Airs: Saturdays & Sundays
Ninja’s Happy Home Episode 1-4 Overview
Brightly calling each kid she escorts across the street by name, Bong Hae Ryung’s bright smiling face hides the deep sorrow she lives with everyday after losing her only son at the exact street crossing.
Hiding her sorrow from everyone around her, Hae Ryung seems to have the perfect life as the wife of a successful husband but in reality her once happy marriage has fallen apart since the death of her son.
Frustrated by Hae Ryung’s failure to live up to her endless expectation as the perfect daughter-in-law, Hae Ryung’s famous mother-in-law, Madam Jang treats her like a lowly maid while giving her constant pressure to get pregnant as soon as possible.
The lady in the grey is Madam Jang’s secretary…and Hae Ryung’s husband’s mistress.
Our two leads actually meet during the very first episode!
Minding his own business on a shuttle, our hero Seo Jin Gun (Lee Sang Woo) can’t help but notice when the woman sitting right next to him tells her husband “oh, yes. I just picked up mother-in-law from the airport and we are sitting in the car together.” Putting the whole incident behind him, Jin Gun would’ve forgotten Hae Ryung completely if not for the fact that he runs into her again in a hotel elevator. Raising his eyebrow when Hae Ryung assures her mother-in-law that she is with her husband right then, Jin Gun wonders to himself if Hae Ryung has the habit of lying.
Apparently third time is the charm, Jin Gun catches Hae Ryung lying on the phone once again (to her mother this time) when he accidentally runs into her at a convenient store. Finally noticing Jin Gun this time when he steps forward to give her some change to purchase a cup of ice, Hae Ryung belatedly remembers meeting Jin Gun on the shuttle.
Looking at Hae Ryung’s friendly face, Jin Gun can’t help but feel like he must’ve met Hae Ryung before but is unable to place her no matter how much he tries.
While our two leads’ paths keep crossing, unbeknownst to them Ji Gun has actually gotten to known Hae Ryung’s husband Hyun Ki as well. Impatient with Hyun Ki’s relentless demand that he personally operate on his boss (President Lee), Ji Gun finally gives in when Hyun Ki all but forced his hand.
Meticulous to the extreme, Hyun Ki had pretty much used every mean possible be it bribery and threats to force Ji Gun to be President Lee’s doctor after Ji Gun successfully operated on him. Wising up to Hyun Ki’s various tactics, Ji Gun is amused when Hyun Ki resorts to making a drinking bet with him. Waking up with a hangover and a text from Ji Gun with an embarrassing picture of him drunk, Hyun Ki is resigned to report his defeat to his boss…that is until Ji Gun walks in and starts chatting with President Lee in a very familiar manner.
Stunned when President Lee informs that him Ji Gun is actually his ex-son-in-law, Hyun Ki realizes Ji Gun had been playing him all along.
His attention caught when he walks past the emergency room to see Hae Ryung crying frantically about a child, it suddenly dawns on Ji Gun whey Hae Ryung had seem so familiar. Lost in her nightmare of losing her own child, Hae Ryun can’t seem to discern that the child she brought in to the emergency room is not her own and screams as she begs the doctor to save her child. His own nightmare come flooding back as he stares at a sobbing Hae Ryun, Ji Gun thinks back to the fateful day when he had failed to save Hae Ryun’s child because of a mistake on his part.
Ji Gun blames himself for Hae Ryun’s child’s death because if he had ordered some additional tests before he did the emergency operation the child might’ve lived. However, as Ji Gun’s dad pointed out, the child would’ve died anyway if they had waited to do more tests before they operated on him.
After fainting in the hospital then waking up to find Ji Gun in her hospital room, an unsuspecting Hae Ryung just assumes she was lucky enough to meet Ji Gun during her hour of need again. Borrowing some taxi money from Ji Gun, Hae Ryung arrives home to find her husband in the process of cleaning her son’s room out. Taking no pity on his crying wife, Hyun Ki tells Hae Ryung that throwing away all of their son’s stuff is the only way to make sure Hae Ryung can finally move on.
Sobbing over her son’s picture that night, Hae Ryun promises herself that she will try even harder to salvage her broken marriage.
Running into Hae Ryung once again at their neighborhood convenient store, Ji Gun jumps out as Hae Ryung’s champion when she was picked on by a few teenage thugs… and promptly gets beat up by the kids.
Yelping as Hae Ryung tries to take care of his wounds, Ji Gun is hilariously afraid of pain despite being a doctor himself.
Feeling quite guilty as she stares at Ji Gun’s wounds, Hae Ryung can’t help but break out in a smile when Ji Gun insists on walking her home in fear that the thugs would come back to seek revenge. Looking at Ji Gun’s mangled face, Hae Ryung laughs and explains “Revenge is for the victims…but I think you are the victim in this case…” Ha!
Happy Home is a K-family drama so there are at least two other couple we will be following. It looks like Hae Ryung’s twin brother Man Ho’s messy family life will be the focus for the first bit while Hae Ryung’s youngest sister’s budding office romance is going to start from episode five.
Proud of the Chinese restaurant empire he has built from a measly street stand, Daddy Bong (Hae Ryung’s father) runs his family with an iron fist… but fails miserably when it comes to his only son Man Ho. Not the sort of parents that are blind to their own son’s many flaws Man Ho’s parents constantly feel apologetic towards their hard working daughter-in-law Mi Soon for having to put up with an extremely immature husband. On a day while Mi Soon is away from the restaurant, the Bong family is hit with a crisis when an ex-employee shows up and claims she had a baby with Man Ho. Flustered, the Bong family holds an emergency meeting and agree to hide the baby from Mi Soon.
Unfortunately, the baby’s mother Se Ri has long been plotting to take over Mi Soon position in the Bong household and is not about to allow herself to be pushed aside. Stunned when she finally find out the truth of her husband’s betrayal, Mi Soon seems even more hurt that all her in-laws whom she consider to be her own family (she is an orphan) would lie to her as well. Gleeful as she could see Mi Soon’s world being shattered, Se Ri moves in for the kill and demands that Mi Soon lets her move into the house so she could prove once and for all that despite Mi Soon’s 15 years of slaving away at the Bong household, they will eventually choose Man Ho over her.
Ninja’s First Impression
I really liked the first two episodes but then episode three & four have me kinda concern with where Mi Soon’s story line is going. Having Mi Soon agreeing to let her husband’s mistress move in for a one month for a “show down” seems so…so… dumb! I get that Mi Soon’s orphan background means there is a part of her that wants to know if the Bong family would really choose their own son over her when they keep claiming she is like a daughter to them, but it just seems so incredible weird for Mi Soon to still have hope over Man Ho when the man is obviously a lost cause.
Still, minor plot concern aside, overall I am very happy with the general story direction of Happy Home and is quite impressed with how quickly the writer has been able to make me care deeply about each of the characters. Kim So Yeon’s heroine simply makes my heart break for her and it is difficult to not cringe as Hae Ryung’s character try so hard to please her mother-in-law when it looks like Madam Jang might be resorting to something nasty now that she has confirmed with the doctor Hae Ryung can’t get pregnant anymore.
I am a pretty big fan of Lee Sang Woo so I am pretty excited to see him paired up with Kim So Yeon and by the looks of it the chemistry between the two actors are great. I do find it intriguing that the writer has chosen to have Lee Sang Woo’s character get to know the heroine AND her husband right from the start. Stranger still, I have this weird feeling that the two men might end up becoming frenemies?? Oh, well. Bromance, especially unlikely bromance is always appreciated.