I Love Italy Episode I Recap

I am terrible with names so please bear with me if I cannot properly identify a character! Overall, this is a fun series because of the little moments of comedy that are instilled by all the characters relationships with one another. Eun Dong’s family, his coach, Tae Ri and her loneliness all are endearing that make the drama speak more simply by the smallest gestures or the slightest dialogue. No one’s feelings are ignorable or underestimated, no matter how young one may seem.

Episode 1 Recap:

Three boys are walking down a street and gape in awe at the long line of women walking around. One of the boys, a geeky glasses boy mutters, “I don’t think I can go” and immediately starts to turn back but Eun Dong stops him and nudges him back forward. They go down the lane, gawking at the ladies, one by one and end up at a school. As it turns out, they’ve come since geeky glasses guys wants to confess to a girl studying there. Ohhh, it’s a noona love! Even though they look are kids and she’s much elder, it’s not as cheeky as it could be since everyone in the class starts to go oooh and aaahh over the gesture and even the teacher teases the girl. Its more like they take it in good spirit. Geek’s two friends help him make a sign heart with their arms and the girl in question makes the same sign as everyone nudges her. Right after, she mouths at him, “You’re Dead!” This too, done playfully. It’s like-hey, it’s a kid’s crush, no need to break his heart mercilessly!

Seeing the success of geek’s confession, Eun Dong imagines his girl. The three run off into the street, happily bouncing. Eun Dong stops as he spots a poster on a bus stop of his dream girl. Just beyond, he catches sight of a woman dressed in black in the coffee shop but who looks sad.  Off to swimming. Eun Dong is one of the best swimmers on the league. His friends cheer for him as he competes. He wins! Haha, he and his teacher are so cutesy together. He actually bites down on his gold medal to see if it is real gold.

Eun Dong goes to buy a ring and although there’s no diamond on it, he’s sure the receiver will be able to feel his heart!

ED: “This ring is made from my history. It represents my entire swimming history. Made from the medal I won. The person who receives it should be very touched.”

As soon as he exits, he runs into a group of bullies. He tries to save his ring and ends up swallowing it. He even sticks out his tongue at them! So childish! At home, his mother delivers a scolding to his father. His father is teasing his mother in return when grandpa walks in and awkwardly coughs to put the kids back into sense. Mum tells grandpa Eun Dong is too young for marriage and there’s a lot he has yet to do but what can she do when he’s already been promised. Hilariously, she says that while beating something with full force, causing even grandpa to cower. Hehe. I love this family!

Eun Dong comes in as grandpa is leaving and asks for something to eat when his mum and dad ask if he didn’t get a medal. A lightbulb goes on in his head and he makes an excuse about donating it to the school. Dad smells something fishy but mum gets back in his face. Eun Dong poops in a pot that night (Ewww!) and yes, that means the ring is out! Ugh! His mum asks him if he really likes his fiancée that much.

Four girls are having dance practice when a woman in a hanbok walks in and shuts off the music. All of them cower to see her, especially the girl in question-granddaughter of that woman who points out she forgot her promise with grandma and idol girl tells her she already told her she had an important schedule today. Grandma cuts her down, calling her out for wearing small clothes and orders her to follow and turns to leave. Girl tells grandma she’ll come by later when it’s all done but grandma drags her away by her trouser.

Next, she’s at a marriage ceremony between her and Eun Dong. Eun Dong is all smiles but idol girl is in a hurry to get out and back to work as she checks her watch every two seconds and does her bow in the quickest manner possible. Turns out she is seven years older than him!A cartoon near Eun Dong shows the sun shining while another near idol girl shows it’s raining. Haha, everyone’s approaching the marriage with a different view! Not such a good thing, I’d say. She watches the wine drip out bit by bit and frustrated at the pace, asks if they can just forego that part for now. After all, Eun Dong shouldn’t even be drinking, he’s underage! When they finally do give her the wine to drink, she falls over in an act and pretends her stomach is hurting. Everyone frets and worries over her and shift her inside, where she asks grandma to let her rest in peace for a while. Everyone but Eun Dong  leaves who starts massaging her foot to ease her pain. Muhuhahahaha! Once everyone’s gone, she kicks his hands away and gets up, ready to run away.

Eun Dong realizes what’s she’s up to, “I knew it was like this!” and starts to sound the alarm when idol girl begs him not to. When he doesn’t listen, she bribes him, “Noona will give you a kiss… on your lips!” Eun Dong immediately lights up and blushes, all smilies. Next, he’s cycling her to the place she needs to be and she thanks him. He tells her, “I don’t know, I’ll just be killed by grandma!” but with a wide smile. When she holds onto him, hearts fly around and his smile grows even wider. As they pass a shop, there is a news going on about the woman Eun Dong had seen in the cafeteria and some man. Said woman arrives at a dock, having just returned from Italy after her grandfather’s death to inherit the company he owned and she’s managed to bring back an antiquated clock which is also a national treasure. She’s wearing a locket that has a special glow about it. She is Tae Ri.

When idol girl reaches, her manager is going nuts waiting and she heads inside, all cool and business like now. When her manager asks who Eun Dong is, she says ‘a fan’ and dismissing him, walks away. Poor boy shouts after her, “Keep your promise!” and blows her a kiss! Eun Dong is leaving just as the woman arrives and is accosted by fans. He is thrown to a side and notices something on the ground once everyone is gone. It’s the pendant of the locket Tae Ri was wearing. He picks it up.

Tae Ri finds out her speech for the opening ceremony has been prepared by a manager and calls for him. She’s even more surprised to find him a familiar face, but one she doesn’t want to see. Seung Jae disregards her insults, reminding her calmly of her priorities. But Tae Ri doesn’t give a damn and insists that he stays out of her sight. Tae Ri then goes to the room where there is a globular circular structure-the antiquated clock. She has flashbacks of her time when she had dated Seung Jae. She notices her pendant missing and wonders where she lost it. Eun Dong meanwhile, faces himself in the bathroom mirror and puckers up for the kiss. He decides to freshen his breath with some toothpaste but ends up spilling some on his clothes. As he removes it, he notices the pendant glowing strangely. He puts it down and starts to walk out but stops and picks it up again. Walking out, he bumps into a guy coming in who spills his drink on Eun Dong. As he’s wiping it away, he notices idol girl walking in the distance and calls out to her but she doesn’t hear him. Seung Jae is behind her.

Eun Dong comes out behind her and sees her kiss Seung Jae calling him Oppa. Eyes wide, he can only stare and clutches the pendant in his hand. She tells Seung Jae she wants to spend her life with him and hasn’t thought of anyone else ever. Sun Jin cuts her down to size and rejects her. She threatens to kill herself and he doesn’t even bat an eyelash. Tears falling from his eyes, Eun Dong follows the now crying idol girl, but loses her and ends up at the same spot as Tae Ri. His vision is blurry from his tears so he simply hugs her from behind, thinking its idol girl. Idol girl meanwhile, is staring at her phone and sees the hoard of fans outside. Eun Dong whispers, “Don’t cry. Because I’ll protect you.” Awww.

By the time Tae Ri shrugs him off and turns back, he can see her clearly and steps back in surprise and shock. She wonders at him-he’s just a kid and he ekes out an apology. She asks how he got in and he is wondering that himself. She asks what happened and he tells her he’s sad-the person he likes doesn’t like him and he feels like the saddest person in the world. She scoffs at that when she hears his age and tells him there’s a lot more to worry about in life and not to think such sad thoughts. He rejects her notion-his heart can beat fast even at that age, the person he likes is sad and crying, how can he not care. He turns to leave and she adds, “Just be strong [just enjoy it] In any case, life is just a continuation of regrets.

At the concert, idol girl is missing. Meanwhile, the circles on the globe clock move but no one realizes it and outside, the weather suddenly turns dark and clouds form over the building, darkness spreading far and wide. The lights go out and Tae Ri panics-she hates the dark and is scared. Around them, steel barriers fall, as if protecting the globe. Eun Dong offers to hole her hand and frightened, she grabs him for a hug. As Tae Ri holds her, the globe behind lights up and Eun Dong watches it with a stunned expression. Within moments, the darkness vanishes and idol girl shows up for the concert at the last moment. When the lights go back on, Tae Ri withdraws and mutters that she’s alright now.

Then just enjoy it. In any case, life is just a continuation of regrets. shows up and orders the car to be brought out to take Tae Ri back. He orders his minion to take Eun Dong away and interrogate him well, find out how he got here and all. Tae Ri stops them-he was with her and he protected her. She gives Eun Dong her card and when Eun Dong reads her name, a glow passes over the card too. She tells him to come to him whenever he has a problem; she’ll remember him whenever he comes to her in life and tells him to keep her words in his heart, something like ‘Life is an adventure, love is a promise’-he’ll definitely become a good person-someone who doesn’t hurt women and who protects them.

Eun Dong gets chased by his mother in the evening while dad and grandma try to stop her. She takes him to task for running off with idol girl and reminds everyone she hated idol girl for her son’s match. Eun Dong speaks up for her but that aggravates his mother. As he sits alone at night, his father comes to him holding a batch of kimchi and hands him a letter to deliver to his teacher. He tells his father he’s sorry and wistfully watches a jar in the corner. He drives over to his teacher’s place with the envelope and kimchi.

Teacher is meanwhile enjoying ramen ad drooling over the four idol girls-including idol girl. When Eun Dong walks in, he quickly turns off the TV. That night, both spend it at the swimming pool where he asks his teacher, “Saem, if I see my girl kissing someone else, what am I supposed to do?”

“You should kill, of course!”

“Kill who?”

“Both of them!”

Eun Dong frets-he’s so powerless, he saw the two of them kiss and could do nothing but watch. He’s so embarrassed and hopes he can just become a guy already! He’s going crazy, why can’t she see his feelings? His teacher hands over his phone and tells him to enter all his wishes in there, who knows, someone might be listening! He takes the phone and says, “Please protect my love!” There is no response so he puts the phone down and heads away but misses the glow around it. Elsewhere, the globe turns again.

Tae Ri stands in front of her grandfather’s picture and pays him her respects, telling him she’d wanted to come early but couldn’t. Flashbacks show her watching her grandfather’s funeral at the funeral home from a distance, crying. She tells him she went to eat ice-cream that day, the one she loved eating with him. She asks her grandfather, “Can you listen to a request of mine? It would be nice if I could have a friend. Someone who can grab my hand with warmth, a real friend.” As she says the words, she flashes back to the day with Eun Dong and wonders why she thought of him. Pressing a kiss to the window, she promises her grandfather she will come again.

In the morning, Eun Dong goes to see idol girl and asks her if she has nothing to say to him. He asks her how she could do this to him and she treats him with the same offbeat attitude. Whatever he says, she simply disregards it and in the end, gives him some money, telling him “Grow up soon, Noona will wait for you!” Now Eun Dong knows there is no truth behind her words and just crumples the note in his hand as she leaves.

Off to swimming, he takes off the pendant he is now wearing on a chain around his neck and heads in for a swim. Except, while he’s swimming, the globe spins back with a glow and suddenly, mid swimming, he is transformed into an older version of himself (played by Kibum). As he emerges, his teacher looks at him in surprise. He turns to his teacher, asking how he did this time and his teacher freaks out, shouting and finally fainting. Eun Dong turns to the mirror and shouts out in shock himself. He pulls at his hair, slaps himself, wondering what happened. When he wakes his teacher, his teacher freaks out, “Please save me, save me! Save my life.” He tries to explain he’s Eun Dong-the teacher saw it himself, he had just gone in for a swim! But his teacher is too freaked out and runs off, crying out for dear life. Eun Dong looks around, wondering what happened and what to do now.



The kid actor is so good as Eun Dong-all those earnest expressions, happy smiles and dove eyes whenever he’s with idol girl! (Sorry, I didn’t catch her name!) And I love the way he is so devoted to the girl he likes and its heartbreaking that he gets to see the truth about her that way but still holds out hope towards her-like, if I love you, I’ll love and protect you forever, no matter what! A wonderful sentiment!

The age gap is a little wide but lets see how it all plays out. With the adult Eun Dong, it’ll probably be less pronounced but that makes me wonder whether this will have a happy ending or not. As the younger Eun Dong, the age difference holds too much. And the old title, “I love Lee Tae Ri” pretty much says it all… Let’s see how the drama plays out! I’ve no intention to recap it as of yet, but I will definitely be following it so might put up posts (story development-not full recaps) now and then if anyone wants! 🙂

Enjoy the show folks! 😉

About hitomiakiko

Architect and Aspiring Writer

Posted on June 5, 2012, in Asian Cinema, Chinese Cinema, Entertainment, Korean Cinema, Potpourri, Recaps, Uncategorized, Written Excerpts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. koreandrama151

    who is the boy with the glasses on?

  2. Wow, I didn’t think you would have watched this. But good job on picking it up since I’m sure no other drama sites are going to be blogging on it. 😛

    • Hehe, I checked it out on a friends recommendation but enjoyed it more than I thought! I’ll not be doing regular recaps for it, maybe more like mini recaps or just interesting trivia… Have yet to get to the other episodes though

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