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Drinking Solo: Episode 9

If you thought Jung-seok couldn’t possibly get any haughtier, you would be sooo wrong. In fact, if he stuck his nose any higher in the air he’d break his own neck. The problem is that he’s so determined to prove to himself that he has no feelings whatsoever for Hana, that he may just ruin his chances with her forever.

 
EPISODE 9 RECAP

Jung-seok dines on seafood and wine, once again relishing his freedom to drink and eat alone.

After teasing Jung-seok for liking her and getting kicked out of his car, Hana realizes that horror of horrors, she’s the one with the crush. She drinks even more, mixing wine, beer, and soju, and eventually calls Jin-yi to come pick her up by the river. She’s scared to be alone right now, so Jin-yi takes Hana back to her place.

Jin-yi is understandably upset to hear that Jung-seok just left Hana drunk by the side of the road, but she’s even more scandalized when Hana admits that she likes that jerk. Hana slurs sadly that she keeps wanting him to acknowledge her efforts, and that she got her hopes up when everyone said he liked her.

Jung-seok is at his house, loudly insisting to an empty room that Hana is crazy to think he likes her. For a moment he thinks that maybe leaving her on the bridge alone was going too far (Oh, you think?), but then he decides he doesn’t care about anything regarding Hana.

Jin-yi has to grab Hana’s phone away to stop her from drunk-dialing Jung-seok, and reminds her that there’s no way he likes her if he left her on the bridge that way. Hana sobs that she’s right, and asks her to tie her hands to stop her from calling him as soon as Jin-yi falls asleep.

Hana starts to heave from all the alcohol she’s drunk tonight, so Jin-yi hangs a plastic bag from her ears in case she needs to throw up. Then she ties Hana’s hands behind her back, and yeah, there’s just no way this could go badly.

In the morning, Hana wakes on Jin-yi’s floor with her hands tied and the bag over her head, and makes the natural assumption that she’s been kidnapped, hee. She goes into panic-escape mode and trips over Jin-yi’s legs, and when Jin-yi wakes, Hana tells her (still with the bag on her head, pfft) that they’ve been kidnapped.

She then finds a door and tries to flee through the… refrigerator. I love that Jin-yi just sits there laughing at her, but she does finally take pity and rescues Hana.

Dong-young and Ki-bum are eating breakfast at the gosiwon when Chae-yeon texts Ki-bum a coupon for a free piece of cake. She comes in person to apologize, both for accusing him of stalking her and for outing him as the Noryangjin Idiot. She’s quite sincere, but Ki-bum just snarls at her and says to leave him alone from now on.

On their way to class, Dong-young asks Ki-bum if he really doesn’t have any feelings for Chae-yeon anymore. Ki-bum swears he doesn’t, but his reasons seem thin, which just makes Dong-young crow that he even notices which side she parts her hair on and her quirky eating habits. HA, busted – especially when Dong-young leaves, and Ki-bum looks at the text from Chae-yeon again and grins a big old dorky grin.

Hana asks Jin-yi over breakfast why her hands were tied, but she claims not to remember who she was trying to call. Jin-yi decides not to tell her that she confessed to liking Jung-seok, to save her embarrassment. They make plans for the day — Hana has to proctor the mock exam at school, then they have a wedding to attend for a fellow professor.

Hana comes face-to-face with Jung-seok’s poster at school, and wonders how she should act whens he sees him. She considers pretending that asking him if he likes her was a joke, or pretending she doesn’t remember any of it. But she pulls herself together and heads in to administer the mock exam.

Gong-myung takes the mock exam, and he asks for a fresh exam sheet, handing over his used one. Hana sees that he’s written a note saying that she looks tired today, inviting her out to eat with him after the test.

Hana doesn’t look at all happy, and when Gong-myung approaches her after the test, she blasts him with both barrels. She sternly reminds him that she’s his teacher, then grows even angrier when he says that he really only took the mock exam to get a sense of how things work.

Hana accuses Gong-myung of not taking school seriously, saying that some people put their whole lives on the line for this chance. She tells him to just stop now if he’s not serious about studying or getting a job: “This isn’t your playground.” Her words sting, and Gong-myung looks stricken as he watches her walk away.

Jung-seok dresses for the wedding that afternoon and, knowing that Hana will be there, decides to make a statement about how different they are. He grabs his most expensive watch and starts rifling through his suits, determined to look spectacular today.

Jin-yi, Director Kim, and Hana show up for the wedding, where Jin-young will be the emcee. Jung-seok makes his grand entrance, wearing a super-sharp suit, and OMG, he’s even carrying a man-purse. He’s in brand names from head to toe, and shoots Hana a haughty look as if to say, “See? I’m completely out of your league.”

He makes a point to say that he demands the best in everything, and that goes for women. He slides Hana another snooty glance as he says that he wouldn’t settle for just any woman — only the most high-quality of ladies for him.

Ki-bum and Gong-myung commiserate over how badly they did on the mock exam, but Dong-young thinks this one was pretty easy. In fact he passed, which gives him hope that he could finally pass the real exam next time. He comforts Gong-myung, saying that it was only hard for him because he just started studying, but he declines when Gong-myung asks him to tutor him, and Gong-myung slinks off sadly.

Dong-young doesn’t realize that he just badly offended Ki-bum, who also failed the mock exam after having been studying for several years. Dong-young tries to apologize, but he’s too excited about his own score to be properly sorry, and Ki-bum stomps away angry.

Gong-myung goes to the roof to think about what Hana said, and he listens to the recording of her saying she’ll consider dating him when he passes the test. It cheers him a bit, and he resolves to focus on studying.

Hana asks Jung-seok to speak privately, and she tells him that she knows he said all that about quality women for her benefit. He confirms that he did, saying that he would have to be crazy to like someone like her. Hana apologizes for speaking out of line when she was drunk, and asks him to forget everything, but that’s not enough for Jung-seok.

He tells Hana that she’s been watching too many dramas, and asks if she expected some Cinderella story where the chaebol falls for the poor girl. He tells her to wake up — he thinks that only people of similar qualities should get together. You absolute pretentious ass.

Gong-myung finds Chae-yeon and sits with her, noticing that she did well on her mock exam. He says that he’s glad to see her back to her usual grumpy self, since he was worried that she’d be traumatized by her stalker, but she says she can’t afford to be upset since she needs to hurry up and get out of Noryangjin.

Gong-myung gives Chae-yeon his saddest puppy eyes, and says that he can’t seem to study, since he’s never done it before. He asks Chae-yeon to tutor him, but he immediately assumes the answer is no and stands to leave.

Chae-yeon follows him out, and surprises him by agreeing to tutor him. She says it’s to pay him back for catching her stalker, but warns him that this isn’t something she normally does, so he needs to take it seriously. Gong-myung is absolutely thrilled, and calls her “Master,” heh.

Jin-young’s impressions seem to be a hit with the wedding guests, though Director Kim complains that he’s going on for too long. He and Jin-yi exclaim over the wonderful steak, but Hana is hardly eating, and Jung-seok throws his utensils down and says the food isn’t that good.

He goes on a diatribe about how he only eats the very best steak, so this steak seems inferior in comparison. Director Kim calls him picky, and Jung-seok actually pulls a Don’t you know who I am? He goes on and on about the superior food he eats, looking over at Hana to make sure she’s getting his point.

He adds that if he’s this discerning about his food then of course he’s just as discerning about the women he dates, glaring at Hana again. He leaves to take a call, and the others wonder why Jung-seok keeps bringing up women. Hana knows exactly why, and huffs in annoyance.

Dong-young joins Ki-bum at lunch with just chopsticks, planning to finish off what Ki-bum doesn’t eat. Ki-bum calls him a stingy bastard, sarcastically saying that he’ll pass the test soon and get tons of benefits from the government, so he doesn’t need to eat like a beggar.

Dong-young tells Ki-bum to knock it off, but he snags Ki-bums leftovers anyway. He says that Korea spends a lot of money disposing of food wastes, and Ki-bum jumps up clapping, sarcastically calling him Kim Dong-young, Level Nine Civil Servant, and storms off in a fit of pique.

Gong-myung finds Chae-yeon at a food cart having lunch, spoon in one hand and study materials in the other. He joins her and she tosses him some study cards, saying that to get ahead, you can’t stop even for a moment. Gong-myung tries to copy her technique, but he can’t manage to eat without taking his eyes off the notes the way Chae-yeon can.

Chae-yeon tells Gong-myung to keep practicing and he’ll get good too, then continues on her way after she’s finished, still reading her notes. Gong-myung marvels as she kicks a ball back to some kids, then does the limbo under a construction pipe, all without ever looking up.

Chae-yeon leads Gong-myung to a bookstore and tells him to buy some workbooks, and heads to a shelf to peruse the books. Gong-myung sees an employee trying to reach some books over Chae-yeon’s head, and when a stack of books falls, he runs over to shield Chae-yeon with his own body.

He doesn’t think it’s any big deal, but his chivalrous gesture makes Chae-yeon look at him differently. He says he’s glad she wasn’t hurt and gives her that big bright smile, and the girl’s a goner.

Director Kim makes Jin-yi laugh with his impression of Jin-young, but Hana is barely paying attention. Jin-yi sighs at the happy married couple, and grows silent when Director Kim says she has a boyfriend so she can get married. He asks Jung-seok why he isn’t dating, and Jung-seok says that he just hasn’t met anyone who measures up to his standards.

He lists his qualifications: She must have graduated from Seoul University (his alma mater), she should be a professional in a prestigious field, and she should look like a supermodel. He glances at Hana pointedly when he says he can’t just date any mediocre woman, and she decides she’s had enough.

She leaves, claiming to have work, and Jin-yi glares daggers at Jung-seok before jumping up to follow her. She can’t ask Hana if she’s angry with Jung-seok since she pretended not to know about Hana’s crush, and Hana says she really does need to go back to the school.

Jin-yi runs into Jung-seok leaving the venue, and knocks his cute little purse out of his hands. She gripes at him for upsetting Hana by saying such hurtful things, and accidentally blurts out, “She has feelings… “ Oops. Jung-seok latches onto those words, and Jin-yi figures she may as well tell him that Hana likes him.

She says that Hana admitted it last night after Jung-seok dumped her on the bridge, and Jung-seok actually smiles before composing his expression. Jin-yi orders him to stop talking about his high standards in women in front of Hana, because Hana already knows he doesn’t like her. She swears Jung-seok to secrecy, and leaves him looking gobsmacked.

Hana makes her way to her bus, and when her bus card is empty she has to use her last bit of cash to pay for the ride. She sits looking at her empty wallet and thinks that Jung-seok is right — he’s completely out of her league.

Ki-bum continues mocking Dong-young when they run into each other outside their gosiwon, relentlessly making fun of him and saying that he’ll be such a good civil servant. It’s starting to get to Dong-young, and he grabs Ki-bum in a headlock.

Chae-yeon brings Gong-myung some pain patches (for the spot where the books hit him) while he’s studying, and leans in close when he doesn’t immediately look up. He turns his head, which brings their lips within inches of each other, and Chae-yeon yanks herself away. Gong-myung doesn’t seem to notice anything strange, but Chae-yeon is visibly shaken, and steals glances at him while he studies.

Jin-yi leaves after the wedding, cranky because of Jung-seok, though Director Kim and Jin-young assume it’s because she wants to get married. Jin-young says that her boyfriend keeps putting off getting married, and they both agree that after five years, the boyfriend probably doesn’t want to marry her.

Jin-young takes a call from the hospital, and beams when the nurse says that his mother is asking for him. He rushes off to see her, leaving Director Kim to answer a screaming call from his wife.

Jin-young is thrilled when his mother recognizes him, and she tuts at him for losing weight after his divorce. She says she wants to go home and cook for him, and Jin-young sniffles and promises to take her home when she gets better. He hugs her tightly, thanking her for remembering him.

Dong-young passes by a chicken restaurant on his way home and wonders if he should get one, but he reminds himself that he’s too broke for such indulgences. Then he decides to treat himself for getting a good grade on the practice exam, only to have his card declined at the counter.

He checks his phone and sees that nobody has sent him his allowance, so he calls his noona. He tells her about his passing grade on his test, and she admits that she forgot to remind everyone to send his money. His mother hurt herself and has been in the hospital, and she didn’t tell Dong-young because his mom didn’t want him to worry.

Dong-young feels terrible asking for money when everyone is paying his mom’s hospital bills, and tells his noona that he’s fine without it. He hangs up feeling like a selfish jerk, and a burden to his family.

He goes up to the gosiwon roof, where Ki-bum has chicken and beer. Dong-young eyes the chicken but Ki-bum is still angry with him, and crunches his chicken leg right in Dong-young’s face. Dong-young says that he’s jealous that Ki-bum can just have chicken whenever he wants it, since he doesn’t have to worry about money.

Dong-young goes back to his room, where he finds a note on his door demanding the rent. He checks his phone and finds that his whole family has sent his allowance, and a text from his sister saying that she’s proud of him. That just makes him feel like more of a burden, and he breaks down in tears.

Gong-myung walks Chae-young to the gosiwon that night, and she gives him homework to do before tomorrow. Ki-bum is still on the roof, wondering if he should give up and leave Noryangjin, and he just happens to look down and see Gong-myung leave Chae-yeon at the door. Gong-myung heads home and Chae-yeon watches him for a minute, while Ki-bum watches her from above, wondering what that’s all about.

Gong-myung runs into Hana at her bus stop, and approaches her tentatively. He tells her proudly that he’s been studying all day, then apologizes for not being more serious around her. He admits that he wasn’t really trying hard before, but her words earlier motivated him to focus.

We rejoin Jung-seok at his seafood dinner from the top of the episode, but now he’s fussing with himself over the revelation that Hana likes him. He wonders why she didn’t just tell him instead of trying to make him confess first, then remembers how he made it clear she’s nowhere near his league. Oh right, that.

Hana has a beer at home, and thinks that drinking alone isn’t always a good thing. She’s also remembering all the demeaning, insulting things Jung-seok has said to her and about her, and thinks that drinking solo just makes painful memories harder to ignore. She thinks to herself that she just feels small and insignificant.

She decides to stop liking Jung-seok now, and to know her place. She knows there’s no way someone like the great Jin Jung-seok could ever like someone like her.

She gets a text from Gong-myung, who says that she’s a precious person to him, and that he really likes her. Her self-confidence in the street, she wonders how he could think highly of such a useless person as herself, and dissolves into humiliated tears.

COMMENTS

Awww, we’ve left everyone so sad, and I hope it doesn’t last long. Some painful truths came to light in this episode, which was hard to watch as I’d predicted, particularly in the case of Gong-myung. I think Hana was absolutely correct in sternly reminding him that he is her student — they aren’t so far apart in age that dating would be out of the question, but it is as long as Hana is Gong-myung’s teacher. But I was very proud of him for taking her admonishment to heart, and buckling down to focus on his studying. He’s definitely maturing, and that’s something he needs to do no matter how things turn out with Hana.

Though she’s a total grumpy cat, I really do like Chae-yeon as a character. Say what you will about her tactics in turning down boys asking for dates (and for the record, I think that Gong-myung telling her to be nicer to the guys was just his way of saying that her life would be easier if she were nicer in general), but she’s always honest and you know exactly where you stand with her. She has a goal — passing the civil service exam — and she pursues it with admirable fervor, and she’s never really mean, she’s just brutally direct. But when she makes a mistake, such as accusing Ki-bum of stalking her, she apologizes immediately. It tells me that her prickly behavior comes not from excessive pride, but just from an incredible drive to succeed. But she’s not afraid to be humble when she’s wrong, and that says a lot of good things about her as a person.

Also, I didn’t think I would, but I really like the idea of Chae-yeon with Gong-myung. I think Ki-bum holds too much of a grudge (in general, but certainly in this case) at this point to really forgive her, and Gong-myung is the first guy to appreciate Chae-yeon for her intelligence and not just her looks. It’s early yet, but I can see her giving Gong-myung a chance based on that simple fact. Plus, you can’t blame the girl for going a little swoony when he smiles at her like that. I just hope this crush doesn’t come between Gong-myung and Ki-bum, because their friendship means a lot to both of them, and it would be a shame to see that ruined because of a girl.

After his behavior at the wedding, I have swung right back around to not liking Jung-seok — seriously, what an ass. What kind of man reacts to a woman teasing him about liking her by dumping her in the street in the middle of the night, drunk and with no way to get home, then belittling her in private in front of her coworkers? I just kept cringing because he didn’t know when to quit, and his comments went from hints to outright blatant insults. I was content to see him squirm from his own feelings of attraction to Hana when he’d only been professionally cool to her, but now he’s gotten personal, and he needs to suffer some real consequences. I won’t be able to forgive him unless he does some real groveling, and I mean soon. The things he said at the wedding were hideously mean, and he should know that Hana won’t get angry and fight back, that she’ll just shrink into herself and internalize his words.

And that’s another thing — it’s time for Hana to stop feeling sorry for herself, and start getting angry. I understand that she already felt inferior about her background and education before she even met Jung-seok, and that he hasn’t done much (besides say she “has potential”) to support her other than letting her teach a joint class. But she’s got a lot of good things going for her, like her enthusiasm for her students, her dedication to improving herself, and her optimism. It’s way past time for Hana to stand up tall when Jung-seok says the things he says, and tell him to go screw himself. He’ll never see her as anything more than low-quality, if she doesn’t value herself first.

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Perfect timing! I was just about to watch Ep10.

Thoughts on Ep09:

* Jung-seok is an ass. I can't wait to see him come down hard & painfully. Very, very painfully. As hard as possible.

* Dong-young made me cry. I'm probably old enough to be his mother but I was sobbing along with him when he received the allowance money & encouraging note from his sister. Ugh, the feels. Brought back memories of my student days.

* Hana's 'kidnapping' was comedy gold.

* Hana needs to find her backbone. Now.

* I'm still looking forward to Jung-seok's discovery of Gong-myung's crush on Hana & her audio file.

* Jung-seok is an ass. Still. Again.

Thanks for the recap! Now off to Ep10!

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lol Hana's kidnapping scene was so funny. I loved the reference to Signal. When the bag was on her head, I thought of Signal right away before she mentioned it.

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Yes, I think they did splice in a split-second scene from signal! So hilarious!

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the reference to Signal was awesome ! that scene was very scary in Signal but Hana made it so much fun in here :D

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Yeah, I'm glad I'm not the only one who caught on to the Signal reference. They even did a flashback screenshot of Hyesoo on the ground. It was hysterical!

ROFL!

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I laughed so much at the 'kidnapping' scene. She is such a great comedic actress!!!

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After how Jung seok treated Hana in this episode it's perfect time to put a full stop on her crush, throw some wine on his face - makjang style n move on actually.

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Prof. Jin Sang is one major AH...
And even if he likes her he would always be feeling superior just coz he thinks he's some prime commodity. Nothing wrong with that but to look down on people when they don't hv a choice but get by with what they can afford but are good decent people, you hv no right to trample on their pride whatsoever. I want him to fall on his high horse, face first and it should hurt a lot. He's not even a chaebol, is he? What's with the super condecesding attitude..to think you are a teacher, shouldn't you be inspirational in the right way.
I wish HaNa would turn him down in the end and run away with his lil bro, haha, who will inherit the orchard and be so blessed with good children. And prof. Jin sang will grow old and wither alone.
He is pretty much set in his ways.
He should win this year's worst male lead character.
And btw, I think Ki Bum is stealing the show, he is not even 2nd lead but he gets more screen time. He is fun to watch though unlike he-who-is-premium-trash. Ahem.

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*condescending

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The last scene with Hana replaying Jung-seok's words over and over and crying that she's not worthy...oof.

I hope Jung-seok pulls his head out of his ass soon and gives the groveliest grovel in the history of grovel, because his behavior today is not cute at all.

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I don't know how writer will carry out Jung seok's redemption arc to make me believe he deserves Hana.. I mean he is the meanest (I am being polite here, insert any cuss words you want) jerk who deserves greasy food in his face! That 'high quality trash' nick name it's just so perfect for him!!
N yeah Hana really needs to stand up for herself n be her own Prince charming.

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Well, I don't think he's passed the point of no return yet. There's still hope in him, and the writer did give us two episodes of adorable Jung-seok, so I have faith that he/she can redeem him in 7 episode.

I think Jung-seok is quite immature, I don't think he ever "likes" anyone and coupled that with his low opinion of Hana, I can see why he acts like he does in this episode. Not that I'm excusing him or his actions. But I think he's not emotionally equipped with the correct tools (yet) to respond to his attraction and he lashes out in the best way he knows: by being mean.

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Thanks for the fast recap Lollypip!
I totally agree with Maji's comments.

Jung-seok was a total ass! I just wanted to smack him and was so glad when Jin-yi gave him what for. The only thing and I mean only was when he was spouting off his eyes kept darting over to Hana like "what do you think?" but in a bit of a pleading way. I don't know how to describe it - but he kept looking at her.
Also he did NOT look so hot at the wedding - a bit overdone - but then he is overdoing it to make sure that NO ONE thinks he could possibly be preening for Hana's sake. hah!

That first scene with all the fish grilling and no talking was just beautifully shot - but it made me so damn hungry for crab, lobster, and salmon!!! augh.

Hana waking up thinking she was kidnapped was hysterical! Thank you writers!!!

Yes Hana needs to find her backbone - and it's gonna be so great when she does.

Jin-young's story with his mom makes me weep every time - for the love shows her and also for the fact she's in that bare room all by herself when she obviously has dementia. That just breaks my heart. I work with dementia patients so it's especially poignant for me.

Dong-young - was so incredibly powerful in his pain - I cried right there with him. I want so much for him to succeed - and know how lucky he is to be supported by his family who is proud of him!

But yes overall Jung-seok was an ass and I can't WAIT for him to fall hard.

I am so loving this show - it never fails to make me laugh OUT loud, cry some and want to eat and drink.
Kudos to the whole production team and actors.

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I love how Park Ha Sun can put so much vulnerability into a character -- her eyebrows are really expressive when she makes a sad face. At the same time she's totally adorable and soo hot! Enough gushing though. I enjoyed talking back to the screen when Jung Seok kept telling everyone how awesome he is, he's so in love with Ha Na but he doesn't even know it. Serves him right, you know there will be a point where he will get his, and he'll be totally embarrassed, and Ha Na will have her revenge and him even if she doesn't ask for it.

And our buddy Ki Bum's unrequited love for Chae Yeon is totally hilarious. Made more so that she likes his buddy!

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Forgot to mention ... I was so impressed with Park Ha Sun's sobbing at the end of the episode. Full-body bright-red-face ugly crying is hard to do convincingly; most actors' crying stops at the eyes & eyebrows. She killed it.

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Yes ! She cried body and soul...her acting was great in the last scene.

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I recently just caught up with this show...and that means I binge watched all 8 episodes over the weekend.

Damn. I was hoping for a strong male lead but my expectations weren't met. For someone who's supposed to play an arrogant-handsome-rich-intelligent-jerk, I feel like I'm just stuck watching the jerk who really isn't handsome and lacks all the other qualities to convince me that he's supposedly the arrogant-handsome-rich-intelligent-jerk male lead for this show. That's probably the only thing I didnt like about this show.

On the other hand, you got a strong female lead. I really like Hana despite her lack of confidence. In reality, she's Beluga caviar and Jeong Seok is that bland saltine cracker.

Gong Myung is a character I really want to watch and see. I bet he's a thousand times better than his ass of a brother. I can't believe they're cut from the same cloth. It's as if all the high quality stuff actually went to Gong Myung and not Jeong Seok. Hah.

Ki Bum and Dong Young are hilarious. I can't wait for both of them to pass and really make something out of their lives and make their families proud.

Really enjoying this series with all the booze, the food, the humor, the sadness and the right blend of cheesy romance.

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I agree, why can't the writers make Hana fall in love with Gong Myung? For all his immaturity, he's a kind, caring, sensitive person who would treat her right. He just needs to grow up and find some direction in life. The last thing Hana needs is an unemployed, aimless bum.

Unfortunately, it seems that Kdrama men come in packages.
The successful, highly ambitious lead has to be a snob and a jerk who will be redeemed by falling for the female lead. And the nice, caring second lead must be a bit of a bum. Frankly, Hana could do without Jeong Seok. She's much too good for him, though we know they will end up together anyway.

Ah! The curse of the second lead....

I must say that Ha Suk Jin is playing Jeong Seok to be a one note character. There are no layers to him, and it is certainly hard to empathize with him. Even the secondary characters like Ki Bum, Min Jin Woong, Dong Yong, Hwang Jin Yi and Char Yeon are portrayed in a multi layered way making him look and feel all the more "flat". Maybe it's the way his character is written, and he's not able to overcome it? I wonder.

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as much as I was quiet impress now on GM character development, I still cant ship him with our lead, Ha Na and the writers are not giving us a glimpse of that second lead love. Maybe because they want us to think that the idea or Teacher-student relationship is not good.

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Whoever said that a man carrying what I would assume to be a green alligator clutch bag is hot, sexy and fashionably cool is so gaddamn wrong.

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Yeah, I think he was supposed to look fussy and way overdone. Black suit/brown shoes/green bag is NOT a good look, even if they are all designer...

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And his hair was a mess too. Possibly this was also a commentary on people who are just obsessed with brand names without actually having a good sense of style? You see that a lot in shows from AbFab to K-dramas. "That dress is hideous! It's LaCroix. It's FABULOUS!"

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Yeah, he did look hideous. Especially with his hair sleeked back like that reminded me of the stereotypical used car salesman (no insult to car salesmen intended). I'm remembering the lyrics to Shaina Twain's "That don't impress me much".

Boils down to money vs. taste vs. class.

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Does anyone know more specifically what kind of wine/beverage Jung-seok was drinking with his fish? It looks good.

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I think the bottle said Maesil, which is green plum according to my online search.

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Thanks! ?

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I wanted to slash Jung-seok's tires in this episode and punch him in the face.

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Wow, why so violent? O_o

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Why be calm? Heehee.
Jung Seok went on and on and on about his high quality kepul for ages.. He deserves a punch in the face just to shut him up.
Tee Roo Ree...

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Hehe, I blame it on the pregnancy hormones .....
Not that he doesn't deserve it ;)

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Omg, I died laughing at the kidnapping scene. But did I see wrong or was that a shot from Signal when Ha-na thought she's been kidnapped? (You know the Lee Sang-yeob case) ?

Oh Jung-seok, you're so gonna regret what you did today, I cannot wait. ?

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Haha yep I noticed that. I was like "Hey that's a scene in Signal with LSY's serial killer character!"

That scene had me in stitches at how Ha Na's mind immediately went to thinking that she got kidnapped. And then failing in trying to escape. rofl

I actually felt Jin Yi be a more sincere friend in this episode.

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I couldn't help but LOL at her, and her crazy confidence "Don't worry, Unnie! I'll find a way out!" only to open the fridge's door. That was hilarious! Imagine if she didn't knocked over Jinyi's leg, would she be wandering around the house opening every doors?

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Definitely also a Signal parody I think!

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Dude was such a jerk in this episode, I actually had to mute the wedding scenes as I watched because I was cringing so hard! That being said, I have to say, my Jane Austen senses are tingling... I feel like we're entering Pride and Prejudice territory here, and I hope they handle it as well as the book did. I think Jung Seok is heading for Classic Darcy Confession Type 1 (I love you in spite of you being way below my league), and I hope Hana shuts him down as brutally as Elizabeth does. I can't wait to see it while cackling with glee...

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OMG yes! Mr. Darcy's Confession #1 is so glorious because it highlights his failings (pride) so much, and he is genuinely surprised when Elizabeth shuts him down. As if insulting your lady love's family and situation would get her to accept him. I can see Jung-seok operating by the same logic, and I can't wait to see the fallout.

What I'm looking forward the most is of course Jung-seok's redemption arc. After Mr. Darcy gets rejected he acts so contrite and proceeds to grovel in the best possible way: quietly, sincerely. Jung-seok however is not as stoic and repressed as poor Mr. Darcy and I can't wait to see what lavish acts of kindness will he do to get into Hana's good grace.

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Up vote X100 haha

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Oh, you brought up P&P. Now I'm even more excited!

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+1000

Any parallels with P&P are completely welcome!

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@A: "That being said, I have to say, my Jane Austen senses are tingling… I feel like we’re entering Pride and Prejudice territory here, and I hope they handle it as well as the book did. I think Jung Seok is heading for Classic Darcy Confession Type 1 (I love you in spite of you being way below my league), and I hope Hana shuts him down as brutally as Elizabeth does. I can’t wait to see it while cackling with glee…"

Haha, same. Being a big Jane Austen/P&P fan here, I hope they go the same route with Ha Na & Jung-Seuk in the upcoming episodes. It looks like in next week's previews, Ha Na is giving Mr. High Quality Trash the Elizabeth Bennet ignoring and shutting down Darcy treatment, lol. :-D I already saw Episode 10 and looking forward to the Ha Na and Jung-Seok scenes in both Episodes 11 and 12! :-)

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I'm really only reading this for the college trio. First, I just wanted to watch Key because I love Shinee. However, I really fell in love with all three friends. They seem the most real to me. They are struggling and lost, but they know they can hate on each other because they really love each other so much. I can't wait until all three get to strut in with passing exams.

I just can't get myself to cheer for Jung Seok or Hana. One is so arrogant and one has no backbone. I've seen so many dramas where the main female lead doesn't have a backbone, but at least they are up against evil mother-in-laws, chaebol fathers, or murderers. All Hana is up against is a successful teacher...that's it. I hope they turn her around and this really is just a learning process for her, but I don't have much hope for either of them. I'm sure the trajectory is for Jung Seok to become humble and Hana to gain confidence, but I'm not sure at this point if I would believe the authenticity of it.

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UuuUuuUUUgh hated Jung-seok in this episode so much. I understand that he was in denial of his own feelings, but to hurt Hana on a scale like this?? What an asshole. I hope he grovels so hard later his knees get skinned.

I thought it was really good of Hana to be that stern to Gong-myung, because honestly he was getting a little too flighty about the whole "date me!" thing. I think that her scolding essentially woke him up to the fact that while he gets to coast by because he has money and generally supportive parents, most people in Noryangjin like Dong-young and Chae-yeon don't get that kind of slack. Noryangjin is really this highly condensed version of college I guess, except a hundred times more stressful. To see Gong-myung actually work hard was nice. I hope he does succeed!

Dong-young is still so heartbreaking. I thought he'd actually passed the exam, from the preview, but it turned out to be just the mock exam. I really hope this doesn't put too much pressure on him, because he does have the chops to pull it off and officially become a civil servant. Go Dong-young!

Hana was a hoot, especially in the kidnapping scene lol. But I do agree that she needs to stop beating herself up for stuff she can't control. Yes, she didn't go to Seoul National University, but why should that dictate the rest of her life? I feel so strongly for her because I didn't graduate from a super spectacular university myself, but I'm trying not to let it get in the way of success. I really want to see Hana shine, because that's what will put Jung-seok in his place the most effectively. Also it'll make his grovelling even better to watch.

Ki-bum: lol you cutie pie. Ah I love this show!

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I felt for Dong-Young too, because my parents paid for my education and I would feeeel so bad asking for money at times. I cried the most during his scene, as I had gone through that.

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Yeah me too.

I've been there. That scene had me in tears. The guilt he feels when he takes their money, I can relate with it all too well.

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When it comes to DS, I'm just a shallow audience looking for some entertainment to unwind for the day. But somehow, it always manage to hit me in the gut even though I'm not looking for something 'deep'.

I really felt for Dong Young this episode, and the portrayal of family bonds in the Korean and even Asian context really hits close to home, which is something I just can't get in American TV. The sacrifice and love for our siblings and parents, is very much seen both in DY and his brothers and sisters, and it's heartbreaking to see how hard everyone is trying for a better life for each other.

Even though this show may be uneven in some aspects, i like how they balance heartfelt slice-of-life, reality, comedy and romance. JJS was so over-the-top annoying that it became quite funny towards the end. He was just being a stupid a**. Period. But it makes for more fun when he finally realise his heart is defying every single thing he has declared about his 'ideal type' . Can't wait for him to slap himself in the face!

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Like most people here, I am curious to see how the writer will deliver on Jung Seok's redemption arc. I feel that we have not been given much insight of how he became the arrogant jerk that he is unless he's born this way which I highly doubt. He's more of a self-made man than one born with a silver spoon. His mother is quirky but not snooty so it's not the upbringing either especially when his brother is so different. I can't remember but there seems no mention of a father figure. Perhaps he was raised in a dysfunctional or single parent disadvantaged family. He rose to where he is today and achieved his success by sheer hardwork and grit. In the process, he grew immense disdain of people who display no willpower and discipline to better their lot.

I am not trying to excuse him for his behavior because there is simply none. It's just that he is trying so hard to be a 'high premium' arrogant jerk that I sense it's not exactly first nature to him.

I love Park Ha Sun in this episode. She can be hilariously funny but when it comes to serious moments, she delivers with such poignancy.

I keep forgetting to mention the actor who plays Dong Yong. I noticed him from the time when he was dumped by his girlfriend. This guy's acting is great and perfectly cast. He really got me in this episode.

All the characters are named after the actors playing them or have a similar character in the name like Park Ha Sun playing Park Ha Na. I wasn't on this drama thread before, was it brought up?

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I agree, Kim Dong-young is a very natural actor. His acting far outshines the other two actors, yet it is clear that he is supporting them positively in their roles. Since he is not a standard "pretty boy" actor, I doubt we will see him in many lead roles while still young, but I expect and hope to see him for many more years in Kdrama. He has a real natural talent, great comedic timing, and makes acting look easy. He really makes the show for me.

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Agree with both of you! Park Ha-sun was really good in the crying scene. I feel for her. The ending scene resonated with me because there are times when I feel inadequate or useless, and cry in my room.

I connect with Dong-young the most out of the three. When it comes to emotional moments I cry with Dong-young. Ki-bum had a scene where he cried because of his grandma a few episodes back, not sure if it's the acting or writing, but I wasn't able to feel for him. I do enjoy the trio's comedic scenes though

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@E: "I love Park Ha Sun in this episode. She can be hilariously funny but when it comes to serious moments, she delivers with such poignancy."

I totally agree with you about Park Ha Sun in this episode. She's very good and totally nailed both comedic and serious/crying scenes. I laugh and cry in both scenes. I like PHS as an actress even though I've only seen her in a few dramas (Ad Genius Lee Tae-Baek, Dong-Yi, and Drinking Solo) as she can act and do both comedy and drama at the same. I especially love her in Drinking Solo and I hope to see her in more lead starring role as she's very good, in my opinion. She's very pretty too, but is it just me that that this drama is making her look unpretty esp. with the way her hair is styled in this show. I don't think the bangs suits her, she looks more pretty when she was drinking solo at home without bangs.

@ET: "All the characters are named after the actors playing them or have a similar character in the name like Park Ha Sun playing Park Ha Na. I wasn’t on this drama thread before, was it brought up?"
I love that the characters of the main cast were named after them or similar to their real names like Park Ha Sun as Park Ha Na and Key with his real name Kim Ki-Bum. Think its very cool and make this drama unique and even more fun to watch. Yes, it was brought up and mentioned before in previous recaps here.

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The funny thing is I didn't take very well to Park Ha Sun's acting in the first episode. I have watched her previously in Ad Genius and Two Weeks. I knew she can do melo. I just didn't expect her to be so unrestrained in a comedic role.

I have been going on about loving actors who aren't vain about how they look onscreen. Yet, I felt uncomfortable watching PHS do all the facial gymnastics in the beginning. To be honest, I thought she looked terrible compared to what I've seen of her in her earlier dramas. Now, I laud her for having no qualms. I guess there are rare actresses who look pretty no matter what facial expression they pull. However, most are more afraid to look anything other than pretty or cute. Same for actors. So kudos to PHS!

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WTF If a guy left me out stranded on the bridge at night, I'd drop his butt immediately! What a jerk move.

I LOVE the reference to 'Signal' when Ha Na thought she was kidnapped. It was hilarious. They got everything down of what it was in 'Signal' (even though it was hard to watch when that scene happened)

I admire this show and how it shows that you're not alone in your everyday hardships; there are others out there going through the same :)

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To a certain extent, I could Jung Seok. I also agree that something must have happened to him to make him fixate that much on "high quality". However, this is the first episode where I really disliked him. God, what an asshole. I was rooting for you dude.

I think it's about time that Ha Na stands up for her self, I know that in real life it takes a while, but we've had 9 episodes already. It's long overdue. I can't help but feel like

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Am following this show by watching sporadically and reading the recaps, and got thoroughly confused with Jung-seok behaviour. With him being so sweet in the previous ep (even sharing his solo drinking time!) and being insufferable in this ep, seems like he suffers from split personality, huh.
Also, can somebody tell me why being a civil servant is regarded as the one road to success in Korea? In my country, civil servant/government worker is a so-so position that you can get through bribes or connections, but the struggle and suffering is so real in this show.
On side note, Ki-bum spelling errors here & there got me wondering if he is dyslexic...

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In some ways, Drinking Solo is really a comedy of manners. It might have been the translations on the Kdrama site-that-must-not-be-named, but it seemed like Jin Jung-soek was referring to himself in grandiose, almost delusional terms while comparing himself to Hana. As in, "I come from 2nd generation wealth, while you have no money at all." Don't his parents own an orchard? I mean, sure, maybe they grow lychees, which bring in a pretty penny, but it's not like he's a chaebol of a multi-national corporation. Whatever his background is, he's definitely proven himself to be nouveaux riche with that wedding getup and those bad manners. All the wealth in the world could not buy him some class.

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Jungseok went way too far! But on the other hand, I'm screaming with glee--the higher you are, the further you fall, and his overinflated pride is long due for a beatdown! His comeuppance will be DELICIOUS.

It may have been painful to see Hana in the pits, but it will make for oh-so satisfying irony when unrequited love switcheroo comes into play and she dishes back all the abuse he has dealt and she retorts that there's no way the two of them could ever be--because she is, in his words, a woman of no quality and in no way matched to him. I'm already rubbing my hands in anticipation at the thought seeing Jungseok's face fall when his arrogance bites him in the ass. >=D

I like Chaeyeon. She's not nice but she just strikes me as someone who's fed up: with failure, with feeling useless, with people not leaving her alone solely for her looks. Not liking the Gongmyung-Chaeyeon loveline. I was interested to see her with Kibum, but I guess that's no longer happening. Doesn't mean I want her with Gongmyung though, his implication that Chaeyeon should be oh-so careful with the feelings of pushy boys who don't care about her own feelings just rubbed me the wrong way. I just want the girl to succeed and ditch all those boys--none of them match her maturity anyway.

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I do the same as Chaeyeon but with Dramabeans! I'm on here while eating, while walking etc. I was actually reading this while brushing my teeth (and she's right, you do get better at this with practice).

What I love so much about this show is that it's so damn relatable. I feel just like Gongmyung, I just started college (I'm studying Japanese and Korean) and while I did say that I will study hard I have no idea where to begin at all. I didn't try much in high school so I have no idea how to actually study. *sigh* If only I had a Chaeyeon (whom I love btw! I like how she's so ambitious and motivated)

Dongyoung made me cry this episode, the feeling of being supported by so many people that love you and help you no matter what hardships they're going through while you can't give much in return, I know it too well. And the thing is they don't even want anything in return, they just want you to be happy and healthy and that somehow makes you feel even more guilty.

And arghh Hana! I've totally been there, crying because I thought I'm "low quality" and not enough. But when I saw her like that I just wanted to go to her universe W style, give her a big hug and tell her she deserves more and she has many positive qualities. So why can't I say that to myself? Sometimes it's so much easier to root for other people than it is to root for yourself. I hope she will start to stand up for herself but I can't blame her if she doesn't right away either, it's not that easy of a change.

Also, while Jungseok was a complete ass, I think I get where he's coming from. He felt exposed by the person he likes, while thinking she doesn't like him. So he did what he knows best, he went back in his high quality shell and completely refuted the possibility of him liking Hana, cause there's no way he would have an unrequited crush on someone, right? And by doing that he might have just ruined his chances with Hana (well we know he didn't because this is a kdrama, duh, they must end up together, but I hope that he struggles a bit first).

All in all, I really love this show, it has its funny moments (the kidnapping scene was gold! LOL) and it also has moments that make me ponder on my own life and the way I live it. I'm watching 6 currently airing dramas but I look forward to this one and OTWTTA the most.

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I totally agree with your comments on Jung-seok. I'm not excusing his behavior, but I think he had no idea that Ha-Na liked him. He was embarrassed that he was in a one-sided crush and that she'd figured out that he liked her. To preserve his pride, he just went way overboard in denying the possibility of liking her. He was in self-preservation mode...but now he's got a lot of groveling to do to overcome how hurtful he was.

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Was the cake icon definitely a coupon? I thought it was like a premium icon sent over Line or something like that. Like, you pay 99 won to send a virtual gift to someone.

Chae-yeon with Gong-myung is hilarious. Poor girl is lucky his shirt didn't get ripped off him, she'd be in even worse shape.

I felt bad for Prof. Jin. When someone is seriously chronically ill, in a coma etc and they suddenly snap out of it, it's usually a last hurrah.

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Jung-Seuk was a complete and total jerk in this episode. He was definitely living up to his High Quality Trash nickname. He was so mean to Ha Na, I feel so bad for her in this episode. She does not deserve to be mistreated so harshly by HQT especially after he kicked her out of the car and left her all by herself at the Han River...drunk and alone...and at night too! That's a big No, No! Then, he had to make her feel inferior at the wedding with his low quality behavior. She needs to tell him off and make him suffer in the next episode, lol. I did already see Episode 10 and can't wait to read LollyPop's recap and thoughts about it because HQT's blind date scenes (esp. the second one gave him karma, haha!) and drunken state...were hilarious! :-D Anyway, love Park Ha Sun's acting in this episode. Both her comedic and crying scenes made me laugh and cry. She's the reason I actually started watching DS. I love PHS! Other than PHS, I was unfamiliar and have never seen the other cast before this series started, so I'm very glad I watch this series because I'm loving and enjoying watching everyone in DS. :-)

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I don't know about the upcoming episodes, but this episode makes me feel like Jung Seok is no longer redeemable, I mean it's already episode 9 and he's still a jerk. First, he dumps Park Hana out of the car, at night! well she's lucky because it is not in remote area. Then, constantly reminding her that she's not at his level, talking about his high quality preferences. There's a thin line between tsundere and a jerk and he's definitely in the latter category, tsundere done wrong. And honestly I'm not looking forward for his "A-ha" moment when he realized he has feeling for Hana, because I'm not fan of typical I've-changed-and-become-nice-because-of-you, I want him to realize what an asshole he is not only to Hana but to his colleagues and boss too.

As much as annoying Gong Myung is to Hana, he didn't act rude to people around him and he did give Hana space after Hana scolds him. It seems like she's more outspoken and honest with Gong-myung. But then, he's still young (and unstable) to Hana and realistically, I'm pretty content if they stay as noona-dongsaeng relationship. I just hope the writer will not change his character for the sake of getting Jungseok-Hana together.

Honestly, I watch this drama only for Hana (looking forward for her growth as a person) and the side characters. I love all of them and thing is every time they did something wrong, at the end, they redeem it. I do find Jinyi a bit off-putting in previous episodes, but this episode, she did search for drunk Hana at night and accompany her and listen to Hana's blabbering nonsense and it is a relatable scene for me.

I really hope Hana will start to grow a spine and doesn't think too low of herself. The only way she can be happy is to love herself first and to not care too much of Jung-seok's approval of her existence.

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The Signal reference is too strong here. I laughed my ass off when I saw Ha Na sweating like batshit crazy while the scene barely freaked me out. lol

Anyway, the real scene from Signal truly scared me because I watched that Signal episode at night and the atmosphere from that drama just felt so tense and gloomy that I couldn't help feeling a bit depressed when I watched that particular scene. x)

I also remember when that Professor Min impersonated Park Hae Young on early episodes and it's kind of funny to me because Boss Won Jang also join the impersonation when he's also one of the character from Signal. Goodness, this show is crazy lol.

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