Drama Recaps
Can’t Lose: Episode 7
by | September 14, 2011 | 49 Comments

Can’t Lose continues to be funny, cute, and heart-warming at times. It’s too bad it’s probably destined to fly under the radar for most, because it’s a nice antidote to a lot of the angst out there. Real conflicts, real issues, but told in a light and humorous way.

One marriage hurtles further along the divorce train, but another gets some crucial honesty flowing and manages to repair the damage before it’s too late. Alas, it’s the main couple that hits the skids again, although it IS pretty amusing to watch everybody and their mother (literally! times two!) oppose this split. It’s like they can see what the couple is too stubborn and prideful to see — that they love each other and would rather stay together. If not for that pesky honesty/trust issue…


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In their mediation session, Hyung-woo is so hurt by Eun-jae’s admission that she never loved him properly, assuming she means she never loved him, that he declares the divorce is ON.

Professor Jo, naturally, throws a fit and chastises the couple with his offbeat brand of anger and mockery. He then calms down and suggests that they hold off till the next mediation session, but both spouses are intent on taking this all the way to trial.

Hyung-woo accuses her of acting, and they both vow to show the court just how at fault the other party was in this marriage.

Professor Jo sees that both parties are serious, and if they’re both intent on going through this messy, contentious ordeal knowing what’s in store for them, well, who is he to stop them? Bitterly, he says he’s going to stick with the case and see who’s right and wrong.

Afte the arbitration, they separate and lick their wounds. Eun-jae cries, telling herself she was dumb for considering giving it another try.

They slap on bright smiles upon their return to the office, though, making the employees think they worked it all out. Hyung-woo slings an arm around Eun-jae’s shoulder and declares, “Nope, we’re going to trial.”

The office is quick to take sides, with Gogi hastening to talk to Hyung-woo and Woo-shik heading over to Eun-jae’s office. Both lawyers advise their lackeys to keep mum on their info, while digging around for the other side. Furthermore, they’re both instructed to win over free agent Deuk-hee onto their sides. Ha, so now it’s war on all fronts, is it?

Eun-jae thinks over the evidence she has gathered as her grounds for divorce, which consists of that photo of Hyung-woo and his ex-girlfriend and a bar graph contrasting the revenues generated by each (where her contributions far outweigh his). She decides she’ll have to gather more.

Hyung-woo’s on the defensive, and his tactic consists of finding ways to block Eun-jae from building up a compelling case against him.

Gogi and Woo-shik head out to dinner together at Young-joo’s restaurant, where a surly Professor Jo enters and refuses to sit with them, saying that he’s keeping a distance from people involved in the divorce case. But then he sighs and speaks aloud — ostensibly to himself, but directing his comments pointedly at the bickering lackeys — that men who get caught up in such petty acts of spite aren’t really men, cutting them down to size.

He adds that there’s a way to get the warring lawyers to come to their senses, which gets Gogi and Woo-shik’s attention. The answer? “Sabotage.”

This whole scene is pretty hilarious, with the two lackeys asking Professor Jo for advice while keeping up the pretense that they’re totally not talking to him, per his stated intent. So they just toss out questions into the ether, and Professor Jo coughs a yes or a no, until he directs them right where he wants them. “Keeping a distance,” my ass. Ha. He’s the meddliest meddler who ever meddled.

Gogi arrives at the idea to keep up the front that they’re helping Hyung-woo and Eun-jae while feeding them false information, such as the other party totally being lovelorn and heartbroken.

Eun-jae’s ramyun-and-beer dinner is interrupted by a loud drilling noise, which turns out to be Hyung-woo having the door lock unscrewed to let him in. She orders him to leave, but he points out that kicking him out is relevant to her grounds for divorce (thus detrimental to her case), and she grimaces — he’s got a point.

He sits down to settle their debts, and requests repayment of the 100,000 won she “borrowed” from him to shop for groceries, since all she bought were things for her to eat. She retorts that since she put more money into buying their place, she’s going to claim more of it to use. They rattle off their conditions like petty little children, limiting showers to 10 minutes, tacking on cleaning duties, and the like.

While she’s in the other room, Hyung-woo busts out his own camera and gets to work gathering his own “evidence” of Eun-jae’s slovenly housekeeping habits.

He finds his shower interrupted, though, as Eun-jae cuts the hot water and declares his time up. And then she stands there in the doorway casting a disdainful look southward. Hee.

Hyung-woo’s mother calls Eun-jae’s mother to announce happily that her son has moved back home. That’s promising, and they both wish for grandkids right away, so Hyung-woo’s mother can dote on them and babysit.

Eun-jae’s mother asks hesitantly if she could be included, and Hyung-woo’s mom assures her that she can come over when the kids are at her house, without Eun-jae knowing.

Aw. I love how these moms have developed a grudging friendship, because we can see that they’re actually quite lonely and each could use a good friend. Also, they’ve settled upon using banmal with each other, which normally isn’t done with in-laws so as to maintain the proper distance and respect — but in this case, starting off on the wrong foot has actually bridged this gap nicely.

Hyung-woo waits till Eun-jae is asleep that night to sneak into their study and attempt to break into her laptop. Only, he finds that she’s already anticipated this and put up a warning wallpaper on the login screen.

He gives up and heads to his own station, where he reads a new email. It’s nothing too shady (it’s just a “Hey, I’ve been busy lately, how are you?” email, though written very familiarly), but his reaction makes it suspicious; when Eun-jae opens the door, he swiftly shuts the laptop and pretends to be doing something else.

In the morning, Eun-jae’s coughing and shivering, groaning in pain and saying she’s going to work from home today. Hyung-woo’s suspicious, wondering if she’s acting, but looks at her in concern the more she lies there with the aches. The moment he leaves, though, Eun-jae snaps to attention and hurries to the study. Now it’s time for her to try to guess his password, and she flips through a PC troubleshooting manual for some help.

She manages to break in, but hears the front door unlock — it’s Hyung-woo, who hasn’t been able to shove aside his concern and has come back. She scrambles to her own desk and puts her head down in time to continue the sick ruse, and he sets down some medicine for her.

He leaves, and Eun-jae grabs the papers she printed — copies of his emails. Now she reads, and finds that he’s been writing to this “green tea” person for two years. Despite the absence of romantic undertones in the notes, it sure doesn’t look good with his history, and knowing he’s been keeping the correspondence from her also hurts.

She shows up for work saying that she’s all better now, and finds that Hyung-woo has taken an appointment with her client, in the name of helping her out. She shows up and tells him she can take it from here, but Hyung-woo’s been doing such a good job the client is pleased to let him stay, and Hyung-woo — who is now onto her for faking sick — lays on the faux concern, telling her to rest up, since he’s got this meeting well in hand.

So Eun-jae is forced to concede. As she leaves, she grumbles that Hyung-woo’s “totally not suited” for this kind of (paying, non-humanitarian) work, although it’s really like she’s trying to tell herself that’s the case, when he’s actually quite good at it. But two can play this game, and when Hyung-woo comes to the office for his appointment, he finds that the Eun-jae has taken over his case. He uses the same argument on her, that this kind of case isn’t up her alley, but she replies that she’s quite interested in this kind of work; it’s just that she was too busy earning money to take the cases.

Time for the saboteurs to leap into action. Gogi shares an exciting new discovery, and relates the story of Woo-shik and Eun-jae having lunch together, where she confessed that sometimes she still thinks Hyung-woo can be pretty impressive. Hyung-woo chides Gogi for falling for a lie, pointing out that Eun-jae doesn’t eat nae-jang-tang. (Fish intestine soup, yum! Actually, despite the description, it kind of is delicious.)

Likewise for Woo-shik, who tells Eun-jae how Gogi and Hyung-woo went to the sauna together, where Hyung-woo confessed that he wished somebody would stop Eun-jae from proceeding, because she’s still the only one for him. Eun-jae sniffs out the fishiness, though, saying Hyung-woo can’t stand extreme heat and would never go to a sauna.

The failed saboteurs sigh over their futile attempts, and Gogi says that clearly lies don’t work on these two. But Woo-shik says his story was true — Eun-jae was eating nae-jang-tang, but Hyung-woo thought she disliked it when she just refrained because he disliked it. And Gogi’s story was likewise true — he had to drag Hyung-woo with him to the sauna.

They wonder if they should clarify to the couple that the stories were really true, but figure that it won’t work because now they’ll just think everything is a lie.

Eun-jae heads out to meet somebody, and a curious Hyung-woo follows. His temper flares when he sees her meeting Mr. Hot Bartender himself, Tae-young, and he grabs his camera to get some proof of his own.

They head inside a Brooks Brothers store and Eun-jae picks out several items of women’s clothing, although to a jealous Hyung-woo, it just looks like a date. Especially when Tae-young leaves with the bags.

He takes them to Eun-jae’s mother, who tells him he shouldn’t have — she knows he doesn’t make enough for these clothes, but he can’t argue — and gasps at a glimpse of the price tag. He just tells her what Eun-jae must’ve told him, that clothes can lift spirits and that they’re for her to wear when she goes out.

And now I wonder…could Tae-young actually be Eun-jae’s brother? I’ve been wondering if this is an intentional misdirect, and Eun-jae does make a comment about how he calls her by name (instead of, say, noona). Hm…

Hyung-woo arrives home to find that Eun-jae has invited the staff and Young-joo over for dinner, and sweet-talks them, clearly trying to win them over to her side. She tells them that she really loves Hope, and that she hopes they’ll all root her on even when she takes it on alone. Oh, and Hyung-woo will be leaving soon and a new lawyer will be hired. That’s news to Hyung-woo, who retorts that he’s not going anywhere.

The night wears on and Gogi gets drunk, which loosens his tongue enough for him to declare that he really doesn’t want the couple to divorce. This sparks another argument with the wife, who gripes about him quitting his job, and Gogi bursts out sobbing, “I didn’t quit! I…was fired.”

That changes things, and Young-joo sighs in frustration, telling him that he should have told her (and not gotten her angry for the wrong reasons). Gogi sobs that he couldn’t because he didn’t want to disappoint her, and is half-carried out by Hyung-woo while crying. Aw. Well, that’s hard for his pride to take but it’s probably a huge step toward reconciliation for that couple, so I’m happy the truth is out.

Hyung-woo criticizes Eun-jae for contributing to a scene that hurt Gogi, but she corrects him, saying that Gogi was honest about his feelings with Young-joo, and that the couple is sure to rebound from this. In fact, she’s envious of Young-joo, because if Hyung-woo had been this honest instead of hiding secrets from her, they’d never have gotten to this state.

Good/bad news arises the next day, when Young-joo marches on over to Gogi’s old office and gives his boss hell for firing him — not because he was incompetent, as the manager asserts, but because Gogi had challenged him on his own corrupt behavior. The manager shoves Young-joo aside and she hits the ground, which sends Gogi (who’s just arrived with Hyung-woo) rushing to her side. She apologizes for giving him such hell for quitting, and Gogi gets in his boss’s face.

The boss tells him to go file a lawsuit then, not aware that two lawyers are right there listening to Gogi rail about how filed complaints with the office, and how he didn’t get a proper severance. Eun-jae goes after the manager, and Hyung-woo chimes in to declare that they’re going to file for wrongful termination and back wages.

They’re in full accord until the manager walks away, at which point it occurs to them to find their momentary truce awkward. Aw, they make such a good team when they’re not at each other’s throats.

But just in time to wreck any potential goodwill of recent events, a deliveryman arrives with letters for Eun-jae and Hyung-woo. They open them and find legal documents filed by the other — he’s insisting that he owns the name Hope, while she’s going after alimony.

Thus, when they sit down to work on Gogi’s case together, they’re both feeling mighty petty. Hyung-woo demands his fountain pen back, which reminds Eun-jae that he’s wearing the jacket she bought him. She rips of her necklace, he kicks off his shoes, and suddenly it’s like the angriest game of strip poker in here.

They walk out of the office wearing shower slippers and wish their staff a happy Chuseok. Eun-jae’s intending to go to Hyung-woo’s mother’s house for the Chuseok celebration tomorrow, to his surprise, and he tells her she can cry off, given that they’re in the middle of suing for divorce. Plus, she doesn’t even like his mother.

Eun-jae looks hurt at that — it’s like she hasn’t thought beyond the divorce to the other stuff, like being left out of family holidays.

She winds up sitting in Young-joo’s restaurant eating dinner alone when Young-joo finds her. She’s just come from picking up little boxes of wine that look like juice, to fortify her for the evening to be spent at her own in-laws’ house, saying that these are the best for killing stress on the sly. That gives Eun-jae an idea, and she asks for six of those boxes for herself, deciding that she’ll stick to the original plan and go to Chuseok anyway.

Young-joo wonders if Eun-jae can’t just give up the divorce, but Eun-jae replies ruefully that now Hyung-woo’s the one pushing for it. She also warns Young-joo against filing for divorce, since it has a way of making you feel awful.

Hyung-woo and Gogi go out for drinks. Gogi asks if he has to go through with the divorce, but Hyung-woo’s still hurt from her confession at the mediation. “I never loved him properly” has turned into “I’ve never once liked him” and now he’s feeling bruised.

Gogi sighs about having to wade into the battlefield tomorrow when he gets caught between Mom and Wife. He cries, “Marriage is like math. There are so many difficult problems to solve, even if you don’t want to!” Hahaha. You don’t have to warn me twice.

Hyung-woo advises Gogi to stick with the wife, since he’s already chosen honesty over pride, which seems like advice he could be taking himself, if only we didn’t have such a tendency to be blind to solutions in our own lives that we see so easily in others’. He advises Gogi not to go through divorce, which is cruel and tiring.

Eun-jae’s mother sits in her restaurant alone, looking at photos of Eun-jae’s wedding. It’s a sad tableau, and as she walks out, Hyung-woo sees her leaving and says (to himself), “I’m really sorry, Mother.”

The next day, Hyung-woo and Eun-jae head over to his mother’s house together, agreeing to watch their mouths while they’re here.

Mom puts Eun-jae to work manning the giant frying pan, tsk-tsking when Eun-jae has trouble flipping a bindae-dduk (savory pancake) properly. Eun-jae busts out her trusty wine box and gets to drinking, sneaking back to the room for refills. It’s tiring, tedious work, and lonely to boot.

After her fifth or sixth box, she finds Hyung-woo doing the dishes, and he tells her to go rest. She sprawls into an armchair, which is how Mom finds her — always at the worst possible moment, right? Mom just says that it must be nice to have a husband who’ll do all that work for her, but Eun-jae isn’t fazed and slurs that nobody can understand couple problems except for the couple themselves.

Mom wonders at Eun-jae’s weird behavior and calls Hyung-woo over, who takes one whiff and can tell she’s drunk. He urges Eun-jae to go sleep it off, but she’s powered by liquid courage now, and she asks Mom plainly, “Why don’t you like me?”

Mom says a little defensively that she doesn’t, but Eun-jae reminds her of all the things she’s said about her in the past — she’s on the old side, comes from a poorer family, is “uselessly tall.” Eun-jae confesses with a teary smile, “But Mother, I’m lonely. I don’t even have anyone to complain to.”

Mom leans in: “Are you crying?” Eun-jae starts to sob, “I really wanted to be friends with you. I wanted to go to cafes together, watch movies, and go shopping.” Mom says they can do that next time, but Eun-jae says there’ll be no next time.

Hyung-woo tries to drag her away quickly before she can say something she shouldn’t, but Eun-jae slurs, “Now you won’t have to see me anymore! Aren’t you happy?”

Hyung-woo puts her to bed, watching her fall asleep with a heavy heart. The next morning as they head back home, Hyung-woo says it’s a good thing Mom didn’t catch on to the whole divorce thing, the way Eun-jae was running her mouth.

But Hyung-woo’s mother is sufficiently suspicious and calls Soju and Gogi over to grill them. The boys are nervous and jittery, and when she fishes around and uses the word divorce, Gogi bursts out, “They mentioned the divorce?” Soju tries to shut him up, but Mom has enough to know the truth, and she orders the boys to spill the truth, or die. Ha.

Eun-jae reads over the email correspondence between Hyung-woo and the mysterious “green tea,” which manages to make mundane things sound silly and flowery. For example: “I was looking at the sky today, and it was incredibly blue. Do you still like looking at the sky from your yard?”

At the office, Hyung-woo and Eun-jae talk to the staff before they’re to give their depositions…only to be met with three simultaneous resignations. Hee. The official from the courthouse arrives, and the three employees exit.

Eun-jae starts off with the email correspondence. He explains that the emails are with his mother, which she hardly believes; she tells the official that he hides a number of things from her, and that the trust in their marriage has been broken.

Hyung-woo brings up her shopping date with the Hot Bartender, then produces his recorder, which is one of his sources of evidence. Since he uses it like a diary, it has recordings of a number of his complaints with Eun-jae. For instance, he plays the parts where he named Hope, where she stopped talking to him, and when she hit him.

I don’t know if it’s necessarily admissible in court, but in any case this establishes two things: (1) Eun-jae isn’t the only one with complaints, and (2) He’s been recording for a year. It’s the latter that upsets her more, because even if he doesn’t mean it that way, it indicates that on some level, he was anticipating needing the recordings — right?

Hyung-woo’s mother arrives at Hope, finds them in the middle of their session, and accuses, “What the heck are you doing?”


Uh-oh. Now they’ve got one mom against them, and how much you wanna bet it doesn’t take long for her to bring the other mom in? And you just can’t go up against two forceful, strong-willed moms and expect to come up roses.

I do love how everyone’s uniting forces against the couple, to bring them back together. At the rate we’re going, it feels like they ought to be headed for reconciliation fairly soon, because both of them are feeling weary and lonely, and now seeing that maybe what they had is worth too much to throw away. With Gogi and Young-joo reconciling, it makes them even more lonesome, because now they’ve lost that person who agrees with how they feel. I’m not saying they decided to divorce at the power of suggestion, but perhaps it didn’t feel like such a stark decision when they had people cheering them on and agreeing that divorce sure looks good.

Still, Eun-jae and Hyung-woo still do have some fundamental issues to work out, like the honesty problem. Like Eun-jae points out, once trust is gone in a marriage, it’s awfully hard to believe the other person is being honest. And their pride is still too great to overcome, even when it might cost them a marriage. Lucky for them, moms are great at beating the pride out of you, especially when you’re acting like petty children.


49 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. white

    so adorable (:
    thanks for the recap

  2. lucille

    Belated Happy Chuseok everyone esp to JB/GF/team!

    THANKS JB! Been waiting for this since 6 am (my time)..
    Wahhh! really want to see HYUNIWOO couple’s romance and how HW will woo EJ… hope the writer will be making this up this soon…

  3. Black

    I kind of hope Eun-jae does divorces Hyung-woo, because I’m completely on her side. I can’t stand willfully ignorant people, which is how Hyung-woo comes off. Or he lacks a basic level of common sense and creates problems around him, especially for the one whom he’s suppose to love the most. It’s utterly frustrating, and I can’t stand people like that. At all levels of the misunderstandings, if HW just prioritized his wife’s well-being and truly listened to her, none of the mess would have occurred. I think I would be happier if EJ did go out with bartender guy. Even if he is her brother, an incest story line is more appealing to me right now than EJ getting back with HW, lol.

  4. Ani

    Man, Soju is so freaking hot.

    Anyways, I’d prefer Math over marriage any day, thank you very much.

  5. misolee

    i might be totally wrong on this…but i had this feeling since the last episode and felt today supported my theory even more…

    i think the Hotbar guy is Eunjae’s step brother. i think he’s the son of the guy whose Eunjae’s mom couldn’t let go. and even though Eunjae hates the guy…i think she formed some sort of bond with the son (Hotbar guy).

    Which also means since they’re step siblings…she can see their relationship as brother-sister. I think one time she mentioned “oh we can’t be that kind of relationship.” it sounded like more to it than just bc she was married. And as a step sibling Hotbar can have a crush on his stepsister bc technically…they’re not related.

    • 5.1 Ani

      I love this theory… Except, some people still count Step-siblings (ex-step-siblings now?) falling in love as a no-no. Supposedly almost as bad as (or equivalent to) in-laws marrying each other.

      • 5.1.1 anna

        “Except, some people still count Step-siblings (ex-step-siblings now?) falling in love as a no-no”
        Not like he has a chance in kdramaland with her anyway LOL

    • 5.2 Jday

      I also love this theory! I think it’d be so much better than them just being brother and sister b/c the chemistry between the two of them goes a little beyond the dynamic one sees between siblings! Of course, that could just be chalked up to the chemistry between the actors and not the characters themselves.

      Also, thank you so much for the recaps javabeans! I look forward to them every week! 🙂

  6. misolee

    i might be totally wrong on this…but i had this feeling since the last episode and felt today supported my theory even more…

    i think the Hotbar guy is Eunjae’s step brother. i think he’s the son of the guy whose Eunjae’s mom couldn’t let go. and even though Eunjae hates the guy…i think she formed some sort of bond with the son (Hotbar guy).

    Which also means since they’re step siblings…she can see their relationship as brother-sister. I think one time she mentioned “oh we can’t be that kind of relationship.” it sounded like more to it than just bc she was married. And as a step sibling Hotbar can have a crush on his stepsister bc technically…they’re not related.

    totally just a theory…

  7. Fg

    I bet “green tea” is EJ’s mom. He’s been emailing her. I cant pic him cheating and he said ‘mom’ so it must be MIL

    • 7.1 Ani

      I’m thinking it could be his little brother… Oh wait, they haven’t been in touch…. I just don’t think it’s Eun-jae’s Mom since he clearly hasn’t met her or had contact with her until now.

    • 7.2 daisy

      I guess so too. So wherethe Hyung-woo ‘s bro is?

      Both of them love each other so much. They need to firger out a way to express their true feeling.

      LOVE Professor Jo, Love Tow Mom.
      THANKS JB!

  8. Laeah

    I don’t think they will actually get divorced, because in this case, if they did, I think it would mean that they both gave up and I think in their heads they would both think the other didn’t love anymore.
    They are too stubborn, but I really don’t think they will actually go through with it. I think it’s both’s way of bringing the issues up.

  9. via

    wow.. can’t believe that HW recorded all EJ behaviour for as long as their marriage.. thats bad.. especially when he just looking for her mistakes, he should record a sweet moment between the couple not EJ lacking.. that is so bad.. ck ck ck…

  10. 10 anais

    I love Javabean’s way with words. The below had me tickled.

    And their pride is still too great to overcome, even when it might cost them a marriage. Lucky for them, moms are great at beating the pride out of you, especially when you’re acting like petty children.

    There’s sweetness, wit, insight, and respect all rolled into one in those two sentences.

  11. 11 kd101

    FINALLY!!! JB, I’ve been circling your site for 5 hours, waiting for the latest recap of Can’t Lose. Love this drama so much:)
    Thanks a million,

    The sabotage-planning scene is just so hilarious, it cracks my ribs. Can’t wait to have the other mom joining forces to beat the pride out of them and bring them to their senses. The more the merrier!Yay!

  12. 12 Noelle

    Man there are too many forces against them! Dang it what a girl gotta due to get these people to divorce!

  13. 13 Dara

    I LoL-ed so much, felt like watching kids fight for candies only it’s much more than that, also love two moms, they are so sweet.

    I really hope the drama will stick to the light and funny side, otherwise it’ll be tiring to see them fight in every episode.

    Thanks JB ^^

  14. 14 JD

    thanks, luff <3

  15. 15 add

    Thanks JB for helping to understand fully this great drama. I guess They both really don’t want to divorce. They will play around of divorcing process keeping chance to save marriage. Professor knows way. He will little push and friends will help them. Many many thanks for JB.

  16. 16 catelyn

    I am thoroughly enjoying this drama. Thanks for the recaps. It certainly made my day.

  17. 17 queencircles

    I should actually watch this. I’m loving the recaps. I seems so cute.

    I’m still trying to finish Best Love though!! OMG I’m so behind. At least I finally finished City Hunter. Fricken LOVED that show. Sooo good!

    I really want to watch Protect the Boss too. I need to stop working…

    • 17.1 queencircles

      Dang. Typos bug the crap out of me.

      …it seems so cute.

  18. 18 botox queen

    uh-oh! Did Choi Ji Woo got too much botox injection? Her eyebrows can’t seem to meet. Tsk…tsk… tsk…

    • 18.1 Cynthia

      Huh? Listen, if YOUR eyebrows can “meet”, I suggest a serious waxing. ASAP.

      • 18.1.1 jeezvive

        sorry, but i really really LOLed at this!

        Thanks JB and GF for the wonderful recap! I so kove hyuniwoo!!! Looking forward to your wonderful recap of EP8.

    • 18.2 sienna

      Yeah..it’s you again, McQueen, botox queen, with your anti CJW message.
      I know you didn’t even watch the drama. Your comment totally doesn’t make sense at all! You’ve been an anti for a number of years . Never fail to spread bad rumors about CJW. That’s all you can do?? hide behind dramabeans site? show me your fat face!

  19. 19 tonto

    The kiddie shows always seem to snag the ratings, but the grown up shows offer the excellence in acting. These veterans are still with us because they are so good at what they do. There will always be a place for the pros to continue. For that, I am eternally thankful…

    • 19.1 sienna

      Being a celebrity, especially females, is extremely difficult, too many competitions. Many newcomers are more talented, prettier, sexier, etc..etc.. Even if you have a peak in your career, rarely it’s sustainable long term.

      Having said this, I am proud of Choi Ji Woo that after 16 years since she debuted, she still stands firm. Is she the hottest star with big spotlight now? I would say no. But, she is a veteran and still has hold a special place in many viewers’ hearts. she is highly respected & loved and always be a top halyu star in Korea. There are only a few female celebrities in her generation who are still around and active in the showbiz. I can’t think of any other 37 yr old actresses who are as popular or more popular than her in Korea. Lee Young Ae, went hiatus to have a family though heard she is coming back. I give my bow to CJW who has lasted this long in the industry. She still maintains the number 1 most popular and sought after actress in Japan per recent surveys done by Nekkei (the most popular male is Jang Geun Suk). She is the top paying actress in Korea (used to be no 1 but beaten by Go Hyun Joong by a slight). She is in the top 5 actors who generated the most income in Japan in 2011. The other 4 actors were idols and singers. Star’s Lover might have not been rating successful in Korea, but went huge in Japan. She was able to get a huge CF account such as Shiseido and Christian Dior. She’s the only female celeb spokeperson of conglomerate Lotte corp, next to Bi Rain, Song Seung Hun, and other big male stars. She’s a big philanthropist too, went to Swaziland Africa last year to help with water project, and donated an enormous amount of money to charity. The list goes on and on..

      Jang Geun Suk revealed that You Are Beautiful DVD rentals finally beat Winter Sonata number in Japan. Ok..After 10 years, finally another drama is able to exceed WS. I say congratulations to YAB. 10 years is a long run.

      Sorry..why am I being longwinded here? I am a little tired of reading Smurfy and McQueen comments bashing this lovely actress, as if her value as an actress is only up to her beauty and young age. That now she’s no longer young and more wrinkles on her face, suddenly she shouldn’t be acting anymore? Keep hearing the same ugly bashing from Smurfy and McQueen in every episode recap. Enough is enough.

      Smurfy, you need to distinguish between Lee Eun Jae and Choi Ji woo and don’t get these two characters mixed up! LEJ stomping her feet in public places is just a drama, dude!
      Comparing her appearance to Meryl Streep in Death Becomes Her is just pure mean. If you have nothing good to say about her, then have some self control and keep your mouth shut.

      • 19.1.1 tonto

        No need to sweat the trolls, sienna. Any rational person knows that the lure into a Choi Ji Woo project is Ji Woo, herself. Her overwhelming popularity goes beyond simply being one the world’s most beautiful females. Comparing her visage to Streep is just too absurd for words. These people are just plain ugly on the inside and only their cats know the real them. By the way, when I spoke of the veteran talents, I was also very much refering to the ever lovely and impossibley talented Kim Ja Ok, who, despite being terminally cute, has delivered a wide variety of characters over the years that have had me alternately cheering and hissing her, but always happy to see her included in the production.

      • 19.1.2 SmurfY

        Sorry to have offended you, but that’s my honest opinion. Honestly, I think her acting was the best in Star’s Lover.

        The rating says it all, if you are still defending her. Let’s just hope that the drama will ever penetrate 7% and stays there.

        I just wish she will grow old gracefully like Meryl, and not forcing herself too hard to act funny, look young and behave childishly like what she is doing in CL.

        I also wish she can be comfortable under her own skin, then no doubt, she will look a classic natural timeless beauty of Hallyu. She is trying too hard, and it is counter productive!!!

        • asianromance

          Funny, I feel like this drama is where she is most comfortable in her own skin and felt the most natural. Maybe it’s because she does all those sappy dramas that we think her natural state must be mopey or else she is just over-acting?

          Being comfortable in one’s own skin doesn’t guarantee that she will look like a classic natural timeless beauty. Choi Ji Woo will age – she is already aging. She will get wrinkles and suffer sagging skin. But hopefully she will pick roles that suit her as she ages. I’m glad she has picked up the role of divorcee. I like how this drama is a drama featuring older people.

          as for ratings, this drama is a korean remake of a j-dorama – similar to the Man Who Can’t Get Married- and that drama didn’t do so well either. Guess the j-dorama sensibility isn’t for everyone – especially when two other amazing dramas are up and running at the same time.

          • SmurfY

            I don’t think she has entered the character yet. She is still trying to portray LEJ to the best of her knowledge. I guess it is hard for the scriptwriter to write a divorce story while she and CJW are still single. I believe they have to experience marriage and divorce to make LEJ’s character more convincing.

            I would like to hear some married and divorce person view.

            I can understand HW, Gogi and the supervisor case perfectly. Despite that, I found the scriptwriter was not able to make a convincing character for HW. Nevertheless, Gogi and the supervisor were great, or rather both the actor who played Gogi and the supervisor were comedians.

        • anais

          Meryl did not grow old gracefully. She cultivated a wacky matron persona. Have no idea whether that’s more like her actual personality, but it’s quite far from her persona as a beautiful 20- or even 30-something heroine. Personally, I found that 180 degree change in persona rather jarring.

          That said, let’s just not compare actresses as people. Especially across cultures, national boundaries, and heck an entire Pacific Ocean dividing the Eastern/Western hemispheres. Koreans and Americans have different gendered relationships to aging.

          Lastly, after having seen her on 1 Night, 2 Day, her persona/lity seems much more youthful and exuberant. That’s just her. Leave her be. If you don’t like her, don’t watch this. She’s not my favorite either, but the hate I don’t get.

          • SmurfY

            I do not know Meryl Streep personally, and I can only guess her personality through midnight interview show. May be you are right and you are definitely right of not comparing Western and Korean stars. Sorry!!

  20. 20 jeezvive

    I have been in love with korean dramas since 2004 but i confine myself to watching romcoms.

    watching this kind of show gives me pleasure and extreme entertainment. and at the same time since korean dramas are also a reflection of korean culture, family and history, i get to learn more about the country and its people.

    Now, dramas being a part of the korean entertainment industry means that i dont have that much expections, other than to be entertained.

    So i am wondering why do some people here feel the need to show some ‘superiority’ in analyzing and criticizing every nook and crany of each drama. Well some get paid, but most us who took the effort to type and submit our comments online are pure opportunist, taking the opportunity to share our views. Why do they ever tire themselves spending 1 hour to watch the show they do not even like after 2 episodes and annoy everybody with useless ramblings about what they hate the most. Fine, you have a way with hurtful words, you choose the best bitchy comments ever, so make your own damned BLOG!

    many thanks to dramabeans for recapping most of my fave dramas, but im starting to get pissed by the time i reach the comments portion, which i used to love browsing before.

    • 20.1 Shiku

      I see where you are coming from but the comments shouldn’t be limited to only those who like the show. The comments section is open to everyone even those with dissenting views.

      • 20.1.1 jeezvive

        Hi Shiku, that is why we have a rant and/or rave portion here in DB right. But I am sure I am not the only one who can clearly identify an objective criticism and a malicious bashing.

  21. 21 Ann

    Thank you for recap now it’s become my habit to check your blog if next ep. recap coming ?…..your recap really make my day !!!!

    As Choi Ji Woo fan for some period I can’t say it’s long but during my past 6 years nobody can replace her position in my heart…..I’m glad she take this role coz it’s make me love her more she is so lovely and funny in this drama. She got my fuly support …. Jiwoo + Sang Hyun Fighting !!!!

  22. 22 memmy

    Thanks for the recap. I’m enjoying the drama. Liking the OTP very much too. I’ve always loved Choi Ji Woo and she is great in this.

  23. 23 saranga

    i think those emails have something to do with hyung-woo’s brother. it was brought up in an earlier episode that he had a brother (i think?) and it seemed like something had happened to him, but hyung-woo was hiding it from his mother…

    is hyung-woo pretending to be his brother?

  24. 24 goldcinnamon544

    Hot bartender could actually be the son of the man that her mom left her for

  25. 25 smurfie

    @ sienna.. now you have changed to french queen from troll queen ^^. DB is free to comment by anyone any trolls by hiding your own ID including you. CJW is an actress /entertainer opened herself to get either good or bad comment like any other artists. Anti is the word just created by trolls like you only. She is not heavenly above from any other Korean entertainer. If her acting is good she gets praised, if not take the brick bats. That’s what their world is for. Media praise and kills at the same time. So everybody is troll, including the media. But they are paid trolls. ha ha..

  26. 26 kd101

    @ smurfY

    I am afraid you confused rating and the quality of acting in a certain drama as I can see in your comment. I am of the opinion that we cannot judge the quality of somebody actor/actress’ acting based on the rating of his/her movie/drama alone since we are talking about two different beasts here.

    As with rating, we are all aware that some movie/drama viewers are able to make smart pickings, acting quality-wise, plot-wise, directing quality-wise,etc, but others are simply too ignorant to bother about acting quality, plot, etc and choose the easy path of watching something that appeals to their eyes, though not necessarily to their logic. And there is also another dynamic taking place when we are talking about rating, especially in CL case, namely time slot. The other two dramas are older, thus logically have stronger fan-base than CL.

    Rating VS Acting may be best illustrated by the ‘Flower for My Life’ anomaly, an excellent but ‘criminally underrated’ (sorry JB, for borrowing your words) drama indeed. Also, I would love to invite you to my country, any time, and help you pick up the highest rating dramas, and if you can enjoy the drama for one or two episodes without arching your eyebrow once (be it the logic in the story or the acting) then I’ll be damned.

    I think I understand when Tonto wrote ‘The kiddie shows always seem to snag the ratings, but the grown up shows offer the excellence in acting’. To a certain extent I think I agree with him.

    Sorry, smurfY, nothing personal here;)

    • 26.1 Smurfi

      No worries!! Rating is one thing, and acting is another. I do not like her acting in CL, but I think the drama itself in totality justify the low rating. the scriptwriter is the major culprit, and the PD could have made it funnier.

      In fact, I found YSH quite good, and the best of all is the actor who plays the male staff of the law firm!!

      CJW looks more like a clown to me in CL and YSH looks like Ceaser in the Planet of the Apes!! Oooops!!

  27. 27 McQueen


    First of all get your facts right. are you sure that Botox Queen and McQueen are the same? Please go and do some homework first before you start shooting those garbage of yours!

    If you claim that I have been an anti and never fail to spread rumors about CJW for years, then go and gather your “evidence” on what I have written I will help you dissect.

    Hide behind dramabeans….!!! Ain’t you doing the same??!! Fat face?! ha ha….show you?? Try harder…I will see if you are worth it.

  28. 28 McQueen

    @sienna – empty vessels makes the most noise.

    Tired of my bashing…in every episode….do you need a pair of reading glasses? Go and find those every episodes..and prove to me!

    I suppose CJW wouldn’t be too proud of herself to claim that at age 37 after 16yrs in the industry. She is only confine to the popularity amongst the Korean community.

    Can you imagine if she had not taken the role of Jung Yu Jun in Winter Sonata….would she have been popular in Japan as well? JiWo Hime?

    Among her peers the Kim Hee Sun ( The Myth wz Jackie Chan ), late Choi Jin Sil (The Nation’s Actress), Ko So Young ( aka Mrs Jang Dong Gun, Grand Bell Awards in 2001), Jeon Do Yeon ( Cannes Award in 2007), Lee Young Ae (Blue Dragon Award in 2005), Kim Nam Joo, Shin Ae-ra (well respected for advocating adoption)….well the list goes on….

    All of them has a career span between 16-21 years and counting. Successful, popular both local and internationally….

    These peers were accredited for their acting skills in many diverse characters and roles.

    So while most if not all that I have mentioned here are and were married…..they would have certainly excel more in their career. Now you have mentioned that Ko Hyeon Jeong….. bounce back to the industry because of a messy divorce…

    Do you think CJW would have face tougher challenge from season and fresh actresses? Am sure you can do the maths.

    I won’t even want to name those younger actresses, some with more diverse opportunity and skill….

    She should be honored to be compared wz Meryl Steep, after all she is a world renowned actress…otherwise with Gong Li, Joan Chen, Michelle Yeoh (Not looks but acting skills) ??!!!

  29. 29 Star

    Hi! I am a korea drama addict and a very busy mom. And because of this I like to thank you deeply for writing such wonderful “deconstructions” of korean series. Now, i just read your articles as if i’ve watched the whole time……more power and keep it up!

  30. 30 Cy

    Perhaps it was just me that find CJW’s character god damn annoying. She was the one that gets angry all the time and rarely attempts to communicate properly instead blaming everthing on poor Hyung Woo. She reminds so much of my mother who always feel satisfied throwing temper everywhere and everytime for every single thing my dad does. Holy S what kind of a woman is that. I admit Hyung Woo does have his flaws but why the need to make a big deal out of everything he does and make it worse and then blame him for all the mess when EJ is the one who always started the freaking fire and had fun burning everything. Oh dear, I can’t bear myself watching EJ aka my mother ’cause she just makes me want to punch the TV.

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