Home > live > Live (Korean Drama) Live Recap: Episode 1

Live (Korean Drama) Live Recap: Episode 1

Live Recap for episode 1 of the Korean Drama Live starring Lee Kwang-Soo and Jung Yu-Mi
Okay, it is pretty tricky to make a post title for a drama named Live (라이브) when we also have to put the word “Live” in the title. I settled on putting Korean Drama in parenthesis just to differentiate it. I know it looks weird, try to roll with it.

Live is a drama that wasn’t on my radar until I saw the preview. The preview was so adorable, adorable enough to make me want to livecap it (plus, I loooove the posters). I loved one of writer Noh Hee-kyung’s previous dramas, It’s Okay, That’s Love, so I am looking forward to what this drama will bring. An extra bonus is the director (Kim Kyu-Tae) who basically makes you fall in love with cinematography. Just check out Iris or That Winter the Wind Blows to get a taste of his look. He was also the director for Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, but I didn’t watch that drama, so I can’t really comment on it.

We heard that this writer usually makes a very well made drama that isn’t a big hit, but that everyone who watches her stuff loves it so we are expecting a small but mighty viewership for Live. We are live recapping this one every Saturday and Sunday for the next two months, so if you are going to watch Live (and/or live recap Live) then Welcome! Let’s have fun ^_^ .

NEWSLETTER: Subscribe here for first dibs on our upcoming live recaps.

How we do this: We update the post around every 10 minutes. Sometimes sooner, sometimes later depending on the scene. There will be typos, but we try to fix all those once the episode finishes airing. Also, there might be updates galore at the bottom (time permitting), so check back in!

Shorthand: A work in progress
Han Jung-oh – JO | Yeom Sang-su – SS | Oh Yang-chon – YC | Ahn Jang-mi – JM | Ki Han-sol – HS | Eun Kyung-mo KM | Lee Sam-bo – SB | Kim Nam-il – NI

How To Watch (Later): Not sure, I don’t see it on Viki, Kocowa, Dramafever, or On Demand Korea yet
Airing Time: March 10th, 21:00 Seoul

We open on a night scene. One of the police is speaking on a walky talky, he is telling them to prepare for the case. There are dozens, if not hundreds of police around on the streets of Seoul. They are sitting on the ground and meandering, some are eating. Then we see our lead, Sang-su. He has gotten his food and is sitting on the cold snowy ground to eat it among his colleagues. He looks over at our other lead, Jung-oh. They don’t talk to each other though, they just eat. It is as if they are waiting for a really big event to happen and need to get all their strength. JO looks concerned and SS tries to warm his ears a little.

I don’t expect your fighting, but don’t say give up.

Cut to JO cleaning dishes in a restaurant. It is late and the people left in the cafe are drunk. These people are just passed out. JO tells the other worker to just shake them and tell them to leave. JO leaves and calls the police, she tells them that two drunk people are on the street and gies them the address. She starts running down the street and gets home. While inside her home she quickly goes to the fridge and gets some rice out but she accidentally drops it. Someone yells, what are you doing, from a room and she says she is washing the rice.

Then we cut to her walking in one of the rooms, but she accidentally steps on her mother and apologizes as her mom wakes abruptly and hits her a few times. It is morning after her shower (perhaps she worked all night and is getting ready for her day job). She dries her hair and starts to iron her shirt, but she wants to check up on her mother so she goes to talk to her. But her iron falls on her shirt when she leaves and she doesn’t notice. JO makes sure her mother takes her medicine and tells her to eat her breakfast because she has panic disorder. But the mother thinks she is fine and finishes putting on her makeup. She smells something though.

JO runs to the kitchen, the breakfast is brurning. Then JO asks her mother for money, she is going to Seoul for a job conference. Mom gives her some money with a look, and then leaves. JO goes back to her room and sees that her blouse is burnt. Ah, nothing is going right!

Then we cut to her running for the subway and we pass our other main lead, SS. SS is carrying gallon water bottles over his shoulder, perhaps he is selling them? There are dozens if not hundreds of young people at this expo all in buisness suits and reciting their lines. JO also recites her lines in the bathroom, she turns and accidentally runs into someone with a coffee and it splatters all over her blouse. He white blouse is all brown now. The girl is upset about it and they agree to exchange blouses. Then another woman tells everyone to throw away all their coffee cups.

JO straightens herself up in the bathroom and then goes out for the interview. She sits with 3 other poeple. Someone asks her personal questions like if she will get married. What if your superior asks you to do things….blah blah. But the interviewer isn’t interested. JO didn’t go to a big college but the other person went to Seoul Uniersity and the other guy went to the army. But JO tries to keep talking even though this interviewer is only interested in the two men next to her. She tells him that he isn’t doing his job properly and storms off. She angrily mutrters that she will tell the government all of this on their website!

Meanwhile SS has a job and is busy trying to sell water. He is a company man with a suit and tie and all those things. But he is still intern level. We see a little bit about his daily life as a company man in a cubicle and then we see him and his friend eating after work. They shoot the breeze about how it is difficult to become a regular employee. But then SS’s nose starts to bleed. He thinks he worked to hard today and laughs about it.

At the same time, JO is sitting with several other people trying to get a job. They are all eating at a small cafe and talking a bout the injustice of it all. A man thinks men have it harder and a women talks about how women have it harder. They start to go back and forth as they talk about discrimination with men and women. The army guy got a job and JO tells him congratulations. He says he didn’t know why he got it when she had better scores. His two reasons for getting it are that he is a man and stronger and more patient from the army. JO says she doesn’t want to talk about it, but then she goes into a huge femenist speach about how men control the world and destroy womens lives. All the woman drink to this. JO says she can’t sit with him anymore since she is jelaous, and leaves. (it looks like they are all from the same university).
JO goes to a jimjilbang and calls her mother. Her mother is still out at a cafe. JO wonders if they should ask her father for money, but they think they shouldn’t, he thinks they are leaches anyway. JO says she didn’t pass any of the interviews, so her mother hangs up on her. But JO calls her back and tells her that she won’t dissapoint her, she is qualified, she just doesn’t have a chance. the mother and daughter argue back and forth. JO tells mom not to beg appa for money and the mother yells at the daughter, she will beg him, the daughter doesn’t have to beg him!

They hang up and JO toasts with her friend with a beer can. But then her friend busts out in song

I want to survive
Give me a job
I won’t give up
I have spring

They hug and dance and run outside as they sing this, they are much happier as they scream that silly song with all their might.

Then we see SS, he needs money too and is talking to his mother. His mother is a custodian and is in the middle of cleaning bathrooms while talking to her, but she says she doens’t have any money and hangs up while muttering that her son takes all her little money from her. Then we see another person on the phone, a pharmascist. The pharmacist is the brother so it looks like SS is asking him for money as well. They hang up and we find out that the brother has a grilfriend who went on a blind date with someone else. Her parents wanted her to, but it looks like it may have been more serious.

Meanwhile SS is talking on the phone while in the subway. He is talking to one of his friends about going to a club and laughing. JO is in the same subway cart with her friend as they head home for the day. She asks her friend, what about this place?

Cut to a club that is packed with people. SS is there with his colleagues and they do guy things as they look at the women and drink. SS asks them all for some money to hang out with the ladies, but everyone doens’t want to do it. SS wants to play some more but one of the friends wants to go home. He grabs the money and it shreds. then SS and his friend get into a big argument. SS says he has nothing and was even dumped by his girlfriend, that is why he is having fun hitting on women, can’t he just enjoy his time doing this? The friend tells him to stop and not pity himself. He leaves and the friends get into a little row. But then we see SS having fun with ladies like he wanted.

Someone calls SS though so he has to bolt. It is his teamleader. SS goes and finds the friend he punched who is now stupid drunk in the bathroom. SS tells him that they girls drank a lot so the y just need to leave now. He puts his friend on his back and takes him out of the club, they can meet some other girls who don’t cost so much.
While carrying his friend, SS gets a call from his mother, his mother needs a ride. SS tells her that he has his drunk friend on his back, can he call the brother? The mom hangs up. But SS must feel bad about it so he goes to meet his mother who has a sprained leg possibly? The mother is with her friend who has a son that works for the government (?). She asks him why he is there with his friend, but then her friend leaves with her son in his car. But the mother and SS have to wait for a bus.

SS asks her if she is envious of that ajumma? The mom says that unnie will be a regular and her salary will go up. But they can fire the mother easily. So the mother and son can’t get fired, but SS and his mom can get fired easily. The mother somberly thinks of this as she sits on the bus. But to make matters worse, SS gets a phone call and finds out that his water company is a pyramid company (fraud company). But SS put a lot of money in this company and he also works for this company. Cut to him going to work and opening the door to fights breaking out among the staff.

Someone sees SS and goes up to him and starts to shake him. SS doesn’t know what is going on.

Everyone goes to the police station and gets interviewed by the police. They try to make sense of it but they findo ut that the company they worked for is basically a fraud company. SS is stoic as he just sits there. He gets a phone call from his brother and is about to tell him what happened, but his brother tells him that he is going to Australia. He is going to a wheat farm (?) because his girlfriend had a blind date with a guy who works at a big company. He won’t leave her alone if he stays in Korea, so he will go to Australia. SS tries to keep it together, how can he dump Umma like that? But the brother just tells him that he is tired of working 24/7. Korea doesn’t like him so he is leaving. Click.

SS throws his phone at the wall and it clanks and clatters to the ground. He is miserable, but then he sees some police come in and he sees a hiring sign. At the same time, JO sees the hiring sign for the police department while on the train. The friend tells her to just stop thinking about it, it is very competitive. But JO says the police only sees the score, not other specification and women can be promoted. She takes a photo of the flyer.

SS cuts his hair and packs everything. He storms out of his home on a mission while his mother yells at him to find a regular job, it will take too long to be a policeman. Similarly, JO calls her day but he hangs up on her. She tells her mother to take her medicine and then goes to her fahters company. She sees him pull up in his fabulous car and calls him while staring at him. He looks at the phone, but he doesn’t pick up and starts walking inside. She stands in front of him, but he just walks past her. She doesn’t follow, she just goes to sit at his car and pulls out her phone to study.

Her father comes back to her right away. He wants to know what she wants and she says she needs money to study, he tells her he will shoot her the money. The father asks his secretary to shoot the money to her acount. JO leaves him a message on his door and leaves. Then she goes to a gongwon hagwon (government cram school) to study.

SS is studying too, but he is studying at the library since he doens’t have that much money. he hits himself over the head several times and tells him self that he will not ditch Umma like hyung. Meanwhile JO goes to an army style academy to prepare for the exam and SS is at a normal school to study. He runs outside in the morning to see his mother getting on the bus and then he goes back to study. We continue to see a montage of the two studying and excercising and icing their feet and being sleep deprived and stretching and calisthenics.

The seasons change to winter as we see both continuing to study and excercise with their two different approaches.
they must have studied for one year straight. But now it is exam day. They take the exam and afterwards they leave. SS goes to a church to pray. He gets a text that he passed! And screams it to the Heaven, AHHHHHHH! But then he apologizes and tells everyone to please pray. But then he screams again AHHHHHHHHH! He alls his brother and tells him that he became a policeman! A POLICEMAN!!!!

JO, meanwhile, is standing outside a building. She hugs her mother and then whispers in her eat and runs away. But the mother yells at her, YAA!, so she runs back and hugs her mother…they do a mother daughter dance as they celebrate JO becoming a policeofficer as well.

Cut to all the new recruits running in their police uniforms. They talk about having drinks later and how their trainer is a really scary guy. They wonder why they are running and then they talk about what they want to do as police cadets.

A whistle blows so the cadets stop running and run in place insead. Their trainer gets introduced as the legendary trainer of the violent crimes division. His name is Yang-chon. YC tells them to run without stopping!

Do you think everything is done after the exam and you are a gongwon, put all that thinking in the garbage bin. Whoever is stupid will get kicked out. I will kick one of them out No one knows who will be out.

All the cadets start talking…huh? How can he kick one of us out? They start to talk about how they studied for 2 years to be police, how can he kick us out? He is just bluffing.

YC tells them to run in place and starts walking inbetween all the lines and around the side of the lines and everywhere as he stares at them all. he asks one of them, do you think you are already a policeman? the man yells no. YC continues to ask these pressure questions to everyone and they all try to respond properly. He asked SS waht his mission is and SS says he will work hard. But YC says that means he came without a mission.

Cut to them repelling off the side of a building. If they fail then they will get points deduction. The first girl got 4 points deducted for screaming and losing her footing and landing wrong. the next girl is up. She says she studied for this for 3 years and this isn’t fair. But the policeman says you will need to rescue someone from a building, you have to be able to do this.

They continue on their first day excercises, now it is shooting practice. One point off for all their voices being too low.
They start shooting the targets for a moment. But they all get more point deductions. Then we cut to them working outside with YC telling them that they haven’t done anything yet, they aren’t police men yet, one of you will be out. I hope my hoobaes become great policement. WHile he is saying all this we see a montage or the policemen running…doing judo….taking hits on their shields….alisthenics.

Then we finally see then resting in their dorm with icyhot. Everyone is groning as they try to withstand the day. Int he womens room one of the ladies is crying as she tries to tak in the day. JO sighs.

Cut to the next day. They are all practicing arresting someone who is acting violently. JO tries it out, but the man she is doing it to makes it easy for her. YC sees this and tells her to try and handcuff her. She tries, but she fails miserably and gets a gun put to her head. She gets so many points deducted for not arresting and handcuffing the criminal for getting her gun taken away and a lot of other things. He tells everyone to not be nice to girls.

Then we cut to formation to withstand protesters. One group are the polcie and the other group are the protesters. The protesters win as one of them manages to pull SS out of the formation which breaks up everything. Minus points for SS.


JO rests on a rooftop, possibly of their dorm, and another girl comes out to find her. JO is thinking of quiting and the other girl tells her not to, she survived this much. She tells the girl to go back inside so she doesn’t get a point deduction, but the girl says she needed some fresh air and gives JO one of her ear buds to listen too.

The cadets clean the snow and stop as they watch two cadets leaving in their civilian clothes. Either they quit or were kicked out. Then we see YC driving out blasting music and singing. But then he sees the 2 people that quit. He pulls over and asks them if they are quitting. He tells them that he is leaving today, they should stay a little longer. But the lady still leaves. He tells the man that he doesn’t have any point deductions but the man says this pint isn’t just. YC says that is true, but in the places you have to work, it is more unjust. People will hit yu and drunk people will stab you and you can’t retaliate or they will sue you. The world is unjust. He smiles and starts blasting his music again and drives off.

Then he pulls over and alls his wife. His wife is also a police officer and tells him to check the clip and call her. He looks on his phone and watches the clip. It is of a police man dumping a drunk person on a trashcan. he calls his wife and asks what this clip is. She says she found it, no one reported it. She tells him that it is a very good policeman who did it. She has 2 weeks of work there, should she cover it up. He is a good policeman. YC says she shouldn’t cover it up, sh should report it.

The wife tells the policeman to gieve her a cup of tea. Someone comes up to her and tells her that he will miss her when she leaves, that person is Eun Kyung-mo. She smiles at him and keeps watching this policeman who is getting her the coffee.

It is shower time with the cadets as they talk about what is ahead. They will have field training. They heard that people quit every other day once field training starts. The girls are talking about this too, they say that they should do better than the men and survive! The woman and men both leave and give eath other high-fives,Survive! Survive! Survive! Become police!

The cadets start to put on all their gear. It looks like protective gear? it also looks like they are going to a cult building that might have dead bodies inside? They are telling each other to not be scared. SS says he will survive this and go back to his hometown police station. They all run out and get in the bus to do their first day of field training.

They all hand over their sticks to their team leader and put on their helmets. JO is focused, she only has 3 more points to lose before getting kicked out. The leader tells them that they are not going to do anything. This means that they shouldn’t move, even if they are hit. Doing nothing means you don’t move. If they push it means you aren’t pushed. IF your coworkers get hit, don’t do anything, just move forward in formation. If you disrupt the formation, then minus 5, if they take your shield then you are out, if they take your helmet then you are out.

They keep repeating the same thing over and over again as they drive to their first field placement.

Fade Out

Oh my gosh, I love it so much so far. It is almost uncomfortably realistic, like Misaeng, but still, I love it so far. I liked that uncomfortable realism of Misaeng and rooted for the kids so much, I hope I can get that same feeling with this show. But One uncomfortable thing looming over this are the protests at the beginning, what are they waiting for? Are these all the protests that occured in Korea last year? Or is this an imaginary protest that reflects what happened last year? I read that the writer was inspired by those events because she went to all the peaceful protests and saw that the police couldn’t look her in the eye, so she wondered what their story was. Okay, I’m just rambling now and we have to prepare for Misty so I’m off, but I am so onboard with this show right now.


Scene 1: Some other interviewee spilled coffee on JO’s cloth. JO exploded

Scene 2: JO gets angry at interviewers who discriminate against women.

Scene 3: SS works hard to be regular employee

Scene 4: JO and her friends argue about discrimination against womenn.

Scene 5: JO talks to her mom and cries. Her friend cheers her up.

Scene 6: SS comforts his mom and says, “You are prettier.”

Scene 7: SS’s company turns out to be a pyramid scam.

Scene 8: SS talks to his brother and his brother tells him that he will go to Australia because he feels like Korea kicked him out.

Scene 9: YC is the Police Academy trainer and pushes the cadets to the limit.

Scene 10: YC is the Police Academy trainer and pushes the cadets to the limit, Part 2.

Scene 11: YC is the Police Academy trainer and pushes the cadets to the limit, Part 3.

Scene 12: YC is the Police Academy trainer and pushes the cadets to the limit, Part 4.

Scene 13: SS tells the drop outs, “Society is less rational than the Police Academy”

Scene 14: All the cadets are determined to stay at the school and become police officers.

Scene 15: Cadets go to their first field training exercise. The professor tells them, “We do nothing today.”


Shorthand Character Chart for the Korean Drama Live on tvN
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  1. Rain
    March 9, 2018 / 11:23 pm

    wow.. I’m curious about this drama

    • V
      March 10, 2018 / 5:04 am

      Me too! I watched the long preview which showed a lot going on under the surface.

  2. Missy
    March 10, 2018 / 10:48 pm

    Do you know where I can see English sub version of this?

    • V
      March 11, 2018 / 10:59 am

      It looks like Netflix might have this one? I heard that they might have picked it up and will air the episodes fully subbed one week later, but I am not for sure on this.

      • Missy
        March 11, 2018 / 11:19 am


  3. Psycho
    March 18, 2018 / 2:12 am

    I watched the first two episodea today and J loved it am glad your recapping it.
    I liked the scene when the girl spilled coffe on JO shirt and agreed to change with and all the other women dumping their coffe as not to ruin iy for eachother I dont know if that would happen in real life but J liked seeing it.

    • V
      March 18, 2018 / 6:52 am

      I really loved that scene too!

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