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Her Private Life: Episode 1

Is there anything more loving, or more deadly, than a true fangirl? TVNs new drama, Her Private Life, gives us a glimpse into the world of a devoted fan and the double life she leads to conceal her idol passion. It’s chaos, it’s loyalty, it’s giggles and tears, but most of all, it’s love.

(Please note this is just a first episode recap.)

  
EPISODE 01 RECAP

We open with a flashback of a little girl – presumably our heroine – covering an entire backstreet with some impressive chalk drawings. Jumping forward, the grownup and sophisticated SUNG DEOK-MI (Park Min-young) works as the curator for Chaeom Museum…and is currently cleaning a sculpture after a child spilled food on it. She narrates, “Every child is an artist. However, if you grow up just doing that, the question is can you remain an artist?”

Deok-mi barely finishes when her subordinate, YOO KYUNG-AH (Seo Ye-hwa) runs in yelling that the art for the exhibition opening tomorrow has been held up at customs for several hours. Deok-mi refuses to accept a delay in the opening date, so she, Kyung-ah, and their third galley worker, KIM YOO-SUB (Jung Won-chang), show some serious dedication and spend the entire night getting everything set up.

The next day, Deok-mi is the picture of professionalism during the opening, even when the artist gives the credit for all of Deok-mi’s hard work to the museum director, DIRECTOR EOM (Kim Sun-young). She continues to anxiously check her watch throughout, however, and the exhibition is barely closed before she’s sprinting out the door, leaving the other staff to wonder what such a hardworking curator does with her personal life.

Deok-mi pays a delivery guy double to deliver her to a locker downtown, where she grabs a giant case and smoothly changes from her fancy pantsuit into full black paparazzi regalia, complete with a facemask.

Pulling a step ladder and giant camera out of the case, Deok-mi joins a crowd of fans as they wait for the arrival of their idol group, White Ocean. She proceeds to take several shots of the groups entrance, focusing on one member in particular: CHA SHI-AHN (Jung Jae-Won, a.k.a. 1Punch’s ONE).

Afterwards, Deok-mi watching the show, cheering along with the rest. That is, until Shi-ahn decides to throw his water bottle into the crowd.

In an epic slow-mo, all the fans make a bid for the bottle like a mass of bridesmaids vying for the bouquet. Not to be outdone, Deok-mi makes a giant leap above the rest and emerges victorious, the non-biodegradable treasure clasped in her hand.

Deok-mi returns home that night and reverently places the bottle in a glass cabinet where it sits with its own placard next to a plethora of other Shi-ahn themed souvenirs. Zooming out, we see that her entire apartment is plastered with Shi-ahn merchandise and artwork.

Deok-mi collapses on the couch to cuddle with a pillow (that has Shi-ahn’s face on it, of course) while cooing over the pictures she took of Shi-ahn, alternating between giggling at his cuteness, and worrying about what she should get him for his upcoming birthday.

Watching a video of Shi-ahn describing his extensive art collection – he’s an avid collector – Deok-mi decides that she’ll find him another painting by his favorite painter, an elusive artist known only by their name: Lee Sol.

Changing gears, we bounce over to an urban gallery in Manhattan where everyone is waiting on the arrival of RYAN GOLD (Kim Jae-wook). Ryan finally turns up and nonchalantly refuses to greet the owner, demanding to see the paintings first. Let’s call him a brusque individual (it’s nicer than asshole).

He then does a tour of the entire gallery while we learn about his impeccable taste and unique scoring system: a 1 second glance is bad, 2 seconds is ok, 3 is good, then a smile means that the artist has no talent and no future. Unfortunately, Ryan finds a painting to smile at.

After crushing an artist’s hopes and dreams, Ryan goes to see his psychiatrist and friend. They’re adorably bromantic as Doc tries to diagnose him but ends up throwing a hissy fit when Ryan bounces a tennis ball too close to his shiny new painting. Pfft.

Turns out our Ryan has been unable to paint for the last three years, ever since he saw a painting by Lee Sol. Ryan reveals that was finally able to track down the painting, and it’s owned by none other than K-pop idol, Cha Shi-ahn. Doc thinks this is great and tells Ryan he can just ask to see the painting, practically begging his friend to go find either the singer or the painter, and “stop bothering me.”

Doek-Mi is back at work and explains away her quick absence from the exhibition as having to look after a kid that she regularly supports, hiding the truth of her fangirling. She tries to get Director Eom to consider showing new artists, but she’s completely shut down by Eom who only wants to go after the big names that bring in big money.

Deok-mi visits home to let her folks know she’ll be traveling abroad for an auction, then gets an ear-full from her mom (Kim Mi-kyung) that she better not be running off after another idol. Turns out Mom has been against her daughter’s fangirling her whole life.

Laughing at the irony, Deok-mi argues that she was born a fangirl and comes by the obsession naturally, pointing out Mom’s devotion to knitting and Dad’s love of rock-polishing. Heh, Mom gets miffed at the comparison and Dad silently hides behind a curtain, annoying her further at how he’s practically become a human rock.

Mom has an armful of side dishes she wants to bring back to her daughter’s apartment, but Deok-mi quickly calls over her brother, NAM EUN-GI (Ahn Bo-hyun) and bribes him to take the dishes to her place instead, keeping her Shi-ahn décor safe from her mother for a while longer.

Unfortunately, this backfires when Eun-gi, a judo athlete, enters the apartment and freaks out at the shadow of a life-size Shi-ahn cutout. He instinctively punches it, knocking the head clean off and making Deok-mi shriek at the murder of her baby.

While Deok-mi provides emergency medical care to her fallen idol (i.e. duct tapes his head back on), Eun-gi heads out. Interestingly, he notes her lack of footwear and leaves his own shoes for her, opting to walk home in house slippers.

Deok-mi flies to the auction in Shanghai where she ends up sitting right next to Ryan Gold, who has come after seeing that another Lee Sol painting is being auctioned there. Noting that he looks a bit like Shi-ahn, she not-so-subtly shoots glances at him, marveling at the Pretty.

Ryan breaks the staring by introducing himself as a painting that was released in 1987, with delicate lines and harmonious features, titled Ryan Gold. Wow, that’s incredibly clever and confusingly narcissistic. Based on her staring, he casually asks, “Do you want me?” Sputtering, Deok-mi turns away, deciding that he’s a psycho.

Next up on the auction block is the Lee Sol painting, and Deok-mi is amazed to see the painting she wanted to give to Shi-ahn for his birthday. Doing a quick calculation of her bank account, she eagerly makes a bid. Problem is, the Ryan Gold painting next to her is bidding as well.

Soon they’re in a bidding war and rapidly passing Deok-mi’s bank balance. She pushes on, imagining a tiny Shi-ahn in the painting showing hearts and holding a “Noona take me home” sign. Alas, she can’t keep up and loses to Ryan at 30 grand, making the tiny Shi-ahn pout.

Desperate, Deok-mi dashes out after Ryan. She quickly switches into professional mode and tries to get Ryan to sell her the painting, noting that it’s not actually worth that much since the artist isn’t well known and she just needs it for a private collector.

Ever the brusque fella, Ryan puts her in her place by saying that art is not about the name, but the feeling and history behind it. He points out that she didn’t know anything about the artist of the painting she bought before (for the gallery) besides the name, so clearly, she can’t distinguish true art. Damn.

Flying back and regretting not bidding higher than the 30 grand, Deok-mi returns to the gallery in time to see Director Eom being escorted out by the police. Deok-mi is also grabbed and taken is for a long night of questioning regarding her boss’s husband’s apparent embezzlements from the gallery and slush fund. Ruh-roh.

Deok-mi eventually gets back home to find her friend and fellow Shi-ahn fangirl, LEE SUN-JOO (Park Jin-ju), waiting for her. Sun-joo consoles her friend over Soju, while Deok-mi tearily laments that the gallery she put her time and love into was nothing more than a front for her boss to steal.

Crying, Deok-mi admits she’s not sure that even if she had known about what her boss was doing, would she have had the integrity to stop, or did the paycheck matter more to her than the art. Ooof.

The next morning, Deok-min gets a call for an interview and lands a job as the head of another gallery’s marketing department. Over the moon, she can’t wait to quit her job and start the new one that comes with more free time to devote to supporting her Shi-ahn.

Deok-mi heads right over to Director Eom to quit, but she can’t finish the sentence since Eom keeps interrupting to explain that she’s now stepping down in light of her husband’s legal trouble and the gallery will need a new director. Eom makes heavy hints that Deok-mi will be chosen and she immediately switches gears.

Later, after she’s changed into her alter ego fangirl clothes, Deok-mi admits to Sun-joo that she’s going to stay at Chaeom; wanting to make something of the place she devoted 5 years of her life to, so it isn’t remembered as the slush fund gallery.

Ever the true friend, Sun-joo points out that the important thing is Shi-ahn’s flight arrival tonight. She tries to get Deok-mi to take off the facemask before leaving so her idol can recognize her face, but Deok-mi flat out refuses. “I’m not going to be remembered as just a fan. Some day we will meet as two professionals and have our fates entangled.”

At the airport, a flock of Shi-ahn fans have gathered to greet their bias when he arrives. A couple of them note that a fan named CINDY (Kim Bora)has already posted departure pictures of Shi-ahn from the U.S. Apparently Cindy is a well-known fan and the other girls grumble that following him all the way to America and back is sasaeng territory (stalker rather than fangirl).

Said Cindy is in fact on the same plane as Shi-ahn, and we see that Ryan Gold is there as well, rolling his eyes at her antics to take secret shots of the K-pop star.

Back in the airport, the other fans point out that Shi Na Gil (Deok-mi’s secret fangirl name) is a far better fan and Shi-ahn probably likes her better since the viral videos she posted with multilingual subtitles at the beginning of his career helped launch his stardom. They agree that if Shi-ahn ever wanted a private fan meeting with Shi Na Gil, they wouldn’t mind.

Deok-mi makes her way to the airport and stakes out a spot on the second level with a perfect shot of Shi-ahn’s supposed route through arrivals. However, she soon spots two undercover bodyguards at a different entrance away from the fan gathering and quickly repositions on floor level by the side door, guessing that he’ll exit that way.

Standing with her trusty step ladder, Deok-Mi is the only one to see Shi-ahn enter through the alternate exit and starts snapping her exclusive photos. Problem is, Ryan Gold has also exited that way and walks right in front of her shot.

Deok-mi jumps up on her ladder for a better angle, right as the rest of the fans spot their idol and start running towards him.

Caught in the middle of this, is the unsuspecting Ryan who looks up to see a sea of fans running right at him. It’s like Simba vs. the wildebeests as Ryan is battered back and forth by the swarm of estrogen-fueled fan craze.

Unable to stay upright, Ryan falls back and knocks Deok-mi off her ladder, taking her down with him. Luckily, she manages to save her giant camera, but it takes her a moment to realize her soft landing is due to the Ryan-shaped crash pad below her.

Leaping off the flattened Ryan, the two immediately start bickering, her accusing him of risking the camera, and Ryan blaming her for smooshing him. It’s the final straw when he insults her precious Shi-ahn, saying “that guy” is not worth all this fuss (it sounds worse in Korean, promise).

Deok-mi demands an apology on behalf of her idol, and Ryan wants to see the face of the person who is so rude. He reaches to pull off her facemask, but that sends Deok-mi into panic mode and she sprints away to protect her identity, leaving Ryan swearing in English.

But as he collects his battered luggage, Ryan picks up Deok-mi’s journal which fell out of her bag when she crash-landed.

Returning to the café Sun-joo owns and runs, the two friends giggle over the pictures of Shi-ahn, though Deok-mi gripes that Ryan blocked some of her shots. She suddenly realizes that he is the same psycho from the auction and can’t believe her bad luck to run into him again.

Sun-joo worries that Cindy’s pictures are getting more popularity, but Deok-mi assures her that no one can photoshop like her and gets to work editing the photos so Ryan is blurred out and we see Shi-ahn peeking cutely from behind him. Ok, I admit it, that smile is worth a second look.

Deok-mi posts the pictures and we get a whimsical fantasy reel where she hosts a virtual art exhibition of the images, describing Shi-ahn’s features like the curator she is while the fans lose their minds at the great shots.

At work the next morning, Deok-mi is in a chipper mood when she confirms to Kyung-ah that Director Eom has resigned. She starts to say that she’ll be the new director, when Kyung-ah cuts in to reassure her that she can help Deok-mi with communicating in English since the new director is a foreigner. Uh, wut?

Stunned, Deok-mi sees that Director Eom is all over the news after checking herself in to a hospital, faking illness to avoid the legal problems.

Enraged, Deok-mi bursts into the perfectly health Director Eom’s hospital room, demanding to know why Eom betrayed her after 5 years of hard work. The dramatic lighting and melodramatic music play a perfect background as Eom reveals that she knew Deok-mi had taken another job and couldn’t let “the dog that I raised” be stolen from her.

Deok-mi whips out a gun, City Hunter style, and tries to fire, except this is all happening in her head, of course, and she is in fact wielding a get-well fruit basket, not a glock. Eom simpers that she picked the perfect new director to handle media coverage in light of the scandal, and chirps at Deok-mi to keep working hard, just as she has for the last 5 years.

Oooh, lemme slap her. Just once. With my fist.

To make matters worse, the previous job offer of the marketing position has already been filled. With no other option, Deok-mi sits dejectedly in Sun-joo’s café, taking stock and deciding that she has been royally screwed over.

But if there is one thing that can cheer up a diehard fangirl, it’s her idol, so Sun-joo suggests they go on a pilgrimage (a term used to describe fans traveling to where the stars have been/stayed to look for traces of their idol).

Across town, Ryan is being broody in a hotel room when he’s called down to the lobby to pick up an employment contract left by his secretary. (One guess where he’s going to be working.) Ryan also gets a room upgrade and switches over to a suite.

As Ryan walks away, our crusading girls run up to the desk in search of the Holy Land. Alas, the suite that Shi-ahn stayed in, is the very same one that was just given away to Ryan. Not to be beaten, Sun-joo chased after Ryan as he walks away (Deok-mi doesn’t see him) and tries to persuade him to let her have the suite.

It goes about as well as Deok-mi’s attempts to get him to sell her the Lee Sol painting: Lots of blank stares followed by a lesson in manners. Sun-joo tries to explain around the truth by saying that “There’s a person she loves, but we have a relationship where we can’t meet that easily.” Pfft. That’s one way to describe being a fan.

Unsurprisingly Ryan walks away with an eye roll, and Sun-joo and Deok-mi retreat to the hotel bar, defeated. To cheer up, they watch a live performance of Shi-ahn on Deok-mi’s phone, both sharing one set of head phones.

As luck would have it, Ryan heads down to the bar as well and sees the pair as they lean in close together, smiling and clutching each other in fan adoration. Except from Ryan’s angle where he can’t see the phone, it totally looks like a romantic date. HAH!

Ryan remembers Sun-joo’s explanation about loving someone that she can’t really meet with and immediately takes it to mean that she was trying to spend a secret night with her lady lover. Now seeing Sun-joo’s “confession” as being brave in an LGBT-intolerant society, Ryan starts regretting his brush off earlier, even telling his own reflection that he’s disappointed in him.

Soon after, Sun-joo heads to the restroom where she’s stopped by Ryan. Next thing we know, the girls are happily squealing in their giant suite, running around and taking pictures of themselves in the places where Shi-ahn sat.

The following day, Deok-mi is all business as she heads in to work, resigned to her fate. She opens up the galley and notices one of the lights is flickering. Taking out a ladder to fix it herself, a man enters in behind her.

Deok-mi turns on the ladder to greet the newcomer, squinting after staring into the now bright light. As the figure slowly comes into focus, her face falls to recognize the infamous Ryan Gold staring at her.

Recognizing her as well, Ryan snarks, “Do you want me?” Deok-mi flashes back to when he first said that to her in the auction and gasps, falling backwards in surprise. She lands flat on the floor at Ryan’s feet and the two stare at one another, neither quite believing their strange fate.

  
COMMENTS

Wow. That was a lot of plot. Hold on while I get my bearings.

OK, first off, I am not a fangirl. Sure, I listened to a lot of ‘Nsync growing up, and yes, I get hella excited whenever BTS drops a new album (it came out Friday!). But there’s always a line, and I’ve stayed firmly on the once I start thinking about their life more than my life, it’s time to take a step back side. I’m not saying the other side is wrong (you do you, boo), it’s just not for me. Because of this, I had some trepidation about starting a show that centers on a grown woman with idol paraphernalia plastered to every surface of her apartment. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to relate enough to enjoy it.

Admittedly there were still some things that were hard for me to go with ($30,000 for a birthday present!?!) but I can honestly say that I really had fun watching this and I’m looking forward to the next episode. For me, it was all the little things, like Deok-mi and Sun-joo’s girl-power friendship. Or the family dynamics between mutually fanatic relatives – albeit with different subjects of obsession. Side Note: I’m very curious about Eun-gi leaving his shoes in Deok-mi’s apartment. It could be just a brother looking out for his sister, but there was an almost romantic feel to it. Also, his last name is different, so now I’m wondering if he’s adopted and we’re going THAT route for a second lead.

Strangely enough, the plot arch that I’m most looking forward to is the misunderstanding of Ryan believing that Deok-mi is gay. Because you know that eventually he’s going to find out that Deok-mi was the other woman in the bar, so what kind of hijinks will ensue when he inevitably starts falling for her? These days we are seeing that trope more and more, but it’s always the girl thinking the guy is gay. I have yet to see it the other way around and I’m psyched that it looks like they may head in that direction. (Give a little love for the girl love out there, K-dramas!)

As for our other main lead, I’m withholding judgement for now since we haven’t really learned much about him though he’s playing the cold unfeeling jerk card a little hard. To be frank, his constant aloofness was getting a bit much, so I took some satisfaction from watching him get literally squashed during the airport fangirl stampede. That being said, I’m enjoying the bickering between our main leads and look forward to it turning into something more. Ryan will have to up his game though. As every high school boy will tell you, competing with an idol for the heart of a fangirl requires nothing less than a miracle. Good luck, buddy.

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The characters/set-up kind of reminds me of Chinese drama "Sweet Dreams" starring Dilraba Dilmurat & Allen Deng Lun-- the main girl is a fan girl of some guy that's in the same industry/career of choice as her (floristry). He appears cold/like a douche on the outside when she initially meets him (and after getting over her fangirl-ness of him), but she slowly gets to know him more personally, she discovers new sides to him and realizes that he's not such an arse like everyone else seems to think

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Also, did he really say "WTF" in the airport scene?? I've not watched this yet (don't think I will... Kdramas of this genre don't really catch my attention enough for me to watch it anymore #sorrynotsorry), but it was the scene that all the Beanies were talking about and were saying that Viki was the only place/subbing team who actually caught it, whereas everywhere else diluted it

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yes, he really did say that!
: D

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Yes, he said WTF. Very. Clearly. :p

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yes, with no accent.. no L in lieu of F either ; ))

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@spazmo @turtuallysarcastic @mayhemf

Yes~!!! I actually watched a clip from this airport scene on Youtube (from "Suggestions") literally right after I posted this, and I caught his "WTF" hahahaha It was VERY clear, and like @mayhemf said, no accent either ~!!!!

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Airport stampede? This happened for real with Xu Kai, fans managed to break his phone somehow.

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As scary as it sounds, airport stampedes aren't that uncommon, especially if it involves celebrities, so Xu Kai coming out of it with just a broken phone (and hopefully nothing else broken and no one else hurt) is actually a good thing :)
I know that there's a vid circulating online of a similar thing happening to GOT7's JB recently, wherein when he was at the airport (not sure if he was departing to go somewhere or just landed from somewhere) and he saw the huge crowd of fans, he just.... ran :( He seemed a little bit overwhelmed and didn't seem like he wanted to face the crowd so he made a break for it

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If I saw a stampeding herd coming my way I'd probably run for dear life too. No wonder these actors become a tad strange (or more than).

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So weird - I'd just added Sweet Dreams to my watchlist not half an hour ago - w/o knowing anything about the similarities between it and Her Private Life. Which I'm not planning on watching because I'm tired of the actress in every romcom ever. But I do want to watch the infamous airport scene...

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You mean you won't be watching "Her Private Life" because you don't want to watch Park Min Young in another rom-com but you want to see the clip of the airport scene???

If yes, here's the clip:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5kU1qlXOcY

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Heh, you got it. But not because she's overused (aren't there any other actors who could fill the role adquately?) but because I now only see the actress in her dramas, not the character.
Thanks for the link! I really wanted to see it but am too lazy to hunt for it.
btw, don't know if you watched Radiant, but if you did there's a really nice interview with Nam Joon hyuk on my fanwall.

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Just watched the clip - would have loved if the music were horror, not comedic. In fact, I'd watch this drama in a minute if it were horror.

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hahahahhhahhaa

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I liked Sweet Dreams. It did annoy me in the beginning because the main girls fangirling over the hero was very cringy, but once she got over that it was a fun and sweet romcom.

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Thanks for the input - I'll remember to go beyond the initial annoyance!

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The dreams were the thing that I had to fast forward and got annoyed with the most, everything else was okay :) Dare I say, even the company politics stuff lol

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I figured the dreams were a gimmick..

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The dreams plot point becomes pointless at one point of the drama, and that's probably why the company politics became interesting lol

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Back to Her Private Life: I started watching it, considering it to be social commentary on fangirling and in that light it's rather good (at least the first 5 minutes plus the airport scene). We'll see how long it lasts.

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Talking about the dreams...tbh, I dreamed about Kim Nam gil the other night. He wanted to talk to me and I thought maybe he liked me and wanted to confess. But no, he wanted to know if I'd like a part in his next drama.

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I had a dream last night that Kim Se Jeong (of I.O.I. & Gugudan) was in a freak accident and died T.....T It was odd and I had to take a minute to tell myself it was all just a dream when I woke up this morning

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@bebeswtz Are we obsessed much?? I've watched the first half of the first episode and have to say I did lol quite a few times, esp when she called out her mom and dad for their obsessions with knitting and collecting rocks. I did the same thing with friends who thought I was too obsessed with kdramas. I reminded them how obsessed they were with anything Disney.
This drama doesn't have to overstate anything to make a point!

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@linda-palapala LOL I can't say...

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But..but..isnt this like her second romcom ever? Healer, Seven day Queen, City Hunter, Sungkyunkwan Scandal all fall under the thriller/melo category...

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High Kick, I Am Sam, Glory Jane, Sungkyunkwan was pretty much a romcom, not a thriller or melo, but as for the rest, she's been in many, many, many more than her share of dramas.
However, since I've now watched the first half of the first episode I'm enjoying it a lot, so I take back some of the other things I've said.

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High Kick, I Am Sam, Sungkyunkwan are pre-2010s shows and Glory Jane is a melo-rom. Unless you watched them all recently it's hardly fair to say she's over used in rom-coms since there was a decent 8 year break between SKK and WWWSK, and in this decade she starred an average of 1 drama/year.

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Maybe it isn't the rom-com as much as the similar personalities she's been cast as in each type of drama. She even complained about that awhile ago.

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The mom's devotion to knitting reminded me of Ahjumma (played by the same actress) in Healer. Now I'm waiting for them to reveal that she used to be a hacker in her younger years.

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Hahaa, good one

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Yeah! Good one. I miss Ajumma.

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Ahjumma is always there. Watching. Knitting.

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I had to rewatch a few scenes in Healer to see Ahjumma again

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I wanted so bad to see KJW as the lead in a romantic story!
The scene at the airport was fun, but the bts is even more hilariuos.
Honestly, I wasn't very fond of the first two episodes, but I like the leads and the predictability of the outcome of a rom-com, so I will continue watching hoping for an improvement.

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It won't be a big deal when Ryan finds out the girls are not a couple. He checked himself on that front so I doubt he would be upset about it.

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I am tentatively watching this, knowing there is a good chance I may drop it. For now. am just looking at Kim Jae-Wook's face - which is super distracting.

I don't get this fangirling business and it's hard for me to relate. 20K$ for a painting for your idol. May be she has some funds from running the fan site, but still.
But am glad she is not stacking him (which was worrisome while watching the trailer) and is just taking pictures of him where other fans are too. I like that she is resourceful and finds joy in both her actual paying job and the part time fansite hobby.

Also, we already have the childhood trauma, jerk male lead and other troupes.. Let's see...

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She does. She mentioned that she has a account that other fan give money to to but gifts for him.

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Fansites usually have funds which is from fan donations then gifts are bought. We used to do it a lot but now, we mostly donate to charities and put the idol's name on it.

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Simba vs. the wildebeests is exactly how I would describe that fan people stampede (I saw quite some men among them). Well-deserved Karma for our male lead and in my top 5 of K-drama scenes that made me cry with laughter. :D

At first I thought Oppa was being wistful and putting his shoes next to her heels for just a moment to make it look like they were living together. However, the moment he actually left in slippers I felt that this reasoning would be too forward for a second lead and very entitled in general. Fortunately @purpleteapot came up with the very heartfelt reason that this way nobody would know his sister (?) lives alone. Protecting your loved one in secret does sound a lot more second lead territory.

In my humble opinion, this K-drama is an ode to fandom in general, rather than just fangirls. True, the story is literally about Deok-Mi and her love for Shi-ahn, and there are lengths she would go for him that I too, shake my head at in real life (do not get me started on sasaengs). However, this show brutally exposed so many of my current and past fandom shenanigans on screen, and most of them were not even K-pop related.

Like how it actually feels like living a double life, because nobody at school, work or any other daily interaction understands your passion for geeky things, so you just keep it to yourself. Or how Oppa is knowledgeable about her idol because he had no other choice, just like how I still know useless One Direction facts because of that one directioner friend *shakes fist*

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Yes, re: shoes, I remember reading that a lot single women in Korea put male shoes like to avoid being harassed by deliver men or other creep who may took notice and bother them. It's the same as when land line was popular and phone books exists many women put only initial of their first name to avoid perverts calls.

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In Another Oh Hae Young Do Kyoung (Eric) puts an old pair of his shoes in OHYs entry way after he saw her getting delivery.

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This is the first kdrama I saw this and it made me totally swoon!

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fangirling a fangirl! \/ Fighting!

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Eun-Gi is definitely not her brother. In prior show descriptions, he's described as someone who has a one-sided love for Deok Mi. As for why he lives with Deok Mi's parents, I'm guessing it's similar to the situation in Reply 1994 when we thought the male lead was her brother as well.

It was also made clear that he's not her brother in episode 2 when he sang "All For You", the Reply 1997 OST with Seo In Guk and Jung Eun Ji, at karaoke and looked wistfully at Deok Mi. Reply 1997 paralleled this show because both Seo In Guk's character and Eun Gi are in the friendzone with a woman that they grew up with. And Deok Mi's fan-girl behavior is like Shi Won's in Reply 1997.

Also, does anyone else think that Ryan Gold and the idol are somehow related since it's mentioned several times in the show that they look alike?

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Eeeeep I'd like Eun Gi to be her actual brother. OTL

And yes! I think Ryan and Shi-an are brothers.

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I swooned at the Reply 1997 reference.

*spoiler*
And from the 2nd episode, we know that Ryan Gold was adopted so the idea of their being brothers makes lots of sense.

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I got so confused why Eun-gi was staring at DM that way and checked the description and snippets from the presscon. Found out he completes the love triangle so not a brother.

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Ooh thank heavens I am not the only one who got a bit of Lannistery vibe (although in a K-drama friendly form)from Eun-gi's actions..him reddening up at Dong Mi calling her oppa... during the karaoke,SJ even said that they were all born the same year..so I was like is it the famed weird twin closeness ..although DM is decidedly not sending the same vibes..and yes..

I would bet that RG and idol boy are related..even thought SA peeping at RG from behind at the airport was him checking in on his moody hyung but that doesn't seem to be the case!?

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I’ve been waiting for ages on Her Private Life recap and here it is! Thank you @candidclown! I am enjoying HPL right now and was initially watching it for Park Min Young unnie who I really adored in WWWSK, Healer and City Hunter. But I am also smitten with Kim Jae Wook oppa. I didn’t realize he’s an eye catcher what with the swarm of really good looking actors in kdramaland. Well, let’s see if he can land in my bias list at the end of this drama.

By the way, this is my bias list as of today:
1. Lee Dong Wook (My Girl)
2. Park Hyungsik (SWDBS)
3. Song Joong Ki (DotS)
4. Hyun Bin (MNIKSS)
5. Ji Chang Wook (Healer)
And EXO for the boyband with Chanyeol as my ultimate bias. Hehe! Fangirling is fun!

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I thought this was a bit of a clunky start--issues with pacing, too much uninteresting backstory and yes, that overdone tsundere trope. But there was just enough sparkle (literally, sometimes) that I kept with it. I loved the family dynamics, the girl besties, that our lead is not too proud to admit his mistakes. And then when she dramatically fell off the ladder and he simply watched her butt hit the ground I was like, "Okay, I'm in for episode 2."

I'm ready to like PMY again after Sec Kim and she's in good form. Though my favorite character is definitely KJW's cheekbones.

Is it too much to hope they'll dive into a little bit of why people become superfans and what that really means? Yes? I should just enjoy the hijinks and pretty? Okay, fine.

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Honestly when it come to rom-com, they are so cliche that the things that make it or break it for me are not the leads but supporting cast and characters.

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I've never understood fangirls/boys. It's odd to me (not that there is anything wrong with being one, as long as you stay out of creepy stalker territory) so I wasn't sure how I would feel about this drama. But hearing you have similar ideas CandidClown, yet still enjoyed the drama, makes me think I should give this a try. Thanks for the recap!

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Ahhhhhhhh this is my life except I'm not a curator lol. I can totally relate to her having a crappy day but her idol brightens her up right away. It's interesting how watching from a third person perspective made me realize so much. I felt a little pinch in my heart because I understand. It helps but it wouldn't last. I'm glad she has a super supportive girlfriend with her though.

Kinda disappointed Ryan wasn't a fanboy though. That's what I thought when I read the synopsis. Bummer.

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Yay, it’s getting recapped! I was sad last week when I didn’t see anything.

The two take aways from this episode:

1. Kim Jae-wook is devastatingly handsome

2. Deok-mi makes my fangirling feel 1000X saner by comparison. So thanks for that...

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Devastatingly handsome is the perfect despcription coz I'm wrecked.

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When he said "Do you want it?", I involuntarily said Yes. So no shame in devastatingly handsome.

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Omg same!!

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We all want it^____^

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a kid that she regularly supports

Well, if he's young enough, and she spends lots of money on presents / merchandise / tickets -- technically not a lie.

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This is my excuse to coworkers too. Lol

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While Deok Mi is obviously an obsessive fan, enough to run Shi An's #1 fansite, I found her relatable in any small ways.
√ adult, working
√ single, doesn't date RL guy
√ pulls out earphones anywhere (even a bar) to watch a live performance broadcast of her boys/boy
√ smiles so happily while looking at Shi An's photos.
√ her mum nags her about fangirling.

Hahaha I really enjoyed this first episode.

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I'd call her more dedicated than obssessive. There's the other girl who's a sasaeng and the fans do not see her in a good light. Deok-mi takes pictures and manages a space for fans to interact and fangirl. Plus she's very good with her job. She looks like a well balanced fan to me.

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I would agree with you if she did not nearly spend 27 0000$ for the gift to the boy who does not even know her name.

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That's over the top, I agree.

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Also btw some of the members of IN2IT are playing White Ocean, and it was their song "Snapshot" that White Ocean was performing. 😄 As pointed out by Beanies. I saw IN2IT in concert recently and can't help leaving a comment acknowledging their presence. I'm probably the only one here that wants to see more White Ocean. 😂

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Really? Are there really fangirls who go to this extent in real life? Especially 30 (20?) year old women? Does this really happen? WHY?
I can't believe the lead is the same girl as the one in Healer- she looks sooo different!
I don't know about this series, yet, but I do enjoy the leads. We will see!

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Yes. Fansite masters are usually older and would follow idols around. I have the idea that they are mostly very rich and don't have fulltime jobs (I might be wrong though). But yeah, it's even more impressive / crazy (take your pick) irl.

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Maybe they do have jobs. Like one fansite master that I follow a little bit is a Cosplayer.
But they may also be extremely rich 😆
Although yes, other fans are a big source of the fund, one person alone can't always manage to spend so extravagantly on their idols.

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As for the why, most if not all earn money from this. They compile photos sold as photobooks or merch.

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Probably people with a lot of time on their hands. I would consider doing a less extreme version of Deok Mi's fangirling if I had more time on my hand and in a country more accessible to the bands I like.

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This first episode showed me one undeniable truth: I’m a muggle and proud of it! There’s no way I could dedicate my life to a complete stranger. I’ll follow their music or go to a concert or two, but leave the intense fan-girling /boying to others. This is an interesting phenomenon, is it not? Something I’ve really never seen in the US. Well, besides for those super fans who go to every single one of an artist’s concerts in the US, I’m really not familiar with a similar dynamic here. Camping out to take pictures of an artist (there’s paparazzi for that), buying really expensive gifts for musicians (they have everything they could ever want and make more than 99% of their fans), and running fan sites that make them even more famous. It’s so intriguing that I can’t really look away. I’m sure Kim Jae-Wook has nothing to do with it! 😉

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I cant really think of any thing like it. I mean western artist can have a passionate fanbase for sure but ...
.maybe not as reciprocal?

I'm not on social media but I know Beyonce has her hive, but she doesnt seem to have to feed it as much. That maybe a weird way to word ot, but she does not release albums a few times a year or appear on talk shows and so forth.
And I dont know if you see many famous idols serial dating others famous artist or having muses and such.

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Thank you, CandidClown for recapping this drama! :)
I'm already feeling the chemistry between Deok Mi and Ryan; can't wait for Episode 3!

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The bday present story made me understand how much money these fan group collect and how one group managed to get a Seoul metro train decorated to celebrate BTS.

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If this is just a first episode recap, are we allowed to discuss Episode 2?

As a closeted fangirl, I relate to Deok-mi on a spiritual level. I am Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at work and at home. It sucks that there is such a stigma around fangirling. It's like once you get past a certain age, you have to stop having fun. When I'm feeling down, I cheer myself up by watching videos of my idols. Fangirling is escapism.

I don't like Ryan. He seems to be even more of an asshole than your run-of-the-mill K-drama assholes. Nevertheless, this does not give Deok-mi a free pass for attempted murder. Despite the fact that Ryan should have never set foot in a café when he has a lethal allergy to caffeine, I cannot believe how easily he forgave Deok-mi after coming thisclose to dying.

Because I don't like Ryan, I don't ship Deok-mi with him yet. Sian may have only appeared for a hot second, but he is my favorite character already. I am mainly interested in Deok-mi's fangirling over Cheum Museum. "Even if you dislike him, please put your personal feelings aside." ROFL Because Deok-mi told Ryan she hates pretty boys. "Because of that lion sae-kki, I even cursed my sae-kki."

I don't ship Deok-mi with Eun-gi neither, but their relationship is hysterical. "Did you kill him? (죽였어?)" "Do you want me to kill you? (죽을래?)" "I knew you would kill someone one day." "I thought that would be you." "She always asked me if I wanted to die and if I wanted to live a shorter life."

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Giving a coffe to Ryan when he had insisted so much not to have it was really immature from DM. I was disappointed. She's a grown up woman, after all.

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Yes, you allowed to discuss episode 2. I am now watching episode 4.

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So far I've got to say, Her private life has had a solid start. The characters are getting set up and I can't wait for the main 'conflict' to start.
Kudos to this drama to not take a cliched turn with the misunderstanding of them being lovers and him looking down upon them or pitying them. haha he actually looks down upon himself for thinking he was narrow minded !
The misunderstanding is def going to create some fun moments in the future!

Though I am no where close to a fan girl as Deok Mi, I do enjoy Kpop to an extent (well right now the extent is biting me in the derrière, as I try to figure out how to move 200 assorted albums from USA to either India at home to to Korea where I am moving for a research job)

I loved the not so subtle look into the dark side of fandom: flying on the same flight as the stars for the sole purpose of being paparazzi. That is borderline creepy. I hope that Yeo Bo Ram was just flying for business and chose the flight to coincide with our star of the hour.

Looking forward to seeing what this drama has t offer! Love the sound effects and editing so far as well!

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Sorry Kim Bo Ra not Yeo Bo Ram (that is a character on the web drama A-Teen whose season 2 is coming out! I just saw the 1st script reading video so that name was in my head!)

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Does anyone know the name of the actor who played the psychiatrist friend? I've seen him in another drama but can't put my finger on it!

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Kim Ho Chang

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Thank you so much!

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not gonna lie lowkey kinda disappointed the "brother" completed the love triangle and not shi an... hes cute and it'd be hella interesting if he got interested in deok mi bc then it really tests deok mi and we get to see her struggle between choosing her idol or this guy she can actually connect to...

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I agree with you about the 'brother" as opposed to Shi-an- but it would be really awkward if it turns out that Shi-an urns out to be tha main lead's half brother.

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Loving this drama. Happy that Kim Jae Wook accepted this drama he is a good Actor but underrated.

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I feel the need to weigh in on this drama because I AM A FANGIRL... well, part-time. So I relate, big time. I'm not a Kpop group fan but do fly to Hong Kong for my Cantopop concerts and recently to Korea and Japan for my Kdrama bias fan meetings. I would say 50% of my vacation time is planned around fan events. On these trips I will go to airport greetings and send offs, public events and private gatherings with other fans, and squeeze in a good amount of siteseeing whenever I can. And yes, visit the spots that my bias once visited.

This drama does a decent job showing the give and take of different types of fangirls. Not all fans are crazy but the extremists are definitely scary to witness. Like PMY, I was once a devoted webmaster and attended public events in other countries on my vacation time to watch performances and share photos and videos that make them look awesome. Maybe it's just me because I do it, but I think this kind of fangirling is beneficial to the singer/actor. Spending to their benefit and my enjoyment. However I do not buy hundreds of copies of CDs. If he/she can't sell music on their own, I see no reason to remain in the fan-supported side of the industry.

BTW, although some fans do give expensive gifts to their idol, I believe in PMY's case she is using the fansite's support fund that is a pool of contributions from many fans and not her own money. For birthday presents, it's customary for fans to pool their money for a one or few hefty gifts rather than thousands of nominal gifts. Cindy on the other hand is rich so her jacket is a different story.

I love how this drama visualize the virtual world. The homepage comment section, the kakao chatrooms, inside the mind of our protagonist... all very cute and representative.

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Am happy to see others be proud of being a fangirl ... all I've seen since this show started is how no one is watching this because they don't understand fangirling and i want to tell them that the show is so much more but i just shrugged...

am so happy KJW character is not just an assh*le and i get to finally watch him being a lead ..

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I don’t feel proud nor shame in fangirling. It’s a hobby, just like the drama shows the parents being invested in their respective hobbies. If I meet someone who gets it, I’m happy to share all the details. If I meet someone who looks down on me because of it, I just walk away. I was never a mindless teenage fangirl, I was a nerd in school. Got my good grades, good degree, and good job before I even thought about spending money on said hobby — so I earned it to enjoy outside of my professional life. There are actually a lot of fangirls with post-grad degree and high salary jobs. Of course there are younger ones who fall into it too early to make good judgment, but when the phase pass, they turn out ok as well. Unfortunately the extreme and verbal ones represent the majority.

So far the drama is showing a good spectrum of fangirls, from professional career woman, to (practically) house-wife, to full-time obsessive stalker. And now, a man of a fangirl (I’ve meet several guys that were just as supportive of their fiancé/wife and hung out with us while we squirm and shout, even helped us with the heavy lifting when we needed.)

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i really have no negativity towards fangirling , to me its same as the people who love to game , or are into literature , or the harry potter fans , or the music fans its a hobby , there is good and there is bad ... but all i came across since this drama started was about how how it was unwatchable because DM was a fan girl ... so your comment was a new to me ..

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No negativity felt. I also see many comments about not understanding fangirls, blah blah blah. Well they can go watch something they consider “healthy” like doctors getting revenge.

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All-in--all this was a nice review, except for one part "the brother leaving his shoes in front of Deok-Mi's door. The way I see it, he did so because it felt like A GIRL WHO LIVES ALONE apartment, if you ever watched "Another Miss Oh" you'll get the reference here. it's kinda protective move and yes I felt em lingering feels in his look and way of speech
I haven't watched EPs 3-4 yet but I will check em tomorrow and see what they have more to offer.
note: I share the same view of fangirling\idolising celebs with you + I didn't like Min-young's fangirl character that much and I cannot not say this (so bear me plz) but she (PMY) looks weird in this drama like she's been awfully photoshoped like TOO MUCH TBH. SORRY

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Part of the reason for your reaction may be having seen the actress in What's Wrong With Secretary Kim- where she was so perfect that it is a bit jarring to see her as a much more flawed character.

I have watched episodes 3 and 4 and the show gets markedly better with those episodes- more fleshed out.

One of the more honest moments in this show- right after the stampede and getting nearly crushed at the subway- was that it shows our main lead having an American reaction to this stuff, going so far as to say something close to "You can take Korea and....". Remember that the only reason he is fluent in Korean is that when he was adopted his adoptive mother was Korean- so he was able to retain his childhood language. It may be that one of the themes of this show will be showing this Korean-American Artist/Director as a bit of a fish out of water even as he discovers his Korean roots and heritage.

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I'm hoping you are right. That could be fun.
As it is, I'm enjoying this drama so much. It's playful and I enjoy that they are respectful of each other. Their caution is also great.
I can't say that I'm immune to wicked grins or pretty, but what draws them together seems to be more respect than anything else.
I also like watching Ryan jump through hoops to join the fan site. *pffft*

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watching him is like watching my self study for an exam without a scope.... just for shian to tell him it wasn't in the text book ( the 708 videos) but in the slides (insider knowledge) ,,, i felt his anger ...LOL

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Actually, I wasn't talking about the character when I said 'she looked weird' I meant PMY herself, as for the flawed character I get that and I can take it only if the kept it realistic and more believable\relatable ... at the first 2 eps her fangirling craze was taken a bi TOO FAR (buying him a 30000$ worth BD gift?) however, now that I watched eps 3,4,5 & downloaded 6 I am full satisfied with the progress

PS the "this girl is m girlfriend" part got me rolling on the floor LMAO

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I and my wife have watched "Another Miss OH" and I agree with you- leaving the shoes was simply a protective, caring move and nothing else.

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"going so far as to say something close to "You can take Korea and....". "

can you lease tell me when this happens i cant remember it ...

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This may entirely be related or unrelated but I just found out that Ryan from Kakao Friends is actually a LION, not a bear!!!

So naturally that made me think of another certain Ryan the Lion 🦁

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totally related ...i cant here the word lion without thinking of Ryan ...

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Episodes 5 and 6 comments

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As this drama is not being recapped, I will write my comments here....
I was pretty sure that stalker Sindy was Director Eom's daughter. They are both so selfish. Sindy's version of fangirling is obsessive and uncomfortable.
I am really enjoying the interactions between our 2 leads. Ryan is cold on the outside, but he is consistently affected by Deok-mi's sensitivity and affection.
I thought that the gay theme was well handled and am glad that it was DM who led to the breakthrough in negotiations in episode 5.
I can relate to the fangirling, though I have never done that. I think that this show is saying that it is okay to have quirky likes and to follow your passion, as long as you are respectful of others. If it brings you joy, why not? -- this is how I feel about watching dramas!!!

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I think that you are right about the stalker

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I never thought I would watch this drama, as I don't like romcoms that much (I did not and probably will not watch the one that Park Min-young just finished). However, I have wanted to see more of Kim Jae-wook since seeing his handsome face in Coffee Prince, so that's probably why I decided to watch the first episode.

OK, I hated the fangirl stuff. I just can't relate AT ALL. But I watched the second episode, and after the third, I was totally hooked. I can't believe how much I am enjoying this. PMY and KJW have fabulous chemistry, and the director really knows how to make an ordinary, mundane event incredibly erotic.

Also, the LGBT side story is well done, not just with this initial misunderstanding, but in a later episode - one that caused me to shed a few tears.

I'm shocked, but I am really enjoying this.

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I wish the recaps continued, since judging from the number of comments under the "what we're watching" post, there are lot of people who really want to talk about this show. The script is nothing new, but the actors and the leads' chemistry elevates this drama to another level for me. And the romance has a certain warmth, it's so satisfying to watch these two lovely people fall in love with each other.

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Episode 8: Hard eyeroll and deep, long sigh at the hint of backstory with Doekmi's mother. Really, do we need this? Lee Sol isn't enough as the overarching mother and unknown sibling mystery of this show (though not much of a mystery at this point) ? Why do both leads need a family secret? Ugh. Just ugh!

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I don't think Deok-mi has a family secret, it's probably a brother who passed away young. The mother looked at the little boys with longing, EG noticed and held her hand, so I'm guessing he knows too. That could be one of the reasons (aside from helping out a single mum) why they took in EG to look after him.

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That seems plausible, a brother who died. But that qualifies as an unnecessary family secret that adds nothing. There's been no hint of Deokmi having any dark, hidden pain about losing a brother. And if this is about her mother's hidden pain, that's not the show we're watching. The flashback was at an orphanage, so they're setting it up that Deokmi and Ryan played together as kids before he got adopted to the States, because Korean drama writers need to inject fate in romantic pairings. Don't get me wrong, I really like this show, but I don't like this arc they're shoving in. It feels so manufactured.

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On my recent re-watch I caught that in episode 4, Deok-mi's grandma actually tells her parents that they should've had another son "when that thing happened". So it was hinted on earlier. I'm not yet sure what it adds to the story, we'll see I guess.

I agree with you on the issue of pushing fate into k-drama romances, it's annoying me as well.

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UGH PLEASE RECAP THE ENTIRE SHOWWWWW

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I watched all 8 currently released episodes in 2 days and I just love it. This drama deserves more love and more recaps! Please, please, please...

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