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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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Jihoo is not supposed to be likable because he's no longer the original character that Rui was in previous dramas. KHJ said previously that his role is "meatier" I wonder if seeing this side of Jihoo is what he meant.

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I really tried to like this drama, I really did.. but it's been difficult to get through each episode so I give up.. but I'm still glad you're doing this recap so I can see how it goes without having to watch it. Who knows, I might get back on it if an episode that looks really interesting or juicy (which I doubt will happen) comes along.

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anyone else think big sis has the pick of games fixed? once can be an accident but twice with the two guys weak points.
And isnt Jan-di something of a first class swimmer? and she can not beat a guy? why because she is a girl? Get real.
Again I can not understand how people keep saying she is two-timing, Why beacuse the great Jun-pyo says she his girlfriend then she is. She never once agreed to be so, refusing him again and again. Did her family ow so happy that a rich guy interested in her once ask if she liked him..no..they all cheer because they think he going to sleep with her. Everyone else seem to think her family cute, gives me the chills, like she a piece of meat they can sell off so they can have a good life, and tough if she likes the guy or not.
Ji-hoo well that hard to decide on. Of course he shouldn't make a move on a girl his best friend has so nosily shown an interest in, but she never accepted Jun-pyo and he always clearly felt something for her himself. I do not believe it is all rebound from the lady/model leaving him, after all he never really had her for her to leave him anyway!.
But all said and done she likes and feel comfortable with Ji-hoo, but she in the start of falling in love with Jun-pyo. She still trying to work that out in her own mind, once she has she well stick by him no matter what. But she has to do it in her own time not forced on her by her family or even Jun-pyo

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love that last line in your paragraph: "So against this character landscape, when we have one lead who is layered, complicated, and portrayed convincingly, we get: Lee Min-ho mania."

I'm also trying to figure out my EXTREME liking to JunPyo. I really don't think it's because of LMH's good-looking-ness. I didnt think he's good-looking in the first place. but there's something so likeable, so endearing. i guess it's really the acting. in fact i'm even gonna say he is the best Domyouji, more than MatsuJun - and that means a lot cause I love MatsuJun's Tsukasa!!!

JiHoo, well... he's the weakest link in this drama, both character and actor. i've never really like KHJ but I tried watching him here with unbiased eyes, after all, me like Rui the character. but my dislike towards KHJ just got bigger cause he made Rui despisable. now, it's not wholly the actor's fault but what can I do. bad acting is usually blamed more on the actor than the director and writers.

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Thanks for your recap javabeans
wow so many JH hater right now, but i'm secretly hoping for some twist that the PD installed with JH being such a jerk with this episode, i don't know, I'll just have to wait to see it rolled up. but if there weren't any twist at all, i'm kinda disappointed to see the development of JH character, because F4 should be like the bestest friends, eva...
on another note, i like the chemistry between the Gu brother and sister... they put it out nicely...

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javabeans, i luv your comments and it is very much the same as what i thought..
thanks

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i agree with #43 aoiyuki.
i wonder if the PD and the writer had that intention in the direction of JP, JH and JD dynamics. anyway, that is what i choose to believe. makes the characters more likable and the plots more layered

all said, oguri shun OWNED 'hanazawa rui' hands down. enough said....

and i agree with javabeans, this drama really has some serious flaws. the awful transition between scenes, the crappy background music (that awful, awful ?samba track that woo bin danced to in the club and again on the island). i can't really comment on the acting though. with korean not being a language i'm familiar with, it does affect my perceptions of it- i just attribute it all to language barrier and cultural differences. unless the poor acting is really glaring, the rest just goes over my head...

my point is, despite the awfulness, it's still addictive and entertaining- as evidenced by the ratings. in cotrast to worlds within which was beautifully shot and of high quality but did poorly in the ratings war. (kinda like life imitating art isn't it? (gyu ho's drama vs ji oh's)

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My issue with the two-timing thing is that while Jan-di never says "Jun-pyo is my boyfriend," she doesn't actually DENY it either. When he makes the announcement that they're officially dating at school, she kind of waves her hands wildly and mouths, nowaitwaitwait! But that's in front of a crowd, so let's let that one slide.

Later, he says he bought her family furniture because he's her boyfriend. She doesn't say, "No you're not" -- instead, she asks, "Are you like this with all your girlfriends, then?" which to me sounds like tacit acceptance. She then says she'll accept his gifts this time, but he'd better be careful in the future. She has a lot of opportunities to tell Jun-pyo a definitive NO -- heaven knows she tells it to him straight about other things -- but she doesn't, while allowing him to take her around a bunch of places buying her things. Which is why Jun-pyo is a dummyhead for assuming they're dating, but she doesn't give him a reason to doubt his belief.

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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. "

ha ha ha! the scale is unbalanced indeed!

reading all the comments here makes me think LMH really is doing a superb job as GJP. all the indignation, protests about his "bad behavior" just proves that he is remarkably effective in his role. javabeans, you are spot on when you said that the scale tips so favorably on LMH. it does! and i think he's kind of "overworked" in the sense that he has to project extra "bad behaviour" just so JH would "appear" to be worthy of GJD's adoration.

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I liked Ji Hoo in this episode. I was totally rooting for him and I'm surprised because this is the first time I felt this way when watching this series. Up until episode 7, I've been in love with Jun Pyo, but this episode made Jun Pyo out to be a real jerk.

Jun Pyo mistreated his horse and cheated for the competiton. Then he whined about the swimming. He's so into winning the competition that he doesn't care about anything but winning. I feel like he only wants to expell Ji Hoo and Jan Di because his pride is hurt. Jan Di didn't choose Jun Pyo, so to get back at her, he kicks her out of the school. How is that showing the girl you love that you care for her? And if he really cared for Jan Di, why didn't he let her talk to him when she was chasing him in the beginning of the episode. She obiviously wanted to talk to him about something but he never gave her a chance.

I noticed a lot of viewers think that Ji Hoo is a bad friend cause he kissed Jan Di when he knew Jun Pyo likes her. I do agree that Ji Hoo shouldn't have done that but why isn't Jun Pyo in the wrong also. Jun Pyo let his friendship end because of a girl. Bros before hoes, right? Shouldn't Jun Pyo try to work out his friendship with Ji Hoo before expelling him. He's so fast at letting his friends go. Jun Pyo even threatened Woo Bin's friendship with him when he told him to clam down a little. For someone like Jun Pyo to put such a high value on friendship, it's really easy for him to just throw it away.

This episode really highlighted some of the flaws that Jun Pyo has. Ji Hoo is this episode was so gentle and caring towards Jan Di. Jan Di definitely has a different persona when she's around Ji Hoo. She's really cute and calm with Ji Hoo. Whenever she's with Jun Pyo or even when she thinks about Jun Pyo, she becomes annoying and yells all the time. Jun Pyo brings out that type of personality in her and Ji Hoo brings out another personality in her. This would have to be the first time, I actually feel Ji Hoo is a good match for Jan Di, instead of Jun Pyo.

I'm liking the Kversion cause this is the first time I'm feeling for both Jun Pyo and Ji Hoo. In the Tversion, I perferred Dao Ming Si from the beginning and in the Jversion, I perferred Rui from the beginning.

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i totally agree with you and i sort of hate what im about to say cause im comparing versions but I REALLY liked Rui or Ji-Hoo's character in the Japanese Version...they (rui and jihoo) are obviously not the same cause Ji-hoo seems like it will develop differently but even when Rui was trying to pursue Makino or pretty much just test her true feelings towards Tsukasa, I liked him. I didnt mind how it semi-complicated things between Makino and Tsukasa but I really HATE Ji-hoo's character here. I just dont think i'm going to like him anymore than what i do now..it just doesnt seem possible.

to comment on peoples reactions...i totally am on Jun-Pyo's side...yes he might be harsh, childish, evil, heartless (whatever you want to kill him) but hes Jun-Pyo :) lol

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Jan Di never explicitly stated that she agrees that she's Jun Pyo's girlfriend but she also never explicitly stated that she's not. What makes it worse is that Jun Pyo was very vocal about liking her and wanting her to be his girlfriend -- he is forceful but he is honest and upfront.
And I agree with Javabeans, she's so upfront with Jun Pyo in most areas so why can't she speak out about this one? So honestly, it really does seem like she did some disservice to Jun Pyo, at the very least not setting him straight so that he was not stupidly believing that he and Jan Di are dating.

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Despite its flaws, Boys Over Flowers is starting to grow on me - or maybe I just have been hit (very) hard by the Lee Min Ho fever??

Look forward to next episode, guess that recap will be out very soon. Thanks a bunch, Javabeans!

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Javabeans,

You are not being fair to Ji Hoo, who did, I think, in this episode redeem himself. He presented himself exactly the way an adult may with a spoiled brat (Jun Pyo). JP is hot headed, emotional, and prone to outbursts, while JH is calm and collected. I think the fact that (so far) he has "used" Jan Di gives his character a darker edge, but it is impossible to think of his actions as malicious. He is fully aware of what he is doing, and while that may seem wrong in the context of Jan Di being JP's girl, it really isn't because JH hasn't really taken out Jan Di so much as shown her some affection. I think you are misconstruing his smile when JP swerved his car--it was not so much mean as an understanding that he has an ace up his sleeve.

The problem may be Lee Min Ho is a far superior actor, which is why JH is not countering LMH as well as he could. While I am not fond of JH, I found myself really liking him in this episode, and that was because he does the calm, quiet, knowing character well. He does a lot in a flash of a smile, so let's not ignore his acting skills.

LMH is, however, vastly out acting everyone on the cast, and, well, that is something no one can do much about.

Jan Di's character is being short changed in this version--she is a much stronger female character than she is being shown here. She has been sidelined for three episodes now, and I hope the writers see that reducing this fantastic female character to a pretty face who watches two guys fight over her is a real disservice to fans everywhere.

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i think if kim hyun joong could act worth anything, he could cultivate his character into something likeable...like rui from hana yori dango. unfortunately, that is not the case. we don't understand his character because the actor cannot portray those emotions to us. thus that is why i LOVE lee minho and junpyo!

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Samantha (#110), just want to say that I totally agree with everything you wrote.

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Respecting all your comments, in the end, perhaps it is best to lighten up and remember the characters are all still in the heady years of high school. =) Let them be irrational and immature without too much judgment.

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thanks for the recap!! : )

the one thing that bothers me about BOF is the fact that F4 are suppose to be friends. however from episode 1 to episode 7, i felt that ji-hoo, yi-jung, and woo-bin are more like jun-pyo's followers than friends. i do not feel the "friendship" between F4 at all.

i think lee min-ho is a strong actor. kim hyun-joong's acting is also improving, but honestly, i am having difficulty identifying with both jun-pyo and ji-hoo in this episode-- mainly because of how the characters are portrayed. in a sense, jun-pyo and ji-hoo are their own characters--to me, they are no longer the kversion of tsukasa and rui.
i think it would have been better if the drama had a different title--perhaps it would have made the portrayals of the characters more bearable.

purely speaking of the original characters, rui was always the more sensible person and more mature of the two--not someone who would resort to cheap tricks to win. and although tsukasa was violent, mean, and rude...etc, he would not have gone so far as to sacrifice the horse in a competition.

i am really disappointed.

one more thing, i know yi-jung is a supporting character, but i really wished he had a bigger role.

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I think everybody is misinterpretating the part at the racing track. I think Ji hoon was smiling because he realizes that Jan Di cares about JunPyul. If you look back you see Jan Di automatically get up and had a worry look on her face. She was like "OMG JunPyul!" like she was very worried. So I think Ji Hoon realizes this and that is why he is smiling because he knows that from inside Jan Di cares very much about JunPyul even if she herself doesn't realized that yet...you know what I mean?

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#118... I couldnt of saif it better.
I think the characters are developing differently than the japanese version and if thats going to be the case this drama should have been named something else. I think this would have eliminated lots of the comparisons between the storylines and characters and kept people from criticizing the drama.

point aside, as far as how the characters are being portrayed, I am having a hard time digesting all of it. I do agree with others that say F4 doesnt seem to be united in this drama. this is suppose to be a group of very close friends yet i dont get this from the drama. hopefully everything picks up in the following episodes and i personally cant wait to finally see Jan-Di jealous and in love with Jun-Pyo :)

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I think the horse's name was Louis (pronounced in the French way). I don't think they would give a horse a Japanese name in Korea, even if they wanted to refer to the manga world (which I don't think they wanted to). It seems to fit the trend of English/European names- the other horse was named Jupiter.

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alright I admit, I am a KHJ fan but really, this episode has me exclaiming, "where's the remorse?!?!" seriously....i was envisioning Jihoo to be sad after seeing how Junpyo spun out of control being so upset. He SHOULD have been sad to see what this contest was doing to his friend......even if he felt that what he was doing was right!

I've been reading the comments, and nothing really seems to make sense. It would be GREAT to have the script for this episode right now. Maybe that will have some insight as to whether it was just bad acting or bad direction or just a change in character portrayal in the korean version from the Rui that everyone seems to expect

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Although I agree the balance of Jihoo and Junpyo is a bit flawed, I think the show has begun to hint at why Jihoo feels the need to "protect" Jan Di, even if it has not been said outright. Particularly in the scene following Junpyo's loss in the car race, he plays the videogame so ruthlessly and without care than he ends up breaking it - even Yijung and Wonbin point out this aspect of his character. Junpyo's treatment of the videogame and his horse is the same in its violence and disregard. (Although he seems to have learned a bit of a lesson from the horse, but it doesn't seem to really stick with him.) I think the argument is that this suggests Junpyo would treat Jandi the same way. Even though his intentions would not be to hurt or break her, in his current state, he ultimately would.

Perhaps then Jihoo can be seen in a better light; he does not like or love Jandi per se (he certainly holds some affection for and appreciation of her), but he worries Junpyo would destroy the one person he's truly cared about outside of F4. Jihoo's protection is actually more for Junpyo for than Jandi in this sense.

I would also argue than analogous to Junpyo's use of his horse and his regrets, Jihoo's "use" of Jandi for the car racing has a negative impact by creating a greater rift between the two best friends. However, it is certain the friendship will be healed, while the horse never will be.

I agree that this production has left this very ambiguous, and sometimes the acting emphasizes the script's flaws, but the series has been enjoyable nonetheless

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Yi Jung and Woo Bin seem to have spent most of their time in this series either casting meaningful glances at each other or sharing boy-bonding jokes. And they look good together in their swimwear. I think they should just marry each other. Tee Hee.

And I know its been said a million times before, but can I just say again: Enough with the sledgehammer soundtrack!! Enough, I say! But will anyone listen to me? Nope.

I don't really know what to make of this episode. So much hangs on Ji Hoo's motives for his actions, which remain inscrutable to me at this point. Bad writing/direction/acting, or deliberate obscuring so that a Plot Twist that Explains All can be delivered later? We shall see...

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While I totally think Kim Hyun Joong is hot, I am totally not feeling his character at all. In fact, I feel like questioning his motives for winning the races. Is it because he truly loves Jandi? Or out of his own selfishness or even personal spite against Jun Pyo. Its hard to tell with all of the different cues his character has been giving us.

On the other hand, I am totally falling for Jun Pyo's character. He may be childish, and cruel at times but he is genuinely sweet towards Jandi and I think a lot of actions come from social awkwardness and not knowing how to express his emotions in a more normal way due to his upbringing. I completely melt at the way he looks at her and its totally adorable when he calls her "Jan di bhat."

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Thanks for the recap!! Haha the riding Rui thing never even occurred to me until I read this lollll

I really enjoyed this episode. It was really clearly and simply structured, and the production team really got to run away with their symbolism:
- Jihoo as the Prince on the White Horse,
- Jun Pyo as the "dark horse"
- the parallel structure of Jun Pyo picking a sport he was expected to lose and winning it; same for Ji Hoo,
- which makes the 3rd and deciding race symbolic of who wins Jandi? lol
- they kept the colour coding (black/white) for the 2nd race, which might suggest that this symbolism applies to the bigger picture, ie in the race for Jandi
- that's why i wish they'd gone all the way and let the 3rd task be something neither of them had done before (awwwh)

That said, as you said, the production team seems to have put too much thought into moulding the Jun Pyo character, because he really showed his volatility and violence and thoughtlessness and thoughtfulness and soft heart - but seriously it's such a non-fight, Ji Hoo is either a limp fish or evillllll (manipulating Jun Pyo to win?!!! does this guy seriously not care about his best friend?! shouldn't he of all people be afraid of cars and their implications not just to himself but to people around him???? Forgetting that you watched a film together is one thing. Ji Hoo didn't accomplish a single thing on his own merit in this episode - unlike Jun Pyo - and his unconvincingness is dragging Jandi down because of the obsession she seems to have for an undeserving character - when they were eating porridge next to the racetrack i found myself thinking these 2 lameasses can have each other; Jun Pyo's fiancee looks really cool anyway. How are we supposed to root for who we're supposed to??)

Ok rant over. Last thing: Jun Hee is AWESOME. I wanna be her when I grow up lol

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I've always been and always will be on Team Rui/Ji Hoo...!
In the japanese HYD, even though it revolved around Domyouji, he was not likeable or charming like Rui. I personally thought that he was shown in the drama as a better person for Makino [JanDi] instead of Domyouji, and he was more of a sweeter, caring person. However, in the Korean drama, Ji Hoo strikes as a half sweet half revengeful-evil kind of person who struggles internally. It's like he is totally confused about everything. Which in turn makes us confused about what the hell be is thinking. In the Korean version, he is definitely made to be seen as the 'bad guy', or at least Jun Pyo is seen as the more likeable, sweeter, and suitable person for Jan Di. In my opinion, in the korean and jap versions, the way the 2 main male characters are portrayed is switched around. Jap = RUI! Korean = JUN PYO.

HAHAHA. I'm still team Ji Hoo though. No matter how 'sweet 'Jun Pyo might become just because of JanDi, I think she deserves someone [JiHoo] who would understand her more.

I also think Jun Pyo and JanDi don't really 'fit'....who knows if we might even like his finacee more than Jan Di? haha..

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alright one last thing (since I can't seem to sleep),

Am I the only one that noticed that it was embarrassing watching Kim Bum swim with all that kicking and splashing?? I was like, noooo, dont spoil the perfect image that you've been sculpting thus far.....stopppppp......

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The Ji Hoo smirth that everyone's talking about, seriously, I think that the actor just didn't portray the right emotion for the scene. This series is actually following the manga pretty closely while changing premises to suite the current times and the country where it's showing. I think if they got a more experienced actor to play JiHoo, the scene wouldn't have been so confusing to everyone. What Ji Hoo's character wants to do wasn't really bad. He just wanted to undermine GJP a little bit bacause he knows his personality really well.

So far, the only problem I really have with the character is that the actor cannot act! Seriously, that's my only complain.

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Haha well i'm pretty amazed at the popularity of the drama. it was designed to be a hit....all of the three versions: Taiwanese, Japanese, Korean...have all been so popular. This version especially, since (so far) the plot is so predictable, characters do the most random things, symbols are confusing, scenes are not very organized, acting is mediocre (some), music always doesn't fit with the mood, the drama is longwinded.....bascially all there is the hot/cute/sweet characters.

i'm keeping myself going i hopes for Ga Eul + Yi Jung. Did anyone else notice that he was eyeing her when she and Jan Di sat down for hot cocca before the race? I'm really hoping something develops and not go down the drain like Yuki + Soujirou. They are so cute together!

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I don't know if I am the only one but Jun Pyo trying to act, impulsive, childish, violent , dangerous...I don't know but The actor doesn't express it naturally. I found him "constipated". For example when he run away of Jan-di, when he shouts at his domestic concerning the horse, when he beat his race teammates...
Plus some things doesn't make any sense. For example when his sister says to Jan-di thank you because you make my brother more human, you changed him. I am sorry but Jun Pyo didn't change at all! He has never been unhuman!! I feel korean makers do want make hi mean, agressive, not easy going at about the middle of a first season. It doesn't work for me! Then when Ji Hoo and Jun Pyo discusse at the cinema you can't feel the friendship between them! It looks forced! At last you can't even feel for Jan-di and why they do sooooooooooo much thing for her because the character is not likable at all.

NB : I don't find Lee Min Ho as hot as people make think. He is okay.

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However the only character I really enjoyed since this drama released is Tsubaki/Jun Pyo sister. They did not mess her character!! I like it. the actress played her very well!! For she steal the show here.

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I may be identifying too much with Jun Pyo, but what most bothered me about Jandi's betrayal is that she refused Jun Pyo's kisses several times but had no qualms about accepting Ji-hoo's kiss.

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And please stop Jun Pyo is everything but heartless since Episode 1. I understand why they make Jun Pyo character so undomyoji, because frankly the actor playing suddenly violent, dangerous, impulsive, cheap (eating and speak at the same time ) and who don't care about his friends (especially Ji Hoo who is weird concerning his acts). It looked very forced.
An I agree with post 118. I mean I watch Tsukasa of the manga and I look at Jun Pyo I see two different persons (even for MG I didn't feel like that)
I see Rui of manga I look at Ji HOO I see two different persons.
WTH!!

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ok last time. she can kiss blondy because she only 'likes' has a crush on him. She had not kiss curly top because she is falling in love with him. One is becoming a friend the other a lover. Kissing a friend to comfort him is rather different to kiss someone who may become your lover. Give the girl a break it was only two episodes ago she thought she hated him give her time to realise she crossing the line and starting to love him. As for her refusing to be curly top girlfriend I think she said no clearly enough to him when alone. It is his thing to make these things a public event, it hardly surprising she can not speak up yes or no in front of the whole school, not to mention the pressure from her family to 'get' her self a rich boyfriend.

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I feel the same way as comment #118. I think that this is one of the weakest episodes so far in Boy Before Flower. The races and the competition seem ridiculously childish and pointless to me.

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well, rest assured to myself that i'm not in Minho's mania/team whatsoever...and neither i am on Jihoo/Hyunjoong's side...

to javabeans: no need to feel so troubled bout liking Junpyo from the start when you're 'supposed to root for Jihoo' (dunno where that came from) cuz even in the manga.....altho Rui is made into such a lovable character...even the the mangaka admit that more readers root for Tsukasa......so, no big surprise really....
Tsukasa is moulded into the typical manga lead guy. he really is. in so many mangas i've come across, the lead guy of the pack all have exactly same/similar characteristics as Domyouji Tsukasa......cold hearted, mean, violent,vain, and even the dumbness(or act of dumbness)....and readers always love it somehow...(not me though)

and why did Jihoo wanted to make his best friend so called lose the race? because...if Junpyo won, Jihoo and JANDI would be expelled. doesn't that answer the part 'protecting Jandi'? maybe i could connect more cuz i read the manga, and didn't even bother much to watch the drama....from all the summaries i read...seems like they pretty much follow the manga storyline....of course, not everything.....in the manga, they don't have the 3type game thingy i think......just a basketball game.....lol.

and bout Jandi kissing Jihoo n not Junpyo? isn't it too obvious? people...it's episode what? 6? 7? and i thought Jandi is supposed to start out hating Junpyo....why would she wanna march forward taking a kiss from someone she's supposed to hate? n wasn't she in love/crush with Ji hoo from the start. wouldn't it be a dream come true for her, logically speaking?

but i agree that Junpyo's characteristic is too caked and laced with all the perfections and complexity, that made other characters.....well, seems 'nothing' compared to him....although i didn't watch. but i also agree, that from what i watched so far, something about Junpyo is not convincing enough. he's just like....another sweetie pie seemingly-arrogant-cold blooded Kdrama hero.

anyway, i hope that doesn't make me a Junpyo anti or a Jihoo supporter....
i'm just trying to look at this from the fence....
Junpyo team?
Jihoo team?
who cares?

i'm all rooting for Woo Bin~!
Woo Bin! Woo Bin! Kim Joon! Kim Joon!
hahahahaha.

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gosh!!
i'm sure that i won't be able to go out tomorrow.. i'll be glued in front of my computer waiting for tonight's episode..
thank you sooo much for the recaps!

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^
"something about Junpyo is not convincing enough. he’s just like….another sweetie pie seemingly-arrogant-cold blooded Kdrama hero."

agree with this. as the episode goes on, JP becoming more and more typical kdrama hero. cold, arrogant, rich, etc etc etc. much much differ from the original manga character.

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Yes. It's not Lee Min Ho acting which is good. This kind of acting is okay but it's they gave a lot of qualities to Jun Pyo that it looks a bit forced when they make him mean, violent, brat ect...
Domyoji character is complex because because before he is unhumain and Makino make him more human and open his mind to be more friendly with other people (ken, susumu, yuki, ect...). And Jun and Mao made a good job plus they had chemistry. This situation can be related to what Jun Pyo sister tell to Jan-di "you make my brother more human".

But Jun Pyo is the same, he has not changed at all. You can even think Jan-di is the reason of any change concerning Jun Pyo. The actor maybe looks like physically Domyoji of the manga but he has not any Domyoji vibe. I don't know he is your typical korean lead actor (I think lee Min Ho looks like more Jerry yan than the manga version of Domyoji).

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Though it was really awful of Junpyo to strain his horse to the point that it became permanantly injured, I think Jihoo's tactic with the cars was worse. First of all, Junpyo showed remorse and guilt and sadness when he saw his horse. If he had known that he would hurt that horse that badly, I don't think he would have pushed it as much as he did. Jihoo on the other hand knew exactly what he was doing, and although he had no way of knowing whether or not Junpyo would crash like he did during practice, he WANTED him to be distracted.

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This shot could be from the 1960s:

http://i294.photobucket.com/albums/mm96/javabeans122/drama/kkot/kkot7-063.jpg

lol

Kim Hyun-Joo is great. I watched various dramas with her in already and she always manages it to provide a completly different character which you can't mix up at all with the other characters she played. That's what makes a really great actress.

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My take on JH smirk when JP spins his car during training when he saw how chummy JD and JH together is that he noticed how anxious JD was during that time. Although all is good between JD & JH, but JD is still very concern about JP.Just like the scene at the stairs when both of them draws that picture of JP and JD starts tearing up. During that time JH had noticed changes in JD concerning JP. And he said KENCANA.

Well... that is my opinion. Enjoyed your recap since HGD.

Thank you again.

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I don't really think Ji Hoo's laugh when Jun Pyo swerved on the racetrack was a malicious one. Not defending his actions, but I don't think it was a "Hahahaha that bastard is HURT. I WIN" laugh.

I mean, it doesn't help that Hyunjoong doesn't act very well, but think the smile was more a realization that he knows what he has to do now in order to beat Jun Pyo -- which is use Jandi to his advantage. This is both scummy and noble of him, because yes, this is for his own personal purposes, but he's still ultimately trying to keep Jandi in school, which he's always expressed to be his main goal. So on that front, I don't think he's being low at all.

It's just...comparable to Jun Pyo, anything Ji Hoo does makes it very hard to like him.

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I don't understand. I find that Jihoo knows Jun Pyo so well, to the point in which he tries to protect Jandi because of Jun Pyo's recklessness and etc. He's aware of his harsh and arrogant demeanor which is why he did all those things. There was only ONE moment that I found irksome about Jihoo and that's the smile he gave after Jun Pyo's car swerves. But other than that, I was able to understand why he did those other actions. When Jihoo decided to play psychological warfare in order to protect Jandi during the car race, he immediately apologized for hurting Jun Pyo. He still cares about his friend, but protecting Jandi is more of his first priority at the moment. I don't know, Jihoo has won me over so far. I don't think Jihoo is the problem, I find Jandi to be the problem.

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I was starting to favor Junpyo, but then in this episode, Ji hoo won me over. I didn't like how the remaining F2 members were willing to substitute Junpyo when he had a fear of water, but they didn't bother when it's pretty clear that Ji hoo has a fear of cars. I think that's what pushed Ji hoo's character up a level for me. Ji hoo actually did go through with the race and didn't complain whereas Junpyo did complain. I feel Jihoo's smile when he saw Junpyo lose his cool at the cartrack similar to when Junpyo's jolly mood during breakfast before the race. They were both glad when they knew they had the advantage of winning. Also I feel Jihoo has a more legit reason to win (to prevent Jandi and himself from getting expelled) than Junpyo (not really sure about the reason--to get jandi and jihoo expelled). Acting wise, Minho is doing an awesome job, KHJ is improving so I mean it isnt great, but not horrible. One flaw in so far for me, is that I don't really sense the friendship between all four of them. It's more like F2 to me.

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thanks javabeans!

I TOTALLY WANT TO SMACK JIHOO TOO, all the freaking time in fact.
i have felt that way since the beginning, but can't really say why.

i just have such issues with his character. i'm pretty sure he's supposed to be a benevolent and gracious flower boy. but most of the time, he just comes off as a SMUG A-HOLE. where is his humanity? he has no feelings it seems and affords no one a thread of concern or care. nothing can phase this kid. he just always is acting above it all...

and i think this drama proves that casting is exceptionally important. despite the characterization and whatever the script may lend to the actors, the actors themselves and i think, who they are and their star power / acting abilities, sway a lot of your feelings towards them or against them.

it's like a wash out when you think abt the characters. i can't really root for jandi in the way i think you are supposed to for the female lead. she's a decent person and the actress is good at her role, but she's being overshadowed by the guys and their in-fighting. i hardly feel like i know what she's going through in this drama. it's all LEE MINHO ftw! i already talked abt ji hoo.... ga eul and yi jung, which i loved before, got flat really quickly, mostly ga eul. i think kim bum has already shown more of his character and layered acting. and then woo bin is decent as well, but maybe needs more time to develop. what's weird for me is how those two seem really different from what i remember in tw version. they are much more sensible and less playboyish in this version. i actually take them very seriously as characters, as reasonable ppl, even more so than the leads.

in short, lee minho is the only way close to playing his character like his character is supposed to be played.

and in terms of allegiances, this show is a TOTAL WASH as well. i like the mean girls almost as much as i like jandi, yi jung shows to be powerfully moral and disapproves of jihoo's actions, jandi's parents make sense in this episode, minho is appealing of course, woobin also seems to be pretty grounded, jandi is a little lost at this point, jihoo underhand tactics make me want to hurl, and so as a viewer, i'm pretty freaking confused.

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I don't read many recaps, I find them really too descriptive and filled with unnecessary details the most of the time. But when I found this blog, I was kinda happy, recaps with great description and analysis.

But God THIS RECAP?! This RECAP?! I think I can say you MASTERED the art of recaps, like there is no need to settle via sports who would win the recap-award.

I laughed hard 'cause of those "little" justified sarcasm and agreed with the analysis. I was a pleasure, a real one to read it. I'm waiting for the episode 8 .

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TO: 117 Alimac - Jan 26, 2009 at 11:58 pm
And I quote:
"Respecting all your comments, in the end, perhaps it is best to lighten up and remember the characters are all still in the heady years of high school. =) Let them be irrational and immature without too much judgment."

IT SEEMS THAT ALIMAC HAS COMMENTED 2X ON THIS EPISODE RECAP ALONE. WORSE, SHE IS SIDING WITH 2-TIMING JI-HOO!!! WHAT KIND OF GIRL WILL SIDE WITH JI-HOO OVER JUN-PYO??? HMMM, I THINK THAT YOU ARE A LAWYER WHO STILL NEEDS MORE WORK OR PROBABLY ONE WHO NEEDS TO GO BACK TO HER PREVIOUS JOB, RIGHT ALIMAC??? : )

XOXO,
YOU KNOW WHO I AM

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i can't help but root for jun pyo.
ji hoo is such a jerk, and i can't believe that jandi likes him more than junpyo, cuz obviously jun pyo cares so much more for her.

i love your recaps! i look forward to them a lot lol :)

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