Title: The Idle Mermaid/Surplus Princess/The Mermaid
Cool Quote: “Crazy Passion. That’s what we’re looking for.”
In this episode, Kim Ha Ni is the epitome of paranoid.
Apparently, the magic potion that turned her into a human had a catch. Every time she came in contact with water, her fins would reappear. Right. What’s a drama without a complicated catch?
But here again, the drama relied on formula to buoy the story. The human-turned-mermaid-again-once-touched-with-water had been the stuff of mermaid stories all around.
Humor. Or at least this is how the story tried to differentiate itself from all other bunch of stories. Were they spot on?
When Kim Ha Ni realized she had been found out, she was nervous incarnate. In a house so small, everyone could be the culprit. No one can be trusted.
But the universe could surprise us. Sometimes, the person whom we thought couldn’t be trusted, could become the only person whom we could trust the most.
As it turned out, Hye Young, the scary woman, was the one who saw Ha Ni. Contrary to what her awful personality would have led us to believe, she kept Ha Ni’s secret.
There was only one reason why Hye Young would keep Ha Ni’s secret. She’s different. She never really cared about what society thinks, or let society’s definition dictates the way she thinks. She has her own opinion.
Quite surprised at her easy acceptance of her, Ha Ni asked Hye Young, “Are you not afraid of me?”
“Are you a man-eater?” Hye Young replied.
“Then, why should I be afraid of you,” Hye Young answered.
“Will the others have the same reaction?” Ha Ni asked hopefully.
“Are you kidding?” Hye Young replied, cross. “They wouldn’t. You’d be in a laboratory by now, being examined. We’d better dry these scales up.”
From that moment on, Ha Ni found herself a real friend.
A Shot At An Internship
Meanwhile, everyone got so excited when JH Foods announced their internship opening. Apparently, getting an internship is equivalent to getting an entry-level job at a big company in South Korea. And the interview was tough. It was such a tempting offer that even Do Yi Jong, the law school graduate and full time surplus bum, wanted in.
Believing that connections could land them the job, Do Yi Jong and the gang decided to audition to be a part of JH Elite Study Group. The study group was composed of three amazing job hunters; Park Geum Bi the JH Executive’s only daughter, Choi Jun Hyeok the politician’s son, and Kim Hyun Seong the graduate of Harvard of Korea. Yi Jong was so convinced that if only he could manage to get into this elite group, he could get into JH Food too.
But it wasn’t that easy. The study group was elite through and through. They turned up their noses at Yi Jong’s ugly photo and at Big’s inexperience. After suffering intense embarrassment, only Hyun Mung managed to impress them. But only just.
Yi Jong was so crushed by this rejection. He vowed to prove the elite study group wrong. But could he?
Meanwhile, Kim Ha Ni went into Shi Kyung’s company in an effort to meet up with him. But it wasn’t really easy to access the human world, she learned. She needed all kinds of IDs and passes. Ha Ni must first get an ID if she wanted to gain access to Shi Kyung’s company.
The resourceful gal did get herself an ID, enough to send her inside Shi Kyung’s workplace. While there, the woman saw her crush Chef Shi Kyung, being his very lust-worthy self.
But Ha Ni’s pleasure was temporary. Of all the people who could meet her, she meets Jin Ah. The woman, realizing her ridiculous act, derived pleasure in throwing her out.
And so from then on, Ha Ni decided she wanted in; inside Shi Kyung’s company, inside his life, by hook or by crook.
You Can’t Get Into This Company
Yi Jong, Big, and Ha Ni formed a study group of their own to prepare for the interview. If the JH Group study group were the elite, their study group was the, er, hopeless. They had no connections, no idea of what they should do, and no stellar qualifications to speak of.
But it wasn’t such smooth-sailing in JH Elite Study Group either. The gap between Hyun Myung and the three elites was palpable and tangible. Raised differently, the three spent money without thinking while Hyung Mung had to recalculate every penny before he could part with his money. Because of the obvious difference, the elites had a habit of alienating Hyun Mung, pointing out his poverty and poking where it hurt the most, and doing it while smiling. You would never figure these refined elites as mean. Why, they look great.
And yet they are. Hyun Myung, usually talkative and articulate, uttered very few words with them, because they never really listened to him. He was the underdog, and the elites never really cared about what he thinks.
Meanwhile, what the other team lack in brightness, they make up for happiness. They might not be making any progress in their study group, but they were productive all the same. Big was revealed to be quite adept at Photoshop. Ha Ni, on the other hand, could never be fooled with it came to fishes, as she so vehemently told the fish seller who was tricking them. (She used to swim with them after all.)
While Ha Ni was busy arguing with the fish seller, Shi Kyung, who was there to buy fishes (in fairness, legit and acceptable reason for their meeting) heard her. Remembering the voice of the woman who had so bravely confessed to him, (of course that should be remarkable, it’s not everyday someone would confess to you) he went out of his way to greet Ha Ni.
Ha Ni, who was happily surprised, was in cloud nine as she was talking to Shi Kyung.
But not Do Yi Jong, consumed with jealousy. (Seriously dude you never had a chance, sorry) Here, he learned who it was Ha Ni was pining for. And it wasn’t him. Ouch.
Meanwhile, for the group’s effort of buying his supplies, Ahn Man Nyeo managed to connect the gang to the head of a Planning Department in JH Food, who happened to be Jin Ah’s boss. What they thought was going to be a very happy meeting turned out to be so disappointing once they saw Jin Ah, who by the way shared the same feeling.
Jin Ah’s boss had this savvy advice to give to the aspirants, “In JH Food, there is only one that we are looking for. Crazy passion.”
That cheered the gang up. They were crazily passionate.
However, no matter how much she pep-talked the gang, it was all ruined when she left. Jin Ah, who was really supposed to enlighten the job seekers, told her one time friends, “I’ll be official about it. I think you’re not the right fit for the company.”
“But why not?” Ha Ni asked.
“Do you know sautéing and pan-frying?”
Ha Ni shook her head. The girl had no idea.
Jin Ah smirked.
Hyun Myung, annoyed beyond too much belittlement, replied, “How do you know we wouldn’t get in?”
“I got the necessary knowledge,” Jin Ah confidently replied.
“You just don’t want me working in your company,” Hyun Mung accused. (Now it gets really personal).
“Yeah, I don’t,” Jin Ah replied. “Why here of all the companies?”
“I don’t care what you think,” Hyun Myung replied, “I want to get in.”
Locking her jaw, Jin Ah replied, “Get in if you can.”
That sounded more like a belittlement, a challenge, a dare.
But the woman had a point. If you wanted to get a job, you must first get to know the basics of the job you’re applying for. You can’t just jump, zero knowledge.
The gang, crest-fallen, recognized the wisdom in her words too.
Very desperate, Ha Ni went to beg the JH Elite Study Group to take her in. “C’mon, please take me. It’s a life and death situation.”
She sounded desperate, pathetic, and ridiculous.
“You’re just not good enough,” they told her.
Hyun Myung, who was listening, grinded his jaw.
“Who are you to judge?” he said, “You’re just job hunters like us. (True. Statistically speaking, both of them had a 50% chance of getting in, elite or no elite). Let’s see who gets a job first.”
He grabbed Kim Ha Ni’s hand, and left the JH Elite Study Group, speechless for once.
Was it kilig-worthy? Hell yeah.
Meanwhile, Ha Ni had 89 days to live.
The Idle Mermaid aired in TVN South Korea in 2014. In the Philippines, the tagalized version airs in GMA-7 just finished. But who cares, it’s available online at http://www.dramaonline.us/drama-info/surplus-princess.html. Yey!
Watch out for “Review: The Idle Mermaid Ep 05!” Thanks for dropping by! 🙂