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Boyfriend: Episode 5

Two people have never been more suited to each other, yet encountered so much opposition. Despite being the one who’s older and (presumably) wiser, our high-flying hotel CEO is locked in uncertainty while the free-spirited Jin-hyuk does his best to coax her out of her comfort zone. She wants to go, but a lifetime of conditioning make it difficult for her to trust him, afraid that the freedom he represents won’t be worth the cost.

 
EPISODE 5 RECAP

Dae-chan confronts Soo-hyun in front of half the company, demanding to know exactly what’s going on with the employee she appears to be dating. She refuses to answer other than to say that she’s done nothing wrong, and she turns to leave with Driver Nam.

But Jin-hyuk steps forward and tells Soo-hyun that he has some money, so they should go get ramyun together again, letting everyone watching know that he’s not being coerced or harassed. After a long pause, Soo-hyun smiles and says that she’ll buy.

They leave with Driver Nam and Secretary Jang, and Secretary Jang tells Driver Nam to drop off Jin-hyuk somewhere unobtrusive, assuming (hoping?) that this was all for show. Soo-hyun agrees and tells Driver Nam to pull over somewhere quiet — to drop off Secretary Jang, HA. Driver Nam beams while Secretary Jang just looks gobsmacked at being ganged up on.

After being left by the side of the road (literally), Driver Nam watches Soo-hyun and Jin-hyuk drive away together and says that twenty-five years ago, he was as cool as Jin-hyuk. He bellows for Secretary Jang to eat with him, but she just rolls her eyes, sticks her fingers in her ears, and waves for a taxi.

Feeling shy, Soo-hyun offers Jin-hyuk an out by offering to take him straight home, but he insists on taking her to a tea house he knows. He tentatively introduces Soo-hyun to the owner as a friend, feeling more confident when Soo-hyun doesn’t correct him.

When the owner goes to get their tea, Jin-hyuk tells Soo-hyun that she’s the wife of his father’s photographer friend that gave him the old camera. Soo-hyun notes that the tea shop looks like a church, and Jin-hyuk confirms that the owner bought a church cheaply and converted it.

He goes to help the owner with the tea, and he admits that he brought Soo-hyun here because he needed calming. The owner asks if he’s confessed to Soo-hyun yet, and Jin-hyuk asks if she would accept him if he did. Peering at him closely, the owner tells him that he’s ugly today, so he should do it another time, hee.

After serving the tea, the owner makes an excuse to leave them alone for a while. Jin-hyuk asks Soo-hyun if she feels calmer, and she says that she was alarmed because of him, but that she also calmed down because of him.

He apologizes for startling her and says he doesn’t regret it, but she warns him that things are going to get difficult at work from now on. He tell her that he’s made his decision, which is why he stepped in, and when she says she’s not joking, he says that he’s not, either.

He admits that he wants to be someone meaningful to her, looking at her expectantly, and seems disappointed when she doesn’t offer him a similar confession.

Hye-in sits alone in a cafe, thinking about the day she graduated high school. She’d turned down invitations to hang out with her friends, saying that she was going to eat with her father, but he’d never showed up. Jin-hyuk had surprised her with flowers, knowing that her father would be too busy working to come, and he’d taken her to eat then to visit her mother in the hospital.

Secretary Jang ends up back at Dae-chan’s restaurant again, and she asks him to text Jin-hyuk and have him come by. Dae-chan jokes that she must be a loan shark, making her laugh, but she goes too far when she teases that he doesn’t look very smart so he snaps at her to send her own text.

They quickly end up trading insults, and Dae-chan sends the text to Jin-hyuk just to get Secretary Jang to stop talking. Yup, I’m totally shipping it.

Woo-seok comes home just as his mother is getting a report from Dae-chan on what happened at the hotel. Chairman Kim tells Woo-seok that Soo-hyun has lost her mind, and she asks Woo-seok if he really means to sit back and let Soo-hyun ruin Donghwa Hotel.

Woo-seok argues that the hotel is Soo-hyun’s to do with as she pleases, but his mother retorts that it belonged to them first. She says she’s planning to hold a board of directors’ meeting and get rid of Soo-hyun.

Back in the car, Jin-hyuk asks Soo-hyun if she ever got the painting she was trying to get in Sokcho. He mentions that there’s an exhibit on famous paintings in his neighborhood and Soo-hyun playfully accuses him of lying, since she knows all the art galleries and there’s no one in Hongdae-dong. But Jin-hyuk insists that it’s there and offers to show her sometime.

Soo-hyun tries to bring up work again, but Jin-hyuk just says that they shouldn’t be awkward with each other or it will make things even harder. He jokes that he’s not dumb enough to start calling her “noona” at work or anything, which makes her laugh.

Assuming that she erased the picture of his phone number, Jin-hyuk offers to give it to her again, but Soo-hyun rattles it off from memory. Jin-hyuk beams, then wonders why she never used it and pouts that he still doesn’t have her number.

When she snaps at him, he just grins at her use of his name, then admits that he’s only teasing to get her mind off what happened today. He says that her position and status means he should treat her respectfully, but she says there’s no need, and he agrees that it’s not necessary between them.

He’s gently chastised for using the word “we” (which implies closeness), but he asks if there’s a reason not to, and he leaves after a reminder to Soo-hyun not to think too much tomorrow.

He heads to Dae-chan’s restaurant to meet Secretary Jang, who says that he did something very daring (read: dangerous). He says he only told the truth, but she’s worried about what might happen tomorrow, so she tells him to lay low and let things blow over since there’s nothing between him and Soo-hyun anyway.

Jin-hyuk says that attitudes like hers are the very reason he and Soo-hyun decided to publicly acknowledge their friendship. Secretary Jang also gets hung up on his casual use of the word “we” and calls for a soju, ha.

Later, sitting on the swings at his playground, Jin-hyuk sighs over what Secretary Jang said to him while drunk. She’d told him that she’s Soo-hyun’s only friend, and that Soo-hyun never even got a chance to date. She’d said that he’s too young to understand what it means to go up against her in-laws, who are so tied up with Soo-hyun’s father’s political activities that they’ll never break apart.

Soo-hyun lies awake that night, mentally replaying Jin-hyuk’s brave statement of friendship in front of the entire company. She recalls him saying that he wants to be important to her, and she drifts off to sleep with a smile on her face.

Woo-seok gets a briefing on what happened in the Donghwa lobby, and he asks his secretary to get him any information he can find on Jin-hyuk.

Soo-hyun manages to get to work with a minimum of fuss from the employees, but when Jin-hyuk arrives, everyone stares at him like he’s got two heads. He steels himself and pastes on a sunny smile before walking into the HR office, but Han-gil wastes no time asking him what his relationship is with Soo-hyun.

He tells everyone honestly that they met elsewhere, and only later realized that she was going to be his boss. Director Kim cuts off Han-gil’s intrusive questioning, in a bad mood because she’s gotten a picture of her husband from her investigator, confirming that he’s cheating on her.

Secretary Jang sheepishly admits to Soo-hyun that she drank so much that she left her wallet at the bar. She complains that Soo-hyun and Jin-hyuk call themselves a “we” now, and nearly throws up when Soo-hyun refers to Jin-hyuk by name, but Soo-hyun just smiles indulgently.

Jin-myung downloads a dating app onto Dae-chan’s phone, determined to find him someone to spend time with other than the snails. He carefully poses Dae-chan for a profile photo with his hand covering his beard, ha. Secretary Jang just happens to have a profile on that same app and gets matched with him, and she thinks he looks familiar but can’t quite place him with his hand covering half his face.

In a meeting with his adviser, Soo-hyun’s father says that he’s not interested in a two-party merger, but his adviser warns that Chairman Kim is pushing hard for it. Soo-hyun’s father is against the idea of a company dictating political moves, especially since the other party doesn’t share any of his party’s ideals.

At lunch with Jin-hyuk, Hye-in starts to mention the anonymous post that started this whole kerfuffle, but Han-gil interrupts them so she says she’ll tell him later. People are openly staring and talking about Jin-hyuk in the cafeteria, so he makes an excuse to leave.

Driver Nam and Soo-hyun are on their way somewhere in the car when they see Jin-hyuk sitting alone in a cafe, looking pretty down. Soo-hyun texts Jin-hyuk his own advice to listen to the radio on his phone if he’s bored. He responds that he was considering playing hooky since the weather is nice, but he didn’t want to do it by himself.

He says he could play hooky with his boss, and invites her to take the afternoon off and go to that art gallery in Hongdae-dong. She starts to reply that she’s too busy, but instead she agrees to help him skip work.

Jin-hyuk manages to get the afternoon off by being adorable, and Soo-hyun gives Driver Nam the rest of the day free. He says he’s meeting with her father, and she assumes her dad heard what’s going on and wants details, but Driver Nam assures her that she’s done nothing wrong.

Soo-hyun predicts that her mother will probably call her about two seconds before her mother calls her, furious. Soo-hyun lies that she’s in Busan on business and hangs up, and Driver Nam agrees to convince her dad to go along with the lie.

Jin-hyuk is a happy little blur as he gets ready for his date, then he meets Soo-hyun near his house. She’s confused why they’re outside under a bridge, so he turns her around to show her that there are paintings hung on each column down the entire length of the bridge.

She asks if this is the “art gallery,” and he tells her, “There are paintings, there’s you who likes paintings, and there’s me who likes you who likes paintings.” Soo-hyun side-eyes him for sliding that part in, and asks him to move his hand, which he’s kept resting on her shoulder.

While cleaning Jin-hyuk’s room, his mother sees Soo-hyun’s heels still sitting on a table, and she asks Jin-myung what he thinks they are. Jin-myung says they might be a gift for Mom, or not, and she grins that they’re probably not.

Jin-hyuk shows Soo-hyun his favorite painting, which appears to be just a collection of tiny white squares on a blue background. He says that he didn’t get it at first, but then it mesmerized him to think of how hard it was to make all those squares. Soo-hyun is familiar with the artist and says she likes their work, too.

The title of the piece fascinates Jin-hyuk as well, and he tells Soo-hyun that it’s a line from a poem. He recites the poem from memory: “Among a multitude of stars, one stares down at me. Among a multitude of people, I stare up at that one star.” Soo-hyun takes up the next line: “Where, when, and as what will the two of us — you, one so warm, and me, one so tender — meet again?”

Jin-hyuk is surprised, and he finds it an interesting parallel to their story of meeting in Cuba, then again in Seoul. Soo-hyun notices his use of “we” again and admits that she’s getting used to it.

She tells him that nothing much will change between them going forward, and turns down his invitation to dinner. He wilts at that, so she asks what she’s supposed to do when he gives her that puppydog face.

Driver Nam and Soo-hyun’s father have dinner together, and naturally Dad asks about the scandal article. Driver Nam says that the man in the article is an admirable guy, telling Dad how Jin-hyuk responded to the nasty anonymous post. Dad worries that Jin-hyuk will make things harder on Soo-hyun, but Driver Nam doesn’t think that will happen.

After work, Secretary Jang heads to Dae-chan’s place to get her wallet, which he’s got hanging from the ceiling. She freaks out at the clothespin he used, wailing that the wallet was very expensive, and he grumbles that he did that to keep it from getting anything on it.

Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun show up while they’re still sniping at each other, and Secretary Jang complains that she feels like she needs another drink. At Dae-chan’s assumption, Soo-hyun says she’s Jin-hyuk’s work sunbae (it’s his turn to side-eye her), and she yanks Secretary Jang down to sit with them.

Dae-chan insults Secretary Jang further by saying that Soo-hyun looks like her hoobae, HA. Secretary Jang revs up to lecture Jin-hyuk, but Soo-hyun just shoves food in her mouth to shut her up.

Hye-in shows up, but when she sees Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun sitting together and the way they look at each other, she leaves again. She passes a store, sparking a memory of running into Jin-hyuk here once and him helping her pick out a journal.

Jin-myung arrives at the restaurant for work, and he immediately recognizes Soo-hyun from the news story. He figures out that Jin-hyuk was the ramyun guy, causing both Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun to look sheepish.

After sending the ladies home, Dae-chan and Jin-myung pump Jin-hyuk for information. He forbids Jin-myung to call their mom and tell her about this, which just makes them even more curious.

Woo-seok’s secretary reports that there’s nothing special about Jin-hyuk or his family. Woo-seok recalls his first time meeting Soo-hyun — she’d said she was supposed to make him like her and asked him about his preferred type of woman. He’d said that he didn’t really have a type until that day, when he’d discovered that she was his type.

In the car, Secretary Jang tells Soo-hyun that she can’t protect Jin-hyuk from the trouble their relationship will cause. Soo-hyun says she knows, but no matter how hard she tries to run away, she can’t. She admits that the timing is frustrating, wishing that she’d experienced these feelings when she was younger instead of now, when she’s older and divorced.

She says that she doesn’t know for sure if she likes Jin-hyuk, only that she keeps wanting to learn more about him. But she sighs that her life won’t let her continue this, and Secretary Jang expresses grudging sympathy for what she’s going through.

Soo-hyun’s mom calls, having learned from someone at the hotel that Soo-hyun isn’t in Busan. Soo-hyun says she’s driving and hangs up on her mother, but when she pulls into her parking garage, her mother is there waiting.

Jin-hyuk is feeling happy when he gets home, but he loses his smile as he remembers Soo-hyun saying that she was trying to stop things between them before anything started. He looks at her shoes and the stuffed owl she won for him, and he frowns recalling the things he overheard his fellow employees saying about him today.

After spotting her mother, Soo-hyun drives away again, fighting back tears as she thinks of all the fights and nasty comments she’s been forced to endure. She remembers Jin-hyuk saying that he decided to be her friend, and that he wants to be someone important to her.

She ends up back in Hongdae-dong, standing in front of Jin-hyuk’s favorite painting. He finds her there, and he looks happy and relieved to see her. He aims the headlight on his bike at the painting and joins Soo-hyun, and he wonders out loud what they should say is the reason they met here tonight.

Soo-hyun tells him, “You caught me. I’m usually good at holding back, but here I am.” He says that he read in a book that having an interest in someone is a fight between the certainty and doubt of liking someone, and that when the doubt fades and the certainty takes hold, that’s when love begins.

He asks Soo-hyun, “What if we leave these feelings of certainty and doubt to fight with each other, and find out if we like each other?” She turns away, unsure, but Jin-hyuk firmly takes her arms to turn her back to face him. He asks, “Why don’t we say that we’re now in a ‘some’ relationship, and met here again?”

He waits patiently for her answer, and so many emotions cross Soo-hyun’s face as she considers what this means. Finally she comes to a decision, and she looks him in the eye and says, “Okay. Let’s say that we’re now in a ‘some’ relationship.”

Epilogue.

Soo-hyun drives through the streets, going nowhere in particular, too upset to notice that she’s about to run out of gas. She ends up stranded in an unfamiliar area, and she has to call a service to bring her gas. While she waits, she tells herself, “I’m good at holding back. I am,” as her voice wobbles and tears stream down her face.

  
COMMENTS

Finally they’ve put a name to what’s happening between them! Even if it’s a vague and tentative “some” definition, at least Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun have acknowledged that what they’re feeling is more than friendship, and have expressed a willingness to see where it leads. I’m so glad that this drama didn’t turn out to be the whirlwind romance I was expecting, because I much prefer this slow burn and careful exploration of emotions and relationships. It makes me feel that, if and when Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun do enter into a true romantic partnership, they’ll have a solid foundation to carry them that much further.

I love Jin-hyuk’s little satisfied expressions every time he challenges Soo-hyun to take a chance on him and she does, like it’s a tiny victory just to convince her to have tea with him. In a way it is, because she’s so closed off that every invitation he extends is a challenge to her to step outside of her comfort zone. So whenever she softens, relents, agrees to take a risk, Jin-hyuk understands exactly how significant that is for her and doesn’t take those moments lightly. I think that’s a big part of what makes Jin-hyuk so irresistible to Soo-hyun — he instinctively understands her on a level that nobody has ever even attempted. I think that if it seemed like Jin-hyuk had to work to understand her, Soo-hyun would run away, afraid to be a burden after a lifetime of suppressing her own wants to make everyone else happy. But understanding her is so effortless for Jin-hyuk that Soo-hyun feels safe letting him see her weaknesses. He’s not perfect — his giving Soo-hyun advice not to let people at work upset her, then getting upset himself is proof of that — but he seems pretty perfect for Soo-hyun.

I’m tired of Secretary Jang acting like she has any right to tell Soo-hyun what to do, including going behind her back TWICE to tell Jin-hyuk to back off and repeating several times to Soo-hyun’s face that she shouldn’t be seeing Jin-hyuk. I do think she means well, and that she genuinely cares for and worries about Soo-hyun, and I can see how she thinks Soo-hyun needs protection since she’s never even been allowed to date. But Soo-hyun is also a grown woman who has earned the right to choose who to date, and she’s found a pretty great guy who obviously adores her. Secretary Jang may think that she’s only trying to help, but in fact she’s trying to control Soo-hyun’s life exactly the same way she complains that Soo-hyun’s mother does. As a friend she can certainly voice her concerns, but then she needs to back off and let Soo-hyun live her own life.

This show seemed so trope-y at first, but the deeper in we go, the more it’s shattering those tropes. It’s getting to the point that I suspect we were purposely set up to take the show lightly, so that the big moments land harder. Jin-hyuk’s public statement of friendship, then his advice to Soo-hyun to openly show their friendship at work, are so unusual in a drama of this type that I’m still reeling at how simple a solution it is, yet most dramas have their characters sneak around and go to ridiculous lengths to hide a relationship, often for much flimsier reasons than Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun have. But for once that’s not what’s happening — Jin-hyuk is correct that the best way to handle this is to just be open and honest, both to show that they have nothing to hide and aren’t ashamed of their relationship, and to strengthen their bond by standing solidly side-by-side instead of letting others’ opinions create a wall between them. Sometimes Jin-hyuk can seem very young, but when it comes to human nature, his lack of self-consciousness and willingness to be honest about his feelings seem way ahead of his time.

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I was in a "some" relationship with Boyfriend last week, this week I am firmly committed to the show (although not monogamous 😅).

But just when I thought this drama will suck out the rancid coffee bean the last hyped noona romance stuck down my throat, Pretty Noona's awful mom returns here serving hot tea. She seems nice, but I cannot help but feeling suspicious that she will destroy EVERYTHING. The power of drama PDST, yo.

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LMAO 😂 I had horrendous flashbacks to Pretty Noona days when she popped on screen. I guess I’m not the only one with PTSD *shivers*

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Same here🙋.
I swear I have not hated a dramaland mom so much as I hated her... she honestly ruined the whole drama last time.

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Cha Soo Hyun's mom may just about make you eat your words.

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For me the mother and ex mother in law are close to completely ruining the story. They - and especially the mother - are so ridiculously written that it’s cringeworthy when they appear. I hate that trope to begin with, but this portrayal is just unbelievably bad. It’s not the actresses; they are doing a great job at playing laughably evil characters who would be at home in a soap opera quality melodrama-romcom. It’s the terrible writing of their characters. That scene where bit by mom is ripping the newspaper out of her hisband’s hands, while he meekly takes it without comment, was just BAD. He has been mayor of Seoul, is prominent in his political party, and is a viable candidate for PM or president, but he is a mute, whipped puppet of his evilly ambitious wife?? Eye roll.

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Oh, I love the way JH treated Soo-hyun, he's just sooooo sweet..... Does this character even exist in the real world? :)

Watching up to episode 5, I guess the ex-husband really loves her. But then why they divorced? Is this something Chairman Kim has plotted? but why?

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Does JH exist in the real world? Maybe.
But you know what might help to elevate a possible candidate's Jin-hyeok-ness? Play the Boyfriend OST while he is smiling at you. The music is gorgeous. I love especially the instrumental track.

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Honestly, I find her ex-husband the most interesting right now. I mean, there are just so many different ways the writers can go with his character. Will he support them? Will he try to break them up? Will there be a falling out between him and his mother?

I get the feeling that he didn't really want to divorce Soo-hyun. It didn't seem like he was much interested in the girl he cheated on her with...

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Same here, which ever way he goes, he is heading for more hearbreaks than the leads.

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My heart really broke for WS while looking at an old photo of SH on his phone and remembering the time that he fell in love with her on their first date. I really see WS as someone who has a lot of regret for not being able to protect SH during the time that they were together.

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I'm so hoping that he'll get a happy ending. That scene just left me so sad, because it already looked pretty clear that she wasn't ever going to love him.

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I think he couldn’t protect her when they were married and the only thing he thought he could do for her was setting her free.

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@cherryinbloom That would definitely make sense. And maybe now he thinks that could be the reason she'll eventually love him back.

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I so agree with this. From the flashback, we see that he is smitten with her at their first meeting, while she coldly discusses their potential arranged nuptials as a business arrangement. (Her perception is confirmed by her prior description of the marriage to her ridiculously over-the-top-to-the-point-of-being-farcical evil mother as having been “sold.). A

I love the gorgeous cinematography, the poetic allusions, the dreamy, nuanced pacing, and the OST of this story. However, while PBG is a remarkably pretty boy, he is devoid of any sex appeal for me. He just looks land acts like a kid. I can’t imagine him in a love scene. I don’t find his character interesting, and wish some other actor was in the role.

I’ve only seen PBG in Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, and thinking back on that drama, I can’t even remember if he and the lead actress ever kissed. If they did, it was totally forgettable. The scenes I loved, remember, and made me appreciate PBG as an actor were the ones with the prince and his two childhood friends, especially Kim Byung Yeon. Every scene between the two of them stood out, and was believable as a true bromance.

I just can’t ship the leads at this point. I keep thinking about how my favorite Korean actors just sizzle with sex appeal when they are on screen. Maybe a physically romantic scene (because so far, almost every scene between them is set up to be emotionally romantic) will change my mind, but TBH, Im not expecting it from what I’ve seen so far.

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I do kind of agree with some of your points. I don't seem to be a fan of his as much as others seem to be. PBG's character is almost too much of a contrast to Soo-hyun for me to take their relationship seriously.

I mean, my biggest hope right now is that once she finds herself, she won't need to depend on some man. I mean, her sudden desire to live her own life has really been because of Jin-hyuk. And guess who's seen most of the side? Jin-hyuk.

I think they have wonderful chemistry, but I'm left feeling why him? sometimes.

*whispers* And I like her ex better.

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Ha, me too for the ex. I don’t believe I’ve seen that actor before. He’s very handsome.

But one point of disagreement: IMO, It is strongly implied that the person who made Soo-hyun’s emotional emancipation possible was her ex husband. He’s the one who asked for the divorce, and unless we are being served a dish of red herring, his reason was fabricated, to free Soo-Hyun from the marriage she felt sold into. If that’s true, and he did that because he loves her, I think he’s the better man.

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@vespertyne I agree that her ex-husband divorcing her was the first step to her allowing herself to open up emotionally. I guess my biggest issue is why it took years for her finally say 'it's my life, and I can live it however I want. I just really hope her growth emotionally isn't going to reverse when Jin-hyuk really starts to get entangled in the family drama.

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Ex-husband is very much the chaebol, and SH had been his perfect, beautiful and submissive wife - not surprising at all if he expected that having a mistress would be just ignored as one of the many privileges of his position. If he asked for the divorce, I think it would have been in a fit of pique, trying to get a rise out of SH, some sort of response. And the one he got was almost certainly not the one he wanted. I don't think his affair was manufactured, I do believe he strayed - I think he's the type - and that he didn't really realize what he wanted until he lost it. To me, that is a lot more realistic than trying to make him into a good guy all along.

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This could also be the case. I guess I just kind of got wrapped up in that he’s not an outright evil chaebol character... I’m still quite curious as to what the writers will do with his character, if anything more at all

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Agreed. I still can’t get past his snarky comment at his mom’s birthday party; the one where he basically says his mother is the kind to have SooHyun and the new wife at the same event... because she can. Ugh... and I guess we’re going to forget the fact that WooSeok stormed of like a child when she was less than happy about having to be there.

If the best he could do is divorce her to protect her, instead of GROWING A PAIR and standing up to his mom while they were married, then as far as I’m concerned we can throw the whole ex away.👋🏾

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Or....

Did the ex-husband want the woman who had been sold to pretend she wasn't sold. That is a slippery slope to impose on any woman.

Her behaviour on the marriage date raises so many questions. Most women come with significant wiles. But here her reactions seems so unaware. I can see 3 main interpretations for someone now so accomplish as SH:

- She was already looking to escape that world and this was a test.

- For someone as capable as SH is. How brutal must her life under her mother have been to have broken her so completely that she can only be an automata.

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Did she think that being sold to him was beneath her and was looking to see if he would express what he perceived as his family's dominance in the union or step off that pedestal.

Either way, he did little to redeem himself. However, I love that the drama doesn't tell us how to read it and leaves it open.

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I think at that time, SH was still so naïve and sheltered that she didn't really know how to behave towards WS. She just went into the date as a dutiful daughter, conditioned to do what her mom asks her to do. Secretary Jang has mentioned that SH has never had the chance to date so she probably didn't know how to behave towards WS during the first date.

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@DoubleFault

For someone so is so bright and aware of her role as political daughter - for me, that level naivety is had to square as just simple innocence.

There are just too many other factors that point to this being more than we see.

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Help me I’ve fallen for this drama and I have to wait till next week for a new episode .

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I like how the show set up so many cliches in the earlier episodes just to shatter them completely as the show goes on.
It will be interesting to see how JH fights back against the mothers as they will certainly put pressure on him and wreak havoc on his life.

Also now that the haters have dropped the show both in Korea and in the international fanbase, the drama seems to be getting more positive reactions. People who have kept watching are starting to appreciate this drama for what it is and not what they wanted it to be.
Hopefully this will continue.

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This whole episode showed just one day in the lives of our OTP. A long, never-ending day. Along with some of the previous night. At most 26 hours? Yet I watched it without getting bored. Weird. Haha - it was a good episode.

At this point, I'm enjoying the show so I'm overlooking the logic here - but it sits poorly with me that the CEO and new recruit took a half day and went off to play. Though ofc there's a lot.going on which we know because we're watching the drama, but one can understand that other employees would find that annoying.

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I thought it was pretty sly of Jin-hyeok that he, knowingly or unknowingly to let his manager to assume the reason why he wanted to leave work early was because he was having a hard time dealing with the unwanted attention from all of his coworkers.

I often fantasize about playing hooky at work, but the fantasy would turn into a nightmare quickly if I have to spend my day off with my boss. Now only if Park Bogum is my boss.....it is now a fantasy again.

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From the way all his coworkers looked shocked at him getting to go home early, I had the feeling that moment would come back to haunt him later.

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I had that thought too, that if I were his coworker I’d be pretty irritated that the rookie is using his relationship with the boss to play hooky when there is still work to be done. Not the best work ethic, but I guess you can get away with a lot if you have PBG’s face and his pout :) I think JH’s nature is too carefree for the corporate world.

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I thought it was inappropriate for him to leave work early

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And to meet up with the boss as well. Seriously, isn’t that type of behavior exactly what makes the relationship appear to be inappropriate, and give credence to the gossip?

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It is inappropriate; but the gossip was about sexual harassment not favoritism. Which happens at every job, it just doesn’t always wind up on the “Internets” #hairsplits

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It's probably just me, but I feel like I'm just too stuck on the initial set-up cliches to fully enjoy this drama. During each episode, all I can think is how much time we have left for future major angst. 😅

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I was really enjoying the sparks between Secretary Jang and Dae-chan. This is the start of a romance for sure. Since Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun are so gentle with each other, the show really needs the comic relief that this other couple-to-be provides.

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I am definitely enjoying the character Dae-chan much more than his sister's. The Snail Bro and Secretary Jang's bickering dynamic is fun, but I cannot help rolling my eyes when they got matched on the dating app. Is this the cyber version of "fate"? Hopefully the app match will bring lots of fun hijinks.

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Yes, I have that same feeling and will be happy for them.

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I love them!

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THE FAIRYTALE SO FAR:
Where everything is explained; even SH calling JH a “green grape”
and the secretary’s hair style.

………………………………………..

This drama asks; can Rapunzel still escape from the tower when she has lost her long hair (innocence)?

Our princess’s first attempt at escape from the cruel world she was sold into failed. In reprisal, the two royal families imprisoned her in the tower and she lost her long hair. To ensure no one ever forgets her fate, her jailers cruelly festoon her handmaid’s uniform with her severed locks—forever taunting her (secretary’s hair).

Our princess knows she will not get a third chance to escape and painful failure has taught her she is not looking for a rescuer. Sadly, there is no one more powerful than her captors in this kingdom to come to her aid and people who are there just to smooth her pillow will only return her to the tower.

Confined (her ear rings), she is no longer able to read the lay of the land, making it impossible to escape alone. But, how does a princess find an accomplice on the ground when she lives in the clouds (her artworks)?

In a kingdom full of spies she can’t trust just anyone. She knows that to withstand what awaits them; they must be brave, smart and resilient. So as with all clever princesses she devises invisible tests.

Her accomplice needs to:
- Find the clues she leaves unaided and be smart enough to solve them. (Hence, she can never directly tell a potential accomplice of her plans).
- See her true self (not her crown).
- Distinguish between her signals and those of others - and not be swayed by others saying “no” (she sets boundaries only to leave a tiny signal not to leave).
- Possess their own weapons.

Careful not to rouse suspicions she hides her well-laid plans in full sight under a princessly calm demeanor and bides her time.

In a young fruit seller she has stumbled upon an unlikely accomplice and she recognizes his potential instantly (“green grape”…keep reading). Not only is he a seller of fruits (merging of sky and ground). He is watched over by a mythical village of barefooted elderly whose feet are planted in the soil but climb up into the sky (ancient trees anyone). Our smiling fruit seller may not be from the palace but he has a strange power that allows him to reach her in the clouds.

Despite his age, he sees the world through wiser eyes and his poetry reveals his true self (which she discovers is the poetry of kings)
He has already realized and surveyed the journey ahead (ep03 photos of towers & counting the office floors to her small open window)
He alone sees her for who she is not what she is.
He has the strength to act alone but his actions never diminish her.
His world is full of strong bonds that are invisible to those who confine her.
And most importantly, he is brave enough to.

Just as the ugly duckling was always a swan, a green grape is not just a grape but is always a grape vine...

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Continued ...........

Just as the ugly duckling was always a swan, a green grape is not just a grape but is always a grape vine (think rope) – If Rapunzel no longer has her long hair, someone who has a magical vine is a useful ally – particularly when everyone else just dismisses it as an unripe grape.

Now she has found her accomplice, this tale moves on to how they will actually escape.

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I adore this interpretation & comparison & analogy. Thank you so much for taking the time to post this.

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Beautifully written analogy! The show's beautiful intro and outro graphics certainly connote the fairy tale setting.

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I’m very satisfied with this show right now. I’m liking the writing...a lot. I want JH’s mom to show up at the office to bring fruit for his coworkers and meet Ms. CEO. I want her to adopt Ms. CEO and show her what a mom is supposed to be. I just want more of JH’s mom in this show!

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😂Now I really want to see JH's mom stick a piece of fruit into SH's mouth because Mom doesn't want Ms. CEO's hands to get sticky.

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I was a bit taken aback by JH's mom'views on what it is to be a "woman" in episode 2 or 3(cant remember). It seemed very conservative, I think she said somethg like a woman is supposed to be at home with her husband and kid referring to SH being a CEO and on Tv. I was like 🙄🙄 really Mum? So I am pretty sure she will not be very enthusiastic about our CEO...

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She’s ignorant and uneducated and probably hasn’t left the little block she has lived all her life. So, she should be conservative. But her heart is for her son’s and if they are happy, then she is. (My mother-in-law is just like her, and told my husband the same thing—we see where that went! But she’s the most caring person and loves me, even though I don’t fit her image of a “good wife.”)

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I think "some" in Korea is a way to saying you're interested in meeting someone. Especially here, I think Soo Hyun would run away if Jin Hyuk asked her to be his girlfriend now.

I have watched this episode three times now, and my favorite scenes more than that. Weirdly, my favorite scene was the one when Jin Hyuk and Soo Hyun arrive at Jin Hyuk's friend Snails restaurant and naturally they sit together with secretary Jang. At this moment, I love how secretary Jang is struggling to react to the couple. it's so sweet.

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The translation I saw was not "some relationship" but "in a pre-relationship stage." Which makes sense, but sounds really formal.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-FhDScM_2w
I think this is the perfect definition of "Some", I also listen to this song again after watching ep 5. ^^

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That’s a good song! I like SoYou too. Thanks for sharing!

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@bogoshipda @nurii

Thanks so much for that eg. I get it now.

"Some Relationship" is such a useful term. Its like a mix of that crush stage and courting (if you use courting as the "pre-relationship" stage of traditional relationships)

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OMG. The little details in this show are gorgeous.

The luscious moment when Hye-In is unable to be crowned princess (or chooses not to be) when she glides under the head-height crown sticker on the stationery shop window.

The drama doesn’t tell us if Hye-In:
- Wants to wear the crown but can’t,
- Deliberately side stepped it knowing her treasured friend and that crown is not for her,
- or both.

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I am glad so far that both second leads are not being portrayed (yet) as calculating, manipulative, and vindictive. I hope it stays that way to the end.

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@doublefault
I love that this drama is playing off the 2 extremes underpinning social structures.

I value U because I care about U
vs
I care because you have value.

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First of all, it's quite satisfying to see a noona romance where the couple have never stated this fact at all. I almost forget about this, until Soo Hyun regrets that she should have experienced this complicated feeling when she was 20s and not older and divorced like this moment.

And the to see the way Jin Hyuk pursues Soo Hyun, and how she can not resist him, I'm sold that they are OTP.
Jin Hyuk actively approaches her by making her become curious and comfortable with him, persuading her gently enough to get her acceptance. The only time he forces her his way is asking her to let him drive when she just has car accident.
Him driving all the way to Sokcho so that she has a friend to have breakfast with and give her mandu, and then ask her to have some coffee in a beautiful "coffee shop", giving her a lipstick as birthday present and frankly admit that she is rich and probably does not need anything,... and then invite her to his neighborhood "gallery", then verbally hope to eat with her,... and turning back to the "gallery" hoping to see her again,... All these little chances he creates by himself, it requires his efforts, time, and most of all, courage. And I never thought our OTP confirming they are in "some" status is that big of achievement in dramaland, until this episode! Congrats to Jin Hyuk!!!!
One minor thing I appreciate the writer so far, is that Jin Hyuk never whines or makes a childish/thoughtless actions approaching "Ice princess". I think that's just so rare!!!

Re Soo Hyun, I relate to her personally, facing family expectations since birth, having arranged marriage,... wishing to do something big for the family, however, can only find happiness in small things, and curiosity leads the way too often.... Actually, I thought she is very brave to choose to be "ice princess" to deal with those people! I don't think she ever smiles to please anyone in previous episodes, and never hesitates to speak her opinions, of course, not to the 2 MOTHERS who never listen anyway... Going to her EX-in laws events, she does it as a responsibility to show up only (I have to reflect myself on how many times I went to parties that I faked smiles and tried to blend in against myself) ...

I loved her most when she decides the rumors are nothing to be hidden from, and she does not have anything to announce or defend to Vice Director Choi's threaten or other employees's malicious comments... It might be the foolest choice to endure by herself all of this, but I think that's she is so cool!!!

While Jin Hyuk is the prince charming, the ideal man I wish to date, he is here to help Soo Hyun sparks her interest in relationship and to yearn for her independent life. I'm afraid they might not end up together like other beanies have commented in previous episode... but I'm glad that she begins to express her true self, and to fight for what she treasures, with the help of Jin Hyuk and Nam Secretary... regardless of outcomes...

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We still don’t know how old SH is supposed to be, right?

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Secretary Jang’s profile on the data app says she is 35. She and SH were BFFs in school, which implies they were classmates. Assuming they were in the same grade, and that Sec. Jang isn’t shaving any years off her age for the dating app, SH would probably be the same age.

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Nice catch! I also thought she was supposed to be around 34-45... so it makes them 6-7 years apart?

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Honestly, I would have wanted to stick to their real age IRL. SHK is 37 and PBG is 25

6-7 years doesn’t seem that big a deal

Makes me wonder why they’ve aged up PBG in this drama. Probably because of the initial backlash during the casting?

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What? She's 37??? Look at her I thought she's 34 something! I don't even remember her real age.
Oh com'on! She is 37 and still look beautiful and lively like that! What else those anti-fan expect for!!!!

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I like that Soo hyun seems to be like a child sometimes, very much of a child in a very innocent way. Even when I think about her marriage, I would put all my bets into guessing that it was only a marriage in paper, and that she is still a virgin. It sounds fairy tale-ish, but that is the impression she is giving me, even considering how Korean dramas purposely avoid talking and showing someone's sexuality.
But again, if she was sold off as a bride for business, and seeing her character with her ex's character, I would bet they didn't sleep together as husband and wife, because they didn't knew each other and they both knew it was a business tactic of their families.

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They were married for two years. If they didn't do it there was something seriously wrong.

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You wouldn't believe it, but it happens in real life too... 😒

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The show’s synopsis before airing indicated that they had a young child together, and clearly the child has been written out of the story now. For whatever it’s worth the Writer did not originally construct their marriage to be a sexless one.

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But did she change her mind (the writer)? I tend to agree with @javinne on this. I’ve seen marriages that were on paper only, couples living together but having separate lives, really separate, to the point of “having affairs” with others. I think it happens more than you would think with these families that are politically or financially powerful. A real life example would be the influential Kennedy family in the US. It was widely known that JFK’s father had a longtime affair with his secretary and was a philanderer even prior to this; his wife had a separate bedroom after the birth of their youngest child. I’ve also been around long enough to personally see marriages that look completely normal on the outside be completely messed up after looking deeper. Money, power, and status has a lot to do with keeping up appearances. It’s sad when it’s someone you know and care about, but sometimes, divorce is the very last option and it’s very difficult to extricate yourself out of a powerful family or even out of a lifestyle that you’re accustomed to. I don’t think most people realize how difficult her situation is. Her father’s political career hangs in the balance and her family’s fall from grace in the eyes of the public is a very real thing for her. When your whole life depends on the public’s view of you, you are in a cage. You do what you’re told. Again, I think if the Kennedy's—Jacqueline Kennedy, (JFK’s wife) probably should have left her husband many times, and maybe would have in a different situation and lifetime, but she couldn’t and she didn’t, and now we consider her one of the best “First Ladies” in history. (I may have read a couple books on “Camelot.” 😜) For Soo-hyun’s ex-husband, he is an upstanding guy from what the writer is telling us, and he seems like he respects her deeply. I think that if he couldn’t have consensual intimacy with her, he wouldn’t have forced it. We don’t know if they ever had that kind of relationship. And maybe the “girlfriend” was his way of not only satisfying his desires for physical intimacy, but also giving Soo-Hyun an out. Which really is chivalrous in a perverted way. But I could totally see it happening in real life too. As we saw, the 4-year relationship with that girlfriend can’t go anywhere—unless he gets out from under his mother’s thumb—she has no social standing or powerful family to strengthen his family’s social status. His family has money, but they want influence. That’s where being aligned with a political family benefits them. Wow, that was a long rebuttal. All that to say that yes, this totally could and does happen. And I remembered being so excited that PBG would be cast beside a kid, and now I kind of wish they didn’t change it! It would add some maturity to his character that I don’t get, if he could take just care of a little person.

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I would have also been ok with him becoming a stepfather, but well... he will have his ice princess. 😉

And I also have known sexless marriages in real life, or... people who have managed to have sex only at the beginning and then nevermore. I have a friend who is now 57 years old, and he and his wife had a daughter at very beginning of the marriage. He married her first being 39 years old, wife maybe 35. Both virgins, because they were raised in a religious household. The pregnancy was kind of an accident, because they didn't want to have children. After that the wife started to reject him... maybe post partum depression?? And they are not totally compatible; she turned out to be not so religious or spiritual as expected... He turned to be closed off and not easy to deal with. Since long ago, they may have had sex again maybe once or twice. Daughter is now 14 years old. I think they sleep in separate bedrooms. They have own house, jobs, dogs and keep attending religious services, but no sex between them. The relationship went strained and personality clashes were pretty bad, but they have also reasons to stay together, mostly the daughter, I am sure.
My guess: the wife was abused as a child and keep traumas and resentment inside, but never tells. I simply recognize this kind of things because I was a victim myself too.
My point is: there are definitively sexless marriages, and the reasons behind are or could be endless.
So, there you go.
Ally! Greetings! 🤗

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In my mind, looking at the character traits that we know about Soo Hyun & also taking into consideration the cultural differences I just don’t see any way possible that there was not a sexual component to the marriage. I think she understood that she was sold into that family for her father to rise and that she had to be a good daughter and make it work. Part of being a good wife/daughter-in-law of Taekyung Group would of course involve being intimate with an eye towards producing an heir which would serve as an even stronger tie between the two families.
I'm super happy that they wrote the child out of the story because even in 2018, I don’t think most of the Korean audience would be on board with a divorced mom happily riding off into the sunset with a younger man from a lower social standing. I could be wrong, but it seems like there would be a lot of pressure to either break JH & SH up and have her return to her loving but cowardly ex-husband or lose her kid completely to her husband’s family. I hope that the absence of the child means that there is a chance for the OTP to have a path to happiness since the only things that really tie SH to her ex are her father’s career and the hotel, two obstacles that are more “easily” moved than a little person.

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Plus the idea that she’s a literal virgin would make her pathetic. She signed on to an arranged marriage, and it looks as if she would have continued in her business-like commitment to the marriage had her husband - for reasons we will hopefully eventually discover - not ended it.

Also, this drama isn’t about that type of innocence. It’s about a woman who has lived her entire life to please others (mainly her dominating hateful Evil Mother), which required her to suppress her own emotions and desires to the point of making herself figuratively disappear (Which Evil Mother repeatedly reinforces by the admonitions she gives, urging Soo-Hyun be silent, remain invisible, not breathe, etc). It’s not about sexual repression, but about emotional suppression. That’s what makes Soo-Hyun such a lovely, eminently watchable character. I really enjoy watching her gradually allowing herself to recognize and act upon her own emotional responses. .

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The way I see it (and future eps might prove me completely wrong on this): SH and her ex- were never really on the same wavelength (see awkward arranged first date); he genuinely liked her from the beginning, but could not express it properly (there's some cross-wiring in pretty much any conversation between the two of them).

I think that -after she had resigned herself to the arrangement- she tried her best to make it work. It was probably ok in the beginning (see ex reminiscing about their trip to Portugal), but once they got back to KR it became increasingly clear that she was miserable and that being married in his family was suffocating her to death. Ex offered her a way out by cheating (taking the blame was really the only way). I think she did love him in her own way - if not she would not have been so obviously hurt by his betrayal (in her view). And that's when ex realized that he had thrown in the towel too soon and that he could have been with her after all. But by then the damage was done.

She is still somewhat inexperienced when it comes to love, but the most important issue is that she hates playing games. She needs openness and honesty, the kind that JH provides effortlessly. No matter how nice behind the curtains, ex- is still as manipulative as his mother. He would never let himself be that open or vulnerable. And so the two of them are fundamentally incompatible.

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Wow... i have to agree so much with you, Charlie. And it makes totally sense the ex is like that being raised into that horrible family. Buy JH is simple and open and honest being raised into a loving family.
This is an interesting yet very old trope: the rich but cold and dysfunctional family vs the poor but loving one. 😒
But I will have to take it, because it makes our hearts fall into the ship easily.

in real life...amazingly, you can highly find also poor and very dysfunctional families, also those where even if they don't have money, they don't have love either... And the results are messed up people... those are the ones I know the best and I don't feel proud of it. 😟
Sometimes I wish my life would be a little bit like a Korean drama 😂

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Iiiii think they did it. Second Lead is too smitten for their relationship not to have been sexual.

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Okay, trust me when i said this in a good intention. I know how everybody kept saying SHK is very beautiful and youthful, but oooh there were so many times i fought the people mocking her looking like BG aunt/mother. But in ep 5 & 6, she really showed her age in her face & expression, and that's not a bad thing! I really loooove how they both look years apart, because that's the story. Both are playing their looks to their age right. I could not help smiling all the time to see this unhappy older woman, finding love with a younger man. I wouldn't be happy if they tried to make her look younger just so she can suit him better. This is already perfect!

Ah i hope you can understand what im trying to say. I fell that i cannot convey my thought through my words better.

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@Kaniadj

Agreed. I so love SH looking her age as stunning.

Not only as she is stunning like that. Mainly her face is able to be so expressive and we (and JH) can see her micro expressions.

This role requires her to communicate with JH in and around work in super subtle codes. If she had to keep her face tight to avoid showing signs of age...all that would be lost.

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Agreed. She looked older and she looked stunning. There is a thing such as aging gracefully that dramaland & the entertainment industry in general seems to not have heard of.

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So we all agree that SHK matures well in this drama, not only her beauty, but also acting, I might say? Love this positivism!!!!!

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SHK was born to play this role. Regal, uptight, yet sensitive and curious and the same time. She’s looking her age and she should be proud of it. I love that they dress her appropriately to her age and status.

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I've said it in a previous recap but this has to be SHK's best role yet. She embodies Cha Soo Hyun so well. I particularly love close up shots of hers as her eyes really do much of the acting in many of her scenes.

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We're so used to see mature actress looking tight skin, trying to be younger in the kdrama land, especially when paired with younger actor. Not that it's wrong, but seeing SHK here is a breath of fresh air. you can see a bit of softness in her jaw, lips, and nose, showing her mature and older look, and i frickin' love it!

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I don't know how old is she (in the real life, in the drama), but I wish I could look like her being that age!! LOL!!! 😂😂😂
Hum... anyways, I understand. I think they will talk about it eventually, and I hope they come up with a mature way of facing it. He already said he is not dumb, being raised as a first born child, and also she has said timing sucks, because she is older and divorced,, but they haven't really talk about it with each other yet, because it is not so serious.... yet🙄
I bet she is like 34 years old, which makes her only 6 years older... that is really not much, in my opinion, but Koreans are these kind of people...
I think the problem is not age but their status and positions in life. And that has been mentioned already, where they say they don't care.
Others will try to make them care, but I hope, really, they will keep strong in making it work anyways.

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I actually dont know either LOL. But all the uproar from the beginning, it feels like they're decades apart. I was ready to feel good about this age gap, and I'm very happy that they did it so elegantly. They treat the emotion sides as if they're a same age couple, but they didn't hide the physical sides, because it is what it is. Oh, she's 37 btw, i just googled it. I think in the drama SH is around the same age

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Their age gap (12 years) is what makes their pairing all the more endearing IMO :)

I love how this drama conveys the message that OLDER, DIVORCED women can still find love and happiness in YOUNGER MEN and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that

That’s why I want this show to have a happy ending. Who cares what society thinks, everybody deserves a second chance at love and life

I want her to get her hotel and her man in the end. Fighting CSH!

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Exactly! I witness first hand long time ago when i was 12, how my mother (36) was in a very loving relationship with a much younger man (24). They didn't care about the world, just that they were in love, and that's what matters. Now I'm almost at that age (34), and i can understand it better. She was already breaking boundaries decades ago, go mom!

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Thank you for standing up for SHK. I just love SHK the way she is, since Full House till now, I don't get the complaints either.
And in this drama, her character is definitely an old soul, it expresses well with the way she dresses up, interacts with others, and the pains show in her eyes... I'm totally ok with SHK being Soo Hyun. Actually, Soo Hyun is my 2nd favorite character among her past works.

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Even how they style her hair is perfect. Boring hair, but perfect for the characters.

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I love SHK’s character and looks. She is stunning. OTOH, I don’t for one second believe PBG as a 29 year old man who would attract her. He is playing this role like a high school student who got a job as a summer intern in a big corporation, and developed a crush on the the CEO.

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That's one of my main gripes about this show too - if they're going to do a noona romance, do the age gap properly! I've been watching it as if PBG is a guy in his early 20s (he's 25 IRL) which works a lot better for me.

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He's supposed to be 29? I forgot about that, i thought he's 25-26. Well, then i kinda agree that he played the character too young. Maybe he's a desember boy, then got added two years to 29 in korean age LOL.

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I only realized how ugly that brown sweater actually is when someone else besides PBG wore it on screen 😅

I’m actually really looking forward to the angst and am hoping it will be completely gut-wrenching! Only because I want to see the script use PBG to his full emoting potential. In the first 4 episodes, I feel like I’m mostly watching PBG play PBG. Super adorable, but makes me mourn the wasted potential. Ep 5 finally gave him a little more emotional material to work with. I want to be mesmerized by how he restrains his micro-expressions and by how thoroughly he disappears into his character’s emotional landscape.

So far the best acting has been when JH is least like PBG (like that awesome drunk scene, or that long pensive moment in his room before he ran to meet her at the bridge). I want more of that please. PBG has floored me with every single one of his previous performances, please allow him to be more than a relentlessly cheerful puppy!

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Haha, when my mom was watching ep 1, she kept saying, "What's wrong with Park Bogum? Why does he keep smiling like that?" I told her that's his real personality, but she thought it was weird.

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It made me cringe so much! I thought he was overacting all over the place. But then today I rewatched those episodes of him as a part timer at Hyori’s bed and breakfast, and he really does make that “😃” face.

So... yeah. I guess it’s just PBG being PBG.

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I wouldn’t have believed it either, but I watched Hyori’s Homestay, just to see him, and this IS him.

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Hehe I’m slowly (ok, or maybe not that slowly) rewatching everything with PBG in it Friday to Tuesday 😝

I don’t know what it is about this guy. He’s not even my usually type, but boy does that kid have amazing screen presence.

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And that’s why he isn’t selling the romance, IMO. It’s like watching a drama where everyone else is playing their fictional characters, and PBG is just reading lines and acting like himself.

That isn’t always a negative thing. For example, Sofia Coppola wrote “Lost in Translation” with Bill Murray in mind for the lead character Bob Harris, and said she would not have made the film if he had not finally relented to her 6+ month campaign to get him to agree to do the film. I also always suspected that Woody Allen’s films featuring Diane Keaton were all written for Keaton to play herself, as she is always the same (Annie Hall) in every film she’s ever made.

It just doesn’t work for me in this drama. If a beautiful older woman is going to fall for a man who looks and acts like a 19 year old high school student, who lives with his parents, can’t tie a tie, constantly grins, and has zero understanding of the political and social complexities of the Korean elite, , then there should be some strong sexual chemistry to make it believable. Lee Jong-suk managed in IHYV, and sold me on the romance, which is one where the age difference is similar to the age difference here. His character - based on his past trauma and years of independent living - made him seem like a mature, interesting person despite his young age and school uniform. And I had a hard time with that relationship because I simply disliked the lead actress’s character (as a character only, as the actress did well) until a little over half way through the series. Then I warmed up to her (although she’ll never be a favorite), and could finally appreciate his attraction to her. (Although it is, of course, a fantasy while Boyfriend is supposedly a “slice of life” type romance).

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I thought the drunk scene was his worst acting.

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I generally hate drunk scenes but I thought it was tolerable,

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Tolerable, as in Mr. Darcy's comment about his first encounter with Elizabeth Bennett? ("She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me.") Ha! I can agree with that.

I dislike over the top acting more than just about anything. It's why a drama's storyline and other characters have to really appeal to me if there is someone who seriously overacts. Example: I loved Kill Me, Heal Me *despite* Hwang Jung-eum's overacting, because the story and other characters were so good, I basically liked her character and found her love for Cha Do-hyun believable, and she toned down the shrieking as the show progressed. OTOH, she absolutely ruined She Was Pretty for me, and I had to abandon it after the first 4 or 5 episodes, because the storyline could not pique my interest enough to overcome her horrible over-acting, which also negated my ability to imagine her as a romantic interest for Park Seo-Joon's character. And for me to be unable to watch a drama where PSJ is the romantic lead is tragic, because he's in my top 3 Korean actors who is totally swoon-worthy in any love scene!)

PBG certainly didn't ruin Boyfriend, but I have never, at any point forgotten for one second that I am watching a drama with some beautifully nuanced, fascinating and/or amusing characters, who are interacting with the actor, Park Bo Gum. And to me, the drunk scene was, "Oh, this is a scene where the actor PBG is pretending to be drunk").

(And speaking of PSJ, I just watched WWWSK, and was re-watching my favorite parts of it this weekend. One of those was PSJ's drunk scene (when he goes out for drinks with Secretary Kim's dad), which was both hilarious and charming. He nailed it with his "in vino veritas" performance, displaying a perfect, charming combination of silliness and sweetness.

As a drunk scene seems to be de rigueur in Kdramas, so I've seen many despite my limited experience watching them (just discovered them in July of this year, and am ADDICTED!)

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I disagree with the comment that secretary jang is overstepping. I think it was really revealing when she got drunk and told jin hyuk that being interested in soo hyun means there's a whole lot of opposition in store for them. it led jin hyuk to a deeper understanding of the struggles that soo hyun faces daily and also serves as a cautionary warning to him. also- secretary jang didn't just start telling him off or anything, she began by saying she admired jin hyuk for speaking up. she's just afraid for soo hyun, and I feel like that's fine to express since she's not only a secretary, but a very close friend. I saw it as a way of her telling jin hyuk to be sure that he's very certain about this pursuit because the stakes are very high, and end all- she doesn't want soo hyun to get even more hurt. secondly, I don't think it's right to compare secretary jang to soo hyun's oppressive mother at all. her mother simply cares about protecting their status, and pressures soo hyun to maintain it at all costs, while secretary jang is sincerely worried for soo hyun's emotional welfare. also their relationship is so different in comparison. soo hyun avoids her mom at all costs because of the high stress and hurtful comments. but she has a playful friendship with secretary jang and acts cute with her, cheekily asking for coffee then being told to get it herself, stuffing food in secretary jang's mouth when she's about to go on a rant ^^ not only do they have an adorable friendship, but they're able to be serious and have deep talks too when soo hyun explained what she was feeling and going through in the car. how she just couldn't help herself and secretary jang understood and sympathized by saying soo hyun is going through some crazy difficult pressures. I think that's a solid, healthy friendship happening there. yeah. but thanks for the recap! I am also looking forward to this developing relationship. though feels bad for second lead ): why didn't they work out??

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I agree with you on Secretary Jang.

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Me too. You nailed their very healthy friendship. Secretary Jang is apparently the only friend SH has ever been able to keep, probably in part because the job position kept the Evil Caricature of a Mother at bay.

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This!

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I gotta stop getting excited when a guy uses the word Noona. Yeesh. Ok, but the scene that struck me the most is when Soo Hyun broke down in tears when she claimed that she's good at holding back.

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I must be broken because I dropped this drama but my heart still flutters when I read the recaps or look at Bogum's face. Fix me please.

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then continue watching. forcing yourself to drop something you enjoy is not good for your life. especially if pbg is involved. just jk

btw if you dropped it in the early eps thinking its boring please dont. it gets awesome as you keep watching.

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I think you could have a "healthy dose" of PBG every week without having to watch this drama, by seeing TVN's cuts, and behind the scenes. :D

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I actually watch that trailer for MDBC (LITM), of PBG and the palace eunuchs and concubines dancing to Bombastic, in full Joseon-era costume, about one a week, just because it is so joyously adorable. It just makes me laugh.

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Watch it... at least for the music and the artistic side of it. I honestly haven't found much of fault in this show so far. The opt is very very surreal charming, but that is also why you watch dramas... in real life you will never finds this charming people. And I am not even talking about their looks!!!

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I think the drama gets more interesting with each episode

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I think I will continue to watch the drama for the secratary and the restaurant owner. They're so funny and there are a lot of sparks between them! I like the fact the way they are filmed doesn't look like it was a magazine picture, not too much close-up on their faces.

I'm not interested in the main couple. The pre stage of dating is kind of weird for people who are ~30 years old now. They look like 20 years old.

The most interesting character for now is the ex-husband. I hope he will not become like his mother, it will be so cliché...

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Why is that everybody doubt a 28r old or a 35,-37,38 years old person cannot be relatively innocent when dating??? I never started dating but until I was 36... And I pretty much screwed it for lack of experience😂.
I understand, in my case I was ugly and poor... poor and ugly people are less attractive... I also dedicated my life to study and survive in life... And there you have these gorgeous looking people, some of them apparently healthy and yet single.... I understand, it is difficult to believe. But, although very unusual, I still believe it could happen. If for whatever reason you didn't date before, when you finally fall in love (like really truly falling in love, which is like a miracle in itself), then no matter how old you are, you will act naive... I do believe it is a fact, because you may be 38 but you lack experience with the other sex or with your own feelings toward somebody you truly like. I feel that is Soo hyun's case.
Bogummy's character is harder to believe, definitively, because he comes from a happy healthy family. A guy so pretty and sensible like him, I would believe he is kind of... gay, or there is a very hidden mistery about why he is single at 28 😅

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You can find it romantic. Personaly, I find their couple too cliché.

It's like mayonnaise, sometimes it's good and sometimes you failed it without knowing why. Sometimes some couples make you have buttflies in the stomach and sometimes you just find them bland.

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I know, I know... hey! This is not a masterpiece... it is not My Ajusshi or anything similar. But we could give it some credit for it is being done in a beautiful and elegant way, so far....
For me, it is simply better than what I expected.
The couple doesn't give me any butterflies, but I am comfortable with them.
Of course, the writer can ruin the drama at any time! 😂😂😂
But meanwhile it is an easy and soft watch... So far

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That is exactly what I’ve been trying to say. I don’t think I will ever buy this romance, but setting that aside, everything about this drama, including Soo-Hyun’s character and the side stories of the supporting characters, is so charming, and the visuals are gorgeous. It’s well worth watching.

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But the maint plot of this drama is the love story, if it doesn't give you butterflies in the stomach that means they failed it.

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@kurama... no, it is not that they failed because I don't get the butterflies...
I am not a very romantic person... actually I hardly believe in love between man and woman, soooo messed up is my family and most of the marriages I have known in real life.
For me, I just need a higher, pretty pretty higher dose on romance (and I mean very well written and powerful and deep romance that makes sense) in order to feel the butterflies and even the envy, that I don't have it like that. And here, I don't have it so far, but maybe by the end of this drama I will be either convinced or upset with the development of the story and their "love".
Meanwhile I am not even neutral, I like it and I like them together... I feel they are cute and sweet and sweet again, but even drama-like speaking, it is still early to feel depths... let's have hope they will deliver 🤗

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I can believe Soo Hyun being very innocent about love. She has led such a sheltered life, going straight from her father’s house to her husband’s house, so to speak, with very few real friends or genuine social interactions all her life.

Jin Hyuk though, must have dated in the past (has the script said he’s never dated? I don’t remember). I think he just happens to be single at the moment? No way a guy knows how to romance a girl like that without having gone through a practice run or two. Perhaps his relationships didn’t last because he’s such a free spirit (ie. not holding permanent jobs despite being 29).

The writer has borrowed a lot of PBG’s personality for the character of JH, and even PBG, with all his apparent naïveté, has dated as early as middle or high school 😅

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The script hasn’t mentioned his relationship experience but to me he is shown as someone experienced with dating and flirting.

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Kurama, I think they did make a mistake in casting PBG here. However, he is currently hugely popular, and he's a very handsome young man, so I think they went for the name and the look more than the ability to step into this particular role. Isn't he still relatively new at acting? Or at least playing adult romantic roles?

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Officially renaming this episode "WE"!
Oh dah feelz!
This drama has a thing for perfect Last Scenes, they've nailed it every time so far!
Second Lead broke my heart a little. I may just fall for him if we keep getting flashbacks like that!
I want to see him smiling like that again!
It's a deal for Mr. Snail and Jang Biseo, it's happening!
Soo Hyun's mom is a yangachi!

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SH’s mother is just despicable, my blood’s boiling whenever she’s onscreen.

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Someone please punch her for me.

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I'm really loving the way the show is crafted, even in slower episodes like this one. As you said, the tropes in this drama keep getting flipped on their head which ends up making small moments into big ones.

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hmmmmm, i got alternate universe Moonstruck vibes at the end of ep 4, as in when Nic Cage confesses and Cher slaps him "snap out of it!" CEO-nim could have gone that way, but glad she didnt. And Moonstruck noona gets her prince-wolf at the end. 🌕

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Courage looks very good on a woman. It looks even fabulous.
When a female drama lead rejects being submissive and keeps control of her own life without being aggressive, I truly enjoy every minute of it. Actually I love the unconventional flow and dialogues of this drama a lot.
Couples that refuse to stay within the boundaries of conservative patterns, that don't allow the others decide for themselves have always been my favourite in novels, movies or dramas. And creative, contemporary dialogues are what I look for in a good script. Here I find both of them and consider 'Boyfriend' as one of the year-end gifts. It was a delicious episode.

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It seems like this drama and half the other dramas I've seen depend on evil chaebols for villains. Whether they're dictating their children's lives, or messing up the lives of people who get in their way, they always seem to put reputation, status, fortune, and the future of the company ahead of everything and everyone. Their power always seems to allow them to do anything they want, whether it's to get someone kicked out of their home or job, or even killed. Is this just in drama world? Or do South Koreans really have this perception of the top 1% in Korea?

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Did you hear about the Korean Air heiress throwing a temper tantrum on a plane?

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I am one of those people sitting on the fence for this drama. I want to get to one side just to be part of the beanie discussion.
And then at some point when I decide to drop the drama something unexpected happens and I hang around a bit.
I think i need to See Soo hyun live her life on her own terms. I am here for her freedom & happiness rather than romance. And during that process if she can punch her mother I will be satisfied.

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Word.

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Personally, I like the way PBG is interpreting JinHyuk’s character. Granted, I’m a sucker for cuties so I am biased.
To me, he is what most people could be if we weren’t conditioned by society or past personal experiences. SHK is the opposite and that’s why I like this pairing so much. He’s open, she’s closed; he smiles freely and frequently and she does not. That’s just two dynamics of their personalities that work for me.

Do they necessarily burn up the screen with sexy vibes? No, not really but I like that, too ( I also liked that about Terries Behind Me). I like that they enjoy each other so much that they want to be around each other a lot. I like that he’s boyish and she’s so reserved. If it’s a true friendship, those qualities will meld into one another and make them each better individually.
Jinhyuk may smile “too much” or whatever but so far he has stepped up when it counted and he’s been consistent. That’s sexy... If I knew someone who was handsome, thoughtful, adventurous and sincerely joyful he could “get it”.... and twice on Sundays.

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