347

Because This Life Is Our First: Episode 10

Now that our heroine has experienced some of the bliss that comes with marriage, she learns that this newfound happiness also comes with some strings attached. As always, the show continues to shed light on the realities of life, love, and marriage as the characters navigate through their relationships, trying to understand those around them as well as themselves. Though in part frustrating, but always frustratingly good, the show consistently delivers a fun and contemplative story.

 
Episode 10: “Because this is my first time having in-laws”

Kim Jong-kook’s 2005 hit song “Lovable” plays, bringing the show back to Ji-ho’s high school days. Ho-rang takes the seat next to Ji-ho, and expresses her joy over being in the same class as their school’s top student since her goal is to study and get into a university in Seoul. Ji-ho stares at her in confusion, and asks why she’s still speaking in a Seoul dialect since she’s been living here since kindergarten. Pfft.

A new student joins their class, and it’s Su-ji, who only nods silently when the teacher introduces her. Later in the school year, report cards come in, and everyone crowds around Su-ji, the new top student, which moves Ji-ho to second place.

Ji-ho and Ho-rang walk home together, looking like they’ve grown closer, and Ho-rang tells Ji-ho about the scandalous rumors surrounding Su-ji’s mom and why they moved. Ji-ho warns Ho-rang to not tell other people about this, and Ho-rang assures her that she won’t.

While out for errands, Ji-ho happens upon Su-ji staring up at the night sky, cursing this boring country town. One morning at school, Su-ji confronts Ho-rang about spreading rumors about her mom owning a brothel, but Ho-rang acts defensively, saying that she only repeated what she heard. Su-ji scoffs at her explanation, and grabs Ho-rang’s hair while Ji-ho futilely tries to stop their fight.

The three of them end up in the hallway with their arms raised as punishment. Teachers who walk by and scold them, but only bop poor Ho-rang on the head, leaving the other two alone. After school is over, Ho-rang bursts into tears in indignation, and slumps to the ground as she wails over the injustice of being treated as lesser because she’s not as smart as the others. Her accent comes out as she cries, and though Ji-ho rushes to comfort her, Su-ji tells her to study harder if it bothers her.

Some time later at school, Su-ji walks up to Ho-rang since she came to her house last night to give her an apple (homophone with apology). Accepting her apology, Su-ji gives Ho-rang a study guide with questions on the next exam circled. Aw, I love them so much!

The three of them become friends after that, and Ho-rang giddily boasts her improved grades to Su-ji and Ji-ho, who genuinely congratulate her. The three girls do everything together as they draw in the sand, get scolded by their teacher, fish in the ocean, and shoot off fireworks at the beach.

Sitting by the ocean, they share their dreams with each other. Su-ji says that she’ll become her own boss since she doesn’t want to live under someone else’s orders, and Ho-rang’s dream is to become a homemaker with a self-made engineer. Ji-ho surprises her friends when she shares her dreams: love.

They assume she wants to date someone, but Ji-ho clarifies, “I want to meet someone that’s like fate.”

In the present, Ji-ho texts her friends that she’s found someone she likes: her husband. She stares at their wedding album and thinks to herself that she still doesn’t know what marriage means.

Ji-ho happily brushes her teeth, replaying Se-hee’s words about having one love in life, and in the living room, she stares at the back of his head, finding it charming. She continues to gaze dreamily at his face, thinking that he’s handsome, but her actions make Se-hee paranoid as he checks his reflection on the television screen to see if something is on his face.

Finishing her narration, Ji-ho says that she may not know the meaning of marriage, but if it allows her to see the person she likes every day, then marriage is a really nice. Lovestruck Ji-ho is adorable.

Her marital bliss comes to a screeching halt when Se-hee’s mom comes for an unexpected visit, and the stereotypical mother-in-law behaviors emerge as she passive-aggressively hints for Ji-ho to put away the food she brought and cut the fruit.

Se-hee grabs the apple from his mother, though, offering to do it instead (while remembering to switch to informal speech to seem more like a couple). His mom mentions their family memorial service tomorrow, and Se-hee says that he won’t join since he hasn’t in the past either. I’m pretty sure the message wasn’t for him though.

Ji-ho gets a text from Su-ji, telling her that they’ve arrived at the cafe, and Se-hee mentions that Ji-ho has a prior engagement, allowing her to escape.

At the cafe, Ho-rang faux-complains about a headache while waving around her hand, showcasing her new ring. Ji-ho realizes that Won-seok proposed, and they start screaming in excitement, ignoring Su-ji’s attempts to quiet them.

Meanwhile, Se-hee walks his mom out, and she cautiously broaches the topic of his father paying off his home loan. She tells him to forget and move on now that he’s married, but Se-hee firmly says that his marriage has nothing to with his father. He tells his mom to not visit again without notice since it’s impolite to the person he lives with, but his mom finds his word choice odd since Ji-ho sounds more like a tenant than a wife.

Ho-rang tells the others about Won-seok’s proposal, and Su-ji is surprised that he managed to do a good job. Their conversation turns to Ji-ho and her mother-in-law’s sudden visit, but they seem more outraged than Ji-ho, who starts to defend her mother-in-law’s actions as not that bad. They note that she’s catching the “nice daughter-in-law syndrome.”

Sitting at a hair salon, Se-hee remembers Ji-ho’s constant staring from this morning, and wonders if it was because of the bandage on his forehead. He asks the hairdresser if he looks strange, but she says that he appears to be the same as always.

After separating with her friends, Ji-ho mulls over their words about the nice daughter-in-law syndrome, which causes newlywed wives to act overly submissive to garner favor from the in-laws. Looking at questions online, she scoffs at the thought of being unable to say no, but down the street, Ji-ho spots Se-hee walking towards her, sporting a new haircut. She narrates, “It’s just that I can’t say no to that man.” Hahaha, she’s completely smitten with him!

She compliments his new hairstyle, and on the elevator ride up, he apologizes for his mom’s visit and changes the passcode to the apartment. She thinks back to her conversation with Bok-nam, when he told her about Se-hee’s explanation for marrying her: He married for her rent, but also because he respects her as a defender (as in soccer).

Ji-ho contemplates Se-hee’s description while watching a soccer match, and then gapes at his Adam’s apple as he drinks a can of beer. He excuses himself to go grocery shopping, and Ji-ho joins him since she needs to shop, too.

Of course, they each push their own cart at the store, and Ji-ho brings up the conversation he had with Bok-nam, asking what he meant when said he respected her as a defender. He tells her that it means just that, explaining how she’s the only tenant he has respected in his life. He says that no matter the situation, he knows that she can properly defend herself and handle those around them concerning their marriage, and Ji-ho looks disappointed to finally realize the bland truth behind his words.

Ji-ho remembers a moment with Ho-rang where she told him about Se-hee’s nickname at work and how he only thinks about his loan and cat. Ho-rang asked where Ji-ho is in Se-hee’s brain, but answered her own question, happily pointing out that Ji-ho must be in his heart.

Having separated at the store, Ji-ho watches Se-hee at the cash register, and narrates, “I know that it’s not it. I know I’m not the one in his heart. I’m just his tenant who guarantees him a steady rent income. I’m just a great defender allowing him to maintain his life without marriage.”

As they walk home together, Ji-ho asks Se-hee about his dreams, and after thinking about it, Se-hee replies, “I just want nothing to happen in my life.” He wants every day to be the same, drinking beer while watching soccer, and eventually to die in his own home. Watching his receding back, she wonders if there’s even a path to his heart.

It’s Won-seok’s first day at Sang-gu’s company, and Ho-rang helps him with his tie even though he doesn’t need to dress up. She mentions how his old coworker unfriended her on Facebook, and when she asks if things didn’t end amicably at his old place, he lies, saying that everyone was happy he got a job. Won-seok is fine as long as Ho-rang is happy, and leaves for work after a goodbye kiss.

Sang-gu sits at his desk remembering his kiss with Su-ji. He had asked then if this meant they were dating, and she told him yes, but under a few conditions. She proposed a dating contract with five rules: keep their relationship confidential, always meet outside, never ask about each other’s private lives, do it twice every time they meet, and renew the contract every 100 days.

Though Sang-gu thought it was overly dramatic and unnecessary at first, he was persuaded by Su-ji’s reasoning and sexual appeal. However, after mulling over things, Sang-gu decides that he should end this here and delete Su-ji’s number. His finger hovers over the delete button, but images of Su-ji stop him from doing the deed.

He berates himself for his weakness, and slaps his face repeatedly. Outside his office, his staff watches his crazy behavior, and Se-hee turns to the newly hired Won-seok, asking if he’s really okay with working here. Heh.

Se-hee shows Won-seok around the office, and corrects him when he calls him the more familiar “hyungnim” instead of his name. He then introduces Won-seok to his immediate superior: Bo-mi.

She asks him a series of questions which also include his love life, and Won-seok answers all of them, even the probing ones. She tells him to freely ask her questions, and then goes back to her desk which is directly behind his. Turning around, Bo-mi smirks at Won-seok… or maybe it’s more like an evil grin, heh.

Sang-gu still contemplates deleting Su-ji’s number, and calls over Won-seok. He asks if Su-ji was popular back in college, and Won-seok tells him that a lot of guys hit on her even though he never did because she’s too scary and out of his league. Sang-gu asks if he’s on the same level as her, and Won-seok innocently compares them to an infected program, telling Sang-gu that his life would be ruined.

Ho-rang admires her new ring at work when a customer calls her over to complain about the bland food. She asks for a new dish or a refund, but Ho-rang doesn’t back down from the customer, even telling her that she eats her food too salty.

Ho-rang’s superior scolds her outside and asks if it’s that time of month. (Really? Not cool.) Unafraid of getting fired, Ho-rang speaks her mind, and tells him not to insult her womb every time she or the others make a mistake. She excuses herself since her break is almost over, and in the breakroom, her coworkers ask if she isn’t worried about getting fired. Ho-rang reassures them that everything is fine since she’ll quit before then.

At home, Ho-rang shuffles through all her papers about weddings, and happily greets Won-seok as her husband when he comes from work. She tells him about all the things they need to prepare if they’re going to get married next year, but Won-seok asks her, genuinely shocked, how they could get married in the next two years.

Sang-gu arrives at hotel room 304, where Su-ji is already waiting for him. He agrees to her terms but adds a condition of his own. He takes out a new phone and hands it to Su-ji, telling her to use this one only for him. He’s already saved himself as “Sang-gu oppa” (with a heart), and shows off his own phone where she’s saved as “My baby.” Su-ji laughs at his adorableness, and tells him to quickly shower. Rawr.

At work, Bok-nam astutely notes Ji-ho’s one-sided love on her husband, and she asks him if it’s that obvious. He tells her that their gazes are different, and explains that hers says “I’ll do anything for you.” On the other hand, his gaze is just him, and Bok-nam impersonates Se-hee’s natural resting face. Pfft.

He advises Ji-ho that love should be reciprocal, otherwise she’ll simply work too hard and then get tired by herself. After their little chat, Ji-ho gets a call from her mother-in-law. I didn’t think I would say this, but listen to the dimples!

Ji-ho arrives at Se-hee’s parents’ house for her first family memorial service, and is greeted with a whole table of food to prepare. As soon as Se-hee’s mom calls her “my daughter,” Ji-ho lights up and immediately gets to work.

Meanwhile, Se-hee looks out the window of the bus at Ji-ho’s stop and notices her not there. He gets off at her stop (aw) and texts her, asking if she’s still at work. Ji-ho tells him that she’s at his parents’ house for the memorial service, causing him to stand up in surprise.

While Se-hee’s father and his sister’s family watch television, Ji-ho slaves away in the kitchen with her mother-in-law. The aunt walks in, expecting Ji-ho to cut her some apples, and tells her young daughter to watch Ji-ho in order to grow up smart and good like her.

The aunt wishes she had a son so that she could have fun with a daughter-in-law, and Se-hee’s mom talks about how she’s no longer jealous of aunt for having a daughter because she has one now. Their praise makes Ji-hoo feel good, but they then leave her to finish the rest of the work on her own.

Se-hee shows up, to his family’s surprise, and joins the ceremony. Afterwards, he enters the kitchen to do the dishes instead of Ji-ho, but his mom shoos him out calling his presence is a hindrance. Although he insists, Ji-ho finally pushes him out, resigning herself to her fate.

Stepping outside the house, Se-hee smiles as he sees two cats nearby, but stops in his tracks when he sees his father feeding them. Before Se-hee can leave, his father brings up his promise to pay off his loan, but Se-hee calls this “promise” a notification or delusion since a promise requires both parties to agree.

His father yells at him since he only wants to buy a house for his married son, but Se-hee asks if they’ve ever been in a father-son relationship. He always thought they were just a landlord and a tenant ever since he kicked him out of his house twelve years ago.

His father simply says that it was the only thing he could do as his parent, but Se-hee refuses to accept his explanation, calling him a landlord and not a parent. Se-hee calmly explains, “Even though you are my father, if you just act like a landlord, I can only treat you like one.”

Their conversation is cut short when everyone marches out of the house to leave, and it seems that only Ji-ho notices the tense atmosphere between the father and son.

On the bus ride home, Se-hee asks why Ji-ho went, and doesn’t understand why she made this mistake when she’s usually a good defender. Ji-ho stares at him in disbelief and narrates, “I thought I didn’t have nice daughter-in-law syndrome. I thought I wasn’t going to be like those people. But why did I do that today?”

In their apartment, Ji-ho asks if Se-hee has heard of the nice daughter-in-law syndrome, and explains it as the tendency for married women to act nice and obedient to their in-laws. Se-hee notes that it’s like the levels of desire he mentioned before, and calls it a basic psychological desire for recognition from others.

Disappointed, Ji-ho suddenly asks him if that’s the only way he can interpret it, and says that it could also be about caring. Rather than animalistic desires, she explains how the behavior could come out of a desire to please the person one likes.

She decides to shower first, but Se-hee stops her to hand her an envelope with money. Though not part of their contract, he thought she should be compensated for the unfair labor tonight, and apologizes for making her go through that as his tenant.

Ji-ho stares at the money (100,000 won) and repeats her disappointed monologue from earlier about how she’s only a dependable tenant and good defender to Se-hee. She grabs her phone to call Se-hee, and asks him how he calculated her compensation. He explains that he used her hourly wage plus overtime charges, but Ji-ho says that it’s not enough.

However, she doesn’t want him to pay her back in cash. Instead, she requests for the rest of her compensation to be paid through labor. Just as she went his parents’ house to work, she tells him to go down to her parents’ house this weekend to help make kimchi (which is notoriously time-consuming).

Hanging up, both parties exit their room and meet face-to-face in the middle of the hallway. Ji-ho narrates, “There’s no more defending in my life. At least when it comes to my heart, I’m going to protect it as a forward.”

 
COMMENTS

I adored the beginning scenes as we got to learn more about the three girls’ friendship and its origin because their relationship is one of the highlights of the show for me. In some ways, their friendship hasn’t changed much from high school. The way Su-ji and Ho-rang fight is still the same in 2017 as it was in 2005 (word for word, in fact) and each one’s role in the group hasn’t deviated much from the past to the present. However, even from the short glimpse into their past, it’s evident that they have changed, both individually and as a group. While they still talk with each other and support one another, they no longer occupy the same social space called school, and after entering the workplace, each friend has started down a different path towards their separate goals. They have more secrets and believe that the others won’t truly understand some of their woes because it’s different to hear something and empathize versus actually experiencing it firsthand. However, though they might not be the exact same hopeful girls from their high school days, this only makes their relationship stronger in the present because it’s evident that they’ve each worked for it. Thus, their friendship can weather the inevitable storms and fights that will come their way in the future because their bond is something all three of them cherish and wish to maintain.

The show has consistently portrayed sexism at work, and it’s interesting to see how the three friends’ personalities as well as their “dreams,” once echoed in their youth by the nighttime ocean, influence how they each react to their situation. Ji-ho, the one who strived for an emotion rather than some material state, eventually left her career because it broke her. As the friend of the group that least worries about the far-off future, Ji-ho’s reaction is immediate, and while wholly gratifying (and a definite display of strength), it leaves her vulnerable. For Ho-rang, she endures the sexist remarks because of her dream, but once she thinks that she has reached her goal (getting married and becoming a homemaker), she’s unafraid to speak her mind and leave the workplace behind.

As for Su-ji, out of the three, it looks like she has given up on her dream the most, and is resigned to her fate as an employee working under someone else for the rest of her life. As a result, she doesn’t fight back and relies on tactics to soften the blow of sexism she experiences on a daily basis because, unfortunately, there’s very little that she can do. Part of the problem is that the environment is toxic, and the workers have become complicit with it. If she wants to keep her job, the odds are stacked against her to seek reform because it’s very unlikely that the company will change or listen to her complaints which will only leave her ostracized if she speaks up.

Ji-ho is adorable as always, and her lovestruck expressions are super cute. However, as Bok-nam advised, having a one-sided relationship with her husband isn’t healthy for her in the long-term. She will continue to pine after Se-hee, and when he doesn’t reciprocate her efforts and feelings, she will inevitably feel disappointment and burn out. This was already evident near the end of the episode as Ji-ho reminds herself again that he doesn’t see her as a “wife,” regardless of what her feelings towards him are. Part of the problem is that Se-hee isn’t obligated to return any of her feelings, and just as Ji-ho has all the right to have a crush on Se-hee, he also has the right to withhold from their relationship on an emotional level.

The harmful relationship between wife and mother-in-law acted as the catalyst for Ji-ho to finally make a stand and realize that her one-sided love was only hurting herself. It’s not just the fact that she had a hard time at his parents’ house or was forced to do the bulk of the work, but the thing that pushes Ji-ho to make the change from defense to offense is that fact that Se-hee doesn’t recognize why she acted the way she did. This seems to be a necessary step for Ji-ho as a character as well as for their relationship because Se-hee isn’t going to magically realize his feelings like most romantic leads.

He isn’t as ready as Ji-ho to make the leap into a new relationship because he doesn’t see the need (though there also seems to be a backstory here, too), and so, she can’t wait passively for him to initiate. I love that her response for more compensation wasn’t ridiculous or overly petty. She wants him to repay her the exact same way she did for him, and I hope her family does make him work. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ji-ho’s dad tries to convince him come inside and avoid making kimchi, but I trust Se-hee and his rational thinking as well as mom who I’m sure isn’t afraid to make her son-in-law do some manual labor.

RELATED POSTS

Tags: , ,

347

Required fields are marked *

This was such an interesting episode! I love the origin story of how the 3 amigas came to be such close friends!

16
9
reply

Required fields are marked *

I loved how Ho-rang and Su-ji hated each other at first, because of COURSE they did! Lol.

And I also loved Ji-ho telling Ho-rang not to spread rumors about Su-ji. So like our girl <3

19
7
reply

Required fields are marked *

Soo-ji being a brainy thug is actually something that hasn't changed to much which is great.

21
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

I know! What did break my heart was her talking about wanting to own her own business, not working underneath somebody else. Fast forward to 2017 and she feels that she has to put up with sexual harassment in order to further her career in a big company.

God, I hope she quits that job and creates her own successful business, showing her former sleazy coworkers what she can do. Su-ji and Sang-gu as the CEO power couple!

27
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

This exactly! I want more info on why Su-Ji has completely given up on her dream, though. Is it purely money? Did she even try to start her own business?

9

@LydiBird. I wonder if she's just more easily jaded. It's been 12 years since that moment in high school. It's hard to hold onto a dream for that long, especially given her family situation. She has no safety net. Maybe she tried the first few years. Or maybe she hasn't completely given up and is still thinking she can work her way up and that she just had to patient and this harrassment was just the price to pay.

Ji Ho was in a desperate situation too, but she had her parents. I get the feeling Suji doesn't speak to her mom.

12

@asianromance, I hope I didn’t come off as judgmental; I legitimately want to know what happened. She seems like the type of woman who can do anything she puts her mind to so I want to know the thought process behind it. Sometimes giving up dreams is the right choice or you find a new dream, and I wonder if it was something like that or if she’s simply been beaten down by the daily grind and sexism. If that’s the case I totally want her to quit and work toward her dream by the end of the show!!!

3

I think she could, but Su-ji shi will have to rely alot on her current connections and networks.
Starting a business may be easy, staying in business is definitely not.
--
My 2 cents is that Su-ji shi has seen the disadvantages that women have and may have just given up.

1

It is not clear who started the rumour. Never the less, Ho-Rang was keen to participate in it.

How is this different to the current women in Su-Ji’s office besmirching her and casting her a sexually immoral with innuendo and gossip.

Within this group of friends they are both a source of great strength and yet lay landmines for each other. Ho-Rang desperately wants to be the black coat and like her mother and friends she will cast the red coated woman aside.

I suspect the Ho-Rang’s transition from being a young colourful coat to a black coat is not due to some change but fundamentally it is 2 expressions of the same idea at different ages.

I.e. she still want exactly the same thing. It’s just when she was young, this was different to her peers and she was happy to wear that as a badge. Now that idea is what she sees as the unthreatening norm and her road to acceptance.

9
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ho-rang looked sooo much like Geum Jan-di from BOF during their punishment.😮

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Petty Ji Ho clapping back and becoming a striker!!! I’m rooting for her. Her dialogue is so freaking good, always.

The preview and the kiss...SCREAMING!! Hopefully not a dream or something lol

17
10
reply

Required fields are marked *

The preview made me so excited it was ridiculous.

I didn't know until now how much I needed to see Lee Min-ki in ahjumma pants making kimchi.

MONDAY COME FASTER.

31
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

ahjumma pants

Ha! Korean "mom jeans!"

7
reply

Required fields are marked *

Do not get too excited, this drama gives most disleading previews I ever saw, lol

1
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I don't think the kimchi making is misleading, though! So that's what I'm letting myself be excited about :P

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I too am looking forward to Monday, but I remember we were trolled with Bok Nam being a stalker.
Who knows, maybe that preview was someone's daydream.
Just saying I'm not going to hold my breath (**takes BIG breath now**
Can't wait until Monday!

2

I actually regretted watching the previews, and why do we have to have any? I like my surprises!!! 😕
Please don't spoil even with preview. This show is so short! I am always wishing to have more, and no previews

7
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I actually never watch the previews because I HATE spoilers. I always exist out right when the freeze frame happens unless it's the type of drama that has an epilogue, like Age of Youth. But with this one everyone was talking about it anyway so I resigned myself to the fact and decided to watch it. Now the wait for Monday is even harder!

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, same here. But me watching the previews this time was kind of "accidental", I think I was in the kitchen, and couldn't turn it off on time... so... well... now we have to wait 😐😊😅

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

It's hard to wait for monday with that preview. I hope the sunset kiss is real not jiho's imagination.

5
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I do hope it's Se Hee's imagination. That would be hilarious lol.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I love how right when Ji-ho told Se-hee that she was at his parents' house, he rushed right over there. You could tell he felt bad. I also really liked how Su-ji made Ji-ho realize what her mother-in-law was trying to do. All this connected wonderfully with what Ji-ho's mother told her, about how her in-laws weren't complimenting her when they called her "nice".

I can't wait for more conversations between Ji-ho and Mom next week. I missed Mom. <3

I didn't get a chance to write an essay this episode. Sorry, everyone. :P

24
33
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh! I almost forgot:

Girl harbored a crush for THREE YEARS before for that assistant director dude, so I am so excited to see her take more initiative now!

And also, I LOVE how Se-hee said that he married Ji-ho because he respects her. Is it just me or is that one of the best things someone can say? That they respect you? Like, that's sexy. I was cheering when he said that he respected her ability to defend herself.

30
7
reply

Required fields are marked *

There's obviously something about SH that makes JH take initiative; she did kiss him that first night. And there's something about JH that makes SH make emotional decisions over logical ones (no matter how much he justifies them later). They're just so good for each other it's ridiculous.

39
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Amazing insight @lydibird...loved this comment...so true 😇

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

This is so true!!! 😍 Se Hee and Ji Ho are just made for each other..

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Also, in one of my high school yearbooks one of my guy friends wrote that he "respected me a lot." At the time I thought it was a little weird, but the older I get the more I appreciate it. No one says that enough, but isn't it the greatest compliment ever?

27
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

People nowadays rarely know what is that. Or true loyalty, or how about honor? How can you explain what is that? Who behaves with honor? In which context??? Love, faith, selfcontrol, kindness, compassion... I have the feeling most people don't know what do these things mean or how to use them...
That is why we watch Korean dramas, to be able to have little bit of those at least in tv.... (sorry if my comment is not that positive).

7
reply

Required fields are marked *

Unless given half-heartedly, yes it is indeed a great compliment.
There are numerous individuals who have gained my respect and I have found that the ladies are among the most exceptional people I have met.
Sad in that in this day and age that guys around me belittle ladies and some ladies just dumb themselves down in order to cater to such specimens.

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Lol, I've got that from guys too, but I have another take on it (which doesn't apply to Se Hee and Ji Ho) - when they say that they respect you, they seem to put you on a pedestal, and beware if you ever fall off! So that sucks. But respect as equals is just amazing.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yess, I missed Mom too.
I hope we get interactions between her and Se-hee and that she makes him that "snake soup"

18
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oooh, I'm looking forward to that, too. <3

I definitely think that Mom and Se-hee are going to develop a great relationship. It makes me sad to think that Ji-ho probably won't experience the same with his mom, unless she can manage to show his mom that she's not a pushover.

12
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oops didn't finish that sentence:

show his mom that she's not a pushover WITHOUT damaging her relationship with them too much.

8
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ah, I forgot about the snake soup. More things to look forward to 😄

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Mom and sehee upcoming scenes may give us a glimpse of his pov 😊

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

I mentioned this on the fan wall yesterday but I'll put put it here, too.

When Se-hee and Ji-ho are at her parents' place, they're going to expect them to sleep in THE SAME ROOM, aren't they?!

I'm going crazy just thinking about it.

19
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

The spouses should be considerate and share the room, Ji Ho's parents might need the space. *Cue Evil laugh*

8
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

If possible a bed too *evil chuckle*

8
reply

Required fields are marked *

Please make that happen and let them share one bed, i just love how awkward they get around each other♥

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Speaking from experience, not necessarily! If all the relatives are over making kimchi, it's just as likely that the men will all sleep together in the living room while the women take the bedrooms.

But I'm hoping Jiho's mom (and our writer!) has some sense and forces them to share a room hehe.

10
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm really glad they addressed daughter-in-law syndrome. We see a lot of examples of in-law bullying and daughter-in-laws resigning themselves to the role, but this episode showed how it can be so complicated. There is the societal expectation mixed with love and affection for your spouse that drives you to unconsciously fall into the role. You're upset all the burden, but are happy at the praise and acceptance. And it's not like Se Hee's family was being malicious and bullying her. They were actually very affectionate. They just assumed it was mutually understood by Ji Ho and the entire family that as the daughter-in-law, she has to do all this stuff.

I really liked how it tied back to Ji Ho's mother's words.

21
7
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, I'm so glad they talked about it.

It's funny because the "evil mother-in-law" is a cliche drama trope, especially in makjangs and chaebol stories. Se-hee's mom isn't evil by any means, but I still like that the writer seemed to take that trope and turn it into something realistic and complicated. She used the opportunity to talk about gender roles and expectations.

I don't hate Se-hee's mother. Not exactly. She's a product of the society that she was raised in. However, times are a-changing! I hope Ji-ho can help her realize that.

I'm glad that despite growing up with her, Se-hee never internalized that. He kept trying to help with whatever his mom was making Ji-ho do (peeling the apples, cleaning up the dishes) but she stopped him each time and even told him to leave. She also kept saying he should leave it to people who are more "capable". Pffffft. What, like because he's a man he doesn't know how to do dishes? Please.

Well, next week he is going to be doing his fair share by making kimchi, and I couldn't be more excited! :P

24
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

I was confused about how the mom said Se Hee wasn't capable. He was living alone and he didn't have the money to hire a housekeeper. Did she think Se Hee was eating off paper plates and dirty dishes? Was he just eating take-out jajangmyun and his mom's side dishes every night?

Her comment had me thinking: that's how so many guys suffer from learned helplessness. You got the moms saying "you suck at it and if you do it, I'll have to re-do it. Might as well do it myself." and then during marriage, the men believe they can't do any housework not do they feel like they can learn to do it right. Then the wives get saddled with everything. And sometimes, the wives contribute to it too- "you don't know how to do it. I'll do it instead".

17
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hahaha! Let this be a lesson to all the single people. Let them do it their way unless it will get you killed. Because it’s not really important how they do it, it’s that they do it in the first place. This goes with kids too.

10

Yes, so true - I started doing my husband's laundry when we first got married. The first time he complained about how I was doing it was the day he resumed doing his own laundry.

5

Haha, I love this discussion! I had a similar debate going on back at uni where the subject was women dropping out of work when balancing home life becomes too difficult. All this does arise from "learned helplessness" as you put it so cleverly.

2

I'd rather 100 times have the evil openly mean mother-in-law than this passive-aggressive bleagh.

5
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Logically, I wanted to do the same. But considering mother in law is his parents, makes me want to be nice, even to the point of submissive, because they are his parents. Im conflicted 😅

1

Se-Hee’s mother is more nefarious and manipulative than just controlling Ji-Ho.

She is also weaponising Ji-Ho to manipulate Se-Hee.

There are clearly family issues and Ji-Ho is being used to manipulate Se-Hee to acquiesce to the Father’s position - with the pretence of being a good mother. OH - that degree of gas lighting is terrifying.

Se-Hee has the right to remain independent for which he has worked so hard for. Until we know more (given the writer’s track-record for trolling us), it is unreasonable to expect they should be happy family because that the norm. There are instances where families should remain separate and pushing for that societal ideal is damaging to all involved.

10
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Taking a different view, ignoring societal ideals, why would SH’s mom not desperately want for the two closest relations in her life to get along? Her assumption that JH is an ally in that cause is not wholly unreasonable either.

5
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think T's point is that the mom's desire for them to be close is not necessarily what's best for everyone involved.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I take the point. But describing the mom as nefarious (for wanting her son and husband to rebuild their relationship?) seems a bit OTT.

(Mirriam Webster Definition of nefarious: flagrantly wicked or impious :evil )

1

@tummy

I do understand where you are coming from. This show is so well created that it makes us question even the most basic actions of the characters. Which is why the comments threads are so interesting to read as each of us interprets where they fit on the spectrum.

For my reading of the episode, the word was used intentionally and I stand by it - even within the definition you quote.

A full unpacking explanation would be a long post/and a little dark. Happy to continue the thread if you desire, but I am honestly happy to know that others see it differently.

0

@tummy: "Her assumption that JH is an ally in that cause is not wholly unreasonable either."

It's the way SH's mom goes about it: it's extremely manipulative and indirect to the point of being dishonest. If she wants SH to repair his relationship with his father, she needs to address that with SH and his father, not a third party.

Nor is she direct with JH, in explaining the issue and asking for her help (not that she should, because that's inserting herself in the relationship between SH and his wife, and Sh and his father).

She's manipulative in the way that women in male-dominated societies are trained to be: "nice," indirect, and passive-aggressive in getting what they want.

She's manipulating JH to be a "good daughter-in-law" (free labor, just the way JH's mom feared) as well as a tool to control SH.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I will be glad to see mom come back. Mostly because I think that if anyone outside of the relationship between Se-hee and Ji-ho might have the ability to affect their relationship progress, I think it would be mom. Because I think that external factors will have minimal effect on the relationship, and the real change will have to come from the characters themselves. But, both Se-hee and Ji-ho have had conversations with mom where they took what she said to heart. And mom seems to be keenly aware of how others feel, and how relationships could pan out, so she could be a helping hand to get our couple together. Also, I just love mom, there is something about the character of mom, and how Kim Sung-young portrays her, reminds me of my own mother, and how she can seem to me all at once incredibly wise and yet entirely human.

19
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm really curious about his first wedding and how it will play a role in their relationship. He agreed about that one love in life was enough... so if he already has been in love...

5
12
reply

Required fields are marked *

That whole story twelve years ago is so interesting. I have theories, but what I really want to know is if Se-hee was different to a girl he loved or did he become his rational self after it all fell through?

8
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

My bet is that Se Hee was always pretty rational and (seemingly) emotionless. He and Sang-gu have been friends for 18 years, and if there had been a big change it probably would have come up. I wonder how much SG knew about the previous relationship (whatever it was), though.

15
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think Se Hee probably didn't even register that marriage certificate so the wedding would not be official. I think Se Hee being thrown out by his father had something to do with his previous 'marriage'. The timing fits as the marriage certificate was from 2005 and Se Hee mentioned his father asked him to leave the house 12 years ago. I'm wondering how that will affect their relationship.

15
reply

Required fields are marked *

I keep thinking about how this writer uses ALL of the information that we have about the characters to her advantage whenever she does a "reveal" of sorts. We know the falling out with his dad happened around the same time as the first marriage (if that's what it was). We know dad was unhappy when SeHee introduced JiHo UNTIL she said that she was in love with him. Which implies that his dad really wanted him to be with someone who loved him...that flies in the face of dad breaking up a loving relationship. We also know that dad offered to pay his mortgage if he got married (and still wants to honor that promise now that he is married to JiHo), which again doesn't make sense if dad is the reason he DIDN'T get married. I kind of think that SeHee planned to buy a house after agreeing to an engagement that his parents wanted because his dad offered to pay the mortgage, but then broke off the engagement himself for some unknown reason, and when his father kicked him out, he bought the house on his own, leading to his current predicament. I guess time will tell, but I'd be VERY surprised if he was actually in love before, if for no other reason than SeHee is far too rational miss the fact that he is having emotions again that he has already experienced in the past. It's inconsistent with his character, and consistent characterization is something this writer seems to navigate very well.

19
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

"We know dad was unhappy when SeHee introduced JiHo UNTIL she said that she was in love with him. Which implies that his dad really wanted him to be with someone who loved him..."

I have the same thought. Perhaps the 12-years-ago-girl said "I love you" to Se-Hee when she actually didn't.

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Exactly...I dont think Se-hee was ever truly in love, an experience of the sort no matter how tragically it ended would have left behind a much more emotionally wholesome person even if broken at heart, but Se-hee is cynical and doesnt value human emotion, he rather calls them vain human needs. I think it was a BITTER experience that made him his cynical self though I believe he had always been a rational person.

And also remember how Se-hee reacted in episode 5 after Ji-ho has said she loves him in front of his parents, he has commented how easy it is to say you love somebody.
I think it was definitely a bitter experience he had from the girl herself & Dad was kind of passively involved not actively to break them apart or something.

6
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I do remember that comment. And he does seem bitter about something relating to marriage...remember when he gave that presentation? Oof...

As a fellow member of the "bitter about marriage" club, I feel like I deeply understand this character. :) (Seriously, I get him WAY more than her, but I don't think we're supposed to)

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

There's a thought I've been mulling over:
Se-hee, who is so against forming relationships and especially romantic relationships, works for a company that develops a dating app.
Even if he doesn't deal with the human aspect of the app, wouldn't it at least have to align with his values?

From previous episodes, we know Se-hee is also the co-founder and that he's known Ma Sang-gu for 18 years. I'm assuming they decided to found the company around then, way before Se-hee's "marriage". Wouldn't this mean he adopted his current views on relationships as a consequence of his "marriage" 12 years ago?

6
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hmm, I'm not sure. I think it's only been a few years since they founded the company (I think they said, but I can't remember for sure), and I remember SH saying he agreed to work there because SG promised not to mess with his algorithms. So pay off mortgage + Cat seems to be the deciding factor.

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

They touched on this slightly many episodes ago. SH mentioned to SG that their app was all about dating with data. Compatibility and objective scores. Quite in line with SH’s thought patterns?

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Programming is just lines of code. I wrote major parts of a targeting system for tanks even though I want no part of war and have zero desire for it to happen unless something drastic occurs.

Sehee-shi feels that love is an antiqued way of thinking and despite all his lack of euthanistism for love, the company is good money and he probably has shares which he can liquidate when VCs and angel investors come in.

And I'm not sure how long ago was the company founded, but the company's direction (ranking individuals according to how attractive they are), does seem in line with the way that Sehee-shi would rationalise individuals in love.

But Sanggu-shi has shown him to be a very strong believer in love and despite the long history, he probably sees Sehee-shi as a very strong programmer, like Wonseok-shi.

If anything, Sehee-shi's opinions on love and his past history probably have little influence on Sanggu-shi's own direction of love.

But when you have such a fantastic product that attracts funding like a magnet at the two poles, you will just take the idea and run.

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

SPOILER*** (Information I've taken from the preview..)
So I don't know if anyone else noticed in the preview, but there's a letter in which it's written:
To.
My everything, my love Sehee
2005, December 24
From your everything
I watched this episode without subtitles but I could read this which was written on some sort of paper. So this could only mean he was in love in the past!! He had someone he loved! Or at least someone who loved him... Which is still shocking for me cuz he doesn't seem to recognise what love is, and doesn't look like the type to have experienced it, which if he had, he would recognise it right away.
It was a hint when he said love only comes once, I didn't understand it...
BUT maybe that's what's gonna make this love even greater!!!😍😍 I mean at least that's what I hope for cuz I'm ready for some intense romance and this show seems to ensure us that!
On a side note, that kiss!!😍😍😍 I died!! I regret watching the preview now!!😭

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Regarding See Hee it was more One step forward and two steps back ... mostly towards the end of this episode when he gave her the envelop with the money >_< I know he is very rational and he hides himself behind the tenant mask, it's his way to show he cares but I could not handle this... Because it created the opposite result : he hurt Ji-Ho. I was so sad for her ...
I loved Ji-Ho's reaction and I'm totally with her, he has to pay back the same way she did help him. You go girl !
Am I the only one who was annoyed by the Mother of See Hee ? I had the impression the whole episode she was using Ji-Ho kindness to make her do the chores.

14
17
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh, I'm 100% sure we were supposed to be annoyed by his mother. And I was. A lot.

18
reply

Required fields are marked *

I wasn't annoyed at MiL. She is just treating JiHo like other women in her social circle treat their DiLs. Honestly, she's just hasn't learned that her DiL is DEFINITELY not your average woman. :)

14
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I had a very tough start rough start with my own Korean mother in law, so SHs mom was not all that bad to me. She's actually portrayed pretty realistically and something lots of my friends have experienced as well from their Korean mother in laws. Of course what she did isn't right, but I guess cause it's my own culture, I understand it a lot more.

10
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Meant to only say rough start*

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

@mehgann—I agree 100%.

As someone who's approaching my 22nd year of marriage, I watch the mothers-in-law with great interest. Monday can't come soon enough because I'm dying to see how Hyun-ja, Ji-ho's mom, treats Se-hee (not mention her own pregnant DiL).

Se-hee's mom Myung-ja is all about normalcy and she's relieved her son managed to bag this young, beautiful, well-educated woman. Mom wants to show off what she thinks is a typical, good daughter-in-law relationship.

I think Ji-ho's immediate capitulation to her mother-in-law aligns with her personality. She joined the ritual out of a sense of caring and support for Se-hee and her MiL asked her directly. This doesn't mean that their relationship style is now set in stone. In-law relationships can (and should) evolve.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

She totally was,it would have been hard to take no matter how it was done but her fake innocent act and her gloating giggles made me want for Ji-ho to grab her stuff and walk out but that would have resulted in a huge rift and his relations are pretty bad already. Especially as it was a memorial service. I do wish she would have let Se-hee help when he offered.

18
reply

Required fields are marked *

I was way more than annoyed. Whats worse than evil people are the mean ones that hide behind a nice mask.
It was even more disgusting when that Aunt told her little daughter to be smart and nice like Ji-ho - this shows how the society expects women to be twice as good - its not enough to be a homemaker you also have to be smart/educated etc. WTF!

I truly hate his mother by now ; ))

9
reply

Required fields are marked *

SH's mother just made my blood boil!
I cannot, with how she was exploiting JH with that fake smile.
And it was really hard to watch JH succumbing to her, but also heartbreaking because we know the reason why.

10
reply

Required fields are marked *

She likes stereotypes. She also wanted to brag about her

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I love Ji Ho's reaction too! Maybe we can see some son-in-law syndrome?

I was annoyed with her, but I also felt that she wasn't doing this on purpose. She was taking her role as mother-in-law seriously - getting Ji Ho integrated into family traditions (since the bride is technically part of the groom's family now), making her feel welcomed, and helping her get used to the daughter-in-law role. And Ji Ho, for her part, wasn't completely clueless about being a daughter-in-law. Her mom was a housewife and she knew enough about the expectations to pick up on the hints.

10
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

ji ho initially was confident she wont have 'good daughter in law syndrome'. but its hard for her to say no this 'man'. go back to the first scene wth sh new haircut.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ji-Ho is also at fault here.

Ji-Ho has had continuous heads-up from all quarters about the mother-in-law’s expectations and the ramifications are not just on her.

- Ji-Ho’s mother fought so hard for her at the marriage meeting (taking significant grief along the way)
- Her friends even named the syndrome for her
AND
- She knew that Se-Hee had avoided such engagements.

This was not being kind. This was unexpectedly re-opening a deep wound and allowing someone else to pour salt in.

9
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I agree. I felt Ji-ho just let this one slide. Even if she and Se-Hee were in love, this was unacceptable. She should have respected his wishes. I guess she got carried away being a daughter-in-law (the logic of which beats me).
I dont think making him do work at her place nullifies what happened to her (or what she let happen to her).

6
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

In Korean culture, it's expected that you're now part of your spouses family. Unlike the mentality in western countries where married people are now creating their own families. But this is the cultural norm.

8
reply

Required fields are marked *

I have such mixed feelings here. Yes, it's part of the culture and heritage (and the MIL's generation), but times have somewhat changed. So we have a situation that even though the current generation of daughter-in-laws feel it's unfair, they also feel the pressure to be "good" and "nice" and "obedient."

BUT we also have a situation where JH is ignoring what SH has indicated (and said) he wants, in favor of her own romantic dream of being his true wife and member of his family. She isn't listening to him. She sacrificed herself somewhat more for her own desires than his, so her being mad at him is really pretty unfair.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Well, we can not separate the scenes from the context and culture. For me, as an Asian woman surrounded by conservatives’ tribes and views, the MiL is totally realistic. Not that I support such behavior. She did what she thought normal. For fellow MiL, she will be considered smart because she handled the situation nicely. She didn't push her nor being openly bossy. I am sure she was treated the same way by her MiL. Hence, she did what she thought right. And her compliment and happiness are all genuine. She is a satisfied MiL.
As much as I feel bad for Ji-Ho, I totally understand the MiL and I can't hate her.
The compliment goes to the writer. The conflict is so real and happens every day in reality, yet they use it as another chapter of a drama. Bravo!

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

@ Shastika
I was actually surprised that she decided to accept the money from Se Hee. I expected her to reject it and tell him off at once. However she took the time to think it through with her heart as the main consideration, and decided on a line of attack that took him by surprise.

Not only is the method of attack appropriate and equivalent as payback, it also gives her plenty of opportunity to be in his vicinity and show him more sides of herself and her family.

I applaud her Forward tactics enthusiastically!!! 😆 💖 😁

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

I really enjoyed this episode even though it seemed a few people found it boring. It may not have the action or as much comedy as 9. I liked how powerful the emotions came across especially from Ji-ho. And watching her show her grit was great. I hope she can express that more to her in-laws later,they seem to think she is a complete pushover and mistake being quiet as meekness I just think shes good at picking her battles and rebelling against her mother-in-law st that time would have caused alot more harm than good. But turn about is fair play and I'm glad she has a way to show Se-hee some things can not be made to equate into monetary terms

15
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hey...I re-watched it last night. I was awake this time. Just wanted to defend myself. LOL

In this episode, I'm glad we got to see the backstory of how the girls met. It's nice that they are such good friends after
graduating high school and college. The 3 of them are as different as they can be, but are great emotional support for one another.

There was a lot of talking, yes. But it really did convey a lot of emotions and that's what makes this show so special.

6
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Lol. It helps when your not wiped out.😉

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

But I had to watch it! Otherwise it's all over the beanie wall. Now it's just the wait for GBS...and yes Monday, too.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Every episode that forces JiHo to remember that no matter how much she loves her husband, she is NOT a pushover, thank you very much, is my new favorite episode. :)

17
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I also noticed it. She is very quiet person, but she won't let anybody put her down (at least not for a long time).

14
reply

Required fields are marked *

I love that Se-hee loves her (albeit unconsciously) for the same reason that we also love her.

Him voicing it almost makes it seem like the drama is aware of itself, in the sense that through SH, it's pointing out something we'd also appreciate as viewers.
Hope that makes sense.

11
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

It does.👍🏾

I found myself nodding in agreement when he voiced his discontent.

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Girlfriends are life! I loved this episode for the backstory of the best friends. And I knew Su-Ji was smart! I love that these girls are intelligent and know what they want in life. One thing that does bother me though is that their society is still so paternalistic and that daughters and daughters-in-law are expected to stay in the kitchen, or in the house, and the decision of labor is so one-sided. I probably am not the norm, but I want to sit Hong-Ra down and say, “Look, girl, you can still wear your red coat with a career, kids in tow, and a happy marraige!” You can go on vacation with your other ajhummas (and even better ones because you’re earning that second income)! That does bother me about this show, that it paints women in the workforce as all or none, which is not the case in many western societies. It’s true that it’s harder to find love and a balance, but there are feminists in the form of men and women and we are making strides in evening out the playing field. There’s still a long way to go, but one example was just last evening when I was in an all physician-leader meeting and there were more women physicians in attendance than men. The meeting was during dinner. There were two children there with their physician mothers, both little girls. These are girls who see their moms making huge differences in the medical workforce and would children have been welcome to one of these meetings 10-20 years ago? Probably not. This is the change we’re seeing. We don’t work because we have to; we work because we want to enact change in our society, and we have ideas that need to be implemented to that end. Ok, rant over.

15
10
reply

Required fields are marked *

Which is why I’m giddy with excitement that Su-Ji is “making” Se-hee help make the kimchi next week! Se-hee is a feminist, as much as his mother is not. Him attempting to help with the dishes is proof positive. Thank you, Writer-nim for showing this!

12
reply

Required fields are marked *

The way women in the workforce are portrayed in the show is true to Korean society. They can't portray them like in Western society because it's simply not true for their culture. But even in the west women face sexism and sexual harrasment, lower pat than men in similar positions and so on. It's true to life and I think it's important that dramas touch on these issues because not only are they relatable but they reach a wide audience that can be made aware about why these things are problematic.

12
8
reply

Required fields are marked *

indeed. i live in asian countries and i'm struggling with that sexism (even the subtle one) in daily basis because i work in male dominated workplace. and most of my male coworker will think that no matter how high i get, i'm done after i get marriage. i remember one episode from Fight My Way where the heroine lost her promotion over someone who's younger and prettier than her, only to make his direct supervisor cheer her up by saying "you don't have to worry. because she's pretty, she'll get married soon, and will stop her job. you can be promoted after that." i laugh at what he said but can't help the irony. it seems that after marriage women will always facing this option, continue working or stay with her child. one of my female colleague likes to complaint how guilty she is leaving her child at home and wishes that she never works. i replied to her, "it's okay. when your kids grow up, they would understand". i'm not saying that because i still haven't kid on my own (and most people will say, oh, because you don't have you won't understand), but because i grew up with stay-home mother. she married young, lived in her in-laws because my father still struggled back then, and she never continued her education. now i'm adult myself, sometime i feel bad for her. i wish she would have been able to live her life, i wish she would have been able to live not just for her family but also to her self, i wish she could have been able to see outside world, learning foreign language, went travelling. and it is just hurt my heart, knowing that she was never given that chance.

14
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Again, I'm in a field that took woman a long time to get into (the 1st female physician was Elizabeth Blackwell in 1847) but it's not one that women leave just because we get married or have children--it's taken us too long to get here, not just historically, but the schooling and training is too expensive and difficult to just walk away from. More often than not, if a female physician is married to a non-physician, it's the male non-physician that stays home with the kids. And yes, I grew up in a home with a working mother entrepreneur, and I appreciate her never staying home, even after having kids.

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

I do think the writer is going to subvert this stereotype as well though. I'm reminded of Su-ji's mother's lovely letter to Se-hee where she implores him to allow Su-ji to write when she wants. Su-ji WILL be that woman who has everything: a career, a doting husband, children, friends, and a balancing it all perfectly. The different types of women in this drama and what they want out of life and how they go about accomplishing it is what makes this drama appealing to me.

3
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

it's jiho mother :)

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, correct! Ji-ho, not Su-ji! Thanks! But on the subject of Su-ji, she'll have her own business and CEO Su-ji and CEO Ma will be a power couple to rival all power couples!

4

I am rooting for all members of the girlfriend trio to end up kicking butt in their respective professions. Su-ji needs to decide where she is drawing a line, I think it will be unhealthy for her to continue to take everything.
Ho-rang really seems to need to figure out who she is.
It seems like once she met Won-seok she gave all of her support to his dreams, and decided she was ok where she was. In seven years she has to have some personal development, but it feels like she has ignored it.
And Ji-ho, while I love her, needs to learn to respect herself a bit more. I think some of the treatment by her father has gotten to her, and she is sometimes too compliant with the needs of others. Part of becoming an adult is learning when you need to take care of yourself.
This show really is doing a good job of exploring how sexism can affect people. Personally, I don't see sexism as an Eastern/Western society divide. I had been a physics major at one point in my (Western) university career but had to leave due to sexism. I was the only female in the majority of my classes (and my school is far from small), and because of this often was referred to as "the girl," "our girl," and far too many pet names by both my classmates and professors. If we had to work in groups, the other students would either not listen to anything I had to add, or would blatantly take credit for my work. My grades were often suspiciously low, and on one occasion where I asked my professor what was wrong and how I could fix it, he said I should be in a different major to get my "MRS" because guys don't like girls who challenge them too much. But the straw that broke the camel's back was how the other professors talked about the only female professor, as too bossy and a witch (she was basically the exact same as three other professors, just a different gender). That was when I wondered if I had it in me to fight every day for the rest of my career because it seemed like there was no amount of success I could have where it would get "better" to any significant degree. I changed my major to a program where the gender balance is more equal, and have been able to achieve significantly more because the fight is not as difficult. I often regret that I was unable to make progress for future women who want to go forward in physics, but I think I have to accept that there is a limit to the strength that I have.

9
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

That’s horrible, the treatment you received. STEM jobs are noteriously hard for women to get into. However, I think attitudes are slowly changing here too, with such a push for girls to enter these fields right now. I hope my mathematical daughter sees more opportunities for her in the STEM fields without the male chauvinism associated with them. If it can happen in medicine, I’m optimistic it will happen in the other science-related fields as well.

5
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I will admit that conditions are improving. I attended a STEM-focused high school, where the gender ratio was 50-50 for both students and teachers. It was accepted as totally normal, and I never saw any discrimination. I think because I had been in a bubble of safety for so long, I was not really prepared for what I might face down the road. But still, my high school is a sign of changing times, and things will hopefully improve. Because of my experience, I contacted my high school and my old teachers to start a program to keep students from our school who go into the same major in contact after graduation. I hope that even if they find they are alone in their field at university, that they can get support from their peers in similar situations from their high school classes. But beyond giving female students support, I hope the contact helps the male alumni speak up when they see issues as well. Because I do not understand how discouraging half the population from working in a field of innovation helps.

8

Omggg, Ji-ho! Yess, you go girl. No more defending.
Se-hee needs a taste of his own medicine
Don't you just love a proactive female character?
I'm just really really glad that she's getting her own "revenge". If this were any other show, I'd have expected her to completely avoid the situation. I was really dreading her reaction to his "rejection" (we all know he'll eat his words), but this writer managed to subvert yet another trope.
I do think that her lashing out was just a spur of the moment thing like we have witness before, and that she might regret her immediate action, but I just love how it's used to make a point about her character, and to also possibly trigger some insight from SH in the future.

Also, it occurred to me that JH wants form SH what he wanted from his father, which is a personal relationship. And he gave JH what he never got from his father, which was a safe home. The parallels between the many relationships in this show are just so cleverly woven in, I'm always impressed when I catch something.

And talking about relationships, I just think that Ho-rang and Won-seok are doomed. Which is totally fine with me, because I think they're on completely different pages and want to get married for all the wrong reasons. WS is kind of sacrificing his dream and friendships to make HR happy, and HR is just ticking another box from what society wants from her. I feel like they're best when not together, unless they sort out their issues. Now, I'm kinda shipping WS with Bomi, and hoping HR can realize that she can be happy outside of marriage and wear her red coat again.

Lastly, when SH said his dream was for nothing to happen to his life, it just kinda broke my heart. I'm not surprised by it, because it's very consistent with his character, but I just get the feeling that it is related to what happened 12 years ago. Probably too many (unhappy) things happened and disrupted his life that it left him deeply scarred. I also couldn't get over how hurt he looked when he had that conversation with his father. Se-hee, you really need some love, just let Ji-ho give it to you.

26
8
reply

Required fields are marked *

"Se-hee, you really need some love, just let Ji-ho give it to you."

That's what I'm saying! 😭

When it does happen, it will be oh-so-satisfying.

13
reply

Required fields are marked *

On WS and HR, I don't think it's fair to ignore that the alternative to WS giving up his dream is HR giving up hers. The real problem is that their dreams clash and so they need to sit down and talk in order to find a compromise. Yes, WS gave up a dream to work at a company instead of work on his own app, but HR would be giving up on her lifelong dream of marriage and family if he stayed and they never got married. There's no guarantee that WS will ever succeed on his own, and how long can she be expected to wait and delay her dream for his? I just don't think it's fair to say that HR is the more selfish one in the situation.

And now, given WS's reaction to the wedding in two years, it's starting to feel like he's just trying to placate her in order to get her to stay, which really sits wrong with me. Maybe I'm wrong and he means he wants to get married more quickly, but given how he's discussed marriage in the past, it seems more likely he wants to delay it for years.

Maybe in the end they will break up because of their conflicting dreams, but I'll be sad if that happens because it's been made very clear that they love each other and neither really wants to break up. The issue isn't whether they want to be together, it's whether they should be married, and how much each is willing to sacrifice their personal dreams for the dream of being together.

26
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I had the same bad feeling about it all. I think you're right that he thought he could put a ring on her finger and delay the "inevitable" for another 7 years. They really need an honest conversation and let each other go if they can't reconcile each other's dreams.

11
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I really like HR and WS and want them to work, but the lack of honest conversation is frustrating. But I guess it can be harder when you've been dating that long. There is more to lose. The issue of giving up dream vs. your love came up with Suji and Sang-gu came up too, we had Sang-gu openly express how he couldn't give up his dream.

7
reply

Required fields are marked *

I don't think it was a move made just to placate her I think that he wants her to be happy, and now that he knows thats what she really wants and he's had time to process the thought I don't think he's unwilling but realistically looking at the money side he Just started his job and he hasn't earned anything much for the last few years so a quick wedding is a bit much to expect. But he does need to open up about other problems he has, namely the fallout from dropping his app development.

9
reply

Required fields are marked *

My reaction to SH's dream was actually that I sort of understood him. Whenever I feel happy, I feel like I don't want anything to change in my life and that I could stay like this forever. Not all change is good. I thought it was this drama's way of tackling different dreams and the different ways people dream and how they're all valid. Living reasonably comfortably and being surrounded by people (or a cat) you like/love/respect can be a dream too.

17
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

That's an interesting point you make. I guess my squabble with his dream is that, if "nothing" changes, it also means Ji-ho isn't really part of his life. Or if she is, then it's simply in the role of tenant.

Se-hee is a creature of habit and there's nothing wrong with that, but he's so adamantly against change that I can't help but think there's a particular reason why.

10
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ji-Ho talks a good game. But this is the second time she has said no more defending.

It is hard to rewire yourself. & always be wary of a defensive person acting aggressively. They are not skilled in timing the moment of attack...think defensive vehicle drivers trying to act aggressive in traffic...That is one white knuckle ride.

There is nothing wrong or less powerful about being a defender. Her problem appears to be in love she is defenceless. EG:

- 3 year unrequited love
- Kicked out of house for her family
- Se-Hee...

She is just a serial romantic - and we lover her for it. None of us are totally rational. We all have a weak spot.

8
reply

Required fields are marked *

The moment Ji-ho received that money from Se-hee, I could practically heard her heart breaking. Oh Se-hee, you dense man, that's like the last thing she wanted to experience at that moment. Though by the end of the eps, I kept remembering Soo-ji and Ho-rang's comment about how unpredictable and scary Ji-ho's craziness could be. Se-hee should prepare himself for her forward attack. Or maybe not, since it would be much more fun that way. He wouldn't know what hit him until it was too late and he realized that the thick wall he has erected around his heart and life has turned to crumbles.

22
13
reply

Required fields are marked *

I remember them saying that. I don't think she's crazy at all. I think she's assertive, and I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!! This is seriously my favorite drama ever (though I realize that the ending could destroy that...please...no...)

8
10
reply

Required fields are marked *

Trust this writer! I know I do. She hasn't let me down yet. <3

6
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm trying, it's just that I've been burned before...

It's so good. It's just SO GOOD. I'm a graduate student, and this makes me want to stop writing academic papers and just become a drama writer instead of writing ethnographies because a show like this probably does more to create the understanding of a culture and promote progress than anything I could produce.

13
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yay for ethnographers!

1

Yes. It’s so good that it’s scary. I hope everything went well or I am gonna get a broken heart.

0

What else has she done? I'm very impressed.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Her previous dramas are Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Ho-gu's Love, and God of the Workplace. Never seen any of them but Ramyun Shop has been on my list for a while! I just might have to finally watch it. From what others have said, though, this is by far her best work yet (although many people really like Ramyun Shop, I know Girlfriday does).

1

i do to worry that much. because most of k-dramas (if not all) haven't been able to save from this curse where the writer struggles with limited remaining episode and start to messed up trying to make closure to many conflicts they build and ends up sacrifying the characters, and this mostly started in the last 4 remaining episode. at least that's the pattern i have seen in many kdramas. MDBC starts strong and just failing to pieces in the last 4 episodes where the heroine became annoyingly damsel in distress, they could only save the prince character.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think the crazy comment on the surface meant that Ji Ho’s not as meek as she seems, but it reflects a fundamental difference between Ji Ho and her two friends. They both play a practical long game, suffering in silence waiting for marriage or to keep a steady job, while, Ji Ho is willing to go all out in doing what makes her feel right right now. Like she told Se Hee (and maybe hasn’t told her friends), she had no ambitions of becoming a famous writer, it’s just something she found she liked doing every day. She isn’t worrying about what happens at the end of the contract marriage, not to mention that it’s a contract marriage, it’s something that made her feel safe and gave her a sense of home and belonging. It’s part of what makes her a good defender, actually - that commitment to protecting what matters to her in the here and now. Looking forward to seeing her offense!

12
reply

Required fields are marked *

She went to a different college than her parents thought she went to. She contracted married for a place to live.

She crazy!

It’s a good kind of crazy that we haven’t seen her pull on Se Hee... and that’s what I am waiting for... I want Su Ji and Ho Rang to be like ‘yeah buddy, you did know you married a crazy person, right?’

15
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think she is “crazy” in the sense that she puts a high value on her emotions and dreams, and still does after all these years.

8
reply

Required fields are marked *

It may seem crazy to some but it looked like she put alot of thought into the price to attach to her efforts and I couldn't have thought of a solution half this good on my own. The anticipation is sweet. Next week looks to be one for the books!

15
reply

Required fields are marked *

I was conflicted about the money. I was hurt for Ji Ho when he gave her that money, but I was also thinking that most wives end up doing this for free and without much recognition. There have been articles talking about the monetary value assigned to unpaid housework. And not to count the emotional labor involved in interacting with the in-laws.

So logically, I'm glad Se Hee recognized the physical labor involved and paid her for it. And I'll bet he really did underpay her because he neglected the cost of the emotional labor. I can't wait to see Se Hee struggle next week while having to interact with her dad.

20
reply

Required fields are marked *

See-Hees mom was sooo passive-aggressive, it annoyed me greatly. But it was very satisfying to explore the demands on a korean woman once she is a wife especially from my western experience that is quite different.

12
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Coming from a Mexican family, I could relate to the women slaving over in the kitchen, but the good thing is that at least in my family we are slowly (at a snails pace) changing our views. I think my family knows that I can't cook without it being bland so maybe that's why they don't bat an eye when I'm not in the kitchen during our get togethers though, lol.

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Haha, I love it. Sometimes "incompetence" can be a blessing too ;)

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yea asian expectations are super strong. Cultural differences but nonetheless interesting to look at.

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

I feel "satisfying" was the wrong choice of words. I wanted to say that it is satisfying to see a drama explore those themes - but then it is also very interesting to watch.
In my country in europe I feel my grandmothers generation was the last one that felt that strong demand whereas my mothers generation revolted (thankfully!).
But while my generation doesn't need to slave away in the kitchen, there are still waayyys to go before housework is truly equaly distributed (as I see with my friends and the general amazement when I tell people that my boyfriend is solely responsible for doing our laundry)

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

I felt for Ji Ho and her one sided? love this episode( through I think Se Hee feels something even if he is not yet aware). The mother in law was annoying and I wanted to slap Se Hee with that envelope, but I can see where he was coming from as he still thinks of the relationship as mainly a business one and in his mind he was probably doing the right thing by repaying Ji Ho for the inconvinience.
Somehow I don't think THAT scene from the preview will happen next episode as it seems like a big step for Se Hee to take in just one episode, but I wouldn't mind being wrong. I wouldn't mind at all.

11
9
reply

Required fields are marked *

OMG, I totally wanted to slap him with that envelope, too!!! Totally in character. Totally what she meant when she called him "obnoxious." SeHee, get it together already!!!

9
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Nah. I like it when they use their words. He wouldn't have understood what would seem to him a huge over reaction, and while it was pretty thoughtless to repay her efforts that way, if she slapped him that would have come from her being mad because he doesn't feel for her the way she feels for him. You can't hit someone for not loving you, which is what it would have boiled down to.

8
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

In my case I didn't want Ji Ho to slap him, but I as a viewer wanted to slap him lol. I don't expect any overdramatic scenes from those two but as a viewer sometimes I just want to shake some sense into them.

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, to clarify, I wanted to METAPHORICALLY, as a viewer, slap him. I am not at all for physical violence. I disagree that money is the most important thing to him, though. When it concerns kitty, he spares no expense. When it came to “saving” JiHo, he damaged the bike that he hurt himself to avoid damaging. It’s already clear that JiHo and kitty are both worth more than money to him. So why did he revert back?

3

@Katrina.

I agree with the 'use your language skills’ comment.

I continuously find it interesting that the desire of many is to see Ji-Ho’s position as being the default.

The scene could also be viewed as - Ji-Ho placed Se-Hee in a position where he was forced to swallow his pride/principles and through his noblesse oblige attend the family ceremony - for her.

For Se-Hee that was a massive act of respect for Ji-Ho (as much as Su-Ji asking for permission to kiss).

We don’t know all the reasons for the money. If he is trying to set boundaries - Isn’t that is a good thing.

Why must Se-Hee acquiesce to her desires/love? Just as Ji-Ho does not need to accept Bok-Nam’s advances because he thinks he loves her.

12
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, not only did Se-hee attend the memorial service, he then acknowledged Ji-ho' s effort by paying her....and we know money is most important to him! He doesn't get why it would be insulting

6

Cont.

I am not saying Ji-Ho’s reactions are not realistic or she is not right to feel miffed (we all arc up when we feel slighted).

This show is complex and I love the struggle 2 kindred sprits have in finding if they fit.

My comment is that this show always throws up multiple points of view. I think it wants us (kdrama viewers) to question the singular frame of reference and the myths many shows work within.

My favourites in other peoples comments are:
The classic Kdrama leading man is so BN (who’s actions were freaking people out) where as SH is floating many peoples boat.

As @kethysk put it: "Consent is sexy” How often have the comment sections been overwhelmed with grabbing the wrist/taking a kiss/forcing people to hug. I remember back to the huge comment threads for Secret Garden Ep13 - (that debate double the comment #).

6

"I wanted to slap Se Hee with that envelope"

I thought I was gonna cry watching that scene. And for a moment I thought Ji-Ho would too. But I am so proud of our girl for keep herself composed.
Other dramas will use this opportunity as an emotional blast-scene where the female lead will open the male lead's eyes with anger, emotion and tears. But not our writers. I respect You, Writer-Nim.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

i also realized jh did not jump into sh's arms during the 'dangerous' scene with bn. i super hate those damsel in distress pity please love me girl scene.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Se-hee isn’t going to magically realize his feelings like most romantic leads. Truer words were never said. And that's what makes this drama so interesting.

15
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I have no idea what’s going to happen next week. I feel like the preview is a fake out because there is no way SH would move that fast.

7
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think it will be a few more episodes before we see any type of relationship.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

If its true, I want to see an explanation of how he got to that point. I can't imagine him moving that fast based on what we've gotten so far.

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Why did the show let us see that kiss in the preview? I hope it was for real and not a drama scene she's writing! The next episode really looks like fun.

7
8
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm gonna be studying that preview all week, but it strikes me as mighty suspicious too... that said, I really want her to get back to her drama writing!

10
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ha. maybe she's turning her life into drama form as a writer is wont to do. That would explain getting the kiss without him actually realizing his feelings yet. Heck how many of us have been writing ahead of the series in our minds? LOL

9
3
reply