Here we recap and discuss episode 1 of Love Rain. Caution, spoilers below. Don’t read if you don’t want to know what happens.
In our opening scene we see Suh In Ha (Jang Geun Suk) narrating how he falls in love with Kim Yoon Hee (Yoona) in the three seconds it took for her to walk by. We then quickly cut to Kim Chang Mo playing the guitar in a cafe to a captivated audience. As he finishes, his DJ friend Lee Dong Wook jokingly says he’s not as good as him and moves on to a song request. As the girls who request the song go wild, Chang Mo gets jealous that he can’t get girls to do that no matter how well he plays. We also are introduced to their friend Baek Hye Jung (Son Eun Seo).
Meanwhile, In Ha is busy working on a painting when he happens to see Yoon Hee sitting on a bench outside the window of the room he’s in. He immediately picks up a blank sketch book and starts drawing.
Back in the cafe, Dong Wook has gotten off work and is talking with Chang Mo and Hye Jung, who mentions Dong Wook and In Ha are going to fight today. Chang Mo asks him what the stakes are this time, and Dong Wook says a girl that In Ha fell in love with at first sight. They don’t believe him at all as Chang Mo says that he hasn’t seen In Ha with a girl in the three years they’ve been roommates.
We then cut back to In Ha, who is still sketching Yoon Hee. He looks down for a second though and she’s gone. In Ha immediately runs out to go look for her and inadvertently bumps into her. He doesn’t realize it’s her at first though until he looks up and can do nothing but stare at her. After Yoon Hee collects her belongings, In Ha stops her from leaving, but says nothing. At this point, the loudspeaker turns on and it’s time to pledge allegiance to the Korean flag. During this period, he inches backwards so that he can get a better look at her. When Yoon Hee catches him looking at her, In Ha immediately turns away.
As In Ha turns to leave after watching Yoon Hee walk away, he notices that she dropped her notebook and starts flipping through it to discover that it’s her diary. He’s about to chase after her when his friends show up and reveal In Ha’s “lover”: a guitar. Their fight over her is actually a tennis match and you can hear noisy fan girls watching them. Yoon Hee also happens to come across their match but when she once again bumps into someone and drops her belongings, she finally notices that she dropped her diary. In Ha forgets about the match, to Dong Wook annoyance, and just watches her.
Later that night, in his dorm, In Ha pulls out his books to start studying when he pulls out Yoon Hee’s diary. He starts flipping through it like a creeper and reads her entry about the movie “Love Story”. In Ha does seem to have some kind of a conscience though and quickly puts it away. We do find out though through the diary entry that Yoon Hee’s parents are dead.
The next day, he’s moping around debating what to do with the diary when Yoon Hee finds him and asks him if he’s seen her diary. In Ha hesitates and so Yoon Hee thinks that he’s busy and doesn’t have it. He’s about to go after her when once again his friends call out for him. They watch as Yoon Hee rejects a guy who is asking her out and Chang Mo sings her praises, calling her the Madonna of her class. Hye Jung doesn’t like her, of course, to which Chang Mo attributes to Yoon Hee being more popular than her.
As In Ha sits in class, he reads more of Yoon Hee’s diary entries. We hear Yoon Hee narrating her entry and learn that the place she was sitting before is her favorite place in the school and that it makes her heart flutter. We then see In Ha looking out of the room he was in when he saw Yoon Hee, but she’s not there. Instead, we see a brief flashback of Yoon Hee sitting there and narrating an entry about her grandmother and how she wishes to fall in love like her parents and the actors in “Love Story”. It’s nighttime again now and In Ha is still reading the diary. This time, we hear Yoon Hee narrating a diary entry about “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
In Ha really wants to get to know her and to this end, buys two tickets for “Love Story”, which happens to be back in theatres after a long time. He then heads to the library where he’s going to check out “The Little Prince”. As he’s looking through the bookshelves, whose eyes should he see looking at him from the other side but Yoon Hee’s. In Ha immediately tries to walk away but bumps into a librarian putting books away. Yoon Hee comes around and helps them put the books back in order when the librarian asks In Ha whether “The Little Prince” was his. Yoon Hee perks up when she sees the book, but In Ha is too embarrassed to admit it’s his so he walks away. As a confused Yoon Hee walks away, her friend Na In Sook shows up and asks her if she knows who she was just talking to. The naive Yoon Hee of course knows nothing of him, but In Sook is more than happy to enlighten her.
Apparently the girls around campus have a name for In Ha and his friends: the three C’est La Vie. Not the best nickname I’ve ever heard, but not my drama. The first C’est La Vie is Dong Sook who is a casanova, smart, nice, and his parents even own a hospital. The second is Chang Mo who is a food mooch apparently, but because he sings so well people tend to forgive him. In Ha rounds up the trio: he’s a mysterious art student who is a talented artist and composer. His family is also supposed to be extremely wealth and he even has a fiancé. At this point, however, In Ha happens to be right behind them and clarifies that he doesn’t have a fiancé before walking away.
In Ha walks out of the library to discover that it’s raining. He also notices Yoon Hee standing there, waiting for the rain to stop since she doesn’t have an umbrella. They awkwardly bow to each other and In Ha tells her to wait right there. He then runs into the library to try to find an umbrella. In Ha manages to find one eventually, but when he tries to open it he discovers that it’s broken and won’t stay open. Of course, he’s not going to let this stand in his way and he manually holds the umbrella open for Yoon Hee and tells her to get under it. She smiles at him and complies with his request.
As they’re walking, Yoon Hee clarifies to him that she wasn’t the one who said he had a fiancé. In Ha says he knows and once again says he doesn’t have one in case she didn’t get the hint the first time. Yoon Hee then notices that his shoulder is getting wet from the rain and tries to move the umbrella over to cover him. In Ha chivalrously says he’s okay, but Yoon Hee feels bad and so tells him he should get closer then. In Ha is more than happy to comply, but he clearly feels shy about it.
They continue walking and In Ha now doesn’t even care about getting wet and has the umbrella completely covering Yoon Hee and ignores himself. Yoon Hee then asks him if he likes the rain, to which he says yes because he gets sad and happy when he sees it. She smiles and says she feels the same way. They start talking about “The Little Prince” when a car drives past them. In Ha immediately reacts and blocks the oncoming splash with his body. He then tells Yoon Hee that he has somewhere to go and gives her the umbrella. Before he can go though, she asks him when she can return it to him. He tells her that it’s not needed, but instead asks if she’s free on Sunday to watch “Love Story” with him. Yoon Hee shyly smiles at him and says that she’s wanted to see it, of course. Now that he got the answer he wanted, In Ha celebrates in the rain by himself.
As Yoon Hee reaches the bus stop, she is looking at an ad for “Love Story” when Dong Wook comes up to her and says she’ll get wet with her umbrella and asks if she wants to switch. He asks her if she recognizes him, but Yoon Hee says she doesn’t. Dong Wook asks if she wants to see “Love Story” with him, but she clearly wants nothing to do with him. He says it must be odd to see a movie with someone she just met and says they can see the movie if they bump into each other again. Fortunately, Yoon Hee’s buss comes at this time and we’re spare additional awkward conversation.
Later on, In Ha is back in the art room and hasn’t bothered to dry himself up. Instead he has decided to work on his portrait of Yoon Hee. At the same time, Dong Wook is DJing again and dedicates the next song to people who people who have fallen in love on a rainy day like him. Chang Mo is shocked to hear him admit it, but Hye Jung dismisses it, saying he’s always been like that. We then cut back to In Ha who apparently found time to finally dry himself and has been working like a madman as his portrait of Yoon Hee is already basically complete.
That night, In Ha is composing a song when he’s interrupted by Dong Wook, who immediately picks up the composition. He likes it and tells In Ha that he should play the song live at the cafe. Dong Wook then suspects that In Ha has fallen in love and that’s the reason why he’s composing. When In Ha only smiles, it confirms Dong Wook’s suspicion and he reveals that he’s also fallen in love. We then see a flashback to when he and Yoon Hee first meet. Apparently in the not so distant past she gave him a band aid at the bus stop when she noticed that she cut his finger. Dong Wook then notices the “Love Story” tickets that In Ha are drying in front of him and says he’s jealous because he got rejected. When Dong Wook mentions that he doesn’t understand why girls like those kinds of stories, In Ha quotes from Yoon Hee’s diary about how love comes from the heart.
The next day, we hear Yoon Hee narrating some of the things she likes and so In Ha decides to go around and try them out as well. One of the things she likes is a particular desk in the library, so he of course, goes there. She also mentions that she likes music by Franz Schubert and we see In Ha reading the diary while his music plays in the background. Right before he goes to sleep, In Ha smiles and looks at the movie tickets.
Next we see Chang Mo and Dong Wook dragging In Ha to a blind date. As Chang Mo and In Ha discuss who this girl that Dong Wook is going to all this trouble for, they realize that it can only be Yoon Hee. Sure enough, Hye Jung shows up with 2 other friends and Yoon Hee in tow. In Ha and Yoon Hee are surprised to see each other but say nothing to each other. Dong Wook, on the other hand, smiles and says they’ve bumped into each other again.
Now the blind date finally starts and we first hear In Sook introducing herself, though none of the guys actually care. They’ve saved the best for last and it’s Yoon Hee’s turn to introduce herself. Hye Sung then asks about what Dong Wook was talking about earlier and he gladly explains about the earlier “agreement” that he made with her to see it if they met again. When Chang Mo says he doesn’t want to see the movie and can’t understand it, Dong Wook steals In Ha’s lines about love and impresses Yoon Hee. I would feel bad for In Ha, but seeing as he only knew about them from the diary he has yet to return, I think he dug his own grave there.
To pair up everyone, the guys have placed an item on the table and the girls have to pick one. In Sook immediately grabs In Ha’s watch, but he actually lent it to Chang Mo so they’re a pair. Now it’s Yoon Hee’s turn and she’s left to choose between a band aid and a pencil, as if they couldn’t make it even more obvious who is represented by each item. She grabs the pencil and looks at In Ha who smiles in relief, but Dong Wook interrupts and says that it’s his item. In Ha, being the pushover that he is, just lets him take her away from him. We then cut to a scene where Dong Wook gives Yoon Hee a bouquet of baby’s breath. During this, we hear In Ha narrating how seeing Yoon Hee made him both happy and but he’s emo because his friend also likes her.
Sometime later, we see Yoon Hee walking into a beauty store where Hye Jung and In Sook are talking. Guess Hye Jung got over her hate of Yoon Hee quick. In Sook mentions that she thinks In Ha is avoiding Yoon Hee because he thinks she likes her. She then notices Yoon Hee standing there and stops talking. Meanwhile, Dong Wook is bugging In Ha for advice on how to deal with Yoon Hee. In Ha gets annoyed with the questions, which Dong Wook picks up on, and he walks out. Chang Mo is there too and snacking on the food that the art club is supposed to be drawing.
As the girls walk out of the beauty shop, they see policeman stopping boys on the street and cutting their hair if it’s too long and measuring the length of girl’s skirts if they seemed to short. Ah the conservative 70s. Hye Jung and Yoon Hee mention they have class so they walk back to school. As they’re walking, Hye Jung is still trying to push Dong Wook onto Yoon Hee and reveals that, of course, she actually likes In Ha. She then proudly says that she’ll get In Ha to paint a portrait of her since she thinks he’ll only do it for the girl he likes.
Now we see Chang Mo posing nude for the art class as punishment for stealing the fruit. He feels wronged and asks one of the students if it’s really a tradition for the students to get naked. The student confirms this, and mentions that even the girls do it. Chang Mo then realizes that this means that In Ha must’ve had to paint nude girls and immediately goes through his locker. It is then that he finds both the drawing and the painting that In Ha made of Yoon Hee.
Dong Wook finds In Ha walking around and asks if he’s really mad at him. He thinks In Ha is mad at him because he thinks he’ll break Yoon Hee’s heart since he’s a player. Try again, buddy. He then asks In Ha about the girl that he fell in love with, to which In Ha says he just gave up on her. Dong Wook is confused as to why In Ha’s not putting up a fight, but before he can question him anymore, Hye Jung and Yoon Hee call out to them.
When the four meet up, Dong Wook says they should all go do something together. When In Ha makes an excuse to leave, Hye Jung confronts him and asks whether he actually is uncomfortable around Yoon Hee. She knows the real story though and makes her own excuse to leave. Dong Wook gets mad at Hye Jung for saying that and runs after Yoon Hee. After he leaves, Hye Jung presses In Ha for answers, but he just says that since Dong Wook likes her, he likes her as well.
Later on, once again, we see In Ha and Yoon Hee meeting in front of the library as the rain comes down. You’d think the girl would remember to bring an umbrella. Since In Ha is going into the library, he offers his umbrella to Yoon Hee since she’s trying to leave. He then asks her why she’s not hanging out with them as much. Yoon Hee replies she’s trying to be considerate and that if her being around meant he didn’t get to see his friends, she’d rather be the one that leaves. In Ha then says that he’s glad things are working out between her and Dong Wook, to which Yoon Hee makes a point to say that they’re not actually going out. In Ha, having chosen friendship over her, ignores her blatant hint and says that he hopes he does end up working out between them and that they can be friends.
As Yoon Hee walks away in the rain, we see In Ha staring at her from the window above. In the final scene, we then see him staring at his painting of her before putting them away, saying that he thought he could change his feelings so that they could all get along together. From his actions, I would venture to guess that he failed in that regard.
This is my first drama I’ve seen with Yoona, and given her reputation as a bad actress, I was curious to see how much of that is justified. I do feel like she overplayed the whole shy and soft-spoken heroine a tad, but if that’s what her character is supposed to be, good job to her. It’s just a stark contrast to what I’m used to seeing from her on variety shows that I’m just not used to it.
The same can be said for Jang Geun Suk’s role as Suh In Ha. Considering the last two roles I’ve seen him in were “You’re Beautiful” and “Beethoven Virus” seeing him act so gutless was a bit of an adjustment as well. Their future offspring are supposed to be polar opposites of their parents so I’m looking forward to see them act those parts instead.
That being said, I am hoping they wrap up the past arc sooner rather than later. We get it. They like each other, but In Ha is picking friendship over the girl so he’s going to let her go and regret it until he’s an adult. At most I feel they should do another 2 episodes of the past, especially given that it’s only a 20 episode drama. Unless they actually create a meaningful backstory like how ‘Baker King Kim Tak Gu” did with their opening arc, the screen time would be better served with developing the present day characters. Not a fan either of how both In Ha and Yoon Hee are lacking personality, but it’s early in the series so it gets a pass for now.