Drama Recaps
Alice in Cheongdam-dong: Episode 11
by | January 14, 2013 | 76 Comments

I must admit, I wasn’t too thrilled by this episode because it was more or less predictable regarding the aftermath of the engagement announcement. I mean, who was going to start clapping and cheering for their impending marriage? What was quite interesting instead was the personality makeovers that the side characters got, as well as the new ‘do Se-kyung wore as she became the black swan. No longer was she going to be pure – she was going to be dirty through and through. This was the transformation I expected of her 8 episodes ago.


Every Single Day – “Alice” for Alice in Cheongdam-dong OST [download]

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Well, what are the families to do now that Seung-jo has announced his intention to marry Se-kyung? They split up and go into the adjacent conference rooms in the back to start their yelling matches, duh.

Il-nam raises a fit over Seung-jo’s “rebellious antics” once again. Seung-jo doesn’t think he’s being rebellious, but papa and I know better – after all, if he really loved Se-kyung, why won’t he just go and marry her? Why present her to Il-nam in such a public setting? Seung-jo wanted to put the rumors to rest about him marrying In-hwa, but Il-nam thinks he just chose Se-kyung because she is the “type of girl” that he dislikes the most. He thinks that if Il-nam approves of her, Seung-jo will dump her because it’s no longer “fun” to challenge his father. Seung-jo tells Se-kyung to wait outside, and closes the door behind her. This means she can hear the fights going on in both rooms…

With the Shin family, Min-hyuk is surprisingly the angriest towards Tommy Hong for making them feel like In-hwa and Seung-jo’s marriage was a done deal. His haughty side comes out as he reviles the idea that a part-timer at his company won the heart of the Artemis CEO: “Because of such a trivial girl, our matchmaking plans are ruined?” In-hwa thankfully stops his tirade — every word about how Se-kyung “beat” her insults her too. She is over Seung-jo already, as she’s realized how childish he is. He would never be able to help further her ambitions. ‘Atta girl – I knew you were the modern woman.

From her spot outside, Se-kyung can see Tommy’s pride being torn to pieces. In-hwa comes out and congratulates Se-kyung coolly on her marriage, noting that “these things happen often in ‘our’ world.” Caught between two families, Se-kyung can plainly see how difficult it is to enter Cheongdam-dong.

Il-nam continues berating his son for being disobedient, even though Seung-jo claims that’s the only way he can finally breathe and taste freedom. They reaffirm their vow to disown each other, while Min-hyuk tells Tommy that he can never escape this unscathed. There is no way Tommy can become successful now, and he reminds him that he is a lowly matchmaker, not even a designer. Wow – for the first time, I see how arrogant Min-hyuk can be; he really does look down on outsiders. When Min-hyuk sees Se-kyung at the hallway, he gives her a cold smile and tells her to quit her job. After all, she’s marrying Jean Thierry Cha.

Tommy finally emerges from the room, and he rightfully glares at Se-kyung for ruining his future. But Seung-jo comes out of his room at the same time and warns Tommy to back off from his girl. When Il-nam comes out of the room last, Tommy bows in apology for what just happened. Unfortunately, Il-nam tells Tommy to kiss the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics sponsorship goodbye.

Tommy is in a foul mood when he returns to his office but Hae-joon has some good news – he saw Se-kyung and the woman talking again, and shows him a recording of their conversation. It’s the one between Se-kyung and Yoon-joo outside her building, where she admits to being the one first lover of Seung-jo, and how Se-kyung approached Seung-jo for money. Jackpot.

Seung-jo takes Se-kyung to a private restaurant after the ruckus. He reveals a bit more about his childhood, and how his mother divorced his father when he was 10. One day she just packed up and left, but after the divorce she picked him up after school. He got to spend a few days with her before she finally brought him home. It was only then that his father told him why his mother practically “kidnapped” him: to demand more alimony from Il-nam. He gave it, and she returned Seung-jo. He learned a fateful lesson from his father that day: “If someone says they love you, don’t believe it. That only means she will use you.” Because of that, whenever someone says she loves him, he goes through a cycle of self-doubt.

But he then quotes something Se-kyung said before: “The opposite of ‘I love you’ is ‘I don’t love you,’ and it means there is nothing she can do to help you anymore.” He now knows that it’s possible to find true love, and he bends down on one knee and proposes to her. That… is not a big rock though…

Se-kyung is crying at this point from guilt over her secret, but what’s worse is before she can accept his ring, she receives a phone call from Tommy. What to answer first? Her guilt washing over her, she decides to take Tommy’s call first and runs to the bathroom. Tommy sends her a video message, in which he plays back the video and says that she has two options now: Paris or hell. He wants to know her final decision by tomorrow.

Se-kyung collapses on the floor, shaking with tears. Seung-jo is concerned over why she didn’t accept his proposal right away and stands outside the bathroom door. He knows it’s sudden, but all he’s ever wanted in his life is to run away from his home with his father and find a new one. He believes that his new home is with Se-kyung, and he is willing to wait for her to accept him.

She finally emerges from the bathroom more composed than before. “One day, If I disappear from your life,” she says. “Promise me you will die on that day.” (Say whaaaaaaaat?!) “Even if you are lying, just say you will die. I won’t blame you if you can’t keep that promise.” (Let me roll up my sleeves here just a moment, lady…) Seung-jo promises her that he will die the day she leaves, not understanding her request. She then bids him to put the ring on her, and makes her promise: “I also promise to never leave you, Seung-jo. If you run away, I will find you. If you tell me to leave, I will stand by you.”

Well thank God you said that, because I was going to punch the living daylights out of you, Se-kyung.

Despite holding a perfect piece of blackmail, Tommy is still frustrated. He can see himself in Se-kyung completely, how she’s being stepped on by other people like he was. The thing is, now he’s the one doing the stepping and blackmailing. Even though he desires to succeed, he feels conflicted about becoming the person he once hated. His secretary tries to offer some comfort, noting that being the stepper is better than being the “steppee,” so to speak.

Yoon-joo is surprised to learn from Min-hyuk that Se-kyung and Seung-jo are really getting married, and pretends she never knew about their relationship. When she sees In-hwa outside Min-hyuk’s office, though, she kindly says that there are other fish in the sea. But In-hwa wants to know everything Yoon-joo can tell her about Se-kyung first.

Yoon-joo escapes to her car and calls Se-kyung to ask what on earth she is doing with Seung-jo. She acts like a good friend, warning her that In-hwa just asked for details about her. It turns out she didn’t say anything to her sister-in-law, but pointed out that Seung-jo is kind of weird mentally, and therefore Se-kyung ending up with him is an odd choice. In-hwa thought that Yoon-joo had wanted to see her get married off no matter what, but now it seems Yoon-joo is relieved the marriage didn’t work out. She wonders if Yoon-joo knows something, and thinks back to how oddly she had reacted when Seung-jo gave her a present when they hosted a dinner at their home.

Se-kyung meets up with Yoon-joo and shows her the video that Tommy sent her. Yoon-joo is immediately fatalistic, believing that this is truly the end. They’re all going to be ruined! Yoon-joo is near tears as she realizes that they’re both going to hell, but Se-kyung begs to differ. If Yoon-joo is going to hell, it’s because she brought it upon herself. If Yoon-joo loved Seung-jo first, why did she give him up for money so quickly? By doing so, she degraded her love and truly became a gold digger, which is what’s getting her into so many troublesome close shaves lately.

Se-kyung: Seo Yoon-joo, get back to your senses. You told me, ‘Don’t be a coward.’ We are people who have nothing, and we are usually suspected and questioned heavily. But if we acknowledge that we have nothing, then we really become nothing. I won’t be like you. I will enter Cheongdam-dong while being acknowledged that I do have something my own way.

Bam! Someone’s finally giving lessons to her teacher!

Se-kyung adds that Seung-jo can give her everything she wants – money and love. With that, she will promise to succeed in both business and love. Yoon-joo still believes it is impossible to have both, but Se-kyung knows she can do it. Her “business” will be to protect Seung-jo’s love, and so she is not going to confess her secret to him, ever. Rather, she will marry him and then help maintain the image he needs for life, making business choices and partnerships that will help protect his pure love for her. She hopes to get Yoon-joo’s help in that, because if she manages to succeed she can protect Yoon-joo’s position with GN Fashion.

Of course, once she marries Seung-jo, she does hope to never see Yoon-joo again because, hey, she is the ex-wife. But with the start of her new secret diary, Se-kyung has completely become a black swan.

Back at home, Seung-jo describes to Dong-wook what happened at the charity bazaar. Instead of being supportive, though, Dong-wook asks Seung-jo why he broke the news to his father about his marriage in that way. He should have approached his father privately rather than publicly. Was it because he was afraid of having his father object to Se-kyung, and that’s why he did it in front of everyone?

Dong-wook knows that doing things so immaturely will not resolve his issues with his father, but Seung-jo doesn’t want to hear that right now. He just proposed to Se-kyung and it’s a happy day for him – can’t Dong-wook be happy with him?

The following day, In-hwa visits Tommy in his office. She forgives him for what happened, since the variable known as human emotion can ruin any matchmaking plan. But what In-hwa can’t understand is why Seung-jo chose Se-kyung over her, when she could have provided a good business connection. (Uh, I dunno – maybe because you’re so cold?) She wants Tommy’s explanation on what it is to be a lovable human, I guess. Unfortunately Tommy has another more pressing appointment to attend to, and In-hwa takes a seat.

She takes a look at the folders on the coffee table and spies one labeled Cha Seung-jo. Curious, she picks it up, but it’s stuck to the cover of his tablet, which shows the video he was last viewing. The screenshot displays Yoon-joo and Se-kyung talking and In-hwa cautiously reaches to press the play button. But before she can, the secretary returns to the room to ask if she wants anything to drink. In-hwa chooses to excuse herself, citing another appointment, and leaves.

Tommy meets with Se-kyung in his private lounge, assuming she’s here to pick either Paris or hell. Se-kyung replies that she has a proposition instead. Now that everything has fallen to pieces, what is more important to Tommy – GN Fashion or Royal Group? She thinks Royal Group might be more beneficial to him, and reminds him that if the relationship between father and son is repaired, then Tommy just might be able to get the Pyeongchang sponsorship deal. She believes she can be the one to mend that bridge, but Tommy has to help her too (regarding that video). That’s the world of Cheongdam-dong – give and take.

Of course, Tommy is skeptical, and he thinks she’s been watching one too many dramas. Se-kyung is presenting herself to be the poor “good” girl who wins the heart of the rich guy and overcomes all obstacles in order to get her happy ending. Se-kyung fires back: “Then what do you think should be my ending? Because I approached a man for money, am I supposed to be ruined so that justice will be had? What is the lesson for us outsiders and Yoon-joo? ‘Live within your means?’ ‘If you climb a tree you shouldn’t have dared to climb, you should fall and die?’ If I was going to learn those lessons in the first place, then I wouldn’t have started all this at all.”

I love how she turned those lessons over his head – after all, weren’t we always told to dream big?

Se-kyung will even carry the burden for the rest of her life and never confess if she must. If she were to fail, then she’d admit the truth. It’s not the end of the road for Tommy just yet; he may have aimed for the moon and fallen, but he can now try and land on the stars. Then again, if he wants to stay being a matchmaker, there’s nothing she can do. She gives him two days for a response and leaves. Finally she’s really taking action!

Se-kyung meets with Seung-jo that night, who has already put in a request to be relocated to the head office in Paris. He wants to marry there and move so that Se-kyung can study in Paris, and he can work at the head office again. To me this all sounds like he’s running away again. Se-kyung asks if they must marry without any friends or family, and he assures her that he’ll fly everyone over for the wedding. Everyone but his father, it seems.

Se-kyung gets a text from Il-nam, who wants to meet with her the following day. Time to buy her out!

Se-kyung is dressing more and more like the status she aspires to as she meets with Il-nam. He interrogates her about her family, and of course her poor background does not satisfy him. He tries to dissuade her from marrying Seung-jo, saying that he’s only obsessed with rebelling against him. But that obsession has nothing to do with Se-kyung – it’s purely between father and son. After all, hasn’t Il-nam ever tried to understand his own son? Il-nam gets defensive: “What do you know!?” He gets up and leaves.

At a nearby cafe, Se-jin, Ah-jung, Secretary Moon, and Dong-wook are huddled together rewatching the video of Seung-jo spinning Se-kyung around in happiness after she accepted him. These sidekicks seem to be way giddier about their union than Seung-jo or Se-kyung.

When Se-kyung arrives, they all start making smacking noises, teasing her about getting all kissy-kissy with the CEO. Se-kyung and Seung-jo sitting on a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-G!~

Se-kyung’s purpose in coming is to speak to Dong-wook privately. She wants to know what she can do to help mend the relationship between Seung-jo and Il-nam. Dong-wook will reveal one thing: Seung-jo’s recurring nightmare is visiting his father at a funeral. That dream means that he feels guilty towards his father for letting him go, even though he can’t breathe around him to an extent. He’s afraid of being rejected by his father, so all of his antics are just a call for attention.

That gives Se-kyung an idea, and she hurries home to take out all her awards and drawings that were lovingly kept by her father. She visits Il-nam the following day without notice and gets to the point: If Seung-jo is really rebelling against his father and doesn’t want to see him, then why does he keep showing up around Il-nam? It’s all because she knows Seung-jo craves his approval. She shows Il-nam all of her artwork; her father never praised her for her accomplishments either, but he showed his pride and approval by keeping every single one of her awards and drawings. She hopes that Il-nam can eventually reach out to his son first. Even a sign of approval can go a long way.

She leaves, and Il-nam takes a look at her childhood drawings. It brings a smile to his face, and a fond memory of when Seung-jo’s art teacher had shown him Seung-jo’s paintings long ago. The teacher found Seung-jo extremely talented, and though it brought a smile to Il-nam’s face, he told the teacher to never come back for private lessons, and to never tell anyone how talented Seung-jo was. Aww… so he consciously chose not to praise his own son.

Se-kyung is still clocking in at GN Fashion, but receives a text from Tommy to meet at a certain cafe. On her way out, In-hwa asks if she is particularly close to Yoon-joo. Of course, they’re not, but the image of Yoon-joo and Se-kyung in the video weighs heavily on In-hwa’s mind. She wants to know what their relationship is exactly, and what Tommy could possibly be hiding from her. Oh how I hope Tommy will delete that video and just accept Se-kyung’s proposition.

In-hwa gets an idea, and has her manager find a tablet cover with a design exactly the same as Tommy’s.

The cafe where Tommy and Se-kyung meet at is particularly memorable for him because many years ago, he had to get on his knees and beg someone for a chance to succeed. Years later, many people were begging him for help and he’s had to turn down many of them. He’s seen people become frustrated and angry, but he no longer sees it in Se-kyung; once again, he sees the desire for a better life in her eyes, the greed. He asks if she has the confidence to be the lady of the household; if she becomes the madam of Royal Group, she has to promise to give him his wings as a full-fledged designer. This time, he’s the one asking for help.

When asked by his secretary why he accepted her proposition, he only says that he had to accept it in order to look good and cool. Hah. Just vain? Or is the vanity an excuse for doing what he knows he has to do to survive?

He arrives at his studio just as In-hwa gets off the phone with someone, waiting outside. But just as they sit down for their meeting, Tommy is called away to sign for a delivery. In-hwa takes the opportunity to switch out the tablets, replacing his with one with the same cover. When the secretary comes to ask what she wants to drink, In-hwa asks for the bathroom and excuses herself.

Once in the bathroom, In-hwa unlocks Tommy’s tablet (no password?!) and searches for the video. Time’s ticking, though, even though the delivery man is taking his sweet time with the slip. I already have the hope that Tommy deleted the video since he had agreed to work with Se-kyung, but darnit! In-hwa finds the video and adds it to her Dropbox to view later. She manages to slide back into Tommy’s office before he comes back. A lingering glance and we know that the delivery man was hired by In-hwa to distract Tommy.

Seung-jo greets Se-kyung’s parents formally and asks for their permission to marry. Everyone is surprised at the suddenness of this announcement, and Deuk-gi refuses to give his permission. Even though Seung-jo is a good man, he knows that Se-kyung had a hard time because of him. Their social statuses are too far apart, and Deuk-gi actually wished they would date and then break up. He hopes that she can marry a man from a normal family background.

Seung-jo assures him that he’s really a normal man, and wishes to live a normal life with Se-kyung. But Deuk-gi stands his ground – he will not send his daughter to a man who has cut ties with his own father. Point taken. In Se-kyung’s room, Seung-jo admits that he’s envious of her close-knit family and had hoped he’d be accepted into her family instead.

Se-kyung pleads for him to make the first move and go see his father, then shows him a small news article about Seung-jo’s grandfather’s memorial rites being held that evening. She wants him to attend that. Seung-jo wishes that she wouldn’t scold him, and leans on her shoulder for comfort.

He returns home, and Se-kyung sends him a photo of the sad bunny. He replies with a video of the happy bunny jumping around his table, and somehow she takes it as a message to go over to his home and meet him.

The next thing we know, Seung-jo enters his father’s house to join his grandfather’s memorial. His relatives are happy to see him, and despite his father’s gruffness, Seung-jo takes his place beside his father and performs the memorial rites together.

As soon as it’s over, Seung-jo turns to leave but Il-nam yells that he might as well stay and eat some of the ceremonial food. Heh, father really can’t speak in a lower decibel, does he?

Se-kyung is waiting for him outside in his car, and he finally comes back to her. She’s happy that he did it, and though he feigns indifference, Seung-jo is kind of bashful about what he just did. Se-kyung raises her hand – high five! He doesn’t want to, and she turns on the cute, trying to guilt him into high-fiving her back. Of course, he finally does – how could he make his girl pout?

Meanwhile, In-hwa finally reviews that video from Tommy’s tablet, and she gasps in shock. Her sister-in-law is Seung-jo’s former flame?! Her part-timer approached Seung-jo for money?! The door to her room opens, and she quickly switches to a different app so that Yoon-joo won’t see. In-hwa greets Yoon-joo coldly; after all, she’s surrounded by gold-diggers.


A predictable episode, but there were small nuggets of gold found in the switch in In-hwa’s, Min-hyuk’s, and Tommy’s personalities. While Se-kyung has become a tougher woman in this episode, it’s nothing new; I knew she had that grit in her, but it’s a nice change to see her be strong without crying so much. Also, bangs don’t become her really – I like this new hair of hers.

So. In-hwa. She’s a character with more spunk in her, but unfortunately she’s been played in quite a bland manner. It’s as if the actress is trying to make her seem cool and elegant all the time, but that just makes her boring and seem more like a robot. I wanted to see more of that ambitious woman who wanted to run her own company, and step out of her brother’s shadow. We’ve been told that’s what she wants to do, but rarely seen evidence of it. I was grateful that she finally broke and became frustrated over what her sister-in-law and her love rival are hiding from her. She could be a much more formidable antagonist if only she could act it.

As for Min-hyuk, I knew that Kim Seung-soo can be terrifying when angry – just look at I Am Legend for his scenes. Always mild-mannered, I almost never thought of him as an elitist. But boy was I in for a surprise when he ended up being one. I don’t know why I never expected it – I probably wished he wasn’t one. But the way he snubbed Tommy and the way he coldly told Se-kyung to quit finally made me understand why Yoon-joo was so scared of him finding out why she approached him in the first place. This information would have been very useful several episodes earlier, but I guess it’s better late than never.

On the other hand, for the first time I really felt bad for Tommy. I now saw his own struggles. While he was using this matchmaking deal to further his own career, I never felt any sympathy for him nor did I try to understand how much was at stake for him because he already seemed like he was part of the elite. In this episode, I saw that he was merely treading water – close to dry land, but still at risk of being drowned by his past and his background. He is just as at risk of losing everything as Yoon-joo and Se-kyung, and I see that now. What a strange alliance we now have of half-bad, half-good guys, but as these three characters have learned from Cheongdam-dong, it’s impossible to succeed by themselves.


76 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. kumi

    Kudos to Hae Joon for recording the girls’ conversation. I think they can make an advertisement of that camera here. Seriously.

    • 1.1 Windsun33

      Nah, in K-dramas you can hide behind a lamp post about 5 feet away, and nobody will ever see you.

  2. Ruth

    So, I watched this…and, as much as I wanted to keep watching, I just can’t. Maybe I’m just not cut out for traditional melodrama. The only characters I seem to be connecting with are the peripheral characters. I’m not really even caring much about Seung Jo anymore. The character just seems to be following the same predictable path that was set out for him at the beginning of the drama. At the very least, we could get some great fashion out of this, but there isn’t even that.


    My weekends are pretty lean. Guess I’ll have to give 100 Year Inheritance a try.

    • 2.1 JoAnne

      oh, you might want to rethink that if you aren’t into melo – it’s got a collection of women who play evil evil mothers in law across KDrama and the mother in law of Eugene is – unbearable. I am the Melo QUEEN and I stopped watching 1/2 way through the first ep. Just could not take that woman. It was making me so angry I felt sick.

      • 2.1.1 kakashi

        lol. so it was you. now I remember! have somebody asking on Twitter if anybody is watching …

      • 2.1.2 Trina

        Hi, please give it another try. I almost punch my iPad too. However, the OTP does meet each other on second episode but they are still stranger. I hope it is better as it is 50 episode.

      • 2.1.3 InSu

        LOL. I stopped watching less than a minute after her mother was introduced. It’s set for 50 ep, I feel so sorry for Eugen.

      • 2.1.4 Abbi Kay

        I was on the first episode too when I was like “I can’t handle this…”

        I adore Eugene and Lee Jung Jin, which is why I even began the drama. However, I cannot stomach dramas with out-of-control, meddling mother-in-laws for too long!

        I barely survived watching Ooh-la-la couple which was 18 episodes, but I decided to stop at the EP17 when I realized that the dummy was going to reconcile with her adulterous ex-husband, and therefore, return to her unappreciative, hypocritical, vile mother-in-law as well.

        So how can I handle a 50 episode melodrama featuring another crazy, yet more sinister mother-in-law without having an epileptic fit?

        So I’ll stick to my rom/coms for now until I muster enough stamina to endure “100 Year Inheritance”…in about 2 years.

        • nomaden

          ME TOO! I stopped at epi 17 too, and never looked back.

      • 2.1.5 luvsmydramas

        Oh, then you missed Eugene getting locked away in the mental hospital after mother-in-law stole her cellphone. So not what I was hoping for.

      • 2.1.6 Laurita

        I thought I was unaffected as I didn’t take that mother-in-law’s badness to heart, BUT this morning I woke up after a horrible nightmare where she somehow became my grandma… What a horrible night that was :/ If I were a writer, now I would have enough material for 100 Inheritance 2…

      • 2.1.7 Ruth

        Yeah, I think it’s just this drama. I’ve watched several traditional melos that didn’t make me want to scratch eyes out….well, not much.

        I’m just tired of the endless looping in this.

      • 2.1.8 Windsun33

        JoAnn – I felt the same way the first two episodes, but despite flaws in the series I am now hooked to see just how evil that mother-in-law can get, and if she gets the shaft in the end.

        (fast forward is your friend 🙂 )

        • JoAnne

          I think FF is the only way I could do it, WindSun33.

          Even thinking about the sound of her voice right now, my chest is tightening up and I’m feeling anxious and rage-y. And her little suck-up daughter, and her no-balls son.

          But I do really like Eugene and I wanted to see this.

    • 2.2 simply_me

      I totally agree with JoAnne.

    • 2.3 Dominique

      Ruth, you are not alone.

      I stopped watching Cheongdam Alice three episodes ago (Episode 8 was the last one). The initial episodes were interesting enough, when the drama carefully set up principal characters and main conflicts/alliances between them. But once the drama did that, it was just like what Gertrude Stein said: there’s no there there.

      This might sound crazy, but that 50-episode makjang drama, My Love, Madame Butterfly, just became quite interesting, beginning with Episode 25. (I wouldn’t bother with any episode before that.) I am ready to drop it again, however, as soon as the drama reapses.

    • 2.4 saltandpepper

      i’m also thinking about dropping this….

    • 2.5 Betty

      I dropped 100 years inheritance like a hot potato after half of the first episode. I don’t like Eugen plus the evil evil evil mother in law was just too much for me to bear for 50 episodes…

    • 2.6 miss unknown

      I’d rather watch this than the 100 years of inheritance! The first episode scare me away! OMG…the mother-in-law..i don’t know how Eugene’s character could survive 3 years with her…I would’ve probably go mental during the first day! she’s crazy! and I am the melodrama queen too! LOL…and I thought May Queen was worst! 100 Years of Inheritance is 100 X worst! although I love Eugene! So I’ll probably watch it when I have time..

      • 2.6.1 Windsun33

        The mother-in-law in 100 year inheritance is 125% total psycho, and will easily make #1 on the “most evil” list.

        I am keeping up with it, but I fast forward through a lot of the side stories/pablum.

        IMO, CDD Alice is much better and has a couple of lovable characters in it.

    • 2.7 Ruth

      LOL, I should update y’all and let you know that I did watch the first ep. of 100 Year Inheritance. Holy crap! On the one hand, I’m glad that they’re tackling the topic of domestic abuse, but seriously? a mental hospital? is this anywhere close to some realistic situation in Korea? It’s such an overused device, that I’m honestly questioning if it has some basis in reality. Are there mental hospitals in Korea filled with “family prisoners?” WTH

      Also…this girl has a large family by Korean standards. What a sister and a brother as well as a brother-in-law, two grandparents (at least), and a dad…and they’re all content to accept her “no…really…I’m alright” excuses? For real?

      Oh Jang Hyuk, if Iris 2 disappoints me like the vast majority of kdrama right now (School 2013 excluded…swoon), I’m going to…..I don’t know what. Start translating Korean novels….maybe.

      On a positive note, I’ve finally started watching Warrior Baek Seung Do. Choi Min Soo, you are seriously the most bad ass, awesome dude in the world. I’d say I wanted to hang out with you, but I’m pretty sure your charisma would cause my humble frame to collapse into dust. Never mind that the story itself is a masterpiece (so far….*begs kdrama god not to disappoint).

      So, 100 Year Inheritance….I’ll give it one more episode. CDDA…I’m sorry. Maybe I’ll watch the last episode when it’s all over. Flower Boy Next Door…you’re cute so far…but that’s about it. Iris 2 – please don’t suck.

      • 2.7.1 Windsun33


        Of the many things I have learned about Real Life from Korean dramas is that –
        1. People with money can kidnap and/or stash away folks they don’t like in mental institutions and:
        2. Nobody ever tells the police, so I can only assume that kidnapping, family abuse, and false imprisonment are all legal in Korea 🙂

        • Ruth

          It’s crazy, isn’t it, lol. Although, look at American soap operas. They’re just as out of their minds, if not more so. I mean, how many times CAN one person have anmesia AND a doppelganger and also be a serial killer/angel?

  3. justme

    If only she hadn’t walked.out the presentation where he said to be JTC… then all this wouldn’t have happened and they would have lived happily ever after… BUT then again we wouldn’t have had a drama

  4. kakashi

    I didn’t particularly like this episode – I was really missing the fun and the cute. However, this drama continues to play tricks on us. Feeling pity for Tommy Hong? Hell, I hated him just half an episode ago, with a vengeance! But indeed, ho, suddenly we pity him. Quite amazing, really.

    I am still afraid of what this drama has in store for us, for the shoe must drop sooner or later, no? What weill it do to Seung-jo? I’m not sure I want to know 🙁
    At the same time, “evil” Se-kyung seems to be really good for him – and I love how she is becoming the matchmaker between father and son.

    • 4.1 KDrama Fan

      Totally with you Kakashi.

      Thanks to Kaedejun for recapping this. Starting to think I spoke too soon about you getting a winner in this drama. Hope the writer brings back the cuteness and comedy in the next episode.

  5. Piopo

    Ok so I haven’t stayed up to dated with the recaps so I wanted some honest opinion is this worth watching. I need a new drama to watch, is this worth investing my time?

    • 5.1 Lilly

      Yes, so far it is. Acting is top notch and story is good.
      Even all of the supporting actors are kicking it up, as in the two dads. They are great contract to each other.
      This is a character treasure trove so far.

    • 5.2 Windsun33

      For me, I think it is much better than average for K-dramas. But as you can see from the comments here, not everyone agrees with me.

      The main reason I like it (aside from the two main cuties) is that it avoids most of the far too common usual cliches – not totally, but at least nobody has cancer or amnesia (yet??).

    • 5.3 Eye Candy

      So personally, I found the setup to be a little drawn out. I would suggest reading at least the first episode recap and then jumping into the second episode. I think the writers felt they really needed to rationalize the main character’s motives, but if you are willing to go with her down the rabbit hole you don’t need all the setup. It gets a lot cuter once they finished the rational. Also, I generally find its good to read the first episode recap if you are not sure about a show. It takes less time than wasting a whole hour. But I think the show has kept up the momentum once it got started. I know I’m hooked.

  6. Ruth

    It’s not the worst and it’s not the best. There are some flashes of brilliance and some “you’ve got to be kidding me” moments.

    As far as it being worth it, you have to decide. I’d definitely recommend you give a couple episodes a shot and see if you get hooked.

    Personally, I’m bowing out of this one for the time being.

  7. Lilly

    Just love this show.
    Yes she looks really pretty with her hair pulled back. Suits her best.
    Heart broke for Tommy. What a life for a person with great talent and the awards to prove it. All about who you know, who you are, and not about what you can actually do.
    The characters are shaping out much better with more real traits being shown.
    I like it best when all characters are full characters with their own agendas and not just walk throughs to dress a set for the leads. It brings more reality into it.

    • 7.1 Saturtledaisy

      I love our non-one-dimensional ‘antagonists’ ~ I just wish the sidekicks on the ‘good’ side would get some more development, too. That’s too much to hope, I guess, for such a short drama?

      • 7.1.1 houstontwin

        Yes, the quartet of friends/coworkers are absolutely adorable. I also wish the drama had more time for them. Remember how cute the sidekick romance was in Secret Garder?

        • houstontwin

          I mean Secret Garden (of course!).

  8. ailee

    her new hairdo is way cooler than her bangs! love the first photo of her 😀

  9. ailee

    her new hairdo is way cooler than her bangs! love the first photo of her 😀

  10. 10 Saturtledaisy

    Se-kyung sure looks prettier with her hair up. Did she also have a make-up change? Apart from looking prettier, she herself became more interesting too. Finally some action! No more moping around. I really liked her in this episode.

    As for Seung-jo, let’s just say there’s more romantic things than proposing (while talking about multiple kinds of sad childhood stories) after you randomly publicly announce your marriage. Though I suppose he’s trying to bond with his father now, it doesn’t seem like he did much this episode. Maybe I’m just missing the crazy-cute.

    I kindof like how the dad is portrayed though, as the proud caveman who secretly loves his son. I think his smile when Se-kyung’s drawings reminded him of Seung-jo’s was probably the cutest thing in this entire episode.

    I hope we don’t get stuck in the circle of will-he-won’t-he-find-out for too long. There’s only two weeks left, and he’s bound to find out anyway.

    • 10.1 Betsy Hp

      Se-kyung sure looks prettier with her hair up. Did she also have a make-up change?

      I think so, Saturtledaisy. Her look seems a lot more sophisticated — more eyeliner, paler lips. It’s subtle because there’s still a fresh-faced aspect, but she seems a lot more on par with In-hwa now. I think she’s getting her warrior on. 😉

  11. 11 VioBlu

    At the beginning I was a bit bored with this story line, and Se Kyung persistently dangling to In Chan was really annoying, but then there the comedies saved the day and I continued watching (I still tend to laugh if I recall Seung Joo’s ‘kamsha eruption’ with his country dialect XD )

    Now…it is definite that I’m going to watch this drama till the end. The characterizations are great and believable. I somehow getting attached to the new trio alliance and hope with all my heart they managed to enter the wonderland!

    • 11.1 Lilly

      I like the trio alliance also. Three power characters that are very different from each other instead of the usual trio of one leader who just order the other two sidekicks around.

      • 11.1.1 Betsy Hp

        Me too, me too! I love the trio and… I’m afraid to say more here because I’ll probably spoil ep. 12. But yeah. Yay trio! 😀

  12. 12 TS

    Don’t any of these idiots know secret diaries and videos are never secret for long? Unless you scan, shred and encrypt, maybe…

  13. 13 TS

    Can we get on with the School 2013 recap, please? This CA show is actually a bit dull and only serves to fill in some School 2013 withdrawal over the weekend.

    • 13.1 Lilly

      This is my favorite show on right now.

    • 13.2 Chanel

      what school 2013?…I only watch CA right now.

    • 13.3 lizzie

      can you respect others will and taste please? You don’t order anyone here dear. You should be just grateful…

      • 13.3.1 TS

        I didn’t order anyone. If you look carefully, I ask for the School 2013 recap and even say, “please.” And I do watch CA, but for me, my opinion, similar to others also bored with CA and also talking about other shows and that I don’t see you snarking at, is that this show is a bit dull.

        Frankly, I watch CA in hopes of Jean Thierry Cha and Secretary Moon shenanigans and often get disappointed. It needs more Kagemusha moments. That, at least, was brilliant!

  14. 14 Suzi Q

    I like that Se Kyung has pulled her hair back and gotten spunky at last! She has become a Black Swan and calling the shots for once.Getting tired of her getting downtrodden by her attempts to get into Cheongdam-dong.

    Although In Hwa appears to be a savvy business woman, and said she has lost interest in Jean Thierry as a marriage prospect, she is appearing to be the fury of a woman who has been scorned. She can’t fathom why Se Kyung was chosen over her. The actress plays her like a dead cold fish who is always giving Yoon Joo the evil snake eye.Totally agree that although Min Hyuk seems like a nice guy at first, he acts as coldly as his sister. No wonder Yoon Joo is afraid of her precarious position in this family.

    Yoon Joo and Se Kyung are treading on thin ice and of course the other shoe is certainly going to drop. In Hwa keeps calling Yoon Joo and Se Kyung gold diggers, but she is doing the same thing by trying to get into a marriage of convenience. Pot calling the kettle black. She should look at herself in the mirror first. Beginning to dislike the brother and sister pair.

  15. 15 nabi2810

    This show is so good at making me switch sides. There always seems to be some good reasons in doing some not-so-good things, some moments hateful people are not really so hateful. It’s messing up all my black and white and right and wrong =))

  16. 16 Amy

    I love the change in Se Kyung…finally she’s up and taking charge. Personally I love this drama a lot…besides the atypical plot, all the main leads are pulling their weight. I can’t wait to watch the next episode.

  17. 17 abby

    Well, so far the story line is more interesting.I would like to see the outcome of the dinner between two daddys.I guess it will be hilarious.

  18. 18 Garrdan75

    Thanks very much, Kaedejun, for your recaps. You are quite an engaging and witty writer. 🙂 I look forward to reading your recaps and comments after each episode. You offer add’l insight and the “ahah! oh yeah” moments that enhances my enjoyment and understanding of this drama.

    Best regards,


  19. 19 anklegirl

    Ahh, please don’t hate me for saying this, but, Yoochun’s wardrobe from I Miss You would suit Seung-jo better.However, I suppose the costume department wants to highlight his kookiness.That black fur coat is meant for a diva =D

    • 19.1 Ruth

      I totally agree. I was watching IMY thinking that the fashion in it would work well in CDDA (I’m looking up LSY’s coat…love it).

  20. 20 Betsy Hp

    Thanks for the recap, kaedejun!

    Min-hyuk surprised me, too. I didn’t think he had that anger in him. Though, it was his baby sister who got humiliated, so I guess it makes sense. It was disappointing that he went so classist — poor Yoon-joo.

    Also, In-hwa’s pearl-clutching at the end there was hilarious. Because her love for Seun-jo was so pure? Girl, please. You’re surrounded by glass. Don’t go throwing stones cause someone else is playing the game, too. (and beating you at it. heh.)

  21. 21 YY

    An episode of surprises:

    – Min Hyuk transforms from mild mannered gentle spouse to raging, lip-curling beast (I squeaked in fright when he started yelling)

    – In Hwa regains her humanity and the utter shock, disbelief and disgust on her face were pretty good, I thought

    – Se Kyung gets rid of the fringe and dons black to symbolise her crossover to the dark side.

    – In Hwa cries every opportunity she gets.

    – Pak Shi-hoo doesn’t shower the entire episode.

    • 21.1 Ruth

      I thought Min Hyuk’s tirade was one of the best parts of the ep. I mean, I don’t like raving lunatics, but at least he finally got to show some emotion that didn’t just come off as pandering or apathetic.

    • 21.2 houstontwin

      Maybe a shower would bring me back to Alice.

  22. 22 gracee

    this ep made me drop Alice and start my daughter seo young….best decision ever.

  23. 23 lorac

    “evil evil mothers in law across KDrama”

    I can relate… I watched all 70 episodes of Three Brothers, hating the mother/mother-in-law for two-thirds of the drama. She was a witch, but once I learned that she was transferring her own experience, then I could have a little bit of compassion. Her husband was no prize either.

    Sometimes I’m irritated with Se Kyung because I just don’t get that she’s bad or dark or whatever. Maybe for me the drama is just not conveying the idea that these characters are opportunists out to get what they want…. but I keep watching…

  24. 24 Peeps

    And what this show teaches us is that we must always lock our personal electronic devices. If SeKyung and Tommy did, this show would not have a story past episode 3…

    Drama… you brought it upon yourself SeKyung ah…

    • 24.1 Asabiyet

      Haha couldn’t agree more. They’re relying on tech devices too much that the whole show looks like a PP at some point. It’s the next generation scheming with dropbox uploading.

    • 24.2 Ruth

      So true. Although I did enjoy the product placement for Dropbox (one of my favorite applications of all time).

  25. 25 Julia

    Any suggestions on how a non-Korean speaker can start to pick up on when a character slips into a “country” dialect? I know Seung-jo is suppose to have an accent during times of stress, but I can’t quite hear it.

    I am studying Korean on my own, because if you love KDramas it just seems the natural thing to do to better appreciate them by being able to pick up on formal/informal speech, titles, and be able to look at the actors instead of subtitles all the time.

    • 25.1 JoAnne

      I can’t always tell, but in several dramas the ‘satoori’ accent has been kind of drawn out vowels especially at the end of the word, and very broad. I am not sure if that’s Busan or satoori or if satoori specifically refers to the Busan voice, though.

      Duckie in Playful Kiss, the little cute drummer in SUFBB, DEFINITELY Shiwon in Answer 1997 – those are country accents and specifically Busan.

  26. 26 IBELIS

    I was really disappointed in this episode, One the tape is just to misleading it is suggesting that SK set out to meet and snag SJ for his money. First off it like the story has forgotten that that SJ was never SK target. She wanted SJ to be her rabbit.

    I hated that they showed TH so careless with info about his subjects, when this is his real livelihood. Personal files just lying around for anyone to pick up and read. Is that even believable.

    IH the cool business woman all upset because someone she believed was beneath her stole her prize right under her nose. So what does she do, risk blowing the deal for both families to get revenge on the poor girls.

    Give me a break.

    • 26.1 Ruth

      Agree totally. We’re supposed to believe that these are savvy business people…but they all seem to act so irresponsibly. Can’t people meet inside? Can’t they put their stuff away and lock their equipment? And, on no device ever (except actual professional equipment) has a microphone worked that well from that distance.


  27. 27 Denise

    I think I’ll wait until the drama is done to start watching again. I expected Sekyung to turn black around the 4th or 5th episode so when it finally happened now, it didn’t have an impact to me.

    Inhwa is sucb a robot…I can’t even take her muscle spasms at the end seriously.

    Yoonjoo’s the only one I consistently liked, so I hope she’ll still be in equal footing with Sekyung in their alliance. The same goes for Tommy but from the next episode preview, it looks like Tommy’s leaving all the action to Sekyung.

  28. 28 yume

    I really really prefer se kyung with the bangs… she looks much more mature and of appropriate age

    • 28.1 Geeme Koon

      unfortunately her bangs give her an unattractive look with that hairstyle. she has more of a fierce confident look and it highlights her best features like her eyes and frame her face better.

  29. 29 4boysmommy

    Its’s more realistic. Aren’t we all some good and some bad.

  30. 30 Lilian

    It is unfortunate that the drama is heading to makjang land. I was hoping they would make Inhwa’s character more special now she just seems needy….just get over it and find another rich guy! The most interesting part though was seeing Tommy being “stepped on” . I am pretty sure that this happens in real life too.

  31. 31 Rima

    I just Wanted to say: i love the way u write!!! Just LOVES it ^_^… keep on doing that 😉

  32. 32 Aisha

    I dont get it.. what girl doesn’t want to be in the upper class? so Yun Ju started her journey on it.. she wanted to be rich so she got Min Yuk and got married.. but why does the drama make it sound like so horrible like its such a big deal? It’s not like she’s cheating on him. She got married for the wrong reason but she seems sincere with the guy.
    Se kyeong on the other hand, was on a similar journey but she fell for Secretary Kim along the way.. who turned out to be the chairman.. so what if she found out before he could tell her? i really dont understand whats wrong in telling the truth to him.. everything is made into such a BIG deal in the drama.. one reason im not enjoying this as much as i expected.. sigh..

  33. 33 Geeme Koon

    “There are flower snakes (gold diggers) ”

    — wow.. the sister-in-law has seen the stolen video and is about to kick some a##

    – she is pissed at her Yoon Joo who she never really liked for having dated SJ for his money
    – she is pissed at her brother for marry gold digger.
    – she is pissed at losing to her contractor SK who she thinks is also a gold digger
    – she is pissed at SJ for not falling in love with her instead
    – she is pissed at SJ for falling for gold diggers
    – she is pissed at Tommy Hong from hiding all of this from her

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