Drama Recaps
You’re the Best, Lee Soon-shin: Episode 9
by | April 10, 2013 | 65 Comments

More cuteness and pratfalls in this week’s episodes, which finally gets all its pieces in motion for the real story. Yes, we kicked off Operation: Make Soon-shin a Star a few episodes ago, but the relationships solidify with more of our core characters getting to know each other and setting the stage for lots of future development/interaction/conflict.

One of the reasons this show remains a breezy watch for me is that I’m liking all the pairings—there’s no fast-forwarding of boring siblings or annoying lovelines. I like each sister, and I like each of their romantic interests, and as we are in incipient stages for all of them it’s fun to watch the interactions unfold.


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Mom is increasingly bothered by the old photo she found of her husband with that Kyung-sook woman, who bears the same initials as the scarf wrapped around Abandoned Baby Soon-shin. Her suspicions are whirling, so she ends up going to her husband’s friend, Chicken Ajusshi, to ask about her.

Chicken Ajusshi has the worst poker face ever—in that he looks like he got caught for murdering Kyung-sook rather than just knowing her—and stammers that she was just a first love. She grew up at the orphanage in their old neighborhood, and Dad had felt sorry for her and been her oppa. He’s not very convincing about this being the end of the story, but he doesn’t give up any more information.

At the gym, Soon-shin is starstruck to be introduced to Mi-ryung, the big movie star who’s probably well on her way to becoming Soon-shin’s idol. Mi-ryung finds her appealing, which makes Jun-ho puff up in pride to have his protegé deemed satisfactory. Especially in the presence of Yeon-ah, who joins them in the Only Gym In Seoul.

He leaves Soon-shin with orders to exercise every morning—and to send him a confirmation photo from the gym—then joins the actresses for coffee. It cracks me up that Jun-ho thinks he’s being so impressive showing off his new, soon-to-be-improved charge to Yeon-ah, while Yeon-ah finds the whole thing amusing. It’s like a guy thinking he’s a badass while a girl thinks, “Aw, adorable.”

But surprise surprise, Mi-ryung actually believes that Soon-shin has real potential—she’s got a spark of something—and praises Jun-ho for his keen eye. He actually accepts her praise like he deserves it, ha.

Yeon-ah tells Mi-ryung that Jun-ho’s going to make Soon-shin her rival within six months. He declares that he and his Midas touch will make it happen.

At work, Yoo-shin steps into the elevator, and that triggers a flashback to the drunken night with Chan-woo, when they’d stumbled into one… then drank more beer in the hotel room… and she’d barfed in his lap.

Ha! So they didn’t sleep together after all. Yoo-shin now recalls how he tucked her in to sleep and she’d mumbled at him, “Yerrrr cute.” Phew on the one-night-stand scare, but that also makes her cringe for her cavalier reaction and how she’d insisted she wasn’t into him at all. At least she feels bad about it. Not that retroactive compunction heals wounds, but it would be harder to watch Chan-woo’s kicked-puppy face if Yoo-shin were totally uncaring.

He ignores her calls, so she heads over to the clinic in person. But he treats her with aloofness and leaves her hanging to tend to a patient, to her puzzlement.

With Kyung-sook weighing on her mind, Mom heads to the old neighborhood and inquires at the orphanage. The records are decades old and there’s no information on Kyung-sook’s whereabouts after leaving at 19. The director agrees to ask around to see if there are any contacts who might know what happened to her, but she cautions Mom not to get her hopes up: Most orphans are keen on cutting ties with the orphanage once they leave.

At the restaurant, Young-hoon finally gets the staff dinner he’d tried to hold previously, and to make him even more sweet, he makes sure to include food that fits into Soon-shin’s diet plan.

Snippy waiter Jae-bum wonders why the boss is always extra-nice to Soon-shin, and gets the question turned around on him: Why’s Jae-bum so mean? Ha, and then that leads to a round of Do you liiiiiike her?, which he vociferously protests. He complains that the boss only cares about Soon-shin, disregarding Jae-bum . Aw, when you put it that way, it actually makes me like him—Jae-bum works hard and looks up to the boss, only to get passed over for the clumsy new hire. He’s the Yoo-shin of the restaurant family.

Soon-shin smooths things over by flattering Jae-bum, thanking him for helping her, and Jae-bum preens. Heh.

At the agency, secretary In-sung is busily coming up with ideas to make Soon-shin into a star, like orchestrating a heroic subway rescue. They’re terrible ideas, but at least he’s trying.

Jun-ho: “Is that all?” In-sung: “Yes!” Jun-ho: “Don’t you ever think you’re getting paid too generously?” In-sung: *pouty face*

In-sung honestly wonders why his boss picked Soon-shin, adding that she didn’t even check in from the gym today. Now that gets Jun-ho’s goat, and he calls her immediately.

Soon-shin has taken a personal day because Mom has taken ill after her upsetting orphanage outing. The family assumes that she’s working herself too hard and Soon-shin tends to her, only to have irritable Mom snap at her to leave her alone and go to work.

When Jun-ho calls Soon-shin, he barks at her to get ready to go hiking. He literally recoils when she shows up in old sweats, whereas he’s decked out like a catalogue model, scolding her for her lax attitude. He launches into this whole spiel about “TPO” (time, place, occasion) about how important it is to dress the part…

…a point that is immediately countermanded by the way Jun-ho gasps his way up the hiking trail while Soon-shin zooms by easily.

I can actually see his reasoning, because Soon-shin appears to neglect all his instructions and that comes across as a sign of a lazy work ethic. Of course, we can see that she mostly disregards his instructions because they’re absurd, but her lack of urgency (or perhaps more to the point, lack of awe at his authority) strikes him as problematic.

Spoiled brat Yi-jung enjoys a massage at a spa and moons over the way Chan-woo paid for her bar tab the other night. Okay, I’m not disagreeing with her statement that he’s cool… but I am going to note that finding a guy awesome because he was disdainful of you doesn’t exactly indicate strong judge of character.

Yi-jung’s idea of dealing with cancelled credit cards is to hide out in her favorite hotel. Because that’s free, yunno. Mom calls in a warning to leave asap because Dad’s headed over to find her. Sure enough, he grabs a hold of her while she yelps in protest, then turns her begging eyes on Mi-ryung, who enters the lobby.

Dr. Shin is typically cold toward Mi-ryung and tells her there’s no need for her interference, but Mi-ryung points out that he could at least let Yi-jung try at her goal. Give it a try, because clearly she’s so determined to pursue acting that telling her no won’t deter her.

Back to hiking. Jun-ho insists he’s (gasp gasp) totally fine and not having (huff pufff) any trouble, and invents a new lesson just because he needs an excuse to slow Soon-shin down: “Getting to the peak is important, but so is the process.” Yeah, and I’d say she’s kicking your ass at both.

He asks her about her name and likes the meaning behind it—it’s a reminder to believe in herself—but informs her that she’ll need to pick a stage name. She doesn’t like that idea, protesting that her parents picked that name for her, which he dismisses by saying he’ll ask her father for his permission. Dad’s dead, she tells him, and at least he seems to feel like a little bit of a jerk for talking so insensitively.

Soon-shin tells him calmly that she’s going to live with the name her father will remember. That’s that.

They continue hiking, but pretty soon Jun-ho is staggering on shaking legs (and Soon-shin cheekily invites him to join her on her gym sessions). He goes tumbling at one point, and somebody should really start a running tally of how many times Jun-ho trips in her presence. And by “somebody” I mean anybody less lazy than me.

Soon-shin helps him up, but then he trips on a tree root and falls ON her. Ha, even she points out that he falls every time they meet, and they break apart nervously.

Moving on to the bakery, Bread Man Jin-wook finds himself smiling at the thought of Hye-shin. Who, by the way, strolls by with Woo-joo just then. But Jin-wook’s face falls to see a man jogging up to them—it’s Chan-woo dropping by for a friendly hello, but as far as he knows it’s Rude Husband.

Woo-joo sees Jin-wook peering out at them like a crazy man and heads over to the bakery, ostensibly to buy Grandma a sweet bun but really to deliver a pint-sized setdown. (Their interactions are so cute.) And when Jin-wook asks if that guy is her father, she’s sharp enough to pick up on his interest and lies that yup, he is, and he’s a doctor too. And then they stick out their tongues at each other as Woo-joo leaves.

Hye-shin asks Chan-woo what’s up with him and her sister, admitting that she’d always assumed the two would end up dating. He all but admits he’d like that, but that Yoo-shin is the one who isn’t interested.

By the time the hikers get back down the mountain, Jun-ho’s struggling with a limp, ha. When Soon-shin asks if they’re going hiking again tomorrow, his eyes bug out at that horrifying thought before he covers up hurriedly, “Today was special training!” Ha.

He gets home to the confusing news that his father has withdrawn his objections to letting Yi-jung act. That makes no sense to him, and furthermore, Mi-ryung has offered to coach her with acting lessons? What is up?

A flashback between Dr. Shin and Mi-ryung fills in the blanks for us: She offers to help Yi-jung start her acting career, but clarifies that she’ll make sure to steer Yi-jung toward giving up. That’s what Dr. Shin wants, right? Well, trying to stop her before she begins will only fuel her insistence. They have to let her start before getting her to give up on the idea. Good ol’ fashioned case of reverse psychology.

Mom’s wracked with doubts over her husband’s fidelity, and tearily asks a photo of Dad, “Tell me it isn’t you.” So when she gets a call from the orphanage putting her into contact with one of Kyung-sook’s old friends, she heads right over to meet the woman.

The old friend explains growing up with Kyung-sook at the orphanage, but losing touch after Kyung-sook married young and moved to the States. Mom asks about a possible baby, and although the woman says she never heard anything about a child, her response is suspiciously awkward.

Sure enough, as soon as Mom leaves, the friend makes a call to Manager Hwang to tip him off. He’s unnerved to hear that the stranger asked about a child, but the woman assures him that it didn’t appear to be a reporter.

At the restaurant, Young-hoon checks in on Soon-shin and offers her a meal (made healthy for her diet), since he knows she’s not eating well these days. Gah, he’s just too sweet. I know it’s dramaland sweet, as in too-good-to-be-real sweet, but as he’s a character in dramaland this bothers me not at all.

Soon-shin practically drools, then tucks in to her burger. I fully expect Jun-ho to swoop in to snatch it away, so mostly I’m nervously yelling at Soon-shin to eat faster. She takes a bite… and HA, Jun-ho appears suddenly to confiscate it, complaining, “Hyung, don’t feed her!”

He’s here to hand her an address—she’s to begin acting lessons—and steals her food for good measure. Though it does sting a lot less when he has to limp away like an old man and she bursts into laughter. He barks, “Don’t laugh!”

Yoo-shin tries again to talk to Chan-woo, who’s still avoiding her, and orders him to meet her at the neighborhood bakery. Reluctantly he joins her there… and Bread Man recognizes Doctor Daddy with a bit of a huff. Oh, I see where this is going; the misunderstanding is tickling my funny bone and it hasn’t even happened yet.

Chan-woo’s aloof, and she asks why he’s being so prickly: “If we didn’t sleep together, you should have said so!” Bread Man snaps to attention, all incredulous ears.

She apologizes for her mistake, but it’s in a flippant way that doesn’t match the seriousness of Chan-woo’s hurt, and he remains stiff as ever. He tells her he understands her feelings and that there’s nothing to apologize for. He stalks off, she chases him out shouting his name, and Bread Man works himself into a tizzy wondering what he should do about this.

Yoo-shin catches up to Chan-woo asking why he can’t accept her apology, and finally he bursts out, “Because I like you! That’s why it makes me angry — that I like you, but that’s all I amount to for you!” Thank goodness for that bit of truth. Not that I haven’t understood his silence thus far, but too much more of that would’ve gotten frustrating.

Mom arrives home that night, and Grandma starts scolding her for having so much time on her hands to flit around. Yes, because vacating the house means Mom is being useless and frivolous, right? Get back in the kitchen, woman! So Grandma tells Mom to look for the hit and run driver instead, reminding her what an amazing and devoted husband she had.

Soon-shin arrives at Mi-ryung’s address and is led inside the futuristic compound, marveling all the while, and that’s before Mi-ryung makes her elegant entrance. Yi-jung pops in too, ready for her acting lesson, but Mi-ryung turns first to welcome Soon-shin with a smile.


As I said up top, I’m glad to find myself enjoying each sister’s storyline, which is something I definitely don’t take for granted in these long family shows. It’s particularly nice since each sister offers up a different angle on the whole dating rigamarole: one’s the divorced mother who’s rediscovering her identity as a single person; one’s the marriage-eschewing modern woman who seems to be headed for the realization that traditional romance may not be so horrible after all; and the last has a hilarious dork of a boss whose ego she can deflate with amusing ease. We’re headed for reversals galore (always fun), and each of the men has his own charm. Maybe even more than their counterparts in some cases.

As for Soon-shin’s birth secret: I’m of the opinion that Dad isn’t the bio-dad, and was actually surprised when the show introduced that possibility because it honestly hadn’t crossed my mind. I’d just assumed he was the nice oppa stepping in for Mi-ryung, who found herself in a bad situation. Granted he could still end up being bio-dad, but because infidelity was Mom’s first guess, it actually suggests to me that the truth is something different. It wouldn’t be a drama if the first assumption were the truth, right?

The existence of birth secrets in family dramas is one of those things I suspect may have people rolling their eyes, but funny enough, it’s an element I have no trouble with. In makjang series and revenge thrillers, I get tired of the birth secret as a convenient plot device, but in a slice-of-life family drama, oddly enough, I just accept it.

Maybe it’s because this is just a thing that happens in Korean families? I can only draw upon my own experiences so I don’t speak for the society at large, but I have seen several (yup, plural) birth secret instances in my extended family, and it just seems like a normal part of the fabric of life. The adults decide upon a course of action (in this drama’s case, adopting an orphan) and rather than deal with all the explanations required by that situation, they decide that they’ll just create a new truth. For whatever reason, they seem to believe they can hide the real story forever… and I sure as heck am not going to be the one to thwart their intentions by saying something. It’s not my secret to reveal. Generations roll on. Just my two cents on the issue.

The orphan past does explain a lot about Mi-ryung’s character, which has this conflicting duality of maternal desire versus a suppression of said desires. It’s why she looks fondly on Yeon-ah and admits to envy of mother-daughter pairs, but also forcibly tells others—and more importantly, herself—that the sacrifices she has made to get this far in her career are worth it. That the blood, sweat, and tears have meaning at the end of the road. Because without that fierce denial layered over her inner feelings (I assume she HAS inner feelings), she’d probably be overcome with regrets. Ironic, then, that her own beleaguered past as an orphan is the one legacy she passed on to her child.

It’s why I look forward to the fallout that’s sure to come once Soon-shin finds out Mi-ryung is her mother. Right now she looks at her with those glowing eyes of adoration, and I can see the two of them striking up a close bond as they work together. But when Soon-shin realizes her own origin story, we’re heading for a major shakedown.


65 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. June

    Thanks for the recap!~

    Chicken Ajusshi is way too suspicious – he breaks out in a weird, nervous sweat everytime he sees Mi-ryung.

    Hmm. Methinks this is very suspicious indeed.

    • 1.1 h311ybean

      Maybe *he’s* the dad! So Soon-shin can’t end up with Chan-woo because they’re actually half-siblings!

      (I don’t want Dad to turn out to be bio-dad because that would really warp Mom’s relationship with Soon-shin. The kid needs all the support she can get in that family!)

      • 1.1.1 slfowie

        That’s what i thought!!But wonder who the father is going to be. If the chicken guy is the father then somehow i think the wife will be feeding press stories…. But i really hope the father is someone else!

        • pabo ceo reom

          Always a possibility but I’m not buying into that yet. If anything, I hope that isn’t the twist because….just no.

          On the other hand,

          One of the reasons this show remains a breezy watch for me is that I’m liking all the pairings—there’s no fast-forwarding of boring siblings or annoying lovelines. I like each sister, and I like each of their romantic interests, and as we are in incipient stages for all of them it’s fun to watch the interactions unfold.


          P.S. It’s funny how desensitized I am to birth secrets. Although they do exist in real life, once you start watching dramas you start to think everyone has a birth secret.

      • 1.1.2 DramaCrazy

        I’ve been thinking chicken ajusshi might be bio-dad. That would be awesome, because it would make Chan Woo’s statement that he IS Soon Shin’s real oppa totally true, and I’d love that.

        It would make things awkward for the still bratty middle sister. She and Chan-Woo would have no blood tie, but still, getting involved with your adopted sister’s real half brother is a little messy, so I’m guessing that won’t be the case, which is a disappointment to me.

        As for birth secrets- they don’t make me roll my eyes.

        One of my best friends learned in her late teens that her older sister was actually her mother and her mom and dad were actually her grandparents.

        We have two birth ‘secrets.’ My husband learned as an adult that his mom had another baby after he was born and gave that baby up. He’d always thought he was the macknae of the family.

        We adopted two kids, and ten years later were told some information about them that totally contradicted what we’d been told before. It’s very complicated, awkward, messy, difficult info to deal with, and there are siblings we never knew about too- and since we’d been telling our kids the story we first heard and believed from the beginning, we just really haven’t known how to switch gears. They still don’t know it all, although after several years of stewing about it we finally settled on letting them know there is something we learned about their birth family later that is hard to deal with, when they are ready to hear it, let us know and we’ll share.

        So, yeah, birth secrets do not seem out of left field to me.

        • SuzieQ

          “I’ve been thinking chicken ajusshi might be bio-dad. That would be awesome, because it would make Chan Woo’s statement that he IS Soon Shin’s real oppa totally true, and I’d love that.”

          Exactly my thoughts. I hope this is how it plays out.

    • 1.2 Jenny

      I don’t think chicken ahjusshi is the dad but I do think he knows the truth behind Soo Shin. I actually think it could be Dr. Shin…..

      • 1.2.1 Saturtledaisy

        But wouldn’t that mess things up with our main loveline? But I guess Dr. Shin as the possible father will probably come up to create faux-cest angst?
        Well, I kindof hope that won’t happen.

        • Jenny

          That’s true…but my honest thought is though that her adoptive dad is her bio-dad- He met his first love again (Kyung Sook) maybe before she had become a star and had a brief affair that lead to Soo Shin??

      • 1.2.2 MsScorpion

        I don’t think it can be Dr. Shin, he’s Jun-Ho’s dad!

        • Moko

          That would be so aweful, if he would be…yak!
          If he would be an old lover, she would react differently.
          It rather feels like he had a major crush on her and she did something mean and that’s why he’s like a sissy to her.

          Also she’s an actress and a woman with class. I don’t think she would like the chicken man, seriously! We need someone she could like and admire…

  2. dduk

    YAY thanks for the recap! I’m loving this series so far!

    And I hope to see you tom.!…. wow. i never thought I would get to say that lol.

  3. Enz

    Thanks for your thoughts on the common theme of brith secrets in Korean dramas. It doesn’t bother me but I did wonder at how much of it is a reflection of real life. In any case, it seems that its not limited to Korea! Although the one I know of in Malaysia wasn’t much of a secret coz the child was of a mixed race! So one couldn’t possibly hide the fact!

    I have yet to catch these two episodes but looking forward to it.

  4. crazedlu

    yaaay. i was pretty bummed about the no recap on monday and tuesday, but i looked to the list of dramas airing to the right and saw that they have weak shows airing wednesdays and thursdays, so i figured recaps for soonshin would show today. run. on. sentence. anyways, woooohoo. much thanks. ~

  5. KDaddict

    I gave up watching after ep 2. But the recap on this ep convinces me to try it again. Thx.

  6. Kate

    Thanks for the recap!

  7. Mia

    Yay! been waiting for this! Thank you!
    I love all three sisters. Can’t wait ^^

  8. Rashell

    Yay! So glad you’re still recapping this one. It’s so cute!

  9. adorable

    Thanks for the recaps! I like how soon shin and joon ho are so awkward and not perfect in front of one another. It’s so real and relatable.

    • 9.1 picklemonster

      That’s one of the prominent reasons of why I love this show. It’s so easy to sympathize with Soon-Shin, because I’m sure all of us have felt insignificant, beaten down, and unappreciated once in our life time. This drama makes one discover their self-worth in a way that tugs at your heartstrings.

      I just wish the subs would come out faster, because despite it being a popular family drama, it doesn’t seem to be on subbers’ priorities list. =(

  10. 10 Mommai

    On the birth parents thing, I wonder why they keep it a secret? My Filipino friend who was raised by her grandma found out her “aunt” was her birth mother I think in her teenage years. Both of my siblings were adopted as newborns, but we’ve always told them so. My family mostly has everything out in the open, but maybe that is more of an American thing?

    • 10.1 MariD

      The birth secret happens in every culture I think. In my family we had two. My aunt remarry & they chose to not tell the child ( who was a baby at the time) that dad#2 was not real dad. Boy was there drama later in life when Dad#1 came back in the picture.

      • 10.1.1 thorned sakura

        yes, most asian countries tend to hide adoption or treat is as an open secret…just saying

  11. 11 DayDreamer

    Javabeans, you actually kinda shocked me that birth secrets the plural can happen outside dramaland, lol. But I also feel the same here…birth secret in a slice-of-life story is tolerable because it isn’t played up for super dramatic effect as it is in makjangs.

    I also agree on the bit where Soon Shin is coming off as lazy in Jun Ho’s perspective. But I also think she’s being too lackadaisical about the whole being an actress thing. I mean, she’s not too concerned about her image which Jun Ho’s trying hard to develop; she’s still calling all the shots by taking a day off without informing her boss (it’s rather unprofessional); and she appears so half-hearted about the whole thing. I can only envision Jun Ho being super frustrated over this in future episodes.

    • 11.1 DayDreamer

      Forgot to add…that’s a nice song by IU; she’s a good singer.

      • 11.1.1 kopytko

        Actually, I like it that LSS doesn’t concentrate on her image so much. Maybe I am living in the wrong era, but dieting an weraring appropriate clothes has in fact nothing to do with acting per se, it’s a part of being a celebrity. But then again, I don’t know how reliable are the subs I use and what was the actual goal – to make her known or make her good.

    • 11.2 anvesha

      Yea, she’s not serious about acting, a fact Jun Ho hasn’t realized yet. And although it’s funny to see him unable to get the upperhand, as a boss, I can see why he would see her as lazy.

  12. 12 snow_white

    loved the episode…..every bit of it….

    I already guessed that nothing happened between yoo-shin and chan woo….

    Jo Jung Suk, Go Joo Won and IU are fantastic….in fact everyone..


  13. 13 wits

    I’m still loving YTBLSS. The new Wed-Thurs dramas are admittedly awesome-r, but this drama is akin to comfort food on a cold, stormy evening. It gives you that warm, cozy feeling…and… allows you to sleep at night, heh!

  14. 14 bebeswtz

    I know that this might be asking for a bit too much, but I was wondering if Dramabeans is able to pass this message along for me to your dear jolly friend, Mr. Santa:
    Dear Santa,
    I do know this is a bit early as there is still a bit of time left before Christmas 2013 is here, but would it be too rude of me to put in a request for my Christmas gift this year instead of having the elements of surprise and anticipation for what you’ve prepared for me? If it isn’t too much, my small request of a Christmas gift is just simply this: Mr. CAFE Owner, Young-hoon, nicely tucked in and wrapped up in a boxed and shipped over with a pretty red bow on top to boot n.n That is all I ask of and will never be greedy for anything else ever again, please and thank you, Mr. SANTA.


    Bebeswtz, faithful Dramabeans fan and reader

    P.S. Please do not forget to punch out some air holes so that Mr. CAFE Owner doesn’t die of suffocation on his way here, please and thank you!!!!
    P.P.S. Apologies for any spelling errors, as I am typing this up on my phone

    • 14.1 DayDreamer


    • 14.2 MariD

      Excuse me??? I believe I place my claim on Oppa weeks ago. 🙂
      I hate to sound like a child, but I saw him first!!!!

  15. 15 DanyDanyBobany

    Thank you for the recap! I love Bread Man and I just enjoy immensely every time Jun-ho falls. I adore that he is always tripping, I like the character.

  16. 16 mongoose

    JJS is doing a great job with the physical comedy. There’s a lot of flailing about that you have to watch to see in this ep during the hike up the mountain. My favorite part is actually right *after* the awkward fall on Soon Shin happens. Jun Ho is walking up the mountain with dual hiking sticks, which he drops while falling; as Soon Shin gets up, she picks up the stick next to her and hastily tosses it to Jun Ho, who makes this utterly failed grab at the stick as it sails past him. The fidgeting they both do is hilarious.

    • 16.1 adorable

      Me too. The fidgeting. Hehe.

  17. 17 singingzombies

    The whole part about the secret birth thing not being that weird actually does resonate with me more than I realize. (Because I do eye-roll at that plot device) I’m Chinese, not Korean but my family has its fair share of weird stories now that I think about it.

    I have a cousin who isn’t blood-related to me. (Her parents traded newborn children with another couple since one pair wanted a boy and the others wanted a girl, and so they traded once the genders were confirmed) As far as I know, the whole family knows but my cousin doesn’t.

    My great grandma died never knowing her daughter passed on before her. Everyone said she ran off to the US and was a terrible correspondent. It always bothered me that she died pissed at her daughter for never visiting or calling just because no one would tell her the truth.

    But heck, I guess that’s family.

    • 17.1 thorned sakura

      i know how you feel!!! in my family alone, we have 1 rape, 2 divorces, 2 messy adoptions, and countless in-law feuds which i guess is normal for those with extended families–though not so much with the rape. and all of that are open secrets, so virtually everyone knows but noone talks to it tot the parties involved.

      if I sequence all that’s happening in my family, it will probably make for 1 angsty melodrama worth 50+ episodes!lol

  18. 18 MariD

    I love this show.. It’s just cuteness overload…
    All the sister stories are hilarious..
    Bread ajusshi is just hilarious, how many misunderstandings can he and older sister have?
    Middle sister, I hope hot doctor completly gives you the runaround. That way you can admit you like him, and that he is a great guy.
    Soon-Shin, I just love ( it could be cause I adore IU), I’m just waiting for her “becoming a star” project to really begin.

  19. 19 rheina07

    Whenever I read this, my heart always tells me to start watching it!

    But, hey – it’s family drama that wont last only for 20 eps!!! T.T

  20. 20 epuda

    Isn’t today you all are meeting up today? mmmm…may not be 11th April there but here in Melbourne it is nearly 4p.m of the 11th!! have a blast! will be thinking of you all lucky ones!!

  21. 21 exquisitemelody

    loving this show! I’m actually finding myself more invested in the sister’s lives than the main character (especially the eldest).

    The only thing I find myself fastforwarding is the grandmother – I can’t stand her! She’s so irritating!

  22. 22 Steph

    Hmm I felt that from the beginning it wasn’t his daughter. When he questioned mi ryung, he didnt seem to identify soon shin as his. He already had a few kids and his wife never saw her. She was just an old flame. I can’t really point out a strong enough reason but i have major feels that dad is not bio dad. And so far, everything in this drama has been predictable so I don’t expect things to turn out otherwise.

  23. 23 PatBingSu

    Young Hoon is SO CUTE!!! I wish he was the lead in dramas more! Absolutely loved him in Hello Miss.

  24. 24 dramaddict

    sorry being pretty random here.but,

    is it just me or kim gab soo does look like big bang t.o.p?

    i dunno,i just have this thought every time he appears while watching this drama

  25. 25 Serena B

    I have to laugh at the birth secret issue. But then I thought, well, birth secrets probably *are* fairly common, and probably not only in Korean families. Heck, my immediate family has a doozy of one….no….make that two. So…yeah, it happens in real life. Either that or my real life is just like a soap opera. 😉

  26. 26 simon

    *aaaaaaaah* Thank the forest spirits for happy weekend shows. I’m already looking forward to eps 11 and 12 to get me over my Appa-Gumiho shaped heart. *casts weary glance at calendar where Wednesday is marked “DOOM”* … -_-

    Birth secrets. Interesting. In my family and all the families I know there aren’t really any secrets, but rather down-right bollywoodesque DRAMA. With children being giving away (to other families, orphanages, whatever) due to poverty, or being thrown out for marrying the “wrong” person, or sons breaking off contact with their family – only to fatefully meet them again … at his mother’s deathbed … with his preggy wife in the next room … and such. *yeah* Real life’s one big K-drama, if you stop to think about it. 😉

    • 26.1 jubilantia

      Oh god, right? Poor Gumiho Dad! I’m still excited for that drama, though.

      Dude, your family sounds crazy awesome. You should write a book (or a drama!). I love my family, but as far as I know, there are no birth secrets.

      • 26.1.1 simon

        Hoihoi. Here’s still clinging to the desperate hope that mommy ‘n’ daddy are somehow going to get their happy ending belatedly. Pwetty pwease? *.* (Hope the rest is going to be just as awesome as the intro.)

        My Family … Book? … but there’d be no gumihos or magic butterflies or demons in it. Boowring *hm* I guess I could manage flowers and peaches, though. 😉
        Judging by what I’m reading in the other comments, though, secrets and quarrels of all kind seem like the norm. So, you’re the lucky one, if your family is normal (or maybe that’d be “abnormal”? ^^; ). Cheers.

        • jubilantia

          No, we’ve got puh-lenty of drama, just no birth secrets. My sister is separated from her husband after a year of marriage, my dad’s sisters are always at each other throats, and estranged from their stepmom, you know. Pretty usual stuff. Oh, families. Gotta love ’em.

  27. 27 J

    OMG yea, now that i think about it, birth secret isn’t all to uncommon in my own families. There’s adoption story, one of my aunt let her baby girl #3 be adopted by her in-laws because the latter couldn’t bear a child, and one of my cousin was literally delivered to our family’s door to adopt because her birth parents had too many girls and cannot afford another one anymore. So, yeah, much like kdrama without the overwrought angst and drumming backsound lol

  28. 28 Christina

    I really like how the actor is portraying Junho so far. The holier than thou attitude juxposed with his physical awkwardness and private pep talks makes me laugh.

  29. 29 reeen

    If Soon Shin does become a star, I bet her success will be exactly because of those qualities which Jun-Ho has a hard time with. The fact that she has her own ideas which she defends against his interference (like keeping her name) and being natural (what seems to be mistaken as ‘ordinariness’) are what make her appealing. It’ll be funny if she becomes famous DESPITE Jun-Ho’s Midas touch…

  30. 30 Abbie

    Jun-ho is easily turning out to be one of my favorite drama characters ever. He’s just so outrageously ridiculous, always tripping over himself, I just love him.

    I like where this show is heading. Love all the characters. Even starting to like Yoo-shin.

    Thanks for the recap, Javabeans!

  31. 31 Lizzy4e

    Birth Secrets: In our family four children were split among 2 households; when the oldest brother (9) would visit the youngest brother (4) he whisper in his ear “you’re my brother”. There was no way of keeping this a secret!

    The two adopting households both divorced and the x wife of one household married the x husband of the other household so the youngest brother was raised by two people who were not related to him by blood at all.

    It is all so “Jerry Springer esqe”.

    Thanks for the recap. I am enjoying the show…wish it got subbed a bit faster but I do prefer quality over speed.

    Jun-ho is so cute in his dorkieness, poor thing, always trying to impress Soon Shin with his greatness and always falling short.

  32. 32 ck1Oz

    I loved ep 9 and really laughed a lot at it.

    However some of the readers’ birth secret stories are kind of startling. There are so many variations. I just thought there would be adoption stories. Full stop.

  33. 33 Jaengnas

    I Wanna say See you today tooooooooooo

  34. 34 boobae

    Thanks for reviewing a weekend drama. I didn’t think you guys would be interested in these long series.

    I read that this series is very popular in North Korea. My question is who in North Korea can watch this series? Can anyone watch this on the airwaves or only the elites with their 80″ big screen watch this? How do all those starving citizens feel seeing IU gobbling down that burger?

  35. 35 TD

    my gosh, all these birth secrets wow. but you’re all taking it well so that’s relieving.

    and i just like this drama, i dunno.. i tend to avoid dramas like this, but i just like the two main leads. and IU is just adorable, she’s acting her scenes well, the sad emotion, the happy emotions, and i just adore Jo jung Suk, i’m happy he is finally the lead, and his character just makes me laugh.

  36. 36 Ilikemangos

    Agree with you JB on the birth secrets.
    I may be rolling my eyes at the birth secrets but its not all that bad in family dramas as long as its not used as a plot device, like you mentioned.
    it’s not all that unrealistic either, since I hear of talk about a cousin that’s not a cousin or a grandma that’s possibly not my grandma. Its just a bit overdone in kdramas and I hope this show won’t make it such a huge deal.

  37. 37 Ilikemangos

    Agree with you JB on the birth secrets.
    I may be rolling my eyes at the birth secrets but its not all that bad in family dramas as long as its not used as a plot device, like you mentioned.
    it’s not all that unrealistic either, since I hear of talk about a cousin that’s not a cousin or a grandma that’s possibly not my grandma. Its just a bit overdone in kdramas and I hope this show won’t make it such a huge deal.

  38. 38 YChase007

    I truly adore this story and all it’s characters. I’m on pins and needles waiting for all the awesome to unfold.

  39. 39 jubilantia

    Wait wait, birth secrets actually happen? Frequently enough that you know multiple cases? Wow, I thought it was just some crazy Korean-soap-opera type plot device. Of course, maybe there are birth secrets in American culture, but I just don’t know about them. If you don’t mind me asking, what are the circumstances of the birth secrets in your family? (If you can say it without giving too much away. Obviously I completely understand if you can’t.)

    I don’t mind the birth secret too much in this drama, unless it turns out that Dad is Bio-Dad. Since the whole theme of this one is exploring identity and coming into yourself as a person, a birth secret is actually an interesting way of solidifying that message, rather than something made up in the third act.

    I’m also excited for all the sisters- I love each set of interactions in different ways. Besides the main couple, I think the antics of Baker Ahjusshi continue to be my favorite.

  40. 40 Leslie

    All hail for the beta hero! On paper, Junho is definitely an alpha hero but after a couple of episodes, you almost forget about his ceo background. Kinda reminds of the guy from Smile who was also hilariously clumsy.

  41. 41 Lilian

    The worst part is the birth secret but I am still watching because I love most of the main characters. As for the guys, Chan Woo is my fav so far!!! I can’t wait for him to finally get Yoo Shin. I think they made for a hot pair. But it will be hard to top the sizzling chemistry present in Queen In Hyun’s Man.

  42. 42 Meow

    Gyaaa this episode so interesting. IU so cute! Younghoon is handsome😊😛😅ㅋㅋㅋㅋ

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