We have a smorgasbord of likable character in Shopping King Louie and I am thrilled to be recapping Seo In Guk’s latest drama. So join me as I talk about happy go lucky granny boys, plucky heroines, and the ugliest designer tracksuit since Secret Garden.
For those of you just discovering our awesome blog, I am Kmuse, one of the main bloggers at Dramas with a Side of Kimchi. I will be co-recapping this drama with Drama Rookie. So expect me on the odd episodes, and Drama Rookie will be covering the even. So happy she is coming out of blogger semi-retirement to recap this show! A little about me: I am a mother of three and an avid kdrama watcher, in that I love to watch literally everything. There are very few currently airing dramas that I am not watching so if you have any questions about them (or really any drama since I have seen an insane amount) feel free to ask me in the comments. Or better yet come like our Facebook page and ask me there. FB PAGE LINK For those of you who have not read my past recaps, I am one of those bloggers that really likes to just discuss my opinions on certain scenes or concepts of the drama. I don’t go step by step through the whole thing. So if you are looking for a complete recap you might have to look elsewhere (and then come back and read ours of course).
I was not positive if I would be recapping this drama. I had just finished my last Seo In Guk recap a few weeks ago and wondered if I was burned out. But Drama Rookie gave me that push I needed to realize I was talking crazy. Of course, we need to celebrate the joy that is Seo In Guk. I am so glad she convinced me because Episode 1 was so much fun. So here we are beginning a new chapter in the filmography of Seo In Guk, so without further ado…
SQUEEE!!! Another wonderful Seo In Guk character to fall in love with. And Louie is so lovable right off the bat. Rather than being your usual kdrama cranky and entitled chaebol, Louie is nice to his staff, happy with life, and even his serious side doesn’t go too far into the emo range.
Sent to France as a young child (more on that later), Louie is coddled to the nth degree by his staff. He lives to shop, shop, and yes, more shopping. He shops so much that he is known among the highest elites as “The Shopping King”.
Louie buys only the rarest items due to his super ability to find everything unique. Bestie Butler calls this “inframince,” the ability to spot the best of the best. Louie even describes it as the rare finds actually talk to him which is how he decides what is worth purchasing. The shopping trip all occurs while being watched by his Bestie Butler who makes sure Louie doesn’t do anything dangerous. And by dangerous, I mean he can’t even get a nosebleed without his grandmother being informed and a private doctor called post haste.
Just because I love Seo In Guk. Enjoy the beauty of SIG in a bubble bath and enjoying his luxurious lifestyle in a slide show. So much pretty.
I can already tell that the butler, who is Louie’s one and only friend/confidant, is going to be a fan favorite. These two bring co-dependency to a whole new and crazy level. Hired by Louie’s grandmother to stand in as a caregiver and make sure Louie is raised how she wants. He does everything for Louie and makes sure that nothing harms or upsets our pampered heir. They are together so much that they both blame the other for their single and friendless status. Pwahaha.
You might think that Bestie Butler’s constant nagging would cause a wedge between the rich chaebol and himself. Thankfully, we have escaped that trope and Louie treats his Butler as family and is very considerate of his needs. The scene where the two are running all over the grounds because Louie is trying to avoid drinking herbal tea was so entertaining. They truly are a pair and I can’t wait to see what kind of hijinks they get themselves into.
Poor Grandma. Our uber rich head of the family dotes on her grandson to a terrifying degree. After her husband, son, and daughter-in-law pass away, a shaman told Grandma that she was death to everyone she loved. Hence why she sent Louie away as far as she could so he wouldn’t get her bad death vibes.
I feel bad for Grandma’s plight. But am happy that she is a very likable character. It is almost shocking at how nice everyone is. Grandma, Joong Won, and Louie all seem very personable despite their entitled lifestyles. It must be a kdrama first.
Ma Ri is a girl from a good Korean family who has marriage expectations with Louie. She calls him once a week and asks about his health and the weather. Louie is NOT enamored and thinks it is ridiculous that he would be expected to marry someone who obviously sees him as an obligation. Which is what Louie firmly tells her when she calls for her weekly check-in. I loved Louie expression of disgust at the thought of an arranged marriage.
Country girl moves to the city and has culture shock is the simplified story of Bok Sil’s character. At the beginning of the episode, we see Bok Sil living in the backwoods with her grandmother and younger brother. This is an area with no electricity or extravagances. The only hint of fancy is the brother’s fake designer track suit that he had scrimped and saved for.
Despite her humble surroundings, Bok Sil seems to be happy living a simplified life with her family. Unfortunately for Bok Sil, a documentary crew filming her old-fashioned lifestyle puts “strange modern ideas” into her brother’s head and he ditches them for the city lights. Soon after, Bok Sil’s grandmother also passes away so she heads to the City to find her wayward brother.
Bok Sil might be strong in country smarts, but her street smarts need a little work. She doesn’t even make it off the train to Seoul before her luggage is stolen by a little old lady who fakes a coughing fit. The only thing left of value is the 50-year-old Ginseng she had just found in the forest before her grandmother’s death. Wild Ginseng is insanely expensive. Her’s would go for around $5000 to the right buyer.
Desperate, Bok Sil corners an affluent mark departing the train. A mark who happens to be Joong Won (our 2nd lead). He gives her $100 and promises to give her the rest once he has the ginseng authenticated. Joong Won assumes that she is a charlatan trying to scam him for money and has no interest in authenticating the wild root.
My first words when this character was introduced, “I hate the barely there stache. NO NO NO.” But surprisingly it grew on me by the end of the episode. Maybe I should say, the character grew on me throughout the show.
Joong Won was really what I was expecting Louie to be like. The hard hearted chaebol with a hidden heart of gold. Sure we are predisposed to be annoyed with Joong Won’s constant yelling at his staff and impossible business ideals.
But after Joong Won’s run-in with Bok Sil, who convinces our cold businessman to buy her 50-year-old ginseng, I could see how he will grow to be likable. If nothing else, he gave me a great laugh when he described Bok Sil as a swarthy person when she blocked his path in the train station.
Important Scenes to Note
We really should do a blog post just on the importance of the Korean tracksuit to Asian dramas because we see them in abundance in Dramaland. Such is the case with Shopping King Louie. The only difference is that Louie, unlike all the knockoff tracksuits of the same design, owns the uber special #1 ( out of 100) limited edition tracksuits. These tracksuits go up in price depending what number you bought. Louie’s is the most expensive at the price of $10,000. It also has the number one designed into the back of the jacket to indicate it’s importance. Personally, I find it ugly as sin.
Louie is such a valued customer of a Parisian high-end store that they custom make a pair of underwear with his name stitched on the butt and a huge diamond marking his frontal zone. It is, of course, one of a kind. I laughed… blushed… and then laughed some more.
This has got to be one of my all time favorite “discovering love” moments of all time. Louie is watching TV in France when the documentary of Bok Sil and her country lifestyle comes on. With his keen eye for true gems, Louie becomes enamored and romantic music starts blasting in case we misread his look of total infatuation.
I can not wait for these two to meet up in real life.
A Horrible Dream
The next night we see Louie all dressed in black, OH MY WORD SEO IN GUK IS SO HOT, sneaking around. He sulks throughout the house until he tries to leave through the front doors and alarm sounds. Rushing back upstairs, Louie goes to his bedroom windows and jumps, escaping from his captors and going into the woods.
Did I mention he was hella hot in this scene? Seo In Guk in a black ball cap is one of the best things ever. Just when you think our pampered puppy has escaped his leash, we flash to grandma’s bedroom where she wakes up from a horrible dream.
And then promptly passes out again. Hospitalized, she calls for Louie to come home and take his place as the head of the family before she dies.
Louie rushes back to Korea, minus his Butler who couldn’t get a ticket on the same flight. But Louie should be fine since he is an adult…. right?
Flash forward to an unidentifiable amount of time in the future. Bok Sil is searching the streets for her brother, handing out fliers with his picture, wearing the tracksuit, plastered on the front.
Bok Sil suddenly hears a group of people muttering about a beautiful flower boy and money landing inside a cup. All Bok Sil sees is that ugly tracksuit so she rushes to see if it is her brother. There before her lies Louie. A very hot homeless looking Louie.
I love this drama to bits. I love that all the characters are likable and that for once our leading man chaebol is not a total ass who needs to discover the good inside. That alone would make me support this show. Luckily, it is also cleverly written and truly entertaining to watch.
My only complaint would be the muted color pallet that the director decided to use. I wish I could see my sexy leading man (and the rest of it too) in bright defined tones that truly show off Seo In Guk’s beauty. Luckily, I hear from various fronts, that the colors get better in episode two. With that in mind, I am going to say adieu so I can see what scampy hijinks our shopping king gets into next.
You can find the latest episodes of Shopping King Louie HERE.
Til next week,