Witch Amusement is getting better and better! What makes this show so enjoyable is its ability to take situations and characters that you’ve seen before but somehow make them entertaining, without seeming recycled. Also, today’s episode was the first one that, in addition to making me laugh as usual, also really had moving moments. But we’ll get to that later.
(Random) SONG OF THE DAY
MC Mong – “Ice Cream” [ zShare download ]
It does not hurt at all that this is really one of the best-looking young casts I’ve seen in a while. While the show seems to be continually stolen by Jae Hee’s presence, Han Ga In does her best to measure up, and is helped along tremendously on that score by being so damn beautiful. She’s quite stunning here, and her short hair really brings out her face. And while I’m not a particular fan of Jeon Hye Bin, she looks quite pretty in this series, and her character is likable (so far) as the kind, good-hearted girlfriend. (By the way, I love this show’s energetic soundtrack. Cannot wait for the OST to be released next week!)
EPISODE 3 SUMMARY
After Mu-ryong comes face-to-chest with Yoo Hee in the bath, she kicks him out. Or attempts to, at least. He defends himself, saying that Yoo Hee’s the one who was ordering him around; he is innocent, and has done nothing to violate their contract. Therefore, he will stay. With that, Mu-ryong marches back inside with his bags, and Yoo Hee doesn’t argue.
At the restaurant, I glean from Johnny’s garbled Korean that he is disappointed to see yet more careless cooking by the female assistant. (I applaud Dennis O for trying to speak Korean, and for someone whose skills were acquired late in life, he’s not doing a bad job. But it’s just that, on a practical level as an actor, it’s distracting to require the audience to concentrate so much on deciphering his words. He goes in and out of a bad accent — some lines are totally clear, and then *mumblemumblemumble.*)
Anyway, Johnny takes a break to clear his frustration, and runs into Mu-ryong, who’s rehearsing his spiel to request a job from the head chef. He sees Johnny’s expression and sympathizes in a friendly, guy-to-guy sort of way, “Is work getting to you?” Mu-ryong assumes Johnny’s a regular employee, and commiserates with him — he’s worked in that position and made lots of mistakes in the past. “But at least you didn’t get fired. I’m always getting fired left and right, so I don’t have anywhere to go now. And here, you get to learn from the best.”
Mu-ryong invites Johnny out for some refreshing soju after work to cheer him up, when Seung Mi arrives, and he realizes that the guy he’s been chatting so familiarly with is actually THE head chef, Johnny.
After the initial embarrassment — he didn’t realize Johnny was so young — Mu-ryong asks Johnny for a favor: his autograph. Johnny gladly complies. But then, Mu-ryong plucks up his courage for his real favor: He wants to learn cooking from Johnny — he knows it’s a lot to ask, but he wants to be his apprentice. But Johnny rejects him; he knows nothing about Mu-ryong, and besides, isn’t he always getting fired wherever he goes? He’s willing to go have a drink of soju together sometime, though.
Rather than take the rejection lying down, Mu-ryong goes home and whips up some cr�me brulee (French custard). He brings it to Johnny at the restaurant and asks him to taste-test it. Johnny seems offended at Mu-ryong’s nerve and has him dragged out, but tastes the cr�me brulee, and is surprised to find it’s good.
Yoo Hee, trying to act nicer, invites her employees out to dinner. When they suggest going clubbing instead, in an effort to seem accommodating, Yoo Hee agrees and goes along. At the club, she leaves her secretary to await an important business call and goes out to dance…
Or, should I say, Yoo Hee ATTEMPTS to dance…
Secretary: “You have a call from Dong Sung’s President Kim.”
Yoo Hee: “Why are you out here? I told you to await that phone call.”
Secretary: “He says it’s important, so please call him back right away.”
Yoo Hee: “Dong Sung is going to call, so stand by. Hurry.”
Secretary: “You can’t hear anything I’m saying, can you?”
Yoo Hee: “So let me know when he calls.”
So the secretary decides to have a little fun:
Secretary: “Do you know you’re a real pain in the neck?”
Yoo Hee keeps dancing. So the secretary takes a deep breath, and yells out, just as the music dies—
Secretary: “You biiiiiiiiiiiiiiitch!”
The entire club freezes in shock. (Note, the name she calls Yoo Hee doesn’t exactly mean “bitch” — literally it’s just “bad woman” (“nappeun nyun”), but “nyun” is a strong suffix, and the connotation is therefore pretty negative, especially the way she shouts it. The word doesn’t mean ‘bitch,’ but it does suggest it.)
Mu-ryong makes another appeal to Johnny, who’s still exasperated at Mu-ryong’s tenacity. Mu-ryong’s being pretty bold here, but he wants this opportunity so much that he’s not going to let his pride keep him from trying. Johnny once again tells him to go, and to apply his time to improving his skills.
Yoo Hee’s business colleague, stunned to see her recent transformation, is suddenly attracted to her and asks her out on a date (how like a guy!). In preparation, Mu-ryong gives Yoo Hee some more pointers. For instance, she should try smiling.
On her date, Yoo Hee heeds Mu-ryong’s advice to smile and speak more nicely. However, she’s still having issues with walking in her stiletto heels, and twists her ankle. Her date catches her from falling, and Yoo Hee mistakes his helpful gesture as lechery manhandling. And we know how Yoo Hee feels about sleazy guys who like to cop a feel:
At home, Mu-ryong tells her she overreacted, but she’s not too disappointed with letting that fish back into the sea. She’s more concerned about being hungry; she tells Mu-ryong to make her dinner. Since he has to go to the supermarket, he suggests that she come along with him. It’s about time she learned how to do simple things like grocery shopping.
At the store, Yoo Hee packs the cart haphazardly with random goods, prompting Mu-ryong to object to her bad choices, like ramen and packaged snacks. It’s cute how she just tosses things in her cart, and he runs around putting them back on the shelves. It’s like a mother with her toddler.
Unfortunately for Yoo Hee, she spies her senior, Joon Ha, and his fiancee in the store, and runs away. Recognizing her, Joon Ha follows, causing Yoo Hee to panic and keep running away.
However, while she waits for Mu-ryong to bring the car around, Joon Ha finds her sitting alone, and they make small talk. He asks her if she’s all right; he felt bad about what happened at the party (with her public de-skirting), but it would’ve been awkward to call. Apparently he works nearby at a hospital as a cardiologist; his fiancee’s father is the director there.
Mu-ryong rushes to get Yoo Hee and collides with Joon Ha, who, by the way, is kind of an ass. Joon Ha is the kind of guy who’s sweet and gentle when it suits him to be (like he is with Yoo Hee), but to others, he’s cold and condescending. I guess Kim Jung Hoon’s doing a good job, because I totally buy him as the opportunistic, cavalier guy that Joon Ha is, without getting stuck on remembrances of Prince Yul’s kindness.
Back at home, Mu-ryong takes a look at Yoo Hee’s foot, injured from twisting her ankle in her high heels. Yoo Hee calls him a “fake doctor” and Mu-ryong wonders why Yoo Hee talks so roughly.
Mu-ryong: “You’ll have to fix your mal-tu [the way you talk].” (literally, her speaking behavior).
Yoo Hee responds by trying to kick him with her good foot, but Mu-ryong blocks it and says: “You’ll have to fix your bal-tu [foot behavior], too.”
(Note: mal-tu means one’s speaking habits. Therefore, bal-tu (bal = foot) means one’s foot habits. Bal-tu isn’t a real word, so its use here is a clever word turn on Mu-ryong’s part.)
As a lesson in romance, Mu-ryong shows Yoo Hee a series of movies. (The DVD stack includes: Amelie, Before Sunrise, Someone Like You, Great Expectations)
Watching all that kissing, Yoo Hee looks over at Mu-ryong…
…who looks back with an intense look on his face…
…who just wants the remote control. He also leaves Yoo Hee with some advice to heed for everday interactions: She should try being kinder, gentler.
Mu-ryong is planning to take out Seung Mi for her birthday, but at the last minute, he gets a call from Yoo Hee. Paran is feeling sick and needs her to pick him up from school, but she’s wrapped up in work and needs Mu-ryong to go instead. As he’s en route to his date, Mu-ryong tells Yoo Hee that it’s a bad time, but as soon as he hears Paran is sick, he rushes over (very sweet).
Of course, he’s surprised to see Paran completely fit and healthy. Paran lied because he was bored — where’s his sister? He also takes interest in the birthday cake Mu-ryong has with him, which was meant for Seung Mi.
Mu-ryong tells Paran to go on home since he’s fine, but the boy grabs onto Mu-ryong, pestering him to stay and hang out with him. No matter what, Mu-ryong can’t shake Paran off his back (literally!).
(Seung Mi, meanwhile, tells Mu-ryong nicely that it’s okay that he can’t make it, although she’s clearly disappointed. She’d bought tickets to ride the cable cars, and throws them away. Johnny sees her reaction, and ends up taking her instead.)
Mu-ryong and Paran wind up going to an amusement park, and actually have a lot of fun. (They happen to run into Mu-ryong’s younger brother, who’s there ditching work with his girlfriend. Mu-ryong makes his brother promise to not tell his parents that he’s not in New York studying abroad.)
Paran doesn’t exhibit much outward emotion, but it’s clear he’s enjoying himself. For instance, he refuses to wear the horn headband Mu-ryong buys, saying it’s childish — but when they get home, Mu-ryong gives Paran the headband. Paran says he doesn’t want it, but when Yoo Hee tries to take it off, he dodges her and keeps it on.
When they arrive at Paran’s house, their father tries to take off the headband too, and Paran again won’t let him touch it, and runs away. Her father asks Yoo Hee if she bought it as a birthday present… and I actually gasped out loud, because it’s just SO SAD! It also makes complete sense why such a reserved and stoic kid would cling so tightly to Mu-ryong — it’s his birthday, but nobody remembered, so he has to pretend to be sick to get his sister to come see him. But she sends someone else, and then the guy brings a birthday cake (for someone else), and is about to leave him alone, so he forces him to hang out together.
I don’t know what’s sadder — that his sister forgot it was his birthday, or that his father remembered but still didn’t do anything for him. Paran obviously doesn’t have many (or any?) school friends, and he’s just a lonely child. Thank god for Mu-ryong.
Yoo Hee goes to the hospital to visit Joon Ha, but she sees him there with his fiancee… So she walks away, unnoticed, and instead gets drunk at a bar, downing a series of Scotch on the rocks.
Meanwhile, Seung Mi is invited over by Mu-ryong’s parents to celebrate her birthday, because they believe Mu-ryong’s in New York and want to make sure to celebrate his girlfriend’s birthday. They’re obviously very close, and the parents are very fond of her. Apparently Seung Mi and Mu-ryong have known each other since elementary school and grown up together.
Seung Mi finds out inadvertently that his parents believe Mu Ryong’s studying abroad, but thankfully she’s pretty perceptive and realizes something’s weird, so she goes along and doesn’t say anything. But she takes his brother aside and demands to know what’s going on. She gets the address of the home where Mu-ryong is acting as housekeeper, and heads over…
…just as Mu-ryong finds a drunk Yoo Hee passed out in front of her own doorway….Dennis O, Han Ga-in, Jae Hee, Kim Jung-hoon, Witch Amusement