Drama Recaps
Coffee House: Page 18 (Final)
by | August 1, 2010 | 139 Comments

I enjoyed this finale. Finale episodes are tricky things. You have to wrap up the story, but not in such a rushed way that it feels crammed, like the drama ran out of time. We as the audience usually need some time to come down from the emotional climax, and a drama that cuts off too soon after that leaves us feeling shafted. On the other hand, you can’t leave so little for the last episode that it feels like an epilogue instead, with random scenes filling out the time after the final conflict is resolved.

This episode settled the major conflicts and gave us some nice character moments, and wrapped things up on an upbeat note. That’s pretty good for a finale, I’d say.

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LAST PAGE RECAP

Seung-yeon hears about the wedding fiasco soon afterward; having heeded Jin-soo’s request not to go to the wedding, she calls Dong-wook to ask if he could give the cash gift on her behalf, which she’ll repay later. (By and large, cash is given at Korean weddings rather than registry items.) Dong-wook tells her that it will be unnecessary, and explains what happened.

At the wedding hall, the scammy publisher (Mr. Yoon) is carried out on a stretcher while police take stock of the mess of a banquet hall. The mothers are in a fit over Jin-soo’s behavior, Ji-won is aggravated, and Eun-young looks at the damage in dazed shock. Her employees wonder what to do, guessing that even though they aren’t Jin-soo’s reps anymore, perhaps they ought to step in.

Finally, Eun-young comes out of her reverie, and her warring emotions solidify into one: anger.

She bursts out in a fury, swearing at Jin-soo, calling him all the names she used to throw at him (bastard, son of a bitch). She storms out of the hall and out the building, but her anger gets pushed aside at the sight of Jin-soo being escorted into a police car in handcuffs.

She rushes up to the car window and looks at him in shock and dismay. Jin-soo has been wearing a grim expression on his face, but when he turns to see her looking in, he gives her his trademark smile. The car pulls away and he’s taken to the station, leaving Eun-young (and the wedding party and the swarm of reporters) reeling.

Now Eun-young snaps into action and heads straight to her office to work on handling the aftermath. She scoffs at Jin-soo’s promise to find her a way out if she wasn’t certain, because as far as she’s concerned his solution is hardly better than the problem.

Ji-won also understands Jin-soo’s motivation, although he believes that Eun-young doesn’t know. He’s surprised to find that she has left the wedding hall, and I wonder if this is the moment when the shoe drops for him — that even when her wedding has been ruined, she dives back into work.

Jin-soo is locked up in jail for the night while a barrage of news stories emerges on the internet and television. He reads the latest reports from his cell phone. Thanks to the wedding cameras, the whole attack is caught on video and from multiple angles.

Seung-yeon arrives at the jail in shock, not understanding why he would have acted so out of character. His image is completely trashed and this could really affect his career. What drove him to it? She has enough faith in his character — bless her heart! — that she knows there must be a greater reason, and strives to make sense of it.

Jin-soo plays his role to the hilt, and goes along with Seung-yeon’s assumptions. For instance, she asks if this happened because he needs money — there are rumors that he racked up gambling debts — and that led him to deal with Yoon. Jin-soo sighs, laying it on thick and acting saddened to have lost her respect. He does need money, and he turns into “this kind of person” (as in profligate) when he’s not writing.

Seizing upon an idea, he says that there’s one way for him to dig himself out of this mess, and that’s to write a book. That’ll bring him income to pay off his debt and settle with Yoon. Alas, he doesn’t have a suitable topic — where to get one? If only he knew a great, refreshing story that he could whip up into a book. Seung-yeon understands what he’s getting at — he’s hardly being subtle, mumbling things like “Galapagos” — but is loath to give in to his implied request.

Finally, she very reluctantly gives in and tells him he can take her idea… to which he bursts out that she’s crazy. Why would he steal her idea? Clearly he was just having a bit of fun at her expense. What else is new?

After consulting with her lawyer, Eun-young visits the police station to talk with Jin-soo, who is still in custody. The lawyer takes an optimistic approach to this, but Eun-young is still angry with Jin-soo and gives him the harsh version. His future holds three possibilities: he’ll have to face ejection from the literary world, or write pulp novels for Yoon forever, or declare bankruptcy.

Even the attorney finds that excessive, although the issue of his gambling debts IS a problem. At this, Jin-soo finally gets reveals his plan by giving him a card. He says that he has been building up a case against publisher Yoon’s mistreatment of new writers, and his lawyer has all the information. Jin-soo requests that the lawyer drag out the case as slowly as possible, since the guy could stand to be mired in legal troubles for a while (and Jin-soo isn’t in a desperate rush to clear his own name).

This news stuns the other two — if he was operating on noble motives, then why let his name get tarnished? Why attack the man as he did? Jin-soo looks at Eun-young as he offers up the vague explanation: “I’m a bastard and an asshole.”

Eun-young asks for privacy, then tells Jin-soo to explain in plain words. So he does:

(1) He wanted to block a wedding that she wasn’t sure about, (2) but he didn’t want to turn her into the bad guy, (3) plus he felt he should be responsible for the whole chaos, (4) but it would hurt her if he ruined himself too much, so he found himself an out. (5) Still, if he needed a scapegoat at least it should be someone who deserved it, (6) and because she made him do something he’s never once done before, (7) “I love you.”

Seung-yeon goes to Eun-young’s office, but finds Ji-won there instead. He invites her to sit down with a drink, in a darker mood than usual. Now that the crap has hit the fan, he explains the situation and tells Seung-yeon that he had told Jin-soo to leave. She doesn’t understand why he would do that until he clarifies that Jin-soo bought the ring intending to give it to Eun-young.

That’s a shock to Seung-yeon, who had guessed nothing of the kind. Ji-won continues talking, more to himself than to her, as he asks if she thinks Eun-young will leave him. He thinks she will. Even though she treated him well, “I was happy, but strangely I felt uneasy.”

A family interlude shows us that Dad has now moved his courtship into full gear, and the dry-cleaner ajumma is introduced to the family, as is her daughter. All goes well until Seung-chul comes home, and he’s immediately miffed, which cracks me up. Aw, the little boy is acting even littler!

Seung-chul pouts in his room alone with his mobile game console, and balks when the little girl (Min-ji from Oh My Lady, you may recall) joins him. He’s not at all inclined to share, until she calls him oppa — and that one word, as we know, holds the power to turn surly attitudes sweet. In no time the two are playing the game together, Seung-chul’d earlier enmity forgotten.

(There’s absolutely no romantic hint in the word oppa in this case, but it still has an effect — it turns him into the protector, the man. For Seung-chul, who’s always been the baby of the family, this is a role that flatters his vanity. Oh, boys.)

By the time Eun-young returns to her office, Ji-won has finished the entire bottle of wine and has sunk into a depressed mood. He senses that she has something to say, and they don’t have to say it in words to know what’s coming.

In fact, Eun-young doesn’t speak at all while Ji-won breaks down in tears. Tears form in her eyes, too; she feels bad to witness his pain, but she can’t tell him he’s wrong, either.

The next time Eun-young visits Jin-soo at the police station, he’s looking rougher for wear. He brushes it off as a slight fight in the jail, but she knows right away what really happened — Ji-won. Jin-soo tells her that he let himself be pummeled, since he knows he earned it.

Eun-young comes with a contract, which Jin-soo reads through. Two parts are yet undetermined (number of books and date of completion), so he volunteers the information. Should he agree to 30 books? That’ll take up the next 60 years. He can have the first book ready on Christmas Eve, which should give them both time to “settle matters.”

Jin-soo speaks in terms of their business partnership, but it also serves double-duty for their personal lives. He signs the contract, and then she signs. He says that at the very least, they will have this relationship for the rest of their lives.

But he means that as a minimum, not as the whole: Jin-soo offers his hand for a shake, and when they do, he turns her hand over and slides the ring on. He says this is to commemorate their contract, but since the contract is tied to their relationship, again it has a dual meaning.

He tells Eun-young that he will spend the time until then writing the book. Christmas Eve, then, becomes their new start.

Next, Jin-soo drops by Seung-yeon’s family cafe, which stuns her; she hadn’t known he’d gotten out of jail. She guesses that his departure is imminent, because she sensed he would drop by once before leaving. He’s a little impressed that she knows him so well, and comments that she’s gotten more perceptive.

Tears form in her eyes, but she tries to ignore them as she tells him things worked well for him and congratulates him. She adds that like he said, she’s more perceptive now, and that lets him know that she’s aware of his relationship with Eun-young.

He looks sorry to see her fighting back her tears and says he’s sorry, which she tries to laugh off even as the tears start falling in earnest.

Jin-soo is a little uncertain how to react, so he sits there quietly while Seung-yeon cries. It’s a lovely beat, actually, and there are a few other moments in the episode that echo it. I like the idea that there’s something important going on here, but that the characters need to just sit there and let it be while the emotion works its way out.

When finally Seung-yeon stops crying, it’s an hour later, and she thanks him for sitting with her. Jin-soo remembers that he has something for her, and hands it to her. He jokes that if she’s on track to publishing her book at the age of 40, this is to cut five years from the timeline.

It turns out to be an open ticket to the Galapagos Islands, valid for the next year. Jin-soo says, “I’m not telling you to confirm the things you’ve imagined. When you face reality, another world will open up that is on a different level from what you thought of at your desk. Grab that. Then you can cut out five years.”

Seung-yeon is moved, but Jin-soo keeps up his teasing tone as he prods, “What do you think? Don’t you respect me? You respect me the most in the whole world, don’t you?” She answers simply, “Yes. You did the right thing. You protected what you wanted to protected, and paid the cost. I think you did what was right.”

He smiles. “You’re the only one who would say I did the right thing.” She smiles back, and says with her customary hyperbole, “Aren’t I the best secretary of all time?”

Jin-soo answers, “You’re right. You’re the best ever. Although I’ve only ever had one.”

As Seung-yeon watches Jin-soo drive away, she thinks, “I’ll remember that day, that moment, forever. It was when my life turned over its Page One.”

The seasons pass until we land in the winter. It’s snowing outside, and it’s Christmas Eve. At the radio station, Seung-yeon has been promoted to main writer, and she’s about to set off on a trip — to the Galapagos.

At the publishing company, Eun-young takes a meeting with some business contacts who have heard she is on her way to meet Jin-soo today. They’ve heard rumors that Jin-soo’s fallen off the wagon, and while they aren’t sure if the stories are true, they urge her to get him on his feet and make sure he’s not gambling away.

At the Kang home, the dry-cleaner ajumma has become part of the household, as has her daughter. Dong-wook’s arrival raises no eyebrows so it appears they’re used to seeing him around, although it isn’t clear whether he and Seung-yeon have officially resumed dating.

Dong-wook is here to drive Seung-yeon to the airport, and she’s scrambling to pack in time to make it in time. Finally, she’s off…

…and we pick up in some unnamed tropical locale.

Jin-soo sits in a summery paradise, working on his writing, which is where Eun-young finds him. She wears his ring, and mouths to him, “Merry Christmas.”

In the intervening months, Ji-won has grown harder and more irritable, judging from the way he addresses his new colleagues when he transfers to a new office. Being jilted has left him in a perpetual bad mood, and he resents little things like having to go meet his new colleague rather than having the colleague come to him.

That is, until he actually meets her, and finds that she’s an attractive blonde woman named Julia.

Immediately the old Ji-won is back, cheesy salute and all. He turns on the charm (well, his version of what passes for charm), and when he hears that Julia has no holiday plans — she’s new to Korea and hasn’t made friends yet — he offers his company. They end up having flirty drinks, to assure us that Eun-young’s departure will not be an eternal source of misery for Ji-won.

As Seung-yeon settles into her plane seat, she thinks, “I may not know where you are right now, but I know who you’re with. Today is the first day that the lifetime contract for Lee Jin-soo and Seo Eun-young goes into effect, and the two of you will be reuniting right now.”

And then she thinks what they’re up to “privately”: “Today is your wedding anniversary, and this is your honeymoon.”

As the episode heads to a close, we’re given a bit of closure to the rest of the cast, such as Dong-wook and the cafe family. Dong-wook finally promotes the guy who’s been begging to be manager of Page One, and also promotes the other two as co-managers. (Poor fourth employee is left unpromoted, but you can’t feel too bad because he’s always been scolded for slacking.)

Life goes on for the Kang family, the publishing company, the radio station employees, and the screen fills up with old clips from previous episodes…

…then pulls back to show us that all this has comprised “Page 1.”

The camera slides over from the frame to show us that now it’s time to move on to Page 2. And Page 3, and 4, and 5.

 
COMMENTS

The Jin-soo/Eun-young relationship resolved pretty neatly and relied on a few fallback devices, but given what they were dealing with I’m generally satisfied with how it worked out. Jin-soo’s wacky wedding interruption shows a complete reversal of his character from the beginning of the drama, which is significant. Early on, he has to suffer through undesirable circumstances because he can’t stand to have other people thinking badly of him. By the last episode, he doesn’t care what the world thinks of him, and actually perpetuates a more negative image than he deserves. The only opinion he cares about is Eun-young’s, and it doesn’t bother him to be made into a public scandal.

Y’all know how I feel about time-skips in finale episodes — it’s a lazy way to resolve tensions because duh, time heals wounds, but what about the ones the DRAMA inflicted upon the characters?. Still, I’m more accepting of them in a drama that has used the time-skip throughout the series, not just in a final episode, as Coffee House has done.

It doesn’t work as well for the supporting characters as it does for the main ones (I’ll get to them in a minute), however, because those feel tacked on. I don’t have any reason to buy that Dong-wook and Seung-yeon are now in a relationship because all drama long, she has been indifferent to him (romantically). I know that it’s supposed to be a nice way to give us the warm fuzzies at the end, but it hasn’t earned them.

Ji-won’s romance at the end is also supposed to soften the blow of losing Eun-young, but it feels like a cop-out because I don’t think the drama adequately resolved their relationship. If it was going to be as simple as her leaving him, what was the point of showing the family bits, and having her so torn? You can make some attempts at explanation by saying that ultimately Ji-won hasn’t changed and that Eun-young wasn’t his end-all, be-all. Or that Eun-young’s love for Jin-soo was so strong that it trumped the other things. I just think that if a drama dug this hole for its characters, it should show a plausible way for them to have gotten out of it, rather than fast-forwarding to where the pain is dulled.

But at least the time leap works for our main couple, and that’s the one that matters, right? At first I wondered why it was necessary at all, because it seemed like Jin-soo and Eun-young had made their decision at the police station. It also recalled the train station parting two years ago, so why repeat the moment?

The key difference is that Jin-soo never gave Eun-young a bottom line in the past; he told her how he felt and they left the door open for the future, but they both had very different ideas of what that meant. So when Eun-young is facing her wedding to Ji-won, her lament is that Jin-soo never gave her hope before, and she moved on with her life. This time, he gives her a hard date and a promise.

I liked the Affair to Remember vibe of his plan; there’s an old-school sort of charm to it. Minus the crippling accident, of course. (The couple falls in love but isn’t ready to make a commitment yet, so they agree separate while they get their affairs in order — they’re both in relationships — and meet in six months’ time.) In this case it gives Eun-young the time to settle her broken engagement, while it gives Jin-soo time to write his book and prepare for their “lifetime contract.” Which, by the way, is a cute way to tie the whole business-or-friendship question.

All in all, this was a refreshing drama that flirted with unconventional setups, and I appreciated it for that. I admit to getting a little fatigued toward the end, but I also think that the antagonistic fan wars may have had more to do with that than the drama itself. For some reason this drama set off some short fuses with people, and I hope that in this last post at least, we can remain respectful of those who disagree with our opinions.

Ultimately I’d say that this drama most benefited Park Shi-yeon, who has managed to show that she has improved dramatically over the years. More significantly, this role stretched her range and showed peopel that she doesn’t always have to play the femme fatale — which is a character that she fits in appearance but not at all in temperament. I hope she gets a lot more fun dramatic roles in the future that allow her to depart from the sexy, sophisticated image.

It was also a solid platform for Ham Eun-jung, who I had issues with for overacting but I think generally held her own. Kang Ji-hwan has had bigger hits and I daresay he’ll be bummed at the lowish ratings, but he’s way too talented not to get meatier roles in the future.

Till then!

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139 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. alphabet soup

    I am going to really miss this show. Yay Eunsoo!

     (0)


  2. Sukispop

    JB, I was really looking forward to this final ep recap, so thanks so much for doing this for us! Just wanted to thank you…now, it’s off to reading and enjoying this, and I’ll comment later. =)

     (0)


  3. Scarlett

    I loved how it ended. Now, I’m on the wait for S-Scandal, Playful Kiss and Hwanhee’s H-hour.

     (0)


  4. Chocoflip

    I think they used the same house in “Full House.”

     (0)


    • 4.1 dramaville

      yes it’s full house. would have been better if they had used a less popular house. it totally destroyed the illusion of the somewhere far they were projecting.

       (0)


  5. ck1Oz

    OMG…finally!! Thank goodness it’s out…I was so traumatized by the ending comments that I was waiting for your insight before I’ll watch it subbed.So thank you…it’s been a long week.

    Off to read now and then runs for ep 18 *_*

     (0)


  6. i3rasaila

    thank you Javabeans. I love this drama because of your recaps. :)

     (0)


  7. xiaoSxin

    great!!!! i love Coffee HOuse!!!! and you are right KJH is a talented actor.. I can’t wait for his next project!!

     (0)


  8. -Maui-

    It’s the house from Full House! No? I have to say I am impressed by the parting words between Jin Soo and Seung Yeon. I don’t know if it’s just the way JB phrased it in English but that is one cute bit of dialogue.

     (0)


  9. grasya

    first?

    thanks for this!

    i miss coffee house : ( EunSoo forever!

     (0)


  10. 10 Hipployta

    Well…now that is over I’m going to wait for the last subs and commence my marathon for Episode 3 onward next weekend. Should be fabulous. Yay EUNSOO! This role did wonders for Park Shi Yeon…hell I’m a fan now and impressed by her dedication even thru terrible loss.

     (0)


  11. 11 kaedejun

    WOOHOO!!!! THE END OF COFFEE HOUSE!!! yes – it was neatly wrapped up – and i have to say my fave moment (based on this recap) is when SY asks JS if she was the best secretary ever. i think that’s all I needed for closure.

    i didn’t think about how JS had changed (in regards to how people perceive him) but now that you brought it up, i’m kinda satisfied that that happened too. i almost didn’t need the pairings to be resolved because the emotional growth of the characters was enough for me. JW was different from his cad-like behavior before, SY was more mature and “pro”, JS became a better man (no doubt thanks to SY pushing him to be good to EY) and EY – i think she was always the same, except by the end she REALLY knew what she wanted and went for it.

     (0)


  12. 12 Rubysing

    I so love this drama, and of course KJH. Withdrawal symptoms now that it’s over :(

     (0)


  13. 13 missy

    first? so this is what happened to coffee house. it’s not that bad at all as i have heard in some fans. for me the unconventional matters are what we call life. its how we respond and adapt to things not to control them to make it as we desire and live in lies. maybe this is what coffee house has taught me.

    i can’t believe time flies as fast as this. but the end is here. so long CH

     (0)


  14. 14 cheanne

    I agree, this is one of the most satisfying ending I’ve read so far. Although, I am hoping for SY and JS hehehe…..This is a story of one great love so I cant be that disappointed, right. Besides, SY was given a chance to grow professionally by her mentor and idol so what more I can ask for. So good wrap up. Now, I cant wait to really watch this….hehe.

     (0)


  15. 15 dee

    thanks jb for the wonderful recap.

    i was also happy how CH ended, it’s feels full, complete, and (i’m) satisfied ending. i don’t feel the usual uneasiness i feel when a drama ends, uneasiness that there’s something lacking.

    i also anticipates the next KJH project/drama.

    thanks again

     (1)


  16. 16 xylophonic

    I was pleased with the finale, though I wish Eunyoung like, SPOKE more? I sort of felt like near the end she was just getting pulled along by Jin-soo and because she didn’t really say much I was unsure of what her feelings were, until the last few scenes when it shows them together. I remember the Eunyoung from like the very first episodes even, when she was very energetic and opinionated whereas, here, I was kind of lost on what she was thinking. That may have just been me though.

    To be honest I got tired of Coffee House too, near the 15-ep mark. (I actually just skipped 16 and 17 altogether and read the recaps instead. Your site is a godsend indeed.) I felt like I had to watch the finale though, and I’m glad I did, though my fervor for the show died out a while ago, or at best, dimmed considerably.

    I think HEJ really upped the ante on the last few episodes. I especially appreciated her crying scene (though don’t we all wish we could look that good after crying for an hour!).

    I find it annoying when, during time skips, the show tacks on something like a consolation prize for the rest of the secondary characters, who didn’t get their dramatic happy ending. (The show that did the worst with this among the ones I watched was Personal Taste, ie. they’re too lazy to do anything else with Sang-jun and In-hee other than sticking them together? Good lord.) I suppose it’s a service to the viewers, to show that they don’t have to worry, because everyone’s happy now, but that doesn’t mean all of us viewers necessarily like it.

    Yayy for PSY! Totallyy loved her in this drama. I’m definitely looking forward to her future projects now, because I think by now PDs would have a better idea of what kind of role suits her, rather than sticking her with an image based on her looks.

    Thanks to JB for the recaps throughout!

    All in all, it was a fun ride! Time to count down until My Girlfriend is a Gumiho!

     (0)


  17. 17 nixxochick

    i wish i could say that i loved this drama but at times it really frustrated me and the ending completely killed it for me…oh well we cant like every single drama i guess, although i wish i could really like this one cause KJH was in it :(

     (0)


  18. 18 leila8mae

    JB thank you so much!! i think gratitude is not enough since your site has been very helpful for us to understand the story better.. I like what you said:

    “I like the idea that there’s something important going on here, but that the characters need to just sit there and let it be while the emotion works its way out.”

    I think one of the things I love here in CH is that once you OPEN up yourself, the characters can make you FEEL their emotions wholeheartedly and you will be drawn, no words needed at most.. I find that very difficult to achieve because not all actors can pull the audience to their situations effectively.. and I think here in CH, all of them DID a great job portraying their characters w/ HEART, flawed but REAL..

    I will MISS this show although I know I can repeat it OVER and OVER.. but I guess I will miss all the CH viewers also.. all the views are interesting, creative and very witty in their own way, shippers aside.. CH is very meaningful to me, it drove me crazy like never before BUT I learned a lot.. I had fun.. I hope many more Kdramas will be great as this one.. breaking the norm and most kdrama laws there is.. and bringing wonderful and magnificent actors to bring to life such great characters I really learned to love.. and here in CH I believe there’s NO BAD EGG.. all of them are very endearing in their OWN ways..

    I’m now a certified KANG JI HWAN fan and will look forward to his next drama.. I’m rooting for Kang Ji Hwan and Park Si Yeon as the BEST DRAMA COUPLE when SBS has their year-ender awards this coming December.. AJA!!

    to all my fellow EUNSOO SHIPPERS.. hugs to all of you!! I had a great time having such supporters with.. its super great to share both the fun times and the bad times w/ all of you!! here’s my small gift to all of you..

    http://www.soompi.com/blog/sprint_for_love

    shocks, CH really did make me into another kdrama addict spouting words of farewell like this!! haha.. this isn’t the last page so, UNTIL NEXT TIME!!!

     (0)


  19. 19 m a r a

    javabeans,

    the fan wars were tiring. on that end, i agree with you. that’s why for the last couple of reviews, i stopped posting a comment here. it was the same ol’, same ol’.

    the drama is far from perfect, but i liked it as a whole. it’s different from a lot of other k-dramas. i’ve become a fan of PSY, and like you, i hope to see her in more fun dramatic roles in the future instead of the femme fatale ones. persons in the industry probably took notice.

    HEJ was pretty good towards the end, and i’ve always found her cute. i expect to see more of her in the future.

     (0)


  20. 20 Han Mania

    I’ve gotten over the fact the JS didn’t end up with SY. I’m going to watch the drama again to focus on the JS/EY dynamics.

    I’m beginning to really like Park Shi Yeon. I find her acting so natural. Like she shows us how vulnerable she can be at times. I never “felt” her in any drama like I did in Coffee House.

    And of course, Kang Ji Hwan. The guy’s brilliant. I love him to bits.

    Thanks for the recaps, Javabeans. You made me appreciate Coffee House more. :-)

     (0)


  21. 21 curiouscat

    loved this drama, and your recaps made it even more enjoyable. Thanks javabeans! (and girlfriday).

     (0)


  22. 22 Lahlita

    Oh, thank God it’s over! But it was fun while it lasted. I found it a bit tiring getting through the EY/JS-centric episodes just because of the heavier tone, but I still enjoyed the drama immensely. I had never before known anything of Kang Ji-hwan, Park Shi-yeon or Han Eun-jung, but now I’m an avid fan of all three. I look forward to seeing what they all do next.

    @ 19 m a r a : Good to see you again, lady! I was wondering where you’d got to, and while I can sympathize with your reason for not posting, going forward you must first request my permission before you withdraw. I missed your level-headed goodness. :-)

    Well, it has been a fun ride! Javabeans, you have been wonderful as ever, and I thank you for your unfailing patience with us all — even when we got supremely wonky with the shipper wars. I look forward to following the next dramas with you and Girlfriday. I’m assuming that coming up are My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho and Playful Kiss?

     (0)


  23. 23 Amg1

    *Coffee House*
    (from my summary at Soompi)
    Coffee House is the story about a single man that from a far looks like the proverbial successful young man, he is in his early 30′s, a successful writer and very handsome to add to the equation.
    But a closer look at his persona we start to see that the facade that looks so nice and polish from a far indeed it is full of infirmities that only can be seen when one pays a closer look at him.
    The Jin-soo character is a man that for the little we know about his past suffers from some mental maladjusments, we can see from the beginning of the drama, and for a moment we are made to believe that he is just a man who likes practical jokes and in so doing its just part of his charisma.

    The writer takes the time little by little like peeling an onion, he starts to show the different layers of Jin-soo Physique. We learn that he was married before and that he got divorce, and his ex-wife ends up committing suicide, the shock of the suicide is so great that Jin-soo suffers a mental break down, Eun-young his publisher and friend helps him recover to a certain extant from a death almost brought upon himself while undergoing his mental break down.

    The question of “Mental Illness” in the Korean Culture is what the main premise of the drama was about, now many will disagree with me but if we just stay close to the facts that the writer give us in the story, we will find out that indeed Jin-soo for all intended purposes is a guy who is some what “Crazy”, that in my mind is the main reason why I could not get pass his romantic interlude with neither of the leading lady’s.

    Through all the drama we see a man who is a pathological lair, his modus operandi is one of all things but of always withholding part of the truth, thus creating a lot of problems for the people that surround him, like family, job, and friends. His relationship with Eung-young is a “Bad Codependent Relationship” and the writer for the sake of “Love and Romance” gave us a set of scenarios where in order for them to have an accurate resonance in reality we are asked to overlook its disparity, and approve a relationship that in real life we will not wish to the worst of our enemy’s.

    Some of you may say “Hey its just a Drama” but like I say before I differ greatly with that assumption, the reason being is that whether we like it or not the TV executives used this medium to a greeter extent as a form of “Social Engineering”, we can not overlook the fact that Korea has the greatest percentage of “Suicides in the Asian Country’s”.

    I feel that the writer really cheapen the story of a broken man that with the help and love of others could potentially be heal from his mental trauma and be free from the “Demons in his closest”, where we are lead to believe that he had experience one of life’s “Great Epiphany’s” only to return two years latter and behave like the old “Jackass” that he was before he left.

    Do not get me wrong I really like Comedy and also like a proper “Tragic Story” like ( “Arrest Memorable” aka “The return of Martin Guerre”) , but “Coffee House” was supposed to be a story of “Love and Redemption” but at the end what we got was a half-ass, Bad codependent relationship tried to be pass as a Loving and Nurturing love affair worth to be aspire to where in order to achieve such nonsense we must check our Brain out side the door so we can not feel the mental anguish as the Idiotic writer kick our moral sense and logic to the curve. The order for redemption was set in motion but some how the writer lost its way along the way by the time Episode 12 came about the story was almost perfect to achieve success, but some how all the unnecessary angst and illogical twist and turns, made it look just like another run of the mill K-Drama.

    In closing; The hinge where the premise of the whole Drama was predicated upon that of “Mental Illness” was treated in a very “ Shallow Comedic” manner and for that reason alone the whole of the drama lost its appeal when a force “Love Pairing “ takes precedent over finding “Physical. Mental, and Spiritual” healing and is traded for a “Bad Codependent Relationship” as a form of a Pseudo-Healing it is one of the most irresponsible things a person like the writer can do or for that matter the people who have in their power the ability to change the “Social Stigma of Mental Illness” in Korean Culture, IMHO, it leaves a very “Bitter Taste “ in ones mouth. But than again Do I Know?”!!!!!!!

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  24. 24 Snikki

    Although I wasn’t very satisfied with the ending, I really enjoyed watching this drama. I guess I wanted more MOAR EunSoo moments. Nevertheless, I’m glad that they got their happy ending.

    My most favorite scene out of all the episodes is the end of episode 7, wherein JS stayed up all night, while EY was asleep in his bed. And then when EY opened her eyes, they just stared at each other. No dialogue but very meaningful. After that episode, I knew JS truly has feelings for EY.

    My admiration for PSY solidified after watching her in this drama. For some reason, I was more captivated by her than anybody else in the drama. But I should also point out that everybody did an amazing job. HEJ crying scene in this episode was heartbreaking. JWI did not disappoint either, the look in his face when he found out about JS’s intention — very convincing. And of course, KJH, brilliant as ever.

    Thanks, JB, for the recaps!

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  25. 25 yoyo

    LOL same house from full house i’m sure of it!

    I loved the ending for EY and JS it tickled my heart that after their relentless beating around the bush moves we get to finally see them be affectionate towards each other. Everyone pretty much got their happy ending, which makes me a happy camper since I loved each character.

    I liked this series (not love although it has kang ji-hwan) for unknown reasons. At the beginning I really liked this series but untold reasons it didn’t make me wish for more, although I enjoyed each episode. I’d say this was a “refreshing” series that didn’t make you TOO frustrated with the characters and their actions. Everything turned out the way I wanted it to. YAYY!!

    Oh and thank you javabeans and girlfriday. I enjoyed your recaps to pieces.

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  26. 26 jons

    Ham Eun-jung has a big future and room for improvement. she was so annoying at first, but this episode made me love her. i thought coffee house was a bit reptitive, but i enjoyed it. it’s not on my keeper shelf, but i don’t think it was a waste of time either :)

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  27. 27 loveydovey

    SUCKY ending. I cant’ believe SY ended up alone. Did you see the ending clip? THAT’S why Jin Soo should be with Seun Young. Eun Young is depressing and too perfect. NOT FAIR.

    Okay. Now that my rant is over: i did love this show, and i thought it was a good finale, even if i’m not happy with the couple.

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  28. 28 s21783

    I enjoyed Seung-yeon’s crying session the most. She really brought tears to my eyes as well. I could empathise with her when the teacher came to see her to conclude things before he left. That moment was the ulitmate confirmation for Seung-yeon that there is no hope romantically. She was so real in expressing her feelings (that I cried with her as well). It was NICE of the teacher to just sit there to be with her at the most vulnerable and painful moments. I know what it is like to be able to cry your heart out. That she did and felt so much better. I thought that was the most wonderful moment in the entire drama. Keep it up Han Eun Jung.

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  29. 29 Carinne

    YAY! It’s over after all.

    I’m surprised JB doesn’t put KJH dancing 2PM’s Heartbeat song up on this post. Epic parody moment really. A giffy of his dance will turn classic soon. Keke~

    Long lasting kiss at a beach sunset is overrated. The telephone booth kiss was way hotter. ^ , ^ v

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  30. 30 marie*

    I did not expect to follow this tv drama, but I was sure glad I did. Although I accidentally read a bit about the ending from a comment and was initially disappointed, I was very surprised at the way the series wrapped up! The turning point for these feelings seemed to be when I watched Seungyeon cry in front of Jinsoo (her crying seemed to echo my opinion haha). But later I realized the Jinsoo-Eunyoung pairing seemed to be better for the main leads..as they are more compatible with each other.

    Overall, I thought the series was fresh and comical. I came to enjoy the main leads’ acting more – especially Kang Jihwan (yes, I’ve finally joined the Kang Jihwan-support group, a little late I know!). Thanks for the recaps, Javabeans. =)

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  31. 31 omo

    GF and JB, a big thank you for recapping this drama.

    The ending was decent, though a tad bit fizzly.

    I started liking this drama from Ep 15. How weird. The earlier episodes were so lack of plots that I was ready to call it a day. Plus the fact that I couldn’t see how JS’s bullying tactics were going to make SY a pro secretary. Huh?

    I’m thankful I’m neither a JS-EY or JS-SY-shipper. But I could see why all that hate-shipping was going on. The writer made is-it-JS-EY? or JS-SY? the storyline.

    At the end of the day, I’m happy to see PSH acting well in this role. I’m ready for “I Am Legend”.

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  32. 32 Eleven11

    @29 – totally agree, phone booth kiss was awesome.

    I too really enjoyed this drama, mostly because of the chemistry between PSY and KJH. One problem I have with it was that I thought Dong-Wook’s character was under developed and that he could have had a lot more to do with the story – not neccesarily a romantic plotline with Seung-Yeon, but SOMETHING. For example, where did he go in the end, that he became all rich in 2 years?

    Seong-Yeon became a really great and watchable character at the end, once she learned how to dress, talk, close her mouth and run like a not-mentally-retarded person. I don’t mean to offend the hardcore SY fans at all though, to put it another way: I wanted to like her before the time skip, but I really liked her after the time skip.
    I know she needed to be ‘bumbling but good-natured’ and whatnot in the first half, but some of it was just really gammy. But plenty of others have already said this, so I’ll stop going on about it.

    Anyway, thanks for recapping JB!

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  33. 33 Hannah

    since i’ve started commenting, (as opposed to only talking with friends) i can really appreciate the coherency of your recaps – how you avoid simply fangirling and squeeing all throughout, I have no idea. but, thank you JB =)

    i wish this show had engaged me more than it did. i’ve noticed people saying they dropped it at the 15 ep. mark which is when i came in so that’s probably significant. but having only come in then i *really* do agree a lot with @16
    “though I wish Eunyoung like, SPOKE more? I sort of felt like near the end she was just getting pulled along by Jin-soo and because she didn’t really say much I was unsure of what her feelings were, until the last few scenes when it shows them together.”

    lol i agree so much. i think she lost a lot of presence then (which people keep assuring me she had previously).

    but she is SO PRETTY. i never really noticed in my girl. or maybe i just didn’t like her character, and that blinded me. anyway, i really dug the way she dressed, was made up – in fact, the whole production has a big thumbs up from me. when i was watching for the brief time i did, a lot of the time i was just checking out the outfits. which i actually tend to do a lot in kdramas, i’m starting to notice.

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  34. 34 moomincandylalala

    This must be one of the dramas I enjoyed the most this year, it was quirky and different and a breath of fresh air – also witty and funny… Kudos to writers who thought up all of JS’s tricks, which were so entertaining to watch. There is a surprise at every ep and the story rarely has dull moments.

    Most of all, it kept viewers on their toes about the OTP until almost the last ep. I knew my heart was uneasy at points :P

    And I agreed that these flawed but lovable characters which were well acted by the cast made this drama so much better- In love with KJH all over again – always manage to have great chemistry with his partners- (even HEJ wasn’t bad, and PSY really shined – she is so much more realistic and comfortable in this role than other ones she were in before, and I love love her style)

    Will be re-watching it again…

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  35. 35 theedie

    I pretty much geeked out when they used the Full House house, especially considering who the PD is.

    Also, thanks so much Javabeans on completing another series recap. I always enjoy reading your articles since you put a well thought out and intelligent commentary to things without being pretentious. Looking forward to seeing what you decide to add to your plate.

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  36. 36 Thu

    I’m not sure what it was but I cringed and really disliked this episode. I think partially because I’m not into JinSoo and EunYoung’s love dynamics. I loved the light flirts between the two and the relationship JinSoo had with his secretary. When things got sappy, I was yawning.

    However I do love JinSoo’s change and the way they showed it. Especially when he explained the reasons why he messed up EunYoung’s wedding.

    Overall the ending was really nice. It was refreshing and light. I enjoyed the drama.

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  37. 37 asdf

    the drama and the book were so different! i guess i loved the book so much i was hoping the drama would have the same ending.

    even though i loved the book, i wish i had read it after i finished the drama that way i woudlnt have been so DEAD SET on sy & js ending.

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  38. 38 Houstontwin

    First of all, many, many thanks to JavaBeans for the great summaries and comments! Thanks as well to all of those who regularly contributed such great analyses! I feel that I’ve shared something special with all of you.
    Now for my comments…
    I really loved CH – the great characters, the sweet, funny, and touching performances, etc. But, I found the ending to be very contrived. This sleazy publisher that JS has been investigating and beats up seems to come out of the thin air. While I’ve enjoyed all the unexpected twists and turns, I really think that the ending should have had a more organic resolution – this seemed really lazy. Perhaps when the episodes were cut back to 18, the writers were forced to skimp on the plot development.
    That being said, I was grateful for many hours of enjoyment, as well as the delightful hours of anticipation waiting for each of Javabean’s amazing critiques.

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  39. 39 mizweng

    thanks for a wonderful recap…somehow reading it seems like a much-needed closure for me…waaaaugh to finally say goodbye to my CH addiction is such a hard thing to do… i miss it soooo much that i still visit the soompi thread just to get any news about PSY and KJH!!!

    I admit this drama made me go crazy and I was so happy to know a lot were like me…hehehe (nutty people loves company)…

    I totally love the ending…and I agree to your comment JB (hey, I;ve always BEEN YOUR FAN somight be a little biased here)… whatever!!! anyways, i love it because it showed the most important EUNSOO moments I wished for ( tho the bed scene is just a suggestive one, a pity really)…all in all, it made us imagine more after it ended….

    JS and EY is my favorite drama couple so far… am just amazed with their chemistry that I do pray they date for REAL… and am shouting with glee to know that most Eunsoo shippers feel the same… YYAYYY

    After awhile, I WILL DEFINITELY WATCH THIS AGAIN…

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  40. 40 Houstontwin

    I forgot to mention one nice detail in the last episode. I really liked the way that JS sips on his coffee as SY weeps. He has already admitted that he really doesn’t like it and it seems as if he is drinking it to do penance for the pain that he has unwittingly inflicted on SY.

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  41. 41 nixxochick

    @37 how does the book differ from the drama? i would love to read but its not available in english

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  42. 42 marmar

    omg thank you JB.
    Loved it.
    Unfortunately i am unable to watch ep. 17 & 18 so readin’ the summaries is all i can go by til i can watch the last two episodes.
    I really love this drama. It’s so different from all the other dramas. This drama really didn’t have a bad guy/girl. Everyone in this drama was someone you can relate to & love. Even Jiwon though he was a jerk in the past but he was still redeemable. Which he was/has become.
    All in all I am very very satisfied with the ending. I believed in an EunSoo ending & That’s the ending we got. They gave a closing to all the major/minor s/ls that went on in this drama. We got to see what happened to everyone.
    I have watched many dramas in the past & i loved them all but this one would have to be my new fave just because the mere fact that I didn’t hate anyone. I cared for each character of this drama. Also the fact that this drama went against alot of the typical cliche drama plots/storylines.

    Coffee House was definitely a refreshing drama.
    Loved it. Definitely gonna miss it as well.

    Again thanks JB & GF for the summaries.

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  43. 43 lettuce

    It’s ending! I’m pleased with the ending, although the awesomeness level of the three kisses we have keep reduces (the phone booth kiss is my favourite – and the peak of my addiction level. the sunshine kiss is meh, not the actors but just the setting). I’m now an official loyal fan of Kang Ji-hwan, whom I previously did not know, and Park Shi-yeon, whom I gave credit for her improvement in Story of a Man but still did not really care about.

    Although the addiction wanes, we get to know some really amazing characters. Although emotionally tiring, it still manages to insert good vibes in every episode and overall i’s still a really solid drama. I did not regret the journey a single bit! Although finally I can focus a bit more on my thesis now (oh come on, the gumiho will just distract me right back).

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  44. 44 pipit

    The last scene of Jin Soo and Eun Young kissing by the ocean with the small waves and the sky in the back ground is incredibly beautiful (although I love the phone booth kiss more – it’s the best kissing scene that I’ve ever seen). This last kissing scene makes me feel a sort of contentment and sweetness. Perhaps that’s my problem, I compare this very scenic ending with how other previous episodes ended in which I either screamed with frustration of almost had an heart attack.

    Yes, I’m glad it’s a happy ending. The conclusion is good enough. It gives a happy ending to all the main characters. But I’m just happy. While at first I expected that CH will be able to make the greedy e ecstatic or at the very least deliriously happy. And I don’t know why I feel the way I feel. Perhaps it’s because of the lack of interaction/conversation between EUNSOO before their rendevous which makes me feel that I lost them even before the show ends.

    I think I’ve probably jinxed myself. I want it to be a happy ending so badly that deep inside the deepest corner of my heart I told myself that I’d be willing to accept anything as longs as it’s a happy ending. (I really sympathize with the people who are sulking in the already crowded corner. If it was me…..I don’t know what I’ll do to ease my disappointmen. A mere sulking wouldn’t do)

    Having said that, yes, Coffee House will go to my most favorite KDrama list. I’ll definitely recommend it to everybody as one of the best KDrama ever. A must see. It has almost everything to suit everybody’s taste. If one like comedy it has plenty of it. If one likes a more mature relationship CH will suit them. If onel ike layers CH is definitely for them. If one likes angs they’ll also find it in CH. If one likes Cinderella story I’ll let them know up front that it’s a cinderella story (to avoid them being disappointed in the end, and to enable them to enjoy CH as it should be.

    Love to everyone who watched this show and followed JB’s recaps. You make watching CH a more enjoyable experience (although the shippers’ wars were a little bit tiring but that’s part of the whole wonderful journey) . Love you guys.

    Lots of love and many thanks to JB and GF. You’re great.

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  45. 45 jj

    so JS and EY got together in the end….but what about JW, doesn’t anyone feel sorry for him??? Is love so fickle….only to be nudged out at the end?

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  46. 46 rainerust

    Completely adored the ending, although once it was over, I felt a little let down, like, ooooh NOW what am I going to watch to fill my hours now that there’s no more quirky Jin-soo & Eun-young? Still, very satisfactory ending.

    Although I’ve had issues with Seung-yeon throughout the drama, this was the episode where I was really impressed with her, especially in that moment where she tried to smile, laugh and congratulate Jin-soo & Eun-young while her own heart was breaking. Pretty good acting on Eun-jung’s part – the girl can definitely consider a career in this field, although I hope she doesn’t pick a similar character next time around. Seung-yeon after the first time-leap was much less annoying than the initial character fortunately, but still…

    Anyway! Am over it, and can’t wait til the next drama comes along…Thanks, once again, JB!

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  47. 47 yoyo

    he’s a good actor too bad his drama is low rating

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  48. 48 Dara

    Through the end of your comment, I think hard about this one,
    ” Which, by the way, is a cute way to tie the whole business-or-friendship question. ” I suppose it is related to the rooftop scene where JS asked EY to choose one between friendship and business? So at the end he compromises with both. Really, really admires the skills of this writer and director, and will be looking forward to their next project.

    All in all, CH is up top on my list for Kdrama this year for its superb writing, directing, acting and the whole unconventional setups. The last episode really made it different for me. I’m now quite satisfied with the role of SY in this drama, which confused me earlier.

    I would like to thank you,JB, for recapping this wonderful drama. If it wasn’t for your comments , I would have dropped it by ep3. I was so annoyed by SY acting in the earlier episodes. I wish they made her act normal, dress nice yet naive in the professional world instead of this bumpy girl. It will be more convincing and equaling in the love triangle. She’s acting against two solid actors for crying out loud. I wonder if this is the reason behinds the low ratings and shipper wars. She got so much screen time as lead but her acting was not solid enough to convince most viewers but some, thus creates this shipper wars. But I’m satisfied with her role in the last episode, she did have a nice moment with the main lead.

    Phewww! It’s over, no more online streaming drama for now, it’s so tiring.
    I still wish ‘Page One’ is the title of this drama and I’m quite sure CH will do well overseas. KJH rocks!

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  49. 49 Dele

    During the whole oppa thing, I was laughing so hard because it was just so kdrama oppa ish. His instant transformation into “the man” was hilarious. He practically melted at her feet.

    I really loved this finale, except for the Julia bit, it was a cringe worthy few minutes. I loved the pages after page one for the main couple, it was a nice way to show that life goes on but now they are in it together, they’re on the same page and writing the rest of their story as one. Haha, I hope Dong-wook gets his happy ending in K-drama afterlife. I kind of liked how they could be the younger version of JS/EY. You can start of as friend, or feeling indifferent towards someone, but time can open your heart to them. I like that DW was willing to wait, and try to win her over.

    Time was a significant theme in this drama to me, time to heal, time to grow, time to just be. Each page was a moment or moments in our lives that lead to the next one. It was def a unique drama, and I hope we get more dramas with female leads like EY.

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  50. 50 fromdblock

    I’ve been waiting for this! :)

    I am very much satisfied with the ending… Coffee house has totally won my heart and I became an even bigger fan of kang ji hwan.

    thanks javabeans! reading your recaps is definitely refreshing but reading your comments is what I enjoy more ;)

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