Beanie level: Errand boy

Past Me: What? You’re watching VIP?
Present Me: Yes! Oh my God, it’s so good – I can’t understand why I’ve been sleeping on it for so long!
Past: Because Lee Sang-yoon is the male lead and you don’t like him?
Present: …Well, yes. But hey, he only speaks about five words per episode!
Past: Really? I’m there.

(Five episodes later.)

Past Me: Hey, so I just started VIP, and you were right! It is great!
Present Me: Yeah… You’re probably going to drop it soon.
Past: What? Why?
Present: It IS great. It is! But it just makes you so damn miserable.

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I found the perfect tribute to the Heroine of the Year!

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It\’s time for the climax of Fixing Me Softly~

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    Dread hit precisely too late. Dong-chan had already lost all feeling in his body and slumped in his chair.
    “What is this?” he tried to say, but his lips and jaw and teeth wouldn’t cooperate. It came out like an utterance. Dong-chan glared at Son PD for some kind of explanation – this wasn’t what he’d said would happen! The scientist left his chair, perfectly composed. Dong-chan’s head rolled towards the door and he could only watch helplessly as Mi-ran-ssi was dragged back into the room by her hair. Throwing her into the chair roughly, the scientist proceeded to force the water down her throat, pinning her arms until the drugs took effect.
    “Stop! Don’t hurt her!” he was screaming, but it was impossible to pronounce.
    “Dong-chan-ah, don’t worry,” Son PD said quietly, out of sight, “I’m sorry, Go Mi-ran-ssi. The muscle relaxants just ensure… flexibility? Isn’t that right Hyung? It’s just for 24 hours, and then you’ll both wake up like this never happened. Hyung, do you have the contracts?”
    “They’re right here.” A piece of paper was placed in front of Dong-chan’s face, as the scientist strolled back into his field of view and took him by the hand, “This just says that you consent to being a participant in this experiment. No worries, just procedure.” Dong-chan protested as best he could, but the scientist positioned his fingers around a pen and ticked some boxes with ease. The two men dragged his body out of the chair with no resistance.
    “What’s next, Hyung?”
    “Next, I need to inject this chemical to stop their hearts.”
    “Wait, what? What do you mean?”
    “We’re stopping their hearts. Idiot, I explained this, it’s illegal to freeze a living person. We’ll have to act quick after this to get them in the liquid nitrogen baths, so hurry and get your camera ready.”
    “You never told me any of that!”
    “What? We’ll resuscitate them later, that’s the whole point of this technology.”
    “No way! It’s too risky. What was I thinking? This is insane!”
    “Don’t be so pathetic. You’ve started this now, you’re a part of it.”
    Hot tears blurred Dong-chan’s vision. What had he done? He should never have let Son PD convince him to bring Mi-ran. He looked at her, lying next to him on the floor. Her whole body was trembling, the fresh grazes on her face and arm bloody.
    “I’m sorry,” he eked out through tears, but it wasn’t loud enough, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry-”
    He was struggling for claim of his own senses and losing. His arms and legs belonged to someone else, his breathing fell shallow since his chest resisted the rising and falling. In three seconds, Dong-chan would wake up to discover that this was some nightmarish, lucid dream. He hadn’t helped another person to certain death. The scientist approached him with a needle. Dong-chan screwed his eyes shut.

    Three.

    Two.

    One.

    END OF PART ONE

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Fixing Me Softly! I finally finished Paragraph 5.

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    The car ride was quiet. Mi-ran observed the men in the front seats. Son PD was unusually serious. Maybe he was a nervous driver, because he was clenching the steering wheel hard. Dong-chan occasionally tried to start a conversation, but mostly he kept his face turned to the window.
    Checking her watch, Mi-ran realised that it was already nearing five o’ clock. Dae-hwan would be waiting for her. They had been on the motorway for a good hour, and only now were they approaching a town. She was going to be late.
    “Excuse me? PD-nim?” she chirped.
    “Yes?”
    “Where exactly are we going? I’m meeting someone later-”
    “We’ll be there soon, don’t worry,” he replied dismissively.
    This was strange. This was all starting to feel very strange. Mi-ran leaned back in her seat, too dumbfounded to be angry. Glancing back, Dong-chan gave her an apologetic look, but Mi-ran just shook her head.
    A text arrived from Song-yi: Where are you? You weren’t at your desk.
    Mi-ran started to type out an explanation, but she wasn’t experienced with phones and pressing each button enough times to change the letters took a long time. The car rolled into an industrial estate, and noting this, Mi-ran merely sent: I’m sorry, go on without me.
    The three disembarked the car at the doors of a little building, tucked out of sight at the foot of a slope, called Future Innovations. Someone came out to meet them.
    “Hyung!” Son PD called over, suddenly possessed by an inexplicable frantic energy. Mi-ran was a little shocked by the change. The smartly-dressed man approached them. His handshake was strong, and Mi-ran felt a relief when he let go. There was something intimidating about him, and she clearly wasn’t alone in feeling this. As he led them inside, through a maze of doors and up a cramped stairway, Son PD wouldn’t stop babbling.
    The space upstairs that they settled in was dark – as he marched about turning on the lights, the suave man introduced himself as a scientist in the field of cryogenics. Not once did he give his name. Mi-ran was now filled with a sense of unease – she couldn’t be the only one who found that slightly suspicious? She tried without success to catch Dong-chan’s eye. He was too engaged with Son PD, who had suddenly been possessed by a frantic energy he hadn’t shown earlier.
    “So, Hyung, why don’t you explain to my hoobaes here what Future Innovations is trying to do?”
    Hoobaes? But what was Mi-ran actually doing here? The three sat down at an old table, and she felt inclined to do the same.
    Her mind started to whirr. She could have been overthinking, but her instincts told her she was in danger. The room closed around her, trapping her. Even if she excused herself now, how would she get home? It was miles away. Wrapped up in her own thoughts, she hadn’t realised the man was leading them through the process of cyrogenic freezing.

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    “… previously this method wasn’t feasible. Why? Because freezing a person like that would damage their cells, and if they were thawed the harm done to their brain and organs would have been irreversible. That’s why we now inject anti-freeze proteins into the bloodstream first…”
    Mi-ran eyed the door. At some point, they had been presented with water in plastic cups, and she panicked inside as she saw Dong-chan willingly drain his.
    “Any questions?” the scientist finished, looking to the two of them with an insinuating smile. The last piece fell into place – as it dawned on Mi-ran what she had been brought here for, she leapt up and bolted for the stairs.

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You From the Stars is really difficult to watch these days.

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    Now I feel like YFAS is basically The Simpsons of the Kdrama world (being able to predict things even before it happens, even when people downplay it)

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      That’s what I thought! 😂
      It’s like it knew that this toxic Internet culture could only get worse.

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        I’m pretty sure it will get even worse…. People—especially if you live in fast-paced environments like in East Asia—tend to “forget” things faster, move on faster, and/or gloss over things much more even when it literally involves the livelihood of people…. Being in fast paced environments turns into an excuse to do all of the above 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️😱😱😱

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Fixing Me Softly, Paragraph 4~

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    Mi-ran was distracted the following Monday. Her tasks were piling up but she found herself far more concerned with her phone. More and more frequently, she broke from typing to check for new messages. Eventually she couldn’t stand it anymore, and stepped out into the shade of the courtyard to call Dae-hwan.
    A dull voice answered, “Hello?”
    Mi-ran wondered whether he’d just woken up. “Are you out of my flat yet?” she interrogated.
    “I’m making lunch, I’ll be out by the time you get back.”
    “Just leave!”
    “Come on, I have to eat something-”
    “And don’t show up without warning again!” Mi-ran added quickly. It came out so spontaneously that she almost regretted it.
    Dae-hwan sighed softly, “Mi-ran-ah, you know what my situation is like right now.”
    “I’m genuinely sorry about all that, but you can’t use me like this anymore. You can’t show up pissed all the time and expect me to comfort you.”
    “I get it, I shouldn’t drink so much. We still have fun though, don’t we?”
    “That’s not the point! I want a proper relationship now.” Only as Mi-ran said this did she fully understand that it was true. She had been dwelling on Song-yi’s advice more than she realised. “I’d like that to be with you, but I won’t cling if you don’t feel the same.”
    “Go Mi-ran-”
    “You know what, let’s meet later and talk in person. I’ll see you after work, okay? Bye.”
    As she hung up, Mi-ran’s chest felt tight. There was no going back, but she couldn’t help feeling a little thrilled. She wanted to head straight to Song-yi’s department to talk about it, but relented when she remembered how busy her friend was today with meetings and presentations. They were planning to walk to the bus station together anyway, she could tell her then.
    Mi-ran stood up and brushed the leaves off her skirt. As she sauntered back into the office, Dong-chan approached her, “Mi-ran-ssi, can I have a moment?”
    “Sure thing.”
    Mi-ran was quite fond of Dong-chan – he didn’t speak much to her, or anyone really, but when he did he was thoughtful and kind. It made her wonder if he just had trouble being social, and she was more talkative with him to compensate.
    “Do you have a lot of work left over?” he asked.
    “Aside from a few emails, there’s nothing pressing. Why?”
    “PD-nim wants to take us out – a ‘business visit’ is what I think he called it?”
    “Hm?” Mi-ran frowned, “That doesn’t make any sense. What could I do outside?”
    Dong-chan ran a hand through his hair, “Jung-woo and Mi-rae are off today, he might just want an extra pair of hands? What do you want to do?”
    Mi-ran thought about it. She checked her watch. “I’m in – just as long as we can get back here at five, I have plans this evening.”

Fixing Me Softly, Paragraph 3!
This one took days to write.

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    Son PD’s mood flavoured the pathetic little dinner party with an uncomfortable weight. He had been talking at them for hours now, although as the number of soju bottles around him increased, the volume of this monologue dropped until it resembled more of a quiet mutter. Dong-chan gave up trying to piece his sentences together, and leaned towards Jung-woo.
    “Take Mi-rae home, I’ll handle him from here,” he said. Younger than the two of them and eager to please, Mi-rae was weaker to the pressure to drink. She was propped up with one arm, red in the face and dozing.
    Dong-chan almost felt disappointed when Jung-woo didn’t argue. He woke Mi-rae with a shake and coaxed her to put an arm over his shoulders, slinging her handbag over his head. Son PD suddenly reanimated.
    “Hey, where are they going?”
    “It’s time to head back, PD-nim,” Dong-chan responded firmly, “We should go too.”
    “Right, right,” he grunted, using the table to pull himself uneasily to his feet. As he stumbled over to the bar, Dong-chan noted that at least he had the decency to pay this time. Despite inevitably drinking 90% of the alcohol bought for hweshiks, normally it was Dong-chan who had to suck it up and pay if he wanted to night to come to an end.

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    The night air was mild. Dong-chan walked a few steps behind his superior, thinking about whether to take a taxi or a bus home, and what he would make for dinner.
    “Dong-chan-ah…” Son PD slurred, which brought Dong-chan back to the matter at hand.
    “Yes?” he said, closing the space between them.
    “Do you think I’m crazy too?”
    There was no good answer to this question, so Dong-chan just chose not to answer. He was only devoting about half of his attention to what Son PD was saying, prioritising the rest to making sure he walked straight.
    “This project could revolutionise if someone gave it a chance! My friend… He, um… He’s the scientist I want to work with, right? We went to school together and he was always so smart-” he broke off for a hiccup, “So smart! He’s changing the world, and I’m…”
    “I’ll call a taxi,” Dong-chan interrupted, fumbling for his phone when Son PD grabbed his arm roughly.
    “Do you look down on me too?” he growled. They were starting to catch the attention of people passing by. A group of university students sitting in the pojangmacha were particularly entertained and sniggered to themselves.
    Dong-chan cringed, embarrassed.
    “I’ll call a taxi,” he repeated more firmly, easing out of the older man’s grip. Heaving a deep sigh, he found himself wondering if it would be okay to just leave and deal with the consequences later. Son PD had curled up against the nearest building. “Dong-chan-ah! Dong-chan-ah!” he kept calling, gradually getting louder and louder.
    Dong-chan wrapped up the phone call quickly and, exasperated, answered, “What, PD-nim? What is it now?”
    “You do it for me. You participate.”
    “Excuse me?”
    “Be part of my experiment!” Son PD wailed.
    Dong-chan scoffed. Completely baffled, he could not stop his free thoughts from spilling out, “You must be insane! Oh, you crazy bastard, I’m the idiot for humouring you!”
    Spotting the taxi parked by the side of the road, Dong-chan pulled a half-conscious Son PD to his feet and bundled him in. The walk home helped him to calm down, and he resolved to pretend he had never received such a scary proposition.

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      Thank you!
      I like that mi- rae and dong chan are working together in the production company and already have a budding friendship. Dongchan doesn’t have a girlfriend in this right?

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        No, he doesn’t, he’s a bit of a lone wolf. He’s close to Mi-rae and Jung-woo, but doesn’t really have any other persisting friendships – and of course, he’s interested in Mi-ran.

        I’m glad you’re enjoying it, I’m scarily committed to it now! 😂

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          Oops I meant Mi-ran!
          Yeah that makes sense and I think it will make it more believable after the experiment that he falls for Mi-ran. I see him as a bit of a workaholic, he has put all his energy into making shows, that he doesn’t really have any strong ties to anyone.
          In the drama, he seemed like he was an observer in his own family. I got the impression that cancelling family events or dates with his girlfriend due to his work.

          But yeah I can’t wait to read the other chapters, I hope it is not adding too much pressure on you to write.

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Fixing Me Softly, Paragraph 2~

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    Dong-chan and his co-workers watched the door uneasily. The words were muffled, but it was obvious that Son PD and the station’s chief had resorted to literal screaming. Dong-chan sat up straight, looking at Mi-rae and Jung-woo over the dividers, “Should we just get lunch?”
    “Can we?” Jung-woo answered eagerly, “I’ve actually been hungry for a while now.”
    “We can’t!” Mi-rae shot back at him, “That asshole will go on all evening about how we have no loyalty and how we clearly don’t care about this project-”
    “We don’t,” Dong-chan pointed out, which Mi-rae responded to with a withering look. The three fell back into silence and resumed watching the door. Through the blinds, there were glimpses of the scene unfolding inside. The chief was clearly getting tired – massaging his forehead, eyes closed – and Son PD was more relentless and passionate than ever, pacing the room, his mouth running a mile a minute.
    “What’s going on?”
    Dong-chan spun his chair around and was briefly caught off guard by Mi-ran, leaning on the divider between himself and Jung-woo.
    “Mi-ran-ssi, help us!” Mi-rae cried.
    “Is this about that whole cryogenics thing?” She looked to Dong-chan as she asked this, but he didn’t know how to answer.
    “How did you know?” Mi-rae piped up instead.
    “There’s this poster downstairs recruiting participants.”
    “Oh, that crazy-!” Jung-woo groaned, “Mi-ran-ssi, can you go and convince him he’s acting like a mental case for us? God knows, we’ve tried.”
    Mi-ran laughed as she retreated to her desk, “How could I do that? I’m just the admin.”
    Dong-chan was struck by what a nice laugh it was, and as he considered calling her back, the door flung open.
    “Kids!” Son PD bellowed as he marched out, “Let’s go have a hweshik!”
    “Yes, sir!” the three cried out in unison, sharing a collective groan as they hurriedly got their belongings together. As they filed out, Dong-chan met Mi-ran’s eyes. She smiled and good-naturedly mouthed, “Fighting!”

Fixing Me Softly!
(I intended to upload this in three parts but it\’s grown out of my control, so here\’s a paragraph~)

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    “You’re still sleeping with him?”
    Mi-ran sheepishly stirred her coffee with the paper straw, “I guess I am.”
    “Mi-ran-ah, this can’t go anywhere good!” Song-yi protested.
    “I know, I know that, but it’s not even like I’m encouraging it! Dae-hwan just shows upon my doorstep every Sunday night, like clockwork.”
    Song-yi raised an eyebrow, “Is it at least good?”
    Mi-ran gave her a half-smile, “Depends. Sometimes he’s too drunk to tell if he’s even inside, you know?”
    They shared an immature giggle. Gulping the last dregs of her tea, Song-yi got to her feet, “Well, it’s your life. I just hope you aren’t starting to expect anything of him.”
    “Oh, Eonni, you worry too much!”
    “You think I don’t know you?” Song-yi retorted, slinging an arm around her friend’s shoulders.
    Mi-ran laughed as they walked out of the café in step, “Hey, we’re young! There’s still plenty of time to mess around.”
    “I disagree, I think we need to use this time to make something of ourselves, you know? To build our legacy-”
    “Again, with the nagging,” Mi-ran interrupted playfully, “Were you out protesting again this weekend?”
    “You know I was.”
    “How did it go?”
    “The same as always – people look away and ignore us, but then they go home and they think about what we were asking for. Eventually it’ll make a difference, I’m sure of it.”
    As they sauntered back into the building, a poster to the right of the stairs caught Mi-ran’s eye. She stopped, intrigued by it, “What’s Son PD up to now?”
    “Oh, that?” Song-yi grimaced, “His next masterpiece. Pay no attention to it, there’s no way it’ll get approved anyway, he’s just acting up.”
    They started up the stairs. Mi-ran looked down at the poster one last time. “But he’s claiming it’s possible to cryogenically freeze people! Is it?”
    “I don’t know. It’s probably just a gimmick or something.”

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Considering how most of the Japanese dramas I cherish and rewatch are from the 2000s, it’s a bit surreal to see TikTok pop up in the little sponsors bit.

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Okay, this is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.

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Fixing Me Softly: Introduction (Below)

Episode 1, Coming Soon to a Fan Wall Near You

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    The year is 2009. A man and a women wake up to a blazing summer morning. The woman, Go Mi-ran, hooks her bra and throws a dress over her head. As she leaves her bedroom, she casts an eye roll towards the body slumped on her bed. Content with buttered toast, she eats quickly and heads to the bus stop. The man, Ma Dong-chan, stands in front of the wardrobe for a solid minute deciding what clothes would be appropriate for the weather. He sits for a hearty breakfast, white rice and an array of colourful side dishes, before locking up and rolling along to work in his beat up little car.
    It is at the office where these two might encounter each other – today is one of those days. Walking down opposites sides of a long corridor, Dong-chan notices Mi-ran from a distance.
    “Hi, Mi-ran-ssi,” he smiles. Mi-ran does not notice him until she is already passing by, and calls over her shoulder an awkward, “Oh! Good morning!” As she walks away, she tries to remember his name. This is the extent of their interactions, generally. Neither of them could ever predict how they are about to be irreversibly linked.

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Friends! If any of you liked the ‘two people are accidentally frozen for 20 years in a variety-show experiment gone wrong’ premise, but didn\’t like Melting Me Softly\’s premise, look below!

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I\’m so mad. Love Alarm just lost so many points because of that cliffhanger.

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So I just binged all of the Cha Hyun/Seol Ji-hwan scenes in WWW, and now this is stuck in my head! 🤣

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This week, drama taught me that the person who cries in empathy when you cry is the perfect person for you.

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    It’s because he is very familiar with that kind of pain – whatever it is….

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      That feeling that you are ‘alone’ in this world.

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        Funny that you would write that particular phrase ‘alone in this world’ @mayhemf.
        That was me yesterday morning. I was so blue and depressed and felt very much alone and just didn’t feel like talking to anyone at work.
        Well, one co-worker noticed I wasn’t greeting her with my usual enthusiasm (which is always tempted as I don’t really care for her)
        She messaged me to ask if I was upset that she had just become a permanent employee at the company and I wrote that I was feeling alone and didn’t matter anywhere. I mean, I was really honest and put myself out there – because she asked!
        ‘Let’s go for a walk’ she says, ‘I have something to tell you’ she says.

        Stupidly, I confided how blue and alone and isolated I felt everywhere …
        and what does she do but start in to tell me about her life and how hard it is with her daughter who is bi-polar!

        By the end of our walk I was consoling her – and when I went back to my desk I found that I was so damned annoyed that I felt better.

        That got me out of my pity-party – but when I saw the prince tell her to cry if she needed to and left the room to give her privacy I cheered.
        Still I wished he could have given her a shoulder to cry on- though it wouldn’t have been appropriate…..
        But he GOT her!

        So note to all Beanies – when someone tells you they are feeling blue – just listen okay?

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          Sometimes we all just need some time alone to feel better.
          I was so glad he gave her the space. But before he left, his words, however minimal, was all she needed to hear.

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I’ve just realised, I’ve never tried to talk to anyone about Shitsuren Chocolatier before! I watched it last year, and absolutely loved it. (Continued)

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    I think the reason no-one really watches this one is because the biggest mistake to make about it is believing it’s a romantic comedy. Nope, don’t go into this drama thinking that, because then you’ll hate it. Shitsuren Chocolatier is not a romcom.
    It’s about a man who goes abroad to become a chocolatier all in the hopes of securing the heart of the woman he likes, who loves chocolate (and has also rejected him). The hero spends the entire drama lusting after the heroine, and when he finally has her, something’s not right. This drama is all about obsessive love. The kind of idealised love that turns toxic.
    There’s far more to it than this, of course – my favourite part of the story is the friends-with-benefits relationship that the hero strikes up with another girl. The irony is that although this relationship should be far more unhealthy than the one he has with the heroine, you can actually see how well-suited the two are for each other. If only he could get over the heroine.
    The casting is great – Ishihara Satomi, especially, gives a standout performance. Her character is a complete enigma, only ever teasing what might be on her complex mind.
    I recommend this a lot – just remember that for a drama about chocolate, it’s surprisingly bittersweet.

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    Wow the description lookf very j-doramayy plus interesting. Korean, chinese don’t tend to go the opposite route of romcom that often. If it doesn’t involve psychopathic tendencies and two normal people not fitting together after being together than I’ll surely check this out.

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      I agree, yeah! You’re very unlikely to see a romcom that isn’t played as fated, true love, and that’s kind of what this is. It’s a dark comedy, it knows the hero is pathetic and works with that. It’s a little disturbing sometimes, too. I’m really glad I gave it a chance!

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No-one this month has talked about the most despicable and hated of antagonists! The One True Villain!

It’s Han Yi-an from School 2015.

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    I considered writing a post, but what is there to say, other than I hate him?

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    In the minority, but I really liked him and found SL creepy.

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    I disliked him, he was such a jerk. The drama writing used that trope of physical hurt that was supposed to make me forget what a jerk he was but I never forgot.
    I accepted the ending by talking myself into believing it was the FL’s choice blah blah blah but realistically we know that guy would never be happy with her, he’d turn emotionally abusive & that relationship would crash.

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      Thank you! I mean, nothing can be done about the fact that Eun-bi didn’t like my beloved Tae-kwang. Fair enough, you can’t control your feelings. But the show should have recognised that Yi-an didn’t deserve her and they either shouldn’t have tried to redeem him, or done it a whole lot better. This show destroyed itself so completely, I will never stop being angry.

      Also, I still claim that Tae-kwang was the male lead all along.

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        I’m with you! Tae Kwang was the lead all along. He got more screen time & got first entry. He bothered her & wasn’t nice in the beginning, it was all very lead like set up!

        The drama lost itself completely at the end. I always say I don’t have SLS (second lead syndrome) when it comes to school 2015, I have LLS (Loving Lead syndrome) 😆

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Success Story of a Bright Girl, Episode 7: Jang Hyuk is held down by the same two guys all episode long, and it’s hilarious.

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Success Story of a Bright Girl, Episode 6: A (pointless) timeskip!

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