Beanie level: Water maid

I’m a water maid! Yay! Though I’m not sure which drama this is in reference to…

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Folks, the results are in.
Now I just need to figure out how to let drama writers know…

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    I wish DB made these types of polls more (instead of year end polls only!) You had a great idea! Can you do another poll on annoying clichés (like love triangle, disapproving in-laws, the return of the ex, noble idiocy, etc.) ?

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      Sure! I’m glad people enjoyed it. The best part for me was people telling me why they hated these things. Some of y’all really went off lol. It was therapeutic.

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    I can’t believe I missed this!
    (I haven’t been here in a little over a month)
    As suggested by @justme (above), yes please another poll !! Count me in (or tag me) for participation !

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Who taught these dorks how to flirt? This is embarrassing.

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I’m curious, so here’s a quick poll: Which of these romantic kdrama staples is your least favourite?
A. The Wrist Grab
B. Lying to people “for their own good”
C. Men talking about sex and saying they have to “control themselves”
D. Making relationship decisions without consulting the other person

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    A. ….I really can’t stand it… -.-

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    Just one….

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    I feel like a haven’t seen C that much—kdramas tend to skirt around the subject of sex anyway—so I’ll go with A. It’s my biggest pet peeve, especially in newer dramas. In the past couple of years we have had great kdramas without wrist grabs and similar forceful behavior, so seeing them pop up again in new dramas makes me angry and sometimes sours me to the show. Especially when they try to make it romantic. Ugh!

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      C showed up most recently in Encounter/Boyfriend, which was especially disappointing because that show has generally been good about not sending archaic messages about relationships.

      Please tell me more about these Wrist Grab-deficient dramas you’ve watched. I’d love recommendations.

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        Oooh, that’s disappointing, although I’m not watching the show.

        For wrist grab-less dramas, the first that comes to mind for me is Because This Life is Our First, and it’s one I am 100% sure is devoid of wrist grabs because I have watched the episodes… too many times. Aggressive male behavior in general is shown to be what it is—a bad, terrifying thing, and not at all romantic.

        Just Between Lovers comes to mind next, but clearly you have already seen it! Hehe. The only wrist grab I recall is Moon-soo dragging Kang-doo into an ice cream shop. Hehehe.

        I personally don’t recall wrist grabs in I’m Not a Robot, but @vivanesca told me there are some… nevertheless, it’s such a great drama with fantastic female characters, it’s definitely still a must-watch.

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          one is a “don’t go” drunk wrist grab, the other is properly addressed by the heroine as objectification INAR THE MOST FEMINIST DRAMA- *coughs blood*
          Bok-soo has been really really good about female bodily autonomy as well so far anyway watch YSH, the beacon of hope and fluff and wokeness.

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            This made me laugh. If I were a superhero, those would be the pillars I stand by: t̶r̶u̶t̶h̶,̶ ̶j̶u̶s̶t̶i̶c̶e̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶A̶m̶e̶r̶i̶c̶a̶n̶ ̶w̶a̶y̶ hope, fluff and wokeness.

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          Yes to all of this.

          BTLIOF was magical. I have mixed feelings about the last two episodes, but this drama struck a chord with me. I could talk about Se-hee and Ji-ho for years. Their relationship was thoughtful and respectful and unlike anything I’d seen in a kdrama up till that point. Not a single wrist grab in sight.

          JBL is another one of my treasures. Moon-soo was the coolest and bravest kitten I’d ever seen and I like how healthy their relationship was.

          INAR not only had Jia but Pi, a woman in STEM (like me!). I don’t remember any wrist grabs either, but I think it’s a great drama with healthy relationship dynamics (well, as much as is possible given the set-up of the show, lol).

          It occurs to me that one thing these shows have in common is that they all eschew the typical mean lead & nice second lead set-up in favour of kind heroes. And honestly, this is a trend I can get behind.

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      C was in WWWSK (which disgusted me to no end). Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. (but All of these make me ugh. then make me mad. then ugh again).

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        That’s why I decided not to watch WWWSK. Ugh, indeed. Whoever thought that was romantic?

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    D and B. If I have to choose, I hate D more.

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    E – A,B & D

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    This is really hard. I can’t choose.

    The wrist grab pisses me off every time I see it. I’ve made many a post on that. Oddly enough, I’m not as pissed as I used to be when it pops up which could mean that I’m getting used to it which is very very sad.

    Communication problems and breakdowns in general piss me off.

    C. It a surprisingly common theme in not just Korean entertainment but Chinese and Japanese entertainment as well. SMH.

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      The Wrist Grab is the bane of my existence. I don’t know who thought that would be romantic.

      C always makes me deeply uncomfortable because it’s based on the idea that all men are inherently sexually aggressive and they deserve a prize because they kept themselves from screwing you. It’s gross.

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    The wrist-grab is such a staple in rom-coms I flinch whenever I see it and maybe even scream “let her go!” occasionally at the screen. C also irks me the most out of all of these but I haven’t actually seen it in Kdramas, but maybe I just haven’t watched enough recently to notice.

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    C. or D. The third option doesn’t seem to happen much in K-dramas but have seen it in books and other shows/movies. I feel like option D. is just plain disrespectful to the other person.

    So out of these two, option D. (if you have to have one answer).

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    oh, definitely B. I just can’t imagine shipping people whose entire relationship is built upon misunderstanding and lies and they just keep piling up until everything falls apart like a house of cards and then we’re supposed to believe that once they come clean they’re some sort of ideal couple, no thanks.
    … wait.
    anyway my real answer is C cause it always forces me to see the male lead as some barely domesticated beast whose only life’s purpose is humping. I’m looking at you, WWWSK.

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    A with D a very close second. If someone grabbed me I’d punch them out.

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    E. All of the above

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    D. Although I do always wonder why people let themselves get dragged so much by A. I know, it’s just the writing but like… You don’t have to move?

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Beanies, I spent my Saturday binge watching Circle. For me, it was the perfect antidote to MotA: fast-paced, thrilling sci-fi with an awesome female lead and realistic, heart-warming relationships between characters. My faith in humanity was dwindling after watching Hee-ju being treated like an inconvenience in her own story. Thankfully, Byul/Han Jung-yeon, of the self-determination, agency, resourcefulness and general badassery, came to my rescue.
So I’m going to sleep as one happy camper. Good night from my part of the world.

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    This show is one of my favorites–top 5 kdramas for sure!

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    🤗 Glad you enjoyed! Circle’s one of my all-time faves, I love the sci-fi and futuristic aspect, and that it is grounded in heart and love of family. Truly a beautiful drama.

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    Circle is in my top 5 k-dramas of all time. Byul/Jung-yeon was a really good character and Gong Seung-yeon was just magical in that role. I was also drawn to the story the two brothers’ search and love for each other.

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      I could talk about Byul/Jung-yeon forever. Because of her identity and history, she could have easily been treated as something to be protected by the hero from the big bad men. But she protects herself, over and over. Even when she’s scared. In fact, it’s even more impressive when she fights back in spite of her fear. I also love that Jin-woo’s love (though unstated) and faith in her are what motivated her to become a survivor.

      And how awesome was it when Bluebird, the infamous hacker whose skill is notoriously unparalleled, was revealed to be her?

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        This I believe was Gong Seung Yeon’s first lead role and she definitely delivered, considering that she was playing two roles and in two timelines. I was also touched by Jung-yeon’s compassion and genuine affection towards her pretend dad.

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          Yes, considering everything her fake dad put her through, it was really touching that she treated him with kindness and compassion. She was just amazing.

          What I never understood was: why did the bug make those university students take their own lives? Was that ever explained? I mean, Park Min Young and Bum Gyun both had the bug neither of them tried to kill themselves.

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Can someone who has watched episode 12 of Boyfriend/Encounter GIF the scene where Soo-hyun is miffed that she didn\’t get to taste the homemade food? 😄 Pretty please? I love her.

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Se-ho’s sense of entitlement is scary. Why am I reminded of incels who hate women for not being attracted to them, and then retaliate by doing them harm? To paraphrase a smarter woman than me: to be a man who feels entitled to women is to hate that which you desire. His idea of love is twisted and I don’t know how he thought he could blackmail Soo-jeong into being with him. And we can talk all day about how his childhood shaped him, but just because you’re hurting doesn’t make it OK to hurt other people.

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She’s an entire cutie. Adorable.

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Beanies, I finished 𝘑𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘋𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 and I don\’t know what to do with all my emotions.

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𝘐’𝘷𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘵 ̶𝘦̶𝘪̶𝘨̶𝘩̶𝘵̶ ̶𝘮̶𝘰̶𝘯̶𝘵̶𝘩̶𝘴̶ 𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴
𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘥𝘰𝘦𝘴
𝘐𝘴 𝘣𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘬
𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘶𝘳𝘯
𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘯𝘥
𝘉𝘶𝘵 𝘰𝘯 𝘢 𝘞𝘦𝘥𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘥𝘢𝘺
𝘐𝘯 𝘢 𝘤𝘢𝘧𝘦
𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘵𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘨𝘪𝘯 𝘢𝘨𝘢𝘪𝘯

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    LOL

    That’s a good song

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      I had it in my head the moment Bok-su talked about starting over and it wouldn’t let me rest until I shared it. 😄🎵

      How nice was this cafe conversation? Bok-su has always been kind, but Soo-jeong being sincere and kind and honest was so nice to see. It couldn’t have been easy for her, and I feel like the Soo-jeong from several episodes ago would have hid behind excuses and rationalisations. Instead, she allowed herself to be vulnerable, and something good came from that. Gosh, I love this show.

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Omo. I\’m Jang Geu-rae. Yay!

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I love that the way to Soo-jeong’s heart is through her stomach.

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    Seriously! It’s the best thing!

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      I also liked a moment in a past episode where Bok-soo was calling her and she was pretending that she couldn’t hear him, then he mentioned jajangmyeon and suddenly she was all ears lol.

      She’s prickly but she has genuine moments of sweetness, and I like the duality.

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        I agree with you, and I love how she’s strong and firm when she stands up for things like when she is defending the students, or when she told Se-Ho she would look for the truth… 😍

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          Yes! And when she stood up to that chaebol mom at Bok-su’s disciplinary hearing I almost clapped.
          This last episode when she sincerely apologised for hurting Bok-su instead of making excuses for her actions, it just made me like her more. You could see how much she’s grown.

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Do you have a drama that you thought about starting but never did because of comments/reactions? Mine\’s WWWSK. I\’m a sucker for fluff but I heard this takes a sharp turn into the 1950s near the end.

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    For me it was Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food. I was really looking forward to it but then heard more and more negative feedbacks.

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      Same here! I was super hyped for Pretty Noona but when Netflix picked it up I decided to wait until it went on US Netflix when it was done to watch it, and then…

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      Me too. I thought the trailers looked charming, but it sounds depressing.

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      Pretty Noona is another one. Apparently it has a good first 8 or so episodes, and then it’s downhill from there.

      I wish someone had told me this about Moonlight before I watched it. The first half was all cuteness and sparkling chemistry but the second half was nefarious plots and sadness. The tonal change gave me whiplash.

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      Same here!

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    WWWSK was fine. Watch it

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      aw i agree! WWWSK was pretty cute, all things considered; yes, a better ending would have been nice, but it wasn’t the train wreck that Pretty Noona was. And plus, the ensemble of 3WSK was so so great; I thought it was a fun watch just for those guys

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        WWWSK was just everything a fluffy rom com should be. I don’t understand the harsh reactions.

        Agree that Pretty Noona was a train wreck but worse it was a slow moving train wreck that I had no patience for.

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    Just ignore the reactions. Those people probably expected too much. Watch and enjoy it as a simple fluff drama.

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    Nah. I don’t let populist opinion sway me. It’s hard enough for me to like something so I check it out myself to decide.

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    Fox Bride Star. I was literally hours away from starting the first episode when the reaction to the finale hit the fan wall. And I took a hard pass.

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      Gosh, Fox Bride Star was really something. For some reason, the show abandoned interesting, character-defining plotlines and focused instead on a group of airport gangsters. But what was really upsetting was that the hero basically decided that he would rather be dead than disabled. It was a mess.

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        It was the ableism that put me off. I just think that’s a horrible message to send – that people are only deserving of love if they’re able-bodied. It’s not surprising considering some aspects of traditional Korean culture but I think people thought this show was going to be different and were disappointed.

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    The overall message of WWWSK is depressingly awful. The 1950s is exactly where it belongs.

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Finally getting around to watching Circle and it\’s so good. Will there be more women later on?

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    I was NOT prepared for the worm crawling out of the nose. 😳 But I’m on board. Stay strange, Show.

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MoA, I\’m curious as to why you created Hee-ju\’s character. Honestly. If you wanted a love interest for Jin-woo, either of his ex-wives would have sufficed. If you wanted someone to sell him the game, either Marco or Se-ju could have done so.

I\’m asking why you created her because, Show, it seems like you just don\’t like her. The men in her life treat her poorly – one manipulated her into selling her brother\’s intellectual property without her knowledge, and the other is supposedly a best friend but acts like an overbearing father.

Again and again you\’ve had her kept in the dark about the game and about her brother (her brother!) while Jin-woo holds all the cards. Not only is this unfair, it leaves her helpless. She can\’t make any decisions because pertinent information is being wilfully kept from her. So you\’ve turned this woman into a passive figure who does nothing but cry for the character she will never be allowed to become.

So, MoA, this is where I leave you. Hee-ju deserves better, and so do I.

Sincerely

A burnt-out viewer

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    Oh I hate the best friend, he is such a demeaning influence on life. I mean look at the way he talked about her to Jin woo in ep 2 at the contract signing meet. He called her dumb on her face. That she can’t understand or take decisions. He is the real poison on Hee joo’s life. Such a pure garbage.

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    He needs a reward for when he wins the game.

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      Jin woo is so paternalistic, he takes every decision for the woman and she is supposed to follow. His words infuriate me now: “You can’t find Se Ju, only I can.”
      I was like why do you think she can’t?
      No one every let her do anything, its like they are grooming her into a perfect non-thinking genuine tear inducing woman no sir, slave.

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        I couldn’t believe when he rang her at the end of last episode and basically told her to just sit and wait for him to handle everything. And I just knew she was going to.

        “How dare you act! Sit and cry and look beautiful unconscious! I’ll deal with it!”

        “Oh, okay then. I’ll just delay a plane and inconvenience a large group of people so I can sit at home and strum a guitar sadly. Come back soon!”

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      Comment was deleted

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      It makes me sad that you’re right. She’s the trophy. Why else would they devote so much time to making Emma look pretty? Trophies should shine.

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    i was honestly wondering the same thing…sigh…

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    This writer got stuck in limbo somewhere, or in an alternate world-game where women are either only crying or bitchy. #Let’srescuewriter-nim

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      Writer-nim seems to be happy in this world so I don’t think she needs rescuing. HOW is she so clueless to the mess she’s made?

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        It makes me wonder how korean viewers are reacting to this drama. Maybe they like how HJ and all the other females are characterized? Thats why the writer made them like that 🤷🏻‍♀️

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          Korea’s in a sort of pro-empower women phase right now so I don’t think people are enjoying the show. Plus I heard the ratings aren’t that as good as expected?

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    omg you’re so right re: romance with his ex-wives. He has more chemistry with both of them than he ever did with HJ. Both have compelling stories: one who left him, one was a sham marriage and is in his constant contempt. So he could either rekindle romance with first wife through a joint effort to find justice for Prof Cha (by finding out the true culprit of the game), or his second wife could somehow help him solve this puzzle and change his mind about her. Omg I’ve talked myself into the misery of lamenting what the story could have been!!!

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This is where I leave you, Memories of the Alhambra. I\’m out. ✌️

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    Haha! I am enjoying the fan wall more than the show itself.

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      Are you still watching it? What did you think of tonight’s episode?

      Btw – how do I make longer posts on my wall? I’ve seen Beanies write essays and I wanna get in on some of that action.

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        Write it somewhere else like in Word. Copy and paste it into the comment section by using the right click/paste.

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        My real thoughts are this show is garbage! The plot makes zero sense as of now, like Se-ju disappearing at the station into thin air or into AR world. So, are there two worlds or not, where he can cross over.
        I don’t understand why is Jin woo the narrator of se-ju’s story ? Like how does he know all the details of the conversations? Like Se-ju saying to noona that he misses her. Why are the flashbacks with his narration so detailed as which gun marco uses and why are there some people walking around when marco shoots? These places there were no CCTV footage, the bumping on the side walk also looks weird to be in the flashback/conjecture, I do not think it was on CCTV footage.
        I feel they are now just throwing stuff at us.
        Moreover I have no idea of the location specification of this game, I don’t understand why they can’t tweak it when they have the code to add and adjust the game, they should just hire a programmer and stop wasting money on flights! I mean the show is self contradictory, he (jin woo) himself claims that Se-ju thought he could fix this problem (the flash back scene) that obviously meant he would hire programmers to check not play it himself. I don’t understand the point of self-torture. Of both the leads.

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          The show hasn’t made a lot of sense since the beginning. Remember when Hyeong-seok died from blood loss…but he didn’t have any puncture wounds?

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            I think for that part they claimed that there were needle like puncture wounds over him. I remember this as a part of the reason why they became suspicious of Jin woo.

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            Oh, I must have missed that explanation.

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            But that was where the sense ended!

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What Bok-soo said he was gonna do:
-Get revenge

What he actually did:
– Protected his nephew
– Stood up for a classmate
– Saved a student

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M̶y̶ ̶S̶t̶r̶a̶n̶g̶e̶ ̶H̶e̶r̶o̶ The Misadventures Of The Worst Spy Ever

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In the wake of Memories of Alhambra and the (entirely justified) complaints against the way the female lead is written, I thought it might be nice to share our favourite female leads.

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    I adore Han Moon-soo from JBL. The show is not without it’s share of flaws, but it gave us a brave, intelligent and wise young woman coping with a tragic past. She was reflective, kind and thoughtful.

    I liked how she took initiative in her relationship with Gang-doo. She kissed him first, and she was the one to suggest a ‘motel date’ lol. She stood up for him and demanded that other people treat him with respect. She was subverting kdrama gender roles left and right.

    Plus she was cute as a button.

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    Nice: I have a lot of them:
    1) Mother: All the three mothers in the show, esp Lee Bo Young and the mother who adopted her. I even loved the liitle girl.
    2) Just between Lovers: Won Jin Ah’s character. I think I have never seen anyone as cool as her while driving a truck.
    3) Boyfriend: The female lead, she is so cool. She is learning to become even cooler.
    4) I am not a robot: CSB, she was amazing there.
    5) My ahjussi: Lee Ji-ah (IU), pain never felt so bearable.
    6) Live: The female leas Jung Yumi and also the other female senior police officer.
    7) Children of nobody: The female police office and Kim Sun Ah: I love both of them.
    8) Age of youth: All the girls!
    9) Mystery queen 1: The ahjumma with who was so awesome.
    10) Weightlifting fairy Kim-bok joo: Kim bok joo!

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    Life on Mars’s Miss Yooon!
    Matrimonial Chaos’s Hwi Roo
    Age of Youth’s Song Ji Won
    Forest of Secrets’ Han Yeo Jin

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    Shi Eun in Just Dance is one of the most relatable leads I’ve seen. She’s flawed but I’m still rooting for her.

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    My favorite is definitely Lee Ji-an from My Ajusshi. In the beginning she was selfish and manipulative, but her character’s situation and backstory meant that her behavior made sense and the audience could sympathize with her. And as selfish as she was, she was also selfless when it came to caring for her grandmother. Her character growth was incredible while still being believable. One of the most complex, flawed, and inspiring drama characters I have come across, male or female.

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      Gosh, this really makes me want to give My Ajusshi a try, even though I tend to learn towards more lighthearted dramas. (JBL is an exception because even though it was a melo it was healing). Well-developed, complex characters are my catnip.

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    Hmmm…
    Kang Yeon Doo, Sassy Go Go.
    Bok Ju, WLFKBJ

    Bok Shil Shopping King Louis and probably Young shin/Ji An from Healer?
    But definitely the first one.

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      Omo! I forgot Chae Young-shin, another favourite of mine. She was resourceful and courageous and funny and just plain incredible. She’s a big part of what made Healer such a crack drama for me.

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    Go Eun Chan from Coffee Prince. She is strong, feisty, kind, a damn hard worker and adorable all in one!

    Second is Moon Soo from JBL for all the reason you stated 😊

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    Ji an from My Ahjussi.
    Young shin from Healer.
    Eun Chan from Coffee Prince.
    Ji Ho from Because This Life is our First.

    Non k drama
    The Gilmore Girls
    The Golden Girls
    Veronica Mars
    Jean Pargetter from As Time Goes By

    Book
    Mercy Thompson from Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series.

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    1. LoM’s Miss Yoon! I like her a lot. One of the most well written female character. She was soft but had a strong backbone. Actually i think all the female characters in LoM shined eventhough they were just a supporting role 😊
    2. The ladies in Reply series. There were a lot of ladies in the series and everyone had a purpose and a chance to shine. The one i like the most might be sung bora. She was a firecracker, her relationship with dad and sungwoo was one of the highlights to me in reply 1988.
    3. Oh sunny from the Last Empress. She started of weak but now she’s full on revenge mode. I want her to drag the imperial family down! She cried a lot too, but i do find the timing of her cries appropriate hahaha.
    4. The girl group in Just Dance. So many different personalities jumbled together but it works. Each of them have their flaws and own sad story, turned out it made their bond so much stronger.

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      I’ve only seen LoM and Just Dance from your list and I agree 100%.

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    Song Yi – Queen In Soo
    Kim Shie Eun – Just Dance
    Lee Ji An – My AJusshi
    Han Jae Hee – The Innocent Man

    Femme fatale is the best LOL

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    Sung shi won of reply 97, played by Eun Ji

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      Also love the princesses in The Princess’ Man played by Moon Chae Won and Hong Soo Hyun

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    Better late than never 😊 My handle says it all 😍😘

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