Wi Ha-Joon Surprises Jung Ryeo-Won

The highly-awaited K-drama The Midnight Romance in Hagwon aired its premiere episode 1 on Saturday, May 11, 2024, at 9:20 p.m. KST on tvN. Viewers can also stream the episode on Viki. The series follows the story of two individuals: popular academy instructor Seo Hye-Jin (Jung Ryeo-Won), who reunites with her former student Lee Joon-Ho (Wi Ha-Joon). When the latter wishes to pursue her, she navigates between their professional relationship and her growing feelings toward Joon-Ho.

Episode 1 of The Midnight Romance in Hagwon gave viewers a glimpse into Seo Hye-Jin’s daily life as a popular Daechi-Dong instructor and her much-awaited reunion with her former “star student” Lee Joon-Ho. However, by the end of the episode, Hye-Jin was surprised to discover that Joon-Ho had applied to become an instructor at the same academy as hers. Although she tried to convince him of the industry’s pitfalls, Joon-Ho remained determined.

The Midnight Romance in Hagwon Episode 1: Wi Ha-Joon applies to become an instructor

The Midnight Romance in Hagwon episode 1 began with Seo Hye-Jin preparing her fellow employee for consultation with prospective parents. Hye-Jin then met a few of Chanyeong High School students’ parents. They requested that she undertake private tutoring for their children. While the parents were worried about a new school teacher ahead of the exams, Hye-Jin assured them that she’d prepared their children enough to succeed.

Meanwhile, the Daechi Chase academy director discussed updates about holding an audition for new recruiters. They discussed placing a high-budget advertisement on one of the busiest bus stops in the city. While returning from work late at night, Joon-Ho saw the advertisement at the bus stop. He smiled as he remembered his former instructor, Hye-Jin, on the poster. The following day, the director met with the Daechi Chase instructors. He envisioned a brighter future for the academy and discussed the upcoming recruiter auditions.

The instructors decided on the same when Hye-Jin discovered that one of her students, Ha-Yool, was crying because of a wrong question. After Ha-Yool’s explanation and another glance at the question, Hye-Jin realized there were two possible correct answers. She asked Ha-Yool to speak with the new school teacher before it was too late. Ha-Yool remained skeptical about the same, as this could only lead to the teacher giving her a lousy transcript.

Hye-Jin managed to persuade Ha-Yool successfully. Even when Ha-Yool’s mother worried about her daughter getting in trouble, Hye-Jin noted that it was a fair complaint and there was no need to worry. However, the following day, Ha-Yool got into trouble with the new school teacher, Pyo Sang-Seob, who asked if she’d learned about there being two answers from the academy. The new teacher rudely dismissed their request, stating that there was only one answer. After hearing Ha-Yool’s mother complain, Hye-Jin decided to take matters into her own hands.

Hye-Jin called Sang-Seob, who asked her to meet him in person. She then went to Chanyeong High School and met with him at the teacher’s office. He advised that they talk in front of the other teachers at the office. What started as a polite conversation soon turned violent when Sang-Seob refused to admit his mistake. When Hye-Jin stressed that there were two right answers and provided a logical explanation, Sang-Seob got more frustrated. He laid his hands on her, calling all the academy instructors “parasites.” A furious Hye-Jin called his question and logic dated and lazy.

After fellow school teachers assured her about a redo, Hye-Jin left the office. Devastated by what had happened, she composed herself and returned to the academy. Meanwhile, while having dinner and drinks with his friends, Joon-Ho wants to become a self-made man and not depend on his parents for money. His friends reflected on how he was “The miracle of Grade 8. The miraculous idiot whom his mother gave birth to and Seo Hye-Jin raised.” After dinner, Joon-Ho went to meet Hye-Jin at the academy.

Hye-Jin was pleasantly surprised at seeing Joon-Ho. She confessed to thinking about him while looking at his name on the academy’s Hall of Fame. While Hye-Jin noted that Joon-Ho was her most precious achievement, he also agreed that Hye-Jin helping him get into a premium university was one of the happiest moments of his life. Moreover, Hye-Jin saved his name on her phone as “My Pride.” This only made Joon-Ho more happy. After Hye-Jin left, Joon-Ho looked at Daechi Chase’s audition advertisement at the bus stop.

The next day, Joon-Ho’s father asked him to get a career change and apply to a branch abroad. Joon-Ho revealed that he was looking for a career change but didn’t mention going into the recruiter auditions at Daechi Chase. Meanwhile, Sang-Seob called up Hye-Jin to meet. As the two met, Sang-Seob apologized for his behavior, noting that the school had indeed decided on a redo. Sang-Seob revealed that he felt inadequate as he made a mistake on his first exam question paper as the new school teacher.

Sang-Seob, however, challenged Hye-Jin at the end and said he was ready for a long battle. Hye-Jin then left the premises and returned to the academy when she discovered that there had been more inquiries from different school students’ parents for getting their children admitted to the academy. Hye-Jin expressed her agreement to alter her schedule to accommodate more students.

The following day, Nam Cheong-Mi arrived at the recruiter exam and auditions. She discussed the difficulties of becoming an instructor with a fellow applicant. Meanwhile, Hye-Jin looked at the exam room and found Joon-Ho giving the written exam. A flustered Hye-Jin waited around the room to meet Joon-Ho after the exam. The duo met for dinner when Hye-Jin wanted Joon-Ho to rethink becoming an instructor.

Joon-Ho, meanwhile, expressed wanting to make more money. He didn’t want to depend on his parents, who’d lost significant money back during the IMF crisis. Having no family assets, Joon-Ho remained determined to succeed as an instructor. Even after Hye-Jin expressed the challenges in the field, Joon-Ho didn’t budge. She further noted how he wouldn’t have the time to date. Joon-Ho responded that he would manage that himself.

At the end of the episode, Joon-Ho and Hye-Jin share one umbrella under the rain, and he asks her to address him as “teacher.”

To watch what happens next, remember to tune in to The Midnight Romance in Hagwon Episode 2 on Sunday, May 12, 2024, at 9:20 p.m. KST on tvN and later on Viki.