Drama Recaps
The World They Live In: Episode 4
by | November 6, 2008 | 55 Comments

Er, not so thrilled with Episode 4. It wasn’t a bad episode, but it wasn’t as strong as the previous episodes, in my opinion, and I think I have a pretty good idea why. More below.


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EPISODE 4: “About the women I can’t understand”

This episode is all about the women in Ji-oh’s life he can’t understand, namely his mother and Joon-young.

Joon-young and Ji-oh are dating now, although they keep it quiet from their co-workers. Joon-young works out some of her issues with her drama characters with Ji-oh, discussing the romantic relationship between the two men and wondering how to express the emotions effectively.

Joon-young makes the first move in furthering the relationship when she suggests they head to her apartment, where they continue talking about the characters. An interesting point to note is that although these two are very familiar with each other, there are certain clues showing that they’re not as close as it may initially seem — when Joon-young makes a comment about her mother’s hobby, he looks at her in surprise, “Are you rich?” She answers, “My parents are, I’m not.”

Ji-oh makes the next move, asking for a toothbrush, then casually suggesting he’d like to change out of his jeans into more comfortable clothes, if she has any lying around. Joon-young rummages for clothes, while Ji-oh berates himself for acting like a player. Both know where this is heading, but they’re feeling a little awkward about it.

Then they kiss, he carries her to bed, and the camera pans away.

In the morning, Ji-oh awakens, neurotically wondering how he should act. Should he greet her smoothly? Talk about what happened directly, or gloss it over? He has a whole romantic idea of how the morning after should unfold — with a sweet moment between new lovers — but that image is dashed when Joon-young wakes him up, acting perfectly normal.

She’s laid out new underclothes for him, too, and prepared breakfast. She betrays no embarrassment or awkwardness, and treats Ji-oh just as she did before, friendly and open and unsentimental.

Ji-oh is taken aback, eyeing her warily as he tries to figure out if he’s going to say anything or just go along with it. He thinks to himself, “This isn’t right.” He’d envisioned talking about how this marks a step forward in their relationship, but he doesn’t get a chance to say it.

As Joon-young heads out to work, Ji-oh thinks to himself, “When a director feels overly proud that he understands his characters perfectly, the drama loses its way. Our lives may be like that. The moment I think I know everything about the person in front of me, something happens to hit me on the back of the head, like now.”

Joon-young stops her car as she pulls away, leaning out the window to say, “About last night…” and winks.

She seems totally cool and unaffected by their night together, but it’s all an act for her, too — when she’s alone in her car, Joon-young berates herself for overcompensating to cover her embarrassment.

Joon-young scouts a location for her drama, choosing the house Ji-oh had wanted for his own drama. Joon-young looks on with satisfaction, envisioning how she’d shoot it, but Min-hee points out that Ji-oh’s not going to like this. For a director to steal another’s location is almost like a woman stealing another’s husband. Joon-young shrugs off Min-hee’s warning, and I’m sure this will become an issue later.

Chief Kim pressures Kyu-ho to get his series on track, denying him the extra month of filming time. Kyu-ho is not intimidated, saying that he’s confident that his series will be high-quality and bring in high ratings if he gets the time, but the chief is firm, telling him to forget ratings. Just get the drama out.

However, Kyu-ho is slicker than he looks, and ballsier. He wants Ji-oh to direct his B team, and says so with such smoothness that Chief Kim wonders if this was the whole reason he’d stalled for a month — to get Ji-oh. Chief Kim isn’t willing to be manipulated by Kyu-ho, but Kyu-ho answers that if he doesn’t get Ji-oh, he’ll take his production elsewhere. From his attitude, it seems he has the upper hand, suggesting that his series probably is strong enough to do as he threatens.

Although Joon-young claimed she could put aside her personal feelings for her actors, we see that she’s not really able to. Her dislike for Young is palpable as soon as the actress steps on set, and Joon-young’s distaste translates into lackluster direction. Young suggests — in the languid, careless way that rubs Joon-young the wrong way — that Joon-young shoot with a little more feel, and even Joon-young’s DP suggests another take. But Joon-young says they have the shot, unwilling to give Young an inch.

In contrast, in the next shot, Joon-young nitpicks and insists they reshoot the scene multiple times, earning her odd looks from her staff, who all know that the scenes are fine. Young tells her, “I thought you were a pro, but you’re a child. Did you come here to work, or to fight with me?”

Joon-young answers evenly that she’s doing this for the good of the drama, but nobody is fooled; it’s obvious that Joon-young’s personal feelings are driving her behavior.

On set, Kyu-ho watches a movie and wonders, “How do I rip this off without being obvious?” A phone call sours his mood, as it’s from his younger brother, who’s being held at the police station for brawling (again). The younger brother shows the same cocky attitude as his brother, and the two don’t share a warm relationship, but Kyu-ho’s still got to go and bail his brother out.

With frustration, Kyu-ho calls an end to the filming day and orders Soo-kyung to get his car ready. However, Soo-kyung is tied up with his own issues, so Hae-jin cheerfully offers to drive the director. He turns her down flatly and tells her to spend her time learning her dialogue, prompting her to stick her tongue out at him and say, “You’re a lot worse than the rumors say.”

Meanwhile, Soo-kyung’s still facing difficulties with the drama’s eldest star, who continues giving him a hard time for not being properly respectful to her. She grabs his cell phone out of his hand, and Soo-kyung sees that the only way to appease her is to give her what she wants. He apologizes to her repeatedly, even bowing in deference, but she isn’t satisfied and tells him to drive her home.

It doesn’t seem like she’s angry with him — more that she’s having a little fun at his expense, and also very lonely. On the drive home, she tells him she’s hungry and wants to stop by somewhere to eat. Exasperated, Soo-kyung tells her he’s barely got time to sleep and needs to continue working, and pleads to be let off the hook.

Soo-kyung gripes to Hae-jin about their director’s unfeeling attitude toward the starving staff (namely Soo-kyung himself), but Hae-jin defends Kyu-ho in a half-dreamy tone. Soo-kyung asks disgustedly if she has a thing for bad boys since it’s obvious she likes Kyu-ho, and she answers, “All women like bad boys.” He tells her Kyu-ho’s a ladykiller, but she ignores him.

Now for the other woman in Ji-oh’s life that he can’t understand. Since this is the first vacation in a while, Ji-oh visits his parents, who live on a farm in the countryside. His mother is a good-natured, simple rural woman, and Ji-oh has a lot of affection for her. He takes her out and pampers her, doing his best to tamp down his temper when his difficult, complaining boor of a father picks on his mom for every little thing.

Ji-oh’s father doesn’t seem like he’s a BAD man, but he’s the kind to find fault with everything and constantly scolds Mom. Mom has gotten used to his demanding ways and has found her own way of managing him, but Ji-oh isn’t able to ignore it and finally snaps back at his father. From his father’s startled reaction — he’s rendered speechless and sputtering — we can assume that Ji-oh rarely speaks out against his father, likely because he can’t do so without his temper erupting.

As Ji-oh readies to leave, he suggests to his mother that she move up to Seoul to live with him, but she laughs in response, saying she’d much prefer living with his dad than with Ji-oh. He’s honestly bewildered at her response, because to him it seems like her life with Dad is insufferable. Ji-oh says, “I can’t understand you at all,” but she assures him that his father really is thoughtful (in his own way). And it’s true that she has a lot of affection for her husband, even as they bicker back and forth every minute of the day.

As he watches his mother happily wave him off, Ji-oh muses in wonderment, “Of anyone in the world, I can’t understand my mother at all. No, I don’t even want to understand her. All I want is for that woman to stay by my side for a long, long time.”

Soo-kyung calls Ji-oh to tell him about Kyu-ho’s intention to bring him onto his drama, and warns him not to agree to it. He complains — loudly, and extensively — about Kyu-ho’s impossible working habits and attitude, and Ji-oh assures him that he doesn’t have any intention of working on this drama.

Afterward, Ji-oh heads over to the shooting location (I’m thinking Singapore again?) where Joon-young is working, and arrives just in time to see the building tensions finally explode.

Joon-young is shooting the chase scene she’d envisioned previously, which calls for actors to run through the street, with a crew of Steadicam operators chasing behind. Dissatisfied with her takes, Joon-young calls for countless reshoots, instructing her crew with clipped orders that grate on everyone’s nerves. Her attitude is poor and she cuts off their protests with an irritated bark. Everyone grows more and more agitated with each successive take, until finally the main Steadicam operator can’t take it anymore.

He stops shooting and confronts Joon-young about her attitude, telling her that they’ve been running for an hour straight. What is her problem?

Seeing trouble brewing, Ji-oh steps in and takes aside the cameraman (whom he knows well) and drags him away to cool down at a nearby café. The man is simmering with indignation at the way Joon-young treated him, and Ji-oh tries to sympathize.

Joon-young comes by, terse and worked up, and tells him that she’s sorry — but in a tone that doesn’t sound very sorry at all. Her skewed idea of an apology is to tell the cameraman how upset he’s made her. Yes, she may not have much experience, but if he lowers the camera and refuses to work, he undermines her authority in front of the entire staff. Women directors are belittled enough without their crews mutinying.

That just gets him more angry, and he retorts that he’s a pro, too, with pride in his work. He’s gone 10 hours wearing the Steadicam before (showing her trademark lack of tact, she retorts, “Then why did you complain after just one hour?”). He tells her, “If you’d only said, ‘I’m sorry, I know it’s hard but let’s go once more,’ I would have done it. What kind of pro can’t work just because it’s hard, when his name is on the line?”

But Joon-young never showed any care to her staff or uttered one word of apology. He asks: “You think you’re the only one suffering through this, don’t you? The others, the actors, and I’m all working too.” As he continues explaining that the rest of the crew is just as hard at work as she is, Joon-young starts to register his words, and starts to look sorry for real — finally!

The instant this happens and she starts to express her (genuine) apology, he cuts her off to take responsibility for losing his temper, too. This is the lesson Joon-young seems to be constantly failing to learn, time after time — that the issue isn’t whether she’s right or wrong. The fights that occur aren’t because she’s wrong, but because her attitude shows so little care for others.

Meanwhile, Young and Ji-oh talk, having left the table to let Joon-young and the cameraman work out their issues.

Young has caught on to the vibe between the couple, and asks Ji-oh if he’s dating Joon-young. Caught off-guard, Ji-oh can only stutter a denial, but it’s pretty weak and Young knows better. She tells Ji-ho that she likes Joon-young — being enthusiastic is better than being weak — but that a relationship won’t work between them. She’s too hotheaded for him.

With the issue worked out, filming progresses, and this time, both the shooting and the atmosphere are much improved. When a shot has to be re-taken, Joon-young takes a cue from her earlier misstep, and calls down to her cameraman, “I’m sorry, but let’s try one more time.”

This time, the cameraman answers with a teasing “Okay” and smiles back at her.

Later that night, Ji-oh and Joon-young try to arrange a rendezvous, but find their plans foiled because Joon-young has been given a shared room with Min-hee.

They try to figure out a way to spend some time together without Min-hee finding out — half-seriously, Joon-young suggests, “Should I buy some sleeping pills and slip some in her water?” Ji-oh suggests getting Min-hee drunk, but Joon-young nixes that idea because Min-hee’s a strong drinker.

But they get lucky since Min-hee turns in early for the night, so Joon-young is able to slip outside to meet Ji-oh, although he has difficulty getting away and arrives about an hour late.

By this point, Joon-young is fighting sleep, but she’s determined to tell him something, and mumbles drowsily about the night they’d spent together:

“When I bought you underwear that morning… I thought you wouldn’t want to put on the same clothes after showering… I just wanted to do something to make you feel nice… it’s not like I’m experienced or anything… I was embarrassed, but didn’t want you to know…”

Ji-oh listens to her, half-confused and wondering if she’s sleep-talking. As she dozes against him, Ji-oh says with a smile, “In any case, dating isn’t bound to be easy for us.” Meanwhile, he thinks to himself:

“It’s strange. Even a few days ago, the words ‘I can’t understand you’ carried a negative meaning. But now, holding Joon-young, whom I can’t understand a bit, I find those words appealing. Because we can’t understand, we can talk more. Because we can’t understand, all our senses stand on end. Just because we understand doesn’t mean we love. We learn one by one.”


I see an alarm sign flashing in front of me, and it reads: My Sweet Seoul. In particular, Choi Kang-hee in My Sweet Seoul. I’m not worried yet, but I can’t help but think that Song Hye-gyo’s character is inching toward borderline annoying for me, and half of that is a character issue, while the other half is an acting thing.

First, the character issue: Joon-young is flawed, and that’s not the problem. I welcome flawed. Flawed is likable, it’s relatable, it’s human. Unfortunately, Joon-young is a little too bullheaded and willful for me to feel for her, as in the argument with the cameraman and Young. I’m all for strong, passionate, and hotheaded characters. However, I dislike petulance, and in a main character it’s an instant turn-off. I hope her character improves quickly, and I’m willing to stick it out — for a while.

Regarding Song Hye-gyo’s acting: She’s doing the job, but somehow she seemed very… flat in Episode 3 and 4. There’s something very cool about Ji-oh and Joon-young’s developing romance — and I don’t mean “cool” as in awesome, rather as in detached and unemotional. The relationship should be sweet and endearing, and yet it lacks a spark. Same with her portrayal in general — she goes through the motions reasonably well, but there’s no added zing. She’s the sum of her parts, but just the sum — no added alchemy or magic sumthin’-sumthin’ in the end product.

To the people who are wanting to slap me now for criticizing Song: I think I’m being very fair, and actually quite lenient about her performance. I think people tend to see things from one perspective and forget that there are others — for instance, as a Song fan, one might say, “Come on, she’s not terrible. Why are you picking on her?” Fans often look at their star’s performance in an isolated vacuum, outside of its context.

But on the flip side of that, there are others of us watching this with a holistic approach — we are looking at the drama as a whole, in the context of a well-rounded project containing many components. We’re not “picking on” one person because we don’t like her. We’re looking at how the drama holds up as a complete work, and notice flaws when they appear. And in THAT context, Song is weak.

Keep in mind that I don’t dislike Song Hye-gyo, and I’ll even defend her acting here, to a point. But this is a subtle drama with many layers, and she isn’t a very subtle or layered actress. That’s all I mean when I called out her acting.


55 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. nana

    I am not SHG fan but IMO she is not weak like you said
    her acting is OK

    • 1.1 Gloria

      It’s like you never read her blurb at the end.. -__-; She says that SHK’s acting is okay to a point, but in CONTEXT of the drama, it’s one of the weaker aspects. She never said SHK’s acting was weak, but rather that it lacks subtlety and that she can’t connect with her.

  2. Amelia

    I totally agree with you about the Song Hye Kyo thing. I don’t think she’s a horrible actress, but she is very blah so far. Maybe it’s because it’s Song Hye Kyo and I expect a lot more from her, but I don’t think she’s really pulling her weight so far.

  3. ohgeeze.

    Ehh yeah. I’ve watched the first two episodes–waiting for the next two– and it seems as if with this character, SHK is much more.. reserved? In Full House she had a character to live up to, cute and full of attitude, but with Joonyoung, she’s just plain. She has something to go with here, but it’s not enough for her to break through in her acting.

    I’ll still be watching. Only because I love how no one’s going to die or get a disease in this drama. At least I hope not. Yes, reminds me of Soulmate. And I absolutely adored that drama. Thanks.

  4. Cookie

    Thanks for recapping this drama.

    I really like WW. I like the feel of it and also the subtlety, attention to detail and the nuance conveyed in the drama. While I find SHK’s acting to be suitable at this point for the character, I find that the character is starting to annoy me. I hope her character will show some grown as the drama unravels.

    I also agree that while the lead characters are being playful and cute in their romance, I don’t really feel that there is real romance – it’s not convincing.

  5. nixxochick

    hmmmm I kind of see the point your making but at the same time this does not scream out MSS…and trust me I would know because to an extent I couldnt stand that drama. For me, it kind of gives me a L&M feel, sort of, but I hope thats not the case because I didnt like that drama either

    hmmm regardless I’m liking everything so far 🙂

  6. Fenella

    World Within is not easy to understand…. the drama has many flaws…..

    1) They started off with an unclear/ in the middle and telling us a confusing relationship story of the two main leads.Its hard for audience to follow what is happening when the story start off in the middle…….. in chinese we call it no head, no tail….

    2) Unclear time frame….. they dated during university days but not until episode 3/4 then it was more clearer why they broke up….. and how long they have been graduated or broken up? If within few years, is it logical to have a PD at such young age?

    3) Wrong casting for the main leads…. the biggest mistake in a drama is wrong casting. The reason why people seems to find everything isn’t right for SHG in this drama is that she simply don’t look convincingly like a PD. Therefore, no matter what she does, nothing seems right. Her appearance does not suit her character and people judge her from that impression. Seriously, watching her directing is like watching a kid directing a whole bunch of oldies for a big production…. not sensible. Hyun Bin also looks too young for the PD role. Is all KBS’s PD really that young? Maybe i’m wrong but in my perception a PD for big TV station should be matured and old enough to handle big production … both certainly not that convincing for that role…. If given a chance, i think the chief Kim and Yoon Young can be a more convincing PDs than HB/SHG…..

    4) Chemistry – ya, they try to ACT as lover but there is no spark in it. I don’t think they are into the character of JY and JO and they are still a bit reserving themselves in the drama. As actor, they need to get into the character and forget themselves for a while…. they seems to be holding back and the outcome showed that they are not convincing enough as a couple.

    5)The timeslot of the drama is at 9.55pm. I’m not sure if that is the prime time to watch drama in Korea but in any other place in Asia, even TVB dramas, that timeslot is really bad to generate most audience. Common, who will want to wait until that time to watch a drama?

    Having said all the above, I’m not criticizing the actors. Its great to watch 2 good actors in a drama but i fell it is such a waste that the drama does not suit them at all. I believe they would have shine in any other story that suited their profiles.

    • 6.1 Gloria

      Haha looking back, it’s interesting how many people are pointedly calling out the lack of chemistry and oomph in the relationship (even with all the skinship), but they ended up dating in real life..

  7. ashleeeeeee

    Do you guys have the song by Clazziquai – Sweety by any chance?

  8. ed

    god bless you fenella for point #3. i’m happy the series is balling with rights sold to 10 asian countries (from latest news…) on the strength of great wrting + Ye Golden Couple. but the alarm never stays off for me about the duo miscast in these fantastically written roles (promising, young working male’s dating blues ties back to his child-parent relationship, in equal doses idyllic and angst to do with gender dynamics, money/power issues in family?! hot dang!!)

    they have every fiber in their beautiful bodies, to convince as the charming and intelligent chaebol heirs, who are beautiful specimen to boot. but as people toiling in the physically draining work of TV PDs, who we hear don’t really get paid or treated that well in the hierarchy? (long hours scouting, conferencing, shooting, nanny to various egos including their own?) for market reasons they’re cast as the working-folk PDs and not stars – hence the irony! the series is all about realism, and casting shoots itself in the foot!

    that said, SHK + HB aren’t without potential to improve. they’re both the most emotionally invested, when spurred on to respond to the energy, emotions from older costars. na moon-hee (acting like a ridiculously naive 5-year-old with pigtails trapped in ajumma body 😀 ) has the same effect on HB the way her pairing with hwang jung-min in You’re My Sunshine. you actually hear HB stop intonating every line with somnambulist charm in that farm sequence, until his internal monologue sticks back again.

    same with SKH getting a lot of crap dumped on her by steadicam guy – 정인기 who pops up in everything and has never been so intensely PO’ed as here! you can see all she has to do is react to his visible fume, boiling to a soot-covered sweaty from wrangling his cam — and the scene is over just as his anger evaporates (actual emotion X timing to pace the scene!) anyway on a superficial note, her victory hopping with rather voluptuous appeal (!) can easily shut off the QC inspector 😛 it’s an image business after all.

  9. mikaney330

    I always enjoy reading your re-caps, especially your comments at the end. I just wanted to say, I wholeheartedly agree with you about SHG’s acting. (Might I just add that I think it’s sad that you should have to defend your opinion.) I honestly think this drama could have gone much deeper with actors who are better able to portray subtle emotions, or different dimensions of the characters. SHG and HB are doing an average job. I hope their performances develop throughout the series. This drama is a quite a letdown for me, considering the PD and scriptwriter were two people I had heavily counted on to make this drama more than it is.

    P.S. I think this is one of the rare dramas where I truly enjoy all the scenes with the other actors beside the leads. lol.

  10. 10 popcorn

    there is nothing wrong with what you think dramabeans.

    Hmmm, I haven’t watched ep 3 and 4 but so far i like how they portray the characters. It’s funny how you described shk’s character as supposed to be complex but from her acting, it isn’t complex. It seems pretty 2-D if you get what i mean.

    Anyway, i’ll just enjoy the plot. The acting can do…i’m kind of used to it (except if it’s really horrible.) They still do okay. 😀

  11. 11 ashleeeeeee

    um i was trying to download some clazziaquai music but zSHARE doesn’t work for me! i press download but it just keeps going back to the download page. what should i do?

  12. 12 wollie

    I totally agree with Fenella
    until now, I cannot find any strong point of this drama
    KBS claimed that The World They Live In will be totally about drama production when they’re asked about this drama’s similarity to SBS On Air however, I found that it’s more in HB & SHK’s relationships issues.
    Hope this drama not as disappointing as ‘Spotlight’

  13. 13 rihanna

    She Cannot Act. For Ask how long she’s been in this industry more than 10 years . she’s done many sitcom before but what ?? she’s Still Weak. nothing Wrong with the Story . only her who can Act. she always Put her Appearance more than anything. i am her big fan before but after i watch Hwang Jin i in film and Tv serial Version, it Clearly show How Weak She is.

    nothing suitable For Great and high ability , tell me about ha Ji won She Can put all charachter , then Jeon Do yeon, Jang Jin Young they can Leave their real character then play in the new characther i know it’s true Cruel to Compare SHG which for me has Score 3 ( 1-10 ) with 9 score actress with them.

    i think nothing Wrong with being Pretty Son Ye Jin, Lee Young Ae they Can Act too. ~ they were even admitted .

    Cha soo Yeon, Son Y ejin, Kim Min Hee , han Hye jin they Debut late than her but They more high Quality then her. just confused sidusHQ her late Company has many Great actress why she seems failed..

    Maybe if she just debuted 3 years i’ll still defend on her but, please she’s been in this industry more than 10 years , She’s Not singer before . it Clearly Acting is not her World

    John Woo must be regret Casting her in his new movie

  14. 14 rihanna

    wollie i am absolutely with You . i hate Pretending Professional drama Like this. i think only Spotlight Which Pure Prefession Drama

  15. 15 ")

    harsh words… i dont know… i’ve just watched 2 episodes, still waiting for others to sub the drama….

    i just want to enjoy the drama, not to over-analyse the characters etc… unless the character really gets into my nerves then i will get irritated and rant… LOL… but poor SHG.. its tough acting… sigh…

    Thanks Dramabeans… looking forward to read your reviews for the next several weeks…

  16. 16 goldfish

    I agree 100% with you on SHG’s acting. I’ve only ever seen her in Full House, and I thought she was perfectly fine in that. But having watched a few eps of Worlds Within, it seems like she’s lacking something…. emotions? depth? charisma? screen presence?

    It’s a difficult role to play, and she’s obviously struggling with it. I’m finding it a little frustrating now, because it’s such a wonderful drama and as the lead actress, she’s not stepping up to the plate. It’s a shame, really. Because this drama is so character-driven, any shortcomings in her acting abilities really stick out like a sore thumb. I agree that she’s not horrible, but at the same time, she’s not really doing her character any justice up to this point.

  17. 17 Marzy

    im actually trying to enjoy the drama… though yes i wouldnt go awarding any best improved or anything to SHG.. well.. i dont know.. im enjoying the story.. despite the complaints of some.. i like the feel of it and the ost.. plus the way its done is nice for me.. im actually gonna go out on a limb. but i feel HB is doing better acting wise. this is just my opinion though. i feel the character more… its sad that the a lot of people think this is a miscast.. but im kinda happy HB is the guy, the girl not sure.. EKJ does a doesnt job too… well.. just for me anyway..

  18. 18 Marzy

    ooppps i meant decent job by EKJ.. lol.. but really the other little stuff can be overlooked because there are good elements such as the writing, music, and the flow.. overall feeling.. its not solid yet.. but elements which are nice.. its not ur typical professional drama too at that.. i appreciate it though, eventhough it has profession.. it has the other aspects.. coworkers, love, friendship, commaraderie..
    im not sure if the lack of the so called spark is cause of the lack of acting on one part or cause the script tells it to bethis way? the cool feeling? or will it get better along the way?

    goldfish, makes a good point the way its made has been character driven so it does stick out if the acting is not up to par..

  19. 19 TYFR

    Hi all:

    I have read all the above comments and I respect them. However, I think maybe it’s too soon to judge the whole drama. So far it’s ok with me and I will keep watching it til end.

    If anything, I think the responsibility is on the PD if the scene is not good, he should reshoot it until it is.


  20. 20 bibi

    I fall in love with hyun bin in this drama, hyun bin’s doing a great job,
    truely enjoyed watching him act, so wonderful, can’t wait for the next episode..

  21. 21 milagirll

    Thanks for the recaps!!! So insightful!!!

    I have to say I’m getting a litttle nervous myself. I can’t say the show is bad but I think it is trying to be TOO complex. I appreciate that they are trying to give the characters a certain amount of humanity with, as you mentioned, MANY flaws. That can get annoying though. Also, to go with that there are some actors that don’t have the adequate skills to portray a complicated character. I think that’s the problem SHG is having. It’s kinda hard going from “rom-com” Full House to “luxury drama” Worlds Within. Hopefully she’ll get better since we are only on ep 4 out of 16 eps. All the characters have a lot to work on and I’m assuming the drama will be following their progression. Hyun Bin is rather impressive though!!! I think he has a better idea of who the character is and what the writer is trying to do with him. The only thing that really bugs me is that SHG and HB got together so early in the show!!! That might mean their going to break up a lot for the remainder of the show or they won’t be together at the end of the show. And that is not what I signed up for!! : )

  22. 22 scarlet1013

    Hi Javabeans,

    I have been constantly lurking in your site everyday since i discovered coffee prince… I love reading your recaps and your side comments, raves, rants, on dramas, news and etc…. it aids me which drama i will invest my time in…

    Too bad you don’t seem to like Worlds Within that much… but I liked it… this my first Kdrama in a long time after coffee prince ( that long huh!) . And Worlds Within captured my attention, mainly because it has a refreshing approach in the development of the story for a KDrama… And because of its subtlety & nothing too tragic so far, the drama can relieve my stressful day …

    As for the acting, I’m in LOVE with Hyun BIn now. As for Song, I think she’s not that bad either… I do not have that much expectations of her, so I have no qualms about her acting either…Plus I like watching beautiful people together in a drama, I think I won’t get tired watching them …

    So, I will be sticking out on this drama this time… and I hope you’d still continue doing your recaps … More power to you Javabeans!

  23. 23 quicksilver18

    Thank you Javabeans. I wasn’t able to find the appropiate words that would’ve explained for my own personal dissatisfaction with Song Hye Kyo and her character, but you have. I tried to for Episode 3, and most people have taken it in the manner that I was bashing her, which wasn’t the case. People are entitled to their own opinions, as long as the criticism comes across diplomatic and constructive. I want to be able to see Song Hye Kyo more than just a pretty face and as a real actress. She’s been in a number of high profile productions and yet there’s no soul behind her acting, regardless of the fact that Joo Joon Young’s character is a short-sighted, hot tempered, blunt, emotionally immature character. Cuz I’m pretty sure that Noh Hee Kyung wants us to see that there’s more to Joon Young than that.

    This is a Noh Hee Kyung script, one that many high profile actors would die for. Most of her stories seem initially simple on the surface but are layered with human complexities that give viewers great insight to characterization. That’s what I really liked about Goodbye Solo. All of the characters in that drama also had their own issues to deal with. But as time passed more was revealed about what was lurking beneath them, like peeling a layer of onion skin. You can see that The World They Live In also has the same qualities and eventually we’ll come to see different revelations from all the characters. However, Hyun Bin and Song Hye Kyo make these revelations feel less precious. As if they’re just telling the audience, “Here you go. This is the lesson that my character is going to learn today.”

    Sure, we can simply sit back and just try to enjoy the The World They Live In for what it is. But this isn’t a romantic comedy like My Name Is Kim Sam Soon or My Girl. It’s supposed to be a thought provoking one. And where’s the fun if we can’t all muddle together and hash our brains out? *wink wink* ^_^

  24. 24 Resa

    Thank you so much for taking the time to review this show. When the show was first announced I looked forward to it with high hopes – especially after the other TV-production show degenerated so fast.

    But I’m sad to say that after only four episodes I’m done. The character SKH asks for a subtle and layered portrayal to make this flawed character acceptable to viewers. However, the actress, though solid in her acting, is not cut out to deliver this quality. Offset by this very type of role she comes across as boarish, flat-footed and even stupid, where in fact the very same type of acting in another role would let her look reliable, capable, unfazed and hands-on. Casting def. did not do her a favor with this one.

  25. 25 ikanmas

    YEA, i have the same opinion as you. In this drama, on ep 1 and 2, her acting is kinda weak too! That’s why I am unsure about this drama. It seems both of them doesn’t have much connection in terms of romance. However, they look seem ok for friendship.
    Hopefully, this drama will pick up soon.

  26. 26 qwerty_u

    I think for someone to really like an actress, if you’ve seen her once and liked her–watched her other works but then failed, you do seem to have an inkling not to watch her again. Like I did when i first saw her in Full House–yeah she was great in it! I love her there..then i searched for her drama autumn tale, watched it. Moon Geun Young was a better actress in that drama. that’s when i fell in love with Moon, then watched her other work too. Never i fail to dislike her movies. from little bride, innocent steps, love me not, lovers concerto, a tale of sisters, and boy i tell you she’s a really good actress.

  27. 27 qwerty_u

    opss double posting.

    for the sake of argument-the whole story of world within is worth watching i think..but it’s really lacking. I stopped episode 2. sorry folks..Good Luck to yall!

    to be a good actress you have to act very convincingly…i’m not convinced with her role/acting.

  28. 28 amy

    I feel the same about Joon-young. Her character started annoying the heck out of me, and it’s also annoying to see Ji Oh not being able to let go of his ex, but it’s okay since there are other characters I enjoy watching.

  29. 29 amy

    And I do wish the two main leads were played by older and more delicate actors. SHG & HB simply don’t look the characters they’re playing. Sorry for double posting.

  30. 30 mookie

    amy, JO did let go of his ex in ep2, and even if he didnt, it was set out convincing as a flaw/weakness of his…so u cant really fault a character being human, can u?!

    I dont feel like this drama itself is lacking at all though… it’s still great, the best out there in its genre, it’s still an NHK, and though SHK may need improvements and maybe she will never be able to convey more than one emotion/one facet at the same time…ie flat, she has her moments when she’s fine. Is she doing her character and the drama a disservice? maybe….but as much as I love Goodbye Solo, there are characters in there that I think can use better acting too. So the flaw we can pinpoint to now , only 4 eps in, is the a bit lacking acting (and compared to other kdramas, this is no way near bad), but everything else is more than terrific. I honestly dun see what all the negative rants about the DRAMA r about, enough to dismiss it.

    quicksilver, I dont agree these actors make the revelations less precious because of their lack of acting. I actually think ep1, 2 r done extremely well, even the acting. When the eps started out stating themes and what we’re going to see, it’s more the writer’s design that we’re going to get whatever the lessons the characters are going thro’. It’s still thought provoking enough for me, I still see poetic moments every ep. I don’t, for one moment, felt it’s teetering to romcom territory at all though it has its funny/lighter moments

    I do think 3, 4 r just stepping stones/transitional eps to latter problems, these 2 eps set out to show us more about the characters in a less fantastic whimsical light. It also went on other tangents about their other relationships. They may repeat past mistakes, they may be animals of their habits. So we didnt see much of their characters’ growth, their romance seems all cheery on the surface with a palpable disconnect, unbeknownst to the characters themselves, but I think per writer’s intention. Perhaps we’ll get to see exactly why their relationship flattered last time, and maybe this time too.

  31. 31 b_lizard

    I tried to watch this drama cos I like Hyun Bin (since Sam Soon) but Song Hye Go’s character is too annoying! She’s childish, petty and self-absorbed. I watch it when there’s nothing else to do (like when I’m waiting for the next episode of Painter of the Wind) but it’s not doing anything for me. I found Full House really boring too. I prefer reading the recaps to actually watching the show :-p

  32. 32 haezi

    i completely agree with your assessment of song hye gyo’s acting. you’re right. you aren’t being too harsh, nor too lenient. she doesn’t suck. she’s just flat. for some reason, when someone is as beautiful as her, they are automatically lambasted for horrible acting. she was fine in full house. it’s just that she doesn’t quite have the nuanced acting skills that are required of such a character. it’s an atypical kdrama role that can be easily disliked since there’s obviously so much more growing to do.

    hyun bin is also a little bit of a miss, though his character is much more likeable. the spark between the two is still weak, but i’m pretty sure that both hb and shg will improve.

    anyway, thanks for the recap and i hope you continue with this…if only so i can keep up if i can’t continuing watching this myself.

  33. 33 kawaii

    Thanks a lot JAVABEANS for taking your time to recaps n do summary on this drama. Please keep them coming because i always enjoy myself reading your summary and they all have always been very helpful for me to understand more before the subs coming out.

    Reading everyone’s comments, i kinda feel bad and confused because i LOVE this drama in every bits and i really dont see any faults in the acting. yeah, maybe after i read everyone’s view i kinda have idea what everyone means. but for me, up until now i never get bothered by that because the other things about the drama have captured the whole of me. everything was just great that at the end of every episode,i always end up smiling n words that uttered right then always “wow! i love this drama!”. maybe the great things have overshadowed the flaws for me.

    i’ve only seen NHK’s goodbye solo but i can say, i really love&admire her writing. i think she’s trully a genius. so far, the acting has never spoil the great feeling i have for this drama. i actually adore the leads so much and love their characters & their acting. weird me huh? =P

    i notice one comment above that he/she only anticipate for the scene of the characters other than SHK&HB. but for me, i always anticipate the scenes between this two leads more. =) and i’m actually very glad tht they focus more on these two in this drama.People are just different rite?

    regarding KBS claim that this drama totally about drama production, i dont know when this thing comes out. maybe its far before the drama is out. because as far as i’m concern, what i’ve read from KBS and other news, this drama is not all about drama production. It focus more on relationship, people in their 20s & 30s, dating, marriage, sex etc. thats what makes this drama different from On Air. this is the latest news.I hope that person whoever said this can check first before making any statement. never mind mistake happens everywhere. Peace ^^


  34. 34 mimi

    i saw this in a BigForum

    Song Hye Gyo

    Such a Bull Shit!! Hwang Jin i Proof she is Weak Beauty ok but no Talent no charisma, I just wanna see HB actually dunno if he kind weak too here . i wanna watch this movie due hyun bin

  35. 35 rihanna

    i wanna talking with something Related who compared coffee prince , because Yoon eun hye bashed to.. Sorry but The rate was climbed out, this Drama 1-4 episodes

    Special: 4.8
    ep. 1: 7.1%
    ep. 2: 5.8%
    ep. 3: 6.0%
    ep. 4: 6.5%

    what kind of rate this is

  36. 36 Maica

    She’s still NOT for love scenes. She kinda ruins Hyeon Bin’s acting as well.. >.<

  37. 37 Mulan

    I think the comments are too harsh! Don’t get me wrong, she is not the best actress but the character seems to fit it – she’s complex, headstrong, thoughtless in this drama. She’s trying to act cool and try not to show her true feelings but still later on when she realize that she is wrong, she still trying to fix it!

    I totally agree to Kawaii, I enjoy this drama every episode and still looking forward to it and like the side comments of Javabeans. I like the voice over background as they relate the situation and feelings.

  38. 38 pabo ceo reom

    I just hear epi 5 and 6 are better so I’m crossing my fingers…

  39. 39 javabeans

    ^ Uh, interesting? How can that be when they haven’t aired yet? *confused*

  40. 40 mookie

    In all fairness, all the eps aired so far r nowhere near ‘bad’ even considering a bit lacking in the acting (and even that is not THAT bad)

    Rihanna yeah I agree this is no comparison to CP, esp in the ratings….this is not a simple love story.

    For me, 4 eps in this is way better a drama than Coffee Prince (that drama is boring me to sleep, yeah sweet…but boring), at least I’m engaged. Even with SHK’s acting, I’m engaged to her character (as in I do wanna slap the upside of her head at times) and she’s like many 20sth girls out there…a bit too full of ourselves, a bit spoiled (and slower than we will admit), thoughtless, not good at expressing ourselves… But the premise of a 30ish playboy not recognizing YEH is a girl, a tomboy, and will even doubt his own sexuality…. lost me.

  41. 41 lovin it

    yeah her acting is wee bit flat.. but im still loving the drama overall..
    thansk for the recap!
    and up there.. gong yoo wasnt exactly portraying a playboy..

  42. 42 new

    I like WW drama better than other dramas.. SHK acting is fine, it’s not bad as people mention. A lot of other popular actors acting worst than her and people still watching it. It just depend on the opinion, but I don’t think it’s fair to put down the actor when it’s not really because of the acting.

    It’s funny that people complain about this drama, but still like to watch it! A lot people don’t have cable to watch it from KBS2, they have to watch from any other source available to them (ex: mysoju, vickii, ..) therefore the rating does not mean much… just enjoy the drama.

    Ajaja fighting!

  43. 43 hmmmm

    Thanks for the review, Javabeans.
    hmmm, this is sad, not bcos of I don’t enjoy the drama, I love this drama to bits though. But reading your comments which I partly disagree, and makes me pretty sad cos now it seems like someone blame SHK for ruin HB which is so unfair. I think I will stay away from reading comments just for own sake. Anyway, thanks for the review.

  44. 44 mark

    im not korean so i dont know really how to critic on their acting. but base on these episodes i watch, i think Song Hye Gyo is doing an OK job so as Hyun Bin. some of you said that their is really no sparks between the two, but this is what i have to say, i think its too early to say or to know whether they have it or not. because there is more to this story that we do not know. seems to me like the characters are still having feelings with their ex. like Ji Oh with his ex partner and with joon young moving on with her own ex partner. at this point they arent as inlove as we want them to be. but more of getting to know each other, personally.

    what i like about this show is the details of each meaningful scenes. something so simple like a stare can mean so much and viewers like myself appreciates that. what i like about this certain episode is that it didnt only focused on their romantic story but also the love of ji oh towards his mother. it was really sweet to see cause i myself is as close to my mom.

    SHK’s character does not annoy me in any way. because i think thats how the character is made. it made me realize that i myself is like that. i do a mistake, learn it. then do it again. sometimes, 3rds the charm.

  45. 45 withsugarplease

    i completely agree with ur summary.

    i’ll keep watching, because i was initially hooked, but there are some
    elements in the main romance (Song Hye Gyo) that i find lacking.

  46. 46 ")

    im missing your ep 5 and 6 summary…

    the more i watch the show, the more i like Hyun Bin… hahha…

  47. 47 annie

    I watched last night on http://www.mysoju.com
    the ep 5 and ep 6 were very good. Thanks for the recap.

  48. 48 coffee_lover

    that’s weird.. there is episode 5 and 6 uploaded in another streaming site.. is it really possible for others to have the episodes in advance?

    thank you for the episode 4 summary, javabeans.. 🙂

  49. 49 Anonymous

    Where is recap worlds within eps 5 and 6?

  50. 50 Orchid

    Javabeans, i caught 2 episodes of this drama when i was in Seoul. And i agree with you…

    “The relationship should be sweet and endearing, and yet it lacks a spark.”

    The Hyun Bin ~ SHK pairing…somehow there isn’t any chemistry there. And Song’s character comes across as irritating here. I don’t feel for her at all. Okay, maybe i need subs to understand the drama better. But this is the general feeling i get.

    Would still want to catch it when it comes on KBS World though…and that’s only because I can’t get enough of Hyun Bin. 😉

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