Our Beloved Summer – K-Drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

I Know What You Did Last Summer

Episode 1 of Our Beloved Summer begins in May 2011 with an introduction to 19 year old Choi Ung. He’s in class but angsty over being filmed. His fellow student, Yeon-Su, has known Choi Ung since tenth grade. Out of 267 students, Ung is ranked straight bottom. Yeon-Su meanwhile, is pretty ill-tempered and determined to be number 1.

The thing is, this documentary being filmed has placed both together, intent on filming the best and worst students together to see how they get on for a month. But you know what they say about opposites attract, eh? Anyway, the pair continue to grow more and more annoyed with one another.

There’s some pretty hilarious scenes depicting this, from spilling food on one another to Ung laughing in class over a comic he’s reading. This eventually leads to the pair both interviewed, where they point out how annoying and how much they hate the other. Ironically, these two are an online sensation. Students, businessmen and adults alike all love their documentary videos.

Cut forward to the present and Yeon-Su is struggling. She’s classed as mediocre by the boss at RUN company but she fights back, showing that she has ambition and a ruthless edge. She’s backed into a corner and promises to sign a top artist called Ko-o to her cause.

So what happened to Choi Ung? Well, it turns out he has a friend called Ji-Ung whom he’s pretty close to. In a (perhaps obvious!) turn of events, it’s revealed that Choi Ung is actually artist Ko-o. He’s been keeping his identity a secret for a while now. He even rejects a live drawing exhibition to keep himself hidden.

That evening though, in her drunken state, Yeon-Su does some research online around Ko-o. At the same time, Ji-Ung catches up with his boss over his next documentary project. He wants to move into environmental issues but Park Dong-Il is having none of it. Now, Dong-Il was actually one of the men responsible for filming the big hit documentary with Yeon-Su and Choi Ung.

In the morning, Choi-Ung receives a call from NJ. She’s bought one of his drawings in the past and she’s a pretty big deal, given she’s an idol singer. She wants to meet up but despite Ji-Ung’s enthusiasm, Choi-Ung is not so sure. He senses that NJ just wants a free drawing.

In the wake of all this, Yeon-Su bites the bullet and decides to meet with the man she’s been blowing off for the past 4 dates. However, when she shows up things immediately grow awkward. He brings up her commitment to work and how she’s been standoffish with him. Eventually he chuckles to himself, shaking his head and claiming she’s not actually worth his time. Yeon-Su is left awkwardly wondering what to do next.

The thing is, Mr Kang – the man she pitched a business idea to earlier in the episode – is actually sitting at the table across the room. He’s heard everything and he agrees to let her join him. Hilariously, they’re both wearing the same shirt.

The two begin drinking but Yeon-Su is very clearly growing more drunk by the minute. The pair don’t have anything to talk about beyond work, but do wind up growing closer together. Is there romance in the air I wonder?

In the morning, Choi Ung answers the door and finds Yeon-Su there waiting for him. As we soon find out, they actually dated for five years in the past but things have grown sour between them. Their break-up hurt both of them badly, which is clear to see when Ung grabs a spray bottle and immediately douses her in the face.

The Episode Review

Our Beloved Summer gets off to a relatively good start here, introducing our main characters and immediately diving into a quirky tone. There’s a decent amount of chemistry between our two leads as well, while the episode manages to get the balance just about right between the present and past.

It’s obvious that Ung and Yeon-Su are going to get back together but I’m also intrigued to see what actually happened between them. When did they start dating? And how did things end so badly between them? It’s just enough of a hook to keep things intriguing but how this romantic drama will differentiate itself from numerous others of its kind remains to be seen.

For now, the chemistry between the two leads is enough to keep this watchable. Ji-Ung’s story is certainly engaging too and it appears NJ’s inclusion is to set up a double love-triangle of sorts with our four main characters. It’s still early days but let’s hope this one leans more into its comedy.

Next Episode

You can read our full season review of Our Beloved Summer here!

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