Beanie level: Eunuch in drag

Lee Hyuk is a disgusting piece of trash. Just saying. #TLE

8
1

Reply 1988: The End

I don’t know what to say. All I can tell you is that I sit here, a few hours after finishing this show, & feel…at peace.

This show explores the daily life of simple people leading simple lives on a simple street called Ssangmundong, in the year of 1988. And this simplicity is what makes this such an absolutely beautiful show. The characters, the relationships, the dialogues, the theme of the ep, they are all so so real, that it makes you cry. Because they echo you & the people who have been in your lives, so much. Throughout the show, me & my mom kept repeating how real the show was. How heart-touchingly real. My mom even ended up shedding tears while watching this, & she is a stingy crier whom I have only seen cry twice before in my entire life.

This show IS about growing up, but not just the growth of our teenage characters. Its also about the growth of the parents. While we watch the kids learning to take up the mantle of responsibility, we simultaneously see the parents learning to let go of it, as both the generations slowly come to accept the inevitability of time & start a new era in their lives. As I have said before, the reason why I could never bring myself to finish this show was because I knew what the last sequence was & thought it would break my heart to see it. I kept angrily questioning why this show couldn’t have been fantastical for just that one part & kept all our characters just the way they were, forever. But when the final scene finally rolled around, I didn’t think anything else could have been more perfect & done this story more justice. I was not sad. It felt right, & if anything, that was a true happy ending. Even when my mom & I talked about it later, she said how she had been waiting to see if they would keep them all together at the end, & that if they had, she would have been disappointed. Because you see, our characters made Ssangmundong, & not the other way around. Ssangmundong will never leave our characters’ hearts. It will forever be the part of them they can fall back on during hard times, whenever they need a little comfort & encouragement. Their lives there gave them the strong foundation they needed to build their own stable, happy lives upon. Yes, change is scary. But change also carries with it the possibility of a better life. It was only through that, that the characters reached where they are in the present time. Jung Bong actually reflects this want of ours of not wanting anything in Ssangmundong to change. He was a character that was just not ready to let go of his youth yet, years after all his companions have (its telling that we never hear even a mention of any friends he must have had when still in school), in turn flailing around & jumping from one obsession to another in order to find something to live for. But it was only when he finally found a dream that motivated him to change, that he found a stability within him, & well we all know how his character ends up in the future.

This show is like a love letter. Its a love letter from the children to their parents, & from the parents to their children. My mom & I are people who have trouble expressing affection for each other. But as we watched this show together, it was like the characters gave our unspoken thoughts their voices, and as they did, it was like we talked with each other, said all the things that we wanted to say, needed to say, without having tangibly uttered one word between us. It was cathartic, to say the least.

[spoilers ahead]
As for the nitty gritty stuff, I didn’t mind that we didn’t get answers for EVERY single thing. It would have felt forced & anyways, we did get a lot of answers still. We know that Bora’s family & Jung Hwan’s family moved to the same place, so we know that that friendship is still intact. Taek’s family & Bora’s family are in-laws as well so basically, these three families are still intact in their relationship, & by extension, the kids too. The only people we don’t know about are Dong Ryong & his family but its OK! I am sure that they are still friends too, but even if their relationship did indeed not stand the test of time & distance (which I highly doubt), I know that no matter where they are, however they are, they are happy, which is what puts me at peace. I also didn’t mind that we don’t find out more about Jung Hwan’s romantic life post-Dukseon, but that’s ok too. Again, I am sure he is happy, wherever & however he is. I saw a lot of people say that they missed out on seeing Dukseon realize her feelings for Taek, but I disagree. It was pretty obvious to me when she saw it, & no it was not when Taek carried her princess-style. It was after Dong Ryong gave her that speech at the staircase about finding out who she loves, instead of trying to find out who loves her. Ever since then, her reactions to everything Taek-related had been different, had just been….more. It was actually wonderfully done because of how subtle it was. Unlike when she thought the other boys liked her, this time she couldn’t be so open with her feelings. Not only because they were her genuine feelings, but also because she was just that scared of possibly ruining what she had Taek & losing him forever. I thought the progression of their romance was perfectly done, realistically. I appreciate it when a show does not try to throw romance at my face. Another moment I thought showed Dukseon’s feelings perfectly was when Junghwan confessed his feelings for her. Dukseon’s smile was not that of someone being happy at finally getting the confession they wanted from their crush. Her smile was peaceful, like she was finding closure for something that had long since passed her by. Junghwan was already six years too late. And Dukseon’s smile faltering at the end was her being disappointed at Junghwan for chickening out yet again, even when she knew he had been telling her the truth. Can’t blame her, I was disappointed too. In short – I was satisfied with the way the romance turned out, as well as everyone’s lives.
[end spoiler]

This is it for my journey with Reply 1988. It took me years, but I am finally here. This show was an absolutely beautiful one & deserves all the love it can get. It’s a gem & I am so thankful that such a show exists. No other show can come close to this for me. It is hard to explain why me & my mom loved it so much in logical words because it was such an emotional experience. I will not be rewatching this though, not because I don’t think this has rewatch capability, but because it leaves me a mess & I seriously don’t have so many emotions to spend all the time 😂 I have decided though, that when my kids hit adulthood, I will sit them down & watch this with them. Also, I REALLY need some fluff now.

So thank you, & goodbye, Ssangmundong 1988. I love you & I will miss you, and I will always carry you in my heart.

19
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    👏👏👏👏👏👏

    Beautiful!

    ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    2
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    I’m sorry I don’t want to read it… I’d probably start crying if I do.

    1
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If you guys have seen this post of mine, then you know what my relationship with Reply 1988 is. I am here to announce that tomorrow, finally tomorrow, after all these years, I will be watching the last two eps of this absolutely beautiful show with my mom. There is a high possibility that I will cry while gripping my screen, screaming at it to show me more, to continue forever with our characters never getting older. So pray that my heart survives the inevitable heartache. Hold me, hold me, never let me go until you- wait….

11
0

The Light In Your Eyes Ep 1-2:-

Overall
The back half of Ep 2 is when we get into the meat of the story, & oh boy is it delicious. This is when the show went dark & really reeled me in. This is the tone they should have gone for right from ep 1, instead of treating it like a fluffy rom-com. Not that the fluff was especially bad, but it wasn’t anything outstanding either. Son Ho Jun is comedic gold in this though, & I can’t wait to see more of him. But if the last half of Ep 2 is anything to go by, if they continue with this treatment, this could turn out to be a very good show. Part of the reason could also be that it was when Kim Hye Ja took over the main role. Han Ji Min couldn’t quite convince me that she was a 25 yr old woman stuck in an older body.

Speaking of, the interactions between our main leads have not felt natural so far. Kdramas really need to get over this thinking of bad first impressions being the ideal foundation for any romantic relationship. Now that she is old, I hope that they connect anew, at a steadier pace, & that the show takes its time deepening their bond.

The Fears
I had initially thought that the way this time bending price thing works is that once the FL rewinds time, when she comes back to the moment when she decided to rewind time, her age is increased by the amount of time she chose to rewind. Basically this would have meant that the FL could have gone back to a time before she became old, say 1 day back, & hence would have one day to figure out a way to not pay the inevitable price of turning back time. However, this theory was clearly discredited in ep 2. The FL is stuck in the old body, she cannot turn back time anymore. Which means the show can go one of two ways in the romance department- a) they switch to Han Ji Min whenever the character is with Nam Joo Hyuk or b) they develop their relationship using Kim Hye Ja only. The latter would be controversial & would need a really skilled hand to execute it in a way that doesn’t ick the audience out. They would have to create a deep, strong, bond without going into a full romance, but also not making it completely platonic, lest it turn us off when the leads get together once Han Ji Min returns at the end. They are the leads after all. You have to make us ship them, convince us that they are made for each other, to get the emotional payoff when they finally do. There is the former option still, but it feels like a cop out to me & if asked to choose, I would choose a well executed B over A, any day.

5
1

Romance Is A Supplement Ep 6:-

1) Wow. Director Go was…a journey. I had initially been annoyed by how she was poisoning what seemed to be a great working environment, but then we find out that she didn’t actually rip Danyi’s idea off (even if it was unbelievable). She was also right about Danyi not being eligible for being credited as the head of marketing for that one book. What we saw was Danyi giving some creative inputs on the book itself, for presentation purposes. It was not marketing. There are so many other aspects of it i.e. press releases, advertisements, sponsorship deals, etc. We didn’t see Danyi participating in the planning of any of these. So really, the majority of the work really was done by Ms. Seo & her team. Director Go was completely right & I like that the show did this because otherwise, it would have been way too unbelievable & contrived. Anyone sitting in that meeting can give ideas. So I am irritated that Director Go is being treated like the bad guy, when its everyone else’s fault for giving Danyi false hopes. I have always hated it when women in power who are also single & without children, are painted as villains of a story. While the resolution of the copycat arc gives me hope about this trope being subverted, the show also did use Eunho to insinuate that Director Go is wrong in the credit ordeal, by making him say stuff like “this organization is still run by people” & “the marketing this time round was flawless, Danyi” when a) she hasn’t done enough work on this project to get that credit & b) she has no credentials to her name to prove that she can handle heading an entire department. Anyways, now I want Director Go & Danyi to bond, for her to become our FL’s mentor.

2) Speaking of Eunho, I didn’t mind his agitation in the restaurant scene because it was about his own personal equation with the SML. He wasn’t that bothered about her neighborhood friend before he knew it was the SML. Plus, it was happening in front of Danyi who could easily stop Eunho if she found anything uncomfortable. I also liked that when Danyi explained her relationship with Eunho in very cavalier words, he insisted against it once, but then shut up, respecting her. HOWEVER, that whole conversation at the staircase, in Danyi’s absence, was not ok. He was giving a false image of their relationship to a complete outsider. Even if it was in response to the SML being creepy, it was still not ok & if he did it, he should have fessed up to Danyi about how he implied their relationship was something more, & asked for forgiveness. This is shitty writing because it is not consistent with Eunho’s character. He is mature enough to not resort to silly dick posing. The Eunho I had seen would have calmly said how he didn’t think what the SML was saying, was right. He also would NEVER have implied that there was something more between him & Danyi, because of how careful he is about hiding his feelings for her, especially if it is in front of someone Danyi is seemingly interested in. This is just not the way he deals with such situations, & we have seen it before too.

3) Danyi made me question her age in this ep. I get that she likes the attention she is receiving, but how can she not have alarm bells ringing in her head when the SML said what he did at the restaurant, while looking at Eunho, in a challenging way, instead of genuinely confessing it to her. It was so badly done. And then the whole “He did XYZ for me & has a dog!!! How could he ever be weird!!” *facepalm*. I was grateful for Eunho telling her to stop thinking this was some kind of fate or something, & for asking her to spill it in detail so he can dissect it, which, hee! Haven’t we all done with our friends XD

4) The SML continues to be a psycho creep & just keeps getting worse. His declaration in the restaurant made me gag, & the things he said about their “relationship” at their staircase, made me downright furious. I can’t believe the show is pushing this guy as a ROMANTIC second lead. Seeing Danyi interact with him disgusts me.

5) Something’s bothering me about Danyi though. Its in the choice of her words when she introduces Eunho to her love interests. She exactly words it as “a dongsaeng I know”, instead of “my dongsaeng”. This distinction is important because the former makes her relationship with Eunho sound more flippant, while the latter would be more accurate at describing how close they are. It’s why it irritates Eunho whenever she does that, back when she introduced him to her ex-husband, & now in front of the SML. It is interesting how she feels the need to downplay their relationship in front of people she might possibly get into a relationship with. It is indicative of an awareness of Eunho as a man, an acknowledgement of him & their relationship being qualified to be a threat to her other romantic relationships. And once you start seeing a good relationship from the eyes of outside people who view it non-platonically, well, your perspective starts to change. Doubts arise, questions…Maybes, What Ifs. It also makes me think of the moment when Danyi smiles happily as she sees Eunho playing with kids, but then sees Haerim doing the same & immediately controls her expression before leaving. Or the time when she got drunk while trying to teach Eunho how to drink & made a kissy face at him after applying red lipstick. While that, by itself, can easily be seen as her trying to disgust & annoy Eunho, when Eunho leaves after wiping the extra line of lipstick off her face, she wonders to herself if she didn’t look sexy. These moments connected for me at the restaurant scene & have made me wonder if….Danyi has liked him for a long time as well. But its a development I will not be fond of. There are a lot of things that become problematic then. The show would have to give me a really solid flashback from Danyi’s perspective, to get me to accept this without getting annoyed.

6) I actually cracked up when Eunho & Danyi started talking to each other over texts, right in front of the SML. It was hilarious.

7) Awww Haerim’s bookshelf letter confession was adorable, & I can’t wait for Eunho to find them. The way she crushes on Eunho is so relatable in the way she looks at him, gets excited over his ddakbams, sees his simple actions in slow-motion, etc. HAHA

8) SKDFHSIEULR LJS WITH KIDS we can always make our own, honey!

P.S. I had totally called Eunho’s “Home” dialogue. I HAD CALLED IT IN MY EP 1-4 REVIEW! HA!

10
4

    I’m really liking this show!

    1- Don’t you think it’s too much of a coincidence? I bet she wrote that and just left there for Dani to find and feel guilty.
    Yes, she did more creative input, the whole concept of marketing campaign was hers and she worked on the presentation and design too, she could have been a co-marketer but I understand there are other responsibilities she wouldn’t be involved and the hierarchy should be maintained, still maybe that will make you understand the criticism. They won’t bond until Ms. Go learns to stop feeling threatened by her, she clearly gives her silly tasks to make her feel like a very replaceable assistant, which also explains why she is kind of a villain.

    2- I’m not sure about Eunho telling SL all that being out of character, he is in very new territory and he doesn’t really know how he feels about her or if he would ever confess anything.

    3- I think you didn’t give Dani enough credit there, she was being kind of sarcastic, she considers him trustworthy, she seems like a very intuitive person so she used a funny way to explain the reasons, but there was humor in it and she was aware.

    4- I like the SML a lot, no idea why people think he’s creepy?

    5- I think it’s natural for her to not want men she is interested in thnking she is so close to Eunho from the start before even dating her.

    6 – me too

    7 – She is lovely but I’m embarrassed for the letters, he clearly doesn’t feel anything but friendship for her, to confess in writing is not proper considering he is her boss and it’s too serious to pretend it’s a joke later, this would stop their friendship. I think she is too smart to have done that.

    0
    1

      #4- I don’t understand either. I really wanted to wait until the recap comes out to say something.

      A few people have said he was moving really fast. I’d like to ask, with no sarcasm, how does dating work where these beanies live? He has had several encounters with DanI, she’s even had dinner at his house. Why is him making his feelings known ( to a man she’s not related to but lives with at that) creepy?

      #7- totally agree.

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    200% with you on all this. The show is kind of inconsistent. Your #1 is the one that I most agree with. I was surprised to see people disliking Dan-yi for “doing someone else’s job and hiding her qualifications” but frankly I don’t think what she did was a big deal. So 1. Letting her do it, and 2. giving her credit for it within the company is fine. And Director Go is right – putting her name on the book is too much. *face palm

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    Completely agree about #1. I didnt like the Director at first and now intrigued. I dont think it is anything personal. She is not there to be Danyi’s friend but her boss. I loved when she shut her “friends” down.

    I actually laughed when she was so happy that the younger second lead guy might fancy her. Her moment of I still got it.

    Loved the texting scene. I love all the scenes that show their complete ease together. Great chemistry.

    I hated the love notes. Then once she left those I was bothered by her leaving her clothes. I thought she had a bit of a crush, but thought she had compartmentalized it. I know he is her senior at work but just thought they’d established a mentorship/friendship relationship. But leaving notes just pushed it over a line for me, especially after he told her he is living with a woman.

    For whatever reason second lead guy doesnt ring my alarm bells. 🤷‍♀️
    The character and actor are kind of coming up bland to me, especially in scenes with our leads.

    1
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Romance Is A Supplement Ep 5:-

1) Ewww that end! NO. Nope. The ep was going well, & then they just HAD to show the second male lead, come in to rescue our FL from her loneliness. Then that teaser happened *gag*. I do NOT like him. He gives me bad vibes (no, having a dog doesn’t automatically make you nice or swoony….or maybe he is so bad that even attaching a dog to him does nothing). I find him flat, rude, & stuck-up. I also don’t feel any connection between him & Danyi. Nothing profound has happened between them to warrant the way he so obviously believes they are fated or something. Their interactions & chance meetings look contrived. He also just does not match Danyi, visually or mentally. He feels like a kid in front of her & I have no idea why someone like Danyi would consider him her friend. This is interesting because the actor who plays this character, and LJS, both have almost the same age gap with Lee Nayoung, but its not apparent when she is with LJS. He balances her out well.

2) You know who I am getting SLS for? Song Haerim. How can she NOT fall for Eunho when he goes around behaving the way he does with her. I love where the show is going with her, instead of the prerequisite bitchy way, even though it will be sad to watch her not get the man. But hopefully she will gain a friend in Danyi.

P.S. It cracks me up how Haerim getting angry scares Eunho, even though he was the one who taught her all that 😂

P.P.S. The company employees continue to be adorable.

7
1

Romance is a Supplement Ep 1-4:-

1) Let me just start this directly by saying that I like both our main leads, & I don’t get any of the complaints made against them. I don’t find the FL domineering or manipulative, nor the ML rude. Their relationship is not toxic, even though I had been afraid it would be so, as commonly seen in noona-romances. They have such a deep relationship with so much love, care, trust & respect from both sides, it is heartwarming to see. The problem is that this show actually shows an almost 30 yr old friendship very realistically, which is what is dividing people as it doesn’t mould to everyone’s own experiences & ideas of how something like this should be. Me? I can completely relate. When you become that close, boundaries are OK to be crossed (living in his house), a little manipulation to get what you want FASTER is non-malicious, easily forgivable & really just all done in good humor (making it seem like she drank the whole bottle of strong liquor), & you don’t have to give reasons or explain your entire situation to want some comfort from each other (not telling the ML about her shitty 1 year). That’s just the way such relationships are & it doesn’t mean that there is a lack of trust or that its toxic, & other such things. The FL not telling the ML about her life post-divorce, was understandable. For a lot of people, when they hit rock bottom, they don’t want to talk about it, even with the ones closest to them. They would rather just spend time with others like they normally would, like nothing happened, & that gives them comfort. It actually spoke volumes to me that even in her darkest times, just talking to the ML gave her the comfort she needed, & he provided it too, without needing any reason to give it to her. That is true friendship for me. Its why the FL gets irritated when she asks the ML to let her stay over in ep 1 & the ML (understandably, since he didn’t know her situation & it would have been inappropriate otherwise) asks her for an explanation. It was probably one of the rare times when one of them needed something in order to provide something in return & of all people, he should have understood that she was feeling too emotionally down to deal with questions at that moment. I love that that happened, & I loved that the ML immediately stopped when he realized that she was serious & not playing around. He also then goes on to say that she doesn’t have to explain if she doesn’t want to, as everyone has those situations. Similarly, her staying hidden at his place was not because she thought he would kick her out or that he wouldn’t understand. It was because to do ask him directly about a long-term stay at his house, she would have to put into words everything that she had been through, & she was just not ready to do that yet. But even in such a situation, she would much rather stay at his house, than anywhere else. Because that’s how much she trusted him to understand her, how comfortable she felt with him. All of this just reiterates how the ML is her home. He is that place of comfort she can come back to after a long day of fighting against the harsh world outside, no payment, in any way or form, required. Actually, the FL has talked about her divorce twice with the ML. And the contrast is interesting. The first time she said it, you could see that saying it just made her feel worse about her situation. However, after getting caught, when she is in a slightly better place, when she has HOPE, when she can see a way out of her situation, she did not feel crushed at saying it out loud. The ML also doesn’t become insanely pissed or hurt. He does tell her she should have told him earlier, but he understood her. Her reason of not wanting to see him worried is also valid. Which leads me to the alcohol scene that is really not problematic. She was not faking the entire speech, it was just that she decided to add a little dash of alcohol drama to make him agree to a whole live-in situation FASTER. He would have let her stay anyways, she just did that to slightly push him to do it without more hemming & hawing. It was just some cute harmless emotional ribbing. Same with the whole rant she gave when she thought he had thrown her stuff out. She was really just trying to playfully annoy him, it was not serious in any way & even the ML knew it to be so. It was evident that she knew he wouldn’t do that to her, but she also kept it slightly open for if he was actually serious about not letting her stay. In which case, she would have left without making a scene & would have understood him. All in all, this is a beautiful friendship with a touch of maternal care because of the noona-dongsaeng angle. The ML’s bond with her has obviously grown while being entangled with his romantic feelings. So it will be interesting to see how the FL, who is completely set in her platonic angle, will start to see the romantic potential in their relationship. It will be hard for her because what she has with him is so valuable, & changing that is going to be scary. Unlike a lot of noona romances where the noonas as being too overbearing & are just shown as taking advantage of the younger guy’s feelings, here the case is different. Here the FL has no qualms telling the ML just what he means to her. And its so important because it doesn’t even have any romantic insinuations. Its not her being oblivious about her feelings & hurting him in the process, making him unable to move on. No. Romantic or not, her feelings are genuine. She is genuine when she says thank you to him, when she tells him to not bother about her at work lest he get distracted, when she tells him that she just needs one person in this world who understands her completely, who she trusts will stand by her no matter what, & that that person is the ML. I can totally understand why the ML would fall for her. The show does not need to show us flashbacks of a younger time when the noona was good to the dongsaeng. This noona is good to him even now! Most of all, you can see how much she cares for him in her eyes. Her eyes soften every time she sees him.

2) My point of point 1 is, don’t hate the ML & FL when much worse characters have been hailed. They don’t deserve it. We cry & cry for more dimensional characters but when we do get them, we can’t stomach them. I am not even going to try & be diplomatic on this issue.

3) As is probably evident to everyone, the strength of this show is its characters. They are so realistically made, not a cliche amongst them. The ML is not someone whose life revolves around the FL only. He loved her, yes, but that didn’t mean he spent his entire time being a sad lovelorn person. He has a life outside of her that he is living well. He also doesn’t just solve everything for the FL (minus the makeover scene), but is there for her whenever she needs comfort. How cute is it when he acts all calm & collected in front of others, but goes red as a tomato at everything the FL says. The FL, especially, is great. So many times I have seen shows messing their FLs up. They either make them unnecessarily whiny at work even when they are at fault, or domineering in their relationships, all in the name of making a “strong” FL. Otherwise they make them too weak & naive. This FL is great at work & her relationships. She doesn’t shy away from constructive criticism & actually works to make herself better. She doesn’t immediately go up & shout at her superior, but does eloquently show her disappointment when the situation presents itself. I also love that the show doesn’t show her impeding upon the ML’s love life, acting like a disapproving mother, not acknowledging the fact that he is a grown man who can have relationships. It was cute how smiley she was at learning that the ML could be dating the SLF. Speaking of, I had been expecting the SLF to steal the FL’s work & establish herself as the customary bitch out to break our lovebirds apart. But the show surprised me there, & might I just say how nice it was to see her smile after the FL exited the elevator? I also love the company employees. Jin-yul could have been any other spoiled brat but was not. Park Hoon could have been any other socially awkward, weak-in-front-of-pretty-girls guy, but was not. I love how the founding members of Gyeroo are actually passionate about books, instead of viewing it all as a business. They are like a group of friends who came together to do what they love, who are in it together, thick or thin. Like the way they all gathered together to scrap the newly printed novels by a writer caught in a scandal. It was a holiday & they could have sent their juniors. It showed how personal each & every book is to them. It was so cute how they held a competition to see who will give the good news of recruitment to their new employees, excited to hear their screams of joy. And there were so many more moments. If only this were a real company. I would have flo…[Read more]

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Romance is a Supplement Ep 2:-

1) This goes without saying but *incoherent hyperventilating mess*

2) Only a VVVVIP member of my harem can have me squealing just by such a shot of him

3) I have noticed this before as well, that LJS & guitar tunes go SO WELL.

6
1

It isn’t a drama by one of the three VVVVIP members of my harem if I don’t make at least one unapologetic crass post about them. I finally managed to watch the first ep of LJS’s new drama and all I want to say is

if my boss was LJS, looking like that, I would have no problems fucking my way to the top , as they say.

I also totally did not think about the events I could manipulate into happening if he were my teacher

& I the otherwise stellar student who becomes a troublemaker only in his class & purposely messes up all his assignments

As is always the case with my top three, this show is going to be one hell of a ride for my hormones.

8
2

Ghosh. Revisited this song because it played on MoA Ep 16 &, wow. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo was such a perfect show. If there is ANYONE who hasn’t watched this, you need to. ASAP.

12
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Encounter Ep 13-16:-

Yay! I FINALLY found time to finish this show!

1) I really did fully, unequivocally love this show at the start. It was on its way of becoming my favorite romance of 2018. But all that lasted only until Ep 10. From 11 it just…everything just started falling apart. This show had never been about external conflict A or B. The plot was minimal. However, what it did phenomenally well was show this very simple story about two people falling in love in such an emotionally powerful way that every episode left me feeling…full. Just happy & calm from feeling so emotionally full that I just wanted to hug a pillow & contentedly sigh as I basked in the afterglow of the episode. But all of this came crashing down after ep 11, when it turned into a very typical kdrama. I had desperately hoped for these 4 eps to be different, but they were not. These eps were a slog to finish. The show just kept going in circles, just retreading the paths it had taken before. The plot was not just minimal, but non-existent this time. All the conflict points that had been established before just…disappeared here. As much as I had loved the start of this show, the last leg of the show just brought the show down to an OK. It was still nice & heart-warming to see the main leads finally smiling happily at each other in the end, without any hint of worry. They WERE characters I cared for after all.

2) Soohyun’s struggle to find her self worth back, was really what even mildly interested me in these eps. However, there were a lot of aspects of her character that I felt were not explored. For example, when Jinhyuk first asks her to marry him, I was disappointed that they did not bring up the way her previous marriage must have scarred her from taking such steps. Also, when Jinhyuk’s mother told her that she did not approve of their relationship, her taking a step back made sense to me. She had always been weak under parental pressure & a disapproving mother-in-law, just like in her first marriage, seemingly also guaranteed a rinse-and-repeat of everything that broke her before. But then she later on went on to say how her decision to break up was not because of her mother, which is where she lost me as it was just the show going around in circles again.

3) This is more about what happened in ep 12 but I am still going to mention it here. I hated how they brushed over Jinhyuk lying to Soohyun about the dinner. How was that any different from the way her ex decided to “solve” her problems for her. I also didn’t like how he said she couldn’t come to the dinner because Soohyun was busy. He may not have meant to do that, but that was like putting the blame on her, when he could have instead said that he decided to uninvite her & taken the responsibility upon himself. He also didn’t really try to shut his brother up when he said how Soohyun was maybe going to go the the memorial for her ex-father in law, which again puts Soohyun in a bad light in front of his parents. That, & his reaction to finding out about what his mother did (which was not really wrong under other circumstances), makes me wonder if Jinhyuk would also have turned out like Woosuk if his mother had been manipulative & evil too.

4) The final ep made me admire the two evil mothers of this show. Yes, they were wrong in every way & I am happy that one of them got punished & the other reflected upon her actions & started on a path of change. But I admired the way that these two women were ambitious & knew what they wanted right from the start, & worked for it unflinchingly. The Chairwoman, especially, kept her dignity right up till the end, which was amazing to see. It was in this ep that I really realized why & how she became the owner of gigantic company in a very patriarchal system. I especially really liked these two shots of her

In the former, even as she was being boxed in, she still looked & felt every bit the queen that she was, right down to the heels, that we see being focused on again in the next shot. I loved the show acknowledging that no matter what, no matter her demise, she was, is, & always will be, a very powerful woman.

5) I liked that the romance between Daechan & Mijin was left the way it was. I admire Mijin for admitting that she has certain expectations that she can’t let go of, & Daechan understood that & backed off. Sure, they are in a “some” relationship now, but at least it doesn’t have any strings attached & both of them can take their time deciding whether they want to make it serious or not. Considering how contrived this couple had seemed to me at first, their ending saved their romantic storyline. I had also been worried when Jinhyuk first proposed to Soohyun, because it felt like it was too soon. Their relationship didn’t feel solid enough for that kind of a step at that point of the show. But I am glad that by the end, I was ok with it & understood it.

6) Sigh…I am NOT rewatching this. As much I loved the first half, I would get bored to tears thinking about what happens in the latter half.

7) I still love Park Bogum whole-heartedly. I especially loved when Jinhyuk finally broke down. I loved the way PBG acted out Jinhyuk’s slow-setting grief when Soohyun breaks up with him. Also, ASDFGHJKL doesn’t he look like a puppy here?!

P.S. Is it only me who gets shocked every time I see PBG kisses on this show? He looks way too pure to know how to do that XD

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    I agree with so much of this! And also that P.S. is 😂😂😂

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    Thank you, I agree so much with you.
    Re 2) and 3), its history repeating itself just this time she can’t blame her parents, hahha, still she can blame everyone else like in laws and her new husband.

    Re 1) I lost it at ep 10, this was where they crossed the line and I knew that we are headed for a wash rinse repeat cycle.
    For me JH should have never ever (x 100000) gone to cuba to help her resolve the deal, its unacceptable, he did exactly what her ex-husband does. In an analogous sports drama it would be like the girl wanting to win her competition when everybody is doubting her and her boyfriend participates instead and win. She is a CEO and she can do her job or else all what was said about her is really true and congratulations to JH, he showed she was so incompetent.

    They killed the whole point of drama.

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      RE 4) They were just amazing, I loved both of them, they were everything but not stupid and weak and they did all what they could to realize their ambitions, right or wrong.

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      I still can’t believe all the conflict in the final episodes was resolved by the menfolk doing stuff and she just… sat there. Her big emancipatory decision really was dating Jin Hyuk. I still don’t know what happened to the hotel or her job or her career.

      Here I go again, I’m being too picky. It’s not like the hotel was important or anything.

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    Yes, yes and yes!!

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As a serial dropper, I don’t have to think twice before dropping a drama. In fact, finishing shows have been a real struggle for me ever since the start of my drama-watching days. I can count the ones I have finished on one hand (without resorting to recaps I mean). The urge is easier to resist when I am live-watching because you get that whole break in between. But bingeing them is a whole other ball game altogether. That being said, sometimes a show comes around that makes me feel the same thing, but in a very different way. These are shows that I just can’t bear to finish because I don’t want to say goodbye. These are shows I don’t end because then it feels like the story is still continuous, which makes them feel more like real people whose lives don’t just end where I leave them.

Reply 1988 is just such a show. I have started & dropped this show 4-5 times already. Not because it’s bad. No no. Not at all. But because it was so good that I just wanted to keep all of them right where they were for eternity, untouched by time. I want Duksun, Taek, Junghwan, Dongryong & Sunwoo to continue watching movies together on VHS tapes as Dongryong farts under the covers & disgusts everyone, before being called away by by the shouts of their mothers from across the street. I want the moms to continue to gather on that little table on their street, preparing food for dinner as they gossip, bitch about their children & husbands, & crack dirty jokes. I want the dads to…continue to be themselves XD It’s sad that so many people get deterred from watching this show because of Reply 1997, when the two shows couldn’t have been more different. I am actually surprised that the same writer-director duo are behind both of them. Reply 1988 is a love letter to an era that has truly become extinct. A time when you didn’t have to share some DNA with each other to become family. A time of simplicity. A time when people cared for other people just because…they were people. This show isn’t just about the youth of our main leads. It focuses just as much on the youth of their parents, & their story especially gets me. Theirs is a story of growing up too, except they can’t cry & shout like their children any more. The world tells them they should have all the answers. Their children tell them they should have all the answers. And yet they never feel like they do. They are struggling to be an adult just as much as our teenagers, but they are stuck at an age & world where they are not allowed to make mistakes. They tug at my heartstrings & make me tear up every time, & that’s not an easy feat at all.

I also really do not mind the duration of the eps at all. I think it was a very good decision to make them that long. This show is not just a nostalgia trip, its a time machine, an experience. The longer duration gives them the time to not just flesh out the plot, but also make the world become real outside of just Plot Point A or Plot Point B. I actually feel like I am also living right there on that street with my five best friends & their families. I was there whenever Duksun fought with her sister over silly things. I was there when the parents got together to strategize how to build Jinjoo a snowman on Christmas so that she would continue to believe in Santa. I was there when Duksun’s family was stuck in Bora’s car because she thought she had hit something & she wouldn’t allow anyone to get down, & neither would she move the car. All of these may seem like unnecessary details, but it helped grind the show in the reality of its time. It made the characters, the houses, their relationships, their interactions, REAL. Which is why it connected so well with people. This isn’t just a show that happened to be set in 1988. This is a show ABOUT 1988. Which is also why I am having such a hard time finishing this show. I just cannot say goodbye to this world, to these characters, to that street. I don’t just love them, I have become a part of them. But this time, I have to, because I started it with my mom. And this dropping business does not work with her.

P.S. I have only reached ep 9. God I can’t finish this. I just can’t. It will break me.

P.P.S. I audibly gasped! OMG TAEK!!! ASDFGHJKL

P.P.P.S. Also, the cigarette O.M.G. But because I didn’t have that gif, because I found this while searching for it, because its PBG, & because he does…THAT, here

Are those fake subs? They seem like fake subs. Cause why the fuck else would he do all of THAT. The question seems to be something more dirty. Fight me on this.

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Regardless of my thoughts on SWDBS, this OST is absolutely wonderful & heart-fluttering. It’s the perfect song to crush watch oppars to

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O_O!!!

Park Hyung Sik

Is

A

Chaebol

…..

……..

*target locked*

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon is my fav drama of all time. Ahn Min Hyuk is my fav character of all time *proceeds to delete previous post stating otherwise*

Suits is my fav drama of all time even though I haven’t even seen it yet

So clearly we are meant to be.

Wait for me honey! I am coming!

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Strong Woman Do Bong-Soon:-

I am going to stick with talking about the stuff I had expected to like, & what actually happened. Because otherwise this show has way too many problems & this would turn into an essay so long that I myself won’t have the energy to read it again.

1) The Romance/ML: Ah! We are starting out strong already. Ahn Min Hyuk Ahn Min Hyuk Ahn Min Hyuk. I remember everyone swooning over him back when this show was airing. There were all these posts & articles about how he is one of the best MLs ever, how you should get yourself someone like him in real life – someone who accepts you for who you are. And I am sitting here thinking,

I had hope when I first saw him be awestruck by her strength & whisper “she is so sexy” to his secretary. But that was an ominous dialogue. He found her strength attractive only when she used it for his entertainment. But whenever she had to really use her strength in serious situations, he would pressure her to not do it & to instead, “leave it to him” & that “he will protect her”. Now, haha, I am sorry. I am actually laughing while I type this. Not because I think this is funny, but out of ludicrousness. I honestly spent time on this you know. I wondered why someone who could flip cars like they were nothing, & who was trained too, was thought to be less equipped to deal with dangerous situations, as compared to someone who can’t even defeat the pinky finger of said person. And the only conclusion I could draw was that it was because of the sheer reason of the former being a woman, & the latter a MAN. In fact, the truly thrilling & cool game-type confrontation we get in ep 14 between our protagonists & antagonist, happens between the men. While our superhuman FL is chained & locked up. The only reason our ML doesn’t throw a fit (again) at Bongsoon wanting to bring the villain down herself in ep 15, is cause she asks for his help & permission first. And even then, Bongsoon hardly does anything in catching him, apart from being bait. We didn’t even get to see her punching the villain’s brains out after everything he had done to her best friend. She just hit him with a few walnuts (because, of course, she is a woman. Real tools can only be wielded by MEN) &…that’s it. I was also the most flabbergasted by the ML’s behavior in ep 13. The ML pretty much stays the same throughout the series, no real character growth whatsoever, & then we get this absolutely regressive arc where Bongsoon is extremely scared & traumatized over her childhood best friend’s kidnapping, & the ML decides to give her more grief because she did not cater to his Very Important Male Hero-Complex when she decided to save the victims, something no woman should ever do (thank you for the life lesson show!). This was the time when she needed emotional support. She felt all alone & was scared. She had also seen the psychopath beating her best friend up & she didn’t even know whether she was still alive. But all the ML could see were his own feelings, & that is not the kind of development I want to see from my heroes when the show is approaching its finale. Take a back-fucking-seat Minhyuk. This is not about you. And guess what, we never get to see him apologize for his utterly selfish & disgusting hissy fit. Instead, it is the FL that apologizes. Figures. I was also taken aback when Minhyuk insulted his secretary for following his own previous orders, just because he had a fight with his love interest, when we had never seen him do that to his employees before. The secretary was also a really nice guy & didn’t deserve it AT ALL.

The romance would be cute, they said. The leads together would make you happy, they said. FALSE. ALL FALSE. Well ok, maybe this is just me, but the romance never really did anything for me. It was light as air. There was no conflict between them whatsoever, apart from the fact that they hadn’t fallen in love yet. I didn’t feel any connection between them & neither did I feel like their relationship was significant enough to last. It all felt like a flighty crush to me. I don’t even know why the second lead, Guk-doo, was even there. He never felt like a threat to their relationship & he hardly had any moments with Bongsoon. I don’t know why they would advertise the love triangle so much when it doesn’t even exist. The rivalry between Minhyuk & Gukdoo also felt contrived, there just because the kdrama bible says that people contending for an FL’s heart MUST hate each other. And, because of the lack of conflict in the love department, the dialogues about always staying together, & the whole dying part, felt seriously out of place, right down to the saaaad obligatory kdrama ballad used during these moments. They belong in a different, heavier drama. Not this one.

The infamous gazes that made everyone, even Park Bo Young, swoon over Park Hyung Sik, weren’t visible to me. I just couldn’t see it.

2) The Characters: I liked most of the characters well enough, but there was a lack of depth & proper character build up where it was needed. For example, I was surprised when Do Bong Soon designed a lonely prince locked up prince for her to save in her game, fashioned after Ahn Min-Hyuk. I hadn’t thought he was supposed to be that. We were, very fleetingly, told about The Unhappy Childhood, but we didn’t really see any effects of that on him, apart from maybe two or three shots that were nearly not enough to build a Lonely Prince character. The whole blackmail sub-plot was also wrapped up pretty soon & easily, same with the family. So again I ask, WHERE.

Do Bong Soon was adorable! Absolutely ADORABLE. And all the credit goes to Park Bo Young. She portrayed her very well & I don’t think I would have been able to get through this show without her. Special shoutout to how CUUUUTE she was here. And it came so naturally. I am not really a fan of Korea’s standard for “cute”, but PBY here? OMG fully up my ally. She was right up there, below puppies. I just wanted to squish her, pet her, & bother her all day long.

Ahn Min Hyuk was cute whenever he had heart attacks over Do Bong Soon, & showed it too! And I wish I didn’t, but there was one time I found him very hot….at the aforementioned chase sequence in ep 14. It all started with this shot, with the open cuffs of his casual black shirt & that watch on his wrist,

& then just…

Yeah…you get it.

What even was the point of that sub-plot between Bong-Ki (Bongsoon’s brother) & Guk-doo’s ex. It literally did nothing for the story, & neither does it end up going anywhere in the end. Ah right. They did serve the purpose of Increase The Episode Duration. So that was good. But in all seriousness, I wish we had spent more time with Kyungshim. Her trauma from the kidnapping wasn’t even brushed upon. It was non-existent. She seemed to have existed just to get Bongsoon personally invested in the kidnappings. Which is sad because I liked her & wouldn’t have minded spending more time with her. I wished that we had cut down on the unnecessary moments between our leads & given a love line to Kyungshim. Either with Gukdoo, or with Bongki. Sigh. The possibilities.

3) The Gangsters: They get a special mention because BWAHAHAHAHA they made me laugh out loud throughout the show. Even now, when I think of some of their scenes, I laugh until my knees go weak. They were just so ridiculous & pathetic, not to mention the cast pulled it off phenomenally. It also doesn’t hurt that I knew the comedians & also knew how they were using their special features or techniques to full-effect. Like Kim Min-Kyu using his signature blank, wide-eyed expression, which really blossomed when his fingers broke & had to be put in a cast that very conveniently, & strategically, gave him a perpetual middle-finger. It was hilarious because you really couldn’t tell if all the times his fingers were in frame, were just a coincidence, or whether he was purposely doing it. It seemed like he was constantly inwardly swearing at the other people, & then again like he was not. HAHAHA I can go on & on about all of them, & even the kid gangsters, whose head Bongsoon unwittingly became. It figures that I liked something that nobody else did, but they really helped me in finishing the series honestly.

4) I am really not going to go into the domestic violence & everything else that was wrong with this show because this post is long enough already, I had also been warned about it so I was not expecting to like it anyways, & because everyone already knows it. But I still wanted to say how shocked I was when they showed Bongsoon’s Dad crying after an altercation with his wife, his face all bruised up & hair in disarray, taking comfort in the book written by Guk-doo’s mother, the only thing that makes him smile sadly through his tears. It was absolutely heartbreaking & shook me to see this being played up for comedy. Even if we do find out that the FL’s mom didn’t beat dad up that day, she cou…[Read more]

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    Like I have always said, live-watching, especially along with a community, is a completely different experience from binge-watching, and can elevate a very mediocre drama, or ruin a decent one. There might be an endless debate on the fan walls over that one significant glance for a week, building higher and higher anticipation for next episode and more gazes and afermath. Then when you binge-watch it is a fleeting split second glance with no follow-up whatsoever!
    😄😄

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    Shorter version – fantastic ideas, awful execution.

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      yet people that this is the drama of a lifetime. some can people see the problem, majority dont. we hate that wrist grab trope so much but if what @Kaleidoscopic said about domestic violence is truth, why did people brush it under the rug?
      Majority of kdrama fan in the whole world treat this drama as high as Healer and even i found that subpar. weird.

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        I watched this whole thing with mounting confusion because I couldn’t understand why they put thing out there in the first half and then dropped them in the second. I can only assume the writer responded too much to audience feedback. It’s the only explanation I have.

        Ahn Min Hyuk’s character, for example, had some issues in how paternalistic he could be and the show clearly meant to do something with that. But I guess people loved the OTP so much they shifted to just being outright shippers.

        I’ve also written essays on this show and won’t do it again. Suffice it to say, it could have been the best show ever – but wasn’t.

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    Is this your dissertation?

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    She was right up there, below puppies.
    Girl, how dare you, she is at the same level as- OH, look, a Samoyed, kyaaa~*got distracted *cough* right, where were we?

    Reading this post feels like a slap to me because I did overlook the stuffs that you’ve mentioned, I mean I was clouded with the romance but thinking back yeah he did patronize and control her instead of giving full support to her, he did at the end but it sort of too late. Btw, a small point to him, I appreciate that he supports her career and doesn’t give her easy path just because she is his gf.

    Great write-up, Kale!😆

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      Im with you Noo! I literally don’t remember any of this. I didnt get to binge it though, I watched thr episodes in bits and pieces during the week when it aired, so I dont remember the plot or the overall dynamic of their relationship, only some scenes. There were very cute scenes.

      I wish when writers would write a beta male they would commit to it fully. I think the writer wanted to make some good points but after setting things up she just forgot about it. And went the exact opposite way.

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        Yes Dais, the cute scenes were VERY CUTE, gosh.

        And yeah, I was disappointed with the way writer wrote the ML, he’s great at the beginning, he was attracted to BS because of her strength but then it became an obstacle in their relationship, like why though, sigh.

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I recently, finally, started Strong Woman Do Bong-Soon because of my mom. I was going to make one post about the whole drama once I finished it, but I finished ep 13 & I just couldn’t stop myself from saying at least this much now – I can’t believe how misogynistic this show is, while trying to explicitly be the exact opposite. I am NOT amused by the ML especially, but I will stop myself here for now & wait for when I finish watching the last 3 eps tomorrow.

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    I dropped that drama at about ep 7 or 8 for exactly those reasons.

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    The domestic violence and homophobia didn’t help either.

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    A lot of people liked this show, but I wasn’t a fan. It just wasn’t my kind of show, though I did watch the whole thing.

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    I didn’t use my brain or think too much when watching it so I didn’t notice these issues until my most recent rewatch

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    I watch this just because of PBY.. although I didnt realize all the issues u mentioned above, but it was unfortunately Do Bong Soon is not something I’d watch had PBY not in it.

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1) Those two kisses really don\’t even deserve to be embedded on the same page. It\’s an insult to Boyfriend.

2) ROFLMAO the MoA kiss was a “much anticipated” kiss? Where?

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Damn it! The show (which looks all kinds of generic, but ok. It’s LJS. That is enough for making anything interesting) hasn’t even started yet & I already want the OST! NOW!

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The Last Empress Ep 29:-

*cries* did I really just see a kdrama FL say this?

I hope the show doesn’t turn this into an empty promise.

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    She protect the emperor or the bodyguard? I think I will start this if there’s possibility she’s back with the emperor.

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This seems strangely above PG-13….

Or is it just Lee Min Ho

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