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A Moment at Eighteen: Episode 3

Our hero isn’t backing down and running away, which means he’s going to have to keep facing challenges, both the new ones in front of him and the ghosts of his past. The class president’s power can be felt everywhere, from their classmates to the teachers. He’s used to being in control, at least at school, and he’s determined to keep the status quo and expel our poor transfer student.

  
EPISODE 3: “It Always Rains on Sad Days”

Joon-woo returns to school after all, and even receives a warm welcome back from Mr. Oh. Hwi-young’s reaction isn’t as welcoming, while the rest of the class hesitantly clap (except Soo-bin of course, who gives a strong round of applause). Hwi-young leans in to ask why Joon-woo returned, and Joon-woo responds that it was a weak move to run away.

And so another day arrives, and Joon-woo makes his long commute to school. Soo-bin spots him from the car as her mother lectures her about the upcoming level test to get into Hwi-young’s math tutor group. Soo-bin is still embarrassed over all the groveling her mother resorted to to get Soo-bin a chance at the group, but Mom says it’s worth it for Soo-bin to get into Seoul National University.

Once Joon-woo arrives at school he checks a text that he sent to someone named Shin Jung-hoo, but he hasn’t received a response. At the lockers, Hwi-young and Joon-woo lock horns over Joon-woo’s return to school. Joon-woo tells Hwi-young that as long as he leaves him alone, Joon-woo has no intention of revealing what actually happened with the watch. Just as the exchange starts to get heated, Soo-bin arrives at her own locker and diverts both boys’ attention.

Soo-bin thanks Joon-woo for his good work on their group paper citations, and Hwi-young is not pleased to hear that Soo-bin didn’t ask him to look over her work for her before submitting it. Both Soo-bin and Hwi-young leave Joon-woo at the lockers, but Soo-bin returns to help Joon-woo slam his locker door shut.

She tells him that not running away was a good decision, and then places a real cloth name tag with his name on it on his sweater.

Meanwhile, Hwi-young checks in with his minion Ki-tae. Ki-tae relays that Joon-woo’s transfer was conditional, and that if he is caught in any other incidents, he’ll be forced to leave the school. Hwi-young gives the order for Ki-tae to arrange an incident. Ki-tae doesn’t say no, but he does ask Hwi-young why he’s after Joon-woo, since ignoring him would probably be fine. Hwi-young thinks of the moments where Joon-woo has called him out for lying and called him trash, and he tells Ki-tae that Joon-woo is annoying.

Down the hall, Joon-woo tries to call Jung-hoo, the person he’s been texting, but he just gets voicemail. He leaves a concerned message, asking why his friend isn’t answering his phone or texts. He starts to ask if Jung-hoo is still hanging out with… but his question is interrupted as he bumps into Mr. Oh and his phone falls to the ground.

After making sure the phone isn’t broken, Mr. Oh gives Joon-woo an opportunity to open up about any problems he’s having. But of course Joon-woo just nods at his homeroom teacher and darts off. Mr. Oh sighs to himself that he can barely care for himself, let alone one of his students, and then his attention is grabbed by another shopping deal on his phone.

In class, Joon-woo recalls the incident that got him kicked out of his previous school. In flashback, Joon-woo sits in a row with several other boys and solemnly confesses to stealing money, though it’s clear he’s covering for the others. The boy next to him (I’m guessing his friend Jung-hoo) gives him a sidelong glance. Joon-woo’s mom arrives just after his confession, and she tugs at his sleeve, demanding to know why he would do such a thing.

Joon-woo’s attention fades back to class, where the current lesson ends and Mr. Oh returns to start their English lesson. He tries to call everyone to attention, but no one moves until Hwi-young bangs his hands on his desk and demands quiet.

As Mr. Oh tries to start class, he can’t help but notice Pil-sang in the back antagonizing Joon-woo. So he asks Ki-tae to trade spots with Joon-woo, and this request receives the response: “Hwi-young told me to sit here.” Hwi-young adds that he will sort everything out the next time they all change seats.

Mr. Oh seems to let it go, but he pushes back and insists that Joon-woo and Ki-tae exchange seats. Ki-tae looks to Hwi-young before he moves, but Hwi-young gives a barely noticeable head nod and Ki-tae swaps with Joon-woo. Joon-woo’s new seatmate Oh-je gives him a smile.

Mr. Oh has the result he wanted, but he pretends to have a cough and ducks into the hall to collect himself. He’s frustrated, and asks himself why he’s begging his students to listen to him when he’s their homeroom teacher.

Mr. Oh returns, and Hwi-young asks about their upcoming English listening test. But Mr. Oh has a surprise for them–an unscripted speaking test instead of a listening exam. No one is happy about it, but Mr. Oh insists on trying something different, and he assigns the topic “My dream is…” Mr. Oh then tasks Soo-bin with determining how to divide the class up into speaking pairs.

After the lesson Mr. Oh returns the teacher’s office. He apologizes to another teacher for not having his class budget prepared yet, but it turns out that Hwi-young has submitted it already. Speak of the devil, Hwi-young arrives to ask Mr. Oh to reconsider the speaking test. Hwi-young is worried about the random teams, but Mr. Oh tells him that it will help those who are struggling get some help from their classmates.

As Hwi-young turns to leave, Mr. Oh calls him back to ask that he not submit the class budget in the future, since it’s the teacher’s job. Hwi-young answers that he was asked to by the head teacher, and he thought it was fine since Mr. Oh is only an assistant teacher and substitute.

When Hwi-young leaves, the other teachers tell Mr. Oh not to complicate things for himself and just take advantage of having Hwi-young in his class. Then they ask him when the teacher he’s filling in for will return, and Mr. Oh shrugs.

Cut to Hwi-young’s dad in his office, where he receives a call from a man laid up with a broken leg in the hospital. The man thanks Mr. Ma for all the help, asks after Hwi-young, and then refers to that “thing” he asked Mr. Ma to look into a little while ago… Mr. Ma assures him that he’s taking care of it.

It’s lunchtime back at school, and the girls and the guys crowd around their table together. Joon-woo sits alone, and the girls gossip about him and the likelihood that he really did steal the watch. Only Soo-bin defends him, and Hwi-young is there to take note of it.

Oh-je enters the cafeteria and the boys call him over. But after a quick glance, he sits across from Joon-woo instead, lamenting that he’s late because of basketball and there aren’t any seats left. Joon-woo asks if Oh-je likes basketball, and he says that he not only likes it, but he’s good at it.

Then Oh-je complains about the control that Hwi-young has over their class, and how all the other guys follow him around like henchmen. Joon-woo asks what Oh-je’s like in their classroom hierarchy, and Oh-je leans his face in real close to Joon-woo’s while the girls watch from the other table. Oh-je asks Joon-woo what he thinks he’s like, and Joon-woo says that he’s probably just a nice, basketball guy, and Oh-je laughs and sits back.

Their lunch is interrupted by Sang-hoon, who sweeps in with a jab at Joon-woo. Oh-je does his best to send the guy on his way, but Sang-hoon makes sure that Hwi-young is watching while he leans in to whisper in Joon-woo’s ear. Oh-je asks what Sang-hoon said, and then laughs when Joon-woo says that he told him to eat his peas. At the other table, Hwi-young lurches to his feet and his minions scramble to follow him out of the cafeteria.

Hwi-young finds Sang-hoon outside, and Sang-hoon antagonizes him, asking if he’s scared he’ll tell the truth about what happened with the watch. When Hwi-young shrugs him off, Sang-hoon says it will be more fun if Hwi-young plays dumb.

After lunch, Soo-bin has her classmates play rock, paper, scissors, guys versus girls, to determine who will get to draw their partner’s name for the speaking test. The girls win and the boys write their names down for the ladies to draw from. Ki-tae draws a rabbit on his paper to tip off his girlfriend, so she easily draws his name. Da-hwin gets her wish to be paired with Oh-je, while Ro-mi storms out when she reads Pil-sang’s name on her piece of paper (he, on the other hand, is ecstatic with his partner). It’s down to Chan-yeol and Soo-bin, and Soo-bin goes first.

Hwi-young has made a conscious effort to write his name on a very unique paper, one that he knows Soo-bin will recognize. But when Soo-bin looks at her choices, there’s another piece of paper she recognizes. A little peapod with happy-faced peas is drawn on the outside, the same peapod that Joon-woo drew on the sticky notes for their paper.

Before her choice is announced, someone calls for the class’s recycling rep and Joon-woo goes out to sort their recycling. Soo-bin finds him there though, and shows that she picked his name (yay!). She asks when he’s available, and he says he isn’t right now. Soo-bin thinks to herself that he’s playing hard-to-get, and then Joon-woo actually says aloud that he’s not playing hard-to-get (ha!), he just has to work. They agree to message each other later and Soo-bin leaves, though she lingers around the corner long enough to catch Joon-woo’s cute little victory dance. Soooo cute.

This leaves Hwi-young partnered with Chan-yeol. She wants to earnestly work together, but he tells her he’ll just write her script for her and all she has to do is memorize it. She calls out that he doesn’t know anything about her or her dream, but she punctuates the sentence with a, “thank you!”

Joon-woo’s a little late to work, and there’s a surprise waiting there for him: Mom has come to visit him. The owner has agreed to let Joon-woo step out for dinner with her, so they head to an empty pizza place. Mom says she’s there on business, but Joon-woo knows that she really stopped by because she was worried about him.

Mom also asks about Jung-hoo and if he’s kept in touch with him. Mom is glad to hear that he doesn’t call, since he’s the reason that Joon-woo had to transfer. But she also admits that she adored Jung-hoo, and is just upset about the whole incident. Mom starts to cry, but Joon-woo is in a good mood today and does his best to smile and console her. Mom makes him promise not to get involved in anything bad and just focus on studies, and they seal it with a pinkie promise.

While Joon-woo is out with his mom, Soo-bin takes the level test for the math group under the watchful gaze of her own mother. Afterwards though, she and Mom run into Joon-woo and his own mother, who is busy slicking his bangs into place for him, ha. The moms greet one another, and then Joon-woo’s mom grows uncomfortable and ducks away.

Soo-bin’s mom comments on how good-looking Joon-woo is, while Joon-woo’s mom worries that they noticed that her handbag is a fake. And indeed, Soo-bin’s mom whispers to her daughter that the handbag is a fake, but then again presses Soo-bin about the attractive boy.

The girls are all hanging out at a cafe messaging their respective speech partners. Ki-tae is apparently absent because he’s waiting for Hwi-young, while Oh-je tells Da-hwin that he’s grateful for the perfect partner. Soo-bin is relieved to escape her mom and join the other girls, but her concerns shift to Joon-woo as the others lament that he won’t be an easy speech partner.

So Soo-bin gets on text and asks Joon-woo for five sentences in English, to see how he uses English. At his job, Joon-woo starts to panic. He asks the other store clerk if she knows English, and when she hears that he needs something in writing she feigns a phone call and dashes off.

Joon-woo finds himself in the aisles, looking for something to write in English, all the while Soo-bin sends message after message to no answer. And outside the store, Hwi-young watches Joon-woo pace. Hwi-young enters the store, and stresses that a mediocre performance isn’t enough to be Soo-bin’s partner. Hwi-young offers to help Joon-woo prepare, for Soo-bin’s sake, but Joon-woo’s pride definitely won’t allow him to accept the offer, especially not when Hwi-young says that Soo-bin is his girlfriend.

Joon-woo instead asks if Hwi-young has been scratching himself lately, since there are many reasons for him to be stressed about, and as a customer enters the convenience store, Hwi-young marches out.

He meets Ki-tae, who has just spoken with Joon-woo’s former classmates and antagonists from his old school. Ki-tae gave them money in exchange for their efforts to get Joon-woo kicked out of his new school, and they’ve agreed to the deal. To reward Ki-tae, Hwi-young offers to let him into his study group, and Ki-tae is very grateful.

Hwi-young finds his dad alone drinking in the living room when he arrives home. He calls for his mother, and Dad says that she’s asleep. But Mom is crying in the bedroom, not sleeping, though Hwi-young doesn’t dare go in and check on her. Instead, he sends her a text from his room, asking if she’s okay.

Joon-woo gets off work, his mind on the incident with Hwi-young, and specifically Soo-bin’s status as Hwi-young’s girlfriend. He recalls other times when Soo-bin said she was just friends with him, and wonders who is telling the truth as he bikes home.

Soo-bin is at home waiting for a response from Joon-woo, but instead gets a message from Hwi-young. Soo-bin asks about her level test for the tutor, and then sends a funny ghost sticker to Hwi-young, which makes him smile.

When Joon-woo returns home, he decides to sew his new name tag on his sweater, making it more permanent. He finally turns back to his phone though, where Soo-bin has sent another message asking for his dream in Korean, if he’s struggling with English. So he sends back, “My dream is to sleep with the lights off.” Soo-bin is not impressed with this response.

The next day, Hwi-young and Soo-bin walk towards class together, while Joon-woo lags behind them. Soo-bin tells Hwi-young not to speak on her behalf to the math tutor. She’d rather just get by on her own merit. Pil-sang targets Joon-woo again for his teasing, and Joon-woo walks ahead of Soo-bin and Hwi-young to escape. Soo-bin gives chase, and Joon-woo whips around to face her as Pil-sang brushes past.

Soo-bin’s frustrated with his response and wants an explanation, but instead Joon-woo tells her that it’s okay for her to find a new partner who won’t ruin her academic record. He says he’s bad at English and doesn’t have a dream, so it’s fine for her to find someone else. She says that she’s partnered with him because she’s worried about him, and he tells her that she doesn’t need to feel concerned and take care of a punk like him. She asks him why he drew the peas for her to recognize then, if he didn’t want the help, but he says he just does that all the time.

In class, both Soo-bin and Joon-woo are distracted, and Soo-bin’s friends catch her doodling peas on her notebook. Joon-woo finally gives in, and stalks over to Soo-bin to hand over a piece of paper with his dream written out on it. Soo-bin smiles and heads to the recycling shed to be alone while she reads.

Joon-woo’s note elaborates on his dream. He explains that he was alone a lot as a kid and left the light on because he was afraid of ghosts and zombies. He confesses that he still keeps the lights on, though it’s not ghosts that he’s afraid of.

Soo-bin returns to class and quickly arranges a study meet-up with Joon-woo via text, and he agrees to meet her in the park after school. Hwi-young watches Soo-bin smile at her phone with a scowl. After class, Hwi-young calls his tutor for Soo-bin’s test scores, as Soo-bin skips off to meet Joon-woo.

She can see Joon-woo at his bicycle, and also sees as she gets a phone call and then runs away on foot. As he runs, he texts her frantically, canceling their study session.

The thing that came up is the boys from his old school. They’ve got Joon-woo’s friend Jung-hoo and threaten to hurt him if Joon-woo doesn’t fight them all himself. But Joon-woo remembers the promise he made to his mom, and he hesitates. The boys deliver on their promise though and begin to beat up Jung-hoo. It doesn’t take long before Joon-woo jumps in and delivers a kick, though it takes even less time for the boys to gang up on him and leave him on the ground. Jung-hoo arrives with a board to defend his friend, and the fight breaks up as the cops arrive. Joon-woo and Jung-hoo run for it together, running down the same hill they used to as kids.

The two boys sit together on the stairs, bruised and battered. Joon-woo tells Jung-hoo to go somewhere else and start fresh, but Jung-hoo tells him that life doesn’t work that way for people like them. Reiterating the same sentiment that everyone else has been pushing on Joon-woo, he tells him that they’ll always be losers no matter where they go, not even with a shiny new name tag on a new uniform.

Joon-woo retreats to clean his wounds, and he thinks about a time when he and Jung-hoo were young. Joon-woo would sleep with the lights on when a big storm came, but in this memory Jung-hoo shows up to keep him company and he’s able to turn off the lights, even as they scream together with each rumble of thunder.

Meanwhile, Soo-bin sighs as she tries to accept that Joon-woo is really just an irresponsible troublemaker. She heads home, where she finds her mother in a very good mood. It seems that Soo-bin’s test results are good enough for her to get in (hmmmm), and Mom has invited some ladies over to celebrate, including Hwi-young’s mom. Hwi-young’s mom spills her drink, and Soo-bin’s mom quickly gets on the floor to mop it up for the woman. Soo-bin can’t stand all the groveling and slams the door of her room as she stalks off.

Mom follows after her though, and demands that she come out and be grateful to all the women. Soo-bin wants to believe that she got into the group on her own merit, but Mom makes it clear that she could have only done it with the help of Hwi-young and his mom. Soo-bin heads back out of the house, as her mother makes excuses to the other women. And of course, it begins to rain.

Joon-woo rides the bus back to his bike, and also finds himself in the rain. He stops short as Soo-bin turns the corner and they meet on the sidewalk in the rain. He asks why she’s out here without an umbrella, and she asks about cuts on his face. And then he tells her that she shouldn’t be walking in the rain because it’s not good for her, and she smiles and laughs, and he returns a small smile of his own.

And then a rumble of thunder roars, and Joon-woo lunges forward to cover Soo-bin’s head from the rain with his hands. They stand together, soaked, eyes locked on each other.

  
COMMENTS

Are we rushing the romance here?

Don’t get me wrong, I am so glad that Soo-bin is a naturally open person who takes her time and doesn’t jump to obvious conclusions. I would not like her nearly as much if Joon-woo had to win her over. I’m just not sure where we go from here if these two end up holding hands in the second week.

I am all aboard for their friendship though, and I am so glad that Joon-woo finally found someone who will take their time with him. And I really love how much Soo-bin seems to understand about him right away, even though they’ve just met. She sees right away that Joon-woo is a path-of-least-resistance guy, and uses it to get him involved in school again. It’s finally easier for him to go back to school than it is to let others push him out of it, and that one small kindness is all it takes for him to show his puppy’ish heart.

I love the progress to permanence Joon’woo’s name tag takes, from wearing someone else’s name, to a handwritten tag from the first person who gives him a moment, to tape fastened, and finally sewn on by his own hands. It feels like that’s the moment when he takes the baton from Soo-bin and starts to believe himself that he can invest in his own happiness.

And on the other side, how on earth has Hwi-young garnered so much power over the whole class? I see that his mother has sway in the academic community, but man, even the teachers bow down to him. I’ve got to assume it’s his father that wields that power, and I’m worried that we’ll see even more machinations from dear old dad before we reach the end. But I can’t help but wonder if its Hwi-young’s relationship with his dad that may eventually turn him to the side of good, or at least earn him some pity from everyone. Nothing makes Hwi-young’s behavior towards Joon-woo okay, but it’s clear that it’s fear and anxiety that propel Hwi-young down his dark path.

And when it comes to Joon-woo, Hwi-young doesn’t like the mirror that’s being held up for him to face. I so loved the moment when Ki-tae stated what the audience is screaming to themselves–just leave the guy alone and he will leave you alone too, Hwi-young! But he dislikes Joon-woo because he knows deep down that everything he’s said is true; Hwi-young currently is cruel garbage who thrives on lies. Hwi-young has gotten by for so long by being generally genial to everyone on the surface, and letting his anxiety and frustration fester inside. He’s not sure how to handle the possibility that there is a different reality, a different path to take.

I’m interested to learn more about Hwi-young and Soo-bin’s relationship. I think Joon-woo is a little silly to wonder whether Soo-bin is telling the truth. It’s very clear that Soo-bin and Hwi-young are not dating. But there’s something that holds these two together, even as Soo-bin can see hints of Hwi-young’s bad behavior. They both have demanding parents who expect them to excel academically, but I wonder if there’s something else there in the past that bonds those two.

But the character I find most interesting right now is Sang-hoon. He makes me nervous every time he waltzes in with his manic mannerisms. He’s been shunned by his classmates, and now he has the upperhand against their beloved class president. I’m not sure what Sang-hoon wants, but he’s definitely not going to pass up thise opportunity to try for it, whatever it may be.

I’m grateful for the superb acting we’re seeing, because otherwise there isn’t a lot that’s original or new here. I’m necessarily complaining about that; school dramas are my favorite, and it’s because the formula works when you’ve got a great cast. One teacher willing to stand up for the students, kids who overcome the expectations that society places on them, and multi-dimensional villains with their own tragedies. It’s all here, and it’s all coming together perfectly thanks to our leads. There’s something about following the journey of young people while they’re still trying to figure out who they are, and how their lives and parents have helped them or hurt them along the way, that I find so comforting.

I am particularly impressed with Ong Sung-woo. He’s got a difficult character to play. If Joon-woo were more sullen and resistant to change, I think the character would be easier (and more one-dimensional). But Joon-woo shifts from blank wall defenses to the warmest heart on a sleeve ever, and I think that’s a demanding task to set for any actor. But Ong Sung-woo is great with the subtle nuances, using mostly body language to give us so much meaning in each scene. That and those soulful eyes. I have to agree with @Teriyaki. I was particularly touched by the dinner scene with Joon-woo’s mom. You could feel the intense emotion for his mother just pouring out of his eyes in that scene. It felt so real in such a quiet moment. Joon-woo didn’t say much at all, but I felt everything.

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Ah....recapped already? That was quick!!

Thank you.

I have loads of things to say.

1. Junwoo does not eat peas. Do you think he does not eat them because the draws them very cutely and finds them too cute to eat?

2. How cute is the teacher. I hope teacher will stay firm and protect our junwoo.

3. How much cuteness can we handle? How many cliche scenes can we handle? looks like, a lot of them because they are so cute!

Light stuff out. The heavy stuff after this.

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Ok, I might be totally wrong on this one but... anybody else got the impression that maybe Oh-Je is gay? Or am I reading too much into it?

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Actually, a lot of fans of Moonbin (the actor who plays Oh-Je) were speculating that Oh-je could be gay way before the drama aired because of some hints in his character profile.
"He's very athletic, likes sports and is popular with the girls. He is often mistaken as a player because he doesn't know how to say no when a girl asks him out, however, he has a secret." Moonbin also mentioned in an interview that he has to do specially well when he reveals the secret.

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So its not only me lol. Ohje was definitely not thrilled to be partnered with dahwin so what happened in ep4 was interesting. Since its ep3 recap only, i won't talk about it here.

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His profile does mention that the school considers him a playboy because he finds it hard to say no to girls who ask him out. I think that's what happened. Plus the pressure of the whole class yelling at him too.

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I got that feeling as well.

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Yes, it felt weird when he approached JW as he seems popular kid on his own, but maybe to him it was reaching to fellow outsider.

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There's also a theory that he's a teenage dad lmao

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It was such a cute episode, I liked how Junwoo instantly realized his mistake and made it up for it. In which imaginary world is Hwiyoung living, saying Subin is his gf and all? He seriously gets on my nerves everytime he appears.
Btw I didn’t really understand what the scene with Hwiyoung’s dad should be about? But I’m afraid he’ll cause Oh Teacher’s departure

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I wonder if that man on the phone is the original HR teacher. HY would love to have SB as his gf. In his perfect world she would be his gf and he would be the one in control. But now that JW is there his little delusion of control is falling apart. His home life is a mess and the only thing he was able to control was the school aspect. Loosing that might send him to a very dark place and the consequences might be bad for everyone involved.

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Exactly, the only time he has any modicum of control over his life is at school and JW appearing ruined that balance, and he acts out and don't think about consequences.
For that phone made it look like his dad has something to do with his school achievements, this man looks like violent control freak obsessed over image.

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I wonder if Hwi Young or his dad had anything to do with the absence of the original home room teacher...

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Dad, maybe, but I don't think HY would be involved.

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As my username suggests, I am quite lazy to start on the second episode of my show.... so do y'all recommended it? I've watched the first episode, and the plot felt pretty contrived to me. The leads were not that memorable as well (except for Hwi-young). Seeing the amount of comments on the previous recap though, I wonder if I let a gem past. Do you guys feel like I did? Should I continue?

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It really depends on your taste. I like slice of life/character-driven dramas even if they are slow and cliche. I do admit ep1 was a bit slow for me too but the eps after it got me fully invested in these characters.

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I do love a good slice of life drama too, so I'm definitely feeling regretful skipping this what-couldve-been drama, but I don't think I can watch the 2nd episode even if I forced myself to so 🤷‍♀️ guess I'll live in regret then

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Depends on your personal taste. This is not the usual fluffy/silly school drama. The pace might be slow but the characters feel very real. It is no light drama...some bits are a bit heavy but I love the characters and the acting is extremely good.

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funnily enough, I stopped watching because I thought it was too much like the typical school drama 😂 ... the chemistry from the leads felt forced, the characters were pretty stereotypical and practically all their actions fit into their own stereotype, conflict was the same... I guess im being too critical considering originality isn't something so easy in kdramas now, but I honestly love cliche dramas when delivered in a unique way. basically this drama, up till episode 1, failed to deliver it's cliche plot in a way the intrigued me. can't say much about episode 2 though, and that's on me 😰

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Like everyone said, depending on your taste... I LOVE it tho. Maybe you should try to watch the 2nd episode at least ? I found the 2nd episode beautifully done.

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Give it 4 episodes and decide. As others have said, it's not a fluffy school drama.

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I already watched ep4...can't wait for that recap as we have so much to discuss.

Reg HY: being able to get into one of those academies seems to be super important for those kids/parents. HY's friends seem to be close to him only because of that. And the teachers bow to him because of his dad's influence. I wonder if that kid has a real friend except SB who he is way too obsessed about.

Mr. Oh seems like a really good guy and I like his character development. He might be starting to realise that HY is overstepping the boundaries. His worry for JW is so sweet. JW really needs some more people in his corner.

I think Sang-hoon simply wants to see a human reaction in HY. I don't think he has bad intentions and maybe he cares for HY and wants him to break loose of his fake persona.

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I think HY gravitate toward SB because they know each other for ages and she is that rare person for him, who doesn't want use him for his privilege, and she isn't that concerned with school performance.
I agree with Sang Hoon, he seem very aloof because his learning prowess made him outsider of sorts, and now he know school's golden boy dark secret. I don't think he know himself what he want to do with that knowledge, for now he seems content to ruffle HY feathers.

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I think with Hwiyoung, he grew up with Soobin, and it seems like they're both in the same social circle (ie, well off financially) so it just seems like a natural progression for him to date her (and everyone around him expects it too, including his mom who is always worrying about Soobin distracting Hwiyoung despite him never mentioning his attraction to her). I'm unsure on whether he actually, truly wants it himself.

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I think his mom was concerned only after she joined his math lessons. She knows that if HY's grades go down his dad might lash out at him. In my opinion she is trying to shelter him from his dad's attentions as much as she can.

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There was also this comment went Soobin and her mom went to visit HY's mom and she said - 'Soobin is getting prettier. It's bad when girls get prettier because the boys won't be able to concentrate in their studies' and this was before Soobin joined the math academy so she obviously kind of knew what was going on in HwiYoung's mind regarding Soobin.

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I don't know why but I'm not fully invested in this drama. Usualy, slow and driven character dramas don't bother me, instead I really like it like Adolescence Medley, but in this case I find Joon Woo so slow... His character is interesting and I really like all the name tag part too, but I'm kinda bored too...

Sang Hoon is the smartest and he knows it and now he knows one of the secret of Hwi Young. It looks like a time bomb.

Soo-bin is a nice character. She looks normal with some struggles but she can handle them.

For the romance, honestly the last scene was pretty funny. She's completely soaked already, protecting her face won't change anything :p

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I don't mind it because I like how every character in this show is build very faceted, so I feel like they hold some character back, to show what make even minor protagonist tick. I think the show will pick up pace next week.

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The last scene (I think) wasn't because JW wanted to protect SB from the rain. More likely because at that time, thunder/lightning was coming. JW was scared of thunder/lightning, so he impulsively did that to SB.

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I think it was because of the orage, the rain was louder. Protecting someone from the thunder/lightning with your hands won't really work...

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Indeed it won't 😂 that's why I said he did that impulsively. He (unconscioulsy) wanted to protect SB but he didn't know how

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And if I was SB I would laugh out loud rather than mesmerized because he was so dumb-but-cute 😂

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Thank you for the recap @abirdword. I agree with you with Sang-hoon. I remember in the previous episode when Hwi-young's dad told him about Sang-hoon... That someone like Sang-hoon - who is poor and smart - is the most dangerous one, because they don't know what's on their mind. And I remember how he twisted right away when he was confirming the truth about the watch with Jung-woo and when Hwi-Young was present.

Somehow Sang-hoon reminds me of Ryu Deok-hwan's character in "Inspector Labor Mr. Jo" when he's super unexpected... when we don't know what he's planning....

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I saw Sang Hoon different, he seems like someone who have it easy, gliding through school on his brilliant brain, even teachers let's slide him being rude, because he is "genius".

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Ooooh, a SPECIAL LABOR INSPECTOR JO comparison! Although I don't see the similarities between Sang-hoon and Ryu Deok-hwan's character - the latter was happy to be Tae Soo's minion because it paid for his college fees, and he was driven by ambition. Sang-hoon is like a loose cannon.

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He is so twitchy he just automatically puts you on edge. But it's nice to Not know what a character is going to do

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Jun-woo and Jung-hoo's friendship is both heartwarming and heart-wrenching at the same time. Imagine how lonely these kids were when they were still too young that they had to keep each other company whenever it was raining and had to sleep with the lights on. The build-up for this flashback and their reunion scene was really nice especially when we had to question why sleeping with the lights off was Joon-woo's dream.

The happy-faced peas in a peapod signal of Joon-woo to Soo-bin was really cute and it made me happy that it was always Soo-bin's choice that makes her and Joon-woo become closer. Joon-woo's little victory dance when Soo-bin chose him is cuuuute!

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I laugh when one of the girl say whether Ohje and Joonwoo comparing who has smaller face 😂😂😂 Well... I glad that JW make a new friend aside from Soobin (and teacher). Cant wait for Ohje arc since they say something about him having a secret.

HW said that JW making things bigger than it is before but right now, he is the one making things complicated for himself. My sympathy for him just gone since he is actively try to screw JW over. I probably understand if he and soobin is really an item (lies. i dont) but to be that jealous when they not even dating...man... such a control freak.

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Hwi-Young lost my sympathy this episode. He wants to control EVERYTHING:
-Teacher Oh is frustrated that students obey Hwi-Young, not the teacher. I'm glad he told Hwi-Young gently but firmly that drafting the budget plan is the teacher's job.
-Exams: Hwi Young wants to dictate what exam questions should be. I mean, what? I'm sure it's because he's not good at improvising for a speaking activity, so he'd prefer to prepare and memorise something in advance. But he phrased it as if he's doing a favour to the other studetns in asking for another type of activity. Plus he ditched the girl who wanted to do the pair activity properly. Clearly he's not a believer in team playing.
-On Soo-Bin. He's been nursing a crush for a long time obviously, and is somehow deluded that she's his girlfriend. I rolled my eyes when he said she should send him her homework to look it over.
- His attitude towards Joon-woo is just ridiculous. Even Ki-Tae told him that he can leave him alone and nothing will happen. But Joon-woo is living proof that he can't control everything, so Hwi-Young wants him gone.

The only ones outside his sphere of influence seem to be Joon-woo, Sang-hoon (geeenius math boy) and Oh-Je, who's an interesting character because he doesn't seem to care about the class politics and Hwi-Young ignores him as well.

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The way you put it show how great this characters are written, his behaviour is typical for someone who feels that he has no control over his life so he is trying to control his environment instead.

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Yes, I think he's the best-written character so far. But I am starting to hate him (haven't seen ep. 4 yet).

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I don't want to spoil anything so I'll wait till ep. 4, but I think I dislike his actions more than him, my pity is just too strong ;)

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Agreed about HW. I mean even Joonseok whose father is the chairman of the school doesnt hold that much power and control (wonderful world). Who exactly is HW's father/family? They look rich but not THAT rich~

I hope we get to Ohje arc sooner because I end up making up theories about him
Is he gay? (popular opinion)
Is he the final shadow boss that is why HW left him alone? (super random, I know)
Is he a chaebol above HW? (doesnt seem like it)

Yes, clearly I'm a wee bit too invested to a side character
lol

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Just like junwoo, sanghoon is also aware what kind of person hwiyoung really is or at least he knows that hwiyoung is hiding something behind the mask he wears. I think he's just trying to make hwiyoung break his composure and reveal what's really behind the mask. He's having fun stirring him at the moment. I wonder if he'll do something more cuz he isn't succeeding so far.

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I wonder if there's more to Sang Hoon's family dynamic, since his father is supposed to be working for Hwi Young's dad.

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I won't say anything. Just wait for episode 4 and let the flood open. But doesn't Hwi-Young remind us of someone else? Yoo Jung from Cheese in the Trap.
They have more similarities when it comes to controlling the situation and showing people only what they want. They can't stand it when people can read into them, hence the indirect attack.
But Yoo Jung is more sly.

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Oh and bless Oh-Je's heart for being one to not follow the crowd. He seems to know more than his happy face let's on. And the silent nod and ☺ of encouragement Joon-Woo gave Teacher Oh after his resilient confrontation with Ki-Tae that it brought a smile on the teacher's face. These little moments are the real jem of the show. And how silently Joon-Woo is winning allies.

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Yes! I'm loving all the little moments.

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good comparison!
What I prefer about Yoo Jung is that he's very self-aware and perfectly ok being the way he is. Hwi-Young is self-aware but constantly looking over his shoulder, thus insecure.

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I think Yoojung is the college, more sociopathic version of Hwiyoung. He is what Hwiyoung would've become as an adult out of school. I hope this drama does redeem Hwiyoung (I think the PD mentioned that him and Junwoo do become friends or at least try to be later on) so he won't go that route.

Only difference is Yoojung fell in love with the person who saw through him lol.

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I'm pretty sure the drama is headed to them becoming friends/friendly and I'm curious to see how it happens because Hwi-Young has hit the lowest of the lows for me.

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I'm curious too, especially after ep 4 and what Hwiyoung did there. I could personally never be friends with someone like that, but hey, maybe Junwoo is forgiving or something.

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Oh, and I'm really looking forward to the discussion on Ep 4.

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Waiting for it on pins. The emotions at the end of the episode just had me in stitches.

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Haha, 'in stitches' as in laughing? I think the end of ep 4 was an emotional sucker punch, especially because most of the rest of the episode was so light and cute.

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I wonder what punishment would be appropiate for HY if his everyday life is already so miserable, I can't muster any anger toward him just pity.
For now Teacher Oh is my favourite character, he's trying to be good teacher but isn't free of flaws.

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I think I'm the opposite, I try to muster up pity but I can feel only anger. I just don't see how any problems at home can make you be so terrible to someone who did nothing to you.

I think a punishment would be for him to lose control over the one thing the feels in control of - school. For his classmates to see him for what he truly is.

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That would be the worst punishment for him, yes.

I understand him, and I feel pity for him because of the pressure he is under and his situation at home, and because he only makes things worse for himself. But I lost my sympathy for him this episode, so he's going to need some redeeming to be back in my good books. Nothing justifies trying to harm another person.

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I don't think I ever feel sympathy for him, just pity, because he truly don't have a safe space in his life, and nobody to rely on, but he made some of this awful choices on his own, so no, no sympathy for him just pity.

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I think in long run it could be rather healthy for him, he wouldn't have to keep up appearance, less stressful.

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I agree. It's got to be totally exhausting to keep up appearance like that. I hope he eventually reaches that freedom, though he has a lot of repenting to do before then.

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Thank you for the recap!

Joonwoo and Soobin are so cute together I think I'm developing cavities. I love how Soobin is giving him a chance and approached him, and now I'm all giggly seeing their friendship developing.

Them being cute aside, my favorite moments are still when Joonwoo is with his mom. It's like my cold dead heart came back to life seeing their interactions. He said it at the end of episode 2 that his mom didn't 'run away' from him when she was much younger and that's why he shouldn't run away from his problems as well, those words stuck to me ever since.

@abirdword really put a nail on how I think Ong Sungwoo is doing a good job playing Joonwoo. On a less-skilled actor Joonwoo will look very one-note and can easily come across stoic but Ong Sungwoo actually gave him layers and warmth. Still can't believe it's his first TV drama role, he is very promising.

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I think Jun-woo and Ong’s portrayal of him proves to me that you can be stoic and such while still showing a plethora of emotion as an actor. Excuse me for bringing in another performance, but that’s the nuance that was missing for me from Cha Eunwoo’s portrayal of Do Kyungseok. When I do mention it, people say that being stoic is just his character, but I don’t think it gives young actors the excuse to be emotionless, if that makes any sense.

Regarding the questions of Oh Je potentially being gay, I’m on the fence. On one hand, I think it would be extremely predictable to have that angle (given that the drama has been dropping a lot of hints such as the absolute look of wonder he had when Jun-woo walked into the room). Reply 1997 handled the gay storyline with Hoya’s character so well that nothing else in kdrama land has been able to live up to it. On the other hand, if we can get a layered delivery of a character homosexuality, then I’m all for it (while also hoping that we get a drama lead who is gay instead of these supporting characters, but that’s wishful thinking).

On a lighthearted note, Soobin’s mom harping on about how attractive Jun-woo is made me laugh. I’m also glad they aren’t playing down Ong’s attractiveness like many dramas that play their attractive leads as ugly. He is the most attractive guy in his class so it’s nice to see people acknowledging it.

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I am with you about the difference between OSW Vs CEW when it comes to acting. I stumbled upon this drama quite by accident and had no idea who OSW was but I really liked his portrayal of JunWoo. He doesn’t come across as sullen or detached. If anything he is coming across as quiet, astute, and curious. There is a warmth that exudes from him. CEW always seems somewhat cold and detached even at times when he is trying to get the audience to warm to him. He just can’t seem to shake that idol aura. OSW can. I am loving his portrayal of JunWoo. It’s tender, gentle and authentic.

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I think some actors just read a Cliffnotes version of what their character should be instead of taking the time to wonder what their character *can* be. I think CEW did that with Kyungseok. I also blame whoever directed him, of course.

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Exactly what I feel about CEW in MIIGB. Eventho Kyungsuk was a cold character but I hoped at least CEW could potray a naturally-cold rather than awkwardly-cold, but he couldn't.

Perhaps because he wasn't an actor trainee, unlike Ong..

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Thanks @abirdword
The mother and son relationship is so special in this show.

In flashback, Joon-woo sits in a row with several other boys and solemnly confesses to stealing money, though it’s clear he’s covering for the others. ... Joon-woo’s mom arrives just after his confession, and she tugs at his sleeve, demanding to know why he would do such a thing.

I believe that his mum knew at once that he was lying. There was never a doubt in her mind in the past and again in the present, when Joon Woo was accused that he was innocent of theft. She asked him not a word about stealing, and although she sighs at the thought of Jung Hoo, she is still compassionate towards him. What a nice change from parents like Hwi Young's who would probably have openly derided and found fault over the slightest thing in another kid, to protect their own.

This show is rich with so many conflicts and inter-relationships, I'm amazed that with what seems a relaxed pace, so much is unfolding before us of the dynamics of the adults together, the young people together and the adults with their children. I have started wanting so many resolutions to happen but it seems there may be time for only a couple of them.

I was wondering about Hwi Young's mother crying in the room and how Hwi Young immediately called for his mum when he saw that his dad was home. Also the words of his father to stop him from meeting his mum was giving me vibes of domestic violence.

Was Sang Hoon supposed to be an overall genius or just extremely good at Maths? Is he in a different class from Hwi Young? I don't notice him usually only outside of lesson time. I still think that he has the mannerisms and look of Seo In Guk LOL.

I like that Soo Bin is sensitive to the difficulty Joon Woo will face if she gives him too much attention in front of Hwi Young. I think at the lockers, she walked away from the guys on purpose although she probably wanted to talk to Joon Woo. The second HY was out of the way, she was back to help JW shut his locker.

I'm finding JW and SB so much more mature than their parents. Their clear way of thinking, and of knowing what is good for themselves, while at the same time being restricted because they have to give face to their parents. They have to tread that fine line of being true to themselves while not alienating or worrying their mums.

In the end, in this coming of age tale, I hope to see the adults grow up a whole lot more.

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Yes I am quite enjoying the pacing of this (surprisingly). It meanders and allows the characters to develop slowly. It is sweet without being overly obnoxious. And harsh without overstating the point. It’s a nice happy medium. I do like how centered SB and JW are when relating to the circumstances around them. And I agree, the adults seem to be the ones who need to ‘grow up’ more. 😂.

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Yeah I’m also wondering if Sang Hoon is in another class or year. Maybe he’s in another class section?

I don’t understand the issue at his previous school. Joon-Woo took the blame for theft to cover for his friend, right? But did the friend actually steal, and if so why should I root for such a friend? Did the friend have a good reason to steal? So far this is my only quibble with the writing. I need the theft details revealed! Otherwise the friend is just a plot device.

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@wishfultoki
I was asking myself the same question. Who really did steal and why. And I do feel that the friend is a plot device.

In the next episode I thought I heard something ... maybe please remind me about it next recap!?

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Will do!
*sits down in comfy chair to patiently wait for next recap*

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I think signs were pointing to Junghoo having Kleptomania, since Jun-woo mentioned that he has stolen before.

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I am obsessed with this drama. I liked this episode, but in episode 4 I was a goner, lol.

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Ep 4 just went next level.

It'll be interesting to see discussions on Ong Sungwoo's acting then.

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You guys are killing me with the episode 4 comments 😂. I haven’t watched it yet! *plugs ears and runs*

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I have watched up to episode 3 and as @abirdword said, there's nothing revolutionary about the plot or characters but it's the execution that stands out.

There is something about school dramas that is comforting and inspiring for me, like seeing myself again as an eighteen-year old and thinking that my school life was all that mattered, and that if something went wrong my whole world would collapse. I've learned that life doesn't work like that, but it's cathartic to see these kids (and their parents) go through similar situations and work them out. Because we know they will work out, perhaps making us cry in the process.

I know lots of beanies have found this drama too serious and "sad" but I believe these first episodes were just the setup. We have established the difficulties each character has, and we know they will bond and confront their demons together. Hwi-Young is at his lowest point now, so he can't go anywhere but up from now on. (I hope... I don't think this will turn into CLASS OF LIES just yet).

In short, this is not a fluffy and light school drama, but it is precisely what I want. I have had too much fluff in my kdrama diet this year, so actually, the one thing I could do without is romance here.... not rushing the romance between Joon-woo and Soo Bin. Even if they are adorable, I was hoping they'd become friends first. But hey, when you were eighteen could you resist crushing on your totally handsome new classmate with soulful eyes? No, not me.

Thanks for the recap @abirdword! It's great to finally be watching a show that is recapped lol. I think I only watched two others shows this year which we recapped: MY STRANGE HERO and ARTHDAL CHRONICLES (curse you Netflix, September better come soon!)

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You wrote very beautifully about all the reasons I like this "slice of life" school dramas, thank You :)

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You're welcome.
I've been thinking about this a lot lately, since I noticed several of my favourite dramas are slice of life school dramas: SCHOOL 2013, PAGE TURNER, SASSY GO GO.

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I noticed that school dramas have been falling out of trend on television lately, probably because the webseries medium has that market on lock, since students find it more convenient that way. I heard this drama was doing decently ratings-wise, so I hope it might lead to school dramas becoming a trend again.

Like School 2013 and 2015 launched the careers of so many young actors like Kim Woobin, Lee Jongsuk, Yook Sungjae, Nam Joohyuk, Kim Sohyun (internationally at least), but School 2017 pretty much faded into obscurity.

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I'm not familiar with webseries. Do they tend to be silly? I think I've only seen the dreadful "After School Lucky or Not".

School 2017 tried to do mystery and romance but left the interesting student issues to the side, which would have made it more memorable (for me).

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For a drama that airs on a cable channel; it's doing well.

These are the ratings so far:
(nationwide / seoul)
ep1: 3.009% / 3.692%
ep2: 2.354% / 2.779%
ep3: 3.169% / 3.747%
ep4: 3.393% / 4.466%

Also, according to Good Data Corporation, Ong Seongwu topped the list of most buzzworthy actors for the 4th week of July, while the drama placed no.3 for the list of most buzzworthy dramas.

top drama actors this week:
1) Ong Seong Wu (“Moments of 18”)
2) IU (“Hotel Del Luna”)
3) Yeo Jin Goo (“Hotel Del Luna”)
4) Lee Da Hee (“Search: WWW”)
5) Im Soo Jung (“Search: WWW”)
6) Jeon Hye Jin (“Search: WWW”)
7) Kim Hyang Gi (“Moments of 18”)

top TV dramas this week:
1) tvN “Hotel Del Luna” – 26.47 percent
2) tvN “Search: WWW” – 16.21 percent
3) JTBC “Moments of 18” – 11.58 percent
4) SBS “Doctor John” – 5.68 percent
5) MBC “Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung” – 5.21 percent

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In my case it's GG 1979 and DANCE SPORT GIRLS.

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Gosh, how could I forget GG 1979! I still haven't watched DANCE SPORT GIRLS...

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@wishfultoki, Dance Sport Girls is amazing drama! It's such a beautiful story about entering adulthood and daily struggle and doubts, I used tons of tissues. And actress who plays SooBin mother is a mother of main character there too. Highly recommend.

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I think you'll be happy with the way Junwoo and Soobin progress in ep 4. They are definitely getting to know each other more, including their fears, dreams etc.

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Yep. Watched it and liked what I saw. :)

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Can i ask about what shows you watched that weren't recapped ? at least the good ones ?

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I’ve only finished a few drama this year actually, and still fewer that I’d consider “good”.

First on my list would be NOKDU FLOWER, which was dropped from recaps just when I caught up 1/3 way through 😢 It’s not your usual sageuk because its main characters are all common “middle-class” folk.

Second I’d place the fun SPECIAL LABOR INSPECTOR JO. It gave me plenty of laughs and an underdog team that won some satisfying victories every week. Similar style to CHIEF KIM.

I also completed THE SECRET LIFE OF MY SECRETARY and THE LIGHT IN YOUR EYES, which had series review instead of regular recaps, but they did not make it to my recommendable list.

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Thank you for your reply. I loved Nodku Flowers too ! I tried the rest when i can :)

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I think this kind of question should be asked in an open thread or in what we are watching post. It's out of topic.

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I don't mind answering here or anywhere else.
And we were talking about good dramas that didn't get recapped, so it's not out of topic.

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Also, this has more to do with episode 2, but can I mention how much I related to Junwoo's phonecall with his mom back then? I lived abroad for my studies and things got really tough for me. However, when I called my parents, I didn't want to tell them what I was going through and worry them even more, so when they would ask 'are you okay', I would just hum instead of saying anythin to hide the fact that I'm tearing up, which is EXACTLY what Junwoo did. I seriously felt like someone was spying on me and feeding directions to Ong Sungwoo based on what I was doing. Very well written and well acted.

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Argh...Real life has been keeping me away but I want to comment on every small detail. Like, how in ep 1, he hung his uniform carelessly and in ep 3, he neatly hangs it. I get really choked up when I notice things that are not loud or narrated.

The fact that mom bursts into tears for every pain JW goes through is very endearing to me. The whole sequence of them eating that pizza, her crying and JW trying to comfort her and laughing at her and then watching her with such concern...

My heart...It makes me tear up.

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Ugh, I know. I'm just now getting time to spent in the comments. I'll probably still be hanging out here until the next recap is posted if you want to keep talking :)

The uniform thing - I think I subconsciously noticed that but hadn't really thought about it until you mentioned it. I love little details like that. Very poignant.

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*spend not spent

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JW relationship with the adults who care for him - his mom and his teacher - are the best part of the show imo. Such genuine care in those scenes.

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Really loved this episode!

I totally agree with what @abirdword said about Joon-woo being an unpleasant mirror for Hwi-young. He points things out about Hwi-young that deep down I don’t think Hwi-young likes about himself and is in denial about.

I’m waiting for those surrounding Hwi-young to reach their breaking point with him. It’s only a matter of time. Everyone is sort of a ticking time bomb at this point.

Still loving teacher Oh. It’s messed up that the class president has more authority than the teacher. I’m looking forward to watching teacher really step up and take hold of his class.

Joo-woo and Soo-bin are too much! Joo-woo being happy that Soo-bin picked his name was the cutest thing ever!

The storyline of Joon-woo and his best friend being separated and having bullies gang up on them is really reminding me of School 2013.

I could be wrong, but it kind of seems like Gi-tae and his girlfriend’s relationship is not public?

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Today is apparently typo day. His name is not Joo-woo. How did I manage to type that twice?

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I always mess up names, no worries.
And I've had some epic typos in my day. I once called the DB Overlords "DB Overloads" hehe

Regarding Ki Tae and his girlfriend (sorry, I didn't catch her name), you may be right! We've only seen them look furtively at each other, and meet outside class. I feel sorry for minion Ki Tae -he doesn't seem on board Hwi Young's actions. At the same he seems like a genuine friend but he knows Hwi Young can manipulate him.

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I am not sure about the minion...I mean, is he his second in command only because HY has good connections reg academies etc or is he really his friend? He was asked to do pretty bad things and did it without showing much conscience (looking for JW's former classmates and paying them to beat him up).

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I think the plan was that no one was supposed to get seriously hurt, just bring Junwoo into a fight and get him expelled. Ended up backfiring though.

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@Emara: yes, I don't think anyone was supposed to get hurt but still...getting expelled is going to have a major impact on your life. It is still a despicable thing to do and KT did it anyway.

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I think their relationship is a secret too. It’ll be interesting to see how it develops.

Soye already seems annoyed regarding Kitae’s minion ways.

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Am waiting for episode 4 recaps because it was traumatic for JW :(

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I bet there will be a lot of proverbial tissues handed out in the comments of that recap

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Something bother me, but yes, that was hurt 😔

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These two are so cute! The way he dropped his bike and ran to her😍! This is the same guy that made sure his bike didn’t have a scratch on it when she borrowed it last time, right?! 😂 Hwi-yeong’s dad is something else😡. Not everything is the way it seems in a family, Hwi-yeong certainly does not live in a happy family which sucks for him, but I still can’t excuse his manipulative behavior. Joon-woo and his friend must have a lot of history together that I’m already sad of what’s coming since they are so distant right now. How glad I am that Joon-woo is opening up to someone and I hope that Soo-bin opens up to him too because although she is a happy go-lucky girl it must be hard to bear her mom’s pressure on her own. I’m all for friendships right now, so I hope the romance develops slowly!

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I don't like Joon-woo's friend from the past/his old school. Maybe we'll see more of their relationship as we go along, and I'll change my mind, but so far: big NOPE from me.

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