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Why is Bad Love so bad?

I gave up watching KBS’s over-the-top melodrama Bad Love because from what I saw, it was horrible. And yet, part of me thinks it could’ve been a lot of fun to watch even despite — or because of — how ridiculously bad the series is. Alas I don’t have twenty hours to commit to unabashedly cheesy histrionics.

The viewers are also flagging for the Monday-Tuesday drama, which finds itself “unable to revive from its slump”; after its thirteenth episode, ratings are in the 7% range. What could be the reasons for its failure to catch on? A few possible reasons are offered up by Newsen:

First off, it’s behind the times:

Bad Love was planned with the ambitious goal to revive the languishing melodrama genre. The drama set sail aiming to become a new-generation melo, but has failed to capture viewer interest. …

The melodramas that swept the late ’90s and early 2000s have long since been on the downtrend. The “season” dramas [Autumn Love Story, Winter Sonata], quintessential melo series, ended in resounding failure and trampled pride with Summer Scent and Spring Waltz.

It’s because viewers have started becoming fed up with such tearjerkers. They aren’t entertained by these “Korean-style” melodramas with their obvious love triangles, or the lead characters with fatal diseases who die in the end.

It seems Bad Love has failed to captivate audiences because it has followed the footsteps and adopted the characteristics of these passé dramas.

Moreover, sources related to the broadcast station credit considerable audience distaste to the adulterous storylines used in the drama.

Secondly, the drama is unconvincing in its developments, and the characters are unable to convey emotion well:

Viewers by and large feel that Bad Love has lost believability. The four men and women’s lives connect and entangle in an excess of coincidences, and audiences find it difficult to focus on the story when its sense of reality is lost. …

They also point to the matter of the characters’ emotions. Kwon Sang Woo, Lee Yo Won and the other actors display their acting talents in strong performances, but that is insufficient to allow the viewers to connect with their characters’ emotions. The characters struggle, love, and break up, but some viewers still say, “It’s difficult to understand their actions.”

The article mentions that Bad Love was supposedly the dark horse, facing off against large-scale sageuk dramas like Yi San and King and I, but I think that point is overly generous — when you’ve got such outstanding flaws within the drama itself, you don’t really need to go looking at the competition for more reasons for its failure.

With only six more episodes remaining, Newsen wonders, “Will it be able to revive itself in its remaining episodes? Will Bad Love end up as Bad Ratings or Kind Ratings? The answers can only be given by the series itself.”

(I say: Don’t hold your breath.)

Via Newsen

SONG OF THE DAY

Bad Love OST – “중독” (addiction) [ zShare download ]

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i'm sorry to say that i'm one of the many viewers that gave up on bad love. the cast is so pretty and the storyline "sounded" so good...

at least the ost was good, right?

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i've been waiting for your comments on bad love. i heard it's very bad, but i know at least one person who's enjoying the first few episodes. i never touched it because melo is just not my taste. and adultery storylines, ugh. i don't think reviving melodramas is the way to go for hallyu.

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I totally agree with the statements in Newsen. As I was watching the third episode, I thought to myself that they couldn't be going back to the same old form of melodrama's that have been done dozens of time already! Given all the new shows with fresh ideas during the past year or so, who in their right mind would produce this type of drama? What's that old saying? Something about "...once the boys have seen Paree, you can't keep them on the farm. It's not likely that an audience would gravitate back to this type of drama. At least not at present, when the novelty of melodramas haven't worn off yet. And, yes the art work is interesting and there's a really cute, red bench in one of the episodes (7 or 8).

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oh i've been waiting on this post... a drama never turned me off in the first 10 minutes like Bad Love did.. I just couldn't connect... The actors are great, I love every single one of them.. but the plot is mediocre... Newsen said it all... but everytime someone mentions this drama I get aggravated... I hate tearjerckers, and their melodramatic plots.. But I've neved despised them the way I feel about Bad Love.. Autumn Tale was too much, but at least it had a good development and the script didn't want to make you poke your eyes/ears out (at least not untill ep. 14)... All I can say is "what were they thinking???"

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i was really looking forward to "BAD LOVE" but after the 7th episode, i just couldn't continue. It started sweet and interesting with the two main character, but it just became too draggy.

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i agree...i got so freaking annoyed by how much the drama relied on "fate"..i gave up after about 3 episodes because i couldn't take the coincidences any more...

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ahh, thats terrible. i watch the drama on kbs world so i've only gotten to episode 4. i had such high hopes for kwon sang woo and kim sung soo. i wasn't too happy that lee yo won was part if the cast. i think i just have a deranged outlook ever since i saw her in take car of my cat. but anyways, i hope it does catch up in ratings. i think i'm just gonna stick with it because it's KSW's comeback...after a year. :)

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okay i never watched those older melo drama ones so maybe i am the only one that likes it and idk but ummm i am sad since their is not so many good reviews about it

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same as shro.. i'm gonna hang on for KSW... i just adore him... watching him cry made me want to bawl my eyes out.. O_O

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i gave up it, too...
no hope for it anymore~

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i agree with glo-- at least the OST is good... wooht wooht! =]]

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Though I'm not watching this drama, it makes me so mad that here in SoCal, on KBS-LA, they completely chopped up Mixed-Up Investigative Agency just so they could air Cruel Love in the new year. Can you believe that they'd cram EP 7-9 into 1 40min ep, 10-11 into another 40min ep (and the end portion of EP 11 wasn't even shown), did not show EP 12-14, and edited EP 15 and 16 for the final 2 nights (which happened to air on Christmas Eve/Christmas day).

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ooohhh, I've been waiting to see if dramabeans would like this series then post recaps -- sometimes I like reading from them than watching it.. :) Guessing from your post about it, you won't be doing recaps of it.. *sigh* .. anyway, I feel the same way as linh.. perhaps it's because i haven't watched the other melodramas from way back when they were such a hit.. but I kinda like Bad Love.. it's keeping me interested enough to watch till the 7th episode... I don't even have a thing about KSW and I only know the 2nd guy from Full House and this R movie I watched before :D.. too bad for the producers of this show that it's got bad reviews... oh and I do like Lee Yo Won from the movie Surprise Party... :)

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i gonna hang on to ksw too..yeah after his long absence..aja aja fighting!!!

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For a drama with so many talented people I expected better. I persisted till ep 7, wondering if I was the only one who was so bored, but then it seems like everyone else was feeling the same. I have the next few episodes but can't bring myself to watch them, instead I'm relying on soompi for summaries of what's going on.
I've watched many melodramas and it's true they're out of fashion, but I still enjoy going back and watching Autumn Tale, MISA and others, this is just dull!!!
I've decide that KSW can't pick decent dramas anymore. He started so well with Delicious Proposal and We Are Dating Now, but Sad Sonata was dreadful and now we have this. Ugh!! Much as I love him, maybe he should stick to films.

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I'm one of those who will hang on till the end. I dont think I can give up KSW that easily!

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im w/ u maliya, im hanging there. i actually like the characters b/c there's so much depth to them n the actors did a great job portraying the diff. emotions, in my opinion.

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Ah, good. So I'm not the only only who couldn't stand this series and gave up on it early then ^^;;; I totally agree about not being connect to the characters or their actions and I started out with no expectations at all... It's not like I don't like melodramas, I have some old favorites but this drama just felt plain weird and unengaging from the beginning... and there's better stuff to do with my free time.

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I am a KSW fan and I have yet to see Bad Love since it's not available to me as of the moment. Well, I would have really wanted to see KSW in a different genre, but well, I guess he's been typecasted to melodramas. I just hope he comes up with something better next time.

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oh, this is sad for KSW...he's a really good actor...
i was planning to watch it but i'm afraid i'll have to reconsider...

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i've only watched this series from ep7.
i agree it's horrible.
however i still watch it just for the sake of watching it.

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Ha!!!

I was surprised there was not a single post about Bad Love up till now... Was expecting you not even glance at the tearjerker drama but you still did. Well, I'm not a fan of any actor so I also gave a try to it without second thoughts and gave up after 4 episodes, not because I was bored... But because like lots of people here I just couldn't feel anything for the actors despite the strong acting. First, things in the early episodes ( I don't know about the rest) are too fast paced you just don't have the time to feel any sort of sympathy for the actors despite the strong acting. Second It felt like simply err "too much" like they know the story lacks in everything so they keep putting in new developments that keep on worsening the drama.

I've really got nothing against melo... It's not really my type of drama but I can recognize something good when I see it. I gave up on Autumn Tale because it was too sad, but it was good. I finished "Spring Waltz", the settings was wonderful and though the story was full of clichés it was still enjoyable. But there's no such thing as any enjoyment in here. You just wonder what the hell they're gonna bring out next episode to keep you "entertained". I mean a story should "flow" naturally, the viewer mustn't feel like "they're being played with" each time. Though you know what you see is highly unlikely in real life, there must be a certain consistency for you to feel and sympathize with the characters, which the drama has failed to do...

Well I guess I should give some credits to the effort... I've got no patience to watch it entirely, but like urbanscrappy I rely on the soompiers to read summaries to know what happens. I have to say the last two episodes aired were full of "surprises" haha. The character of Kim Seong Su was pissing me off from the very first episode and it keeps getting worse... Now there's some people I REALLY SYMPATHIZE WITH, I mean "Respect" ( In French saying it like that... I guess It's feeling of admiration, sympathy and pity mixed) to all the members of WITH S2 who are working on that one. I mean I already pitied them with "The Person I love" and "Lovers" but I have a feeling this one being so bad from the very beginning must be tear jerking.

WITH S2 FIGHTING!!!

PS: Forgot to add that KSW's pecs looked good in Ep03... I watched the f4th one to have another glance... too bad they didn't show it again... Oh And remember Snow Queen had poor ratings as well but at least they had a good excuse, facing Jumong and all. The drama was entertaining and all... Problem is once you watched one, you've watched all of them.

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I love the cast, the storyline is so-so at first glance but horrible when you actually watch it... But I'm still watching it. It's frustrating (in the sense that the characters are so stupid), cheesy, very dramatic, and has a lot of contrived coincidences and conflicts. But I'm still watching it, because one, once I start I have to finish (unless it's awful, horrible, absolutely disgustingly I-want-to-kill-myself bad), and two, the story is getting unbelievable and wacky that it's actually kind of fun.
I agree with everything the article said; melodramas are starting to become boring and repetitive. And I'd say that Bad Love isn't really a good effort on KBS's part to revive melodramas.

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melodramas seems to be outtrend really... a good drama nowadays are which involves, romance, comedy, suspense and can make you cry too... for me a good drama should make you laugh and make you even cry.... but i know its asking too much..

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I Like this drama since the first episode ! And I Know many people who like it !

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This drama is soo awful in EVERYTHING it reminds me about how much I hate k melo.

I admit, I have always hated K melo even in its ht of popularity, Autumn, STH...I wanna puke my eyes out at how cheezy and predictable they r...
but this is a new offense.... if for one thing u r still watching it, it must be for the 'unpredictability' in a very bad way. I watched half of ep 1 and I really want to puke my eyes out...going 'r u kidding me?' 'Do you think I'm mentally retarded to believe this, Ms. scriptwriter?!'

I'm sorry, I don't feel the rave even for the supposingly 'strong' actings. KSW is so overrated. He can cry and do expressions, but that's not acting. That is just a physical powess that he can turn on and off like a switch (and showing abs is not acting too however hard and defined they r). His characters have never been believable for me to feel anything. I'm just watching him doing faces, that's all. Acting is more complicated than being able to do faces, he has to understand the character and portray it in some degree of realness. I dun see anything at all here. And he seriously need better taste level picking dramas. I feel and have respect for all his fans who have to sit thro sad sonata...THEN this... gosh... but if his characters r the standard of how u think ideal men act in face of tragedy...u need help.

I actually think Snow Queen/MISA r the only k melos that I like some bits. So please don't compare them to this mindblowingly awful thing. SQ is not the best drama, but at least it's sincerely cliched. There r scenes and lines very well written, acted (to my surprise) and directed. And I think it's respectable rating around 10%?! with no super big draws like melo superstar KSW when it's against the Jumong monster!

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I was ok with it for eps 1-4, but 5-8 is losing me.

I'm the type of person who would sit through "sinking" shows and watch till the end just to see how they ended it, so I'll probably keep watching. They've made me curious enough to want to see the end. I might just skip a couple eps to do it.

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Wow..even the Korean viewers are being harsh on this drama huh?
Anywayz, I'm an avid fan of KSW, and I think he's a great actor and all. But I hate to admit that Bad Love's not a great script for him.. he's already typecasted to play such roles..and I guess with the already so bad script, his so typical sad role would really get on ppl's nerves.

Anywayz, I persisted on to Ep 12..hehee..but I still like it, tho it's bad. Har har..

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I would still watch this drama until the end even though the title speaks for itself. I'm only watching this 'cuz of KSW and no matter how many times I've seen him play the same roles in his dramas. You see this is where the fast-forward button comes in handy. That's what I pretty much do in any melodramas or dramas. I mean no matter how bad it started, I just want to see if the times I've spent on this drama might have some worth after all. I'm crossing my fingers.

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Ha, just like star* I'm using the fast-forward button alot. KSW was the 1st k-hottie to take a place in my k-drama-loving heart and there are moments in this show when I am reminded why. So maybe it's just a nostalgia thing for me. Winter Sonata was the 1st k-drama I ever heard of and such melodrama was new to me then. Now it's so old and they've added nothing new to this one except maybe some racier scenes... which aren't new in themselves. Maybe the good thing to come out of an undeniable ratings disaster? is for KSW to sign on for a comedy next!!!

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I have been waiting to vent a little about this drama, thanks for allowing me that opportunity ;P Yup, it is a real stinker. I am not really into any of the main cast but I find the drama potentially could be an interesting one. I simply don't understand why KSW tend to gravitate towards doing this type of character?? I find him crying an awful lot in most of his drama. Sad Sonata was unbearable to watch, now this one is a close second or maybe it's equal (the jury is NOT out yet). The endless gloomy expression of everybody in Bad Love is making me want to slit my own wrist, yikes. I enjoy good melo drama but this drama is a badly made 'try to be' melo drama but it is not.......it is just so BORING to watch.

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It seems to me all K-dramas have an excess of coincidences that have character's lives entangled together and "Bad Love" is not an exception to this rule. I was shocked to pieces over episode 1's extremely racey scenes and am still shocked by it however, the storyline almost had me sympathasize and almost understand how easily a woman can find herself in an adulterous situation. All k-dramas have unnecessary fillers like airport scenes, unnecessary diseases, scenes where main characters always miss each other and so on and that is where you have to remind yourself that its just a drama. Have you ever been so engrossed in a movie and fine acting that you forget for a moment that it was only a movie? I am not saying that Bad Love is the tops but its certainly doesn't deserve such criticisms either. We can't all be "Full House".

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yeah. its overflowing with cliches and unrealistic plots.
a kdrama can have its share of cliches but bad love overdid it.
KWON SANG WOO is wasted in here! im hanging on to bad love just for him. hes toooo good for this drama :O!

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seems like, everyone else, i've been waiting for javabeans to comment on how bad bad love turned out to be. i'm a glutton for punishment so i've been plowing through bad love (fast forward helps it alot). i think the highlight has been thinking about how good it could have been because the cast is very good, i think. there is no chemistry with the main love interests and there is way way way too much running, even for a korean melodrama. Also, if they are going to follow the old passee formula, should they interject some humor and happy times to tide you over, cause there is just too much gloomy faces all the time. Sorry for the rant and raving, must stop watching bad love.

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ina: We can’t all be “Full House”.

Oh indeed. Bad Love is the Full House of Hell; I'm absolutely loving this confection of trashy heaven! Wrist scars, big hair, bigger pecs, and bleached, romantic sequences worthy of a coffee commercial, it's a SBS weekend soap transformed into Dynasty! Oh how I love this show. Truly, madly, deeply!

As for its ratings, Bad Love was more or less made for the international market (where it's done nicely), since melodramas are commercial kiss-of-death domestically. This is just KBS's obligatory run, and then it's DVD sales and then Kwon Sang Woo promoting his new movie.

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bad love is the DWar equivalent of drama. It's a disgrace that K entertainment business is raping the intelligence of audiences, esp international fans flocked to this joke of a drama just because of KSW or some CG dragon is in it. It made no attempt of even trying to recapture old cliches that can be done so much better than being randomly threw into this nasty stew of 16 hours of wasted film.

It's good that K netizen at least wake up to it and rant what they should about it.
I stopped watching KBS world just because of this.

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I honestly think KSS didn't get to watch tv during his military time....he thought melodramas were still in!

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wow im suprised at the many negative reactions to this. well i cant blame anyone for feeling that. it cant be everyone's cup of tea. personally, i stuck it out for KSW. lol i just love him too much. hahhah but the story is uhhh..
its so much like the writer (QOTG? Firebird?).. its a bit too much in some ways, but she can surely stir up emotions like no other. makes you feel so bad for KSW's character.. arghh.. anyways, im finishing it just cause i wanna know how it ends. eyecandy does help the fact that the script is just.. T_T

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Oh wow.

That bad, ay? Not even Kwon SangWoo's super badboy charms could save the drama from its penniless downfall.

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I have watched up to episode 4, so far I like it. I think that even if I don't like I'll still keep watching, just because of KSW :D

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Hi all,

Maybe i haven't watched that many dramas to get sick of the melodrama theme. I am only at Episode 6 (and it has proved to be the best episode yet). I got hooked to the drama when i watched Episode 1 because it was pretty fast paced...

I still look forward to the next episode at this point...but have heard that it gets draggy and Na In-jung (the lead female character) gets irritating towards the middle. But this is quite common in Korean dramas. (hahaha).

Oh yeah...plus for me...Kwon Sang-woo really carries the show. He is so fun to watch. =)

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I love BAD LOVE & I'm totally hooked.
KSW is a great actor, he's really good
in melodrama.
I feel bad about the poor ratings.
Well.. I noticed that theres a lot of
underrated drama in Korea now, like:
Capital Scandal & 9 end 2 outs, maybe
Korean viewers really like to watch historical
drama nowadays.

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i'm so sad that this series has such bad reviews and ratings..My poor Kwon Sang woo...I was hoping that this series will bring him back from the BAD...

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i believe you got the song wrong, as the one you posted is "중독" by JUST.

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sorry #44, fixed. the place i dl'd from had it mislabeled and i don't watch the drama so i didn't catch it. thanks

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Hey, bellza! (# 35) I'm with you! Trashy heaven?! Count me in!! Yes, a lot of what is written above it true, but still I'm hooked! Playing "what bad can happen next?" and counting the cliches. Great fun, actually! I too love this show! Truly, madly...and perhaps, irrationally?!

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"Love hurts! Love scars! Love wounds! And marks!! Oooooh love hurts!" -- Nazareth (the unofficial theme song to Bad/Cruel/Mistaken/Screwed-Up/Wretched Love)

Yeah, even from the writers of Queen of the Game and Firebird (who probably misunderstood Stairway to Heaven as a heartwarming human drama), this show is unprecedented even for Korean soaps. When I have my cheesecake, Nonbirira, I love a lot of fruit. And these side characters are some of the fruitiest in all of K-drama.

But all the same, I love Kwon Sang Woo and Lee Yo Won in this show. They've done a MV (plus Gong Yoo) together; they almost did My Tutor Friend together. Their line readings harmonize like music; and you can tell in individual scenes how well they pace and lead each other.

I haven't seen a love this powerful since Bobby and Whitney, Flavor Flav and New York. No couple has been more sorry to love each other than these starcrossed lovers!

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Yes, yes count me in on enjoying this trashy heaven. What a great way to describe this show! It is bad I know, and I usually avoid the melodramas, but I'm hooked... at least thru the first 11 episodes.

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I have been waiting on your recap and blog on this anticipated drama since KSW and supporting actor Kim somethin is starring in. I am disappointed that you are disappointed. I only read on previews and wait in english subs. I admit it was at a peak at the beginning and it became draggy and whatnot. I wish it would keep us in suspense and feeling heartwrenching since the title is Bad Love. Oh well, I hope it would get better! Thanks or your blogs!

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bellza! (#47) I can sing that song by heart and how right you are! (Takes me back to - oh, goodness, let's not go there...) And "When I have my cheesecake, I love a lot of fruit." LOL! The last batch of subs just came out so looking forward to a "trashy, fruity heaven" weekend.

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