20th Century Boy and Girl: Episodes 11-12
These two are going to have to stop being so adorable, because I’m not sure my heart can take much more. They’re just so comfortable together, and it really shows in the way they interact when romantic feelings aren’t getting in the way. But those romantic feelings are getting stronger, and with the chemistry sparking between them more frequently with each passing day, it’s only a matter of time before one of them cracks.
EPISODE 11: “My girlfriend’s wedding”
While they wait for Jin-jin and Anthony’s TV wedding to start, Ah-reum outlines for Ji-won how his first love is getting married to his brother. He gives her the stink-eye even though he claims to be fine with it since it’s just a TV show.
But his expression changes as the ceremony starts, and Jin-jin walks down the aisle with Anthony. Ji-won has a hard time even watching them, but he sucks up his discomfort.
After the vows, stylist Mi-dal starts squealing for the groom to kiss the bride, which kicks off a relentless chant of, “Kiss her! Kiss her!” Both Anthony and Jin-jin look uncomfortable, but eventually Anthony caves to the pressure and gives Jin-jin a respectful peck on the cheek. Jin-jin is flustered, which Ji-won definitely notices.
As a cute stunt, the show has Anthony, Ji-won, and a crew member dress up in giant animal costumes, and they challenge Jin-jin to put the wedding ring on the correct groom’s hand. Road manager Hong-hee worries that it’s too difficult, but CEO Jang and Mi-dal have confidence that Jin-jin can do it.
Jin-jin checks out each man’s hand carefully, then choses the pink bear in the middle. In her interview later, she says that she knew it was Anthony’s hand by the black mark he got from playing with a mechanical pencil as a boy. The pink bear is told to remove his mask, which he does… to reveal that it’s Ji-won in the bear suit.
Jin-jin is embarrassed, and Ji-won looks downright shaken to be standing there wearing Jin-jin’s wedding ring. Later, Jin-jin tells the camera that Anthony’s black mark is on his right hand, but she was checking their left hands. She worries that Anthony was upset, and when a crew member tells her that he was smiling, she wonders if it was his happy smile or his embarrassed smile.
After filming is over, Anthony’s manager asks for his wedding ring and offers to hold it for him until the next shoot, since she knows he hates wearing jewelry. But he surprises her by saying that he’ll keep it.
Woo-sung calls Ah-reum to fuss at her for her drunken behavior the previous night. She says very seriously that that person wasn’t the real her, but the alcohol. She apologizes profusely for causing his girlfriend to break up with him, but he whines that it’s his car he’s worried about. LOL.
To make it up to him, Ah-reum offers to set up dates for him until he finds someone he likes. Despite previously begging for setups, he doesn’t seem too enthusiastic about it now, though he eventually agrees.
The show’s PD reminds Jin-jin and Anthony to keep this a secret until the press conference in a week. He says that they still seem too awkward together, and tells them again to have a drink together to loosen up.
Anthony says he has plans tonight, but he does ask for Jin-jin’s number, then he backs down and says he doesn’t want to burden her. She blurts out her number anyway, but she cringes when she recites the last four numbers, which are Anthony’s birthday.
Later, her friends lie that Anthony probably didn’t even notice, then they giggle at the idea that he might text Jin-jin. She argues that he would never, so Ah-reum reminds her that her social position is much higher than his, and yells at her to stop underselling herself.
But Ah-reum is more worried about setting the record straight with Ji-won, especially since he didn’t show up for their nightly fried chicken chat. He’s being driven home by Anthony, the brothers having a very serious argument about who would win in a fight between Mike Tyson and Bruce Lee. Anthony wins the argument when he points out how every part of Bruce Lee is solid muscle, even that part: “Just like me.” PWAHAHA.
When he drops Ji-won off, Anthony asks if Ji-won’s upstairs friend is Jin-jin, and Ji-won confirms it. He confesses that he was planning a surprise meeting since Jin-jin is a longtime fan, and suggests that they still have a meal together soon.
Before leaving, Anthony asks Ji-won if he’s ever thought that Jin-jin is pretty. Ji-won doesn’t exactly answer, and instead scoffs that they’ve been friends since childhood.
He joins the ladies, who pose the question to him again of who he would choose to date now that Jin-jin is “married” and off the table. Ji-won takes the question seriously, giving it a lot of thought before choosing Young-shim “because she’s cute.” Young-shim blushes and Ah-reum blows up, annoyed to be his last choice, hee.
As Ji-won asks Jin-jin walk home, a rider on a scooter barrels down on them. Ji-won whirls Jin-jin out of the way, only just managing to keep them on their feet by throwing a hand out to catch them on a tree trunk. They stay like that for several seconds, shaken by the close proximity.
They walk on, and Jin-jin thanks Ji-won for coming to the wedding. He murmurs that Anthony looked very handsome today, but Jin-jin doesn’t respond, which Ji-won attributes to nerves. But Jin-jin turns on him, asking why he didn’t tell her that Anthony was his brother.
Ji-won shrugs and just says he was going for dramatic effect. He asks if she’s happy now that her dream came true, and when Jin-jin pouts that she is, he sighs that he’s happy if she’s happy. As they walk, their fingers brush, and Jin-jin shrinks away and crosses her arms protectively.
That evening, Anthony nearly leaves his wedding ring in a public bathroom after washing his hands. Jin-jin tosses and turns in bed, alternately staring at her wedding ring on the nightstand and turning her back on it. Downstairs, Ji-won can’t sleep either as he lies in Jin-jin’s childhood bed.
In the morning, Min-ho tries unsuccessfully to wake Jin-jin for breakfast, and on his way out, he notices that her bedroom door handle is loose. He goes downstairs to report that Jin-jin is refusing to come eat, which Mom figures is just her returning to her usual habit of never eating breakfast.
But Jin-jin shows up after all, full of sass and defiantly demanding food. She notices that Ji-won is favoring his left hand, and he says it’s just a workout injury. Jin-jin tells Mom that she’s going to be on We Got Married, and Ji-won assures her parents that it’s not a real marriage.
Mom wants to know who the groom is, and she’s tickled pink to hear that Jin-jin is TV-married to her favorite idol. Dad asks if that’s the stupid-looking one, belatedly realizing that he just insulted Ji-won’s brother, heh.
Mom tells Jin-jin to bring Anthony home like they sometimes do on the show. Jin-jin squeaks that Mom is nuts and that that will never ever happen, and Ji-won can barely hide his pleased expression when Dad says they should only invite home Jin-jin’s real husband.
Undaunted, Mom instead tells Ji-won to bring Anthony for dinner one night as his brother, and he agrees. That earns him a kick under the table from Jin-jin, hee.
In the elevator, Ji-won asks Jin-jin about Anthony’s meal preferences, which she casually rattles off like a true fan before realizing that Ji-won intends to invite Anthony for dinner tonight. She freaks right out because she’s got to work tonight, and I genuinely fear for Ji-won’s safety when he says breezily that she’ll just have to miss dinner.
Jin-jin calls him crazy and starts firing nervous questions at him at top speed (“Why would Oppa come to my house? You told him to come, right? Did you tell him I’ll be home?!”). By the time she starts wondering if there’s time to wallpaper her whole house before dinner, Ji-won is staring at her like she’s gone bananas.
At the office, Young-shim advises the cleaning ajumma to settle her grandson’s fraud case, but it’s a lot of money that the cleaning ajumma doesn’t have. Young-shim tells her that if she can’t settle, then it becomes either a juvenile protection or criminal case, and the cleaning ajumma blows up at her.
She yells that Young-shim is talking over her head, ordering her to speak plainly so she can understand. Young-shim is shocked, and although Kyung-seok witnesses the whole thing, he doesn’t say a word.
Ah-reum’s mom makes a big fuss over pictures of her friend’s new grandson, annoying Ah-reum. Her mother criticizes Ah-reum’s weight, actually grabbing her spare tire (oh no she di’int!) and begging her to lose weight so she can get married and have her own babies. Instead, Ah-reum declares her intent to stay single forever.
On her way to work, she calls Woo-sung to tell him that she’s set him up on a date with a stewardess from Air Force One. When Woo-sung meets his date, she’s very pretty, but he’s scandalized when she eats her pizza with her hands in massive bites.
His next date is a model, and at first, Woo-sung is pleased when she uses her utensils to eat her meal. But she turns out to be a messy eater, so he demands a different date. The next lady eats like a trucker, and Ah-reum sighs at how picky he’s being.
Before the next We Got Married shoot, Anthony calls his manager to tell her that he’s lost his wedding ring. He sits down at a salon to get a haircut, and across the room, Jin-jin ducks around a corner, having heard every word.
EPISODE 12 RECAP
When his manager shows up, Anthony tells her that he lost his ring the night before, and unfortunately, he’d been drinking and doesn’t remember much. Meanwhile, Jin-jin tells Mi-dal, who’s annoyed to hear that Anthony lost his wedding ring. Jin-jin tries to defend him, saying that it’s really just a prop.
Anthony is upset when he learns that his manager has arranged for an “accidental” run-in with Jin-jin at a restaurant, but she tells him to just eat with her since they’re already here. She fibs to Jin-jin that this was all Anthony’s idea, then pretends that she’s been called away, taking Mi-dal and leaving Jin-jin and Anthony alone.
Jin-jin has a mini-internal freakout, wondering if this is supposed to be a date. Conversation is nearly nonexistent as they eat, since all Jin-jin can think to talk about is Anthony’s days as an idol, and he doesn’t seem to want to discuss himself.
When he comes home to Jin-jin’s parents’ place that evening, Ji-won is surprised to find Mom about to have dinner alone. He was expecting Anthony for dinner, and he wonders where everyone is.
Ever the gentleman, Anthony drives Jin-jin home, and the awkward silence in the car is deafening. Jin-jin agonizes over whether to open the car window or not, and Anthony doesn’t help since he just gives one-word answers to her questions. But after he drops her off, Anthony stares after Jin-jin for a long time.
Excited at having had dinner with her oppa, Jin-jin doesn’t even wait for her elevator to arrive before she’s whipping her phone out to text Ah-reum and Young-shim. When the elevator comes, she’s joined by a very drunk man, but suddenly, Anthony shows up to escort her upstairs.
He doesn’t say a word, and just carefully positions himself between Jin-jin and the drunk passenger. The drunk man gets off on his floor, and the remainder of the elevator ride is as silent as the rest of the evening has been, but Jin-jin still grins quietly at Anthony’s gallant gesture.
Jin-jin floats off the elevator and into her parents’ apartment in a daze. Ji-won asks where she’s been so late, and his question snaps her out of it. She gushes at him about her dinner with Anthony, but Ji-won worries that it might cause a scandal if they’re seen in public together before the show is announced.
Having been too nervous to eat, Jin-jin tells Ji-won that she’s starving. He makes ramyun, grinning as she digs into it heartily.
The following day, Young-shim goes to see the cleaning ajumma’s grandson at the juvenile detention center, and we learn that he conned people out of money by pretending to sell phones online. At first he refuses to speak to her, only snapping at her to go away and leave him there.
She tells him that it’s no skin off her nose to leave him, but that his grandmother will feel differently, since they only have each other. She asks if he’s eating and sleeping okay, or if he’s hurt, and her obvious concern gets through to him. He reaches into his pocket and slides her a folded piece of paper.
As she leaves, Young-shim opens the paper and sees that the boy drew her several “coffee coupons.” He’d told her that his grandmother says that she’s nice to her and makes her coffee every day, so he wanted to give her something as thanks. Oh, my heart.
Back at the office, Young-shim takes great pains to explain her grandson’s situation to the cleaning ajumma without using confusing legal terms. She advises her on what to do to get him a lighter sentence and offers to get her some coffee.
When she does, the cleaning ajumma just yells about her messy desk, and Young-shim stifles her frustration and starts cleaning up. Among her papers she finds two pieces of candy, the same candy that the ajumma gives to Kyung-seok every day. (Okay, now I’m really crying.) Out in the hall, Kyung-seok listens in and smiles.
Jin-jin spends her evening at home buying luggage from the home shopping channel. She spots a cockroach on the floor, and when she leans over a footstool to see where it’s going, it pops up right in her face. Eeeek!
Downstairs, Ji-won hears her earsplitting shrieks and runs up to find Jin-jin standing on her bed, clutching her stuffed giraffe. He runs in to help, shutting the door behind him. Uh oh.
Meanwhile, Ah-reum gets a call from the latest stewardess that she’s set up with Woo-sung, who tells her that she’s been called to work a flight and can’t make their date. Woo-sung finds Ah-reum waiting for him at the restaurant in her sweats, instead of the posh date he was expecting.
He fusses at her for not calling him, but she retorts that she felt like a drink, and besides, he’s the one who told her not to drink alone anymore. They relocate to a more humble restaurant, where Woo-sung hilariously refuses to touch anything and wraps his phone in tissue before setting it on the table. He sniffs prissily at the soup Ah-reum orders, but she digs in without a single thought for his delicate nerves.
Ji-won catches Jin-jin’s bug, and because boys never grow up, he pretends to touch her with it just to see her scream. He turns to leave, but the broken door handle has locked him and Jin-jin into her bedroom.
Ji-won wants to jimmy the door open with a credit card, but Jin-jin’s wallet is in the living room, along with her phone. All they can do is scream for help, but nobody can hear them.
Min-ho is working at his convenience store job, and he goes to empty the expired food bin. He sees an advertisement for a contest on a package of dumplings, so he opens the container to find the “golden soy sauce” inside. Wow, what did he win?
Woo-sung waits impatiently while Ah-reum eats, cringing at the way she tears the soup bones apart to suck out the marrow. He can’t stand seeing sauce all over her face, so he grabs a tissue and reaches over to clean her up. Okay, that is officially the most unromantic thing I’ve ever seen.
In Jin-jin’s room, Ji-won gets down the first aid kit so that Jin-jin can bandage his sore wrist. She fusses at him for never going to the doctor when he’s hurt, and he just grins at her when she’s not looking. They find the roll of bandages, which reminds them both of the “bandage master.”
That’s what Jin-jin used to call herself back in school as she bemoaned the fact that her best skill was wrapping bandages. She’d used Ji-won as a practice dummy, timing herself as she wrapped his head. She’d gotten close as she worked, and Ji-won had suddenly realized that his face was right in her chest. Poor kid.
In the present, Ji-won holds out his arm for Jin-jin to bandage. She takes her time, both of them sneaking cute little peeks at each other. When she’s finished, she takes out a pen and writes “Bongos Forever” on the bandage, and Ji-won gives her a happy fist-pump.
Once Ah-reum has licked the soup pot clean, she reaches for a tissue to clean up. Woo-sung grabs her wrist, making her stare wide-eyed at him as he lowers her hand… to press the button to call the waitress.
He smirks at her, saying that he used her hand because there are germs everywhere. Ah-reum points to his sleeve, and when he holds it out, she grabs him and sinks her teeth into his arm. He totally deserved that.
Stuck in Jin-jin’s room for the evening, Ji-won and Jin-jin make the most of the situation, playing games and flipping through magazines together. Ji-won draws a cute little flip-cartoon featuring Jin-jin in a book, making her laugh. They settle in to read, both of them starting to yawn as the hour grows late.
Anthony combs through his closet looking for his wedding ring, checking drawers and clothing pockets to no avail. Then he suddenly remembers something, and he goes to his nightstand to pull out a keepsake box. He finds the wedding ring inside, and he sits on the bed for a long time, staring at the ring.
It’s getting pretty late, and when Ji-won turns to look at Jin-jin again, he finds that she’s fallen asleep on the bed. He pulls the covers up and tucks her in, then sits on the bed next to her.
He tentatively reaches out a hand to touch her face, but he stops himself and pulls his hand away again. He looks at his bandaged arm, where Jin-jin wrote “Bongos Forever!,” and remembers how he pulled her out of the scooter’s path. We see that he actually hurt his wrist when he braced his hand on the tree to keep from dropping Jin-jin.
This love triangle is really interesting to me, because I think I’ve finally figured out Anthony’s purpose in the story. Jin-jin obviously has no real feelings for him beyond her fangirl adoration, which she knows isn’t real love, and her feelings for Ji-won are so obvious it’s almost painful to watch. I think I’ve misjudged Anthony by thinking that his discomfort around Jin-jin is because he doesn’t like her for some reason, but now I believe that he just sees her as a symbol of his own failure to succeed after his idol days.
I think that he originally went on We Got Married to revive his career, but Jin-jin’s openness about being his fan keeps reminding him that he’s an aged idol who hasn’t been able to make a real break into acting, which is what I think is really causing his discomfort around her. I like Anthony, because he seems like a sweet, thoughtful man, especially around his family. But he clams up so hard around Jin-jin, it’s still confusing to try to figure out what’s going on in his head.
He does seem to hold a bit of affection for her, at least to the point that he does things like taking her to her door after their awfully uncomfortable not-a-date, but I don’t think it goes much beyond that (at least not at this point). I don’t think Anthony will be a true rival for Jin-jin’s affections, both because she and Ji-won are already so smitten with each other, and because I think that Anthony’s journey will be more about his own quest for fame. Whether he ends up with a career revival from knowing Jin-jin, or whether he decides that he’d rather do it on his own merits, it’s my feeling that what Anthony will be taking away from his association with Jin-jin will be more about finding himself than finding love.
I feel bad for Ji-won, because he’s in such an awkward position. He probably wants to be jealous of the man who gets to be Jin-jin’s husband, even just for a TV show, but he can’t because that man also happens to be his beloved big brother. It was so evident at breakfast, when he was making grumpy faces while Mom was talking about Jin-jin bringing home her “husband,” yet when she invited Anthony as his brother, he was proud to accept. I just love that about Ji-won, that he won’t let even his love for Jin-jin mar his feelings for his brother, and it’s just another point in Ji-won’s favor, as far as I’m concerned. He will always choose love over any negative emotions, and I love him all the more for that.
For me, the best thing about Jin-jin and Ji-won as a potential couple is how their small moments together mean so much. Rather than needing big, flashy gestures to create a romantic atmosphere, what matters to them are the tiny beats, the normal everyday things they do for each other that can happen with anyone. Wrapping a sore wrist, straightening a tie, catching a bug, even just sitting and reading together—these things aren’t special in and of themselves. What makes those moments important isn’t what’s happening, but who they’re happening with. For Ji-won and Jin-jin, having each other to do those things with means everything.
For a rom-com, this show still manages to get me right in the feels at some point in every episode (and I should point out that the amazing OST has a lot to do with that). Jin-jin and her mom’s fight, Ji-won’s loss of his father at a young age, even Young-shim learning that the ajumma who screams at her every day goes around telling people how kind she is to her. It takes me by surprise every time, but I love that, because the warm fuzzies I get every time someone receives a gesture of love make me feel so unexpectedly happy. In a world where it’s sometimes hard to stay positive about your fellow man, it’s nice to have a reminder that people are still essentially good, and that love is the most precious gift you can give to another person.
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