Drama Recaps
Coffee House: Page 2
by | May 22, 2010 | 93 Comments

The characters in this drama bring a smile to my face, both individually and in the way they relate to each other. Especially Jin-soo, who is charming in a way that is similar to Chep in Pasta but without all the shouting and misogyny and throwing of food. I enjoy that he’s a charmer, but not exactly a natural one — he’s definitely got a grouchy side, even if he only lets it out to himself (and Eun-young). Even so, he’s not a stoic Mr. Darcy, nor is he a Prince Charming. He’s just… an eccentric writer. (Which just endears him to me even more.)

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Page 2 Recap

After telling Seung-yeon the truth about her job, Jin-soo makes coffee to his precise specifications while Seung-yeon stews over how incredibly rude he is. The phone rings, and as usual he lets it go to voicemail on speakerphone. Out booms Do-sang’s voice, saying that Seung-yeon had called to complain about not being given any work. Do-sang describes hers as a pitiable situation — all her schoolmates have gotten full-time employment, plus she got dumped by her boyfriend of three years — and urges Jin-soo to give her work to stop her suspicions.

And that, my friends, is what we call rubbing salt in the wound. Actually, it’s like mixing that salt with rubbing alcohol and soaking the wound in it. Then taking a picture. And uploading it to Facebook with the caption “Seung-yeon is gullible and stupid.”

For the moment, her embarrassment gets forgotten as she sees Jin-soo making coffee in a fancy machine, and asks if he always makes it with such precision and care. Was he a barista in a previous job? He answers that he learned because nobody else could match his taste, so he figured he’d match it himself. (Ah, a man after my own heart — I know that dissatisfaction well. Yeah, I know Kang Ji-hwan is not Lee Jin-soo, but I can conflate my love for both.)

On her way home, Seung-yeon leaves an angry message for Do-sang, telling him not to worry about her — who is he to give her that money? Has she ever asked for money? Is he that careless with 10 million won to throw it around like that?

Eun-young finds herself showered with roses from random passersby on the street outside her office, and by the time she makes it back inside, she’s got an armful of them. Bewildered as to who could have sent them, she tries to make out the sender line on a recent postcard from Hong Kong, guessing that it’s from the same person. The name on the card has been obscured in transit and she scratches at it.

Her flattered good mood takes a sudden dive when she thinks of a possibility. Surely… it can’t be…!

Ah, but it is. HAN JI-WON (Jung Woong-in) makes his appearance, bold as brass and totally impervious to Eun-young’s reaction, which can best be described as speechless with outrage. He’s the ex-fiance who’d ditched her for a friend, but there’s no hint of shame in his re-entrance into her life. They haven’t seen each other in two years, and he announces that he has moved into the consulting firm next door as though expecting Eun-young to be thrilled with this. The guy is either really ballsy or totally deluded. With the gleefully loopy way Jung Woong-in portrays him, it could really be either.

Completely flummoxed, Eun-young tries to get in touch with Jin-soo, but getting him on the phone is like trying to catch an eel with chopsticks: Even if you did somehow manage to get a hold of it, it would just overpower you and wriggle free anyway. First Jin-soo hangs up on her, then he throws the phone in the trash.

Now incensed, Eun-young storms into his office (which is located just above the book cafe, provided courtesy of the publisher) using an emergency key. Can’t he act with a modicum of respect to her, his publisher? Jin-soo sighs and says in an exaggerated, put-upon demeanor: “I apologize, Ms. CEO. What seems to be the problem? What astounding event has occurred for you to rant to a person who is working to avoid being served another lawsuit? I don’t believe I have committed any sin but for working diligently to wring what I can out of my lack in talent.” Oh, you wiseass. I love that he’s cheeky.

Eun-young sighs that they’ve known each other for ten years — can’t he just listen? To that, Jin-soo so thoughtfully reminds her of the words she’d tossed in his face when she was toasting his lawsuit — in that scene, he’d reminded her of their long-standing relationship, and she’d scoffed that they’re merely business associates, and sometimes enemies.

With his smartassery out of his system, Jin-soo offers to listen, but now she’s calmed down and tells him to forget it. He asks what’s the deal with the flower in her hands, which makes her realize in horror that she’s still holding one. Immediately, she stomps on it, then does the same with the others in the bouquet. Gotta say, I’m loving this hot-tempered Park Shi-yeon.

Do-sang gets back from his trip and turns on his phone to hear Seung-yeon’s angry message. Immediately, he calls Jin-soo to demand to know what’s going on, and hears that Seung-yeon hasn’t been back to “work” for a week now. Do-sang freaks out, not at all receptive to Jin-soo’s retort that he should be thankful for getting the truth out in the open — now that she’s single, it’s good that she knows Do-sang likes her. Do-sang yells petulantly, “I’m not thankful at all!”

But there’s still the issue of the money to take care of, and Jin-soo just wants to get rid of it and wash his hands of the matter. Do-sang insists that it’s for Seung-yeon, but she would hardly accept the charity. So Jin-soo drops by the coffee shop, where Seung-yeon has returned to her part-time work.

He finds her adjusting the misspelled “Caffee” sign, and although he points out that they could simply replace the “A” with an “O,” she says that getting an extra letter would cost money. Hence she’s removing letters to spell “Cafe” instead.

Offering to wait inside while she finishes, Jin-soo borrows the phone and makes a call, just as Seung-yeon loses her footing on the ladder, which crashes to the ground. Barely hanging on to a light fixture, she cries for help, and Jin-soo bolts outside, arms outstretched…

…just in time to break her fall. And possibly his back. Definitely his pride.

But even in this situation, the ever-polite Jin-soo tamps down his aggravation and forces a smile, asking her politely to call someone for him. He has landed on top of the light fixture and lays sprawled in the street, unable to move. I’m betting he’s thinking to himself, “What could possibly get worse?” because then, it starts to rain. Of course.

Back in her office, Eun-young vents to her friend on the phone, bemoaning the fact that her reaction to the flowers made her lose face in front of all her employees. Calming down, she tells herself to gain her composure and listens to soothing music with a cup of coffee, looking outside the window at the view of the rain. And also her new next-door neighbor.

Jin-soo’s polite facade is tested by the pushy members of the Kang family, who pester him for autographs (Seung-chul), force him into an ugly vest because of his rain-soaked clothes (Grandma), press some godawful instant coffee (horrors!) upon him (Dad), and attack him with medicinal spray (Grandma again).

Seung-yeon won’t accept the rest of the money owed to Do-sang — 9 million won — and resists Jin-soo’s exasperated instructions to work it out with Do-sang. Jin-soo offers a sort of compromise — she can continue to “work” for him and accept it as her salary. Her family would like that, and he can stop resenting his buddy for his meddling. But that still means she wouldn’t be doing any real work, as she points out to him, and she can’t accept money for doing nothing.

When Seung-yeon gets called away for a minute, Jin-soo takes advantage of the moment to tell Grandma something, then makes his hurried getaway. Seung-yeon sees that the envelope is no longer on the table, so she assumes he has taken it back.

Until, that is, she hears Granny counting, and peers over to see that Jin-soo has slipped her the money, calling it severance pay. Sneaky bastard. It’s so much money that Grandma gasps in awe even before realizing she has dropped a zero.

Seung-yeon races out in the rain to chase the taxi, and pleads with Jin-soo to settle upon a different compromise — make proper use of her as an employee. In fact, if she can’t do a satisfactory job, he doesn’t have to pay her at all. She insists, “I want to become a pro!” And I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking she’d best be careful with those words — they could take on a vastly different meaning in a different context, if ya know what I mean.

Jin-soo tells her not to bother — it’s impossible to satisfy his persnickety preferences, and he has no faith that she’ll be able to no matter how hard she promises to try. Getting worked up, Seung-yeon declares that she’ll become such a perfect pro that he’ll be dying to hire her.

Well, that’s going overboard and she winces after saying it, but Jin-soo motions her into the car — he’s giving her a chance. But he smirks a bit when he asks her to define what a pro is, and all she can do is fumble and say that it’s the opposite of amateur.

The next morning, Seung-yeon arrives while Jin-soo and Eun-young sit outside the cafe and greets them both. Eun-young sizes up the situation and says that Jin-soo’s awfully mean to bring her back just so he can have someone to take out his stress upon, which just goes to show how well she knows him.

Ji-won pauses in the street to call out a greeting to Jin-soo and invite him to lunch, after which he drives off with a salute and a wink. This is all news to Jin-soo — when the heck did this guy move back to Seoul, and why is he as cheesy as ever? Mimicking his wave makes Eun-young burst into laughter and spray her coffee all over his face. Ah, the spit-take — one of the oldest comedic devices in the book, and yet, no less amusing.

Seung-yeon has come early to ask the book cafe baristas for a lesson on brewing coffee, taking notes as they demonstrate. She then makes coffee according to her new tips, and studies Jin-soo’s pencils in minute detail to note exactly how deeply he carves the wood and how many times.

He still throws away most of her batch, but at least two pencils survive his inspection this time — progress! But when he drinks her coffee, he spits it back out and asks sardonically, “Surely you didn’t mean for me to drink this and die, did you?”

For her first day as a proper employee, Seung-yeon is no longer relegated to reading pointless encyclopedias, but her new task is hardly more pleasant. Jin-soo sets a helium tank in front of her, instructing her to inhale the gas, then read his dialogue.

A bit apprehensively, she does as told, and her Mickey Mouse voice sends him into fits of laughter. Feeling misused, she protests, but her indignant exclamations come out in a squeaky pitch and only make him laugh even harder.

Next he makes her hula-hoop while he works, and finally she guesses his M.O.: he’s doing this just to laugh at her, isn’t he? Jin-soo points out that a secretary’s biggest task is to help the boss relieve stress. That’s the difference between amateur and pro — an amateur gets angry and quits while the pro takes it like, well, a pro.

She mutters that the author of such unique novels was bound to be a weirdo. But how to know that he’s just weird, and not a true psycho? Seung-yeon watches The Shining that evening, unnerved to see the writer breaking under the stress and going crazy. Seung-chul helpfully points out that that’s why she has to make sure Jin-soo doesn’t get too stressed. This is not a comforting thought, as she hadn’t realized she’d have to worry about not being murdered by a crazy boss when she took up this job.

Ji-won’s an odd (but hilarious) character in that he’s fairly shameless. He acts like he’s on great terms with Jin-soo and Eun-young, not seeing that they’re obviously uncomfortable with him — and given how very obvious they are with their disdain, we have to wonder if he’s blind. Or dumb. This is a question we’ll be asking ourselves throughout the episode.

Furthermore, he has the chutzpah to spin the situation around and make it seem like HE was the victim in the relationship, saying that he’s ready to forgive Eun-young despite all the hurt she gave him. He’s got the whole situation flipped upside down, and Jin-soo’s comments flip them back right-side up; he replies that it’s more appropriate to say that Ji-won’s the one who hurt her, and she’s the one who’d have to forgive him.

Ji-won just laughs, not offended at all, thinking Jin-soo’s a funny guy for making such a joke. However, the mood takes a sudden serious turn when Ji-won quips that Jin-soo should help him since he “must have a lot of regrets.”

Next on Seung-yeon’s list of Tasks to Perform To Transform From Amateur to Professional is the capture of a feral cat. Who knows why Jin-soo wants a cat, but he’s pretty much got a penchant for random demands, and this is just another one of them.

She and brother Seung-chul fail to capture a neighborhood stray, but Dad manages to bring home a cat bought from a friend. It’s not actually a stray, but they figure they can disguise the domesticated cat as a feral one by messing with its appearance. Thus they get it muddied, and then Grandmother shaves its fur off in patches (and I’m thankful they didn’t show the actual shaving).

(By the way, this scene elicited not a little outrage from fans, who felt the cat was mistreated. Lemme tell ya, as a fairly new cat-servant myself, I found myself squirming in my seat even though I knew this was coming. I am not impressed, Drama Gods! In fact, I’m demoting you to demigods. Or maybe just fairies.)

In any case, it’s all for naught because Jin-soo sees right away that it’s not a feral cat. When she insists that it is, he presents her with cat food and cat-related research. And cat books. And cat novels. Yeah, you’re not gonna fool the cat enthusiast with some half-assed shave job, kiddo. (Also: Jin-soo loves cats! As though I weren’t already halfway in love with him, now I’m convinced we are soulmates. What? Love can transcend dimensions, don’t judge.)

Seung-yeon weakly counters that a housecat can become a feral one, so it’s almost the same thing. Jin-soo points out that her “almost as good” theory is why she can’t sharpen a simple pencil to satisfaction — a housecat that’s 99% similar to a feral cat is still a housecat. If she was going to lie, she should have stuck to her guns and brazened it out, because then he could have called her a pro for the lie.

Jin-soo calls Eun-young to invite her to dinner, which strikes her as odd coming from He Who Eschews All Telephone Communications. What I love about the next scene is that Jin-soo tries multiple times to clue Eun-young in to the situation, asking pointedly, “Yes, WHY would I do such a strange thing? THINK about it.” He even makes that silly salute gesture and winks furtively, trying to signal her to turn away.

But she doesn’t get his drift and joins him in the car, only to find that the meeting has been engineered by Ji-won. She calls Jin-soo a traitor for leading her into the trap, while he grumbles that it’s her fault for not finding his behavior more suspicious.

Ji-won finds it odd that these two are so close now, and Jin-soo retorts that appearance of an outsider makes the insiders band together. At that, Ji-won asks, “Who’s the outsider? Huh? Oh, North Korea?” Snerk. Maybe he really IS stupid?

Jin-soo and Eun-young don’t even bother correcting him, but Jin-soo does ask incredulously how she could have been engaged to the guy. She replies that she was really immature (read: stupid and maybe crazy) back then. Plus, Jin-soo’s the one who introduced them, remember? At that, Jin-soo mutters, “I must’ve been incredibly immature too.”

The car pauses at a red light, which is when Jin-soo sees his chance. Leaving Eun-young with a cryptic “Sorry,” he jumps out and dashes to safety, leaving her shouting after him. Ji-won, on the other hand, doesn’t hate this turn of events. In fact, things couldn’t have turned out better if he’d planned it himself. Given his questionable intelligence, I’d say he’s lucky the smart guy in the party gave him a hand here.


Jin-soo returns to his office, and soon has a visitor: Seung-yeon bangs on his door enthusiastically and presents him with a cage containing a cat — a real feral cat this time, not a fake one. She’s covered in claw marks and mud, but brimming with pride at her first real “pro”-like accomplishment.

Too bad Jin-soo informs her that his one isn’t feral, either. Seung-yeon feels wrongfully accused and tells him she caught it all on her own, insisting that it’s a real feral cat or she’s a monkey’s uncle. Jin-soo doesn’t doubt that she worked hard to get it, but he says they can’t do anything about it — a housecat is a housecat.

Seung-yeon is so incensed that she declares that if it’s not really feral, she’ll take her clothes off and dance around for him. And as we know, you should never make promises you can’t keep to Jin-soo, right?

And so, they go to the vet for an expert opinion and await his judgment. And when it comes — it’s not a feral cat — Seung-yeon can’t take it and runs out just as Jin-soo ponders where and how she’ll dance for him.

The vet continues to inspect the cat and marvels — how’d she catch this on her own? Jin-soo’s satisfaction is cut short when the vet clarifies that it’s not a stray cat — it is, in fact, a lynx. As in, a true wildcat, of a different classification than housecats and strays. Oops! Jin-soo was wrong after all, but his astonishment turns into amusement.

Meanwhile, Seung-yeon goes home to treat her wounds, crying more at the indignity than at the pain.

In the morning, she shows up to work with some hesitation, wondering how Jin-soo will treat her. Although she’s firmly convinced she was right, the vet’s declaration gives Jin-soo the upper hand. Therefore, she’s relieved to see him acting normally, thinking he’s letting this whole incident slide.

Until, that is, some cheesy pop music blares on — New Kids On The Block, omg for old people like me who recognize it! — and he holds up his remote triumphantly. This is the song. Now she will dance.

With resignation, Seung-yeon dances around to the song while Jin-soo sits back and watches. At the same time, Eun-young storms up to the office, ready to give him a piece of her mind for ditching her last night, and wonders at the loud music blaring from the room.

Now Jin-soo remembers the part where she declared that she’d dance naked, and reminds Seung-yeon in a bored voice like he’s asking for a mere book or a cup of coffee. He doesn’t really think she’s going to do it, and in fact, this whole thing is an exercise in his amusement. I’m pretty sure he’s just seeing how far to go because he knows he didn’t technically win the bet — so when Seung-yeon silently raises her shirt to take it off, he lurches forward yelling, “W-w-wait!”

 
COMMENTS

What makes this drama fun for me is, first and foremost, the relationship between Kang Ji-hwan and Park Shi-yeon. I love their dynamic, and how we can see the shades emerging even though the characters themselves haven’t defined what they are to each other. Or rather, they’ve actually overdefined it — publisher-author, potential plaintiff-defendant, old friends, enemies — and none of those descriptions fully embodies the true nature of their friendship. But I love seeing that there’s something there that spans multiple categories. True, they infuriate each other — and know how to push each other’s buttons — but there’s also grudging respect and camaraderie. Jin-soo’s loyalties are clearly aligned with Eun-young’s with regard to the wacky ex, and she goes to Jin-soo first to vent her anger about Ji-won’s sudden re-entry into her life. If they don’t end up together I will probably be disappointed, but even if so, I hope they end the series as good friends as they are now, or better.

The character of Seung-yeon is being portrayed in the typical mold of the main female character, but I don’t know that she actually IS. There were a lot of questions in the previous recap about who was the main character, and frankly, I don’t think it really matters how you define it — I mean, if you watch the drama and you’re happy with what you see, that’s good enough, right? I think it’s possible she will not hook up with Jin-soo, which would make the scenario akin to that of Ji Jin-hee and Kim So-eun in The Man Who Can’t Marry, as some commenters pointed out. Of course there’s always the chance that there will be romantic developments, but I don’t think this will be a typical love triangle (or square), and I’d like to see this drama treat the romances differently than what we’ve come to expect after watching a million and one trendy kdramas.

In this regard, I’m actually finding encouragement in the fact that the writer came from Unstoppable High Kick. Although I didn’t like everything in that series, some of the relationships were treated in a nicely subtle way. It had a way of giving the cute pairing a few moments that made you squeal, but also had a hint of realism in leaving a few threads loosely tied. This is a miniseries rather than 160+ episode sitcom so I’m expecting more definition in the relationships, but I’m just saying that it may not follow the norm, and that’s fine with me.

And have I mentioned how I love Park Shi-yeon’s energy level in this drama?

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93 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. ieyzan

    FIRST!!!!!! thank u javabeans
    i have been waiting for this
    love this drama. love eun young n jin soo

     (0)


  2. nikjane

    oh, every now and then i must go to ur site to c the updated news regards to Coffee House. ur the best~!!! thanx so much for ur recap. u’l nver failed to stuffed me up with ur brilliant thoughts/reviews about certain dramas. thanks again~!!!! ;DDD

     (0)


  3. gala

    glad that PSY is earning some compliments. she was nothing special in My Girl but after Fox Family I immediately became a fan. so… i really wanted her to have a role wherein her talent can shine but can also please people. she always does the vixeny roles so this is really a fresh one.

    i hate that i’m being biased to the Seungyeon character just cause her fans really gave me a bad impression at the start. so i’ve decided to really give her a try. ep1 was quite good, and the actress was quite believable. altho, i’m trying so hard not to go to some forums where all i see is a one-sided biasedness to Seungyeon. i’m glad you’re recapping this, javabeans. thanks so much.

     (0)


  4. tinkiibell

    Hello there!

    I love coffeprince so I thought I would like this one bec. of the coffe place but I painfully watch ep.1 and ep. 2 is so boring I wanted to do a crazy dance…

    Poor choices of co actors the young girl is too plain and not cute enough eventhough shes trying to be silly ain’t working…

    Eun Young is not charming enough to WOw the viewers and she needs to fix her walking I don’t know much but I though she would do he surgery after FO I guess not…….the way she walks really her character is a Sexy Know it All! but the director is hiding or getting diff. angle to cover her injury is not good……..

    I will stop watching after epi2

    Will wait for a New Comedy Fun Drama hopefully My GF Gumiho will be amazing!

     (0)


  5. D.tym

    Can I know who is the main lead actress? Eun Jung or park si yeon ?

     (0)


  6. missyu_who

    I knew this was going to be my new favorite drama when I heard “Step By Step” in the first episode (and yes, that’s how old I am too ^_^). This drama has me completely charmed — the characters are realistically quirky, the writing is witty, and it feels so refreshing. So far, I can’t pick out a bad apple in the actors either (as opposed to other dramas I’ve watched where three out of four actors will be great, and then they’ll be a glaring Wrong in every scene). Thank you for recapping!

     (0)


  7. Noypi

    Loved Ep2 more than Ep1… lots of LOL moments.. this drama should keep me happy while Cinderella’s Sister is airing. lol.. im still unsure how the love interest(s) will occur…IF…there is one. hmmmm.. i guess we’ll see..

     (0)


  8. Bloop

    Park Shi-yeon is so lovable in this drama. Seriously, she might be the most lovable “other” woman in all of Kdrama..

     (0)


  9. Snikki

    I like each and everyone in this drama! I’m glad nobody bothers me… yet. I hope it stays that way all throughout its run. :-)

     (0)


  10. 10 dulcedeleche

    Oo i was waiting in anticipation for this recap. I feel like something is different with this drama…..and i can’t quite place my finger on what exactly it is…
    The only major issue i see is Ji-won’s character. He’s amusing right now….but if he continues to remain as shameless as he is now….well by episode 10 he’ll end up being rather annoying.

     (0)


  11. 11 zodd

    I’m liking Park Shi-yeon as well, I’m loving her character. :)

     (0)


  12. 12 therainhouse

    Javabeans, I was waiting for your recap of this episode.
    It was the funniest episode ever.

    I have to ask, what’s a snerk?

     (0)


  13. 13 Hajung

    OoWaaa I loved the way he said air in th last scene- I must hav rewatched that part 5 times. He sounds ams looks so distressed it’s almost like he’s angry!

     (0)


  14. 14 Hajung

    *the way he said wait

     (0)


  15. 15 Melissa

    where can i find the subs for this show that aren’t supplied by viikii? (viikii doesn’t work for me)

     (0)


  16. 16 SeeYah

    This drama is down right hilarious. Couldn’t stop laughing. I can’t wait to see more. Thanks for the recap javabeans.

     (0)


  17. 17 Marie

    Loved episode 2 it was hilarious. “Step by Step” had me in stitches laughing and that is because it brought back so many memories of my younger days, used to love Jeremy Jordan (singer) I Love KJH with HEJ i feel they are so funny together and enjoy their scenes. I still cannot warm up to PSY maybe in time..

     (0)


  18. 18 mira

    Haha..I loved the part when Jin Soo gets out of the cab and leaves Eun Young alone with Jin Woo lol and then Jin Soo waves at her from across of the road KJH’s expression is soo hilarious! I love love love their r/ship.

    I’m team Jin Soo & Eun Young all the way <3

     (0)


  19. 19 anna

    Did Jung Joon-ho made a guest appearance on these two episodes? I don’t remember reading about it.

     (0)


  20. 20 lynx

    Oh my gosh. Totally didn’t expect that my moniker to turn up in the show. A lynx indeed!!! Lols.

    This has been a totally side-splitting episode. Could stop laughing when I realised why Seung-Yeon and her brother were holding onto fishing poles with salted dried fish in the rubbish dump.

    This has to be, the best comic device for me ever to appear. And the most refreshing one to boot. Esp after the angst of CS.

    An extremely refreshing show. Will be catching this!

     (0)


  21. 21 Piggy

    Pleasepleaseplease tell me that Park Shi Yeon is the main character! She’s way too adorable to be otherwise… (but of course, I thought the same thing abt KSE in BOF)

    Team EY-JS all the way!!!

    i know I’m spazzing excessively, but OMG she looks effin’ AHDORABLE in those pics!!! *dies*

     (0)


  22. 22 Extraya

    @ 16 Melissa

    Haru2subS are subbing the show right now. They take a bit longer but I like the quality of their subs. Here is the link to their page:
    http://www.haru2subs.com/
    Hope this helps.

    This show had me crying because it was so funny! I am a huge KJH groupie and I am glad to see him as a character that I love and want to see more of. It’s like Hong Gil Dong all over again… good times

     (0)


  23. 23 shu

    oh. i love this drama! jin soo is so interesting to watch… anyway. i was kind a thinking i haven met any drama in which the main two who will mostpossibly end up together is already best friends for ten years. i mean normally all those misunderstandings lead and pave way to romance for the other dramas, but now they know each other so well. i am curious to see how would they write the plot on…

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  24. 24 Dara

    I enjoyed the chemistry between KJH and PSY, love their relationships.
    I do admire a strong, independent career women so if ,in the end, PSY does not end up with anyone but happy single woman, I’m fine with that too.

    Totally in love with KJH as Jin Soo. He’s a weirdo but kind. I have a feeling the real Jin Soo might be a difficult man covered by his signature smile.

    But, if this young girl has more screen times than this ep 1 and 2, I think I will drop this drama for sure. I know she’s trying but because the gap of acting skills between her and KJH -PSY is so obvious that it ruins the story for me. It ‘s like I’m watching two separate dramas, KJH & the publisher vesus KJH & the assistant.

    But will be checking on your recap though. Always enjoy your insights. Thanks.

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  25. 25 ripgal

    Like you I really liked how the writer penned out the relationship between Jin Soo and Eun Young. They might not the OTP in the drama, but their vague love/hate relationship really brings a lot to the plate, which makes their interactions all the more interesting. It somehow reminds of Kang Ji Hwan and Han Go Eun’s relationship in Capital Scandal, and Lee Jung Jin and Soo Ae’s relationship in 9 End 2 Outs, where both couples shared a friendship and relationship so deep that nothing really could set them apart. I hope they don’t make Eun Young the jealous and scheming one later on if (IF I mena) Jin Soo really falls for Seung Yeon. I want her to continue being the sassy and unbridled Eun Young, which I seriously love right now!

    As for Jin Soo and Seung Yeon, I can’t really see the so called “chemistry” between them as of yet. Don’t get me wrong, I adore their interactions so far, what with Jin Soo always correcting SY of her incompetency and all… but to consider the probabilities of them ending up being a couple is a bit too early for me. And I have to admit, the age gap does show (altho I have adored couples with wider age-gaps before). This drama (with 2 episodes) has so far been refreshing and innovative in a sense that the so called K-drama cliches and stereotypes aren’t portrayed or fleshed out so obviously. To have JS fall for SY or otherwise, would bring this drama back to the same category of the rich/smart guy falling for the typical plain jane girl plot. Which to be frank, isn’t that quite interesting or unique anymore. I do hope that SY can really benefit from JS’s help to make her more pro or useful. But the whole process of them falling in love in between the process and all.. ermm.. is quite old and I hope the drama doesn’t end up that way. You can probably tell that I’m not really for the couple (as of yet), but yeah… let’s see how it goes so far.

    Lastly, Kang Ji Hwan rawkz! I love love love his take on Jin Soo.
    I swear I’d embrace my screen every time he flashes a smile at whoever in the drama! AHHHH… <3

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  26. 26 uhmm

    I really do think Ham Eun Jung’s character is also similar to Kim So Eun’s character from The Man Who Can’t Marry. She might end up with her sunbae OR she might get close to the mute manager at the book cafe.

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  27. 27 flightythistledown

    I’m definitely enjoying this drama so far–a nice counter to Cinderella’s Sister. Super excited to see all the characters grow in their own ways–Jin Soo, especially. I’m actually a bit anti-relationship so far, as I think I’d be perfectly happy if none of the main characters ended up with each other. Then again, I think I’d be ok if either of the two couples worked out that way. But I think the Jin Soo/Seung-young dynamic as boss/employee-mentor/student is equally compelling. And the friendship between Jin Soo and Eun-young is fairly refreshing, though I can’t pinpoint why. I think the three leads are all played quite well, which brings me to a concern…

    I’ve seen a fair amount of dislike for Ham Eun-Jung’s acting. Maybe it’s because I’m not a native speaker, but I’m not picking up on anything inherently poor about her acting. I can see where her character would be grating, but I don’t get the impression that Ham Eun-Jung is over-emoting or trying to play up the cuteness too much. Does someone have some insight here? I’ve never heard of her before this–is part of the hate because she’s a pop idol? Is it her fans? I know obnoxious fans can ruin things. I realize we’re only two episodes in, so it can be hard to judge…I’m just curious.

    Also, I found her dancing during the final scene hilarious, due to her real dancing and idol training!

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  28. 28 Simmy

    YES! this drama definitely picked up speed! I laughed throughout this episode and The publisher boss’ outfits were much better (lol). I’m looking forward to the next episode!!! Can’t wait to see how the romance evolves (assuming there is one).

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  29. 29 Black_Tea

    Is so nice to see you excited about a drama…makes me think that it’s worth-watching… In this moment you are like a k-drama.guru for me XD thanks for the hard work!!

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  30. 30 Angel

    It better be JS and EY (as the OTP)! I love their pairing! They have some basis to their relationship… (they know each other so well, they’re basically ‘married’).

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  31. 31 Moshi

    I think PSY overact.

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  32. 32 flightythistledown

    @ 27 uhmm

    I was actually thinking the same thing about the mute manager… :) I got the feeling he was going to end up being important–otherwise why the screentime?

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  33. 33 theedie

    While I know it’s entirely possible that Jin-soo and Eun-young won’t end up together, I’m very pessimistic. The kinds of interactions that are being given to Seung-young and Jin-soo just screams main pairing to me while Jin-soo and Eun-young’s still leave a question mark for me. Let’s hope things become more clear in the future.

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  34. 34 M

    TBH, PSY was a bit dry for me in la dolce vita, and i didnt bother with the other one
    but i love her here
    and she’s kind of uh, gorgeous!

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  35. 35 maria

    all right let’s face it, both female leads (and javabeans, and me, and you, and everybody’s momma and grandma, some guys and all types of pigeon ladies) are gonna fall in love with kang ji hwan.

    i cannot WAIT to see the unfolding of what HE feels, coz he’s definitely the torque here. :D WOOT! i’m loving this… no more nostril-flaring for park shi-yeon? LOVE. <3

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  36. 36 Denali

    Omo. Was wondering if anyone had noticed the NKOTB’s song. I used to be such a fan – no kidding, I still have all their albums, on tape, of course, since CDs hadnot even started back then. :D

    @ marie: nah, the Male lead’s name was Jordan Knight. The other members were his older brother Jonathan, Danny Wood, Joe McIntyre (he’s an actor now) and Donnie Wahlberg – his younger brother Mark has becomd an intl actor (Shooter, the Italian job…). I could rant a lot about them but back to topic.

    The story is quite unusual because I don’t see how in the world JS and SY could ever be attracted to each other. Wondering how long the ex-boyfriend will need to face reality and his jerky attitude. Looks like JS’s got emotional wounds that need to heal.

    I might follow this drama after PP and PT, so thanx JB, for your recaps. :)

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  37. 37 Fafa

    thanks for the recap.

    the pencil sharpening part had a problem though. the two JS took out of the rest, were the ones that he had sharpened himself.

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  38. 38 jojo

    JB…thanks for the recaps. Will give Coffee House a try based upon your reviews and Kang Ji-hwan…I loved him in Capital Scandal.

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  39. 39 xiahkixiri

    lmao javabeans i love how palpable your excitement over this show is in your recaps. i’m pretty much watching this with hearts in my eyes. trying to refrain myself from just leaving a monstrous squee here. it’s positively joyous. *_*

    i love the quirky artistic choices going on here; for example, the car kidnap scene, with the black and white movie type fake moving scenery going on outside, even though you know they could just as easily have filmed it properly from inside a moving car. until of course kang ji hwan makes a run for it. it’s almost too good to be true. here’s hoping it doesn’t do a cinderella unni, ie start off unbelievably good and get more and more frustrating by the episode.

    also shipping jin-soo/eun-young like crazy. <3 looks like park shi yeon can finally wave off the tennis girl moniker; she's rocking the role, and her and kang ji hwan's cameraderie is brilliant. as far as seung-yeon goes, i'm hoping she doesn't fall for jin-soo and has her own romance with someone else.

    finally, ji-won best character sneak attack? well, i mean if jin-soo/kang jihwan double-team weren't so sparkly-vampire compelling.

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  40. 40 asherlev1

    Ehhh. Lol, I can see you’re a fan of Park Shi-yeon’s character.

    I think part of what makes me gravitate towards Seung-yeon as a character, however, is the fact that I really didn’t have that much background knowledge of the drama when I started watching it, and then introduced Seung-yeon first. I totally expected her to be the female lead, and when Park Shi-yeon was introduced, I thought she was going to the be the ‘cold-hearted villainess who is mean to the innocent, gentle heroine’. One-half of the stereotype I assumed would play it is sort of true, as Seung-yeon is quite naive and sometimes-pitiable. Eun-young, by contrast, has been quite nice to Seung-Yeon, and is shaping out to be an interesting character. I do have to maintain, however, that I find her more interesting as a secondary character, just because the subtext of her and Jin-Soo having been friends for so long and the potential for years of unresolved sexual tension appear to me as very interesting set-ups for good fanfiction writing. Yes, that’s part of the fun of Kdramas for me.

    And, yes, javabeans, I feel as though Seung-yeon is being portrayed as the ‘typical kdrama female lead’. And to that end, I would be more satisfied if she ends up with Jin Soo. Also, I’m thoroughly sorry, but I don’t think anyone could disagree that (or it certainly appears this way to me) that Seung-yeon has been giving more screen time and more of a potentially-romantic storyline with Jin-Soo than has Eun-young, and I’ve eaten it all up. At this point, I feel as thought I can’t *help* but root for Seung-Yeon.

    Alas, these are just my opinions. Feel free to hate me or mock me. I guess I can be opinionated. Also, it’s pretty early in the morning/late at night, and I’m probably not expressing myself to the best of my abilities.

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  41. 41 asherlev1

    Also, just to rant: I now officially hate the story’s writers/producers for making me fall in love with Jin-soo/Seung-yeon as a pairing, only to slap me in the face with the idea of an eventual Jin-soo/Eun-young.

    (I’m going to conveniently ignore the fact that this tormented mental condition is my own fault for not doing my homework and recognizing who the potential real female lead could be.)

    I really want to say I’ll dump this show at the first indications that Eun-young, *is*, in fact, the female lead, but I kind of love Kwang Ji-Hwan too much to do that to him. I don’t know, we’ll see….I kind of hate watching shows where my preferred pairing or actor play second fiddle to another pairing or actor. It’s part of the reason I refuse to watch “My Girl” (I’m a rabid Lee Jun Ki fan.)

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  42. 42 asherlev1

    @flightythistledown

    Yes! In true underdog-rooter!fashion, I foster an unfounded belief that Seung-yeon will end up indulging in some sort of a romantic relationship with the mute manager!

    Also, he’s cute as hell, so who wouldn’t tap that? ;D

    (Plus, he’d be the like perfect plot-device in so far as that he would make Jin-Soo jealous. //Still holding on to my much-stamped-upon belief that Seung-Yeon is the main female lead.)

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  43. 43 yen_nguyen

    If they (Jin soo and Eun young) don’t end up together I will (probably) be disappointed!

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  44. 44 yen_nguyen

    @ 16: I fixed my viikii problem yesterday.
    I don’t know if you used this way or not, but it really works after I had tried couple of methods.
    - use SEARCH to search word VIIKII in your computer
    - delete all those files
    - uninstall VIIKII (control panel)
    - restart your computer
    - install viikii plug in v03

    Good luck!

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  45. 45 janna

    Wait, why do people have a problem with the cat scene? Is it massive torture to a cat to shave it, but okay to trim a dogs hair? Cats don’t like anything, shaving it isn’t a big deal to me. I even know someone whose parents are allergic to cats.. and so the cat was used to getting shaved every month. (fo reals) Cats are jerks, I know because three of them living like royalty in my house. Whatevs, drama. The cat will survive.

    I love that car scene. Everything from he awkward motioning to the running out and stoic wave was perfect. I’d like to see a little more of the mute barista too.

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  46. 46 yen_nguyen

    wait, wait!
    I suddenly think about STYLE, Lee ji ah’s character was portrayed as the main lead (poor, innocent, plain and so so) but in the end she didn’t end up with the main lead.

    I really hope Coffee house will be like that. Yeah, I still hope so!

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  47. 47 JLR

    Huh. Maybe something gets lost in translation, or maybe I just need to re-watch the episodes, but I don’t like Jin-soo at all. To me, he’s not charming, just selfish and kind of a jerk. The bit with the cat was the end for me. He doesn’t express the least bit of concern for Seung-yeon when she gets hurt trapping that house/feral cat, and then when she traps the lynx, he can’t admit he was wrong and instead proceeds to enjoy humiliating her. He just is such a jerk to her, I keep hoping someone will smack that ever-present smirk off of his face.

    It may be just a build up or irritation, though, from me watching too many kdramas where the guy does some jerk-like behavior, and when he realizes he’s wrong, although he might have any number of reactions, the one thing he doesn’t do is give a sincere, unsolicited apology.

    I really like Eun-young’s character, though, and her reactions to Ji-won had me laughing out loud, so I may keep watching for now to see if Jin-soo becomes more bearable.

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  48. 48 Lahlita

    @ 12 therainhouse: You are too cute! “Snerk” means to snicker or snort with laughter to express amusement. But it’s not a full-out laugh of genuine appreciation. It’s an expression of amusement that arises from you finding something ridiculous or stupid, or not quite up to your standards, or just plain dumb. So yes, Ji-won makes Javabeans — along with Lahlita — snerk.

    Man, this drama is so fun, and I love the quirkiness. But as for the vague shipper wars that are already starting here — two friggin’ episodes in, What On Earth, People! — count me out. I’m having none of that stuff. Aligning oneself with either pairing or freaking out over who the main female lead is ridiculous so early in the drama. It results in a skewed view and limits one’s ability to enjoy the entire drama for what it is. What is it? A LOLLERCOASTER!

    You know what I DO ship? Jin-soo and Seung-youn’s family, especially the grandmother. Oh my goodness, hilarious with a side of WTF! Comedy gold! I could watch Halmonim wrestle Jin-soo into fugly sweaters and spray him with medicinal spray all day long. And I love that after initially trying to put her off, he gets overpowered and then just sits there and takes chit from her family, all the while looking like he wants to cry, then murder them. This drama isn’t particularly intellectual but I don’t care, because it’s making me laugh out loud like a child, and anything that fills me that much joy earns my love.

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  49. 49 asianromance

    I’m digging the Jinsoo/Eunyoung match though I like Seungyeon too. While Seungyeon is sort of your typical kdrama heroine, Jinsoo and Eunyoung are just odd and it’d be great if they can get together. I love the many layers to their relationship too. But i think it would be awesome to have both girls have an equal chance and opportunity to be with JInsoo. It will keep the triangle more interesting and fair.

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  50. 50 not a particular fan

    I don’t know about you guys.

    But I always have the urge to savor a cup of steaming hot coffee in my hand when watching this drama. It has a very cheerful and lazy vibe to it which makes it such a joy to watch. In fact, I wouldn’t mind if the writers/PDs maintain this pace for the entire drama and not add too much angst or high emotional notes to it. I haven’t felt this relaxed watching a drama for a long time. Not even Coffee Prince made me feel that way.

    Of course, PSY and KJH’s unique interaction just makes the entire drama click 100 times over! PSY and KJH can match each other’s acting in every way possible without any hint of awkwardness, which makes it such a pleasure to watch.

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