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High Society: Episode 8

I’ll give you one guess as to who gets called out on their duplicitous nature and lies this episode, though the mental gymnastics the guilty party goes through to defend their actions is certainly something to see. What is it about Joon-ki that inspires such adoration in others when he gives nothing substantial in return? Is it just his dashing good looks that lead people to think he has a soul? Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh. But darn it, Joon-ki, throw me a bone here.

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EPISODE 8 RECAP

The two couples enter the club and proceed to do the opposite of tearing up the dance floor, and though Joon-ki is wearing a tuxedo shirt unironically, he’s totally the hot guy on the dance floor who just plants his feet.

Meanwhile, one of Ye-won’s lackeys lurks outside Joon-ki’s house with instructions to dig up more about him so she can leak his relationship with her little sister to the press. “It’s like she was born yesterday,” Ye-won says disapprovingly of Yoon-ha in flashback. For once, I agree with her.

Mama Lee invites the lackey into her house when he claims he’s an old high school buddy of Joon-ki’s, but grows immediately suspicious of him. He confesses that he’s not Joon-ki’s friend, but is scouting him for a big company. Even so, Mama Lee doesn’t have a good feeling about him.

Joon-ki’s mind drifts to what Chang-soo said about not really knowing who he is, while Chang-soo gets a really random call from an old buddy of his who just happens to be the reporter Joon-ki’s been in contact with.

Chang-soo grows suspicious when the reporter offhandedly mentions that Joon-ki’s been giving him some good stories lately, and orders someone to find out who published the initial article on Yoon-ha’s part-time job.

There’s a strange cut from the four of them leaving the club via car to the four of them arriving at a pier overlooking the ocean, but this must be a different day because they’re in different clothes. (Or worse, it’s a montage!)

It’s all laughter and fun times for them, and at least for the moment Chang-soo seems to be enjoying his cryptic buddy as he playfully splashes water at him.

Cue different clothes/a different day as we find the four preparing a picturesque outdoor barbecue party at one of Chang-soo’s properties. Joon-ki helps Ji-yi out for the sake of helping, though Ji-yi points out that Yoon-ha’s face immediately went sour.

“Don’t do this for other girls anymore,” Ji-yi advises Joon-ki. She mentions that it’s the little things that work best with women, and Chang-soo scoffs that all the girls he knows like expensive things and nice places.

So then it’s Yoon-ha’s turn to come to Ji-yi’s defense as she tells Chang-soo not to mention his past with other women around his girlfriend like it’s nothing. The two girls declare their eternal love for each other while Chang-soo mutters that maybe the four of them shouldn’t hang out anymore.

Chang-soo makes it a point to follow Yoon-ha inside the house when she goes to get wine, and he actually segues pretty naturally into asking her about Joon-ki. Well, more about how much she likes him, which tells him that she hasn’t had a lot of dating experience.

Yoon-ha argues the opposite, and Chang-soo just pretends to buy it as he adds, “That’s why you should know well what men become.” She doesn’t know. But what Chang-soo wants to get across that she shouldn’t give her whole heart to Joon-ki—she has to leave some for herself.

“I already gave it all to him,” Yoon-ha says quietly. She’s not sorry about it, arguing that there’d be no reason to date him if she wasn’t going to give her whole heart to him.

But while they’re on the subject of dating advice, Yoon-ha tells him that if he truly loves Ji-yi, he should marry her. Chang-soo turns that same sentiment on her, and she unabashedly proclaims she’d marry Joon-ki. Chang-soo genuinely asks her if she thinks it’ll be that easy—her status in the company has changed recently, after all.

“My marriage has nothing to do with the company,” Yoon-ha says obstinately. “If I can’t marry who I want, what’s the point of living?” Chang-soo really does try to get her to understand that neither of them are in a position to marry whoever they want, but Yoon-ha still thinks she has the upper hand in her family. She’s independent, she claims. On some other plane of existence, maybe.

Outside, Ji-yi tells Joon-ki how much she respects and admires him before broaching the topic of how he handled Yoon-ha’s reveal. When he doesn’t answer she decides to share that she reacted with a mix of sadness despite recognizing hints about Yoon-ha’s lineage before.

Despite those hints, Ji-yi still thought Yoon-ha came from a background like hers, so it’s all still a little surprising. Joon-ki changes the subject to ask what she plans to do with Chang-soo. “I don’t have a plan to do anything,” Ji-yi responds a little mournfully. “He isn’t someone I can make plans with. We came all the way here without a plan.”

Joon-ki tries to cheer her up by reminding her of her inner strength, and Ji-yi thinks it’s cute that he’s worrying about her. But he doesn’t need to, because she’s no idiot—even when she sees the rich man/poor girl dynamic work out in dramas, she never quite buys it. So she’s not going to expect some fairytale ending for herself either.

She and Joon-ki share a moment of understanding and kinship before the two chaebols return, though it’s worth noting that when Ji-yi tells Joon-ki that Yoon-ha’s lucky to have him, a momentary look passes over his face—something like guilt, perhaps.

Ji-yi’s use of formal job titles for the boys is brought up at the dinner table jokingly, though Chang-soo means it when he suggests both women start calling them oppa from here on out.

Yoon-ha begins to cry, since that word makes her think of her late oppa: “I can’t make the word ‘oppa’ come out of my mouth.” Joon-ki leads her off to get some air, and at Chang-soo’s light insistence, Ji-yi switches from calling him “Director” to calling him “Oppa.”

In order to avoid paying loads of taxes and losing management rights over Kyung-joon’s assets, Chairman Jang’s secretary suggests that they continue to report him as missing, since the body was never found.

But in order to have everything of Kyung-joon’s, they’ll need to get Madam Min to hand over the rights Kyung-joon granted to her in his will, which Jang vows to work on in secret.

Now that she has her lackey’s report on Joon-ki’s family and business life, Ye-won is able to paint a disturbingly accurate picture of him: Growing up poor means he knows the true value of money, and he’s clearly attached himself to Chang-soo for his own ambitious gain.

Likewise, Ye-won figures out that he’s with her little sister because of all that he can gain from her. As far as learning about her father’s plot to file her brother as a missing person to avoid paying inheritance tax, Ye-won’s not surprised. She just has to focus on getting her mother on her side so she can have her shares.

After instructing his secretary to use muscle to scare Joon-ki off, Chairman Jang informs his wife that he won’t be reporting Kyung-joon as dead. She seems heartbroken when he tells her that it’s not because he agrees with her conviction that her son is still alive, but because he’ll save on taxes. And because he wants to apply to manage Kyung-joon’s properties while he’s “missing.”

Madam Min cries only when she’s in private, but it’s not long before Ye-won calls to invite her out in an effort to lift her spirits.

Joon-ki walks with Yoon-ha along the beach as she continues to blame herself for Kyung-joon’s death. Maybe he wouldn’t have gotten hurt if she’d never gotten off that plane, she wonders.

But when Joon-ki thinks she’s done enough self-pitying, he decides to break her out of it by picking her up in his arms and carrying her into the surf. It works, and they kiss as waves crash around them.

Chang-soo finds out from his minion that the story on Yoon-ha was broken by Reporter Yoon, who’d claimed to be receiving intel from Joon-ki.

Now Chang-soo starts to put all the pieces together, realizing that Joon-ki must’ve known about Yoon-ha’s chaebol identity before Chang-soo told him. And if he did, then it means he was lying to him every time he claimed he didn’t know Yoon-ha.

Chang-soo confronts Joon-ki upon his return: “When did you find out about Yoon-ha?” As in, when did he find out that Yoon-ha the Part Timer and Yoon-ha the Chaebol were the same person? Chang-soo claims he was just curious on a whim, but Joon-ki knows thoughts like that don’t just happen.

So Chang-soo comes clean, and asks Joon-ki why he pretended not to know. “What about you?” Joon-ki returns. “Why didn’t you tell me?” Chang-soo doesn’t even know himself, but Joon-ki won’t let him off the hook that easily.

“You always say you like me. Fine, I know you like me. I like you too,” Joon-ki says flatly. “I know you don’t have any wickedness inside of you. You were like that since birth.” Chang-soo prickles at this and asks Joon-ki what he’s trying to say.

Joon-ki says it: “You have a sense of elitism down to your bones. If someone isn’t at the same level as you, you draw a subconscious line with them. In the past, I acted as if I didn’t feel your lack of awareness. But lately that insensibility is becoming more conscious.”

Chang-soo is floored by this whole new side of Joon-ki, accusing him of pursuing Yoon-ha only because he knew whose daughter she was. Even if that’s true, Joon-ki says, why would that upset Chang-soo? How are his actions immoral and Chang-soo’s aren’t?

Chang-soo claims that at least he’s been truthful, but that doesn’t seem to matter to Joon-ki. “This isn’t the face you’ve shown me until now,” Chang-soo grits out. Joon-ki gives him a patronizing pat on the shoulder as he replies, “You only saw what you wanted to see.”

The boys get into a fistfight that Chang-soo starts by accusing Joon-ki of being a twisted bastard. The girls find them wrestling like dogs on the ground before they break things up.

Ye-won finds an opportunity to bring up Yoon-ha’s love life to their mother, and like Chang-soo’s hyung, she acts way too supportive of having someone in their family marry for love.

Madam Min asks why Ye-won thinks she and Chairman Jang didn’t marry for love—because in their younger days, they loved each other very much. Then she sighs ruefully that old age, with all its problems, lasts far longer than youth. Life is unfair that way.

On his silent car ride home with Ji-yi, Chang-soo thinks back to his high school days, when Joon-ki had saved him from bullies. Similarly, Joon-ki remembers seeing Chang-soo only hang out with other chaebol heirs as his friend commented that they’d never become like them no matter how much they studied—because life is unfair that way.

While Yoon-ha just buys Joon-ki’s excuse that he and Chang-soo fought because that’s what men do sometimes, Ji-yi hears the same excuse and cries. She doesn’t care if it’s normal, she just doesn’t want Chang-soo getting hurt, so she makes him agree not to do something like it in the future.

“I won’t,” Chang-soo promises her, moved by how much she cares. Then he pulls her into a comforting embrace to ease her worries.

After submitting to Madam Min’s decree that she never go to the same spa as her again, Lady Kim returns home feeling defeated. She complains to Mama Lee that she’s always tried to be kind, but takes issue when Mama Lee doesn’t agree with her.

“I can’t lie,” Mama Lee says seriously. Haha. Their whole conversation here is just gold, with Lady Kim trying to figure out where Mama Lee disagrees with what she said only for Mama Lee to keep changing the subject to what’s for dinner.

Ji-yi calls up Yoon-ha to have a half-joking argument over which of their boyfriends started the fight, who’s more responsible, etc. Once they’re together, they both share their confusion over the fact that both their boyfriends told them that fighting is how men show affection.

They get all giggly and pleased with themselves when they point out that unlike the boys, they’re using civil discourse to work through their problems. If only they could spread their method to the rest of the world, life would be so much better.

Then Yoon-ha broaches the topic of Ji-yi’s job at the supermarket, if only to ask her if she’d like to work at her company now that she’s decided to work at Taejin. Ji-yi doesn’t think she can with only a high school education, though Yoon-ha tells her that her family is full of highly educated people—and look how nice they turned out.

Besides, Yoon-ha says, having a good heart is better than a good brain, and Ji-yi’s perfectly suited to a job where she gets to create make-up and win over women’s hearts. Ji-yi promises to think about it, though she’s concerned about how boss/employee relationships interfere with friendships after seeing Chang-soo and Joon-ki fight.

Yoon-ha insists that they would be equal in position (how?), so that wouldn’t be a problem. “We’re different from men,” she proclaims. “We’re not ignorant people who care only about status.” Even so, Ji-yi wants to think about it. This one’s got a head on her shoulders.

Chang-soo’s bad day continues when his mom confronts him over the part-timer she now knows he’s dating (thanks to his hyung), and when he doesn’t divulge any info, Mom calls Joon-ki. Joon-ki lies that he doesn’t know who Chang-soo’s dating, but Mom orders him to find out.

While brooding in front of a steamy mirror, Chang-soo thinks back to how much he treasured Joon-ki’s friendship above all things. Only now, he sees how one-sided their relationship really was. “Son of a bitch,” he growls.

Mama Lee sings Yoon-ha’s praises to Joon-ki, although no one’s told her that she’s not just a part-timer yet. Joon-ki asks his mother about concerns that are clearly on his mind, like whether she’d rather her son date someone more successful. Unfortunately for him, his mom would rather err on the side of love, not calculation.

He asks if his mother learned nothing from living with so little, and she sagely replies, “Even if I didn’t, I learned to live happily. Do you know how hard that is?” Joon-ki has no choice but to agree, but also finds no quarter with her regarding his father either.

Despite Joon-ki claiming he can’t understand his father the way he understands her, Mama Lee defends her husband without qualifiers. It’s not entirely clear why Joon-ki doesn’t speak highly of his dad other than that he’s crippled, and that he doesn’t seem to accept he’s crippled himself.

That’s when Mama Lee hands her son the business card left by Ye-won’s lackey, though she admits to not liking the man who gave it to her because he lied. “A person who lies from the beginning will continue to lie,” she says. Her words affect Joon-ki for reasons he knows all too well.

Someone’s been poking around about him at the office as well, where his douchey colleague was all too happy to inform him that he told them exactly what kind of person he is.

Joon-ki takes Yoon-ha to an art exhibit date, both of them unaware that someone’s watching and photographing their every move. When a despondent Chang-soo calls Yoon-ha to tell her he has something to say, Joon-ki starts to sweat. Ruh roh.

Madam Min sets to drinking again when she thinks about how heartless her husband has been regarding Kyung-joon’s disappearance, and confronts him to ask if he even cried when he first heard the news.

Despite his claims to the contrary, Madam Min furtively believes he didn’t even mourn, using his bid to file Kyung-joon as missing for tax credits as proof that he doesn’t feel a thing. While he forces her to acknowledge her alcoholism, she forces him to acknowledge that everything he’s doing is just to keep his current position.

“Have you ever thought that you’re living well because I’m keeping this position?” he yells at her. With tears running down her face, Madam Min says hoarsely, “Let’s divorce. I can’t live with someone like you.” She’s thought about it before but has only found the courage now, and leaves her husband with these cutting words: “I’m tired of hating you.”

Joon-ki knows something serious is up when Chang-soo’s disconnected his cell phone, and it’s only confirmed when he delivers documents for him to sign to his office. That’s a task above Joon-ki’s pay grade, Chang-soo says, so they should start acting only within the confines of their official positions from now on.

At least Joon-ki gets his permission to speak as a friend and not just an employee before he asks, “Am I really a friend to you?” Chang-soo thinks Joon-ki’s just trying to manipulate his sincerity like before, and for all we know, maybe he is.

Joon-ki doesn’t try to prove that he was a good friend to Chang-soo, only that he knows Chang-soo very, very well—well enough to have figured out how to use Chang-soo’s need for validation in order to earn his trust.

Likewise, he knows him well enough to have predicted this outcome should Chang-soo have ever figured things out: “You’re immature, just as I thought.” He re-establishes the distance Chang-soo wanted to put between them by acting as an employee again before leaving.

“Childish,” Chang-soo says after he’s gone. “So childish.”

 
COMMENTS

First things first: You’re both being pretty childish. Second, though arguments can be made for how neither Joon-ki or Chang-soo are perfect, there’s a difference between deliberately using someone with malice of forethought and someone like Chang-soo, who maybe could work on his self-awareness, but who is for the most part not actively trying to take advantage of other people.

Intent matters when you have someone like Joon-ki claiming that he’s doing nothing wrong by manipulating his way up the social ladder, especially when he has so much contempt for Chang-soo just by virtue of him being born into a rich family. It’s kind of scary to think that the years Joon-ki’s spent with Chang-soo have only deepened his resentment for him, and that even after all that he still feels practically nothing for him. Does Joon-ki truly have no pity when it comes to chaebols? Even if Chang-soo’s naive and subconsciously elitist, is it really possible to spend that much time with someone and not find any humanizing qualities within them?

It really makes me wonder about Joon-ki, who believes in what he’s doing with such conviction that he’s unshakable even when faced with his own mother’s opposite values. Sure, maybe he feels flutters of guilt every now and then, but it’s clearly not enough to make him turn inward and really examine what he’s doing to other people. Though I guess to Joon-ki, people like Chang-soo and Yoon-ha aren’t people—they’re just walking bags of money to be used at will.

Which isn’t to say that none of Joon-ki’s grievances against Chang-soo are unsubstantiated, or that he can’t feel wronged too. But he’s talking like he’s on the highest moral horse when he just isn’t, and even if Chang-soo has a running undercurrent of classism, then Joon-ki needs to recognize that his victim mentality is way more conscious and pervasive. Part of me wonders what he actually wants to achieve by using people the way he is. If he has such hatred toward the privileged, is he trying to become one of them to change the status quo, or does he just feel that’s what he’s owed after losing the lottery of birth?

Whatever his true reasoning is, I do wish we knew enough about it to feel more for him. This episode was a positive step for him inasmuch as it showed the severely negative side of him simmering beneath the surface, but I also liked that it gave previously sidelined characters more meaningful moments. Ye-won isn’t just some corporate villain scheming in her own little world, Lady Kim is really quite pitiable, and even Madam Min has feelings. Well, whenever Yoon-ha isn’t within a five mile radius, anyway. Progress is progress.

 
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Park Hyun Shik its like a young Ji Sung

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oh my! I was just thinking the same thing!

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Who's the main lead here again?

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He really does look like a baby Ji Sung! I noticed that back when Kill Me, Heal Me and What's With This Family were running at the same time, the resemblance is uncanny.

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They do have that similar gaze which draws the audiences in. Hyungsik has a lot of potential ahead of him.

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Really? I actually like JS more but I still think PHS is better looking.

* do I run or stay for the fan screaming? * In protests I mean.

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Thank you for the recap, HeadsNo2!

I stopped watching few episodes ago. Don't really know why but the story line does not interest me anymore. At first, I was really into Chang Soo and Ji Yi story line but now they are not interesting either :( I will be just skimming through recaps I guess.

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Same here!!

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Me too. I enjoy the recaps! And I kind of want to see what happens, but not enough to slog through two hours a week.

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All I want is for something to actually happen. Ji-yi, make Changsoo chase after you!

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About this, "Ji-yi, make Changsoo chase after you!" I agree, she should. How far would he go for her though? He still doesn't want to marry her :-(

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From the previews, that is likely to happen starting from ep 9. Hold your horses!

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I hope they don't end up like Lee Min Ho's older brother in Heirs, who gave up his love to marry for the good of the company.

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Thank you for the recaps

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Thanks for the recap!! I spent last night skipping through the episodes, stopping only at the funny banters and sweet romance playing out between the second leads, Hyun Shik and Lim Ji-yeon. After hearing lots about them, I can see why they're such a favourite! A-dorable. Wish I could say that about the main leads.

Thanks again, HeadsNo2 - I enjoy reading your recaps!

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Me too. JY and CS is why I'm watching this drama.

I'm wondering if the writer's recognize this and are giving them more screentime? at the expense of the lead couple?

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I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case. Either way, I'm just super happy that you get a quota of at least one cute scene between the two of em' - seriously, they should just make a drama starring those two. I'd totally watch it. Haha!

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Meh Younha is in her own little world and when it will come crushing down, she will fall. Erg hard, I only hope it makes her a stronger person.

Jiyi working in the company is a bad idea, it might or will do some damage to their friendship. In the supermarket, they were both part the workers so there was no difference in the way they were treated but It is a different world out there in the company.
Younha thinks that her family and background shouldn't have impact in her life but it does, it always will. She needs to wake up and realise that.

Changsoo did need to hear what Joonki said, he does have a sense of elitism, but how can he not when his own mother brought him up like that.
Joonki only showed him, and everyone, what he wanted to show. Changsoo did not only see what he wanted to see.

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I agree!
Ji Yi working with YH could completely work or completely fail. On the one hand, you do have YH actively looking out for her friend and as long as she knows she may have to do that quite a bit and is willing to protect her friend, it could work. But if not, it's going to kill their friendship.

You're right about her being in her own little world. I think she has potential but honestly she makes a lot of claims without really following through. Also..."Girls change their minds at least 12 times a day." 1. No we don't. and 2. That is not promising for someone about to hold a leadership position in a major company.
And yeah, despite her terrible treatment in her family, she did still grow up with a silver spoon. So while I don't fault her upbringing, I think she needs to acknowledge that her life WAS different and privileged. Like Ji Yi low-key acknowledging that 'yeah my parents are divorced but man that was not nearly as damaging as your sh_tballs family. '

And yeah Changsoo needed to hear that but just think of how strong their friendship would have been had JK genuinely called him out on his subtle elitism was earlier. He already knew CS loves him like his bro (I mean sec deposit on your house and car says something). So while CS wouldn't have been happy to hear it, there's a possibility he would have appreciated the direct message like he does with JY.

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I agree. JY and YH working together is bad.

JY is actually the weakest of the bunch, power wise. I have a feeling, of all the four, she's the one who'll be hurt the most. And sadly, all the three like her and care about her.

I wonder if YH and CS will hook up, just to spite JK.

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Ji-yi is the weakest of the bunch, but I really can't see YH and CS hooking up with each other out of spite against JK. Not if they care for Ji-yi at all.

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This recap is certainly on point. I agree wholeheartedly with everything ... beginningwitch both guys are acting childish. Lol. Yoon ha, i find to be naive to a nonsensical degree.... what's with i already gave my whole heart? Really? Like how expressive is your boyfriend of his emotions for you to be moving this fast? Omg. Joon ki has no soul but totally has me under his thumb. He has a lot of je-ne-sais-quoi about him.... that just draws me in somehow. Quite frankly i already consider him pretty villainous so i guess im going with the flow.... the drama could do with some more verve .... but the cast is so attractive, im pretty much in this for the long haul :-)

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Thanks for the recap!

I actually enjoy the show, but I have started to find Joon-ki a bit of a drag. His character is so blah and I'm having trouble figuring out how Yoon-ha fell head over heels so fast. What, he showed you a bit of kindness and you're ready to give your heart to him? I get that his character is one that keeps things hidden, but come on, he never reacts to anything, ever.

Thank goodness for Yi-ji and Chang-soo and their lovely little romance because I'm not getting too many feels from our OTP at the moment.

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I hear you and echo your words!

I think Joon-ki's character is well-developed and I can understand where he is coming from.

The problem for me is the acting / actor. His character, as many observed, leans more to the introverted side and does more thinking than thinking out loud. Thus to pull off this character, the acting (expressions) must be solid. I noticed Sung Joon's acting in the flashback (schooling days) was pretty spot-on but on other (if not most) cases, he falls back to emoting a blank face which is unreadable.

My second frustration lies with Yoon-ha. Contrary to her on-screen boyfriend, I still find Uee's acting acceptable. But it is hanging by a thread. I think the writing/development for Yoon-ha's character is happening too fast, and most of the time, that translates into a non-believable character which the audience wouldn't necessarily root for.

Like you said Emma, I too have difficulty believing how Yoon-ha can fall so quickly head-over-heels for Joon-ki! I give Chang-soo brownie points for warning Yoon-ha about not giving her whole heart to Joon-ki.

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Also, im pretty much trying to prepare myself for the Changsoo s resolution of Joon ki s somewhat betrayal and i don't see him pulling off anything magnificent at all. To me, there's this kind of superiority Joon ki inexplicably has over Changsoo and it's gonna have to be something epic to take him down. To me, Joon ki is and has always been one step ahead. Of course, i can't wait to see who or what will break Joon ki apart.... im gonna find that hella entertaining !

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Thanks for the recap. Agree with everything you said.

I do think that the writers don't know where to go with the JK character. Its probably easier to write an assassin character that a male lead who has an inferiority complex.

JK's character is so normal, and mundane and so often found in real life. He's the kind of person I'd have contempt for. Not fear, or curiosity or a need to know what makes this guys tick -- just contempt.

You can't have a male lead like that unless he's played by someone who has a bigger presence.

Nice guy's SJK was similar, but he had a reason other than greed (I'm assuming JK is motivated by it) that made him act the way he did.

Unless the writer's give JK a bigger reason for acting like an opportunist, there's nothing new there.He might have been more interesting if the writer's made him evil.

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Yeah, in Nice Guy Song Joong-ki's character (also a poorer guy who deliberately manipulates a chaebol heiress into falling in love with him) had a specific motive for choosing to pursue that particular girl.

It worked in that case because of a character trajectory that involved actual (even gradual) change, and an actor who had the capacity to sell that evolution and let us see what he was thinking without actually needing to spell it out. (the same goes for Moon Chae-won's character too).

Sung Joon, on the other hand, is frustratingly opaque - we know Joon-ki's out to use everyone, but there isn't really a hint that he actually feels anything for Yoon-ha. It's not even like he's conflicted about it, and the writer seems too chicken to really commit to the anti-hero part of it.

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I think JK's character would be more enjoyable (or make more sense) if he actually turned out to be the villain in this drama, with no turnaround. But given this is a kdrama, and kdramas want their romance, he and Yoonha are going to work out on the end – and that, I just find very hard to swallow given the malice he's operating with now. I'm not going to be able to forgive him that, because he has not only been lying to everyone since the beginning, but he's been using and manipulating Yoonha since pretty much from the beginning too. That's just no basis for a relationship I can cheer for.

And Yoonha... that girl is so dumb. Dishing out relationship advice, giving her heart fully away to someone she has known for a few weeks and who has shown very little affection towards her (his moments of kindness are so minimal), wanting to marry him already (planning their "family life" in the previous episode)... Well, people do fall hard like that in real life, but, again, those relationships are ultimately disastrous or don't work out.

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I just can't seem to like YH by any look or form...yes, I think she's seriously dumb, no matter how "smart" the writer wants us to see (like the comments "she's always been different" and whatnot). How naive can you be that you think you're independent yet having no say in your own future? And yes, I agree with comments above too that say it's a scary thought that the same person that says "women change their thoughts 12x a day" is the person that will lead a company. Heol...

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I was the one who think this comment “women change their thoughts 12x a day”, was just her being sassy? She don’t actually believe it, She only gave the information he needed to know, For her the reasons that made her change her mind is not of his interest, he didn’t need knowing, at least not now? And the father realized the same thing, and got intrigued? Everyone is using this small quote for use against the character.

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I'm glad someone else too saw shades of Kang Maru in Joon Ki. I must say, Joon Ki is the more interesting character (Sung Joon's portrayal aside). Chan Soo is like any regular lovable chaebol jerk seen in countless other dramas.

A lot of people seem to have a problem with Joon Ki's ambition and I don't understand why. Is it because we need to see his motivations for doing this? That some rich chaebol kicked his dad? Isn't becoming rich a common ambition?

Breaking hearts for revenge earns sympathy and for money earns contempt? Goody two shoes don't win the world. I am now waiting for Yoon Ha to get rid of her rose tinted shades and take on both her family and Joon Ki. And for Joon Ki to realize that while he may not be a saint he does not need to sleep his way to wealth.

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I actually like Chan Soo because he's having to come to terms with a lot of things that he's not really thought of before, but they're things he's not being pushed into considering. He's actively pursuing those thoughts.

With Yi Ji, she's agreed that they can just date and she's fatalistic about the whole thing. If he were any other chaebol, Chan Soo could just roll with that, but he spends a fair amount of time thinking about her and how he's reacting to her. Same thing with Joon Ki - he didn't fly off the handle when he found out Joon Ki was shady, he very carefully gave Joon Ki many opportunities to explain. Chan Soo is having to reexamine everything he's unconsciously lived as a chaebol.

Unfortunately Yoon Ha is the only one in this entire mix that makes absolutely no sense to me. Yi Ji is the romantic fatalist, Joon Ki is the realist, Chan Soo is the privileged guy who is developing nuance and empathy. But Yoon Ha comes across as a naive child.

And as much as Joon Ki is a jerk for outing Yoon Ha to the press, he didn't actually pursue her at first. So Chan Soo is getting a picture of Joon Ki that seems a lot more calculating than it actually is, I think: Chan Soo thinks this whole thing was a setup, while I think it's more likely that Joon Ki is taking advantage of a situation that might involve some real feeling. That said - the outing article is going to haunt him, and rightly so.

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Yoon Ha is the love starved one with no dating experience. I understand the love starved part, but I don't understand the no dating part. If she studied abroad, away from family, that should have been a good chance you would think.

As for Chan Soo, yes he is still a typical KDrama chaebol. All of them start coming to terms with a lot of things once they meet their one true love. It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that to Chan Soo Ji Yi seems "different".

Joon Ki is currently very opaque. They need to show more of him, what drives him for us to truly understand his actions. I get that he is not the one to refuse dating a chaebol out of goodness of heart. If he was harboring feelings for someone else while dating YH, that would have made him a bastard (like Kang Maru), but so far haven't seen any indications of that.

I don't know what he achieved by outing YH to the media, other than to make Chan Soo aware of his plan. How could he have predicted that this would result in YH being inducted into the company vs her getting grounded for a long long time?

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I don't agree that Chan Soo is the typical KDrama chaebol. I agree with your assessment that most KDrama chaebols change after meeting their true love, but that's not what I'm getting from Chan Soo and Ji Yi. They're cute, but not necessarily The Ones.

I like that Chan Soo is a gently arrogant but otherwise good person (and as Joon Ki says, without wickedness). He's not got the same prickly "I'm a chaebol, just the fact I like you is amazing" thing going on - he's cheerfully haughty but it doesn't feel reactionary, more like it's a type of teasing he finds enjoyable.

What I really like is that he's not changing here, not that much at least, but the people around him are changing all at once and in ways that he's not expecting and he's having to adjust. He's charmed by Ji Yi but disturbed by the way she views class, and then when Joon Ki starts showing his true colors Chan Soo gets trapped between them in a very unpleasant echo chamber. When either Joon Ki or Ji Yi clearly articulate an issue they have with him or class, he can't help but apply it to the other person and it's causing him to realize exactly how blind he's been. It's a really nice dynamic where it's not a direct confrontation ("you did this and it hurt me") but it actually relies on Chan Soo to be empathetic and register that if Ji Yi reacts this way to what he says, then maybe Joon Ki has as well and just not shown it.

What I like is that unlike most chaebols who lash out and try to control things, Chan Soo seems to turn this inward. He wants to give everyone a chance to live up to the innocent image he had, and when that doesn't happen he's hurt but sticks with them and tries to understand in his own way. He's not talking much about any of it, but his actions are telling.

I just like it. Chan Soo isn't doing anything differently in his life and he's getting tumbled around in everyone else's wake. I find him really interesting.

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Thank you for the recap! Another interesting ep. for me. I didn’t like that the guys came to blows (so childish), however, if that is what it takes for their “relationship” to go to a deeper level, then so be it. Good for CS to call JK on his behavior, and on his motives regarding YH and CS. I still like JK (a lot), because he gives me drama, and also because to be honest, I am very curious about what will happen to him, the future choices he will continue to make, and how he will (if he does at all), redeem himself, before the drama is over. JK seems to be the “villain” in this drama, so let’s see how far he goes.

I feel that JK is digging his own grave, and when one does that, you should be bound to get your
comeuppance at some point. I wonder what that will be like (look like) for JK. I not only want to see how far JK will be willing to go, I want to see how much he might lose as well. He seems to have already lost CS’s trust, and “friendship.” I never believed they were friends to begin with. Neither one behaved as a true friend to the other. I hope that JY and YH will continue to avoid that pitfall.

I don’t feel as much conflicts with CS. He needs to decide if he is going to continue to just date JY or eventually marry her, and there is a chance that she might want to break up with him, before she continues to be insulted by his brother, and possibly other family members of CS. If I were her, I would break up with CS. The longer she is with him, the harder it will be to let him go. She was already very upset when she found out that he was still going on seon(s?) dates. I would be hurt too, even if I knew what I had gotten myself into.

The other “conflict” for CS is what will happen to him at work (between his brothers), and his position in the family. I am kind of interested in that, however that is not enough (drama) for me. That is why I like JK. I just find him interesting, warts and all. And he makes me curious, about a lot of things. I want to see what Writer-nim will continue to dish out, and how she will write her characters in the episodes to come.

As far as JK’s good looks, I think he is OK. I actually like that he is not drop dead gorgeous (he is not, to me), though he IS tall, which might contribute to why some adore him. I am more interested in what he does, consciously and unconsciously. Based on his conversation with his mother, having been raised by great parents is not going to be enough to make him good, was what I realized a day ago. He will have to want to change (to be good) for himself, and for his own reasons. And who knows, he might decide that he does NOT want to change, and stay bad. As I said, I am curious…

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As Kim Sam-soon would say, "love is originally childish." The boys needed to trade those punches, for Joon-gi to get his point across and for Chang-soo's world to be shaken enough that he gets his head out of his behind and sees what's happening. I doubt there were ever really friends. From what I gather in that brief flashback, Chang-soo picked Joon-gi as a protection from the bullies and Joon-gi picked Chang-soo as his white rabbit to lead him to wonderland. I do like Joon-gi as a character more than Chang-soo because he's much more complex, there's nothing harder than fighting a battle where you are your own enemy. His guilt is coming out faster now with everyone saying how nice and truthful he is and he knows he's nothing like they think. That moment with his mom touched something in him, I could see it.

With Yoon-ha, I think of the sixteen going on seventeen song, that line "utterly unprepared are you to face a world of men". She's so naive but it adds to her charm for me. I like how she's not so world weary despite having seen the world a lot. There's an innocence about her that makes me want to protect her. I really hope that Ji-yi takes a chance to work with Yoon-ha, she can always smack her straight if her elitism gets the better of her. That's the difference between the girls' relationship and boys', they actually communicate and respect each other's opinions.
Chang-soo better not hurt Ji-yi, I don't care if his brother is undermining him, Ji-yi does not need any more unnecessary stress in her life.

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Sigh, I miss the Sung Joon who'd hug a friend to stop him playing with a bloody and injured hand. Where's the bromance?

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*sob* that scene kills me.

I should go and re-watch SUFBB now, to remind myself of just HOW good he can be as an actor. Which we're really not seeing much of here.

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I really liked this episode only because it was refreshing for Joon Ki to finally voice some of his resentment and anger towards Changsoo. I felt like he needed to say that ages ago. And while Changsoo is adorable (especially his beautifully floppy hair), I disagree with Heads' assessment that his unconscious classism is worse than Joon Ki actively and intentionally taking advantAge. If anything, it makes it worse because he just assumes he's superior and that's normal for him. He thinks he's been sincere towards Joon Ki, but it's only from his own point of view. My sense of Joon Ki is that he does feel for Changsoo, but it's very ambivalent. Of course you would feel affection towards someone who has done good things for you but Changsoo's generosity has always come at a price--Joon Ki can't show his true self, the one who is smarter than Changsoo, who could beat him at racing but must restrain himself because Changsoo wouldn't be able to handle it. Maybe I'm simply blinded by my bias towards sung joon, but I can understand the character. I agree that it would be better if we're given more from him, which is why I'll take it when it does come, like in this episode.

I've stopped watching for the romance completely, which seems rather boring, but I do the find the conflict and angst of the friendships to be totally absorbing and fascinating. I like the idea of using the friendships to explore class questions more than the romances.

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Well said. I don't have a bias for Sung Joon, in fact this is the first time I've ever paid attention to him on-screen, but I find Joon-gi such a compelling character. When he tells Chang-soo that he only saw what he wanted to see, I went "Finally!" Frankly, I'm glad he didn't hold back and punched Chang-soo in return. It's about time that sham of a friendship broke apart.

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Exactly ! It surprises me that I felt an involuntary satisfaction when JK punched back CS ! In most dramas, the loyal employee would just slink away, wiping off the blood from their mouths when the boss whacked them. So right you are, Ek Ladhki Thi.....that sham of a friendship was long overdue to be exposed.

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But don't you feel an itching feeling he is acting like this and started to stand up and say his real feelings about Chang-soo only NOW just because he has a backup that is YoonHa!!!

After reading some comments before and now(I will continue later) about which one is worse than other regarding "friendship" even though I understand some and agree with them to some degree; in the end I still find JK at most fault. HE is the one who has put himself in this stuation not CS.

And really I want to ask ONE thing to everyone... If you have to choose one friend between the two kind, who would you choose? The JoonKi kind or ChangSoo kind? I know my answer. I can give a few reason why I would choose CS but the real reason is because I would feel much much more safe with him.

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Mmm....to say at this stage that JK is daring enough to 'rebel' openly against his boss ( and yet also his 'best friend') just because he found another chaebol is a wee bit premature. The writer is really not giving out much even though we are already half way thru the series.

From what could be gleaned, this is the first time CS had physically shown his aggression towards his employee-yet-best-friend, although by now his verbal bossiness and commands would be quite normal to JK. I think JK is for the first time more 'sincere and honest' towards CS by punching back, no longer holding back his resentment simmering beneath ( he is human after all, hooray :) )...but the subsequent conversation after the blow gave a hint that he cares for CS thru the years but he puts up with him coz CS just could not handle certain truth...that 'he only sees what he wants to see'.

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Yeah mia, it is premature to say that about JK and that is why I didnt wrote it as in "I THINK he is standing up CS just because he NOW has YH". I'm asking isnt it a little suspicious he behaving like this only NOW, after all this time, given his character...

And why JK supporters trying to justify him by accusing CS when they can like him as he is... And really after reading all those negative comments about CS(and after agreeing with some of them) I like him even more now..LOL... Is something wrong with me? ^^ Because now I see it as in if it wasnt for Changsoo and his flaws, JK would come more villanious than he is. I'm curious about if CS was a good and vulnarable puppy, what people would think about JK, how that would paint him?... All those gray to white colors JK wears is because of CS, so give him a little break plliiisss..hahahaha

I'm saying this because I'm watching a non korean drama which has one of most flawed and wicked character I have watched and has done much more despicable things than JK and CS did(he has his reason even if that doesnt justify him). I'm still watching that suck of a writing just bc of him and hate goody-goody leads..lol..well, it is likely because of the awesome acting... But here, sadly to say, neither SJ or PHS is near being awesome:/

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I disagree. Changsoo has shown exactly who he is--elitist and all--to Joon-ki. He's never pretended to be anyone but who he is. It's POSSIBLE that if Joon-ki had confronted him about his behavior, he wouldn't have changed, but Joon-ki never said anything. Not only did he not say anything, he actively worked to hide his contempt for Changsoo, solely to continue to access the benefits that come from their relationship.
If you never say anything, never express whatever issues you have with how you're being treated in a relationship (outside of something abusive), and pretend like you're okay with the relationship then your dissatisfaction and unhappiness is on you.

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+1

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What is interesting here is that the one who's dissatisfied and unhappy with the "relationship" is CS. The one who's finally asking questions about the relationship is CS. JK, after having been shot down for voicing his opinions before and/or shut out for questioning CS (i.e."How do you know Jang Yoon-Ha?" CS doesn't answer him, episode 2; "What did you do to get hit?" CS doesn't answer, ep. 2)) knows his place.

And, as an employee, I don't feel I'm required to share my personal feelings with any boss. That's MY prerorgative..

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Couldn't agree more with you, Nao. To me, the smug elitism of CS and his total lack of self awareness ( resulting from his own lack of honesty with himself ?) is more off putting than JK's intentional and unintentional manipulation, if one is to compare flaws.

All the tension we see brewing just beneath the surface between these two.....is like a painful boil, and it takes the trading of blows to lance that boil....now it's out in the open, no more superficial smile and sweet words masking the real feeling and thoughts.

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Thanks for the recap! Your comments really echoed my thoughts as I watched the last two episodes. As much as I agree that CS is flawed, I find JK's rationale for his actions just plain wrong. Like you I find it very off-putting that he holds such resentment for a supposed friend for that long. To me that resentment is responsible for his current outlook on life, more so than the actual divide between the rich and the poor. He obviously has the smarts to break away from his humble beginnings, and I'm sorry, but the one flashback of his childhood isn't enough to explain his current blind ambition. I am convinced that CS would have improved his outlook if a valued friend had pointed it out over the years. I can already see hints of changes with his short term relationship with JY. We are a product of our influences and experiences, and friendships happen to be one of our influences.

I really want SJ to step up his portrayal of JK. I believe a good drama/movie should show not tell. And I find this drama doing too much of telling which is incredibly frustrating. With CS and JY you see the actions backing the telling, while YH and JK give me way too much telling and no actions to back it up. Ugh!

I'm still interested in the unfolding story, I just want less frustrations along the way.

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@nao IMO JK's supposed price for his friendship with CS was a price he chose to pay. He obviously had his opinion and a goal, and decided to play a role in their friendship. Even as CS changed towards him, his resentment only grew. That's on him. Not on CS.

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That's a really good point. I guess the fact that JK stuck around CS is because he's trying to take some advantage. He very well could walk away since he's clearly smart enough to be well employed elsewhere. This just makes me feel frustrated with the writing. I wish they would do more with Joon Ki's character. He doesn't have very coherent motives or goals. What is going on in him? But of course I will keep watching... :)

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And maybe, just maybe, JK actually also LIKES CS and cares for him? It's not necessarily either/or, more like a both/and kind of thing.

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I've thought the same too. Joon-gi probably does like Chang-soo, why else would he stay by him for so long? And if it's because Chang-soo is so easy to manipulate, why hasn't Joon-gi ever tried to manipulate him?

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Not being honest is also some sort of manipulation. He deliberately held back and let CS win the bike race. God knows how many other thing he held back just to let CS feels good about himself. That I considered as manipulative. If you really like someone, you should be honest with them. Like JK mother said if you lied from the beginning, you will keep on lying. If JK calls on CS mistreatment from the start, they might become real best friend or not be friends at all. Why do you want to be friends with someone that you know looks down on you unless you use him too. As you see the relationship between JY and CS, whenever she gets mistreated, she directly calls on him about him, e.g. the promotion, and CS back down. But JK silently accept CS to pay for his apartment and car. That's why I think JK is the one that put himself on that position.

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But whenever he's tried to be honest with Chang-soo, he pulls rank and shuts Joon-gi down. I'm sure the issue of Ji-yi's promotion is not the first time that has happened with them but the only one we've seen. Eventually, he probably learned to let Chang-soo have his way just to keep the peace.

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Could not say it better!

There is a rule in my belief that say "If you see evil/wickedness, (try to) change it with your hand if not with your tongue(with talking)..." Here it is nothing like evil but you get the idea.

And honestly, because he didnt say anything when it needed and behaved like there is nothing wrong, he actually has wrongned CS and specially himself. With this way not only he has kept himself and CS to become potantially real friends; but he also kept CS to become more sensitive and a good person, HIMSELF to become more a good man and see not every rich person is as bad as he thinks. And the reason he behaves like that just because he has ulterior motives makes him more despicable in my eyes.

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At this stage of the drama, my feel is that JK do care for CS, but like a brother, he gives in to a younger brother...letting him win at races sometime, listening to all his rants in the sibling rivalry, offering strategic advice and be at his beck and call at all hours. Most likely all these are not 100% altruistic, hence the ambivalence but JK is only human. But there are glimpses between the two that showed some genuine 'heart' feeling for each other.

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Thank you for pointing this out, I totally agree. I actually think one of the messages of this drama is loosely, "life is a gray area". Not only JK and CS's friendship, but YH's parents' marriage, the necessity of money, how much to sacrifice for love, etc. you can care for and protect and totally resent someone all at the same time. Very relatable.

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One thing that this show is doing right is making us dislike a character one moment and making us feel pity for him/her the next.

As far as Chang Soo goes, he may not be trying to purposely use people, but he is. He is just deluded enough to think that he is a good guy because he is honest about not marrying the girl or because he tells his friend that he likes him while treating him like a lackey and trying to keep him in his place.

Call me crazy but guys like Chang Soo exist in real life and they hurt the most because when the relationship is over the girl can only hate herself, because he never lied and was always open about what he wanted in the relationship. He KNOWS that he is hurting the girl, but hides behind the truth as his excuse for doing it. This type of guy is also an expert manipulator. So I'm not giving him a break here.

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This is the one legitimate argument I see with Changsoo. Probably because that's the thing I took issue with.

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Methinks you have put the finger on it very precisely.....the final analysis is that CS is an expert manipulator but he gets to feel good about himself doing it because he hides the truth.

All this while, I have been been saying that he is very lacking in self awareness....it is impossible to have the honesty to face up to oneself if one is lacking even an awareness of the self. His elite background, the way he was brought up, the lording over the lowly students in schools from a young age, and now the lording over his employees in his adult working life....having his ways ALL the time, brooking no opposition...all these help him to blissfully ride rough shot over others and yet he gets away thinking he is fair, just and caring in all his dealings.

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I don't think CS is an expert manipulator,
he simply manipulate his own mind to have the reality as the way it should had done,
he didn't question why a lot, he just did what he suppose to did with the world he lives in, the way everyone in his high society teach him,
he didn't manipulate anyone with told the truth, actually it makes it easier for everybody to know whether they had problem or not,
and now he start to see what he missed about people interaction,

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@HeadsNo2,

When you say, "someone like Chang-soo, who maybe could work on his self-awareness, but who is for the most part not actively trying to take advantage of other people," I find I disagree that this is how the drama is presenting him. Both men have behaved badly because their relationship is fundamentally distorted by social prejudices. The lack of honesty in their relationship goes both ways.

CS behaves like a rude, arrogant, self-entitled little pig (his nickname is not "dog-like director" for nothing). I actually want to him to grow up and find love and happiness, and I love how the actor is able to convey his hurt and vulnerability as well as his butt-headedness. But he has an ugly side.

He makes JK do ALL his work for him. He exploits JK (who is clearly more capable), but wants him to say "I love you, chingu."

CS is hateful to YH when they first meet. Absolutely hateful. But he is even still talking about trying to marry her for family business interests even while he's dating JY. Given how often he reminds JY that he'll never marry her, we have to take this at least somewhat seriously; so why is his cold, calculated idea of marrying YH somehow OK while JK is seen as a horrible calculator? Seriously, why? I don't want to hear how cute he is as a way to let him off the hook for this.

Worst, in my view, is that CS has said from the very beginning that he has no intention of doing anything but playing around with JY, despite her declaration that a future with marriage is important to her. Even though she is going along with this because she has fallen for his charms, he seems perfectly happy to take advantage of her good nature this way. He likes her! she likes him! AND he's setting her up to be a mistress.

CS is cute and charming, and (as JK says) we know he's not evil deep down, but what a schmuck! the core problem is that he really believes JK should keep his place, and that somehow YH is still his property as a member of his social set. But why should we, he viewers agree with these prejudices? why should we think it is immoral for JK to want to marry a chaebol daughter out of self-interest, but not have the same reaction when CS proposes to do the exact same thing? Is the issue really JK's lack of honesty with YH, or our society's fear of class resentment?

None of this is to say that JK should be let off the hook for his calculation approach to YH. He deserves his comeuppance, and I'm sure plenty of suffering is in store for all.

However, when JK says to CS, "You only saw what you wanted to see," where is the lie? Everything he says to CS in the two confrontations in this episode is the cold, hard truth, but CS can't see it. CS was NOT honest with JK about YH's identity, either. CS IS very immature. JK DID predict that he would be pissed if his "friend" dated YH, even though he is dating JY, because he sees him as his social inferior and a potential rival if he still...

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Great points. I agree with you. The critical line that JK said to CS in their confrontation is something like, you don't want me to have the same partner as you. Something like that. It shows the true limits of their friendship.

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<Given how often he reminds JY that he’ll never marry her, we have to take this at least somewhat seriously; so why is his cold, calculated idea of marrying YH somehow OK while JK is seen as a horrible calculator?

CS's idea of marrying YH is cold and calculated if you go on the basis of the (relatively recent) Western notion of "love marriage". From the point of view of traditional, arranged marriage CS's intention to marry YH (or someone like YH) but not YJ is normal and practical, and probably still practiced quite a bit in modern day Korea esp. among rich families (and elsewhere). In contrast to JK, CS is open about this – JK's scheme to 'arrange' his marriage is by pretending it's love when he's going into for the money and the status. He's deceiving YH, but CS isn't (neither YH or YJ).

Which isn't to say that I agree with CS or like how JY is just something he's going to throw away, or that I find him a nice person – but, unlike JK, he isn't manipulative with malice at this point.

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But that is exactly the point: tradition holds that CS is NORMAL because he is rich, not because he is honest.

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But he is being honest about it, even if we don't like what he's saying/doing.

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But Changsoo is honest about his intentions nonetheless and that makes the biggest difference in the world. I'm the type that doesn't believe people NEED to marry for love. I believe people can be married for any reason they want, it's up to them, a popular one is a pairing of 'security' and 'companionship'. The thing is, just be upfront. Joonki is tricking and manipulating Yoona, Changsoo is not. If Changsoo and Yoona both know that their marriage is a business deal and they both still agree to get married, then that's their arrangement. They both get what they expected out of that marriage. If Joonki is upfront with Yoona and says that he wants to marry her for her money and she still agrees to marry him, then I don't have a problem with that either. But Joonki is not upfront and that means she doesn't know she's being used, she's not getting the love she thinks she's getting out of the marriage, that's so much worse.

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I don't disagree with you about JK's dishonesty. I do disagree that it is worse than what CS has done and is doing to both YH and JY.

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@Joanna

Don't get me wrong, I think what Changsoo is doing to Jiyi is terrible too, I never said it wasn't. Because even if he is upfront with her, honest feelings are still involved and she will get hurt. However, I still think what Joonki is doing to Yoona is worse because there are true feelings from Yoona AND she's unknowingly being used. The difference is Jiyi choosing to still stay with Changsoo, she knows everything and made her choice. Jiyi knows she's with a bad man, she said it. Yoona actually believes that Joonki loves her and she doesn't know he's using her with ulterior motives, she didn't have the choice to walk away because she doesn't know there's a reason to. Yoona thinks she's with a good man.

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How is Yoon-ha being used? What is she being used for? Have we seen any concrete material benefit for Joon-gi yet? So far I've only seen Joon-gi acting as a good boyfriend towards Yoon-ha. I do agree that he is calculated and he has been approaching Yoon-ha with a clear agenda. I just find it so harsh for us, viewers, to condemn him already at this point, especially in comparison with how uncritical people are towards Chang-soo, when he has not even made that far yet. I actually do think sometimes that secretly Joon-gi has fallen for Yoon-ha. He did not turn away when Yoon-ha said she had no ambition to work for the company and she even planned to run away from her family. If Joon-gi is really the calculated bastard some of us are so harshly judging then he should have wasted no more time with her and jumped right to the next prey.

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@Joanna I think the reason why Chang Soo was not honest about Yoon ha's identity is because Yoon ha made it quite clear in their first meetings, at the arranged date and supermarket, that she didn't want her identity revealed. I was under the impression that he was keeping her identity secret out of respect for HER and not for other ulterior motives. In Chang-soo’s defense, although he was hurt because Joon-ki didn't choose to reveal that he and Yoon ha were dating; what really set him off was the discovery that Joon ki revealed Yoon ha's information to the press. That was really beyond the pale, and if I were in Chang-soo’s position I would definitely give Joon ki a black eye. I mean how can you sell out your girlfriend like that?

Believe it or not, Chang Soo has some sense of responsibility towards Yoon ha especially since Yoon ha's oppa punched him in the face, Gyeong Joon's message was received loud and clear. Now that her oppa is dead, Chang-soo is going to feel obligated to ptotect her from sharks who are going to take advantage of her, of which Joon ki is proving to be one. The reports from Joon ki's ex, the phone call from the reporter guy, and Joon ki's own behavior are red flags too glaring for Chang Soo to ignore.

It's not that Chang Soo does not have flaws, but there's a huge difference between unintentionally offending someone because of one's prejudices or flaws and willful, intentional malice, which Joon ki is exhibiting. If Joon minded Chang-soo’s high handedness so much, why didn't he say something earlier, if it were a true friendship? Why wait until he found another sponsor, another meal ticket before letting his resentment towards his friend show? Yoon ha is an out for him and she is just too dumb and naive to realize it.

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@soapbox, I couldn't agree more. My point was not that because CS behaves badly this somehow excuses JK. I was addressing the double standards that seem to lead some viewers to forget huge chunks of plot and dialogue in which he acts badly.

@adal But it's NOT a "true friendship." That was my point. CS is a user, TOO.

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I don't think CS is a user. He is bossy and elitist. There's no scene in the drama where CS passes off JK ideas as his. Everyone in the company knows CS is successful because of JK. Even the brother wanted to steal JK away.

JK flat out uses CS because CS paid for his flat and car but when describing himself to YH, JK just said I have a officetel and car. No mention of his friends contribution. It's quite likely he doesnt mention that biut to any one at all.

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This 'user' business....I don't see how a boss paying an advance deposit for housing and transport ( officetel and car ) is considered an employee 'using' or rather reap off the boss ? These deposits still belongs to the boss/company in the end when the lease ended and all advanced payment is paid back by the employee later on.

And it must be pointed out that JK more than deserves such perks....working his butt off like he did, with practically no time off, 24 hours at the boss' beck and call.

To JK, he earned it....so why should he reveal to all and sundry that his pay package includes such perks ?

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JK assumed that CS would be pissed about hius relationship with YH because they'd become equal socially. But from what I saw, CS wasn't upset JK was dating YH. He was quite understanding at the bar and even offered to pick up the tab. He was upset that JK didn't confide in him.

You have to remember that YH is someone CS declared he would marry and even went on a date with. It's common courtesy to kind of let CS know he's dating YH.

CS really flipped when he found out when JK knew who YH was and that he had exposed her to the reporter.

I think JK doesn't give CS enough credit. If he had then they'd have been better friends.

Also I think the writers are not giving JK the right scenes. While we see how angry and upset CS is after the fight, we don't see s similkar scene with JK. It would have been really helpful to see what JK is actually feeling after the fight. There's just this one scene in the car where SJ is poker faced. And then one when CSs mother calls him and we cut to a flash back.

He had to have some emotion after the fight.

Not fair on Sung joon

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@aoiaheen exactly my point! Everyone is focusing on JK dating YH as CS's problem. That's not his problem, it's JK's dishonesty that grayes on CS and lack of openness.

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I mean *grates*

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I love your comment.

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I didn't even read the comments, but I'm sure there will be comments like

"the main couple is boring"

"the second couple should be main! They are so cute"

"Main girl/boy are boring/ can't understand them"

I mean, I understand telling it on ep. 1-2 but we are on episode 8 and people continue with the same comments. It's tiring tbh. People forget - 1) this drama is melo, not a rom com 2)the main couple won't change, and the second couple has enough screen time, why complain so much?

3) people prefer CS because he is the cute item of the show. But he isn't that better as JK, don't understand why people like him this much, is it because he is an idol, younger and cute than main guy?

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I think it's more to do with the fact that he displays a lot more chemistry with his leading lady. That's all. Of course, plot wise, I don't think him better that JK, at least not in terms of morale and ethics - they're both equally twisted and have a lot to learn about how to deal with people!

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is it because he is an idol, younger and cute than main guy?

You forgot 'better actor'.
Just trying to be helpful ;)

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The actor playing JK is a good actor too. I have seen him in other dramas. Given the kind of script and scenes he had had, it is quite a marvel that actor Sung Joon is able to even portray JK as was scripted in just a few scenes, using only his eyes and facial expression....intense, introverted, sealed tighter than the top of the line tupperware ( haha, as one comment wittily puts it ) with an underlying story waiting to be told.

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Both actors are good looking, no wonder some fans seemed so biased in their judgement.

I agree a better actor is the reason for me to prefer CS.

I have seen SJ in other dramas. He is always wooden to me. I actually was looking forward to him playing a more "villian" role because his looks seems suitable. However, I must say I was wrong. This is a complex character. Being subtle and being wooden is different. Subtle acting you can understand their emotions, wooden you don't understand what the character is thinking. Which is why, only JK (SJ) fans can see the character falling in love with YH while a normal viewer like me cannot. I really think it is a pity Park Seojoon rejected. A better actor definitely can make a difference.

CS is not a likable character. At least HS is able to make him more likable. I can understand his emotions, his ambition and his vulnerability.

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Agreed min, it's not their looks. They are both good looking men. Prior to this drama, I actually preferred Sung Joon's looks. He is a model, after all. What really gets me is Sung Joon's lack of emoting. He appears 'wooden', he's not doing the drama any favors. Someone once compared him to a male Jin Se Yeon, I am beginning to think the comment is right. It's a shame, because I loved him in SUFBB where his emotions were raw and appealing. He's clammed up since then, and looking back no other drama has been able to bring that intensity from him. I didn't notice it much in Gu Family Book, because his role was much smaller, but he appeared wooden there too.

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Finally, someone has the same view as me on Sung Joon's acting. I found that he couldn't convey his feelings through his eyes. He talks and moves as JK but his eyes don't show the inner of acting.

I think JK's character is also written to be complex which is probably too hard for SJ to play.

It should be someone who could play JK as someone who looks suspicious but at the same time he could be very smart and manipulative.

But SJ plays the character as someone who's about to get caught all the time, not the calculating guy's plotting something big against his friend. He makes his character looks weaker than it should be.

I don't either hate or like JK which means I barely care or root for him.

I hope his understanding in his character.
I was already disappointed in his acting since Gu Family Book.

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I see them pretty much equal.

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@ liz,

I really liked your comment. The first four lines made me laugh, and I knew you were accurate, based on what I have read in the other recaps' comments.
Your last two paragraphs had good points to ponder.

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Sung Joon is like a doppelganger of 2pm taecyeon!! They're exactly alike!!

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I am hoping Sung Joon and Uee are deliberately playing their characters such that we can sense that there is no chemistry or actual affection between them. The cold and calculating man with the emotionally-abused-naive-starving-for-love chaebol 3rd daughter. Currently their dynamic is exactly in line with where their relationship truly stands. She has a huge crush on him and he is taking advantage of her. There should not really be sparks cause its all fucked up and fake (unlike the fucked up and fake in Mask, where the leads just crackle when with each other. But that is a totally different dynamic)

Chan-soo is adorable cause Park Hyung-sik is just a cutie. I mean, I want that skin (not in a silence of the lambs way!!)

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whoops, rambling on. ...if he still decides a marriage with YH would give him the advantage in his family's power struggles.

tl:dr
Why all the hate for JK when CS also behaves like a jerk?

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I find this drama, and ppl's reactions to it quite interesting. There are elements which a lot of ppl don't like or find frustrating, but I really like that a lot of comments thus far have been very critical and analyzing.

High Society is, in a word, messy. I was initially hooked by its concept and its writer (the same as Can We Get Married, which I really liked and also starred Sung Joon). The writing in HS feels a lot less sophisticated than CWGM for some reason, and it's not helped by the overall weaker acting, but there's still a lot of similarities.

Almost every character is flawed, but they make sense considering their background, even down to side chars like the mistress. I can see why ppl don't like Yoon-ha or Joon-ki or Chang-soo, but I find them interesting and slightly more realistic than I expected from a normal rom-com, and hence watchable. Yoon-ha's naivety makes sense given her privileged upbringing (similar to Chang-soo's unconscious elitism). I am interested in how this twisted friendship between JK and CS will play out.

I remember ppl heavily disliking the female lead from CWGM because she was pretty flawed as well, so I'm giving this writer the benefit of the doubt. As cute as Ji Yi is, I can't imagine her leading a character-driven series for 16 eps--any conflict would have to arise from external factors acting on her instead of internal change.

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Yes, and Sung Joon has worked with this writer before. He's not afraid to take on a unlikeable character.

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The variously flawed characters in CWGM really carried the show.

HS seems to try a similar approach, but for some reason, it doesn't have the same kind of appeal (at least to me).

I CWGM, I felt for Hye-yoon's mother, even though she was a rather horrible person. YH's mother simply needs treatment. I cannot get myself to bother about her beyond that.

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The thing about Can We Get Married, though, is that the characters' various flaws were not glossed over like HS is trying to do with Yoon-ha and to some extent Chang-soo.

Hye-yoon, annoying as she could be at times, was written with a clear trajectory and the drama didn't even try to present her as a perfect and blameless heroine, the way HS does with Yoon-ha. Same with Jung-hoon in that drama, he may have been weak occasionally but we see where he's coming from. I can't really say that for Joon-ki here, even if he is played by the same actor.

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Interesting comparison. Perhaps, just wondering here, the glossing over has to do precisely with the theme of "High Society". I recall the class issue coming up in CWGM, but not like in this one.

And there's still enough time to un-gloss the heroine YH, and reveal JK's motives.

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I find Chang Soo to be just as bad or worse than Joong Ki. Consider how ineffective Chang Soo is at work and the assumption that Joong Ki will cover for him. Look at him making clear to JiYi that he can have fun with and date her but he's still going on matseons and looking at other opportunities to strengthen his company position via marriage. He poured a drink on Yoonha because she wasn't interested.

To be honest I'm most annoyed by him dating Jiyi...yes their sequences were sweet and good but her scene with Joongki directly addresses the fact she knows they have no future and he's just playing around.

Honestly Joong Ki is resentful because he knows Changsoo is like that and he suppressed himself. He should have called him out years ago, left their company, and found his way elsewhere long ago. Everything Changsoo does has strings attached. Changsoo's Parents contact him for info on Changsoo and treat him like a lackey too.

What exactly is the difference between Changsoo marrying for money and Joongki doing the same? Nothing except Changsoo frames it in a nicer way and is "charming"

I think I'd enjoy Joongki more in a different drama setting. Like if a company injured his Father and he was working to take them down.

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(slow clap)

With all the comments I've read on VIKI and here I feel like I'm watching a different drama than everyone else.

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<What exactly is the difference between Changsoo marrying for money and Joongki doing the same?

Changsoo is saying that's what he's doing. He's going to break a heart, Jiyi has the option to walk out.

Joongki is lying about it. He's also going to break a heart, but Yoonha has no idea about it and thinks it's love. She's got blinders on, yes, but she's not being given choice unlike Jiyi.

I don't think either Changsoo or Joongki are nice people, though, but they are not behaving identically.

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What Chan Soo does with Ji Yi has no bearing on who he will eventually marry. I will go as far as to say he is goofing around with her, but in his mind he has no illusions that when he marries it will be for money. So yes, they are both the same.

If you have seen this writer's past work, Secret, you will realize that Bae Soo Bin's character has been refined and turned into Joong Ki. With the same actress playing the mother, I half-expected her to go all crazy evil at any moment.

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I'm sorry, I can't seem to find "Secret" among writer Ha Myung-Hee's dramas.

An Do-Hoon was a straight-up black and white (mostly black) cowardly, weasly villain.

I much prefer the characterization here than the "classical" version in Secret, although I'll definitely revisit it. All the main characters in High Society are shaded, albeit some more than others. They're complex, like us. There are no glaring villains and no obvious heroes and heroines. Like life.

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CS isn't honest with himself though. He is an elitist. He's keeping JK around as an assistant/companion not as a friend. In his mind JK can't cross certain lines. And to be honest most of the people commenting here feel the same way. Irl, who announces I'm going to try to marry a chaebol and then does it? Nobody would.

I mean we saw YH take an interest in JK. JK didn't approach her first, he played hard to get a little while. But YH wanted him. yes he knew about her, but from his experience with chaebols he thinks he needs to hide all agendas and personal feelings because they don't want to hear that. But from what I can see there are genuine romantic feelings coming from JK.

Hopefully, everything comes out in the open and JK and YH can make a go of it. I'm turning into a JK apologist. Writer-Jim clear this up already!

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Yes, we seem to forget that "made"" him that lunch, and she "confessed" first, LOL.

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Actually JK played YH like a fiddle s shed fall for him. Ad I loved that scene. That was the most interesting JK scene in the whole drama.

That, and the scene at the end of ep 3 where we find her resume and pictures on his table and him telling in voiceover howhedoenst believe in fate.

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On a very shallow note, is it just me or is there something wrong with Uee's face? I actually like her lisp, it's growing on me but when she cries, her face gets really weird. Maybe it's plastic surgery.

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HeadsNo2, you are capturing the dynamics and explaining the behaviors of the 4 main characters very well.
I find CS most interesting, because he is immature, but at the same time he is more open about his feelings. I think he overreacted to JK's deceiving him about YH because, as JK asked, what's the big deal? Did that deception hurt CS (other than his feelings)? Ok, CS realizes that they aren't really friends, but to physically fight someone then change your phone #? That's something high school girls would do. Then, to reinforce his elitist behavior, he has to pull rank in his ploy to get JK to acknowledge his lower level to get back at him? And, to check on JK to verify his suspicion about the source of the YH leak is something that someone who has too much time on his hands to worry about.
Ok, JK isn't his friend, but why should he care if JK is ambitious and scheming to marry his way up the ladder?
Despite that, I see CS learning more about real relationships through his interactions with JY, since he knows she isn't trying to kiss up to him for power and she will tell him like it is.

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I noticed that too. Her crying expressions are sooo different from her Ojakgyo days! Baek Ja-eun (Uee's character in Ojakgyo Brothers) cried naturally without her face getting wrinkled between her cheeks!

My guess is that she did her nose.

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I thought it was botox. It affects one's ability to smile naturally. UEE has done some work on her face and figure. Not to be negative, but she appears more plastic in her recent dramas. She's lost that naturally wholesome look that she had in Golden Rainbow and Ojakgyo Family. Some of her expressions are simply unnatural and it appears like she's wrinkling her face when she cries or smiles. Quite distracting.

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@alua exactly! CS and JK are not identical. One of the main reasons YH is against the seon is because she doesn't feel like she will marry for love. Both sides of the seon know exactly what the expectations are. Both chaebol families are aware they are chaebol families and are looking for a union that will benefit them. Hence, CS is being honest. There's no pretense of love, it's all calculated. With JK, he's being calculated all by himself, while YH thinks she's falling in love and getting with someone who likes her for her, not because she's from a chaebol family.

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I completely disagree with the assessment of Joon ki in this recap. He's using people sure but how have either of them been hurt buy it? Both in true Chaebol fashion have gained from their interactions with Joon ki. Chang soo more so because of their long term relationship. Joon ki has actually been his lackey all along and Joon ki knows it even if Chang soo wants to delude himself into thinking otherwise. That's why Joon ki can finally so frankly ask Chang soo "why are my actions immoral and yours aren't". Yoon ha gets exactly what she needs from Joon ki, a shoulder to lean on. I'm not sure yet how he benefited from outing her. I hope the writers clear that up rather than leave it a ham handed plot vehicle. I also hope they don't turn either one of the boys into a monster. We've already got a couple of those in this drama. Despite the fact my boy Sung Joon is dying here I still lie this drama.

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Ditto

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I agree with you. Now, that reporter meeting outraged me, at first. Seemed like a low-down, dirty paparazzi thing to do. Then I thought, "Shrewd, manipulative, calculating JK must have a very good reason for this because on the surface, it LOOKS really bad."

THEN, as mentioned I think in the previous ep., the outing benefits HER AND TJ Group's image, especially given the recent scandals and the drop in share prices. It would only benefit HIM if Chairman decided the man behind that strategy was worth having on the team. At this point in the drama, just the opposite has happened.

Don't worry, all. JK will get his due comeuppance in true kdrama style, maybe even moreso. Given this writer's propensity to tweak tropes, I'm excited to see what's coming.

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Oh! And I forgot. The outing in the newspapers also associated her with her family, and could possibly stop her from leaving her home, which he feared she might do.

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I keep on wanting to like this drama because I LOVE all four leading actors and the melodrama premise is something that, while I don't love, would watch just for the heck of it.

But episode after episode, I just find myself losing interest... there's just a huge sense of disconnect with all the characters that I don't even know what I'm watching anymore. I honestly can't say if this is a problem with directing, writing, or acting - maybe all three. I found UEE's acting fairly good in all her previous dramas, and I absolutely adored Sung Joon in INR3, but here they both seem flat. Lim Ji Yeon's character is pretty much too naive/nice to be real, and she hasn't had much progress from episode 1. I like Hyung Sik in this, but even then his character is sometimes infuriating as hell.

I have no understanding for these characters' motives, and the plot is not making much sense. I'm thinking I'll probably drop this for now, and go back to power through it once all the episodes have aired. ><

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I felt sorry for Madam mistress in this episode, she's growing older, her looks are fading, and she's gradually losing the interest of her sugar daddy. Am I the only one who hates her make over? She actually looked prettier in her former "come hither clothes". These new suits she is wearing really date her and is not her style. I wonder why she never thought of her future and put away funds for a rainy day. She can't expect to be a mistress forever!

Yes, Madam Min, divorce your husband if you are too miserable to live with him anymore. Rather than drinking yourself to death and hating him and yourself. I wish I could feel more sympathy for you, but I don't, not when you turned your daughter into your whipping boy. At least now, you are venting your vitriol on the right targets: your husband and his mistress instead of on your innocent daughter.

Ye won is such a user. She was all polite, nice and respectful to the mistress when she wanted to meet her dad at his mistresses' place, but now that mom has something she wants; it's cold shoulder to the mistress and smiles at mom. I do hope mom doesn't get fooled by her daughter. And she is rather stupid. She surrounds herself with a "yes man" who tells her what she wants to hear. And he is piling on the lies and conjectures just to keep his job. I predict she's gonna fall like a ton of bricks cause that's the wrong way to lead. And yes, for the record Yoon ha is prettier than So-hyun! So much jealousy among the sisters! Sigh.

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Quite refreshing...for a change we turn off the spot lights on the 4 leads, analysing them to death ad nauseum, and wonder further afield to the 'lesser' characters. REALLY liking your quick on-target takes of them...haha, agreed that YH is prettier than that utterly vain air head So-hyun LOL

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Ji Yi and Yoon ha could work together professionally if Yoon ha doesn't become flaky (we all know she sometimes is with her decision making) and if she continues to treat Ji Yi with respect, consideration and professional courtesy. Friends from different stratas of life have been known to work together successfully, even some married coupes navigate this successfully, so it can work out. Yoon ha will have Ji Yi's absolute loyalty and a different perspective which could prove invaluable to Yoon ha given her chaebol background.

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Is anybody else shipping Yoon Ha and Chang Soo together? I get that they're with their respective couple, but their first meeting had such potential to be a great storyline, but now they're with other people. I don't know, I like that Chang Soo is sorta calling Joon Ki out on his fake interactions with Yoon Ha.

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I did and maybe still did but CS and JY have good interaction, adorable and the chemistry sparkling,
on the other hand, CS and YH chemistry also work better than YH-JK, even if we didn't know if JK really loves YH,
the story, character and the chemistry between CS and YH can also provide a meaty storyline, well mean not everyone need cinderella story, cinderella is originally a rich girl that mistreated by his step mom

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Funny while most are critisizing joonki, what draws me to this drama is sungjoon potrayal of joonki.. Am i the only one here that interested in joonki and how will he react in the future?

Yes, he started with the wrong intention, but it's obvious he do at least care about younha (if not unnoticedly falling for her too yet).. He hasnt done anything immoral, and yet ppl are hating his character (if he's a real douchebag, he would've taken advantage of younha when she sleep over because i'm sure younha would give her all to him)..

We can actually see he does feel guilty although for a brief moment.. I think joonki is a guy that wanted to be cold and evil but deep down he's a good guy especially from Mama Lee upbringing..

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No you're not. I'm actually only curious how things will turn out for Joon-gi because I sort of already have an idea how they will for other characters. He is the least predictable character in here.

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I love his character. Contrary to what most people are saying instead of finding him wooden, I find him sort of brittle, in a good way. He's trying to play it cool, but ther is a lot going on. He's an unknown quantity, a great mix of goals, ambition, guilt, indecision, and, i hope, a product of his lovely family.

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And the 2nd leads, although they're cute it so typical k-drama rom com..

I hope the writers will focus more on joonki and younha development..

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I stopped watching at Ep 4, I think. Now, I'm just following the recaps here. Don't know why this is getting higher ratings every week. Sorry -_- I still adore CSxJY though. They totally deserve to be the lead couple instead. JK now feels flat to me, no progress. We're halfway there, but he and YH are just going back and forth. No development. Shame. It was a promising drama at the start, too.

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I think the biggest reason why I can't understand and root for joonki is because of sungjoon. Reading recaps makes the story much clearer.

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It's interesting that the vitriol toward Joon Ki is mostly due to the fear of what he could do--but hasn't so far. The worst thing he's done is fail to be obviously in love. But it would be truly manipulative if, say, he took YH up on her offer when she said she wanted to stay with him forever. (Or took her up on her "offer" when she spent the night.) Instead, he is following her lead and going along with her and sometimes even trying to slow her down.

The rather lackluster way Sung Joon plays the character isn't as satisfying as I would like. But it does mean we can guess anything we want about JK's motives.

Isn't it possible he got interested in YH because he learned she was a secret heiress, but that he's as surprised as we are that she suddenly went off the deep end for him? I get the impression he does want to marry up, and perhaps he thinks love is overrated, but that's hardly super-villain stuff. He also doesn't want to be some chaebol daughter's boy-toy. He's a garden variety opportunist, not an evil manipulator.

For poor boy wreaks evil on rich family, we've got Seok Hoon in Mask. JK just seems kinda confused by comparison. I suspect we'll learn something about the news story and it wasn't entirely JK's fault. And I'm starting to see how similar he and Yoon Ha are--both very insecure.

These guys are flawed but neither are villains.

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yeah, watching Mask at the same time is a hoot.

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Thanks for the dose of reality in between recapping the scenes.

I find this drama entertaining. Not enough to cry or rage over it. As a drama it moves along and on somewhat cliche scenes about chaebol

Frankly, I still don't empathize or feel for the main male lead. Or in fact for the main couple. There is not enough depth or back story for me to say- yay make it.

As much as I love the 2nd couple I don't see a happy ending. Not without a time jump. Or a suspension of disbelief. Please don't give her hidden rich relatives, or his parents suddenly being nice. His brother is still a douchebag.

So yeah, it will be interesting to see how it's resolved. In the meantime, it's entertaining. And I need something to watch Mon and Tue. So it will do.

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Joonki is just so annoying that i dare not read any comments, should any/lots be justifying him n his victim mentality or his thinking that he's so morally upright or deserving to do/see anything he wants as justifiable acts but not for the chaebols, nope, not a reason/excuse accepted. Sure, Changsoo isn't all that perfect but its seems he's more willing to accept his own imperfection. Yoonha is just as annoying as Joonki. her mentality is bubblewrapped or sth, thinking she's so morally upright and 'different' when all she does just shows the opposite. She's just a typical chaebol unwilling to admit/accept that she's no special snowflake. Ugh....well, i still find it fun to watch a drama filled with so many unlikable leads, i just hate it when people seem to feel the need to make them likable by justifying their blerhness just because the need to like the leads. idk. whatever. Thanks for the recap. I feel that the notes really captures my own frustration with the characters, and in that, i find some comfort.

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"well, i still find it fun to watch a drama filled with so many unlikable leads, i just hate it when people seem to feel the need to make them likable by justifying their blerhness just because the need to like the leads."

I love this lol, it's so true. I think it's fine to enjoy an unlikable/bad fictional character, just don't make excuses for his/her actions.

Hell, I enjoyed watching Walter White (Breaking Bad) and he was a straight up villain by the end.

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I also think the lead is not supposed to be nice person that we all can identified with, but at least bring problem and show why he is the main lead,
and it is unfortunate that the 2nd lead male is really do justice in his own character, when the lead is not really,

I feel some really think that by justifying CS flaws will neutralize JK flaw, what's wrong if they both are not nice person, what matter is how they develop and how they portrayed

I watch Secret and both male lead also unlikable, not to mention breaking bad (I am the danger)

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Changsoo is definitely flawed and eventho he says that he's being honest, it still doesnt make his actions correct. In my opinion, he has that moment with Yoonha regarding the 'dont give all of your heart' thing not because he fears losing a potential chaebol match, but bcause I think tht he does care for Yoonha. I dunno what he was thinking abt hiring the papparazi on JK-YH's date tho. I also think tht he will understand why Yoonha would easily give all her heart to JK, cause damn! Jiyi has a one way ticket to his heart and there's no more turning back, at least not for him.

Jiyi's :'Don't fight, I was so scared for you. Dont want you to get hurt.' Shows how she cares for him, and CS knows that too. Yes, he buys her clothes, takes her out on an expensive date etc. They do all of those typical chaebol-poor pairing activities. He's dating and having fun with her all right, but I don't think CS is capable of making Jiyi his mistress. Hate him, Jiyi and even me all you want, but I truly believe that CS respects Jiyi enough to not do that to her.

With all that said, let the crazy break up and courting phase begin!

BTW, Yoonha and CS definitely care for JY, but how abt JK? Does he relate to JY, both being non chaebols? YH and CS are targets for JK, pawns or rooks in his chess game, the question is, is JY a pawn (that he too will use) or not in the chess board at all?

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@Hipployta i kinda disagree with some of your points. Changsoo is not worse or even as bad as JK cuz like most ppl r saying he is being honest and he is giving her the choice to walk out. She is just choosing not to. Beside even though he went to the blind date, he walked out the second he got there and went to ji yi. He even tried to get out of it at the beginning bt his mom wudnt let him. He did have the right to say no and tell his mom ahout ji yi bt that wud be too quick. His character is slowly developing and his feelings for ji yi is becoming deeper. And I dont think he poured the drink on her because she wasnt interested. I thought it was cuz of the way she dressed up to make him say no to the marriage. Thats what pissed him off cuz he thought she was using him. Main point he is not manipulative like JK cuz he is not manipulating anyone into believing anything. He told ji yi straight to her face we dont have a future and yoon ha knew he went on a date with her so he cud marry her and upgrade his status. ( sorry for my ranting :) ) I admit he has his flaws such as using JK bt he kind of did it unknowingly. He thought that because they r frnds JK shud do these stuff for him even thats not right.

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"I admit he has his flaws such as using JK bt he kind of did it unknowingly. He thought that because they r frnds JK shud do these stuff for him even thats not right."

If you think he is using JK but doing this 'using' unknowingly....this just proves my point that he lacks self awareness, lacks the ability to look into himself, lacking empathy.

Does he knows the value of true friendship ? How can one call it friendship when they think 'because they r frnds, JK shud do these stuff for him even that's not right '? Actually what they had for years are definitely NOT true friendship, although JK might have some kind feelings for CS, even after knowing that chaebols are a pain in the butt expecting everyone to jump at the a snap of their fingers.

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It is me again, mia..lol.. Dont have the chance to write everytime so bear with me :D

Yeah I think CS lacks of self-awareness (but I'm not sure if I understant what you mean correctly since my eng. is not that good:/ ) So what?... Is this a bad thing and making him a bad guy? Even at this age, sometimes I cant know/understand myself either. If I'm too a bad guy, so be it:p

I think it is not the value of true friendship that CS doesnt know, it is true friendship itself.. He doesnt know how to be a true friend because not only he didnt have one but also bc none teach him that. We see what advices his mother gives him right? And likely his father and brothers arent different. What he is doing is the same thing that others do in his rich world. If you dont have someone who teach you what is right and what is wrong in some specific matter, how you would know? And for me the one who doent know "the value" of true friendship is JK.. If he had known, he would come clear with it so much earlier since like he said to CS; his(CS) behaviors was unconscious not deliberately.

What makes the real difference between JK and CS for me is INTENTION. Let me give an ex. There is one guy who kills someone with intention&will and there is the other one who does kill accidentally. Because the RESULT is the SAME(since there is a death body), how come this makes two MEN the same?

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Thanks Heads for the recap and analysis!

1. "The two couples enter the club and proceed to do the opposite of tearing up the dance floor"

Your words just tickled my bones! I hid my face behind my pillow when this scene played. Cringe-worthy moment indeed. JYP's song was playing in the background, was it a promotion for his song? Lol.

2. "While Yoon-ha just buys Joon-ki’s excuse that he and Chang-soo fought because that’s what men do sometimes, Ji-yi hears the same excuse and cries. She doesn’t care if it’s normal, she just doesn’t want Chang-soo getting hurt, so she makes him agree not to do something like it in the future."

I loved how you put this into words! That essentially marks the difference between Yoon-ha and Ji-yi. Yoon-ha's too naive and easily buys into every lies she hears, I feel! Pffft. Ji-yi's so sweet, and I do hope it infects on Chang-soo soon. Chang-soo, you got to realize the worth of this girl!!

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@mia my point isnt that changsoo was the perfect frnd. It was changsoo isnt as bad as JK. I did admit he has his flaws and he wasnt the perfect frnd bt he didnt understand that. JK, on the hand, completely understands what he was and is doing bt he doesnt admit it. He manipulates ppl by showing them what they wan

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Want to see. If he dislikes changsoo's behavior so much, he shud have pointed it out or ended the frndship instead of taking it all in and letting his resentment for changsoo grow.

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This drama up to episode 8 gives out very little the background how it was between CS and JK all those past years. We don't really know that JK 'dislikes CS's behaviour SO MUCH' all this while ! But we do know from certain scenes that JK is the stronger one and the smarter one and that CS is always seeking out JK for his advice and plans. And the playful moments of the two together....in the pool, cycling, in the gym wash room, in the car together going somewhere...these moments did show a kind of genuine friendliness....but in other scenes, it also show up JK's dislike of CS only when our chaebol acted up....when 'slaves' can never be in the same league as the masters.

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I think I am hating Chan Soo more at this point than Joon Ki.
Up until now Joon Ki was at the top of my hate list...
What Joon Ki said was true, that Chan Soo draws the line. It is not fun to be around people who constantly established how they are superior to you. Not just by existing, but often actually pronouncing it. It's tiring.

Also Joon Ki sure is using Yoon Ha. However, I am not sure to what extent that is true when it comes to Chan Soo.
He might be taking advantage of him being Chan Soo's friend but he himself is talented, smart and capable. He might end up getting just as much advantage if he goes to a different company.

Even though he knows Chan Soo's brother clearly has an upper hand and possibly do him more good, he is not switching side or back stabbing Chan Soo.

So I don't know where Chan Soo gets the right to be all virtuous and righteous when he has no regards for Ji Yi's feeling or future and doesn't stop to think the consequence of his action on Ji Yi.

That's why right now, Joon Ki sound closer to truth than any one else.
"Is Chan Soo contemptuous cuz Chan Soo's partner can become Joon Ki's partner ? How come the marriage tactic Chan Soo so openly admits to as something he will use suddenly become immoral when Joon Ki thinks of using it too ?"

Admitting to committing a crime doesn't make it a less of a crime. It's still a crime.
A mafia boos saying "yes I did it, whatcha gonna do ?" vs a more low key thief trying to still. Both are bad but I will hate the mafia more.

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*steal

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By asking, he admit he did it, the diff is how they treat the 3rd related party, it's not a crime to have arrange marriage but if you need thief comparison, what CS and younha did is mutual trade that known and can be used by both. While JK is planned to used YH and told the reporter about her so she get noticed by her dad as heiress when she didn't want it.
The mafia steal in the victim permission/knowing, when the low key plan if not already steal it without victim knows and told her secret to the public while still act nice alongside the victim, the low key who also best friend with mafia and the lover of the victim, who hurt her most? When the victim clearly want to have nornal life without being used and get lued, that is where JK get off
I am not defending CS, but in YH case, he treats her personal life better, with respect than her supposedly nice boyfriend on her eyes.
Why would you sell her story when you know she don't want it and treat her nice because you later would used her
CS in not nice person overa but in YH case, he did her justice

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Why do I feel like people are way less understanding of YH and JK, compared to the second leads??
And I feel like people are unaccepting of YH because of her ridiculous naivity, but please, there are actually people like this in this world. I find there is reasoning behind her change. But yet, people seem to just complain rather than wanting to understand the character? Yet not the case with the second leads... -_-

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Thank you! I feel like I'm not even watching the same show based on some of these comments.

I see so many people wondering why YH fell for JK. Yet no one questions how quickly JY fell for Cs? Why did she fall for him so easily, considering she had a crush on JG? Even if she gave him up for YH, that was a quick turnaround. Could it have been the lift he gave her to her house? Smh. I think some people here fell for the 2nd leads first, so they turn a blind eye to the main leads, no matter what they do.

Another thing I don't get is out of YH and YJ, who is in the worse position? The one who doesn't know that she's being tricked and trying her best? Or is it the one completely walking in the fire? I just find it ironic that people think YH is the more naive one in the love situation. YH's personality wouldn't go through with that if she knew. Yet YJ has been scathed this way before, and she's willing to do it again - this time with her two eyes open.

CS flair to me is the only reason why he seems more likeable, but at the end of the day he's no better than JK. They both are willing to use people to get what they want. No matter how it seems that he's falling for JY, he still has plans to marry YH. The same can said be for JK. He's falling for YH, but his plan is still in motion. The only difference is that JK has no idea of marrying and having a mistress on the side.

All four leads have issues. I just think the second leads get too much slack for the things they do, while the main leads are being criticized for every movement and words they say. They're all flawed characters. None is better than the other.

It's why I think this drama is doing well at a realistic portrayal of humans. You have people like YH who believe you can be good, loving, have a family, and not be defined by your social status, etc. Then you have people like JK who feels their social status limits them from achieving greatness, like they have to do twice the work, and grit their teeth if they want to make it. Also YJ, who seems content with just having a stable job, daydreaming, wanting to settle down, but doesn't want to go out of the box too much when it comes to love. Still, that's where she's at. And then people like CS who feels like they're entitled to certain things based on their social background, the family one has, the looks, etc. We can also look at the oldest sister who feels like the only way she can make it into the male-dominated business world is to be ruthless; her kids, even her morals are being stripped in order for her to attain that. And YH's mother who resents most of her children, especially the youngest, because she feels she's the one who turned her husband away from her, etc. Sad, but true, I've seen this happen and it's not pleasant. Women are critiqued so much for their bodies: being in shape, young, etc.

There's so much more, but this is just a bit of what I think the show's excelling at.

I think the...

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I appreciate this writer because she doesn't write black and white characters. They are all gray and this makes them less likeable, but more realistic and relatable. Chang Soo and Joon Ki are both "bad" men, but in very different ways. For the poster who tried to relate it to the mafia confessing or not to a crime. i don't think that's a fair comparison. If we must use crime as an example- it would be more accurate to consider the intent to commit the crime (premeditation), which does make a difference in the eyes of the law. Joon Ki's actions are despicable in my opinion because his every word and action is premeditated and manipulative, designed to prey on the other person's (Yoon Ha) weaknesses. The writer has made it very clear that he researched her background prior to approaching her and from the moment he made his decision to hook her, every move he has made has been carefully planned. Even if he has since developed true affection for her or feels guilty for his deception, it doesn't change the fact that their relationship started with lies and deception. Whether you hate Sung Joon's acting or he's your #1 bias does not matter, this is how his character and his actions have been written by the screenwriter!

I don't know why everyone is comparing Chang Soo's treatment of Ji Yi with how Joon Ki has reeled in Yoon Ha. The scenarios are completely different and so are the characters. Example- Married Man A is cheating on his wife. He tells the mistress that he is married and has no plans to divorce his wife. Mistress decides to be with him anyway. Married Man B is cheating on his wife too. He takes off his ring and presents himself as a single man to his unwitting mistress. Both men are bastards for cheating on his wife but Man B is an even bigger bastard for the premeditated deception. Furthermore, Mistress A has made the choice to be with a married man. Mistress B has no idea what hit her and thinks she's found a good man. This to me is the difference between Chang Soo-Ji Yi and Joon Ki-Yoon Ha. If these girls were our friends, we'd probably encourage them to ditch both men. But at least Ji Yi has the chance to make the "wrong" decision. The man Yoon Ha is dating isn't even a real person, but an image that Joon Ki has presented to her.

The comparison between Joon Ki's relationship with Yoon Ha and Chang Soo's marriage date/arrangement with Yoon Ha is completely ridiculous! The latter is essentially a business contract, with both sides agreeing to and benefitting from the arrangement. Both parties and their parents are going into it with eyes wide open. There are agencies in S. Korea that set these things up and you are provided with an entire detailed background (education, finances, etc.) on the other party. In what universe is this the same as a man secretly investigating a woman and then deciding to approach her and date her while pretending he doesn't know she's rich?!

The Joon Ki vs. Chang Soo debate-...

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THIS!!! Thank you.

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Yes, that essentially establishes why JK will get his butt thoroughly kicked by the drama gods. His comeuppance will be painful, that's for sure.

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The Joon Ki vs. Chang Soo debate- no it's not an "equal friendship". Setting aside who approached whom in high school for what reason, if you want your friend to respect you then stand on your own two feet. In the US, rental deposit is at most 2x your monthly rent. My friend spent $15,000 dollars on the security deposit for a teeny tiny apartment just outside of Seoul. In other words, the apartment and car security deposits for Joon Ki were a crapload of money. Nothing is free in this world and Joon Ki knows that better than most. Does that fancy car and apartment enhance his work in any way? No, they don't. He WANTED nice things so he CHOSE to let Chang Soo buy them for him. Even if it's a loan, until you've paid you're still indebted the person. Maybe if he had not accepted those things plus the job at Chang Soo's company, he wouldn't have felt so inferior and could have spoken his mind more in front of Chang Soo. Yes, Chang Soo is a smug rich jerk, but Joon Ki made the decision to stick by his side (for the perks) so he really cannot complain about being disrespected. Respect is either earned or established by surrounding yourself with people who respect you (and hopefully you reciprocate). Joon Ki has done neither so why is he acting like people have done him wrong?

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Very Well Said!!

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Exactly. I'm hoping, after JK goes through all the levels of kdrama Hades for his crimes, that he pays back the rent deposit, returns the car and works for people who truly respect him and his work. Oh, and openly pursues a loving wife at his social level.

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but hyungsik is natural

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JK cant be as truthful as CS is with JY because YH would never accept such an arrangement like YJ. however I think that JK is sincere towards YH and respectiful too. Even before when he first saw her in the lift you could see he was intrigued by her. the fact that she turned out to be thuis rich heiress was just a big bonus. Truth be told JK treats YH well and hence she fell for him unlike CS who doesn't treat JY right but she agrees to see him still.

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Im so late here. I forgot to check for HS recap. Thanks so much for the recap HeadsNo2!!!! U get me. I really enjoyed these two eps so well. They were much stronger so im looking forward to todays ep. I agree with everything u said abt JK. While both men have their faults, CS is the victim here. And what JK did to him is wrong and he shouldn't feel so self-righteous abt using CS who thought that they were bffs. Plus JK noted that CS is elitist subconsciously. Thus, he has nvr done it consciously i.e aware that he's being classist. He was always sincere despite his deep seated beliefs.

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Thanks so much for the recap, HeadsNo2. Really appreciate it and look forward to the next ones.

"What is it about Joon-ki that inspires such adoration in others when he gives nothing substantial in return? Is it just his dashing good looks that lead people to think he has a soul?" By others I take it you mean the characters in the drama - JY, YH and CS? And Mama Lee? (Guess she doesn't count, hehe.)

I don't adore JK and don't think your facetious, I know, reference to evidence of his soul requires much substance. I'll just go with some wisps of humanity I've seen thus far: his concern for JY as a potential date for CS, from the very beginning, as expressed to CS's face; the fact that he DID let him win the bike race; the fact that he DID prevent CS' bullying in school; the fact that he defended his father from an abusive bully; the fact that he desperately wants the best for his impoverished family; the fact that he DIDN'T give JY's information to CS' mom. There are more but I'll stop.

I know the evidence seems stacked against him and he will probably suffer at the hands of the kdrama gods for his temerity. I'm looking forward to the remaining episodes and how Writer-nim proceeds. Thanks again.

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