Frankly Speaking Is A Mixed Bag After Episode 1 & 2

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: May 11, 2024
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Frankly Speaking Episodes 1 & 2 Recap
Frankly Speaking | Image via Netflix


Frankly Speaking will surely lean too far against its broad slapstick comedy for many, but there’s the germ of a good show here if it settles down enough to find it.

Plenty of funny comedies – Liar Liar, The Invention of Lying – have been built on the idea of someone having to tell the truth, and that’s the hook of the aptly-titled Frankly Speaking. Episodes 1 and 2 introduce us to Song Ki-baek and his unusual predicament, laying out the groundwork of a slapstick K-Drama that should shape up to be a fun time.

Ki-baek is a news anchor, and his ambition is to ascend to the top of his field. But as with any career, the only way he can do it is by biting his tongue and letting his colleagues and his boss, Kim Sam-jin, take advantage of him.

Who is Song Ki-baek?

Ki-baek’s entire life is a carefully cultivated façade. He’s a grifter, essentially, coming from a poor family but allowing rumors of his wealth to percolate. You can tell he’s keeping a lot of his real thoughts and feelings tightly wound, but they manifest in broadly comedic moments of silliness. He’s a time bomb, psychologically speaking.

Meeting On Woo-joo and being recruited for her variety show, Ki-baek is confronted with an awful idol named PN who tests his resolve mightily, but he’s just about able to keep it together… until he isn’t.

The Invention of Honesty

Through entirely random circumstances, Ki-baek ends up being electrocuted. And the accident changes him fundamentally, dislodging whatever part of his brain kept him toeing the line. Suddenly unconcerned with playing along, Episode 1 ends with Ki-baek laying into PN and realizing he’s suddenly bluntly honest in a way he can’t seem to control.

Episode 2 of Frankly Speaking picks up from there, with Ki-baek trying to rationalize this new change while also falling foul of honesty’s repercussions.

From Bad To Worse

Whereas he was once the center of attention for being the guy who always said the right thing, now he’s the center of attention for being the guy who always says the wrong thing — to everyone. And news of his attitude shift spreads like wildfire.

With all the negative attention, Ki-baek is removed from consideration as lead anchor. And then, after a ridiculous string of events at the Brand Awards that he’s punitively forced to host after another outburst, he gets himself suspended. Suddenly with a lot of free time, he and his friend Ji-hoo go on a trip, and Woo-joo mistakes his rock climbing for a suicide attempt.

It’s a silly way to end the premiere, with the two of them tumbling off the rocks, but it’s hard to fault the first two episodes as an introduction to the bones of the story.


Netflix, Streaming Service, TV, Weekly TV
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