You know, I’m not sure if it’s the choice of music, or the way the episodes are structured, or the loose feel of the plot, but there’s something about My Sweet Seoul that reminds me of Japanese shoujo anime. (Perhaps old-school shoujo; I haven’t watched any in years so I can’t be sure of the current trends.) Cute, short, sweet with romantic conflict that is on the brighter side of realistic; real problems, but not painted in overly serious tones.
SONG OF THE DAY
Vistee – “My Everything” [ Download ]
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Following Eun-soo’s apartment scare (a woman upstairs was strangled by a man she knew), Tae-oh moves in with her. It’s a little presumptuous of him to announce his intent rather than asking, but Eun-soo doesn’t object, and soon grows comfortable with the living arrangement — minus a few little things.
Eun-soo describes the minor adjustments that come with cohabitation: First, it has its uses, such as when she can’t find her cell phone and uses his to call hers (now if only they made a function like that for remote controls!). Furthermore, living together doesn’t mean sleeping in the same bed every night, particularly when Tae-oh steals all the covers. And lastly, “Time is no longer solely mine,” which she realizes when Tae-oh keeps texting her to remind her to buy groceries.
It causes a little awkwardness for Eun-soo, who’s meeting with Young-soo for work-related matters at Fresh Cat (his organic foods company) — but I think the discomfort is more Eun-soo’s own guilty conscience because Young-soo doesn’t seem to mind. This also points to why I dislike Eun-soo’s treatment of her two men — if she were forthright and honest and didn’t see anything wrong with stringing both of them along, I don’t think I’d have a problem. But her own sneaky behavior indicates that she herself finds her actions problematic, yet proceeds anyway, and that’s what I dislike about her. She’s the type of person who tries to get away with as much as she can get away with, knowing that what she’s doing is questionable.
To wit: Eun-soo finds Tae-oh flipping through the book she worked on for Fresh Cat. Tae-oh suggests ordering food from the company, and points to a picture of Young-soo, mentioning that the company CEO looks like a nice person. Hurriedly, Eun-soo changes the topic and puts the book away.
One thing I do find kind of endearing about Eun-soo, though, is her tendency toward messiness. She’s a slob. Her apartment may not be dirty, but it’s not very neat either, with clothing dropped on chairs and dishes awaiting cleaning in the sink. The situation is so bad that Tae-oh sings her a song about her sloppy cleaning habits, and declares a cleaning day. (In fact, when he launders her bedspread, he asks how long it’s been since the last time, and she answers, “This is the first time I’m washing them.”)
It’s not often we have a heroine being an acknowledged slob, so it’s a refreshing change. It also makes me feel less bad for allowing my apartment to slide into, um, disorganization — hey, I keep things clean, if not neat. Although thankfully I do wash my sheets.
Yoo-hee is back in dating mode with Chan-seok, poring over old notebooks and laughing at their childish doodling. She’s ready to proceed with their relationship openly, but Chan-seok seems uncomfortable discussing certain parts of his life, such as his five-year-old daughter.
Young-soo takes a look at his company’s website, where consumers have posted suggestions and complaints. Despite the delivery man’s protests that he’s going above and beyond the call of duty, Young-soo accompanies him on his delivery runs and personally speaks to the complainants, offering fresh fruit as a free gift and an assurance that the company is aware of and sorry for issues regarding their products. The delivery man is right that the gesture isn’t expressly necessary, but the personal touch reflects Young-soo’s own sincerity for his work.
Young-soo sees Eun-soo’s name on the delivery roster and wonders if it’s the same Eun-soo, which he confirms when he arrives on her doorstep bearing her food delivery (ordered by Tae-oh). Expecting Tae-oh back any minute with dinner, Eun-soo nervously greets Young-soo, worried about her two guys potentially running into each other, and lets him leave quickly.
Young-soo’s unexpected visit has made Eun-soo rather jumpy, so when she gets another visitor at the door during dinner, she immediately starts. Telling Tae-oh to be quiet, she peers through the peephole, then hurriedly shoos him into the bathroom before opening the door to Jane.
I’m not sure what Eun-soo’s thinking with her shortsighted actions, because the immediate goal (keeping Tae-oh from Jane) doesn’t seem worth the eventual hurt she’d cause him with her knee-jerk reaction. And it’s rather ironic that he’d accused her of hiding him away in some secret, locked room — and by shoving him into the bathroom away from company, she’s done just that.
But Jane’s sharp enough to notice the dinner table is set for two, and tells Eun-soo to cut out the act and let her see the guy. Thus Tae-oh is brought out and introduced to Jane, who takes in his youthful good looks and tall frame with approval.
But Jane is in a downcast mood, feeling despondent about her upcoming (in a week!) wedding and her fiancé’s newly discovered character flaws. She tells Eun-soo about her fiancé taking offense to Eun-soo’s comment to “Take care of Jane for me,” and his disgust when she sampled a bit of his cake.
Eun-soo is ready to play devil’s advocate and tell Jane to calm down, but Tae-oh jumps to Jane’s defense, telling her the guy is no good and that it’s fortunate she found this out while she could still break off the wedding. I think we’re supposed to feel for Eun-soo because Tae-oh speaks more strongly than Eun-soo would like, but I rather think Tae-oh is playing the part of supportive girlfriend better than Eun-soo. Plus, he’s not pushing Jane to do something she doesn’t want; Jane seems like she wants someone to confirm that she’s not bad for wanting to cancel the wedding.
Meanwhile, Young-soo arrives at one delivery stop where a little boy answers the door in tears. He’s home alone, and Young-soo looks at him in concern. He gives him a peach and tells the boy to be careful and lock the door after he leaves.
But when Young-soo turns to leave, the little boy stops him from going by calling after him.
It turns out the boy is watching a Ring-like horror movie alone, and wants Young-soo to sit by him as he finishes the movie. The movie’s even a bit much for Young-soo, who asks, “Uh, can’t we watch something else?” But the boy insists he has to finish watching because otherwise he’ll get made fun of for being a baby, so Young-soo nods gravely, “Okay. I guess we have to watch this through the end, then.”
It’s ADORABLE. Particularly since Young-soo is just as scared as the little boy.
Jane suggests going out for drinks to formally celebrate meeting Eun-soo’s new boyfriend, and takes to Tae-oh enthusiastically, since he’s polite, thoughtful, and speaks well. Eun-soo admits to Jane that they’re living together, and Jane attempts to be censorious, but that doesn’t last because she finds Tae-oh wonderful. (Am I the only one who thinks Tae-oh and Jane would make a great couple?)
Giddy and tipsy, Jane seems to have decided to break off the engagement, prompting Eun-soo to tell her to rethink things carefully. Tae-oh disagrees, saying it’s better for Jane to end things quickly. To Eun-soo, marriage is serious business and shouldn’t be decided this easily (which I would actually think is an argument supporting Tae-oh’s side). Eun-soo’s heart is in the right place, I suppose, because her point is that an aborted engagement will affect Jane’s life negatively. Because goodness knows we should all proceed with ill-advised weddings because it would be inconvenient to call off the ceremony.
The tension between the couple grows when Tae-oh moves to pay. Eun-soo pushes past him and gives her credit card to the cashier, overriding Jane’s polite offers to pay and Tae-oh’s sincere ones.
That frustrates Tae-oh, who is once again pushed aside, his considerations ignored. I wonder if the age difference has something to do with it; Eun-soo often treats Tae-oh as someone she can order around in a way that I can’t see her treating someone her own age. In any case, Tae-oh asks her how she sees him; she can’t answer. He asks again why she can’t trust him; again she remains silent, and he walks off. (Sigh — once again, Eun-soo has thought of herself first and only pays heed to Tae-oh’s hurt after she’s inflicted it.)
After ignoring her mother’s calls, Eun-soo drops by home, her suspicion getting the better of her when she flips through her mother’s address book to see who’s listed under “Kimpo ajumma.” Her mother greets her with initial cheer, preparing food for Eun-soo to take back with her, but Eun-soo is in the throes of moral indignation and a really unattractive mood of judgment.
She looks at her mother with jaded eyes, asking where she’s been and what Kimpo ajumma’s name is. That catches her mother off-guard, but she’s distracted (on purpose) when she spills some sauce on the table, licking spilled liquid off her finger. Eun-soo says with quiet disgust, “That’s filthy,” indicating the spill but obviously pointing the comment at her mother. Her mother says it’s a waste of sauce, to which Eun-soo answers, “How great, Mom, that something others consider dirty is something that makes you lick your finger happily.”
That hurts her mother’s feelings, who snaps back that she’s always making food for her daughter only to be called dirty. Little Miss Judgy-Pants bursts out, “Then stop! I won’t starve without food from you so don’t bother, and mind your own business! I’m sick of it!” Bravo, Eun-soo, bravo.
In a dejected mood, Eun-soo returns home and curls up next to Tae-oh for comfort.
I know we’re supposed to feel for Eun-soo, but I can’t find her sympathetic here. I understand the character’s feelings, and I even identify since not everyone can express themselves easily — but I can’t side with her when she’s so quick to judge, and slow to recognize her own fault. It seems for someone who’s so self-conscious about aspects of life, she’s really not very self-aware.
But someone I do like more and more is Yoo-hee; for instance, in her reaction to Eun-soo’s secret new boyfriend. Right away, she tells Eun-soo she’s irritated with her, and that she will continue to be for the following week.
Eun-soo explains to Yoo-hee that she’s a coward, and a coward’s heart is always twofold: even as you love, you want to run away.
That night, Eun-soo returns home to Tae-oh and tells him she’s sorry; she acted the way she did because she was afraid: “Even as I love, I wonder if I can love. Even as I hold something, I wonder if I can have it. I love but I run away, and hold on though I run.”
She admits honestly (finally!) that she did have her doubts: that she’d wished he were older, that he had a regular desk job, that she worried over what other people would say. But despite those thoughts, she really does love him.
With the relationship back on track, Eun-soo accompanies Tae-oh on a film shoot, helping out with over the course of the day and meeting his co-workers.
On their way out, Eun-soo mentions her friend’s wedding the next day, which surprises Tae-oh. He starts to wonder aloud at how Jane could go through with such a marriage to such a jerk, but they avert another argument when she shoots him a look and he backs down, saying, “I guess that happens.” This time, she makes him happy by telling him he’ll have to come to the wedding too.
And so, on wedding day, Eun-soo muses about her solitary island. Now that she’s met a partner, it’s time for her to set sail and leave her island to visit the world outside.