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Ocean strolls for romance melodrama Should We Kiss First

So far every shot of this drama looks like a postcard for a romantic getaway. Posters are out for the realistic romance melodrama Should We Kiss First, the new SBS series starring Kam Woo-sung (My Spring Days) and Kim Sun-ah (Woman of Dignity) as a man and woman who have hit middle age and think that every romantic cell in their bodies has disappeared. Obviously they’re in for a rude awakening when a kiss reignites that spark they’d thought was long dead.

The new drama from writer Bae Yoo-mi of I Have a Lover is about an average ajusshi and ajumma who have given up on the idea of passionate romance, only to end up finding true love in each other. The tagline on all the posters reads, “The story of a clumsy love between people who have lived a little.” I like the sentiment—been there, done that, still awkward at love. Aren’t we all?

Kam Woo-sung stars as a producer at an advertising agency who’s considered a dinosaur not even worth listening to. He’s been a failure at love his entire life, but his one fear is dying alone. Kim Sun-ah plays a flight attendant who gave up on love and happiness after she lost her daughter. It seems like a typical setup for a healing drama, but here the strength lies in two veteran actors who can carry all those emotional layers.

In the newest teaser, the leads take turns asking over and over if they don’t remember each other, and Kim Sun-ah decides that Kam Woo-sung is some kind of pervert. She confesses drunkenly that she hasn’t smiled in ten years, and he says in turn that they’re headed for the same destination. She asks, “Am I a good memory to you, or a bad one?”

The first teaser below was released a few weeks ago and has the leads narrating how they feared thirty at twenty, and forty at thirty, fifty at forty, and will probably continue to do so until they die. They start out walking through the same spaces separately, but meet in the woods where it ends, appropriately, with a kiss. Kim Sun-ah says in voiceover, “The love that I thought was over has begun again. The words that gave me breath: ‘Should we kiss first?'”

Should We Kiss First airs on Mondays and Tuesdays following Mysterious Il-seung, and premieres February 20 on SBS.

Via SBS Fune

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I'm always rooting for you, Kim Sun-ah ! I will check out the 1st ep, at least. I pray it's good ! :-)

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Looking so forward to this! For once a love story in kdrama between middle-aged people<3

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Yay! 'Cause love isn't just for twenty-somethings. And all those young actors and actresses are still going to need good roles when they get past 35.

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Exactly! Some thinks only young adults can fall in love lol.

I'm in my 20s, but I still look so forward to this.. Kdramas usually are not good at potraying mature adult-like romances even among adults, but since this is about OLDER adults I have high hopes.. especially since the lead actress is Kim Sun Ah.

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Not only are they middle-aged, they're average! No geeeeeeenniuses! A one-two punch!

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Another bonus for "ladies of a certain age": We get to picture ourselves in a noona romance of our own with ahjussi fatale Kam Woo-sung instead of feeling like cradle robbers slobbering over idols young enough to be our grandkids. Har!

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Lol Yeo Jin-goo is the exception for me, the rest are all ahjussi crush on darn good actors.

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how old exactly is middle age though? 40? 45? 50?!

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I guess that if you think you'll live to be 90, the middle is at 45?

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Thanks Drama gods :-)

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The gorgeous cinematography and the romance reminds me of On the Way to the Airport. Definitely will check out the show!

Recently I feel fed up with seeing too many drama couples with childhood connections.......really hoping that this would be a show where two people meet and just really enjoy each others' company, and they themselves (not fate) decide that they would like to stay together.

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Thats what I thought too....On the way to the airport....I miss the drama, might binge watch it......

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I'm agree with you

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I was just thinking/hoping the same thing, that the leads are not connected with each other from childhood or younghood or something. It gets rather repetitive, and unnecessary. We get it, the couple are made for each other, but how many couple are like that in real life?

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0.0000001%........as it rarely happens.......

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Must take a brave woman to fall in love with the guy from My Spring Days.

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@lordcobol,

LOL! Yeah, considering he was widowed twice... but one died in an accident, and the other had heart disease that even a transplant ultimately couldn't overcome.

On the other hand, he's the same guy who whooped it up in the steamy flick MARRIAGE IS A CRAZY THING. Hehehe.

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LOL :-)

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I love Kim Sun-ah. She has always been in my top favorites. I'll watch anything she's in. I would really like to see her play opposite someone younger than her. I think Park Seo-joon or Yoo Ah-In would be great to cast with her. Or Ji Sung. *squee!*

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I want both too but I think Yoo Ah-In will be good. I watched his previous drama secret love affair; that drama was hot and sizzling....

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Secret Love Affair is unrivalled, so different from the mainstream K-Dramas...a true gem like an art house movie.

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Yes yes yes
That's my wish too
Yoo ah in will be perfect

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Are we going to have mature grown-up people do mature grown-up things? I'm up for that.

Looks gorgeous.

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The premise of this sounds like a healing drama. Having come from Just Between Lovers, I'm not sure I'm ready for another melo that will bring me more tears and tears. Still having withdrawl symptoms...

But I will check this one out and see how it goes. Certainly the feels for a middle-aged couple will be different than that of a twenty-somethings.

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Just Between Lovers spoilt it for me. Was afraid I couldn't find something for me to move on quickly enough. But I have hope this drama can. The combination of two veteran actors and this screenwriter makes me very very hopeful indeed!

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Check out LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL for a lovely depiction of middle-aged married life -- and between grandma and grandpa -- as well as young adults. There's something for everyone.

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Thank you for the recommendation pankalanapikake! I quickly looked up life is beautiful and i saw kim yeong cheol and kim hae sook cast in it! I loved them as a mother/father couple to their kids in Father is Strange!

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@amyam,

I didn't know Kim Young-chul and Kim Hae-sook reprised in FATHER IS STRANGE. They're one of my all-time fave parental pairs. I only started watching family weekenders about a year ago because the length was too much (though I've watched 50-episode sageuks). Hmmm. Might have to reconsider FIS at some point.

I think my first family weekender was FIVE CHILDREN, which I loved. It had a really nice vibe (aside from the scheming makjang in-laws). But the rest of it was really sweet.

I recently watched the ironically-titled HAPPY HOME in which Kim Young-chul plays a successful chef who started out as a delivery boy at a noodle stand to support his younger siblings when they were orphaned, and he's still in that mindset. Even as a patriarchal tyrant, I can empathize with KYC's character Sam-bong because it's crystal clear what made him that way.

One of his daughters marries into a snooty family with a few secrets of its own. (Lee Pil-mo steals the show as her executive husband. Seo Yi-Sook plays his Evil Mom to the hilt with style and gusto. Only later do we find out what makes her tick.) Her dopey twin brother don't get no respect, and that leads to mayhem. Yun Da-hun (Little Uncle in LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL) reprises as a good-hearted uncle rather than a deeply-wounded one as in LIB. Lee Sang-woo, half of the OTP in LIB, plays a surgeon whose fatal error leads to heartbreak in more ways than one.

HAPPY HOME was addictive, and I marathoned it. I was surprised I enjoyed it so much. It bears more than a few similarities to HAPPY NOODLE, a Chinese series that had Yoon Si-yoon slinging noodles instead of kneading bread dough. I had to watch it as part of my YSY retrospective. ;-)

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You'll have to check out Father is Strange some time for sure!

I too was very reluctant to start watching 50 something episodes family dramas for their length, but FIS caught my attention (I didn't watch it live but marathoned it slightly after). Then I felt that 52 eps wasn't enough for this family haha

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@amyam February 3, 2018 at 7:16 PM

Thanks for your enthusiastic recommendation! It's nice to know that my favorite parents from Jejudo have another drama I can look forward to. ;-)

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Go Kim Sun Ah!

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I read a lots comments about the main male lead not being handsome enough for Kim Sun Ah.. maybe not, but i think he still looks lovable. :) i think they Will have great chemistry together

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How sad for them for not appreciating this 47 year old man's natural beauty.
I think he looks great for his age.

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I'm with you, Sis! I've got two words in reply: ahjussi fatale.

KWS looks free-range, too. As in free of botox and plastic surgery. It's refreshing to see someone who looks like himself instead of a clone of the latest trendy look in Gangnam.

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My first impression when I saw that promotional picture, 'this guy is gorgeous, '. Maybe those who commented he's not good looking enough are actually not the target audience for this drama.

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You may be right about the target demographic. In which case, "You kids gets off my lawn, and leave KWS to noona!" -- who is more than happy to share with other aficionadas. ;-)

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You have a good point...most probably those criticizing are stuck with some type of hyped perception of 'beauty' (for both sexes).

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Really? They are saying he's not good looking? I think he's gorgeous, with a mature sexiness.

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I can't tell you how many times I've felt like screaming when I see the phrase "aging like fine wine" used in reference to 30-year-olds. ROFLMAO! They've barely filled out at that age, and don't start coming into their own until their mid-30s. When they hit 40 you can say they're "maturing like fine wine." -- But you don't know that until you've lived those ages yourself. LOL!

(signed) Not Dead Yet.

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"I can't tell you how many times I've felt like screaming when I see the phrase "aging like fine wine" used in reference to 30-year-olds."

I'm in my 30s myself, and i can tell you 30s cant be called 'fine wine' yet. Like you said, 40s is when they start to mature, and get all cool, calm and collected.

Loled at the sign.

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He's waaaay more than lovable. He's charming and sensually mature, which is more appealing than "beautiful traits" of any wooden/stiff (pseudo-)actor. Check him out in Marriage is a crazy thing opposite smexy Uhm Junghwa for proof. 😇

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@karineonni,

Glad to meet a fellow fan of that flick. KWS is truly hot stuff in a role that puts a twist on the "other woman" trope. ;-)

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*waving*
I even shared the yt link of his steamy scene on Soompi's Spring days thread back then, cautiously warning everyone that their screen might spontaneously burn, to counter arguments and complaints of his "unsmexiness". Reactions afterwards sort of proved that my point was validated. :-D

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@Denali,

You probably triggered a few heart attacks with that movie recommendation. ;-)

By any chance are you up in Alaska? (I'm in Joisey.) The reason why I ask is that @Alaskan noted that the "fish bone" Monkey King, Great Sage of Heaven, delivered to the mermaid's ghost in the library in HWAYUGI a couple of weeks ago looked like an oosik, which was exactly what I thought, too. Dang, this conversation just got a bit weird. Oh, right. You're in the 49th State, Land of the Inuit?

I'm a bit sleep-deprived at the moment. At least I'm not behind the wheel. ;-)

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@pakalanapikake

I used to live in the land of the last frontier, above "the lower 48". 😉

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Love this chain of comments because Kam Woo-sung is gorgeous (and I might have just unconsciously liked every comment in this post which defeats the purpose, but oh well). Also, Kim Sun-ah is beautiful, and I'm definitely looking forward to this one.

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About an average ajusshi and ajumma? Who would have thought we'd ever get a story about average people?

Welcome back Kam Woo-sung!

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Right on, @kiara! A story about just folks. Now that's revolutionary love!

I jumped for joy when I first read that he'll be back in Kdramaland. He was terrific in THE KING AND THE CLOWN, and I've been a fan ever since.

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@pakalanapikake.
My first K-film was "The King and the Clown" (2007) and I have been a fan of Kam Woo-sung, Lee Jun-ki,Jung Jin‑young, Yoo Hae-jin and director Lee Joon-ik ever since.
This is a film I can go back to and watch it over and over.
This is the only film that I've ever did some research on the history, the actors, the soundtrack, set, filming etc and I've enjoyed it so much more.

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@kiara,

LOL! We are so much alike.

I don't recall if THE KING AND THE CLOWN was my very first Kfilm, but it was an early one. It's one that I go back and rewatch, too. It is gorgeous, poetic, and heartbreaking.

I did research on the show, too, from digging up English lyrics for "Fate" to reading up on the masks used by the actors, to reading some history -- and learning about the training in tightrope walking and acrobatics the jesters undertook.

I did a double take when King Yuri from KINGDOM OF THE WINDS morphed into Yeonsangun.

If I knew I was going to be stuck on a desert island, this is the movie I'd take with me.

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Snap! *looking at watch list and KING AND CLOWN is STILL on it* I need to find some time to see this before this drama comes out!

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@Ally

This is the best detail info you would get on "The King and Clown." (3 parts written by Mr X).
http://screenanarchy.com/2006/09/king-and-the-clown-special-3-the-king-and-the-clown-part-1-of-3.html
If you need more let me know. I'm sure @PakalanaPikake has some more too.

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@kiara, @ally-le, February 3, 2018 at 10:43 PM

Mahalo nui loa for that link to Mr. X's dandy review! I hadn't seen it before, although I've seen a number of the clips from the boxed set of DVDs on YouTube. It was so good I stayed up all night reading the whole thing (and watching the finale of MONEY FLOWER, which was a tad confusing minus the subtitles). Mr. X's historical background on the way in which the scholars brought the first literati purge upon themselves was illuminating. It was also interesting to read Yeonsangun's poetry.

I tried to look up the 2012 article on Hahoe masks that I mentioned earlier, but alas, it is no longer online. It was in Jon Dunbar's blog on Korea.net. Methinks the website got overhauled and it went bye-bye. The photos of the masks were beautiful, and his descriptions of the characters they represented were fascinating. I had saved the text and have posted it on my fan wall. I was cross-eyed from sleep deprivation, so formatting it was a challenge. I just put it up. Six screenloads are on my fan wall, starting with this post:

http://www.dramabeans.com/members/pakalanapikake/activity/384563/

I have a couple more links to put up. I hope it's useful. I found it interesting. I realize that Gong-gil and friends used a different type of mask, but I think those stock characters are going to be pretty similar to the Hahoe style.

Enjoy! ;-)

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Thanks, @kiara and @pakalanapikake for the links.

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@kiara February 3, 2018 at 10:43 PM, cc: @ally-le,

I really enjoyed Mr. X's review of THE KING AND THE CLOWN and what he had to say about PD Lee Jun-ik and actor Jung Jin-Young. Last night I finally got around to watching Lee's earlier film, HWANGSANBUL / ONCE UPON A TIME IN A BATTLEFIELD. I've been aware of it for a couple of years, but only managed to track it down with English subtitles in November.

I nearly busted a gut laughing at some of the scenes. So many historical sacred cows neatly shishkebab'd. I felt like I was watching a Korean MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL. I could recognize the bone rank references.

The cinematography was beautiful.

I'll rewatch before checking out the sequel, BATTLEFIELD HEROES.

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Oh my, it reminds me that I actually did some googling on Lee Jun Ki right after watching that movie to find out his gender. He was just beautiful in that movie.

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@Lou,

LOL! That may have been my intro to the flower boy phenomenon, too. The hippies and rockstars of my formative years were in a completely different universe. ;-)

I first saw LJG in ARANG AND THE MAGISTRATE, in which he did all his own action scenes and kicked butt all over the place. Watching THE KING AND THE CLOWN, the cognitive dissonance was wild, not to mention depressing. As Gong-gil, he looked a zillion times prettier than I ever did. LOL! I was mightily impressed with his feminine gait, mannerisms, and speech. The only thing he didn't do in the film was dance backwards in high heels a la Ginger Rogers.

Along with his doing his own stunts, brawling, horseback riding, sword fighting, etc., I've admired the lengths he goes to to expand his repertoire of roles.

Like another of my hack-and-slash faves, Jang Hyuk, he goes all in -- and sometimes a bit over the top. He and JH have reined themselves in a tad in recent years, and their deftness with nuance is a treat to behold. They also are terrific eye actors. JH just wrapped up the thoroughly excellent MONEY FLOWER, and it was a treat to watch his revenge plot unfold as he swam with the sharks -- his Evil Chaebol kin. Daebak!

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Me too :-) However My Spring Days a fiasco for me. I should go and watch the movie with Uhm Jung-Hwa.

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OH MY GOD. THIS MOOD. I loooooooooooooove mature romances like this. MY HEART!!!

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Ahh I see some similar vibes with I Have A Lover * these teasers 😍😍😍* except that this one might not be a very complicated like that one. So looking forward to this drama.

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This looks so beautiful. Can't wait, finally a drama with love between older people!

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The poster gives me the vibe of mature and intense romance at its best.. cant wait to watch it.....

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With this OTP, "intense" may be an understatement. I'm thinking "10-alarm slow burn."

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Looking forward to watching. Hope DramaBeans staff has time to do recaps.

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Will definitely watch this. Or at least give it a 4 episodes try.

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ohhhh, i'm so glad they are offering dramas for those of us who are of a certain age that can relate to the "later in life" situations...

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Thanks for the update, GirlFriday!

The gorgeous locations in the woods and at the shore in the first clip captivated me, but it was the music in the second teaser that sold me. This sounds like it will be a lovely OST.

Kim Sun-ah looks terrific. I got some nice KIM SAM SOON vibes -- or were those flashbacks? Kam Woo-sung is looking mighty fine. Crossing my fingers that the script is as good as the leads. Here's hoping that the melodrama stays low-key and average, just like the characters. A nice meditation on mature romance would be just dandy by me.

One of the advantages of having a middle-aged OTP is the decreased likelihood of a Mother-in-Law From Hell who's still alive and kicking. ;-)

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Late-breaking update:

After watching episodes 11-12, it seems that the female lead's own mother did something really bad. So much for my Mother-in-Law from Hell theory.

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Looks pretty good. Just yesterday, I was mentioning to one of our fellow Beanies that whether the ages of drama leads are 25, 45 or 50's and beyond ..... if a story is good, well-acted and it captures our attention, it'll be a show that is enjoyed.

Looking forward to finding out what this drama has in store for us.

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I may just watch this for the actors and portraying a more mature love story.

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KSA + KSW + IHAL writer + these beautiful and poignant teasers!

How can it not be my next most anticipated drama?!

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Where do I sign up? My only hope is that it isn't too melodramatic. My heart could barely handle JBL...Please let this be good!

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Thanks for the update @girlfriday! So far I love everything about this show. The teasers look beautiful and interesting.
I think this show might be exactly what I need for my own "healing".

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That's wonderful news! I love Kam Woo-Sung...and the premise of a mature drama,I'm in.
Older people have more stories to tell...

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Wow
Am definitely watching this, totally my type
I don't know the actor but he seems veteran
I just wish SKA would change that hair style it suits her well but the long her gives her lighter and younger vibe

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In addition to his iconic performance with Lee Joon-gi in THE KING AND THE CLOWN, Kam Woo-sung was terrific in ALONE IN LOVE, THE SPRING DAY OF MY LIFE, and MARRIAGE IS A CRAZY THING. ;-)

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Imma so so so so eagerly waiting for this show

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I Love the OTP from just between lovers.. another romantic melodrama.. such a beautiful couple. They were a bit awkward ( it was understandable) wonderful couple. One of my fav drama couples.

Here, we have a lovable ahjussi and beautiful ahjumma who meet and fall in Love :D both experienced in love, but who still fall PASSIONATELY DEEPLY in love with each other <333 bullshit that only young adults can fall in Love.

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Wow, the veteran actors. I like Kim Sun Ah since My Lovely Samsoon. And I like Kam Woo Sung from My Spring Days. Think I need to prepare tissue for this..

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It appears that SHOULD WE KISS FIRST isn't being recapped. I've watched the first two weeks' episodes, and am enjoying it very much.

Episode 8 references Kent Haruf's novel Our Souls at Night, which was made into a Netflix original movie. I watched it today, and suggest that viewers of SWKF consider doing likewise. Just as BECAUSE THIS LIFE IS OUR FIRST referenced THE GRADUATE and Doris Lessing's short story "Room 19," and familiarity with those works gave insight into Ji-ho's thinking, so too does watching OUR SOULS AT NIGHT enhance the vibe of the drama. I've posted links to the movie and one of songs on my fan wall. ;-)

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cc: @thequiet1, @marina, @spazmo, @mjfan4life, @kethysk, @kiara, @ally-le, @serendipity, @cloggie, @umbrellaman, @kimbapnoona, @seralovestteobokki

A Modest Proposal to Use This Thread for Discussing and Fangirling over SHOULD WE KISS FIRST? until Such Time as It Might be Wee-capped, Etc.

IMHO, this thread is a logical place to continue to discuss SWKF. How about it, Beanies? ;-)

Rather than lose track of a couple of nice discussion threads I've participated in elsewhere on DB, here are the permalinks:

1) thread #2 @PYC March 2, 2018 at 6:43 AM got the ball rolling here:
http://www.dramabeans.com/2018/03/open-thread-541/#comment-3203878

2) thread #9 @Marciaann March 2, 2018 at 9:08 PM
http://www.dramabeans.com/2018/03/team-dramabeans-what-were-watching-93/#comment-3204503

If you know of other good conversations about SWKF, please consider posting the permalinks to this thread. If I understand correctly, comments on Open Thread and fan walls do not turn up in searches of the DB site.

FYI: Starting on 02/20/18, I've been posting background music and other material related to SHOULD WE KISS FIRST on my fan wall. It starts with episode 4. I don't recall whether music in earlier episodes failed to catch my ear, or it was too difficult to hear and identify the BGM. Enjoy! ;-)

Please tell your Beanie buddies where to hang out to shoot the breeze. Let the fangirling and fanboying begin. ;-) -- PakalanaPikake

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Thank you @pakalanapikake 💓

At first I thought we will get heart-wrenching melo but so far it is more on a lowkey melo which I hope it will be until the end.

As I put on my wall, one of many things I appreciate with this drama is how it didn’t take a long time to reveal another side of characters. That’s how you write frustrating and not so likeable characters in drama, viewers do not have patient to wait for many episodes in order to understand characters especially the annoying ones - such as Park Shi-yeon's character ( I still can't remember everyone's name), she is the home wrecker, but at times she looks like she has a conscience and it has been revelealed she has her own conscience although at times she is still acting childish. Beween her and Oh Ji-ho's character, I dislike Oh's character more. I understand he feels guilty, but what he is doing just to add more conflicts. He still act like Soo-jin's husband who intervenes with her life. One thing I'm curious, why Soo-jin has so many debts - was it related to her ex FIL, but why she is burdened with it, not her ex husband.

So many awkward moments that I die laughing in embarrasment LOL. I hope many more to come. Sometimes I feel like we are watching cable drama, not public broadcaster's drama LOL.

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You're most welcome, @seralovestteobokki! This will likely end up like the JUST BETWEEN LOVERS thread.

I'm wondering about Soon-jin's burden of debt, too. I guess we'll just have to hang loose until Writer-nim sees fit to enlighten us. OTOH, we've already seen how her path crossed with Mu-han's at the zoo.

I agree, this does feel like a cable show such as HYENA. (It's one of my faves because it has Oh Man-seok and his hyung Yun Da-hun, with Shin Sung-rok and Kim Min-jong.) Hmmm. Kim Sun-ah would have fixed their wagons but good. Har!

Now that I think of it, there's a bit of a HAPPY HOME vibe, too, what with the loss of a child and the ensuing estrangement between the bereaved parents.

It will hit the fan when Mu-han finds out that Daughter Dearest's horrid behavior in the air resulted in Soon-jin's job loss. I was just about cheering when the little snot experienced her own "water landing." Har!

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BTW, it occurs to me that Soon-Jo's apartment is cramped with a mix of the FIL's and baby's stuff. Is that right? If so, isn't it illustrative of her not able to get over the grieving phase or what? And 401 is a stark contrast to the almost clinically clean setting of Mu-Han's 501.

I guess the writer will gradually reveal the FIL, baby and debt/loan shark back stories

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I didn't realize there was baby stuff in Soon-jin's apartment amongst all the clutter. Thanks for pointing that out. That cranks up the "unable to move on after death of baby" vibe. Perhaps it was a stillbirth as in ALONE IN LOVE.

In HAPPY HOME, the child was run over en route to or from school, and Mom remained bipolarly distraught. She maintained his room as a shrine, and drove Dad out of his tree. Having a dragon for a mother-in-law who was even worse than Su-ho's stepmother in RADIO ROMANCE (while demanding a replacement grandson) made for a truly purgatorial situation. At least Soo-jin doesn't have to contend with a battleaxe of a MIL in addition to all her other woes. Who knows -- her in-laws may actually have been kind and loving, and she is bereft without them.

I noticed how neat and orderly Mu-han's place is, but I wouldn't call it spartan. It's very nicely appointed, but understated and not tacky. I groan at the kitschy ostentation I've seen is so many wealthy homes. They invariably have ginormous crystal chandeliers that belong in a hotel lobby. It reminds me of the lament of a famed pioneer designer of historic interiors in Massachusetts who rued the fact that people with good taste are without money, while those with plenty of money are without good taste. It really pissed off his clients. ;-)

Mu-han's place is loaded with books, as I would expect of someone in his profession. A man after my own heart.

It may be that, because he has a dog, he scrupulously keeps up with the vacuuming. One of my friends had a German shepherd whose thick undercoat resulted in so much shedding she could have knit whole sweaters out of the resulting fur. And my dongsaeng's collie-German shepherd mix shed so heavily she used to call her canine associate "the Mount Pinatubo of dog hair." LOL.

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Eps 9 and 10 recap is up now at https://www.bah-doo.com/

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oof, the scenes between Mu Han and his daughter and then him visiting his father's grave were heartbreaking. There is so much unresolved pain for him that it's hard to not feel it for him. Kam Woo Sung is always fantastic, especially when his eyes are oozing with emotions like in this episode.
I found Kim Sun Ah's comedic acting in this episode to be a bit over the top (the scene where she goes to his apartment at night-- I know it's supposed to be awkward, but suddenly she seems 15 and childish). Elsewhere in the episode, her enduring all the abuse from the wife was painful to watch. Speaking of the wife, I did not appreciate the domestic violence in this episode one bit. I think that there are more tasteful ways to display the wife's anger than with physical abuse. Overall, not the best episode, but Kam Woo Sung is a scene stealer.
Preview for the next one is amping up the sexiness, so I am happily waiting to watch tomorrow's episode :]

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@blueceramic,

I agree about Mu-han's family situation. I infer that he might have been a trophy husband who found himself feeling like an alien after marrying into a chaebol family, but that's just a shot in the dark.

His unwanted meeting with his daughter was truly sad. I'm willing to bet that he'd been forced to give up custody rights when his wife ran off to America. But no one has ever told his daughter the truth, so she hates him. Jung Da-bin has amped up the entitlement since her character in MY SASSY GIRL, and is now a fully-fledged spoiled brat. While it's apparent to me why she's acting out, I still cannot stand it. I loathe her brand of manipulation. She's such bad news that I don't know why Soon-jin didn't call the cops on her for her home invasion. It's bad enough that the little twerp purposely got Soon-jin fired from her job. Luckily Mu-han laid down the law regarding his girlfriend to her when she broke into his home. But I still don't understand why he didn't call the cops on her. He already knows that she committed grand theft auto and assaulted the barista.

After ep. 11-12, we now know that Soon-jin's daughter was school-age when she died, about 6-7, I think. I'm in the dark as to cause of death. Wouldn't be surprised if it were some kind of accident. Perhaps Dad was negligent. Or maybe it was something else, and Soon-jin's utter grief that lasted for year after year is what finally drove Dad away.

Like you, I am uncomfortable with second wife Ji-min's readiness to physically assault anyone she doesn't agree with. I find it hard to sympathize with her as she really was the "other woman" -- with Soon-jin's ex just as blameworthy. She was also Soon-jin's boss at work, so she comes off as extra pathetic. I'm going into face-slapping overload between Ji-min and the obnoxious dames in RADIO ROMANCE.

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The show did mention that he worked a lot in the early part of his career, so idk if he became a trophy husband afterward. Maybe because he was never there for his family that caused the beginning of the rift with his ex-wife?

I'm curious as to the connection between Soon Jin's daughter and Mu Han, if there is one, and why he keeps reiterating that he is not allowed to love her (ep. 11 & 12)-- what is keeping that boundary? But from the preview for next week, he's starting to cave in to his affection for her.

That last scene on the bus was a nice, touching ending to this week's episodes. I love, love the quietness in Kam Woo Sung and Kim Sun Ah acting. The little moments are really tugging at my heart.

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Maybe "trophy husband" isn't quite the right word. I guess we'll just have to wait until we find out why his wife married him in the first place. I'd thought she might have been after a brainy, handsome dude but he felt out of his league because her family was loaded. Maybe they tried to get him to work in the family business and he worked all the harder at his chosen profession.

I certainly think that his working a lot caused estrangement. But maybe he was taking refuge in work.

Mu-han's repeated statement that he is not allowed to love Soon-jin reminds me of Park Do-kyung in OH HAE-YOUNG AGAIN. The latter caused OHY's fiance to go bankrupt, and was wracked with guilt over it. I can't figure out what Mu-han means by this mantra, so I'll just have to wait until we get more to go on.

From what I can tell at this time, the only connection Mu-han has to Soon-jin's daughter is the fact that his father is buried in the same graveyard that the little girl is -- an not far away, either.

I can see little chinks in his armor from time to time. But when I really think about that day at the zoo, he'd already fallen for her, or was well on the way.

And yes, I enjoy the understated acting of this pair. When Soon-jin isn't raising cain, she can be wonderfully nuanced. The closing scene of them riding on the bus while listening to a vintage Discman is great.

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I think that whatever caused the daughter's death is the reason for the lawsuit that Soon-jin lost. I do wonder what role Soon-jin's mother played in it all, as she seemed to apologise and saying it was her fault???

Then the scene with the daughter made me really worried about Mu-han. At first I thought he had just given up custody rights, like you said @pakalanapikake but I don't think that's a good enough reason for the way in which he acts around his daughter.

Because if that was the case, he could just have said: I've given you up, you're not allowed to be around me (or words like that). It would be painful and it would achieve what he wants. He tries to do his best to push her away from him at whatever cost, like he pushed her away from the dying dog, and it made me wonder if he .... I'm not even going to type it here.

Anyway, the way he keeps saying to Soon-jin: do whatever you want with me, and also paying of her debt (that answered your loanshark question @pakalanapikake!) it all makes me worry about his well-being.

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I hated that domestic violence of the wife against her husband. I also got the very uncomfortable feeling that I was supposed to find it funny when she rolls the bandage around her hand like a boxer preparing for a fight. Well, I didn't. I thought it was awful. It made me feel even more that this is a common occurrence in that household: when she's angry with him she punches him in the face? I just can't with all the casual violence anymore.

As you said: there are better ways of displaying her anger. She could just have stolen all his blankets or continuously woken him up. Hitting him until he bleeds is appalling.

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@epyc2010,

Thanks for the pointer to the Drama Milk blog. I've also consulted it for GRAND PRINCE, which is not being recapped here at DB. It's been helpful.

Some of the ep. 11-12 comments at Viki were illuminating. It helps a great deal to learn that the title of Mu-han's book is "Alien on Earth." If that doesn't speak volumes, I don't know what would.

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I've got to admit that I'm not a fan of a loveline between spoiled brat Yi-deun and industrious barista Ha-min. Here's hoping that that pounding heartbeat she experienced came from smelling his coffee. Leave the poor dude alone. You did enough damage rupturing his spleen. Grr.

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I'm not a fan of this pair at all. Unfortunately the guy's greenness shows beside the other actors in this drama and the girl is just annoying. I think I should feel sympathy for her - as well as being irritated by her - and I don't. But part of that is not only her screaming but the writing as well - when she was swallowing that handful of coffeebeans in the hospital to get out of being told off that was just so annoying!

Anyway, I'm waiting for the reveal of the deep-seated childhood trauma that caused her coffee allergy. Probably some coffee-related incident that made her parents divorce? Did it also involve the dog?

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Oy gevalt! Yi-deun's screeching drives me out of my tree. I agree that the way the character has been written has prejudiced me severely against her. At this point, I'd like to lock her in a cage with Wife #2 and let the games begin.

I'm also beginning to wonder if the actress is getting typecast. She played Joo Won's scheming kid sister in MY SASSY GIRL, but is much more obnoxious in this show. Perhaps she's written this way so the conflict with her dad and Soon-jin will be that much more heartwarming when everyone ends up singing "Kumbaya" together.

Scarfing down the coffee beans in the hospital wasn't the only time she pulled that trick. She purposely ordered espresso on the airplane to get Soon-jin fired. I can't wait until her father finds out and (hopefully) bounces her sorry butt back to America. -- Dad's got a coffee allergy, too, IIRC.

As for barista, he's green all right, but young actors have to start somewhere. Getting to work with these veterans might teach him a few things.

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Ahhhh she's so annoying! I understand that they probably want to introduce a backstory sometime later but it must take a whole lot to raise a child this badly.

Definitely not living up to her namesake of Eden, this one.

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At this rate she might have to change her name to Gomorrah, Purgatory, or Hell. Or the Italian-sounding Avici. Sheesh.

Methinks mother let her run wild out of guilt and a misunderstanding that anything goes in America. And she probably didn't allow step-dad to discipline her.

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I am a fan of this loveline ^^ Yi-deun is bearable for me, she definitely need some spanking but there are some glimpses of nice character trait. I like that she chose to spend the night in jail rather than calling his dad because she doesn’t want their first meeting in police station, and she sincerely feel guilty to coffee boy. Also feel a sense of justification since she got her comeuppance pretty quickly (how satisfying is that lake-drop!) and lost her dream first-meeting-with-dad moment.
In fact, in this drama so far everybody has made their bed and now have to lie in it. Not just the heroine is suffering, but the “villains” too. Like Ji-min, the silver spoon home-breaker chaebol who takes whatever she wants (heck, am betting she got pregnant on purpose), has to face the misery of loving somebody who doesn't love her as much and living in Soon-jin’s shadow. And the ex-hubby, omg, such a pathetic existence…
And yayyyy for having a place to discuss this awesome show!

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I checked up on the TV rating for this show, and it's doing quiet well in Korea, slowly inching up from the early teens; yet, for whatever reason, it doesn't have much fanfare on international audience? Aside from a few straggling comment threads on here, the drama thread on Soompi forums, and Drama Milk recaps, I can't seem to find any other discussions. The good thing is that the viewers who are commenting are loving the show thus far, and there have been some healthy discussions that I have read.

I wonder why there is that discrepancy? Is it because it's not a trendy drama that international audience gravitates toward? No boastful, power ballad OST? But two veteran actors! And a unique, mature story line should be a draw? No?

It's been a HOT minute since I've watched a drama in live time (last time was maybe Secret Garden in 2011?) I'm used to watching a drama over a break, and I tend to gravitate towards ones that are well received on Dramabeans, so I've been indulgent on recaps and hundreds of comments per episode to read-- I haven't experienced this discussion drought in years! Luckily, this show doesn't end on dramatic cliffhangers, otherwise, I would be tearing my hair out. Although the consistent flashbacks at the end of every episode are leaving a robust trail of clues and keeping me coming back every week for more.

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SHOULD WE KISS FIRST isn't the only show that's out in the cold. The excellent MONEY FLOWER and JUST BETWEEN LOVERS were not recapped, either. GRAND PRINCE isn't being recapped, and I suspect that neither will most of the new ones starting up soon.

There's been a significant decrease in shows being recapped here at DB, which makes me appreciate even more all the shows that have been recapped in the past couple of years that I've been hanging out here. I didn't start live-watching at DB until OH HAE-YOUNG AGAIN aired nearly two years ago. In 2017 I participated in discussions on 35 complete dramas that were airing -- which is a lot for me. It represents a lot of time, effort, and dedication on the part of recappers. Not having DB's detailed recaps is showing me just how vital they've been to my understanding Kdramas in context. (Thanks from the bottom of my heart, guys!)

The recaps provide forums for commenting, too. Without them, there's no single place to congregate and chat. Comments get scattered thither and yon on Open Thread on Fridays and What We're Watching on the weekend, on personal fan walls, and heaven knows where else. One of the things that I really appreciate about DB recaps is that they are organized by episode, which makes them much easier to traverse than the Soompi forums. (My first live-watching and commenting was over there for THE KING'S DAUGHTER in 2013-14. It was my first real sageuk, and only my second Kdrama, and the learning curve was steep. I met the nicest folks, and had excellent, thoughtful discussions. I just returned there to discuss this show and GRAND PRINCE.)

As for the apparent lack of interest in SWKF on the international scene, I can't help but wonder whether licensing considerations have something to do with it. I've noticed that subtitles for various shows seem to be taking longer, too.

Maybe there aren't enough car chases and explosions to grab international viewers who are fixated on comic book heroes.

I'm glad the show is doing so well in Korea. It's encouraging that there's appreciation for veteran actors who can act, and not just teenybopper idols. The fact that it deals with middle-aged folks is encouraging. How else are the first waves of Hallyu stars going to be able to continue acting if there are no roles for them?

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What shows being recapped is a choice and reflection of the taste and preference of the recappers. DB is a site heavily geared towards romcom until HeadsNo2 and gummimochi came along who have a broader range of interests including sagueks, thrillers, and some of the more serious dramas. Then more recappers joined DB that eventually made it a bigger platform than many others for drama recaps. With H's and G's departure, I felt DB is returning to its former romcom-centric self.

As to the relatively cold response of international fans to dramas like SWKF, Money Flowers or JBL, it has a lot to do what international Kdrama sites are discussing as their fan base tends to be those in the age bracket from upteen to the 20 something (or this is the age group among their fans who are more likely to comment than other fans). Soompi and DB would be the obvious examples especially the former: on any single day you have a look on the first page of the Soompi drama threads, you'll see the most commented dramas are almost without exception dramas led by young hot actors or actresses. It is a demographic thing - picture JBL headlined by e.g. Yoo Seung-ho and Park Shin-hye, it will be a different story rating-wise, buzz-wise (but of course we know that might then be quite a different drama in terms of delivery). Dramas headlined by the more mature actors are generally below the low radar of international fans, which is a pity. Misty is a rare exception at DB and thanks to Mary and Odilettante but its page count is only 38 at Soompi - and SWKF is a measly 8.

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You make a good point about the demographics. Being a woman of a certain age, I'm not all that keen on the more teenybopperish shows. (Then again, I wasn't much of a fangirl when I actually was a teenybopper myself.)

Your alternate casting thought experiment for JUST BETWEEN LOVERS really drives the demographic point home. It would have been a different show. And it was already perfect just as it was.

I haven't been around DB long enough to know about the past skew towards rom-com. But it makes sense. Being a sageuk nut myself, I realize it takes a lot of special knowledge, a background in history, and ability to deal with the formal court language. Recappers with those abilities and interests don't grow on trees.

Good, experienced actors get older just like everyone else. A lot of the early Hallyu stars are now hitting their late 30s - early 40s or even older, and they need good roles -- or they'll be out of work. Which would be a great pity. How many Korean Laurence Oliviers will Kdramaland be deprived of because of a dearth of age-appropriate roles? The thought depresses me. At least on this thread we put up a spirited defense of hunky middle-aged actors. ;-)

You're right on the money about SWKF on Soompi, where I've also started hanging out, not only for that show, but for GRAND PRINCE as well. I need all the help I can get when watching sageuks. ;-)

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The good news is that this year seems to be a good year for older actors and actresses as many of them are being cast in dramas, perhaps even outnumbering young hot actors in their 20s. We have these veterans to look forward to: Kim Myung Min, Lee Seon Kyun, Yoon Sang Hyun, Son Ye Jin, Chun Jung Myung, and more I am forgetting. Heck, we have an upcoming drama featuring three not-so-hot ajusshis for heavens' sakes.

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The song that's playing on Soon-jin's Discman on the bus is "Etude of Memory" by Kim Dong-ryul. I vaguely recognized it. Turns out it's in ARCHITECTURE 101. Thanks to ziarama on the Soompi forum for identifying it. ;-)

I've posted a link to English lyrics on my fan wall.

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Nice to see SWKF discussion is dripping in here.

As the drama unfolds, MH seems to be that guardian angel behind SJ. One question comes to my mind. That is, if 401 and 501 is a mere coincidence. I didnt have the time to rewatch the first episodes but recall both seemed to be re-connected through that flight but would there be a back story about their living in the same building?

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I was wondering that too! In the opening scene of ep1, he says something like 'it was all planned' and I am really curious to know at what point the planning started.

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@cloggie, @epyc2010,

I must have missed that bit about "It was all planned" in ep. 1. I haven't been all that thrilled with the subtitles as some of them are entirely missing throughout various episodes. I may have to take another gander at it. Maybe Mu-han really has been quietly waiting in the wings for Soon-jin.

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Thanks for that pointer, Cloggie!

I think this flew over my head the first couple of times around (raw & subbed). Now I'm beginning to see that certain coincidences may not be random after all.

The incoming waves are beautiful to watch in that scene at the beach.

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@pakalanapikake what I also like about this, is that she'd going her best to play him (and failing miserably) but he's actually the one planning it all? All for their own good of course :-)

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Moo-han was surprised to see it was her place, so I am not so sure he knew, although I would be glad if that is the case since have been kinda bothered by all the coincidences. I thought it was the plane meeting that started everything, and the second meeting in front of the court is still believable, but the meeting in the cemetery is a bit far-fetched.
I do wonder whether he kept tabs of her after saving her in the zoo, since he seems to care enough to do that. I also wonder whether he ever regret saving her, or at least feel that she’s now his responsibility, because she wouldn’t have to face all that hardships if he didn’t save her then…

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That is a valid point. Moo Han's motives are complicated and somehow deep and true, and a sense of responsibility over the present she is facing because he ensured that she did not die could be a big part of it.

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I've thought that were going back in time with those meetings at the end of each episode? That the cemetery meeting was before the court meeting was before the plane meeting? That on the plane he recognised her from the cemetery and that's why he followed her that time?

Did I get that wrong?

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Your timeline is correct, 11 years ago = cemetery meeting, 6 years ago = plane meeting, and 4 years ago = court meeting.
I always thought their first meeting is at the plane, and he agreed about the blind date because of her name. Kinda dislike the reveal of the actual first cemetery meeting coz it's pushing the fate button a bit much, methink.
Also, it might be that he really doesn't recognize her as the grieving mom and only remembered after seeing the ex-hubby?

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Permission to join the drama discussion thread! *raise hands*
This is AFTER EPISODE 01-12, in case anybody wants to avoid…

In regards of Soon-jin mom, is it possible that she was married to ex-hubby’s dad before, and the relationship between ex-hubby and Soon-jin actually started as step-sibling? Throwing my theory out there ^^
Because Ji-min mentioned somewhere about “I am a sinner, your mother is a sinner” before, it was in my mind that the mom have an affair. But after she apologized to ex-hubby, I wonder if she was actually married to his dad, and she cheated and that caused her estrangement with Son-jin, who chose to live and take care of the dad not only because she loved him as a dad but also out of guilt.
This might also explain why ex-hubby never stops feeling responsible for Soon-jin (which manifest in so many wrong ways).
Anyway, I like how the show unfolds their past in one tantalizing bit after another.

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Oops! Late to reply. Please join us, @meowingme!

I hadn't gotten the impression that there had been a relationship between Soon-jin's mother and Kyung-soo's father. Someone(s) above suggested that Soon-jin's mother may have testified in court that she was out of her mind with grief which resulted in her being committed to an institution. Or maybe Mom was a witness to her attacks on Homewrecker Wife #2, and testified as a witness against her own daughter. (Hey! If she didn't, she could have been jailed for lying under oath, obstruction of justice, etc., etc.) That makes sense to me, but I really don't know at this time.

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Hi @pakalanapikake, thanks for starting the discussion thread!
After ep 13-14, yea, it seems my theory is way makjang ^^ The theory that mom has something to do with Soon-jin's having a criminal record seems on point so far.

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I just finished watching eps. 13 & 14 raw, and nearly fell off my chair laughing at the scene with the car broken down by the side of the road en route to the pet cemetery. Soon-jin opens the sunroof and pops up like a meerkat to holler "Ogenki desu ka?" [How are you?] at Mu-han while he waits outside for a tow truck (I hope!) as the snow falls.

She's reenacting an iconic scene from the wonderful 1995 Japanese film LOVE LETTER. Highly recommended! I think I'm going to rewatch it because there are elements in LOVE LETTER that, as in OUR SOULS AT NIGHT, dovetail with SHOULD WE KISS FIRST, among them love from afar that was only recognized long after the fact. I don't want to spoil the plot for anyone who hasn't seen it. It's one of my favorite movies, with gorgeous cinematography and superb music. Its tone is meditative and low-key. I love the way it unfolds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xNzjga-U4Y

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Thanks for this PakalanaPikake - I wondered what it was referencing. I picked it was Japanese, and wondered if it was really well known because I didn’t see a Hangul subtitle on the screen.
This show though. Just when I think i’m over it, along comes another lil hook to keep me there.
Mu Han & Byeol - as much as I was really angry at the way Mu Han kept Byeol alive even though he knew the extent of the suffering, the farewell was beautifully done.
PS - am almost 50 myself, so am loving seeing the reality of middle age being played out - the aches and pains after the bus escape, and every time she tells him he’s a perv 🤣

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You're welcome, Helenya!

I took a conversational Japanese class many years ago, and this is one of the few phrases I remember. -- I could have sworn I saw a Hangeul chyron when Soon-jin shouted it.

LOVE LETTER was the movie that Jin-jin and Ji-won went to separately watch at a late-night showing in episodes 5-6 of 20TH CENTURY BOY AND GIRL. Ji-won's drawing of a basketball is a reference to the movie.

I first encountered LOVE LETTER when several scenes from it appeared in 9 END 2 OUTS / TWO OUTS IN THE BOTTOM OF THE 9TH. In the movie, a book is dropped off at a student's home to be returned to the school library: Marcel Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu, which is variously translated as Remembrance of Things Past and In Search of Lost Time. I'd forgotten that part of the story, and am tickled to bits at that meta reference because it adds additional layers to the relationship that has existed between Soon-jin and Mu-han for 11 years. LOVE LETTER itself is touchingly introspective. It also bears a resemblance to OH HAE-YOUNG AGAIN.

If you are enjoying SHOULD WE KISS FIRST, then I urge you to watch LOVE LETTER. It is a quiet masterpiece in its own right. But the nuances it adds to the drama increase the feels tenfold for me. It's like leavening that increases the lightness and delicacy of bread when it has been allowed sufficient time and warmth to grow. If Writer-nim called attention to the film, it was for a reason.

The question "Ogenki desu ka?" doesn't just mean "How are you" in the film. And I suspect that Soon-jin means something else by it, too.

IIRC, the film was very popular in Korea when it was released in 1995. Apparently it is still popular enough to play in cinemas, judging from 20TH CENTURY BOY AND GIRL. I think it was a special twentieth-anniversary re-release.

Yeah, I was uncomfortable with Byeol's suffering, too. I think it's shown for a reason, and not just because she was her human's best and (nearly) only friend for so many years. Letting go is difficult for Mu-han. Recall how Yi-deun accused him of throwing her away? Mu-han is a man who does not throw those he cares about away. I'm willing to bet that he didn't put up a fight in order to spare his daughter being caught in a divorce battle.

PS: I've got a good decade on you, and can identify only too well with the all the references to creaking joints, degenerative arthritis, and other reminders of physical mortality. I'm still not sure why Soon-jin keeps calling him a perv when she's not behind the door herself. ;-)

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Loved what Soon-jin did, so cheeky! Yet knowing where the scene comes from added a melancholic tone... I didn't even watch the movie, but recognise this scene after watching a bunch of k-variety shows; it is indeed iconic.
It seems our OTP has bad karma with vehicles ><

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I don't know what's cooking with Soon-jin's friend Mi-ra. Based on her strange food cravings, she may be pregnant. Like Park Do-kyung's crazy noona in OH HAE-YOUNG AGAIN who was also played by Ye Ji-won, she also apparently speaks French. I chuckled when I recognized the song she was singing. It had been used as background music in TEMPERATURE OF LOVE. I think it was "Je m'appelle Hélène" by Hélène Rollès. It's posted on my fan wall along with a couple more French songs used in TOL.

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Of course I recognised that song straight away 🤣🤣🤣

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I kind of thought you might. ;-)

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I adore Mi-ra and hubby and their marriage! And totally think she is using her knowing way to educate hubby on her pregnancy. If not then she is trolling him big time...
Plus she is such a good friend to Soon-jin, love how she cajoles Soon-jin when everybody else "takes care" of Soon-jin by ordering or dragging her around.
As for Ye Ji-won, she's 4D in real live! I've watched her in Running Man, serenading Yoo Jae-sook with a french ballad on a guitar ^^

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I get a kick out of Mi-ra and In-woo. It's refreshing to see a couple like them for a change. Such a pleasant switch from Mrs. Assault and Battery Homewrecker and Cheating Ex, and Su-ho's totally dysfunctional "parents" in RADIO ROMANCE.

I, too, appreciate how Mi-ra supports Soon-jin. In-woo does the same with Mu-han, although he doesn't seem to be aware of his friend's medical condition.

Ye Ji-won is 4D in real life? That explains how she's able to pull off these characters so convincingly. They must have been written with her in mind. I can't imagine anyone else playing Park Soo-kyung. But just as much as she was over the top, she also conveyed exquisite sensitivity and fragility beneath her badass noona persona. It was a lovely, nuanced study in contrasts.

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Gah!!!!!!!!! Why?!?!?!?!? Why, why, why, why?!?!?!?!?!?!

I mean, I know it's billed as a melodrama, but did you have to?!?!?!?!

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Oh goodness, so much heartache is in store for our couple (and us...I can already feel my tear ducts getting ready for action).

In 13 & 14, Byeol's arc made me feel so much for Mu Han. There's always something especially tragic about losing a pet that's a part of your family for years. And that line "there's some sadness no one can help you recover from-- you have to go through it all by yourself" being echoed in the episode is so poignant. It's not in Soon Jin's position to "heal" him from Byeol's death; I don't think anyone can do that but himself.

Episode 15&16 got hella real y'all. That cancer-of-doom scene hit me like a ton of bricks. I was like....are we back to early 2000s dramaland?? And you're right, this was billed as a melo and all the "I'm not allowed to love you" and "IDK if I can make it to the cherry blossom festival" clues were sprinkling all over the place so I should've seen it coming, but STILL...ugh. Which made me think-- this show ends in early April (and the show's timeline seems congruent with real-life time)....the doctor's prognosis is that he won't make it to May, and Mu Han promised that he would...what does that mean?? And that ending to episode 16. Ooof, even more added angst and misunderstanding (but is it really a misunderstanding on Mu Han's part of a misreading of Soon Jin about herself?)

I think this week's episodes were extra touching and insightful into the world of dating and loving in the later decades of life. That spiel Soon Jin gave the morning after was moving and perceptive, and Mu Han's reaction was equally great. And then we get his reaction after her phone call. No matter the age, once you put your heart on the line and then (seemingly) gets stomped on, it's going to hurt something fierce. We'll see Mu Han reeling from that pain in the next 2 episodes.

Ahhh, this show is truly something else.

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Guess there is that one certain thing a melodrama has to have... *cries in the corner* and the cherry blossom talk! *wails*
So many wires criss-crossing, next week is going to be a hard watch after this week's magical eps. Am going to be sad if Moo-han can't see the real Soon-jin underneath all those parasite disguise. Did he notice that she (tries to) seduce him only to backpedal when the real moments of intimacy came? Beside of his hurt, am suspecting he is also trying to be a noble idiot due to his conversation with ex-hubby (that meddling s-o-b whose name I refuse to remember).

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He has been really good so far about seeing through her disguises and finding her adorable anyway. It's one of the things I love about this drama. Here's to hoping that continues.

Although . . . he may well choose to nurture this delusion of hers. So that when he goes she won't be devestated. So that he can leave her a rich widow who won't grieve too long. Yeah, right. We've seen what grief does to her. So has he.

Stupid looming C. We did not need this. Our show was perfectly lovely without it. Soon-jin hasn't gotten over her daughter's death 10 years ago, and now your throwing this at her??? I want my awkward grown-up love story! I want to see the snotty stephdaughter whipped into shape! I want healing for everyone!

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Yea, the terminal illness makes the drama feel a bit standard when it's been refreshing with the "awkward grown-up love story" so far...
As for I-deun, I really hope Soon-jin realises soon that she can totally utilise pretty barista to control Her Snottiness!

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After getting lulled into a false sense of security following Byeol's death, I feel like I've been sucker-punched repeatedly in episodes 15 & 16. Just when Mu-han (and the rest of us) thought that he had everything under control vis-à-vis the assault charges against Soon-jin, his ex crawls out of the woodwork to demand her pound of flesh on behalf of that spoiled brat of hers. Regarding Soon-jin's criminal record, I'm really wondering how her daughter died, and what exactly the grieving mother did. It's not clear to me whom she assaulted. Was it her homewrecking boss? Or was it perhaps someone who ran over her daughter and got off scot-free?

When Mu-han's ex instructs her lawyer to use footage from traffic cameras and dashboard cameras for evidence of Soon-jin's kidnapping of Yi-deun, I can't help but wonder if such evidence were suppressed in her daughter's case. (Or maybe back then dash cams didn't exist, or were rarities.) Perhaps an overworked and underpaid public defender didn't think to subpoena such evidence, and someone who should have gone to jail for manslaughter at the minimum got away with murder. Mu-han seems to know something about the case, or maybe I've misunderstood.

I'm having flashbacks to Park Do-kyung's visions of his impending death in OH HAE-YOUNG AGAIN. But just as his visions were more like possible futures rather than true premonitions, the doctor's prognosis may be influenced by other factors, most notably the patient's will to live. I have witnessed this in real life. One of my kin had a brain tumor for more than 25 years, and over the years had 3 surgeries, which could not excise it completely because of its proximity to blood vessels. Last-ditch radiation therapy failed to stop its growth, and the prognosis was 6 months. The patient was mad as hell about it, and lived 18 months instead. They ultimately succumbed, but not without putting up a tremendous fight. Perhaps Mu-han will do likewise, especially once he has Soon-jin in his corner.

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Correction: I just remembered that an overworked public defender couldn't be to blame. Soon-jin was up to her neck in debt because of lawyers' fees. Maybe they were incompetent hacks. Or maybe they were intimidated by the plaintiff's attack lawyers.

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Well, we are halfway through the show, so I guess it was time for the shoe to drop. And yet... I wasn't expecting this development with Mu-han. Which just goes to show how much we still don't know about him.

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*suspiciously staring at that locked drawer*

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After hearing that conversation at the coffee shop between Brat's Mom and Cheating Ex, I suspect that handsome author Mu-han was pursued by her, which is why I've thought of him as a trophy husband.

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Have to say I'm shocked that he never told his wife he loves her, whaat. Than why in the world he married her in the first place? If show reveal that they got married because of I-deun, I'll totally be rolling my eyes...
Also "I'm the ex-husband of your ex-husband's girlfriend" is a good line to start a conversation ^^

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@meowingme March 14, 2018 at 9:15 PM

I'm getting the feeling that Mu-han's ex-wife was the pursuer, and may have entrapped him be getting pregnant. He may have expressed a very different personality when he was younger. Perhaps years of living with an entitled chaebol heiress became too much for him. Or, if her family were somehow involved in Soon-jin's daughter's death, maybe he became disgusted with the way they used money and power to stomp all over anyone who got in their way.

I think that Homewrecker entrapped Soon-jin's ex by getting pregnant, too.

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If the entrapment theory is proven, I'll be sad coz that's a low thing to do...
Come to think of it, there are a lot of similarities between ex-wife and Ji-min, chaebol darlings who caught their husbands but not the husbands' hearts. Wonder if this is intentional.

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i just realized that we are JUST halfway -- dang, so much is starting to reveal and so much is still unknown!

it was so hard to watch Byeol's final moments, my heart was pained for him (the reason why i can't ever have a dog again), and i genuinely BELIEVED in Soon-jin's thoughts/statements and the hug she gave Mu-han...

i was very surprised/shocked to hear her iterate that her goal is to get married vs falling in love "for real"... i was angry for Mu-han! is she just saying that for her friend's sake??? i am totally confused now... i believed her tears were real (after that evening), also...

but i'm invested, of course. i know it will all play out in the end, but i'm surprised that so much has happened and we're right at the midpoint.

all things point to Soon-jin's daughter's death somehow being connected to these people... such a tangled web! keeps us at the edge of our seats, right?

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I think that her tears were real and that she's reiterating to herself what the plan was: don't fall in love - get his money.

When she said: 'is it possible to pretend to fall in love and then do it for real', for me really signalled that she'd had fallen for him. Suddenly there were pounding hearts all over the place, right?

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Thanks for that reading, @cloggie!

Soon-jin was thinking out loud, but he doesn't know that that was her old game plan -- before she came to appreciate him for his true self.

I can't blame him for jumping to conclusions, especially after seeing the charming personality of his ex-wife, and the way in which she has screwed up their daughter. We haven't even seen what the ex and/or her parents apparently did to Soon-jin in the past, but Mu-han is privy to it.

It doesn't make his reaction to her words any less painful, but I can understand where he's coming from.

Here's hoping that they talk turkey pronto and clear the air.

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When Mu-han heard the incriminating one-sided conversation, Soon-jin was talking on the phone with her buddy Mi-ra. Both Mi-ra and her hubby In-woo have been playing Cupid to their old friends. Maybe its time for In-woo to spill the beans to Mu-han (along with news of the paprika conception dream, har!). Or maybe Mu-han will tell In-woo about Byeol. I can't imagine his not speaking with his best friend about his other best friend's death.

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@cloggie, another interpretation just came to mind.

I think that her tears were real and that she's reiterating to herself what the plan was: don't fall in love - get his money.

Aha! This also parallels and puts a new spin on the early scene of them walking on the beach. His voice over says something along the line of his having fallen in love with her not being part of his plan. Maybe he had initially intended to rescue her from poverty caused by his ex-wife's family or whatever, only to fall in love with her in the process. It might also be pointing to his original proposal to sleep together solely as a remedy for insomnia, not a bid for physical, let alone emotional, intimacy.

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Yet another reference to Ye Ji-won's character Park Soo-kyung in OH HAE-YOUNG AGAIN: the conception dream, this time of a paprika.

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The past few episodes were magnetic and then we are now hit with trains of dooms, sob, sob. I couldn't believe they do pull out the ugly C card even though Soompiers discussed this possibility earlier. Can MH have a Stephen Hawking repeat, pretty please?

And, I have another big worry at the back of my mind, i.e. whether MH was responsible in some way the death of SJ's daughter.

There is something very satisfying to watch the push and pull between MH and SJ, so mature and real yet utterly romantic in the most understated way. I just think this is a drama to feel and re-watch in capturing the moment.

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Just to share this beautiful write-up by USAFarmGirl at Soompi:

"This drama is quickly becoming one of my favorites the true richness of its raw and deep story and the realness in this OTP is like life being poured out in ways you never expected. It's about the most beautiful, genuine and touching look at our very simple human wants and needs. That of touching and being touched not just physically but that which moves and shakes your inner being. Moments of just being loved for who they are and being excepted and understood where they are. Where there are no limits or expectations except in the willingness to be that warm and safe place for each other...

It would seem my feelings about him being sick would to my sadness be true. When I think about how much MH loves SJ and it would seem has for a very long time. In just seeing this man pour out his heart in ways he has never been able to do with anyone else. You could tell it shocked his ex-wife as she watched them in not only that amazing embrace that would move anyone who saw it. But even later when he clasped her hand within his as if to say don't worry I'm here...

I was amazed that even after overhearing SJ talking on the phone and knowing he was hurting inside with every word being spoken. Still this amazing human being didn't let those words close the door to his heart. That moment my favorite, when he shouted over the phone. " DON'T YOU HEAR ME? TELL ME WHERE YOU ARE " dang my heart moved to my throat because I knew he was going to get her and bring her home. He didn't care about anything else just his need to like always reach out, take care of and cover her with himself...

I think I could write all night about this drama it just gets your heart pumping and your blood flowing. You feel as if you're going to bust in wanting to say so much about the warmth you're receiving the love you're feeling. Even in knowing what our MuJin couple will be facing now in the future. Yet I find myself hopeful and maybe thinking like MH don't give up when you just don't know what can happen...

LOVE NO MATTER WHAT AGE OR THE SITUATION, WHAT AN AMAZING AND GLORIOUS FEELING!!!

This is one drama that without a doubt has already given me more than enough..."

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Yes, I got the very strong vibe about MH having something to do with SJ's daughter too! I'm glad I wasn't the only one...

But he can't be the main one responsible, because then surely SJ would have recognised him.

So then I thought: what if his wife was responsible and the way she and her family acted to cover it up actually led him to divorce her???? That's why he's been following Sj all along.

This is my current theory.

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Just realised that this is what @pakalanapikake said above too ha ha. Great minds and all that...

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Har! I only posted it 9 minutes before you did. Talk about being on the same wavelength, @cloggie! Yikes! Vulcan mind-meld!

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Then it must be true! This is what's going to be revealed next week :P

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After thinking about it some more, I'm beginning to suspect that ex-wife ran over Soon-jin's daughter. It would be nice and juicy if she were driving while intoxicated, just to add to the injustice of it all. Beating a manslaughter conviction plus drunk driving -- thanks to the best attack lawyers (and prosecutors and judges) money can buy.

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I saw it coming after last week's Dog & Daughter scene, because this was the only way that the way he treated her made any sense.

Now this doesn't happen to me too often: but this time I hate being right.

I'm just going to believe in the magic healing power of love. Yup, I'm in denial.

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And second opinions! That doctor didn't sound like he was taking the diagnosis serious anyway. He looked like he was telling him directions to the restroom, he was that indifferent to his sick patient.
First Byeol's passing and now this- I'm so mad! 😤😭

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Oh... maybe he just switched the scans with another patient's because he wasn't paying attention!

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That too happens alllll the time. We'll probably find out when Mu-han goes back in May. 👐

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