Drama Recaps
King of Dramas: Episode 17
by | January 4, 2013 | 171 Comments

There’s only one episode this week before next week’s finale, as our drama within a drama tackles a last-minute extension and live shooting, which should all sound very familiar. That’s all stuff I’d like to see, but we instead get taken for a ride as Anthony goes the noble you-know-what route with our World Boys and Go-eun, which makes me simultaneously want to hug him and strangle him with a fur collar all at once.

Oh, Show. Please be going somewhere with this.

 
EPISODE 17: “Do Not Be Afraid of the Darkness”

Anthony asks Go-eun about when she started liking him, as though he needs to know why she even would. She can see something’s wrong, even though he denies it when she asks.

The tear falls, but he doesn’t fight it or wipe it away. She tries to call after him as if to answer his question, but he leaves before she can say a word.

It seems like Anthony goes for a second opinion, but the diagnosis is the same. He even does independent research only to reveal what he already knows: There is no cure. He has to take his pills to prevent himself from crying at the news.

At least he’s preparing by buying books for learning braille, since a voiceover from the doc tells him (and us) how long it takes to become a functioning blind person, and how difficult even the simplest of tasks can be.

We can see the weight of all this hitting him as he strolls through the city, stopping once he sees a vision of himself as a boy standing alone in the crowd.

He ends up in a church, and in a somber moment, addresses God, his eyes filled with tears.

Anthony: “Why is it me? My mother wasn’t enough? Why are you even doing this to me? I have finally found the reason why I must produce dramas, and I have also found the person who pointed it out to me. And yet, after all this, why did you choose me? Tell me. If you’re there, tell me! Why is it me? Why?

Hyun-min’s turned over a new acting leaf, and asks for multiple takes of the same scene so he can work on improving each take. Min-ah knows what he’s doing and tries to tell him he did fine, probably because she’s freezing, only for him to reply: “I appreciate your comforting words, but you have to clearly point out my flaws for my acting to improve so that I can become a good actor.”

Lo and behold, third time’s the charm. Hyun-min’s expression even manages to make Min-ah tear up, and that’s the take he goes with. When Director Goo asks, Min-ah tells him Hyun-min is working on his acting skills, which comes as a surprise to the industry veteran.

Go-eun calls Anthony while he’s making a bucket list of sorts to invite him to the cafe they were originally supposed to meet at. He comes across the copy of In Search of Lost Time which she’s borrowed frequently, remembering its significance in her favorite movie, Love Letter.

He either reads it by osmosis or just skims all of it, since Go-eun arrives when he’s at the end of the book.

She gets to the point once she sits him down: “I will answer the question you asked yesterday. It’s true that I like you. I don’t know since when, but it’s correct that I like you.” She pauses. “I will ask you one question: Why did you cry yesterday? There’s something wrong, right?”

Anthony’s expression doesn’t change through her confession, nor does it when he explains that he was crying due to his three-year depression. But then the conversation takes a turn when he tells Go-eun to pretend like the issue of contract renewal never happened.

So it turns out even our dear Anthony is not immune to noble idiocy, since he explains to Go-eun that they can no longer work together professionally because she started liking him. (Oh, now it’s her fault?)

I like that she’s quick to bring up the fact that he dated Min-ah and mixed professionalism with personal life, but he just shrugs that off. Now he’s implementing a No Emotions rule. And then he just leaves.

Go-eun pays a visit to his mom in the hospital, and ends up finding out more about how her blindness progressed – and the order of her symptoms mirror Anthony’s. (Though Go-eun doesn’t know that yet.)

Through their conversation, Mom is able to glean that Go-eun must be special to Anthony, for him to have told her so much about his past. That’s when Go-eun gently brings up the fact that she confessed her feelings to him… and then she was rejected.

But Go-eun is as cool as ever as she commiserates with Mom that Anthony really must have no eye for women if he rejected her. Ha.

Anthony is really taking this blindness thing seriously, since he even breaks off his contract with Taesan Group in preparation. Eek.

He tries to ignore Go-eun once he gets back to World, and she calls him out for being childish, and for him to just tell her if he doesn’t like her. Instead he tells her to get writing.

She sets to finishing the penultimate episode while he crosses “Cancel the investment deal with Taesan” off his to-do list. The only thing she’s worried about is how Hyun-min will react to his… hair? This should be interesting.

It turns out that she wants him to cut it shorter, as symbolism for his character starting a new life. It’s his agency president that goes to see her first, and persuades her out of it because Hyun-min has a shampoo CF coming up. She knows how important CFs (and money) are to him, and decides to write it out.

However, Hyun-min comes banging on the door, forcing Prez to hide in her apartment. She lets Hyun-min in, thinking he’s come to complain…

But he bursts through the door, having already cut his hair. Hello, handsome. Hyun-min is really serious about becoming an actor now, isn’t he? (Siwon deserves a slow clap, too. Isn’t idol hair insured or something?)

I love how she’s all, B-but… your shampoo CF! Only for him to respond that CFs mean nothing to him. If it’s for the drama, he’ll do anything. Both Go-eun and Pres are shocked at Hyun-min’s new fighting spirit. Ha.

We were waiting for extension meta to come up, and here we have it: Director Nam argues with the executive board at SBC against extending Kyungsung suddenly by four more episodes. He explains that extending it now will make everybody think they’re in it only for the ratings (aka money), and that it’s better to finish the drama with its current quality rather than having an inevitable drop in quality by prolonging the story.

Of course, with the show doing so well, Director Nam is overruled. He calls Anthony to let him know that they’re going with the extension, which Anthony seems slightly reluctant to agree to. (I’m sure it’s more than intentional that the extension happens during our first extension episode.)

Anthony calculates that the extension will take at least four more weeks, and hopes that his eyesight will hold on till then.

Director Goo gives his worn-out crew a pep talk for the upcoming extension, only to be floored when Hyun-min shows up with his new ‘do. “Your hair… Why did you cut it so soon?” Director Goo asks. HA.

Hyun-min was somehow not told about the extension, which means his haircut also should have been extended. He’s all upset now that the big impact is gone, and scoffs at Pres’ hope that they’ll break 30% in ratings and make lots of money.

“Hyung, are you only concerned about money?” Hyun-min asks incredulously. “From now on, don’t ever insult my passion and spirit for acting with mere money.” Call a priest, we’ve got a possession going on.

At least Old Hyun-min isn’t quite gone, since he does ask how much more money Min-ah is asking for with the extension.

As it turns out, she’s asking for nothing more than what she’s getting. CEO Oh isn’t happy about her agreeing to the extension since she’s got a movie coming up, and gets more than a frustrated reaction from her when he asks if she’s doing this for Hyun-min. Someone doth protest too much.

Anthony seems sympathetic as he informs Go-eun of the extension and all the things that will change because of it, like Episode 19’s script and the schedule. They’re going to end up so deep in live-shooting that she’ll have to be sending them the script page by page. Eek.

Go-eun at least stops him from making a hasty retreat, citing how she needs his help with plotting out the extension. She quotes his words back to him: “I’m not writer Kim Soo-hyun or anything.” Ha. And she assures him she has no ulterior motives, but I like her forwardness. What a refreshing heroine.

They go back to the drawing board to plot Episode 19, and it’s cute how Anthony makes sure she doesn’t ever catch his gaze. But when she’s turned away from him, he can’t help looking at her.

She asks him to pour her a glass of water, and his vision starts faltering. (Any time now, I’m expecting the writer to reveal we’re being trolled. Any. Time. Now.) He can’t see well enough to tell that the glass is overflowing, but he passes it off to Go-eun as something he did on purpose so she won’t notice something’s wrong.

Hyun-min tries practicing his romantic lines with new manager Sung-mo, which results in a hilarious bit where Sung-mo ends up cross-dressing in order to be a more convincing Min-ah stand in, replete with a wig and a feminine voice. Ha.

After hugging attempts with Sung-mo get too awkward, Hyun-min decides that practicing with the real thing is best, and decides to call Min-ah incessantly until he interrupts her meeting (for the upcoming movie she’s in) to tell her to get to the shooting site early so they can rehearse.

Even her future director thinks she and Hyun-min are a pair, which can’t be good for the rumor mill.

They practice in the dressing room, and Hyun-min knows just how to bait her in order to get her to do what he wants, which is to practice the scene with full emotions and body movements. (He makes this motion of reeling her in after he baits her, which is just one of those moments of comedy gold that seems made up on the spot. All the better for it.)

Of course, it just so happens that when Hyun-min pulls her close as part of the scene, the Maknae FD walks in. HA. Both he and Min-ah stay frozen in shock until she leaves, and her attempts to get him to resolve the misunderstanding result in his declaration: “Is that petty little misunderstanding that important? My burning passion for acting won’t die because of it!”

Min-ah’s eyes go wide as she stutters out, “W-why do you have to be so extreme in everything?” So true.

Go-eun resists the urge to address Anthony as “Bong-dal” when she texts him that she’s done with one script, hinting that he should come to help with the next. Even though he’s got his eyes on her rooftop longingly, he sends her a terse return that she should start outlining on her own.

Instead, Anthony uses the time to negotiate sending the World Team to different production companies, making sure that they’ll be paid handsomely by their new employers. That’s sweet of him.

Dong-seok is the first to get a call by a company offering a 20% pay increase, though he’s hesitant to leave World Productions. They give him time to think about it while finishing Kyungsung.

He walks into the office all pleased with himself, only to find that all the other boys got offers too. Even though the increased salary is tempting, they all want to keep working for Anthony. D’AWW.

So Dong-seok comes up with a way for them to have their cake and eat it too – they’ll “threaten” Anthony that they’ll take these offers in order to get a 10% pay increase. If this is heading where I think it is – Anthony being mean to them in order for them to want to break their ties with him – I’ma throw something.

Anthony isn’t malicious, but he lies that he’s closing up shop for World Productions after Kyungsung is finished because of a partnership deal with Taesan, and none of them were hired with him. He tells them to find new jobs and leaves it at that, which leaves the boys feeling like they’ve been backstabbed by the person they trusted most.

Another item gets scratched off Anthony’s to-do list, in transferring his employees to close the company.

Go-eun calls Anthony over (so cute, he has her in his phone as “Sweet Potato”) to read her completed outline of Episode 20, only his vision blurs too much for him to finish reading it. She knows something’s strange, but he makes sure to cover his tracks with lies.

Thank goodness, at least, that he decides against driving with his eyesight. That would have been a terrible idea.

Anthony goes to see the doctor, who only bears more grim news in that Anthony’s right eye is already completely blind. His left will go next, in anywhere from four weeks to two months.

Well. This storyline isn’t any fun at all.

Go-eun’s handling Anthony’s change in attitude surprisingly well, mostly because she knows she didn’t do anything wrong (like be clingy, etc.). It’s only when she realizes that there’s a duplicate page in the outline that she starts putting the pieces together, since Anthony had lied about reading the end when there was no end to read.

Only then does she line up his symptoms with how his mother said her disease progressed. She figures out what could be happening but hopes it isn’t true, and her fears are only made worse when she sees his precious car still sitting in the lot.

She heads to his vacant room in an effort to find him, and only finds his book on learning braille instead. Inside is his diary with the list of things he needs to do, like learn braille and find a care facility for the blind. At least she figures it all out pretty fast.

On set, Anthony asks Director Goo if he could finish Kyungsung without him. Director Goo thinks this is because of that partnership offer with Taesan, which is the story Dong-seok has been telling. Across the lot, Dong-seok sends Anthony a betrayed puppy look. Aww.

However, Director Goo confesses that despite all the names he’s called Anthony, “This drama doesn’t even work for a day without you.” So he’s not giving Anthony an out, he’s got to stick with it.

Min-ah asks Anthony about his move to Taesan, and he carefully avoids answering since he canceled that contract completely. She thinks it’s strange that he wouldn’t have a date set, and doesn’t look like she’ll let the matter rest easily.

Go-eun keeps staring at Anthony’s to do list, more specifically at an entry he made at the bottom of the page: “Forget Lee Go-eun.” Except it’s already crossed out like he’s completed it, even if some of the text is smeared by an obvious tear stain.

Thinking about how he pushed her away and why, Go-eun’s eyes start to well up too. Her tears cause even more of the text to disappear. (If this is symbolic, I’d guess that’s a good thing.)

Anthony pays a visit to his mom, who’s unknowingly sporting the scarf Go-eun made for Anthony, which she gifted to his mom when he rejected her. (With the initials for his real name, Kim Bong-dal.)

He’s on the brink of tears as he asks his mom what it was like for her when he was young and would be mean to her because she was blind. It’s clear he’s feeling more than sorry now, but his mom is a sweetheart as she reassures him that it was a long time ago.

“I’m sorry, Mom,” he says, unable to stop from crying. Aww. He tells her that he’ll be going abroad soon because his business is doing well (lies) and that he won’t see her for a while. So he just stares at her face in an effort to memorize it.

Mom can’t keep a secret long, so when he finally asks about her new scarf, she admits that it was a gift from Go-eun, even though Go-eun didn’t want her to tell him.

We see the gifting scene in flashback, which is sweet, as Go-eun gives her the scarf and explains the meaning of the initials. In the present, Mom tells Anthony that he should tell Go-eun the truth if he’s going abroad, because she’s such a nice girl. See, Anthony? Listen to your mother.

He tries to avoid Go-eun when he gets home, even though she’s been waiting for him outside and confronts him right away about concealing the fact that he’s going blind. Go you, Go-eun.

Anthony sticks by the adage that it’s none of her business – and even if it is, what can she do for him?

“What you’re saying about my not being able to see is correct. I won’t be able to eat by myself or go to the bathroom. I won’t be able to see the dramas that I made,” he takes a pause here, referring to Go-eun specifically, “or the scripts, either. I won’t be able to see your face. Where you’re standing, whether you’re smiling or crying, I won’t be able to see.”

With tears in her eyes, Go-eun asks, “What if I say it doesn’t matter to me? For me, it doesn’t matter.”

It’s a heartfelt confession, and Anthony knows it. Her words seem to break the spell as he approaches her, slowly, before kissing her.

And maybe she learned something from her mummy-hands dream, because she kisses right back.

 
COMMENTS

I’m going to be honest and say that I’m not a fan of Anthony’s blindness arc, even though it’s being handled decently, for the most part. He’s selling it as a character and the other characters are buying it with what information they know, and on some level I have to buy it as a viewer. But strictly speaking, it just doesn’t seem all that necessary.

There are parts of the debilitating illness trope that Anthony subverted, namely by actually seeking care for his sickness, while the normal drama hero would just ignore it until the most dramatic moment. It’s in keeping with Anthony’s character that he doesn’t want to just go quietly into the night, and it’s admittedly hard to keep hoping for a miracle when your doc basically says: “Yeah, there’s no cure. Good luck.”

However, I was really hoping we’d subvert this cliche somehow, and held out that hope until the final minutes of the episode. The kiss was certainly welcome, but again I’m left scratching my head, trying to figure out what we’re supposed to take from this. Maybe this arc would have been better served had it been addressed earlier – and I’m not counting the hints, I’m talking about the sort of stuff that condensed into one episode here, with the fallout and bouts of noble idiocy. Since so far, we’ve had a drama about making dramas, and within that, we’ve had a story of love and friendship; only now it’s become a different story, one which hinges on Anthony’s ability to see.

It’s not the worst track ever, but it seems like such a derailment from where we were headed even a few episodes ago. Because this is the first of two episodes tacked on as an extension (let’s face it, King of Dramas wasn’t extended for the ratings), there’s an undeniable last-minute quality to Anthony’s illness, simply because we know there’s not a lot of time to deal with it.

Let’s say that if Anthony and Go-eun were heading down two separate roads before the blindness hit, I’d tentatively buy the introduction of his blindness as a plot device with which to bring them together. Not great, but okay. In reality, Anthony and Go-eun were clearly already on a collision path with each other, replete with couple rings and hand-made scarves. Where we ended up is exactly where we were.

So the only impact his illness had on their relationship was to delay it a little, which makes me feel like we’ve just spent an episode watching this show spin its wheels. And that’s just not the kind of drama this drama seemed to be preparing us for.

 
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171 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. danielkim90

    one more episode to go! thanks for recap as always!

    • 1.1 Ivoire

      Thank you so much for the recap! Off to read now…

    • 1.2 Ivoire

      I have a question: when Anthony questions God, he tells him that he now knows why he should make dramas. What do you guys think he meant by that? I know that at the beginning of the drama, Anthony was all about the bottom line, making money. I am also assuming that Anthony got into the drama world because it was a world that allowed him to escape his harsh reality when he was a child. Is that why Anthony now wants to make dramas? To help others escape their reality?

      I personally liked this episode, for the most part. I will be honest and admit that I don’t know what will happen with Anthony going blind (and like Heads, I was hoping that at some point, we would be told that Anthony’s case was a rare case of Leber’s disease where he could maybe recover his sight or some news that as Heads mentioned would let us know that we were being trolled, or at least that things would not be as bad as originally announced).

      Alas no, that is not what we got. Instead, we got what I felt was a very melodramatic episode, albeit still laced with very funny moments. I totally LOVED the scenes with KHM rehearsing with Sung Mo (and how bad SM was at it and how uncomfortable he looked, kudos to the actor), and I loved the new KHM. He is taking things quite far and I found it hilarious that for a long time, SMA could not stand how cavalier he was regarding his acting, and now, she basically got more than she had bargained for: a KHM who would stop (literally) at nothing to improve his acting, and she was paying the price for it. It just seemed like she couldn’t win with KHM, Ha!

      KMM sold his character (Anthony) and what Anthony was trying to do in this episode to me. I sensed we would/might have a case of noble idiocy and I mentioned it (I think) in one of my comments in one of the last recaps. It is such a Kdrama trope that I am not surprised that it was included here. What worked for Anthony was the fact that he didn’t have to veer too far to behaving the way that he had mostly behaved throughout the drama, not showing how much he really cared about people and being gruff. So the people he talked to bought what he was telling them, the WP boys, Dir. Goo and GE (at first).

      I liked how GE has gotten to know Anthony so well, being able to tell when he is not himself (though I would admit, it was kind of obvious, especially with the tear falling). I also appreciate that GE feels comfortable enough around Anthony (and is bold enough) to ask him (on the spot) what the problem is, and unfortunately, she does not get an answer right away.

      When Anthony was looking at what he thought was a reflection of himself (as a child, standing alone), I felt that it hit him (and me) how alone he must have felt at times. I think that it must have been easier to push that feeling away, because he was usually busy (and he does have a loving mom), however, it seems that the diagnosis might have brought up some things going on internally into focus, such as his loneliness (and that was reinforced by the presence of the family in front of his vision of himself as a child). The angry look he has (as a child) makes me feel that he must have felt angry for a long time (and probably suppressed that anger as well).

      I really liked the scenes of GE with Anthony’s mom, and later on, the scene that Anthony had with his mom. They are so sweet (the 1st one) and so emotional (the 2nd one). It is nice to seen GE get along with who might end up being her mother-in-law.

      I also loved the scene where KHM was like “Fighting!” to GE and the president (of his management company), and how they couldn’t get over how quickly he had cut his hair. That was funny.

      There was a little scene that I thought was important after Anthony spilled the water. As GE was cleaning the water on the floor, she made a face at Anthony (she did not look happy) and it seemed that Anthony might have been able to see that. I wonder if that made him feel worse, and added to his desire to act like a noble idiot with GE.

      The scene in the dressing room with KHM and SMA was very funny as well. SMA simply does not have any luck making people believe that there is nothing going on between KHM and herself.

      The loyalty of the WP boys to Anthony is so endearing, and to see their little hearts being broken (even though Anthony meant well was still hard to see :-( ).

      I couldn’t help but wonder who Anthony had in mind when he made the gift GE was holding, when she went into his room. I also did like the parallels between Anthony closing each door one by one (his bucket list), and how some of the people closest to him did not seem willing to let him off the hook (namely GE, Dir. Goo and SMA, so far). It will be interesting to see what happens in the final episode, when and if they find out about his condition.

      When Anthony goes to visit his mother, he has finally come to fully realize and appreciate how painful his attitude towards his mother must have been to her at times. I like that to the very end, we are still let to see how Anthony is reacting to how his behavior with the people closest to him had affected them. His evolving relationship with his mother has been one of the arcs I have liked throughout the drama. When he apologized to her, it felt as if he had come full circle and understood her life much better (at least to me).

      I agree with Heads and I would have liked to see more of the making of the dramas, and the issues related to it and less (much less) of the melodrama. However, this is what we got, so let’s see how the writer will wrap this drama up.

      • 1.2.1 Sabah

        “What do you guys think he meant by that?” I guess my answer is my post below, no. 16.1 Making dramas is the sand in his life; as you imply the motivation has changed from money to people. I’ve always felt bad for dramas that don’t do well or even those that are bad because every drama is the struggle of a production unit, in need of earnings, career and success. Anthony has moved from wanting ratings for ratings sake, so that he remained the king of dramas to ratings for the sake of a production unit which is in more ways than one a family unit too because they look out for each other, tolerate each other and most importantly love each other.

        ” I felt that it hit him how alone he must have felt at times.” This scene really hit me too. Even though we have been present in each of the days of our past, sometimes we don’t connect the consequence that is the present to them. Obviously his past made him who he is today but we forget the details. It is only in the remembering do we see that fork in the road, so that we might backtrack and chose another way.

        I really hope Anthony chooses the other way, the way that isn’t about loneliness and self dependence.

        Is there anything specific you want answered or addressed in the finale?

      • 1.2.2 Ivoire

        @ Sabah,
        Hello there. I had a very long and busy day yesterday, and it will be the same today (2 B-days). I will get to your response when I can. Liked what you wrote however, really good points. Have a wonderful day!

      • 1.2.3 jin

        Melodrama. Er, I’m not sure what this means exactly but I think this blindness arc serves to address Anthony’s own personal growth though I guess the writer could have left him alone as a snarky overachiever. And though it is a commonly used trope, I don’t think it’s merely a plot device thrown in thoughtlessly.

        I suspect all this is intentional. What’s left to wonder for me is why.

        On another note, this episode squeezed a few tears outta me. I enjoyed it. :)

  2. Makoto

    Can anyone explain what “live shooting” is? I’ve heard this term often recently but I don’t know what it means. Thanks. :) *off toread the recap*

    • 2.1 Robin

      Live shooting means that the production has no scripts in hand the day of shooting or perhaps if they are lucky, just the day before. The scenes are forwarded to the location just hours before shooting begins, as was shown in the first episode of this drama. Actors have to learn their lines very quickly (if they are quick studies), but it’s not uncommon in the business (especially in Mexican telenovelas) for some actors to wear small radio earpieces from which they hear their lines fed to them by a script person. They’ll also get blocking directions (Okay, Hyun-min, walk to Min-ah’s right side and take her hand…) as well. I’ve had a chance to visit sets in Mexico and some actor friends have let me try their “apuntadores” (the earpieces) – let’s just say it’s not ideal.

      The famous Colombian telenovela “Yo soy Betty, la fea” was shooting so close to the edge that literally the author, Fernando Gaitan, would complete a page and it would be faxed to the set so that they could set up for filming.

      Needless to say, this doesn’t do much for ensuring quality :/

      • 2.1.1 abbyshosha

        are you Mexican or do you watch Mexican telenovelas? Because I’m both, except I’m not that into telenovelas because I prefer dramas, that’s why I am here.

    • 2.2 dewaanifordrama

      In the Korean drama world, a “live shoot” is what often happens with the last episodes (and sometimes earlier) of a a drama when they are shooting the scenes, and editing them just hours before the show airs. It’s sort of like how they portrayed it at the beginning of King of Dramas with the dramatic race to get the tape to the studio. It’s obviously not always that dramatic, but it means that the actors are often shooting 24/7 getting little to no sleep at all – literally filming all through the night, trying to catch some sleep in between scenes.

      One of the reasons that live shoots happen, is because of the ratings system which allows for more revenue. But before I go on more about it, javabeans gave a great rundown of it and some of the issues with the live shoot: http://www.dramabeans.com/2011/03/the-perils-of-the-live-shoot-drama-system/

    • 2.3 Shukmeister

      It usually means that they are shooting the episode mere days or less before it’s aired, leading to long days of filming (where the crews might pull a 20-hour filming).

      So they film a scene, say, Thursday night for airing on Saturday, leaving very little room for postproduction such as CGI, cleanup, and all the other work that gives a professional shine to a production.

      You can usually see some of this: dark circles under the actor’s eyes for just a single scene of an episode is a telltale sign. Another one might be changes in hand positions when panning a scene, because the live action system allows for few retakes in their rush to move on to the next scene.

      It’s also the reason actors collapse and end up IV’s, or the flurry of vehicle accidents where the actor, or his driver, fall asleep and wreck.

      This is my take on it, anyway.

      • 2.3.1 Shukmeister

        The art does imitate the life in KoD.
        This is from one of Java Beans previous posts (under the medical drama Sign:

        “That was hardly the only issue; it seems that Sign was hit with a number of little insanities in its run-up to the ending. The shoots themselves ran so late that they were filming up to THE HOUR before airtime. Inconceivable. The director tweeted at 9:20 pm that night (Sign was a 10 pm drama) that they’d just finished the last shoots.

        “I’ve heard of dramas being edited right until showtime (and in Fantasy Couple’s extreme case, the tapes were split so that the first half was being aired while the second half was being edited). But cramming all that post-production work into ONE HOUR? Insanity.”

      • 2.3.2 yumi

        Another give away are zits. It often seems toward the end of drama the leads begin to break out and I always attribute those zits to the cumulative stress.

        • 2.3.2.1 Makoto

          Thank you all for the explanation. :)

  3. rainbow

    I liked the episode a lot….It’s great as always :)
    Thanks for the recap…..I’m sure we are gonna have a happy ending…
    And ya, Choi Si Won looked really handsome in that hair cut…

  4. Do-ra-ma

    I am still a bit unsure of the debilitating blindness arc, too, but that final scene of this episode simultaneously broke my heart and made my smile. What a great, tender moment that was. I’m gonna miss this show after next week; easily my favourite drama to premiere in 2012.

  5. Arhazivory

    I like that Go Eun carefully considered the facts and did not descend into a weepy heroine after she was rejected. I dont like that he’s going blind but they have done it quite well.

    Maybe KOD is trying to show ‘melodrama done right’.

    • 5.1 Kolpi

      Err no.

  6. Mystisith

    I liked the emotional scenes in that episode. Very much. But the blindness thingy? NO. Furthermore treated seriously. I could have dealt with this if it was a bad taste joke of Anthony to troll GE, a revenge for her hospital joke in the beginning for example. Or a way to fill in the extension of the drama IN the drama with Hyung-min as the sick character. Anything. The super serious tone used to treat the matter is effective (thanks for actors who can pull it off) but it doesn’t blend well with the previous episodes. It’s like putting a circle in a square.
    Some say the blindness arch existed from the beginning (Anthony rubbing his eyes and other hints). Then why introducing it that late in the story? It should have been done at ep 14 and solved at 16 or 17. Now the drama seems unbalanced.
    My theory is than he writer had a plan for 16 eps without blindness and a plan for 20 WITH it. Too bad, the extension was only for 2 and this is what we get. :(
    There is a lot of buzz everywhere about a supposed “ultimate twist” in ep 18: I’m waiting with my hands on my hips. If I don’t have my OTP together at the end, I know someone who better have a plane ticket for a country which gives diplomatic asylum. The story was too good until now to be wasted in the end. Huh!

    • 6.1 dewaanifordrama

      I can’t agree more. We have seen some great emotional scenes from this, and Kim Myung Min is killing it – but yeah – if this doesn’t have a decent resolution with the OTP together, I might just scream! It has been a wonderful and enjoyable drama to watch, and this blindness storyline has left a potentially bitter taste in my mouth.

      I just hope that they’re not just going to make it a lame ending to say: “See, lame endings suck.” but that would just make me upset. *sigh* I have hope it could be good, but I am also really worried.

      I think you might be right about the 16/20 episode writer plan, that’s what it feels like.

    • 6.2 quincy

      hello mystisith, i agree with your comment!

      But i wonder even with a 20-episode drama, how in the world will they solve the blindness issue, since the writer chose to craft it as hereditary and with no cure (feels like he has nailed the coffin on this one)…. sigh.

      • 6.2.1 yumi

        By having him go blind and finding a way to continue making dramas.

      • 6.2.2 Arawn

        LHON has some treatment possibilities although they are on trial. However, some patients to benefit from them. Also, even though it’s rare, not all patients lose sight from both eyes. And finally, there are cases of at least almost complete recovery without any visible reason as far as science can tell. Miracles, so to speak. I guess they are still researching why this happens.

        But technically writer does have some possibilities even with LHON if he doesn’t want to Anthony get completely blind AND wants to stick with the real symptoms and treatments for LHON.

      • 6.2.3 Laurita

        ummm, maybe Anthony’s accident will miraculously heal him? haha, yeah, I’m THAT desperate to have a happy ending :)
        Of course, they can have a happy ending even with the blindness.

      • 6.2.4 liza

        Had I not seen next episode preview, I would have said that one way of solving the blindness issue would be that when Anthony saved the man from burning, he was beamed by a beam and has been unconscious, the past episodes were dreams. But that would also mean that the romance did not progress. I don’t know,

    • 6.3 ryoko

      A supposed “ultimate twist” in episode 18? *snort* I’ll believe it when I see it. Judging from the preview, the only twist to the blindness arc I see coming is a “1%” chance. Sounds like cold comfort to me. There also seems to be another certain melodramatic trope in the works, but I’m not sure if you are the type that purposely doesn’t watch previews, so I won’t say anything more.

      I still can’t believe that after subverting so many drama cliches, the writer is sticking us with an Incurable Illness. I didn’t sign up for a melo. :( Remembering Anthony’s words about inserting melodrama to bring in higher ratings, it makes me think that the writer purposely chose to fill the extension with melo to make a kind of twisted point about the drama industry. Higher ratings for the last few episodes would be confirmation. I completely agree with you that the tone of these recent episodes as compared with all the other ones is like putting a circle in a square.

      If KOD hadn’t been given an extension, I don’t think the blindness arc would have ever reared its ugly head. Anthony’s character development throughout the drama was already sufficiently fleshed out – going blind was completely unnecessary. Up until this episode I had clung to the hope that the writer was trolling us again, especially since I heard that the male lead in the drama The World That They Live In faces a similar conflict. The only good thing to come out of this extension is more of Hyun Min.

      I’m not too worried about our main OTP not ending up together. My prediction is that even if Anthony goes completely blind and can no longer produce dramas, he will still help create dramas by working with Go Eun on scripts. We’ve been shown that they work well together and Anthony doesn’t need to be able to see to discuss a script with Go Eun. She can come up with the plot and Anthony, with all of his experience, can suggest ways to improve it, just like he has done with their current drama.

      Of course this still doesn’t change the fact that because of the extension KOD’s writer took a sudden left turn to Meloville and MADE OUR HERO BLIND. What do we take away from this? That even if you grow up in poverty and fight your way to the top more than once, you will be struck down by an incurable disease because life isn’t fair? Gee, thanks for the message. Forget the writer, I want to get my hands on the person who suggested an extension. It just makes me so mad when I think of what a joke it is to have this drama of all dramas go down the same old cliched paths that it was so good at poking fun at and subverting. What a crying shame.

  7. kdramapedia

    Was I the only one bored to death during this episode? There were maybe 10 mins total I enjoyed. The cute and funny took a left turn at melo street and got lost. I sure hope the finale is better than this!

    • 7.1 yumi

      Happy resurrection.

      • 7.1.1 jomo

        LOL
        It took me a couple reads, but I understood!

      • 7.1.2 kdramapedia

        LOL!!! Thanks! =P

  8. himnae

    “Siwon deserves a slow clap, too. Isn’t idol hair insured or something?”
    This. But fans have been hounding him to cut his hair for a while. Thought that his hair was getting out of control so they were extremely happy when they saw his new ‘do during the gayos.
    Siwon wasn’t happy that fans didn’t like him with a long fringe though *pout pout*

  9. jademwong

    Thank you as always for your recap! I agree, this blindness arc is not appreciates at all and the serious tone of this ep is not what I signed up for. I don’t want to point fingers at the writer because I have a suspicion that the original plan for the story was not this…at all and the extension left the writer scrambling to do damage control -_-. I was extremely unhappy with this ep and the only scene at all that didn’t leave me tired and banging my head on the table was the kiss which was executed so well and was so refreshing. Thank you Anthony and Go-Eun for kissing like normal people in love!

  10. 10 diorama

    Everyone here’s covered the important issues…so I have to address a shallow one: Is anyone else coveting Min ah’s wardrobe? (and the body to go with it, lol). Especially her statement necklaces.

    I don’t know why they make Go Eun look like a slob in comparison. They ALWAYS do this to the female lead because she’s supposed to be down-to-earth, poor, yadda yadda, but it’s not like real-life girls on a budget ever dress like drama heroines.

    • 10.1 yumi

      All the industry dramas I’ve seen the writers are always sloppy, quirky, weird, devoid of obvious sex appeals and nice interesting people. I’m thinking of THE WORLD THEY LIVE IN in particular.

      I think of it as drama-writers anti-ego/ego. Since on a set the actors are the pretty one, and the producers and directors have the power/sex appeals, I think they portray writers like that so that they can’t be accused of being narcissistic.

      • 10.1.1 Mystisith

        It was the same with the writer in On Air. I take this as an inside joke for drama writers: Add a black cat near the keyboard, cups of empty ramyun everywhere…
        I have to say: I prefer GE’s fashion. It’s -13°C in Seoul these days. I wouldn’t wear a short skirt and a decollete for all the money in the world. Give me the dufflecoats and 3 pair of socks. Rather being alive and look like a bag than being frozen to death and pretty.

    • 10.2 quincy

      beg to differ coz i adore Go-eun’s wardrobe!… and it fits her personality/ background.

      Hard to imagine her eating mackerel in her mom’s restaurant dressed like Min-ah? haha

  11. 11 Ash

    I’m *still* hoping this blindness arc is some big fake-out because dammit, drama, we were doing so well. You were subverting cliches like a champ, and then you dump Dramatic Incurable Disease on me in the last few episodes? Kim Myung-min is acting the hell out of it, but it’s not reaching me at all because I’m so desperately annoyed by the whole thing.

    On the positive side, I do appreciate how quickly that stint of noble idiocy came to end; thank god for Lee Go-eun and her awesomeness. Also, points for a kiss that was an actual kiss. Also also, everything about Hyun-min. The rest of the tally will have to wait until Monday. Please, please, PLEASE let this wrap up well. I will never forgive the extension if it doesn’t.

    • 11.1 yumi

      Perhaps the quick resolution [assuming it is resolves] is the writers way of subverting the trope.

    • 11.2 dustdevil

      I’ve still got my fingers crossed that the blindness is a fakeout, too. Maybe it is just a result of the fire, but ala the movie “The Game”, someone, say Director Nam, is punking Anthony into being a better person.

  12. 12 TS

    I liked Hyun-Min with Bit-na. Sob.

    • 12.1 Carole McDonnell

      Dang! Me too! Is there no way to redeem Bit-na from her brazenly cold comment about the ajusshi extra? I can’t see a Hyun-Min/Min-ha romance. Min-ha’s got it too bad for Anthony. Still, if we need some romance thrown in….. and if PD Joo is not gonna get his girl….

  13. 13 quincy

    Thanks Heads for your recap! always a delight!

    Apart from my misgivings for the drama veering down the melodrama path, i applaud the writer for giving us

    (1) normal parent-child relationships – AK’s mom is really pivotal in this episode in bringing AK & GE together

    (2) heroine who is sensible and resourceful – i like how GE pieced the puzzle together and did not just stumble upon AK’s notebook by chance (ok, she did stumble upon it but after some detective work…)

    (3) an action-driven hero who doesn’t mope around, waiting for the axe to fall (although his noble idiocy is not appreciated)

    ***
    p/s i really like your comment that Anthony “either read it by osmosis or skim through it”… that was what crossed my mind as well! C’mon, the ailing eyesight doesn’t help, does it?

    • 13.1 yumi

      1) Loved Go-Eun with Anthony’s mother together. I loved Go-Eun’s honesty and straightforwardness. Their interaction was part of the delight of the episode.

      2) Hated that Go-Eun read his notebook in that nosey investigative way. Wouldn’t mind if she had stumbled across the information, but the fact that she had to open books and turn pages made it seem like and invasion of his privacy. Even if her love is true and he loves her back, she didn’t have his permission to invade his privacy.

      4) Don’t know how long the book was, but Go-Eun mentioned that AK was very early for their appointment.

      • 13.1.1 quincy

        on (2), yes it bothers me as well but she probably did that out of impulse especially after sighting the braille book…

        however, for her to bring it back to her studio is unnecessary (since that will be a deliberated move)

  14. 14 twentyonebuds

    I actually quite liked this episode… Sure the blindness thingy caught me by surprise but i’m not too annoyed with that. Last week’s episodes felt just a leetle bit sloppy to me and in comparison this episode felt tight and packed with some good emotional moments. I loved the scene with Anthony and mum.. anyway maybe it’s just me.. Hopefully the finale delivers! As always thank you for the recap :)

  15. 15 RockPaperScissors

    I too am in disbelief that the writer is sticking with the blindness trope. If I interpret the preview correctly, something bad is going happen to Anthony. If we are to have a sad ending I at least want a scene where one day in the future Go Eun will look at the copy of “In Search of Lost Time” (that only she has signed out) and discover a love letter addressed to her written by Anthony.

    • 15.1 Laurita

      I thought about a possible love letter in a book too, but no no no to sad ending, just no, I’m against it… I appreciate that they are going with a similar accident as in the beginning (like connecting the whole show), if I understood it right, but the sad ending will be out of place with the overall tone of the drama (in my opinion).

  16. 16 Rachel

    I don’t like the blindness storyline either, but I think I understand why the writer went there. It’s Anthony’s karma for the way he treated his mom, and everyone else. And I think it’s also part of the larger arc of his redemption through suffering. I just hope it’s wrapped up in a satisfactory way in the final episode.

    • 16.1 Sabah

      I agree. Although I didn’t expect this drama to take this plot device so seriously, I think it is positive detailing which adds to the development of Anthony’s character. In this way it doesn’t feel tacked on.
      Anthony has/had so much but disregarded it for his ambition for something he would always be in pursuit of attaining. Even as the king of dramas he had to work hard to remain at the top with no guarantee that the title would ever become something permanent.

      It’s like the story of the teacher that fills a jar with pebbles and asks if it full to which the students reply, ‘yes,’ and then repeats filling the jar up with sand and then water. Each time the students felt that the jar was indeed full to be proved wrong. The story has many lessons but the one appropriate here is about how the pebbles represent the important things in life such as family and love whereas the sand and water represent the small stuff in life which although nice isn’t a necessity. If you fill your jar with only sand i.e. pursue only ambition, honour and fame then you won’t have space for the important stuff like love, marriage etc. Anthony in the beginning was a man who had filled his jar with sand.

      This time too, you could see him slowly filling his jar with sand again but then the pebbles such as ‘World Productions,’ ‘Go-Eun’ and ‘Mum’ also made room for themselves in his jar. I had pondered over whether they came uninvited or if Anthony had himself placed them in there but it doesn’t matter as much as the fact that he didn’t take those pebbles out to make more space for sand!

      This story line has just illuminated to Anthony what is important in life; his do to list is an excellent catalogue of it.

      Of course I could have done without the noble idiot part BUT it does seem more in line with his character which has always been private, self-sufficient and independent. I think it would take a lot for Anthony to ask others for help, by which I mean for him to ask them to stay with him just for him rather than the successful Anthony of World Productions, aka King of Dramas. However he isn’t above begging for things he wants, as we have seen in the past, but that was for the sand in his life. I am hoping that he has realized the mistake in his priorities and developed respect for just plain old Anthony (who is awesome) to ask/beg for the pebbles in his life, those things that truly only matter!

      • 16.1.1 reeen

        awww… loved reading your sand and pebble story. I’ve tried to fill my jar with water only and have recently come to see the error of my ways :)

        • 16.1.1.1 Sabah

          Thanks but it really isn’t my story. If you use google and search ‘rock pebbles sand jar’ it will lead you to many article with the story. There are so many versions as well as lessons to be learned.

          I wish you success in your new way of life!

  17. 17 Kokare

    I love the practice scene. Choi Si Won is freakin hilarious!!! He is truly cray cray in a good way!!!

  18. 18 yumi

    Thank you for the recap.

    I will say that K-dramas and how they dieal with therapy and mental health issues make me concern about the models they provide for the public. The way Anthony uses his anti-depressants is a little scary to watch.

  19. 19 Noelle

    OMG! Blind people can eat by themselves. THEY CAN EVEN LEARN AND TEACH TAEKWONDO TO OTHER BLIND PEOPLE. So ridiculous.

    • 19.1 Mystisith

      Ditto. I posted a mega rant on soompi about how the blindness is not such a big deal (blind people in the family, so I know…). Becoming blind as an adult is sad. It’s a slap in your face when it happens. But you’re still a human being who can live normally after a while. Someone didn’t do his homework or had to improvise at the last minute.

      • 19.1.1 Lord of the Things

        I think that they will show this though. In dramatime, Anthony’s just found out about his diagnosis, and is in shock. I’m pretty sure they’ll end it on a more realistic note and that right now we’re just seeing his emotional reaction. I can see why you’d be upset, because dramas play blindness as THE END OF THE WORLD all the time, but I’m going to wait to the end and see where they go with it first.

    • 19.2 sally_b

      @Noelle – yes ! Thank you for that ^

      When Anthony was saying, “I won’t be able to go to the bathroom by myself…”

      I was thinking, “Dude, I get up in the night to go pee all the time….no lights, ’cause we all know how to get to our home’s toilet. So, fer reals, blindness does NOT mean you’ll be needing a toilet-assistant.”

      I’ll give a nod to the fact that the whole *blindness-thing* is being treated with intellect, but shazaaam ~it’s like I’m watching a whole different show in just this one episode…it’s kinda bizarre.

    • 19.3 yumi

      I think the doctor mentioned that it can take years to adjust, not that one couldn’t adjust.

      AK might have been overstating the situation to shock/scare Go-Eun.

      • 19.3.1 Mystisith

        The doctor said 3 to 5 years to be completely used to it. Which is not true, furthermore for someone like Anthony who has the fighting spirit and is not an idiot. + we are in 2013: Smartphones triggered by the voice… Nowadays you don’t spend all day in a wheel chair waiting for death to come when you’re blind. Pfft.

        • 19.3.1.1 Chickletta

          It’s true what you are saying, but… ‘inspired’ by Anthony I’ve been testing what it would mean for me to suddenly lose my sight. So… I close my eyes and go from my laptop to the kitchen to get some water or get a snack… Very difficult! Or, if I’m alone on the street with no [people to think i've gone mad] i close my eyes and try to walk. Then I think of all the things I would never be able to see again… It is a horrible predicament that Anthony is facing. Besides, mroe than anyone he know how hard it was to be around someone blind because of his mother. He also know how he hated and resented it. He fears that could happen with him and goeun. So, his behaviour is absolutely justified. It’s not nobel idiocy -it’s being just being noble and practical. In my family I have someone who is married toa blind man. They have a solid marriage, two kids, but to say that is is easy on either of them would be lying. They deal with it because they love each other and they don’t mope but bravely plough forward.

    • 19.4 nakai

      I think he exaggerated because he was scared. I tend to do that too so I understand. When you’ve been a loner and pretty much all you life all have is yourself to depend on when something bad happens it’s frightening because you feel like you have no one to turn to. The fears you have or had will come rushing in all at once.

      And naturally, you’ll think all the worst possible scenarios.

      But the good thing is I guess now Anthony knows he has Go Eun to lean on.

      • 19.4.1 Laurita

        I agree. Who wouldn’t be scared in such situation (and he have seen his mother struggling too). Even if blindness theme became a cliché in k-dramas, I think he delivered it well.

        • 19.4.1.1 Mystisith

          I think he is scared a little but I also think he overdramatizes the situation to push her away (noble idiocy) and/or test her affection for him (my choice in that situation).

          • 19.4.1.1.1 Laurita

            yes, that must have been a part of reason too.

    • 19.5 Kiki

      Ha! My first response while watching was, err…I’m pretty sure blind people can eat and poo by themselves.

    • 19.6 Mara

      I think they were just emphasizing the difficulty for adult onset blindness. If you’re used to living your life sighted, it is difficult to adjust, like the Dr. said, it can take around 3 years, which honestly doesn’t seem that long considering you not only do you have to learn how to do things w/o sight, you have to UN-learn the way you did them before.

  20. 20 adrian

    wht disease does anthony hve?? glaucoma… ?????

    • 20.1 kopytko

      Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON)

  21. 21 Melmax

    Yes, ‘call a priest, we’ve got a procession going on,’ LOL!!!
    Yup, need a procession to pray for a miracle for Anthony’s vision!!! ‘still enjoyed this episode…, heading a clean landing towards the end…. Thanks for the recap… Doesn’t Shibrows look handsome?!!!

  22. 22 whatis

    Liking the drama so far… I’m riding the blindness train. It does feel a little bit forced, but like you said, Heads, it’s not handled too terribly. At least I can ride the train sitting down… not cursing and bitching.

    But aside from that… I gotta say. Isn’t it a little bit too much for Lee Go-Eun to be saying “What if it doesn’t matter to me?” I mean… really? She hasn’t even officially dated the guy yet, and she’s basically saying “I’m going to assume responsibility for you.” That’s hefty stuff. Hefty enough that I’d say should take more than a few hours to contemplate whether or not you want to offer yourself to a future blind person. But of course, I know… this is dramaland. People are just suppose to live happily ever after after the drama ends. Blah Blah.

    I’m so pessimistic… haha

  23. 23 KDrama Fan

    Thanks Heads for the recap.

    I liked this episode for many reasons.

    I liked that A and GE finally lock lips.

    Also one of my favorite songs, ‘Pokarekareana’-a Maori song with lyrics that matched the scene where A ‘sees’ his younger self, was in it.

    Liked seeing the company workers ‘caught out’ by Anthony in the scene where they plan to hold him up for more money but he jumps in and says he’s letting them go.

    Etc etc.

    Maybe it’s been mentioned before but I keep thinking A’s blindness is related to his pills and if he stops those he’ll recover if not fully enough to see.

    BTW has anyone made/seen a video montage of Hyun-min’s funny faces/comments etc. I like the screen captures we see here but would love to see all the video excerpts joined together. If I wasn’t so technologically challenged I might have given it a shot myself.

    • 23.1 reeen

      I was really surprised and touched when I heard Pokarekare Ana. Although it made it hard to concentrate on the drama and not think of New Zealand instead :D

      • 23.1.1 KDrama Fan

        :)

      • 23.1.2 Lord of the Things

        Me too! I’m from NZ, when I heard that in the background, I did a double take. Apparently the song was brought to Korea by Maori soldiers who fought in Korea.

        Its a beautiful love song though, about star-crossed lovers.
        There’s more info about it here: http://folksong.org.nz/pokarekare/index.html

        • 23.1.2.1 KDrama Fan

          Lord of the Things?! What an awesome name!

          Nice to hear there are other Kiwis in the DB house:)

          Thanks for putting up more info about ‘Pokarakareana’.

          • 23.1.2.1.1 Lord of the Things

            Haha thanks! And you’re welcome – I know, its cool when I see obvious Kiwi posts, because liking Kdramas is a pretty obscure thing here and its not like we’re a big country to start with. And then, there’s someone else here who’s loving KoD? Awesome.

        • 23.1.2.2 reeen

          wow, that’s some cool background info about maori soldiers in korea! I had no idea they even fought there.

    • 23.2 momosan

      Nope, that was the doctor’s first thought, that it was a side effect of the pills. But then they tested him and said “nope, you’ve got a hereditary disease.” BTW, brownie points for the show for coming up with a real disease. I’m still trying to figure out how PKW in Full House 2 managed to go blind suddenly in both eyes from an injury to one eye as a child.

  24. 24 Bu Young

    I totally agreed that this episode was off beat and I found myself calling the noble idiocy bull and even yelling at Anthony to cheer up, but I truly enjoyed the episode and shed a few tears…buckets I mean especially the scene where Go-Eun puts the puzzle together that he’s going blind.

    Honestly, if KOD can go on forever, I would seriously be happy. I hate when great dramas come to an end; I also enjoyed the hint given by the screen writer that KOD would have had a great ending that went a long with the script had the drama ended on 16 episodes. I loved that they used their extention to talk about the troubles facing extentions and the whole production crew

  25. 25 ladysarahii

    As much as I keep hoping in the back of my head we’re somehow being trolled, there were so many scenes I loved:

    1. Mom’s expression when she realized the scarf had the initials of her son — she realized he’d found someone who appreciated him for who he really is, not just the Anthony persona.

    2. Go-eun’s teardrop joining Anthony’s.

    3. The kiss!

    4. Min-ah ripping CEO Oh a new one about liking Hyun-min… it cracks me up that he jumps.

    5. I’m pretty sure Min-ah really liked the short haircut. :P

  26. 26 altair

    Yay for Siwon’s haircut!!! I was in such awe of how drop dead gorgeous he looks. This is the first episode I actually watched the entire drama (I usually just watch Siwon’s bits cause they are hillarious and go fast forward over everything else). It is the first time for me to feel the story of the main leads. Maybe because it is the first time their love story is full of melodrama cliches. I love cliches. Without them a kdrama is just not quite a kdrama. I finally get the feeling that this a kdrama. On the downside I don’t like Sung Min Ah and I don’t think she and Hyun Min are good together. Can we start a campaign to bring Bit Na back???

  27. 27 Laeah

    I have always felt that Siwon was completely ugly as sin until this hair cut. Gosh. I hate to fall for it, but he became so much more attractive!

    The Blindness thing doesnt really bother me because it’s being done more tastefully I find. And yay for the kiss! :D

  28. 28 reeen

    Hyun Min is so hilarious… I think he’s always been very committed. First he was very committed to not being committed to anything apart from money and his vanity and now he’s committed to this serious actor thing. He reminds me of people who suddenly become religious, or vegetarian, or … and are overly zealous. I somehow find his development very believable, despite its seeming absurdity.

    • 28.1 jomo

      Perfect comment!

      • 28.1.1 reeen

        thanks ^^

  29. 29 KmmFan

    Just read an interview with the director of KoD…he states that it will be a happy ending but not your typical happy ending. A happy ending after everything is lost. Not sure if he means ak’s eyesight and/or love, success etc. Nonetheless…this is still one of my all time gave k.dramas. Refreshing characters & superbly acted. Made me a fan of Jung rye won and fall in love with Kim myung min more than ever.

    • 29.1 nakai

      ‘A happy ending after everything is lost. ‘

      Writer Jang is a poet. lol

    • 29.2 KmmFan

      *correction…it was an interview article w/the writer not the director hehe :)

    • 29.3 Lord of the Things

      Yus! I’m hoping he goes blind but becomes happy. That’s my ideal ending, because who says you can’t be blind and happy? Life isn’t all durm and strang, even for disabled people. You wouldn’t know it from dramas though.

    • 29.4 Carole McDonnell

      “Losing” was always the whip striking Anthony’s back and mind. I think maybe he needs to know that losing –even to one’s enemies– is not so horrible a thing. It might, in fact, be healing to not be at war with the world anymore.

  30. 30 sam

    I think KMM character will be blind but it will be a happy ending because he will be cure of depression and live a life full of love with his girl and mum, and at peace with himself. I think he will still be in the drama industry because he is after all, King of Dramas.May be the writer just try to bring up the message that we really do not need to be perfect to be in a blissful life.

    • 30.1 reeen

      I suddenly imagined him as this old fogey who still has a say in the drama world despite being blind an everyone listens attentively and awed as he imparts his wisdoms (just as they did in episode 1) :)

      • 30.1.1 KDrama Fan

        If there is no miraculous recovery from his blindness I think this will happen too.

  31. 31 mysterious

    I just about died when I saw he had her listed as “Sweet Potato” in his phone. That is so cute. (Like she has him listed as Bong-dal. Only he knows about her love of sweet potatoes and only she knows his real name. It sets their relationship with each other apart from their relationships with any of the others.)

    There had better be a miracle of some kind because I want, no, I DEMAND a HAPPY ending! Even if he doesn’t keep his eyesight, there should be some kind of happy ending for him and Go-eun.

  32. 32 pigtookie

    why this meta. perhaps their intent was to do both show and tell- tell us how unnecessary and burdensome an extension does, and then show it by inserting a plot point we could do without.

  33. 33 Lord of the Things

    I don’t know, I felt served well enough by the obvious nod to ‘Extension=Loss Of Quality’ – it prepared me for a bit of shoehorning story drag. Watching Anthony and Go-Eun struggle to extend an already planned story by the whims of others made me sympathetic to the writers’ intentions with this episode. It gave me faith that it wouldn’t drag for more than an episode, and the funny moments helped to even out the angst.

    In terms of character development, I also liked that Anthony’s loneliness was brought to the foreground – he was a lonely child who grew into unquestioned loneliness as an adult, which Go-Eun and the World team are finally starting to crack. It does make sense, character-wise, that he would first try to conceal his weakness from the people who are becoming close to him.

    I also appreciated the attempt to at least tie up the episode thematically and link it with the end of the last episode – I was a little teary when Go-Eun called Anthony out on his illness in the same way he called her out on her feelings. It signalled the end of the two of them missing each other, feelings-wise and communication-wise.

    I do agree that this ep was a bit like treading water, but I still enjoyed it, even if we didn’t really get that far. This is one of the better-handled extensions I’ve seen, so far (but then the writers are lucky enough to be able to push the 4th wall and poke fun at it).

    Looking forward to the next ep! Thanks for the recap.

    • 33.1 nakai

      Well said. :)

  34. 34 Kellie

    I’ve been reading a translation of an interview with the writer & it couldn’t be worse. It wasn’t my imagination that they were trying & abandoning plot elements from early on in a desperate effort to fix the ratings. They ended up with the Disease of the Month & an unlikely love story (though some of the love story has nice touches of whimsy, with the literary & movie allusions, that I liked a lot). KMM is giving it his A-game, as always — oooo some of the loveliest acting! JRW is wonderful. But isn’t this a classic futz-up? Like I said before, it wouldn’t surprise me if Dae Myung-min runs like hell from TV drama & we never see him again.

    • 34.1 reeen

      did they say what was originally planned?

      • 34.1.1 Kellie

        No, I don’t think so. What he/she/they do say is gobbledygook & I don’t think it’s the fault of the translation. They don’t seem to be able to analyze it very clearly themselves. The scheduling problem is mentioned but not as a problem, just as a challenge: scheduling KoD opposite an Lee Byung-hoon sageuk (which is a stinker, by the way). That still amazes me. LBH is a brand name in Korea. Audiences watch whatever he puts his name on. SBS gave “Horse Manure” six weeks to build an audience before their quirky little drama about drama-making got on the air.
        Go figure.

    • 34.2 nakai

      I dont think KMM would turn down a good role. But if he’s going to keep his distant from tv because of this it’s really unfortunate.
      I still think the best scripts are from dramas. And I realised now he shines more on the small screen because he gets to stretch his acting skills.

      • 34.2.1 jomo

        That makes sense, and makes me think of Shin Ha Kyun or Lee Mi Sook or Jung Jin-yung. (Hey they starred with each other at one point or another.)
        If you are good, drama writers will keep delivering good lines for you to deliver. Week after week, the audience gets to see you go higher and higher skill wise.

        If you are bad, the audience suffers less as time goes by because your scenes lessen.

    • 34.3 Altari

      I know it can’t be helped but I wish they could just concentrate on making a good drama instead of peddling to ratings in Korea. A lot of my favorite dramas had mediocre ratings in Korea but were popular overseas; for example “You Are Beautiful” and “Sunggyunkwan Scandal”. On the other hand big hits in Korea are usually over-the-top melo/makjang that are SO not my taste. (T_T)
      I think KOD has/had the potential to be a hit in Japan (depending on the ending)

  35. 35 Huong

    I am thinking that what a pity this drama was originally on a course to give us a better understanding of how K-dramas are produced, maybe the live-shooting aspect, the quarrel between actors and writers, the competition for ratings. Now it has turned into a simple love story that cannot differentiate it from other normal dramas.

    • 35.1 reeen

      I still think that we could have had both… it would’ve been okay, maybe even better, if the love story had only been hinted at and the only thing established would have been a friendship. But I would’ve sorely missed all those poignant interactions between Go-Eun and Anthony if they hadn’t filmed them in favour of more production issues. Unfortunately the drama production has pretty much become an insignificant side-story now, which I also dislike.

    • 35.2 jomo

      I am not sure that the fact that the OTP kisses means it turned into a simple love story. It is a story about dramas, yes, but filled with people. Sometimes they fall in love on set.

      Do all the earlier episodes lose their impact because of the confessions? The writers developed their relationship from the git-go and showed the craziness of dramaland along with it.

      • 35.2.1 Lord of the Things

        Exactly – to be honest, I think the fact that we know the writers are struggling with this drama in real life is kind of cool, considering the inherent meta-ness of the premise. It makes me analyse every line for a clue as to their intentions.

        I mean, that might not be satisfying for a lot of people, but for this particular episode at least I found it a lot of fun. I think getting caught up in that let me sort of just roll with the actual plot as it was as well, where (as you mentioned) the developments were linked to earlier threads anyway, Disease of the Month be damned.

  36. 36 joy

    loved Siwon’s hair this episode. :-)

  37. 37 Nallali

    Ha! I don’t think Siwon’s hair insured or anything. Most of the pics i’ve seen him he’s had it chopped off…one of the few celebs am sure who won’t have to worry about the dreaded buzz cut! Lee Min HoT on the other hand…lols can’t wait to finally see his forehead all exposed! I swear he must have horns he’s hiding or sth!

  38. 38 Kellie

    Thank you by the way, Dramabeans people, for that gorgeous still of Kim Myung-min on the rooftop in the blowing snow. When I saw that in the episode I was hoping somebody would post a still of it. And such a nice, BIG still! There’s my desktop for the next month.

  39. 39 Jushi

    The golden moments of this particular episode are those of Min-ah’s and Hyun Min’s rather than the leads. I love the semi-bickering, semi-professionalism or lack thereof of both actors. Funny.

  40. 40 rynea

    I don’t know where the drama become lackluster, but I think it probably started when they abandoned Oh Jin Wan into the story. He was supposed to be this super villain what with all his bitterness and anger towards Anthony. He was supposed to be a bigger character, but now we only see him when he talks to Min Ah, which is really annoying cause his character got so much potential. Btw, i think his assistant will also betray him in the end like what he did to Anthony three years ago.

    It’s sad when a drama you really like is not performing big on the ratings, but it’s agonizing when they try to fix it and they put the parts on the wrong places. I understand that ratings are really important but they should at least keep a strong story.

    • 40.1 reeen

      I’m glad we got rid of Oh Jin-Wan… he was fun in the beginning, but I was never really interested in his almost nn-existent story arc.

  41. 41 jomo

    Thanks for the recap!! So funny as usual.

    “He makes this motion of reeling her in after he baits her, which is just one of those moments of comedy gold that seems made up on the spot. All the better for it.”

    I really hope Siwon gets the lead in a comedic film next – Inspector Gadget Style or early Jim Carrey or Brendan Frazier. It doesn’t have to be a romance, either. He’s handsome, soooooo handsome, he has charisma, and he has that sense to know how BIG to go, or and he’s FUNNY.
    I think we all witnessed the birth of a movie star rather than drama one.

    I am also giving the show and writers a pass here for strange plot. Extensions muck up the works, and it really could have been a lot worse. A LOT WORSE. We enjoyed more Siwon comedy, some lovely romance, and more meta in this ep.

    I mentioned before how blindness is not “living in a dependent home” debilitating. His mother in a wheel chair cannot be simply chalked up to LHON, so that is not where AK is going. I agree with those that say he could still be an active creative force with the right equipment once he gets used to his handicap.
    For me, it would be perfect if he ends up co-writing with GE, forever together eating sweet potatoes and drinking beer in her little work apartment.

    I will miss KMM a lot after this ends. He has been taking up space in my mind and heart lately.

  42. 42 John

    I’ll have to wait and see what happens.

    Anthony, you should have kissed your sweet potato earlier and often.

    • 42.1 jomo

      YES!!

    • 42.2 jomo

      And it appears Anthony knows how. :)

      • 42.2.1 Chickletta

        I have to say: one of my fave fictional kisses ever. So much emotion, passion, intuition…uuuuh. You should watch the filming of the kiss on KBS website. It’s even more beautiful there, and I could swear both actors were affected by it.

  43. 43 autleaf

    Heh, Mom with scarf looks like a die-hard football fan cheering for Team Bong Dal Kim! Fighting!

    I must admit that I was kind of eager to see how the blindness arc unfold even without any subversion of the cliche. But this week’s episode is a let-down, to say the least, because it’s meandering and lost the vibe of the previous episode.

    I’m just glad that Sweet Potato comes out well in translation, even cute. I can’t imagine what it would be like in other languages.

    • 43.1 Laurita

      It would definitely sound weird in Lithuanian (and how comes that potatoes are sweet, actually?). In translation I would use a diminutive suffix for ‘potato’ but that would sound so not-Anthony-style…

      While watching this drama, I also thought how to translate the language (if I had to)—>

      Do Anthony and Go-eun talk in formal language or not????????

      (it is not clear from English subtitles, where ‘you’ is ‘you’ no matter the formalities.)

      • 43.1.1 ainiseunggi

        Anthony uses Banmal (informal) to Go-eun since she’s younger than him AND Anthony is her boss.

        Go-eun uses Jondaemal (formal) to Anthony. Well, except those moments in earlier episodes that she was very mad at him that she called him “DANGSIN” which is “you” – without respect, and continue with Banmal, that eventually Anthony has to remind her that he’s not her “Dangsin” but her Representative. haha~

        • 43.1.1.1 Laurita

          Oh thank you, I has just asked and the answer was already here :)

          But to think about it, in other language it would seem a little bit weird to speak with a person in a formal way or call him a “Representative” when both are in love with each other … I wonder, maybe it is not so proper to translate Go-eun as speaking formally, for example, in my language, when she admits being in love…
          Maybe her formalities will change after that kiss…

        • 43.1.1.2 autleaf

          In Korea, it seems that “lowering” your language from formal to casual is a mutual decision. In this case, Anthony insists that Go Eun address him as Representative, so still no go. This is why even though both are in love, they still speak to each other in formal terms, thus showing the emotional distance. Let’s blame this on the noble idiot. I love that we are having this discussion because this is where the nuances in formal/casual speak volumes of the emotional connection between the characters. Of course, hopefully after the kiss, it will no longer be Representative, but Oppa…:)

          • 43.1.1.2.1 ainiseunggi

            Kyaaaaaaaaaaah~~~ How I wish that Go-eun will call “Oppa” to Anthony!!!though I won’t be able not to squirm after it! LOL

            But it just not fair if Sung Min-ah has a line that called Anthony “Oppa” and that Go-eun doesn’t.
            Yap I really wish the writer will do it for the final episode. *praying*

            But seeing the personality of Anthony, he most likely won’t allow Go-eun to use Banmal to him. Ahaha~ but then Go-eun, as always, will take it easy and once in a while call him “Oppa, call me Go-eun-ah~”

            Aigoo~~ I’m imagining too much.

            1 more day to the final! Woo yeah~

          • 43.1.1.2.2 Laurita

            In the case of this drama, I guess, it is not bad (yet), since, as you say they were “showing emotional distance”, so to speak formally seemed a proper thing to do. :)

            I asked mostly because I remembered how in some dramas even after kisses and announcements of love, pairs still call one another CEO or Director or etc. It just feels so out of place only AFTER marriage to say: oh, maybe we can try to talk casually now, or let’s wait for the children first..? Good thing is that since I don’t understand Korean, it doesn’t feel SO weird, but rather normal. But when I think about it in terms of my own language…

    • 43.2 autleaf

      Sweet potatoes are closer in shape and size to tapioca and yam than to potatoes, actually. In Eastern Asia (Korea, Japan, China), sweet potatoes have almost purple skin. They are normally roasted and the flesh is sweet and yummy (no sugar needed!). In my native language, the translation just sound weird and one has to be madly, unconditionally in love with someone to be called “ubi keledek”. Hahahaha…

      And you’re right, formal (jondaemal) and casual (banmal) nuances are not easily translated into English but the differences carry a lot of social meanings in Eastern culture.

      • 43.2.1 Laurita

        haha, but for me when I don’t know your language it sounds quite nice :)

        In Lithuanian (literary) it would be “saldi bulvė” :). You made me curious and I searched a bit. And yes, in my country these sweet potatoes are quite known (it’s just me, totally uneducated, when it comes to cooking). I personally never ate them, but sometimes it can be found in our supermarkets (next time I’ll try it).
        Since it’s not frequently used word, I guess many people would still think about it as simple potatoes, so it would still be weird…
        I also learnt that some people in my country call these sweet potatoes just yam, but this name would also look weird since in lithuanian it is: “batatas”.

        As for the formal/casual language, my native language uses both of them (unlike English), so I was curious which one is used in this specific relationship between Anthony and G.E. Maybe you know? :)

        • 43.2.1.1 kopytko

          Anthony speaks informally to Go Eun but demands that she speaks formally to him.

          I must say I second your sentiment towards “sweet potato”. To me potato is something salty eaten with meat and vegetables or with pork cracklings. Or made into something like cepelinai. So when I see “sweet potato” I think of a cute potato, which is probably not the intention of the writer :)

          • 43.2.1.1.1 Laurita

            Yep, probably the writer didn’t intend it, but if it adds some interesting flavor to K-drama, then why not, haha Potato is potato after all :)

          • 43.2.1.1.2 liza

            In my neck of the woods calling someone a sweet potato would be an effectionate term, someone you like. another name for the common potato is irish potato. one of our variety of sweet potato when cooked has a grayish blue color, very sweet and a disctinct flavor all its own, ergo, sweet potato being an actual affectionate term. go figure..

        • 43.2.1.2 racheose

          batatas? it’s so similar to how we call potatoes here, we call them ‘patatas’ but sweet potatoes here are called ‘kamote’. if you call me kamote though i’d be offended because it’s like you called me loser or someone who’s bad luck and sucks at everything especially in school. i am from philippines so i think sweet potato is like our kamote and it definitely doesn’t taste or look like potatoes. it’s tasty though and can be cooked into desserts and pastries.

        • 43.2.1.3 Chickletta

          Sweet potatoes (kokuma) in Korea are eaten as a dessert or a healthy snack. In winter, you find sweet potatoes as street food everywhere. They smell and taste divine, nothing like potatoes but rather like chestnuts or roasted pumpkin. They are also made carmelized with black sesame seeds – yummy. Anyway, they are dessert and people associte the feelings of warmth, home and comfort with them. That he would change her name on his phone from ‘brat’ to ‘roasted sweet potato’ is a testament to his changed feelings for her.

  44. 44 ainiseunggi

    whatever it is, I LOVE THIS EPISODE AS IT IS. No more, no less.

    Anthony <3 Lee Go-eun FIGHTING!!

    *happy ending is waiting for us* :D

  45. 45 mjfan

    I loved this episode sooooooooooo much although I was scared to watch it ,
    they are surprisingly handling this blindness thing very decent ,
    no over dramatic scenes , Go eun found out so fast so his noble idiocy will not last long , and the humor is still there with the invincible Hyun min :)
    I really love this show so much , and am still hoping for a miracle to save our big softie Anthony …..

  46. 46 Ben

    There’s still plenty of good stuff going on even if you aren’t a fan of the blindness arc. Hyun-min is just such a joy to watch.

    • 46.1 ElainesTale

      oh his over-reactions. i love it. when the FD walked in on them i was literally rolling over the floor laughing

      • 46.1.1 Lord of the Things

        “Why are you so extreme in everything?” – loved that line, cos her mind must be seriously blown

  47. 47 icednoodles

    Honestly, if it wasn’t for Hyunmin and his Minah and the rest of our supporting characters, I probably would have felt like this episode dragged a bit too (but I honestly really enjoyed it, overall). Why haven’t they fallen into the ‘we’re side characters and we must fall in love’ cliche yet? Because if there’s one cliche I want out of this drama, it’s that one. Or at least another kiss, for the script or not.

    Also: TIME. SKIP. META.
    It’s either we get that, or we get a time skip without the nudge nudge, wink wink. But still. I’m hoping they go there, so I can get a good laugh.

  48. 48 goldeng

    im mad at the “blindness” arc too… dont get me wrong.. they have managed things nicely but like 2 eps. ago when I understood where we were heading i was like screaming: no no no nonononono! to my screen because it wasnt neccesary AT ALL… they were fine with the cafe date! from a brilliant drama that were cautious to not use the typical clichés drama use is a bit of a shock to see the “blindness” cliché here.. the only thing i liked about this arc is that Minah and Hyunmin’s interactions are hilarious and im pretty sure theyll end up together…!! id liked that they used the extension to develop a loveline with minah and hyunmin…

  49. 49 Abbie

    Parts of this episode I liked, because it got me emotionally. The other parts I was left wondering “why is this happening again?” Now that we’re dealing with the extension, I’m a little disappointed this drama got one. I loved King of Dramas, and still do, but I would have been content with 16 episodes. Since the extension wasn’t due to ratings, I can only assume that some corporate bigwig pushed it through because whatever drama follows this is having trouble and needs more time to prepare for their premiere. And that’s fine. I just wish it was handled better by the writer. Even if Kyungsung Morning was faced with another threat of cancellation because of Empire’s chairman (seriously, where’d he go?) I would have been fine with that.

    But, we get the dreaded illness plot line that every drama does. I really expected better from this writer, because the show was so well written before. And it still is, don’t get me wrong; this just seems so last minute. Even with hints dropped previously, and knowing his mother had the disease, this totally came out of left field.

    That being said, I really appreciated the way Anthony handled it. He cried for what he was losing, but he soldiered on and started to prepare. I don’t like that he hid it from everyone, even his World Boys, but I understand why he did. He’s planning on cutting off all ties to the drama-making industry, and I think part of him doesn’t want the pity his friends and colleagues would give him. I understand that too. I just don’t like the way it was rushed. I’m happy Go-eun is smart and sharp enough to start piecing things together as quickly as she did. That’s one thing I absolutely love about this drama, in that we get a strong, smart, sassy heroine. I think those are sorely lacking in dramaland.

    Also, I was really pleased with the kiss at the end. Not only was it a long time in coming, but I thought it fit the scene on an emotional front, too.

    I am really wondering how this show will end. I’m really wondering what that special will be about, too. Will it be a behind the scenes look at the drama, or will it be a wrap up of the drama itself?

    Thanks for the recap, Heads!

  50. 50 twelvejan

    Holy shit. There was an episode 17?! There was a kissing scene. HOW COULD I HAVE MISSED IT?!!!!

    • 50.1 nakai

      LOL…Where were you?

    • 50.2 Laurita

      hahaha :D seriously, how could you :)))

      • 50.2.1 twelvejan

        Hahh. i thought both episodes were postponed due to the end of year award ceremony! booohoo. So everyone has spazzed over the kiss except for me!

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