Rating:
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Search Query: WWW: Episode 4

Our favorite grumpy heroine continues to waffle over her feelings for a certain persistent suitor, and her confusion results in his finally showing her his more vulnerable side. Meanwhile, the debate over whether real-time rankings should be tampered with rages on at both search engine companies, but nobody realizes how important the issue really is until the very real results of their decisions hit close to home.

 
EPISODE 4 RECAP

Feeling guilty for getting him fired, Ta-mi agrees to grant Mo-gun’s request to answer his calls and texts, and see him when he asks. He tells her, “This is how it is when you’re twenty-eight. My passion is limitless, and my passion is fueled by me.”

The next day at work at work, Ta-mi learns that Bong-ki is the same age as Mo-gun, and she wonders why the two seem so different. She asks Bong-ki if she’s pretty, but he says professionally that he respects her, and again she wonders why Bong-ki is age-appropriately adorable while Mo-gun seems more mature.

The most-searched keyword of the day is the name of a missing boy, and the team debates the usefulness of the real-time rankings when many of the search results are comments about the mother’s looks. They look to Ta-mi for her opinion, and she says that she hates the real-time rankings.

She explains that web portals have too much power to decide which results stay in the rankings and which get deleted, when the users should decide on the rankings. She says that they don’t have perfect standards, and when Hyun says there’s no such thing, Ta-mi snaps that that’s why she hates them.

Ah-ra is surprised to hear that there are no regulations or punishments for manipulating real-time rankings. Hyun says that’s because the rankings are only thought of as income for web portals, and they have a right to conduct their business. Ta-mi clarifies that hating it doesn’t mean she wants it gone.

She goes to a coffee shop to work alone, and while she’s on a business call, she looks down to see Mo-gun crouched by her chair, using a marker to draw on her leg to hide a run in her hose. She yelps and asks why he did that, and he says with a cheeky grin, “So you’ll think of me when you take them off.” Well RAWR to you, too, sir.

He says he has a meeting nearby and Ta-mi accidentally gives away her disappointment that he’s leaving already. She asks for some time to find him another project to take the place of the one Ga-kyung fired him from, but Mo-gun says not to bother, because the firing wasn’t her doing anyway. He warns Ta-mi that he’s going to text her a lot then walks back to her, and she braces herself, but he just leans down to re-color in the run (I love how she rolls her eyes, ha) now that she’s standing and it’s in a different place.

Later she finds a restaurant for lunch, but Hyun is already there, and they end up sitting awkwardly at adjacent tables. Ta-mi asks why Hyun doesn’t go to team dinners, so Hyun says she doesn’t drink, and she dislikes being the only sober person among drunk people.

Ta-mi points out that Hyun drank with Ga-kyung, and Hyun says that when they’re together, Ga-kyung is the one who doesn’t drink. She refuses to answer any more questions about Ga-kyung, snapping that they don’t know each other that well, and Ta-mi admits that she’s notoriously impatient.

She remembers once when she poured sauce on food that was still covered, and her boyfriend at the time… and she suddenly recalls someone named Joon-soo and cringes hard. Hyun’s curiosity is piqued, but Ta-mi parrots back her comment that they aren’t that close.

Ta-mi heads back to Barro after lunch to find the overly-familiar guy from the other day waiting for her in the lobby — it’s Joon-soo, her ex, and he can tell by her face that she remembers him now. She reminds him that they only dated for a month, sixteen years ago, and says he made so little impression that she barely even remembers him.

She’s unimpressed by his attempt to charm her and reminds him of her temper, but he just chuckles that she hasn’t changed. Ta-mi says she’s thankful that their work paths will rarely cross, but she stops herself mid-flounce when she realizes that he’s Director of Gaming. She does a one-eighty and accepts his dinner invitation.

Until now, Unicon seems to have gotten off scott-free regarding their ranking manipulations. But a visit from the global head office lets them know that they’re in serious danger of a complete management overhaul if they don’t show a serious effort to fix their problems. Ga-kyung curses under her breath and retorts that it’s stupid to actively go up against Barro right now.

After the meeting, Ga-kyung finds Mo-gun waiting in her office to discuss his dismissal. Ga-kyung claims that it’s due to long-existing communication problems, but Mo-gun interrupts to say that he’s not recording this, so she can be honest. Ga-kyung admits that she assumed he was looking for a reason to sue, gaining enough respect for him to make her willing to listen.

Mo-gun says he knows Ga-kyung is using him to get at Ta-mi, but he doesn’t care and doesn’t want to get involved, so he’d like to get back to work on the game. He points out that with the launch date looming, Ga-kyung has no time to replace him, and even if she could, their work would be rushed, and she admits that he’s good at this.

Over dinner with Joon-soo, Ta-mi mentions a new game his department is working on, and she wilts when Joon-soo says it’s nearly finished. He pinches her cheek and she swats at him, but he just says she’s adorable when she’s mad. She asks flat-out if he has a musical director, and he says he doesn’t, then asks her if she’s single.

She snaps that she is, then gives him a sample of Mo-gun’s work. Joon-soo tosses it aside, preferring to discuss Ta-mi’s personal life, and Ta-mi grips her fork like she’s feeling particularly stabby. When she finally gets free, she finds a text from Mo-gun on her phone asking if she’s still at work. As promised, she replies and agrees to meet with him.

While he waits, Mo-gun sees Joon-soo, hugging some other woman with enthusiasm. Mo-gun is startled to hear Ta-mi’s incredulous, “That crazy bastard!” right behind him, but she side-steps his questions by suggesting they go eat. He still figures out that Ta-mi was with Joon-soo earlier, and he asks if she’s eating with him now because she feels guilty.

She admits that she does feel guilty — for getting him fired. Mo-gun asks who Joon-soo is, saying that he plans to exploit her guilt, so she tells him the truth. Doing the math, Mo-gun figures out that he was twelve when Ta-mi and Joon-soo dated, and asks with narrowed eyes if he and Joon-soo are in the same “fishtank.”

After dinner, Mo-gun says he’s waffling over whether to tell Ta-mi the thing he wanted to tell her tonight. He decides to be petty and not tell her, saying that she’ll have to forgive him when she finds out later.

As they’re both driving away, Mo-gun pulls up beside Ta-mi and tosses something into her car. LOL, it’s a new pair of hose, and Ta-mi looks pretty damn charmed. At home, though, the marks he drew on her ankle won’t come off, making Ta-mi growl in frustration.

Hyun sits in her (surprisingly pastel) apartment, absolutely riveted to her favorite makjang drama. She’s impressed by the horrible villain and looks the actor, Seol Ji-hwan, up on Barro, only to find that he’s a newer actor with very little online presence.

At work later, Ta-mi notices Hyun sneakily using her phone again. Hyun abruptly leaves the office, and Ta-mi follows her to the stairwell, where she meets with Joon-soo. She asks how Joon-soo knows Ta-mi, and he lies nervously that they were in the same study group in college. Wait, are they dating??

Later, Ta-mi barges into Joon-soo’s office and orders him to break up with Hyun. Whoa, they are dating. Ta-mi snaps that she knows about his girlfriend, so he admits everything and begs Ta-mi not to tell Hyun and get him killed. Ta-mi gives him a week to break up with Hyun or she’ll tell her the truth.

Ta-mi has a piano lesson with Da-in, her pianist friend, that night. Da-in notices that Ta-mi is distracted, and Ta-mi asks if Da-in has ever dated a younger man. DI says she’s not attracted to younger guys, and Ta-mi sighs that she wishes she weren’t. She says she’s having a fling but trying to end it, then practically leaps at the phone when Mo-gun calls, hee.

He invites her to come play with him, and she’s eager for the chance to win back her gaming honor. She accepts his challenge as DI smiles knowingly and mutters that she doesn’t seem to be trying very hard to end it.

Ta-mi and Mo-gun end up playing darts, and Mo-gun suggests they bet a wish on the outcome. Ta-mi turns out to be pretty good at darts (and I love the triumph shot of her with the wings perfectly placed in the background), but Mo-gun is even better. Mo-gun eventually wins, and Ta-mi pouts that she got hustled, though he reminds her that she picked the game.

Mo-gun notices that there’s still marker on Ta-mi’s ankle (I love that he checked) and laughs as she stammers that it won’t wash off. Ta-mi accuses him of using permanent marker on purpose, but Mo-gun smoothly retorts that the only thing he does on purpose is liking her.

He asks her out for drinks next time, and Ta-mi accepts since she promised. Looking a bit disappointed, Mo-gun asks if she only came today out of guilt, and whether she’ll stop once she quits feeling guilty. She doesn’t answer, so he decides to cash in his wish. He takes his pen out again, grabs her ankle, and connects the dots — by drawing a heart. This kid is killing me.

After she’s home, Ta-mi gets a text from Mo-gun asking her not to wash off the heart. She finally changes her contact to his real name, saying to herself that they’re not strangers anymore. Seconds later she gets a message from Joon-soo saying that he’s promoting Mo-gun for a job and reminding her of her promise not to tell Hyun of his two-timing.

At work the next morning, Ah-ra notices that an ex of hers found her social media page, while his is labeled private. Alex says that Jenny knows how to hack, and in fact was busted as a teenager for locking down the entire Inju traffic system just so her crush would have to walk home with her, HA.

CEO Min calls the team to his office — the model they tried to hire for their ad, Han Min-kyu, was filmed in a host bar, and he’s rapidly climbing the real-time rankings. They discuss whether to delete it from their rankings, and Hyun says that Han Min-kyu is a former host himself, which is harmful to youngsters.

But Ta-mi says that being a host isn’t illegal, and his agency will deny it anyway. Hyun argues that the public has no right to his personal life, but Ta-mi says that deleting a ranking risks Barro being criticized for censorship and corruption, since the public doesn’t know their reasons.

She says that Unicon wouldn’t take it down, and when Hyun says that Barro has different standards, Ta-mi points out that it’s worse to be the only site to take something down. She sticks to her belief that the public is entitled to guide its own interests, and that it’s not Barro’s job to protect a celebrity from their own bad decisions. When time runs out, CEO Min decides to leave it on the rankings.

Mo-gun shows up for a meeting about a game, having been unexpectedly hired, though he doesn’t realize it’s Barro’s game until Joon-soo arrives. Awk-waaard. MS asks why his company was chosen for this project, but the developer just says vaguely that he likes Mo-gun’s work. Mo-gun asks, between two games, which style they think would fit this game better.

Joon-soo blurts out one of the names, so Mo-gun says that if they like the music in that game so much, they should have called the company who made it. Oh, ouch. He says that he knows Joon-soo dropped the original sound team to hire him, and walks out.

Ta-mi and Ga-kyung end up at the same coffee shop, and Ga-kyung says that when someone looks up something on Barro, a large percentage of the results come directly from Unicon. She makes a not-so-veiled threat to block Unicon’s sources against Barro, but Ta-mi says that Barro could do the same, then they’d both fail.

Ga-kyung admits that she’d rather both sites fail than let Barro win, but Ta-mi says that’s her mother-in-law’s call. Ga-kyung says she still has the power to rehire a certain interesting someone, then tells Ta-mi that she already has, and even plans to offer Mo-gun an exclusive contract if his project goes well.

Ga-kyung watches Ta-mi’s stunned reaction and concedes that she was telling the truth when she said she has nothing to do with Mo-gun. Ta-mi asks why Ga-kyung hired him back, and she says almost wistfully, “The flowerpot.” We see a flashback of her conversation with Mo-gun, and at the end as he was leaving, he’d moved a nearly dead potted plant from a dark corner to the sunny windowsill.

He’d said that as a tropical plant, it needed sunlight to flourish, but Ga-kyung had admitted that she left it in the dark to avoid the bother of caring for it. Mo-gun had countered that she wouldn’t be bothered if it was healthy either. Ga-kyung had told him that she’d just found a reason to rehire him — the pot the plant is in is her favorite.

Mo-gun ignores a call from Ta-mi, only to find her waiting at his office. She says he shouldn’t have accepted Ga-kyung’s offer of his job back, because they’re only using him to get to her. She says he should have at least discussed it with her first, but he throws that back at her, saying she should have discussed her pulling strings on his behalf with him first.

He tells her that he turned the job down because someone else got fired to make a place for him, and when Ta-mi argues that he could get fired again, he says that he won’t do it to someone else just because it was done to him. He apologizes for not telling her he got rehired at Unicon, but adds that he’s not thankful for the way she let him be blindsided.

Ta-mi says he would have declined if she’d told him, so Mo-gun asks why she did it if she knew that, and she admits that it was guilt again. Mo-gun says he hates that everything she’s doing for him is from guilt, because he’s scared that when her guilt dissipates she’ll stop seeing him. He asks her softly to understand that she’s not just a sunbae to him, and he doesn’t want help from a man who dated the woman he likes.

Model Han Min-kyu is being absolutely roasted online, and when Ga-kyung ignores his calls, he corners her in the parking garage after work. He kneels and begs her to remove him from the real-time keyword list, reminding her that he risked his reputation by blowing off Barro to sign with Unicon.

Ga-kyung says that removing him won’t fix his problem, but he says he’s scared. Ga-kyung retorts that if he’s so scared then he never should have worked as a host, and she tells him to get a grip and leaves him kneeling alone.

Ta-mi looks up the rankings, and Han Min-kyu’s name occupies the top two slots. She looks up to see her whole team looking shocked and sneaking glances at her, and on the television she can see the breaking headlines: Han Min-kyu has committed suicide. Oh no…

As articles start to flood the internet, most of them just copies of one original article, Hyun grows angry. She stomps to the media department and orders them to find any and all articles about Min-kyu’s suicide that are overly descriptive or cruel and delete them. Alone, Ta-mi looks up Min-kyu’s profile on Unicon and sees that they’ve edited it to include his death.

Ga-kyung is in her car when she hears of Min-kyu’s suicide on the radio, and she just sits, stunned, in the middle of traffic. She goes to the hospital, and she calls Unicon to berate them for updating Min-kyu’s profile before he’s been officially pronounced deceased by a doctor.

In the ER, the doctors are still trying to revive Min-kyu, and miraculously, they’re able to get his heart going again. Ga-kyung nearly collapses with relief, and before long, the news is reporting that Min-kyu actually survived his suicide attempt.

Hyun sees the news as she’s filling up her car at a gas station on her way home. She pulls out, and the driver who pulls in behind her gets out to use the restroom. While he’s gone, the attendant notices a small child sleeping in the backseat.

CEO Min finds Ta-mi, who asks despondently if she was wrong to decide not to take Min-kyu off the rankings, but CEO Min says that he made the final decision. Ta-mi tells him that she always thought she’d know all the answers by her age, and make all the right decisions, but now she knows that even if her decision is right, the result may not always be good.

CEO Min says that at his age, he’s realized that right and wrong aren’t the same for everyone. Ta-mi admits that she wants to be right all the time, and CEO Min tells her that that attitude will take her places.

Joining them, Bong-ki says that Kim Han-sol, the missing boy, was found because his name was high on the rankings and a gas station attendant recognized him and called the police. CEO Min and Bong-ki head home feeling a little better, but Ta-mi stays to reads a thank you letter online from Kim Han-sol’s mother, which makes her smile.

Suddenly, Ta-mi’s phone starts blowing up with messages. She looks and her eyes go wide, then she checks Barro’s real-time rankings… and her name is at number one. Stunned and shaking, and feeling as if there’s a spotlight on her, she stands stock-still in the middle of the room as everyone stares at her, and she drops her phone when Ah-ra tries to call.

Someone picks up her phone — it’s Mo-gun. He hides her face with his hat and picks up her laptop, then laces their fingers together. He tells Ta-mi not to let go, and leads her outside.

 
COMMENTS

What was that?? You all probably know already, since I’m still a bit behind, so please don’t drop any spoilers in the Comments — but my guess is that this is some sort of personal attack by someone from either Barro or Unicon. Given that this entire episode is about the ethics of editing real-time rankings, I’m thinking that someone is either trying to make a point, or get Ta-mi fired.

I can’t help but wonder how everyone’s opinions on deleting real-time rankings may change now that they’ve seen how one decision can have tragic, permanent results or positive ones. I tend to feel the way Ta-mi feels about them — as long as they exist, they should go unchanged, because nobody has the right to tamper with the truth. On the other hand, if Ga-kyung had removed Min-kyu’s name from Unicon’s rankings, would it have stopped Min-kyu from trying to take his own life? Ga-kyung especially seemed shaken by his suicide attempt, and from things that were said between them, it’s obvious that their relationship is more than just professional.

For a while there (mostly during Episode 3) I was feeling a little resentful towards Mo-gun, as much as I wanted to like him, because he just wasn’t listening to Ta-mi’s repeatedly telling him that she wasn’t interested in dating him. Then I realized two subtle but important details — first, Mo-gun never, ever got in Ta-mi’s personal space or tried to physically intimidate her (in fact he usually made his arguments from a pretty respectful distance) and second, Ta-mi’s reason were always because of age or work, or fear of starting something that would most likely end, but she never once said she didn’t like him. On the contrary, she made several admissions that she did like him, and I’m sure that Mo-gun picked up on that.

Yes, Mo-gun pushed himself at Ta-mi after being told to stop, and that’s not okay, and I’m not excusing it. He should have stopped after the first time Ta-mi told him she wasn’t interested in dating him. But I tend to watch the lady in these scenarios, and if she’s not angry about the guy’s behavior, I accept her feelings on the issue (regardless of what my own response would be). Ta-mi did have regrets for pushing Mo-gun away, then when he came back, she almost jumped at the excuse to start accepting his advances. And I do think that as persistent male drama leads go, Mo-gun was relatively respectful of Ta-mi’s boundaries. He used his words and only his words, and once Ta-mi clearly said, “I don’t want to see you again,” he fully intended to give her what she wanted. It wasn’t his fault that they met again under different circumstances and I don’t blame him for giving it one more try, and I like that he’s showing some vulnerability to Ta-mi now, and even getting angry at her, because it shows that he’s not going to let her off the hook for bad behavior just because he likes her.

I wasn’t very interested by Ga-kyung for the first few episodes — I found her stilted and boring, and irretrievably tainted by her years focusing on the bottom line rather than what’s right. But her conversation with Mo-gun about the plant got my attention because it showed a deeper side to her, and now I want to know more. I’m still not exactly sure what she meant by the pot being her favorite, but I think that she was saying that while she’s restrained in ways that make it impossible for her to act for obvious reasons (put the plant in the sun so it will live), she can be convinced to do the right thing if the reason isn’t so predictable (she likes the pot). Maybe I’m overthinking it, but I believe that Ga-kyung was trying to pass on a message to Ta-mi through Mo-gun, that the old friend Ta-mi remembers is unable to show herself because of the pressures around her, but that she’s still in there if Ta-mi can find a way to reach her.

I just can’t get over how awesome it is that all of the women in Search Query: WWW are basically the typical male drama archetypes that we’re so used to seeing, just in fierce heels, and how much I love them for their unapologetic ambition and strength. Almost every single position of corporate power is occupied by a woman, and the few men are relatively meek and generally defer to the women. None of the three leading ladies are what I’d call likable, but how many dramas have we all seen where the male lead started out as a huge jerk to the sweet, forgiving girl who falls for him anyway? In Search, it’s Ta-mi who’s the tsundere workaholic that’s uninterested in romance, and Mo-gun is the one who falls in love on first meeting and follows the object of his affections around until she gets so used to him that she can’t imagine him not being around. It’s so familiar, but it looks and feels so different when the genders are flipped, and I’m just tickled to see it playing out.

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I love this show. Some of the camera work could be better, yes, and yes, it's not perfect, but no show is. I love it nonetheless. I love the women, I love their power plays, and Park Morgan is really easy on my eyes. I binge watched Come and Hug Me because of this show.

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The writer of MOA should learn a thing or two about writing badass woman characters from this author.

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I second the motion.

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Which drama is MOA? lol

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Memories of the Alhambra

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"It’s so familiar, but it looks and feels so different when the genders are flipped, and I’m just tickled to see it playing out."

My thoughts exactly. This is the same world we live in, except gender hierarchies at the workplace are flipped - here its women at the top. This is such a fun and refreshing change. I particularly love the fact that even with women at the top, the world is no different from our world. It speaks volumes. The writer thinks men and women are pretty much the same haha - and I agree. I hate the "men are from mars, women are from venus" type of thinking.

Finally, I just want to say that I've read quite a few complaints about the romance and people not continuing the show because of it. While I respect that point of view, I find it a bit sad that ALL of this amazing female interaction is so easily brushed aside, and the sum total of the show is reduced to one single part of it - a romance that barely takes up any screentime. Imho such views may actually be contrary to the idea of progressive, because such comments reduce everything to the male lead.

Only later episodes will tell if I'm right of course. I hope the show doesn't prove me wrong. HAHA.

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I completely agree with you. As cute as Park Mo Gun is, I picked this drama because of the strong female characters. I always hated the kdramas that disregarded the second female leads when I was more interested in them than the leads. Honestly, I am glad that the romance takes so little screentime because it means I get to see Cha Hyun and Song Ga Gyeong more often. Especially Cha Hyun and Bae Tami's frenemy relationship.

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I feel the same way. The main plot is so interesting and the conflict of internet self regulation is so real and worthy of discussions, yet people are focusing on Park MoGun. I pretty much ignore him ( he is good looking though so not easy to completely ignore). I do like that he brings out the personal side of TaMi, not the same confident woman but her cracks are revealed a bit. And also she thinks about her work decisions outside work.
I am here for all the amazing female characters and love our makjang drama watching kick ass judo gal 💜

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Wow, that's sad if true. I've thought so far that the drama has been doing a good job at prioritizing the female relationships in the show over the romance, and rightfully so. We even get a lot of scenes dedicated to the females that would normally only ever be used to highlight the male & female couple.

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(It is/was true after the 1st few eps - on the beanie wall haha)
And yup! We also get a lot of scenes that are usually reserved for male characters only. I'm enjoying the flip. :D

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I always say it depends on why you picked up the drama. They promoted it as a romance and there is hardly any. I enjoy all of it.

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Cheers to women and their distinct characters!

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Is Ta Mi an Angel?

Please go over to KBS and kick those angels' asses!

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Lol...
Which kbs angels...?

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For me, that potted plant reminds GaGyeong of her likes, wants, desires and self that she's pushed aside years ago in order to climb the ladder and stay up there. Just like how its easier for her to function by pushing aside her inner compass, it's easier for her to forget that she can like things (the pot) when it's purposely put out of sight.

And yet this guy is telling her not to raze the ground and scorch the earth (killing that plant just to hide a pot) that she doesn't even care for like he's telling her not to obliterate her real self and become a complete shell since she doesn't care much anyway. Let things flourish, especially if they aren't in your way (and may give you even just a bit of joy). And maybe she hired him back because she respected that part of him - someone who told her like it is and won't back down just because. He really plays no part in her beef with TaMi. She really shouldn't be killing the plant (him) just because she has a very complicated relationship with the pot (TaMi).

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Love your point of view. SGK always intrigued me...her character makes me wonder what happened to make her change like that

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Ooooh... I like your interpretation much better. Let's go with this one.

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@lollypip
OMG....You are a recapping machine at the moment. I hope you get some down time.

P.s. As you are my bean count queen...I hope you are thinking of some creative award categories to lobby for inclusion to this end of year awards. I would hate to see all your insights of the year waisted on just the usual limited categories.

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I love every woman in this drama but I’m enjoying Jeon Hye-Jin’s acting very much. I always love main characters with the fewest dialogues. I love to see how they use their eyes and facial expressions. JHJ is new to me. The only time I saw her was in MiSa when she played So Ji Sub’s characters’ sister.
Loving his husband for years and now loving her.

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I love how cheeky Mogun is! I think he is just what Tami needs in her stress-filled life and serious personality; not that he balances her strength with weakness but he injects softness in her that makes her more human.

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I love Brian and Tammy's conversation about making the right decisions. There is something about being in a certain age where you think you know what you are doing is the right thing to do only to realize years later that rights and wrongs aren't the same at all times. They hit the nail on the head with that one.

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I am impressed at the way Mo Gun got his job back and also how he declined the Barro offer. He handled everything in this job thing well and was right in what he said to Ta Mi.

I want to watch a show of Scarlett watching kdramas. Failing that, I’d be happy with 3 minutes in each episode…

That last scene of Ta Mi feeling so exposed as if everyone’s eyes are on her was so well done…

I still dislike Ga Kyung.

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I love this show so much, but I won't say anything for fear of spoiling it. Also the romance is truly the least interesting part of this drama and the writer seems to be making a conscious effort to make that the case. Huzzah

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Do you know why the romance is lackluster?
Personally, I couldn't understand why I always felt uncomfortable to see Tammy and and Morgan on the same scene.
I'd rather have the story completely about the women and their platonic relationship with the co-workers. Or, if they insist on the romance, at least don't shove it in my face.
Usually, I'm not this kind of person, when there is no romance it makes feel empty. But in this show's case, I wish that would have been the situation.

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Honestly, I think it's because Mo-Gun has been shoehorned into the drama to give Ta-Mi a romance. It wasn't organic. It probably would have made more sense for them to already be a couple than the way he was introduced. I also don't think the romance is interesting enough to make me care about them as a couple. I try, but when Mo-Gun isn't there I don't miss him.

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"It probably would have made more sense for them to already be a couple than the way he was introduced."

Your point reminds of the creative direction Chieff of Staff's writer made for the main leads. I could definitely see this working for Tammy and Morgan. Now I feel a bit sad thinking about the missed opportunity.

I agree about the uninteresting premise on their romance part. I actually want less screen-time of Morgan. xd

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AGREED!!!

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I actually buy the romance. Her hesitation and his enthusiasm seem utterly correct to me.

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Tammy and Scarlett are the best together! I love all their scenes! They're badass and funny.

I want to know more about Ga Kyung honestly. She's very behind Tammy and Scarlett in her development.

I don't really like the love story and Park Morgan. He's a nice guy but the way the relationship is told is not appealing. I think he was right to fight to get his job back because he worked a lot for it but he was wrong how he reacted for the job she found for me, she said to him that she will use all her connections to find him a new job.
I like more Tammy without him than with him.

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The first k-drama I watched was I'm Not A Robot, so I didn't realize that the portrayal of strong women who didn't act cute, cry when faced with challenges, and had their own professional dreams was such an exception to the k-drama universe.
I am in LOVE with Search Query. Not only do the main female characters resemble real women I know, but they and the male leads are multi-dimensional. Nobody is evil or noble, they're human.
The actors must be reveling in the chance to play roles that allow them to flesh out so many sides of their characters.
I'm so impressed with first time head writer, Kwon Do Eun, and I'm looking forward to seeing a lot more of her work. I hope this series is embraced by Korean viewers in a way that I'm Not a Robot wasn't.

And holy moly, Jang Ki Yong! How does he make stillness so sexy? He delivers amazing lines in a way that makes me replay his scenes to think more about what he says.

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Ta-Mi and Scarlett’s conversations are what I look forward in the Show. The conversations are so well done! Brian and Ta-Mi’s convo 👏 👏 👏

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What I really liked in this episode was Mogun's reaction to Ta Mi's meddling with his work. The way he handled the (awkward) situation was reasonable. He was right that choosing him for the wrong reasons (1) led to having their choice of music director thrown to the side without regard and (2) not respecting his work because they clearly didn't know of any of his previous works. Rather than pride, it was I think his work ethics showing. Mogun is gentle yet firm in his beliefs too. And he wants to show Ta Mi that he can fend for himself. I love the way he told GK that he doesn't want to get used as an object of her revenge. As pointed out, this is one of the reversals in this drama.

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This drama has one serious case of mildang, I swear.
I noticed, though, that it's only in noona romance that this kind of mildang occurs (one that is d/t age, personality issues). In dramas where leading men are way older than their heroines, it's not always highlighted or taken as a major issue. The man might be a very career-oriented, relationship-deprived ass but the issues might be his behavior (approach to the girl as in Secret Garden) or social status inequality. Or in makjang dramas, it might be a bitchy mother in law or some hidden secret. Dramas really do reflect real life.

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I am a bit confuse about what exactly I'm watching. It started a little bit of political corruption drama, though that seems to have gone off the boil. Sometimes its a hardball business drama. Then its a social conscience drama. Then its a screwball comedy. Then its a role-reversal rom-com. Then its a revenge drama. Sometimes its just odd. I guess one can't complain about it not following typical K-drama 'formula' when we complain so often about shows that do follow K-drama 'formula.

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Perhaps it seems that way because it's about search engines and that covers all of the above? In the context of the show I think it all makes sense.

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Thanks for the recap! I agree with you about Park Mo-gun. I honestly do not think he has ever been inappropriate. Annoyingly persistent, yes, but always within bounds. I think cues are an important form of communication, and like you said, Ta Mi did admit to having an attraction to him, and their conversations never included any terseness, fear or any such negative emotion from her. I think he ran with those cues.

And - don't kill me - if two people have had a mutual, consensual intimate relation, I'm okay with one persuing the other a little more persistently than usual, AS LONG AS boundaries are maintained, as I think they have been here. We've had no wrist grabbing, physical blocking, listen to me whether you want to or not situations that are so common.

I am really liking the moral questions this show brings up with regard to the search engine. Ta Mi's statement about a right decision not always having good consequences is so true. Life is really not that simple, and I do not think she makes the decisions she does lightly.

Ga Gyeong is also way more petty than I thought. That she would attack a completely random person because of a professional grudge. I know her life is awful, but that in no way excuses how she is going out of her way to be awful to people. I'm glad she at least still has some decency and gave Mo-Gun his job back.

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I completely agree on Ga Kyung. I cannot warm up to her. It may be her coping mechanism with the awful life she is in but one always has choices. Her nasty and petty side turns me off so much that I can't feel for her when I am supposed to.

Regarding right decisions and good consequences: that's why we have principles and rules and standards. Otherwise we are down the slippery slope of road to hell that is paved with good intentions and everybody excusing everything they do with their intentions. The ends should never justify the means.

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Unpopular opinion--I'm not a big fan of Bae Ta Mi. I think she is self centered, arrogant, and lacking any core principles. Before she got fired, she was willing to help Unicon cover up its search manipulation at a formal hearing. She was even hoping to get reinstated at Unicon after she got fired. But after she realized she was fired for good, she called out her boss in front of the whole company for breaking the "Code of Ethics". Why didn't she do that before? It's totally hypocritical. Now she's at Barro trying to overtake Unicon because Unicon fired her. She doesn't stand for any principles so there's nothing to root for. Does it even matter whether Unicon or Barro ends up as #1? It's meaningless.

Also, it's like she's trying to win an argument every time she talks to anyone. There's no real discussion or collaboration or listening and learning from others. She thinks she's always right and is always telling others how they're wrong. And she is unprofessional and petty sometimes, like when she says Cha Hyeon must have an inferiority complex if she doesn't want to work with her. Gee, what a great way to convince someone to work for you.

Then she tells Morgan that she has many connections in the industry and can help him get another job right away, but her only answer is to have lunch with the smarmy womanizer dude who is two-timing Cha Hyeon and ask him to hire Morgan? Lame.

Even with Morgan, it's so one sided. She doesn't make any effort to get to know him. He's always the one making all the effort. If she doesn't like him, she can choose not to see him, it's very simple. Instead, she does like him, so she chooses to continue seeing him. Yet she acts like she can't be bothered whenever she's with him.

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Aaaand... that is exactly why TaMi is such an intriguing character that I want to see more of. And why she needs Hyun by her side - to pull her back when she gets too full of herself and runs too far ahead.

Most people tend to think they're right/ their way is the best and you don't get to TaMi's position without having some insane confidence in yourself. But TaMi's human after all and therefore not right all the time despite what she thinks. At least she knows and is open to give consideration to other people's opinions, even if she still thinks and reacts such that only her way is the best at that moment in time. She's been so fiercely independent and comes out so defensive and sharp to anyone who detracts her in any way (and she's been in a lot of battles and had a lot of detractors so much so that her reaction becomes second nature to her) that it takes a while for her to realise, hey, maybe that fella had a point after all.

Love this portrayal.

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I think there's a line between between confidence and arrogance, and Tammy's on the wrong side of it. At the company I work at, none of the senior managers, even those managing upwards of 200 people, come off the way Tammy does. Yes, they are confident and firm when they need to be, but they also place importance on seeking good ideas from others and empowering their team, and aren't just arguing with people all the time, so the show is unrealistic in that regard for me.

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I dunno, I don't really find her arrogant. Just so incredibly independent to the degree that it can become a flaw - she basically only trusts herself until she's hit smack in the face by an opinion or comeback that can stun her.

I mean, I agree with MoGeon who recognised right in the first episode that she only gives people who can beat her at her game the time of the day.

I'm not saying that she's an angel because she's definitely not. I'm just saying I like having a character like her in the story. And I root for her.

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I'm seeing the same thing, At first I thought this series was going to be this years 'Misty'. Go Hye-ran was a famously ruthless professional at the top of the corporate ladder, but at least she was ruthless in the service of her uncompromising social ethics. That's what made her fall so much more tragic.
In contrast Tammy's business ethics seem to be more provisional. Her fight against Unicorn isn't based on moral outrage over their wrongdoings, its more out of revenge for having been treated shabbily. Why did she (redacted because its from a future episode)? Revenge for haven been treated shabbily.

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She does have to get Barro up top against Unicon in 6 months though.

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Right, exactly. It doesn't make for a compelling storyline imo.

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Ta Mi is the same as the crappy male leads that 'change' once they meet the female lead - who is this case I think is Cha Hyeon. I completely disagree with your point that she doesn't listen to other people, because she does. Everyone on her team has a voice whether or not she does what they suggest. And to be honest she's the boss because she knows better, is willing to do what is necessary, and always takes the fall-out. And her state and the end with the suicide proves that she is capable of rethinking and reflecting. I like this about her.

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“ I've read quite a few complaints about the romance and people not continuing the show because of it...” Really ? I for one come for the swoon. Love the swoon. And stay for the swoon. Badass women with character flaws ? Icings on the cakes.

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Morgan makes me swoon every time he's on screen.

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Yes, yes he does.

Hubba hubba.

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Love this drama and your recap a lot. But now TVN already shown till episode 8, so hopefully you can recap ep. 5,6,7 and 8 as soon as possible. Great cast, drama, script, ost and cinematography. One of 2019 best drama!

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I made a comment about Morgan being persistent and someone said something to the effect of "No means No" and that I must be okay with him stalking her. I hate when people are purposely obtuse.

I agree that he was respectfully persistent. Ta Mi was giving mixed signals and he picked up on that. Who says "I don't want to see you" but has lunch and continues to see him? Once she gave him serious reasons and was clear about not wanting to see him, he stopped. No pressure, no physical intimidation. She said no and he backed off. Not a single phone call or text even though his hand was itching to do so. Morgan was always upfront about liking her. Ta Mi, on the other hand, is confused. It seems to be hard for her to give him a real chance.

I am really enjoying the female-centric office politics. I don't like Ga Gyung but I love that I don't like her!

The debates on what should and shouldn't be left to real-time searches are interesting. We don't have that in the states or at least Google doesn't. Somethings are as clear as black and white, some things are very grey. Life is a series of choices and sometimes even with the best intentions things go wrong. Ta Mi regretting not removing Min Kyu from the search rankings is understandable but I agreed with her decision.

I am thoroughly enjoying this drama, romance and all. Now if they would ease up off the "creative" camera work it would be perfect.

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