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Master’s Sun: Episode 5

It’s a good day to be Taeyang, with two handsome men rushing to her side to offer up their bodies to guard, shield, protect, and/or be manhandled at will. One comes at a steep price (per body part, ahem), while the other comes with mysterious strings attached. Ain’t nuthin’ in this world for free, sister.

 
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EPISODE 5 RECAP

As Gong-shil cringes in terror at the horde of ghosts coming at her from the accident ahead, Joong-won swoops in with a ghost-poofing hug to save the day. After she’s had a proper swoon, he lets go, but she’s still hanging on with both hands. It’s pretty great.

So he scowls and then takes her hand (aww) to lead her away. They get far enough away that he thinks they’re in the clear, so she lets go, only to reach for his hand again like habit. She apologizes, “My hands just keep reaching for your body.” Ha.

He says he’s no bag of shrimp chips, for her to be stuffing her face with just because her hands keep reaching for more. Lol. She agrees that he’s much pricier than shrimp chips, and adds a sincere thank you for not being so mad at her as to keep his body away. He reminds her that he priced her worth at 10 billion won, and warns her not to overstep her ghost-radar bounds.

He tells her to report for her official position at work tomorrow, since he’s arranged a job, and Gong-shil is ecstatic at the idea of a real (salaried, full-time) job, which she hasn’t been able to hold down ever since her accident.

She’s giddy at the thought, and then immediately asks if her salary will really be docked every time she touches him. He names different parts of his body like a skinship menu, and tells her she’s already spent her entire month’s salary tonight. Haha.

He says she needs to choose wisely when to touch him and save it for those occasions when she’s truly terrified, because he’s that one and only person in her life who can make the ghosts disappear. Aw, you love that you’re her special snowflake, don’t you?

She points out that technically, she’s his one and only connection to Hee-joo, but he refuses to let them be on the same plane of specialness.

At home, Joong-won mulls over the hugging and handholding, and decides he priced himself too low. Gong-shil, meanwhile, reenacts the scene with her stuffed kitty, ending in hug after hug, as she tallies up the cost.

For today’s Ghost of the Day, a shaman leads a girl into a lavish mansion and presents a grandmother and her grandson (Yoo Min-kyu) with his new bride-to-be. The shaman explains that she’s just as the grandmother asked for—born in the same year, and died at the same age.

As she says the words, the two young people sitting across from each other at the table vanish in their ghost forms. The shaman says that once they perform the ghost wedding ceremony, her grandson will rest in peace.

But when the shaman opens up her box of doll replicas to complete the union, Groom Ghost turns ugly and sends the bride away. The shaman sighs that he didn’t like this one either, and that they’ll have to keep looking.

Gong-shil gets ready for her first day of work with a huge grin, and the little neighbor boys tell Kang Woo that she already left. They ask if he’s brave, and decide that maybe he’s brave enough to protect their noona, since she’s always being followed and running away from things. That’s cute.

Sure enough, when Kang Woo catches up to her in the street, he sees her yelling at someone around the corner to leave her alone. He takes off running to chase the guy down, and Gong-shil quickly promises Coffee Ghost that she’ll buy him coffee later.

Kang Woo comes back, thinking he lost the guy, and mentions that the kids said she was being followed. He says it explains her behavior, always anxious, taking the long way home, and asks if maybe she’s running away from loan sharks. Heh.

She thinks about it, and hesitantly tells him that the thing she’s running from is a ghost, and it’s right behind him now… and Kang Woo comes face to face with Coffee Ghost and faints in her arms. That’s just her imagination running wild though, and she decides to tell him the most reasonable lie: that she’s running from a ghost-like stalker.

He totally bucks up at that, realizing it’s something he can help her with, and offers to be her bodyguard free of charge. It’s adorable. She doesn’t even TRY to contain her swoon at the hot bodyguard wanting to protect her, and nods.

So then he’s extra bodyguard-like the rest of the way, which Joong-won and Secretary Kim see on their way to the office. Secretary Kim puns that the sun sure is shining brightly today, and Joong-won whines that it’s shining so brightly that it’s raising his temperature, and throws his sunglasses on. Heh.

Kang Woo gets very curious when he hears that Gong-shil’s new job involves doing something personal for the boss, but she runs off before he can hear what it is. Joong-won’s shocked to find Gong-shil in the office before him, and she says that the boss’s secretary should always arrive before him.

He like, MY secretary? YOU? and quickly dispels her of that notion. Secretary Kim shows her to her new station, a tiny closet office that doubles as a storage room, labeled VIP Room (gwi-bi-shil, which is only one syllable away from “ghost room.” Sure enough, her first guest is a ghost, and as the door slams shut, part of the sign falls off).

She sighs in disappointment to realize that this isn’t a real job, but still presents her new business card proudly to her unni down at the coffee shop.

Aunt and Uncle come across the creepy shaman lady, and Aunt recognizes her right away as the famous ghost matchmaker of the upper crust. Uncle sighs that rich people spend money on the darnedest things. Seriously.

But something makes Ghost Matchmaker stop in her tracks in the Kingdom lobby: Gong-shil, chatting away with Coffee Ghost. She follows Gong-shil all the way back to her office and says to herself that a living girl with one foot in death is perfect…

Uncle debriefs Joong-won on Giant Mall’s CEO and the latest rumblings that he’s teaming up with a president Wang for a big new venture. Joong-won heard that president Wang stopped working when her grandson died tragically (ah so this is granny with the fickle Groom Ghost).

Gong-shil tells Joong-won that she got her first assignment today directly from Auntie Joo, to drop off a gift at president Wang’s home. He tells her that she might see the ghost of her grandson while she’s there, and asks her to pump him for information on his grandmother’s plans for her company.

She’s scared, so he stretches his arms out and puffs out his chest, offering himself up like a tasty treat: “You can touch. For free.” Hahaha. Her eyes grow like saucers just thinking about all the free touching she could do. She looks just like my cat when I bust out the catnip.

She arrives at the house, where the matchmaker asks her to change into a red dress. Well that’s not weird. At the same time, Joong-won tells his aunt that she needn’t worry about Gong-shil and make up errands for her to keep her busy.

Aunt says it was a direct request from the matchmaker herself, and muses that the rumor must be true that president Wang is so heartbroken that she’s trying to find a ghost bride for her ghost grandson.

That starts to niggle at Joong-won, and he calls Gong-shil to ask what she’s doing. She says that the ghost is here and that they asked her to try on a pretty red Chinese dress just like in the movies.

He starts to yell at her to get the hell out, but she sees Groom Ghost and hurriedly gets off the phone before he can tell her what’s going on. He tries to tell himself that it’s her fault and that he doesn’t care. Uh-huh. Quick, go save her from getting married off to a dead guy!

Gong-shil follows Groom Ghost down a gated corridor and into a room, where even the photographs are creepy and do that eye-following thing. The matchmaker locks the door behind her, and tells her to spend the night with the groom. Well now you’re creepy in two ways, lady.

Gong-shil slowly approaches Groom Ghost by the window, who turns to face her. He has his normal face on at first, but then he blips into his scary skull face and roars at her.

Thankfully Joong-won has just arrived downstairs. He says he’s here to fetch his employee, and when president Wang plays coy, he sets out to find Gong-shil himself. He finds the room where she’s been locked inside, and orders the maid to open it.

Just as he’s reaching for the door handle, president Wang arrives behind him and offers to back him financially in place of Giant Mall… if he stops right now. He freezes with his hand on the door, literally stuck between choosing money or the girl.

He grips the handle tightly… and then lets go as he whirls around to say, “Of course I choose…” Suddenly Gong-shil opens the door and sticks her head out, and he shoves her back inside. HAHAHA. That’s so wrong.

He starts to say that she’s the one who opened the door, not him, but Gong-shil tells granny that she has a message from her grandson, and yells at her exactly in his words and cute gestures, to cut it out already. Grandma’s eyes fill with happy tears, knowing that it really did come from her grandson.

Auntie Joo decides she needs a plan to keep Joong-won from getting too attached to Gong-shil, and thinks the best thing is to provide him with a better alternative.

Naturally her idea of better is whacked, because she beelines for Yi-ryung, who’s busy shooting a hilariously bizarre hellfire-and-brimstone cookware commercial, after having to drop the newlywed concept at the last minute.

Aunt adds more fuel to the fire by telling her that Gong-shil was the one who visited her fiancé just before he left her at the altar, and the prop fire shoots up in perfect timing with Yi-ryung’s fuming rage.

Back at Wang Manor, Granny tells them that she couldn’t let go of her grandson because of the bouquet of green roses in his room that wouldn’t wilt, even after he was gone. That puts Joong-won on edge, remembering the last house that had a non-wilting rose.

Gong-shil says it’s because he’s waiting for the person he liked, and Grandma lights up at that, always having regretted that he never had a first love like other kids because he was so sick and never left the house.

Joong-won sees an opportunity to get on the president’s good side, and offers up Gong-shil’s services to help locate this first love. He waves his hands in the air and says he didn’t open the door earlier, and then asks about her investment plans. Shameless.

Gong-shil notices the grandson looking out the window, and peers down to see him watching the milk delivery boy. She asks the maid about it, and she says that the young master was friendly with the last delivery boy, who used to stay and play video games with him.

Gong-shil realizes the last milk boy is the first love he’s been waiting for, and when she whispers it to Joong-won, his eyes widen, “A boy?” He stops her from telling Grandma in case of heart attack, and drags her outside.

He doesn’t want to drop a bomb in Grandma’s face, and argues that the only thing he cares about is keeping her happy. She points out that he hated it when she lied about Hee-joo, so they can’t lie about this to Granny. And most of all, she feels terrible for the poor grandson, who’s been waiting all this time just to see the boy he likes.

She tells Joong-won that she’ll go with whatever he decides, and her face falls as he starts to walk away. But then he stops and says they’ll find the milk boy, but Granny only hears about their undying friendship, and that’s as far as he’s willing to negotiate with Ghosty. Ha.

Yi-ryung waits outside Gong-shil’s rooftop room that night, and Kang Woo slams her against the wall thinking she’s the stalker. After hearing her explanation, he asks how she’s planning to get her revenge for the broken engagement, and Yi-ryung says it’s simple: she’s going to steal Gong-shil’s man.

Kang Woo doesn’t seem convinced she can, but offers to help anyway, as long as she can find out why Joong-won is interested in Gong-shil. She assumes that Kang Woo likes Gong-shil too, which he lets her believe.

But when Kang Woo reaches over to check the bruise on Yi-ryung’s cheek, her heart skips a beat.

Joong-won and Gong-shil arrive at the milk delivery center and ask the current delivery boy about the last person who had his route. He points in the direction of a burly guy, but when Gong-shil asks if he used to deliver to Wang Manor, it’s the girl standing next to him who answers back. Aw, now I’m disappointed that it’s just Coffee Prince Lite.

The girl doesn’t seem very interested in going with them, until Gong-shil tells her that there’s a bouquet of green roses waiting for her. A flashback shows her cute bickering romance with the boy who was too proud to just admit that he liked her.

He showed her the family rose garden and she asked if there were such a thing as a green rose, and he said there were, and they looked just like her—sort of like cabbage, and not very pretty.

He followed it up with a kiss, but then they each covered up their embarrassment with more insults, and she ran away thinking he had just been messing with her. He fell ill and died soon after.

The milk delivery girl runs her hands over the green roses, crying that he lied about them not being pretty. As we see his ghost lean in for a kiss, Grandma sees the roses wilt and disappear.

On the ride home, Gong-shil happily tells Joong-won that green roses signify a rare noble love that only exists in heaven, extremely pleased that everyone found out the truth.

Joong-won is equally pleased, that is, about the buckets of money he’s going to get in investments from Grandma. He tells her that she played her part in it, so he’ll graciously drive her home. Pfft.

She actually declines that they take her all the way home, since she doesn’t want Kang Woo to see them together. I LOVE how much this irks him. She’s blind to it, of course, and blissfully tells him about how she fibbed that the ghosts were stalkers, and how the gallant Kang Woo offered to be her bodyguard.

Joong-won gets petty and decides she should get out now then, and she pauses to reach for his hand before getting out (rawr): “You said it was free, so I don’t want to waste it.” She rubs his hand on her face as if she can make its effect linger, and walks home feeling less afraid.

But then two scary men show up to lurk behind her, and she’s sure they’re human. They grab her in the dark narrow street, and she fights to get free, when suddenly Kang Woo appears to save the day.

He fights them off with ease (I do enjoy how much he’s choosing to be flashy and strike badass poses for her all the while) and he asks if these are the men stalking her. She’s just as confused that living people are chasing her, but then the ghost matchmaker steps out from behind them. Augh, she’s so creepy.

She explains that she just wanted to see her one last time, and her minions created a misunderstanding. She says that Gong-shil shines so brightly—that’s why ghosts are drawn to her and seek her out.

She says that some may only have requests, but that she needs to be on her guard: “They’re looking for an opportunity… to return.” Ack.

As she continues, we cut to Hee-joo’s ghost, lurking over Joong-won’s shoulder. “The darkness eventually swallows the light, and death eventually swallows life. Be careful not to be swallowed.” She leaves with that cryptic warning, leaving Gong-shil with a chill down her spine.

Meanwhile, the neighbor boys sit in the playground waiting for Mom to get home, and Hyung doesn’t notice that Little Bro wanders off in the direction of a ghost who waves at him to come closer. Eep.

He finds his brother on the other side of the playground, staring intently at a creepy doll. He stops the boy from reaching out to it, and says that it might belong to someone else. If it’s still here later, then he can have it.

Hyung leads him away by the hand, and Little Bro looks back to see a whole group of ghost kids surrounding the doll and waving. He waves back, and then the doll’s eyes glow and start to move. OH GREAT. I just had to get the Chucky episode, didn’t I? Curses!

Kang Woo walks Gong-shil home, and though he asks questions, she doesn’t answer any of them. Instead she asks if he really likes her, and if that’s why he’s so curious about her. She says he must be wondering why she’s so secretive and how dire her secret must be—that she’s a spy, a criminal, or really a man—but she says the truth is far worse.

Gong-shil: “It’s because I’m so happy that someone likes me… if you knew, you’d run away.” She says he’s been warned, and that he should keep his distance, but he counters that she might not be the only one with a secret: “Your warning does scare me—that I might disappoint you.”

He bids her goodnight with a long face, and she wonders to herself if she should just tell him the truth if he likes her that much. “Kang Woo-sshi, I see ghosts… how can I say that?”

The next morning, Joong-won is on cloud nine because president Wang invested in Kingdom over Giant Mall, and Gong-shil says she even offered her a job in China. Joong-won sounds a little alarmed at that, but she says she turned it down because he’s here.

He asks if that’s why she’s so glum today, but she says it’s because she had to turn down a different offer, from the man who likes her. She tells him that she couldn’t bring herself to tell him the truth, and look like a crazy person in his eyes.

Joong-won assures her that Kang Woo will think she rejected him for other more normal reasons (aw, was that a voluntary shoulder pat you just gave her?) and she sighs that being around Joong-won has made her feel like a regular person again, dreaming of things like romance. She asks if he’ll come over tonight because she’s feeling extra blue, but he shuts that down right away.

Gossip Man does his job as Uncle has ordered, and starts spreading the news that Gong-shil is rising in the ranks because of her romantic involvement with the boss. The other cleaning ladies wonder what about the security guard that she lives with, and that naturally gets Gossip Man all excited that there’s a love triangle brewing.

He runs back to his station to tell Kang Woo all about it, and wonders who the other guy is. He calls him crazy, whoever the poor guy is, for falling for Dark Circles like he’s been possessed by a ghost. Kang Woo just smiles and listens, and then puts a hand on his shoulder: “It’s me.”

He takes a look at the lollipop in his hand (a present from a little girl he returned to her mother) and marches down to catch Gong-shil.

Meanwhile, Joong-won comes out and tells Secretary Kim that they’ll be taking Gong-shil home tonight.

Kang Woo hands Gong-shil the lollipop and declares: “I want to know you. I’ll be brave. You be strong.” He does have a knack for the swoony declarations.

Joong-won watches it happen from the second floor, and races down to her. There’s this great sequence of build-up as they walk alongside each other, her on the outside, him on the inside looking out at her through the glass, as the pillars swoosh by.

He walks right into her path in the doorway, and she beams as she tells him all about Kang Woo’s declaration. Joong-won: “So, are you going to him?” Gong-shil: “Yes, I want to. I’m going to go.”

 
COMMENTS

I really do like Kang Woo, despite the fact that I can never truly tell where his intentions lie. Or I guess it’s more that despite his intentions being nefarious (or at least driven by a mission), he seems to be doing the dumb thing and falling for his mark. And it’s just hard to hate a guy who’s so well-mannered. It’s the speed of the love triangle’s developments that keeps things interesting—just when Joong-won thinks he can rest easy now that Kang Woo has been rejected, he swoops in for the Lollipop Confession. So now Joong-won’s forced to up his game, and back and forth.

The show is settling a bit more into its groove, but I do feel like I’m missing that electric excitement when I watch this show. That isn’t to say I’m not having a good time, because it’s entertaining and zippy. Some of my enjoyment with this show is admittedly tempered by the recycled setups, which to be fair is true of most Hong sisters’ shows. But there’s so much of Master’s Sun that functions in the same way as My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho, from the touching-as-healing, to the mysterious second lead on a mission, down to the episodic timing of which romantic beats happen when. No one could accuse them of not following their own formula, that’s for sure. It’s just that everything is done to the letter as expected, which leaves a little something to be desired.

I think there’s room in the ghost premise to take it somewhere new, and we get a hint of that possibility in today’s episode with the matchmaker’s warning. I have to say, possession opens up a much more interesting avenue than just ghost-seeing and last-wish granting. I want more of that to come to the surface, because it ties the ghosts into the central story in a tangible way, and if that puts our heroine at risk of being swallowed up whole, that’s even better. There was a fantastic conflict and tension when Hee-joo possessed Gong-shil, and if there’s a chance that doing so puts Gong-shil at risk and gives Hee-joo the chance to come back to life, then we get instant life-and-death stakes.

For now the romance keeps me happy, with Joong-won being petty and jealous and refusing to admit his growing attachment (much like today’s Groom Ghost, who died before he could tell the girl he didn’t mean it when he kept shoving his foot in his mouth). It makes it all the more delicious that Kang Woo is the total opposite, so even though I know he’s declaring feelings he might not have, I love it all the same, especially if it’s going to get Bossypants off his ass and offering up hugs for free.

 
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*Fan girl moment (look away now)*
I kind of like Seo In Gook's saturi better. When I catch pieces of it, I have to admit my heart jumps, but it might be the after effects of Answer Me 1997.

*End of fangirl moment.*

I liked how the show upped the stakes and the theming in this episode a whole lot. It's in subtle ways that I really think anchors everything nicely into place. Before it felt like an introduction arc, but this really gives it a foundation.

Gong Sil this time is wearing black clothes as she becomes head of her own ghost devision. (Kwishil) Puns are a thing Hong Sisters like. The little details with the clothes sends me over the top with love.

And then the main storyline today, I love the about faces and the change in mood. While he was alive, he was dead, but once he's dead, he's more alive than when he was alive. I really liked that theme in Ji Woo. (Also the jokes about being gay). This ties nicely into the theming about Gong Sil being worried about being dead while alive as well as highlighting the later shots and the theming. (though you have to remember earlier in the episode to get it.) The theme was living like you're dead versus being dead and wishing you were living. I also liked how the meeting of the milk girl didn't really resolve it--like real death. It left that unfinished feeling that all death has.

Ji Woo is a lot like Joong Won--the Master looking down at his people through a window--they matched that shot up on purpose. And in love, but not admitting it to Gong-Sil. He's insulting her in present, and since the death of his girlfriend he hasn't been living--not really. It's really gentle by matching it up.

And then this is matched up beautifully with that ending shot. They used the light reflecting off the window and following her to make him look like ghost looking at her. He's following just a little behind her while watching. And just like a ghost he appears and surprises her in the same way. In the same way, you feel like the feelings from the per-episode storyline aren't connecting.

I also loved the little stabs at the stereotypical female second lead continued from the previous episode. The fire bit was good. And the subversion on second leads was subtle, but fantastic. (as well as connecting her up in small ways to the other male leads).

And the raising of the stakes with the Chinese spirit worker too... showing there are others in the world does a lot to raise things. (This, I think they put in because they have an interest from Hong Gil Dong--if you remember the scene describing how Chinese ghosts are, plus my detection of some Chinese drama stuff they like putting in). It gives Gong Sil an anchor--there are others out there. Also a caution.

Plus the whole kid can see ghosts too, also anchors the story better as well. (the world building increases a lot by that.)

Overall, it's sending my literary meter into high heavens. It's the combination of directing and writing that's making this subtle work. A kismet. And the actors seem to get it too. I wish novel writing could do that sort of quiet empty word gentle too. I envy that about movies--you can have long shots of no words and loads of meaning, without feeling like a podium has erupted from the ground with a Literature teacher at it.

Big had issues because the directing and writing didn't seem to match... it wasn't that the directing was bad nor that the writing was bad (in my estimation). It was that what the director thought the script was versus what it really was didn't always match up. Here, it definitely matches with gentle shots that make the theming work double time.

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I love your observations KimYoonmi! Especially about the ending shot with him looking like a ghost. I never would've picked up on some of them.

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That ending shot was absolutely brilliant! I had to hold my breath and played it over and over again. I liked the intensity of that shot (wish it had gone on longer lol) and yes, it does make JW look like a ghost... HMM...

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I was rolling with delight on that shot. The acting and directing on that scene was so well done. And there wasn't long bits of dialogue to communicate it. They cut it down to visuals that were so layered. The face emoting was neither over done or underdone. It had that guarded look, but peaks of desperation slowly coming forward.

I need to replay it a few more times. It was art. It has to be my favorite shot work of this year (so far).

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Perfectly said :3 Same here~ it was such a pretty shot & a perfect end to an episode tbqh~<3

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I've enjoyed the lighting techniques used in this drama so far & the clever use of colour as symbolism. Very reminiscent of the Colours trilogy & Sixth Sense which of course, I loved.

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Well said! I loved the ending scene so much and was so surprised at how good it was.

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Really enjoyed reading your perspective on this episode.

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This show is so silly, it kills me with laughter. Good thing it doesn't pretend to be anything other than entertaining. Case in Point: The "Special Customer Service center" isn't very visible but it's "like" a storage room on the way to the CEO office LOL Well, hunnie, _it is_ a storage room!

She reminds me of Candide's Pangloss, blindly and narrow-mindedly optimistic to the point of fool-hardiness.

I have also noticed that the show has managed to become a catwalk for all the pretty boys and girls and appear as cast. That tomboy girl is cute! If she hadn't made it, she'll get noticed this time around

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That tomboy girl is the maid of Yoon Seo Hwa in Gu Family Book, she was raped in place by Jo Kwan Woong when Seo Hwa escaped.

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Your really smart, really perceptive observations added to my understanding and enjoyment of this episode. Thank you!

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Have to agree with that ending shot as well, and I never would have thought to tie it in with a ghostly metaphor--well done!

I really, really wish the story would take the ghostliness up a notch, as teased by Spooky Wedding Planner. The idea of Hee Joo possibly "taking over" Gong-shil? Ooooh, sounds deliciously evil. Though I don't really peg Hee Joo as evil--I'm still very intrigued at that conversation she and Joo Won had, where it sounded like she was so sorry for what happened between them, etc.

This is my first Hong sisters drama, so I have nothing to compare it with and I guess, I'll keep it that way until this one wraps :)

I love all your insights, especially about the second lead and the whole feeling of being unfinished in death. I think it's THAT that gets me choked up--the whole realm of possibilities just opens up and my heart aches at all the "what could have been's"

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Oh, I forgot to add--I even like the significance of Joo Won clasping his hands behind his back (then he tells Secretary Kim they are bringing Gong-shil home) and then unclasping them (when he sees Gong-shil and Kang-woo together).

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I can't take credit for this one. Redge started it.

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Speaking of the ending scene, would you guys know the title of the background song? I really really like it... :)

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Real death is like that too... no matter how long you know the person is going to die, or if they die suddenly, it's always unresolved. I was surprised they played with it at all.

We know the impermanence of life, yet we still forget it. And still, despite knowing things are going badly, you still forget it.

What makes that person's life have real meaning is the people that really knew them and understood them, even if it's only two people. Not people from the outside like that ghost matchmaker.

That's what really touched me about the for-episode plot.

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Very nicely said, and I agree! I loved that the best about the two of them. I like their story more than the soccer player's, actually, though that touched me as well.

Okay, I just rewatched the final scene like three more times, and I keep crying at how awesome it is. You know what's weird? I can't tell if my tears are happy or sad or bittersweet or bizarre. I'm so happy Gong-shil is thrilled at having this one chance of someone liking her. I feel a pang for Joo Won and his realizing he's not feeling entirely alright about those two. And despite the amazing chemistry of the leads, yes, I want Kwang Woo to have his happy thrills with the girl he likes. People will opine differently from me--and that's fine--but I think he genuinely likes Gong-shil, but that his "mission" doesn't necessarily create a conflict of interest. At least, I really, really hope so.

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did you notice that seo in gook almost lapsed back to satoori in the scene with Yi-ryeung? :D

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I've caught all of his little slips here and there. Personally, I think it's cute. <3

But I'm really, really biased since my family comes from there. I was born in Jeolla and raised for a while in Kyeongsang... =P

Jeolla, though, sounds like my maternal grandmother to me.

Satoori is cute. I don't care if others hate on it; I like it.

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Ah. I have a soft spot for satoori too.

My dad's side from Kyeongsang nam do and uses the Kyeongsang satoori when they are among themselves/ back at hometown. Don't have anyone from Jeolla in my family, mother's side barely has any satoori, since they've lived close to Seoul most of the time. But grandmother on my mom side does have a hint of choongchungdo accent and i always felt warm, home-like feeling whenever I hear it being used. :D

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Aww, others don't like it? I think it's part of Seo In Gook's charm, really. I LOVED that he kept slipping in and out of it in Reply 1997 :p And now I'm gonna go re-watch that scene, because obviously my untrained ears didn't catch those slips :p

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What is satoori?

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It's a regional accent.

People complain about Satoori in Korea. It has a stigma. For example, Seoul thinks that people who speak Satoori from Kyeongsang are country folk and not that bright. (You can also see that the majority think all the gangsters come from there. kekeke)

Answer Me 1997 had satoori all over the place. One of the reasons I like it a lot is that it used by majority native speakers. And also didn't hold back. (oori Appa has a stronger one than them though. Pusan are pussies with their satoori~~ Said with that distinctive Kyeongsang love.)

You can hear it come out once in a while in this drama with some hearing from Seo In Gook. (Mostly the cute little spikes in his voice.)

Less in his vocabulary. (Kwaenchano?)

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I am so glad to read your comments! I really love this drama and feeling so excited at every episode, something I haven't felt in awhile. Your comments really opened up how wonderful it is. Many thanks and keep up the good work!

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One of my favorite things about this website is that other watchers challenge you to look beyond the surface of what's being presented. I really did not think of the situation you mentioned (Ji Woo and Joong 1) at all like that.

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yeah.. I love your comments/insights.

makes me want to watch again and again to see what i'm missing.

I love this drama. I love the OTP so much! And the SKINSHIPs!!

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I really like your break down and analysis of the epsiode. I am also really liking the subtel things in the show that gives it another dimention than what's just on the surface.

I also like the element the music ads to it. I know you mentioned the directing and writing, but I also think that the music plays a role into enhancing the other elements as well.

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The music has picked up from the first episode, which was on my wishlist.

It started really picking up in episode 3, I think. At least for me. And 4 solidified it.

The music on the last part of the episode was really good. Though I thought the drum beat was a nice addition to the scene to signal the surprise.

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I've liked the music all along, but I felt that it was a little unbalanced and a little loud in the beginning. But I agree that episode 3 nd 4 really started to make its place.

I also like how they use to music to underline the emotions of the characters, as well as sorta give each one a theme. Can't remember the episode atm, but there is a this certain type of beat and music that follows one character that differs from the others.

I also like how the music is used to give you an uneasy feeling before anything actually happens.

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I'm confused by the spirit wedding thing: is it something people actually do and if so, why? And why would Chinese ghosts be any different from Korean, other than nationality at time of death?

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I am not sure if ghost marriage is practised in Korea but I know that it is something that the Chinese do, though it is more common in the older times. There could be several reasons like finding a partner for their deceased children so that they won't be lonely or so that they could continue the family line in the underworld. It could be marriage between two deceased or a living person (usually a female, i think) with a deceased.

Hope this helps. For a more thorough explanation of this practice you can search for "Ghost marriage" on wiki.

I don't really understand your second question though. Did the drama mention that Chinese ghosts are different from Korean ghosts?

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I will check this out on wiki.

Re the difference between chinese & Korean ghosts, it's something hinted at by a commenter, maybe KimYunmi?

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Hong Gil Dong went over the difference between Chinese and Korean ghosts. It's near the beginning of the first episode.

As for the marriage thing--I don't think that's part of Buddhism itself. And I'm not aware of any Chinese customs of that kind since a lot of the culture and synchronism focuses on reincarnation, rather than lingering. But I'm not that knowledgeable about that side. I've been trying to find a more detailed account of Wuism for a while. (If anyone knows any, send it my way).

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Okay, I might check that out since it's in the beginning of the first episode. Other than that, I'm not interested in Hong Gil Dong (too little time and energy).

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I'm Hindu myself, but since there are a lot of parallels with Buddhism, I guess I could give my input.

I don't think the "ghost marriage" idea has to do with anything along the lines of Buddhism, just as you said, though not because ghosts don't exist in Buddhist culture (I don't know what their stance is on that). The reincarnation aspect is a pretty complicated concept because its existence is not necessarily in opposition to "lingering," or "heaven," which is a common misconception. I would stay away from using reincarnation as reasoning for the non-existence of ghosts in Buddhist culture, if that is the case.

Thanks for your detailed "film" analysis of this episode! I really learned a lot from it.

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I can't remember which drama it was but there was a hilarious fight scene between a Chinese ghost & a Korean ghost with one bopping around on terra firma & the latter flitting around in the air, never able to land a blow on each other because of their differences. LOL

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The only time I have ever actually heard of it was in one of those "weird news" items on China Smack. It was a couple of years ago, and basically involved a small ring of con-artists that would get people to believe that the reason for bad fortune was an unhappy unmarried spirit.

And as the guy said in the show, the key word I think is "con artist".

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yes, yes, yes..sooooooo much stakes-raising. I feel as if I'm in capable creative hands!

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Been wondering...so I've gotta ask you: Is there some subtle pun between Gong Shil and Bang Shil that I'm missing?

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sil is room...

Hwajangsil.

"bath"room"

Kwisil "ghost room"

bang sil empty room.

It's playing with her last syllable.

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ahhhhhhhh! I see. And now she's in a store-room...her tiny place in the big kingdom. Thanks.

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Actually, I wondered if other than the meaning (that I know understand) there wasn't a pun on the sound.
Doesn't Bang S(h)il sound like the English word "banshee"? I may be mistaken, considering that I don't know how the English would sound in Korean (the same, or a bit different, or maybe even Korean people don't really know that word) but it does seem to me that Gong S(h)il is wearing a lot of white clothes and also said something about living as a ghost, etc.

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White clothing is death symbol since Koreans traditionally were buried with white clothes.

I doubt the Bang Sil is a Banshee reference since there is a proper way to spell that in Korean. (minus some of the sounds, but then I'm being super picky on phonemes.)

They've used white clothes in two ways so far as I've seen.
1. Her name means "Sun" literally.
So when she wears white she's often blocked by a "cloud" Sun blocked==cloud. This was driven home that when she was wearing white it was in the first instance when it was raining and the second when it was at night. So the sun was literally blocked.

2. When she's been possessed.

In the first instance when she found the Master, she started to wear colored clothing. Before that she didn't. And the rain literally stopped.

In the second she wore a white dress, but was possessed soon after.

In Episode 5 she wore black and blue--night colors. But the episode finished with him wearing the sun--literally. He's wearing yellow shirt (brighter color) and orange jacket and pants which match the pillars outside) This episode is also better lit than the first with no blue casts.

So playing with their names with the clothes.

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ooh, i like that!

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Great point about the reflection! Usually, reflections in the mirror shows the true identity of the ghost because we can't see them otherwise...which could only mean one thing:

Joong won is going to pass away, and he might be the one in the end trying to take over Gong Sil's body? It's farfetched, but you never know.

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YOur comment was so accurate regarding that ghost - lead <3 I loved that scene at the end.

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Been waiting for this

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We are back to the 1 ghost per ep format! Why does that feel so 'blah.....' even tho this one is connected to JW's Kingdom?

Where do they find sb who looks so scary creepy as that Medium? Is it the eye make-up? They say she is Chinese. I don't think she looks Chinese at all. Just other-worldly, in a funny way.

What I take away fr this ep is that Hee Joo is waiting in the wings, for a chance to possess GS's body, so that she can come back to be with JW. Aren't there rules against that sort of thing in their world? Sorta like the brotherly Emperors of Heaven and Hell in Arang, being in charge of runaway ghosts?

We also get the hint that KW is now willing to jump into the deep end to get to know GS better. Really? Don't feel no sparks flying in that connection, tho one professes that intention, while the other is flattered and pleased as punch.

And JW is becoming uncomfortable. Squee.... or getting ready to......

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In the male leads there is a contrast between professing love and not meaning it and not professing love and but really meaning it. At this point, I think JW, isn't sure why he's attracted to GS, 100% yet. He's at the edge of just noticing it.

Hong Sisters tend to like to play with second leads more than most other writers and try to figure out new ways to communicate them. I get even more sense in this story that they are trying for that even more. There is a lot of subtle foiling going on and also subversions.

I also think the stakes were raised a little with the advent of HJ being able to take over GS's body. The overlay shot was definitely done on purpose. GS also has ground work to prove that she can be possessed, which was done in the previous episode. Makes it feel natural, and a nice little twist too.

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I'm liking the ambiguity that we see in KW. Who is here? What is his secret? What is the mission that JW's dad has tasked him with? Is that just about keeping tabs on the woman beside JW? Is it just protecting his son? Or is it connected to the kidnapping somehow? That leads us to another set of Qns about who is behind the kidnapping.

Whereas JW's double faced dealings w GS are as predictable as they come, KW's professed feelings about GS which don't yet ring true add another element of intrigue to the story. Like!

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I agree about the intrigue business with KW and the larger one surrounding the kidnapping. Dang it, SIG is really selling it. And with this new thing about the Jee Hoo possession business, even better!

All that is what's keeping me interested in the drama, aside frm the mad chemistry between the leads. Which is why I'm a little miffed that this episode had a ghost-of-the-day format which did not really involve anyone in the main cast. That's what really worked in the last epi i.e. the ghost was just by-the-by and didn't need some sappy resolution, and it was attached someone we actually know/care!

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I really hope KW's animosity toward YR ends up a cover for his intense attraction to her. I'm shipping them more than the main leads.

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I ship GS w JW; and I ship GS w KW. I want her to get Both guys. She has a lot of lost time to make up for. ;)

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HJ being able to take over GS body had me concerned at one point that GS would never be sure who GW liked/loved during the latter part of the drama. Did he see her GS or was he using her body to reunite with HJ?

But I comforted by the fact that GS touching GW's body banishes all ghost from the area, including her body. So, unless the writers break their own rules, or reveal another rule about possessing GS body, HJ can't reunite with GW using GS's body. The minute GW touches GS's body, HJ would be expelled.

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I know what you mean, however I think that can actually raise the stakes even higher. HJ knows that just possessing GS won't work, however just as GS is JW's only like to HJ, she is also HJ's link to JW.

Thus the warning of the shaman is given a new meaning "the dead swallowing the living"; would it be possible for HJ's spirit to force out that of GS? In a simple possession both spirits are present in the body, and so the intruding ghost can be forced out. But if HJ becomes to powerful, wouldn't there be a chance that GS's spirit will be forced out instead?

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I think that's pretty much what happened in Arang. His mother's spirit was subdued by the ghost who took over her body, to the pt that it couldn't exert its own will. Poor GS might have to go thru sth like that. Shudders.

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In addition, I think it would be interesting to see JW's choice if he finds out that HJ had taken over GS's body. He is aware that his touch can banish any ghost from her body. Then, would he choose to get GS back or would he leave HJ in GS's body?

Of course, one can argue that as the main pairing, JW would ultimately choose to get back GS, but what if HJ (in the body of GS) offers to show him where his $10 billion ransom is? It all boils down to what CEO Joo loves the most - money or GS?

Ohoho, I can't wait for the Hong Sisters up the stakes!

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Then, would "the dead swallowing the living" mean that by forcing out GS's spirit, HJ would have her body but not her ability to see ghosts/being visited by ghosts? We were told that GS attract spirits because she "shines brightly", so it is it her soul or her body (since so far, it was just implied that it happened because she somehow came back from the dead).
In the worst case scenario, GS wouldn't even be able to come back to her own body!

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My thoughts exactly! But our heroine will be chosen and loved by all. Which is so what she needs...to be Sun again

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I dunno: I get sick of heroines getting all the available men. spread the love a bit, K-drama!

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Ah,TS, she needs to be chosen. I know what you mean about heroines and their way too many would-be lovers but in this case...she definitely needs to feel that someone would choose her if given a chance between her soul and the soul of perfect dead girlfriend

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Something could happen that makes GS not fight the possession like finding out about KW's real motives. She's not a weak person but before meeting GW and getting the hope some could like her as she is now GS was reaching the end of her endurance.

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"In the male leads there is a contrast between professing love and not meaning it and not professing love and but really meaning it." You captured my thoughts exactly!

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This show makes me so giddy! I have to close my eyes during the ghost part so that I can watch the cute parts =(

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I almost didn't watch this show because I really don't watch anything with a scary plot. Glad I braved it through! But I still have to close my eyes during the ghost parts, too. >.< It's all worth it, though. I'm really loving this show. ♥

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Love this episode! Love So Ji Sub! Love this drama even if it has ghosts. Am sooo happy!!!

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Amen, sister! This definitely hits the sweet spot for drama addiction.

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I'm waiting for the day when Bossy Pants offers up hugs for free and GS says: "Thanks, but I really shouldn't, cos the guy who loves me will be upset."

I'd like to see the look on his face then. Hee.

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Haha, I want to see this too! Or, the explonation to Kang Woo "Oh, you know how I can see ghosts? Well, touching the CEO makes them go away, so that's what's going on with the touching and close contact"

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Why did it have to be a doll? A creepy creepy doll? EEEKKK!!!

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YOu know about voodoo dolls, right? They write the name of the intended victim on the doll, perhaps incl. the BD; then they stick it with pins to cause illness to the victim. I'm sure this is along similar lines: Take the dolls thru a wedding ceremony, so that the spirits that they represent also do.

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Oh, I see: You mean the doll in the park. Reminds me of Charlie--Fri the 13th!

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That part reminds me of The Conjuring, esp since I just watched it the other day. That scene where the ghost called the little bro really freaked me out since I care about those two boys and I was afraid that little bro is going to be 'swallowed' by the ghost/demon.
And I have to say, those children ghosts are scary!

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I think the creepy doll refers to the one towards the end with the little boy which, yikes! I'm really curious to see how his seeing ghosts ties into the plot

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Is there a demon in the doll, i wonder? So far the show isn't differentiating between ghost and demon...or even angels for that matter. I gotta ask KimYoonMi about that. The make-up artist ghost who attached to insecure and vain women could easily also have been a demon of vanity.

My big question so far is Where is the kids' Mom? Is she alive? Why don't we see her? The kids are semi-abandoned because Mom works hard and is poor...or Mom is dead. I'm pretty sure the kids are alive but there's something weird about Mom being missing.

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Buddhism doesn't have angels.

You get reincarnated at that point or released into Nirvana.

Muism could probably explain some of the treatment of ghosts, but I'll rely on a Buddhist for the ins and outs of the classifications. I know we have some on dramabeans, so I'll wait for their much wiser teachings on that.

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Not sure what religion(s) or folklore(s) are at work here. Muism, def but am wondering if the worldmaking in this drama will grab a little here and there. Since Korea has various spiritualities...and k-dramas are shown all over. Kinda like when the x-files or Grimm would dip into various cultures.

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That reincarnation line comes up a lot in k-dramas. Most often it is expressed as something like "in a previous life you must have saved a country" (or king, or whatever).

Occasionally you see a really funny one, line in one show that I watched recently was "you were a porn star". That brought visions of some Saeguk drama with a bunch of bearded men in funny hats secretly watching lantern slides in a back room.

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I like the repeated belief that you have to have been enemies with your spouse in a past life. I always thought that was an interesting assumption.

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Perhaps this world also has hybridized versions of Judeo-Christian teachings. Here's the basic layout:

Angels (Divine servants who promote good)

Demons (Angels who rebelled and now promote evil)

Ghosts (Demons who pose as the dead in order to gain influence over the living)

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Yeah some syncretism cause

*******SPOILER********

am not sure how animal ghosts figure in Buddhism. Whereas in Christian religion (horses in heaven) and Christian pop culture and folklore ( animals can be ghosts) whereas in Buddhism/Hinduism would there be transmigration of souls? so no animal ghosts, per se?

So I'm going with the Hong sisters just playing around with all kinds of folklore and religions

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I don't detect any Christianity, per se, I mean I saw it in the promotional material, but it was used in more of the Japanese way which was tho view Christian material in the way Western culture views Gothic material in general.

I get a strong, strong sense of Buddhism and Muism throughout the episode. The sense of reincarnation and resolution is far more Buddhist in nature than Christianity.

In Christianity you get the sense that you want to separate yourself from death because it's dirty and doesn't belong, but the treatment here is that death and spirits are just around and you can invite them any time and the majority of them aren't harmful. (the harmful bit comes from Muism, which I've gone over before with the spirit classification.).

Even some of the comforting talks had large streaks of Buddhism to them. They can pass on now, they'll come back when you think of them. Even the talk of the ancestor rite. Rather than the Christian idea of they are around, but distant in heaven.

If there are religious classifications, it's running Buddhism and Muism strongly.

BTW, the pop culture, I doubt it.... seriously doubt it since there is solid grounding in Buddhism about the nature of souls, which our resident Hindus probably could go over at length as well.

Dogs get reincarnated too.

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Spoiler tags no longer work. huhu.

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Completely agree. I was only saying they may have thrown in a dash of Judeo/Christian theology when they show a ghost possessing &/or desiring to possess a human. I see that as more consistent with Christian teaching on demon possession. Possession isn't a concept widely contemplated by any of the other Asian belief systems. And people lingering in the physical world after death isn't either. I know a lot of people believe that's true, but the religions don't seem to corroborate that belief.

Possession does show up in Muism, but in two very defined ways, and both are only related to practicing shamans. One type of possession is said to be experienced by shaman initiates who experience severe pain and/or mental illness. Another type of possession is said to be experienced by higher level shaman who claim to foretell the future. But in that case they claim to be possessed by a god, not a demon or a deceased person.

I'm not aware of any belief system that says a dead person can possess a living person.

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I'm liking this show A LOT!!
Thanks for the recap.....

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Such a fun episode. I did love that scene at the end where Joong-won is looking at her with such intensity as he walks on the other side of the window wall from her, while she is obliviously walking along with her head in the clouds thinking of the 'other' man. I am sure there is supernatural danger ahead with Cruella DeVil's warning. yikes

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I love hand shots and this show gives me all of them, so I'm just going to chime in here about my thoughts on the ending scene. When JW tells his secretary that they'll be bringing GS home, we get a shot of him holding his hands firmly behind his back. I took this to mean that they were him being defensive about his growing feelings for GS and that he was in denial. He wasn't going to allow his hands (ie., himself) to be free.

Fast forward to JW seeing GS and KW up at the second floor and witnessing the confession. We can clearly see he's affected by it. We then get another hand shot, this time him breaking free of his hands as he rushes down to meet her. This could symbolize that he'll no longer be defensive and is breaking free of himself and will "fight" for her affections. He's not going to let her go just yet.

At least that's what I hope will happen anyway, haha!

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Yes. You could also see it as a partial military stance too. He's going to stand firm. He's not going to be shaken.

But I think he's not going to come back to the world of really living yet. They need the tension and it's his story arc as much as it's Gong Sil's. (Though his arc is a different kind of death).

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Yeah I agree, I wouldn't want him to fall in *too* quickly. Hopefully this just means he's slowly breaking away and letting his walls down a little bit. :)

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His walls are coming down, for a second, but they always raise again... it's that push pull I really enjoy in his character. Almost as if he know what living is like, but he's too afraid to go there and get hurt.

This is a different arc from Gong Sil, who was almost dead and has been living like she was dead. She's constantly trying to get back to the world of the living as it were, but the world of the living seems to literally reject her.

But the character aims from the writer POV are the same: Get them back to living like they are living. Somehow that strikes me as a more more warm and fuzzy idea than the theming off of My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, which was "What makes people human?" This gives it more heart than My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, though I'm not hating on that show at all (had its own highlights).

Might be me, but it seems like the show overall is using more daylight shots and less blue casts as we progress. In fact, the first episode started out with rain and our sun wrapped and blocked by white. But it seems like the sun is literally coming out for all our characters.

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"Almost as if he know what living is like, but he’s too afraid to go there and get hurt." Spot on. I realize that's a common theme among a lot of kdrama characters but it bears more meaning in this one since it's about life and death. And I didn't notice the sun! Wow you're right! Sunlight is slowly seeping in through our characters as they find their ways to regaining their lives. Again, great observations! You should run a blog where you deduce k-dramas. ;)

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Ah! I realized also that the clothes he's wearing after watching it a few times and doing a complete break down are colors of the sun! Literally yellow shirt and an orange suit. She's wearing black. He was wearing black earlier in this episode. Is this deliberate?

Is he going to shine light into her darkness?

Are they playing with the meaning of their names? I noticed they are playing with colors of clothes a lot in these episodes.

She was wearing white as if covered by a cloud in the first episode. Then she found him and then changed into colored clothing. When she was possessed and thus blocked again, she was wearing white. Here, she's wearing black, but he's wearing orange and yellow...

<3<3 I love it when directors pay attention to these types of details.

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Maybe since he lives for money instead of love, his golden telescope that spies on competing properties has been his sun? Always watching for the next threat is a living death that both of them share.

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Interesting observation about the hands. When they were behind his back I took it to mean that JW was confident in his decision and assured in his relationship with GS. It opened his chest and pushed his hips forward. When JW drops them to his sides I took it to mean a break in that confidence and a need to regain it. Did he ball up his fists like he made the decision to fight?

Anyway, I like what you saw - breaking free from the bonds he has created for himself, like he is already moving away from his past.

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Oooh I like your thoughts on the hands too; they're certainly more grounded than mine, haha. He didn't ball them up in fists actually, I just thought that when he let them go and he rushed to her that his hands were "off" and he's now coming into the ring to fight. (Somewhat.)

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The hands shots you pointed out... watched the episode (yet again) and I could track them even better.

The episode starts out with hands shots. It echoes them in the kiss Ji Woo (JW jr., I'll call him) gives to the milk girl. Then again with JW takes the *same* hand position as JW jr. the one you're analyzing here.

OMG, if you hadn't pointed out the hands I wouldn't have gotten that the level of echoing was supposed to be that far. The hand position and the posturing is almost the same.

So thank you! It added to this round of watching it obsessively again.

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I'm glad you noticed more about the hands! I think your observation further strengthened the connection of the ghost story to our leads and offering a possible future for them if no one confesses their feelings. We should watch for hands in all the future episodes, haha. (I always pay attention to hands, it's kind of a weird habit of mine. The Hong Sisters used a lot of hand shots in Big so I made sure to pay extra attention to Master's. I'm especially happy since the show centers around touch, one of my favorite tropes.)

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The amount of drool I produce watching SJS's beautiful hands in this show is insane. They knew who they cast and why.

The leads' chemistry burns up the screen.

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wooah, the subtitles came fast, so glad for that! The ghost-of-the-day format started to get me bored, but next episode's ghost story somehow piqued my interest. Little Boy with his naive baby-face can now see ghost too? EErrp creepppy...

Yi-ryung's commercial shoot was so hilarious and.. dumb. yet if that were a real certain brand advertisement, i would remember the name of the brand right away, lol.

And Joong-won's jealous eyes gave me this tingling sensation in my stomach. AARgh, i love jealous chaebols!

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Yes, the sub came the next day. I'm so grateful for that. Thank you Gooddrama. Thank you so much!

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They took them from viki... looks like an earlier version than the one on viki which is edited.

Thanks the subbers at viki, even if you can't see the video.

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Oh, thanks for the info. I have no idea where it's coming from. The gooddrama is the only site where I can see the dramas now.

For all the subbers thank you so much for your hard work. We who depend on the subs love you as much as we love our dramas. Thanks again.

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how am i supposed to sleep tonight? i'm so excited i can't sleep!!!! i loveeeeee today's episode from the swoony first scene, to the funny talk about JW's body prices, to the tapping of his chest, the i didn't open the door and the hand holding!!!! (girl i wanna see ghost if than means i have a touchable sjs near!!!!) and i have no words for the swoony, beautiful, heart skipping a beat ending!!! OMG that was perfection!!
and if i talk about perfection how not to mention sjs's hands, they were all over the place in this episode, wich i LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!seriously i need a sjs near me now!!!!
thank you so much for the recap!!!

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I'm getting deja vu...isn't there another drama where the main guy "charges" for every time the heroine touches his body?

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City Hunter, but it was the heroine who was charging the lead for any body contact.

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Thanks, I knew it was familiar! Do you have a link or anything to the episode?

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Greatest Love.
Dok Ko Jin played by Cha Seung Won hugs Gu Ae Jung, also played by Gong Hyo Jin, everytime he wants to "recharge"

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Coffee Prince also did that in nearly episodes when main lead actress and actor pretended to be gay boyfriends.

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you know.. I love sjs long fingers.. not many men have fingers like his.

I love it in this drama he's more animated with his hands..

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Oh Show, I love you. And I think I love you because you make me laugh a lot. Although romance and a little jelousy are always good (and this time is no exception) Im super entertained with everything in this show.

I even like Yi-ryung. She is a LITTLE more like Se-ri (Best love) than Heyi (you´re beautiful). I feel she is like a comic relief (and I love that) and she is going to be a little annoying but no threatening. The dead ex-girlfriend on the other hand...

Thank you for the recap!

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Agree about Yi-ryung! She's your standard 2nd female lead except she seems a lot more harmless. And she's shown some real cute quirkiness (I keep thinking back to that scene where she sneaks out of the hospital and tries to steal something from her car). I find her pretty funny!

This is only the second Hong sisters drama I've seen so unlike GF this all still seems fresh to me. I agree though that I expect the ghost premise to really take over the storytelling real soon. It seems like they're getting all the cutesy love story set-up out of the way, then we can delve into the possessions (Can't wait for HJ to possess GS without JW knowing!) and all the secrets behind the kidnapping. Yay!

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Ah yes, another Hong Sisters almost-newbie. I thought i was all alone. Yes, second lead female seems fun and harmless. When she told her nefarious plan to Kang Woo, i thought, "Ah, she's such a sweetie. She probably won't have it in her to be too evil."

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I like Yi-ryung too. I hope there's some good frenemy stuff that leads to actual, if grudging, friendship. I don't like it when second lead females are just there for schadenfreude hate: all my feminist instincts scream about that.

Also, I hope second lead male realizes he likes Yi-Ryung fast: why else would he keep helping her out? Subconscious attraction, heh.

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Thanks for the recap.

I just love the delight on Gong-Shil face at the thought of touching Joong-Won.

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yeah.. I love her expressions too! can't stop laughing everytime she makes that face. :)

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GHJ--such a wonderful actress. She looks like she is shining from within in those scenes.

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You are absolutely right. She is no classic beauty but there such an alluring warmth, vulnerability and grace of spirit about her that you just get drawn deeper into her the more you watch her.

I thought it would be a hard struggle for her to play opposite the much younger Seo convincingly since you can see the physical age difference clearly. But her acting skills are so timeless that this becomes moot. Brilliant actress.

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Wait! :) So with this cryptic warning from the scary lady about the ghosts looking for an opportunity to return... I wonder if that puts the little boy at risk. Wouldn't it be easy to return through possession of a little boy who has probably little idea and strength to protect himself.

I can't wait to see some upped ante on JW... he needs to squirm a little bit. I imagine that he will come to a point where he will need to separate out the differences btw HJ and GS - assuming that possession comes into play with the two ladies.

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Good point. I think there will come a time when he has to decide whether to keep GS or HJ, much like a man is asked whether he wants to save mother or child in a problematic child-birth, as we've seen so many times in melodramas. And he'll of course choose GS for our sakes. ;)

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Yi-ryung and Kang Woo are so funny together. Hopefully they'll get together!

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Well that was fun. I found all of the characters entertaining and adding value to the episode. Even the mean girl. The drama continues with the clever, and this episode was really just cohesive and more even overall.

I still find Helmet Hair to be reductive of Dokko Jin, and I just cannot take that late 70's-early 80's dyed, fried, and pushed to the side church lady hair.

The jerk Uncle with the "I love you." Ha! And the eye of shame. I could not help it, I envisioned Lady Choi wielding her trusty sword, skewering him. And that one scene when Helmet Hair told Taeyang she could have a freebie- there was crazy all over her face, I just cracked up.

Did anyone find the playground scene just WAY Buffy the Vampire Slayeresque?

I've said before Taeyang's whiny little girl stuff gets on my nerves, but wow, she certainly is working passive aggressive manipulation with Helmet Hair. I find this quite similar to Gong Hyo-jin's character interaction with Chef in Pasta. But I do love that this is a character that owns her sexuality. Should I add a cautious, SO FAR? She's admitting her lusty thoughts and wow, she flirts all over the place. The Kang-woo and Taeyang flirtations are just smile inducing.

The previous episode let us know that there are malevolent spirits at work in the world, and that Taeyang's fears had some justification. This episode point blank told us that something wicked this way comes, eh?

I really enjoyed this episode. I still feel like there is something missing from this drama, but this episode kept me thoroughly engrossed.

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I actually LOVE his hair. Love as in screengrabbed pics and sent it to my best guy friend demanding he cut his hair like that. I seriously love that haircut. You're so right in that it's reminiscent of Dokko Jin's, which was iffy, but I think it's modern and sexy!

As far as his portrayal, I actually started "Greatest Love" after seeing episode 2 of Master's Sun and when I watched episode 3 JW did seem so much like Dokko Jin-Lite. But in 4 and even more in 5 I've seen him settle more into the role, and there is something more grave and dry about his character than Dokko. And he's establishing little quirks that make the character unique. I hope to see him make it even more his own in the future eps.

That "I love you" was SO funny, and so unexpected. I love when random characters break out with hilarious moments.

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I totally love that 'I LOVE YOU' too. It was so hilarious. Actually it was the second time I was laughing so hard while watching the Master's Sun. There were many funny and cute moments that were adorable. But that I love you.... ROTF.

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Is Uncle in a noona-doensang relationship with his wife? I can't tell but --if he is younger than she is-- it's interesting that no one has pointed out that fact.

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The playground scene reminded me most of Chucky - the doll was an almost exact replica of Chucky in "Curse of Chucky".

I have come to the conclusion that this series was not meant to be taken seriously, but is more of a parody and comedy vehicle for all the great one-lines and funny dialogue between the mains. There are just too many references to popular horror movies of the past for it to be anything else.

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me too. It's a horror-lover's trove. I recognize some but some are over my head I think because I haven't seen as many Asian horror movies as I should have.

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Add: Overtones of animated stories

The storyline of the first week's ghost-bride roughly reminded me of Tim Burton's Corpse Bride.

The second week's group of girls reminded me of early Scooby Doo shows. Mystery solving, ghost catching, etc.

The storyline of last week's resident ghost was reminiscent of the villain-enabling spirit in Snow White. (The man in the evil queen's mirror..."you are the fairest of them all".)

And I hope this is wrong, but I'm getting a "Sixth Sense" feeling about the two little brothers' storyline.

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Ya, totally Scoobied on several fronts. I referred to Helmet Hair as Old Man Smithers during the first couple of episodes. I also had felt the mirror Snow White thing. The little kids, I thought the little one was a girl. I was feeling Hansel and Gretel with the whole food connection.

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Thanks GF for the recap.

I really enjoyed this episode. There were so many things that happened and it was all so positive. At the end I did feel it had been a bizarre ride. Bizarre but very good:)

This drama is so different than the other ones I'm watching even the other ghostie 'Who are you?'. I mean it's definitely on its own path. That's why I find it strange you compare it to 'My GF is a Gumiho'.

This is the first drama I can watch of So Ji-sub's-the others were too much for me. Happy for that. Seo In Guk's lines get me. Gong Hyo-jin is the master of different:)

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So enjoyable watching this drama! Thanks GF! Can't wait for the next episode! Seeing SJS here really makes me laugh so much LOL, GHJ is utterly lovable! Story is light and something I want to click and watch right away, no need to use brain and still warms the heart! .... I still dun like the ghost popping up here and there but I dun see them through my fingers any more heh heh! *pats self* kekeke

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Hi All,

Does anyone know the name of the last song in this episode?

Thanks! :-)

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Thanks for the recap!

I'm not too invested in this show, but the introduction of the main plot today upped the ante. And there are enough moments for me to laugh out loud - the flippant manner in which the older boy speaks, the fire pot scene oh my goodness, and the music when he shoves her back in the room because money > everything ... along with how great Seo In Guk is in this role. It could have been flat (ahem Gumiho) but he delivers his lines in a way we can see the pull that she has on him.

I agree with you guys in the statements that it's all cute, but we know exactly how it's all going to pan out. We know that it's a joke now he'd rather choose the money, but later he'll make the choice to save the girl instead. That he'll probably let the big sum of money go for her.

The thing that annoys me is how the Hong Sisters, and kdramas in general, make things that should scream harrassment romantic. The ghost story today was cute, and there was a lingering sense of sadness there, but it shouldn't tug at my heart strings - not really - where a boy continuously insults a girl. I mean, we know he liked her, we know that's how it often happens in real life, but.

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I get what you mean about the harassment. I was gonna say that it's playground, puppy love but the adults here fair no better.

And speaking of harassment, I'm glad that JW actually set some boundaries with GS coz that handsy stuff is really invasive if you think about it. And did KW really have to give YR a bruise?!

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Yea! I agree with the whole romantic harrassment argument. Especially with Yi Ryeong and Kang Woo, as well as when Joo Joong 1 pushed Tae Yang into the room again. It's funny, it really is, but I couldn't help but feel discontent with such scenes even though I enjoyed them. I find myself thinking "careful, you'll hurt her" when ever Kang Woo is with Yi Ryeong

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So true about Seo In Guk. In Gumiho, No Min Woo was so ridiculously gorgeous and flat that I wondered if they were intentionally parodying gorgeous, flat side characters. Especially with the melodramatic nature of his big "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" in the rain. I'm going with that in my head, especially since he's better in other things I've seen him in.

Anyhoo, hopefully they'll give Kang Woo some more dimension. I'm curious about what his big secret is. I would laugh if he's actually a gumiho or werewolf or something.

Man, I know this is a by-the-numbers drama, but it's by-the-numbers in a genre I like, so I'm not complaining.

Yeeeeeah, I've often felt uneasy with the gender politics in these things. It's getting better, but there are still some uncomfortable themes there. It may also partially be that the Hong Sisters only seem to know how to write bickery, juvenile romances, which is why I reeeeeeally wanted them to subvert convention and have the first love be a guy. Again- not that I'm complaining about the cute romance bits. Much.

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But the themes you refer to as 'gender politics' are often rooted in traditional views that transcend cultural and national borders. Consequently, the inclusion of these themes creates a drama that much of the world can relate to. I think broadening a drama's global resonance broadens its global audience. It's smart and shows good business sense.

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I definitely see how everyone relates to it, and I do love dramas, don't get me wrong. I just feel like some of the manhandling (womanhandling?) gets out of hand a bit. And I think there are misconceptions that limit what people think they can relate to, if that makes sense. As in, people could relate to wider definitions of what men and women can do, but not if it's not shown to them.

But that's probably too in-depth for this show. I still enjoy it, but I do wish that overpowering women through wrist-grabbing wasn't drama shorthand for "aw! He loves her!"

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See, I don't have any problem with the wrist-grab harassment thing. From what I've heard from some Korean folks, this is pretty much the culture...except raised to a surreal level in k-dramas.

The skinship thing really is a big issue in Korea. Women just sometimes don't like to be touched. And the wooing thing. If a nice Korean boy gives up after the first rebuttal, he's not getting anywhere. He has to continue ask and ask and be all macho about it...almost to the point of saying, "We're going out on Saturday" as a kind of demand.

Other aspects of the courting rituals: expensive dating, the 100 day anniversary, the subtle way in which a guy asks if they can sleep together, the business of not knowing where a girl lives, or of putting a girl in a taxi, the incredible pushy ways parents get into their kid's dating prospects, the taboo of friendships (let alone relationships) between folks of different ages.

So k-dramas do kinda reflect the culture in a very challenging or over-the-top way. I doubt the folks in that culture think of it as harassment, or maybe they know in a way we non-Koreans know "when" it actually is harassment. And who knows what they think of the way we Americans date. So we can't really judge other cultures' or cultures' art/movies by our standards.

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I see your point about respecting cultures, but it doesn't mean that there aren't out-of-date aspects of the culture that may be problematic. When you're grabbing someone's wrist, you are overpowering them and putting your own priorities over theirs, no matter what culture you're in. It seems the overarching idea in dramas when this happens is that the woman is just hiding her feelings and doesn't know what's best for herself. Generally it makes some kind of narrative sense in context, but surely that mindset could be taken to much more unsavory extremes, outside of the comfortably fictional bounds of dramaland. Plus you rarely see it happening to guys, so it's a very gender-biased action.

And there is still a lot of contention in America about what constitutes harassment. It's often very difficult to be taken seriously in such situations, if you're a female victim, so it's important to acknowledge it when it happens in fictional situations as well.

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But isn't calling another country's social rituals "out of date" nothing more than cultural imperialism?

From what I've seen, the wrist grabbing trope on Korean dramas has attendant rules. It's a gesture that's a strong way of saying, 'stop and listen to me, hear me out.' You don't see the male characters silently grab a wrist and then drag the woman into the bushes...

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Am not Korean but any time anyone grabs me without permission, male or female, I would have an issue with it. Just saying ...

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AMEN!

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I'd have a problem with someone grabbing me and dragging me off to somewhere I didn't want to go. Or grabbing me and drawing me too close. Or a complete stranger grabbing me.

But to have someone I'm close to grab my wrist and say 'hold on a minute, I want to tell you something'... no problem with that whatsoever.

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I think the writers are aware of the issue and can show in their own way and by the director's editing when something is harassment. If dramalovers in Korea have no problem with it (in the same way we westerners have no problem with some western dramatic actions that might offend Asians) then we shouldn't go shoulding on them.

I personally have an issue with folks "taking up the white woman's burden" and going on about enlightening another culture. Dramas and other cultures have been around for a while. I'm sure the ahjummas are well aware of what is harassment and what i not.

Wrist-grabbing seems to put a limit on touching in its own way. These guys never grab elsewhere...or are cruel. I suspect they are being shown as forceful and passionate..nothing more. The touch language is understood between the person doing the wrist-grabbing and the person whose wrist is being grabbed. So if both don't see it as harassment, who are outsiders to get all up in arms about it? So even if it's fictionalized, it's not as if Korea is unenlightened about harassment.

There are tons of gender-based actions in the world and I'm not really bothered by them. Okay, there might be some person out there who learns how to treat women by watching drama, but I doubt there are that many. Guys have moms and dads and teachers in society to teach them how to behave.

The other thing to remember is that the Hong sisters are playing around with the very idea of touching. They're playing around with aegyo and masculinity and wounded folks needing to be touched. I say let them play around

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Agree. Koreans are just more touchy (as in more physical) than most on some actions that would make people hesitate. In real life PDA's are limited a lot between people who are romantically involved. Dramas act as a kind of fantasy that way.

I also dislike the whole "We know what feminism is" bit that some people put forward, but it's just cultural differences. Such as head scarfs--if the woman feels like it's a connection between her and her God and it gives her a sense of self, who are we to rob that from her? Thumping on the drum of feminism is just false to me.

Same with any other culture. You have to understand how it works first before trying to change it. Like the white man's burden thing where they went to this nation in Africa, started planting crops as a favor, acting all mighty without listening to the people and then found out why they didn't--none of the things they planted survived.

Understand before you judge.

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Carole and Kim. Both of your comments are so well said. Amen.

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Thanks, everyone, for discussing this. I think it's interesting, and I'm glad we can do it without tearing each other's hair out.

Agree about the Hong sisters playing around with power dynamics and touching, which I love.

Please understand that I know Koreans understand the implications of wrist-grabbing. I don't take issue when they just do it for emphasis when they're talking. I tend to get a bit less okay with it when he hauls her off somewhere. I mean, her hand is 2 inches away! Give the girl some agency.

I think a lot about how tiny pieces of culture play off each other. As in, the wrist-grab in drama situations isn't meant to be harmful. And most guys get that education on how to treat other people. Unfortunately, some don't, and even of those that do, if they see hot actors hauling gorgeous actresses off all the time, on some level they might think that's okay. The behavior is still being approved by the media.

Also, it's not as simple as "oh, they know they're not supposed to do that, so it's okay." The cultural feed goes both ways, i.e. guys grab women in normal life, thus it's portrayed in dramas, thus guys grab women in real life, wash, rinse, repeat.

I also don't want cultures to all be the same, or impose my own on anyone. Especially since my own is faaaaar from perfect. I just think respect for other humans should be universal, and that nowhere does respect involve hauling someone away against their will, or overpowering them in any way.

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I would say I have a problem with it /because/ I'm korean and it angers me that the industry only pushes the idea further with its audience saying that it's okay. I understand it's a cycle - society does it, so dramas do it, so society does it - but it's only going to let men think it's more than okay to do so (and even romantic), and girls will think they're supposed to accept it.

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