This drama is another one off Tvn’s Flower Boy series, except it’s dropped the Flower Boy prefix for this. Which is understandable given that the main lead is Lee Jong Hyuk. Absolutely forgivable, in fact. Name it Flower Men, I would watch it anyway! It’s based on a similarly named movie starring Uhm Tae Woong and Lee Min Jung, but I have never watched that. I’m all in for Lee Jong Hyuk.
Recap for Episode 1:
The episode opens with our leading lady, Min Young (Sooyoung from SNSD), describing in the voiceover the perfect atmosphere for a profession of love – dinner, wine and flowers. She is trying to match up a nerdy loser guy (Ji Jin Hee in a cameo) with a ballet teacher (Lee Chung Ah from Flower Boy Ramyun Shop), who he has been secretly in love with for 3 years.
With Min Young supporting him from another table, he makes his confession to her, using the lines that she’s coached him with. Once he’s said his piece, we get a flash of what looks like Lee Jong Hyuk’s back. Something tells me this isn’t going to go how I think it would. The ballet teacher thanks him, and proceeds to down her glass of alcohol. She then gets up to tell the waiter that she likes him, and has liked him a while.
Opening credits. Now this is how you do it!
We get introduced to Min Young’s job in a matchmaking agency. The poor girl is a bit disillusioned, as most of her clients have specific demands – background, wealth, education etc. Min Young just wants to match two people who love each other. Which brings us to dear old Ji Jin Hee’s little character.
He seeks her out knowing that Yu Jin (the ballet teacher) is registered with Min Young’s agency. He begs her to arrange a date with Yu Jin, despite his F-grade rating. His earnestness moves her, and she looks for Yu Jin to beg her to go out on one more blind date. At Yu Jin’s school, Min Young leafs through her file to realise that Yu Jin has been on 7 unsuccessful blind dates. She wonders for a bit if she’s doing the right thing by setting them up, but her thoughts are interrupted when someone in a suspicious black coat pushes past her.
When Min Young tries to persuade Yu Jin to give another go at a blind date, a bottle of red wine crashes. Yu Jin names the wine and upon some quick reflection, agrees to the blind date.
At the restaurant, Min Young gives her nerdy loser the final pep talk and takes off his glasses. As she sits at her table to watch the progress, we get glimpses of the Cyrano team in action.
Byung Hoon is sat at a table behind Min Young, with eyes and ears trained on the conversation between the couple. He is a lot more well prepared than Min Young, with Arang as a waiter and Moo Jin (who’s made out to be some sort of genius, from the Rubik’s cube) as the background tech. Cyrano’s client is the waiter who was pouring wine for couple on the blind date. As Yu Jin blurts out that she likes him, Byung Hoon coaches Waiter guy through it, by first asking him to wipe the smile off his face. His next lines work like a charm on Yu Jin, and it’s mission accomplished for the Cyrano team.
Poor Min Young is still reeling from shock, not knowing what had hit her. She and nerdy loser then sit on some steps, reflecting on the failure of their plan. She seems absolutely clueless as to what had happened, while he’s actually come to terms with the loss of his crush.
He thanks her for her effort, and she wishes him luck in finding his true love. How is it possible that Ji Jin Hee can melt my heart with so little lines?
After he leaves, Min Young gets an angry phone call from her boss, who gives her an earful for arranging an unauthorised blind date for Yu Jin. As she tries to explain, Min Young chances across Moo Jin and the Cyrano tech van. The door opens and she peeks in, intrigued at seeing Yu Jin’s face on one of the monitors. She turns straight back to see Moo Jin, then backs up defensively and ends up falling over, blacking out.
She wakes up in the Cyrano agency headquarters, and asks Arang where she is and who he is. Before he says anything, Moo Jin appears behind her and gives her a shock again. She falls backwards, pushing over a wooden board, revealing Byung Hun.
The entrance is way overdone but is actually quite funny. Not her falling over, but the fact that he might have been stood there ages waiting for her to come to and get shocked and fall over. He comments that the entrance is a bit too loud. Well, funny you should say.
Min Young looks up at him and his board of pictures and information, then starts to piece together the clues. Byung Hun and Arang at the restaurant, Moo Jin and his van, and the broken bottle of wine. Thank god she isn’t such a dim bulb.
She realises that she and nerdy loser have been sabotaged. Byung Hun coolly asks if she felt good doing something outside of her agency’s orders. She fires off at him for manipulating her and her client, but Byung Hun says that their client is earnest in his love too. He insults her cheesy tactics with the dinner and flowers, and points out that at her first meeting with Yu Jin, she was too busy looking at her file instead of looking at her.
He explains his game plan with Waiter guy, and we see that he has been there at Yu Jin’s unsuccessful dates as a calming presence, slowly making himself noticed as Yu Jin works up the courage to open up to him. When Min Young asks him how he cooks up these devious plans, Byung Hun just points to his head smugly. Lol.
He tells her that she can do better, but she failed her client because she gave him false hope. He hands her a name card and invites her to join them. She scoffs at this, which isn’t surprising. He takes back the card, saying that he was just trying to help the unemployed.
She wonders who he means, but when he nods at her to check her phone, she sees a text from her boss telling her she’s fired. So they do dismissals over the phone now? Byung Hun sneaks in another snipe about her name before Min Young leaves. At the office, her boss takes back the dismissal, because Yu Jin put in a good word for her (well, she did get her happy ending, if anything). Min Young thinks back to what Byung Hun and nerdy loser said, and decides to quit the job after all.
Min Young snoops around the Cyrano agency to take up the job offer, but she scurries into the restaurant next door when Arang comes out. The owner of the restaurant, Seung Pyo (Lee Chun Hee), catches her in the act. He thinks that she is too shy to go in as a prospective customer, and encourages her to do so.
Min Young is back to pacing outside the agency, where she meets a possible customer, Jun Hyuk. She introduces her to the place as though she actually worked there, which surprises no one, since Byung Hun called it already. She makes up flimsy excuses for dropping by, but he doesn’t care. Lol.
Within about 2 seconds, Byung Hun has gathered that Jun Hyuk is a vet, and asks him to keep a distance. Does he have a cat allergy? He gets the vet to cut to the chase with the story of his love interest. Jun Hyuk has a crush on the librarian (Lee Yoon Ji!) across from his clinic, and tells of the time he saw her feeding kittens in the rain.
Min Young gets into the touchy-feely bits of love at first sight. Byung Hun cuts it short by asking about other details about her. Jun Hyuk says he almost asked her out once, but fell short. He offers more observations of her, but Byung Hun rejects them straight out, saying that biased views are no use to him. He tosses his car keys to Min Young, and off they go to do some recon!
They spy on the librarian, Jae Hee for a bit in the library. Byung Hun makes Min Young talk to her while he snoops behind the librarian to check out her calendar. He also rips a few pages out of the library book, which drives Jae Hee mad. From their encounter, Min Young gathers that Jae Hee is impatient, efficient at her job and passionate about it. Byung Hun just wonders if she even had her eyes open.
Byung Hun observed that Jae Hee only cares about her job, but not who she serves. She doesn’t care who borrows what book, so all that time Jun Hyuk spent pacing around her was for nothing. He gathers that she might be bored of the daily grind and would seek some thrill and mystery in life. He decides to refuse Jun Hyuk as a client. Moo Jin thinks it’s because of his cat allergy, but Byung Hun says that the chances of success are too low. He rattles on about how Jun Hyuk is not compatible with Jae Hee, but Arang jibes that it must be about the money.
Hah, Byung Hun’s insistence that it’s not about the money backfires when two loan sharks appear to demand repayment.
Next thing we know, he’s this close to being thrown off the roof. Min Young and the boys look up from below, and Seung Pyo comes out to join them. The guys are used to see this happening, so Arang tells her not to worry. Min Young introduces herself to Seung Pyo again, and Arang pipes up that she’s already joined Byung Hun on the field, which impresses Seung Pyo. He asks her to call him Master like the others do, and welcomes her. Moo Jin doesn’t look too happy, but that could also be his neutral expression. Has he ever had any other expression?
After some overacting in front of the loan sharks, Byung Hun is forced to accept Jun Hyuk’s case. We get more info on Jae Hee as the team prepare for their mission – she takes self-defense classes 3 times a week, attends criminal profiling sessions every month, likes crime and mystery novels. She tells people off in the library for being noisy, and she has been unsuccessful previous blind dates. Byung Hun’s strategy is to transform Jin Hyuk into a mysterious man.
Their plan starts at the metro station, where Moo Jin hacks the barriers to delay her a bit. She follows someone else through anyway. Arang then runs into Jae Hee and drops a load of coins. While she helps him pick them up, he slips a membership card with Jun Hyuk’s name into her bag.
Jae Hee misses her train, which is when she spots Jun Hyuk, dressed up in a detective-like outfit. He catches her attention immediately. She then overhears Byung Hun’s loan sharks discussing how they are going to sort him out. Jae Hee follows them to see what they are up to. When she sees two policemen she tries to get their attention. Thankfully Min Young sees them too and creates a diversion by fainting/falling in front of them.
She finally sees Jun Hyuk, and Byung Hun tells him to wait 10 seconds. Which is when Jae Hee makes her way towards him. She grabs his hand to alert him of danger, then leads him away. The loan sharks loudly shout that they’ve spotted him. Woohoo! Min Young looks real impressed.
Jun Hyuk and Jae Hee run towards the front of the train, and he pushes her into the carriage while he remains on the platform, watching her leave. That is a well-staged first encounter, because it gets her all in a bother. She finds the membership card now on her bag.
The team group together on the platform, where Byung Hun thanks the loan sharks for a job well done. Arang whispers to Min Young that their dreams were to become actors but they had gone down the wrong path. Lol.
As they are talking, Min Young notices that Jae Hee had got off another train on the opposite platform. She came back to look for him! Byung Hun tells everyone to hide. Moo Jin quickly leads Jun Hyuk away. Byung Hun grabs Min Young’s arm and they bicker as they walk towards the escalator. Byung Hun sees Jae Hee walking straight for them and grabs Min Young into a hug to block her.
He asks her teasingly if she’s nervous being this close to him. She shoves him away and ends up falling backwards into the train tracks instead. Byung Hun reaches out and grabs her again, which leaves them in an awkward position again.
Well it ain’t awkward for me at all. Not when there’s some actual chemistry going on there between Soo Young and Lee Jong Hyuk. I am pleasantly surprised by Soo Young. I wasn’t expecting much from her, but she’s pulling off the rom-com lead role pretty well. I was sold on Lee Jong Hyuk even before the show started, so he’s not let me down either.
What I also like is the team dynamics. Arang and Moo Jin seem quite interesting and there should be more development in the next episode for Seung Pyo as well. Hopefully we’ll get to see why he’s called the Master, and more interactions with the Cyrano team would be nice.