Five Kids Episodes 1-2 RECAP & First Impression

So what is it about a drama about a widow with two children living with his in-laws and a single divorcee mom with three children that steals the hearts of Koreans? A fuzzy, warm and happy drama with strong writing, amazing acting and characters that feel like chocolate chocolate chip ice cream.  You know the kind that just makes you feel good watching it and after you watch it.

 

THE RECAP
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Meet the first family around a widowed father named Lee Sang-Tae who raises his two cute children Soo and Bin. They live with the grandparents on the deceased mother’s side and are quite happy and cozy.  Soo even presents to his classroom that his favorite person in the world is his incapable mother who is actually his dad. ^^ He goes roller blading with his kids and will even run barefoot to the hospital carrying his daughter when she’s sick. If anything is the problem, Sang-Tae’s parents are jealous of their in-laws because they live with him.
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Next it’s Ahn Mi-Jung, the divorcee single mom.  She has to miss her son’s presentation on Parent’s Day because a fire has occurred… Her grandmother and the kids’ great-grandmother stands in and it’s not a rare occasion that Mi-Jung has chosen to deal with life instead of being their for her kids…
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The crisis? Her cheating lying useless sack of dung of her ex-husband Incheol and his new wife (Mi-Jung’s ex best friend) Soyoung has moved into the neighborhood.  In fact, they opened a bakery within two subway stops of Mi-Jung’s house!  The background?  Incheol had an affair with Soyoung and so they made Mi-Jung agree to a divorce on the grounds that the cheaters keep it a secret from the kids…Mi-Jung told the kids that Incheol had to go work in the United States…but now they are in the neighborhood.
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Mi-Jung attacks the couple with a golf club and demands to know how they could move into her neighborhood. Soyoung and Incheol apologize but explain that Soyoung’s mom set up the bakery; they didn’t have a choice in the matter.  The confrontation is also cut short when Soyoung’s mom interrupts and kicks Mi-Jung out.  Soyoung’s mom (Jumsook) declares that Mi-Jung would never be able to live in the neighborhood without the spousal support that Jumsook pays per month anyways. She tells Mi-Jung to leave and stop ragging on Soyoung for a mistake in the past.
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Mi-Jung leaves and we get a flashback.  She had not wanted the divorce but Incheol had… Even after they went through the mandatory mediation in Korea and signed the divorce papers, Mi-Jung had called Incheol to apologize for overreacting. Mi-Jung had fought to keep back her tears and asked Incheol if they can’t just restart again. However, Incheol had coldly cut her off and told her that he moved in with Soyoung, to not call unless its about the kids.
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Meanwhile, we meet Sangtae’s parents Shinwook and Misook. They are all excited to see their grandchildren!  Misook whines that it’s been so long since they saw the children and should have just lived with the kids even though it was difficult… But, Sangtae  arrives without the kids and with his in-laws. The dynamic? Kind of awkward.  Minho and Oksoon (the in-laws) are kind of selfish and adorably unaware of any one else’s feelings.  They brag to Shinwook and Misook that they upgraded Sangtae’s car and declare that they think of Sangtae as a son and not a son-in-law…
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Even more background!  Minwo and Oksoon have another daughter Jinjoo.  Jinjoo is actually friends with Sangtae’s younger sister Yeontae but their relationship is also one of best friends / nemeses aka frenemies.  Yeontae does not like Jinjoo using Sangtae’s credit card while Jinjoo thinks its only fair since Sangtae lives with her parents and…
There is a a difference in opinion on how Shinwook and Misook got their restaurant. In the past, Minho and Oksoon had upgraded Sangtae and his wife’s apartment.  Sangtae had sold that apartment and given the money to his parents to buy a new restaurant.  Now, Minho and Oksoon think that they bought Shinwook and Misook the restaurant but Shinwook and Misook believe that the money mostly came from their son’s home savings.
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One last character – the Shinwook and Misook’s second son Lee Hotae. He’s a starving would-be producer that has no money to pay rent or equipment. He ends up having to sneak into his parent’s house to live in the storage room.
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The connection? Mi-Jung has been newly hired as a Team Leader under Sangtae’s Department. She is at the company just to check it out when a crisis hits.  One of the employees forgot to quality check carefully and the catalogs has a misprint of the price of one pair of jeans as $2.30 when it should be $230.  Mi-Jung suggests that they open up the catalogs so that they can easily paste on the corrective sticker/labels and the team does so…Problem kind of solved?
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They go off to team bonding/drinks afterwards. It’s adorably awkward as the younger two female workers start asking questions like whether Mi-Jung is married…and how many kids she has. Mi-Jung smiles through it as the experienced employee though and we can all tell that the younger employees meant no malice.
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That night, we see how different but how lonely both Sangtae and Mi-Jung are. Sangtae might come home to a nice house but he still talks to his wife before he sleeps. And, he wishes that she had just not died so early…Meanwhile, Mi-Jung drinks and wonders why Incheol had to cheat on her and thinks that it would have been better if he had just died….
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The next day, we get our start of our romance! Mi-Jung had a busy morning and accidentally got some of her blouse caught in the zipper of her skirt making it look like she has a bunny tail.  She parks next to Sangtae who sees it.  He awkwardly tries to suggest that she wears her coat and even moves Mi-Jung so that her back is facing the wall when other people come into the elevator.  Mi-Jung notices that he’s acting weird and thinks that he’s a pervert because Sangtae laughs after looking at her butt…
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When they arrive at their floor, Mi-Jung confronts Sangtae. She tells him that he must have a mental problem of being a pervert. She also warns him that the women in the company probably already know…If he doesn’t fix it, he will be embarrassed and fired.  She tells him to get some help.
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Mi-Jung goes to grab a cup of coffee and runs into her friend and colleague.  She tells him about how Sangtae seems to have a perverted side since he kept looking at her butt.  Her friend takes one look and begins to laugh.  He tells Mi-Jung to go to the bathroom and fix it. Cue Mi-Jung going on an apology-fest, apologizing to Sangtae every moment that she has.
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Meanwhile, Misook decides that she has to see her grandchildren and goes to Soo’s school. But then, Oksoon shows up as well and apologizes that the photographer is coming that day to take pictures of the kids – like they do every season.  Misook explodes and tells Oksoon that she’s disappointed and angry at Misook who never lets Oksoon see her grandchildren and does not even invite Misook over to Oksoon’s house to spend more time with the kids.
Oksoon agrees and has Misook sit on the side as Minho and Oksoon takes tons of pictures with the kids.  Of course, Oksoon feels left out and the rest of us wonder how Oksoon can be so indifferent to how Misook might feel? Not even asking Misook to join one picture.
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Subplot alert! Jinjoo comes to have lunch with Yeontae but Yeontae bails because she thinks Jinjoo only spends time with her to look prettier in contrast.  However, Yeontae’s friend and dancing teacher (and crush) catches Jinjoo when she’s about to fall because of a stuck heel.  They hit it off when the teacher Taemin comments that the heels are too high and Jinjoo’s skirt is too short.  Jinjoo gets defensive but Taemin smiles that she looks pretty.
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We turn back to Misook who gets all sad in Sangtae’s room since he must be so lonely.  Oksoon finds Misook in the room and brags that she takes care of her “son” even picking out an outfit for Sangtae to wear every day.  Oksoon, however, gets all angry when she hears Misook call Sangtae “son.”
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But, Oksoon and Minho truly think of Sangtae like their own son.  The next day, Oksoon is at a golf club with her friend when the friend insinuates that Sangtae will betray Oksoon and Minho in the end. Oksoon stands up in anger and tells the woman to take off the jacket that Oksoon bought for her.  Then, Minho comes with the friend’s husband. He’s about to stop the fight when he hears that the friend dissed Sangtae. Immediately, he tells the husband to take off his jacket, shoes and clothes as well! HAH!
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Interesting…interesting…Oksoon is ready to remarry off Sangtae. She reasons that it’s no longer the truth that stepmothers mistreat their stepchildren.  Hmmmm….me thinks that Oksoon is selfishly thinking about her own pride and Sangtae instead of the grandbabies.  In contrast, the more selfish Minho and Oksoon worry about Sangtae and declare that they would never let their grandchildren get raised up by a stepmom.
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The day passes on and evening comes. Grandmother goes to the same store as Soyoung and Incheol and even runs into Soyoung.  Soyeol tries to sneak away but gets caught.  Grandmother sees the wedding band and immediately asks if Soyoung got married during the time that she hasn’t heard from Soyoung….Soyoung forces a smile and pretends nothing has changed before escaping after a few minutes….after giving Grandmother $50 as allowance.
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Grandmother goes home to tell Mi-Jung about how she met the nice Soyoung.  Mi-Jung gets furious and gets into her wardrobe, where she calls Soyoung and yells at her for giving her grandmother allowance…Imagine what Grandmother will think when she realizes that she took money from the woman who stole away her granddaughter’s husband… Jumsook hangs up the phone and cuts it short…
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The next day, Misook is off at a matchmaking company. OMG this woman? She says she wants a woman who has not been married before…someone who is not a divorcee with three kids…a woman who doesn’t work…and a woman who’s quiet without a temper.  Talk about a beggar asking for a hotel suite…
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At the same time, Hotae meets up with Sangtae and asks his brother to invest in him…HAHAHA. He promises to repay Sangtae like Goh repaid his own brother Theo…And he asks Sangtae for Sangtae’s jacket and shoes…
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Then night falls again… Mi-Jung comes home to find that Grandmother has left to visit the new bakery that promises to give you a free basket if you spend $10.00.  Mi-Jung tries calling Incheol and then Soyoung but neither pick up because Jumsook silences the ringer.
Mi-Jung races over to try to stop Grandmother…almost gets hit by Sangtae’s car…but is too late. Grandmother sees Soyoung and Incheol together all lovey dovey and explodes.  Mi-Jung arrives one minute too late and tries to calm things down with Sangtae following just a minute after with Mi-Jung’s fallen slipper.
MY TWO CENTS & FIRST IMPRESSION
First, the basics:
Drama Name: Five Kids a/k/a Five Enough
Episodes: 50
Airs: Saturday and Sunday
Channel: KBS
Now, on to my ramblings.  What a pleasant surprise?  So, I checked out this drama because I had some extra time and I was curious as to what kind of drama managed to jump into the Drama Monthly Top 10 for February with less than ten episodes aired. I was really skeptical at first but there is something interesting about this drama.  It forgoes usual hackneyed plot elements and it just grabs your heart before you know it… You just watch it and smile finding yourself relaxing and enjoying the ride. Then you turn to the side and you gasp and you ask your heart when it left to go ship the characters in the first two episodes?
First thing that I noticed were all of the veteran actors.  Both sides of the in-laws are played by amazing veterans that I cannot even begin to describe the list of their film/dramas under their belt.  Ahn Jaewook and So Yujin are less accomplished but they have also been around for around two decades each – not to date either of them.  More than long enough so that their acting is not just acting, its like a skin that they put on and take off!  And as gross as that sounds, I mean it as a compliment.  No stilted acting from these two. No, they totally look like that coworker or friend you know. They ARE the characters.
Next, I was engrossed by the story telling pace. It takes the simple premise of two people who need love even though they may or may not realize it.  Both Sangtae and Mi-Jung are too busy with their very normal lives to be actively looking for love.  Yet, both of them could definitely use the other.  They are also both so empathizable.  Sangtae is like the daddy or uncle next door.  Goofy but so nice and caring and obviously an amazing father.  Mi-Jung is like the manifestation of the baby boomer mother.  She may have a soft spot for the guy who stole her heart, but she knows when she needs to kick him out of her life to protect her kids.  And let’s not kid ourselves, even without that goodfornothingjerk, Mi-Jung is doing well enough for herself.  She’s a capable career woman who has raised three adorable kids without them even realizing that the father wanted to live with his “new love” so much he was willing to throw the kids away. Talk about amazing strength!
And, at the end? Two hours pass and all I want to do is grab another pint of ice cream and see what happens. Grandmother has already found out the truth. Looks like Sangtae will know as well.  Additionally, who cannot fall for Sangtae’s in-laws even if they have annoying habits? They LOVE Sangtae, it’s so clear.  Sangtae’s real parents are little less lovable but I think it’s just because Misook is one of those selfish mother of sons…I mean she’s the one who let Sangtae move in with his in-laws because it twas too hard for her to do what Oksoon is loving in doing – taking care of Sangtae and the kids. Now, she’s all complaining and wants to remarry the guy off before he is even emotionally ready for it.  Yeah, not my cup of tea but at least Mi-Jung doesn’t seem like the type who will be scraping the floor for Misook. Let the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law fights begin 😉
Will I continue to watch this series? YES. Will I continue to recap? >_< Idk…

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