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Liar Game: Episode 6

So good. SO GOOD. This is a deceptively touching episode of Liar Game as well as for humanity, since Da-jung’s kindness finally yields some positive results. Of course she had to lie a little to achieve said results, but I wouldn’t call that selling out as much as growing up. Or growing wise(er)? Da-jung could literally get away with murder at this point, because I’m literally running out of ways to say I love this show. I love this show so much I want to kiss it on the mouth. There.

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EPISODE 6: “Layoff Game II”

Da-jung pulls the last card toward her, the one that will decide her fate… and it’s the misprint. Jaime wins the bet, and Da-jung loses one hundred fifty thousand dollars.

While Dal-goo distracts the mall guards with his intentionally bad driving, Woo-jin takes the opportunity to sneak inside and cut the power. PD Lee keeps calm in the midst of the blackout, completely unaware that Woo-jin has disguised himself as a Liar Game crew member. Ah ha.

Carrying a camera so the light will obscure his face from anyone looking directly at him, Woo-jin is able to convince Da-jung’s cameraman that he needs to take his equipment to base camp to be checked.

Da-jung is too despondent to notice the switch, and thinks she’s just being interviewed when Woo-jin asks her if she’s given up. “What more can I do at this point?” she sighs. Woo-jin: “Make them pay for what they put you through.”

That’s when Da-jung looks up, and her suspicions are confirmed when power is restored. Woo-jin tells her to keep her wits about her and walk calmly to a place with no cameras, while he pretends to follow her as a VJ.

Once they’re alone, Da-jung tells Woo-jin that he was right—she got betrayed for hoping people would be trustworthy, just like he said she’d be. She can’t figure out why the network picked her. “Is it fun for them to see me suffer?”

“Yes,” Woo-jin answers matter-of-factly. Da-jung, now annoyed, tells him he can just go home since the game’s already over. Woo-jin: “I’ll decide when it’s over.” Yeah you will.

After Da-jung tells him how she lost the bet with Jaime, he tells her that she never had a chance in the first place—she only thought the chances were even, but because she’d have to reshuffle the cards every time she pulled hers out face-up while Jaime never had to, she would never have been able to win.

“I’m really an idiot, aren’t I?” Da-jung says, once the realization that she was scammed—again—sets in. But for once, Woo-jin isn’t so hard on her as he tells her that she can’t just trust other people blindly: “You have to explicitly teach them what the cost of betrayal is.”

So Da-jung approaches Jaime for another round, this time for only half Jaime’s stars if she wins… but if she loses, all of her remaining money would go to Jaime.

Even Jaime seems a bit surprised that Da-jung would be so foolish, but believes in her stupidity when Da-jung continues to act hopeful that the chances are fifty-fifty. Jaime thinks Da-jung is falling for the same trick again.

The same goes for PD Lee, who tsks that Da-jung must not have learned her lesson. Do-young is sharper than that though, and suspects something might’ve happened while the lights were out. Either way, he’s excited.

Using Woo-jin’s advice, Da-jung gets Jaime’s guard down by allowing her to win the first nine rounds. During that time, she makes a tiny fingernail indentation on the edge of Jaime’s card so that she can feel it when picking cards from the bag.

And Woo-jin knew that by the time Jaime suspected anything, it would be too late—Da-jung starts winning and traps Jaime into continuing to play the game by acting like her usual innocent self…

…So that when she wins, there’s nothing Jaime can do about it. Genius. (On Woo-jin’s part, anyway.)

Dal-goo has finally had it with his abusive boss, and stands up for himself in a hilarious bout of banmal-ery. They literally exchange rounds of I’M an asshole? YOU’RE the asshole! until they’re blue in the face, and in the end, Dal-goo quits.

When the seventh round results are revealed, everyone’s surprised to see that half of Jaime’s stars have been given to Da-jung, making them even in the final race.

One of the contestants had no idea stars could change hands, at least until Do-young reminds him that the rules stated anything could be bought or sold. Jaime acts like she doesn’t care, and makes sure to tell Da-jung that she still has no chance of winning.

Woo-jin paces nervously in the basement while waiting for the results, since Da-jung has to lose her cameraman to sneak down there. Still, the relief that comes over him is obvious when he sees Da-jung’s bright expression, because it means she won.

She still has a ways to go, since having twelve stars isn’t enough to win—but now, according to Woo-jin, she can win if she follows his instructions carefully.

The next evaluation round comes along, and Da-jung is still in last place with only twelve stars. Do-young asks her if she’s going to do anything to prevent her elimination at this rate, causing Da-jung to stand up and face him: “Why does one person have to be laid off? Why are you making people choose amongst themselves?”

Do-young seems a little taken aback by her sudden outburst, but maintains his cool facade as he tells her that this is a game, and she signed up for it as-is. “You created this game, Kang Do-young,” she fires back. “Must we follow the rules as you made them?”

To Do-young, the answer is obvious. Jaime sees Da-jung’s raging against the machine as an act of desperation, and all but coos that even if Woo-jin magically showed up to save the day, the most he could do is pat Da-jung on the back. Her loss is imminent.

At least the tide is turning when it comes to Da-jung’s fellow contestants, since Sung-joon mutters a little “I’m sorry, Noona” while the kindly Director Jung just looks at her pityingly.

While Dal-goo gets updates by making friends with the guards outside, Da-jung approaches assemblyman aide KIM BONG-GEUN with a request. He’s unwilling to give her the time of day until she offers to give him her remaining game money if he sells her nine stars.

Da-jung makes it seem like she just wants revenge on Jaime for tricking her, and if things go the way she plans, Jaime would become tied with her during the tenth round, which she hopes will lead to a tiebreaker round. Either way, Aide Kim agrees to the deal and trades nine stars for one hundred fifty million won/one hundred fifty thousand dollars.

During the ninth round evaluation, Do-young comments that the game might’ve become too simple—but he hopes Da-jung will shake things up a bit. Da-jung claims she doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but Do-young just smirks that he’s looking forward to what happens next.

But when the results are revealed, the only name that shows up on the board is Da-jung’s… with SEVENTY-FIVE STARS. What?! How?

All her fellow contestants share the same shocked sentiment, but Da-jung just says she got nine stars from each contestant. None of them knew the other had sold stars to her, and now they all feel fooled—even Sung-joon seems disappointed in Da-jung.

But the question remains, how did Da-jung promise each of them one hundred fifty thousand dollars she doesn’t have? Everyone on the production team cheers for Da-jung except the surly Director Jang, who casts doubt on how Da-jung could’ve pulled this off without help.

The rest of the results are revealed, with everyone but Da-jung tied with twenty-one stars, and the only reason Jaime’s tied with them is because Da-jung used this round to give her three stars.

Flying into a rage, Jaime demands to look at the contract Da-jung made with each contestant promising them one hundred and fifty thousand dollars before the end of the round. Jaime points out that Da-jung can’t possibly pay them all, and reminds her that her money will be confiscated if she were to breach any contracts she makes.

“Hey, Kang Do-young! Am I wrong?” Jaime demands in banmal, and it’s hilarious how Do-young’s hands go up defensively as he replies that yes, Da-jung’s prize money will be confiscated if she can’t pay up. All the contestants take turns patting themselves on the back, safe with the knowledge that Da-jung dug her own grave.

“Why make a contract you can’t uphold?” Jaime sneers. “She can uphold it,” a voice says from behind them—it’s Woo-jin. “Does Nam Da-jung look like a liar?” he asks after taking his place next to her. “I told her to do it.”

Jaime turns all her rage on Do-young as she asks how a non-contestant can be here and I love Do-young’s sorry-but-not-sorry shrug. He is just eating this up, isn’t he?

But Woo-jin reminds the others that the rules stated they could bring anything they wanted to the game—so for this game, they can just consider him Da-jung’s personal property.

“I’m just a dog right now,” Woo-jin says as he steps protectively in front of Da-jung. “Nam Da-jung’s faithful and vicious dog. I’ll show you what happens when you mess with my master.” Is it hot in here, or is it smoldering hot? *fans self*

Director Jang is pissed, but any attempts to get through to Do-young go unheeded because he’s literally having too much fun. The contestants are also upset, but Woo-jin reminds them to look at their scores.

With all of them tied for last place, their survival lies with Da-jung. She has more stars than she could ever need, so if they use the next round to buy stars from her, they can save themselves from elimination.

PD Lee finally puts a temporary halt to filming in order to take Do-young aside: “You knew already, didn’t you? Why didn’t you tell me ahead of time?” Do-young: “It’s fun. Didn’t Director Jang say it just had to be entertaining?” Oh, you sly fox, you.

Do-young has been waiting for the moment when the contestants would realize their individual roles within the game, because now they’re taking matters into their own hands. His advice to PD Lee is not to get involved, but to keep filming.

When PD Lee claims she doesn’t know how to explain this to Director Jang, Do-young leaves the decision to her with the reminder, “The partner I chose for this show wasn’t Director Jang, it was you.” PD Lee chooses Do-young.

The tied contestants argue whether to even buy stars at all, but then worry that they won’t be able to pay the prize money back if they lose. Bulldog claims he’s not afraid of being indebted to the show, which is when Woo-jin tells them that out of the thirteen contestants eliminated in the last round, only five were able to pay their debts.

The other five used loans to pay it, while the remaining three just disappeared. When Woo-jin mentions that Lee Min-jin went missing, the lawyer in the group mentions that she’d gone to him for counsel after losing, since she’d spent more than half of her prize money and had no way to pay it back.

But that was the last he heard of her, which aligns with Woo-jin’s story. The contestants are now taking the idea of losing just a tad more seriously when Do-young returns to tell them that the producers have agreed to let Woo-jin count as Da-jung’s property in keeping with the rules.

After Woo-jin and Da-jung set up shop, Aide Kim and Director Jung come begging first. Woo-jin does all the bargaining so that they’ll end up buying stars with the money Da-jung is contractually obligated to pay them.

Sensing Da-jung’s uneasiness with this whole situation, Woo-jin explains it to her like this: she made the offer for everyone to share the prize money, but they were greedy, and this is what they get.

Da-jung doesn’t see how anyone could trust her after this, but Woo-jin tells her that trust isn’t easy. “If you put your trust in them but were betrayed, you have to make them pay. Compensate trust. Punish betrayal.”

Woo-jin keeps raising the individual star price as each contestant comes to buy, getting as high as eighty thousand dollars a pop. Director Jung returns to buy more stars and starts whining when the price is more than he can pay, even going so far as to accusingly ask Da-jung why she’s being so cruel.

“And what about all of you?” Woo-jin retorts. “Why did you do that to Nam Da-jung?” It’s clear that Da-jung feels bad enough to cave like she always does, but she fights the urge.

After more stars switch hands, it’s time for the final evaluation round. Woo-jin reminds Da-jung that whoever gets eliminated is up to her now. “Will you really do it?” She says yes.

In the studio, the contestants gather around Do-young, who explains that the only people who know the outcome of the game are Woo-jin and Da-jung. It’ll all hinge on who Da-jung gives her last three stars to, and though many try to beg and plead, Da-jung apologizes and says the decision has already been made.

The results are in: Da-jung is in first place with thirty-one stars, seven people are tied in second place—and after calling out the six lucky contestants, the only two remaining are Jaime and Director Jung. Jaime resigns herself to being eliminated…

…Only moments before her name is called as the seventh lucky contestant. She’s in, which means Director Jung is out. Tears fill his eyes as he asks Da-jung why it had to be him when he’s been so down on his luck ever since he lost his job (while caring for his sick mother, no less).

There’s not a dry eye in the house by the end of his heart-rending tale, and Da-jung thanks him for being the only person to talk to her when everyone else avoided her. He demands to know why she eliminated him if she’s so grateful, then.

“So I could help you,” Da-jung answers. Everyone turns to her quizzically, until she explains that she knows Director Jung spent prize money he didn’t have on medical expenses—so she’s giving him the money she earned this round. Whoa.

This is a twist no one was expecting, as Da-jung tells Director Jung that what he needs now isn’t to be in this game or the prize money. She’ll repay his debt so he can return to his family.

The amount of money Da-jung won by selling stars equals over two million dollars, and even by giving seven hundred thousand to Director Jung to cover his debt, she’s still left with two million. How will she spend it?

Since keeping it would mean that every contestant would be out three hundred thousand dollars (that they used to buy stars), Da-jung rationalizes that the money isn’t really hers, so she’ll give everyone two hundred fifty thousand dollars each. “Does that mean you’ll participate in the next round?” Do-young asks.

Da-jung: “Yes. I thought about it while playing Liar Game; was this show made for us to trick and be tricked? It’s possible, but if you think of it another way, I think it might be a test to see if we can really trust each other. I trust you all… no, I want to trust you. So I’m going to divide the money.”

Director Jung gets to say a few words on being eliminated, and has a heartfelt monologue about how sorry he is to have deceived a kind person like Da-jung and how grateful he is to her.

Do-young sniffs back tears which I’m sure are fake before he asks Da-jung something he’s been curious about: “What’s your dream for the future?” When she doesn’t have an answer, Do-young says he thinks she’d do well running a nonprofit organization…

…Before he looks straight at Woo-jin to ask what he thinks, causing Woo-jin to walk off the stage—after all, his mother ran a nonprofit before she committed suicide. Ohhhh, you terrible excuse for a human being. I love you and your terrible terribleness.

PD Lee asks Do-young now whether there’s anything he wants to share with her, since she’s starting to suspect his reasoning behind creating Liar Game due to his obsession with Woo-jin and Da-jung.

Do-young just laughs off the idea that he had a personal stake in any of this, but PD Lee turns fierce as she performs dramaland’s first female-to-male arm grab to demand he look her in the eyes when speaking.

Do-young:: “Were my intentions for creating this show pure? No, ‘pure’ isn’t enough to describe it. They were noble. Next to that, my personal ambitions are as small and pathetic as dust. Do you need any further explanation?”

No, no. I think we’re good for now. Carry on, crazy person. Carry on.

There’s brief mention in the news the next day of the one year anniversary of Woo-jin’s mother’s death, and since Da-jung heard the story from Do-young, she catches Woo-jin on his way out to her memorial so she can accompany him.

He’s reticent to answer any of Da-jung’s questions about his mother, at least until he takes her to a dilapidated orphanage his mother used to run. It became like a second home to him, since his mother would always make him tag along whenever she had to take care of business there.

Sometimes they’d stay for days, and Woo-jin had to endure sharing his mother with all the other children. “You must have been sad as a child,” Da-jung notes. “Probably,” Woo-jin admits. “Actually, I don’t really remember the time I spent here. I guess I don’t want to remember. I hated her then.”

He remembers her as a person very much like Da-jung—she’d trust people too easily and get fooled just as easily, which would make his blood boil when he saw her getting taken advantage of.

Da-jung asks if he studied psychology because he wanted to protect his mother, only for Woo-jin to snip back that a psychology degree isn’t a way to protect anyone. At most, you can just understand them, though he admits he failed in doing that with his mother.

“I don’t understand you either,” he tells Da-jung. She could’ve walked away with one and a half million dollars after paying her forfeiture penalty, so why didn’t she?

“I could have survived alone,” Da-jung nods. “But I didn’t want to leave other people in debt. I’m a fool, aren’t I?” Woo-jin asks her if she remembers what she said to him when they first met—the same words his mother said before she fell to her death. ”Is it so wrong for people to trust one another?

Because he heard those words from her right after he got out of jail, his voice turns cold as he tells Da-jung that she’s just a burden to him. A dispensable one, at that.

During his broadcasted interview with Do-young, Woo-jin is asked about the controversy surrounding the “personal belonging” clause in the recent round. Instead of answering, Woo-jin poses a question to the audience: Did they ever think that the network created that loophole so this would happen?

Do-young demurs such an outlandish accusation, and asks why he’s helping Da-jung to the extent that he is. Woo-jin goes silent before asking for a break.

After making sure their microphones are off, Woo-jin asks Do-young if the name “L Company” rings a bell. Do-young says he remembers it from the stock manipulation case made famous a year ago, to which Woo-jin then asks if he, Da-jung, Lee Min-jin, and the other contestants are connected to L Company.

Meanwhile, PD Lee gets a strange call from a man threatening the network unless Liar Game is taken off the air. She’s used to calls like this, but it’s the man’s use of “My Da-jung-ie” that actually gets her attention.

“By any chance, are you Nam Da-jung’s father?” she asks.

Woo-jin changes his line of questioning to include whether Do-young has a connection to L Company or not—because he knows that the contestants weren’t just chosen by chance.

Do-young rolls his eyes and chuckles like Woo-jin’s lost his marbles, and accuses him of being too suspicious. “Trust me,” Do-young says.

Then he leans in close and asks with a devilish smile, “Is it so wrong for people to trust one another?”

Do-young gets a good laugh from Woo-jin’s shocked reaction, but a tight grip on his arm stops him from leaving as Woo-jin looks him straight in the eye and asks, “You… know me, don’t you?”

 
COMMENTS

I’m not ashamed to admit I literally jumped out of my chair when Do-young repeated the last words Woo-jin’s mother ever said to him, because the moment was just that good. It was THAT GOOD. I’ve been making a concerted effort to avoid writing odes and sonnets to Do-young in the past few comments sections out of the sake of fairness, but to do so now would be unfair to one of the best drama villains to ever take to the screen. Ever.

There’s a really fine line between teasing out a good mystery and withholding information just for the sake of it, and Liar Game manages to be the former—it gives us a fully realized character in Do-young, but reveals only what’s necessary from moment to moment. The impact of how he explained his reasoning for creating the show in this hour would’ve been lost had he word vomited his entire M.O. from the beginning (like some mustache-twirling stock villains are wont to do), but he didn’t. He kept quiet, he laid low, he manipulated from the sidelines while playing innocent.

But then PD Lee demanded answers, and the grinning devil facade suddenly gave way to something much darker. That scene where Do-young cited his personal credo was so perfectly executed as to be mind-blowing, not just from a directorial and writing standpoint, but from an acting one as well. You got the sense that there’s something fundamentally wrong with Do-young, that he truly believes he’s some sort of god among men and that what he’s doing is not only right, but necessary. The fact that he believes so with such conviction is what’s so completely fascinating—and so frightening—about him.

We still don’t know exactly how Do-young may be connected to Woo-jin’s mother or the other contestants except that it all has to do with L Company, but to hear him say Woo-jin’s mother’s last words opens a whole new can of worms. How would he know what she said? Was he there that night, or did he have something to do with her suicide? My initial conclusion is that he could’ve set this show up as an elaborate act of revenge for [insert conspiracy theory here], but unless he was lying to PD Lee about his personal ambitions meaning nothing—which is entirely possible—then this is about something else. Orrrrrrr is it?

If nothing else, what we do know about Do-young tells us that he’s probably not going to abide by Da-jung turning Liar Game into a morality play unless it’s touting his worldview that people are slaves to money. Da-jung managed to fight the system at last, and though it took a little deception on her part, the fact that she’s learning how to play the game without selling her soul means she is now the direct antithesis to Do-young’s reasoning for creating the show. But if Do-young chose her with a purpose and masterminded every move, he must’ve anticipated something like this happening, right? I wonder if Do-young even knows what it feels like to be surprised, but that’d mean someone—a heroic genius, perhaps—would have to outsmart him first.

 
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You guys, I have it SO BAD for Ha Woo-jin.

I rewound the loyal and ferocious dog line like 17,000 times.

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Take a number and get in line, missy!

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I guess that gives me #3

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Me four!

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OK, I guess I'll have to be #5 - what is it about that man that makes me want him to be my dog?

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His other line I really liked was (when they were behind the desk, inside the mall), "I am not human [right now], I am a dog [looking after my owner and her interests, is what I am assuming]." And someone wrote on viki, "woof, woof!"

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Woof 3!!

Hello Ivoire! Finally found you here, again!

Ha Woo Jin is like, MY MOST WANTED PET, ever!

And I'm watching Bad Guys too.....

What's with all these usually-innocent-nice-guys turning all HOTNESS with so much HEAT all of a sudden?!

Although I still do prefer some of the actors in the Jdrama, I can't stay away from this one coz of Lee Sang Yoon!

Can't wait for next episode!

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Helloooooo Jen! * Waves madly*

Please refresh my memory and remind me where we "met." Was it on Open Thread (a couple of years ago)? Or was it on the Three Days recaps? (There was a Jen posting there).

So good to see you here :-) I am currently watching (only) LG, and I have not seen the J. Version (yet). Did you like it? How is Bad Guys? Would you recommend it? I really like some of the actors in that drama (PHJ, and KSJ [I think], who was in City Hunter).

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OMG, everyone is trying to get a cup of LSY Hotness right now, including myself.
I never watched his other lines of work, but this character works really well for him.

Ivoire, I replayed that scene so many times its not even funny "Woof Woof"

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@ Kdramajjang,

You did?!!!!! (rewatch that scene several times) :-) I do believe you though. I did that many times in Angel Eyes, with many of LSY's scenes. He is really good in that drama, (though the drama itself gets very, very melodramatic towards the end). So I can understand how you felt and how you still feel :-)

I found his lines per viki's"subtitles:

"Right now, I am a dog. Nam Da-jung's loyal and ferocious dog. I'll clearly repay the price to those who mess with my owner."
And then a commenter on viki wrote (I just saw it again), "WOOF, WOOF, WOOF, doggy." So, yeah... :-)

The scene starts about 27mns and 48secs into the ep., and it lasts until 28mns and 02 secs (or so). Another commenter wrote, "Someone send me the link to such dog," LOL! The comments on viki can be funny at times.

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I really love KSE in this drama, and how she portrays NDJ. As HWJ says those lines, NDJ is in the back (behind HWJ), her shoulders in, and her head tilted towards the floor. I really love the look on her face, as HWJ threatens everyone else. She really looked like she needed protecting at that moment. KSE is really good at being and staying in character. I really love watching her, and watching KDY (and PD Lee, and Dir. Jang).
I also really loved Dir. Jung (who was sent home) in this ep. That actor acted his character so well. I enjoyed watching him.

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That was a powerful moment! I loved his line, "if anyone touches my OWNER, I will... (I can't remember exactly what he said). Basically, that person is messing with me.

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@ Ivoire

Can't reply to your reply for me so..... using this thread instead.

* waving back madly ^^

YES we met and talked and talked so much about Three Days here!! I remember you from your long and interesting comments! Hope you remember me too! So GLAD to see you finally again!!

You watching on LG now? I was only watching Bad Guys but later decided to give LG a shot although I prefer the J-version's actress and characters and storyline (much more at stake than this one), BUT DEFINITELY PREFER the male leads here!! Lee Sang Yoon and Shin Sung Rok steal the entire show! And it's the first time ever I find LSY gorgeous.... (run away from LSY fans).....

Highly recommend Bad Guys! Although you should be warned that there are some gore and violence since its a cable production and a crime storyline. YES I love Park Hae Jin too but all the 4 male leads are AWESOME!! Go check out the recap for this drama here!

So far LG at least have the 2 great male leads so I think I can stick with it. I mean, WHERE ELSE can you find a gorgeous guy admitting to being your ADORABLE dog? I want me some of that!!

Hope you can try Bad Guys too!
Talk again soon!

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Hi again Jen,

And thank you for refreshing my memory. I DO remember the Three Days days :-), and I am glad that you remember me and my (long) comments. I guess I had a lot to say while watching that drama. I really liked it. It left me with many questions (always), especially when it came to the themes related to the economy, both local and international (and how they each affect each other). I loved that that drama made me think.

I also do remember you, and your posts. I remember responding to some of your posts :-), and coming back later, and checking, to see if you had left a reply as well :-)

I started paying attention to LSY with Angel Eyes. I had seen him in other dramas (MDSY, Goddess of Fire), however he didn't capture my attention (then). He did with AE, and his performance in that drama is really good. His emotional scenes are excellent (he is a really good crier/cries wells).

Thank you for your recommendation for Bad Guys. I will keep that in mind, and your warning about the gore. I love your last paragraph. I can see that you have been (well) bitten by the LSY bug :-) I hope that we will "run" into each other again :-) (maybe soon?)

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@ Ivoire

Yeah!! Thanks for remembering me.

I'll continue to check comments on this drama so probably run into you again real soon! (wink)

Meantime, WHERE can I get me some Ha Woo Jin, er, no no, Ha Puppy?

Great weekend!

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@ Jen,

You are very welcome! (This is in response to this: "Thanks for remembering me.")

I forgot to mention that I also saw LSY in I Love You, Don't Cry (he is a little greener in it, but still pretty good, and he had good chemistry with the lead actress), and in Life Is Beautiful. He was also in the movie Santa Barbara (filmed last year, but was released this year).

Re: "Meantime, WHERE can I get me some Ha Woo Jin, er, no no Ha Puppy?"
I don't know if you have noticed, however based on the comments above mine, there is a line. So get in line, maybe:-) ?

Speaking of HWJ, I really loved the blue suede jacked he wore at the beginning of the ep. It's a really nice one.

You know, I had some questions about this epis, and I wondered if you them as well:

1—Do you think DG used his car (in the shopping mall)? That must have been his boss's car. That was a great ruse. I am realizing that DG must not have a car, atm. 2—I didn’t understand how the card game. worked How many cards were in the pouch? How many with the Joker’s? And how many "dark" cards were there? I didn't understand how Jaime could trick NDJ (how the trick worked). 3-- "This Bast**d with a head where the ink stain hasn’t dried yet," Do you know what that expression means? (DG said it). 4-what is Bulldog’s accent? Saturi? (it doesn’t sound like a Seoul accent). 5—DG also said, "Buddha is born, Budhda is born," He was referring to NDJ, right? Do you know what he meant? 6--NDJ repaid more than the debt of Dir. Jung, right (to the game show)? I think she also paid Dir. Jung’s hospital bills, right?

If you have any thoughts on these, please let me know. Thank you :-)

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@ Ivoire, Hi Again!

Wow! I cannot answer all your questions, however here's the little I gathered.

1) DG and the car - most likely not his own, quite possibly boss' car
2) For the card game please see what I wrote below under 35.1. There were only 2 cards... You're not the only one. I had to listen hard and think to get it.
3) Oh dear, where did that quote come from?
4) LOL! was there an accent? (See I'm not much help)
5) DG is referring to DJ giving away the money - being so selfless
6) Yes she paid for hospital and Jung's forfeit and ensured he had no debts

Still having fun (jae mie so!) I see! :)

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@ GB, Hello *Waves and jumps up and down excitedly*

So glad to finally "see" you! I have been looking for you since last night, when the recap was posted. I couldn't wait to read your thoughts, and ask you some questions:-) Thank you for answering my questions, there might be more coming :-) I am going to comment on your answers to my questions, OK?

1--DG and the car he drove: Yeah, I am thinking that it is his boss car, because when he goes to NDJ' place, he does not have a car. I now remember that in the 1st ep. he chased NDJ in a cab/taxi, while she was in a cab herself as well. Or was he driving in that ep? Do you remember? Do you want to go and check? :-) (I know you do that) :-) Also, when DG talks to his boss, he tells him that one tire of the car has a problem, and I think it was b/c of what DG did at the mall (drive badly, so HWJ could go in). Also, DG had a name for his driving license, do you know what that meant?

2--I will look at your post on 35.

3--DG said that, after he hanged up ( from talking to his boss) and after having quit his job. I was wondering what that expression meant. I copied it verbatum from the ep. I watched on viki. If you rewatch that scene, you should see it.

4--No, you are actually a LOT of help. Yes, if you listen to Buldog in ep. 6, when he talks about not being afraid of being in debt to HWJ (and then HWJ talks about LMJ, who disappeared). Buldog does not have a Seoul accent when he talks. Have you ever heard the Saturi accent? YOu can hear it in The Heirs. LMH/Kim Tan's mom's friend has a Saturi accent, and Buldog sounded similar when he spoke, which was why I asked. Also Teddy (in Angel Eyes, with LSY actually) also has an accent that YSW (Gu Hye Sun's character) calls Saturi. Did you watch Angel Eyes? Teddy (played by Seungri [from Big Bang]) has a very distinct way of speaking. If you watch dramas with headphones, it is easier to detect accents (I think), and notice the actors (and actresses) voices and their tone as well. I am a linguist (I speak 4 different languages, and I am slowly learning Korean), and I used to sing in choirs, so I tend to pay attention to voices and to how people speak (and how they pronounce words).

5--I see, thanks!

6--Thanks for confirming that. That was what I thought.

7--What did you mean here, "Still having fun (jae mie so!) I see!"? If by that you meant dissecting the ep., then yes, I am (having fun :-) ). Is that what you meant, or did you mean/imply something else? (just curious) :-) I have more to say, I will be back soon. I am writing on 2hrs of sleep in the last 36 hours or so... :-(

I saw yesterday that you answered/commented on my answers in ep. 5 (around 4:00pm, DB time). I will get to them today or over the weekend, FYI. And I know that I also want to comment on your 3 parts comment (ep.5), and I have something to say in ep. 4 still. So you will have some stuff to read :-) , it looks like...

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Re the Saturi, saturi is actually general word for any sort of regional/non-Standard/non-Korean dialect (not just the accent, but also certain regionalisms in grammar and so on). There are different saturis for different regions (if you watch Reply 1994, the various country kids who come to Seoul to study each have slightly different saturi; in Reply 1997, they all speak in Masan saturi, the gangsters in 2 Weeks use Busan saturi, I believe). So there's not *a* saturi accent, as such. I tend to assume that if a gangster in a kdrama has an accent, it's Busan saturi (because there seems to be this stereotype that there are lots of gangsters in/from Busan), but I don't really have an ear for Korean accents so i don't know for sure if Bulldog's accent (which I picked up as well) is Busan or not.

I feel like I've heard/read that "ink stain" saying somewhere before, not in a kdrama, but I can't remember where or the origin of it. Anyway, if I recall correctly, it means that the person being spoken of is still a kid compared to the speaker. (I might be remembering wrong though, or confusing it with something else.) Would that fit the context in which it was said?

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@ Because of Reasons,

Thank you so much for explaining, and for clarifying some things for me. I feel that I was educated today, thank you. Your comments actually shed some light on some questions I had been having. I will have to be back later to comment more (I don't think I can now, I am starting work soon. However I will be writing this weekend as well, in case you still check the comments on the recap pages).

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@ Ivoire Great to read you! *waving happily*

I thought you might be 'looking' for me, but I had a bunch of things to do before hole-ing up to write.

Of course you can keep asking questions and any Beanie can respond... especially since I do not necessarily have answers or even best guesses :D

Now for your responses:
1) Agreed. After I posted I thought, hmm that was the car he just drove? Did he bust the tyre? Yes in ep 1 he was driving a car and chasing DJ who was in a cab. (I went to check LOL! actually it's good I did, I skipped bits in the beginning)

2) OK
3) My subs did not have that at all?!? But he did say to the boss, "Why are you insulting me when you are younger."

@ Because of Reasons and @ Ivoire
4) Nice to know about accents. Thanks Because of Reasons

Wow Ivoire! no wonder you have the ear to hear the differences. I can hear a difference compared to the Seoul dialect, but not the finer nuances ie which saturi.

Yes I watched Angel Eyes and that's where I lilked LSY's clean cut looks, crinkly eyes when he smiles and dimples, but he is great here too. Unfortunately no dimples showing yet!!!

My weakness is that I'm not a linguist :( so I have a hard time catching what people say and learning any new language. What are the other languages you know?

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@ Because of Reasons,

I am back late, however, I thought better late than never. Thank you again for clarifying for me what "Saturi" actually implies and means. I had a feeling I was a little off in my understanding of that word, because to be honest, the saturi I heard in The Heirs, was different from the one spoken by Teddy in AE. They even explained (and Teddy talked about this) that Teddy's grandma was from the North (of the country, I think), and that Teddy's accent was a mixture of that particular regional accent (and grammar and expressions, as you pointed out) plus some US English, since Teddy lived in Texas until his recent trip back to Korea (for good). And Teddy was raised by his grandma.

And Buldog's accent is definitely different from Teddy's. I don't know about the differences between Buldog's speech and the lady from The Heirs, b/c The Heirs was last year, and well, LG is now, so a year has gone by, and I didn't have time to check on that.

I wrote all that I wrote to simply say that your explanations totally made sense, and to thank you for educating me on the saturi. I really LOVE that through dramas, I can be constantly educated about various things, if I let myself be, and if I pay attention and ask questions. Thank you for jumping in the conversation.

Yes, RE: your 2nd paragraph, DG did mention that his boss was younger than him. He asked him something along the lines of "why are you so rude when you are younger?" and when DG hung up, he made that comment about the "ink stain" I wrote. And so yes, your explanation fits the context. Another phrase/expression I learned.

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@ GB,

I saw that you wrote some more comments, so I know that you have been checking the page. I am sorry that I was not able to write sooner, even though I intended to :-( Better late than ever, so here I am :-) I will again, go by paragraphs in your last comment:

1-- I love that you already "know" me, b/c you figured that I would be looking for you (and you were right :) )

2--OK! :-)

3--(but my #1 comment on your response): Now I am kind of confused about the car thing, b/c we did see DG drive a car, however he tells his boss that he damaged the tire on his "foreign" car, and my subs looked like DG was referring to a past incident, not one that happened that very day he was at the mall. So since DG was driving a car (to distract the security guards), whose car was it?

HWJ came in a cab, as we saw (he also does not have a car). And I am not sure (I don't think) DG did all that driving at the mall, and then TOOK the car back (to his boss), and THEN came back to the mall (or maybe he did, if the distances were not that long?) That part was confusing to me, tbh. It is not very important, but it got me curious. And personally, I like it when a script continues to be congruent (and maintains the things presented or expressed to us, until they are not needed any more), even about things the writer might think we did not notice or pay attention to (b/c obviously, some of us do :-) *raises her hand*) I think I was also curious as to whether DG had access to 1 car, or two, while working for his boss.

4--(your 3rd comment): You know, not all subs are super detailed, as I have come to realize, watching dramas on different sites. Some give you a general sense of what was said, while others try to express as much as the characters said. So tbh, I am not too surprised that you didn't get that part subbed, however DG did say it. And as I told Because of Reasons, it fit the context, and sounds to me like sth DG would say, since he also made the reference later to Buddha being born, when he learned that DJ paid Dir. Jung's debt.

5--About the accents, yes, thank you Because of Reasons.
GB, I really LOVE languages, different cultures and what they teach you about a people, a nation, its history, etc... I find those themes/issues so fascinating and interesting. I get excited talking about that, and I could talk about that ALL DAY LONG :-) I just LOVE learning about things like that. So I tend to naturally pay attention when I hear people speak. Also, my personal and educational backgrounds are in Foreign Languages.

A funny and interesting fact is that when I go home (to my home country), I love to hear how people sound when they speak, whether in our ethnic languages, or in our official languages (we have 2 official languages). We sound different when speaking our ethnic language, than when we speak the official languages. And also, we can speak the official languages in our "country's accent," or in the European accent (a few...

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Sorry GB :-( I think my comment was too long, so it got truncated. Part 2 then...

A funny and interesting fact is that when I go home (to my home country), I love to hear how people sound when they speak, whether in our ethnic languages, or in our official languages (we have 2 official languages). We sound different when speaking our ethnic language, than when we speak the official languages. And also, we can speak the official languages in our "country's accent," or in the European accent (a few European countries speak our official languages, which are French and English. Btw, Canada has 2 official languages as well :- ) )

The tone people use in my country when speaking can be different than in the US, or France, etc... I said tone, but I think I meant more the modulation, the intonation. I hope I am not confusing you. My native language sounds quite "singing like" at times. And like the Koreans, we do have quite a bit of sounds/onomatopoeias we make when we speak. In that sense, the Korean language makes me very curious, and interests me a LOT!!!!!! :-)

6--I really loved LSY's looks in AE, and the other things you mentioned. I am glad I am not seeing the dimples here, b/c I wanted to see him in a different role, and see how he would pull it off. I like that he does not smile often, b/c I could not take him very seriously as HWJ (and who HWJ is supposed to be) if LSY smiled a lot. His smiles totally change his countenance/face/vibe :-)

7--I don't think it is necessarily a weakness for you (not being a linguist), more so sth you might struggle more in (as opposed to me for example, who picks up languages a little more easily, maybe). I am sure you have "strengths/abilities" I am not as good as (if I am even good at all). I speak, read, understand and write in French, English, Spanish and Bulu (my native language). I do so fluently btw.

I am slowly adding Korean to that list. I have not taken formal classes for Korean yet, however I am planning to, at some point. I would eventually like to travel there, hopefully more than once (make that several times) in my lifetime. One of my dreams would be to work on a project involving Korea (so working directly with people in that country), or participating in a volunteering project involving Korea in some ways. I would like to do something which allows me to interact with them in some capacity, and helps me learn more about the country and its people. We will see what happens :-) A girl can dream, can't she? :-)

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@ Ivoire

Hi there! This is to let you know that I've been back here and read you loud and clear.

Have you lived always in the US or did you move there?

It's fascinating that I'm writing in English to a person whose native language is Bulu.

I'd like to visit Korea too, although I do not think I'll be able to stay on to absorb their language and culture. I did try to learn a little Korean for fun, just online or through podcasts. But not enough that I can speak with confidence.

Back to LSY - at the moment, smiling is not in character for Woo Jin, however, I'd still like to see a look of happy relief and a smile on his face at the end, if and when he beats Do Young. Those dimples are to die for!!!

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Hellooooo GB *So happy to read you again* :-)

You posted earlier today compared to last week. (you posted around 8:30am last week). I am quickly going to respond to your post. I started watching ep.7 of LG, so I am watching it raw (no subs yet), and then with the subs, I will get more of what was said (to understand). Have you ever done that? I have done that when I get really into a show, and also to see how much I understand of the ep., without the subs. It challenges me more that way.

Also, watching raw allows you to focus more on the actors and their acting, b/c you are not trying to do 2 things: read the subs and watch their reactions. You always miss some things when you do both. Also, I pay more attention to their acting that way (b/c as I said I am not distracted by subs), but also I have to read the actors' body language to guess what is going on. It is a good mental exercise. I try to see how many words I recognized (and picked up on), to understand as much as I can. When I watch with subs, I see how much I guessed right, and how much I missed the mark.

2--It's a long story. I moved to the US to study, and I have been living here ever since (for many years). I would like to get to know you better, if you don't mind. If so, you can email me at [email protected]

Please just let me know that you are GB from DB. I have done that before with ladies I have met here, and we are now friends on FB, and some of us belong to a FB page about anything and everything Korean and Asian. It is a very ethnically diverse group. We discuss many things, including our backgrounds, and we learn from each other. We hope to travel together to Korea one day. I work with children, so I can assure you that I am safe. An axe murderer would probably not watch Kdramas and write long analysis right? :-) Oh, and as a result of being here (DB), and moving to emails correspondence with some of the beanies, I have been invited to Bhutan (would love to go one day). It's on my bucket list of things to do :-)

Also, with the info I have given you, do you think you could guess what my country is? You could tell me in the email, if you are OK switching there for more personal topics.

About this, "It’s fascinating that I’m writing in English to a person whose native language is Bulu." It IS fascinating (and fun), isn't it? Ah, the power of Kdramas. We would not have connected if not for Kdramas and DB. So yeah, Kdramas do have some power, in that they can bring people together, which, YAY!!!!!!

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PART 2: GB,

Oh, and the power of beautiful men who know how to emote and cry. I cannot watch a kdrama now without expecting some of the men or boys to cry. They HAVE to cry at some point (it's a given that the females will cry). I need to see how they start, stay in it, and end it (their technique, basically). If not, I am like, "no crying? Was he even sincere?" LOL! I don't expect that from US shows or French ones. Isn't that interesting, how culturally I expect (and enjoy) different things from different forms of entertainment? :-)

About this, "I’d like to visit Korea too, although I do not think I’ll be able to stay on to absorb their language and culture. I did try to learn a little Korean for fun, just online or through podcasts. But not enough that I can speak with confidence."
You know, there are programs that allow you to be there for 5 weeks, and take classes. I was thinking of doing something along those lines. When I watch dramas, I often take notes, like I am in class. So a 1hr ep. can take me 3 or 4 hrs to watch, depending on how often I stop to take notes.

That is part of how I remember so much, and that explains the essay format of my posts (well, I was a philosophy and Foreign Languages major. and I studied in a Francophone country, so the style of writing is hard for me to get rid of :-) ). Kdramas are actually classes for me, I always want to learn sth.

I also know of some websites to use to learn Korean, and I have some pages I liked on FB, so I can reach out to those people to ask questions. Through those pages, I now know people living in Korea and in Spain (I am planning on going back to Spain at some point. I studied there for a while).

About this, "Back to LSY – at the moment, smiling is not in character for Woo Jin, however, I’d still like to see a look of happy relief and a smile on his face at the end, if and when he beats Do Young. Those dimples are to die for!!!"
Hear, hear!!!! :-) Yeah, I do look forward to how HWJ will beat DY, and yes, those dimples :-) So deep, they look like commas :-) Have you noticed that? :-)

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@ GB,

Yeah, I did say I LOVED to be detailed and thorough, didn't I? :-) Isn't the proof in the pudding? :-) (So, is my pudding good then? :-) )

Yep! Your post did answer my questions, and I loved your analysis as well, which totally makes sense to me, totally. I think DY's motives might be revealed this week, or we are getting close.

For me, WRT the romance, I find that Kdramas do it well (for the most part), and I like it, since I am old school, and more on the conservative side when it comes to skinship, and everything else related to that. And b/c there are so many dramas that do it, I would like for once, for this one not to fully go there, to be different, as I mentioned earlier.

What did you mean here, " As we know, Daddy did also become much more in the book." Which book? Were you referring to NDJ's real dad? Please explain if and when you can.

Have a good night :-)

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Hahaha, me too! That dog line was epic.

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I'll admit that I watched that scene over and over again, and still managed to swoon every single time after that. Sigh.

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He finally admitted he's a puppy.

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THIS!!!!!! I love your post!!!!! Though he also said that he was a "ferocious and loyal" one :-) How much of a puppy does that make him? (since he is ferocious)...

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Hehhe, that. He is SUCH a puppy on he inside. I'lll wait in queue my entire life should it mean a chance with Lee Woo Jin

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*Ha Woo Jin. Dayum keep confusing between Lee Sang Yoon and Ha Woo Jin

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Great minds think alike...I kept rewinding that part as well! So freaking swoon-worthy. And I will reiterate how hot Shin Sung-rok is with the suits and glasses.

The episode was seriously good and not just because of the eye candy!

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I actually thought that he was gonna say the line from the original version: "Akiyama (Cha Woo Jin) classifies as Nao's (Dajung's) personal belongings." It was something like that although I like the dog line too.

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@ Kayle,

I think DY made a comment about HWJ being NDJ's personal item (and personal items being ANYTHING anyone wanted to bring, like the shaman lady bringing her bird, for example). I think it was during the time when Jaime was questioning why HWJ could be at the mall with NDJ (for the layoff games). So that could make it a line close to the original version, "Akiyama (CHa Woo Jin) classifying as Nao's (Da-jung's) personal belongings," don't you think?

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in the japanese drama, "he is hers"or "he is her property" can mean he is her personal belonging and can imply that he's a boyfriend/lover.

certainly not a dog, specifically.

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@ kayle,

I am wondering if I was a little confused, when I read your post. You were hoping who would make that comment? HWJ or DY? For some reason, I think I kind of thought that it didn't matter whether it was HWJ or DY, as long as that comment was made. Having reread your comment, I leaning towards thinking that you were hoping HWJ would be the one saying it. Am I right?

@ anne,

I was conveying to kayle the general sentiment expressed in that scene, I was not trying to give an exact sentence of what HWJ said in the J. version. I felt that in that scene, the sentiment seemed to be the same (as the one expressed in the J. version), at least based on what I have read. DY calls HWJ, NDJ's personal item, and so does HWJ (as expressed by his reference to the shaman lady's bird), who also calls himself "NDJ's dog."

So I still feel that the sentiment in both scenes was expressed, though here, it is clear that HWJ does not see himself as NDJ's lover/bf (at least not yet).

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Yeaaaaah, I lost it.

He's pretty much everything I ever wanted.

Is being unbelievably trusting to the point of ridiculousness all I need to do in order to get me one of those LOL? Because I'd let myself get tricked 1,000 times over if it meant Ha Woo-jin would come along...

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Omg that line (delivered with that expression on his face) and the Lee PDS arm grab just made my day. Cannot wait for more!!

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I jumped when I saw the protective arm over the shoulder followed by the sexy thumb rub. Oh, he likes her.

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THAT THUMB RUB!!! god i love that! that was not just acting on his part!!!

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There was a thumb rub?!? Rewind!!!

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Whoa wait. where is this thumb rub?

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LOL! 27:18 - 28:19 minutes into the show if you're still hunting for it!

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Yup, thumb rub (as it appeared to me) was not a romantic gesture but a natural gesture as he was listening to the others complaining.

I would prefer that there is only a suggestion of a loveline and that if it does get to be a full blown thing, that it only happens at the end. A kind of cartharsis, after all the stress they have been through together.

But although a loveline is sweet, I'd prefer a more familial getting together ie Da Jung and dad with Dal Goo and Woo Jin living a more normal life, after the game.

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@ GB,

I am there with you! :-) Please read my loooooong response to redfox (and anyone willing to read it, really). I too think that a love line being suggested would be best, if they want to go there, and yes, have it at the very end (kind of like in Three Days). The games (and understanding them, LOL) already take a lot of my energy and thought, without adding to them me processing the leads ACTUALLY being romantically involved (b/c I will live that through them, LOL). We only have 6 epis. left, and from what I have read, many games to get through, no? Plus the death of his mom (who was behind it) to solve, who is DY REALLY, and what will happen to the LG and to JVN.

So yeah, so many things to explore, tbh. And explore well, please (not in a superficial way). I would like to see LSY in a role where he does not have to (actively) romance the girl, and I know, that might just be me... and GB :-)

Also GB, I love your idea expressed in your last para. I had not thought of that, but it is a good idea (the familial thing going, like what DG and NDJ have :-) ). I love that he is at her place at any time of the day or night (DG is).

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@ Sylvie and @ GB,

I agree with you both. The thumb rub does not look like LSY (the actor), or HWJ (the character) were even thinking about what they were doing, really. It just happened, while he was holding her, (the way an adult could be doing that to a child, for example, while holding him/her, the way HWJ was holding NDJ).

GB have you seen the lyrics of Mask, the main leads' song (HWJ and NDJ), hum.... Hence some of what I said in my loooooong post below. What do you think (about the lyrics)? (like why does the song say things like "I can't say the words," etc...)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2To3pl2Hio

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I rewatched that thumb rub several times, and it doesn't look romantic. His thumb goes up, and comes back down on her shoulder. It lasts just a few seconds, and it also looks like he is kind of tapping her shoulder with his thumb (it can appear to be that too), though that happens quite quickly.
A lot can be/might be read into that gesture that is not there (or is not there yet, if the producers and the writer change their minds and decide to add in a romantic arc). Originally, there was not going to be a love line between Da-jung and Woo-jin. I guess we will find out if things change.

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hopefully not. they should just become people who can trust each other completely. no, actually, I hope Do Young gets to join the bunch as well and becomes and realizes it is not nice to screw people over. but not fully knowing the backstory, I don´t know if that´s possible. but a band of brothers like that would be sweet.

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PART 1:

@ redfox, (and anyone interested in my thoughts, really):

I am in the minority, in that I am one of those who do not wish for a romantic arc between NDJ and HWJ. As you have stated, I would like to see them become people who can trust each other completely, and based on what we saw in this ep., it looks like they do. HWJ has not revealed to NDJ that he is partially responsible for her dad falling into deep debt (which made her dad flee), so one can argue that he does not fully trust her (yet). I do understand HWJ however, he met NDJ not long ago, and he is not sure of how she would take that news, and of how she would react. Also, even though NDJ probably did not mean it (that is how I see it), her saying that she would take revenge on the culprit behind her dad's debt did not help in making HWJ feel better (and thus revealing to her what he found out).

KSE and LSY have said that there would not be a love line in this drama (between their characters). Apparently, KSE also said she would have liked one (and I am not sure if she really meant it, or if she said it for publicity sake, the way she said she prefers LSY to SJR, at the press conference [I think she said it at the press conference]). LSY said that HWJ would be more of a "Daddy Long Legs" to NDJ (and I can see how and why).

I could be mistaken, however besides not trusting (most) people (HWJ seems to trust NDJ and DG, otherwise he would not be involving DG in his schemes [ep2 and this ep] to help NDJ. So I take it that HWJ trusts DG, and he knows that DG cares deeply for NDJ. HWJ also trusts the reporter), HWJ seems to be jaded about life and people. So, besides finding in NDJ someone who deeply reminds him of his mother (her character), one could argue that NDJ could also be one of the people who restores his faith in people, and she could be a soothing balm to his bruised heart.

I am saying these things based on what HWJ seems to be (as a character) to me. From what I have read, before the drama started, he was supposed to be mysterious, cold, detached, a genius (so extremely smart), and a Prof. of Applied Psychology who would help NDJ in the Liar Game.

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Part 2:

Then, as I have watched the drama, I have come to see him as someone who can actually care about others, if he chooses to. He cared deeply (even loved) his mother, which was why it pained him to see her being taken advantage of. It was also why he cried as he was trying to save his mother, apologizing for not seeing how much she had been struggling for a long time. And as we know, it is also the reason why he takes revenge on L Company.

When he 1st meets NDJ, he doesn't want to help her, until he reads her contract, and realizes the consequences of her quitting the show, if it came to that. Also, as we know, he was planning on giving her his prize money, so she could leave (and not owe the LG any money). As Heads had so aptly pointed out in her commentary of ep.2 recap, “what kind of guy does that?” (one who cares, to an extent at least).

I also get the feeling that the more HWJ will spend time with NDJ, and get to know her, the more emotionally attached he will become to her, and the more he will care about her. We see it in his reactions to her: his (little) smile when he was having his drink (and she was eating her ramen noodles), how protective he is of her (he saved her from the sleazy guys in ep.1, from her dad’s debt collectors, he made her part of the winning team in ep.3 and 4 [and used her “innocence and naivete” to rope in SJ).

He was also fiercely protective of her in this ep., and he made sure she won this round of the games. There is also his worried (and then angry) reaction, at finding out NDJ was at DY’s house, his reversed psychology to make DG return the money to NDJ in ep. 5, his feeling guilty for having had a hand in NDJ’s dad misfortune, etc...

He also seems to be less cynical when he is with NDJ. He actually buys into her wanting to save all the players, and he comes up with a strategy that will help her do just that. He essentially supports her in her ideal goal, however he does point her faulty reasoning to her. Like many of the contestants on the stage (including Jamie), he seemed touched by Dir. Jung’s speech. I think the reasons why he was so tough during this game were because he felt that it was necessary, and because, as he said, the other contestants needed to learn a lesson for having turned their backs on her, and having done it so quickly.

I think he also saw how quickly NDJ wanted to cave in, when the other contestants were begging her to be more lenient. Someone had to stand (very) strong, and he didn’t mind doing that for her (hence his “right now, I am not human, I am a [loyal and ferocious] dog [who will protect my master at all costs] comment). I personally loved how he played hardball, raising the price of the stars on the spot, when the other players argued (that was so funny).

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PART 4:

I have been long winded, however, it was to show how (and why) I can see arguments being made for NDJ and HWJ becoming romantically involved. One of the commenters here explained well why they seemed suited for each other, and how well they complimented each other. I too, do think that they compliment each other well.

I also loved (and found interesting) how touched HWJ was, as he turned to look at NDJ, and saw that she was deep in prayer at the temple (paying her respects to his mom). I liked the observant look he gave her. I can see how NDJ might restore HWJ’s faith in people (a little bit at least), and how she might fill the void and loneliness in HWJ’s life.

HWJ seems to open up to NDJ (to a certain extent), and he feels protective of her. Re: NDJ, she could use the protection of someone like HWJ, as she (hopefully) wises up to how people react in life, based on what seems important to them. She has to learn how to balance her ideals with some common sense and pragmatism. I could see NDJ showing how much she cares to HWJ, and HWJ caring about her as much (and falling for her), even if he keeps his gruff exterior. Those themes could probably make a 12 or 16 episodes drama (and a different drama, I think).

Having said all of that, I would like for this drama to be different. As you mentioned, for HWJ and NDJ to become people who trust each other completely, and end up having a positive impact in each other’s life, I might add.

About this, “no, actually, I hope Do Young gets to join the bunch as well and becomes and realizes it is not nice to screw people over. but not fully knowing the backstory, I don´t know if that´s possible. but a band of brothers like that would be sweet.”.DY is very smart as well (if not extremely smart), and I too would like to see him use his brain, his wealth and his power for good.

Having said that, I can’t help but wonder if DY is too far gone to be able to make such a turnaround (would he even want to do so, is another question?) And as the drama stands, I really like DY being the bad guy (seemingly knowing what might happen before it happens). I am really enjoying him as the villain, in part because I also look forward to his demise (his and Dir. Jang).

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Sorry, last part was PART 3, and this is PART 4:

Re: HWJ and NDJ, I will add that at this point, I am not sure what the producers and the writer intend to do (about a possible romantic arc between the two). I believed the “no love line” info I had read several times, however I happened to look at the lyrics to the song Mask, which seems to be one of the OTP’s songs. Have a look if you have some time, and pay attention to the lyrics.

Those lyrics seems (to me) as if coming from HWJ (addressed) to NDJ. They do not indicate that the “love” will materialize (or be lived out), however those lyrics definitely express some romantic feelings, as well as a “Daddy Long Legs” behavior (protective) towards NDJ. I asked myself, “why would there be such lyrics, if some romantic feelings will not be felt by either HWJ, NDJ or both (towards each other)?”

This being a 12 episodes drama, I would understand if that line is not strongly developed, since we are already ½ way into the drama. If things change (from “no love line” to a love line), that potential love might be hinted at, or be subtle, the way they did it in a drama like Three Days, for example.

I am curious to see what will happen. And if there is a love line, would that just be fanservice? Apparently, there is no love line in the manga, and isn’t this drama an adapation of the manga (more so than a direct remake of the J. dorama)? I am not sure, not having read the manga, and not having watched the J. dorama.

Here is the link to the Mask, with Eng. Subs (at the top). I like this MV because it shows how NDJ and HWJ become close to one another. The lyrics to me are quite telling:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hd8ozqAOd0

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@ Ivoire

Wow! You've really taken the time and trouble to think it through and give us a thorough discourse with reasoning on Woo Jin's character wrt caring for others, especially Da Jung.

I agree with the premises and the possible conclusions that can be drawn.

I too would like that all the main characters, in the end, could become less antagonistic and more in tune with each other. I doubt it will happen though as their motives seem too different. Come to think of it, I don't think I even know Do Young's motives.

In reality, and I mean in our real world, it is quite normal for men and women who have to spend time together to be attracted to each other. It does not have to lead to anything. I feel at least in that sense, even if not in the sense of a full romantic relationship, it will be natural for Woo Jin and Da Jung to be closer than just friends but not as close as lovers.

Certainly in the game, Woo Jin has to be the Daddy-long-legs since Da Jung cannot achieve her goal by herself. As we know, Daddy did also become much more in the book. Perhaps the lyrics of the song take from that idea and the idea I mentioned above, that there is attraction but either nothing to take it further or maybe guilt or noble idiocy that keeps people apart.

Hope that may answer your question(s) a bit. Catch you later!

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Sorry, I put this up, in the wrong place. I am reposting:

@ GB,

Yeah, I did say I LOVED to be detailed and thorough, didn’t I? :-) Isn’t the proof in the pudding? :-) (So, is my pudding good then? :-) )

Yep! Your post did answer my questions, and I loved your analysis as well, which totally makes sense to me, totally. I think DY’s motives might be revealed this week, or we are getting close.

For me, WRT the romance, I find that Kdramas do it well (for the most part), and I like it, since I am old school, and more on the conservative side when it comes to skinship, and everything else related to that. And b/c there are so many dramas that do it, I would like for once, for this one not to fully go there, to be different, as I mentioned earlier.

What did you mean here, ” As we know, Daddy did also become much more in the book.” Which book? Were you referring to NDJ’s real dad? Please explain if and when you can.

Have a good night :-)

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@ Ivoire
'Daddy' refers to the character in the novel, Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster, who was not only her benefactor but turned out to be more... (if you've read it you know, if not, I'll not spoil it for you). :)

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@ GB Hello!!!!! *Waves*

Thank you for explaining what and who "Daddy" is in that book. And no, I actually have not read the book. Another item I will have to put on my list of things to do. *Goes and adds "Daddy-Long-Legs" to the list of books to read* I definitely need more time in the day :-)

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Oh MY GOSH. I did the same thing. LSY is ridiculously good here. I can't take my eyes off him the moment he comes on screen and I find myself rewinding repeatedly just to see the little changes in his eyes, the softening in his expressions. I love that slightly gruff exterior and those beautiful eyes flaring with banked passion. I really hope there's a loveline in this show. DJ and HWJ are fast rising up my OTP ladder.

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hear, hear! the seriousness he says it with, the intensity, concentration, you just get chills all over. 17 000 times....the part is like....45 seconds... 3,1 hours?

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LOOOOOL ngl I really didn't get all the fuss but when he was strapped to that chair in the last ep...well something awoke in me and now well...I'm def into him

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waaahhh,.... I did that too..!!! :)

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Thank you for the recap! So many feelings for this ep. I really loved the ways in which NDJ and HWJ teamed up and worked together to bring NDJ and the other participants to victory (I think?) I really like how HWJ can see the value in NDJ’s ideals and ideas, and figure out methods to achieve those, one step at a time. There were so many winning moments in this ep., moments that brought me to tears (twice), moments that made me get up and cheer, moments that brought me chills, and moments that made me rub my hands with glee, because the plot is thickening, and the tension is rising.

Some of my favorite moments in this ep. were: 1-The shaman lady chanting, after NDJ got 75 stars (nervous breakdown), LOL! 2-The TV guy (on the crew team, standing next to Dir. Jang), smiling and being happy for NDJ, (and him having to stop when Dir. Jang looked at him [funny]). 3-The Political Aide doing the aegyo to win NDJ over (for the stars). I enjoyed that moment. 4-The other opponents, bargaining with NDJ to buy stars (and the actor getting on his knees, I think). 5-Section Chief Jung: when he apologized to NDJ for not being able to help her, and then his speech after he was sent home, to care for his mom. I cried twice watching that scene (because I watched it twice). It was so well written, and so beautifully acted, with a great song playing. The actor portraying SC Jung is really good.

More of my favorite moments: 6-DY having a fake “I am moved” moment, after SC Jung’s speech. 6-NDJ and DG eating together (at her home) and DG telling her in a very dramatic way what had happened to him during the games (when he was outside). 7-DY getting close to PD Lee to talk in her ear (the chills). Someone on viki made a “how is your health?” comment, and I wanted to add, “you know I like you, right?” That was such a YFTS moment, LOL.! ,8-NDJ going to HWJ’s place, and asking him to join him at his mother’s memorial place (the temple). That was touching, and I love that she didn’t let him chase her away. 9-Oh, and the faces of the opponents, when they found out NDJ had 75 stars. That was GOLD!!!!!

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Hey Ivoire!
In response to your question on the last ep's recap, I do speak and write some Korean (I've been studying it for five years) but I'm not fluent. What's your background in the l language?
And I totally agree with all your points. I really love how well HWJ and DJ work together. (Please show, give me a well-done loveline) I also loved when DG told off his boss ("the flat tire on your sports car? I did it." HA!) and oh gosh that loyal and faithful dog bit, completely killed me. DY is getting creepier and creepier, and I'm loving it. Is it just me though or was that look in his eyes in the previous episode, when DJ changed into the green dress, almost appreciative? I'm not sure how much human emotion this guy has. I died at HWJ casually increasing the prices for the stars and how even Jaime was reducing to paying that ridiculous amount :P
Now I'm really curious as to how that painting HWJ was staring at in ep 5 ties to all of this.

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RE: Ep 5 Painting.
At first glance I thought it was a negative image photo (in red) of part of a crime scene.

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Thank you guys for your answers, I will be back later to respond. I am also starting to think that the painting is tying KDY and HWJ together (it links them). KDY seems to know too much about HWJ (his life, and about what he has done in his past).

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@ Shalini, Hi *waves*

Sorry this is late, the weekend got the best of me, though, if you pay attention, I have been quite active today on this page :-)

I don't know if you will read/see this response, however I thought I would still post it. I also wanted to commend you on your blog, which I just spent some time reading. Loved your fangirling about LG, and about LSY. That was how I felt about him in AE, LOL. So I could totally understand what you feel and I could appreciate your fangirling, which I always think is fun, and I love seeing that in others. Keep up the good work.

Thank you (btw) for responding to my comment from ep. 5. I was wondering if you would see that question, and that post. I also do know that we all get busy, and that even though we do intend to respond to comments, sometimes we simply forget, because the time has passed. So I really appreciate you responding to my comment.

Good for you (about learning Korean in the past 5 years). Have you been doing that on your own? (just curious). As for me, I started watching Kdramas in 2010, and so, I have been slowly learning the language, not only through dramas, but also through songs, and any program I happen to watch on KBS World, on YT, or on Arirang TV. I live on the West Coast in the US, so we have 2 TV stations in Korean, which I used to watch a lot. I would just have the TV on, as I did things around the house, and then I would try to watch a few dramas (organize myself and my time in such a way that I could watch a few dramas).

I am finding that I am always adding to my vocabulary, as I watch dramas and other programming (variety shows, cooking shows, shows on parenting, etc... Like I said, I would just have the TV on when I was awake). I am also recognizing words more, and so I keep learning slowly. I also take care of a 6 year old, so I teach him what I know, as a way to remember better. At times, he would ask me how we say certain things in Korean (and at times I don't know), so I have to make a mental note to look it up. That challenges me, and he and I learn at the same time. It's that "in order to learn better, teach to someone else what you know or understand," thing.

I too loved it when DG told his boss off, and when he quit (even though he didn't know what he would do next. It must not be easy to find work, since he spent time in jail). I have a question for you: do you know whose car DG drove in the mall, as he was creating a diversion (for HWJ) to go in? I got the feeling that DG damaged the sports car before that day (at the mall), which makes me wonder if he was driving another one of his boss's car that day, at the mall. What do you think? (I hope my questions make sense).

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@ shalini, Part 2:

I seriously love DY, I do agree with the those who think he steals the show, b/c I do think he has quite a presence on the screen. I am also convinced that SSR is enjoying his character, and that makes me love DY even more. I explain in more details in ep. 5 comments why I love DY so much (I explained to Growingbeautifully). I am glad DY is as mad/crazy as he is, b/c it will make HWJ rise even higher to bring DY down, and I look forward to that. The bigger the opponent, the smarter the hero has to be.

2--I also kind of feel that in a way, DY might end up having the contestants work together, if NDJ manages to have her way till the end. DY wants to see people debase themselves through the LG show, but what if things are turned around, and he ends up being the one who is ridiculed in the process? Remember how surprised Dir. Jang was, when he thought NDJ manages to think about buying the stars on her own? I am curious as to how the writer(s) will use NDJ's ideal in the following games (if they do).

Re: the green dress, yes DY's look was appreciative, but I don't think it was romantic or in a sexy way. DY was on the phone (I think), so he had to approve of what NDJ would wear. This is the same scene you have in Lovers in Paris, where the male lead is sitting down, on the phone, and the female lead plays her version of "Pretty Woman gets a makeover." B/c he could not talk, DY had to pay attention to how NDJ looked, so he could give a nod, when he finally liked how dolled up she would look.

We later find out that he was preparing to set NDJ up, and we understand why he wanted her to look good. DY is not romantically interested in NDJ, he is having too much fun riling HWJ up, suggesting that she do the same thing HWJ mom did, run a welfare organization :-)

About that this, "I died at HWJ casually increasing the prices for the stars and how even Jaime was reducing to paying that ridiculous amount :-) " I loved that scene as well :-) I loved how HWJ would just change the price on the spot, if one even tried as much as argue with his prices. We find out later, that it was for a good cause though, so that was all good (for me).

Yeah, I am curious about the painting as well, and its role. Why was HWJ starring at it for so long?

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That was me on Viki. ;-)

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@ Pinkington, Hello!

So that was you on Viki, who wrote "how is your health?" Thanks for letting us know :-)
I thought it was such an appropriate comment to make at that time, and a funny one. Good for you! And I really did want to add, "you know I like you, right?" The character's other favorite phrase, before killing his victims (in YFAS). I didn't write that comment, however I said it to myself (You know I like you, right?)
I am glad you read DB, and that you saw yourself being referenced here :-) If I may ask, how does that feel? :-)

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Ah, the boys are killing it! I still have issues with the games they play, but the behind-the-scenes and off camera stuff make up for it.

Seriously enjoying Woo-Jin, and a good helping of Do-Young. I have noting against Da-Jung and I think she's being acted well...I just don't find her very interesting.

I've realized that despite me never knowing what to say in the reviews, and still a bit let down by the games (I find them to be rather predictable), this is still the show that I rush to see. When I see an episode is posted, I drop whichever other show I'm trying to catch up and watch it. Literally. I was ten minutes into a new episode of a different show and then realized that Liar Game must be posted so I changed sites and started watching it. <3

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@ 4D,

About this, "I still have issues with the games they play, but the behind-the-scenes and off camera stuff make up for it."
I feel the same way. I pay attention when I watch the games, I rewatch them, I pause to slowly and carefully read the subs, AND I am still left with some questions.

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I had the same issue. To be honest, find the liar game manga and read it up until the point of each game. The manga outlines the rules much more clearly (even though there are a few changes to the story). It makes the games make a heck of alot more sense.

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i'm sorry it just surprises me that so many people claim this an awesome drama, but when you need to refer to another source just to understand the content of the drama it's not really that great.

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You have a point there, (to a great extent).

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OMGAH. This episode was so good!

They totally got me when they revealed Da Jung had 75 stars instead of 21.... Haha. *__*

When the show revealed that Da Jung was giving Director Jung the money to cover his debt, I burst into tears. That was such a surprising, heartwarming moment. I had wondered why he was the one eliminated while Jamie was still in the game, but it turned out to be okay.

Dal Goo's "She's the Buddha" line made me laugh out loud. :)

It was awesome seeing how Woo Jin's strategy changed the game. Da Jung needed to learn a lesson about trusting others. I would've liked seeing Da Jung come up with her own plan, but it's not like the other players are making their own schemes. Most of them are jumping aboard someone's else plans cept Jamie (until she has no other choice). I still hope that Da Jung is able to outwit the others in the next few games.

Do Young's last line was killer! I was on the edge of my seat. The mystery aspect of this drama has been great. I thought this drama would only focus on the main Liar Game reality show, but I like that there is an important side story.

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I did the same thing - suddenly started crying out of nowhere when she offered to pay his debt. I may have even known it was coming, but it didn't matter. It still moved me the way they did it.

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this show... <3

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"Do-young just laughs off the idea that he had a personal stake in any of this, but PD Lee turns fierce as she performs dramaland’s first female-to-male arm grab to demand he look her in the eyes when speaking."

This moment alone was almost enough to make the whole episode for me.

But this was *such a good episode*. I loved seeing Da Jung more proactive, instead of just giving up and waiting for the end as she was in the last episode. Yes, she needed Woo Jin's brain for it, but in the end, it came down to her acting skills and her ability to grow, to learn to lie--ironically for the greater good of the group.

There were so many good moments in this episode too! PD Lee's arm group and Do Young's reply, Woo Jin's vicious dog declaration, Do Young's echo of Woo Jin's mother's last words.... Also Do Young's fake tears and his eyeroll and apparently any scene he decided to pop up in and steal. Shin Sung Rok and Liar Game hit this one out of the park.

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+1 on the female to male arm grab! My husband even pointed it out in surprise. Also, all the other great moments. Kang Do Young is turning into an epic villain.

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PD Lee is my new favorite heroine!!!

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I waded through 20 hours of Angel Eyes just to see charismatic LSY smile. I have to say waiting for a half smile from smoldering LSY is a thousand times better.

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I used to think i'd only ever love lee sang yoon in smiley, sweet, charming roles but he is proving me so wrong here.

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I know! A half smile from him in this drama is like having the first drop of rain after 23 years of drought! It's a freaking goldmine!

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Ooooo i have waited for this recap and Heads Thank you, Thank you for tghe focus on the AwESOMESAUCE thay is Kang Do Young. By far the best epsiode for the gentlemen and Shin Sung Rok ... Sigh words cannot begin to describe the squee that escaped from my mouth when he said the last line. He seems to inhabit the role from his eye rolls and smirks to his hands in his pockets. I'm loving every minute o f it. As a matter of fact the last 15 minutes of this episode were simply marvelous. And yes the reverse wrist grab was a beautiful thing. ( i rewound that several times) PD Lee is fast becoming a highlight in this show,she's not afraid to kick ass and take names. After reading this recap i feel like rewatching again. So many strong female characters in this show. Even Da Jung is strong in her own way by sticking to what she believes is right. By the highlight is truly the boys Woo jin and Do young just leap off the screen every time they interact. Ok i think that's enough gushing for now and please do not refrain from Do Young praise in the future, it is everything we need ☺

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Kang Do young's expressions are killing me ha!

A drama with the likes of Kang Do Young and Jamie characters are so much more interesting. I was almost at a horror when I thought they will oust Jamie. No not her please XD

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@ MIKAN,
I agree with you, a drama with the likes of KDY and Jamie characters are very interesting. And I get the sense that both actors are enjoying playing those roles.

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They won't! She will probably stay till the very end. Her Japanese counterpart did and was her aid at times. However this is slightly different as there's a director controlling and helping Jaime.

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I never thought Jaime would be cut either. She adds/brings conflict to the drama, and it is very clear that Dir. Jang and DY want her in the games for as long as she could be there. She is a good obstacle (and at times a good asset) for NDJ and for HWJ.

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I've been trying to figure out why I find this drama so boring. I initially thought that is was the lack of complexity of the puzzles and the way the show telegraphs what is going to happen so far in advance. But I now realize that its major issue seems to be uninteresting characters.

I don't find the acting bad - I find the characters underdeveloped. When writing for a mystery adventure, the key to holding audience engagement is a rich story world and rich characters. We don't necessarily need to see what is happening in the background - but we do need to be captivated by the people reacting to it. From an actor's point of view, it is the story bible or full script that gives them the insight into how to develop the nuances of the character.

If I understand the production process of Korean dramas correctly, it appears that there is a treatment (story arc) for the entire series and 4 or so episodes written in advance of shooting. From there, episodes are written to reflect the needs of the production, the treatment and audience reaction. This means that the actors only have a rough idea of their characters in advance of the shoot. Furthermore, character arcs and story arcs can change mid-production. This means that character development work by an actor can become irrelevant halfway through the series. I've seen several dramas in which there is a sudden change in characters that seems to make no sense. That's because the writing veered off somewhere utterly different than where it began.

Liar Game doesn't suffer from changes in character - it suffers from lightness of character. Despite having some very fine actors, their characters seem 2D. This means that the actors are bringing all of the depth you see - none of it is coming from the script.

This is particularly noticeable with Shin Sung-Rok's character Kang Do-Young - no amount of smirking and staring can fix what isn't there. Kim So-Eun's character Nam Da-Jung is, unfortunately, irredeemably stupid, rather than kind. Recall her inability to forgive the person who harmed her father. So, not so kind. Stupidity, on the other hand, is generally anathema to highly intelligent characters such as Lee Sang-Yoon's Cha Woo-Jin . As his mother who successfully ran an orphanage was unlikely to be stupid but, instead, kind, it is hard to see how her character and Nam Da-Jung are in fact similar. Should this veer toward romance, it will become even less believable.

The best character is Lee El's Jaime. And that's because she has so much exposition. We actually know her motivations. The second best character is Jo Jae-Yun's Jo Dal-Goo. His conflict and motivations telegraph well. And, frankly, Lee Sang-Yoon does a lot with very little.

Still, a better script would make a better drama.

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I think the characters somewhat appearing 2D has to do with Liar Game being based on its manga. Manga can get away with unrealistic characters. Compared to the manga and the j-drama, I think this k-drama version provides its characters with more depth. Da-Jung isn't just an unintelligent saint. She questions herself and reflects.

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The source material doesn't limit script writing. It's the job of the writer to fill in the details where they are lacking.

Questioning oneself and reflecting does not indicate intelligence.

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I think one could argue that they do indicate intelligence. Even they don't, they make her appear more human. They give her depth.

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Hmmmm.... I disagree with you on the measure of intelligence.

However, let's discuss depth. It isn't her variety of emotions that isn't interesting - as I said, I do find her to be a very fine actress - it's the lack of aspects to her personality based on the experiences of her life. She's flat and has no quirks.

Let me explain. The current character is at turns petulant, self-sacrificing, easily tricked, quickly wavering in her convictions, and reckless. The question is why. Why is she petulant with the loan shark? He's protecting her. He's kind to her. So, why petulant? Why is she self-sacrificing? What happened in her life to make her so? Why is she so easily tricked? How does anyone manage to go through life so stupidly? Why does she quickly waver in her convictions - wanting to be trusting and kind to people and then tricking them the minute Cha Woo-Jin suggests it? Why is she reckless. Why does she act quickly based on limited information?

Before you jump in to answer these questions - realize that you're going to speculate to answer them. You have to, because the show doesn't provide us with those answers. We have no idea - we can only guess because script hasn't developed the character adequately.

Because Kim So-Eun is a fine actress, she's brought a variety of emotions to her actions. Thus when you see her reflect and the actress emotes that, you impute depth. However, actual character depth comes from understanding why they do things. It's what makes us interested in people whether real or imaginary.

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I won't argue with you about the writing quality or character development. I'd just point out one thing you got very wrong. The only reason Da-Jung said she would not forgive the person who conned her father and would exact revenge is because she was trying to be considerate toward Woo-jin. If you actually pay attention to the scene, you'd realize that Da-Jung thought Woo-jin was speaking about his own circumstances. Da-jung was just being empathetic toward him, saying that she understood why he did what he did. To use that example to support your theory about her being stupid, rather than kind, is not very effective.

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I completely agree with what you said, lalala. It's how I saw that scene as well. Da Jung just said the words she thought Woo Jin wanted to hear and sadly it was a BIG MISTAKE. It's probably why Woo Jin is now trying to distance himself from Da Jung some more by saying hurtful words. That 'I will throw you away if you don't win' bit was OUCH. (Ugh I am shipping these two characters so much, I can't even...)

First time commenter here because this showing has become one of my faves of all time so I couldn't resist. Hi everyone! :)

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And by that I meant SHOW. Damn autocorrect. I love this show!!

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Hi! Wow another first time commenter in reply to the same comment about the same scene in this fantastic show! Haha it just shows how great this show is :)

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I agree with you 100%! I was looking through the comments in the last episode to see if anyone else had picked up on that or if it was just me, so I'm glad that someone else thinks the same way! In the scene, Da Jung and Woo Jin are walking - Da Jung was thinking about what Do Young just said about Woo Jin's mother being scammed, causing Woo Jin to take revenge and Woo Jin was thinking of how his revenge caused Da Jung's father to go broke. I really loved this scene, because to me, when Woo Jin asked her how she would feel if someone caused her father to go broke, he was seeing how she would feel towards him if she found out about his role in her father's debt. However, Da Jung answered the question trying to make him feel better for his revenge, by saying that she would do the same thing, and showing her understanding for what he had done. So it was nice to see their different viewpoints at play in this scene, but I really really loved this ep (like the rest of the show) - in fact, I love it so much that this is my first time actually commenting on a post after checking this site every day for new posts for years! Glad it was Liar Game that finally brought me out!

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I'm so glad you guys brought this up. I totally didn't catch it, but I had thought it was a bit strange that DJ said she would do revenge.

Gotta rewatch this scene now, haha. =)

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I agree!

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YES. THIS. And my heart broke a little at the faint droop in his shoulders when she said that. Nooo! HWJ! She didn't mean it! I love how each of them are trying to actively keep the other's feelings in mind, but damn it why??? I feel like it won't be that big an issue if she does find out, solely because she can feel his pain at the loss of a parents, and honestly it wasn't her father he went after, specifically. Just L company. I honestly ship these two so hard though. I swear I see a faint softening in his character whenever he's with her. Perhaps I'm going delusional, or his eyes are just making me crazy. <3

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You don't really know that. You're merely imputing it. That could be her motivation, but there isn't really any way know. I suspect that this would not be her motivation - this character has never shown a tendency to please others. Quite the contrary - she's questioning and petulant.

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No, she doesn't have a tendency to please others. What she does have is consideration for them and their circumstances.

Of course different people will interpret a scene differently if it doesn't tell us explicitly what's going on. However, from what we know of Dajung and her character so far (and I think she has been quite consistent in her behavior: kind to a fault, a bit on the slow side) I don't think it's a far leap to assume that she was thinking of Woojin when she said what she did.

As for her being supposedly petulant with Dalgoo, it's because she treats him like family. They've grown close in the sense that he's almost like a brother. I think it shows personality, personally.

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No, we don't know it. We couldn't know, unless Da Jung said outright, "I just said that to make you feel better, it's not my true opinion." But that would be telling, now showing; and it's generally better to be able to show rather than to spell everything out for the viewer. I agree with you about the characters being somewhat flat in general, but I also agree with the folk who said that particular moment wasn't a good example of not knowing her motivations. As you said, Kim So Eun is a fine actor (I shudder to think of how awful Da Jung could have been if portrayed by someone less talented) and there were several little cues in the body language etc. in that scene that gave the sense that she was saying what she thought would be comforting for Woo Jin to hear, given what she'd just learned about his circumstances. I also think (and this is much more speculative on my part) that her motivation wasn't "desire to please" as such, but an effort to demonstrate empathy with Woo Jin. I think we have seen that Da Jung has a strong sense of empathy, so that would be in keeping with what we have seen of her character and tendencies.

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I think this is a plot-driven drama as opposed to something like The Hours of My Life which was character-driven. The people are really more like game pieces in that sense and over-exposition of character back-stories would probably be boring to those who are in it for the games. In that sense, I like the Korean version better than the Japanese as I've warmed up to these characters in a way I haven't to the Japanese, although I think that is due more to the acting than the script. But I do think the script-writer is trying to find more of a balance between the plot and character elements from the original source material, which is a pretty sure way to leave some people unhappy on both sides of plot - character divide. Would it be great -- or even any better -- if a script could be all things to all people? I don't think so.

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I do see your point. The plot isn't very good, so I'm looking for more in the characters.

As to your question about whether a script can balance plot and character development - of course it can! :-) The best ones do. Did you see The Thieves? That had a great plot and fantastic character development. Let's see... The Return of Iljimae, and City Hunter are good examples of dramas that balance these elements.

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I didn't question whether a balance was possible -- only whether it necessarily results in an excellent script. It may in some instances, including the work you suggest although I have not seen it.

But it has been my experience that it more often results in something squishy that is trying to be all things to all people, instead of an expression of what the writer or artist wants to convey.

That said, plot holes shouldn't distract from a character-driven drama, nor should characters behave in insane or inane ways to move a plot-driven drama forward. I don't think either of the latter things are happening in Liar Game.

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P.S. I always enjoy any discussion about the writing of anything -- it's hard work to get it right.

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Are you saying that a kind person would forgive under all circumstances? Especially the destruction of her father's life? Such kindness doesn't allow for "personality." You're asking for a kind person to be kind in even the most extreme situations? Not possible. Or Woojin's mother would not be considered kind for killing herself and not considering how her actions would hurt her son. Also "kindness" is often an external action. One can be very unforgiving internally and yet externally kind.

Not that the drama is perfect. The makjang and coincidence are a bit much. If anything, the drama is overwritten and almost cliched sometimes with loan sharks etc...

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I'm saying that her character is not kind. Kind people are forgiving. Extremely forgiving. And yes, they have personalities. I know many people like that. I hope you meet some in your lifetime.

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She has shown her kindness on a couple occasions. In the first episode, she helped out the old lady. In this episode, she gave a big portion of her prize money to Director Jung and gave up the rest of her money to the other contestants. In my opinion, Da Jung didn't really meant it when she said would get revenge on whomever hurt her father. Even if she meant it, it doesn't mean that she's not kind. It just means she's not perfect.

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Actually, what they're showing is that being too soft and kind-hearted is both a detriment and a strength. They're not saying that kind people should forgive under any circumstances--if anything, the main point of the episode is the opposite: “If you put your trust in them but were betrayed, you have to make them pay. Compensate trust. Punish betrayal.” For someone who forgives and trusts easily, this lesson is particularly valuable. People would take her granted if she treats both her enemies and her friends with the same kindness. But I doubt that Da Jung took it to heart yet. We'll probably see this recurring theme in later episodes.

Also, when Woo Jin asked her how she would feel if she discovered that someone was behind her father's bankruptcy, I doubt she really meant what she said. Back then, Da Jung just came out from her talk with Do Young where he had explained that the reasons why Woo Jin helped her and why he went to jail are the same: it all comes back to his mother. And as Da Jung absorbs the fact that he wanted revenges against the person who scammed his mother, Woo Jin takes the opportunity to ask her that question. Keep in mind, he's still reeling from his discovery that he's responsible for the reason her father is running away because of debt.

Also keep in mind Do Young's words about the assessment of Da Jung's character. She's the type who can easily put herself in other people's shoes and feel their own pain. When he asks this question out of the blue, she wonders why he asked that. And the question can be taken from the point of view that he's asking because he's thinking of his own revenge and his hate towards that scammer responsible for his mother's death.

So of course, she answers that she would hate that person and wants revenge. But she's not doing it from her point of view, but because she's trying to walk in Woo Jin's shoes.

Meanwhile, Woo Jin looks at her and doesn't tell her what he discovered. He doesn't tell her that all the competitors have one thing in common: their connection to L company. In a way I think of his silence as both protecting her and himself from the truth. Perhaps he doesn't want to see kind Da Jung become distorted with hate and revenge. Or for those feelings to be addressed his way. Maybe I'm reading too many things into these things, but Woo Jin is a calculating person. Whether he decides to stay silent or speak up, each time it is done to achieve a particular result. No action on his part is done carelessly or without careful measurement.

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I'm going to try to respond to your post where you asked a whole bunch of questions of why Dajung does what she does. (The site won't let me reply to that particular post.)

My question is, why does the show have to explicitly tell us all that information? If we can guess/infer the answers with what we do know about Dajung and her background, doesn't that mean she's a richer character than if the show had just told us everything in a bout of exposition?

I have both read the LG manga and watched the jdrama, so to be honest the plot doesn't surprise me and I'm not so wowed by all the reveals and twists. So what does keep me watching is the interesting characters and their portrayal. Thus I think I disagree with you on certain points.

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"Why does the show have to explicitly tell us all that information? If we can guess/infer the answers with what we do know about Dajung and her background, doesn’t that mean she’s a richer character than if the show had just told us everything in a bout of exposition?"

:-) I think at this point that I should just straight up tell you that I'm a producer. So, my viewpoint is affected by knowing that crafting a strong story world is important for creating audience engagement.

To answer your question about why a show should tell us that information - or at least heavily hint at it - is because most viewers haven't read and watched all the source material. It helps the audience understand the character's motivations. You could guess if you hadn't read all that material - but if the audience guesses wrongly and the show goes in a direction that it wasn't prepared for and is thus unhappy about, the show loses viewers.

I agree with you that a bunch of exposition isn't optimal. Especially when it's obvious. A little bit is good. The best ways to get character motivations across are oblique references in dialogue or visuals.

Is a character richer for being underdeveloped and leaving the audience to guess? :-) Well, ummmm... the definition of richer is pretty much the opposite of that.

I'm really enjoying these conversations. I don't normally play on the fan side of things, but dramabeans is such a good site and javabeans is such an interesting and insightful writer, that I got tempted. It's really interesting to see how people feel about the character development.

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Ah okay. I can see why you're very critical of filmed material then. (Not saying that viewers can't be critical, but I think a producer would see a lot of things in a different light, which brings more to the table. ^^)

In my opinion, though, no matter whether the material is a remake or completely original, the writers shouldn't treat its viewers like they have no intelligence, which is why I don't like it when a show is too explicit. I agree with you that a little bit of exposition is good, and the usage of oblique references is ideal, but not too much.

Let's revisit your questions then:

"Why is she petulant with the loan shark? He’s protecting her. He’s kind to her. So, why petulant?"
Because he is, after all, a loan shark. Despite how protecting and kind Dalgoo is, before he quit his job, he was trying to make Dajung pay her dad's debts.

"Why is she self-sacrificing? What happened in her life to make her so?"
I would imagine it's because she's had to live with a dad like hers, who is cowardly and easily goes into debt. In that situation, people usually turn out two ways: either very cold (My Daughter Seoyoung) or very empathetic. Dajung appears to be the latter; since she's experienced so many hardships, she knows what other people are going through.

"Why does she quickly waver in her convictions – wanting to be trusting and kind to people and then tricking them the minute Cha Woo-Jin suggests it?"
She tricks them for the greater good. I know that sounds cliche, but because of her lies, in the end, everyone comes out of it in a better situation than if she hadn't lied a little. If she has to do it to ultimately be kind to a person, I think Dajung is someone who would.

"Why is she reckless. Why does she act quickly based on limited information?"
We can't have all the information we need all the time. Everyday, people act based on limited information according to what they know at the time, to make decisions that they need to make at the time. Plus, lots of people act before they think. You can't ask everyone who acts that way why exactly they act that way.

As you can see, I can't answer all your questions, and for some of them I had to take guesses based on what is general knowledge and what I know of the characters. And for me, this is completely fine and I'm happy to try to figure them out on my own. I would in fact dislike it if the show clearly spelled the answers out for me. (And who knows, some of these questions may be answered by the show in later episodes.)

For me, if I can think about the character beyond what's being portrayed explicitly, that makes them a rich character. It's like I can imagine them being real people, with a real background and history. If all I need to know about a character is told to me, then I would think they have little depth. Of course, that's just my opinion.

I really enjoy these conversations as well!

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Wow! Long response!

So, your answers are all very interesting. But they're still on the surface. The actress needs more to go deeper.

Here's the first one:

“Why is she petulant with the loan shark? He’s protecting her. He’s kind to her. So, why petulant?”

-- "Because he is, after all, a loan shark. Despite how protecting and kind Dalgoo is, before he quit his job, he was trying to make Dajung pay her dad’s debts."

Now, imagine yourself in her situation. Loan sharks are scary. But you've got this loan shark who's really nice to you. You and I would ask ourselves, "Why?" And you and I would be fully cognizant of how bad this situation could be if this loan shark wasn't nice. We could wake up one morning without a kidney. But here's a character who seems to take this all for granted and is even petulant toward the person who is shielding her from the reality of her situation. Petulance is an emotional choice the actress made for that situation. But it's odd. It's incongruent with how a normal person would act. That's fine - because characters are allowed to be quirky and incongruent - but, if this quirk isn't explained, then the audience has to guess. My guess is that she's stupid. Your guess is that he's a loan shark, so she acts that way. Of course, if she normally wants to keep her kidneys, then being petulant toward a loan shark is stupid. And that is problematic - bc if the audience understands her to be stupid rather than kind, she doesn't end up being a sympathetic character and people won't keep watching the show.

For the actress to go deeper with a character though, she needs to know more about the character's motivations. An actor/actress will generally fill in missing details of a character's background as they create their performance, however, if there is too little to go on and the rest of the script doesn't support the choices the actor makes, the character will seem shallow. Which is what is happening here.

Your second thought is really good:

“Why is she self-sacrificing? What happened in her life to make her so?”

--"I would imagine it’s because she’s had to live with a dad like hers, who is cowardly and easily goes into debt. In that situation, people usually turn out two ways: either very cold (My Daughter Seoyoung) or very empathetic. Dajung appears to be the latter; since she’s experienced so many hardships, she knows what other people are going through."

If this was my script, I'd use this -- it's exactly the sort of detail that adds richness to the storyline and motivations for the characters. I'd add a little conversation between her and Cha Woo-Jin to bring this out and make his character question his feelings about his mother.

This thought is quite good, too:

“Why does she quickly waver in her convictions – wanting to be trusting and kind to people and then tricking them the minute Cha Woo-Jin suggests...

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It cut off my really long response and I didn't save it! ..... Sigh. I have some work to do, but if I get a chance, I'll come back and retype it.

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I don't think the characters are underdeveloped per se but in the original story the story is very driven around the game not so much the characters also the pace is much much faster (the first game was something like 50 minutes of the japanese drama, as opposed to here where it was about 120 minutes). many people have praised that this drama is focusing on character development more but to be honest I do not know any more about the characters than I did from the original story.
The problem with the writing, because it is bad writing is that they create a lot of plot holes. then to make it more frustrating they explain character traits(stuff that should be inferred) but don't explain clearly the games. an example of them explaining stuff that should be inferred is when the host has to turn to the screen and convince us that Da Jung is innocent and pure(yet she took a bag of money home??) but not many people here are thinking she is pure and innocent more like dumb. and you can see the problem with their game explanations from any comment thread of this drama where people keep having to ask about how something works.

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I would just like to say that (I think) you said that NDJ was not kind and that she was not forgiving, however she is: she forgave her former teacher (who conned her out of her money), and she paid his debts (in ep.2). She didn't have to do. She didn't know how she was going to pay that money back (to the LG) if she lost, however she did give (essentially) the money to her teacher.

She was also kind when she went back to help the old lady, in ep.1. And yes, she took the money home, and she wrestled with keeping that money for herself or not, however she eventually returned it. I liked that they showed her debating whether she should take it to the police or not. Those scenes made her human, because her reaction was understandable (and relatable). Even DG wanted her to use that money to repay her father's debts (which he doesn't want her to have). And in the end, her good and honest side won. I am glad to see that NDJ is an (unusually) kind and honest heroine, however I am also glad to see that like the rest of us, she struggles (at times) with doing what she knows would be the right thing to do.

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Thank you so much for making my point that this is not a kind character.

In your first example, she did not actually forgive her teacher, this was never said. She felt it was wrong to let him suffer. While this is moral, it is not kind.

The second example you gave - returning to help the old lady was kind at first and then became ridiculous, highlighting actions that were stupid.

That she debated whether to keep the money highlighted that she was not kind - in fact, that she considered doing this is the most unkind thing she could have ever done to that old lady.

That she didn't use the money to pay her father's debts has to do with playing the game. It is unrelated to kindness.

And, of course, her readiness to trick people for their own good showed a willingness to be dishonest in service of her own ends, even if they were moral.

Anyway... thank you for making my point that this was not a kind character. And thank you for pointing out that she was also willing to be dishonest. You did bring up an interesting issue - that despite these flaws, she does seem to be moral. And that is rather intriguing.

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Hi Susan
Your point seems to be that the character of Da Jung is written as a 2D character who is actually not kind but stupid.

Perhaps the question we should have asked way back in the beginning of this thread is, what do you mean by 'kind'?

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Actually, I started this thread out of an interest in why I found this series so boring when I wanted to like it so much. I then began looking at it from a production standpoint (which is normally how I analyze or create stories/dramas).

At some point, a bunch of people jumped into the discussion to support/argue/defend their conjectures on what the character was thinking. For me, of course, there is no character. Those "people" in a drama aren't real - there is only the writing, the acting, the direction, and the editing.

This all devolved into a semantical discussion of what it means to be kind.

A number of commenters suggested that a person who is unsympathetic on the inside, but nice on the outside or a person who is occasionally nice or a person who gets around to doing something moral after contemplating something immoral is a person who is quite kind. This doesn't meet my definition of kind - which corresponds more or less to the average dictionary definition of kind - which is a person who is thoughtful, considerate and benevolent.

This said, it really isn't important. Once a fan has emotionally identified with a character, they will see in this character everything positive and will excuse everything negative. This is a good thing. Every production hopes for super supportive fans.

I hope this clears things up. I'm going to move on from this thread.

Best,
Susan

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Thanks Susan. Yes, moving right along.

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Do-Young always seems to steal the show for me, but I thought this was a strong episode for Da-Jung. I really liked how she acknowledges how she too easily trusts people. I loved her line "I think it(Liar Game) might be a test to see if we can really trust each other. I trust you all… no, I want to trust you."

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Looooooooooove Do-Young. Cannot stop believing he'sagood guy. And if he turns out to be a bad guy, I'll have to deal with it.

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aargh! my brain this morning! Meant to say: "cannot believe he's NOT a good guy."

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The amount of squeeing I did for Woo Jin in this episode is so ridiculous even I am ashamed.

Am I the only one who finds Jaime super annoying? I am not even talking about the character, which is an antagonist, but the actress. I find her acting so over the top and that's making me roll my eyes at her sneering and scheming.

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Oh you are not alone chinggu. I have encountered marvelous menu of antagonists, but that Jaimee actress must rot in hell. The character draft we all get, and should be hella annoying, but the actress I'm going to sink in deep sea. Grr, am I complimenting her right now? Case in point, in the Japanese version, spoilers ahead, the character was Fukunaga, momentarily annoying but forgivable in MOST instances, hot even. Can be attractive and I have all the reasons to let him inside every game stage. But Jaimee? Please. I think Director Jang has something to do with the increase of her annoyance. Or even Doyoung. Because Fukunaga manages to do it all on his own. Great change the K-version made. Daebak! But I still agree with u chinggu. Lol. It's the actress. Not the character.

ps: never let me describe my squealing intensity regarding ha woo-jin. It's not only embarrassing, it's degrading lol. I think that's how I was designed, though. ;-)

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Mushroom head was hot?! lol

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Lol he's definitely not hot. With all that floral print shirts he loves to wear.

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Hi, red and Xxvxx, hahaha! Ooops, I was half asleep when I was typing that. Shucks, why did I allow myself to reveal that to the world! It's all out now, waaaaa, I'm doomed! I love Kosuke Suzuki! ♥

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