Drama Recaps
City Hall: Episode 11
by | August 7, 2009 | 83 Comments

(written by Samsooki, editing, layout, design and “You Can’t Fight City Hall” by 0timelost, cleown, and mead33)

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Episode 11 – “You Had Me At An-Nyung (안녕).”

Jo Gook has come back and found that his hamster that he saved from tomato-throwing goons is being cared for by another. Jung Do again?? Doesn’t this guy already have a wife? (hmm, don’t you already have a fiancée? *ooh, busted by Samsooki*) Predictably, Jo Gook is upset; he petulantly tosses the clothes that he has bought for Mi Rae onto the couch and turns to leave.

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Mi Rae stops Jo Gook and without thinking, asks whether she can make changes to the campaign speech in order to gain her desired 15% (whoops!).  Jung Do flips out, and Mi Rae tries to salvage the situation but the cows have already left the barn.

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Extremely disappointed that Mi Rae has such low expectations and really no intention of trying to win, Jung Do storms out of the hotel room with righteous footsteps. Jung Do should get no kudos for holding himself out with such high priniciples – way to abandon a friend.  Mi Rae tries to run after Jung Do, but Jo Gook grabs her and gives her really good advice:

Jo Gook: From now on, listen very carefully to what I say. Your election will not be lost by not having one advisor. After all the pain you’ve experienced, you still don’t know what is going on? Eggs, tomatoes, potatoes, corn…do you need to be hit by everything before you understand what is going on?

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It is a harsh lesson, but one that Mi Rae really needs to understand. She has been floating through the mayoral election campaign on her own merits, but those merits may not be enough.  Jo Gook is trying to get Mi Rae to understand that she has created enemies and those enemies will not play fair or admire her for her being a good person.

The next morning, Mi Rae stands in front of a gathered crowd to give her first campaign speech.  She starts reading from her typewritten pages, but it is a half-hearted effort.  Mi Rae’s words lack energy, passion, and conviction.  The gathered crowd is clearly not swayed.  It is evident to everyone that Mi Rae is struggling to find her words.  Mi Rae stops for a moment, and switches gears.  She starts talking about her own life as a secretary and comparing politics to coffee. 

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Jo Gook and Soo In are aghast at the sudden change and try to signal Mi Rae to just stop talking. The crowd is also a little bit surprised, not really understanding what Mi Rae is trying to convey. Where are the campaign promises and the little sound bites that they can cheer for?

Afterwords, Jo Gook is absolutely livid. Nothing he has tried to teach Mi Rae since he met her has apparently made its way past the liberty bell haircut that surrounds and protects Mi Rae’s brain.

Jo Gook: What the heck was that? Who in their right mind would vote for you after listening to that kindergarten speech? What are you planning on doing if you cannot even follow what I tell you to do? Don’t you want to be elected?

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Mi Rae: I didn’t do that because I was trying to pull in votes. I did the only things that I am capable of doing.

Jo Gook loses his cool and starts lecturing Mi Rae on the difference between winning and losing a campaign.  But if we know anything about Mi Rae, it is that she is not one to be patronized by anyone.  Her own anger fueled by Jo Gook’s words, she answers right back.

Mi Rae: You said to me that not having an advisor will not cause a campaign to fail, right? Well, you are fired! I said I am firing you!

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There is a fundamental disconnect here between Mi Rae and Jo Gook, and something that neither can understand about the other. Jo Gook cannot understand why Mi Rae cannot do what is necessary to win elections, and Mi Rae cannot understand why Jo Gook doesn’t understand why she cannot. Mi Rae has now lost both Jo Gook and Jung Do. She is alone in a campaign she doesn’t have the experience nor the brains to win, and one she did not even want to participate in the first place.

Meanwhile, Jung Do is moping around at home, making traitor kim-bap for Joo Hwa’s dad’s campaign. Correctly surmising that her husband has quit Mi Rae’s campaign, Joo Hwa excitedly talks about about the colossal strategic error that Mi Rae made in her speech that day.

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Jung Do realizes that Mi Rae has stuck to her own principles! Jung Do flips sides again like a burger on a grill, abandons his traitor kim-bap and rushes out to rejoin Mi Rae, leaving his wife confused and disappointed at home, alone again. (I am really not happy with Jung Do right now. What gives him the right to quit whenever he feels like it, switches sides, and then switches sides again?)

Although Jung Do has now rejoined the campaign, Mi Rae is still feeling lost, and Jung Do senses it. The campaign needs Jo Gook, and Mi Rae seems to need him too. Jung Do urges Mi Rae to bring him back, and Mi Rae calls Soo In to locate his boss. Jo Gook is at the horse racing track.

Soo In: You can go in and see him. At least he won’t hit you. But if he does, just scream really loudly. Then I will rush in…. and take the punch for you.

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Soo In is such a cutie, and right now if I were Mi Rae, and if I had a choice between Jo Gook, Soo In, and Jung Do, I might choose Soo In.  Mi Rae walks over to Jo Gook, who does not greet her.

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Undeterred by Jo Gook’s aloof attitude, Mi Rae makes her plea to Jo Gook to have him return. He is not in the mood for listening, but Mi Rae says the magic words which starts to melt him like a tall, well dressed stick of butter on a hot summer day.

Mi Rae: I want you to be by my side.

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Mi Rae explains that she was scared and so that’s why she acted the way she did. An incredulous Jo Gook asks, who was the courageous person who withstood the gang throwing eggs at her, and who was the unabashed person who persistently pursued him and who flashed her body in a swimsuit to get what she wanted?

Mi Rae: It is because I can’t see the dream! Give me a dream that I can have rather than empty campaign pledges, give me a realistic dream that I can accomplish over the remaining two years of the mayoral term.

Jo Gook: Are you just going to live for the next two years?! Can’t you believe that you will have four years after the next two, and then another four years after that? You should think bigger, look further, have grander dreams. Can’t you do that?

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You cannot help but blink away a few tears here, as Mi Rae starts to see beyond herself. She is growing right before our eyes. Jo Gook tells Mi Rae to leave first, but Mi Rae wants to go together. But Jo Gook cannot leave just yet, he has bet on a horse, and his horse has just come in first. Which horse did he bet on?  Mi Rae wants to know.

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Of course, Jo Gook bet on the #5 horse! Mi Rae’s face shines with understanding, and Jo Gook is totally forgiven for walking out.

With that, the team is back together, and not a moment too soon, as the political race starts getting ugly, with most of it directed towards Mi Rae. Mi Rae is shocked and dismayed by the sheer awfulness of slander being told about her by the other mayoral candidates. Again, she wants to back out.

Jo Gook tried to snap her out of it. Mi Rae is again fading into the woodwork and Jo Gook needs to bring back her fire that is being quenched by all the mud-slinging.

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Jo Gook: Even if all of the citizens start to curse you and belittle you, if there is just one person who supports you, then you have to fight to the very end, because you will be that single person’s candidate!  Because that person has put his hopes on you!

It is the exact thing that Mi Rae needs – a reason to fight, and not just for herself.  Jo Gook knows that Mi Rae might lose hope and her fire if she doesn’t see the reason to battle against the lies and the slander.  Where would Mi Rae be at this moment, without someone like Jo Gook? Jo Gook is her wisdom, her intelligence, and her strength right now.

And while Mi Rae is touched and strengthened by Jo Gook’s flowery rhetoric, the pragmatic part of Mi Rae forces her to ask another important question. This is the same pragmatic part of Mi Rae who made her ask Jo Gook the tough question of how he felt about her back during the camping trip. 

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Mi Rae: The reason you are pushing me… the reason I cannot just stop… the reason I must fight to the very end… All of this is not because you are trying to pave the way for your next step, isn’t that right? I want to believe that all of this is not just for that reason.

Mi Rae does not turn around to face Jo Gook as she says this, and may be it is a good thing that she doesn’t. Jo Gook’s face reveals very mixed emotions about what Mi Rae just said.

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Putting his mixed emotions aside, Jo Gook makes arrangements to meet with Professor Ahn Ji Sung, Candidate #2. He has the counter-attack that Mi Rae needs to keep her campaign afloat.

At the meeting, slick Jo Gook “convinces” Candidate Ahn to withdraw from the race and throw his support behind Mi Rae. Persuasion here happens to be the knowledge that Candidate Ahn plagiarized another’s academic work and then took government research grants for it. Revelation of that secret would put the erstwhile professor in serious jeopardy of prison and most certainly would disgrace him for the rest of his life. Candidate Ahn resigns from the campaign and apologizes to Mi Rae in his prepared speech.

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That leaves just two other candidates: Joo Hwa’s dad, as the Victory Party’s candidate, and the other candidate guy. It is time for the first and only televised debate between the three remaining candidates.

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The two male candidates spar over meaningless slogans and clearly haven’t prepared beyond attacking Mi Rae on her marital status, lack of education and wealth. Mi Rae responds by showing that how her her life experience has made her the kind of person who actually understands the problems that the people of Inju City face. Mi Rae then opens up about her own love life, and reveals how men in her life have always ended up abandoning her.  But why does politics have to be like a person’s love life? If she is elected Mayor, Mi Rae announces that she will not treat others like she has been treated. She will never abandon her people. It is a fantastic speech, and one that resonates in everyone. Even Jo Gook is impressed.

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Mi Rae gets a standing ovation for her closing remarks, and a sea of change can be felt, not just by her supporters but by everyone in the room.

As the candidates are leaving the TV station, Candidates #1 and #3 bicker bitterly over their slogans and stealing each other’s empty promises. Each blames the other for his poor showing during the debate. Reporters’ cameras snap away as the two candidates start pushing and shoving each other.

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As they pass by the melee, Mi Rae triumphantly holds out her hands high in the air, and Jung Do and Jo Gook give her high fives. The Shin Mi Rae campaign is officially on a roll!

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(Audience participation! High-fives all around! Whoever is next to you, high-five that person!)

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Election day has finally arrived, and the polls are open. It looks like a good turnout for voting, as some familiar faces turn up to cast their ballots.

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At the first and second pollings of the night, the count looks like it is heading towards the Victory Party, and the Victory Party’s supporters celebrate early. Things are looking bad for Mi Rae’s supporters.

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But at the third polling of the night, the poorer central districts and the farming districts are reporting in and Mi Rae’s votes are sky-rocketing! Joo Hwa’s dad’s lead over Mi Rae is now down from over 9 thousand votes to less than 3 thousand!

As the last remaining votes are being counted, Mi Rae has finally overtaken Joo Hwa’s dad by less than 200 votes!

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Finally, it is over!! Shin Mi Rae has won the election! Mi Rae cannot believe what has happened.

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It is time for some celebration!! Way to go, girl, you deserve it!!!

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After so many ups and downs, it is time for a little breather and for a little fun in the sun!

To give her a little time away from the pressure of being in Inju City and to give her a little romantic surprise, Jo Gook takes Mi Rae on his boat for a spin around the Inju City’s harbor. (Omo!! Jo Gook has a boat?? That looks like at least a 35 foot boat! Didn’t I say that I liked Jo Gook the best?!  Boo Mi who???)

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Mi Rae deserves every moment of happiness, and kudos to Jo Gook for taking her out on this seriously awesome piece of hardware. Is there a toy that Jo Gook does not have? A nice house with a yard and a picket fence. An assistant who drives him around in a bad-ass sports car AND a 35-foot boat?

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That is one seriously awesome boat. The boat’s name is Taga, which could be romanized English for 다가, or “Go All The Way.”

“Come on baby!” Mi Rae coyly motions for Jo Gook to join her at the boat front to reenact the famous Titanic scene. A purposeful Jo Gook strides towards Mi Rae. He picks her up in one swoop and pretends to throw her off the boat. Mi Rae is not afraid. Even if she were to fall off the boat, Jo Gook would rescue her.

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Jo Gook: You… trust me?

Mi Rae: Is okay for me to trust you?

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It looks like it is about time for some conversation that has been a long time in the coming. Jo Gook understands the question and all its implications. Jo Gook turns serious.

Jo Gook responds that he would like to be a member of the National Assembly, and like all Assembly members, he has but one dream – to become Korea’s President. And to do that, he will likely have to step on and hurt a lot of people.

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Jo Gook: It is likely that the people who are closest to me will be the ones who will be hurt the most. And so… (takes out a crystal-encrusted baendaengi brooch)

Mi Rae: (looking on cautiously)

Jo Gook (as he pins the brooch on Mi Rae): …you need to protect yourself from me. You. Your trust. Your citizens. You must protect everyone as Mayor. I am telling you this honestly, just for today.

It is a bittersweet moment. Mi Rae watches as Jo Gook’s eyes say one thing and something else completely different comes out of Jo Gook’s mouth. Should she trust his words or his eyes?

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The following day, it is the day of Mi Rae’s inauguration.

At the auditorium where Mi Rae is about to give her oath, every important person in Inju City has shown up to bear witness to history. They rise to their feet in sincere applause and cheer for the new Mayor. It is a moment for everyone to savor. Mi Rae swears to defend her people and to keep her responsibilities as Mayor.

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And with that, Mi Rae addresses her citizens.

Mayor Shin: Greetings to everyone. I am everyone’s mayor, Shin Mi Rae.

The audience rises to their feet in applause. But Jo Gook is not clapping. As far as Mi Rae has come, and as many challenges and obstacles that she has beaten, Jo Gook knows that this is really only the beginning. Far greater challenges and far stronger opponents are coming to Inju City. Jo Gook’s face betrays none of the happiness for the one he loves, only the worry and concern for a person who has absolutely no clue for what is coming down the road. And coming soon.

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Comments -

What a totally amazing journey this has been so far, and this is a journey that has only just begun.  There is so much going on in these episodes now, and every single scene has meaning, going forward and going backward in time. 

And I love how Mi Rae is changing, growing wiser and stronger.   Mi Rae begins to realize in this episode that even with her own strength and courage, she cannot win every battle by herself. Some fights require more than one kind of strategy and more than one kind of strength. Jo Gook is the opposite of Mi Rae in so many ways, but that doesn’t mean that it is a bad thing. And when Mi Rae realizes that, she is realizing that she can benefit from the things that Jo Gook has been trying to teach her.

Every step taken so far as been a struggle for Mi Rae, and each victory she has won so far has pushed her ever higher, making her previous steps seem small in comparison to the struggles she must face that lie ahead.  And while we can sense that big questions and conflicts lie just over the horizon, maybe just for today, for this episode, I feel content just to cheer Mi Rae on and to be happy. Come to think of it, given the emotional roller coaster we have all been on, I think everyone should just take a break and be happy, even if it is just for a little while.

The dialogue to watch for in this Episode: Jo Gook’s urging Mi Rae on, at the Race Track

This is the turning point in the episode, when Mi Rae realizes that Jo Gook isn’t the problem- Mi Rae’s own fears and inability to think beyond herself have been holding her back. Mi Rae evolves right before our eyes, from a simple country girl limited in her abilities to a dreamer to whom everything is now possible. There is no battle that cannot be won for Mi Rae, so long as she can dream big enough. And when Jo Gook’s #5 horse wins the race, not only is Mi Rae encouraged, but the pieces of her heart that had been frayed at the edges are suddenly being mended together again.  It is like Jo Gook is saying, “I never lost faith in you.”

The only thing missing from this Race Track scene was Jo Gook saying, “You had me at hello.” Or, since they are in Korea, “You had me at 안녕 (an-nyung)!” 

On To Episode 12!

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83 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. langdon813

    Gosh. I don’t know what to say except I think this is the best CH recap to date!

    Everything up to now is “before”, and now we’re heading into the “after”. And the journey is so incredible!

    Favorite bits:

    “Ooh, busted by Samsooki!”

    “Liberty Bell haircut”

    HA! Brilliant!

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  2. Tammy

    Thank you for your awesome recaps! :)

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  3. ockoala

    Jo Gook and Mi Rae’s fight in the park was so intense to watch, you can see and feel the anger and frustration radiating from both of them. JG is such a master manipulator, and all I can say is thank god he’s playing for the good team. I laughed so hard when the candidate #2 withdrew from the race. And the writer is so skilled with writing that dialogue, that she interjects humor and levity when needed into the rights moments, and makes us viewers so absorbed into this provincial election for mayor.

    I found myself nervous watching, even though I know she’ll be elected, because I’ve been so invested in the journey.

    “Is there a toy that Jo Gook does not have? A nice house with a yard and a picket fence. An assistant who drives him around in a bad-ass sports car AND a 35-foot boat?”

    Actually, what I find most irresistable about JG is his ability – his intelligence, confidence – I feel this man can handle anything that comes his way, and that is beyond sexy.

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  4. bspanda

    Even though it is Open Thread day – so had to read/post here first!

    “Doesn’t this guy already have a wife? (hmm, don’t you already have a fiancée? *ooh, busted by Samsooki*) Predictably, Jo Gook is upset; he petulantly tosses the clothes that he has bought for Mi Rae onto the couch and turns to leave.”

    Am curious what Jung Do was really going to ask Mi Rae. Part of me was wondering – what really is the extent of the realtionship between JD and MR? If CH was the ‘usual’ kdrama I would have predicited that JD was the 2nd romantic lead. Which at the beginning, when I had not fallen for the charms of JG, I would have been more than willing to go for that ride. Not now of course!

    “traitor kim-bap” LMAO!!!!
    Classic. :)

    The TV debate
    Awesome – how MR showed just how empty the other political candidates were. Then we really see how childish they are when the two tussle at the end while our MR can leave with not only her head held high, but high fiving her team!!! So Cool. Awesome timing of the double sided high fives. Woohoo go MR!!

    The ‘boat’ ride (more like a crusier LOL).
    At first glance – fancy car, boat, unloved fiancee etc – these remind me of of the usual chaebol male lead ‘essentials’ in kdramas. But of course we know that JG (and MR and City Hall) is more. Better. Original. Not the tired old kdrama cliches. City Hall is the BEST!

    Besides these fancy ‘accessories’ serves some very important purposes.

    Firstly the boat. See he owns this huge a boat! Obviously he is financially comfortable (even if he was emotionally stunted before he met MR!). JG HAD to be the actual sponsor of MR (and hence the body contract) from the previous ep right?! :) That donation would not be a difficult amount for JG to come up with. See it was NOT Devil Woman fiancee’s finances. Phew.

    The car – a VIP accessory as well. Why is the car a VIP? No spoilers here – but some heartfelt glances occur in that car! And if you have seen Ep 15 / 16 – you might even change that to VVVVVIP :P Not to mention one seriiously good looking car. Much like it’s owner hehee

    “That is one seriously awesome boat. The boat’s name is Taga, which could be romanized English for 다가, or “Go All The Way.”

    “Come on baby!” Mi Rae coyly motions for Jo Gook to join her at the boat front to reenact the famous Titanic scene.”

    Oh dear…. I need to calm down and take/think that the PG way LOL *need a take a cold shower*

    (btw it is the attention to details like this that I love about the recaps – ‘little’ things that otherwise never have know and would have flown over my head! Yet adds another layer of meaning. Thanks Samsooki and team *hugz* Really these recaps are like gold.)

    The conversation was heartfelt, bittersweet and honest. And between the Master and Mistress of meaningful non dialogue moments – it was once again BAMN! Not to mention the tender way JG puts on the brooch. Romantic smexy man *swoons*

    “The dialogue to watch for in this Episode: Jo Gook’s urging Mi Rae on, at the Race Track”

    Hehe like the emphasis on the word dialogue. Yes very hard when the chemistry is so strong. Love the way the scene ended!

    “The only thing missing from this Race Track scene was Jo Gook saying, “You had me at hello.” Or, since they are in Korea, “You had me at 안녕 (an-nyung)!” ”

    It might have been “You had me at hello, King Kong.” LOL

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  5. skelly

    Thanks, thanks, and more thanks. This is a special opportunity to relive City Hall magic and I appreciate everything you do, Samsooki & co!

     (0)


  6. Samsooki

    hehe, you had me at king kong…. *laff*

    You guys are so funny!

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  7. mzpakipot

    it gets better and better as the episodes progress. I love the yacht scenes, it’s picturesque with the sun-setting behind them (if you look at the first picture, it’s sooo romantic!)

    Samsooki, as always you make reading recaps more enjoyable because you add your own humor. Mrs. Samsooki sure is lucky to have you as her husband with such good sense of humor, and vice versa, *waves* at Mrs. Samsooki. Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Samsooki!

    Thank you Javabeans for this wonderful haven for a CH addict like me!
    Thank you cleown, 0timelost and mead33 for staying up late.

    Back to lurking mode and enjoy all the comments here and at OT. Everytime I see CH in each comment at OT, it put a smile to my face.

    I’m off to do a CH marathon with complete subs from BON TEAM! Thanks much BON TEAM!

    lol at “you had me at kingkong!” I was going to add “refill is free” but that’s considered as spoiler..?? :D

    HAVE A GOOD WEEKEND EVERYONE!

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  8. mzpakipot

    I’m not sure if Javabeans actually check this thread, i wonder if she even see our gratitudes for her site.? i Guess i should go to the OT and thank her there? :)

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  9. mems

    After all the boat-loving you did Samsooki, I thought your What to Watch for in This Episode would be…that awesome piece of hardware. LOL

    Yay, Mi-rae got a new hairstyle! Here’s to growth, maturity and wisdom oozing from the follicles of the Liberty Bell Haircut!

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  10. 10 ockoala

    Btw, I know its a super popular catch-phrase in Korea for everyone to say “XXXXX, fighting” (pronounced “hwiting”, of course). So cute.

    But when Jo Gook went into the voting both, looked at candidate #5 Shin Mi Rae on the ballot, and said “King Kong, fighting”, it was absolutely the most meaningful, correct and adorable use of the word “fighting” ever!

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  11. 11 Denali

    First of all, I would like to thank Alodia for pointing me to dramabeans because your recaps have been such a delight to read – even though I have already watched the 20 episodes a countless number of times ^^. Indeed, they are filled with interesting insight and deep thoughts on this matchless drama. Thanks also to the ladies who helped you with this, including Mrs Samsooki.

    Second of all, thank you BON team for all the time spent and excellent work devoted to those of us who understand English but not Korean (yet) because you played a huge part, along with viikii translators, to impact our lives in a very positive way. CH has made such a lasting print on us. And it still does.

    Now a little thought on your comment above, Samsooki:
    “I love how Mi Rae is changing, growing wiser and stronger.”
    Just like the tiny flower bud that she was referring to in her Spring Flower Ceremony speech in episode 5, she has blossomed and it shows even physically. She has got a new haircut, as well as new and stylish clothes and even her posture has straightened up. She looks more mature and we just can’t help but love her even more – if that was possible. :)

    Looking so much forward to reading your next masterpieces. :)

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  12. 12 ames4eva

    I’m not sure if I skipped over it or something, but what is the significance of the #5 horse?

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  13. 13 loveydovey

    had to comment.that picture brought back memories…(sigh) :)

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  14. 14 epyc

    Yeah, Ep 11 re-cap is up! Thank you thank you to Samsooki and “You Can’t Fight City Hall” by 0timelost, cleown, and mead33 for this lovely weekend present.

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  15. 15 all4movies

    Just in the nick of time. I was feeling a little down (family health issues) and your CH recap totally brought me up.

    If Mi Rae can keep on fighting, so can I.

    You and your team are a godsend. Thank you,. (sniffle).

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  16. 16 Samsooki

    @12 ames4eva

    Mi Rae is Candidate #5. And, at the race track, Jo Gook puts his money on Horse #5. It is Jo Gook’s sign that he hasn’t lost faith in Mi Rae – even before Mi Rae apologizes and asks him to come back. Jo Gook is saying, “I never left!”

    :)

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  17. 17 Elena

    you really do write well – I could see it all again so clearly.

    Someone above said Brilliant, I second that!

    Thanks.

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  18. 18 Molly

    I just finished the whole drama and I’m glad that I have these recaps to help me wean my City Hall addiction. Until then, however…Let the picture-finding, bio-reading begin!

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  19. 19 mzpakipot

    you know that speech by Joo-hwa (for the people, by the people,etc..), is that a famous speech? I thought i heard of it before. I like Joo-hwa here, she’s kinna amusing.

    Can I say that I love Soo-in! He was so nice to Mi-rae. I hope he will have more drama offer in the future.

    At first I thought that this drama will have a triangle love story, but with Ms. Scriptwriter being a genius she avoided those cliches that viewers are so used to. lol

    ha! When Jo Guk said to “hold hands for only 3 seconds”, so he must be applying the…..? ahh! spoilers! spoilers alert! THat’s why it’s so nice to read this recap and re-watch at the same time! That’s what I’m doing right now. :D

    It’s funny watching Jo Guk getting jealous!

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  20. 20 Sonam

    It’s kind of hard to understand why JG would be jealous of JD bringing clothes. I can understand a younger man behaving like that but JG?

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  21. 21 rambutan

    @19 mzakipot. That theme is borrowed from Abraham Lincoln (16th US President; 1861-65): “Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people”. Joo Hwa’s name in Korean alludes to emocracy.

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  22. 22 j_d_b

    I loved their facial expression it speak a thousand words you can’t help but be absorbed in their acting.

    With his confidence and intelligence it’s not surprising how he’s able to have the car, boat, house and now manipulated mayor? Lol the last was his biggest mistake. He put Mi Rae where he wanted to but it was him who lost to his heart.

    The last two pic of Mi Rae and Jo Gook bespoke their care and fear for each other. Though they’re obviously happy of the outcome but uncertain of what the future will bring them. Can Jo Gook good protect Mi Rae from the harsh reality of politics.

    Though Mi Rae about to cry saying her ought its obviously she’s proud of what she’d become.

    Thanks for the wonderful recap.

    Kodus to the writer for its distinctiveness among the kdrama’s I’ve watched.

    And because I can’t get of enough of Jo Gook I search the net and find his previous work “Bodyguard” not knowing that I’ll be hook with the other start “Han Go Yun” and now watching Capital Scandal where it brings me to Kang Ji Hwan (Hong Gil Dong). I’m getting familiar with him though I know he’s the “mine” actor of java I’m not really interested of his works so this might be a good start.

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  23. 23 bbm

    i love the line Soo in said to mirae before she went to see jo gook, he’s such a cutie, but darn it, he’s an 84-ers, why so young….
    seeing soo in is like jo gook (as in BB’s apprentice), i wonder whether BB had a farm of handsome/cute young politician ready to launch?? :P
    great recap! thanks Samsooki and team…

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  24. 24 sugarpunch

    I actually have already watched the whole drama, but I am dilligently following the recaps because firstly, I LOVE JO GOOK AND MI RAE, secondly, this drama is my fantasy and lastly, Samsooki’s recaps rock! CH ftw!!

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  25. 25 alodia

    @19 mzpakipot
    you know that speech by Joo-hwa (for the people, by the people,etc..), is that a famous speech? I thought i heard of it before.

    >>> rambutan is correct, it was borrowed from Lincoln. But since you are a Filipino, I know why it’s familiar to you. It’s “Philippine Shin Mi Rae” – Cory Aquino who used and popularized that speech in the Philippines. And if you can remember, that’s the line used by Cory Aquino impersonators too (ie. Tessie Tomas) every time they impersonate Cory. ^^.

    [i'm guessing you can hear it from her speech before the U.S. Congress (part 2 of 3): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4gWe6KkFX4 -- i'm not sure, i'm still watching it... but at the start part3 she talked about Lincoln after a round of applause, so I'm thinking she said the "For the people speech" at the end of this clip]

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  26. 26 epyc

    @ 20 Sonam

    “It’s kind of hard to understand why JG would be jealous of JD bringing clothes. I can understand a younger man behaving like that but JG?”

    You bring up a point that I think has been seriously missing in the re-caps so far. JG’s legendary jealousy! (Samsooki, talking about jealous women/wives…. cough, cough.) JG is perhaps the most jealous man in the history of kdramas. This jealousy began really early from the moment he asked/declared MR to be HIS (spy) person in the mayor office in Ep 2. His jealousy over JD started as early as Ep 4 when JD and MR renovated the old grandma’s house. In Ep 9, he was so dismayed at MR calling JD, not him, for help of getting out of the mayorship election in the fighting scene by the sea. He was even jealous at Soo-In’s talking the cuteness of MR in Ep 5. This seems to be a cute side of JG but has more to do with his possessiveness and hatred of betrayal (originated from the abandonment of his father/BB and lately by Soo-In). His jealousy is not subtle at all as we see in this episode on his instruction to MR of not shaking hands with men for more than 3 seconds! We will see more of this in episodes to come – they are especially great as comedic relief in those emotionally charged episodes.

    City Hall is practically another Cinderalla story. We all know it and Ep 11 is a shining example of how the production and acting team manage to make this story great and believable. We all know MR is one gutsy woman but is that enough to make her a mayor? And how JG could fall in love with a country pumpkin civil servant with no education or background? These two are my million dollar questions from Ep 1. They are well-answered as these two characters ‘unpeeled’ in front of our eyes in the past 10 episodes. In Episode 11, in the space of 60 minutes, we have three significant ‘push-and-pull’s between the two a la the advisor firing scene, race track scene, and the ‘fight on even if there is only one person supporting you’ scene. The beauty of these scene lies not only at moving MR to be steps closer to the mayorship but at HOW MUCH they have pushed and changed each other forward both as a person and as a politician. The raw honesty in those exchanges is absolutely astounding!

    I love, love the race track scene. I remember having a very busy time watching this 3-minute scene in my first viewing. Thanks to Viikii I was able to re-watch as much as I can to absorb the brilliancy of this scene – the powerful dialogue and the nuanced acting….. Here, we have a very disappointed and down JG betting on the #5 horse who didn’t even raise his eyelids as MR walked near him, thinking that person was SI and asked him to go first. At hearing MR’s voice, his eyelids raised a tiny bit and there was a swallow in his throat. Still, he said nothing. Then came MR’s admission of her fear and need for him to be by her side. After his lecture on fighting spirits and the 2-4-4 year vision, MR was powered up and said her fighting spirit had come back. There was this split-second change of JG’s expression with a little stretch of face muscle and a tiny faint smile. CSW’s acting brilliancy is fully demonstrated here.

    There are so many wonderful scenes in this episode but my another big favorite is the TV debate. It is executed so aptly that makes MR’s down-to-earth approach totally believable as a winning candidate. Here, my million dollar question of her becoming a mayor is convincingly answered. The best of all: she is winning the election in HER OWN way. Yes, even JG is impressed and proud.

    I love her question on the vegetable price because I’ve seen it before in a real election: the 1993 federal election in Australia when the then Opposition Leader, John Hewson who had long proposed the introduction of GST and had been leading an ‘unlosable’ election against the fatigue Labour Government. He was considered the absolute forerunner in that election until he got stuck at the question of a bakery owner: how much is the GST of a birthday cake? He couldn’t answer it and eventually lost the election.

    Perhaps, the next two million dollar questions are what mayor will MR become and how much love JG has for MR?

    Samsooki, I really love how skillfully you have brought out all the subtle and nuance moments in City Hall. Excellent writing and extrapolation!

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  27. 27 ockoala

    Samsooki and team: in my excitement to post about this episode, I neglected my customary, but still always heartfelt thanks, for all the time and effort it took to produce such a well-written, well-producted episode summary. I enjoyed reading it the first time, and every time thereafter, just like watching episodes of CH, the recaps are seriously that addictive and splendidferous. Kudos on an aweome episode 11!

    @ epcy

    “And how JG could fall in love with a country pumpkin civil servant with no education or background?”

    Ha ha ha, “country pumpkin!” I don’t know if this was a typo or intentional, either way, it’s the perfect description of pre-mayoral election Mi Rae, and fits perfectly with your analogy that CH is a Cinderalla story and Mi Rae our Cinderalla (pumpkin carriage – pimpin JG-mobile and yacht, anyone?). Does that make JG our fairy godmother? In which alternate universe are there such manly, sexy fairy godmothers, and please sir, may I have one? Anyways, I agree with everything you say. JG is hands down the most possessive, eye-brow raised jealous type around. Though, jealousy need not be to a direct competitor for your lady love’s affection, I see JG as jealous of anyone in the male sex who comes into Mi Rae’s orbit. And if he’s basing it on his insane (to the sensible mind) attraction to Mi Rae, then it makes sense, it means any guy with a quarter of a brain and heart should be falling for Mi Rae if the great JG is being brought to heel by her very presence in his life.

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  28. 28 Arlyne

    Hi all! I’m a daily lurker here and this is my first post. I’m also addicted to City Hall. I finished watching it in just 3 days. Reading these recaps makes me just want to rewatch it again. Thanks Samsooki and team for these wonderful recaps.

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  29. 29 alodia

    Thanks Samsooki.
    Chanting “You Can’t Fight City Hall” with 0timelost, cleown, and mead33
    *high fives to all of you*

    ————————————————-

    Trapped in my little KSA world, I was ignorant with other pop culture references. I was lost with today’s title. I have to google it.
    Now, correct me if I’m wrong, that was a line from Jerry Maguire? (*totally embarrassed)
    (alodia, stop watching City Hall for the meantime. Watch Jerry Maguire for God’s sake!)

    ———–
    TODAY’S FAVORITES:

    “…has apparently made its way past the liberty bell haircut that surrounds and protects Mi Rae’s brain.”
    >>> lolz

    “(Omo!! Jo Gook has a boat?? That looks like at least a 35 foot boat! Didn’t I say that I liked Jo Gook the best?! Boo Mi who???)”
    >>> I can’t stop laughing (at 5 in the morning) no matter how many times I read this line. Coz I can still hear Samsooki’s voice rooting for Boo Mi… now it’s Boo Mi who??? puhahaha~

    “Soo In is such a cutie, and right now if I were Mi Rae, and if I had a choice between Jo Gook, Soo In, and Jung Do, I might choose Soo In.”
    >>> Sigh… I really really root for the development of Soo In – Mi Rae relationship… (then I can have Jo Guk for myself instead :P)

    >>> And I like it every time Samsooki busted and caught our characters! hahaha!

    >>> It’s lovely how Samsooki described the race track scene – how Mi Rae grows before our eyes – spot on!

    ————————–
    EPISODE FAVES:
    (those other little things aside from what is already included on the recaps)

    - Joo Hwa and her Dad, after Mi Rae overtake the counting results – it was touching and made me not hate Joo Hwa for a few seconds. :D

    - When our dear Boo Mi, that Samsooki abandoned for the yacth (lol), voiced out that she realized that politics has something to do with her.

    - And Mi Rae’s final speech. Though I like her simple speech and was overwhelmed by the people’s chant of “Wonder Woman Shin Mi Rae”, it was when Jo Guk stopped Jung Do from rushing towards the guys bullying Mi Rae that I love most. No words, but it shows Jo Guk’s confidence, it’s like Jo Guk is telling Jung Do, “See? She got them (at hello? :p)

    ************************************

    “Is there a toy that Jo Gook does not have? A nice house with a yard and a picket fence. An assistant who drives him around in a bad-ass sports car AND a 35-foot boat?”
    >>> plus a wrist watch that can receive SMS – ooops, that’s not a spoiler, is it?

    —————-
    @4 bspanda
    The car – a VIP accessory as well. Why is the car a VIP? No spoilers here – but some heartfelt glances occur in that car! And if you have seen Ep 15 / 16 – you might even change that to VVVVVIP :P Not to mention one seriiously good looking car. Much like it’s owner hehe

    >>> Not meaning to add more spoilers, but i might forget when we reach later episodes since we’ll be engrossed on many more important things… But bspanda add ep 17 and 18 and i’ll nominate the VVVVVVVVVIP car as best supporting actor (opposite mi rae’s bike as best supporting actress ep15 and 18 haha)
    (btw, why 15 / 16 – i’d say 13, 14 :p) -ish! why am in on spolier mode today?

    @15 all4movies
    all4movies, fighting!

    ——————–
    @23 bbm
    seeing soo in is like jo gook (as in BB’s apprentice), i wonder whether BB had a farm of handsome/cute young politician ready to launch??

    >>>haha… i guess it’s not a bad idea to roam around bb’s pottery kiln….

    @26 epyc
    i soo love reading you!
    and you also made me realize where jo guk’s jealousies are coming from. They are more than just comedic reliefs (but still they are comedic reliefs lol lol lol )

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  30. 30 Sueyip

    “Is there a toy that Jo Gook does not have? A nice house with a yard and a picket fence. An assistant who drives him around in a bad-ass sports car AND a 35-foot boat?”
    >>> plus a wrist watch that can receive SMS – ooops, that’s not a spoiler, is it?

    Yes, dear cityhallers. It’s teddy bears, right?
    Thanks, samsooki and team. This is another brilliantly written recap
    and with humour thrown in too as usual. Gosh, I salute you and your
    team. Will be lurking around here again for the next episode.

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  31. 31 darynrose

    Perfect timing. I have exhausted my City Hall DVD due to my constant reruns. Ep 11 recap came at the perfect time so tht my DVD can get some rest before it starts another craze watching cycle. I love this episode (then again, I love all City Hall episodes). Talking about tht scene at the race horse track, the little face expression JG gave when MR mention tht she wants him to be at her side. I can feel as if JG’s heart went *thump* *thump* *thump* * thump* when he heard those words. And it’s JG turned to be rendered speechless and he melts under MR’s hot and lovely (puppy-eyed? XD) eyes. I believe MR’s constant cute lip-pouting helps JG melts faster too. Evident by his obvious lil’ smirk tht he has on his face. Heh-heh…
    When JG said “Look further, and dream bigger.”, finally MR understands wht JG has been trying to teach her. MR now realise her potential and this resonate during the public TV debate. She manages to impress everyone by showing her true and unpretentious self. JG is clearly impressed too (hence he’s confidence with his lovely MR growth).

    ‘Mi Rae watches as Jo Gook’s eyes say one thing and something else completely different comes out of Jo Gook’s mouth. Should she trust his words or his eyes?’
    >>>> We can see this constantly confuses MR starting from Ep 1. She always has the question on whether to trust him or not? JG is such a master of manipulator; MR has to skilfully peel tht manipulative layers off one by one to find the truth behind it. Sometimes I wonder who’s actually leading in making each other heart flutters. XD

    @alodia,
    ‘(btw, why 15 / 16 – i’d say 13, 14 :p) -ish! why am in on spolier mode today?’
    >>>> Yeah, definitely agree on tht 13, 14. Teheee…..

    @26 epyc
    Hihihihi…. Love his childish jealousy. I rewind tht “One second… two second… three second…” scene few times. Harmless jealousy from a guy can be so CUTE! And talking about JG jealousy… I would love to see JG reaction when Soo In said this to MR,
    “But if he does, just scream really loudly. Then I will rush in…. and take the punch for you.”
    Will he be jealous again? Teeheee…. Well anway, I can’t wait for Ep 12 recap. Coz I think I’ll be squealing more on it than in Ep 11.

    @Sueyip,
    ‘Yes, dear cityhallers. It’s teddy bears, right?’
    Well, I rather say tht JG’s father did give JG a teddy bear. Probably unintentionally. Coz I believe tht his teddy bear is Shin Mi Rae. ^_^

    Again, thnx Samsooki recap team on the awesome recap work. Looking forward to the next one and I’ll just keep rerunning my City Hall DVD while I wait for Ep 12 recap (and tht means I’ll be constantly checking on DB RSS feed…. Ahahahahaha….).

    THNX!

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  32. 32 alodia

    @31 darynrose
    We can see this constantly confuses MR starting from Ep 1. She always has the question on whether to trust him or not? JG is such a master of manipulator; MR has to skilfully peel tht manipulative layers off one by one to find the truth behind it. Sometimes I wonder who’s actually leading in making each other heart flutters. XD

    >>> i love how you wrote this. ^^*

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  33. 33 ksushi

    For somesone who’s finished watching this series, I personally find your recaps
    very enjoyable and it allows me to gain a different perspective on it.
    Thanks Samsooki and team. You had me at epi one.

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  34. 34 Madita

    Thanks for the great recap :)

    @epyc…I like your recap of the race-track…where you describe JG reactions with the words I was feeling, too

    CSW is really a great actor, a great acting-match for KSA. It was a joy watching both of them. On viikii you can watch behind the scenes- takes, and NG’s. A proof of their acting skills :)

    Anyway…I cant find any info about both actors new projects. :(
    Does anyone of you know sthing ?

    And…I am keen to reed samsookis recap for t he last Episode, as every scene at each EP has speacial meaning…and solves all :)

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  35. 35 darynrose

    @34 Madita,

    All I know tht CSW has an upcoming drama later this year. I believe the drama titled ‘Fashion King’. I’m not sure about KSA next project though. Maybe she’s enjoying her break after all those exhausting work she had done in CH. She deserves a little break, IMO.

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  36. 36 nikki

    i love city hall drama. i can’t wait for episode 12 recap. it’s great i download all city hall bon hard sub.

    harddisk from 320gb now left with 45gb. i need to get 1TGB harddisk space.

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  37. 37 mememomo

    Really like the race track scene and their arguments in this episode. Those little things greatly fast forward their growth and understanding of themselves and each other.

    @epyc – always love reading your thoughts and analysis

    @Madita – CSW has been confirmed in the upcoming Lee Joon Ik sageuk film, Like The Moon Escaping From Clouds, starting filming end August.

    Thanks Samsooki and team for yet another exciting recap.

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  38. 38 alodia

    @34 Madita, 35 darynros
    I believe CSW won’t do ‘Fashion King’ anymore. The movie “Saving My Wife” with Song Yun Ah (of On-Air) will be shown soon (it was supposed to be shown before City Hall, but they decided to hold off). There’s another upcoming movie he’s about to start filming.
    For KSA – none so far :( looking forward to whatever her next project will be… hopefully a movie first, or an MV… -oh but there was a CF recently – and she used the “negayo yegayo” dialogue from City Hall

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  39. 39 mtoenlob

    Your recaps are addicting, Samsooki. Your ability to bring out the subtle nuances in each episodes which I sometime overlooked speaks of your mastery of the written words. Your eagle-eyed recaps is a must read. Likewise for your witty comments. Thank you for sharing these with us.

    @19 mzpakipot
    “you know that speech by Joo-hwa (for the people, by the people,etc..), is that a famous speech? I thought i heard of it before. I like Joo-hwa here, she’s kinna amusing.”

    It is a line taken from the speech of Abraham Lincoln better known as the Gettysburg Address – “Four score and seven years ago……government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

    “traitor kim-bap”

    I have to pause and re-read to fully understand the phrase. Really, you’re awesome, Samsooki.

    In this episode the tv debate is my fav. By her sheer simplicity and sincerity which permeates her speech, Mi Rae won the admiration not only of her campaign team but her opponents as well. Her grassroot knowledge of the fundamental needs of the people enable her to address these basic necessities as counter to the empty talks of her opponents. She knew the pulse of the people thus she was able to bulls-eye what would stir them.

    @31 darynrose
    “We can see this constantly confuses MR starting from Ep 1. She always has the question on whether to trust him or not? JG is such a master of manipulator; MR has to skilfully peel tht manipulative layers off one by one to find the truth behind it. Sometimes I wonder who’s actually leading in making each other heart flutters. ”

    Wonderful observation, darynrose.

     (0)


  40. 40 darynrose

    @38 alodia,

    Oh really? No more drama from CSW? Shucks, I was looking forward to it but the movies sounds good enough as a replacement. I keeps forgetting tht CSW is more of a movie star then a drama actor. Then I shall look forward to those.

     (0)


  41. 41 darynrose

    Whooppss… sorry. Double post.

     (0)


  42. 42 shin mi rae

    congratulations to samsooki and the recap gang for episode 11. loving it guys.

    @30 sueyip
    so right about the teddy bears. he keeps asking BB for teddy bears.

    @38 alodia
    i think i read somewhere that “fashion king” has legal issues with “cinderella man”. is this the reason CSW will not do it anymore?

    also, i read somewhere that KSA has a movie “Girl Scouts”. was that already shown in korea?

    @everyone
    a lot of comments of episode 10 recap was about JG financial capability. some suggested his wealth was via GGH. any theories cityhallers? mr. samsooki? mrs. samsooki?

     (0)


  43. 43 Madita

    #38

    @alodia
    thanks for the info…”Saving my Wife” sounds very interesting.
    Fashion King has been stopped as I know.

    Thank you all for the feedback ^^

    This is what I found out…abaout Saving my Wife :

    In this film, Song Yoon-ah is a woman who is blaming herself for losing her child. Her husband, a detective will be acted by Cha Seung-won. This is the first time the two movie stars are acting together.
    “Saving My Wife” is about the wife being caught up in the murder case and then in danger where the detective husband comes along to save her. This thriller film will be be filmed starting next month. (November 2008)

     (0)


  44. 44 Madita

    #37

    @mememomo

    thank you for the info :)

    “Like The Moon Escaping From Clouds”…August 2009

    *The upcoming Lee Joon Ik sageuk film, Like The Moon Escaping From Clouds, has completed its main casting. And the leads are: Hwang Jung Min, Han Ji Hye, Cha Seung Won, and…Baek Sung Hyun*

    I like Han Ji Hye, she is quite good and has a good aura…but CSW is not in the leading role…he plays the bad guy :(

    Phhhh…I am not going to watch it …phhhh ..bad guy role …phhh.

     (0)


  45. 45 sonam

    MR doesn’t have a choice in JD. He is married. Anyway, she is not interested in him that way and nor is he in her. She just looks up to him as person. That’s why JG gets jealous maybe. I am all for JG getting jealous. It’s just the way he does it that makes me cringe. It’s so childish and so out of character. Something like out of BOF. Lee Min Ho as GJP would look adorable doing it.
    Yes, I wish Soo In would have made a play for MR. It would have been fun to watch JG’s reaction.
    CSA looks amazing in the Chino suits but I still feel JG dresses a little too young for his age and for a rising politician. It’s too tight, too trendy. You can’t wear skinny pants once you are over 30. You look like a fashion victim. Again LMH would look good in skinny pants.
    But I still love CSA. He’s the most debonair charismatic star I have seen on Kdrama. He almost seems too good for dramas. He needs to be on big screen.

     (0)


  46. 46 alodia

    this is kinda off-topic, but to answer 42 shin mi rae:
    My dear, KSA’s “Girlscouts” was shown June 5th 2008.

     (0)


  47. 47 dolly

    @sonam –
    Your comment about “childish” behavior sparked something that I’ve seen a lot of people make. How cutesy or childish BOTH characters comes across at times. In another site someone wrote that KSA should leave the cutesy voice to younger actors. Then I was just listening to some radio commentary here about older rock stars should retire at at 39. The commentator could not believe Steven Tyler is still giving concerts at 60 something. Anyway, I guess my question is why do you have such restrictions on how someone a certain age should act? or even wear clothes? If you look at when these “childish behavior” comes out from these characters, it’s mostly when they’re being jealous or just them two trying to be in a couple. Don’t people act differently when your in love? For the record, JD was not married, he’s engage.
    I believe CSW is alreay more a film star than a drama star.

     (0)


  48. 48 Sonam

    Tho I don’t want KSA to be “CUTESY” at her age I can understand why she is like that as MR in City Hall. She’s supposed to be this naive country bumpkin and once you are from the country it seems to be written in stone in Kdramas that you can’t be smart. You have to be naive and cutesy even when you are nearing forties. Tho’ I don’t agree with it, it is what it is.
    What kills me is CSA as JG being cutesy when he’s feeling jealous. Someone so urbane, so sophisticated and from a privileged background acting like that? The director and writer are pandering too much.
    It’s almost like JG is being patronizing to MR.

     (0)


  49. 49 ockoala

    @48 Sonam

    “What kills me is CSA as JG being cutesy when he’s feeling jealous. Someone so urbane, so sophisticated and from a privileged background acting like that? ”

    Good point, I can totally see how it seems like it doesn’t fit with JG’s powerful persona – this very instinctive jealousy he displays around/with Mi Rae. However, my counterpoint on this issue is that JG’s urbane, sophisticated side is just the exterior he has cultivated over the years in climbing the political ladder. It’s a facade, still a part of who he is now, but deep down, he’s just this sad little boy who father abandoned him and his mom by the side of the road next to a bar in a hick town. JG doesn’t come from a privileged background. What he has achieved, he has clawed his way there by being the best at everything, to succeed by will power and hardwork. This boy whose father never even loved him, much less acknowledged him, and whose mother probably turned icy herself to deal with her own pain.

    So, JG is a man who hasn’t experience love before, and coupled with his abandonment complex, makes his jealous completely in line with what we know about his background.

    I personally love seeing his jealously, it makes so much sense seeing how MR is affecting him, and how possessive he is towards her. However, I do agree that the country bumpkin acting cute routine is overused. But not in CH for me, just my 2 cents. =-)

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  50. 50 kimmy

    Cha Seung Won if you’re reading this *^^*, you can wear skinny pants as long as you want!!, with that bOdY…, you fill those pants even better than some twenty- something guys ^^… and as a Representative of most part of the female population I tell you …it’s a very pleasurable view ;) … so please don’t stop!, OK!?

    Now to the recap, as always is a pleasure to read and revive the best of this great drama. I love Mi Rae transformation, from an insecure candidate to a each time more secure and strong mayor…, Jo Guk make her discover her talents, her
    abilities, everything that was already inside of her. He really pushes her hard, sometimes too hard, but I think at this point he is doing all of this more for her than for his own benefit…
    I can’t wait for the next recap… :)

     (0)


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