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People With Flaws: Episodes 5-6

Our leads may not be feeling like romantic leads just yet, but there’s certainly some crackling chemistry between them. Unfortunately it seems to be chemistry born from hatred, and the power dynamic at work isn’t helping anything. They’re going to need to find a way to get along, at least while they’re working together, but they won’t be able to do that until they stop acting like middle schoolers around each other.

 
EPISODE 5

Kang-woo chooses to work for the family business by becoming the new chief director at Shinhwa High School, where Seo-yeon works as the physical education teacher. But when he’s presented to the staff, instead of being upset at seeing him there, Seo-yeon mouths curses at him (ha, pretty sure she said the F-word equivalent) and makes I’ll kill you gestures in his direction.

It upsets his stomach again, and we see that he and Doctor Kim had anticipated this and done some roleplay (with Doctor Kim in a dress and wig, hee) to get Kang-woo accustomed to looking Seo-yeon in the eye without anxiety. Kang-woo had been skeptical, so Doctor Kim had given him some medicine to calm his stomach in an emergency.

Kang-woo tries to take one of the pills, but he fumbles with the difficult packaging and the pill goes flying. It lands in Vice Principal Park’s orchid pot and gets lost among the white rocks, so he takes the pot and creeps out of the room, sobbing.

He calls Doctor Kim from his office to complain that the roleplay failed. Doctor Kim suggests that Kang-woo take a picture of Seo-yeon to practice looking her in the eye, and Kang-woo hangs up frustrated. He finally finds his medicine in the orchid pot and quickly downs it… only to look up and see Vice Principal Park and the chief of affairs staring at him. LOL, they think he’s eating the orchid rocks.

Up on the school roof, Mi-kyung comforts a very frustrated Seo-yeon. They ponder how “Butthole” go the job as chief director and wonder if he has ties to Shinhwa Foods, the conglomerate that owns the school. Mi-kyung tries to call Hyun-soo to ask about Kang-woo, but he doesn’t answer her call.

He’s busy with Seok-min (I’m still not sure if he’s an idol or strictly a model with Hyun-soo’s agency), who’s upsetting his manager by not answering his door for a photo shoot. Hyun-soo lets himself into Seok-min’s apartment and discovers the reason — there are clothes tossed everywhere from Seok-min’s wild night.

Seeing Seok-min posing at the window with only a towel around his waist, Hyun-soo goes over and kicks him in the rear. But when he turns around, it’s not Seok-min… it’s Won-seok, Seo-yeon’s brother. Hyun-soo has no idea who Won-seok is, and Won-seok isn’t inclined to explain himself — he just whips off his towel, gets dressed, and lets himself out.

Hyun-soo is interested in the handsome stranger for business reasons, but Seok-min just laughs when he asks if Won-seok is with an agency. Seok-min panics when Hyun-soo reminds him of his photo shoot, and hurries to get ready.

Elsewhere, a housekeeper sighs over several containers of uneaten food. Jang-mi pops up out of nowhere and scares her, and asks where her mask is. The housekeeper says she threw it away, so Jang-mi goes outside to sift through the trash. When she finally locates the mask, the lip gloss Seo-yeon used to write with is smeared and the numbers are unreadable.

When Kang-woo feels better, Vice Principal Park and the chief of affairs take him on a tour of the school. They’re very evasive when he asks about the principal. Vice Principal Park stammers that the principal is quite necessary, that they don’t actually show up to school but are always with them. The chief of affairs says that the principal has a close relationship with Chairwoman Han, and Vice Principal Park almost tackles him to stop him talking. Hmmm, I have a theory…

In fact, Chairwoman Han is talking on the phone to the principal at that very moment, taking a report on Kang-woo’s first day. Kang-woo’s mother busily looks through photographs of possible matches for Kang-woo, but Chairwoman Han says that more than someone beautiful, Kang-woo’s needs to marry someone mature and self-sufficient. Kang-woo’s mom asks why Chairwoman Han approved her to marry her son, and Chairwoman Han says blandly, “You had a lot of money.” PFFT.

Kang-woo’s tour moves outside, and he sees an opportunity to get a photo of Seo-yeon. He gets Vice Principal Park and the chief of affairs to pose for pictures (their poses are hilarious), and makes sure to angle it so that Seo-yeon is in the background.

He goes to Min-hyuk’s office next, and Min-hyuk asks why he ran out when he was being introduced. Kang-woo gets quiet and vague, so Min-hyuk asks about his germophobia. Instead of answering, Kang-woo rapid-fires several questions about the first time Min-hyuk watched porn, and when Min-hyuk blurts out the answers, Kang-woo points out that his inability to lie isn’t exactly normal, ha.

Min-hyuk asks Kang-woo to keep their family connection a secret, so Kang-woo promises for Min-hyuk’s sake. Min-hyuk asks why Kang-woo chose this job when he doesn’t care about the school, but Kang-woo just tells him not to worry because he’s not staying long.

Sitting in his office, Kang-woo looks over Seo-yeon’s resume and cackles over how good it will feel to fire her. He looks over the pictures he took earlier, but when he zooms in to see Seo-yeon’s face up close, she’s glaring directly at him… oops. He tries to practice looking her in the eye, but in seconds, his stomach starts to cramp.

Seo-yeon and Mi-kyung do some sleuthing on Shinhwa Group, and they find an article about Kang-woo’s sister, Kang-hee. The article says she has a brother, and with their similar-sounding names, it’s not a stretch to conclude that Kang-woo is the grandson of Chairwoman Han. Seo-yeon snaps that it doesn’t excuse his behavior, but Mi-kyung reminds her that she needs the chief director to sign off on an upcoming track competition.

Kang-woo’s sister Kang-hee goes to their father’s executive office to collect him for a meeting. He balks, claiming to be much too busy until Kang-hee turns his computer screen and sees that he’s playing games, ha. He throws a whiny baby tantrum (complete with oppa-pout-wiggle), begging Kang-hee to take over his job as CEO and let him retire, but she snaps that Chairwoman Han won’t let her until she gets married.

Won-jae gets caught sleeping in one of the cars at work, but he looks so good that his boss decides to leave him there, and even snazzes him up a little. When he wakes up, he’s wearing sunglasses and holding a magazine, lol. He notices that the magazine is open to the article about Kang-hee, and he recognizes her from their run-in outside the bar.

Nervous now that she knows Kang-woo could get her track meet canceled, Seo-yeon starts to hide whenever she sees him. She knocks her head against a wall in misery, and Min-hyuk cushions her skull with his cream bread then pouts at Seo-yeon for squishing it. Ha, he’s always got food.

Won-seok is at the bar cleaning up before opening, and he realizes he lost his wallet. His coworker finds a note from a customer who says he’s got the wallet. Won-seok goes to the guy’s gosiwon to confront him, and coincidentally, he spots a group of guys with the kid that he thought was a reporter — he’s just a student named Chairwoman HanOI HO-DOL (Jang Yoo-sang).

When the guy who took his wallet shows up, he’s excited that Won-seok came to see him to get it back. He’s apparently been trying to get Won-seok to date him, and he asks why Won-seok keeps rejecting him. Won-seok bends him back like he’s going to kiss him, and when all the nearby students start to stare, the guy shoves him away.

Won-seok says that he’s not interested in someone who isn’t okay with himself. When he gets in his car, he checks his wallet for a picture of an older man, which seems to be the main reason he wanted his wallet back.

In an attempt to get Seo-yeon’s contact information, Jang-mi orders delivery chicken to the park again, but Joo-hee isn’t the delivery person this time. Jang-mi finds out from the chicken place where Joo-hee goes to school and shows up on campus, and she looks excited (and a little creepy) when she finds Seo-yeon on the track field.

Meanwhile, Seo-joon whines to Seo-yeon that he got assigned to sit next to Joo-hee in class. He says he’s worried she’ll fall for him, but from the number of “Don’t look at me!” texts he’s sent to Joo-hee, he should probably be more worried about his own feelings. Luckily, Joo-hee is completely focused on training for the track meet and couldn’t care less about Seo-joon.

Seo-yeon attempts to be nice to Kang-woo to butter him up so he’ll sign off on the track meet. She waves and smiles at him as he’s walking past the field, freaking him out, hee.

EPISODE 6

Kang-woo hurries to his new car, then remembers that Hyun-soo advised him to get the car to prove to Seo-yeon that he’s rich. He assumes that Seo-yeon’s change of behavior is because of his fancy new wheels and puts back the convertible top to impress her. Vice Principal Park catches him and says they’re having a welcome party for him after work.

Kang-woo heads home to work out before the welcome dinner, and Hyun-soo lets himself in and flops down on a chair, exhausted from following Seok-min around making sure he doesn’t say anything dumb. Hyun-soo tells Kang-woo that Mi-kyung asked him about Kang-woo’s connection with Shinhwa Foods. Kang-woo reveals that he’s working at the school where Mi-kyung and Seo-yeon teach. Hyun-soo fusses at him for risking Seo-yeon finding out he’s a chaebol.

Kang-woo cringes and cradles his hand, making Hyun-soo fuss again that he works out too much, but he says that’s not how he got hurt. Hyun-soo shows Kang-woo a picture of someone helping a cardboard man whose cardboard has fallen off his cart. He says the picture has been circulating because people think the guy looks like Seok-min from behind. In fact, it was Kang-woo — he’d seen the cardboard man on his way home and stopped to help him, and had hurt his hand.

Won-jae goes shopping for a new suit, but his credit card is over the limit. He plays it cool, and after he leaves the store, he looks up the article on Kang-hee again.

At practice, Seo-joon gets yelled at by their dance instructor for not dancing well enough. She assigns the whole group a hundred repetitions of their dance, and when his friend jokingly asks if he’s got girl trouble, Seo-joon gives him the stink-eye.

He slumps off to the restroom, where the janitor is loudly complaining about the filth. The janitor chastises Seo-joon for using too many paper towels, and LOL, it’s Hyun-soo in disguise. Seo-joon blows him off, so Hyun-soo decides he was probably cast just for his looks (Seo-joon is his group’s “visual”). He tells his assistant to pay closer attention to casting kids with good personalities, and to put greater emphasis on their idols’ studies.

Seo-yeon is super excited about Kang-woo’s welcome dinner, since it’s being held at a barbecue restaurant. But the entire school staff gape in horror as Kang-woo goes around cutting the fat off everyone’s pork belly (NOOOO that’s the best part!). Seo-yeon frantically tries to get hers to cook before he gets to her table, but he’s too fast. Min-hyuk manages to salvage one bite of meat with the fat still on, which he offers to Seo-yeon, and she looks at him like he’s her hero.

Soon Kang-woo orders everyone to follow him to a different restaurant. Vice Principal Park hops into Kang-woo’s car uninvited, and when Kang-woo tries to stop him, he hurts his hand again. Min-hyuk offers to drive Mi-kyung and Seo-yeon, and HAHA, he’s the worst driver ever. He explains that he’s “only” been driving for two years. He nearly gets into an accident when Mi-kyung tells him to get on Kang-woo’s good side because he’s a member of the Shinhwa Foods family.

They all end up at the same restaurant where Seo-yeon’s ex-boyfriend dumped her. Seo-yeon is determined to order the most expensive meal on the menu to make up for her violated pork belly. On the way to the dining room, she (literally) runs into Jung-tae, her ex, but he’s so drunk that he doesn’t even recognize her.

She follows Jung-tae out to the valet, where she just barely stops him from getting behind the wheel of his car. She takes his key and offers to call for a driver, but Jung-tae gets belligerent and starts whining that his new girlfriend rejected his proposal because she found out he got plastic surgery and isn’t naturally handsome.

Inside, Kang-woo notices Seo-yeon grappling with Jung-tae and assumes that this is yet another guy she’s dating. Outside, Jung-tae grows violent — he starts roughly grabbing at Seo-yeon, demanding his car keys back as she screams that he’ll kill someone. He gives her a huge shove, but instead of falling to the pavement, Seo-yeon falls against Kang-woo’s chest.

Kang-woo grabs Jung-tae and tosses him into the back seat of his car, then rounds on Seo-yeon, snapping that she must be nuts to fight with a drunk man. She refuses to answer him and picks up her phone to call for a driver. Kang-woo demands to know who this guy is and how she knows his address, so Seo-yeon finally says he’s her ex. Without knowing that Jung-tae didn’t look like he does now when Seo-yeon dated him, Kang-woo sneers that Seo-yeon still shallowly chooses men for their looks.

Seo-yeon recalls how she rejected Kang-woo in middle school, calling him ugly and fat, and she starts to feel kind of bad. That is, until the meal he ordered for the entire group arrives, and it’s all fruits and vegetables. LOL. Min-hyuk somehow finds a tiny bite of steak and passes it to Seo-yeon’s plate, and she’s practically shooting hearts from her eyes at him by now.

Of course, Kang-woo notices, and he stops right in the middle of a speech to ask Seo-yeon what she would do if she saw a student call someone fat and ugly to their face. She’s onto him now, and she replies that the student is only being honest, then asks how he’d correct a student who hits on a girl he barely knows, or holds grudges about things that happened a long time ago. Touche.

Mi-kyung rushes over to Kang-woo to offer him a glass of wine, then deliberately pours it on his pristine white shirt in order to get him to leave the table. She pulls Seo-yeon aside to remind her that Kang-woo could ruin her career, and she orders Seo-yeon to go apologize immediately.

While trying to clean his shirt, Kang-woo’s injured hand cramps up again. When he gets out to the hall, Seo-yeon offers him a semi-sincere apology for hurting his feelings when they were kids, but he doesn’t shake the hand she offers. She lets it slide and says she hopes they can get along, then heads back to the table.

As she goes, Kang-woo reaches up to scratch his head and gets another hand-cramp. Seo-yeon hears him gasp and turns around… and her temper boils over again when it looks like Kang-woo is shooting her the bird, hee. She storms over and pins him against the wall, and her closeness brings up another memory.

Back in school, Seo-yeon had approached Kang-woo at his desk, flashing him a genuine, friendly smile. He’d fallen for her on the spot.

In the present, Kang-woo clamps his hand over his belly, expecting it to object. Instead, his hand creeps up to cover his heart as it begins to beat harder, and he thinks, “That’s right, it was you.”

 
COMMENTS

Now it’s getting interesting! I had a feeling that Kang-woo, with his past crush, was going to catch feelings for Seo-yeon first, and I think it’s starting. Seo-yeon will take a little longer, since (as far as we know) she’s never liked Kang-woo that way. But then, I still think there’s a lot to uncover regarding their past history together, and I could turn out to be wrong about that.

I don’t think People With Flaws will ever entirely get rid of the bathroom humor (it is a drama about a guy with anxiety-related IBS, after all) but at least it seems to be calming down a bit. It doesn’t bother me too much since it is woven into the plot, but as cute as it is, I’m glad to see fewer up-close shots of Ahn Jae-hyun’s clenched tushie. The rest of the show’s humor is a bit broad, which isn’t to everyone’s taste, but as a lifelong fan of Monty Python and similar humor, I think there’s a place for this sort of slightly overdone brand of comedy. That said, it does seem to be calming down and making some room for more grounded issues, which I’m really looking forward to as there seems to be a lot of trauma and past pain to mine. I’m still waiting for the show to settle into a balance of the two, but we have two or three episodes before I start to get worried.

I am DYING to know what’s up with Jang-mi. I’m being as shallow as our leads when I say that I want her to be a nice person because I love her friendly, open smile, but her behavior is creeping me out a bit. She’s pretty much stalking Seo-yeon, and with no idea why she’s so fascinated with someone she only met once, my brain keeps coming up with all kinds of scary reasons Jang-mi wants so badly to find her. But, on the other hand, she did try to give Seo-yeon her bag full of cash, so maybe she just wants to reward her for being kind? Let’s hope.

In fact, a lot of characters have interesting secrets, and for me, the majority of the fun in this show is going to be figuring them out. The identity of the school principal is a huge mystery, but I have a theory that it’s Min-hyuk. He’s a member of the Shinhwa Foods family, he’s close to Chairwoman Han, and he made that comment to Kang-woo that he’s also hiding who he truly is at school. Of course, all of those “clues” also have logical answers, but Vice Principal Park’s slip that the principal is “with them” makes me think it’s someone who already works at the school in another capacity.

This will sound like a weird thing to say about a show that leans so heavily on the silliness, but I like the little realistic touches in the characterizations. Kang-woo is the best example — I don’t know if Ahn Jae-hyun put in a few pounds specifically for this role, but he looks like he’s gained a tiny bit of weight (which is a good thing!). I mention it because it gives him a bit of softness that makes him believable as a guy who battles weight issues. Kang-woo watches his food intake and works out religiously, which also lends credibility to the persona of a man who has to be very conscious of his body on a daily basis. And I love that although Seo-yeon comes from a family of ridiculously gook-looking people, her own physical attractiveness continues to go unremarked-upon. Her appearance just isn’t something she’s interested in, and as a P.E. teacher, she spends her days in comfortable sweats and t-shirts. With so much focus on the looks of so many other characters, I appreciate that Seo-yeon isn’t presented as attractive or unattractive, she’s just who she is.

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So far the only character I am in love with is Min Hyuk. Both the leads are so childish and immature it's difficult to like them though I kind of understand why they are the way they are but it's still frustrating. I agree that Jang Mi creeps me out and I really hope she isn't a bad person. I actually enjoy more when Seo yeon's brothers are on screen, very surprising, I never thought I'd like them after the first episode. I am still not completely sold on the drama but I'll be sticking around cause I really feel this has the potential to be a great drama and let's hope for it too.

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Totally agree. My heart is a bit broken thinking that Min Hyuk won’t win her sweetheart. And although I feel Kang woo is a warm hearted guy, he’s really annoying.
I’m also enjoying Seo Yeon’s brothers storylines. I think we will find out so much about them.
Really having fun with this one!

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I don't usually subscribe to this kind of humor but I find it entertaining though! How they came to those misunderstandings is quite interesting and as long as they don't drag out the angst, I'm fine. I'm more on Min-hyuk's side now, don't really care for the lead so bring on the SLS!

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A broaaaad farce built on misunderstandings on top of misunderstandings, is this drama. This show is not where your going to find a lot of subtlety.

But if you’re in the mood for a farce, AND can tolerate kdrama poop jokes, give it a spin.

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@hebang,
You've hit the nail on the head. I've been getting a strong Shakespearean COMEDY OF ERRORS vibe myself -- along with the potty humor. ;-)

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Random, but kdramas need to Better handle the "unattractive woman" trope or just remove it all together. Everyone acting like Seo-yeon isn't good looking because she's in sweatpants is a disconnect.

But besides that, I am actually enjoying the show. It's dumb, but everything makes sense & you can understand why things happen. Alot of times shows think slapstick means just full on nonsense, but you still need a base.

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I only wish I were that unnattractive, just saying...

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Thank you for the recap, @lollypip. ;-)

That photo of the older man in Won-seok's wallet is a portrait of his father, whom we saw ever so briefly in ep. 1. Since we've seen neither hide nor hair of Mom and Dad, methinks they had a date with the Truck Of Doom years ago.

I'm with you re: toning down the bathroom humor. One of my high school buddies developed IBS later in life, and there's absolutely nothing funny about being rendered unable leave one's home, let alone work. It was almost enough to make me quit watching. With the revelation that Kang-woo's plumbing issues were really psychosomatic as a result of emotional trauma, I'll go with the flow and pretend that he was misdiagnosed. Thank the drama gods that we don't have to endure yet another case of face blindness, Alzheimer's, or dementia, three egregiously overused conditions that are trotted out cavalierly in Kdramas by writers who've obviously never had loved ones afflicted with any of them. I don't have a problem with shows that address illnesses seriously and seek to foster understanding and compassion for people with serious health issues. I have a major problem when it's done for cheap laughs. /end rant

I like your hypothesis that Doc Min-hyuk is also the school's principal. Kang-woo seems to be totally oblivious to that possibility. I'm still cracking up that their Grandma Chairwoman is also Choi Han-gyul's feisty granny in COFFEE PRINCE. Kim Young-ok is one of my faves, and I'm glad to see her here. But will we get to see something as touching as the arm pillow scene?

I've been enjoying Seo Dong-won's outing as shrink Doc Kim. He was great as the leading lady's blind orabeoni in THE SECRET LIFE OF MY SECRETARY. His earnest efforts to help Kang-woo are hilarious. I can't wait to find out why he became a psychiatrist -- because I have a feeling he's trying to figure himself out. ;-)

It's a treat to have both Yun Da-hun (Kang-woo's dad) and Heo Jeong-min in the cast. Both actors can bring a crazy energy to their roles, although Dad Lee is pretty sedate compared to some of YDH's earlier characters. I hope we get to see a lot more of him. YDH was particularly memorable in HYENA and LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL. I've been a fan of HJM since he played Oh Yeon-seo's ne'er-do-well brother opposite Jang Hyuk's Wang So in SHINE OR GO CRAZY. He was bonkers in OH HAE-YOUNG AGAIN and TOP STAR YOO BAEK. I can't help but wonder if he serves as the agency's janitor because he finds cleaning a relaxing way to unwind, or whether he's just trying to save a few bucks. Maybe it's a little of both.

Kim Seul-gi is the bee's knees as Kim Mi-kyung. Talk about a meta reference to another great actress with great comic timing whose presence elevates every project she's in. I love how she serves as Seo-yeon's voice of reason, but can be pretty outrageous herself.

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I started this this week because I wanted something quite light to change a bit from VIP that I am currently watching. I find it hilarious! But I am hoping the misunderstandings get resolved soon. I really hope the drama will get serious going into deep issues of perception and im/perfection, flaws that each human has even the most outwardly perfect.

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Who acted as the guy in the pink shirt returning Won-Seok his wallet (in ep. 5)? I've been trying to find his name but to no avail :(

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