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Suspicious Housekeeper: Episode 1

Suspicious Housekeeper premiered on SBS earlier this week, and it’s certainly got a little bit of everything—comedy, melodrama, and an interesting mystery revolving the strange housekeeper of the show’s namesake. She always obeys orders, never smiles, and seems to be missing some of the essential components that makes a human a human. Her character alone is worth even a tiny peek into this premiere, which is an adaptation of the insanely popular 2011 Japanese drama Kaseifu no Mita.

As for the rest, well, it’s a bit of a tonal mess. Some of the dry humor lands, but most of the comedy feels out of place and shoehorned in to lighten up all the crying, screaming, and general bleakness that comes with the territory of following a family in mourning. If you’re easily turned off by whole chunks of time spent on chest-thumping grief, then this might not be the show for you. I’m still trying to figure out whether this is even the show for me, so take from that what you will.

 
EPISODE 1 RECAP

A woman clad in dark clothing and a baseball cap looks dead ahead, her serious expression unchanging even as a female voice asks her off-screen, “Can you do anything you’re told to do?”

The woman simply says, “Yes.”

“No matter what it is?”

Again the woman replies, “Yes.”

“Then…” the voice hesitates. “Can you kill a person?”

We don’t hear the answer, but the woman doesn’t look like she’s about to say no.

Cut to: A funeral service where YOON SONG-HWA (Wang Ji-hye) pays her respects to the departed woman and the family she left behind, including a husband and four children.

The recently-widowed husband, EUN SANG-CHUL (Lee Sung-jae), greets Song-hwa as his coworker, but their words are tense and just this side of strained. Hmm. As Sang-chul turns to introduce Song-hwa to his children, his eldest daughter glares at the both of them knowingly. Does she suspect them of an affair?

Song-hwa’s coworkers note her odd absence for the past two days, which she hurriedly brushes off right before the banquet is interrupted when Sang-chul’s youngest daughter runs into the room crying because someone already made fun of her for being motherless, which, ugh. I understand that there are social stigmas at play here, but good grief—her mother’s body isn’t even cold yet and some other kid couldn’t resist a you-don’t-have-a-mom jab?

She can’t stop crying because she misses her mom, and none of her siblings’ efforts to console her seem to be working. Her dad looks powerless and in over his head when it comes to comforting her, so the job is left up to her aunt, who’s also inept.

Everyone watches the family drama unfolding, but no one seems quite as aloof about it all as Song-hwa.

An ominous forty-nine days passes, and we see the same mysterious woman from the opening scene approach the Eun household thirty minutes before she’s scheduled to arrive, causing her to wait patiently outside.

Eldest daughter EUN HAN-GYUL (Kim So-hyun) is first to rise, waking up to a house that looks like it’s never been cleaned. She sees the mysterious woman through the window, but her thoughts are drawn elsewhere as her two younger brothers burst into the kitchen to complain about how their noona isn’t doing enough of the chores Mom did.

Curiously absent is their father, which leaves Han-gyul to wake up her little sister and all but pry away the sweater of Mom’s that she still sleeps with.

Once all the siblings are at the table, they get a chance to imagine the food they’d like to eat before they get what’s really for breakfast: cheap, store-bought kimbap. The youngest daughter yearns for real food she spies on the TV, cueing sighs from all her more mature siblings.

The brothers ask after their absent dad, whom we find literally hiding in the bathroom out of fear. Dad Sang-chul has to psych himself up just to go out and be with his family at their meager breakfast table, which he sits at with the utmost reluctance.

Once he’s faced with his kids, we see why—Dad doesn’t know how to handle their varying requests and answers everything in a stutter, clearly trying to be their dad but failing spectacularly at it.

Interestingly, when he does try to initiate conversation with Han-gyul, she pointedly ignores him.

Her brothers complain that their noona isn’t doing enough housework (which kind of makes me want to slap them), though that is a topic Dad wanted to broach with them. He’s hired some help…

The doorbell rings, and the youngest daughter opens it to let the mysterious woman inside. In an almost robotic voice, the woman introduces herself as the new housekeeper, which takes Sang-chul by surprise since he was expecting someone older.

All the same, he hurries to produce a pair of worn house slippers for her from one of the many clutter piles. She politely/mechanically declines as she pulls out her own perfect pair from her strangely doctor-like bag.

As Sang-chul explains the new housekeeper to his children, he adds that it’s because forty-nine days have passed since their mother’s death. Youngest Daughter asks dad what the meaning behind forty-nine days is, leaving Dad to fumble for an explanation.

But it’s the mysterious (suspicious!) housekeeper who finally explains that the forty-nine days is a period of mourning, whereafter those who are still living are supposed to move on with their lives, sort of in a we’ve-paid-our-dues way. But since she’s suggesting that people move on and forget, Youngest Daughter vehemently protests the idea that she’ll never forget Mom.

The family goes back and forth over what to call their new housekeeper, and just when they settle on calling her emo (aunt), she cuts in to explain that since she is not their mother’s sister, she cannot be called their aunt, even if that’s a common colloquial term for a housekeeper. She’s emphatic without changing her tone, and her explanations are almost textbook-like in their level of detail.

She doesn’t seem to like the idea of being called ajumma either (another common way to call a housekeeper), so she introduces herself by name as PARK BOK-NYEO (Choi Ji-woo), all in the same monotone voice, all without even blinking.

Bok-nyeo goes on a tour through the house, making a mental checklist of all the things she’ll need to do. But when it comes to Mom’s untouched room, the family is in a bit of disagreement—Daddy Sang-chul doesn’t seem averse to doing something with it, but his kids want it left the way it is. So it’s off limits for the time being.

As Han-gyul walks to school with her brothers, the oldest one remarks that it’s odd how Bok-nyeo doesn’t smile. Like, at all. No one knows why.

Bok-nyeo stops Sang-chul on his way out to fix his tie, and the ajumma next door sees this normally-intimate gesture with nosy interest. However, she’s quickly taken aback by Bok-nyeo’s automatic and lifeless introduction, clearly hoping for a gossip-worthier scoop than that.

The ajumma immediately tells her husband how strange their neighbor’s new housekeeper is, but her husband is quick to pick up on the fact that his wife is probably just jealous. Then he spies Bok-nyeo through the window, right before his wife does the same. Bok-nyeo catches her gaze and scares the bejeezus out of her. Ha.

Bok-nyeo goes through the house to clean, but no sooner does she open the door to Mom’s room that eldest son EUN DOO-GYUL (Chae Sang-woo) catches her in the act and demands to know what she’s doing.

He’s taken by surprise when Bok-nyeo’s hand flies at his face to catch a fly mid-flight, Karate Kid-style. That’s her excuse for coming into the room, though there’s gotta be more to it.

Sang-chul keeps getting distracted by the sight of Song-hwa at work, and takes the first opportunity he can to catch her alone. “Forty-nine days felt so long, didn’t it?” he asks, right before he adds that he’ll go to her house later. Wait, so he was cheating on his wife? What an asshole.

Song-hwa looks uneasy with his advances, and uses the first opportunity she can to slip away (when Sang-chul is called by Bok-nyeo’s agency). Curiouser and curiouser.

Bok-nyeo’s overly-happy manager is just doing a routine check-up call that turns out to be not-so-routine when she cryptically warns Sang-chul to be careful around his new housekeeper… because she does anything she’s asked to do. Which means that if she were asked to kill a person, she’d do it.

Sang-chul is obviously very confused by all this and the manager quickly laughs it all off like it’s nothing… but I really, really doubt it is. (Because then we wouldn’t have a show.)

Bok-nyeo finds a birthday card in one of Sang-chul’s suit pockets and calls him to get permission to have his suits cleaned. When she asks what she’s to do with the things in his pockets it’s almost like she’s searching for permission to read the card, and when he gives it, she sees that the card is from his late wife.

When asked what she should do with it, Sang-chul flippantly replies that she can just put it anywhere, all while his eyes remain fixed on Song-hwa.

Bok-nyeo purposefully puts the birthday card right on the fridge, and takes a long look at Mom’s portrait.

When Sang-chul returns home from work that night, he’s surprised to find the house so clean it sparkles. He doesn’t notice the birthday card on the fridge as he instead takes to studying Bok-nyeo from behind out of fascination and/or curiosity, since her manager’s words flash through his mind: “If you ask her to kill somebody, she might actually do it.”

Without glancing up, Bok-nyeo stops her dinner preparations mid-chop to ask Sang-chul not to stand behind her, causing him to sputter in surprise. Caught.

Dad’s youngest daughter takes him on a tour through their newly cleaned home in awe, since even the dinner Bok-nyeo makes later is top-notch. She stands by the table while the family eats and declines any invitations to share a meal.

The kids notice that the dishes taste exactly like Mom’s cooking, with eldest Doo-gyul the most suspicious, even when Han-gyul tells him that Mom’s recipes were right on the fridge for Bok-nyeo to use. He’s not convinced.

The youngest son asks for his dad’s help solving a math problem, but Sang-chul has no idea what he’s looking at. Suddenly, Bok-nyeo recites the answer to the equation as easily as if she were reading it from a book, and when Doo-gyul mutters that she probably cheated, she says: “Trash.”

His jaw drops at the insult, until Bok-nyeo finishes her sentence, “Today is recycling day.” But you just know that’s not what she meant. I’m kind of liking her dry sense of humor, but Doo-gyul just finds her suspicious (there’s the title!).

Dad tells his kids that he’s not too sure about keeping Bok-nyeo around since he found out that she does everything she’s asked to do to a fault, causing Doo-gyul to smile mischievously: “Everything she’s told to do?” Uh oh.

The ajumma next door catches Bok-nyeo while she sorts the recycling, but none of her wheedling gets a reaction out of Bok-nyeo. She leaves some recycling for Bok-nyeo to deal with, but when Bok-nyeo crushes it under her feet instead, the ajumma gives an exaggerated reaction straight out of a bad silent film.

The kids’ aunt we saw at the funeral, WOO NA-YOUNG (Shim Yi-young), drops in to bring groceries only to be surprised to find the family sitting at a full table. Youngest Daughter is less excited to see her than she is to see Bok-nyeo return.

Aunt Na-young’s effervescent personality shines through (much to Doo-gyul’s annoyance) as she brings up Youngest Daughter’s upcoming birthday, wanting to plan a party. When Dad asks what she wants for her birthday, his daughter tentatively asks if she can wish for anything. He makes the mistake of saying yes.

“Mommy!” she blurts. “I want to see my mom.”

Even Bok-nyeo looks like she feels sorry for the youngest, who immediately starts to cry when Dad asks her if there’s anything else she’d like. But Aunt Na-young gets a bright idea as she spots a family picture taken during a past birthday, and she cheerfully promises that she’ll let Youngest Daughter meet her mom. (What could possibly go wrong?)

When it’s time for her to leave for the day, Bok-nyeo meticulously changes into her down jacket and black cap. Sang-chul stops her to ask for her advice and a favor—he doesn’t know what Aunt Na-young is planning and wants Bok-nyeo to find out.

“Is this an order?” Bok-nyeo asks. Sang-chul just kind of stutters at the question before he tells her that it is, to which she replies emotionlessly that she’ll obey.

Bok-nyeo goes to the address of Sang-chul’s father-in-law, which is where Aunt Na-young lives. When said father-in-law asks Bok-nyeo to explain why she’s there, she does, but is startlingly literal in a way that father-in-law wasn’t expecting, especially when she tells him that Sang-chul sent her in his place out of fear.

When Aunt Na-young finally arrives, her father just yells at her for associating with Sang-chul and his family. They fuss back and forth at each other in a way only fathers and daughters can, with Na-young insistent that she stay in the lives of her late sister’s family.

Bok-nyeo gives Sang-chul an exact recounting of events, including every word that was said. Her memory is perfect, but not her social skills—she couldn’t get Aunt Na-young’s birthday plans out of her.

Youngest daughter HYE-GYUL (Kang Ji-woo) watches as all the other moms pick their kids up from the kindergarten she attends one by one, absolutely elated when Bok-nyeo arrives to pick her up. Surprisingly, Bok-nyeo even lets her hold her hand.

Hye-gyul arrives home to see the figure of her mother from behind as she cooks, and she immediately thinks it’s her mom since the woman is wearing her mom’s favorite sweater. Good God. If that’s her aunt dressed up as her mom…

Hye-gyul hugs her mom’s(?) back, crying tears of joy. Then her mom(?) turns around… and it’s Aunt Na-young, there to wish her a happy birthday. Cue comedic music.

Aunt Na-young is a lunatic I guess, because she seems to think the act is cute. And the light music seems to tell us that the show thinks it’s cute. I’ll be honest with you guys—it’s not cute. It’s the opposite of cute.

At least the music turns serious as Aunt Na-young serves the family the exact same food she saw them eat in a picture, which is just nine kinds of WRONG. Wrong wrong wrong-ity wrong wrong.

Aunt Na-young tries to salvage the quickly-devolving situation by telling Hye-gyul to think of her as her mom from now on, which only makes Hye-gyul break down as she all but tears her mom’s clothes off her aunt, who only then just realizes what a bad idea this was.

Hye-gyul runs to Mom’s room where she clutches her clothes and sobs, and her fed-up older sister finally yells at her that their mom is dead and nothing will change that. She rips Mom’s clothes out of Hye-gyul’s grasp and orders Bok-nyeo to throw them away.

“Is that an order?” Bok-nyeo asks, like a genie waiting for the magic words. Han-gyul tells her yes, and to throw all Mom’s stuff away while she’s at it. Bok-nyeo: “I will obey your order.”

Just like that, Bok-nyeo starts to throw out Mom’s things, sending the kids into varying states of panic. When the youngest son asks Dad why he isn’t stopping Bok-nyeo, Dad can’t come up with a reply, and Han-gyul turns on him with this fire in her eyes. She accuses her dad of wanting to get rid of this stuff all along, though their reasons are very, very different.

That’s the last straw for Han-gyul, as she flies into a rage by throwing away Mom’s things before she has her own mental breakdown.

Outside, Bok-nyeo sets fire to Mom’s stuff. Doo-gyul rushes out and slaps her across the face (WHAT) so hard she falls to the ground. He doesn’t seem to notice her bloody lip as he shakes her by the shoulders, blaming her for pretty much everything.

Then he turns on Dad: “Are you fine living without mom? Are you?!” Then he has his own mental breakdown, and now this seems like a joke. It’s not supposed to be funny, it just is when he’s third in line to deliver an explanatory monologue about his feelings.

After his turn is over, the youngest son gets to make an angry quip. Once he’s pushed down by his older brother his anger dissolves into sorrow as he gets his turn to cry and explain the pain he’s truly feeling. It’s a chorus line of sadness.

Everyone blames themselves, but no one more than Hye-gyul, since her last memory with Mom was a fight where she’d told her to disappear. Dad’s efforts to comfort her just make her cry harder.

Then the next door ajumma breaks the mood by complaining about the fire happening in their backyard, which takes the scene from everyone wailing and gnashing their teeth in grief to… not that.

The ajumma stands from across the fence to tell an entire tear-stained family that they’ll be looked at differently now that they don’t have a mom, because that’s totally the way real people behave. At least Bok-nyeo puts a stop to her by spraying her with a water hose, using an excuse that we know is a total lie. Cue comedic music and Hye-gyul’s laughter. Because why not.

The water-soaked and makeup-streaked ajumma declares an overdramatic war on the family, which has me wondering if this lady didn’t read any part of the script that wasn’t made up of just her lines, because she thinks she’s acting in Gag Concert when I thought we were all just watching something-like-but-not-necessarily-Schindler’s List.

The family recovers a box from the fire filled with small stones, a gift that Hye-gyul had once given to Mom. This lifts her spirits and they continue with her birthday party like nothing ever happened. Bok-nyeo stands nearby with her bloody lip still, and Dad asks her for birthday candles like his son didn’t just slap her. Something is very wrong with this family.

Luckily, Bok-nyeo produces candles from her magical bag. Then, when they need a birthday card, Bok-nyeo pulls one of those out too. She hands Dad a bill for her overtime later, and he launches into a not-apology by explaining some of his life story, and how he was never ready to be a father.

I do love that Bok-nyeo is all, Are you finished talking? She read my mind.

Little Hye-gyul falls asleep crying and clutching her mom’s box of stones that night. The next day, her classmate calls her stupid and tells her how to actually meet a dead person. This… seems like yet another bad idea.

Daddy Sang-chul tries to salvage his relationship with Song-hwa, who doesn’t want any part of it anymore—she was fine with their affair, but now that his wife is dead, she knows what people will think about her.

At home, Doo-gyul tries to pry open Bok-nyeo’s bag o’ tricks before they realize that Bok-nyeo and their sister should be home by now. No one picks up when they call her agency.

Then we cut back to Song-hwa asking Sang-chul if he’d be prepared to abandon his kids should she not want to break up with him. I think him declining Han-gyul’s call says he is.

The kids go out to look for their little sister, whom we find sitting by the river with Bok-nyeo. Hye-gyul asks her, “Do you really do everything you’re asked to do?”

We see them next as they walk hand-in-hand into the water. Bok-nyeo’s expression doesn’t change as the water reaches Hye-gyul’s chest, steadily inching higher as they march onward to death(?).

After all, Bok-nyeo can’t disobey an order.

 
COMMENTS

Okay, that was messed up.

There’s something irrevocably haunting about that final scene, which achieves a kind of depth that the hour before it tried and mildly failed to set up. It’s already harrowing to see a child presumably marching toward their death in an effort to see their departed mother, but where this show excels in taking it to that next level of soul-suckingly bleak is the fact that Hye-gyul is heading toward that fate hand in hand with an adult who’s supposed to be her caretaker.

It’s that breach of trust with an authority figure that goes beyond neglect or abuse and into another realm of WTF-ery, mostly because Bok-nyeo’s apathy reads as though she truly isn’t human. Her mysteriousness is part of the charm, since I am curious to know how the show plans to explain her existence. Even if she’s dead inside, how is it that she has just enough free will to throw water on an annoying neighbor or cleverly call out an errant son, but not enough to say no to an order? Any order? Even one asking her to kill someone, or to help someone kill themselves? What if the person asking is a child? It’s normally a good thing when a show has you asking so many questions by the first episode, and I’d definitely say that Bok-nyeo is the most interesting aspect of Suspicious Housekeeper by far. Choi Ji-woo is putting in a strong performance.

The story itself is rather straight forward even with the added level of intrigue as to how exactly Mom died, what part Dad had to play in it, what part Song-hwa might’ve had to play in it, and/or whether the ready-to-kill Bok-nyeo might’ve been the murderer. Aside from that mystery we’ve got a family in mourning over the loss of their mother, all of them struggling to heal in their own ways—except for maybe Dad.

Maybe he’s grieving in his own way, but I was definitely taken aback by his “I’m not ready to be a father” speech when he’s got four kids. Accidents happen, but not four of them. And they’re not four little mistakes, two of them are at least into their teenage years—so then he wants pity because he’s been a father for over a decade but he’s still not “ready” to be a father? But he’s ready to leave his kids for an affair? Even if he gets a redemption arc, they might’ve done too good a job in setting him up as an insufferable tool that redemption isn’t an option.

So it’s a plus that some of the characters in this show elicited such strong initial reactions (maybe not if most of those reactions were negative), but the writing was downright problematic at times in that there was just so much of it. Words words WORDS! And then they were super depressing words followed by strange comedic beats. Some shows can manage levity in a sea of melodrama so seamlessly that you barely even notice, making the comedy feel organic as the drama. This show is just not one of them.

In the absence of balance, we get scenes that go on for so long and skew so melodramatic that they could almost be taken for parodies. This is where the directing might be to blame, because though each child had a separate mental breakdown moment in one very long mental breakdown scene, there are different levels of intensity that could’ve been played with instead of just setting the dial to 10 and letting it ride. The loss of a family member is indescribable, but to have not just one child but four violently sobbing for the entire duration of their separate monologues just became way too much to handle, especially when each of their moments happened in a very precise order and in a very spotlight-esque, center stage manner—which made what should’ve felt like raw moments of grief feel like simply manufactured, overwritten lines. It was very much like, “I am [insert child type #47]. I am angry because of [insert trauma here]. But really I’m just covering up my grief which I’ve internalized and transferred onto my [insert type-specific character neurosis].”

And all that’s fine really, even if there was so much more telling than there was showing when it came to revealing character. It was the most un-subtle way to tell us about each child specifically, and they weren’t even the only victims of this treatment—Song-hwa had her tell-all moment with Dad where she went from “I want to break up with you” to “I still have feelings for you and now I will explain why those feelings are causing me inner turmoil.” Eventually, I just wanted the episode to end so everyone would just stop explaining their every thought process.

Maybe someone didn’t get the memo that there will be more than one episode with which they can tell a story, but I can’t say I’m totally out of the game either—I’m interested enough to check out a few more episodes, but further recaps look like a no-go when October premieres are just around the corner—and darn if there aren’t some great looking prospects in that bunch.

 
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I want to like this show but eldest son and lackluster dad are making that very hard to do so. >>Sure son, go ahead and hit the housekeeper across the mouth so hard that she falls, then grab her in your anger and shake her a bit while you shout in her face; that's fine. << No Dad, it's not fine. The family should not troop inside all cozy in their new found revelations to enjoy cake while your battered housekeeper stands off in the wings as if nothing ever happened. You need to man up and get that little beast in check. This family is messed up for more than the obvious reasons.

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That scene was a bit over the top, but lately it seems like a lot of the dramas have gone to this "way over the top" over-emotional trope. If they are not punching someone out, they are tearing up rooms, smashing things, screaming at the ground, and in general overacting so much it is a bit abnormal.

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this episode is almost exactly the same as the first episode of the japanese one. that's lame. skipping this show.

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J version is very good ,
just watch and see

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Sounds interesting. I don't really care about the dad or his affairs or mom's death. But the lead character sounds mysterious enough for me to follow this drama if you were to continue with the recap.
Thanks for this one:)

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Thing about Jdrama vs. Kdramas

One thing I hate about Jdrama is... there the idols really, really took over the dramas, so even if the jdrama have an really interesting plot/story the main idol turned actor sucks so bad that I can't watch it. (I tried to watch starman and Summer nude, both boring as hell and the chemistry sucks because the main leads are just pretty faces that can't act at all)

I find Kdramas have better actors than Jdramas tbh...

Most Jdramas about romantic comedies suck.
It is hard to find a really good one that doesn't end on a mess.

It is true they have more genres though, but do they are all success? I saw many jdramas with interesting plots fell apart on the second half, sometimes things really random happens and ruins it.

Some melo jdramas are just like melo kdramas: all the same. Someone is dying, and they don't have good relationship with their parents, someone is dying and want to do things he couldn't... falls in love and leaves his dear one behind...

Maybe the jdramas that are getting subbed and I try to watch are bad ones with idols and the good ones are left on the shadows Idk, but for me it is a tie between kdramas and Jdramas.

I have to say the last Jdrama that impressed me with its plot, cinematography and acting together was Soredemo, Ikite Yuku ... I was wow... this drama is good, even though it has a dark and heavy plot to some people enjoy...

I was also watching Woman but they again put some random/not necessary plot point on the middle that was not needed... why they made it...

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No, not all J-dramas are a success - but then again, at least they are willing to move out of the safety box. Korean dramas would probably die without Japanese dramas and mangas to work from.

And I don't agree that all j-dramas have bad actors - yes the ones like Nude and Starman are not worth watching, but there have been some pretty good ones. The J tearjerkers seem to be one thing they are really good at, like "1 Litre of Tears" and a few others, but "Woman" is pretty good, though a bit hard to watch since it has only one show a week. I often wait for J-dramas to get near the end or finish so I can marathon them and remember what happened back a few episodes ago.

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And yeah, it seems to be a lot harder to find Japanese subbers than Korean ones, so a lot of the better Japanese ones may not get subbed for days, weeks, months. But the same thing happens with some k-dramas - idol actor ones seem to attract a lot more subbers.

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agree ,

I watched Dr Jin both versions , honestly , J version way more better , it is able to bring you back to that historical
time , so real .

J .historical drama as Jae no sakura , Atsuhime ....
are excellent drama .

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True, some kdramas use manga to base their drama onto it, but they are a few, not a lot.

I don't know if you know it but Korea do have their Manhwa (their korean manga) too.

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1 Litre of Tears wrecked me. I cannot watch it for the 2nd time even tho I love, love, love it.

Anyone up for romance in jdramas should watch late 90's or early 2000's jdramas. Especially with Kimura Takuya as the lead. Or even better search for dramas written by Kitagawa Eriko.

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so you are disregarding jdramas as a whole simply because there are idols who acts?

if your main concern in watching asian dramas is the acting, then your qualifier should be "dramas should have people who can act," and not "dramas should not have idols." there are actors/actresses who can NOT act too, and there are idols who can. seems like you are being too prejudiced against people's job title rather than their abilities.

korean actresses yoon eun hye, jung ryeo won, and eugene are idols that transitioned into acting. but people disregard that fact. while kim tae hee is considered better than idols simply because she is an actress, never mind the fact that she has acting controversies of her own.

and the point of jdramas having a variety of genres is that jdramas HAVE a variety of genres to CHOOSE from... not that each one is successful.

regarding romance: in japan, romance genre does not always equate to happy endings. and japan has a very pragmatic view of romance. so think of it as focusing more on the story, rather than the endings.

regarding plot: jdramas have a really really short time frame - 45 minutes, 30 minutes, even 15 minutes; and a series would usually have 8 to 11 episodes. storytelling/writing is much more direct/concise.

and LOL SUMMER NUDE and Starman are not really "recommendable" dramas unless it is being recommended to people who likes the actors cast in it.

just wondering though, why do you think kdramas melodramas are "just like" jdramas melodramas? kdramas melodramas are usually romance-centric. jdramas melodramas can be life-centric, human-centric and romance-centric, or a mix of those.

anyways, since you have jdramas that you actually like, give those as an example when asking for recommendations to watch so you will get similar ones.

or perhaps try some jdramas you've heard good things about but assumed you would not like... that jdrama may end up surprising you!

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I'm looking for some jdramas recomendations too. I loved Soredemo, Ikite Yuku so I want something as good as that, don't care if it's comedy or romance or mystery as long as it has good actors and incredible solid story! :)

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agree

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Sorry if my comment seemed ''I hate idols and won't watch drama with them''..

It isn't like this, but most of Jdramas I try to watch, have the lead that is an idol that can't act at all and just got casted because of its face. But the main actress that isn't an idol also can't act to save her life... so it is hard to watch jdramas because it seems they don't ask too much about the cast acting...

However, you said it right, have actors that can't act at all, and it is is hard to find young japanese actors that are good at acting and weren't cast because of their face...

About melos, I said they are like kdramas because just like all kdrama melos are the same, the jdramas melos are all the same too, their ending, their plot with disease and etc.

Btw, yoon eun hye and Kim tae hee, both are overrated and can't act for me. KTH being worse than YEH.

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not actually implying that yoon eun hye, jung ryeo won are actually good actresses... just pointing out that now, they are categorized as actresses and that they started out as idols too.

besides judgement of acting talent can be very subjective... some people think yoon eun hye can act, some don't. some people think park shin hye can act, some don't.

and not really sure if you're really serious about all your complaints about jdramas so far... BECAUSE your complaints about jdramas are ALSO applicable to kdramas. at least when people here are pointing out that jdramas have a variety of genres in comparison, it was an observable fact.

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There are good idols that can act too (from the older generation of idol, at least). Nagase Tomoya, Okada Junichi, Kimura Takuya. Even the newer bunch are not bad either (Ninomiya Kazunari, Ohno Satoshi, Kamenashi Kazuya, Miura Haruma, Sato Takeru, etc.).

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“Can you kill a person?” .

My guessing game is either the dead mom, before she dies hired bok nyeo to kill,

or another suspect is yung song hwa hired her to do the killing .

The conversation looks like in jail ?.

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i watched Japanese version ,
great drama , you can learn some lessons from there ,
noboby is all good or all bad ,
don't blame somebody for your failure .

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Having watched ep 1 of this... I hafta say I like the JApanese version a lot more. Because it was the first I watched and it was indeed a dark drama, it didn't need to care much about comedy and stuff. Plus I find the japanese version having better looking and more convincing cast than the korean one. I might watch suspicious housekeeper once it catches up to where the Japanese one ended but i dunno yet because there might be a lot of fillers just to fill in that 20 ep slot.

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Mmmm, I guess after watching the Japanese version, this one loses appeal...I already know all the secrets.
The Korean version doesn't look bad, but the only character that feels better portrayed is the coworker and lover Song-hwa.
I think I'd rather rewatch Kaseifu no Mita, Mita-san is the best! :D

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I had to skip the part where all the kids were arguing and crying and throwing stuff and lighting fire - it's all too much for me, and to be honest I can't feel the emotions there. However apart from the scene I find the housekeeper instriguing enough to keep watching this show. Actually I've already watch the second episode and felt that I might want to invest time into this drama.

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hahaha
this drama is crazy
thanks for recapping!

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Interesting. I was hoping to redeem the the vilian from gu family book because he was so terriable. Looks like not in this one so far. Just like the step father Autumn's concerto, the step father was terrible then he was the good father in miss rose and bad again in lady maid maid (tw)

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It’s a remake of the Japanese drama Kaseifu no Mita (家政婦のミタ – I am Mita, Your Housekeeper). so far it’s pretty spot on with the original series. There’s a reason for the housekeeper’s demeanor and actions no matter how whacked it seems right now.

The original drama goes back and forth with the humor and the tear jerking moments. All in all it was a decent story and I’m looking forward to the rest of Korea’s take on the tale.

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I'm checking out the original Japanese version right now and I have to say that in the first minute I'm happier because while everything else is almost exactly the same, in the Japanese version the oldest sister tells her younger brothers that if they want cleaner clothes and better food then they better learn to use the washing machine and go shopping. That's right girl! You tell em!

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I had watched the original version so I might be a bit biased towards it when comparing with the korean one. First I was quite surprised to see a Korean remade. I saw a few scenes from episode 3 and can see a very clear resemblance with the Jap one. The clothes they wear, the house interior, and many scene perspectives. The main actress dressed and blended so well like Nanako that I didn't realise she was Choi Jiwoo, who I associated with "Winter Sonata" and "Stairway to Heaven". I don't understand why it has to be made so exactly the same. "Queen of the Office" is also a remade but can still see some difference. I would prefer a remade with more changes that carry more on Korean lifestyle. Perhaps set in a traditional Korean family.

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This drama is unlike any other I have ever seen and the most original since "Soul". I love k-drama, but it's not often you see one with a character and story line that are truly original and unique. Choi Ji Woo is great in this role that brings a whole new meaning to the old addage, 'actions speak louder than words'.

IMO, if you're not watching "The Suspicious Housekeeper," you're sleeping on a great one!

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I'm really surprised dramabeans isn't recapping this show. It's unique for a kdrama and a very interesting watch.

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i am addicted to the show... im an very intrigue. hope it will be shown here in the philippines. i am watching it already though. :) Choi Ji-woo is really a wonderful and effective actress. i love her! hope this drama gets high rating til the end. Goodluck to the whole cast.

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I like this drama..i watch all the 12 episod...like the child actress so much..especially the youngest..i'll keep watching it till the end...

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Why the recap is upto ep.01 only??? It's actually in ep.13 already. Understand now why it's rating well in S.Korea. There's too much to explore w/ the characters involved and so far, this version is not disappointing. The story, the cast are doing their job very well. Havent seen the Japanese orig., but I hope this S.Korean version will not have the same Ending. Would love a great ending.

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To those who are on the fence with this one, Suspicious Housekeeper is really good!

I'll admit the first few episodes, the oldest son & dad really get on your nerves. The son is always yelling/angry and the dad does not have a backbone.

BUT!!!!!!!!

They eventually grow up and are tolerable. The kids are just oh -so-cute especially the youngest daughter. (Can I have her?). There's also really good twists in the plot.

Don't miss out. Such a great drama!

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Hi! Been following a lot of your recaps ^^

It was a bit laggish...until the appearance of Song Jong Ho ( Measle Ghost in Mandate from Heaven/ Fugitive of Joseon ) as the elusive Jang Do-Hyung, (SPOILER: he's actually Eun-soo/ Bok-Nyeo's stalker who murdered her husband and kid). It was around episode 10,12... Ever since then, just for his scenes alone, I've been following the series.
>.<

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I really want to watch this movie..but I can't find the English subtitle it's all Indonesia..can someone help me...please..

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