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Rebuttal #2: A case against My Love Patzzi and the delusions of Samsooki’s Jang Nara obsession

Once upon a time there lived a wee little goldfish. From her little plastic castle inside her little glass fish bowl she often glimpsed views of a television screen that housed human beings, many of whom cried rivers of tears due to something called “cancer” and sometimes bowed down to bearded men in red robes, intoning “Jeon-haaaaaa!”. At the time, she gobbled down Korean dramas by the truckload, swallowing each one like fish food, not caring about the taste or any possible health benefits. She just enjoyed watching them. Brainlessly. Forgetting them the instant her three second memory span was up.

She watched the 2002 MBC drama My Love Patzzi in this way. Alas, this drama turned out to be a puzzling one. Why was Jang Nara acting so ghoulish, and contorting her face into such strange expressions? And Kim Jae Won! Had he always been this boring? Why hadn’t she realized this before? And who was this young upstart Kim Rae Won, with his angsty ways? Was she supposed to be feeling sorry for him? What was going on here?

Ten episodes passed, and she was suddenly faced with the ending. She waited to see it all get wrapped up in a satisfactory manner. But she waited in vain. The little goldfish realized that the drama was over, and that nothing had happened. She realized for the first time the bitterness of feeling as though one has just been cheated of ten hours of her life. She realized, with a sudden booming lightning bolt from the heavens, that not all K-dramas are good. In fact, this one…well, this one was actually BAD.

The little goldfish was literally thunderstruck. Her scales sizzling, she eventually rose from the ashes of her former self to be reborn, this time with a long, bitter memory span and a perpetual wrinkle between her eyes. Today, she is still swimming around her little plastic castle, her fins constantly sharpened in preparation for attack. She has only one dream, to have these five words written on her tombstone:

“DAMN YOU, MY LOVE PATZZI.”

The End…Or is it?

Okay, so that was a bit of an exaggeration. And I’m pretty sure I’m not a goldfish, no matter what Samsooki may say (at least, I wasn’t the last time I checked). But the gist of the above story is true, and the reason I’m recounting it to you is to parry the bold attacks from Samsooki the Deluded, he who is the self-proclaimed ultimate defender of Jang Nara. He has thrown the metal mitten onto the ground, and I have picked it up. How could I not, when my interest has been so piqued? (Besides, metal mittens are cool.)

I have been called very picky and harsh in my critiques towards Korean dramas today, but it wasn’t always that way. I, too, have experienced a K-drama newbie’s fresh obsession and enthusiasm for dramas. When someone tells me they liked a drama even though it was technically mediocre, I know exactly how they feel. Hell, even today, I will watch a bad drama just for the sake of fangirling over some actor or other that I like.

However, even back when I was a mere eyelash of a baby fish and ready to veil my eyes to a drama’s every fault, I could not bring myself to like My Love Poo-Poo Patzzi. It’s not like I had anything against the actors or anything. I’d seen Jang Nara in Success Story of a Bright Girl previously, and I owned a copy of one of her CDs – it was one of the first K-pop CDs I ever owned, in fact. So I kind of liked her. Besides, I’d thought Kim Jae Won was rather cute in the 2002 drama Romance. I didn’t have any kind of opinion on Kim Rae Won, either. So I was completely open to liking this show.

But there were several problems with this drama that I just couldn’t get over. This was supposed to be a twist on the traditional Kongzzi and Patzzi story, to make the audience sympathize with Patzzi. But I didn’t think it did a very good job of getting that twist across. Sure, Song-yi is loud and abrasive and violent and inexplicably an outsider (for what, being loud? This is never explained), but she’s no Patzzi. She hangs out with the Traditional Evil Girl Of Dooooom (aka Hee Won) even though she is aware how evil she is and is constantly going on about how she can’t be trusted. And then she gets herself, over and over, into these scrapes that Hee Won places her into. I remember watching each EVIL PLOT and wanting to strangle Song-yi for falling for it every single time. She was supposedly so honest and tough and strong, but at the end of the day, she was nothing but a Victim, a Cinderella who never went to Manners School. She’s no different from the traditional K-drama heroine in that way, and for that, I found her annoying. All of this is augmented by the fact that, miraculously, she gets two good-looking men to fall for her at the same time. She spends her entire life overlooked by men and even used by them in order for them to get to her friend, and suddenly one day, out of the blue, two perfect men realize her charms and fall for her simultaneously? Puh-leeze.

But there is a different reason I could not bring myself to like her. The main reason, alas, was Jang Nara’s acting. Samsooki argues that she was acting as herself, and thus not acting, not really. I argue that she WAS acting – and that it was horribly evident that this was so. She over-exaggerates in everything she does, from the contorted facial expressions to the overly loud grunts of anger to the wild flailing of arms. And yet I am still expected to find her cute. I’m afraid I find that impossible.

Samsooki may try as hard as he can to argue that My Love Patzzi is this deep, heartwarming drama, but I respectfully beg to differ. Like Javabeans stated, it’s a “lightweight” of a drama, one that never delves really meaningfully into its themes, and is content to sit back on its haunches and fail to resolve anything or come to any real conclusions. By the way, did I mention how stupid the ending is?

As for the suggestion that I am somehow missing out on something by being so discerning in my taste in K-dramas, I would just like to say that, as someone who has experienced and who remembers those early days of K-drama obsession, I honestly don’t miss it. Oh, there have been times when I’ve wished I couldn’t see some of the little flaws I do in some K-dramas, but I think the end rewards are exquisite enough to make up for it all. When I find a drama that is truly well-made, and that says something about the human condition that truly speaks to me, I feel a kind of bliss that cannot be explained. And as this sense of bliss comes around at least twice a year, I’m more than satisfied. Besides, it’s not like I’m immune to liking dramas that are less than stellar – my enjoyment of dramas like last year’s The Accidental Couple (aka That Fool) or the currently airing Pasta prove that.

There is nothing wrong with liking technically “bad” dramas or defending them. Of course I recognize that taste is highly subjective, and that everyone is entitled to what they choose to like and watch. I applaud those who speak out on behalf of the masses. But let’s not hyper-inflate the influence that professional critics have on people’s drama-watching habits, and let’s not imagine that these critical opinions are running rampant in the K-drama world. I can count on less than one hand the number of people in the English-speaking K-drama internet community who can be counted as true professional critics of Korean dramas (most critics tend to concentrate on Korean films). Even in Korea, I’ve noticed that dramas tend to be critically ignored, and assumed to be of a lower overall quality than films. Ratings and overall popularity are considered to be very important in judging whether or not to watch a particular drama, and as a result, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find true diversity in K-drama content. The things that have been proven to be popular continue to get recycled, while dramas that try something different, like Conspiracy in the Court or Mixed-Up Investigative Agency, fall by the wayside. How is that a healthy K-drama environment?

Forgive me for falling off-topic. I tend to talk too much, I know. (See what you’ve done, Samsooki?) Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go dig up my copy of that Jang Nara CD. I know it’s gotta be around here somewhere. I will only pause to add:

WHO’S YO DADDY?

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ARE THOSE TEARS SALTY, SAMSOOKI?

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These rebuttals (and the original post) are awesome!
Now I want to go watch this drama and see what all the fuss is about. XD

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hahaah you guys are soo amazing! to me my love pattzi seems just a little bit too...plastic? idk the poor girl witha good heart and has 2 guys to choose from? isn't she obviously going to choose that changed man who used to be hardened from bitterness and the nice guy will always end up getting gyped? idk but thats just my take on it :)

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Ahaha, these three posts have been a joy to read. I, though, have not seen My Love Patzzi (and probably won't - seems like this was something I needed to have watched earlier in my drama-watching career), but these arguments are quite interesting.

LOL @ JB. Poor Samsooki, getting ganged up on, LOL.

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YUMMY YUMMY... I love it when Dahee writes, and when she writes with her utmost snark! (Tho it's lesser here compared to her previous "feature" in DB..:P)

But that aside, having read DB's and Dahee's, I still think MLP was an enjoyable drama for me. I guess 8 years ago, quality or acting didn't really matter to me. As long as I found it laughable and cry-able, I'm good. haha..

Thanx for sharing again ^^

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@ dahee_fanel:

Nicely put, especially this bit:

" She has only one dream, to have these five words written on her tombstone:

“DAMN YOU, MY LOVE PATZZI.”"

(My own curse from the grave would be directed at Sangdoo, Let's Go to School where I felt betrayed to the very deepest core of k-drama trust, and I don't have enough drama-hating emotion left over from that to feel so intensely about MLP.)

I agree with you that dramas don't get enough respect. And that's why I like hanging out in dramabeans land.

Samsooki (you gutsy, crazy guy), JB, and dahee_fanel: thank you all for a most entertaining and deeply satisfying debate. You clearly all hit a nerve (or two).

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Enjoyed reading all three posts. They are more entertaining than Love Pattzi!!! I remember trying to watch it and it was a snorefest. Soooooooo boring! Thanks for the entertaining debate you guys!

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@samsooki....

She's attacking on the Jang Nara front. Can't help ya there, dude. I advise a strategic retreat.

Hwaiting!

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Watched the first episode. Hated it.

But it's hilarious to see you guys raging over a drama that's been--what, 8 years? I feel sorry for Samsooki. Give this to me as a reminder to never disagree with the opinions of professional K-drama bloggers. Frightening.

Loved the goldfish story, btw.

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hehe!

sooo witty! this is what I love about dahee and javabeans. i am almost convinced to throw in the towel.

Almost!

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@Nano: Don't feel sorry for Samsooki! He started it!

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hahaha these last few posts have been awesome and hilarious with some wonderful titles! I could almost hear the ding of the wrestling-ring bell! love the debate! you guys should do this more often. maybe every other month choose a pre-2004 drama and discuss it like this.

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sorry Samsooki but i have to agree with them. I have nothing against JNR but i find her roles too similar. Most of the roles she had taken before tend to leaned toward the misfit loud mouth type of girl. She does fit that image.

But occasionally i do enjoy one or two of her dramas. MLP is just a case of "all stars cast" with bad execution.

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kind of sad, i've watched it and don't remember what it's about. that just goes to show what kind of effect the drama had on me. lol.

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HAHAHAH - i find the "fighting" really cute - all these rebuttals and the language are funnier than the point they make.

agree with 12 - asianromance: if you - javabeans - intended to have your site be a place of discussion of dramas, this is great!

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My Love Patzzi was one of the first few K-dramas I watched. I have to give it some credit for keeping me interested in watching K-dramas, despite its shortcomings. I was actually glad I didn't watch Winter Sonata till much later, else I wouldn't be enjoying K-dramas like I do now!

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Ouch. Sharp, and it goes right through the heart. Great rebuttal!

Although I didn't hate Patzzi to the core, but this time I have to be on JB and Dahee's team coz I did watch the drama before JB rated it, and did find the drama ending sux to the max (which JB had stated in Rebuttal # 1.)

However, my respect to Samsooki, for being cool enough to brazen the fiery debate LOL. It's two against one, and you still stand tall. (erm, despite losing hehe).

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I was recently ranting to myself because no one listens to my rants even if I paid them about how Taiwanese dramas are using the amnesia route once too often. I think that tired plot line must be in some waiting room where all plot lines retire screaming in agony for some rest.

I think popularity conscious writers and producers are truly killing the creativity and we are helping them by watching the popular stuff. Hey I like popular stuff too but somethings it just make me go crazy when almost every drama falls into the same misunderstanding between leads that drags on for 23 episodes and finally resolves itself at 24. Heaven forbid if its a 46 episode arc.

Yes I know I am not suppose to wait for conflict resolution but I am one of those people who actually hate that plot line although it can be used effectively I find it tiring.Why do they always do this ? Okay alright I am ranting aimlessly.I know what I am suppose to do is watch the story unfold and not worry so much about which episode they are going to solve it.In that way I kinda liked how "You're beautiful" had them finding out she was a girl early and it helped me like the drama a lot more.

What does this have to do with the topic.Well I am merely saying that I want more unconventional stories and applaud anything that does try.I have not watched My love Patzzi okay that probably disqualifies me altogether but I got you to read thus far no ?

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I remember watching My Love Patzzi and was bored to death and never finished it. Kudos to Samsooki, JB, and Dahee. This debate is so much more interesting than the drama itself.

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...delusions of Samsooki's Jang Nara obsession

I ROFL'd on the title alone.

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My Love Patzzi was also one of the first Korean Dramas I had ever watched, and I remember enjoying it. Yes, the ending was weak, but my feelings about it did not get strong enough to actively rage against it. It was harmless, short for a KDrama, and not that offensive. Certainly nothing to get riled up over.

The Japanese drama "Cheap Love" had already earned all of my wrath over sucky endings. And later on I, just as with #6 reluctantbutaddicted, was also betrayed by "Sang-Doo, Lets go to School." Both of those dramas have a much worse ending than My Love Patzzi. I just can't get myself all worked up over Patzzi :)

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Loved all of this! :D

I would feel sorry for Samsooki...EXCEPT that this a beatdown of his own making. How else is 'Samsooki the Deluded' supposed to learn? :P

Don't worry, Samsooki. Ji Hoonie still loves you...(at least, he will until he's a teenager ;) )

Thank you all for a belly-aching day! :D

@ Dahee

Glad to know I'm not the only one who thought Kim Jae Won was cute in Romance. ;)

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Props to Javabeans, Dahee_Fanel and Samsooki for such great writing. This has been a very entertaining set of posts, and you each state your points so well.

I am usually a lurker but this debate brought me out of lurker mode.

Sorry to Samsooki, but I have to agree with JB that the ending was pretty disappointing. MLP was one of the first Kdramas I ever watched and while it had its entertaining bits, the ending just played it too safe, leaving the ending so ambiguous so that neither KRW's or KJW's fans would be offended. Although, I don't find Jang Nara too annoying in MLP, having thought her acting in Wedding was way worse. That show had the most milquetoast pairing ever, IMO.

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Reading these three was a HOOT! Never watched and have no plan to but who cares! Just fun to watch/read the sparring! Love you guys!

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Whao!~ I have to to agree that this debate is WAYYYYYYYY more interesting than the drama itself! I watched My Love Patzzi a few years back and it was like a big BLAHHHHH. To tell you the truth I didn't like Jang Nara and never liked her since. I found her very annoying and not very good at acting.....Sorry Samsooki.

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thanks javabeans, dahee and samsooki. Such an entertaining and interesting debate. loved it! wish MLP was half as entertaining.

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You are always pretty much right on the money. Yes, I was also lured to watch this and hated it also. I don't think there really was a story line here. Nothing happened in this drama and nothing about it was memorable except for the 10 hours of my life wasted.

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Never saw it ...never will. But I loved the discussion. Somewhere around my 40th
Kdrama I watch part 2 then part 10. Then I may go Back, Forward or just give it
a pass. Is this disrespectful? The best is always the 10 to14th ep in those 3
way romances. I think my taste is pretty middlebrow. Loved Jewel in the Palace .
But I want to be surprised! (You're Beautiful did that.) and not waste 20 hours of my life. Love K dramaland and Dramabeans!

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@ reluctantbutaddicted:

"My own curse from the grave would be directed at Sangdoo, Let’s Go to School where I felt betrayed to the very deepest core of k-drama trust, and I don’t have enough drama-hating emotion left over from that to feel so intensely about MLP"

Sangdoo was one of the first K-dramas that I watched and it scarred me, SCARRED ME I TELL YOU. I thought it was a cute and light-hearted comedy but NOOOOOOO...Damn you K-Drama gods!!!

I truly enjoyed this debate. You should have these more often!

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@Dahee_Fanel
The title "The delusions of Samsooki’s Jang Nara obsession" alone had me laughing even before I started reading the rebuttal. Jang Nara intoxication must be another subform of Stendahl syndrome--she has surely bewitched him. I'm half expecting Belleza and Mookie to demand a new blood sacrifice right about now.

@ javabeans

"Don’t feel sorry for Samsooki! He started it!"

REALLY?? Did he?? Makes me wonder if he is incredibly brave or ummm... rides the short bus. I wouldn't want to tangle with either JB or Dahee in a dark street corner never mind issue a challenge to both of you at the same time. Pure suicide but very amusing to us readers. We are very entertained. **hypnotically chewing on dried squid **

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And by double knockout, it has been decided . . .

PATZZI MUST DIE!!! :D

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My Love Patzzi was like Dumb and Dumber.

Just couldn't get into it.

Thanks for the interesting debates. At least no blood was shed.

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I've made my decision.. not to watch it. I can't stand it when the main lead keeps falling into the same trap over and over. Thanks Samsooki, JB, and Dahee.. I enjoyed this debate very much ^^

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My first K-Drama was All About Eve which I caught accidentally on cable way back in the days before there were crazy followings to the cult of Jiwoo-hime and Yon-sama. I was the same little goldfish too, but it just took MLP to cure me of that. I didn't watch that many K-Dramas before MLP, to be fair, since it was still hard to get in Malaysia in the early 2000s but when it came on to broadcast TV, I was watching with horror to see my latest obsession shot down like flies. There is bad and there is reallllyyyyy bad. I didn't even know about the whole Korean fairytale to know that there is no twist in this one. What I saw was typical lazy writing of cliched and overworked plot that transcends so many dramas that they can all be the same drama with different actors.
I liked Jang Nara in Diary of a Bright Girl but even then I thought her acting was superfluous and one-dimensional, resorting to exaggerated expressions more often than not. But she was cute nonetheless... In MLP (which I couldn't finish since there was no FFW button on TV) she was irritating as hell. There were no depth in her character in which I have no idea why she was hanging out with Ms Evil Eyes and how two guys suddenly fall for her. I don't get the abuse-your-friends-and-boyfriends-because-you-are-emotionally-vulnerable slant that many K-Dramas or even K-movies like to use and this was taken to extremes by Jang Nara's character.
Man, just writing about this reminds me of everything that I hated so much about the drama that I need to beat something up.

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two against one? yeah that's fair

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I agree with @25 jacq. This was a hoot today. This debate was more interesting than the drama. Thanks for the treat today. I saw this drama when I first started watching kdramas. What prompted me to watch My Love Patzzi was the fact that Kim Rae Won was in it. At the time, I didn't think it was a good drama. I rate all the dramas I watch because I go back and watch the ones I rated 3 to 5.

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Never argue with two women Samsooki, especially two women very well acquainted with their words. That's the worst idea ever.

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OH!! What a joy, priceless!! The war of opinions regarding the merits of MLP is reading at is best. Thanks to all for the great postings! Funny, witty, smart and very intelligently done.

Looking forward to more of the same. Next?

Thanks so very much for brightening my evening.

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@ nycgirl :

"**hypnotically chewing on dried squid **'

LOL. Thanks for yet another laugh out of this hilarious (though of course also deeply serious) debate. That's exactly how I've felt through the evening... mesmerized. But I'm not allowed to eat while reading DB anymore, b/c messed up the last laptop screen pretty badly when a comment much like yours caught me by surprise.

Oh, I must go to bed, but the laughing woke me up again.

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@nycgrl,

I feel bad for my lovely Patzzi. But it's been decided. Patzzi, she the irritable dangler of two eligible hot men who btw are in the military probably still hoping that Patzzi will finally make up her bloody mind, is now officially a slave running around the hinterlands of the K-drama wasteland. Or as we like to say in OT-World . . .

PATZZI MUST DIE!!! ;)

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@ 31 belleza

"PATZZI MUST DIE!!!"

And right on Que. Mookie is always late hence she is always going to labeled your sidekick.

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LOL!!!!

I was waiting for Patzzi Must Die! But I held my breath, I HELD MY BREATH, hoping against hope, wishing against all wishes, that there would be no Patzzi Must Die! Ah, belleza....

Of course, now I have to form the SAVE BORA AND PATZZI group....

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Oh, and JB, I might have started it, but dahee and thundie poked me too!

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good reading guys...
just glad that kdrama has grown well up...
kudos for 3 of you for making people like me understand more about korean culture & sharing your perspective with us...

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oh wow... now this is like a hard slap, samsooki! reply please! reply!

screw Chuno recaps... I'm having too much fun with this.

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I have nothing personal against Jang Na Ra but I watched her in Wedding, I thought her acting was bad there. I have yet to watch MLP but from the opinions of JB and DHF, I don't have the desire to watch. Thanks DaHee, JB, and Samsooki for enlightening us.

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Sadly the dramas that make you THINK are the once with lower ratings.
Mindless entertainment Dramas like Boys Over Flower always get higher ratings.

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hi^^..
who's a he/she?
Javabeans = girl?
Samsooki= guy?? u thought all writers here are gurls..hehe
Dahee_Fanel = girl
btw..
seeing all 3 of you in a debate is FUN..
when i watched My Love Patzzi, i was like 9(or 10) years old..
what i remember about My Love Patzzi are
- An ahjussi with dyed and permed hair that makes him looks so ugly + a bad and noisy attitude + with health problem(?)
- A handsome prince riding on a white horse (he's soo handsome even to an innocent 9 years old kid)
- A barbie girl that always talk on super high squeaky tones + pouty face ( i wanted to throw my tv remote at her)
Haha.. i remember nothing about the ending ..

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@45, randomfan -

Well, lessee what happened tonight. I attempted to use a strawman analogy in my opening post (the literati / elite / super exclusive blog shops, etc.), but then javabeans tore that down in the first 30 seconds of her post. And then dahee finished me off with a broadside fusillade on Jang Nara. hehe!

Well, stiff upper lip, tut tut. We take our lumps, we learn and grow, and we move on!

:D

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@ dahee_fanel

the story of the goldfish was HILARIOUS!!!! i couldn 't stop laughing!!!!! great read! I am looking forward to reading more entertaining and funny posts of yours :D

This, among the three posts, is my favorite ;)

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