The brief for A Good Day to be a Dog series is to ‘be cute’. We can see it in the pastel colors, in the comedy gags, and in the choice of dogs for the script. A Good Day to be a Dog is aiming to be the new comfort show of the week, and we are loving the silliness of the premise. We admit that, much like Jin Seo Won, we are also scared of dogs, but we are aware that this fear won’t lead us to the love of our lives. However, this show is from Hae Na’s perspective. To a seasoned K-drama watcher, some things must already be evident, and that is what makes this series so fluffy, cute, and stress-free. We know that this is just the first episode, but we have high hopes because we need this kind of show in our lives right now. K-drama Land is delivering, and we are pinning our hopes on that, so here is a recap of episode 1.
Why does Hae Na turn into a dog?
We have heard of generational family trauma getting in the way of healthy dating lives. In the case of Hae Na, it is a family curse. If the people in her family kiss anyone, they turn into a dog within a minute. They can turn back to their human form if the person they kissed before kisses them again, in their dog form, within 100 days of the first kiss. Until then, they will keep turning into dogs from 12 AM to 6 AM every day, and after the 100 days have passed, they will live their lives as dogs. This means that Hae Na can never kiss anyone. That means that, as a grown woman, she is envious of the teenagers in her school, sneaking off into corners to kiss each other, and she keeps cutting them in between. While this curse has stopped Hae Na from having long-term meaningful relationships, it hasn’t stopped her from dating altogether. She went out with a man for a year, but when he wanted to kiss her on their one-year anniversary, she ran away from there, thereby breaking up their relationship. Three years later, he is getting married to her best friend, and that makes Hae Na doubly upset. We wondered whether Hae Na ever tried to tell anyone about her curse. Her sister told a previous boyfriend of hers, and that man did not take it well. He seems to be a cautionary tale for the sisters, and for all intents and purposes, Hae Na has never told anyone what can happen if they try to pursue a relationship with her.
In the present day, despite all her troubles, Hae Na has managed to have a crush on one of her colleagues, Bo Gyeom. He is a sweet man and as cute as the show demands him to be. But there is another teacher, Jin Seo Won, and he seems to dislike Hae Na a lot. He doesn’t talk to her properly and always seems to carry a dismissive attitude towards her. This seems a little unbelievable since he is quite popular with the students, though it is mainly because of his good looks.
One day, the teachers decide to go out for dinner and drinks, and when they are there, Hae Na’s friend acts as her wingwoman and asks Bo Gyeom whether he has a girlfriend. They find that he is single and prefers dating the straightforward way, that is, without any flirting in the “will they, won’t they” phase. Many would say that it is the actual fun part of dating before the inevitable “I like you” is said. Either way, that works out for a drunk Hae Na, and she decides it is a good idea to confess her feelings to Bo Gyeom, which she does and, in a moment of confusion, ends up kissing him as well. But to her horror, she finds that she has kissed the wrong person, and it is Jin Seo Won in front of her instead. It is this shock that reminds Hae Na that she shouldn’t have kissed anyone at all, and she only has one minute before she turns into a dog.
Does Seo Won kiss Hae Na?
Hae Na’s biggest challenge is to get Seo Won drunk at any cost so that he will be open to kissing a dog. Hae Na thinks it is in her favor that when she turns into a dog, she is quite cute. She is to discover that it is not a point in her favor as she is thinking it to be. Firstly, she apologizes to Seo Won about the kiss, and he admits to knowing that it was for Bo Gyeom. If Hae Na is lucky, only Seo Won has realized this, and Bo Gyeom is blissfully unaware because that is an embarrassment that there is no coming back from. Right now, Hae Na is having trouble asking Seo Won to go out with her for drinks because he is just too cold and distant and turns her down all the time. But to Hae Na’s surprise, he accepted her invitation one day, straight out of the blue. That is Hae Na’s chance to turn back to her human self permanently.
When they are out for food, Hae Na finds that if she can get Seo Won drunk on soju, her work would be easier, and therefore, against the rules of common decency and for the sake of her well-being, she mixes his beer with soju when he is not looking. Hae Na’s trick works, and Seo Won is drunk, but her work is only half done. While waiting for the clock to strike midnight, she asks him why he has always hated her, and from what she has said and what we suspect as the audience, we think that Seo Won was already in love with her. When she wanted a particular snack, he didn’t ditch her but went to get it. The same thing was true when she wanted a cake with a particular flavor. Seo Won doesn’t clarify that for Hae Na, but he assures her that he doesn’t hate her. He just can’t tell her the truth since he thinks that she is in love with Bo Gyeom.
At the end of A Good Day to be a Dog episode 1, Hae Na gets Seo Won to come outside just as it is midnight. She has turned into a dog, while Seo Won is looking around for her. As the cute little dog approaches Seo Won, she finds that he is scared of her and is taking many steps back to avoid her. It just means that Seo Won is not going to hold the dog or adorably kiss it, meaning that Hae Na is not going to turn back to humans that night, and her ordeal continues.
The episode is cute, the colors look good, and Cha Eun Woo is doing well as the silent and distant hero, who is already in love with a ‘goofy’ girl. It is a done trope, but in wacky settings like this, with some commitment to cuteness and visuals, it always ends up working, and therefore, A Good Day to be a Dog has started well.