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A Piece of Your Mind: Episodes 3-4 Open Thread

After a perplexing premiere week, A Piece of Your Mind continues… with even more perplexity. Really, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a drama that is so purposefully ambiguous and just…strange. But in a good way. After last week’s disquieting ending, A Piece of Your Mind has a lot of explaining to do, so here we go!

 
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP

I think we had better get used to the fact that A Piece of Your Mind is in love with the idea of in medias res — also known as dropping us in the middle of an already-moving story. After Ji-soo’s tragic (and kind of poetic/bizarre death) at the end of last week’s episodes, I found myself completely unsure of where the drama would go next. The entire drama pivoted around her, so now what?

This week, rather than deal with the immediate aftermath of her passing, we enter the story a few weeks (my assumption) into everyone’s grief. Ha Won is MIA, Seo-woo is (and has been) totally distraught, and In-wook (Ji-soo’s husband) is in even more despair than he seemed to be in before.

Even though Ji-soo is gone, the story still pivots around her, to the point that it’s kind of amazing. I think we can all agree that Won is a little too caught up on Ji-soo. I don’t want to flat-out call it obsession, because that seems a little too harsh of a word (and the drama feels like it’s going for something deeper than that), but his entire life continues to hang on her.

In Episode 3, we watch Won and Seo-woo start meeting again — much like earlier episodes where it felt like Seo-woo stumbled upon the story of Won’s love, she now stumbles upon his grief. But, Seo-woo knows more about Ji-soo and her last days than anyone else, and Won gently pulls all this information from her.

The theft-like recording of Ji-soo’s voice also has a huge part to play. After all but stealing the recordings from the studio, Won programs his AI with Ji-soo’s voice, and much like he did with the previous program and his own self, this one has Ji-soo’s personality and emotions.

I’m not a huge fan of the concept of AI (Skynet!), but I can really appreciate how this drama is taking something that’s cold and artificial and transforming it into this device that has warmth… and pretty close to the feel of a person.

It’s Seo-woo that plays a huge part in getting the AI to reach its critical “point of reaction,” and the story of Seo-woo, Ha Won, and this AI verison in Ji-soo gets interesting this week. Because of their mutual reverence for Ji-soo, both Seo-woo and Won share several quiet moments together, whether it’s in a cafe or a living room floor or a street corner, and you can feel the connection growing between them.

As can be expected, Seo-woo starts to develop a bit of a crush on Won. It’s strange, but I also understand it. She’s pulled in, watching his love or grief or obsession or whatever you want to call it, and before you know it she’s even more deeply caught up in this man’s heart.

For all the questions this drama elicited from viewers last week, I have to say, it really stayed with me. I thought about the story all week, and when I tuned in for the second week of episodes, something finally clicked. I realized why this drama is disquieting, perplexing, and intriguing all at the same time: it feels like a bit of voyeurism.

It’s not a “creepy” kind of voyeurism, but one that is a little unsettling, maybe? It gives you the feeling of seeing something you shouldn’t, of intruding on something that wasn’t yours to intrude on, and of watching stories around you take place.

Stay with me! The drama is bursting with characters that keep witnessing these private moments/feelings that don’t belong to them, and then get emotionally entangled in them. There’s witnessing, which is kind of passive — but then there’s watching, which is far more active. And that is all over this drama.

If you start paying attention to the sheer amount of times that a character in the drama (or we as the audience) is watching someone through some kind of barrier or filter, it’s amazing.

Just for some examples of this that stood out to me: Ha Won watches Seo-woo through the snowy one-way mirrored wall in his office building. Conversely, Seo-woo watches Won through the cafe window, his house’s wall of windows, and the front gate. Soon-ho watches through the recording studio window as In-wook plays the piano to vent some emotions. Scenes like this are all over the drama.

So, what does all this watching mean? Is it obsession, intrusion, curiosity, affection? I think the drama is making us ask all these questions on purpose, and perhaps intends to answer them; perhaps not.

“Unrequited love” is a huge theme and concept here — and I loved Seo-woo saying that one of the joys of a crush is that it’s like a “secret treasure” you keep to yourself. If that’s true, then A Piece of Your Mind is like someone unearthing that treasure and exposing it.

In addition to all this analysis and watching, though, we got a lot more actual story this week. We had a closer look at In-wook’s side of the story (which is equally, if not more, heartbreaking). We also learned more about the tragic forest fire death of Seo-woo’s parents. Boy, it’s all so damn sad. I know this drama isn’t meant as fluff, but I need a little less heartbreak in dramaland right now.

Perhaps the sadness and denseness of the drama is what caused some viewers to lose interest after the premiere week? It’s true there’s nothing typical about this drama, but there’s something about it that grabbed me and burrowed into my heart, as Seo-woo might say. Now that her crush is out in the open, it will be interesting to see how Ha Won reacts, and how their relationship to each other, and AI Ji-soo, is affected.

 
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It's really weird because I have so many questions as to how Ha-won managed to incorporate the recent memories of Ji-soo before her death (without the knowledge of her secrets and all the things she and Seo-woo talked about) to AI Ji-soo, yet I did not find myself asking those questions while watching because I am (weirdly) loving this show and how AI Ji-soo is incorporated between Ha-won and Seo-woo's relationship. There's something is CSB's portrayal of Seo-woo that makes me feel for her and root for her crush, and although I am unsure of how this show would go, I still want to watch it. Please tell me I am not the only one liking this show (so far).

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You're not the only one! Totally feel the same way.

But yeah, I had this fleeting thought how they did the AI Ji-Soo as well - like they couldn't have gotten all that data from her brain and input that in the AI machine right? It reminds me of Winter Soldier actually HAHAHAHA but that professor's brain data was a roomful!

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I think the recent memory of Jisoo came from Seowoo. She always bring the device and tell the stories between her and jisoo so the device also learning those new information. Jisoo device also said let's learn slowly with time 😂

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I think so too!

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That’s a good explanation. I was wondering how AI JiSoo knew about SeoWoo’s parents dying in a forest fire.

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As to the memories, I agree. However, I suspect it has to do with Seo-woo talking with the AI all the time. My guess is that she shared that stuff on her own the machine. So far, it seems like the only things close to Ji-soo's death the AI knows are the things involving Seo-woo, which seems somewhat supportive of this theory.

After this week, I'm totally on your side with this show. I liked the first episode well enough but the second episode really fucked with me (excuse my French). These two episodes, however, have been good and I'm actually looking forward to next week's episodes, which is a lot more than could be said of my stance last week.

I agree with you 100% about Chae Soo-bin as Han Seo-woo. She is the beating heart of this show. I honestly don't care that much for Ha-won so far (I alternate between pitying him, being disgusted by him, and, very rarely, actually finding his love for Ji-soo beautiful in an elegiac way), but I find everything about Seo-woo likable. In particular, I find her empathy and kindness - for and to her housemates, for Ha-won, for Ji-soo - refreshing and admirable. I also love her reasons for liking Ha-won, which are so unconventional and yet also the best sort of reasons in my opinion. I like that, unlike Ha-won, it seems like her feelings for him bring her happiness. By contrast, it seems like Ha-won's feelings for Ji-soo have been a source of torment for him. In a way, the very last scene of episode 4 explains a lot about why I like about Seo-woo's character.

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But AI Ji Soo seem to have memories that Seo Woo wouldn't have known and that is freaky..

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So far it seems AI JiSoo has information about SeoWoo and HaWon and they both talked to it and gave it information. So maybe it’s a mishmash if HaWon and SeoWoo’s memories of JiSoo.

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i love the way you contrasted their unrequited love. (:

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you're not alone on liking this one, i can't stop thinking about it and curious on how HW and SW story will move forward. i actually love how different and weird it is.

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Yay! I thought I was the only one loving this slightly problematic drama.

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right? but the problem is not only her recent memories. how did he even record her emotions and character to input them to an AI? did he just use his own projections and her voice? then it's totally not Ji-su. but he never got an opportunity to record her brain data or whatever, so it's totally not believable...

but other then that the drama is strangely enjoyable.

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I'm trying not to think about the 'how' because I suspect we're not supposed to be asking. Why would Ha Won, the programmer, expect the AI to respond to him if he'd programmed it with her instinctive desire to run away from him? How did he know that? If it's some sort of predictive behaviour algorithm based on her past actions then that's some extraordinary programming.

As for her memories, I'm wondering if Seo-woo recorded those conversations they had in the studio about her family. As part of getting her voice down. That's the only explanation I can think of for how the AI "remembers" a conversation they had that their programmer wasn't there for.

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I shouldn't have asked questions that are probably not going to be answered because this is a kdrama. HAHA. But it seems that "Seo-woo recording her conversation with Ji-soo in the recording studio" may be a plausible reason as to how the AI "remembers" and the rest is probably from the AI learning some things (which was pretty fast and can be attributed to a well-made program).

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From what I have gathered, Ha Won's company is supposed to be revolutionary because they managed to essentially combine codes (AI, big data) with human biology (DNA) for the initial purpose of what they call network science - the ability to "remember" an individual's medical history and study their psychological patterns in order to diagnose them. Further tinkering of this led to them discovering that not only can the program do that, but also "remembers" their memories which, combined with the other codeic elements, comes together to form a very close approximation of the human being that it's biological elements are from. However, they haven't been able to figure out how to control the trigger of this "coming together", which is what Ha Won and his friend have been working on trying to figure out from the start of the show. For now, this "coming together" depends on the reaction point, something that is based on the SA Node, a major part of the cardiac system. They are a cluster of cells that generate electrical impulses upon the command of the nervous system which stimulates the heart to contract and pump blood. So what this reaction point does is basically get the living parts of the program to "wake up" and start firing, then connect with the other elements to form that end result. To summarize - memories come from the biological elements. Once they have been activated by the reaction point having reached, the codes study its psychology to form the person.

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For now, this "coming together" depends on an unpredictable psychological reaction point....*
One day, I will write something, post it, and not see several things that I had clearly ordered my fingers to type but it never did.

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Oohhhh. Thanks for explaining this to me!

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Thank you so much for the explanation. I can kind of finally understand what is going on.

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I don't care the ratings, I love this drama and I love Jung hae in and Chae soo bin even more. The use of AI is interesting and relateable though the device seems a bit too smart. Others said Hawon is creepy, but idk Hawon only used it for testing, I'm sure Jisoo also realized it since she knew Hawon is someone who worked with Seowoo and wrote down their reminiscence in a flow chart yet she didn't complain, and it is for therapy which is for a greater good so I don't mind.
Although in the first 2 episodes I was somehow influenced by others saying it was weird, now I think it was a nice premiere! How I also felt the depression of each character and after those disasters made these episodes become more heartwarming. I attached more to the characters so it was like I accompanied them to their journey of healing.

I was sad jisoo had died, I feel bad to say this but seowoo and jisoo device are cute.

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don't feel bad! seowoo and the ai are supposed to be cute. they are adorable.

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I love this show so far, but I really can't condone what Ha Won has done so far. Stealing the recording and creating an AI of Ji-Soo is so intensely disregarding of her autonomy. Folks can call it 'love,' but when your 'love' goes so far as to ignore the wishes of the person you claim to care about, it's not about them anymore, it's all about you, and your selfishness.

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That all said, Seo-Woo's the best, and I would take a truck of doom for her <3

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It's probably my cynicism talking, but liking someone - who is married - for ten years isn't healthy at all.

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No, you are correct, that is called obsession. However for some reason it doesn't bother me in this. I keep thinking his "love" is both creepy and unhealthy. He needs therapy, but it is oddly endearing.

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Exactly! He knows how his actions look and isn't offended when he is called out on his obsessive behaviour or literally called pitiful. It is like he can't actually do anything about it, so he is at least being honest.
I like the show, but I think my patience would run out, if he falls in love with Se Woo as an extension of Ji Soo.

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That’s a good point about how he seems to accept his weirdness. The drama is different in that the characters seem to be open about their feelings, at least with the viewers. I really like that no one behaves like a jerk to someone they like just to hide that they like them.

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that's kind of my issue, though. even if the character seems to acknowledge his issues, it's not the same as confronting them, or atoning for his bad actions. lampshading isn't the same as critiquing, and i'm worried that in the show's attempt to be interesting and unique, it'll go down the road of romanticising his behaviour rather than condemning it

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I am actually curious how the drama will unfold the love line between Ha-won and Seo-woo. Obviously, Ha-won is still obsess with Ji-soo. But Seo-woo, she's all heart. I love her character so far. She has this healthy crush with Ha-won that makes her happy. And she's not expecting anything in return (at least for now), she is contented with having a one-sided crush. And I would really, really massively disappointed if Ha-won falls in love with Seo-woo as an extension of Ji-soo. Please don't go that path drama, Seo-woo deserves so much better.

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It's not like he stalked her or hung around her for 10 years. He stayed away like he was told to. And as Seo-woo points out, the whole dishes thing was designed to signal to her that he wanted to see her. Then the onus became hers to follow up those clues or not. It was in fact Seo-woo who broke into their private little dance and tried to set things into motion.

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sure, but then she ran away from him. which is a pretty strong hint. not to mention that ultimately, regardless of their relationship, he chose to use her voice after her death. he took her personhood at turned it into a tool with which to ease his personal trauma and pain.

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But he gave the AI autonomy too. The AI chooses who and how she speaks to and what "her" reaction point is. He hasn't shown any anger or Nice Guy tendencies toward either it or Jisoo. Even the AI has the right to choose to run away from him. It's not like INAR where a creepy old man bought a replica of his girlfriend that was programmed to greet him with, "I love you, Master".

I'm not saying that he isn't in the wrong but if you take the issue of explicit verbal consent aside, what he's done is not as creepy as it seems on paper.

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That would be 'made' not 'bought'

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even if the AI has autonomy, he still used the memories and voice of an existing person without their consent, which is wrong. although, yeah, definitely not quite at the INAR level of creepy. then again, the bar is on the floor with that whole situation :/

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it's actually pathetic lmao

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Maybe creating the AI is the last attempt from Ha won regarding his feeling to Jisoo. It is different between feeling and action, people can control action but it is way harder, almost impossible to control feeling. We can choose to act on our feeling or not, but we cant suddenly to choose to unlove someone. If it is so easy to switch it off Hawon probabaly did it years ago, but he cant. 10 years he didnt call or meet Jisoo, but after 10 years no matter how he sees it, walks around it, what he feels toward Jisoo is still love. Is it wrong? I dont think so, he just desperate, as long as he doesnt harm Jisoo or anybody else.
I love Seowoo that falls in love with him because how he is in love with someone. 😁

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No, we definitely can't help how we feel, but like you said, we can choose whether or not to act on those feelings. The problem is he did harm Ji Soo- he ignored her autonomy and personhood in favour of easing his own conscience and unrequited 'love'.

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I would argue that after 10 years his feelings had little to do with Jisoo as a person and, as these episodes showed, he didn't really know her. She has become a kind of blank slate upon which he put all his feelings. The grief he feels is less about her death than about the knowledge she no longer exists out there in the universe. The world has a piece missing. But that piece is a puzzle, not a person.

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tbh the current usage of AI takes away a lot of our autonomy which is why some people feel a responsibility to not publish/share their research/studies because it will be misused. he's a mess but he already knew what he wanted to do. knowing this and what he owns it makes more sense in the context of the story.

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I don't necessarily have a problem with him being a mess, or doing bad things per se, I just don't want the narrative to condone those bad things in the name of romance. And maybe it won't, but considering how they are romanticising AI Ji-Soo already, I'm cynical that they're going to actually criticise Ha-Won's actions.

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I see what you mean i guess for me im like the premise of this story is automatically not about ownership since AI isn’t about that. They most likely are gonna have legality issues if the hints are correct bc of data privacy. I know he says it’s to "help people" but I had to LOL at korean mark zuckerberg that is no shining endorsement

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I don't see what he has done as being about romance or even romantic feelings at all. He doesn't want to romance the AI or even to own it or control it. He just wants someone he loves to continue to exist in the world.

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there's a lot that could be said about that like how hard it is to let go. i think the device is pretty dangerous on a privacy level and the rate of collecting data but emotionally....would it help to hear your lost one? i mean that's the topic of the show but i would both love it but hate it because maybe it would stunt me in some way. if we put ourselves in their place (assuming ji soo was an actual person with feelings instead of whatever that girl was ^___^) it would be a relief but painful. maybe there's a time mark on it where it can develop its own pattern to know when it needs to phase itself out? oh my god ok im done thinking

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Out of topic...really out of topic...but your picture! It's Royal Hotness Lee Hyuk! 🤴🏻

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It is indeed! 😀

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I'm really surprised how the ML is open with his feelings. He recorded his feelings to build the AI system and gave it to his colleague without hesitating. He wasn't shy or embarrassed when SW spoke with the AI or when she told him,as Before Dawn, about HW and Ji Soo. He wasn't angry that SW was the point reaction for Ji Soo and just let her to be and acted accordingly.

Every places are really well chosen and it's very well filmed.

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You're right - the set locations are fabulous, and fit in with the sentiments of the show very well. The cinematography, especially of Norway, is quite something else too.

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The cinematography is fantastic.

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I think they filmed in Estonia for the Norway's scenes :p

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Haha - having visited neither country, you could have sold me Estonia as Norway, and I'd have bought it happily! I suppose the two have some latitudinal (and other) similarities, which lent itself to this substitution.

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I'm seriously loving this drama. It hooked me from the very first clip when Ha-won saw Seo-woo from the street below the studio. The colours and sounds are very artistic, not like the bright glares of the common kdrama. Feels more like a Japanese drama. Rather than feeling confused, the show left me feeling intrigued. The stories developed slow enough like layers of onions being peeled, but fast enough for you not to get bored. I can't wait for the next episodes.

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Husband: are you watching that drama where nothing happens?
Me: A LOT happens, it's all under the surface, or off-camera. It's very Ingmar Bergman-esque.
Husband: Right. So nothing really happens. (goes back to playing Witcher)

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I am loving this drama and really looking forward to how it will unfold. Chae Soo-bin is fantastic as Han Seo-woo.

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Episode 3 was a bit touch and go for me in the sense that I wasn't comfortable with how life-like the AI is and why Won is still so hung up on Ji Soo and now Seo Woo is talking to the AI all the time which is worrying too.

But episode 4 is really beautifully done and it's safe to say i'm hooked now. I guess Won is still grieving and as he tries to piece together Ji Soo's last days, he gets to know Seo Woo more which would prolly help him heal (and he's also good for her I hope!) I'm still worried about the AI thing and Ji Soo's husband - he's not looking good at all.

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I thought I was the only one loving this drama. Inspite of possible gaps in logic and HaWon’s obsession like feelings for JiSoo I love watching SeoWoo and HaWon together. I love HaWon watching SeoWoo. He has this surprised look on his face almost like he’s waking up from a long dream/sleep. I agree with &
@missvictrix, it’s all the watching that makes my heart pound 💞
SeoWoo’s characterization is really the key to this drama. The character could have been sad but it’s not. HaWon to somehow hasn’t gone over to creepy although he borders on close to it sometimes. I hope they show more of InWook’s life and perspectives. I was happy that the show said that JiSoo and InWook’s marriage was a happy one. The other thing I was surprised I liked was the usual K-drama trope of coincidences. I love that there are so many things linking SeoWoo and HaWon including person JiSoo and AI JiSoo. I know there is strife coming-they are hinting at someone hacking HaWon’s personal thoughts and memories using AI HaWon but I would be happy to watch the drama show SeoWoo grow as a sound engineer, HaWon make his AI products and then both of them meet and walk around Seoul together!
So far I love this drama!

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I still don't know how I feel about this drama
On one hand : the first episodes were weird, and a little bit boring. Ha Won behaviour was too obsessive for me + Ji Soo going alone to walk in the forest in winter time IN NORWAY (??? renting a car could have been an option no? I guess we needed something spectacular for her to die)+ Seo Woo telling personal stories to a total stranger... A lot of red flags...
On the other hand : I really like CSB and JHI's acting and I think they do well in this drama until now
I also like the AI device a lot (Actually I was hoping to see more of it last week) so this week is an improvement for sure.
I'll stay next week to see which direction this is going...

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Somehow I think Jisoo went to Norway to kill herself thats why the walk, she felt guilty over something?
About talking personal things to stranger, sometimes it is more comfortable talking personal things to stranger than someone that we know, because he/she tends being less judging than if he/she has already known who we are, how we are, since probably stranger has less biases. I love travelling for the chance I can have to talk something with stranger I cant talk with someone that I know.

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I agree that it might be easier to share personal things with strangers, and in that way, I liked the way Ji Soo and Seo Woo bonded and shared their stories ! they had this instant connection that was very real and interesting.
What bothered me is that Seo Woo shared Ji Soo's feelings, secrets and personal stories to a third person that she barely knew...

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The moment I saw her walking into the increasingly deepening snow into the forest as night fell I thought 'Uh oh, she's not planning on coming back'.

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I also thought that jisoo went to Norway to kill herself.

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Seo Woo told about JS and HW to Before the Dawn because he had the same voice. When he talked to her in the dark, it reminded her the AI in the farm. She asked him if he was in the studio during all the time because of that. Then he understood the will to have a piece of the voice of someone as a memory like a picture. She listens her mum voice for the same reason. She could connect with him.

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@missvictrix, thank you for the quick recap - you had it out before I could even watch the episodes! I liked your analysis of voyeurism and "watching" in the show, which I found much more sensitive and perceptive than my own reaction. What did I take away from these two episodes? - I concluded that if you have a one-sided crush, you end up a stalker. And since this show is about someone who has a one-sided crush on someone who has a one-sided crush (how does this work ad infinitum?), you end up stalking a stalker....

That said, these episodes were definitely better than the first two when it came to storytelling. They were less non-linear, although still disjointed, but not to the point of complete bemusement.  

Accepting the AI device as a character in the drama means demanding that I take quite a considerable leap of faith, and I'm not sure I'm there yet. I was eye-rolling a lot on the machine learning assumptions that the show is expecting us to swallow. My grouse about depicting Seo-woo as not the brightest sound engineer remains - in the earlier episodes, I was surprised how she could not figure out that she was talking to a simulated voice, and this time, I was annoyed that she had to be told that her voice sounded like she was speaking in a furniture-less room. For someone who's trained in the science, she shouldn't be made to come across as so dumb. 

The creepiness-factor (of Ha-won stealing the voice files, etc) is, of course, a given, and the show hasn't redeemed itself on that count as yet. 

Like @frenchmarmot, I am still not sold on this show yet, but not quite ready to abandon it either. The cinematography is a really compelling watch, although the sepia tint can get tiring with overuse. I like the use of plants and music as metaphor and symbol, which I find kdramas are using more than usual (or maybe it's just the shows I am watching these days). And the set locations, as @kurama points out, are *mwah* - so beautiful, I find it hard to believe that a bustling modern metropolis like Seoul would still have hideouts like this in this day and age (the recording studio on the street corner, Ha-won's ice-cold sanctuary, that gorgeous dusk-lit cafe - frequented - haha - by Dawn). [This makes me want to rediscover my own city, and go on solitary walks by night, but this darned lockdown... sigh.]

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"And since this show is about someone who has a one-sided crush on someone who has a one-sided crush (how does this work ad infinitum?), you end up stalking a stalker"😂😂😂
Agree! Really like cinematography and sets in this drama... And the OST!

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It kinda feels like I'm watching something made by a film student with way too much money. The whole of Ji-soo death is a "what" moment for me, but the show is different enough that I'm interested in how everything is going to play out.

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That's an original way of looking at it :D Yeah, I think most haven't reconciled with the "what" moment still... And clearly a lot has been spent on this show so far. Just casting these two leads would have eaten up a chunk of the budget!

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this is an amazing comment lmao

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I this weeks episode sold me on this drama I really like it.
Although I was very confused about why the lodger girl was angry at the house owner for dating the male lodger. And also I was confused about the woman who come to view the house.
I watch with subtitles and sometimes I feel like I’m missing something that I wouldn’t if understood Hangul.

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The woman who came to view the room was the patient that is willing to test one of Ha-Won's devices isn't she? She seemed quite interesting - she can tell a lot about people by observing their living space, which to me indicates that this is yet another case of a character observing other characters. I'm really looking forward to seeing how all of these relationships develop!

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Thank you so much for clarifying that for me! I’m also looking forward to seeing how all their relationships tie in together.

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I love this drama! I love Ha Won’s quiet, reserved and restrained self, his driving and focused love for Ji Soo wanting to unearth any details that would shed as much light on her thoughts and feelings.
I love Seo Woo who can’t help but crush on a man still so in love(or obsessed) even post death. For sure, Seo Won’s candor, freshness and heart cannot help but infuse a revitalization into Ha Won’s soul and spirit that has been locked away for 10 years. Her CPR will be his saving grace and she is so worthy .
Jung Hae In has never looked more appealing character and appearance wise. His clothes are so smart and stylish and very much enhance his character and personal self ❤️

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Apparently like everybody else, I'm in for Seowoo... She's all heart, and I loved the honest unfussy way she told her housemate about her story and how much the landlady helped her cope. By the way, I really liked the landlady! The heartwarming way she takes a motherly role for her tenants is totally endearing, although I'm quite sure she's in for a heartbreak. As much as I enjoy the suggestion that people in Dramaland having a joyful sex life, that dude seems a bit fishy to me...

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The dude is definitely sketch

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I can't see them together, sorry!

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Same. He's overbearing and patronizing, plus he has what appears to be a quasi-Oediupus Complex.

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Saying that eating out with her was like seeing his mom def sounded awful. Poor gal! And she's not even a lot older than him, not that it would make it ok for him to say that. Anyway, I'm fairly sure something was up with the girl tenant who felt so betrayed - she acted like a brat, but he was too eager to get rid of her... suspicious...

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Yeah, I agree. My suspicion at first was that she had a crush on the dude. But that doesn't seem quite right now. I suspect there's something else.

I also think the dude, who is apparently Seo-woo's friend from college, was extremely apathetic to her after her parents died. Granted, his comment about responsibility probably saved his life, but that's arguably an idiosyncrasy on the part of Seo-woo and not the foreseeable reaction (i.e. I think most people in Seo-woo's situation would have felt worse when that entitled asshole banged on her window about the bean sprouts). The guy needs to learn how to be empathetic. (He's not the only one, though. This show is full of self-centered idiots. Ha-won, Ji-soo, that pianist Kang In-woo, etc. Granted, Ha-won is a bit better than the rest, but he still needs to learn a thing or two. If he cared more, he wouldn't have pestered a Seo-woo, who bore witness to Ji-soo's death and seems to have initially been quite scarred by it and might still be scarred, for more information about Ji-soo and how she died).

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I don't think he knew about her parents. She said they moved in the day after so I don't think she told them.

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That whole maternal tie scene where he was introduced skeeved me right out.

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Hermione, you're right. He might not have known.

@leetennant, I thought the tie scene was less disturbing than the other weird things the guy has done (like the comment at the restaurant). He's a very creepy dude.

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Oh yes @smaltwalt for sure. I just mean that from the very first scene between them you see this deeply maternal vibe that we then learn is supposed to be a part of a romance. At first I thought she was his mother.

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I can't put my finger on what it is about this show - I just like it. The mood, score, cinematography just work. Its a really quiet show where you really feel like a fly on the wall. CSB is great and Seowoo is my favorite character. While building the AI is a little creepy, I like HW as a character. Like SW, I think seeing how devoted he was to JS and her memory made me like him more.

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Yes, I was thinking about it too... Sometimes that softening filter is a bit too much, but I like it that the drama has its own identity: the way it is filmed, the lightening, the editing, the way the story is told... None of it feels like a cookie cutter romcom, which is what the previews and the promo images led everyone to believe! Some people might not like it, but it is different. I'm ok with it and I'm definitely interested, although I'm not sure if I hang out until the end - for me it depends on whether they can make Seowoo less creepy

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Seowoo is not creepy, Hawon is! My bad

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The soft focus and the lens flare are a bit overdone. I do like the dreamy pensive feel of the whole thing though.

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I'm still very confused with this show, but at least I have to say that eps. 3-4 mended somehow the first two.

Like almost everyone else has said before, I'm here for SeoWoo. She's sweet, heartfelt and honest. I just love her.

I still find Won creepy, and the stalking creepy and many feelings creepy. But I want to go on. At least for another week.

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Even though the AI technology demands for a lot of suspension of disbelief, I have to say that I find the idea interesting...

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Yes it is. And I'm glad that from the beginning it's supposed to be used in therapeutic treatment, as in opposition of just leisure (we don't need a greedy CEO trying to make profit at all costs).
I love the way we are shown how it is developed and the problems they have to solve. Of course I know this is not realistic (it isn't, is it? Siri is nothing like Joo Soo), but this is the part, along with SeoWoo I like the most.

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Yes... I imagine that it would be a lot easier to talk honestly to a sympathetic AI like AI Jisoo than to a real life therapist, and, yes, Siri isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer 😋

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But Siri is pretty good if you need some laughs 😅

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My Siri doesn't get my sense of humour, I guess. She always tells me "I can't help you, try another question"

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It funny, if the series had included space ships and lazer blasters in it we would give the AI as second thought. But this is set in the real world so the AI box is a bit jarring.
I recall one criticism of the series Boyfriend/Encounter, that the main characters were acting like they were in a rom-com but everyone else was acting like it was the real world. So you'd becoming angry with the main characters for being so reckless of the consequences of their actions.

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(edit) should read: 'we wouldn't give...'.

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I really like this show, but it is like eating too much candy, you enjoy it, but it is bad for you. Ha Won's obsession with Ji Soo was both toxic and completely unhealthy. He needs therapy to move on and not from the machine he built. At the same time he is incredibly endearing and interesting. I like him, but I side eye myself liking him. As for Seo Woo, I just adore her. She is an enigma wrapped in an open book. She is warm and fabulous. Hmmmm.

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I’ve been asking myself why I don’t find the ML’s creepy behavior. I wonder if I’m seeing him through SeoWoo’s eyes and somehow reframing his behavior as endearing. I love SeoWoo mainly because she is able to humanize problematic people. Not just HaWon but the bratty roommate with whom she shared her story so the roommate can in turn empathize with the landlord. Even with the guy roommate I was annoyed about the bean sprouts but SeoWoo made it seem like him waiting outside helped her at her most desperate moment. The same with JiSoo, InWook’s and Sunho too.
I think I like HaWon because SeoWoo likes HaWon.

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This makes sense. We do not know much about HW. We dont get the way his mind thinks like how we know what SW thinks. He likes JS before but there is a part in us which we suspects he does not anymore. We dont know if what he is doing is out of obsession, out of pity for an old friend, or just for the AI. Plus his extra affection to SW just throws us off.

I really hope he moved on from JS a long time ago and is just trying to help a friend. And that he knows that he likes SW.

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This is a good analysis. I think I agree. We see him through her perspective and she seems to see the best in people.

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I agree with you...

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This show had me thinking about it longer than I should have been: it could have done so much more with issues of consent, and privacy, and agency, but I feel like it has swept everything serious under the carpet, just in order to make sure the OTP spends airtime together. How are these questions not niggling the engineers at AH, the doctor who's agreed to test the device, and of course Seo-woo?

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There still that widowed husband lurking at the edge of the story. One *imagines* when he learns about his dead wife's ex boyfriend possessing an AI box of her he's going to throw a massive hissy fit. They've got a dozen episodes of drama to fill. The issue of consent and privacy is pretty much the only conflict they've got to work with.

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Ha indeed! That widower angle is peripheral right now. From what I have seen so far, the show seems to be focusing on giving him some kind of a romantic arc with the manager (*rolls eyes*). I hope they work all these issues - of consent and privacy - in somehow! Otherwise this show will be way more disappointing than it is looking now.

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Even I'm Not a Robot didn't deal with these issues properly. And don't get me started on My Holo Love, which I found unwatchable. I don't know if this comes from being in a more communal society where people are being watched and judged constantly - a common theme in kdramas - or if it's about a cultural comfort with technology. But constant CCTV surveillance in crime shows, for example, is seen as a universally good thing. Apart from a few nods to privacy law in The Memorist (which are seen as unwelcome roadblocks to Dongbaek doing what he needs to do), it's almost never mentioned as an issue.

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Hm. The larger context that you point to is something I haven't really thought about much.

When I first started watching kdramas, I recall being taken aback at the frequent reliance on dash cams (honestly, I didn't even know they were a thing - we don't have them in cars here) for every little thing. Roadside CCTVs were relatively less surprising, although, yes, very problematic in their evidentiary value. But their repeated appearance numbed me to how questionable they were. In contrast, in a show like this, where the issue of privacy and consent is front and centre, you can't help but engage with these questions. INAR and MHL are similar shows - I didn't enjoy either (I am aware of your deep love of the former!), for different reasons, and it's a shame that these questions aren't being asked at all. It would seem, then, that this show will head in the same direction.

By the logic of cultural comfort you put forth, however, other equally technologically advanced countries should be similarly dismissive of such issues? Immediately, my mind goes to Japan. I haven't watched enough Japanese TV to make this assessment. Do you have a view?

I don't know enough about the global debate on privacy, but it will be interesting to understand what these jurisdictions (Korea, Japan) have to say in this matter. And whether that is what gets reflected in the content on TV.

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It's an interesting question and not one I can answer. I'm not familiar enough with Japanese cultural content. Nor am I really familiar enough with these cultures, only looking at what I see in film and TV.
The Japanese do make a lot of science fiction programming about where the line between humanity and technology ends. And unlike Korea their stuff is heavily influenced by their clash with fascism so I definitely see a theme of technology as a path to sameness or control whereas Korean stuff almost universally portrays it as a way to connect and protect.

It's a good question, I wonder if somebody has done any research on it somewhere.

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I recall a Pakistani commenter on a K-drama podcast (shout-out to 'Dramas Over Flowers'!) saying she kind'a got the weird 'no privacy' thing in K-dramas because, she claimed, personal privacy is practically a foreign concept in Pakistan. Everybody is up in everybody else's business to an alarming degree.

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I like that you brought up the theme of voyeurism. It does feel like the characters are spying on each other, but rather than in a creepy way... I feel like it's more like they unintentionally witness something very personal and can't help but linger longer than they should have. When you're caught up in unrequited love, you can't help but sneak glances at the person you like, paying attention to so many small details about them. And yet, your feelings paralyze you, so you can't do anything but watch the person you like behind a barrier you've created....
I don't think this is everyone's cup of tea. It's not outright entertaining because it's a moody drama about coping with grief. At first, I was confused about a lot of things and I have a lot of questions but that doesn't make it a poorly written story. I think the writer is just taking taking their time to reveal what they want/when they want rather than just making things easier for the audience to understand. Everything that is said and executed feels very intentional. Even though it can feel hard to understand, I still think the audience can eventually pick up what is going on with some patience because the pace of the drama gives you the time to piece the story together.
I do like Ji Soo and I think they did a great job of setting her up as Ha Won's great first love because I'm excited to see how he will let her go and fall in love with Seo Woo. I also want to see Seo Woo be loved right back because right now she's just happy with crushing on him and just in love with watching his love for Ji Soo from afar. I want her to realize that she deserves to be love in her own way.
I like how strong and soft Seo Woo is. On one hand, she took the initiative to delete Ji Soo's voice recording because she understands how unhealthy it would be for Ha Won to have it and a little unethical to put her voice in that device... At the same time she knows when to give him the space/time to grieve.
I'm disappointed that the ratings are low because this drama is so intriguing with a great cast, director, and writer and I can see it .....burrowing in my heart. Haha....

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I really wanted to like this drama. Like really. But I cant. I dont know what it is, if it is the editing or the lack of character development. I totally understand leaving some things out int he begin of the drama for us to discover, some clues, but this drama is just... And being a logical and reasonable person, I dont understand Seo-Woos actions. Everything she does is so unreasonable. She doesnt ask why she needs to do this, she doesnt go when asked to go. She has information about someone she doesnt know. Still upset that she recorded Ji Soo voice without really telling her why. It makes no sense to me. I think thats the problem, I cant understand her actions and keep asking myself "why" most of the time instead of paying attention to rest of the drama. I will try again in the future, but for now, its a pass.

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Interesting point on voyeurism. I never really saw it that way. My take on these moments that felt like "voyeurism" to you was that it plays on the idea of how we usually only get bits and pieces of people, little glimpses of who we think they are or who we think they might be. But this begs the question: How much do we know about anyone really? And can we truly know a person in their entirety?

Take for example the fact that Ha Won is using a piece of Ji Soo (her voice) to replicate her personality and develop an AI of her, and how he tracks down traces of her through her photos - all of this fits into that concept. And even though Ha Won has known Ji Soo since they were kids, how much does he truly know her? Not enough apparently, seeing as he is so desperate (and in your words, "obsessed") to know more about her.

Also, the drama clearly implies that Ji Soo is keeping something from Ha Won - something so dark that it may affect their friendship in a detrimental way. (After all, that same dark secret had adversely affected her relationship with her husband when he had first revealed it to her.) If this dark secret is revealed to Ha Won, will his perception of Ji Soo change? And will his memories of her take on a different meaning?

Even for us as viewers, we are merely being given bits and pieces of each character and their personal stories. From there, we form premature opinions about them. It's a very natural thing to do; in fact we do this all the time with the people in our lives too. But is our perception of people accurate since we only see certain sides to them? Can we truly define anyone simply with the bits and pieces that we have of them? I believe the drama is centred around these themes.

Well, so far I'm loving this drama. It does get a little maudlin at certain scenes but overall, it gives me the same warm, fuzzy feeling I get from reading a really good novel on a rainy day. I can't wait to see how the story unfolds!

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I love your thoughts on how we really don’t know people or rather all of any person. It’s fascinating that people have so many sides to them.

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This drama is weird. It's expecting you to take it for granted for whatever it is telling you. For example, AI Jisoo...if Ha Won was disconnected from adult Jisoo for 10 years, how the heck was he able to gather the data to make a AI Jisoo think exactly like real Jisoo? We are just left to believe that it is possible and that AI Jisoo's thoughts and emotion is the same as real Jisoo.

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Thanks for the weecap.

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This is the most creepy drama i have ever seen since I have started to watch Korean dramas last couple of years ! I adore both leads and cant believe their choice .I did binge watching 4 episodes tonight. Amazing cinematography, very creative direction but thats all . Unfortunately I have met couple of Ha Wons in my life. His type is the most scariest one ! Everyone told me that how good he was , What I was missing.If you don't like him none of them matters. Whatever is the reason behind it Si Jo made it clear by marrying someone and eares him in her life. The character Ha Won is Psycho !How come you can follow someone in 10 years ! She did not even want to see him although the tricks he did! Is this story will be enough to go on next 14 episodes ! I don't see extra characters to get into story! If I was Soe Woo I would just run away ! I wonder what kind of writer calls that story 'Romance' !

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So I basically watched this drama because I like Chae Soo Bin as an actress. However, after watching 4 episodes of this drama I feel like she is playing the same type of character that I've seen in her past few dramas. The smart, quirky, bright etc etc. character. I find this sad since she is a good actress. But I feel she needs to branch out a little, pick something different like an action drama or something. An example of what I mean would be Go Ara in Reply 1994. Her character Sung Na Jung being so different from anything else I have seen her in. I think that is what Chae Soo Bin needs a total departure from these samey type roles I feel she has been playing. That is why I am not so into this drama. Despite all the atmosphere of it, I feel that there is really nothing new here.

Also, this may also just be me but I feel Jung Hae-in is a dead ringer for Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Thanks for reading.

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Actually I came here to ask - why was the housemate so angry about the landlord dating the boarder and why did she destroy the chair in retaliation?

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That's something I haven't understood either! Did she harbour a crush on him and that's why she was angry? Or did she think of the landlady as a mother figure and was uncomfortable at the prospect of her dating someone her own age?

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I have no idea. Her reaction was completely disproportionate.

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