Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Producer ep 3: Poor Puppy PD

Welcome back to this week's first installment of Producer recaps! We've got a lot of ground to cover and this little ahjumma is fighting a wee case of the writer's block, so I'm just going to awkwardly jump right into the recap now without a clever opening line. Ready?

Looks like our young rookie PD needs to watch his back - both Ye Jin and Joon Mo have their sights set on him for annihilation. Let's just say his first days on the job didn't go so well, poor puppy. Misunderstood every turn, blamed for things not his fault, lost in love - you name it, it probably happened to him...and he probably just stood there looking dumb and not speaking up for himself. I sure hope that that part of his personality improves as we go along and that the poor puppy finds his voice. At least puppy has one trick hidden up his puppy sleeve - he stumbles upon a little secret relating to PDs Ye Jin and Joon Mo when he sees them enter the same apartment together late at night. But we'll get back to that in a minute. First, let's talk about some of the funny in this episode.

Still on the fence about how funny this show is? I'm sorry if that's how you feel. I've heard many commenting about how boring this drama is and that makes me sad. For them. Because this drama is hilarious! And I'm no Korean variety show expert or anything. I don't get a lot of the inside jokes made regarding the entertainment field. I know some of the people they mention or cameo, but honestly, only a small portion of them so far. Still, I'm here to tell you the good news that this drama is chocked full of all kinds of funny and knowing all the ins and outs of the variety show gambit isn't even necessary. A few of the inside jokes may be beyond the understanding of those not "in the know", but there's plenty of other humorous content here to make up for that deficit and keep us uninitiated entertained.

We start out episode 3 with such an example. Seung Chan finds himself as a guest on one of KBS's variety shows (called Hello Counselor for those that are curious). The topic of today's discussion is, "I don't want to go to work". That right there should have us all busting our guts, the idea of our Poor Puppy PD going on a company variety show as a variety PD talking about how he hates his job at that company. I mean, really? That's comedic gold right there. And if that wasn't enough to get us roaring with laughter, how about the moment when, after revealing his crush and how his crush has a boyfriend and that boyfriend is living with another woman, oh and they all happen to be PDs at KBS, they inform him that the two caught by him, Ye Jin and Joon Mo, are in the audience. The two senior PDs are shooting fiery eye daggers at him and telling him he's dead when Poor Puppy wakes up in a panic. Ah, yes, good old fashioned work-inspired variety show-themed nightmare. Beautiful!

We get a little insight into Ye Jin and Joon Mo's relationship. One thing we learn for sure is that Ye Jin has feelings for Joon Mo. We don't know at this point where Joon Mo's feelings lie, but for sure, Ye Jin has her heart full of Joon Mo and nothing but Joon Mo. We get to see flashbacks to past relationship fails and how it was always Joon Mo there to pick up the crying, messy pieces.
We also see how, despite living in the neighborhood famous for cherry blossoms in the spring, Ye Jin has yet to go see them for herself, holding out to see them with Joon Mo. She spends much of the episode trying to call him and waiting for him by the door. We even have an epilogue (yes, I'm jumping all around here) at the end showcasing a couple of her ex-boyfriends talking about how she obviously has a thing for her childhood friend and how it interfered in their relationships. Obviously, this is a long-term thing and not just some passing phase. The exes come to the conclusion though that she herself probably isn't even aware of how deep her feelings for Joon Mo are, but they're plain to see for the rest of us. So the question becomes whether she'll get to that point of figuring it out or if another (much younger) love interest will come her way.

The 1N2D crew is hard at work trying to come up with a new concept and entire cast in an extremely short period of time. They have a week. A week to cast, write and film. The crunch is on and things are not going so well. A grouchy Joon Mo somewhat sarcastically asks Seung Chan if he has any ideas. Seung Chan then uses statistics to back up his proposal of a matchmaking concept, which is promptly shot down. Shot down until Joon Mo brings it to the higher ups (mentioning it only because he is desperate and has nothing else to offer in way of ideas) and they actually lap it up. Well, looky there, Seung Chan is the unintentional hero of the day. That's gotta really chap Joon Mo's side lol. Things move along quickly from there, and soon they actually have a cast of three men, three women (thanks in large part to Central Producer Kim Tae Ho trying to get his daughter signed on as a trainee with one of the entertainment companies in order to pay for all of her special education that is bleeding him dry financially).

They may actually pull this whole impossible thing off! Things are looking up until one of the women just cast, EXID's Hani, goes on a drunken rampage (how hilarious was that short scene where she was performing behind bars at the police station?) and is pulled from the show, leaving an open spot and the 5 other cast members threatening to leave.

These scenes revolving around casting the open spot had me dying. Die-ing. Especially Joon Mo's visit to JYP's headquarters to see about casting Suzy. They need a top female idol. The president of KBS himself has asked specifically for Suzy or Cindy. Joon Mo, relying on his past relationship with JYP (he once scotch taped JYP's pants when they tore), goes for Suzy while sarcastically telling Seung Chan to go ahead and call Cindy and invite her to the show. Except that Seung Chan actually has Cindy's number (programmed into his phone as "Umbrella Return" hahahaha!) so he takes the order literally and calls Cindy. Because that's just the kind of guy he is. Literal. Or maybe he has a sassy side that said, "you don't believe I can do this, but just watch me!" I suppose only time will tell what his actual personality is. Meanwhile, Joon Mo goes to JYP to meet with JYP about Suzy. Okay, so, I know I said that I don't know many of the cameos and personalities featured in this show, and that's true, but I do know JYP, and so this part had me rolling. I laughed so hard at the promotional videos before the conference call and then JYP's bravado and cockiness and when he tried to cast himself! Oh my goodness!!! So, so funny!! And then when the video call kept freezing at the worst moments.... The best part though that absolutely killed me dead was when Joon Mo ran out of the room after hearing that his rookie PD was at that moment meeting with Cindy and causing, in his mind, all kinds of trouble, and "frozen" JYP suddenly started moving and asked "is he gone?". Even now, as I write about it, tears are streaming down my face. That whole entire scene owns my heart.

Let's turn our attentions to Cindy for a moment. Her song may be topping the charts, but she is suffering from some PR problems. She has an ever-growing anti-fan base (her own manager is a member of these anti-fan clubs even!) and negative comments about her flood the interwebs. She has a major image issue going on. Relating to that, Ye Jin has her own anti-fans thanks to her dressing room fight with Cindy. This girl is just kind of toxic when it comes to public image. Hey! I know what might help fix her image and restore her strained relationship with KBS - let's get her on a variety show! Brilliant, right? Seung Chan seems to feel that way as it was his main selling point when he meets with her about doing the show. Backing up for a second, I loved how when Seung Chan first contacted her about the umbrella, she was all kinds of shocked that it really was all he was contacting her about. She had been convinced that he was only using the umbrella as a pretense to hit on her, but no. No, he really was just concerned about getting the umbrella back.
That umbrella though is what gave him the foot in the door to approach her about casting for the show, so yay umbrella and super stars that can't be bothered to return them as promised! You think if they cast her on the show, KBS will be cool and let Seung Chan off the hook for the umbrella? Let's hope so. Poor Puppy.

Things escalate in the meeting with Cindy. CEO Byung, scary funny lady, intercedes and is appalled that they would dare dream of grabbing her Cindy away for two weekends a month to film, citing the math as she so loves to do, and all the money that would be lost. Then Joon Mo bursts in, grabs Poor Puppy, gets him out of there, and takes the boy drinking.
They sit down, Joon Mo asks Seung Chan if he can tolerate alcohol, to which Seung Chan replies that he can't, prompting Joon Mo to immediately pour him a brimming shot of soju. Then the company Yes Man, CP Kim Tae Ho (agh! I haven't talked about him and his Yes Man ways yet and how he's always flip-flopping his story depending on who he's talking to, but yeah, I've started calling him The Yes Man) and Kim Hong Soon (played by Kim Jong Kook, a veteran variety show personality himself) (I may not be an expert on these things, but I can Google like no other) join the little party, which means Seung Chan has more to drink and gets p l a s t e r e d. He's three sheets to the wind by the time he leaves and is carrying a bag full of hotteok he's been carting around all day meant for Ye Jin.

We end the episode with him showing up at her door, handing her the hotteok, and then passing out as she catches him from falling.

She's spent the whole episode sitting around waiting for Joon Mo to come home and/or call (like a little lost puppy herself) and so is extra shocked to find that it isn't him at the door, but the young rookie PD who shouldn't even know that she's there. Good stuff right there, that is. Good stuff. Wanna know what else is good stuff? We also see at the end Cindy asking online what it means if the boy she thought was trying to hit on her ended up only wanting his umbrella back. I love that she's thinking of him and that he has her puzzled and confused. The starlet has been grounded and brought back to earth by one clueless little puppy and it is so cute to see!

Wanna know what else was good stuff? That epilogue at the end with the ex-boyfriends of Ye Jin (played by Jang Hyuk and Lee Chun Hee). Loved it! Laughed so hard at that part! It was the perfect way to end the episode while throwing in yet more awesome cameos that helped further along our story in the process.

This episode was the first to use a new director, a switch that had me nervous just because I really liked the first two episodes and didn't want to see it change dramatically, but I think it went smoothly. I didn't notice any major differences. The feel didn't seem off. It worked. I'm happy. I love this drama and just hope that it continues doing exactly what it's been doing. That's all I ask of it, to remain its own unique self and not feel like it has to conform and start acting like the other dramas. Stay strong quirky fun little drama, stay strong! We love you!

Sorry for the crazy long recap here guys. This one was for some reason a hard one for me to do this week. I found myself envious of KMuse getting episode 4, because that one was totally awesome and had so much to chat about. So make sure you come back for that one because it's going to be even better! Until next time, fellow addicKts, I bid you a fond farewell!

Back hugs and fish-kisses,

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