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Manhole: Episode 1

All title-related giggles aside, Manhole delivers a whole lot of silly thanks to its hapless man-child protagonist who has a penchant for tantrums and an undying love for a woman he’s unwittingly let slip through his fingers. He may not take his studies seriously, but he’s serious about holding onto his first love, and a magical manhole just may help his cause — or it may just produce disastrous results.

 
Episode 1: “My Love is Leaving”

A glowing, yellow spark resembling a firefly zips through the sky and heads straight for Seoul. It’s a tiny capsule, and we follow it as it whizzes around the city before floating above the roof windows of two neighboring homes.

Through one window, we see BONG PIL (Jaejoong) drunkenly pour himself another mug of ginseng wine. He pokes his head out and glumly looks across to where KANG SOO-JIN (Uee), dressed in a pretty hanbok, sits in her room, instructed by her mother to stay put until her fiancé arrives.

Cheeky narration and superimposed text inform us that sad doofus Pil is 28, has been studying for the same exam for three years, and is the main character of the story. He fails to grab the glowing spark, and he narrates that his love disappeared like that shooting star, adding that the love in his heart is bitter like a chalice of poison — as opposed to his father’s aged ginseng wine, which gets sweeter over time.

Pil ducks back into his room when Soo-jin moves to her window and narrates that his love for her began twenty-eight years ago, adding that you’re only given one chance in life and it never turns out the way you want it to. The narration continues that he and Soo-jin were born three days apart in the same hospital, but while he waited for the perfect moment to confess his love to her, to his surprise, she decided to marry a man she only met months prior.

Elsewhere, the spark zips through a tunnel and into a manhole, illuminating it with intricate designs.

Pil heads outside and finds Soo-jin’s fiancé, PARK JAE-HYUN (Jang Mi-kwan) and his groomsmen in high spirits as they deliver hahm (a box filled with presents for the bride and her family, courtesy of the groom). Pil drunkenly hollers at them to cut the noise, but when they ignore him, he throws a fit until Soo-jin arrives and glares at him. We’re informed by the show that Soo-jin is the “neighborhood femme fatale who was Pil’s love, but now has a week left until her wedding.”

Pil’s parents – “who gave up on their son a long time ago” – arrive soon after, and Dad, a soon-to-be-retired postmaster, angrily flings his empty ginseng wine bottle at Pil, causing him fall back against Soo-jin.

We flash back to the moment when Pil, “a beast who never knew love, finally became human.” In third grade, Soo-jin was assigned to sit next to Pil, and he was instantaneously smitten, so much so that he posted a drawing of him and Soo-jin as a married couple—but because of it, all the kids started teasing them.

Pil narrates that he was too progressive at the time, and Soo-jin was too conservative. She was reduced to tears and slapped Pil in the face, which is when Pil narrates that everything took a turn for the worst.

Back in the present, the next day, Pil discovers that he’s out of cigarettes and money. But when he tries to ask his parents to spare him some cash, they vanish like the wind, heh.

Pil walks past his friend who owns a juice truck, and she’s already heard about his outburst. She figures he must’ve been upset given his devotion to Soo-jin (describing him as being “like a fly around poop”), but Pil snaps at her for the gross comparison. This friend is YOON JIN-SOOK (Jung Hye-sung), with the chyron describing her as Pil’s female friend who knows everything about him.

Pil arrives at the study hall and impatiently asks the guy next to him for a cigarette. Said guy is JO SEOK-TAE (Baro), who’s been studying for the same exam for six years with no potential in sight, heh. The sign above his study booth reads, “I must study in order to marry a pretty woman!”

Outside, Pil grows agitated when he can’t light his cigarette, and Seok-tae laments that he’ll probably turn thirty before passing his exam due to the slim passing rate. Pil calls Seok-tae out for being so indecisive and for switching from the bar exam to the civil service exam, but Seok-tae insists that judges are public servants, too.

Pil claims that he’s superior since he’s studying to become a cop, and the two start quarreling, but a man who looks too old to be studying yells at them to be quiet.

They snack on instant noodles from the convenience store outside Jin-sook’s food truck. Jin-sook advises Pil to kill Soo-jin’s fiancé, but the preposterous tip infuriates Pil and reminds him that he has such losers for friends. But Jin-sook counters that she’s a CEO/young entrepreneur because of her juice truck, while Pil expresses his determination to thwart Soo-jin’s imminent wedding.

Jin-sook wonders how Pil will accomplish that, but Seok-tae chimes in that she needn’t worry, since Pil is great at stopping things — like that one time when he fell during a high school relay race and prevented his school from competing in nationals. Haha.

That comment results in a hard smack on the head, courtesy of Pil, and Seok-tae cries in pain as the hot soup spills over his face.

On her rooftop, Jin-sook tends to Seok-tae’s stinging mouth while Pil continues to pout about losing Soo-jin. She offers to call Soo-jin for him so he can profess his love now, but Pil throws a tantrum before leaving, upset that he’s too late and that Soo-jin and Jae-hyun may have already spent their first night together. Seok-tae wonders who Jin-sook will end up marrying, and she burps loudly before stating that it definitely won’t be him.

As Soo-jin examines her wedding photos in her studio, her fiancé Jae-hyun, the “31-year-old neighborhood pharmacist and Pil’s arch nemesis” enters and takes a seat next to her. Soo-jin’s dissatisfied by the photos and wonders why she didn’t smile brightly like he did, but he’s grateful for the photos nonetheless. He notices the broken fan in her room then, and Soo-jin says nonchalantly that she breaks everything she touches.

She apologizes for Pil’s ruckus, but Jae-hyun’s a good sport about it and says he’ll get her out of her strange neighborhood in a week. When he walks out, Soo-jin tries to smile like she did in the photo above her desk. Meanwhile, Jae-hyun receives a call from a “Young-joo” (uh oh!) but ignores it with a frown.

Inside a comic book/DVD rental store, OH DAL-SOO (Lee Sang-yi), the “neighborhood hyung and formerly smart film student who’s merely smart” strums his guitar and sings “City of Stars.” Pil enters and asks him for some advice since he’s seen so many movies: How do people in movies stop weddings? Heh. Dal-soo just tells Pil to snap out of it since movies aren’t reality.

Dal-soo doesn’t understand why Pil didn’t stop Soo-jin earlier, and Pil whines that he didn’t know she was getting married and never received a wedding invitation. He wonders why he never received one, and Dal-soo sighs as he wonders why Pil didn’t know better.

Pil whines and throws another fit, shouting that he knew she was dating someone, but that he never expected her to get married so soon. Ever the wise one, Dal-soo reminds him that even with twelve ships, General Yi Soon-shin never gave up, and recommends that Pil check out the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral, wherein Hugh Grant stopped a wedding, heh.

Dal-soo commends himself for being so cool, and then HONG JUNG-AE (Kim Min-ji) enters and claps for him, but her smile drops when she sees Pil lying on the couch.

The chyron tells us that Jung-ae is “enemies with Pil and has been living and working with Dal-soo for two years.” She hits Pil where it hurts by asking if he received a wedding invitation and mentions that Soo-jin’s husband seemed tall, handsome, and successful.

And before Pil leaves, he informs Dal-soo that in the second grade, Jung-ae shat a big one in the classroom, lol.

Flash back to high school days to Soo-jin’s birthday, which was three days after Pil’s birthday. Pil had prepared the most exciting party for Soo-jin, who waited expectantly at a playground. Pil came up to her while singing “Happy Birthday” and presenting her with a stack of chocopies lit with birthday candles.

On Pil’s cue, Seok-tae and Dal-soo pushed down the detonator to set off firecrackers around the couple, and Soo-jin marveled at the beautiful sight. But Pil narrates that that’s when things went wrong.

Cops had arrived and ordered them to halt, so Seok-tae and Dal-soo made a run for it, but the firecrackers went off again, trapping Soo-jin and Pil. Pil narrates that that day, Soo-jin went to the police station for the first time and that both their parents had to show up. Pil wonders if Soo-jin had already forgotten about that eventful night.

Back in the present, Soo-jin reaches the top of a mountain and marvels at the view, but after setting up her tripod, she discovers that she didn’t bring her camera. She laughs to herself for making such a dumb move and happily answers a call from Jin-sook and Jung-ae, who invite her for drinks at their usual joint.

Soo-jin arrives at the bar, where the server congratulates her on her upcoming marriage. But the server also admits there’s not much to marriage anyway, and wonders why Soo-jin doesn’t enjoy her life a bit more before getting hitched.

Jung-ae informs her friends that Pil asked Dal-soo how to stop Soo-jin’s marriage, and Jin-sook adds that Pil came to her too, so she jokingly suggested that he kill Jae-hyun. Soo-jin isn’t amused by any of this, but when asked why she didn’t invite Pil to her wedding, she’s surprised that he didn’t receive her invitation that she mailed to him, despite living next door.

Jin-sook explains to Jung-ae why Soo-jin felt uncomfortable giving Pil the invitation in-person by using Jung-ae’s ex (named Gu-gil) as an example, concluding that since there’s no solution to Pil, Soo-jin should just stick it out for a week.

Meanwhile, Pil stops by his friend’s billiards/internet store, and this friend has also heard all about Pil’s outburst. YANG GU-GIL is his name, and he’s the kind neighborhood hyung who’s strong, but simple-minded. He understands Pil’s misery since he felt the same way when he lost Jung-ae, and Pil desperately seeks his advice so that he can marry Soo-jin.

Gu-gil is appalled by Pil’s behavior and states that that isn’t how a man should behave, but seeing how desperate Pil is, he concedes that there is one way — and the answer is speed. He remembers that Pil was a fast runner, but that his starts were rubbish, and suggests a shotgun wedding like the celebrities do soon after they consummate their relationship. At this, Pil finally gets fed up with the lousy tips from all his neighborhood friends.

Elsewhere, Seok-tae gets home and cackles at the wedding invitation on his desk that’s addressed to Pil. He tosses it in a drawer filled with other mail addressed to Pil. (Huh? Why?)

Soo-jin is back at her studio photographing objects and is disappointed to see Pil stop by. He asks her how her stock photo business is going, and she says her photos aren’t selling, but Pil had figured that she was making bank when she decided to marry all of a sudden.

Soo-jin asks him what he wants, so he takes her by the shoulders and passionately tells her he loves her before pulling her into a hug… and I knew it! It was all in his mind.

He’s actually hugging himself while muttering her name, HA, and Soo-jin laughs as she snaps photos of his awkward pose. She scolds him for being a drunken mess yesterday and says that she had to assure everyone that he was her friend. Pil asks if they’re friends, and Soo-jin answers that they’re frenemies, though she can’t believe that the son of a postmaster hasn’t even received her wedding invitation in the mail yet.

Pil says he’s busy these days, but Soo-jin says he has to come to her wedding, since he has the most free time out of anyone and is her dearest frenemy. Pil impulsively drinks from the mug on her desk, and Soo-jin freaks out because it’s scalding hot coffee, but he ignores her concern and gulps it down anyway before running out.

Once outside, Pil frantically drinks from the water fountain to soothe his throat. A concerned passerby asks if she should call 911 for him, but he informs her that his ailment can’t be cured, heh. He’s in a frenzied state and is incredulous that he wasted twenty-eight years just by failing to say, “I love you.”

He lets out some steam at the batting cage and goes back and forth between “I can’t let her go” to “I’ll let her go” with every swing. Jin-sook’s suggestion that he profess his love now and the notion that Soo-jin and Jae-hyun may have already spent their first night together flips a switch in Pil suddenly, and it’s enough to send him running and shouting that he’ll never let Soo-jin go.

He sprints with determination in his eyes and runs right past his baffled parents, through the tunnel, and past the manhole from which faint green smoke emanates.

He arrives at Soo-jin’s photo studio, but she’s already left, so he rings the doorbell of her home. He tells her mom that he has something important to share with Soo-jin that can’t be done over the phone, so her mom tells him to call her to find out where she is, an obvious idea that didn’t occur to Pil at the moment, heh.

Pil calls Soo-jin, who’s saved under his phone as “My Precious” a la Lord of the Rings, but her phone is turned off. He immediately assumes the worst and pictures Soo-jin and Jae-hyun in bed together, with Jae-hyun turning over her phone before getting under the covers with her. Pil panics and resumes sprinting, running past all his friends, and the speed of his pace literally blows gusts of air into their faces. They know Pil’s about to wreak some havoc.

Pil finally reaches the pharmacy and offends the bald pharmacist there when he demands to know where the younger pharmacist is, the one who still has all his hair, heh. The bald pharmacist says that Jae-hyun left work already, and when Pil spots condoms on the counter, he panics even more and urges the bald man to quickly give him Jae-hyun’s phone number.

Pil calls Jae-hyun, but these calls also go unanswered, so he imagines Jae-hyun and Soo-jin in bed again — only this time, Jae-hyun flips his phone over too.

He barges into numerous motels to see if the owners have seen Soo-jin, but he keeps getting forcibly dragged out from every one.

After dashing around like a madman, he finally slows down without having found Soo-jin. He steps on a hose that sprays him, and he can’t help but laugh at his misfortune. He walks past Jin-sook as she’s packing her truck up for the day, and she wonders if he fell in a manhole given his smelly and drenched state.

Pil walks away in a daze, but happens upon a “multi-entertainment space” where he spots Soo-jin walking out with Jae-hyun, hand in hand. Pil, assuming that they did the deed, is very upset and demands to know why they had to do it at such a cheap venue when he would’ve taken out a loan to take Soo-jin to a four or five star hotel.

Soo-jin and Jae-hyun don’t understand Pil’s babbling and urge him to stop crying and speak clearly, but Pil is beside himself and wails that Soo-jin’s always gone when he has something important to tell her. Pil calls Jae-hyun “cheap like the multi-entertainment space,” and next thing we know, Pil is at Jin-sook’s rooftop, lying down with his eyes closed as his friends watch over him.

When he comes to, Dal-soo informs him that he fainted after fighting with the pharmacist, and that Gu-gil carried him here. He wonders how Pil could faint after just one punch (hahaha) and adds that Jae-hyun even provided medicine for him.

Pil sits up and finds Soo-jin off to the side, arguing with Jae-hyun on the phone because he hit her friend. While his friends drink and suggest revenge against Jae-hyun, Pil is concerned about Soo-jin and approaches her.

He suggests they go home since he always gets blamed when she gets home late, so they proceed to walk together.

Soo-jin hands Pil a wedding invitation, and he stares at it for a beat since it’s addressed to “my dear friend Bong Pil.” She asks him to divulge what he had to tell her in-person that was so important, but he hems and haws while she patiently waits.

He manages to say, “Whenever I see you—…” and Soo-jin waits for him to continue, but he struggles and sputters that he really needs to pee, haha. He clarifies that seeing her doesn’t make him pee, but that he needs to pee in this very moment because he didn’t have a chance to pee after running around all day today. Just dig that grave deeper, Pil.

He nervously excuses himself and tells a speechless Soo-jin that he’ll be right back.

Pil descends a series of steps and opens the wedding invitation while standing by the manhole. He crumples it and shouts his regret that there’s so much he wants to say to her, but he doesn’t know where to begin because “I love you” doesn’t suffice, and he worries that professing his love to her won’t make a difference now. Meanwhile, Soo-jin waits around for Pil to return.

Suddenly, the lamp above Pil starts to flicker, and green smoke circles the manhole. Soo-jin descends the steps to see what’s taking Pil so long, but Pil is no longer where we saw him. She looks around and calls his name, but he’s nowhere to be seen.

That’s because Pil is sliding down what appears to be a never-ending waterslide, hahaha. I guess someone fell down the magical manhole!

Above ground, Soo-jin finds his wedding invitation on the ground and is incredulous that he ditched her. After she storms off, the manhole lid rises to burp. Yes, you read that correctly.

We find ourselves inside a high school classroom, where a teacher instructs his students to recite phrases in German. Sitting in the back and fast asleep is Pil, and high school Soo-jin sits in front of him.

Pil scrambles awake after the teacher angrily chucks chalk at him, and he unthinkingly identifies the teacher as “Gestapo.” Oh boy. All the students’ jaws drop at his brazenness, and the teacher flings the blackboard eraser at Pil, but Pil catches it.

That’s when he finally notices Soo-jin in front of him, as well as Jin-sook and Seok-tae, who are also in the classroom. He is beyond confused and wonders why they’re all here in their school uniforms, haha.

The German teacher (who’s never been to Germany) strides toward him with a plastic pipe in hand, and Pil explains that he probably caught the blackboard eraser because he’s gotten hit before and somehow expected it. Pil is still unclear on where he is and why, but the teacher says this classroom will now be hell for him and screams the word “idiot” in German. “What is this horrible déjà vu?” Pil wonders.

Epilogue. Four aliens traveling in a capsule are in Seoul, but find the city too stifling. They float over to Pil and Soo-jin’s homes instead, which we saw in the beginning. Through their capsule they see Pil and giggle at how unattractive and pathetic he looks, hah.

 
COMMENTS

The humor of Manhole isn’t highbrow by any means, but it still works (for now at least) because of a solid cast that’s really owning their characters’ quirks and varying shades of slackerdom. Jaejoong nailed the adult tantrum more than once, and it’s pretty amusing to see him express his misery so uninhibitedly. Pil was presented to us in all his pathetic glory, so I don’t immediately see what Soo-jin is missing by marrying Jae-hyun, who seems perfect on paper (but may have a lingering ex-girlfriend!), but I’m willing to give Pil a chance and hopefully see more glimpses of the sweet boyfriend who once planned a birthday surprise involving firecrackers.

I really like how cool and levelheaded Soo-jin is. She’s known Pil all her life and patiently gave him the chance to spill, and even though he was unable to speak up (in part due to an unforeseen magical manhole), she never rushed him or dismissed his intentions, which is a testament to their strong friendship. She still values Pil as a friend, and it’s clear she’s not one to abandon her friendships simply because she’s about to get married. She strikes me as a very reasonable and genuine woman, and I have zero qualms about that!

The zany editing of this show really adds to the humor and quickens the pace. I liked the cheeky narration that succinctly introduced us to all the characters, and I laughed out loud at how ridiculous Pil looked as he traveled down the manhole. The scene was so cartoonish, and Pil’s limbs suddenly turned all squiggly like he was made of white play dough, so it was hard not to laugh. For once, low-budget animation works in the show’s favor. The aliens at the end looked so bizarre with the huge eyes, but for Manhole, the sillier the better, because it seems the show is tightly adhering to its frivolous tone.

I think the manhole will come in handy for Pil, but I, personally, would HATE to repeat high school all over again (*shudders*). However, it’ll be fun to see Pil figure out how the manhole works and try to make sense of the time travel rules. I loved how confused he was back in the high school classroom, and I also loved how confused his friends were by his behavior. I think I would’ve acted exactly like Pil did if I found myself back in high school, though I probably wouldn’t have pointed at and addressed my teacher as “Gestapo.” Jaejoong’s bewilderment and slow realization that he’s no longer in the present was a delight to watch. Never thought I’d write this very sentence, but I’m ready for more sad sack Pil and burping manhole!

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❤❤❤❤❤❤

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I think I already posted enough comments on this site to explain how I feel about this show. I. Don't. Like. Bong Pil.
He is a little bit too much over the top.
However, I'm still giving it a couple of episodes before making a final decision. My love for Jaejoong is still strong.

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Same. He's a bit too over the top cartoonish and I don't much care for his slacker, petulant character. I guess the whole point of the show would be to redeem Pil into someone who takes charge of his life instead of constantly whining about things not going his way. But for now, I don't care enough about his character to stick around for the redemption arc. Which is a shame since I was so looking forward to watching UEE on screen again. But Pil's character just put me off the drama. Might check in later to see if it gets any better.

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Same I am not sure if it's JJ overacting because this is the first time I watched him in something but man...

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Well, he was pretty good in Triangle. I'm not sure if it is the comedy style of the show or his acting. For all we know the director could be shouting "More, more!"

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I'm also not sure if it's the character, the direction or JJ's acting but something's off with the character. I'm still watching this though as I'm a sucker for childhood friends turned lovers stories, with a touch of regret and what-could-have-beens in the middle.

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I think its a combination of all three? A better actor would be able to balance the crazy of the character with little more nuance and suitability. I am comparing this to the first few episodes of Shopping King Louis which also had very zany directing and went for gag/outrageous humor. Different dramas I know, but they give off the same vibe. But the show, as well as Louis' character (who was a spoiled brat) were done in moderation rather than so in your face as this drama is doing.

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Same thoughts. I like Jaejoong so I was looking forward to this drama, specially since this is a different genre from his last drama in KBS that I watched, which was Spy. But Bong Pil isn't making a good impression on me. Too much whining and complaining and throwing tantrums and acting crazy for an opening episode felt too overwhelming and it doesn't amuse me.

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Thank you @chickachunga for the recap.
I liked episode 1 bright cinematography and quirky style.
So far Soo-jin the only grown up in this story. Jin-sook and Seok-tae - these two are quite adorable together (Jin-sook seems totally crazy, I already love her) And Pil... still don't know what to think about him. If i remember correctly in one of Jaejoong's interview, he mentioned the reason he picked this script is because he is going to play more than 10 different roles in this drama. So maybe later i'll find my favorite version of Bong Pil. For now Bong Pil has yet to show any personal quality outside of really liking Soo-jin for a neutral viewer like me to want to root for him.

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♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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Hah, I just saw that @SailorJumun posted similar sentiments.

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You guys are funny!

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I'm partway thru this ep, but I keep thinking I'd rather watch Strongest Deliveryman again instead of finishing. Maybe if make it to the burping manhole it will get better.

Uee's performance actually seems pretty good, but so far she deserves a better show and her character deserves a better guy than that drunk stalker neighbor. Just marry the pharmacist and have him slip the loser some drugs to calm him down.

Also, introduce too many characters too quickly and I lose track and lose interest.

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Well, the pharmacist seemed too good to be true. I was sure they were going to reveal something bad about him soon and it didn't take long at all.

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Sooooo. What a first episode.
Pros:
- It's been a long time since a drama had me laughing so much (his over-the-top outburst at the beginning, only to discover it's only 9 pm... I couldn't stop laughing)
- I love them as a group. They are weird and they seem to love and accept everyone as they are, quirks and everything. In fact, if this were a drama where this crazy group of half-functional adults had to solve mysteries or help the neighborhood, I'd be sold.
- I really like Soo Jin. I'm very intrigued because it seems like she's not that happy about her marriage either. She seemed hesitant when her husband came to her studio, then she looked like she was not telling the whole truth about why she hid the wedding from Pil

Cons:
- I'm really not sure about Pil. I wanted to root for him but at this point it's impossible. There's no way this cowardly man-child can be a match for Soo Jin. It's like they're stuck at different ages (maybe the whole time-travel thing is also a metaphor for how he seems to have stopped growing up at some point)
Maybe, like @dramabeans, I am too old for this type of dramas. Though I don't think a whiny slacker would have been my type at any point =)
- No matter how much I laughed, I didn't feel compelled to watch episode 2. Pil was so hyper for 1 hour, I actually needed a break after 1 episode. I hope the next episodes will give us good reasons to root for him, because even if this is pure fluff, I need to relate to the character, or at least care if they make something of themselves.

Episode rating: Exhausting mixed bag of laughs and eye-rolls.

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I was surprised at how many people there were in the group. I agree that there's a good dynamic getting going there... I'm also on the fence about Pil, but the group dynamic looks like so much fun, I'm willing to hang around for more. (I've already watched the second episode, and there's more of that, which is great! I also found Pil more likeable in the second episode.)

I wish that we'd seen a bit more of the Soo-Jin/Pil back story baseline, since things are going to change. I'd have liked to understand a bit more of her feelings before the time travel started.

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Omggg yes #neighborhoodsquad and they all have different skills. I can see them sitting on the rooftop going through every case and coming up ways to catch the perpetrators. All while arguing the whole time about who the real criminal is

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Low key ship Pil with Jin Sook instead.

Anyway, the tiny aliens kinda crack me up when they said, "This guys looks pathetic" and heard them laughing. I burst into laughter as well. ?

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totally! After there scenes together, I started wondering (hoping!) if the show was planning a long con and Pil would end up with Jin Sook instead. They seem much more suited to each other at this point. I actually like his character when he's with her.

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+1. I think I like their interactions more than Soo-jin's. Also I think it's partly because I am horrified with how UEE looks on this one.

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Same. UEE looks too thin now and it doesn't suit her.

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I remember UEE during her early idol days and she was just so pretty. It feels nostalgic watching both her and Yoona acting in their own dramas until now.

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I think her short hair sort of emphasizes how skinny and small her face has become. Longer hair on her reduces some of the gauntness. I still think shes pretty, though she needs to get a couple of chickens in her.

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The only time I laughed in this episode was when the aliens said Bong Pil looks pathetic and ugly.

Honestly I can't feel UEE and Jaejoong's chemistry. Kinda wish he was paired with Jin Sook instead.

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Thanks, chickachunga! I actually really like this. Silly, over the top, fun. I like Baro the best, so different from his Reply character. I know the ratings weren't great, but I hope they don't change it too much as it goes along like they did for Best Hit.

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Can I join in too? ?

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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Thank you chikachunga for the recap!

I love jaejoong more than I do UEE actually at the moment. Jae Joong is so committed to his tantrums and whining as Pil that he reminds me of a scruffy puppy that alternates between endlessly chasing his tail and whining while staring with its big sad eyes. And yes man-child is so apt! Haha.

I wouldn't want to marry him, and in real life I'd probably want to smack him all the time, but somehow im really enjoying Pil's softer side that occasionally comes through between the his semi-detached-from-reality internal rants and whining.

Probably also because I love unrequited romantic angst, especially when there are time travel hijinks thrown in!

All my thoughts are in my blog but it's for episode 1-2 so beware SPOILERS. And Chikachunga does say it so much better than I ever could.

https://mydramalesslife.wordpress.com/2017/08/12/manhole-feel-so-good-episode-1-2/

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Tis is a RomCom!!! and I just like it- aside from having Jaejoong as my bias! Now adays real life is a bit dramatic for me so I rather sit twice a week for a few hours in front of my tv and have some solo time and LAUGH and ENJOY!!!
For now I kinda ship Pil and Jin-sook!!! "Piljin"!
Manhole Fighting!!!
Jaejoong Fighting!!!
and the rest of the Cast and Staff Fighting!!!

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Oh boy I don't I could do even one day of school again. Not even for my one true love.

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Same here. In this case HIGH SCHOOL. LIKE NO WAY.

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????????

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I like it a lot, I get why some people can't stand with Bong Pil, but for me, his face is too adorable, so it causes me more pity than anything else LOL and I know it will become more interesting as the future continues to change.

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My head still try to grasp the idea to see Jaejoong as such tantrum full loser. Still have hard time to accept. But, this episode made me laughed and frowned at the same time while watching Pil's antics. I can't wait for the drama to move past his silly tantrums. Overall, this drama is entertaining. An extreme change after the heavy and soulful 7DQ.

Thanks for the recap, @chickachunga!

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I don’t want the leads to end up together. I’ll just start there. Eventhough Bong Pil has been in love with her for 28 years it’s not right for him to think that he is entitled to things from her. As well as it’s her life, and he’s a shitty friend for going back intime to ruin her marriage for selfish reasons. But at the same time if Soo Jin had feeling for him all this time she could've said something. I'd rather he end up with Jin Seok.

But boiiiii I haven’t laughed this much since the beginning of the best hit!! The alien scene, the manhole scene, and THE SHOT GUN WEDDING (IM STILL NOT OVER THE HAND MOTION. it reminded me of the "??" emoji combo). This show is my new crack and I'm addicted

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<Eventhough Bong Pil has been in love with her for 28 years it’s not right for him to think that he is entitled to things from her. As well as it’s her life, and he’s a shitty friend for going back intime to ruin her marriage for selfish reasons. But at the same time if Soo Jin had feeling for him all this time she could've said something.

That's why I can't even start watching this drama and just read the recaps if it was going to be anything other than what I thought it might be... And, if Soo Jin also has a perfect fiancé who, as some are suggesting, has some unknown dark stain, that makes it even less appealing (I hate it when they need to make someone bad so that someone else looks better).

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The first episode was very dragging. I love how Bong Pil was so noisy and so desperate but the pace is very very slow. I feel that Bong Pil was so fast but the other characters was sssooo slow. Bong Pil do a lot of talking and moving.
And I'm distracted by Soo-jin and Jae-hyun appearance. Uee is too skinny and I dislike how she loves to lift-and-bend her skeleton arms over her head. It's not a good view, I always cringe, afraid that those arms would be broken. And her looks with those skinny jaw in long hair was really unpretty. She looks like a forty y.o. girl.
And, I can't get rid of Jae-hyun's cast sadistic face in Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, his face doesn't look like a kind-hearted BF.
I hope this drama will do great in the next episodes. I sincerely hope even when I was almost fall asleep when watching its first ep.

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UEE is distressingly thin. It looks painful and I'm worried for her. I really liked her in Marriage Contract, but so far not enjoying her in Manhole at all. I've never seen Jaejoong in anything... but I do appreciate that he's willing to go all-out on the comedy.

So far my favorite character is Jin Seok - which is crazy cause I found the actress nails-on-chalkboard annoying in Oh My Venus as the CF queen starlet.

UEE, please get healthy!

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IKR, I feel so bad for her, girl looked amazing on YAB, and then on marriage contract. Wonder what happened and why she had to force herself to lose weight so drastically. Makes her look awfully thin and I get the skeleton vibe too. It's uncomfortable to watch her on screen now. Being healthy and fit is the best thing to do, but I feel her case is anorexia and that skeleton face isn't pretty, whatever that skinny culture in Korea is about.

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I'm really enjoying this show. I love the quirky humor and the magical-alien lightning bugs :) I believe that with each venture down the manhole, Pil will slowly begin to grow and mature as a person.

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The story was too jarring. My head hurt from all the tantrums bong pil kept throwing. And too many characters introduced within too short time, so I have to blame the story and the editing for this. Plus the fact that the story looks like almost an over hyped version of proposal daykusen, and I'm not sure I like the lead guy here. I dont feel like rooting for him at all. :/

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*daisakusen

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I love it. I love that Pil is a complete loser, it is incredibly refreshing. He can only go up from his loserdom and I can't wait to see his growth.

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How is it different from the Jdrama Proposal Daisakusen???

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Obviously except for the manhole.

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Yeah and it's upsetting that they didn't even give the drama any credit. At least could have said, inspired from the jdrama.

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I know, right? It's hard to unsee the similarities. I couldn't get myself to try this drama because of that.

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thanks to Manhole my life is not the same anymore. now whenever I walk on the street and saw manholes, I will take a look at them afraid they will burp too. :'D

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Oh that also makes me wonder, how come bong pil is so cleann after being in gutter [like literally] and such a long one too :D. Eww...I would be concerned about hygiene if I was him.

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I actually liked the first episode. Enough for me to consider watching this wacky show until next week. I sometimes couldn't stand Pil whining though. But I guess that adds to the wackiness of all this, and that's what the showing is really going for :)

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Why is Pil literally and metaphorically smoking?

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What on earth possessed KBS to cast these two idols as lead?

And I haven't seen UEE for a while but what the hell happened to her? She used to be so pretty and vibrant back in her After School days! Now she looks like she's struggling to stay upright and her bones will shatter if she falls over. She is disturbingly skinny and whatever plastic surgery she's had seems to have robbed her of the ability to convincingly portray emotions. She is just not appealing as the leading lady and has no charisma or presence on the screen. It's unbelievable that Bong Pil would have been hung up on her all these years.

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Gah, the burp! Am cracking up so much, love it when a show is unabashedly wacky ^^
Am still in askance at wasting 28 years in pining, but it's Jaejoong, so will be sticking with Pil for now. This time, am not going to even think about the time-travel mechanism and just enjoy the ride right from the start.

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Thank you for the superb recap!
Now come to think of it, the acting really is one of the strongest point of the show, as I've already come to view Bong Pil & co as a group of weirdo friends who may really exist in an alternative universe, that's how natural their acting has been!

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Jaejoong is a little over the top, but it's not what's bothering me. The thing is, I'm not rooting for him at all! Am I supposed to believe that this slacking loser, who didn't have courage to come clean about his feelings for 28(!) years, deserves the girl of his dreams? I hope there will be some serious repenting and then change for the better, because for now, I think she's much better off with a murderous pharmacist (I love that this actor is getting some recognition, he was so good in Bong-soon).

I will give it a shot, because I really like most of the cast (Jung Hye-sung is great here), but I'm not sure I'll stick around. We shall see...

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For me the problem was, it almost felt like a musical, where the lead kept travelling from one scene to the next. It was so hard to focus at all on any scene.And because I have seen proposal daisakusen, I feel like I have already watched this drama.

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❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

chickachunga, thank you for the recap. Ep.2 settled down a bit, looking forward to Ep3. I like the characters.

Of course, Jin Sook seems like a better match than Soo-jin, as we pop back and forth between time frames, it will be interesting to see their interactions. Perhaps she is a better match, I would be surprised if second lead girl gets the lead guy*.

* Has such madness ever occured in the dramaverse?

As angst filled as high school was for me, ?, if I did return, I'd be a bit crazy too, frantically trying to make that hell known as high school better. I certainly couldn't make it worse, lol.

Is Seok-Tae a anti-friend ? Uee does look stick thin in some scenes.

I'm going to stay with it and enjoy the ride.

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It's really nice to see Jang Mi Kwan as a normal man, not a psycho. And I really like that I can enjoy his acting (and his handsome face, and his tall body) without scary thoughts.

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I give this drama a try because of Jaejoong. I must say I don't like it. The comedy feels slapstick and forgive me Jaejoong but he is really OTT and trying too hard to be funny. And UEE, I just find her lacking the screen presence. I will give it another episode before deciding to stay or to drop it.

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the main character was too cringy to watch, I couldnt finish the episode...

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Why UEE looks different ??? I like the previous UEE ... now looks strange ... face sharp & long

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