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Dance Sports Girls: Episodes 1-2

Following the life of a high schooler who wishes for more than her small seaside town can offer, Dance Sports Girls revolves around a rambunctious heroine who takes life into her own hands. Filled with heart and whimsy, the show starts off strong, capturing the essence of those rocky teenage years when life feels immeasurable and daunting at the same time.

 
EPISODE 1 RECAP

A female dance team half dressed in sparkling red dresses and the other in all-black shirts and slacks gather their hands and step up the stairs in front of a cheering crowd. Fade in from black, the sun rises over the small seaside town Geoje, and as the somber opening of Élégie, Op. 24 plays, a girl narrates, “Before I turned twenty, I might as well have lived in a coffin. However, it was not my fault that I wasted twenty years of my life.”

The narrator is the show’s protagonist, KIM SHI-EUN (Park Se-wan), and in her suicide note, she hopes her mother will realize how terrible she is and be overridden with guilt. Alas for Shi-eun, Mom threatens to dump cold water on her if she doesn’t get up for school, and Shi-eun bolts up, cursing her minor-status in her head.

Shi-eun’s older sister laughs at her melodramatic note, but Mom deadpans, “Both of you are the same in my eyes, you fools.” She reprimands Shi-eun for wanting to skip school to watch a movie in Seoul, and though she warns her daughter to be on time for school, Shi-eun drags out every little morning task from breakfast to the bathroom.

Despite their butting heads, Mom helps Shi-eun straighten her hair, and noticing Mom’s worn fingers, Shi-eun apologizes for her behavior. However, their sweet moment doesn’t last long as Shi-eun quickly stuffs a bag with clothes and steals money from Mom as soon as she leaves. But like most parents, Mom’s sixth sense kicks in, and she comes back home to find her daughter watching television.

Mom chases Shi-eun down the street, and grabbing her bag, she dumps all the contents right there. She finds a train ticket to Seoul and rips it up before throwing it at Shi-eun. Mom yells at her to get to school, but in an act of rebellion, Shi-eun drags her feet to the bus stop and watches the bus drive off without her. Womp womp womp.

The next bus won’t be for another two hours, but Shi-eun won’t be late on Mom’s watch. Cue to Shi-eun running like the wind to another stop as Mom drives besides her, making sure she doesn’t run away. On the bus, Shi-eun greets her friends, but the air around them seems chilly.

She explains their group as an “alliance” rather than “friendship,” and one by one, she describes the other kids on the bus: LEE YE-JI (Shin Do-hyun) the liar and loser, YANG NA-YOUNG (Joo Hae-eun) the attention-seeker, Park Hye-jin (Lee Joo-young) the biggest piece of trash, and the rest, “just microorganisms,” sighs Shi-eun.

Shi-eun closes her eyes and hears a boy give up his seat for her to sit. She thanks him and sits down, but ends up in Ye-ji’s lap since the seat was for her. The others snicker at her blunder, and Shi-eun apologizes before getting up.

Hiding her embarrassment, Shi-eun imagines herself as a bus hijacker armed with a gun who drives them all to Seoul. She then envisions ways to undo the curse that is her life, and considers stopping her parents from ever meeting Back to the Future style. She writes down all these thoughts as text messages to herself, and laments her teenage years as already ruined.

There’s more life around Geoje than Shi-eun may think, though, as the camera shows the mornings of various individuals. Teacher LEE GYU-HO (Kim Gab-soo) whom Shi-eun calls an old fogey, buys energy drinks to restock the refrigerator for his students in the dancesport club; Mom attends a protest for labor rights before heading to work at Daewoong Shipyard; and the girls at dancesport club record their routine.

In class, Na-young asks Shi-eun if she’ll be alright sitting next to Hye-jin. Shi-eun silently tells her to shut it unless she’s offering to switch seats, but aloud, she tells her that she’s fine. The substitute homeroom teacher walks in, but no one listens to his orders to quiet down. A hush finally falls over the classroom when Hye-jin enters, and as she takes her seat, she notices Shi-eun is her deskmate and calls her a loser.

The girls’ regular homeroom teacher is on maternity leave, and the substitute is clearly unhappy with having to conduct consultations with them. First up is Shi-eun who wants to go to a college in Seoul, but the substitute tells her to stay local—even though he also fills out an application for the entrance exam in Seoul.

He tries to find excuses for Shi-eun to give up her dreams, and mentions her deceased father and tough financial situation at home. He wants to meet with her mom, but Shi-eun knows Mom is against college, imagining her with devil horns and fire spitting out of her mouth. She asks for the application guidelines to fill out herself, and the substitute hands it to her though he still plans on calling her mom.

Shi-eun’s sister makes a cocktail at a bar where she’s both the bartender and customer. She receives a call from the substitute, but recognizing his voice, she berates him for drinking and jetting the last time they met. Utterly confused, the substitute asks if this isn’t Shi-eun’s mom, and her sister quickly changes her tone, pretending to be Mom.

The college application asks about school activities, but Shi-eun has none. Na-young and Ye-ji talk about random things, awkwardly clashing on everything, so they ask Shi-eun about her opinion on boys. She accidentally blurts out her true thoughts rather than her staged comments, telling them that she dislikes sharing her private life. They shoot each other furtive glances before Shi-eun quickly excuses herself to the bathroom.

Shi-eun calls someone inside a stall and thinks back to the day she visited a filming site and met one of the staff members. The young man from that day appears before her as she talks to him on the phone, and he guesses that she must have fought with her mom and won’t be able to come today. Before she can tell him what happened, he hangs up because of a shoot, and the soft glow surrounding her turns grey.

Na-young and Ye-ji enter the same bathroom, but unaware of Shi-eun’s presence, they talk about her behind her back. They wonder if Shi-eun is poor because of her hand-me-down uniform and find her to be weird. They consider kicking her out of the group but decide against it since Shi-eun would be too pitiful.

The substitute teaches English class though only two people are listening and Shi-eun works on math. The shouts from the girls dancesport club interrupt their lesson, and Teacher Lee learns that his dancers have to attend a company training on the day of their competition. He barges into the office to confront the vice principal for setting this up, but the vice principal feigns ignorance.

The vice principal reminds him that the club will be disbanded if they don’t win a competition this year, but Teacher Lee refuses to let his petty tactics ruin him. He reaches for his chair, but the substitute is sitting there since they’ve reassigned desks. The vice principal tells him that his desk is in the club room, and Teacher Lee throws a doll at him as he leaves.

The girls dancesport club and the hip-hop club fight over the time sheet for the practice room and end up pulling each other’s hairs. Sporting bloody noses, the club members make recruitment posters with free snacks as incentives, and the announcement catches Shi-eun’s eyes. She mentally checks off all the boxes the dancesport club meets for her college application and smiles.

EPISODE 2 RECAP

Shi-eun finds Ye-ji smoking in a secluded spot and asks her to join the dancesport club with her. When she refuses, Shi-eun mentions free snacks and brings up Ye-ji’s past as a judo athlete—suggesting that she didn’t quit because of an injury. She tells Ye-ji that she likes her over Na-young, and that seems to do the trick.

Next on Shi-eun’s list is Na-young who’s been rejected from the hip-hop club. She tells her friend to join the dancesport club instead and become their ace. Using the same, “I like you more,” trick on Na-young, Shi-eun manages to convince her, too.

She narrates in voiceover how life needs main characters (her) and supporting roles (her two friends). Then there are the useful assistants (Teacher Lee) as well as the extras (the two “microorganisms” from the bus, Kim Do-yeon and Shim Young-ji, who are actually spies for the hip-hop club).

Lost in another daydream, the spotlight drops on Shi-eun, and Teacher Lee gets on his knees and begs for her help. She promises to lead the girls, and gives them each a motivational speech, moving them to tears. She receives a bouquet of flowers and a trophy, and while she credits their success to the team, Shi-eun—now a director—calls “cut” to give an acceptance speech. Mom wails in the background, but Shi-eun pretends to not know her, claiming to have no parents. Heh.

A stray soccer ball hits Shi-eun in the head, and the boy from the bus asks for the ball. His name is KWON SEUNG-CHAN (Jang Dong-yoon), but Shi-eun calls him by his childhood nickname, “Seung-soon” (a more stereotypically female name). She chucks the ball even further away, and bellows about the times they played house and had baths together.

Seung-chan claims to be a man now, but as she continues to divulge his past, he calls her ugly and says he doesn’t even remember her. Shi-eun yells for a teacher to report a boy on school grounds, but an announcement of the dancesport club auditions plays over the intercom.

The students sit restlessly in their seats as the substitute tries to dismiss them. He says Hye-jin’s name, but she immediately gets up and leaves, causing a chain reaction among the girls. He approaches Hye-jin in the hallway and tells her to say bye before her expulsion. She ignores his rambling, so the substitute sighs about how nice it must be to not have nagging parents. Oi, not cool!

His comment finally gets a reaction out of her, and Hye-jin offers him a belated Teacher’s Day gift: her nudes. Dropping honorifics and calling him by name, she threatens to ruin his life and warns him to stay alert.

Shi-eun and her friends head towards the audition site where a long line of girls are already there. Teacher Lee passes by with a smile, and during auditions, he fails student after student. When it’s Do-yeon and Young-ji’s turn, their steps get tangled, and they accuse each other for dancing the jive and cha-cha. Exasperated, Teacher Lee corrects them both since they’re doing the samba.

He fails them, and though they beg for another chance, the club members drag them off stage. The captain tells Teacher Lee that no one has passed, but he isn’t worried since they have so many applicants. The captain bursts his bubble since the line outside is actually for the bus, and now, only three applicants remain.

During the audition, Na-young dances, clearly not to Teacher Lee’s standards, but he passes her anyways. Next is Ye-ji who instinctively flips Teacher Lee when he offers to dance as her partner, and she passes, too. Last is Shi-eun who simply walks onto stage, and Teacher Lee gives her the thumbs up.

The club still needs more members, so Teacher Lee retracts his prior decision and lets Do-yeon and Young-ji join. With two newbies who joined before, that leaves the club at seven, leaving them still missing one person for the competition. Teacher Lee promises to find the last member and tells the captain to take the recruits to practice—but be easy on them since they can’t have even a single member quit.

Mom works at the shipyard and runs into the manager, Kwon Dong-suk, who is displeased to see her. He asks how she could work as a contractor for a company that fired her, but Mom dares him to get rid of her again if it bothers the higher-ups so much. She walks away from him and continues calling Shi-eun who ignores her calls.

At dance practice, the captain suggests introductions while the teacher is away, and Na-young goes up first. She tells the group that she joined the club in order to get scouted by the hip-hop club since the dancesport club is for loser. The captain barely keeps herself from snapping.

During Shi-eun’s turn, she lies about joining the club in order to dance, but when the captain asks if she knows any moves, Shi-eun shakes her head. The captain finally snaps and calls Teacher Lee to complain about the hopeless new recruits. However, as one of the newbies starts to dance, she’s surprisingly good, and the captain reassesses her opinion of her.

Teacher Lee joins the girls with their last member: Hye-jin. Shi-eun protests, but when Hye-jin yells at everyone, no one can look her in the eye. An odd squeak breaks the silence, and Teacher Lee heads toward the back to check it out. He opens a locker and finds Seung-chan hiding inside. They all assume he’s here because of a girl, but he loudly objects.

If he isn’t here to confess his feelings to Na-young, then Shi-eun guesses this means he’s a pervert. Teacher Lee threatens to call Seung-chan’s father, who’s Manager Kwon, but Seung-chan begs him to not tell his father who would beat him to death if he found out.

Seung-chan confesses that he’s actually here because of dancesport, but no one believes him. With no other option, he suddenly slides on the floor and dances. Everyone watches in shock as he steps and points, then finishing his dance, he twirls his way to Shi-eun and ends in front of her. Locking eyes, he challenges her, asking if that’s enough proof.

 
COMMENTS

Whoop, now that’s an introductory episode! Filled to the brim with characters and setup, the first episodes manage to bring heart to the show by centering the narrative around its wacky, fallible and earnest protagonist Shi-eun. In some ways, the show reminds me of Reply 1997 in its approach to high school and the lives of students. It’s about families, relationships, and dreams during a period in one’s life where adulthood encroaches on you as childhood wanes. There’s no big machinations laying underfoot to destroy these girls’ lives, but in the rather simple plot of one student trying to get into college is the beginning of an exploration into youth and society that foreshadows the possibility for nuance storytelling and contemplation of life.

The biggest draw from these two episodes is really Shi-eun, played beautifully by Park Se-wan. She has an active imagination that paints a vivid picture of her life that she finds all too dull, and dreams of bigger and better things for herself outside her small seaside town. She’s sassy and opinionated, though she hides this part of herself when at school since she feels like an outsider that no one understands. She can come across as judgmental, but Shi-eun strikes the right balance as a teenager who clearly thinks she knows more about the world than she does. Thus, she feels more naïve and self-centered than out-right spiteful. Life revolves around her, the self-appointed main character to her grand tale, and there’s a sort of whimsy to her outlook on life that contrasts against the clear problems she faces and highlights the underlying hope she holds in her heart. Even though her “friends” talk behind her back, her sexist teacher can’t guide her, and her mother seems to be against her dreams of going to college in Seoul, Shi-eun never backs down from these setbacks and fights back in her own way. Her rebellious streak and pain-in-the-butt tendencies when with Mom capture her childishness, just as her longing to grow up and be independent reveals her innocence.

One issue with high school dramas is casting older actors who clearly aren’t high schoolers and then having them play caricatures of what essentially adults think are “teenagers.” Park Se-wan blows my worries out of the water as she portrays Shi-eun with youthful exuberance while adding depth to the character. The flashes of emotions from annoyance at your family for belittling your earth-shattering worries to the giddiness of an unrequited love to the disillusionment of your “friends” talking behind your back, Park Se-wan is Shi-eun, and I adore her already. As for the others, it’s hard to say how their performances will be, but so far, I’m buying the story and am intrigued to see how the show will handle everyone’s character growth, because they all desperately need it.

Though Shi-eun was the major draw for these two episodes, the show also did a great job building the world around her and setting up the story for the other characters. Na-young and Ye-ji are both outsiders who clearly have as many friends as Shi-eun, and Hye-jin’s rebel-façade seems to act as her crutch to keep people at a distance and hide her private life. Though Shi-eun might not know it yet, everyone wants to keep parts of themselves concealed just like her, but hopefully through the dancesport club, they will all get a chance to reevaluate themselves and their opinions of each other, and as a result, develop true relationships that aren’t mere alliances.

Besides the girls, the show also briefly introduced Seung-chan who was the clear deviation from the source material. While we don’t know much about him, he clearly loves dancesport more than any of the other new recruits, but since it’s a girl’s team, he faces a different obstacle from the others. I’m interested in how the show will depict his character and deal with issues of gender stereotypes from both perspectives, and if done with care, his character could add another dimension to the story rather than become a simple love-line. The other major group introduced was Shi-eun’s family, and I hope the show dives deeper into Mom and the sister, who are both riots when interacting with Shi-eun but may be harboring secrets of their own that they wish to shield from the youngest in their family. While these first halves to a whole episode introduced a lot of characters and story in a hour, it felt like getting dropped into the middle of Shi-eun’s life, and hearing her inner thoughts and wild daydreams gave insight to her world that makes it feel real and familiar.

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I love this drama so much... Shie Eun is like a female fatal kind of lead.. Lol.. Her ambition to go to college into Seoul seems like real life challenge. Like if you want to achieve a bigger think, you will have to go to you comfort zone outside of countryside, and to the big city. The writers seems wanting to tackle That stereotype.

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I'm so glad I started watching this. It really does feel as if you've been dropped into the middle of her life. The only character I'm confused about is the oppa she called in secret. My favorite side characters so far are the two microorganisms and I'd missed that they're spies for the hip hop club, so I'm happy I read the recap.

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I missed it too! I know there was something wrong when the girls begged to get into the team, but I didn't realize what it was.

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Yesss two microorganism seems spying The dancesport club for aiming to put them down. They basically don't want to go to the dancesport but have to. I can't wait how they will play it out in upcoming episode.

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I missed it too!! Microorganisms - laughed my heart out.

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Thanks for the recap, lovepark! I adored this episode and the next episode only gets better! I kind of dig all the relationships shown so far, especially mom and shi eun's. I can't wait for the girls to develop real friendships. Also, I am very curious about hye jin and feel like she and shi eun have a lot in common. Only shi eun has a dream that is propelling her forward against the odds. Also, park se wan is amazing! I have seen her in I am not a robot too and I didn't even realize they are the same actress!

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I think I need to go to the Optometrist after an episode of this.
Other than that, it's good.

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I think they wanted to experiment a new way of filming but yes that's the only annoying factor for me. I bailed out before too because I couldn't stand that but I did stick with one episode and the characters and their stories are worth staying for and ignoring the excessively blue/orange tones and variousss camera angles.

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I was wondering if the undersaturation was because they were trying to make it look like old film? Some of the camera work is mesmerisingly beautiful but the washed-out colours are an odd choice.

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I fell in love with this drama from the get go, and what a wonderful actor Park Se Wan is, to make us fall for someone so selfcentred and unlikeable like Shi Eun is no small feat. I want to learn more of all the supporting characters especially "dark and mysterious" Hye Jin.

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I think it's also because the writers write her in detail of where she is coming from. we relate to her at some point. Like when she give a meanie name to her allies. Because I have been there lol.

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I think that plus actress energy, very positive one, I don't know if any other actress could do it. Yeah at first I thought the characters are 16 at most because I remember myself like that at that time, but them being 18-19, that pretty immature antics our heroine pulls at home.

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haha... the parameter of maturity in everyone is different I guess... she want challenge. Her character is just seems rebel because her mother is too controlling and doesn't want her to quit her comfort zone, but also despite her background, it seems she hasn't face reality yet.

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She wants to break free but she doesn’t know what being free entails. Her world is so small and her experiences are all in her head. Her mother worries for her but is not really helping her grow. By asking her to stay put she is denying her daughter the chance to grow. She is kind of stuck in her teenage years. I think it kind of makes sense given that she is from a small fishing town and people are a bit more naive and innocent in small towns. So am not too bothered by her age/reactions.

Also the next episodes give us a little more detail on the sis and why the mother may be against her going to college.

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I find funny that the actor who plays the teacher is younger than the actors who play the students :D

I like the mum! The actress is very good to act warm but strong mum!

The auditions were pretty funny.

For now, the heroine is not very nice with people, but Iit will be nice to see her changing.

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Park Se-wan is so wonderful - her character is so manipulative and immature, I feel like I should hate her, and maybe I would of she was left in the hands of someone less capable!
I have conflicting thoughts on Mum. On one hand, she seems like a cool strong woman standing up for herself in the workplace and juggling two daughters at the same time.

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(Whoops, I sent that before I was done.)

On the other hand, I think she's quite selfish for essentially asserting her authority to prevent her daughter from following her dreams. Yes, she's a more experienced adult and may think it's for the best, but it's putting so much strain on their relationship because Shi-eun doesn't feel respected.
I love Seung-chan. He may not necessarily need to be there, but he adds a special something. I love the way he kicks and flails in front of Shi-eun about how he's a man now, and she just takes no notice. It's so sad funny, because if she did, then she could consider him as a potential romantic partner! For now, he's doomed! 😂

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I predict, I think it's because The mom doesn't want to Shie Eun getting hurt when she face failure, bcause it seems the mom already predict she won't make it. Not because Shie Eun can't do it. But because there is more outside of her power she can't fight. And it's just a waste of time and effort. Come to the big City . success in BIG city (Seoul) is a challenge to everyone from the countryside, which seems out of their reach, Everyone is fighting to go there, assuming if they are success, the biggest and shiniest think will come. The mom just want to warn her child the reality.

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I think Mum definitely perceives Shi-eun's desperation to get to Seoul as a success thing, but I think Shi-eun just wants a fresh start.
Here, she's suffocated by her Mom, has no genuine friends, and is undermined constantly at school. In her mind, I think Seoul represents freedom and happiness, where no-one knows her and she can be whatever she wants.

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I think you might be right. Seoul Means, achieve bigger think in new environment and more advanced side of city -> Freedom -> happiness..

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A lot of it is maybe what Kind of dream Shi Eun have, she wants to be a director, which is very risky career choice, especially for someone like her, no money and no connection, it's a job with high failure rate.

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I think that's part of the crux of the issue and the theme behind this story. Shi Eun thinks that her problems will all be solved if she can just get out of this dingy small town and have a real chance to "show the world what she's got," but the reality is she's been using that excuse all this time to not even try being happy where she is. I think the Dance Club is going to be the first time that she really does push herself and finds that there's more to success than money and prestige. I think Mom also recognizes this and it's probably another reason why she doesn't want to send her to college. I suspect Shi Ra was similar in that she worked hard for a big dream to go to college, but once she was faced the with reality of the adversities associated with it she got overwhelmed and lost all that steam and couldn't carry through with it (flunked or dropped out) and is now even worse off than when she started. I think Shi Eun is the same in that she thinks running away to Seoul will bring her happiness but doesn't have enough passion for the decision otherwise to be able to stick with it when it gets hard.

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I think I kind of get where mom comes from, dreams are all well and good but as a mom she wants her daughter to lead a stable life. As someone who had seen what the world has to offer, she might have a cynical (or more practical) view of life and probably understands not all dreams come true. And also as a single mom, putting food on the table is probably her topmost priority. Also, shi eun is kind of selfish too. She knows they are not well off, the selfless thing would be to stay at home and get a job and help out her mom. I feel like both mom and shi eun are justified in what they want from the other. What I would love to see is for them to come to a mutual understanding. For shi eun to convince mom why she believes she can succeed in her dream and for mom to have more faith in her daughter and to help her achieve her dreams.

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Yes, her level of entitlement is not cute, stealing from mom, refusing to take any part time job, and throwing a fit because her mom can't afford to buy her nicer things, it's not something endearing, and for all her big dreams she has nothing to show in the terms of achievement, no extracurricular activities, yet she expect her mom bankroll her way to Big City. I wait for some big, much needed, wake up call for our heroine along the way.

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But it is kind of unfair for her to have made that investment in her sister and then not do it for her. She's not her sister. Her mother is limiting her opportunities and refusing to support her and she does demean her. She didn't want to go to that school and this whole "you're a loser who will never achieve anything so you shouldn't even try" attitude is absolutely toxic to somebody her age. She may think her daughter needs a reality check but that's no excuse to devalue her self-esteem to the point where she refuses loves because she thinks she's not worthy of it.

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Re: "I have conflicting thoughts on Mum. On one hand, she seems like a cool strong woman standing up for herself in the workplace and juggling two daughters at the same time. On the other hand, I think she's quite selfish for essentially asserting her authority to prevent her daughter from following her dreams."

That's one of the things I'm really liking about this show. The characters are multifaceted. Mom is such a badass, yet stoic and stifling. I can't help but support her and understand her while recognizing how she is pushing her child away and harming her. Her daughter is the same way. Some moments I empathize with her and at other moments I can't help but recognize that she can be mean and a bit of a bully. She constantly torments Seung-chan and jumps to conclusions easily, but her desires are universal and I completely get where she is coming from.

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I want to watch this drama, but I really don't like Jang Dong-yoon. For some reason he's in every single youth drama our there and it gets on my nerves.

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Piiiiiiiiiiiiii.

But Shi Eun is nothing like Pi.

She is selfish and manipulative, has a one track mind and will do everything to get where she wants to be. She also apparently hates everyone.

I love her already and I can't wait to see her grow together with the other girls.

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Haha, exactly my feelings!

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I am rooting for you Shi-eun!!
Ah those years. They feel the longest and most miserable. I like how real her angst feels and how grounded the show seems.
Little details like her messaging to herself shows how much she feels like an outsider.
Thanks for recapping this. I have a very good feeling about this show.

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- I'm really loving this, I feel like even though we've only touched very briefly on some of the characters I feel like I already have a good sense of who they are and I already have a deep affection for each one of them.

- I always think the show is set in the 80's because of the warm/soft tonal values they've used so I get a bit 'whhhut' every time I see someone with a mobile phone haha.

- Shi-Eun! Stop writing down your inner most thoughts in your phone! I'm already cringing for when that bites you in the ass!

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Thanks for the lovely recap !!
I'm falling in love with this drama
Shi eun character somehow unlikeable yet so charming
When her friends did not take her seriously, she still so confident about herself and manage to convince the other to do what she want
The other characters are also endearing
Can't wait for the next episode ><

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I'm loving this drama so far! And it's so nice to see my favourite ahjusshi Kim Gab-soo playing a nice and cool teacher 😘

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I'm also so happy to see Kim Gab-soo in this role! He's played so many villains over the last few years, but I still remember him being my favorite thing about Cinderella's Sister. So glad he's such a supportive character in this.

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He was a wonderful character in Cinderella's Sister.

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I'm enjoying his performance and can't help but smile when he smiles at some of the kid's foolishness.

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This drama is so fun. It reminds me of Sassy Go Go and Girls Generation 1979.
I can't wait for her to notice Seungchan. Seungchan really has a big crush on her. Kinda off when she talked behind the back of her two friends. Hopefully they developed a real friendship.

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Thank you so much for recapping this. I love the first episode, because it felt true to a teenager's life. I see a lot of Shi Eun in what I used to be (and what I still am on off days). I LOVE when she said "i hate everyone". Now thats a cynnical teen if i ever saw one. I dont think she's a horrible person, she's just absobed in her own world and doesn't realize whats around her. I cant wait to see her relationships evolve with her mother, "friends", and Seung Chan! I hope this gets recapped fully, but if it doesnt, you bet you know ill continue commenting here!

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I really spent my late teens hating everybody! So I can relate to her.
ok - if recaps don't continue will meet beanies here again with comments.

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Good plan.

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I mean, I still hate everyone. But in that respect I'm probably more like Mum than her. I find it interesting that her attitude to life is very much like her mother's but because she's young she's looking to the future while her mother is too ground by reality to do so.

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I'm loving this drama! So glad dramabeans is recapping this show!
I'm loving Park Se-Wan in this role. She's killing it! Her selfish character should have been unlikable but she plays her so adorably. PSW's character is so relatable. I remember texting myself as a kid when I was lonely :P
And I absolutely have no qualms with her treatment of her two friends; she stated in the beginning it was a tentative alliance between them and they almost played her once. Seung Chan- boy is so transparent 😂
I kind of understand her need to get out of a small town where everybody knows everybody and reinvent herself and create a new identity for herself in a city where no one knows her. But soon she will start missing home :)
I found the introduction of the film set oppa rather random and jarring. This was the only weak point in an otherwise perfect pilot episode.

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Yes, I found the oppa puzzling. I might be reading too much into it - I think he likes the adoration from her but I got the feeling he doesn't hold an important position in filming like she thinks he does. So heartbreak might be coming because he's not what she thinks he is, or because she's not as important to him as she thinks she is.

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I think they answered that in future episodes. The 'Oppa' was just a means to escape her life. She sees him as 'freedom', not necessarily a romantic notion.

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Yes, we have our answer.

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Ooooh we are getting recaps for this? Yayyy! Thanks a lot @lovepark!
I enjoyed the first two episodes and I am so looking forward to the next ones! :)

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I don't see an icon for the show under Currently Recapping which makes me think only an introductory recap was done. Hopefully, I'm wrong and more recaps are on there way. 🤞🙏

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Oh yes you are right! Hopefully they will take it up and add that icon! 🙏

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If not, we'll have to keep talking here.

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Thanks for replying to my comment! I wouldn't have noticed the ongoing discussion going on otherwise!!😄

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Oh my god I love this so much. This is like if School 2013 were made in 2018 with the same good plots, actors, and technicality. Though it isn't as dark as school 13 can be but Shieun and her antics just reminded me of how silly I was during highschool years (bcs i totally could relate with those thoughts lmao). It's just amazing how a writer could make a flawed characters but still come out as amazing and can be loved instead of just straight out annoying. Anyway that line Shieun said about being a teacher isn't about being a girl but someone who wants to be teacher should be teacher. Maybe that's a huge slap

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2013 with all those endless, boring staff meetings cut out. Yay!

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I've been really busy with work and life and haven't been able to watch Kdramas recently. But I'm gonna try to fit this in because it was pretty funny and I have a crush on Park Se-wan since School 2017. And her speaking satoori was something I didn't know I needed 😅😅

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The end of epi 7-8 / 4, why did they stop there?😤 I can't wait to see Shi Eun and Seung-chan to dance together next week. 😍

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same here! These two look so great together. And that last group dance was such joy!
Loving this show.

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Actually I was hoping Shin Eun will dance with her Teacher because I think it will something different and meaningful. But Shi Eun and Seung Chan have so much chemistry so... 😍 Her mom and sister saw her performance and we can see actually mom is proud for her.

Hope in their last performance, they will perform with their Teacher because it will be really meaningful and sweet memory for everyone.

Really loving this show too!

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I think the teacher swapped out because she refused to give expressions to him. She said she doesn’t want to look at him that way or something like that.
Yes. The teacher is so awesome. I hope he has some retirement money left :))

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Hahaha our Shi Eun 😆

Ahh, I am a little worried he will spend all his money for them and no retirement money left for him sobs sobs.

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I'm also adoring this show! Glad to see there are others here to keep discussion going.

Like @mayhemf I understood why Teacher thought swapping with Seung-chan would be better for her performance and growth. Much like her dancing with the girls, her dancing with him is more meaningful for this particular episode that dealt with trust and forgiveness between her and all of them. Still, I also hope the drama will still feature a group performance with Teacher at some point!

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They're pretty good at hooking us so we come back for the next weeks shows. She was a little harder to like this time although I totally understand why she's acting the way she is. I think he's starting to catch on too. I loved Hye Jin coming to her defense.

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She was just projecting her self-loathing on others.
And she really took it out on Seung-Chan. Poor fellow!
You could see her disgust and she was going even lower because she was so upset with herself. She is so hard on herself.
I really see the dance club bringing about a big change in her (and others).
More than anyone Hye-jin knows what it feels like to be isolated/to be an outcast. And Hye-jin behaved the exact same way - she acted and did bad things because that's what people thought of her.
It was really nice to see that she saw through SiEun.

I am waiting for more dance!

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Agreed, it's tough to see her act that way, but also such a realistic reaction to have when you're feeling low about yourself to such a degree. I'm just glad that she eventually worked up the nerve to apologize to them and own up to her own insecurities. I think this performance with them will be a turning point for her character.

Hye-jin is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters. I love the begrudging bond forming between her and Shi-eun.

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Park Se-wan is an amazing actress. I don't think I'd love this character and root for her if she was played by anyone without oodles of talent. It's comforting that two of the teachers haven't given up on Hye-jin and that she's reaching out to bring She-eun back into the group.

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I think those two have something in common - they desperately want to escape their circumstances.
Other girls have issues at home but they really aren’t dreaming of becoming someone. The discussion in the coffee shop where the girls said what they wanted to be showed how disappointed SiEun was that only she was in a bad situation.

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@ndlessjoie oh the teachers bromance was too cute.
I still have an issue with the younger teacher after his comment about Hye-Jin not having parents. But am starting to see he is aware of his limitations and knows he is not that great a person. So may be he will become one of the better teachers as he grows.

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I guess Hye jin is holding his weakness? Maybe she knows something about him in the past, that's why it was easy for her to 'threaten' him.

It's nice to see some growth on the young teacher.

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I agree! His comment turned me off too, but I can appreciate that he recognizes his faults and was willing to go out of his way to not only help his colleague but Hye-Jin as well. He is a character that can grow and learn from his mistakes. I think he will be taken under the older teacher's wing and learn to become a better teacher and guide for the students.

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It's really interesting that Shi Eun has traits that second female lead usually has, except that she isn't up to steal anyone's guy. lol.

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Just caught up to the halfway mark. Sorry if I interrupt this..
The entire sequence of secrets being revealed, the backlash... the mockery was little uncomfortable to watch. Probably because it was too realistic and the show didn't shy away from showing it. But I don't know if it's a good thing or bad thing that it's only 8 eps so everything was resolved pretty quickly.
I do have some problem with the mother daughter relationship. Their fights and the resolution is never shown properly, probably due to time constraints. But I always feel their screen time is cut short.
Also I felt bad the way she told off SC. I know she was trying to make him hate her, but she was a bit too harsh especially the conversation where she told in detail, how she hates everything about him(which seemed too much detailed to actually sound true. Almost like it was the opposite, which I'm probably sure it was😜)

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yes, this is a drama where I could have used 12 episodes or more because we are heavily invested in the characters.
yes, am not fully on board that mother-daughter issue is resolved but which mother daughter resolve their issues.. it takes a lifetime *wink*.
The way I see it, they both know that inspite of all the talk they deeply care for each other. As long as they both are aware of that everything else is a problem that can be faced and resolved.

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Mom daughter issue is not resolved yet. They happen to fight all the time because of their temper, they indifferent motto about life, and they know their own temper is their weakness, make them fight. But they usually warm up with each other once thing get settle or one of them lower their pride. You will see they will fight again when thing blow up again.

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What a cliffhanger! It left me shouting at the screen wondering how they could end it there!

I'm loving this show and Shi Eun and Seung-chan have such great chemistry! I hope his father feels as proud as Shi Eun's mom seems to feel for her daughter.

Like others have said, I still hope for Shi Eun and her teacher to get to do a dance together. He is such a good role model for them and genuinely cares about his students.

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Their chemistry is on fire!!
And I love the gender reversal theme that runs in this show.

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That dance was totally worth the wait!!

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It was! I love that when he dances he really seems to be more sure of himself and is more willingly to take the lead.

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I watched that sequence a couple of times. Loved the music too. And he definitely feels so confident when he gets on the stage.

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This show is good. Does it have 8 episodes? Because that means I have missed half of it. Started at ep 5 but the cute couple and other story arcs made me stay. Never liked JDY but he aces this role.

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yeah, I was told its 8 episodes.

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Just Dance Ep9/10
Hoot!! That duet dance was just awesome and the bridge sequence right after that was just too adorable. These two are too sweet for words. Lovely to see them together. Puts a smile on my face.
The mother - What a burden she has been carrying. This episode she really shined. Especially when she calmly told Kwon father to stay away from the kids was such a sensible thing to do. Punishing kids for adult world issues is just cruel and am glad mom saw that her daughter is happy and didn’t want to take that away from her.
Hey Jin - She broke my heart. This girl needs all the love, she deserves it.

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Please don't let the cute couple's relationship go south before this ends. He's so adorable and so sweet.

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Hye Jin really needs some love. She's so angry (and justifiably so) but also seems to have been loved less than she needed. It's too bad that she didn't want company on her trip to meet her mom and that she isn't letting anyone help her (so far) with the aftermath.

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She really does. When she reached for her coach but pulled back (after getting the approval to go to Seoul) and while at Si-eun's house witnessing the interactions between mother and daughter showed how much she craves to have strong bonds with other people. When she asks for confirmation if she and Si-eun are best friends I thought it was one of the sweetest things in the world.
Hey Jin's mother is a real piece of work! What a despicable person.

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That mother could have just kept her mouth shut.
I hope Hye Jin doesn’t break. This is such a hard blow.

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She should have. It would have been better for her to be honest from the beginning and tell Hye-jin that she didn't want anything to do with her.

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The bridge scene was beyond adorable! I couldn't help but smile while they bickered about the next step in their relationship. They seemed so natural and I'm totally buying that their feelings for each other.

I'm loving how Jang Dong Yoon is portraying is portraying Seung-chan. He displays such vulnerability and innocence. I had only seen him in You Who Forgot Poetry but this is the show that had me wanting to make sure I catch him in next project. Park Se-wan as Si-eun is perfect for this role. She emotes so well and and I can't help but see a little of myself in her when I was a teenager.

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Please do watach ‘if we were a season’. It’s a short drama available on YouTube. He is great in that too.

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Thanks for the recommendation! I'll check it out!

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I first saw Jang Dong Yoon in Solomon's Perjury and he was so amazing in that, I vowed to watch whatever drama he was in after that.

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Mom almost seemed like a different person this episode. Maybe it was seeing her daughter on stage accomplishing a goal she set out to do or seeing her daughter falling in love. Whatever the reason I was happy to hear her defend the kids' relationship and even talk well about Seung-chan's dad to her daughter. That was selfless considering the history the two families share.

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I think all along mom always saw her angry and rebelling and that’s why she was being strict. And now she suddenly sees her being responsible and is doing something with her life. May be she now realizes that her daughter can take care of herself. We still have the college matter to be resolved though.
Also SuEun was a bit of loner all along. And now mother sees her making some real friendships and sees she is happy. Am sure the mother saw her change after the fathers death and is now seeing her a bit like her old self. It was so sweet of her to support her dating life. As a girls parent that’s the right thing to do. You want your daughter to reach out to you if she gets into trouble. Alienating her would have been terrible for both.

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You're right. She seemed almost fed up with her and her rebellious nature (who would blame her?) so seeing her change in behavior is a natural side effect.

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Really loved how cool mom was regarding her daughter's relationship. Also SE may not be the most lovey dovey gf, but when she went and told SC's dad to not let his son get affected (not because he's her bf, but she genuinely cares for him as a person), I was satisfied.
Also I hope whatever problems the girls are having, let them not quit. I really want teacher Lee to be happy. He's so selfless, but also knows when to draw a line. I'm afraid he'll let everyone go for their own good.
Also looking forward to what will happen between SE's sis and his homeroom teacher. Their interactions, though very few, were fun to watch.

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I don't care for the sis and teacher. I would rather have the script focus on the gals.
but i guess that's coming.

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I want more dance scenes, seeing that the series is well.... about dancing. So far it's been too less according to me. Let's hope atleast the last 2 eps will focus on that.

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I was wondering the same thing. I've just come to view it as the series is more about the girl's lives and struggles. However, I'm also hoping to see some more dancing scenes and hope they've been saving the best for last!

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i know! even the recent episode they didn't show the dance.. bummer.

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I second wanting to let Teacher Lee be happy. He is such an exemplary teacher and unsung hero.

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Ep 11/12:

This show is too good. These episodes were all about Hye Jin and am happy to see her make an effort to be a better person.
I am also loving the reluctant teacher who seems to unwillingly learn from Teacher Lee!
Mom - really? If you don't believe in your daughter who will? You cant even give her one chance before you shove down reality crap on her.

And Si Eun and Seung Chan - These two are too adorable. Please be happy!! And yes girl, go for that kiss.. such a sweet scene it was.

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I can't imagine how much difficult HJ's life was and still is. Glad that she has a group of people whom she can rely on now.
I don't understand SE's mom's indecisiveness. One moment she's supporting her dream of going to college and the next moment she's doing the exact opposite. But this episode it felt more like she was trying to make her daughter go after her dreams by purposely telling her she can't do it. So she ended up sending that essay.

The girl whose father is always drunk (I don't remember her name), she needs to get out of there ASAP. Doesn't seem like he's supporting her. More like the other way around.

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ah, you think mom is pulling a stunt? Am not sure.
I don't think she ever approved off her going to college. She was fine with the dating though.
I dont get her..the mother. I feel she is struggling too - with the death of the father. May be there is more to it?

Drunk father - seriously. Can she not leave that household into some other center. Not sure what the deal is in Korea. It's like she needs to work and make money so he can drink. Makes my blood boil!

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I think mom is conflicted. But then as moms we usually are. While you want your kids to dream, and dream big, you also want to protect them. Factor in the tragic death of dad, grinding poverty, classism, and the recent history of the sister, and mom is scared. No, she is terrified. SE is not only dreaming of an artistic career which by nature is uncertain and unstable, but she is also quite sensitive and volatile. Mom sees only doom in this combination, but given recent events do you blame her?

I am not defending all of mom's actions, but I do kind of understand her motivations. She's afraid she'll lose her daughter too, and in that fear she is doing things could make her lose her daughter. Fear doesn't necessarily make us think or act logically, but her fears are not unwarranted.

Just my thoughts as a parent of young adults. It's scary putting young humans out into the world.

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I really like SE's mom as a character. She is conflicted and stoic, yet capable of demonstrating such warmth. As a mom, she is a bit frustrating. I understand where she is coming from and I loved how you explained why she behaves as she does. Family dynamics vary from household to household and all the detrimental factors you mentioned play a big role on the level of optimism a family may have. But, she can be so harsh! And to do it in the name of love is still hurtful for the person on the receiving end of such dicouragment. Yet, SE and her mom have similar personalities and both spew out such hurtful comments. When SE behaves as she does I can't help but side with mom. Parenting is a tough job and I give it to all the parents that have to put up with the teenage years!

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Too good but too sad. It's always kid's shows that can me cry. *bawls*.

Si-eun and Seung-chan are the cutest thing ever and their relationship is just so fantastic.

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I love that Si-eun is all alpha. She leaned in for that kiss, she declared her love first, she showed her injury so he can put bandaid for her, she asked him to take her home.. Gotta love a girl like that.
This kinda gender reversal is what drew me to this show in the first place. Now am all sucked into it..I want all the kids to be happy. please. pretty please.

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I think that's what attracted Seungshine to her anyhow ;) They work so well together, but I'm worried for next ep!

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I can't get enough of their scenes together! Seung-chan is a well-written character and Jang Dong Yoon is doing a wonderful job bringing his character to life. His character can be timid and dorky, but there are so many other layers to him. He is a bit of an empath when it comes to SE and demonstrates strength when it counts. Then there's the character of SE who is equally as layered and through the span of a few episodes has demonstrated such believable growth as a person. Her spunky personality is what Seung-chan loves about her and I can't blame him!

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I am literally just watching and re-watching their key scenes together. These two are just so great together.

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They have such good chemistry and their dialogue is well written. They act like teenagers, yet can be wise about certain topics. Seung-chan is surprisingly understanding in the relationship and is what has kept them together for as long as they have been. Si-eun's experiences have hardened her a bit but she can recognize her faults and tries to make amends, which can even be difficult for many older adults to do.

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I laughed hard when I was Shi Eun's reaction to her sister being with her teacher. Poor SeungShine doesn't stand a chance against Shi Eun or her sister.

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It was hilarious.. the gals literally pushed him aside..

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Credit to @raonah for renaming Seung Chan.

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I wish I could take credit for the SeungShine nickname but I think @justme was the one who came up with it.

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one item off my bucketlist: i did come up with that wonderful nickname and dear @raonah was kind enough to jump on board.

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Amending my thanks. Thank you @justme for renaming Seung Chan.

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I really need an edit button. Was = saw

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I love his reaction when Shi eun's uni was like «ill tell mom» and then Seungshine goes wait NONONONONO (hahaha cuties)

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For him it was like being caught in a tornado.

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I'm a bit late to the party, but I have to join in. I can't believe we only get 2 more episodes of this gem. The writing has been so good that I know the writer could handle at least 2-4 more episodes.

It was really hard watching Hye-jin's story play out the way it did, especially with her poor excuse of a mother, but I love what's growing from it. She's finally placing more trust in those around her.

Her and Si-eun and the way they've come through for each other just makes me so proud of both of them for how far they've come. I adore all the girls, but I love the feeling of kinship between these two especially, as fellow people who have struggled to connect and fit in with others.

And it's pretty much official. Si Eun and Seung Chan are one of my favorite OTPs of all time. I just love everything about the dynamic between them. Their progression towards becoming a couple was all the more satisfying for the struggles they went through to understand and accept each other flaws and all. And what they went through already makes their young love feel stronger to me than most "adult" couples in other dramas that have 16 episodes to convince me they're meant to be.

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Couldn't agree more with everything that you said. 👏👏👏

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After finishing the final two episodes, I can safely say this too - this is one of the best-written OTPs in dramaland. I love them.

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Hello everyone.

I just binged up to ep 12. What a nice and touching drama this is, glad i watched this too.

The struggles of the students is heartfelt. However i dont understand Shi Eun's mum, she doesnt want her to go to college. I thought she would want her daughter to get out of the slump they are in and not live like her. Its a pity since Shi Eun is clever.

I feel that Teacher Lee is grooming temp homeroom Teacher Han to be a good and understanding teacher. If Teacher Lee retires or transfered, the girls will have Teacher Han by their side 😢😊

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A few beanies above have been trying to reason through mom's behavior. I admit, I wish the show would give a little bit more insight into her thought process, because while I get it to an extent, I also agree that it's jarring because she seems to believe in her daughter in moments, just not enough to push her to fight for something better?. The way the actress plays her adds a complexity that I enjoy, but that doesn't make her any less frustrating at times.

Obviously, Si-eun can occasionally be quite the brat to her mom, but the more she matures, the more her mom pushing her away from her dreams seems counter-intuitive. This episode she did seem to be happy with Si-eun's terms at least so I'm hoping she's finally changing her mindset.

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I'm so hoping that Teacher Lee doesn't get transferred. I adore him and just want his character to live happily ever after while teaching kids to believe in themselves. What a wonderful character!

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Ep 13/14
The breakup felt realistic, even though poor SC!
What I felt a little bothered about was SE saying mom doesn't have a life of her own. Just because her life revolves around her kids doesn't mean she's not happy. Of course parents sometimes give up on their dreams for their kids. I'm not saying everyone should give up once they have kids. But some people do give up willingly, and are happy (my parents included). And I'll definitely try to fulfill their wishes once I have the means to, which hopefully I will.
Also what she said about people compromising about their dreams not being happy. Not everyone achieves what they want, but they learn to find happiness in it. Doesn't make it less valid.

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This episode was a killer. The highest highs and the lowest lows. I want SeungShine to be treated much better. He's so sweet and takes such an emotional beating without really knowing why.

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He really does. He tries his best and is so patient with her. I know it was hard for her to tell him the truth, but it's unfair to him to not be completely honest considering how honest he is. I liked how at the end she met up with him again and they had some closure and ended things amicably.

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Ooof! That was hard to hear and I felt that blow and I was on the other side of the screen. Si-eun's mother didn't deserve that and I might have reacted the same way as Si-eun's sister if one my siblings said that to my mom. Si-Eun will come to realize how much like her mother she really is. Her actions mirror her mother's.

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While the slap was too much for me considering how distraught Si-eun was at that moment, I also think it was great that Sis stood up for Mom and set her straight on the value of their Mom's life. It might have been harsh, but Si-eun needed that.

That said, I do want to point out why I felt almost as bad for Si-eun during her outburst as Mom. I do think Si-eun questioning her mom's happiness has a lot to do with her father. Deep down, she truly fears that on her birthday her father may have committed suicide. This is something she's been with-holding from us until this scene.

Just like her mom, I think she still wants to believe that her dad died in an accident, but it makes sense that there would be moments when she'd fear the worse. That he might have been miserable, even with a family he devoted himself to. After all that, she has a mom who has to pick up all the slack and deal with this lawsuit that constantly calls into question her father's happiness. I'm not that surprised that Si-eun would develop such a fear, that she and her sister couldn't possibly be a reliable source of happiness for their parents and that their constant struggle to take care of them kept them from ever securing that.

In a sense, questioning her mom's life choices and picturing her reality as miserable is her own way of showing her concern that the burden of taking care of her and her sister wasn't worth the hardship and pain she's had to go through for them. It was flawed and I don't agree with how harshly she conveyed it, but I still felt for it.

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"Deep down, she truly fears that on her birthday her father may have committed suicide"
Yes, because all along she is disgusted with adult lies and now doesnt know truth from lies. And she is always thinking of that possibility.

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Yeah, the execution of the break up was well-done. They actually did a good job of depicting what would happen between these two characters when faced with a conflict like this. Shi-eun struggling to be honest and lashing out and Seung-chan taking it, but also calling her out for taking advantage of that. It all just felt too real. When they finally broke up, it was as much about Shi-eun's inability to deal with conflict as it was about the conflict itself. Still, the dialogue felt almost too real for me and I care about the characters way too much!

It's so hard hearing Shi-eun talk that way to her mom, but while her outlook is flawed, I'm kind of happy she's discussing these sorts of feelings with her mom, feelings she might never have felt if they hadn't lost a father and husband. They've clearly been weighing on her and it's the only way she can change her outlook. Sometimes it's easy to only see what's wrong about life. I really feel for what Shi-eun is going through, especially figuring out that achieving your dreams won't always bring you happiness, but I hope she begins to treasure the people in her life more once she goes through it. I know she's capable of it!

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I think that outburst was needed for the entire family. It was harsh, yes.
The dream and happiness is such a heavy duty subject. Even as adults many of us don't have answers.

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Man, that hurt! What a sincere break-up it was.. It felt so painful and so real.
I think from her point of view, happiness is not guaranteed so why take the hard road. Its just that age.
Her mother is not happy in her job (actually the company), but holding onto it for the sake of kids. So from Si-Eun's perspective her mother is also not happy and gave up her happiness due to the kids.

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I just finished this show (spoilers ahead), and all I can say is...wait, what? Did the show think they would be getting 24 episodes and then find out they had to wrap it all up in 16? I mean, I am happy with HOW it ended, in that I think they gave everyone the right ending, but it was so fast, and a little random, wasn't it? I would have liked either MORE of SE in college or less. And the two-minute reconciliation at the end was NOT my favorite. Talk about your deus ex machinas! I mean come on. That deserved at least 1/4 of an episode. There could have been some awesome acting shown in that!

Unrelated to that, I have to say again how much I love this show. SE is basically me when I was that age. I had so many big dreams and a lot of my friends did not understand. (My parents, for all that we disagreed about other things, were really supportive of this side though. I get my delusions of grandeur from them maybe ;P). And I laughed a lot at the SE and SC because that is basically my husband and I, if we were younger and had more drama. I really really enjoyed this show and I miss our Just Dance team already!

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Finally finished the drama! It took awhile to finish since I didn't want it to end.

Takeaway? Made me think more about happiness. Do we truly become happy after achieving our goals? Are we willing to go through all that hardship to achieve a goal and be happy? And many more questions, and hopefully one day I'll be able to find an answer.

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