SONG OF THE DAY
Apls – “Very Special Girl” Pronounced “apples,” the album is called “Sexualmetro,” which keeps making me wonder if it’s an erroneous (or purposeful) misuse of the word “metrosexual.” Either way, it’s appropriate enough, I thought. [ zShare download ]
EPISODE 3 SUMMARY
Han Gyul flatly rejects his grandmother’s proposition that he work alongside the slovenly Mr. Hong in running Wang Ja Coffee (which means “prince coffee”), only to have his grandmother immediately cut off support (partially). She has his car towed, and sends movers over to clear out his apartment, informing them he will be vacating right away.
He tries to sweet-talk his granny (also Dal Ja’s granny), who’s upset at Han Gyul’s mother (also Samsoon’s mother) for pampering him so much. It’s because she coddled him and never pushed him that he’s grown to this age not knowing what real work is. Han Gyul agrees to work for her if she gives him a job at the company (“A supervisor slot should be fine”) but she insists: If he doesn’t work in the cafe, he’s on his own. She gives him three months to succeed.
(Han Gyul is on bad terms with his father; the two refuse to acknowledge each other for reasons that have yet to be disclosed.)
For some reason, Han Sung and Yu Ju are back together, and all is well. I thought he wanted to hurt her. Ah, men. Suckers for beauty, even if it’s of the plastic variety. Still, they do make a cute couple.
Han Gyul eagerly drops by to see Yu Ju, but is disappointed to see Han Sung already there. Uncomfortable at seeing the couple looking happy together, he leaves early.
On his way home, he sees Eun Chan running into trouble out in the rain. Having lost her earnings from the Taekwondo studio owner who fled without notice, Eun Chan has thrown herself into the tedious work of sewing eyes on stuffed dolls. She bumps into a stranger in the rain, sending her dolls scattering onto the wet sidewalk, and the belligerent stranger takes offense.
The man tries to pick a fight with Eun Chan and gets possessive over his girlfriend, assuming Eun Chan is male. Han Gyul arrives to break it up, but in a rather hilarious turn of events, the girlfriend takes offense at her boyfriend’s crude treatment of her, and she turns her own anger on him. Han Gyul and Eun Chan take advantage of the distraction and run.
They go to Han Gyul’s apartment to dry off, and Eun Chan’s mother advises Eun Chan to stay at her “friend”‘s place overnight, because the rain isn’t going to let up. Eun Chan puts on a record from Han Gyul’s vinyl record collection, and tears up in nostalgia as she remembers being a kid when her father was still alive.
Initially, Han Gyul brusquely tells her to take better care of his records, since he collects them as a hobby (although if that were true, he would definitely not be stacking them flat on top of each other in careless piles). Seeing her wipe a tear away, however, he asks what’s the matter, and she says her father used to play records; this particular record was one in his collection.
They cook together, and Han Gyul asks if her father passed away (he did). That must make Eun Chan the head of the household. Han Gyul seems to feel sympathy for her predicament, but Eun Chan just changes the subject. She cheers up rather than sinking into pity. Han Gyul looks on in amusement at Eun Chan’s huge appetite.
Han Gyul lends a hand sewing the doll eyes, and they talk while sewing side-by-side. She asks, “You seemed kind of down today. Why? Girl problems? Tell me, I’m pretty good at understanding these kinds of things.” Han Gyul merely tells her about being forced to take over a ridiculous cafe. Eun Chan asks if he still sees Yu Ju; he says he does. She seems a bit disappointed to hear it, and asks what kind of relationship they have.
He answers that it’s more like a bad habit. “Like drinking water in the morning… Can’t not see her, and even if I try not to, I end up seeing her anyway… a terrible habit.”
Hearing that the cafe in question is Wang Ja Coffee, Eun Chan tries to persuade him to do it, and hire her as well. He’s not inclined to humor her, but she persists, appealing to his weak spot and saying he should take the opportunity to show the girl he likes what he can do. If he succeeds, he’ll look cool to his grandmother and the girl.
Eun Chan is grossed out when Han Gyul bursts in the bathroom while she’s brushing her teeth (he sees no problem since they’re both guys). Han Gyul comments on how small her butt is, and hits it. Enjoying her flustered reaction, he acts like it’s no big deal and dries his hands on her butt (instead of a towel).
When Han Gyul wakes in the morning, Eun Chan’s already gone, but she’s left little footprint cutouts on the ground, leading him outside. She’s left him a note (and his crookedly sewn doll), telling him to take on the cafe job. Han Gyul just smiles and says, “How cute.” But he does decide to work at the cafe, surprising even his grandmother.
(Commentary detour: Personally, I like how they’re developing Eun Chan and Han Gyul’s relationship. We’re seeing them have genuine conversation and close moments without other romantic issues getting in the way. He’ll fall for Eun Chan’s personality, regardless of her gender, and if that makes him gay, fine. If that makes him straight, fine. If this is the direction that the relationship takes, which is where it seems to be headed, then I’m all for it — it’s actually a fairly tolerant argument in acceptance of homosexuality even if the couple in question is straight. Go, progressive Korea.)
Han Gyul takes Eun Chan along while he goes to look around the neighborhood as research, and Eun Chan asks him to compensate her since he called her out (“Do you just see me as a source of money?” “Yep.”). They observe a waffle cart doing extremely well, mostly in part because it’s stationed outside a girl’s school and the guy running it is hot. (I believe he’s Tae Bong’s pretty man-friend from Dal Ja’s Spring, and if so, he’s well-cast here — given that they’re blurring the lines of Yoon Eun Hye’s femininity, it’s only appropriate to have a male counterpart.)
Han Gyul tries to offer the waffle guy a job at the cafe. The guy declines, but they tell him to drop by Wang Ja Coffee if he changes his mind. Both Eun Chan and the co-manager Mr. Hong agree that it’s a pretty smart idea to bring the waffle guy into the cafe (to attract his loyal female following). Han Gyul also wants to change the name from the plain, older-fashioned name “Wang Ja Coffee” to the hipper “Coffee Prince.”
Han Sung’s relationship with Yu Ju is going well, and when Eun Chan asks how his “friend” (Guy A) worked out his situation with Girl B, he says things are okay. Eun Chan deflates a little, disappointed that there’ll be no reason for him to ask for her opinion anymore. Perhaps to indulge her (and perhaps also because he enjoys conversing with her), Han Sung mentions there IS an issue with a Guy C (Yu Ju’s ex, DK, who is continuing to call her). “Guy A feels a little upset over Girl B and Guy C continuing to call each other. Isn’t he pathetic?”
Eun Chan disagrees, expressing her full support for Guy A: “I totally get Guy A. If she’s broken up, she’s broken up. Why keep talking to an ex-boyfriend?” She wonders if Guy A lacks confidence about Girl B: “I think Guy A’s pretty cool, so tell him to have confidence.”
As she leaves, she stops and asks Han Sung haltingly, “Um, I don’t know if we’ll meet by chance or not… so if I don’t get to see you… if I want to call you… Or-maybe-not-nevermind.” Han Sung is happy to give her his number, and as she bikes away, she sings his phone number, over and over, in great spirits.
Han Gyul enlists the help of his interior designer friend, who I think may be gay from the way he takes a keen interest in the pretty-boy Eun Chan, noticing his/her good looks and saying, “He’s totally my style.” Then again, he’s not exactly a flamer, so it’s hard to tell. He could be kidding since he knows Han Gyul was faking homosexuality to get out of his blind dates.
In any case, everyone gets to hard work tearing the place apart and renovating.
In an amusing turn of events, the dim Min Yub arrives to challenge Eun Chan, blaming her for being the reason Eun Sae won’t see him anymore. Eun Chan tells him to help her with the heavy lifting, and he asks why he should. She tells him she has to finish her work quickly if they want to get around to fighting. The guy sees her point (ha!) and does his best to move things quickly — and Han Gyul, watching the strong stranger accomplishing so much, offers him a job at the cafe.
Han Gyul asks Yu Ju (an artist) to paint a mural for his cafe, and watches adoringly as she spends all night doing her work as “Back for Good” by Take That plays (ah, brings me back to my youth. I feel old). I find Yu Ju terribly annoying — she’s like the girl who feigns helplessness to get manly men to do her bidding, which irritates me. It’s the fake-coy-cute act. (What, she can’t tie her own hair?) She’s like the girl you can’t explain hating because it’ll label you as a jealous shrew, bitter that her only crime is being pretty, so you can’t openly express that you dislike her, but at the same time she just seems so fake. But all the guys tell you, “Lighten up, she’s really cool.” And you just sit there and stew, knowing you’ve been unjustly accused of being catty… Oh wait, is that just me? TMI, TMI.
Determined to do a good job acting the part of a boy, Eun Chan goes to work, excited to see that Han Gyul’s already there. She’s decidedly less excited to see Yu Ju there as well (I can only imagine how she’ll react knowing that Yu Ju is also Girl B).
Han Gyul doesn’t get into the particulars of his acquaintance with Eun Chan (“It’s a long story”) and interferes with their introductions. He takes Yu Ju out for breakfast, leaving Eun Chan behind to kick in frustration at Yu Ju’s half-painted wall. I’m there with ya, sister. Or brother.
A mistake occurs with an order, and 20kg coffee beans sacks are delivered instead of 2kg bags. Eun Chan admits she mistakenly ordered the wrong amount (it’s likely Min Yub made the mistake; she’s taking responsibility). Han Gyul takes her aside and rips into her for being irresponsible. This is probably exacerbated by the fact that his grandmother is putting him on a tight budget and expecting him to increase profits, and he’s feeling the stress of being unable to return the large order for a refund. Still, he’s way over the line, snapping at Mr. Hong for defending her, feeling no remorse seeing Eun Chan wiping away a few tears. He says he mistook her (for being decent) and yells that if she’s not going to take her job seriously, she’d better quit immediately.