Choco Bank: Episode 1 Recap

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How come I did not know about this drama until now?! A very important question I asked myself as I finished the first 10-minute episode of short Korean drama ‘Choco Bank’ starring EXO’s Kai and one of my favorite actresses Park Eun Bin.

I don’t recall learning any information about this drama prior to its air date, so I was in for a surprise when I found it while roaming on On Demand Korea where I luckily landed on the drama. To my surprise, the cast consisted of Kai and Park Eun Bin, two of my favorites, so I decided to give the drama a try. In addition to the cast as well as the awesome perk of each episode only being around 15 minutes long, I found myself in love with the drama just barely 6 minutes and 30 seconds into the first episode. And I can only hope it’ll get better.

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Episode one starts off with an introduction of our main character, Kim Eun-haeng (Kai), a recent college graduate whose name correlates with the meaning of money and bank (hence, why he’s shown working at the bank. Haha). We see him transferring money to his mom with the good money that he makes as a bank employee and his mom holding great pride for having a son who works at the bank. He notes that before he worked at the bank and was unemployed, she was in extreme stress, but after finding out that he worked at the bank, she miraculously got better.

Or that’s at least what we think so. It turns out that our Eun-haeng is unemployed. He’s been lying to his mother about working at the bank for a month now, but in actuality he’s not. He’s still trying to find a job. Oh no, what is Mom going to do once she finds out her son’s been lying to her?

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(omggg it’s the mom from the Reply seriessss! I love her!)

She calls Eun-haeng to ask him for money so she can treat her friends for a nice dinner at their reunion that they’re going to have soon. She asks him about his payday in which he lies that it will be next Wednesday. Of course, that won’t happen because he doesn’t have a job in the first place.

As Eun-haeng walks out on the street stressing about how he’s going to give his mom money like he said he would, he suddenly hears a man scream for help because of a thief who’s stolen his bag. Like the nice and good person Eun-haeng is, he trips the “thief” and captures her before she can get away any further.

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This so-called thief is none other than our female lead, Ha Cho Co (Park Eun-Bin). As she falls into Eun-haeng’s arms, the bag she was carrying with her gets thrown into the air and into the arms of the man who had called for help. As Cho Co and Eun-haeng argue back and forth about going to the police station or not, the man with the bag grabs a taxi and leaves. The pair notices his sudden disappearance. Wait, this woman stole his bag. Surely he would want to report it to the police right? But the man is no where to be seen.

It turns out the man is the brother of Cho Co and had been following Cho Co to obtain the the bag. He was pretending to label Cho Co as a thief just so he could have the bag (which was actually Cho Co’s in the first place). Turns out the bag held $5,000 – money that Cho Co planned to use to improve and revive her failing business. Oops.

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Eun-haeng immediately bows to Cho Co after hearing her explanation and situation and apologizes to her (HAHAHA. I love this scene). He quickly turns around to hopefully escape, but he isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Cho Co grabs him by the shoulder and drags him with her saying, “You messed with the wrong girl! Follow me!” OOOOH DAMN YOU GET IT GURL.

She ends up taking him to her shop, Choco Bank, where she sits him down and gathers as much information about him as she can. The conversation starts off to a funny start, with the both of them questioning and teasing each other’s names. Eun-haeng finds it hard to believe that her name is Ha Cho Co, but Cho Co feels the same way about Eun-haeng’s name. “I’m not in the mood for jokes. Give me your real name,” she comments after he reveals to her his name. Hahaha I love them so much already!

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She then asks him about his job because she wants to find out how he’s going to pay her back the $5,000 that she lost since it was his fault that she lost that money. Eun-haeng admits that it’s his fault, but answers that he won’t be able to pay her back because he’s jobless. But Cho Co is in disbelief and grows suspicious. If he doesn’t have a job, why is he wearing such nice clothes and carrying a nice briefcase around with him?

“It’s a long story,” Eun-haeng voices and gives up. He allows Cho Co to sue him which gives her a great idea. She decides that Eun-haeng can work for her at her shop to pay back the $5,000. If he works, his monthly salary will be $1,500 which means it’ll take him 2 months to make the $5,000. Or wait…is it 3 months? As Cho Co struggles to do the math to figure out how long it’ll take Eun-haeng to make $5,000, Eun-haeng quickly and calmly answers, “3 months and 10 days.” Hahaha omg I love how different they are. If Eun-haeng refuses to work for Cho Co, she’s going to visit his parents and tell him about everything. Uh-oh, that doesn’t seem like a good choice.

She pulls out a contract she made and asks for Eun-haeng’s signature. Eun-haeng will work for her for 3 months and 10 days. While she excitedly and brightly smiles, Eun-haeng looks at her cautiously, nervously, and confusedly.

My Comments:

Hahaha, I love how the drama is already off to a great start! Granted there are only 6 episodes overall and each episode is roughly about 15 minutes long, there’s really not a lot of time to waste.

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This show isn’t anything too heavy (I hope it doesn’t turn into anything heavy and painful to watch) and instead carries a very light, quirky, funny, endearing, and heart-warming feeling with it which I’m really loving and enjoying so far. So far, Kai and Park Eun-bin are doing a great job in playing their characters. And how can I forget about Lee Il-hwa, famously known for playing the mother in the Reply series. I would also like to add that the cinematography for this drama is shot so beautifully. Every shot, every scene, this whole episode was just so beautiful and easy on the eyes I couldn’t help but just notice it right away. That’s a really big plus and bonus point for me: when the drama is shot really well and the cast is good at acting.

In a way, Eun-haeng as a character is relatable. He’s just recently graduated college and wants to make his mom proud by claiming that he’s working and has a stable decent job and can afford to give her money whenever she asks when in reality he isn’t able to support himself yet. His story is one that is bittersweet and you can’t help but kind of pity him. As a viewer, I wanted to help him and I wanted him to find a job so he doesn’t have to keep on lying to his mother that he’s working at the bank. It was sad, but I think that’s what’s going to keep me rooting for him and it’ll especially pay off when we see him learn more about himself and actually have a job as he works for Cho Co.

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Speaking of Cho Co, she herself is going through some rough time. Although we don’t know much about her yet, we find out that her shop, Choco Bank, isn’t doing so well and is close to shutting down. It’s heart-breaking and devastating news, but just like how it will be with Eun-haeng, it’ll be worth it watching her revive and rebuild her shop while interacting with Eun-haeng who will (hopefully) play a role in achieving that goal.

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I’d love to get to know more about our main characters and their backstory, but since there’s only 6 episodes overall, it doesn’t seem like we’ll have too much time to learn about them. It’d be nice if details of their past were smoothly interwoven and connected with the present to show us viewers why and how Eun-haeng and Cho Co are in the situation that they are in right now. But even without that backstory and background information on our characters, I think the drama will be easy to follow and watch.

Since our two main characters have now been introduced to each other and their lives are now in the hands of the other, we can expect to see more interactions and moments of them two together. I love how different and contrasting they are from one another right now; they’re like total opposites. But I think that’s what makes the drama so funny and endearing to watch. And it’s going to be so much funner when we see them slowly fall in love with each other and get closer as they help each other achieve their dreams and goals. Cho Co helps Eun-haeng achieve his dream of finding a job and Eun-haeng will help Cho Co achieve her goals of reviving and retaining her precious shop. It’s a set-up that I’m interested in, is enjoying, and would want to stick in the long haul for. I hope the rest of the episodes will remain as warm and light as the first episode did and remain just as short as well.

You can watch Choco Bank here.

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