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Because This Life Is Our First: Episode 5

Every once in a while, special dramas come into your life that not only leave a lasting impression, but also alter how you emotionally connect and interact with Korean dramas. For me, this is one of those dramas. I know it’s a really grand statement, and I know we’re really early in the show, but every week this show brings something new, interesting, and utterly human to its viewers. What’s the level above “obsession?” Because I think that’s where I am right now.

 
Episode 5: “Because this is my first promise”

Ho-rang arrives at a cafe to meet Ji-ho and spots Su-ji already sitting down at one of the tables. They exchange outraged glances before turning away, and Ji-ho finds them sitting back-to-back at the same table waiting for her. Heh.

They complain about being tricked to meet up, until Ji-ho announces that she has something tell them both.

Meanwhile, Se-hee interrupts a meeting to ask how many of his colleagues bet on his sexual orientation during their last outing. Sang-gu clumsily tries to deny that such a bet ever took place, until Se-hee begins taking a count of hands on the various possibilities: gay, straight, or asexual.

Only Bo-mi had chosen straight, so Se-hee congratulates her on winning the bet, before promptly getting up to leave. Sang-gu follows him out and tries to placate Se-hee, assuming he’s lying about his marriage and lashing out because of the bet.

He peppers Se-hee with questions, certain that his marriage is fake, until Se-hee says directly that his bride is pretty—very pretty. This seems to be enough to convince Sang-gu, and he becomes giddy with excitement, then cheers happily about how Se-hee is in love at last.

Back at the cafe, the girls are equally confused by Ji-ho’s announcement. Su-ji is suspicious and starts asking pointed questions about Ji-ho’s relationship timeline, because the math doesn’t add up. The biggest plot hole is how quickly her relationship with Se-hee developed, since Su-ji knows that Ji-ho is not the type to warm to someone so fast.

Ji-ho replies that Se-hee is someone that she “needs” in her life, and the word only makes Su-ji more skeptical, until Ho-rang excitedly chimes in that Ji-ho must’ve fallen in love with Se-hee at first sight, and that’s why they are getting married so quickly.

Ji-ho nervously confirms it, awkwardly calling their meeting fate to convince Su-ji, which causes Ho-rang squeal with glee.

After she leaves, Ji-ho cringes just thinking about her fate comment, and guesses that she must be getting better at acting after writing a few dramas.

On the way to Se-hee’s parent’s house, they exchange accounts on their friends’ reactions to their news. They aren’t totally truthful with one another (Se-hee says that he “took advantage of the nature of male evolutionary psychology,” and Ji-ho says she used a “storytelling method”), but neither presses for more information.

Inside, Ji-ho scans the house for some clues on his parent, and easily pegs Se-hee’s mom as a typical caring mother character, whose main concern is for her son to quickly marry and bring peace back within their family. She categorizes the father as a run-of-the-mill educator character (having been a civics teacher for thirty years), both character types that Ji-ho is very familiar with from writing daily dramas.

She starts to think about how easy handling Se-hee’s parents will be, but her thoughts are cut short when Se-hee’s father grumpily enters the house before walking right by the new couple. He registers their presence just as he reaches his bedroom door, then turns to look at Ji-ho fiercely, and Ji-ho whimpers internally.

They sit down for dinner, and Mom comments on her misunderstanding that Ji-ho was Se-hee’s tenant, so Ji-ho apologizes and says that she was too flustered at the time to tell Mom the “truth.”

Mom is understanding, but remarks that it would have been nice for the man in the relationship to clear things up—alas, Mom states, the men in her family are on the shy side. She does note that shy men are the type to take care of a woman wordlessly—the tsundere type. LOL!

Ji-ho remarks that a lot of men from Namhae are the same, so she’s familiar, and Mom makes kind of a backhanded compliment about it being rare for people from Namhae to go to Seoul National University.

Dad cuts to the chase and bluntly asks Ji-ho why she wants to get married. Dad points out that that since she was a writer, she must’ve been passionate about her career, so he wants to know why she would quit her job and rush to get married so suddenly.

Se-hee shoots back hotly at Dad’s invasive questions, and Ji-ho gathers herself to provide an explanation, however, when she refers to Se-hee very politely (and distantly), Dad zeroes in on it, which causes Se-hee to asks sarcastically if this is some kind of interview.

It looks like a fight is imminent, so thinking quickly, Ji-ho employs some aegyo (calling Se-hee “Oppa”) and says that she loves Se-hee, complete with some finger hearts.

The next day, Se-hee receives a text from Mom gushing about his lovey-dovey new romance. Se-hee only sighs and discusses the meeting with Ji-ho. Ji-ho mentions how nervous she was, and so Se-hee asks how she could have said that when she was so nervous.

He doesn’t have to say the phrase again for her to remember it, and he asks if she’s so good with bold lines because she writes dramas.

Ji-ho chokes on her bite after hearing him repeat her words, but then explains that his father seems like the straightforward type, and seemed to be waiting for her to say those exact words.

Se-hee replies offhandedly that the phrase “I love you” is something really easy to say, which surprises her, but she doesn’t say anything. They agree that the next step in their marriage ruse is to have the in-laws formally meet, and then they should be set.

After Se-hee leaves, Ji-ho looks at her group chat with Ho-rang and Su-ji, where she had asked if people are free for dinner. Su-ji replied that she can’t because of work, and Ho-rang notably never replied, which sends a worried look across Ji-ho’s face.

We cut to the two friends enjoying some drinks on Ho-rang’s rooftop, where they’re lounging around (and definitely not busy working).

Ho-rang looks and sounds a bit delirious, but when Ho-rang asks if she’s crazier than Ji-ho, Su-ji replies, “No.” LOL. Ji-ho texts Su-ji right then to ask if Ho-rang is okay, which Ho-rang immediately guesses (knowing Ji-ho’s personality so well), and in turn she asks Su-ji if she seemed jealous during Ji-ho’s announcement.

Su-ji smiles and says “just a little bit.” (Aww, I just love these girls.) Ho-rang finally texts Ji-ho to advise her on which dress to wear to meet Se-hee’s parents, which breaks the ice, and Ji-ho texts back with an apology for suddenly getting married now.

Ho-rang replies that Ji-ho can feel sorry only for today, but then remarks aloud to Su-ji that Ji-ho shouldn’t feel sorry at all, since it isn’t like she’s marrying Won-seok.

She suddenly starts getting excited for Ji-ho and begins asking Su-ji questions about what she knows about Se-hee (which isn’t much). Su-ji suggests they asks Won-seok when he comes back, but notes Ho-rang’s dour expression and realizes that they’re still fighting. Ho-rang states gloomily that Won-seok hasn’t come home in five days…

Turns out, Won-seok has been spending his time drowning himself in soju, and forcing Sang-gu to hang out with him. On this day, Sang-gu attempts to draw the line, and persuade Won-seok to go home, which naturally leads them to discuss Sofagate for what appears to be the umpteenth time.

Sang-gu racks his brain for something he misread about Ho-rang, while Won-seok seems ready to throw it all away.

At the same time, Ho-rang briefs Su-ji on her side of the argument, and Su-ji is incredulous that Won-seok would dimly conclude that she actually wanted a sofa. She chalks it up to his innocent personality.

Su-ji suggests Ho-rang just be upfront with Won-seok on what she really wants, but Ho-rang refuses because she doesn’t want to seem desperate.

Sang-gu actually hits the mark and mentions wanting a marriage proposal to Won-seok as a possible reason, but Won-seok argues derisively that Ho-rang isn’t like other girls. He lists all the ways Ho-rang went out of her way to curry favor with Won-seok’s professor while he was in school in order to help him with his career, and how she understands what an “important phase” he’s going through right now. Siiigh, this guy.

Sang-gu accepts Won-seok’s conclusion, and then has an epiphany: He tells Won-seok that Ho-rang is probably mad because he bought her the display sofa instead of a brand new one, and Won-seok is immediately convinced that they’ve solved the mystery.

That night, Ji-ho calls her mother to talk about the upcoming meeting of the in-laws, but instead, Mom just gives the phone to Dad before letting Ji-ho speak. Ji-ho comes out of her room as she ends her call with her Dad and tells Se-hee that she informed her parents about their no-wedding plan, and her Dad was okay with it.

Likewise, Se-hee says that he informed his parents of their plan, and received no pushback.

After a beat, Se-hee asks specifically how Ji-ho’s mother handled the no-wedding news; he explains that he can’t recall her mother having any kind of reaction before. Ji-ho thinks for a moment, surprised by the question, then says dismissively that since her family is so patriarchal, her mom usually doesn’t have an opinion. Oh Ji-ho.

She piggybacks on Se-hee’s question and asks specifically about his father’s reaction, since he too hasn’t said much for or against. Similarly, Se-hee becomes dismissive of his father’s opinion and says that he isn’t interested.

In her room, Ji-ho looks through her family chat room and realizes that her mother never really replies.

She texts Mom to ask if she’s sleeping, and Mom replies curtly that she is, which makes Ji-ho annoyed, since clearly, she isn’t. She then wonders if Mom is angry about something before going to bed.

The next day, the in-laws meet, and initially Se-hee’s mother and Ji-ho’s father dominate the conversation, expressing support and compliments for each other’s child. Se-hee’s mother mentions to Ji-ho’s mom how impressive Ji-ho is to go to Seoul National University when she’s from the countryside, and also how polite, innocent, and kind Ji-ho is.

Things become awkward when Mom snaps back that Ji-ho is just like everyone else, and at times can be immature and selfish like others her age. The mood becomes tense, but since everyone is desperate to get along, they seem to move on.

Ji-ho finds Se-hee outside settling the check, and when she offers to split it, Se-hee politely refuses since he calculates that her parents had to pay for extra transportation fee, and spent time traveling a long distance. Swoon. Fairly dividing the true cost of a meal was never so romantic.

They walk together back to their table, and Ji-ho comments on how much easier the process of getting married is than she had thought. She admits that she was afraid her family wouldn’t give their consent, so Se-hee replies that they probably did because they really do suit each other.

He points out that he has a house (though on loan), and she’s from a good university, but doesn’t have a job. He explains that his dad is an educator so of course he wants someone well-educated, but doesn’t necessarily want to look up to his daughter-in-law, so Ji-ho’s circumstance satisfies his hypocritical needs. She’s glad it worked out that way, and they head back.

Outside the door, they overhear Ji-ho’s mother firmly state that she wants the kids to have a wedding. Se-hee’s mother starts to defend the children’s decision, but her husband cuts in to agree with Ji-ho’s mother.

Afterward, Ji-ho and Se-hee go separately with their families to try and convince the opposing parent to give up on the idea of a wedding.

Mom won’t budge even under Dad’s pressure, then tells her family that Se-hee’s mother sounded so cocky when she was talking about Ji-ho being so kind and innocent, when she really means that Ji-ho should stay home and raise the children.

Mom storms off, and so Ji-ho follows after her to ask why she’s acting this way, since she has in the past said that weddings are a waste of money. Mom replies that it feels as if Se-hee’s family is looking down on them and wants Ji-ho to be a compliant daughter-in-law that they can control.

Ji-ho calls Mom’s thinking twisted, so Mom asks her the same question that Se-hee’s father asked her earlier in the episode: “Why do you want to get married?”

Ji-ho tries to downplay the powerful truth of that question and protect her lie, so Mom changes her question and asks about Ji-ho’s job as a writer. Ji-ho tells Mom that she quit, which is news to Mom. She begins demanding to know why they paid her college tuition if Ji-ho was just going to give up on her career so soon.

Her question cuts deep and Ji-ho becomes defensive, asking Mom if she expected her to become a famous writer and give Mom money someday. (Oof. Man, this show really just goes for it.) Mom criticizes Ji-ho for being stupid and not greedy enough to ask her in-laws for an expensive bag since she isn’t having a wedding, so Ji-ho hisses back:

“How can I get anything from them when I have nothing to give? What do we have? You can’t even afford a place for me to stay. You should feel guilty about what you are saying now. Writing? That’s what you can do when you have a good background. If you don’t have money, all you do is sleep. You can’t dream of anything.”

Meanwhile at Se-hee’s, things aren’t going much better: His mom is acting as a messenger, delivering barbed remarks from father to son across the living room (but also hilariously and ineffectively translating their words into more diplomatic statements), since they refuse to speak to each other.

Se-hee soon explodes and tells Dad to just be honest and say that he wants a wedding so he can show off his son and well-educated daughter-in-law to their relatives, and get back the money he gave out to other weddings.

He warns Dad to uphold his promise not to threaten Mom with divorce and stay out of his affairs if he got married, but Dad growls back that he won’t acknowledge Se-hee’s marriage without a wedding.

Ji-ho meets up with her girls after her blow-up with Mom. She reasons to them that they don’t have the money for a wedding, and so Su-ji wisely points out that wedding ceremonies aren’t really for the couple getting married—it is for the “investors.” She compares a wedding to a press conference before a drama, which is to draw attention to the show, and hopefully make a profit for the investors.

Su-ji argues that Mom is an investor in Ji-ho’s life, and would probably like to be compensated, but not necessarily with money, maybe just the act of seeing Ji-ho in a wedding dress is enough. Aww, these girls give great advice.

Ji-ho continues to push back that she and Se-hee don’t have the desire or finances to have a wedding, but keeps referring to Se-hee as her “housemate.” Luckily, Su-ji just attributes Ji-ho’s slip-ups as some kinky role-playing the couple does in the bedroom. Hahaha! Please no, omg.

Se-hee is also getting a drink with Sang-gu, who tries to convince Se-hee to go through with the wedding. Sang-gu describes a wedding as a strange event where people get excited to pay for their own meals, resulting in Se-hee’s benefit after they collect all the money gifts.

Se-hee refuses to be used as a tool to help his parents cash-in, and so Sang-gu sagely asks if Se-hee is willing put up with a lifetime of nagging, or lose two hours of his life and live peacefully for the rest. He finally makes the most compelling argument and calculates a very low-cost estimate for the shindig by using their acquaintances and trimming non-essential items, which has Se-hee seriously reconsidering.

Sang-gu recommends asking “him” for some help, and points to Won-seok passed out next to them. He identifies Won-seok as the friend who introduced him to Ji-ho.

Ji-ho and Se-hee return home after to report their failures and regroup. It seems like their conversations with their respective friends really helped, because they both simultaneously suggest having a wedding after all.

Later, at another company-wide meeting, Sang-gu tells everyone to clear their schedule for their company dinner on Monday. Se-hee excludes himself because he has a wedding to attend. He isn’t explicit about whose wedding it is, so Sang-gu makes a comment about the odd day of the week, and the strange people that chose it.

Se-hee points out that he’s getting married, and Monday is the cheapest day to host it. Oh also, he tells Sang-gu, he’s hosting it. Hahaha! This friendship is really cute too.

At Su-ji’s, Ji-ho gets a lovely, secondhand wedding gown from one of Su-ji’s friends. Ho-rang is worried that the dress isn’t good enough, but Ji-ho isn’t bothered by it. They discuss the guests that will be attending, and Su-ji asks if Se-hee has any dateable friends (hehe).

Ho-rang asks about the last guy she was talking to (Sang-gu), but Su-ji says that he was good-looking, but too distracting. Ji-ho then warily tells Ho-rang that she called Won-seok to invite him to her wedding, and says that he sounded pretty bad from drinking so much.

She asks if Ho-rang is going to call him, but Ho-rang is already referring to him as her “ex-boyfriend” since he hasn’t called in a week, and tells her friends cheerily that she’s going on a blind date soon.

Ji-ho and Se-hee finalize everything for their wedding, and go over the terms of their contract. Importantly, after two years, the contract will end. Additionally, they won’t officially register their marriage, and agree that the reason for divorce will be irreconcilable difference.

Later, Ji-seok comes by to deliver some banchan from Mom, and to ask for Se-hee’s number at Mom’s request. Ji-ho grows irritated with Mom’s meddling, and over-complication of her arrangement, and refuses to give Se-hee’s number.

She complains to Ji-seok about Mom’s weird behavior, and Ji-seok concurs. He leaves Ji-ho with one final thought and tells her cryptically, “Getting married isn’t as simple as you think,” but adds that she’ll understand what he means after she gets married.

On the day of their wedding, Ji-ho comes out of her room in her wedding dress, and Se-hee watches her for a long moment. He tells Ji-ho honestly that the dress suits her, and she thanks him.

They wait for Su-ji and Ho-rang to pick them up, but are informed that there is a huge traffic jam delaying them. Together, Ji-ho and Se-hee spot the exact bus they need to take them to the wedding hall, and soon, they are running down the sidewalk to catch it.

They find seats in the back of the bus, when suddenly, Se-hee asks if Ji-ho thinks she might need a handkerchief for the ceremony. He explains that his friend told him to bring one to wipe his bride’s tears when she cries.

Surprised, Ji-ho asks if she’s expected to cry, and her response comforts Se-hee, who was worried that she would. Ji-ho assures him that she isn’t the crying type.

Ji-ho sits in the separate bridal room to greet and take photos with incoming guests, with Bo-mi as photographer. Ho-rang and Su-ji show up in time before the ceremony, and together they gush about how beautiful Ji-ho looks and how unexpectedly handsome Se-hee is while taking photos.

At the entrance, the family members greet the incoming guests. Ji-ho’s mom sneaks away to “go to the bathroom,” but is caught by Ji-ho (who actually went to the bathroom) coming out of her bridal room.

Ji-ho accusingly asks what Mom was doing in there, but Mom pretends she got lost on the way to the bathroom. Annoyed, Ji-ho rudely asks why Mom wants Se-hee’s phone number, and Mom shoots back that she has every right to contact him.

Ji-ho harshly adds that she’s doing what Mom wants by having a wedding, so Mom needs to leave Se-hee alone—otherwise, Ji-ho warns, she’ll be angry. Her words hurt Mom, and she says bitterly, “I wish you could have a daughter like you.” Gahhhh.

Ji-ho returns to the bridal room, and Bo-mi informs her that Mom was looking for Se-hee’s bag to put something inside. Immediately, Ji-ho tears into Se-hee’s bag, furious with Mom.

We cut to the wedding hall, where Sang-gu tells all the guests to be seated for the ceremony. Bo-mi rushes over and whispers something into Se-hee’s ear, which catches him off-guard. He hurries to the bridal room and finds Ji-ho sobbing over Mom’s gift to Se-hee.

Se-hee looks over and sees an old photo album of Ji-ho’s life, and picks up a note addressed to him from Mom.

In the letter, Mom apologizes to Se-hee for her behavior at the dinner with his parents, and says that Ji-ho resembles her father at times, and other times, she’s like her friend. Mom adds that Ji-ho is afraid of her father, and has had to give up a lot because of her younger brother.

Mom states that thankfully, Ji-ho is really smart, unlike her, and because of this, Mom felt relieved because she thought that Ji-ho would not have to live like she did. Oh god, the TEARS.

To close, she asks Se-hee for two favors:

“If Ji-ho says she wants to write in the future, can you let her do that? I will do the house chores if that helps. So if she ever wants to write again in the future, please don’t let her give up on her dream. I don’t want her to live like me. Please do that for her. And… it’s hard for Ji-ho to stop crying when she starts. So, please don’t let her cry alone. Even though you make her cry, just be with her when she’s crying.”

Se-hee looks over at his crying bride, hunched over and trying to fight her overwhelming emotions as she tells him to go on ahead without her. He leaves as requested, but then returns shortly after, kneels down to the floor beside her, and says sweetly, “Is it hard to stop crying? If that’s the case, we should go together. It’s okay to cry. Let’s go together. I’ll be right next to you. I’ll be with you.”

She looks up at him as he extends his hand to her, as if seeing him in a new light, and thinks to herself, “I thought getting married was going to be simple. This is where we meet our needs. Maybe, it could be where our hearts meet. Something that’s not simple just started.”

Then, slowly, she takes his hand.

 
COMMENTS

You know that stage in a relationship when you definitely know you’re in love with your boyfriend/girlfriend but are afraid to say the words aloud because you think it might be too early—that’s roughly how I feel about this drama right now. Episode 5 seems really early to be full on sobbing, but it happened, and it was amazing.

Not only did I cry those deep, chest heaving sobs in this episode, but on my way to work the next morning, I teared up just remembering how much Mom’s words resonated so deeply with me. Her actions and heartfelt letter to Se-hee made me feel a kind of bone-deep fragility you only feel when someone (especially your parents) says to you, “I understand that you think you know everything in the world about your life and feel like you have to shoulder everything on your own, but I have your back even if we disagree, and even when we don’t fight fairly and kindly, because I know you, and I love you so, so much.” It’s a reminder that we are all definitely making things up as we struggle along, but that’s okay, as long as we remember that we’re not doing this alone.

I knew that Mom and Ji-ho were going to break my heart, but I underestimated how much and how soon. I spend hours upon hours of my life trying to anticipate and be ahead of these kind of emotional punches in media, but at the end of the day, when it’s executed in just the right way as it was today, I am always utterly defenseless. Bravo.

It’s funny because even though we all know the entire point is for Ji-ho and Se-hee to fall in love (and influence each other as they grow and become who they are meant to be whether they end up together or alone, etc.), since we still need to cement the full premise of our story, I’ve actually been getting swept up in Ji-ho and Se-hee’s strange but seemingly very rational decision-making that I almost actually believed this loveless marriage was the perfect solution for them. Thankfully, Mom righted me, and her taking a stand to spare Ji-ho from what she fears is her same fate was very moving. I’m scared to think of how hurt Mom will feel when she learns that the marriage is fake, but that just gives Ji-ho and Se-hee more incentive to make it real, right!? No one will ever know!

I’m also really excited to explore Se-hee and his father’s relationship a bit more, in the same way we did with Ji-ho and her mom. I liked that Se-hee’s father backed Ji-ho’s mom up during the wedding talk—it was sweet, and gave us some important insight into his character. I know Ji-ho assumes Se-hee’s father is this gruff, rule-abiding teacher cliché, but I’m hoping there’s much more than meets the eye. I also liked seeing Se-hee’s more rebellious side with his father today, because I found it to be very humanizing. Se-hee is written with just the right balance of aloofness, quirkiness, and compassion, but we haven’t had a chance to truly connect to him yet, so I’m waiting for that to happen.

On a technical note, I’m relieved to hear that they aren’t registering their marriage and that it has an expiration date, because I honestly wasn’t sure what exactly they had in mind legally for this very sensible madness—turns out that this is my favorite kind of madness!

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“Ji-ho, I hope you will have a daughter like you.”

Tears. Streaming down my face.

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What a punch to the gut.

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Kim Sun Young made me cry a bucket of tears.

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She was the mom in lingerie girls generation too! She was super awesome in that as well!

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She's been in SO many things lately, it's crazy. She was also in Answer Me 1988, Shopping King Louis, Legend of the Blue Sea... she's only 41, which is funny because that means she is only 13 years older than Jung So-min lol.

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Also, Lookout and Hospital Ship. She’s very prolific and makes a pretty good living. She’s smart.

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Hahaha my mother has said these words to me sooooo often, I cannot even. To be fair though, I used to hear these words more often when I was in my teens and early 20s, than I do now (but I do hear them).

And in this context, I have to say Ji Ho seemed particularly dense? Or is it because we have a third party perspective? I could tell what her mother was thinking when she said that Ji Ho is just like other girls.

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To be clear, I interpreted them as words of anger. A daughter who doesn't understand anything.
Not words meaning you're the best daughter.

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I loved the show for highlighting the mother-daughter relationship like this. It made it feel extraordinarily real. My mother once said she hoped I had a daughter just like me in the middle of a fight. I responded that it would be great. She then called it "a mother's curse" that will always come true. That both the best, but especially the worst of what you give your mother will come back to you from your own children, so you will feel the same pain. My mom told me this when I was eight, and I still remember how suddenly I was crushed by my own brattiness.

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I said these words to my mother when I knew I was being difficult :) I told her not to worry, I would end up with a daughter like me. And of course my daughter is as head strong as I was. It’s only fair.

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but true for so many parents

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I said that to my daughter once. I told her that the fact that she was offended proved my point that maybe she was not doing things right after all. Anyway, she now swears she will not have children

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I’ve not said this to my daughter yet, but I’m sure I will when she hits those teenage years!

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After having children, I feel so bad for my horrible rebellious teenage years. I have a daughter now and I always tell my husband, I hope she doesn't turn out like me. I feel like I was such an awful daughter. So watching the scenes with JH and her mom was so wrenching. It feels very true to life and I feel like their argument is something many daughters and mom argue about "I hope you have a daughter like yourself". Karma yo.

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lol I vowed to never have children when I was fifteen and kept hearing those words from my mom. I am thirty this year and no children in sight and my mom sometimes teases that I really know how to keep my word. XD

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I was actually a bit like HR where I always wanted to be a mother and wife since I was in high school. So I actually understand the dilemma she's facing and don't diminish the fact that her "dream" is to be a wife and mother. It's a great thing to want to be a great wife and mother. However she was going about it the wrong way and should have been better about her communication and what she expected out of her relationship with WS should be. I will say too, once she achieves those things, it's not like she's gonna be suddenly fulfilled. I'm now 32 with 3 young ones and man.... parenting is hard work. It requires so much sacrifice and you're always giving of yourself. it can be very mentally and physically draining. I regret the days when I was young and single and not enjoying that stage or time in my life. I shouldn't have always wanted to be in the next "stage" of my life and enjoyed the current stage I was at. So my wish for HR is for her to find peace and joy in what she does have now, instead of wishing for a future that's not here yet.

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I thought she was being unfair to Ji Ho. Why being angry at the poor girl who's only trying to survive without any help, no help from her parents either? Her daughter is almost living on the streets but she still has some complains in order to make her feel even worse. Well, this is what being poor is, not many choices for you, and a woman that is poor and decides to have children should know well where she is bringing them. I get that she has good intentions, but she is putting an extra burden on her daughter, who's already quite down. She could have told Ji Ho that she wanted more for her daughter without treating her like she was disappointed. That was not right and those scenes made me angry.

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this drama is just too awesome for words. it's not drama, it's life.

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It's literally real-life, I relate to all the characters so much and everything hurts so bad (in a good way)! T_T

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Everything feels so real, i relate a lot with this wonderful drama ♥

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So true! What I really like about this drama isn't just the romance, the familial relationships, and friendships, but the social and meta commentary on romance, relationships, and marriage (and weddings) and on the current state of affairs for Ji Ho's generation, which is my generation as well. Ji Ho's dumb brother was right that getting married isn't simple.

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i <3 this show!

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hihi

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My heart is in shreds now. 😭
(1) Mom's love for her because dad has always favoured the son
(2) Se-hee telling Sang-gu that she's VERY pretty and staring when she showed up in the wedding dress (how cute)
(3) SH taking Mom's advice to be with her when she cries

On Mom and Ji-ho: I guess the reason why Mom felt so upset about the wedding was that she wanted Ji-ho to be able to live a better life, not like the one she had led - which was why she got mad when they said she resembled her. She didn't want JH to end up giving up her dreams for the sake of her in-laws who wanted her to stay at home and raise children (not that there's anything wrong with that!).

In some sense, I knew that was why she was so angsty throughout the episode, so I didn't feel as frustrated as Ji-ho did, but that letter Mom wrote at the end really killed me. They were the sincere words of a Mom who tried to give her best to her daughter, and naturally she wanted her daughter to marry well and be happy. As a daughter myself, mother-daughter love always wrecks my heart every single time.

On Se-hee: How much do I love that he's really quite warm and sweet? He may be emotionless, but he's in no way a nasty person, which is pretty darned fantastic. He and Ji-ho are both naturally so sweet and caring, they make such a perfect match.

I can't wait to see what happens at the wedding between Sang-gu and Su-ji, heh. I also really love how Bo-mi talks in such an expressionless robot way as well. It's cute.

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I was wondering why Mom was indignant about her looking similar to JiHo! This was great thanks!

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Yep, how I interpreted it was that because Mom thought that the in-laws were looking down on her daughter, and she didn't want her daughter to be subservient and end up giving up on her dreams just for marriage... like her. Mom probably grew up in a time when the world was harsher toward girls, and she probably didn't have the chance to ever think about her dreams or what she wanted to do.

Now she wants Ji-ho to be able to live life as she wants to. She doesn't want Ji-ho to be like her (resemble her). It's really sweet and heartwrenching.

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I can kinda understand where her mom is coming from because she seems similar to my mother. My mother used to complain about people saying I looked like her. I didn't understand until I was older and she explained it to me. She told me that she wanted me to live my own life, and for me to not feel like it was expected for me to grow up like her because she thought I deserved better. My mother also said that she thought that because people always commented on my appearance, it showed a disregard for who I was on the inside.

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Ah that makes more sense, I was a bit confused when Mom was real angsty countering everything at the dinner. It also further backs up her views when she was talking to Ji-Ho in the bedroom about her being possibly treated like a doormat in the future.

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Also heartbreaking is that while she wants Ji Ho to be able to live the life she wants to and there are a lot more opportunities for women nowadays than 30 years ago, women and young people, in general, face new challenges these days that the mother can't understand. And it is a source of friction.

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It just amazes me so much that se hee could say the most logical things and make it sound so swoon worthy, like that neo cortex story!

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At first, I thought, "wow my standards have dropped after so many years of being single" because I thought his emotionless words were swoon-worthy... but I see now I'm not the only one! I'm perfectly normal! Hee. 😃

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It's because he says those nice things with total sincerity and with no emotion showing. So before the words come out, you don't know if there's going to be a comment about the recycling or a swoon-worthy statement like 'we really suit each other.'

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The same reason some of us (ahem) had a slight crush on Data in The Next Generation.

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So true, I hate it when i can't express what I want to say and then find someone else say it,lol

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Knowing that Mom 'has never voice out her opinion' per JH said, her being upset over that thought of JH's married life is a big thing, like, she's been so quiet all these years but this time she tells everyone what she wants for her daughter's sake. Although she's not really straightforward but she makes sure her words are heard, especially by Se-hee.

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Well said! The letter the mom wrote also killed me, especially with Kim Sun Young's soft voice in that gyeonsang dialect. I suspected the reason why her mom was so upset before Ji Ho learned about it. It must have been hard for the mom too because she barely knew Se Hee. She didn't know if he was going to end up like Ji Ho's dad. It's already hard to give a friend away to a guy I've barely met and haven't built some sort of trust for. It must 100x harder for a mother.

When Ji Ho proposed the marriage, despite my excitement for the marriage of convenience shenanigans, I felt sad that Ji Ho was making this choice - which didn't feel much like a choice given her limited options and opportunities.

I ship Bo-mi with everyone.

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I think the actress who plays Bo-mi in the show is very attractive. I've never seen her in any drama before, but she's very interesting and fun to watch. She's so deadpan and quirky. I liked how she gets everyone to pay up and she is a very unique wedding photographer, LOL.

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Her real name is Yoon Bo-mi! She's a member of Apink, the same group as Jung Eun-ji :) I think her only other appearance in a drama was in one episode of Answer Me 1997 when she played Yoon-jae's mom in a flashback scene showing how the parents met.

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Thank you so much for the recap!!
Sometimes Kdrama moms can get you so bad. I sobbed like crazy too after mom's letter, and then a few minutes later I was squealing thanks to Se-hee. Oy this show...it's got me hook, line and sinker.
I was so excited for this show and so far it's been so much better than my expectations. There is something very human about this drama... I relate to everything the characters do and feel and think.

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Well, I guess we know where Se-hee gets his quite reserve from. He's just like dad! I guess the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree...

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I think he's more similar to dad than he thinks. I hope the upcoming episodes explore more on that.

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I bawled my eyes out at the end of the episode. The letter that Ji Ho’s mom wrote for Se Hee is full of emotions that I can’t describe. 😭 And Se Hee’s words to Ji Ho, good Lord, so swoon and sweet and everything. ❤️

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I've convinced my sister to watch this ep. after she watched parts of the 4th but I put it off for a day because I know I'm going to cry again just like the first time. And I dont want to seem crazy to her since after only watching 4 she's not as emotionally involved.

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the mother wants a better life for her daughter.. the ending is so heartbreaking :( thank god Sehee was there with her and those words ❤_❤ can he get any sweeter ❤

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I am in love Because This Drama Is Life. 😍😍😍

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Thanks for the recap! Oof, this episode broke my heart in a dozen ways and all of them were somehow good. I thought Ji-ho’s conversation with her mom after the formal dinner would be the highlight of the episode, and then the final scene happened and I was sobbing. Something about how Ji-ho and her mother care so much for each other but get their wires crossed and end up fighting reminds me too much of my own relationship with my mom.

And we can’t forget about Se-hee. There’s something about how he says the most mundane (or sometimes bizarre) things and yet they seem so sweet. But that final scene really blew me away because you can explain most of his other actions towards Ji-ho away through logic or politeness, but here he didn’t behave in just a purely logical manner but also in a deliberately kind one. And that’s not shocking, because we know he’s not an unkind person, but it was exactly what Ji-ho needed and that is what makes their relationship so compelling - that they just fit together so well.

Also I literally screamed when Ji-ho called Se-hee Oppa and did the finger hearts. That scene was so hilarious, I couldn’t handle it.

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His eyes (so goldeny green and so cat like! I can't get over it, I wonder if he's wearing coloured contacts) practically bugged out when she called him Oppa, HAH.

It was really sweet of him to do so. I thought it was very logical, because she couldn't stop crying once she started, and they needed to get the wedding done... but it was still very sweet and totally what she needed. I luv them together!

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It's not contacts, his eyes are naturally that colour. Just see him in Monster (the movie with Kim Go Eun), there's a scene where he's lying down with the sun in his face, they're that golden colour even there.

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On his eyes: I totally agree. I can't stop thinking about how much he resembles a cat and it's extra funny when he's holding his actual cat.

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Not to mention the kitty sound effects that sometimes come up

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lol, i still remember on epi 4 , when Ji hoo said he could have pick other option two say when convince her father, and So hee looked irritated at her with the sound of a cat being step on its tail as background music...it's just this funny little detail that i really love from this drama.

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lol and Ji Ho got puppy sound effects when looking at his (SH) father.

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"oppareul saranghamnida" ❣ that aegyo attack was so cute sehee couldn't believe his eyes and ears lol

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“Is it hard to stop crying? If that’s the case, we should go together. It’s okay to cry. Let’s go together. I’ll be right next to you. I’ll be with you.”

These words provided Ji-ho the comfort she needed at that time. *sobs* Se-hee surely made that moment before their wedding sob-worthy (more than it is) and of course, swoon-worthy!

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And this isn't the first time his words have been a comfort to her. I like that he doesn't do any big, flashy romantic actions. I find my heart fluttering over his seemingly mundane statements instead.

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"It’s okay to cry. Let’s go together. I’ll be right next to you. I’ll be with you.”
*swoon*

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This scene was so tender and touching. You could see Se Hee computing the words in Mom's letter and it seemed that they sank in after he left the room, enough for him to overcome those inner rules of his that keep everything in its place and everyone at a distance. She's crying, so I should stay with her. And Mom was right, it was just what Ji Ho needed.

These last two minutes of the episode were beautifully written, acted and filmed. I just wish they had left out the voiceover. We could see for ourselves that this was the beginning of something more. Hearing her say it was like being hit over the head with the obvious.

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Despite Se Hee's robotic and logical ways, he understands human emotions and behavior, and respects social mores to some degree. And he is also a filial child. It's not surprising that he recognizes that Ji Ho's mother (his future mother-in-law) wrote a very heartfelt letter and that she is entrusting him to take care of Ji Ho.

I actually liked Ji Ho's voiceover at the end, since it confirmed that she was conscious that this was the beginning of something more. I think she may have fallen in love with him at the moment. But maybe it's just me falling in love with him. :)

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'i hope you could have a daughter like you'...i cracked on this. it might seems that the mother being sarcastic toward Ji ho attitude, but she's actually praise her for sticking up for her "future husband". and i love, love, love how Ji ho's mother defend her daughter in the most contradictory way I've ever seen in the drama (when they were in Ji ho's mother bedroom). normally it is a father who will think that nobody good enough for his daughter, but in here, it's the mother who 's sticking up for her daughter honour. and i totally get what the mother said. and i am very proud of her. most parent will give her daughter to literally anyone when they don't get married past 30. but she still wants someone who can treasure her daughter, who can appreciate wife as a person, who can acknowledge and appreciate women's dream. it is such a strong and empowering message i could hope for from drama.

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Hmmm? I interpreted them as words of anger. A daughter who doesn't understand anything. I hope you have a daughter like me so you understand what you put me through.
Not words meaning you're the best daughter.

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that's why i say sarcastic. but when i look at it again within the context and her mother personality, then it became clear to me that it is actually a compliment. i don't know how to explain it, but the long pause on her mother face after she stand up for her soon-to-become husband, seems to me like she really proud of her. i personally think the mother never truly believe Ji ho decision to get married because of love. but after hearing how upset she will if the mother keep saying stupid things to him and speak up to her defending him, it make the mother finally realise that maybe, just maybe, her daughter choose her own decision instead of escaping from something (e.g jobless) through marriage. just from that short moment, she knows she is one hell strong daughter she has.

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I think it was a comment of mixed feelings. That she loves her daughter so much, but at the same time, her daughter is the one who hurts her the most. And she wants her daughter to have the same experience, and know how that feels.

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that is the world of parenthood in a nutshell.
I remember growling at my son when he was a teen that I hoped he would have a child just like him!!! He now has a daughter of his own and she is already showing signs of his stubbornness.
I understood immediately her mother's angst and hesitancy becuase she didn't want her to have the same life.
That last scene had me crying and yelling YES right aftewards.
this show is just so - everything!!! I love it so much!

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Ahhhh. I started to respond then I realized I was going to draw from ep 6 oops, but just from 5 watching Se-hee and Ji-ho for just a while I think would reassure someone who knows Ji-ho as well as her mom, just look at the whole hearted shipping comments, from everyone who has watched their very sweet, respectful interactions

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>most parent will give her daughter to literally anyone when they don't get married past 30.

Uh, WOT??? This is like no parent I've ever known. No matter the age, they want to be convinced that the guy is the right one, or at least a good one.

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Well, maybe just kdrama parents HAHAHA

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Parents will joke about giving their over-30 daughter to anyone, but in the end, they do want the guy to be the right one and will protest if the daughter declares she will marry some cokehead.

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Actually, I know many parents like these, who because of tradition or financial reasons marry off their daughters to some really sad sacks.

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In your opening comments you mentioned obsession. I completely understand. The relationships shown feels more real than almost any I've seen in dramas. And in the last few weeks I've spent more time and more of my emotions invested in these characters than I have in my current real life connections.

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Same here

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I also love how the marriage situation isn't something that is "normal" but the way our couple keeps treating it is making everything seem super average and rational.

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I'm LOVING this show as of right now.
Its very nice gzhsklazghakgahssjsjksbjsh I can't really say anything else this is awesome. I'm done! :-)

Btw, the leads' bffs are officially the most awesome bffs EVER. Okay. Now I'm done.

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hahaha almost comment twins

But their friends are really amazing characters too, and so well acted.

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I too just noticed we are both gushing about the same things at the same time :-)

I have to agree with your comment below, se he's friend sang gu is such a nice caring friend (he reminds me of the random quotes I read somewhere about having a few true friends rather than a bunch of fake ones)
I also feel the same way for ji ho's gals too Btw.

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forget friends.. you want a ceo like that.. and employees like that..

i love how free his employees feel around him and how much he genuinely cares about the company and its people

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With a CEO like that the employees are bound to be so free, I mean he's just such a nice person for a CEO , so considerate of his employees all the time

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I think this show is slowly becoming (in DB language) my drama crack of the year '17.

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Actually this is the most strongly I've felt for a drama on an emotional level, and while I'm hoping that I won't be disappointed (I doubt it) if I am I'd just rewatch these episodes

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Yes , I too am hoping that this show maybe full of pleasant surprises all the time & never disappoint us because honestly this is the first time for me to be so much invested in a show from barely 5 episodes. **fingers crossed** !!! :-)

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I love her friends so much (not just sidekicks, they feel like true and proper characters with their own life and their own story, congratulations to the writer and the actresses)

I love his friend (one friend only) so much, he's so funny but at the same time he's nice and kind too

I also love seeing these two people who are so calm and not yelling types otherwise, start yelling when they fight with their parents

I love this couple even though I really wonder how Se Hee will start to feel emotion enough to fall in love with Ji Ho (she is half in love with him already)

And I LOVE THIS DRAMA. It's so freaking good, I watched raw.

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(this comment is mine, full name didn't show up)

Oh and I also love the background music for this drama. It's different from the usual kdrama style and nice and subtle, not the usual loud kpop ballad during couple moments and all. It suits the story.

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Agreed! This show is getting interesting and exciting each week. ^_^
That last five minutes though. *Tears*

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About last five minutes....I have still not recovered from the last 5 minutes of ep 6.

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Me neither. Se-hee had it coming though and he deserved it. Lol. I can’t wait to see jealous Se-hee. :D

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Actually while I recognize she was hurt. I felt worse for him after watching him get steadily get more uncomfortable with each instance of the unintentional pressure she was placing on him

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It's one of those situations where I feel no one's right and no one is really wrong either but really uncomfortable to watch, almost like happening in real life, and I hurt for both of them 😢

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This show seems to have a tendency to punch us in the gut in every 'last five minutes' of every episode.

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I've never pushed this hard to get people I know to watch a drama. Because I Just Know they'd love it. Lol

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I have been too scared to push this drama on people because if they reject it, I think it would hurt me too much! I relate so much to the characters, and some of the decisions they make, rejection of this show would feel personal.

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Same! I've been subtly pushing my best friend to watch it by sending her funny screencaps and clips but she hasn't even asked what the name of the drama is yet! I'm afraid if I make her watch it she won't like it. :(

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I didn't expect this drama to make me cry at all, but that ending! Just couldn't stop the tears.

I also loved that all it required for soo ji and ho rang to get over their irritation with each other, was for ji ho to announce her engagement. It just felt so true to real life long time friendships!

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Yes i noticed that moment, they made up naturally thanks to Jihoo's good news.

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This drama offers a typical-sounding premise with a marriage contract but the characterisation, acting and directing make it so much more. There's just this good-weird subtle feeling to the whole drama that makes it so organic and refreshing? But if you're crying now...I advise you to bring tissues for episode 6.

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episode 6...phew...
i can't wait for DB team to do the recaps, cause honestly i just really want to read their insight, cause i have a lot in my mind right now. i am going crazy waiting for next week.
this drama never fail me, yet. hopefully never, finger cross.

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AAAAAAAAH EPISODE 6 AAAAAAHHHHH

It's not even entertainment, I actually felt pain. I'm still feeling pain just to think about it.

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Before I watched 6 someone commented on their reaction and I felt, judging by the incident mentioned -cat- that it would not be hard for me. Omg I was so wrong

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Oh my gosh, I'm still going over episode 6 in my mind. It was so good. So painful. Can't wait to read beanies' comments.

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I'm glad I'm not the only one I mentally flinch at that last few minutes.

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Episode 6 like punched and drop-kicked me. This show is just SO GOOD. Even though the premise sounds unoriginal, it's so fresh and quirky. My emotions are totally shattered when I watch every episode!

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Mom's words really cut deep. She was worried that ji ho will be following her steps and be trapped in a marriage that comes with responsibilities limiting to just caring for the family and with no way to pursue her writing dreams.
It's totally floored me. Realities always makes you lose focus. Working hard to put bread on the table. Caring for kids and to fulfill a woman's duty to family. If the father was any less patriarch maybe mom and ji ho won't be so stifled.

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I think I've seen brides/female leads getting married in kdrama, but I think Ji ho is the most beautiful, especially with her natural(?) make up which is true to her personality.

I was wondering if Mom was hiding something from JH, and yes, that photo album and letter for SH made me sobbing.

Somehow I really want to see our otp accidentally touch each others' hands or something because they're too cute too be separated by that little space when they're sitting or walking (if that makes sense hahaha). I'm so so excited to see their progress as couple; every little change between them matters!

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What's with the registeration of marriage?
if you don't register, are you unmarried?

if two people hold a grand wedding and then decide to walk away ,, would they be treated as never married if marriage wasn't registered?

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I don't know about Korea but here, you have to register your marriage for it to be legal. Usually people have a religious ceremony so they sometimes do the registration at home or even at the church, my parents had to sign a register after their wedding. Basically a ceremony in its own isn't a legal marriage.

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so registeration per se is mandatory in every country (almost every country). However, if you hold a religious ceremony and choose to not register the paper (it is more of a hindrance for future official proofs where you have to prove you are married.. but the law does not treat you unmarried)..

even if photos and witnesses are provided that a marriage occurred with the intent to marry.. the marriage will be recongnized adn "umarried" status will not be allowed

But in case of korea i get confused..because almost all dramas allude to registeration (or no registration to make break up easier.. example this drama with shin minah earlier this year..tomorrow with you)

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To register is just to make it official on paper. If they divorce, it is less messy. They don't need to go to the courts for an official separation.

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i hope so..thnks

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Umm... Of course you have to register your marriage. It's not only for official documentation, but also for protection. You're protected by your country's law if something happened in your marriage or if your spouse deprive you of your rights.

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Lovely recap thank you! Yes, this drama and Dear My Friends, Age of Youth, are special shows that shifted my interaction with Kdramas. I started bawling with Mom's letter and JiHo sobbing and reassuring Se Hee to leave as she can handle it alone. That's reality for you. She might be feeling a little alone after her home has been transferred to her brother, defeated after quitting her job and detached from an ideal dream of a life. She had to be the strong woman in harsh Seoul for many years, assuring people, Se Hee, that she can handle it alone. I want to hug her and tell her that she is not alone and I am her friend. Sobs.

As for the contract, I have yet to understand why they choose to divorce after 2 years, when JiHo is a desirable tenant who can pay his loans.

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Why they divorce - he can look for another tenant in those two years, and she can look for a job that will let her move to her own place. 2 years of her bring a good tenant is still a decent amount of money.

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I believe Sehee's dad offered to pay off his mortgage if he got married, if I remember right. Then he won't need a tenant.

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This! It was my understanding too. I wonder if the translation was wrong. If his father pays off the mortgage, SH won't need a tenant.

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I'm thinking Se-hee doesn't believe his father will actually do that. He doesn't seem to have much faith in him or his promises.

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I can see this. I was confused since SH never mentioned it as a reason for getting married and was very clear, even with his blind dates, that rent was one of his conditions for marriage. To be honest, I'm not sure I even see SH accepting if it was a real promise.

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I don't think he would accept his dad's money either. It would feel like he's living in his dad' s house if his dad paid for it. It would give his dad control of his life. Control him through his mom and through the apartment.

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it's because in previous episode (I forgot which) when Se Hee asked Jiho to get married and he said which one she needed the most? love or house? Jiho said house but she eventually will want to find love maybein two years time after she sort out her life. Then Se Hee apologize saying he thought they are the same.

Omg I can really quote this drama since I have rewatch it many times.

About Se Hee I know his father said he will pay the mortgage right? I think Se Hee dont believe him. He just got married because his father always treat to divorce his mother and ended up with his mother constant nag..

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They have to divorce because Ji Ho still wants a marriage based on love and affection. She just can't afford to think about it for the next 2 years. Basically, Se Hee is letting her go to pursue what she wants and of course they need to divorce so that people wouldn't accused Ji Ho of having an affair if she suddenly in another (real) romantic relationship.

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i 'm obsessed with this drama!!
jiho's mom is the star of this episode for me.
that letter was so touching .I couldn't stop crying .

my no 1 currently airing drama!!

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I'm really in love with this show. The story is simple, and many scenes feel rather mundane. But the emotions packed in every episode are so sincere, so heartfelt that I can't help but be moved.

I don't know about you guys, but certain things in the past episodes have been triggering my tears. Not just this episode. And I'm here, happy to let the rivers flow, and hope that the rest of the show will be as good.

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I think what sets this show apart from a lot of Kdramas is the attention to only miniscule details. It's not about supersized goofs, it finds small intricacies and handles them in the most nuanced, poignant ways. Jung so min is adorable as ever, a relatable, balanced, logical female lead, Lee Min Ki is the perfect deadpan, and idk about y'all but Kim Min Seok just steals my heart every damn time. At this point, if the show just keeps doing what it is doing, it will very obviously be a favourite. Just don't change your approach in this story of small gestures, writers. Your current trajectory is incredible!

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I am mind blown how Jung So Min looks like a combination of Yoon Eun Hye, Suzy, and Sung Yuri.
Who would have thought back when Playful Kiss aired that presently Jung So Min would rise and Kim Hyung Joon would fall into shit, lol. I am so happy for her amazing year. She is so attractive and is a great actress. Girl deserves it.

This is like the most perfect drama for me. Everything is just done so well. The dialogue always hits me in the feel, especially Jiho. This drama honestly ruins everything else airing this cycle. Like when I watched the first 2 episodes of a When You Were Sleeping, I thought it was so amazing. But after watching BIOFL, everything sucks! LOL.

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"This drama honestly ruins everything else airing this cycle" Saaame. I was watching While You Were Sleeping faithfully until I started this. Now I have no desire to watch anything else!

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YES. I used to be obsessed with WYWS but after BTLIOF, I don't even care anymore.

Monday: Livestream Mon ep
Tuesday: Watch Mon ep with subs, livestream the Tue ep
Wednesday: Watch Tue ep with subs, read Mon ep recap
Thu-Sun: read Tue ep recap, rewatch, become a ball of waiting, reread recaps, make more gifs, watch BTS clips

WYWS who?

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You just described my life, too.

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Hahaha sounds just like me!

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me tooo....i watched WYWS first, and eventhough not really thrill about it but plan to continue to epi 2, and suddenly First Life epi 1 came. it sets bar so high, that i could not enjoy other drama that not achieve that bar.....how do they do that ?

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Hahah your metnion of Kim Hyung Joon, I still remember those times. To think she used to play such a cheesy candy character and here she is pulling her weight in this drama. I feel so proud of her~

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Seriously, right?! I never would have imagined her maturing into playing such an amazing character back then haha.

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Yes! I too have trouble finishing While You Were Sleeping now. That show seems so blaah now. We'll see.

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So I'm just a *little* disappointed about how Jiho and Sehee had a two-year clause to their contract, because I didn't really think this drama needed something as cliche as that and it seemed like a lazy way to add more dramatic tension. I was actually a lot more disappointed when I first watched it, but I've since had time to think things over and it's still in keeping with the internal logic of the drama. Sehee needed a tenant--but he'd no longer need it if his father paid for his loan post-marriage. Jiho has already said that she may need love and affection after two years. While I would've really loved a non-cliche contract marriage drama which was simply about living harmoniously with the intention of making it work *permanently* and finding love through that, I'll still stick for this two-year contract marriage because I just love the dynamic between Jiho and Sehee.

Mom just made me cry. "I hope you have a daughter like you," sounded like both a blessing and a curse. I immediately understood that she took offense when it was said that Jiho looked like her--because she took it as an insult AGAINST JIHO, because my mom's the same way, LOL. She's always claiming that she has a daughter who's more beautiful than her, and she's always a little annoyed when people comment that I look like her. :')) I just related too hard, because my own mother never pressured me about marriage, and I know, though she never told me, that it was because she had bigger aspirations for me. She didn't want me to live like she did.

And unfortunately, like Jiho, my life's dream also seems to be at the end of a neverending dark tunnel, and I've been wishing for my own Sehee since first watching this drama. I just wanted someone to save me from a life without security. It seems I've also given up. But after seeing those scenes with mom, I wanted to fight a little more, knowing that my own mom would have the same feelings about the matter. Jiho (and Sehee) fighting! Even if it seems hopeless, let's all fight with everything we've got. :'))))

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I actually agree with you on the first point about the cliche-ness. I can't really explain it, but my only problem with this drama so far is Ji Ho's reason for agreeing to this marriage. See He's reason is a bit more understandable/believeable but my issue with Ji Ho's reasoning is that it is too flimsy? Too impulsive? Like it just seemed like the author was desperately trying to get them to do this contract but didn't flesh out a strong enough reason for Ji Ho to want to partake. I think it would have been a bit more stronger argument had she still had a job but the fact she decided to sign this contract because of her homelessness is not a good/sensible enough reason to do so...I can't really explain it...but it's just a tiny small issue i have with the drama that I otherwise love

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I thought the show did a good job showing just how desperate and miserable JiHo was with her homeless situation - no place to return to, no place where she can rest well, no place where she can let her guard down - no place where she won't be harrassed. And she wants is to not be harrassed and fet this basic necessity called good sleep.

I guess they didn't do well enough.

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*And all she wants is to not be harrassed and get this basic necessity called "good sleep".

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I thought they fleshed out her reasoning well. She's tired and broken. She finally found a place that she feels she can come back to and have peace, so now she's willing to do anything to hold on to that. She feels lost and makes this rash decision that will grant her immediate relief without considering the problems in the long run. All she knows is that going back home to her parents will cause misery and living by herself is not an option, so she jumps into the deep end because she has the smidgen of a chance to not drown.

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(Also the look on Se-hee's face when he heard her call him 'Oppa', 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂)

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Ha ha... it was his best pocker face!!!

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I hope this show stays this good all the way to the end, but no matter what, this episode will join the very short list of K-drama episodes that hit all the right notes for me emotionally.

Mothers and daughters, man. That letter just gutted me. My mom is my best friend, but still, our relationship is a confusing mix of love, resentment, selflessness, selfishness, understanding, misunderstanding .... Mothers and daughter, man.

I'm all about family dynamics, and I want to know more about SH's. The scene of his mom playing messenger was so pitifully hilarious.

I really like Sang-gu.

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Yes Se Hee's family! Hope we get to know more about them soon. The mum, to borrow your words, was pitifully hilarious, when she struggled to catch her husband's coat. But I sincerely wish no one here has to go through that: struggling to catch angry husband's flung coat.

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I feel sorta bad, but I loled at the luggage and coat scene. It reminded me of this viral video of a korean politician who shoved his suitcase at an assistant, very similarly to Se Hee's dad.

http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/south-korean-politician-kim-moo-sung-suitcase-push-viral-video-entitled-middle-aged-men-a7753041.html

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Kyaaa~~~
So finally I've read your recap for episode 5 which I've been waiting for so long. This drama is so refreshing to watch and it really tugs on my emotion. It also made me think about life and I find the perspective of both characters interesting and engaging.
I so wish to hear more of their thoughts about their relationship and I look forward to see the growth of their relationship from landlord-tenant to lovers.
How would Se-Hee deal with his emotions? I can't wait for next week.

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I'm tearing up just reading the recap. O my heart

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I loved the comment in this episode about taking "advantage of the nature of male evolutionary psychology".

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Which just means telling Sang-gu that Ji-ho is very pretty HAHAHA

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Omg! Drama slump no more! 😭 I love this drama so much Tuesdays and Wednesday are fun again. Se Hee is so relatable, he’s like the male version of myself. Lol

That ep 5 ending though. So much love for mom. ㅠㅠ

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Bomi's gaydar is strong.

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I love Bomi so much ahah, she's such no nonsense amongst a group of guys its really refreshing.

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Thanks murasakimi.

This drama is filled with understated charm and engaging characters at every turn. I was especially struck this episode, by Ji Ho's iron will and refusal to back down with her mother. Despite a table flipping father, she has not lost her spunk and determination, at work as well as with her family. I was surprised that she would fight her mother, actually, over what she thinks she has a right to, instead of trying to placate or be compliant, and I wonder what this augers with her relationship with Se Hee.

On his part, if he remains true to himself too, then how he will continue as the robotic employee and landlord, in the face of Ji Ho's 'charms' will be a feat worth watching.

I am a little bothered that both our OTP who were so respectful and upfront with each other from the beginning, were not absolutely honest with each other in this episode. I guess that's true to life and shows that they've got lots more growing to do.

So it's on to Ep 6 now and let's hope for more couple developments!

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This is magical.
Didn't realized when tears rolled down on my cheeks.
I never cried like this watching any other kdrama.
This is first my time

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This is my first time

Because this life is your first as well?

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😜

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Really lovely recap and comments, murasakimi!

Sanggu is so funny. Him and Wonseok trying to figure out Sofagate is the best. I know some people like this, super smart on paper but clueless in the real world.

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"Sofagate" -- ROFLMAO!

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"You know that stage in a relationship when you definitely know you’re in love with your boyfriend/girlfriend but are afraid to say the words aloud because you think it might be too early—that’s roughly how I feel about this drama right now." ------ I've been burned before so I didn't want to say I'm in love with this drama BUT it's already Episode 5 and this drama still blows me away every time. The only drama that has made me feel so deeply. This is why I steer clear or real life dramas and only watch fantasy. But I can't help it when I stumbled onto your recaps I wanted to watch it for myself. Then Episodes 1 and 2 went by and I was addicted!

In this episode alone, that last scene was equal parts predictable, cheesy and swoony all at once. Perfect kdrama moment!

Each episode brings in a lot of depth and a lot of thought provoking moments. I can over analyze this and that but over-all the drama is outstanding!

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Thank you Murasakimi for the recap and your insight!!
I totally agree with you on this drama touching the right strings and making me remember why I fell in love with Kdramas
Ive been quite annoyed lately with the lack of depth in characters, the overuse of music and the not compelling writing in recent dramas. Lets call it a slump.

It's the strentgh of the acting, the appropiate use of sound and music, with long scenes devoted to actors and their skills (and not grand music every single second) where I swear I can even hear them breathing.
Marriage contract is my favourite trope, I admit it, but we are talking about much more here.
Very well executed story with a lot of depth
Great characters so far and superb acting
Interesting sidestories so far (have I mention Ji Ho's mum!!???)
Awesome use of sound

Please keep it up show!!

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What a beautiful ending to episode 5 !
My random thoughts of this episode:
- SH’s dad was quite rude at his first entrance to the show, but it seems to be some misunderstanding between him and SH.
- Ohhh SH, let’s see when you’ll say “I love you” to your wife and when you’d actually want her to call you Oppa.
- Thank you, Show, for not having future in-laws throwing a glass of water , or threatening with an envelope of cash
- When SH told his boss that his fiancée was very beautiful, did he really mean it? I’m guessing he did (since he’s quite honest).
- I love the friendship between the girls
- Landlord-tenant role playing? lol I didn’t expect that idea.
- Eventhough her wedding dress was simple, JH was a beautiful, beautiful bride!
- Where has the cat been in this episode?
- The voice over by JH’s mom was poignant. Awww… Mom!!! *cries*
- The silence in the last scene made it even more beautiful. Gah, SH is such a caring man.

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Ha. He's not blind.

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The silence!! It just made the scene so much powerful and intense

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Oh , one more random thought.
After the parents meeting diner, JH confronted her mom in the bedroom. I like how the scene was done. It was in a bedroom (= private place = where the characters would be honest?), JH was sitting as if no one would see her (i.e with her legs opened, despite wearing a skirt), and her mom was removing her makeup (as if she was finally revealing her true feelings).

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It's really rare for me to cry over kdramas, but this one goes so deep that I can't help it...I'm only 23, but how many times I saw my mom giving up things so that I could be happy and do what I want in my life?
For me, when Ji-ho's mom told Se-hee's parents that her daughter was really normal, selfish and immature, she meant that Ji-ho isn't their role model kind woman that wants to live for family all her life, she knows Ji-ho big dream and potencial was never that, so she isn't buying this story. Even though Ji-ho has apparently given up on writing, her mother still believes in her. She's my favorite character so far!
*English isn't my first language, so I'm sorry for any mistakes in advance :P

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After watching the argumnet with mom and Ji ho (after firmal dinner), I knew definitely this drama is gold. So well written, acted, directed.
Their insecurities -one of being "just" a stay at home mom and the other of being unsuccessful and still struggling - puts a block/filter over their ears, so as to twist each others words. They end up not truly hearing each other.
I feel this is so true to life.
Then the last scene..well so wasnt sobbing.
Cant wait for monday

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I know you are happy that they aren't registering the marriage... But if they are holding a wedding and accepting money/gifts, without the intention of actually marrying...isn't that marriage fraud?

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Don't know for sure about the money. Even ever after the wedding they didn't talk about money. And in one scene I think it was said the money comes to the parents... now I am confused

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The lighting on Lee Min Ki's eyes at the end was just perfect! His eyes are this honey color that make my heart swoon lol.

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I Agree! never noticed LMK eyes before, the camera had a good angle+lighting going on, his eyes are gorgeous!

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This show is just perfect.

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Like most of you (if not all of you :p) I cried. I cried ugly tears like Ho Rang's way of crying, and it was good.

However, I dont think Se Hee falls for Ji Ho yet. He is just being....nice and proper. When he stared at her in her wedding dress, it was just an astonishment, I guess (although I think it's cute), it doesnt mean he falls for her...yet.
Se Hee falls for her cleanliness, her performance in recycling, cleaning, feeding his cat. He falls for her as a tenant, that is, but not yet as a woman.
Ji Ho falls for his words, the comfort that he brings, and for his ability to give her discounted rate for house rent.
Ji Ho also falls for his cat.
So that is that for now. I have no doubt that something in Se Hee is changing, after talking with Ji Ho's mom. But I think he needs something else too, to propel him to really fall for Ji Ho as a woman, just like other men.
And as for Ji Ho...gosh. She will soon realize that marriage without love os not really what she wants, because she is already falling for Se Hee, is she not?

Final note, I absolutely love their best friends and family. I love that the writer give them strong and distinct personality that fits with each other like a beautiful salad bowl. The era of sidekick is over. It feels really good to know (and feel more about) your main characters' friends and family, as if they are your own. It makes the story and the main character's feelings more believable that way.
Bravo!

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I love Ho Rang's bawling. I want to cry like that all the time!

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