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The Great Seducer: Episodes 1-2

The Great Seducer, MBC’s new remake of a classic story of love and revenge, pulls no punches when it comes to drama, humor and flat-out sexiness. This version follows three best friends with more money than sense, bigger egos than they’ve earned, and a hefty dose of romantic entitlement. Seduction is the name of the game, and seduction is what we get — when love and revenge get tangled up, there’s no way anyone is getting out with their heart intact.

 
EPISODE 1 RECAP

In a classroom, a student reads a love poem out loud while the whole class, girls and boys alike, watch him with hearts in their eyes. As he reads, we see him dancing at a club, surrounded by adoring women. He’s introduced as KWON SHI-HYUN (Woo Do-hwan), eldest heir of JK Group.

A girl joins Shi-hyun, dressed to kill, and we’re told that she’s CHOI SOO-JI (Moon Ga-young), student president and the most beautiful girl in school. A third student gets beat up, but even as he’s thrown to the floor, he looks at the camera with a smirk… this is LEE SE-JOO (Kim Min-jae), described as “the living guilty pleasure,” whose only English words are “love” and “sex.”

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Poetry and our cast of characters

 

The day before, Soo-ji met with a heartbroken woman, Ji-young (cameo by Han Sun-hwa), who’d cried dramatically over Shi-hyun. She’d asked Soo-ji to tell Shi-hyun that she’ll wait for him, and Soo-ji nearly let slip that he’s only in high school before remembering that Ji-young thinks he graduated.

Ji-young wallows in what she sees as their star-crossed romance, and Soo-ji seems a teeny bit jealous. But she’s flustered by the woman’s tears, and she tries in vain to extricate herself from the situation.

Se-joo and Shi-hyun had watched from a distance, though Shi-hyun was more interested in a stray puppy he found. Se-joo asked Shi-hyun why he broke up with Ji-young, and Shi-hyun answered simply, “She laughed. I couldn’t stand it. I had to get rid of her, no matter who she is.”

A flashback shows that he saw Ji-young on a date with another man, laughing happily. Se-joo mutters that it makes sense considering Shi-hyun’s mom.

After class, the Korean Literature teacher gives Shi-hyun a book with a sexy title. Soo-ji marvels that the teacher is brazenly flirting with Shi-hyun, and when the teacher snaps that Soo-ji just doesn’t understand literature, Soo-ji fires back, “I’m top of my class.” LOL.

Shi-hyun tells the teacher that he won’t have time to read the book, throwing an arm around Soo-ji and gazing at her lovingly. Just as he’s about to kiss her, Soo-ji asks the teacher if she plans to watch. The teacher flounces off, and as soon as she’s out of sight, Soo-ji shoves Shi-hyun and exclaims that it’s so gross that the teacher likes him. I think I love them.

Their third friend, Se-joo, joins them and steals Soo-ji’s lollipop. A student delivers the guys’ report cards, and Se-joo tosses his abysmal grades away while Shi-hyun folds his into a paper airplane.

The student tells Shi-hyun to study more because his grades would make his dead mother sad, earning a double dose of eyedaggers from Se-joo and Soo-ji. Se-joo yells at the rude student, but Soo-ji takes action, tossing a trash can over the jerk’s head. Okay, I definitely love her.

When graduation day arrives, one female student, KYUNG-JOO, endures the wandering hands of the homeroom teacher until Soo-ji stabs him with a boutonniere pin. Just to make a point, he tells Soo-ji to obey her mother, since her father went to prison and her mother is running the hospital alone.

While leering at passing female students, the homeroom teacher says that she’ll never be a pianist (Soo-ji: “I play the cello…”), so she should become a teacher. He pulls out his phone, and Shi-hyun sidles up to look over his shoulder at the photo of him and his pregnant wife.

The homeroom teacher jokes that the baby will be cute as long as it doesn’t look like him, and Shi-hyun quips, “It could look nothing like you,” with a cheeky grin in Soo-ji’s direction. Soo-ji tells the homeroom teacher to get in touch with her if he needs a paternity test, hee.

Soo-ji’s face falls when she spots the Art teacher across the room. He’d privately tutored her four years ago, and she’d developed a crush and made a pass at him. Although he’d succumbed easily, he’d yelled at her for chasing adult men when he got caught and was fired.

Se-joo rolls up to the school in a floral-painted stretch limousine (no, I’m not kidding) and wearing a dark blue velour coat. He chats with a young girl in the lobby, but she makes a face at him.

The chairman of the school board approaches to remind Se-joo that she told him not to come, but he says that of course he’s attending his own graduation, since it’s an opportunity to make amazing memories. Ha, that sounds like trouble.

The elevator door opens, and Se-joo says gallantly, “Ladies first!” But he stops the chairman from entering, repeating that he said ladies, and he gets in the elevator with the young girl and shoots the chairman an insolent smirk. PFFT.

As the graduation ceremony commences, we flash back to two months ago. Shi-hyun had told Se-joo and Soo-ji that the Korean Literature and Art teachers are getting married, but that the Korean Lit. teacher (the same teacher who made a pass at him) is secretly dating their homeroom teacher.

They’d set up secret cameras to video the affair, planning revenge on the homeroom teacher for being a cheater and an all-around skeevy guy. During the graduation ceremony, Se-joo sneaks up to the media booth and projects the tapes of the two teachers getting in on in a car, then in the hotel. The teachers are scandalized, and the students clap and cheer.

As the trio of friends leave the ceremony, awkward Kyung-joo runs over to thank them for the video condemning the homeroom teacher. They assume angelic expressions and claim innocence. Kyung-joo asks them to take a picture with her, which they do, then quickly flee.

Shi-hyun asks Soo-ji if she wants to get similar revenge on the Art teacher for the way he treated her, but Se-joo says that they just did — his fiancee’s cheating will show the school that the Art teacher can’t perform in bed.

The boys congratulate themselves, but Soo-ji informs them of what the best revenge looks like: “It’s taking the most cherished treasure from that person. When people are robbed of their treasures, they learn how to take revenge without even realizing.” I feel like those words will come back to bite her later.

Outside, Se-joo watches Shi-hyun and Soo-ji together, then bounces over to chirp that the three of them can never become romantically involved. He does say that they should sleep together just once and get it out of their system, and Soo-ji nearly tears his head off.

She straightens up when she spots her current boyfriend, KI-YOUNG (Lee Jae-kyun). The boys protest her leaving with Ki-young, but she tells them firmly to shut up and behave. HA, I love that the girl is the undisputed alpha of their group.

Kyung-joo and a friend strut into a restaurant and hold out their ID cards, telling the server that they graduated high school today and thus can drink legally. They don’t mention that technically, Kyung-joo’s friend EUN TAE-HEE (Red Velvet’s Joy) is a dropout with a high school equivalency certificate.

Kyung-joo confesses that she told her parents that graduation is next week, because whenever she’s with her mother, people ask if she’s adopted. She mentions the prank that Shi-hyun, Se-joo, and Soo-ji played at the ceremony.

Tae-hee asks suspiciously if Kyung-joo likes one of them. Kyung-joo reveals that she does have a crush on one of them, though she doesn’t say who.

With Soo-ji out with Ki-young for the evening, Shi-hyun and Se-joo hit the club. In a private room, a middle-aged woman sobs to her girlfriends that she’s much prettier than her daughter, guessing that that’s why she lied about her graduation date. Ah, this must be Kyung-joo’s mother, NA-YOON, who seems sweet, if a bit dim.

Irritated, the other ladies start to leave, but they stop dead in their tracks when Shi-hyun and Se-joo enter the room. Shi-hyun immediately claims the tearful Na-yoon, being the prettiest woman in the room, and Se-joo quips that he has a strangely merciful heart. Na-yoon stops crying when Shi-hyun sits next to her, and he notices that she seems left out of the toasts and conversations going on.

Ki-young takes Soo-ji for drinks at a much fancier club, where his friends make backhanded comments about her young age. One guy asks in English why Ki-young is planning to marry Soo-ji when he’s not over his ex yet, but Soo-ji cuts her eyes at him as if she understood every word.

She starts to say something, but Ki-young cuts her off and pulls her away from the group. He tells her condescendingly that her mother asked him to date her as a favor, so he did, because she’s pretty.

But he makes it clear that her family isn’t remotely high-class enough for him to consider her for marriage. Soo-ji asks why he dated her at all, and Ki-young tells her that when her father was arrested, her family tried to hire a lawyer from his family’s firm, but that they refused. He adds that if his family had agreed, then her father would have gotten off.

In the process, her mother decided she wanted Ki-young as her daughter’s boyfriend. He murmurs in Soo-ji’s ear, “Tell her to be more realistic in choosing her future son-in-law. It’ll be good for you, too.” Oh, you smug, self-important ass.

Soo-ji leaves and goes to her family’s hospital, where she finds her mother in her office. Her mom says that she’s glad Soo-ji broke up with Ki-young, because she was going to put a stop to their dating anyway. Soo-ji angrily delivers Ki-young’s message.

She asks if her mom asked his law firm to defend her dad, and whether, if they’d agreed and gotten her father freed, her mom wouldn’t have abandoned him. Her mother says that she didn’t abandon her dad, she just protected the hospital.

At the club, Na-yoon leaves the room for a bit, and her friends call her annoying and dumb behind her back. One woman propositions Shi-hyun, and Na-yoon returns to see him looking mighty cozy with her friend. She starts to sit elsewhere, but Shi-hyun tells her that her seat is by him and orders the other woman to leave. Ouch.

Na-yoon rejoins Shi-hyun, and the woman he rejected cattily mentions that Na-yoon is the oldest of them. She asks how old Shi-hyun is, but he just slings an arm around Na-yoon and croons in banmal that he’s old enough for her.

He’s pretty drunk later when Na-yoon stops him from leaving. He looks annoyed for just a second before turning back to her and pouring on the charm again. She leans in, expecting him to kiss her, but Se-joo pops up and surprise kisses Shi-hyun’s neck, so Na-yoon leaves.

A little while later, Soo-ji shows up, grabs Se-joo’s drink, and downs it in one gulp as the guys yelp in unison that it’s alcoholic. Apparently she can’t hold her liquor, so she’s pretty drunk as they take her home in their limo. She sits between them, and Se-joo offers her his shoulder to lean on. Instead she drops her head on Shi-hyun’s shoulder, and Se-joo takes a sip of champagne to hide his disappointment.

She’s upset that Ki-young insulted her mother, and Shi-hyun idly wonders how they can get him back. Soo-ji asks the boys if they think her mom is weird, and the both insist they don’t, maybe a bit too emphatically.

Soo-ji laces her hands in theirs and ask if they’re on her side, and they chorus obediently, “Of course!” Se-joo mutters that he had a bad feeling about her going with Ki-young, but Shi-hyun just pats Soo-ji’s head, seeming at a loss.

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You guys are on my side, right?

 

EPISODE 2 RECAP

On the way home, Tae-hee stops to pick up a package, a birthday cake with a card supposedly signed by her mother. Tae-hee knows her aunt sent it to cover for her disinterested mom.

Up in Tae-hee’s room, Kyung-joo tells Tae-hee to take her mother’s money and use it to visit her dad. Tae-hee refuses, saying that she’s glad she doesn’t need them anymore. She shares her birthday wish with Kyung-joo, who wishes for a boyfriend, but Tae-hee keeps her own wish a secret.

Shi-hyun’s father is waiting for him when he arrives home. He tells Shi-hyun that his new place will be ready for him to move in next week. Shi-hyun says that he won’t go to the school his father chose, but Dad just tosses down some paperwork for Shi-hyun to read.

It’s the results of a paternity test proving that Shi-hyun is not his biological son. Damn, that’s cold. His father says that Shi-hyun didn’t turn out the way he wants, so he should move out and live quietly. Shi-hyun guesses that his father has always known the truth, and he marvels that he spent all these years secretly hating him.

His father says that he’ll provide living expenses, and that his only condition is that Shi-hyun show up to any event where they have to pretend to be family. He tells Shi-hyun to ask his dead mother if he has any other questions, and Shi-hyun visibly chokes back tears.

He storms upstairs, stopping to look at a picture of himself with his mother, then leaves the house. He walks the streets until morning, eventually ending up at the same bus stop where Tae-hee is sitting.

Shi-hyun pulls the DNA test results from his pocket, then folds them into a paper airplane. It reminds him of when his mother was sick in the hospital, and she’d done the same with her divorce papers. She’d told Shi-hyun, “when you’re worried, scared, or have a wish, fold a paper plane and throw it into the sky. Then your worry or fear will disappear, and your wish will come true.”

Shi-hyun listlessly launches the paper plane, but it only goes a short distance before landing at Tae-hee’s feet. Tae-hee picks it up and tries to return it, but the buss arrives. Shi-hyun stalls out, unsure what to do when the bus driver asks if he’s paying the student fare.

Tae-hee offers to pay for him, then she follows Shi-hyun to his seat to return his papers. He says morosely that it’s his will, which Tae-hee takes the wrong way. She offers to help, but he says he’s not planning to die. He slips the paper airplane into her book and asks her to throw it away in a few months, and not to read it.

He gets weepy as he thinks about one day when he’d brought a birthday cake to his mother in the hospital. He’d asked why his father is never interested in their birthdays, even though they throw him a birthday party every year.

A thumping noise distracts him from his wallowing, and he turns to see Tae-hee fast asleep, her head bonking loudly against the window. Shi-hyun actually laughs before remembering that he’s supposed to be miserable. Tae-hee wakes with a start and jumps off the bus at her stop, leaving behind an invitation to an exhibition, which Shi-hyun picks up.

Soo-ji lies in bed throwing a tantrum a few mornings later. When Se-joo shows up with a huge barrel of ice cream, she throws her pillow at him, shrieking that she was not dumped, okay?? But no self-respecting girl can resist that much ice cream, so she tucks into it viciously as her maid covers her bare shoulders and shoots side-eye at Se-joo.

Soo-ji tells her that they’re such old friends, nothing would happen even if they were stranded naked on a deserted island. They both wonder where Shi-hyun is, since he’s not here worrying about her and he’s not answering his phone lately.

Se-joo confesses about their clubbing on the night of graduation, and we see that Shi-hyun lost a game of spin-the-bottle, so Na-yoon offered to drink for him. She wants a kiss in return, and at first he balks nervously. Na-yoon shrinks away from him, but Shi-hyun grabs her and kisses her senseless.

Se-joo shows Soo-ji a picture of Shi-hyun with Na-yoon, and she gasps that not only is Na-yoon Kyung-joo’s mother, but she’s a former celebrity supermodel.

Na-yoon is currently hosting tea for a few of the school officials. The main topic of gossip is the shocking video of the teachers canoodling, but Chairwoman Jo, who seems like a tough old battleax, is more concerned about some male students who went clubbing that night and drank with the mother of a new graduate. Gulp.

The rumors are much worse than what really happened, though what really happened was still pretty bad, and Na-yoon looks like she wants to crawl under the table. Chairwoman Jo makes some comments that sound like she knows exactly who the woman was, and Na-yoon asks nervously about the boy’s identity.

She’s further horrified to learn that he’s the heir to JK Group, with a reputation for being so sexy, no woman could resist him. Chairwoman Jo looks straight at Na-yoon as she says that apparently, the mother in question keeps calling the student. She wonders out loud if the woman’s daughter can handle the situation.

After the ladies leave, Na-yoon calls a friend who was there that night to ask about Shi-hyun. Kyung-joo hears Shi-hyun’s name, so she yanks the maid aside to ask what her mother and her guests were discussing.

Tae-hee is in Kyung-joo’s room, flipping through pictures of herself and her friend on Kyung-joo’s phone. She comes across the photo Kyung-joo took with Se-joo, Soo-ji, and Shi-hyun, and she guesses that the handsome one is the guy Kyung-joo likes, not recognizing him from the bus. Interestingly, most of the pictures on Kyung-joo’s phone feature Soo-ji. Hero worship, or something else?

Shi-hyun stays with Se-joo, and he watches as Se-joo gets ready to go out, coincidentally to the same exhibition on Tae-hee’s invitation. Se-joo tells Shi-hyun to stop moping and get dressed, since Soo-ji will kill him if he doesn’t show up.

Tae-hee arrives at the event, and she frowns at an ad for a future exhibit featuring a pottery artist (her mother, I presume). She runs into Ki-young, who lights up to see her — oh no, she’s the ex he can’t get over, isn’t she?

Chairwoman Jo is annoyed that she’s not seated at the VVIP table, having made a large donation to Soo-ji’s mother’s hospital, the hosts of this event. She approaches Soo-ji’s mother to make her displeasure known. Soo-ji’s mother apologizes, explaining that JK Group made a large donation at the last minute, necessitating a change in seating.

Ki-young chats with Tae-hee, and he asks about her father. She says nervously that he’s in Germany, and that she’s living on her own. Ki-young asks Tae-hee to go out with him, but she just laughs at his cheesy pick-up line. Across the room, Soo-ji sees them and assumes that Tae-hee is Ki-young’s first love. There’s a ceremony later, in which Tae-hee is presented with a full scholarship from the hospital foundation.

Soo-ji retreats to a private room to complain to Shi-hyun and Se-joo about Ki-young. She says he never smiles like he’s smiling tonight, and that his parents are considering marrying him to a 19-year-old heiress named HYE-JUNG. Her research revealed that Hye-jung’s parents are overly protective, homeschooling her and never letting her out of the house alone.

Se-joo knows of Hye-jung, as one of his brothers is friends with Hye-jung’s brother, who seems to spend the bulk of his time nagging at his sister. Soo-ji decides to mess with Hye-jung, claiming that she just means to teach her about the real world, though Shi-hyun calls out her true intentions — to ruin Ki-young’s innocent bride.

Soo-ji says she has a second target, and tells them about Tae-hee. She growls that Ki-young’s mind may want Hye-jung, but his heart wants Tae-hee. Shi-hyun says he’s not interested, but Soo-ji reminds him that he promised to help her get revenge on Ki-young.

The air grows icy between them, so Se-joo tries to lighten things up by asking which girl he should seduce. Soo-ji snaps that he’s too much of a player not to get recognized, and Se-joo looks genuinely hurt for a moment. Shi-hyun is called back to the party, but Soo-ji stops him to ask if he got kicked out. She asks if his father found out about Kyung-joo’s mom, but Shi-hyun denies it.

When he sees his father schmoozing at the event, Shi-hyun turns and leaves again. He runs into Na-yoon (ha, the look on his face is priceless), and she takes him somewhere private to talk.

She explains that she’s been calling him because she’s scared he’ll tell Kyung-joo about that night. She starts to cry as she says that Kyung-joo hates her, and that she doesn’t know that Na-yoon isn’t her real mother.

That strikes a chord with Shi-hyun, so he gives Na-yoon his jacket and urges her to stop crying, grumbling that you’d think they were friends. He promises not to tell, and they both laugh as Na-yoon confesses that she sometimes misses him.

When Shi-hyun goes back to the party, it’s obvious that something shocking just happened. The whole room looks stunned, and Soo-ji stands frozen in the middle of the room, stricken. Her mother is at the microphone with Shi-hyun’s father, where they awkwardly announce that they’re engaged.

Watch the video

Surprise, family!

 

COMMENTS

That was a solid cliffhanger for an overall solid premiere episode, and I find that I actually liked it more than I anticipated. That’s saying a lot, because I love the original story, and the casting of this remake set my expectations pretty high. I thought that the characters were mostly introduced well and that the pacing was good, giving us all the information we’ll need to know once the primary plotline kicks in, without feeling rushed. Considering that the writer has a significant challenge in converting a traditionally two-hour whirlwind train wreck into a sixteen-hour drama, after such a good start, I feel confident that we’ll still get a the raw, sensational tale we expect, and that the moments between the driving narrative will feel natural to the story.

My only real nitpick is that we didn’t get to see much of Tae-hee in this first hour, but in hindsight, it makes sense that we focused on the three best friends first. Those three are complete asses to pretty much everyone, but I still can’t help but love them. I watch how they treat people outside their circle with complete disdain, and I think they couldn’t possibly be worse people. But when it’s just the three of them, you can feel how much they genuinely love and would do anything for each other. And it’s so sweet how utterly gone both guys are on Soo-ji — Se-joo particularly breaks my heart in this area, because he’s well aware that Soo-ji prefers Shi-hyun, but he can’t help loving her anyway and uses his goofy humor to hide his sadness. Not that Shi-hyun has much of a chance with her either, because Soo-ji only sees him as her best friend. I’m almost looking forward to their revenge plan, because it’s time for something to happen to pull their focus outside of their safe little friendship bubble.

I originally had mixed feelings about the casting for The Great Seducer — while I felt that Woo Do-hwan and Kim Min-jae are just about perfect for their roles, I was unsure what to expect from Moon Ga-young and Joy, who seem to be capable but can still be a bit green. I’m happy to report that Moon Ga-young is frankly killing it as Soo-ji — she turns in an excellent portrayal of a girl who seems to have everything, but who secretly feels insecure and inadequate, causing her to lash out at anyone who crosses her. She turned in a much better performance than I expected of her in this premiere, and I’m excited to see what else she can do as the heat turns up and things start to go horribly wrong.

I adore Kim Min-jae and Woo Do-hwan in their roles, too, and although that was more expected, I’m still impressed with how well they’re doing. I’ve only seen Kim Min-jae playing serious, broody characters, so his bouncy, cheeky Se-joo is a lot of fun, largely for the novelty. He does a great job with his hidden crush on Soo-ji, letting his feelings sneak out just enough for us to see them, then shoving them back deep inside again. And I think that Woo Do-hwan is so far proving that our faith in him to make a great leading man was not misplaced (not to mention, the boy can smolder like nobody’s business). And I love how well he plays Shi-hyun as jaded but not heartless, someone who’s capable of seeing the truth about people that they try to hide. He acts like a disaffected playboy, but in reality, he’s actually very sensitive and observant. And we can see how much he loves Soo-ji but knows that she doesn’t feel the that way, and how much it hurts him. I can’t wait to watch him struggle with his conflicted feelings once Tae-hee enters the picture.

I’m very familiar with the source material, and I’m so gratified to see that so far, the Korean adaptation of Dangerous Liaisons (and the subsequent re-adaptations, Cruel Intentions and Untold Scandal) seems poised to tell the same dramatic story about love, revenge, and betrayal. At the same time, I appreciated the humorous moments, which weren’t too silly and managed to balance out the darker undercurrents quite nicely. My biggest concern was that the darker, sexier moments would be watered down for television, since the story wouldn’t be nearly as compelling without digging deep into some pretty raw issues. But so far, the characters don’t shy away from generally taboo subjects like sex, so I feel like I can trust that we’ll get the story we expect, and not a cleaned-up, much tamer version.

 
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This has the potential to crash and burn so hard but it’s already my new crack drama and I’m along for the ride.

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I completely agree. The good thing is is that I'm not as into it as my past crack dramas so if it unfortunately takes a turn for the worse I wouldn't be too sad about it, hopefully.

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After finishing the third and fourth episode its officially my new crack drama.

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I love how everyone knows it's (most probably) gonna turn messy and crash but is coming along for the ride anyway

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The possibility of crashing is really high. But so far so good. As someone who went in with low expectations, it surprised, with how good it was.

Having said that the second lead female has more chemistry with the male lead, which will make shipping Joy and Woo Do-hwan harder to do. It also doesn't help that Moon Ga-young is styled gorgeously and looks stunning in every scene. Someone must have caught that in post-editing, cause Joy gets a new hair cut in the next episode.

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it looks so promising, who knows maybe it'll live up to expectations?

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Fingers crossed. I really want this to be good and live up to expectations and NOT turn into a (bad) psychotic, stereotypical makjang. If it's going to turn into a makjang, please at least let it be good. I know this drama already screams stereotypes galore, but here's to hoping it doesn't turn into a hot mess and surprises us.

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I'm actually genuinely enjoying it. The real issue imo is the editing.

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Have a little faith, people.
The weakest link here for me is Joy, tho I know she's supposed to be innocent and bubbly, I feel like she's such a rookie or maybe her personality just don't jell with what I have in mind. Same reason I zonked off while trying to watch the first episode of Liar and his Lover. And I usually go along with the fake couples of We Got Married but I just can't with Joy and Sung Jae(BTOB). I don't know maybe I'm still bitter about School 2015 or Joy reminds me of Suzy, I try to like her, I don't hate her but she makes me sleepy.
Anyway, it is 3 against 1 so maybe Joy can up her game later. But then the star of the show of Shi Hyun or Woo Do hwan.
Since Yeo Jin Goo passed up on this they got the guy who looks like him with the same deep voice but I think Kim Min Jae is a better fit.
Mediocre acting from the Ahjussis and Ahjummas, what's up with that?! It's like this is the last drama they have to do for the day since they had to be in other dramas as well so they're just like reading from the script, or they are just there as minor roles anyway.

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WDH looks nothing like YJG, the only thing they have in common is deep voices. WDH does look like Seo KangJoon.

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I believe she/he meant Kim Min Jae not WDH as the one who resembles Yeo Jin Goo

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Sorry but what is a "crack drama"? I'm newbie :c.

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A crack drama is basically just one that is super addicting. Sometimes crack dramas are genuinely well-written, well-acted, well-directed etc. through and through, but many of them are addicting because they're such a hot mess (Boys Over Flowers being one of the oldest examples of this).

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Thanks c:

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hi everyone,this drama is going to be an exciting journey with you guys.....i want to say thank you lollypip for recapping this drama.

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Me too! Its such a great drama with such a young talented cast :) thank you lollypip!!!!

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it´s interesting since i had the opposit feeling with shi hyun and soo ji. i felt like she was in love with him all the way but is too proud to show it since it would make it vulnerable... in my opinion he adores her but not in a healthy way and puts her on a pedestal. also familiar with the source material, at this point i think his character doesnt know what real love feels like and is kind of messed up.
"love" is what comes with him and eun tae hee i think.
still interesting how it gives different vibes to the people who watch it

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I agree with your assessment about Soo Ji and Shi Hyun.

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I absolutely agree and this could not be more clear from episodes 3-4. As you stated, Si Hyun himself may not be quite sure about what love is exactly and is probably mistaking his gratitude (from what I gathered) of Soo Ji's mother helping his mother during hard times as love for Soo Ji when reality I think its just his feelings of indebtedness and he should return the favour by protecting Soo Ji at all costs.

As for Soo Ji, I think more than love, its possessiveness.She has both boys wrapped around her little finger and she knows it.That's why it will be interesting when Tae Hee enters the picture threatening Soo Ji's hold over Si Hyun.

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possessiveness sounds about right about soo ji and sihyun, they both have the feelings but neither sure if it is love and no one belief in love either,

I think it interesting to see Tae hee enter the equation and mess up the equilibrium

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I agree. It seems clear to me that it’s Soo-ji who has the deeper feelings for Shi-hyun. He just vaguely loves her as a friend, and as a constant in his life, but she wants him so badly that it’s too much, even, for her to admit it.

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Chuck and Blair is pretty clear. I do have complain about the pace and music. It quite messy the first hours it starts pick up by the end of epi 4. I still find Joy is very green. It was easier for her in previous drama because all of them are somehow same level, but here even the leads are not famous (yet) but they have experience and capable, make Joy really stands out - the way she talk and facial expression. Thats being said I enjoy the sexiness of the show, its quite rare to go all out in high school drama like this. I feel like the tone of the show will change later, the first episodes like a shocking attention. The boys are great, moon ga young is good and pretty

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I for one LOVE the music. Yes, it may feel outdated to some, but it feels classic without being classical music. I cannot have enough.

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Thanks for the recap @lollypip! Is this going to be a regular recap or just a first ep intro recap? Seeing that you're doing three (3) recaps at the same time, I hope I didn't put my foot in my mouth earlier. Your hard work really is appreciated!

I like the vibe of this show. It feels very American which is good given the type of drama it is. I really do find the dynamics between our trio intriguing. There is so much love there and its juxtaposed nicely with how they view and treat everyone else around them.

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Radio Romance ends next week, so maybe she is picking this one up to replace it? Hopefully because this does feel like a crack drama! A feel a new genre in the making: "summer before college" makjang.

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Omg summer before college makjang should be an entire genre HAHAHA

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I hope this will be a regular recap, but if it's too much I'd be happy with a discussion post. This is the first drama I've been antsy to watch and discuss since BTLIOF

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Same here! I will be a happy Beanie even if we only get to discuss on a weecap thread, should they decide on it. Thanks Lollypip for recapping this! 😊

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Thanks so much lolypip for recapping! I agree, it wasn’t a perfect episode, but a promising start. I too wish there had been more of Tae Hee in the episode, but I understand. I’m excited to see where the story goes and how the characters develop! I’ve seen some of behind the scenes clips and interviews, and the chemistry between Joy and Do Hyun is great. I hope it translates on screen!

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I think it was crucial for us to see more of the trio in this premiere to do a proper setup for the seduction deal because it's such an outrageous one. The writing is treating the leads as emotionally complex and morally ambiguous, and not just straight out cookie-cutter flat characters, which I appreciate. How the show pans out depends quite heavily on Soo-ji's character, I feel.

Also, I like the little foreshadowing details that the show is planting, like the paper plane that Shi-hyun was folding his results into, the paper plane he threw during the graduation, and how his wicked joke about the paternity of their homeroom teacher's baby came right back to bite him when his father laid that DNA test out in front of him. What Se-joo said about how there shouldn't be love between them, and Soo-ji's little spiel on the best revenge, is totally going to come back round to get them.

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I strongly agree with your thoughts. I like the complexity of the characters in here and that it is not easy to judge any of the trio.

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Agree on Soo Ji being a Plot pivot. The two boys are toast in front of her.
Hmm, in the original and adaptations, the character representated by DJ in this drama seems to be one who loses everything in the end with Tae Hee and Hye Jung's characters being collateral damage.. so it seems that the drama is kind of walking down the path of 'what goes around..'

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I love the paper airplanes. It's like he (and his mom) were constantly trying to throw away/put distance between them and their problems, but as we see when TH tries to return the DNA results, unfortunately it's not that easy. And having SH mimic his mom in that way tells us so much about their relationship. :'(

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I cannot believe i finally come back here in dramabeans with a registered account! YAY!

Anyhow, i anticipate this drama a lot. The hype is real with the press conference picture. This show kind of got me in the first 2 minutes because whatever Woo Do Hwan is doing to me, I'm in. Admittedly, every scene goes by so fast, somehow, it kind of makes me feel disengaged with the drama. The cinematography is pretty but the editing is a bit choppy for me? And yes, we barely see the female lead but having watch some of the previous adaptations, it is understandable that they focus on the three leads first

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The first scene where he reads the poem aloud had me fanning myself 🔥🔥🔥 Beautifully acted by Woo Do Hwan, every word is brimming with lust and desire - his voice, the intonation - wow, I am floored! Does anyone know the title/author of the poem??

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It's "Prologue for a Flower" by Kim Chunsu. There's a bit of mistranslation in some of the subs, but you can find a better translation here: http://hompi.sogang.ac.kr/anthony/klt/96fall/kimchunsu.htm

If you've seen A Thousand Days' Promise or School 2013, his famous poem "Flower" appears there. Both explore the idea of existence, but the drama seems to be using the "you" in the poem in a literal manner to refer to specific people.

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Thank you for this information.

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More than the poem or its meaning i feel its his voice which adds even more emotion... Ahhhhhhh.....

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I, of course, am really loving Wo Do-hwan, but it is Moon Ga-young who has stolen the show so far. Soo-ji is the type of character you immediately love, and I hope that she doesn't get sidelined as the story gets going.

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Yeah she's a total girl crush. It really makes me regret the first-leads-second-leads system in kdramas, I hope she gets to stay being a three-dimensional character like Sarah Michelle Gellar in the original Cruel Intentions and not be turned into the usual mean female second lead who's only used as a hate figure.

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I loved her from the moment she dug that buttoniere into that creepy teacher's hand. I think in spite of the choppy editing of this show, my favourite thing is poised to be its cheeky sense of humor.

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Yeah, all I seemed to read in the comments before the show as that MGY wasn't up to the task and as I was watching I was like "Wait, is she the one who isn't supposed to be doing well, cause she's awesome." It's so hard to make especially a female bitchy character sympathetic, I applaud her.

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Thank you for recapping this!.. I really liked the first 4 eps so far... The only thing i complain is the editing and background music, some times it's too over the top and distracting so i hope it gets toned down. I loved the cast, let's say WDH is such a gem... visuals, charisma, acting skills he basically has it all and it's killing it with this role. MGY and KMJ are also great too, im glad they make sooji so badass and the alpha of the trio, and love the comic relief of sejoo though I think he would be very affected later when he'll have to be in the middle of the drama. Joy's role didn't get much screentime, and even if she's way greener than the trio, she's not that bad and she really came alive in her scenes with WDH (he can have chemistry with a rock really), so I think she has room to improve.

I've seen lots of comments shipping shi hyun and soo ji already, more than with tae hee. I'd have to disagree, they seem to damaged to make a realistic couple. Yes they have sexual chemistry and care about each other, but real love it's much more than that, and I think that with Tae hee's personality shi hyun will discover it.

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Oh, the music is hilarious to me! There were some instances where what they chose seemed to be part of the humor, but others where it totally missed the mark. I about died (in a bad way) when "Sleigh Ride" was playing at their graduation. But when Star Wars started blaring I seal clapped with glee.

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Honestly, for shipping it can go either way, if the writer wanted to write two damaged screwed-up people falling in love (like in Innocent Man with Song Joong Ki and Moon Chae Won), that could also work, but since kdramas and most dramas usually follow the idea of the pairing that "should" happen, there's no chance for SJ/SH.

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Yes! And this makes me sad because I'm shipping Sooji and Shihyun.

But hey, who said that shipping is about ~true, realistic, healthy love~? I just want to see them wreck the world together. Hahaha!

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I prefer tae hee more than soo ji even in the beginning, soo ji strings him along and make him do things for her while tae hee, on the other hand, seems to be easier to talk and not as manipulative as soo ji.

Tae hee isn't fleshed out but she did the job done to achieve what she wants when the trio feels like whining without actually did anything. They are young, I understand that and I just quite perplexed seeing people prefer the manipulative side of people without grounded it to what people better did.

They have all the power to break out from their shell if they actually learn at school and make their own money but then we don't have a story in this scenario.

I wish Tae Hee will keep being a good person, have the job done and did not buy the monologue of this rich trio.

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Anyone else feel that Moon Ga Young looks like a mix of Lee Sung Kyung and Fei (formerly a member of f(x))??

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I check her works and i haven't watch any of it but i feel like i've seen her somewhere.

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🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

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She did a lot! She was yonghwa's sister in youve fallen for me, did mimi with tvxq's changmin, was in toheart's music video, the girl in exo next door, the daughter in that weather gonghyojin jojungseok drama, oh the daughter in jangsoo's store movie. And so far she has been doing very well in her projects that i hope she gets her breakout soon~!

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If you've seen Mirror of the Witch and/or Live up to Your Name, she was royal police assistant Sol-gae/the Red Mask Killer in the former and Heo Im's cross-dressing assistant Makgae in the latter.

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OMG. Yes. Mirror of the Witch. How can i miss that? I even look at her bio in Asianwiki! My eyes are failing me. Lol.

I remember her in LUTYN but a part of me is saying that i've seen her on another show.

Thank You. Now my mind is at peace. Lol. It keeps bugging me whenever i see her.

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She was in "Mirror Of the Witch"???? I watched that and I don't remember lol But it took me so long to finish that one... I literally dragged it XD

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She's Ppalgang (Jo Jung Seok's niece) in Jealousy Incarnate. Even then, she had 2 boys vying for her attention. She was also in KBS's 2ep drama; Waltzing Alone. I'll always remember her as Ppalgang.

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?? Do you mean Sulli as F(x) member? or Fei the former Miss A member?

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* Edit: former miss A member

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Admittedly, my main concern for this kind of drama is the possibility that I have to root for a rich bully. So my first reaction to the trio friendship was huge relief. They might not care much for people outside their small circle, but they are being courteous enough about it and didn't go out of their way to prove that they are much superior. Which I appreciate, because I already adore their friendship and dynamics with each other so much.

The other fact that I like is how normal Shi-hyun's first encounter with Tae-hee was. He is just someone she met and helped at bus stop, and both of them didn't think much about it afterwards. There is no "You're destined to be a couple" things going on, which make it felt more real and grounded.

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I was afraid about the bullying, too. They don't seem to be nasty just for the sake of it. Especially in the first two episodes everything they've done has been out of protection for each other. Obviously they're all about to go over the line, but all the little touches, like that SH refused to be involved in the seduction until the stakes got higher for him, humanize them just enough to be believable. I was surprised how much I like the trio.

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Exactly! They are not nasty for the sake of being nasty. Therefore I liked this trio so much :) I didn't have any problems to relate to them because lack of love and affection hurts it doen't matter if you are rich or poor. They live in artificial and cold world and by being together they try to stay sane as much as possible.

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For me it didn't disappoint. This drama is just what I need and I hope (pray) it doesn't turn out bad.

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*off to watch the first episode*

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I LOVEEE SO FAR. The show is Gossip Girl-esque and everything is honestly amazing so far. The main trio seem perfect on the outside but they are all broken in some way; this makes it alot easier to root for them. There's so many hidden secrets in the subtle actions and words of each character. Soo Ji has already stolen my heart. With her mother married to her job, she's alone all the time. And I can already tell things won't end well for her at the end of this show.

The acting, music, the directing, and the cinematography went beyond my expectations. I was ready to write off this show for being unoriginal and I'm so glad it proved me wrong. Can't wait to see the story unfold.

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Soo-ji gives me a similar vibe to Jessica Jones sometimes, she's obviously set up to be the antiheroine of this drama and you can tell she is messed up but at the same time she seems so human and vulnerable that I want to throw a drink in that guy's face when he was a @$^&$& to her.

It's also the kind of role that depends heavily on the actress, with the wrong casting Soo-ji would just end up seeming spoilt, childish and crazy, but Moon Ga Young makes her into a character I want good things for.

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This show is KDrama crack for sure. Hopefully it does not descend into hysteria and plot stupidity.

"Those three are complete asses to pretty much everyone". Yes they are, but they are also very damaged spoiled asses. It will be interesting to see their character arcs. Can they grow away from their damaged upbringing or will they end up completely ruined?

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Joy was fairly likeable in her last drama (for me, at least) but after watching Moon Ga Young (without expectations), I just kept thinking how Joy should really work hard to convince me TaeHee's worth messing up those two (Shi-hyun). Despite Soo-ji being such an entitled brat, she makes her seem kind of awesome and it's making me care. She can learn her lesson but I don't want her ending up alone or become a typical crazy second lead.

Oh show, that was a solid start. I hope they manage the tone throughout.

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Thank you for the recap Lollypip! ^^
I love the trio already and yes, Moon Ga-young is killing it as Soo-ji. I think Shi-hyun & Soo-ji like each other romantically but not enough or maybe they’re hesitant to let themselves be involved romantically, and See-joo knows it.
Except for the jumpy editing and bad bgm (piano bgm annoyed me) I think it’s a solid premiere. Can’t wait for next week’s episodes.

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I definitely think SH and SJ have *feelings* for each other, but don't want to make the relationship romantic because from what they've seen romantic relationships don't last. Neither really wants to risk losing the one reliable relationship they have, which I think is understandable, especially at their age

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Someone should force them to watch Fight My Way lol. But then maybe it's easier for struggling commoner friends to become lovers, than it is for chaebols?

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I agree. They both come from divorced families with the extra trauma of his mother dyeing and her father being in jail. They are afraid of losing each other if they become a couple and break up.

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So glad to see Moon Ga Young in this new role! She is killing it. I felt terrible for her when Ki Young revealed his jerk self.

I like the trio and their close bond. They may be rich and have an air of eliteness, but they aren't unlikable or bullies to their peers (so far). Like Soo Ji nudged the pervy teacher away from Kyung Joo. It was nice of the trio when they took the selfie with her too. Their acts of revenge have been against deceitful people. Except they will soon rope innocent Tae Hee into it.

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THIS.

I actually don't mind the manipulation part. But, it is definitely a different story when they have an innocent sheep getting tangled on this mess. I hope Tae Hee is not that gullible. I mean if they go with the Cruel Intention, Annette is aint that dumb.

Honestly, i kind of look forward to see Tae Hee finding out about this and turn into a female fatale here. Was kind of pissed that they are taking out to the girl instead of the guy. But well, its a drama after all.

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Same.
While I love SooJi, I hate the fact that she is taking out her anger on 2 people least involved in the mess. Her situation was created by the ass and while I'm super into her taking revenge on Ki Young, I want it to be aimed directly at HIM, like their revenge on the skeevy homeroom teacher

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It's not that different from Shi-hyun seducing that woman purely because she was laughing with I think his father?

Honestly Soo-ji is taking her anger out on the wrong person but I can see how what that a*#hole said hurt her so badly that even the existence of the ex he prefers over her (and to whom he is so nice, while he wasted no time treating Soo-ji like dirt) feels like a personal insult and like the perfect way to get under @*#hole's skin is to do it this way.

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I also think the woman Shihyun got revenge on was on a date with his father.

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Honestly, I think it's because they know they can't do anything against the people who deserve their wrath. Shihyun can't do anything against his dad, Sooji can't do anything against Kiyoung directly because of his influential law firm that the chaebols need. So they immaturely met out revenge on others.

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I think my problem with the trio is that they chose tae hee who done nothing and lived her life well.

Just like you, I hope Tae Hee isn't dumb or meek, she also portrayed as younger, like the bright colour, the casual clothes, the easy-going attitude while the trio is like young adult try to be adult with the bold makeup and excessive noir filter.

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I am not watching this but I know the source material so I'll add....the novel, the protagonist are morally depraved individuals who are filled with malice..they use and abuse the ability they possess to manipulate others as they see fit. They are self absorbed human beings playing a complex game of love, lust and seduction. So, if they keep any essence of that the trio shouldn't be likable. Having said that, this is kdrama so I expect these characters to have redeeming qualities of one type or the other to make people root for them.

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I understand the original source and this drama is loosely based on that, the trio is the centre and shown as a victim/weak 1st in this week episode so I understand the attachment but when you examine what they did, they aren't likeable, you just understand why the did that but did not root for their hurtful plan.

I think they keep the essence enough, the drama conveys this well for me and the reason I need to say that they aren't likeable is that it was kind of a shock to learn that more than half of people are 100% backing them and want the moon ga young and woo hwan together while personally, I see why they are bad for each other.

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So isn't he 'corrupting' the wrong girl? My memory of the story is that it is the innocent, cluelees fiancee who is targeted? Not that l'm complaining, I just reaaly thought it was the other way around.

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It would totally be interesting if Taehee ends up helping them in their manipulation scheme against Ki Young somehow. Maybe something like, Taehee finds out how much of a jerk Ki Young is and decides to help them get back at him by stringing him along?? I think that would be interesting! And in the process, Shihyun falls for her and saves her from some kind of danger she ends up getting into because she's trying to play Ki Young. Hahah. I'm getting WAY too ahead of myself here. And obviously, I've watched too many dramas.

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Hehe, your theories are cool. It would definitely make things more interesting if Tae Hee doesn't remain all innocent throughout this drama. I got a better glimpse of her in EP 3 and 4 so she looks like she can be independent and a little tough.

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That would be totally cool especially if it turns out like the korean movie the handmaiden. This drama might end up being one of my all time favorites if they dont mess it up since it reminds me of Gossip girl which i still rewatch to this day.

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Love, love, LOVE!!!
This show is well on its way to become my new drama crack. I love the characters, they are such a hot mess.
There seems to be this running theme of Shi Hyun being weak to a woman's tears but ditching her the second she is happy..
I hope the drama doesn't tone down the heartbreak because what made the original and the subsequent adaptations successful was its super rawness.
Already suffering from withdrawal
.... Monday can never come soon enough( at least for a while now)

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I hope that drama won't tone down as well. There is enough fluff in dramaland. It is nice to see drama which is raw and sexy (at least for now).

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I hope, too, that the drama keeps with the darker tone they've set so far and they bring it with the heartbreak. I want REAL HEARTBREAK and DRAMA...written in a good way. Please.

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Well everyone's parents are shown to be either a jerk or absent or plain caricaturish. I hope we see other sides of them soon. No wonder the kids are like this. I would say they're pretty much normal, all things considering.

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I thought the reason SH seduced the woman at the beginning of episode 1 was, because she was cosy with his father...

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Yeah that's what I noticed too. She was laughing with his father. That's why he seduced her cos he felt bad for his mother.

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Disn’t he dump her because she was laughing with his father???

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The editing (and subtitles) perhaps made the timeline vague, but it seems Shi-hyun decided to seduce-then-hurt the woman after he saw her having a great time with his notDad.

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I could be wrong but that's how it looked to me. As others said, it's probably the editing that got us confused.

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It’s the editing then, because they showed that “laughing with his father” flashback scene when See-joo asked Shi-hyun why he dumped the girl.

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I think the question se joo ask shi hyun was, "why did you do it?" with "it" referring to seducing her. So he replied that he seduced her because she laughed (had a good time with his dad?). So he wanted to get her away from his dad.

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I also think he seduced her cause she was dating his father and he doesn't want his father to be happy after how he treated his mother.

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I have mixed feelings right now. On a more superficial level, I didn't like some of the editing and tonal shifts. Additionally, I tend to shy away from this subject matter. But there were plenty of well-acted moments. Looking at Woo Do-hwan (and this is my second time watching one of his dramas, the first being Save Me), I see something so raw and natural. I can't really explain what I'm trying to say, lol.

I will be tuning in next week. It might take a couple of weeks before I decide to stick with this show till the end.

Sidenote: Oh Soo-ji! You better be careful before you lose everything!

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Exactly!!! i feel the same way. I know it'll probably be good... but the subject matter is not my cup of tea.

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I agree about Woo Do Hwan! He's incredible.

I'm also very surprised in a good way by Moon Ga Young and Kim Min Jae, I can hardly believe they are the same people as the girl from Exo Next Door and the boy king from Goblin.

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I think she hard carried exo next door lol

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I know lol, she was a better actress than any of them but her character is just so different.

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Hahah yeah! But i think almost all her characters have been very different, and shes been pulling them off very well. I hope she gets her breakthru role soon!

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thanks a lot @ Lollypip. I was hoping this drama will get recapped and pls let the recap continue

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Thank you so much for the recap! I'm loving this. I love the whole set up and a glance into the personalities of our three friends. I'm a fan of the original story BUT I REALLY REALLY don't want the same ending for the drama.

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Someone please clue me in if I have missed this BUT if Shi-hyun is Valmont than who is Danceny? Has the character not been introduced yet?

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I dont think Danceny is in this remake? Honestly, i think Se Joo and Shi Hyun is taken based on Valmont character. So they kind of split the Valmont character to make a more subdued hero i guess

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There hasn't been an equivalent to a Danceny yet. Because Se Joo doesn't seem to have any corresponding character in the original Les Liasons, I'm curious what the writers will be doing with him. He might be there to ramp up the kdramafication, and to look good.

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I am scared of this kdramafication you speak of. Hahaha!

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There isn't a Danceny character yet, but hints were dropped in I think Ep. 3-4, so I believe we will see a Danceny character later on as drama progresses.

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Maaaybe they'd eventually make Se Joo the Danceny character since of the trio he seems like the "malcontent". Yes he's part and privy to all the schemes (which Danceny wasn't) but so far, he seems to have the most flexible character trajectory.

I can absolutely picture him having had enough of Shi Hyuk at some point, and calling him out on some duel-type encounter.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this. It is a little melodramatic, but the acting is surprisingly well done. Kim Min Jae as Se Joo is my fav. Joy is also doing a solid job as well. This should be a fun drama.

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Am I the only one who wishes the heroine of this drama was Soo-ji? She's bitter and angry, but still so vulnerable, and omg I wanted to set fire to that Ki-young character for pulling that with her. Also MGY has freaking INCREDIBLE chemistry with Woo Do Hwan, it almost seems a waste to make this another 'chaebol falls for Candy' drama when you have characters who could be each other's equals the way Soo-ji and Shi-hyun are.

I would have loved a drama where Shi-hyun and Soo-ji were endgame, they give me the same feelings as Choi Young Do/Yoo Rachel.

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I really love Sooji, the writer is going to have to work hard to make me fall for Taehee cause Sooji is so amazing.

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agree. It is a more exciting prospect. What with their parents wanting to get married! Its going to be hard to route for a good-girl-who-studies-well-matured etc ; )

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YES TO EVERYTHING

Also, why give us bits of Sooji and Shihyun when they're just gonna take it away huhuhu

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I like what I've seen so far. It's not a perfect drama, but I can see myself getting addicted to it. The editing is my main problema, I hope they get better. After the fourth episode, I'll see If I kepp watching or not....

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I haven't watched this yet but i've seen so many clips on insta and news articles on naver that I'm dying to check it out. I feel like this drama will be so bad but good? if that makes sense. It will be my guilty pleasure altho I have this feeling that it will fail epically towards the end.

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I really enjoyed the first episodes. We've been given just enough background info on each character to see why they are so messed up, mainly cause of their parents. My only criticism is that the editing between scene transitions was a bit jarring.
I'm loving the trio together and will be heartbroken when their scheming drives them apart. Its obvious how supportive they are of each other and they've formed their own family unit.
I'm also a fan of Cruel Intentions and hope this will be a more fleshed out version since they have 16 episodes of plot. I really hope the women are not the usual super innocent candy types we see on MBC but rather complicated young women exploring their sexuality.

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Happy to see this being recapped! I randomly picked it up, was intrigued initially (more for the dark content and camera work) and was doubtful. I was confused because these were19/20 year old kids. But Ep 3/4 sealed the deal. I really hope they don't make a 'cute romance' out of this. I hope it stays a bit dark. Also, am looking forward to Shi-Hyun's interaction with TAe-hee, it might be the first time he will have to interact with someone outside the 3 of them. And he really can't use his usual self-defense (being an ass and passing rude remarks) because it defeats the purpose of woo-ing a girl. Its going to be so awkward!

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I'm already getting second hand embarrassment for him because he has to act all sweet and chivalrous trying to woo her. It's hilarious, though. Hopefully Taehee keeps her spunk from ep. 4 and makes it known that that stuff doesn't work on her. From the preview, it already shows that she's kind of intrigued by him, but fingers crossed she holds out longer and feigns disinterest so we can see more of his embarrassing attempts at trying to woo her.

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Woo do hwan is giving me Kim won bin vibes. He would have rocked this role nicely.
I am actually enjoying the drama, can't wait for Monday, think I found my new crack

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Why is this girl always referred to as "red velevet's Joy"? Can't she just be Joy? Is she not allowed to have an identity outside the group? I wouldn't have thought that there were so many ladies in the entertainment industry named Joy to invite confusion?

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Joy is not an easy name to look up in the internet so you always have to add red velvet to joy when you look her up on the internet. Maybe that’s why people tend to add her group name to hers.

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You're assuming that all drama watchers are familiar with Kpop. Information about idol actors' groups is usually included for those who aren't familiar with Kpop. It's not a snub, it's her main career after all, as a member of RV.

I don't see how referring to her as Joy of Red Velvet strips her of her identity outside her group. In fact, isn't the stage name Joy taken on precisely for RV? To refer to her as Joy would automatically imply her identity as part of Red Velvet.

If I were Lollypip and really had to make a correction, I'd just mention that she's Joy of RV going by her given name Park Soo-young for her acting career.

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Thank you, yes I understand that -does make sense. It just seemed so odd to me. (But I guess, if I reflect upon it, much of kPop culture strikes me as odd). So are all kpop people who act referred to in terms of their group? What about solo singers?

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Yes, if they belong to a group, the article/ review (written)/ show host/ anchor (for variety and broadcast news) will introduce them as such. If they leave the group or it disbands, they will be referred to by the name they choose to continue their entertainment career with.

Solo singers will also be referred to by the name they go with (whether it's their stage or birth name).

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Also, by referring to her as Red Velvet's Joy, it gives Red Velvet exposure!

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I think I will just watch this drama for Woo Do Hwan and Moon Ga Young for now :)

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That's why I'm watching and I'm scared because angst and heartbreak are in my near future

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Yeah... They clearly won't have a happy ending together. We're screwed :p

But as term in acting and interesting characters, they're my favourite ones.

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I'm really enjoying the drama so far:

1/I love the "3 troublemaker's" friendship!! I love how there is more to them than just being spoiled rich troublemakers that we can actually feel with/for them even if we disagree or even will get to hate (some of) their actions as we go more into the story!!
2/I love the fact that Shi Hyun and Tae Hee crossed paths and interacted before the seduction game has started even if for short moment ut they got to see eachother's true selves away from her being his target and him being the player guy who she can't get what is his motives with her!!
3/I love that Shi Hyun didn't agree to this bet only for Soo Ji to have her revenge but to stop his father's marriage from Soo Ji's mother to protect his mother's place and foundation!!
4/and I love Tae Hee being a smart and strong girl who won't fall for his seducing plans and won't let him get his way to her that easilly!! his face everytime things goes not according to his plans is priceless!! LOL
5/and this :D "And I think that Woo Do-hwan is so far proving that our faith in him to make a great leading man was not misplaced (not to mention, the boy can smolder like nobody’s business). And I love how well he plays Shi-hyun as jaded but not heartless, someone who’s capable of seeing the truth about people that they try to hide. He acts like a disaffected playboy, but in reality, he’s actually very sensitive and observant. And we can see how much he loves Soo-ji but knows that she doesn’t feel the that way, and how much it hurts him. I can’t wait to watch him struggle with his conflicted feelings once Tae-hee enters the picture."

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Good points! :)

I think, however, that Soo-ji does have feelings for Shi-hyun but that she does not want to acknowledge those feelings.

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yeahI think so too!! it's like she's scared to admit it, she's still damaged by her crush on her art teacher and she doesn't want to be on that place again: like love is for the weak, and she wants to be the strong one!! and beside that she has an obsessive liking toward him which is scary!!

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I am so in love with Soo Ji and preemptively devastated that she will probably not get the ending she deserves. I want a drama all about her! I kind of wish she was the one who got dared to mess with a nice normal boy and fell for him instead. Just...give me more Soo Ji :'(

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Same. I know she's wrong for roping two victims into her revenge, but she's so broken as a person I don't want her to get narratively punished. But I think there are hints of something with Sejoo, so fingers crossed she gets to grow as a person and also be able to fall in love with someone she already trusts.

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THIS.
I don't ship her with Shi-hyun (there's just something dysfunctional about their relationship imo) but I am so in love with her. She deserves to know and experience what real love is, preferably with a nice, simple boy who can help her grow as a person.

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Same, I love Soo-ji and don't want her to end up sad 😭😭

Spunky Candy heroine types who don't fall for the hero right away are the predetermined heroines of kdrama but it's just so predictable, I feel more interested in the women who are not like that.

Also is it a trend now, to name awesome female characters Soo-ji? First there's Because This Life Is Our First's Soo-ji, now we have Soo-ji here too.

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I love this show.

I think male actors are taking the big prize, not just because they are SO sexy; both characters are very well balanced. Everything in them shows sensuality and sensitivity alike, thanks to each of his gestures we see beyond the words and actions.

Now, can we comment on the extraordinary effect of lights and music in each scene? It is like a dark atmosphere that is fueling desire, passion and revenge. If the actors demonstrated ability to play their respective characters, the producers of the series really made a beauty.

Waiting for more.

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thanks beanies for the recaps
waiting for more of it.....
ep 3&4 plzzzzz
what an amazing drama it's

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Sooji's hair....... gimme.

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The black bars just prevent me for trying to watch this drama 😣

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Of the new shows I've checked out, this one looks like the most promising (so hopefully it won't disappoint, because this has the potential to be really good or really bad).

Anyways so far, of the new shows that I have checked out, this is how I would rate this show:
1. The Great Seducer/ Tempted (hope it holds up till the end)
2. Grand Prince
3. That Man Oh Soo (casually following)
4. Mystery Queen 2 (tentatively following)

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Well try to check out My Husband Oh Jak-doo, for me it's pretty much better than all the dramas you listed

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I hope (Pray) these drama does not give me an unleash empty heart love the darkness and pretty much the tension between everyone

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I hope (pray) that this will not turn sideways bad
I pretty much love the darkness of This show
So will camly watch the Drama without expectation

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I probably the only one here who hates the drama.. Too cringy and boring storyline. Well nevermind..

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Wow the responses in the comment section are surprisingly positive. I might have to check it out if the responses continue to be this good, despite my bias against Joy.

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I haven't felt this giddy over a drama in a long time (Goblin??)
Goodness shi hyun, the very epitome of seduction. wow.
I'm looking forward to it with hopes that it can maintain the level of glamor and wow factor it currently has. I think it was a little fast paced, like if you blinked you'd miss some important clue (completely glossed over the whole teacher-illegitimate baby thing, and bam! shi hyun is illegitimate)
ep 3-4:
Shi hyun will fall for tae hee...maybe it would be reciprocated, but someone has to have an unhappy ending
se joo smh you poor fool, he's oblivious to what shi hyun and soo ji agreed to. i see him and i see heartbreak

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I watched the first four episodes when I saw that Dramabeans was recapping this show. I've only seen Woo Do-hwan in "The Man Living in Our House" (and I was too busy staring at Kim Young-kwang to notice anyone else), but I've wanted to check out the breakout star for a while now. I think he's quite effective here, even though in many scenes he looks a bit too shiny, not to say sweaty, for the cold, hard seducer he's supposed to be. Or is that part of the charm?

I'm very pleased with the actors playing the three friends. I've seen Kim Min-jae in "Twenty Again" and "Goblin" and never had any thoughts about his acting ability, in either direction, but he's really strong here as the party-boy third wheel whose scars are not all on his skin. (Speaking of scars, did Shi-hyun's wound from the car accident just disappear overnight?) And I like Moon Ga-young very much. I've never seen her before (ever) and I'm impressed by her presence and her acting skill.

Of the main cast, Joy has the most straightforward job to do, so I can't award her extra points for difficulty. She does a serviceable job, and if she seems to lisp a little sometimes, that's not her fault (more to the point, it's not her fault that I happen to find that annoying).

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Things I liked:

(1) The selfie scene with Kyung-joo. Soo-ji is sulky right up until the moment the picture is taken – then she produces the most camera-ready smile. And as soon as she turns away from Kyung-joo, she drops that smile like a hot potato. I enjoyed it so much that I watched it two or three times. Actually, I do a lot of rewinding with this show because I like the actors' facial expressions and the little acting choices they make from scene to scene.

(2) The way Se-joo is always kissing and touching his friends. It shows that he's an affectionate creature, but also a sensual one – a little over-the-top, a little larger-than-life. In fact, all three friends are supposed to be over-the-top and larger-than-life, as characters, and I think the actors pull it off, for the most part.

(3) The way Shi-hyun's paper-plane-folding habit was set up in an early scene. I think his mother's made-up mythology for paper planes is a little forced, but when Shi-hyun folds a paper plane, I buy it – I really feel that he's doing it to escape from his problems, or to pretend that they're not there.

(4) Kim Seo-hyung! I saw her for the first time in "The Good Wife," and I thought she brought something of her own to the Christine Baranski character (I loved the original series, at least for the first five seasons). She looks gaunt here, though, almost like she's ill.

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Things I didn't like:

(1) The clunky exposition. Two or more characters are talking, and they tell each other things that they already know, just so the audience can hear it. This is just lazy writing. Writers often think they can get away with this by making unsympathetic characters do the talking ("Too bad your dad's in prison and your mom's running the hospital by herself"), but when we get scenes like this, my reaction is not "Oh what a bad man, hurting Soo-ji's feelings that way," but "Surely there are more organic ways to convey this information than having one character blurt it all out." This is endemic to Korean dramas, though – it’s not just this show.

(2) The scene where Ki-young takes Soo-ji aside and proceeds to have a very private and very detailed conversation with her, all of two feet away from his friends. I get that he's supposed to be a jerk, but who even does that? When someone does something so incomprehensible, that’s no longer bad behavior on the character’s part – that’s bad writing. Also, Ki-young dated Soo-ji because...his family declined to defend her dad in court? And if they hadn't declined, her dad wouldn't be in prison today? How in the world does that constitute an incentive for him to date her? Maybe that would make Soo-ji's mom want Ki-young to date Soo-ji, but that’s not an explanation for Ki-young’s own motivations. If it’s just that Soo-ji is pretty, then why not just say so? The details about the dad’s defense and the family law firm are completely irrelevant to the conversation Ki-young is having with Soo-ji. If it’s so important for the audience to have this information, then the writers should put it in a scene where it makes sense for it to be present, instead of shoehorning it into the nearest conversation.

(3) I get that Kyung-joo is supposed to be less than pretty, but does she also have to be completely unappealing in the way she carries herself and the way she dresses? If she feels so bad about looking different from her supermodel mother, then she could at least do the best with what she has. Even the supermodel mother is rather repellent, I think, with her pinched facial expressions and hangdog manner. It all goes to show – it's not what you've got, but what you do with it, baby.

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Thank you for your comments on the exposition. The lack of logic in that scene at the club in #2 confused me. That was just plain weird.

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I mean, Kyung Joo probably suffers low self esteem from being compared to her beautiful mom all the time so I think the way she carries herself is pretty common of a lot of girls with lowish self esteem

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Nicely said. I too have a problem where characters tell the story in a few lines because the writers were lazy.
There was no need to expose her dad being in jail in this manner. It could have been used in a more powerful scene. Even a simple confrontation with her mother would have worked.

Kyung-joo - Its very understandable at that age. If its simply low esteem then she is doing a great job of it (I have a feeling there is more to it). I really hope to see her character evolve and not remain in the shadows.
Supermodel mother - really? yes she has the body, but whats with her dressing sense. Especially in a scene -afternoon tea- what was that in her hair. Are they trying to stereotype supermodels are dumb? It was totally cringe-worthy

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Joy's lisp is gone now if you see the cast's recent interviews. It was a temporary issue caused by some kind of dental procedure i guess. Either she got it sorted out if it was due to some inner braces, or she coped with it and adjusted how she makes sounds (probably with the help of a speech therapist)

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I first spotted Woo Do-hwan in MAN LIVING IN OUR HOUSE. Even though it was a small role as Ko Nan-gil's (Kim Young-kwang's) erstwhile associate enforcer for their adoptive loanshark father, he projected a sympathetic aura that had Beanies rooting for him to join the ManDoods at the Hong Na-ri dumpling shop when he got out of jail. It put him on my radar.

His performance in MAD DOG was dandy. WDH held his own alongside veteran actors in the action/mystery drama centered on a team of insurance fraud investigators. Like CHIEF KIM, on paper it sounds like a recipe for death by paper-pushing, but it actually involved some thrilling action sequences and intense character arcs. WDH's Kim Min-joon, the younger brother of the pilot accused of suicidally crashing an airliner, starts out as a grief-stricken, alienated loner who grew up as an adoptee in Germany. He sets out to clear his hyung's name, and in the process discovers kinship with the rest of the underdogs on former cop Mad Dog's team. The bromances with the guys are truly touching. His tentative steps towards investigator Jang Ha-ri (Ryu Hwa-young) convey vulnerability, longing, and eventually hope -- along with ten-alarm chemistry. Yes, there really is something burning. ;-)

I'd first seen Kim Min-jae as Nurse Park Eun-tak in ROMANTIC DOCTOR, TEACHER KIM. I really liked his presence in the emergency room and the operating room. In GOBLIN, he looked and sounded regal in sageuk garb. (I'm looking forward to seeing him in the forthcoming film PROPITIOUS SITE FOR GRAVE / MYUNGDANG, in which he'll play the same Joseon prince Park Bo-gum portrayed in LOVE IN THE MOONLIGHT.) His turn in THE BEST HIT was as a hard-working idol-in-training flabbergasted to meet a time traveler who turns out to be his biological father. He performed a memorable and compelling rap. Recently I watched BECAUSE IT'S THE FIRST TIME, which is a touching tale of friendship since childhood among a group of high school grads who are certainly not chaebol heirs. I can see definite parallels to GREAT SEDUCER.

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I hope the show keeps to the original tragic ending of the story it is inspired from and doesn't give it candy land happy ending just because...

Also show, you better NOT ruin Soo Ji's characterisation.

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Thanks for your recap and comments, LollyPip! You're going from RADIO ROMANCE with its whack-o stage "parents" who have done a number on their meal-ticket son to GREAT SEDUCER's damaged chaebol offspring who form their own little family of choice. They are about to become ensnared in the same kinds of games their wealthy parents play.

Mercifully, the Trio couldn't be further from the F4 of BOYS OVER FLOWERS. I wouldn't have tuned in if I had thought I would have to witness that kind of bullying. That said, I liked seeing the hints of vulnerability that peep out from each of the three. The barely-acknowledged-to-self romantic attractions between them lie deeply buried. How can this tale not end in tears?

I recently finished rewatching DISCOVERY OF LOVE. In certain respects, Soo-ji reminds me of DOL's female lead, Han Yeo-reum. I truly couldn't stand Yeo-reum because she was such a liar and manipulator from the get-go. I was particularly appalled by her treatment of her second boyfriend, plastic surgeon Nam Ha-jin, who is the Neville Chamberlain of Kdrama second leads. He does everything in his power to appease her, and she walks all over him. Ten years after the fact, she still blames first love Kang Tae-ha for not reading her mind and dropping everything when she summons him but says nothing about her reason for doing so. This, despite the fact that he's been busting his butt starting out on the ground floor in his family's construction business and is operating on one hour of sleep. In truth, she's royally screwed up by her parents' dysfunctional marriage, and is totally selfish and preemptively defensive. Tae-ha has since come to understand what makes her tick, and loves her for who she is anyway.

I have a feeling that Soo-jin may see things the same way Yeo-reum did: The party who is more invested and proactive in a relationship is weaker and at a strategic disadvantage to the recipient of attention and affection. Suddenly I feel as if the story has turned into The Book of Five Rings.

The fact that I'm already watching SHOULD WE KISS FIRST is giving me a serious case of whiplash. The vulnerability expressed so touchingly in word and deed between “Parasite” Soon-jin and her mysteriously devoted “Host” Mu-han is a world away from her initial chicanery – and the vengeful machinations set in motion at Soo-jin's behest. I've buckled my seat belt for the duration.

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Chingu, it's good to see you here! I'm laughing out loud at "Neville Chamberlain of Kdrama second leads."

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Right back at ya, @lindl! I was hoping that was you when I read your post up above on exposition a little while ago. I'm so glad to see you, too. ;-)

Glad you got a kick out of the Neville Chamberlain reference. Dr. Nam practically stood on his head for Yeo-reum, and she treated him like crap. What was he supposed to do, give her the Sudetenland or something?!

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While everyone is drooling over the 3 rich assholes im dying over the scenes of eun tae hee and kyung joo. They have such natural chemistry and some of the best lines in the drama. Joy did a brilliant job in the scene with her mom in the third episode, I was so surprised at her charisma and presence. I sense a bright future for her in acting.

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I think this is making this show a little disadvantage having the premier week be all about the one leads life giving the other lead less screen time and kinda in a after thought... I do understand that it is important showing how the bet come to be, but they could have showed more of Tea hee instead of the kissing classmate mom thing (sorry I was grossed out)... I love the buss scene because they where just them self without any pretense. it is sad that people already is putting Tea hee down before we have got to know her.

The trio is lovely, but I think also a toxic friendship because of the way soo ji is using the boys in her games. it is obvious that soo ji likes shi hyun but is scared to be vulnerable in love. She is only digging her own grave starting the bet. Can´t imagine how she gonna react when she start to loosing control over Shi hyun.

I like that shi hyun gonna spend time with tea hee because she gonna give him another more healthy wive on life and love. using other people even if they are bad people it is just gonna screw with their mentality. so it is so good having our man starting to maybe getting new friend away from his circle. getting new friends always gonna wider our mind and give us a different look on thing. witch i think he need. he cant be a playboy for the rest of his life because it is a very hallow lifestyle.

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