So, your first question should be “Why are we recapping this drama?” It’s simple! Our fearless leader, Snoopy’s Twinkie and I are a HUGE, I mean HUGE fans of the original drama, 2003 1% of Anything which starred Kang Dong Won as Lee Jae In and Kim Jung Hwa as Kim Da Hyun. As a matter of record, it was Snoopy’s marathon suggestion that lead me to the original. Okay, first of all, a lot of people didn’t care for it. Why? I have no idea. Maybe because there was no romance/ push-pull that I so hate. Maybe because it is an older drama. Maybe because it was one of Kang Dong Won’s first dramas and it did take his acting a bit to kick start. However, what I liked about it was the fact it was about the evolution of a romance between two people. Nothing else.
Well, when it was first announced that there was going to be a remake, you can imagine we were really hesitant and not expecting much. Me? I’m not a fan of remakes and Snoopy wasn’t sure how this would play out. But the more the teaser trailers were released, the more we were on board and who cares how many other people are writing recaps for this drama!! I think our perspective will be slightly different because we have see the original SOOOOOO many times!! Let’s get started!
Recap: From Destiny to Fate is the title of episode 1. I like how it starts off with an anime version of how our couple first meet! As the episode begins, we pan over the hotel resort of the SH Group. What a stunning and gorgeous aerial view. When you look closely, you’ll see the “Holiday Inn” sign. Shhhh, maybe Koreans aren’t supposed to be able to read English? Anyway, the activity is bustling at the hotel. We see the hotel workers at work and Lee Jae In exercising in the gym. Later it turns out that all that activity we saw was for our leading man’s benefit. What is this? An early, customary shower scene?!!
Lee Jae In (Ha Suk Jin) is the CEO of the resort whose name we do not know yet but as the grandson of the Chairman for the SH Group, we know that the employees give him much respect as he actually lives in the hotel. In the office, Jae In and his group are working diligently. As he annoyingly spins his pen in his hand, he becomes slightly irritated when first one employee, Han Yoo Kyun (Park Jin Joo) and then another, Kang Dong Seok’s (Jo Jae Ryong) cell phone rings. You immediately get the impression that Lee Jae In is not a joy to work for. Within the first few minutes, he is seen as short-tempered and not very diplomatic. Well, when he throws Kang Dong Seok’s cell on the floor is a major clue!
The next contrasts just how much fun these two are going to be because Kim Da Hyun (Jun So Min) is an elementary teacher. As you can expect, teachers have the patience of saints and Da Hyun is definitely favored by her students. Da Hyun and her students go outside for a nature and arts session. The students are using nature to make pretty cutouts of flowers and butterflies. As she is looking over her students, she suddenly hears a sound from behind the flower house. When she runs to investigate, she finds an elderly man has fallen down a sloped area. When she cannot get him to rise, she calls an ambulance.
Back at the office, as the office workers are sitting, we hear Jae In banging and cursing. It’s hard to tell whether they are scared or if it is a simple day at the office. You’ll get a kick out of them commenting on the quality of his cell phone and office furniture because both seem to withstand his daily abuse. As they are going to a meeting, they meet up with a hotel customer who is Chinese and Jae In begins to speak to the customer as his team talk about him behind his back.
Da Hyun rushes to the hospital with the elderly man. Just when she is leaving, she overhears the nurse say that the elderly man must be homeless and they are not sure whether he will be treated there. Da Hyun, being the sweetie that she is, speaks up as his guardian.
At the hotel, the meeting has ended and we see just how multilingual that Jae In is as he begins talking to the man, a Mr. Kingston about dinner. Again, Yoo Kyun and Dong Seok are talking about him behind his back. Their comments are pretty comical. At home, Da Hyun is on the phone with her mother. She is obviously being set up for a blind date. This time her intended is a herbalist and their date is set for 2pm at the SH Arpengia Hotel (Yeah! Our hotel has a name!)
As Da Hyun hangs up with her mother, she remembers to check her fan meet website. It seems she is a big fan of a singer name Ji Su. I guess the day wouldn’t be complete without checking the website. She begins messenging other members about the upcoming fan meet. It’s cute when the teacher in her wants to correct the grammar of the person she is talking to. I guess the poster she was working on was for that same fan meet in the future. She thinks back to the elderly man that left the hospital even when she encouraged him to stay longer. When he tries to give her money for his hospital fees, Da Hyun refuses to take it and instead takes an apple that he gives her; an apple he says was for his wife.
That Saturday, Da Hyun is rushing to her blind date. It’s funny how she keeps a list of things on her laptop to remember to take with her. You get the impression that Da Hyun forgets things all the time. When she realizes she is late, she starts throwing things into her purse and runs out the door forgetting her cell phone that is still on the bed. Yes, she misses her bus. Now she is late!
Poor SH Arpengia workers, even on a weekend, the entire office is working and suffering the wrath that is Lee Jae In. Whatever project they are working on, Dong Seok suggests that they follow what the Chairman has proposed. This doesn’t make Jae In happy as he reminds Dong Seok who is the boss seconds before the “red phone” rings. Red?! It is attorney Park. Park wants to meet with Jae In as soon as possible and they agree to meet. Jae In leaves the team to work on the new hotel that they are building in Hawaii and opening ceremony for the Jeju Island facility. I love how they talk stuff when Jae In is not around but jump like scared rabbits when he comes back in the office for his jacket.
Da Hyun is late and rushes into the hotel. At the same time, Jae In is walking to meet attorney Park. As they are walking towards each other around a group of hotel guests, Da Hyun stumbles and Jae In catches her for one of those classic drama moments when the OTP (one true pairing) meets! Love it! They are both so polite to each other. We all know that is going to change in the future. I cannot wait!
Jae In enters Attorney Park’s office. Park Hyung Joon (Kim Sun Hyuk) and Jae In are actually friends. Though at the moment Hyung Joon is acting in the capacity of an attorney, it is clear how well these two men get along by the easy glib comments to each other. It turns out that the Chairman has changed his will. Wait…this isn’t illegal?! I guess not. It is not just that the Chairman changed it but it is the specifics that gets Jae In up in arms. He says he doesn’t care, it’s his grandfather’s money and he can do what he wants. It turns out that the Chairman is leaving all of his stocks to a woman named Kim Da Hyun; a woman Jae in nor Hyung Joon have ever heard of. No, Jae In doesn’t want to marry some unknown woman to gain control of the SH Group. As he says, he rather start from scratch and amass his own fortune, just like his grandfather did. That evening, Jae In reads over the will again. It specifies that the one who marries Kim Da Hyun will get the stocks. In voice-over, we hear Hyung Joon say that the Chairman doesn’t care who marries her; even Tae Ha, who is Jae In’s cousin. Gauntlet thrown.
Later we see Da Hyun back in her classroom with her kids. They are getting ready for physical ed and at the same time Hyung Joon and Jae In are heading her way. Hyung Joon is really curious about Da Hyun. As expected, Jae In doesn’t have anything nice to say. He assumes that Da Hyun is some gold-digging woman that has enticed his grandfather. As the children are returning from outside play, Da Hyun hears her name called over the P-A system. And so they meet. The two men give Da Hyun their business cards. Hyung Joon asks her if she is familiar with Lee Gyu Chul. Well, of course Da Hyun does not know that name. Da Hyun thinks they are talking about a student but Hyung Joon corrects her and mentions the SungHyun Group Chairman. The elderly gentlemen at the hospital never disclosed his true identity to her. As expected, she denies any knowledge of him and as you can expect, Jae In doesn’t believe her one bit. It is funny how Da Hyun picks up on Jae In’s nastiness and tells him so. I love her!
Dong Seok visits the Chairman at home. He is concerned about what is going on with Jae In and especially if it involves a woman. Dong Seok is actually worried that a woman will be more trouble for him. The Chairman says he is retired and Dong Seok reminds him of how nasty tempered his grandson is. But the Chairman thinks he might get better with a good woman. HA!!
Hyung Joon pulls out the will of the Chairman for Da Hyun to see. He tells her she is expected to inherit a fortune from SH Group. Again, Da Hyun has no clue why and asks whether the Chairman died. Jae In vehemently denies that. Da Hyun still thinks they have made a mistake as she doesn’t know the Chairman. Hyung Joon goes through the papers to verify that they have the correct person. The documents have her ID number so there is no mistaking it now. The back and forth between Da Hyun and Jae In is hot and heavy. No need to give a blow by blow. But let’s just say she gives back whatever Jae In throw her way! Our girl is NOT a push-over! Da Hyun finally thinks this is a big scam and demands to know who they really are. Hyung Joon pulls out his attorney ID to prove who he really is.
At the house, the Chairman continues his conversation with Dong Seok. He tells him that he owes the woman in question a big debt. Dong Seok immediately assumes that she is from a wealthy family; Chairman says she is not. Political tied? Nope. The Chairman even alludes to the fact that the family doesn’t even have a bank account! Boy, he did some serious investigating! Well, this surprises Dong Seok and wonders out loud why. The Chairman simply says that he believes that this woman has the ability to turn Jae In around. Dong Seok doesn’t look very convinced though.
The conversation continues at the school where Da Hyun denies knowing the Chairman and Jae In calls her a liar. Hyung Joon returns the conversation back to the requirements to inherit. And what might that be? Hyung Joon breaks down and tells her that she has to get married. Hyung Joon goes on to say the Chairman picks the man and that man is……Lee Jae In! The incredulous look on Da Hyun’s face at that moment is priceless!! She looks at Jae In and asks him if he is that Lee Jae In? She’s met with silence and a look and she elicits “What a nightmare!!” After Jae In yells a bit, she looks at Hyung Joon and asks him if he (Jae In) has a learning disability!
When Jae In returns to the hotel, he sees his cousin and arch-nemesis, Min Tae Ha (Kim Hyung Min). He wonders out loud what he is doing there and Tae Ha says he is a guest. You can tell from the back and forth between these two very handsome cousins that there is nothing but animosity between the two. Tae Ha manages the SH Mall and reminds Jae In that they are doing well; Jae In also says the same. These two do NOT get along!
That evening, Jae In is looking over Da Hyun’s work record and investigation information. He notices that she is a fanclub president for a celebrity and comments that she’s too old! Thinking back to their conversation at the school, he starts to tear up the papers and pictures. He is trying to figure out how she seduced his grandfather. Is she a new type of gold-digger? Jae In calls his grandfather but he refuses his phone call.
We next have a fan girl moment whereby Da Hyun is online waiting for the release of Ji Su’s new MV. She hits play and watches first with excitement but as the video plays, she doesn’t seem that impressed. Wait…did she fall asleep or is she just disappointed? On the fan site, it is obvious that she is not the only one that wasn’t happy with the new MV.
At the Chairman’s house, he is talking to his now deceased wife that he has found the perfect woman, a schoolteacher for Jae In. He tells her how much Da Hyun reminds him of her. He remembers the care and attention that Da Hyun gave a perfect stranger in the hospital. She even paid for his cab ride to the subway station. Then there is a knock on the door and the Chairman immediately knows that it is that “rotten punk”. Jae In comes in raring for a fight. Jae In and Hyung Joon come in together. Chairman takes Jae In to task for not acknowledging his presence and Jae In complains to his grandmother’s picture. The two men begin to argue over his underhanded blackmail as Jae In calls it. They begin arguing over a previous arrangement for Jae In to marry that obviously never happened. Chairman threatens that the company will just go to Tae Ha. Jae In says they need to negotiate. So begins the dating period. Grandfather says one year and of course Jae In says less. They finally agree on 6 months. Jae In admits that his Grandfather won this round and seconds later Tae Ha walks in. Tae Ha reports how well SH Mall has been doing and Jae In tells him it is confidential information. I love this guy!! Grandfather tells them they both have a chance to inherit.
At the school, Da Hyun and some of her girl students are dancing in the room. As they leave, Jae In drives up. He goes to the teacher’s room and finds out that Da Hyun has already left. At the same time, Da Hyun, once again, has to go back because she has left her wallet this time in the office. As fate would have it, they meet again.
Musings: I love it already!! I see where the writing team is interjecting a lot of the story line from the original. Jae In is still Jae In! I was kind of worried about Ha Suk Jin playing the role because he usually is the boy next door character so Jae In is a total departure from his usual. I love Da Hyun! She is just as spicy and take no prisoners when it comes to Jae In! You can already see the deflating of his persona even from the beginning. Her character digs on him have been pretty “in your face” and comical. Jung So Min is definitely capturing Da Hyun and her personality. The lawyer friend, Park Hyung Joon, I see we are going to love his character. I’m really curious to see where they take him as I already know where they went in the original. Now, Min Tae Ha! Thank goodness they translated his character to being handsome in this too!! In the original, he was played by Lee Byung Wook who I think is an extremely handsome man who just isn’t in many dramas! You can already see the animosity that these two cousins have that I know to be from pure competitiveness. I hope in the next episodes we see why. I really hope that aspect is maintained. Wait. I’m being good here by not giving away any of the story line to those that haven’t seen the original (pats self on back). But so far, so good.
There is definitely a different take on Da Hyun’s family life. Here she lives on her own and as the Ji Su fan club president is a nice new feature. I got a kick out of her fan girling but not wanting to be that grammar nazi when she was talking in the chat. But isn’t she like all of us fangirls out there that want to call our celebrity crush oppa but know good and well, some of us are just too old!? So, my verdict for episode 1? I liked it! I really, really liked it. I cannot wait to see how the other characters are developed. As this drama is only 16 episodes unlike 26 like the original, I expect the story line to be a lot tighter and not waste a lot of time dragging. Really looking forward to Snoopy’s take on episode 2! Yes, we are tag teaming! I’ll be doing the odds and she the evens! You can read the episode recaps on both mine and her website, koreandramareviews.com Well Snoopy, the recap ball is now in your court!!