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Marriage Not Dating: Episode 5

The contract romance fairy dust starts to work its magic on our not-a-couple, because as we all know, acting like you’re in love has a way of making you feel all the attendant highs and lows anyway. To make matters even more complicated, a real romance comes along to threaten the fake one, and our heroine finds herself suddenly juggling three suitors all at once.

 
SONG OF THE DAY

Mamamoo – “Love Lane” for the Marriage Not Dating OST [ Download ]

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EPISODE 5: “Words I can only say to you”

Today’s cold open is soaked in dramatic angst: Ki-tae runs out to Jang-mi in the street, and she pleads with him not to come any closer. He asks if she’s okay, but she cries again for him to stay away. (Agh, Shin Seung-hoon’s “You Reflected in a Smile” is playing. My heart, it already breaks.)

Jang-mi: “It’s all because of you!” Ki-tae hangs his head and apologizes, but it’s no use; she tells him again to go, and this time tears trickle down her face. “Go. Please, go.” Lightning strikes and the wind kicks up…

Rewind to: One day before the typhoon strikes.

Jang-mi and Yeo-reum have fallen asleep in Hoon-dong’s restaurant, unaware that everyone and his mother, literally, are on their way. Yeo-reum is the first to stir awake and when he hears the door open, he runs for cover, leaving a confused Hoon-dong to find Jang-mi sleeping there on her own.

He shakes her awake and she screams bloody murder. He wonders what she’s doing here and she wonders the same, until she spots Yeo-reum hiding and motioning for her not to say anything.

Hoon-dong totally jumps to conclusions and decides she must’ve come to him for solace and waited all night to see him, and grabs her in a hug before she can explain. She gasps for air and reaches for Yeo-reum to save her, while Hoon-dong continues to overreact with promises to protect her now.

And of course, THIS is the scene that Ki-tae’s mom and Hoon-dong’s mom witness as they arrive for their brunch. Egads. Ki-tae’s mom is shocked to hear that Jang-mi is the stalker she heard so much about, and that these events were very recent.

Hoon-dong defends Jang-mi and declares that he loves her, and she sneers when he says that he’s having a hard time because of the pain he caused her. Hoon-dong’s mom whines for him to stop embarrassing her.

Ki-tae’s mom says there’s nothing shameful about love, and then turns to Jang-mi to add that the truly shameful thing is to lie. Jang-mi apologizes to Mom, but Ki-tae’s voice interrupts from the doorway and he snaps at for apologizing when she did nothing wrong.

He says he’s the one giving Hoon-dong a hard time ever since he fell for Jang-mi, and despite Mom’s insistence for him to drop the act now, he says he’s going to marry her. Mom walks away embarrassed, and he reminds her that she said love wasn’t shameful.

Hoon-dong tells his mother that it’s true—he’s about to get his girl stolen by his friend. Yeo-reum overhears all of this, leaving him even more confused about the guys Jang-mi is involved with.

Up in his office, Mom calls Ki-tae out on his ruse. Jang-mi seems ready to admit the whole truth, but Ki-tae swears up and down that Mom’s got it wrong. When Mom calls Jang-mi a stalker, Ki-tae tells her not to poke at her wounds, and repeats what he said at home last night: “If it’s not Joo Jang-mi, I won’t marry at all!” Oddly enough now it’s Jang-mi and Mom on the same side, wondering what the hell he’s talking about.

He says he knows it’s nuts, “But this must be what love is.” He declares that if Mom disapproves, he’ll spend the rest of his life as a bachelor. Jang-mi can’t even get a word in edgewise, and Mom counters that if she finds out he’s lying, he’ll have to marry a woman she picks out.

As soon as Mom leaves, Jang-mi hits him for putting the train back on course when they worked so hard to derail it last night. But Ki-tae is dead-set on getting justification to live the rest of his life as a bachelor. Downstairs, Hoon-dong whines that if his mom doesn’t help, he’ll lose Jang-mi, and he knows how much his mom wants everything that Ki-tae’s mom has. Yes, because daughters-in-law are just like purses.

Ki-tae asks now what the heck Jang-mi was doing at Hoon-dong’s restaurant, and realizes she’s still wearing the same clothes and therefore spent the night with Yeo-reum. As they drive home, he asks warily, “You didn’t… did you? Did you do it? Did you, or did you not do it?” She flails at the implication and swears she fell asleep. Ki-tae: “Did you say anything about us?!” Oh, THAT. She thinks probably not, though she might’ve.

He buys her a new cell phone and says he installed an app so he can track her at all times, which makes him sound like the crazy stalker now. She doesn’t see why she has to comply, but he insists they need it to keep tabs on the mom situation.

She hands the phone back and tells him to apologize for breaking her phone in the first place instead of trying to cover everything up with money. But just as she’s about to walk away with the upper hand, he reminds her that she’ll need a phone to call Yeo-reum. Damn, and you were so close to winning this argument.

Yeo-reum apologizes for putting her in a sticky situation and offers to buy her dinner. She’s about to make a date for tonight when Ki-tae interrupts, insisting that she have dinner with him instead, and then says he has a hostage to make her change her mind. He turns around and we see that her mom is at his clinic, and he approaches her ominously with a syringe at the ready, ha. (And seriously, are we stopping for facial injection PPL now? That’s new.)

Jang-mi begins the date pouting, seeing as how Mom was taken hostage just to get her here, while Ki-tae decides to spend the date taking couple photos to put online. She’s annoyed when he dabs her lips with ice cream, but then she gets her revenge with an ice cream cone to the nose, and he gets his cute picture.

They spend the whole day like this, drinking out of the same drink, or posing with a rose, stopping to take pictures at every turn and then dropping the smitten façade as soon as the shutter clicks. But then Jang-mi stops to smell the rose that he bought her, and he notices.

They pose for a picture in the movie theater and in no time they’re reaching for each other’s snacks and laughing at the same things, hands grazing in the popcorn tub.

By the time they get to cocktails, they already sound like an old familiar couple: That one’s weird! Take it again. You always look like that. Oh that one’s good. See, you look good in that one. They don’t even notice that they don’t look or sound like they’re acting anymore, and just giggle as they sit close and post pictures online.

Yeo-reum sees the pictures and sighs, thinking back to Jang-mi’s vague words last night about her feelings for Ki-tae not being real, and wonders what she’s getting herself into. He texts her to say that he’ll be waiting for her.

Ki-tae walks her to her door and she thanks him for the rose, which puts a smile on his face. She finds herself swooning at the flower and has to knock herself out of the reverie, and heads out to meet Yeo-reum at the restaurant (wearing a mask, ha).

At the same time, Ki-tae lies in bed flipping through their photos, smiling at the cute ones. He catches himself and shakes the smile away, and then checks the tracking app to see where Jang-mi is. When he sees that she’s at Hoon-dong’s restaurant, he bolts up in bed angrily. May the jealousy shenanigans begin!

Yeo-reum admits to stalking her date photos with Ki-tae all day and grumps about it cutely. Ki-tae interrupts with a call to tell her to leave at once and not to trust Yeo-reum, and she hangs up on him.

Yeo-reum asks about the expensive new phone and wonders if she’s dating Ki-tae for his money. She says it isn’t like that and grouses that she much preferred her six-year-old flip phone, and that she has a hard time throwing things away.

He asks why she likes Ki-tae then if it’s not his money, and she wonders why he’s so inquisitive about her relationship. I’m curious too—is it purely because you’re interested in Jang-mi, or are you fulfilling your nefarious mole duties to Se-ah, or both?

When she asks what kind of person he is, he answers with the vague non-answer that he likes to be mysterious. He reaches to throw away some soup he made with all the ingredients that would go bad by tomorrow, and Jang-mi stops him and insists on eating it.

She eats it heartily, and he watches her intently and starts to smile. She says she thinks she knows him a little now that she’s tasted it—he doesn’t like to throw things away either, and feels bad for things that get thrown out.

He says that’s silly and he made it to be thrown away anyway, but she asks if he wasn’t just throwing it out first before having it be thrown away. The observation seems to hit close to home. She says it’s in the taste, and he leans in close to her soup-stained lips: “Really? Then I want to taste too.”

He swoops in for a kiss that surprises her, and then pulls her close for another. Oh my.

Ki-tae runs out of his building on a tear, still wearing his pajamas and ranting about what he’s going to do if he catches them. He gets outside and then looks down at his feet, and he’s wearing two different shoes, LOL. He chastens himself out loud, “What’re you, going to catch your cheating wife?” He sighs and suddenly rain comes pouring down, and he runs back home.

Twenty hours till the typhoon strikes.

Yeo-reum takes the soup pot out of Jang-mi’s hands while they’re still kissing, and they wrap their arms around each other to make out some more.

At Ki-tae’s house, Dad comes home in the morning just to get a change of clothes. He asks Mom how Jang-mi found out about that thing they don’t talk about, since he’s been careful as usual, and worries that it’s like having a ticking time bomb in the house. Mom doesn’t say a word, though to me, she seems like the ticking time bomb around here.

Jang-mi bangs her head against a wall at work the next day, calling herself crazy. But then she starts giggling and tells Hyun-hee excitedly that she kissed someone last night. As soon as Hyun-hee mentions Ki-tae, Jang-mi’s stomach starts acting up (Oh noes! Nearly expired ingredient soup!) and she makes a run for the bathroom. Any romance development for Jang-mi and another man is happy news for Hyun-hee though, who’s got her eye on Hoon-dong and is happy to hear she’s moved on.

Jang-mi gets waylaid on her way to the bathroom when Ki-tae’s mother arrives to speak to her, and she sits uncomfortably just willing the conversation to go faster. Mom asks how much Ki-tae paid her to go along with this charade, and offers to pay her more. She turns on a recorder and asks her to admit that it was all an act.

Jang-mi says when she first met Ki-tae’s family she was truthfully a little envious, and it was the first time she thought that families she had only seen in dramas actually existed. But the more she gets to know them, the more she realizes it’s a makjang family. Ha. She tells Mom to talk it out with her son instead of doing things like this.

Jang-mi apologizes if it came out wrong, but her family’s cut off communication for some time now too, so she understands and feels bad for her. Mom scoffs at being pitied, and Jang-mi ducks for cover thinking she’s going to get hit again.

But Mom stops cold when Dad’s mistress comes walking into the department store, and Mom instinctively runs and hides behind a purse display. Agh, I feel so terrible for her. When Jang-mi sees what’s going on, she asks why Mom is the one hiding when it should be the other person, but Mom pretends not to know what she’s talking about.

Mom walks out against the wind like a heroine in a melodrama and goes straight to Ki-tae’s office to ask how Jang-mi knows about his father’s cheating. She reminds him that he’s being considered for president (of his university) soon and it could ruin everything if the truth came out.

Ki-tae scoffs at her concern for Dad, and is surprised that Mom is even bringing It up when it’s not a thing they talk about. She accuses him of giving Jang-mi ammunition against her, but Ki-tae lies that he told her for his own benefit—so that he could breathe and talk to someone openly. He says that he doesn’t even know how but he ends up telling Jang-mi everything.

He doesn’t think it’s so bad to have one person in the world he can speak to openly, and Mom warns him that that person could bring him crashing down. She swears she’ll get her definitive proof that they’re a lie, and storms out.

At the restaurant, Yeo-reum hovers around the head chef and begs him to try the soup he made last night, and the chef scowls after one bite and says it’s bad. But then as soon as Yeo-reum walks away he has more, wondering how the waiter made a soup this good.

Hoon-dong’s mom is still feeling the sting from the morning fiasco, and at the salon she snubs Ki-tae’s mom and goes running to Se-ah, eager to be friendly with her. She invites Se-ah to their wine club meeting tonight and moves the gathering to Hoon-dong’s restaurant so she’ll agree to come.

Hoon-dong tells Ki-tae about the wine party and Se-ah’s invitation, “To keep Jang-mi away from us.” Ki-tae corrects him: “You mean keep Jang-mi away from ME.” He takes off running, leaving Hoon-dong pouting that he was trying to play fair.

Jang-mi’s stomachache gets worse as the day goes on, and she finally has to ask to leave work early. But Ki-tae arrives to yank her away to dinner before she can even protest. Dude, let the girl go to the bathroom.

Yeo-reum is surprised to see his soup pot emptied and asks the chef if he ate it all. Judging from his rumbling stomach, he totally did, but he lies that he threw it away. Chef gets mad when he finds Jang-mi’s tub of kimchi in his kitchen, and tells Yeo-reum to toss it.

Yeo-reum goes to throw the kimchi out, but then remembers Jang-mi’s insightful observation about him not liking it when things get thrown away. He flashes back to his childhood, when his mother made him a kimchi pancake one night and then abandoned him while he was eating it. Damn, that’s cold.

Once Jang-mi sees that dinner is at Hoon-dong’s restaurant, she refuses to go inside, while Ki-tae argues that she’ll go there at all odd hours of the night but won’t go when he asks. She tells him to stop pestering his mother, and starts to tell him what happened at the department store today.

But Mom walks up just as she’s about to say it and snaps at her for being so loose-lipped. She tells Ki-tae not to mess around with her wine club because it’s important (one of the wives is married to the university’s chairman of the board, who decides Dad’s fate).

To Ki-tae, it’s just more reason to point Jang-mi the loose cannon her way—Mom’s free to officially disapprove right now if she doesn’t want them to attend. Ki-tae begs Jang-mi to go in with him, and her stomach starts acting up so badly that she decides she’ll at least have to go in to use the bathroom.

Two hours before the typhoon strikes.

Ki-tae introduces Jang-mi to the group as the woman he’s going to marry, and Hoon-dong’s mother has a field day with the gossip, pointing out that Ki-tae is sitting between his ex-girlfriend and his new girlfriend, who happens to be Hoon-dong’s ex.

Hoon-dong follows Jang-mi and tries to apologize for his mom, and she just shoves his face away, desperate to get to the bathroom. But the chef beats her to the door, equally desperate to get to the one working toilet in the restaurant. Agh, there’s only one working restroom? She stands outside the door crossing and uncrossing her legs, trying not to have a meltdown.

Meanwhile, because the chef is otherwise occupied and Hoon-dong is getting impatient, Yeo-reum decides to cook. He uses up the rest of Jang-mi’s kimchi to make kimchi pancakes and then turns them into little pizzas.

The ladies don’t really receive the fusion dish very well, and even Jang-mi is too preoccupied with her stomach troubles to speak up in defense of kimchi and cheese. Yeo-reum berates himself for trying and tosses the rest of the kimchi out, not knowing that eventually the ladies taste it and love it.

He grabs Jang-mi during her next attempt to get to the bathroom and asks a little judgmentally what she’s doing barely picking at her plate just to look good in front of those ajummas when she normally stuffs her face with food. He asks if she has two faces—one for kissing him by night and the other for playing a doctor’s fiancée by day.

She finally tells him the truth about her relationship with Ki-tae—that it’s all an act so that he doesn’t have to get married—and Se-ah rounds the corner just in time to overhear them. Yeo-reum doesn’t understand why Jang-mi is involved, but she un-complicates it for him: “I like you!” The confession startles him (or niggles at his conscience?) and she says there’s so much she wants to tell him.

Now that she knows what he’s up to, Se-ah returns to the table and whispers to Ki-tae that he’s being cute. Jang-mi tries to say her goodbyes and leave, but they insist she stay for the wine at least, so she sits back down.

The room starts to spin as her stomach grumbles more fiercely than before, and she breaks into a sweat just trying to keep it together long enough to drink a glass of wine. But they keep pushing her to eat and have another glass, so she stuffs her face as fast as she can.

Hoon-dong’s mom doesn’t waste the opportunity to backhandedly praise Ki-tae’s mother for being so open-minded as to accept a woman with a criminal record as a daughter-in-law, and Jang-mi finally reaches the limit of her stomach pangs. She stands up, declares that she did indeed pay a fine for being a stalker, and gulps down the rest of her wine before walking out.

As she limps out of the restaurant clutching her stomach, the caption tells us it’s time for the typhoon to strike. Oh noes! Is this the typhoon? The one brewing in her intestines?

Ack, her steps grow more frantic as her stomach growls with terrifying urgency, and she goes every which way looking for a bathroom. She gets as far as across the street… and then lightning strikes. OMG. She just pooped her pants. Nooooo.

She freezes like a statue, so shocked that she can’t even move, and then to make matters worse, Ki-tae comes running out to check on her. LOL, this is the opening scene? Hahahaha. I’m crying.

Things look very different than they did an hour ago, and now we see that Jang-mi wasn’t crying or upset—she’s mortified and desperate to make him go away before finding out that she just pooped her pants in the street. He doesn’t know this, of course, and apologizes sincerely for putting her through this.

She just begs him repeatedly to go away, but then the wind kicks up… wafting the scent of her accident right into Ki-tae’s nose. Gack. How can something be so sad and so funny at the same time? He makes a face and steps back, stammering that it couldn’t be. She screams for him not to say a word.

Now it’s his turn to stand there shell-shocked, and wouldn’t you know it—it’s Mom who comes to Jang-mi’s rescue. She puts her coat over Jang-mi’s shoulders and leads her away, ordering him not to follow. Se-ah comes out and asks if this was the sort of thing Ki-tae was angling for, calling him childish.

Jang-mi comes out of Ki-tae’s office wearing a change of pants, and she bows in gratitude for the rescue from Mom. Mom just says they’re now even on the secrets, and asks her not to go around spreading rumors about hers.

Jang-mi: “It’s like poop in your pants, isn’t it? Something that exploded without your consent or will? It’s scary, and shameful, and so painful that you can’t even look at it or talk about it, isn’t it?”

That is not where I thought this poop metaphor was going to go, but it’s strangely apt. Tears pool in Mom’s eyes, and Jang-mi assures her that her secret is safe. When Ki-tae comes in Jang-mi tells him that she wants to call it quits now, and says that she confessed her feelings to Yeo-reum.

Mom apologizes as she says goodbye to the wife of the board chairman, but the woman surprises her by saying that she used to think Mom was so rigid that she didn’t even go to the bathroom, and expected she’d have a daughter-in-law as robotic as her. But she finds Jang-mi so personable and was pleasantly surprised to know that Mom could be so open-minded and forgiving.

Hoon-dong gets drunk and calls Hyun-hee out to meet him, slurring that he thought he could tell her everything. At the same time, Jang-mi tells Ki-tae that she thinks Yeo-reum is someone she can tell everything to. He can’t believe she already told him about their relationship, and can’t help getting in the jab: “What about pooping your pants? Are you going to tell him that too?” HA.

She chases after him in protest when he threatens to tell, but they stop when they spot Se-ah and Yeo-reum outside the restaurant. She says that she finally knows what Ki-tae is up to now and hands over an envelope, and Yeo-reum smiles back at her. Oh no, poor Jang-mi.

 
COMMENTS

This was the best use of the cold open yet, with the four previous episodes having set us up for a very straight reading of events, laying the groundwork for the surprise twist in this episode. We expect the usual flash-forward and ticking clock that’s become a staple of this show, and the device could easily become a hackneyed crutch (as it is so often). But this episode builds toward the reveal so effectively, complete with signs of an actual storm brewing as we go along, only to be slammed with the most unexpected reason for a tear-filled love spat imaginable. I love how clever the reinterpretation is—the only real difference is a simple music cue that makes the scene fraught with angst in the opening, and then doubly hilarious when we get there and it’s a conversation about poop.

And then to top it off, the poop incident gets used as a metaphor, which is even funnier than the fact that she pooped her pants in the first place, like the writer’s sitting there shouting, See, it’s not just scatological humor! There’s a higher purpose, I swear! Of course the typhoon gets you the initial metaphor: you hold your business too long and keep things bottled up until it’s too late, and it explodes on you, ruining things.

But then after Mom saves her (another great twist, by the way), Jang-mi also turns it into a metaphor for shame—suddenly she sees the affair from Mom’s point of view as a thing you can’t dare to speak of because it’s so cruelly shameful even though you had no control over it in the first place. It’s a fantastic moment of understanding between them, after seeming so different at the outset. Naturally a great deal of Mom’s depth is owed to Kim Hae-sook’s portrayal, but now we start to see why she was cast in the first place—Mom isn’t just the disapproving catalyst for the contract relationship, and her own journey with Jang-mi is proving to be as interesting and important to the story as anything.

Yeo-reum confuses me, which I guess is the point of him. Both Yeo-reum and Hyun-hee seem to be younger twentysomethings who don’t feel qualms about dating up for the social perks (largely money), and given that the rest (minus Jang-mi) are wealthy, older, and successful, it doesn’t seem a big leap that they assume Jang-mi is just like them. But Yeo-reum is weirdly cagey and waaaay too smooth to be trusted fully, and yet, at the same time, it does seem like his feelings for Jang-mi might be genuine. The problem is that he seems like another Hoon-dong for Jang-mi—someone who wants to keep things light and easy, and no matter how much Jang-mi tries to be that cool about dating, we already know she’s incapable of keeping her heart in check.

The funny thing is that the contract relationship is making her appear to have become the player, stringing three guys along like a pro. And in some ways, she is keeping them all on the hook—if you ignore that Ki-tae is fake and Hoon-dong is just a child who wants his toy back ’cause it suddenly seems desirable again—because for someone who appears to be engaged to a doctor, she manages to squeeze a lot of dates in, and even has her fake boyfriend jealous of her extracurricular activities.

This is always my favorite stage of contract relationships, where faking it till you make it turns enemies into allies, and the act of working so hard to make the world believe you’re in love becomes the very thing to make you fall for each other. And it’s extra satisfying that it’s always Ki-tae who wants her all to himself and wants to keep the ruse going, complete with all the activities a real couple would do together. A rose is just a rose… except when your fake boyfriend gifts it to you and suddenly the damned thing makes you swoon.

 
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This drama is like a drug. I'm so addicted that I don't know what to do when it comes to an end.

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Absolutely like crack. But the drama will have to stay on its toe to keep the supply fresh and flowing or we will wake up with terrible hangover.

The major premise that has taken the drama this far is getting stale by the minute. Get us to the next hook that will sustain the drama for a few more episodes, until it goes all in for the finale.

Unless it goes all flat and middle class halfway, like so many tvN dramas did. In Witch's Romance, that happened when the photographer ex returned.

Gitae needs to up his game. Jangmi is doing all the morphing and growing.

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Well that's what actually I'm worried me about. Since eps 1-6 had been a hit to me, maybe the middle eps could fall into bland and boring (hopefully not) and it's a pressure for the writers to keep up the intensity.

But for now i'm trying to savor the good while it lasts.

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We have all seen so many dramas start to lose their oomph and have a lot of filler, especially after the first few episodes. So far this has done better than most - Trot Lovers started going downhill for me at the 4th episode.

Given how this has gone so far, I am expecting a wild ride in the next 2 episodes, and will be really disappointed if it loses it's way.

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It's my favorite drug! And it is the only drama that I watch ongoing, and every week keep refreshing until the subs are out!
I just hope they will keep the pace and there is not going to be the infamous 13th episode slump!

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GirlFriday: SCATOLOGICAL...really?

almost pooped my pants from laughing so hard.

Thanks so much for that!!!!

And you're right about the writing of this episode being totally genius in using the "crappy" situation as the opening only to learn it's higher...or lower (b/c it's crap) purpose.

Genius recap, thank you.

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I died this ep so hilarious!!!!

They're so dramatic in the first scene and then poop happened XD

mother in law was so cute hiding from that mistress and she ACTUALLY helped JM from the embarrassment. How sweet. Just keep on messing our OTP okay? XD

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They are going to be BFFs. Totally BFFs. Jang Mi seems to be the only one empathising with the mom and the mom is definitely warming up to her. I bet you she is going to turn out to be Jang Mi's biggest supporter in the future.

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I can see this happening also, even though Mom now acts like she hates Jang Mi, I think she also sees what she wishes she could be or could have been, so perhaps she is also a bit jealous, or maybe just starting to question herself about her priorities.

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I love your comments about Jang-mi challenging Mom's ideas about her own choices and priorities. I also think that gets at what makes Jang-mi's character so interesting to me & her frequent embarrassments more easy to bear than similar hijinks in other dramas. Rather than being accident-prone or a pushover, I get the sense that Jang-mi is a revolutionary who speaks truth to power--or perhaps more accurately, that she is the revolutionary who speaks emotional honesty to a severely repressed, messed-up system.

I would specify "family" rather than "system," but her truth-telling is broader than that and seems to challenge a deeply messed up value system held by the super wealthy (or anyone, really) who value things & images over people & relationships.

That's why I absolutely love details like in the last episode, when Jang-mi took grandma to task for remaining silent even though grandma knew Jang-mi and momma were being taken advantage of. And I loved even more that even though grandma was affronted at first, the comment really made her stop and think, "was I complicit in this? Should I have said something?"

There is a level of passive acceptance & sheeplike going-with-the-flow in this world which allows some pretty disturbing things to be normalized--like momma being taken advantage of & worked to the bone, like her husband having an ongoing affair, like Ki-tai being desperately alone and unhappy (as long as he doesn't make a fuss about it or tarnish the family's image). There's this pervasive idea that cleanliness/containment is preferable to actual honesty, and Jang-mi's very being is a big "eff you" to that way of living. She can't help but speak her mind, and she is in touch enough with her own emotions that she is able to call out the small injustices around her.

In addition to being a really smart way to layer conflict upon conflict and use those conflicts to fuel a deeper relationship between Jang-mi & Ki-tai, this show is actually speaking to something universal in most families, wealthy or poor. Most families have some form of dysfunction or repression that is only visible from an outside perspective. If only we all had a Jang-mi (or were able to be a Jang-mi) to shake things up & challenge our unspoken "rules"!

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Nicely said.

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Thanks! :)

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Good post - and even beyond about cutting through the family cover-up bullshit, I think it is also taking a slam at the whole Korean system of "elders - right or wrong, they are always right" Confucian way of thinking.

That is a very touchy subject in Korea, but it seems to me that there is some element of that thinly disguised as ranting and Mom and Grandma.

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This drama really caught me off guard. Super Like! There's a certain "freshness" to this drama, or perhaps it's just that I so like the actress playing Joo Jang Mi.

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Me too! She first caught my interest in "Can we Get Married"

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Couldnt agree more! I'm glad that Jang mi isn't a meek girl. she never hesitates to yell at him or hit him when he's being a jerk. Compared to Mi young in FTLY, i love Jang mi's character a thousand times more. She and Ki tae have a sizzling chemistry though they're bickering most of the time. Cant wait to see they're getting married! :) yeo reum isnt necessary here,he's no threat at all for our OTP

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Jus looking at the images above with their fake date..u can see everything slowly and gradually coming together..they started off rough and distant but now they seem to rather enjoy each others company..she actually has to snap back to reality since she doesn't see any chance with ki tai..If he had laud his cards on the table it would of been a done deal but since YR is the one she believes is pursuing her she can't let opportunities be wasted

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LOL really love their fake date! They're actually enjoying every moments,it seems a lot like love ;) i just dont really get it why she keeps going to YR, it's not like he's

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He's not that nice either and pretentious,and he hurts her feelings in several occasion before..anyway I just love the growing attraction between JM and KT :)

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There's that magical, element of 'real' and believeable, even in all it's hilariously entertaining high drama.

It's definitely refreshing. Even PS (plastic surgery) is made matter of fact.

Both sets of parents are dysfunctional, yet function together.

Totally enjoying the ride so far, even though I was turned off initially by her clingyness in ep 1.

And THANKS for recaps gf!

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jusash: good point on the Plastic Surgery.

I think that all families are dysfunctional, they just vary in degrees. But these 'sets' of parents are polar opposites and to the n'th degree of extreme dysfunction.

GiTae parents are controlling and wanting to keep up appearances. JangMi parents are not supportive to the point of abandonment.

I'm just hoping that SHOW starts to develop GiTae's growth/awareness/something because after the 6th epis, all we see is JangMi grasping GiTae's character.

Thanks for your post! :)

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I loved this episode for the humor and the heart! I loved how we got to see even more sides to them! Also I appreciate this drama having all the characters being multi layered. I feel a lot of dramas dont do this enough.

Also I found it hilarious how the fake date started with them being cold towards each other until the end when you couldn't tell it was fake at all!! A lot like the relationship!!!

Thanks so much for the updates by the way!! When I read them I can understand the little jokes that aren't conveyed well if you don't understand the language yourself!

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Ki-tae's Mom won me over in this episode ....and I really did not like her at all. But, when she draped Jang-mi in her designer raincoat in front of the Movers and Shakers Wine Club, I had to repent. Plus I am a big fan of Kim Hae-Sook.

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I get this feeling that despite her own issues, that Jang Mi is the only one that really understands what Mom is going through.

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Agreed :) hopefully they'll get along soon..i have a feeling that she'll be the one who'll encourage mom to confront dad for his infidelity

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Dude, I totally fast forwarded to the end to figure out the reason for the angst, JUST to miss the poop incident, JUST to catch them speaking about it, JUST to be totally confused, then relieved (muahahhahahah) that they were actually okay. Not bad, this show.

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Thanks for the speedy and wonderful recap, girlfriday!
This episode gives me hope for GKT's mom's and JJM's relationship eventually becoming better.
I love the writing and where this show seems to be heading.
I also thought the opening/twist was very clevar (and pretty darn funny!)
I really love this stage of the contact relationship and that the writing is letting things develop naturally without rushing while still managing to keep up the pace and keep things interesting.
Looking forward to more episodes and more recaps ^^

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I just can't get enough of this drama! I dread waiting for Fridays to come!

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I had no idea what to expect from the dramatic angsty beginning and laughed my head off ( while feeling so bad for Jang Mi) at the actual events..who knew it could be a metaphor for so many things?

Ki Tae is starting to feeling the pangs of jealousy - molar moar!!

PLUS as I discovered yesterday, Gong Ki Tae has an actual twitter account - IT'S REAL and I love it!!! It's going to make watching this drama even more awesome!! (I laugh to find that the 2 people he follows on twitter are Yeo Reum and Hoon Dong XDD)

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OMG. No way! There's an actual twitter account?! Haha that's fantastic! That's like in Let's Eat when they had the actual Shiksa blog up!

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The twitter in question is here: https://twitter.com/gong7904

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LOL how cute!!

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@gong7904 hahahaaa... Kind of funny

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I love this episode so much! SO FUNNY.

Loved their date/picture scene. And the rose. They're already getting so attached :)

I'm just really adoring the relationships, especially between the leads, but also between the leads and Ki-tae's mother. I also love that their (mainly Ki-tae's) internal issues are still the driving force of the drama, in that, instead of just doing this marriage charade for his apartment, he's really doing it to protect himself. And I'm really liking the direction the drama is taking us with all the characters.

AHHHH I can't wait!

Thanks so much for catching up so quickly!

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I'm loving this drama so much and enjoy how it's being developed.

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MAH GAWDDD I stayed up all night - till 6AM from marathoning this show... WORTH IT..
This drama is just clever, fun and doesn't take itself too seriously... :D LOVE IT.

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OMG, I stayed up till 5 am watching! Not ok!! But it's SO GOOD!

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Best trolling by a writer for an episode. hehe For a minute there, I thought I was watching a Hong Sisters drama. The episode is chock full of metaphors and toilet humor (literally?). Real funny! lol

BTW, the main OST for this drama sounds so similar to SNSD's "Gee". Same beat I think.

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I couldn't laugh at the poop scene. It is awful, I'm imagined it and I thought I smelt it. Eew.

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oops, typo all over... 'enter' key anxiety syndrome lately !!

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I don't think it was supposed to be laugh out loud funny, but more of a OMG - laughing and crying at the same time moment.

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The poor girl..when Ki tae approached her,I prayed that he wouldnt smelled the poop. but of course he did :) i was torn between laughing or crying in mortification for her LOL

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I jus keep re watching and re watching this drama..nothing this good since yfas...I love the scenes of jang mi and ki tai together..they are both open to one another while being able to make each other laugh and hurt one another..don't they realize that's a relationship?!? Haha but this episode was epic..I really thought he did something horrible to her and u can see in his eyes he was genuinely sorry if jang mi felt hurt by the comments..I jus don't get why she doesn't see his sincerity..probably the only hero I have seen to admit fault and felt hurt that the heroine was hurt so early in the show..even the time at the memorial he w felt bad for wat he did..

It's great that his character doesn't really need much work with..He is friendly and understanding of the people around him but he doesn't give into pressure from either his ex or his mother..He is able to relate and even sympathize with people which as a whole new element to k drama from my experience...

Other than opening himself up more I think jang mi has the furthest to go..she doesn't grasp the situation she is in and can't seem to understand how things keep falling apart for her..love the comparison of hook and YR in that they aren't looking for anything deep but jang mi forces herself onto people..from the show she has had three decent conversations with YR and one of them she was totally drunk which she doesn't remember but somehow she feels she can tell him anything..talk about total clinging so and desperation on her part..she jus broken up with hook as well and now she setting herself up again..her honesty and belief in herself is comforting but that is now she always gets taken advantage of..without ki tei showing interest with her no one else would even bother and thay seems to be the thing she doesn't understand..

Hopefully u can fully understand ki tai sincerity even though it looks like the two aren't in any real relationship but once they start caring and worrying for the other it's gonna get good..

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Man...second hand mortification when JM lost it
And that face when KT smelt it!

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I'm really like this drama up to now but I have to say... I just don't love the bathroom humour. This is a reoccurring theme in a lot of Korean dramas (especially the modern rom-com/comedy ones) and I get this might be humour that's just lost in translation to me but... I JUST DON'T GET IT!! I basically fast forwarded from the "at least have some wine!" to Ki-tae running after Jang-mi because I just couldn't. I couldn't. I'm glad I'm reading these recaps to know what I missed in those minutes, though! Wheeewww.

In other news, I know there are some Yeo-reum haters out there (I love him! I don't care, I'll keep the sexy man with the sexy cooking and the sexy back all to myself!) but that kiss was AWESOME, I think we all need to agree. Obviously not as emotional as an OTP-omg-finally-they-kiss kiss but there's something about him removing the pot to get closer that really did it for me. Rawr.

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Idc for YR characte much since i know he is there to provoke the lead but if that kiss was really so satisfying there is hardly any talk of it..wither from comments or even from the recap..Most the time if it's the first kiss and u r really into it..who notices a pot..I myself would of jus toss the pot on the floor but he casually place it on the table..idk if it was the angle but the whole scene seem so boring to me..plus she had shrimp breath and residue on her lips..I feel like the kiss was jus to test where she was at with ki tai

Then the whole u kiss me at night thing..The dude came on to her..I get it takes to to mingle but if he didn't force the issue nothing would of happen..He jus seems even more ridiculously childish to me when he threw away her kimchi...so the old ladies didn't find your food satisfying..boohoo his ego is hurt..WOW!! the guy is a part time waiter..did he really think he go through life without criticism..

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I agree with you, I dislike Yeo-reum more and more with each episode. Not just because he's coming between our OTP, but because he seems dishonest. Everything he says and does around Jang-mi seems so calculated and smooth, as girlfriday said, not a guy to trust. But more than that, the way he acts around Jang-mi, blowing hot and cold, with times when he's deliberately intensely focused on her, and then times when he ignores her or even gets irritated at her over stupid things, does not give me "this guy likes you" vibes. (Ki-tae, on the other hand, is practically yelling "I LIKE YOU" at Jang-mi with every part of his body except his mouth.)

Plus, I don't care what anyone says, no guy would give a girl he likes almost-spoiled food on a "date". (Also, how can Jang-mi not blame him for the poop incident?)

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Yeah, I'm not convinced he's trustworthy either but I'm OK with the ambivalence right now. We'll know he's true colours soon enough. Meanwhile, y'all can have Ki-tae, I'll keep sexy man with the sexy eyes and the sexy back all to myself. I'll chain him to my kitchen and it shall be wonderful.

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Haha, enjoy! Not gonna argue with you about his sexiness, it's his actions that give me weird vibes. Other than the cooking of course, I agree with you about a man who cooks. :)

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Hahah..well there I lies her many flaws..she gets caught uo in the moment t not realizing what is really happening..she goes head first even though she might belly flop..YR is going to be the catalyst that drives jang mi to ki tai..I hope..I feel like once she gets to know his personality and wat he hasn't done for her and realizes what ki tai has done she will fall harder than before..because she can see the true sincerity within ki tai where as YR is jus all fluff

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YR just comes off as really skeevy and it's a combo of the writing and subpar acting I think. Like the actor is trying too hard to look good all the time and it's noticeable and it's blending in with the character himself trying his best too charm people at all times.

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YES! I actually love Jinwoon in the K-pop world, but he's so irritating in this. Skeevy is the right word. Jang Mi is an idiot for falling for all the dishonesty and then (spoiler) forgiving him for it because of his "past".

The lead actor has grown on me so much. I still don't find him very attractive, but he's hilarious! :D

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The guy seriously cant act. I dont care if he's sexy or what. We all know he has killer smile,but no need to smile all the time,right? On the other hand I'm glad that he's not that adorable. At least we're not gonna have a second lead syndrome

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LOL! I'm not even going to argue 'cause what's the point? =P I think we're all here for the warm and fuzzies anyway, I know I am! I totally get YR being hurt over people rejecting his food, though... I think that in his place I would feel like these people just stomped all over my dreams. I would be very dejected! And I would totally take it out on anyone that was around me at the time.

I'm not sure that YR truly likes JM (he's the second lead so I'm thinking he either does already or soon will -- that's basically in his job description) but I have no shame in admitting that men that cook are a huge turn on so I'm biased. WAAAAYYYY biased. I have no problems with KT, I think he'll be super cute once the full onset of the feels sets in... but he had to set a timer to boil water! I feel so superficial right now =P

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LOL. Ki-tae IS disturbingly anal. That's one of those things you can put up with in dramaland but perhaps not in a real guy. Then again, Jang-mi is well on her way to breaking him of his fastidious ways... ;)

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I looked at the cooking thing as him being like Lee Seung-gi whenever he had to cook in 1N2D.

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So as kind of endearing I meant.

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No I agree, it is endearing, in a drama lead. (How cute is his little egg timer?) But I think in real life I would just kick him out of the kitchen and do all the cooking myself, lol.

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Thire kiss was pretty hawt and natural, and I believe his feelings for her are genuine, but YR ... (I don't hate ... kind of like yet nor can I really like this character. call me a fencesitter).

While he's nice and all, he constantly all smiley while getting his business done. That part doesn't sit well with me.

And if you appreciate Jang Mi's gift of kimchi, well then you like her kimchi and keep it anyways. Has NOTHIN to do with whether the women outside appreciate it or not.

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Could not love this drama more, totally anchored by Han Groo's committed and energetic performance.

With concept shows like this, you really depend on high quality actors to continuously sell the lunacy of the premise, and these are managing to do that and then some. Love it!

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The most entertaining aspect of this drama for me is the ambiguity of feelings for most of the characters. You hear them say something and always have to ask yourself if they are being sincere at that point or just acting. Or are they acting like they're acting? The actors must be having a ball with these roles!

This show and King of High School are my drama crack!

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"This show and King of High School are my drama crack!"

Same here, and it seems like both shows are getting better as they go. Let's hope that trend continues!

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Thanks for the recap! I loved this episode so much, though nothing tops the Gong Ki-tae Bathroom Lock-in Incident for me. Still, the build-up to the "typhoon explosion" was so well done, and so unexpected, and it just worked on so many levels. Gross and uncomfortable though it was at times, lol.

There are so many things I love about this show - not least the AMAZING chemistry between the OTP and even the rest of the cast - but I think what I love the most is how at first glance it is a cliched contract dating drama with typical rich jerk/poor victim leads... until you watch it, and it's SO not. It makes those basic tropes multilayered and complex so that they come to life in a completely fresh way.

Another thing I love is how real the problems our characters face are. Instead of having ridiculous or overly dramatic problems like birth secrets, murder and fauxcest, we have insecurity, bad breakups, abandonment issues, quietly dysfunctional families (and what I suspect in Jang-mi may be borderline alcoholism. Just saying, the girl has had a LOT of drinks in these 5 eps). And yet these "normal" problems, rather than being boring, are way more relatable, which in turn makes the characters easier to root for. They just feel like real people, which is a credit to both the acting and writing.

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I have had the feeling since ep1 that the people in this show (most anyway) seem to be a lot more real than in most dramas. And even though some of the tropes might seem a bit icky or uncomfortable or disquieting, most of us can relate to them even if we don't talk about them in public :P

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So true.

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My only complaint about this drama is that Jang Mi has no outlet or support. I wanted so badly for Hyun Hee to be a safe haven for her in this messy situation but Hyun Hee is grappling with her own objectives with Hoon Dong. I just want a little more sisterhood so that when the laughs subside and the drama rolls in Jang Mi has someone to encourage her.

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I agree, the poor girl really needs a good (girl)friend, to balance all the guys around her with their various ulterior motives. Someone who sincerely is there for her instead of just wanting something from her.

Then again, I can see her and Ki-tae's mom forming that kind of connection down the line, after seeing their lovely moment of empathy in this episode. That would be awesome, and such a great reversal.

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my sentiments exactly. plus hyun hee makes me want to pull my hair out every time she appears on screen. she's so pretentious, i can't stand it. jang mi definitely deserves a better friend than her.

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and to add to that, I found the acting for Hyun Hee is downright B.O.R.I.N.GGGGG!

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I agree that she needs someone unconditionally on her side without ulterior motives. Kitae doesn't have one either though Hoon Dong is a friend but not a reliable one who will give good advice and have his back .
But watching as the episodes go on (now to 6), one of the things I like most about this series is that they are each becoming the other's best friend. Someone they can tell anything to and who will listen, someone who will give advice or opinions even if they aren't what the person wants to hear but rather what they need to hear, one that can say the painful truths and listen to it as well.
They may seemingly go in opposing directions but generally they pull or push towards the same direction in the end. They can't seem to help it.

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Totally agree. They are one of the few relationships in the show based on complete honesty with each other - despite the fact that it's not an actual relationship (or so think, bwahaha). It's surprising to me how much they tell each other that they don't tell other people; I feel like a lot of the time it's unintentionally revealed, but I think Ki-tae's actually being honest, even if he doesn't realize it, when he tells his mom it's nice to have someone he can relax and share his secrets with. Both he and Jang-mi are so alone in important ways - Ki-tae just keeps his relationships very closed off and impersonal and never lets anyone in, while Jang-mi is perpetually lonely even though she surrounds herself with people. I think they unconsciously recognize that in each other, and that, along with the fact that their fake relationship makes it easier to say what they think without worrying about the consequences, makes them so comfortable around each other.

Also on a slightly related note, I love how naturally and gradually they slipped into banmal with each other. (Aided greatly by Jang-mi's drunkenness.) I get the feeling they didn't really register the moment, and I didn't either exactly, but now they talk to each other like a long-established couple. I love it.

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Well said! :)

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Thanks!

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I almost couldn't finish this episode because the pooping your pants thing was just SO MORTIFYING. I'm just glad it didn't happen in front of all the ladies because that is just not something you can come back from. Ever. I love that this was the typhoon they were talking about though - I was really expecting it to be something much more serious than a long winded setup for a poop joke, lol.

I love this OTP so much. They were so, SO cute on their fake dates. It's adorable how much KiTae is warming up to her and hilarious that he doesn't even realize it yet. His face as he scrolled through the pictures of them and then his anger when he stormed out to drag her away from YR (but he decided against it). Yeo Reum is starting to annoy me more as he becomes a viable romantic rival but I know that he's a necessary catalyst to rile up KiTae's growing feelings of jealousy. Still I wish that JangMi wasn't so quick to run back to him after he left her high and dry at the beginning. What more needs to happen for her to realize that she has to be more careful who she gives her heart to? You can't just go around trusting everybody! I also feel like the ruse would be a lot easier to maintain if JM waited to go out with YR until they were done with the scheme but then we wouldn't get all the shenanigans, I know.

I know a lot of people thought the soup kiss was hot but I thought JangMi looked sweaty and un appealing with the soup all over her face (like a child) so it didn't do anything for me. Plus I don't like her with YeoReum so I was too busy screaming nooooooooo at my computer to enjoy anything.

I appreciate them acknowledging how insightful JM is though. She's the only one who really empathizes with KiTae's mother and who sees her pain and she sees that YR's aloofness hides a painful scar as well (what is with the parents on this show?!). It's nice to see that she isn't only clingy and too earnest.

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Totally agree with your comments on Yeo-reum and Jang-mi!

And yes, how CUTE was that "fake" date?

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I think the Chairman's wife lady got what Jang Mi was going through - even though all the men seemed totally oblivious. That may have prompted her "she is not a robot" remark.

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I'm laughing so hard I can't breathe. Poor Jang Mi...

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I burst out laughing at that scene. I can't believe they actually made her poop in her pants. That's hilarious.
I am loving it. But when will the romance between kitae and jang mi begin??? Am desperately waiting for it. Yoreum is good alright but he cannot be the one for her. Kitae go get the girl! Forget about marriage and just tell her you like her.

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I love the song posted above! I don't know what the song is saying (I don't speak Korean) but I'm assuming it's about that happy feeling you get when you fall in love. That's the vibe I get from the song anyhow. It's effervescent and bubbly and it makes me smile and giddy. I'm adding it to my "Yihee" playlist which is basically made up of songs whose lyrics and melody make me giddy or kilig as we call it in the Philippines.

On to the show:
I cringe for Jang-mi. Poor girl can't catch a break. I laughed like mad when I realized that dramatic opening sequence was about poop in the pants. :D

And Yeo-reum. I'm not sure yet what I feel about him. He's such an odd mix of gentleman and jerk, perfect man and bastard. I mean the good looks and cooking are great but his bouts of immaturity and assiness are very off-putting. Also, I loathe pretty boys who know they're pretty and are so self-assured of their prettiness that they assume all girls have a thing for them or will have thing for them eventually if they didn't at the beginning.

Thank goodness for Ki-tae who is consistent and doesn't blow hot and cold. I really like his character despite his flaws and occasional misanthropy.

That bitch ex-fiancee of his is UGH. She's so smug and self-serving! What she wants, she gets. And she'll do whatever it takes. She's the most annoying character her. More annoying than the immature douche Hoon-dong. He, at least, is hilariously pathetic and harmless.

p.p.s.
Thanks for the recap, Girlfriday!

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In love with this drama. This episode sealed the deal. The typhoon was both hilarious and mortifying, and I was cringing and bursting out in laughter at the same time!

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Omg this drama is hands down my favourite of the year so far. I very, very rarely re-watch dramas but I could watch this over and over and never get bored. I like the ambiguity of some of the relationships- despite the wacky premise the realness of this and the commitment of the actors really sells it. And this episode in particular was absolutely hilarious. Once I realised what the typhoon was referring to I almost had to watch through my fingers, dreading what was going to happen, but when they replayed the opening scene I was crying with laughter. Thank you girlfriday and LollyPip for the recaps!

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Hahah..I was actually waiting for a little graphic in nature when they zoom in on her legs and started goin upwards..I fersure thought they were gonna have something dripping down and I was anticipating it so much I forgot to even breath..hahah priceless with ki tai suddenly getting a swift of the smell

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Ha! Me too, although I'm kinda glad they didn't go that far..

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Thanks for the recap!

After marathoning th6e 6 six episodes over the weekend, i became a fan of this series!

Up till now I see that the running theme so far that KT, JM, YR and to lesser extent HD, all suffer from 'bad' parenting. Thet are truly suffering from 'sins of the father'.

Lesson to be learned - Parents out there - your words and actions (or inaction) puts a stamp on your kids that they carry thruoughout life.

Thanks show for showing us the heavy with such humor.

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Thank you for the recap!

I really dislike Yeo-reum. When I first started this drama, I didn't realize he'd get so much screentime.

All I care about is the OTP. I'm always dying when those two are on screen. They're SO adorable!

Please drama, don't disappoint me!

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Yep!! Couldn't agree more..The only thing good is that there is no 2nd lead syndrome bout wanting him with jang mi..i could probably do with less kitchen time too since thay seems like the only place they actually ever meet..u got caught once but why no go to the same spot..people wouldn't expect u to be dumb enough to do the same mistake twice..hahah

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It's one thing to give an actor that could act like hoon with screen time but YR couldn't act for the life of him..it's either his unnerving smile or...that's about it..don't know if that wat the directors were goin for but I jus ff whenever he is on...bad actors in America immediately lose their sitcoms but some reason the Korean culture is more about appearance than substance

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Much love for this drama!! 2 episode

I have an idea for Ki-taes mom: make them get married! She must know that he is so hung up on his privacy, I think she will at some point just make them get married. Then they will chicken out badly...

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Let me finish...

2 episodes aren't enough! I watched them in one go, want moooaaar!

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Really crushing on Yeo Reum... that smile! :D Sigh.

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Me too! But going by the comments I think we're the only ones!

People are saying that he's a bad actor and it comes across into his character? Could totally be possible! I'm so busy reading the subtitles (since I don't speak Korean) that I can fully admit that I may lose out on the subtleties of the performance. All I know is that he belongs chained in my kitchen smiling that smile.

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Thank you Girlfriday for the great recap. I am loving this drama and you have voiced my take on it like you where in my head lol.
The one thought I would like to add is I have enjoyed is the cold scene in the front but in ep6 I noticed that my perception of the scene initially was very different than at end. I really like the use of this tool.

Again thank you

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Thanks for the recap! I know that the dialog is rapid pace and clever, but most of the time, the subs steamroll right over the puns and give us little of the flavor.

I never ever thought I would appreciate a poignant moment being brought on by bathroom humor, but as you said, GF, this show keeps surprising us. The show this reminds me of - Kim Sam Soon - had that no toilet paper scene that I loved, too, in how it further defined the OTP's relationship.

Why is this show soooo good? Laica said it well when she talks about how relatable the characters are. They are people we know in situations we have been in. I mean, admit it, everyone there was a time when you also needed to find a bathroom stat. Only they take the situation and BLOW it up and make it as ridiculous as it could possibly be. BUT - the silly people running around and falling down to all the goofy sound effects and music are lovable. We laugh with them but want to give them hugs at the same time.

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Exactly. Even in all its 'drama' moments, we get pulled in by how 'real' and relatable it is, and how human some of the feelings are ... something some 'makjang' moments dismally and completely fail to do, so viewes remain distant onlookers.

Clever writing by totally fueled by the awesome acting.

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Thanks jomo! I agree with that it has a bit of the KSS vibe, in that we cringe for the main character and laugh with her, while totally rooting for her in the moment. Despite her mistakes, and maybe even because of them.

And yeah, this is definitely one of those shows where a lot is lost in translation, unfortunately. (And in the age of lightning-fast subs.)

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thanks for recapping this drama :) I started watching after the first recap and now all caught up with the drama. It's quite funny, hopefully the writers keep up the momentum.

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I have never cried so much ... from laughter like I have with the "typhoon" scene in any rom-com, EVER! I mean, when has ANY male lead seen a female lead at their WORST? This blows every bathroom-walk-in and crazy-drunks incidents out of the water, pun intended! And the fact that they're both cool and accept that this is just a normal human problem afterwards is so lovely. ROFL.

The writer is totally playing with the viewer's assumptions, in a good way and I LOVE IT!!!!! This is no doubt the best rom-COM in a while.

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Thanks for the recap!

Aaaaah I love this drama. I started watching the first two episodes last weekend and ended up watching all six and still want moar.

Heh, how cute is it that she's named Jangmi-- "rose" and she's both soft and prickly at the same time. And Yeoreum is "summer", right? I don't know what Ki-tae means but when I tried Google Translate on the Ki-tae twitter his name was translated to "air pacific." Heh.

Jangmi's like a walking disaster a lot of the time--- I was covering my eyes in secondhand mortification a lot of the time and yet peeking through my fingers in helpless fascination. I love her so much already-- she gets into such embarrassing situations but she always comes out fighting, even if not unscathed. With this "typhoon" incident-- I'm guessing Mom's warming up to her already... but since she knows Ki-tae best, she might probably end up applying a little reverse psychology by opposing the "relationship" even more-- the best way to make him hold on to Jangmi more. :D

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Ohhh..how great would it be if mom was the driving force in them actually getting marry..what if she display such objection to the marriage jus so thay he marries her..jk dying if thay scene occurs and without realizing it ki tai suddenly finds himself unable to oppose to the wedding ceremonies..that would be EPIC!!!

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Part of the reason why I love this drama so much is the way it circumvents typical Kdrama tropes and brings in unexpected depth and "atypicalness" to it's characters.

I've read so much "hate" for Yeo-Reum's character online. But what is a second lead? A typical second lead is a straight up guy, who is always there for the lead female when things go wrong, he's basically her knight in shiny armor, or even a door mat, sometimes he's so good, he doesn't confess to the lead girl his feelings until it's too late for anything to be done about it. Sometimes, he even chases the lead girl but for one reason or another misses out because she has fallen for the lead guy.

In "Marriage Not Dating" the second lead is a guy, who's like any other regular guy out there. He's not too interested in the lead female, actually, she's the one chasing him, not the other way around. When someone chases another person, it's the person doing the chasing that would naturally put in more work and feelings into the relationship. It's no wonder why people are mad for Yeo-Reum not measuring up to the typical second lead character and calling him Shifty or Sleek or Elusive.

At this point, we're not sure he's leading her on, we're not sure he really likes her, sometimes we get glimpses into what he's feeling and sometimes he shuts off. Just like any regular person who's cautious and who's taking their time to get to know another person.

I see him as an onion, whose layers are peeled off and revealed at every episode. I think Ki-Tae nailed it on the head when he gave Jang-Mi the book titled "He's Just Not That Into You" when Jang-mi was bemoaning how elusive Yeo-Reum was. This may have been perfectly true at the time, but we are seeing that change as Yeo Reum's interest in Jang-mi is growing.

I think the character is portrayed perfectly. Many times as viewers, we are disappointed when the characters do not perform as we expect them to. We already have a mindset of what to expect from a character but when they act opposite, or when the plot takes an unexpected direction, we get disappointed and slam the character for not being portrayed properly. This is only natural and I'm guilty of it myself.

As for the kisses - wow, both of them were hot! Part of the process of finding a life partner involves dating and experimentation. I would tell Jang-Mi "More grease to your elbow". I love how this drama breaks the stereo-type by allowing the lead actress date different people until she finds who she really wants to be with.

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I guess my biggest annoyance with yeo rum is not the character itself but rather the actor. With hoon dong i get that he needs to overact and so while hes the "villain" i still enjoy his acting bc it matches up with his character, bratty and overacting. Yeo rum? Hmm it could be excused as mysterious but to me he looks like he just wanna keep his face beautiful (which he is!) Without much depth. Mysterious would be shin sung rok in man from another star.

Just my 2 cents. I agree to disagree.

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LOL! I really like your username :) I feel like alcoholic bubble tea would just be amazing. Especially if you soak the tapioca balls in some booze beforehand? I've never tried this before but ooomf! I want to now!

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To say that he is there when she needs him and is her knight I don't see exactly where u found that at..He has always initiated all their interactions in order for info but I guess u can say he slowly started feeling something for jang mi..then there's the fact that most times she sees him she is never in any trouble except maybe after the memorial but even then she only said anything because she was drunk..The person she ever confessed her true feelings were for her Co worker and ki tai..everytime she has said anything to YR ot was under circumstances of being drunk or him forcing her..He is the one that acted like he was chasing her in the beginning and till now..she has yet to really make any moves on him so of course she thought he liked her

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@lessonlearn Please don't misunderstand - I said that the job of a typical second lead male is to be the heroine's "Knight in Shining Armor" always there when she needs him or even a door mat.

However, Yeo Reum isn't anyone of those things. He's just a regular guy who flirted with Jang Mi and Jang Mi fell for his moves and started chasing him.

In reality, most guys are like that. In reality, it is very difficult to find a typical Korean second lead. The appeal of this drama, is that it mirrors more of what happens in real life, than what one is expected to see in dramas, issues such as infidelity, divorce or separation, spousal disharmony and child abandonment are treated more realistically.

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@adal..thats probably why most people jus cant stand him..he is basically hoon but less overacting..but even his acting is underacting which is frustrating since its probably the actors inability to act..both of the men are opposites in their behavior but both have over confidence in themselves that they can get the girl they want..the thing with jang mi is that she is too insecure in herself that she falls head over heels with anyone given any attention to her..BOth of the other males tend to act childish in their behavior since the toy they want might get snatch away by Ki tai..since the cats out the bag lets see how how YR plays his hand

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I dislike the character YR, but I think he is written well, in that his character portrays a realistic "second lead" type of guy. I suppose we're all so used to the perfect second-lead that when a flawed one comes in, we reject it. You can tell he is slowly becoming interested in JM whether it's because he's just playing her and/or because there's a strong competitor (KT); ah the instincts of a man.

Anyway, that's the thing I love about this drama is that the writer doesn't hold back and is breaking all that K-dramaland perfect character guidelines, and instead make them relatable with flaws and have realistic situation.

I just wish he gets rid of that smile! It was cute at first but now it's overrated and so inappropriate at times.

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Great insight! And I totally agree. I'm a big Yeo-reum fan but I think in total there's only 3 of us in the comment section that seem to have a positive opinion of him. I think the reason why I do like him so much is because he DOES seem like a normal, regular guy to me... I don't usually fall for the second lead (second lead syndrome? Never) because they never seem to be real people... they're just tools and security blankets. YR seems like an actual person: he super good looking and he knows it... considering he has a lame job and a dream that seems out of his grasp and since he doesn't like to make connections (as we soon learn because people will leave and hurt you) then he uses what he considers his best trait (his looks and mystery) to put himself out there.

I think he wasn't interested in Jang-mi at first and was just "tending to his pond" but then came along this crazy girl who drinks too much and cares too much and it took him by surprise because she didn't fall for his looks right off the bat (she was actually head-over-heels for his ridiculous boss) and when she finally did develop an interest in him it was because he behaved like a gentleman. And now he has NO CHOICE but to make a connection with this crazy girl because that's just how JM is, she brings that out in people. I don't think that they're meant to be together or anything... We all know Ki-tae has all the claims on that piece of real estate! Plus, it's still not clear how much we CAN trust him (though ep. 6 makes me feel like we can). I just don't understand why so many people seem against YR, I think having an interesting, imperfect second lead is great! And I think it really works for JM and KT's dynamic because JM being who she is, she needs to like SOMEONE and it wouldn't work for the story for her to transfer all those feelings to KT right away... it's much better for her to rebound to be a guy who will ultimately be just fine without her.

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Agreed. :-)

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I'm right there with ya, although I do think the actor playing Yeo-reum is a bit flat, especially compared to the delightfully nuanced & committed acting from our leads. I think YR is a really well-written part and a nice departure from traditional 2nd lead characters. It's very refreshing to have a 2nd lead who's just a dude with some issues (like most human beings) who's taking his time with an interesting girl (how most relationships develop). I like that the show doesn't treat dating as this super precious thing, and allows Jang-mi to test the waters with a few people to discover what she truly wants and needs in a partner. Most shows treat love as the end-all-be-all, when in fact even minor relationships help us learn and grow in small ways that ultimately make us more (or less, as the case may be with Ki-tae) available to our long-term partners.

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My problem with YR isn't because he isn't acting in line with what I expected of him, being a second lead. I actually think I would like him as a character if he was played by a different actor. I get that he's supposed to be this guy that, at least on the outside, doesn't seem to care about much when it comes to his relationships, especially with women. He fights his fear of abandonment by never taking relationships all that seriously...he maybe even uses them partially as a second source of income. He flirts with JM maybe because he finds her interesting or entertaining or maybe that's just what he does, flirt with any attractive and/or rich girl that he comes across. Along the way, of course, it seems that he's becoming at least somewhat sincere in his relationship with JM...but the actor just isn't selling any of this for me. There is no nuance to his performance, which to me, is something that it really calls for. His constant wide smiling, rather than coming off as playful or flirty or as something that he sometimes uses so mask what he's truly feeling and make light of a situation....instead just comes off as creepy and unnatural to me. I actually laughed (and not in a good way) at the scene in episode 6 where he goes to meet JM at her work at around the 11 minute mark.

Don't mean to offend anybody that likes the actor or his performance, just my take on it. I actually thought that he was one of the more tolerable parts of DH2, although I did drop that show pretty early on.

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Yeah, I agree with you that the problem with Yeo-reum may be the actor, because it's his vibe more than what he actually says that gives me that feeling that something is off. The character is written to have alternating moments of sincerity and insincerity, but even in the moments he's supposed to be genuine, I'm not buying it. (This is especially glaring in episode 6, but I'll wait til that recap to talk about it.) And that's a fault of Jinwoon's acting rather than the writing. I like him as an idol, but this role would have been more nuanced and YR a more compelling second lead in the hands of a more experienced and skilled actor.

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I like what you have to say.

Your description of YR as not the perfect second lead made me think of Pride and Prejudice, especially with KT's warning JM off of him. While YR may not be a despicable Wickham, he may have a back-story that does not reflect well on his current intentions.

After thinking through that, other characters started clicking into place in the P&P set up.
✓ Loving, doting father
✓ Marrying for money Mom
✓ Rich bitch manipulative chick who has a a past with our hero
✓Best girlfriend interested in a disappointed suitor.
✓ Judgmental, snobby Mom of hero (OK, she's not as bad as Lady Catherine, but she does oppose JM.) who has other marriage plans for him

Of course all of the above are the bones of most romcoms, but it is interesting to compare them here, too.

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LOL I never saw it from that perspective before, but reading your comments I have to agree that your analysis is quite accurate.

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Those are interesting parallels, for sure... the problem is that our Jang-mi is nothing like Elizabeth Bennet except in being idealistic about marriage (you marry for love and nothing else). Elizabeth was pragmatic, practical, sarcastic, careful and judgemental. I love Jang-mi, but she is none of these things. Ki-tae MIGHT have some Darcy-like tendencies (distant, honest in the rudest of ways, thinks all women are out to get him because of his looks and wealth) but thankfully, in the end, he strikes me more as a Mr. Knightly than anything else. Whew!

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This drama is one word. AMAZING!

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I don't know if I've ever laughed so long and hard from a Kdrama before, then at that ending poop scene. It was a combination of not turning out to be the situation I thought it was and the fact that I'm immature and appreciate a good poop joke. I loved it! Great episode :-)

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Best.misdirection.EVER.

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THAT WAS EPIC!!! when gi tae is trying to go near jang mi then suddenly the wind blows..
That poop, the wind blows.. ROFL

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The look on her face as she bends over double portrays the filling of her pants as she lets go of her held in poo. It expresses fear, relief, and embarrassment having messed herself and seeing her boyfriend dashing toward her. Her pants were so full of shit she couldn't` move!

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