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48

Trot Lovers: Episode 3

This episode delivers a lot of character growth as our leads each discover their personal low points, and must decide how far they’re willing to sink for family and/or success. It’s a necessary step for both Chun-hee and Joon-hyun so that they can bounce back and form an amazing trot comeback team, but that doesn’t make it any easier to watch. That said, there’s still a lot of cute and funny to enjoy, especially when little Byul and Joon-hyun are together.

EPISODE 3 RECAP

Despite an initial attack of stage fright at her audition, Chun-hee performs a pretty great rendition of “Hot Pepper,” and by the end of her song all the people in the audience are standing and clapping along. When she’s finished, President Jo (who snuck in during her song) smiles proudly to himself.

The first judge, Director Wang, fails her based on bad stage etiquette. Geon-woo passes her and says that while he doesn’t know a lot about music, the audience’s excitement got him excited, too, which seems to him the whole point. The third judge agrees that it was indeed exciting, but thinks that she was lacking in professional technique, and fails her.

Joon-hyun finds Chun-hee backstage and chastises her for turning her back to the audience. He declares that there’s no more reason for them to ever see each other now that she blew the audition. The loan sharks find them and demand to know how they’re going to pay back the 30 million won now. Yoo-shik notices Joon-hyun’s guitar case, and wants to know how much it will sell for. They try to take it from him, and the four of them tussle over it until a man approaches and screams Chun-hee’s name.

He introduces himself as President Heo of Heo Entertainment, and asks to speak to her about signing a contract. At his office, Joon-hyun insists on going to talk to Heo alone since he’s the music expert, telling them to trust him. This seems like a bad idea.

In President Heo’s office, Joon-hyun looks over the contract and objects to the low contract amount. Heo points out that he must know how expensive it is to train a rookie, and promises to take good care of her. Joon-hyun signs the contract and leaves.

Out in the hall, Chun-hee and the loan sharks start to worry about how long Joon-hyun is taking in there. They intercept a food delivery and discover that there’s only one meal being delivered, and the lightbulb goes off. They burst into the office to find Joon-hyun gone, with only an open window as a clue.

They head back into President Heo’s office, who tells them that Joon-hyun is handling the contract payment and that he’ll handle Chun-hee’s training and schedule. They check the contract and sure enough, Joon-hyun signed Chun-hee over to this guy and took off with the 10 million won (just under $10,000).

Joon-hyun uses the money to check himself into a swanky hotel. He ignores all of Chun-hee’s calls, justifying to himself that this is all due to her anyway, so she owes him for ruining his career and even getting him buried.

Chun-hee sits at home calling Joon-hyun every few seconds and vowing to kill him the moment he answers. President Heo asks her back to his office, and tells her that there’s been a change of plans, and she’ll be debuting today. Chun-hee’s face says it all.

He dolls her up in a tiny sequined dress and pounds of makeup, and leads her to a skanky club that’s practically wallpapered with embarrassing Photoshopped pictures of her. She asks incredulously if she really looks like that, and if that’s why he wouldn’t let her look in the mirror. HAHA.

Chun-hee insists that she can’t sing with no preparation, and Heo reminds her that she has to pay back triple her contract amount if she breaks the deal. She’s stuck, and is forced to agree to perform.

Geon-woo sits in his (father’s) office, smiling at a video of Chun-hee’s audition. When Director Wang joins him, Geon-woo shows him that the number of views on her video is high already, and she’s even got a fan club. He points out the audience’s reactions and Wang has the grace to admit that Geon-woo is right — there’s something special about her. Geon-woo decides that he wants to bring her to Shine Star.

Geon-woo finds out where Chun-hee is and heads over there, and bursts into laughter when he sees her in all that makeup and glitter. Unfortunately, she’s barely into her song before two drunk ajusshis start heckling her.

The men climb onstage, forcing Chun-hee to fend them off with her mic stand. She hits one of them, knocking him into the drums, and now Geon-woo has seen enough. He approaches the stage just in time to catch her as she falls while fleeing from Ajusshi Grabby-Hands. She’s shocked to see him there, and he just gives her his enigmatic Cheshire Cat grin. Love this guy.

Later, Chun-hee and Geon-woo sit with President Heo and listen to him drone on about how much money he’s put into her, both of them rolling their eyes. It’s obvious Heo just sees an opportunity to get money from Geon-woo, and asks for ten times what she was paid to release her from her contract.

Geon-woo only offers the original amount, criticizing her technique and stage manners as if she’s even not worth that much. He says that with her temper there will probably be trouble every night, and she’s not even sexy. It’s pretty smart in terms of negotiation, but Chun-hee is offended.

She yells at the men for talking about her as if she’s not there, and Geon-woo dryly points out that temper of hers. He says he was only being honest, but she objects to having been sold once today already, and now they’re discussing selling her again to this person.

Geon-woo deadpans that she wanted to sign with him earlier, but she declares that she’ll never sign with him and storms out of the room. He calmly wishes President Heo good luck with that (he’s killing me) and also leaves.

He catches her in the hall and asks her how she knows his father, wondering whether she’s his new stepmother or his lost younger sister. This guy doesn’t mince words.

She thinks he’s making fun of her, and says she’s curious about his father too. She yells that he should just ask his father himself and feints as if to hit him, and he flinches.

Chun-hee cries out her upsetting day to a photo of her mom, then goes home to a big hug from Byul. She says she wants to see her big sister sing on a stage, but settles for seeing her on television later, when Chun-hee says she’s not allowed where she’s singing.

While all this is happening to Chun-hee, Joon-hyun is living the high life in his fancy hotel suite. He has room service delivered and waves some bills to the waitress, and recoils when it’s Chun-hee demanding her money. But it’s just his conscience — she’s not really there.

He blames the vision on the bad food he’s been eating, and settles in to a juicy steak. But before he can take a bite, he sees a vision of Byul, staring at him with the saddest puppy-dog eyes ever. Next thing you know, he and the real Byul are sitting together, eating steak at a fancy outdoor restaurant. I think we just found Joon-hyun’s Achilles’ heel.

He tells Byul that he brought her here to see what real people eat, since the food she eats at home isn’t real food. He hesitantly asks what Chun-hee is doing, and Byul tells him she’s going to be a singer and be on TV. He takes this as affirmation that she’s doing just fine without him.

Unfortunately, Byul’s palate is not very refined, and she refuses to eat most of the food. He takes her to a bakery and, when she can’t choose, buys her one of everything. He notices her worn-out shoes, and buys her a new pair. These two are too precious together. I hope they become total besties.

Pil-nyeo sits at a food stand, drowning her sorrows over her failed audition with soju and dukbokki. Tae-song arrives, frantic and demanding an order of dukbokki immediately, but the ajumma already sold the last bowl to Pil-nyeo. He offers the ajumma 10,000 won for it, and a very drunk and wobbly Pil-nyeo chastises him for trying to take her food. They get into a bidding war and Tae-song “wins” with a bid of 100,000 won (about $100, yikes).

He brings it back to a restaurant to Hyo-yeol, who’s looking angry at having had to wait, and now it makes sense why Tae-song needed the dukbokki so badly. Hyo-yeol takes one bite and spits it out, blaming Tae-song for taking so long and losing the spicy flavor.

Hyo-yeol asks why Tae-song didn’t also bring a drink, and Tae-song says he’ll get one as soon as he’s finished eating. This infuriates Hyo-yeol, who throws his glass of wine in Tae-song’s face and tells him that he won’t let these things slide just because Joon-hyun did. This guy is a nightmare.

Alone again, Joon-hyun goes to a bar and watches Soo-in being interviewed on TV for winning the audition. The bartender informs him that his card doesn’t work. He went through $10,000 in one day?! I’m…a little impressed.

Soo-in rehearses in the Shine Star studio, and pretends to accidentally run into Geon-woo in the hallway. He calls her out for it, and pokes more fun at her by maneuvering her into emphatically declaring how very hard she’s practicing, then being all, “Oh too bad, I was going to ask you to dinner.” He clearly enjoys watching her do mental gymnastics trying to keep up with his teasing.

They go to eat at a little udon place and Soo-in expresses disappointment that they aren’t someplace fancier, but Geon-woo manages to charm her into enjoying herself. Their interactions are pretty cute, the way he needles her with a perfectly straight face then grins when she falls for it every time. It would be annoying if he weren’t so darn cute.

Joon-hyun sits in the lobby of the hotel, wondering where he’s going to get some money next. He listens to a voicemail from a drunk-sounding Tae-song, who says he’s sorry for leaving Joon-hyun that way. He heads to the Midas building, his old management company, and calls Tae-song to come meet him.

He sits in his old recording studio to wait, remembering how he used to spend countless hours here, practicing and even sleeping in this room. Soon Tae-song leads Hyo-yeol into the connecting studio, and tells him that he quits as his manager and that the company has promised to make him into a singer. Of course Hyo-yeol scoffs at this, saying it will never happen, and advising Tae-song to quit while he’s ahead or what happened to Joon-hyun could happen to him next.

Joon-hyun watches through the window between the rooms as Hyo-yeol points out that Tae-song is at fault for Joon-hyun’s fall from grace. Tae-song denies that it was him; it was President Kim’s plan from the beginning.

Hyo-yeol says that may be, but it was Tae-song who carried out the plan and leaked everything to the reporters. Tae-song denies it but it’s too late; Joon-hyun has heard it all. He bursts into the room, grabs Tae-song, and demands the truth.

Joonh-yun storms into President Kim’s office to accuse him of orchestrating his downfall. He declares that he’s not some mass-produced idol — he’s the God of Music and this will not be the end of him. Kim just laughs in his face and admits that when Joon-hyun stabbed him in the back, he vowed to take away the one thing that he lives for: music. Joon-hyun snaps and grabs President Kim, threatening to kill him.

Chun-hee finds a notice on her door alerting her that her home will soon be up for auction, and calls President Heo. She’s hoping to be paid for her performance but instead he slides her a bill for 947,000 won — it’s for the clothes and production costs he used for her. If she wants out of her contract, she needs to pay up. But if she wants to make some money, he has an idea, and all she has to do is sing and have fun. This is going to be bad, isn’t it?

Geon-woo calls his father to tell him that Chun-hee didn’t pass the audition, and…is President Jo moving into Chun-hee’s building? Sure looks like he is. This time, Jo tells Geon-woo that he’s in Hawaii, HAHA, and even throws a curious Byul a cheery “Aloha!”

Chun-hee goes looking for other places to live, but the best she can find is a one-room hovel. She gets a call from her coach, who found Byul alone and is taking her home. Chun-hee finds President Heo and agrees to his plan.

That night, Byul hides her new shoes when Chun-hee comes to pack up her room. Byul is worried that Dad won’t be able to find them if they move, but Chun-hee promises to text him. Chun-hee finds the brand-new shoes and demands to know where Byul got them, and Byul admits it was Joon-hyun.

It infuriates Chun-hee to know that he used her money to buy Byul things, and she leaves the room before she can say something she regrets. Byul follows her to tell her that Joon-hyun is on TV, having been arrested for attacking the president of Midas.

Joon-hyun sits in jail thinking back on his recent interactions with President Kim, only now catching the malice underneath the friendly exterior. Eventually a cop lets him out, saying that President Kim dropped the charges against him. He delivers a condescending lecture and tells Joon-hyun to sign the settlement, but Joon-hyun is in a daze and doesn’t respond.

Another cop is watching Chun-hee’s audition video, and the first cop moves over to watch. Joon-hyun’s eyes slide to the gun the policeman left on his desk, and his face hardens with resolve as he slowly reaches for it. Oh no.

Just as he’s about to take the gun and end it all, he hears a voice — it’s Chun-hee singing a slow version of “Hot Pepper,” the lyrics describing the hardships of living. Tears fall as he hesitates for a long moment… and he picks up the pen next to the gun and signs the settlement. WHEW.

Joon-hyun leaves the police station to find the loan sharks waiting for him. They’re unsurprised that he ended up here, after scamming Chun-hee and running off with her (their) money. Joon-hyun just puts his last few won into Yoo-shik’s shirt pocket and says that it’s all he has, and there’s nothing else they can do to him to get any more money. He offers to pay double interest if they’ll give him three months.

Joon-hyun marches into Geon-woo’s office with renewed resolve and offers to train Chun-hee. He asks Shine Star to invest 30 million won in her, and he’ll take care of the rest. He puts up his guitar case as collateral, saying that what’s in it is worth even more than that amount. I have a feeling that it’s not a guitar in that case.

Geon-woo apparently accepts his proposal, because next Joon-hyun visits President Heo to buy Chun-hee out of her contract. President Heo balks, admitting that it wasn’t really Chun-hee that he wanted, it was Joon-hyun. He doesn’t want him onstage though — he wants him to sing in his noraebang rooms.

Chun-hee, meanwhile, is singing in another room for a group of thug ajusshis and their paid dates. She sings well, but there’s no life in her voice; she’s just here to pay the bills. The leader of the thugs complains that he’s bored, and one of his lackeys tries to liven up the room by ordering her to sing an upbeat song, slipping some bills into her cleavage. Shudder.

An employee bursts in to tell President Heo that there’s a ruckus in another room, and something clicks for Joon-hyun. He runs to the room to find Chun-hee cornered by the lackey, who is now angrily demanding she sing something upbeat. Joon-hyun tries to leave with her but the thug leader asks if he’s her pimp, and now it’s on.

Joon-hyun smashes a beer bottle over the lackey’s head (after finishing it off, ha) and grabs another one, goading the thugs to go ahead and kill him — he was planning to die today anyway. He smashes the bottle on his own head, which is kinda psycho but also badass, and the thugs go after him.

They grab him and start punching, which prompts Chun-hee to grab an ice bucket and start thumping heads, getting in a few good whacks before one of them grabs her by the hair. Joon-hyun breaks away and stands in front of her, warning the thugs not to touch her. He yells that he needs her and can’t live without her — he means professionally but it comes out sounding like he’s in love with her.

Just when it looks like they’re in real trouble, the loan sharks burst into the room. Joon-hyun and Chun-hee make a break for it while the sharks put on their best “I’m gonna mess you up” act. How are these guys so hilarious even when being tough?

A few of the thugs chase Joon-hyun and Chun-hee, who are finally able to shake them by hiding behind a dumpster. Chun-hee doesn’t even give Joon-hyun a moment to take a breath and rounds off on him, slapping and even punching him. She finishes him off with a firm knee to the groin.

Joon-hyun collects himself and tries to lead her away, saying that he’ll take her to Shine Star and make her a real singer. Chun-hee refuses to trust him again since the last time he made that promise, he basically sold her. The thing that truly upsets her, though, is that he used that money to buy Byul fancy food and shoes. She accuses him of buying her sister’s loyalty, and he can’t even deny that it’s true.

To his credit, Joon-hyun takes all this like a man, and admits that she’s right. He confesses that he blamed his recent misfortunes on her, and says that he now knows he was wrong. He apologizes also for taking the money, but says that he did think she was going to be trained as a real singer.

And then he does something I never thought he’d do — he gets on his knees in front of her, right there in the filthy alley. He formally asks for her forgiveness, and tells her that she’s all he has right now. He can’t make any grand promises, but one thing he can do is make her a real singer. He knows he doesn’t deserve it, but he begs Chun-hee for one last chance.

COMMENTS

Wow, this episode was quite an emotional roller-coaster. Our leads went through a lot just in the span of one hour! I think that those who thought the first week’s episodes were a bit heavy-handed with the silliness will be happy to see the show has toned that kind of thing down, and brought in some real hardship and conflict to draw our characters together. I appreciate it, because gives us as an audience the chance to bond with the characters, when they’re actual characters instead of caricatures. Personally, I enjoyed the wackiness of the first two episodes, but it’s nice to see the show bringing a lot of heart and reality into the mix now that our over-arcing story is underway.

I felt so bad for Chun-hee in this episode. Her whole life she’s only felt that she was good at one thing, running, and she’s had that taken away from her more than once. But as soon as she discovers that she has another talent – and even better, one that offers her a connection to her lost mother – it causes more problems than it solves. Add to that her father’s abandonment, and the fact that the one person who promised to support her literally sold her without her knowledge or consent, and it’s no wonder she beat the stuffing out of Joon-hyun even though he had just saved her moments before.

It hurts to watch Chun-hee being treated as a commodity for sale rather than a person, through no fault of her own, and the only thing she can do to save herself and her sister is to voluntarily sell herself even lower. Unlike Joon-hyun, she truly is stuck in her situation entirely through the actions of others, and yet she’s the one forced to debase herself to make sure the one person left in her life, Byul, isn’t also taken from her. That’s got to be the worst feeling in the world…and to add insult to injury, everyone around her is lying to her to get something out of her. It’s going to take a long time for her to trust anything anyone, much less Joon-hyun, says to her.

Speaking of Joon-hyun, he really went through the wringer in this episode. From living the high life in a fancy suite and eating the best food, to literally contemplating suicide, to deciding that he needs to man up and grab onto the one thing that can possibly redeem him, he was bobbing up and down like a yo-yo. I can understand why he considered ending it all, even for a moment – his entire identity and self-worth are wrapped up in music. Music is the only thing he knows how to do, and the only reason people have ever liked him…it certainly wasn’t for his warm and loving personality. He’s just had the one thing he’s good at, the only reason people stay around him and his one love in life, taken away. It’s understandable that he would feel like he no longer has reason to live.

I’m impressed with his willingness to humble himself in front of Chun-hee and beg her forgiveness, especially when he seemed like the kind of guy who could never admit that everything isn’t always someone else’s fault. Of course that’s not to say that he’s made a complete personality turnaround…at the end of the day, he got on his knees because he has nobody else and no other choice. He recognized that if he wanted to have any sort of life worth living, which in his case means making music (and maybe getting a little revenge), he had to do whatever was necessary to get her to trust him again. That’s great, and it’s a huge step for him, and it came much sooner in the story than I expected. Credit where credit’s due.

But I notice that he never looked at Chun-hee while he was making his big humble speech. He wasn’t connecting with her as a person, he was merely doing what he thought would get him what he wanted…Chun-hee’s agreement to let him train her. In the end, though he’s doing it with a far more positive attitude now, he’s just found another way to use her to get something he wants. What I’m really looking forward to is the day when he looks Chun-hee in the eye and genuinely apologizes, not because there’s something in it for him, but because he truly cares about doing the right thing.

The whole episode wasn’t all doom and gloom though. There were enough fun moments that the show kept the lighthearted flavor of the premiere episodes. Can we talk about how adorable Joon-hyun and Byul are together? It’s so hilarious how she can cut him down to size with a few words or a skeptical glance. I loved that when he first treated her to lunch he was trying to be the all-knowing adult teaching her about the world – but by the time they were shoe-shopping he was on her level, joking around and just enjoying his new buddy.

I do think (mostly because he actually said it) that a large part of his taking care of Byul was because he was trying to even things out after taking Chun-hee’s money, but I also think he genuinely wanted Byul to have a nice meal and a good pair of shoes just because. I think their scenes together were more important than they initially seem, since treating Byul to food and new shoes is the only thing Joon-hyun has done so far in this drama that didn’t benefit himself, other than making him feel good. I have a feeling that tiny little Byul is going to be the key to reigning in that enormous ego Joon-hyun has been toting around, and turning him into a normal person who understands that he’s no better than anyone else. And this makes me happy because seriously, I could watch these two hang out all day. Can we have a spinoff show just following Joon-hyun and Byul around doing cute buddy stuff? I would watch the heck out of that.

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Wonderful review.. Thank you for this.

I appreciate this episode so much because now i become invested in it and really hope for Chunhee success.

I love byul and joon hyun relationship here. However I cannot see our lead couple romantic chemistry yet. I don't even think he deserve her.

I love the relationship between chunhee and ceo son more. I love his character, so unique and i think he has more chemistry with eunji.

I hope at later episode the lead couple relationship will be believable rather than force. But so far i haven't seen any yet. *fingercross

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Thanks for the recap. I swear the only reasons I'm watching this is A) the trot music and B) the great second lead. And the weird thing is I really love Ji Hyun Woo. But wow! It's all so plot point formulaic and inorganic storytelling that it's hard to sit through as one waits for the beats to be over with.

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PS. Am also interested in the former manager-wannabe-singer's storyline as well. But that's about it. Liking it but will probably drop it...because it's kinda meh.

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I agree to some extent that it is following a formula, but I think it is doing it better than most of this genre. It is almost impossible to find a truly original story anymore, so in the end it often comes down to how well the parts are played and how believable it all is.

And I should mention that episode 4 is probably the best yet, a lot better than this episode.

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you're right about finding original stories. I'll keep watching it. For me, there just seems a forcing of the plot and the lack of adequate believable foundation for all the plot changes.

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This is not the best ever drama (despite what the fans on Drama Fever say), but it is better than most (at least for me).

But I am really non-excited about any of the other dramas running currently. Dropped God's Quiz, Hotel King, King of High School, Doctor Stranger, Triangle. So that does not leave much :(

Still watching YAAS, but that is the only other current one. Watching some older J and K dramas.

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Oh you've got to give High School King a chance!!!! At least for the antagonist's sake. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease. For me it's really one of the best...but i know that tastes are ...well, it's personal tastes ;-)

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LOL... OK, will try it one more time, just for you :P

We seem to generally like the same types of dramas, so will take your word and restart it. (stopped at 1.5).

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YAY!!!!!!!!!!!

Just to see how dark the antagonist goes. And because this is the noona-est romance I've seen this year.

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I am thinking of dropping King of High School. I don't usually mind noona romances, but I expect them to be legal and honest. This one just feels so so so so ick. I feel absolutely no romantic chemistry between any of the leads and wish they would focus on the shenanigans.

Hopefully the revelation is coming soon or I don't think I can continue.

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Carole, I agree with you 100%. I enjoyed the first episode and was delighted by Eun Ji's singing at the end of episode 2, but since then the show has gone downhill for me. Shin Sung Rok is its saving grace right now--he's bringing an enthusiastic smirky quirkiness to his portrayal of Geun Woo, and I enjoy watching him. Apart from that, I'm sad to say that I've pretty much lost interest.

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And the problem is that there are other dramas competing for my attention which do relationships better. If this has a lot of competitions within the show i'll be happy but so far...wow, the new angsty stuff and the secrets that pop up in episode 4..i'm ilke...really??? Must we have THIS kind of secret in this drama? Is it really necessary?

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I'm right there with you Carole! Episodes 1 & 2 were fun and zany, and I kept checking to see when Episodes 3 & 4 would be ready...

And then they got here and it was like the show had completely gone off its rails. We went from light fun rom-com to full-speed melodrama, complete with the threat of prostitution, total moral bankruptcy from our hero, no less, an almost-suicide, and a deadly secret thrown in for good measure.

Add to that the completely direction-less story -- is there a reason that our main leads have like 2 scenes together in the entirety of episode 3? Did we really need 2 episodes just to set up the fact that Chun Hee and Joon Hyun will be a team now? Where are we going from here? Is a story engine going to show up anytime soon? Can we please have our main characters aiming for something so that every episode isn't a stupid variety challenge like the one that ate up half of episode 4?

I was so excited for this show based on eps 1 and 2. I have no idea what happened. Did their writer come down with a fever or something? Did they lose their original writer? Are they in live-shoots already? ...I just can't even imagine how the show could go from so promising to so awful in the span of a few episodes.

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yep! waaaaaaaaaaaay speedy plotting. I was like.."dang!"

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Loving it! just loving it

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Its official. The geun woo and chun hee ship has sailed and I'm on it waiting for its imminent crash. I know there's absolutely no chance that the two will end up together but honestly the male lead is a mess and shin sung rok is doing such a great job that I can't help but root for him.

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I will join you on that ship. I really liked Ji Hyun-woo in Queen In-hyun's Man, but this character doesn't sit well with me and I really hate his hair and the make-up.

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I'm totally with you on the hair and make up thing and so far also on the second lead ship :p

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Love love Geun Woo, what a breath of fresh air.

Keep mistaking Ji Hyun Woo as Rain for some reason. They really look alike from the back.

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Even though I'm a big fan of Ji Hyun Woo, I'm gunning for Geun Woo and Chun Hee right now. I love the way that Shin Sung Rok is handling his character. Normally, the president's son is an all-around ass, and even if he is to some extent, his wittiness and biting sense of humor is so charming.

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Thanks for the recap!

Enjoying this show so much! It's quick and funny and full of heart, plus it turns out I love trot music: and I didn't even know what trot music -was- before episode 1!

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I did not even watch this at first, the description just did not make it sound that enticing.

But after watching the first four episodes, I found myself really liking this show - in fact a lot more than any of the other shows going on right now.

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"..It hurts to watch Chun-hee being treated as a commodity for sale.."

That almost had me in tears - it seemed like no matter what she did, she was getting screwed over by others even though she was trying her best. I think when she said "I am just tired", that said it all - you could almost see the defeat in her eyes - and I find it unusual in most k-dramas to actually feel much for most characters.

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For me the standout scene was between the sisters when Chun Hee spots the shoes. Jung Eunji is good as spunky Chun Hee but the amount she grew as an actress can really be seen in that scene, where she is on the verge of a breakdown - her suppressed rage and hearbreak were perfectly expressed.

Also Byul is the true dark horse of this drama, what an adorable child.

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It's all so cute! Thank you for the review!

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El Mariachi feel with the guitar case'
still watching, no comments yet

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I really liked this episode and joon-hyun's growth in it and redemption...or else i would've gone ahead and rooted for the second lead....also is it just me or are the makeup and hair people in this show just plain terrible....i mean i know about the need for bb cream but chun-he looks like she has toothpaste all over her face and joon-hyun's blonde hair just washes him out with all tthat white makeup....maybe this is just the inner makeup artist in me talking but her face looks alot bigger with only the bbcream and no eye or face makeup and they could've balanced it out with a little bronzer, eyebrow shadow, and just leave his hair like it was in QIHM :'( sorry for the makeup blabbering :p other than that how cute is Byul <3

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wow! I thought i was the only one who felt his face looked way to shiny and greasy! The hair i can deal with, although i like his hair darker. But wow...the greasy face!

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I don't think it is greasy - I think they are shooting under extreme heat conditions and everyone is sweating like pigs (even though pigs don't actually sweat).

Some of it may actually have to do with lighting also, getting too much reflection.

I have seen this "greasy look" in a couple of other current dramas also, though not as pronounced.

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I had such mixed feeling on this episode. Fortunately I'm almost done with episode 4 and feeling better about it but....gah!!

Ji Hyun-woo's character is terrible. And even the writers know how bad they made him because they purposefully had him be with the little sister and also become desperate so quickly in order to give him a slight redeeming factor before they lost their audience. At least that's what he feels like.

I did adore his scenes with the little sister though. Extremely cute. But I really don't know that I could ever reach a stage where I like him or want him with the lead. I know he's supposed to have a learning curve, but he doesn't deserve her, and he doesn't deserve that much forgiveness. Secretly singing in that place to pay off her debt is nice but not redeeming enough.

Definite second lead syndrome. Although I am curious why the second lead seems smarter in these two episodes (I know, I'm including four....but still) when he seemed like such an airhead in the beginning. Still love him though.

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And another actress lands in my antipathy list. Can't seem to like Lee Se-young even in that movie with Lee Jong-seok/Park Bo-young and in that guest stint at RM. There has been an increase in likable second female leads since Protect the Boss, and maybe with another actress her character would be more interesting if acted by another. She's so bland and lacks charisma.

Still not liking Jin Hyun-woo's acting here (plus hair & teeth), Eun-ji's okay, Sung-rok's character is funny. I sometimes feel this is Dream High ver 2 but still better than Dream High 2.

Also, I think they should get another sponsor for the makeup. The CC/BB Cream on Eun-ji is not blending on to her skin well to look natural and makes her look like a ghost.

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The makeup on this show seems to be lacking all around, that is probably my major complaint. Not sure if it is the shooting conditions, lighting, or all of the above. But it seems below standard. It could be a rookie makeup artist?

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I am really liking this show despite its flaws, the directing leaves a lot to be desired and the editing is still giving me whiplash but you can't have it all I guess!

Chunhee is winning as the heroine, I adore her so much and little Byul too. I love sisters! Joonhyun has a looong way to go but I'm interested in how they will sort him out. And Geonwoo is an absolute delight. I get excited whenever he's on screen. You never know what will come out his mouth and you never know what he might do next.

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Thanks for the recaps! They help me know where to fastforward to :P I'm mostly watching for any Geon Woo scenes. Love him! I think part of the appeal is his aloof character, which I love, and part of it is fascination with the actor who went from YFAS to this. I don't even need him to end up with anyone...I could just watch him tease everyone for 16 episodes. Also, I love his dad and the Hawaii lie - they're a cute father-son duo!

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Yes, I would gladly watch a show that was just Geon Woo, his dad and the two sisters. Just not feeling any charm coming off Joon Hyun at all.

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Thanks for the recap LollyPip!

To the writer/writers:

If you want me to care about our a-hole male lead, you have to give me something to work with here. A tragic past, a medical condition, a funny quirk, something.. anything! All I see so far is a self-centered jerk who stole money from our struggling heroine and basically sold her into servitude. I want a do-over of episodes 1 and 2.

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He sort of redeems himself in ep4, but I still don't trust him. Not my favorite male actor so perhaps I am a bit biased. But I happen to love the leading lady's character - I guess I am a sucker for Cinderella stories even though I bash them a lot :P

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I'm sure they'll turn him around in the course of the drama but it kinda sucks when I care more about the loan sharks rather than the male lead at the start of the drama. lol

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haha absolutely right.

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"..when I care more about the loan sharks.."

OK, you got me there :P

Well one good thing, he is such a creep now that he can only get better.

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"I want a do-over of episodes 1 and 2."

Agreed. I was so down with Jung Woo's character, cuz I could totally see his growth trajectory and was excited for it...

And then they took him in a completely unexpected direction...right into the gutter. How do you redeem such an A-hole move? You can't really. Seriously bad call on the part of the writers. What were they thinking?!

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This will be another second lead syndrome for me. I love how he looks not interested and doesn't know anything on his father's business but he actually does. Its so hilarious that he forgets/switch things.. like keys, phone, password.. and he doesn't seem to mind. HAHA!

Loving the voice of Eun-ji, if only she sported a different hairstyle for this drama because its been like that since AM1997.

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I am enjoying this drama a lot! Mainly because the acting is really good. I liked Ji Hyun Woo and Jung Eun Ji a lot before even starting this drama and now I am totally in love with Shin Sung Rok as well, his character is so original in this drama. I love how he always manages to somehow see the truth. And I can already feel that the chemistry is going to be awesome! Even though I feel bored at times, I think this is one of the best airing dramas right now.

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I know I'm heading towards doom, but I'm only watching this for Geun Woo. Whenever he's onscreen, he lits up my pc on fire! He's an absolute delight. And he's adorable when he's studying Chun Hee. The best thing about Shing Sung Rok is, he has exploding chemistry with EVERYBODY he shares the scene with. Everybody. He is that awesome to me. Sometimes he's like a cute little kid in a candy store. At certain times, he's the knight in shining armor, literally sweeping off the heroine's feet and saving her from baddies. But most of the time, he's the quirky, sexy, mysterious guy who makes me laugh out loud with every line he delivers. Hands down, he's the best Second Lead in my entire life! He's the crazy sexy monster who stole my heart and kept it with him, for always. But I also wish he doesn't fall for Chun Hee- I don't want to see his heartbreak. I don't want to curse Joon Hyun for getting the girl, coz I love JHW. My Geun Woonie, come let me love you with all my (stolen) heart and soul... You take my breath away... Peg me down in the Second Lead ship, if not for Shin Sung Rok sporting the sexiest hairstyle......

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the only thing I do not get is how Joon-hyun can sign on her behalf and she is hold responsible after. May be its just one of those totaly "drama" thing

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Yeah I got a little confused....maybe it was the subtitles and not the plot but I swear at one point the guy says the she signed at one point and then Joon-hyun signed it later which made no sense.

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The pacing is not the best and the plot is kind of lame, K-drama tropes meeting A Star is Born kind of thing. But I find myself liking this. I like the leads a lot - despite the characters being predictable they are enjoyable to watch. And of course Shin Sung Rok is great (so much Adam Driver vibes), the kid sister is adorable, I like the side track of Joon-hyun's sidekick and really no one is truly bad. On the whole I can't bring myself to dislike it so well Ep 5 has a viewer!

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So far, I think Joon Hyun has plenty of time for redemption. Seeing him teaming up with Chun Hee after the fall of his career honestly reminded me of Anthony from "King of Dramas", who was one of the biggest asshole leads that I've seen in a kdrama. He was a morally questionable person right from episode one and for many episodes to come (if you've watched King of Dramas, you'd remember that he totally sold out Go-eun in episode 4!!). However, Anthony was such an ambitious character that you couldn't help but root for. Hopefully, we'll soon see why Joon Hyun considers himself the "god of music", since he's supposed to be so talented.
Anyways, I really like this show and it makes me laugh, hope it doesn't go too melo near the end!

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