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Valid Love: Episode 1

How strange and interesting. Valid Love, the long awaited comeback project for the writer of the impossible-not-to-love classic My Name Is Kim Sam-soon, premiered on cable network tvN earlier this week, and the result may leave you as cautiously optimistic as you are vividly unsettled. Let’s just hope the show will continue to have more moments like its circumcision meet-cute (admit it, you’re curious) than its storied affair between a teacher and his former student (wait, come back!).

I’ll definitely be in as viewer, but for now there’s no guarantee on future recaps. So many premieres left in 2014, so little time.

 
EPISODE 1: “Pollack”

Peeking through his binoculars from his rooftop perch, jilted husband JANG HEE-TAE (Uhm Tae-woong) watches his wife walking down a darkened street.

“I’ll be watching you from here,” he thinks to himself. His wife may have called him narrow-minded and overly suspicious, but he’s keen on proving otherwise.

Unfortunately for him, mosquitos force him to jump from his hiding place, alerting a nearby motion-sensing light to his presence. “Why? Why me?!” he growls, swatting at the parasites. Hah.

But when his wife disappears into a nearby building, Hee-tae rushes down to the street. And as the lights go off and the shades are drawn, he takes a two-by-four to the locked glass door while yelling to the man he knows is inside with his wife…

…In his head. “That’s what I should have done,” Hee-tae sighs defeatedly from his rooftop perch. It only makes sense that a husband would break down the door when he knows his wife is cheating on him inside, Hee-tae seems to argue to himself, but he can’t bring himself to do the same.

“It seemed like no matter what I saw, it would be worse than what I imagined. Then nothing could be taken back. Even if I wanted to look the other way, I couldn’t. Who would know how I feel? Only husbands with cheating wives.”

Pause for effect. And because Hee-tae has to swat at more mosquitos.

Hee-tae drinks by himself at a nearby convenience store as the wind begins to pick up. The sudden gust is enough to make him wonder why, on a day like this, his wife is with “that bastard.” (He seems to know the guy, or he doesn’t need to.)

As he looks up to the window that his wife is trying to close against the elements, Hee-tae wonders where it all went wrong. Maybe it stems back to the day they first met—the day he met the wife who would continue to constantly surprise him.

Or maybe, just maybe, he married an axe murderer.

Cue the beginning of what will undoubtedly be a long flashback to the sunny day when they first laid eyes on each other. His future wife, KIM IL-RI (Lee Shi-young) was a student then, though her cool introduction is ruined much the same way as Hee-tae’s was when she falls out of the tree she was daydreaming in.

She takes herself to a clinic, worried that she might’ve broken something, but the unimpressed nurse deadpans that the chances are slim considering the fact that she walked in.

Il-ri asks if it makes sense that she’s fine after falling out of a one-hundred-year-old tree. Unimpressed Nurse: “Does it make sense for an orthopedic patient to make a fuss in a urology clinic?” HAHA.

In the adjacent examination room, Hee-tae is a bundle of nerves because he’s made the big boy decision to get an adult circumcision. The doctor seems to know him and can talk him down off the ledge, even though Hee-tae wonders aloud if he can just leave his weewee alone. He’ll just spend more time washing it, he swears!

The doctor doesn’t give him more room to weasel out of it and just sticks a syringe with anesthetic into Hee-tae’s penis. Hee-tae all but jumps off the table screaming, though the worst of his curses are bleeped out.

Il-ri, along with everyone else in the waiting room, hears him loud and clear. But she’s sent on her way before Hee-tae calms down enough to apologize to the doctor, mostly because he’s worried he’ll get a bad cut otherwise. Ha, is it even possible to get the Mom’s Bowl Cut of circumcisions? (Please don’t answer that.)

Hee-tae leaves the clinic with an awkward walk, and ends up riding in the same elevator as a disinterested Il-ri, fresh from the orthopedic clinic upstairs. She doesn’t pay him any mind, while he can only cringe at the “Circumcisions on sale!” advertisement posted. Well, that explains why he decided to go under the knife.

Il-ri has to divert to a pay phone to answer an urgent page—whoever’s calling needs her help, but in her effort to rush off to the rescue, Il-ri bumps into Hee-tae. On a normal day he’d be unharmed, but that sudden jostling goes straight to his wounded pogo stick and sends him crumbling in pain.

Il-ri is mostly just confused by the whimpering ajusshi, and obviously doesn’t know the source of his agony when she attempts to help him to his feet by pulling him up by his belt, which gives him the most painful wedgie imaginable.

They’re soon ushered into a nearby restaurant by uniformed men for a civil defense drill (thanks, North Korea!), giving Il-ri all the time she needs to lay into Hee-tae.

After all, if he hadn’t gotten such a bizarrely late circumcision, he wouldn’t have fallen, and Il-ri would have been able to get home to her needy sister before the drill. Hee-tae can only meekly apologize for getting the surgery at his age in the face of her temper tantrum.

He tries to make amends by getting some food to go so that Il-ri can take it to her sister, especially since he’s been watching her scarf down her meal. But he’s taken completely by surprise when Il-ri turns into another person after eating—suddenly she’s agreeable and understanding, and less of the fire breathing dragon she was only moments ago.

They’ve exchanged some information in the down time, since Hee-tae knows she was trying to get home to her sister, who got bit by a dog. I think he attempts to make a long-winded joke about how strange it is for her sister (named Il-ri, or wolf) to be bitten by a lowly dog, especially when wolves are so endangered they wouldn’t be in Seoul anyway… you get how this isn’t funny, right?

So he switches topics to her mother, who Il-ri says is “at the hospital.” He assumes it to mean she’s sick, but in reality her mom just works in the hospital cafeteria—it makes no difference to him, because he HATES hospitals.

Il-ri guesses that’s why he waited so long to be circumcised, even though he claims he’s justified in his hospital hatred because he was traumatized as a child by rough nurses giving shots at his school.

Once, he describes, he’d ran away from school to avoid getting pricked, and had believed his mother when she said she’d take him out for tonkatsu. But she took him back to school for his shot first. “It was my first betrayal,” he sighs in remembrance. “And the tonkatsu was covered in my tears. So now I don’t eat tonkatsu.” Haha.

Il-ri shows the generational age gap by giving Hee-tae a cheer-up fist bump, like her dad gave her after pulling her tooth—though he lied to her about it in much the same way Hee-tae’s mother did to him. She’s found a commonality between their childhoods, because at least they can agree that you can’t trust anyone.

But that’s where the similarities end, because Il-ri’s father passed away the day after she’d retaliated for her tooth by hitting him. Though she knows now it was stomach cancer, she admits—in a light, conversational tone—that she was convinced for a while that he died because she hit him.

Their deep conversation ends the second the sirens blare that the drill has ended, because Il-ri disappears out of the restaurant and down the street with inhuman speed.

Because Il-ri accidentally took Hee-tae’s phone during the drill, Hee-tae has to only call his number to get ahold of her. While he tries to get a cooling draft to his privates at home, he directs Il-ri to the location where she can drop off his phone while on the line.

He makes it about more than his phone when he asks her about her sister and her name, but his chuckle at her and her sister’s similar-sounding names is cut short when Il-ri tells him her late father is the one who named them, and the similarities had meaning.

She’s the one to hang up first, since she’s already facing the woman she’s supposed to return the phone to outside his house. He can only hobble to the window to watch her go, but he misses her getting hit (more like bumped) by a car.

Il-ri seems dazed but unharmed as she runs away from the couple trying to help her, instead choosing to take the money given to her by Hee-tae’s sister to buy lotto tickets.

She doesn’t win, and Hee-tae narrates from the present that his wife had the luckiest day she’d ever had in all her eighteen years when she didn’t get hurt from that fall. But while Il-ri would count meeting Hee-tae’s sister (aka “that cool unni”) as her luckiest moment, she had no idea what a burden that unni would become.

The next day, all the girls in Il-ri’s class ooh and aah over their hot substitute teacher, who Il-ri belatedly recognizes as Hee-tae. I’d find it adorable that he’s so dependent on his sister’s advice when it comes to managing a class full of young girls (especially when he’s such a fumbling klutz on top of it all), except that his future wife is in his class. And that’s unusual.

At least Hee-soo’s advice comes in handy when dealing with specific problems his sister knew he’d face, but he doesn’t get to establish his authority for long when Il-ri draws his attention by raising her hand. “Teacher, are you all better there?” she asks.

It’s in that moment that Hee-tae recognizes her and realizes how awkward the situation is. While she waves to him excitedly, Hee-tae curses his sister for preparing him for every eventuality as a substitute teacher but this one.

After admitting to one of his fellow teachers that “the scariest people in the world are high school girls,” Hee-tae tracks Il-ri down outside. He acknowledges that it must be weird for them to meet as teacher and student, but Il-ri doesn’t seem to think so—that’s just life, isn’t it? (Is it?)

They make a bit of small talk before falling into a noticeably weird silence, which Hee-tae breaks when he asks her to keep the circumcision business she now knows to herself. She promises to keep her mouth shut before slowly backing away.

The Cool Girls happen to find (or are given) Il-ri’s sketchpad containing a detailed—but in all fairness, very cute—drawing of Hee-tae wobbling around in pain. The sketchpad makes it back to him, and he confronts Il-ri about her broken promise with it.

He tears away the sheet in anger, though he’s momentarily distracted by how good her other drawings are. His attempt at a lecture falls short of the mark, and he can only bluster “You’re bad! You’re a bad student!” before storming out.

Which, consequently, Il-ri finds very cute of him. But when he pops back in to ask her why the other girls call her “Andro,” she answers simply that it’s short for “Andromeda.”

Now that the drawing has been circulated amongst the girls, Hee-tae confirms their leading suspicion—that it’s a drawing of him suffering from hemorrhoids. (Only slightly less embarrassing than the truth, I suppose.)

At least he wins over their respect when he dissects a dried pollack to prove that all fish with a vertebrae have a calcium growth that acts like a record of their lives.

He tasks all the girls with breaking open their pollacks to read their fortunes, and bumps Il-ri on the head with her fish before opening it for her. She retaliates by stabbing at his butt with her pollack, turning it into a spectacle when all the girls see a dried fish sticking out suggestively from between his legs.

Cut to: Il-ri kneeling in the hallway as punishment, with her pollack between her teeth. After thinking to herself that he’s not such a loser after all, Il-ri is reminded of something dire and runs out the door. Hee-tae, thinking she’s trying to escape punishment, goes after her.

He follows her to a tiny tent in the nearby woods, where she’s got a secret stash of art supplies. But she’s actually out on the cliff performing a complicated, nonsensical ritual to welcome a UFO—prompting the two of them to have a conversation about the existence of aliens.

Il-ri believes in them very much, and literally spouts crazy talk about what she’d do if she were abducted (she’d plant an apple tree on the planet Andromeda to mimic the Genesis story because words). Hee-tae totally buys it, which puts the joke on him when Il-ri reveals that she really left because she wanted to escape punishment. She just used the alien talk to fool him.

But she’s fallen for him, as evidenced by her beating away the other girls who try to steal Hee-tae’s attention. He’s still the same dork as before, but now she has hearts in her eyes while watching him embarrass himself now—so that song he sings for the class that sounds flat and unintentionally silly is now a serenade she carries with her back to the cliff.

…Which is where a gigantic pollack appears to her out of the sky. She stretches her hand out to it with a smile as she says that she’ll stop waiting to be abducted by a UFO. ‘Cause she’s gonna marry Hee-tae.

Even though, as she admits to herself, he’s clumsy and confused. And also an idiot. But, she makes up her mind that she’ll protect her pollack/Hee-tae and does so by literally pulling him out of harm’s way on multiple occasions.

Hee-tae narrates in the present that his wife became his guardian angel without him knowing, because she’d somehow appear to save him from danger no matter the time or place. If he so much as stepped on a small animal trap in the woods, she’d appear with her superhuman speed to save him. (Which does actually happen.)

He couldn’t even shake her from walking him home at night, even though he tells her he’s not in any danger as a grown man. She doesn’t hear him from her alternate reality, and doesn’t make a case for her sanity when she uses a dried pollock as a shaman’s wand before pretending it’s a microphone she sings into.

If the point was to make things so awkward for him outside his house that he had no choice but to take her somewhere else, she succeeds. She can’t help but smile with glee as they take the bus together, and her habit of speaking her mind—even if it doesn’t make much sense—has Hee-tae clucking his tongue as he asks her what she wants to grow up to be.

“What do you mean? I’m going to become your guardian angel!” she pipes back. He mentions how she could go to art school with her talent, but she’s of the mind that she has none.

She really has set herself to the task of guardianship, since her backpack is filled with the most random assortment of things she’s decided she needs to protect him from any of the thirty-three thousand dangers lurking about. (Including but not limited to: a hammer, twine, a cup, and pliers. She’ll craft him away from harm!)

But what she really wants to be is a painter, and has already bought khaki pants she plans to use when painting. She knows she’ll look good in them, and that he’ll know she looks good in them, and makes it a point to say so at length.

Then she offers him one of her earbuds, claiming that the Edith Piaf song “La Vie en rose” was a favorite of her father’s—he even listened to it on the day he pulled her tooth. Since she’d been falling asleep in class earlier that day, she nods off on the bus, her head lolling onto Hee-tae’s shoulder.

Instead of peeling her off, Hee-tae thinks back to some of their shared moments at school with a mindset he knows isn’t right. But that doesn’t stop him from laughing at her antics during the walk to her house. Aw, he’s making sure she gets home safe.

No sooner does he drop her off that she comes running from her home screaming that the vicious dog who attacked her sister is back. Hee-tae believes her and starts running, at least until she drops the act to bat her eyes at him: “If it did, I’d protect you.”

She kisses him on the cheek, prompting a long, tense gaze to pass between them. Il-ri gets so swept up in the moment that she leans in and kisses him on the lips, only to come to her own senses when Hee-tae doesn’t know how to react. She runs off without another word.

“Before I knew it, I was counting down the months until she graduated high school,” Hee-tae narrates. “Since it was more than what ten fingers could count, I felt nervous for some reason, and even found it unfair. Even as a substitute, I was still a teacher, and she was a student and minor. I knew that I had to stop before things started flowing in a strange direction. But, as always, she was unpredictable.”

While he’d felt very awkward about what happened the next day, Il-ri felt just the opposite, and even shook her head that he’d be so shy about the kiss when he’s the man.

She asks him to bring his old high school uniform when they meet next at a book store, and when he does, he’s treated to an embarrassing public display as she all but tears his trench coat off in her effort to get him to put on his old uniform. He can study fish all he wants, she says, but she wants to study men.

“That’s my boyfriend,” she says with pride to another student (cameo by Lee Shi-un), nodding toward the shamefully huddled mass of man that is Hee-tae in a high school uniform. HAHA. She got him to put it on?!

Now we get an answer as to who’s been incessantly leaving her voicemails of love, since it seems like she’s put on this whole show to convince potential stalker Lee Shi-un to leave her alone. She’s going to marry her man, after all.

But Shi-un instantly calls her out on having such an ancient boyfriend in an old high school uniform, and she can’t muster up much of a defense even though she tries.

Shi-un just sighs exasperatingly—what makes her think that old man can handle someone like her? “The one to plant an apple tree on Andromeda with you is me!” he says. “He said he’d plant it for me too!” she tries fighting back. Well, Shi-un clearly knows her brand of crazy better than Hee-tae, I’ll give him that.

He confronts Hee-tae to figure out who’s boss, resulting in a nail-bitingly awkward confrontation over who’ll best plant her crazy tree up on Planet Crazy. It ends with her looping her arm through his and calling him in familiar banmal, “Hee-tae-ya.”

At least he finally stands up for himself later by yelling at her for being so disrespectful and cruel. She all but begs him to at least stay her friend, but when she adds that it’s so he can be her lover later, he storms off.

She cries to the heavens about it later, declaring that she’ll still marry and protect him.

But Hee-tae narrates in the present that she showed she meant every word of that promise through her actions. Cut to a scene of her bloody and bruised on the street, having just been run over by a car. A tear falls from her open but unblinking eyes.

“For us to meet again,” he says, “we needed to wait seven years.”

 
COMMENTS

How do I always get the weird ones? Don’t get me wrong, Valid Love has a lot going on—I’m just not really sure how much of it works. There are some interesting elements at play here, with the shining beacon being the sparkling moments of comedy gold interspersed throughout the episode. It’s in those moments that the writer’s talent for heartfelt and timely humor shines through.

It’s in the others where I’m a bit unsure on how to proceed, because while I’d be willing to grant that I’m not the ideal audience for deliberately quirky shows like this, I’m also of the mind that you can sell anything if you try hard enough. And this show certainly is trying, and even succeeds some of the time. It’s just that when it comes to imaginary fish and faster-than-lightning heroines, you’ve got a lot more work to do than the average romantic comedy.

Tonally, it’s a mixed bag. It’d be easy to write it off if it jumped from being silly to melodramatic, but instead it settles somewhere in the middle—when it’s silly, it’s insanely silly, and when it’s serious it actually hits bizarrely close to home. I can’t get a read on what we’re supposed to be feeling at any given moment other than nervous, and in that regard, Hee-tae’s willing humiliation is wonderfully played out. Uhm Tae-woong could not be more physically suited to the role, and brings an emotional depth to his character that seems lacking when it comes to our mad-as-a-hatter heroine.

The vulnerability he brings to such a complicated man is worthy of applause, because his character is doing something he knows he shouldn’t, and that societal norms tell him NOT to do. It’d be easy to hate him for all the unsettling things he represents, and he’s saved by virtue of being Uhmforce. Still, it’s off-putting that he only half-listens to his moral center, mostly because he lets himself be drug around and manipulated by such a clever and determined girl. Because while he knows how to stand up for himself, he’ll usually choose not to.

I think the interesting part comes with his inaction when it came to Il-ri, which is like accusing someone of lying by omission rather than the darker alternative. Though I’d guess by his narration that he finally put some sort of stop to things, he knew what was happening when he was allowing Il-ri to carry on the way she was. I left the hour feeling just as unsettled as I did when the high school romance started, which I can only guess is the point of this whole flashback interlude. If it stayed in this time period and explored their torrid love affair through her remaining years in high school, I’d wish everyone well and respectfully bow out. But I know the story is bound to take us to some interesting places that go beyond this moment, so I’m willing to wait it out a bit.

As it stands, I have a respectful admiration for the show’s willingness to go there when it comes to the exploration of the taboo nature surrounding the romantic angle, which is a theme likely to continue when the the illicit part of their relationship becomes less about the teacher-student divide and more about the extra-marital affair. But at this point, the affair would be a relief—I’ll take anything to get us out of this very uncomfortable stretch of the story. Which again, if that was the intention (and I’m sure that was part of it), then bravo.

Though it would take more episodes to find out, there’s a noticeable flaw when it comes to the directing, which seemed to make some sense when I looked up the PD halfway in only to find that this is his first time directing a drama—all his past credits include films you’ve likely never heard of. That would shed some light on the disharmonious tone going on so far, because though the subject matter is dark, a director more in tune with the story rather than seeming intent on branding the screen with his mark would perhaps be able to lighten the presentation. Unless the darkness is as intentional as the sporadically gut-busting humor, that is. Or maybe it’s simple. Maybe everything we need to know about this show’s tone can be said by the Giant Sky Pollack. Does anyone speak fish that can translate for their god?

 
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I do not like him at all, an stay away from his shows. I do like her and saw the trailer and thought I may see if I could try to enjoy it. But this write up makes me think go ahead and stay away. LOL

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Agreed I did not like him in equator man I wish someone else played lee hyun woo's older version plus he is pretty unattractive no offence.

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None taken, but it should not matter of how an individual appears outwardly, but instead their possession of talent and potential should play a greater role of determining if they are good at what they do.

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one.its all about talent and how he carry all those play.done.

two.he does possess an attractive image.if you had ever throw your 1st assumption away,you'll not be disappointed in him.

three.he is handsome,and good looking.the other person,indeed,fresher and younger and also possess a super good looking charms,better,if you might say,but he has his own reputation in acting industry,and i repeat,he is handsome,like seriously??

p/s:no offence,but are people right now only went with the handsome definition implied on the youngs?Maturity look is better in my opinion.people like,ji jin hee,shin ha kyung,jo seung woo,they're all around the 35-40+ but they aged gold,same case here for Uhm Tae Woong.

Another p/s:Man from the equator is a daebak movie.He nailed it.The other casts too.

:)

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That was a fairly late recap lol, but I understand, we're all experience post-Liar Game symptoms.

Gimme Liar Game season 2 and my love will be valid.

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Thank you Heads, I love your recaps... I laughed a lot when you said that you get the weird ones, hehehe
I will give this show a try, the tone look more relaxed than dramatic considering that is a show about infidelity.

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I think you mean that Il-ri's sister's name is I-ri or wolf, since right now they are both written as Il-ri.

Loved your recap, but I'm still on the fence about whether this show is for me.

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OMG... THANKS SO MUCH HEADNO2... You recap this awsome drama (so far for me)... The storytelling is so beautiful and good (PD NIM JANG!) And I thing the directing is good... It's keep surprising you and makes us intrigue what happen next.
the acting is solid so far..

I am already watching the long trailer, but I'm still find surprise by some plot development ... because, several part still makes me abit confuse.. I'am waiting for recap in dramabeans, but well I Thought there is no one who will recap it. But Thanks to you

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I loved it!! Second episode too!! It's funny, fresh, goofy and sweet!! Hope it finds an audience, I know the premise may send viewers away! It seems to have a lot of heart so far, so I'm going to trust the writers!!

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I have seen both ep 1 and 2 so my comments are about the two. I didn't really get all that conflict from him and it was really surprising and maybe even a flaw in the writing because such a nice WOULD feel guilty. I don't want to talk details since it's just a recap for ep 1 but he gave her so much space to do all she did and he did so many things I didn't expect even though show tried to stay on the sweet and innocent side as much as possible.

Having said that I liked it a lot, I like shows where people are complex and not just good or bad and I think this shows delivers that so far, if it's going to change completely once the affair starts I don't know but I think maybe people should avoid judging before watching. :)

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This.

Where's the "like" button?

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I really liked it too, but several of the cuts/editing left me really confused. Like in episode 1, I thought the woman Il Ri was meeting was his gf, and it turns out that she's his sister. But I'm with you…I never believed he was in feeling much conflict at all for all the things he almost encouraged for her to do.

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Yea. Where's the LIKE button?

I've watched the two episodes and I like it so much.

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Thanks for the recap. I wish you'd continue cuz i really look forward to seeing Lee soohyuk even though i'm not crazy about Uhm tae woong.

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So many girls are bashing UTW online since they prefer the younger guy that its getting a little ridiculous. I mean in my eyes UTW wins in every department-or maybe thats just my age showing ;) Love the drama btw, not lookig forward to the angst in the horizon but so far so funny!

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To each her own. I know some veterans actors who are even older & not that handsome objectively speaking but who have the IT factor, the charisma. Since I don't like UTW's acting either, game over.

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I haven't started but only coz am
behind on my current ones on account of a holiday. I will
definitely check this out. can't wait to see lee Soo hyuk too.

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I'm all about Giant Sky Pollack. Got a piscine ear anatomy lesson, too. So far I'm seeing a lot of potential.

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Wish I could like this comment. The Giant Sky Pollack seems to say a lot about this show.

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Wish I could take credit for The Giant Sky Pollack. Laughed out loud as I was reading HeadsNo2's comments. The writing here by the Beanies is top-notch. You are a talented bunch.

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I loved My lovely samsoon going to give this a watch :) really love Lee Shi Young's acting too

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Huwawaw.. Uhmforce :* :* always make me falling in love.. This is my first time watching Lee Si Young but she is surprising me, how can she act as Funny, Sweet also Crazy Il Ri so Good :D, this drama very interesting make me curious what happen then??

My Andromeda-Pollack couple <3 <3

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The first time I saw her was in Wild Romance. Liked her a lot. Funny, sweet and crazy is a good description of her in that as well... plus very physical, which I think we'll get in this too. (That had the added bonus of Lee Dong-Wook.)

Got me interested in learning about her. She is a champion amateur boxer, won several national titles, as recently as 2013.

She's the lead in the movie How to Use Guys with Secret Tips. It's cute. That's all I've seen her in so far.

When I saw she'd be in Valid Love, as well as Uhm Tae-Woong who is another favorite of mine, I knew I'd have to check this out. I'm very hopeful.

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Wait... That's the girl from Wild Romance? O.O

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Agree with your point..

*btw, Sorry I ask you : "Are you from Indonesia? Becoz I recognize your name at Laut*n Indonesia forum.. Hehehe :)

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OMG.. How can I edit my post?? My post above to Reply to comment @MISSJB

*Sorry >.<

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I LOVE both leads and MNIKSS is one of my favourite oldies, but I don't think I can handle a show about an affair.

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I want to watch for Uhmforce but I really do not like all these affair shows so...

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Did anybody else see the UFO flying behind him after they got done with their UFO conversation?

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Yes! That was such a funny touch.

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LOL. I missed that, will have to look again.

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I watched both of the first two episodes and really enjoyed them. :) The teacher-student relationship is definitely gross, but I'm glad we've now moved past it (and that the older didn't marry the younger while one was still a teenager, unlike another drama from 2014 I could name....) and I'm excited to learn more about Il-Rim and what she's like now as an adult.

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This recap makes me want to watch even more. I like quirky and I like that the heroine is a little weird. Sounds really good and interesting. LOL at the fish!

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I watched the first two episodes and really enjoyed it a lot. The characters (thus far) and storyline is more complex than simply an affair or student-teacher relationship (I find it funny how many people jump on the noona relationship and were even all for high schooler Seo In Gok getting with the much adult female lead in High School King of Savvy, but have such a problem when the sexes are reversed, although both are inappropriate).

You can't really pigeon hole the characters because they don't fall into the typical male/female lead, second male/female leads the writers has a knack for taking those and flipping them on the head. I really enjoyed the quirky tone of the drama and loved the UFO and sky pollack. I think the directing really good and adds the quirky almost insane nature of our heroine. I think people should give the drama a try and not bounce out just because of the possible and thus fair implied affair.

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+1 for the comment!

bwahahahhahaha I just can't with comments here! LOL people this a drama, why are you all so serious? Also I agree with Selina, the drama watchers are being completely biased. While you all rooted "High school king of Savvy" couple, this one is seen with scorn.
I don't find UTW attractive, but that doesnt bother me because I do enjoy his acting. I find Lee Soo Hyuk attractive in an alien kind of way but I won't support him just because of that.
2 episodes are too less to judge a drama so harshly, I will wait for the characters to flesh out well.
Also those who are complaining about this drama being about cheaters, well you did enjoy and commend "Secret love affair". That was pretty much about adulterers too.
So yeah, relax a little bit, we don't need to start a whole discussion on social issues here. Just sit back and enjoy the drama and if you still don't find it to be good then worry not, there are boat loads of other dramas available.

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Well, I hope ALL these people saying they don't go for affair stories didn't like SLA either otherwise their comments would be odd. :)

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May i like both comments ^^ I didn't watch High school savvy or Secret love affair but i know those are quiet popular. and so it boggles my mind when i read comments about people not feeling this drama because of the themes/subject that other dramas already touch before. it's not like it's the 1st time.

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I'm not a fan of age gaps between any genders its one of the reasons I end up not watching a lot of the dramas that get recapped on DB like High School King of Savvy and Witch's Romance. I won't be watching this, despite me liking the female actress I don't like affair storyline's and I loathe love triangles so this has all the things I just do not find appealing.

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Do you hate love triangles or extramarital affairs? Cause triangles is pretty much THE kdrama way, isn't it?

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Precisely. Love triangles is almost a staple in all kdramas.

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Well I hate both but with love triangles I don't like it when the person everyone is chasing is torn between two people, like they have difficulty choosing. You can have love triangles where the person at the center likes one more than the other so they've actually made a choice, if that makes sense? I think it's just tiresome now to see this trope in dramas especially if it's the lead couple the best example I can give you of what I dislike was in secret hotel it just got hugely tedious and people end up getting hurt.

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So the bargain this show asks us to make is to check our principles at the door, so we can pretend despicable behavior is somehow 'cute'?

Sorry... soul not for sale.

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WORD!

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I don't understand this kind of comment about VL. If I watch a show about a serial killer that means I approve his behavior ???? If people say they don't like the affair theme ok I get it but more than that I find strange.

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+1 for Lixie

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@Lixie: Well, in the serial murderers dramas, they don't make seem the murder like something cute or acceptable, but in this (and other shows) it seems like being a cheater is something minor and it's cute. That's de difference.

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Isn't it too soon to give any judgement? Joon has yet been introduced properly and so far in the previews he doesn't show any interest in Il Ri. I don't even think the 'affair' they've been talking is what we're thinking about.

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Well, the premise of the show it IS a about a love affair between a married woman and a carpenter, so...

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Yes, people, there is no affair yet. At least wait until it starts to form any opinion if the show presents as acceptable which seems really doubtful if you ask me.

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Well, the premise of the show it IS a about a love affair between a married woman and a carpenter.

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sorry but I don't think it is fair to say that...there are often cases when the murderers are made easy sympathise with..but audience still knows it is wrong to kill someone. Likewise the main character might be acting cute but does not mean that it is trying to depict that having affair is cute. but I agree knowing a heroine who will have an affair later is hard to root for..which is why I stopped watching Secret Affair.

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Well in Pinocchio the older brother is a murderer, but we are sympathetic because we understand what he has gone through. That doesn't mean that we approve of his actions. Similarly, I don't have to approve of the affair to watch this. As a matter of fact I am looking forward to the consequences. I'm sure things will not be all rosy for our lead female, and she will live to regret what she has done.

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....in the serial murderers dramas, they don’t make seem the murder like something cute or acceptable....

Did you watch Gap-Dong? Bad Guys?
Can you honestly tell me you felt nothing for the killers in these dramas?

If you don't like the theme of a drama, it's your choice not to watch. But why bash it if you haven't given it a chance?

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You could have a point.

I'll concede that if the show depicts the affair as cowardly, destructive and selfish; conveys the pain and lasting emotional injury that affairs ALWAYS cause, and; doesn't ask the audience to sympathize with the affair in any way, then I'll agree with you that my expectation was ill-founded. And if they end up taking a healthy approach, I'll gladly watch the show.

But there's simply no sense watching something that leaves you feeling someone just spit on your brain.

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@Gidget, I understand your feelings about the theme maybe it's just not the show for you? But please don't think the people who might enjoy it in the future do so because they are ok with cheating in any way. :)

I used to watch shows like House, Breaking Bad and Dexter. These guys were often awful, and one IS a serial killer so I'm probably more used to just being able to be there for the ride and not feeling I have to like the characters or approve what they do. As long as the story is interesting for me, I'm game.

As far as VL goes, from what I saw in the teasers, I don't think they will demonize the cheaters, I think they will try to show different sides of the same story. You probably won't like it because you will feel the show is trying to make us sympathize with the cheater.

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Agree. I am watching this due to my interest in psychology.

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Lixie - Good point about the American shows. Breaking Bad was truly Shakespearean. In Shakespeare there were all sorts of bad people and evildoing. But it is the wonderful writing and the themes that sucks us in. We don't necessarily like the people.

Like everyone else here, I don't approve of affairs. But they have been around since the beginning of time -- along with stealing, murder and other wrongdoing -- so it's worthy of exploration. That literary exploration has been going on since written history. (I don't know...maybe cave paintings, too?)

All that said.... if it ain't your cup of tea, it ain't your cup of tea.

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I think you may have written off as evil half or more of the world's TV watching population, since cheating husbands and wives are standard fare in soap operas across the English and Spanish speaking cultural worlds. Where would telenovelas and distinguished British costume dramas be without adultery? And that basic sin is small change in world-spanning successes like Game of Thrones or Rome or The Tudors.

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She hasn't cheat yet..... So when she act cute... it doesn't mean the show feels cheating is cute... she seduce his future husband.. FFS

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Okay I think this has convinced me to watch Valid Love. I've been putting it off not because of the premise, but because I've been struggling to watch any dramas recently even ones I love, like Pinocchio and Misaeng lately, so starting something new seemed wrong. However I love IL-RI already and haven't seen it yet, she reminds me of me if I gave outward expression to even 1/4 of the things that pop into my mind.

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..like this! :D

yeah, i've been contemplating on my reason not watching dramas lately, while i love Misaeng so much i just couldn't spare time for watching it regularly..wonder why..

and yes, ditto on your comment on IL RI, based on this recap, she reminds me of me too, haha..

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Thanks for the recap. That was weird sort of plot. I am not sure if it's my cup of tea.

The reason why I am posting is because that some comments seem really dismissive of UTW's looks and talents. It's ok not to like an actor but they deprive themselves of some truly memorable performance just because of looks? I'll take an attractive manly male lead who oozes charisma over a limp blank faced canvas of conventional good eyes. Helped by a probable side plate of surgery.

So yeah may not like the plot but boy to dislike a show based solely on the cast is someone or in my opiniom, you miss out on good things just based on a narrow biased view.

I might follow the episode recaps on some drama forums. Just curious how they will see this story.

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Some people aren't dismissive of UTW because of his looks but rather because of his lack of acting talent. Yes there are some shallow people around but I'm one one of those who's never seem his as charismatic, or talented or whatever. In fact, I think he's completely overrated without the lead man material to boast of. It's different opinions on acting talent and just because one finds him completely dry and boring on screen, it doesn't necessarily make them a fan of the second lead.

I see UTW as a plain wall on screen. Yes he's there, but I never see him because he doesn't have presence. But there's no way in hell I'd support the second lead because he's a cheater. Irrelevant on who plays him, he's a disgusting character. I'm not watching this drama, but just speaking out for those who are somehow labelled as second lead shipper just because they find UTW bland or ugly. I don't find him hot myself but that's the least of my concerns because his charisma is non existent in my eyes.

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Just curious, have you seen Resurrection or Devil? I didn't really think much of him either way until I saw them--Resurrection especially is loaded with gloriously bad acting, but he was legitimately amazing in both. I don't think he's good all the time, but after watching those, I've come to respect Uhmforce. Sorry if it seems like I'm trying to force him down your throat or something, but if you ever want to give him a second (third? fourth?) chance, those are performances are definitely worth seeing imo.

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Sorry for such a late response and no, you don't sound forceful or anything! I haven't seen resurrection but I've seen about 3 or so dramas of his and he's left me very cold and bored with his performance. Equator man was the last one and maybe it's his acting style that just doesn't suit me. There's a lack of screen presence that I always want from my main leads. Maybe if he picks a better drama next time, I'd give it another shot =)

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Sorry but LMAO! UTW doesn't have acting talent??? Then WTF reason those damn producers giving him LEAD roles everytime? For charity? Since he is not handsome, have no charisma and acting talent and a plain wall on screen?! Seriously...

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Sorry but LMAO. You sure are naive! "Damn producers giving him lead roles" is their damn choice. Just because people get lead roles doesn't mean they're talented or charismatic. Case in point: Ahn Jae-hyun just last week bagging a lead role. Shin Se-kyung, Han Ga-in, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera getting lead roles all the time. They aren't talented or charismatic - in my opinion because shockingly people differ in views! Some people around here are so hilariously defensive. Seriously...

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I am so very confused by all this...Lol what happened to the Dramabeans comments section??

UTW is a decent actor (he definitely varies but he's never bad) and very diverse in his roles (hello!! Resurrection, The Devil, Dr. Champ, Queen Seondeok, I could go on). I wouldn't completely shun all his dramas just because they thought he was unattractive once. And people who dislike his acting, clearly haven't seen all his work.

Some people on these comments and forums seem to go out of their way to voice their dislike for certain actors and actresses. Critiquing an actor's acting is one thing but looks, really? I just don't understand it.

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+1 for defense of the awesomeness that is Uhmforce "he definitely varies but he's never bad". If I may add to that, people who don't think he can act, check out DB's recaps of 1N2D when he joins (like the middle/end of season 1 and all of season 2). My opinion of him shot ten-fold after seeing this what appeared to be gruffly suave man be the living embodiment of Dorkdom. Oh and watch Never Ending Story where he plays himself; its a great flip from his serious roles. We all knew that one kid in high school who was tiring because he tried too hard to be cool, so clearly it takes a good amount of skill to effortlessly portray an aura so not him that well. Good enough for me at least.

I'm not sure if I find him attractive like tingly feelings attractive but I usually feel compelled to hug him so people describing him as ugly kind of baffles me. Sure he's not a spring chicken but lets give the non-flower boys a chance. I also think as far as this role goes the hair isn't doing him justice. Hopefully it'll be better in the present timeline.

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Yes, girlatsea! Agreed. Do we judge Dustin Hoffman's acting on how he looks? Or any number of actors?

http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2014/04/the-greats-dustin-hoffman.html

I suspect that for many people who love Dustin Hoffman, it’s not just the work they admire. It’s Hoffman himself. By the standards of Hollywood beauty, he should never have been a star, and yet he seemingly willed himself to be one through talent and relentless drive. And if that negative appraisal of his looks seems cruel, Hoffman is just as dismissive of them.

“You can say it, I’m ugly, I’m ugly!” he told a British GQ reporter in 2013. “I always joke, they’ll have the sexiest man in the world or whatever on the cover of People, and I’ll say, ‘Sorry, honey, never gonna make this cover!’ And I never have, because I figure, well, yeah, you’ve gotta be handsome.”

Moviegoers love Hoffman in some of the same ways that music fans adore Bruce Springsteen. There’s a regular-guy ordinariness to them, which inspires a bond between an artist and the public: Hey, he’s just like me. It’s not an insult to say that Hoffman is a monstrously gifted actor who, at the same time, seems to have overachieved. He’s the scrappy athlete who the coaches thought was never strong enough or fast enough to make the team. He’s inspiring because his success is due solely to his talent, and shouldn’t that be more important than anything else?

At the time Hoffman and some others broke through there was a term that was coined, and unfortunately it's slipped my mind. It was something like "ugly-beautiful". It was a new phenomena... lead actors who aren't classical handsome. (Well, maybe not so new... Humphrey Bogart?)

And if you give them half a chance, by god they can become attractive. That's always an interesting shift.

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Ooo. Missed your comment on the 1st go around, ck1Oz.

It’s ok not to like an actor but they deprive themselves of some truly memorable performance just because of looks? I’ll take an attractive manly male lead who oozes charisma over a limp blank faced canvas of conventional good eyes.

See my comments below re: Dustin Hoffman.

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Ooops. That's apparently comments "above". I get so lost with these threads. :-|

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And speaking of threads I've lost: I know there are a few comments here about not dismissing actors' looks because they are older. I couldn't agree more.

I think this may be particularly true in Kdramas/ Korean films because it seems many of the actors keep themselves so fit, no matter what the age. Once the shirt comes off... hubba, hubba.

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I do agree that there are a lot of older actors that have still got it, but personally I wish there were more dramas about older people, regardless of their appearance. There is a huge talent pool that has been consigned to side roles because they're older--I see the same group of actors and actresses their pants off every time I watch sageuks, or anything that has old men in a room talking haha, and some of them are like 20 times more talented than the people headlining. Sorry I kinda piggybacked your post with a rant of my own, ageism is a thing with me.

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Hey juniper. I don't know if you'll see this comment since several days have passed. Just noticed it, and I couldn't agree more. It far too seldom we see any substantial roles for older people, in Korea and US. Which is a true shame. With age there should be meatier subjects to pursue.

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It's not because of his looks alone. Kim nam gil is not conventionally handsome either but he's still very attractive to me because of his charisma I would choose him over lee min ho or any of these blank-faced pretty boys in a heartbeat. I have seen him in devil and equator man the only scenes he did well in were his crying and revenge scenes.His blind acting was awful and he looked plain stupid no offence andI never found myself rooting for him in the show despite being the one being wronged.Yeah some people do not find him likeable and I would have to agree with them and I also find his acting straight up weird and awkward to watch.

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The comments about the actors' looks are funny. People have different tastes, I get it (I honestly find UTw better looking than Lsh) but hating on a person because you don't find him handsome and shipping for the cheaters because you find that actor more handsome than the "husband", that is totally wrong.
Anyways, up until now I like the drama, I like the crazy Il Ri and funny/clueless Hee Tae.

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I like the look of the show. Also, I like how mature it feels. It seems more mature than any other korean drama i've ever seen, but the show is not interesting enough for me. This drama has failed to keep my eyes glued to the screen.

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People's tastes very different indeed. I first became aware of UTW in Can We Love. Though I though this drama was so-so at best, I found him totally charismatic.

My own tastes are all over the place, on the screen and in real life. If I were to list the actors I fall for you would wonder if it's the same woman. In one drama alone, Misaeng, from Siwan to Seo In-Guk (yes, Chief Oh!) :-)

What can I say? I'm equal opportunity in my crushes. And now as I'm up there, a dirty old woman as well. Eeek.

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OOOP! Problem in editing as I was writing. Didn't mean Seo In-Guk! Lee Sung-Min is Chief Oh. Wrote Seo In-Guk as I started to make my list, then realized I could use Misaeng as a good example of my wide range in taste.

Wow. I need to slow down.

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I had a teeny crush on UTW in Can We Love. Watching his character here being so different from Can We Love shows his range as an actor. I am watching Valid Love for Lee Soo Hyuk though. Because he is just so gorgeous.

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Thanks for the recap!! I'm not going to watch this because I'm on of those who just isn't interested in extramarital affairs storylines (I have exceptions now and then but it usually leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth). I also have issues with high school affairs with full blown adults. I didn't watch High School King... because of it even though I loved SIG (although I may watch it anyway since everyone says there's so much good stuff outside of it). I also watched Flower Boy Ramen Shop and was bothered by him being in high school too. It's not the age gaps it's the high school part. I feel fine when they're 21+.

Sorry that was kind of rant-y. My intention was just to point out that this is definitely not my kind of plot but I really appreciate the recap so I have an idea of what I'm missing. I actually really like quirky shows (although over the top humor is not necessarily my thing), and it was fun to read about the lighter side of this show. I'm actually almost done watching Sam Soon right now (I know, I'm way late on that one) and I love the quirky parts and the main character but the side story of the cancer ex I think is horrible. Not horribly written, just horrible as in it's a story I don't want to see. It makes me sad. In any other circumstance I'd want her with the lead because...well, why shouldn't she be with him?

I dunno. That was long and babbling. *gives cookie to anyone who read it all*

Basically just thanks for the recap!

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I thought I was the only one who didn't like MNIKSS -- Valid Love is an easy miss for me, although I like the lead actress quite a lot. Don't love big age gaps, especially where high schoolers are involved, and I generally am bored by stories about affairs. Also, very limited tolerance for quirky.

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Thanks for the recap. I gotta say that the heroine's aegyo totally infuriated me. I found her behavior reckless. Not the crush, per se. But her willingness to go along with it without fearing for the teacher. She is also incredibly pushy in the way only korean "teenaged" girls in dramas can be. A very selfish character. Mind you, i don't mind the crush. I mind her cruelty to the teacher and her humiliation of him and her "this is what i want so i will impose it on some poor guy" mentality. The depiction of the artistic quirky teenaged soul is a bit overthe top. I shall be watching episode 3 but really it better be good.

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The story so far is more interesting than I thought it would be. I was prepared to not like Il Ri when first read the characterisation (major ugh for student teacher relationship) but she surprised me with her quirky out of this world antics. I had to check LSY bio and was surprised to see her real age. She's so cute!
I have to wait until the third wheel arrives at the scene to decide whether I love this drama or not. As of now, I like it a lot.

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Um, this is PD Han Ji-seung's second drama. His first was Alone in Love (2006), one of the best Kdramas of all time.

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I wholeheartedly agree, Alone in Love is one of the best (in my opinion). I am really enjoying the quirkiness of Valid Love so far, especially the acting of UTW and LSY.

Thank you for the recap!

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Yeah, his directing was amazing in that drama. I actually immediately tried to find more dramas he directed after that (first time I followed a director, I'm pretty sure...) so I'm definitely shocked to read that his directing here is considered a flaw. Haven't seen the show quite yet as I'm not really in the mood for it...but my one reason for looking forward to checking it out in the future...was the director.

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oh god, I'm actually glad there won't be a recap because we would have people riding in on their high horses on every recap to repeat the same things over and over and over again.

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If people find something in a drama offensive or annoying, and those things repeat, so will the comments.

If someone only wants to hear from people that unconditionally support a drama, a good fit is one of the subscription-based sites. But the downside of those sites is that they've often fostered divisive communities, with members that come to believe that their viewpoint or bias is the only one to have.

This site fosters mature and diverse discussion. It's guaranteed that people here will disagree on controversial topics. But here they disagree amicably.

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I think they're talking about the people who don't watch the show but still come into every recap to list all the reasons why they aren't watching. It happens. Quite often.

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Exactly. It's like the Vikki commenters who are still typing "I really don't like this actress" on Episode 6 . . . and have nothing else to say. Like why they are still watching.

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I agree as well DBeanies discuss really amicably. I enjoy this forum most. Unfortunately there are a few who tend to be a little too defensive about their favourite actors/actress and ideas and have yet to master the art of diplomatic discussion. It ruins my experience at times..to a point where I defer my visits so as to not effect my viewing pleasure. I watch HBO (GoT and SATC) and other American shows and movies and so this drama theme is not that shocking.

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One of the reasons why I'm rather glad DB didn't recap Secret Love Affair....the amount of whiny zealots would've otherwise ruined that fantastic drama.

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+1

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This show is weird AF, but I don't think I dislike it.

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I think my favorite thing so far is the directing, it sold the humor well. Though I wondered if someone was high when the Giant Sky Pollack showed up. (and sticking the poor fish up his rear wasn't in good taste either)

I liked how the actress played the heroine and while in theory I don't like this sort of character who's all quirk and no...character, I was amused just waiting to see what madness would come out next. (Was I the only one wondering if 'plant an apple tree on Andromeda' was a euphemism?--funny cameo btw) Also saw potential in the moment when she just conversationally talked about her father.

*Hugs Uhmmybear away from meaners* Not being a pretty boy does not make one ugly (...he's looked better though). Anyway I felt bad for the poor harried teacher till the whole "counting days till she was 18" stopped me short. He's aware that's wrong though so on a character level I'll be quiet.

I'm keeping an open mind cause it was so weird; like Heads, I'm not sure what to think. But it wasn't a difficult watch and we haven't even gotten to see enough of the rest of the cast (Choi Ye-jin!) or the main plot so...

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I do hope HeadsNo2, you will continue with recapping. With just 2 episodes and basically all we got is the main couples back story of how their relationship started, it's much too early to say on how this drama will turn out.

We know how Il Ri was like when she was 18 but have yet to see how she is as a person 7 years later and also after years of marriage to Hee Tae. As for Hee Tae, I don't really know what to make of him yet. Since it was Il Ri who pursued him first with him sort of attracted to her and kind of just went along with it with some apprehension here and there but his fusses didn't amount to much in retrospect. I think from episode 3 onward, the story will start to pick up and then we can kind of decide if this is something we want to continue with.

Anyway, to be honest, I'm drawn to this drama because of Lee Soo Hyuk. For me since I don't know much about his work, I'm curious to see if his acting abilities is good enough to keep me from disliking his character in being the third wheel. Yeah, yeah...I have my moments of falling for unusual ethereal faces. :)

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>I’m curious to see if his acting abilities is good enough to keep me from disliking his character in being the third wheel.

Well, it's mostly in the writing, if he is not developed there is not much even a great actor could do however I'm curious about him too. I found him pretty bad in White Christmas but he was so young and the character was very unusual, later on I found him surprisingly good in HSK so I don't know what to expect in VL. :)

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I do agree that the script matters and the development of his character is important and as viewers, we will know that. We can't really fault him if it's bad writing.

However, as an actor, it's his responsibility too to do justice to the role no matter how good or badly written. I believe we have seen many roles that were badly written but thank goodness for the actor/actress for making it less terrible and vice versa; good roles butchered by bad acting.

Since I think he did really well in Savvy, playing a character that is not easy to like and pulling it off, I'm hoping he will manage this well too. *fingers crossed* :)

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I like it so far. It gives off a manga vibe at times. I do not know what to think about that giant pollack in the sky but I am able to go past it. I didn't expect not to dislike the lead actress and her character. Her aegyo I can stomach. Looking forward to more episodes. But trying not to hope too high.

As for Lee Soo Hyuk, I squeeled a bit when he appeared in the previews for episode 3.

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Am loving the drama. Very very different in its story telling and it's characters. The actress plays the heroine well. Just odd, quirky, feisty. And uhmforce is perfect! Strange and compelling. Can't wait for the coming episodes..

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This show is not quite what I expected, but I love quirky, so I'm in!

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I'm debating this one. Love Sam Soon, but felt meh regarding What's Up Fox and Me Too, Flower - parts of both of these I loved, but I thought side situations and characters were too crazy (I felt that way about the ex-girlfriend in Sam Soon as well, but the rest of the drama is so good! I tend to fast forward past all of her scenes on the re-watch).

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Oddly enough, this drama is just my type. It won't compete with my favorites like Misaeng or King of HS Savvy but... I'm a sucker for weird dramas like this. HEH.

Can't wait for the following episodes!! please don't break our heartsss I'm rooting for Il Ri & Pollack!

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Third episode in and it's still weird and wonderful. Does anyone else see traces of woody Allen in it?

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The third episode (and the previews for the 4th) cinched it for me. I'm all in for this drama.
The SIL's character is amazing. I was wondering why it's her face on not the main leads' on the posters, but now I'm beginning to understand.
More than a few tears will be shed before this ride is over.

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4th epi was great as well. hope it remains this special throughout.

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I don't find UTW handsome however his eyes won me over. His eyes are really expressive and I fell for it.

When he does his smirks it is also so cute.

He has a charm, and imo can act. However I understand when people don't like his acting style. I mean, I don't really enjoy Kim soo hyun acting style but find him handsome.

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I am liking this drama so far (ep4). I hope there would be a recap. Lee Si Young is doing a great job, her quirkiness is not annoying and you feel for her character. Uhm Tae Woong fits the role of the husband well. The wife's relationship with the sister-in-law is interesting.

This drama is worth giving a try :)

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Love love love this drama
background song n lee siyong daebak

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I felt uncomfortable about the theme but I like Lee Shi Young enough to give it a try. And YES I LOVE IT so far. I've marathoned through 4 episodes today. All 3 characters are easy to feel sympathetic for actually and I'm curious about the struggles that all 3 of them will have to go through. The families of Il Ri and Tae Hae are also interesting.
Apart from Misaeng, this is the only show I'm gonna continue watching. Some of you said the show is strange but I think it is just not full of cliche and K-drama convention. It has its own personality which I enjoy very much.

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I like this show, so far it's saying very interesting things. The top among them is you can't always be the one who carries the baggage. You have to let people help you, and you have to tell them you need help.

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I love this drama! The writing, acting, and cinematography are just worth the watch and re-watch. It's a very talented cast. One thing that will undoubtedly kill your enthusiasm is joining the s "forum" that discusses the show. The open minded and tolerant commenters are a minority in that forum. I recommend do not join. Watch and discuss the show with open minded and intelligent people. The sensitivity and timeliness of the topic makes that a pre-requisite. Otherwise, enjoying the show is still possible!

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Sorry for this late posting. I agree with many other postings that describe VL as a very difficult to understand narrative. A question that keeps plaguing me is who does IR actually love - HT or KJ. Both? When HT discovered her affair, she confessed to loving HT when she was with him and KJ when she was with him. HT also read her faced right then that IR's heart could not let him go. This was evident from her many attempts to end the affair - even right to night when HT discovered it from the roof top as IR declared that her palms were hot, her heart and body were hot right to toes. When KJ asked IR "what am I to you" in episode 17, she declared that she "followed her heart and her heart only followed him". She walk out but called KJ twice to apologise. In episode 18, in the morning after meeting with KJ in his truck (after the night when MIL tried to kill HS and herself), IR apologised for going back when KJ did not like it. The scene of her sac sac attack after she found out HT was aboard the ship on fire, IR had two flashbacks - one of HT and another of KJ. On arrival at the hospital when she was put on respirator, she called "HTssi" and "Joon ah" (first record of her using this endearment for KJ). During her "conversation" with HS, IR asked about her mother, YR, HT, and Carpenter Kim. Seems like she loved both. Right at the end. HT narrated that because we are weak we fall into all kinds of love. So, is IR's love for HT and KJ valid? (Me thinks HT and IR had vapid/boring and vacuous/empty love. I'd love to hear Kim Do Woo's comment but also from others who understood this drama better.

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IR's infatuation, if it's only infatuation, can be considered to be of epic proportions. All the romantic images aside, she almost died to save him. Also, she waited seven years for him without any promises or encouragement on HT's part. She merely believed they were fated.
Most social scientists will tell you that infatuations rarely last this long. She was infatuated with kJ and it lasted barely four months.
I would concede that she was infatuated with HT as with KJ. I would even acknowledge that IR loved both men. But she could only be married to one and so she has to choose whom.
KJ should consider himself lucky IR didn't choose him. She chose HT instead. Poor guy starting off as a zero again. That's what happened to HT after reconciling with IR - He turned from hero to zero! I pity him. She should have just thrown the rocking chair gift away since IR felt burdened by it, not confess his feelings for IR. Just wait, seven year later, IR will turn him into a cuckold again. Kim Do Woo has fodder for Valid Love 2 with this theme.

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