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Boys Before Flowers: Episode 7

And it only took three weeks: This episode finally managed to topple the Monday-Tuesday behemoth East of Eden from its top ratings perch into second place, beating it by 2%.

There was perhaps one main cringey moment in Episode 7, but for the most part I really enjoyed it. That said:

GAHHHH!

CURSE YOU, CLIFFHANGER!!

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Wheesung – “별이 지다” (Falling star) [ Download ]

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EPISODE 7 RECAP

Following their fallout, Jan-di tries to find Jun-pyo at school, and finally comes upon him as he exits school; he spots her and pauses for a moment. She gives him a tentative smile — but he turns away and leaves in his chauffeured car.

Jan-di chases, calling for him to stop, then grabs her bicycle to pedal furiously to his mansion.

She’s so fast (and superhuman?) that Jan-di arrives at the mansion just as Jun-pyo’s car does. He tries to push past her, but she insists on saying her piece, even if he doesn’t want to hear it.

Jan-di blocks his way inside, prompting him to run the other way. She ends up chasing him around his front yard, which is pretty cute.

Jun-pyo manages to slip into the driver’s seat of the car and drive off, leaving Jan-di shouting after him. (He can’t be SO mad if he can still find satisfaction in sticking out his tongue at her, methinks.)

Just then, a sleek white sports car pulls up, the window rolls down, and a glamorous woman (the gorgeous Kim Hyun-joo) tells her, “Get in.” Dumbfounded, Jan-di gapes, but the woman tells her to hurry: “You’re trying to catch that guy, right?”

Jan-di rides shotgun as the white car weaves in and out of traffic, tailing Jun-pyo. He tries to shake off his pursuer, but she maneuvers her car with smooth control and forces her way in front.

Finally, she cuts Jun-pyo off, making him pull over suddenly and stop.

Jun-pyo emerges from his car, ready to give the woman hell, but she grabs a wooden kendo sword (because we all carry those around?) and starts toward him purposefully. And because PD Jeon cannot leave a perfectly good moment as it is, he ruins this by having her leap into a CARTWHEEL AND BACKFLIP before she uses the wooden sword to hit Jun-pyo, taking him to task for his rudeness: “Who taught you to treat women like that?”

Jun-pyo protests, “Sis, you don’t even know what you’re talking about,” but he does quiet down and defer to her and her big wooden stick. This is Gu Jun-hee, just arrived from America, who takes an immediate liking to Jan-di.

Jun-hee apologizes to Jan-di on behalf of her rude younger brother, then tells Jun-pyo to drive safely and meet them back at home, ignoring his insistence that Jan-di is banned from their house.

Jun-pyo refuses to join everyone for dinner (which he later regrets when he’s dying of hunger), leaving F2 and Jan-di to fill Jun-hee in on news.

Jun-hee asks if the other two agree with Jun-pyo’s intent to kick Ji-hoo out of F4. Woo-bin doesn’t, and Yi-jung starts to qualify his answer (he’s a little more sympathetic to Jun-pyo), but Jun-hee cuts him off, figuring that it’s clear that Jun-pyo’s the only one pushing the breakup of F4. She urges Jan-di to eat up to prepare her strength “to fight that idiot.” (FYI, Jun-hee does beat up on her brother several times, but she does it with some affection — and exasperation — so it doesn’t come off mean-spirited.)

When Jun-hee drops Jan-di off at home, Jan-di wonders why Big Sis is being so nice to her. Jun-hee replies that their mother always said that people like them had no use for friends. With such an upbringing, the fact that Jun-pyo was even able to find friends in F4 was nothing short of a “miracle.” This reminder at their broken friendship makes Jan-di apologize for causing the rift.

Jun-hee isn’t too worried, though, and thanks Jan-di: “You opened the door to turning that kid more into a human being.” After all, friendship will help get him there, but love is even more essential.

At Ji-hoo’s request, Jun-pyo meets him in what I suppose is Ji-hoo’s private movie theater, where he’s watching The Three Musketeers. By way of conversation, Ji-hoo asks, “Do you remember how many times we’ve seen this movie together? Must be at least ten times.”

Jun-pyo seems to relax a tiny bit when Ji-hoo says, “I’m sorry. I don’t expect you to stop being angry just because of an apology. But…”

Jun-pyo: “But?” Ji-hoo: “Leave Jan-di alone.”

Jun-pyo seems like he may have wanted to reconcile (given the right approach), but mentioning Jan-di is exactly the wrong thing to say. Jun-pyo hardens: “And if I don’t?” Ji-hoo: “I’ll protect her.”

At that, Jun-pyo angrily gets up to leave, clenching his fist. Without looking at Ji-hoo, he says, “It’s eleven times. If you’d remembered we were friends who’d seen that movie together eleven times, maybe this wouldn’t have happened.” (Oh, snap.)

So Jun-pyo’s plan to evict his best friend remains intact: He’s in the middle of intimidating the school headmaster into expelling Jan-di and Ji-hoo when Jun-hee bursts in. If he fires the teacher, after all, she can hire the next.

Grabbing Jun-pyo by the ear, she forces him out of the room, then tells him, the F4 guys, and Jan-di to follow.

Back at home, Jun-hee makes her proposal: Jun-pyo and Ji-hoo can work out their spat through an organized athletic competition. (Because sporting wins heal wounded hearts?) This way, they’ll both have to acknowledge the winner and abide by the outcome, putting a clear end to the fight. If Jun-pyo wins, he gets to expel Ji-hoo and Jan-di. Ji-hoo, then, is fighting to keep them both in school (and himself in F4).

To make it fair, they will choose randomly from ten possible sporting categories, some in which the guys are trained and some in which they are not. Best of three wins, and participants must agree to respect the outcome.

(As a plot device, I don’t mind the competition, but who else thinks it’s hilarious that they’d agree to settle a love triangle via sports? It’s almost as ridiculous as deciding a faux monarchy via sports — I’m lookin’ at you, Goong S.)

Jun-pyo protests, but he’s outnumbered by everyone else (who have been convinced by Jun-hee ahead of time). Jan-di, Ji-hoo, and Jun-pyo each pick a different ball from the lottery-style machine, and the first test is revealed (Jun-pyo’s pick): Horseback riding.

This is Ji-hoo’s area of expertise, and he is heavily favored to win. Knowing he’s at a disadvantage, Jun-pyo pushes himself to train for the event in the two days preceding the competition. Ji-hoo, meanwhile, picks out his horse but doesn’t train. (Reluctant, or just confident?)

On the day of the race, everyone heads out — Jun-hee, Jan-di, F4, and their Shinhwa classmates — to the equestrian center. The race starts inside the arena, then heads outdoors.

After a lap indoors, Ji-hoo is leading as they approach a forking of the trail, one side marked safe and the other indicating danger. As he cannot catch up to Ji-hoo on the safe trail, Jun-pyo heads off on the other one, urging his horse up steep, hilly ground even when the horse balks, and ignores his trainer’s warning not to push too hard.

Back inside the arena, everyone waits for the racers, fully expecting to see Ji-hoo leading. Unexpectedly, Jun-pyo gallops in first.

Ji-hoo takes the loss gracefully enough, treating Jan-di with calm good humor when she comes up to him afterward. She pets his horse — which is named Rui — and feeds it a treat affectionately. Ji-hoo offers to take Jan-di on a ride, and leads her on the horse outdoors.

I know it’s supposed to be sweet/fun that Ji-hoo’s horse is named Rui, but that just opens up a whole world of inappropriate double entendres, yunnowhatimean? Maybe I should’ve kept that to myself.

On the other hand, Jun-pyo may have won, but his horse has suffered for it. Hearing that his horse won’t ever race again, he’s overwhelmed with guilt for being so aggressive with the animal.

Jun-hee tells him, “You may have won this game, but you lost the battle, little bro. I really hope you learned something from today” — because if he didn’t, the horse will have suffered for nothing.

The second competition tilts the advantage the other way, because now Jun-pyo is the clear favorite: racecars.

It’s not merely that Jun-pyo is a good racer, but Ji-hoo struggles even to drive, haunted by memories of the car crash that killed his parents. He suffers nightmares of that night and has difficulty just getting behind the wheel.

Knowing that victory is nearly within reach puts Jun-pyo in a fantastic mood. Yi-jung and Woo-bin feel uneasy about the obvious imbalance of skills, but Jun-pyo doesn’t even feel this is unfair, since Ji-hoo picked this challenge. Plus, Jun-hee stipulated that they must abide by the contest parameters no matter what the tasks turn out to be.

Jan-di learns of Ji-hoo’s disadvantage from the Jin-Sun-Mi trio, who tell her to pack her bags because there’s no way Ji-hoo will win this battle. Jan-di assures them that it ain’t over till it’s over: “I have faith in Ji-hoo.” (At this point, I wonder if the drama has slipped up in achieving the right balance, because I have to side with Miranda — and siding with a Mean Girl can’t be right — who calls her out for lacking principles. She reminds Jan-di that not long ago, she was talking to Jun-pyo about trust and faith (regarding the hotel photos), and now she’s blabbering about believing in Ji-hoo. Girl does seem fickle.)

Fearing for Ji-hoo’s safety, Jan-di drops by the racetrack where Ji-hoo is watching Jun-pyo zoom around the course below. Hesitantly, she asks how he got his driver’s license, and he explains that Seo-hyun had taught him. He’d hated it, but embarrassment over failing pushed him to learn how to drive enough to get a license.

Jan-di cautiously suggests that Ji-hoo not participate in the race — it’s not like she wanted to go to that school in the first place. Ji-hoo says firmly, “I don’t know if I can win, but I’m going to do my best.”

Seeing that Jan-di has brought him some rice porridge from the restaurant, he asks to try it. Down below, Jun-pyo glances up to see Jan-di and Ji-hoo looking chummy together and suddenly swerves, his car spinning out of control. At the sound of screeching tires, they look over in alarm — but I dunno, there’s something about Ji-hoo’s smirk as he continues calmly eating his porridge that makes me want to smack him.

Afterward, Jun-pyo fumes. He kicks one racing coach/crew member, hits another, and throws his helmet at a third, saying, “What the hell’s wrong with the car?” (I guess they’re too scared to answer, “The driver.”)

The day of the race, Woo-bin tries one last time to persuade Jun-pyo to give up, while Yi-jung does the same with Ji-hoo. Both are unsuccessful, so the best they can do is tell the competitors to be careful.

Ga-eul worriedly asks Ji-hoo if he’s going to be all right, hoping he has some kind of secret weapon up his sleeve. At that moment, Jun-pyo walks in, and the two shoot daggers at each other. Ji-hoo tells Ga-eul that he does, in fact, have a secret weapon — and then bends down affectionately to embrace Jan-di.

Jan-di resists a little at his unexpected hug, but he tells her to play along — this may be a cheap tactic but it’s all he’s got. Jun-pyo watches incredulously as Ji-hoo places a kiss on Jan-di’s forehead.

Ji-hoo walks off, thinking, “Jun-pyo, I’m sorry. I want to protect her, even if it’s like this.”

With that scene playing in his head, Jun-pyo takes to the track, trailing Ji-hoo at first. Amazing at how Ji-hoo’s debilitating fear of driving is miraculously cured! He’s even leading for the first half of the race.

But Jun-pyo’s mind involuntarily flashes back to the kiss, and in that second of distraction, he veers off course and skids, allowing Ji-hoo to zoom ahead to the finish line.

If Jun-pyo lost the first test of sportsmanship, surely Ji-hoo loses this round?

Now, the third test. A bit expectedly (for us), Jan-di’s selection turns out to be swimming — which practically guarantees a Ji-hoo win. Flustered and panicked, Jun-pyo refuses to participate. Unfortunately, Jun-hee reminds him, if he forfeits, Ji-hoo wins.

Yi-jung speaks up — if this issue is decided because of a forfeit, nobody will feel satisfied. Therefore, he’d like to offer himself to take Jun-pyo’s place in the last challenge, if everyone consents. Yi-jung finds it difficult to forgive Ji-hoo’s actions, too, and this is his way of making the last game fairer. Jun-hee accepts his proposal, saying that she’s okay with it if everyone else is. Jun-pyo immediately agrees, as does Woo-bin.

But Jan-di speaks up too — if Yi-jung gets to take Jun-pyo’s place, then she wants to take Ji-hoo’s. Jun-hee warns that she’ll be given no handicap going against a guy and Jun-pyo argues that she should stay out of it, but Jan-di says this involves her life too. She feels she should participate in determining her own fate.

Jun-hee agrees to the suggestion — then they can make it two-on-two: Yi-jung against Jan-di, Woo-bin against Ji-hoo.

So, they start training.

 

When their kooky restaurant boss (who’s always babbling about spirits and aliens) has a dream about the race, Jan-di and Ga-eul eagerly ask about the outcome, grasping at straws for good news. He describes: “Approaching the finish line, you’re almost neck in neck. Then, at the moment when a hand is reaching out… everything went dark.” (This may be a throwaway bit, or it may mean something, it’s hard to say just yet.)

Ga-eul proposes that they resort to underhanded methods — desperate times, and all — like feeding Yi-jung diarrhea medication secretly, or running him over with a bicycle (which, frankly, is a scene I’d like to see. The bike, I mean, not the diarrhea). Their boss puts his foot down and insists she not do anything dishonorable.

That doesn’t prevent her from dropping by to talk to Yi-jung, however. Yi-jung guesses that Ga-eul came to ask him to throw the race — she argues that the outcome doesn’t affect Yi-jung at all , while Jan-di may be expelled — but he has no intention of doing so. He isn’t going to kill himself over this competition, but he’s not going to purposely lose it, either.

He reminds her that she doesn’t exactly have a right to be so upset at his position: “I warned you that it would be a good idea to stop her.”

Jan-di’s family is appalled to hear that she cheated on Jun-pyo with Ji-hoo and now faces expulsion. She tries to explain her actions, but they’re disappointed in her when she confirms the story.

Her father figures she must take after her mother (who tries to shush him) and that based on his experience, when a man has been hurt by a woman two-timing him, the curious thing is, it always helps when the woman apologizes and says she was wrong. They urge her to apologize to Jun-pyo, and for once, they don’t seem so ridiculously out of line.

As Jan-di walks outside that night, Jun-pyo pulls up in his car. Hearing that she’s on her way to train, he asks, “Do you want to win that badly?”

Jan-di sighs, “We don’t have much of a choice.” Jun-pyo reacts to her phrasing: “We?”

Frustrated, he asks, “Why did it have to be Ji-hoo? If only it wasn’t him…”

Jan-di says his name reproachfully, but he suddenly pulls her to him in a hug. Earnestly, he says:

Jun-pyo: “It’s not too late. It would only take one word, if you said that you like me…”

 
COMMENTS

Yunno, I’m the first one to admit that this series is flawed. Like, way seriously flawed, yo (yo yo, ma bro).

But for some odd reason, it’s still a drama that I look forward to every Monday and Tuesday, and is one of very few in the past couple years that I’ve been eager to see as soon as possible. (Some — really, really good — dramas sit on my hard drive months and years after downloading, still unwatched.)

It’s just that, if a drama is able to get me upbeat and excited for any reason, I’m happy. The rest? It’s icing, folks. Sweet, glorious icing.

As for this episode specifically:

The thing is, we’re supposed to be rooting for Ji-hoo, because that means F4 remains intact and Jan-di gets to stay at Shinhwa High School. Yet I found myself rooting for Jun-pyo, and wanted Jan-di to root for Jun-pyo secretly too (there may have been a hint of that during the horse race, but if so, it was fleeting).

The problem is, I’m starting to hate Ji-hoo. You may not believe me but I want to like him, I really do. I’m trying to understand his character. But he’s just so… meh.

When he kisses Jan-di in front of Jun-pyo to throw him off his game, he’s doing exactly what Jun-pyo accused him of doing at the end of Episode 6, which is use Jan-di. Not because he cares for her, but for his own purposes. And not only are his purposes selfish, he means to harm his friend to win the race. Jun-pyo didn’t act honorably in the first race, but is stooping to a lower level really the answer, Ji-hoo? I thought you were supposed to be the gallant, noble one.

(That said, I was squeamish about Jun-pyo treating his horse so carelessly, even if he feels bad about it. Jun-pyo was also seen acting out more aggressively in this episode, such as when he hit his racing team out of misplaced frustration.)

I’m not sure if this is a writing problem or an acting one, because it could be either — or both. If Ji-hoo is just written this way, it’s making his character way unlikable. On the other hand, if he’s being written to convey conflicted emotions, those aren’t showing through the acting. From reading through the scripts, it seems that the characters aren’t given much direction on the page (they probably are offscreen), and whatever subtext that emerges is a result of smart acting and directing. Some actors are able to mine moments out of their scenes more effectively than others. Some may just be acting what’s on the page.

For instance, in the movie theater scene, you can see for a moment that Jun-pyo softens toward his friend, then hardens at the mention of Jan-di. If Ji-hoo showed inner conflict in a similar way, I could get behind him — but he’s just so smugly calm all the time. It makes me want to slap that smirk from his face.

I was trying to figure out the appeal of Jun-pyo in this drama, because as much as I’m liking his character, the drama feels unbalanced in his favor and I’m trying not to let it bother me. I don’t think it’s a simple matter of “omg Lee Min-ho is hawt!” because yes, he is, but that’s not what does it for me and it’s a little demeaning to say that the only reason Jun-pyo fans like him is because the actor is good-looking. After all, Kim Hyun-joong is surely beautiful but he doesn’t have the same effect on me.

For me, it’s that Jun-pyo is the only character thus far who is drawn in a complex way AND acted well. Everyone else is one or the other, but not both: Jan-di is acted anywhere from weakly to moderately well (depending on your opinion) but her character is not complex. Ji-hoo is complex but not acted terribly well. Yi-jung and Woo-bin are both acted fairly well but their characters are not complex. Same with Ga-eul. So against this character landscape, when we have one lead who is layered, complicated, and portrayed convincingly, we get: Lee Min-ho mania.

 
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@32: BACK HUGS LMAO HAHAHA!

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I don't think that Ji-hoo's tactics are COMPLETELY selfish. I mean, he mentioned that he really doesn't care about being expelled, so he's doing all this just because he wants to protect Jan-di. Though it seems, he's willing to hurt his best friend for some new girl, who even though has helped him, is still a new girl. Which is why it is still a bit harsh.

I've always just imagined Ji-hoo as a character who just don't know how to show his feelings. I believe that he feels hurt or happiness or whatever, and that he just has some troubles conveying those emotions. So, he acts indifferent. (Maybe because he's still traumatized by the death of his parents? And not to mention the recent rejection from his first love....) I also don't think Ji-Hoo was meant to be the oh-so 'noble' character. He is just meant to be a character to not only keep the story going, but to be compared to Jun-pyo. His personality is a complete parallel to Jun-pyo's, who acts out whatever his emotions all the time. (Aren't all leading guys and 2nd guys of kdramas being compared all the time?)

I'm confusing myself now. xD
And I am completely with you on the fact that besides it's flaws, it's really watchable. There's something about the series that just captivates me.
Thanks for the recaps. Please do continue on.

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What!!!
I just leave for couple minutes.. and the comment already speed up from 5 to 49? Wow, javabeans.. you're awesome!!

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Geezus I've been looking forward to this recap all day! Honestly, I know I shouldn't be doing this but I can't help but compare Shun's Rui with Ji Hoo. I can't believe how callous Ji Hoo's being to his friends. On top of that, his friendship with the others was barely established before all the drama happened. We were basically just TOLD that they were this really tight group of friends, but didn't get to FEEL that, especially from supposed best friends Ji Hoo and Jun Pyo. Remember when Tsukasa nearly cried when Rui went off to France with Shizuka? Tossing him the apple, jumping on the fence and waving goodbye? And how Rui only made a pass at Makino to get the two to really be upfront about their feelings? The way things are going now in the Korean drama, I don't see how they can make Ji Hoo and Jun Pyo that close... believably. Oh and did you see the website I linked? There's a casting call for a movie of a cartoon that's inspired by Asian-cultures. Yet it's starring white people, not Asians. On top of that, the casting director seems to be under the impression that Koreans wear KIMONOS. The entire movie is pretty disrespectful towards Asians, so a lot of people (Asians and non-Asians) are organizing a protest at the aang-aint-white livejournal.

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Ok. I also promised myself that I'm not going to compare this one with its predecessors but one thing is glaringly different from the previous versions, and it's the portrayal of Rui. In the past two dramas you feel for both Doumyoji and Rui. Tsukasa and even the viewers are torn between those two. But in this version Lee Min Ho (Jun-pyo/Doumyoji) OWNED the screened. I have nothing against Hyunjoong (Ji-hoo/Rui), in fact I like him.

I just agree with javabeans that Jun-pyo's character was the only one acted out REALLY well. The rest are...so-so.

But all in all after Coffee Prince, this is the only drama that made anticipate to watch the upcoming episodes.

Kim Bum (Yi-jung) is LOVE <3

Hahahaha.

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Actually, at the race track, I was wondering if JH's smirk/smile was directed towards JD and not JP. At the instance of the smirk/smile, JH was looking at JD, who had stood up in alarm at JP's spin-out.

I questioned if JH was smiling because JD's reaction was a confirmation, to him, that JD really cared for JP.

BTW, someone flubbed attributing the color balls to the respective person.
JD's ball was red. But, noona revealed it as JH's ball.

Thank you so much for the summary.

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I agree with Anon. Jun Pyo is so annoying to me. I think JiHoo is not a player and is being nice to Jandi. JiHoo wants to protect her and its better than JunPyo's yelling and overuse of money to buy her out. I think HyunJoong is doing great so far with his acting because he's playing the part of Rui. Others are saying he's so bad at acting the part but I think otherwise.

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@ Airajuliafor :

"His personality is a complete parallel to Jun-pyo’s, who acts out whatever his emotions all the time."

Hm. I really like that idea. Maybe that is the whole point of this? To contrast the two leading guys, who have strikingly different personalities and ultimately come to the conclusion that they both have their merits and their flaws. Whereas JP is brash, loud and forceful about getting his way, JH is quiet, reserved and...well underhanded about getting his? They each have their (valid) fears (JP - swimming, JH - driving) that they both handle in different ways. And they each care for Jan Di, demonstrating this is very different ways - one showers her with gifts and attention, whereas the other is content to be her silent supporter? Even their treatment of their friends - JP is sort of patronising to the rest of them, while JH is coldly dismissive (hmm...so really, the only "good" friends are Woo Bin and Yi Jung?) And hopefully, through this, and the other plot manipulations, we can learn to see them both become more human?

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i think Jihoo laughed to himself when JP lost control of his car because he knew that JP was irked at seeing JH and JD spending time together. I think JH just finds JP to be childish...and so he just thought it was funny that JP would be THAT bothered at seeing them talking lol *shrugs*

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Okay, i'm seriously conflicted by this series. I like it because i'm still confused about what's going on and who's good and who's bad. but i really can't stand the characters at all....I watched Hana yori Dango (japanese) and liked it because i understood the character's intention. But for this sereis, i don't get it at all. Why is ji-hoo being so evil? In the japanese version, he only tries to get with jan-di to make jan-di and jun pyo confess their love to each other. However, it does not seem the case here...?

The only thing that REALLY bothers me now is jan-di's character. I can't connect with her because she's extremely flaky. She doesn't seem to convey the inner conflict about ji-hoo and jun pyo...and on top of that, she lets everyone push her around. She's not the strong willed makino and that's really bothering me. I want her to respond to jun pyo...with a yes or a no, is that so hard, or even a maybe....She just looks dumbfounded and misleading all the time.

I guess I just really liked makino's character that's all.

/end rant.

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So against this character landscape, when we have one lead who is layered, complicated, and portrayed convincingly, we get: Lee Min-ho mania.

You said everything I wanted to say. I actually liked the episode. Nothing is better than jealousy eh?

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JUN PYO ALL THE WAY!

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Sorry for my view as it is biased towards ji hoo as i like kim hyun joong more than lee min ho and am rooting for ji hoo.

Whereas for the characterization of ji hoo, i understand what u guys are saying abt him not protraying his emotions properly but if u guys think carefully, i think among ji hoo, jun pyo and gan di...only ji hoo is understanding and accepting the fact that gan di is unknowingly in love with jun pyo by the small things she does that undirectly tells the person nxt to her tht she likes jun pyo.

In addition, the fact tht ji hoo smirks when jun pyo crashes the both times, is to show viewers tht ji hoo knows tht gan di is his weak point and tht he understands wht is feels like to see the woman u love look at another affectionly. furthermore, the fact that ji hoo plays dirty is the same as jun pyo ruining his horse. Because if one thinks abt it, jun pyo was scarificing the horse's life to win whereas ji hoo was scarificing his life to win as racecaring is a dangerous sport.

In addition, ji hoo loves gan di but he is slowly accepting the fact tht he may not be fated as her lover. Because if u remember the scene when gan di rejected the proposal that jun pyo be excused frm swimming, u could see ji hoo was sad at the point and didnt seem very happy with her decision but still supported her.

Finally. i am wishing for gan di to end up with ji hoo BUT i know she is 100% ending up with jun pyo so dont bash me up!!!!

p.s There is one thing i dont understand...the fortune teller told her tht her husband and soulmate are 2 diff pple so if she ends up with jun pyo doesnt tht mean tht ji hoo is her soulmate???? so how will tht be a happy ending as pple tend to think tht u shd be with yr soulmate????

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I agree that the drama is sorely lacking and can be improved tremendously by a little more effort on the actors parts, but hey I still look forward to watching it.

Jandi - I expected more from her character. She's supposed to be tough, but now it looks like shes being dragged around by two men. Her character feels weak and doesn't make me forgive her for being indecisive, but if she shows more grit I would have been more forgiving of her. SHE NEEDS TO STEP UP. She's supposed to be the character which the story revolves around, not a trinket worn by whomever wins a macho game. Tsk. Tsk.

Jihoo - eye candy. Improving but still barely there.

I thought there were 4 members, I only see and hear 3. Ü

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auntie montie:
nope jandi's ball was the turquoise one and jihoo's one was red..im 100% sure of it.

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I agree with Auntie Mame. I think Ji-hoo was smirking at Jan-Di''s reaction.

Ji-hoo is growing on me =)

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Thanks so much for your recap!!!

I cracked up when I heard that Ji-Hoo's horse was named Rui... and I cracked up even further with: "know it’s supposed to be sweet/fun that Ji-hoo’s horse is named Rui, but that just opens up a whole world of inappropriate double entendres, yunnowhatimean? Maybe I should’ve kept that to myself." LOL!!

I thought it was absolutely ridiculous for Jun-hee to cartwheel and backflip her way over to Jun Pyo after that car chase scene. Seriously?!

I think the reason Ji-Hoo smirked after Jun Pyo spinned out of control on the racetrack during the practice run was because Ji-Hoo finally found the key to making Jun Pyo lose... getting Jun Pyo to become soooo jealous of Ji-Hoo and Jandi's "relationship" to a degree that it would affect Jun Pyo's performance on the track. A better actor would probably have portrayed that scene better.

I know that I'm not supposed to compare all the different versions of HYD with the manga but I feel that the storyline of this Korean version is sticking closer to the manga than any other versions.

By the way, I LOVED it when Jun Pyo stuck out his tongue at Jandi... he's so cute, gorgeous and yet childish all at the same time!!

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"She pets his horse — which is named Rui "

i actually thought the horses name was Louis -- kind of bringing it back to the Three Musketeer's movie b/c i think the king during that time was one of the Louis'. but i could also be wrong.

i anticipate every BOF episode but it's getting tiring only watching Lee Min-ho carrying the drama BECAUSE of his layered character. i wish Jan-di was more complex. she seems too fickle because she's not torn between the fact that she did trust Jun-pyo at one point and then abandoned that ship to trust Ji-hoo. and i still don't understand the reason why she would gravitate towards Ji-hoo.

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Louis? Huh? Uh, why would they name his horse after the French king when RUI is obviously Jihoo's character from Hana Yori Dango???

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ji hoo's character is despicable....i doubt he even likes jandi...he only shows interest in her becuz junpyo likes her and he's never really liked a girl. ahhghghhghg and yes lee min ho is hot but he is also a good actor. that is where all that craze is from...
jandi is seriously annoying...she is too fickle.

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ohmygod, by the way..i LUV that split scene when jun pyo sticks his tongue at jandi...soo cute!!

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I don't know what I would do without your recaps javabeans.

the site where you can watch (viikii) is totally overwhelmed by hits and the english subs aren't up yet. i kept refreshing my screen so i could sneak in to watch whenever i could. this helps to fill in the gaps where i have no clue as to what's going on, which would be most of it.

i guess that's half the fun of following a live series.

till tomorrow kiddo.

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With KimBum's skills, I think he would make a great Junpyo. Minus the fact he would have to get a perm because i love his straight, clean-cut hair now. . .

But I agree with javabeans. I loved "Rui" in all of the 3HYD versions. just totally obsessed and angry whenever Domyouji would be one step closer into winning her heart. And on the verge of crying whenever Rui would stay calm in losing her to him even though he was aching inside.

WHy is Jihoo so smirky and not the gentleman he's supposed to bee:(
i mean he is but you know what i mean...

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thanks a lot for this recap..
i can't wait for the next episodes... :)

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This may be strange but I still like Jihoo.

He's smiling, smirking and definitely being smug about something. What something is that? It may be the fact that by doing this, he is driving Junpyo to finally realize that Jandi is very important and not just someone to show off to. It's like he was aiming to get reactions like that from Junpyo.

"I want to protect Jandi"

What does that mean exactly? Think of it, if Jihoo wins this competition, he and Jandi will get to stay in school and Jihoo will be in F4 again and what? Junpyo will just miraculously forgive both of them because they won over him in car racing and swimming?

It's like Jihoo is driving Junpyo insane to protect Jandi from Junpyo's wrath by making Junpyo want to protect Jandi too and not expell both of them. And that I think, is the only way for the "I want to protect Jandi" comment to work when he's fighting for them to still stay in school and remain Junpyo's friend.

I think Jihoo's succeeded. I mean, we did see Junpyo hugging Jandi at the end of this ep right?

Anyway... in my opinion, Jihoo really likes Jandi and is not using her. With SH, he was loving her out of habit but with Jandi, it was loviing her because of choice. And he will fight for that love.

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thank you for all the recaps like you i'm looking forward to the beginning of the week..i haven't found a drama that i look forward to so much in a very long time..with this drama its a sweet-carefree drama where i find myself just sitting back and enjoying it..i'm on team Jun Pyo cause i feel like for the first time in his life he is fighting for something that he believes in (i don't think he wants to kick Ji-Hoon and Jandi out of school, its more because he has a status to live up to. so i'm pretty sure he likes the idea of fighting to keep the girl he likes in school). as for Jihoo i think he wants to fight for Jandi not because he likes likes her but more like he feels bad for her so he's doing this to help her and also i believe its a power-struggle thing between him and Jun Pyo. and maybe since he didn't fight for his first love he wants to see if he can be man enough and do something...looking forward to epiosde 8!!!!

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I have to admit when I watched the japanese version and read the manga, I had a really strong attachment to Rui. I was genuinely rooting for him. By the end I found the dounyouji character to be amazing with a lot of depth and I liked him even more than I had liked Rui.

I don't get that kind of rooting-for-JiHoo type of reaction at all. From the beginning I've been more attached to Jun Pyo. I'm not sure if its the script, the directing, or the acting, but I feel like the whole drama has been slanted towards JunPyo. Maybe they don't want the audience to get too attached to Ji Hoo?

I think Lee Min Ho has put a lot of depth into the dounyoji character. They play of his "bafoon-ishness" as more of a social quirck and less comically. While he may be less directly violent, he has an almost stronger cruelty level. This played to such an ugly level, but I think that is what makes Jun Pyo so fascinating.

I have to agree that I find Ji Hoo somewhat smug and condescending. Even when he's supposed to be charming there is this manner about him that is off-putting.

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oh my,
thks for the recap.
it cant be like that! no.
i just hate the whole situation now. i cant see any future between jan di-jun pyo. although i dont want to admit it, i just cant help myself from hating ji hoo. i really dont want to. but...T_T. yup, his smirk..ah... whats he thinking about?

Even he said that he wants to protect jan di and whatsoever, i have doubts about everything. he likes her or not? means that is he likes her very very very much or he just thinks that he likes her? plus, theres no clarification from ji hoo that hes over with seohyun.. *???* err.. guys, isnt first cut is the deepest? lol

And yes, as for GJP, his characters developed well. I can see that he loves jandi very much. The emotion is well expressed>> the theater scene: its the 11th time
i was like, " its okay GJP, i know how it feels"
T_T.

its good though, and watchable.

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i agree with me (me being the person who commented above me), loll...I think the reason Ji Hoo was smirking when Jun Pyo's car skidded was because it gave him the idea for his "secret weopen", that is, to use Jan Di to emotionally throw Jun Pyo off...

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I forgot to mention:

I agree that JanDi doesn't seem to have much of a complex mature right now, but I think there is a lot of potential there. Jun Pyo's character really comes out because of her and we can see what lies beneath the "I'm a cruel evil rich guy" BECAUSE of her presence. So, likewise, I think that we'll be able to see more of JanDi's flaws and character development through Jun Pyo. I think we'll see how he can change the one-sided way she looks at things.

or maybe I'm the only one who's swayed by his charisma......
^.~

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i think ji-hoo's character is complex as well—he keeps saying he wants to protect jan-di, and i'm taking that to mean he wants to protect jan-di from falling for jun-pyo, because it'll only end up in heartbreak—what with jun-pyo's mom and fiancée (the shigeru character) and jan-di isn't really "fit" to marry a chaebol heir. maybe this is also ji-hoo's way of protecting jun-pyo.

HOWEVER, when i think about it from another POV, i don't really understand how ji-hoo can protect jan-di—if jan-di falls for ji-hoo, won't she end up in the same dilemma, seeing as ji-hoo is on the same social stratum as jun-pyo? or maybe ji-hoo has the freedom to marry whoever he wants (ok, that's definitely diverging from the manga storyline). guess we'll just have to wait for the rest of the episodes to find out what ji-hoo's really up to.

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"So against this character landscape, when we have one lead who is layered, complicated, and portrayed convincingly, we get: Lee Min-ho mania. "

EXACTLY!
finally! an explanation to my feelings put into one sentence! :D

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javabeans, i totally agree with you. i do understand what other people are saying though. (i.e - joon-pyo is very selfish, arrogant etc.) but that's just the character he portrays. as for ji hoo, i don't really like him, at all lol. people might not find him selfish or anything, but i do and i always have. i.e - from the beginning, he helped jan-di alot and i think it's only because he's a nice person, but you can be nice and selfish all at once. his character is totally different from what i expected. the things he does just to piss off joon-pyo is lower then low. joon-pyo cheated once, but ji-hoo did small actions towards joon-pyo more then once. btw, thank you so much javabeans. much appreciated.

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Before my rant, I must thank you for the wonderful recap.

I will now start my rant here, becuase soompi scares me.

Ok, this whole triangle is way too messy for my liking. I want JP to win, so Ji Hoo and Jandi can just leave the school, and stay out of JP's life. Oh, wishful thinking.

I'm not sure if it's the character development (writing) or acting, probably both, but I can't bring myself to like Jandi. I tried, I really did. I really wanted to like her becuase the character is one of my favorite female protagonists of all time. Yet, here she's just so... bleh. Sometimes, I don't even know why JP likes her so much.

Ji Hoo, oh, Ji Hoo. I don't know what went wrong, probably a combination of things, but this character has somehow been reduced to this very unlikeable person. The way he acts makes me question if he even cares about his friendship with F4 - he's broken the bro code, and how he continues to rub it in. When he kissed Jandi to spite Jun Pyo, I couldn't help but think "what a douchebag."

In this whole mess of a love triangle, it seems Jun Pyo is the only person I like. He's a hopeless romantic, and there is a sense of value for his friendship with Ji Hoo. What I don't like about his character is that it's not always consistent. Sometimes, it feels like they forget he's supposed to be violent, and throw in a scene like the horse scene. The scene felt weird to me because he was never really that violent.

Oy, rant getting too long.

I do like JP's awesome sister.

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First up, thank you for the recap. This is the first time that I have read the recap before I saw it with subs so more than before, I thank you!
I also have to agree with you on every single point that you made. I agree wholeheartedly that JiHoo's depiction is a little insensitive, deceptive, manipulative, but rather intriguing. I'm also not sure if this is purposeful but there is a such thing as a retake, so I guess so. I also understand that HJ isn't an actor and this is his first "real"attempt, so I have tried to be very understanding and as the weeks go by, I think that he has improved. I really think that what he is worst at is empathy, compassion or an apologetic quality. The faint gazes and sighs that exude from a person in a sensitive situation or from a conflicted heart, don't come off that well from him. So, maybe that is why its hard for us to see that in JH. In each ep. I look for improvement in this area and well not so much.
But as the show continues, the character that I lose the most respect for is Jandi. I don't understand her. I know that in the end she and JP are to emerge this great couple but if I were JP I wouldn't want anything to do with her. I think that she should apologize(not explain but say I'm sorry). Its actually quite easy. I don't believe that this is much to ask but yet I don't think she wants to or understands why this is the right thing to do. I'm not sure if this is pride or what but that is what I get from her. As a character, yes, she is not complicated but that fact is unfortunate, for, she should be. She shouldn 't be 100% mesmerized by JH over JP. Not in the least. She should want to understood both guys and if then she still liked JH over JH, then so be it. I am dumbfounded at how she even likes JH when he's shown very little of himself(without prodding) in comparison to JP. (Which is another reason why JP is so endearing, imo.)
Then again, I do wonder if she is supposed to sense a sadness in JH, a connection that we don't see? If so, I need to see it! It's not that I don't like JH but I am concerned at the villainous quality of his characterization. I don't want JD to pick JP because she feels used (though she should), or hurt but for a purer reason(is that too much? too romanticized?).
Even with all that said, I like that things are moving in a way that is different from Makino, Domyouji and Rui. I appreciate that but am concerned. I'm not sure that we are going to be satisfied with the final coupling. I'm afraid that its going to be at the expense of someone's integrity. (Or should I say the integrity of the original character?) Not sure, just a thought.
Happy viewing everyone. Can't wait till Tues night!

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I think it's a really good sign that the comments in this section haven't been about comparisons at all. It's been about the story. I think the fact that it's getting such a rise out of everyone and there ARE things that need to be debated and dissected is great.

I found myself liking Ji Hoo more in this episode. His character got a little more complexity this time around. I wouldn't want him to be the straight out "good guy" all the way through.
His tactic was dirty, I don't approve but I understood it. He felt the end justified the means. He felt responsible for Jan Di (Hell, he did initiate the kiss) and feels it is his duty to get her out of being expelled. He refuses to let her down.

The laugh at the car track should have been elaborated on more. I just assumed he laughed because JP showed a weakness. He felt he had a chance...but then again I could be completely wrong.

Java, I am in agreement with you in regards to JP and why he is so loved by the majority of the fans. His character has so many different layers and they are each acted out wonderfully.

Jan Di frustrated me. It really upsets me that she has barely shown any signs of regret or even sorrow for having hurt JP specifically. Sure, she's sad about breaking up F4 and putting Ji Hoo through all this...but what about JP?
No she never agreed to go out with him. But she certainly never set him straight either. She had ample opportunities but instead chose to go with the flow and allow JP to get ahead of himself time and time again.
Like it or not, she owes him an apology. And yet there she is screaming at him.

I had hoped they would show JD being conflicted about who she wanted to win during the tournaments. Perhaps after Ji Hoo won, for her not to have been as giddy about it as she was. Oh well.

I'm really enjoying this drama. There are flaws, most dramas have them, but they are minor in the grand scheme of things. I haven't been as hooked and anticipating a show in ages. It feels good :)

Thanks java for your recaps

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This episode was okay just because I don't know...I enjoy this series because it is something I look forward to...a feeling towards a drama that I haven't had in awhile. Kim Hyun-Joo is gorgeous in this episode! I like how she beats up Jun-pyo in a affectionate manner, I love the sibling bickering, its a good dynamic. Also, Kim Hyun Joo is definitely a good actress. I did find it very comical that she did a cartwheel and a backflip...I was like "Was that really necessary?"

I'm still little wary about Ji-Hoo's feelings toward Jan Di. I feel like some of it is authentic but I don't think he likes her as much as Jun-pyo does. He does end up using Jan Di...but to ultimately protect her yet at the same time his "protection" feels empty.

I do agree with others that I wish Jan Di was a bit more conflicted about what she did to Jun-Pyo. Granted, that she never really express any liking towards Jun-pyo...there needs to be a little more internal conflict. I did find the opening scene very cute, especially when Jun-pyo sticks his tongue at Jan Di and how shocked he looked when she managed to catch up to him on his bike.

I hope the next episode is a little bit better. I do love the addition of Kim Hyun-Joo though!

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lol... one thing I will say about Ji Hoo's character is that I wouldn't be surprised if he turns out to be evil - i.e. the typical kdrama third wheel (or is it fifth wheel) who just can't let go even though it's clear that they are no longer invited to the party.

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YES! thanks for pointing out the fact that it's just not lee min ho's looks that make him so appealing! it's his acting!!! he executes the role of jun pyo sooooo well!!!

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The cartwheel scene was a bit tacky. I think it would've been cooler if she had just walked towards him brandishing the stick, readying herself to kick some butt. Heck, she didn't even need the stick. I would've liked to see a hardy punch to knock some sense into him.

And, please, no more contorting of the faces! Kim Hyun-joong (whom I love, btw) annoyed me this episode with his weird eyes. His smile, as beautiful as it was, really worked against him as it came off too fake. As for Gu Hye-sun, she really needs to stop overacting to convey cute and ditsy.

What can I say about Lee Min-ho other than he's still an awesome actor? It's not his looks that draw me in. It's his talent. I can't say the same for his character. Jun-pyo is still a spoiled brat.

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I agree with all the people that fell for JiHoo this episode. The way that he was making sure that JanDi would stay at school. I mean, he overcame the fact why he didn't want to drive because of his parents death, I mean he was in the same car as them, that is one of the most traumatizing things that could happen to a person. He overcame that to make sure that JanDi would be able to stay at school. For JunPyo, I’ve come to think that he’s just down right annoying and I end up having a headache just thinking about him. For the swimming competition I thought that he should have owned up and practiced to swim. Yes, he had a traumatizing effect of him almost dying but what happened to JiHoo, nothing? Please, when they were announcing what was the next event, JiHoo took it like a man and went through the competition, but JunPyo, wow, he complains and can’t do it. Saying that JanDi must have done it on purpose so that she wins, hello, it was by machine, how could she have done that? Show some maturity man!

For the ‘cheating’ parts of the show, what JunPyo did was wrong, I mean to endanger the horse to make sure that he won the first part of the competition was just wrong, I mean, what would have happened if it died. The guilt should have done something to him but I guess not since for the next part of the competition he was all happy that it was car racing which he was good at. For JiHoo, yes, what he did was wrong, I have to admit that. But he did it in a way that it was his last card on the table to help JanDi still at the school. In this situation, it affected JunPyo in a way that almost got him hurt but he could have kept his cool and take the race seriously and win, but he let it control him and he ended up losing. JiHoo could have kept his mouth shut but then JunPyo would have won and what would leave the drama?

GaEul is so cute saying do you have like a hidden plan to make sure that you win the match to JiHoo. This shows her deep friendship with JanDi. Especially coming to EeJung and asking him if he could like lose on purpose was beautiful. GaEul acts perfect when she acts in this drama.

The highlights of this episode would be all the JanDi and JiHoo parts, they’re getting closer and I’m happy with that even knowing that all that will end being is just friends. And the other part that I loved watching was when JunPyo was all boasting about his 'winning' the car race part and then his sister just smacked his head into the food was priceless, I was laughing so hard that my sister almost smacked me. Hehehe. Just all my opinion and sorry for the long essay, I really do love this drama.

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Lol, a horse named Rui - took me a few seconds to get that. Poor Shun. XP

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Yes.. I'm getting anooyed with Ji hoo. he's supposed to be the "good" one. protecting Jan-di but still let GJP. and smile cutely not that kind of smirk. anyway.. I still love KJH.. AND lee min ho is like the "it" b oy for me rite now..

and things that make me laugh is the helmet for the racing, Ji hoo is wearing the motorbike helmet.?? and How can he ride Motorbike while he's afraid of car accident? lol.. Love this drama alot.

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'For the swimming competition I thought that he should have owned up and practiced to swim. Yes, he had a traumatizing effect of him almost dying but what happened to JiHoo, nothing? Please, when they were announcing what was the next event, JiHoo took it like a man and went through the competition, but JunPyo, wow, he complains and can’t do it."

Yes but Ji Hoo already knows how to drive and previously faced his traumatizing experience head on when he went for his license. JP does not know how to swim at all and hasn't taken any steps to overcome that fear. You can't seriously expect him to not only learn how to swim but get over his fear enough to beat a talented swimmer in 20 hours (was it?).

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@N,
Yes, I didn't take that into account. Thanks for showing me that point of view. Still, he didn't even want to try and learn how to swim? This was part of the competition, if it wasn't for EeJung intervention, he would have lost. Also when he was 'training' them, what kind of attitude was that? Saying that he could do better. I would love to see that! hehehe.

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What I got from Ji Hoo smiling when Jun Pyo swerved on the race track, is him realizing he can use Jun Pyo's jealousy to win the race. Since Jun Pyo saw the two together and lost control.

Another thing Java Beans, I think he isn't being selfish by trying so hard to win. He isn't the only one who is gonna get expelled...Jan Di is too. He mentioned many times to Jun Pyo, Yi Jung, and even Jan Di that he was going to protect her and so I think he is trying so hard to win so that she won't get expelled. I think he likes her too though... he asks her out and brings her to his HOUSE (maybe to meet grandparents or whoever he calls family?) in the next episode (as shown in the preview)... unless he has an ulterior motive for that... maybe to make Jan Di realize that she really does like Jun Pyo (Hospital scene as shown in preview)? Haha I don't know... it's hard to tell.

btw. I laughed when I read this
"Ga-eul proposes that they resort to underhanded methods — desperate times, and all — like feeding Yi-jung diarrhea medication secretly, or running him over with a bicycle (which, frankly, is a scene I’d like to see. The bike, I mean, not the diarrhea)."

Kim Bum is so cute... haha that Jook restaurant owner has a crush on Yi Jung. Funny.

Thanks so much java beans for your recaps!!

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gosh they really are using the anime adaptation.. some changes to suit Korean audience, but its just like the anime really!

I nod to your opinion too javebeans, that the lovable Gu Joon Pyo, was indeed my favourite among the cast, Lee Min Ho is the best. When I have watched the anime adaptation, I liked Domyouji then because I find Jan-Di's 2 timing and absurd, but it also depicted her conflict, because she liked Rui first, and because of Domyouji's persistence, she got to like him a lot..(gosh, any teenage girl would like this fantasy to be in a love triangle among the most famous guys in school)

I can only guess what will happen next...shall I tell you...
I'll keep my peace for now.

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Oh yeah. Did anyone notice that Jun Hee reads the same newspaper as Jun Pyo did in episode 2 (or is it 1)? Hahaha the wall street journal about obama.

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LOL at the car chase crappy sound effects. They obviously weren't going THAT fast for those sounds. Ah well...anyways

I agree that Jihoo's character should be unlikeable after he gets back from Paris. The thing is though, he wasn't that likeable BEFORE he left, whether it's because of the acting or script. We we're supposed to root for Jihoo first, before getting swayed by Junpyo's change in character because of Jandi. But this wasn't what happened (at least for me).

Furthermore, the story isn't centered towards Junpyo, It's supposed to be around Jandi (at least it should be), and the viewers should be able to relate to her (females anyway) and can't help but fall for Jihoo at the start...and then get swept off their feet by Junpyo later on. And i agree with javabeans that because of either LMH's acting, or the way they designed JP's charater (or both), the story is highly unbalanced towards JP's favor from the start.

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very true. the others are basically character landscape.

& i also agree w/your comment.
i know this drama's flawed, the editing's all weird, the music gets tedious... & i didn't expect much out of it 4rm the beginning, since it's more of a young, trendy, fantasy, romance drama. & that "fad" has gone by korea some time ago.
yet i can't wait to watch it! just like you, i'd have notable dramas that still needs to be watched & is/was collecting dust. & most of the time, the vdos just get returned. but this 1, i'll watch rite away. even my mom's enjoying the drama.
i guess it's good to have shows that are just surfacely entertaining & that you can take lightheartedly for a good time & laughs.

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