Dreaming of a Freaking Fairytale – K-drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

Cinderella’s Job

Episode 1 of Dreaming of a Freaking Fairytale begins with Shim Jae-rim’s dad passing away and leaving her with a stepmother, Hwang So-ra and 2 step sisters, Soo-jin and Hwa-jin. We get a frivolous back story of So-ra falling for him since he was manly. She kept taking Botox so she’d look pretty for him. But with his death, now she wonders what she should do with herself.

Jae-rim wants to leave home since she believes her stepmother doesn’t like her. She finds a letter from her father but is quickly disappointed. It is written on the back of a flyer for Chungdam Heaven which is a social club for rich people. The dad wants Jae-rim to work there and quickly find a rich husband. Yep, his last words to her are to marry rich instead of working hard and dying young like him. 

As for Chungdam Heaven, the CEO is the naive and bratty Moon Cha-min. He comes from a chaebol family but since he is the 8th generation, he is rich but isn’t swimming in money. Business is bad but instead of allowing in new rich clients, he gives the employees a 10% raise to keep them happy.

Back to our Cinderella, Jae-rim dreams of her father and scolds him for his bad advice. He tells her to be like Cinderella and throws a pumpkin at her which startles her awake. She suddenly gets a call from her friend, Son-jung who shares that a mutual is getting married at Chungdam Heaven and she has scored them invites. 

With the bride being a former employee, Cha-min arrives, swaggering in with Chairman Ko’s umbrella. On seeing the bride’s ex making a scene, he fights him off with the umbrella. He also finds it ridiculous that love makes someone act that way.

Once the wedding commences, Jae-rim, a hopeless romantic, dreams about her father walking her down the aisle. Son-jung adds that the only way to beat the game is to marry rich. While Secretary Heo checks out the female guests, women are like marble stones for Cha-min. At the end of the wedding, his Hermes scarf flies off but he doesn’t bother. Well, it flies right into Jae-rim’s arm and she thinks it is good luck.

Back to reality, Mr. Shim’s actions affect his family as it turns out he used to constantly borrow from friends. But he did have a heart as he stood surety for his sister-in-law…only for her to default. The house is seized and Jae-rim and Co. have to move into a cramped apartment where she has to share a room with the stubborn Hwa-jin.

Jae-rim wanted to be an artist but she couldn’t afford the academy. With no way to earn money, her stepmother who learns she is pregnant teaches belly dancing classes. She faints from overworking and yet assures Jae-rim that she will look after her. Jae-rim decides to return the favour and imagines a drastic scenario of her taking care of her baby sibling in a hut

However, Jae-rim has zero work experience and wonders how to get a job. She recalls her dad saying that life is a game of chance and she applies at Chungdam Heaven. Next, she takes fitness tips from elderly neighbours and works out in the park to get into shape. She even tries to starve herself to fit into her only uniform. 

However, on the last day, Hwa-jin finds her crawling towards the fridge and the two end up eating everything. But this doesn’t dampen Jae-rim’s spirits as she smacks away the puffiness with makeup, wears Soo-jin’s designer heels and heads to the interview.

Meanwhile, Cha-min is annoyed that his manager married and left him. He plans to hire someone who will last the longest. Secretary Heo finds him heartless but Cha-min points out he does charity. 

As Jae-rim heads to the office, Son-jung wishes her good luck in throwing glass shoes at the rich man at the club. While admiring her heels, she accidentally kicks one off and it falls down the stairs. She runs after it to see Cha-min holding it and she imagines that he is her Prince Charming. However, he declares he is suing her for attempted murder at the end of Dreaming of a Freaking Fairytale Episode 1.

The Episode Review

Episode 1 of Dreaming of a Freaking Fairytale aka Dreaming of Cinde Fxxxing Rella is off to a great start. It feels like one of those mini K-dramas with a short and sweet storyline, minimal angst and possibly a satisfying and happy ending. 

Definitely a bonus for Jun-young fans who just came from The Impossible Heir absolutely ruining his character. Well, here we get Prince Charming or well, Cha-min who is similarly a rich, bratty chaebol kid but in a rom-com setting. 

Meanwhile, Pyo Ye-jin is on a streak as she led several successful K-dramas last year from Taxi Driver 2 to Our Blooming Youth. She stars as our Cinderella who is bubbly yet grounded in reality. 

The show is super whimsy and quirky with some wild CGI. It is everything that it is calling itself – a hilarious rom-com. And while fans were worried about its number of episodes, the pacing suggests that 10 episodes just might be enough. It is quick and to the point. Even the filler scenes aren’t really fillers as we get an insight into the characters. And while focusing on furthering the story, it also cleverly weaves the Cinderella motifs and keeps it lighthearted.


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