Welcome to the world of commercial shopping. A world where you can buy anything online and have it shipped from somewhere to anywhere you want. In the surging realm of online shopping, there’s a legend who knows how to shop big time, ladies and gentlemen let’s meet Louis – the Korean shopaholic chaebol exiled in France.
Episode 1 “Pick Me”
Shoppers all over the world patiently waits on an online high-end sale that will soon erupt for a jacket created by a famous designer – Louis Ssaton. The trendy jacket surged to a high popularity after Lee Min Ho wore it in a drama, making it also vulnerable to imitation as every man in Korea wants to buy it. Cha Joong Won and his advertising team plans on featuring the jacket for the company’s online event and devises a plan to lure rich men by selling the jackets in a limited edition auction. They numbered the Louis Ssaton jackets from 1-100, with #1 jacket tagged as the most expensive. In 3-2-1, the sale commences and a man focused intently on his monitor screen, clicks on the computer mouse and nervously waits if he got the right timing to secure the #1 labeled jacket. Across the globe, the rich shopaholics who don’t know where to place their money like him are also eager on getting the #1 Jacket.
Louis dances in the air after purchasing the $10,000.00 dollar clothing as his butler congratulates him on his shopping success. The advertising team celebrates on their victorious sale event and wonders about the man who bought the #1 jacket. So let’s now meet Choi Ji Sung aka Louis. Branded as the King of Shopping – Louis is a Korean chaebol who lives in Paris. Marked as a famous shopping addict, he lives in a mansion filled with hard-to-find collectibles, limited edition products and the most luxurious and pricey items you can never dream of. His days are a cycle of shopping online or at the store and he does not care how much money he will burn on his shopping adventures.
After his successful Louis Ssaton jacket bid, Louis’ eyebags touch the ground as Butler Kim reminds him to eat breakfast. He responds on getting a brunch instead as he needs a quick nap, but his butler coaxes him to change his mind by mentioning that his favorite shop will be on sale that day and if he fails to arrive early, the sunglasses he picked might not be available anymore if he will not visit the boutique. Placed on a dilemma, Louis stood up and paces his room to come up with a quick decision. His compulsion won over his already panda eyes and he set forth to dress up as dashing debonair off to conquer the world of shopping.
Butler Kim halts him for a quick breakfast using his grandmother as a leverage for him to finish eating the Korean food spread prepared for him. Louie obliges and eats his breakfast hurriedly. When he stood up to leave, Butler trails him and hands him an herbal tonic ordered by his grandma to be taken by him. He spits the tonic after having a taste of it and walks out to escape Butler Kim’s caring claws.
Butler Kim chases his young master inside the mansion and outside the vast lawn in trying to make him drink the tonic. Worried that his butler might faint because of his loyalty to the job tasked by his grandmother, Louis gives up and moves toward him to get the drink, but ends up slipping and falling in the ground. Worried Butler Kim comes to his rescue but ended up having the same fate as his and throwing the tonic in the air before he hits his face on Louis’ bum. The morning gag show is a hit as the French mansion’s workers giggle on the master and his butler’s show. Louis broke his nose which causes it to bleed and his injury was reported right away to his grandmother who agonizes on her precious grandson being hurt while talking to his picture.
Louis complains on how he has to leave before the shop closes, but Butler Kim blocks his path as they waited for the doctor summoned thru his grandma’s order. He whines how it was his fault that his nose bled since he crushed him and adds how his stubborness has made him unable to marry a woman. Butler Kim follows his young master and nags about how he devoted his youth chasing him everywhere and taking care of him well that’s why he got stuck in being a bachelor, but Louis counters his argument on how he never had a girlfriend and permanent friends because he shadowed him everywhere at school and was bullied because they thought he was a papa’s boy. Hurt at his words, Butler Kim spills his disappointment and calms down Louis who realizes he went overboard. He heaves a sigh and goes to a conclusion that their problem will be solved if they will get the sunglasses to comfort their feelings.
They put up a show to manipulate grandma who can’t bear to see her grandson gloomy. She orders Butler Kim to do whatever can make her “precious” happy and the two cheerfully heads on to a mind-blowing shopping spree. Louis enters a jewelry store and the sparkling beauties call his name seducing him to buy them. On cue I.O.I ‘s “Pick Me” song airs as he rummages through the displayed items and shopping all he wants until he drops. He rests after a fulfilling money spending and was asked by the boutique manager on how he can discern the expensive and limited edition items right away. He replies how he can hear them call his name which made Butler Kim’s eyes roll. He was presented with an award for his shopping binge with a boxer shorts embellished with diamonds and his name. Upon hearing that it was a one-of-a-kind custom made underwear, he gladly accepts it.
Chairwoman Choi arrives at her company as her daughter-in-law narrates on how her rich life has a downside having lost her loved ones and left her early. When a fortune-teller deduced her strong white tiger spirit caused her husband and son’s death, she was advised to have her grandson thrive away from her, for him to survive, hence Louis/Ji Sung was sent to France to steer him away from her dangerous fortune.
Butler Kim announces a phone call from Baek Ma Ri who contends to become Louis’ future wife. He refuses to answer her initial call, however his butler points out her usual pattern will make her call again and seconds later his phone really rings. Ma Ri asks and reports how he was doing and what she has been doing. Louis stops her boring chat and tells her straight not to dream of marrying him. Butler Kim completes his analysis of how Ma Ri was just obligated to call him to which he agrees as he understands very well how he does not have real friends.
Louie sits on the sofa while watching a featured documentary show and refreshing his tablet for possible shopping finds. His attention freezes as the documentary features a country-side woman threading a mountain effortlessly and bravely grabs a snake that landed on the camera which scares the man holding it and Louis who was watching on the TV screen. The woman beams in front of the camera checking if the camera man was okay putting Ji Sung on a magical trance. He asks Butler Kim if people really still live like that in Korea and the latter confirms it to be true that’s why TV shows like that are being made. When the woman showed a root crop that was a good cure to lung inflammation, Louis asks him to buy it to help with his allergic rhinitis, but Butler Kim reminds him that he is watching a documentary and not a home TV shopping show. When Bok Sil, the woman in the documentary speaks about how she wanted to have a fridge to help her in storing the side dishes during summer, Louis orders Butler Kim to send one for her, but the Butler reminds him that she lives in a place without electricity.
Joong Won’s parents sneak on his flat to clean up his place and his fridge. His mother nags on not finding traces of a woman in his place and worries if he will ever get married as his father attempts to lecture his wife calmly on why their son does not like the weird mixture of side dishes she makes. She feels hurt hearing the inconvenient truth from her husband and reasons how she had a hard time getting rare ingredients just so she can make those side dishes.
Joong Won’s father surrenders and follows her lead to another destination where they seek a fortune reading for him. The seer reveals a vague vision and tells Joong Won parents to wait for a month as a man and woman will surely enter their son’s life. Meanwhile, Joong Won is grilling his team on their lacking abilities to come up with innovative strategies that they can use for their products.
Somewhere in the mountains, the woman from the documentary, Bok Sil, shrieks happily after finding a 50-year old ginseng and bragging it to the ajussis who were with her in the search. They tell her how pricey her find was, but she intends to give it to her grandmother who has been in distress lately after her brother ranaway from home. Bok Sil chirpily arrives at their house and finds her grandmother lifeless. She tries to wake her up but to no avail.
Louis preps to attend a friend’s birthday. However Butler Kim does not want to permit him due to the rain forecast and because his grandmother does not want him to be on the road when it is raining. He tells him how his grandmother loves him so much and it will worry her if he pushes through with his plans. Louis flashed back to when he was a young boy and his grandmother patiently comforted him when he was yearning for his dead parents. Not wanting to make his grandma sad, he decides not to attend the party.
Bok Sil heads to Seoul to hunt her brother. She sits in front of a grandmother who peers at her curiously while she eats her snacks. She offers some of it and when grandma choked on what she eats, she asks Bok Sil to buy a bottle of water. She stands up and rushes to the train store to get the water, but when she gets back, her bag and halmoni were both gone. Bok Sil reports her missing bag to the train officer and was advised that she will be notified. Not having any money, she resorts to scanning people who could possibly help her situation.
She marks her target and blocks the approaching man, who turned out to be Joong Won who just came from an unsuccessful blind date set up by his mother. She chases him around in an attempt to win a few minutes of his attention to present the 50 year old wild ginseng she wants to sell. Flustered on the situation he was put into, Joong Won counts 1-5 and tried to walk away, but she follows him and narrates how she lost her bag that’s why she needs money. Joong Won still declines her offer, but stops on his track when she pulls a selling point line on how the ginseng is one-of-a-kind in the whole entire world. He turns his back and asks her how much she would sell the ginseng, and replies $1000. She blabs about how she can even sell it for $5000 so she’s giving him a great deal. Joong Won responds how he can’t even check if her ginseng is genuine and how crazy was the idea of buying some $1000 root crop is at midnight in a train station. He motions to leave again, but Bok Sil attempts to halt him by guaranteeing her name for him to believe that everything is true. Joong Won replies how she can’t even prove her name is indeed Go Bok Sil. Losing patience to the conversation he is having, he agrees to buy the ginseng and gives her $100 for it. She refuses his money, but changes her mind when she realizes that she does not have much options. She asks for his name to formalize their deal and he gives his cell phone number as well. She tells him that she will stalk him for the remaining payment once he is able to confirm the authenticity of the ginseng, but he challenges her on how she will return the money if her ginseng is fake. Bok Sil assures him that it won’t happen as she is confident about it.
Joong Won arrives home and stares at the ginseng he bought. He talks to himself on why he succumbed to the obvious con and remembers the name of the woman who sold the root crop. Bong Sil wanders around the streets of Seoul for a place to sleep. She sees a 24/7 public bath house and finally rested her weary body.
Chairwoman Choi wakes up from a bad dream of her grandson jumping out from his room after causing a ruckus in the mansion trying to escape the place and being chased by Butler Kim. She fainted and was rushed to the hospital for treatment. Louis catches the earliest flight back to Korea to be at his grandma’s side who is in critical condition.
Director Baek meets with board members and discloses that he will fetch Louis at the airport who had to travel alone without Butler Kim. They vouch to support Director Baek mocking on how Louis know nothing but spend money on shopping. Chairwoman regains consciousness and searches for Louis. She discloses how she intends to give the company to Louis which made Director Baek gives an unhappy glare. She orders her right hand to prepare a lavish welcome party for Louis and tells Director Baek of the announcement she will soon make in the party.
Louis opens his eyes from his nap just in time for the landing on Incheon Airport. He closes his eyes again but wakes up on a public staircase being gawked on by the people wondering about how handsome the homeless bum was.
Bok Sil who was handing out flyers in search of her brother notices the commotion. She snoops in and sees the bum wears the same jacket she bought Bok Nam before he left their house. She rushes to where the man is, but meets a face she is unfamiliar with.
EPISODE 1 QUICK THOUGHTS
Shopping King Louis zoomed in an engrossing vibe as it so far paraded its vibrant cast. I can’t wait how the narrative will connect all of them and won’t expect a lot yet on its zesty premiere episode in case, it will go “W” on me. *chuckles As I enjoyed Seo In Guk’s conman portrayal in Task Force 38, I have faith on how he will nail his character in the story.
I like the master-butler bromance and the weird gollum-ish way grandma calls Louis. I like Louis and his soon to be entanglement with a country bumpkin girl.
Since this chapter is full of promise I will give it a B+ as Louis got me interested in his capricious yet freedom-less world.