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Miss Korea: Episodes 1-2

Miss Korea was the other new drama that premiered last week, and while I wouldn’t call it a straight romantic comedy (it’s a bit moody for that, though not in a bad way), it has some solid things going for it, like two charismatic leads and a backstory to keep their present-day connection crackling with chemistry and conflict.

Set in 1997, the drama has an interesting vibe—it looks appropriately dated given that the world was a different place then, particularly in the wake of the nationwide financial crisis—but I wouldn’t say it feels dated. It’s slightly nostalgic, but in a different way than the Answer Me franchise; it’s tinged with a darker shade of realism, slightly bittersweet. But it’s not all gloom either, and I expect to see a success story emerge among our team of underdogs, as well as a second-chance-at-love dynamic between the leads, which I look forward to watching unfold.

The drama reunites the Golden Time and My Princess director with the Romance Town writer; their last drama together was 2010’s Pasta. As you’d expect given those credits, Miss Korea carries a lot of the same traits over, whether it’s the familiar faces in the cast or the Every Single Day-driven soundtrack or the focus on the small, low-key moments in relationships. None of those is a bad thing, though I do wish the drama didn’t also have that same dulled color palette and washed-out visuals—won’t somebody buy this PD a new camera?

SONG OF THE DAY

Kim Greem – “우리만 있어” (We’re alone here) [ Download ]

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CHARACTERS & RELATIONSHIPS

This is OH JI-YOUNG (Lee Yeon-hee, continuing in her upward trajectory of acting growth), a 27-year-old “elevator girl” at a department store. She’s the eldest of the bunch and has taken on a mother hen role to the other elevator girls, who look to her for guidance and protection, particularly since she’s the only one with the spine to talk back to their sleazy supervisor. This is a double-edged sword, however, because her boldness has gotten her on her boss’s shit list, and the vindictive little man isn’t likely to let things slide without retaliation.

In the present-day timeline of 1997, the elevator girl is a dying breed, and department stores nationwide have been phasing them out to the point where Ji-young and her friends worry that they’ll soon find themselves out of a career. The first step is when their supervisor gives them all the “option” to resign voluntarily in exchange for severance pay; that the next phase of firings won’t be as generous is understood.

On the surface, Ji-young seems content enough with her lot in life—she’s not on the fast track to anywhere, but she’s not ambitious enough for that to bother her. She puts in her hours at work and enjoys clubbing at nights, where she’ll dance her heart out while keeping men at a distance.

We do start glimpsing something under the surface, however, suggesting that a deeper unrest lies beneath the collected image she projects. One well-concealed complex is her self-consciousness over having a flat chest; it starts out seeming like a minor character tic but may possibly turn out to be more.

She lives in a modest home with four men—Grandpa, Uncle, Oppa, and a father she calls Mom. (I wondered for a moment whether the drama was doing something interesting with gender identity, but the official character description just says that her father has been a mother to her, and hence she calls him Mom.) They run a small neighborhood mart and seem like a loving bunch.

KIM HYUNG-JOON (Lee Seon-kyun), 30, is the president of a small cosmetics company named Vivi, which he runs with his former school buddies. He’s on the brink of drowning in debt, with debt collectors harassing him and his staff for the 500 million won (half a million dollars) he owes.

Hyung-joon was timid as a high schooler and went to Seoul National University, which means that his crew is a brainy bunch. However, as their debt collector notes, merely having those brains didn’t guarantee that they’d make money with them.

Desperate for ways of increasing revenues, the Vivi team dodges their loan sharks while trying to hit up contacts for investments. Their product is good, they know, but they just haven’t found a way to make a breakthrough in the market.

Leader of the lab staff is HWA-JUNG (Song Sun-mi), a chemist who does a lot of the testing and developing. She’s the eldest and has the fiercest temper, and her tenacity hints at hilarious and awesome things to come. The two other guys, Hong-sam and Kang-woo (Oh Jung-se, Choi Jae-hwan), on the other hand, are shy nerds. The four friends went into business together with lofty goals of making profits with high-quality cosmetics and hard work, and perhaps their lack of a business brain is why they’re in the trouble they’re in today.

Vivi is on the cusp of developing a new item that has yet to be picked up by their competitors—a wonder product called BB cream that’ll revolutionize the industry and make them a hit. In hindsight we know they’re right, but in the drama’s present-day reality, their enthusiastic pitches do sound a little wild-eyed and fantastical.

Then there’s debt collector JUNG SUN-SAENG (Lee Sung-min), whose name means Teacher Jung and raises eyebrows whenever he clarifies that yes, he actually was named Sun-saeng at birth. Thus he’s not a teacher in any sense but he gets called Teacher Jung nonetheless, which is a bit ironic given that he’s a high school dropout with a rap sheet and no real achievement to his name.

Teacher Jung is a wonderfully pathetic character who I think will add a ton of heart to the show, because he’s in the traditional villain role of loan shark and yet he’s quite bad at it, being too soft-hearted to break the knees or extort the money necessary to be successful at his job. He answers to a higher boss who warns him to get that money from Vivi or else, and so he goes after Hyung-joon with thugs and threats… but then feels sorry for Hyung-joon and offers himself as his bodyguard, even if it’s to protect Hyung-joon from himself. His reasoning is that Hyung-joon looks close to suicidally desperate and if he should kill himself, Teacher Jung can’t get his money. So he’ll stick around to make sure he lives—and by extension, succeeds, because success for the debtor means success for the collector. And lo and behold, already an unexpected (to them) bromance starts to blossom…

In contrast to Hyung-joon with his lack of business sense, MA AE-RI (Lee Mi-sook) rules with shrewdness and cold logic. She’s a beauty salon owner who became a star (and star-maker) when she produced a Miss Korea, and ever since then she has churned out a steady supply of them via her Queen Hair Salon. Coupled with her keen eye for girls with Miss Korea potential, she also runs something of a beauty queen boot camp, ruling her roost of pageant hopefuls with strict discipline. This means that Queen Salon has young girls (and stage mothers) lining up to be molded by Ae-ri, and those who flourish under her tutelage are practically assured a win in the pageant.

What’s interesting about Ae-ri is that she has a stern, unbending side as the director of Queen Salon, but she also treats her girls with compassion. Ish. In one instance she takes aside an underage runaway who’s hostessing in a bar and urges her to go back to school and teaches her never to let men take advantage of her, promising to take care of her needs. It’s not altruistic, because she’ll benefit by playing svengali… but there’s a sincerity to her advice that softens her edges in an interesting way.

 
THE STORY

At Dream Department Store, Ji-young’s smarmy supervisor power-trips his way around the elevator girls, most of whom are too young or timid to talk back to him. Ji-young is the only one cheeky enough to stand up to him, but ultimately she doesn’t have any power to make him stop leering at the girls or barging into their locker room, because she doesn’t want to be out of a job, either.

So she endures the tough hours, slapping on a smile for the customers’ benefit and sneaking forbidden snacks when she can. I love the beat where the camera stays on her face as she chokes down food hurriedly between floors, and we just watch her painfully trying to eat as quickly as possible—it’s so real and sad, that little moment. This is one of the things this drama does well, drawing out a human beat with the smallest of gestures.

Another example of that attention to detail comes when Hyung-joon visits an old high school classmate, LEE YOON (Lee Ki-woo), to ask for an investment into Vivi Cosmetics. Yoon’s company deals in investments and M&As, but they all know that Hyung-joon is begging for a favor to save his skin. He doesn’t even hide that he’s desperate, allowing that this is pathetic of him but pleading for help just the same.

Hyung-joon isn’t some highly principled hero who’ll always do the right thing, and he even tries to offer Yoon a personal bribe. Yoon declines the cash and the investment, and Hyung-joon sinks one step further into despair.

As they’re taking the subway, Hyung-joon and his two buddies witness the strange sight of Ma Ae-ri in one of her training runs with her pageant hopeful. The girl is told to strut as though she’s competing onstage, and she drops her coat and does as ordered, Ae-ri’s instructions ringing in her ear.

The attempt falls flat when the girl gets caught up in a subway melee (between political protesters) that kills her nerve and sends her off the subway sobbing. The guys shrug off Ae-ri’s Miss Korea grooming operation as a silly idea for now, but it’ll come back to them later.

Hyung-joon gets cornered in an alley by Teacher Jung, who beats the stuffing out of him before joining him for a drink. The two men are both backed into a corner by their respective dilemmas, and this is when Teacher Jung offers himself as bodyguard. “Just don’t die” is his main directive. Afterward, he shows up at their offices periodically to keep tabs on them, to amusing results.

The Vivi guys half-joke about making their own Miss Korea, since being connected to a winner would open doors for them. They cite examples of other people who have benefited by their association to sponsoring a Miss Korea, and start thinking that perhaps that will be the thing Vivi needs to drag itself out of its hole. The guys all vow to each find the best-looking woman they know for consideration, and this sends Hyung-joon on a series of reunions with old flames—he’s always dated attractive women, but he’s also been a crappy boyfriend, which results in a string of angry rejections.

This also sends him down memory lane, thinking of the most beautiful girl he knows—Oh Ji-young. They met when she was a first-year high school student and he was a senior, and she’d come to his mother’s bathhouse and called him oppa, while all he could do was gape awkwardly.

Ji-young was so popular among the boys that a mere walk by the schoolyard would send them all to the windows, raining her in their cheers and adoring messages. On one occasion Hyung-joon sends a yellow paper airplane down to her and nearly dies of joy when it lands on her shoulder… though he’s crushed moments later when she sends it flying onward.

Ji-young sells cigarettes at her family’s shop, which results in boys lining up to buy smokes just to get to talk to her for a second. Yoon—as confident then as he is now—is the only one who actually asks her out, but his braggadocio takes a hit when she declines. Hyung-joon, on the other hand, is too cowardly to even muster the nerve to approach, though he catches a break when she’d talks to him first.

Ji-young guesses that he doesn’t even know how to smoke and offers to teach him, demonstrating with a sausage stick. Through her cheery demonstration, Hyung-joon just stares, totally seized with terror and excitement, and makes an awkward attempt to smoke.

It’s clear he was massively smitten with Ji-young, and for all we can see she was a sunny sweetheart as a teenager, so one big point of curiosity is finding out where things took a turn. Because when Hyung-joon shows up one day in Ji-young’s elevator, the reunion is anything but sweetly nostalgic.

He tells Ji-young she’s the prettiest girl he’s ever known, but he says everything with an air of puffed-up superiority. I almost chalked it up to a false bravado to make himself feel important next to the girl of his dreams, until Ji-young turns on him and pins him to the wall, spitting back all the terrible things he’s said about her in the past decade—that he went around calling her trashy and cheap and with shit for brains.

Hyung-joon’s inner monologue wonders how she found out he’d said all that, though hilariously, he’s still kind of hopeful that she’ll look past that to work with him. Ha. There’s a distinct jerk quality to Hyung-joon that I find interesting, if extremely exasperating, because I’m rooting for him and yet he’s kind of a dick.

Though he rejected Hyung-joon flatly the first time, Yoon belatedly gets a report on BB cream’s potential to be the next big thing. Thus he reconsiders the offer to invest in Vivi, and the Vivi boys make a few nervous boasts about having a future Miss Korea on their hands. Skeptical Yoon offers to give half the investment if they can produce a top-three finisher in the upcoming Miss Seoul pageant (as Miss Seoul winners historically go on to win the Miss Korea competition). And if she comes in first, they’ll get the full investment.

All right: stakes established, premise locked and loaded. The problem is, now Hyung-joon’s not only been turned down by Ji-young, he’s also offended her and dredged up old memories. He dreams of her strutting in her Miss Korea bathing suit and mocking him for using her for his own profit. He’d called her easy before, so now Dream Ji-young says she’ll play hard to get—and he can get lost forever.

What’s great is that at this point I want him to have to grovel to get her on his team, because he’s earned her scorn. And his words have struck a nerve; Ji-young spends the day fighting tears on the job, berating herself for frittering her life away and not trying harder to study or make something of herself.

Thus when Hyung-joon drops by her home late that night to try again, she turns him away coolly. Thing is, she’s also been spotted by Ae-ri, who’s always got her eyes peeled for the next beauty queen, and Ji-young gives Ae-ri’s offer serious consideration. Her major hang-up is her huge insecurity over her chest; not only does she stuff her bra, she’s terribly embarrassed about it and hides the pad. Ji-young secretly calls a plastic surgery office to inquire into the enlargement procedure.

Meanwhile, Ae-ri finds another potential contender in her son’s girlfriend, KIM JAE-HEE (Go Sung-hee), who is set up to become the primary rival. Jae-hee is rather calculating herself, having finagled the son to get closer to the mother, since what she really wants is the Queen connection.

So Jae-hee makes her way to Queen Salon along with a whole crew of hopefuls to begin the grooming process. That’s the same night that Ji-young finally plucks up the nerve to take the offer, and she arrives at Queen too.

Hyung-joon follows Ji-young, and when he sees where she’s headed, he realizes he’s about to lose his only shot at this Miss Korea gamble. It’s lucky for him that Ji-young is stricken with last-minute doubts, particularly when she sees all the other glamorous girls with their plentiful busts, and she turns back to go home. Still, she isn’t giving up: She decides she’ll get her surgery, then present herself to Ae-ri and try out for Miss Korea. “That’s my last chance.”

 
COMMENTS

Coming into the drama, I wasn’t quite sure how they’d explain the whole Operation: Miss Korea motivation; I could see the tagline working for a glossy studio rom-com (say, of the Miss Congeniality sort), but I wasn’t getting a campy vibe from this production. Now that we’ve seen the setup, I have to say I like it, and for that we can largely thank the characterizations.

Right off the bat I love the Ji-young character, who mixes strength with vulnerability, confidence with lost-little-girl insecurity. I’m sure we’ll get to see more of her past in flashbacks, and that should fill in some of the blanks with her and Hyung-joon, which is reason enough for me to tune in. I want to know why he turned into such a sneering ass where she’s concerned, because it’s definitely not where you thought he would turn out when you saw his bashful 19-year-old self.

We’ve seen Hyung-joon being rather a charming douchebag with his ex-girlfriends, and Teacher Jung makes the incisive remark about the Seoul University/Vivi crew thinking themselves above the rest—they’re educated and high on themselves, he says, and consider the others beneath their notice. I think there’s a real ring of truth in his comments, although I don’t think any of the Vivi employees know this about themselves. It’s a perspective born of privilege in never having had to question that they were smart and going to make successes of themselves. And somehow this has manifested in the way Hyung-joon relates to the opposite gender—all women, not just Ji-young.

I’d be willing to be money it all started with Ji-young, though, and that’s where my curiosity is highest. Hyung-joon seems like a very real character to me, in that he comes off like people I might know in real life, not just in dramaland where character traits are so often polarized into hero and anti-hero camps. What’s your deal, Mr. Smartypants Snob? Were you so in love with a girl that you channeled your disappointment into anger, and fed that anger until it turned into overall cynicism? (Or worse, misogyny?) Did you tell yourself that the reason she didn’t love you was because she was a slut, and not because of anything you did? The things he’d said about Ji-young over the years are pretty unsavory, despite the humorous way the scene was played, and seem to say a lot more about him than her.

So this creates this really interesting conflict within myself where I’m firmly on Ji-young’s side, just waiting for her to make him pay for his crappy words (and beliefs), while still pulling for him to take up a real attitude adjustment and come out of it a better man. I have zero interest in rooting for this version of Hyung-joon to get what he wants and make lots of money and win the girl’s heart, because who needs to reward bad behavior? Yet Lee Seon-kyun plays him with such lovely nuance that I can see hope for character rehab in his future, and I want him to earn his success—not just in the business sense, but also karmically.

Plus, I’m sure the drama will be filling in the intervening years to at least explain how they came to this point. The actors have great tension, both of the romantic variety and the antagonistic, and I think we’re in for great relationship moments down the line.

With the BB cream and Miss Korea angles both in play, I think Miss Korea’s 1997 timeline really works; I had wondered why the drama picked this particular year, but seeing the pieces being set in place, I see how they fit. On Hyung-joon’s end, we end up pulling extra-hard for him to make it because we know that if he’s the one to get in on the BB craze (or start it, even), he’ll succeed wildly.

It also provides a nice counter to Ji-young’s elevator girl status—not only is she a former beauty queen who flamed out in high school, she’s on the cusp of becoming obsolete even in her daily job. I don’t necessarily think Ji-young has spent her life in self-loathing, but now that her future seems insecure, it highlights the point that she really hasn’t done anything with her life. At 27, if she gets fired (which is a distinct possibility), there’s literally no job she’d be suited for, with her entire field disappearing with the times and her only on-the-job skills being professionally polite and pretty. So while it may feel a bit dramatic to look upon a Miss Korea bid as a “last chance,” I can see why she’d feel that—it’s a last chance to push for something big and life-changing before settling down with resignation and accepting her life’s lot.

I’ll be curious not only to see how our Vivi team can convince Ji-young to their side, but how they could actually outperform Ae-ri, who’s so competent and connected that she seems unbeatable. Will they find something within themselves to challenge Ae-ri’s drill sergeant techniques? Or will it be something special about Ji-young herself?

So while tonally the drama isn’t quite a 100% match with my sensibility—it’s a little plaintive, a little heavier than I’d like—I’m invested in the people and their trajectories, so it’s likely I’ll stick around to see where they all land.

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Thank you for the recap! I was wondering if you would recap it.

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Does anyone know what song was playing as Ji Young's walked past the Boy's school? I am sure it's a cover too but I want to know the Korean title and singer.

Also, what did you think of LYH's acting? I only watched the first episode and I have not watched her in anything prior to this show - I thought she was fine.

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Lee Yeon Hee acting

her fans-the best in the world
her antis-the worst in the world
her haters-well I have seen others doing that skill acting too
people like me who don't have any interest-sometimes yawn, sometimes laughing cos she's funny, sometimes don't know what to say.

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I didn't pick up anything negative on LYH's acting in javabean's article above, but assessment of her acting is something that you need to make for yourself.

That said, I remember LYH as Uhm Tae Woong's baby sister in Resurrection, and I liked her in that, even if her role is very minor.

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Lee Yeon Hee is definitely not the best actress there is but she's not the worst either.

But when she cries, I cry... not because she's able to move me but because her face when she cries... looks so tragic and distracting T_T

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I haven't seen her in anything else, but I am LOVING her in this. It helps that her character is awesome, but she really brings the spunk and the depth to the role. And her chemistry with Lee Seon-kyun is off the hook. Best I've seen all year.

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I agree with you comp,etely on this. I love her in this role. And yes, their chemistry is great. They are going to combust, thats how hot they arr together :)

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The high school song is by Lee Moon-se, "깊은밤을 날아서" (The deep night takes flight)

This one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Utke41C6xzU

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Thanks, javabeans!

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Thanks Javabeans! I was wondering about it too. Love it!

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Thank you so much!!

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I knew I heard the song before. Spica covered it!

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I think it's safe to say this is a VAST improvement over her previous roles, she was mostly good in her Gu Family Book cameo (a first) and has clearly built on that experience - this is the first time I've seen her in a lead role and bringing something other than her looks to the table. The crying faces still look weird, but things can improve.

Side note: it looks like this is SM's year for getting their actresses with a rep for a pretty face and not much else, to really step up to the plate (first Go Ara, then Yoona, now LYH).

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Glad to see that she continues to improve her acting after all these years. I think picking the role helps. She is much better in rom.com than heavy and serious roles.

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This is actually a pretty heavy role, though. Sure, she's spunky and the show is darkly funny at times, but she has a real emotional heft to her that grounds the show.

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I don't like LYH as an actor in general, but I feel she's doing pretty well in this drama. She's not perfect, but I'm pretty satisfied with her so far.

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Thanks for answering my Christmas prayers JB :D after AM94 ends, I wasn't sure I would comment in anything soon. But now that you're recapping MK, I'll be commenting here ;)

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Oh, I have to warn you that it's likely I can't keep recapping Miss Korea, since I'm doing Star Man. I did want to give everyone the heads up about this show, though, since it seems like a promising drama.

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Ok ;( I will pray that someone will recap ER Couple or INR3 :D

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Oh, Javabeans, thank you sooo much for this recap and I completely understand if you can't continue to recap. But, I'd be so over the moon if you do continue, or if anyone else on your team picks it up. Wish you a great holiday.

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Thanks for the recap....I really wanted to check this out and after this post, I think I'm gonna watch it now :-)

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Does anyone know the name of the song that was playing during the cigarette scene when ji young tells hyung joon that she doesn't know how to smoke and he just stares at her (dreamily? Longingly?)? I've been trying to find it everywhere but haven't managed to do so:(
By the way I hope you continue to recap the show! It was on my radar since its teasers came out but now I am intrigued and will continue watching it. It'd be nice to know your thoughts on it as the series progresses!

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I would like to know this as well. I just love the music on this show so far. Very moody & atmospheric.

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(When it's not playing The Village People, that is)

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I'm not positive but it sounds like Every Single Day (the music director for this show) so I would guess there's a chance it'll show up on the soundtrack.

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Advance Merry Christmas Javabeans, Girlfriday & the rest of the writers of Dramabeans :)

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I sorta like the darkish vibe this drama gives off. I think it's a kind of story that really could be termed as shallow on the offset, but given the personality makeover (instead of outer beauty) and the shade of melancholy; it gives out different feel.

I'm looking forward to how they take this story further. Thanks for the summary JB!

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Oh, I really loved Teacher Jung! I can't tell if it's mostly due to the actor himself or the character...but I feel most invested to him out of the other characters. And I agree that Kim Hyung Joon is a friggin jerk. I don't like him. I see some potential redeeming qualities, and I hope my perception of him changes soon. I find this drama better than You From Another Star, though. I'm watching both, but I can appreciate this one more.

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Glad to see there is a recap of this drama because I was actually waiting for it xD

I actually really like this drama & it has the same pace like Pasta which I really enjoyed so i'm hoping is going to be recapped :D

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it won't, if you see below there is the list of recapped series and Man fron another star is the one picked.

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Their flashback reminds me of Architecture 101.. If tht hero went on to spread rumors in his bitterness on seeing the heroine (allegedly) goin to sleep with a popular douche bag.. They do mention here (kiwoo's char does) tht she's dating a college freshman..

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Great recap. Blech drama.

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I'm so happy to see this on dramabeans. I just watched the first episode and LOVED it. The characters are rich and layered, there's tons of social commentary but the commentary is all rooted in the story, and the heroine is AWESOME but in a very real, believable way. There's something kinda dark & gritty to this show that I find very, very appealing. Oh man, I am hooked. I hope you continue to recap this show (or maybe do baby, dual recaps or something?). I suspect there will be a lot to discuss throughout its run.

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Also, I get the feeling that I'll probably want to punch Hyung Joon in the face next episode (based on the comments here), but he and Ji Young have some SERIOUS heat. It's so refreshing after a string of dramas that culminate in chaste frightened rabbit pecks between leads, to see the sparks shoot out of the computer screen during that cigarette tutorial. These two are sex on a stick, I tell you.

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I like to think it's because Kdramas are too busy making a point about what pairings society SHOULD find acceptable (mmm, scrawny high school brats... said no one ever) that they forget about the reality of basic male/female tension.

IMO, LYH - LSK's chemistry >>> almost anything I've seen this year except for So Ji Sub and Gong Hyo Jin.

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Well said. I just watched episode 2 and noticed that even in the Teacher Jung/Ma Ae-ri salon interaction, sparks were flying. Methinks this show has a great PD who works with his/her actors to explore the characters' basic human wants and needs, which should be a given on any show, but is surprisingly hard to accomplish.

I actually prefer the lead pairing's chemistry in this over Master's Sun. While GHJ & SJS lit up the screen (& were definitely my fave coupling before this), there is something about the grittier tone of this show that frees the actors to actually portray their characters as sexual beings in a realistic way. It's less of a fairy tale than Master's Sun, and that extends to the sexual chemistry of the characters IMO. It just feels more real to me.

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Ha..ha.. you're not by any chance talking about the scene in the elevator where LSK's character brazenly removed O Ji Young's badge from her chest, are you? The way he did it, it almost seemed like he was caressing her. I wonder if that was intentional.

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Oh, I'm sure it was intentional! The creative team on this know exactly what they're doing (sausage cigarette, anyone?) Sparks fly every time the leads are near each other. I think the hottest moment for me thus far has been the cigarette sausage tutorial flashback (OMG), but basically anytime those two actors are interacting, fireworks go off somewhere.

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I think in Miss K's case, the writing, framing and mostly solid acting helped elevate the chemistry. Like you, I saw chemistry EVERYWHERE, especially between gangster-fanatical salon owner (my favorite character thus far) and gangster-sunbae researcher.

Side note: The dude from FB Ramyun series looks much older compared to the last time I saw him!

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yup, that sausage (cheese?) stick was pretty blatant - nothing suggestive about it! And the way she was teasing him at his mom's bath house was coming on pretty strong, too. MS was definitely more in the family-friendly classification slot!

I like the gritty tone of this drama, too. She's a spunky heroine who knows how to put sleazy guys in their place, and who looks after (and towers over!) the younger girls (aww - that mannequin scene!).

But she's got a lot of insecurities and uncertainty - I wonder how much of that Hyung-joon's responsible for? In between the themes of beauty pageants, inner beauty (and world peace), I hope they try and tackle the impact that all this objectification has on womens' self-esteem. But since his company's marketing BB cream cosmetics, maybe there's a limit on how far it will go?

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@Celery: OMG I thought Flower Boy Ramyun actor looked a lot older than he did on that show, too! I almost didn't recognize him.

@Thursdaynexxt: That mannequin scene was amazing. I love how much she tries to protect her coworkers. And yet she still has her hangups. It's very human. I mean, what woman (even the most self-actualized, confident woman) doesn't have some insecurities? I'm a big bundle of them, in spite of years of therapy, haha. I think a huge factor though in her insecurity is that she's always gotten by on her looks, literally. It's how she makes a living, it's how she unwinds after a long, soul-crushing day at work (being the center of attention at a club), it's probably how she distracted herself from the loss of her mother as a teenager (by reveling in the attention she got from boys). Of course now, nearing 30, she's probably realizing that she's not going to be the hot young thing forever, she's in a dead-end job with no hope for advancement, few discernible skills, and no real hope for her future. So of course she views the one opportunity that comes her way with trepidation, and it brings to the forefront old insecurities that she's grappled with.

A testament to how magnificently this show is dealing with the complexity of body image in the modern world is that Ji Young's decision to get breast implants can be seen as both empowering and deeply, deeply tragic. Empowering because she is taking a realistic look at the system and choosing to exploit it for what she can, rather than being passively exploited (a la her skeezy elevator boss or even Hyung Joon when he tries to use her to get money for his cosmetics company, with no regard to her personal well-being). Tragic because, good lord, she is a gorgeous, brave, intelligent, spunky woman who has been made to believe that the only way she can succeed in life is to surgically change her body. Then again, given how prevalent plastic surgery is in Korea (and even the US), maybe that's not so far off the mark. Mmm, I love me some sharp, incisive social commentary.

I don't know how far this show will go in its skewering of the image-obsessed culture, but I can't imagine how it could shy away from exploring how the makeup industry plays into that, given its treatment of the themes thus far.

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@ rearwindow: maybe it's a testament to my budding love for the show and how well these characters are developing, but when she decided the implants were the way to go, I was ready to grab the screen and yell at her not to do it!! Really looking forward to next week's ep.

Merry Christmas to my fellow beanies! :D

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@Thursdaynexxt: I had the exact same reaction! I think I gave an audible "Noooo!" when she picked up the phone to call about the implants.

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LSK could have sexual chemistry with a plank. He's one of those rare actors who could be paired off with any actresses and still make the romance believable. I was rooting for him and Seo Woo in Paju though i know from a moral standpoint of the movie, it was all kinds of wrong.

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He is phenomenal, isn't he? He just exudes sex.

Lee Yeon-hee is definitely holding her own, though.

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"...sexual chemistry with a plank" SPOT ON!!

Yet he never over does it- it's a smoldering, underneath-the- gruff kind of hotness, enhanced by That Voice!!

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Never does what? I think he does it plenty.

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Seems cool; can't wait to watch it.

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this drama is more realistic than i thought, it capture life reality n i like that

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Isn't amazing how much more you learn when you read a Dramabeans recap? It totally enhances my viewing of a drama.

I can't wait for the story to get well underway. This drama promises to have everything from romance, bromance, melodrama, comedy, tragedy, etc... I hope ratings pick up, too, though it seems like it will have to compete not only with the Star Man drama but also Prime Minister as well.

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i think this website's power is underrated. i for once like it very much, but i think a lot of k-drama fans might be influenced to watch this drama if someone in the site's team will keep recaping it..
btw this is not a request but i really wish more people would see how realistic and raw this drama is.. the characters have so much layers and the leads relationship is so complicated and no one is trying to make them picture-perfect.. and the sad truth is cause of the competition in korea, they are failing.. and outside of it the situation isn't better since most kpop fans will watch yoona's drama and miss this one.. :(

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Am i the only one watching this instead of Man From Another Star?

I admit that i have the tendency to pick the dark horse over the more hyped-up rival and in this case, MK has the gorgeous-knee-melting-panties-burning-heart-stopping Lee Seon Kyun to tip my pref. I prayed that i would like his female co-star this time 'round as I had to forego Golden Time cause i couldn't stand Hwang Jung Eum. I'm glad all that praying paid off after watching both eps of MK as Ji Young was quite endearing. I like the fact that LYH has UNLEARN to be pretty in front of the camera.

I don't know what it is about LSK but i always have my mind in the gutter where he is concern. The scene where Ji Young was teaching Hyung Joon to smoke was darn suggestive.....especially since i couldn't make out what the substitute ciggie was till HJ asked why she's using a sausage stick. lol. And oh, how i laughed when i saw him in his high-school outfit. Where Lee Ki Woo was the flowerboy student, LSK looked like the aged nerd. We'll probably get more of it in the flashback scenes but i hope he ditches the uniform. Never again please.....or perhaps get a better looking uniform....

Seeing that HJ was such a jerk towards JY, i kept wondering how he was going to convince her to help out. If she had consented because of the layoffs, i felt that i wouldn't be that invested. But her plan to use him, get a boob-job and then abandon him to go to Ae Ri is something i can get behind. I like my heroine on the grey side. Also, it makes for great future conflict when she has to decide if she'll really abandon HJ in the end or keep going with him when romance is in the horizon. Love or career?

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I'm watching both, but this is the show that hooked me emotionally from the start. I love the darkly comic tone and the grounded, morally ambiguous (which is to say: real) characters. That smoking scene was HOT HOT HOT, and I think the writers, the PD and the actors all knew what they were doing with it. I LOL'd when JY said that they were "smoking" a sausage. Of course, if the phallic imagery weren't enough, they were LITERALLY sucking on a vienna sausage.

That's one of the things I really love about this show, actually--it allows its characters to exist as actual adult, sexual beings, while showing the grit and the emotions that go along with that. You have all these people trying to objectify JY (of varying degrees of skeeziness--and I am just so grateful that the show doesn't shy away from how skeezy this exploitation of young women can be), you have JY trying to figure out how to use her assets to get ahead in her own life, but you also have the chance of real emotions getting caught in the mix. I too love the conceit of JY using HJ as much as he's using her, and the show's very realistic exploration of body image in Korea.

Need episodes 3 & 4 now, please.

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His facial expression when JY was smoking the 'ciggie'. and then taking a bite; worth a million dollars. Wished it was aimed at me though. lol

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I sort of hated the smoking scene. It was way too vulgar for me. I wasn't sure if she playing such a teaser character, all the way that was confusing for me, didn't know if the PD was conscious about how cheap it looked.

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I love this show=))) it hooked me up more than " you from another star". I just don't feel connected with the later even with the performance of jeon ji hyun when I really feel for the former: the moment ji young choked up in the elevator, the fantasy of teenage love blablabla.

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Watched both and also found myself preferring Miss Korea over YFAS. YFAS mostly falls flat for me when the female lead isn't in the scene whereas I feel invested in every character in Miss K (from leads to male lead's motley crew, fanatical salon owner, gangster et al) - that and the whole fate Joseon narrative isn't hooking me as much as Miss K's.

The only issue I have though is with the female lead's performance - it's inconsistent, all over the place and not nuanced at all when it's called for. It would have been perfect if they had managed to cast JJH instead. She would have been an amazing fit for the character.

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I am watching both, but based on the first two episodes I am liking this one better so far - even though I had serious doubts after just watching ep1. This show seems to have real depth, and is not just surface funny/sad. It seem a lot more realistic that the vast majority of dramas.

People tend to forget or simply were not around in 1997, but the financial meltdown was very real to a lot of people, especially in countries based on exports like Korea, and I think this shows a lot of that without pushing in your face.

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I'm watching this instead of Man From Another Star. I actually think that other show sounds boring. This one, on the other hand, is just plain appealing to me.

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Can somebody tell me which show I should watch: MISS KOREA or YOU WHO CAME FROM THE STARS?

It's so hard to decide and watch both at the same time but this seems pretty good as well. I love Lee Yeon-Hee so much. So much love coming from Gu Family Book. I was more invested in the parents' story rather than the kids and its lovely seeing her in a starring/lead role *sobs* proud fan. And that guy from Coffee Prince that I loved *sobs* Lee Seon Kyu <3

I've been waiting for this and I thought you chose YWCFTS ultimately. Thanks for the recap javabeans!

And HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO EVERYONE!

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Of course you should watch Miss Korea ;-)

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Both shows are really wonderful so far, but VERY different tonally. This is a dark, gritty romantic comedy. You Who Came From the Stars is a breezy, entertaining romcom with a strong plot hook. YWCFTS is much slicker and funnier, but Miss Korea hooked me emotionally much more. I think it depends on what you're in the mood for. I'd recommend watching the first episode of both and seeing which suits your mood better.

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Try watching the pilot episode from both shows. You never know which one might end up floating your boat unless you try them out for yourself. I don't know your interests/preferences so i can't choose for you, but i think both shows have alot of promise.
I am more interested in where MK is going story-wise and the journey of our flawed but realistic leads(who give off a very different feel), but tonally I prefer YFAS because it's got a good mix of laughter, gravitas, with a whimsical feel which always manages to draw me in.
Overall i find YFAS a more entertaining watch that kind of gets me in the feels, but MK one that causes me to think and appreciate. Both completely different shows that you can't really compare in terms of story.
Both shall be on my to-watch list for as long as it continues to do well. Too early to see which is the better, cause we're just gettin' startedd.

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for me miss korea better I feel more interest what will happen next
but YHCFTS already expect what will happen "he finally love her then it's time to leave ... etc "

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Nobody can tell you what show to watch, as we all have different opinions of what is good, bad, or indifferent. I happen to like both, but giving the edge to Miss Korea so far.

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Both shows are entertaining, although I'm more drawn to Miss Korea. If romance is your main focus, you should go with YWCFTS. If you like to watch a whole group of interesting characters desperate to achieve their dreams and goals, you should watch Miss Korea.

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what about the recap of episode 5 of prime minister and I ? waiting for it!!!:(

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Only managed to catch it over the weekend.. And i am hooked! Loving all the characters and the darkish comedy. Cant wait for the OTP's backstory.

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my reaction when i saw this post from JB: my goodness, It's here! Javabeans will recap Miss Korea! Love you JB! :*

*then i read that JB might not continue to recap it, my love down a biiitt..haha..still love you though,JB*

i looked forward to this drama partly because of my love toward LSK and his charisma (may i said that? JB said that charisma factor too, so i'm safe, i think :)).

but i couldn't watch MBC in my country..and streaming is too bothering so i was hoping that DB will cover this so i will be updated on what happened :D

there's a tv channel relayed SBS in my country (4 episodes behind, for every drama :P) but it's fine, 'coz alien could wait :P

again, thx for this JB!

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Well, i have to say i am loving both female leads in the new dramas, MK and YFAS. They are both complex creatures combining strength and vulnerrabilities. Omg, like real people!!

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Yay for a year with better-written (as in realistically flawed but lovable) heroines in dramaland. Are we finally turning over a new leaf? Slowly but surely.

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Yeah, I'd add Empress Ki, Reply 1994, and Prime Minister- all of these have heroines with something going for them. They're smart, and/or acknowledged as pretty, clever, kind and spunky, good at fighting, etc.

Yay for dramas that actually acknowledge reasons their female leads are appealing, so far away from the "I'm not that pretty, smart, or good at anything; please love me anyway," trope ala Boys over Flowers.

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YES! I'm very happy with our new batch of heroines too! They are much easier to root for and let me just one more to the mix! The main lead from Let's Eat! I'm absolutely in love with her if only because she is so much like myself eheheh, such a great show. :)

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oh yes, i love both the girls in let's eat for different reasons. i love potato star ha yeon soo too :)

i really am enjoying women being portrayed in this layered, multifaceted manner. not all the time submitting to whatever miseries is thrown at them and allergic to contact with the opposite sex! capable of being hurt yet able to hurt and throw a temper too. much more realistic than the girls in the of heirs and a gentleman's dignitiy (two of my pet hate female leads!)

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Basically, women being written and treated as people - it's kind of a novel thing in entertainment (not just k-ent).

Which is sad in some ways, because it really shouldn't be. But I love that we do get to see women-as-people across a range of genres, characters and settings - from rom-coms to thrillers, and portraying all kinds of characters, from everygirls to steely/obsessed prosecutors (IHYV/Two Weeks) and vain Hallyu stars and washed-up high school beauties. I just hope this and YFAS stay on track and fulfill the promise they're giving us, is all.

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@ Pogo: You're right that it is not just k-ent, but it is more common there than even most other Asian countries. For too long in dramas women have been portrayed mostly as over-the-top bitches, or as clueless Candy Girls - both with little real depth except to be a foil for the male leads. Over the past year or so I am seeing some change in that, and so far Miss Korea seems to be doing OK in portraying people as.. well, real people.

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@pogo nail. hit. head. :) you jjang jjang!! so many times watching kdramas and puzzled by the instant attraction of men to women who constantly have maddened expressions on their faces, going ottoke ottoke all the time. believe me, i have tried this - it doesnt work!!

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@Windsun33 - forget Asian ent, it's quite a problem in Western media too - I've watched enough UK and American tv shows to know how much criticism they get for reducing women to mere love interests, tokens or tropes, or ghetto-ising works focused on women and not giving them the same acclaim as male-driven shows.

There is a reason why Joss Whedon is considered an exceptional writer for actually making it a point to try to write multiple interesting female characters into each show he creates (Buffy, Firefly, now Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), and it's sad that he is seen as an exception. Though things are changing slowly, and I'd argue that women are often better-written on tv than in the movies (shorter running time = one-dimensional characters).

I mean, when there are Hollywood/tv screenwriters telling you about how network executives even now demand that any initial conversation between two women should focus either on relationships or nails/fashion/celebrity gossip, there is a real problem there. Women simply aren't being seen as people, and that is outrageous - witness the countless articles about female comedians, all written with a slight air of astonishment that women can be funny too! (of course they can, do men really think half the population of the US has never cracked a joke, ever? Or only exists to laugh at your jokes?)

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Haha. Agree with our heroine from Let's Eat. I really identify with her, cause there's nothing better than eating chicken and drinkin' beer sitting down and relaxing to an episode of walking dead.
Although i'm not as commitment-phobe/ jaded as she is.

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yeah, I'm done with pretending that gorgeous, appealing women are some kind of gremlins whose appeal wouldn't be seen even with a magnifying glass. IHYV won me over by making it clear that its heroine was appealing despite being imperfect, and tearing down the 'perfect' vision of the hero just to build back a truer and more appealing picture of her.

And Master's Sun won major respect from me by having the female lead's high school friends openly say that she was pretty, smart and nice enough for it to be no surprise that a rich guy fell for her (usually it's the other way around, the high school friends tear a heroine down).

I like it when dramas lampshade their actors' real-life traits by acknowledging their good looks - whether it's Lee Jun-ki in Two Weeks, or Lee Yeon-hee here. There, it was just part of his character, but here, it looks like being the prettiest has been a big factor in making her who she is, for better or worse, and that it's going to be part of her story going ahead, too. Which is a great concept, in many ways.

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So much yes to this comment. I had the exact same experience with I Hear Your Voice.

I also think that this complicates the fetishization of the man-child persona that is found in so many drama heroes. While it can be funny to watch the male lead effectively pull the female lead's pigtails and then chase her around the metaphorical playground, giving the woman actual agency and dimension makes for a MUCH more interesting and emotionally gripping dynamic…because in order to have a romance you can root for, the man has to be emotionally mature enough to meet the woman's standards. When you portray a three-dimensional woman, it's not enough to throw in a handsome chaebol and be done with it.

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Yay for no more man children... but it looks like the next big fetish is young men with old souls, which is problematic in and of itself (besides being absurdly unrealistic). We need to get rid of the Candy dynamic entirely, not just flip the genders and call it 'edgy'.

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Very true. I don't mind it when the conflict comes from the young men needing to mature, because that's realistic (as in I Hear Your Voice), but I agree that there's no excuse for one-dimensional characters, whatever gender they are.

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@ rearwindow: "...in order to have a romance you can root for, the man has to be emotionally mature enough to meet the woman’s standards"

Yes!! So true, for both men and women! I think this also works as a great explanation for romances where there's an age-gap - also loved @Carole's take on this at 5.4 on the "Prime Minister and I" thread (sorry if I'm cross-pollinating when I shouldn't)!

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I keep saying it, but 2013 has been a pretty great year on the great female character score - yay for heroines who behave like real people and not stock characters!

(and here is hoping 2014 continues in that vein - merry Christmas to all you guys, and to all our lovely dramabeans recappers - javabeans, girlfriday, HeadsNo2, gummi, and refresh_daemon!)

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Darn, why is Lee Seon-kyun so good at playing irresistible jerkwads?! And why do I fall for it every time?

For the foreseeable future, I think I'll just have to watch BOTH YFAS and Miss Korea!

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Oh! Lee Yeon-hee was Seo-hwa in Gu Family Book! No wonder she looked so familiar! *smacks head* Thanks for the recap, javabeans!

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Usually I really not that into kpop or dying for dramas soundtracks, but it was a pleasant surprise to REALLY love what I heard in those two episodes. One of the best things in Golden Time was their soundtrack, so I definitely gonna stick this show (and because of Lee Sun Gyun of course)

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I really enjoyed these first 2 episodes.

I really appreciate how they took the time to show us several sides to the characters. One-dimensional characters really annoy me.

Honestly, I'm not a fan of this team's previous dramas. I didn't find them appealing enough. But I'm glad this one hooked me.

The only thing I didn't like so much was, as javabeans said, the color palette. I hope they change it as the drama moves along. They should have brighter colors. Even the drama's posters were all shiny and colorful.

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I watched both episodes and it had me at BB cream.

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Lee Seon Kyun and Lee Yeon Hee's chemistry was OFF THE HOOK. I was like.... "can we fast forward this cos i want them to kiss already.." omg

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I thought I was the only one. In fact in a few scenes they looked like they could have just kissed and I would not have cared that there was no logical reason for that to happen.

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I am loving this show! I also love "You from another Star" but I hope it becomes less "Twilight"-like.
I forgot that the lead actress was in "Gu Family Book" - she was great in that role!
These new dramas are very promising! I just hope they don't suffer from KDrama flop syndrome......

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Yup, this film results in a lot of feelings in just 02 eps: sadness, happiness, fun, seriousness,... I enjoy every scenes, every characters. All they make me appreciate a lot. And of course, i love our heroine most, who is sometime so naive, sometime so naughty, sometime vulnerable, and sassy.
I love chemistry between LYH and LSK, i feel their love and their conflict , their suspicion. LYH always makes an interesting, exciting chemistry with her partner.
I also appreciate soundtrack. I become addicted it, lolz.

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Thanks so much for the recap. I'm really loving this drama. I wasn't sure why. It just hit me in the right way. But your comments especially about the near obsolescence so hit the mark.

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Thanks so much JB for recapping this!!! I've waited and prayed... hoped... that you would or the other girls would... recap this drama and you DID!!!! Thanks so much, you took care of one Xmas gift that I wanted this year! I really enjoyed this drama, it's funny, sad and simply just realistic! I've loved LSK since Coffee Prince (I rooted for him for such a long time in that drama..) and LYH since Millionaire's First Love... It's truly the dark horse in this time slot but I hope that you or one of the others will continue to recap it, pretty please.......

I'm getting ready with trying to avoid my withdrawal from Answer Me 1994 and waiting for the husband is CBB or Oppa.... This will help take the edge off those symptoms!!!! As always, I'm a huge fan, thanks JB and to all of you Merry X'mas and a Happy New Year... Can't believe I've been a fan since 2007!!!!! Stay warm and comfy!!!

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Some times KDramas make me aware of my own preconceived ideas.

For example, I was immediately at home with KIM HYUNG-JOON and his smart, lab-geek friends at a start-up firm blessed with a good product but not quite yet assembled the staff to handle business/marketing well. Being brave/reckless to try to get the company going even to the point of using loan sharks instead of venture capitalists just to keep the dream alive.

Yet my reaction to a beautiful high school girl wiggling her tail and acting sexual was incredibly negative. Especially the 1970's style smoking is cool scene had me revolted. If she had gone down on a banana, I could not have been more offended.

I didn't have javabeans reaction "love the Ji-young character, who mixes strength with vulnerability, confidence with lost-little-girl insecurity."

So I find myself struggling with my very negative reaction of condemnation for the "slutty girl". I know we've seen that somehow she has remained pure while acting like she was tramp, and I'm trying to get there with accepting her.

So cigarette girl may have just been immature, enjoying men's attention, glad for the money cigarette sales brought her family's business, high on the adoration of men that a girl with so many men in her family can end up feeling she deserves.

No doubt I hate the sleazy boss in her dead end job. I'm sure her life has had indignities and she got the backlash a girl with a reputation gets. It is rotten that the shy boy she was trying to get to notice her started slutty rumors about her (sour grapes). So I am trying to be less judgmental.

All in all, I am not sure I can get past my initial reaction to the heroine. Miss Korea might be a miss for me.

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I suspect that part of the reason for that scene was to show how her past actions can affect your future. She was portrayed as shallow and more interested in boys and parties, and that is why she ended up as an elevator girl.

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It may well not be your cup of tea, and that's fine, but I think the point that this show is making is beyond "purity" and "impurity." I think actually the fact that JY isn't portrayed as this pure, naive little flower is what appeals to so many of us--because she's portrayed as REAL. Of course, have flaws and make choices that aren't great and seduce men in ridiculous ways when they're young and a little aimless. That, and more.

It's clear from the get-go that for all her flaws, JY has a very strong moral compass when it comes to fighting institutional sexism and sticking up for the women around her (as with her boss, both everyday and at the night club). Because of that, I find her very easy to root for. It helps that I'm not bothered personally by portrayals of a sexually empowered woman, and that I find it really interesting that this show is exploring the line between sexual empowerment and exploitation, without condemning the girl for exploring her sexuality & her effect on men. There is such a huge double-standard in the public and in kdramaland against women who take control of their sexuality. There are countless men in dramas who are total playboys and yet who are not reviled for sleeping around openly and casually. In fact, they are considered more "desirable" because they can seduce anyone. Yet most women in dramas have to be these virginal, naive little things who've never kissed a boy let alone seduced one. Or, if they are more experienced, they tend to be labelled a slut and treated as a two-dimensional witch. Not only is that unrealistic, it's offensive.

This is not to say that it's healthy for a high school girl to get off on making men drool over her, but it is very real at that age for a girl who maybe doesn't have a lot else going for her, who doesn't get great grades, doesn't have the luxury of going to college, doesn't have many female role models in her life, etc., to revel in the effect she has on men. I think the media desperately needs more honest portrayals of real women, period, and that's why I'm so excited about what Miss Korea is doing with JY.

I could go on and on, but in any case, I think it's great that this show has you thinking about your biases and examining where they might stem from & what to do with them.

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Whoops, left out some words in my first paragraph! It should read: "Of course, REAL PEOPLE have flaws and make choices that aren't great…"

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"the media desperately needs more honest portrayals of real women"

you are right and your explanation helped me understand one quality that attracts fans to this show. Thank you for taking the time to let me see another perspective.

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On the double standards, yes, my take on JY is that she's young and thoughtless - she's got boys literally lined up around the block and at all the windows for her. No surprise if it goes to her head!

For example, my mom was reminiscing the other day about how popular she was with the boys back in junior high, and how she was pretty cold to them. Looking back now, she wonders, "was I cruel? why did I do that?"

The scene with all the boys shooting their paper planes was dorky and funny, but it could also be seen as the boys' attempt to "score" her as a girlfriend (as in, she'd be their "conquest"), so I was happy that she didn't fall into that trap and just brushed them aside as she walked on (even as my heart fell for Hyung-joon).

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You know I actually liked the first week of Miss Korea better than You From Another Star. I love the characters I love Ji-Young's feistiness, that scene where she replaces her younger co-workers with the manikins I loved that scene. I love how Ae-Ri treats women as well human, because as much as I love K-dramas even in the good to great ones it feels like women get treated as objects way too often. I love the gangster "bodyguard". I love the shy nerdy way too smart for their own good co-workers at ViVi. I even love Hyung-Joon's assiness though that might be the Lee Seon-kyun effect, cause I'd hate a guy like that in real life dragging down the rest of us guys with his behavior.

Finally I love that after countless hours of being forced to look at guys abs in dramas, we get a woman shower scene.

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haha there was another female shower scene in warm word at epi 3 - in case youre interested

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Does anyone know if JY has two dads, as in her father is gay and lives with his partner? I was confused during the scene where she called one of the older men "mother" while he was wearing an apron. I understood that there was her brother, her father and her grandfather but didn't know who that man was. Anyone have a clue?

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and my assumption isn't just because he was wearing an apron but just his demeanor. He seemed to actually have a motherly, nurturing vibe distinct from the other males in the scene, that I thought really became more obvious in that moment. Also, I hadn't caught whether he was a relative or just a family friend.

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To answer your question a little, the person she calls umma is her dad, the others are her grandfather, brother, and the one who you were confused about is her uncle :)

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thanks for the recap. I'm loving miss korea!! so glad I can watch both you from another star and miss korea they are both awesome!!

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Thanks for recapping MK, JB. Aside from YWCFTS, this is the other drama that giving much love todate.

The chemistry of our lead couple has punched me in to this drama... unlike YWCFTS, which i need to wrestle my heart from accepting the presence of spark between KSH and JJH.

Hope u'l continue recapping MK... thanks a lot!

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Has anyone seen episode three? The action has really begun and I am in love. Lee Yeonhee is doing very well especially in the flashback scene. I will keep hoping that Dramabeans will recap.

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I just watched it. It is SO GOOD. I'm way too emotionally invested in this show already. Those flashback scenes gave me butterflies. The music is perfect. Aaah!

I really hope that either DB will recap, continue doing mini-recaps, or even just having MK-themed open threads for us to obsess on. This show!

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Episode 4 did not disappoint omg the otp's chemistry is OFF the charts and that last scene was SO perfect especially with the bgm. I am so happy I decided to watch this I can't wait for the upcoming episodes.

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OMG ok the last flashback scenes in episode 3 and 4 were absolutely perfect. I loved how the writers dropped hints through the episode and then used the flashbacks to justify the importances. Like the 'did it rain or snow part', it was so intricately fused with the storyline that gahhhhh I'm dying.

I also really appreciate how selfless hyung joon really is, cannot. Wait. To. See. Where. This. Drama. Takes me

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Just started watching....this drama does provoke viewers to do some thinking. I believe now there are no more elevator girls? Or are there anymore? At least I did not spot any during my recent trip to Korea.

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to all those watching and plan to keep watching miss korea like me, let's come here to discuss as the series progress shall we?
oh...i'm rooting for these two so much! their chemistry goes straight to my heart.
can't they have ma ae-ri and vivi guys work together?

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Please don't discuss future episodes in this post. I know you all want a place to talk about the show and I really do wish I could keep recapping, if only I had the time, but consider it from the perspective of people who come to this recap later -- it would suck to be spoiled about the ending when you're here for Episode 1.

Open Threads are good for discussion of things that don't have their own posts, and spoilers are acceptable there (though warnings are appreciated).

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Thanks for at least following the show as much as you have been. It was super helpful and actually led to my hubby and I finally enjoying a kdrama together!

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okay. sorry.

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But going to the ot is like walking blindly into a mine field of so many drama spoilers and most of them are without warning. We'll end up with all the spoilers of other dramas when we go to just discuss one drama. Anyway, we'll take what we can get.

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please recap this than the overrated You From Another Star

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I hope DB will also recap this drama I find it really interesting to be left alonge please :)

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Hey no fun. Don't say that to YWCFTS. No hating please. I don't understand why people are hating on it. We loved it. I don't get why you're all bitter. lol. :)

To each their own. Thanks!

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Does anyone know the song that played during flashback on bus when LYH and the boy sang together?????

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWfWNnam6A4

It's this song. I think a close translation of the song title would be "At a moonlit window."

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May I know the song that played while Uhm Tae Woong was chasing Lee Yeon Hee at end of episode, the song according to the translation have lyrics that goes something like this,

"I look at your picture
Like Always
Youre looking at me
Still always you were next to me
Crumbling down
at the end of my feelings you are protecting me.

Thank you for helping ^^

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I think it's the one called Street of Angels by Every Single Day. The soundtrack's out today. Just check it out. :)

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Although all 20 episodes of Miss Korea were not regularly recapped on Dramabeans, Javabeans & Girlfriday devoted all of Podcast #20 to Miss Korea.

***SPOILERS***

Here is the link:

http://www.dramabeans.com/2014/02/dramabeans-podcast-20-miss-korea-edition/

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Miss Korea aired from December 18, 2013 – February 26, 2014. It was discussed a good deal in the weekly Friday Open Threads #322 – #334.

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Can i know the title of song that when LYH dance in the club??

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