Flashback Recap: Goodbye Sadness Episode 1

It’s time for a flashback recap! Normally I do only currently airing series. I make exceptions like when I recapped My Prince. This is one of them. This is a 60 episode drama that aired on KBS2 back in 2005-06. The literal title is probably more like Sadness Goodbye or Sad Goodbye [슬픔이여안녕; seulpeumiya annyeong], but it’s also known as Goodbye to Sadness, Sad Goodbye, and A Farewell to Tears. So I arbitrarily chose which title I was going to use. A Farewell to Tears just sounded too much like A Farewell to Arms, lol.

I will start off by saying this before I start in on the recap. I can relate better than you think given I’m not Asian and haven’t grown up in the culture. I’m from a non-traditional, multi-generational, working poor family. Yes, working poor. If you want to know about socio-economic class systems in the US, it’s based on annual income along with the amount of people in your household. Once upon a time there was such a thing as the middle class, but that’s rapidly disappearing as the times change with more people being forced economically into the working class and working poor. I just wanted to say that because I do resonate with the multi-generational and poor families in many Asian dramas, though I always wonder how poor people had the latest gadgets and lived in really nice housing with nice clothes…

Anywho. Onto the recap. Ah…and the videos I have are really LQ which make for really crappy pictures, so sorry. There will be no screencaps to accompany the recap. I know that people do like them, but not much I can do since I don’t have an HQ version.

We open with Park Yeo Jin [Oh Yun Soo] anxiously waiting while Oh Ki Beom [Ahn Jung Hoon] guns the gas. He finally arrives and apologizes for being late as he had to drop his boss off. The two then head off to meet Yeo Jin’s family. Yoon Jin Hee [Jung Jae Soon] and her mother-in-law Hwang Keum Sil [Kang Boo Ja] are anxiously awaiting Yeo Jin and her mystery man that she shocked them all by asking to marry. Enter Park Il Ho [Han Jin Hee] who tells his mother and wife to be patient, they’ll find everything out as to why their daughter turned down all the great men they made arranged dates with.

Yeo Jin and Ki Beom arrive and you see the shock on Jin Hee’s face. Looks like Ki Beom was unexpected. The usual questions are asked since they know nothing of Ki Beom and Il Ho is livid to find out his daughter is requesting to marry a divorcee with two kids! Il Ho storms out of the restaurant. Jin Hee and Keum Sil apologize and take their leave as well. Seriously, the way that Yeo Jin and Ki Beom acted around each other, you knew the two really weren’t set on marrying one another and once Yeo Jin’s family is gone, Yeo Jin agrees to buy Ki Beom lunch in repayment for the degradation he had to go through to get her family off of her back about marriage (she’s already in her mid 30s).

After that setup debacle, we cut to Han Jung Woo [Kim Dong Wan of Shinhwa fame] delivering fried chicken to an office. The people pay him no mind except to say there’s money in the box he can take to cover the charge. Jung Woo collect the money and goes to leave, but he just can’t. He claps his hands and gets everyone’s attention after setting out all the food and drinks and tells them that he knows they are busy, but their chicken is better eaten when nice and warm. The office zombies finally come to wife and happily dig into the chicken. Jung Woo tells them to remember to order from Alley Chicken often and heads back to the shop where his father Han Sung Jae [the awesome Kang Nam Gil—definitely a father icon in a lot of dramas] is cleaning the grill. Jung Woo quickly takes over and says to his father’s complaint that the grill getting so dirty is a good sign that business is booming.

Jung Woo is also feeling very guilty. He’s graduated from college already [he’s 27 btw] and has had no luck in the bad economy in finding a decent job. He does have high hopes about one application. Of course his father is NOT happy when he finds out why. Turns out that Jung Woo contacted Yeo Jin about applying to her family’s company. Why is that a bad thing? Apparently Yeo Jin used to date Jung Woo’s uncle Han Sung Min [Lee Jong Won] and things definitely didn’t go well. Oh, I’m sure Yeo Jin did nothing wrong to Sung Min, but it’s more that Yeo Jin’s family did NOT approve of Sung Min or his background. Such drama. And of course, once Il Ho finds out that Yeo Jin approved Jung Woo’s application he assumes his daughter is still seeing that horrible man. Il Ho trashes the application while Yeo Jin tries to defend her decision by pointing out their lack of new hires and the fact that Jung Woo does meet all qualifications.

Such a typical plot really, but still not very annoying even though it’s been done many times before. Even Jung Woo’s love interest who is introduced later is fairly typical as is what their relationship will probably turn into…but again…doesn’t really have a stale or unbearable feeling, so that’s very good over all.

Anywho, since we’ve heard about Hang Sung Min, it’s time to be introduced to him. All that we do know is that his business is in dire straits over money at first. We learn why later when his wife pays a visit to the rest of the Han family. His one employee is ready to hand over his credit card since his limit isn’t maxed yet. Sung Min good naturedly tells him not to be so trusting and says he will go somewhere else and plead once more. On his way out he runs into his good friend Ki Beom. In the parking garage, Ki Beom tells him that Yeo Jin is finally settled on getting married. To who? Ki Beom then describes the man and says that it is him. This floors Sung Min though he tries to hide how he’s feeling. Ki Beom then says that it’s all a farce as Yeo Jin is still not over Sung Min.

From here we go back to Jung Woo and are introduced to his brother who is 9 years his junior. Jung Hoon [Seo Hoo] falls in and out of love easily and has dragged his older brother to a restaurant to see a waitress who has caught his eye. This is where we are introduced to Jang Suh Young [Park Sun Young] who is the epitome of the worst customer ever. Jung Woo and Jung Hoon notice the woman’s actions and both don’t approve, but Jung Woo tries to get his brother to stop commenting on it. I think it was kind of obvious that Suh Young was testing the restaurant as she was so fake and deliberate in everything. The last straw is when she obviously spills water on herself and accuses Jung Hoon’s beloved waitress. The 18 year-old is quick to jump to the waitress’s defense and when Suh Young starts trash talking Jung Hoon and throws water in his face, the angry Jung Woo confirms everything his brother said and then raps her sharply on the head for her bad behavior.

Humiliated and angry, Suh Young storms out and puts her papers on top of her car. She gets in and then drives off. When she stops, she shoots an angrily glare and the Han siblings and guns it, sending her papers flying. The restaurant manager comes running out and sees the papers. This confirms his worst fears that the unreasonable customer was a mystery shopper who was there to rate their performance—all of which the Han brothers ruined.

A little happy dance comes if you love Shin Dong Wook. Having gotten in to kdramas post Soulmate, the first drama I saw him in was A Star Falling from the Sky and I just loved him in that. That’s unfortunately the only drama I saw him in because I just couldn’t get into Soulmate. Anywho, we get to meet Shin Dong Wook who is playing Yeo Jin’s little brother Do Jin. He’s driving the sleeping Kim Min Joo [Seo Young Hee] back from visiting her ill father. It turns out Min Joo is Suh Young’s best friend and Do Jin is Suh Young’s fiancée! I don’t think they’ve ever done anything horrible behind Suh Young’s back, but I think it’s obvious that Do Jin is NOT committed to the marriage at all and as glib as Min Joo is, she might actually like him, but nothing too major here as of yet. Suh Young calls to complain about her rotten day and Do Jin lies that he’s at the gym and will meet her as soon as he can. Min Joo tells him to drop her off nearby so he can go meet Suh Young.

Just like it was way obvious that there really was nothing between Ki Beom and Yeo Jin, it’s very obvious that there is nothing between Do Jin and Suh Young. These two have no spark and really don’t seem too interested in each other’s lives even though Do Jin is there listening to her complain about what happened. She does call him out about not wearing his engagement ring and he lies and says he can’t stand wearing it to wash his face and forgot to put it back on. He then complains she’s not wearing hers either and Suh Young says they’ll have to choose plainer, less extravagant wedding rings. Again, these two really don’t appear to be lovers or anything at all so you wonder why they are even getting married—especially when Min Joo calls up Suh Young to meet her at her house and Suh Young quickly drops everything to rush to Min Joo’s side and when Do Jin complains about Suh Young’s priorities, Suh Young responds that parents are number one and everyone else falls after that.

Looks like Ki Beom is currently driving for Suh Young’s family while he’s contemplating starting up his own business. He nearly gets into an accident and ends up getting charmed by the woman who nearly hit them. This makes Lee Young Shim [the awesome Yoon Yeo Jung] very upset. She tells her husband Jang Tae Bok [Jang Yong] that they should fire Ki Beom who says why not and can he go then? Young Shim wonders why he’s always so punctual about the time he gets off. You can tell that Ki Beom is really close to the Jang family as Tae Bok and Young Shim really do just let what he says roll off of them and if it was true servant master relationship, Ki Beom’s butt would be out the door.

Suh Young arrives home and complains about her horrible day to her parents. Young Shim counters with her near death experience. She tells her daughter that they will never leave her, but they can’t guarantee they can always be with her, thus it would make Young Shim very happy if her daughter were married. Suh Young quips back that she will get married tomorrow if it makes mommy and daddy happy. And there you have the entire reason why she’s will to marry Do Jin. Yes, his family is of equal status. He doesn’t seem like a horrible person, but not ready to settle down whatsoever at the moment and you know he really doesn’t see his fiancée as a woman. Not really. I understand where Suh Young is coming from, but at the same time, you don’t rush into a loveless marriage just to make them happy as the likelihood of finding love and happiness is a helluva lot slimmer than dramas give you reason to expect…depending on the drama actually.

At the Han household, Jung Woo’s mother (who may not be his real mother) is preparing food when Han Sung Mi [Kyun Mi Ri] arrives. Sun Ok [Choi Ran] is very happy as Jung Woo got his first paycheck from his part-time job washing cars and got her a present and gave her some money. Sung Mi is quick to point out that Sun Ok always favors baby Jung Hoon, so why the sudden cooing over Jung Woo. The two women start bickering and Jung Woo comes in. He does overhear parts of their conversation and it makes me wonder how much is known by him at all and if even he’s noticed any difference of his mother’s treatment between himself and his brother. But he quickly jumps to his mother’s defense and scolds his aunt for always upsetting her. Sung Mi quickly changes her tune when she learns that Jung Woo has bought her a present as well and she flounces off to go look at it while Sun Ok congratulates her eldest on his good sense. Despite Sun Ok’s big words to Sung Mi, when Jung Woo does cuddle into her, she does look very uncomfortable.

The Han family all gather for dinner when Oh Hee Sook [Yang Jung Ah] shows up. She looks very reluctant to be there and when she comes in the first thing she does is request that Sung Jae give her money to help save Sung Min’s failing business. Jung Woo and Jung Hoon are quickly sent out of the way. Sung Mi is livid that Hee Sook is begging for Sung Min when the woman should know well enough that the elder Han siblings have no money saved up. Hee Sook pleads as her family refuses to help so any little bit that the Han family can give her will be useful. I can’t remember the exact amount of the money owed, but I do know Hee Sook only scraped up a paltry $20,000—paltry when you look at the total amount owed. She leaves angry that the Han family is useless and won’t help. She also complains about well off Hang sibling Sung Kyu (we haven’t met him yet, but he’s played by Kim Il Woo].

You know Sung Jae feels horrible as the head of the Han family. He goes back into the house and asks Sung Mi and Sun Ok to cough up whatever money they can. Sung Mi says she is not adverse to helping out her baby brother, but she only has about $6000 saved and that is nowhere near helpful, so there is no sense in giving that tiny sum of money. Plus, Sung Mi thinks that it is Sung Min’s fault for quitting a well-paying job to start his own company and falling into debt and bankruptcy. I’m sure him quitting had something to do with Yeo Jin and her family. Sun Ok then breaks the bad news that she let go basically all of their employees just so they could afford their rent. Yikes. No money to spare.

It does get frustrating when family members know you don’t have any money and yet try to guilt you into giving money you can’t afford to spare. Even though you know they are desperate and you want to help, it’s just horrible to know that you can’t and know that they know you can’t and yet you’re still pressured. Yep, that’s alive and well today.

Sung Jae goes to the chicken restaurant where Jung Woo is. You know Sung Jae is worrying about Sung Min and the money issues at hand. Jung Woo goes to the doorway and stairs up at the sky. Is it raining? Nope, he’s just keeping an eye out—maybe a bag of money will fall from the sky. Poor Sung Jae really feels his perceived worthlessness as a father for wanting the best for his son and not being able to provide him any of that. Jung Woo doesn’t care as he has his father’s love even though he’s not a perfect son who got a job and helped support the family—the joys of being the eldest son in a family.

Sung Min gets home after being denied yet again. To make matters worse, his wife announces she visited his family and denounces the lot as being horrible. Hee Sook also complains about being the one who has to beg for money. Sung Min is proud and won’t beg. He’d rather just declare bankruptcy and go from there. Plus, Sung Min knows Sung Jae and Sung Mi really can’t help him. He yells and out comes his son. Great. A wife and son. I have no idea how happy he really is in his marriage, but I hope he and Yeo Jin don’t have an affair or anything like that—though she does seem too level headed for such a thing.

At the Jang house, Min Joo confesses she visited her father and the cancer is back…or was it cancer was discovered? It makes no matter, the man has cancer. Suh Young wants to get her parents to give Min Joo the money for the fees, but Min Joo refuses—she can’t take anything else from the Jang family. She’ll get rid of her current rental and move into a tinier place. Suh Young tells her to hold on and rushes into her parents room. She tells them Min Joo’s predicament and asks if her friend and move in. The Jang parents quickly agree to this plan and Suh Young rushes back to tell Min Joo the good news, but is again rejected. Suh Young is supposed to be 26 and the woman is so sheltered and immature. She always wanted to live with Min Joo before marriage and pleads with Min Joo, but Min Joo won’t give in.

The next day, Il Ho decides to get rid of his daughter and tells her to marry Ki Beom or anyone else as he’s had it with her. This makes both Keum Shil and Jin Hee angry. Looks like Yeo Jin’s mother is older and was a former teacher to boot so she does where the pants in the family. I had to laugh when Il Ho threatens to tell his mommy on her as she said one thing at the breakfast table and another in their bedroom about how he was acting with Yeo Jin.

Suh Young is at trouble at work. She lost her paperwork and blew her cover. Jung Woo finishes up his car washing duties and takes Suh Young’s paperwork to her office. We end with the two having an interesting meeting as Jung Woo tries to work up the courage to talk to another employee as the atmosphere there is the same as the previous company’s where he delivered chicken to at the beginning.

End our first episode. Enjoying this so far.

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