The Fabulous – K-Drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

Dom Pérignon And A Shot of Soju

Episode 1 of Netflix’s The Fabulous opens with Pyo Ji-eun in bed after what looks like a night of passionate lovemaking. She is upset after she spots two sets of clothes lying on the floor while the man she slept with is in the shower. A flashback takes the episode to the night of Designer Joseph’s fashion show.

After Joseph kicks one of the new models out of his lineup, he talks to Model Seon-ho, his friend thanking her for being his showstopper. The who’s who of the fashion industry shows up on the red carpet while Ji-eun arrives at the venue in a taxi. Joseph goes out to see Ahn Nam-hee, a famous fashion editor but is disappointed to see he is with Hong Ji-sun.

Nam-hee compliments Joseph on his chosen venue but Ji-sun mocks it. The two have a stare-off and an argument before Joseph ignores Ji-sun and introduces his collection to Nam-hee. She seems impressed by his designs but Ji-sun intervenes and mocks his designs.

Nam-hee praises the designer despite Ji-sun’s comments and gives him a loaf of her favourite organic bread to eat since he had been busy preparing for the show. He gets distracted by his friend, Ji-eun. Nam-hee and Ji-sun beeline away from the commotion while Joseph complains to Ji-eun how Ji-sun embarrassed him in front of Nam-hee.

Just as she is about to leave to find her seat for the show, Ji Woo-min snaps a photograph of Ji-eun, leaving her shocked. They seem like friends and the two have a playful argument where Woo-min teases Ji-eun for still wearing her dated pearl necklace. Just as the two bicker, Ji-eun’s boyfriend, Lee Nam-jin joins them.

Woo-min introduces himself as Ji-eun’s ex and claims that the two were now on good terms as friends. As they are seated for the fashion show, Woo-min joins the couple and starts talking to Ji-eun, badmouthing Nam-jin. Woo-min states that she was out of Nam-jin’s league but she dismisses him. Joseph’s show starts with models walking down the runway in shades of green and other muted pastels.

Nam-hee seems impressed with Joseph’s designs as the show-stopper, Seon-ho walks down the ramp. His assistant tells Joseph it was time for him to walk out but suddenly there is a power outage. Joseph yells in despair after his show is ruined. The CCTV footage shows a girl in a white hoodie running away after cutting off the power supply to the venue.

The episode then moves to an after-party at a nightclub with Ji-eun cheering Joseph up for his designs despite the minor hiccup. The two are joined by Seon-ho and Woo-min who are both sitting in awkward silence. Ji-eun goes on and on about how Joseph did really great with his designs and forces Woo-min to say something to Joseph.

Woo-min does a half-assed job of cheering Joseph up but Seon-ho claims that Joseph should look for the girl who did this and punish her. She asks him to stop throwing a tantrum and cheers him up using some good old reality check. Cute! Woo-min pours some champagne for the four of them and they raise a toast to Joseph.

The four friends dance the night away drinking at the nightclub. Seon-ho brings Woo-min centre-stage and strips him of his shirt having him do a shirtless dance in the middle of the stage. Since it was not totally awkward for Woo-min to be the only person dancing half-naked, he and Ji-eun dance together around a crowd of perfectly clothed women.

Woo-min and Ji-eun end up hooking up at Woo-min’s house with him breaking her pearl necklace. The next morning, Ji-eun wakes up with Woo-min in the shower and sneaks out before he could leave. She meets Nam-jin at a restaurant and talks to him about how she bailed on him last night to hang out with her friends.

He is nonchalant about it initially but asks her about Woo-min joining them out of the blue shocking Ji-eun. Meanwhile, at his house, Woo-min steps on one of the pearls from Ji-eun’s necklace and recalls their breakup. He realises how important the necklace was to her. Nam-jin and Ji-eun are still at the restaurant and she lies to him about sleeping over at Seon-ho’s house the night before.

The male waiter is being overly nice to Ji-eun but she does not notice it at first. Ji-eun tells Nam-jin how she dresses up in the best brands to look like she was a good match for him. All of a sudden, Nam-jin brings up how Ji-eun is least interested in current affairs and only talks about fashion claiming they were both poles apart.

Nam-jin breaks it off with Ji-eun claiming that he actually was looking for someone who he could talk about current affairs, politics and the economy with. Ji-eun is dumbfounded after Nam-jin leaves her alone at the restaurant. The waiter comes back to fill Ji-eun’s glass with water but she leaves the restaurant leaving her YSL card holder behind.

Ji-eun is with Seon-ho and talks to her about how she cheated on Nam-jin but still go broken up with because she wasn’t smart. Seon-ho wonders why Ji-eun went back to an old flame like Woo-min and taunts her for breaking her mother’s pearl necklace for a hot night with her ex.

Ji-eun claims that Woo-min had a lot of issues and adds that she would never date him. Seon-ho wonders how she wound up in bed with Woo-min in the first place. Just as they are discussing the intimate details of the hook-up, Woo-min joins the two. Things get awkward as Ji-eun starts to leave but Woo-min avoids talking about the hook-up altogether.

Ji-eun claims that he must be a pervert since it was no biggie for him to hook up with his ex and see her at lunch the following day. She leaves the two alone. Meanwhile, Seon-ho asks if Joseph would be joining them but Woo-min states that the designer was being visited by his mother.

Esther, Joseph’s assistant reads out a terrible review for his HOLICS fashion show and his mother tries to cheer him up by making him do a dance Joseph used to do as a child. The dance is chaotic and Joseph’s mother claims it was the moment she realized her son was gay.

The next morning, Ji-eun is at work when her boss, Mrs Oh, the CEO of a luxury brand is talking to Hong Ji-sun. Ji-sun riles the CEO up by claiming that Nam-hee, who is a famous fashion editor was upset with her. Ji-sun convinces the CEO to have one of her employees go talk to Nam-hee in order for the CEO to maintain her reputation.

Just then, Ji-eun arrives with coffee for Ji-sun. The latter claims that Ji-eun had caught a big fish by being photographed with her boyfriend, Nam-jin. Just as she is about to leave, Ji-eun throws a tantrum about having to drink the coffee with chemically made white sugar instead of her regular honey. She leaves Ji-eun frustrated when she asks for her sparkling water to rinse off the coffee.

Mrs Oh asks Ji-eun to talk to Nam-hee and get the magazine editor to have her designs featured in JD’s pictorial. Ji-eun promises to work something out. Meanwhile, Seon-ho brings coffee for her designer boyfriend, Young-soo who completely avoids her. She goes backstage to get dressed up with the other models. The models stop talking once they see Seon-ho and chuckle at a distance, talking about her.

Esther advises Joseph to ask influencers to advertise his designs on their social media platforms in order to increase his brand value after what happened during the HOLICS fashion show. The designer is shocked at the suggestion but unwillingly agrees. He gets a call from Ji-eun who talks to him about meeting with Nam-hee.

Joseph advises Ji-eun to go to Nam-hee’s favourite baker to get her the organic bread that the fashion magazine editor loved. Ji-eun walks for hours before getting to the location only to learn that the baker was all out of fig bread. Ji-eun is adamant and convinces the baker to turn on his oven claiming that she would run and get the special figs for the bread as she really needed it.

She leaves her precious pearl necklace behind with the promise that she will come back for it. The baker agrees and asks her to rush because the market closes before sunset. Ji-eun is seated behind a biker who drives her to the market.

Meanwhile, Young-soo is looking at his models dressed in his designs before the show. Seon-ho notices a hickey on his neck but he ignores the conversation. He pushes her off, leading her to drop her coffee and asks her to maintain a professional attitude as they were at work.

He asks her to stop calling him “babe” at work and gives her a warning, causing a scene. The other models start gossiping about the incident and start laughing at Seon-ho behind her back. Seon-ho is on the verge of breaking down but composes herself and confronts the models.

She asks the Hye-na to speak to her face instead of behind her back. The rookie model accuses Seon-ho of sleeping around in order to walk the runway. Seon-ho grabs Hye-na’s hair and so does the latter. There is a commotion with all the models fighting with one another. Young-soo confronts the two models and asks Hye-na to get her hair and make-up fixed.

He kicks Seon-ho out of the show claiming she should not have fought Hye-na because she was a terrible fighter. The designer claims he cannot have a bruised model walk the show since Seon-ho was the only one visibly injured.  Seon-ho is hurt and yells at him before storming out. Meanwhile, it is late in the evening when Ji-eun makes it to the bakery with the figs and the baker starts working on the bread.

Woo-min is one of the photographers working with the famous photographer – JD for his pictorial. Coincidentally, Nam-hee is at the photoshoot too. Ji-eun arrives at the location with the fig bread and tries to talk to Nam-hee. Noticing that the editor is busy, she leaves the bread with her name written on it.

Woo-min spots Ji-eun and tries to greet her but Nam-hee takes notice of the two and looks at Ji-eun. Ji-eun talks to one of the crew members. She tells Ji-eun that Nam-hee hated Mrs Oh’s jewellery designs. Ji-eun leaves the photoshoot venue. After the shoot is over, Woo-min gives Nam-hee the packet Ji-eun left behind addressed to Nam-hee. The fashion editor is initially in a grumpy mood but warms up when she notices the bread.

Inside the bag, she finds Ji-eun’s broken pearl necklace. Just then, Ji-eun arrives at the venue with a bouquet of flowers that she brought to help the crew. Nam-hee asks her who she was and Ji-eun states that she worked as a PR Agent for Mrs Oh. Nam-hee gets furious and asks her to leave the private venue.

Ji-eun is outside a local convenience store and she texts Woo-min asking him to see her as soon as the shoot ends. Ji-eun gets tired of waiting for Woo-min when she spots Nam-hee driving by in her car. She rushes to the photoshoot venue to confront Woo-min. Ji-eun scolds him for not informing her but it seems that he was too busy to look at his phone.

She is about to leave when Woo-min pulls her hand and gives her the broken pearl necklace. The crew member gives Ji-eun the flowers she got for the shoot thanking her for all the help. Woo-min shows Ji-eun that photo of a model wearing her pearl necklace leaving her awestruck. Just then, Woo-min snaps a photo of Ji-eun.

On the other hand, Nam-hee enjoys the fig bread on her drive back home with Ji-eun’s business card in her hand. Ji-eun gets a call from Mrs Oh as the CEO claims that Nam-hee would be using their designs for the pictorial. Seon-ho is at Joseph’s house where she talks to him about her breakup with the designer.

Ji-eun runs in yelling in glee but calms down upon noticing Seon-ho. The trio go out for drinks to celebrate Ji-eun’s success and mull over Seon-ho’s breakup. Woo-min joins the trio after they are drunk out of their minds. Ji-eun and Joseph tell Seon-ho how she was in the wrong this time. They ask her to apologise to Young-soo if she really loved him.

Ji-eun, on the other hand, asks him to apologise for what happened between them in the past. Woo-min recalls how Ji-eun had cried to him after she was drunk. Ji-eun had claimed that she was the one who always took the first step during their relationship.

She adds that Woo-min had just gone along with anything that she suggested without expressing his true feelings throughout their relationship. Back then, Woo-min had tried to calm Ji-eun down but she was too angry. Present-day Woo-min hands Ji-eun one of the pearls from her necklace that was left behind at his house.

Woo-min apologises for mocking the necklace as well as their memories together. Joseph is shocked to learn that the two had hooked up after all these years. Ji-eun is flummoxed and rushes out with Seon-ho while Woo-min joins them with Joseph following the three in shock. In Woo-min’s car, the drunk trio are having a gala time singing a song.

Woo-min stops by Young-soo’s house and the friends ask Seon-ho to calm down and apologise to her boyfriend. As she goes inside, Seon-ho hears Young-soo with another woman and makes her way back to the car. Ji-eun is blind drunk and makes a scene as she throws a stone, breaking Young-soo’s window. Young-soo is shocked to see Ji-eun but the group of friends stare as they learn that the woman Young-soo was with was Ji-sun.

The Episode Review

The show seems more comedy and romance than drama and I love it. With SHINee’s Minho taking the lead role for this one, many fans had their hopes high wishing to see the show last month. However now as the show is finally released after taking a break due to the Itaewon Tragedy, fans of the idol actor can now enjoy his portrayal of Woo-min.

The characters in The Fabulous are chaotic but this drama promises to expose the chaos of the fashion industry with the background of four friends which is really interesting. I love Chae Soo-bin’s performance as Ji-eun because this is the first time I am seeing her play a not too sundered role and she does really well as the ditsy, emotional and hot-blooded Ji-eun.

Joseph is literally my favourite person on the show so far and I love how Seon-ho is so dependable. The Fabulous has given us one more friend group to cherish with these four and I can’t wait to see what the future episodes have in store for fans.

Next Episode

You can read our full season review for The Fabulous here!


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