Drama Recaps
Level 7 Civil Servant: Episode 3
by | January 30, 2013 | 146 Comments

Well that’s more like it. The premiere for Level 7 Civil Servant was pretty iffy for me, since it wasn’t nearly as funny or fresh as I’d hoped for, but the second episode put in a better showing, and this week is markedly improved as well. We get more of the Spy School developments (which are always fun—I love boarding school type stories), but more importantly, some signs of character growth that go a long way toward endearing me to them.

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EPISODE 3 RECAP

Seo-won passes the lie detector test, adding a bunch more lies to throw into Gil-ro’s face: She’s the daughter of a diplomat, her ID number is the one he recited, she has twin brothers. She even recites her (false) address. The machine declares: True.

Gil-ro’s gob-smacked, since the default setting for interpretation is that the machine is right, not that she’s outsmarted it. In fact, trainer Won-seok barks at her for telling the truth instead when the exercise is to pass off lies as truth. He gives her ten demerits for the infraction. Ooh, interesting conflict—her spy talent gets mistaken for dumb naivete.

On the upside, it gets her an offer of friendship from another trainee, the sweet and flighty Soo-young, who actually is a diplomat’s daughter. Seo-won lies some more about where her father was stationed, then gets a reprieve when Gil-ro comes up to say she’s either a psychopath or a born liar. She quips, “I could be both.” Ha.

She gives Gil-ro a swift kick for good measure, sending him to his knees for breaking his promise not to hang around her.

Ah, but the trainers both realize the truth of Seo-won’s lie detector test, since they know her real background. Young-soon’s impressed and predicts a big future for her, but Won-seok adds a caveat—it’ll be great if she doesn’t skip over to the other side. His concern makes me suspect this is our baddie’s backstory.

They note that Do-ha is in a similar situation, and could be pulled out for black ops. They decide to keep their eyes on both as special cases.

Training includes lessons in gambling, which is an exercise the recruits enjoy. Ha, this really is the James Bond Academy. Our main trio—Gil-ro, Seo-won, Do-ha—sit at one table betting on hwatu card hands.

Seo-won goes all in and Gil-ro first mocks her, then follows suit. (Do-ha wisely folds.) Gil-ro sees Seo-won’s puny hand and chastises her for risking it on a bluff, only to get called on his own. He heads to the loser’s corner to do punishment push-ups.

Heh, Won-seok prefaces all his lessons with a contradictory message—I’m not teaching you to gamble so you can gamble; I’m not teaching you to use a gun so you can shoot guns. Their first exercise is dismantling the gun, which is completed especially quickly by Gil-ro and Do-ha. They both look surprised to have a competitor, having expected to be first, and are told to reassemble.

Again, they both finish at the same time, this time shooting perturbed looks at each other. They both shoot proficiently at target practice, and Gil-ro puffs up to be told he did a good job. At the debriefing, Won-seok announces a new record, and Gil-ro all but runs up to accept the accolade… only to be stopped short by a different name. Diplomat’s daughter Soo-young, who shot with high heels and closed eyes, logged zero points. Ha.

The recruits have a laugh, but are cut down by their trainers for taking their jobs lightly when this is a profession funded by their parents’ hard-earned taxes. Have some respect.

But there is to be congratulations after all, since somebody set a new record. Do-ha had a perfect score, which shoots a hole into Gil-ro’s puffed-up ego.

Do-ha earns even more goodwill with his compatriots by telling them his first target score was 17, and that it means nothing. Admiring looks all around (well, minus one). But it turns out his first real score was 97, ha. He tells Seo-won that he lied because in real life scenarios, scores mean nothing. She asks if he’s ever been in real combat, and he deflects, saying it was just a saying he heard in the army.

Do-ha asks if things are over now with her and Gil-ro, noting that knowing your ID number isn’t exactly proof of being strangers. She admits they went out in the past, and he guesses it was a blind date. His smile falters a bit to hear it was a mat-seon (for the marriage-minded, far more serious than the simple blind date), and that it was two dates.

Gil-ro actually takes his target sheet to nitpick his score with Won-seok, arguing that his one miss actually hit the bull’s-eye line. He says he just wants a fair evaluation, which Won-seok points out isn’t something you get in action. Guys like Gil-ro can’t die for their colleagues, because they think they’re better and therefore worth more.

Gil-ro seems to take this under serious consideration, promising to keep it in mind… and then pouts for a re-score. Won-seok chases him out.

Do-ha shows Seo-won a shooting tip using a spoon and a piece of candy, and quickly racks up more admiration from the ladies in the room. Sun-mi, on the other hand, huffs that Miss Demerits is back at it, flirting with yet another recruit. It’s both understandable, I think, and unfair.

Gil-ro catches a glimpse of it too, and I’m not sure which of the two he’s more annoyed at. He sees them continuing the same exercise at lunch, and even tries balancing a bean himself. It falls, his table chides him not to play with his food, and he shoots a glare their way.

On to hand-to-hand training (Won-seok: “I’m not teaching you to fight so you can fight”), where they’re partnered up and given the task of disarming the opponent. Gil-ro sees Do-ha and Seo-won both laughing as they get in a friendly headlock, and simmers.

So it’s no surprise that the two alpha recruits butt heads again, with Gil-ro saying that this kind of exercise has no effect in real situations and Do-ha arguing that it does, since it builds your confidence in the knowledge that you’re capable of disarming the enemy. Gil-ro fires back that confidence isn’t the same as skill. Won-seok gives them the opportunity to fight it out.

They begin grappling, doing a pretty fair job of evenly gaining the upper hand and losing it. In the end it’s Gil-ro who wins, getting the gun into Do-ha’s chest without getting disarmed in time. Do-ha looks upset for the first time, while Gil-ro is triumphant. Tellingly, he sneaks a look at Seo-won, and her disappointment dims his excitement a bit.

Won-seok offers to give it a go at disarming him, and Gil-ro confidently approaches with his gun held high. Then crumples. Won-seok has shoved his foot up his crotch, HA. Gil-ro has to be dragged off the mat.

Our baddie Woo-hyuk has another business meeting with Gil-ro’s father (President Han), luring him with the proposal of working together on a new, large-scale project worth billions. It involves cavitation technology, which is a way to garner great propulsion in large vessels. Woo-hyuk has done his research and knows that President Han has a hometown buddy who’s currently researching the technology. President Han understands that whatever he’s proposing is likely to be risky and possibly unethical, and rejects the idea. But Woo-hyuk doubles his offer, and reels him in, introducing his partner Mi-rae into the mix.

Lockpicking class. Gil-ro gets distracted watching Seo-won work, which earns him a rap to the head for his inattention. When Do-ha’s the first unlock his door, Won-seok congratulates him and asks how much he could do for his country, and if that includes bad things. He says he could, so Won-seok instructs him, “Then sing a song.” Ha.

Do-ha belts out a few measures of the national anthem, and then Won-seok turns to the other recruits. They all deflect with embarrassed excuses, so Won-seok pulls out a bonus and dangles it as the prize. Seo-won’s hand shoots up.

She tamps down her embarrassment and busts out with the “Shy Dance” (by the twin pop-trot duo Wink), which is, appropriately enough, totally embarrassing. The performance earns her cheers and Won-seok dismisses them with the announcement of a dinner party tonight, to be attended in fancy threads.

Seo-won excitedly takes her prize, and realizes now that he meant literally 500 won (50 cents), not the assumed 500 bucks. Hee. Sucker.

This gives Gil-ro the opportunity to mock her with her own dance, though something tells me Joo-won enjoyed doing that dance way too much.

The men recruits show up for the party first, dressed in suits and ties, sniffing at the shabby hall. There’s red carpet and wine, but the room itself looks like a deserted warehouse. Then Won-seok amazes them by Matrixing the room with a remote control, changing the setting from fancy gala to NIS lobby to banquet hall.

Then the introduction of the ladies, decked out in evening gowns. And at the sight of Seo-won in full makeup and gown, Gil-ro’s budding interest flares into full-blown romantic slo-mo epiphany. Too bad for him Do-ha’s got the same reaction.

This is practice for Operation: Romeo, which is the stuff of every spy movie ever. Hot spy infiltrates fancy party to get confidential intel. Young-soon gives them the outline, then begins the proceedings by telling, literally, “For the country, mate!” The recruits all gape, and she has to clarify that they’re to pair up for drill practice: “What’re you all thinking?”

The men make their way over to the ladies’ side, and Gil-ro’s face darkens as Do-ha chats up Seo-won. He joins the duo… and asks Do-ha to be his partner. Omo. Well I can’t say I saw this one coming.

Do-ha’s all, Uh, which way do you swing? Gil-ro points out that there are more men than women here so there have to be some bro couples. HA.

One of Won-seok’s agent colleagues is stunned to hear that President Han and Gil-ro are father and son. Uh, you think you could have done this research before hiring the guy? In any case, it looks like our upper brass have an inkling of the stuff Daddy Han may be involved in.

Won-seok gets the info on President Han’s latest movements (acquiring a tech firm and allying himself with another party) and sighs that this is a problem. He’ll take care of it.

Meanwhile, Gil-ro is stubbornly refusing to give up his partner. Do-ha cuts to the chase and tells him to quit following around Seo-won, his former blind date, and find a new lady. “Or man,” he adds. Hee. Gil-ro insists on partnering up with Do-ha (as though beating him in this exercise is his goal), to which Do-ha leans in to mutter a warning: “I’m not like punks like you. I didn’t get here by taking the civil service exam.” Hm, interesting. Was he recruited?

We won’t find out yet, because Won-seok breaks it up, asking what the hell these boys are thinking, trying to seduce each other. Lol. Gil-ro says they were just talking, so Won-seok asks if Seo-won was the one running interference on the boys. HA.

She clarifies that Gil-ro is the spoiler here, and Won-seok chides her for not covering up for her colleague. Pffft. How are these agents ever gonna learn anything with all his mixed messages flying around?

Won-seok pulls aside the bickering couple, which makes Gil-ro smile smugly since he got what he wanted. Do-ha says he’ll wait for Seo-won, and when Sun-mi comes up asking to pair up he tells her he’s already taken.

We haven’t seen much of Sun-mi yet, but I like that she seems put out not to have gotten chosen by anyone. In exasperation, she breaks up the flirtathon around Soo-young, and the men all grumble, “Here she goes again.”

Won-seok’s reason for taking the two aside is similar, yet opposite: Gil-ro’s parents don’t know he’s here, while Seo-won’s do. Gil-ro has a missing persons report out on him, and he has to tell his parents to call in and cancel it.

Gil-ro calls Mom and tells her he’s fine, but doesn’t explain where he is (other than “a trip”) and what he’s doing. Dad takes the phone to tell him to come home, asking whether there’s anything at all that Gil-ro would like to do, or be, that overlaps with Dad. Aw. He seems sincere, but Gil-ro just says not to act like he missed him, and says he’ll be back in a year. Yeesh. Kid’s got a lot of growing up to do.

He spots Seo-won sitting outside to make her call and sneaks up quietly as she calls home. Her father put in an official complaint at his town office, acting as town rep regarding road work that keeps getting delayed, and threw her name around to get a speedy response. It’s cute how proud her parents are of her, but she urges them to keep it a secret. Gil-ro listens in interest as she exclaims that she never once asked Dad for a favor, not while she worked her tail off at multiple jobs to send him money.

She gets teary telling Dad that she’ll buy him a new plow with her upcoming paycheck so he doesn’t have to work so hard by hand, and hangs up sniffling. Gil-ro ducks out of sight, feeling like an ass. Or at least, I hope you’re feeling like an ass. You should feel like an ass.

He thinks back to her comments about money, realizing she was talking about herself and not some hypothetical hard-working Candy.

Back to the party (simulation), where it’s waltzing time. Ha, Sun-mi has gotten Soo-young to be her partner, while Do-ha’s stuck with another guy recruit. Ha, did he not want to be with Sun-mi that badly? When the other guy tries to sneak in to swap with Soo-young, Sun-mi shoves him away. Lol.

When the other two return to the ballroom, they’re forced to partner up. Young-soon has to shove them together and practically yell at Seo-won to go along with it, and everyone resumes dancing. There’s a moment when their poses bring Seo-won and Do-ha face to face, but the dance pulls them back apart along with Young-soon’s chanting rhythm, “One-two-three, two-two-three, country love! Comrade love!” It cracks me up.

Gil-ro asks if she really is going to repay him for the car, saying that she doesn’t have the money. He advises her to just admit she doesn’t have the money and live modestly, which makes her leave him right there on the dance floor—she’d rather give up the points for this exercise than dance with him.

Elsewhere in the NIS, agents are briefed on President Han, the owner of a company called IT&TI, and how he has hooked up with “JJ.” The director hears of his relation to the new recruit and gives the order to have him fired.

Payday arrives, and Won-seok hands out envelopes filled with cash. It’s so he can propose a “real life scenario,” and the recruits return to their casino simulation. Only I suppose it’s not a simulation today.

Won-seok joins Gil-ro’s table and proposes playing Go-Stop together. When Gil-ro balks, he’s threatened with a zero on the exercise, ha. Boy just got hustled. Won-seok walks cackling over a huge box of gambling chips.

Nobody wants to take up his challenge so he offers up a reward—special leave—and again, Seo-won’s hand shoots up before she can think better of it. Thinking of her PD exam next month, she requests that date and he agrees. If she wins.

Meanwhile, we get a look into Woo-hyuk’s plot as he instructs his teammates on the next step. Ah, he calls the guy J. Must be him the agents are looking to nab. Mi-rae looks startled at Woo-hyuk’s plan to grab President Han’s son, but he calls him “insurance.” Just to make sure the prez stays in line.

Back to gambling. It’s poker this round, and the betting climbs pretty high. She wins the first round, but Gil-ro looks increasingly perturbed the higher the stakes rise. That’s sweet.

Won-seok draws an ace and makes a grimace. The camera close-ups on his ear, which Gil-ro notices. Ah, it’s his tell. He tells Seo-won to cut it out when she raises, but she ignores him and goes all in.

Won-seok calls, and makes her smile disappear mighty quickly by guessing she has a straight even before they reveal the cards. He’s got a straight, too—but beats her by one card.

She’s bummed, but the enormity of the moment doesn’t even hit her because she doesn’t realize until it’s over that the gambling was for real. WUT. That should’ve been clear the moment he called it a real situation and gave out the cash! I’m sorry, I can’t even feel sorry for you on this one.

She says wide-eyed, “But this is my salary.” He points out that she shouldn’t have gambled it away, then, and in her desperation she begs tearfully.

Won-seok points out that she was fixated on the wrong thing and didn’t bother to read him, thinking she had nothing on the line. He reiterates that agents can’t take their jobs so lightly, and orders her to go outside to cry.

She has her fellow recruits’ sympathy, but it’s Gil-ro who runs after her to say she can’t just stand there and let her money get taken away. But his caring comes out all wrong and he says it matters to him ’cause he has to get paid back for his car, adding that she shouldn’t cry about money because it’s pathetic. It’s harsh, but I can’t even find him out of line since I’m still sort of amazed she didn’t get it.

Gil-ro heads back into the room and challenges Won-seok to a game. The lesson has already been called to a close, but Gil-ro goads him into it. The stakes: If Gil-ro wins, everybody’s paychecks will be returned. But if he loses, he’ll be fired.

Everyone tells him not to take the deal, and Won-seok reminds him that sacrificing yourself for your comrade isn’t something anybody can do.

But he takes the deal.

Won-seok gets even tougher, saying he doesn’t have enough chips to challenge. Gil-ro asks for loans, which Won-seok says will earn demerits, and everyone looks around avoidantly. Aw, but his awkward teammate Poong-un is the first to step in and hand over his chips, and Soo-young follows, and then a bunch more chime in.

They play.

Gil-ro loses the first hand. Stakes rise. A new hand is dealt. Gil-ro keeps his cool, somehow managing to smirk coolly rather than peeing his pants at the thousands on the table. They sling a few taunting words back and forth, and we see that Won-seok’s holding three kings in his hand. (Gil-ro has two aces and a jack.)

And then, Gil-ro sees Won-seok’s ear twitch.

Won-seok smiles, all confidence, and asks what he’ll do once he’s fired. Gil-ro repeats the phrase he’s styled his spy name after, saying he’s only got one road—for country.

He goes all in. Eyes level, unblinking. Won-seok looks taken aback. End episode. Arrrrrrgh!

 
COMMENTS

You would end there, wouldn’t you? Ack! I’m not sure what Gil-ro’s thinking since he’s got the weaker hand and the ear-flick tell came at a time when Won-seok had a winning hand—not exactly the push to go all in, is it? But I’m sure that’s the point, since he’ll have to have something pretty clever up his sleeve.

I’m enjoying the spy classes a lot, because they’re a fun way to introduce our characters to this world at a really basic level, before they’re full-fledged agents—since it’s a comedy, it makes sense that you take the funny part of the spy world to highlight, and what better place to do it than when they’re terrible at it?

Won-seok seems the perfect guy to teach them, too, always keeping them on their toes with his seemingly contradictory lessons that only make sense in retrospect. But that’s the perspective he’s coming from, since retrospect informs everything about him, after losing his beloved sunbae and disgracing himself as an agent. He adds a really nice sense of gravitas to the proceedings that isn’t excessively heavy—not in the way that international calamity or nuclear disaster stories would require. It’s an emotional groundedness in the everyday little moments.

I’m liking the side characters, what little we’ve seen so far, and in particular Do-ha and Sun-mi. Right now we have no reason not to like Do-ha, Mr. Perfect, so it’s more interesting discussing Sun-mi, who sticks out with her tough, no-nonsense ways, calling the men “hyung” and sniffing at the silliness around her. It’s both what I like about her and what I find abrasive. I mean, she seems a bit prejudiced in the other extreme (against the flighty other ladies) but can you blame her? Why are all the other girls so bubble-headed and absurd? How the heck did they get admitted? She’d probably be a great friend to Seo-won, if she got past her misconceptions. In fact, I look forward to that in the future, much in the way I anticipate the boys will come to form some kind of bond as well.

I find Gil-ro’s character on a really great trajectory, balancing out the ridiculous childishness of his spoiled-brat ways with the growing awareness of stuff that actually matters. Like, say, solidarity and sacrifice. To be perfectly honest I feel zero romantic pull between Joo-won and Choi Kang-hee, and it’s not for their lack of trying—I just don’t buy it. So I’m going to have to take the romantic developments with a huge grain of salt. (I find it really uncomfortable, in fact, when he’s just mooning over her because it feels false. As though finding her attractive somehow makes this a deep bond. Granted, this particular offense is not reserved solely for Level 7 Civil Servant.)

However, romance aside, I like that the plot is setting her up as the catalyst for his growth, because caring for her leads him into action. If that’s what it takes, I’ll take it. And although Won-seok keeps holding Gil-ro up as the prime example of what NOT to do, what NOT to be, I think his lessons will transform him most completely of the bunch.

If I have any gripe it’s with the heroine, whom I just cannot connect with. Again this is a problem in many dramas, where so much loving attention is paid to the flawed-but-endearing hero that the writers somehow assume that you can put any leading lady in the role and throw a few financial obstacles her way, and we’ll magically have a sympathetic heroine. I want to see growth from Seo-won alongside Gil-ro’s, but at this point he’s the immature jerk needing to change and she’s the misunderstood paragon who just needs to be appreciated. I want more from her, and from the show. Dare I hope it’ll deliver?

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146 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Ivoire

    Thanks!

    • 1.1 Ivoire

      I have a question about this, “Then Won-seok amazes them by Matrixing the room with a remote control, changing the setting from fancy gala to NIS lobby to banquet hall. ”
      I haven’t watched the Matrix, any of the movies in the series. Can someone who knows how that is done explain to me how Won-seok changed the room setting with the remote control? Was it just an (optic) illusion, or was the setting actually changed several times? Thank you if you can help me understand…

      • 1.1.1 Heidi

        Well, I think in reality the staff recorded the whole scene and the walls were white. Later on computer they just simply switched in the background the white walls with the image they wanted. It’s a common thing that they just simply tell actors that: well, you need gasp and sigh and wonder cause here we’ll do this and that….

        On the other hand, there is a scientific way. I guess you heard about these LED light paintings. They’re very popular in Europe. They can “paint” pictures, scenes on buildings by light and nothing more. Maybe they’ve done this, but the first version I wrote seems more legit to me (and cheaper…)

        I hope I could help you :)

        And thanks for the recap. I pretty much enjoyed this episode and what a cliff-hanger ending!

        • 1.1.1.1 Ivoire

          Hello Heidi, and thank you for your explanation.
          I do agree with you that you 1st explanation seems the more plausible one and the cheapest one, as you mentioned.
          I was also curious about how Won-seok did that with the trainees in the room, and this time I am staying within the context of the drama. So, what I was also asking was, if you were to do this with people in the room (as we saw in that scene), how would one do it, and what would they use? And I think your 2nd answer might apply here.

          And yes, you did help:-)…

      • 1.1.2 Technokeats

        A 3D hologram projector? That’s my best guess. However the sets looked real enough and they definitely used CGI to create the “Matrix” effect :-)

        • 1.1.2.1 Ivoire

          Thanks Technokeats, something for me to consider :-)

  2. snow_white

    thanks for the recap….I really liked ep 2….this show is getting better and better :)

  3. miki

    thank you JB!!
    have been refreshing this page for the past few hours!!

  4. ernd_A

    Thank you so much for uploading.
    I only watch this drama because of Chansung ♥
    He’s very good in acting
    fighting Channie !

  5. Sakuya

    Thanks

  6. Ally

    Thanks!

  7. Quiet Thought

    There are bits and pieces here what the original ‘Level Seven Civil Servant’ was supposed to be, but basically this show is a low-brow sit-com masquerading as a rom-com. Not that I don’t enjoy a goofy sit-com here and there-I’m a fan of ‘The Big Bang Theory’–but that’s not what I was looking for out of this concept.

    I do like several of these actors. But, if I watch more than a minute or so, I get irritated by a spy-training school that has the aura of a Disney channel show all about pretty teenagers training to be James Bond, and also a bunch of characters, supposedly elite, carefully screened recruits, acting like 12 year-old airheads who can’t muster one adult brain among them.

    Much for fun to read the recaps here and then scout through Dramacrazy looking up the good bits. Particularly if the instructors DO turn out to be Romulans.

    • 7.1 Dramafed1782

      Do you watch 1N2D? Maybe that’s why that image of JW is conjured up. I too did have a hard time to let go of aegyostastic JW. I have a new whole respect for trainer Won Seok. He does the best to keep everyone in line and actually the training school is laying the foundations for our characters change in personality.
      First impressions have changed, new impressions setting in and towards the end of the episode the question comes up: would you really do it for someone-your comrade? Man that hets to me!!! I love this drama so far :) Peace!

    • 7.2 asianromance

      “also a bunch of characters, supposedly elite, carefully screened recruits, acting like 12 year-old airheads who can’t muster one adult brain among them”

      This is my main problem with the show so far. I’m assuming they’re recruiting from 10s of 1000s of applicants and yet they got stuck with this bunch. And how did Soo-young end up here? If the show had starred a bunch of teenagers who were recruited by the government to be molded into future spies, then it would have been more believable. Even Do-ha who has such a dark past and has the most potential to be a spy seems to be able to carve out a lot of time to hang round Seo-won., like this was some office romance.

      • 7.2.1 YT629

        Yeah, I have to agree. I mean, I know this is a comedy, but there supposed to be some semblance of reality here. Most intelligence agents either apply on their own (going through a gruelingly long background check/interview process) or they’re recruited in college because they fit a certain profile (speaks 5 languages fluently, etc. that kind of thing). I remember when a middle school teacher of mine applied to work for the CIA, and ultimately got hired. But it was like a 6 month process! Presumably, the korean secret intelligence service would not have standards that are grossly lower than the CIA. Which does make it hard for me to believe that someone like Soo young could get hired….

    • 7.3 Dominique

      Yet another Korean drama in which a rich boy meets a poor (and heinously ugly) girl under the most contrived circumstances, in which Candy changes the brat and the brat helps Candy move up. And Episode 3 lays out how this process will play out – exactly in the way it was done in so many dramas before it – so no originality even there.

      And why does this stupid girl cry in public after she loses the gamble? Really, if someone does not have the upbringing or the economic clout (as Cheongdamdong Alice so eloquently dissects), then at least have pride or dignity to compensate for it before asking us to watch you on screen.

      • 7.3.1 Mini

        I wonder people like you know what is Respect.

      • 7.3.2 husnaa

        if you so love the reality, don’t watch drama.

      • 7.3.3 Ann

        I’m not sure what your life experience is, but if I had no money and realized I had lost my first paycheck by acting like a chump, then I might cry. Crying is a very common way to express anger and humiliation. Also, these guys are in their early 20’s when maturity is not in abundance. My husband was in the US Navy. He told me when they were first in Officer Candidate School, even simple things like keeping their shoes shined were large sources of stress for them under the circumstances. I don’t think it is unrealistic for someone to cry in that situation, and the person is not necessarily a wimp for doing so.

        Not to mention the actress did not write the script!

        Are you a teenager?

      • 7.3.4 Betsy Hp

        It is a bit odd coming into a drama with the typical Candy-girl after watching Alice in Cheongdam-dong, I agree. :)

        Fortunately (for me and my love of Joo Won ;)), the show is just silly enough that I can take it as pure entertainment. It’s still not wowing me — but it’s cute.

        (A question I have about crying: My impression is it’s not such a big deal to cry in public for Koreans, men or women, as compared to the US. But since I’m getting that strictly from drama-land, I’m not sure that’s an accurate impression.)

    • 7.4 skelly

      This sounds like your typical Japanese drama, comedy version: lots of stupid characters, zero chemistry, not much sense to the plot, just lots of idols and twee antics. If you like this sort of thing, I am sure this is a fine version of it.

      • 7.4.1 Quiet Thought

        I’m glad someone else shares that reflex with me. I know a kdrama is tanking for me, personally, when it reminds of a Jdrama. So many good concepts wasted by deliberately dumb scripting, hammy acting, and clunky direction like the kiddy shows on the Disney channel.

  8. ajj

    Choi Kang Hee is really older than him maybe that’s why we dont feel the romantic pull. And Chansung the 2PM maknae with Choi Kang Hee is even weirder, we are talking about a 13 year gap here.

  9. welma

    I can’t stand Choi Kang Hee with JW and Chansung. It looks so weird and unattractive. Zero romantic chemistry in a rom-com is strictly unacceptable for me.

    • 9.1 liinet

      agreed

  10. 10 eny

    many people complain about chemistry of the leads, I could say it wil be weird if we already see chemistry betwen them, They just met and love feeling has just start grow.

    • 10.1 joowoniiieee

      true. but itbh i really love to see JW and CKH together in screen, i’m so into this drama bcs of them. Just my opinion :)))

    • 10.2 joowoniiieee

      true. but tbh i really love to see JW and CKH together in screen, i’m so into this drama bcs of them. Just my opinion :)))

  11. 11 yumi

    Thank you.

  12. 12 MariD

    I’m really enjoying the show. Probably cause I’m just seeing it as a lite comedy. I been craving a cute comedy for quite a while, and this is pleasing to the eyes. The age difference does not bother me, and I wish people would get over it, it’s seriously discuss on every single post. Who cares about the age? They been casted, they already started filming and unless you have a time machine somewhere, there’s nothing that can be done. Just enjoy the show or stop watching if it bothers you that much. Ok.. Rant over..

  13. 13 altair

    No chemistry…….sigh!

  14. 14 nanaee

    The main actress is so unattractive that i can’t get myself to watch this show. Just looking at some of screen cap photos makes me not want to continue reading.

    • 14.1 wanda

      I have to agree with you I feel awful to say this but when she cries is when she looks the ugliest you can’t even feel sorry for her!. I also never watch the Dramas she’s in because she is so strange looking sadly is not like me but I just can’t explain this feeling.To make the situation worst both guys are extremely good looking.There is not an ounce of attractiveness in her so the chemistry is not possible in my eyes. I love the story plot but have a hard time bc of that girl. to think she has a few Dramas up her sleeves. strange isn’t it?

    • 14.2 la dee dah

      Can I ask you seriously: Why you would be so turned off from watching a show or even looking at a picture of a person just because of how the person looks? She has two eyes, a nose, a mouth, her head shape seems fine. No gross scars, no open wounds. She looks like someone you would see walking down the street, in a shop, etc. So why can you not stand her face that, in your own words, “just looking at some of the screen cap photos makes me not want to continue reading”? I’m seriously curious about this…

    • 14.3 Cupcake

      I don’t hate the main actress. She was chosen because she looks like a tombboy and it fit her role. Though, I wish they picked Ri from Gasital because not only she was beautiful but she also can kick ass. She will be perfect for this spy role and young to match our 2 main hotties.

  15. 15 ht

    I wish that people could stop complaining or mentioning about Choi Kang Hee’s age. It’s episode 3 already, if you still have issues with the fact that CKH looks ‘too old’ next to Joo Won and Chan-sung, then so be it. She IS the female lead for this drama, she’s gonna be in this drama for the next 13? 17? episodes, it IS the truth. Criticize her character, her acting (though personally, I have no problem with this)… just not her age and looks. Sigh. But then again, there is something called freedom of speech on the Internet. So… I guess I will just skip the comments section. Sighhhh.

    Thank you jb for the recap. I will read it when I have watched the episode. Thanks! I’m loving Ahn Nae-sang and Jang Young-nam’s characters (and them, ofcos) so far.

    • 15.1 asianromance

      From the sound of people here and their complaints abt CKH, I would have thought the drama would be tanking, but the ratings are going up in Korea. I’m not going to say it’s all because of JW”s fanbase because we’ve definitely had low-ratings dramas with popular actors/tv personalities before.

      Yeah it gets to me that people keep on saying how old and unattractive CKH is because not as many people complain when the guy is much older than the female. I do think that the show is overstretching it a bit by having her be same-age/perhaps younger than JW’s character, but overall I think that’s the least of its problems.

    • 15.2 canxi

      I also feel pretty uncomfortable with the bashing of Choi Kang Hee. It’s because it’s not even on the character she plays but her directly. Like, c’mon ladies….what the hell? You don’t like her in the main role, OK….but time to move on now. Ya’ll had enough time to get your emotions in order.

      On the other hand, about the character, especially with the gambling I think she just doesn’t take this job as seriously as the others yet. She wants to be a PD and is still in that mindset, so I feel like this is just a thing for her–money in the pocket before she goes on to her real desire–which, at least for me, explains all her naivete and stuff. “Ah, it’s just training…I’m not gonna be doing this forever…”–is the feeling I get from reading re-caps.

      Also, romantic development in ep.3 is kinda fast for me! Lol. I like that Do-Han liked her right away, it happens & I think it’s sweet, but I am surprised Gil Ro turned around so quickly. The power of the evening gown!!

      • 15.2.1 ennui

        Javabeans never liked Choi Kang Hee from day 1. The history went back several years ago. Everything CKH did appeared wrong to javabeans. That’s when I started to take this blog with a grain of salt. So while I appreciate her recap and comments, I have some reservation towards her judgment about everything CKH. I am not a fan of CKH, but I am not a blogger who has a certain authority and will change the public opinion in a presumably “objective” and “expert” voice. Enough said. Thanks anyway.

        • 15.2.1.1 mommai

          It’s still a person’s blog, and as impartial as they try to be, when it comes to recapping and critiquing shows, sometimes people will just rub them the wrong way and it will show. Recappers are allowed to show some bias, even if readers don’t agree with it. The recaps are someone’s opinions and views on what happens in an episode and what the characters and actors do in them, and those (the opinions) can vary from person to person.

        • 15.2.1.2 canxi

          @ennui–

          Huh? I wasn’t talking about Javabeans though, I was talking about the comments…like, in the comment section?….lol, omg guys. XD

          Sorry, I caused that confusion. But, yeah I was definitely taking about some of the previous comments.

          • 15.2.1.2.1 Betsy Hp

            @canxi: I totally agree with you. And yeah, it’s the comment section where things seem to be sliding past critique and into something a whole lot pettier.

            Javabeans is upfront about not being a fan of the actress. That’s an honest statement of a possible bias informing her opinion so readers can form their own opinion. But some commenters are acting like Choi Kang Hee is some sort of ancient swamp-monster slurping her hideous old-lady cooties all over their preciouses. Which is a totally different thing. (It has a lot more anger to it, for one.)

      • 15.2.2 momosa

        Gil Ro started liking her when he saw her at the blind date (remember the illuminated backlight, haha). It just somehow lost in translation (thank goodness for the backlight!), it could be some lacking in JW’s expression or editing problem or they suddenly decided to hasten the process.

        His like is like the level of 10 y.o. A 10 yo will pull the girl’s hair, chase her around, or even push her too hard. That’s how he likes her!

        • 15.2.2.1 canxi

          Thank you!

  16. 16 MicolaM

    Love the screen cap thanx

  17. 17 lily

    idk how anyone can criticize choi kang hee when joowon is overacting like crazy there. I seriously can’t stand his acting. he needs to learn how to be more subtle.

    • 17.1 @liss@

      @lily isn’t his character supposed to be like this and isn’t this a rom-com? I dont know 3what you mean by to be subtle for his role, but I really wonder how he could be subtle in a rom-com. Care to share any examples of subtle rom com so I can go watch them? Because I thought they were all meant to be exaggerated. Since that’s how the way it was for all the rom-coms that I have watched so far. For me, I am so far enjoying the show and Joo Won’s portrayal.

    • 17.2 anaro

      Agree with you there. I also think he was overacting, or OTT, in GaksitaL. I dropped it at ep 6.

    • 17.3 Anon

      I am curious. Can you throw some names of actors in this age group who are doesn’t overact or better still, someone whom Joo Won can learn from.

  18. 18 R

    Thank you javabeans for the recap !! Love your comments as always !!
    I really enjoy this drama which is getting better ans better :)

  19. 19 eka

    Love choi kang hee, never too old for me, it’s a drama, not like he is getting married to her. Please just enjoy the drama, if u don’t just leave it. CKH unnie fighting, love u :)

  20. 20 asianromance

    Thanks for the recap! This episode started and ended on some great scenes -Seo-won beating that lie detector and Gil-ro putting it all in in that tense gambling scene. I think in the future, I will probably just go for those kinds of scenes and fastforward everything else.

    I don’t think the main characters have zero chemistry, but it’s just that they don’t have a sizzling sort of chemistry that you’d expect for a spy couple. Mr. and Mrs. Smith anyone? You can get away with a comfortable-romance sort of chemistry that CKH and JW seemed to be able to muster when you’re doing a romance between a couple who work together in an office setting or we’re doing a multi-generational sitcom, but as spies, you need some sizzle. And maybe a better script with more compellingly written characters and a better director.

    I like some of Level 7 Civil Servant’s moments, but I have trouble connecting with Gil-ro and Seo-won or any of the characters besides maybe Won-seok. Gil-ro and Seo-won are both less interesting carbon copies of kdrama cliche characters. She’s the Candy whose only interesting characteristic is that she can beat the lie detector. Gil-ro is the same kdrama jackass whom we all give a round of applause to for figuring out he’s a privileged jackass.

  21. 21 fdyane

    the lie detector part and this spy school feels like a scene out of old tom cruise movie, where CIA recruit him through Al pacino…cant remember the title.. suddenly i feel ancient

  22. 22 anneakemi

    I tried to watch this drama, but I think at this point I’ll pass. I like the basis of the storyline, but I think some of the cast members are not the most ideal for some of the roles.

    What people find important in a drama may vary, and chemistry is one of them. Unfortunately, for me, I feel that portraying romance (despite age of male leads) is one of CKH’s weaker points (felt this way in My Sweet Seoul and Protect the Boss too). If the drama was more like “Ghost” Korean drama, where there really isn’t any focus romance between the characters, I think the storyline could have more depth.

  23. 23 Sintia

    I love this drama very much.
    Thank you for the recap!

  24. 24 Quiet Thought

    I really think the reason there might not be any romantic chemistry between the two leads would be less the actors than the plot and script. There really is no reason in the series thus far the two of them to HAVE any romantic chemistry. The first two episodes give us no cause to think that they would have any feeling towards each other but loathing. They should be immersed in an intense training experience and, at best, avoiding each other’s company. If Gil-ro is still harassing Se-won, it should suggest to the trainers that he’s emotionally unbalanced. He isn’t being romantic, he’s being neurotic and weird.

    But, like I said, this is not a true rom-com but a sitcom stocked with extreme, over-the-top characters. It will find its own audience as that.

  25. 25 Dramafed1782

    Being kdramaland a lot of the dramas come with plots that is 50% reality and 50% variety. So 7LCS is more of a satirical take. Each recruit stands as a representative of different individuals from South Korea. Their priorities varied and coming to the training ground is right now making our leads reassess their needs and each other. And is really NIS staying true to the fact that they are the nation’s top intelligence agency.

    The story of the drama needed these characters and each actor is really perfect for that role. And this being a drama there will be some plots that are cheesy and overly dramatic. Being a comedy there will be slapstick and over the top “accidental” meetings b/w our “noble” characters.

    So let’s not make a fuss about CKH since she is really doing a good job here. In fact, JW personally recommended her for the role. And the drama has another 17 episodes. We just need to stay tuned to find out more.

  26. 26 umiumi

    thanks for the recap, this show is getting better and better I really enjoy this episode. Love the childish and silly gil ro, joo won in white shirt *swoon* <3

    • 26.1 Faranak

      ‘Joo won in white shirt,swoon,<3'
      I Do Agree,HE IS sO Handsome, Me: Swoon <3

  27. 27 Faranak

    Woah! Great,i wanna see joo won’s charchter be a badass smart spy alongside his cuteness 😀
    Joo won’s acting skills are great.
    I feel the nonchemistry beetwen him and leading actress,i think it’s cause of gape age!
    Thank u so much for recap :-*

  28. 28 ANO

    After he burned my screen into ashes with his sizzling chemistry with Uee in Ojakgyo Brothers.. I don’t think I can watch him romancing other girl. Oof.

    Then, in Gaksital i’m not into the romance thing, his frenemy r’ships with Park Ki Woong is my priority. I enjoy watching the two of them. So so good.

    So, here in L7CS… I’m gonna skip the romance part as well.. I’m looking forward for his encounter with Uhmforce.

    Brooding Joo Won + Brooding Tae Woong oppa = Hotness.

  29. 29 Laeah

    Choi Kang Hee looks like their auntie.
    Honestly, why do they get an older actress and then style her even older?

  30. 30 Ellie

    Why did they cut her hair like that ? waaaeee

    • 30.1 Tiger Butterfly

      Cos they think that might make her look younger….
      Its not working!
      With so many more age- appropriate female stars around , why did they always place actresses wt such a 8-10 age gap wt actors who are already defying their age with their pretty baby boy faces?
      Then , they have to turn tricks to make her look young for the 2 boys-to-men. Tsk!
      Mind you, I like Choi Kang Hee , just that ..Chan Sung’s 22 & Joo Won’s 25 . I keep having to tell meself every 2 secs , ” WATCH.THE.SHOW. Stop being conscious of the age diff!!”

  31. 31 HE

    I think there are some complete misunderstandings on the drama. Because NO ONE, in Korea, complaining about what you people are pointing outs.

    Anything of all, I should say something about CKH. She is called Queen of rom-com in Korea. She’s like Ms. Adorable. Besides, Her role is older than JW’s role. There’s no problem even if she looks (slightly) older than him.

    • 31.1 Elina

      Does she?
      They all look way too young to be spies, as far as I’m concerned. 😀
      That’s probably because there is way too much concealer in the game.

  32. 32 reeen

    I’ll hazard a guess that Won-Seok sees himself in Gil-Ro and that’s why he’s so hard on him. His criticism that not everyone can sacrifice himself for a comrade is a conflict he still hasn’t solved for himself, isn’t it? (Even if it looked far more like an accident he couldn’t have prevented all his colleagues did blame Won-Seok.) So far Won-Seok’s character is the most interesting in the whole show, followed by the mysterious Do-Ha.

    To some extent the same applies to Young-Soon and Seo-Won. The parallel has been drawn with the lie detector. Too bad that the women don’t get worthy backstories of their own…

    I enjoyed this episode. The spy school is kind of ridiculous but fun. I still can’t see Joo Won and Choi Kang-Hee as a couple, but it’s not as bad as I thought it would be.

  33. 33 Gwinna

    Do they seriously teach agents that they ought to be willing to do even bad things for their country? No wonder the world is such a mess.

    Also, back when I watched Giant I looked up lie detectors (aka polygraphs), and in real life they are not considered to be very reliable or scientifically valid at all. The way they are portrayed in dramas is sort of misleading.

    • 33.1 Mystisith

      Lol! Spyworld is cruel and dirty. It’s no Disneyland.

  34. 34 Rani Heriyani (@aiya_anie)

    iall i want to see is Joo Won … 😀

    • 34.1 umiumi

      me too… :)

  35. 35 Hubba_Hubba

    Haha I’m only focused on the poker, though I loved the episode <3

    I think its a bit funny that they are playing 7 card stud instead of Texas Hold'em. Texas Hold'em I guess is only popular in the states.

    I thought maybe Gilro had something better on the table but he only has 2 pairs to teach's 4 of a kind. He hasn't lost all of his money yet and we know he'll make a comeback because theres no way he'd be fired so soon and the girl seems to be on good terms with him in the preview.

  36. 36 sharealittle

    A romcom in its safety zone. I think I’ll just settle in reading recaps. Too bad if it starts to gear up during the later parts because I’ll feel disconnected not watching it from start to finish therefore I’ll end up not watching it at all. That’s why first impressions are important.

  37. 37 whatever

    Some of the comments about CKH around here are really gross. It’s fine if you don’t like her acting but to make comments about her looks and bash her because you find her unattractive is so unnecessary and ridiculous.

    I’ve yet to watch the show so I have no comments on her character or how she portrays it but let’s be real, a large majority of the fans were ready to hate her the minute she was cast because of her age difference with Joo Won and because of her so called “unattractive-ness”. This isn’t elementary school people. Grow up.

    • 37.1 shiku

      I second this!!!!!!

    • 37.2 still_procrastinating

      Amen to that!

    • 37.3 skelly

      LOL, we are not talking about Sarah Bernhardt as Lady Macbeth, here. This is a silly, superficial drama that no one would pay any mind to if there weren’t a couple guys that they wanted to fangirl over – it’s all about appearances, so of course people are going to talk about them.

      I got less scolding than this for comments about MGY’s crossed eyes – does MGY have fewer/less devoted fangirls than CKH, I wonder, or are her problems just more indefensible? Or does Joo-Won have more spillover fans, ready to defend his leading lady, than PSH does?

      • 37.3.1 Ann

        I agree with you. Maybe it’s my age, but I can enjoy watching some pretty guys and a fun story without fangirling. No one watching this show will ever be dating Joo Won, so those who are jealous need to get a hobby.

      • 37.3.2 canxi

        Lol, I think it’s just because Moon Geun Young really does have crossed eyes? I love her but I can’t lie and say she doesn’t, lol. Still a cutie & wonderful, so I can’t say I mind either.

        Or does Joo-Won have more spillover fans, ready to defend his leading lady, than PSH does?

        I think it’s because many are kind of annoyed that every time Choi Kang Hee appears people comment about how old they think she looks and older woman/younger man pairings. I don’t mind an older woman & younger man. Happens everyday in real life and it happens all the time in dramas too even if it’s not explicitly stated. (All I want is good chemistry between the two leads.)

        But in this drama they are supposed to be the same age and some are in a hullabaloo & will be in that same hullabaloo all drama long, lol. It is a silly drama & I think people should just roll with it at this time. I mean, it’s OK if you want everyone to be !~*~super pretty~*~! But it’s a bit of a downer when you scroll down and a bulk of comments are: “CKH is too old/ugly/not good enough for Joo Won” etc etc etc. and just that every time. Sometimes, from the same people.

      • 37.3.3 SS

        Omy, MGY crossed eyed?

        Anyway, I don’t think it’s Joo Won fans who are defending his leading lady here. Those who really hated to see him paired up with her have given this drama a miss, those who are still persevering are trying to accept it or trying to see the chemistry. Plus it was revealed recently that Joo Won chose her so his fans can blame him if they want.

        So it’s not so much of Joo Won’s fans or even CKH’s fans but that people are genuinely disturbed and upset over the viciousness of some remarks.

  38. 38 wanda

    I think everyone has the right to their opinion and if anyone finds this main actress unattractive they can rightfully say so. The same way many of you are defending her and getting upset of “our opinion” about her.so the thing is I don’t have the right to express my opinion bc I’m going to be attacked defined as being rude,ridiculous or saying unnecessary comment tell me why?. wow talk about equal rights been denied here. I always say if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all but in this case such a nice story plot with two very attractive guys (I don’t care about age issues) deserved a better acting and attractive actress and we have plenty out there that would have fit perfect in this role. Her crying scene are the worst and ugliest. Her acting leaves a lot to desire and that’s my opinion and I cant watch it as much as i like to.I’m not needed anyway the ratings are doing fine.

    • 38.1 la dee dah

      No one is saying you don’t have a right to state your opinion. They’re giving a opinion on your opinion, which they have a right to. So go ahead and say that you think she’s ugly and does not “deserve” to be acting alongside “attractive” guys. But don’t be naive and think that no one should be going to calling you out on your statements. As for my opinion of your statement, your opinion of her acting, I can live with. But I definitely don’t agree that only “attractive” girls deserve to be with “attractive” guys, that is just plain sad.

    • 38.2 Mic

      If you can call her ugly, I can call you out on being rude.

      Two-way street.

    • 38.3 Laeah

      I don’t think she’s ugly but the styling is completely unflattering here.

  39. 39 zalina

    just share can download drama here http://kdwes.org/

  40. 40 iheartkdrama

    Thanks for the recap, I’ve been waiting for it. I’m really excited about this drama 😀

  41. 41 Mystisith

    To all people who wonder why older actresses are cast with youg guys:
    – Casting agencies have hard time finding young/good actresses who didn’t have plastic surgery and who agree to be overworked, not well paid and… questionably used for services. If you’re honestly interested in how Dramaland works, the infos are out there.
    – Older actresses need to pay their bills too and have to fight to get roles. If you look at the female characters in dramaland, we have the 20 something and the ahjummas. Not much parts for 30 something women.

    As for me, I think than there is no chemistry *yet* between CKH and Joo Won. At the same time, for now, I see her more compatible with Chansung’s character. It’s not a question of age or looks, it’s a question of energy.

    I’m watching this drama for pure fun and I know I will forget it once it’s over, like most rom-coms these days. Oh well…

    Thanks for the recap!

    • 41.1 Annie

      Apparently the top male stars in the industry go for 100 million won an episode while top female stars in their 30s get maybe 30 million won. It’s just economical to cast an experienced actress on the cheap and then get an actor with even less clout to maximize profit.

      It’s kind of sad that new actresses don’t get a chance though.

      • 41.1.1 Laurita

        How sad is that… To think about it, experienced actresses must be paid more than inexperienced ones (because of less risk in “doing a good job”) as it is the case with male actors. They look great (most Korean actresses are very beautiful) and they would look stunning near the similar age male group.

        I’m sorry, I emphasize the age differences there again (well it does happen in the real world very often, so probably nothing strange), but don’t you think that an actress will be more confident in acting (especially in “falling in love” and showing her inner sexiness ;D) with an actor of her age group, and not with a way way younger one (I’m not talking about her looks, but more of acting out that “energy thing” with other actor)? Or am I mistaken there?

        Nor offense to CKH, it’s not her fault (of being with younger actor). She is an actress and deserves to agree with an acting opportunity. I didn’t see this episode yet, I didn’t hear her voice, and from recap – she looks nice in that dress:).

        • 41.1.1.1 canxi

          I do agree there, especially with your second paragraph. Even with CKH in My Sweet Seoul–I really liked her a lot more with Lee Seung Kyun than with Ji Hyun Woo, lol, because of energy (they seemed so in tune!).

          But, it’s a rom-com and they snatched Joo Won up off from his Gaksital success and right when he was in the mood to do a rom-com. I’m sure if this was a more serious drama, they would cast an older guy, though. Also every time, someone asks if there aren’t any younger actresses in Dramaland for these roles, I always want to say “no”,LOL. The younger ones that are good I could probably count on one hand (or are busy or are busy playing teenagers! or just don’t get offered these roles for some reason), then there are idols which would be Argument City again, and then there are the ones who we probably haven’t seen yet–seeing a new face would be nice, but I think casting directors are iffy about that (as Mysti said).

          So then what we have are older actresses that look young or just older actresses. All with more experience. Plus, I also believe these people look at how many hit dramas you have under your belt. Like, if the drama doesn’t get high ratings it seems to reflect on the actors/actresses involved (even though I think that’s kind of odd) even if they do an amazing job! They also want an actress that is loved by the Korean audience, maybe? And I think much of the time that actress is older.

  42. 42 iheartkdrama

    Wow. I admit that I didn’t like it much for choi kang hee to being pairing up joo won, but after these recaps and 2 episodes, I have to say, she’s growing on me. And you guys can complain, but what I’m really looking for is if choi kang hee can make me change my mind about her being the main actress. I hope she proves me wrong in my opions, and she’s really starting to. Just let the drama do what they do and we’ll watch. :)

    • 42.1 joowoniiieee

      ikr, choi kang hee already grown to be one of my fav actresses though my first impression of her not too good as well, just like yours 😀

  43. 43 mommai

    I’m going to hold off on any CKH and JW chemistry comments until I actually watch the drama. This recap did convince me to give it a try, mostly because fun spy school hijinks do sound like a nice fun watch compared to all the melo around or upcoming. We’ll see how it goes! I liked CKH in Protect the Boss, and JW is made of awesome, so we’ll see how it pans out. I’m willing to be optimistic, abundant cliches aside.

  44. 44 haha

    OK. This episode was better…a lot better. I start enjoying.

    • 44.1 coby

      me too! almost fell off my bed when Joowon starts to dance! LOL

  45. 45 Lynnnnn

    Personally I feel that CKH is way too old for both Joo Won and Chansung (I think she’s 35 this year??) and even in Protect The Boss she didn’t seem to have much chemistry with either Ji Sung or Jaejoong. Not sure if rom-coms are really her kind of thing? Maybe she could try a more Ha Ji Won-esque direction, perhaps more action/ thriller dramas? She seems to be more of a fighter than princess. Just my personal opinion :>

    • 45.1 ilikemangos

      Really? I found her to be quite watchable and her relationship with ji sung’s character to be even more endearing.
      Then again the premise was different, her hairstyle was different, and ji sung is definitely not joo won’s age.
      hes the same age as CKH i believe.
      Then again i guess it depends on opinion/outlook

  46. 46 Woody

    Love Won-Seok

  47. 47 joowoniiieee

    OMG what to say???
    i really love this drama!!!! don’t feel the same with most of you guys, i just love to watch this drama bcs of JW and CKH <3333
    now i'm planning to watch 1N2D since i'm getting so corious about JW.kkkkk
    PEACE 😀

    • 47.1 Cupcake

      I just love this drama for the story line. It’s entertaining. I thought I has a crush on Joo Won. Now I set my eyes on Do Ha as well. What a Cutie pie. RAWRRRRRRR !!!!!

      • 47.1.1 joowoniiieee

        haha yes all of them (main actors) have their own charm but still, for me JW is the most attractive 😀

        • 47.1.1.1 Cupcake

          I had to admit Joowon was really good with his acting and Do ha was not on par with Joowon yet. Love Joowon in Gasital. I wish Rie was the main girl in this drama though. They’re about the same age. She’s really pretty and she can kick ass as well…:-)

  48. 48 JoJo

    Thanks for the recap, JB. Enjoying this so far, and I think JW and CKH are comfortably acting with each other, despite the age difference. So, I’m hopeful. The NIS training is a spoof, right? We didn’t do these things when I went to spy school.

  49. 49 Nanaee

    Well.. I am sorry if some people feel offensive for others critizing the lead actress.. but the show is the remake of the movie which had a very pretty lead actress.. and this lead actress they chose is just lacking in many ways compared to the movie version.. This is rom-com.. typically made of pretty and funny people… Unlike some family/human dramas which are about life and poverty, etc.. I don’t care about her age.. Just she is not pretty enough for the guys period.. I can’t appreciate her acting and other things when i do not see her attractive.. One of the reasons why I come to like korean dramas is because the actors and actresses are so pretty and attractive.. but she is not one of them.. and i think she is in a wrong drama.. Sorry I don’t mean to be offensive to anyone..

  50. 50 Ennayra

    I think I’m just going to mooch off of the recaps for this one. And excellent recaps they are.

  51. 51 Remit2010

    I am officially upset at pple making comments on how choi Kang looks! I have never experienced shallowness at this height before. First i want to thank DB for your recaps….i always enjoy them, you’re such an awesome writer. To those who have issues with how Choi Kang looks, Pls !!!!!! “SHOW ME YOUR PICTURES”! and we’ll all be a judge if you have the right to critize your fellow human being. This actors and actressess are working their butts off and yet you’re complaining? Have you ever acted before? are you in a drama? So pls be quiet and if you have nothing positive to say Hush up! Damn ! All you do is complain complain complain, then stop watching!

    Can we just all enjoy the recaps and show in peace? If you want to complain about the acting or the plot / story line go ahead. But i honestly don’t feel its alright for us to judge someone based on their looks…… so what if she only has one arm or is physically disabled so what? is it a crime to be ugly? is it a crime to wear contacts? IF YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE COMMENTS ON SOMEONES LOOKS FIRST, SHOW ME YOUR PICTURE AND A DRAMA/MOVIE YOUR’RE IN!

    THANKS FOR YOUR RECAPS I LUV YOUR WEBSITE! DM IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 51.1 Annie

      Your intention is admirable but your argument is flawed. One does not have to be beautiful or talented to recognize and apply social standards for beauty or talent.

      Disclaimer: some of the comments here have been particularly vicious and I am in no way defending them.

      • 51.1.1 addylovesbwood

        I agree with her tho. I’m not a fan of Choi Kang but damnnn ppl need to stop dissing her based on her looks. I can name countless actresses that look worse than her and aren’t even as talented.

        Yes, we didn’t want her near our Joo Won oppa but the deed has been done. Bitching about her looks isn’t going to change anything.

        She’s already Lead actress and there’s nothing we can do about it. like it or not the drama is a success and has good rating.

        So please, keep hating it’s only making me LOVE her more!!

        (wow, I can’t believe i’m actually standing up for CKH)

        • 51.1.1.1 Annie

          lmao, I’m not dissing CKH in any way. I’m just saying that the argument that only beautiful people are allowed to comment on someone else’s looks is sadly reductive!

  52. 52 Remit2010

    OH I MEANT DRAMA BEANS IS AWESOME!

  53. 53 Remit2010

    EVERYBODY HERE NEEDS TO STARTS POSTING THIS PICTURES HERE FIRST BEFORE JUDGING OTHERS. SO ANNIE PLS POST A PICS OF YOUR SELF SO EVERYONE HERE CAN BE A JUDGE OF YOUR FACIAL/BODY CHARACTERISTICS , SO WE CAN ALL POINT FINGERS AND TELL EACH OTHER HOW SHORT OUR HAIR IS OR HOW TOO CLOSE TOGETHER OUR EYEBROWS IS OR HOW WE NEED TO LOOSE SOME WEIGHT IN SOME AREAS.

    SINCE ITS OKAY TO JUDGE OTHERS LOOKS, PLS “SHOW US YOUR PICTURES”! WE SHOULD ALL POST OUR PICTURES AND JUDGE OURSELVES FIRST!!!!!!! THATS ALL AM SAYING, AFTER JUDGING OURSELVES, AND WE STILL FEEL ITS OKAY, THEN WE CAN START JUDGING OTHERS……..

    POST YOUR PIC. COPY AND PASTE YOUR PICTURE HERE SO WE CALL ALL SEE AND THEN WE CAN ALL TALK ABOUT IT!!!!

    • 53.1 Annie

      Calm down, geez. I don’t recall saying anything offensive on here.

    • 53.2 OLGA

      You need to chill!! I dont even know why you on here rappin! NOBODY CARES!!! FACT: CHOI KANG HE IS A UGLY MOFO!!! she looks like something i would take a shit on forreal. She betta keep her nasty chapped lips away from Joo Won! I have an idea… why dont you leave this board, and start your own CHOI KANG HE fansite, and post about how “beautiful” she is there. Cause nobody wants to hear this inner beauty crap on this board. And i aint posting my picture either cause i look A HUNDRED times better than that ahjumma!!!

      • 53.2.1 lola

        Yah!!! can you hear how stupid you actually sound…. your problem isnt choi kang but that she should stay away from joo won… stop being jealous and shut up.do you really think joo won has time for crazy *** fans like you that constantly push your obsession way past it limit? Nah, he is working hard to do a good job with Choi… so basically we all are wasting out time her arguing about how beautiful or not this lady is when we should just enjoy the show which is pretty good…
        ps. i think you are not any better looking, actually much uglier and so you are too scared to put up your picture 😛

  54. 54 Luciga24

    So i totally agree with Remit2010, people have issues with Choi’s looks i for one have no problem with her. Some of you want to be up Chois ass with the vicious comments when they are hella ugly both inside and out.

    @Annie yea her argument may be flawed and you dont have to be pretty to recognize talent but the fact is she is a good actress and the people here are just hateful because of her looks. No one has mentioned her talent. Hiding behind made up names and comments because they can??? Talk about bullying. If we should all post our pictures i know half of the chicks here would receive the exact same hatred they are dishing out if not worse.

  55. 55 Remit2010

    Thanks Luciga24, pple need to stop bullying Choi Kang and just stop watching the drama instead of complaining!

  56. 56 Nanaee

    Hello.. No one is bullying anybody here.. She is a celebrity.. and a LEAD ACTRESS.. we have a right to criticize her.. She won’t get to this point if she can’t take all the criticisms. We are neither a celeb or a lead actress.. so we don’t have to show our pics for anyone to criticize us. I haven’t watched any episode of this drama and read any recap.. i want to watch/read it.. but it upsets me every time i tried.. so i complains.. You don’ t like.. don’t read the comments.

    • 56.1 Adl

      No, if you don’t like it don’t come on here saying disrespectful things.

      you’re not even watching the drama so you have no right to criticize it.

      • 56.1.1 addylovesbwood

        I’m starting to get irritated with the hateful comments. I did diss her initially but when i watched the first couple episodes, i realized she wasn’t even that bad looking.

        half the ppl posting obnoxious comments here aren’t even watching the drama! they’re just feeding off their anger abt her being a noona to JW.

        how can you hate thru a recap!!? lmbo

        • 56.1.1.1 Luciga24

          i know. She doesnt even know whats up. No one is bullying my ass. You’re not watching?? You nicely keep it moving. Next

  57. 57 Mic

    Joo Won is a nice suit.

    That’s what’s really important, here.

    • 57.1 Cupcake

      And Do Ha is just as HOT …Love him. He might be the baddie in the future…just saying…

      • 57.1.1 canxi

        I was thinking that too. That would you do bad things for your country? question seemed like foreshadowing.

  58. 58 Quiet Thought

    What’s really important here is that we have authentic, experienced Korean Romulans trained up for the next Star Trek movie. They’re veteran actors, both of them, and fun to watch even when the scenes are nonsense.

    • 58.1 meanrice

      I like that you keep pointing this out. This week that is all I can think about. No wonder they are not teaching you to shoot so you don’t shoot, or how to fight, so you don’t brawl. They have phasers so it does not freaking matter.

    • 58.2 canxi

      Yup.

  59. 59 Quiet Thought

    . . . As for the rest of the characters, when anyone in that class besides Si Won or Da Ha is talking, I just want to slap them. Their actions and acting would make some sense in the next ‘High School: the Musical’, but if those airheads are the best Korea can send to the NIS, the nation is doomed.

  60. 60 Angelika

    You’re all aware of the fact that Joo Won pointed her out to the director by himself, right?

    • 60.1 news

      Here’s a section from the short article:

      The actress also commented on what it was like partnering up with a much younger actor. She stated, “It’s a bit embarrassing when I have to do cute expressions in front of a younger man,” and Joo Won responded, “I think noona’s cute though.”

      Awww.

      Ji Sung also mentioned in an interview that he chose to star in ‘Protect the Boss’ (He declined ‘The Princess’ Man’) b/c CKH was the female lead.

      It’s always disturbing and sad when women are the harshest critic against other women.

      • 60.1.1 Addylovesbwood

        oh thank goodness Ji Sung dropped Princess’s man… I can’t picture him with Moon Chae Won… and Park Shi Hoo Killed that role!! #AMAZING

      • 60.1.2 skelly

        Oh Dear. This is an even larger variant on the “don’t criticize CKH unless you are pretty yourself” argument. Now, we mustn’t criticize another female if we happen to be female. How sexist! Can I be critical if someone is transgendered? Perhaps only if they’ve gone from female to male? Or what if an actress is playing a male character? Perhaps I can only be half-mean, then.

        Sorry, but peoplehood over sisterhood for me. I choose to be uniformly critical to one and all. Unless you are an idol pretending to be an actor, and then you will get added bonus invective.

        • 60.1.2.1 Betsy Hp

          Some of the comments slide into misogyny, though. Not all of them, but there’s a pretty solid pack of comments that make me assume the commenters are young girls terrified of getting breasts and their periods and pretty much hate anything remotely female because it’s icky.

          Maybe not how they are, but it’s how they’re coming across.

  61. 61 Anvesha

    It’s always like this. I almost feel like we are suppose to like the girl because she changed our hero.. and this better hero likes her, so she must be the best, or something. I want both of them to change and grow (like in FBND).

    I am hoping it won’t lose the funny once we are out of the spy school and into the real world with a dangerous villain.

  62. 62 Lulu

    “I have to agree with you I feel awful to say this but when she cries is when she looks the ugliest you can’t even feel sorry for her!. I also never watch the Dramas she’s in because she is so strange looking sadly is not like me but I just can’t explain this feeling.To make the situation worst both guys are extremely good looking”

    WTF are you 12 years old?

  63. 63 meanrice

    I hate the way they are styling the agents while in “spy school.” Can we see them in training uniforms, you know the kind where women don’t wear heels. That is the most irksome thing in this drama to me. No woman who has a job who requires her to be on her feet all day, let alone run, and beat up people, or even sit in a truck and do surveillance all night would willingly wear heels. Gah!

    • 63.1 Quiet Thought

      Really. When they showed that actress doing firearms training in spike heels I wanted to go after them with a machete, like Micheal Douglas in ‘Romancing the Stone.’

  64. 64 eka

    Choi kang hee is beautiful, she is talented. So sad to read bad words from some people here T_T

  65. 65 surprise

    I watched the first three episodes on DramaFever and every surprise to see the comments about CKH here. I watched this drama because her performance in Protect the Boss, Thank you (as the girl friend – the doctor), and her movie-Pretty Romance. And I like her in this drama and enjoy the drama so far.

  66. 66 True2U

    LOL!!!!! It NEVER surprises me how low an individual will go, just to put someone down. Especially those who are into K-Pop or K-Drama. It can be so sad at times SMDH -___-. It’s because of things like this that I stay clear of idol dramas or drama with young actors with a super popular fan base. I would much rather watch a drama with an talented individual, than just just watching a drama because of a Handsome lead. What I want to see is Talent, Can they really bring their characters to life? If I see that they can and I’m not trying to convince myself, then I will watch it to the end.

    A individual is NOT above another in this world. Until we cure our way of thinking, there will always be an unbalance in the world we live in. I know everyone has an opinion and I also know it should be respected, but here’s my opinion and I also expect it to be respected. I do not think we have the right to call someone ugly. That’s not only rude but it’s vain and VERY SUPERFICIALLY! The popular phrase goes like this, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” Until you have to power to create another human being you have no darn right to say that about others. God created this girl and love her very much just the same way he does everyone on this earth. I feel like your forgetting she is loving daughter to someone. How would it feel for someone to call your child or relative ugly?? Or you for that matter? Seriously I’m holding back myself from truly snap at immature comments I’ve been reading from people older than me.If you have a darn problem with how she looks, here my honest advice to you. Get on you knees and go before God and ask him why he created her like he did, and I’m very sure you will get an answer.

    I LOVE KSA VERY MUCH!!! But my NOOOOOO means do I place her above another. I look at others with equality. Another thing, it was definitely NOT her beauty ( Yeah, I think she’s gorgeous, although some say otherwise) that made me love her, It was her raw talent and her ability to shake my heart that made me love her and dub her as my most favorite actress in the world. It seems like I might as well speak my mind right now.All this hate for an individual you don’t even know piss me off like no other. It’s DAMN childish. Grow the hell up. What the hell has she personally done to you, for all this hate? Come on now the God of heaven had spared your life to see 2013 and THIS is how your acting? SERIOUSLY? Come on now, It’s 2013!!!!!! It’s a NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLZ become a NEW PERSON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THINK WISELY!!!!!!!!!!!! MATURE THE HELL UP!!!!!!!!! And leave childish thinking to just that……. TOOO THE DARN C H I L D!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WOW!!! I wrote an essay -___-. LOL!!! Now off to bed, School is really kicking my butt!! -.-zzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZ

    Good Night everyone. AJA AJA AJA FIGHTING!!!!! ^^

    • 66.1 skelly

      In the real world, outside of the quasi-egalitarian world of school, there will always be people better – and worse – than you. You will be judged, often unfairly, on your looks, on your clothes, on your manners, on the work that you did, and on the work that others did that you have no control over. No one will care, especially, if you are smart or not – they will care if you can carry through, produce, and back up or exceed promises and expectations. You will no longer be a special snowflake. You will be expected to be critical of yourself, and critical of others, and it will not be up to you to judge whether or not this criticism is kind, just, or even warranted.
      It is childish to attempt to quash criticism in an attempt to make the world, which is patently unfair and bound to remain so, a utopia where everyone is the same and all free from possibly hurtful words.

      • 66.1.1 True2U

        Now now, I understand where your coming, that this world we live in will always be like it is. What I’m say is, why not try to be different from the world. Why not be the wise person to look at things from a mature point of view. I’ve seen so many news of suicide, bullying and plastic surgery for the mere fact that individual don’t consider themselves/ others beautiful. and to make it worst it’s mostly kids that are doing this. We have been desensitize through time which is quite sad. Of course this world will not be an utopia, it never once crossed my mind, it is an unfair world like you have stated. But the fact that I was trying to make was that these commenter consider her ugly just because she’s acting along side 2 handsome young men, if it were otherwise then there wouldn’t have been a problem. I’ve yet to see a criticism on her acting from these individuals, Instead what I’m reading is about how ugly she is.

        P.S thanks for writing the word “Quasi-Egalitarian” I’ve got add it to my definition list. That’s why I like conversing with others, I learn a new words as a result.

        • 66.1.1.1 skelly

          True, bullying is a big issue, but I guess I was trying to draw a distinction between acceptable behavior to a professional vs. acceptable behavior at school or in social settings. CKH is an actress, it is her profession, and appearance is a big part of what she does. If someone wants to call her an old hag, that is not bullying, it is a reflection on her professional abilities and it may be unfair but that is part of ‘being an actress’ to get comments like this and deal with them how you will (ignoring them, usually).

          p.s. Glad you like the word! I wish I got paid by the syllable.

          • 66.1.1.1.1 canxi

            “If someone wants to call her an old hag, that is not bullying, it is a reflection on her professional abilities…”

            Eeh…I think this is stretching your point. She isn’t her make-up artist. And while, it may not be bullying, it’s not a reflection on her professional abilities (that would be her acting) but rather a reflection on someone’s own personal opinion. It’s not like her acting falters from a bad haircut. It’s not like you have to be beautiful all the time (or ever, even) to put on a good performance, either.

            I also don’t see why it’s acceptable behavior to a professional to call them out on their looks just because they are in the spotlight. Expected, yes. Acceptable? Not really. They are people, too. It’s not really acceptable to do that to anyone but it should be expected to happen–mainly because people can say what they want and rest assured said celebrity will never know. If they were face to face, not a word would be uttered (unless this was a bold person). And also because people are people.

            Being in any art form definitely means coming in contact with harsh criticism and dealing with it, I agree there. But, I also don’t think it’s a bad thing when there are people attempting to cool it down when things are getting crazy. Especially since it’s true what True2U said that this is only happening because she’s acting beside handsome men (or who people think are handsome men).

            To write it off as just simply “part of being an actress” is to write it off as someone just asking for hate to come their way. I would call that part of being human, but just people who are more known get it a lot more. It’s unfair, but I am all for the criticizers to stop and think before or even after they say things even under anonymity or online. A little self-reflection never hurt either.

            I agree with points from both of ya’ll. I do think that True2U is a very optimistic viewpoint while you, skelly are a more pessimistic viewpoint (even though you probably aren’t trying to be). Both are realistic, though. I guess I am the middle ground,lol.

  67. 67 arina

    For me CKH is definitely one of the better actors out there and sure she is not the most beautiful korean actress but her acting acting never dissapoint me…

  68. 68 momosa

    LOL! I must say I enjoyed reading some of the critical comments but seriously, I hope CKH will never get to see them.

    Loved the sing song/dance for 500won scene, think she’s a good actress.

    My first time seeing Chansung and thought he’s in 30s, out of army sort. Didn’t cross my mind he’s not even 25!

    Loving the lightness of the drama so far, very entertaining so far!

  69. 69 Kan Min Seul

    When I download the song from mediafire, it’s for free, right? No membership needed? No payment? As in totally free? Thaaaaank you :)

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