Frankly Speaking episode 1 recap, review, and first impressions

The pilot episode of Frankly Speaking sets a comedic yet highly dramatic tone for the kdrama. In this episode, we get a glimpse into Ki-baek and Woo-joo's turbulent professional lives, as well as the foundation for their possible love story.
Frankly Speaking - Netflix
Frankly Speaking - Netflix /

Episode 1 of the Netflix K-Drama Frankly Speaking, titled "It's a Lie," opens on a light note. We meet our main character, Ki-baek (Ko Kyoung-Pyo), a news anchor for the JBC broadcasting channel. We witness him treading carefully with his boss as he aspires to advance to the position of lead anchor. We watch him go so far as to entertain his boss's children at work to make a good impression on him. 

On the other hand, Ki-baek's co-workers appear to be commenting on the situation. While most of them think that he's overdoing it as the position is going to be his anyway, given that he is wealthy, young, and presentable, Hye-yeon, another co-worker of Ki-baek's, interjects and points out that he's doing his best to secure the position. Viewers are now free to form their own opinions on the matter. Some of us could think of our protagonist as a people-pleaser and others as ambitious. Up to this point, both sides appear to have valid points.

Soon after, Ki-baek (Ko Kyoung-Pyo) and his co-anchor, Hye-yeon, present the news together. We see Hye-yeon mess up her lines, and she appears lost. However, Ki-baek saves the day by being spontaneous. Everything seems to be going in his favor until Hye-yeon's partner barges onto the set and attacks Ki-baek. He accuses Ki-baek of having an affair with Hye-yeon on live television and continues to hit him. This incident threatens Ki-baek's chances of becoming the lead anchor because it goes viral. As a result, his boss, who initially favored him, has changed his mind.

Meanwhile, we're also introduced to another central character, Woo-joo (Kang Han-Na), who is a variety TV writer. Like Ki-baek, she also comes off as extremely hardworking and willing to go to extreme lengths to get a job done. We see her enter the same elevator as Ki-baek, who is having a rough day. Unfortunately for them, the elevator stops halfway through because of maintenance work. While this happens, Ki-baek has a bad stomach and ends up in an embarrassing situation. Consequently, Woo-joo's first impression of him isn't particularly a good one. Luckily, though, they are out of the elevator quickly once Woo-joo screams and alerts the maintenance team.

Following this, we see Ki-baek attempting to win over his boss. However, his boss seems reluctant to offer him the lead anchor position. The focus then shifts to Woo-joo (Kang Han-Na), who is looking for a candidate to join her variety show. After several candidates have rejected the offer, she learns about Ki-baek and his potential to be an excellent candidate for the variety show. 

When Woo-joo asks Ki-baek to be a part of her variety show, he refuses at first. It's evident that he doesn't think highly of a variety show and wants to stick to more serious work. However, he also wants to clear his public image after the embarrassing incident involving his co-anchor. As a result, he decides to take part in the variety show.

The scene then switches to PN, who has a good reputation with his fans. We soon learn that he is also a participant in the variety show and is playing a friendly dodgeball match against Ki-baek. Unaware of the game's rules, Ki-baek starts playing aggressively, frequently attacking PN. As a result, Woo-joo requests to speak with him in private. While she is explaining the game to him, he ends up sneezing and touching a socket. He gets a shock as a consequence of this, and the lights go out on the field, inconveniencing the players.

After the incident, we see Ki-baek running into PN on the field. When Ki-baek witnesses PN mistreating the crew on set, he gets extremely angry. Just as he's about to land a blow on PN, Woo-joo pushes him and falls on top of him as the episode comes to a close.

Episode 1 review and first impressions

The Netflix K-Drama Frankly Speaking opens with an introduction to Ki-baek (Ko Kyoung-Pyo), our protagonist, a driven news anchor at JBC. We watch as he gets himself into a number of comically embarrassing situations in his pursuit of a promotion. 

Additionally, we meet Woo-joo (Kang Han-Na), a potential romantic interest for Ki-baek. We witness their first encounter, which takes place in a less-than-ideal situation. However, the comedic undertones in their first exchange make it entertaining to watch.

Additionally, the episode paints a realistic picture of the harsh realities of the journalism profession for viewers. Viewers working in the journalism industry will identify with this episode's themes of seeking the boss' approval and blurring boundaries between serious and entertainment journalism. Additionally, the show's two main characters, one inclined towards entertainment journalism and the other towards news anchoring, offer a glimpse into both worlds.

Viewers experience a range of emotions throughout this episode. In general, the episode is entertaining to watch because it is full of drama, embarrassing situations, and humor. With that being said, there are a lot of moments when the humor falls flat. One example is the elevator scene, which is meant to be hilarious, but the humor doesn't land. 

From its promising pilot, the Korean drama appears to have a lot of potential. The K-Drama effortlessly introduces us to the characters and sets the stage for the story. So far, the romantic plot isn't very interesting, and the humor isn't always on point. This could change, though, because we're only one episode in. 

Stay tuned for more recaps and reviews of Frankly Speaking from Netflix Life!

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