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Witch’s Romance: Episode 1

Ushering us into a new season of spring flings, Witch’s Romance premiered on tvN this week. The lighthearted workplace rom-com is a remake of the hit 2009 Taiwanese drama My Queen, and its wacky, fun-loving (and sometimes sultry) tone just might be the ticket to pull us out of hibernation. What better way is there for a successful 39-year-old gold miss heroine to heal her emotional scars than starting anew with an earnest hero fourteen years her junior?

There’s plenty of charm to cast a spell on its viewers, but this witch’s brew might also need a bit of extra magic to take off. And if magic = kisses in this show, I’m totally okay with that substitute.

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SPICA – “마녀의 일기(Witch’s Diary)” from the OST [ Download ]

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EPISODE 1 RECAP

March 14, White Day (a romantic holiday when men give sweets to women, typically as a response to Valentine’s Day). As a camera pans across the cityscape, a radio DJ sends a word of encouragement to all the still-unattached women out there: take heart, for today could be the day when your destiny changes with a new, blooming romance.

She also has some advice for the men: “Don’t anger the women on a day like today. At all.” Because you don’t know how her broken heart will retaliate, after all.

Amidst the bustling streets, we zoom in to see a rather strange sight: a Santa chasing after someone riding off on a bike. It’s our heroine BAN JI-YEON (Uhm Jung-hwa) whose voice-over is filled with determination—she’s never lost a lead in her 39 years of age—and wonders what a Santa is doing in the middle of March. You and me both, honey.

At Spring Santa’s cries for her to stop, she answers in her head: “No, I won’t ever stop.” Not if she wants to get ahead, that is.

In order to understand how we got here, we rewind to three hours ago as Ji-yeon struts down the street lookin’ like a boss, donned in her old school uniform with one pant-leg rolled up. She boasts to her co-worker how her old threads still fit perfectly… which is when a button flies off. Nothing an emergency safety pin can’t fix.

Her co-worker asks if her lead is a sure thing this time, and she snaps at the nickname “Witch,” much preferring the alternative “Antenna,” as she drills the point home that she never loses a juicy story. Thanks to her, this scoop will make the cover of their magazine, Trouble Maker.

The gossip certainly sounds troubling, since it involves a beloved, well-respected celebrity (who has no anti-fans!). The actor in question has a pristine image in the public eye, and is scheduled to give a lecture at a high school today.

The interesting twist? His common-law wife is a teacher there and brought their alleged daughter to work today. With just about three hours to obtain solid proof, they head out.

Inside the school, we cut away to a frightened girl pleading with her potential attacker, who whips her around. That’s when she stomps on his foot and elbows him, earning the girl a round of applause from her classmates. Ah, it’s a self-defense class led by our hero, YOON DONG-HA (Park Seo-joon), who teaches the group another defensive move.

Dong-ha is just about to demonstrate when his buddy flinches, and he says reassuringly that he can’t actually hit his best friend. Aw, bromance.

Ji-yeon and her co-worker/photographer slip past the security guard and scale the rooftops to get into prime position to spy on their targets. Right on schedule, their celebrity target arrives to happily greet the little girl, and they start snapping photos.

Sure enough, the conversation inside confirms that the little girl is the megastar’s daughter, who asks why Daddy rarely comes to visit. He sends his daughter off to chat with her mother and his mistress, with whom he drops the respected celebrity act, asking why she brought their daughter her today of all days.

It’s been months since their daughter has seen him, she counters, and it saddens her to see their child keep her parentage a secret. But he isn’t in the mood to deal with this, and suggests that she and the child go abroad for a while, which she argues is his way to keep them out of the picture.

He warns her that he won’t let her stand in his way. Somehow Ji-yeon is able to hear or understand this conversation on the rooftop because she curses him under her breath. Can you read lips? Or did you bug the room?

And if we needed any more proof that Pristine Actor isn’t so perfect after all, he slaps one of his men for screwing up—they were supposed to make sure his mistress and child wouldn’t show up today.

Ji-yeon and her co-worker marvel over their photographic evidence, but they’re caught up on the rooftop by the security guard, who mistakes them for a pervy couple. She insists that they’re students, but he doesn’t buy it, and demands to check their camera for Peeping Tom photos.

So Ji-yeon keeps the security guard talking long enough to be handed the memory card. Then at the opportune moment, she makes a run for it. She hits a dead-end at the already locked school gates, so her co-worker jumps the guard to buy her enough time to hop over the gates.

Little do they know that the security guard has observed the self-defense classes Dong-ha teaches every week. Recalling Dong-ha’s lessons, the guard puts them into practice, rendering the poor photographer temporarily motionless.

Now we’re introduced to our Spring Santa (who’s really Dong-ha in costume), as he cheerily greets a group of children with presents. At the same time, Ji-yeon tries to hail a cab back to the office, to no avail. Noticing the gift-giving event taking place nearby, she pays off the child to swipe the bike, and then rides off.

Which brings us back to our opening sequence as Spring Santa/Dong-ha doggedly chases her through the busy streets. Still, Ji-yeon rides on, swerving around trucks and buses, knocking down cyclists in her path. And yet, all I’m thinking is how impressed I am by Dong-ha’s endurance.

Dong-ha actually chases her alllllllll the way back to her office and loses her at the last minute when she rolls into the elevator. He doesn’t understand when the guard refers to her as “Witch Reporter Ban,” and asks, “Why would I welcome [ban-ki] a witch?”

After a mini-celebration in the elevator, Ji-yeon makes it back to her staff meeting, albeit late and out of breath. Everyone is taken aback by her school attire, but she proudly shows off the memory card which holds the top actor’s secrets.

She briefs the staff on her findings—how the popular philanthropic actor’s public image vastly differs from his personal life. Apart from the secret child, rumor has it that he’s preparing for elections next year, which means he’ll need campaign funds. And wouldn’t you know that he’s suddenly been signing himself to appear in more commercials. Bottom line—it’s their job to bring the truth to light.

Her report gets the green light to be featured as the magazine’s cover story, to her fellow Team Leader Byun’s amazement. After the meeting, we see that Ji-yeon lives up to her “witch” title as she orders around the staff, who can hardly let out an opposing squeak. Needless to say, no one in the office (except maybe their publisher boss) likes her.

Ji-yeon heads down to the lobby that evening to see Santa Dong-ha and the kids waiting for her. When they call her a thief, Ji-yeon counters with the rational argument that they accepted money for it, and therefore a deal. Dong-ha argues in their defense, but Ji-yeon isn’t one to be trifled with.

She takes issue with being called “ajumma” and tells him to get to the point already. At his answer for compensation, she sticks her business card in his belt. She’s astounded when he tells her to apologize to the kids, too, and gives a half-hearted one before turning on her heel.

Dong-ha won’t accept that kind of treatment, nor is he satisfied with her blunt and rational apology, and pulls her back. But Ji-yeon is more than willing to shatter the children’s ideological beliefs with the ultimate cynical response: Santa isn’t real. GASP.

Pulling off Dong-ha’s beard, she warns the children not to be fooled by adults and educate themselves instead. Enraged, Dong-ha pushes her against the wall and points out that those orphanage children came to meet Santa and receive presents for the first time in their lives. She destroyed those dreams today, he presses.

Ji-yeon replies that growing up without parents should be more reason for them to get a grasp on reality sooner—to know there is no such thing as Santa. Dong-ha: “What about witches then? I saw one today.”

“I’m not a witch,” Ji-yeon answers. “Just like how you’re not a Santa.” Yet the crushed look on those kids’ faces would depress anyone.

Back upstairs, Ji-yeon huffs that being a witch is a hundred times better than a naive Snow White. She overhears her co-workers gossip at the water cooler, cackling that the Witch won’t ever get married.

She gets her payback by wrangling the trio into working for her tonight, and when the intern tries to weasel out of working late because she’s got a date, Ji-yeon tells her to go ahead… because there are plenty of people willing to take her place.

Dong-ha is berated by the orphans’ chaperone for ruining the children’s memories (though it seems the kids don’t blame him). He’s denied pay, and to make matters worse, his landlord kicks him out for not making rent again.

Ji-yeon returns home that evening, and listens to yet another screaming voicemail message from her mother. She grumbles that she doesn’t pick up since all Mom talks about is marriage anyway, and sighs at her mother’s excitement about seeing another fortune-teller.

Her mother blames all of her daughter’s woes on “that bastard” who disappeared, and starts to mention that tomorrow would have been her wedding anniversary when Ji-yeon shuts off the machine. She stares at a photo of a polar bear before turning the picture over.

Meanwhile, Dong-ha blames his rotten luck today on “that woman” to his buddy over the phone. At the same time, a lone tear runs down Ji-yeon’s face as she listens to music.

The singer belts out a sustained note, then the beat picks up and Ji-yeon dances along to the song. I love how she sings and dances around her place like no one is watching.

Her dance break gives us a perfect opportunity to learn more about her though our other characters. Dong-ha’s buddy complains that his neighbor is at it again with the loud music, while her drunk co-workers note that Ji-yeon hasn’t been on a date in the six years they’ve worked together.

Determined to get back at the Witch somehow, the intern comes up with a plan.

Dong-ha crashes with his buddy YONG SOO-CHUL (Yoon Hyun-min), and is told that he’s more than welcome to stay longer this time since Soo-chul will be gone to visit his chaebol family at home for a few days anyway.

Ji-yeon wakes the next morning to a news coverage playing on TV, and the anchorman (who is totally Dong-ha’s doppelganger) reports on the latest victims to die alone in their apartments due to loneliness and high stress: Ji-yeon and her goldfish. Aw, I know we’re in a dream, but this is still pretty sad.

In the blink of an eye, her place is crawling with police, which is when Ji-yeon sees her own dead body lying on the ground. Another Dong-ha doppelganger reports on-location and mourns over the deaths.

Next thing we know, Anchorman Dong-ha crawls out of the TV à la The Ring, throwing her earlier words back at her that no one can avoid the cold-harsh reality of the world, then laughs in her face. It legitimately freaks her out and jolts her awake in a cold sweat.

But one thing does transfer over from her dreams: her goldfish has gone belly up. She wonders with a sigh: “Did you really die of loneliness?”

The good news is that her exposé on Pristine Actor goes viral on both the stands and the airwaves, and Ji-yeon wears a smug look of pride at this achievement.

We get a brief glimpse of Mom, who’s on another one of her shaman visits. And this shaman (Narsha) is the curse-slinging type who freely tells Mom that her reporter daughter is basically the worst. Marriage isn’t the issue right now, she presses, because there are too many people who want to get back at the Witch.

It turns out the intern’s plan is to get a young, handsome man to romance Ji-yeon, and who should they go find but Soo-chul, the rich playboy. The Trouble Maker trio warns that cold-hearted Ji-yeon is no ordinary target, but Soo-chul is confident in his methods to make any woman fall for him.

But when Soo-chul’s initial attempt to woo Ji-yeon gets rejected (he sends over an expensive drink, which she promptly turns away), he takes the more forward approach and joins the Trouble Maker family in a round of celebratory drinks.

He certainly makes a suave first impression, saying all the right things to appease both her beauty and brains. He puts out his hand for a handshake, and when she takes it, he holds on firmly for a few more seconds as if waiting for a response. Your signature move?

They’re interrupted when Soo-chul rises to take a phone call—it’s Dong-ha who asks where the hair dryer is—and Soo-chul asks if his buddy wants to come out to score free drinks. He returns to the table to give Ji-yeon a business card (with a fake name, of course).

Nevertheless, Ji-yeon is flattered by the younger man’s flirtatious moves… not that she’d give her co-workers the satisfaction of seeing how impressed she is. She does, however, excuse herself to the bathroom to praise her still-sexy self in the mirror.

Dong-ha joins Soo-chul at the same bar and voices his disapproval about his buddy’s new gig. He doesn’t like the idea of making a fool out of someone, even if it’s just some office prank.

Soo-chul is no stranger to Dong-ha’s straight-laced ways, and points out his victim to his friend. Dong-ha immediately recognizes Ji-yeon and turns away.

Just then, the bar hosts an event to award the most romantic couple of the evening with an expensive bottle of liquor. The MC opens the floor to the crowd, and Soo-chul raises his hand. Grabbing onto his buddy’s arm, Dong-ha warns him not to, but Soo-chul just smiles and raises his other hand. Pffft, I love Dong-ha’s literal eye-roll at Soo-chul’s self-assurance.

Ji-yeon takes Soo-chul’s inviting hand with some reluctance, and Soo-chul sheepishly admits to the audience that he plans to confess his feelings tonight. He then takes the mic and turns Ji-yeon towards him, calling her his dream girl.

Considering the confession too weaksauce, the MC asks the audience for suggestions. The Trouble Maker rallies the crowd, yelling, “Kiss! Kiss!”

Embarrassed, Ji-yeon starts to walk away, but Soo-chul pulls her back and tells her to close her eyes. At those words, Ji-yeon informs us through voice-over that this day—March 15th—has been the bane of her existence for the past six years. Uh oh, that’s never a good sign.

Still, Ji-yeon is a tad hopeful that things might change this year and closes her eyes as Soo-chul leans in to kiss her… but then draws away at the last second and laughs in her face, calling her an ajumma. Oh you asshat.

Soo-chul high-fives Team Leader Byun as the latter jeers that he finally got a jab at the Witch. Completely humiliated, Ji-yeon freezes on stage, fighting back tears as she narrates: “March 15th. In my life, this day is always a nightmare.”

And then a pair of feet walks toward the stage. Eep, it’s Dong-ha! Drawing Ji-yeon close to him, he sighs that she’s a strange woman and that his plans always go downhill because of her.

Then Dong-ha pulls her in for a kiss as Ji-yeon thinks to herself, “Today is March 15th. Is this really a nightmare?”

 
COMMENTS

Judging from that kiss, I’m going to go ahead and say, Likely not. That being said, I generally liked the premiere of Witch’s Romance. Despite never having watched a drama with Uhm Jung-hwa before, I’ve seen the singer-actress in enough movies to find her likable and winning. The same is true in this show, and while the successful and ambitious heroine with hints of a painful past love isn’t anything new in dramaland, Ji-yeon has an extra air of confidence and self-assurance with a vulnerable underbelly that makes me want to root for her.

I personally like her dogged personality to hunt down the truth, and she shows commitment and dedication to her work. She’s proud of being a journalist (and so is Mom!) and without getting too much on a feminist soap box, it is sad that a successful careerwoman is nearly always painted as a witch in the workplace whereas ambition would be praised in a drama hero. For what it’s worth, Ji-yeon is duly rewarded for her hard work, and I’m also not surprised to see such female characterization tropes in a drama adaptation of an older show.

It’s the execution of Ji-yeon’s character arc in both love and career that will make or break it for us as viewers, and so far, Uhm Jung-hwa is doing a fantastic job. The first episode makes me curious as to exactly what happened six years ago on March 15th. Surely it’s no ironic coincidence that her wedding anniversary would have been the Ides of March, right?

As for our hero, I love that he’s the earnest, hard-working guy who holds multiple part-time jobs but barely has two nickels to rub together. Dong-ha’s moralistic character makes him easily likable, and basically an all-around good guy. The same can’t be said for buddy Soo-chul, whose douchey prank drove our heroine to tears. Gah, why is Yoon Hyun-min a carefree jerk in this show, drama gods?! Still, I love Dong-ha and Soo-chul’s friendship, and the two share a great dynamic already. The bromance is strong with this duo.

But what will hopefully keep us coming back as viewers is the noona romance between Ji-yeon and Dong-ha with their electrifying chemistry despite the large age gap. I love that he isn’t afraid to stand up to her and doesn’t stand for people being humiliated or looked down upon. Maybe the Spring Santa can teach the Witch a thing or two about life and love, and he won’t need a love potion to do it.

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thanks for the recap. i watched episode 1 today since cunning single lady has not aired and am watching episode 2 later..

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Aww yess recap.

I only watched this because everything else was canceled this week, but I'm glad I did! I really loved the first two episodes. The chemistry (especially in ep 2) was awesome. Long live cable dramas! I never did finish My Queen because it dragged on forever. This has the potential to be better since it's shorter.

Uhm Jung-hwa is pretty awesome. Ji-yeon does have some traits of your typical kdrama jerkass male, but unlike those guys who I enjoy watching being taken down a peg by love... here she's so likable I want her to be happy and find someone worthy for her to love. Good thing our hero is the ultimate nice guy. And yes, Ji-yeon were male she'd never be called the names she is called.

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Omo, omo, omo! I'm sooooo happy this is being recapped!

It's no surprise from past threads regarding this drama that My Queen was one of my most favorite Taiwanese dramas. It was a full on noona romance that I enjoyed because it dealt with the age gap issue....loved how that angst played out. Hopefully it will be treated just as well here.

So anyways, I have to say the premiere was fun but it was also lacking. Jung-hwa's Ji-yeon doesn't seem as full of depth as Cheryl Yang's character was. She seems much more milder in that she's very cutesy-like unlike Cheryl's complete rough around the edges style. That was my first impression. However, I also watched episode 2 and I have to say that Jung-hwa's portrayal is starting to work with how the story is being retold in this version. So it's not such a big issue. And I really loved the added facet of her character where she was dancing to her heart's content and letting loose her frustrations through it. I'm a girl but damn is Jung-hwa sexy.

Other slight issue I had was choice of background music...some it was kind of weird and felt jarring...like in the last scene. I only liked that whistly tune that had a melancholic yet optimistic vibe to it. It was more reminiscent of My Queen .

Overall though, having watched ep 2 already, I'm so excited for this drama. Finally, a rom-com that I can actually be interested in. And also a welcoming break from all the thriller dramas.

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Awwww... i was going to say the same things-- having seen episode 2, I'm soooo happy this is being recapped. Actually, I can't wait for episode 2's recap despite seeing it already--- I'm uber excited to see how other people would react to the "great chemistry" hahahhaa. Thanks gummimochi!!!

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Chemistry most definitely won't be a problem here. Episode 2 was rather hot. ;)

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uber hot!!!!! sigh....

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Uhm...if you're watching, i might.

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Definitely watch it!!!!! It would be great to have you here discussing this show. :)

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Thanks for recapping! :)

@ Daydreamer:

While am not a huge fan of T-dramas (too many nonsensical side characters adding too much noise and no substance sometimes) - but MY QUEEN was one of my favorites, with strong performances and chemistry from Cheryl Yang and Ethan Ruan.

I wasn't too thrilled with ep 1 of the K-version.

Agree with you that ep 1 seemed "lacking", and that the main character seemed to lack the depth of the T version's 'My Queen'.

While ep 2 got progressively better, even the bedroom chemistry buildup of ep 2 seemed far less charged than the T-version.

Been a long time 'fan' of UJH. She also isn't afraid to be 'ugly'. While I like Uhm Jung-hwa in most of her movies, she sometimes comes across as too strong and OTT initially, before winning audiences by the end.

That was my initial impression of this drama, but ep 2 was more enjoyable.

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I used to like Tdramas a lot in the past (around the days of Fated To Love You, ISWAK, My Queen, etc.). But after that, goodness, none are watchable. Too much histrionics, weak/nonsense storylines, and bad acting. That really upsets me and I sincerely hope good dramas can be made again.

So true about the bedroom chemistry buildup being a little weaker. I think it was because in My Queen, heroine had so much pent up emotions and her fear of the one night stand was also palpable. I was literally cringing and rooting for her before she and Lucas started making out. Here, she's a little drunk and one cutesy move led to a makeout. I wasn't feeling much before it except just watching with interest to see where things would lead.

Anyways, with all said and done, ep 2 was definitely better and hopefully it will find its own identity than merely as a My Queen remake.

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>>> And also a welcoming break from all the thriller dramas.

Forgot to add , first round commenting (srry!)

Totally! And on top of the thrillers 3 Days, Golden Cross ... don't forget the makjang dramas also out there too:
Hotel King and Angel Eyes.

Nice to have some rotating palate change in current season of main Kdrama courses, during the week.

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Seriously, my brain is a little fried from all the serious stuff.

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Background music is fabulous - that one song (You Don't Love Me) is my current fav sing-a-long tune :D Was thrilled w/how it was in this drama! I may finish this version - I too got tired of the long drawn-out TDrama one despite a thrilling performance by Ethan Yuan...

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I'm just still amazed that he had the nerve to go bring the kids there WITHOUT TELLING THE NUN...and she called the police...it's no wonder he didn't get paid

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Well, my impression with this show is that it's cutting corners to when it comes to being realistic (sometimes in order to be 'funny' but sometimes, like with the kids, because they can't figure out a more realistic scenario). The whole bringing the kids doesn't really make sense and I can't figure it out logistically either – did they walk there? take the subway/bus when he has no money?

Although I there is something I like about the two main characters, little lapses in logic bother me (there's no way he would have been able to run as fast as a bike !!! for as long as he did AND on a super busy street) and often ruin a could-have-been-good drama.

I'll watch a little while longer though before I make up my mind.

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I have no beef with such minor gaps in the story, when the drama totally dispenses with major K-drama contrivances such as candy girls winning rich boy prizes (a relic from the last millennium!) or irritants like female-on-female bullying.

This 39-year-old female, who is spunky and professionally successful, really takes charge of the drama. I cannot stop laughing at how the production alternates her make-up between a goofy buffoon, a cheap aging heavily-rouged prostitute and a commanding female executive. She is not afraid to look coyote-ugly or expose her less-than-toned midriff on screen. And it works! For once, I can believe that a woman of her circumstances can actually conquer and keep a boy/man 14-years younger AND even be happy ever after.

And what a boy/man we have here, with a pulse, hint of healthy libido and a winsome physique, not to mention a heart of gold. Without being effeminate.

As long as the drama anchors its basic elements right, skipping minor details actually allows it to move its story unhindered. (Please don't make me feel as if I am watching paint dry.)

We are in the midst of so many genre-dramas, like 3 Days, 14 Days, and Golden Cross. For me, they are OK but hardly masterpieces of their chosen genres. As Sly and Single Again bows out, welcome Witch's Romance!

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Well said!!! Even I'm ignoring such minor tidbits because in the grander scheme of things, it all works out. Plus, the original version also had similar flaws.

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I just hope that the one thing they do change from the original is the ending. Passing on this one just in case.

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Seriously. That ending was just meh. But it's okay...I'd still watch this whole drama.

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I generally enjoyed this episode, but I found Dong-ha's overly physical behavior toward Ji-yeon when he confronted her about the bicycle off-putting. Grabbing and pushing someone he didn't even know, and a woman, seemed really out of line.

So it left a bad taste in my mouth when at the end he again got into her space, albeit this time to help her. She didn't ask him to kiss him. He did it unilaterally.

I really like Ji-yeon, though, so I know I'll keep watching. And episode 2 got better.

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Uh I doubt she'll be complaining. And she could have easily stopped him. I also think that he wasn't overly physical considering she DID steal something and break it.

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Yep. She's not the type to get pushed around.

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Yeah, I was definitely put off by how physical he got with her when he doesn't know her. I bristle when men manhandle women they know in kdramas because that's physical assault. Kissing a woman without her explicit permission is a form of sexual assault. I can speak from personal experience, it doesn't matter how good looking he is or how good of a kisser he is, if you weren't expecting it and you don't know him and you had no input in being kissed, it's not pleasant and you're like, "WTF?" and want it to be over because you didn't ask for this and it's not mutual and who does he think he is. There is a sense of violation to it.

I'm looking forward to seeing how Ji-yeon reacts to the kiss. I know how I'd like to see her react--to push him away and demand to know what he thinks he's doing; that she doesn't need him to kiss her in the mistaken idea that she needs him to help her 'save face' because Jerkface left her standing there--but we'll see what happens. I'd really love to see the show send the message a female's acceptance or rejection by a man in the eyes of others doesn't matter.

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Huh?

"want it to be over because you didn’t ask for this"

Are you saying that if someone kisses you spontaneously you should just wait for him to stop?

and

"it doesn’t matter ... how good of a kisser he is"

Why would you allow the kiss to continue long enough to figure this out?

Honest questions. I don't see why you wouldn't just back away as soon as you saw his face approaching yours.

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Isn't Cheryl saying the opposite?

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When you're in shock because someone you don't know is kissing you, you're like "WTH?" and all of that and it can take a moment for it to sink in what's going on. I can see Ji-yeon having a spinning head from being left standing, and then like "WTH is this?" when she's being kissed.

The guy who kissed me without permission caught me off guard because my mind was on other things and wasn't expecting him to start kissing me. I think he said something to me and it kind of went in one ear and out the other, and then he was kissing me and I tried to get him to stop but it took a minute because he was under the impression that 'no' meant 'convince me'. *eye roll*

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Hmmm. I had my drama moment when a guy I sort of secretly liked did that to me and I liked it. Because if he had asked, I'd blush and feel too awkward and all, but when he did it, it was amazing.
Just saying, there are shades of grey everywhere.

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This comment is just the most adorable thing ever!

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But you secretly liked him – which means you a) knew him and b) had feelings for him, which is a big difference.

This guy is a almost a complete stranger to her, although he sort of semi-asks. Though I could see someone who's sharp (immediately gets that she can get back at her colleagues with this) and gung-ho and who doesn't care about kissing strangers go for this.

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Exactly. Those things make a big difference. Consent is a HUGE thing.

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Yes, the drama does play Ji Yeon as a damsel in distress during that moment. But you have to think about the context in which it was happening, which is explained out more in episode 2.

***WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS!****Basically, Ji Yeon is a tough girl who has had a bad experience related to love. She is also taunted by coworkers as a witch which hurts her feelings because her toughness is more of a facade to keep people at arm's length thus preventing them from hurting her. When she got pranked at the restaurant, she was humiliated. Dong-ha, in a way, helped her save face esp in front of coworkers who would've made it difficult for her in the workplace knowing she was brought down a peg. For that, she readily accepts the kiss....plus, she's more a romantic than she lets on. She even enjoyed it.

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I cannot see Yoon Hyun Min as not Soo. Great to see he has another awesome drama bromance though, not loving his ass-y ways. While we're at it, can we get Jung Kyung Ho to star in another amazing drama too? Please drama gods? Pretty pretty please? I'll leave a genius douchy on the outside soft on inside flower boy, a rich water throwing mom and a hardworking poor girl at your altar because I know you love them! Heartless City has got a fan in me for life.

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Cutie Sooooooooooooo!!

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YES Jung Kyung Ho needs to come back to dramaland!!!

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This is the third time I see Yoon Hyun Min and each time it was a believable role. He got my attention. Hope some day he will get a larger role, why not a leading role? About Jung Kyung Ho I have good news. He will play in June in a SBS drama Endless Love. Drama Gods heard your urge. LOL

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Yoon Hyun Min is a pretty good actor....I don't even know it's him unless someone mentions it because the image in my head is of Cutie Soo. Glad to see he's getting more roles and making each character his own.

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LOL, March 15th, the Ides of March, was no winner for Julius Caesar, either. At least, our heroine is still alive.

Uhm Jung-hwa is a veteran actress and a solid performance can always be expected from her. This should be an entertaining drama to watch.

Thanks for the recap.

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I love the Taiwanese version, hope this remake is nice too:))

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The Taiwanese version is one of my favourite dramas ever! So happy to see a korean remake!

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I watched the first two episodes and although the comments say Uhm Jung Hwa has had many cosmetic operations, I am not very sure, I mean she still looks hellofa lot like her brother! Striking! if she had many operations wouldnt she resemble him less... well dunno. I dont care cause she can act. I wonder if they watch each others dramas. Anyway, I had set a very high standard for this drama, cause My Queen was awesome. But perhaps I like this even more, because it is softer around the edges as they say, some scenes were dragging though, or seemed like they can´t get into the feel. Actors knew their part and delivered that but the ensemble didn´t come together. But that was just a couple of moments. Maybe they will get tighter. But I think I like Dong Ha better than Lucas, cause his kindness and sincerety shows in action more than words, and this restlessness in his eyes when he sees injustice or misery. You really feel this is a person who can´t walk away or say no to people. And he can put aside pride, ego and personal gain to help someone. Uhm Jung Hwa is funny in this serious way. The singing and dancing scene was like a deja vu from Cheon Song Yi. Is this a new trend I wonder?

yeah I wish the ensemble would get a bit tighter and maybe the editing, but overall, a promising start. My Queen was 34 episodes I think so this can´t possibly get as draggy.

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Redfox! I think first time we are disagreeing!! I dont like her acting. Maybe i will warm up to her later. Ad yes, she has had way too much botox and/ or fillers. Maybe not plastic surgery per se. I do find it a bit distracting.

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you have every right to disagree and my opinion is ambiguous, I do agree her eye expression is a bit wooden. But generally I do not dislike her. the big problem for me is that different actors dont come together as an ensemble. they play their scenes like they are doing some uncomfortable group work in acting school. it feels a bit cold. but the main leads have great chemistry - just not when someone else is around.

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Sooo true....besides when the leads were in it, the other scenes with the coworkers were so off. Like, they were interacting but also not really. Which is too bad...the Taiwanese version had some really fun scenes with the coworkers. Hope things pick up.

Regarding Jung-hwa's face.....as long as she can emote and make her character believable, I really don't care about the plastic surgeries.

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Exactly my thoughts! Too much botox makes it distracting to watch whatever her acting skills may be. A serious obsession woth plastic surgery though in south korea

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I can't stop laughing reading this. She does look like Uhmforce!!!! :D

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'The singing and dancing scene was like a deja vu from Cheon Song Yi.'
Oh yes..I thought so too!

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...unless both siblings are getting plastic surgery? I thought Koreans or Asians are supposed to age well. She's messed with the cycle of things and I wonder if she will age as well as a natural person. Seems like a vicious cycle. I like her acting so I've gotten used to her face.

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Is there a reason why the female lead keeps her blinking eyes when she speaks? It's weird.

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Daebak! Dramabeans featured my new fave drama for this season.

If you enjoyed Ep 1, then you're REALLY going to love Ep 2. This OTP is positively sizzling!!!

It's my first time watching a drama from this actress too. She's really good.

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If you like her acting, you should try He Who Can't Get Married with Ji Jin Hee. It's hilarious, plus Yoo Ah In and Kim So-eun were in it too. Although it's underrated, but I watched it a couple times cause it really enjoyable. Needless to say, Uhm Jung Hwa was awesome.

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Korea should stop making bad re-makes. This makes me want to watch My Queen again.

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i already love this series after watching the second episode..i loved the taiwanese version but i feel like im going to like this one alittle better!!!

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This drama is actually the korean version of taiwanese drama, My Queen, from 2009... which is awesome as well! The actor's dishy too :) http://wiki.d-addicts.com/My_Queen

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Oh yeah! I'm so glad that there will be recaps for this drama. I haven't seen Uhm Jung Hwa in dramas before too but I really like her in this one. Usually, I'm bothered by the leads having huge age gap but I totally ship these two! The hell with age gaps!! The first two episodes were very enjoyable so I wish we're in for a good ride. Thanks for the recaps gummimochi!

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I'll watch it. Thanks for the recap.

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YAY I'm adoring this one! Love the lead couple! I notice this hasn't been added officially though. Perhaps just a first ep recap? I hope you'll continue as this is one of the more promising rom-coms in recent months! But if not, I'm also just glad you recapped it at all. Thanks so much!

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THANKFULLY I didn't watched the TW version (original) of Witch's Romance, so I won't have the time to compare the two. Ex. I LOVED the remake of The Man Who Can't Get Married (UJH also starred in that drama, please watch it, it's really worth it!) since I didn't watched the original version also.

With that being said, after watching 2 episodes I can say that I LOVE THIS DRAMA ALREADY! It's been a while since I was hooked by a drama after watching the 1st episode. Hopefully it'll continue until the last episode.

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This is my must see drama every monday-tuesday ?

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Thanks for the recap.

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What's the song she was dancing to in her apartment?

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Spica- You Don`t Love Me

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I liked the trailers and all, but I Can't stand like how plastic she looks.

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Uhm Jung Hwa is awesome. I never really get it when people get bent out of shape over someone being "plastic". It's still her body and her face and I still think she looks pretty damn beautiful especially at 44. Sure, it's a shame that she isn't as natural as she once was, but she's charming and very lovable in this role.

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I didn't think they were calling her the Witch because she was a successful woman. I think she earned the nickname. She acts horribly toward her co-workers. More so, they've shown us that she has a general habit of interjecting a win-lose dynamic into her interactions with pretty much everyone except her mom and boss.

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Aww. . . Loved it! I watched the second episode and loved it like MOARRR. . . . Please gummimochi, continue recapping this drama. PSJ's kissing- Rawr! And this might be an example of loving the leads, right from the start. Love it! I love Narsha's cameo as well. . .

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After Ep. 2, did a marathon re-watch of My Queen. Despite it's faults, MQ is much better; it looks like UJH is trying too hard.

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OMG I loved the TW drama My Queen. I hope the KR version is even better - shorter, funnier, sexier!

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It always amazes me how SHARP ears are in dramaland. Eagle Ears? Clear as a bell and not at all muffled or distorted! LOL.

Also, you hit the nail on the head - ambitious, driven women are WITCHES (and worse) while ambitious, driven men are SUCCESSFUL GO-GETTERS.

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Actually, I hate it – the things drama characters can hear, often through closed doors and windows or from a great distance is just not believable.

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I loved the Taiwan drama so decided to give it a try. The first episode was a little boring. But I will probably watch another episode before deciding whether to continue watching/drop it. It's a pity though. I liked Seo Joon from One Warm Word.

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Thanks for the recap I am liking it I saw the TW version and am interested how this one rolls it's fun

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gummimochi -

Thanks for the recap. This is a strange show. Parts didn't appeal to me but others did.

I found Uhm Jung hwa's facial features to be a bit strange. That aside she has a nice body which is shown off when they can.

The feel of the show needs something. Others mentioned the cast interaction and editing.

I found myself laughing though, so something is working. I'll probably continue to watch it.

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I agree – parts worked, other parts were just too much (or too unbelievable to the point of bothering me).

I'll watch a few episodes more before I make up my mind.

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I really like this so far. Uhm Jung Hwa and Park Seo Joon both are engaging, and I'm finding that I like that this is more comedic and controlled than My Queen. I remember getting to episode 3 in the original and being turned off by how improbable I found it. I guess I'll just have to wait and see if the same comes true for Witch's Romance. Either way, thanks for the recap, and I can't wait for the one for episode 2!

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I like the lead actress, but really, I am distracted by her face in every scenes. Too much plastic surgery. I cannot watch, especially when the young guy appeared.

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Thanks for the recap!!
I'm loving this remake..though like other above me, I sometimes find UJH face to be a lil bit strange..like too much plastic.. however I'm enjoying the series. Hoping for more recaps coming

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Really want to love this drama, since I miss my hilarious rom-com so much since YFTAS ended.

On paper, Witch Romance should be my newest love. Noona's lover check, pricky but actually adorable and awesome heroine check, sweet and warm hero check, a hot kiss check, a lot bickering but caring relationship check, Yoon Hyun Min check. Oh, and pretty costume and set with modern live setting, check.

But somehow I'm not excited...
Not because this one is remake or because my cutie Soo is a douchebag here (which actually I like since it show how natural Yoon Hyun Min's acting and presence). I think maybe because the director rushing yet slowing down this drama. Sometimes I feel the editing is not tight and fast enough for this type of drama, not zip enough especially in conversation. Sometimes there's a pause like a second or something between actors before they said responding lines.
And yet, Witch's Romance reaaaaaly fast zooming
in to 'skinship' between Ji Yeon and Dong Ha. I'm not only talking about the kiss in the end, but all the grabbing and push and close proximity in the kids-santa-which fiasco scene. The way the camera looming it like it supposedly full of hot chemistry scene is feel too fast for me. Like whoaaa, dude, calm down! I won't mad even I don't get skinship in this episode.

But oh well, editing problem aside, this one is not that bad. I'll try 2 more episode to see if we are meant to be or not.

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I am *SUCH* a sucker for Noonmances.

*happy dances*

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Tis drama I've seen in taiwan and tat drama name is "my queen" but tat sorry will be boring

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i too enjoyed the premiere of this drama very much. the comedy hit the right notes with me because Uhm just plays her character so well. a strong women with emotional scars that make her vulnerable at times.

i'm excited to see how the two characters get involved with each other and start to care on a deeper emotional level. thanks for the recap gummimochi!

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"without getting too much on a feminist soap box..."

Sigh. I was enjoying the recap until this comment :/
There's nothing wrong with criticizing a show from a feminist lens (especially Kdramas). It's not a soap box, it's a valid critical perspective that is in no way gratuitous or extreme.

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Have not watched, just saw the re-cap. I liked the TW version of these drama, but somehow this actress does not strike me very fitting to this role. But will give it a try

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Soo-ya! Such Heartless City feels whenever I see Yoon Hyun-min's face.

This drama just brings back the memories b/c I did watch the TW version a year after it came out, so I'm kind of half visualizing Ethan Ruan and Cheryl Yang as I read/watch. Waiting for the Kdrama to break away from that mold :-).

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Uhm Jung-hwa too old? I don't agree, I would cast her in my next project. She dances in a form hugging outfit to showcase her youthful shape, plus she has close ups a plenty in these episodes; now that's confidence in yourself! I applaud her. She isn't Lee Hyori, but she ain't a sack of potatoes either....

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I would not be surprised if you would cast her as a high school student in your dream drama too.

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Hmmm, I think I would in my dream drama...anything is possible in dramaland...

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Korean actresses tend to look so young that I always forget about age gap. Especially haha, in Can we live, where 33 yo actresses play 39

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Can we please take a moment to at least appreciate the parts of the drama with SPICA's amazing vocals? The opening was unique for an OST and had definite witch vibes. When Uhm Jung-hwa was jamming out to their latest single "You Don't Love Me" I was so thrilled! I do agree that some of the background music was a little off but I enjoyed the first episode. It didn't jump out at me too much but it did catch my interest. I'm also getting some serious flashbacks to Witch's Amusement with Han Ga-in.

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The heroine is right. The more pragmatic those kids are, the better their chances for survival. They will thank her later for that piece of advice. I can't believe that man-child embarrassed her like that! I hope she'll even the score with him later.

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Thank you, gummimochi for the recaps!
It helped clarify things that I didn't understand.
One thing, witch is actually ma-nyeo (마녀), not ban-ki (반기). The ban (반) came from Ji Yeon's name, and the ki (기) came from the word reporter or jounalist (기자).
Anyway, thank you again for the recap!

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You're right that the guard does say '반기자' = Reporter Ban and calls her a witch: "마녀 반기자 = Witch Reporter Ban." How Dong-ha hears it (or answers) is a wordplay of that verb (반기다), which loosely translates to"be delighted/welcome."

There are lots of puns in the show, and the humor sometimes goes a little flat when translated. Hope that helps clarify the mix-up there!

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Damsari!!!! Why are you evil?? ㅠ.ㅠ

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Was cutie Soo from Heartless City plays that jerk-ass?!? Oh my, now i must watch this (+ i saw the 2nd ep review, i'm so gonna watch it for sure!)
Haven't seen anything with Uhm since the one movie with Daniel Henney and one drama long ago "Go Get Carl, Oh So Jung!" (or something) just gotta say, the lady has such luck with her leading men. *green&envious*

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The role is 39 (?) but that actress looks like close to 50 for me. I still prefer the TDrama while the female character is 33 years old. Well, Kdrama has different taste.

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Forget to mention, if someone looks like Kim Ha-neul then it makes more sense

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I've watched the two first episodes and I adore it already! It'll be light and fun and exactly perfect. Glad you're recapping!

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Thank you for the recap!

:)

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