Han-Su and Eun-Hui 1
Episode 1 of Our Blues begins with a new day dawning on the quint seaside town of Jeju. Eun-Hui is up early, given she owns a seafood shop. The latest haul of fish is in, and as the sun starts beaming, bidding begins at the fish market. Eun-Hui manage to take the haul, and with her workers, they all make it back and begin preparing the hairtails.
Interestingly we cut across to various other characters here too, including Young-Ok who leads a grumpy bunch of old ladies onto the boats. She’s a diver, and certainly seems to have the hots for the captain, whom she gives a cheeky little wink to before diving off the boat.
In the bustling metropolis of the big city, working for SS Bank, we first meet Han-Su. He’s a little clumsy and works as the branch manager. An angry customer comes in and after coming to blows with one of the workers, Han-Su actually talks to him calmly. And in doing so, convinces the man to take out another product with the bank.
Han-Su has big plans for his daughter Bo-Ram to become a big golf star. However, the family are struggling to make ends meet. They’ve even sold their house to try and help out Bo-Ram and get her on the team. The trouble is, these lessons are going to set them back $15000 a month.
Given Coach Steve has said she has potential, video-calling with his partner Mi-Jin, Han-Su tells her to hang in there. “Bo-Ram is our last hope,” he says. For now, she agrees to follow his lead but it’s been a solid 7 years and still no progress.
Han-Su is on the verge of moving back to Jeju because of this, which is his old hometown. Up in his apartment, he looks down at the various colourful characters in town, including Eun-Hui. Some punk smashes into the back of her truck, prompting the woman to get into a heated debate about insurance and calling the police. Han-Su chuckles, watching this whole scene play out.
Eventually though Han-Su gets shown around by his new colleague after getting settled in at the office. Down at the market, he learns about Eun-Hui’s impressive finances and probes about whether she has a husband or not (she doesn’t, as it turns out!) She’s good with her money too, refusing to invest it and happy just to keep it sitting in its account.
Han-Su’s family aren’t exactly pleased to see their son though when he shows up on the farm later on. Given they did everything they could to send him off to Seoul, learning that he’s given all of that up for Bo-Ram’s sake doesn’t go down too well.
Another character we catch glimpses of here is Dong-Seok, who shows up in his car all packed up and ready to sell his goods. We don’t see very much of him this episode (which I guess is obvious given the episode title!) but it’s enough he’s going to be a bigger part of this drama later on down the line.
For now though it’s onto the past, as we see Han-Su and Eun-Hui’s history. They both went to school together, with Eun-Hui getting on the bus with a pig and finding herself on the verge of being bullied by the other kids. A fight looks close to breaking out but thankfully Han-Su steps in and protects her.
This is the start of their budding friendship. Funnily enough, Eun-Hui reflects on when she first kissed Han-Su, who happens to be her first love. When he’s approached about it at school, he doesn’t deny it and instead, tells her “you liked it too.”
In the present, Eun-Hui and Young-Ok sit together and laugh about this story, as the camera pans out and we end this lovely first episode on a high.
The Episode Review
Our Blues has some serious Hometown Cha Cha Cha vibes and I am all for it! Given the way these episodes appear to be structured, it would seem that we’re going to get a snapshot into the lives of each of these guys and gals across the season, interweaving their individual stories together while backdropping this small town of Jeju.
That’s actually a really smart way of exploring all of these characters and hopefully the chapters will maintain these fell-good vibes. We’ve got a good 20 episode run-time to play with here too so there’s lots of time for characters like Dong-Seok and Sun-A to get some screen-time.
For now, the introduction to both Eun-Hui and Han-Su is good, eventually showing at the end that these two were both first loves for one another, which is a nice way of tying their stories together.
With a good setting, gorgeous cinematography and a light, breezy, slice-of-life feel, Our Blues is set up to be a really compelling K-drama. Roll on tomorrow’s follow-up!