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What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim: Episode 1

I didn’t realize how much I needed this show until I saw this first episode. It’s cheeky and irreverent, and loads of fun, but it’s not your typical summer rom-com. What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim may be silly on the surface, but it also has the potential to be thought-provoking and heart-wrenching as we get to know two people who have been around each other for so long, they don’t realize just how much they need each other.

 
EPISODE 1 RECAP

A serious, impeccably dressed man steps out of a car, and makes his way towards a fancy party being held by a hotel pool. We overhear a partygoer tell a friend that the man is LEE YOUNG-JOON (Park Seo-joon), that since he was made vice chairman of Yumyoung Group, the company’s profits have doubled.

The partygoer says that he’s the most competent young CEO in the nation, with a perfect face and body to match. A woman repeats a rumor that Young-joon stays away from women, but another woman claims to be currently dating Young-joon, though she admits that he keeps a distance.

Young-joon walks into the room, ignoring their greetings to sit alone on a sofa. He gracefully rests his chin on his hand, looking disturbed as he muses, “What’s wrong with her? Secretary Kim… what’s wrong with her?”

The lady in question, KIM MI-SO (Park Min-young), begins her work day at Young-joon’s home, making tea and choosing his suit and accessories for the day. She helps him with his tie, and he dramatically announces that his aura shines today. Mi-so contains her “this dude is whacko” reaction as she agrees that he is, indeed, dazzling.

Young-joon tells Mi-so not to answer a call from an executive director, unwilling to let the man’s bad news ruin his good mood. He says the executive director is guilty of incompetence, and also of being unaware of it, asking Mi-so how that’s even possible. Mi-so tells Young-joon indulgently that not everyone can be as perfect as him, and he chuckles in agreement. The phone rings again, and she says that this time, the call is from “an absolute sinner.”

She accompanies Young-joon to work and follows him to another director’s office. The man jumps up, stammering that there’s been a misunderstanding, but Young-joon launches into a vicious lecture about his lecherous activities during work hours. When he’s finished, Mi-so sends Young-joon to a board meeting after confiscating his cigarette.

After he leaves, Mi-so comforts the chastised director, explaining that Young-joon is only angry at him because he’s disappointed. She sends the director home to rest, and after he’s gone, Mi-so calls security to clear out his desk, reminding his secretary that Young-joon doesn’t give second chances.

At the board meeting, Director PARK YOO-SHIK (Kang Ki-young) outlines a plan to purchase an airline and grow it into a globally-ranking airline within five years. Young-joon interrupts to correct his math, then tells him to acquire the airline before abruptly marching out.

Once he’s gone, the executives all collapse into their chairs, complaining that Young-joon is way too intense. Yoo-shik punks them all by pretending that Young-joon walked back into the room, making them complain that Yoo-shik just doesn’t want them badmouthing his friend.

After listening to Mi-so speaking English on the phone, Young-joon remarks that her English has improved since they first visited the U.S. nine years ago. He credits his unwavering support, and Mi-so agrees that she improved because he embarrassed her every time she made a mistake. Young-joon entirely misses her sarcasm and says that if embarrassment and scolding helps, then he’ll continue to do so, and corrects her pronunciation of the word “accent.” PFFT.

They arrive at a decadent party that evening, Young-joon sporting a sharp tuxedo and Mi-so in a stunning red dress. As they navigate the evening, Young-joon speaks to the various foreign guests about his company in several languages.

At one point, a trio of beautiful ladies get excited when Young-joon seems to notice them and heads in their direction. But he walks right past them to admire his own reflection in a mirror, LOL, and Mi-so joins him and confirms that he looks perfect.

In the car after the party, Young-joon remarks that Mi-so spent a long time talking to some Spanish men who were hitting on her. She confesses that she doesn’t speak Spanish… she was just guessing what the men were saying based on their actions. She shows Young-joon the ring she wears on her left hand to ward away unwanted suitors, and Young-joon smiles his satisfaction. Aw, is someone a little jealous?

As a reward for doing such a great job tonight, Young-joon invites Mi-so to make a request, though he warns her not to confess her love for him, hee. She says that he needs to find a new secretary because she’s quitting, and Young-joon looks at her in disbelief.

He asks why, but she just says it’s personal. He says it’s fine if that’s what she wants, but his expression grows tight. And that night, Young-joon lies awake, tossing and turning and wondering why he can’t sleep.

In the morning, one employee tells his coworkers that Mi-so is resigning, but none of them believe him. Mi-so walks in and tells them it’s true, shooting down their wild guesses as to her reason and simply saying that it’s personal.

The two female employees, Se-ra and Young-ok, join Mi-so in the break room to talk about her resignation. Se-ra pays close attention to how Mi-so makes Young-joon’s tea, assuming it will be her job once Mi-so is gone, because (she thinks) she’s the prettiest woman in the office. Young-ok huffs indignantly, and Mi-so escapes as soon as Se-ra looks away, ha.

Up in Young-joon’s office, he sees Mi-so make a note when his chair squeaks, and tells her that he knows exactly what she’s thinking. He says confidently that she’s not really thinking of quitting, but she says he’s wrong. He asks if it’s the long hours he makes her work, but instead of answering, Mi-so tells him that she’ll do her best to find a perfect replacement.

When she finishes posting the job description, Mi-so looks up to see Young-joon glaring at her angrily. But he just tells her to push back his afternoon meeting and that he’ll eat lunch at home. Mi-so jumps at the chance for a little personal time and runs past Se-ra, who brought her lunch in an attempt to kiss up for the job.

Young-joon visits Yoo-shik’s office, obsessing about why Mi-so might be quitting. He’s upset because he can usually figure her out, but this time he has no clue what she’s thinking. Yoo-shik offers him a red ginseng supplement for his nerves, but Young-joon just wants to know why Mi-so is quitting.

Yoo-shik tells him that Mi-so is practically a saint for staying with him for nine years. He tells Young-joon that all relationships, no matter how good, suffer a slump every three years. He gets a little emotional thinking about his marriage, which got worse after three, six, and nine years, and ended in year ten.

Young-joon fidgets uncomfortably and orders Yoo-shik not to cry, telling him to get to the point. Yoo-shik says that he needs to talk to Mi-so and make a breakthrough. He offers to help, but Young-joon quips, “You got divorced because you couldn’t.” Well, he’s not wrong.

Meanwhile, Mi-so uses her free lunch hour to pay off a loan at the bank, accidentally signing the last payment slip “Secretary Lee.” She wilts when Young-joon calls her back to join him for lunch with his parents, but she runs back obediently and holds her breath so he can’t see her gasping for air.

In the car, Young-joon thinks hard about how to make a breakthrough. As they approach his parents’ house, he whirls and reminds her that he doesn’t give second chances. But he offers to make an exception for her, and even to promote her to director with her own assistant and company car. He keeps going, extravagantly offering to pay for her personal expenses and family debts, not to mention that she’d still have the world’s most perfect boss.

Before Mi-so can gracefully decline, they’re joined by Young-joon’s mother, who ushers them inside. Young-joon’s parents are sweet, but he’s stiff with them, refusing to listen to any advice on how to run the company. So they’re surprised when he asks if they’ve ever encountered burnout in their marriage, and his dad looks uncomfortable while his mother chirps anxiously that of course they’ve never experienced any such thing.

Mom comments that Young-joon seems taller, and he flatters her that he’s simply her creation which is why he respects her so much. Dad looks at Young-joon expectantly, hoping for a similar compliment, but Young-joon just tucks into his food, HA.

After lunch, Young-joon fills Dad in on the company’s future projects. But Dad spaces out, so Young-joon asks if there’s something he wants to say. Dad asks if he has plans for marriage and pretends to be on death’s door when Young-joon says he doesn’t. Then he yells that Mi-so is quitting, but Young-joon firmly informs him that he’ll never let that happen.

Mi-so has tea with Mom, who cautiously brings up the subject of Young-joon’s dating habits. She asks if it’s true that he doesn’t let girls touch him, and her lip wobbles when Mi-so confirms it. Mom tries to ask if her son is gay, but she can’t get the word out, so Mi-so takes pity on her and blurts, “Gay?? Oh, no, of course not!”

She reassures Mom that as long as she’s worked for him, she would know. Mom admits that she and Dad have been worried about Young-joon, and she’s curious how women perceive him. Mi-so says that he’s perfect, and Mom sighs that she wishes someone nice would date him – someone like, oh, say, Mi-so?

At Mi-so’s flustered expression, Mom laughs riotously and says she was joking. Mi-so is rescued by Young-joon, and on their way to the car, she tells him that Mom was trying to set things up between them. Young-joon preens and asks if she was excited, but she says it just confirmed that she needs to quit as soon as possible.

That evening Mi-so has dinner with her two older sisters, who feel guilty that they left most of their family debt for her to pay off. She says it’s fine, since they started pitching in eventually, and at least they didn’t cause trouble like their father, who borrowed money from a loan shark recently.

She says breezily that she sold her car to pay it off, a car that Young-joon bought for her when she missed her bus last week. She gives them a bright smile and laughs that she feels better with the debt paid off, but something in her laugh sounds a bit forced.

Young-joon joins Yoo-shik for dinner, still cranky over Mi-so’s resignation. Yoo-shik muses that something sudden must have happened to make Mi-so decide to quit, so Young-joon thinks back to the day of her announcement.

Mi-so also thinks of the party when her pollen allergy flares up over dinner. She recalls a woman, Ji-ran, wearing a similar (but much shorter) red dress, latching onto Young-joon. She’d aegyo’d that she came to the party to surprise him as he pulled her hand from his arm.

Ji-ran had asked if Young-joon noticed something different about her, and he’d looked to Mi-so, who’d covertly touched her throat. It had prompted him to compliment Ji-ran’s necklace, which he apparently gave to her (and which Mi-so actually purchased).

Ji-ran had pouted that she wants flowers for her birthday, and annoyed but knowing her job, Mi-so had scurried off to the hotel gift shop. She’d sneezed the entire way back to the party, violently allergic to the flowers, and Young-joon had assumed that her sniffling and watery eyes were because she was crying.

Hearing this, Yoo-shik thinks that Mi-so quit because she was upset at having to perform menial tasks like buying flowers. But Young-joon disagrees, having concluded that her real reason is because — drum roll — she likes him.

Mi-so laughs her butt off when her sisters decide that Young-joon must like her, since he’s always buying her shoes and clothes and even a car. She assures them that he loves himself too much to love anyone else, and that there’s nothing at all between them.

Lost in his dramatic little world again, Young-joon says that he’s been careful in case Mi-so had feelings for him, but that after nine years, it’s natural that she fell for him. Yoo-shik tries to talk him down from his fantasy, but Young-joon is enjoying it too much to listen.

Mi-so’s sisters gape when she drops the bomb that she’s quitting her job. She says that her sisters are settled and the family debt is paid off, so she’s ready to make a new start with a job that doesn’t take up all of her time.

A call from Young-joon interrupts their conversation, and she answers despite her sisters’ urging to ignore him. She tries to talk her way out of his summons to drive him home, even telling him to call Ji-ran and stay at her place tonight, but he insists.

As she’s looking for her keys, Mi-so spots a tiny spider near her foot, and she completely loses it. She screams hysterically while her sisters kill the spider, and when it’s all over, she asks her oldest sister Pil-nam if she’s sure she didn’t get lost when she was young. Apparently they’ve had this conversation before, and Pil-nam swears that nothing like that ever happened.

She collects herself before finding Young-joon waiting in his car at the office. He’s practicing a speech where he magnanimously accepts her feelings and offers to break up with Ji-ran, and when she gets in the car to drive him, he shoves a huge bouquet of flowers at her.

He smirks when her allergy kicks in, thinking that she’s crying with happiness, but she just sneezes right in his face. She gets out to stash the flowers in the trunk, and Young-joon congratulates himself for creating such a touching moment.

On the way home, he tells Mi-so that he’s breaking up with Ji-ran soon, that he never slept with her, and that he’s not dating anyone else, punctuating each statement with, “Okay?” He gives Mi-so tomorrow off to reconsider his offer, and she happily accepts the “day off” part, except for an interview she’s holding with her potential replacement.

Young-joon asks if she’s lined up a new job, and she says she hasn’t yet. He looks worried when she says she’s not sure if she’s even staying in Seoul, and asks why she’s resigning with no plans. She says she wants to live life not as someone’s secretary, but for herself.

Poor Young-joon looks exhausted in the morning, having stayed up all night wondering what Mi-so calls her nine years with him if not her life. He takes an indulgently broody shower (lucky us!), and when he trudges to the mirror, he’s horrified to find a pimple on his forehead. And awww, he can’t even manage to tie his own tie.

He goes to work tieless and in a terrible mood, stopping to glare at Mi-so’s empty desk before stomping into his office. He decides to cheer up, but finding Mi-so’s resignation letter on his desk plunges him right back into despair.

He ends up in Yoo-shik’s office gobbling up his red ginseng like candy, morosely wondering what Mi-so meant about wanting to live her own life. He quickly calculates that he and Mi-so have spent more hours together than most married couples, wondering if she’s upset because she likes him too much. Oh honey, no.

Yoo-shik notes that Young-joon seems awfully upset, and he asks if Young-joon has feelings for Mi-so, but Young-joon emphatically denies it. Yoo-shik mentions how Young-joon doesn’t let women touch him and asks if he suffered a trauma.

Young-joon says he just doesn’t like women, but that Mi-so is different. But when Yoo-shik asks how she’s different, Young-joon stalls out. He finally blurts that “she’s just Secretary Kim,” and flees the room.

Mi-so wakes up rested after a good night’s sleep, and she takes her time getting ready to go to the office to hold the interview. She takes some time typing up notes for her successor, and concludes that the last, and most crucial thing, is the reason she’s quitting… but she doesn’t finish. Why do I have the feeling it’s “don’t fall for your boss”?

She’s alarmed when she sees Young-joon looking pale and exhausted, but he declines her offer to call the doctor for sleeping pills, or his dermatologist for the pimple on his forehead. He does ask if she’s worried about him, and she says she is, of course. Young-joon wants to know if she’s saying that as Secretary Kim, or Kim Mi-so.

Mi-so nervously asks what he means, but they’re interrupted by the applicant for the secretarial position. Young-joon says he’ll hold the interview in his office and orders Mi-so to observe. He’s completely childish during the interview, asking the applicant, KIM JI-AH, who she’ll live as if she gets the job, Secretary Kim or Kim Ji-ah.

She trills that she’ll be both as Mi-so shoots Young-joon a look. Mi-so and Young-joon take increasingly passive aggressive jabs at each other disguised as interview questions (Young-joon: “I need someone who won’t quit with abstract excuses like ‘personal reasons.’” Mi-so: “Do you think you can satisfy a boss that’s perfect?”), thoroughly confusing the young applicant.

When Mi-so says that the pay is good but Ji-ah will have no life, Young-joon asks her directly if all the hours she’s put in aren’t considered her life. She just glares at him, and he hires Ji-ah on the spot. He instructs his assistant to show Ji-ah around, and tells Mi-so to train Ji-ah to be her clone before she leaves.

He stops Mi-so from leaving to ask what she meant by wanting to get her life back. She tells him her life has been all about work, so she wants to have time to herself. Less confidently, she says that she’s twenty-nine, so she wants to start thinking about getting married, and Young-joon head-tilts at her in confusion.

Mi-so meets with some old friends, and her two married friends urge her not to get married, while the single friend jokes that they’re just showing off. Mi-so’s purse spills, and her friend finds a man’s tie, handkerchief, and lighter. Mi-so explains that they’re things Young-joon occasionally needs, but her friends suddenly look uncomfortable and judgmental.

On the bus home, Mi-so watches a family with two young children, and she remembers how she accidentally signed her name “Secretary Kim.” She goes home and packs up several journals she’s filled with notes on Young-joon, and anything else that reminds her of him. She also packs the instructions she wrote for her replacement, and on a sticky note, she writes, “The most important thing you should remember is to make time for yourself.”

Young-joon is at the party where we first saw him, scoffing at Mi-so’s wish for her own life and family. He asks Ji-ran what she thinks of him, and she gets flirtatious, calling him successful, handsome, and sexy. She puckers up for a kiss, but Young-joon rushes his car and speeds away.

Mi-so is at home, her hair down and wearing comfy clothes. She’s about to look through an old personal journal when there’s a knock on the door. It’s Young-joon, looking thunderous, and he insists on talking outside.

He asks if Mi-so really meant what she said when she spoke of dating and marriage. She asks if he’s here late at night to ask her that, but he barrels on, asking if she’s dating behind his back. He denies being angry, saying it’s none of his business, but when she says she’s not dating, he’s all, “Of course not!”

Thoroughly confused, Mi-so says that she hasn’t had time to date. She tells Young-joon that for years, she’s had to be at work at six in the morning and never knew when her day would end, and was expected to come running whenever he called.

Unconvinced, Young-joon asks if that was her only reason (for quitting). Mi-so asks who will take care of her if she gets on his bad side when she’s older and gets fired. Young-joon promises never to fire her, but Mi-so fears that he wants her to be his secretary for the rest of her life and grow old, single and alone.

Young-joon asks if she’s really quitting because she wants to get married that much, and Mi-so says it’s true. He thinks about it for a moment, then says, “Then keep your job. I, Lee Young-joon, will marry you.”

 
COMMENTS

Whoa, that escalated quickly. I can actually understand why Young-joon would make such an offer, and how it wouldn’t seem like much of a leap to him: Mi-so wants to get married, and he doesn’t want to lose her as his secretary, so logically, if they get married, they both get what they want. What he fails to understand is that he’s missed Mi-so’s point entirely. What she wants isn’t simply marriage, but what it represents — love, freedom, and choice in how to live her life. Right now, Young-joon represents work and obligation to Mi-so, so I fully expect her to fling his thoughtless proposal right back in his face.

But I’m so glad that Young-joon and Mi-so had that talk… well, argument. As much time as they spend together, I’m guessing they’ve never had a real, honest conversation, and obviously Mi-so had a lot of reasonable fears and concerns. Young-joon has monopolized all of her time for years, never realizing how unfair it was of him, and although at first I thought she was nuts for quitting a well-paying, stable job, by the end of the episode I could feel Mi-so’s frustration and desire for more out of life. And Young-joon needed to hear that he’s been selfish and thoughtless… it probably didn’t sink in, because he’s got a pretty thick skull, but it will in time.

It seems obvious that Young-joon already has a head start over Mi-so when it comes to unrealized romantic feelings. He’s already showing some jealousy such as when Mi-so got male attention at the party, and his feelings of rejection over her quitting her job are definitely more personal than professional. But of course he doesn’t know he’s feeling anything for Mi-so other than dependence and familiarity, because he’s not in the habit of thinking highly of anyone but himself. But with Park Seo-joon at the wheel, watching Young-joon learn to stop being such a navel-gazing twit and make an effort to care about someone else should be hilariously fun.

And if anyone can perfectly pull off a character like Young-joon, it’s Park Seo-joon — he somehow manages to take a character who’s completely arrogant, wholly self-absorbed, and infuriatingly self-indulgent, and still make him adorable and endearing. What’s more, you can tell he’s having fun, and the only thing I love more than seeing an actor play a character to perfection is watching them have a blast while doing it. It’s a quality he brings to all of his characters, that little sparkle of his own enjoyment in portraying them, and it’s one of the reasons I luff him so much.

And Park Min-young is no slouch, either — she’s been a personal favorite since Sungkyunkwan Scandal, and she’s only gotten better with time. I didn’t get as strong of a sense of Mi-so’s personality in this first episode like I did with Young-joon, but that’s understandable. Mi-so’s job requires her to wear a pleasantly neutral mask, so much so that after almost ten years, even she doesn’t know who she is. She works hard to always seem cheerful and pleasant, even to her friends and family. The most authentic moment we saw from Mi-so was when she freaked out at the spider, but otherwise she’s careful to keep her true feelings hidden. I do think Mi-so has feelings for Young-joon, but if she’s aware of them, she probably wonders if they’re even real, since her whole life revolves around him and his needs. I think that Mi-so is right to want to break away and figure out who she really is apart from “Secretary Kim.” Her personal journey should be interesting as she figures out what she wants from life.

My first impression of What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim is overwhelmingly positive. It’s bright and funny in unexpected ways, but the actors have the chops to offers some pretty heavy-hitting emotional moments once the characters’ feelings start to get involved. I’m particularly appreciative of the twist on the typical office love story, which almost always begins when the lead pair start working together. But in Young-joon and Mi-so’s case, they’ve been working together for almost a decade already, which I anticipate will complicate their inevitable romance an interesting ways. I’m hoping for something like we saw in Fight My Way — two people who already know each other inside and out, but only in a certain context, who struggle when it becomes necessary to redefine their relationship. It’s going to be awkward and weird and adorable, and I can’t wait.

 
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@lollypip thank you for your hard work! Love your recaps!!

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I am sorry for using your comment for this but, can anyone please tell me why her friends suddenly became all shifty when she explained about her boss's things being in her purse? Did they assume they are sleeping together? Is that it? Or something else that I completely missed? I am actually really curious about it XD!! Cause that was a really strong reaction.

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I wondered about that... until I thought about how I would react in rl. I would be concerned that my friend didn't have ANY life of their own and was so completely devoted to the boss that she didn't even see it herself.
It was just extremely awkward...

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Thanks so much for the recap!

This was a really great first episode. I loved the lead couple’s dynamic from five minutes in - our two lead actors did a great job of convincing me of their characters’ rapport and history almost instantly. I already adore Young-joon’s hilarious arrogance. It’s not of the grating variety like a lot of kdrama heroes, which I appreciate. And Mi-so’s reactions to him make my day.

There were a couple things that threw me a little - namely the clunky spider-phobia/potential childhood trauma on Mi-so’s part, and the occasional overdramatic music cue. But honestly, those were small quibbles and I have to say I’m pretty invested for a first episode.

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I worry that there's some Fate thing involving Mi-So and Young-Joon in that spider-phobia storyline.

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Am super leery about this too! The thought of childhood connection via shared trauma dims my joy about this show...

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At least we don’t have to worry about any potential mother/father-in-law terror.

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Young-Joon's parents are cute, even if delusional! Not so sure about Mi-So's.

Btw, I love the show!! But, apparently I am Debbie Downer today. Sorry :P

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🤦🏼‍♀️ gaahh. Beanies know it's coming.

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if there is in fact a childhood/fate connection, i suspect that Young-Joon remembers Mi-So from their past but Mi-So does not remember. Did anyone else get that feeling?

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yup! I think that might be it...
(I kinda hate those, but oh well...)

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Why do u think that? Im genuinely curious😊

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I dread that too. Moreover all the talk over brothers in second episode makes me think that there is some connection. But I don't want that. I just want things to be among the secretary and her boss, no childhood connection please.

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Dating siblings. A K-drama first, with the exception of that drama-within-a-drama in Go go Waikiki.

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I've been watching kdramas for less than a year and find that some sort of trauma is de rigueur—which makes dramas oddly relatable. I'm really curious about how our OTP's baggage might be related.

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They were kidnapped by the same crazy lady, and kept in a room with spiders.

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You know, I wouldn't be surprised about there being a Hansel and Gretel kind of moment in their past, because I got other fairy tale vibes when she was eating with her sisters. Was I the only one to see them as the ugly stepsisters? Lee Young-joon is definitely modern prince material. The twist is that instead of having to find the girl to fit the shoe, he has to find the way to her heart. Mi-soo definitely has Cinderella qualities, hard-working and cheerful despite adversity in her family life.

Anyway, I won't be surprised if her fear of spiders causes her to leap into his arms at some point.

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I wouldn't be surprised about there being a Hansel and Gretel kind of moment in their past

Interesting theory, @lindag! And if we do have a fairytale twist, I'm grateful that our leads don't have completely horrible relatives—so far.

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I'm a newbie too. Started last summer I believe.

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Your first k-drama anniversary is coming up!

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Oh I'm sure it's coming. I'll see what happens but it's the one thing I could do without, and I don't even hate childhood connections that k-dramas seem to love, I just don't think it's necessary here.

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These are all very legitimate worries/criticisms. But I'm glad to say they're not crippling injuries to the shows potential. At most, they come off as a touch silly, or cliche.

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Omo. I need to applaud you for working too hard recapping so many dramas airing! I am soooo in love with this drama! I'm sold just on the first episode!

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Yes! Three airing shows!! That is a full week schedule watching, writing, editing and I don't know what else in order to get well written, well analysed recaps.
@lollypip... how can you work so hard???

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When you love what you do, it doesn't feel like work :)

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Also, I naturally only sleep about 4 hours a night, lol.

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Thanks so much @LollyPip!
It's so much more fun when you're with us! However, do sleep longer if your body gives you the 'rest more!' message. 😇 😄

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we're most grateful!

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Thank you @lollypip for the recap. I look forward to watching this drama. I really appreciate every recap now. We took it for granted in the past. I understand the investment of every recapper. Just want to say this is appreciated.

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Ah @lollypip thank you so much! I am very excited about this drama and am so glad you will be recapping :)

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Yay it’s here! Thanks @lollypip for the recap!

I loved the first episode. It was hilarious and kept my attention. Not to mention PSJ is hilarious and I am loving his Young Joon.

PMY is so pretty. So so pretty.

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Who else expected Kim Joo Won to pop out from the Secret Garden house ?

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Great pickup!!! I knew it looked familiar!!!

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They're "recycling" some houses like in some other drama there's the house of Blade man ;-)

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I laughed so hard, like we needed the extra underlining that YJ is a self-centered narcissist!

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Except I don't think we saw the shower last time, lol.

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Can you imagine what happened when the design was presented? "PD-nim, you don't ever have to worry about walls anymore..."

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Yes! I knew I recognized that house but the series name didn't immediately come to me.

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LOL, I recognized it, too. It looks like they added onto it.

They've also used the house from 49 Days - or at least the front with the brick wall and corner gate - in several dramas.

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i KNEW IT!!!

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oh and in Miss Hammurabi, the apartment where Im Ba-Reun lives is the saaaame place as where Ko Bok-Sil in Shopping King Louis lived in!
(I recognized the huge street staircase)

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Ok, the first 2 episodes just made me renew my Viki subscription ;D

I don’t usually live watch dramas, but im making an exception for this show and I really hope the rest of the show will be as breezy and fun as the pilot episodes!

Not too familiar with Park Seo Joon but he is cracking me up with his campy portrayal of Young-Joon, hah!

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He does comedy well in my opinion. While waiting for the next episode, I recommend watching "Fight My Way". ;)

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Oh, he's WONDERFUL 😍😍😍

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When I see Kang Ki-young all i can think of is the sous chef in 'oh My Ghost'.

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This series is similar to two weeks notice with hugh grant and sandra bullock..don't you think?

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Yup—I felt those vibes too. The "breaking up" window is where true feelings are revealed.

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A bit of The Proposal too (Sandra Bullock & Ryan Reynolds)!

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Thanks Lollypip! I hope you're getting enough rest between all the recapping you have to do.

I do think the choice of Miso's name is deliberate: it sounds very close to secretary (bi-so), hence the mistake she made with her own name at the bank, and also it means smile—as Lollypip noted, she has to put on a friendly, professional facade and smile even in difficult situations.

Speaking of the bank scene, I appreciated that we were given a logical reason for why she stuck with this soul-devouring job for nine whole years—her dad is in debt, and the job pays well.

The feminist in me is also intrigued by the setup of Miso's resignation. Inhumane working hours is definitely a common problem in Korea, but when I saw the lengths Miso was going through for Youngjoon, the first thing that popped into my mind was "emotional labour". Just off the top of my head, she:
- Remembers and reminds YJ that he gave his date a necklace, buys a bouquet for his date
- Reminds him to take his medicine
- Notices the creaky swivel chair, prepares to replace it
- Chooses his outfits for him

I doubt that in a reverse situation, a male secretary would be doing the same level of multitasking for a female boss. Miso isn't just managing the professional aspects of his working life; she's supporting all his emotional and social needs. Somehow, to be considered a "perfect secretary", Miso has to be his nanny, mum, wife, and secretary rolled into one. This is something I hope the show continues to address.

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Agreed. Mi-so's duties are absurdly extreme. The only thing she doesn't do for him is sex and housework.

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Her tying his tie is just ridonkulous 🙄

For comparison, consider The Devil Wears Prada in which the boss has two personal assistants who cover less of the duties than Mi So does.

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And if she marries him, she will do that too...

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She's basically Alfred to Young-Joon's Bruce Wayne

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I think that's why she fits in the job description of a Personal Assistant more than a secretary. I wonder if this concept exists in Korea.

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She is more like a Super-Personal Assistant :s What she's expected to do/ has come to make herself do is way beyond even a PA. It's overly personal.

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These are good points ~ honestly, if they get into a relationship she has to do LESS for him than more. I usually dislike plots with romance between boss and secretary, just because there’s a huge power imbalance there. I love that she decided to quit because, now that the debt is gone, she doesn’t want to make money, but find something she wants for herself ~ I thought it was honest and heartbreaking when she said she’s growing older with no one to take care of her, because she’s always taken care of her family and she doesn’t have anyone she trusts not to smile around.

Thank you for explaining the name ~ I knew I heard similarities between the two titles. 😊

PS I like your username change hehe. Fighting!

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Thank you! ^^ Yes, I agree about the power imbalance. The fact that YJ can't wrap his head around why MS does not see the time she spent with him as her "life", and that he says "Secretary Kim is just... Kim Miso" is very telling.

I'm hoping she doesn't go back to being his secretary too soon. As much as she needs to figure out who she is outside of her identity as Secretary Kim, YJ also needs to see who she is as Kim Miso, and not as Secretary Kim.

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Definitely. Girl needs to concentrate on herself first. I hope she doesn't fall for him too soon. I hope the nice, normal guy gets seriously in the running Let Mr. Perfect suffer for a long, long time. Character building!

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LP, I am with you--This is just the drama I needed. I laughed out loud so many times during this episode and I am love with the main couple together and separately. The second ep only gets better. This gonna be a good one.

Adore PMY but PSJ is sure a stand out. First time I've seen him in anything and 5 mins in I was all aboard the Seo-joon train. I get strong Cha Seung won vibes from him--not because he's some imitation, only that they both manage to play ridiculously self-involved characters with such charisma, charm and humanity.

I actually don't think Mi-So has any romantic feelings for him at this point. She cares about him in the way anyone would care about someone they know and serve so intimately, but I can completely understand how his narcissism has kept her from falling for him. Of course, that will change quickly as he tries to show his more thoughtful, considerate side. He is the perfect man after all...

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this drama is cute... it's enough with the OTP, the story is nothing new, but it's so CUTE! they are so CUTE! i'm totally IN on this maybe because there have been so many heavy dramas lately...

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I hope they keep it light, but they're already hinting at a dark history.

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YES. I am so here for all of this. Every single episode.

It's been a while since I've commented on every episode of a show and I have a feeling this will be the one!!!! I pretty much love this show against all reason already. The premise is seemingly simple, but the starting point is so refreshing, with the lead's relationship and camaraderie already well established and just about to be completely shaken up. I love that the leads are both SO in-sync and yet also on a completely different wave-length, leaving their relationship with so much room for development/fleshing out.

Also loving that Secretary Kim's whole "I need to find a life that's just my own" moment leads to a full-on existential crisis for Young-joon. Actually, pretty much everything he's resorted to to keep her with him has resulted in an even greater existential crisis for him, LOL. He's not just simply going to be falling in love here, his whole world is going to continue shifting on it's axis and I'm going to enjoy every bit of it, muahaha!

I find Kim Mi-soo to be such a wonderfully impressive and fascinating character (I'll get more into why later!). It's going to be so much fun to watch how she goes from not believing her boss at all capable of love, to actually starting to fall for him herself! I can't wait to see how the show takes us there.

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A full-on existencial crisis indeed. I can't wait to actually see this.

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Yes, you’re right! her existential starts off one of his own, since she’s the axis of his life it shakes up his whole world.

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Really loving this drama so far. I liked the way this episode was set up with a kind of sandwich of the titular question "what's wrong with secretary kim?" as we are introduced to the characters. It's so funny and our leads have great chemistry---which is so necessary if you're to believe she's been working for him for nine years! I love how these two really have taken to their characters with Park Min-young as the capable and confident Mi-so and Park Seo-joon has the irritatingly arrogant, densely un-self-aware, yet still endearing Young-joon. I think they've both done a good job in setting up our characters. I loved how mask like Mi-so appeared with her ever present smile, with that little hint of her true feelings in her micro-expressions---you definitely relate if you've ever had a customer service related job. Park Seo-joon really leaned in to his character. He's hilarious and really owns this character in all his selfishness and foolishness and has fun with it. Young-joon is clearly already in love with Mi-so, he doesn't know it yet. I'm excited to see both of their journeys as they move from this catalyst of Mi-so decided to make her own happiness a priority and have a life that's not about Young-joon----a theme that I am all for!

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Is he in love with her already? Not sure. I think he's just finding out that he loves her and needs her for every moment in his life, but that's different from being in love. I don't think he's head over heels in a romantic way, it's more that he just discovered she's the air he needs in order to keep breathing -- and she doesn't need him in that way, even though taking care of him has been her whole life.

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I agree, he loves her but romance is not his register. I really hope his character doesn’t disappear and he becomes the usual cliche romantic lead.

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For the non-Korean speakers, miso means "smile" in Korean.

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Also, random thought, but there was a moment this episode when Yoo-shik was asking Young-joon whether Secretary Kim is a woman to him and he starts off saying "Secretary Kim is just…." and I was fully expecting him to say "Secretary Kim"…but instead he says "Kim Mi-So".

I really liked this distinction, perhaps because one of the most weighty moments of the episode involved Kim Mi-So writing Secretary Kim instead of her own name. I just found this a nice, distinguishing moment for him, one that hinted that he has always seen her as more than just a secretary, even if there is so much about her he remains completely clueless about. It was also just a little reminder that even though Kim Mi-so has perhaps lost a bit of herself in her role as Secretary Kim, she also likely found a new, very important part of herself through all her struggles, something I think she'll also discover over the course of the show. You can see that through the way he sees her role as Secretary Kim as in indispensable part of who Kim Mi-so is…it just shouldn't be the only part and this is precisely Kim Mi-so's conflict right now. I really hope the show continues to offer such an in-depth look at our characters' identity and how they're shaped by the roles in their lives.

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Interesting observation! I kinda get the same feeling that Young Joon has already/always seen her as more than his secretary. He’s clueless, but I also found him to be innocently honest, even in his narcissistic ways of doing things. And I believe that he’s always being honest with Mi-So, and it’s proven of how much he trusted her (and her, being the only one who’s allowed to “touch” him). Interestingly, to Mi-So, Secretary Kim and Kim Mi-So are two seperate entities, but she’s been hiding behind her Secretary Kim persona for so long that the lines are really blurry now. I’m also looking forward to see how much they honestly affect each other’s lives in the past, present (and future). I’m expecting more flashbacks scenes between those two!

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I just want to say that it's good to have you back, @chandler. Your thoughtful comments (like this one) add so much to the discussion.

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I also found it telling that in the first episode when she is approaching the car and he’s inside monologing to himself about her perceived feelings, she says to herself, “Is Young Joon talking to Young Joon?” It implies to me that in the privacy of her mind, she thinks of him informally. I found that small detail really interesting.

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Thank you Lollypip for the recap! Love hearing your thoughts. :) "It’s going to be awkward and weird and adorable, and I can’t wait." - - - - me too!!! I'm looking forward to all of Young Joon's brain spazz reactions and Mi So's sass. Bring it on!!!

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I am really looking forward to this drama: it feels indeed like the friends to lovers trope with a (major) twist: both characters don't think they like the other all that much. But I'm pretty sure we'll see soon that she doesn't know him as much as she thinks and he's taken care of her more than she knows.

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Also, the little sound effects remind me of "Witch's romance", which was my first encounter with PSJ and still a favorite of mine, so I love it! Actually, I had to check if it was from the same director (it isn't). Bring me joy into the summer Show!

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@delsatu,

Dang, my goose may be cooked and I may have to watch (and not just read recaps) after all. You got me with mentioning the sound effects. OH HAE-YOUNG AGAIN killed me with the sound effects, and not just because Park do-kyung was a perfectionistic foley artist. They were like a character in their own right.

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Considering that you are particularly sensitive to the audio work (OST, background music and sound effect), I hope you will like it as much as I do! :D I fully understand that some people are not attracted to that kind of humour, but to me, it makes everything funnier!

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You've really got my number, @delsatu. The soundscape definitely draws me in to some shows. TWO COPS had a great sound effect when the comatose conman's disembodied spirit was taking over the cop's body. I could swear that a similar sound crops up in THE UNDATEABLES. (WOK OF LOVE is the only other reasonable possibility, but I don't think that's the one.)

Even as I'm typing this, I can hear one of the sound effects from OHYA running through the back of my mind, and it won't go away. Yikes. I'm doomed...

I'm just going to strap on my parachute, holler "Geronimo!," and pull the ripcord.

I probably need a good light-hearted rom-com to balance out COME AND HUG ME, which I've been enjoying to bits. Alas, Thursday's preemption by a soccer game is screwing up the delicate timing and balance. Boo hoo!

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@pakalanapikake
What cracks me up is that Secretary Kim comes right after My Ajusshi, which had such an intentional audio background since the heroin was listening to the hero all the time and was taking notice of the sounds of his steps, his breathing, his wonderful voice, everything... I actually thought during that show that there was a sound engineer back there as committed as Erik in OHYA to make the audio of that show that riveting.
And then you go full-on into the rom-com realm, with cat hissing noises and bing bang booms! Maybe it is the same sound engineer who is releasing his stress from working on My Ajusshi. :)
And I love Come and hug me, the music gives me chill! Indeed, I love the balance on Wed-Thursday nights btw drama and laughter is perfect. Go Geronimo!

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Yes, the sound is a noticeable plus in this show! There's a short use of a tympani (or probably an ethnic drum) that made me laugh out loud.

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I loved watching the sound effect scenes in Oh Hae Young. It was so interesting. Never knew they cancelled the sound out.
Plus, I liked watching the hero be really into and good at his job.

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Because This Life is Our first had those sound effects....if I remember correctly.

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yes! I noticed the sound effects too and they veeeeery much reminded me of WITCH'S ROMANCE, one of my fav noona romances AND a PSJ-gem!

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Just want to send out a big thank you to @lollypip for the recap!

I'm barely half-way through this first episode but it certainly looks like it is going to be a lot of fun!

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watched both episodes already and must say i'm definitely in this one to the end! park seo joon and park min young are on fire for their roles and their chemistry! i noticed that quirkiness that seo joon puts into his roles as well and min young is a pro as well! that flower allergy scene was hilarious and well-acted! xD

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Yay thank you for the recap @lollipip. I waited two months for this drama to air and it feels so unreal that it’s finally here! It’s off to a great start with its classic rom-com directing styles but still feels refreshing with the characters. I hope this one stays good till the end ✌🏼

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Yes, I’ve been waiting with you!! My fingers are crossed and my prayers to the drama gods lifted up that this will be a great one!!

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🙌🏼

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This show is a hoot!!

I watched it last night at around 1 am, and i ended up not sleeping at all because I needed to prepare meal for suhoor.

PSJ was brilliant on this role, he embodied the character perfectly. PMY is so sooooo gorgeous!! Between her and SKJ in are you human, I cannot choose which one is prettier. But besides being pretty, I really like her acting also. Come to think of it, she never had any bad roles, hasn't she?

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Ramadan Mubarak!! And no, PMY is one of my favs, she is always fantastic.

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Not my typical type of drama but I was totally inlove with it..

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Thanks for the recap love this drama

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I didn’t expect to like the first episode that much but I freaking loved it! Yay! Post My Ahjussi drama slump is over!

I was looking forward to this for so long, both lead actors are my favourites, especially PMY played few of most amazing female characters in k-dramas. And PSJ is hilarious, he’s having so much fun playing this character, he must laugh his head off in BTS 😂

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Boy, I was thinking that I don't know how they can keep straight faces long enough to finish some of these scenes 😂

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Correction: Mi-so accidentally signed her check as Secretary Kim (김비서/Kim Biseo) not Secretary Lee. It's a pun on her name, which sounds similar.

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I think LollyPip was going off of the same subs that I used which said Secretary Lee. I'm guessing the subber was trying to convey that Secretary Kim was really out of it and had signed her name wrong, but it was confusing because who would sign the wrong family name?

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Yeah it's a subtitle error. The teller clearly said Kim Biseo, and the hangeul on the check says that too. It's too bad since I thought the Kim Biseo/Kim Mi-so mistake was rather meaningful. Mi-so was so used to being called Biseo that she subconsciously wrote it down as her name.

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Thank you for the recap @lollypip!

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this drama. I think I liked it not so much because of PSJ (even though he's great) but mainly because of PMY. It's her reaction to his antics that made me like this dramas from the start.

It's almost as if she sees him as an annoying little brother? someone she has to protect, who she has to dress, who's a bit nuts, a bit over the top, and way too full of himself. It seemed to me that she was really laughing at him (in a kind way), whenever she agreed that: yes, he was perfect.

So when she was getting her freedom from the sisters she had been supporting, she was also getting her freedom from her workplace little brother?

It's going to take some doing on Young-joon's part to get her to see him in a different light.

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Yes, her wanting to start over is wonderful and I hope the drama allows her to do so. She deserves it.

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Since she is leaving her nine years of work-marriage, she looks so happy and relaxed. I find her carrying around all those things for her boss symbolic, it perfectly sums her life. As a mother/older sister caring for a child with no time for anything else.

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That's a really good point that I hadn't seen, thank you.

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Ah, like the idea that she sees him as a toddler who needs constant affirmation ~

I agree, PSJ is always great, but it’s PMY whose acting is killing this show ~ her micro reactions to everyone while still keeping the smile firmly in place are amazing!

I’m excited for them both to find out more about the other, because despite believing they already know everything, they have no idea about how they are outside of work. Even PSJ’s meeting with his family was shallow, he never actually lets his guard down. Neither of them do.

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I like it! I like it a lot!

Park Seo Jun as Young Joon gave me a lot of cringey and facepalm moments, but he is adorable nonetheless. PSJ always great in a romcom and this one is no exception. And Park Min Young as Mi-So is simply perfect. I love the subtle eye-rolls and little cracks of WTH expressions that she gave whenever Young Joon is being a narcissist brat. I also love how fast the plot goes and I liked the first glimpses I’ve seen on both of our main characters in this first episode.

I love that right off the bat, the story hinted at the possibility of multiple layers in the relationship between this boss and his secretary. 9 years is a very long time to stay in a job! And I kinda like the subtle hints of the issue of “burnout” in relationships. It feels like the parallelism is obvious when the drama hinted at the relationship between the mom and the dad (who probably in the brink of marriage burnout as well. Similar issue in relationship is noticeable in bff Yoo Shik’s ruined marriage as well. It brings out some core issues - What makes relationship works? and what make them fall apart? Will sparks diffuse in time? Why is it so hard to understand each other? What can be done to save those relationships?

Regardless whether it is a love relationship, a marriage, or a professional relationship between a boss and his secretary, relationships ARE relationships. Feelings are involved (at different levels of course). But I think what this show is trying to point out is that regardless of what kind of relationship one had, it always takes two to tango. If one is unhappy in the relationship, it could never work. This is also another reason why I love that we were thrown into the first episode being at a possible end of years-long relationship.

What Young Joon and Mi-So had now is one unhealthy relationship with both of them being in it with different purposes and understandings. Communication breakdown, not taking efforts to know each other, taking things for granted, being selfish etc - we could see miles away why Mi So is so emotionally drained now. But while Young Joon is obviously a narcissist and most faults fall onto him, I feel like there’s more to him than what Mi-So is giving him credit for.

I can’t wait to see how the drama peels all their 9-years worth of relationship layers!

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Because the 3-6-9 framework for considering the progression of a relationship was mentioned, I wonder if this show might eventually reveal how they interacted at the milestones of 3 and 6 years. Were those actually turning points? Did they face some type of obstacle and overcome them together? Did the choices they make lay the groundwork for why now at 9 years Mi-so wants to leave?

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I thought Mi-so wanted to leave right after she finally managed to pay all her father’s debts. But you are right! The milestones are mentioned, and I’m really curious now to see how they managed to stay together for so long - how did they start? What makes him started to trust her? (I’m assuming he has trust issues since noone can hardly touch him but her). What makes her thick? What feelings are involved and when did it start? I have so many questions right now and even more after watching ep 2 LOL.

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Yeah, I think that paying off the debt is probably a reason why she wants to leave. But even with the way she talks about why she is leaving, it implies that that was just the last thing holding her to the job. Their relationship has nine years of history, and that history has an effect on what is currently happening. I just wonder how much insight we might get into their past. I do think that their current feelings are most important, but it seems difficult to ignore everything that got them there.

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I really love that we start at the end of the boss Secretary relationship instead of at the beginning ~ they are two people who have seen too much of each other in business matters over the course of nine years, and only now that it’s ending so they realize that what really kept them together was the person the other was underneath the work persona. Hehe, at least that’s how I see it going ~

I really want more flashbacks, and I think it would be fun if the writers decided to show us 3-6-9 milestones ~

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The three-year cycles in relationships is an interesting proposition. But what about the Seven Year Itch? ;-)

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If that gives us comic parodies of Marilyn Monroe a la the OTP I’m here for it

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there is such a thing as the Seven Year Itch?!? lol
*off to research it*

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Hehe, it’s an old American movie with Marilyn Minroe

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Aside from Hollywood tropes, there is also a school of thought that holds that human life unfolds in 7-year cycles. For instance, it's the basis for 7 years being considered the "age of reason." There's also the idea that every 7 years, humans go through a complete turnover of their cells, in effect becoming a different person.

Here's an overview:

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/11/07/every-7-years-body-mind-spirit-evolve-way/

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Yay was hoping this drama would be recapped, thanks @lollypip!

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I'm not able to watch it but the recaps are great. And dude, I'm so glad they know Park Min-young looks divine in red.

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Hi there @hyoria @fab
NIce seeing you here even if you're just reading the recap!

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@growingbeautifully! Hi there, good to see you too, I hope you like it just as much. So I've finally watched episodes 1 and 2 and I'm about to renew my viki subscription just to watch more. It's CRAZY

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Thanks for another terrific recap, Lollypip. I haven't watched the episode, and the show wasn't even on my radar. I'm already live-watching too many dramas. But I love how you write and analyze characters, plots, and performances. Your comments are mighty tempting. Danger, Will Robinson!

I may compromise and do something new for the first time: just read your recaps. After watching the first episode, purely for quality assurance purposes...

Methinks the camel's nose is already inside the tent. ;-)

Thanks again for an entertaining read.

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You know you want to watch it really...

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Thanks for that banaba peel, Cloggie. I can always count on you. ;-)

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Banana peel. Sheesh.

Must drink coffee.

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I knew what you meant ;-)

but coffee is always a good thing

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Just do it. What’s one more show in the grand scheme of things? Join the fun. Who needs sleep when there’s coffee?

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LOL. I should just put on skis and schuss down the Slippery Slope of Addled Sleep Deprivation. I see I've got plenty of good company. ;-)

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Sleep is overrated anyway ;P

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🎪 I knew I saw something 🐪

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If some's good, more's better. I just finished watching the first two episodes and enjoyed them both. The sound effects crack me up.

Park Min-young was terrific in SEVEN DAY QUEEN. I thought that was the only show I'd seen her in so far. Imagine my shock when I just looked her up in AsianWiki and found out she was in my first Kdrama, DR. JIN. Yikes! -- At any rate, I love how she rides herd on the Perfect Boss. Having worked as a secretary, I'm having flashbacks to the mind-reading aspects of the job. And the taken-for-grantedness that goes with making sure things run smoothly.

The only show I've previously seen Park Seo-joon in is SHE WAS PRETTY. I think it may have been one of my relatively early non-sageuks, and his tsundere character irked me to the point that I couldn't stand him. (Plus I had my first case of SLS with Siwon's much more cuddly writer.) I'm glad that LollyPip pointed out PSJ's flair for deftly infusing traces of humanity into the Perfect Narcissist. That proposition intrigued me enough to watch, and I'm glad I did. He's well on his way to overwriting the earlier character that irked me so. (Looking at it another way, he was very convincing as a tsundere, I just wasn't aware of the trope at that time.) Will we get to see Lee Young-joon go through all five stages of grief? We're already seeing denial and bargaining. ;-)

I'm tickled to see Kim Byung-ok and Kim Hye-ok playing Young-joon's parents. They're two of my favorite veteran actors.

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So glad to see you’ve joined us!! It’ll be a fun ride with all of us here haha!

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@pakalanapikake I have my camel's nose sniffing dangerously close to the tent as well. I loved the hilarious sound effects of BTLIOF and would expect no less from the director here.
I'm just not sure if the plot has enough substance to keep me watching until the end: I usually don't like secretary romances and the story of falling in love with one's boss because of the power unbalance, and because it's supposed to be a professional setting. But this one is starting after 9 years of working together and she seems fed up with catering to his every whim, which is intriguing.

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@wishfultoki the balance of power is actually one of the reasons why I like this one so far.

It pretty much starts at the point where she resigns from her job and he's desperate to keep her and that puts all the power squarely in her hands (in the first two episodes at least).

Who knows where the plot is going to end up ... but so far I think is a fun twist on the boss/secretary set-up.

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I cracked up during the scenes of Secretary Kim selecting his wardrobe for the day, and helping him into his jacket. It looked just like innumerable sageuk scenes of kings and nobles being dressed by their attendants. LOL!

And then there was the "epic" male chorus chanting "Ha" in the background. Just in case we hadn't noticed that Vice Chairman Lee has a terminal case of Seja Syndrome.

It also reminded me a bit of Crown Prince Won of Goryeo not knowing how to dress himself in civvies when he and Rin were trying to sneak out of the palace as kids in THE KING LOVES.

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oops tagged the wrong person. I'll have another go

love that it didn't take that long before you ended up watching both episodes lol.
To me the vibes are still a bit about a big sis dressing baby bro before he's off to school, especially with her carrying all his extra stuff in her handbag as @allphryne pointed out.

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Young-joon's tie-fu is no good, either. So if Mi-so is not around to wrangle his necktie for him, he goes casual. LOL!

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@cloggie June 9, 2018 at 4:45 AM

Episode 1 was so good I continued with ep. 2, which was already subtitled. I knew this would happen.

* charges over the Cliff Of Non-Doom *

As for Secretary Kim's handbag Chaebol First Aid Kit, to me it screamed "Mom" more than "Big Sis." Or maybe a Girl Scout who is always prepared for emergencies. I recognized the syndrome only too well, as I habitually schlepped all kinds of stuff I might need. It did a number on my back and shoulders. I well recall us kids offloading stuff onto Mom, who stashed it in her handbag for us. ;-)

In my family, the menfolk always tied their own neckwear. I never remember seeing Mom tie Dad's tie for him. (She grew up without a father, so never got to learn the tying ritual, I imagine.)

My kid brother would have thought I was nuts if I'd attempted to fiddle with his necktie. It was strictly a Guy Thing. I guess that's one difference between sibling relationships in America and Korea.

Mr. P. hates wearing neckties, and has worked in jobs that rarely necessitated that particular torture. If he liked wearing ties, I would have been motivated to learn tie-fu despite my lack of manual dexterity. To me it is a very intimate gesture. The closest I ever got was helping pick out his wedding tie.

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I don’t get a sibling vibe either. Tieing a man’s tie for him seems a very intimate gesture, especially the way she smooths her hands down his shoulders.

I too always had (have?) the purse full of supplies in case of any type of “emergency.” Again not something I would do for my brother, but do for my spouse and kids. This may be different do others though, and I’m reading that scene through my own experiences.

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Well, the sibling vibe was mainly after ep 1, the tie-scene was rather intimate.

What made it seem sibling originally to me was that she seems to think that his behaviour is a bit... ridiculous? It seems to me that she's laughing at him, which made it seem less motherly.

But yeah, ep 2 changed that a bit.

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Yes, I like Park Seo Joon much more here than in She Was Pretty.

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@lollypip You must be a superhuman if you're recapping 3 dramas simultaneously! *showers love* .💖

I initially thought this drama would be a breezy rom-com and it is, but also so much more! The 1st ep was incredibly enjoyable because we have a lead who isn't cold/borderline emotionally abusive but instead embraces his inner narcissist. PSJ embodied the role perfectly and whilst I thought there would be a whole lot of cringing, I was surprised to see that I kept chuckling at his self-absorbed antics. He really encompassed a webtoon character (the drama was adapted). PMY was spectacular too and I have a feeling the drama will definitely delve much deeper and explore their ambitions, past, growth and emotions.
On a side note it's refreshing to see a potential MIL egg on the OTP!

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MIL? Please translate. ;

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Mother-in-law. ;-)

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Haha! My father-in-law signs his emails to me as "Your FIL". :D

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Thank you @lollypip for recapping this drama, its must been hard to managed all dramas you've had.

I totally in for this drama!! Really love PMY in her role, she's awesome. To be a competent secretary is no small feat, especially to successfully managed Vice President Lee.

I laughed out loud at Lee Young-joon antics, kudos to PSJ who managed to make him so endearing. I agree with @ultramafic in above comment, there some CSW's air that he has, that can make egoistic, narcissist role, and endearing at the same time.

I like how LYJ turn to PYS for advice, he need his friend....

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Thanks for the recap @lollypip!

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LOVE LOVE LOVE!

I can't wait for next week! So good.

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@lollypip, you are the real VVIP. That being said I loved loved this episode, if it maintains the course, this will be one of my favorite romantic comedies.

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Wow, @lollypip! I already told you this on the AYHT recap, but you’re a true hero!

It has been aaages since I last watched a good rom-com—I’m Not a Robot was the last one—and I’m so glad that What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim seems to be able to fill that void!

I adore Park Seo-joon and he is killing his role, but Park Min-young is the standout for me in this first episode. I forgot how much I adore her! And she is SO pretty, I can’t help but stare at her every time she is on screen! I loved Mi-so’s reasons for quitting her job. So realistic and such a smart decision. I can already tell how exhausting her job must be and I’m proud of her for taking this step.

You can definitely see Because This Life is Our First’s director’s touches in this, from the cinematography to the sound effects, but he’s going much more over-the-top here so far. And I don’t mean that in a bad way! I think he’s really selling the webtoon feel, and the comedy is on-point so far. Also, the bus stop scene in this episode gave me serious flashbacks!

Best of all, I’m seeing so many Beanies from the BTLIOF recaps around now, and it makes me SO excited. While that show itself forever has a special place in my heart, the Beanies involved in the experience made it even better. Those recaps felt like home to me. I’m so happy to see everyone again! 😭💖

This show seems like it will be loads of fun and I’m so looking forward to watching it with everyone!

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They are both so pretty.

Her long hair threw me off because I last saw her in Healer.
I like the styling so far, especially his suits.
I have seen comments on his pink lipstick though and now can not get that out of my head and keep looking at it.

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I have been pondering on this whole male makeup thing recently. I have been listening to some Georgian period novels of Georgette Heyer which made me think how these things are culturally defined and change over time and from place to place. Rich men of this period used makeup, had long hair and jewellery to rival women. So I am trying to not be prejudiced but I look at these really shiny lipsticks on some Kdrama heroes and it is so jarring! Watching the first episode I wanted get a tissue and wipe off Park Seo Joon's lips. It just doesn't make him more attractive. He is more than pretty enough as it is.

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I love These Old Shades. Yes, Avon and his lace, jewels, and pumps.

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I haven't listened to that one yet, it's in the queue. But Powder and Patch and The Black Moth had a fair bit of that going on and Heyer is big on detailed descriptions when it comes to these.

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I’m so happy there’s a new rom com being recapped!! It’s been a while ~ @lollypip answers prayers, I think she must be a priestess of the drama gods 😘

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Episode 1 was PMY's episode for me. More than PSJ, it was PMY who stood out. I felt PSJ, while amazing, was still trying to get under the skin of his character while PMY was already there. He has got it in the second episode. MY has portrayed the character with the delicacy and strength it required. Secretary Kim is very professional and capable,yet warm like we see when she comforts the man who was fired, but is pretty clearcut about how he won't get a second chance.
The general knetz reaction to PMY's acting after the first episode aired was overwhelmingly positive with people even going as far as to say that she was KMS from the very first scene. Her intonation, pronunciation and acting were all praised. In the case of SJ, I felt he is starting to get the praise he deserves from knetz from the second episode.

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I'm glad the very sensitive and very difficult to please knetz liked PMY's acting.

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Yay, recap! Thank you so much.

I am so relieved that I enjoyed the first 2 eps as I had been anticipating this drama so much.

I think the two leads are great in their roles so far and have a nice chemistry.

Young-joon definitely has some tangled feelings about their relationship that he doesn't even recognize. Besides his trauma with women I think Mi So fulfills some of the roles of a significant other to him and maybe why he doesn't feel the need to date. Also, why he is confused as to why she doesn't consider her time with him as having a life. But he doesn't recognize it at all.

I can not wait to see Mi So's mask crack more and more. I'm already rooting for her to be out from all obligations and choose her own path.

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aaah... never expected a light romcom would hit so close to home...

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This drama is my jam, it's exactly the sort of thing I love! I feel like I should feel more glee at Young-Joon losing the secretary he has taken for granted, but I just feel sorry for him. I know what it is like when people in your life make decisions out of the blue that will change your life and you have no say in it. Not to say she's wrong in moving on! I look forward to seeing him hitting rock bottom and rising up again a better person.

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I hope this does not go down the path of a basic prince and pauper story line. YJ's success is based on an intellectual-factual focus of the world around him. He has eliminated external emotions that would cloud his judgment. As a result, he knows he is the smartest man in the room - - - and he is willing to tell everyone that they do not meet his standards of perfection.

MS is an extraordinary secretary who has learned to anticipate YJ's needs (informational, business--social) so his life runs smoothly like a Swiss watch. After 9 intense years, MS knows everything about YJ's personality and adapted her behavior, life and personal goals to serve him. She has no emotional attachment to him, only to her job. But at age 29, her freedom to have her own life back trumps her job.

YJ's relationship with MS is pseudo-marriage of convenience: MS provides most of the services of a spouse but without any of the emotional cues and support. He sees her as a valuable business asset. She sees him as a valuable employment opportunity to free her of her family's debt obligations.

Since YJ has no real dating experience, his immaturity shows when he tries to analyze the situation like a merger deal. He is not listening to what she says. His proposal of marriage was not for love, but as a means of keeping MS as his secretary. He knows nothing about MS, her family, or her goals in life. Even when MS tells him he is not her type, he does not understand her.His childish character flaw is that he needs to win and get his way - - - and that now includes keeping MS by his side.

The writer is heavily foreshadowing YJ and MS’ brother(s) as being the pivotal cross road for the story. My first thought is that the missing brother is a half-brother to both YJ and MS. I hope I am wrong.

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Wow..That was the most funn-est 1sr episode I have seen so far in 2018.PSJ brings his quirky twist to the chaebol with cold heart trope but for me,PMY was the real showstealer.Her microexpressions were so on-point..maintaining the perfect bi-so face while letting us into her epic eye rolls 😍
agree with most of the beanies here that there is a lot of love on both sides.there was even an Omo moment when PSJ squared up to PMY and told her not to bring out his competitive side.there was definitely some history and awareness there,may be not conscious but real nevertheless.Can't wait to dive into the second EPs. @lollypip..thanks a ton for taking this one up.Hwaiting🤗

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🤗 oh yippy yay, a Park Seo Joon drama with @lollypip! It's a double-good day in dramaland. 🌞

I love it, I love every cringing moment (for him). It's starting out with my favorite feeling for a rom com, it's "fizzy".
The 80s office decor cracks me up, especially how the rounded exterior of the building belies the angular interiors. Of course he can't drive a top of the line Hyundai Genesis, or even a Mercedes or Audi (with the logo blurred out!) but straight-out identified Maseratis, wow on that PPL.
It's beautiful to look at, they're beautiful to look at, it made me laugh out loud many times. And at the end of episode 1 I totally went, "Wha...whaaaaaat????" Nice cliffhanger 😮, where did that come from? Who thinks of a solution like THAT?

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Clueless, self-centred, God's gift to women and his family and Korea and the world Young Joon, that's who!

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Yep! 🤦🏼‍♀️

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