The setup: There are 4 key players in this cast – Senior Producer Ra Joon Mo (Cha Tae Hyun), senior Producer Tak Ye Jin (Kong Hyo Jin), rookie producer Baek Seung Chan (Kim Soo Hyun), and singing star Cindy (IU).
At this point in the series, Ye Jin likes Joon Mo who is subtly maneuvering for her affections. Poor man, subtle does not work with Ye Jin. Seung Chan has made his move and kissed Ye Jin. Cindy likes Seung Chan but he’s occupied with Ye Jin and not emotionally available.
Episode 11 – Seung Chan’s kiss of Ye Jin doesn’t have the reaction he hoped for. Ye Jin does not melt at the touch of his lips. Rather she pulls away and asks what he is doing. At least she clearly knows he likes her. What will she do about this? For starters, she decides moving into her own apartment is what she needs to do. Both Joon Mo and Ye Jin are sorry to see her go. Darling passive aggressive moment when Seung Chan shakes the can of coke before handing it to Joon Mo’s boss. He did this because their show, 1 day 2 nights, must give their time slot to a new show, Star Wars. I like the parallel of the old not getting preferential treatment anymore, now the young get this (e.g. the two shows 1 day 2 nights & star wars, Cindy & the next young pop star). Cindy maneuvers for time with Seung Chan be pretending to be mad about her preview for 1 day 2 nights. Seung Chan points out the preview showed a different side of her. She can’t argue that point. She even posts the mocking imagery of herself to join in the fun of teasing her. Seung Chan and Joon Mo share a “bro lunch”. Arriving home Cindy is blindsided by producer Min Sook and a TV reporting crew. The interviewer gets Cindy to reveal her parents are dead. Min Sook claims Cindy lied to her years about this. All of a sudden, Cindy is a liar and public sentiment goes against her. Cindy’s heartbreak over the unfair and manipulated situation is tough to watch. Gosh, you want to protect Cindy! Ye Jin does the right thing and tells Seung Chan the timing isn’t right for them to explore a relationship. He walks away heartbroken. I like the parallel that Cincy is heartbroken and Seung Chan is the same too. The next day Joon Mo experiences a parallel moment when Seung Chan demands they help Cindy not abandon her. Joon Mo recalls he said that same thing about the singer before Cindy. In the most touching moment of the series, we see Cindy sleeping. The 1 day 2 nights crew surrounds her bed and the camera man begins filming. When Cindy wakes she realizes the show did not dump her like Min Sook wanted. Grateful, Cindy breaks down in tears. I cry too. It was a lovely moment. In the epilogue, we see Joon Mo is the one that called nagging the city to change the light bulbs so Ye Jin could have a lit sidewalk walking to her apartment after sunset. I love his quiet way of showing his feelings. Will Ye Jin ever realize Joon Mo cares?
Episode 12 – The episode doesn’t start where Episode 11 ended (Cindy’s bedroom) but takes a step back to how the 1 day 2 nights team got there. Joon Mo rises in my esteem when he tells his management Cindy is in the show as long as there a show to produce. Even better when Producer Min Sook talks to the management and demands Cindy’s replacement be placed on their newest variety show, star wars, the station manager surprises me and tells her the station will not cow tow to her request. She doesn’t run the station, she provides talent. Seung Chan asks Ye Jin if they can rewind and restart their relationship. For whatever reason, that request doesn’t resonate with me. Seung Chan declared his feelings, Ye Jin said only friendship no romance, even if if he is desperate, he knows you cannot reboot. The 1 day 2 nights team pairs the stars with Grandmothers. Cindy is horrified at the unorganized home and sets about organizing . The problem for Seung Chan is that this is not interesting TV. That point gets dropped as there is a nice scene with Cindy, Seung Chan and Joon Mo discussing cancellation and Yuna (who is doing well as a florist). Seung Chan falls asleep and his head rests on Cindy’s shoulder much to her pleasure. When he wakes she asks if he’ll hold her hand once, and he does. These two have a sweet untapped potential. Finally Producer Min Sook gets humiliated when the tape that Ye Jin found of Cindy admitting her parents were dead complete with Min Sook instructing her to lie, air on TV. Cindy’s reputation is restored and Min Sook’s reputation plummets. Seung Chan gets drunk (rite of passage). Ye Jin and Joon Mo walk him how. LOL when Seung Chan plants a kiss on Joon Mo. Ye Jin thanks Seung Chan for nagging the city to change the light bulbs on her street. Our sweet Seung Chan cannot lie and say it was him. Finally Ye Jin realizes Joon Mo did this for her. She calls Joon Mo and they finally have a direct conversation about their relationship. I cheered when Joon Mo said “I’ve spent over half my life following you around. Me following you wasn’t a habit, but love.” They hug ready to start a romantic relationship together. The show ends with Seung Chan helping the now bare bones Cindy (she’s no longer with a management company, she does it herself) carry her luggage into the station. Maybe there’s a chance for romance but right now, there are smiles and friendship growing between them. The final epilogue time jumps 3 months. Ye Jin and Joon Mo are together and happy. Cindy is still independent and Sueng Chan’s producer skills increase.
1. The senior characters, Ye Jin and Joon Mo, finally address romance. Joon Mo quietly showed his support. Ye Jin finally saw Joon Mo’s kindness. Their final interaction was positive and put them on the path walking life together. I’m glad they got there. I was thrilled that Joon Mo stood up to his management and stood by Cindy.
2. The junior characters, Seung Chan and Cindy, evolved to a friendship that could progress to romance. I was pleased that Ye Jin told Seung Chan there would be no romance. I found it reasonable he didn’t flit from Ye Jin to Cindy. So at the end of the show, Seung Chan and Cindy have potential for romance. Cindy, my favorite character of the show, finally frees herself from Producer Min Sook. She owes it all to Ye Jin who found that tape that exonerated Cindy and damned Min Sook. I liked that Ye Jin was a bit of a mother and friend to Cindy throughout the series. I love that Cindy was self managing and aware of the costs at the end of the series.
3. I will write a series review but here’s some quick thoughts:
* This show was written by a clever writer.
* The prime and support characters were interesting and interwove well each episode. My heart was with Cindy. In fact, she was the only character that I emotionally connected with. I liked but did not love the other key players.
* The use of real stars was well done throughout the entire series. Bravo to the casting department.
* The balance between stories about the TV station and the romance between our 4 key players was difficult to maintain. The first half of the series was weighted to the TV station and the final focus was weighted to the romance.