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Hong Sisters drama hit with accusations of plagiarism

It looks like upcoming Hong Sisters drama The Discovery of Affection is coming up against many a roadblock on its way to the small screen. It’s been hit with accusations of plagiarism, based on the synopsis for the drama’s storyline, and now a few things are coming into focus: speculation is that original leading man Lee Seung-gi dropped the series due to these complications, and that the scenario was re-written to skew older, thus paving the way for new leading man Cha Seung-won.

While none of the casting has actually been finalized (Gong Hyo-jin is still the top contender for leading lady) this does explain the one thing that had me confused: not why one actor was chosen over another, but why they were so DIFFERENT. The thing that originally had me baffled (okay, after the wailing and gnashing of teeth) was the fact that if you were going to cast Lee Seung-gi for a role, you wouldn’t follow up that SAME character with…Cha Seung-won. That’s crazy. So now it finally makes sense in my head, why the changes took place. (Because that’s what’s important, natch.)

The plagiarism accusation itself comes from Union Entertainment, the production company behind Queen of Reversals. Union has an online novel/web-toon called That’s Why I Married an Anti-Fan [그래서 난 안티팬과 결혼했다], which they say the Hong Sisters ripped off for their latest drama. In it, an actor and an actress participate in a fake marriage variety show, which is the major point of contention that they say is the same in the drama synopsis.

MBC argues that if that storypoint is the one being argued against, then well, THEY aired fiction-meets-reality series We Got Married long before the the web-toon, so there. (Implied: *neener, neener*) I’m going to have to agree with MBC on this one, because even though I haven’t seen That’s Why I Married an Anti-Fan, I know they didn’t invent the fake marriage show. We Got Married is a long-established and very popular mock-reality series that’s been (fake) marrying off celebrities to one another for over three years now.

Perhaps it was the constellation of character types and situation (originally a has-been actress was to be paired with a younger rising actor in the fake marriage), which would explain the re-writing of the main characters and the sudden change in casting direction. Lee Seung-gi’s management has released a statement that the plagiarism scandal is not the reason he bowed out of the project, but it stands to reason that the rewriting occurred because of the legal trouble.

It’s not like the Hong Sisters are the Second Coming or that they never make mistakes, but if there’s one thing they’re known for, it’s taking a very common drama situation and making it completely, if ridiculously, their own. Their trademark is distinct, so I actually find it funny that someone thinks suing them for plagiarism is gonna stick, because a) the drama has to actually be written and AIR, and b) by the time it does, I doubt the accusation will hold any water.

Interestingly, this is PD Park Hong-kyun‘s second drama in a row to be hit with a plagiarism scandal. Last year’s megahit Queen Seon-deok was embroiled in a plagiarism controversy of its own, also with MBC. It’s not his fault, but that’s two strikes too many, and it’s clearly going to be an uphill battle if The Discovery of Affection is coming up against this sort of thing so early in the game.

Strangely enough, this news actually makes me MORE intrigued by the drama, because the premise now sounds more interesting, and I’ve always been fascinated by the real-fake-real dynamic of shows like We Got Married, which plays entirely on the affection that grows between two people acting like they’re married…but for a “reality” show…which is totally fake. Putting all that into a drama is like 10,000 levels of meta…which is AWESOME. Though sadly, it seems that they’re planning to rewrite a lot of the original concept because of the ensuing scandal.

The Discovery of Affection will follow Royal Family, as scheduled, on MBC.

Via Chosun

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Nooooo!! I really like the "We Got Married" concept! It would have been really fun to watch the hijinks happen between a younger actor marrying an older actress. It could also be because I am in totally withdrawal from Hyun Joong and HwangBo's fake marriage. One of my ultimate favourites! Actually, I just loved "We Got Married" in general. Like you Girlfriday, now I am intrigued by the show. Definitely checking it out just to see if it'll have a hint of "We Got Married" in it.

The "That's Why I married an Anti-Fan" sounds interesting too. I think I shall also look that up.

I'm also not complaining about the whole Lee Seung-gi to Cha Seung-won switch. Although I still do like the whole younger actor to older actress idea, but still, I think I'm gravitating towards Cha Seung-won more. Ah well, any Hong Sisters drama choices end up making me happy anyway! :)

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Ssangchu Love!!!! Yep, I'm a Ssangchu shipper too. This drama would have rocked if they played out the could-have-been romance between Ssangchu couple just to satisfy us shippers. Or maybe even the Ant couple because their relationship was also very interesting.

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ahhh! In here for the Ssangchu loving also.

Girlfriday, if I didn't blatantly confess my internet lurve for you time and again, I would totally do it now just b/c you use Ssangchu pic.

And yes, I realize I'm a loserfish shipper but man, Ssangchu was totally how I got into K-entertainment. It's like a first love. You can't ever forget it <3

Like Chocolatetree tho, I rather like the switch to Cha Seung Won b/c he makes me swoon a little.

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You know what? They should just hire Hyun Joong and HwangBo as leads and call it a day. i really missed these two. We Got Married was just not the same after their departure. =(

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I'm not a big fan of younger guy/older woman pairing. But I have to agree. I'm a big fan of Ssangchu couple <3 They're interactions is so cute, I love how sometimes hwangbo acted like HJ's older sister in the show, they're not exaggerating lovey dovey affection (which I much really fond of them). They're so funny, and they complement each other, even though in their quirkiest own way.

But in this case, I think I'm rooting Cha Seung Won more! He's so daaaaaaaaamn irresistable! My one and only ajusshi crush! Yeah, considering the age gap difference between him and me, I should call him ajusshi rather than oppa. LOL.

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their interactions oh geez typo. you don't have any edit button JB? LOL

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Well, why don't they patent the "cancer", and "contract marriage", the "evil monster-in-law" as well ?

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Hahahahaha!

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Someone patent the wrist-grab quick!

The royalties are going to make you a millionaire in no time...

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don't forget the famous back hug.

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And the piggyride , the fever and the silly main character girl..sooo korean ¬¬

I love hong sister's dramas, they can take a well known story, but they make it their own...go drama goo!!! i'm wating for this...i don't believe in wgm but it's funny how much people believe in the couples made their. I hope the story makes fun of that. Maybe it will motivate me to watch the mbc show.

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Yeah! The fever after a few hours in the rain! HAHA

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I dont also believe in WGM and honestly hate it because it spurs on crazed fans who believe in the couples too much..so I hope if ever this pushes through, Hong sisters will make a parody out of this.
btw..."forced relationships" "contract marriages" "boy-girl forced to live under same roof" plot devices are sooooo tiring, overused, not only in kdramas but in reality shows as well.
another thing...its funny, WGM is touted as a reality show but it's anything but one..which is why a drama parody seems funny haha.

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also the trip-and-fall-into-kiss and the splashing-glass-of-water-on-face.

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I really wanted to see Lee Sunggi in the next Hong sister's drama.
OTP
Ooohh!!! Ssangchu couple!! They were my fave!!

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i also don't think they should be plagiarized. i'm looking forward to this drama, no matter who they cast (well, that may be a lie)

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What the heck!!! No matter what as GF said this is a HONG SISTERS drama, for goodness sake, so I'm still on board. They have known to re hash old plots to new ones before like the fantasy couple. So I don't understand the plagiarsm accusations since the drama hasn't been aired yet.

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Maybe if Queen of Reversals didn't last forever and a day they could have done a drama for this web toon.

What can I say, it's not another high school musical drama so I don't care. Whoever gets to the trend first. ...aaannnddd go!

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hahah. if only in understand creative rights better, maybe i can appreciate this news. but at this moment, all i can say is "WTH?" lol. i love the the fake marriage concept ala we got married. dun really mind watching the same thing as long as the chemistry is there.

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yup... too many repetitive things can be found in one drama to another drama...
it might be considered plagiarization if they copy the same characters, same scenes, same background, same lines...
anyway... this is HONG sisters, i belive they are creative enough to create something daebakkk

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yay im so happy this drama is still gonna air

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Plagiarism when it comes to dramas is an ambiguous thing. So many of the concepts used have just been rehashed material ---- the main difference is HOW they make it different, that extra something to make it special. When it comes to the Hong sisters, they manage to hit the mark many a time. Now all I can say is, Drama, fighting! ~

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ACK! Fake marriage/contract marriage are one of my favorite tropes and I SO wanted to see how the Hong sisters would put their on spin on the whole thing. The meta that was supposed to be written into the drama with the whole WGM angle was going to be fantastic, imho. I'm saaaad they'll rewrite that concept. So very sad.

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Nooooo! I love younger guy older girl pairings! Then adding the fake/marriage concept? Something....I'm a bit tired of to be honest BUT handled by the Hong sisters? Yes yes yes! And now....no no no? Oh......

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I swear my WGM addiction is just as bad as my drama addiction. Perhaps it's cause WGM is nearly as dramatic as a drama? Lol...

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...i'm sure its just publicity! whatever, but as drama addict, we know its far from plagiarism. They might have the same plot, but I doubt its the same masterly skilled writing from Hong sister. Anyway, same with gf, whats with the big shift from LSG to CSW and I think instead of the actress being the noona now its the other way around. And the idea of fake marriage! well I'm getting intrigue...

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Yeah, seriously! I wonder if those making the accusations have EVER seen a Hong Sisters' drama... there is NO way that their fresh, fun writing style could be plagiarism! They take the normal set-ups and make them hilarious!!! If anything, I think they are just worried that the Hong Sisters would show how lacking their webtoon is.

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plagiarism? blah blah blah. i don't care enough

and omo, wgm is my second best 'something to watch' after dramas.

so? whatever, i'm in !
just do not change so much the original plot for encounter this non-sense publicity

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love the fake marriage concept, WGM is one of my favorite shows so a drama version would be awesome...love how girlfriday put up my favorite WGM pairings, Lettuce and Khuntoria couple♥

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Anyhow, i`m SUPER HAPPY that from this incident came CSW to the rescue (*sort of~)..."Gukkie..i wanna brand name handbag to go,please..." ;P

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There's a saying in the writing world: there are no new scenarios because every scenario has been done - it's how you tweak the story and the twists that make it good or bad. This fake marriage to real love story not a new concept, nor is younger man/older woman, which is what a lot of people have already pointed out. It seems sort of, dare I say it, petty and jealous for them to slap out the plagiarism angle. I suppose it's publicity for their web show, though.

But you know this could actually be good for TDOA. It could actually make it a better. At least I tell myself that because I like the Hong Sisters. I do hope they use Lee Seung-gi again very soon, though. There's just something about him that always makes me smile.

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a WGM-esque drama done by the Hong Sisters would have been amazing. too bad about the accusations, that plotline is a potential crack drama in the making. (another writing project for moi? but I already have so many... T_T)

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I just Wish it was Kim Sun Ah rather than the other actress. She might be cute but Sun Ah is compatible when it comes to Cha Seung Won!!!!

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I don't think Hong Sisters' work can be said to be plagiarized, but they have to work hard to gain some respect in the industry.

First, they are gifted as far as mixing things up. This could have come from their growth and experience out of being writers of variety shows. But they have to begin writing original stories. All of their dramas were accused of plagiarism at one point another, and this happens because Hong Sisters take bits and parts of other work and combine it as one. They do a very good job this, but people are getting annoyed by the fact that there are no original work in their creation.

This usually show up in Hong Sister's ratings, as they tend to do poorly, especially in recent years. Hong Sisters are heavily criticized in Korea for not being able to move outside of their comedy writing style evident from their variety show days. I think this is a bit of over criticism, but I do agree that they need to focus on new things.

More and more, grabbing bits and pieces from other people's work and putting it together as one will be criticized. Because while they have been able to avoid plagiarism in legal sense, it becomes very difficult to argue in their favor from the viewer's point of mind.

I'm one of the few who like this non sibling Hong Sisters over the real Hong Sisters in Korea. I do like their writing flow better than the real Hong Sisters. But I agree, they need to stop taking bits and parts of pieces from other projects and create something new.
Because if they can't do this, they will only continue being successful in the foreign market, idol dramas, due to the fact that fans aren't aware of where they got their work and due to the fact that the viewers haven't seen the originals so it comes off fresh.

I was very disappointed with YAB and MGFINTFox.
I enjoyed the finished product of YAB, but they took so many parts from older projects, and that was annoying. MGFINTFox was just horrible, they took parts from older projects than failed to make it at least as good as YAB. It's time for them to create new things.

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Stab me if you want but I don't like the "yes cheph" girl.
My reality sucked big time. When I watch drama, I want to see pretty people. looking at her just like me looking into the mirror or over my window or starring at people who stand in front of me in Mcdonald.

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*stab*

=P

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what kind of Mcdonalds do YOU got to :P one in twilight land?
I guess you also see Robert Pattinson hanging out in your local KFC?
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oh yes i almost forgot *STAB*

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*stab* ;P

I like the "yes, chep" girl! She's talented than those plastic fantastic k-actresses and her inner beauty just radiates on screen. Gong Hyo-Jin fighting!!!

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I read from some source that CSW was actually the intended lead male actor in the drama and not LSG; so CSW was also kinda puzzled by all the rumors that he's "substituting" LSG (not that it has been finalized that he'll join the crew).

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If CSW is the lead, cannot see actress GHJ playing opposite him. I don't feel she is strong enough. Have only seen her in Thank You and Pasta and am not convinced.

My personal favorite is KSA (great together in City Hall) and I would love to see them in another series.

However, I can see Kim Ha Neul of My Girlfriend is an Agent holding her own with CSW.

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watch her hold her on against rain and gong yoo.. then repeat you posting...

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If they were smart, they would:
cast BOTH LSG and CSW
as RIVALS
for a non-Korean woman
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ME!

Plagiarism issue solved.

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Why don't they pay royalties for using an WGM idea, shoot drama about the same actress in the WGM show in 2 different pairings (with younger and older actor :-), then add a "true" boyfriend into the mix? We would have a hilarious 3-men-fighting-for-one-woman drama...

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Sounds a little like MSOAN, which should have worked if they didn't lose their minds somewhere in there...

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Honestly, I don't like the idea of casting GHJ from the beginning, Now that the lead actor switched from LSG to CSW, It's obvious; I'm not the only one that oppose it.

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hmm... I smell another Harlequin style romance. But I totally like! haha

I hope they didnt switch up the storyline too much;
Ssangchu couple and Mania couple were my favorites from WGM season 1 (and R&B couple season 2). It doesnt even seem like that long ago...

:( Time flies.

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i was really curious how they could be slapped with a plagiarism scandal when we haven't heard much about the drama or the characters. Reading about it, now the accusations are ridiculous!

on the bright side, this can get the Hong sisters to work harder to create an awesome, original story to shut up the accusers. And I think more people will want to check out the drama now! I'm really curious abt what goes on behind the scenes in We Got Married.

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They obviously put way more effort into their first drama, Choonhyang, than the later ones. Their dramas HAVE been getting worse as the years go by..they really need to pull their energy together and try again like they're writing for the first time.

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have to disagree with that.
chunhyang fell apart midway. tried to finish it twice and couldn't both times.

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NOOOO! Really?!

Chun Hyang is my #1 k-drama OF ALL TIME. It's a combination of great script, great story, and great actors. When one aspect starts to suck, the other parts make up for it.

(I'm also waiting for JB to come out and defend Chun Hyang here...)

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I try really hard to finish Chun Hyang but never..towards the end I lost interest..

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I loved Chunhyang too! It slowed a bit for an episode or two, but wasn't really painful. Still stands up to the test of rewatching. And I think Chunhyang may be the most intelligent heroine out of all the Hong Sister heroines. She is also one of the least cute (maybe it's Han Chae Young's older-sister-sounding voice).

My Girl: awesomeness for 12 episodes and then felt rushed.
Fantasy Couple: Nicely paced and very enjoyable, but wasn't as captivating. Didn't really make me feel for the characters.
Hong Gil Dong: An impressive venture for the Hong Sisters. Addictive for the first 19 episodes, then slowed to traditional sageuk pace for 4.5 episodes before being hit with one of the most heartwrenching, goosebump-inducing endings I've ever seen. Should have kept it a 20 episode drama or something.
You're Beautiful: addictive but shallowly written. In the end, what did we really know about the characters?
My Girlfriend is a Gumiho: wonderful except for some uncomfortable rehashes of old Hong sister tropes.

I think the older coupling in this new project will allow them to bring something fresh to the table.

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Have to disagree, Chunhyang started off as a rather clever, witty drama then halfway through the plot, things started falling apart.
They couldn't maintain the momentum the first ten episodes brought and it went awkward instead right up to the ending.

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loved "A" couple: crown j and seo inyoung
and then adam/petite couple: son gain<3 & jo kwon
still hoping they will cast a younger actor.
not really a fan of cha. maybe baek seunghyun? someone relatively unknown?
p.s LOVE gong hyo jin, great choice. esp. loved how played her character in the movie Family Ties

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May I ask that you not write in slang any longer- 'meta'. Hmm.... as an English woman I have no idea what that means.

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I think it is not so much slang as industry jargon, which this site does a good job defining for us in their recaps and write ups:

"A term, especially in art, used to characterize something that is characteristically self-referential."

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As an add-up to what Jomo posted above, meta actually refers to the concept of the "show within a show within a show" the Hong Sisters are planning to do with this drama.

It's not a slang term, it's a pretty common prefix in English words. Heck, there's even a meta-word.

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i am VERY VERY excited if they play off the "we got married" concept. I think it's very intriguing how they can put this as a drama!

i mean first, "you're beautiful" with an idol band, which became a HUGE hit playing off the "idol" theme and now a fake marriage reality show concept???

it's gonna be amazing :D

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I will watch this one if it's going to be Ms Gong and Mr Cha. If it's Ms Gong and Mr Lee, then I won't be bother.

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Aww, nooo! I hope they don't change the plot that much. I loved the SSANGCHU COUPLE. That would have been like the ultimate fanfic. Haha.

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Yongseo!!! Oh, I miss the Yongseo couple, even though they haven't left yet.

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Aaah, love love fake marriage.. Khuntoria in wgm already re-enacted some kdrama scene from bof, kim sam soon, full house, yab..
Yab 'youre the star bla bla' never fail to make me laugh when used by khuntoria
Love joongbo, adam and junjin couple...
It would great if hong sister make fun other k-drama scene...

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oh no dramabeans...you used ssanchu pic. Now the crazed jongbooers are gonna spam your blog !!! get ready to deflect their insanities!

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WGM compared to the other reality shows is really the most similar to a drama in that it has a main couple forced to live with each other, and main couple is forced to participate in games, activities and whatnot to make them appear closer, as to gain the audiences love...and for the most part it is really a loosely scripted show with the main couple doing ad-libs...but usually they have to appear to "like" each other even though that might not be the case...so yes WGM is just another drama repackaged as being a reality show!

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