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Extraordinary You: Episodes 3-4

Now that our plucky heroine (even if she’s not a heroine for anyone else) is fully aware of her situation, she’s fighting mad. She’s unhappy to know that she’s only an extra, and she’s not about to let herself be jerked around for the sake of someone else’s story. She begins to suspect that there may be someone at school who can help her change her fate, but finding them won’t be as easy as she thinks.

  
EPISODE 3

To her shock, Dan-oh realizes that she’s not the leading lady of the manhwa world she lives in. She runs to the school kitchen and snatches the manhwa, “Secret,” out from under Mi-chae, nicknamed “Dried Squid Fairy” and the only other person who seems aware of their true situation.

She looks up the character list, and sure enough, Nam-ju, Joo-da, and Do-hwa make up the main trio of leading characters. BK and Sae-mi are just behind them in importance, followed by the three male and three female bullies. Dan-oh finds herself all the way at the bottom, and her character description simply says, “Kyung’s fiancee, has a heart condition.” Well, that stings.

Nam-ju has staked his claim on Joo-da as his errand girl, and she notices the piggy keychain which looks just like the one she lost. Nam-ju admits that it’s hers, then he notes that they’re standing right where she ruined his uniform and his face. Joo-da apologizes, and Nam-ju offers to take responsibility, but Joo-da stammers that it’s not necessary.

Nam-ju hands Joo-da more supplies to carry and tells her to pay for his cleaning bill. He says that if she keeps being his lackey, he’ll forgive her and return her keychain. LOL, so many tropes, I don’t even know where to start.

In the kitchen, Dan-oh reads the “childish” scene as it plays out. She tells Mi-chae that she did notice her classmates’ names are weird, like how the three girl bullies’ names all end in “-jin,” and how Nam-ju and Joo-da’s names are so on-the-nose (meaning “leading man” and “heroine”). Mi-chae says that romance manhwa are supposed to be childish and simple, pointing out that even his own name, Jin Mi-chae, literally translates to “dried squid.”

Dan-oh refuses to accept the situation, and Mi-chae is amused that she’s more upset that she’s an extra than she was to learn she lives in a manhwa. Dan-oh whines that everything she does is meant to help Nam-ju and Joo-da, but Mi-chae says that she has her own role to play, which the Writer will decide.

That just sets off Dan-oh again, and she rants that the Writer has no right to dictate her life. Mi-chae calmly asks her to have some dignity, so Dan-oh lets loose a string of profanities aimed at this mysterious Writer who thinks they can tell her what to do. Mi-chae snaps his fingers, and Dan-oh finds herself in art class.

Joo-da stops at Nam-ju’s easel to hand him a pencil, and a sunbeam shines down on her. Only Dan-oh seems to notice, and she curls her lip at the obvious signs that this whole world exists just for those two. The sunlight shines on Joo-da again when she sits next to Dan-oh’s easel, making Dan-oh sneer sarcastically. She scoots closer to Joo-da but the sunbeam (and cartoon sparkles, hee) actively avoid her, so she pushes Joo-da off the bench and steals her sunbeam.

The sunbeam shuts off like someone flipped a switch, centering again on Joo-da in her new seat. A breeze blows in from the window, and Nam-ju stares as Joo-da ties her hair back. Dan-oh grumbles that Joo-da has it all, then ~BLIP~ class has started and Dan-oh is being called up front to be today’s model.

On her way to the front of the class, Dan-oh bumps into Nam-ju’s easel and knocks his pencil to the floor. But again, the moment is all for Nam-ju and Joo-da’s benefit, as they both reach for the pencil at the same time and share a Big Romantic Moment when their fingers touch.

As the teacher (who’s “drawn” to look like Frida Kahlo, ha) instructs the class on how to draw Dan-oh, Nam-ju stares at Joo-da, Kyung stares at his phone, and Mystery Boy, whose face we still can’t see, stares at Dan-oh. The teacher praises Nam-ju’s drawing, which looks much more like Joo-da than Dan-oh, but Nam-ju snaps at his classmates for noticing.

Even on a dais at the front of the class, Dan-oh can’t get anyone’s attention, since they’re all focused on Nam-ju and Joo-da. She strikes sexy poses trying to get absolutely anyone to look at her, ha. She eventually stands, knocking over a bust and smashing it. That finally gets their attention, so Dan-oh smashes another one on purpose in a fit of pique. But ~BLIP~ Dan-oh sits in a chair while the class draws her, as if her temper tantrum never happened.

After school, Dan-oh stalks the empty halls, and she’s startled to see chairs and books floating in midair. She finds Mi-chae in the kitchen reading “Secret” and chuckling over her sunbeam antics, ignoring another floating chair.

Dan-oh demands a full explanation, so Mi-chae says that in a manhwa, anything can happen. Dan-oh opens the book to the moment where she smashed the bust, but it’s not in the story. To make things clearer, Mi-chae brings out a box that opens up into a diorama of Seuli High School.

He explains that this world is in a manhwa, and the school is the “Stage,” where nothing happens that isn’t intended by the Writer. Dan-oh understands that this is why she sometimes does the opposite of that she wants to do — she’s on the Stage, and the Writer is in control.

Mi-chae continues that scenes that the Writer hasn’t drawn also exist, and those scenes are where strange things like floating chairs happen. He says this is called the “Shadow,” and that in the Shadow, characters are free to act on their own. Only self-aware characters can remember what happens in the Shadow, but being self-aware doesn’t mean they’re free all the time.

He says that no matter what a character does, things will still happen exactly how the Writer wants them on the Stage, so even if she smashes a bust, things will quickly be restored to the way the Writer wants them, like Fate. Dan-oh understands his explanation, but she vows, “I will never behave the way the Writer wants. We’ll see in whose hands my Fate lies.”

We see Mystery Boy in the library gain, then it’s time for music class. While the other students sing along to a boring hymn, Dan-oh rocks out to kpop on her headphones. But soon, ~BLIP~ and she’s sitting quietly, singing the hymn with everyone else. This clues her in that she’s currently on the Stage.

In literature class, Dan-oh ignores the lesson in favor of a huge stack of manhwas, even yelling up to the Writer that they should be reading these manhwas for reference, hee. But again, ~BLIP~ and she’s obediently reading aloud from the class material, on the Stage again.

Later, she finds a strawberry milk in her hand, but she can’t get the straw to go into the bottle, and she whines that she’s on the Stage again. Joo-da runs over to say hi and her stomach growls, so Dan-oh reluctantly gives her the strawberry milk, knowing that’s the only reason she had it in the first place. Joo-da drinks it and thanks her, and happy flowers appear all around her head, ha.

Joo-da goes on her way and a trio of motorcycles follows her, kicking dust into Dan-oh’s face. It’s A3, and Nam-ju tosses his backpack to Joo-da. She hands him some money to clean his school uniform, which seems to make Nam-ju feel bad, though he quirks a tiny smile when she’s not looking. Do-hwa also looks impressed by Joo-da’s boldness, interesting.

At lunchtime, Dan-oh is determined to get some strawberry milk for herself. There’s a crowd around the drink case, and suddenly, A3 shows up and all the girls clamor in their direction. Dan-oh is pushed backwards by the stampede, and she trips and falls into the fountain.

Nam-ju ignores all the girls offering him their drinks, and instead buys the entire case of strawberry milk. Dan-oh ends up soaked and still deprived of her favorite drink, awww.

In their lair, Do-hwa and Kyung ask Nam-ju why he’s acting so strange lately, making Joo-da carry his stuff and buying more strawberry milk than they can drink. Nam-ju says vaguely, “I’m just curious,” and when Do-hwa drinks one of the strawberry milks, Nam-ju grabs it.

He chugs the milk, forgetting that he doesn’t like sweet things, though he claims he never said that. Meanwhile, Kyung gets a text from his father, blaming him for losing his dad an investment deal because he’s been neglecting Dan-oh.

In the library, Dan-oh balls up the manhwa page she tore out of the book and throws it on the floor in frustration. Mi-chae picks it up, and pretends to be scared when Dan-oh growls that she’s going to destroy the Writer.

She points out more floating chairs and intends to show Mi-chae the black hole on the bookshelf, but it’s not there. At first Mi-chae seems surprised that she saw a black hole there, but then he grins and makes Dan-oh promise not to mess with something that dangerous again.

Dan-oh ~BLIP~s and she’s in math class, with Joo-da at the blackboard. She asks the teacher a question, and while the teacher talks to Dan-oh, Nam-ju goes to the board and helps Joo-da with a question she was stuck on. Dan-oh grumbles that she was used to distract the teacher so they could flirt.

Nam-ju drops a workbook on her desk and orders her to give it to Joo-da. She fights it, but she’s compelled to obey, which just worsens her mood.

Later, Kyung says they need to talk, and Dan-oh is compelled to follow him. Kyung accuses her of convincing her father to reduce his investment in Kyung’s father’s company, assuming it’s retaliation because he doesn’t like her. Dan-oh finds herself tearfully promising to talk to her dad, when she really wants to yell at him.

Her wrist alarm goes off, indicating that her heart is beating too fast, and Kyung rolls his eyes. He tells her to go to the hospital alone because he’s sick of being her caregiver, and Dan-oh rails internally that she’s forced to like him even when he treats her this way.

Out loud, she begs Kyung to stop hurting her like this, but he just walks away. She vows, “Writer, I’ll take it back from you. My life belongs to me.”

Back in the classroom, Dan-oh watches her classmates and notes wistfully that they look happy. “If I wasn’t aware of myself, would it hurt less when Kyung turns me down? Would I have been happy every day of my life?” But she decides that she likes who she is now, because she can change whatever is hurting her.

She shocks Sae-mi and Soo-cheol by cleaning her locker, since she’s known to thrive in chaos. But ~BLIP~ her locker becomes a disaster again, and she starts to yell at the Writer to leave her alone. Halfway through her rant, Dan-oh hears a sharp noise and experiences another vision…

This time she sees herself and Sae-mi on the main stairwell, watching as Nam-ju wrist-grabs Joo-da. Joo-da breaks free, and when she passes Sae-mi, Sae-mi jealously pushes her. Dan-oh blocks Joo-da’s fall, but she falls instead, landing unconscious at the bottom of the stairs. Kyung picks her up and rushes her to the nurse’s office, where she’s treated for a broken leg.

When Dan-oh comes back to the present, Mi-chae tells her that she’s seeing the storyboard, a rough sketch of future events created by the Writer. Dan-oh says that if it’s just a rough draft then she can change it, but Mi-chae says seriously, “No. Nothing changes in this world. Ever.”

Dan-oh heads to the library and sighs when she sees Joo-da scanning the shelves. Do-hwa stands in the next aisle, and he and Joo-da’s gazes meet over the books. Uh-oh, Do-hwa looks pretty smitten as he wonders to himself if Joo-da has always been that pretty. Dan-oh just sneers that the predictable second lead crush just kicked in.

As she’s carrying her tall stack of books, Dan-oh drops a few. Someone picks them up and places them back on her stack, but Dan-oh can’t see his face over the books — all she sees is the scar in the palm of his left hand.

EPISODE 4

Chairman Baek and Kyung have dinner at Dan-oh’s home with her and her father. The dads discuss work while Kyung seethes. Chairman Baek mentions that he’s thinking of going into business with Nam-ju’s father as well, and the dads marvel at how grown-up their kids are getting to be.

Chairman Baek invites the Euns to his house for dinner next time, and Dan-oh is excited to have the pasta that Kyung’s mother makes. Kyung growls, “Mother, my foot,” under his breath, but they all glare at him, so he tells Dan-oh to come over anytime.

Later he storms into Dan-oh’s room in a bad mood. He picks up a framed photo of the two of them as kids and asks why she has it, but Dan-oh says she doesn’t know, either, since he was always so rude to her. Kyung finds the little puppet Dan-oh took from Mi-chae’s diorama, but she snatches it back and says it’s her destiny.

Remembering her vision of the storyboard, Dan-oh warns Kyung never to carry her in his arms. But then she figures that he won’t remember this conversation later, since they’re currently in the Shadow.

At school the next day, Joo-da does a little booty dance while cleaning the classroom. Dan-oh stops to stare, and Do-hwa comes up behind her and murmurs that Joo-da is really cute. Dan-oh accuses him of falling for Joo-da, and she feels sorry for him as the second lead, always just a bit too late. She reassures Do-hwa that some readers will like him best, anyway.

Later Dan-oh asks Sae-mi if it hurts to break a leg. Sae-mi says it hurts a lot, so when the scene where Dan-oh breaks her leg draws near, she suits up in protective gear. Things look a little different than what she saw — students are cleaning the staircase instead of just hanging out — but Dan-oh is ready to face the moment.

She bellows that she’s going to clean the lobby herself, but there’s a ~BLIP~ and she’s standing on the stairs, without her gear, exactly as she saw on the storyboard. Sae-mi is complaining that she liked Nam-ju before Joo-da, and between making involuntary “supportive friend” noises, Dan-oh tries to leave, but her feet are glued in place.

Nam-ju shows up right on cue, with Kyung not far behind him. Joo-da walks past Nam-ju and gets wrist-grabbed, and Dan-oh braces herself. Oddly, though everyone is watching the drama between Nam-ju and Joo-da, Kyung is frowning down at Dan-oh.

Something happens that Dan-oh didn’t see in her vision — a male student passes her on the stairs, and her heart monitor goes nuts as her heart pounds. Her feet are suddenly free and she moves down a few steps, trying to see the boy’s face, but his back is turned.

Behind her, Joo-da pulls free of Nam-ju, Sae-mi gives her a shove, and she careens into Dan-oh. Dan-oh falls backwards onto Mystery Boy, and she thinks, “Dried Squid was right. I can’t change anything after all.”

But when Mystery Boy feels her hit his back, he quickly twists in midair and they fall with Dan-oh’s head cushioned by his arm. Dan-oh slowly turns to look at her savior, but she passes out before she sees his face.

She wakes in the nurse’s office, and instead of a cast, there’s just a bandage on her knee. Dan-oh thinks about the boy who seemed capable of changing the scene, but Sae-mi says that Kyung carried her to the nurse’s office, and she doesn’t remember Dan-oh falling on anyone. Weird…

Nam-ju bursts in, furious at Sae-mi for pushing Joo-da. From the next bed, Joo-da tells Nam-ju to stay out of this, but he’s distraught that she got hurt. Dan-oh scoffs at Joo-da’s itty-bitty boo-boo versus her own large scrape, but Nam-ju and Joo-da are too immersed in their romantic scene to notice her.

She leaves and catches Do-hwa lurking in the hallway. It occurs to her that maybe it was Do-hwa she fell on, so she makes him crouch so she can lean on him, but she knows immediately that he’s not the one. Still, she’s hopeful that if she can find the Mystery Boy, the story might change and she can control her own fate.

Dan-oh tells Mi-chae her theory about finding the Mystery Boy and changing the story. He tells her she’s wrong, but she insists that what she saw wasn’t part of the plot. Flipping through the “Secret” manhwa, she notices that there are a lot of blank pages, and Mi-chae says that the pages are filled after the Stage happens. Since she can’t read ahead to learn who Mystery Boy is, Dan-oh chirps that she still has her heart monitor, her heartbeats, and her back to help her find him.

She returns to class as the boys are changing into their gym clothes, offering her a glorious view of some pretty impressive backs. Dan-oh enjoys the show until Kyung blocks the window, assuming she was spying on him specifically, but she just keeps peering around him at the other guys. He asks if her leg is okay, and Dan-oh sasses him for acting like he cares.

He walks off, but she chases him down to lean on his back (lol, he’s so huge and she’s so tiny), and she’s relieved to realize that he’s not the right guy. She pats his shoulder and says she’ll be busy from now on, but he swats her hand away and leaves with Ae-il, his pretty admirer (though I notice he keeps turning back to watch Dan-oh).

She makes a plan to check the back of every guy in the school until she finds her Mystery Guy. The most efficient way is to pirouette down the hallway, bouncing off of guys, none of whom set off her heart monitor. HA, at one point she accidentally bonks into Soo-cheol and runs off.

Watching from a distance, Mi-chae chuckles that he told her nothing will change: “I get it. It’s not something she can just ignore. At first, everyone has expectations.” Hmmm, interesting.

Dan-oh continues attacking boys with her back until she runs into Do-hwa, who claims nervously that he’s looking for Nam-ju. Dan-oh tells him to cut to the chase and ask her where Joo-da is because she’s busy, so he does, dimpling at her adorably (seriously, those dimples are killing me).

He finds Joo-da in the courtyard and says he was worried she’d gotten hurt. Joo-da says that Do-hwa is always nice to her, like a guardian angel, and you can practically watch him fall in love as they’re showered with flower petals (Dan-oh: “It’s summer, where did the cherry blossoms come from?!”)

Dan-oh goes back to her quest, but she takes a break when she can’t outrun the entire track team. She thinks about the nice toned backs she glimpsed before Kyung ruined it, then tells herself to stop thinking like a perv. Suddenly she realizes that she can make Mystery Guy come to her, and joins the game of dodgeball already in progress.

Catching sight of Nam-ju oh-so-casually sitting next to Joo-da, Dan-oh prays that she gets hit by the ball before the Stage ends. While Nam-ju and Joo-da have a cute flirty conversation about strawberry milk (poor Nam-ju almost explodes when Joo-da wipes milk from his lip), Dan-oh does her best to make herself a target.

She eventually catches the ball, and hurls it as hard as she can at Kyung, only for him to side-step it. Ae-il catches it instead, and Dan-oh braces herself… and a boy whirls in front of her, takes the hit, and pulls them both to the ground. They land in the exact same position as they did when they fell from the stairs, and Dan-oh’s heart starts to pound.

She grins, thinking, “I found you!” But when she faces him, the sun is behind him and she still can’t see his face. ~BLIP~ Dan-oh whines internally that she was taken from her own big moment just to tell Sae-mi that Joo-da is entering the classroom, hee.

Sae-mi tells Joo-da that Nam-ju is looking for her, and she takes the strawberry milk that Joo-da obviously got from Nam-ju. Dan-oh jumps up, deciding she hasn’t got time for this, but ~BLIP~ and she’s in the nurse’s office again, unable to get out of bed. Joo-da enters, looking for Nam-ju, and the door is blocked by Sae-mi and the Jin bullies.

They taunt Joo-da to know her place and stay away from Nam-ju. Once they leave, Dan-oh can finally move, and she easily opens the door. She realizes that Nam-ju is supposed to rescue Joo-da, so she locks her back in, LOL.

Sure enough, Nam-ju walks by, and Dan-oh mutters that these kinds of coincidences happen all the time in romance stories. Nam-ju opens the door to the nurse’s office and sees Joo-da crying, and he’s completely disarmed. Minutes later, Sae-mi and the Jin bullies spot Nam-ju and Joo-da walking hand-in-hand, and Sae-mi declares war.

Dan-oh is suddenly standing outside holding seed packets, and she figures out what she’s supposed to do when she sees Joo-da watering the flowerbeds nearby. She delivers the seeds, then suddenly she feels the compulsion leave. She starts to flounce away, but she sees Sae-mi and the Jin bullies on a balcony above Joo-da’s head preparing to pour dirty mop water on her.

She doesn’t want to get involved, but she decides that she can’t just let an injustice happen. She grabs a conveniently located umbrella and runs to Joo-da, snapping it open just as the bullies throw the water. Unfortunately, there’s a huge hole in the umbrella, and Joo-da is drenched anyway.

Dan-oh throws the umbrella and yells that nothing goes her way. But she gives Joo-da her cardigan, grumbling that the leading man or the second lead should be here instead of leaving her to flirt with the heroine, hee.

Dan-oh finally makes it back to the field, but of course the Mystery Boy isn’t there anymore. She’s wondering why there’s a character who seems to exist only to save her when she’s just an extra, when Kyung comes over and asks why she’s been acting strange lately. She steals his basketball and tosses it away in a fit of pique, which sparks a memory — she saw the scar on the Mystery Boy’s hand.

She realizes he’s the same boy who picked up her books in the library, but when she gets there, all she finds is a book sitting on a table in front of an open window. Looking out the window, Dan-oh sees a boy in the garden, so she hurries outside, but it’s empty.

The umbrella she thew is stuck in a trellis, so Dan-oh reaches for it, but it’s just a bit too high. An arm reaches past Dan-oh’s head for the umbrella, and her heart goes crazy. She breathes, “Finally, I found him.”

Mystery Boy is walking away when Dan-oh turns to face him, but she vows that she won’t let him go this time. She runs closer and points her umbrella at him, which opens up and obscures his face again. Dan-oh lifts the umbrella, and she finally sees her Mystery Boy.

  
COMMENTS

Yay, we finally got to see his face! More importantly, Dan-oh got to see his face, and what a beautiful face it is, too. The problem is, Dan-oh is looking for an ally who can help her change the fact that everything int heir lives is subject to the Writer’s whims, and Mystery Boy is even more of a minor character than she is. Still, I think she’s onto something, because every time they cross paths, the story changes. Something about Mystery Boy allows him to alter the story, and for some reason he’s done it for Dan-oh twice now.

Dan-oh may just be my new all-time favorite kdrama character. She finds out that she’s just a background character in someone else’s life — and not even a real life, but a made-up one in a manhwa — but instead of feeling sorry for herself, she immediately starts fighting back. She’s not going to let herself be ignored, and if the writer doesn’t want to give her an important role, well then, she’ll just make one for herself. Dan-oh is strong, spirited, sassy, and unpredictable, and I have a feeling that the mysterious Writer is soon going to regret creating her at all. But I also felt bad for Dan-oh when she wondered if it might have been better if she’d never become self-aware. I think it’s a natural thing for her to think about, since being aware is causing her so much frustration and pain, something she didn’t feel when she was simply a construct.

I loved the explanation of the manhwa world, which is another example of the excellent world-building in Extraordinary You. Mi-chae’s description of how it all works made total sense: there’s the Stage, where the Writer has complete control, and the Shadow, where characters can act as they please when they aren’t needed to advance the main story. It explains why sometimes Dan-oh is compelled to act in ways she doesn’t want, yet sometimes she has complete control over her actions. Certain places like the school kitchen, the library, and Dan-oh’s home seem to exist mostly in the Shadow, while the classrooms and school grounds are primarily Stage areas.

I’m sure there’s a lot more to it that Mi-chae isn’t revealing yet, because things still happen that make no sense. For example, how can Mi-chae send Dan-oh back to the Stage just with a snap? I’m also very curious how and why Dan-oh suddenly became self-aware. Nothing happened that caused her to wake up, at least nothing I could tell, she was simply bopping along in the story and started experiencing blips. Surely Mi-chae knows that as well, and I’m surprised that Dan-oh hasn’t asked about it (I know it would be about the third thing I asked him). He also made that comment that seemed to allude that others have become self-aware in the past, which makes me wonder just how long he’s been stuck in the manhwa world and how many other characters have become self-aware. In fact, if Mi-chae has been there long, he must have been in other worlds, too, since manhwas have a definite beginning and end. So many questions!

Mi-chae and Dan-oh appear to be the only two self-aware characters in their story at this point, but I have a strong feeling that Mystery Boy knows the truth, and probably has for a long time. He spends a lot of time in the library, which seems to be a Shadow area, since that’s where Dan-oh went to do research on her memory losses (and libraries are places of knowledge and learning, which feels symbolic). I also feel like Kyung might be in the process of waking up, because his actions at times seem to indicate that he knows more than he’s letting on, or at least that he’s noticing things nobody else is noticing. And Kyung’s repeated insistence that he doesn’t like Dan-oh feels more and more like something he’s being compelled to say, while his actions at times indicate that he cares about her. Argh, I can’t wait until next week to get the answers to some of my questions!

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‘Head’ comments:
Dan-Oh’s mind voice is everything!
It is the collective drama viewers voice who have been asking these questions for centuries! Its just so hilarious
and the main romance plot is starting to sound so ridiculous.
I loved that moment when she realizes she is just an ‘extra’ and not the main lead. It was worse than being in a comic. I get her!
Now that we have a little more clarity on the rules of this world, we have more questions in our head.
Why do some characters become self-aware?
What makes the ‘destiny’ change? case in point, Dan-Oh saw the storyboard and according to that she should have been in a cast, but somehow the male lead was able to hold her back and change that into a slight injury? Did she change her destiny or was it someone else? Or was it some thing else?

‘Heart’ comments:
Baek-Kyung: Look at you!! so hot and handsome. That jaw line, cheekbones, eyes, forehead, earrings…. ***incoherent words.. ***
Even your jerk-ness and scowl makes my heart flutter!! Deep down you are the kind and caring types right?
That’s why you ran down the stairs and picked her up right?  You are going to fall for her right? This second lead syndrome is going to hurt right?
sigh…

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That’s why you ran down the stairs and picked her up right? You are going to fall for her right?

And he’s done this twice! Rushes down the stairs to pick her up and takes her to the hospital/infirmary. He says he hates ill woman, but here he is, so worried about her and her condition.

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I LOVE HIM AND HER AND HIS SCOWL!!!! I LOVE THIS SHOW TO BITS! MY HEART IS FLUTTERING LIKE MAD AND I HAVEN'T FELT THIS WAY IN AGES AND I'M WRITING IN CAPS BECAUSE I'M SO EXCITED!!!!

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And watch this love fly you to your rooftop.

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I will fly on the wings of love.

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That one is tsundare, I tell you

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I'm also thrilled about the slight change about Dan-oh's broken leg. I don't know if it was simply the result of 2 self-aware characters trying to change things around. Or if it was possible because the change didn't alter the writer's main story or awakened other characters. Dan-oh still fainted from her fall and required Baek Kyung's help. It still resulted in the Juda-Namju scene in nurse office. And it's "logical" that those chracters wouldn't pay attention to the mysterious guy's appearance in the middle of such confusion. We'll have to see where the limits of these changes are.

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Fairy sounded really sure that at the end of the day they’re stuck with “destiny”. He said something like everyone started hoping at the beginning at first. So he might have been really a been there done that kind of a guy.... But anyways I hope he’s wrong.

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The way he talks it looks like he has tried and failed? Or he is just planted there by the writer to prevent self aware characters from going rogue (kind of a preservative measure for the writer himself/herself)?
@joosushin comments below ask a valid qn why the fairy has a diorama? Like he has done this before to others. And his fear/warning about nothing changes and black hole.
So what happened to previous self-aware characters?

@gadis I agree on your observation. Even when Dan-Oh’s cast situation changes the main plot line is not affected by it. Which is why the writer is ok with this change. OR what if the writer is convinced that a mobile Dan-Oh is more valuable to the plot of main leads than a one in cast? Who convinced her? Or did the change happen because of the writer and had nothing to do with all these.

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I am wondering if Kitchen Fairy might perhaps be an Author Self-Insert!

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I think Baek Kyung only acts the way he does because he is accustomed to it, he is written that way, and because he isn't aware of it yet he acts the same even in the shadows, but he does care, not only did he pick her up and took her to the infirmary, he asked her if she was okay after the fall? he was worried.. HE CARES!

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Lots of things to talk about! I loved Episode 2 more. So many hilarious scenes. Let’s start with Ju Da and Nam Joo literally shine and glitter.

*Pretty much copying and pasting my replies on the fanwall*

-Dan Oh is an extra character in Secret. Not a supporting character, but a mere extra 😂 Her friend Sae Mi has a bigger role than her as a supporting character like Baek Kyung. Heck she’s the last named extra character in the book. All named characters are pretty much way better than her.

-Interesting changes we are seeing with Baek Kyung. I think he is close to being self aware as he remembers Dan Oh’s peculiarity in shadow scenes. In his mind, Dan Oh is into him and doesn’t talk back. But lately, he notes that she gets more snarky with him and can not grasp these switches.

The staircase scene is particularly interesting. All throughout the exchanges between Nam Joo and Ju Da, Dan Oh’s animated facial expressions at what was happening kept Kyung’s interest. He was frowning at her odd expressions.

It would suck so bad for him once his competition for her attention appears before him and the fact that this bit isn’t part of the script, rather it’s Dan Oh’s will to change her fate. He will see new sides of Dan Oh. It won’t an easy end game as you think this will be, boy. 😏

-Fairy has warned Dan Oh about the danger of the black hole. What might this be? An entry to the real world or another manhwa world?

I know Fairy is this know it all character here who constantly tells Dan Oh that her efforts to get full control of her life is futile because in the end the writers do what they want to do, but that little change from getting her leg broken to just a scrapped knee is a good sign that things can and do change. So there may actually be hope for Dan Oh. Only it’s tough battle ahead

-I wanted to know as well what triggers a character to be self-aware. How come Dan Oh felt like she was missing her memories and others don’t.

-Finding her true love’s identity through back contacts was sooo funny. Dan Oh, you are life. 💖

I can’t stop listening to Bad Guy now! And I used to think it was a meh song.

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That’s staircase scene where BK was looking at her with his characteristic scowl was everything!! He is noticing her. He can’t ignore her anymore. Because DanOh is awesome!!
When is fairy warm her about black hole. I think I missed it.

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Right! I especially liked that scene including the “you’ve been odd lately” comment!

It’s the library scene, blue. She and fairy went to the library to get the book. She wanted to show him the black hole and also told him that she put her hand in it. Fairy looked alarmed that she sighted it and asked her not to go near it.

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Dan-oh turning into a cute pinball machine to find his mysterious guy was awesome. She was so extra and lively. It's a pity that her friends wouldn't remember this "crazy" side of her. Though I'm pretty sure Kyung will remember it well and it would probably drive him crazy to notice the contrast between Shadow-Dan-oh and meek Stage-Dan-oh.

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-Finding her true love’s identity through back contacts was sooo funny. Dan Oh, you are life.

Oh yes, that scene. She looks absolutely like an insane stalker targeting each male student. It's so delightful to watch

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This story keeps getting more and more fascinating in its world building. I hope it continues. I think this will be one I (binge) watch later!

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I didnt read the manhwa so i may be way off. But is mystery boy the writer? things change when he's there.

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@hotcocoagirl had the same theory. That the mystery boy is the writers avatar in the comic. You can see her comments on my wall post or may be she will post her comment here!!

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Well he’s a good artist for sure! That’s one sign.

In the art room, I can’t stop looking at him sitting quietly in the back.

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My heart fluttered at the end. I am torn. I love Kyung. Will my fickle heart beat for another?

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That,ok. Left the heart fluttering to Dan Oh in this case. You can focus on BK!😆

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But my heart also flutters for Namju...I ship him with Danoh, too...

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@yyshire Don't blame you. That is one fine boy. Although I think his chance with Dan Oh is much less than BK due to his status in this drama.

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No worries, YY. I am same.

I actually love all 4 boys. Be still my beating heart!

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I keep fluttering from boy to boy...right from the start, when they had her walk in, and the camera pans to Kyung sitting there, looking so intense, and muttering something, and I fell for him, then whoosh, camera pans to bad boy on the bike, he takes off his helmet, and bham! I'm in love again. And every time they show Namju, and that cake scene, and the blackboard scene, and the sitting down next to each other scene, I just melt, omg, it's so cheesy but it's done sooooo heart flutteringly, I just stop breathing. And my heart broke when she realised that Namju was saying all those things to the other girl, and I got so jealous for Danoh. I am so invested in Danoh.

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@yyishere @13infamyss
It’s so funny that I automatically have started disliking Juda. Like she is the annoying second lead of the shadows who takes up valuable screentime. When she danced I was like rolling my eyes and DanOn’s comments were right on time.
This show is totally messing with us right. I love it!!

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@mayhemf Exactly. I feel very annoyed with her. That dance was laughable but it annoyed me too, and when Danoh said, who does that?? and is she okay? I just smirked. Danoh is so snarky I just love her so much.

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My heart flutters for Do Hwa.... & I was always firmly on board the Rowoon ship. But then came Jae Wook.... I'm an unfaithful fangirl & I have no regrets. Danoh is so shippable.

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I think he appeared in the first few minutes of episode one. I saw a tall figure in the background with the light. He has been there from the beginning. Does he know her or is it just his role. Can’t wait!!

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Well SPOILER ALERT??!

The manhwa hasn't finished yet, so I'm not so sure, but there's 99.999% chance he is not the writer. The story progressing more tragically than Dan'oh and her mysterious boy wanted to. With him slowly getting recognition from the writer and getting more roles, the roles is unfavorable one for both of them. Basically the universe against them. The mysterious boy (Haru) getting more and more frustrated of things he can't do as an extra and always sideline by Baekyung. He loves Dan'oh deeply, so I don't think he is the writer because that means he is playing with Dan'oh's love.

And in the manhwa, the writer has their own chat room. Basically we can see what is the writer thinking sometimes. Like they don't realize they draw Dan'oh differently than what they intended.

But this is still the manhwa, I see there's so many different aspects between the manhwa and the drama, like Jooda and Dohwa actually childhood friends and they share traumatic experience together, and how Jooda and Namjo already knowing each other since children and consoling and keeping each other secret. That's why the manhwa are called "Secret", since each of the character have their own 'secret' that they can't expose. It was more intriguing, so I'm curious on how they explore it in the drama. Since they already establish that Dohwa just falling in love with Jooda, while in the manhwa he already nurtured one sided love since childhood.

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I kinda like that they did away with all the dramatic stuff. I love the manhwa but it's much more fun watching a funny drama 😂 angst is best enjoyed in 2D 😆

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Completely agree. I hope they go for a more lighthearted route. (also hey NN I MISSED YOU!!!! <3)

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Hiii! It has been a while! I slacked off on going on dramabeans 😭 maybe we should group watch this drama!!

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I ❤ all the manwha CG and romantic tropes! Will wait next week for nameless guy to appear before deciding my ship. I think I am gonna like him. 😀

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Legit laughed out loud when Dan Oh froze and she became a lifesize cardboard cutout at the reveal of who she is in Secret. LOLz.

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Haha. I had so many LOL moments that I lost count. When they showed the romantic tropes, I was like... I can't believe I swooned at that in other dramas! 😊

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This drama has so many layers of meta and I love every bit of it. The webtoon story is the classic candy met chaebol romance, but since we watched it from Dan-oh's point of view, it turned into something exasperatingly funny. From her relatable ranting about the cliche world she lives in, her complains of being used as the writer's errand girl, to her visibly different personalities on and off the stage. I love the way her awareness and determination to change her own fate made her seems to live a completely different genre than the rest of the characters. (And I'm enjoying the fact that Baek Kyung was aware of the changes in her). And while she was the extra in the webtoon story, it's kind of apt that the webtoon leads were the extras in Dan-oh's own story.

I'm glad that Dan-oh's awakening makes sense from the webtoon's POV. Since she was only an extra, she spent more time in the "shadow" to do her own things. The story didn't require much from her apart from enabling the leads to meet and flirt, and as long as she did her job and didn't change the main story much, she was able to tweak things a bit. From the glimpses we got, it seemed like our mysterious guy have awakened much longer than her. And I really like how her desperately trying to find him had nothing to do with love or romamce, but the simple fact that he had somehow helped her avoided her preordained path. I can't wait to see more of Dan-oh's persistent, clever, and sly efforts to circumvent what the writer has in mind for her.

As for Baek Kyung, sigh... He's going to suffer for all the way he rudely turned Dan-oh down, is he? It's such a classic romantic setup to have him falling hard for her the moment she stopped obsessing over him and started being herself. I'm so not ready for this potential SLS.

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Really? I thought her heart beat got faster due to faceless and therefore she went looking for him. I didn’t think she thought he helped her change destiny. Have to go rewatch!

The last para. Sigh. Am so not ready for that.

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Baek Kyung already spells SLS for me, I didn't expect this coming. But LJW doing tsundere here is so on point. I rarely have SLS after watching so many kdramas. This is my 2nd SLS after Cinderella and the 4 Knights.

Maybe the thoughts that that BK has to do it in order to follow the Writer's lead is so heartbreaking, assuming he might have and could have real feelings for DO.

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I love this show so much. I love Kyung. His scowl. His rude mouth. The eyes that show his budding interest in Danoh, the concern that he tries so hard to hide., the puzzlement, trying to understand her, and his confusion at his own new awareness of her. His height. The way he towers over her. How she appears so small and fragile next to him. I am in love with him.

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I didn't understand everything in the episodes 1-2, but the story got clearer in episodes 3-4. They were fun !

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I was impatient and curious so I read the last episode of the actual webtoon this is based on 😂. I didn't really understand because there was no context but it seemed like the webtoon was going to focus more on the romance? aspect. which I have to admit I'm a bit disappointed in because I really wanted it to explore themes like identity, self-discovery etc. I guess that's a bit much to ask for haha but for now it's so entertaining and it's hard to imagine but I love all the characters, even candy Ju-da and arrogant Kyung

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Thank you for the recap. This drama is really piquing my interest!

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that last shot of haru was GORGEOUS, and the scene where Dan-oh goes around bumping into every guys back was so cute and fun, i’m loving the OST’s in this drama. i’m loving all the male characters from our grumpy kyung, tsundere namju, mysterious haru, and dried squid fairy ahha, based on the previews there’ll be more interactions between dohwa and danoh, really looking forward to their interactions, i love their friendship!

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You left off sweet second lead Do-hwa. I was surprised at how close Dan-oh was with Do-hwa in this episode. The preview between them in the kitchen made me gasp.

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Omg same! After Haru I'm fully on board with the Do Hwa ship!

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Do-Hwa is just too sweet. That way he offered his back was just so adorable!!

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I don't think Dried Squid sent her back with a snap. They could feel when the page is turning (the sound) and that they're being called to the Stage.

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Yeah. I was about to say the same thing. I swear I heard the "page turn" sound before he snapped his finger. So they knew the Stage was calling.

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wow i'm loving this drama so much
i wonder who will become self aware later.. i'm thinking maybe Kyung
although from the preview it seems Dohwa become self aware too
though i hope the MCs Namju and Jooda become self aware too at least later on.

but this writer is a cruel one.. Dan-Oh is an extra that has heart disease which mean she will feel pain and engaged to a jerk (Kyung) and friend with one of bully (Saemi). i wonder if she's supposed to be dead later as a catalyst for Kyung and Saemi to become good. i hope this is not the case
maybe she become self-aware because the writer pity her.,

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Thanks, LollyPip. This excellent drama can be confusing at first, because the approach is fresh. Your recap explained a few things I didn't catch. The premise here is different from "W." As you say, here it's apparently about Stage and Shadow. So far, we don't know anything about the Real World, the Writer, or the relationship between the Stage and the Real World, which "W" emphasized. If our 2 real screenwriters purposefully want to stay away from "W," they have to keep the adventure in, and the conflict between, Stage and Shadow. Will Dan Oh fulfill her ambitions by living in the Shadow, like Mi Chae, or will she charm the Writer into changing the Stage?

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I refuse to believe Dan-oh is an extra. She is main character Joo-da's only friend. She interacts with all of A3, particularly second lead Do-hwa. She is secondary character Baek Kyung's fiancée. She is antagonist Sae-mi's BFF. How can Dan-oh be an extra? At the very least, she should be a secondary character. Why did the writer put Dan-oh in the nurse's office if Nam-joo was supposed to save Joo-da? Having another character present would have ruined their moment. When Dan-oh made Joo-da switch seats, my first thought was she's now sitting next to Nam-joo. Our poor Mystery Boy must live in the Shadow. A big thanks for the recap, @LollyPip!

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Good points! She's not an extra character by the definition of it. Her role is also too interspersed with other characters to be labelled an extra.

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Given that she is the fiancé of a A3 guy and has proper scenes like the heartbreak, parent interaction etc she is really a supporting actor.
I wonder why she is written with a terminal illness? Is it for Baek Kyung’s growth arc?

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Yes! It was quite poignant in the webtoon, and was also extra hilarious because once the Stage is over DanOh is all like "thank God its over!!' 🤣🤣

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I was really confused by that, especially after reading the manhwa. I would give you my theory, but I think it might spoil too much

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Yeah, I found it's wierd to put Dan-Oh in the infirmary the second time with no cause. Her presence has no benefit to either Joo-Da or Nam-Joo. She leaves the scene and it still goes unaffected. Then why was she sent there?

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It's because she has no narrative of her own. Her character is only used to further the development of others, including Kyung and her best friend Sae-Mi. Even Sae-Mi has a conflict of her own, which is that she's in love with Nam-Joo and is the quintessential second FL that wreaks havoc (we don't see this as much because we only see the Stage when Dan-Oh is in it)

If you notice EVERY scene Dan-Oh is in serves a greater purpose for ANOTHER character. She's only either with Kyung, helping out Joo-Da, or lying helplessly in the nurse's office.

Also about the second time she's in the nurse's office, I think she was sent there because it's a part of her 'concept' to be in the nurse's office all the time. Then she was forgotten by the writer when he/she started focusing on Joo-Da and the bullies. I don't think Dan-Oh was meant to be there when Nam-joo was supposed to save Joo-Da but was just forgotten to be moved from there, if that makes sense.

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She complained about her purpose in the staircase scene. She was only there to agree on anything that Sae Mi said, lol.

But yes, I agree that writers do not have a plan for her character development, and we're seeing she's got more scenes because we're seeing things from her perspective. When really, she's only there as an add on. The kind of character you couldn't care less about. But again, she's still fortunate that she's named in the manhwa....

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Poor Dan-Oh. She's the Writer's errand girl running around doing everything he/she orders yet can't eat what she wants, even forgotten she was put in the scene. The most pitiful female lead, err, extra character in history.

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Also, I think most of her scenes with Do-hwa happen in the shadow, when they're free to act the way they want, she actually gets to talk to him and tease him about his crush on Ju-da, but all of that doesn't really matter because it affects nothing since it's not on the stage, and once they're on stage Do-hwa doesn't remember those interactions!

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Isn't she fated to die and to be Kyung's refrigerator girl?

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That's what I fear the most coz why would they give her a heart condition if they are not going to use it as a plot point. But we're in a rom-com not a makjang so I'm crossing all of my fingers in the hope that her illness is only for the sake of the original 'main story' and our heroine will be able to change her fate.

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maybe she is an extra because the only thing she did literally was running an errand for the writer lol, like she won't get any character development or her character doesn't have any motives. She's there for other characters stories

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LOL she's the writer's errand girl!!!

I think Dan Oh was created, so that Baek Kyung gets a love line. Since he is a supporting character in a teen romance manhwa, he gets his character more fleshed out, has character growth, and redeems himself in the end. Every scene they have together is for his character growth. He falls for that childhood friend he didn’t want to love because his father forced him to do so. Even the dinner scene at the Euns was because readers need to see that he doesn’t enjoy family gathering and sucking up to the Euns with his father.

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And here's me; a 42 year-old ahjumma getting heart palpitations and squealing out in adolescent delight throughout her watching this drama. Hope it continues to be my oasis to escape from the worries of adulthood. And where the heck was Rowoon during my teenage years??

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I know the show is so funny. I watched all the episodes with a small on my face and many chuckles and grins.

But at the end of the day our Heroine has something on her side she doesn't suspect yet: She's not really the supporting character in a manhwa. She's the main character in a DRAMA.

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Danoh wanting to steal the spotlight & create chaos & listening to bad guy was hilarious! I didn't much care for Billie Eilish songs before but this was a perfect fit!
Also sm1 tell me what kpop song I missed.... I only caught bad guy. Lololol

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Dan-oh rocks out to kpop on her headphones.

Actually, Dan-oh was not listening to kpop.

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Good to have the confirmation! I was like how could I possibly miss it if they had used kpop.

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the scene where Jooda is dancing in the classroom, the song is Umpah Umpah by Red Velvet

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I see.... I'm like the typical reader who isn't interested in the extra... For me Judah is an extra 🤣

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Danoh wanting to steal the spotlight

It's hilariois and pitiful at the same time.

#JusticeforDanOhandherRayofSunlight
#JusticeforDanOhandherStrawberryMilk

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Also #JusticeforEDO&herTwinklingStars

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It's fun to watch but a bit sad, right? We live in a world very much like high school where importance has various levels, and while everyone is the heroine of her own life, we often don't respect the lives of "unimportant" people because they lack status. The Candy character is typical of the unimportant people we are taught to care about and while it's understandable that our human minds can't love and humanize and care for everyone we see in life or in a story, i think the bad aspects of storytelling is that bad tropes train us to always see certain types as unimportant. I want Dan Oh to matter because i want all regular (not rich, not extremely poor, not ultra handsome, not ultra pretty, not ultra outcast) people to also matter as a trope group.

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Dear Mr Nameless - aka Rowoon aka No 13 aka Haru, fits that bill. It'd be interesting to see how his character is developed ; because even in the manhwa his character seems to exist for Eun Danoh only.

However since the drama is repeatedly declaring itself over & over as a school rom com, I don't think I should get my hopes up.

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It's a nudge to all of us that everyone is matter in thier own life. Next time if we get to sympathize on the 'bad guy' or only try to look for the reason that make them bad, then this drama is a life lesson.

Anyway, Dan-Oh happens to be extremely rich (well, at least her dad is) and extremely cute, though.

Haroo is also super good-looking to the point that I wonder if he was really intended to be just an unnamed extra. Or has anything happened between him and the Writer so that his status was lowered down. Or he could be the Writer himself as someone suggested.

Everyone is referencing Candy and she came up a lot in the comments regarding rom-com tropes. Should I go check her out?

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Candy is ever present in dramaland, upto you! @yyishere wrote a whole saga of candy x hot cold ceo, you'll see mentions of all the tropes there.

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Ooh, thanks a lot. ^_^

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WAIT, Don't they listen to bad guy in Moment of 18, too? Do the writers understand what that song is about?! lol.

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What I want to see from this drama and what I’m afraid I will see from this drama are two very different things.
I think comparing it to W is natural, but ultimately not very useful; what we must look at this drama through the eyes of is the concept and process of writing itself.

This drama has the potential to address abstract and complex writing concepts, fundamentals and philosophies, such as Death of the Author, whether or not Characters demand autonomy, what IS the role of an extra, when is a trope a good thing and when is it a bad thing, how a writer goes about writing and creating worlds and characters, how the writing process actually works, and how characters of writers in our world sometimes do “take on a life” of their own, and how that can be symbolized through the physical self-awareness of Dan Oh, rather than the abstract of our world.

To quote Tolkien’s personal experience with the latter;
“I met a lot of things on the way that astonished me. Tom Bombadil I knew already; but I had never been to Bree. Strider sitting in the corner at the inn was a shock, and I had no more idea who he was than had Frodo. The Mines of Moria had been a mere name; and of Lothloriene no word had reached my mortal ears till I came there. Far away I knew there were the Horselords on the confines of an ancient Kingdom of Men, but Fanghorn Forest was an unforeseen adventure. I had never heard of the House of Eorl nor of the Stewards of Gondor. Most disquieting of all, Saruman had never been revealed to me, and I was as mystefied as Frodo at Gandalf's failure to appear on September 22.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, in a letter to W.H. Auden, June 7, 1955”

The sublime latency of this show to discuss a level of meta that goes beyond just tropes, plot holes, candy leads and strawberry milk, but actually INTO the very bones and essence of storytelling itself, what that MEANS and IS and looks like to the author, what Dan Oh not just means to the comic book author in the show, but to the author of the webtoon and show in this world- is unbelievably off the charts.

And this show touches on many of these ideas, and does so in a creative, rich, fantastical and already highly metaphorical way (All The World’s a Stage), and I love it, I want to write about its metaphors already!
But! I fear it will never address these ideas and metaphors properly; I fear it will ultimately fall back on its own tropes without ever realising that for its message and meaning to be authentic, it must address its own tropes as well as the ones of the comic book.
It must be careful not to become the very thing it satirizes.

If it points out the plot holes and tropes of the manhwa, but fails to explain or at least address through satire (or the fourth wall) its own plot and tropes, then does its meta become meaningless?

To me, it would. Any statement it is trying to make metatextually on the tropes and writing of rom coms would become null and void if...

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... the show itself eventually, and un-ironically, falls back on tropes and writing flaws to complete its story.
It must remain self-aware enough, either through irony or some other philosophy in order for its current meta, and satire to remain faithful.
To me, if it does not, then it is not staying true to itself.

Of course, this probably wouldn’t become meaningless to everyone, and a story can be enjoyed by many people in many different ways, and stories, whilst needing some kind of intent, do not need a single objective intent for you to get something out of them.

But for me personally, as a writer, as someone who cares quite deeply about storytelling fundamentals, I don’t particularly enjoy stories where whilst the story has potential, the writer clearly doesn’t respect the story or any part of it. It can be very obvious to me when a character in kdramaland is acted well but their writing is empty because the writer just didn’t put enough care or respect into them.

Whether or not these writers are self-aware enough of their own process, and the ideas their story represents to respect that process and ideas, remains to be seen.
But my track record for encountering intelligent writers anywhere, be it literature, film or television, has been low this year, and I know that most people do not think about their stories on this level, so I fear for the direction of this show, no matter HOW much I am enjoying it right now. Which is a lot.

I want to say that this show already is addressing such ideas as whether or not a writer respects a character enough to give it the story it deserves, rather than just solely the story the writer wants tell, at the expense of plot and development, because it seemingly IS addressing such ideas. But how long can it keep it up?
And will it go the places I want it to go?
Already we have so many questions about this world; will these writers deliver for us, or will their own story end up being akin to Dan Oh wondering where that Strawberry Milk came from in the first place and receiving no answer?
Make no mistake, if this shows intent was to do the latter, but ironically, through satire, I would have no problem with it, because satire is still making a value statement about something, but if it just heads the fantasy route of ambiguous answers with a tropey rom come story at its centre, I will not be surprised. Especially since this show is not marketed as a satire.

If it doesn't maintain the satire, it cannot satirize itself, and if it never satirizes itself, was it ever satire in the first place?

Anyway, this was WAY too much to write on Episode 2 and I’m fairly certain I just repeated myself like three times. Whatever.

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But if Show goes full-tropey on us and offers Dan-oh a hot, considerate boyfriend and a cure for her heart ailment, my advice to her would be to just take them and run :)

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Take both cute hot boys and run like the wind I say.

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Right now i think the writer/creator is a hack without an original thought in his head. He is very trope-oriented and trope-obsessed. The writer himself has to grow to change his leads, secondaries, and extras. Am not sure if the writer of the real manhwa will deal will that or will simply continue to play against the tropes of the genre by making the comic manhwa writer change or of if the real manhwa writer wants to say something more about storytelling, societal expectations, being a regular non-spotlight person. We'll have to see.

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Well the writer is a female duo, and one of said duo IS the author of the original webtoon...
so I'm a bit confused lol.

However, I do agree that a writer grows with a story they're telling, if they care about it at all, and that that would be another, albeit unlikely, thing I would wish to see discussed in this show.

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I think Carole meant the writer of the manhwa in the drama, not the actual webtoon - it took me a few reads to get it 😂 we have too many writers to talk about here and its so meta, it's confusing!

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Thank you so much, @dokutokunaneko . Yes, you're right. You understand what i mean. Sorry...i was unclear. We've got to figure out a way to distinguish which writer we're talking about, i guess. The writer of Juda's story is using tropes. The writer of the webtoon, whose main character is Dan Oh, is not a hack and is meta-questioning the tropes and stale imagination of the writer of Juda's story.

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Lol thanks for the clarification @dokutokunaneko and @scifiwritir
I did wonder if it was the writer of Juda you were talking about.

The writers of the show, and the webtoon, definitely are calling out those tropes, but my original point still stands; if they too fall back on tropes then they're also hacks :P
But as you say, we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

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So true about both writers falling back on tropes. Mr Nameless is a hottie, after all. So that's a trope both writers are using. Great things only happen to good kind girls and their hottie boyfriends who see their specialness.

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Unrelated, but I just read your name as Queen of monocles 🧐 (fancy a Hercule Poirot moment eh?)
With the way I'm going you'll soon be queen of the universe ; what with melancholia & monocles.

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Queen of Monocles and Melancholia EH. *adds that to list of titles*

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Yes, all of this. Pretend I said some stuff like this in my recap :)

I want to go deep into the manhwa world and how it's affected by the writer, though I have a feeling we'll mostly see things through Dan-oh's eyes. I do see some hints that we'll get a chance to do some fun analyses on the nature of the world she lives in, but I worry that the show won't go as deep as I hope. We'll see!

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This episode was really great thanks to Kim Hye Yoon! She's the soul of this drama. All her facial expressions, her voice, her energy are wonderful. I love the scene when Baek Kyung wants to talk about the investment to Dan Oh, she could play the stage's character and the shadow's character in the same time, we could see Shadow Dan Oh's frustration but still feel the pain of the Stage's Dan Oh.
The scene when she fell in the stairs was so beautiful. Again her facial expressions were great, I'm really curious how they filmed it.
Dan Oh searching her fated back was so funny. I love how she's not the typical shy girl, no she can totaly watch guys changing their clothes, leaning against all the backs she met without a once of shyness. I just love her! Her reaction to the main story is so funny. Give her strawberry milk! She deserves it :p
I'm happy she finaly found Mysterious Guy, who just came from a manga! Rowoon is really handsome!
Lee Jae Wook looks really good in black! I pity him because he's realizing that Dan Oh is not just the sick girl who loves him anymore, but too late!

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It's such an amazing show in that I am pulled in by both stories, the stage and the shadow. Both are heartbreaking in parts. I totally agree with you, the lines that she spoke in character with beautifully done, her pain at the way he treated her...it wasn't funny, even though her snarky self was mocking the whole exchange inside, you can still feel the pain. Just brilliant, and awesomely nuanced by our Danoh...she did it so beautifully, the grief breaking through her control, on the verge of tears, her voice cracking. Just wonderful.

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She deserves an award just for this scene!

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Fully agree, this episodes worked so well because of Kim Hye Yoon maniac energy, frankly at this stage I don't care about anybody else altough I started it because of Lee Jae Wook.

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For me, it was SF9's Rowoon. It was the same with SF9's Chani and Sky Castle was great and Kim Hye Yoon too :p

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I'm painfully out of loop with newest kpop offerings, I'm mostly keep up with scandals and few of my favs.

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Oh yeah me too. I kinda follow only FNC's groups because they were bands.

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Hi5 for Rowoon! When I first found him I didn't even know he was a part of sf9,a boy band I already liked at the time🤣

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Silly me. I thought A3 was a paper size.

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Lol its a play on f4.... But because they're manhwa it's A4.... Or A3 since that's not too on the nose & dried squid fairy only comes when there's.... Dun dun dun..dried squid 😂

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nobody talks about the ending of episode? the umbrella, the background music, and rowoon's face at the end was awesome! hope it will be viral and legendary like Kang Dong Won scene in Temptation of Wolves.

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I think some of those ending scene swoon comments are on the fanwall & on the 1st ep recap, we couldn't wait! 😁 😅

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I definitely loved the cliffhanger of this episode! Indeed another parody of Kang Dong Won’s scene. It’s timeless, that scene. And they made it extra cute!!!!!😆

Speaking of Kang Dong Won - there have been talks that Nam Joo resembles Kang Dong Won and I couldn’t agree more!!

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ahhh, from ep 1 I wonder where I saw nam joo beside extraodinary you, but when I check his filmography he only act in 2 dramas this year, turns out he looks like Kang Dong Won, of course I feel familiar with him

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Story/manhwa = Fate?

Metaphor, much?

Writer = Creator = God?

Rebellion against writer = ... uh...crap... is she SATAN!??

If anyone offers you an apple...

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*snorts*

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Hi. What is the song Dan- Oh is listening to ans dancing at the same time? She was wearing a headphone?

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Bad Guy Billie Eilish.

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I love how funny and interesting the story goes. I like Dan - oh a lot. She plays her role well.

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Her obsession with backs is highly relatable though.

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If she got one for veins it'd be even more relatable 😉

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Or jawlines.
Or hands.
Or cheekbones.

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Or lips
Or dimples
Or eyes
Or hair
Hmmmm 😋

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Or shoulders
or ... bodies?

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Where is this going lol

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Or forearm ?

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Or abs.
It makes sense to check out abs.
Or noses.
Or flat tummies.
Or lips.
I'm getting a headache running through the whole anatomy of a male. Why does that sound so wicked?

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I think we should just agree we all appreciate a fine specimen of the male physique and leave it at that...

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@maybemaknae @yyishere y’all are missing a very important feature. “Middle forehead”. JKW mentioned it in one of the BTS. and then I see it. With every scowl the middle forehead comes alive.

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It's so funny to see JKW with people of his age. He acts so differently, he's very cute.

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Lololol

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Lol that scowl sends shivers down my spine. He wins my votes for 2019's Hottest Scowl Ever on the Hottest Middle Forehead of the Year.

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I wonder what Dan-Oh means. Apparently, Secret's writer is very on the nose with names but what does Dan-Oh mean? Can someone tell me?

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Actually..interesting that you brought this up. Because suddenly I had an eureka moment. Not sure if it's really a coincidence or on purpose...but I believe Dan-Oh might be derived from the word 단역(Dan-Yeok - a term usually used to describe a character with a small part) and the 오(Oh - which is number 5). And apparently from the introductory page of the comic book, she's listed as the 5th one among the extras. lol

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So basically...
주연(Joo-yeon- the main role)
조연(Jo-yeon - the secondary role)
단역(Dan-yeok - the supporting role)
& 엑스트라 (Extra - the extra role)

Actually Dan-oh falls into the supporting role rather than an extra. An extra would be Haru since he was not even given a name.

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Since lots of the character names have implied meaning on their role in the story, eg. 남주, 여주, the class president named 반장 and the nerd named 모범, I also think Dan-Oh's name might be significant. Your interpretation is really interesting.

I cracked up when she ask to be named 심장병 & 오작교.

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I read on Reddit that other characters names also have a meaning such as the main male lead, main female lead etc.

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Dan-oh's name is spelled 단오, but 단어 (dan-eo) means words.
Do-hwa 도화 means drawing.

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This show has piqued my interest. When first read abt in on dramabeans I was like think I had enough school related series of late.But so happen to watch this on my local tv after work and was immediately interested.

And fully saw it during thhe weekend and loving it much.But the actors kinda look too old to play high school kids. Maybe, it is just me cause I know some of the actors have played working ppl in their previous roles.The actor frm WWW though in age is young he does have a matured look.

Oh well looking forward to the episodes this week.

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Soompi's news :

MBC’s Wednesday-Thursday drama “Extraordinary You” has changed its scheduling this week due to coverage leading up to the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

On October 8, MBC announced, “‘Extraordinary You’ will air two consecutive episodes on October 9 from 8:55 p.m. KST for two hours. We have made this decision to air both episodes on Wednesday as the October 10 broadcast has been canceled due to coverage of the second round of Asian preliminaries for the 2022 Qatar World Cup. We ask for your understanding.”

Therefore, episodes 3 and 4 will air on October 9, while there won’t be any episodes airing on October 10.

“Extraordinary You” tells the story of Eun Dan Oh (Kim Hye Yoon), a high school girl who realizes she’s a character in a manhwa (Korean comic) and does her best to go against her fate. She appears alongside SF9’s Rowoon, Lee Jae Wook, APRIL’s Naeun, and more.

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😢😢😢😢

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It's not very clear but I think we will have 2 episodes but the Wednesday and any the Tuesday.

Because the article says 3 and 4, if they counted as 2 mini episodes, it should be 5 and 6.

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They stated that they will be airing 2 hours. So I think we are safe. Even better, we'll get to see all of this week content on Wednesday.

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Yep we are good. There will be two episodes airing tomorrow. I’m glad MBC decided on this than postponing an episode. Don’t think i can last with just one episode 😩

Now I hope Kocowa will release the subs for two episodes tomorrow too....

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@13infamyss Oh, is that so? Phew. I was so down I couldn't even manage a Candy smile for a while.

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Crossing fingers that we will not have a power shut down, here in Northern CA, so that we can watch this week's episodes!...

(On a serious note, these wild fires risks -and power shut down- are sadly part of the norms, nowadays ☹️ )

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That last scene was waahhhhh! I couldn't stop smiling.

I wonder if Kyung is becoming self aware too and I also wonder exactly HOW Dan Oh became self aware. I do have some theories and it might explain who Rowoon's character is. Some of the hints were super obvious so they might be red herrings. I can't wait to watch the next episodes!

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Where are the other manhwa readers? I really wanna ask what you guys think about the story and the changes they made to it, particularly Haru since it seems like they made more important. Hopefully it means they'll have more screentime together.

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The biggest change they made is Dan oh's character herself. Her personality is completely different from manhwa. But as much as I loved the stoic faced ice princess of the manhwa, I am completely head over heels for this energetic, adorable and fun Dan oh. And yeah, they do seem to have changed Haru's character a lot too and I hope it's in a good way because in the manhwa he is the most precious character ever. I would hate for that part of his personality to disappear.
Speaking of which, the 2nd volume of the manhwa turned really dark. I hope they don't go that route because they don't have proper reference, as the book isn't complete yet. *fingers crossed*

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Haru in the webtoon is a liiiiitle bit of a Mary Sue to me, so I hope they'll give him more personality here! They already added quite a bit about Haru-DanOh connection here, so I'm hopeful.

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I agree, and do you know if volume two is already complete in Korean? From where I read it they mentioned that volume 2 has 31 chapters with 22 chapters translated so far.

I just pray they don't go that dark, which I'm hopeful for since they did say the ending will be changed. I need at least one version to have a happy ending!

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Yep at the drama’s press conference, the director said they tweaked the story, so that Rowoon’s character will have more screentime as he is billed as the male lead here.

Kyung’s starting to notice Dan Oh’s personality that is different from what he’s known. It took quite a white for him in the webtoon.

The drama is moving at a very quick pace. Dan Oh found Haru by chapter 10, whereas in here end of episode 2. But then again you have to have enough content to last you an hour per episode, so there will be more changes / additions for sure. I for one do not mind the changes they have done so far.... maybe I have a tiny issue on the fairy. I liked his mystery aura in the webtoon better ngl.

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I hope they don't change Haru's personality like they changed Dan Oh's at the same time I hope they flesh him out more and give his relationship with Dan Oh more depth.

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Since the main story line of 'Secret' is going fully tropey, I found myself focusing on teeny-tiny details and clues.

Mr.Squiddy
- He even has the diorama to explain how things works in their world. Has he been explaining to other characters? How many of them have actually waked up? How many of them have decided to go against the Fate?
- He seems to be interested but annoyed/scared by the sparkling blackhole.

Haru
- the Mystery Guy, is defintely another self-aware character (some theorize that he's even the Writer himself but I still doubt it). He has this big cut across his palm. Was it a consequence from him trying to rebel against the Writer? Why is he so interested in Dan-Oh?

Kyung
- He is constantly checking his phone and is always with the headphone. What has he been seeing/listening to?
- Kyung is also another character in the process of waking up. I think this due to his less appearance in the main story since now the focus would be on the love triangle between NamJoo-JooDa-DoHwa.
- His personality in the 'Shadow' is somewhat the same as his 'Stage' one. Only that in the shadow, he seems to be interested in Dan-Oh more and more.

Other observations:
- The existence of the 'Secret' manhwa inside the 'Secret manhwa' is the 'details' the Writer intentionally put in.

- In the scene where Do-Hwa was mesmerized by Joo-Da's beauty in the library, he was grabbing a book titled 'Gardian Angel' and later she comments that he is her gardian angel.

There's a lot to discuss and interpret from. I love it when a drama can do such things.

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oooooooh, you have me thinking. Thanks.

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Please share your two cents. I would really love to discuss.

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Yes, I've been wondering about the diorama too. Why does he have one? And was it just so we (viewers of the kdrama) could understand the difference between the stage and the shadow (because the visual did help me). We will shall see...

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It's too early and not enough info to tell how things go and will go. I only have wild guess and crazy imagination hehehe.

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I'm really curious about the sparkling black-holes!
Are they plot holes or a portal to the writer's world, the real world? Mi-chae told Dan-oh not to touch them and stop looking for them as that will have "great consequences" what does he mean, has he tried it before? In the 1st episode when Dan-oh touched the one in the library she felt a pull so I don't know! Also, the cut on Mystery guy's palm, could it be because of it?!

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A literal 'plot hole'? @azzo1

Wow, that sounds super interesting. I'll put a mark on your theory and if it turn out to be the thing, I'll salute you three times.

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Yes, a literal plot hole, something the writer has forgotten or ignored, an inconsistency! Yeah, I've been thinking about it since the 1st episode, it must be something important!

LOL! Now I want my theory to be right!

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