The Family is coming (2015) Episode 1 Korean Drama Recap

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The Family is coming (2015) Episode 1 Recap

Hello. This is Professor AKIA Talking and this is my first attempt at a recap of the Korean drama. I’m just jumping in here so expect crazy stuff to happen!

What is The Family is coming?
For all intents and purposes, “The Family is coming” (2015) is a wacky makjang family comedy show with emphasis on every single the words.

It is wacky!
It is makjang!
It is about family!
It is a comedy!

A show like “The Family is coming” (2015) is a show that has a million subplots running through it. Well a million is an embellishment. At least, there are a dozen I think… well at least one for each character and I am not even sure how many there are.

So, some organization will be required. Here it is.

Plot 1. Jung Kkeut-Soon’s quest
The central plot that all the other subplots are intertwined with is the Jung Kkeut-Soon’s quest to reunite with her family in Korea and pass on her considerable wealth to them in the best manner she can. During this episode, most of the details are still shrouded in mystery.  This Jung Kkeut-Soon’s quest plot goes like this in the first episode.

Jung Kkeut-Soon  is wacky old lady who is coming back to Korea after 50 years living in the USA. She is flying in first class and has argument with a guy who is being rude to a flight attendant. She is that kind of noisy old person. Things blow over through the intervention of the young women who also was sitting in first class. The young women’s name is Na Joon-Hee / Susan Johnson and she says she is an orphan who is also a lawyer. Both seem to get on wonderfully.

Oddly there are no flight attendants anywhere while this is happening!
But this is a comedy! So, what’s logic or realism?

Jung Kkeut-Soon   then meets up with her son Jung Joon-A who she adopted while she was in America. He seems to be this leach of a person who keeps asking for money all the time. However, Jung Kkeut-Soon  is “stingy” according to Jung Joon-A. The two talk about meeting up with a lawyer in Korea and also meeting up with Jung Kkeut-Soon’s Korean family who she hasn’t seen in 50 years. Jung Joon-A seems very concerned about Jung Kkeut-Soon’s money and keeps trying to remind her that he is also family.

While unpacking from the flight, Jung Kkeut-Soon notices that she has the wrong luggage. She says that there is something very important in there that must be found. Jung Joon-A says that he would take care of this and he does retrieve the correct suitcase. After wards, they meet up with their Korean lawyer who they meet for the first time. And, coincidently, she is the young lady that Jung Kkeut-Soon   met in the plane ride over from America. This is a comedy so expect to see a lot of coincidences!

The lawyer,  Na Joon-Hee / Susan Johnson, talks about the process and what kind of information she requires about Jung Kkeut-Soon’s financial situation. However, the old lady is very cagy about this. Instead of answering, she asks Na Joon-Hee / Susan Johnson to come live with her while the proceedings are going through. And Na Joon-Hee / Susan Johnson agrees reluctantly but with a smile.

The next day or so Jung Kkeut-Soon surprises her Korean family at their home. It seems most of them are at home. Coincidence? This is the list of the following persons at the home then I think. The show is not clear about who is who at this point.

Her husband and the grandfather who now has a fiancé
Her daughter in law and her son absent as he ran away after losing the house.
Her daughter comes in after hearing of these events
Her grandson who is the first person she meets.
Her granddaughter,  her husband, and their daughter

Think that’s all but not sure because of the chaos of the events. Let’s just say that most thought that Jung Kkeut-Soon was dead and are those who did know are not happy to see her. This is when she announces her plan to let them inherit her money.

Ba Bam!

Plot 2. The con
That is the only the first main plot. The second one is about this con-lady in real life being roped into conning money out of this old lady by her brother who had been adopted by this old lady when he was young. At this point, it is not clear if the brother is a literal familiar brother or just a figurative “brother” that Koreans tend to call close personal acquaintances. She arranges a disturbance to occur on the plan flying from America in order to get close to the old lady. She also manages to switch luggage with the old lady to look for information about the specifics of her wealth. However, the only thing she can find is a note book filled with odd code like pictographs.

She is suspicious that this notebook may be important and makes copes but she does not tell her comrade in crime. I think she is disturbed by the actions of her “brother” but he is up to his neck in debt and the lone sharks are chasing at his coat tails. He is a weasel but he is her “brother”. So, she makes him promise that they will only take 20% of what the old lady is worth. But her brother is shady and no one knows what will happen. Mostly likely many double crosses are in her future.

So, you get how these two plots intertwine? The con-lady is Na Joon-Hee / Susan Johnson who is not a lawyer in real life. Her brother is  Jung Joon-A and the old lady they are coning is Jung Kkeut-Soon. However there is more! Only two main plots are not enough for this show!

Plot 3. The life of a being a failure and a grandson
The third main plot is the Choi Dong-Suk who used to be very academically accomplished but quit trying to be a lawyer and now wants to be an artist. His mother cannot stand this as everything in her life is filled with failed people and shattered dreams. Not only that but his father just lost their house in some bad deals that he had no business being in but was roped in by acquaintances. As a consequence of this, his father also had to quit his job as a teacher. However, the mother does not know this at the moment.

One day, he and his father go to the airport to pick up his grandfather coming back from America. There, he has a series of odd events with a mysterious pretty lady that looks like a picture on the wall in front of his desk. It is not sure what this means in this episode. When they meet their grandfather, he springs a surprise on them as he introduces them to his fiancé. After this, the father gets a call that the jig is up and his wife knows about what he did. So, he runs off.

While the new potential grandmother thing causes a ruckus, it is nothing to the news that they had lost the house.   Choi Dong-Suk runs around but no one is going to lend him the 300,0000 dollars required for them to keep the house. He is nothing in the eye of the bank. He is just a day laborer who keeps getting fired. He is one of those guys that thinks he is the nice guy but is a jerk. He is in his own way selfish and keeps spouting legal mumbo when he is mad but because weasel-ly when he is in a corner. The only thing he really has is the ability to act big and nothing else. In a way, this seems to be genetic. His whole family is basically the same which is the reason why there are in a bad situation now.

Then one day, a “thought dead” grandmother pops up and, after making things blow up, announces that she has plans to give them her money when they actually desperately need it.

See how Choi Dong-Suk’s plot (Plot 3) seems to intersect with Jung Kkeut-Soon’s quest (Plot 1)? You could imagine that The con (Plot 2) will intersect with Choi Dong-Suk’s plot (Plot 3) as a result of Jung Kkeut-Soon’s quest (Plot 1). However, this would be a letdown for a crazy makjang show! The con (Plot 2) actually intersects with Choi Dong-Suk’s plot (Plot 3) much earlier. The mysterious lady that Choi Dong-Suk met at the airport was Na Joon-Hee / Susan Johnson, the con-lady! 

Ba Bam!!

Choi Dong-Suk had witnessed the luggage switch and tried to confront her as he is one of those idiots that talks laud and actually tries to walk laud without thinking of whether he could actually get away with it.  During those events, Na Joon-Hee / Susan Johnson loses some luggage that Choi Dong-Suk picks up which has a pendant with the only picture of her parents she has. Since she is an orphan now, this is precious to her. So, she finds the number of Choi Dong-Suk and arranges a meet up.

Layers within layers within layers!
You know there is a love dynamic brewing!

Now we have the subplots!
1. What’s up with Na Joon-Hee / Susan Johnson long lost family? Is the whole show going to have some figurative incestuous angle to it? Korea likes to think of it as this small world.
2. Choi Dong-Suk had a girlfriend in the past who married his rich friend. He had to show her in his lowest moment when he was going around trying to borrow money. Is this going to come up again? How will it influence the love dynamic between Choi Dong-Suk and Na Joon-Hee / Susan Johnson?

3. Is the grandfather’s new fiancé going to be someone important?

4. Choi Dong-Suk has two sisters and both seem to be married. However, the one who is an eastern medicine doctor seems to have problems with her in laws. The show shows you a nice slap between her and her mother in law.

5. The other sister of Choi Dong-Suk and her family have come back to stay with them because they are bankrupt. Will this go anywhere?

6. You have the Jung Kkeut-Soon’s daughter who is seems like a crazy bitch! Will she mend her relationship with her long absent mother?

7. What’s up with Choi Dong-Suk’s father? Will he be able to come back home?

All these subplots intersect with the main plot as each person tries to grab Jung Kkeut-Soon’s money.

As a crazy show like this, “The Family is coming” (2015) seems to have enough material to fill its 20 episode run. In a lot of ways, it seems like a 50 episode full length Korean drama setup. This is not a bad thing. At least, it will not be boring.

The first episode moves at a face pace sprinting from one plot to another. At the end of the episode, it seems too much at times as characters blend together. However, it does a nice job with basic introductions. From what I see if the show, the first act of the show will last more than 4 episodes which is not a bad this pacing wise.

The largest problem with the episode is that the show is more wacky than funny. I did not laugh but was snark-ly amused throughout. One thing I expect the show will be is not boring! But will being wacky be enough to sustain the show? Will have to wait and see

This was the recap of episode 1 of “The Family is coming” (2015)!

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  1. Great recap! Nice job explaining all of the different threads and characters, and it made me want to check out the show. I don't think many of the English language blogs recap the comedy/family shows, so this could be a good niche to fill.

  2. Thanks That was fast!!
    How did you find me? Don't event think google has this listed yet!
    Please Share and spread the word!

  3. The poster alone made me laugh. Reminds me of one of those whacky 80's/ early 90's posters where all the characters are busting out of places and crammed up looking silly. But you often say, sometimes watching Korean entertainment is like watching American movies/shows in the eighties, right? LOL. Good recap, even though I got lost a bit. But not from your writing, it just seems like a ton of stuff going down in one episode. I may add this to my 2015 list. I thought it would be one of those 50 episode family shows, surprised it's 20.

  4. I found your post via a comment on Viki's Family Outing page. Thanks for the recap.

  5. This was a fun recap and it seems like its shaping to be a funy drama.
    The problem i have is finding a site that subs it

  6. I'm so glad you're entering the wild world of writing about dramas! I love your comments on Korean culture in general and I'm looking forward to your thoughts about TV--I'll stop by to see how the show comes along. I told myself I would never, never, never do recapping because it's sounds exhausting. And then I ended up doing recaps recently anyway! Turns out it IS exhausting, but very, very fun. I hope you get a kick out of it like I do.

    I'll list you in my directory of where the recaps are (at K-Drama Today). You may be the only person currently recapping TFIC in English. Hooray for The Korean! And good luck!