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183

Fight My Way: Episode 1

Don’t you just love it when a new drama gets you excited about its potential, then proceeds to live up to it beautifully? KBS’s coming-of-age-for-the-second-time romcom, Fight My Way, starts out bright and funny, with quirky characters that I already adore. But it’s not all sweetness and light… there’s an undercurrent of loneliness and discontent that offsets the comedy nicely, promising thoughtful and heartfelt moments to come.

 
EPISODE 1 RECAP

It’s 2006, and two high school boys have smuggled a contraband portable TV into class to watch a Muay Thai fight. They get caught cheering, and one of the pair, GO DONG-MAN (Park Seo-joon) politely asks that they be excused this once.

The teacher offers to let them off the hook if they can answer a question correctly, and the second boy, KIM JOO-MAN (Ahn Jae-hong) asks the teacher not to make deals with students. When Dong-man agrees, the teacher is happy to move straight to the whipping. Well, that backfired.

Dong-man valiantly takes on the challenge, but he gets the math question wrong (“You have a twenty percent chance of getting the answer right, and a forty percent chance of getting it wrong… what are the chances your butts will be safe?” LOL). They head up front for their beatings, one for every percent chance they thought they had (fifty, ouch).

The teacher asks if anyone else can answer the question, and the class suck-up, PARK MOO-BIN (cameo by Choi Woo-shik) stands to give the correct percentage. The “Man Brothers,” as they’re called, barely have time to snarl at the little creep before the beatings begin.

At a girls’ high school in Seosan, several hours south of Seoul, a pair of girlfriends are having a similarly bad day. Their teacher confiscates a toy microphone from CHOI AE-RA (Kim Ji-won) and a headband from BAEK SEOL-HEE (Song Ha-yoon), unswayed by Ae-ra’s promises to get her on TV once she becomes a famous anchor. The friends aren’t too upset, at least until they learn that they have to stay after school as punishment.

Back at the Man Brothers’ school, the school’s female jjang, BO-RAM, is unimpressed with kiss-up Moo-bin’s offering of the last carton of her favorite coffee milk. Bo-ram simpers when she spots the handsome Dong-man, her newest crush.

As the two toughest students in the school, Joo-man thinks it’s a no-brainer for Dong-man to date Bo-ram. Dong-man never thought about it, but he decides it’s not a terrible idea and makes plans to confess to her at his taekwondo match after school.

His embarrassing t-shirt has him asking Moo-bin to lend him his nice designer shirt. Moo-bin is suspicious, so Dong-man offers him a coffee milk to butter him up. But when Moo-bin sees “From Bo-ram” written on it, he figures out what must be going on.

Ae-ra and Seol-hee are also planning to go to the match, but it’s a long train ride to Seoul, so they put on pale makeup and fake illness to escape their after-school punishment. The plan fails, as do several more attempts to skip out early. Eventually the teacher responds to her car alarm going off, and they just grab their confiscated things from her desk and make a run for it.

They head to Dong-man’s match in the city, where they’re surprised to see a veritable parade of girls chanting Dong-man’s name. It seems strange to them, as they’ve known Dong-man since they were six years old, and to them he’s just an old friend.

They cheer for Dong-man enthusiastically, though he seems a bit dismayed to find them here. The girls are right behind Bo-ram, who’s annoyed to see a couple of strange girls cheering for “her” man. Moo-bin is there too, intent on asking Bo-ram why she gave the coffee milk he got for her to Dong-man, and whether she likes him.

Dong-man is a pretty talented fighter, and he neatly wins his round with a fancy jump-kick. He pulls off his uniform top and hurls it into the audience, where it sails over Bo-ram’s head and into Ae-ra’s hands. He loudly yells, “From now on, say you have a boyfriend!” Ae-ra gets excited, until Dong-man points at Bo-ram and shouts her name. Yikes.

Ae-ra grumbles that Dong-man came to Seoul to train, but he’s getting up to all sorts of shenanigans. Moo-bin threatens to tell Bo-ram’s mother that she’s dating a thug who can’t even count, then he runs off crying. Irritated, Ae-ra makes a point to whack Bo-ram in the head as she and Seol-hee get up to leave. She tosses off a sarcastic sorry-not-sorry and sails away, head held high.

Eleven years later, Ae-ra still carries herself like a queen as she enters an exclusive department store before it opens, making the crowd of shoppers wonder if she’s a VIP. Dong-man’s voice narrates that the girl who wanted to be a famous news anchor now mans an information desk, and we see Ae-ra in a uniform, vapidly greeting customers. Ouch.

Dong-man also struts into a fancy building wearing a white doctor’s coat as he heads straight for the penthouse. Ae-ra’s voice tells us that the taekwondo prodigy is now a pest exterminator. HA.

Former housewife-hopeful Seol-hee looks pretty and confident as she heads to work, but she’s only a customer service agent for a home shopping channel. And Joo-man, who initially seems to be the leader of some sort of gang, turns out to be a buyer for the same home shopping channel.

Furtively texting her boyfriend between customers, Ae-ra grows irritated when he doesn’t respond. She’s alarmed when an old classmate, CHAN-SOOK (cameo by Hwang Bo-ra), recognizes her and stops to talk, then drags her to the store’s members-only cafe, which Chan-sook gains entry into on account of her rich fiancé.

Chan-sook is utterly self-absorbed, taking selfies and acting magnanimous while getting in digs at Ae-ra’s mediocre life. She invites Ae-ra to her wedding, making a point to mention their elite new home and how many karats are in her ring.

Meanwhile, Dong-man is on a blind coffee date, where his loud, boisterous personality seems to unnerve the lady. He brags a lot about his past, but when she asks him to talk about his life now, she’s turned off by his humble career and lifestyle. She does make an effort and asks about his past sports career, but he goes strangely quiet and lies that he’s never been involved in sports.

Chan-sook gets all condescending when Ae-ra says that she has a boyfriend who’s studying to be a prosecutor. Tired of being looked down on by this superficial woman, Ae-ra asks the age of her fiancé, correctly guessing that he’s much older by Chan-sook’s sudden silence.

Rallying, Chan-sook snipes that Ae-ra would find someone suitable too, if she lowered her standards to her own level. Ae-ra counters with the mention of a guy that once came between them — she strikes the killing blow by saying that she cares about looks, but that guy was on Chan-sook’s level in that department. Daaamn.

Over at the home shopping channel, Seol-hee’s supervisor listens in on a call with a disgruntled customer, taking over when Seol-hee tanks it before pulling Seol-hee into a conference room to rip her a new one. Joo-man notices, and he grabs some handouts as an excuse to enter the same conference room.

Seol-hee’s supervisor leaves, and Joo-man gives Seol-hee a cute little hip-bump as he passes her. She throws herself into his arms as thanks for rescuing her, and she asks if they should just get married, giving him the big sad puppy eyes. When he hesitates to answer, Seol-hee whines that they’ve been dating for six years.

On a break, Ae-ra calls her boyfriend KIM MOO-KI (cameo by Kwak Dong-yeon), who tells her that he’s failed the bar exam yet again. He says he’s thinking of biking across the country to clear his mind, but Ae-ra snaps that he doesn’t need to clear a mind that he never uses, ha.

Across town, Dong-man is all ready to extend the coffee date to lunch, but his date jumps into a taxi to make her escape. She refuses to give him her number, and when he asks that she repay him for the coffee by buying drinks this weekend, she slaps some cash in his hand and drives off.

When Ae-ra calls to invite Dong-man to lunch, he crankily refuses until she says she’ll treat him to rib-eye steak. He goes to her department store but can’t find her, then he gets stuck in the revolving door with Chan-sook (who’s on the phone trying to talk her fiancé into hair transplants, hee).

Dong-man reaches around Chan-sook to try to unstick the door, and when she turns to see his doctor’s coat and handsome, backlit face (not to mention his thick hair), she literally swoons. Ae-ra arrives just as they’re being freed from the door and notices Chan-sook’s blush.

Asking for a formal introduction, Chan-sook holds out her hand to Dong-man as if she expects him to kiss her ring. He doesn’t have a clue what to do with it, so he just shakes her fingertips, ha. Chan-sook asks if they’re just friends, and Dong-man confirms it, though Ae-ra gives a vague answer as if there’s more between them.

As they walk to the restaurant, Chan-sook asks exactly what Ae-ra and Dong-man are to each other while Dong-man lags behind. Ae-ra claims loftily that Dong-man is totally into her but that he’s not good-looking enough for her tastes (lies!), and that her boyfriend is much better-looking anyway.

Dong-man and Ae-ra sit to eat while Chan-sook lurks around outside, watching them. Ae-ra orders Dong-man to pat her on the head, conspicuously batting her eyelashes and simpering at him for Chan-sook’s benefit.

Dong-man is horrified at the idea of touching her, but he does when Ae-ra threatens to let him go hungry. He complies, looking like it physically hurts to touch Ae-ra’s hair, especially when he realizes she hasn’t washed it lately. But the act is minimally convincing enough to get rid of Chan-sook.

When Ae-ra reveals that Moo-ki failed his exam again, Dong-man grumbles about his not paying Ae-ra back all of the money she’s loaned him. He says that a good man would get a job so that his girlfriend doesn’t have to support him, but Ae-ra jumps to Moo-ki’s defense.

She buys Moo-ki a new bicycle after work, attempting to be supportive of his choice to bike across the country. She hauls the bike onto the bus and across town to Moo-ki’s gosiwon, where another male student sees her and oddly goes running inside to alert all the guys on Moo-ki’s floor.

Pandemonium ensues as they all run in different directions. Everything appears calm again when Ae-ra arrives upstairs, and Moo-ki meets her in the hallway. She gives him the bike, which he wheels towards his room veeery slooowly, looking veeery guilty.

Ae-ra suddenly notices that Moo-ki’s sweatpants are on inside-out, and he shakes and sweats until she provides an excuse herself, assuming that he’s a mess because he failed the bar exam again. He leads her to the kitchen where an ajumma (cameo by Jung Soo-young) is serving food to the other boys, and Ae-ra recognizes her as the owner of a nearby restaurant.

Everyone seems nervous and jittery as Ae-ra makes small talk with the ajumma. Ae-ra looks closer and sees that the ajumma has a Minnie Mouse hair tie in her hair that looks very familiar, mainly because it belongs to Ae-ra.

Ajumma freezes, and Ae-ra slowly looks over at Moo-ki and sees something suspicious — that Ajumma is wearing the sweatshirt that goes with Moo-ki’s inside-out sweatpants. The truth slams home that Moo-ki and Ajumma are having an affair, and Ae-ra goes after Moo-ki, whacking at him with her purse.

Later, the three sit in the destroyed gosiwon kitchen, Ae-ra at the table and Moo-ki on the floor at her feet, sobbing and chastened. Ae-ra reminds him that he gave her this designer bag and promised to marry her once he passes the bar. She says that she was touched to know that he’d saved up his money to buy her the bag.

Moo-ki can only mutter a pitiful apology, and Ae-ra admits that she knew he wasn’t smart enough to pass, and that she was going to tell him to quit and let her take care of him. Ajumma tells Moo-ki to get on his knees, which he does while Ae-ra does her best to ignore the woman.

Crying now, Ae-ra reminds Moo-ki of all the money she’s spent on him even with her low-paying job, saying that she has dreams, too. She says that she could understand if he was cheating with a younger, prettier woman, but she can’t accept an older woman who’s just a small business owner.

Ajumma interjects that actually, it’s not a small business, and they all go out so that Ae-ra can gape at the line out the door of the apparently famous restaurant. Ae-ra has to admit that Moo-ki has hitched himself to a pretty lucrative star. He arrives all kitted out with brand-new biking gear and on a fancy new bike, and he even has a new car courtesy of his rich girlfriend and is ready to go on his cross-country trip.

As if this isn’t all horrible enough, Ajumma also pays back every penny that Moo-ki owes to Ae-ra, plus interest. They offer Ae-ra and her bike a ride home, but she just rolls her eyes then snatches her Minnie Mouse hair band out of Ajumma’s hair, snarling defiantly, “This is mine!

Dong-man visits a food cart, manned by none other than his old taekwondo coach, HWANG JANG-HO (Kim Sung-oh), though he complains when Coach Hwang serves him something he didn’t order. Coach Hwang says that he needs to eat correctly for an athlete, even when Dong-man reminds him that he’s no longer in sports. He says that once a coach, always a coach, and once a marital artist, always a martial artist.

He’s bound and determined to convince Dong-man to make a comeback, though Dong-man makes it clear that he has no such ideas, especially at his age. Coach Hwang calls it a waste of talent, but Dong-man grows emotional and insists that ever since November 3, 2007, he’ll never participate in any sport ever again.

Coach Hwang gently advises Dong-man to forget the past and move on. Dong-man says that sports never made him happy, calling it intense and humiliating, and he refuses to ever go back. Coach Hwang asks if he’s doing anything intense now, and if he’s happy.

Ae-ra tries to make a dramatic exit, only to be thwarted when her bike doesn’t fit in the taxi’s trunk, forcing her to accept Moo-ki and Ajumma’s offer of a ride after all. Heartsick and humiliated, she pretends to fall asleep in the car.

Ae-ra snaps awake when she overhears a news blurb from Ajumma’s phone that someone named Park Hye-ran has announced her upcoming divorce. She snatches at Ajumma’s phone, causing Moo-ki to nearly hit Dong-man as he steps, preoccupied from his argument with Coach Hwang, into the street.

Thank goodness, they miss him by inches. But Ae-ra’s night gets exponentially worse when Moo-ki turns to Ajumma, reaching towards her belly and asking frantically if she’s okay. Oh nooo.

Ajumma gets out to find Dong-man screaming as he sits in the street, then he sees Moo-ki and screams at him in the same tone, “Are you here to see Ae-ra?!” LOL. He gets up, gasping that he wasn’t actually hit.

He’s startled to see Ae-ra with them, who tells him sternly to sit back down and call his insurance company. Dong-man gives Moo-ki a look, inquiring in a stage whisper if they had a fight, then he notices Ajumma and asks if she’s Moo-ki’s aunt.

In an emotionless voice, Ae-ra interrupts: “She’s the mother of that bastard’s baby.” Thinking he misheard, Dong-man assumes she meant that this is Moo-ki’s mother, so Ae-ra repeats herself, pointing at the two offenders accusingly.

Dong-man’s face is priceless as he watches Ae-ra dissolve into whooping sobs while she tries to explain the situation. Finally, he bellows at her to speak clearly, so she gathers just enough control to wail, “They have a baby together!” Dong-man turns his fury on Moo-ki and grabs him by the collar to throttle him, then Ajumma grabs Dong-man, and they stand in the street yelling while Ae-ra watches incredulously.

Later, Dong-man escorts Ae-ra and her bike home, checking his face and teeth for permanent injury. Ae-ra says that the official story is that she dumped Moo-ki, then she tells Dong-man about Park Hye-ran’s divorce.

The information seems to land hard, though Dong-man doesn’t let himself react (I wonder, is she an ex of his?). As they walk down some stairs, Ae-ra breaks a heel and sits down hard. Dong-man shouts at her for buying knockoffs, then he yells at her again when she starts crying in earnest.

A short scene informs us that Ae-ra’s so-called designer purse from Moo-ki is actually a fake, but she doesn’t know that and gets upset when Dong-man drops it. He fusses at her for treasuring anything given to her by that rat bastard, but Ae-ra plans to fix it and sell it.

Simultaneously annoyed and wanting to help, Dong-man leads Ae-ra to a little street store and magnanimously offers to buy her a new, serviceable bag. He chooses the plain white canvas bag, insisting that it’s perfect for beating errant boyfriends, which makes Ae-ra laugh.

She tells Dong-man that she’ll carry the bag until the day she dies, which puffs him up and embarrasses him all at the same time. He generously tells her to pick out a comfy pair of shoes as well.

We get a quick glimpse of the mysterious PARK HYE-RAN (Lee Elijah), perfecting her lipstick as she waits in her car near Dong-man and Ae-ra’s homes. They walk past without noticing her, Ae-ra praising Dong-man on his eye for good, sturdy bags and shoes.

Pleased by her reaction, he pats her on the head affectionately. She whines that this is what she wanted him to do earlier, because this is what makes her heart flutter. Amused, Dong-man grins and does it again, asking in a slightly husky voice if her heart is fluttering now.

Looking pretty darn fluttery, Ae-ra asks why it should. Dong-man leans close, putting a hand on her face and noting that she’s turning red. He holds her chin as he leans a tiny bit closer to stare into Ae-ra’s eyes as he says, “You… need to quit drinking.” Haha, you big tease.

A little breathless, Ae-ra agrees. She wonders if her racing heart is because of the alcohol as she follows Dong-man up to their building.

EPILOGUE

After Dong-man’s taekwondo match back in 2006, a vicious fight had broken out between Bo-ram and Ae-ra. Dong-man had pried them apart, then when he’d spotted a scratch on Ae-ra’s face, he’d yelled at Bo-ram for fighting dirty. He’d hustled Ae-ra off to the doctor (hee, love Ae-ra’s sassy hair-flip at Bo-ram), leaving his brand-new girlfriend gaping in shock at being left behind.

 
COMMENTS

What a cute start! I love the light, comfortable feel of the show so far, and the darker moments hinting at drama down the road make me very curious to see where the show takes us. In spite of the copious promos, the actual content of the drama has been left pretty wide-open, with them only telling us that it’s about twenty-somethings who lost out on their dreams and live third-rate lives. I sort of like not knowing what to expect going in, and this premiere episode leaves me with a positive feeling that what’s in store will be sweet, funny, and full of heart. I also think that the pairing of Park Seo-joon and Kim Ji-won (finally in her first leading role, it’s way past time!), is pretty inspired, and honestly the two of them are the majority of the reason I’m excited about this show. That final scene promised some pretty intense chemistry between them, and I can’t wait to see a lot more of them together.

I like that we start out with these characters all having known each other for years — it gives the feeling that their backstories aren’t just isolated incidents we get to see for the sake of the story. When the characters have known each other since they were six years old, there’s no pretending to be someone they aren’t, since they already know everything there is to know about each other. They can’t hide the negative parts of their personalities like you do when meeting someone new, because they already know each other as well as they know themselves. I think this is one reason I enjoy friends-to-lovers stories so much, because the falling in love isn’t about finding someone new and exciting, but realizing that the perfect person is already right there, and has been all along.

There’s something so fun about watching that dynamic play out, and I anticipate that Dong-man’s journey will be particularly entertaining. He’s already halfway there — it’s obvious that his quick reactions to anger are because he feels powerless whenever Ae-ra is hurt or upset. He doesn’t know how to comfort her, so he just blows up, sometimes even directly at her when there’s no handy target. His instincts are good once he calms down though, as proven when he bought Ae-ra that bag and shoes (who knew that getting a girl a cheap, plain canvas bag could be so swoony?). It’s only a short step from there to understanding that he gets angry because he loves her.

I find myself particularly loving and identifying with Ae-ra, who has an almost superhuman ability to maintain her dignity even under the most terrible of situations. She’s in the throes of the worst day of her life, in which she finds out her boyfriend has an older, rich, pregnant girlfriend. Yet Ae-ra still has enough pride to get back her silly broken hair band because dammit, it belongs to her. She’s spunky and smart, and you can see that her dream of being a news anchor hasn’t died. I hope more than anything that she gets her dream in the end.

Dong-man’s lost hopes of being an elite athlete are also sad, and I’m very curious to know what happened to him in November of 2007 to make him give up his dreams so vehemently that he denies they ever even existed. He obviously loved taekwondo very much and was incredibly good at it. I hope that Coach Hwang (and can I just say how excited I was to see Kim Sung-oh here, I love him!) can get through to Dong-man that it’s not too late to repair the damage to his broken spirit and get back into sports.

We’re so used to seeing the two extremes of society in dramas, either the crushingly poor or the insanely rich, so it’s fun to find a show that focuses on those forgotten in the middle. Like so many of us, these four friends are plodding along as best they can, working respectable jobs but having fallen far short of their childhood dreams. It can be a depressing place, knowing that you wanted so much for yourself and that you didn’t even get close. I think it will be interesting watching them find other things to live for, namely love and friendship, and learn to move past their dissatisfaction in their careers to realize that life is about more than what you do to earn money.

I wasn’t expecting this drama to address the reclamation of youthful hopes and dreams, and I would have been happy if it were just about people in their mid-twenties learning to make the most of what they have. But on the other hand, it’s not like their dreams are unattainable — they’ve just gotten sidetracked along the way. It would be great to see these four friends support each other as they go after their once-lost ambitions, whether they be big ones like becoming a famous news anchor, or small ones like being the very best housewife you can be. No dream is worthless if it’s a person’s true desire, and it’s never, ever too late.

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So far it is really cute. That break up scene was hilarious and humiliating. Let's were this cute friendship will take us.

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I meant of course let's see were it takes us. Obviously there had to be somebody scoffing at the very idea that men and women could be friends. This of course is like the law of the universe and now our two friends have to start falling for each other.

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Law of the universe? debatable. Law of dramaland? DEFINTELY. If there's one thing kdrama has taught me, it's that "I'd definitely never like you" always means "Give me like 4 episodes and I'll be swooning all over the place"

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Or "just wait til episode 8 - I'll kiss you to let you know how much I dislike you!"

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8 is always the magic number. ?

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By the way, they take the award for the most unique jobs in dramaland. How do we often hear of a hero who is a pest teminator.LOl of the day

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and not a "genius" exterminator either, just a plain ol' exterminator

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Would a "genius" exterminator be like a bug whisperer?

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They can lure the bug out and use the cheapest way possible to exterminate them. Maybe even convincing them to find a new place or commit suicide.

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Friend can understand each other even though the other ones speak with her sobs
I really love friend turn to be lovers

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Friends-to-lovers is my favorite trope. They know each other inside out.

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I love the first eps. It presented a lot of ordinary happenings in an absurdly ridiculous way that felt oddly relatable. Everything is just as messy as real life and I like that. (The breakup, wedding invitation, and blind date scenes are pure gold) The characters are very likable and they also have great chemistry, so I think we are off to a good start.

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I cringed and laughed so hard at the blind date part. Dong Man's confidence and lack of pretensions is just so entertaining to watch. I like that he does not care what people think about his job.

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I was still a little on the fence about this show until about halfway through - DM's reaction to AR's boyfriend's affair and the way he immediately stuck up for her both warmed my heart and made me laugh. I really love their friendship so far! It feels so natural and warm, even though they both have that bickering exterior.

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I wasn't even planning on watching this show, but I had some extra time on my hand today and well....
I must say, having known nothing about this show and thus coming in with no expactations, I was totally blown away. The chemestry was great between all of the friends and during the break-up scene I couldn't decide if I should laugh or cry. It was so humiliating and entertaining at the same time.
Now my expectations are way high up in the sky for this show and I hope episode 2 won't let me down.

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Both the breakup scene and DM's blind date were so cringe worthy. DM always looks so sad whenever taekwondo is brought up, I'm eagerly anticipating understanding that story.
I've been really looking forward to this show, love both PSJ and KJW. Their chemistry is great as I was sure it would be.
And, I have to say that I'm SO happy that @lollypip is our recapper!!! SHHH, don't tell anyone else, but you're my favorite! :)

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The friendship is what I enjoy in this show so far.

Generally, I find it a bit too exaggerated (meaning, the humour doesn't quite work for me) and somehow I can't entirely warm to Kim Ji-won, but the friendship between the two leads keeps me on board for now.

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While the pacing felt slower than I expected (not sure why), I'm still really pleased with the first episode. The characters are great and I love how they've introduced them so far. A great start. Plus Park Seo Joon and Kim Ji Won are so good together. I love how protective he is of her. So excited to see how their friendship evolves. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the show! :D

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It's off to a great start. I do hope it keeps up its cute appeal in the succeeding episodes!

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Radish kimchi ajumma LMAO

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I can't get over that she is the baby mama!

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That was a big twist, tbh.

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I've been trying to keep my hopes low for this one because I've been burnt by the pre-airing promise of so many dramas before, but I really enjoyed this episode! PSJ and KJW are really fun together, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the fluctuations of their relationship play out. I have a serious weak spot for the friends-turned-lovers trope, and given their current dynamic I can't wait to see them walk through that process of transformation.
On a side note, how hilariously amazing was Kwak Dong Yeon as the cheating boyfriend??!! It's so great to see him in a role that allows him to be comedic. I hope he's cast as a leading man in something great soon!!

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I didn't know that he was cast as the cheating boyfriend and got a very pleasant surprise when he appeared! I loved him in Moonlight and it was hard to remind myself that he's a cheating boyfriend here and I'm supposed to dislike him, hah!

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I was so surprised to see him, too! A little despondent that he played a cheating boyfriend, but it's good to play a diversity of role types! I've been following him since I saw him in "Adolescent Medly", so I'm really looking forward to when he gets a leading role!

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Oooh, I didn't realize he was in that. I have to give it a watch.

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I started 2017 with Adolescent Medley and kept on thinking where i have seen this cheater boyfriend.

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I like him too ? Kwak dong yeon is so cute

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I still remember him from that farmer show. He was hilarious there too :D

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Reviews are up so quickly these a days! Thanks for the recap. I just caught the first episode, and PSJ and KJW are so adorable together! Their chemistry is just buzzing and gosh, those last few scenes where he was touching her hair, her face, her chin? I don't know which normal straight female's heart wouldn't have fluttered. (I know mine did.)

I just wish AR hadn't been so silly as to stick around supporting her loser of a boyfriend. I know it's such a common thing to happen, but I felt so bad seeing her being such a good girlfriend (buying a bike just because he wanted to bike around the country even though failed) and then seeing her discover him having an affair. Thank goodness she has her bestie to stick up for her and buy her a new bag and shoes!

I only really warmed up to this show after the whole cheating boyfriend, I think. The first 30 minutes or so were a little lukewarm for me, but I loved all the scenes our two main leads had together.

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*Ahh I meant recaps, not reviews. It's been a long day for me. @[email protected]

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That last scene got me squeaking and falling over myself so hard. Gaaaaah, and they're not even a pair yet! They're so great together

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Same goes to me. It took me after they done with ex boyfriend plot to be able to enjoy this drama. I hate a plot of heroine supporting her boyfriend for years for him to study and focus for exam because it is clearly means that he is a loser. Anyway I am very glad this drama didn't dragged the ex boyfriend plot until few more epi.

Kwak Dong Yeon is a cutie though lol. I still can't believe he cheated with a woman that can be his mom?

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I have a feeling it was important to establish AR as the kind of girl who sticks around for a loser boyfriend like that, I'm not sure why yet. Buying the bike just frosted the cake for me, I yelled ARE YOU KIDDING??? She knew better but still did it.
It's going to be the ultimate betrayal when she goes to get the "designer" bag repaired or tries to sell it and finds out he lied about that being real, too.

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Oh that hair flip.
So awesome.
I love them. Dongman and Aera are awesome. The ship is sailing.

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Jupp the ship is well on its way XD

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Haha YES. That hair flip was perfection.

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Just as long as that mysterious woman stays in her car. Lol.

Love the hair flip, love the spunky 'tudes, love these guys already!

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Word. Pretty please stay in the car.

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yeah casually taking notes on that hair flip--gotta incorporate it into my daily life because literally, I need her self-confidence

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I really liked it. It was very refreshing. No pretending to be cool in front of your childhood friends. They are honest (maybe except about their true romantic feelings) and they seem to have hardships that are closer to our reality (as much as that is possible in dramaland). I found it quite funny and the 2nd leads are quite interesting (although we did not see much of them). The wigs used for the school-time flashbacks were hilarious.

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The girls' wigs were so poofy and big! Hahaha!

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What a cute show but I don't have time to watch it yet *cries*
*chuck it to my to-watch list*

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"No dream is worthless if it’s a person’s true desire, and it’s never, ever too late."

^^ I like this! Thanks for the recap!

I enjoy the first episode! I am also looking forward more on Choi Woo Sik - Park Seo Joon interaction. I hope Choi Woo Sik character isnt going to be so bad though, I want to not feel too guilty liking him here!

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Choi Woo Shi might develop a crush on Kim Ji Won's character. The story will repeat again, poor boy.

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First episode is cute. Not really into the story yet, too engrossed on the cuteness and breeziness. Hope it remains this way until the end and able to veer off and away from melo or tragedy in the middle to end.

Thanks for the prompt recap, LollyPip!

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Kim Ji Won is so beautiful *stares all day long*

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I am never really into slice of life dramas (no matter how hard I try - 3 times - I cannot get pass half mark of Misaeng and Age of Youth) but I quite enjoy this first episode. Maybe I am biased because the 2 leads are one of my favorites in dramaland so I will watch episode 2 and decide if I want to live watch or save this for marathon. I find romcoms to be most fun in marathons, like Oh Hae Young, because I connect to the characters more and become attached to their feeling and journey.

Best thing about the drama so far is definitely the natural chemistry between the two leads!

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Ummm, this isn't really a slice-of-life drama. Exaggerated tone (for the humour) and lots of over-the-top stuff happening even in a single day – she bumped into a school classmate, got dumped by her boyfriend who was two-timing her with the queen of radish kimchi, and their car nearly collided with long-time friend of all people in Seoul – all in the span of a few hours. The characters might have ordinary jobs, but in slice of life you don't have such dramatics.

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+1
Kdramas can't exsist without conceited coincidences. Characters might be more humane but whole scenery was clearly fictional.

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Imo, this one has more similar vibe with WFKBJ - slice of life drama with more humours and romance. It has different vibe than Age of Youth.

Romcom is usually more fun to watch as marathon for me too. And yes the best thing is the chemistry

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Even if I was expecting the show to be good, it surprised me by being this good. I enjoyed this episodes more than I thought I would and I actually love the concept of people living the lives not made up of the dreams they wanted to come true because such people exist and there is very less content made on this.
Hope it remains good!

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Loved everything so far. I can already see cracks in our leads' bickering exterior showing there might just be 20-year old feelings ready to come out after 16 episodes. ???

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And of course I can't get over the cute that is Park Seo Joon and Kim Ji Won ???

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I really liked how their relationship isn't just bickering - like some relationships touted as bickering ones only consist of fighting 24/7. But as we saw in this episode, DM and AR also have a really sweet, caring side to their friendship that they aren't afraid to show. I love it so far!

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Yes! Several dramas have constant arguing between the leads, which can actually grade on my nerves and make me wonder if they really need to end up together.

This friends to lovers story is uniquely refreshing in that the leads' bickering and actions surprisingly reflect an undertone of mutual love and respect.

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Their bickering is just the cutest and sweetest I've seen so far ?

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16 episodes?? Let's hope the feelings come out a little sooner than that... 8? 9? If I can get the first kiss by episode 10, I'll feel like we're doing realll well.

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Thanks for the recap!

Aw, I love it. I think we've been expecting it for a while, but Park Seo-joon and Kim Ji-won really feel made for these characters and, most of all, made for each other. They're so much fun together. This is the friends-to-lovers drama I've been waiting for!

Aww, I love that he's her bag-buying man! That had to be the best shopping scene in all of kdrama. Ahahaha, "Ahjussi, you take card right?" Too good.

Rather than that brief heart-fluttering moment at the end, my favorite moment of theirs was actually during that huge confrontation on the street. I have no idea why, but something about the way she felt comfortable breaking down as soon as she saw him there just really got to me. Because you could see that she knew that he would have her back and be just as angry on her behalf! It was just too cute (and hilarious) when her speech descended into compete nonsense and he yelled for her to speak properly, but there was just so much worry in his eyes. They acted the scene flawlessly. I can explain in perfectly, but I completely fell for them both in this scene.

The only thing that was missing this episode was seeing all the Fantastic Four together in the future. Hopefully we'll get that next episode! Can't wait.

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can't explain it*

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Whenever he screams at her to speak properly, I laugh, because I see the worry and the indignation in his eyes.

Like he's thinking, "what bastard did this to her?", because she's so strong that her being reduced to a blubbering mess means something has really gone wrong and he's ready to beat up whoever caused that.

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Yes! Exactly! I love their friendship oh so much.

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Yessss. You put it perfectly.

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I dearly love Park Seo Joon's ability to convey so much with just his face, LOL ??‍♀️

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I think that I add this onto the watchlist. It sounds good and like my kind of drama. I had low expectations but.. I want to watch this. But ugh exams.

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KJW so pretty. I'm in awe. Finally I can enjoy her fully as a lead. She deserves it!

I'm enjoying a lot hilarious PSJ. He did well in comedy. Chemistry between 4 leads is lovely too.

And all cameos are so fun. I want to spend a little more time on them. This drama make their appearance interesting.

Overall this is a bright and sweet drama.

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I’m liking Ae Ra and Dong Man’s chemistry. All their bickering and affection. I’m excited to see their love grow for each other. I can’t tell yet who is falling first.

Don’t know enough about Joo Man yet.. He seems sweet to his girlfriend, Seol Hee. Seol Hee is already endearing to me. I felt terrible when she got scolded. Not sure why she was scolded. Her response to the customer did not seem too bad. Not like she was yelling back at him.

I’m excited that Kim Sung Oh is in this drama too, @lollypip! Can’t wait to see the bromance between his character and Dong Man.

Good, introductory premiere. I like that we got a look at the main characters’ past. Fantastic Four knuckleheads, lol! Their friendships felt much more real in the present.

The next episode looks better, packed with more action/intensity.

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Yeah for Kim Sung Oh and bromance !

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Dear friends, I can't wait to see you fight it out (to get to your dreams) and please please on your way, fall in love.

Wasn't this such a heartwarming first episode? I love how the four friends have stuck to each other. And the chemistry between PSJ and KJW is sure glorious!

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Yeah.. agree with u.. n i can't wait for another monday ?

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I love Kim Sung Oh too it's good see him in a drama again ! I like the feel good vibe and how it turns sad situation to hilarious events ha. Ae Ra is relatable and gosh her confrontation against her classmate was satisfying. She's no pushover.

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Where to find a cool guy friend like Dong Man? Please pat my head and make my heart flutter too. ? I won't mind if you buy me that bag that is an eco bag by the way. ?

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The Viki subtitles had the bag costing $22 which I'm guessing (hoping?) in a small Korean local market would really be $2.20, making DM's request to use a card even funnier. (Of course, there were shoes, too.)

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nup it cost 22,000W making it roughly 20 or so dollars

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That's not a cheap canvas bag then!

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Enjoyed all the cameos, especially by Kwak Do-yeon. He's so cute I found it really hard to dislike him! His character's so terrible though! I hope Ae-ra gets over him soon. I found the first episode to be a bit uneven and slow, although the second half is better, and I hope it picks up, because I like the characters and the premise very much. I did find Dong-man to be a bit too shouty for me, hahah. Not used to such a loud personality after all the broody types I've been seeing lately on my screen I guess XP I totally dig all his scenes with Ae-ra, and how natural the affection is between them. Can't wait for more!

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I thought DM was a really interesting male lead! His loud personality really is unique for a kdrama lead, in that he's not the cold/brooding silent type, but he's also not the silly beta-male type either. I'm excited as to what they're going to do with his character, although I was a little annoyed with him too at first. He won me over by standing up for AR though. And I gotta love AR, being so badass and standing up for herself at every opportunity.

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I checked third rate my way, then lookout, not any of the two was that impressing. Then opened circle and wow, it is kind of great lol! A science fiction in KDramas, and then twin, aliens and what not, count me in! Definitely waiting for the recap for circle!

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Just watched the re-run, a good start for a show even my mom found it amusing and joined in. Liking Seo-joon and Ji-won pairing much so cute together. Ji-won is great in acting comical what a surprise since my impression of her was the fierce sharp pretty Rachel. Seo-joon is definitely much better in here than Hwarang.

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Till this day, my favorite role from Park Seo-joon is a love sick puppy/noona killer Dong-ha. I did like his other roles, but for both She Was Pretty (Siwon stole the show) and Hwarang (meh) I wasn't sold completely on his character. But after the first episode of this drama, I got super excited. I think this kind of next-door, normal guy kind of roles suit him best, he's just so good at being swoony with everyday stuff! And Kim Ji-won... I missed her so much! I already love her character, she's so cool and relatable. The chemistry is also no joke. Can't wait for more!

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@ ladykrueger

You're referring to PSJ's Yoon Dongha role in Witch's Romance, right? I'm with you! That's my most favorite PSJ drama.

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Same!! He was so awesome and sexy in that role. ?

I've watched him in SWP and Hwarang too. He was fine in them, but his character persona didn't wow me. I'm hoping this new role will be just as good as his role in Witch's Romance or better. ^^ ?

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You made my day! I love dong ha :) he does suit this type of character really well. Man crush everyday!

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I have problem with all the color tone of all three dramas. You know the blur color, not Ruler bright. Anyone knows how to call this?

- I like Kim Ji Won in this. She holds her place as a lead well
- Ji Jin Hee is pretty. But its weird to have a 99 in same school with 86. I hope she will have her break soon.
- Kwak Dong Yeon is fun, why havent we see him in anything since moonlight?

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Yes! I love this kind of dramas and iam looking forward to this show.
I'd be wrong, but iam sure iam going to love it.

I wonder though, iam not sure iam going to love that Lee Elijah.

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I agree, I'm kind of worried about her appearance too. I think she probably did a real number on DM and I don't like seeing him hurt :(

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I wanna kick Moo-Ki in the face! lol Can't wait to see how all of this unfolds.

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oh Gaadd!!! I'm inlove with Kim Ji-Won she's so beautiful ? and rocking her character too(Ae-ra) .... I also envy her friendship with Dong-man I wish I have someone like him too. So far I'm enjoying their chemistry and we'll see where it leads us.

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Yeaaa!!!! She is sooo beautiful.....

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IKR!! and as I've said her character is lovable too as well as Dong-man... they fights like cats and dogs but you can feel that they really care for each other esp DM to AR..

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She's my girlcrush ever since DOTS.

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"No dream is worthless if it’s a person’s true desire, and it’s never, ever too late." Awww... So sweet...
I cannot describe how much I love the cast... Even the cameo of dongYeon and that Ajhumma are the best.... I love all these actors individually for their own dramas and seeing them here together makes me squeal in happiness... And it's like having all the good things in a bowl.. and you get to have that bowl....
Kim Sung Oh... I fell in love with him in Secret Garden and hence loved his acting both bad and good guy roles....
Kwak DongYeon.... Needless to say.. He is a eyecandy and also a cute little bugger in this... I loved his reactions.....
That Ajhumma.... She has played sassy and classy roles... And I am getting used to her....

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I fell in love with Kim Sung Oh's character in Secret Garden too !

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Awwwww!!!!

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This was such a cute, lighthearted opening. The chemistry between these two friends are great and I like the little glimpses of their high school life in the past. One mystery that I seriously wonder about is what really happened on November in 2007, that led our main lead to quit taekwondo. As for the Ae Ra, I lover her sassy and clever personality. So far, so good.

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Loving the show! Their friendship is just so precious! It really shows true friendship when they fight for one another and comfort one another!

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yeah I wish I have that kind of friendship too... I mean having a guy friend is different in many ways than a girl friend.

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Here's to hoping that she realizes her feelings for him FIRST. he rejects her & then realizes he likes her after & then has to awkwardly make sure she still likes him while not admitting to her he likes her now too lmao.

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haha..i hope it works out the way you have written..haha..i think it's safe to say she will realize her feelings for him first based on the ending scene in the last episode and then i hope it all plays out the way you suggested!

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I love Kim Ji-won resting b*face! She is my favorite!

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me tooo!!! and her "sorreeyy" trademark since she was a little child hahaha...

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The first half of this episode felt a bit all over the place, but I started to really get into it by its second half. I like how comfortable the H/h are together. I like the humor, despite feeling that the heroine's ex-boyfriend setup is contrived. I really like how protective the hero is of the heroine. Most importantly it looks like this show has heart.

As for the secondary couple, I actually want the SFL to end up with the coach somehow, instead of her present boyfriend who has been dragging his feet for six years! No woman should waste so much time on a relationship that is going nowhere. I hope she will know better for herself.

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Love this! Their chemistry as frenemies is explosive right off the bat and some scenes were lol funny. I can tell that the chemistry between the leads will become sizzling when things turn romantic. I love the slice of life feel to this day drama as well. I enjoyed it more than I expected to.

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Thanks for the recap, Lollipip! Your comments were lovely and the last line was just perfect!

This was slightly different from what I was expecting from the drama but I enjoyed it. And strangely, I feel like the seoul I saw in this episode was different from the seoul I have seen in in so dramas. 2006 parts were hilarious, the bright colours and the hairstyles (lol). I kind of get an old school feel from this drama. Its not like sleek or stylish but its working well with the theme of the drama.

And go dong man reminds me of ji soo's character in page turner. He is not that intelligent or anything but he is full of heart, slightly loud, who cannot think of one thing and say a different thing and seems like a easy going person. Like he was so open with his date whom he should be meeting for the first time. so, I can't wait to see more of his character and the others too. And Kwak dong yeon was gorgeous! Can't wait to see him in a new drama!

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I love it.

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I haven't seen it yet {dang finals week!.... Yet I'm here XD} but from what I've heard and read, I really like the plain canvas bag scene. I don't know for anyone else, but I think when she received that bag from that #$%$* of a boyfriend, she was living in a fantasy that wasn't the actual truth.

So when she chose that canvas bag, for me, it's almost like it symbolizes how your perfect guy doesn't have to be all that bling and such... He could just be the mundane friend you've known for eleven+ years.

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P.S How sick was it that even his dormmates would cover up for him? Like no wonder you guys are friends of that guy that never uses his brain and fails his exam

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Yeah! At first, I was like, "What's going on!? Did he die?! (Lol) He's probably cheating! That dirty, lying cheater!" Can't believe everyone was in on it and would've kept it from her if she never found out. Smh.

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What's even more sad about that "designer bag" that her scumbag boyfriend bought for her that she cherishes so much isn't even real. Poor girl thought it was and then we find out it was a fake. Should've known better. He was living off of her income anyway...

But yeah, that part when he bought her the cheap, but durable bag and cheap, but comfy shoes, was so cute! I love how she genuinely liked the items! I can't wait for these two to realize their love for each other could be more than just friendship love.

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Totally sorry-not-sorry, but HA just had to laugh at the scumbag part.... Scum... Bag? Get it? *badum chh* XDD

Okie sorry for reals now I'll move on... ㅠ.ㅠ

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Looking forward to watch this. The last time I enjoyed a friends-turned-lovers story was in "Producers"--Ra Junmo and Tak Yae-jin. Their story was grounded and the actors were very believable. So excited!

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Thank you for the recap, @lollypip! ??????

This is my new drama crack–I can just FEEL it! ? This and Ruler, of course. But I just love this show and its characters so much, already! I love all their spunk and I'm with them through their journey of realizing they've all got dreams that they left behind (tell us what happened!) and they're gonna fight their way to make their dreams come true and bring that spark into their lives!

Kim Ji-won never really grew on me as an actress, but this is it. This is her work and character that has got me rooting for her wholeheartedly! I love the way she carries her character with pride and dignity, even at her lowest points. I love her spunk and her sass and how she's a no nonsense kind of girl! My kind of girl! I'm rooting for you, girl!

I really wanna know what happened to Dong-man for him to give up taekwondo and how just the mention of the word "sport" puts a damper on his mood. I know there was "an incident," but I wonder what that was. Does it have to do with that ~mysterious~ woman?

Moo-bin threatens to tell Bo-ram’s mother that she’s dating a thug who can’t even count, then he runs off crying. Lol! Poor Moo-bin! Did you guys notice how he kept getting whacked on the head when he was confronting Bo-ram about dating Dong-man? Seol-hee was cheering for Dong-man, so she kept jumping up and down, swinging the inflatable noodle (?) and hitting his head. Hahaha! Poor, poor guy.

I can't wait to see the Fantastic 4 together on screen because I can just imagine the sweetness and hilarity that will ensue between the longtime friends. Yay for lifelong friendships!

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Thought I was only imagining PSJ/Dong-man's husky voice when he was teasing KJW/Ae-ra about the head pat. I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed, teehee. Can't wait to see these two go from friends to lovers!

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What felt like five minutes was actually this entire hour-long episode. The pacing is great, the characters are greater, and I freaking can't wait for more. I kind of love how Dong-man is consistently super obnoxious and pretty much has two volumes - loud and louder. It's even funnier because he doesn't even know, because I'm literally the exact same :'D. I also unintentionally yell everything. It's only episode one and there is already great chemistry, and it will never not be adorable when Dong-man explodes at anyone who hurts Ae-ra.

I did have some struggles during this episode though. Like, I KNOW I'm supposed to hate ex-boyfriend because he's a horrible jerk but Kwak Dong-yeon kept distracting me with his pretty. Curses!

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Hahaha now that you mentioned it, I'm loud like Dong Man too, especially when I'm talking on the phone. xD He's dorky, but cute and also hot at the same time. I really like Park Seo Joon playing these types of characters. Like an ordinary, neighborhood guy. ^^

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I know right! He's over-the-top in so many ways, yet at the same time a normal guy who I can see living across the street. He's a perfect fit for his character.. except maybe not for that tracksuit xD

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Haha but it's a lovely shade of blue?? xD

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Who was the actress who played his blind date? she is so familiar and nobody mentioned her...

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Her name is Lee Chae-Eun.

I recognized her from her small roles in some other dramas too. Didn't know her name until I looked it up though.

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Thanks. I thought it was a cameo because she really looks like someone..especially with that haircut.

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She acted in Romantic Doctor and One More Happy Ending before.
Though with that short hair, she kinda reminds me of Park So-dam.

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Be still my ever loving kdrama rom-com heart! Between this and Suspicious Partner, I'm trying not to wish the days away till the next episodes.

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Episode 1 is riot with a heart! I like that our heroes are not chaebol and candy. I wonder what happened to them. I'm excited to see how they will redeem themselves and find love, which is actually just under their nose.

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Premiere 2/3

I love it. I love them. Park Seo Joon and Kim Ji Won have palpable chemistry. I don't even care if Ae Ra JUST broke up with her cheating boyfriend or Dong Man still has lingering feelings for his ex-girlfriend, I want them together. Park Seo Joon never fails to make my heart flutter. I'm just going to erase the tragedy that was Hwarang from my memory, which had maddeningly tainted Park Seo Joon for me. He is a natural at comedy and should stay away from sageuk at all costs.

I love their friendship, especially how they managed to stay friends even when Ae Ra liked him. Their steak lunch was adorable. "Hey, pat my head." Dong Man is heart-flutteringly protective, switching seats with her in the restaurant to avert lustful eyes and kicking her dirtbag boyfriend's ass. I 100% believe they liked each other, but for whatever reason had moved on to dating other people. Clearly, Dong Man knew about Ae Ra's crush on him as she had been so obvious back in the day. It seems Sugar Ajumma sees right through them with her "She's surprisingly greedy," and I think Boy Toy knew all along as well when he automatically called Dong Man Ae Ra's "boyfriend of 20 years" before clarifying "boy friend."

This dark comedy tone is really working for me. I love that they're all losers and how depressed this show makes me feel? It's realistically raw -- life is NOT a bed of roses; dreams do NOT come true; happiness IS a myth -- and I love how jaded everyone is with no chaebols or geniuses in sight. Customer service is a soul-sucking job being forced to speak in that peppy voice eight hours a day.

I was judging the hell out of Ae Ra for spoiling the crap out of her sugar baby. Buying him a 10-speed bike?! I don't care if he is Kwak Dong Yeon! Moo Ki can't even afford rent, what makes her think he can afford a designer bag? I adored Choi Woo Shik's cameo and felt so sorry for Moo Bin when Bo Ram changed his coffee milk carton from "To Bo Ram" to "From Bo Ram."

Many thanks for the recap, @LollyPip!

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Just want to say I absolutely love your comments, spot on!!!

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But Boy Toy is freakin Kwak Dong Yeon. I'll give anything for him ??. (pardon this noona fan)

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