This first episode felt whimsical and high quality, so it was a fun watch. I love how they are playing with age vs how a person looks. One character is 19 but looks 40 and of course we have are titular 30-year-old that feels 17. I’m looking forward to episode 2!
Also, I was able to run this through a very quick spelling/grammar check by Grammarly, so you might notice a lot fewer mistakes than usual. So happy to have found them.
STILL 17 KDRAMA LIVE-ISH RECAP EPISODE 1
We open with someone drawing something. We only see the pencil on the page. A little boy asks what they are drawing, uncle. Something to eat? Uncle says no, he is drawing a human.
Cut to a boy riding his bike and stopping.
Little boy (YC) – What human?
WJ – I don’t’ know who that person is, just a person that I see. A person whom, whenever I see them, I get more curious about them.
The boy looks at a girl who is holding her hand up to the sky.
Later, he looks at her from the bus and smiles.
Later, she gets splashed by water; he is shocked.
YC – You don’t know who she is, so why are you drawing her?
WJ – When I finish the picture, I will ask her to be my friend.
YC – Do you know her name?
Cut to a musical competition. A woman is playing the violin in front of judges. The judges look interested in her and ask her name. Then we switch to outside. WJ sees the girl across the street talking to her friends who say her name, so he knows her name now.
He sees her again that night and watches her to her hand to the sky. She is putting a circle around the moon.
VO – Someone’s life does not change by a dramatic event or something special. Sometimes a little and unimportant thing changes someone life forever.
WJ goes back to his room to finish his painting.
VO – The little mistake I made when I was 17, made a big change in the life/relationship between her and me.
He goes to the ocean and tries to put the moon in his fingers, He is older now and turns back to the camera and smiles at us.
TITLE: La Campanella (Small Bell)
Cut back to the young SR singing and hopping up some steps. Whatever she touches turns into musical notes, and then we see that she is following musical notes. When she passes them, they float into the air. A composition is also playing in the background.
No Soo-mi calls her name. (Ah, so WJ thinks that SR is No Soo-mi). No Soo-mi is SR’s friend and borrowed her sweater the other day. She apologizes for not having it for her. Soomi says it is a big secret that she is this flighty. If people know this, then the German University will cancel your acceptance. They will say that they thought you were a genius, but you are really a space cadet.
Should I just call you space cadet? Then you don’t have to quit and can come to school together with me. SR asks if she can say it in German.
Suddenly a boy comes up to SR and asks her to marry him instead of going to Germany. I will master German! But a teacher comes up to him and pulls his ear. MASTER KOREAN FIRST. He pulls him away. The boy yells back to SR, we are getting married!
Meanwhile, WJ sits with his little nephew YC. They are waiting for the bus together. WJ sees an older woman running for the bus and holds the bus for her. The nephew sees SR walking by the street and calls her name so she won’t get hit by water that a shop woman is about to throw. Then he runs away when she turns her head. SHe misses the water, so he was successful.
Later on, WJ is on the bus. Suddenly SR walks up to him and asks him how she can get to a particular hotel. He is super shocked to see her and does not respond. She thinks he does not know, but he says that he knows. He tells her how to get there and then sits.
But he wonders if he should give her the painting? It would be good timing. But he also thinks he can’t do it; she will think I’m a strange guy. He goes back and forth with this and finally feels that he is a coward.
But the bus is about to stop. He thinks SR pushed it and tells her that she should get out on the next stop. It will be similar wherever she gets out, but the next station will be closer. She thanks him so much for that. He tells her that he knows her. But he is not a strange person! I have something to give you. Wait a second.
he tries to get it out, but the real Soomi comes on the bus right at that time which spooks WJ, so he runs away and hops off the bus.
He thinks he is a stupid guy. Then it starts to rain on him. He notices a little bell ringing and thinks back to how he could have ended up with it. Perhaps it got stuck to him when he ran away. He chases after the bus and takes a shortcut to head it off.
It starts to rain harder as he is running, but he continues nonetheless.
The rain gets worse and starts to storm. Another man is driving in the rain shower and singing. He is carrying a lot of tires in the back of his truck. The tires get loose and start to fly off of the truck which hits a lot of cars behind him.
This causes a series of crashes. The bus has to swerve to avoid a lot of the cars, but it cannot avoid them all and flies through the air as it hits one of the cars head-on. Soomi and SR look at each other as the bus is air born, then they separate as they are each thrown in different directions.
WJ sees all of this happen.
Cut to the hospital; all the injured people are rushed in. The accident is a huge deal and affected a lot of people. WJ runs all the way to the hospital.
Inside the hospital, SR is already being worked on. She has a head injury and is bleeding from her head. Outside the hospital, the news is already showing the names of the people who died. No Soo-mi is one of them.
SR thinks back to telling SR not to get off of the bus at her stop and to wait until the next stop, so it is his fault that she was still riding in the bus. He stars crying angrily at this news. He can’t accept it. This happened because of me…because of me….because of me.
He stands there in the rain – the bell he was carrying all this time finally drops to the ground.
In the hospital, SR is still alive.
MATTERHORN CAMPING SPOT IN THE ALPS
Several western people are camping in front of the fire and speaking English. One of them has to go to the bathroom, so he leaves to find a good spot to pee in the woods. He has a lantern with him and is pretty spooked. He sees WJ and gets extra scared and runs away.
Woojin lives there in the forest. He has Seo-ri’s dog with him and takes him back to his cabin in the woods.
WJ – Hey DK, eat this. This is a better tasting one.
In the background is the painting that he never gave to SR. It is still in its case.
SR is still unconscious in the hospital. Nurses are working on her. One of them says this must be hard for her parents. But the other nurse says that no one comes to see her. She is not sure if there are no family members or if they just send money or what is happening, but this is a government hospital so it could happen. Someone is sending money anonymously. A man visits her, but I don’t’ think that he pays for it.
Cut to a doctor whose name is Hyeong-tae. Another doctor is talking to him about his wife that is about to give birth; he has to be next to her and does not want to go to Peru. But HT will not change spots with him. The other doctor tells him that he became a doctor after failing a lot. HT walks back to him and says he will do it and go to Peru for him, but can you say that thing to their chief one more time?
Hospitals like theirs will not accept long-term patients for a long time. You know our chief; he is on your back right? The other guy asks who that person is.
Later on, a man is watching SR, but he leaves when the nurse asks who he is.
A concert is going on in the hospital. SR is still out in her room, the nurse comes in and tells her that she will air the room out. SHe opens up the window and then gets started cleaning and preparing things for the day.
The nurse listens to the violin playing and moves her hand around. This makes the sunlight reflect from her watch to SR’s eyes. Her eyes start to twitch at the light and also at the sound of the violin playing in the other room.
The nurse keeps cleaning, but has to go to the bathroom; she runs off. The music keeps playing and makes SR thinks about it. SHe starts to remember her life and her moon jewelry. Her eyes flicker back and forth in her head as she recalls all of this.
Then she starts to blink, her eyes slowly open. SHe wonders where she is. That’s right; she had an accident yesterday. Her aunt and uncle should be surprised. But she can’t move, maybe she injured her body. But her hands should not be injured, why is my voice not working?
The nurse comes back in and hears a strange noise. She runs to the window but then gets a shock when she turns around and sees SR looking at her and muttering…..UUUUUHHHHHHHH.
Cut to the doctor inspecting her. He asks her if she knows her name. Sori is able to say…. soooooooooooorriiiiiiiiiiiiii. The nurses are so excited that she is talking and hop up and down.
SR tries to speak again. She slowly asks who that woman is that is looking at her? She is looking at her own reflection but does not realize it.
The nurses tell her that she was unconscious for 13 years. It will be difficult to accept it, but you woke up after all this time, it is a miracle. SR asks, am I 30 years old? The younger nurse tells her that 30 is still young!
SR asks nurse eunnie to show her. The nurse holds up a mirror to her face. SR slowly says it is strange; it is not her. Can she see it in another mirror? Why is this me? It looks like a stranger. I am 17 but – how come this person is me? It is not. It is a mistake. It is not true – it is not – it is not -.
The doctor tells the nurses that it should be a big shock, she went to sleep at 17 and woke up as 30. Did you contact that guy yet? The nurses talk about trying to find the friend’s name. They know that SR’s friend Soomi died during the accident.
SR has a flashback to high school. Her friends tell her that the teacher is getting married, they should sing for him, they can do at least that. Her and Soomi walk away talking about becoming an ajumma with three children.
SR looks at herself in her hospital bed. She wonders about her 18th year and her 20th, why is she an adult all of a sudden, she does not like it. She does not want to be 30. She starts crying in her bed alone. But she doesn’t even have the strength to wipe her tears away.
END PART I
SR wakes up in his house. SOmeone is on Skype and yells at him to wake up. The person is HS. SHe hops and says that WJ looks like a half man half gorilla (Bayaba). People will shoot him. You took this much of a break and still cannot say why? I gave you this break to work half the year and take vacation the other half of the year. Come back, or you are fired. CLICK.
He still tries to talk to her but realizes that she hung up. He lays back down. Then someone else calls him, his noona Hyun-jung. She is also shocked at his appearance and wants to know if he is a human or a Bayaba. She tells him that she will go on a medical trip for half the year to Africa.
SR says okay and lays back down, but then he hops up, what about YC? She says that is why she is telling him this. She already has a housemate for him. SR does not want anyone to come to his house. But his sister says he needs to take care of Chan. You are in our parents’ room and are also just staying there.
SR thinks and says, fine he can stay with Chan, but he does not want to have anyone in the house-. CLICK.
He got hung up on again. He stands up and tells his little dog that they should spend the summer in Seoul. The camera scrolls to the painting that is still in the case. WJ then says that he misses Yoo Chan.
Cut to Yoo Chan rowing in a rowing team. They are on the river when we first see them, and then we cut away to them all standing on the shore information. The coach tells them that they need to win this year! Let’s make something for the group competition.
They adjourn. DS, HB, and YC all talk about high school things like eating soondae and whether their heart is on the right or left side of their chest. (YC does not look like the brightest bulb in the shed) YC leaves and tells them that he is going to eat soondae, they all run after him happily. YC gets a call though and knows that Gong is coming. He smiles brightly at the news.
SR goes through a lot of rehab to get her strength back. SHe has no strength at all, but she starts to improve with each rehab session.
Later on, SR asks her nurse if there is any news about her friend Soomi. The nurse does not want to tell her the truth and says that she has not been able to find her on the internet, maybe nothing happened.
SR is happy to hear that and continues rehab to try to learn how to walk again.
Later on, SR asks her nurse why her uncle and aunt are not coming; you said they would be here soon. The nurse says that they will come here and wanted her to focus on her rehab. The Nurse is saved by the rehab nurse and runs away. In the hallway, she wonders how she can tell her about her aunt and uncle.
In rehab, SR is super surprised to see herself in the mirror. She wheels herself around to look in a mirror and then sees a grandmother and thinks that person might be her. It gives her a shock.
SR takes an airplane back and tells Dukgoo (the dog) that they are almost there. A pretty girl asks how old he is. WJ says he does not know and then covers his face with a huge mask to not talk to her or anyone else anymore.
He gets off his plane and puts his earphone in, but he is not playing any music in them, he just wants to avoid everyone. But he starts to act even weirder as he begins to measure everything in the airport.
An older woman decorates SR’s face like a cat so when she wakes up, she has a cat face. The nurse apologizes and says that older people are abandoned here, she just does not know any better.
SR thinks back to her parents funeral and how her uncle and aunt will raise her from now on. She also thinks back to her violin recitals. Her uncle and aunt are so happy. But then she remembers that the ajumma says that they will come, they will come, they will come….but finally, they are abandoned.
SR wonders in the bathroom if she is abandoned. She wishes the whiskers off of her face and then looks at her reflection.
Jennifer is walking with a huge Leek in a grocery bag. Perhaps the bag is filled with food. WJ walks behind her, but it seems like he is afraid of her. He keeps following her. Jennifer calmly turns around and asks who he is as she hits him across the face with the leek.
At the nursing home, there is a traditional festival going on outside. SR can walk now and walks around outside during the festival. She is startled by the older woman that painted her face and then overhears the performance people talking about where they are driving to next, which is close to her house.
Inside the house, Jennifer apologizes for what happened to WJ. She apologies like a robot and says a quote from a book. She has no emotion at all. She tells him that his eyes hurt now due to the chemicals from the leek, but it will evaporate. He tells her that it is gone already.
She says that is good if you haven’t eaten yet then I will prepare something. But he stands up and says that she does not need to care about him. You can care for my nephew when he comes. Jennifer says she has an order to talk care of him. He tells her it is okay; he will leave now.
Jennifer asks about the dog. WJ says he is an old dog, so he will sleep most of the day. I don’t’ know his age, but I will take care of the dog, so please look after my nephew only.
He excuses himself to be alone.
The performance team gets to their new location and starts to unload the truck. But we see that someone is hiding behind one of the costumes. It is our heroine, SR. She hops out unnoticed and sees that she is near the hospital and her home, but everything is different. The buildings are huge now; in the past, they were much smaller. The huge buildings fade away to show the old look of the street and then fade back into existence.
On the street, everyone is using a cell phone. SR does not know what is going on.
In the same area, WJ tries to measure a bench. A high school girl is sitting there and starts hitting him. You Pervert! You pervert! HS runs up to her and says that he is not a pervert, this is his job! SR sees all of this unfold as well.
Later, WJ sits at a table as HS tells him that he should have said he is a stage artist which is why he always measures things. Why didn’t you say that!
WJ is not concerned and is just building his miniature set. She is annoyed but gives up and tells him that he should work as of tomorrow. She gives him the job description. Wj notices a light that looks like a stage light.
HS mentions that it is pretty, she got it from a vintage store. But I will throw it away. He gets up and walks away muttering something about how he either does not care or how she can also throw him away, not sure what he said though.
Outside, SR walks the streets of her neighborhood, but she is exhausted. She thinks her house should be there, but all the places she used to know have disappeared. Then she sees it! She runs to her home, but she can’t run so she just kind of stumbles to it. Finally, she gets to it, and we see that her old house is WJ’s new house!
She rings the bell and tells Jennifer that she is the relative/niece. Jennifer lets her into the gate and goes out to meet her in the patio. She says something in Chinese about hoping to have a good relationship with her. I am the housemaid. She heard from the uncle that a relative (nephew/niece) would come soon, but she understood that they should be a young person. SR says that she used to be 17, but she looks different now. Jennifer tells her to come in first.
SR looks around and thinks that the house looks different. But she sees her dog and happily runs to it and pets it. She thinks this must be her house. She sees it, so it is her house!
Jennifer tells her that she looks tired, is she sick? SR tells her that it is the first time she has moved this much. Jennifer mentions that she will bring her carrot juice which is good for her blood. She goes to the kitchen and makes it from scratch.
When she comes back out, SR is passed out on the floor.
Jennifer kneels next to her and then summons all the energy around her to lift SR up and carry her upstairs (wow, so strong!).
YC eats out with his friends DS and HB. But the owner thinks that DS is the father and tells him that his kids are handsome. DS is all like, why are you saying that? I am 19! His friends pat him on the back to console him.
Later on, they walk around outside. His friends tell him to wear a face pack so he will look younger. But DS says it is just in his genes. His father is only in his 40s, but everyone thinks he is a halbae and always gets up to give him their seat on the bus.
While walking, they accidentally knock over some bicycles. YC runs to the end to save a little bird that was about to get hit by the bicycles. He is able to save it and says he will raise it. Bruce Lee said to follow how you feel. F-I-L. (but it should be F-E-E-L). His friends just shake their head at how dumb their friend is.
At home, Jennifer talks to Wj about moving the relative upstairs. She says that she used her arms. WJ says the relative should have been heavy. She says they were light and that they are close in age? He tells her they have an 11 year age difference, but she feels like they should only have a one year difference perhaps?
WJ goes upstairs to talk to his nephew. He goes to the room and says that he wants to see his face. The nephew is outside waiting to go inside, but the vacuüm is running so no one hears the ringing.
He is able to get inside though.
In the bedroom, WJ gets in the bed to give his nephew a cherry on the cheek; he blows on the cheek which makes a farting sound. But the real nephew turns on the lights and sees his uncle kissing a girl in his bed.
All pandemonium breaks out! Everyone asks Jennifer what is going on! Why are they in my house!
VO – Sometimes a small and nothing thing, shakes us very powerfully.
The friends come and ask what is going on.
VO – That tiny meeting shook our future life a lot.
Okay, I’m in. Hopefully they don’t pull a ??? at the end of episode 2 did, like Let’s Eat 3 did.
SR – It should be a mistake
WJ – Now you know this is not your house, can you leave, please?
SR – Where is everyone?
YC – maybe the dog is looking for that ajumma?
J – Can I get the key for the lock?
WJ – No, don’t open it.
HT – Did Sori really wake up?
SR – This is a precious thing
WJ – I will buy it again
SR – I am really sorry that we saw each other for the first time
WJ – Seeing each other for the first time?
Reporter – What is your next plan
TR – I am going to take on a fun project
YC – Did you also hear that? A ghost or a demon?
WJ – What is that?
This post was very quickly proofread by Grammarly!
Top Image by AsianWiki and edited using PicMonkey
SHORTHAND CHARACTER CHART
So glad that you are recapping this! Thank you. And I really, really like the picture chart for character shorthand; that makes it so easy to refer to. Brilliant idea. I got confused on other shows when it was only a list of names and initials–although I enjoy Korean shows, I often find it hard to put the right name to the person.
By the way, Grammarly is great but it didn’t catch the difference between a leak (a crevice which admits water) and a leek (a vegetable of the onion family). Just thought you’d want to know.
Thank you so much! LOL, I need to change that.
Thanks V for recapping this. I haven’t read it yet because I want to watch first. I have a rather silly question? If you are in USA, what’s the best way to watch this show or other Korean shows in general? I am going to be travelling and was wondering about it.
It looks like Viki might have it: https://www.viki.com/tv/36109c-thirty-but-seventeen?locale=en
The Soompi forum might have some more ideas on the best way to watch! They figure out everything.
Thanks for the recap. Love this drama. Great casts.
Many thanks for the recap.