Drama Recaps
Will It Snow For Christmas: Episode 3
by | December 15, 2009 | 115 Comments

Oh, Go Soo, I have missed you. If his acting here is any indication, his dark role in the recent film Into the White Night has got to be killer. Can’t wait to see it.

Now that we’re past the initial glow and into the meat of the story, I see that Will It Snow For Christmas isn’t a perfect drama. It’s not necessarily brilliant (which I wasn’t expecting and don’t hold against it) — but it does have the ability to hit all the right emotional notes. Also, despite being billed as a melodrama, there are some nice light beats in there. It’s not all Sturm und Drang — I wouldn’t be able to take it if it were all tragedy, all the time. I’m sure there will be plenty of time for the angst and drama as we continue, but right now I’m very pleased with the balance it has struck.


Clazziquai – “Rapunzel” [ Download ]

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As this episode begins, there’s a mild Rashomon-like overlap with the end of the previous episode, when we saw things from Kang-jin’s perspective. Now we backtrack and see things from Ji-wan’s point of view until we catch up to the present day.

We know that Ji-wan had run away from home; now we see what happened as she takes a bus out of town with nothing more than a bag and Kang-jin’s father’s pendant.

As a first-year high school student, she’s around 15 or 16 years old and arrives in the big city of Seoul with nowhere to go. She sits in a park at night, and imagines a conversation with her brother. Ji-yong talks to her in his usual good-natured, kind way, but a grieving Ji-wan is angry at him for leaving her, and doesn’t respond in kind.

Ji-yong asks her to take over their father’s Oriental medicine practice; they’d always said that he would go to medical school and she would go to Oriental medicine school, so they could set up a practice and help the needy together.

Ji-wan cuts him off, saying flatly that she doesn’t remember. She reminds him of all the disparaging things her mother has said about her, and says defiantly that she’ll live up to her mother’s words and be an embarrassment, then! Anyway, he broke the promise first by dying.

He says that since he couldn’t keep the promise, he’s asking for her to. Ji-wan claps her hands over her hears and screams, “You keep the promise! Come back to life and keep your promise!”

Fast-foward to her first meeting with Park Tae-joon, her future fiance. To be accurate, it’s not their very first encounter; he regularly comes to the cafe past closing time and asks for a drink. This is the first time they actually converse, however.

At first, they sit separately — he drinks alone and she fights to stay awake to do her homework. He seems amused by her, particularly since she’s as scatterbrained as ever and can barely focus on the conversation because she’s so sleepy.

Tae-joon asks what she knows about him — she’s probably heard a lot of gossip from his employees, who frequent the cafe. Ji-wan knows he’s dating the daughter of the company president; the father is dead-set against him and threatens to separate him. It’s hard on him, which is why he comes here late at night for drinks. She advises him to stand up to the president and break up with Woo-jung, because surely he deserves better than that! She even offers to set him up with her boss’s daughter, who’s a great catch.

He isn’t interested in her boss’s daughter, but what about her? If he broke things off with his girlfriend, would she take him? Ji-wan is tired and assumes that he’s joking (or drunk), so she doesn’t answer seriously, but he asks whether she’s ever seen him as a man. Did she never consider that he had a reason for always coming late and asking for liquor?

Tae-joon points out a mistake on the cafe menu board, and teasingly corrects her spelling. This makes her think back to high school when Kang-jin had corrected her spelling, and for a second she imagines Kang-jin’s face in place of Tae-joon’s.

She snaps out of the hallucination, but this gives us a hint into her reasons for falling for Tae-joon. I’m not saying that she was replacing Kang-jin or that her feelings for Tae-joon are false. It’s just telling that Tae-joon made her recall her old feelings, and possibly tapped into those dormant affections.

The night before her engagement ceremony, Ji-wan takes out her family photo, feeling both thankful and sorry to her parents. The reason she hasn’t contacted them over all these years is because she doesn’t feel she can face them yet. They don’t know it, but she’s still burdened with guilt for causing her brother’s death.

In the morning, Kang-jin heads out of his apartment and overhears Tae-joon, who has received an alarming call from Woo-jung. Tae-joon is so frantic at the news that when they cross paths in the parking lot, he asks Kang-jin to borrow his car. (He doesn’t have time to search for his, which may be on a different floor.)

When the engagement party is called off, Ji-wan remains behind after the guests clear out. The caterer wonders what to do with all the leftover food, since it would be a waste to throw away. Ji-wan forces a smile and says she’ll eat it. She was starving anyway.

Once the staff clears out and she’s left alone, however, she lets her disappointment show as she crossly eats off the multiple plates of food. To her surprise, a guest sits down across from her and joins her in eating, speaking to her more familiarly than is appropriate.

It’s Kang-jin, and he casually helps himself to the food while introducing himself. He’s Tae-joon’s co-worker from Bumseo Group, and lives in the same apartment building. He’s the leader of design and planning — oh, and his name is Cha Kang-jin.

At that, Ji-wan starts. Cha Kang-jin? She doesn’t comment on it, and neither does he, although he watches her reaction closely.

Afterward, he hears her vomiting in the bathroom and steps in to offer help. She has ostensibly overeaten, but this is really a result of shock after hearing his name.

Watching intently, Kang-jin tests her hesitantly, “Do you… know me?”

Ji-wan answers with a curt “No” and leaves quickly, but her flustered reaction more or less confirms that she’s not being honest. He doesn’t really believe her answer, but he doesn’t press the point.

Tae-joon’s urgent reason for missing his engagement party turns out to be because Woo-jung had slit her wrists. Lying in the hospital, she asks if he went through with the engagement ceremony, and when he says no, she sighs in relief. This was perhaps more of a tactic to win him back than to commit suicide, and she seems almost happy.

Woo-jung asks for a kiss — Snow White awoke from the poison-induced sleep when her prince kissed her. He hesitates so she pouts and says, “I’ll just stay asleep then.” But her provocation works, because Tae-joon swoops in suddenly and kisses her.

Ji-wan is surprised to walk out of the party location to find that Kang-jin is waiting for her, ready to offer her a ride. She declines, saying that Tae-joon will pick her up. It’s likely that Kang-jin knows she’s lying, but he lets her have her way and drives away without another word.

Soon afterward, it starts to rain. Kang-jin drives on, but after brief hesitation, he turns the car around and heads back.

Sure enough, Ji-wan is trudging along in the rain. However, he doesn’t get out to offer her a ride. He stays in the car while she walks along slowly, as though unable to turn away but also unable to be too forward with her. So he just watches.

Turns out that Kang-jin’s co-worker had faked illness to get out of going to the party — he works with Woo-jung and had guessed this would happen. Kang-jin is dismayed to hear that Tae-joon ditched the event to go to Woo-jung; the co-worker speculates that Tae-joon used his engagement with Ji-wan as a ploy to get his ex back. It must have worked.

Hearing that Ji-wan works at the cafe, Kang-jin heads over but finds it closed. Inside, Ji-wan sits alone and calls Tae-joon multiple times, but he doesn’t pick up the phone. She leaves messages berating him for his behavior, for humiliating her, for insisting on the ceremony when she didn’t even want one. But we see that the phone she holds to her ear is off — she can’t actually bring herself to say these things.

She pleads, “I met someone, and it was really difficult. Tae-joon-sshi, please come. Please.”

At the moment, Tae-joon is with Woo-jung at the beach, and Woo-jung tosses his phone into the water, happy just to be together. Now that they’re back together, she wants to move in together; she had already prepared a home with the necessary accoutrements before he broke up with her. She figures her father has to accept him if they tell him after the fact.

From the beach, Tae-joon calls Kang-jin for a favor. He missed a meeting with some Chinese developers for a project, and asks Kang-jin to take care of it so they don’t lose the project.

And so, Kang-jin has to step into an unfamiliar situation and find the businessmen on the train before they depart. They’re disgruntled at his sudden appearance, since they’ve never met him before, so he does his best to explain himself. It is awkward. Making things worse, he has accidentally left his sketchbook behind, so he grabs a napkin and starts drawing.

Kang-jin gets a distraught call from his younger brother Bu-san, and heads over to meet him. Bu-san is feeling rejected because today is his father’s birthday and he’d come out to Seoul to meet him, but he couldn’t summon the nerve to actually approach. Instead, he lurked for a while before leaving, so now he offers his homemade cake to his brother instead. He wonders, “If I was cool and great like you, would Father have accepted me?”

(Interesting: the brothers have different fathers. If it was mentioned before, I must have missed it. I feel so old-fashioned for assuming they had the same father!) Bu-san tells Kang-jin that since he’s so successful now, he should be able to seek out his father with dignity, but Kang-jin doesn’t seem interested. Instead, he dips a finger into the cream and tastes it.

Bu-san asks why Kang-jin doesn’t look for his father, then asks who he is.

The direct cut to Ji-wan’s parents is to make us think that his unknown father is Han Jun-su, which has elicited some fan concerns of whether Ji-wan and Kang-jin are actually half-siblings — it wouldn’t be a quintessential Korean melodrama without this sibling complication, would it? (It’s because the drama hints at the sibling possibility so early on that I feel confident that this will actually NOT be the case.)

The Hans drive down the street, only to be forced to a stop — someone is lying down in the middle of the street. It’s Madam Cha (first name Chun-hee), who is kicking up a fuss to keep her assistant from leaving her for a competitor. The assistant’s new boss is a surly thug who doesn’t appreciate being inconvenienced, and he grabs Chun-hee roughly. She dares him to hit her, so he does. She takes the hits, and taunts him to keep going — so he does, getting up to kick her in the stomach.

All the while, the Hans watch in embarrassment. Jun-su is conflicted because he doesn’t like to see Chun-hee getting hurt, but his wife urges him to drive away. Finally, he does.

This scene renews his wife’s desire to move away, but he refuses. Her insecurity shows with her accusation that it’s because of Chun-hee, but he answers that it’s because of Ji-wan. They have to wait until she returns home. Mom has never had a soft spot for her daughter — she always preferred her son — and scoffs, “What does it matter if we wait for a stupid girl like her or not?” She calls Ji-wan selfish for leaving the week after Ji-yong died with only a letter to say that she was heading to Seoul.

Jun-su is more sympathetic — Ji-wan must have been going through a hard time. Isn’t she worried about her daughter? Isn’t she curious about her welfare? Mama Han: “Not one bit.”

After walking home in the pouring rain, Ji-wan has come down with a fever, but she tries to fight through it and go to class as usual. She’s studying Oriental medicine — despite her earlier refusal — and based on the teacher’s comments, it’s clear that she has messed up often and done poorly in the past. However, he surprisingly holds her up as a good example, because in spite of her many detractors, she works hard and has never given up.

Just as she’s being applauded, she falls to the floor. The teacher thinks she’s faking illness to avoid answering a question, and rather than insist she’s sick, Ji-wan goes along with the joke.

Late at night, Kang-jin talks with his mother — it seems to be a regular ritual for them to call each other at night, and for him to sing her lullabies over the phone. Tonight, however, he’s feeling tired and not quite up to it.

Chun-hee pleads for him to sing — she has had a hard day and is feeling hurt over the incident in the street; she had seen Jun-su drive away without helping, even though she knows he still cares for her.

Kang-jin sings.

It’s the famous old pop song “홍도야 울지 마라” (Hongdo, don’t cry). [ Download ]

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Amidst a flower wind of buying and selling love
You try to protect the pure light on your own
Hongdo, don’t cry, you have your oppa
Keep to the path of a wife

Did you see the moon shrouded in clouds?
The world is a cloud, and Hongdo’s the moonlight
For my love, who has faith in the heavens
the wind blows aside the clouds

(According to one explanation of the song, Hongdo is a woman who “buys and sells love” — she has sacrificed herself to provide for her family, and laments her poor life. Her brother returns having achieved success and tells her to stop crying now; she can take her life back, marry and be a wife. This is rather touching, since Kang-jin is essentially telling his mother that he’ll provide for her now, that she can seek her own happiness.)

Late at night, Kang-jin stops by Ji-wan’s cafe, but it’s empty. When he arrives home, she’s waiting in front of Tae-joon’s apartment door. He’s bothered to see her huddled and half-asleep, but walks on to his place. She doesn’t see him and promises herself, “Just one hour. I’ll just wait one hour.”

So Kang-jin watches television, reads a little, and winds down his evening. Finally, he readies for bed, pausing a little at the thought of Ji-wan, who is still waiting outside. Kang-jin checks the hallway and sees Ji-wan still there, but again he walks away. He returns to his apartment and tries to forget her. But he can’t, and gives in: he gathers Ji-wan into his arms and takes her back to his room.

Seeing that she’s sick and feverish, Kang-jin tends to Ji-wan throughout the night.

Just after he takes Ji-wan away, Tae-joon finally comes home from his lover’s vacation with Woo-jung. At least he has the decency to look conflicted as he lies awake in bed.

In the morning, Ji-wan wakes up confused at the strange surroundings. Coming out to the main room, she asks why she’s here. Kang-jin says with his unflappable calm, “We must have a deep connection.”

Before he has a chance to expound on that cryptic comment, someone rings his bell. It’s Tae-joon, here to return his car keys. Ji-wan is struck speechless, looking on in wide-eyed shock as Tae-joon asks why she’s here. Kang-jin answers that he couldn’t ignore her sleeping in front of Tae-joon’s door all night, especially when she was sick.

To the discomfort of both Tae-joon and Ji-wan, Kang-jin reaches to touch her forehead in a familiar gesture. Pronouncing her still feverish, he suggests taking her to the hospital. Seeing Tae-joon’s hesitation, Kang-jin asks (with a subtly condemning undertone), “Oh, are you too busy?”


One striking aspect of adult Kang-jin is his attitude toward his family. Surprisingly, his attitude toward his mother and brother is affectionate and accepting; it’s clear he loves them. Not that he didn’t love them before, but he has decided for whatever reason to stop chasing an idealized concept of his father and has embraced the family he does have. I wonder if Kang-jin’s relationship with his mother is a direct result of a conscious decision to let go of his phantom father.

The song he sings is a beautiful testament to this, and not just because Go Soo sings with a gentle voice that’s full of emotion. At first, I hadn’t thought the song was a particularly meaningful choice, but now it seems like a fairly pointed message to his mother. It’s an unexpected love song, and it’s lovely. Furthermore, I appreciate that he has his family portrait on his desk, because what was an ironic joke of a gesture in his childhood (it was Chun-hee’s forced attempt to capture them as a “happy” family) is now something real.

I had been apprehensive about the adult characters losing the appeal that the teenagers had established, and I did feel that Episode 3 lost some of the magic of the first two episodes. However, I liked that some traits still shine through, such as Kang-jin’s personality when he walks away from Ji-wan, twice — first in the rain, and then in the hallway. This echoes the teenage Kang-jin, who tried to walk away when Ji-wan got hit by the tearoom boss. Ultimately he couldn’t ignore it and turned back to help.

I love that this is a facet of his character that has been established in the past. I’ll overlook little plot wrinkles in a drama, IF the characters remain true to themselves, but never the other way around. This drama has rock-solid characters so far.

It’s not an easy decision for him to interfere in adult Ji-wan’s life, either, particularly when it’s clear that she either (1) isn’t the Ji-wan he thinks she is, or (2) doesn’t want to be the Ji-wan he thinks she is. At first he tests her out, and despite her denial, he’s pretty sure it’s her. Then he learns that she’s being played by her fiance and feels sorry for her, but he’s not in a place to do anything about it. At this point, even if it is her, he senses that she doesn’t feel the same way about him — either she’s forgotten about him, or doesn’t want to recognize him. So he walks away — then comes back. Then walks away — and finally returns again.

As for Ji-wan, there’s a nice moment early on when she pleads for Tae-joon to come back. She’s talking to herself, and it’s really more of a plea with herself. I’m sure she loves her fiance, but being reminded of Kang-jin has stirred up some tumultuous memories, and that scares her because her feelings for him are still there. Her first instinct is to run away — heck, she’s still in the process of running away — so she would rather Tae-joon come back and resume their picture as a happy couple, rather than have to face the fact that she may still love Kang-jin.


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115 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. C

    ooh! First!
    Thanks for the quick update

  2. meikisis

    I am enjoying this drama so far.. like you said.. I wont totally commit to it so I’ll watch this drama as you write your recaps.
    Thank you!

  3. sophie

    thank you for recapping this episode :)
    i’m enjoying this drama

  4. Marg

    I’ve just finished watching episode 4, and I’m liking the drama thus far…I’m not enthralled by it, but it has certainly stirred my interest. I must admit that I was quite apprehensive about giving this drama a chance because honestly I don’t enjoy melodramas. I hope it doesn’t get too angsty and emo with over-the-top plot twists…because I’d really hate that and unfortunately I see the potential of that happening in this story. Nonetheless, I must say that I find Go Soo’s portrayal of his character intriguing and charismatic in this brooding yet sensitive sort of way. Plus, he sure is scrumptious…seriously, he may very well be my new Kdrama crush, haha.

  5. miranda

    I love Go Soo in this drama!! He’s just soo expressive and I fell in love hearing him sing, (thank goodness for subtitles lol). I just don’t really like Han Ye-sul’s character right now. As a child, I thought she still had some spunk in her even if she was clumsy, but now that she’s an adult, it seems as if she’s sort of lost it. I doubt it’s Han Ye-sul’s fault, but the character just doesn’t seem as compelling. I mean, how can you be soo in love with a guy, only after dating him for at most 2 wks. Also, how can you get engaged with a guy only after a short period of time since he’s broken up with his ex. Technically, he didn’t even break up with his ex yet before wooing her. Right now, I’m totally watching this drama for Go Soo.

    Also, not as a side not, thank you for recapping this drama. I thought it was going to be a melodrama so I wasn’t even going to bother watching it, but I read your recap and started watching it. Thank goodness for dramabeans, or i might be missing out on a, hopefully, good drama.

  6. ray

    thanks for the recap.enjoyed it throughly.
    good up.
    the drama is awesum

  7. annie

    really addicted to this drama. haha. well not addicted, but it has a pretty intense draw..and gosherss go soo is just sooo amazing. haha.

  8. beehive

    Lol when I saw Kangjin and Busan I immediately though “Eh how come the big bro is damn good looking and the younger one is.., not? Hmm. Must be different fathers”

    I totally fell for Go Soo again when he lifted Han Yeseul into his arms.

  9. all4movies

    Because I couldn’t watch it with english subs, I thought Ji-wan was part of the fake engagement, How could she fall in love with this guy after he broke up with his ex just a week before?

    Since I know she’ll end up with Kang-jin I’m willing to let it go.

  10. 10 etsy

    One aspect of this drama that I really liked was Ji-wan’s feelings for Tae Joon. I know you think the plea on the phone to Tae Joon was more as a result of the reawakening of feelings for Kang Jin as opposed to her desperation and deep attachment to her fiance, and on some sites, it seems that many people think Ji Wan is using Tae Joon as a replacement. I do not see this as the case. So many dramas portray a childhood love as the only love main characters ever have, but that’s cliche and unrealistic. I actually appreciated that Ji Wan has fallen in love with a new guy in her adult life, and she’s earnestly trying to keep the relationship together. That seems to be a much more realistic portrait of romantic life. She’s not one of those spunky drama heroines who refuse to submit to or beg anyone; she loves this guy and she will do whatever she could to keep this relationship. However, so far, it doesn’t seem to be working, and that’s going to allow her first love to re-enter her life.

  11. 11 kay

    when i watched it, i felt that hw and tj are getting married for similar reasons – they have affection for one another…it’s not head over heels love but it’s uncomplicated and something they both think they want…or at least it’s easier than if they did attempt to be with the one that they truly care for.

  12. 12 emeldy

    @ etsy i so agree with you. Tae Joon if u look at it from Ji Wan perspective, he is sort of charming, good looking, successful and emotionally wounded (where she could identify with him). He is a catch and a person he could introduce to her family. Yes ! he fall for him because it reminded her of Kang Jin. But this time around She has her chance to make it work and a chance to forget Kang Jin completely and a chance to impress her parents for once.

    It must be a shock to her seeing Kang Jin in this humiliating situation. No wonder she wan’t Tae Joon to step up as a man (as seen in ep.4) and holding on to him.

  13. 13 Anonymous

    they better not be siblings

  14. 14 fizzle

    Erm…how is Han Ye Seul in this drama?

    I liked her a lot in Fantasy Couple, but after Tazza I now have a tendency to avoid her projects. But this drama seems to be well-received, so I take it her acting isn’t terrible?

  15. 15 Ana

    Well melodramas were never my cup of tea but this one seems to be an exception.I actually broke my resolution of not watching still airing dramas.:-( Strangely,I feel that melodramas are actually more relaxing to watch than funny ones:-)

    ‘Will It Snow For Christmas’ has a great cast and the story so far is pretty good.I can’t explain it but this drama has got a ‘gentle’ soothing vibe about it and the characters all seem to have different layers that we are slowly starting to see.

    Thank you JB for the recaps.Even though I don’t watch a lot of dramas, it is always a pleasure to read your recaps:-) And thanks a bunch for uploading the song ‘Hongdo, don’t cry’ :-) That scene between the mother and the son was a beautiful one.:-)

  16. 16 etsy

    @fizzle: Ehh…her acting’s okay. It might be my least favorite part of the drama though.

  17. 17 javabeans

    Based on what I’ve read (Korean media), it seems Han Ye-seul’s acting is the biggest criticism. Go Soo has been pretty much universally praised.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t hate Han Ye-seul, and I was fully anticipating that I might. I do think the chemistry is mostly on Go Soo’s end, and wonder (sadly?) what could have been if we had had a truly stunning actress. But in the scheme of things, how many dramas have truly stunning actors? She’s doing okay so far, is my opinion…

  18. 18 deeta

    Thanks to you I tried out this drama and basically finished 4 episodes in one sitting. So far, I am in love with Will It Snow and hopefully the trend is continuing and improving.

    I find Go Soo to be really compelling. Never watched any of his projects, and didn’t think too much of him other than being good looking. But that scene where he sang to his mom just had me tearing up. One because Madam Cha is so beautifully acted and because Go Soo’s voice is very affecting.

    I like Han Yeseul so far. One complain I have is her almost constant ‘Deer in Headlights’ eye bulging. I hope she will grow out of this and exercise more subtlety. But I like how she still has that charm from her childhood.

  19. 19 jacq

    Thankyou for recapping this drama. I was still trying to decide if I wanted to watch this then I read your recap on epi 1 & 2. Since your comments and responses were mostly positive I decided to give it a try.

    I just finished the first 3 episodes in a row and I really enjoyed it. I loved the child actors; they were amazing in setting up the characters. Then there is Go Soo. I’ve always liked him for his good looks and solid acting. He didn’t disappoint me. He’s doing such a wonderful job. And this is the first time I watch Han Ye Seul in a drama and I think she’s okay. She looks very tired & pale though….The brother Ji-yong is soooo adorable. I was so sad when he exited. :( I wish we could have enjoyed him longer…..

    Thanks JB since if it weren’t for you I might not have started watching this. I’ll definitely continue to watch!

  20. 20 deeta

    This is something that crossed my mind:: Just wondering, if you guys could choose one actress to portray adult Jiwan, instead of Han Yeseul, who would you choose??

  21. 21 javabeans

    Gong Hyo-jin?

  22. 22 chisaicherry

    Stayed awake until 2 am finishing the first 4 episodes of this drama…and really want to like Jiwan’s grown up character…but i can’t. I don’t think she captured Jiwan’s character…or maybe the actress just isn’t charming.

    I also don’t understand Jiwan and Taejoon’s relationship…but regardless, I’m hoping her feelings towards Kang jin will soon be revived.

    Thanks again JB for you recaps!

  23. 23 rcbasil

    Kang-jin singing “홍도야 울지 마라” to his mother sealed the deal for me. Swoon. Love. Heartbreak. Thanks for the download!

  24. 24 etsy

    I think Lee Min Jung would do a superb job with Ji Wan.

  25. 25 belleza

    “I actually appreciated that Ji Wan has fallen in love with a new guy in her adult life, and she’s earnestly trying to keep the relationship together.”

    And the thing is (and this is the beautiful wrinkle with the childhood story), the first guy she liked wasn’t Kang Jin. It was a guy who used her to get with another girl. History is sort of repeating itself. Kang Jin was the SECOND guy. Episode 4 starts to illuminate how the unusually detailed childhood storyline foreshadows and contextualizes all the melo-y stuff in the present.

    There’s also persistent guage of self-loathing with Ji Wan, there but nascent in her childhood story, but fully awake in the current tense. Ji Wan thinks she’s also a fool when it comes to men, and in trying to not make the same mistakes, she is making the same mistakes.

    “Gong Hyo-jin?”

    Yup. Ji Wan is very close to being a prototypical Gong Hyo-jin character. (Whiny, insecure, marginal, real.) However, casting Han Ye Seul works nicely in this situation, because Gong Hyo-jin’s proclivity to portrays her characters as misfits, would give Ji Wan a degree of self-possession that would clarify the lucre of her crap engagement. Han Ye Seul doesn’t have it. From the get-go, the engagement ceremony is humiliating, and JW’s “brave girl” posturing underlines how humiliated she is. Han Ye Seul’s Ji Wan is the “trainwreck” who gets into one bad relationship after another. Nam Ji Hyun portrays Ji Wan determined to not be the fool. Han Ye Seul portrays Ji Wan resigned to being the fool. I like the contrast.

  26. 26 Yungahhh

    Thanks JB for recaps. I didn’t think I would like this drama at all because of the genre, but after reading ur recaps, I started to watch it and I’m hooked. ^_^

  27. 27 hsinya

    This is my first Han Ye-seul drama, and to her credit, I think she’s doing a decent job so far. Like someone mentioned in the last recap’s comments, grown-up Kang-jin has really matured, in the way that he treats his family differently. I love that.

    About the blood relation undertones, I heard that someone from the production even went on-line to clarify that Kang-jin and Ji-wan aren’t related, because there has been so much concern among the fans, LOL. I really hope that’s true… I’m so tired of the “half-siblings falling in love with each other and couldn’t be, so either one or both of them have to die” scheme, ugh.

  28. 28 beehive

    I’ve seen Han Yeseul in Nonstop, 9 Tailed Fox & Fantasy Couple – liked her in all of them and this one is no exception. I think she’s doing an OK job. However if I could choose another actress to play Jiwan, I’d pick Lee Da Hae :)

  29. 29 belleza

    “’m so tired of the “half-siblings falling in love with each other and couldn’t be”

    Exactly. They should go FULL BLOOD!! 😉

    No I’m kidding. Really I’m kidding. :(

  30. 30 Molly

    Thanks so much for the recaps! I’m loving them. :)

  31. 31 butterball

    wow that was quick, DB!! The recap I mean :).

    I do not think that Han Yeseul is a bad actress. She’s been decent. Just that compared to the excellent performance by Go Soo, it becomes a bit uneven.

    GS, why haven’t I known you until now? Such a great actor.

  32. 32 isabella

    “However, casting Han Ye Seul works nicely in this situation, because Gong Hyo-jin’s proclivity to portrays her characters as misfits, would give Ji Wan a degree of self-possession that would clarify the lucre of her crap engagement. Han Ye Seul doesn’t have it.”

    I think so, too. Although HYS’s acting is not as excellent as Go Soo’s but I can’t think of anyone else with a more suitable image for Ji Wan. What impressed me the most in the young JW is her radiant smile, which HYS’s Ji Wan still keeps alive but is not Gong Hyo-Jin’s strength in this case. I think HYS has made a progess in her acting with WISFC’s Ji Wan, she’s trying her best to portray a different character from the others in her previous projects. Ji Wan is a new challenge for her but so far, as you say, she’s doing okay and we can hope for something better in the next eps, I think.

  33. 33 hsinya

    @belleza #29,

    I’d totally hurt someone if that were true. Please don’t make me commit a crime, Ms. Lee Kyung Hee!

  34. 34 Maggie Lee

    I think IF jiwan did not go into depression (denial of her childhood memories) and also “carrying” the guilt, she would have been a happy, spunky girl who do care for her family and others.

    Right now suddenly her memory is being jolt once more at the time when she has just fallen in love although it is a brief encounter, conflicting thoughts scare her once more.

    If kangjin don’t barge this time round and help jiwan to regain her self confidence then we can see a different side of jiwan as an adult.

    Javabeans hope you will download the ost’s once it is release. Thank you once more.

    p/s how about Lee dae hae ?

  35. 35 Unknown Person?

    Why do I get the strange feeling that this drama may turn out to be similar to “Age of Innocence”? The plot seems like its going to turn out to be something like Age of Innocence or maybe it’s just me.

  36. 36 honest_will

    Watching ep 3 was okay, it was the transistion for go soo and han ye seul into their adult lives

    go soo plays the character (quiet, thinking and acts when needed) and therefore there are some scenes where he lets HYS to do what she does becos he still not too sure if she is the person he think she is, because of his character (set by his younger actor), he cant just be that guy who can just sweep of her feet and say nice things, becos of his character, he has to hold back and view the situation from an outside point of view and not to intrude on people boundries

    for HYS, shes doing okay, its hard for any actress nowadays, especially pretty ones like han ye seul, the lead girl from accidental couple, yu ri to really shine, and like someone said above, there aren’t a lot of pretty actress who can really take a script and truly act, park si yeon had this problem but was able to overcome it in ‘la dolce vita” and “the slingshot”


    HYS does well with her emotion and i hope she can keep her momentum throughout the next eps

    anyway my rant is over, cant wait for eng subs of ep 5 and 6 when it comes out

  37. 37 goldenlotus

    Agreed, I really enjoyed the childhood episodes and was sad it ended so quickly but its starting to pick up. Thanks for recapping!

  38. 38 OzChick

    Ah, I may have to watch this drama just for Go Soo. How could I not have heard of him until now????

  39. 39 Mona

    Ahhh dang it Javabeans! You’ve sucked me in again! Go Soo will be my addiction for the next coming weeks.

  40. 40 Anonymous

    @36: I don’t think people criticize a star’s performance just because he/she looks good. Many viewers can tell who’s good at acting, like why is everyone praising Go Soo instead of Song Seung-hun (long way to go in my opinion) – I think most would agree that they are both handsome. If you saw Han Ye-seul’s most recent drama Tazza, you would understand why many are not positive about her in terms of acting. And Kim Tae-hee is just weak in this area. There will always be some fans who think HYS & KTH are Korea’s best actresses….

    Gong Hyo-jin is certainly a better actress than Han Ye-seul.

  41. 41 xing

    instead of Han Yeseul, who would you choose??
    =>personally i think So Ae will fit nicely in this melodrama .

  42. 42 OzChick

    Also, despite Han Ye Seul being an okay actress, I can’t really imagine anyone else playing the role of Ji-Wan. Appearance wise, she seems to suit the role perfectly. I just hope that her character begins to pick up some of that spunk that the younger Ji-Wan possessed and that she doesn’t end up all whiny and weak.
    Like what Javabeans wrote, the plot isn’t necessarily brilliant (neither was Shining Inheritance but that had me hooked for three days straight) but its ability to hit the right emotional notes and Go Soo’s wonderful performance that places it a cut above the rest. Yay for Go Soo! He is now currently my new older-man crush.

    Thanks for the quick recap! I do hope you continue with this drama.

  43. 43 OzChick

    Does anyone know of Go Soo’s previous works? Recommendations? He’s so scrumptious :)

  44. 44 gsgn

    i’m currently trailing this drama over at viikii. so far, it’s promising. i’m just wondering if there are other sites where we can watch this series, aside from viikii? with viikii’s new announcement to go legal, they might not be uploading the rest of the episodes. *sobs*

  45. 45 deeta

    Totally agree that Gong Hyojin is a strong actress but I can’t help but think that she would be TOO strong.

    I had Lee Nayoung in mind but she needs to eat first because Jiwan can’t be that skinny.

    ETA: I never watched Tazza, but what happened there? Why does it seem like Tazza was such a traumatic experience, from HYS’s acting POV? Was she really bad?

  46. 46 hjkomo

    @ deeta
    “ETA: I never watched Tazza, but what happened there? Why does it seem like Tazza was such a traumatic experience, from HYS’s acting POV? Was she really bad?”

    Pretty much in a nutshell. 😉
    She was certainly the weakest link.

    I haven’t watched last week’s eps, so I cannot yet comment on her performance here.

    JB, you’re a busybee. So, does this mean you’re recapping this rather than Hero? :(

  47. 47 la meera

    i gotta say, i love your top screen cap with the picnic table. i swear, i watch korean dramas over my philippine dramas here in my country because korean dramas have such great lighting in their sets… everything looks so pretty!

  48. 48 belleza

    “Does anyone know of Go Soo’s previous works?”

    Green Rose, the one with him and Lee Dae Hae. If LDH did this role, Ji Wan would be more of a firecracker.

    “personally i think So Ae will fit nicely in this melodrama .”

    Fits the working class, unpretentious aspect, but I think she’d play the part with too much pride/nobility. The eyes between Go Soo (who sometimes reminds me of Jo Hyung Jae) and Su Ae would be awesome though.

    “Totally agree that Gong Hyojin is a strong actress but I can’t help but think that she would be TOO strong.”

    I have a working theory that almost every Lee Kyung Hee heroine is written for Gong Hyo Jin (yes, even MiSa — would go nuts if So Ji Sup and Gong Hyo Jin did a show together.) But, I think Han Ye Seul is a really good fit for this character, so far. There hasn’t been any huge weeping scenes yet, all sure to come. Adult Ji Wan can’t be strong or ennobling; moreover, she can’t be smart. HYS locates her character’s mix of mousy sincerity and vague pride (GHJ wonderfully interprets “vague pride” BTW.)

    Just thinking out loud, but I would have loved to see a young Jeon Do Yeon in this role. I could imagine a lot of scenes already where JDY’s big, country smile could render adult Ji Wan’s sadness and lack of self-worth.

    Then again, I could see Lee Yo Won play this role and then unwittingly order Go Soo’s assassination as Chunchu and Go Soo’s faction conspire to bring him down. Sigh.

  49. 49 vanessa

    It’s like 6am and saw another recap from you, thank you! JB I think what clued me in to them having different fathers are the different necklaces the boys have when they were little getting their pictures taken and the tea lady said “fathers.”

    I love this drama so far :) I don’t think I’ve ever watched a melodrama, but I am hoping they don’t hurt me to much :)

  50. 50 belleza

    Wow. Didn’t know Go Soo has an IQ of 145. Genius is hot.

  51. 51 dpacats

    have always tried to avoid melodramas but it’s Go Soo’s comeback drama and will definitely not missed this one….have loved him since seeing him in Green Rose

  52. 52 Beng

    gosh i missed Go Soo

  53. 53 Samsooki

    Is there a dark side to people, to be drawn to melodrama, to watch as a car wreck very gently and very slowly unfolds before us? It’s not Schadenfreude, though. We are not sociopathic. I think it’s the human experience. We are drawn to life, and a life lived to the extremes of human emotion is a life lived… well?

    I know that I cast my lots with the main characters of melodrama, and then hide during the heavy parts, to emerge when it stops raining. hehe. I would not make it as a character in k-drama, alas.

    But there is something more. When I watch, I think, are we really LIKE that? And/Or, is that how we see ourselves? Isn’t it embarrassing? Shouldn’t we hide our seriously conflicted selves from view?

    Hmm. Maybe we are sociopathic then.

  54. 54 popcorn

    To be honest. I didn’t watch the first two episodes because I tend not to like a transition from kids to adult stories. I always get attached to the kids and when the adults come I lose the fervor for the show. So this time instead of watching the first two episodes I skipped to this one. I read your recaps and that’s how I understand the show for the first two episodes.

    As for the character, it seems that the one that stands out most is Goo Soo. I anticipate every time he is shown on screen. *sigh* I didn’t know I like him until now.

  55. 55 Penn

    I love this drama already and can’t wait to get my hands on ep 5. I love the adult Kang-jin and much as the teenager Kang-jin. His character has truly matured. Not every parent is going to be perfect. I’m glad he has come to terms with his mother and accept her as who she is. I think Ji-wan’s rebuttal of his mother triggered this change. If he can’t accept his own mother then how can he expect someone else to accept her. It’s a good thing. I love Kang-jin’s affection towards his mother and brother. Yet it’s sad to see Ji-wan’ family which used to be picture perfect be a broken home. It brings me to tears to see Ji-wan’s father wait for his runaway daughter everynight even after eight long years. We understand why Ji-wan left but still is heartbreaking to see the Han family lose not one but both children at the same time. Thank you again JB for your recap. I look forward to the next episode.

  56. 56 snow

    Just saw episode 5 live-streaming and this show is so good : IMO I think Han Ye Seul is doing a really good job as Ji-wan. Her character has shown traces of the her younger self but I think she’s lost some spunk do to the accident with her younger brother. Thanks again for the recaps Java!

  57. 57 belleza


    “Is there a dark side to people, to be drawn to melodrama, to watch as a car wreck very gently and very slowly unfolds before us?”

    No, not really. Aristotle said tragedy was the highest dramatic art because it enabled the audience to experience catharsis/release, and from it tap into understanding of human experience. However, melodrama is to tragedy what an action flick is to realistic violence. Melodrama provides a more banal (and therefore less demeaning, more guilty pleasure) prescription for the cathartic release; because what you’re watching is based on stylistic devices, there is a stronger remove and you are more inclined to process the tragedy according to your own viewing rules, rather than from the space of the story. The story is sometimes besides the point. And even occasionally, melodrama also functions as wonderful black comedy. I loved You’re Beautiful, but I laugh harder through Stairway to Heaven. Moreover, it can be argued that between melodrama and comedy, comedy on average challenges the viewer more; the diminishing returns of melodrama (i.e. “angst”) are flatter than of comedy. What I liked about writer In Jung Ok is that when she works in melodrama, she often short-circuits the tear-guzzling tropes in order to force the viewer to approach the material from a cerebral, rather than emotional response. If a character has a tragic backstory, the character simply tells us; we are not privy to a re-enactment of that backstory. The content is basically the same, but the former forces us to maintain an emotional detachment to the character, so that we may process the material intellectually, It is a Brechtian strategy. However, Lee Kyung Hee doesn’t believe in that. Part of Lee Kyung Hee’s approach to melodrama is to short-circuit your plausibility filter (i.e. “can a person REALLY go around with a bullet stuck in his brain?? HELLO??”) in order to engage various modes of catharsis, tracked emotional experiences, and punitive damage, thereby arriving at a disengagement from linear characterizations and into mythical assignments of people. And in particular, Lee Kyung Hee engages again and again the cranky, yet expansive role-play of masculinity through her torture gardens. In a specific sense, she in her love dramas doesn’t get into the heart of relationships or love, she’s more inclined to explore blood, thuggery, and the pull of bondage, expectations, and so on, in order to redress each specific drama’s code of love-macho. (this show does all sorts of neat improvisations off a son’s filial forming a code of honor through relations with damaged women . . . rides the line between sexist and inspirational.) She grows more artificial (but really more shorthand with the tragic bits) with each script, but like In Jung Ok, she’s also asking us to not enjoy the wreckage so much and rather pay more attention to the conditions behind their human condition. Lower hanging fruit nonetheless.

    Poor Bidam. :(

  58. 58 all4movies

    @ Penn, Picture Perfect Family?

    It may seem like that on the surface, but Ji-wan was actually the less loved child and the father had a past love. The mother’s lack of love for her daughter is really evident when the “love” of her life, her son dies, and she turns into the most cruet and unloving of all mothers and treats her daughter, who she tolerated at best, as the worst monster ever.

    Perhaps Mrs Cha was right, that (some of) the smiles on the portrait were fake.

  59. 59 Norma

    Personally, I’m still not sure about this melodrama…..I THINK it will be enjoyable as opposed to BORING…..I am not sold on the acting of the female lead….totally different personality from the younger actress who had spunk and took the bull by the horns! Right now I get the feeling she is not with the program….you know, the opposite of what Jan Di was like in BBF….which was also terrible.

    However….I do like Go Soo in this role and perhaps his character will carry on the story line.

    As far as the 2nd female lead…..ah well….there has to be a bitch of a villain in every story!

    boy…how depressing!

  60. 60 giddygirl108

    LOVING THE RECAPS (but what’s new?). Oh my goodness…I need to start watching this series. One semester break starts…*promises herself*.

    I’ve never watched anything with Go Soo in it but dayum….I think I need to change that right quick and in a hurry.

    Can I just also say that I really like that Kang-jin’s family’s changed dynamics? As well as his hesitance in pinning Ji-wan as the Ji-wan he knew. The changed family dynamics I like because it leaves the angsty filial relationships behind (it’s just so cliche now…argh). Also: it’s a great parallel to the changed dynamics in Ji-wan’s family. The perfect family falls apart and the flawed one somehow became perfect. Kang-jin’s recognition of Ji-wan: AWESOME. I’ve always had a small pet peeve with the adult characters recognizing each other after being separated for many years (and many different periods of change, say puberty for example). I like that Kang-jin and Ji-wan knew each other around the age of 15, which means that they could still look similar in their adult years. Furthermore, Kang-jin recognizes her through her name. He didn’t pull the classic: OMGZ, that is definitely Ji-wan b/c DUDE, I know what she’ll look like in the future! Granted it was possible for this scenario, but it’s not to see some realism to the story. Additionally: he doesn’t swoop in as if he knew that it was her. I think it’s great that they incorporated his personality into his probing of whether she is the Ji-wan with whom he’s familiar.

  61. 61 giddygirl108

    I meant it’s “nice” to see some realism to the story in my above comment. And also: “once” semester break starts.

    I need to get some sleep.

  62. 62 mie

    I don’t know if anyone mentioned this to you, but the part where the CHA family is taking their sad family picture, the mother says, “Take out your fatherS.” and that’s how it’s known that the brothers have different fathers. ^^

    Absolutely LOVE Go-soo’s eyes in this. Both his younger counterpart and he are so brooding. It’s total love.

  63. 63 sophie

    Son Yeh Jin (although they have a movie coming out together) and Ha Ji Won could’ve done the role well too. Ha Ji Won has avoided What happened in Bali (what a dark drama) type roles huh? Well I think they should bring the kid Kang-Jin back as their child or something. Having both him and Go Soo in the same scene would be amazing. Kind of like Sad Love Story, but Kwon Sang Woo died so they couldn’t be together :(

  64. 64 beehive


    My first Go Soo drama was Piano. Loved it to bits. I’d totally recommend it if you love melodramas.

    And I think Madam Cha was Go Soo’s stepmother in Piano.

  65. 65 Samsooki

    @57 belleza –

    However, melodrama is to tragedy what an action flick is to realistic violence. Melodrama provides a more banal (and therefore less demeaning, more guilty pleasure) prescription for the cathartic release; because what you’re watching is based on stylistic devices, there is a stronger remove and you are more inclined to process the tragedy according to your own viewing rules, rather than from the space of the story.

    Not that I disagree, because I think you are right, but the emphasis is different with what I was saying. What you are saying is deconstructionist, whereas what I am saying is more philosophical. I look at a waterfall and I wonder whether we think it is beautiful because it is a priori, or because we have been created to see it as beautiful. You might look at the same waterfall and tell me which receptors in our eyes allow for max visual spectrum beholding, somehow matching the exact rainbow that is so created.

    There is value in all view points, and while I tend to romanticize things because that’s the way I see the world, I also have learned much about the belleza universe by reading what you write, and it is fascinating.

    I think it was Lenny Bruce said that comedy works only when you cry first, and while I found him mostly objectionable, I agree with that sentiment. I also think it works the other way. That tragedy works only when you laugh first. This is not only true from an abstract POV, but also from a physiological standpoint as well. Crying and laughing BOTH produce endorphins – those tiny little analgesics of “ahhh” that our bodies produce in response to certain stimuli. Laughing or crying makes it easier for the body to do the other, as our receptors become geared for more endorphins.

    And yet, from a philosophical perspective, I still think we have a dark side that revels in the nitty-gritty of life when experienced by others. We want the nitty-gritty, but we want the nitty-gritty to end when the episode is over.

  66. 66 lidge_fan

    The most poignant scene in ep. 3 for me was the conversation Ji Wan imagine having with her brother. Just SO SAD!!! The drowning was a tragic accident, but Ji Wan can’t forgive herself. She’s so stuck in her grief that she doesn’t see that her brother loves her and wouldn’t want her to live in such pain.

    I admit that Go Soo is very, very hot in this drama (SIGH!!!) and I do go into a bit of a fangirl mode whenever he’s onscreen and although HYS’s acting might not be up to par with Go Soo’s, I find myself drawn to and can’t help but sympathize with her character Ji Wan. The adult Ji Wan reminds me of how some of us are in real life, how we carry on smiling on the outside and living like nothing’s wrong but the truth might be the complete opposite on the inside. And I think Ji Wan meeting Kang Jin again is a good thing because only his silent, gentle love can push her to confront what she’s been trying to run away from and make her see that she needs to forgive herself and move on.

    Despite the critcisms about HYS’s acting, I like her in this drama and think she makes a cute couple with Go Soo.

    Looking forward to the next recap, jb!^^

  67. 67 Sonam

    Agree. It would have been a refreshing change if Jw really does like TJ for a few episodes at least instead of being fixated on KJ.

    I am surprised no one mentioned LDH in place of HYS. I still have the Green Rose hangover I guess. They looked so good together and LDH does sad so beautifully. I felt they didn’t have enough romantic scenes since the drama was focussed on who tried to kill the father and when he woke up from the coma he refused to say!!!

    I am trying to like this actress but it’s very obvious she’s not a natural. Right not she looks like a nervous wreck and I don’t think it’s because she’s playing the character. I think she’s really nervous about her role and acting.

    The old pop song is wonderful and GS sang it beautifully. I am watching this drama only because of him.

  68. 68 beehive

    @67 Sonam:

    Check out my comment no 28 :)

  69. 69 xing

    @ 48 belleza

    “Fits the working class, unpretentious aspect, but I think she’d play the part with too much pride/nobility. The eyes between Go Soo (who sometimes reminds me of Jo Hyung Jae) and Su Ae would be awesome though.”

    yes! Go soo and jo jyung jae .that is why i remember So Ae . i think the eyes exchange between So Ae and Go Soo will be marvellous at least i anticipate it to be so . .they have that quiet yet strong presence .i dun know haha maybe it has always been quite an idea to me to see So Ae and Go Soo together in one project . Lee Na young as somehow mentioned .it is hard to find a matching leading man for her .sometimes she is quite too quirky~but i like her nevertheless, she has that unique-ness that make her stand out in her own category among the actresses

    . i thought that Ji wan will need some of that pride .which is somehow lacking abit from this current Ji Wan ? or was it meant to be so ?~ that lack of confidence in herself

    ” I have a working theory that almost every Lee Kyung Hee heroine is written for Gong Hyo Jin (yes, even MiSa — would go nuts if So Ji Sup and Gong Hyo Jin did a show together.) But, I think Han Ye Seul is a really good fit for this character, so far. There hasn’t been any huge weeping scenes yet, all sure to come. Adult Ji Wan can’t be strong or ennobling; moreover, she can’t be smart. HYS locates her character’s mix of mousy sincerity and vague pride (GHJ wonderfully interprets “vague pride” BTW.) ”

    GHJ had been in two of writer lee’s dramas^but i do agree somehow that she might be abit too strong for this role though she is wonderful actress

    young JDY .Seo woo came into mind ^but i think she is just too young for ji wan

  70. 70 ellen

    Thank you. Waiting for ep 4 recap. I watch then read the recap or read recap then watch. Doubles the fun of this captivating drama. I’m hooked. Go soo captivates me.
    I like these: Kang jin doesn’t take the nonsense of the lady boss, he cares for his mom & brother, he sings lovingly to his mom (GS can sing) he still cares for Jiwan & respects her by not being too intrusive, he can’t help caring – he carried her to his place & nursed her (fever) touch her forehead, put on her coat ( the closeness touched me) as Tae Joong watches them…

    I have no other choice but Han ye-sul. She’s doing fine as adult Ji-wan. She can play spunk really well as she did in Fantasy cpl. As adult Jiwan she’s still carrying the pain & guilt over her brother’s death so she doesnt have that confidence & spunk yet. Embarrassed that Tae Joon did not turn up on their engagement & the shock of meeting Kang Jin there must be making her more confused & depressed.
    Possible siblings: Tae Joon & Kang jin, Tae Joon & Ji wan, Kang Jin & lady boss??

  71. 71 krnkimbap

    Hi Javabeans! I know this has absolutely nothing to do with this recap, but is there any way you could post up any news about Kim Nam Gil? I’d never heard of him before QSD but now I’m completely, utterly in love with him. There doesn’t seem to be many articles about him, and it takes me forever to read korean ones… :(
    I’m so sad QSD is ending next week… What will I do without my Bidam???

    But related to this post, I ablsolutely love the young actress who plays Han Yeseul’s younger self. She was astounding in QSD!

  72. 72 MEIKO**** ^-^

    mmmm, I have this feeling Woo-jun will make me wanna wring her neck in the following episodes! She seems like a total spoiled brat…

    and Tae-joon, dont really like him either and the actor himself *making a face*…

    Anyway, thanks for the recap. Will be waiting for the next one.

    Am getting to really like this drama….. ^-^

  73. 73 tisyamey

    GO SOO is the epitome of HOTNESS!
    I saw Green Rose and I wasn’t that impressed, as a matter of fact, I pretty
    much stayed away from any of Goo Soo’s other projects coz I just didn’t
    have the same feel about him as I did with Jang Hyuk, Won Bin, Hyun Bin..etc…— THEN…..

    But BOY! The military training sure made a MANLY man out of him… [my two cents only, kz] I was soooo mesmerized by him while watching the first 4 episodes that I went ahead and downloaded all episodes of his previous drama, Marrying A Millionaire, and had a marathon of it… didn’t sleep until 5 AM this morning…[>me<— babo] His body has slimmed down a lot… and he fits real good in the clothes he's wearing in this drama… unlike MAM, wherein he was wearing suits/clothes that seemed too big for his frame…he looked uncomfortable in them, while now, he wears his clothes like second skin…

    His ability to make a stare such an event is what I like most about him… a look that conveys a lot of emotions that mere words seem not to be enough… the only
    other actor that gets to me like this is Jung Kyung Ho… wahhhhh!!! Too many
    hotties, so little time!!!! *wink, wink*

  74. 74 Taohua

    I had been on a fence about whether I wanted to watch this drama…but this recap sealed it. That and the praise for Go Soo’s acting. While MiSa is my favorite kdrama of all time…I hope this one ends in on a much happier note. But thanks for the awesome recap JB! I love the insight you’ve given about the characters and the plot. And I think someone mentioned it in the last recap (belleza?) about Lee Kyung-hee loving her anti-hero…so true and I’m actually a fan of the conflicted, flawed hero whose love is so intense for the woman that is connected to him in sort of tragedy. Am not sure how I’m going to juggle this and Friend Our Legend…it’ll be interesting

  75. 75 Amg1

    Epi 5 Raw enjoy….my fellow Dramabeaners.. 😮

  76. 76 belleza


    “I’d never heard of him before QSD but now I’m completely, utterly in love with him.”

    Sigh. Poor Bidam. :(


    “And I think someone mentioned it in the last recap (belleza?) about Lee Kyung-hee loving her anti-hero…”

    Lee Kyung Hee loves, loves her male leads. For each show, she loves to explore an aspect of masculinity and funnel that into romantic love. MiSa is about the son who longs to be accepted and loved by his mother. Love to Kill is about bond, obligation and honor between men, let alone brothers. Thank You is a love letter to the power of fatherhood. This one is about the Good Son, who consoles the damaged women (mom, sweetheart, drunk who takes after mom) around him.

  77. 77 shubi

    I love Go Soo…..So every episode is a treat for me regardless…

  78. 78 Ladymoonstone

    I am falling inlove all over again with Go Soo. I love him when I first saw Green Rose…and I think if LDH will be the actress on this drama…she will have more spunk.

    Anyways…my eyes is with Go Soo…lol..always drawn to him. HOpefully he will have many more projects….

    Thanks JB….I truly enjoy your recaps…

  79. 79 krnkimbap

    @ Belleza

    “Sigh. Poor Bidam. :(

    I couldn’t have put it better myself. Has he had any joy in his life??? His whole life revolves around Deokman and I wouldn’t even complain if I knew it was going somewhere. Obviously it’s going to end in tragedy, I’ll bawl my eyes out, proclaim I’m never going to watch a sageuk again, and then BAM, I’ll be sucked right back in, as always…
    I pretty much failed my nursing finals since I was too busy searching cyberspace for information on KNG and watching videos of him on youtube over and over and over agin. I even saved them on my ipod so I could take him with me wherever I go! I must be crazy…..

  80. 80 b020

    One of the biggest problems that I face when watching any drama is the unbalanced acting skill of the main characters. Sometimes I’ll really get into the scene or episode but then a subpar actor comes on and disturbs the flow, breaking my concentration so that instead of the story unfolding, I’m thinking/analyzing about the episode. It drives me crazy and I have that problem with this drama. I can’t even say its all HYS’s fault – maybe its editing or directing, but there are too many points in the episode where I’m not thinking about the story as a whole, but the little crap.

    Go Soo does brooding and intensity well, but put GS and HYS together and there’s something just off about both of them. I don’t know if he’s overcompensating or she’s too nervous, but there’s something lacking in their acting together.

    PS: Thanks to JB, I have spread the addiction of kdrama!

  81. 81 ambs

    i might start watching this :) i just don’t enjoy having my heart broken over shows haha but i had to comment because YAY clazziquai<3 i miss them so.

  82. 82 belleza

    “I think she’s really nervous about her role and acting. ”

    And, see, it’s that nervousness that I enjoy most about HYS’s version of Ji Wan. It sets up her shaky self-esteem, her neediness, and above all, her dissonant relationship with adult Kang Jin. Immediately we can sense that she’s had a hard life including her relationships with men. After all, Kang Jin wasn’t the first guy she liked or “dated.” She’s been trying to prove that she can hold a man down ever since.

    When she tells Tae Jun how angry she was, she’s searching for confirmation. Her perpetual anxiety/whiny bray (which is enhanced by uhhh HYS’s “dystrophic” approach to acting) gives us a strong tell that, even though she’s angry, she’s moreover worried that Tae Jun might not care. She may love Tae Jun a lot, but it also seems she’s trying to prove to herself that she’s not a doormat and she can make a relationship work.


    “What you are saying is deconstructionist, whereas what I am saying is more philosophical. I look at a waterfall and I wonder whether we think it is beautiful because it is a priori, or because we have been created to see it as beautiful. You might look at the same waterfall and tell me which receptors in our eyes allow for max visual spectrum beholding, somehow matching the exact rainbow that is so created.”

    I do see your viewpoint, but from my critical perspective, the basic plot points are not substantial in a realistic fashion, and thus it’s not meaningful for me to apply a moral bias against this melodrama that I’m watching.

    You see, if I did, then I would have to assess the story from strictly the plausibility of the story . . . and that ain’t going to work. 😀 Again, it’s the same thing with action movies and war movies. War is hell, but as a movie, it’s also porn. That’s why many soldiers say there’s really no such thing as an anti-war movie. You have to be cognizant of that dissonance between the story’s key points and the visceral pleasure of watching people and things blow up. Especially since that “pleasure” doesn’t exist when you’re actually in a war.

    From strictly just dramas, Japanese melodramas tend to illicit a different reaction from me, because they force me to establish a real investment in the actual story and plight. The last 1/3 of 1 Liter of Tears is not only sad, it’s almost horrifying. You really, really want her suffering to stop, and you become especially mindful that people in real life tragically go through this. In such a story, I cease thinking about whether this or that actor is delivering a “good performance”, that is a good replication of a familiar plot point. Instead, I’m thinking about how I hope I never have to be or know somebody who experiences a degenerative neuromuscular disease. When that drama was over, that season long exposure to that aspect of the human condition haunted me for awhile.

    I love both TV styles. I haven’t yet assigned a meaning to Snow, being that it’s only 4 episodes into the show. I naturally love this show in a way I can’t love a drama like YAB. Just my bias.

    “There is value in all view points, and while I tend to romanticize things because that’s the way I see the world, I also have learned much about the belleza universe by reading what you write, and it is fascinating.”

    Thus, the MiSa experience. 😀

    “That tragedy works only when you laugh first. ”

    Yeah, that’s one of Lee Kyung Hee’s strongest points (though not as much with this show — she’s usually funnier.) MiSa is hilarious. THEN it’s brutal. Lee Kyung Hee has marvelously offbeat rhythms for Thank You — all the “funny” bits bely tragedy, and all the tragic points in the story are treated like slapstick happenstance. It’s awesome. And I’m going through that with QSD too. Bidam made me laugh. Now he’s breaking my heart. Poor Bidam. Sigh. :(

    “And yet, from a philosophical perspective, I still think we have a dark side that revels in the nitty-gritty of life when experienced by others.”

    Thus, the Memories of Bali experience. OPW and NPW gone horribly wrong. 😀

  83. 83 Amg1

    sorry forgot the link…..

  84. 84 Amg1

    @samsooki, @ Belleza. Thank you guys for your comments, one plays with the right side and the other with the left side of my brain. I relate to your comments and do agree with both of you.

    Comedy allows me to acknowledge my short comings with a smile on my face, while there are times when the brutality of this sad and retched life hits me stray to the face without no apologies.

    The fact the there are more difficult times in our lives as compare to joyful moments, comes as no surprise that we like tragedy so much, some said that “Tragedy looks always better in some one else’s shoes “.

    enjoy epi 5 raw link above…

  85. 85 justine

    Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t I’m sorry I love you, Thank you written by the author of this drama as well? (siggghhh Thank you was amazing!)
    Am I the only one satisfied with Han Yeseul as the main lead? Although her acting is not stellar I can relate the younger Jiwan with her more than I can with Gosoo and his young self.
    JB; your in-depth analysis is greatly appreciated as always :))

  86. 86 Sonam

    I agree. I am just not feeling the connection between them. I hope this doesn’t become like BOF where the lead guy is fantastic but there’s zero chemistry between the lead couple.
    @ belleza
    I will try to look at it from your point of view. My problem is not so much HSY’s acting -I don’t think it’s great but I can live with it- but the chemistry between KJ and JW. I am not feeling it yet. Also I expected JW to be a little more spirited in memory of her brother.

  87. 87 butterball

    Wow quite a lot of discussion here. It does seem that the drama so far has hit some of us at the right emotional note (one thing about melodrama: you really have to be in a certain mood to enjoy it. And I am at the moment. I have yet developed a strong bond to all the characters in the show yet, but they are growing on me).

    I see episode 3 is a transient phase. We are given the opportunity to see KJ the man and JW the woman. Because of the 8-year jump, there are a lot of changes in the characters that we have yet discovered. On top of that, the other second leads are introduced to the already complicated dynamic.

    I am absolutely thrilled about KJ the man. He has grown up to be a beautiful cool man (He must the best Asian man in suit I have seen. Even better than So ji Sub IMO). His attitude towards his mom and brother has changed and is so heart-warming. He seems to be so self-composed and not overly emotional. However, there are clues here or there in this ep (and the one to come) pointing out to the inner pains that still exist since his childhood. We can sense it in GS’s subtle performance and I cannot help but drooling. [No spoiler here, but I do think ep4+5 are nice. Especially the end part of ep4 and beginning of ep5. Some golden moments in GS acting.]

    JW, I am not sure how I really feel about her. There is certain spark of the childhood JW seems lost in Han Ye-seul’s performance. Still, she’s not out rightly bad.

    At this stage, I am anticipating some really good character development for Woo-jung. Is the writer generally good at developing her supporting characters? WJ has a certain energy that even in her messy crying, drinking and heartbreaking moments, I feel for her. She is a train wreck at this stage, a fool for love. I don’t find her annoying (come on, how would you feel if the man you deeply loved broke up with you with no reasons given and getting engaged with someone else almost straightaway? WJ has the characteristics of a spoilt rich girl, but her love pains are universal).

  88. 88 Patricia

    Hi, I love your recaps, thanks, I’m hooked with this drama, love Go Soo, he’s simply gorgeous :o), but the drama is nice.

  89. 89 more

    Hongdo, don’t cry is such a lovely song i love it thanks :)

  90. 90 v

    Javabeans – after reading your recaps for the past 3 episodes, I’m totally hooked to this drama! (Immediately dl and watched them!!!) By the way, Go Soo is wayyyyy cute and what an incredible actor!!! Loving him so far….Han Ye Seul is just meh…hopefully as the drama progress we will see her shine more. Thanks for introducing to me yet another great drama! Haven’t watched a good melodrama in a while…ready for some good angst and crying – haha! 😀 Looking forward to more of your recaps!

  91. 91 Lilona

    I was crying when Kang Jin sang to his mother. That was trully very very sweet and song was so meaningful for both of them! I loved it so much!

  92. 92 Alison

    is kang jin’s brother, bu san, the same guy who played the spy in My Name Is Kim Sam Soon? he looks like him.

  93. 93 haezi

    thanks for the recaps.

    the adult counterparts, both go soo and han ye seul, are doing so much better than i expected that i’m happy with the results. han ye seul is endearing as the slightly broken version of ji wan.

    i’m not so convinced that ji wan actually loves her fiance (after all, she wasn’t really interested in him until she saw a little of kang jin in him…refer to the scene when her fiance corrects her spelling on the cafe board). there’s just a part of her that wants to “make it” without her past and her fiance gives her that opportunity.

    ah, another lee kyung hee vs. in jung ok discussion…they’re both amazing. when is in jung ok going to write another drama? ruler of your own world was so awesome.

  94. 94 belleza

    “Is the writer generally good at developing her supporting characters? ”

    Generally, no. Her support females can be kinda undernourished (except for A Love To Kill.) But, Lee Kyung Hee seems to want to make a parallel between Woo Jung and Kang Jin’s mom.


    “(He must the best Asian man in suit I have seen. Even better than So ji Sub IMO)”

    Haha, and in fact there was an article about exceptional male leads this year in suits (Cha Seung Won, Go Soo, Bae Soo Bin, So Ji Sup, etc.) Bae Soo Bin, who rocks his suit like a Bond-esque uniform of seduction, savor faire and danger, would be my #1 this year.

    Lifetime achievement award goes to My Man (aka Lee Jung Jae) and Jo In Sung. Both become their clothes.

  95. 95 Z

    So, this is probably was too melodramatic for me to actually watch… I don’t watch TV to depress myself, that’s why even the angsty segments of rom-coms are often too much for me. But, it seems interesting so, if you keep the recaps coming I’ll definitely keep reading them!

  96. 96 hanjanman

    To everyone,

    I’m trying to do a survey and I hope all of you will participate. Here’s the question:

    Don’t you think that the ‘Shower Scene’ in episode 2 of WISFC gratuitous and inappropriate? Even unnecessary?

    Thanks in advance for your assistance. I assure you this survey is for the betterment of everyone and the whole of mankind.

    ps I don’t see them here so please don’t mention anything to either Langdon813
    or hjkomo!

  97. 97 javabeans

    “gratuitous and inappropriate” suggests i didn’t need to see Go Soo half-naked. and i assure you, i needed to see Go Soo half-naked.

  98. 98 butterball

    javabean, you crack me up hahaha. And I am in the office!!!

    I dont think the shower scenes inappropriate. It fits nicely with the sexy introduction to KJ the man, a handsome and cool man indeed.

    Belleza, thanks for answering my comment. I still have some hope for WJ character. By that I mean there should be some dimension to her character, rather than just writing her as a villain or drinking machine.

    But really, I have such a soft spot for GS. In a suit or half-naked. His eyes are fire.

  99. 99 belleza

    “His eyes are fire.”

    Especially when he’s half naked. O_O 😀

  100. 100 javabeans

    When he’s half-naked, I’m pretty sure MY eyes are fire.

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