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Beautiful Love, Wonderful Life – Episodes 1 & 2 Recap & Review

The Dual Suicide

KBS2’s new drama promises to be quite the enjoyable series and knowing the success of their weekend dramas, Beautiful Love, Wonderful Life has all the ingredients to provide the spark needed to be a highly enjoyable show. Following the lives of four people as they try to juggle their professional and personal lives, it’ll be interesting to see if this 50 (100) episode drama will reach the same heights as its predecessors in this time slot.

The episode starts in summer 2009 where we see Koo Jun-Hwi being woken up by his little brother to go and play basketball as it’s his birthday. Kim Cheong-Ah is also up early, preparing food for her mother’s fast food restaurant while her sister, Kim Seol-Ah, walks past heading for her news anchor job. After discussing ambitions, Cheong-Ah returns home to find her father and mother wondering where she was. Her father, as it happens, is an Olympic gold medalist while her mother is getting fed up with his childish behaviour. Cheong’s mum wants her to study so she can get into college, but Cheong has given up on that idea.

As Seoul-Ah leaves the gym, the receptionist tells her that her annual fee is due and it’s now increased. Begrudgingly, she wires the money even though she doesn’t have much left in her account. Back at the house, we see that Cheong-Ah is not the favourite as her Dad locks her in the bathroom to make her unclog the toilet. Jun-Hwi’s mother then prepares soup for Joon Kyum’s birthday. Jun-Hwi finds a news article in his mother’s office and asks her about it. She dismisses the question and tells him that his brother has got a perfect score on his latest test and that he should compliment him.

As Cheong-Ah gets dressed for school, we see multiple bruises all over her body. Her mother then finds all the food preparation Cheong-Ah did for her with a little note, showing her caring nature while Cheong-Ah watches her mother from behind the window, whispering goodbye.

Cheong-Ah ends up on a train opposite Jun-Hwi and after an awkward few minutes, tells him she’s fallen in love at first sight. Cheong-Ah gets a text from Joon-Kyum soon after who’s waiting for her at the next station. Cheong-Ah tells Jun-Hwi they will have to meet in another life as hers is ending today. As she bows, her hair gets stuck in his zipper and she makes him get off the train with her. After giving Jun-Hwi a worry doll, she meets Joon-Kyum for what seems like the first time.

Jun-Hwi’s mother delivers the verdict for a rich man accused of rape. She surprises everyone as he originally received a lighter sentence of 5 years’ probation however, thanks to her, he will now spend 4 years in prison. Seol-Ah and her co-anchor relay the news during their broadcast, but her co-anchor becomes angry when she freely closes the news without consulting him first. After the news, Seol-Ah’s colleague asks her out but she tells him she’s only interested in rich and important families.

After hearing his mother screaming at her cleaners, Don Ji-Woo sees Seol-Ah on TV and recognizes her from the gym. He tells his mum that he’s interested in her and wants a date, despite her disapproval. Meanwhile, Cheong-Ah and Joon-Kyum reach their destination. They ask each other why they want to die, prompting Cheong-Ah to explain she’s been bullied for 2 years and can’t take it anymore. Joon-Kyum however, has a darker reason.

After eating and falling asleep, Cheong-Ah finds a note from Joon-Kyum telling her to live her life for him. He tells her to be happy and that she won’t be alone as he’ll protect her from now on. Reading his letter, she realises what he’s planning to do and rushes outside to look for him. She dives into the lake, attempting to save him but she’s too late as Joon-Kyum is already dead. Hysterical, she calls her mum and tells her they were going to die together but he died on his own. Her mother arrives soon after and consoles her, telling her daughter to lie to the police and inform them it was an accident where we end the episode.

Beautiful Love, Wonderful Life starts quite strongly here with a lot of drama and some funny moments. While some of the humour feels a bit out of place (the toilet jokes with Cheon-Ah’s father are certainly an acquired taste) Beautiful Love does have some interesting story lines and characters.

Cheong-Ah’s story is quite sad too and it’s only toward the end of the episode that we realise how difficult her life has been. The dramatic cliffhanger featuring the death of Joon-Kyum should be enough to keep you coming back for more and this concocted lie at the end may well end up being the core component of the show to which everything else gravitates around. With Joon-Kyum being the important judge that she is, we’re almost certainly set to have some tense moments coming our way in the future.

The new KBS2 drama gets off to a decent start here and with a lot of episodes to chew through, it’ll be interesting to see what the show will have in store for our main characters.


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