“Pinocchio” – First Impressions And Thoughts

Tessieroo: Most of the CK Ladies are watching Pinocchio and loving it but we’re too swamped to do weekly recaps and with the holidays coming up, things will only get busier. I begged Rinchan to let me post a few thoughts when she decided to write-up the first 6 episodes and she kindly agreed. I love this blog and my co-bloggers are awesome, generous people.

I’ll admit I’m not a HUGE fan of Lee Jong Suk but the only reason is that he truly looks like a little boy to me. (LOL) My brain tells me he’s 25 years old but my eyes say he’s around 17. So when he’s cast as the leading man in any drama, I usually laugh and tune out. I’m now eating my words. I caught the first two episodes of Pinocchio and I’ll admit, I was stunned by his talent – he blew me out of the water and his chemistry with co-star Park Shin Hye is adorable. I haven’t missed a single episode since then. I love Ki Ha Myung, although I feel really sorry for him and his whole family. It doesn’t seem fair that both his parents are dead and he has no idea where his brother is. He’s already alone at the beginning.

Rinchan: Lee Jong Suk and Park Shin Hye’s chemistry is like icing on the cake to this story, which is a good mix of comedy, romance, and melodrama.

“TV can kill an innocent person with just one statement”

Ki Ha Myung’s life ended the day a factory worker decided to cover up for his colleagues, and placed the blame on Ha Myung’s father, Ki Ho Sang. His father was a well-respected head of the firefighters and cared for all the men in his department. His devotion for his men was found on the walls of his house where he hung the information of these people. It was something, Ha Myung, who, like his brother Jae Myung, had a great ability to memorize, could recite. Yet one lie compromised the integrity of his father and turned Ho Sang into a wanted criminal. Ho Sang was accused by the factory worker, of ordering his men to charge into the factory, even though there was no one in the building. In truth the factory worker falsely believed his colleagues were trapped inside, but it turns out they started the fire and ran away. All of Ho Sang’s men died that day, but a man with Pinocchio Syndrome believed he saw Ho Sang, and Ho Sang became the police’s target for criminal charges, as well as the anger of the firemen’s family. The press heightened the situation and slandered the name of Ha Myung’s father. No longer able to endure the harassment of  the families, the news reporters, and the general scorn of the country, Ha Myung’s mother decides to kill herself with him, leaving Jae Myung behind. On that day he survived the jump from that cliff, but the same can’t be said for his mother.

Tessieroo: Ha Myung was lucky to be found by Gong Pil, this man’s kindness and warmth has helped to heal Ha Myung/Dal Po’s heart a tiny bit. I happen to be a huge fan of dramas that show trusting and loving relationships between people, whether they’re family or not. It’s a shame this female reporter, Song Cha Ok, puts her job before honesty and integrity – it’s all about the ratings. It’s also heartbreaking later when Dal Po finds out she is In Ha’s mother but since she doesn’t appear to be interested in her daughter or a daily part of In Ha’s life, he’s able to put that aside for the time being.

Rinchan: Cha Ok probably doesn’t think she is lying, instead she has cultivated the art of “spicing up” the facts. However, her lack of empathy for the family is a reflection of the media, they were like hyenas wanting to eat meat.

“The reason why I went against my resolve to stand on this stage is a secret that I want to keep protected more than the resolve that I’ve made”

“Because I like you”

 Ki Ha Myung was fished out of the water that day and was reborn as Choi Dal Po, son of Choi Gong Pil, older brother of Choi Dal Pyung, and niece to Dal Pyung’s daughter In Ha. Gong Pil, initially believes that Ha Myung is his older son Dal Po, and Ha Myung who needs a father, goes along with it. However when Dal Pyung arrives after his divorce , he tries to set the record straight about Ha Myung’s identity which causes his father to faint. He has no choice to let Ha Myung stay and he becomes part of the family. Dal Po, was still a hard addition for either Dal Pyung or In Ha to swallow, but she eventually warms up to him. However, when Dal Po, as a favor to In Ha fixes the television so she could see her mother, Song Cha Ok, he realizes that his mother is the reporter that led the witch hunt against his father, and becomes resolved to hate In Ha. As the years go by, his resolve falters and he falls in love with her instead. Now he is resolved to keep his feelings in check, because he knows as her adopted uncle they simply can not be. Dal Po wants to protect the family that he has.

Dal Po has always been supportive of In Ha, albeit not always openly. In Ha, who has failed numerous interviews to become a reporter, was particularly crushed when on the day she interviewed at MSC, her mother’s broadcasting station, she was eliminated by her own mother, who highlighted her weakness. Yet her heart was truly broken when her mother revealed she had never missed In Ha. Unluckily for Cha Ok, Dal Po was her cab driver that day. He confronted her over it, and she let him know he had no basis to admonish her because he had no knowledge about his reporting. It was then he decided he would about reporting and became adamant about becoming reporters together with In Ha. Although Dal Po’s motives were fueled by a desire to prove something to Cha Ok, In Ha was motivated by something else. After seeing how Dal Po was able to vindicate himself of cheating on an exam by revealing his intelligence on a quiz game show, In Ha became enamored with  the idea of becoming a reporter. For her, there can be no better job, because she has Pinocchio, and therefore is unable to lie. However it is the fact that she has Pinocchio that has prevented her from successfully completing her interviews.

“I’m sorry but I haven’t had any time to miss you”

“How can you so easily judge someone else’s life like that?”

Tessieroo: That was so hard to watch! How could her own mother treat her like that? I did love Dal Po confronting the witch, she really needs to be smacked down. I get the whole “women need to be tougher in the workplace” but there’s no reason for Cha Ok to treat her own daughter or Dal Po with contempt (or that was my impression).

Rinchan: Cha Ok chooses to be honest at the most random times, she needs to apply that to her work. It is better to let In Ha know this way, to carry any further illusions about her mother can ruin her. Cha Ok needs to take notes from Dal Po, and learn the meaning of family. LOL.

Yet an opportunity manifested at YGN, a competitor of MSC, they were holding blind interviews that only considered their ability, not their background.It was In Ha and Dal Po’s best chance at getting a reporting job, because they essentially eliminated discrimination from the election process. It seemed as though they would actually succeed when they made it through to the final round, but then Dal Po outed In Ha. In the last stage, all the finalist had to debate over the case of Ho Sang, Dal Po’s anger and sorrow grew as he relived his past. As the debate ensued and there was a back and forth about how right or wrong the reporters were, Dal Po lashed out at In Ha, who could not place total blame on the reporters because the witness had Pinocchio. Dal Po passionately argued about the power of the media and concluded that by talking to In Ha he realized why a Pinocchio should not become a reporter, hence revealing to all that she had the syndrome. Although one would suspect it would lead to a falling out in the relationship, but instead it allowed In Ha to reveal that she had feelings for Dal Po. She did not want to admit it and subsequently  had the hiccups.

Tessieroo: It’s interesting to me that MSC and/or Cha Ok took no responsibility for their erroneous reporting regarding the fire, the fire-fighters who died or who was to blame, even after the body was discovered. She should have been forced to correct her own story and apologize for it.

I thought there would be a huge falling-out between In Ha and Dal Po too and expected several episodes of them not talking to each other. I’m so happy I was wrong. (LOL)

Rinchan: It’s too early for the cold shoulder game, also MSC wasn’t the only one responsible, not even the virtuous YGN bothered to get it right. Everyone got it wrong, but all they are willing to say is “it’s an unfortunate event.” Not one is willing to openly admit fault.

“Your handsome face…and your smart brain…you don’t need to keep them hidden anymore”

“I now realize the reason why a Pinocchio can’t be a reporter”

Rinchan: The irony of Dal Po getting the job, who studied for over a month, and In Ha failing, who has been at it for over 6 yrs, did not pass her by, unable to get her dream job, she must work at a convenience store as a part-timer, a fact her father won’t let her live down. She spent most of her day crying over the fact to her customers spilling every detail because she can’t lie about it. Through it all, she is still stuck with her hiccups. It is then Seo Bum Jo reappears before her. Although she hasn’t taken notice of him, she has his full attention. Prior to them meeting initially at the YGN interview, he was receiving text messages from her. At the time In Ha was under the impression it was her mother’s number and things ran its course from there. It was until he finally messaged her back with a g”fighting” on the day of  In Ha’s MSC interview did she find out, it was not her mother. Her tearful call of anger to him led him to decide to meet her.

Tessieroo: She still has no idea that Bum Jo is the person she’s been exchanging messages with all these years! I can’t wait for that to come out but In Ha is most likely going to be angry with him. I like the idea that he fell in love with her just from reading her words, without ever seeing her in person. Even though I know they’re not the OTP, I like this guy so far. Granted what he did was wrong but I don’t think he meant any real harm.

Rinchan: I am just happy he doesn’t have a psycho mother. If things fall through with Dal Po she can turn to him, without fear of death by evil mother-in-law. At the convenience store, Bum Jo becomes her shoulder to cry on and she confesses everything to him, which is a relief to her. It is then Cha Ok shows up with a proposition, become an intern for promotional reasons, because no one trusts MSC, which has a reputation for manipulating facts to get the most interesting stories regardless of its veracity. Their poor reputation puts them in a bind because they need to be able to compete against YGN’s 10 o’clock news segment. In Ha was taken aback but Cha Ok tells her if In Ha does well she can get a job as a reporter. In Ha struggles with deciding whether she should accept the offer, but eventually takes it.

Tessieroo: I was furious this witch somewhat manipulated In Ha into accepting! As much as I adore In Ha and hope she does well, I’m more hoping Dal Po and YGN beat her pants off in the ratings.

Rinchan: I’ll back In Ha on this one, beggars can’t be choosers. This is a great opportunity to prove everyone wrong, she should take advantage of opportunists then kick them to the curb in the end LOL.

In order to quell her hiccups she confesses her feelings to Dal Po. He denies that she has those feelings but when she points out that she is not hiccuping he must accept it as fact. She rushes to add that she will do whatever it takes to get her feelings in order, even dating other guys and calling him uncle. He questions what will happen if she never gets over it, but as viewers we can see he is asking from his own personal experience. She replies that she has to, because they are family.

“Do you know why I started hicupping? It started when I denied having feelings for you”

“What if that doesn’t work? What if you make all the effort you can and do everything you can possibly think of…but those feelings you have still remain the same for a long time?”

Tessieroo: Loved the rooftop confession and I teared up when Dal Po did. I’m very curious how In Ha will handle things once she finds out he’s not really family. *heh* In my mind, that would be a green light for both of them but since In Ha’s father is against it, it won’t happen that easily.

Rinchan: I wished he had confessed in return, being family legally poses another problem. In the mean time his one living relative has found out the truth behind his father’s death and carries out a truly dark plot of revenge, which far contrasts his nice nature. His brother, pretending to be drunk steals the factory worker’s wallet.  Then later calls the man over so he can retrieve it. Jae Myung lures him to a demolition area, where he causes the man to fall into a man-hole. He then covers up the man-hole and let the guy know that Jae Myung has framed him for the murder of the man’s colleagues and no on will find ever find him. His family will be forced to endure the same fate Jae Myung’s did and no one will care. The man begs for his life but Jae Myung follows through with his plans and covers the man-hole brick by brick.

“I’m Fireman Ki Ho Sang’s son”

“That’s why I became a reporter”

Tessieroo: This part was the only thing I’m a bit bummed about, I didn’t see it coming. I thought Jae-Myung would somehow find a way to bring the criminals names forward and clear their Father’s name? For him to become a murderer is just so depressing, I have a feeling Dal Po will be the one to report this when it finally all comes out. UGH!

Rinchan: *Sigh* I hoped for the same thing, but I think he realized he can’t trust the system that originally failed him. Also, no one seemed to care about the truth. Seething with anger and bitterness, making his victimizers experience his pain and loss is his way of getting justice. Hopefully by revealing the truth, Dal Po will stop the cycle of pain Jae Myung is trapped in.

In Ha starts her first day as an intern, and meets Bum Jo there. They are both nakasans and reporter Kim Gong Joo makes a fuss about how he will rebel over the nepotism, but in the face of Cha Ok and the director, Bum Jo’s connection, he is only complimenting, showing he is all bark and no bite. At the station In Ha is treated to the sight of her promo in which she introduces herself as a Pinocchio, and promises to deliver the truth. However, even with her status as the stations mascot, she hasn’t been cut any slack. Like Dal Po, In Ha and Bum Jo have been shipped to Mawari, a police station where they basically camp out and try to feed news worthy info to their work sunbaes, who by their inhuman treatment of the intern shows how disgruntled they are. The interns get scolded for not coming up with stories, sleeping, eating, and not eating.  The only one who seems to be adjusting well was Dal Po. He already had a former classmate turn detective on his side, and because Dal Po was stuck reconstructing shredded papers from the police department, he was able to find out some interesting things that let him connect with other detectives. Bum Jo, who was suffering, dislike for Dal Po significantly increased.  Yet In Ha, after some begging, was able to fish out a story from her former classmate. Unfortunately, Yoon Yoo Rae, Dal Po’s colleague was eaves dropping and reported the story back first. She gets scolded. however when she can’t report basic information, and In Ha gets the same treatment when she reports back as well. Both teams are off to investigate and get the video footage from the gym. Of course the manager was hesitant to show the footage but after some convincing from Dal Po and some aegyo from Yoo Rae, which In Ha could not perform, the man caved in. Unbeknownst to any in the room Dal Po filmed the whole thing. After seeing the footage both teams headed back, In Ha and Bum Jo tried to put together their story, while Dal Po submitted his video footage. However In Ha did not feel comfortable with the story she built up because she had her doubts since all the evidence did not fit. Towards the end we see Hwang Gyo Dong declaring he has an exclusive upon receipt of the footage, but Gong Joo declares he too has an exclusive when he receives a call from In Ha, who decided to re-investigate the story.

“Thats’s when it all started. My dreams of wanting to be a news reporter”
“You’re saying it’s because of me?”

Tessieroo: So both stations have something “exclusive” to report, which I’m going to guess means they each have one true fact that the other side doesn’t know about. I’m still hoping Dal Po and YGN win but that’s only because I don’t want Cha Ok to win. (LOL) I would love for Dal Po to beat her and show her how much honesty and integrity matter! I’m also apprehensive how much more she might hurt In Ha.

I love that Dal Po and his high-school nemesis, Chan-Soo have reconnected and are forming a friendship but it’s unsettling that Chan Soo is the lead detective investigating the murders Dal Po’s brother just committed. *sigh* He seems to be a good detective so I’m hoping he doesn’t drag Dal Po into the case or try to pin any blame on him – I’d very much like for them to form an even stronger friendship.

My favorite scene so far was in the elevator when In Ha tries to tell Dal Po she thinks she’s starting to get over him. *hicupps* Ahahaha! She has to take it right back, saying she guesses not, she must have jumped the gun. When she gets out of the elevator and smashes her own face against the wall, I died laughing. Can’t wait for more!

“Never mind. Sorry” 

 Rinchan: The exclusive In Ha had was definitely some angle Dal Po didn’t think of. Dal Po can whip Cha Ok anytime, but In Ha definitely has to prove herself within the time frame of her internship, so again, I am rooting for her. It is already bad that she is experiencing discrimination, but In Ha has the potential to be  a reporter of far greater caliber than is present in the field, however, Dal Po’s argument also being true, having Pinocchio is a double-edged sword.

I am loving these two interactions, with every reason to hate each other they still developed a love connection. I feel sorry for Bum Jo though, he seems great, and I love his mother, the antithesis of Cha Ok. I am curious to see how this drama unfolds. Also will our OTP ever be on the same side work wise or will they stick with the thrills of sleeping with the enemy? LOL.


  • carolies541 says:

    Sounds like I really gotta check this drama out pretty soon. Truthfully I’m not a big fan of the pairing when they were first announced as it feels kinda odd but coming from the writers of I Hear Your Voice, I had hopes that it will be as good as IHYV and it seems that there’s no end to the positive reviews, positive feedbacks just keep rolling into my blog feeds.

    Btw, I really like what you guys did with the screenshots, blending some of them together, it creates a dramatic-banner like effect. Haha!

  • bmore says:

    I too was hesitant as I am not a big fan of either of the stars. Dr. Stranger was such a Fail, and I was uncomfortable with his character in Voice because he looked 14!!! And Bo-young looked all of her mid 30’s. Though I liked the drama over all and thought he did a good job acting and seeming far more mature than he looks. And he was so good in 2013! I have never thought much of PSH’s acting except for Next Door, but then she did Heirs and that dropped her right back down to the bottom for me. So I went into this with some trepidation, but with hope that with the great director and writer behind the wheel, we would get the best out of both of them….and boy am I happy I did. I think the 2 of them are doing great in this. This will hopefully shut up a lot of the nay sayers…like me!!! 😉

    This show is a lot more than I thought it was going to be and a great deal better. The center of my attention now, though, is the older brother. He is killing me. I am so afraid for him. That scene and his reaction to finding out Dal Po is a reporter was heartbreaking and frightening. This is exactly how Dal Po was feeling at the beginning of this…hate and fear of all reporters. And you can see Dal Po’s fear of/for? him in his face after their confrontation. I just started crying then. How much more can those two withstand? It is all so unfair. It cannot end well for the brother. He has apparently killed 3 people in cold blood now! Granted, they were cold blooded killers themselves and gloated for years that they had gotten away with the murder of how many firemen? And then dumped the blame on those boys’ father….and gloated some more. But, the law won’t be forgiving of that and I only see a tragic end for that young man. I just want to start crying as soon as I see his face now. It’s too much to bear that this family has been so utterly destroyed by that snake pit of reporters. And that this young man has descended literally into the depths of hell on earth to have resorted to what he is doing and from the terrible loneliness he is enduring. Just heartbreaking. What time is left for him, he NEEDS to have Dal Po tell him who he is! He desperately needs to know he is not alone!! Dal Po MUST tell him quickly and what time they can have as brothers they need to have together sooner rather than later. I hope they don’t drag this part of the story out! 🙁 Whatever tiny bit of love and family and happiness that young man can have before the bitter end I see coming for him, he deserves to have! (btw, that young actor Yoon Gyun-Sang is doing a great job in this part! hope to see more of him)

    And I am desperate to see In Ha’s mother on her knees, riddled with guilt over the sin she has committed. I know it is going to hurt In Ha, but, frankly, at this point I don’t care. (yes, I am a vindictive bitch, but you know this about me already!) But…..I can see where Dal-po will not and cannot be the one to expose her as it will drive a completely insurmountable wall between them. It is obvious Reporter Pil-mo is reaping some guilt, and I think seeing that that has help Dal-po to settle SOME of his hate and anger. I don’t know what finding out what his brother has done is going to do to him though….but it’s not going to be good. Someone needs to be held publicly accountable for the destruction and deaths in that family at the end of this!

    • tessieroo says:

      ROFL, our next meeting for the vindictive beotches club is next week. 😀 (LMAO)

      I’m happy I gave this a chance too, I was really wrong about LJS’s acting abilities. He still looks really, really young to me but I’m getting used to it.

      • bmore says:

        I need to be at that meeting! There should be an acronym for us. BA (Bitches Anonymous) support meetings held monthly for Kdrama Addicts who are dealing with melos and revenge dramas. We definitely need support meetings for us. But…I guess that’s here!! <3 🙂 The sad thing is, they will be useless, since none of us has any intention of giving up on our addiction, much less moving on into the recovery phase. None of us would make it past the 1st of the 12 steps…admitting to our addiction! 🙁

        • tessieroo says:

          I like the VBC for a name. And no, it’s not about giving up our addiction – it’s about getting together and bitching how much we hate certain characters. *heh* Like Myung-Yi in Greatest Marriage? That drama has gone completely into the toilet, seriously. It’s major stupid-ville.
          Or for this one, In Ha’s mother – Song Cha Ok? I hate her! *grumps*

          • bmore says:


            And yeah…I tried and tried and tried (you know I did) to stay on that bandwagon for Greatest Marriage. Sadly….I posted this on DF. What a huge disappointment for something I thought had potential and which, pathetic fool that I am, I keep hoping with surprise me and prove me right (futile though that hope seem to be):

            This show has veered so far away from what I thought it started out to be and has turned into a makjang mess of a drama. While the bones are still there, I had really hoped for a more cohesive show that stuck to its original premise….which was the promise of a dark comedy showing the injustices perpetrated against single mothers and working mothers, the patriarchal family traditions that are more harmful than good, the pervasiveness of chauvinism in the home and at work, the prevalence of abortion in Korea as a convenience or alternate means of birth control. All of these are still there but now buried under a mass of cliche crap. That said, I still like the show! God knows why.

            The only thing that has proven out is Tae Hyun’s desperate and heartbreaking attempts to protect Ki Young and his son have now come to the pass he feared from the first. I fully expect him to either explode or, worse, subjugate himself totally to his parents now in order to save his child from his own twisted upbringing. I don’t think there is any way he will let that boy be raised in that nightmare prison he was brought up in.

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