K-Drama Premiere: “Encounter” Begins A Beautiful Story Of Fated Chance Meeting
Stunningly painted in the vibrant and scenic spots of Havana in Cuba, tvN’s Encounter took off with a soothing story that draws gravitational craving.
The wait is definitely worth it for Park Bo Gum and Song Hye Kyo’s much-awaited love pairing in Korean drama Encounter.
Notching impressive nationwide viewership rating, Encounter secured an all-time new high record for the network with 8.6% and 10.2% ratings. On its first two episodes, the amazing feat topped all pay TV platforms including terrestrial channels.
Real and emotional love stories have been making their way to K-Drama landscape. After convincing fans through realistic and heartfelt storytelling, such healing romance theme plots are redefining melodramas.
Joining this new trend is tvN’s Encounter. Not showing any hesitation in picturing the age and social class disparity in the narrative, appears to be the charming point it is heading to. The honest conversations are sedating the viewers to a comfy ride that can be watched with a smile.
Pilot Week Recap
Cha Soo Hyun (Song Hye Kyo) has been a filial daughter for as long as she can remember. A politician’s daughter, she was married off to a son from a rich household. Later on, they got divorced.
After getting a hotel for her alimony, she has been successful in running and building the business. In one of her overseas expansion deal, Soo Hyun visits Havana in Cuba to seal a business deal.
Feeling suffocated, she goes out to see in person if the beautiful sunset picture she saw in her room is true in real life. Unfortunately, her bag is stolen. The sleeping pill she took just before she left the hotel starts kicking in just as she almost falls down from the sunset viewing deck. But with the quick hands of Kim Jin Hyuk (Park Bo Gum), she falls safe leaning on his shoulder.
Fascinated on the stranger who lent his body for her quick slumber, she decides to spend the night away with him. Jin Hyuk, who is on his last night of backpacking trip, obliges with a full heart. From exploring local food, sightseeing and going to salsa dance club, the two have one of the best times of their lives.
They are supposed to meet again the next day, but Soo Hyun gets tied up with her business deal. Luckily, they meet again in the airport, and she offers him business class tickets to which he politely declines.
Later on, Jin Hyuk learns about Soo Hyun’s identity as a hotel owner. To strangely complicate the situation, he receives a call of him getting a job to the same hotel owned by Soo Hyun.
Seeing through Jin Hyuk’s genuine warmth, Soo Hyun subconsciously finds solace in him. Extending the beautiful encounter they shared in Cuba, they agree to go a rest stop to eat some ramyun.
The next day, the two fail to escape the prying eyes of paparazzi as the pictures of them from the rest stop go viral online.
Pilot Week Afterthoughts
Warm and serene were my first thoughts for this series that I have been looking forward to watch. Taking a clear route of presenting a star-crossed romance is commendable. That friendly nudge of how the story will hurt, hence everyone should be forewarned is greatly appreciated. Let’s hope it will keep its pragmatic bearing to ensure the story and characters grounded and relatable.
I am enjoying the reversal of roles taken in the age and maturity level, with Song Hye Kyo taking the lead, while Park Bo Gum provided the charming scenes. Moreover, that same pretext appeared to be the igniting point of how Jin Hyuk’s c’est-la-vie-character would become a sanctuary to Soo Hyun’s emotionally broken self.
Risk and all that deviation from standard Korean romance drama, Encounter so far shined – with how polished the character sketching are for the main leads of the story.
That Cha Soo Hyun scene of marveling at the stunning sunset metaphorically unveils the beautiful things she has been missing even with her privileged life. The lyrical screenplay introducing Kim Jin Hyuk’s characters has thrown ruminative lines that uplift one’s weary soul.
I like that Encounter laid its cards right away so I know what I will be expecting. Park and Song have proven their commanding presence by bringing to life the sentiments of their characters.
Sure we have seen stories taking the chance encounter plot. But often times, the romantic trajectory seems rush that viewers would only remember that part they meet, and forget the little details that spark the fated meeting.
That is what I find amazing with its writing. It has thus far capitalized on providing a clear understanding of what the characters are in preparation of how they will move throughout the series.
Encounter airs on Wednesday-Thursday spot of tvN, with a 24-hour release via tvN Asia every Thursday and Friday.
Fans can also watch it on VIU.
ABOUT THE WRITER
abbyinhallyuland reads and sleeps a lot when she is not traveling. Her calendar reminders are mostly K-Drama broadcast schedules and birthdays of her favorite Korean actors. Promoting K-Drama watching as stress therapy is her life advocacy. She is fond of Spencer Reid, Gregory House, Kenshin Himura, Starwars saga, Haruki Murakami and Hunter x Hunter.
Recommended Korean Dramas: Reply 1988, Nine, Misaeng, Gaksital, Discovery of Love, Because This is My First Life, Descendants of the Sun, My Love from the Star, Healer, Punch, You’re Beautiful, Coffee Prince, Princess Hours, The Greatest Love, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, City Hunter, and The Smile Has Left Your Eyes.