k-dramas reviews

Surplus Princess: Episode Four Review

Note: Because I’m a bit behind schedule, I thought I’d upload the text of this review. I will work on adding the images later tonight when I’m free.

Update: Slowly, I’m screencapping and editing images. I will do my best to get them up ASAP! Thanks, guys.



During this week of Surplus Princess, we finally get a reprieve from the cliffhanger that episode 3 served. Ha Ni is in the bathtub, freaking out over her tail miraculously coming back. She hears movement outside the shower curtain and panics even more. Someone is in the bathroom with her. It’s pretty much the worst situation because anyone in the shared house could have caught a glimpse of her tail. And what would they do with that knowledge? The people in the shared house all seem to be decent people, but there’s really no knowing how they could use Ha Ni being a mermaid to their own advantage. I’ve seen worse scheming in k-dramas, so I’m not too hopeful that everyone in the shared house wouldn’t use Ha Ni being a mermaid against her.


We forward to Witch Ahn, who is at the shoreline of the Han River where Ha Ni first met and assaulted Hyun Myung.  He picks up an empty bottle (probably the one that Ha Ni drank), and into the phone, tells someone that if her legs touch water, they can become a tail. As I said, this is very similar to the Australian teen mermaid drama, H20. Of course, I think that the similarities end there.

We see the setting change back to Ha Ni, who is the bathroom and sitting on the toilet. She has her legs back. Witch Ahn warns her that she needs to find who saw her in the bathroom before something happens and she’s taken and experimented on.

Ha Ni has vivid daydreams about being caught as a mermaid by the members of the household. Thankfully, luck seems to be on her side as Hye Young of the house decides to help protect Ha Ni and her mermaid secret.


Luckily, it’s Hye Young that finds Ha Ni and she’s incredibly helpful and nice. I know, it doesn’t sound like the same person, but it is. Hye Young even draws the comparison between Ha Ni and her dead goldfish Julie — that Ha Ni is her reincarnation. Then, Hye Young uses a blow dryer to dry Ha Ni’s tail. And she even keeps members of the shared house, Ji Yong in this case, out of the bathroom, which earns her major points from me. Also, I giggled at Ji Yong explaining that he would just have to go do his business in a bush outside. Sometime’s it’s not the lines on the show, but it’s the way the actors and actresses deliver the lines that keeps me consistently smiling throughout.


Hye Young wants to meet Witch Ahn. Witch Ahn is very suspicious of Hye Young. He even starts threatening her by squeezing her neck. We’re once again reminded how protective of Ha Ni Witch Ahn really is. Although, his methods were a bit extreme. Thankfully, Ha Ni is able to calm down Witch Ahn by reassuring him that Hye Young can be trusted because her family motto means loyalty and trust.



At JH Foods, they have a bulletin posted on their website about an internship position opening. Seeing as they’re the top food conglomerate, it’s a pretty big deal. Once the entire shared house sees the bulletin, they scramble into action. And boy, do I understand and sympathize with their job woes. It doesn’t matter where you’re from – interviewing for jobs is heavy and intimidating. You have to sell yourself, your strengths, and your skills while being truthful. Apparently, getting into the JH Elite study group is also a pretty big deal. Ji Yong thinks that studying with this group will make them a shoe-in for the job. As this is a k-drama, even I know it’s not going to be that easy.


When Hyun Myung arrives, he’s pretty cool and unaffected by the whole JH and Jin Ah situation. He says work is work and personal is personal. Dear Hyun Myung, try as you might, it’s never ever that easy to separate those feelings. If he does get the internship position, it will be interesting to see how he reacts with Jin Ah working in the same building. Would they cross paths? Would they work together? Just how complicated would things get?



On the day of the interviews, Ji Yong and Big are a nervous mess while Hyun Myung is cool as a cucumber. He even reassures the guys. Fighting! To be honest, I love when we get to see Hyun Myung as a confident guy — even if it’s just for a moment.

The applicants are fierce, though. It has to be pretty intimidating that they’re being interviewed by potential JH Foods employees. They have the credentials, background, and family connections.

They shamelessly remind Hyun Myung that he’s been looking for jobs for two years. They find his background lacking, but at least they don’t pull the same shtick that Palsung Foods did. Their credibility doesn’t last long as they tell Big that he has no qualifications whatsoever for the job. Even Ji Yong has a tough time as he’s reminded of his age (30’s). The applicants even joke around and make fun of Ji Yong’s picture.

In the end, Hyun Myung secures the spot.

Ji Yong, on the other hand, is still angry, so he decides to form his own study group with Big.


Meanwhile, Hye Young and Ha Ni go shopping. It’s another human custom she wanted to experience, and she’s practically over the moon with excitement. Also, Ha Ni eats a ton of food — one of which is deokbokki (spicy rice cake). This was number seven on her list of human foods to try. She only has six more foods to try, and we’re only on episode four here.

Hye Young gives Ha Ni the advice that she needs to go to Shi Kyung. She needs to spend time with him in hopes of entering into a romantic relationship. And she needs to do so frequently. I have to say, this is pretty solid advice from Hye Young. Because wanting him from afar and hoping that he’ll change his mind is not going to work. Ha Ni is going to have to use her assertive personality and break through Shi Kyung’s many walls.


Ha Ni goes to JH Food to see her Shi Kyung. Unfortunately, she can’t go in without the proper credentials. Of course, she happens upon an ID badge in the woman’s bathroom. And she sneaks by the security. Yep, convenient plot device is convenient. I see what you did there, k-drama.

The good news is that she finds Shi Kyung and gets a nice view of his behind again. She doesn’t realize that she walked into the guy’s dressing room, but it doesn’t stop her from enjoying the view. She even has a nice little daydream about him in the kitchen pulling his pants down. I can’t say I blame her, either. Be shameless, Ha Ni. Be very shameless.



The bad news is that Ha Ni wanders into one of the kitchens where Jin Ah shows up. So, Ha Ni loses her chance to see Shi Kyung and give him some food.

But she did get a good view, so the trip wasn’t a complete waste for her.


While Ha Ni rants, catches up with Witch Ahn, and tells him what’s happened, she also announces that she’s going to look for a job. Witch Ahn is all for this. Ha Ni needs to experience what living like a human entails. She does think that getting a job won’t be hard, but Witch Ahn warns her that it’s not that easy. And, again, like I’ve said before, it seems that Ha Ni is the type of personality that has to learn some things the hard way because of her stubbornness. FYI, her stubbornness is another reason I like her character because it really makes her determination shine.


Back at the shared house, Hye Young is having another broadcast. This time, she’s dressed like Elsa from Disney’s Frozen.

She’s making pink shaved ice. Ha Ni slowly appears into the frame and Hye Young ends the broadcast. This is much different than the last time where Hye Young attacked her for “ruining” her broadcast.

Hye Young goes over Ha Ni’s resume and tells her that it’s not too bad. She also decides that they should get Ha Ni’s picture re-taken for the resume.



When she shows the resume to the shared house, it is Ji Yong that thinks it’s not that bad. That is until Hyun Myung takes a look at it. Hyung Myun laughs and imitates Ha Ni with her chin up in the picture. Ha Ni lunges at him, but she’s held back. After he leaves the room, Ji Yong tells her, “Leave him alone. He hasn’t been normal since he got dumped.” It’s not funny per se, it’s more so the context and Ji Yong’s tone that had me cackling.

When Hyun Myung returns, removes Ha Ni’s picture from the resume and says, “I’ll look at this whenever I feel depressed.” He runs off and Ha Ni chases after him.

Can I just take a brief moment to express how much I love this show? I didn’t think I would be this invested, but I totally am. It’s been such a fun, witty show so far that it has slightly eased my depression over Marriage, Not Dating ending last month. Yep, I’m still swept up on the Gi Tae/Jang Mi train. I can’t seem to help it.


Ji Yong, Big, and Ha Ni are studying together. Their room is right next to the “Elite” group.

In the Elite room, one of the applicants informs Hyun Myung of various fees. Mock tests, study room, food, and paper copy fees. This will cost roughly $250. That seems a wee bit ridiculous to me, and even Hyun Myung agrees. His monthly income is $300, so $50 dollars is a huge stretch to make it through an entire month.

While this happens, Ha Ni sneaks out of her study room and decides to peep on the Elite group. Once they see her, they chase her off. Ha Ni scowls and begrudgingly leaves. Can I also mention that I totally love her scowl, too? Jo Bo Ah has such great expressions.

Back in the other room, Big and Ji Yong are more interested in playing games than studying. Ha Ni is the one that gets the group back on track. Ha Ni decides she wants her resume picture retaken, and even Ji Yong wants his redone as well. But they’re going to need $250.

“Nevermind. Just give me 50,000 Won and I’ll turn you into Kim Woo Bin.” – Big (referencing his Photoshop skills from photoshopping girl groups for 1o years).

*cackling and rolling on the floor*

Honestly, this show just gets better. The fact that I’m been paying attention enough to know who Kim Woo Bin is makes me insanely happy. Here’s an appreciation gif just because.

Big then tells Ha Ni that if she coughs up 50,000 Won, he’ll turn her into singer and actress, Suzy.

The group starts chanting “photoshop” and the members of the Elite group from the other room find their loudness to be in poor taste.

Hyun Myung gets reprimanded from the group for just copying resources online. Yeah, this group means business apparently. I honestly feel so terrible for Hyun Myung because he is so out of place in this group. These people are so snooty, and it’s extremely frustrating how effortlessly they look down on those around them.

It only gets worse when one of the members of the group accidentally sends a text to Hyun Myung that is about him. The gist states that the group shouldn’t share resources with him anymore. Well, this group just gets snobbier by the minute. They try to say it wasn’t about him, but Hyun Myung isn’t an idiot. If I were him, I wouldn’t want to be studying with these kinds of people. Deep down, he knows it too.


Meanwhile, Big works his photoshop magic and Ha Ni is dazzled by the quick improvements he makes to her original photo. He definitely seems to know his way around photoshop pretty well.


Back at JH Foods, Jin Ah and her co-worker are complaining. Her co-worker gossips about Shi Kyung and says that the reason he acts the way that he does is because he’s gay. And just when you expect it, the Team Leader enters the room in slow mo with SNK playing yet again in the background. She scolds them and assigns them a new task.

Jin Ah drops off paperwork in Shi Kyung’s office. While she’s there, she spots the sparkling scale on his desk. I don’t know about you, but I hope Jin Ah never finds about about Ha Ni’s true identity.

Then, outside of JH Foods, we see the Team Leader and Witch Ahn meet up. Somehow, they know each other pretty well. Since we’re under the impression that Witch Ahn’s wife is either dead or left him in a bad way, Team Leader Kim can’t be his wife. I’m curious if she could be an ex-girlfriend of his or maybe relation to his wife. There are lots of theories floating around on the internet about how they’re acquainted. If you’ve got any theories, please share them and we can discuss away!

He shows her a picture of two kids and says they have grown a lot. One appears to be Witch Ahn’s daughter, but who is the other person? I’ve got to say, I like some of the theories about Team Leader Kim being a mermaid. I really feel that someone in Witch Ahn’s life (whether currently or previously) was a mermaid because of how protective he is with Ha Ni. And, yes, I know he is a father and it could be paternal instincts kicking, but it seems to be more than that. How does Witch Ahn really fit into all this mermaid business in the first place?


As we return to the shared house, Witch Ahn is having a conversation with Ha Ni, Big, and Ji Yong. He finds out that all three of them want to get into JH. Due to his connections, he sets up a meeting with them and the Team Leader he was speaking to the previous night.

Then, the group heads to the fish market. Ha Ni is overjoyed because the smells remind her of home. Shi Kyung also happens to be at the same market in search for ingredients. He witnesses Ha Ni using her knowledge of fish and seafood to prove that one of the sellers isn’t selling “wild caught” but “farm raised. What I love is that Shi Kyung is impressed by what Ha Ni knows. It wasn’t her making a commotion that held his interest — it was the words she was actually saying. Perhaps, they could be foodie kindred spirits?

Ha Ni spots Shi Kyung and literally trips right into him. Yep, it’s a tired and true k-drama cliche. I usually don’t mind it so much, but I wasn’t crazy about it here because Ha Ni isn’t perceived as a klutzy person.

Ji Yong freaks out in regards to their chemistry and runs off. It turns into a parody of Crooked by Gdragon, which I would have never known if I hadn’t stumbled across this lovely gifset on tumblr.




When Hyun Myung finally gets home from studying, all the members of the shared house are sitting outside at the picnic table. He learns that they’re meeting with Team Leader Kim from JH Foods. Big invites Hyun Myung, but he says it’s okay because he has a meeting with his study group.

While at the restaurant with his study group, Hyun Myung is noticeably bored. He’s also feeling the pressure to fit in and his hidden card is saying that he’s going to meet Team Leader Kim that same day.


Witch Ahn, Ha Ni, Big, and Ji Yong are waiting for Team Leader Kim to arrive. Before she does, Hyun Myung shows up and makes up an excuse that he was just walking by and thought he’d check out the meeting. Unfortunately, things get incredibly awkward when Jin Ah comes with Team Leader Kim. When the team leader leaves, Jin Ah basically tells the group that they don’t stand a chance get into JH and that they should just give up. Cold. Heartless. Cruel. This show keeps giving me more and more reasons to dislike her. Aish. Was she ever truly sincere? It seemed like she was a decent person when she lived at the shared house, so what really happened to her? Was it the pressure from her mother? Did she really feel that Hyun Myung was holding her back? Was she actually embarrassed by Hyun Myung’s failed attempts at securing a job?


Elsewhere, Ha Ni shows her credentials to the Elite Group. She begs for them to let her in, but they refuse. They tell her that all she has going for her is her looks. Seeing what’s going on, Hyun Myung comes over to assess the situation. They urge Hyun Myung to send Ha Ni off because she’s a girl without refinement… and she’s stubborn. Hyun Myung tells her to stop it and leave. One of the applicants, very bluntly and unfeeling I might add, tells Ha Ni that she could never get into JH. Hyun Myung thinks they’re being too harsh and says so. He tells them off for judging when they’re just job applicants like everyone else.

Hyun Myung grabs Ha Ni’s hand and they leave. For the first time, we actually see Ha Ni give Hyun Myung a genuine smile.

She’s officially down to 89 days.



  1. I adore your “Surplus Princess” recaps! Glad to see you feeling better and having time to write up this one, too. Anyway, I’m usually in lurk mode, but I wanted to mention the situation with Witch Ahn and the Team Leader. As far as we the viewers know, his wife is dead, but the exact relationship between him and the Team Leader is definitely a confusing one. I had assumed that he just somehow knew her kids (when I originally didn’t notice his daughter in the photograph) or son through his daughter or just a random connection since he has a lot of jobs. Another theory I’ve seen involves the Team Leader being an ex-mermaid, and while that may be a bit unlikely, it would be a twist and would show the whole aspect of “true love” not always lasting as the Team Leader eventually divorced. But then after seeing a few conversations on Twitter last night, I noticed someone propose that maybe Witch Ahn’s wife left him during their marriage for another man – the Team Leader’s ex-husband, and so that’s how the kids would know each other. That made confused as to why Witch Ahn still had his wife’s clothing, but it was pretty old and she could have left suddenly and moved to another country with that man, which would explain why Witch Ahn’s daughter is studying overseas. It would be even more heartbreaking for Witch Ahn if that was the case, but that would make the relationship between Witch Ahn and the Team Leader pretty atypical and certainly interesting. Either way, that theory has made me hope that we get further clarification about that soon.

    1. Thank you so much. This was definitely one of my weaker, less thorough reviews as I wrote a good portion of it from memory while recovering from my ear infections, but I’m so happy you enjoy my recaps! Sometimes I worry and wonder if anyone is actually reading them because it’s the first time I’ve ever tried to review a k-drama on a week-to-week basis, so I’m never sure if I’m doing the series or even k-dramas in general any justice. I used to recap a bunch of American shows before I got hooked on k-dramas and started this blog. Now, 90% of what I watch are k-dramas. 🙂

      You know, as I was writing this up, it completely escaped my mind that we’re under the impression that Witch Ahn’s wife is dead. Thank you for reminding me about that. I’ll have to edit that part a bit. I like all of the theories thrown about in regards to the Team Leader. Her connection to Witch Ahn is definitely confusing, and I find myself trying to figure out how they’re acquainted. I’m very curious because they seem a bit awkward and uncomfortable together, but at the same time they seem to get along fairly well because she granted him the favor to meet up with Ji Yong, Ha Ni, and Big. And I think that’s a pretty huge favor – considering it is her job. So, I also hope we get some more concrete information to figure out the nature of their connection.

      Again, thank you so much for replying. I’ve seen the hit count on my site spike since recapping Surplus Princess, so I can only hope that I’m doing something right. I hope you’ll leave a comment here and there as I love to discuss this show, but if not, I’m still happy knowing that I have at least one person lurking around here! 🙂

      1. Hello again! I’m surprised to hear that about your review since I found it as a thorough as your past ones, and I’m additionally already grateful for your recaps and your writing style for them since “Surplus Princess” isn’t the most covered of shows – a sincere shame since I’ve become obsessed with it. Discussion (in the English language) seems to be scattered around the web in the form of a few personal blogs and OMONA, some Tumblr posts, occasional tweets, a few forum threads, and then the comment sections on streaming sites or AsianWiki/MyDramaList. That’s a bit of a list, but those places usually just have brief comments at random times, and barely anything close to a meta-analysis. So it’s nice to see consistency regarding thoughts over here on your blog.

        I also love your focus on the characters since a lot of those mentioned brief comments tend to be over ship conflict, and there’s certainly a pattern for reasoning and preference, which I can’t fault anyone for having, but it doesn’t provide much of a fill for my need of an SP-fix. Plus, I selfishly do prefer the ship that goes against that emerging pattern in the comments, though I’m still enjoying all of Ha Ni’s encounters, but I feel like my reasoning may be more because it’s cool to see the show developing the assumed endgame (and both relationships, I guess) at a realistic pace, yet in a fun way. Preference for guys aside, I think the majority of the more obvious romantic interactions have also contributed to the ship conflict in the comments, so I hope that more of the past exchanges and aspects of HN, HM, and SK’s personalities will be discussed and referenced to by those same people once HN and HM’s screen time together is as, if not more, obviously notable as HN and SK’s. There’s already an interesting balance of what’s currently going on and the potential/expected course of the story line, but it’s not as observed by many since the show isn’t taken the most seriously. Hopefully, the show will continue to do as well as it’s done lately and properly become a dark horse by the end. No jinx. =X

        Also, random thought I hope you don’t mind me mentioning, but since SP has been on my mind way too much in circumstances featuring limited opportunities for discussion/meta and this one-ep-per-week schedule, I have sort of made a mental wish list for little things in the future episodes of the show. The biggest item on the wish list is probably the scenario of the actual realization by HM that HN is a mermaid, but there are a few gags part of it that would be a shame for me if they were not taken advantage of by being used in the show at some point.

        It would be cool find out/see more of Ha Ni’s sisters, but it would also be sweet if there was a message in an empty bottle of some sort fancy alcoholic drink sent from the 17th sister/Sevlyn to Ha-Ni.

        It seems likely that rain will cause a conflict at some point, and I think that would bethe perfect opportunity for a reference to the rain in “Secret Garden,” if they end up being allowed to use a certain instrumental from there, of course. I assume it’s not impossible because how songs from other networks’ shows’ OST s have been used, some even frequently; but it appears that SBS or a connected party didn’t allow the show to use Kim Soo-Hyun and Jun Ji-Hyun’s faces during the YWCFTS reference at the club (at least based on this gifset:, so a photoshopped bubble was pushed out of the way instead of KSH’s face. Of course, the faces could have just been a gag for a preview rather than meant to be in the show, or the issue could have even just been image-related and wouldn’t apply to music.

        Anyway, I look forward to more of your recaps and thoughts! I hope you get enough[relaxing] time so it’s not too much pressure on your schedule or life.

        1. I think, as far as saying that this was one of my weaker reviews, was more so that I couldn’t delve deeper into the events and characters like I usually do. Maybe it just felt that way to me because I was still a bit under the weather while I was working on this review. I’ve always noticed the lack of all things SP – whether it’s gifs on tumblr or discussions elsewhere. I am also the type that enjoys writing “meta” on the shows that really speak out to me. I really didn’t think SP would be that show, but it’s surprised me from the get go, and I find myself thinking about it frequently.

          It thrills me that you love my focus on the characters. Of course I am a shipper and do have my preferences as well, but I’m also interested in the individual characters. I love to see what motivates them and drives them to do the things that they do. Additionally, I love to see how they handle difficult handles, and more so how they rise up from their mistakes. For me, I try to focus on the whole picture. Shipping is fun and I definitely “ship” when it comes to this drama, but it feels extremely limiting and unsatisfying for me just to focus on romantic relationships. It’s actually really inspiring to read your comments and discuss the show with you, so I think I may be adding even more depth to my reviews.

          I am all for your wish list. I so badly want to see HM learn HN’s secret. Ever since he made that mermaid comment to Jin Ah back in the first episode, I’ve been especially curious to see how he would react. Also, I love your suggestion about Sevlyn sending a message to Ha Ni through an empty alcohol bottle. I love connections and seeing the show come full circle, and it would be a shame if the show didn’t utilize Ha Ni’s sisters as well.

          You know, I never thought about the potential situation of Ha Ni being caught in the rain, or at least in a situation where she had to find a way to go outdoors without getting soaked. I haven’t watched “Secret Garden” yet, but I’m loving all the pop culture reference this drama is showcasing.

          Thank you for leaving yet another motivating comment! Honestly, SP is what I look forward to watching and then reviewing, and while it is a lot of work, it helps me unwind from real life. So, currently, the pressure hasn’t put much strain on life outside of this blog, so I’m more than happy to keep recapping. And, lastly, it’s very nice to know that the work I’m putting into making this enjoyable for myself and everyone does not go unnoticed. Thank you, again!

  2. Ah, I don’t know why I forgot to mention this in my other two posts, but I can’t wait for Ha-Ni’s resume picture to show up again at a time when HM will need cheering up. (The full photoset is over here: Just linking it in case it will help and because the chasing gave me life. XD) That scene and the scene with Ha-Ni, Hye Young, and Witch Ahn were the reasons I ended up downloading the episode.

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