Live Recap: Trot Lovers Episode 7
I did not expect this.
Live streaming link –
Character Key for live recap shorthand
Choi Choon Hee (CH)- loves the unsophisticated trot music
Shine Star staff
Other minor characters
Bang Ji Sook (JS)- Choi Choon Hee’s marathon coach and mentor
Shin Ho Yeol (HY)- Jang Joon Hyun’s rival
CH gets text message and picture. It is of her dad and text says come here now or you will never see him again. CH is shocked, she looks at the airing sign for her turn on stage and the hallway exit.
CH makes her decision and runs down the hallway, past JH. Outside, she is trying to catch a taxi. JH chases after her. She shows him the message. He tries to persuade her to go after performing, warning her if she backs out on this now, it’s the end for her. But CH is more concerned about her dad and gets into the taxi. JH follows.
CH and JH arrive at abandoned building stated in text but no one is there.
CH’s dad is busy delivering when he sees his daughter’s CD at the street vendor.
Back at the abandoned building, the police have been called. They tell CH it is probably a prank, sometimes sent to celebrities like her. CH still wants to look for her dad just in case, but they just promise to investigate into the message.
CH is upset and JH tries to reassure her that her dad is safe. Suddenly, CH gets a call. It’s her dad. He says he is okay, saw her on TV, and saw her album. CH is relieved. She wants to know where he is so she can go, but he won’t say- “But know I am always watching over you and Byul.” He hangs up. CH at least now knows he is safe. CH cries and JH is happy to know CH’s dad is safe.
SI had sang in CH’s place. TV department head is upset at SI’s mom for recommending CH. He tells her CH has been banned from appearing on TV indefinitely. SI’s mom says sorry and SI finds out her mom recommended CH for the spot. She gets inkling at what her mom did and asks if her mom made CH miss the show. SI’s mom smiles and tells her daughter to keep out of this.
SI’s mom tells GW that CH has been banned from TV.
JH and CH try to talk to the music show’s producer. But he is made and looks down on CH’s trot music. JH gets mad because the producer made fun of tro music- doesn’t he sing it at noraebangs? They start raising their voice at one another. Producer walks away emphasizing there is no one to accept them at TV broadcast stations.
Back at home, CH is sad, regretting at having taken this venture too lightly and losing her chance to appear on TV. JH comes home with groceries, complaining about the price and trying to lighten the mood. He kicks her under the table to try to distract her.
GW has been told by JH what happened to CH, but he still chides for acting unprofessionally. GW will try to block CH from being kicked out of agency. He also suggests that since CH can’t appear on TV, she start doing off-broadcast functions and events.
SI’s mom asks Wang want GW told CH. He tells her.
CH and JH try to perform at different functions, but a senior singer refuses to sing with CH, saying she heard CH backed out on the TV show- CH has no basic etiquette. CH and JH try to explain but she won’t hear any of it.
CH and JH, disheartened, are at coach’s restaurant. Coach reminds CH that she didn’t always pass the qualifying round when she was doing marathons. Things like this happen. Coach calls for TS to bring food. JH finds out TS is working here and gets mad. But TS begs for forgiveness again, saying JH can hit him until he is not angry anymore. TS tells JH that the Midas CEO has promised to make him a singer so that is why he betrayed JH. TS says he will bring work for CH.
CH, Byul, and JH are outside their house looking at things they got for singing at different functions TS booked for CH. JH is angry because they are not getting paid in money. JH gets a call; it is TS has booked an appearance on a cable station for CH. Note: In Korea, TV is divided into the three big “terrestrial” stations- KBS, SBS, MBC- and cable channels. Fewer people watch them and function differently than the big three so CH can appear on the cable stations.
JH and CH are ready to leave for Gangwon-do to film for the cable channel. Loan sharks lend her the car. JH gives CH the keys, saying he doesn’t know how to drive. CH knows he knows how to drive, she saw in the the parking lot when they first met, so why isn’t he driving. JH says proudly with a huge smile he has never driven outside of the parking lot.
SI is looking at the animal ear headband. Mom comes in and asks what it is. SI says it’s nothing and leaves room to eat. Mom looks at headband again and digs through SI’s phone. She sees pictures of SI and GW at the amusement park. She knows SI likes GW.
Later on in her room, SI’s mom calls GW to invite him to come to her 30th debut anniversary party at her house. SI comes in and sees that mom has her headband now. SI’s mom tells her that she knows SI likes GW. She approves- GW is a good match for her- “You don’t make a tiger cub your enemy but on your side.”
CH and JH have finally arrived in the Gangwon-do, but it is late at night and JH is a little freaked out by the dark and quiet countryside. A Grandma scares JH, suddenly coming up to their car. She is the owner of the guesthouse they are staying in.
Grandma talks to the photo of her dead husband. JH is officially freaked out and hides behind CH. Grandma points to their room and CH asks where is the other one; she reserved two. Grandma says the other one is being used to dry something. CH and JH are forced to share a room.
JH wants CH to go to the bathroom with him because he is scared. CH says she will wash first then. As she leaves, she casually says it seems like there is someone outside the window. JH runs after CH, terrified like a baby.
JH is outside the bathroom while CH bathes. She warns him not to look, but JH scoffs there is nothing to look at. CH counters she has a lot to look at! The wind starts to blow strongly, and a white hanbok skirt falls on JH’s head. He freaks out and runs into bathroom where CH is bathroom. Both scream.
Grandma offers CH and JH food left over from her husband’s ancestral rites food. CH asks if Grandma misses her husband. Grandma denies, but CH knows she does. Grandma admits she liked to hear her husband sing. CH offers to sing a song and while she sings, Grandma looks on lovingly at her husband’s photo. JH looks at CH with soft admiration and a bit of sadness.
Bedtime. JH, who can’t sleep, asks if CH is sleeping. She is and she rolls over to him in her sleep. With her so close, JH is nervous and whispers, “Because of you, I’m…What kind of girl…?!” JH tries to turn away but CH pulls him even closer. She sleep talks- “Goodnight Byul.” JH lies like that in her arms for a while. He finally pulls away and leaves the room after tucking her in.
In the morning, JH is complaining about the mosquito bites he got from sleeping outside. CH reminds him he should have slept inside then. JH asks how she can sleep with a guy in the room. CH scoffs that he isn’t a man to her. JH suddenly gets up and corners her into the wall. She gets nervous and he says to her, “Then am I a woman? See, you’re nervous. I’m a man, right?” He leaves to wash, leaving CH all flustered.
SI’s mom is throwing her party. GW is there. TV department head guy comments that GW and SI look good together, should get together. SI’s mom says she would like that. SI’s mom is called over by the senior singer who rejected singing with CH. The singer reassures SI’s mom that CH won’t be able to appear on TV, just like she asked. Unfortunately for SI’s mom, SI and GW overhear this conversation. GW now knows what happened so he to find out where CH is. He gets into car to go see her. SI tries to stop him to no avail.
JH and CH have arrived to where they were supposed to sing. JH is thankful for this opportunity until he finds out CH has been asked to sing in front of goats. The show is testing to see if singing will help the goat’s bowel movements. JH doesn’t want CH to do this, but CH says she can’t back out on this too.
CH starts singing to the goats, but the goats won’t do what the producer wants to do, so CH has to keep singing. JH gets angry at the producer for making her sing for hours in the hot sun. He starts arguing with the producer who says they should have just used a radio. Producer calls a break. JH asks CH if she still wants to do this, concerned about her. She says she will; she won’t make the same mistake again. She asks for water. JH goes to get it.
Meanwhile, the goats start running and CH falls and cuts her arm.
On his way to get the water from the car, JH sees GW but doesn’t say hi. GW sees JH going to the car.
GW sees CH singing to the goats and he looks upset. The filming has ended. CH sees GW and greets him brightly.
GW goes to yell at JH- is this what he is making CH do to get back his guitar?! JH yells at GW- what is he doing as a CEO then? CH tries to stop them from fighting. JH starts yelling at her, saying he told her not to do this. If she is keep going to do whatever she wants, he won’t be her producer or manager anymore. He storms away. CH tries to chase after him, but GW stops her, noticing the cut on her arm. He pulls her away to treat the wound.
SI calls Wang to find out where CH is.
JH is resting somewhere when it starts to rain. He is worried about CH so he rushes back and asks producer where she is. He tells her she left with the guy before to the hospital.
Nightfall. GW and CH are stuck inside car because the car is stuck in mud. CH’s phone won’t work either.
JH is searching for CH at the hospital and SI notices how focused and upset JH is.
GW apologizes to CH for getting made her before. He just didn’t feel good after seeing her singing in a place like that.
JH and SI go to the guesthouse, but CH is not there either.
CH and GW are playing a game inside the car, trying to make each other laugh.
JH and SI have come to a blocked off tunnel(?). JH goes to look for CH even though it says danger. SI tries to stop him but he goes off. She chases after him.
The sun has risen and the rain has stopped. CH wakes up with the light. GW and CH get out of car. Walking, and with CH wearing GW’s suit jacket, CH asks why GW came. He says he came because he missed her. CH tries to shrug it off as a joke, but he says it isn’t. CH ignores that comment and just walks off to look for a car to help them.
GW and CH try to get passing cars to help them. JH and SI see them. CH sees JH and runs toward JH happy to see him but he just walks past her right to GW. He punches GW, yells at him for taking CH away and not even calling. GW yells at JH for not even noticing that CH got hurt. JH finally notices the cut on CH. JH walks off. CH says sorry to GW and chases after JH.
CH yells at JH- why is he being like that to GW? JH yells if she is only concerned about GW, does she know how he felt all throughout the night? Is she happy to be wearing GW’s suit jacket? He grabs it off her and throws it. CH, surprised, asks what is wrong with him? In anger, JH grabs CH for a kiss. She slaps him and storms away, whispering “Crazy.”
CH arrives at guesthouse. Grandma tells her that JH searched for her all night. JH arrives at guesthouse, walks past CH. Inside the room, he slaps himself for kissing her.
GW and SI are inside her car. GW asks why SI came. She says because she didn’t want GW to misunderstand her mom. GW says there was no misunderstanding. SI explains her mom is doing this because of her. But GW tells SI not to worry; this is a problem between him and her mom.
At home, CH tosses in bed, thinking about what GW said and what JH did. CH and JH run into each other in the living room, both unable to sleep. CH tries to talk to JH about what happened, saying she doesn’t want to be uncomfortable around him, but JH says ignore what happened- he’s a crazy person anyway. He apologizes and goes into his room and tries to calm his his skipping heart.
CH practices at the agency. JH looks at her sadly.
JH asks GW’s dad for advice to help to lift the ban on CH’s TV appearance. He tells him to do everything he can, go head on with the problem. JH starts “stalking” the TV department head, giving his drinks, following him into bathroom (OMG, I think he is cleaning his pee and complimenting him on his penis size), delivering food, and getting burned by hot coffee in the process. Finally the producer guy asks what JH wants. JH answer with a sly smile, “You know.”
CH meets SI inside the bathroom. She tries to say hi politely but SI tells her off for singing at the farm like that. She is a singer and a Shine Star member, after all.
CH is cleaning the practice room while singing her trot. GW watches from outside, smiling, but his smile turns into a determined face. He calls the TV department head and says it is about CH, but the head guy has had enough of CH. It’s already been solved!!! The ban has been lifted!!!
TS sings while cleaning coach’s restaurant. Coach calls him name sternly so TS thinks she is going to yell at him but she asks him when did he start singing so well. TS asks coach to become his first fan. She accepts. At her smile, TS starts to fall in love.
PN is chatting online with TS, and I think both are unaware they are talking to each other. PN is describing TS as her ideal type, perfect in every way, but TS is describing coach as his ideal type. These two are hilarious.
Back at Shine Star, JH has come to tell CH the happy news, but GW is there first to tell CH that her ban has been lifted. JH sees this and his smile fades away a bit although he puts it back on to talk to her. After GW leaves, JH approaches her. CH tells him the happy news, except she thinks GW did it. JH doesn’t correct her, however, just happy to see her happy. CH wants JH to thank GW later and apologize for punching him before. She sees JH’s burn bandage and asks what happened, but he won’t tell her. JH thinks to himself, “It’s okay, Choi Choon Hee. If you’re happy, then I am good.”‘
CH’s song starts getting more airplay and even little kids know CH’s songs. At dinner at coach’s place with TS, loan sharks, and Byul, CH gives gifts to loan sharks, calling them “big uncle” and “little uncle” (sweet!), and to Byul and to her coach. JH wonders where his present is but CH didn’t buy for him.
At home, CH notices how dirty the house is. She wants to clean the house but JH tells her to go practice her medley; he will clean the house instead.
CH is at Shine Star practicing, JH is at home doing laundry and cleaning the entire house. Byul comes home from work to help him. They sing trot while cleaning. SO CUTE.
CH is about to leave Shine Star when she runs into GW. He offers to buy her food. They sit at restaurant and CH is a little nervous, saying she is unused to places like this. GW tells her not to be.
GW asks CH if she thought about it, what he said by the car before. It wasn’t direct, but it was confession. He does understand that he really didn’t ask to date her so he does it now- “Let’s officially go out.” CH makes this face so GW asks if she doesn’t like him. CH says no, it’s not like and tries to explain she is just busy right now, finding her dad, taking care of Byul, stretching her legs, etc. She’s never thought about dating.
JH and Byul are at home making dinner.
GW has driven CH home. GW hangs his head- “I’ve been rejected by CH.” CH politely says no, no, how can she reject him. CH’s words trail off. GW asks if CH has someone else she likes. CH says no. GW replies it doesn’t matter if she does because the heart changes. He leaves.
JH jumps out to scare CH but it doesn’t work.
GW, before he leaves, notices CH left her cellphone. He goes back to her house to give it back to her, but sees JH and CH outside the house, bickering about her not calling for dinner and going in together.
Preview for episode 8
GW: I want to eat dinner at your house today.
JH: Why does that guy want to eat at the house?!
GW: I like Choi Choon Hee.
SI: Why did you come into Shine Star?
CH: To sing, of course!
SI: Then just sing, not date!
Wang: Find out everything about Choi Choon Hee.
GW: Don’t touch Choi Choon Hee. It bothers me.
JH: Thank you for the information, but I can’t leave this house. Why? Like you said, I am Choi Choon Hee’s manager.
What I noticed most this episode was how different Joon Hyun and Geun Woo feel to me. Joon Hyun is so transformed from the person we met initially. He sings trot, he bows and begs, and he cleans the toilet. What moves me the most is to see him get so angry when people insult Choon Hee or trot, not when he is insulted or hurt. He becomes her protector, her source of comfort and strength. My favorite moment was when Joon Hyun tried to distract Choon Hee with the groceries when she sat there despondently in their house. This positive change of character is welcomed, of course, but it just feels so…fast. If two weeks ago, we could explain Joon Hyun’s change as his desire to rebuild his own career in the future, we can only explain these past few episodes’ development as Joon Hyun’s utter romantic attachment to Choon Hee. He may not realize it, but he cares for Choon Hee not just as a manager, but as someone who loves her deeply. As Joon Hyun says, he is happy if she is happy.
Geun Woo has lost some of that eccentricity that I loved in the beginning and I am sad to see it gone. He is like Prince Charming with all his damsel in distress rescues, but Geun Woo isn’t as FUN anymore. I worried in the beginning that Geun Woo couldn’t be a viable competitor in Choon Hee’s affections because he was so strange, but now that he has lost some of it, he looks more like a normal second lead. Please bring back more of the strange, writer, please. Geun Woo has kept his straightforwardness but I want more of his ditzy side.
This drama is sprinkled with these quiet and adorable moments that tug at the my heart strings. It’s delicately done, allowing the viewer to appreciate the gentleness of the emotions. They could be cheesy, like when Choon Hee’s family shows up in her imagination to encourage her to sing at the audition, but they are not, ultimately, because the emotions and motives are built up properly and honestly. When Joon Hyun makes dinner with Byul, I smile because Byul is getting a proper dinner, not fried onigiri. When Joon Hyun and Choon Hee sit in their living room, him kicking her under the table to distract her from her sadness, I see how close they have become. When Joon Hyun lies in Choon Hee’s arms for a bit, I see him absorb some of the motherly comfort and warmth she offers, so different from his own mother.
One thing Ji Hyun Woo does really well is to look at his acting partner like he is really in love with them. When Joon Hyun looks at Choon Hee when she is singing or suffering, you can tell her much he cares about her and empathizes with her. Through her, he has also learned to appreciate trot, a genre that isn’t cheesy, low class, and noisy like he thought, but sincere, comforting, and loved by many. Joon Hyun is learning through Choon Hee that it doesn’t matter what genre you sing, but how you sing it- with the heart.