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Thirty But Seventeen: Episodes 1-2

Thirty But Seventeen pairs a modern-day Sleeping Beauty with a not-so-handsome prince — in fact he’s downright scary, for now. A series of misunderstandings, both past and present, are at the heart of the story, underpinning how easily life can take a detour. Filled with unique and eccentric characters, Thirty But Seventeen follows the recently awakened heroine as she navigates a whole new world.

 
EPISODE 1: “La campanella, the little bell.”

A teenager begins a sketch and explains to his young nephew that the subject is a girl who’s piqued his curiosity. A montage of scenes reveals that the boy, GONG WOO-JIN (Yoon Chan-young), perks up whenever this girl crosses his path, and he adds that he plans to use the painting to ask her to be friends.

The girl in the sketch is a talented violinist and an audition reveals that her name is WOO SEO-RI (Park Si-eun). Woo-jin later sees the name tag on her gym clothes, unaware that they actually belong to her friend, and thinks that Seo-ri’s name is NO SOO-MI. As he completes his painting of Seo-ri, Woo-jin narrates that this small mistake deeply affected both of their lives.

Years later, Woo-jin (Yang Se-jong) has grown into a man and sits on a beach where he stares at his painting. He looks at the moon through his fingers, just as Seo-ri used to do, and when a bell rings, he turns around with a smile.

Young Seo-ri skips up some sidewalk steps, a moon-shaped charm with a bell swinging from her backpack. She happily studies her music along the way and just misses running into a barricade, saved at the last minute by her friend, Soo-mi.

She scolds Seo-ri that she went home in Soo-mi’s gym clothes again. Seo-ri opens her bag to return the clothes but all she finds is a cute little dog. Soo-mi affectionately warns her friend that the music college in Germany will cancel her acceptance if they ever realize how spacey she is.

A boy appears in front of them with a bouquet of flowers and proposes marriage to Seo-ri. HYUNG-TAE promises to master German in the two months before Seo-ri’s departure so that she won’t be alone in Germany. A teacher grabs Hyung-tae and reminds him of his poor test scores as he pulls him away from the girls.

Woo-jin greets his nephew at a bus stop with a noisy kiss on his cheek. When an elderly woman rushes for the bus, Woo-jin delays the driver to give her time to catch up.

As the bus drives away, his nephew points out an an ad for a painter but when Woo-jin looks across the street, he sees that Seo-ri is about to get hit by some dishwater. He yells out, “No Soo-mi,” and Seo-ri stops and turns just in time to miss the water, but she doesn’t see Woo-jin who’s hidden behind a wall.

Woo-jin boards his bus and as it pulls away, he notices a banner announcing a redevelopment meeting in his neighborhood. He’s interrupted with a question about the correct stop for the art hall and looks up into Seo-ri’s face.

Woo-jin jumps to his feet and manages to stammer out the directions. After Seo-ri sits down, he realizes that it’s the perfect opportunity to give her the painting but he can’t seem to muster the courage. Woo-jin suddenly realizes that Seo-ri will probably get off at the next stop and rushes over to advise her to remain on the bus until the second stop.

Seo-ri is surprised when Woo-jin blurts out that he knows her. He opens the container with the painting of Seo-ri while he explains that he’s not a weirdo. He’s interrupted by Soo-mi, who just boarded the bus and asks Seo-ri if they know each other. Flustered, Woo-jin manages to jump off of the bus at the last minute.

Woo-jin watches the bus pull away in disappointment just as big raindrops start to fall and a bell rings. Seo-ri’s backpack charm got caught on the painting’s container when he jumped off of the bus so Woo-jin runs after it just as a huge storm moves in.

A truck with a load of tires cuts in front of the bus as the same time that the tarp holding them down comes loose. Tires bounce off of the truck and trigger a multi-vehicle accident and Woo-jin watches in horror as the bus weaves wildly, soaring into the air when it collides with a car. Seo-ri and Soo-mi are thrown apart before the bus lands on its side and skids to a stop in front of Woo-jin. Seo-ri’s bell rings when Woo-jin clutches it tightly in shock.

At the hospital, Seo-ri’s aunt cries on the phone to her husband and wonders why he’s not there. Hyung-tae runs in the rain and when he collides with a woman and falls, he leaves a tennis shoe behind.

Seo-ri’s condition looks grim as the doctors shock her heart. A dazed Woo-jin walks slowly in the rain while news of the accident is broadcast on a jumbotron and names No Soo-ri as one of the deceased victims.

He thinks back to his suggestion that Seo-ri stay on the bus for an extra stop and believes that he’s responsible for her death. Her backpack charm slips from his hand as Seo-ri flatlines in the hospital.

Thirteen years later, a camper in the Alps runs into a very hairy, scary-looking Woo-jin in a large fur coat, with a familiar little dog. Back in his camper, Woo-jin offers the dog, DEOK-GU, some dinner and in the background rests the tube that holds his painting of Seo-ri.

At Hope Rehabilitation Center, a young nurse gasps when she learns that the now-grown Seo-ri (Shin Hye-sun) has been in a coma for thirteen years. She imagines that her family must be exhausted but the senior nurse explains that they never visit, a common situation in a long-term facility.

The senior nurse confides that an anonymous benefactor sends money to the hospital to pay for Seo-ri’s care. There’s also a man who visits from time to time but he’s not the one who sends the money. As the young nurse wonders about the identity of Seo-ri’s visitor, a doctor calls out to DR. KIM HYUNG-TAE in another hospital’s neurosurgery department.

The doctor asks Hyun-tae to take over his volunteer assignment overseas so that he can stay with his pregnant wife. When Hyung-tae ignores him and walks away, the doctor yells out, “Did you take the exam four times to become a doctor that’s so selfish?”

Hyung-tae agrees to take the assignment if the doctor will once again approach the chief with his request. The doctor explains that a university hospital won’t accept long-term patients unless they have important connections and wonders who Hyung-tae wants transferred to the hospital.

At the rehabilitation center, the young nurse calls out to a man as he peeks into Seo-ri’s room. He runs off and she wonders if he’s her mysterious visitor.

A concert is held for the residents of the center and music drifts into Seo-ri’s room after a cleaning woman opens the window. As the woman mops, the sun bounces off her watch and onto Seo-ri’s eyes.

When the cleaning woman takes a break, familiar violin music drifts into the room and Seo-ri slowly opens her eyes. Seo-ri realizes that she’s in a hospital and remembers her accident, but thinks that it happened the day before.

In her seventeen-year-old voice, Seo-ri wonders about her aunt and uncle and Soo-mi. Her worries are replaced with fear when she realizes that she can’t move a muscle or make a sound.

The cleaning woman returns and shuts the window, shocked when she sees that Seo-ri’s eyes are open. She runs from the room screaming, “She’s awake! She’s awake!”

The nurses stand by as a doctor examines Seo-ri, who manages to utter her name. Seo-ri’s eyes are drawn to a mirror and she asks about the lady that’s staring at her.

When Seo-ri is alone with the nurses she tells them that she was in an accident the day before, but the senior nurse gently explains that she has been in a coma for thirteen years. The nurse emphasizes that it’s a miracle that Seo-ri woke up and encourages her to focus on rehabilitation.

Seo-ri can’t accept that she’s thirty years old and asks the nurses to prove it to her, so they hold a mirror in front of her face. The face that stares back confuses Seo-ri, who insists that she’s only seventeen as tears fall from her eyes.

The nurses update the doctor, who explains that Seo-ri is in shock. He asks if they managed to contact her visitor but the senior nurse admits that there was no answer at his number and adds that he hasn’t visited in a while.

The younger nurse informs the doctor that Seo-ri asked about a friend who was in the bus accident with her. Everyone is shaken when the nurse confides that the friend died in the accident.

Seo-ri lies in her bed and remembers the day she and Soo-mi heard that their homeroom teacher was getting married. She recalls how excited they were that their teacher finally managed to get married at the age of thirty. Seo-ri also remembers that Soo-mi was worried that her friend would become an accomplished violinist while she would end up a middle-aged woman with kids.

Seo-ri looks at her reflection in the hospital window and grieves for her lost youth, unable to hold back her sobs as she struggles with the reality that she’s now thirty years old.

 
EPISODE 2: “Where are my uncle and aunt?”

A Skype call wakes up Woo-jin in his camper and when he looks at his laptop, his boss, HEE-SOO, jumps in fright and announces that he looks like Bigfoot. She scolds him for his long break from work and warns him to return to his job by July and hangs up.

Woo-jin’s computer alerts him to another call and he assumes that it’s Hee-soo but it’s actually his sister, HYUN-JUNG, who also calls him Bigfoot. She’s a doctor and informs her brother that she and her husband have been assigned to Africa for the next year and a half.

Woo-jin is nonplussed until he remembers something and asks, “What about Chan?” That’s the reason for Hyun-jung’s call: Chan needs to stay with Woo-jin and she orders him to return home right away.

When Hyun-jung explains that she hired someone to take care of the two of them, Woo-jin protests but she cautions, “Then you wake up Chan and send him to school every day. Feed him nutritionally balanced meals. Hand-wash his uniforms and gym clothes. You can look after a high school senior.”

Hyun-jung reminds her brother that he lives in their parents’ house so Woo-jin agrees to live with his nephew and before he can say anything about the maid, Hyun-jung hangs up. Woo-jin’s gaze falls on the cute stickers on his painting’s container and he smiles and admits, “I do miss you though, Chan.”

YOO CHAN (Ahn Hyo-seop) is captain of his rowing team and after practice, the coach reminds him that they’re expected to win the upcoming nationals. After everyone walks away, Chan grabs the right side of his chest and declares that his heart burns with motivation upon hearing the coach’s words. His teammate, DEOK-SOO, reminds him that the heart is on the left side, which is news to Chan.

Chan is on his way to eat with his friends when his mother calls with the news that he’s to stay with Woo-jin. After he hangs up, Chan smiles and mutters, “Mr. Gong is coming, eh? I miss him very much.”

Seo-ri’s physical therapy begins and she works hard to make progress. Now able to speak normally, Seo-ri asks the young nurse about Soo-mi only to be told that there was no information about her online, so the accident must not have been significant. Seo-ri is overcome with relief as the nurse looks away in guilt.

Seo-ri’s therapy has progressed enough for her to relearn how to walk. Back in her room, she asks the young nurse about her aunt and uncle and is told that they’ll visit soon and that they want her to work hard at her rehabilitation. Seo-ri asks to call her uncle so that he can bring her violin and the nurse claps in relief when a therapist interrupts them. As she bolts from the room, the nurse frets that it’s time to tell Seo-ri the truth.

In the therapy room, Seo-ri smiles over her progress until she sees herself in the mirrors. No matter where she goes in the hopital, Seo-ri sees her reflection and struggles not only with her new face, but with her new voice.

On the flight back to Korea, Woo-jin reassures Deok-gu that they’re almost home. When another passenger asks how old his dog is, Woo-jin answers that he doesn’t know and pulls on a head pillow to cover his face.

Inside the airport terminal, Woo-jin wears earbuds so that no one will talk to him, even though they’re not connected to anything. He suddenly whips out a tape measure to get the dimensions of the trash containers and people look at him like he’s a weirdo.

Seo-ri wakes from a nap and finds an older woman next to her bed, giggling that she’s pretty. Seo-ri sits up with her hair in lopsided pigtails and cat whiskers drawn on her face. An attendant finds the woman and sends her out before she tells Seo-ri that elderly patients are often forgotten.

Seo-ri thinks back to her parents’ funeral, when her uncle promised to take care of her and her aunt gifted her with Deok-gu. Seo-ri then recalls a violin performance where her aunt and uncle cheered from the audience, but the young nurse’s vague answers worry Seo-ri.

A smartly dressed woman (Yeh Ji-won) carries a bag of large green onions as she walks along a street and soon Woo-jin shows up a few paces behind her. When she stops, he stops and when she resumes walking, he does as well. The woman turns and throws her sunglasses at Woo-jin and then hits him across the face repeatedly with the onions.

A traditional troupe of dancers performs for Seo-ri’s hospital and when she waves to the young nurse, she walks off with a random patient. Seo-ri suspects that she’s hiding something but is distracted by the old woman from earlier. Later, when Seo-ri wanders into the lobby, she overhears some performers mention that their next stop is in her neighborhood and gets an idea.

At home, Woo-jin holds an ice pack to his face while his assailant recites, “Apology is a lovely perfume. It can transform awkward moments into elegant gifts.” The woman mechanically explains that it’s her way of apologizing for her mistake.

The woman is the maid that Hyun-jung hired, and she offers to prepare a meal or bring some juice. Woo-jin insists that her only concern will be his nephew, once he arrives. Woo-jin prepares to go out and when the maid asks about Deok-gu, he promises to take care of his dog.

The dancing troupe’s truck arrives at the hospital in Seo-ri’s neighborhood, with Seo-ri hidden behind a large mask. She gets away and tries to find her way home, but nothing looks familiar because of the neighborhood’s redevelopment. Seo-ri walks around in confusion as people pass by, distracted by their phones.

Woo-jin starts to take measurements of a bench that’s occupied by a teenage girl. She thinks that he’s a pervert and smacks him with her backpack just as Seo-ri happens upon the scene. Hee-soo shows up on her scooter and rescues Woo-jin, who wanders off and leaves his boss to deal with the angry teen.

At her office, Hee-soo recites what Woo-jin should have said to the girl, “I’m a stage designer. I make miniature models, so measuring is a habit of mine. I’m sorry if you misunderstood.” She’s frustrated with him and when he asks why she wanted to see him, Hee-soo orders him to return to work the next day, clean shaven.

On his walk home, Woo-jin stops in front of a poster of a lost dog that looks just like Deok-gu. Nearby, Seo-ri looks exhausted as she walks through her old neighborhood in search of her house.

Seo-ri finally finds her house and when she rings the bell, she’s surprised by the maid’s voice. Seo-ri explains that she’s part of the family that lives there and the gate clicks open.

Thinking that Seo-ri is her charge, the maid walks out to greet her and voices her hope that they will get along. The maid explains that her uncle is out but was expecting her and Seo-ri is relieved at the thought that he never abandoned her. The maid mentions that she expected someone younger so Seo-ri explains the she was only seventeen until she suddenly aged.

The maid worries that Seo-ri is confused due to the hot weather and invites her inside. Everything in the house is completely different, except for Deok-gu, who flies out of his dog house excitedly. He and Seo-ri have a heartwarming reunion as she gushes, “Paeng! You’re still alive, Paeng! I missed you so much.”

The maid notices that Seo-ri looks pale and offers to prepare some juice to restore her energy. By the time the maid returns, Seo-ri is sound asleep on the floor, hugging Deok-gu. The maid kneels down, takes a deep breath and lifts Seo-ri to carry her upstairs.

Chan eats with his friends and explains that he’s doing a favor for the uncle that he used to live with in Germany. Because they ordered so much food, the restaurant’s owner offers Deok-soo a complimentary beer and praises his handsome sons. The table is suddenly quiet until Deok-soo shouts that he’s only nineteen.

On the way home, the third friend hands Deok-soo a bundle of face masks to help him look as young as possible. Deok-soo blames his looks on a family trait; his father gets offered bus seats even though he’s only in his forties. When Deok-soo worries that the masks are expensive, the friend confesses that his family is rich.

Deok-soo is touched by the generosity and Chan pulls his friends into a hug as they walk by a rack of bicycles. A man takes out one of the bikes and causes all of them to fall over, one by one. Chan dives to the ground, and when the last bike falls on him, his friends wonder what he’s doing just as he shows them the tiny chick that he rescued.

When the boys decide that the chick must have been abandoned, Chan vows to raise it. In spite of his friends’ warnings, Chan is determined to go with his feelings and Deok-soo has a sudden pain in his neck when Chan spells out the word feel, “F-I-L.”

Woo-jin gets home and the maid explains that his relative arrived and fell asleep, so she moved them upstairs. Woo-jin imagines that they must have been heavy but the maid tells him, “They were really light.” The maid clarifies that their age difference is eleven years, not one, before Woo-jin goes upstairs to his nephew’s room.

Chan arrives at his grandparents’ house and rings the bell but the blender prevents the maid from hearing it, so he uses the passcode. She goes into the bathroom just when Chan walks in looking for Woo-jin. His uncle is upstairs in Chan’s room where he announces that he will wake his nephew like old times.

Woo-jin climbs onto the bed and plants a noisy kiss on Seo-ri’s cheek just as Chan walks in and turns on the light. Seo-ri recognizes Woo-jin as the pervert from earlier and he’s attacked by the second teenager (sort of) of the day.

Chan runs to his uncle’s side and asks, “Mr. Gong! Who’s that lady?” while a terrified Seo-ri threatens to call the police on the strange men in her house. Woo-jin and Chan explain that the house is theirs just as the maid brings in some juice. Chan wants to know who she is as the maid asks him, “Then who are you?”

When Chan explains that he’s the family’s nephew, Seo-ri counters that she’s the niece, which the maid confirms. It’s complete confusion as Woo-jin narrates, “At times, small and trivial things have a strong influence over our lives.”

Deok-soo and Dong-soo pop in to ask about all of the people, shocked when they get a look at Woo-jin. The chick chirps and Deok-gu whines as Woo-jin’s voice continues, “Just like how a short and coincidental meeting at thirty years old changed my life and hers.”

COMMENTS

Can it be? Is it possible that after what I have found to be a string of disappointing romantic dramas, there is one that will finally go the distance? I’m crossing my fingers because this first hour of Thirty But Seventeen gives me hope. Writer Jo Sung-hee is responsible for one of my all-time favorite dramas, King of High School, and PD Jo Soo-won produced another favorite, Pinocchio. I recognized elements from both dramas in this first episode of Thirty But Seventeen and I can’t wait to see how this drama will be different.

Just like Pinocchio, Thirty But Seventeen took us from the carefree youth of the main characters to unspeakable tragedy in a matter of seconds. But like King of High School, we have a collection of eccentric characters who promise the craziest of encounters. I expect lots of laughs, as well as tears, as Seo-ri and Woo-jin, who were both frozen by what happened when they were seventeen, find the strength to leave their pasts behind to make the most of their lives. They both have much to overcome, but they also have in each other someone who can understand their unique predicament. Along the way we’ll find out more about Seo-ri’s MIA aunt and uncle and the redevelopment that was just in talking stages at the time of the accident. Could the two situations be connected? I think they are.

Interestingly, Woo-jin became the one thing that terrified him as a teenager, a bona fide weirdo. Anyone who is consistently labeled as Bigfoot is well entrenched in weirdo territory and it’s going to take more than a haircut and a shave to escape. I wonder if there’s going to be a romantic triangle to deal with here. Seo-ri and Woo-jin are the same age chronologically, but mentally, she’s closer in age to his nephew, Chan, portrayed to perfection by Ahn Hyo-seop. What a lovable doofus.

What I especially liked about these episodes was how well the serious elements were balanced by the hilarity. That was an incredibly choreographed accident that caused two promising lives to be derailed for the next thirteen years. What’s going to happen once Seo-ri learns not only that her best friend died that day, but that her musical aspirations ended before they could begin? She was completely immersed in her music and now? Her college acceptance and all those years to study and perform are gone. She’ll have to figure out what to do now that she’s grown up.

In one of the funniest first meet-ups I’ve ever seen, “Who are you?” was the question on virtually everyone’s lips, including the chick and the little dog, Deok-gu. Ha! It’s going to take quite a bit of work to untangle everyone to get things straight, and I know that there’s bound to be angst along the way, but Thirty But Seventeen looks as if it’s going to be memorable for all of the right reasons.

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I really like the Housekeeper. She is hilarious, especially with the monotone voice XD

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The Robomaid is such a hilarious surprise for the show! I could just imagine that she was scanning the internet for quotes and informations to deal with RL situations every time she pauses before giving answers.

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Robomaid doesn't have to scan the internet for literary-sounding quotes. She got them in her latest software update. ;-)

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Hehe I wonder if she needs to be plugged into power before the update is initiated?

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Maybe Robomaid is what Nam Shin III's little Roomba Chingu will turn into once David gets done with it. ;-)

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Ye Ji-won is a hoot in OH HAE-YOUNG AGAIN. She plays plain Hae-young's frighteningly hardass boss -- who happens to be soundman Park Do-kyung's noona. She showcases her real-life martial arts expertise. Her relationship with his childhood friend, lawyer Jin-sang -- who often crashes at their house -- is one of the highlights of the show. Their interludes of speaking French gibberish and inebriated dancing are hilarious.

In SHOULD WE KISS FIRST, she plays the leading lady's eccentric old friend. And I do mean eccentric.

Ye Ji-won can be gloriously deadpan. I have no idea how she does it in some of the scenes I've seen her in.

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I get an extra kick out of the robomaid character since it's so different from the last 2 roles I've seen her in (which were in OHYA and SWKF)

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Nonono. Please, call me Jennifer.

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Yeh Ji-won makes some of the most bizarrely entertaining acting choices in her roles. Often she's the best thing in a series.

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Best. Thing. Ever.

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YAYYYY! Thank you for the recap @teriyaki ! The first episode for this show was SOLID. I felt the emotional connection with the lead female. She's a cute sweetheart with a heart of gold, and I cant wait to see her overcome her pain and struggles. The actress can deliver the emotional AND the funny parts sooo well. Im crossing my fingers, hoping that this might be the new romcom to save us from our drought since INAR (i love PSJ, but WWWSK did not do it for me).

The balance of emotional and quirky is spot on in this show.

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Thanks for the recap, @teriyaki!

After watching and enjoying the first two episodes of this drama, I must say that I'm hooked! Shin Hye-sun as the 30 but 17 Woo Seo-ri is brilliant! And Yang Se-jong is doing an amazing job as Gong Woo-jin! Plus Yeh Ji-won as Jennifer is an amazing addition to the cast (I just love her in every drama she's in) as well as Ahn Hyo-seop as Chan. The younger casts of our leads are also great as they do not only look like the younger version of our leads but they also embody the characters in them. I find the story promising and I'm liking the set-up the characters are in.

Here's hoping that show is the adorable romcom we've all been waiting for in Dramaland! (Bring it on, Show!)

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I don't think Park Si Eun and Shin Hye Sun look alike, but they manage to be on the same wavelength that they've sold me on them being the same person just 13 years apart. I love the younger cast and I would have loved to see an alternate-universe coming-of-age drama featuring them with Woo-jin and Hyung-tae crushing on Seo-ri and then forming a friends group with Soo-mi.

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*squint* *squint*

Is that... young ddang-sae and yeonhee??

*clutches heart*

oh, my babies, it's been so long... their star-crossed love was so heartbreaking...I like this reunion.

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OMG. IT’S FATE, I TELL YOU

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Can i ask what show you’re referring to?

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Six Flying Dragons

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I WAS TRYING TO PLACE THEM. Thank you so much! I am now sold utterly on this OTP.

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I thought the series is off to a really good start with lots of fun, interesting characters. And for once we see someone actually having to have physical therapy after waking from a coma.

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Absolutely! I was delighted that the show took the time to show the different stages of her therapy and not gloss over the 13-years of muscular atrophy!

I thought her whole reaction about asking for another mirror rings true to someone who couldn't understand how she would look so different "overnight." It was awesome that the show punctured that shock and sadness with humor when she thought she was the old woman in the elevator.😂

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I agree I was impressed they took the time to show that physically she's a mess so often I've seen characters pop up from coma or even a long bedrest with barely an ache or pain. It made you really feel for her to watch her struggle with both the physical and mental issues

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I love this show already after the first hour -so many quirky characters who all seem to have depth to explore and the drama has set up a solid premise to build a rich journey for the next 15 hours.

I thought I could not possibly love another childhood fated love story line but here I am, surprised that I'm loving this. What a sweet and cute crush with such sad ending which really justifies the 13 years of torment for our hero and the upcoming angst in their relationship.

The two most recent childhood back stories I love are both with my favorite young radiant actress Park Si-Eun in Seven Day Queen and Just Between Lovers. I am so excited to see how she will develop as an actress.

Speaking of development, I am delighted by Ahn Hyo-Seop here. I love his goofball character and he has already shown much improvement since his last drama Father is Strange!

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Kudos to Park Si-eun for looking like a real impressive violin virtuoso (if she is not already one in real life!!) Her fingerings, hand position, and bow strokes really sync with the music! I also love that PD-nim chooses real violin solo and orchestral repertoire to feature instead of what we see often in dramas popular tunes or elevator-like music for characters who are supposed to be classical musicians.

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I didn't even recognize Ahn Hyo-Seop from "Father is Strange" and had to look up what character he portrayed. Father is Strange was a good drama, but surprisingly I only really watched it for Lee Joon's character as I never really got on board for any of the romances.

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I kinda think he looks as old as his "uncle" here even with his hair cut off but I'll try to just go with it.

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That may be the point. Unc may be 11 years older than his nephew, but emotionally, they're virtually the same age. Har!

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Haha that's what happens when you cast a 23-year old to play a high school senior, and a 26 year-old to play his uncle! But I do think both actors are doing great portraying their characters.

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How about that 35 year old playing 19-year old Deuk-soo? Love the gag.

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Minority, Dissenting Opinion:

I found the opening episodes predictable and not so interesting - ended up fast forwarding towards the end - NOT a good sign.

I'm also slightly uncomfortable with a romance. Shin Hye Sun has played her character VERY well - I can only see a 17 year old, But Woo Jin is very clearly an adult. He may have been a hermit, but he HAS lived those years. In any case, I suppose this will be addressed as the Show goes on.

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Raises hand in agreement. I'm not completely sold. I'll give it a couple more episodes, but I am a bit squicked by the psychologically 17 year old being paired with a much mentally older man.

However, Ahn Hyo-Seop is doing a great job as the very sweet, if slightly dim nephew. You kind of want to scoop him up just like he did with the chick.

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Ahn Hyo-Seop is the highlight of this drama so far, for me. He's absolutely adorable.

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I am slightly nervous about the romance since the OTP of High School King of Savvy (by the same writer) was a hard sell for me despite enjoying much of the cute. But hopefully with this PD who did a great job with the age difference in I Can Hear Your Voice and Shin Hye-sun's capable interpretation, we can fully embrace their romance as it develops.

I just hope that the Nephew with the Heart of Gold would not be hurt too much because I love him already....and I can also see all the potential cute between them as a couple. Please show, don't jab me too hard with a seemingly unavoidable love triangle!

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Like @egads, I'm quite a bit squicked out re the romance. The thing is, even if she starts acting mature/like a 30 year old eventually, she's still only lived 17 years of her life. Nothing will change that. At most, she'll be a mature 17 year old being paired with a (we're supposed to think) not so mature 30 year old. Being hermit does not equal being 17 mentally. He's got those years under his belt, and she doesn't. :(

Unless the Show decides she actually WASN'T in a coma for 13 years, but something happened a mere year ago.

Nephew! I'm rooting for you!

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But if we follow your logic, should So Ri date boys who are around 17?🤔 Mentally they would have the same age, does it make the romance acceptable?

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Honestly, I feel like the mental age is more important than the physical age - that IS the whole basis of the consent/age of majority arguments after all. I'd have no issues if So Ri was 30 and the guy she dates is 43.

But sadly, society would be weirded out by So Ri dating other 17 year olds and I can't say wrongfully so.

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Logically, and I know this is not reasonable in dramaland, what I would like is for So Ri to have a few years to readjust to this new world, and have time to mature without the added turmoil of romance and all that goes with it. However, there will be relationships, and a love triangle (or a square?), so I only hope that the mental age difference is dealt with in a non-squicky way and she is allowed to heal, and grow up gradually.

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@egads - I agree. This is my main point. I'm just uncomfortable with a romance in the Show. Period.

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I also feel quite uncomfortable about it.
But I feel worse about dramas like YFAS or Goblin, etc where the hero is physiologically centuries years old! Like he’s soo much more experienced in life even if he TRIES not to. The herione should be like an annoying kid to him, not a lover.
I don’t get why nobody voices anything wrong with this.

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Hehe - I've voiced this. YFAS aired before I got into kdramas but with Goblin, I did. So did many other Beanies.

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Honestly I anticipate a time skip or a open ending so she can go to school or follow her musical ambitions.

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Well that's certainly been done before (the female going off to school so she's good enough for the male lead).

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Bit of a preemptive squick though since there's been not even a hint of romance yet. I'm willing to see how it plays out. She's been through a lot for a 17 year old, although her behaviour in this was really really young. I certainly would turn off if they pursued a romance too soon before she shows some evidence of growth.

You never know, they might surprise us and pair her up with Chan. And then we can have a whole heap of other problems.

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😂

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As commenter #10, I guess the two of us are in the minority. As I said, I thought it was trying too hard./

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*high fives*

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*high five backs* /ducks under table for stealing Lin's chance/
Shall we give bit a couple of more episodes, chinguya?

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Hehehe I suspect it's a three way *high five*?

Erm...I'll read your comments in the recaps! ^^ And if you like it more, I may tune in.

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Yes, we'll keep seeing if they're trying too hard to be funny. I love the clever understated and tongue-in-cheek humor in Legend of Fuyao. Maybe that's why this drama seemed too much.

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I have absolutely no worries about this romance, at all. It looks like we have a 17 year old who's now physically 30, a 30 year old whose development pretty much arrested at 17, and a 17 year old who is the human equivalent of a golden retriever. However they decide to blend those pieces is cool with me.

And honestly, age barriers are so country-dependent. The first and most important baseline is physical (is the girl old enough to NOT die in childbirth?) and after that things get pretty wavy according to culture. Sixteen's the age of majority in a lot of places, and that's pretty much the mark where an individual can liberate themselves to be independent: marry, have kids, leave school, get a job, whatever. Lots of countries set the official age of majority to 18, but realistically there are loopholes if the kid wants to declare themselves early and live on their own.

The stage of life causes a lot of artificial boundaries too. In the US, a college student dating a high school student only has a couple-year crossover without being socially weird; same with graduate dating college student. Meanwhile in the UK, a 17 year old could absolutely date a 30 year old with no one really blinking. When I was 19 my friend was dating a 34 year old - only Americans reacted oddly.

So a show where an independent 17 year old may eventually develop a romantic relationship with a very young 30 year old isn't horrifying to a lot of viewers - as long as there's no manipulation or abuse of power and everyone's happy, then these ages are close enough to shrug off.

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Thanks for this interesting perspective. :) I can accept then that while I feel uncomfortable with the mental age gap, many others would not. For those who are watching, I hope they enjoy! :)

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You and your age gaps! I was going wondering if this would be uncomfortable for you. I don’t think I have to tell you my opinion! 😆

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Bahahahha I repeat it's not an age gap thing. I just object to how normal it is in dramas to pair VERY young women with much older men. In this case the drama OTP being presented to us - but it's fiction and since the actors are all adults it's free to portray what it wants.

BUT also I'm NOT not watching it because of the age thing. That's the only thing being discussed here. I'm not watching because of I found it predictable and not so interesting. I skipped quite a bit. Eps 3 &4 I skipped even more because I was bored. LOL

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So by your logic, a pair of 30 year old adults are dating. They like to engage in role play. One acts like a 17 year old as part of the fantasy. That partner is an excellent actor who can convince even their own mother they are 17 years old. The mother catches the couple in their role play. According to you the mother should be upset because of the pretend 13 year age difference. Because one partner has pretended to be underage, the relationship is therefore inappropriate. However, if that partner was a poor actor everything would be okay.

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? You've misunderstood. In your scenario, they're both 30 year olds. In the drama, one is 17. Oh she may be 30 years old physically, but she's no different from a 17 year old. Essentially the drama is presenting us a 17 year old with a 30 year old OTP.

In any case, I think my pov is fairly clear from the long dicussion that follows - so there's no need for me

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to explain again.
*dang send button*

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She is a 30 year old who has been in a coma for 13 years, so has had only 17 years of "normal" life. Legally she is a 30 year old. The writer has created the concept that she is only 17 years old, it is a hook to capture viewers. Nothing more nothing less.

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Age is but a number. In "consent" arguments, what counts is understanding.

Admittedly, the law in many countires has arbitrarily determined '18' as the age of understanding, and in reality, it depends on person to person.

I HAVE NO OBJECTIONS (in caps to emphasise) with the drama depicting what it wants if the actors are adults, BUT that doesn't mean I have to LIKE what I see on my screen - a romance between a 17 year old with a 30 year old. There's little the drama can do to convince she's more than 17 since she's only experienced 17 years of her life.

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A 30 year old person has lived at least 13 years in very remote areas of the the world [Adamstown, Pitcairn Islands], their geographic isolation causing them to have a lack of "life-experience", therefore they are 17.

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Please don't generalise situations and scenarios. It's a clever way of setting up a trap to point out logical fallacies but also quite unfair - because you're generalising and ignoring specifics.

I'll repeat. To me, mental age is more important. Was the person capable of consenting ,is the question I want to ask. Being drunk vitiates consent for instance - even if one is 30.

This person in an isolated location has LIVED and FELT and EXPERIENCED those years. He's 30 to me, unless I have way of determining his mental age.

Clearly you and I have differing values and beliefs. Neither is going to budge. So we agree to disagree.

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- I had not read either your July 27, 2018 at 11:08 PM or July 27, 2018 at 11:10 PM before sending my July 27, 2018 at 11:14 PM post. I was in the middle of writing it.
- Measuring a persons mental age is more guesswork than science, so good luck with that. Event the experts do not agree how to accurately measure that metric.
- Agreeing to disagree is definitely the best course of action.

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Seo-Ri decides she needs to take a trip overseas to help her recover from her long illness. She fills out the paper work and receives her passport. Is the age shown on her passport 17 or 30?

The writer wanted to create a "fish out of water" character and a 13 year coma was the method utilized.

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But does she have the understanding and the mind of a 30 year old or of a 17 year old?

Has she been to university? Has she had a job where she's had to do a thousand things she hates? Has she dated guys? Has she had to worry about her bills? Has she had to take care of herself when things went south? What makes a 30 year old more experienced in life than a 17 year old? Surely you're not saying those 13 years are meaningless.

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I think we can agree to disagree. You value her physical age, I value her mental age. :) I hope the drama will address the incogruity as it goes on. I won't be watching, but I'll know from Beanie comments.

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I get what you're trying to say. Emphasizing the mental age of 17 and 30 dating to be inappropriate. But guess what. Age still is not a problem just like how some men marry older women, or young women marry men much much older. Even sometimes in dramaland or real life we keep seeing some people who does that. It serve me no problem to accept. Why? The moment a woman start menstruation (puberty), she had begin to develop the capabilities to become a mother. Usually it's around 10-15 years old. While for man, it's much later resulting in late development of maturity compare to woman. So for me, be it she's 17 or 30, her relationship with our hero is deem appropriate because 17 is a matured enough age to wed. It's just that our character never thought of marriage or having relationship in the first place because of how passionate she is into music. Therefore, at the same time, I don't get the hype of why can't 17 date 30 ?? But then, our culture must be different, because in mine, huge age different is normal because what truly matters is how much you love each other and how fated you're with another person.

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You have sent your reply to the wrong person. You should have send it to creator of Post 7, I am guessing. I also disagree with the beanie who created Post 7, but for somewhat different reasons. We already had a very enjoyable and vigorous debate and are now both the wiser for it. Good luck.
cc: @greenfields

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Thanks for the cc caep. I may not want to go down this particular route. ^^ I truly enjoyed the discussion here and as @leetennant says, it was a preemtive squick - though I have noted in my comment that I expect the show to address it - but I can't agree with PA Cusp.

Cultural relativism is real, and I recognize that my/ most Beanies' beliefs reflect the Western idea of human rights.

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- and I don't know how to address this incongruity. Since my own native culture comes from PA Cusp's school of thought not too long ago, this is a battle we continue to face in my country.

When I say I don't want to go there, I mean that I don't know what to say just yet. I like to think that in some way, with my work and the way I live, I am part of the battle, so I can't broach it lightly.

Now I'm just rambling. 😅 But yes.

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@greenfields
I don't either. It's why I'm glad I watched Goblin after it aired rather than live because I found that OTP really problematic (that's a euphemism, I found it gross) and I don't want to fight in the comments section either.

Weirdly I didn't have quite as much of a problem with Highschool King until they decided to get married. I hated that. He was far too young to make a decision like that.

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@leetennant
With Goblin, I was so squicked out I pretty much skipped over any 'romantic' scenes with the OTP ie a whole lot of the drama. I'd just found DB then so I was more of a silent lurker which -thank god! If this is any indication, that discussion would have brought down this site.

Haven't seen beyond ep 1 of High School King (of Savvy?). I drop a LOT if shows.

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Highschool King is my number 1 "I love it even though it's terrible and I know better and I shouldn't" show. I blame Seo In-guk.

Re Goblin: I stupidly thought that the whole "Goblin bride" thing was going to be about the sword and she was going to end up with his nephew. Instead we had a succession of truly gross scenarios of this underage, poverty-stricken orphan being "kept" by her middle-aged sugar daddy... awful, it was just awful.

I won't go further than that. I know how many people love that show.

As you said, this is a battle women have fought in our own cultures only recently. We've barely attained basic rights to bodily autonomy and are under constant threat of having even that taken away again. This hits a nerve. It maybe shouldn't(?) but it does.

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@leetennant -
Re: Goblin. Exactly. I'll end it with a nod in agreement at your words. :)

Re: PA Cusp's comment above, yup. And it is precisely because I don't yet have a response that is not angry, that I'm not saying anything much on the subject.

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"Why? The moment a woman start menstruation (puberty), she had begin to develop the capabilities to become a mother" shut the fuck up oh my god just. stop. being alive.

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I'm glad you said it. As someone who started menstruating at 10, the post is practically a trigger. That position is horrific and I don't care how culturally insensitive people are going to accuse me of being.
This is the line I draw in the sand when it comes to culture. This is it. Right here. Women are people, not baby birthing machines. We're human beings, not walking vaginas.
Oh dear, I've done it. I've gone off even though I said I wouldn't. *sigh* I can't help myself.

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Comment was deleted

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I am liking this show more than expected! I really enjoyed the first two (full) eps, and look forward to see where this cute little show will go.

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First two episodes are really promising. All characters played by shin hye sun (maybe except the one from school 2013) have so far managed to appeal to me. It's my first time seeing Yang Se Jong and I'm already loving him lol.

But let me commend Hyung tae (the doctor). Talk about devotion to his "love"

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I am liking that even a tertiary character (assumption here) is also so lovable.....did he try to pass the licensure exam three times so he can possibly help our heroine? Awwww.....

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If he is our second lead then my ship is doomed.

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I love how the high school scene is of his teacher scolding him for his low test scores. Sure it look him 3 times to pass...but wow, if that teacher could see him now.

I like how the accident got this slacker kid to study.

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I guess I need to try again after reading your recap and the comments from people who loved it. I thought the show was just trying too hard and it didn't work for me. And the maid was way over the top. I'll give it a second chance...

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I felt the trying too hard vibe also. The maid was a bit much for me, and who the heck takes a ChocoPie out of their mouth to go pick up a sign? No one. That's who.

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Hehe. I for one has much experience eating something delicious while walking over to a place to do something. That's what I call a win-win.

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That is the smart and logical solution.

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Yeah and then you run over to a sign with a ChocoPie stuck half in your mouth and that would be an accident waiting to happen too! A much more believable accident though.

What I had the biggest problem with though was that she put it on the bench. Even if on top of a wrapper, surely... it would get a bit dirty? I would never do that.

Still - I laughed, so it's all good.

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A little bench dust hurts nobody, especially if it still obeys the 5-second rule I'd say.

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The chocopie scene was in the next set of episodes....I think it's sort of inconsiderate to leave unwrapped food on the bench like that. It's so small. Someone could sit on it...

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Often times what stops us from fully enjoying a show is we're expecting too much realism in it. But even that one example you gave can happen in real life. There are eccentric people everywhere. You might think "no one" could possibly take out something that's already in my mouth but there will be somewhere out there who will do it just for the heck of it.

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Hmm, don't think I've ever seen realism in a drama.

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Obviously, they mean relative to kdramas. Some kdramas are much more realistic than others.

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So true about eccentric people everywhere! Sometimes when I see something wacky in real life...I'm like "even the wild imaginations of drama writers where even the sky is not a limit could not have conceived of this..."

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For me the maid is pleasant surprise, complete with perfect robo make up.

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The other problem is right now I'm absolutely loving the other 4 dramas I'm watching (RU Human, Life on Mars, Mr Sunshine and especially I adore Legend of Fuyao. Nothing else has a chance this week.

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IRL no one abandons food. Which reminds me of an anime character who brought a bowl of ramen and his friend eating rice curry while running late to school.

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I now want to eat ChocoPie. It's been ages.

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I've never had one. They look delicious, so I was confused as to why a starving person would do such a thing.

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I recommend. They aren't spectacular, but they're spectacular.

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@greenfields Snack cakes are magic like that. Somehow not spectacular, but yet spectacular in their mediocreness. Little Debbie Swiss Rolls have a special place in my heart/stomach.

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So true! That's exactly what they are. I now also need to try these magic Little Debbie Swiss Rolls - now that I know of their existence and google images has thrown up some tantalising pictures of plastic packaging.

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@greenfields I would gladly ship them around the world as a sort of snack cake ambassadorship.

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@egads in that case I shall send you some Chocopie

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That's exactly it! All the snacks mentioned would survive months en route, even if the nuclear doomsday hits! Then I will be glad to eat anything on or off the bench!

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The Korean bar-b-que place that just opened near me gives it you you with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce for dessert. Yummo!

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I don't like the maid character and didn't find her funny at all. Whenever she's on screen, it's like nails scratching on a chalkboard. She should've been a robot in Are You Human Too. Nam Shin would probably find her amusing.

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The maid reminded me of Suspicious Housekeeper. Now that was one maid who only obeyed orders in a robotic way. But it was not a comedy... almost a melo.

This show, however, is meant to be funny, so a weird housekeeper actually seems to not be out of place. A spacey ex-teenager, a free-wheeling designer, a happily obtuse nephew, old dog and young chick... yup, sounds like the kind of household that needs a robotic maid??

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That backpack bell kept making me thing of the death bell in Hwayugi.

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It's maybe that I've been put through the wringer too much by my recent kdrama watching but I liked that everybody was NICE.

Whenever I expected conflict, I got people doing good things. Like the uncle and nephew enjoying eachother's company, letting our heroine stay for the night because it was dangerous outside, saving chicks and picking up advertising signs.

I'm not sure how I feel about the romance which is inevitably coming up, but right now in a sea of angry characters and scheming evil people, a group of pleasant individuals is like a breathe of fresh air.

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People are being nice? Maybe I should watch this LOL

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Amen, @cloggie!

in a sea of angry characters and scheming evil people, a group of pleasant individuals is like a breathe of fresh air

After the serial killer and his wannabes in the excellent COME HERE AND HUG ME, I need something quirky with intermittent sunshine and nice, decent characters. I've been watching a passel of shows with intense plots and protagonists under the gun (among others, SKETCH, ABOUT TIME, MISS HAMMURABI, MR. SUNSHINE, MARRY ME NOW?, SUITS, LAWLESS ATTORNEY, and ARE YOU HUMAN TOO. Even WHAT'S WRONG WITH SECRETARY KIM and UNDATEABLES have heavy back stories). A respite with sweetness and light comes as a nice switch.

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Have you tried House Helper? It's so calming to watch Ha Seuk-jin clean and organize, and it seems to be settling in with a good friendship group slice of life storyline. After the frenzy of Lawless Lawyer it is a nice change of pace.

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@egads, thanks for your suggestion. My dance card is full up, so I've filed it for future reference. ;-)

I nearly tuned in to HOUSE HELPER, and then realized that I had confused it with Yoon Kyun-sang's upcoming CLEAN WITH PASSION FOR NOW. I'm eagerly awaiting Hong Gil-dong's exploits in domestic engineering.

One show I found totally relaxing was season 3 of THREE MEALS A DAY. As well as learning all kinds of useful kitchen tricks, I was mesmerized while observing Eric organize and stage each meal's tasks. It was downright meditative. I can't even eat shellfish because of allergies, but it was still interesting to me to watch him prepare it. And it was great fun to watch the others obtain the ingredients. Not to mention Yoon Kyun-sang's adorable kitties. ;-)

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This show has been on my radar since they finalized cast. I adore Shin Hye Sun. I was afraid this show will let me down but so far it didn't. The plot is not much complex. Its character driven and all of the characters have won me over. They are nice people who don't want to hurt others, eccentric, trsumatised but have a good hesrt. Acting is spot on. I also loved how they didn't gloss over the hurdles of waking up from comatose state 13 years later. I also like how Seo Ri's music is a theme for the episodes. In short, I like what I see and hopefully it keeps delivering.

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So Wojin is the one who paid for Seo-ri's hospital bill? That's first that I thought when I see Wojin is capable to do that.

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Can he do that without knowing her name?

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Idk, anything can happen in dramaland. Maybe I just to dramatic. 😂

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That is true about dramaland😂

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I was thinking that the doctor friend was the one paying the bills, but that might be too easy. What I am also curious about is who is that person peeking into her room in the black hoodie? Could it be her uncle in hiding?

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I feel like it may be her uncle paying the bills. The aunt and uncle didn't seem like scheming people. They seemed very loving in the flashbacks. I think they may have "abandoned" Seo-ri for a really good reason and I think they may have done it to protect her.

Unless Hyung-tae is rich, I can't see him having enough to pay for the bills until he had reached his mid 20s. I think Woo-jin is still under the impression his first love was the dead BFF.

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maybe, and it would be great if the uncle paid the bills. Hyung-tae is so cute and sweet when he become a doctor is relate to Seo-ri condition.

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Thanks for the recap TeriYaki!

Perhaps I should watch more upcoming episodes because I've yet to feel anything aside from the poor heroine. I feel that Shin Hye Sun perfectly potrays a 17 y.o trapped in 30 y.o body

I think that the plot doesn't feel organic, like certain scenes happened just to make the plot moved (?). What's with the random chick appearance at random place? I agree with some beanies commenting that it sort of tryhard.

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'Whats Wrong With Secretary Kim' had a funny original premiere them quickly settled down to standard boring rom-com fare. So maybe this series will do the opposite - improve over time... or maybe it won't. Usually I withhold judgement until about episode 6. By then its apparent that you're watching a lost cause.

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I loved it! And as for the mentally different ages . . . there's no solution for her here. Should she date an underage person because she's mentally 17? She's physically 30 and she'll have to catch up (education, job, settling into a living space). She can't then marry a kid.

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I agree that there isn't a good solution for a romantic pairing. Hopefully, the drama will defer the romance for a bit longer than usual (usually the first kiss happens around midpoint..ep 8/16) and put more focus on her getting back to her violin ambitions.

Even though she wasn't conscious or developing psychologically for those 13 years, would her brain still continue to develop during the coma? Do we need the mental stimulus to get the brain to mature? Or is it a pure biological growth? Will Seo-ri ever catch up to her physical age? Or will she always be 13 years behind?

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Exactly, should she date the nephew or his friends?? Its a simple character driven fish out of water concept romantic comedy...it is a drama. If dramas were always realistic half of us would not watch them. Real life is complicated, at times unfair, repetitive....so dramas are my escape route...don't know about others. And 17 isn't a small age either. Most girls have had major life changing events happen to them by that time so they have the maturity. I had the maturity. Seo Ri is having adjustment issues but it does not mean she is childish. Yes, romance can wait for her ideally but lets face it the domestic audience didn't sign up for a romcom without romance. It would not work well.

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The characters are so quirky! The plot is quick! The acting is great! The recovery is somewhat believable! I'm in love!!

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@frabbycrabsis pleads no-one spoils Come Here and Hug Me
Yes, the recovery from being in a coma was very realistic. We are not told how many weeks or months it took, but it was real in that she was in pain and very weak to begin with. I really liked that this was not glossed over too quickly. At least the writer did some research. 😆

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My only complaint with that recovery is that not once did she have a mental/emotional health professional come to her to help her with what is damned sure to be a major adjustment? That basically held me back from enjoying the episodes at all. I grant dramaland the progress of the PT, but watching the nurse obviously withhold information from her and never having a doctor speak to her about the passage of time just stopped me in my tracks. Don't go halfway show, take 2 minutes of screen time and do it right!

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I feel the same way about the nurse's actions. It is difficult part of the job but any health care professional would have some type of training on how to approach patients with sensitive and potentially traumatizing information regarding themselves and loved ones, etc.. The least the nurse should do is to ask others to have this conversation with her if herself feels inadequate to do so.

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I hated that nurse. How could she just run away? Seo-ri needs her situation broken to her carefully, to prevent shock and mostly so she can process it sooner and get her life on track!

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I like the guy who looks 30 but is 19 (but he's really 30, ha). Poor thing, it's hard being smart when your friends think the heart goes on the right.

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I love how emotional he is. Most people who look different would be used to being misunderstood, but he had a mini meltdown every time someone guesses his age wrong!😂

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His character reminds me of the running joke of the Reply series: always having a character who looks way too old for his age, like Hak-chan of Reply 1997 and Duk-seon's younger brother in Reply 1988!

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- Seo-Ri is a 17-year-old trapped in a 30-year-old body. If the writer, PD and actress can not sell me on this premise it is not worth my time. K-Dramas by their very nature are not real, so I effectively start off as a skeptic.
- Episode 1 made me a believer. The key to my conversion was the rehabilitation scenes. Seo-Ri starts out as weak as a baby kitten and is slowly transformed into her 30 year old character. I am not an expert on physical rehabilitation, but her struggles to get her atrophied muscles to work were so real. In addition, her emotional struggles to deal with the ajumma in the mirror made me invest completely. Mission cleared, Seo-Ri is officially a fish out of water.
- Woo-Jin is definitely damaged good, but he has the two most trustworthy judges of character on his side. It is very difficult to fool dogs and small children. They seem to be able to sense good people no matter how eccentric. Deok-Gu and Chan are Woo-Jin fanboys, enough said. I realize of course Chan is too old to be considered a small child. However, his admiration for his eccentric uncle is rooted in his childhood and has never wavered. This is good enough for me.
- I am already this excited and I have only just examine the lead characters. Without going into too much detail, the people and animals around our two leads are awesome. This promises to be a fun K-Drama full of potential.

@teriyaki I believe your opening statement is misleading.

Thirty But Seventeen pairs a modern-day Sleeping Beauty with a not-so-handsome prince — in fact he’s downright scary, for now.

Woo-Jin is way too damaged to be either a traditional or modern prince. Sleeping Beauty was a very passive character in her own story. Seo-Ri is going to have to become a very proactive person to earn her happy ending. Putting the word "modern" in front does not magically change the entire story dynamic. A modern-day Sleeping Beauty could just mean the "prince" is a chaebol and drives a car. Just something to consider.

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Now this may be the stuff of urban legends, but I read somewhere that Sleeping Beauty actually suffered from narcolepsy.

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ROFLMAO at narcolepsy in "Sleeping Beauty"! @caeparius, you are in rare form today. I can see that you're warming up for Saturday's installment of MARRY ME NOW?.

I totally agree with you re: the Uncle Woo-jin contingent of fanboy nephew Chan and "fanimal" Deok-Gu. It might be too much to expect the chick to imprint on Woo-jin. LOL.

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One issue this series has is casting. They're stressing the gap between 16-ish years old and 30 but the leads both look like they're in their early-to-mid 20s, which blunts the narrative. I'm pleased to see the unfortunate prosecutor from 'Forest of Secrets' get a leading rom-com role. But she's an awfully young looking 30.

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Well the actress is 28 years old, so pretty close to her character's age. It's not a crime to look younger.

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And if it was I would NEVER be arrested for breaking it!

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Thanks @teriyaki.
That was a great start to the series. The set up on how the misunderstanding happened and on how the main cast end up together was impeccably executed. Already the chemistry amidst the quirkiness shines through in the characters, even with their short appearances. It should have felt pretty hectic, and yet it wasn't. And all that was accompolished within 1 hour.

Your words on the accident totally resonated with me... what an impressively choreographed scene that was. It was terrible and yet it was terribly well done! I was just sooo impressed!

I do so like all the weird and the wacky in this show, and the unexpected introduction to Deok Gu and Chick. I'm guessing that the animals are going to be more 'normal' than the humans in this show and that 'normal' humans may be rather few. What fun!

And that meeting of everyone with just about everyone else in the last 5 minutes of the show was one of the best comedic moments I've come across in a very long time. The comic timing was perfectly managed by the entire ensemble of characters as they entered that room in drips and drabs. I think I laughed so loud and long that my family was disturbed. 😂

The pace is great, the actors have got their groove on from the get go and the little mysteries already shown up are intriguing. This feels like one show I can look forward to. 😄

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Finally enjoying a drama after a long while, the nephew and maid are awesome, "Please call me jenniferrr" 😂😂

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This first episode didn't impress me, and I kinda have a problem with first episodes that don't impress, usually end up dropping them. Etteoke? *indecisive*

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Thank you for recapping, TeriYaki! What a treat. I'm definitely picking up that PINOCCHIO vibe you mentioned.

I suspect that there will be two love triangles (or a square?) at work. First, there's Uncle Woo-jin versus Nephew Chan in a twist on time-warped 90s star Yoo Hyun-jae versus his aspiring idol son (surprise!) Lee Ji-Hoon in THE BEST HIT. Woo-jin admired Seo-ri from afar, but barely spoke with her once before tragedy struck. I'm curious to find out how he grew up to become a stage designer with a compulsion to measure furniture and appliances. (Aside: He might have a bright future in home remodeling.)

Chan has just met Seo-ri for the first time in this cockeyed reboot of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." Given their being the same age emotionally, they are sure to hit it off first. Chan's rescue of the chick has to be one of the most offbeat interludes I've seen in a long time, and that's saying something as an avid viewer of GREASY MELO. For one thing, how did he even see it?! Whatever. Chan is a sweetie. How could he not be? He's a younger, happier version of Uncle Woo-jin, who still bestows affectionate "raspberry kisses" (known in my family as "lollapaloozas") despite his wandering in the wilderness like John the Baptist. Yeah, Yang Se-jong got me with those "lollapaloozas."

Then there's the kid who proposed to Seo-ri with a bouquet and the promise to master German. He is now a neurosurgeon (after 4 tries, so he's not a geeeenius). I bet that he's the one who's been paying her bills since something caused her aunt and uncle to abandon their home. Unlike Woo-jin, Dr. Kim Hyeong-tae personally knew Seo-ri back when they were in high school. That should up the angst ante a good bit. He knows virtually everything that has happened since she went into a coma.

Woo-jin, on the other hand, didn't even know her real name, and had her confused with her dead friend. He must have gone to a different high school. As in innumerable faked-death scenarios, he had no way to know that the girl with the little bell who used to gaze at the moon survived, and thus had no reason to look for her.

I suspect that Seo-ri's uncle's firm might have gone bust in one of the financial meltdowns that have happened in the intervening 13 years. It would be a refreshing switch from the usual corruption and chaebol shenanigans tropes.

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I can see that the love square is gonna be tough. Bigfoot Uncle's crush was so painfully shy and sweet, but who can NOT fall in love with the Doc who possibly wanted to become a neurosurgeon because he wanted to save her (and learn German, and to follow her to Europe to study music!!!)

Nephew with the heart of gold might just be mother hen who is in tune with the little chic's call of distress....oh....you are so precious 🐥 *chirp chirp

I also really want to see BTS videos of YSJ giving raspberries to SHS and AHS!! 😂😂😂

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I did like that by the end of the second episode, all the characters were in the same room so the series premise was clearly on the table.
It did strike me was that this show has various elements of other recent k-dramas like the writer took a deck of trope cards and dealt a hand: the philosophical housekeeper, the out-of-time character, the childhood lost love, and "comfort" animals.
The one underlying theme that I took away from these episodes is cruelty. When the nurses do not tell SR about her aunt, uncle and childhood friend, it was masked by kindness but it was cruel to keep the truth from her. When SR had no place to go (or connection to the present), WJ was callously indifferent to SR's situation or pain when he told her to get out of her old house.

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In real life, if the hospital had not taken precautions to prevent contractures, Seo-ri would never have been able to use her legs again.

That happened to a friend of mine who survived ovarian cancer against the odds more than 20 years ago. She lost the ability to walk after maybe a year or two, not 13 years. She wasn't expected to survive, so she was not given anti-contracture treatment. She lived anyway, and was bedridden as a result.

Once the contractures set in, apparently there is nothing that can be done to reverse them. Perhaps progress has been made in reversing contractures since then. Maybe one of our medical Beanies can enlighten us.

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There was a lot about the whole setup that was problematic. I'm just moving past it. I did like in the show Erased how the mother devoted her life to physical therapy for her son in a coma. So when he woke up he was able to regain his mobility.

Maybe one of those clueless nurses has been caring for her all this time?

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First of all, thanks @teriyaki for the steady presence you’ve maintained in the What We're Watching posts, even during the DB drought. It really makes a difference. And second, thanks so much for recapping this drama!

After watching the first couple of episodes, I'm optimistic, but I do have some reservations. The teaser I saw made it look like they were going to go too far in making Seo-ri seem immature with OTT childishness. Fortunately, there haven’t been too many of the OTT bits so far. I was relieved to see that 17-year-old Seo-ri was often childlike (in a likable way), so some of 30-year-old Seo-ri's immaturity can be attributed to her personality.

My sense is that 17-year-old Seo-ri was pretty remarkable. She was spacey and klutzy because she was often immersed in her own world (as many creative people are). She wasn't trying to act cool or to conform, like most 17-year-olds do— not caring about what other people think is something she has in common with Woo-jin. She was highly talented, ebullient, and caring. Her mom had instilled some great values in her. I like that both Woo-jin and Hyeong-tae fell for Seo-ri's klutzy and childlike, but also wonderful, self.

Despite the tragic backstory (so sad!), and the I've-loved-you-since-childhood trope being used, the set-up feels refreshing to me. I love that so far all the characters seem like good people, and that there doesn't seem to be any snotty chaebols or overbearing parents around. I crave quirkiness, so I’m fine with Robomaid—I just hope she gets a satisfying storyline of her own.

So far, I’m not too squicked out by the age difference—I’m hoping they can pull it off. From my POV, it’s not about how many years you’ve lived experienced, it’s about your level of emotional maturity. It seems like Woo-jin’s been pretty much frozen emotionally since the accident. Yes, he’ll be more mature in other ways, but I don’t think they’ll be too mismatched emotionally. Maybe I’m projecting from Park Si-eun’s other roles, but I got the sense that Seo-ri (and her mom) had a high EQ (emotional-intelligence level), which makes a big difference to me.

I’m sticking with the drama for now as it looks like it’s going to have plenty of heart, humor, and healing, and I can sure use that right now.

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I love everything you said, Risa! I am surprised that I don't feel irked by the age difference here, for all the reasons you stated, and I do feel that much credit goes to both lead actors, especially Shin Hye-sun. After the first hour I feel more confident that they will convincing as the One True Pairing.

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The tragic backstory was SO tragic that it got a laugh out of me. When she casually mentioned that 3(?) years earlier (her time) both her parents had been crushed in a tunnel collapse I let out a guffaw.

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I think a tunnel collapse was also used in ANGEL EYES.

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Thanks @pakalanapikake-- I knew I had met the Tunnel of Doom before, I just couldn't remember where. Now that you've jogged my memory, I do recall that his dad died while (unsuccessfully) trying to rescue her mom from the tunnel collapse (lol @ how k-dramaesque that sounds!), but I don't remember if there was a Big Baddie responsible for the tunnel collapsing.

I'm curious because I have a feeling that in this case there will be-- and maybe Woo-jin, the Measurer-in Chief and model-maker, will be able to help put the baddies away.

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@risa,

You're welcome. ;-)

I don't recall a Big Baddie in ANGEL EYES, either. But how much do you want to bet that the Evil Construction Company in THIRTY BUT SEVENTEEN supplied substandard concrete?! It's practically a moot