging the debt collectors to stop and Choon Hee begs for lenience too. Joon Hyun is inspired to tell the debt collectors that Choon Hee is a singer and will be signing a contract the next day. That interests our debt collectors. They ask Choon Hee sing something to see if she has a decent voice. She gamely sings one of her mother’s trot songs which the debt collectors enjoy. When they recieve a phone call about another debtor they split telling Choon Hee they’ll be back the next day to take her to the record company.
Choon Hee digs Joon Hyun out to the top of his chest then receives a phone call that a body that may be her father has been found. She immediately leaves with Joon Hyun still buried dirt and stunned that he has been deserted. He imagines terrible animals attacking him but it is just a bunny. He manages to finagle the shovel near him so he can extricate himself.
The body is NOT Choon Hee’s father and she weeps with relief. She returns to the woods and finds Joon Hyun gone and an empty hole in the ground.
President Jo tells his son Geun Woo that he needs him to take over as president for 1 year. Geun Woo tries to avoid this request but is unable to and agrees. President Jo directs Geuon Woo to meet Director Yang (Soo In’s mother) for a business meeting that evening.
Joon Hyun goes to Choon Hee’s home where Byul lets him in. His stomach growls and Byul leds him to the refrigerator informing him that he has to eat the food with the older expiration date. Joon Hyun cannot believe they eat that way.
Soo In exits the record company asking her mother why she needs to attend the business meeting. Soo In’s mother tells her that the auditions are coming up and Soo In needs to make a good impressions on the interim president. Soo In spots the car her mother hired to take her to dinner and gets in the car. She tells the driver to take her to the restaurant. Unbeknownst to her the driver is Geuon Woo! She chats on the phone with her mother about how to act with the new president, puts on panty hose, freshens her makeup, all with Geuon Woo listening and watching through the rear view mirror. When they reach the restaurant they both exit the car. Soo In asks why he is following her and thinks he needs a tip which she gives him. Geuon Woo grins as she flounces away. When he walks into the restaurant with her she asks why he is following her. Just then her mother spots both of them and motions them to the table.
Soo In’s mother flatters Geuon Woo immediately and Soo In sits next to her mother mortified that she thought he was the driver. She introduces Soo In as a trainee at the record company. She asks if the auditions will go on as planned. Geuon Woo says nothing will change. She is pleased. That means Geuon Woo will be judge for the auditions. Cornered, Geuon Woo agrees he will judge as his father would have.
When Choon Hee returns home Byul tells her she should be a singer. Choon Hee asks Byul why she is talking about this. Joon Hyul exits the bathroom fresh from a shower. Choon He is floored he is back. Joon Hyul reminds her he got buried because of her. Choon Hee questions why does the record company president want to be a singer? How does he know about her? Joon Hyul tells her who cares? She can become a singer and pay off her fathers debts. Choon Hee kicks him out of the house. Joon elects to sleep on the table on the patio.
Soo In is once again on the phone trying to find out personal information about Geuon Woo when he walks up having overheard. Another embarrassing moment for Soo In! As they get on the elevator together she apologizes for assuming he was the driver. She asks why he didn’t correct her. He tells her he was going to the restaurant anyway, why not enjoy the company of a beautiful woman? Soo In grants him a smile with that compliment. She tells him she wants to win the audition. He tells her she’ll owe him dinner if she wins. He mentions yesterday’s tip and she hold out her hands for the cash. Instead he tells her he’ll use it well and exits the elevator.
Joon Hyun and Choon Hee wait outside the record president’s office but no one answers the knock. Joon Hyun goes to find someone to help. Geuon Woo comes to the door but cannot remember the keycode to enter. He enters incorrectly enough times that the alarm goes off. He snatches her cell phone and walks away. She heads after him and into a stairwell. When the door closes, they find they are locked out! Choon Hee remembers Geuon Woo as that weirdo from their previous encounters. As they wait for someone to come, he asks why she was outside the President’s office. She tells him she came to meet with him.
As Joon Hyun looks for President Jo he runs into Soo In. He returns the money she paid him for her debut song saying he won’t be indebted to her. Choon Hee calls him and he heads off to get her out of the stairwell. He extracts both of them and then they learn Geuon Woo is interim president. In the office Joon Hyun explains they are there to sign a contract per his father’s wishes that Choon Hee be developed as a singer. Unfortunately the documents are not a contract but a forms for tomorrow’s preliminary auditions for the singing contest. Geuon Woo tells Choon Hee that she can enter and there is prize money.
Joon Hyun and Choon Hee discuss tomorrow’s audition. She decides she cannot be ready in a day. Getting a job so she and Byul can survive is her priority. She leaves and meets the debt collectors. She tells them there was no contract. They grab the papers she holds and see the prize money for the singing contest is $100,000. They decide she’ll audition tomorrow and whisk her away.
At the board of directors meeting, Geuon Woo proposes Choon Hee be allowed to enter the contest. Soo In’s mother agrees to add another person. After the meeting her cohort asks why she’d allow additional competition for Soo In? She tells him the judges are in her back pocket, so the more bridesmaids the better.
The debt collectors take Choon Hee to a room filled with sequined dresses and encourage her to pick out a dress for tomorrow’s audition. These dresses are not her style, but they insist.
Joon Hyun goes to withdraw money from his bank account and gets the dreaded “card has been cancelled”. President Jo calls Joon Hyun who tells him he expected a contract NOT an audition opportunity. President Jo tells him he’ll have to earn the contract and he better prepare Choon Hee for tomorrow’s audition or he’ll sue! Joon Hyun reassures President Jo they are working on her audition. Joon Hyun frets there is no way out of this audition.
Joon Hyun and Choon Hee review the potential songs. Frustrated they agree that trot is the only kind of music that works for her. They review posture, intonation, breathing, etc. until they are exhausted.
The next day is audition day and Soo In and Geuon Woo are in the elevator when Joon Hyun and Choon Hee join them. Joon Hyun asks why Soo In is there. She tells him she is auditioning today. Joon Hyun tells Choon Hee they don’t stand a chance. Choon Hee and Soo In make their way to the contestants only area. Turns out no one is dressed like Choon Hee.
Waiting to go on stage, Choon Hee gets more and more nervous. Finally on stage the judges ask why she choose the song. She tells them it was a song her mother used to sing. The rest of the exchange with the judges highlight her inexperience and she continues to get nervous. President Jo slips into the audience, Joon Hyun and the debt collectors all anxiously await her song.
Then she imagines her family there cheering her on and she turns and sings beautifully. The audience gets into the old but good song. Joon Hyun is happy, the debt collectors are happy, President Jo is happy, and the judges are happy. She nails it!
* This episode had all four core characters engaged. It was a fun episode to watch. It zipped along with humor and story line progress. The show has some campy elements, like zooming in on Joon Hyun over the top facial expressions, but it is not excessive.
* I felt for Soo In. How embarrassed she must have been when she found out that Geuon Woo was the interim president NOT her driver. Their subsequent interactions were really good. They have chemistry.
* Joon Hyun and Byul are so cute together, the size differential between the tall man and the little girl really adds to the humor and sweetness of their interactions.
* Both Joon Hyun and Geuon Woo have chemistry with Choon Hee. This could be a fun series.
* Interesting that Geuon Woo kept Soo In’s money while Joon Hyun returned her money. Measure of the man?
Tags: Trot Lovers, 2014, Korean Drama, Ji Hyun Woo, Jung Eun Ji, Lovers of Music, 트로트의 연인, Shin Sung Rok, Lee Se Young