Drama Recaps
Alice in Cheongdam-dong: Episode 12
by | January 15, 2013 | 131 Comments

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.


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

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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!


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.


131 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. LingLing

    Disappointed with the direction the drama is going towards to. Started off great but now it is getting draggy 🙁 and inconsistency of characters’ personalities….

    • 1.1 jєѕѕα™ 주원사랑 (@jung_kYro)

      On the contrary, I enjoyed the episode. 🙂

      • 1.1.1 Lilly

        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.

        • jєѕѕα™ 주원사랑 (@jung_kYro)

          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.

    • 1.2 Wei

      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.

    • 1.3 Windsun33

      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+.

    • 1.4 luvs

      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.

  2. Mish

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

    • 2.1 Aqidah


      I summoned back the cutesy of Seung Jo puhleaseee..

      • 2.1.1 Chanel

        Amen to that…

  3. Carole McDonnell

    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 you wrote, the evil villainess sister-in-law is so cliched. I would rather Sis-in-law be totally uninterested in Seung Jo or at least really really concerned about her brother’s heart and mind. (As if business marriages expect heart love but …well…)

    I’m probably gonna still watch. I stopped being invested in this drama a long time ago…although i want our lovers together.

    • 3.1 cg

      already dropped the show

    • 3.2 Lilly

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

  4. YT629

    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 Sekyung dangled in front of her eyes is a little too much for her to not react emotionally. Which is why she does the spiteful thing and sends off those videos. Inhwa would have been more intriguing if she kept her cool and distanced her emotions with business all through the drama, but I don’t really think the writer did a 180 with her character. I think the seeds of her massive chaebol pride were already planted there from the beginning.

    • 4.1 Shikurai17

      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.

    • 4.2 Peeps

      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.

      • 4.2.1 Betsy Hp

        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.

    • 4.3 TS

      Are chaebols even descended from Joseon aristocracy?

      • 4.3.1 YT629

        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 tracing back to Silla royalty. Lots of korean families still have these. But my point is, being chaebol is not because they’re of yangban descent, so the two things be confused with one another.

        • TS

          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.

          • YT629

            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 say. A few families still wear han bok and live in traditional korean style houses. But this numbers among the very very few.

        • InSu

          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 president and the president assinanated Kim Goo. Day before the K-war started, Uncle Kim was kinapped to N.Kr as a national treasure. Being part of royalty,

          My granny joined an older childhood friend and schoolmate. Granny Kim joined her uncle in the south and friend stayed with her family in the north. Her friend rose to the top tier of the North Korea, Northern Kingdom and died in the 1990’s.

          Those who sided with Japan grew in power and after WW2 my immediate family rose to power under USA and the 2 sides of the Kims ended up better than before.

          Nothing changed after the K-war. The nothern and southern Kim familyies are still here in the top tiers. Daughters are nice because the family can ‘sell’ them off to mid level cheobols for future power and money. We are still in both S & N Koreas

          • InSu

            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.

      • 4.3.2 Windsun33

        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.

        • TS

          @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!

    • 4.4 Windsun33

      “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”.

    • 4.5 Lilly

      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.

  5. Jellybeaniebaby

    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.

    • 5.1 Swannie

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

    • 5.2 kopytko

      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

      • 5.2.1 Kayleigh

        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.

        • Betsy Hp

          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”.

          (Though I’m not sure what a “win” will actually be. I suspect it won’t include Seung-jo remaining clueless.)

    • 5.3 Windsun33

      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.

    • 5.4 Lilly

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

  6. nokke

    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 -)

    • 6.1 Lilly

      Agreed, unless they are a cop on a stakeout.

  7. channelthis

    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.

  8. Abbi Kay

    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 brother never received it.

    In Hwa’s glaring hypocrisy would be funny if I didn’t find it disgusting. Calling Yoo Joon and Se Kyung flower snakes (gold-diggers) when she is the Queen of flower snakes?

    for serious?
    at least Se Kyung and Yoo Joon love him.
    ( In Hwa’s jealous rage is something to behold, though! She’s been looking crazy these last two episodes)

    • 8.1 skelly

      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 how you got there or if you deserve it – well, either bow out or prove that you do deserve it. Sheesh.

      And on a totally petty note, sometimes MGY’s crossed eyes drive me nuts. And I wish she wouldn’t wear circle lenses, it just makes it worse. I wonder why she didn’t get surgery to fix it – I know from experience it is a very simple procedure.

      • 8.1.1 Abbi Kay

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

      • 8.1.2 Kayleigh

        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?

        • TS

          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.

          • Betsy Hp

            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:


            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.

          • Ivoire

            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 :-)…

      • 8.1.3 Windsun33

        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.

      • 8.1.4 sally_b

        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. (☉_☉)

    • 8.2 Saturtledaisy

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

      • 8.2.1 Abbi Kay


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

    • 8.3 Lilly

      lol on drama-dar

  9. hyunjee

    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.

    • 9.1 Jellybeaniebaby

      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. 🙂

      • 9.1.1 Mystisith

        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.

        • Ivoire

          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.

          • Mystisith

            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. 😉

          • Ivoire

            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? 🙂

      • 9.1.2 Windsun33

        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.

        • Curioser And Curiosor

          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.

          • Orion

            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.

          • Ivoire

            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.

      • 9.1.3 ilovekimchi

        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…

    • 9.2 Curioser And Curiosor

      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 accordance with the phonetic conventions of Hangukoe (Korean). I cannot think of any other way to explain why the English “s” sounds consistently come out sounding like like “sh” sounds (again, refer to “Take Care of Us, Captain”), why the “r”s melt into “l”s. It cannot be that Koreans are unable to pronounce the phonemes that end up altered because those phonemes do occur in spoken Korean quite comfortably. The issue must arise from how English (or French) is spelled phonetically in Hanguel…

      Let us hope the actors never have to speak French in this drama again…

      • 9.2.1 Mystisith

        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.

        • Curioser And Curiosor

          =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…

          • Mystisith

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

          • Betsy Hp

            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…

          • Ivoire

            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 🙂 )

          • Mystisith

            @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. 🙂

          • Curioser And Curiosor

            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: today North Korea goes by the historical name “Chosŏn” (“Joseon”) while South Korea goes by “Hanguk.”

            Correspondingly. the common language spoken in both countires, Korean, is called “Chosŏnmal” or “Chosŏneo” in North Korean (Chosŏn) while it is called “Hangukmal” or “Hangukeo” in South Korea (Hanguk).

            And lastly “Hangeul” is the alphabet in which the Korean language is written. It was specifically developed by the Great King Sejong to facilitate the development of literacy for the majority of people. When he inaugurated the new alphabet in 1443 King Sejong the Great explained that it was designed specifically to visually represent sounds native to the Korean language and to make is efficient. Up to that point Chinese characters were the primary and standard means of writing, but only the privileged who had time to dedicated to years of study could actually acquire some useful working knowledge. I highly recommend the drama “tree with Deep Roots” if you want a summary of teh story in the context of a thriller – a very, very cool drama!

            Phew that was a long answer to a short quen but I hope you don’t mind. Okay, moving on…

            -“what does this “(7 7 7…) mean”..?
            Regarding “7 7 7…”: I improvised the visual equivalent of a texting shorthand in Korean that means the same thing as LOL (Laughing out loud) in English. I don’t know if the Hangeul will show up will show up if I type it here so I’ll write it out in romanized spelling first:
            “keu keu keu” : the laughing sound
            the shortened version woukd be “k k k…” but that just looks all kinds of wrong in English (I live in the U.S.)
            The Hanguel letter “K” looks like the number 7 with a stroke through the middle (but not all the way through) so I write the number “7” in its place.

            Here is the Hangeul if it shows up: “ㅋ ㅋ ㅋ…”

            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, they are going to sound extremely foreign and possibly incomprehensible when they have to deliver a dialogue ina a language they don’t really know but sare just sounding out based on phonetic spelling that is only an approximation. When people who know they language may syill speak it with thick thick thick accents, heavens preserve the actor who doesn’t even really understand what they lines he has been given to say mean!

            And that’s all! “Gamsamnidah” for your patient reading of this shamelessly long reply. I apologize for any typos and I hope they do not undermine the meaning or create unintentional comic effect! I also hope that all this is helpful in answering your questions and maybe even piquing your curiosity about the treasure trove that is Korean history and language! “Gamsamnidah!”

          • Curioser And Curiosor

            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.”

          • Curioser And Curiosor

            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…”

          • Curioser And Curiosor

            @ 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!

          • Ivoire

            @ 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 :-)…

          • Ivoire

            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 reference to the “k…k…k…” and I agree with you, that would not be right. And btw, I live in the US as well 🙂 Thank you for including the Hangeul for the “Keu, keu, keu.”

            Re: Korean actors/actresses speaking in languages that are not Asian (not Chinese, not Japanese, not Thai), I do think that they know what they are saying, because what they have been saying in this show is appropriate for the situation, it is just that their lines have simple mistakes, there are better wording (I would have corrected them for them, if I were there) and they (SK and Mr. Robert) used informal speech with each other in a business setting, when they had just met. That is a BIG NO NO, (I would think) in Korea and in a Francophone context as well (for sure). That surprised me.

            I wrote extensively about it below… starting at 11.2
            So I think the actors must have known what they were saying, they just struggled to say it (and their lines had mistakes). But they can say simple English words or phrases like “sorry, please, thank you, me too :-)” SJ and his dad did that in this ep. It was funny and cute. And they don’t seem to struggle as much when it is Chinese or Japanese. Why do you think that is? Similarities in the languages?

            I love Korean history and languages. I am a linguist (I speak 4 different languages) and I just LOVE listening to Korean being spoken or sung. As one of my friends says, I wish I could download the language in my brain. I think it will take me my lifetime to learn it, but I really love it, honestly (and I am from Africa, btw 🙂 )

            My interest in Korea(s) was mainly sparked by Kdramas (I knew of both countries, but was not very educated about both), and it has now expanded to anything Korean related. I have had KBS World on all day, when I worked as a caregiver for 4 and 1/2 years during my shifts (4 days and 4 nights straight). I watched every programming that had English subs and then switched to KMSP (or some other Korean station we get in North. CA) when the programming on KBS World was in Korean only. That is why I so appreciate your thorough response, that, and I write the same way 🙂 (and talk like that as well 🙂 ).

            About what you said here: Curioser And Curiosor January 15th, 2013 at 9:24 pm
            If they “know” the characters are going to sound so bad, they (the show) should not present them as being fluent in the language, it is misleading. And how do you explain Mr. Robert then? I wrote about him below as well. He made mistakes, he used informal speech and he DEFINITELY did not sound French…

            So, “Come away, oh” and “Gum sum uh duh” 🙂 for taking the time to explain what you explained to me.

            On a different note, have you ever read the blog: “ask a Korean’? it is really good. I really like it, very informative.

    • 9.3 Kayleigh

      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!

      • 9.3.1 Lilly

        You got that right! lol

    • 9.4 jack

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

    • 9.5 Windsun33

      “..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.

  10. 10 Saturtledaisy

    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~

    • 10.1 Keis

      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.

      • 10.1.1 fionnula

        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.

    • 10.2 xoxo

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

  11. 11 kopytko

    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.

    • 11.1 kopytko

      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 🙂

    • 11.2 Ivoire

      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 horrible), it is also that there were simple grammatical, conjugation and sentence structure mistakes that should not be made by someone who is supposed to be fluent in French or close to that. I was really surprised at how poor Mr. Robert’s French was, and at some of the simple mistakes he made while speaking. My understanding, watching this episode, was that Mr. Robert was someone of the “elite” society, well spoken, well traveled, etc… and French? (unless I am wrong about the French part?)

      For one thing, he didn’t sound French, from France. They have a distinct accent (that people like to make fun of, but it is very French from France). Canadian francophone accent is different, and so are the francophone accents of the people who are originally from a francophone country (many Africans belong to that group, and basically any country that was colonized by France and adopted French as their official language, or as one of them, at least). I pictured Mr. Robert to be an aristocrat, he didn’t sound like one (I am saying this because I am assuming that they would keep things and characters within the context of the drama and the plot). Also, as I have mentioned earlier, his French was not good. If someone has been studying French since they were a child, their level should be better (than how he spoke) by the end of High School or even by the end of Junior High. So I think they dropped the ball on that one.
      MGY (her character) also made some mistakes (fairly simple ones) when she spoke and her pronunciation was not good, I could (very) barely make out what she was saying, and I was trying my best to understand. PSH was a liiiiittle better (not by too much) and the best one was the lady who sent the videos, her pronunciation and rhythm were good, and I could understand what she was saying.

      I always wonder if they consider hiring a language coach when they have scenes in languages other than Korean, because I am always curious as to how much of a difference that would make. I would think it shouldn’t be too time consuming, spending some time with the actors/actresses, going over their lines in the foreign language (and the writer already knew that France would play a part in the context of the drama, so maybe they could have prepared for that. I know they get very busy, once they start filming, so maybe the actors/actresses would still not have the time?).

      I would think singers do that (and I strongly suspect opera singers do that, but maybe their case is different because they are trained to be able to enunciate and sound out words and hear them in many languages). I know that Celine Dion (French Canadian singer) had a language coach (she said so in an interview many years ago) when she was learning English, so she could cross over. Well, the money spent on that and her effort paid off, because not only does she sing well in English, but her diction is also good when she speaks (normal conversations, interviews). She does have a slight accent when she speaks English (which she doesn’t have when she sings), however, she speaks it well. She doesn’t make simple grammatical and conjugation and sentence structure mistakes either.

      I am going on and on about this, because I feel that when Kdramas want to add some flavor and a foreign element (for whatever reasons), for a certain group of people in said drama to look and sound sophisticated, educated and well traveled (maybe, I think MGY’s character has not been to France yet) or well, foreigners (like Mr. Robert), they should make an effort to do it well or close to it, because I find it hard to buy who the characters are supposed to be and believe the sophistication they are supposed to have. I don’t mind that they inject or have those (foreign) touches or a country as part of a context in the plot of the drama (in this particular case and drama, France), however, I feel that if you (the show) are going to do that, then please make it believable, and if possible, please find people who could play/sound/act the part.

      An actor (one of the foreign ones) wrote on one of the recaps of TK2Hs that one of the problems with finding good foreign people to be in a drama was their working status in Sk. Regardless of their reasons for being in SK, could they actually be in a Kdrama? hence the kinds of foreign “actors/actresses” that we often get in Kdramas. I understand that and I can appreciate that. However, could more effort be made, please? My understanding is that Kdramas’ people make a great effort to produce quality dramas as best they can with what they have (budget, the size of the crew, etc…) because those dramas are watched more and more by a very wide audience (which is also very international) and that wide audience is becoming more and more a market for SK products and entertainment. That might explain some of the foreign locations for dramas like BOF, IRIS (1 and 2) etc… When it comes to foreign languages spoken in a kdrama, please make more of an effort as well, (and I am not saying it in an arrogant way).

      An example where they did it well was in TK2Hs, when Jae Ha had a date with a North Korean young woman (I think she was North Korean) whose dad had been a diplomat in France (I think. In any case, it was a francophone country, France or Canada. I think it was France. The only place where one would speak French in Canada would be in Quebec). That “actress” only had a few minutes in that drama and one scene, however, her diction was good, her rhythm (when she spoke) was excellent and she didn’t make any grammatical or sentence structure mistakes. I am saying all of that to say that she was believable as the character she was portraying. I bought that she was a snobbish, educated young North Korean woman who had lived abroad her whole life and who was not suitable for Jae Ha. And I have to say, her speaking French perfectly, helped in giving that impression.

      Another good example is Daniel Henney who they cast when they need someone who speaks English well (MNIKSS, Seducing Mr. Perfect, Fugitive Plan B). I will stop here. I tend to be passionate (and engaged) when I participate in the comments (after the recaps) and when I talk or write about languages :-).

      • 11.2.1 Windsun33

        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.

        • Ivoire

          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 the same…

      • 11.2.2 kopytko

        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 of the tongue) than a random Francophone.

        I believe it is not the point to sound like a native speaker. Sure, it is great when one is able to learn it, but the truth is you need many years (or an unbelievable talent) to reach that perfection. So as long as the sounds are more or less correct and the intonation and rhythm are understandable, it’ ok.

        All in all, the writer should have reduced the “French” parts as much as possible and let the viewers hear them in the background instead of having the actors stutter and the viewers suffer.

        • Ivoire

          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 industry.
          Another person who comes to my mind is Hyun Bin in Secret Garden, when he spoke to a film director (I believe?) to ask him to give GRI (sp?) a 2nd chance for the role (as a stunt woman) for the movie she wanted to audition for (she had missed the chance when she had gone to the hospital because HB’s character had fainted in the elevator after the switch had occured). I think HB (his character) also talked to the director in person, when he came to see GRI.
          Another one who also did well (though his lines in English were few) was Gong Yoo in Big. His pronunciation was always good, and his character (for most of the drama) was supposed to have spent a year in the US.
          Another actor who did fairly well was Kim Soo Hyun in “Will it Snow For Christmas” where he had a line (or two) in English. There is a scene where he is at his new school (he transferred there) and he is in some administrative office and he reads a document in English and his character translates the document. That scene used to be on YT, but I didn’t find it this time around. I would have added it here.

          I know that KSA studied in the US, so she lived there for a while, so that might explain why she is better at speaking English. So did HB, who spent at least two months learning English, before shooting “Late Autumn” in Seattle, Washington state. For that movie, HB only spoke English with Tang Wei’s character, I believe (I haven’t seen the movie).

          I am saying all of this to say that it’s not that I think that ALL Korean actors and actresses do not manage to speak English fairly well or well (or another foreign language that is not Korean) or that they can’t be understood, because some do, obviously. My issue is that if you are going to speak it (and your character is portrayed as someone who knows how to speak the language), then we (those of us who care in the viewing audience) should at least be able to understand what you are saying.

          To this: “I believe it is not the point to sound like a native speaker,” and to all that you have said in your 3rd paragraph, I would say that I was not expecting the Korean actors to sound like a native speaker. I have been teaching and tutoring French for the last 17 years, and I have never expected my students (who have been of various ages) to speak fluently or sound like native speakers after (even) a year of regular and diligent teaching and tutoring, let alone Koreans who happen to learn it for a few hours (maybe) for the sake of a few lines in a drama. People learn in different ways and at different speeds, and I understand and respect that.

          This: “So as long as the sounds are more or less correct and the intonation and rhythm are understandable, it’ ok,” was part of the problem. the sounds were not more or less correct, the intonation and rhythm were not understandable, and I mention that in my previous post. I was paying attention and doing my best to understand her. MGY’s character said in episode 6 (I think) that she had been teaching French to herself, and that she would like to eventually visit or study there (something along those lines, I think). Her meeting Mr. Robert was a big deal and based on how the drama was showing her preparing for the meeting (even rehearsing her French the night before or a few days before), I was lead (I felt) that I could expect better than what I heard. To be honest, her French in episode 6 was better than how she spoke here (and she had quite a few lines in French in that episode).

          I don’t question MGY’s effort and hard work, even in learning her lines in French. From all that I have read about her so far, she is (like many Korean actors and actresses) hard working and diligent, that is not what bothered me.

          Regarding your 2nd paragraph, MGY’s character also made a faux pas when she spoke (a big one): she is used informal speech from the first time she spoke to Mr. Robert. That is a big NO NO in a business setting. 1–He is older than her, 2–professionally he is her superior, 3–she is trying to impress him, 4–she just met him 5– it is a business setting, so the conversation would always start with a formal way of speaking (from the professionally superior person and from the professionally lower person). The impression that I was supposed to get of her and of that scene, I couldn’t get because they negated what they were trying to achieve or convey.
          I was the more surprised, because this is a Korean drama, set in South Korean society, and we know how important being proper is to South Koreans (at least, that is one of the things I learned from watching Kdramas and from talking to South Koreans I have met and interacted with). So yeah, I was surprised.

          Someone who speaks French well and writes it well should have looked at that dialogue (in that scene) because it didn’t feel congruent with the context of the scene and with the set up that had been done earlier in the episode, leading up to that scene. I think that if someone had looked at that dialogue (like you said a lecturer or a Francophone basically), s/he could have corrected the obvious (simple) mistakes and made the dialogue more appropriate (using formal speech) and more believable for the scene.

          Thank you for sharing your thoughts…

          • kopytko

            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 little.

            Anyway, it’s nice hearing from you, dear fellow linguist 😉

          • Ivoire

            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 well. As I was writing my post (the 1st post in answer to the one you wrote), I kept asking myself why I was making such a big deal out of that scene. I realized that it was a big deal (to me at least) because 1–students of French or Francophones would know that “that level” of French is not good at all, 2–the main leads (SK and SJ) have been “bragging” about speaking French, and speaking it fluently (at least that was my impression). 3–One of the context for this drama is France, from the food, the wine, etc…and Mr. Robert presumably being French and SJ supposedly having lived in France. I have said it in another post, but everything in ep. 12 told me that meeting Mr. Robert was a big deal, and that Mr. Robert was French and a sophisticated one. Imagine my surprise then, when Mr. Robert upon meeting SK himself made a faux pas as well, using informal speech (a “tu” form instead of a “vous” form) to address SK. That was a HUGE NO NO!!!!!

            Everything leading up to that scene (the meeting), from SK being coached and getting information from SJ about Mr. Robert, to Tommy taking SK to that bookstore like place about all things Artemis, to SK practicing her French the night before, lead me to believe that the scene of the meeting would be believable, because everything else had been so far. The characters are wealthy (some of them) and we see why and how: they live in posh neighborhoods, drive nice cars, have secretaries, etc… The ones who are less wealthy (much less) are also shown to live a lifestyle congruent with the information given to us about them. In my mind then, if my expectations have been raised that the characters (not the actors, but the characters) speak French (even if it is with a foreign accent, because let’s face it, we all have an accent when we speak, all of us. An accent is an accent as opposed to someone else’s accent, so we all have one), and some of them (again, the characters), have traveled to France and lived there, I should at least be able to understand them. My point is, if you are making an effort to have everything else be congruent with the context (of the drama) you have given the viewers, why don’t you do it when it comes to the cultural and language (in this instance French) aspects of that context? If a drama is about food, and about Italy, guess what? The drama will show you the main characters cooking Italian dishes (at least a few), to say the least. The characters might even have spent some time in Italy (the drama “Only You” comes to mind).

            As I also mentioned in my post, it (the show) totally negated the effect it was going for. I couldn’t buy that Mr. Robert was a sophisticated French business man, he didn’t sound the part, not even close. I didn’t buy that SJ lived in France for a few years and I could buy that SK had been studying French, however I didn’t buy that her level of French was as good as it was touted to be in the drama. If we are supposed to leave our brains at the door when watching this drama and pretend that things that are not believable are, then Show should tell us that, so that I can reset my expectations. However, when Show is leading you (in this instance me) to believe that certain interactions or scenes will be a certain way (and there are not), then there is something wrong and it is distracting (at least to me).
            I appreciate (for example) actresses like Meryl Streep who has had to play foreign characters (speaking a language other than English) and who managed to do so. At least it was believable and she was able to convinced the audience that she was the character she was portraying. I was expecting something close to that here, ESPECIALLY from Mr. Robert.

            I don’t mean to criticize the actors too severely either, I know they work very hard and I appreciate that about them. About your 3rd paragraph, I don’t know what method MGY used, but it didn’t work and if she didn’t get any help, that is sad :-), because I think it would have made a difference (for her and the other actors who had to speak French).

            As a fellow linguist, I am curious: how many languages do you speak, and which ones are they? (if you don’t mind my asking).
            I hope that you will see this response and answer, if you have some time and a few more things to say :-)…

      • 11.2.3 Saturtledaisy

        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 don’t think they’ll find it something worthwhile to be putting too much effort in. Though, for a drama basically BASED on France, I still think they should have.

        • Ivoire

          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 make mistakes when learning a new language. So, if a character is supposed to have lived (let’s say for a year) in a foreign country, I would hope it would not be too much to expect said character to at least speak the language in a way that we can (at least) understand.

          I definitely was not impressed with Mr. Robert and PSH’s character did not impress me much either (when it came to speaking French). The expectations that were set for us in the drama were not met, imho.

          In the K2Hs, I gave them a pass about Americans not sounding Americans, because an actor on that drama (a foreign one) explained to us (here on DB) that it was hard for foreigners to act in dramas (had to do with having a working visa), so it seemed that Korean production companies would have a hard time casting “competent” foreign actors. They also might not be paid much, who knows about the working conditions (said to be worse than in the US, for example) etc… So I could understand that it might not be easy for them to cast “appropriate” foreign actors and we, the viewers get what we get, they (the production companies) have tried at least. And yes, those foreign actors could at least be understood, when they spoke English and that helped.
          This (ACDD), I still feel was different, maybe because of the big emphasis on France, being a part of the context.

          As I have said earlier, the meeting Mr. Robert and the French spoken in this drama bothered me more because of what the drama told me (I felt) I could expect. I don’t expect all Korean actors to speak fluently in a foreign language, and I have already expressed that earlier, in one of my posts. It is just that these characters are touted as being something, and they are not, really… So we, the viewing audience basically have to pretend that they are something they clearly are not.

          I am sure the Koreans don’t care, most of them don’t know any better. Just like I could not differentiate between formal speech and informal speech in Korean when I 1st started watching Kdramas. I still don’t always recognize it, but I am a little better than 2 years ago, for instance.

          I mentioned the French thing here, because, as it is written on the comments section of the recap, this is the place where we can “rant” or “rave,” about anything Kdramas related. I felt it appropriate to do so here. I know I am not the only one expressing disappointment or other feelings when writing about Kdramas here, even the recappers do it :-), so I think I am in the right place… to write what I wrote.

  12. 12 Kay

    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 =)

  13. 13 MsB

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

    • 13.1 tc

      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.

  14. 14 Amy

    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.

  15. 15 Arishia

    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.

    • 15.1 Dix

      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

      • 15.1.1 Mystisith


      • 15.1.2 Curioser And Curiosor

        =) Love the KoD allusion!

      • 15.1.3 Windsun33

        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.

  16. 16 meme

    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.

  17. 17 midwestmz

    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. She has her man’s back, and is letting all know it. I think this is the shoring up he needs to find his feet and his backbone, and literally on that last one.

    Predictable, ohhhh so very in so many ways. Still able to pull the rabbits out of the hat? I think so.

    Question: why is Yoon-joo like the hired help in the house? Is this in anyway a real/true portrayal of life, what is/can be for the in-law new to the home????

    • 17.1 Lilly

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

  18. 18 Cabbage

    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.

  19. 19 jamie

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

  20. 20 Kstylick

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

  21. 21 Valleydale

    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.

    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?

    • 21.1 Lilly

      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!

  22. 22 Valleydale

    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).

    • 22.1 TS

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

  23. 23 InSu

    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.

  24. 24 Ann

    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.

  25. 25 Valleydale

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

  26. 26 Tiger Butterfly

    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 eyes for a few days. When she doesnt get enough rest , her eyes goes wonky & her old problem resurfaces.
    We know that KD filming has ridiculous schedules so ,Im guessing that its tiredness thats causing MGY’s eyes to diverge.
    Well,to Alice in CDD staff who might be reading this, lotsa people who dont post anywhere are enjoying this show.
    SO thanks for the sweet & cute loving & everything else!

    • 26.1 skelly

      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.

  27. 27 YY

    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.

  28. 28 Suzi Q

    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.

    • 28.1 Tiger Butterfly

      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.

  29. 29 Tiger Butterfly

    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’..

    • 29.1 skelly

      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.

  30. 30 Jolie

    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 .

  31. 31 momoi

    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.

  32. 32 rome05

    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!

  33. 33 Seoul In Love Now

    Thank you! Really love this drama!

  34. 34 maakopla

    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 is revolving less around him and more around other characters, he has become rather bland (a pointless side character?) and boring.

    Han Se again, at some point I despised her. She was a disgusting character (which, in a way, was a good effect, a different kind of heroine) and now she has suddenly turned back into a good girl? Koreans just can’t have “if you want to be black, be black inside” characters in their dramas, do they? And overall, I don’t even see what wrong did she do since she liked Seung Jo, at first she had these flower snake thoughts, but in the end she realized that she loved him. If she had turned really BAD she would have accepted Tommy’s deal and would have gone to study in Paris etc but that’s when the drama slapped me in the face, she was still the same old Han Se who stood up for her love instead of being a true flower snake. Even though a few scenes before she swore to throw all her principles away for money and glory?!

    So what wrong did she do? How did she cheat him exactly? Or rather, she could have gone on without cheating as well. I understand if he wasn’t in love with her and she would have used all sort of tricks but he was in love with her since the beginning and she loved him! In the end I don’t even get what’s the big deal here. Or maybe it’s the point of whole drama, that there is no big deal and everyone is just turning a small matter into an exaggerated incident. I can already imagine Seung Jo ending in a hospital because he would finally just go crazy. I still don’t get how come he achieved such a success with such weak mentality?

    And Seung Jo’s father didn’t even ask Han Se if she loved him or not (after finding out the truth), he didn’t test her either (like offering money or something), he just accepted it all? How will he live on knowing she is a bitch who only thinks about money?! This is so typical to Koreans to make the protagonist seem like she is SOOOO BAD but in the end it’s all just a big misunderstanding. I bet in the end everyone will find out that she is a god girl and just because she was desperate she did all these “deeds” which weren’t so bad since she loved Seung Jo since the very beginning. And so she will be forgiven. Or something.

    Originally I loved the idea about this guy, who has given up on love, finally discovering that loves does exist. But the woman who proved him that true love exists loses her passion and gives up on love. I think this concept was brilliant. But then it all turned out to be just a disappointment. This always happens, just when I think I have finally found a brilliant drama at some point everything is ruined. I think 16 episodes is too long and adjusting the show according to the opinions of netizens it just pisses me off because then nothing makes sense anymore. They should just film the whole shit before airing.

    • 34.1 maakopla

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

  35. 35 Sparkle

    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.

  36. 36 mtoenlob

    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 fanning the fuming rage inside her. And when greed and envy rear their ugly heads, trappings of gold and designer’s clothes or birth to a chaebol lineage cannot conceal the true character of a person. The raging wrath inside her fuels her madness to ruin SK. Hell has no fury like a woman scorned. Perhaps, it is more understandable if she is doing this for ‘love’. But no, she is wholly doing ‘revenge’ for she feels she is superior to SK. How can anyone so beneath the social rank, someone who has no eye for good design, someone who comes from a “poor” family background, someone who cannot fill her shoes as a chaebol’s daughter, be the toast of the town? How can anyone so lowly be better than her? So absorb is she with her own selfish musings that she forgets that talent can be honed, skills can be studied and knowledge can be learned but a person’s true character is revealed by what she does when no one is watching. Reputation is built in a moment but character is built in a lifetime. And with a family such as hers it is no wonder that IH is the way she is. As the tree, so the fruit. At least we can say that her father knows when to give credit where credit is due.

    • 36.1 Geeme Koon

      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..

  37. 37 Brian

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

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