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School 2013: Episode 11

I can’t remember the last time I’ve wanted two characters’ happily ever after more than I do for these two friends. It’s as gripping as any love story and just as sweet… well, if you get past the part where they’re always calling each other terrible names. Boys. We’re onto you, you crazy bastards!

 
EPISODE 11 RECAP

After the crying I-missed-you confession that broke me, Nam-soon continues to trudge along behind Heung-soo on his way home.

Nam-soon finally admits that he did go back to try and find him three years ago, but Heung-soo had moved, so he spent a year haunting all the places where he used to be, where he might show up again.

But it’s not news to Heung-soo, who heard about it from their mutual friends. He pauses, and then looks up, “Let’s just shake it off here—that incident—and then let’s each go our separate ways.”

What? No. Why? *whimper*

Heung-soo: “It’s already gone wrong… you and I… being friends again.” He says every time Nam-soon sees him, he’ll feel sorry. And seeing Nam-soon that way will just make things harder for him.

Urg, you can’t argue with that logic because it’s true, but shouldn’t the fact that you guys just miss each other override that business?

Nam-soon’s face falls, and he can’t say a thing as he watches Heung-soo walk away.

At the same time, Uhmforce tells Se-chan and In-jae to figure it out among themselves which of the boys will have to transfer. And the sooner the better. In-jae asks if it’s really necessary, but Se-chan says there’s no way to cover it up—once the school knows that Nam-soon attacked Heung-soo in junior high, it’s against all the rules to let them attend the same school.

She wonders if maybe the rules are right and the boys are better off being apart. But Se-chan surprises her: “You have to see each other constantly to make amends.”

He calls them lucky, in fact, “because they have the chance to apologize, and can invent excuses to forgive.” Aw, poor Se-chan. They agree to try and think of alternatives in the morning.

The next day the students are starting to show the signs of all the academic pressure. Nam-soon just walks in and notes Heung-soo’s empty seat with a sigh.

Kang-joo calls Ha-kyung out to give her a chance to apologize, which you can imagine goes over as well as getting a porcupine to cuddle a balloon. Ha-kyung lashes out at her friend all over again, wondering if she’s supposed to beg for a spot in the debate competition, when Kang-joo was the one who said she’d lack the skills anyway.

Heung-soo walks up to catch the tail end of Ha-kyung’s rant, but doesn’t say a word.

Teacher Jo sits In-jae down to encourage her, knowing she feels let down by her students in the teaching evaluation. She sighs that she understands what they’re saying, but is hurt because they don’t seem to see her true intentions.

Teacher Jo asks ever so wisely: “Do you see the kids’ true intentions?” Suddenly she realizes she’s only thought about it from her own perspective. He tells her that kids hardly know their own hearts, and they sure as hell don’t know how to express how they truly feel.

“If you turn around every time you hit a wall, you can’t be a teacher.” He advises her to shake the truth out from them, and that repeating that over and over is the work of a teacher.

In-jae asks Se-chan what they’re going to do about Nam-soon and Heung-soo, and Se-chan says they’ll just avoid Uhmforce. Uh, that’s the entirety of your plan? Avoid the enforcer till they graduate? He figures they’ll buy as much time as they can before alerting the boys to the situation, but doesn’t seem to know what comes next.

A little later in the morning, Jung-ho’s friend Yi-kyung storms into class and grabs Ji-hoon by the collar, demanding to know what he did to Jung-ho. The disruption causes backlash with Kyung-min, the girl who’s nasty to Ha-kyung and In-jae and well, everybody.

Yi-kyung gets up in her face about standing up to him, and she says outright that she may have been afraid of Jung-ho, but she’s not afraid of his lackeys. Yeesh, I’m scared he’s going to do something crazy.

She remains defiant, so Yi-kyung reaches behind him and picks up a desk. Whoa. What the hell?

Both Heung-soo and Nam-soon look up… but thankfully the teachers walk in just in time. In-jae orders him to put the desk down and takes Kyung-min out for a chat.

She asks her to be honest about what she wants, and Kyung-min is as bristly as ever, saying that what she wants is for In-jae to do nothing and to stop wasting her time in class. She doesn’t want In-jae to bring Jung-ho back either, or to take anyone’s side.

It’s hard for In-jae to take, but she swallows it and sympathizes with Kyung-min for how much pressure she’s under. And it’s only then that she opens up a little, about how she doesn’t have a mom like Min-ki (listen, that’s a blessing you don’t even know about) or resources like Ha-kyung. She has to do this all on her own.

In-jae thanks her for being honest and says she’ll try to figure out some ways to take less of her studying time away, but what’s most important is that she gives her an open invitation to come and talk.

Kang-joo and Min-ki both agree to the debate competition, but neither is excited about it (Min-ki is naturally bullied into it by Mom). But then the principal tells the teachers that they should send students who will go to Seoul U, who will put the award to better, or more prestigious use.

Both In-jae and Se-chan dislike the idea, not least of which because Kang-joo and Min-ki have already been told they’re competing. Principal Im tells Se-chan they recruited him here because he’s a lecturer, but he snarks right back that his contracted position is technically “teacher.” That gets a smile from In-jae.

Ha-kyung wakes Nam-soon up to yell at him and ask if he isn’t sorry (for sticking her with all the president duties). He answers right away, “I am,” which hilariously deflates the whole conversation.

She huffs, “That’s it? Do you even know how long it’s been since you’ve sat in class like normal?!” Nam-soon: “A long time. And I’m sorry. So I’ll collect the assignment.” Hee, it’s awesomely one-sided (her concern obviously outweighs his), and even Heung-soo breaks into a smile.

Before the teachers even have a chance to tell Kang-joo about the debate competition, she sees a notice posted for an internal competition where the winners will then be chosen to go compete. I don’t see why they didn’t do this in the first place.

Kang-joo pretends to be fine, but cries alone in the bathroom. Aw.

In-jae and Se-chan are so busy that they forget to avoid Uhmforce, and he walks right into the office. They hilariously try to sneak out anyway, even though he’s standing RIGHT THERE.

He stops them mid-tip-toe like a pair of wayward teenagers. It’s just plain awesome. But guys, couldn’t you have done a better job avoiding?

Nam-soon finds Kang-joo on her way out of the bathroom with teary eyes, and adorably tousles her hair like a little kid. He gets a jab to the ribs for his trouble. They’re so cute.

Uhmforce tells the teachers that he understands why they’re stalling, but it’s not something they can change. Either Nam-soon or Heung-soo has to transfer. Oh no, why are you looking towards the door?

Ack, Nam-soon is standing in the doorway, having brought the assignments to turn in. He looks over at In-jae and Se-chan with a stricken face.

Kang-joo tells Ha-kyung she must be happy about the debate competition, calling it rigged, and the other students all agree that it’s disappointing that In-jae would agree to such an obvious switcheroo.

But what they don’t realize is that it’s terrifying news for Min-ki, who is expected to win a spot through the competition but can’t… not if he cheated all this time.

Back to the office, where Nam-soon gets brought up to speed. He offers to transfer, and asks that they not tell Heung-soo about it. But Kang-joo overhears the whole conversation from the hall.

He sits alone up on the roof, letting out a long sigh as he takes in the view. And then he heads down to the cafeteria, where he plops his tray down across from Heung-soo’s.

Heung-soo immediately gets up, asking what he’s doing. Nam-soon just says quietly that it’s just this once, and asks him to sit. Heung-soo complies in his surly way, and Nam-soon just shovels food into his mouth, barely holding back the river of tears.

Arg, Go Nam-soon, why does everything you do break my heaaaaaaart?

Heung-soo can sense something’s wrong, but doesn’t ask, and I swear, it feels like if Nam-soon shovels in one more mouthful, his tears will explode out. But he holds it together through lunch.

Uhmforce tells him that it’ll take about a week for him to be transferred. He just asks to be sent anywhere—he doesn’t care where.

Se-chan calls the boys out of class to go over their test results. He gapes that Nam-soon actually did worse when he was trying than when he’d randomly just fill out his answer sheet. LOL. How is that even possible?

Heung-soo does better—still terribly, but well enough that he could pass tests if he tried a little harder. That makes Nam-soon smile. He asks if Heung-soo could go to college, and Se-chan bursts that bubble right away. Their goal is graduation, not much else.

He throws down an entire ream of paper and tells them their punishment is to fill a sheet front and back for every single question they got wrong. For Nam-soon that’s 142 pages (good lord) and 112 for Heung-soo.

They’re to flip to any page in their textbook and copy it word for word, and adds that if any of the writing is bigger than In-jae’s pinky finger, it doesn’t count. Their twin looks of exasperation have become my favorite thing. Nam-soon asks if they can’t just move desks instead.

Se-chan lets them suffer for about half a page, and then asks if they want an alternative way to fill their punishment. They look up with crazy eyes of gimmeyespleaseohmygod.

He takes them to the gym and twirls a basketball in front of them to embarrassing results. His offer is to count each point as a page, and the boys look at each other like they just won the lotto.

But it’s Se-chan who’s the genius of course, since it gets them playing basketball with each other, and smiling and laughing.

They collapse on the gym floor after a while, and Se-chan tsk-tsks that if they studied half as hard as this, they wouldn’t be in this position. “Park Heung-soo, what’ll you do when Go Nam-soon transfers?” Oh you sneaky.

Se-chan says Heung-soo will have to fill all of Nam-soon’s remaining sheets as well once he’s gone, and then leaves them alone to talk it out.

He finally gets Yi-kyung into the office to set him straight about how pathetic he’s being. Yi-kyung argues that people are being unfair to Jung-ho because they don’t know what his life is like. He says through tears that Jung-ho is a good guy.

Se-chan doesn’t argue, but does make it clear that the reasons don’t much matter because they don’t justify violence. Yi-kyung says he understands, but it leaves Se-chan feeling unsettled about Jung-ho.

Heung-soo finally opens his mouth, but it’s to lash out angrily, “At least you’ll be comfortable if you go. You happy?”

But Nam-soon doesn’t take the bait and answers truthfully that no, he’s not happy, and he’s angry about it too. He stalks off.

Kang-joo catches him on the way out, and asks if he isn’t hungry. He says he doesn’t have money to eat out, so she says she’ll pay, and drags him out backwards by the backpack. Aw.

He gapes at the amount of food, and she says it’s in honor of his transfer. She says Heung-soo should be the one to go, knowing it’s a hollow suggestion, and Nam-soon chides her for even thinking it.

They laugh and eat good-naturedly, when Ha-kyung walks in, perhaps wanting to make amends with Kang-joo. But she takes one look at them together and turns around. Nam-soon makes eye contact with her, but doesn’t say anything.

In-jae and Se-chan make one last-ditch effort to go find Jung-ho at home, but he’s not there. In-jae plants herself on the front stoop, clearly set on sticking it out this time.

Yi-kyung and Ji-hoon have better luck, and find Jung-ho back at the pool hall, and about to get on the motorcycle that caused so much trouble. They ask what he did to get back in their good graces, and for the bike. He says it’s not what he’s done, but what he’s promised to do. Oh no.

They plead with him to stop, otherwise he’ll end up nothing but a gangster. He argues that there’s not much else he’ll be, and pushes them away. Yi-kyung refuses to give in, and grabs Jung-ho by the arm. Ji-hoon grabs the other arm.

Jung-ho growls that he doesn’t much feel like beating them up tonight, and Yi-kyung just pushes right back, “No, tonight we’re going to have to hit you.” I know it’s not exactly warm and fuzzy, but the fact that they’re willing to beat their friend up to keep him from throwing his life away is actually rather sweet.

But Jung-ho does what he does best, and stomps all over their loyal gesture, lashing out at them. He tells them not to think they’re any different, and that they’ll never amount to anything either.

You can tell Jung-ho immediately regrets pushing them too far, but it’s too late, and Yi-kyung and Ji-hoon give up on him and walk away. Aw Jung-ho. Why ya always gotta hurt the ones you love, huh?

Se-chan asks In-jae what she hopes Jung-ho will do, and she answers honestly that she’s split 50-50, in wanting him to come back, but also wanting him to stay away. She notes that Se-chan seems to know a lot about kids like Jung-ho, despite having been a teacher for only a short while.

He says that he did try once, to chase after the kids like Jung-ho, who stayed out of trouble for about a minute, and then he’d chase them down again and again. She asks what happens when you do that.

Se-chan: “You fall, of course.” In-jae: “And what happens after that?”

Se-chan: “I just didn’t get up. That’s why I gave up being a teacher.” She asks what it feels like to give up, but he doesn’t have a chance to answer before Jung-ho’s father erupts in a violent rage.

They’re scared that Jung-ho is inside with him, and Se-chan grabs the nearest brick, ready to break the door down. But Jung-ho walks up, wondering what they’re doing. He grabs the key to go inside, but In-jae blocks the door and pleads with him not to go inside just yet.

Jung-ho sighs that if he just lets Dad hit him a few times, it’ll pass. Oof. And now it’s In-jae’s turn to grab Jung-ho’s wrist, but for her it’s an attempt to hold onto him. She says right now his choices are to go in there and be beaten, or to stand out here in the cold. But if he comes back to school, he might have another choice in life.

He won’t listen to reason, so Se-chan lays his circumstances out baldly—did his siblings run away? Did his mother run too? Jung-ho grabs his collar and raises his fist.

Se-chan stares him right in the eye and tells him to go ahead and hit him. He promises not to do anything about it, and eggs him on.

But Jung-ho, despite all his anger, can’t do it. Se-chan: “You can’t, can you? That’s the evidence that you want to go to school. If I were just a passing neighborhood ajusshi, you’d have hit me. But I’m your teacher, so you can’t hit me.”

He says tomorrow is the last chance he has, or he’ll be expelled. Jung-ho storms off.

At home, In-jae goes down a list of things she wants to accomplish. I hope this isn’t a teacher-quitting bucket list. Among the things still left unfinished are Jung-ho and Nam-soon.

The next morning, Min-ki finally tells his mom that he didn’t apply for the debate competition… and that he told In-jae all about the cheating.

Mom gets this scary look in her eye and sends Min-ki off to school without her, and his brother reaches out a hand from his room to grab a bowl of rice sitting in the hall.

The class gets their test results, and the whole class groans about their English test that Jung-ho screwed up. Uhmforce interrupts their morning to call Nam-soon out of class. Oh no, already?

Heung-soo stands outside the teachers’ office, not knowing what to do. Se-chan finds him there and notes that he must really not want to do the rest of his punishment alone. He adds casually, “But Heung-soo, have you ever seen an assailant and a victim playing basketball together?”

Inside, Uhmforce gives Nam-soon the transfer papers. He gets ready to sign, and write down the reason why. Heung-soo walks in…

Uhmforce tells him to come back later, but he says there’s no reason why Nam-soon has to transfer. “I’m not a victim. And Go Nam-soon isn’t an assailant. We’re just… friends.”

Eeee, he said they’re fwiends! Heung-soo continues: “[friends] who were just unlucky… and now, we’re in the middle of working it out.” A tear rolls down Nam-soon’s cheek. How can you only cry the one tear? I’m a blubbering mess.

Uhmforce turns to Nam-soon to ask if that’s true, and he just wipes his tears. Uhmforce gets the story straight for the record that there are no attackers or victims here, and then smiles broadly. Aw.

Nam-soon comes out of the office and thanks Heung-soo. He counters that he didn’t do it for free, and says it comes with a price. Oh no. If you say the price is to stay away from you, I’ll cry. Again.

Nam-soon tenses up, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Heung-soo: “You do ALL of them. The front-to-back sheets.” Hahaha. Oh phew. Nam-soon breaks into a smile behind Heung-soo’s back.

And then they walk down the hall, each of them smiling a tiny smile that the other can’t see.

Min-ki’s mom comes to school to railroad In-jae, insisting that Min-ki was mistaken and that he will be competing after all. Dude, this mom scares the crap out of me.

In-jae says it concerns her more that Min-ki doesn’t want to compete, let alone the cheating, and says that she’ll discuss it with Min-ki. His mom barges into the principal’s office to say that Ha-kyung’s mom is on her way in, and that with the midterm scores the way they are, something must be done. Oy. I don’t like the sound of that.

The class is still reeling over their test grades, and the kids argue among themselves that In-jae can’t let Jung-ho back in class now, and that her bringing him back to school is basically the same as throwing the rest of them away. Way to be dramatic.

Yi-kyung is the only one upset about it, but it’s all moot anyway if Jung-ho doesn’t come back. And then two seconds later… Jung-ho walks in.

At the same time, the teachers are gathered for an announcement: Grade 2 Class 2 will no longer have two homeroom teachers. Se-chan will take the class solo, and In-jae will teach her subjects, but no longer be in charge of a class.

Se-chan is ordered to announce it to the kids right away, and he bristles, “What if there’s an objection?” He gets the VP to reconsider if the kids object. Maybe on any other day, but today, I’m not so sure…

Min-ki gathers up the courage to confront Mom on her way out, about wanting to go to a different school. He wants to study broadcasting and journalism, and become a PD, but talking to her is completely useless. She just nods and says he can do that after becoming a judge. Dude. LISTEN.

I’m terrified that Min-ki’s going to do something drastic.

Se-chan and In-jae walk into class, and In-jae smiles to see Jung-ho sitting in his seat. The other students aren’t as happy, of course, and Kyung-min calls them out for it, “Why is Oh Jung-ho back?”

He speaks up himself and says Teach came to his house and told him to come back. Naturally, the kids jump to the conclusion that it was In-jae alone, which the two teachers and Jung-ho don’t realize.

Se-chan then announces that In-jae won’t be their homeroom teacher anymore, but quickly adds that their opinions matter most and the outcome can change. He asks for anyone who objects to speak up.

But no one does. It catches Se-chan by surprise more than anyone, and In-jae swallows back tears as she says she hears them loud and clear.

She turns to go, when Nam-soon raises his hand, “I object.” Young-woo raises his hand, and then Heung-soo, and Ji-hoon. Aw. She thanks them, but they’re just a few, and not enough to change the verdict.

Se-chan runs out after her, and finds her clearing out her desk. He says the kids are just being like this because of Jung-ho, and asks her to give them more time. But In-jae says resignedly, “A teacher rejected by her students doesn’t have the right to be a teacher.”

She walks out, and Se-chan chases her down, yanking her back to face him. He argues that it’s not the kids, but a messed up system she’s fighting against. In-jae: “Whether it’s the kids or the system, I can’t do it anymore. No, I don’t want to.”

He grabs a hold of her wrist and refuses to let go, and she finally bursts out, “Why are you holding on like this?! You’re a hundred times, a thousand times more competent than I am!”

Se-chan: “Because… you’re the teacher I wished I could be. You… are the teacher I tried so hard to be but couldn’t become… you are that teacher.”

 
COMMENTS

This show—one friendship on the mend and one hoodlum off the streets, just in time to throw my heart right back in the wringer. It hurts, but it hurts so good. I suppose it’s a good thing for the drama that we don’t get one moment’s peace, but right now I’d give anything for half an episode where no one is on the verge of being expelled/fired/transferred. Just to give the heart a rest.

I think they did a really good job of building towards this moment with In-jae, because it doesn’t feel like she’s giving up for no reason or that she’s just reacting in anger or hurt. She’s been struggling against this problem for as long as we’ve known her, and we’ve watched her optimism get chipped away bit by bit. It’s heartbreaking to see her give up, but it feels honest—she has nothing else to fight for if the kids don’t want her there. It’s the last blow for someone who held on with nothing but her sincerity and her love for the kids. Being told her teaching methods are bad is something she can swallow, but being rejected as their mother hen—that leaves her with nothing.

But the great parallel development to In-jae’s trajectory downward (ie. when the idealist has to face reality), is Se-chan’s trajectory upward. She’s brought out the best in him, and we’ve watched him go from the guy who couldn’t be paid to care about anyone but himself, to someone who goes out of his way to herd in the lost strays and mend broken bromances. I love his bad cop routine with Nam-soon and Heung-soo. It’s the perfect thing to get them to side with each other, by giving them a common foe. Also I think he enjoys driving them crazy.

His two confessions in this episode were the most honest that we’ve ever gotten from him—that he did try once, and never got back up, and that In-jae is about to repeat his mistakes, even though she’s already the kind of teacher he could only dream of being. For one, I love that someone finally acknowledges that she’s an amazing teacher. Her doggedness and her capacity for empathy might seem extreme, but for kids like Jung-ho and Nam-soon, it’s the difference between a lost life or a hopeful future. I just hope that Se-chan can convince her that she makes a difference, or better yet, that the kids can do so themselves. I’m worried, but they’ll come through, right?

I’ll just spend the wait until next week’s episodes riding on the high from Heung-soo’s friend declaration, which for me is up there with any big declaration of love in dramas. I know they won’t be skipping down the street hand-in-hand anytime soon (or okay, ever) but it’s the first massive step out of the go-our-separate-ways plan. I hate that plan. It’s stupid. And now that Nam-soon has his first shot at really mending that relationship beyond just righting wrongs, I can actually imagine them being happy someday, just like regular kids who smile and laugh and fight over girls and basketball and other non-life-and-death things. Someday.

 
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Thank you for the recap!

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Maybe because I'm all caught up in the emotional vortex of this drama, but why do I feel like it's the best show I've ever watched?!

Gah! My FEELS!

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Thank you so much for the recap! All these characters kill me ;u;

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OMFG this episode T____TTTTT

the basketball T^T

the kang saem wanting to be like jung saem T^T

WHY IS EVERY EPISODE MORE PERFECT THAN THE LAST T^T

school 2013 owns my soul

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I swear it gets better by the episode...When Heungsoo was stopping Uhm Force from transferring Namsoon I was literally squealing at the screen saying "Please say chin-gu please say chin-gu". And then he finally said it, he said they were friends out of mouth...i was just too happy. The fact that he said they were in the middle of making up just put a big ole smile across on my face. I love them...they need a couple award

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Couple award. Amen.

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Damn straight they need a couple award. I don't want any student romances because Heung Soo and Nam Soon are enough for my giddy little heart.

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everything in my heart wanted to hear that word chingu, i was like please please please lemme just hear that one word and i know everything will be all right.

the build up to this was so long and hard and arduous and REAL just made the pay off so great

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thank you for the recap..

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thanks :)

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I swear, "crazy bastard" is the new "I love you." I'm going to start using it on my friends :).

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I kind of get the warm fuzzy feeling whenever they say that because I know that's like their pet names for each other haha

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I just wish the subbed version I'm watching used that language. I don't think it's including anything as a moniker. Grrr.

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Blooming Bromance!

Struggling Sis-mance!

Torturous Teach-mance!

(Okay, that last one was a bit weak...)

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why do I have this terrible feeling that someone's going to die by the end of this drama...? I don't want them to there's a couple of characters that are making me worry....

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them to *but*

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who???

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My vote for Min Ki.

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I'm hoping nothing goes seriously wrong for Min Ki himself but just enough to scare his mom into submission. She's evil. She's the sort of mother who destroys her children.

If I had been in Injae's position, the moment Min Ki confessed, I would have run to the principal's office and had Min Ki's mom threaten to be exposed for the fraud that she is. Because she is. And she dares act high and mighty before Injae (who still needs to learn how to teach her subjects better). And I would not have let Kangjoo remain mistaken.

I want a Minki mom doll to poke, poke, poke with pins and needles.

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I don't think MinKi's mom is evil.

She is seriously mentally unbalance and in deep denial about some--beyond the fact that her older [?] son is mentally disturb and needs help.

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She's mentally unbalanced. She's in full possession of herself psychologically. Just because one's in denial doesn't mean one's psychologically unhinged. Her values, however, are twisted and drive her to commit not so small acts of wrong. That is evil. Evil is not some foreign thing. It's grounded in the everyday.

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She's NOT mentally unbalanced, that is.

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I wouldn't debate the existence of evil. The question doesn't interest me.

MinKi's mom may not be unbalance in some worldviews but in my west viewpoint, she is unbalanced. Her priorities are out of balance. She hasn't got a relationship with 'objective' reality.

Or as they say in Vegas, she is not playing with a full deck.

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I too am coming from a Western perspective. That's why I call her evil.

And even by Western psychological standards, Minki's mom actually has a very good grasp of her objective reality. Otherwise, a good percentage of Korean (and Korean-American) parents would be deemed unhinged.

All that aside, it seems we can agree that we don't agree with (even disapprove of) her value system and her methods.

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Min Ki's mom seems "evil" to most of us watching this drama only because our values and our idea of being a parent are extremely different especially in the Western perspective.
But to her, she thinks that she's right and that it's okay for her to be like that.
I find that her actions (not that I approve of them because she needs to cut her son some slack and hear him out for even one second sometimes) could be driven by:
1. the fact that her older son is mentally ill
2. the need to live vicariously through her son's success. Maybe she's one of those people who never was able to get to the goal that she wanted and by pushing that goal onto Min Ki, then she can somehow make herself feel better about the past
3. the pressure to keep up an image in front of the school and in front of the other parents - the lady has more power than even the principal at this point if she can make things that are advantageous to her position happen. She can't fold - she's already built her image up to this point and I feel like she enjoys the attention she receives from the other parents who try to follow her example.

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There has to be something wrong with her if she has a son locked up in his room from her crazy ways and yet she STILL thinks she's right?

I agree with you on her motivations, but by no means do I deem that a normal mentality. As cliche as it is, a lot of people do learn from their mistakes and become better people for it.

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Me too...and it would break my heart to pieces. Like this drama is already doing. Every. Episode.

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I also get those vibes from him but I hope I'm wrong. Min Ki :( He's such a nice boy and I just want him to make it through.

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I seriously hope Min Ki stands up for himself. I think I wouldn't be able to stop crying if he killed himself. Please, Drama, don't kill Min Ki :C

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i've the same feeling too!!

and I also worry that it would be Minki (so far the one with the highest 'potential' for a suicide victim). He is too kind to stand up against his mom, too caring to run away from home... if pushed further, suicide seems like the only way to escape from his mom's clutches :(

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i feel so to but i think Minki is most probably be the one to either commit suicide or will have an accident..

but i hope no one dies...

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GAH, the cafeteria scene T_T Reminds me of how the obligatory k-drama scene where the guy/girl asks for one last date before they end up leaving the other. And the friend confession? I squealed louder than I ever have for a love confession. Who needs romance when you have bromance?

I too am terrified for Minki. You'd think his mom would learn by now, looking at how his brother turned out. I'm seriously scared he might consider committing suicide ._.

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I agree. And to skip the Kang-Joo & Nam-soon date (let's face it, it was), her feeding him seemed like an echo of k-drama scenes where women who like a particular man keep feeding them dishes and giving them extra food if they can.

There've been some intense eye contact - even if not gooey, but still intense - between Heung-soo and Ha-Kyung: perhaps the initial suggested pairings were wrong?

Now that the bromance is on track, but the sismance is falling apart, what better way to create tension than to have Kang-joo and Ha-Kyung fighting over Nam-soon while Ha-Kyung's also getting confused by her attraction to Heung-soo?

Anyway, looking forward to next week! Did anyone see a preview? I didn't see one on viki.

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Awww, I wouldn't want Ha-kyung and Kang-joo fighting over one (or two) guys. Plus, I'm getting kind of invested in the potential Ha-kyung/Nam-soon romance :)

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I was, but it seems to have fizzled out since episode 6, at least on Nam-soon's side.

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Namsoon was too busy mending his broken bromance with Heungsoo earlier... now that he sees light in the tunnel with Heungsoo, probably he will turn his attention on Hakyung :p

The show can't purposefully let him notice Hakyung and allow him to do nothing afterwards. He is probably the only one who could talk sense into Hakyung.

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I agree with Fangy, it seems that Nam-soon's been busy solving his problems with Heung-soo to focus in anything else, and haven't they showed that Kang-joo and Nam-soo are just friends? I don't know, Ha-Kyung and Heung-soo haven't interacted that much, and I feel that they've already established ~something~ between Nam-soon and Ha-kyung, so if they're not planning to do anything about it, then I'd say it was kind of a wasted storyline

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Yea, a Namsoon romance triangle with the two girls seems too predictable. I would prefer KJ out of the picture.

I just think it would be too cute if Heungsoo can help connect Hakyung and Namsoon in some way. I mean we've seen that Namsoon has his clueless moments. And with his soul/bro-mate back maybe Namsoon can benefit from his advice or prompting. I like the chemistry between Hakyung and Heungsoo (whatever little interactions there's been), which is good if this is the girl who's going to end up with his Namsoonie~

Beyond that I would love to hear what's going on in Hakyung's head soon. She's being a rather tiresome friend now tbh.

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I think namsoon is ditching the presidency and hakyung based on the preview for the next episode.

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Yeah, I'm still very much invested in the Ha-kyung/Nam-soon pairing, even though they haven't been a lot of screentime together for the past few eps. I really hope that we get to focus on other storylines and characters now that the main bromance is on the mend (although there'd still better be a lot of bromance... :D).

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Yea, this episode leaned more towards Namsoon/Kangjoo and Hakyung/Heungsoo. What was with that STARE between HK/HS in the hallway? I thought they were doing away with the lovelines? Hmmmm.....

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yeah, what's with the stare
their chemistry is really good though, ever since Ha Kyung-Heung Soo scene when Heung Soo was smoking and Ha Kyung snatched it away, i could see Ha Kyung and HS but not Kang Joo and Nam Soon, KJ-NS relationship seems like childhood friends or brother-sister

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I wouldn't object to the alternate pairings (or maybe they want us to think that way) but I find Ha Kyung and Nam Soon rather cute too, so we shall see. I don't think we're going to get much romance but it could be a part of the final conflicts as we head into the end (unless this is ending soon, i really don't know).

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Interesting you mentioned the ritual of the food sharing romance trope in k-dramas. All through the Nam Soon and Heung Soo lunch scene I kept excepting Heung Soo to put food on Nam Soon's tray. By rights it should have been Nam Soon doing that gesture but he was too far gone to expect more than him swallowing without choking or bursting into tears.

I agree with you about the possible reconsideration of the romantic pairings. I thought Heung Soo and Kang Joo's early misunderstanding set them up as a possible couple and Nam Soon and Ha-Kyung were the first to get a little beyond each other barricade [if we don't count Ha-Kyung's friendship with Kang Joo--and she isn't so we can overlook it] I thought that would make them a couple-but . . .?

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The show has ignored the romance storyline, so I'd say it'll develop in the following episodes, especially now that Heung-soo and Nam-soon seem to be fixing their friendship :)

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If there's a romance in this drama please let it be Kanjoo and Namsoon. I don't really like Hakyung (since the very beginning, for no reason, sigh), and before the drama started the poster I saw had Injae, Sechan, Kanjoo and Namsoon closer to the camera: http://www.dramabeans.com/2012/11/school-2013s-teasers-and-posters/

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I don't really need or want a student-couple. I just think it'll bore me and won't have the depth and development I'd want... I don't know, maybe I'm just so immersed in the bromance that I don't want any of the girls becoming the focus of their affections haha

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Maybe Min-ki will date that cute ditzy girl who slept late because she was doing her eyebrows?

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That would be so very random ahaha. Give him something good in life.

Or pair Ji Hoon with someone, he a cutie.

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I don't know if any of you feel this too, but I think that a lot of the girls are extremely annoying. I can't help but be uninvested in their lives. The list of dislikable girls in Seungri High is endless: Kyung Min, Hakyung, Other Smart Girls, DANI ...

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I really hope that School doesn't take that turn and become some romance melodrama. School is so amazing because it doesn't need lovers to drive the show. The friendship, the heart and the genuine feelings felt by all the characters in this drama are what keep us addicted. It would be incredibly disappointing if the writer went off to create a love triangle plot.

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GUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUSSHH!

I'm still on total gush overload from this episode. Kind of a little bit early, but it's already on its way to my Tops list. Some friggin' good confessions and lovely character moments for everyone in this ep.

Augh. So. Good. I'm still welling up inside with love and overflowing and stuff.

Heart. Just heart.

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Thanks! I'm kinda happy that KoD ended (ah, I'll miss Siwon's character) because if it got extended then I don't think I could handle 3 dramas every Monday & Tuesday. Also been waiting for subs of this episode together with FBND...

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Aaaaw..

1. Min-ki's mom is scary. And I hate her more than any bitchy kdrama mothers-in-law out there. I kinda wish that Min-ki would lock himself in his room too just to teach her a lesson. I hope everyone finds out that Min-ki cheated on his essays. And that it was his mom's idea. I'm more creeped out by her than the gangster-type of villains. Find a therapist Min-ki's mom.
2. The school's principal sucks. I know a lot in admin positions have a hard time making tough decisions but she's either making decisions to make her look good or just because she's scared of what the parents will do.
3. I thought I was gonna hate Uhmforce because he was gonna transfer one of the lead bromantic pair, but I'm glad things turned out like that and that he was happy that the bromantic pair admitted to being fwiends.
4. Nam-soon and Heung-soo's bromance are currently better than any romantic pairings I've seen in kdramas. Ah, Best Couple award goes to them this year, I'm pretty sure.
5. Aw. Heartbroken for In-jae. I would've loved to have a homeroom teacher like her who cares a lot about her students.

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Minki's mom should be subject to the scorn of her peers.

Best Couple award for Namsoon and Heungsoo, awwwwww yeah!! Totally. I love the incredibly romantic music they play whenever those two have heartfelt moments. At one point, I even expected a back hug.

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OMG, me too!

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She evokes so much violent thoughts in me. I JUST WANT TO HIT SOME SENSE INTO HER. GRR

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i soo wanna see Kim Woo Bin lead a drama.

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me too <3

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A sageuk would be awesome. Kim Woo Bin, in long open shirt and pants, top knot, a long sword, oooooooooo!!!

Or maybe dressed up as a Shilla prince?

OMG, I'm getting all flustered thinking about it...

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IDK about sageuk, but i could definitely go for woobin in something besides a school uniform... not that i don't love him in his student roles i just don't want him to be type cast into a corner...

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He said in an interview that he would like to play a serial killer. Puahaha.

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He'd be good at it too! With that intense stare of his, he could make the cops' blood run cold.

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We're getting there. Lets be patient calm girlfriends. He's under Sidus. Sidus takes amazing care of their actors. Most of the top actors and actresses in Korea have been through Sidus at least once in their career. He's in good hands ^^

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:-)

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Same! I don't want him to be typecasted, but I don't want to see him in a romance comedy so soon because he does intense sooo well.

Coming from someone who didn't think he was hot to start with. I sooo retract my words HAHA.

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I cried for all the boys this episode. NS and HS own my tears but even Jung-ho made me cry - his life is so awful :( And then when the kids didnt stand up for In-jae at the end I cried angry tears and wanted to go in and knock some sense into their heads. On one hand it was heartwarming that her lost sheep raised their hands but the rest of them who in their anger refused to......argh. I know that's what being a teenager is like - the sense that only what is happening now is important and nothing else matters but the lack of foresight ......arghhhhh.
This show kills me in the best way possible

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Then the last scene with both SC and IJ, why must I cry show????? Why?

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same here..am I glad that my roommate's not here coz I was crying most of the time! XD

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What does Dongsaeng mean?

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Younger sibling. But can be used by anyone older to someone younger.

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Thanks! Korean culture is just fascinating!

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Probably no more so than any foreign culture may be to an outsider, but that still doesn't mean Korean culture isn't fascinating. :)

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I know, but I'm not watching any dramas from other countries and excitedly noting similarities to my own. :-)

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I cried a lot in this episode too, mostly in the very last scenes between In Jae and Se Chan. It's like watching In Jae's hope for the kids finally got broken down. She invests in not only her time, energy but so much hope and belief for them, and what does she got back? Right now it seems like almost nothing. It's not wrong to feel that I hate those kids for being so selfish and lack of foresight (like you said). How could they possibly think that In Jae was able to make the whole essay contest if nobody else behind pulled some strings? And how could they just want to expel one student not even considering what would be waiting him out there in life? If they hate Jung Ho that much, stand up to him first. But no, nobody ever did, they just started talking back to him when there was someone (Nam Soon/Heung Soo) who could get their back.
Everybody was a teenager once, but I swear to god that when I was a teenager, my friends and I weren't that short-sighted and cruel.

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thank you for the recap!

I live for the recaps of School 2013 every week.

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I watched this episode and almost cried at the end of it, I was so upset that the kids are such herd thinkers... one of them complains about Injae and the others just chime right in so it makes me super glad that my two faves - Heung soo and Nam Soon aren't so mindless.

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I agree... I find the 'rest of the kids' pretty lame, they are such flip-floppers. If one of them used their own brain for a second rather than just parroting what some person in the class shouts out in one moment, they would realise that Injae doesn't favour one kid over the rest, but that she has tried to help several, including some that hate each other. Plus that Se-chan is helping too. I'm glad Nam-soon and the rest raised their hands... the other members of the class need to start thinking for themselves and being honest too.

It's good to see though that Min-ki is starting to question things. I think, for him to admit that he didn't write the essays s, was a huge thing. And he told Injae - so he's bound to be the next one to raise his hand. (Though I'm worried about what he'll do next - if he'll flip and do something potentially dangerous.)

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I think Minki (the character, not the actor) is a prime candidate to attempt suicide. Suicide is a big problem in Korea's students, and I, for one, would love to see how this show would tackle such a topic.

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Oh god! When gf said that Minki might do something dangerous, suicide was the first thing I thought of and I really hope that doesn't happen.

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That moment was so heartbreaking. This whole drama is so heartbreaking. GAH.

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I agree, too. These other kids who jumped to the conclusion about In Jae were just stupid. When they chose to not attend either Se Chan's or In Jae's class like the principal requested, I did hope they had brain and at least knew how to judge a situation. But now I just see them as a bunch of selfish and brainless kids.

About Min Ki, I hold on hoping that he's not gonna attempt suicide, or at least not do it for real. He's a kind and smart kid, just not strong enough to stand up against his mom. Suicide is the last option. I hope he will seek out Se Chan for help, or can point out his brother's situation (not attending Yale but imprison himself in his own room). It will be a huge crash to his mother credibility, and she may stop threatening/controlling his school.

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T.T

That's it

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lol idk what they were talking about when they said no more lovelines for this show. HEUNG-SOON FTWWWW!:')

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Lol! Seriously though, replace Nam Soon with a girl or vice versa and we have our typical kdrama romance, except now it's bromance. Whoot! bromance ftw!

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Thanks for the recap! So many tearworthy moments! My eyes are a bit sore from using my blanket to wipe them.

-Se-chan saying how school was giving Heung-soo and Nam-soon an opportunity to forgive/be forgiven.
-Heung-soo and Nam-soon at the cafeteria -the feeling of eating a warm meal with his beloved friend (for what could have been the last meal together ever) overcomes Namsoon. =**(
-Kang-joo finding out about the essay content and knowing that it was done to give the top students a chance to add to their resumes.
-Jung-ho's scene with his friends and how he had hurt/insulted Ji-hoon so bad that even the steadfastly loyal Yi-kyung left him.
-In-jae holding onto Jung-ho literally. What a contrast it is from when Se-chan grabbed his wrist because of the cell phone incident.
-Jung-ho saying that it wasn't that he hated school, but that school hated him.
-Heung-soo telling Uhm-force that he and Namsoon are friends.
-Most of the class turning on In-jae.
-Se-chan's "confession" at the end - much more romantic and thrilling than a romantic confession. In-jae inspires him!!

And so many happy moments:
-In-jae and Se-chan trying to avoid Uhmforce so they didn't have to make a decision on who to transfer.
-Se-chan torturing the two kids.
-The basketball scene: Se-chan is really trying to get them to hang out as much as possible.

I do hope that we can consider Nam-soon and Heung-soo's storyline mostly wrapped up now. I loooove the bromance, but I'm itching to get to know the other characters - especially for Min-ki to really confront his mother. Ha-kyung's mother's pressure on her is a bit more insidious- how will she deal. And what does Kang-joo plan to be when she graduates?

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At some point, Jung-ho must realize that he made the school hate him. If he really wants to get out of the miserable situation he unfortunately was born to, he needs to learn that he has exacerbated his own misery by coping as he has.

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I loved school so much I went forever and when I got all the degrees that made sense I decided to teach.

I felt I need to say that before I point out that school can be a place of torture for those found to be less than by their peers. Teen age peers are vicious and most teen suicides have an element of school located peer-torture involved.

So I think it is possible school hate Jung-oh first and hated him viciously. Only a damaged person keeps loving something that tells them they are less than..

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I think the implication is that Jung-ho acted out from the get go. He didn't recognize that that's why school didn't love him.

Let's not put Jung-ho in the role of the bullied. He is bullied indeed at home, but he is the bully at school who drives others to misery. Let's not forget that.

And that's in part why Sechan was able to stop Jungho. He showed Jungho that he was fast becoming what made him most miserable.

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What I got from the episode is that there are socio-economic/class factors that are affecting at least four of our bullies/gang members/tough guys.

Jung-oh's insult to his minion was that the guy's mother washed dishes for a living and is father is sick in bed.

Nam-soon father is a drunk who doesn't seem to be in the picture much
Heung-soo mother seemed to have had some kind of disability
Jung-oh's father is a drunk

The school bows to the will of the parents with the most perceived clout.

Even when Ha-Kyung was studying at a private academy she had to wear a uniform from a better school not to be harassed.

When I look at the background information, I feel safe in assuming that Jung-oh home life made life in school difficult for him until he was strong enough to beat his enemy to a pulp.

I might be wrong, but . . .

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I think the interesting contrast is Namsoon. He was once Jungho but he chose not to continue to be. True, his father is neglectful, not physically abusive. But the message is clear that the students must learn not to be defined by their circumstances. A hard lesson to learn, but that's what the show is preparing for Jungho.

The socioeconomic disparity wasn't lost on me either, and I am thankful that I did not continue in the Korean system and benefited from the American. I didn't learn until much later that a teacher had targeted me precisely for my financial background. Nonetheless, I was oblivious to it and thrived.

Within the past year, I was in charge of the most remedial students. They constantly voiced that they were dumb or had been told repeatedly they were dumb (their word). One girl was being mentally abused by her dad. I refused to let them continue to think of themselves as such, to let themselves be defined by other people, and to let them use that as an excuse for their shortcomings, so much that when a new student referred to himself as such, the other kids told him no. More than half those students are out of the remedial track now, including the mentally abused girl. At least one is already in the top track. I'm so proud of them.

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@Anais, I understand what you're saying. But you are way more patient with Jung ho than i am. I taught remedials as well and troublemakers etc...but -- maybe it was the American system-- but the remedials I dealt with were not bullies. Self-loathing, yes. Not caring about school, maybe. Acting up maybe... but they were never bullies or cruel. And mostly they weren't picked on by the rest of the school. (Only the disabled kids were looked down upon, but no one picked on the disabled kids and the disabled kids didn't bully anyone.) Of course, maybe it was because the entire school was lower socio-economic and the town had a population of 20K so everyone pretty much knew everyone else's family.

But watching this....my patience with Jung ho is wearing dangerously thin. How much damage is a bully allowed to do to the lives and future of other folks before we can say, "Seriously? Saving your life isn't worthy destroying countless lives and careers."

I know TV trains us to always hope and hope for the bully to change -- even if bully has destroyed so much in his wake but after all the spate of suicides in the US brought on by bullies and bullying that I find the whole "there's a wounded little boy in there..let's keep suffering so he can be saved" thing a bit too much of an eye-roller.

If Jung ho gets enlightened, it BETTA be before he totally destroys careers and people. Who sets up folks to be beaten up? I worry for Nam-soon's ribs and liver and spleen ...the amount of times he's been beaten up by Jung ho.

Many people had crappy school experiences but not everyone becomes a mean bully.

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Wait, @ Carole McDonnell, you think I'm being patient with Jungho? I'm a bit confused. Would you by chance be mistaking me for Yumi? Cause I hear her as saying I'm being too harsh on Jungho (@Yumi, I don't want to put words in your mouth, so please correct me if I'm wrong.) I definitely want to hold Jungho accountable. I'm the one saying his background doesn't excuse his behavior, even if it can explain it.

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@ anais

It's not about having patience with Jung-Oh. He's a pain and he's dangerous.

I'm glad I'm not his teacher, I wouldn't have the patience or optimism to keep at him.

What I support is the truth of what he says about school hating him first. I BELIEVE THIS.

In the American system, the kind of treatment that Jung-Oh get is analogous with the treatment the many minority students receive in the education system. I know Jung-Oh isn't a minority but the bias against his circumstance seems to be parallel. Many minority students start kindergarden bright and eager to work and by third grade hate themselves and school because of the unconscious bias teachers, even the ones with good intention bring into the classroom.

Why is everyone so down on Jung-Oh alone.

I find the class clown destructive and his behavior borders on sexual harassment.

Just as bad, and probably worse [if you overlook the physical danger associated with Jung-Oh] are the bratty, nasty, self-involved, entitled, high achiever. They act as if they are the only ones entitled to an education. The fact that the way they want to be taught leaves out 2/3 or the class from being involved does not matter as long as their needs are met.

Say what you want about In-Jae's teaching but people were awake and they were learning. If the S-university presumptives wanted to they could have learned something also, but since all they want to learn is to fill in the right oval, when they are not being taught that they react as if class time is wasted. NO IT IS NOT. Other students are learning, and since those students' parent pay taxes, and the students made the effort to show up, then they should be taught.

As wonderful as it is to teach to the brightest, [and its so tempting] it is important to teach to students who struggle or shut down defensively. The bright ones, in many cases, will survive without you, but the ones out in deep water need you.

In many way it issue may be that those student should be in that class. The smart bratty one. Send them home to learn on the internet. :) Just kidding. Maybe.

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@18.1.1.1.2 anais I think part of what made Go Nam-soon not follow Jung-ho's path is Heung-soo. Heung-soo's Nam-soon's age, but he was the more mature and responsible. And crushing Heung-soo's leg and ruining his friend's future was a cold wake-up call for Nam-soon to live life quietly. I think Go Nam-soon could have ended like Jung-ho if Heung-soo had up and left Go Nam-soon for the soccer life (in real life, some close high school friends just drift apart because they've grown up, because of distance, because of different responsibilities, because of new relationships.)

I can't say whether Jung-ho was lucky or unlucky not to have experienced what Go Nam-soon and Heung-soo experienced during that leg-crushing moment.

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@ Yumi,
Totally send them to the internet. That's how Sechan taught and made most of his money, right?

:)

As I said elsewhere in these comments about the way teachers are assigned where I work, the toughest kids deserve the most experienced teachers.

Injae was set up for failure, but obviously we'll get her triumphing by the end. So in a few more episodes, perhaps we'll have a very different conversation.

The one thing I do want to emphasize is that the S-girls' snottery? It's a reflection of the larger Korean society. They've been taught those values and those values get reaffirmed constantly. Though Korea is technically no longer an aristocratic society, it's still highly classist in ways the average American would have a hard time stomaching. Only a couple years or so ago, I taught a Korean student studying in the U.S. He's a chaebol heir, the only son. He told me in all sincerity that he thought slavery was perfectly acceptable. Slavery in Korea was outlawed only 117 years ago, as a part of the 1894 kabo reforms. I've come across a 21st century poll indicating that a majority of Koreans would gladly revert to a monarchy (even as much as I find that poll suspect, that's what it said).

Not defending the girls at all. Just providing context.

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@ Yumi,

I totally agree with most of what you're saying. About the class crown, the self-entitled S-girls, etc.

I can even see what you mean by believing Jungho's statement. I saw him differently, primarily through the filter of my own experience that includes bullies at a far younger age. Yes, pre-kindergarten bullies.

And even our take on the philosophy behind Injae's teaching doesn't differ. The only crucial difference seems to be you see her as being good whereas I think she's not there yet. I've no problem with her decision to reach out to the kids less advantaged. I've a problem with her not putting the entitled girls into their place and failing to convince them that she has something valuable to offer them, even within the parameters of Korean educational and value systems.

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@ anais

I accept we agree on many things.

But I don't think I said I think In-jae is a good teacher. What she is doing is but but how In-jae is doing what she is doing is an experiments that doesn't have enough result to judge the conclusion. So, surprisingly I haven't formed an opinion on her execution but I support her.

because

1) She has proven to be effective on the lost boys.

2) It is clear she is a new teacher with great heart and plenty of ideas that haven't had the opportunity or support to implement those idea. When I was working on my teaching credential for secondary education the mantra of the program was it takes three years to learn to teach effectively. I doubt she has had three years. When I went into the classroom, I had a master teacher to guide and support me. All she had is a numbers hungry principal who spends all her time telling In-jae she is not good at every opportunity and putting up obstacles when In-jae tries to improve. In fact I'd say In-Jae is being bullied by the administration.

So I think we agree that In-Jae is a person in the process of becoming a teacher.

Where we might disagree is that I don't think she is ruining the academically advanced students' chance to go to S-university or advance in life. She is teaching them to think, not just answer questions is a prescribed way. How can that ruin a person.

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@ Yumi

Where we might disagree is that I don’t think she is ruining the academically advanced students’ chance to go to S-university or advance in life. She is teaching them to think, not just answer questions is a prescribed way. How can that ruin a person.

I don't think that. The S-Girls are ruining their own chances. I just wish Injae would SHOW them that they are ruining their own chances at both S Univ and life. Elsewhere I said the girls will learn the hard way that they need more than good test scores to succeed in life. And, by success, I mean not just attaining elite status but true self-fulfillment and happiness.

I think we differ only on our assessment of her teaching efficacy. I think she's had enough time to accomplish more whereas you are more generous in your assessment. (And I'm glad you brought up the 3-year learning period. It's true.) But neither of us would have put Injae in that situation in the first place. I wouldn't set my teachers up for failure like that. And I would have quashed the S-Girls so fast.

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Yeah, Se Chan pointed that out to the other minion (can't remember his name). But these boys aren't going to get that point so easily.

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That was what was really sad about that line - maybe his home situation made him a little more prickly and sensitive than his peers as a child he just assumed all of school hated him, when they didn't hate him but was not as warm as it may be to an easily angered child.

And then he retaliated against this perceived threat and got real hate in return (which corresponded with how he felt the school felt about him)- like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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That's what I heard when the teachers, especially Injae (I think), said that perhaps the school didn't hate him but rather that the school might have hoped he'd become different. And that's what I meant by acting out. I know too many kids like Jungho. Heck, I grew up with one such, with whom every single approach earned me some misery or another. From toddlerhood. Gah.

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Perhaps I know too many schools and principals like Victory.

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Gah that scene where they ate quietly just got me. Nam soon kept shoveling food in his mouth to keep from crying. So good!

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And I do love the boys together when they're annoyed at Se Chan. These actors are fantastic with the subtle movements and looks. They are so great together, at both the happy and the sad moments, and the in between.

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i hope to see more ha-kyung and nam-soo here

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I actually think that Kang Joo suits both the boys...ha kyung does nothing for me....

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I don't mind that there aren't any romantic pairings so far since that's not the central focus for this drama. The fact that its doing so well without one goes to show that a Kdrama doesn't always need a story to be about love between a male and female protagonist to be successful.

What I'm disappointed about in Kdramas are 1) varied and well-written female characters, 2) the lack of good friendships/relationships/storylines between females. The bromance here is awesome, so touching it makes you remember them and want to come back for more. Not so much for the girls.

But if romantic pairings had to happen, I also think Kang Joo suits Nam Soo more. Ha Kyung as a character does nothing for me either. Objectively speaking and this is also a criticism on the writing of her character, not that she isnt having a hard time or doesn't deserve love, but I really don't see what is attractive about her character that would make either NS or HS fall in like with her. Not only that, but she doesn't have any excuse to treat KJ, her supposedly best friend, the way she does. If I were KJ, I would've dropped her friendship like a hot potato a few episodes ago.

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Oops IPhone typo...I meant 1) lack of varied and well-written female characters.

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"1) lack of varied and well-written female characters, 2) the lack of good friendships/relationships/storylines between females."

hah! I couldn't agree more! seems to be a universal problem in the world of TV and film but it's very obvious in kdrama
my heart loves the bromance, but my head says where are the girls?

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I like that there are diff. reasons behind the school's over achievers , though I really don't like the mean girl. Ha kyung is pressured by a goal of getting into Soul U , having a sweet mom telling her not to be bothered by it but acts otherwise. She also does not have this kind of goal the Minki has , of what she wants to do in life. She really needs a backstory more 'cause there are times when I don't understand her.
Minki on the other hand is pressured by his mom without even asking him what he wants. I like that he has a dream , that he tried to stand up against his mom . I like Minki but am afraid that his mom , the pressure , the current situation of his brother and his dream will lead him into suicide.
Lastly , I understand why the mean girl wants to straighten up the things regarding In Jae and Jung Ho , because in her own point of view I think they are distractions to her . Distractions in a way that they hinder (In Jae's teaching , Jung Ho being a nuisance) her in getting high grades for she worked hard for it without any resources or without any mom pressuring her. She is toooo much though , lashing it out on In Jae . She lacks consideration at times and most of the time just a selfish mean girl.

I love school ... I love the bromance but I guess I am in need more of Ha Kyung's back story ....

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I'm glad I'm not the only one getting a suicide vibe from Min-Ki. I really hope he doesn't. He's a good kid but his mom be crazy.

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Yea, I'm feeling that vibe too. I hope he doesn't turn into his brother.
To be honest, I really hate the mother. I don't think she cares what her kids think--almost like she wants them to have/live the dream that she never had. Sucky thing is, she need to realize her kids don't have the same dream as her.
I hope Minki can in the end stand up to his mom and make her realize she's making him crazy.

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Yeah, the mom's the biggest bully of them all. So she's top jjang then? :P

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There are all kinds of horribleness in high school, alas. And the troublemaking kids are the ones who take up so much of a teacher's time that if teacher's aren't careful, they ignore subtle implosions right under their eyes. I've been worrying for Min-ki and Ha-kyung for a while now. Troubled kids aren't easily seen when there are squeaky wheels like Jung ho making such noise.

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I got the suicide vibe from his mom more. That woman is crazy enough to commit suicide to ensure that Min-Ki will feel guilty and indebted to her for eternity.

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Actually, I now get the desperate vibe from her. In-Jae was amazingly, and inspiringly, kind to her. If Jung ho hadn't returned, and that business with the essays, perhaps she would've voted for in- jae to stay since injae promised to teach to help her concerns.

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But she's always been desperate. That hasn't changed. The only difference is that she's becoming more like Hakyung in not apologizing for it. Some day these kids, they're going to have to learn that you need more than a degree of S-Univ to live fulfilling lives. Things like human empathy.

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You're right, she needs to learn better behavior.

However, I feel like I understand that mean girl's crankiness and frustration more, not that I agree with it. I had the competitive vibe from her, but I didn't realize she felt so unsupported.

In comparison, I know Ha-kyung feels unsupported, but at the same time, she's got access to tutoring and anything else she wants to do to make things happen for herself. And Ha-Kyung's mum *does* interfere to make things work out for her more.

So, I guess my own empathy is kicking in, lol.

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Ah! Got it. Do you remember an earlier episode when the top girls tried to lure Ha-kyung with Sechan's secret trick book from the Hak-won? That scene clearly drove home for me that Ha-kyung's better off than the other girls. The girl said she had to go to a lot of trouble to get that book from a cousin, and I was so sad for them and their desperation for so many reasons.

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@anais, Yes, I remember that!

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lol, i just posted above how i think minki is a prime candidate for suicide without reading this comment. if it's a vibe we're all getting, maybe they would go there?

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This was one of my favorite episodes of this drama so far. Se-Chan has really become one of my favorite characters and I loved his confession at the end about In-Jae being the teacher he always wanted to be. And damn, when Nam-Soo was choking down his food holding back tears, got me in the feels.

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Se-chan stole this episode for me! I love In-jae's storyline too, but Se-chan really stepped it up in this episode. He's the voice of reasons, who would have thought so?

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I know, right?! Se-chan, the voice of reason?! I am amazed at his growth. At the beginning when he saw Nam-soon getting the daylights kicked out of him by Jung-ho, he did nothing. Now he is actively trying to keep Nam-soon and Heung-soo together. And the real kicker for me? He was the one who got through to Jung-ho!! He was able to see what it really was that upset Jung-ho. JH's friends and In-jae had a role as well, but it was Se-chan who had the biggest impact on Jung-ho this time. This just shows that Se-chan was once a good teacher and wants to be again; and Jung-ho wants to be a good kid, but just doesn't know how. This is the first time I have found myself rooting for the "villain".

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Aww. You didn't mention the part where HeungSoo actually turned around to see if NamSoon was following him and when he saw that NamSoon wasn't, it was like HeungSoo silently gave him permission. To me that was the part that really solidified the "love confession" that took place in the teacher's office before. Keekeee. :D I knew it was possible. Yes!!! Their relationship will never be as carefree as it was in middle school but I am confident they will be able to recover and use this pain to realize the depth of their importance to one another and use this new knowledge to further deepen their relationship.

This episode was so beautiful. (>_<)

Gah. I can't even focus on the teachers or JungHo storyline.

But I do worry for MinKi. The kid is so sweet and so caring. So wiling to sacrifice. Every shot of MinKi away from his mother is of him helping out other students. Usually giving last minute study sessions to the class clowns. :( Because School is so amazingly written in such a realistic manner and suicide is a HUGE problem in Korea, I do believe that his character will take drastic action soon. And I'm glad. His character deserves to be fleshed out more.

To wrap everything up: EXTENSION PLEASE.

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That's stepping into some seriously dark territory... not that we haven't been there already. Oh gosh, you guys are totally right... But does Minki really have to attempt suicide before his mom finally gets it? I'm struggling to think of how we can possibly have a somewhat happy ending, and how I can ever just be happy watching that bromance between Heungsoo and Namsoon, if Minki kills himself. Because I won't be able to. Minki, please just go run away from your mom or something like that... don't commit suicide.

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I think we may get a pretty serious attempt at suicide but I highly doubt that the writers will make it successful. Honestly I would feel too bad for the mother. I know that it sounds crazy. Pitying the mother who is forcibly putting their kids under all these stress and literally driving her kids insane? But it's not the mom that's the problem. It's the whole Korean system. The mother honestly truly has her kids best interest at her. She just wants her kids to be respected in the Korean value and unfortunately in Korean society the school brand is EVERYTHING. In Korea, there is no system of transfer. No surprises like in America where Cornell may reject you but Harvard takes you (not that Cornell is a bad school:P). And finally Korean society is really messed you the sense that they don't even acknowledge you as a person if you haven't attended a prestigious university. It becomes quite troublesome during marriage times.

Only a few people on here will understand the truth depth of this issue. Only then can you truly pity the mother and start to understand her goals evenif all her methods are terribly wrong and har,ful to the kids.

All in all, it was just a long way of me saving, please don't kill of MinKi writers. :( Just help him to "wake" his mother up and realize education doesn't mean happiness no matter what the society says.

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Maybe an attempted suicide? But really, I'd like Min-ki grandmother or someone senior in the family come in to calm things down.

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Minki's mom and other people like her ARE the society that create this problem. She's not separate from it in any way. In perpetuating these norms, she is part of the problem.

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It's not simple. I grew up with a parent similar to MinKi's mother and he did not understand until I was laying unconscious in a hospital bed from my suicide attempt. People try to be heard out but when nothing gets through it can lead to a really hopeless road.

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Laeah, I just wanted to say in all sincerity that I hear you.

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Me too, Laeah.

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and me - for so many reasons

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The thing about suicides is that they often come out of left field committed by someone off the radar. I'm wondering about the life expectancy of the very strong, very determined mean girl.

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I'm confused. is everyone sure it is bromance and not actually a gay romance developing between Heung-soo and nam soon? in this show

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This may be a guy thing. Maybe an Asian guy thing because me and my best friend are super tight. We're close knit. I mean there was one point where my parents asked me if I was gay because we hung out so much (and Asian parents be tripping bout homosexuality in general). Trust me though, the bromances that happens in dramas, when you're a guy watching Korean dramas like me it's like watching yourself hanging out with your bros.

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Are the girls in Asian culture intense like that with each other?

When I lived in Thailand, I saw men holding hands a lot over there. I thought it looked weird, but then, I'm not from that culture.

Also, are Asian cultures fairly segregated still? I sense a lot of traditionalism despite movies like Killer Girl K, with the insistence on age rank. And traditional cultures tend to have more intense friendships within the genders because that's who you see the most.

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Yes, even now, there's a lot of subtle and not so subtle gender division. There's even a saying that girls and boys ought to be apart starting at age 7. It's come down from ye olde Confucian Joseon times.

But I do think that modern western cultures tend to be more freaked out about overt show of affection between friends of the same sex. There are entire treatises about the intense same sex friendships that existed even as late as the early 20th century. Just recently, there was a photo monograph on male-male friendships, and even I was disconcerted by the physical intimacy of every single photograph. And there were lots of photos.

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Anaia, thank you for always answering my questions, :-). I truly appreciate it.

S the photo monograph was on Korean male - male friendships?

Also if NS and HS grew up together, it makes sense NS, who appears to have no home life, will hang with his hyung.

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The monograph was on 19th c. & early 20th c. Western male-male friendships. That's why my eyes bugged out. Koreans, I wouldn't have been so shocked.

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Actually I've been very amused tracking photographs of President Obama and Vice President Biden. I'm amazed how many of the photos show them touching--in socially acceptable ways of course, but way more than I've seen male public figures touch.

http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1197868.1352268722!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/lupica-obama.jpg

http://img.allvoices.com/thumbs/image/609/480/95205888-president-obama.jpg

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Yes, we are :-)
Me and my best friend used to hang around....very much the way Nam Soon and Heung-soo. I slept over at her home maybe three nights of the seven. I lived alone at that time.
We ate together...and because we went to different univ and later different job, we had time together after work and until morning. We would talk until late at night.
And the hugging or hand holding? We do them all. Even after this time, a very old me, when we meet, the hugging will be repeated as many as poss:-)
Her gran at one time did ask pintedly whether we are 'going out' as, you know, special friend (like a boyfriend-girlfriend type).
Nah, we are normal :-) We now both have families and girl, it does take time to bring them all together they way were because for the most part of last decade we live thousands mile apart.
So, yes, boys and girls in Asia can have that close (even closer than blood relation) ties. And no, it's not sexual.
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I have a close friend, here, in UK and we, one day, had to discuss my urge to touch her or to hold her hand and how it would be interpret here in the west. An urge...not that I ever do ti without her consent :-)
We had a good laugh about that different Asian-British perspectives.
She knows how dearly I think of her, and she allows me to hug her once in while :-D

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So, then I wonder: how will Heung-Soo's noona feel about Nam-soon living at their house, eating their food (that she probably works 3 jobs to provide) and probably getting Heung-soo into trouble? Because let's face it, Nam-soon's a bit of a catalyst.

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the 'love' between male best friends and female for that matter, often is stronger than family bonds, you see that theme pretty much in every Asian drama you likely to watch. In korea there are families where you are expected to always talk formally and you are certainly not encouraged to speak your mind or horror your real feelings. That what your school friends are for, you tell them what you never [not allowed too] speak about to your father or family, you even more shock actually call them by name!

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Thank you for your answer, that's really interesting, because as a mexican, in my country it's quite weird to see guys fighting like this and crying for each other, and basically hugging and being all lovey-dovey together. In girl/girl and girl/boy friendships it's common, but due to the mentality in my country being that close it's kinda weird in boy/boy friendships. At least with my guy friends, things like this would never happen, and if they did, it'd only be when they're drunk enough to not feel ashamed

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Yea, in Korean culture, guys (who are straight!) are very touchy and lovey-dovey. Even more-so than the girls with girls, at least where I'm from.

You should watch the BTS for this show. The guys (namely Jihoon, Yikung, Namsoon) are super lovey-dovey off-camera. xD

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Lol I'm going to look for them, because I unexpectedly fell in love with all of them :D they're so pretty and cute

And I'll have to ask my friend when she comes back from South Korea what she thinks about this

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Nah. I got more gay vibes between Frodo & Sam in Peter Jackson's films than in any kdrama bromance (though I was pretty sure it was a one-sided love between Yeo-rim & Geol-oh)

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