Doona – K-drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

An Unexpected Twist 

Doona episode 1 starts with Doona dreaming about performing at a concert, but then, as the crowd cheers, she falls into a body of water and simply lets herself go. In a way, it is almost as if she is saying goodbye to it all. She wakes up from the dream, startled.

Elsewhere, Kook Su-jin and Lee Won-joon are on their way to Seoul. Su-jin is a big fan of the girl group Dream Sweet. He has merch all over his car. Won-joon asks him to look out for his mother now that he is leaving. We learn that Won-joon is going to college and is moving to Seoul to be closer to the school. He worries about his mom and his sister, who were recently hospitalised. Su-jun promises to help him. 

Once he gets to his shared apartment, Won-joon meets Doona, who doesn’t even greet him back. He tries talking to her, but she ignores him. He also meets Jung-hoon, who gives him the rules of the house and Yoon-taek, who warmly welcomes him. Won-joon starts cleaning his room, which annoys Doona more since she can hear him through the floors. He later prepares pamphlets to advertise himself as a tutor and gets distracted staring at Doona through his window. 

As the day passes, Won-joon posts the pamphlets around and returns home. He notices Doona on the rooftop, making a call. She looks at him and texts someone that there is a stalker in her building.  However, the other party ignores her messages.

In the meantime, Won-joon continues cleaning his house and gets a call from Su-jin.  Su-jin informs him that he managed to get him his first tutoring client. This is good news because Woo-jon needs the money to cover rent and living expenses. Su-jin asks about the apartment but gets distracted when a  Dream Sweet song starts playing.  He reminds Won-joon to return his merch hoodie. This is when Won-joon realises he has been wearing the hoodie all day. 

The following day, Won-joon is on his way out and starts singing one of  Dream Sweet’s songs. Doona hears him and confronts him. She accuses him of being a stalker, and he tries to clarify that he is not a fan and he only recognised her after she brought the issue up. He walks away, and Doona gets a call from her mom, which she ignores and continues smoking.

Won-joon meets with a possible client, and it goes well. On his way back home, Won-joon runs into a girl from his past, Jin-joo. They go out for drinks and catch up. Jin-joo also got into the university and is excited to see a familiar face. After drinks, he sees her off and loans her his scarf since it starts snowing. 

He heads home and finds Doona sitting outside in the snow. She is crying, and he tries to ignore her. However, she notices and asks him never to sing her song again. As she walks away, she faints, and he calls the ambulance. 

Doona wakes up at the hospital, and Won-joon pretends to be her younger sibling. The doctor tells him that Doona’s body temperature is too low; she will need socks and warm food to get better. Won-joon hurriedly buys her some socks and helps her wear them.

The next morning, Won-joon is woken up by a call from Su-jin. Apparently, the client he met is no longer interested in his services. She thought he smokes since she could smell cigarettes on him. Unfortunately, the scent was from when he talked with Doona earlier that day. Won-joon is pissed that he lost a client because of her. 

He gets out of bed to pick up a package at his door. He is surprised to find Doona sitting on his package. She invites him to join her for breakfast, and he turns her down. For the next few days, Doona follows Won-joon around, inviting him to meals. Every time though, he turns her down. 

He even tries to switch up his schedule but runs into her when hanging his laundry to dry. He asks her if she has fallen for him, and she laughs. She clarifies that she is only looking for friendship. He finishes hanging up his clothes, and she gets busy making a wish as the sun rises. For a few seconds, he stares and nearly falls for her. The interactions with Doona overwhelm him to the point he wishes he could move to a new building. 

At school, he runs into Jin-joo, who returns his scarf. It seems like Won-joon still likes her. Later, he puts up more pamphlets looking for tutoring clients. Unfortunately, the school guard asks him to take them down since they are not stamped.   

On his way home, he gets a call from Doona, who pretends to be a client. Won-joon tries to hold in his anger, but she nags him to let it out. He lashes out at her, explaining that he needs a job to pay his rent and living expenses. He is not as rich as her and can’t lie around all day. Although hurt, Doona pretends she isn’t but acknowledges Won-joon’s struggles all the same.

The next day, Doona no longer waits for him as he continues his day. Won-joon starts feeling terrible for what he said to her. He stops by her place and offers to take her for a meal any time. She, however, ignores him. 

A few days later, she shows up at his school during an ongoing lesson and reminds him of his promise. He asks her to wait until the end of the lesson. They later go for ice cream and make-up.  She warns him not to fall for her, and they joke around.  She notifies him that she will call him more often and asks him not to get angry. He allows her to call him when there is an emergency.

The episode ends with Doona narrating how she is grateful she met Won-joon. Even though they come from different walks of life, she feels he is part of her destiny.  

The Episode Review

With this being the first chapter, we still have much to learn about the characters. The introduction, however, has managed to pique our interest. This first episode gave us a glimpse into the lives of Doona and Won-joon while also leaving us with a few questions about what led them here. We know Doona is a retired idol singer, and Won-joon is a student struggling to make ends meet. However, we don’t know why Doona quit. We also don’t know the whole dynamic of Won-joon’s family life. Hopefully, we will find out more in the next chapters. 

Based on this first episode, it feels like Doona is going through a lot. Maybe it has something to do with her family. Why did she ignore her mom’s call? Who did she text about a possible stalker, and why did he ignore her? No one came to see her at the hospital as well. 

On the other hand, Won-joon still likes Jin-joo, but we don’t know what happened between them in the past. Does she feel the same, and what role will she play when it comes to Won-joon and Doona’s relationship? 


Next Episode

Expect a full-season review once the season ends!


  • Episode Rating

1 thought on “Doona – K-drama Episode 1 Recap & Review”

  1. Disappointing. I fast forwarded through most of each episode. Slow moving. I understand K- pop idols make a lot of money but who would want that life. Wow!! First episode gave it away. Of course, everyone wants the money, fame and lifestyle so no one gives it up until they get replaced and Zang Se-Jong knew that so the ending (spoiler alert) is what was predicted. I was hoping for a better script.

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