Friday, August 24, 2012

To the Beautiful You: Episode 3 Recap

So, I was right in assuming that things would likely fall into place for BY after the initial introductions and world-building in the first week. I'm glad they did, because the drama has honestly started to get much more fun and even funnier to watch now.

Watch TTBY Episode 3 on DramaFever.

Episode 3 Recap
Drunkie Tae-joon plants a big one on Jae-hee. Surprised, she freezes for a second before realizing what the hell is happening and pushes him off. Drunk Mr. Cranky Pants looks at her and gives her a big ol' shit-eating grin and then promptly passes out in her arms, which is when Jae-hee clues in that he's pretty much wasted. So... she does what she can to get him back to the dorm: dumps him in a wheelbarrow and carts him off. Lmao, I'm having I Do, I Do flashbacks.

The next day, Tae-joon wakes up hungover, remembering only that he drank some champagne and really nothing else. Jae-hee decides she's going to be frank and just confront him about the issue at hand. As he leaves for class, she follows after him, hiding in the bushes so he won't see her. She does this for a little while, and then stops, wondering why she's hiding in the first place. After all, she didn't do anything wrong.

She confronts Tae-joon about the party, but can't quite get the words out. He tells her that he doesn't remember a single moment of anything that happened. Jae-hee explains, "Well, that... yesterday, you kiss..." Tae-joon eyes her curiously, "Kiss?" Then, he flashes back to the night before, remembering when Sang-chu (who'd jumped into the wheelbarrow with him) had licked his face. Taking that to be what she means by "kiss" he berates her for not stopping him. She protests that she didn't have enough time to stop him.

Tae-joon argues back that she probably "enjoyed it," as in, enjoyed watching him get slobbered on by the dog, but Jae-hee tells him it's not like that. Regardless, Tae-joon admits it was his fault... even though it was gross and nasty. Haha. Jae-hee, thinking he means the real kiss between them, gets defensive: "Do you think it was fun and enjoyable for the other person involved?" He asks her why she's getting herself into such a hissy fit. "What? It wasn't Sang-chu?" Jae-hee stops for a second: "What? Sang-chu?" Tae-joon: "No?" Thoroughly pissed off, Jae-hee glares at him: "Yeah. That's right. It was Sang-chu. You two were pretty passionate." Tae-joon, of course, doesn't get why she's mad, but even so, he stomps off, confused.

Unfortunately for him, someone caught him in the middle of the act and snapped a couple of pics of him smooching his not-a-boy roommate. By that morning, the picture gets around to just about everyone who has a cellphone, including Tae-joon and his fans over at the girls' school. Eun-gyul corners Jae-hee and asks her if it's really the truth and whether "that guy" put the moves on her. Jae-hee wonders how he found out about the kiss, and Eun-gyul explains that there are rumors floating around all over school about it.

Hyun-jae corners Tae-joon in the lounge and calls him out on the kiss, ragging on him for being a perv. Tae-joon loses his temper when he notices all the other guys in the lounge pointing fingers and talking about him, and gets into a tussle with Hyun-jae.

As the fight gets heated, Jae-hee walks in with Eun-gyul and separates the boys. With everyone in the lounge looking on, Jae-hee tells them that she was the one who kissed Tae-joon, not the other way around. Back home, she's known as a Kissing Master and she only did it because she was bored. And anyway, kissing isn't such a big deal back in America, so she didn't think much of it. To prove her point, she leans up and pecks Eun-gyul on the cheek. Poor Puppy. He gets such a starry-eyed look on his face after she kisses him that I already feel bad.

Everyone backs off Tae-joon, but turn their attention on Jae-hee, calling the American transfer student a pervert with strange American habits. Now I'm getting Dream High flashbacks of Jason and his whole "American manners" argument, lol.

Frustrated at being called out on his teasing, Hyun-jae heads to the gym for some high jump training, which is where Reporter Yang finds him. She pesters him with questions about Tae-joon until he gets annoyed and tells her to go ask the boy wonder himself if she wants answers so badly. It's not just that however, and Hyun-jae finally admits that any time Yang comes to see him, it's only to ask about Tae-joon. Since she never wants to write about Hyun-jae, his jealousy is eating away at him.

There's a hilarious moment in the cafeteria at lunch, where Eun-gyul is taking some time to recover from Jae-hee's kiss and find himself a distraction. This distraction comes in the form of a tall and slender cafeteria attendant. Seung-ri and Jong-min find Eun-gyul giving this girl the eyes, and Seung-ri tells him to stop drooling. Eun-gyul replies that it's not that -- he's just got a very, very important problem he needs to work out. But the answer has finally come to him: he's absolutely perfect. There's nothing wrong with him at all.

As the cafeteria attendant slinks away to clean a table, Eun-gyul and Seung-ri both pull a fast one by dropping their forks. They bend down to pick them up, taking a moment to stare at the girl's long, long legs under the table. HAHA.

Having cleared things up, Eun-gyul drags Jae-hee off on a double date (or sogaeting) with him (via a vespa/scooter, haha). The girls are cute and they decide to play a weird game with a truth machine. Jae-hee gets asked whether she's ever liked boys (and I'm thinking to myself, what the hell kind of random question is that?). She stutters for a minute until Eun-gyul pulls her hand off the little gadget and tells her she doesn't have to answer.

The two pairs separate, and Jae-hee goes on a walk with her "date." She asks the girl some advice about her Tae-joon problems, and the girl helps her out. Jae-hee says she's a good "girl friend," as in, "gal pal," but the girl mistakes her to mean good "girlfriend," as in, "lover," and gets a little starry-eyed herself. Meanwhile, Eun-gyul's date admits that she already has a boyfriend.

He tries to maintain his cheerful demeanor, but he can't help but feel crestfallen after she leaves. He takes a selca of himself pouting, with the caption, "Time it takes to fall in love: 0.2 seconds. I just put half of my heart on a bus in Seoul and sent it on its way. Is there such a thing as transfer of the heart in love?" Aw, Puppy. Sad day.

Lee Hyun-woo is always good as Eun-gyul, but he really kills it in this scene. His budding crush on Jae-hee seems to be a running joke most of the time, but here you can see how earnestly he wants to fix whatever is going on with him. He thinks he's met a girl who just might be right for him, only to find out she's not, in the worst way possible. He reminds me of a less naive, maybe a little more grown-up version of You're Beautiful's Jeremy.

In the meantime, Mr. Cranky Pants is at the vet getting Sang-chu checked out. Sang-chu somehow manages to get free of Tae-joon's hold on his leash and runs off outside. Tae-joon gives chase.

Jae-hee meets back up with Eun-gyul after her "date" and they tussle for a moment, before Eun-gyul gets a whiff of her shampoo and has to excuse himself to regain his senses in the bathroom. As Jae-hee waits on him to get back, she sees Sang-chu run out into the middle of the street and goes chasing after him.

Eventually catching up, she saves the dog from being hit by a car and takes him back to the bus stop to wait until the rain stops. She doesn't know where they are, and without a cellphone or her wallet on her, she doesn't  know what to do.

Meanwhile, Tae-joon is still walking around looking for Sang-chu. By now, it's raining pretty hard. Sang-chu sees him from the bus stop and manages to run off again (good Lord, do these people not know how to hold onto a leash?), right over to Tae-joon. Jae-hee follows after.

The pair begin the trek back to school, by now super awkward around each other in the face of The Kiss. Tae-joon apologizes to Jae-hee for that night and then thanks her for finding and taking care of Sang-chu. Eventually, Jae-hee remembers that she ran off without telling Eun-gyul where she was going, so he must still be waiting for her. She asks Tae-joon to call him, but Eun-gyul's phone is dead and he doesn't get the call.

Tae-joon suggests that Eun-gyul will probably head back to school on his own. Jae-hee agrees and they stop on the curb for a moment, waiting to cross. A moment later, Tae-joon saves Jae-hee from being splashed by a passing bus (why? I don't know... because it makes for a pretty visual?). They have a moment.

A few days later, the boys start to make plans for an upcoming weekend. The dorms are having some work done and the students all have to find a place to stay for a couple of days in the meantime. When Jae-hee complains that she has nowhere to go for the weekend, Eun-gyul suggests she come over to his place. There's a hilarious moment where he imagines taking her back home (Imaginary Jae-hee even suggests taking a bath together and reminds him of her Kissing Master status, haha) and ends up running into a pillar and giving himself a nosebleed.

Seung-ri comes by and suggests they all go back to his house instead. It's a pension by the beach and there are plenty of scantily-clad girls walking around all the time. The boys immediately agree, including Hyun-jae who doesn't want to miss out on bikini heaven. Tae-joon is the only one who opts out, not explaining to Jae-hee what his weekend plans are at all.

In fact, he gets picked up by his father's assistant to be taken back home, but manages to evade the guy by running off and jumping into Dr. Jang's passing car. Dr. Jang is on his way home himself, and agrees to take Tae-joon with him.

Meanwhile, the boys (and Jae-hee) arrive back at Seung-ri's mother's pension eager for their bikini-filled weekend to begin, only to find out they'll actually be helping out re-painting the place and fixing things up. Seung-ri promises they'll go to the beach later, after they've done their work.

Later that evening, Doc and Tae-joon arrive at the same pension and Tae-joon gets out of the car to look around and take some photos (which happens to be his hobby). He notices a painting of bird wings on the front of the building, and stands in front of it, stretching his arms wide and imaging himself high jumping. Hmm... so all that crap about not wanting to jump anymore really was a lie, eh, Crankybutt?

Jae-hee wanders up from the beach and catches him in the act. Not able to give up any of his massive amount of pride, Tae-joon explains that he was kidnapped by the Doc and brought to the pension against his will. He had no idea it was the same one the boys were at. Jae-hee laughs it off and asks for his phone to take a picture of him in front of the white wings. Grumpy Gills gives in and lets her take a couple of shots.

But the photos aren't Tae-joon's only concern. Upon seeing Jae-hee's wet shirt and open collar, he gruffly takes off his sweater and hands it over, telling her to put it inside for him, but using it as an excuse to cover her up. She heads back to her room to change out of her wet clothes, stupidly leaving the curtains open. Outside, Seung-ri's mother's employee (whose name I don't know, so I'm just going to call him Mega Creeper) is still busy painting and happens to see Jae-hee changing. This, of course, means he sees her bandages and bound chest, realizing she's a girl.

Tae-joon gives a call to his manager, telling her he'll be out of town. Han-na overhears Manager Jang clearing Tae-joon's schedule for the next few days.

The boys settle in for a barbecue dinner out by the beach and Mega Creeper takes this as an opportunity to get cozy with Jae-hee. Tae-joon notices him with a frown on his face. Meanwhile, the boys find out that Dr. Jang is Seung-ri's mother's younger brother, making him Seung-ri's uncle.

This is about the time Han-na arrives at the pension. After dinner, she finds Tae-joon sitting on the patio (he's looking at the photos of him that Jae-hee took earlier) and offers him a box of cookies, "like his mother used to make." It's actually a sweet moment, and Tae-joon accepts the cookies, telling her they're no good but still eating one with a small smile on his face. Jae-hee sees them, and walks off dejectedly.

She runs into Hyun-jae and confronts him about the picture of her kiss with Tae-joon. In fact, we see a flashback that he was the one who'd taken the picture, but he denies it. Jae-hee asks him if everyone is done using the pension's spa and heads in that direction to take a bath.

She walks in (locking the door behind her) and begins stripping. Outside, Mega Creeper goes through his ring of keys, trying to open the door to go in, knowing Jae-hee's in there getting ready to bathe. He's stopped when Han-na comes up, asking if she can use the spa. Plans foiled, Mega Creeper nods and Han-na heads in. Looking around the place, she notices Jae-hee's bindings in the laundry basket. She picks them up, wondering what they are, but seeing no one else in the room, she shrugs it off and begins getting undressed. Jae-hee peeks out at her from the corner, hiding in a hamper under a pile of towels.

Meanwhile, hearing from Hyun-jae that Jae-hee's gone to the bath, Eun-gyul heads over there himself. He's a man on a mission, wanting to find out once and for all how he feels about Jae-hee by taking a bath together. He walks into the spa and jumps into the tub, thinking that the person in it is Jae-hee, only to find out it's not and gets a couple of swift cracks to the head from Han-na.

The next morning, everyone sits down outside to eat watermelon together and Mega Creeper puts the moves on Jae-hee again, telling her to help him out with something later on. Tae-joon watches them and tries to warn her about Mega Creeper being... well, a creeper, but doesn't know quite how to do it (Tae-joon: "You guys seem to have gotten a lot closer..." Jae-hee: "Yeah, he's nice to me. Unlike someone else I know.") and ends up making some excuse about a broken flip flop instead.

After breakfast, Mega Creeper calls out to Jae-hee for help. She's gets into his car and they drive off together, Mega Creeper eyeing her lewdly all the while. Dun dun dunnnnnn.

Well, there you have it. Poor Jae-hee. What's going to happen? Well, I know what's going to happen since I've watched episode four, but, yah know... Actually, speaking of episode four... BY has been epically failing at the cliffhanger endings this week. I think the production could have added in a couple of the beginning scenes of episode four to the end of this one and it would have made a much stronger ending. Same thing for episode four... The ending just lacks... oomph. They did so well with it last week that I was surprised by the lackluster finishes this time around.

Anywho... There are a few things this drama excels in, and the biggest, in my opinion, is the visuals. I don't just mean cinematography, but imagery and being able to paint a portrait. The motif of Tae-joon as a bird might be overplayed a little, but it's like the bird imagery in Dream High for Sam-dong. Honestly, in BY it's kind of heavy-handed and really in your face. It's more literal because, yeah, Tae-joon's a high jumper so he gets associated with "flight" and "birds" and "the sky." Still, it makes for nice imagery, and the production seems to be adding it in wherever they can. I don't mind. It gives us, as viewers, an anchor and something to link with Tae-joon.

While visuals are something the drama is doing very well, we're still stuttering a bit with the writing. I've never seen the High Kick series of dramas before myself, but based on reviews, I've heard that the writing was one of the best things about it. So, naturally, I was expecting the writing to be at least one of the most solid aspects of BY. Instead, it's been coming off a little jilted and abrupt for me.

There are plot lines that are picked up and then dropped without anything coming of them. In last week's episodes, it was the recurring joke of the bathroom door that wouldn't close back at Tae-joon and Jae-hee's dorm. This week, there wasn't a single mention of that at all. That, based on the premise of the show, should have had more of an impact. I consider it a missed opportunity entirely.

Even considering all that, the show has settled a bit since the initial introductions and setting-up last week. It's gotten funnier and more endearing, with less of the needless emo sulking from Tae-joon, who's finally doing something and being an active player. Still, my favorite character is (and probably will always be) Eun-gyul. I said it before, but Lee Hyun-woo is really killing it as the confused, yet hilarious character they've written him to be. When he goes through his inner monologues about "manning up," I can't help but giggle, and when he gets shot down, my heart gets crushed with him. He's nothing if not a total noona killer, that boy.

I think Seung-ri's character is really growing on me, as well. We don't know that much about him, but in a cast full of Jong-mins and Hyun-jaes and Han-nas, he's really starting to look like a saint. He plays dad for all the boys when they're at school, and I find that totally endearing. Also growing on me is Sulli as Jae-hee. Knowing that she's an idol actress skews my opinion of her acting, and I just naturally give more credit to real actors like Kim Ji-won and Lee Hyun-woo, but in this case, I really think Sulli's holding her own. She's got a way with the eyes, knowing just when to cast an intense glance at someone and just when to play up the seductive, as in the rain scene.

Overall, this show isn't doing anything new, but it's plodding along and it's certainly keeping my attention, so on we go to episode four!



  1. sulli was actually a child actress before becoming an idol

    1. But even so, her experience is pretty limited. That's probably why she looks more comfortable on screen when you compare her to, say, Minho, who's only done it once before.