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Sassy Go Go: Episode 5

An assignment begins to blur the lines between Baek Ho and Real King, but things really start to fall apart when a school scandal threatens to go public. It creates the first real rift between Yeol and Yeon-doo, as they find themselves on opposite sides of an important question: When do you stay quiet to protect yourself, and when do you speak up to protect others?

EPISODE 5 RECAP

Drunk on homemade wine, Yeon-doo lays her head on the table and invites Yeol to join her. Suddenly she bolts up, knowing he’s about to start his counting trick again and thinking she’s gotten ahead of him. But he surprises her by saying, “One… I’m going to do it.” He puts his hand on her neck and pulls her in for a kiss, and Yeon-doo closes her eyes…

Instructor Nam finally arrives home later to find both Baek Ho and Real King drunk as lords on the wine they found in her fridge (notably, Yeol and Yeon-doo are back downstairs by now). She records a video as proof, and wonders what she’s going to do with them — she can’t send them home like this. She calls a friend to borrow a van, and bundles all the kids in.

Yeon-doo falls asleep on Yeol’s shoulder again, making him smile, while Dong-jae notes how miserable Soo-ah seems to be. The van breaks down and Instructor Nam has to call a tow truck, and the kids escape to find a bathroom, or a place to barf, or both.

Back on the road, Yeon-doo’s head starts to wobble again, and Yeol watches her, amused. On her other side, Ha-joon nudges her every time her head tilts his way, and he and Yeol laugh good-naturedly at her.

Suddenly Dong-jae realizes that Soo-ah isn’t in the van. She’s wandering alone in some vegetation, but she left her bag and her phone in the car. They all go look for her, and Ha-joon remembers her crying that she feels like she’s going to die, and he seems to realize something and runs off purposefully.

Instructor Nam calls Teacher Yang for help, who initially refuses to have anything to do with this (and he seems to be sleeping at the bedside of a sick woman — his mother maybe?). But he finally jumps up and heads to their location, where now Soo-ah and Ha-joon are missing.

The kids are worried about getting in trouble for coming in late, and they don’t feel it’s fair for them all to receive demerits because of Soo-ah. They want to call the police, willing to let the teachers get in trouble just so they don’t have to do any punishment. Sheesh.

Yeon-doo is the one who objects, calling them terrible people with no friends. The other two Baek Ho girls and the bespectacled boy want to call a cab, but the others decide to stay and look for Soo-ah. Yeon-doo asks Yeol if he plans to help or go back, but he says he’s going to stay in the van and rest. But when Yeon-doo leaves to search, he follows her, saying it seems like more fun.

Soo-ah walks near a body of water, seeming to be unaware of her surroundings. Ha-joon finds her first and wilts in relief, then stands next to her silently as she contemplates the still water. “Do you think it’s cold?” she asks him, though she thinks it’s not as cold as she is. Soo-ah starts to walk into the water, but before she gets far, Ha-joon calls to her to stop.

As they search, Yeol asks why Yeon-doo is trying so hard to find Soo-ah. She seems to re-twist her ankle, and tells Yeol it’s a chronic thing — so twisting it onstage wasn’t the first time? Yeol offers her a piggyback.

Still standing in the water, Soo-ah says that she needed time to think. She slowly walks back towards Ha-joon, and he gives her his jacket for the walk back to the van. Yeon-doo and Yeol also rejoin the group, and give each other a cute little partners-in-crime type smile.

By the time they get back to the school, classes are about to start, and it’s so cute how Teacher Yang looks as guilty and scared as the kids when they all sneak back on campus, hee. Teacher Nam creates a distraction by performing a spur-of-the-moment choreography routine for Principal Choi, and the kids all run behind her and into the building.

Last to go, Yeon-doo rolls her ankle again and lets out a little cry of pain, so Instructor Nam steps up her antics while Yeol goes back for Yeon-doo and takes her hand. Teacher Yang and Instructor Nam collapse from the stress, and the kids all thank them for their help. So cute.

As Teacher Yang and Instructor Nam fistbump to their success, a voice asks about the kids staying out all night and Instructor Nam, thinking it’s Teacher Yang, agrees that that was close — wait, who’s talking? It’s the “60 Minutes at Global News” producer, with his camera right in her face, and he asks them about the spec-stacking that a whistleblower keeps reporting. He offers a deal — an interview, in exchange for the incriminating footage he just got.

Yeon-doo can’t concentrate in class as she relives Yeol pulling her in for a kiss, unable to stop staring at his lips. Can you blame the girl? After class she calls him out for a talk, but she’s too nervous to look him in the eye.

Of course he can’t help but tease her, and tells her to look all she wants… did he actually just bat his eyelashes at her?? She finally asks about last night, and he confirms they were alone. But what she wants to know is whether they kissed – she doesn’t remember! That’s so embarrassing.

Yeol jokes that of course, she wishes they had kissed, and saunters off leaving Yeon-doo to wonder if that means they did, or didn’t. She tries hard to remember, running through the events of the previous night one by one, but none of her possible scenarios add up. It all depends on whether Yeol was drunk or not — if he was, he would have kissed her, but he’d never have done it sober.

The producer films the cheerleading team’s next meeting, where Instructor Nam proposes they elect a president. Yeon-doo is nominated as president of Real King, but as the Baek Ho leader, Yeol declines to run. Yeon-doo can’t even concentrate for Yeol’s crinkling at her from across the room, hee.

The other girls nominate Soo-ah to run on Baek Ho’s side, and Instructor Nam announces that there’s a mission – they have to choreograph a cheer for the competition, and the winner will be president. Soo-ah says she’ll consult cheerleading experts for inspiration, but Yeon-doo (who isn’t even paying attention, because she’s busy searching for information on kissing on her phone) just mutters that she’ll use Real King choreography.

Then Instructor Nam throws them for a loop — each girl will work with the other team. So Yeon-doo has to choreograph with Baek-ho, and vice-versa.

Looking a little giddy, Yeol stands outside and giggles to himself, as he remembers last night with crystal clarity. He’d cupped Yeon-doo’s neck and brought her in for a kiss — and she’d fallen asleep on his shoulder. HAHA. He’d said out loud to nobody, “I was being serious.” He can’t stop smiling about it – that’s a boy in love, right there.

Teacher Yang and Instructor Nam put on their serious faces, ready to tackle their “issue.” Then they take the producer out drinking, hee. Unfortunately, he can really hold his liquor, and drinks them both under the table.

Instructor Nam tries sobbing at him, and wails that she didn’t know he was filming and that she’ll be ruined as a woman — it sounds pretty bad out of context to the rest of the restaurant. Teacher Yang eggs her on, until finally the other restaurant patrons have heard enough and threaten to call the cops on the producer.

Whoops, a few of the patrons seem to be gangsters, and they loom over the producer threateningly. He assures them it’s not that kind of tape, but Instructor Nam keeps up her whimpering and they make him hand over the tape. Then he tells her he’s saved the original on his computer. Dammit.

So Teacher Yang tries the direct route — he offers to go along with the original deal, an interview in exchange for the tape, though he claims not to know the identity of the whistleblower. The producer doesn’t seem to believe him, and tells Yang to call when he’s ready to make a better offer.

Principal Choi narrows down the list of possible teachers who could be the whistleblower, and vows to fire whoever it is the moment she finds them. But Teacher Im claims to have discovered who it is — an elderly person named Park Hyang-ja. Principal Choi barks at him to find that person, NOW.

Real King (sans Yeon-doo) get ready for their first practice with Soo-ah as leader, and they unanimously decide not to accept her authority. But when the professional cheerleading team Soo-ah’s hired to teach them literally tumble into the gym, they can’t help but ooooh and aaaah over their moves. Gotta admit, they’re mighty impressive.

Later Soo-ah talks to Dong-jae, telling him that he’s got to overcome his aversion to touching people before he can join them. She can’t afford to lose because of him. Poor Dong-jae says that he’s tried, but it just doesn’t work.

Meanwhile Yeon-doo is having no luck with Baek Ho, who would rather study than dance. They aren’t interested in helping her win this competition, though Yeol looks like he feels bad for Yeon-doo.

Teacher Im goes to find this Park Hyang-ja person, and she turns out to be very ill in the hospital. Aha, is this the woman Teacher Yang was with earlier? Teacher Im overhears some nurses talking about her guardian, a teacher at Sevit High, and the pieces start to slide into place.

Having given up on the Baek Ho kids cooperating, Yeon-doo runs into Ha-joon in the stairwell and grabs him. She’s here to beg his help, and when Yeol finds them Yeon-doo turns up the charm, attempting to enlist his help as well. But they’re interrupted when they hear Principal Choi and Teacher Im walking by, discussing firing Teacher Yang as the whistleblower.

The kids get caught eavesdropping, and the principal warns them there will be consequences if any of them talk, particularly telling Ha-joon not to let his father hear about any of this. Did… did she just use her knowledge of his abuse against him?? She’s disgusting.

Later Yeon-doo argues that they need to help Teacher Yang, but the boys don’t want to make waves. Yeol argues that if Yeon-doo speaks out she might get kicked out of school, telling her not to try to go into the adults’ world. She can’t handle it.

When Teacher Yang goes back to the hospital, he notices the gift basket that Teacher Im left, courtesy of Sevit High. When he gets back to school Yeon-do is waiting for him, and warns him that Principal Choi seems to be gearing up to fire him. He thanks her with a smile, and tells her to forget about it.

But when he’s alone, he drops the cheerful act, and makes a call to the producer. He’s ready to make a deal. He takes all of his evidence of spec-stacking and grade-tweaking, and even a list of bribes the school has accepted.

Teacher Yang asks if the producer will really delete the tapes of the kids staying out overnight, but the producer wants to interview some of the kids. Yang begs him to leave the students out of it, and offers to do an interview himself instead.

Principal Choi is proactive and bans the Baek Ho and Real King kids from giving an interview to “60 Minutes at Global News.” Yeon-doo asks why they shouldn’t give an interview, and Choi says that if they do and it goes badly, they could be expelled.

Yeon-doo isn’t intimidated, and determines to give an interview despite the threat. Principal Choi knows it, and tells Teacher Im to find something, anything, on Yeon-doo to justify expelling her. She knows that Yeon-doo is brave and a fighter, and wants to get rid of her before she can talk.

Yeon-doo witnesses Teacher Yang cleaning out his desk in anticipation of being fired, looking a lot less cheerful than he tried to make her believe. She offers an interview to the producer, but as they’re about to start, Yeol bursts in and yanks her out of there.

He yells at her to be reasonable, and that this isn’t about her getting passionate and involved. She knows, but she can’t just look the other way. When Yeol tells her not to trust adults she says that she wants to trust Teacher Yang… he was brave enough to reveal the school’s corruption.

But Yeol thinks that nothing will change, so she shouldn’t start what she can’t finish. Yeon-doo counters that she may run after starting something, but at least she’s not too afraid to even start, like him. The way she sees it, he’s not so different from the adults he claims to hate. Ouch, but she’s right.

Yeon-doo’s mom also tells her to stay quiet and stay out of it, though Yeon-doo sighs that that’s not like her mom not to fight. But Mom insists on it, more worried about her daughter than justice, and Yeon-do reluctantly agrees.

Yeol’s dad is there and he just says he’s jealous — at least she calls her mom for advice. He says that he didn’t see his son during the last school meeting, but admits it’s all his fault. He asks if Mom plans to keep ignoring his proposal, but she just says that she’s her daughter’s whole world, and she doesn’t want to hurt her.

Dad sighs that he wishes he’d thought of that sooner — being his son’s whole world. He regrets leaving him alone. Mom takes his hand and says that he was having a hard time then, too.

The producer approaches Yeon-doo again, but she remembers her promise to her mother and declines. Noticing her morose expression, Dong-jae offers her a strawberry milk, but today she doesn’t feel she deserves it.

We finally meet Ha-joon’s father, who visits with Principal Choi after a school meeting. He smiles as he reports that apparently, Ha-joon won’t be eligible for the school they chose for him, but Principal Choi looks nervous.

Of course it’s just a Cheshire cat grin, as later Yeon-doo accidentally witnesses him beating the shit out of Ha-joon in the parking garage. From around a corner she calls to Ha-joon, which makes his father stop… for now at least. Yeon-doo shows herself and Ha-joon, bleeding from the mouth, walks away without a word.

But she sees Ha-joon sitting alone in the school cafe later, and asks if he’s okay. He tries to storm off but she stops him, and presses some ointment and a bandage into his hand, “So you won’t be hurt.” Before she leaves, she says that she’s more loyal than he thinks, and she won’t say anything.

During her next meeting with the Baek Ho kids, Yeon-doo doesn’t even try to get them to practice, even when they ask her if she’s given up. Yeol looks frustrated, but it’s Ha-joon who stands up first, and asks what he has to do. About cheerleading or whatever. Awesome.

But later when he sees Yeon-doo running through the rain without an umbrella, a new expression crosses his face. Oh no, please don’t fall for your best friend’s girl.

Yeon-doo runs into Teacher Yang, and apologizes for being too cowardly to give an interview, even though it would help him. But he forbids her to give an interview, telling her to study her math if she wants to help him. He says there are two things she should find to survive in school: friends you’d do anything with, and adults who will be on your side no matter what.

Yeol watches the rain and thinks on a conversation he had with Ha-joon, where Ha-joon had said that maybe Yeon-doo is right. He’d hoped she’s different than the rest of them. It reminds Yeol how Yeon-doo had said he was like the adults he professed to hate.

As Yeon-doo practices the choreography for her mission, the rain continues. Someone drops an umbrella outside the room for her, and we see Ha-joon walking back to his dorm, umbrella-less and getting soaked, but smiling.

Yeon-doo takes a break and finds the posters she made way back when, protesting the injustice of Real King getting shut down. It reminds her of how Teacher Yang has supported her at every turn, and as she leaves, she’s too preoccupied to notice the umbrella Ha-joon left for her.

She sits to wait out the rain, and Yeol finds her, though he denies having come here to give her his umbrella. But he does sit with her, and apologizes for saying it was useless for her to get involved. She counters that he was probably right, and that she can’t help Teacher Yang after all.

She says that even though she seems happy all the time, she often feels bad for her mother, and powerless before the teachers. She doesn’t know what to do with her future, so Yeol says to do what she wants now — what her heart says, instead of her head. That cheers her up, and she rewards him with a sunny smile in spite of the rain.

Yeol offers her his umbrella but declines to use it with her — if he’s alone with her under an umbrella, he may get himself in trouble. RAWR. And this is bad, why?

The next day in class, Yeon-doo’s mind races as she remembers little bits and pieces of conversations, and it suddenly hits her — Teacher Yang is the whistleblower. Principal Choi comes to get him out of class, and he seems to know that this is it. So does Yeon-doo, and she rushes out to stop them.

She says to Teacher Yang that she already found friends she would do anything with, but she just found the second thing — an adult who would be on her side no matter what. With tears in her eyes, she bows and thanks him.

She heads outside, and finds the producer and his cameraman still on campus. She runs to them, and breathlessly says that she’ll give an interview.

COMMENTS

Awww, I love that. There’s such a strong line of demarkation between the adults and the kids in this school, and it’s nice to see Yeon-doo find one adult who has her back. She knows that it was Teacher Yang who turned the school in for the unfair spec-stacking, and who fought behind the scenes for Real King’s reinstatement. I’m glad she knows, even if he gets fired, that he’s an adult who can be trusted to be on her side. And what I love most about Yeon-doo is that she’s not just grateful to know that he’s got her back, but she’s willing to step up and get his back, too.

I also think it’s great that Yeon-doo is making friends with Ha-joon first, of all the Baek Ho kids, when I really expected him to be the toughest nut to crack. He’s not as tough as he seems… he’s really just a wounded puppy, waiting for a gesture of kindness, ready to pledge his loyalty forever to the first person that extends a hand. We’ve already seen how bonded he and Yeol are, so I’m not surprised that Yeon-doo’s showing him that she’s trustworthy got him to latch onto her as well. Her loyalty is her greatest strength, and it’s what Ha-joon so badly needs — someone he can trust. I just hope it stops there, and he doesn’t develop a crush on her. I don’t think I could survive seeing him, who’s already damaged enough, possibly losing a girl to his best friend. Don’t break up the bromance like that, Show!

We didn’t get much Soo-ah in this episode, being as focused as it was on Ha-joon and Yeon-doo’s struggles. But we can’t ignore her near-suicide attempt, because I felt that that small scene said so much about her. I’ve touched on this before, but I find Soo-ah an interesting character, because she’s such an enigma. While she’s undoubtedly vile, self-centered, and willing to push anyone under the bus to get herself ahead, it really seems to stem more from the pressure she’s under from her mother than anything innate in her personality. Even she admitted to Ha-joon that she feels like she’s dying, trying to push her own feelings down all the time. Her almost-suicide attempt was telling, in that her actions towards her schoolmates seem to be hurting her, even if she doesn’t admit it. She’s miserable, and she feels like dying, so clearly she’s unlike the usual drama antagonists who act however they like to get ahead, and damn whoever it hurts. Soo-ah is conflicted over her choices, and she’s reaching a breaking point.

Which is why I’m glad that Ha-joon was there, both at the party when she broke down and cried, and at the pond when she walked into the water. He’s the one person who could understand how she feels, and how the pressure at home can make you feel like dying. He didn’t even need to say anything to her other than that he understood, and it was enough to coax her to come out of the water. This time. I have a feeling they both could find themselves pushed to self-harm again, and hopefully they’ll have a friend who understands them before that happens. I don’t think they even necessarily need to have a romantic interest in each other as some viewers have predicted — in fact, I think I’d be happier as a viewer if they just became friends. Soo-ah really needs one good friend, and she pushed away Yeon-doo, the one person who cared about her. And Ha-joon has Yeol in his corner, and that friendship is strong, but Yeol doesn’t really get him. He’s there to support and fight for him, but when it comes to a deep understanding of how Ha-joon feels, Yeol can’t connect on that level. Soo-ah could be that person who truly connects with Ha-joon, and vice-versa.

I’ll admit to a little disappointment that Sassy Go Go is a very different show than what I was expecting. I thought it would be a fluffy, lighthearted show about two rival school clubs being forced to enter a cheerleading competition (well, because that’s what it said it was in the teasers) and to date, we haven’t even gotten any cheerleading at all. Not even much dancing, after the first episode. So I feel a tad misled, in that sense. But on the other hand, what we’re actually being given is so good, I can’t really complain – in fact, I think I like what we’re getting better than what we expected. While I may not have known that I was in for an examination of the corruption that can happen in competitive schools, I’m enjoying the story quite a lot. The pressure the kids are under feels real and immediate, especially in this time when so many high school-aged kids are buckling under the pressure in very dangerous, and sometimes tragically public, ways. It’s an important problem that needs to be seen and discussed, and I appreciate that the show is doing so in a way that makes us really care, and giving us characters that are complex and endearing, even when we hate them. I’ll take fantastic characters any day of the week, and this show is definitely delivering in that sense.

Though, I wouldn’t mind a little cheerleading, because who doesn’t want to see Yeol and Ha-joon shaking their sassy booties? Would it be asking too much for a tiny bit of cheering in among the political maneuvering? Make it happen, Show!

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I am really really hoping that they are not going to pull a love triangle between Yeol-Yoon doo-Ha Joon *fingers crossed *, rather if they aim for Love triangle with Dong Jae, then also I can accept that. Or Dong Jae-Soo Ah- Ha Joon is cool too.

I don't want Yeol and Ha Joon's friendship to strained over a girl.
I want a rocking friendship between Ha Joon and Yoon Doo.

And I am rooting for a COLD Chemistry between Ha Joon and Soo Ah. That pond side scene should not be without any consequences. :) I cant hope Soo Ah to Change completely over the night but I am happy her brain lost control of her heart once more and her heart is starting to set free.

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Hmm I do t want a love triangle between HJ, YD and Yeol either... But I'm sorta hoping for scenes where Yeol is jealous of YD and HJ's budding relationship.

Drama Heroes always do cute petty stuff when jealous... It's like a drug for me.

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*don't and by budding relationship I mean a budding friendship

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there's the slightest hint of 'hey-what-are-you-doing-with-my-girl' when Yeol interrupts Ha-joon and Yeon-doo in the middle of her pleading for him to help her out with the cheerleading, but it's never overt - the only clue that it might even be related to jealousy, is that Yeol isn't smiling when he sees the two of them.

But that scene really was cute.

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Hah! I noticed that too. So cute!

As for a love triangle with Ha-Joon, I don't wanna see him hurt too (goodness, I got so sad when Yeon-doo didn't see his umbrella!!!!), it makes sense to me that the two boys would fall for the same girl. It stands to reason that this person would have qualities that both boys would take notice of.

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YD is so shippable! I mean I love her and Y but DJ and HJ all stir up my feels. If either one of them falls back to SA later I'll be pissed because they deserve better than her. Also, I can't help but think YD is the girl DJ pushed when he was little because of her chronic ankle twisting. Maybe part of the reason he sticks by her is the guilt? The acting is so good though! Cha Hakyeon you surprised me! I knew Ji Soo and Eunji would slay but damn N you were a pleasant surprise. Cho Won Geun too! He really is mini Park Shi Hoo with L's dimples!

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Sorry for the spoiler for the ones who haven't watch the whole episodes, but for the ones who have watched the whole episodes, you guys all know what happened. But I'm sorry for spoiling this only one thing... But yes, Yeon Doo was that little girl that Dong Jae pushed, so because of that guilt that affected him caused him to feel responsible of protecting her and stays by her side. I also have actually thought all along as well, since I noticed YD kept on twisting her ankle, I've always thought that that little girl must be YD, and my interpretation was right, so that little girl was her.

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I'm on the side of hoping for a Ha-joon/Yeon-doo friendship too. Up until now, he hasn't seen her as anything other than a weird minor annoyance and the girl Yeol, for some inexplicable (to Ha-joon that is!) reason, likes.

But her reaction to witnessing his father's abuse is what convinces him that she's a decent person who's deserving of his support, however indirectly he chooses to give it. And I love that Ha-joon's support has basically brought Yeon-doo at least partially into his friend circle, that previously consisted of only him+Yeol. It'll do him good to have another friend!

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No love triangle! Yeol and Yeon-doo don't need it, they're doing just fine on their own with him being unexpectedly clear about his intentions and her being completely bewildered.

I can see why people worry that Ha Joon will develop a crush, and he might, but he already knows Yeol likes her - and LIKES her, in a really deep way. Ha Joon is the one who points out he's never seen Yeol like this. Given their bond, I can't imagine Ha Joon trying to swipe Yeol's crush.

Better than that, I think he's just finding a person he can exchange small kindnesses with. Yeol is the type of friend who will protect Ha Joon to the end, who will give up his own goals and pretty much throw himself in front of a train to guard his brother. But Yeol will only make those sacrifices for Ha Joon, not for other people, and in some ways that makes is stressful for Ha Joon.

But Yeon-doo is a more general justice warrior who will do her best to right anything that she believes is wrong, so that takes some of the burden off of Ha Joon. He can be friends with her and know that she would've given the medicine to anyone, she would've kept the secret for anyone. She's just a good person who will look out for him because it's right, not because he's Ha Joon, and that makes it possible for him to do the same in return. I think Ha Joon loves Yeol, but in a way looks up to Yeon-doo.

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just picture me nodding along to everything you just said.

And that's a great insight into the potential of a Ha-joon/Yeon-doo friendship - and your last line!

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I so agree with you! Well said. I think that "different look" he was giving her was him realizing how Yeol could be attracted to her in a romantic way. He was understanding his friend a bit better. That doesn't mean he has to develop feelings for her.

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Yup, yup, yup, swiped the words right out of my mouth- and probably said them better than i ever would.
But although I can't picture ha-joon swiping yeol's girl i CAN picture him having a broken puppy crush on her which definitely makes me worried. That would be waaaay too much.
Even though it makes me nervous, I actually like how they're using him to dismantle HALF of my happy little ships, just when they were about to sail. It keeps me glued.
On a side note, I'm officially in love with the Teacher- no, wait, scratch that, I'm in love with BOTH teachers, Yang and Nam.

Oh, yeah. and someone PLEASE arrange a wedding for Maleficent and her henchman. They could have a baby and name it Stewie.

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But then again, if we think about it, who can really resist NOT having feelings for this cute, loyal, kind, sassy girl, right? Ha Joon having strong feelings for Yeon Doo is really not something he can control, especially when this girl is just so cute and loyal to her friends that much.

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I think since Yeol is now accepting Yeon Doo in his world as well, I think he wouldn't only make sacrifices for Ha Joon now. He will also do anything for her as well, even would protect her with his own life too, just like what he did in episode 11. Episode 4, when he saved her from the falling glasses, that was the start of his minor willing to be injured. But in episode 11, that was the major step of him saving her, willing to sacrifice his life for her.

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@fantasy

This is the first time I'm seeing so much compelling chemistry between the main characters hahah

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i love eunji's acting. its spot on she's gorgeous
i love hakyeon's portrayal of his character, am interested to see how he overcomes his trauma
i love everything about this drama actually ahah! amazing drama 10/10!!

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Jung Eunji is spot-on as Yeon-doo, she has to be the heart and soul of this drama and she carries it really well.

I mean, I know everyone says her drama roles are basically in the same mould but when she does them so well, who can complain?

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To do essentially the same types of characters but to do them with nuances that they're obviously distinctly different characters - that's a feat and something worth praising.

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I agree, but sadly it also means she doesn't get much credit for being a good actress - people think she's only playing 'herself', like that's easy. She's remained a natural, engaging screen presence even when the script was terrible (looking at you, Trot Lovers) and that is a tough job.

I do hope that she gets to try some different types of characters/roles in the future, though.

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Me too! It's almost a waste that she's in a girls' group. When the Baek-ho kid confessed that he likes Apink (YD's "noo waay" reaction was hilarious) I went to listen to her songs, and was reminded again that she's both an amazing singer and actor. Can't she go solo=less commitments.

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@Fab - I know, right? She's a good actress - especially impressive considering this is only her fourth acting job ever. But I guess being in a successful girl group raises her profile, so it has some use.

And she is an incredible singer, which makes that scene in the music class in ep 1 - with her voice cracking and ultimately losing the tune altogether because she's holding back tears - far more impressive in hindsight.

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Yeol's smiley eyes.....

The adults here are such perverts, except for Teacher Yang, YD's mom and her BF. The principal and her sidekick, ugh! The Mommy Gang, double ugh!!

What is with Ha Joon's dad? He is a doctor?! I hope he treats his patients better than he treats his son. How likely is that tho?

This show sure isn't what we thought it'd be given the breeziness of ep 1. Beat and Switch.

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"Bait" and switch.

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Kim Yeol smiley eye ????????

I think Ha joon only feel gratitude and not more than friendship towards Yeon doo. He knows his best friend (Yeol) have crush on her.

The only thing I am nervous about is Yeol's father and Yeon doo's mother relationship. I hope she rejected the proposal for SURE and not having a second thought! Amen!

Aww I replay again and again Yeol-Yeon doo scene!
LOVE THIS DRAMAAAA~~~

You know what, I dream of Lee won geun yesterday ??

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The scene where he is rubbing his lips...sigh

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"Did it happen or didn't it happen??" Longest 20 minutes in a drama ever. Yeol, you tease!
Sassy took a dramatic turn, but it's so good. It fleshed out these characters brilliantly that would otherwise undoubtedly go wasted in a "fluffy" setting. Who knew that in the road of forming a mere cheerleading team, impossible friendships and heart tugging love lines would develop between two opposite groups. Go Sassy! ?

Thanks for the recap!

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Methinks Yeon Doo has no clue about Yeol's gigantic sized crush on her. How? He just told you he wants to kiss you! I love every conversation these two have and I love that Yeol is stepping up his interest in Yeon Doo in more explicit ways. She's a bit dense about his feelings, but the guy did spend a considerable amount of time being a flirty jerk so its no wonder she doesn't jump to the conclusion that he really likes her. But, look at his face!

Yeon Doo's confidence has clearly been shaken by the school and her lack of scholastic aptitude, so not picking up on the interest of the cute wealthy no. 1 is not that surprising.

I'm enjoying the Ha Joon /Yeon Doo dynamic, but only because they don't seem to be heading to love triangle town. So not needed. Loyalty is such a big thing between these three that it would destroy the fabric of these characters existence and that would torpedo the show for me. Don't forget it writers! Not even for the angst. These kids have so much going on already, they are full up on angst. I'm ready to get more Yeol/Dad back story now.

Dong Jae - a strangely blank character (spectrum speculation aside) that only seems to come to life around Soo Ah. So please more interaction with her.

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I agree! I think she thinks that he's just being flirty to get a rise out of her, similar to what he did on episode 1, and as such would never think that he liked her. She'd never realize it until he flat out confesses, in the most serious way possible.

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I agree - Yeol constantly flirts with Yeon-doo and has made no attempt to disguise his interest in her, but like you said, she most likely thinks he's just trolling her.

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I can understand why she'd think he's just trolling her. Back in EP1 when he definitely had no interest in her, he was like, one-two-three kiss. And moments later didn't speak up for her or her club.

She thinks he's a flirt -- which he is. But now his flirtations come for a more genuine place and she can't tell the difference.

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Strange though but I think the interest started in the first episode. When she toppled and landed on him, it was the first time I ever saw him look remotely nervous. He blinked multiple times, looked at her for a bit, before saying the 123 line. I think he used the line as a defense to cover up for what he suddenly felt in that moment.

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or more likely, she knows that he's attracted to her (it would be next to impossible not to know by now, given the open declarations and skinship), but given how much he's trolled her already in episode 1, doesn't know quite what to make of it.

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"There's a girl I want to kiss," the umbrella/rain scene, plus two more in the next episode: these were confessions, practically! Perhaps it's a mixture of both? She thinks that there just might be something there from him, but then she remembers how much he has trolled her, and does not know what to make of it. Perhaps that's why she always freezes and does nothing.

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yeah, I think she's seeing mixed signals - the continuous flirting hasn't yet overriden her view of Yeol as a tease.

(I just hope that when they finally kiss, it's good. This couple is way too good to be wasted on some dead fish kiss, especially after all the buildup).

Also, banana milk! <33333333333333

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@pogo

I was waiting for episode 6 to comment on the banana milk! LOL.

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@Adal - now that I watched with subs (this drama has actually reduced me to watching raw, eek) the subs say it's vanilla milk, but it looks sort of yellowish to me, and I could swear Lee Won-geun said 'banana'.

but yes, let's just wait for ep 6!

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@pogo nah it's banana milk. i've drunk that same brand when i visited seoul and it was delicious.
it (and kim yeol obvs) is just my type! haha

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@pogo - I did a double check when I saw the sub said "vanilla milk" like "I didn't know there's vanilla flavor" but then I heard him said it's banana.

@siesta - I've been wanting to taste banana milk for awhile now and Kim Yeol makes me want it even more T^T

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@Pogo The subs at Viki say Banana milk. I wonder if you are watching the version from DramaFever. I don't trust DF subs, they are more or less not very accurate from my experience. Sometimes viki subs take longer but I have found them to be a truer translation of what is spoken.

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@Adal - thanks for the heads-up about the subs! For a moment there I did end up thinking 'hey this doesn't sound right', lol

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Around Soo Ah? Not around Yeon Doo? He acts like a human being when Yeon Doo is around - he actually emotes and reacts when she's there. Like, smiles! Embarrassment! Concern! Sometimes frustration, even! I know Yeol and Yeon Doo together is blinding and delightful, but the effect Yeon Doo has on Dong Jae is miles away my favorite part about this show. With everyone else he's cold, unfocused, blunt, or a combination of the three... and not for lack of trying to be something different. Yeon Doo is the only one who can tease a smile out of him because, for all he knows, she's the only person in the world besides Soo Ah.

It's clear that he's attempting something when it comes to Soo Ah but he can't quite make the right emotions happen. Honestly, and all speculation about the spectrum aside, it's getting pretty obvious that he doesn't know what to do with people who aren't Yeon Doo. He's spent so long in a world where people besides Yeon Doo don't matter to him that at this point it's almost like he's struggling to come up with ways to remind himself that other people exist. That weird blankness always came off to me as him trying to remember why this conversation is important to him (especially when it has nothing to do with Yeon Doo, or strawberry milk, or basketball) and who exactly the other person is, and also trying to make sure what he says is relevant to what he wants to contribute to the conversation. It's a basic struggle, but juggling all of that doesn't really leave him with enough time to remember to emote.

This spaced out reaction always comes up with Soo Ah, because IIRC the only other person he's actually spoken to besides his basketball team is... Yeol, actually. Honestly, I would have just chalked it up to N's rookie acting, but the fact that he doesn't have to go through that process around Yeon Doo, like at all (his reactions are immediate around her! he smiles directly after she makes a joke or after she does something cute! he knows how to react around her, emotions aren't a struggle because he's practiced this and he's comfortable!), makes me think that this is deliberate on the show's part. YMMV on how N pulls the two elements of the character off, but the blankness is absolutely a part of him.

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AH, I knew I forgot one: the dorm supervisor. That one really made me laugh, because... lmao. Imagine trying to convince someone that you're dead serious about learning about them and their profession while you're trying to distract them when 1) you can't touch them 2) you have trouble expressing emotion in the first place and 3) you're having a lot of trouble remembering they're real. No wonder his voice cracked a little... and the dorm supervisor was having none of it lol

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@saehee

I think that's the main purpose of this drama, it's really understandable of why both clubs, Real King and Baek Ho kids had to merge with each other in the first place. As we knew all along that both of these club members all have their own missing pieces and struggles, and the reason why these two clubs needs one another is to balance each other's differences and how to grab each other's missing parts to fix it.

One club live their lives in the present, but their missing point is that they NEED to think about their future as well, while the other club live their lives thinking about the future without thinking about what they should do in their present. That is exactly the same as Yeon Doo/Dong Jae's friendship and Yeol/Ha Joon's friendship lives are like.

So, it's really good that Yeon Doo and Yeol found each other when they need someone to consult with and confide on, when they have their own personal struggles, and they can't really discuss it with their best friends because they also don't want their best friends to worry about them as well. Also, the way Yeol leaves all of Ha Joon's internal struggles for Ha Joon to solve it on his own, is exactly like Yeon Doo/Dong Jae too. I see parallel here.

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It's more that around Yeon Doo he's her supporting character. It doesn't add much to his development. Yes, he emotes with her but I don't find their scenes very ... interesting? I guess? I like their friendship but I don't feel it adds to the Universe. Thought there are some things I do really love. Like him trying to help cover for her with the dorm supervisor or little things that don't even get a mention but are shown in the background like Yeon Doo blockading/protecting him at the party when he's drunk and sleepy. That scene made me grin soooo hard.

I guess I just want to see a bit more about him and that's why I like seeing him interact with people other than Yeon Doo. Same with Ha Joon really, I love his friendship with Yeol but I want to see them branch out and make new friends.

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Frankly, I'm coming from a place of bitterness lol... I'm biased towards N, so I've been getting antsy about the fact that he is hard to watch at times, and I feel that most people with that opinion would agree that most of those times tend to revolve around moments when he's not around Yeon Doo. You're absolutely right, Dong Jae does kind of become her cheerleader (eeeey) when he's around her and not much else, and I like to see him getting to become a character with his own motivations and mannerisms outside of Yeon Doo's little mother hen cocoon, so I definitely appreciate the moments when Soo Ah is trying to butt heads with him (and hell, the moments where his team was getting sick of his shit were pretty A+ material too - Dong Jae may be a cutie, but he's also an obstinate little pissant.) Those just happen to be the moments where he shuts off the most and and his lack of expression doesn't seem to be making him too popular.

I'd like N to be liked after this drama and his cute little smile + Eunji's cute little smile would definitely help if they were allowed to crop up more often (I'm actually emotionally invested in their irl friendship and his success - I'm falling for the fanservice hard, whoops), but that's not really relevant to the quality of the story or how he needs to engage with his character in order to tell the story and I know it. Like I said, I'm bitter, haha.

My feelings about his performance aside, I still really like the moments where he's with Yeon Doo, partially for narrative purposes wrt Soo Ah and partially for a reason you brought up. Besides the obvious Yeol/Ha Joon and Yeon Doo/Dong Jae parallel, I feel as though the fact that Yeon Doo has a constant, accessible friend who will have her back, even when all of her other friends go AWOL for one reason or another, helps shape who she is as a person in contrast with Soo Ah, who may or may not have had that sort of relationship but lost it a long time ago either way. Soo Ah has struggled and sacrificed every part of her heart for her academic success. Yeon Doo, who has less of a future ahead but with a support network with at least one completely devoted friend (and her mother, of course) as a core. Soo Ah is frankly not prepared for normal life after school because of her isolation - she's cunning and sharp witted, but she's also delicate emotionally and her lack of interpersonal relationships will stunt her social growth. Yeon Doo may struggle academically, but she has a supportive friend and a good family, and both will make her much more resilient in the long run.

This is why I love peeking at the little things that make Yeon Doo and Dong Jae's friendship so effortless and unspoken and sweet: the strawberry milk rituals, the way they tug at each other's clothes without touching each other, the way they cover the distance between them with gestures of affection until you forget they haven't touched each other in about 10 years (until they...

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(SORRY i got cut off. And there's still a lot more. hahaha

.)

.... make the distance obvious, and Dong Jae certainly seems to have opinions about not being able to touch Yeon Doo). It all points to a deeply rooted friendship that has had some hard work put into it... work with innate value that Soo Ah would not be able to comprehend in much the same way the Yeol and Ha Joon friendship puzzles her. Add that to the fact that she thinks that Dong Jae is useless and you've got a relationship that literally serves no purpose in Soo Ah's pov. I love watching Soo Ah trying to figure human compassion out lolllll.

The second part has everything to do with Dong Jae. You bring up a good point about something that's been bothering me for a while now - there doesn't seem to be anything dynamic about their friendship. It's simple and harmless and it works. Except for the fact that there seem to be very specific problems with their friendship, which are being exacerbated by the fact that they both seem to think they have the other figured out. They talk a lot, and they laugh and struggle together, but they haven't moved past a mother/son sort of dynamic, and that's innately imbalanced.

Yeon Doos happy with the way he is and he always tells her that he's all right; she doesn't mind being Dong Jae's mom and Dong Jae adores Yeon Doo and has no problem with just following her around for the rest of their lives. They are both extremely content with the now. But, uh, this kind of relationship doesn't work in the long run. Yeon Doo is comfortable with the fact that Dong Jae is always there and will always love and forgive her, even when she has clear failings and doesn't always catch him when he needs her. (Remember him trying to call her after the window incident and hyperventilating after not getting a reply? She was distracted and the communication failure wasn't her fault entirely, but a complete lack of communication all day probably wasn't the best idea on her part, especially when Dong Jae was doing his best to meet her halfway.) I would never ever say she does it spitefully, and a lot of it is on Dong Jae for not being able to express himself (but this she knows, and doesn't remember every now and then) but I do think that in some ways she takes Dong Jae's support for granted and doesn't realize how much he worries about her.

On the other side of the coin, Dong Jae speaks fully and with the least amount of reservation around her, but doesn't seem to communicate when things actually DO bother him. I'm not sure why he feels as though he needs to work on things like getting through his phobia and communication and cheer practice on his own, but I'm starting to think that he does it because he doesn't want her to know how much he's struggling just to keep up with her. He's very protective of her, and seems to take any harm directed towards her personally, especially when he was in a position to shield her and doesn't do so...

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It doesn't seem to occur to him that Yeon Doo wouldn't want him to blame himself for her low points and personal safety. (And she really wouldn't! The appalled look on her face when he said he'd be joining the cheerleading club to protect her, lmao.) Has it gone far enough for him to hide his struggle to improve on his shortcomings so she won't get worried on his behalf? The show hasn't presented anything conclusive, but that's my theory. He seems to have cast himself as Yeon Doo's cheerleader, but doesn't seem to have any goals or ideas on what to do with himself outside of strawberry milk and basketball and being Yeon Doo's #1 fan, and has a record of not thinking about consequences. What would he do if something should happen to Yeon Doo? He's a smart kid, and I'm sure he'd be able to figure something out, but has he? We don't know because he won't say. I don't think he knows either, and I don't think he wants to think about it. This is a problem.

This all feels like it's leading up to a question of why they won't talk to each other in any sort of way besides bickering lightly and cheering each other up. I'm not sure if they realize that their struggle for freedom and happiness, as poignant and important as it is, means that they're sacrificing not only their future, but each other's feelings and personal growth. I feel as though the problems are going to come to a head regardless of their feelings about each other, but I also feel like we need to know that they love each other and the problems that are arising aren't rooted in anything awful, and that's where their sweet moments come in. Even you love each other, you gotta talk about shit. Even if you talk about shit, you can still love each other.

I feel like they make another interesting dichotomy with the Yeol Ha Joon relationship: where Yeol and Ha Joon are too stuck on worrying about the future to take care of themselves and others in the now, Yeon Doo and Dong Jae are almost hyperfocused on happiness in the immediate and refuse to think about the future. In fact, Dong Jae never thinks about anything except the immediate at all. I really find those two relationships interesting in so many ways when they're stacked against each other. I feel like the contrast would be less effective if the show didn't remind us that, yes, Yeon Doo and Dong Jae love each other and the now more than they want to think about the future and how they would proceed as adults. I feel like those moments tie into the whole narrative of the show very effectively in that respect!

IDK i don't think i should think this deeply about this aspect of their relationship in the show because i don't think they'll take it that far (honestly i hope i'm wrong and they stay sweet and uncomplicated lol) but if they do at least i won't feel like I've been spitting into the wind lol

god this is really long, i'm sorry. here is a funny gifset of N in his natural state - wrapped around...

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SOMEONE ELSE oh my god. no never mind this is way too long you don't need the gif lol

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I don't see a lot of what you're talking about here, perhaps it's because I don't know N at all and am only seeing Dong Jae? The depth that you're ascribing to these characters, I don't see as being displayed on screen. For example I don't think they have problems in their friendship. I think they accept each other for who they are, and perhaps that means that they don't force each other to grow as people, but I like they they are each others safe haven from the world. I don't think we've had time/focus to know whether they are discussing the things that bother him or if he even thought of the phone call again after she came back. I

Now I'm not saying your insights are wrong, just that I take his character at face value. I actually really like Dong Jae because I think that the way he acts is super interesting. I like that no-one seems to exist to him except Yeon Doo. I enjoy that he looks at Soo Ah like she's an alien. I enjoy those interactions. I want to see more.

I think many people came into this drama thinking there would be a second lead love interest and there were people vying for either Dong Jae or Ha Joon to be that guy. Now it seems like its going to be neither (please god). I think there is a lingering feeling based on that premise that Dong Jae is secretly in love with Yeon Doo when I think the series has not shown that at all. In fact Dong Jae seems pretty sexless to me, very innocent and unaware (perhaps like Yeon Doo except that she seems to be undergoing a bit of an awakening). Not saying that's you, just... I keep seeing around the web.

Personal growth seems to be key to this series and you're right Dong Jae and Yeon Doo don't push each other towards it. They're simply each others place to catch their breath. That's whats kind of great about Yeol for Yeon Doo and even Soo Ah for Dong Jae, they force each to grow a bit (though I suppose Dong Jae's being trying to do that for Yeon Doo's sake). I must admit I laughed when Dong Jae said he joined cheerleading to protect Yeon Doo. Um how now? Cheerleading is 90% touching, particularly for the guys, whose main role seems to be catching the flyers. I think that conversation Soo Ah had with Dong Jae would've actually been an okay conversation to have if it had been coming from anyone else. How are you going to do this Dong Jae? Good question. :)

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Err actually I maybe agree with everything you said but just feel differently about it? Like I enjoy N's acting as Dong Jae and don't find him hard to watch. He makes me want to see more, the awkwardness is what makes him interesting to me.That's why I prefer him interacting with other people. Have they said Dong Jae is smart? I thought he was one of the 'dumb' kids for some reason. Do we know?

The friendship isn't problematic to me because I like that they have each other as their safe haven. That makes sense to me. I understand why Dong Jae would blame himself and the characters are such wholly realised people it makes sense that Yeon Doo wouldn't see it and address it. So again I don't find it problematic? Maybe I just love this show and these characters so much I don't see flaws? I don't know. I like your comments though, I hope I don't come off as criticising!

I think you're right about the Yeol/Ha Joon living for the future and Yeon Doo/Dong Jae living in the present. I like that their interactions are pushing each to think about the opposite and make changes.

I would love Ha Joon and Dong Jae (and Yeol) to have some scenes together (bonding scenes). That would be so cool. And more scenes with Yeon Doo and some of the girls please?

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@Lola: Yeah, I think I'm overthinking things lol. (And I'm not bothered, just a little embarrassed that I rambled so much!) You're right about them being each others' safe space at school, and honestly, for the time frame we've been given, it's likely that we should be taking them at face value (after all, this show is about how these kids are doing their best to live in the present, and having an example of that around as a reminder of what could be is nice - I don't think Yeon Doo writing about how she wants to be happy and Dong Jae tapping at her window right afterward is a coincidence, from a rhetorical pov.) I'm probably off but I don't mind being wrong. I like nice cute fluff and reading into nice cute fluff, that's all. :D

I can see where people who wanted YD/DJ at the beginning were coming from, but at this point I'm in agreement with you - he's not into YD that way and vice versa, and if the show jumped that on us I'd be blindsided. It's not just because Yeol is clearly endgame here (even though he is and I'm not complaining at alllll). Yeon Doo and Dong Jae aren't being written with that kind of attraction between them, and if they are it's really not written or directed effectively (and that seems unlikely since the rest of the show doesn't reflect that kind of carelessness). That being said I really like them the way they are! Please keep it that way, show, I want Yeol and YD to continue hitting every cute romance trope in the kdrama playbook and I *need* the friendships to be as vital to all of the characters as the romance.

I find it interesting that Yeon Doo and Dong Jae are at odds with the rest of the cast when it comes to the main ideas of the show. In order for Yeol, Ha Joon, and even Soo Ah to get anywhere in life and grow as people after spending most of their school careers being miserable, they need to learn how to be happy (and they need some people to, uh, cheer them up), and they're getting there, if at different speeds (congratulations, Soo Ah - you're last in something!) Meanwhile, Yeon Doo and Dong Jae have lived much of their lives striving to be happy, but most of their best traits and moments of character come forth when they're struggling and unhappy with how things are (Yeon Doo fighting against Sevit barehanded despite having to sacrifice her happiness and pride, and Dong Jae struggling against his phobia because he's unhappy with the way he is right now with regards to how well he can look after Yeon Doo). Both narrative lines are important, and all of the plotlines are making all of these kids grow up a lot, but the two groups of kids are going in opposite directions on the happy to unhappy spectrum that the show set up from the very beginning and that's neat. All Yeon Doo and Dong Jae are missing to really make their relationship dynamic are the kinds of conversations that Yeol and Ha Joon share, which is why I was going crazy trying to generate some conflict lol. The show is...

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is still fun as a whole though, no additional conflict required! Either way, I really want to see where we go from here.

And YES please, Ha Joon and Dong Jae need some one-on-one time, I need to see how they interact with each other. (I'm also saying this because the BTS is killing me; Hakyeon has adopted Jisoo and I'm all in for that) Hell, throw Yeol in there too, he hasn't gotten any Haddong time either. Soo Ah and Yeon Doo (and the rest of the girls - let's make it a party) can hash out their conflict over a movie and a pint of ice cream and the boys can, I dunno, toilet paper the school garden or something. Show, please give me this.

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and with regards to Dong Jae's character since I forgot you asked: Uh, not sure? He is a bit flat, isn't he? I do a lot of interpretation and reading into characters' actions, but I can't deny that I have a lot less material to work with when it comes to Dong Jae. We haven't even seen his parents yet. :(

At first, I thought that he was set up to have a contentious, battle of wits and sass relationship with Soo Ah but that conflict ended up being a lot less catty than I thought it'd be (which is disappointing to me personally because Hakyeon lives and breathes catty and it would be an easier role for him to play imho). In hindsight, that was probably meant as an example of how much of a child Dong Jae is - Soo Ah does a bad thing to his best friend, Soo Ah deserves sour milk in her hair. (What was with that thinly veiled threat he threw in at the end though? Geez, show. That was a little inconsistent. We still don't know what Dong Jae said to get Yeon Doo to go back to school either, iirc. Wasn't it REALLY bad news?)

(Also I actually really like that moment with Soo Ah and Dong Jae in the next episode but I'm waiting for the next episode recap to talk about it because I've talked enough here haha)

I don't think Dong Jae is necessarily unintelligent (after all, we already know who the bottom 5% of the school are, although jury's out on whether he's right above them or not), or even unaware completely. We see that he sometimes doesn't understand what some social conventions are or why they're important and he doesn't really remember what's going on with other people, but once he's aware of a person he does have a way of zeroing in on what is making them unhappy or what they're trying to do. He's also aware of which steps to take to push them in the correct direction, which takes a bit of social aptitude. When I say he's smart, I'm referring to that; his head is stuck deep into the clouds but he can handle some critical thinking when it comes down to it. He just doesn't. Or didn't, until... Ha Joon in the bathroom, actually. (Oh, whoa, that actually resulted in a really good example of him having some critical thinking skill - he'd be justified in telling Yeon Doo what happened, but he doesn't out of respect for Ha Joon. Nice.) He's been pushing himself ever since. He is absentminded and eccentric but he's still a person and events do resonate with him. He wouldn't think twice about consequences or even react if he were completely out of touch with reality.

You're right, though - I don't think the nature of the YD DJ friendship is bad or even too complex. It's a wonderfully sweet and well balanced deal, especially in relation to the other friendships in the show. I just know that if I had that kind of friendship, those would be the things I'd like to talk about - I wouldn't want a friend to feel guilty over something they couldn't control, and I wouldn't want them to keep telling me that they're okay...

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when they're struggling with something, even if it's not what I think it is. I also wouldn't want my friendship to be taken for granted, even if I know they like me as a person (although I know that's not Dong Jae's POV on the situation at all, I feel like it SHOULD be because he is a fantastic friend). I just want to talk about their friendship all the time... I love Yeol and Ha Joon and I love how intensely survival driven their relationship is but this is the friendship in the show that hits me right in the heart.

(also i'm glad you like hakyeon's acting lmfao... this show is sometimes a little hard for me to watch because dong jae is so different from hakyeon and i am still not sure how much of it is him acting and how much is him trying to act. gdi i want him to get a role where he gets to be more like himself! he is a delight.)

(i've written a novel. i'm grounded until the next recap.)

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Dammit Ji Soo, why are you second lead? Just last episode, I was relishing the fact that we had a crystal clear OTP with no Second Lead Syndrome in sight, but then Ha Joon goes and falls for his best friend's want-to-be girlfriend. Don't you dare ruin my romance and bromance all at one blow. I irrationally blame Yeon Doo for "making" both boys give her their umbrellas when she could have just taken one from the endless supply of umbrellas in the classroom. My only solace is at least a Yeon Doo / Yeol / Ha Joon love triangle is better than a Soo Ah / Dong Jae / Ha Joon one.

I loved the knights-in-shining-armor thugs.

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I'm happy someone else realised there was a stack of umbrellas next to the poster too!! It bugged me more than you know...

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She didn't have an umbrella when she was entering the building, and Ha-joon doesn't know there's an stack of umbrellas inside. And she walked out without one and asked Yeol why he wasn't taking his, for all we know she didn't mind getting wet.

I love the gangster ajusshis standing up for Teacher Nam's right to have the tape that 'she didn't even know was recording!' and would 'end her life as a woman' lol. But I love Teacher Nam for going to all those lengths to make sure the kids didn't get in trouble, even if the reporter still has the tape!

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I just explained it away by thinking that Yeon-doo didn't want to borrow an umbrella that wasn't hers. God knows how prissy those gals are.

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good point. Those are probably Baek-ho members' umbrellas, and borrowing one would be more trouble than it's worth to Yeon-doo.

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Good point.

Those girl! Oh my God! If being mean is what they practice in prep school, imagine how they will be in the real world! Where I come from they won't get very far. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, after all...

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It bugged me too. It was such an obvious goof. But I think what pogo says fits too...

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I just hope ONE thing for this show, please DO NOT LET the PARENTS have serious relationship. please!please writter-nim! its gonna ruin the high school theme on this drama. I mean the main characters are high schooler so even the lovestory should be about them too #fingercrossed for the next 3 weeks.

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You know though, if we have to have kdrama OTP angst. And let's face it, we probably do. I'd rather have it coming from the 'oh no our parents are in love what do we do?' Than the best friend has fallen for my girl. Frankly I'd rather not have either but if I have choose ...

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Yeah, I agree. In this case angst because of the parent's loveline would make much more sense. Considering all things going on in this drama, a love triangle would be a bit too much for everybody to handle..

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And who knows, they could just solve it "devil beside me style"

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Seriously, that was the best reaction to the 'step-siblings are in love' trope I've ever come across. The parents in 'devil beside me' are adorable.

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Hong, pale blue sweaters on pretty guys is my new jam. Yeol looked gorgeous in that rain/umbrella scene. Pretty sure I've seen Park Bo Gum wear the same colour just as well (in Remember Me maybe) and one of the Most guys from She Was Pretty. Lovely colour.

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Hmm, Hong? I don't know.

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Pretty guys is my all-time favorite jam. Pastel sweaters are a plus thoigh lol

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True dat. Kdrama's have totally reset the bar for what 'pretty guy' means.

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In I Remember You, the only sweater I remember is the dusty pink one that SIG wore somewhere in the second half of the show that made me pause the screen and think "steal that from wardrobe, SIG, and wear it every time you want a date to go really well."

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I Remember You's stylist needs her/his own award for all SIG's A+ outfits in that drama.. he was sizzling hawt

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I'm lost of words how i really love this show.. One moment you squeal of the swooning scene, and one moment you're touched by the heartwarming stuff, it's great in many levels..
They're high school students, but their conversation are full maturity.. Really love when Yeol encourage Yeon Doo to follow her heart, it is a perfect moment because she just so lost of what to do.. These two really have great dynamics and if they move on the next level and couple up, they have great foundation that can back up their relationship instead of solely based on crush.. And i don't think writer pull in the love triangle card.. Ha Joon just start to like Yeon Doo only as a friend..

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Yeah and when she smiles at his encouragement... he can't turn his face away. You can see he is totally captivated by her.
COMPLETELY captivated by her.

Too bad, she doesn't notice.

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I know right. I mean, how can these normal high school students know how to be so mature than most adults? All of their conversations, growth from one another's aspects, and experiences through life from their own struggles, really made them grown of becoming more mature and have more depths than most adults out there, not just YeolDoo, but it all goes the same way with the rest of the Rk and BH kids, including Ha Joon and Soo Ah (yes, including Soo Ah, when you see her in episode 10 and 11). These kids sure do know how to develop, grow, and communicate wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy better than most adults. Yes, they ARE still inexperience and will still make more mistakes in their lifetimes, just like what Yeon Doo narrates in the last episode of this series, but once they learn through those experiences, they grow from it, they have better depths than most adults, really...

I love how the director really shows us the point of views on the students' sides and shows us how the students feels with all these systematic in their school and their struggles that can relate to all of us as students as well.

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I am just... totally in love with this show. Once an episode is out I drop what I'm doing and just watch it.

Life's too stressful nowadays. I'm just glad that there's a show that makes me "Cheer up" :)

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Thanx for the recap. Love all the characters except Soo Ah, Princi and Teach Im, don't think I can end up liking them.

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Actually soo ah seems like she's actively trying to break the hearts of the audience, seeing as she's driven by a psycho-mom who she's too afraid of to disobey. I can kind of understand the pressure she's going through and although i wouldn't go to the same lengths, you can tell staight off she's not a normal child. Traumatized, yes. Weak, yes. Evil, no. I don't think so especially when I see her looking sick at the thought of something she just did, then putting on a face cold as ice on whenever someone brings it up. Unstable. Yeah thats the word. Unstable. Anyway I really hope they give her a happy ending.

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"(...)if he’s alone with her under an umbrella, he may get himself in trouble.RAWR. And this is bad, why?"
Right. RIGHT! ~swoooooon~

The Sems Nam and Yang tricking that reporter into giving them the recordings is so crack-tastic!

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re: alone under the umbrella - I know, right?? This boy has been declaring himself all over the place but poor Yeon-doo probably doesn't know what to make of it all.

And Teachers Nam and Yang are awesome (that early morning stunt to let the kids sneak back in <333), and of course that means Teacher Yang has to lose his job.

I love how this episode fleshed out a character who could have been just a stock 'lone supportive teacher' trope - now we know exactly how much he has to lose if he's outed as the whistleblower, since he has a sick mother and medical bills aren't cheap. But even in the midst of all that, he refuses to burden his students - he refused to let Yeon-doo do any interviews, kept encouraging her right till the end, and basically agreed to out himself as the whistleblower just so the kids wouldn't get in trouble for staying out past their curfew. And you know not every teacher in that school would treat a student with a low ranking as if she was an actual person.

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Maybe Sassy Go, Go will bring about more awareness and attention to what happens to individuals blowing the whistle on fraud and/or misconduct in the workplace and within a society. Sad to say, but even though anti-fraud & whistleblower protection laws & statutes may exist on the books; the levels of retaliation ("adverse action") against whistleblowers are becoming more severe and continuing to rise in certain parts of the world.

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The requisite piggyback ride between the two leads...
Check!

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They tick off SO MANY physical-contact tropes - starting from the falling-on-top-of-each-other, to grab-heroine-to-save-her-from-imminent-danger, to forced-skinship-while-hiding, and now this. Oh, and fall-asleep-together too.

But I do like that unlike most drama romances, they talk to each other and actually have conversations about the things that bother them, instead of playing noble idiot and keeping it all inside, or lying to 'protect' each other.

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Noble idiot always ruins it for me. PLEASE! Hope there's none of that for this show!

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And almost-kiss-while-drank. ♥

But seriously Pogo, that second paragraph just gave me a heart attack. What if they're forced to go the noble idiocy road when they find out about their parents' relationship??
PLEASE, WRITER-NIM, DON'T GO TO THE DARK SIDE.

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They've also done the kabe-don in this episode, albeit less violently.

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It's not quite a kabe-don, is it?

I mean, there's a wall and she's against it while he's facing her, but Yeol hasn't trapped Yeon-doo against it and like you said, there's no violence involved - they just look like they're leaning against a wall naturally, rather than him forcing her into that position/proximity.

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@pogo

True. Also, besides them talking and communicating with each other about their crisis, I also love how they both listen on both sides with other people they're close to, then with each other - Yeon Doo with her mom and Yeol with Ha Joon. And then they take in consideration of each other through their own mistakes. I love that.

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Definitely my crack drama after I Remember You (yes, 1. I'm more of a thriller-mystery-action person; 2. I haven't checked out Twenty Again and OMG because real life commitments suck)

PRAYING TO THE GODS THAT HA JOON WOULDN'T FALL FOR YEON DOO BECAUSE GOD KNOWS HOW MY HEART KEEPS BREAKING FOR JI SOO, although I'm hoping that they somewhat become close friends (where they can support each other during tough times)

But yes to (MOAAAAR~) BROTP and Yeon Doo-Yeol moments! ???

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yesss, BroTP+ Yeon-doo is the best.

and while I am safe from Second Lead Syndrome in this drama (Yeol/Yeon-doo ran away with my heart right from that first accidental fall/almost-kiss), Ji-soo and Eunji are intriguing enough together that I wish we could get them paired up in another drama.

Just not this one!

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Oh gosh! I totally thought so when they were sharing their gummy bears. I second and third that! Jisoo and Eunji should star in another drama as leads, I am so gonna watch the hell out of that!

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In a different drama, I mean!

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@pogo

BRILLIANT idea! We gotta have a Ji Soo and Eunji pairing very very SOON!

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Jisoo and Eunji in leading a drama together? Ugh, even though we know the chance would be so small, I wish it will happen someday in the future, maybe when both have already left their uniform and change onto other option of outfit. But, wait, I think school uniform is not bad too..

Or, can they have a short drama, or special drama with less episode but quite full with story. Puberty Medley would be a good example. With only 4 eps, clear message, and rich comedy.

Wait. But I love romance. Awkward romance between Jisoo and Eunji. Aih.... I really like this pairing.

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I don't think Ha Joon would fall for Yeon Doo, but more of treat her more like a friend and companion and be more trusting towards her!

But it wouldn't hurt to see Yeol get a bit jealous if Yeon Doo and Ha Joon were close though, but Yeol would probably trust Ha Joon too much to even feel jealous :')

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I agree. I don't think Ha-joon thinks of Yeon-doo in any romantic sense (and he is very well aware that Yeol does) but her actions in the face of witnessing his father's abuse, made him realise that she's actually decent and loyal, and THAT was what got him to support her. Before that, he just thought she was a weird annoyance whom his friend, for some inexplicable reason, liked.

I mean, look at his face when she tells him to bite her arm so they'll be even for the time she bit him during the hall fight. That's a straight 'wtf you weirdo?' face. (and it becomes even more amusing on seeing that Jung Eunji is so short that she has to stick her arm way up to even get close to Ji-soo's head).

And when Yeol comes through the door just then, I think he's definitely a wee bit....not jealous, exactly, but surprised to see his best friend with 'his girl' when he knows they aren't exactly buddy-buddy. No crinkly smile this time! But then Yeon-doo grabs his lapel and turns the aegyo on and it's adorable.

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pogo! One thing that I've noticed is that Yeon-doo loves to grab Yeol's lapel/collars A LOT.

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Hey! Jung EunJi is not short! She's 163cm! JiSoo's just unnecessarily tall (at 186cm). :P

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@rhia - I approve of the collar/lapel-grabbing, though! Just as I approve of anything that puts them in even closer physical proximity, even if she doesn't realise it (inadvertent skinship <333).

@peeps - that's still a LOT shorter than him lol. But I approve of height differences, and scenes that take advantage of them. Like this one, and the one with Yeol where he's practically looming over her when she's trying to ask him if they kissed.

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No no no, I mean that the height difference is adorable but it's not because she's short but because he's tall! HA! Lame, I know, but whatever tickles me, haha. Indulge me.

I think it's adorable that the two best bro-friends are almost exactly the same height. It's such an instantly impactful visual representation that they're on the same wavelength (although that, of course, makes no logical sense).

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@Peeps - I agree with you on the height thing. It's absolutely not rational and has NO bearing on anyone's skills as an actor but it can be a pretty cool visual when dramas cast actors of a certain height for certain parts.

Like Im Shi-wan (adorably pocket-sized and even more underdog-like because of it) in Misaeng, or noticeably-taller Yoon Kyun-sang playing Lee Jong-seok's hyung in Pinocchio (which made for some heartbreaking scenes where little bro literally has to look up at/to his big bro). Or the most beloved bro-friends of this decade, Lee Jong-seok and Kim Woo-bin in School 2013, who were also pretty close in height.

I'd love Yeol and Ha-joon even if Lee Won-geun and Ji-soo were a pair of shorties, but I do like that they're almost the same height and practically eye to eye. Like you said, instantly impactful.

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Hehe, sorry the tone might've conveyed the statement differently. I also like it whenever she does that! It's quite hilarious to see her manhandling him and him letting her do that. While at the start it pointed to enmity, right now I think it means that she's comfortable with him. ^^

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Ji Soo's height is to-die-for!!!... (swoon)

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Right? Yeol had an immediate 'why are you two in here' face. It wasn't quite jealous but I think he kind of looks at Ha Joon like, 'what's happening here' and then Yeon Doo works her charm and it's all good again.

That scene also kind of shows us that Yeon Doo really has no conscious awareness of Yeol (or even Ha Joon) as love interests. I mean I think she does like him (like that), but I don't' think she gets it. It doesn't even occur to her that talking to Ha Joon alone might 'mean' something. Even the lapel pulling, her charm is completing unconscious (part of her appeal) but I don't think she's aware that doing that to a guy also 'means' something.

Which is why as soon as she scoffs about Yeol/Dong Jae to her mum and Yeol overhears I love that expression on his face. And also that he immediately went on the offensive with the banana milk, the chat and the hug. I just wish that Yeon Doo didn't look so confused by it all! C'mon girl catch up!

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@Lola - yeah, in many ways Yeon-doo is more innocent than Yeol - she hasn't quite processed what all the weird feels she has when they're in close contact, the giddy happiness post-their not-a-date at the market, or even Yeol's constant flirting and dropping anvil-sized hints about wanting to kiss her all add up to (HE LIKES YOUUUUUU!!! AND YOU LIKE HIM BACK!!). There's a lot she just shoves to the back of her head or dismisses as Yeol trolling.

And you're right that it doesn't even enter her head that being alone with a guy 'means' something (and let's not even get into her asking Ha-joon to bite her! lol).

Like, we see Yeol's not-jealousy-exactly-but 'hmmmm', switch go on the minute he sees her go for Dong-jae with the strawberry milk in ep 2 after she clambered off him (it's a bit 'hey, I was flirting with you here, how did you switch off that quickly and turn your full attention on another guy?'), but to Yeon-doo, that's not even a thing she registers. I mean, she does register Yeol's blatant flirting and skinship, but it doesn't occur to her that he has the kind of interest in her that might lead him to even care about the fact that she's gone off with Dong-jae afterwards, or that she's talking to Ha-joon alone. And you're right that the lapel-grabbing is just something she does unconsciously - which makes it even more adorable.

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@pogo - I just love that Yeol is so aware of her in every way. He clocks what she's feeling and ACTS! Like with the Strawberry milk, you're so right, he does have a bit of a double take at her reaction but he doesn't get jealous when Ha Joon asks him about Dong Jae. He recognises that they're friends but he's not threatened, he just pursues his interest in her.

He never stops being himself and I love it. I loved that conversation he overheard with her mum. He suddenly realises that maybe they're not on the same page and next thing is banana milk and hugs.

The way he looks at her is so divine! I still don't think she's quite there yet. The way she reacted to the hug and her apologising to him - she still hasn't recognised his feelings or her own. But after the rain, man he is totally in love!

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I would say, it's evident enough for us to say that this is the first time for her having someone being interested in her and also her being interested in someone, even if she doesn't realize it hahah Also, another reason is that she has always treated both girls and guys equally, just like her friendly nature around all types of people, so that probably leads her to why she's being unaware of Yeol being interested in her.

I also think this is also the first time for Yeol to have so much interest on someone as well. We all know how cynical he is, he's not just someone who would turn on his flirtatious nature on just anyone, besides, we saw how closed and isolated he is with other people besides Ha Joon, also there are 3 girls in BH, we don't see him turning his flirtatious on any one of them, and we can especially scratch Soo Ah out of his list for that. So, Yeon Doo must be the first and only person who specifically had a turn on him, so he wants to take this opportunity to be open to her and have her in his life, from the missing pieces that he had.

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I kind of wish that Yeon-doo didn't immediately grab his collar and turn her charms on him just so we can see more of Jealous Yeol. Although his expression when he said "What are you two doing here?" is already precious enough that I replayed the scene for a few times.

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Strangely enough, the whole scene with Ha-Joon watching Yeon-Doo was at all romantic. I saw it more as illumination. Here was this person who's running in the rain without an umbrella, free as a bird and happy. And that was why the next time we say him, he too was running in the rain, his umbrella now dropped, and he's free and happy. A happiness that was not because Kim Yeol was teasing him with a water fight, but a happiness that even when he's alone, as long as the rain is falling and he's playing, he's free. So yeah, I didn't see romantic entanglement. I saw it more as the beginning of the liberation of Ha-Joon's inner child.

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good point @itenoria.

love it!

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I feel like there will be a time in near future when Yeol might step back in pursuing Yeon-do if Ha joon tells him earlier that he likes her. Uggh.. show prove me wrong

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HaJoon I really love you and wants you to get the girl this time, I do but nooo~ you cannot take 'uri' YeonDoo. She is your buddy gal. I've already bummed bout their parents loveline and now you gonna like her? There's so much angst for my poor little heart to take from this supposedly fluffy drama.

Writer-nim, please don't make it a love triangle between them. I just cannot bear to see another Gong TaeKwang.....

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Maybe I'm the only person but I didn't interpret Ha-Joon's look when he spotted Yeon-Doon in the rain, as a romantically tinged one. I saw it more as awareness. Here was a girl running in the rain, with no umbrella in sight and she's happy and so free. And i think that's why when next we see Ha-Joon, he's running in the rain without the umbrella (hence the reason why it's by the wall, not really that he wanted to give it to Yeon-Doo), and he looks so happy. And this time around, he's happy alone, not because he's with Kim Yeol and they're having a water fight and not because he's with Yeon-Doo. He's happy for the simple reason that the rain is falling. That's what I think the scene was about. It's not about romance but about the reawakening of the little boy in Ha-Joon.

And I also find it significant that Kim Yeol as well, after talking with Yeon-Doo drops his umbrella and goes running in the rain. Is it me or is it symbolic that everyone around Yeon-Doo would over time allow themselves to be the children that they actually are, and revel in their youth?

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Wow I like your interpretation of the scene. It makes no sense HJ liking Yeon Doo and form a love triangle when he clearly knows Yeol's interest in her. He's not even hiding it lol.

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@Itenoria

I LOVE your perception of the scene. In fact, I'm going with that one.

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That's kind of the way I saw it too! Like she's a symbol of the freedom and joy that they are supposed to be feeling at this time of their lives (like with the strawberry milk, water fights, etc.) When he sees her looking so happy, I think the look he gives her is more a longing to feel like she looks. :)

Also, thanks, LollyPip, for the fast recap!!!

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@dramalove @mothwabit @bluecow Thanks. I think it also helps because we know Ha-Joon is honestly happy that his best friend has found a girl he really likes, likes so much that he can have a dopey smile on his face, a smile that Ha-joon himself admitted that he's happy to see. So the thought of the look being romantically induced didn't even occur to me. I'm happy to see that it didn't occur to you guys too.

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I loved your interpretation of that scene. I definitely think that Yeon Doo's appeal to everyone really is her appreciation of life and her loyalty. It's nice that her verve is starting to affect both Yeol and Ha Joon.

I think most people are afraid that the writers will force a love triangle because honestly Ha Joon falling for Yeon Doo (and actually acting on it) are so against who they are as people that it wouldn't make sense. But love triangles are a drama trope and we never know what pressures productions face to turn things a certain way until they totally destroy beloved characters so the worry is understandable. As of episode 6 though I feel relieved.

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nice!.. I was thinking hard about what was the purpose of the pd/writer to put all the umbrellas in the scene, when yeondoo completely ignored it.. this show is deep indeed..

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The way Yeol looks at Yeon Doo when saying he can get himself a trouble.. *fans myself*
He wanna kiss her so bad.. Lol

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Was there any solid prove that YD's-mother-boyfriend is KY father? I mean the drama just show us that KY rejected his father call, and the ahjussi got rejected (or finishing a call). i mean there was no scene that proved it - yet.

Are they trying to troll us again?

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I hope so. I really hope it's a troll and the Yeon-doo boyfriend is actually Dong Jae's dad. I mean it doesn't make sense for a man to propose to a woman (which suggests they are pretty close) and for her to have never met his son?! That would be pretty strange, wouldn't it? Dong Jae is so close to their family, he lives practically next door. It would make sense then, since the father is always hanging around Yeon-doo's mom.

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Ohhhhhh how I wish you were right!
But Dong-jae is not possible, the names don't match, the BF's name is Kim Byung-jae, he has the same last name as Yeol's, while Dong-jae's last name is Ha.

Although who knows really, as long as they don't appear in a scene together.

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I super3 love this drama, back from school and keep checking whether the subs is ready or not. And then read the recaps and comments (obsess). I thought I like Yeol and then bamm, Ha joon came with his bad boy sick puppy thing and I melt. Second lead syndrome! Noooo. I need to see their friendship between the 3 of them. The three of them, can rule the world really

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Not getting any romantic vibes from Ha Joon yet, which is good because he needs a solid support system of friends more than a crush. I also want to give Teacher Nam a thumbs-up, because she is surprisingly cool. It makes me wonder if she hasn't been sent as a mole to the school to stir up trouble on behalf of the good guys rather than as a player of Team Horrible Parents. Obviously she has a different agenda than catering to their corrupt whims!

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yeah, Teacher Nam ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ She is so sassy and doesn't play around. And we did her wrong last week when we assumed she left her homemade wine for a pack of greedy kids to get drunk on, poor woman even came with party stuff for them :) I guess she's learned her lesson and will store her booze out of reach of kids if she ever invites them over again.

I agree that Ha-joon's interest in Yeon-doo doesn't seem to be clearly romantic in nature - besides, he knows Yeol likes her! The sleepyhead car scene with her perched between them was adorable.

But this is probably the first time he's experiencing that kind of decency and loyalty from anyone other than Yeol, and his reaction to that is to try and reciprocate, however indirectly. Which has made them (bros+Yeon-doo) into a unit of three - a development I REALLY like!

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Agree with you on all accounts!
Instructor Nam is so cool. When she had come per Soo-ah's mother, i thought she would be spoon-feeding baek-ho and giving real kings a tough time, the way she said 'bingo' when yeon-doo said real king would do the work and baek-ho would take credit. But in the same epi she doesn't give soo-ah's mom a chance and quits before anyone can fire her. And the way she speaks with principal!!
She is her own woman, ready with flying kicks before someone gets ready to even throw crap at her!!

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yeah, she's not interested in sugarcoating anything - she knows she's being drafted into a ridiculous cause, but she won't lie to the kids about what the ultimate point of the exercise is, the way the Principal, Teacher Im and the mom brigade do.

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Yea, I can totally see that. He's becoming 18yo the more he knows her.

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Oh no, please don’t fall for your best friend’s girl.

I really hope he isn't! I have faith that this drama will handle it properly either way, but right now, I really don't want anything to threaten my two favourite things about this show: the OTP, and the too-epic-for-mere-bromance relationship between Yeol and Ha-joon.

Maybe it's kind of up in the air because Jung Eun-ji seems to have great (not necessarily romantic) chemistry with literally everyone in this drama, both male and female. She's just so natural and charming as Yeon-doo, and it plays especially beautifully off both Yeol's smitten teasing and Ha-joon's grumpiness.

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Does falling for your best friend's girl sound that wrong?

What about this option, 'Yeol I like your girl,' they exchange look, being quiet for brief moment, share questioning frown, then Yeol curses, 'damn, that girl!' and they share laugh.

For the sake of this drama I do agree with all you guys that there shouldn't be any unnecessary love triangle. But what if there is a new option for love triangle which is cute and fun, which doesn't suffer anybody related. I'm clearly not a writer, not even expert in this, but perhaps there is somehow a fun escape for this.
I really enjoy the Hajoon-Yeondoo moment. I agree that what Hajoon gets from their small bonding encounter is a lesson about trusting a new friend. But then, but then, then, he smiled, having that kind of smile when he soaked in rain after leaving his umbrella. It did flatter me, I thought, ah it's really nice seeing him smiling that way, it's endearing enough to notice he has that side too...and isn't that smile is for Yeondoo?

Hhihihi, my proposal might sound so absurd and obviously less popular. But imagining that Yeondoo is his first crush is just nice, it draws smile on my face. Well, we agree that not all first love works and ends beautifully. But it doesn't always hurt you even though you never get it, right? It can remain as a good memory, a light recall, and imagining Hajoon having this memory is sending warmth inside my heart. Am I going too far? hhahaha, I'm sorry...

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+all the 1's I have to give. We seem to be alone in wanting a teeny non-hurting triangle though.

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@damai

I agree. Falling for your beat friend's girl is not wrong because one, emotions and love are not the things that people can control. It's actually natural and necessary for Ha Joon to have a good feelings or even strong feelings for Yeon Doo because she IS basically the first person who reached out a hand to him after she witnessed his dad abusing him and actually stopped his dad from doing anymore harm to his son like that, apart from Yeol who would definitely go through fire and water for him. Yeon Doo's another person who's actually reaching out a hand to him, gives him her sincere kindness without any pity, and treats him as a friend. We all know the other friend he has ever had is Yeol, but just one friend is not enough for him to feel strong or encouraged, but having more than one friend can give him more strengths, and Yeon Doo is that one person who gives him the strength to have trust on someone as a friend, other than Yeol.

Also, Yeon Doo is cute and indomitable loyal to her friends, who wouldn't fall for someone like this? Even a cynical person like Yeol falls for her because of that too, so why can't he, especially when she was the first and only person apart from Yeol, who actually reached out a hand and gives him kindness like that..

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Dear God, my heart cannot handle Ha-joon falling for Yeon-doo. Ji-soo is way too good at romantic angst, I can't handle him being unhappy again. The last time was bad enough, it made me want to keep writing fix-it fanfiction. This will be the worst case of first and second lead syndrome ever.

(What I would like to see is whether Ha-joon falling for Yeon-doo and actively upping his ante, like the umbrella gesture and more, will draw the same kind of ire that Ha-ri in She Was Pretty did or he'll be easily forgiven and the show blamed more for destroying the bromance than the character himself, because he's an attractive male character, who is exceptionally good at the kind of role he's playing.)

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re: your second para - unless Ha-joon's actions involve appropriating Yeol's identity and perpetuating a lie to both Yeol and Yeon-doo, I doubt it.

Let's not project issues from another drama onto this one, especially when they don't currently exist.

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It’s the principle of the thing, though. (Also because, judging by experience, I would doubt it even if he did those things.) And I’m not judging or projecting onto the shows, but the reactions? I find it interesting to do that- and there is a viable counterpoint here- and you may feel it’s unproductive and futile to talk about or preempt, but it’s one of my areas of interest so I’m probably going to continue taking note of that!

(Sorry about the repost Dramabeans, folks, mobile posting is such a pain!)

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frankly, if you're taking note of reactions to the actions of characters betraying friends in the two dramas, the more accurate equivalent to Ha-ri in SGG isn't a yet-to-do-anything Ha-joon, it's Soo-ah.

Who actually draws a fair bit of sympathy from commenters for her harsh upbringing and the pressure she's under, despite her actions being far more malicious than anything SWP's Ha-ri has ever done. So yeah, maybe it's best not to put words in the commentariats' mouths 'based on past experience' before we actually come to the events to be commented on.

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And not everyone watches both shows. It may be two rather distinctly different groups of people with different thresholds of despicable.

I mean, I for one don't watch She Was Pretty so I have no opinion on HaRi (although reading the recaps I don't really get people are hating on her so much. She's an incredibly hurt person too.)

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@peeps - good point, we don't actually know if the db viewership of the shows actually overlap.

I do watch SWP but I don't really comment on it, I just thought the insinuation being made was unfair and far-fetched.

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@pogo- I'm not sure how you got there, Soo-ah's relationship with Yeon-doo has nothing in common with Ha-ri and Hye-jin, Soo-ah never even seems to have considered Yeon-doo as a real friend, they definitely don't have anything near what Ha-ri and Hye-jin do (while Ha-joon and Yeol, on the other hand, most definitely do) and how that has affected audience response to Ha-ri. You might think it unfair and far-fetched and I completely understand why, but, like, that comparison and fact-situation don't stand imo. Nobody feels ~betrayed by Soo-ah in the same way because she never had that relationship with Yeon-doo, while the response to Ha-ri is incredibly extreme.

@peeps- good point! That might probably be true! It just struck me because the basic premise is the same- in that a life-long, incredibly constructed, central, epic friendship is ~challenged by the bff falling for the best friend's love interest. (Challenged, not in the show itself, but in audience perception, cuz both parties are still great friends in the show.) Especially when the bff is actively influenced by the fact that they're hurt people who are treated well by Yeon-doo/Sung-joon for possibly the first time, AND they have a debt to their best friend, in that they've always been protected and sheltered and loved by them, to the point of those friends being their sole support system. Although I don't think they're gonna go that way with Ha-joon, but because the response to Ha-ri had been so over-the-top negative, and the reasons given have all centred on stealing her friend's man and how she's unforgivable (and all that while she doesn't even know that Hye-jin currently likes Sung-joon, as Ha-joon most certainly does re: Yeol) and there's so much hate as regards her, I wanted to see if there would be even a fraction of that in Ha-joon's case. But I can't see him actively pursuing a girl Yeol likes so good for my heart I guess, it would've been difficult to see Ji-soo alone again!

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@Zoe - I got there by comparing them as two different pairs of female friends. The friendship was real to Yeon-doo (and the viewers) up until the reveal, even if it wasn't to Soo-ah. Yeon-doo's hurt in that case, is genuine. And like I said, Soo-ah still gets way more sympathetic comments despite being shown to act with malice way more early and often.

So yeah, if you were trying to make the point that we always judge female characters harshly......that's the first hurdle at which that logic falls. And even if you want to keep the comparison between Ha-joon/Yeol and Ha-ri/Hye-jin only, one look at the recap comments on the (debatably) comparable point in SWP will show that people were still largely sympathetic and appreciative of Ha-ri just as she showed the first signs of maybe seeing Sung-joon in a different light. That's episode 3, btw.

The later reactions to Ha-ri are way harsh, but the insinuation that we would be less harsh on Ha-joon just because he's a boy is something I'll reserve the right to object to. If you say Soo-ah and Yeon-doo aren't comparable to Ha-ri/Hye-jin because Soo-ah was fake about it from day 1, then Ha-joon and Yeol shouldn't be comparable either because (a) nothing's happened to clearly indicate Ha-joon seeing Yeon-doo in a romantic light (b)Ha-joon isn't perpetrating an active deception against his friend and his friend's crush. You may say that's because he knows Yeol likes her, while Ha-ri hasn't been clearly told about Hye-jin's feelings.....and from what I can see, the deception is what's causing the most anger in Ha-ri's case.

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@pogo: but those situations have very little in common still, I'm not saying we always judge female characters harshly, I'm saying their threshold of acceptability as Ha-ri's villainization and hate has shown is very low. There are a lot of other factors there; a major one being that Soo-ah doesn't interfere with the OTP, the nature of her betrayal is different so the reactions are different. Besides, again, her betrayal reveal was legit in the first or second episode, even for Yeon-doo and their friendship wasn't of the bff-4-lyf kind-- I'm not discussing what the characters felt, but what the audience was supposed to feel. Soo-ah is clearly misguided but she openly does awful things so we see both angles and can be afford to extend sympathy because we're then extending it of our own free will- the show clearly doesn't want us to necessarily like Soo-ah, but just to understand her, but Ha-ri's actions- because she's presented in a largely sympathetic light, even after her actions, makes everyone seem to hate her more. I've been absolutely baffled by the level of hate. And since you're questioning me on stressing too much on reactions to female characters, I really don't think comparing two friendships just because they're female- even though they have nothing in common in their essential nature- is fruitful at all?? It's like comparing any friendship between any of the characters, while Hye-jin/Ha-ri and Yeol/Ha-joon have very specific dynamics in common, which offers them for comparison.

And you may not agree with the assessment, but from the very first comment I meant it in "if Ha-joon ups his ante" way, not that he's currently done anything, so I don't think there's any point stressing that as a point of difference. It isn't completely impossible that the show may go in this direction at this stage (although I personally think it won't), so to wonder whether the reactions will be equivalent- esp since Ha-ri interfering with her friend's first love invited so much ire, even though she didn't know Hye-jin liked him in the present, while Ha-joon does know- so to wonder then, is really not that far-fetched. But that is also why I feel like it won't happen-- because Ha-joon's already knows; if Ha-ri had known as well, she'd never have gotten into it in the first place.

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@Zoe - sure, you're considering a hypothetical situation by cherry-picking similarities and projecting possible viewer reactions. You say comparing Soo-ah and Yeon-doo to Hye-jin and Ha-ri isn't fruitful - well, I happen to think projecting Hye-jin and Ha-ri's issues onto Yeol and Ha-joon and assuming viewer response based on such projections, is pretty pointless too.

But as I said, even with that point of comparison, Ha-ri, at arguably the same point in SWP as Ha-joon is feared to be at now (maybe beginning to see your bff's love interest in a different light) was still getting a lot of sympathy and hadn't yet started getting backlash. I also don't see the point of projecting problems with the SWP commenters onto SGG's commenters, especially when you yourself say you don't even think the two situations will pan out the same way. Can we just appreciate the show for what it is?

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@pogo

Actually I'd been wondering about this, in particular in regards to friendships and what amounts to 'betrayal' in order to do a 180 on a character, not 'female characters in general'- since Ha-ri was so loved, then so hated, that all her love towards Hye-jin was erased and even the fact that she felt so guilty she was hospitalised for stress and malnutrition was disregarded, since before Sassy Go Go, and when Sassy Go Go decided to start on the angle, I was interested. And I continue to be, and probably will continue to be. But I strongly disagree with "cherry-picking" because the elements of the dynamic are self-evident to me, although I can see why you might not think so.

(Again, Ha-ri still being loved by EP 3 has nothing to do with anything, I'm not saying Ha-joon has done anything, let alone something unforgivable in the least. I don't mind him falling for Yeon-doo either.) I absolutely love this show and I love SWP, and my interest in this question is academic, so I greatly enjoy the shows! I think that's unfair, to expect people to stick to one mode of enjoyment. You're free to disagree, but I'm equally entitled to my interest in the question.

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@Zoe don't know who you are but I just wanted to say I DON'T think you're wrong in asking this as a matter of curiosity. No matter which way you cut it, female bffs who fall for the same guy do seem to be portrayed in a less sympathetic light than when guy bffs fall for the same girl, right? Female bffs have to stab each other in the back (SWP) unlike guys who either give up nobly or compete fairly and openly (references elude me for the moment).

And @pogo let us never forget that mental influences work in strange n mysterious ways (esp in entertainment where I'd imagine every screenwriter watches many other works and recycles the same trope situations and characters and probably couldn't even tell you where they got their inspiration from, and besides we're all humans so basically the emotions are the same - else we wouldn't be watching this) and sometimes projecting offers a new and refreshing perspective on something we thought we knew well ;)

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If the show will continue with the love triangle where Ji Soo won't get the girl, I might just drop it. I adore Ji Soo so much. Seeing him (his character) unhappy breaks me. He's so damn good with this kind of thing, but I just can't take it.

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Same, I just can't stand to see him unhappy again because his expressions are so on-point, it's devastating! And since Yeon-doo doesn't show the same kind of interest in him at all, AND I'm sure that he'll feel terrible about betraying Yeol, even if he doesn't actively do anything, and there is no way the whole thing wouldn't be a huge, angsty mess, so I'll probably have to see Ji-soo be alone at some point-- basically, I'm not ready for that

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you guys are making me wanna watch angry mom just to see how good he was! i only read the recaps but this wave of jisoo love is really changing my mind!