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Liar Game: Episode 2

This show is so smartly paced it honestly blows me away, and this episode leaves us wanting for nothing. The unlikeliest of alliances forms between our jaded hero and naive heroine in an hour that intersperses edge-of-your-seat thrills and questionable moral choices with humor, heart, and one of the best villains ever to grace the airwaves. And while I’m fairly sure Da-jung must’ve saved her country in a past life, I’m just glad we get to reap the rewards. Keep it coming, you beautiful show, you. Keep it coming.

SONG OF THE DAY

Dear Cloud – “Liar” from the OST [ Download ]

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EPISODE 2: “500 Million Won Game Part II”

We rewind a bit to the morning of Woo-jin’s release as Da-jung and Dal-goo find a small crowd gathered outside the prison—apparently, they’re not the only ones who want a word with Woo-jin.

Da-jung is nearly trampled down when the crowd runs after a man they think is Woo-jin, only for the real genius to take his first steps as a free man without the burden of being bum-rushed.

When he passes by Da-jung checking herself for injuries, he extends his hand to help her up in stoic silence. But no sooner does she tilt her face up to him that he recognizes her from Liar Game, and retracts his offered hand before she can take it.

It’s only when Dal-goo calls to ask her if she saw anyone else come out of the prison (since the man they chased was a fraud) that she follows Woo-jin to a solitary bus stop.

Since she has no idea what he’s supposed to look like, she asks Woo-jin his name and whether he was just released from prison, prompting him to sardonically wonder why she doesn’t just ask him what crime he committed

Chastened, Da-jung instead asks if he knows the man she’s looking for (everyone calls him Professor Ha), because she has a favor to ask him. “I’m telling you this because you seem like a nice girl. It’s better that you don’t meet him.” Woo-jin replies.

Thinking that he somehow knows Woo-jin, Da-jung asks why he’d say such a thing, only for Woo-jin to reply that meeting him would only cause her unhappiness—that man killed someone who trusted and depended on him.

In fact, he thinks she’d be better off making a deal with the devil than meeting Ha Woo-jin. Da-jung is left perplexed as Woo-jin prepares to board his bus, but he’s still got one piece of advice for her: “Oh, and Professor Ha hates people like you the most.”

“What kind of person am I?” Da-jung fires back. Woo-jin turns back to her with that same stoic expression as he replies, “Someone who confuses stupidity for niceness.”

It’s only after Woo-jin boards the bus that Dal-goo calls to give her a description of their target, who’s handsome in an annoying way and always wears a bracelet made of Buddhist prayer beads.

Da-jung remembers seeing it when Woo-jin extended his hand, and chases after the bus. Surprisingly, the driver stops to let her in, which Woo-jin is not happy about. He even cuts her off before she can ask him her favor by giving her his answer: “No.”

He gets off the bus to try and lose her, but Da-jung doggedly follows him until he agrees to hear her out if it means getting rid of her. But then he asks to use the bathroom first—Da-jung, did you learn nothing from your last episode encounter?

Apparently not. Even though she must know she’s been ditched, Da-jung stays rooted to the spot where he left her and waits. And waits. And waits.

Day turns into night, giving Woo-jin enough time to visit a memorial for the person he presumably killed (though we still don’t know who). Even after seeing that Da-jung is still waiting, Woo-jin continues on his way.

But since nothing good ever happens in a dark alley, Da-jung finds herself in a sticky situation with two drunkards who try dragging her away. That’s when Woo-jin makes his presence known, and threatens to personally deliver the men to the closest police station or fight them right here, right now.

“Who are you?” one of them slurs. Woo-jin puts his arm around Da-jung: “Me? I’m the one she was waiting for.”

After the drunkards run off, Woo-jin immediately turns on Da-jung to ask her what the hell she thought she was doing. “You told me to wait!” she says in her defense, which sucks some of the wind out of Woo-jin’s sails.

He’s confused by the fact that she’d wait just because someone told her to, and that she kept waiting even though she knew she’d been deceived. Is she stupid? “Then were you lying when you asked me to wait?” Da-jung asks, wounded.

That answer’s obvious to Woo-jin, as he mutters that this is the reason she always gets taken advantage of. Da-jung’s eyes fill with tears: “Is it so wrong for people to trust one another?”

Her question sends Woo-jin into a nightmarish flashback of the moment his mother attempted to jump from a building. He’d barely managed to catch her, but as his grip started slipping, his mother posed the same question as Da-jung: “Is it so wrong for people to trust one another?”

Sobbing, Woo-jin tried to hold onto her, but was left gripping only her bracelet—the same one he now wears—as his mother fell to her death.

In the present, Da-jung asks him if he can help her get the money her teacher stole from her. Woo-jin wonders if she realizes that asking a newly released criminal to commit crimes on a reality show is as insane as he thinks it is.

Da-jung is desperate, and takes his hand in an attempt to get him to listen—but he angrily swats her hand away and tells her to get lost. “I don’t want to help an idiot like you.” She runs away in tears, unaware that she’s dropped the contract PD Lee gave her.

Woo-jin takes time to read over the contract that night, and he is not happy about what he sees.

Da-jung is finally able to confront Teacher Hyun the next day, still hoping against hope that this was all some giant misunderstanding. But Teacher Hyun positively gloats in how he pulled one over her so easily, and crushes her perception of humanity just that much more when he laughs that he’ll be able to net the grand prize if all the other contestants are as stupid as she is.

Her hopes aren’t the only ones to get crushed that day—Dal-goo finds out from his boss that Da-jung’s life is practically over. Because she was stupid enough to go on a TV show where big money is the prize, all the creditors after her father will tear her apart for it.

Unsurprisingly, Da-jung finds a group of angry creditors outside her home, all demanding she sign away her prize money to them to make up for all her father’s debts.

Da-jung is helpless as the Liar Game cameras watch every second of her own personal hell unfolding… at least until Woo-jin appears to pull her away from the mob.

This time, when a member of the mob asks who he is, Woo-jin declares, “She’s mine.” He points out the legal reasons why they can’t get her to sign over her prize money so easily, using the lie that she’s already signed a contract with him.

The contract he waves before they can catch a good enough glimpse is just the one Da-jung dropped, and he expertly manages to sic the creditors on the Liar Game crew after convincing them that the recording can be used as evidence against their unlawful attempt to collect from Da-jung.

But when one of them asks if he can actually see the contract Woo-jin is waving around, Woo-jin grabs Da-jung by the hand and makes a run for it.

Once they’re alone, Woo-jin asks her if she actually bothered to read the contract, since she pretty much signed her life away. Da-jung proves to be a horrible liar when she stutters that she totally did read it, but she’s not fooling anyone.

However, she doesn’t need him to tell her what she’s gotten herself into—she at least had some idea what she was doing. “You’re the one who doesn’t know anything. Do you know what that money means to me?” she asks, tears in her eyes.

“With that money, my dad and I could sit at the same table and share a meal about one or two times a week together. I need that money so I can at least light a small candle on my birthday. It’s just a normal life, but I can’t throw it away,” Da-jung cries.

He takes her arm before she can storm off. “I’ll help you.” She blinks at him. “I said I’ll help you.” But he does have two conditions: If he helps her now, this show better be it. Oh, and she has to give him half the prize money.

It’s funny when he interprets her scrunched expression as dismay, especially since it’s anything but—she’s fine with splitting the earnings. But she has her own condition, and holds out her hand for a pinky swear: “Promise me that you won’t ever betray me.”

Woo-jin scoffs at the gesture, but Da-jung is dead serious and wants him to pinky swear. So he does, albeit reluctantly. Now they’re a team, and Woo-jin instantly drops to banmal with her. YAY.

At the next broadcast meeting, which Do-young attends via a video feed, PD Lee is given a folder on Woo-jin that her team has compiled. They already know Da-jung has enlisted his aid, but are worried about what their station director will say if he finds out Woo-jin is an ex-con who was initially charged with murder (though that charge was dismissed).

Since he still served time for a slew of finance-related crimes, PD Lee finds it surprising that Woo-jin was also a professor of psychology at Seoul University at his young age. But the team is weighing whether airing portions with Woo-jin will lead to controversy for the show.

Do-young chimes in that he finds this whole situation very interesting, but leaves the choice in PD Lee’s hands. But when she calls him out for only treating her like a PD in times like these, Do-young just cuts the feed.

Da-jung accompanies Woo-jin to the station for a recorded interview with Do-young. Hah, and he just shoots her this look when she waves at him off-camera like a kid mad at his mom for cheering at his school play.

As for the interview itself, Do-young finds that he’s met his match when his attempts to get under Woo-jin’s skin fail in the face of the master swindler’s devil-may-care attitude.

It’s enough to unsettle Do-young into asking what Woo-jin really wants, even though Woo-jin’s made it clear that he’s just there for the money. “Why, would you help me if I told you?” Woo-jin tosses back. “Like you helped Teacher Hyun?”

Do-young’s poker face as he asks why Woo-jin thinks they did something like that is admirable, even though Woo-jin claims that the proof is in the show pitting Da-jung directly against Teacher Hyun.

Woo-jin even takes it a step further by accusing Do-young of deliberately setting that situation up in order for this exact scenario scenario to play out—funny, because that’s the same thing PD Lee was wondering.

“You’re an interesting man, Ha Woo-jin,” Do-young says. Woo-jin tells him to speak for himself (burn) before noting that Do-young wears his facade so well, it could almost pass for his skin. Oooohhh. This is going to be epic.

Woo-jin isn’t keen on answering any of Da-jung’s questions about his past later that night, but Dal-goo’s arrival puts the kibosh on his attempt to leave. After watching the way the two of them interact, Woo-jin says they don’t really act like a debt collector and debtor. Is someone jealous?

It’s another ramyun dinner for them, which Dal-goo is as happy as ever to chow down on (only after deferring to Woo-jin to take the first honorary bite). That’s when Woo-jin tells Dal-goo that they’ll be needing his help going forward, since being on air will limit them in certain ways.

Dal-goo’s bashful/excited/happy look at being told he can join the two of them is too cute for words. Maybe Woo-jin thinks so too, since he looks content for the first time ever as he glances from Dal-goo to Da-jung.

PD Lee gets taken to task by DIRECTOR JANG (the surly man we’ve seen skulking around all the broadcast meetings) over the outcry Liar Game has caused with the public. They’re getting accusations that the show is scripted as is, and now PD Lee wants to bering in an ex-con?

Director Jang seems to care less that their ratings have been skyrocketing, since their image is being flushed down the toilet. Even when Do-young chimes in to say that high numbers are the only thing that can save the network now and that Woo-jin is sure to surpass Da-jung in audience popularity.

Buuut, if Director Jang wants to make enemies with a criminal mastermind who took down a megacorporation by manipulating the stock market, then he has Do-young’s blessing. Ah ha. Now Director Jang is listening. I bet he doesn’t even realize he’s being threatened.

With three days until the first round ends, Woo-jin tells Da-jung what they’ll need to do to get her money back from Teacher Hyun: First, she has to publicly declare war on him.

Second, they have to stakeout his house, because he’ll have to get the money from the bank before the round ends. And that’s when they’ll take it.

In the meantime, Dal-goo gives Woo-jin a dossier on Do-young per his request, revealing some interesting details about Do-young’s possible financial motivations for the show.

Da-jung freaks out when Woo-jin returns to the stakeout car to find her attempting to anonymously defend herself against hateful comments online, and refuses to let him see her phone even when he grabs at it. So cute.

But when Teacher Hyun calls the police on them, Woo-jin throws them off by pulling Da-jung into a near-kiss to give the illusion that they were just parked to make out.

The good news is that it works, but poor Da-jung has to literally be snapped out of her daze by Woo-jin to come back to earth. Hah.

Now down to two days before the round ends with no sign of Teacher Hyun, Woo-jin knows that the money isn’t in the bank—it’s in his house. In order to make an excuse for breaking and entering, Woo-jin fills Teacher Hyun’s house with manufactured smoke so he can play the part of a concerned citizen. Smart.

Woo-jin uses his specialty knack to get Teacher Hyun to tell him everything he wants to know, and is even able to find out where he’s hidden the money by having Da-jung walk in with what looks like his briefcase of money…

…Which is only an empty husk, but it does its job: Teacher Hyun looks nervously toward his actual hiding place when he thinks they’ve robbed him. Hah. But he’s scared out of his wits by Woo-jin’s sense of assuredness, as he puts an arm around Da-jung’s shoulders and declares that his one million dollars is as good as theirs.

With one day left before the round ends, Da-jung and Woo-jin chow down on fast food in the stakeout car like a couple of seasoned detectives. He even fixes the watch her father bought her before he ran away, which, aww.

Da-jung is in for a surprise when Woo-jin admits he was only bluffing about having a surefire way to get the money, even though he’s confident a way will reveal itself. He’s not as happy when Da-jung doubts him, and asks her where that doubt was when she actually needed it before storming off.

He doesn’t return to the car, and with only a few minutes to spare before the round ends, Da-jung grows desperate. She cries at Teacher Hyun’s front gate, apologizing for what she did and begging him to forgive her.

Inside, Teacher Hyun counts down the seconds until the end… just as two men from the production team arrive to retrieve his winnings. Da-jung begs Teacher Hyun to help her, but he carelessly shoves her away and tsks that she must’ve lost her male protector.

As the retrieval team counts the money inside, Teacher Hyun sticks his head out the window to finish crushing Da-jung’s soul. What neither of them know is that PD Lee has yet to send in the REAL retrieval team…

The truth is slow to dawn on Teacher Hyun, even as the fake retrieval team members deliver the stolen $1 million to Da-jung. Like magic, Woo-jin appears: “You lost, Teacher Hyun.”

After Dal-goo reveals himself to have been one of the fake team members with a sly smile, Teacher Hyun flies into a rage as he blames the real retrieval team for being late.

But they claim they were right on time, even though Teacher Hyun was told by phone that they’d be there an hour earlier—and for that, he also has Woo-jin to thank. During the fake fire, Woo-jin swapped the phone given to Hyun by the Liar Game team with an identical one in order to give himself time to steal the money.

Teacher Hyun sinks to his knees as the production team officially announces Da-jung’s victory. She thanks Woo-jin for what he did as he adjusts her watch again… since he’d set it back an hour while pretending to fix it earlier, because making her believe that it was all over was the only way to make sure Teacher Hyun would let his guard down. (So. Much. Win.)

He holds her shoulders and looks into her eyes to prove that she couldn’t have done the job with her poor acting skills. Da-jung has to catch her bearings again before she offers him his half, and they say goodbyes there—the agreement was that she’d walk away from the show after they won the round.

In yet another reveal, Woo-jin refuses to share his winnings with Dal-goo because he plans to give the money back to Da-jung. Since he read the contract, he knows that when she leaves the show to keep her promise with him, she’ll have to forfeit her earnings.

So when that happens, he’ll give her his share. I think even Dal-goo might be developing a crush on this big ol’ teddy bear.

Debt collectors converge on Teacher Hyun like a pack of dogs, and whatever PD Lee had left of her soul dies as she orders the crew to film every minute of it.

Meanwhile, Do-young takes Woo-jin for a ride in his pimped out starmobile so they can watch the feed live. Woo-jin already knows that the debt collectors were Do-young’s doing, but Do-young is showing this to him for a reason.

And that reason is to persuade Woo-jin to join the show as an actual contestant. When Woo-jin says no, Do-young instructs him to watch what happens next. Uh oh.

So he does, just as Da-jung can no longer stand idly by while Teacher Hyun is forced to sign his organs away. The collectors tell her that he owes $250,000, which is exactly the amount in her briefcase…

Woo-jin lets out a long breath when Da-jung caves and agrees to pay Teacher Hyun’s debt. Do-young planned it this way, didn’t he?

Through his shit eating grin, Do-young claims that he did no such thing—he’s just the show’s host. But when Woo-jin hands over his share to pay for her penalty fee, Do-young asks if he’s doing it because of his mother, whose inability to look away from the suffering of others, like Da-jung, mired her in debt.

His trip into Woo-jin’s psyche doesn’t end there, since he knows Woo-jin’s infamous corporate takedown was an act to avenge his mother. But what if he told Woo-jin that the company he took down was just a front? That the CEO mysteriously died? Wouldn’t he want to know who was behind that?

“Join the game,” Do-young tells him. “If you win, you’ll find out the truth behind your mother’s death. You of all people will be able to find out whether I’m telling you a lie… or the truth.”

Do-young straightens his suit like a champion after Woo-jin lets go of the lapels he’d been gripping, and switches into his emcee voice: “Will you choose to rescue Nam Da-jung and avenge your mother? The choice is yours, Ha Woo-jin.”

 
COMMENTS

Even if this show got nothing else right, literally nothing else, Do-young’s role alone would be enough to draw me in. It’s been so long since I’ve seen a legitimately good villain that I’d just stopped expecting them, and looked like Da-jung working her part-time job when watching an onslaught of supposedly genius heroes matched with the most basic, unimaginative villains.

The saying that a hero is only as good as his villain could not be more applicable, yet it’s so frequently overlooked in dramaland that I’m about bursting with excitement when it comes to this pair. Do-young’s cunning is enough to have anyone quaking in their boots, but what made that final scene just the cherry on top of this show’s awesome sundae is the fact that he looked Woo-jin in the eyes and challenged him to use his superhuman powers to know whether he was telling the truth.

So either Do-young’s telling the truth, or he’s the one person who can actually fool Woo-jin’s internal lie detector—both options are equally frightening for different reasons. Woo-jin’s proven that he’s smart enough to mastermind a corporate takedown and a last minute heist, but how amazing would it be if Do-young is really one step ahead of him? The possibilities are endless, and I’ve never been more excited to see a battle of wills (and brains) play out.

Now that Do-young painted a picture of who Woo-jin’s mother was and why Freud would have a field day with the way Woo-jin softened toward Da-jung, it puts their teaming up into perspective without necessarily giving all of Woo-jin’s cards away. I went along happily with every reveal this hour, but the one that probably got me the most was that Woo-jin planned to give her his share the entire time. Because… what?

At least in the beginning, Woo-jin signing on made sense if he was going to get something out of it. But by going into the partnership knowing that he’d gain nothing tangible, it means Woo-jin did everything he did for Da-jung out of sheer kindness. His one condition only existed because he wanted to make sure he could help Da-jung leave the show and save herself. Who… who does that for a practical stranger? Who is this man, and where do I apply to get one?

 
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i have been refreshing like crazy for this recap lol

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This is a really good remake, especially since they really develop the characters. My only problem is that I feel the stakes aren't high enough. In the original, the contestants would go into $1 million debt if they lost or quit the game, so everyone had to work together to overcome their individual greed in order to save everyone from the debt. But in this show, I feel like the participants can just quit without suffering much of a loss.

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Maybe the rules of the games are not yet explicitly stated in this version yet?

In the Jdrama, Kanzaki Nao and her teacher were both given 1 million each (which will also correspond to the amount of their debt if they lose it. After the game, the winner will have to return the 1 million back but she can keep the rest as her prize money. Supposedly Kanazaki Nao has 2 million (1 million hers + 1 million of her teacher's), if she returned the 1 million to offset her debt then her prize money will only be 1 million. While her teacher ended up having 1 million debt.

Akiyama helped Kanzaki Nao with the agreement that Kanzaki Nao will give him half of her prize money, so 500 thousand. But Nao ended up giving her 500 thousand to her teacher to help him with his debt. And Akiyama gave his 500 back to Nao because the agreement is that he'll get half of her prize money - if she doesn't have hers, he can't keep his. Nao was so happy and gave Akiyama's share to her teacher as well.

The rule of the game is that the loser will have to pay back their debts, and if they can't yet then they have to continue with the game... which is just a cycle tbh. The winner can keep the prize money, and is usually expected to continue with the game too but has the option of giving back half of the prize money if the winner wanted to quit the game altogether. Since Nao ended up giving all her prize money to her teacher, she didn't have any money to have the option to quit.

Will continue to read recaps until episode 4, and then decide if I will watch this version or not. But now at episode 2, I'm leaning on possibly just reading the drama recaps.

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Yeah the original Jdrama version was more darker and intense not to mention the cool and hot Akiyama played very sexily by Matsuda Shota, I loved everything about him from his getup, unique hairstyle, emo look, etc, I wish I wouldn't had watched the original but can't help but compare the main actors and actress, LSY is the only one I'm not satisfied with and it's not because of his acting, he's hot and all but his image doesn't suit playing Akiyama, I'm totally loving SSK though as a villain, I still think he would have made a perfect Akiyama, on to the plot I agree with the OP that the stakes in K- version is very low whereas in J-version it was like if you get invited by Liar Game you're done for, I think in the meantime I'll just read the recaps and see what kind of games the Liar Game Show will put out for the contestants and how clever those games are.

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No, the participants have to pay a penalty for quiting the show. That was a part of the contract that Woojin knew, but Dajung didn't (since she didn't read the entire contract in detail). So ultimately there are still high money stakes here.

Dajung's winnings from this first game was 500 million won, she gave Woojin 250 million and kept 250 million herself. She promised Woojin to quit the game but she didn't know she basically have to give all her 250 million back to quit (half her winnings, like confused23 said). At that time Woojin would give her his half so she still has 250 million in prize money. But obviously it didn't turn out that way.

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no it's not really the same, the Japanese version is that there is a penalty of paying what you lose... there is additionally a rule that you can give up at anytime if you forfeit half the value of the total possible winnings of the last game played (if you are in the middle of a game it is half the possible winnings of the current game that is being played). because Nao gives her teacher her half of the winning and akiyama followed suit she was unable to withdraw... as the games go on this is a common theme that she gives up her opportunity to leave the game by giving the losers the winnings so they can pay the debt incurred by LGT.
however, the korean version only has the rule regarding paying half their winnings to withdraw from the game. There is no rule regarding gaining debt from losing, which is why many feel that it is lacking in terms of stakes for playing.

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Ah right, I had forgotten that point. Thanks.

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Yes you're right and that was the main part I liked about the J-version, how Nao sacrifices her winnings to save other contestants from debts, of course our hottie Akiyama doesn't share the same opinion at first but little by little Nao manages to change his thinking, I don't know how the K-version is going to go about things, I'm hopeful though...

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I was also confused with the rules in this version. I agree with rui.is.assez.hot. In the japanese version the losers were literally dead men walking when they lose the game. They were left with a huge amount of debt. That made the games extremely dangerous and mind wracking for the players. The korean version presents a somewhat tamer risk of the games. The way I see it, the only thing that's compelling the protagonists (dajung an woojin) to continue playing the game is the cunning schemes of the antagonist (do young). Compared to the japanese version, the system or rules made them stay. The organizers of the game were a huge syndicate they just needed to watch the contestants chew each other out. Nevertheless, The korean version is very fun to watch and so far, it is able to differentiate and give its own kind of style to the liar game franchise. I believe the defining factor of this version will be the manipulations and schemes of do young.

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Even though I thought they did a really good job setting it up for the first round - I could feel Da-jung and the teacher's desperation, and could understand why they felt so helpless and depressed when they thought they lost - I agree that the tension wasn't quite as powerful as in the original. It was there, just toned down a bit since the stakes weren't quite as high.

Which is what worries me about the rounds to come.

Part of what made the original so compelling to watch was the fact that they were fighting for themselves and the other losers, while simultaneously trying to outsmart the people running the game. They had a very clear bad guy... but here, we're given a reality show that is basically giving out free money which makes it hard to rally against them, no matter how shady or suspicious their motivations appear. Plus, considering they're in the public eye, they're limitted to how far they can push things, which places the antagonist-role back on the competitors.

And what happens when Da-jung's debt is paid? I can't imagine Woo-jin keeping the money now that Da-jung is going to hand over her winnings, and it's clear she's not going to withdraw - so she arguably still has enough money to pay off her father's debts. It makes no sense for her to keep playing the game in order to "rescue" others, when their debt is something they earned on their own; not a product of the Liar Game. And if she keeps playing to get more money, she just comes across as greedy. I suspect she's going to be forced to keep playing by the Game Master, but even then, even if she's playing, the motivations will have changed... so I'm really curious to see how they handle this. They've done well so far, I just hope they keep it up and don't try and take the easy way out, or make it too farfetched. They need to keep the tension high!

Oh! And Fukunaga! I'm so curious to see if she'll be a girl like in the manga, or a boy like in the drama!! He/she was always one of my favorite characters.

Either way, I'm actually highly impressed with this adaptation. It's different enough from the original to keep me invested, and I love the cast, so I'm definitely looking forward to more!!

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YES Fukunaga! I watched the Jdrama version and I hated him for being so mean to Nao. But in season 2, he's like Nao best friend so I like him so much LOL

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YES YES YES YES YES. everything you said. so far the only good thing i can think of for the korean remake is how they have developed the characters. everything else was just meh. i think it can mostly be attributed to the fact that it does not seem like the contestants will end up in a very bad situation if they lose the game, like the original version, as you've said. the liar game has been one of my fav jap dramas, and i suppose one of the largest drawing factor was how the male lead was able to turn the situation around to help her. the fact that the games are similar to the jap version made everything so predictable for me and difficult to continue watching. i don't know, but i'm guessing it will only appeal to first-timers who are foreign with Liar Game. it hurts me to say so, because i so badly want to love the Korean version too.

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And that is the reason why when my friends asked me if they should try the J-version first I told them not to, you already know the games and how the hero tricks it so the surprise factor will be gone while watching the K-version.

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Agree, plus I just watched the original version in less than a month so the game is still fresh in my mind. I watched this only to se SSR though, he's great playing antagonist

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lee sang yoon <3

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the adorable dimples are back! now, if he'll just smile more in this drama...

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yeah haha i love him so much. i love his current hairstyle too :)

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THANK YOU for the recap...!!!

One question.... I thought she made Duenjang-jjigae... not ramyun...and she put tofu in it b/c it's almost tradition for people who come out of jail to eat tofu...... that's why she wanted WooJin to have first bite of the tofu.... is that just me?

AHHH this series is gettin' better and better! Can't wait for more scenes of Woojin and DoYoung together!!! FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!!!.... mind-games style!!!

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Yes, I thought the tofu was for his release, too.

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That was the point, but it's also showing that she's poor and so she added it to ramen instead.

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I didn't know that about the tofu + jail thing, but I noticed the tofu during the meal scene. Interesting info. :)

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So I read articles that said that there's supposedly no clear love line in this drama. Yet, we start creating romantic tension right after they meet? As of yet, it's obvious he isn't interested, but her shell-shock appearance is consistent with the kdrama progression on romance. I don't know how I feel about that. In the jodrama, it was exiguous.

I also am attracted to Do-jung the most so far. Which is weird because I loved Akiyama (Woo-jin here) soooooo much.

Hm....maybe I'm comparing too much, but they must've realized that would happen.

Anyway, thanks for the reap Heads!

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well, Nao had shell-shocked tingling moments too.

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Yeah I remember, there were moments in the Japanese movie especially that could've been interpreted as maybe romantic. I gotta say I certainly shipped them....
But apparently in the manga he was a lot older than her so it wasn't going to happen.

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Episode 2 was all sorts of amazing! I love the interactions between the two main leads. They have great chemistry but so far the romantic aspect of that chemistry hasn't interfered with the plot. I hope they keep the romance element low key yet at the same time a little bit wouldn't hurt.

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Oh Headsno2, if you're enjoying Do-young this much, wait until you see the other villains/antagonists coming up. If nothing else, Liar Game has some smart antagonists. I can't wait to see this version of Fukanaga and Yokoya.

I really enjoy Kim So-eun as Nao and I'm warming up to Lee Sang-yoon, but one thing I'm worried about is the pacing. If there's only 10 eps total and we're already on ep 2, how many rounds can they cover? For once I'm wishing this was 16 eps.

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Maybe season 1. Up to the airport smuggling round?

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I don't think they'll do any of those games. it's a game show in this version the last game will be a one on one or free for all. airport smuggling round is a team game. I have strong feeling their going to skip many games.

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I really hope not. The team games are the most interesting ones because it forces players to work together (often against their own greed), and that's when Nao/Da-jung really comes into her own.

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I agree! Nao's strength lies in her trustfulness and therefore convincing people to work together. I don't think the Korean adaptation would leave that out. That would erase lots of important characterization.

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I agree that the team matches were great, but the korean version is already down to to 20 players and here is the real kicker because its a game show we already know the scope of the players... in all the Japanese versions we never know the full scope of the organization or just exactly how many games are going on at anytime, we really just know about the games we are told about, but players are added from other games all the time. I cannot see anyway this korean version can add Yokoya because the first two games he played were outside the scope of Nao's game, but in the korean version we know exactly that there are 20 players left and that is the entirety of the characters playing. they can have a revival game but there really is no way now to add more characters or antagonists, since the first episode they made such a big deal that this is the first of its kind and its his brainchild so there can't even be other versions of the game show (i.e. from busan, or abroad) that could add players as they advanced. in short that means even if they added a revival game there will be no yokoya (who plays a big part in the contraband game) unless he is introduced right away. meaning the probability they will have that game is slim at this point

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I'm most curious about Fukunaga too. I wonder if they'll go with the drama version or the manga.

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Ah I'm confused. Since some places said 12 other places said 10. 12 should be a good number tho.

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Ahh.. Fukunaga.. The everlasting annoying rude bad ass transgender.

Yokoya.. Annoyingly scary creepy mice squashing psychic.

Can't wait..!

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lol!

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No no no no no. Fukunaga is sweet, with maiden heart girl bad ass transgender.

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This show is so much fun! Thanks for the recap.

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AHH Heads ive been waiting for this recap. YAYYY i love that there is a romantic element in this remake ( and introduced so early) and that the villain is clear and combative from the outset. Shin Sung Rok is GREAT. I had a giggle fit due to the awesome when he switched to his MC voice in final moments of this episode. AHHH im looking forward to the rest of this drama.

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Also... maybe Woojin originally went into helping Dajung because of his mother and the money was sort of a cover. He isn't going to talk to anyone about that huge ordeal- especially to a stranger.

He probably has that HUGE regret that he wants to wash off, which is not being able to help/notice his mother situation of crippling debt.

In the first ep he said that he didn't realize how bad it had gotten with his mothers debts. Maybe he was originally helping Dajung to make up for his mistake. She reminds him of his mother naivety. Maybe he doesn't want to see Dajung go through what his mother went though....

*shrugs* I dunno I might just be saying weird random things.... it's almost 1AM here in the east coast :P

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Praise the drama gods - finally a new crack drama! I am absolutely loving this. Haven't seen the J-Drama or read the manga but this is giving me nostalgic Kurosagi vibes lol.

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Oh, and thank you heads for the recap!

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KYAAA I loved kurosagi!!!!!!! :D
and yassshhh liar game is def. giving me kurosagi vibes! LOVE IT!

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hoho if you love kurosagi, you'll def love the jap liar game. loved yamapi in kurosagi T_T and matsuda shota in liar game

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Hohohooooo
I already saw allll the versions of liar game ;p. But I like this version also. It's a refreshing take on the story.

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I am in love with this show!!! Its like crack!!!

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He had on the same ( well not the exact same) Jacket that My Shudo had on ....... I'm actually intrigue on how they are going to do the next episode because its not really game show material... Well will see ?

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"My Shudo" Lol! :)

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There it goes, the inevitable romance arc and I had hoped that they weren't gonna do that especially when they said so in the interviews. So far, this remake is okay but we're already 2 episodes in (and at 2 hours) and we're still on Game 1.

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Same format for the original jdrama. 2 episodes for Game 1. The first season had 11 episodes so I think we're on a good track.

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But, the dorama had only 45 min each ep and by the end of ep 2, they were already starting the minority game.

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It's just pure teasing, like a light form of fan service but nothing will happen: Same was done for other cable dramas like VP, TEN...

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My gripe was it's too early on to already introduce that tension. And since they're live shooting, I wonder if they will actually change it into a romance because it'll increase ratings.

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Well, it does not need to be romance, just a bit of sexual tension to spice up the dynamics between the two leads.
This has always been a factor for success in tv series, like the X Files or Friends...the thing that kept us hooked was that despite the tension they were building up, the romance or the kiss seemed to never arrive. I hope it is like this here, haha!! :D

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Akiyama got me to like Matsuda Shota, I feel like this might be working here too. Am I really thinking of watching a 50 episodes drama for Lee Sang Yoon? I don't deal with dramas over 16 episodes long ;;

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Honestly, it's still a yawn-fest for me, reading the recaps is enough and I feel like I don't have to watch the actual episode because I always FF a lot of scenes.

I hope they get to the group games soon because those were my favorite part of the original ver.

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Do-young is like a genius Lee Jae-kyung without the dead bodies. I hate his smugness so much that I actually love him, if that makes sense. He is so intriguing. I'm still praying against a romance between the leads, this show doesn't need it. My favourite character is Dal-goo, such a sweetheart even though I hated him towards the end of Empress Ki.

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"At least in the beginning, Woo-jin signing on made sense if he was going to get something out of it. But by going into the partnership knowing that he’d gain nothing tangible, it means Woo-jin did everything he did for Da-jung out of sheer kindness. His one condition only existed because he wanted to make sure he could help Da-jung leave the show and save herself. Who… who does that for a practical stranger? Who is this man, and where do I apply to get one?"

Part of it is clearly that Da-jung reminds him of his mother who is the driving force behind all his actions. The other part is he's obviously much more like Da-jung than he'd be willing to admit.

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Thanks Heads for the wonderful recap. And I have to agree with Sajen.

30% excitement is over how Woo Jin is exposed to be a sweet softie underneath that tough, 'I'm a bad guy' exterior.

40% on the twists of the game and how Da Jung and Woo Jin are going to outsmart Do Young in particular and the rest of the baddies/competitors.

20% on the relationship between Woo Jin, Dal Goo and Da Jung.

10% on will they or won't they have a romance to put a bit of icing on the cake. Cake will still taste good without it, ... but with it, it will look so much nicer!!

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DAEBAK!!! FIGHTING Liar Game!!!

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Why are there so many Da Jungs in dramaland? :) PM & I, Glorious Days and now Liar Game! Da Jungs get all the great guys!

Love Lee Sang Yoon in a different role here. ;))) Loved him in My Daughter Seoyoung then un-loved him in Angry, I mean Angel, Eyes.

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I came here for Kim So-eun...
But can I just take a moment to comment on Lee Sang-yoon's rugged, leather-clad look?
Yum.

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HeadsNo2 ~

Thank you for your recap. Glad to see you get a winner of a drama.

I like the main three characters. Woo-jin has his hands full with Da-jung.

Fwiw, I saw the 1st season of the J drama and while a little different, the theme is the same. The TV game show was a a nice twist.

Who is going to change who? Softie Da-jung and hard edged Woo-jin.

As far as a love line goes, I've liked how it's been all for show up to this point. While I don't need for a full fledged romance, obviously, they should naturally develop some sort of feelings for one another as they battle the other contestants.

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Shin Sung Rok was born for this kind of role.

Really loving Lee San Yoon in this dark role - complete 180 on his nice guy in Angel Eyes. I like him better this way!

Thanks for the recaps, Heads!

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This episode was more exciting than the previous one... can I have high expectations now?

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actually , firstly Idindt want to watch this drama because I dont like dramas which is about mystery. However yesterday I started to watch and I just love it so hard!! this drama includes a lot of mysteirous and love :D ın original drama ( I mean in japanese version) there is no love but I hope in korean version we can find love interest between Da-jung and Woo jin!! Thanks fot your comment!!

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by the way when Woo Jin accepted to help Da Jung , I was really shocked because it was very quick and I thought he hadnt accepted easily!

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Where can I find/order a Woojin??? anyone??? I adoooore Do young!!! this character is so interesting!! SSR is an amazing actor!! the he portrays his character is amazing.
Am I the only one in love with the Woo Jin, Dal Goo and Da Jung trio???

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the way he*

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Saved all my comments for this episode, excuse the length please. I watched the original jdrama, which I dubbed Pinky and the Brain (first season, haven't started second). While I was sorta liked it (didn't really grip me till the last few episodes) I think I can be fair where this is concerned. For one, I'm liking this remake much more than NC. The original didn't start really picking up till later anyways, so I can definitely give it the old college try.

Format wise, though I liked the sinister feel of the game being the result of machinations of a secret society, I think the change of format can be good if execution follows concept. Often the directional style, excessive monologuing, and explanations (while understandably necessary) combined to make the jdrama feel hammy. Though the kversion isn't as dark to begin with, I think making it a game show can fix these to an extent.

Character-wise. SSR got his game face on (no pun intended till I realized it was there). Seems we'll be getting more layers with him as host. Does that mean they're combining the game-master with the old man or Yokoya? Or is he a "new" character all together?

I'm liking Da-jung much sooner than Nao in acting and development. I appreciate the fact that she struggles a bit more before taking the high road. Hope it sticks.

Akiyama's casting was a big deal but as I watched it I was indifferent since I wasn't particularly taken with the character or the man at any level until the last few episodes when his intelligence just blew me away, subsequently making me more attached (prior to I just really wanted to do something to his hair!!). Either way, LSY not doing bad: he has the appropriate gravitas. I'll have to wait on the genius part. I hope they don't undermine his character by angling his "rescues" and their interactions to romance rather than the game. I'm wary of this because a) kdrama and b)their chemistry is good but the scenes to display that feel a bit shoe-horned in. The other times were mostly excusable, but that last part when he was lingering all in her space just felt silly and not in line with his character. If he was a swindler who got by on charm. yeah. but no. I hope at some point he'll wear his hair back again. I liked that. ahem.

Looking forward to the coming rounds and other antagonists. That will determine if I stick with it. Hope Fukunaga is less shouty, but don't dumb him down!

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Okay, one of the things I like about this drama is how smart the script is. We have a protagonist and an antagonist that are equally intelligent. Which makes me applaud, because it's been a while a show challenged me to use my brain while watching it.

Good stuff with all the leads. Love the chemistry between Da Jung and Woo -Jin, and the fact that he's looking out for her makes me drool. He's got a bleeding heart under his rough exterior.

But Da Jung can be pretty stupid. For someone who needs that 250K as much as she does, why, oh why did she not just leave with her money and go straight to the bank? Why stay in the teacher's house to watch what was clearly a set up? Who in their right minds would be stupid enough to maim or dismember a man in front of cameras when it's clear that they are committing a crime they would be arrested for? On one hand I love Da Jung's spunk but on the other hand she really acts stupid at times. But she has a good heart, so I'm torn between both liking her and shaking my head.

Can't wait for next Monday so I can watch more of this thrilling show!

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Thank you. I am really enjoying the two male leads chewing up the scenery, esp. SSR, but the female lead! I loved the line about how she was mistaking stupidity for goodness ... I think he was speaking for a lot of the audience when he said that.

I'm not so hot on the shoe-horning of the cold dude/candy girl Kdrama thing into what otherwise is a fascinating story so far. I hope this goes the way of New Leaf and the romantic story ends up being just a little undercurrent for the main story.

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They don't seem to be actively dismembering her teacher, but instead getting his thumbprint for what seems to be some sort of IOU -- maybe he'll owe a piece of him if he doesn't pay in time, so that's why they can film it -- still it is active coercion.

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Thanks for the recap, Heads!

From what I've read in the comments, the original Liar Game tv show was so good that it's going to be hard for this version to measure up in the eyes of viewers who saw the jdorama. Especially if the stories and the gameplay continue to diverge from the jdorama. I've been meaning to watch the Japanese version since I saw the previews for this one, but haven't got around to it. Now I'm wondering if I should watch the two in parallel or wait for this version to finish before I start the Japanese version and see how much better it is.

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the first two episodes of the Kdrama version corresponds to the first two episodes of Jdrama version, so maybe you could try watching the first two Jdrama version just to check it out... then you could decided which is better for yourself: to watch the Jdrama first, to watch simultaneously, or to watch the Korean first.

just remember though that the Japanese sensibilities is different from the Korean one... the nuances in the words and actions might be lost to most people not familiar with the Japanese culture.

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A word of warning though, the second episode of the Jdrama already started the next round/next game... so maybe stop when you've reached the part where the second episode of the Korean version ends so as to not spoil yourself (if you're the type of person who hates spoilers and what not).

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Oh, thanks for the advice, it's helpful! I'll try the first two eps of the j-version this weekend and see how it goes.

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Oh my god! Are we in for a Holmes and Moriarity kind of partnership. I already love our hero and villian!

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Exactlyyyyy, the method woo jin used to detect lie is very similar to Holmes. But maybe do young is not as crazy as moriarty, i can imagine him playing people, but still not at moriarty's level of viciousness

I'm not used to rugged looking lee sang yoon, still, couldn't take my eyes off him

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I'm also worried that not having the debt rule won't make the stakes as high, but there's no way that a tv show that makes it contestants have a huge debt can exist.
I like this k-drama version is more realistic.

AdAl made a good point about the debt collectors beating up the old guy in front of the cameras. There's no reason that they would do that. I wonder if they were teamed-up with Do-young or if this is just a plot-hole.

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Been waiting for another show to watch ever since "Discovery of Romance" ended (aside from "Secret Door") and doing a mini-marathon of "Orphan Black" (excellent show, btw) and LG does not disappoint.

Like OB, LG pretty much sucks you in short time with its quick pace and turns, even for what are the "introductory" eps.

KSO plays DJ w/ the right mix of naivety and spunk and SSR is his usual slick and smarmy self (w/ the undertone of danger and sexiness).

(Always felt that SSR basically stole the show of YFAS from KSH - who, while a decent enough actor, never struck me as special/really appealing in any way - just lucky in picking projects which, while not great in any way, happened to be very to enormously popular).

1st time seeing LSY in anything and while I don't quite get the remark about how his character is "annoyingly good-looking" - better that WJ really isn't so since it makes his character of a genius former professor more believable.

Don't mind that WJ has that sour outlook on people and life since it makes his character that much more interesting and is a nice contrast to DJ (will be interesting to see who influences the other more).

Love the good-hearted low level gangsta/debt collector and his relationship w/ DJ. Dal-goo will probably join the low level gangsta/debt collector in "Miss Korea" as one of my favorite characters of that ilk (albeit, in MK, started off on a more violent/disagreeable level but was dealing w/ grown men and not a young, pretty woman).

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Aaaaaaahhhhhh, just watched the first two eps because of your recaps, Heads. There go my Mondays/Tuesdays for the next few months...

Dalgoo was Seolchan's manager in Monstar! Love him!

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Thank you headno2 for a very nice recap..at first,when i know who are the cast and actor in this drama,i think that oh no!i absolutely will not watch this drama..but after i read your recap,i am 100% for suRe will watch this drama..thank you!

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Shin Sung Rok's emcee voice at the end totally made me crack up. *goes off to laugh until my stomach hurts*

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Can't wait to find out more about the two lead male characters. So far the story has been focusing more on Da Jung. Looks like next episode is going to be exciting too! And the fact that it is made into reality TV style is so realisitc. Nowadays there are "fake"marriages on "reality" TV and we also get to see the lives of celebrity dads and their kids....well, why not a liar game of deception??!!

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I am loving this show and yes, mostly because of Do-young. He's the type of villain that you love to hate, and I seriously love to hate him. He's so nefarious and so smart just, argh! He's evil! And I love it.

Looking forward to episode 3 so much!

Thanks for the recap, Heads!

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This episode was just one hour of awesomeness. It definitely kept me on edge.

I seriously didn't know how Da Jung and Woo Jin would get Teacher Hyun's money.
I thought WJ was gonna get it somehow during the night, but then I saw the money in the safe the next morning.
When the first retrieval team was going to Hyun's house, the camera angles were well done in that they kept Dal Goo out of the main frame. It was only at the end when he revealed himself that I learned the truth.

It was cute and nice seeing Dal Goo's happy expression when he got to join DJ+WJ's team btw.

The villain and hero in this drama is an excellent match-up. So excited to see how they will try to outwit each other.

I haven't watched any Lee Sang Yoon dramas so it's a real delight to see him in this one.

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still conflicted bout the series and the actors. I'm not a huge fan of the past 2 episodes but I will still give it a shot.

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Plsss... Recap for episode 3 and 4.... This show is fabulous!

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is it only gonna be 10 episodes???????!!! seriously ?? i want more than 10 episodes...

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Fww never has a drama (for a long time now) put me in right on the edge.... Watched all episodes and i would really love a season 2.. SSR is just an amazing villain in liar game as well as kings face, he really makes me hate him as well as admire him for his brains, big up to the best villian!!

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