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Alice in Cheongdam-dong: Episode 12

We’re getting to that point in that series where the story is starting to drag as all the characters inch ever closer to the startling truth that Se-kyung and Yoon-joo are –gasp!- gold diggers. There are no surprises in this episode, which makes me feel like we’re really winding down to the last four episodes. While I commend the story outlining – because it’s about time we’re here in the series – I do wish it had retained some of the old charm and quirkiness that it had about 8 episodes ago. But oh well – let’s just get right on with how In-hwa is becoming that villain we always see.

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Lee Seung-hwan, feat. Yozoh – “I’m Sorry” for Alice in Cheongdam-dong OST [download]

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EPISODE 12 RECAP

In-hwa now understands why people as “unworthy” as Yoon-joo and Se-kyung were able to get the most eligible bachelors in Cheongdam-dong – they were cunning women who manipulated both her men, and herself. In-hwa angrily crumples up her interview questionnaire on Se-kyung and throws it, furious that they messed with her.

Honey, no one messed with you. They messed with the men; they couldn’t care a bit about you.

When Yoon-joo leaves the room though, she does feel a bit unsettled with how oddly In-hwa is acting. When her husband comes home, she directs him to the study where In-hwa is waiting for him for a chat. In-hwa only wanted to know how much Min-hyuk loved Yoon-joo when he married her. Min-hyuk thinks In-hwa is still hurting over Seung-jo and tells her to forget it. Their father is returning from a business trip in France, and so she ought to put on a strong face and concentrate on the business.

Yoon-joo’s been listening outside the door the entire time, and quickly shuffles away when she hears In-hwa coming out. While Yoon-joo is trying to be overly pleasant, In-hwa just snarls at her and grips her tablet more tightly before leaving.

Meanwhile, the memorial rites have concluded, and Il-nam once again looks at the photo of Se-kyung washing dishes, which she had given him earlier with her artwork. He laughs heartily to himself, and then thinks of how his son actually showed up at the memorial rite ceremony. Um… Daddy Cha, did you get a personality transplant too because of a photo?

After Se-kyung and Seung-jo high-five in the car, Seung-jo wants a reward from Se-kyung for being so good. Reward? Yep! A peck on the lips! And then he brings Se-kyung to his home because he has something for her. As they pull up to his apartment, In-hwa witnesses them go up the building and sees which apartment lights turn on. Well, he’s on the top floor… and right across from Yoon-joo! This revelation makes In-hwa even more suspicious of Yoon-joo.

Seung-jo unwraps a box and presents Se-kyung her newly issued passport. (So fast?) He promises they’ll fill it up with stamps together. Se-kyung invites him to have dinner with her parents as a way to also win her father’s approval. Seung-jo agrees to go, as he’ll do whatever it takes to win Se-kyung’s hand. They smile at each other awkwardly when they realize they have nothing else to say to each other. So… uh… Se-kyung ought to go home now… right?

Not so fast. Seung-jo grabs her around the waist and swings her around. Sleepover party!?

The following day, the secretary informs Il-nam that there are a lot of media outlets asking for confirmation on whether or not Seung-jo is his son. Il-nam tells him to confirm with only one media outlet, and the article that subsequently comes out also mentions his attendance at his grandfather’s memorial service. When Tommy sees the article, he laughs to himself, seeing Se-kyung’s influence written all over Seung-jo’s actions. He’s looking towards her quite favorably nowadays.

But one person is still incredulous over Tommy’s change in attitude – Yoon-joo. To her knowledge, Tommy isn’t the type to just make any deals with anyone. Se-kyung explains to her that he must have accepted her proposal because he realized that working with her is beneficial to him in the long run. Even if he may not actually trust her, Tommy sees himself in her, and that may explain why he is so keen towards her. The best part about their deal is that Tommy deleted the video right in front of Se-kyung.

Now that the threat of blackmail is gone (to their knowledge), Yoon-joo offers one more advice – Cha Il-nam looks at all relationships as a business, so Se-kyung ought to do something that will make her invaluable to his company as well. Se-kyung can’t fail in this, as Tommy and her future ride on Se-kyung’s.

Se-kyung then visits Il-nam in his office to invite him to dinner that evening with her parents. It’s a meeting of the in-laws essentially. She appeals to his ego by saying that she’s not trying to impress him with her good manners, but wants him to go for Seung-jo. Attending the memorial service was Seung-jo’s way of extending the olive branch, she claims, and so attending this dinner would show that Il-nam is supporting his son. She tells him the location of the restaurant and hopes to see him there. When did Se-kyung get so masterful with her words?

She then heads to the bakery to beg her father to come to the dinner. Instead of saying that she’s trying to make her father like Seung-jo more, she just wants him there as she tries to impress Seung-jo’s father. Ha! She assures her father that she’s happy with Seung-jo now, happier than before.

As she leaves, Il-nam arrives at the bakery to have a little chat with his “most favorite baker in the world!” Deuk-gi. He’s really curious to know if Deuk-gi’s already had a formal meeting with the in-laws regarding the boy his daughter likes. Deuk-gi admits that he was invited to meet them, but doesn’t approve of the boy because he comes from a very different economical background, and the family is a bit of a “mess.” HA! Il-nam agrees – a messy family is the worst thing to have to deal with. HAHA!

Il-nam likewise reveals that he has been invited to meet his son’s in-laws but doesn’t approve of the girl because she and her family have nothing. While Deuk-gi can understand Il-nam’s reservations about the girl, he does encourage him to connect with his son more. I’m just amazed that Il-nam doesn’t recognize Deuk-gi as Se-kyung’s father, as I thought he knew who they were when he saw them talking and hugging outside the bakery a few episodes ago.

That evening, Deuk-gi arrives at the arranged restaurant first, while Se-kyung and Seung-jo head over with her mother and sister separately. When the sliding door into the private room opens, he’s shocked to find Il-nam there. What are they doing there? Is it for a meeting with the in-laws? But… wait – are their kids Cha Seung-jo and Han Se-kyung!?

Both fathers engage in a shouting match. Il-nam: “What – my family’s a mess?!” Deuk-gi: “What – my family has nothing!?” Heehee. They keep poking at each other’s flaws but agree on one thing – they will not have their children marry each other. Their shouting can be heard outside the room, much to the horror of Se-kyung and Seung-jo when they arrive.

Seung-jo is shocked to see his father there, and quickly ushers him out so that they can talk privately. Il-nam declares, “You just got rejected by the father! What are you going to do now?” Haha – I don’t know why that was funny, but it was like Il-nam was hosting a reality TV show there. He drags his father out, leaving Se-kyung with her family. Her mother is also shocked that Mr. Cha ended up being the head of Royal Group – the one that ended up controlling Deuk-gi’s career. Deuk-gi is sorry he’s ruined this meeting, but wants the wedding called off.

Meanwhile, Seung-jo blames his father for ruining this meeting on purpose. His father has a gruff way of trying to defend himself by not really defending himself – “I was going to turn her down nicely, but then he [Deuk-gi] rejected you first!” Thankfully Se-kyung interrupts their fight. She apologizes to the both of them, and then orders Seung-jo to apologize to his father. Seung-jo: “EHHHHH?!”

Se-kyung explains that Il-nam came to tonight’s meeting as a favor and out of concern for Seung-jo. Now Il-nam’s feeling all smug – see? He’s not to blame, ha! But then, Se-kyung tells Il-nam to apologize to Seung-jo too. Even though Il-nam was insulted, he really did ruin this meeting. Haha! She gives Seung-jo a stern look and forces him to apologize, leaving him no choice but to listen to his lady love. (Learning the main rule in marriage here: always listen to the wife.)

Seung-jo mutters out “Sorry,” and Il-nam returns with a dismal, “Me too…” As a way to end the awkwardness, Seung-jo mentions that he will be hosting a welcoming party for when the head of Artemis, Chairman Robert, visits Seoul. Il-nam mutters that he will attend, and then Seung-jo quickly makes a run for it. Hee.

Back in the car, Seung-jo tentatively asks if Se-kyung is still mad at him, and thus giving him a silent treatment. She only wishes he’d understand that his father is trying to reach out to him, but is just an awkward guy. She wants them to try harder but Seung-jo doesn’t want to. His father’s hard to please, and he’s afraid that it’ll be too much for Se-kyung to bear that she’ll eventually leave. She reminds him of her promise – she’s never going to leave his side.

Yoon-joo still cannot dispel her doubts over Tommy’s motives and why he’d agree to help Se-kyung so readily. She meets him in his office to confirm that he deleted the video, and asks why he made the deal with Se-kyung. He can’t possibly believe in her, can he? Tommy turns it back on her – why is she helping Se-kyung? Yoon-joo makes it seem like it’s all out of friendship, so Tommy admits that he’s not sure what made him accept her proposal. Was it her cleverness? His own deep-seated resentment? Yoon-joo: “Do you like her?”

Oooh – to the point! But Tommy says he doesn’t. Somewhat satisfied, Yoon-joo notes that they’re now all on the same boat. Tommy also warns her to be on her toes, as In-hwa came by several times to ask about Se-kyung. As Yoon-joo leaves, she notices his tablet and the unique patter on his cover as well.

Meanwhile, In-hwa is already doing her own digging. She visits the boutique that Yoon-joo used to work at and has one of the employees to look into Yoon-joo’s resume for her. Once it’s found, she wants it faxed over. The employee finds it a little sooner than expected; as it is sent through, Yoon-joo is led into In-hwa’s empty office to wait for her. She looks around, slightly bored, and then sees the fax. Just as she’s about to reach for it, In-hwa arrives. Darnit! In-hwa smoothly grabs the faxed resume and folds it, asking why Yoon-joo is here. Yoon-joo just wanted to assure her that she’ll find In-hwa a better match, as she promised her husband.

Yoon-joo turns to leave with some trepidation, and In-hwa takes a look at the resume. Everything checks out, except her reference is none other than Cha Il-nam. Imagine In-hwa’s shock when she realizes that Il-nam is also “in” on this charade.

After the disastrous meeting, Il-nam heads over to Tommy’s studio. Tommy is still extremely apologetic over the failed match, but Il-nam wants to know more about Se-kyung. This is his chance to help! Tommy says that the couple truly loves each other, and so it might be best if he just accepts Se-kyung. Thing is, Il-nam still rues the loss of In-hwa, as she was a perfect blend of business savvy and charming housewife. He’s not sure if Se-kyung could ever compare.

The following day, Min-hyuk picks his father up from the airport and updates him on the latest news. Artemis is nearly done in taking over Roman and their outlets, while GN Fashion is close to tying up their deal with Royal Group. When GN Fashion gets tied up with Roman, then the three main companies will once again be tied up together.

Mr. Shin arrives at home in the arms of his doting daughter, daughter-in-law, and wife. They get together to eat lunch, but In-hwa is noticeably absent from the table. That’s because she’s thinking of revealing Yoon-joo’s treachery through the video during lunch. The entire time, In-hwa looks around nervously, gripping her tablet, waiting for the right time to speak up. Yoon-joo, sitting across from her, can’t help but stare and wonder what’s going on with In-hwa. She does get a little paranoid that In-hwa may do something, especially when she recognizes the identical tablet case.

Meanwhile, Tommy calls up the company whom he believes sent him the new painting the other day. They tell him he must be mistaken, and that’s when Tommy realizes it could possibly have been a ploy by In-hwa. He needs evidence though, and orders his secretary to go find out who bought that painting. He then calls up Se-kyung – is she okay? Has anything happened to her yet? Nope – she’s still working as usual at GN Fashion.

Finally, In-hwa speaks up, as she has something to share with the family. If only the timing couldn’t have been better – she is interrupted by a phone call when Min-hyuk is notified that Chairman Robert just arrived in Korea. Mr. Shin then announces to the family that they are close to signing a deal with Artemis as well, one that will bring Royal Group on board in dealing with Artemis. With all these deals at stake, In-hwa can no longer reveal the truth and ruin all of her brother and father’s efforts.

Yoon-joo is somewhat relieved but wonders if she was being too paranoid. But then In-hwa comes in to her dressing room and asks if she’s happy with her position in the family. In-hwa: “I planned to marry for business too.” She was surrounded by business growing up, and wanted to marry for strategic reasons. But now, she has to admit that marrying for business makes her feel very uncomfortable. Guess she’s cravin’ for some tender love and care… and realizing that marrying for business would make her a gold digger just like Yoon-joo. She adds, “I wonder how much longer you can hold it in…” What she says is enough to haunt Yoon-joo as well, who now really believes In-hwa could have seen the entire video.

Meanwhile Seung-jo prepares Se-kyung for her meeting with Chairman Robert. The chairman is like a father to him, having trusted and listened to him all these years. Of course, that makes Se-kyung even more nervous, as she’s adamant about doing well. She must be a girlfriend worthy of Seung-jo. He’ll help her make a good impression, right? And by “help” she means giving her details about Artemis and Chairman Robert.

Thus begins her lesson. Seung-jo describes the numerous branches to Artemis and how Chairman Robert only uses Artemis products. He describes the chairman’s tastes in art, taking the opportunity to show her his favorite painting too and kissing her numerous times on the lips, and introduces her to the most luxurious and expensive wine that Robert enjoys. Surprisingly, Se-kyung has fine tastebuds that help her appreciate it.

Tommy also gives her a call, as he now wants to offer his help; he takes her to a France-based bookstore where all the books about Artemis and its branches exist. If she reads any of the books there, she will certainly have the leg up to impress the men there. He points out that men usually bring women to business meetings to help give that “feminine touch,” since the men can only provide all business. Se-kyung is confident she can do it, and flips open a random book. She looks at one of the pages’ intricate designs and remembers an article describing Artemis as a spider with all of its branches in a web, and it gives her an idea.

When Se-kyung remembers to ask about Tommy’s frantic and mysterious call the other day, he quickly brushes it aside as nothing. Giving her a kind smile, he tells her to just focus on this upcoming meeting. Methinks he likes her for a moment, or is suddenly being that protective second-lead we always secretly love.

Yoon-joo heads over to Tommy’s studio again and informs him that In-hwa has the exact same tablet case as he does. It could all be coincidental, but it certainly makes her very suspicious since Tommy’s tablet contained the video. At least they’re safe for now in knowing that In-hwa can’t reveal anything until at least all the deals are signed.

Secretary Moon gives Seung-jo his schedule for his meeting with Chairman Robert and then gets a call from someone he addresses as “Madame.” He sounds very accommodating on the phone, leading Seung-jo to wonder who this “Madame” is. Why, it’s Se-kyung of course. She is going to be the madame soon, isn’t she? Seung-jo gets all huffy and jealous over why Secretary Moon and Se-kyung are having secret conversations behind his back, and Secretary Moon adds fuel to it when he says, “Oh, I can’t tell you since it’s a personal call with the Madame.” Hee! As annoyed as he is, Seung-jo can’t help but be giddy over the fact that Se-kyung is becoming a “Madame” for his company.

He pesters Se-kyung over the phone call when he follows her shopping for her dress. She doesn’t answer him directly, and just picks a dress to try on – a black lace cocktail dress. (Ugh – black again?!) She emerges looking quite pretty (but boring in black) and practices her French for Seung-jo. He’s thankful for putting in so much effort, even though it’s what she calls her job to make sure she adds honor to his reputation. She grabs his hands and makes them into fists – “Fighting!” she squeals. Ha! Seung-jo is embarrassed – so she was awake the night he confessed to her when she was drunk!

Finally it’s the day of Chairman Robert’s arrival. Seung-jo introduces the chairman to Il-nam, Mr. Shin, Min-hyuk, and In-hwa, and Chairman Robert is very much taken with In-hwa’s designing talent. Secretary Moon then brings out a wine bottle for them to drink with to celebrate, and Chairman Robert is surprised to see that though it is his favorite wine, it is not the vineyard’s label. Secretary Moon explains that Se-kyung had specially designed the label for this location, drawing instead a vine with each petal representing an Artemis brand. It was her take on twisting the public’s perception of Artemis as a spider weaving its web.

And with perfect timing, Se-kyung finally arrives at the party. As the reporters snap away, Seung-jo introduces Se-kyung as his fiancee and she greets him in French. Thankful for such a thoughtful gift, Chairman Robert loudly shows his approval for Se-kyung, and notes that Seung-jo is very lucky to have someone like her. Of course, that comment doesn’t go unnoticed by the Shins, and only In-hwa burns with rage at the compliments.

They all then gather around for some wine, and Chairman Robert asks why the suggestion for a collaboration over the outlet came from GN Fashion and not from Royal Group, when Il-nam is Seung-jo’s father. No one quite knows how to answer without revealing too much of their inner motivations, and so Se-kyung pipes up. In French, she says that Il-nam is still young (heh!) and didn’t want to piggyback on his son’s success and connection to get the deal with Artemis. Il-nam didn’t want to be a burden upon his son, which is a nice way of glossing over the fact that father and son want nothing to do with each other. Il-nam agrees, saying that he was confident he could win the deal on his own merits by collaborating with GN Fashion than directly with his son.

Satisfied with that answer, Chairman Robert leads a toast for their new working relationship, and they all clink glasses. He also toasts to Se-kyung and Seung-jo’s impending marriage, and this time In-hwa can’t bother to raise her glass. Reporters come swarming to take photos, and practically push the Shins away from the table. They’ve been totally slighted! One of the reporters is so befuddled he asks In-hwa again if it’s really true that she’s not marrying Seung-jo. Wow, what a way to rub salt into the wound.

As the photographers snap away, Se-kyung makes another act of selflessness by bringing Il-nam over to Seung-jo’s side so that father and son stand next to each other. While it makes them a little uncomfortable, they are presented as a reconciled pair, and In-hwa seethes even more at how good Se-kyung looks now to everyone.

Il-nam and the Shins depart from the party together, with Mr. Shin congratulating Il-nam on his new daughter-in-law. He can objectively say that Se-kyung is a very talented young lady, and even Min-hyuk has to grudgingly admit that she is kind of smart. But In-hwa is still resentful and doesn’t recognize her as smart or savvy – to her, Se-kyung is just a skillful gold digger.

While they’re all away at this party, Yoon-joo has taken the opportunity to sneak into In-hwa’s office and look for her tablet. She can’t find it anywhere, but spies a sketch book with the design of the tablet cover drawn in it. She asks the manager what that is all about, and he cheerfully says that In-hwa had him buy that tablet cover for her a few days ago. It’s all coming together now for Yoon-joo…

As In-hwa gets into her car outside the department store, she sees Seung-jo coming out with Se-kyung and swinging her around in happiness. He takes her out, as he’s reserved something special for them, and their happiness just makes In-hwa even more jealous. Egh – of course. She calls up Tommy and tells him that she doesn’t care what he’s planning now – he’s failed. She hangs up, and Tommy’s secretary bursts in with news: the person who bought the painting gifted to him was from GN Fashion.

Tommy frantically calls Se-kyung – is she all right? She is, and wonders what could be the matter this time. She’s currently at a dress shop, as Seung-jo had made reservations for a wedding dress fitting. He tells her to stay put, and warns her that In-hwa might know something. He then calls up Yoon-joo, but she rejects his call as her husband has just come back from the party. He goes to the bathroom first, and that’s when Yoon-joo sees that he’s gotten a text on his phone. Suspicious, she doesn’t tell her husband and looks into it herself.

It’s a video from an unknown number – the video of Yoon-joo and Se-kyung. Freaking out, Yoon-joo runs out of her husband’s office and deletes the video. She tries calling Se-kyung but there’s no response, so she calls up Tommy. Though it was an unknown number, the logical assumption is that In-hwa sent it. Both of them freak out when they realize that Se-kyung will be targeted as well, and that she’s not picking up her phone, so Tommy runs to the dress shop she said she was at.

In-hwa is not done with her revenge just yet, as she has to send the video to Seung-jo as well. But man, I have never seen a villain hesitate for so long to press the send button when it’s to her benefit – is a feeling of guilt washing over her? She finally sends the video to Seung-jo… but he doesn’t immediately notice it as he’s pacing back and forth, anticipating Se-kyung’s dress.

Bored with waiting, he checks his phone and sees the text. And at that moment, the curtains open, and Se-kyung stands before him in all her bridal glory. Seung-jo’s face lights up, and it’s this happy scene that Tommy intrudes upon. The couple don’t notice him at first, but Tommy can see that if Seung-jo is this happy, he hasn’t seen the video. His eyes fall on to Seung-jo’s phone on the table, where the video has been opened up. How to get to the phone!?

Tommy gives Se-kyung a worried look, and she catches sight of him. Her gaze prompts Seung-jo to look as well, and he wonders why Tommy is standing there. And Tommy can only think of how to get to that phone!

Comments:

There were a couple of issues that I had with this episode, with predictability being one of them, and personality amnesia being the other. The predictable aspect was that everyone acted accordingly to what their role dictated; I don’t mean their role in society, but their role in the drama. The fathers are the objectors to marriage, the second male lead comes swooping in to help protect the girl, the second female lead becomes a complete villain out of jealousy, and the leads get their triumphant moment when the girl impresses people outside of her social class. Every drama has these predictable aspects, but it annoyed me especially because this drama was not about being predictable in the beginning. It was more subversive towards what we thought a Candy girl was, and made us rethink our perceptions of K-drama gold diggers. It made us think about who really is the villain, and who really is the hero. But now, we’ve completely undone everything we thought these characters were – or could have been – by making them exactly who we expected them to be from the start, before we watched an episode. There’s no surprise, and that made this episode – dare I say it? – boring.

The second thing that annoyed me was the personality amnesia Il-nam and In-hwa seem to have gone through. I could have sworn Il-nam knew that Se-kyung and Deuk-gi were related after he saw them talking outside the bakery one night. Is it possible he didn’t recognize Se-kyung because of the scarf she was wearing? I was kind of annoyed that he was so surprised about Deuk-gi and his family because it felt so blatant that he knew who they were, but I guess we were only to come out of watching those scenes with the fact that Il-nam just wants to know how to improve his relationship with his son. But then he goes into this weird split personality where he laughs at everything related to Se-kyung, and shows gruff disapproval at his son and Se-kyung when he’s faced with them. Even if one can defend and say that he’s not good at showing his emotions, it makes no sense how he suddenly likes Se-kyung because of a few pictures. His delight in seeing her old drawings and photos do not match his usual personality of being more reserved and awkward.

And then In-hwa! I really really really really really wish she stayed being cool, because if she were, I felt she could have been a more intriguing character. She could have shown us that a woman can rise above such petty things like love and really achieve her own ambitions, which is what I thought she really was. Now she’s just giving up on all those business goals for something petty over jealousy. Instead of being jealous, why don’t you just prove that you’re better, and one-up Se-kyung like you usually one-up your sister-in-law? That might be cooler than you trying to destroy her with a video.

Here’s hoping that next week is better. I am shaking my Angry Bunny at the show right now.

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Disappointed with the direction the drama is going towards to. Started off great but now it is getting draggy :( and inconsistency of characters' personalities....

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On the contrary, I enjoyed the episode. :-)

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I enjoyed it a lot also.
I think the confusion with the father is that he is remembering from the pictures when he was a young father, probably the last time he was really happy before his wife left and broke his heart.

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SJ's father is just on the point of wanting nothing but to reconcile with his son. He's already old and he needs an heir. He just started to realize that if he continues to disapprove with SK, he will never get a chance to reconnect his ties with SJ.

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I think this was a good episode. However I wonder are they ever going to let the "secret" out. It coming toward to the end of the show and I'm wanting to see how SJ would react to SK secret.

Side note: MGY looks really pretty as a bride.

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I liked it, but not as much as ep 1-10. In 11 and 12, it kind of seems like the writer ran out of ideas, and is starting to revert to some of the standard melodrama stuff, which the series had largely avoided up until now.

I am hoping that it regains it's original direction with 13+.

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I don't find it so wrong for Se Kyung to pursue a man above her status. And I am looking forward to how she handles herself when the secret is out and how Jean Thierry Cha will respond.
While it is true that it is a favorite kdrama theme to exploit this rich vs poor girl- boy relationships in its dramas, it is not an uncommon theme anywhere else.
In real life though, these romances rarely succeeds, that is why we like to watch them in dramas. This way we can experience it vicariously when the romance succeeds because we like happy endings like Cinderella. After all, one can dream and fantasize, its free.

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I'm missing the cutesy stuff from earlier episodes. Fast-fowarding through episodes for now, thanks for recapping!

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Yeahh..!

I summoned back the cutesy of Seung Jo puhleaseee..

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Amen to that...

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I can handle the dragginess but dang! I feel so horribly betrayed. Although, I had been expecting betrayal for a while. I forgot when i began to suspect that this drama was not being honest. Might have been with all the convenient coincidences and characters not noticing stuff, conveniently not knowing stuff, way too apropos timing! What with all that, the personality amnesia is no surprise.

If i didn't like the two main leads so much, I wouldn't continue watching. But when i consider stories like Faith which really tried to honestly examine a theme.. I feel this drama totally failed me.

Main female character should have been tempted and should've even gone to the dark side and been internally embattled. Her mentor should have had her own little aspect of the thematic foil. But as [Read more]

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already dropped the show

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I like Lee Min Ho who is great in some of my favorites, but Faith was terrible beyond all saving.

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I don't necessarily think Inhwa's spiteful turn contradicts her personality. Remember, these chaebol types are all about pride. If anybody saw the kdrama Royal Family last year (funnily enough, the characters there are referred to in this kdrama, making this set in the same continuity) Cho Hyun jin has a similar reaction upon finding out she was being duped about Kim in sook. It's not just a matter of simple jealousy (although I'm sure there's some of that too!), she feels as though she was made a fool by women she views as "inferior." All of Inhwa's haughtiness and cool exterior are all a part of her chaebol pride. These chaebols have the mentality that they're better than everybody else.

But of course jealousy plays a role too. She's angry and jealous and to see a happy Seung jo and [Read more]

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I was wondering about the JK Group. They were the main chaebols in Royal Family. I'm wondering how these two dramas are connected. I get a kick every time JK is mentioned.

I agree with you about In hwa. She's still in character. She's mainly acting out because her pride got hurt.

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Yeah, I agree with you.

I also don't think that IlNam had a personaliy transplant too. It could very well be that he's more open and amused by SeKyung for the reason that she is NOT his daughter and so is less awkward. There are people who are less awkward with strangers than their own family. Also, SeKyung is trying to improve the relationship between father and son which has hit bottom for so many years. You can't deny that IlNam loves his son and does want to be close to him but just does not know how so SeKyung is like that small oasis in a vast desert for him. No wonder he's so taken by her, as a father.

But as a businessman, he's still disapproved of her marrying his son. Perhaps until the end of this episode.

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I agree as well!

In-hwa showed her elitism in the beginning when she said Se-kyung was never going to make it in the fashion business because her family was poor. Which was so ignorant it infuriated me and I disliked her ever after -- so I've been totally expecting this side of her to come out.

And Il-nam has been aching to reconnect with his son. We saw that with his first conversation with her dad. All Se-kyung is doing is giving him a path. He's so happy because it's a path he wants to take. But yes, his business side still didn't like the match. Until the episode end, perhaps.

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Are chaebols even descended from Joseon aristocracy?

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No, chaebols have nothing to do with Joseon aristocracy or the Joseon royalty. Chaebols refer to extremely rich families who own huge business conglomerates in korea like Samsung or Hyundai. As these business conglomerates are often still controlled by the founding family, it centralizes a lot of power and money among a small group of people. And as the economic elite of korea, they are ultra educated, and at times, raised with the mindset of marrying for business reasons. This does not mean they can't be descended from Joseon aristocracy (a yang-ban family) or from Joseon royalty. Anyone with the last name of Lee or Kim could potentially trace their lineal roots to the korean royal families, so some chaebol families could very well be Joseon aristocracy. My mom's family has a jok bo traci [Read more]

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So being of yangban descent doesn't mean land in the background, I guess? And if there are some families like that, with land and the jok bo, are they considered posh?

What happened to the Joseon aristos? Did they fizzle out in influence with the Japanese colonialist era?

Btw, I love Samsung. If I ever met a Samsung Chaebol, I'd thank 'em for my phone, TV and microwave.

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Exactly. Being yang ban doesn't mean wealth. There were lots of poor yang bans in korean history. Sometimes even those of the highest rank were from a poor family. The most famous queen of korea, Myung sung hwang hoo was from an extremely poverty-stricken family. But her social class was deemed high enough for her to be considered for the position of princess consort (bin goong).

Many koreans today are of yang ban descent but very few still have land because of it. Due to Japanese colonization and the korean war, many korean yang ban families lost land and most of their money. The former ruling social class of korea became virtually extinct and it doesn't have the hugely significant connotations it used to. However, there are still a few families out there who consider it "posh" as you [Read more]

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A midlevel cheobol family rises to the top by marrying/buying an aritocratic wife. One of my relatives married into Sun Myung Moon's empire and lived in a 'foreigner only luxury compound'

There's too much disinformation about the aristocracy in to day's Korea. They maintained and/or rose in their power when Japan annexed Kr. There was a split between those with Japan and those in the resistance. The resistance was split in 2, Marxist and capitalist. My granny went to Manchuria and China to fight the Japanese. Her uncle went south with close friend Kim Gu.

After WW2 the Kims in China became the aristocracy in the North and the King is always the son. It is not a dictatorship in the north.
The capitalist Kims form a provisional Kr. govt in China. After WW2, Uncle Kim became vice presi [Read more]

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Having inlaws in the govt can really help a chebol's biz to grow and stunt the growth of competitors.

Note that England and France has almost the same system.
Cheobol is equivalent to UK's Kinght, like gay Sir Elton John.

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Chaebol has nothing to do with being descended from any class, at least not directly. There is a good writeup on them on Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaebol

Korean history is pretty complicated, but to a large extent most of the ties to any historic royalty were destroyed or made irrelevant by the Japanese occupation and then the ensuing Korean War, and the semi-dictatorships up to around 1970 or so.

In short, it was 98.7% about money, and not lineage.

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@YT629 Pity about traditionalism going by the wayside, especially since hanboks look like they can easily be modernized. Thank you for the explanation! I'm looking up that queen now.

@InSu, your Granny rocks.

@Windsun33, thank you for the wiki article!

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"she feels as though she was made a fool by women she views as “inferior"...

That is kind of what I got from it also - not so much that she was jealous, but that she was going to put that "uppity class jumper" in her place, no matter what the consequences.

Kind of like she figured there was room for only one "princess".

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Love, love, love Royal Family!
You are so right about pride and conceit always go with some pettiness, always. How much they let it get away with them in real life is all that changes.

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The BIGGGEST gold digger of them all is InHwa.

She is only interested in marrying for business to merge two companies. Hello? Pot calling the kettle black? Trying to set up a wedding without the knowledge or consent of the groom? For money? Hypocrite.

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Jellybeaniebaby . . . . ROFL, it's funny cuz it's true LOL

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It's not really the same. She assumes it is natural for people of their kind to do business by means of getting married. I guess she realized only recently that Seung Jo cares for the bulls**t called love ;) and values himself and his emotional wellbeing higher than a new retail possibility. She took it for granted that Seung Jo is a business-oriented kamikadze like herself. Which turned out to be naive LOL

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Ah, but it IS the same!or so this drama would seem to have us believe. The thing that Se-Kyung, Yoon-joo and In-hwa have in common is that they all approached a guy for some kind of financial gain. The only difference is that In-hwa did it within her own class, thus with greater financial security should her scheme fail. So not so much a gold digger but a gold harvester/guarder/multiplier.

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Yes! In-hwa was looking to up her power and money. It's why she sneered at Seung-jo in the beginning when he was a mere CEO of a foreign company, but gained interest when she learned he had a more expensive pedigree. And her brother and mother were all chortling over the bottom line as well.

So I totally agree that she's a hypocrite. And her family and her class and basically everything that goes into forming Cheongdam-dong -- the exclusiveness for the sake of exclusiveness -- is one big rotting bundle of hypocrisy.

Part of the reason I really loved this episode, and the story's turn, is that we've got this dream-team of barrier breakers (Se-kyung, Tommy and Yoon-joo) planning the ultimate heist of that elite status. I'm so on their side and eager to see them "win".

(Th [Read more]

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I think it would be more accurate to say that In Hwa is the Queen of Scrooge - not a gold digger, but very intent on not letting anyone else have any gold. She thinks that she "deserves" her gold, but others do not.

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Yes.
She is a Flower Snake too.
Just one that crawled out of a closer garden to the victim.

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I think it's just realistic when someone doesn't instantly memorize a face of a girl he sees from a distance being in a car and from a questionable angle - that's about Il Nam knowing who is Se Kyung's dad -)

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Agreed, unless they are a cop on a stakeout.

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It was quite obvious to me that Il-nam did not see Se-kyung's face while she was talking with her father Deuk-gi. He only saw her back. Now this excuse wouldn't work in real life but this is a drama and I find this to be a very minor issue. The big issue is as u said, Il-nam's personality. It is quite unbelievable that he is already so accepting of Se-kyung.

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Aside: the more I watch this drama, the more Tommy looks like a handsome version of HaHa. Not saying HaHa doesn't have his charms (because he does), but me thinks HaHa's more of an acquired taste.

I stand corrected. The person who said Tommy was falling for Se Kyung on viki a few episodes ago was totally right! How could I not anticipate this after seeing 100+ dramas these past 7 years?

...Losing my drama-dar with age, I guess

Episode 11 was boring, but EP12 certainly made up for it! How is Tommy going to hide the video without being conspicuous?

Tommy, Yoo Joon, and Se Kyung need to devise their 'oh-snap'-action plan (ASAP), regarding that video. Yoo Joon deleting it on hubby's phone is only a temporary fix, cause sister-in-law only needs to re-send it once she learns that her [Read more]

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This whole business of gold-diggers vs. proper ladies is so Victorian - they might as well be wearing topcoats and bustles, considering how anachronistic this show has turned out to be. There have been so many financial crises in the past 30 years that all "money" is new money, and marriages are made for every reason under the sun - love, lust, money, and it doesn't matter who has the money/power the start because often that won't be the person who ends up with it.
And it doesn't matter whether you are a shopgirl or a chaebol princess, you will be expected to bring something to the table: it can be money, but it could as well be charm or intelligence or business acumen or, as in SKs case, all three. Everyone is looking out for the main chance, and to sit there are wring your hands over h [Read more]

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nah, I respectfully disagree. Moon Geun Young is perfect the way she is.

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The anachronism you speak of is probably there to amp up the narrative tension of this and countless other dramas but you raise an interesting point. Does anyone reading this know anything about South Korea's class system, it's history, how it works now? Are chaebols mostly old or new money and does it make a difference to their fellow rich and powerful?

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I'd like to know too. I just posted in response to someone else: are chaebols descended from Joseon aristos?

Plus, why do they have to marry to secure a contract? A contract with an offer, acceptance and consideration secures a contract.

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So I read this article in The Economist (because I'm a total geek about anything S. Korea now) and I was able to find it again! Here's the link:

http://www.economist.com/node/21538104

To sum it up as best I could understand, their top earners do form a tight barrier against all comers. It's not very friendly to entrepreneurs and the big companies do do their best to keep it all "in the family". So, per this article anyway, this drama isn't as anachronistic as you might think. In fact, I suspect the drama was written as a direct comment about current financial practices.

Though, I am coming at this from waaay outside the country and my info could be outdated.

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Thank you so much Betsy Hp, for this article. It is very interesting. I love that on this blog, we can learn about almost anything and we can be exposed to so much. Thank you again.
Like you, I am a nerd and I have become interested (literally) in anything that is Korea (either North or South) related. I so appreciate your link :-)...

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Compared to real life (what ever that is...), yes it is an anachronism, but how would we have these dramas without it. ")

The US is probably much less class cosncious than Asia, but even there you still see some dramas and movies that bring long obsolete Victorian ideas.

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RE: the crossed eyes....I'm with skelly on this one.

The main tool of an actor is the face/facial expressions, or more specifically...the eyes.

MGY's eyes do go darting about a bit and it is distracting....yet still, of the many *repeat actresses* in Kdramas I do find her actual acting skills to be pretty good --- convincing. So in the BIG picture I can overlook it more than say ....Han GaIn's bulging-eyes-of-lack. (☉_☉)

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A handsome version of HaHa? Now that you mention it ... He does indeed!!

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ahahah...right?!

once you SEE it, it cannot be unseen!
I like both of them.

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lol on drama-dar

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I almost died of embarrassment for the actors as they were struggling through their French in this episode. I couldn't even focus on PSH's beautiful face.

I still love how multi-dimensional the characters are in this drama - who ever would have thought I'd be on Yoon Joo's side!? - but it is all becoming very predictable. Normally my rooting for the OTP would get me through the slow, draggy part but I just don't buy MGY and PSH as a couple. They are just really mismatched, physically: he is worlds better looking than her, they look far apart in age, and she looks like a country bumpkin even in a fancy wedding gown. It's weird, because I totally bought their almost-kiss in the pojangmatcha way back when.

I'm a completionist so I'll watch to the end, but this show has lost its magic.

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LOL! I had to laugh at the French as well. PSH is much better at it than MGY. Her French is horrible! HAHA I could barely make out what she was trying to say. Kudos for effort, though. :)

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Agree about the badly spoken French.They should do like in Horse Doctor: This week they had to speak a lot of Chinese and actors were dubbed. It was clean and perfect.

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Hi Mysti, really? (about actors being dubbed in HD). How do you know that? I am just curious, I don't doubt that you would know such a fact.

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You could see they were only mouthing the words, barely synchronized with the lines. And really, you could hear it was natives speaking. At least my ears weren't bleeding. ;)

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Hey Mysti, you are still up :-). Is it 4am where you are, now? I loved your answer (informative as usual) and I love the funny bit about your ears not bleeding. Do Koreans (who do not speak Chinese fluently) sound that bad (in Chinese), really? :-)

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I don't speak French, but that falls in line pretty much with most of the (pseudo-) Japanese and English spoken in these dramas. Most of it is pretty bad (to be fair, even when they have native speaking foreigners in dramas, the dialogue sucks).

There is at least one actress that speaks perfect english, don't recall who it is, but she grew up in an American/Korean household and speaks both fluently.

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I believe it is Han Ye Seul.

Lee So Jung also sounds quite at ease with English - I've only heard a couple of sentences from her so I may be wrong about her fluency.

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Jung Ryeo Won's English is perfect as well. Her family moved to Australia when she was 12.

But yes, the French here is unbearable. Along with everything else, in the last few episodes.

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Hi guys,

also Daniel Henney (maybe he doesn't count because he is 1/2 American and he grew up in the US), and Kim Soo Hyun http://asianwiki.com/Kim_Su-Hyeon_%281985%29
She was in Fugitive Plan B and in Brain. You can hear her speak English here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RybeVeifA_I

I think JGS sounds good in English too, he lived in New Zealand and studied there when he was in High School. Lee Byung Hyun is said to be good in English as well and he has held interviews in English. Hyun Bin is not too bad either, and neither is Kim Sun Ah.

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I don't mind their accented French as much....like what you said kudos for effort...I was in Paris recently, and the French didn't seem to mind my accent that much...

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Moi aussi! I had to mute the sound and just go with the subtitles until they got past the French dialogue which, in all seriousness, was utterly incomprehensible as French. I've always found the occasional English in KDramas to uncommonly labored ("Take Care of Us, Captain" - phew!), but man, this French exhausting!

And I have to ask, who IS that actor (if he is indeed an actor) who seems to have made a career out of being the face of the Western Business Man in KDramas...? And why do they keep using him?

Anyway, I have been trying to figure out why the characters in KDramas sound uniformly odd when speaking English (and apparently French as well), and it occurred to me that they must get all their dialogue written in Hangeul (Korean alphabet) which they must then proceed to read in [Read more]

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You're right. Romanization transmits imperfectly the nuances of hangul so I guess when they convert Fr/Eng dialogues in "phonetic hangul" there is distortion as well. That + actors who never actually learnt the language in the first place and this is what you get.

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=D! Speaking of the nuances of Hangeul, can you imagine the violence American/English actors would wreak upon Korean if they had to deliver even a fraction of the smatterings of English Korean actors have to get across.

Picture this: a character wants to say "Thank you" in Hangukeo and ends up saying "Come away, oh!" (7 7 7...) or, heavens help us, "Gum sum uh duh...) (ROFL!) Perhaps Hangukeo speakers may be glad they don't have to be subjected to that...

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“Come away, oh!” .... Bwahaha... Oh god. :))) And this is why buffalaxed K-pop works so well.

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Apparently the Korean-American actor in "Lost" (who was playing a native S. Korean, but actually doesn't speak the language) was laughingly horrible. I think the actress playing his wife (who is Korean, but was supposed to be the only one of the two who spoke English) helped him out a bit but...

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Hi guys,

OK! I would like to be part of the fun, so I have some questions: what is Hangukeo and how is it different from Hangul?
Curioser And Curiosor, absolutely loved your comment and LOLed at it as well. Do you think the American actors/actresses would be that bad? :-). Also, what does this "(7 7 7…)" mean, please?
Mysti: buffalaxed K-pop, means? (Thank you in advance :-) )

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@Ivoire: If you go on YouTube and search for "Misheard Buffalaxed English Lyrics", you'll see a long list of Korean songs with the lyrics captions replaced by fake captions showing you what English speakers could "hear". It's often of very bad taste, quite hilarious and in rare cases, awesome. 4.50am. Checking out. :)

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Hey @Ivoire, good questions all, so here's the quick answer [oops - I really tried to make it short, so I apologize for the length in advance]:

- "what is Hangukeo and how is it different from Hangul?"

Some context: Korea has an amazingly rich and long recorded history and the current names of both South Korea and North Korea in the Korean language harken back to ancient Kingdoms that date back as far as 2000 to 3500 year ago.

The name "Korea" may be traced back to the original name "Goguryeo" or "Kokuryŏ" Kingdon that flourished 2000 years ago. Going even farther back to 3500 years ago is the "Gojoseon" era in the Korean peninsula. From "Gojoseon" then comes the name of the Golden Age of Jorean history that started in the 15th century and lasted through the 19th century.
So: to [Read more]

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oops again! I meant to write: "From “Gojoseon” then comes the name of the Golden Age of Korean history that started in the 15th century and lasted through the 19th century, the "Joseon" era."

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Ugh! that last paragraph was a travesty of typos! If you care to read a clean version, here it is:

For the last question, I don’t really know whether American actors would be really so terrible. I was mostly having a laugh. What Mystisith said is relevant, though: unless the actor is a phenomenal mimic, he or she is going to sound extremely foreign and possibly incomprehensible when they have to deliver dialogue in a language they don’t really know but are just sounding out based on phonetic spelling that is only an approximation. When people who know the language may still speak it with thick, thick, thick accents, heavens preserve the actor who doesn’t even really understand what the lines he has been given to say actually mean!

“ㅋ ㅋ ㅋ…”

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@ Mystisith: Echo on the Bwahaha and add a hehehe!! I looked up "buffalaxed" and ended up in stitches from seriously uncontrollable laughter! Had to splash water on my face in order to avoid splitting my sides!

That was quite refreshing... and now I've added a new (deliciously gratuitous) term to my vocabulary! Thank you and g'nite!

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@ Mysti, sorry for the late response. Just wanted to let you know that I read yours and I will check the info on YT. Also, I was right (or thinking right), we are 9 hrs apart (France is 9hrs ahead of us, in North. CA). A plus tard :-)...

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Hello Curioser And Curiosor,

I apologize for the late response. First and foremost, please do not apologize for writing such long responses. I so appreciate your thorough and detailed answers and I thank you for the time and effort you put in writing them. I write the same way. If you scroll down, you will see what I mean :-)

As I was reading your response, the drama "Tree with Deep Roots" came to my mind, and so I found it interesting that you recommended it. I know that it was recapped here, and that JB and GF think highly of that drama. I also know that SJK did a great job there, so much so that they had him come back for another cameo (is what I read somewhere). I plan on watching it some day, I will have to make the time for it and prepare myself mentally.

I got your referenc [Read more]

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Well I'm a "life's too short and there are hundreds of dramas out there so cut your losses" kinda viewer and went into this with low expectations. Actually, low isn't the right word, I just wasn't expecting anything different. Just the bog standard love triangle last minute conflict resolution etc. However, I think Se-Kyung's character development has been quite refreshing: she's flawed, she know she is and feels guilt for what she's done but decides to continue as she is. I for one will contentedly watch this until the end.

As for the magic, well that's all Park Shi-hoo, baby!

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You got that right! lol

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Wow. You must be really beautiful to talk like that. duh!

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"..he is worlds better looking than her.."

Utter blasphemy!!!

MGY is cute and lovable, and don't you forget it! :) Almost as good as Shin Min Ah in Nine Tailed Fox.

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Anyone notice our 'French' guy Robert? He definitely wasn't French. My bet, with that accent, is Dutch. Sounded worse than me during my French presentations back in highschool~

I think they're just being slow on purpose right now, because they don't want to have the 'big revelation' happen too early. But they're not really working the tension very well.

Also, the OTP kindof needs more cute and natural moments to be something to root for. I sortof miss SJ's schemes =( Though I'm happy Se Kyung is still very active, but can't we have both of them being equally non-passive at the same time??

Let's hope they speed up a little more next week~

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I believe that Robert guy is the guy from Nice Guy/The Innocent Man who wanted to buy the Japanese resort. He spoke unaccented English then. I thought he was American or Canadian.

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Unaccented English is American or Canadian? Not to be rude or anything but there are so many accents that fall under those nationalities. And there are a lot of other English speaking countries out there.

I'm going to assume you meant that you thought he was from North America instead.

Sorry about the rant... just feel that sometimes people assume everyone who speaks English on the web is from the US or Canada.

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Haha, thought he was Dutch too! So I tried looking around for it on the web, which led me to your comment.

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I think the writer should consult some Francofone so as to let the characters utter only short and simple words and still pretend to speak French.

But when I think of Antique Bakery, the guys there were able to at least copy the rhythm which made them sound a bit more believable, even if they had hard time pronouncing the exact sounds.

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BTW I feel weird looking at MGY in her bridal dress. The girl hasn't changed at all since My Little Bride and looks like a dressed up highschooler :)

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Hello Kopytko,

I agree with you! I think that the writer SHOULD have consulted some Francophones in Seoul or in SK (and I am sure they have those, even in Seoul alone), before writing the scenes when the characters speak French. I don't know how that would work, but I would think that if they were to approach something like "The Alliance Francaise"(French Alliance) (if they have that in Seoul), or a department of French (or a department of Foreign Languages, which does offer learning French as an option) at a university, I think that they could find someone willing to help them with their lines, even a French speaking person (from a francophone country) would have been able to do it.

And it is not only that the diction, sounds, and pronunciation and rhythm were bad (actually horribl [Read more]

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It works both ways - my wife is Japanese, and quite often when some American speaks what is supposed to be Japanese in US movies, she laughs and or cries. My Japanese is not that great, but even I can very often catch bad grammar and pronunciation.

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Hello Windsun33, thank you for your response!

I totally believe what you said about American actors not speaking well in other languages (such as Japanese for instance) and no effort being made to even attempt to have them speak it better. It must be really bad, if your wife cries when she hears the way Japanese is being spoken in some American movies. It is what it is, I understand that, I don't think it makes it right, however, and I still think that it is OK to talk about it here.
I do believe that the comments section of a recap is to talk about (hopefully) anything that touches us or anything we noticed (good or bad) in the drama being recapped. I am also sure that American actors are not the only ones butchering other languages, actors/actresses from other countries probably do [Read more]

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Actually, it is a very coomon problem for actors - I remember cringing about a supposedly German character (played by a British actor) who sounded SO awful. I know he was a secondary character, but he was unnecessarily shown speaking a language he didn't know. On the other hand I am always pleased to hear that an actor either speaks a language or is motivated to learn his lines dilligently.

The problem with MGY was that she indeed tried to learn dilligently and uttered each syllable (or what she thought was one) separately, what in turn made all wrong sounds even more eminent. I guess the simplest thing to do was to hire a lecturer or a senior student of French and revise 4 or 5 common phrases. Fellow Koreans would be even better at explaining the phonemes (as in lip rounding, position [Read more]

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Hello kopytko, good to read from you...

I am learning (through participating in the comments section of this recap) how common a problem that is for actors to speak in a foreign language. I think I knew it was, I am not sure I realized however the extent to which it actually was. This, "On the other hand I am always pleased to hear that an actor either speaks a language or is motivated to learn his lines diligently," I agree with and I feel the same way. I would add that some actors are also better at it than others. The few that currently come to my mind are Kim Sun Ah in I Do I Do, where she had a couple of lines in English in an episode where she gave a presentation about shoes, and spoke briefly with a foreign lady who was supposed to be one of the high up people in the shoe indus [Read more]

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Hi, Ivoire!

I felt that "Comment ça va" was out of place but didn't dare to mention it *proud of myself*. After all, whatever I know about French comes from several songs, a few short visits to France and having friends studying French, but if I was unsettled, it means there was something wrong.

I didn't mean to criticize the actors too severely (not after KoD) but I think if you do something, do it well. Or at least don't brag about being fluent. It might be unpleasant for students of French, who would be bitter hearing that "that" was good.

My thought concerning MGY could be expressed as "work smart, not hard". She put in effort, but she chose a wrong method or didn't have any help. But still, she could simply google any site with recorded phrases and use it to practice a lit [Read more]

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Hello again Kopytko (and fellow linguist),

This is a little late, however I hope that you will get to read this. Thank you for not taking my comments personally, as I mentioned in one of my posts, I tend to become passionate when I write about languages or Kdramas :-).

You were right, "Comment ca va" is never (or at least usually not) a phrase/sentence people would use in a business setting, unless they know each other well and are in a place in their interactions (and relationship) where they can speak or are speaking to each other informally. In an instance where they are meeting for the first time, like Mr. Robert and SK, that would never fly and that shouldn't happen.

Regarding your 2nd paragraph, I too, believe that if you are going to do something, do it well, or close to w [Read more]

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Sometimes it bothers me, sometimes it doesn't. With Robert, it bugged me very much because he was /supposed/ to be French, and I just couldn't get over the accent (which srsly sounds so familiar o-o). Same goes for PSH - hasn't he STUDIED in France? Not to mention worked? For MGY's character I actually don't mind very much, because she's never actually been in France. She's supposed to have studied this on her own...

In TK2H they had a couple of 'Americans' who didn't sound very American either, I thought. But it didn't bug me as much, somehow. Maybe because they were still understandable?

Either way, I think this is mostly annoying to us foreigners and not so much to the Koreans watching. They probably don't even notice it much, since they'll be focused on the Korean subtitles. I do [Read more]

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Hello Saturtledaisy,

I usually try to not let it bother me, however I get bugged when we are told that a character in a Kdrama lived abroad for a certain amount of time (usually, at least a year) and they don't seem to speak or manage to speak the language. My question is very often: what was their purpose in going in the 1st place (and those reasons can vary, I know that), and how did they communicate with other people, and the natives in the foreign country? Korean actors do not seem to have problems when it comes to speaking Japanese or Chinese, however.

I can understand if the elderly (in a foreign country) do not learn the language and can't speak it. Their case is different. younger people imho can learn a language and usually adjust more easily and are not as embarrassed to ma [Read more]

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I have to say I'm rather disappointed with the way this drama is turning. I echo the majority of votes here.

Could have been so much more.... the drama ofcourse.

I realized how much I don't like MGY anymore, she annoys me to no end with the facial expressions. More PSH though please =)

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I actually liked this episode. I guess my expectations for the characters are a lot lower.

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Me too. I personally prefer this episode better than ep 11. I am still invested emotionally in this sweet couple and can't wait for the truth to be out so that we can see how the couple reconcile thereafter.

Really like the apology scene at the restaurant. Both SJ and his dad are so funny.

Where are our cute doc and Driver Kim? Miss their presence in ep 12.

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I'm still loving it show even though the storyline could be a bit better and more consistent. Loving the MGY and PSH chemistry in this episode...cant wait for Saturday to come.

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My complaint is really petty. Tommy Hong is in the business of collecting 'classified' information on people, and using that to orchestrate matches, while excluding competitors. So... what's with leaving unencrypted 'classified' data laying around on his office coffee table on an internet connected device? The show could have put a little more effort into that.

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How else were they supposed to advertise the phone? I saw her downloading and they kept showing the speed it was downloading. It felt like something Anthony would force a writer to add for product placement. It doesn't have to make sense, it's money. lol

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Ditto.

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=) Love the KoD allusion!

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Hehe, yup.

Don't recall which drama, but a while back I saw one with some blatant product placement - so much so that in the phone store they had blurred out most of the competitors names on wall posters etc.

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country bumpkin? unnecessary surgeries? you have got to be kidding me.

i also think that it was possible il nam didn't see hsk's face. i do hope that they make it harder for him to like hsk. that would make more sense.

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Interesting. Or as one verrrrry old program character use to say from behind a bush, “Verrry inter resttttinggg?”

Papa Nam is a little spooky, in that he does not seem to be able to keep his feelings/thoughts about his son together. One minute happy, next guttural, jolly over a picture of someone who is just doing dishes? Huh??

I wonder and perhaps cringe, on how Seung-jo will take the reveal on Se-Kyung? How will it be played, who will be the reveal villian, In-Haw or who? What part if any will Yoon-joo play in this, as well as his father?

I agree with some of the thoughts here, but disagree strongly with others. I like how they portrayed Se-kyung in this, or how she grew as it were. She has stepped up her game, and awareness, or her potential that she always had. S [Read more]

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Probably for one that came without adding to the family wealth.

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Well, that was disappointing. I wanted In-hwa to be Yoon-joo's foil, the example of a hard-working career woman who doesn't need a man. Turns out she's just the villain.
Virtuous men are the ones who work themselves up from the bottom.
Virtuous women are the ones who make people happy and demonstrate cheerfulness in the face of adversity.

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I agree with you on that personality amnesia of Il-nam. But one things for sure... I enjoyed those SMOOCHES.. yay!

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One of my favorites drama nowadays. Been loving the heavy drama they exude.

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[quote] I wanted In-hwa to be Yoon-joo’s foil, the example of a hard-working career woman who doesn’t need a man. Turns out she’s just the villain.[/quote]

In-hwa has always appeared to be simply villainous to me, the least three dimensional character (save Yoon Joo's hubby) on the show. To me it was clear from the beginning that she is primarily a plot device used to personify how precariously Yoon Joo is perched within that household, given her naked suspicion of YJ, and her obvious belief that YJ is not "one of us." Her actions in this episode are entirely in character I think. How else is a prideful ice queen supposed to respond to being publicly humiliated by an obvious social lesser? To being "the woman scorned" in favor of such an inferior?

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How else is a prideful ice queen supposed to respond to being publicly humiliated by an obvious social lesser?

Off with their heads.
Its the Queen of Hearts!

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I'm interested in seeing how Tommy Hong will manage to erase that damning video before Sueng Jo sees it. And I'll be interested in seeing to what lengths Yoon Joo will have to go to erase the video off of In-Hwa's tablet computer. Doing so will buy them a little time before the defecation hits the rotating blades. How many episode is this drama supposed to have? How are the ratings? A lot of plot timing might be dependent upon whether the network seems inclined to hand down an extention.

Speaking of product placement, I must sheepishly admit to getting a little thrill each time I see one of the characters using my exact same phablet...(shrug/smirk).

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It's in her dropbox (somehow she switched that out on Tommy's tablet and then back again).

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I loved this drama when SK was angry at being a 'good girl' at the end of ep2. The 'darkness' hasn't been very dark since SK decided to confess to SJ. The 'darkness' that was promised is just teasing me. So I downloaded Saewa to watch it again, all 159 ep's of 'Smile Dong-Hae', Park Jung Ah was so despicable. I hope the 3 snakes start their dark and evil schemes soon.

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I liked this episode because finally SK did something besides pout or cry. She spoke well! She had ideas! And of course Park Shi Hoo was adorable as always.

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If it's in her drop-box, it won't matter if Yoon Joo manages to erase the one she down-loaded. Sigh...

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I want to be one of the small gang cheering for this show & to show my appreciation for the actors & actresses. I came over from Padam Padam + Nice Guy + Arang & I maxed out on the intense issues of death , revenge , hatred & other darkly sordid emotions.
I'm enjoying this level of cotton-candy romance & other superficial Kdrama fluff & rhetoric .
It can't all be brillant writing & acting & near-perfection following near-perfection. I'm enjoying it as it is doled out.
I've seen dramas that are far more unworthy of time.
This one i enjoy.
MGY , had a 2 year hiatus. By the looks of it , she probly had her eyes corrected cos it used to be worse.
My sis has the same condition. It was an irksome & bloody AND VERY PAINFUL day surgery. She bleed from her [Read more]

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Tiger Butterfly, sorry your sister's operation was so painful. My daughter also had the operation - clipping some of the tendons that pull the eye to the center - and there was no bleeding or pain afterward, thankfully, but just as with your sister, it is again noticeable when she is tired and not wearing her glasses.

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Well, I am enjoying this show too and I like everybody in it. Weird thing is I could actually do without the kiss scenes - I don't know why, but I feel this lack of hot I-would-die-without-you passion between PSH and Moon, and I feel this awkwardness when they kiss - well, if you could call a quick peck on the lips a kiss - and I actually feel RELIEVED when they move apart and laugh awkwardly and the story resumes. Certain leads just bring out that raw sizzling chemistry like Rain and Shin Min-A in "A Love to Kill". Seung Jo and In Hwa would have better chemistry, I think. But this is just my opinion so pls don't kill me, folks.

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My niece had the same eye problem when she was a youngster. She had eye surgery then and corrected her problem. She is an now an adult with two children, and you can't tell she ever had that condition. Did MGY ever have eye surgery?
Hated the fractured French. They should have hired a language coach. I studied some French in college and have been to France several times, and I couldn't understand them. Maybe the Korean accent is thick so the French came out weird?
In Hwa is getting to be a pain in the b... She is suppose to be a upper crust business woman with major fashion house. Her pride was hurt, but why is she behaving like a low life and just accept defeat? She should find a man who loves her and not a business merger.

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When its surgically corrected when young , the problem can be totally rectified. My sis did it when she was 26, so its a hit & run. Possibilities of eyes moving inward/ourward is much more probable. Its happening already. May be happening to MGY whenever tiredness hits.

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Yeah , now that we've had a string of sugary kisses , some hot & heavy kisses to spice up the scenes would be very nice , Thank you . Just sayin'..

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Yes, they are starting to remind me of Kim Ha Neul's character in AGD - disturbingly juvenile when it comes to matters of intimacy. At least PSH's character has mental problems as an excuse. And I guess MGY's character can be said to be laboring under a combination of guilt and artifice.

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No , I don't think Moonie make surgery just because the make up on her eyes is not good so it makes her eyes seem to have problem .

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I like the show a lot, but I have a couple problems. The first being about that lie. Like the show makes it seem ala Desperate housewives were they were hiding the corpse of a evil man, here it doesn't seem nearly as serious, so the suspense isn't really there. I feel like if she was honest it'd be better, better to hear from her than a stranger (for both Se Kyung and Yoon joo). I like yoon joo, but i feel it is a bit overdramatic, that or maybe she feels that her husband didn't marry her out of love but to have that feminine touche. Her life would fall apart. Se Kyung, i still feel like she should be honest.

I like the acting a lot though.

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For me, I like the show a lot. But it creeps me if Seung Jo found out Se Kyungs motives but she didn't mean to with being a gold digger but now sincerely loves Seung Jo. How will she be able to prove her sinceriy even if it is business. I'm also curious about that promise she had with Seung Jo once he found out her secret. How will she be able to stay by his side. Will Seung Jo be able to trust her again? Is Tommy Hong starting to fall in love with Se Kyung?
As In Hwa told Yoon Jo, she is starting to become human, cause she are now feeling emotions over being a businessminded person..
Hmmmmm..I'm super duper curious with this story..
I hope the ending is memorable!
Thanks for the recap!

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Thank you! Really love this drama!

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I think this episode was at least better than the previous one, which was super draggy. This show was brilliant until like ep 7 or somewhere there. Once Han Se and Seung Jo became a couple (in kdramas in general the dating part feels always fake), I somehow lost my interest. I think, that the drama is still more or less unpredictable, like I can't tell for sure what's going to happen in the last episodes thought I have a few theories.

Somehow it pisses me off how Seung Jo is kind of "crazy"? or something, I understand he is emotionally unstable but somehow his character just gets less "real" for me with every episode. How did he get so far with his personality like that? The power of revenge? In my opinion he belongs to a mental hospital. At first I adored him but now, when the drama i [Read more]

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I think I ranted about the wrong episode. I just realized it was ep 13 I just watched. oooops.

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I've got to say, I'm really enjoying this drama. None of the episodes have dragged for me. I can understand why Il Nam wouldn't have recongized SK. It was night time and she had a scarf wrapped around part of her face, and he only saw her from the back. And I feel that Tommy, as of right now, doesn't like/love SK, but wants to help her to save himself.

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Material trappings do not make a man or a woman, in the case of In Hwa. She who is born into wealth doesn’t hesitate to show scorn to those she feels are beneath her. At the onset, hasn’t she sneered at Se Kyung’s talent, ridiculing her for not having a designer’s eye? In Hwa with her exaggerated sense of her own importance sees the light of day and a slap in her face when the head of Artemis perceives SK’s inherent talent and praises SK for her worth. In Hwa isn’t done yet with her furious indignation and jealousy when her own father, President Shin, expresses his admiration for SK’s talent and smartness. Even her own brother, Min Hyuk, acknowledges that indeed SK has ability and is more than just a pretty face. Jealousy turns into envy which eats at her very core fa [Read more]

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quick response... IH is super absorbed ; she has that rage for revenge almost like SJ once did ; a passive-aggressiveness that is really scary to watch.

i do find it odd that YJ always has that freighten/shaken look on her face ; and her sister in law has that pissed off look ... i guess its normal in their worlds..

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Whoa -- you have a set of emotional bunnies too? Just like Seung Jo? I'm jealous!

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