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Descended From the Sun: Episode 1

The highly anticipated warzone-melodrama-romance (and Song Joong-ki’s army comeback!) drama Descended From the Sun premiered today to a strong start, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned into a runaway hit. Ratings were very good (14.3%, making it the highest premiere in two years for a mid-week miniseries; Come Back, Ajusshi’s premiere logged a 6.6% and One More Happy Ending a 5%), and the drama is making a case for pre-produced series with seriously well-filmed cinematography and high production values.

The chemistry is sparking, the supporting actors are solid, Song Joong-ki is magnetic, and the dialogue is witty. Storywise… well, it’s a bit early to decide anything, but while I was entertained and found the first hour an easy watch, I really don’t think this is a drama I’ll be watching for the story. I’m not totally sold on the show yet, but I do think it’s one where I’d be able to enjoy the more I turned off my brain. At least with so much pretty to look at, it won’t be too hard to find other distractions.

SONG OF THE DAY

Chen, Punch – “Everytime” from the Descended From the Sun OST [ Download ]

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EPISODE 1 RECAP

Nighttime at the DMZ.

At the military headquarters control center, a meeting of army brass is held to deal with a volatile developing situation: Three North Korean soldiers have crossed the border and taken a couple of South Korean soldiers hostage. No gunfire has been exchanged, but tensions are high; they interpret this as a bold ploy to provoke the South into making the first act of aggression.

The South can’t have that, and their best option to avoid a political firestorm is to let the North Koreans go quietly. To that end, they’ve sent in a team of special forces agents to defuse the situation.

The special forces team arrive at the front line of the standoff, outside a small bunker taken over by the North Koreans. Their leader identifies himself as Alpha Team’s Captain YOO SHI-JIN (Song Joong-ki) and declares that they’ll be taking over the situation from the unit currently in charge.

Shi-jin and his second-in-command, SEO DAE-YOUNG (Jin Gu), approach the bunker with hands raised in the open. They’re allowed inside at gunpoint, the air thick with tension, while the troops stationed outside prepare explosives to use as a last resort.

The North Korean leader gives up his gun, but pulls out a dagger, saying that he can’t just leave without giving the Southerners a fight. Shi-jin pulls out his own knife and agrees to one.

After a tension-filled stare-down, the soldiers launch into a fierce knife fight, with Shi-jin battling the North Korean leader and his comrade Dae-young juggling the other two enemy soldiers. They’re in tight quarters and the action is fast and powerful, with both sides seemingly matched.

The fight swings back and forth as both sides gain the advantage and lose it; everybody attacks amidst an air of supreme calm and concentration, no fear in sight. Everybody gets in some good blows, but the main fight between Shi-jin and his quarry remains tight.

At one point the alarm button gets hit and sirens start to blare, but nobody breaks focus. The intensity of the action mounts, and Shi-jin and the Northern leader end up outside, still locked in close combat.

That’s when Shi-jin gets slashed in the abdomen, though he barely betrays feeling it. He’s got his own knife at the North Korean’s neck, but the man rightly notes that Shi-jin can’t shoot first; his hands are tied politically. But, he says, soldiers from the North are different—and a gun cocks and points at Shi-jin’s head.

Shi-jin doesn’t flinch. He corrects the North Korean leader, saying that the South can shoot, if it’s to keep the peace. In the distance a South Korean sniper aims his rifle, and a red dot shows up on the North Korean gunman’s face. Everyone stills. Holds their breaths. Waits.

Then the North Korean leader calls off his man, easing the tension and saying it was nice to meet Shi-jin. Shi-jin replies that he’d prefer not to meet again, and both men drop their knives. The North Koreans walk away, and crisis is averted.

Some time later, Shi-jin and Dae-young are on leave from duty, shooting toy guns (badly) and wondering at their faulty aim. The arcade manager (Lee Kwang-soo in a cameo) tsk-tsks like the “ajusshis” don’t know what they’re doing, chiding that they’ll break the guns.

Outside, a disturbance breaks out when a young thief steals someone’s motorcycle and zooms off. Shi-jin and Dae-young borrow the toy guns and station themselves in the street, positioning themselves in the thief’s path. He barrels recklessly toward them, at which point the soldiers let loose a barrage of toy pellets, striking him in the face, distracting him into crashing off the bike.

A grumpy (and ungrateful) ajusshi retrieves his motorcycle from the scene, and Shi-jin turns his attention to splinting the thief’s injured leg.

After sending him off in an ambulance, the soldiers chat in a cafe, and Dae-young expresses sympathy for the young delinquent-in-the-making. It strikes a chord with his own youth, when he’d engaged in gangster activity before turning things around, and he sighs that while there’s not a lot of difference between them, this guy is set to become a criminal.

Shi-jin gets a call from someone in the army who’s not from their unit, and the name on his phone reads YOON MYUNG-JOO. Dae-young leaps to prevent him from taking the call, throwing out a whole string of bribes, like dinner and expensive liquor and a date with his cousin.

But when Dae-young reaches for his phone to show pictures, he realizes that the thief pocketed his phone while he was being treated. All of a sudden he’s full of swears, which Shi-jin notes is ironic given his earlier sympathy.

Young Thief is brought to the hospital, and a nurse picks up Dae-young’s stolen phone when it falls to the ground. A call comes in from the same person who’d called Shi-jin, Yoon Myung-joo, and the nurse answers and tells Myung-joo that the phone’s owner is at the hospital following an accident.

Inside, we meet Dr. KANG MO-YEON (Song Hye-gyo), who assesses Young Thief’s injuries, aided by the diagnostic notes Shi-jin had written on his arm. Among them: “THIEF: Administer treatment as painfully as possible.” The thief protests loudly to be let go, and the second he’s left alone, he strips off the splint and hobbles away.

Mo-yeon speaks with a senior doctor about a position she’s up for, but gets distracted to see the thief off in the distance making his getaway. She excuses herself and goes after him, and wheels him back inside against his protests.

He wants to be let go, arguing that his hyungnims will be sending him to the morgue next. But Mo-yeon and the nurses are a tough bunch and refuse to budge until he grudgingly agrees to stay. He leaves a phone with Mo-yeon to prove he won’t run away…

And then runs away again, of course, talking on his other phone. Dae-young and Shi-jin pull up at the hospital right as a crowd of gangsters strolls by, and head inside a second too soon to see the thief slipping out.

Shi-jin continues calling Dae-young’s phone without getting an answer, until finally Dr. Mo-yeon picks up. She’s sitting just feet away from him, and scoffs to see the name: “Big Boss.”

Given the circumstances, she interprets this to mean gangster boss, so when Shi-jin motions to her, she regards him coldly and tells him to wait outside. He tries to explain that she’s got the wrong idea, but she’s firm, and the two soldiers are pushed aside while she finishes treating a patient.

Dae-young figures the thief skipped out and suggests going to look for him, though Shi-jin isn’t in any hurry to leave the pretty doctor he’s clearly smitten with. When Dae-young shoots him a look, Shi-jin suddenly fakes appendix pain (poorly, on the wrong side) before agreeing to head out.

On Dae-young’s hunch, they look for the gangsters they’d encountered earlier and find them brutally beating up the wayward thief. Shi-jin is reluctant to get involved, but his buddy is stern and determined to step in.

So the two soldiers call out to the gangsters, who laugh at them for butting in. The badly beaten thief—Ki-bum—begs Dae-young to save him, and his friend explains that Ki-bum wants out of the gang, but has to come up with an exorbitant “exit fee” (5 million won, just over 4,000 USD), which is why he’s been stealing.

The gangsters jeer, asking sarcastically if Dae-young will take on the burden—but Dae-young readily replies that he will, and that he’s Ki-bum’s hyung. Aww.

Dae-young holds out his wallet, saying that he’s got plenty of cash. Offering it to anybody who can snatch it from him, he invites the gangsters to go for it.

A couple of guys launch themselves at him with fists and switchblades, though they’re more nuisance than threat. We’ve already seen Dae-young fighting at his best, so no surprise that he hardly breaks a sweat knocking around the first two who come at him.

Shi-jin sees they’re using switchblades and goads everyone to pull out their weapons now and go for it… though he’s a little taken aback when no less than ten knives come out. He takes a teeny step behind Dae-young and says that at least there are no guns.

Thief Ki-bum’s supposed guardian arrives thinking Dae-young is the patient, and Yoon Myung-joo turns out to be a woman in army uniform (Kim Ji-won). Moreover, she and Mo-yeon know each other, although there’s no love lost between them. Mo-yeon even jokes that there’s always a man involved when they meet, which, groan. Can we not go thirty minutes without failing the Bechdel test?

Myung-joo’s also a doctor and she demands to see the chart, calling the patient “important to me.” Mo-yeon simply tells Myung-joo to pay the patient’s bill, which he skipped out on, and says that the hospital has done its duty in trying to treat him twice.

Mo-yeon informs a mutual colleague of Myung-joo’s arrival—that rude but pretty army doctor they interned with who stole away Mo-yeon’s crush. Mo-yeon huffs jealously that Myung-joo’s not even that pretty, and she didn’t actually date that sunbae. She also calls Myung-joo crazy for dating someone now who’s maybe twenty at most.

But her colleague corrects her, since it’s well-known that Myung-joo, the daughter of a three-star general and an officer in her own right, is dating an army officer. That’s news to Mo-yeon, who wonders what the deal is with Ki-bum, who left his phone with her.

Shi-jin and Dae-young return to the hospital with Ki-bum, who’s now in much worse shape. While nurses rush to take care of him, Dae-young stands stock-still upon seeing Myung-joo, who looks at him with accusing eyes and orders him to follow her. Huh, no jondae speech even.

Mo-yeon tends to Ki-bum’s wounds and asks if it was Shi-jin who did this to him. The kid insists that Shi-jin was his rescuer, but she doesn’t believe him, thinking he’s saying it out of fear. All the while, Shi-jin just sort of smiles down at her flirtatiously, though she either doesn’t notice or ignores it.

He chases Mo-yeon out to set her straight about his character, explaining the whole story about getting the cell phone stolen, coming to retrieve it, and saving Ki-bum from his gangster hyungs. She expresses exactly zero interest in his explanation and starts to call the police to report the patient’s assault.

Shi-jin leans in and, with a flick of his finger, knocks the phone out of her hand. Saying that involving the police would be a problem for him only supports the misunderstanding that he’s a gangster, even though he tells her that he’s a soldier on leave, and that getting into a tangle with the law would be a headache. He supposes that showing her his dog tags or army ID won’t convince her when she’s determined to believe he’s lying.

But then he asks if she went to a certain medical school and knows Myung-joo. That makes her connect some dots, asking if he’s “that” officer. Shi-jin must know she means Dae-young and says no, but assures her that Myung-joo can confirm his identity.

Myung-joo confronts a stoic Dae-young with frustration and hurt, asking how long he means to keep avoiding her. She demands that he tell her why, saying that it’s not that she doesn’t know the reason, but that she wants to hear him.

“It’s not the reason you think,” he says stiffly. He asks her not to jump to conclusions about leaving for her sake, and says that his feelings have changed, that’s all. Ah, she must think he’s being pressured to leave her, and tearfully says she doesn’t believe him.

Dae-young walks away, ignoring her pleas to stop until she pulls rank—ever the soldier, he has to stop then to give a formal salute. She orders him to stand there like that all night, until he dies.

That’s when Shi-jin joins them to request that Myung-joo identify them to the skeptical Mo-yeon. Coldly, Myung-joo tells her, “Report them to the police. They’re AWOL soldiers.” A woman scorned, I guess.

Still, Mo-yeon’s seen enough to accept their identity, though she’s not ready to absolve them of the assault and insists on checking the security footage.

While they wait outside security, Shi-jin stands next to her against the wall, and when his fingers brush hers, she visibly jumps. She asks how he knows Myung-joo, and replies that they’re sunbae-hoobae from military academy. He asks if it’s really necessary to see the footage, assuring her that he looks like someone who can’t lie. She replies that killers are often likable.

He tells her not to worry, since it’s his rule to protect children, the elderly, and the beautiful. She quips that it’s good to be one of the three, he banters that she’s not, and she retorts that she means the elderly.

It’s only now that she thinks to ask his name, and gives him hers.

Dae-young has guessed that Ki-bum was once an athlete, and it’s another commonality between them. Dae-young practiced judo in high school, presumably before he went astray; he recognizes that Ki-bum learned to be hit like an athlete, where taking a blow is part of the training.

Asked why he just took it, Ki-bum replies that it would be over faster that way. He admits to practicing taekwondo, even winning gold medals.

When the nurse asks for his guardian, Ki-bum insists he doesn’t have one. Dae-young contradicts him, which, aww.

Watching the CCTV footage, Mo-yeon gives good reaction to seeing Shi-jin and Dae-young kicking some serious butt. She gets adorably caught up in the proceedings like she’s watching them live, calling out instructions: “Do that! Good job!”

Misunderstanding cleared, Mo-yeon apologizes for misjudging Shi-jin. He replies that she can repay him by treating his pain, which sounds like a glib pick-up line. So she doesn’t believe him when he points to his side, or when he doubles over in pain when she pokes it. But when he lifts his shirt, she gasps to see the blood-soaked bandage.

The fight tore his stitches, and as she redoes them, she recognizes his other scar as a gunshot wound. He’s surprised since she isn’t likely to run into gunshot wounds in Korea, but she explains seeing them in her volunteer work in Africa.

Shi-jin adopts a cheeky air and says he got the wound in Normandy while rescuing a comrade amidst a hail of gunfire. She asks wryly if the friend’s name was Private Ryan, and he smiles at her. The obtrusive pop soundtrack informs us this is A Moment.

Mo-yeon instructs Shi-jin to disinfect his wound through the week, after which he can have the stitches removed. He asks if he can come back here every day to do it, and whether she can be his assigned doctor. She banters along when he says a doctor’s looks are an important factor, and agrees to see him during the week.

Then he leans waaay in and says, “As a doctor, you probably don’t have a boyfriend, since you’re so busy.” She replies in kind, saying he probably doesn’t have a girlfriend as a soldier, and he just asks, “Who knows what the answer will be?”

Back at barracks, Shi-jin enlists his unit’s opinions in deciding which of two identical uniforms looks better for his trip to the hospital. The others wonder why he’d travel so far just to disinfect an injury, until Dae-young informs them that the doc is pretty. Ahhh.

Shi-jin points out that none of the army docs is pretty, and Dae-young argues. A clueless soldier pipes up that Myung-joo is hot, but that she supposedly just got dumped really badly, and it takes the rest of the unit to shut him up.

Dae-young goes to the hospital too, to pay Ki-bum’s bill for him. Guh, I just love his stoic care for the wayward soul, and it makes Ki-bum feel both grateful and awkward.

Ki-bum says he can’t pay him back and says a bit defensively that he doesn’t want a lecture about his life, but Dae-young doesn’t expect payment and just tells him to take care of himself. Then Ki-bum asks how Dae-young got out of his gangster past, since being beaten and paying up haven’t worked.

“I ran away to a place they could never follow me,” Dae-young replies.

In the lobby, Shi-jin spots Mo-yeon caught up in an emergency situation, kneeling on a gurney to stanch a patient’s bloody wound. He joins the entourage of medics and helps push the gurney faster, his eyes fixed on her the whole time, though he goes wholly unnoticed by her.

He waits outside the operating room for hours, but when she finally emerges, he’s gone.

He’s working out that night (obligatory army abs scene!) when she calls, which makes him smile. He notes that she’s scored his number, and she tells him to save hers. Like you have to tell him twice.

“I’d really like to see you tomorrow,” he says, which makes her laugh at his boldness. He says in a deadpan voice that he meant for treatment, and her face falls and she quickly says that’s what she meant too.

She asks what time he’d like to come in tomorrow, and he asks if she’d like to meet now instead. She doesn’t reply right away, and he asks, for the first time a little hesitantly, “You don’t want to?”

She replies, “No, I don’t dislike it. Come.”

So he heads over to the hospital again, decked out in civilian clothing while she primps with her PPL makeup. He waits for her in the lobby… and then his eyes land on the breaking news report showing on TV about the kidnapping of two UN staffers.

Immediately his mood grows serious and he takes a call from a colleague, stepping into the elevator just as Mo-yeon steps out. Arg! Curses, ye olde K-drama Elevator Miss!

Shi-jin calls to tell Mo-yeon he’s here, but has to leave. He mentions he’s on the roof, so she heads up to see him there, and he apologizes for having to stand her up.

A helicopter hovers overhead, which he identifies as his ride. He promises to fill her in later, and asks to meet next weekend. Not for treatment this time, but for a movie date.

The helicopter lands, and he leans in to ask for an answer. Note that what he says could mean “Do you like [the idea] or not?” it could also mean “Do like me or not?”

She answers, “I like [it].” He breaks into a smile and calls it a promise, then jogs over to board the copter, pausing for one look back at Mo-yeon. Then he’s off.

A short time later, Shi-jin’s unit is deployed on their covert mission, which requires them to remove their identifying dog tags in case of capture. “Where are we?” his teammate asks.

“Afghanistan,” Shi-jin replies grimly.

The hatch of their aircraft opens to reveal the landscape below them as they fly toward the fiery warzone.

 
COMMENTS

Descended From the Sun could have swung either way for me, because I do like all of the cast and there is a certain refreshing quality to a story that isn’t placed (mostly) in Korea, set against a backdrop that’s just a bit different. I really like Song Hye-gyo being a no-nonsense professional, and Song Joong-ki is charm incarnate. (He’s really almost too charming that it’s disconcerting. Some of his deeply intense gazes are so intimate as to be uncomfortable, and I found myself thinking that if he weren’t so darned adorable, he could very well be creepy.)

On the positive front, all of the actors are doing their jobs, the characters show flashes of compelling backstory (particularly Jin Gu right now, who is seriously wonderful in this role), and the director has a skilled, assured hand. This drama looks gorgeous. (The music editor could use firing, though—how many Big Musical Cues could you get through before bursting into laughter? What starts out mildly distracting soon becomes unintentionally hilarious the more times we encounter the *stare* *stare* *music* exchanges. And I do believe there were at least seven or eight of them in the first episode.)

Plotwise, I think I’m cautiously optimistic—I like that the couple meet in a relatively low-pressure environment, make a connection, and then presumably reconnect while working in the warzone. It feels a little more like we’ve got something to build on, rather than plopping them down into massive trauma and then engineering some kind of meet-cute. On the other hand, a big fear I have is that the drama will take its rich, dramatic, interesting backdrop and then just steamroller over it with Romance Romance Romance. I kind of hate how this writer has a tendency to reduce all her dramas to a very simplistic romantic throughline, even though she does have a way of tapping into emotions and lovelines that get audiences all excited. But she tends to overplay them to the exclusion of all else, which I find a shame. (Previous drams include Heirs, A Gentleman’s Dignity, Secret Garden, On Air, Lovers in Paris, and Lovers in Prague.)

I’ll admit to having previous issues with this writer, who has never written a woman I could identify with or understand, who also has the habit of injecting all her male leads with a frustratingly domineering alpha-male swagger—men who never saw a boundary they didn’t consider an invitation to cross, who were presented to us as swoonworthy romantic ideals. It’s that darned charm again!

But I do also feel that every drama is its own thing, and wanted to see this one as a separate entity from the rest of her oeuvre. In that respect, it sort of works, it sort of doesn’t. Song Joong-ki totally makes his character click, mixing that glib facade with hints of more intensity underneath, and I really look forward to seeing him reveal layers behind than the facile front he shows to everyone. But I do feel this romantic dynamic is pretty familiar—and super-fast. It’s kind of a Big Bang of instant attraction—one moment it’s nothing, and the next moment it’s already blown into a universe of Feelings. I suppose there are worse things, though! Say, a full drama lacking any romantic tension at all.

I went into Descended From the Sun with as open mind as possible, trying to get a clean first impression. What I come away with is that it’s pretty much what you think it’s going to be—if you like Kim Eun-sook’s dramas and squee over her addictive romances, you’re in luck. If you don’t like her shows for whatever reason, those reasons are still hanging around (she hasn’t changed her style, is what I mean), and it’ll probably be up to you to decide how much that matters.

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thanks for the recaps though I have not watched yet :D

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It's now on viki, so I have to give it a try, but the writer makes me VERY cautious. I absolutely hated Gentleman's Dignity, it just made me rage for days, but I really liked City Hall and I thought Secret Garden was problematic but still watchable. Thing is, love it or hate it, I just can't stay neutral about what this writer produces.

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What I'm hoping is that some of her more questionable works were victims of the ratings-driven live shoot system. And that she was as frustrated by what that did to the stories as we were.

Operative word: Hoping...

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I don't know if I should watch this or not. Can relate to your concerns even though I haven't watch gentelman's dignity. I watched Secret Garden because it was recommended to me, but I didn't like it at all. I hate how she writes her female leads. wasn't the ending for lovers in paris terrible? The heirs was overhyped too. I couldn't finish them. I had a love-hate relationship with hong sisters' works but I prefer them writing the romances over this writer. Park Hye Ryun is one of my preferred screenwriters in terms of portraying the female leads.

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I'm liking episode 1 so far.. i can see the drama is well made on this episode.. looking forward to episode 2.

My eyes just went ????? whenever Joongki is on the screen..

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+1, he's soooo adorable and hot! ??

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He is! Plus his voice!?

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+1
he is sooooooooooooooooooooooo.... *dont have word to describe it*

those eyes... OMG!

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omo! the eyes, yes...

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I like the first episode too! And Song Joong-ki is so awesome I'm so happy he's back on my screen (with or without the abs hahaa). Loving Jin Gu's character too!

For some reason, I have this feeling that one of them will die at the end (maybe Jin Gu). It's war after all, perfect setting to wring our tears. Though one can only hope for a happy ending for everyone.

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I agree with you, someone may die at the end after all main men leads are soldiers, but I also think one of the main men leads will be missing, and everyone will think he is dead, because of the dog tags. They can't go to missions wearing them.

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the lack of dogtags...i'm guessing someone loses their memory first of all.
since its not billed as a revenge drama its possible people will live but i'm also betting at least one person dies beautifully, (cue jarringly out of place music), and/or tragically in the rain.
i don't like this writer but she doesn't have a history of killing off her MCs, however this is a war zone, so a death seems more likely.

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I seriously hope you're wrong about someone losing there memory!

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why do kdramas always have that part of memory loss. I hate that with passion. Can we have something new please......i intend to watch this drama to the last episode but if this memory loss thing comes in, that will be the end of the drama for me.

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It does seem with the backdrop of war and military action, it would be highly probable there would be a death or maiming. It's almost too good an opportunity for the writer to pass up to include some tragedy that could feel justified and not the TRUCK OF DOOM.

On my death watch:

- newbie on the squad - the one who needed to ask about the dog tags and was highlighted in the test action
- Jin Goo
- pregnant friend

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I bet it's the junior with the pregnant girlfriend, I could sense it.
I was like 'No No Don't Go there'
Hope that I turn up wrong.
It 'd be so sad.

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Jin Gu's got I'm going to die written all over him. When do earnest characters like him ever live...

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I really like this ep. I hope the drama stays good.

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Hi @Ivoire
You're watching this show? I haven't decided whether to watch it yet. I'll sample it here and there and see how it goes.
:)

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Hello @ GB Unni,

I don't know yet if I am going to be consistently watching it while it is airing, as life is going to get busy for me. I was not even planning on watching it now, though I ended up checking ep. 1 out. So we will see.

I would say though that I really liked ep.1. I loved all the leads, and SJK is sooo good in this ep. I found his acting to be fluid, I didn't feel that I was watching him act. He is a very good actor, I know... I loved his banter with MY, how he flirted with her, and I especially loved the little and nuanced things he did, like the fact that he paused, before explaining to MY how they had come to save Young Thief, the way he leaned into MY's personal space to flirt with her, the way he walks, and the way he tsks, tsks DY, his colleague. I actually liked his glances at MY, I didn't find them creepy. I also LOVE his voice, I have to say.

I was introduced to JG in this ep. as I have never seen him in anything. He is really handsome and his acting in this ep. was excellent. I also liked his chemistry with KJW, who is 12 years younger than him. I really liked everyone's acting in this ep, even the side characters. Some of the drama reminded me of The King 2 Hearts, and you know how much I love that drama.

I agree that the OST was not always played in the right way, however, it is not easy to find a drama where EVERY single thing is done right. I also love the cinematography, and that might be another reason I might or would finish watching it at some point. I did like the banter, and the flirting, and even though I felt that the romance was coming fast, as some commenters have said, he didn't have a lot of time on leave, and he knows he could have to leave at a moment's notice, so I am OK with them already planning for a date in the 1st ep.

Long winded answer again, though I hope I answered your question :-)

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Thanks for a first recap JB! You've been pulling more than your weight these few days, and I must commend you for your prolific and good writing!

@ Ivoire

I pretty much feel the same way about this show as you do. At first glance it has the right look and feel. There is something cinematic about it and the pre-production part of it makes it stand out from other shows. Being too much of a softie when it comes to violence and pain, I'll probably be FFDing fight scenes, if and when I watch. At least, the characters are interesting. We'll just have to see how well the story plays out.

Interestingly, the music did not bother me at all... I hardly noticed it! LOL. :)

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Actually you are right about the music. I only realised it after watching the episode for the third time.

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+1

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Hello @ cinnamon, and thank you! :-)

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Hi Ivoire,

There suddenly seem to be so many new 'faces' here on DB. Mostly on "team-this" or "team-that".

Good to see you're still around! It's nice to discuss things with people who want to objectively explore the nuances of what a show is saying.

You too, GB. :-)

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Hi Gidget,

It's good to see you too. :)

Ah, a good reminder ... yes, the good old discussions on what makes a show enjoyable or not, what could have been and what's great. ? And helping each other to enjoy a show more. That was and can be such great fun and why we come to 'play' here. Thanks for your note and the reminder. Read you again! ???

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Hello Gidget,

It is really nice to read you here, and thank you for your compliment :-) You know, I never told you this, but I think I remember reading some comments you wrote on a recap thread about a show about a guy being 25 and still being a virgin (and what was supposed to happen to him as a result). I didn't watch that show, however I remember reading the comments, and I could be wrong (and please forgive me if I am), however it seemed to me that you might have commented on that thread. I simply loved what you said, and how you said it: respectfully, yet giving a different perspective on the topic that had been raised. I don't remember if I commented on your response(s) or not, though I really loved what you said.

I can understand the "Team this" phenomenon. I have been watching a Filipino drama, and they have "Love Teams," basically an actor and an actress who make movies and dramas (and sing together, and are in commercials together), and for the sake of entertainment, display a LOT of "kilig" (squee-worthy, mushy) moments in said movies, dramas and in fan-meetings. It is amazing the simple things their fans go crazy over, like the actor or actress kissing the other on the nose, or holding their hand, etc... And from some of the comments I have read, some fans are very loyal to their love-team (they are basically a made-up couple for entertainment). And if said love team ends up dating in real life (which happened last week to JaDine, James Reid and Nadine Lustre), the fans are over the moon.

Yeah, I am not here as much as I used to be. I can go weeks or months without reading the blog, and every so often, I get a chance to glance at some of the threads. I SOOOO agree with you on this, " It’s nice to discuss things with people who want to objectively explore the nuances of what a show is saying." Exploring the nuances of a show is how I best experience it, and I will admit to not always totally understanding at first viewing all that is being said in an KES drama. So discussing it with others helps greatly.

One of the things I love (also) about this show is the international aspect of the themes explored (and I look forward to how it will be done). There was some of that in TK2Hs, and I appreciated that. I also love seeing the kind of chemistry Korean actors and actresses learn to have with foreigners in their dramas (I can't speak of movies, since I am not watching them, atm). The world is becoming more and more a market for Kdramas, and so when the genre calls for it, I welcome an international cast, and some international themes, if the story calls for it, of course. That usually makes me very curious about how other countries (and people) are portrayed, and how much research might have gone into telling those international side stories.

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@ Gidget, Part 2:

I rewatched TK2Hs, and was surprised to see how many cameos by foreigners there were in that drama, either for just a scene, or sprinkled throughout the drama. Many foreigners have become genuinely interested in Korea (included yours truly), as a result of their love for Kdramas, and they have foreigners living there. So it is a welcomed change (something different) for me to see how foreigners (or international issues) are written and thought through in a drama. I have seen stills of foreign children for this show, and I have watched ep.2 already. As I said, I welcome the foreign "actors/actresses" (for lack of a better term, which I can't think of, at the moment. Maybe "cameos" might be more appropriate).

I can just imagine having to break through the awkwardness for the whole cast (both Koreans and the foreign cameos), making it work for the camera, and dealing with the physical contacts and closeness some of those fight scenes will require. For that, I appreciate what the writer, directors, the cast and crew attempt to do, and I support that, when it is well woven into the story. You will see what I mean in ep.2. I am more than OK, if the foreigners are not the best at acting, they have to start somewhere, and at least, they are represented in the dramas. Those are the kinds of things I think about, when I see such scenes.

I also always hope accuracy would be kept in mind when touching on international issues, and when representing other countries or other foreign nationals. Once again, I hope I am making sense. One thing that surprised me for example, was when at the end of the drama "Secret," one of the characters said that one of the female side characters was getting married to a Nigerian man. I had to replay that to make sure I had heard it right, but hey, that was different :-)

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@ Ivoire
The simple, 'after-school' Moorim School has an international cast. Have you checked it out for the feel of it?

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@ GB Unni,

No, I have not checked 'After-school' Moorim School out. I did read a couple of recaps about it though. Now that you say it, it does have an international cast, one of whom is Sam Okyere (from Ghana). He did a cameo in Warm and Cozy, he has done some appearances in some Korean variety shows (Hello Counselor, Happy Together, Non-Summit [which I used to watch], Running Man), and he has been in some commercials as well. I have personally communicated with him, so it has been nice to be able to ask him questions, when I have them. We have a mutual friend.
A few of my friends went to Korea last year, and they met him, spent time with him, and took pictures with him. One of them actually spent 10 days at his place, and she met Yoo Jae-suk (and another comedian), and visited the set of Happy Together thanks to Sam. As you can imagine, I had my "Kyaaaaa!!!!!" moment when I learned that they spent time with Sam, and when I saw all the pictures. I was soooo happy for them.

I really have not been watching Kdramas unni, except for the occasional episode here and there (3 of Remember, 2 Of DoTS) and that is it so far, in the last 6 months or so. I did rewatch many episodes of the TK2Hs (not all of it), but that doesn't count, since it is not new to me.

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@ GB Unni,

I TOTALLY agree with you on the cinematic/movie-like feel of this drama (so far). For some reason, I don't expect it to change, especially since they had time to work on it, since the drama is pre-produced. Like you, I hope that this will open the door to more kdramas being pre-produced. I didn't know what to expect going into it, but now I can see what the different stories might be about.

I forgot to add that I also love the bromance between DY and SJ. I think you see more of it in ep.2. I love that DY and SJ know each other so well, knowing what buttons to push about each other, and how to tease each other. Someone (on Soompi maybe), wrote that they can know what the other think with just a glance, which should come in handy, especially in dangerous situations, and especially if they can't talk or don't have time to talk (and come up with a strategy for example).

I love the bromance because I feel that it also helps them emotionally. Both guys are having a hard time having a significant other, and it seems that they miss it. Like most guys, they won't talk about their feelings ad nauseam, however they do know each other, and they are there for each other. I just LOVE how well they can read each other, and how they tease each other. Like when SJ threatened to call MJ to the cafe, and when DY gave a stern look to SJ when he was faking the stomach-ache (and how he tricked him). That was so cute and endearing. I simply LOVE small moments like that in dramas, and in real life. That was part of some of the nuances I meant, which I didn't list, because there are many of them. I do know them when I see them though, and I just LOVE little things like that. I personally look forward to more of those.

I agree with this, "At first glance it has the right look and feel. There is something cinematic about it and the pre-production part of it makes it stand out from other shows."

Regarding the violence and fight scenes, I plan on watching all of them, because I want to see how they are done. I have to say that I also like (a lot) the choreography of their fight scenes. I find them to be well done, which reminds me of the fight scenes in City Hunter (they were well done there as well), and the ones in TK2Hs.

Yes, the characters are interesting. I am curious to see how the story evolves, and how it is told. I would say though that so far, all the actors/actresses are doing a really good job, and that, + the cinematography, + the dialogue (so far), and the production values are sucking me into this drama. This is a very good way for me to escape real life. I feel compelled when I watch this drama, to go into their world and see it up close, and watch what happens to them, but from a closer place. I hope I am making sense :-)

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Hi Ivoire

I won't say much here about Ep 2 as I don't want to add spoilers. Just noted that I don't know how to feel about it and the show. I'll say more when Ep 2 recap comes out.

Your post got me thinking that I should pay more attention to the guys. A bromance is always nice to watch. I believe, because it's set in a 'war zone', that many of us are afraid to invest our emotions in the guys. So painful when they get hurt or die! ?

So far not much story, therefore we need to focus on the characters and their relationships. That's where you're great Ivoire! You can catch all the little moments and expressions.

I agree that the characters interactions are going to show us how they'll help each other in their unique or maybe not so unique circumstances. The level of understanding that comes from close contact and team work is always a joy to see. I wish there was more of that in RL as well.

Definitely the look of this show is great. It still had that great feel in Ep 2. I hope that more shows do get pre-produced to add at least this kind of production value, not to mention, a good, coherent story (*fingers crossed*) all the way to the end and consistent characters with lots of growth (and no bi-polarism or lobotomies LOL!). :D

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@ GB Unni,

I too tried to contain myself and not comment much on ep.2 here. it is just that ep. 2 confirmed for me some of the things I had seen in ep.1, that's all.

And yes, I tend to also pay attention to the bromances in dramas, as they can be different from the how women relate to each other. And to be honest, I sometimes envy some of the bromances I see...

About this, "I believe, because it’s set in a ‘war zone’, that many of us are afraid to invest our emotions in the guys. So painful when they get hurt or die!" I understand that, though it does not stop me from investing my emotions in the guys. I know that SPOILERS *ESK dies in ep. 19 of TK2Hs,* however I always still enjoy the bromance they have during the 19 episodes, when I rewatch the drama.

About this, "That’s where you’re great Ivoire! You can catch all the little moments and expressions." Thank you for the compliment, I do tend to love the details in a drama or in a story, and so yes, I do tend to pay attention to those things. And I totally agree with what you said in your 4th paragraph, AND AMEN to what you said in your 5th paragraph :-)

I also like that so far, the female lead seems to be different than most female leads in KES' dramas. We will see if that stays consistent, as you said. She is sassy, strong, smart and funny so far, so let's see...

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I hope that too but it has already been noted the writer is another thing......fingers crossed.

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Hi, Ivorie
Been missing your long comments, hope you are well since I haven't came across your comments in a while.

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Easy watch! First espisode went by really quickly. Fun to see Lee Jwang Soo in the cameo w/ one of his best buds & SJK looks awesome after his two year mandatory military time. Great start!

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Oh - and Jin Gu - WOW!

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SJK buffed up.

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When I first heard about this drama, I was afraid SJK was not going to pull off the macho army captain. Always thought he was a little too babyfaced. Totally not that case. Military service served him well. I hope the rest of this drama lives up to Ep1. Production values are great so far.

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I find it cute that they end the ep thanking Kwang Soo for his cameo! It's like his cameo is something vital for the drama or something

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The drama definitely got my attention!! I have high hopes for that one....please don't disappoint me

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I am still not sure about starting this. I watched Come Back, Ajhussi. The start is good let's see how it goes. I guessed the ratings will be high for descended from the sun because of the hype it received but a 14% is something even finales don't get these days. Tough luck for One more happy ending and ajhussi.

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One more happy ending has its own audience and didn't have any change in rattings.

Personaly I liked DotS quite a bit and will be following it, but then again the same goes for OMHE. Fortunatly I don't have to choose between the two, as I can't watch it live.

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"Fortunately I don’t have to choose between the two, as I can’t watch it live."

Yes indeed. Yesterday, I watched all three - starting off with OMHE (subbing percentage was the highest at the time), then CBA, and finishing off the night with DOTS.

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Should I watch it? Someone help meee. Haha. Those eye candies though. OMG!

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Yes! Watch it!! If anything, for the eye candy! I was definitely just staring at song joon ki and jin gu for most of the episode but the first episode was done really well too in my opinion! Refreshing to see the lead girl not hate the lead guy's guts and actually be interested in the first episode.

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They seem to be completely on board the eye candy train. SJK six pack n all.

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@tata, you should watch it...it starts fun after all, i can't get over to watch the episode 2...

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I love it. Can't wait for more SJK!!!

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I would stay for the 2 male leads thank you. Here for SJK but the 2nd lead is unexpedtedly interesting

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I haven't watch it. So far I think the Korean Viewers love it while International viewers said that the dialogue kinda cringeworthy...
So I chose to watch Comeback Ajusshi first and I love it. I'm still not sure whether to watch this drama or not. Should I watch it?

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i will wait for some more episodes to see how this drama goes first. I hope it will continue do well, not only on rating but on the plotline.

As for Comeback Ahjusshi, i had a low expectation so that I hope I can enjoy it more. But preview for epi 2 seems interesting as Rain and OYS will make an entrance ;)

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I am an internstional viewer. And the dialogue is not a problem. Not at all. The whole helicopter flying i to get him is very Hollywood-esque. For a lack of helicopters flying in my late reference, I would have to drop 50 Shades for example. But, it being a military jet is a compensation. Speaking about hollywood, the last scene where they are supposed to jump out of the plane. I'm glad they did not do it. It's just too much for a drama. I hope it doesn't get way too Hollywood-esque. Just drama. Our very own drama has a delicate taste like a kimchi, we don't want em american kimchi. LOL

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"Hollywood-esque" the perfect description for describing the aura surrounding Song Joong-Ki & Song Hye-Kyo's characters and their introduction to/interactions with one another.

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I watch kdrama because i want something different from hollywood therefore i agree with you @wendy

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It is a beautiful drama with beautiful people. So far so good. For me it's kinda cheesy but not too cheesy compare to The Heir. I just don't really like their background sounds, it's kinda out of place.

I love Come Back Ajusshi too. The preview for episode2 seems like tons of fun waiting for me.

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Many of us will get super busy because in Wed-Thurs slot drama, all are good and exciting in their genre. DOTS might be a little bit heavy but with Comeback Ahjusshi and Happy Ending, we can balance it. If I am a Korean viewer, I will have three TV and watching it at the same time. Lol the crazy me :P

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did the comeback mister has a cute starting storyline?

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I've been refreshing every 5 minutes for this recap. Thank you so much!!
I found the first episode to be en exhilarating watch. I had so many reservations going into this, but I'm in! First, the show has to thank Song Joong Ki for injecting his character with so much intensity. His character is confident and slightly arrogant, but Song Joong Ki manages to infuse that alpha male role with so much charisma that I could not help but like him. Sure, the romance is currently based on initial attraction right now but that happens in real life. (Though MY real life does not have Song Joong Ki running around trying to sweep me off my feet) Hopefully, the drama will ground the romance in something more concrete once it really gets going.
ALSO, let's all breathe a sigh of relief! The leads have chemistry! Their banter was adult and flirty! The romantic tension was almost too much to handle, and it's only the first episode! Song Joong Ki's eyes, they do that to you.

The second leads already have me rooting for them! Jin goo is fantastically grounded in this role and Kim Ji Won is lovely. Theirs is a complex history I'm eager to watch.

I'm in for the ride! This show has all the components to be an addicting watch!

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And let's not forget how BEAUTIFUL the cinematography is. They surely did not spare any expense.

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BAHAHA javabeans. I am laughing way too much at your comment, "The obtrusive pop soundtrack informs us this is A Moment". LOL

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Haha, me too. It's so true though!

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HA! me too. And watching it play out was hilarious. They can't possibly think that's how bg music thing works, right?

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They don't seem to have grasped the concept of BACKground. It's in the foreground.
I feel like I'm getting hit over the head with a hammer, lol.

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HAHAHAHA! So true though!

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True :D

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+1

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I've been waiting for this! ASA!!!

I just finished watching and I've got the OST syndrome for Chen and Punch's Everytime.

I love that this drama is 100% because now nothing is gonna stop us from watching this show. Episode 1 is such a great start.

Solid acting from Song Joong Ki no less. But other than that his abs looks pretty but more importantly did you see those arms? I'm pretty sure I'm gonna go back to watch episode 1 again to ogle those arms. His shoulders looks much like our ganster shoulders oppa - none other than Chilbong aka Yoon Yeon Seok.

I'm pretty much okay with the fact that the two leads found themselves attracted to each other right from the start. The side story of the second leads don't look bad also.

I'm so into it in fact I'm rolling myself up under my blanket to watch it again despite the fact that I am having my licensure exam in two days.

Good luck for me!

PS. I just loved how in the ending clip it said "We would like to thank Mr. Lee Keang Soo for his cameo appearance". It looked like he didn't get paid. And that bromance just made me smile from the start to the end of this episode.

Song Hye Gyo is just beautiful like always and perhaps, forever. I'm gonna look up the second female lead. She looks plenty familiar. And please don't let Jin Gu die. After watching Falling for Innocence, I'm having this nervous attack thay they will kill him to et the story rolling. Please don't break my heart like that.

Oh Descendants from the Sun ~ 5/5
I didn't watch Nice Guy because I really disliked the entire plot so I feel like I miss Joon Ki since Sungkyunkwan Scandal days. Omo ya •○•

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She played Kim Tan's fiancé in Heirs, didn't she? Forgot her name. I'm trying to like her character in this one despite the Heirs thing.

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Ooh just found out also it's Yoo Rachel. I must admit her character then was not too likable. But I liked her then and now moreso. She can do the glamorous and plain jane look and be beautiful in it both.

I'm liking it having her back on my small screen. How does she make her lower lip shake with a heartbreaking scene. Acting chops like that just gets me. I can't make my lip shake without looking stupid HAHA

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So far, she's the only cast member I'm not feeling. Hope she improves.

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I really liked her in High Kick 3 - she did a marvellous mix of drama, romance and slapstick comedy there. But I hated her in Heirs - but I probably disliked most of Heirs apart from the Californian landscape.

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thank you for mentioning this. I was wondering where i have seen this second lead lady and now i understand why she does not shake me. I hated her in Heirs.......i just hope i will have a change of heart when the story evolves.

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Yeah, I too was getting the vibe that they will kill off either Jin Goo or Joong ki before the drama run ends, just to squeeze out some tears from all of us. My money's on Jin Goo, though. They have already begun to build him up, just to take him down.

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That's what I'm afraid of too. That the writer will kill off Jin Goo's character by the end of the show. I surely hope not, though.

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NOOOOOO!!! Please don't! They also killed him in Northern Limit Line. He is a navy officer there. His character made a big impact on me because of the sacrifice he made. I was not interested in him in Falling for Innocence, but he made a fan out of me after I watched Northern Limit Line...

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Jin Gu will die. Let's hold our hands together while this ship sinks. (At this point Idk if its the bromance or the romance I'm shipping for Jin Gu)

I made the same mental preparation for Taek. And when he did not. I got struck with Jung Hwan's big fall. But I guess it's minor injury compared to what would have been a Taektanic blow.

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Yes, I think one of the second leads will die for sure, too.

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Ohhhhhh......no they cant kill Joong Ki please.

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I didn't know the bf/fiance in Falling for Innoncence was Jin Gu!!! He looks very familiar and I remembered thinking that he's a really good actor while I was watching this drama. Guess you do learn something new everyday.

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Song Joong Ki, you are just mesmerizing! Song Hye Gyo is gorgeous as ever. SJK and SHG are bringing the 'kilig" early on, so that is a good thing for me.

I'm watching with caution though! Keeping my expectation low coz Heirs was a big disappoinment.

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Will you be recapping this drama?

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We'll cover it here, though I won't be the one recapping the rest of the episodes. Just the first to kick things off!

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Aw, but I am glad that Descendants is still going to be recapped.

I hope that you are available to leave some of your comments for Goodbye Mr. Black. I personally love your comments/analysis! Big javabeans fan here <3

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I think that this is going to be my k-drama crack of the year.

The Songs-chemistry, wow, they are like fireworks on the Fourth of July!

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I genuinely tried to watch it despite my dislike for Kim Eun Suk, but only survived the first half of episode one. To me her trademark dialogue is not witty, it's bloated. No one speaks like that in real life. The conflict in the hospital is pulled out of thin air. I mean yeah, all the actors are extremely pretty and production value is high, but the plot is nowhere to be found. I am out.

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Exactly no strong plot yet. But its just the first episode. Will give the second one a chance too.

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I think (and hope) that the plot will thicken as soon as they enter the warzone. That is basically what the drama is centered, right?

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I'll give it a chance. Switching off my brain is albeit a must for this.

Although I liked the beginning with the North Korean soldiers (why did they highlight so much, that Si Jin is ambidextrous?), but the ending with the helicopter shuttle service was ridiculous. Come on! Is he the defence minister? He is just one of an elite team, would tax payers really pay for this trip? And I didn't like the rest of the special force team needing to ask the questions the audience would have (Why get rid of the marks? Where are they?). This makes the 'elite' soldiers look stupid. Couldn't they have solved it better? Oh, I forgot, the audience obviously needs to leave its brain behind. ;) :P

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Haha yes! Shouldn't the soldiers be brief about everything they need to know before being sent into mission? Especially one that is as basic as the destination. And they had seven hours on the plane to ask that!

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"...the ending with the helicopter shuttle service was ridiculous. Come on! Is he the defence minister? He is just one of an elite team, would tax payers really pay for this trip?"

In the real world if tax payers and the media found out about this, it would be a field day. There's already perceived notions (fairly or unfairly) of government waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement of funds. And let's not forget to mention the catch-phrase that seemingly no politician can do without -- fiscal responsibility.

"...the rest of the special force team needing to ask the questions the audience would have (Why get rid of the marks? Where are they?). This makes the ‘elite’ soldiers look stupid. Couldn’t they have solved it better?"

I wondered why too. Is that a good sign when they think the audience may have a hard time figuring things out so they dumb down the content?

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Ikr!The last scene was not as impressive as the opening.
Why did they even send a 'new' soldier to that "dangerous" place? *rolled eyes*

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Good point about the dog tags, though I think they made it a point to say one of the team is a newbie. But even so, to have made it on an elite secret force, he has to have come up through the ranks and should have known.

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Not reading the recap because want to avoid any spoiler.
Can anybody tell me if Jin Goo and Kim Ji Won already appeared in the first episode? Song Jong Ki is great to watch, Song Hye Kyo is lovely as always but i will be honest that I am excited more for Jin Gu and Kim Ji Won. My heart was racing for them when I watched their trailer ;)

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The scene from the trailer played out in the first episode already. We get a little backstory on their relationship. Not too much of Kim Ji Won yet.

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Thanks @pigtookie. ;)

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i like it whoaaa good drama KBS. I love song joong ki glad he come back.i like all the characters.

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Song Joong Ki and Jin Gu did not let me down. Not a bad start!

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Not a show I'll mind watching, Neither one that I'll bother watching. Perhaps the story is too simple yet or it didn't click me. Might continue watching for the cinematography though.

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I haven't watch the drama but gloss over the recap and I'm glad it sounds fun
on the other hand, I just check new song and found DoTS OST, every time by Punch and Chen (EXO) and I love the OST, like legit fun and I can enjoy it even without the drama,
I've been playing the OST non stop since I found it and it just so good, so fun and the singer sings really well too,
I hope tonight they deliver a fun episode too,
I hope that the quality increase cause it far better than a bang! opening episode

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Still not sure if I will watch this, but with Joongki ki who I do NOT want to ignore is here... And the writer leaves me iffy with how they write their characters.. ( I absolutely hated Heirs!!) I still am not sure, but I'll read the recaps for the next few episodes and decide from there...
Thanks for the recap!!

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I'm enjoying this. But then I'm in the mood for something less demanding than Cheese in the trap.

I'm not sure I'm laughing at the right parts though, haha.
I found it funny they were using so much formal language in the beginning. (Korean-American, so I speak Korean as well). The women were "politely" dissing each other. And yes, the musical cues had me laughing as well. Also, the predictability of scenes such as the wallet walloping.

I liked the fight scenes and the cinematography. Overall, I'm enjoying it more than I thought.

I'll probably continue watching for those reasons and the eye candy (SJK doing shirtless pull-ups w/ six pack on full display. Wowzee.) as long as it doesn't begin to irritate me too much.

And the Running man reunion of sorts. Haha. Cool.

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Wooohoooo ! Lovers in Paris was my very FIRST Korean drama that made me into a total K-drama fanatic addict LOL It was not a perfect drama (I had [email protected]#$!#^ moments) but I LOVED it none the less!

OMO the CHEMISTRY between SJK & SHK quietly sizzling OMOOOO Swoons!

Cannot wait for the next episode ! *skips in delight*

Thanks JB.. Saranghe!

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Am I the only on who did not like the first episode. The chemistry just seemed awkward and the acting was bit off some times .

I am not a complete fan jet ??

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You're not alone. The chemistry..its not working and the story line just too simple or what? I can't even explain it. It isn't the first episode that compels me to watch the entire show. Just didn't click me.

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The same. They look boring together.

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Honestly, you're not. What the hell were all the dramatic, slow camera shots. There interaction seemed so normal like zero chemistry and just the way it was shot made it seem so awkward. Yeah, maybe episode 2 will be better crosses fingers. I hope the direction gets better. The dialogue was weird. Sometimes engaging mostly not. Jin gu's character was the most interesting part of the first episode. I'm not watching for the storyline but I really do hope there is at least some logical plot and no 10 min fight scenes that accomplish nothing.

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Not impressed so far, mainly because the plot line just seems to totally unrealistic. Will pick up one more episode, but for now it looks like that is as far as I will go.

I mean seriously - NK takes over a bunker, so it ends up in a knife fight?? Who in hell would ever actually do that for real?

And it gets worse from there, at least as far as being even close to how the military and soldiers actually work.

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I don't think I remember truly loving a KES drama and this wouldn't be changing things unfortunately. There's literally nothing new other than the fact that the male lead is not a chaebol.

The dialogues make me cringe to a point where I'm rolling my eyes and fast forwaring them. No one talks like that in real life, dialogue after dialogue like it's 'normal'. There's no plot (although maybe that's something she'll introduce in episode 2). I get that it's gorgeous - the cinematography is nice, the abs are drool etc etc etc. But there's no story! I'll probably stick around for another episode but I think it'll soon be adios from my end. I stuck through Heirs hoping it would get better. Instead I wasted 20 hours of my life for it. I'm so not doing that for this drama.

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The dialogue is like something out of a 1960's GI Joe comic book, but worse.

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Mixed feelings about the show, anticipated because it's SJK's return but random thoughts :
- after watching the raw ep : it seems too perfect, too beautiful
- after watching with the subtitles : I appreciated the ep , of course the production is good, we see where the money was spent, Lee Kwang Soo cameo was good :) , but as some of you said, SJK character seemed too perfect, so I don't really know : if the couple is together since the 1st ep, I fear what kind of drama/trauma they will give us to fill 16 eps, but on the other hand I don't dislike the romance (also admitting some dialogues were too much, and the OST is good ok, but playing it all the time, I think we have pieces from 4 to 5 songs here, it's too much)
I will watch the rest of the series, but I will try not to have too high expectations (CITT syndrome right now)

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Hahahahaha I'm laughing at the slo mo cheesy moment between the leads. I'm being reminded of Heirs' Love is the Momeeennnt... But in any case I find it an easy watch. Loving Jingu and warming up to SHG but of course SJK is a given.

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I would like to discuss the show in detail but my brain kind of short circuited on seeing Song Joong ki ... So much pretty!

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Lol.

Idk what it says about the two shows that I'm much more tense about a slice of life college drama than one about a military man and a doctor in war zones.

I'm basically watching this to give my brain...and patience...a break. And keeping expectations low is helping. I'm easily satisfied now.

It's definitely easy on the eyes.

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... With CITT ending, what else are you picking up ? I'm thinking of Mr.Black simply bec i find kim kang woo absolutely amazing.

"It’s definitely easy on the eyes."
.
So true. Have you seen the 'innocent man' ? I was snickering throughout the last few episodes - all the dialogues were about how everyone wanted to trade SJK for their company or their life. I definitely understand THAT impulse!

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I'll be watching Mr. black too. :) I like a good revenge plot.
And I'll watch Come back, Ajusshi.
Ha! No, I haven't seen the Innocent Man. Sounds too sad for me. Saw the Werewolf Boy. I liked him in that.

But say, the placement of the music in this one is already beginning to irritate...having such a bad year for sounds so far ?...

Yeah, I got it. Thank you, show. You don't have to tell me how to feel... At least I can turn the sound off on this one and just stare at uh...the cinematography. Heh.

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+1 short circuit, I mean he was literally sparkling. What would Edward Cullen be in comparison. Lol them vanpire sparkling ain't nothing on Joon-Ki oppa

i feel like I've been in this page all day, keep coming back and reading other people's comments when I should be studying HaHa

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Episode 1 pulled me in.

There is easy banter among people who are bantering.

There is instant attraction between people who can now flirt a lot and then romance and then fall in love. I am invested in them because they are both cute and strong.

SJK is that guy I knew in college where If he looked into your eyes, you got weak knees. This character of him gives me those feels. Him looking at you in a certain way can make you feel slightly bold on how that relationship can progress...He is a flirt. Good one.

The BGS - that english score - reminded of that nightmare Heirs song ''Where is the moment?''' or something like that. I hope they get some subtle music. Music that does not hammer you on what I must feel this moment...

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Pardon the caps....LOVE IS THE MOMEEEEEEEEEENT! lol.

Ugh, I sincerely hope they never hire that musical director again.

There's something to be said for subtle, mood enhancing background music.

Let them ask the PD of Misaeng about how much work they put into sound effects and how that enhanced the quality of the show. Songs with lyrics, and such blatant ones, merely serve to distract from the acting and plot.

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HERE I AM WITH YOUUUUUUUUU....

It's the 'love is the moment' for DotS.
Lol

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Wincing...at both those comments.

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I agree with "if he looked into your eyes, you got weak knees" feels. :D

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+1 Cinnamon

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You had guys like that in college? Lucky you. Jelly. ?

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Man why is it that Jungki makes me fangirl like no other? I swear every time I see his smile I kind of hyperventilate, it's kind of embarrassing but I can't control it. I waited almost three years for him to come back I am happy I get to see him for two hours a week on my computer screen. I haven't finished the episode yet, but thanks Javabeans I will come back and read your commentary when I am done with the episode.

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Liking all the characters so far... especially interested in finding out more about the second leads! :)

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Welcome back Joong ki! Glad to have you back on my screen!! I could look at you all day, you're sooo easy on the eyes. Such eye candy!

To be honest, although I admired the prettiness of both Songs on my screen, it was Jin Goo's intensity that really impressed me. He was very believable as a soldier.

Poor Kim Ji won looked like she was playing dress up, wearing that srmy uniform. Her acting was discordant, like she was trying too hard. I like her a lot, and I hope she settles into a groove in later episodes.

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"To be honest, although I admired the prettiness of both Songs on my screen, it was Jin Goo’s intensity that really impressed me. He was very believable as a soldier"
Agree!! Jin-goo really impressed me too, and I was surprised by that fact, cs I didn't predict this before.
Looking forward to seeing how his story unfolds.

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Ack, so exciting I can't handle it. I'll admit to going in very biased, because, c'mon, Song Joong-Ki? Sign me up!

But I do think my bias didn't affect me too much because, as much as I love Joong-Ki, I didn't ADORE him in "An Innocent Man" (though his acting was VERY good, it just didn't CLICK).

Shi-Jin though? He CLICKS, and so does everyone else. I admit to being more than a little annoyed by Jin-Gu's old (/present?) flame because she's SO predictable, and it really shows when standing next to Jin-Gu's character, who's DELECTABLY multifaceted. That being said? I STILL love the characters!

I was hesitant about Mo-Yeon and it sounds like I'm being harsh on the women because I AM. This writer, for me, has never written a woman I like. If it's a romance where we're supposed to root for the characters, I think a characters likability is important and it should come naturally with a character who has dimensions. I've yet to come across such a character in this writers dramas but I am FERVENTLY praying for a surprise.

Mo-Yeon is refreshing though, something kinda small that I really appreciated is that you could see her kinda noticing that Shi-Jin is too adorable for this world when they go to check the CCTV footage, but she holds back and doesn't get fluttery, because she's an adult woman who's aware that this man just might have assaulted a kid. It was a nuanced aspect of the scene and I SO appreciate the acting cuz that's what really brought it across.

Another thing I'm appreciating so far is that they're not shying away from who Shi-Jin is as a character. He's a soldier who works on international missions, ISIS on the news sending him to Afghanistan? That's REAL, and I was caught off-guard by it in a really good way. The drama has so far been tasteful with it's real world connections but we're only an episode in so I'll hold judgement till we see more.

I am curious how the romance will progress though, as refreshing as it was to see the leads click right away (instead of the age-old bickering turns to kissing formula, which has it's place but gets real old real fast) it's now made me wonder where they'll take it.

I have a weakness for couple helping each other through physical injuries and such (which is such a weird thing, but I'm someone who appreciates contact and care and patching up peoples wounds involves both) and this drama hits that spot.

Doctors Without Borders though... I am reaaaaaally hoping they do it justice. I hold it very near and dear to my heart and so do a LOT of people. It's a respectable body and they're very BRAVE (or... stupid, depending on how this goes) to use it. Fingers crossed for the drama to exceed our expectations, or, at the very least, not crush my soul into tiny itty-bitty heart-broken pieces.

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"Some of his deeply intense gazes are so intimate as to be uncomfortable, and I found myself thinking that if he weren’t so darned adorable, he could very well be creepy." :-) :-)

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+1

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lol :D

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Listing her dramas reminds me how much I loathe her storytelling. Awful. Just awful. I have never finished one because I hated them so much.

"Secret Garden." *shudders*
"Heirs." *shudders*

And yeah, what you said about Song Joong-ki and his intensity + adorableness is right on.

This one... *shudders?*

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Heavy on the cheese. I hope they sell the romance like crazy. I need to believe it for me to watch it. On the fence now. I can't seem to pinpoint when exactly Song hye kyo starts flirting. Maybe just need to switch off my brain.

But does anyone else feel Jingu stole the scene here in this episode?

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Was it after the CCTV scene?

He definitely made me sit up and take notice. (Whatever I could spare from staring at SJK.) But I always did prefer the Beta male; I can definitely see him growing on me.

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Yeah,I guess it was after the CCTV scene. It was fast, but I could feel that moment was the first 'click' of her liking him. or maybe just adoring his charm lol.

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I had to make his post because there are a long posts about long awkward stares.

When I was young and found someone I thought I could flirt with, we used corny lines. And stared into each other's eyes for a long time because that was when the romance happened. The chemicals in your body and her body made made chemical reactions that primarily made your body tingle... Stomach would feel warm, may be goose bumps, the brain feels as if it is flooded by something pink and shimmery and the overall effect is romance and sort of kind of bliss. You will feel it only if you have experienced it once Else they are just awkward stares.

So the stares for me we're all awesome. They were testing each other....I am attracted to her but is she? Clearly they ere both into it... So that made their interactions kind of awesome.

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"You will feel it only if you have experienced it" :D :D :D

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'You will feel it only if you have experienced it' so true! Nothing awkward in the way he's looking at her. SJK is swoon worthy here. Looking forward to seeing their relationship progress as the story unfolds.

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The recap is objective enough, but I can't help but laugh at the comment section. I hope you're all horny teenagers because that's what you sound like. You try to sound mature pretending to talk about acting and plot, but all you care about is how pretty your favorite looks. SMH so embarrassing

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Soo? Why can't we talk about the acting and plot and at the same time swoon over an actor who is charismatic and handsome? I admit I am watching this for Joon-ki but believe me if the story get unbearable (which the script leaves a lot to be desired so far) not even all the love I have for him will make me stay.

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+1, I acknowledge that I started this drama because of SJK, but if a drama's plot is not good enough I often stop it even if the actors are gorgeous : dramas I stopped because of loss of interest : Sungkyunkwan Scandal, Nice Guy, Joseon Gunman, Orange marmalade, Fugitive Plan B, etc...I can't recall all . Sorry for fans of these dramas quoted, but I've dropped out even if they had hot male leads : the same Song Joong Ki, Lee Jun Ki, Rain and Yeo Jin Goo. Although, I admit my biggest failures were not giving up on Big and Heirs earlier.

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There is something about drinking a bland iced tea though, it makes drinking the next properly done iced tea more delicious!

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+1 for quitting Nice Guy

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+1

Nice Guy is definitely not for me no matter how cool SJK was.

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Me too!

LOL.

Amnesia as a plot device can be tolerated if used sparingly and in small doses.

Amnesia as a clutch when no other story telling works is a huge NO-NO. Mamma Mia!

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Reading your make me smh lol

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*yours*

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Korean drama fans are as shallow as idol fans lbr

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Pshaw! I'm just getting off of reading 1000 comments on Cheese in the Trap every dang week and analyzing plot structure and arguing to death.

Shallow? Pass the popcorn. Or shrimp crackers, as the case may be.

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Shallow Kdrama & KIdol fan.... Pass the dried Shrimp---COUNT ME IN! Nice Guy--I watched anxiously! BIG I watched by turning off my brain, I kept trying in anyway to understand it but couldn't find a way to truly accept it. My taste runs its course but mostly strays.. Thank JB for the initial recap! Loved the first episode though I hate myself for watching. 'Couldn't wait til the whole drama finished so I could marathon watch! Now I have to wait anxiously every ago single day for the next ENG subbed episode! & JB you know I'm a fan...

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Well, it's funny. Hehehe. I'm not even going to pretend to write some kind of 20 page analysis on this one. I'm in my not-serious mode.

Figured might as well when there isn't that much to talk about in a first ep.

Will get more serious when they start doing the relief work and such. I have doctors in my family who do medical missions, so I'll be more interested in how they present that.

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Do you really watch korean dramas for the plot? How funny is that?

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I try but, sometimes just accept or I'd go insane!

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Song JoongKi is enough for me to watch this drama.

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Amen....

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I honestly find the 1st episode, plainly fine, not mind blowing awesome like some viewers might think. The cast is easy on the eyes (yes, I have to admit SJK looked so hot in here)

But somehow, there is something missing in the episode that eventually it manage to make me watch the drama while skipping some scenes (I was like, fwd, fwd, fwd, during the scene where Team Alpha is rescuing the kidnapped soldier)

Moreover, I just felt the relationship of SJK-SHG characters moves somewhat too fast.

Well, I'm going to keep watching ep2, before deciding to continue or drop this drama from my watchlist.

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Their relationship might have been moving fast; however, considering their jobs if they didn't take the few opportunities they have, they might not get them again and have regrets. I was really glad that he didn't just leave without an explanation, which I for a moment thought would happen when they missed each other at the elevators.

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I seriously don't understand why people are complaining on how fast their relationship is moving because it is really possible in real life. First, their line of work (as you said); and second, considering their age, they must be portraying a character that is around 30 years old, right? And they are not even dating someone. With these factors, if they've got the opportunity to meet someone they really like, there's no room for second thoughts or making the progress slow. They're too busy with their work, and they can't even date properly.

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+1

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+1

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The drama is really nice. I liked that they used the first episode to introduce the characters and their work. The production is good, but no idea how the storyline will be yet, but on the bright side we might skip a lovetriangle. As it seems that their jobs will both put them together and split them apart.

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Yeah, no need for a love triangle (so I really hope they don't go there...doesn't look like it so far) with the leads pretty much married to their jobs. They both have very demanding careers.

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I think for a first episode minus some of the music choices was a solid 8/10. If this story is going where its supposed to go as in people trying to be themselves and have lives while still devoting themselves to helping others then it'll be a hit.
I didn't mind the quick meet and attraction only because of their line of work, he doesn't have a lot of time to devote to the meet and greet of dating and he was instantly attracted to her and we've see how long she was in surgery, so to try to have a love life in that chaos is sometimes impossible.
Things will def. heat up once MY decides to be the team doctor for the Alpha team and she goes on these peace missions.

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