Strongest K Pop Survival Episode I Recap

(My Korean isn’t perfect so I might have made a few mistakes. Please overlook and forgive, if any :)!  I also did not understand the episode 100% so there’s many things I am hazy about. Still, I hope to give you an idea about what is happening.  All in all, I hope you enjoy the recap!)

The drama may not be as original as it could be but its definitely fun to watch, especially if you’re a fan of this genre. As it is, the story has already been exploited a lot (Most famous: You’re Beautiful) and the premise of this one is just as familiar-the hero is with a killer smile and charisma which masks his mean spirit while our heroine, Ji Seung Yeon dreams of becoming a hip-hop legend but unexpectedly ends up dressing as male idol to join M2, the idol band of which Hyun Woo is the leader. I’m already loving Seung Yeon’s look and the encounters between Hyun Woo and Seung Yeon are fun to watch, despite knowing what to expect next. Most of all what’s fun is the characters of Seung Yeon and Ji Woo. Like their grandmother says, they accidently switched personalities when they were born because the girl Seung Yeon is as boyish as she can be, confident and outspoken while Ji Woo couldn’t be more shy or nervous and interested in cooking! All in all, for now, I view it as a good time pass series. It’s fun, enjoyable and gives a few laughs. If it does more ahead or moves into original territory or explores the interactions and sequences with flair, I’ll like it even more! 😉

Episode I Recap:

The drama opens in an MV sequence and thereon, to various concerts as a reporter gives an account of the fledgling K Pop industry which is now a global concept, rather than just an Asian phenomenon. Amongst these rising stars is the group M2 which recently held a concert in Europe, showing they are the globally recognized and accepted K Pop band. Cut to the UK National Music ScWoool, we’ve got Seung Yeon performing a piano piece. While she’s playing well, there’s a bored expression on her face and finally, on a whim, she starts playing a childish tune and this time, smiles broadly and is having fun, while the judges are left staring. Both ends, the performance of M2 and Seung Yoon superimpose over one another.

Finally, a judge shouts at Seung Yeon to stop. Next, we see her carrying a bag and wondering what she did wrong. The judge had rubbed into her for turning Beethooven’s masterpiece into such rubbish but she’d disagreed. The verdict-She failed! Now, she laments she’s dead if she goes home but then cheers herself up saying this wasn’t the school she wanted to attend anyway and reserves a ticket on the fastest plane back to Korea. She’s had about five beers on the plane. In the same plane, M2 is travelling in high class and Woo Hyun signs an autograph for an air hostess, all smiles until she leaves, after which, he turns to his manager with a scowl. To ease things, his manager hands him a beer. Woo Hyun stares at his team member across from him, who meekly apologizes for being too nervous during the performance. Without a word, Woo Hyun throws his beer at the guy, just as a woman walks in from behind to talk to the manager. The manager shushes her and sends her back. The other members simply stare. Woo Hyun rubs into each and every member before leaving. The members can’t do anything about him. Although they hate his guts, he’s the reason M2 is still together and running high. The guy Woo Hyun hit, however, promises the others to get even and “properly screw” over Woo Hyun.

Elsewhere fans are carrying out a protest. It seems the company has decided to cut down certain members from M2 and only let four people remain. Fans of course are protesting the move. Most of their support however, is for Woo Hyun. From upstairs, the President of the company watches and asks his Team Leader for her opinion. She tells him its risky and not let Woo Hyun graduate. If he’s taken out, M2 won’t be the same. She hands him the portfolios of new auditioning people but he tells her to take care of it herself.

Meanwhile, the plane experiences turbulence and Woo Hyun, probably not feeling well, heads out to the washroom. At the other end, Seung Yoon also feels like puking but the washroom is occupied when she gets there and anxiously knocks again and again. Deciding, she heads to the upper deck, the elite class. There, Seung Yoon comes out and doesn’t move in time and Seung Yoon pukes all over him. Before he can get revenge, the air hostess arrives to escort him back to his seat. Woo Hyun orders the stained shirt to be thrown away. While no one says anything, everyone’s mocking he irony of what happened. Seung Yeon comes out after a while and is surprised to see the clean floor. She’s sure she almost… but can’t pursue the thought as the air hostess ushers her back to her seat. When M2 arrives at Korea, hordes of fans welcome them and Woo Hyun orders his manager to find and bring Seung Yeon to him.


Seung Yeon meanwhile exits the airport and calls up Ji Woo who is too preoccupied and happy to pick up. He’s walking home in a happy dance since he’s heard he’ll be able to audition for M2. But not all’s well for him either since he’s stopped by a gang of ruffians but he’s got no money to give them. But Seung Yeon comes to his rescue. She adorably calls Ji Woo “My wife” and beats up the gangsters. After initially being happy to meet Seung Yeon, Ji Woo wonders why she’s here. They head home to her grandma and she asks her grandmother to keep her situation a secret from her parents. Her grandmother agrees but asks what she’s going to do here on. Seung Yeon says here on, she’ll do the work she likes to do.

Late that night, Seung Yeon looks around for Ji Woo and finds him in the kitchen with granny’s help. He’s decorating a cake (And it is as pretty as it gets!) Seung Yeon plays a joke on Ji Woo and tastes the cake’s icing, asking him what the occasion is that has made him so happy. He tells her about his chance to audition for M2. She’s happy for him and tells him not to worry, he’ll do well. Next day the President is talking to some idols about trying acting (It seems they’re MBLAQ!) and encourages them to try. Meanwhile, Woo Hyun has to be part of the audition as well since he’s the leader. Although hesitant at first, he agrees because of the President’s barb. Meanwhile, Seung Yeon is dropping Ji Woo at the door but seeing his nerves, she decides to accompany him inside. Ji Woo promises to do his best and Seung Yeon sends him in with some advice. Inside the auditions room, he runs into some of his seniors and in the corner is one guy who was on the same plane as Seung Yeon before. Ji Woo becomes nervous looking at everyone and whispers Seung Yeon’s name.

She in the meantime, runs into M1, the boys from the President’s office and is about to talk to them when her stomach starts acting up again. They offer to give her an autograph but her stomach acts up again and she asks them to wait until she gets back. They go away the minute she walks away wondering what’s wrong with her. Seung Yeon sees the President approaching while talking on the phone and hurriedly hides in the closest place she can find, the men’s room. There someone walks in and she thinks it’s Ji Woo. This time, her prank falls back on her since its not him but rather, it’s Hyun Woo and recognizes her from the plane. His manager comes in and assumes the worst, walking out with his eyes open but face covered, apologizing for walking in at the wrong moment. Ha! Seung Yeon shouts “I’m sorry!” before running off. Hyun Woo chases her on the stairs.

Meanwhile, the auditions are underway. Seung Yeon manages to lose her tail but he appears from the other end. She finally exits the building and Hyun Woo follows but fans catch sight of him. A long way ahead, Seung Yeon finally comes to a stop after a long run, panting for breath and from the opposite end; Hyun Woo stands two feet away from her and demands the phone she took his photograph from. Running away, she collides with a stranger and her phone goes flying, which Hyun Woo grabs. But it’s got a password lock and Seung Yeon has run away.

By the time its Ji Woo’s turn, he’s a bundle of nerves and the first time around, he misses the cue to sing. He’s given a second chance and remembers Seung Yeon’s words and seems to make a decision. At home, Seung Yeon is a bundle of nerves, waiting for him to return. He comes home and dismisses Seung Yeon’s queries, walking to the fridge and preparing to cook. The President had motioned to him to start singing but as soon as he opened his mouth to sing, he ended up vomiting. Granny and Seung Yeon see him cooking and realize he’s failed but tell him not to worry too much. Elsewhere, Hyun Woo is trying every code he can but nothing works and he finally throws the phone away in annoyance. The Team Leader brings in the new auditioned guys to meet him but he leaves without a word. He goes to the President to complain about the talentless guys that were picked and warns them to think about it again if they want M2 to survive. The Team Leader tells the President Hyun Woo’s words are right, the kids cant be put on stage like that and time is too short to train them. In that moment, Hyun Woo’s manager bursts in, the auditions video was leaked online. Again, protests by fans go to new heights! The selected people are termed talentless and not fit for M2.

Watching the protests, the President muses it is just like the old times when he was in a band and it was disbanded. Hyun Woo watches the protests from his van with a smile. The President tells the Team Leader to prepare for a press conference. He says he wants to try it himself this time. He can’t hide forever after all. Outside, the Team Leader thinks to herself, it’s time to be okay now, it’s been 15 years already. As the President watches the fans, a flashback shows us his days as an idol when he had been dating another idol and the news of it had been leaked but his management had denied the whole story even though the other idol had already affirmed they were dating. As he drives home, he remembers the articles in the newspapers and all the headlines.

At night, Seung Yeon can’t find Ji Woo anywhere and granny tells her to find him outside. Once there, she finds him in the trashcan. He muses he should be thrown away like trash since he’s so useless. She shouts at him to get back in. The next day, M2 is at a photo shoot and catch the President’s press conference on the TV. Seung Yeon sees it at home and the Team Leader watches from her office. The President, to everyone’s surprise, announces a second audition and announces that this time, fans will be able to vote for the members they want to be a part of M2. Most of all, for the fans, it will be a blind audition.

See you with Episode II! 😉

About hitomiakiko

Architect and Aspiring Writer

Posted on March 25, 2012, in Asian Cinema, Entertainment, Korean Cinema, Potpourri, Recaps, Uncategorized, Written Excerpts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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