Beanie level: Chaebol’s poor doppelganger

He waited for her…! It’s these subtle actions that make me really love President Gu. He is a good man in my eyes, he’s just doing what he can to keep everything from turning to absolute sh*t — and impulsive, gallant Dr. Ye Jin-woo is shaking everything up. Where Jin-woo is noble and reckless, President Gu is calculating and willing to sacrifice some things in order to keep the storm calm. Antihero to the max, as I sense President Gu will finally decide to expose the greasy Chairman once and for all in these last few episodes. #Life

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    I love all of the Seung-hyo & No-eul’s moments. So sweet! The scene that follows this screencap kind of breaks my heart a little bit tho.

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      Yeah, my heart was a little broken, too, when she essentially said, Bye, can’t stand by your decisions anymore. But they obviously like each other. I hope this isn’t the end for them!

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When No-eul was caught creeping and tried to play it off but President Gu heard her voice and perked up like a bunny rabbit. 😍 (Or am I overthinking here?!) #Life

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I love how the show is subtly pairing President Gu and No-eul (the shorter couple) and Jin-woo and the reporter girl (the taller couple)! But I love President Gu & No-eul the most! #Life

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On a whim, I decided to finally watch The Classic, mostly because of Cho Seung-woo, but also because The Classic is, well, a pretty famous movie from what I understand.

Well. Buckets of tears later, I can assure you all that Cho Seung-woo is an absolute gem and broke my heart over and over again. He completely embodies whatever character he’s playing, he’s unrecognizable as “Cho Seung-woo” and simply IS the character you see. What can’t this man do. I swear, he’s perhaps the best Korean actor I’ve seen, and that’s saying something, I’ve seen a LOT of actors over the years I’ve been watching dramas and movies, but he’s just in a completely different league.

But to get back to The Classic… Son Ye-jin was also great, she’s just so beautiful and cries so prettily. Jo In-sung was nice and all but didn’t really have much to do. The plot was predictable at times and very dramatic, but I really didn’t care. I knew it was going to be tragic and hit a lot of the romance tropes. It’s a solid watch, absolutely delightful in the beginning when Cho Seung-woo and Son Ye-jin’s characters are giddy in love. And then the tragedy strikes… and it becomes a showcase of Cho Seung-woo’s amazing and gut-wrenching portrayal of a man who loves a woman but is doing the whole noble idiot thing.

Still, I’m glad I watched The Classic. I will be continuing on with watching everything Cho Seung-woo has been in.

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    Love this one. I watched it just after I saw Forest of Secrets and just before Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food. And I agree, the show was all Cho Seung-woo.

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    Movies like this are hard to come by. Whose themes touch you but when duplicated is not the same again. The Classic, Sassy Girl and Windstruck were those movies to me.

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    thanks for the review! I will add it to my list of “Things I like about Cho Seung Woo” !

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I swear, these two. 😂😍 #Life

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These ajusshis posing with their little pups … how can you not like people who love animals?! 🐶💖 #Life

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I ship. I ship. I ship. I know there’s really no romance in this show, but No-eul and President Gu have such a nice blossoming something going on. Also, the boys sporting their caps is 👌🏻. #Life

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Is it weird that I actually kinda like Glutton and Worker Ant? They’re like old college bruhs who are still friends but mostly like to annoy each other. #Life

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    Not weird at alll.

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      Forgot to add, your description of their relationship is exactly on point.

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    I’m excited to see you talking about Life on fan wall. It brings back all my fond memories of the show. And yes, I can watch those two grown-up men bickering nonstop about everything.

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      I was actually feeling sad that Dramabeans hadn’t recapped the show and that I’d missed all the activity when beanies were talking about it, but I’m glad that there are still some beanies who watched it and are engaging in my super-late commentary, haha!

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It’s Thanksgiving break! Which means catching up on sleep — and DRAMAS! I’m not that motivated to watch any of the currently airing or recently-aired shows (100 Million Stars is on my to-watch list, but I’m not in the mood for a really heavy, dark story), so I thought I’d finally marathon Life. I’m prepared knowing it’s not going to be as good as Forest of Secrets, but I’m mainly invested in the acting, anyway. Just watched the first two episodes and Jo Seung Woo is honestly the best. Yoo Jae Myung is also terrific. I am SO looking forward to watching the whole show this week!

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    Life is one of my favorite ‘talkies’ this year. It is a dialogue heavy drama and all the vets brought their A game on this one. I absolutely loved it.

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      Oh yeah, dialogue heavy for sure. Already I’ve had to rewind to reread subtitles in order to understand what’s going on. But it’s worth it!

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    the show LIFE was worth it for me mostly for Jo Seung Woo

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      Same, really, he’s a master actor and while Lee Dong Wook sure is some nice eye candy, Jo Seung Woo can eat a sandwich and I’ll be thrilled. I can’t wait to see his character progress over the course of the show. He might be painted as the villain in the beginning, but I know he’s so much more complicated than that!

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        Lee Dong Wook was the weakest link in his own show. With a cast like that, dude never really stood a chance.

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        Comment was deleted

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Ayyyy, I caught it at 1,000 comments!

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I laughed, rewound, and laughed again. And took the required screenshots. Hee-sung and Dong-mae are effing brilliant together. And Ae-shin trying not to crack up was the cherry on top, her struggling to keep a straight face was downright hilarious! #MrSunshine #episode11

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Mr. Sunshine episode 11 is now my favorite episode purely because of that ending (so look away now if you haven’t watched it yet! SPOILER!): Ae-shin and Hina fighting each other and being super badass! I love these strong women so much. Thank goodness they haven’t devolved into helpless cry babies who need the men to protect them. These ladies aren’t taking anyone’s shiz and I love it!

Also, here are the obligatory Dong-mae screenshots, as usual. (How hot does he look reading the hotel logbook?! I love a man who reads. Reading is sexy.)

Off to watch episode 12!

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    I keep repeating when he whisper don’t turn around and what he did right after… a change of personality in seconds!

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Thanks to a Beanie who mentioned and recommended “Inside Men” (I can’t remember who it was now!), I sat down to watch the 3-hour director’s cut. Dang. Daaaaang. I thought it was quite long (3 hours, c’mon) and the middle chunk dragged for a bit, but I absolutely loved every moment Lee Byung-heon and Jo Seung-woo were on screen, those two have such amazing charisma and acting chops. It was also great fun to see tons of Forest of Secrets and Mr. Sunshine cast members in this movie. Total actor whiplash!

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    May I ask where you saw Inside Man?

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      I believe it’s on Netflix according to the Beanie who recommended it on the fan wall, but I watched it on Kiss Asian, because I don’t have Netflix.

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        Thank you.

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        I don’t know if I’m the one who recommended it, but I watched it this weekend too and was blown away!

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          It was really good, right?! Having only seen Lee Byung-heon in Mr. Sunshine, I was in awe of his portrayal of a violent, crude gangster. Like, whoa, what a 180 from the soft-spoken, stoic Eugene Choi I’m used to!

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            There are the Master and I saw the devil and also memories of the sword…hehehe…he really have quite a number of good korean movies under his belt. I haven’t watched the Fortress and Single Rider. Those two were just out last year

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            Well, I’m falling down that rabbit hole and unfortunately started Iris last night. auggh the only problem with binging completed shows is finding the time to watch it all at once and I have company all weekend.
            But I do like him!

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Here are my Mr. Sunshine episode 10 thoughts because I’m always too impatient for the recaps. Compared to episode 9, number 10 really engaged me emotionally and brought back some much-needed humor.

-> I think it took me until last episode, but I finally realized that Lee Byung-heon’s mouth is a little lopsided. The right side of his lips is a little bigger than the left. Lip fillers that are unevenly dissolving away, perhaps? Or is his mouth just naturally like that? No hate, just an observation.

-> We all know the cinematography is top notch. But I wanted to reiterate how absolutely gorgeous the frozen lake scene was. Someone deserves an Oscar for these sweeping shots.

-> The little boy teaching Eugene how to write had me weak. What a reversal, with Eugene grumbling about having to sit up straight.

-> This emperor has a little more hutzpah to him than I originally gave him credit for. Too bad his refusal to appoint big baddie Wan-ik as the new ambassador of foreign affairs will likely backfire and cause some more deaths in the near future…

-> The fortune teller girl is so. Pretty. And appears to be mute??? What’s her story?! I want to know!

-> The slap. The. SLAP!

-> And then Dong-mae smiling so obviously that his right-hand man noticed… Dong-mae goes from hot to cold and back again so quickly, yet he stays in tune with his character. He got slapped by Ae-shin, but he didn’t lash out violently toward her. Instead, he continued with his negotiation, albeit fuming, and walked away without hurting anyone else anymore. Had anyone else slapped Dong-mae but Ae-shin, they would have died right then and there. It proves how much Dong-mae cares about Ae-shin’s opinion of him, be it positive or negative, and how much he dwells on what she thinks about him. He smiled because she wants him alive when during their last confrontation she’d wanted him dead. Dong-mae doesn’t necessarily seek her approval but does want her acknowledgement in any form.

-> The reluctant bromance is everything. I love the trio interacting and threatening one another so very diplomatically.

-> Gwan-su’s little happy dance when he saw Eugene! Kyle and Gwan-su make a great comedic duo. I hope nothing bad ever happens to them!

-> Like: Gwan-su having a coughing fit and saying to Kyle, “We got busted! Plan B! Plan B!” when Eugene saw right through their made-up story about getting robbed by bandits. LOL.

-> AND: Kyle having fun on the frozen lake and then falling down, drink in hand. “I’m okay! I’m okay!” You can really tell David McInnis is having a blast.

-> Eugene putting together why the size of their chickens got larger had me wheezing for air. It was just so unexpected and funny.

-> Dong-mae giving his candies to the butcher woman and her son… He still remembers his origins, the pain his family endured, and shows a bit of humanity at unexpected times. He carries sympathy and shows it on occasion, as well as immense sorrow that comes out to the world in anger. (I’ll refrain from writing another long essay on Dong-mae’s personality, but it’s taking so much effort not to!)

-> Now we have the mystery of Hina’s mother. If she’s alive, who will she turn out to be? This seems to be Hina’s only plot point at this time in the story besides being jealous that Ae-shin has hordes of gentlemen after her. Hina has a bad relationship with her father and is looking for her mother. This show really loves tragic mother figures, doesn’t it?

-> Hina collecting the bill from the emperor for his coffee — girl is a businesswoman through and through!

-> Snow, Sunshine, Star, Sky… Moonlight, Miracle, Mister… How poetic. It’s pretty heavy-handed, but it works. And together with gorgeous Kim Tae-ri shedding a big, fat single tear and the beautiful, silent snow twinkling like stars — this episode’s ending was absolutely breathtaking. And sad. A sad ending. It’s all coming together now!

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    Have been wondering about the backstory of the mute geisha since she graced the screen. She is very pretty. Had a feeling he saved her once and brought her in.

    I felt the slap was awesomely executed. And his controlled anger, her as well… this is what satisfaction means in drama-watching. Yujo was so dumbfounded with the after effects to his boss, he forgot he was supposed to converse in Japanese…hehehe

    Wish for that little boy as my personal tutor, most probably I will be more fluent now *sigh*… that scene reminds me of my own weird sounds trying to learn those vowels and consonants years back.

    Keep on writing about DM, dear. Many of us would be glad to read such delightful insights from you. Let it go…. let it go…. *wink*

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      Oh, you don’t have to worry that I’ll stop writing about Dong-mae, I will always have something to say about him!

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    The recent petition, do you think will affect the actor’s career. I have a bit of concern but I hope all gonna be well.

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      I also hope YYS and none of the other actors get personal/career backlash because of it.

      Koreans still seem very sensitive about the Japanese when they’re portrayed as anything but bad/evil. I don’t see this show as painting the Japanese in a good light at all, though — they’re power-hungry schemers and some are needlessly violent. I also don’t see a problem with Dong-mae’s alignment. As seen in previous episodes, he’s not exactly “warm” with any of the Japanese and just seems to put up with them for his own gains.

      While I’m not Korean and therefore don’t have all that history tangled up with my culture, I have an open mind when it comes to reinterpretation and storytelling, so I view the petition, which I believe also targets other historical inaccuracies, as a bit… over-dramatic?? (I’m sure there’s a better word, I just can’t think of one.) It’s a sensitive subject for some, but I feel like the international audience doesn’t have a problem with the politics of this show.

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    Thanks for the insight, Tim!

    I don’t know that much about Korea’s history prior to the Japanese occupation, but it makes sense that while the emperor wanted to keep Korea independent, there was just too much going against him.

    While I’d prefer Dong-mae to survive through the whole show, I do hope that if he is offed somehow, it’s very close to or during finale week. Dong-mae is such an important part of this story and without him there will be a huge hole. This will likely become one of Yoo Yeon-seok’s more notable/memorable roles. And I agree: if anything, people will remember Mr. Sunshine for him, the cinematography, and Kim Eun-sook’s (successful, dare I say that yet?) foray into the historical genre.

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Thank you, Life on Mars, for being the crack drama I needed this summer and shooting up to #1 on my favorite dramas list. It was a heart-pounding, thrilling, engaging, intriguing, hilarious, bromantic ride and I love the ’88 team so much! Here’s hoping to a season 2!

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Mr. Sunshine is revving up more and more with each episode. I don’t have that much to say about episode 9 and I was pressed for time watching it so I couldn’t take that many screenshots, so here’re two pics of Dong-mae, as is mandatory with my Mr. Sunshine posts. Once I watch episode 10 I’m sure I’ll have a bucketload of stuff to say!

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PSA: I am not okay after Life on Mars episode 15. (In a totally good way, I love this show so much, but the ending of this episode did surprise me.)

I hope to goodness the finale tomorrow is a 90-minute episode and that we see plenty of the \’88 police team being goofy. I’ll accept a bittersweet ending but I really don’t know how the story is going to wrap-up. Will Tae-joo decide to let go of his “dream?” Or is 2018 all a dream?!

I hate that the show is ending! Best drama I’ve seen in a long time and a definite contender for my favorite drama ever. (Yes, it’s about to dethrone Signal and Healer, but only if the finale is perfect. I have great faith that the finale will be amazing, though. But you never know…)

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    Im nervous about the ending. Like i can’t imagine how the show will make the 1988 squad ok when it seems that TJ can’t change the present from the past. 😢

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      I’m coming up with all sorts of theories and I haven’t ruled out that Tae-joo will somehow off himself from 2018 and go back to 1988 but in an alternate version of the world where the ’88 team survives the gang attack and everyone lives on, happy and solving crimes. (And that Tae-joo and Na-young get together, because as much as I love Jeon Hye-bin, I don’t feel any romantic connection between her and Tae-joo. Am I wishing too much?!)

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After reading the comments section under the Mr. Sunshine episode 8 recap, I feel some types of ways regarding how people so differently view Gu Dong-mae. I understand both sides of the equation, those who see the wounded/tormented man who kills ruthlessly, harbors love for Ae-shin, and is aligned politically with the Japanese—and the ruthless, obsessive man who comes off as creepy, stalker-ish, and didn’t hesitate to still shoot Ae-shin. People are torn over the fact that he grabbed Ae-shin’s skirt: is that action romantic? Obsessive? Dangerous? I also saw some people suggesting that some viewers are confusing Dong-mae for Yoo Yeon-seok and being blinded by his looks, thus not judging Dong-mae purely based on the character we see in the show. But then there are some people who don’t find YYS attractive and haven’t seen him in previous works before, so it’s really a mixed bag.

If anyone pays attention to my fan wall, it’s obvious I fall into the “I love Gu Dong-mae” camp, but it’s not blind love for his character. I see the flaws, I see the immensely deep flaws he has, but when looking at his decisions through his lens, I can see how he justifies them. Dong-mae may come off as a bloodthirsty villain to some, but I don’t think he’s evil. Yes, he shot Ae-shin, but he purposely chose not to deliver a killing shot because he couldn’t bring himself to kill the girl he likes and finds intriguing. She’s the only one who can cut him with words and be able to walk away after the confrontation. Dong-mae is incredibly complex and ties with Eugene for most traumatic childhood.

I could probably write an entire paper on Dong-mae’s good and bad qualities and what makes him so enthralling that people are so divided, but I’ll stop here. Feel free to chime in if you want. I welcome talking to people who have a different opinion regarding Dong-mae. I personally like him a whole ton despite recognizing his antagonistic actions, and I’m not afraid to admit it. As long as we’re respectful of one another and debate likewise, I have no problem with the fact that there are quite a few people out there who verbally admit they are baffled that people love Dong-mae.

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    I love Dong-mae—okay, love is the wrong word to use, but let’s just use it for simplicity’s sake—not because he is likeable—he’s nowhere near that—but because his character is villainous and his villainy makes sense. (That makes it sound like I’m twisted, but no.) I’m just the sort of person who loves evenly matched characters—like the evil ones in Nirvana in Fire, man, the bad guys there are BAD—it’s much more satisfying and exciting to see the good and bad guys try to one-up each other when they are evenly matched. Strong lead character/s deserve a villain that is at par with them, and vice-versa, and Dong-Mae fits that role perfectly.

    His story also makes sense. He just didn’t wake up one day thinking, ‘Just so that there’s a bad guy in the story here, from this day forward I’m gonna be bad.’ He chose to be that because of the ignominy of his past, and to make people pay for the abuse he and his family suffered—I’m not condoning him let’s be clear on that—it’s just that story-wise his trajectory to villain territory is not illogical. In addition, although there are other characters in the story that pose incredible threat to Ae-shin and what she believes in and holds dear—like those Evil Ministers—their actions do not threaten her in an intimate and personal level—they have always done bad deeds even before she was born and will continue to do so—but Dong-mae on the other hand presents a real threat to Ae-shin because of his close proximity to her and his knowledge of her on a personal level. Drama logic is confounding enough, but at least with Dong-mae they gave us a reason to believe that his choice didn’t just come out of nowhere, and just as you said, looking at his actions through his eyes his logic makes sense, and that his being a threat to Ae-shin is not something purely coincidental.

    Also personally, I’d pull my hair out if suddenly he decides to let go of the injustices of the past because of Ae-shin—I’d rather have a consistently believable bad character with no room for redemption whatsoever, than a half-baked illogical redemption arc merely for redemption’s sake. Nothing is more fearsome than someone who has tendency for violence who is also definitely neither a pushover nor a fool—and that’s what makes him a really scary fellow and a perfect foil to our good guys.

    Whew! 🙂

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      What you said about heroes and villains needing to be on par with each other, I agree completely. Dong-mae is powerful and not afraid to get messy, but so is Eugene. They come from very similar beginnings, have sided with countries outside their own, and do what they want when they want it. They complement each other very well, you’re so right.

      I will also pull my hair out if he does something inconsistent with his character. People are pretty consistent in real life. To have Dong-mae do a 180 because of true love or some other bs would be really cheap to his characterization and to us, the audience.

      Great points you brought up!

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    Hiiiiii! Okay, I don’t have a lovely essay like yours, which is a great one, but I’ll start the ball rolling with a loose thought or two (btw, why didn’t you put this on the recap page?)

    One thought is that Dong Mae is incapable of loving Ae Sin, what he has is a maelstrom of warring passions that have become obsession over her. He’s a character that’s too far gone to be able to be “saved” by her love and go live a normal life out in the country, for example. “Just” love, even an epic love, doesn’t begin to cover everything he’s feeling. He is obsessed.

    Thought two is that if Dong Mae were being played by, say, the actor who is playing the blacksmith I suspect there might be a whole different level of viewer engagement about the character and his motivations. Just throwing that out there. 😉

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      I saw some pretty heated comments and threads on the recap page and decided I didn’t want to deal with that, just in case. The fan wall has always been a really safe, respectful place for me, I think because it’s mostly the serious Beanies who interact on the fan wall, whereas recap comments can get gnarly on occasion, especially for the really popular dramas. Like, there was a troll in the episode 8 comments! A troll! I haven’t seen a troll on Dramabeans in a long time!

      I do see Dong-mae bordering on obsession with Ae-shin. I think he feels an immense amount of gratitude to her for saving him as a boy, mixed with guilt because he’s aligned himself with the Japanese and Ae-shin is so not about that life. But then there’s anger that she can’t understand his actions. And interest in her because she doesn’t cower in fear like everyone else. His “love” for her comes from a much darker place than Eugene, for example. He definitely can’t be saved by her, as you pointed out. With 16 episodes to go, he could certainly turn into a much darker villain and become a far greater danger to Ae-shin. He’s a tricky character with so many different emotions to grapple with and that guide him.

      I think you’re also totally correct that Dong-mae would come off differently if played by a different actor. While a character might be the same on paper, it’s the actor’s job to bring them to life. At this point I wouldn’t want anyone else but Yoo Yeon-seok playing him, but Dong-mae could seem a lot more villainous or sympathetic depending on the actor.

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        😆IKR, a troll on DB! It was like, no one knew whether to laugh or scold or pull up a chair for a closer look!

        I think Dong Mae is both grateful beyond words and repelled by Ae Shin’s power to save him as a child (she, a younger child and a girl at that). He can adore and admire the Lady Bountiful that she’s become (probably somewhat through his influence) and still detest everything she stands for. He’s committed to the Japanese but I think at this point they just represent money and modernization, it’s not clear yet that they intend to crush the Korean identity. I wonder if he knows that her parents were in Japan as part of the Righteous Army. And you’re so right that it drives him mad that she’s not afraid of him. Well, anyway, I’m pretty committed to Dong Mae being a bad guy so I’ll likely stay on that side of the fence and be looking for that in his behavior.

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        I also agree that it would have garnered a different reaction if the character was played by other than YYS. I may still be invested but that is subject to the performance of the actor on how he is going to deliver DM. I can’t helped being fussy on that, it’s a matter of life or death to me…hehehe…. Thus far, I am really really glad and thankful that YYS picked this up and nailed it. He became DM and I am thanking drama god for giving him this opportunity, and us the satisfaction. Truth is, I think complex and emotionally heavy character is what YYS forte is. I want to see him in an action role next, something like The Man From Nowhere or War of Arrows. That guy has a black belt and I don’t even know it until it was mentioned in an article on Mr. Sunshine! Dang… babe this is one perfect guy/bachelor. He can clean and cook, build your furniture, drive you around, a barista, a perfect travel planner cum companion, a sommelier, a gardener, he can protect you with those taekwondo moves and he will buy you french candies. Ok I am gonna shut up now. *hide!*

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          Now that you mention it, I would also love to see him in a true action role and show off his blackbelt skills. Or else a really fluffy rom-com because I need that contrast! But he does seem to excel in playing much more emotionally-heavy characters. He has a gravitas about him and great presence.

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    Some people just can’t handle complex characters. It’s frustrating for me that there are people who don’t want to acknowledge that a person can be all those things you mentioned (i.e. good, bad, etc.) It’s the same with the story especially those who give flak on how the story is somehow pro-Japanese. As that op-ed in Korea Times mentioned, when you think of it, Koreans just want their side of the story told. And I’m not saying their feelings are not valid. I’m just saying Dong-mae’s story could’ve happened. As @annerl says, his story makes sense. It’s a possibility. Also, I believe there’s good and bad in any side when it comes to war. It’s murky at best, never black and white.

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      I personally love morally gray characters. Very few people in real life are 100% good or 100% bad. (100% bad might be harder to fathom, but if you think about it on a large AND small scale, it’s usually true. Usually.) And I wish more people also liked really complex characters. War changes people and forces them to make hard decisions, and people mainly just want to survive another day, so they’ll do anything to achieve that. Murky is such a good word.

      It’s also true that there were people in history who were pro-Japanese, and, as you said, Dong-mae’s story could definitely have happened. I’m glad Kim Eun-sook took the risk and wrote a complicated, historical political drama. I’ve only seen her other shows DotS and Goblin, but Mr. Sunshine is definitely the heftiest so far in terms of characterization and plot, and I am all for it. If there weren’t so many lingering shots and people staring at each other for minutes on end, I wouldn’t be able to tell you with confidence this was a KES drama!

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        Dong Mae’s story could definitely have happened, and I’d really love to see what did happen to take that butcher’s boy to Japan, make him literate in two languages, a swordsman, a crack shot and the head of a yakuza gang. And I agree that rarely is anyone all good (Melanie in GWTW?) or ever all bad (but it’s easier to write characters that are simpler), and there were lots of pro-Japanese Koreans. Murky is a great word and I dread to think how quickly I would compromise my convictions in anything approaching a war situation.

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    Ahh, that ep 8 recap page. I put a nail to that coffin, it’s giving me headache trying to be understood, I knew I should not even try *sigh*

    Likewise, I see DM as a very complex and flawed character, like the other flawed characters in the drama. But what makes him interesting and intriguing to me as compared to the rest, is how consistent the character has been so far, along with his backstory, in which I can totally relate and understand, was what made him who he is now. Maybe I am just a logical person but this type of character is my cup of tea from ages ago, and I just cannot turn a blind eye when I come across another such as this. It makes me think hard of what he will and will not do next. It makes me look for more substances than what are more apparent to others. When there are views that see him as pure bloodthirsty, bullish villain, I always wonder how come those scenes that showed another personality of his (e.g. those scenes while with HN and the mute geisha) escaped them. These scenes, I believe were meant to give a different perspective of his character. He was not a bad guy who woke up one day and decided he needed to kill to satisfy his thirst for blood, I agree to this. So, no I don’t see him as 100% evil. Maybe it is just me, but I also can see from his many interactions with his clients that he despises the Japanese he took jobs from. I find it is really satisfying to try to get into his mind and outguess his next course of action. I also agree that I don’t want EC, DM and HS to fight merely because of a girl and her dream. But for them to do it, finding the reason and believing it is a just cause on their own accord. Like how DM started questioning himself in ep 9 from the interaction he had with the righteous army guy. Like how EC still didn’t 100% buy AS’s motivation, hence we saw him asking her the very question I raised before while commenting on the inconsistency of her actions towards DM and EC. Flaws aside, I like that the drama makes me think a lot about many different perspectives, as a person and a viewer.

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      Dong-mae is a consistent character, as are all the characters in this show thus far, and I hope they all stay that way, that they grow over the course of the story but don’t become unrecognizable. Because of their consistent characterization, it is a lot of fun to predict what they’ll do next and how they’ll react to various situations.

      I view Dong-mae as aligning himself with Japanese for money and power, and initially because he harbored resentment toward Joseon, but it does appear in more recent episodes that he likes them less and less. It would be interesting if he eventually decides to ditch his allegiance with the Japanese, though I doubt that’ll happen anytime soon. He’ll probably come to the conclusion himself but not cut off his foreign ties for a long time.

      I really like Mr. Sunshine for being such an engaging show. I haven’t been so verbal about a show in a while, spending a lot of time picking it apart and writing essays like this, haha.

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        Same here…Mr. Sunshine has successfully made me come back to writing. I like that I can share my thoughts and have a good discussion with you all. ^_^

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    Reading this gave me so much life!!!! I wish Drama Beans had a PM system so that I could privately message you all my feelings over Dong-mae~

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Annyeonghaseyo, Gu Dong-mae ssi. Since I don’t think Ae-shin is going to happen for you — pick me, I’m available!

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    That’s the reason I don’t watch Mr Sunshine. I just don’t want him to have his heart broken. It’s too much to bear.

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      Yeah, it’s more than likely he’ll die tragically at the end, perhaps sacrificing himself for Ae-shin. I’m just accepting the fact. Which makes all his scenes that much more meaningful to me.

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Mr. Sunshine episode 8 thoughts coming your way, almost a whole week late, but whatever, that’s how I’m rolling.

Can I just say how amazing and different this story could have been if it was about Ae-shin and Dong-mae and they were endgame? There is so much tension between the two of them and the air is crackling and I am snapping. The entire chase sequence at the port city was incredibly well shot and handled. Ae-shin was a true heroine, fighting for the cause and leaping among the rooftops. Dong-mae was utterly shocked to see her there and couldn’t bring himself to kill her. Even when he shot her leg, he still looked like he’d offed a piece of his own soul. Their confrontation when he was sitting on the train tracks, hoping she wouldn’t come — GAH! My poor heart. I AM NOT OKAY.

Hmm, what else stood out to me this episode? Ae-shin flying into Eugene’s arms at the very end! I totally wasn’t expecting her to hug him so suddenly, but I do like where she and Eugene are headed emotionally and relationship-wise. (That is, as long as I don’t think about her what-could-have-been-romance with Dong-mae. Star-crossed lovers, when done well, is my weakness. I eat that stuff up.)

We’re a third of the way through this show! Ae-shin and Eugene are officially going to try this thing called “love.” Dong-mae is tragic and sexy and I really want him to have a happy ending somehow or other, or else a REALLY satisfying death scene in the penultimate episode. Kudo Hina still needs more to do, she looks bored all the time. Hee-sung is surprisingly layered but I’m worried that all that alcohol is going to give him liver failure soon. And Kyle’s poetry is crap, lol.

Can’t wait for new episodes this weekend!

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    😂😂😂 @ Kyle’s poetry is crap.

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    “Star-crossed lovers, when done well, is my weakness. I eat that stuff up.”

    Babe, your recap always makes me grin to satisfaction. It’s the med that I need with all the boringness I am going through at work. You know I thank you every seconds of my life for every dose of this, right? 💝 Yeah, I second your thought on how amazing the story could have been … but that will be a wistful dream.

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      Glad you enjoy my thoughts posts! Half the time I feel like I’m just rambling or gushing and not being that constructive, but I guess my thoughts are a lot more organized than I think they are!

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