Thumping Spike - Episode 1 (A Squeecap)

Trotwood: I watched this whole show over a weekend in airports and in a foreign hotel. It’s exactly what I needed while prepping for an intensive Stats workshop—sports theme and romance. Just enough angst for a story but not so much that I was really worried. We also got some decent character development for a myriad of characters unlike the random flat side characters in Noble My Love. No. It doesn’t have Kang Swoon, but Song Jae Rim is in this and Jo’s tree puppy, Lee Tae Hwan, so you know we are in for some fun times. [The show is also known as Pounding Spike and Heart Thumping Spike.]
kakashi: Squeeeeeeeeeeee! It's Rim! It's a webdrama with very short episodes! It has really nice cinematography! I think I'm a little bit excited and not at all feeling like I need to snark. (Sidenote: I cannot gif this because I have not found any downloadable files in good quality)
Shuk: I don't know if I'll watch it, but I'll try to add in some gifs by Trot request.
JoAnne: For a drama I had no intention of watching this rapidly became something I didn't want to stop watching. And it wasn't JUST because of the boys, either.
Sure it wasn't. Honestly, it does just draw you in (and up that tree).

This is my first attempt at recapping so . . . have a little Patience.

Episode One—First Encounter

We get shots of an amusement park. Beautiful warm summer day (the warm part is important). Everyone is having a great time.
Top secret information about me: I have never been to an amusement park
Is that not a thing where you are?
We don't have any, yes
And can I say how weird it is see someone with my color?
Three men come out of a shop, wearing aprons. It is our first exposure to our lead Hwang Jae Woong (Song Jae Rim). Riiiiiiiiiim! Rimmie! Hi! He has apparently been working here, but this is his last day. He’s on really good terms with the other guys who tease and joke with him and want him to visit.
I notice the following: The hair in all recent Kdrama is horrible (why those long bangs?!). Rim is not playing a jerk. Rim is cute. And Rim does not take off his apron even as he walks away.
For shame. Denying us Rimbutt! (I didn't mind his hair too much. I quite liked it, in some shots.)
We then get a shot of people enjoying the pirate ride, but then one stands out. In this bright, beautiful, and obviously warm weather, she is wearing a sweatshirt with the hood up. I can’t believe she isn’t sweating. She is genuinely having a good time though, riding the ride and putting her hands up and screaming along with everyone else. While screaming and waving her arms, she also works to keep the hood up over her head. We get a flashback to a little girl and her dad on the same ride having as much fun. This is clearly our heroine both now and in the past.
Are these happy memories or are these sad-melancholic memories? We do not know yet. Also, about the sweating: how do you know.
Do you mean why she isn't? I would expect sweat stains in armpits and her hair to be wet about the hairline. She looks great, so maybe everyone else is freezing and faking the warmth.
They never show someone with someone in the past and then alone in the present unless the missing person is loved and dead.  If the person is estranged in some other way, typically past scenes are not revisited alone as the KDrama Emotional Way seems to be the path of greatest avoidance.
Unfortunately, the hood comes down, and the people next to her recognize her. She is Kang Se Ra (played by Hwang Eung Eon—who was apparently in Signal, but I don’t remember. She was? She is really pretty), the volleyball goddess. They equate her with Korean figure skating superstar and gold medalist Kim Yuna, so we all know how big she is supposed to be.
She was in Signal?  I don't remember her in Signal... she was in Madame Antoine, though (the younger sister) and she is very pretty, plus I like her voice.
Ah, THAT's where I have seen her! 
ShukNote: In Signal, she was Hae-young's high school friend who explained what it takes to get into college.
The next scene we see her buying a fake plastic beard and glasses to wear. We also see her spot an oversized pink teddy bear alongside yet another flashback where her father got her the same bear. This clearly was a perfect day and a perfect memory for her. She has this ridiculous disguise on, but I still found it very poignant. The sheer absurdity of the disguise just made her more sad to me.
The characterization in this show is spot-on. So few minutes and yet, they do a much better job than so many of the full-length mainstream dramas. I like.
I tend to think the disguise would attract MORE attention in real life, but I do agree that we had a very solid impression. She is accustomed to protecting herself but still eager to be out in the world. There's an underlying tone of loneliness/sadness, but it's just one facet of her personality - I don't think it dominates her life.
Back to the present, and we see her playing a game to win that bear and getting an unbelievably high score. Unfortunately, our hero is also playing the same game and is equally good. She misses the last shot (don’t know why - cause she's distracted by Rim, who scores one after the other!!) and then panics when it looks like he is going to win. She purposely bumps into him, but he still wins bear.
Hahahaaa, she bumped into him. That's so petty. And so funny. She calls for a rematch after that... but I guess her nerves got the better of her.
It says a lot for our hero that he wasn't flustered by the challenge of a hooded mystery person wearing a plastic beard, nose, and glasses.
She follows him to beg him to give her the bear, but he is insulted that she would ask, is not polite (he assumes that she is a student and younger), and that she is still wearing her disguise.
I really like her already, but he has a point
I thought she was incredibly rude and entitled here but yes, I also like her.
Of course when she takes it off, he does that drama look thing (where it is clear that he’s attracted to her right away) but then he covers it, of course. She begs and then even offers to buy the bear, but he berates her about her story and her previous actions since she will only say that she feels like if she had the bear she could start everything over. Of course it sounds lame and overly dramatic, so he walks away.
I thought he was startled because he recognized her as the big star she is. I liked how he did not immediately call her out, but kept quiet, probably accepting her wish to be there incognito
I loved the part when we find out which it actually was, because only one of you is right.
No. He has no idea who she is. I didn't think he knew. (And it's proven later that he doesn't here).
(Neither did I, but I thought we wouldn't reveal it until it's revealed.)

This leads to her chasing him, trying to hit him, and trying to steal the bear, which ends in them coincidentally being in the spot where there is a fountain and the water starts soaking them while they fight over bear. Literally. Seriously. They really go at it. I think the only reason they don't hurt each other is because they are so wet, and it's hard to get a good hit in when you're wet.
This was a long scene for such a short episode, but not a second was wasted. It was perfect. I particularly liked the couple that walked past and was so incredibly amused by them (and yes, I'm leaving the innuendo to JoAnne)
I can't. They're too cute. I'm not as cute as she is, though, so if Rimmie and I were getting wet and going at it... I would probably have some innuendo-y things to say. After our recovery nap. *looks around for signs of Mary*
I hope you brought one of those disguises, Jo.

Cut to scene where they are wearing different clothes, and she is still trying to get bear. She gives him her broken phone, saying that he is responsible for fixing it before they part ways.
Ah, the phone shenanigans begin. Trope alert! Also, you can't fix a phone with water damage. Just get her a new one.
Since when do amusement parks sell actual regular clothes? For those of you who have never been, the answer is 'since never.' And what did he do, wait around while she was changing? It's hard to get soaking wet clothes off. Maybe he had to help.
Didn't take too long for Jo to be Jo, did it. And no. No amusement park EVER has sold regular clothes. Ever. I always thought it was an amusement park rule. They should have come out with some flower printed shorts and amusement park logo t-shirts.

He goes, with bear, and meets up with a man who he calls coach and his daughter (who clearly has a thing for him).
Wait... where do we know her from? 
I'm shocked. She was the young Ha No Ra in Twenty Again, Kakashi. I thought you would recognize her!
Haha, I would have, had I seen more than 2 seconds of her! 
Oh my goodness. I didn't recognize her either!

He asks him to give her the bear, but he says it’s for his sister, so she backs off. They all sit at a local store to have drinks (yogurt thingies and pop), while the coach asks about his sister and asks about when he is coming back to the team. The sister is clearly very ill and has been sick for a while. TROPE ALERT! The team is playing pretty badly. The last game they lost 25-0 (ahahahaaaaaa). Coach wants him back not because he thinks that will save the team, but he thinks it’s Jae Woong’s opportunity to be scouted by pro teams. Ha Seung Ri, coach's daughter and also known as mad dog (more about this later), takes a selfie with her and the bear and Jae Woong. Hmm.
Oh. This girl is currently NOT pissing me off, but she goes on my potential shit list. Also: I like her phone cover.
Our heroine rides a taxi back muttering about our hero and the bear. The taxi driver recognizes her, asking her if she is Kang Se Ra, which she denies. He then goes on about how of course she isn’t because Kang Se Ra would never wear such clothes or go out without make up, then suggests she get plastic surgery!
What an idiot. And poor woman. 
I bet that happens all the time to celebrities, imagine that pressure.
Her day gets worse because back at her agency, while walking past all the pretty posters of her, she hears her manager (Representative Kim Gi-joon, played by Son Ho-young from g.o.d.) berating his secretary about the last match she set up for Se Ra. It clearly didn’t go well, and he talks about her being in a slump without knowing it.
Another idiotic man in her life. She deserves better
I find him supremely unattractive, always have. It predisposes me to finding him unlikeable.
The next shot is of her in a noraebang singing her heart out crying, but of course this gets worse. People recognize her there, too. She sneaks out and runs into a bathroom, but of course it’s the men’s room. Jo’s climbing tree (Lee Tae-hwan), the character’s name is Baek Woo Jin, is in there as she runs past. He hears everyone talking about Se Ra being in the noraebang, and he gets really excited to the point that he has to take a deep breath before he knocks on stall. He is clearly a fan.
He was extremely cute when he realized who she is! JoAnne, please explain the nickname to our readers. When did that happen?
First: Okay, maybe I was wrong about sadness/loneliness being only one facet of her life. Second: My Giant Puppy! Trot is enamored of something I said about him wayyyyyyyyyyyy back in King of High School Savvy, where I may have said something along the lines of 'I will climb that boy like a tree.' I may have said it more than once... I will probably say it again at some point. He never lets you down, ever - he is always a big (ha!) pleasure to watch. This is probably our fourth or fifth drama together, my Giant Puppy and I. Oh! after Come Back Ahjussi, sometimes I call him Gangster Duckling.
I like him MUCh better than that "other" 5urprise guy.
oh my GOD the cuteness I can't stand it
She opens door and comes out (slamming the door against his head :). He sees her and beams the brightest puppy dog smile at her that you’d ever want to see. She just looks up at him with suspicion.
She might need glasses
They're too freaking cute. Can she have him and Rim both?
I vote YES.


Caveat: I didn’t like volleyball in high school. I had never played, and we were graded on it. I hated being graded on something I wasn’t good at and wasn’t given the time to be good at.  But I grew to like it when my younger daughter started playing in high school, and when I was in Seoul, I started watching professional volleyball on television because it was something I could understand. I’m also a soft touch for sports stories. Thus, I was inspired to do my first Squeecap. (The fact that it is a web drama, so it’s only about 15 minutes per ep didn’t hurt either)
I fully sympathize about "being graded on something I wasn't good at". I'm exactly the same. That said, I always liked volleyball, though I liked handball better and basketball even better than handball. Rim is also quite good at basketball, as we can see when he wins the bear. As for sports stories... yes, I did watch Friday Night Lights for a while and I am still waiting for Hu Ge's soccer drama to be subbed.
Make that three of us, but I loved volleyball and was pretty good at specific parts of it - I couldn't spike, but I could set, and I had a wicked overhand serve.  You didn't want to be anywhere near those balls.

In 15 minutes, we get a great set up of most of the main characters. The star player heroine who is in a slump and is forced to worry more about her image. The star high school player (oh, what, he's in high school? Hahahaha)(yes, the 30-year-old guy is in high school and they had this whole running joke about that OTHER guy looking too old to be a student - who is he, anyway?  I can't find him.)  who had to take a year off because of a sick sister. The manager who is worried about his charge for the money and image but is there something else. The secretary who is just annoyed by this client who once again causes a problem. The coach who really wants to give his star player a chance. Crazy 2nd lead girl who obsesses over lead but also understands clearly that she is 2nd to his sister. The 2nd lead puppy who is adoring and awkward and doomed to be 2nd lead. All in a pretty package. All in 15 minutes. Take note drama writers! Take note.
I agree, this was a very enjoyable first episode. Nothing about it was in the least original or surprising, but everything and everyone is really pretty and I think I might get severe Second Lead Syndrome. Not that I don't like Rim. But JoAnne's Tree? He was just too adorable
I know how to pick them. Or maybe it's just the law of averages. Every now and then one of my puppies is bound to be a showstopper.