[Recap] Twelve Men in a Year Ep. 1 – 일년에 열두남자 1회

Okay, I’ve decided.  There doesn’t seem to be anyone who will be subbing this drama due to some licensing issues so I’ve decided to start a recap for those who want to follow along.  Not sure with what frequency, I will be able to get these all out so please be patient and I will complete them.


In the midst of a war scene, Na Mi roo (Yoon Jin Seo) is reporting to a camera.  This is the story of her journalism career as soldiers are dying and bombs are exploding.  Unfortunately, the war claims Mi Roo’s life as well and she’s still reporting as she lays dying.

NOT!  A voiceover tells us, this is not the end of the road for Mi Roo.  She’s merely dreaming and falls out bed wondering what it all means.  Does that mean she’s going to die without making her dreams come true?

Meet Na Mi Roo, believes in the fate of astrology, 29 years old, virgin.  Buuut, she’s not a virgin.  She lives with her boyfriend, Cha Jin Oh (Ohn Joo Wan).

Mi Roo stands outside with a very, eager crowd of women.  Although there’s one who doesn’t know why she’s there, her best friend, Park Tan Ya (Go Joon Hee).  Leo, doesn’t care what other people think, a free spirit.

Mi Roo is fighting the crowds because Tan Ya told her that she saw her boyfriend buying a diamond ring because he plans to propose.  In order to reciprocate for their anniversary, she needs to have an expensive gift ready.  (I’m not sure why she needs to match her boyfriend’s gift but I guess it’s considered a faux-pas in Korea.  Koreans and their love of brand names.)  A 30% sale at the mall prompts her to make a dash for a luxury, Swiss watch, Black Friday style.

Only the 30% off sale is for the first 3 customers and she’s… 4th in line.  She asks the girl in front of her if she knows her.  She doesn’t.  Does the sales girl know her? No.  Mi Roo: “I don’t know you either!”  She slams down the cash, grabs the watch and runs off.  Haha.

Amongst a romantic table setting, the two celebrate their 1 year anniversary.  “The first guy, Capricorn: Meticulous at work, Meticulous in dating, Meticulous in everything.”  Mi Roo hands over her gift first and he’s moved by it.

Jin Oh has prepared several boxes of varying size.  It’s like the Goldilocks of gifts.  She opens the biggest first.  A set of pots.  It’s because Jin Oh saw her eyeing them on the home shopping channel.  Medium box?  Frozen foods.  What’s the use of having the pots when you don’t have the ingredients.

Finally, it’s time for the small box which she hopes will be just right.

Instead, it’s two small bottles of oil.  Lol.  Oops.  Someone definitely missed the mark because present time is over and Jin Oh heads for the shower.

That’s it, Mi Roo has had enough.  He’s missed all their momentous occasions because he skipped it, he had to work late or pass of a gift certificate instead of a real gift.  A relationship is about give and take and she’s gonna “give” it back to him.

Smelling something frying, Jin Oh asks what deliciousness Mi Roo is frying.  She doesn’t respond.  He smiles warmly, takes out a diamond ring and slips it onto her finger.  Mi Roo is taken aback and feeling guilty.

No!!!  She leaps up and runs into the kitchen.  In a pot of oil is a batter-fried watch.  The watch should be okay, right?  It’s made of sapphire crystal and can go 300m underwater.  ROFL.  She’s insane but hilarious. And I love that you could literally see steam coming off the fried timepiece.

Jin Oh wonders what has gotten into Mi Roo.  She explains that it’s all about give and take.  But what if he was poor and couldn’t afford a ring?  Does that mean poor people have no right to fall in love?  She tries to ease his anger but nothing will do.  He’s had enough of always trying to match her whims.  He wants to end things and she doesn’t take too kindly to that.  She tries to kick him out.  Only it’s his place so she gets kicked out instead.

She goes to Tan Ya’s place and Tan Ya can only laugh at the story.  Mi Roo tries to blame Tan Ya.  Why did Tan Ya make Mi Roo anticipate the ring so much?  Tan Ya makes it plain and clear that there was nothing wrong with what Tan Ya said because there was in fact a ring.  It was Mi Roo’s impatience that caused her to react first instead of thinking through it.  Why is she together with Jin Oh anyways?  They fight all the time.  Tan Ya predicts that they’ll get back together 2 days later but Mi Roo tells her that the breakup is for good this time.

Tan Ya doesn’t believe that people are able to stay together for 50 years and keep the passion alive.  It’s always women who cling to men because they’re afraid of ending up alone.  Instead of wallowing in sadness, Tan Ya suggests that they drink to Mi Roo’s new single status.  And she’s been dying to try absinthe.  Mi Roo gulps down the strong liquor and promptly passes out from it.

The next morning, Mi Roo wakes up to realize that she’s late for an interview and rushes out.  But she’s too late.  The interviewee already left for a seminar.  At the office, 3 other journalist are giggling over a name: Jang Duk Ja.  Their laughing irritates Mi Roo as they should be getting ready for their meeting.  But who is Jang Duk Ja anyways?  Their new editor’s real name.  What?  Mi Roo now finds it hilarious and can’t stop laughing… but she’s standing right behind her.  Awkwards!

Double X Magazine’s new editor goes by Michelle Jang (Choi Soo Rin).  Immediately, the meeting starts and she gets down to business asking the writers about their assignments.  Uh oh, look who doesn’t have her homework today.  Michelle tells her that if she can’t come prepared then maybe someone else can do her assignment.  Just how many assignments does Reporter Na have?  Just 2: Today’s Horoscope and the monthly food column.  Since other reporters are working on at least 8, Mi Roo is not pulling her weight and at the bottom of the hungry, reporter pack.

Michelle announces that Double X has secured famous, internet sex columnist, Sofia, for a whole year.  Since she guards her anonymity, no one knows what she looks like.  Now that Mi Roo has no other assignments, she can be responsible for getting Sofia’s monthly column from her.

Even Tan Ya know who Sofia is but Mi Roo not too happy about the task, making her more of errand person rather than a writer.  Tan Ya asks where Mi Roo is and she replies that she’s almost home.  Home?  Mi Roo forgot and accidentally ended up in front of Jin Oh’s place.

The next day, Mi Roo waits for Sofia at a café.  Except Mi Roo is actually hoping that Jin Oh would call and text her.  She gets a text and eagerly checks it.  Nope, it’s a text from Sofia.  “Knit hat… The person who just picked up the phone.  You’re Reporter Na, right?”  Mi Roo looks around and outside there’s a person in a big hat, sunglasses, wrapped up in a big scarf.

Sitting across from Mi Roo, Sofia just texts her part of the conversation.  She apologizes saying that she’s got a habit of checking everything around her.  Mi Roo says it’s okay because Sofia must remain anonymous if she wants to be able to continue writing.  However, Sofia gives the excuse that she’s really sick so she hasn’t written the column yet.  It’s very awkward between the two of them.  Sofia sees her rings and asks about it but Mi Roo denies having a boyfriend.  Mi Roo then asksa bout Sofia’s sign.  “Do you know that saying?  When a person is born, a star is born.  When a person dies, a star also dies.”  Sofia doesn’t know it but that’s because Mi Roo said it.  Ha.

Mi Roo is nervous at the awkwardness so she continues.  Like the Three Wise Men who used the stars to find the Baby Jesus and famous astrologer, Chiero, who predicted his own death using astrology, Mi Roo believes in astrology.  When bad things happen there’s a reason in the stars.  Sofia puts her down—in sadness?

Sofia texts her back later saying that she will send the column to the office by messenger.  Excited, Mi Roo thinks what luck, did she step in dung?  Yup, she did.

Mi Roo arrives at her usual café, Café Star Space.  Tan Ya is eager to find out about Sofia.  There are so many rumors about her.  Her face got totally messed up due to plastic surgery, she’s a former nun, she’s a man.  Forget it, Mi Roo’s not in the mood.  Tan Ya supposes that she wants to call Jin Oh.  She meant what she said and she’s not looking back.  So what’s with the ring?  She’s going to give it back.

Tan Ya immediately starts looking around the café to see if there are any other decent men that can get Mi Roo out of her slump.  She’s not interested but just then their barista, Gwan Woo (Kim Sung Je), brings Mi Roo an espresso with a smiley face on it.  It puts a smile on Mi Roo’s face.  Tan Ya points to Gwan Woo.  Him?

Mi Roo wonders what’s up with Tan Ya.  In order to get over a guy, you just need to get back in the sack again.  Tan Ya points to another guy (Kim Da Hyun) sitting up on the mezzanine level by himself in front of a giant zodiac calendar.  What about him?

Mi Roo stares a bit too long which prompts Tan Ya to play wing-woman.  Mi Roo’s embarrassed but she can’t stop Tan Ya.  So she escapes.

At work, Jin Oh gets a call from Mi Roo’s mom.  Just then a strange woman walks into the hotel wrapped up from head to toe, similar to Sofia.  She drags her high-heeled feet towards reception.  Oh Ha era (Bae Geu Rin) asks about her reservation.  She’s got the suite room and tries to reach for the key, except she can’t reach that far.  It looks like she in pain but she hobbles towards the elevators.  Jin Oh’s curious that the strange woman is staying in the suite room?  She’s a VIP guest who will be staying in the expensive room for 3 months.

Mi Roo is trying to reach Sofia who hasn’t delivered on the promise to send in the column.  Her mother calls to remind her about dinner at home that night.  Mi Roo protests but her mom remains firm.  Mi Roo reports to Michelle that Sofia hasn’t sent in the article yet.  Michelle reprimands Mi Roo suggesting that maybe journalism isn’t her strong suit.  Arghanistan and Palestine aren’t the only battlegrounds; this is a battleground too.  Should Michelle give this assignment to someone else?  Mi Roo refuses to let another assignment slip out of her hands and promise that she’ll get her column first thing the next morning.

After some research, Mi Roo learns that Sofia has a local spot where she gets her Tang Soo Yook.  Despite some heckling from her co-worker, Mi Roo is determined to find it and goes outside to look for a cab.  A cop comes up to her and asks if she’s Na Mi Roo.  Yes.  He grabs her and puts her in a his squad car.  Mi Roo argues, “What kind of cop kidnaps random people?  Do you know who I am?”  He does.  She’s Na Mi Roo, 29 years old, works at Double X, a bad tempered woman who’d rather die than listen to her mom.

He drives her right to the front door of her house where her mom (Yang Geum Suk) is waiting for her.  Her mom’s a higher ranking officer who orders hoobaes to bring her daughter home.  OMG, that’s so embarrassing.

Mi Roo’s mortified and she comes in to see her dad at the grill and… Jin Oh eating at the table?  What is he doing here?  He tells her to just be quiet and eat the meat.

Mi Roo’s mom doesn’t understand why Mi Roo doesn’t know what Jin Oh’s been up to lately.  Jin Oh sees that Mi Roo is still wearing the ring he gave her but then her dad asks if Jin Oh still visits Mi Roo’s place.  The parents are unaware that they were living together.  Yes, he does and her father is pleased.  It’s good if a boyfriend visits his girlfriend often, especially if she’s living alone.  Mi Roo’s mom is shocked because they’re not married.  I thought the cop car delivery service was bad but how can you swallow that food after that mortifying conversation? Especially since you’re no longer together.

After dinner, Mi Roo asks why is he here if he said that he didn’t care to see her again. Did he miss her after not seeing her for a couple of days?  He’s quick to say that he put their apartment on the market and moved to a place closer to work.  He doesn’t want to drag things out.  Hurt, she asks if he came here to tell her about that?  He says that Mi Roo’s mom begged him to come over.  What was he supposed to do?  Mi Roo scoffs and says why not tell the truth?  That he dumped her because he got tired of her.  He insists that he didn’t dump her, that they agreed to breakup.  He asks for the ring back and she returns it.

“The first guy, Capricorn: Meticulous at work, Meticulous in dating, Meticulous in everything.  If he can no longer be meticulous, a nitpicky man.”

Upset, she leaves and Jin Oh quickly leaves with her.  In a cab, Mi Roo is teary-eyed as she heads to the Korean-Chinese restaurant to track down Sofia.  She describes Sofia to people there and the delivery guy tells her where she lives.

Mi Roo rings the bell but no one’s home.  While she waits, she calls Tan Ya who’s at a club.  Roo asks if she can continue to live with Tan Ya but she can’t hear her over the music.  She can’t go back to her old place because there are too many memories with Jin Oh there.  Tan Ya: “Is something wrong?  Where are you?”  Mi Roo tells her nevermind and hangs up.

A man in a hoodie walks up to the door which is not what Mi Roo expected.  It’s supposed to be Sofia’s apartment.  Disturbed by the stranger at his door, he quickly retreats inside.  She thinks back over her life because the man she loves is no longer with her. She sadly thinks about how she’s now going to be jobless but then the guy pops his head out.

Sofia has gone to Africa.  She’s Lee Joon’s (Lee Yong Woo) older sister.  He says that his sister told him about Na Mi Roo because if she shows up, she wanted him to tell her something.  “The stars don’t determine fate.  It’s people.”  Mi Roo takes out her planner and asks for his signature.  He’s a writer and she’s a fan.  He asks that she remain discrete about the identity of her sister.

Leaving the apartment building, Mi Roo receives a text from Sofia apologizing for the fact that she disappeared.  She no longer needs the Sofia name anymore so Mi Roo can throw it away or take it.  So what’s a K-Drama heroine to do in a situation like this?  Belt it out at the karaoke place.

Unfortunately, it reminds her of when Jin Oh sang for her and gave her a couple ring.  She drags the karaoke owner to sing with her but he sings upbeat songs.  She’s just not in the mood and sobs instead.

Returning to the loft, she wonders how her life got so messed up.  Just then Michelle calls asking for another status report.  Michelle doesn’t need to hear more excuses.  Either Mi Roo puts the column on her desk first thing the next morning or a letter of resignation.

Drunk, Mi Roo sits down in front of her computer and aims to write Sofia’s column herself.  What to write about?  She doesn’t have erotic expertise like Sofia.  Or does she?  Write what you know: her relationship with Jin Oh.

Mi Roo writes that having sex with Jin Oh wasn’t that great.  She often thought about other men during it.  Other guys would have probably lasted longer than his mere 10 minutes.  And they aren’t stingy or throw tantrums in order to get a diamond ring back.



I can’t comment too much about this first episode because I’m more than halfway through the drama and I feel that my bias would weigh drastically on the beginning.  However, I will say that I didn’t take to Mi Roo’s character at first.  Jin Oh has every right to breakup with you because that was a totally insane thing to do.   It was hilarious but mental hospital insane.  Mi Roo seems very whiny.  But I love Tan Ya.  She’s a fun character and doesn’t wait for life to happen to her.  She goes out there and seizes it.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that Tan Ya is without flaws but she’s a great friend for Mi Roo to have as she’ll be able to help Mi Roo in her quest.

Already, I suspect that Lee Joon is the mysterious Sofia.  The question is how did he start on writing an internet column on sex?  And why the ruse?

So far, I’m liking that the formula of the drama is laid out and I can’t wait to see the other 11 men lined up in Mi Roo’s path.  The drama is witty and it reminds me more of Sex and the City.  Carrie was a writer who wrote about her exploits.  Similar to Mi Roo, Carrie wasn’t my most favorite character in that show and I think it was because of the fact that characters like these are more reflective rather than active.  Aided by Mi Roo’s hilarious imagination though, it helps to digest what’s going on with her.


6 thoughts on “[Recap] Twelve Men in a Year Ep. 1 – 일년에 열두남자 1회

  1. @Iviih Actually I saw the first episode subbed at epdrama.
    Thanks for taking the time to recap it. I find cable dramas these days to be so much more entertaining and better written/directed that main cables. I just wish more people subbed them. 😦
    Do you know if it’ll be licensed anytime soon on Dramafever? I’m also anticipating The Marriage Plot as well, have you heard about it?


    • Great, I’m glad that there are people actually subbing it. It’s a great drama that speaks to our generation. Yeah, I’ve also been digging the cable dramas as well but I suspect because you have to pay for the cable service it’s a bit harder to get these shows licensed and shown freely on the web. I don’t know about Dramafever though. I asked someone I knew over at Viki who informed me of the license issue. It’s not consistent though. Some cable shows get by while others don’t.

      I’ve been seeing the previews for The Marriage Plot while watching this show. I would say the preview though is a little misleading and people should watch the full trailer. I got the Mr. & Mrs. Smith from the preview while the trailer is more of a matchmaking scheme. I’m probably going to check it out.


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