Summary: Panda and Hedgehog Episode One & Two
I haven't watched enough Korean dramas to know the ins and outs of k-dramas, but two episodes in, I'm finding Miss Panda and Mr. Hedgehog very enjoyable to watch. I used to avoid watching k-dramas like the plague because back in like 2002, depressing as shit k-dramas were the rage and I tend to dislike watching anything melodramatic where everybody dies in it. Thankfully, I don't think this drama's going to be anything like that. In fact, I think it's going to be the complete opposite: fluffy, cute, adorable and sweet. YESH! Exactly what I need right now. I will get my soap opera on when fall arrives in the form of Revenge. For now, Miss Panda and Mr. Hedgehog is the perfect way to cap off summer.
Like I said last time, the scriptwriter for Miss Panda and Hedgehog is the same scriptwriter for It's Okay, Daddy's Girl, and there are already certain similarities. Like the scriptwriter's penchant for introducing a shit load of characters in the first episode. The plot so far seems simple in comparison, but we're only two episodes in. I'm waiting in trepidation for le shit to hit the fan. And for some reason half the cast was transplanted from It's Okay, Daddy's Girl to Miss Panda and Hedgehog. Not that I mind, since I liked most of the actors that were transplanted over. It's just amusing me. I feel like I'm watching a happier and fluffier version of It's Okay, Daddy's Girl, but instead, it is It's Okay, Grandpa's Boy instead.
I'm already confused by the opening sequence with a flashback of what I think is our two main characters meeting as children. Panda is singing a bug song and the little boy is drawing cakes. Shift to present time, we are treated to Donghae yelling and chasing after a debtor. I approve. Yelling and running Donghae is hot. Btw, we get three of these chase sequences in this episode. HOT. In two of the three chase scenes, he's interrupted by a giant stuffed Panda, carried by none other than our female lead. This leads him to suspect our female lead is in cahoots with the debtor.
|Drat dat pesky Panda||Always getting in the way|
Soon after, you're immediately introduced to his character, Go Seungji. He's a hothead genius patissier who's prideful and doesn't like working on other people's creations. He has the cutest catchphrase: "1, 2, 3, Go!" He works at his foster grandfather's bakery but also seems to be moonlighting as a loan shark, which leads him to be chased around by real loan sharks and smacked by his grandpa. Donghae's absolutely adorable whenever it comes to his interactions with his grandpa. And btw, if we're counting, Donghae's been smacked by a father figure in all three of his dramas. Poor bby.
|Smacked||Smacked||And smacked again|
Segueing from the chase scene we finally meet Pan Dayang, affectionately known as Panda (haha get it?). Her Panda Cafe is failing miserably no thanks to her crappy patissier and the fact that she's stuck with him. Nevertheless that doesn't stop her from trying to drum up business or finding a new patissier. Financially, she's in a rut. She can't turn to her aunt for money help, nor can she sell the cafe because she feels she'll be losing her parents again. She also seems to be obsessed with trying to find a secret ingredient to Saint Honore, a national bakery chain's, cake, even sending in a friend to help her steal the secret. So to kill two birds with one stone, she decides to apply to Saint Honore as a part-timer when she finds out they're hiring.
|Oh god the shimmy + his face||Lord help me, stop teasing!|
Of course at Saint Honore, we're introduced to Choi Won Il (played by the delish Choi Jinhyuk, who is playing the triangle in the love triangle). He's the prodigal son, returning from America (of course where else) and graduated top in his class (of course what else) and he's back with one goal in mind, to protect and take back Saint Honore from his father, whom he apparently, for reasons unknown, has a large disdain for (I'm guessing it's his stepfather as his real father is deceased and left him a large inheritance). We're also introduced to his sister, played by the same actress that was Donghae's love interest-ish in "It's Okay Daddy's Girl;" his mother, also played by another "It's Okay Daddy's Girl" veteran; and Eunbi, one of his secretaries, who will become the mini-villain and rectangle to the love triangle.
|Grandpa, I Lub U||Kiss ♥||Stop being adorable|
We then learn that Seungji's foster grandfather's daughter has been released from prison. This causes tension and rift between Seungji and his grandpa as the grandpa is torn between wanting to live alone with his daughter and living with Seungji. Their home is too small and he has to choose one or the other and he already knows he wants to be with his daughter, but his daughter is angry with him over something unforgivable he's done in the past. I'm guessing it has to do with her son who's missing? The picture of the boy she's holding kinda looks similar to the boy in the opening sequence. I'm guessing she's Seungji's real mother, they keep showing the significance of how they both button their coats the same. Either that or it's just some weird tradition both she and Seungji learned from being raised by the grandpa.
|His soliloquy to his grandpa||All he wants is to be loved|
Seungji, on the other hand is disappointed that after all this time, his grandpa still won't confide in him (possibly because they aren't blood related) and that his grandpa pays Seungi more than he does himself, so he decides to move out so that his grandpa can earn more money and live with his daughter.
|His puppy face!||Poor insecure bby, lemme hug you!|
Thus, he begins looking for a job, going to a photography studio for a profile shot and filling out his resume. Though his resume and hinted earlier via cherry blossoms (apparently they plant cherry blossoms outside jail in Korea?) we find out that Seungji had been in prison before and received vocational training there.
|Even his got out of jail face||is perfect and flawless, ugh|
Unfortunately, because of his prison record, potential employers turn down his applications, despite his skills, leaving him frustrated and disappointed, even though deep down, he probably expected their rejection. It's difficult to find a job when people can't see past your track record.
|ANGRY FRUSTRATED HAE IS ADORBS & HOT.||WHY???!?!|
But his dejection is short-lived as his friends help him track down Panda and her Panda Cafe. She had been posting "now hiring" posters all across town and now they think he can finally track her down and get to the bottom of her involvement with the debtor. But Seungji doesn't care about that. He's elated by the "Now Hiring Patissier," "Room & Board offered," "Immediately Hired" at the bottom of the flyer. He immediately rushes over to Panda Cafe where we find Panda, ill-advisedly talking on the phone while trying to hang up her giant panda.
|LMAO 1, 2, 3… Go!||Never control ur HaeFace ♥|
Of course, what should happen as she receives good news from Eunbi that she made the cut for an interview at Saint Honore? She slips. But who is there just in time to rescue her? Seungji. And who should just arrive on the scene to witness and potentially misunderstand this fateful encounter? But of course, Choi Won Il, who had earlier realized that Panda was his middle school crush when he found her job application to Saint Honore. Just when you can't wait to see all their reactions, episode one ends on this little cliffhanger.
|They finally meet!||What a tease|
Ending to Episode One. I adore the OST feat Donghae. "Plz Don't" is such a cute song. I love the piano intro.
Picking up right where we left episode one, Seungji has Panda in his arm, while an envious and confused Choi Won Il watches on. Seungji leans in forward to Panda who proceeds to close her eyes and he asks her why she's closing his eyes when he's having a hard time hoisting her. She chuckles embarrassedly and they straighten, while Won Il drives off in jealousy and confusion. And I love it. Ah, the sweet distinct aroma of a love triangle brewing.
|Going for the kiss!||Not. Just Trolling. LMAO.|
Won Il's sister tries to calm him down and reason with him. An aside, I love Won Il's sister. Then again, I already liked the actress when she was in It's Okay, Daddy's Daughter as Donghae's love interest. She's hilarious and just balls out zany.
But poor Panda can't seem to catch a break. As she's reaching down for her fallen phone, she strains her back, which was probably already tweaked from the fall and she whimpers in pain. Seung Ji helps lead a limping Panda to a chair while her crappy patissier rushes out to see what's happened. The next few minutes are exceedingly cringeworthy to watch as the crappy patissier attempts to insinuate unamusing dirty jokes about Panda and Seung Ji's nonexistent relationship, before Seungji tells him off and puts him in his place.
|Hi! Crappy patissier,||meet your hotass replacement. Goodbye!|
Seung Ji even hands him money to buy antiseptic patches for Panda's back, because the crappy patissier is too cheap to pay for it. Aside from Seungji pwning him verbally, I loved the irony of the crappy patissier unknowingly meeting his replacement while making Seungji look even more like a knight in shining armor.
And apparently, because Donghae is still determined to bring out my Skip Beat (Extravagant Challenge) feels for his Bu Po Shang / Fuwa Sho / Blonde Donghae, I'm devoting a little segment to release all of my never-ending feels for my favorite narcissistic, selfish, self-centered, badass, childish, orange-haired, handsome as fuck ladies' man.
|Seung Ji's sign language||Bu Po Shang, is datchu?||Me and my feels: Fangirl sobbing|
Eunbi calls Panda to inform her she is scheduled for an interview at Saint Honore the next day. Panda tells her she won't miss the interview regardless of her back problem. She goes inside the house for ointment only to come out and find the angry customer from episode one staring through her cafe's window, mouth agape. Panda is confused and approaches the customer, asking her what she's looking at. The customer asks her if she has switched patissiers, to which an indignant Panda denies. The customer then points at her kitchen, asking her who that person in her kitchen is. A shocked Panda looks in and is stunned to see Seungji, who she had thought was a customer, in the kitchen baking a cake. The customer tells her Seungji is a keeper and if he continues making cakes for her, her Panda Cafe will be very successful.
|Can't blame them for creepin|
That'd be me too.
|I'd be staring at his face.|
The two of them proceed to fangirl and stare creeper style at Seungji's cake. He had transformed the cake that had been sitting on the counter into something actually edible. He doesn't seem to have time for their fangirling and he leaves as they demolish (ie, stuff their faces) his cake. He has something much more important on his mind now that he's claimed, like a boss (on his own), the patissier position at at Panda Cafe.
FOOD. That's what's on his mind. He takes the boys out for beef and gets advice from the strange butcher dude from Episode One. Like seriously WTF. Why is the butcher dude butting into their convo? We get it, Seungji is a good guy, but makes dumb decisions because he wants his get-rich quick schemes to work. But saying he's making rash decisions because he's in love? What? His grandfather would understand if the excuse for his behavior is over a girl? QUE? Meanwhile, Seungji's grandpa finds out that Seungji's photos from Episode One are displayed out for the whole world to see.
|Before.||After. Can't Stop the LULZ.|
Apparently, the photographer did not keep his promise to Seungji and used his good and bad photos as an example of a before and after. I'm just going to say, Dongahe looks mighty fine in both pictures (when has the bish looked bad?). I didn't really see the difference, but that didn't stop the scene from being funny. The grandpa crashes their lunch by disappointedly returning the photos back to Seungji. He then spends time in his room mourning over, what looks like to me is, a bunch of missing child posters. The boy in the missing child posters also looks eerily similar to the boy in the opening sequence.
Meanwhile at Saint Honore, we learn that Won Il's "father" is indeed as we all suspected, his stepfather, which explains the cold relationship. Choi Won Il escapes an arranged date his mother wants to set up for him and encounters the most bizarre car chase / road rage scene with Panda's aunt. I don't blame Won Il for ignoring the aunt. Who yells at another person from their car? It's not like she was trying to notify him that he had a flat tire or something. She noticed he was rich and was trying to get him to go to Panda's cafe. Coicidentally, Won Il was heading to Panda's cafe. Anyway, this bizarre chain of events puts Won Il in the doghouse with the aunt. Her opinion of him is not that favorable.
At night, Seungji confronts his grandfather. They will clear things up, namja to namja at dinner. Seungji learns from his grandpa that the grandpa's daughter will only live with the grandpa if he has a death disease and that they can't move from their current house into a more accomodating house because the current house is precious to his daughter. To keep his grandpa from worrying about him, Seungji decides to lie to his grandpa and tells him that he has a girlfriend, who also happens to own a bakery. His grandpa asks him if he's knocked her up, flabbergasting Seungji. He ends up drinking himself silly because of their convo. Apparently, Seungji is a happy, clingy, drunk.
|OMG DrunkHae. So adorbs.||Where can I get one?|
Meanwhile Panda recounts her "romantic" encounter with Seungji and the heavenly cake he made to her aunt. She still has the interview to go, despite her back problems. She plans to fire her crappy patissier, hire Seungji and work part time at Saint Honore to make ends meet. She arrives at Saint Honore for interview and is greeted by Won Il. Won Il greets her informally and she asks him why he isn't speaking formally to her. He can't believe she doesn't remember him. He reminds her that he was the boy from her childhood that used to draw cakes.
Wait, does that mean the boy we met in episode one, drawing cakes while Panda was singing her bug song was Won Il?! Panda suddenly remembers and the both happily rejoice in their reunion. That is until Won Il's flirting and hormones overwhelms him into the cutest fit of hiccups. This seems like a cliched thing that happens in k-dramas, but I'll let it slide. The only person that is not taking their happy reunion so well, is Eun Bi. At any rate, Panda gets the job and in her excitement, somehow manages to fix her back. She thanks Won Il. Things are starting to finally turn around for Panda, it seems.
|LOLZ NO COMMENT!||Glad that's not me!||Stawp it u cutiepie|
Shift to Seungji, finally awake after the most adorable hangover scene possible in the history of television, he has decided to meet his grandfather's daughter. His goal: To convince her to stay with the grandfather so that his grandfather can be happy again. It's the least he can do for his grandfather. He decides to lie to her and use the fatal disease card. Will this blow up in Seungji's face? These little white lies? I mean, it's going to be pretty obvious whether someone has a death disease or not.
This though, does seem to change her mind. He later explains to her that she has to stay with him because this is the only way he can repay the kindness his grandfather has shown him. Because the grandfather gave him a chance when he was in jail and was the one that taught him to be a patissier. He has to repay him back. And the daughter going back to her father, is the only way. She agrees to move back in with the grandfather and he thanks her. I think it'd be interesting if they showed more of Seungji's past. He seems to have a much more interesting back history as most of his past is currently shrouded in mystery. All we know so far of him is that he's possibly an orphan, has been to jail, learned to make cakes in jail and was then fostered by the grandpa. It'd be great to see how he met the grandfather.
With one mission completed, Seungji then calls Panda to confirm his hiring. She tells him to come over and witness some killer prototype cake from Saint Honores. He tells her he'll be there at the speed of the wind. But lol, Seungji gets sidetracked by the same debtor from episode one, who makes the foolish decision to taunt Seungji and call him a bastard, which leads to another chase. Seungji arrives too late to Cafe Panda. He sees through the window, the cake has been eaten by the customer lady and Seungji leaves, dejectedly as his reason for staying, vanished down the customer's stomach.
|OMG Awww poor baby.|
He has no place to go :(
|I think I can manage to find|
a place for you. My bed?
He goes to back to his grandfather's place only to find the daughter as moved back in. Not wanting to interrupt their happy reunion, he leaves. He calls his grandfather and tells him not to worry about him, he lies and says he'll be staying overnight at his workplace. Poor Seungji, with all his good intentions, is all alone at the end. It's a bittersweet feeling. He has no place to go, so he crashes at his friend's place, warning his friend that this will remain a secret between the two. He then proceeds to take the bed, like a boss, and tells his friend he wants to be alone.
|Like a boss.|
They finally meet!
|So much swagger.|
This is why he gets the chick.
The next morning, Choi Won Il, giddy at the prospects of wooing Panda has an elaborate plan all set. But his elation is shortlived as who should arrive on the scene as well? But of course Seungji, who is ready to start his day's work. Like a boss, Seungji immediately crosses the "We're Closed" sign and lies down on the bench to sleep, smirk and swagger in hand. A flabbergasted Won Il can only stare and Our two male leads finally meet and it looks like it might be a heads-on collision showdown confrontation of sorts.