Personal Preference Episode 1 Recap
Romanized title: Kaeinui Chwihyang
English title: Personal Preference / Personal Taste
Literal title: Kae In’s Orientation
Broadcast station: MBC
Broadcast dates: 31 March – 20 May 2010
Cast: Lee Min Ho, Son Ye Jin, Kim Ji Suk, Wang Ji Hye, Choi Eun Seo, Im Seul Ong (2AM), Jo Eun Ji
Synopsis: A straight-laced, uptight guy and an accident-prone silly woman become housemates when the woman needs money and the guy needs inspiration. The only problem is the girl thinks the man is gay! He tries to correct her, but keeps missing his opportunity. Add in to the mix a backstabbing friend, a jerk of a business rival, two obsessed childhood friends and plenty of room for misunderstandings.
Park Kae In [Son Ye Jin] is a furniture designer trying to start up her own business. She is messy, slow, and a little dense, but she is a good person. She is currently dating a good-looking businessman and her good friend is getting married. The show starts with her getting ready to introduce her furniture line.
Jeon Jin Ho [Lee Min Ho] is a serious young man, often seen as cold by other people. The show opens with him in bed with a woman. It turns out that she is childhood friend who just snuck into his bed. She really likes him but he could care less about her. When she complains that he didn’t touch her once, he says “Didn’t you hear that I like men?” When his mom comes to wake him up, he kicks her out on the landing and leaves her there.
While rushing to get to the store, Kae In runs into Jin Ho who is on his way to an important business proposal for his architecture firm. They both go for the same cab and while they argue over who got it first, another person snatches it away from them, forcing them both to take the bus.
On the bus, misunderstandings abound. Jin Ho is falling asleep standing up and when a seat becomes available, Jin Ho steals it first (because of his model). Then, Jin Ho notices Kae In’s dress shows her panty line. She thinks that he is a pervert staring at her butt. (She doesn’t know that her line is showing). When the bus makes a sudden stop, she goes flying towards Jin Ho’s model. In order to save his model from imminent doom, he uses his hands as a buffer and ends up touching Kae In’s butt, making her think him even more of a pervert. He explains the situation, but she doesn’t care. She grabs his own butt as retribution, making him drop the model. She then bolts off the bus as she didn’t mean to break the model.
Kae In arrives at her opening to find out her boyfriend, Chang Ryul (played by Kim Ji Suk fresh off his Chuno success), couldn’t make it because of a presentation upstairs. She is disappointed, but she gets things ready. Meanwhile, Jin Ho and his partner are trying to fix the model before their presentation. They are approached by rival Chang Ryul (small world) who says there is no need for them to fix it and who invites him to his wedding tomorrow.
Jin Ho manages to fix the model in time for the presentation. Chang Ryul goes first but there was a hiccup with the slides for his presentation. Jin Ho’s presentation goes much more smoothly and definitely seems to be a better pitch. While waiting for the results, they go downstairs to browse the stores. Meanwhile, Kae In was happy after scoring her first (and only as of now) sale. She becomes unhappy when she overhears Jin Ho’s harsh criticism and confronts him. These two just keep rubbing each other the wrong way.
Jin Ho leaves to hear the results of the pitches just to find out that Chang Ryul nabbed the job. Jin Ho wonders if Chang Ryul’s words might have meant he had done some underhand deal and the pitch is just a formality. He goes to look for Chang Ryul to find out. Chang Ryul stops by Kae In’s stall to try to tell her that he is getting married tomorrow (obviously not to her). He makes the mistakes of kneeling (to apologize?) which convinces Kae In that he might be trying to propose. However, Jin Ho gets in the way by accusing Chang Ryul of not playing fair. Apparently there is some bitterness and history between the two, but the whole story behind it is only briefly mentioned and not fully revealed. Chang Ryul then leaves before telling Kae in everything. Kae In yells at Jin Ho for interrupting the proposal. Jin Ho asks when they are getting married. Kae In replies that they haven’t talked about it yet, but if he does propose, then not until fall. Jin Ho knows that something is up and that Kae In is not the bride, but he doesn’t tell her this. Well, that’s not too surprising, he has no obligation to tell a virtual stranger that her boyfriend is, in fact, marrying someone else tomorrow. This does show he’s a good man because he could have used that to hurt this woman who keeps annoying him.
Kae In and her friends get together to celebrate before the one friend’s wedding tomorrow (can you see where this is going?). When Kim In Hee [Wang Ji Hye] heard that Chang Ryul almost proposed to Kae In, she goes into the bathroom to call him and yell at him for not telling Kae In that they are getting married tomorrow. Big surprise! I can’t believe just how long this man has drug this out to the point that Kae In is completely oblivious.
While the girls are celebrating, Jin Ho and his partner are worrying about money. If they lose another project, their business will be in dire circumstances. Then employee and friend, Kim Tae Hoon (2Am’s Im Seul Ong), shows up bawling Jin Ho out for mistreating Na Hye Mi (the girl from the beginning). The boys then go out drinking. Tae Hoon decides to have a drinking challenge with Jin Ho. If Jin Ho wins, then Tae Hoon will leave the company. If Tae Hoon wins, then Jin Ho will date Hye Mi. Needless to say, Jin Ho wins. You have to love these annoying side characters who do their best to hook the girl they love up with the guy the girl really likes. Sigh. Spend a little of that effort in trying to win the girl for yourself.
While all this is going on, Chang Ryul calls Kae In out to tell her he’s getting married to In Hee; however, all he manages to do is break up with Kae In. The sad part being how cruelly he did it. He said he only felt compassion for her, like she was a puppy out in the rain, and he had hoped the compassion would change into love, but it didn’t. He also said that he tried dropping many hints, but she never had a clue. Kae In apologized for her stupidity and left before Chang Ryul could tell her the rest. She then goes drinking with her good guy friend, Lee Won Ho (who is secretly in love with her). She passes out and Won Ho takes her to a hotel where he tries to have his way with her (she kicks his butt). The jerk totally deserved that. Taking advantage of your drunk friend is just wrong.
At the hotel, Kae In runs into Jin Ho (who had dropped off a passed out Tae Hoon). Jin Ho criticizes her for sleeping with another man when she has Chang Ryul. She said he misunderstood her. Then Tae Hoon comes out only in boxers crying and yelling at Jin Ho. This makes Kae In think that Tae Hoon and Jin Ho are lovers. Jin Ho says it’s a misunderstanding, but she doesn’t believe him. While waiting for a cab, Jin Ho tells Kae In about the wedding (as a story, hoping it would sink in, but it didn’t). Meanwhile, Chang Ryul, drops a wedding invitation off at Kae In’s and leaves her a message. Neither which she seems to get.
Now all paths converge at the wedding. Jin Ho is going only to try to snag a deal to save his company and Kae In is going because she didn’t get the message and she wants to catch In Hee’s bouquet. Her other friend, Lee Young Sun [Jo Eun Ji], tries to head her off when she finds out (she was also kept in the dark) but is too late.
The episode ends at a very critical point: Kae In walking down the aisle approaching the two who betrayed her.
My thoughts: Lee Min Ho chose an interesting character for his role after BBF. In ways they are similar, but Jin Ho is colder and much more mature than Joon Pyo was. The lead actress, while likable, seems to be just too clueless for my taste. I am again amazed at how much is happening in only the first episode. And I can’t wait to see what happens next at the wedding and just how Jin Ho’s and Kae In’s paths will entangle further.