20th Century Boy and Girl: Episodes 9-10
It’s really great how Jin-jin and Ji-won have picked their friendship up right where they left off, as if seventeen years haven’t gone by in the meantime. They’re so comfortable with each other in-between attacks of acute awareness on a romantic level, which is exactly the way they were as teenagers. Anthony seems like a nice guy and all, but idol or not, I’m starting to think he doesn’t have a chance.
EPISODE 9: “Everybody has secrets”
Jin-jin is unaware that her team is setting her up when they take her to the same Subway where she used to wait, hoping for a glimpse of Anthony. She remembers whining to her fellow fangirls that she’s never seen him, so she’s extra shocked to look up and see him standing just outside the window.
Outside, the We Got Married PD has been laying in wait with his entire crew, and they rush in to get Jin-jin and Anthony’s first glimpses of each other on film. Even the customers in the restaurant are all crew members, and the show draws a crowd of curious onlookers.
Once Jin-jin is told what’s happening, they’re given their first mission: to think up a couple nickname. Jin-jin leaps up to offers Anthony something to drink, then realizes how weird she looks and sits back down, telling herself to be cool. She breezily says to Anthony that they should take some time to think of a nickname, then gets the nervous hiccups, hee.
It’s dark and raining by the time filming is over for the day, and the PD tells them to have a drink together and get to know one another. Anthony offers to walk Jin-jin to her car under his umbrella, but he ruins her fantasy moment by handing it to her to take a call.
He absentmindedly wanders a few steps away, making Jin-jin strain to hold the umbrella over him and getting soaked in the process. Finally road manager Hong-hee shows up with an umbrella for Jin-jin, and Anthony watches her go with an unreadable expression on his face.
We see some of the footage of Jin-jin’s first interview, when she was asked about her first impression of Anthony, though she was too zoned out to answer. Anthony’s answer to the same question sounds scripted as he says that he’s seen most of Jin-jin’s work, but he looks uncomfortable when he’s told that Jin-jin is a longtime fan of his.
Jin-jin’s friends can tell something is up by the cat-that-ate-the-cream smirk on her face that evening. She manages to hold out until a vicious a tickle attack has her spilling the beans. Ah-reum says it’s all fake, but Young-shim makes Jin-jin squee happily when she says that you never know what could happen.
While winding down from the day in Jin-jin’s room, Ji-won finds her old Boys Be Ambitious scrapbook and flips through it nostalgically. He’d been with her when she’d pasted pictures in it, and he’d picked up one photo of a pregnant woman standing by the ocean.
Jin-jin had snatched the photo away, calling the woman “Mother” and explaining that this is the only photo that Anthony has of him with his mother, because she died giving birth to him. Awww, that’s so sad.
Ji-won talks to Anthony on the phone, declining his invitation to stay with him while his apartment is repaired after the boiler explosion. Jin-jin comes home and assumes that the guy in her room is her brother Min-ho, and she smacks Ji-won upside the head, hard.
She’s startled to see Ji-won in her old room, and she apologizes as he hangs up on Anthony. She shows Ji-won a staircase that apparently leads up to her apartment, then starts to ask about his wife. But Min-ho steals Ji-won away to play video games, so Ji-won tells Jin-jin that they’ll talk when they have more time.
The following morning, over breakfast, Ji-won is highly amused by Jin-jin’s messy hair and astonishing ability to shove massive amounts of food in her mouth all at once. Min-ho tries to protect Ji-won’s delicate eyes and fusses at his sister for being an embarrassment. Jin-jin slurs through a mouthful of rice that she and Ji-won are friends, so there’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
Later, Jin-jin group-texts her friends to tell them that Ji-won is staying at her parents’ place. Ah-reum asks about his wife, and when Jin-jin says that he seems to be alone, Ah-reum responds that she needs to get the full story from him.
Jin-jin goes downstairs to fetch Ji-won up to her place, to help her pick a perfume to wear. She says vaguely that there’s someone she has to work closely with, so she needs to know what scents men like.
She has Ji-won sniff a couple of perfumes, one on each wrist, and when she wants to try a third he gestures to his neck. Jin-jin sprays herself and Ji-won leans in to sniff her, but they both become uncomfortably aware of how close their faces are. Ji-won rears back, stammering that he’s late for work.
At some point during the day, Anthony stops by Ji-won’s place to drop off some kimchi from their mother, even though Ji-won reminds Anthony that he doesn’t eat kimchi. Jin-jin is heading out at the same time, but they somehow manage to miss each other in the elevator.
Jin-jin makes it out to her van, where Hong-hee delivers a stack of scripts for her to look over. Jin-jin surprised him with a gift for his parents, which Mi-dal says makes her seem like the older sister in her family, but Jin-jin says that she’s the younger sister. Mi-dal asks why she’s never heard about an older sister, but Jin-jin avoids the question and hops out of the van after Mi-dal pops half an orange into her mouth.
Unfortunately, Jin-jin turns around to see Anthony standing right in front of her, and she struggles to chew and swallow the orange. She can only nod as Anthony asks if she lives here and says that his brother lives here, too. Finally she gives up and scurries inside, dropping the scripts on the way because the moment wasn’t quite embarrassing enough already.
Ah-reum is with her former crush Dong-hoon and his now-girlfriend Ji-hye, pretending that she knew they’d get together all along. Ji-hye apologizes for not telling Ah-reum about their relationship sooner, though Ah-reum vehemently denies ever liking Dong-hoon.
But that evening Ah-reum is by the riverside, drinking alone and sobbing loudly every time she sees a happy couple walk by. She ends up calling her old schoolmate, doctor Woo-sung, to come get her. He piggybacks her home, which quickly becomes a regular thing — him piggybacking Ah-reum while she flails drunkenly on his back.
A package is delivered to Jin-jin that’s meant for Ji-won, and she snarls at the return address which says it’s from “your vitamin” thinking it’s from his wife. She’s not there when Ji-won opens it to find a box of chocolates from his little sister and a note saying that she’s coming to Seoul soon.
Min-ho is there, and he mutters that Jin-jin was all upset because she thought it was from his wife. Ji-won is stunned, and he finally realizes that Jin-jin’s recent snarky attitude is because she thinks he’s married.
Jin-jin comes to get Ji-won for a talk, where she launches into a quick history of the Four Bongos. She points out that they’ve been friends nearly since birth, and that even though he was gone for seventeen years, it’s not at all strange for them to hang out and drink together.
Ji-won listens indulgently until Jin-jin says that his wife has no reason to be worried, at which point he steps in front of her. He asks who told her he was married, effectively shutting her up.
Once she’s quiet, Ji-won reaches over to pull Jin-jin’s hoodie over her head. He leans in very close to say softly, “I’m not married.” He pulls her hoodie tight around her face, gives her a look that clearly says You get my drift?, and Jin-jin nods her understanding. As Ji-won walks away, both of them break into huge, happy grins.
They meet up with Young-shim and Ah-reum, who are surprised to learn that Ji-won isn’t married, though he admits that he almost got married once. Ah-reum prevents Young-shim from asking any questions, saying that they should let the past be the past.
The girls tell Ji-won that none of them have ever dated, nor do they have boyfriends now. He reciprocates, saying that he’s also not currently dating anyone, and he and Jin-jin share an adorable little high-five.
Ah-reum decides to really clear the air, ordering Ji-won to choose which one of them he wants to date. Young-shim and Ah-reum both experience hilarious fantasies of Ji-won choosing them, which are so funny, you just have to see them for yourself.
Even Jin-jin fantasizes that Ji-won places her hand on his chest and declares that he’s missed her. But the reality is even better — Ji-won just says like it’s no big deal, “It’s Jin-jin. She’s my first love.”
Ah-reum hilariously accuses Ji-won of being after Jin-jin’s money, making them all crack up. Jin-jin finally asks where Ji-won disappeared to all those years ago, and he seems surprised, sure that he told them.
It’s pouring rain outside when they split up to head home, and Ji-won and Jin-jin are in no hurry as they walk together under Ji-won’s umbrella. Jin-jin asks Ji-won about his family, guessing that his sister must be cute. Ji-won says that she is, but he flusters Jin-jin when he says that she was cute too when she was his sister’s age.
We see scenes of them as teenagers, both of them equally adorable. Ji-won asks Jin-jin why they broke up back then, but Jin-jin refuses to tell him if he doesn’t remember. They continue their walk home, bickering and joking like the lifelong friends they are.
EPISODE 10 RECAP
On their walk home, Young-shim and Ah-reum discuss Ji-won’s confession that Jin-jin is his first love. They wonder how long Jin-jin will keep it a secret that she and Ji-won dated, and Ah-reum sneers that they only dated for three whole days. Seriously? LOL.
Jin-jin wakes the next morning in a fantastic mood, and she spends a ridiculously long time picking an outfit to wear to breakfast. Ji-won also primps, and the way he looks at Jin-jin when she comes in for breakfast kills me dead.
Mom made Ji-won’s favorite meal, tonkatsu (pork cutlet), and she teases him for still eating like he did when he was a kid. She talks about what a nice man his father was, and says that he’ll be a great husband if he’s just half as good as his dad.
She asks if Ji-won is seeing anyone, but it’s Jin-jin who answers that he’s not, ha. Mom asks why she looks so happy about it, accusing her of being glad that she’s not the only one who isn’t dating. Ji-won’s facial expressions as he listens to them discuss his dating life (or lack thereof) are priceless.
Mom urges them both to try harder to find a partner, telling Ji-won that he doesn’t have to go far to find his life’s companion. Again Jin-jin pipes up, “That’s right!” Hee.
They head out together, and Ji-won asks Jin-jin to drive him to work, pumping a fist when she agrees. He drives her car while she peels an orange and feeds him bites. He asks what she’s working on lately and she says it’s a secret, only revealing that it’s something shocking.
Jin-jin drops him off, but she calls him back to the car with a cute little wave. She reaches up to fix his tie, and the intimate gesture, combined with the way she’s looking up at him, pretty much rocks Ji-won’s world.
Anthony spends his morning in an audition for a show with the ridiculous title My Wife’s Ghost Marriage. Afterward, his manager apologizes, asking him to see it as a favor to the producer, who wanted him to audition. She promises that after We Got Married, he’ll be so in demand as Jin-jin’s husband that he won’t have to go to embarrassing auditions anymore.
But Anthony says that he doesn’t want to get better roles just because he’s on a TV show, and he asks her not to get greedy. He spots Jin-jin down the hall and ducks into the stairwell to avoid her.
His manager follows, angrily telling Anthony that he won’t always be an idol star, and that he can either be greedy or act cool in front of his fans, but not both. Anthony just says, “What can I do? I’m Anthony.”
At her office, Young-shim watches as the cleaning ajumma kisses up to her boss, Kyung-seok, then turns to yell at Young-shim for stirring her coffee with the package. The cleaning ajumma gets a call, cutting off her tirade, and Young-shim shoots annoyed glares at her as she heads back to her desk.
But she and Kyung-seok both grow serious when the call turns out to be about the cleaning ajumma’s grandson, who’s gotten into trouble for property damage. Kyung-seok offers to do what he can to help, though the boy’s situation sounds dire.
Ah-reum grows increasingly annoyed when her entire team of stewardesses desert her after a flight to spend time with their boyfriends. Ji-hye offers to stay with her, with Dong-hoon too, of course, but Ah-reum says she has plans. She ends up back at the river with her ever-faithful beer.
At the same time, Woo-sung is horrified when his cellist girlfriend gives him a cake in his car, then starts eating cookies, tossing crumbs everywhere. She steps out to get a drink and he starts frantically cleaning his precious car.
He gets another drunken call from Ah-reum, and when his date returns, he pretends there’s an awesome movie theater at the river and takes her there. His date spots Ah-reum first, staggering between the walking couples to break them apart, hee.
She doesn’t expect Woo-sung to know the drunk woman, or to piggyback her while she’s stuck carrying Ah-reum’s things. Ah-reum is just with-it enough to figure out that Woo-sung is on a date, and she starts chanting, “Get married! Get married!” from atop his back.
She starts feeling sick in his car, and threatens to barf. Woo-sung freaks out, forbidding her to throw up in his car, so she just leans out the window and lets fly. Ewww.
In the elevator that night, Ji-won tells Jin-jin that he wants her to meet his brother. He jokes that she’ll probably faint, and when she asks if his brother is that handsome, he just says she’ll see for herself.
Anthony meets up with their little sister Ha-ram when she comes to town, and she frowns at a poster of Jin-jin and complains that her oppa likes fox-like women. She blurts out that Jin-jin is the ideal type of her favorite boy band, grumping that she hates Jin-jin for that.
When Ji-won joins them, Ha-ram insists they go to a certain restaurant even though she hates the food, because it’s owned by the parents of her favorite boy band oppa. Her brothers belatedly realize that the place is jam-packed with teenage girls, ha.
Ha-ram tells them that she’s decided that she wants to work at the band’s management company, squealing when Anthony says that he knows people there. Not to be outdone, Ji-won offers to buy her the puppy she wants, and suddenly the brothers find themselves in a contest to prove which one Ha-ram likes more.
They decide to settle the argument with a competition — whoever wins the most stuffed toys from the claw machine wins. Anthony pretty much wipes the floor with Ji-won, filling Ha-ram’s arms with his winnings, only to have her choose her boy band oppa as her favorite.
It’s Jin-jin’s mom’s birthday, and she’s treated to a huge meal and a little party. Jin-jin gives her an envelope full of money, while Min-ho gives her… a new apron. Whomp whomp.
Anthony and Jin-jin come back together to shoot the next episode of We Got Married, and Anthony seems almost annoyed when Jin-jin holds up the filming because she’s got a piece of candy in her mouth. Their mission this time is to have a wedding and invite their loved ones… gulp.
Anthony gallantly offers to let Jin-jin have whatever kind of wedding she wants, so she says they should invite their friends. The wedding is planned for that very day, and Ah-reum and Young-shim find Jin-jin nearly catatonic with shock.
Anthony can’t find any friends who are free on short notice, and he sighs heavily when his manager offers to call Terius, his old bandmate. Ji-won calls him to suggest a claw machine rematch, but Anthony has a better idea.
Ji-won heads to the wedding, and he calls Anthony again as he’s entering the venue. He’s anxious to know who the bride is, and just as Anthony tells him that it’s Jin-jin, Ji-won spots her across the room, wearing her wedding dress. He seems to think this is a real wedding as he asks Anthony what’s going on, and Anthony says he’s getting married.
Jin-jin also sees Ji-won, and he slowly walks towards her, looking devastated. She starts blabbering about how she wears wedding dresses all the time, listing all of the dramas she’s worn one in (HA, she’s listing actual dramas Han Ye-seul starred in), but Ji-won just stares at her sadly.
Finally he nods and says she looks pretty. Jin-jin thinks her friends called him, but Ji-won says that he’s here for his brother. Anthony comes over to greet Ji-won and, remembering that Anthony said his brother lives in her building, it hits Jin-jin all at once that Anthony, her idol crush of nearly two decades, is Ji-won’s brother.
I felt so bad for Jin-jin, the way she was blindsided by CEO Jang! The poor thing was so shocked on so many levels — both as an actor and as a fan of Anthony’s — yet she’s way too sweet to get angry about it. But then, it’s so fun watching her try to suppress her inner fangirl and not just scream in Anthony’s face just to be near him, hee. On the other hand, it wasn’t fun at all seeing Ji-won realize that Jin-jin is marrying his brother, because he really did seem to think the wedding is for real. But even when he finds out that it’s just a marriage made for television, it still means that Jin-jin is off-limits to him for the foreseeable future. Not only is she “married” in a very public way for all intents and purposes, which would make her dating outside the show a huge scandal, but she’s married to his brother. There’s no way Ji-won won’t feel hurt by the situation.
I really liked the parallels this episode made between Ji-won and Anthony, both in how Jin-jin responds to them and how they regard her. The umbrella scenes were especially telling — when Jin-jin was holding the umbrella, Anthony didn’t even notice that she was getting soaked while trying to keep him dry. But when it was Ji-won she was walking with, he was entirely focused on Jin-jin and making sure she was dry and comfortable at his own expense. The bit with the orange was also very eye-opening, because Jin-jin was mortified when Anthony caught her with food in her mouth, yet she had no qualms stuffing her face in front of Ji-won. There’s a lot to be said for how comfortable you feel, having known a person your whole life.
I can’t quite get a read on Anthony and how he feels about this whole We Got Married thing in general, or Jin-jin in particular. He’s obviously going through with it because it will help his career, yet he says he doesn’t want to get greedy about roles just because he’s going to gain popularity as Jin-jin’s TV husband. And Jin-jin herself seems to make him uncomfortable in some way, which makes me wonder if he already knows that she’s Ji-won’s first love. Surely Ji-won has talked about her at some point in the last seventeen years, particularly since she’s famous? If Anthony is being distant because he knows that his brother has feelings for her then that’s understandable, but otherwise I’m not sure why he’d be so cool towards her, and even go out of his way to avoid her.
In a lot of ways, 20th Century Boy and Girl reminds me of old-school rom-coms, but in one way, it’s very modern—the characters actually talk to each other instead of letting misunderstandings go on for ages. Jin-jin tries to bring up Ji-won’s supposed wife several times, and it wasn’t her fault she kept being interrupted. And as soon as Ji-won understood why she was acting so cool towards him, he told her in no uncertain terms that he’s not married and never has been. He also made sure that all of the Bongos know that Jin-jin is his first love, and he’s made it very clear to Jin-jin, in actions if not in words, that he’s very, very interested in her now.
I love this, not only because we don’t have to suffer through ridiculous misunderstandings for absurdly long periods of time, but also because it moves the story along quicker. When you get issues out of the way in a believably timely fashion, you open the narrative up for new situations, instead of getting stuck on one problem for several weeks at a time. We’re still very early in Ji-won and Jin-jin’s love story, but we’re already on Stumbling Block #3, which makes me excited to see all the wonderful places that the drama plans to take us.
- Premiere Watch: 20th Century, Witch’s Courtroom, This Life Is Our First, Mad Dog, Revenge Club, Go Back Spouses, Package, Black, Revolutionary Love
- Everyone is a kid at heart for 20th Century Boy and Girl
- Finding love at the movies in MBC’s 20th Century Boy and Girl
- A rosy reunion in MBC’s 20th Century Boy and Girl
- Disappearing childhood sweethearts in 20th Century Boy and Girl
- 20th Century Boy and Girl adds Lee Sang-woo as second lead
- Kim Ji-suk, Han Ye-sul confirm lead roles in 20th Century Boy and Girl
- Ryu Hyun-kyung up to join girlfriend trio in No Sex and the City
- Han Ye-seul considers offer to headline No Sex and the City
- MBC lines up fall rom-com No Sex and the City