Human Disqualification: Episode 1

Human Disqualification, the newest offering from JTBC, gives us a solid premiere that centers on two lost souls played by Jeon Do-yeon and Ryu Joon-yeol. We spend this episode getting to know our disillusioned leads individually while they navigate a particularly rough day involving a tragedy and a police summons respectively. The tone is melancholic and introspective as we glimpse into the lives of two people going through the motions, resigned to the hand they’ve been dealt.

 

EPISODE 1: “The right to be human”

We open on KANG-JAE (Ryu Joon-yeol) entering a love hotel with a woman. In voiceover, BU-JUNG (Jeon Do-yeon) tells someone that she’s been thinking about what qualifies one to be human.

Shortly after Kang-jae and the woman enter their room, a timer on Kang-jae’s phone goes off. He politely informs her that their time is up and declines her request to extend their session since he has another client waiting. Also, taking this further would be illegal.

The woman laughs but doesn’t push further. She leaves him a gift before walking out. Kang-jae’s professional smile vanishes once the woman leaves, and he collapses onto the bed.

Bu-jung continues that this right to be human is only given to those who abide by society’s rules. Only those people are allowed to get angry at the world, criticize, or feel despair. “The right that you have, and I don’t.

Kang-jae lies on the bed, ignoring his ringing phone. He later gets up and opens the gift which looks like an expensive handkerchief. He stares dispassionately into the mirror while Bu-jung wonders if that world of qualified humans even exists.

After getting a text, Kang-jae calls his friend DDAK-YI (Yoo Soo-bin) who is in tears about someone named Jung-woo. He can’t even get out what’s wrong. Kang-jae says Jung-woo was crying just now in his dream and wonders if it’s because he felt sorry.

Ddak-yi is huddled in his bathroom with the sink running and promises to call Kang-jae back. In the other room, Ddak-yi’s sister SOON-KYU (Jo Eun-ji) is setting up their parents’ memorial table with her friend (or possibly partner) WOO-NAM (Yang Dong-geun).

While Kang-jae is on the way to his next appointment, Ddak-yi calls back but can’t seem to say anything. He pulls himself together enough to say that the police called him because they couldn’t get in touch with anyone else. “He’s dead, isn’t he?” Kang-jae asks.

Ddak-yi explains that Jung-woo’s car was fished out of a reservoir. He and a woman were found holding hands with a scarf tied around their wrists. It doesn’t seem like an accident.

At a ritzy apartment complex, Bu-jung takes a bath in the residential bath house before entering one of the rooms to begin cleaning. Meanwhile, Kang-jae meets up with MIN-JUNG (Sohn Na-eun) and tells her about Jung-woo. When her primary concern is that Kang-jae won’t get his money back, he calls her heartless.

He preps her for their meeting, explaining a situation where he was hired to act as a woman’s family member and met her a few more times. Things grew complicated when her boyfriend’s wife saw him going into the house. She’s apparently seeing the husband of her friend.

Kang-jae is having Min-jung pose as his girlfriend so that word will get back to the guy. The woman has a taste for the finer things and doesn’t want to break it off with the married boyfriend.

Elsewhere, Bu-jung is kicked out by her rich, young employer because a guest is arriving soon. On her way out, Bu-jung hears a woman loudly complaining at the front desk about a cleaning lady using the residents’ bath facility.

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Human Disqualification: Episode 1

Human Disqualification, the newest offering from JTBC, gives us a solid premiere that centers on two lost souls played by Jeon Do-yeon and Ryu Joon-yeol. We spend this episode getting to know our disillusioned leads individually while they navigate a particularly rough day involving a tragedy and a police summons respectively. The tone is melancholic and introspective as we glimpse into the lives of two people going through the motions, resigned to the hand they’ve been dealt.

EPISODE 1: “The right to be human”

 

We open on KANG-JAE (Ryu Joon-yeol) entering a love hotel with a woman. In voiceover, BU-JUNG (Jeon Do-yeon) tells someone that she’s been thinking about what qualifies one to be human.

Shortly after Kang-jae and the woman enter their room, a timer on Kang-jae’s phone goes off. He politely informs her that their time is up and declines her request to extend their session since he has another client waiting. Also, taking this further would be illegal.

The woman laughs but doesn’t push further. She leaves him a gift before walking out. Kang-jae’s professional smile vanishes once the woman leaves, and he collapses onto the bed.

Bu-jung continues that this right to be human is only given to those who abide by society’s rules. Only those people are allowed to get angry at the world, criticize, or feel despair. “The right that you have, and I don’t.

Kang-jae lies on the bed, ignoring his ringing phone. He later gets up and opens the gift which looks like an expensive handkerchief. He stares dispassionately into the mirror while Bu-jung wonders if that world of qualified humans even exists.

After getting a text, Kang-jae calls his friend DDAK-YI (Yoo Soo-bin) who is in tears about someone named Jung-woo. He can’t even get out what’s wrong. Kang-jae says Jung-woo was crying just now in his dream and wonders if it’s because he felt sorry.

Ddak-yi is huddled in his bathroom with the sink running and promises to call Kang-jae back. In the other room, Ddak-yi’s sister SOON-KYU (Jo Eun-ji) is setting up their parents’ memorial table with her friend (or possibly partner) WOO-NAM (Yang Dong-geun).

While Kang-jae is on the way to his next appointment, Ddak-yi calls back but can’t seem to say anything. He pulls himself together enough to say that the police called him because they couldn’t get in touch with anyone else. “He’s dead, isn’t he?” Kang-jae asks.

Ddak-yi explains that Jung-woo’s car was fished out of a reservoir. He and a woman were found holding hands with a scarf tied around their wrists. It doesn’t seem like an accident.

At a ritzy apartment complex, Bu-jung takes a bath in the residential bath house before entering one of the rooms to begin cleaning. Meanwhile, Kang-jae meets up with MIN-JUNG (Sohn Na-eun) and tells her about Jung-woo. When her primary concern is that Kang-jae won’t get his money back, he calls her heartless.

 

He preps her for their meeting, explaining a situation where he was hired to act as a woman’s family member and met her a few more times. Things grew complicated when her boyfriend’s wife saw him going into the house. She’s apparently seeing the husband of her friend.

Kang-jae is having Min-jung pose as his girlfriend so that word will get back to the guy. The woman has a taste for the finer things and doesn’t want to break it off with the married boyfriend.

Elsewhere, Bu-jung is kicked out by her rich, young employer because a guest is arriving soon. On her way out, Bu-jung hears a woman loudly complaining at the front desk about a cleaning lady using the residents’ bath facility.

 

Bu-jung doesn’t say a word as she approaches the front desk to return her key. The woman sees her and continues pointedly badmouthing her. She only stops to ogle the famous actor that walks in and ask if he lives here now.

At work, Bu-jung’s husband JUNG-SOO (Park Byung-eun) takes a call from his mom who is desperately trying to get ahold of Bu-jung. He then heads to the supermarket floor to deal with a difficult customer.

At the morgue, Ddak-yi and Kang-jae stand outside the room while Jung-woo’s companion’s mother wails over her daughter Hee-sun’s body. It seems like Jung-woo might’ve been the father of Hee-sun’s son, although her family claims not to know him.

Then, Ddak-yi and Kang-jae’s turn. Kang-jae hangs back while Ddak-yi identifies Jung-woo’s body. Afterward, they retrieve his belongings.

When Ddak-yi calls Soon-kyu to say he won’t be home tonight, Kang-jae warns him to be good to his sister so he doesn’t end up like Jung-woo. Ddak-yi wonders if things might’ve been different had Jung-woo had a mother. Hee-sun had a whole family to grieve for her.

Jung-woo had always felt empty. Wouldn’t he still feel that way knowing only the two of them showed up when he died?

Kang-jae recalls Jung-woo mentioning a father and sister and wonders why they didn’t show. He swears he won’t stand in for family at a funeral and then gruffly asks how much it would cost to hold one. Ddak-yi smiles and scooches closer to his prickly friend while Kang-jae grumbles at him to stop.

That night, Jung-soo frantically bangs on the door – he’s been locked out – as his mother MIN-JA (Shin Shin-ae) and Bu-jung scream at each other inside. Right as he prepares to break in, his mother comes stumbling out. She calls Bu-jung crazy and swears she did aaabsolutely nothing to provoke her.

Inside, she says all she did was ask about the police summons which is now ripped into pieces. Jung-soo scolds his mother for opening someone else’s mail, but she thinks it’s her right as the mother-in-law. He sighs at her dramatics and yells at her when she suggests Bu-jung is losing her mind again.

Jung-soo warns her not to talk like that; Bu-jung was suffering from depression. He tries to get his insensitive mother to leave and to stop coming by unannounced. But once again, she feels entitled since she loaned them money to buy the apartment.

He puts his mother in another room and goes to Bu-jung who’s sitting in the dark on the floor. Jung-soo has to ask a few times before she tells him that she’s being summoned over some online hate comments. She apparently told a celebrity to go kill themselves. Yikes.

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