Birdie Buddy: Episode 1

Incredibly fun to watch. It helps that the golf ball looks like a Golden Snitch, but that’s besides the point. I think what’s nice about this drama is that the beginning doesn’t dwell too much on the hardships of our protagonist. It’s upbeat, it’s happy, and you just know it’s not going to last. Nevertheless, it’s quite fun to see young Mi Soo be so excited over golf, and to hone her innate talent at it.

So far, the edits to the story line haven’t hurt the drama either.

We begin with Sung Mi Soo (child actress Jin Ji Hee) watching a golfing great Park Sae Ri win a golf tournament after making her first shot way into the rough areas, off the green. She is amazed that Park Sae Ri manages to make a smooth comeback, and ever since then, she becomes enthralled with the idea of becoming a golfer herself.

Mi Soo has the innate talent to hit things very far, as indicated during a baseball game with her classmates. She even emulates her idol Sae Ri by removing her shoes during a rainy game so that her feet have better traction in the mud. Despite being only in third grade, she manages to hit the ball so far, and all the way into a golf club director’s car, breaking his window. He’s amazed that a little girl could shoot that far, and even more so when she’s more interested in the golfing balls that he has in his car over the baseball she had hit.

Her parents are now scraping together a living as vegetable sellers, her father a former miner, and she and her brother Tae Gab help out in deliveries. (The father’s also played by Lee Byung Joon – the director under Hyun Bin from Secret Garden.) She proves to be quite the athletic, intrepid, and bright little girl.

She then discovers in the storage room an old iron, which belonged to her mother. Turns out her mother used to be a caddy, and after seeing her daughter’s eyes light up, she gives Mi Soo a few pointers on how to swing a golf club.

To raise $100 to take golfing lessons, she and her friends – Joong Ki and Gong Sook – decide to go up the mountain to hunt for some rare mushrooms. However, they encounter a grave in the middle of the forest, and Joong Ki and Gong Sook run back home, frightened to death. Mi Soo refuses to give up, but a false step leads to her plummeting down the side of the mountain. Thankfully, her golf club gets entangled in some roots, and so she dangles off the edge of the cliff. It’s early morning when her parents finally find her, with much relief.

They realize that their daughter would do anything to just learn how to golf. The father was initially against it, but he can’t stop his daughter, who clung to a golf club for life. The mother signs her up some lessons at the golf club, and in return she works there as a cleaner.

Mi Soo is clearly the best, but the other kids there scorn her because she’s just the cleaner’s daughter. One of the boys jeers at her, throwing a dirty towel in her face. She responds by punching him in the face. While her mother is aghast at her daughter’s actions, the boy’s mother actually forces her son to apologize, because he started the fight. I’m amazed already – this rich mother actually isn’t haughty at all!

Mi Soo on the other hand refuses to apologize, and she’s furious her mother would apologize for her. Mother reminds Mi Soo that golf is a game where she competes with herself, and not with others. There’s no one she can – and should – fight with.

The students at the golf club also go on a monthly trip to the huge golf course. However, because Mi Soo can’t pay for it, she doesn’t go. Luckily, they know a guard at that golfing course – Gong Sook’s dad. With some sweet potatoes, they get him to help Mi Soo go to the course really early in the morning and practice on the green. Her mother goes with her the first time, and tells her to practice and hit it as hard as she can. Mi Soo hits – and it flies…

Years later, Mi Soo is now UEE, and is still doing the same thing: sneaking in to the golf course with the help of Gong Sook’s dad. Gong Sook herself now works at that golf course/resort, and Joong Ki always comes to pick Mi Soo up whenever she has practice.

The president of that resort arrives as well – Min Se Hwa (Oh Hyun Kyung from Gloria). She starts planning for an international tournament, and finds out from her secretary that her daughter – Hae Ryung – is coming back. Hae Ryung (Lee Da Hee) is her mother’s spokesperson as well. She was forced into a life of golf by her single mother, but she hated the sport. I think it was a form of status recognition for her mother. She rebelled when she was a third grader; though she was very good, she purposely lost during the last hole on the green because she wanted her mother to tell her who her father was.

Se Hwa slapped her daughter. Years later, Hae Ryung is an accomplished golfer, but still with no knowledge of her father.

Meanwhile, a new visitor arrives in Mi Soo’s town – a dreadlocked John Lee (Lee Yong Woo). He lives in a spiffy trailer, and goes through Mi Soo’s town to go up the mountain. Tae Gab catches him trying to go to an obscure part of the mountain, and tells him (showing off) that he can never get there with just a map. So John tells Tae Gab to get on his motorcycle and be his guide.

John goes to find a deserted golfing school, and measures out the area without even so much a ruler – just his feet. He then takes Tae Gab out to eat, and Tae Gab drinks himself silly. He complains why John won’t take a sip of soju, so when John goes to pay the bill, Tae Gab takes John’s water bottle and pours soju in it. When John comes back, they all do another cheers, and John takes a large swig of his water bottle.

Nothing happens.

John smiles – there was soju in it, right?

He faints.

HAHAHAHA.

Anyways, Tae Gab takes John back to his room for the night, and they share the small blanket. John is still tipsy from the drink when he stumbles outside to take a piss, and so he’s barely cognizant of his surroundings when he goes into the wrong room.

He ends up in Mi Soo’s room, and when he rolls over, he finds his hand clutching a golf club on the blanket. Mi Soo still sleeps with one, and she grabs John’s hand, thinking it’s the golf club. John wakes up, and tries to pull away, but she only pulls him closer. That’s when Mi Soo wakes up with a start – “Who are you?!”

This drama is a breeze, and it really helps that it’s only 45 minutes long. I love short dramas – those extra 25 minutes on other broadcast dramas kill me really, because that’s an extra 25 minutes I have to sit through. I can see that this is going to be an uplifting, underdog kind of story, but I actually welcome the angst that were to come from this drama. I’m sure there will be plenty – birth secrets, hidden families, sabotage galore. I usually hate those, but if plotted right, it’ll be good.

As long as this drama does not end up like the train wreck Paradise Farm, I’m in it for the ride.

(This drama is also available on DramaFever)

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  1. mizweng 11 August, 2011 at 22:12 Reply

    After reading your recap yesterday, I had an urge to watch this and I was so happy to find English subbed of episodes 1 and 2… Honestly, I wasn’t so keen at first cos am not really a fan of any of the cast…But lo and behold………. I find myself liking it for real… its funny, it has heart and the cast are not that bad at all… so am sticking with this drama and thank you kaede for recapping this… 🙂

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