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Live Recap: Trot Lovers Episode 4

trot lovers episode 4 preview still

Our hero starts at the bottom with his heroine.

Live streaming link –

Character Key for live recap shorthand


Screen shot 2014-06-23 at 2.05.05 AM Jang Joon Hyun (JH)- Hot kpop star

Screen shot 2014-06-23 at 2.05.14 AM Choi Choon Hee (CH)- loves the unsophisticated trot music

Screen shot 2014-06-23 at 2.05.37 AM Park Soo In (SI)- singer in training at Shine Star agency

Screen shot 2014-06-23 at 2.05.24 AM Jo Geun Woo (GW)- Shine Star’s CEO

Leads’ families

Screen shot 2014-06-23 at 2.20.53 AM Choi Byul (CB)- Choi Choon Hee’s sister

Screen shot 2014-06-23 at 2.20.44 AM Choi Myung Shik (MS)- Choi Choon Hee’s sister

Screen shot 2014-06-23 at 2.26.55 AM Yang Joo Hee (JH)- Park Soo In’s mom

Screen shot 2014-06-23 at 2.21.09 AM Jo Hee Moon (HM)- Jo Geun Woo’s dad

 Shine Star staff

Screen shot 2014-06-23 at 2.06.02 AM Na Pil Nyeo (PN)- Shine Star trainee for 10 years

Screen shot 2014-06-23 at 8.55.49 PM Director Wang (Wang)- a director (not film, just a title at company) at Shine Star

Other minor characters

Screen shot 2014-06-23 at 9.06.28 PM Kim Woo Gab (WG)- Midas CEO

Screen shot 2014-06-23 at 9.07.08 PM Team leader Nam (Nam)- Heads planning team at Midas

Screen shot 2014-06-23 at 2.05.49 AM Seol Tae Song (TS)- Jang Joon Hyun’s manager

Screen shot 2014-06-23 at 2.06.15 AM Lee Chul Man (CM)- loan shark

Screen shot 2014-06-23 at 2.06.24 AM Lee Yoo Shik (YS)- loan shark, Lee Chul Man’s cousin

Screen shot 2014-06-23 at 9.06.50 PM Bang Ji Sook (JS)- Choi Choon Hee’s marathon coach and mentor

Screen shot 2014-06-23 at 2.06.35 AM Shin Ho Yeol (HY)- Jang Joon Hyun’s rival


Episode 4

JH drops to his knees. “Please forgive me this once. I thought and thought about it, but all I have is you. You’re the only way I can stay in this field. I can’t guarantee the result, but I think I can make you into a real singer. I now it is shameless, but please give me one more chance.”


CH- “You’re crazy.” JH informs her that she doesn’t have to go back to the room to sing. She can sign with Shine Star. CH asks what he thinks of her. Does he know how she felt there in that room- like she thinks she hit bottom but it’s only getting worse. She starts crying. She asks if someone like him who always was on top knows how she feels. She says she can’t do it anymore She leaves. JH thinks inside his head, of course, I wouldn’t be able to do it if I was her.

JH wears a wig, singing in a room, drunk guys spits out gum in JH’s hand, throws water at his face. JH goes to bathroom, takes off wig, remembers CH’s words about him not knowing how she feels as well as GW’s dad’s words about him thinking the world revolves around him. He looks at the gum in his hand.

Morning. CH and Byul find JH outside their house sleeping. Byul can smell alcohol on JH. JH asks if CH thought about his offer, but she ignores her.  She gets a call, walks away to talk alone, begging landlord to let her live in their house by monthly rent. (Most Korean live by paying a large sum in the beginning as down payment so they don’t pay monthly rent. That sum gets raised every year and I think dad couldn’t pay that money.)


CH tries to get job at cafe, but JH stalking her in his wig, makes it impossible. He is trying to get CH to believe him, that he will make her a singer, help her pay back debt. CH asks when he started to care so much about her debt. She keeps on refusing. She walks away. Gets call from her coach.

Coach tells CH that her mom went away on vacation. CH is working at the restaurant to fill in for coach’s mom. JH is upset CH already got a new job.

CH’s dad is using what little money he has to buy fruit. He asks the storeowner for a favor.

Coach notices JH in the wig, asks CH who is he is, thinks she recognizes him. Male customers start whispering. They call CH over. Is she the woman who sang “Pepper”? JH answers for her- she is! CH is embarrassed. He offers her autograph to them.


While CH is distracted, JH turns on tv in restaurant, video of her performance, gets the customers to bounce along.

Coach teases CH. She says CH has talent, while CH denies. Coach says CH said the same thing before she started marathon running. CH has a talent for making people happy. Look at the customers before! Couldn’t she see?

CH arrives home, sees two big bag of groceries. Wonders who. CH finds envelope of money and dad ‘s note which says he will earn money soon and come back, wait just a little. CH runs outside, crying, crying out for her dad. She can’t find him, however.

JH arrives home to see Byul standing on stairs. Byul is holding her dad’s note. JH reads it.

CH comes home and Byul asks if she found dad. CH didn’t. Byul hands CH her piggy bank. Byul asks, “If we have money, we can live with dad, right?” CH hugs her sister tight. “You’re so sweet.”


CH runs around the track. Thinks back on memories of her dad trying to sell vegetables out of their truck. Little CH had started singing to gather customers.

JH follows CH around the track until CH finally stops. She asks if I sign with Shine Star, can I pay back dad’s debt? Can I earn money? JH says I don’t know if you will earn a lot of money, but you will be able to pay back debt. CH says she will do it. This is the only way, it seems. But know this, it is not because she trusts him. She doesn’t know when he will betray her. She will use him to become a singer.

At Shine Star. GW asks if she will sign with a psycho? That is what she called her. CH apologizes. GW says he hears that sometimes. She asks about money. GW wonders how a rookie can ask about money first. JH and CH explain situation with dad. GW says not yet, he can’t give her that much money. But if she shows her worth, things can change.

CH signs with Shine Star. Introduces her to Wang so he can show her around. GW makes JH her manager, when JH thought he was a producer only.

Outside office, JH calls GW’s dad. Was he CH’s manager too? He thought he would just be a producer. GW’s dad asks then am I supposed to be her manager? JH agrees to be her manager then. But GW’s dad has to promise to help release his comeback album.

GW’s dad has stopped CH’s eviction by buying up her place and changed her house contract to monthly rent.


SI’s mom is giving food out to the homeless. She sees CH’s dad and recognizes him. Surprised. He leaves before he can see her.

JH starts training CH, or lecturing her. She has to change her attitude. First rule of rookie singers- greet people properly. Bow at 90 degree angle. Second rule, in front of her seniors, she needs to smile, never frown. Her seniors (sunbae) ignore her despite CH’s efforts. Third rule, CH has to eat everything her seniors offer her, even if she might die. And they are also going to SI’s party tomorrow, congratulating her first album.

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JH runs into SI, after he gets phone call. She asks if he is coming. JH tells her that he is going to be late, sorry. SI says it’s okay, like she barely cares.

CH is waiting for JH, runs in PN. PN offers her ramyun but since CH just ate ramyun she wants to refuse but can’t because of what JH taught her.

PN purposely spills ramyun on CH. Gets her to change in the sound booth by offering CH her clothes, but doesn’t give them to her and locks her in the recording studio. PN doesn’t want CH to go to SI’s party.

JH is calling CH but she can’t pick up because the phone is outside. He leaves text message to tell her to go first, something came up.


GW passes by the recording studio, hears CH’s ringtone. Rescues her, puts his jacket on her. GW asks why she is trapped here, did she earn someone’s wrath? GW leaves.

He goes to SI’s training room to get borrow her clothes. He brings them to CH. She wears it. It is a pink dress. GW extends his hand like he wants hers but what he wants is her jacket.


GW and CH run into SI. SI recognizes her dress, not happy.

At party, PN offers SI a drink. Apologizes, says it was just an induction ceremony before. PN asks what class/cohort (of trainees) SI is in. Answer is 27th. PN asks CH what is hers. CH doesn’t know. PN says you don’t have a rank because you are a “parachute.” (put in by favor and connection, not by skill). GW says he is CH’s cohort since he is a parachute too.

JH has come to sing at Heo’s nightclub. He only has to sing three more times to pay off CH’s debt. Heo asks if CH knows what JH is doing for her. JH says keep silent. JH in bathroom, worried about CH being there alone at party. JH’s nose starts bleeding.

At party, GW notices PN and other trainees putting pills in the beer. PN offers the drink to CH. GW says he will be her black knight and takes her glass. He is about to drink, but PN tries to stop him. GW asks, why, did you put diarrhea pills in here? PN ends up drinking it to prove she didn’t.

JH has arrived at the club for the party. TS is waiter here. TS runs away before JH sees him, into the woman’s bathroom. PN is in next stall, pooping severe diarrhea. She has no toilet paper though. Has to ask the next stall where TS is for help. TS, his nose stuffed with tissue for the awful smell, silently hands her toilet paper. PN safely gets out of her stall, but notices TS’s man shoes. She is scandalized. TS pretends to be girl, but PN doesn’t believe him. He has to come out and PN throws water into his face. PN recognizes CH from the ddukbokki place.


At the party, JH sees the Shine Star people at their table, but he doesn’t see CH. He goes in search for her. In bathroom, PN disses CH to SI. SI sly makes herself seem like the victim, like GW favors CH, giving her clothes to CH. PN says she will handle CH, SI is too nice.

Outside, PN has CH cornered. CH explains she got clothes from GW. PN says CH is trying to get GW to like her since she can’t sing. In an attempt to slap CH, PN stumbles and falls makes it seem like CH pushed her. Other trainees come to help PN.

JH arrives on scene. PN tattles on CH. She leaves. JH yells at CH for pushing her sunbae. CH is upset. He didn’t see anything and he doesn’t believe her. Where was he anyway? JH says something came up. CH says he doesn’t know anything, and it is not her fault she is wearing SI’s clothes. GW overhears.



Back at table, CH is downing drinks, JH is trying to stop her. Wang, drunk, says he doesn’t like “parachutes” like CH. GW notices the atmosphere, offers a time for people to truthfully say all they want without any formalities. CH volunteers to go first. She yells at Wang first, why does he only yell at her when he can’t say anything to GW, the other parachute. Then she yells at GW- they are not the same! He is a golden parachute. GW finds her cute. SI is annoyed.

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CH is stumbling up the stairs, JH following behind, telling her to walk properly. GW says goodbye to party, he called a driver for SI. SI looks disappointed. GW notices how drunk CH is, offers to drive her home. SI is not pleased, JH looks on, clearly not happy.

On their way home, CH wants to puke inside GW’s car. GW pleads- “Please don’t do this. Please don’t do this!”

GW pulls over, CH pukes on the street. They arrive home just as JH arrives nearby. He watches CH and GW. CH is saying goodbye, sorry too. GW says he is sorry, for being the CEO’s son. CH also thanks him for driving her home and saving her from the recording studio. GW notes that he keeps saving her when he sees her, when he is not the type. GW says goodnight and drives away.

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JH walks up to CH. He asks if she is okay. CH’s smile goes away. “You can’t follow me up.” She points to his sleeping table outside.


SI’s mom (Yang Joon Hee) dreams. We see headlights, hear car screeching, and CH’s mom lying on the ground. Oh god. Not this. SI’s mom wakes up, says to herself, “Don’t think about it, Yang Joo Hee.”

SI comes home. SI’s mom asks what GW is like. SI- “I can’t put a finger on him. He is a little strange.”

CH gives back SI’s clothes, dry cleaned, saying she really didn’t know it was SI’s outfit. SI pretends it is okay, but she throws out the dress when CH leaves.

Wang objects to CH but GW has a plan. CH has to gather 500 votes (in form of balls) from people who want her to become a singer. She has to sing at the market. JH scoffs- 500 is easy, he can even get 1000 for her. Wang jumps on that and JH and CH are now forced to gather 1000. PN volunteers to watch to make sure the 1000 are legit.


CH and JH’s initial attempts to gather votes are not working. JH starts singing Rain’s “Way to escape the sun” to see if he can gather votes- not appropriate for the crowd and place. LOL. CH puts animal hats on JH and herself. She starts singing trot, JH is playing the guitar. People at the market want her in front of her store so she can pull in customers. The market people are excited. The loan sharks who are there to help are also excited. PN is not.


PN devises a plan. She sets off little firecrackers to disperse the crowd, and the balls fall out of the container as people run away. Loan sharks and JH are desperate to collect them. JH notices a guy taking one and riding away on bicycle. JH chases after him.

Police come to loan sharks and JH.

JH is still chasing the bicycle.

SI is having an interview. Asked what her dreams were. SI’s mom answers for her- SI always dreamed of becoming a singer. SI asked if she has a boyfriend. SI answers, not now. SI’s mom wants it to be edited. SI should say never. SI is asked what she wants to do in her down time. SI looks at her mom and as SI’s mom starts to answer again, GW starts laughing, says this is like SI’s mom’s interview, not SI’s. He is curious about SI. Reporter agreees. SI now gets to answer. She wants most to sleep. She smiles. She is grateful that GW helped her. SI’s mom nags SI, though. SI should have said she volunteers, or reads, etc. GW says everyone knows that those things are lies. What SI said is more “human,” relatable.


JH finally catches up to bicycle, tries to take the ball, but is mistaken as a thief. Family won’t let him take the ball. Kid recognizes him as a singer. Grandma wants him to sing so he can prove he is not a thief. He starts singing a ballad. This is not what grandma wants. She wants trot. JH refuses- he is an artist! Grandma won’t give back ball so JH is forced to sing. He is singing because she reminds him of his own grandma, but this is the first and last time he will sing trot.

JH, teary, tries to sing.  He can’t face them as he sings. But he gets into it, and even gets the family to sing along. But inside, JH is dying.


Back at the market, PN is counting the votes- only 989 balls. Other market people come to give CH gifts of food, grateful she sang for them. GW is pleased. People hand bag of balls they picked up.  Ten extra balls, still only 999 in total. JH finally arrives with the one ball. Wang tries to stop him, saying they don’t know where the ball came from. But the market person takes the ball and puts into container. GW announces CH’s success- 1000 balls! CH and JH hug, swirling around. Stop when they realize. Still happy.

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End of episode, no preview for ep 5


Today’s episode was cute. With a little too much exaggerated comedy in the first two episodes, the drama is settling down now, finding its pace and balance. So is Ji Hyun Woo. He was hilarious singing the trot song for the grandma as well as when he was singing Rain’s songs at the market. Joon Hyun has to be thick-skinned to have so much confidence and pull of Rain’s song with that flair, and Ji Hyun Woo did. I bought Joon Hyun’s character from Ji Hyun Woo’s portrayal.

I am pleasantly surprised by how low Joon Hyun’s learning curve is. I thought he would kick and scream just a little bit more before he became Choon Hee’s manager and sang trot with her. I would have been annoyed if Joon Hyun acted like a brat longer than he had too, but I didn’t expect him to became such a good sheep to Choon Hee so soon. It shows how much he loves his music as well as how much his feelings for Choon Hee has started to grow. Joon Hyun will sing in the rooms for drunk customers and he will wear animal hats in the market so he can help Choon Hee and also be able to release his own album again.

The drama is scattered with nice little touches of tenderness here and there, such as in yesterday’s episode between Byul and Joon Hyun and in episode 2,when Choon Hee imagines her family. In today’s episode, it was SI’s interview scene, where we see more than the selfish brat. We get to see an ordinary, hard working girl who wants nothing more than to just stay in bed one day.

I do have a rising fear about this drama, however, and it is the turn into the overly melodramatic. We saw a bit of it yesterday when Joon Hyun imagined shooting himself, and we see it again today, with the hint that Soo In’s mom, Yang Joo Hee, probably killed Choon Hee’s mom. I moaned very loudly when this scene appeared because I just finished another drama with this type of plot. I’m not looking forward to the secrets and conspiracy coming ahead, but it does answer my question of how the writer will fill the rest of the 12 episodes left. With Joon Hyun making such a fast transformation, I was worried the drama didn’t have enough material for all its 16 episodes. Although, Choon Hee’s mom’s death conspiracy is not what I wanted.

In the end, I’m rooting for Choon Hee and Joon Hyun, and I enjoy watching them grow to rely on each other. It felt good to see them succeed in their first test, which attests to my growing attachment to the characters and the story. Fighting, Choon Hee and Joon Hyun! May you make beautiful trot music together.


9 Comments Post a comment
  1. I read the recap for E3 and loved it so I watched it tonight. now that I’m watching E4, I think this show is growing on me. I’m starting to care more about these characters.
    “fighting Joonni” 🙂

    July 1, 2014
    • joonni #

      This week’s ep was cute. It’s growing on me too. I want next ep!

      July 1, 2014
      • For a second I was afraid you would drag me to the next market “singing in public” scene to catch him in person. I was so happy when he wouldn’t deign to sing trot music and cheered him on. but since it was a song he used to sing for his granny, I overlooked it. The trot music came out a lot tonight and sort of scared me off a bit. 🙂

        July 1, 2014
  2. Alan #

    when was CH’s mom’s death identified as a car accident? My sense is there are lots of possibilities of connections between CH’s father and SI’s mom.

    July 1, 2014
    • joonni #

      I don’t remember it ever being identified as a car accident. I could be wrong, though. I’m guessing that if it is not an accident, it was partly on purpose. Perhaps SI’s mom liked CH”s dad, but dad like CH’s mom and married her. SI’s mom was always jealous and later set out o hurt CH’s mom? That’s a possibility.

      July 2, 2014
  3. Thanks for the recap.
    This one was cuuuuuuuute.
    I like the trot music. It makes me clap along every time.
    I guess the closes thing here in the States would be really twangy country music?

    July 1, 2014
    • joonni #

      Hi jomo!

      Yes, I guess country would be the closest thing to trot. I like my selection of trot, but its done with really awful outfits, heavy makeup, and unsophisticated backup singers or dancers in the back for the most part. That is why it has a low or older generation status here in Korea.

      July 2, 2014
  4. Just me or does JHW look awesome in the black wig? *heh* Can’t wait for his hair to grow out more. 😉 Loved this episode except for the bit about SI’s mom having a connection to CH’s parents – not sure I like that at all, I don’t want this to go into insane melo territory. Favorite parts remain JH with Byul, adorable!
    Thanks so much for the recap, can’t wait for next week.

    July 2, 2014
    • joonni #

      He does look good in the wig, although I personally prefer current length. The wig hair reminds me more of his The Nuts days.

      July 2, 2014

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