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IRIS: Episode 1

Pretty badass, yo.

IRIS is an expensive drama, and it totally shows. I can’t say that the drama took my breath away, but it was very entertaining, and I can see why it burst on the scene with such a strong start. And then improved on it the following day.

I’m not surprised to see a lot of action, but I was a little surprised (in a nice way) to find that the first episode was actually pretty funny. I suspect that may fade as the story heads into more of its spy storylines, but it was a pleasant way to kick off the series — action mixed with beautiful cinematography, well-placed music, and oh yeah, Lee! Byung! Heon!

SONG OF THE DAY

LeeSsang – “Run”

 
EPISODE 1 RECAP

We start out in Hungary. Present day.

KIM HYUN-JOON (Lee Byung-heon) is a National Security (NSS) agent — the top agent, in fact, although we don’t know that yet — and is surprised to be approached by his boss, the bureau chief Baek San. The man comes bearing bad news — they’ve suffered losses and agents have died.

Baek San relates the 1989 event when Hungary opened its border to the west, allowing Germans to leave en masse, thus aiding in the reunification of East and West Germany. He uses that as a segue to their current situation as he issues Hyun-joon a solo mission. If he succeeds, his actions could have a large influence in bringing about Korea’s own unification.

Hyun-joon prepares to carry out his mission: an assassination. The target is a high-ranking North Korean politician, and Hyun-joon’s shocked expression lets us know that he feels the gravity of this assignment.

In a very Bourne Identity-like sequence (and I mean the comparison positively, since the cinematography and music are top-notch), Hyun-joon prepares to carry out his task.

He scopes out the location of the hit, which is the Budapest History Museum. Posing as a tourist, he snaps photos of the premises, and cases the building, keeping a particular eye on the North Korean politician’s security detail. The guard team is led by Park Chul-young (Kim Seung-woo), who is closely attended by his subordinate, Kim Sun-hwa (Kim So-yeon).

As they await the arrival of the politician, Chul-young organizes his security team to receive him. Something is off when one of his guards stationed inside doesn’t respond to a roll call — and while he doesn’t know that Hyun-joon has silently taken out several guards, he knows something is wrong. He entrusts the team outside to Sun-hwa and runs inside to check.

When the politician’s entourage arrives, he is surrounded by bodyguards, while Sun-hwa remains on alert for danger. Still undetected, Hyun-joon takes out a position on the balcony and readies his gun to get a clear shot of his target. He waits as guards swarm the man, ready to pull the trigger…

Too late, Sun-hwa becomes aware of the danger and leaps in front of the man to shove him aside. Her instincts were just a split-second too late and the man is shot. Mission complete, Hyun-joon makes his getaway, not bothering to clear his weapons or take them with him.


Chul-young races to find the sniper, and spots Hyun-joon leaving from a distance. He manages to get off a shot, which hits Hyun-joon in the side.

Hyun-joon stumbles but keeps going, quickly blending into the crowd while the North Korean agents pursue. He slips onto the subway and loses them.

He’s badly injured, but his priority is to make it back to his apartment, where he calls Baek San to inform him that the mission was a success. He asks for a rescue, because he’s unable to make the escape on his own — but the cool-headed chief tells him he’s on his own.

Hyun-joon repeats his request, this time more fervently: “There is a reason I must stay alive and return. Please help me.”

But his boss just hangs up on him.

Alone now, Hyun-joon has to figure out his own way to survive and return home. He makes his way to an empty railroad depot, but Chul-young has launched a full-scale watch for him, and manages to trace his whereabouts.

Based on their intelligence, North Koreans head to the old railroad warehouse, where Hyun-joon crudely tends to his gunshot wound. The agents storm in and disperse in search of their quarry, and Hyun-joon is able to take out of few of them individually. Despite his injury, he is still strong and fast, and uses his benefit of surprise.

Young-chul spots him and follows while firing his gun at Hyun-joon, who ducks out of the way. He launches himself at Young-chul for a brief hand-to-hand struggle, and then they draw their weapons simultaneously at each other. Sun-hwa, poised to snipe from a distance, can’t get a clean shot and waits.

Hyun-joon knocks his enemy’s gun aside, and engages in more hand-to-hand fighting that ends with him being pushed off the landing to the lower level.

He takes that opportunity and runs outside — just as a helicopter swoops down and hovers over the scene. The pilot sees Hyun-joon running away and shoots a missile, which misses him but connects with a train car.

The blast shoots him into the air, into a car, and onto the ground. Bleeding from the bullet wound and stunned from the blow, Hyun-joon tries to crawl onward, but collapses into unconsciousness.

 

And then, we skip backward, to his school days.

Now we’re with a younger Hyun-joon, who makes his way to class at the beginning of his term. It’s an American politics and diplomacy lecture, and he walks in late as the professor lectures about Kennedy’s assassination. He asks his class about the various hypotheses about Kennedy’s murder. The student who responds is nameless throughout this episode, but we’ll know her as CHOI SEUNG-HEE (Kim Tae-hee).

Seung-hee lists a few of the conspiracy theories about Kennedy’s assassination (for instance, that it was really the work of the CIA, or the military-industrial complex). She believes the latter most plausible, relating it to Kennedy’s stance on withdrawal from Vietnam.

When the professor asks Hyun-joon what he thinks, he gives an off-the-cuff remark that dismisses Seung-hee’s comment. A little miffed, she launches into a more detailed explanation regarding the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, and calls Hyun-joon’s comment “simplistic and ignorant.”

He’s a little turned on at her intelligence, and a little insulted. But when he tries to talk to her during lunch, she simply walks away and ignores him.

In addition to school, Hyun-joon is also busy with army training alongside his best friend, JIN SA-WOO (Jung Jun-ho). The two have a good friendship and share a dorm room, and are also the top two of their group, as we see in various drills. Their shooting test gives me a bit of an Iceman–Maverick vibe, because Sa-woo completes the test coolly and proficiently, while Hyun-joon is a show-off; he’s just as good, but in a more unconventional way.

They have a healthy sense of competition and spur each other on. They also josh each other, as Sa-woo does when Hyun-joon moons over the new girl he’s just met, whom he is already describing in superlative terms. He doesn’t know her well enough to mean it 100% seriously, but he’s definitely intrigued. Therefore, Hyun-joon actually studies for class, determined to prove he’s not as dumb as Seung-hee seems to think him.

This time, he volunteers to answer a question (about the meaning behind the Gulf War) and satisfies the professor with an accurate summary. Instead of letting the professor continue, Hyun-joon keeps speaking, rattling off a litany of facts about the war.

Seung-hee is amused, but she shoots him down again, saying that explaining the meaning of war through memorized figures is “exceedingly simplistic and ignorant.”

Afterward, Hyun-joon can’t take the indignity and he talks to her after class, saying that he’s not simple and ignorant. He asks her out for some tea so he can defend himself. She declines, but he perks up when she adds, “Now, drinks, maybe…”

As they drink boilermakers (soju bombs), Hyun-joon explains that he didn’t actually force himself to memorize those details — his memory is really good, and once he reads something, he has it stored in his brain. He demonstrates by reciting the restaurant’s various menus, and she’s duly impressed.

She also drinks him under the table. She decrees his boilermaker “weak” and makes much stronger drinks, and in an effort to impress her, he drinks them all. Some time later, he wakes up at the table to find that she’s already paid and left.

The problem is, that’s the last he sees of her, because she stops showing up to class. Hyun-joon asks the professor if he knows why she’s not coming anymore, and learns that she was admitted to the class by special request of the dean; the professor doesn’t even know her name.

Over the next few days, Hyun-joon sulks over “the one that got away” — he doesn’t even know the girl’s name, or where she lives. Sa-woo tries to cheer him up, but Hyun-joon remains in a funk.

When Sa-woo meets his sunbae for drinks, however, he catches one glimpse of Seung-hee and falls head over heels in love with her. Naturally he has no clue that this is the same girl that Hyun-joon has been mooning over. The sunbae is PARK SANG-HYUN, who grew up in the same hometown as Sa-woo and is now a businessman. Seung-hee is introduced as one of his fellow employees, Jin-ah (and while we know that’s a fake name if we’re keeping up with character profiles, for the moment there’s no reason to think she’s assuming a persona).

Sa-woo comes home exulting over his future wife, and is in such good spirits that he urges Hyun-joon to drink his worries aside. The two sneak out to a nightclub, where Sa-woo gets busy acting as wingman for his friend by chatting up some girls.

Unfortunately, Hyun-joon gets into a minor clash with a drunk guy in the bathroom, who rallies his friends to go after him. The two friends run out of the bar while a whole gang of thugs chases after them, but they get separated — while Hyun-joon is able to run ahead, Sa-woo finds himself cornered.

In the morning, Sa-woo is nursing a black eye and is punished for his rule-breaking by running extra laps dragging a tire.

(Of course, then Hyun-joon tries to make things right by taking responsibility for the fight, thinking that’ll get Sa-woo off the hook. Instead, not only does their officer punish Hyun-joon, he makes the punishment even worse. LOL.)

One night, Sa-woo is roused from sleep by his superior officer, who is accompanied by some strange men. Hyun-joon is also awakened and taken in a strange car with the strange men to a strange location. He remains tense and asks where he’s going, but gets no response.

As Hyun-joon is led down the hall, however, he hears groans of pain coming from one chamber — and he recognizes Sa-woo’s voice. Suddenly in a panic, he struggles, but is dragged into his own chamber, where he is strapped to medical apparatus and administered an injection. The drugs make both men writhe in pain, and their heartrates speed to dangerous levels. The injection is pentothal (sodium thipental), a barbiturate used in interrogations to break the subject’s resistance.

All the while, Seung-hee watches impassively from the other side of the one-way mirror. Next to her is Sang-hyun, Sa-woo’s sunbae, who is NOT a businessman after all but the leader of this assignment. While the men’s vital signs are monitored, Sang-hyun asks a single question: “What is your mission?”

Seung-hee sees that Hyun-joon’s physical responses are normal, which means that Hyun-joon has managed to control his emotions perfectly. They increase the dosage of pentothal, which forces his heartrate even higher. Again, Sang-hyun demands to know what his mission is.

But then, Hyun-joon surprises them — fueled by fury, he strains against his bindings with all his strength, and actually breaks free of the wrist strap. Still weak, he stumbles to the ground, then grabs a chair and attacks the one-way glass. It’s reinforced so it doesn’t break, and he cannot see inside the room, but the agents are alarmed.

Hyun-joon continues to pound away at the glass. Sang-hyun tells his men to close off the room and prepare a sedative.

A voice interrupts, stopping them: Bureau chief Baek San walks in and instructs them to not do anything.

 
COMMENTS

First things first: shirtless Lee Byung-heon!

All right, now that that’s out of the way…

I thought IRIS got off to a great start. A great mix of action, humor, and enough intrigue to capture your interest without being cryptic (ahem, Swallow the Sun). I think most people already know the general premise of the story, which means that the torture/interrogation scene at the end isn’t really so shocking because we can all surmise that this is some kind of test. Therefore, it’s up to the execution to hold our interest, and that is something this drama certainly accomplishes at a high quality level. The production is very stylish, beautifully shot, and sleek without being too slick. If that makes sense.

I knew IRIS would look good, but the big question was whether it would connect with me. And I think one of the big draws for me was that it hits the right tone. I’ve seen big-budget blockbusters that felt devoid of spirit, and I was wondering if IRIS would be another one of those. I was pleasantly surprised at not only the suspenseful opening, but also the warm, funny flashback portion. I did think the flashback dragged on a bit too long, but I liked getting a chance to see Hyun-joon as a cocky young guy. The camaraderie between him and Sa-woo is another enjoyable bit, because they really do seem like close friends. That means the impending love triangle may actually hurt, which I consider a good thing in a dramatic sense.

Much of the drama’s appeal I will attribute to Lee Byung-heon — that man is compelling! — but even a great actor like him cannot act in a vacuum, and here’s where the high production values do make a big difference.

Kim Tae-hee wasn’t even that bad. I was not expecting much from her but hoping she would make all the naysayers eat their words (myself included). I don’t think she was strong enough to revoke her image as the Pretty Face Who Can’t Act, but at least she didn’t reinforce it.

I think the problem with Kim Tae-hee isn’t that she is a horrible actress, but that she lacks a certain charisma, oddly enough. (I say it’s odd because usually CF queens abound with charisma, since they’re trading on their appealing images more than skills.) But she does, especially compared to her co-stars. Lee Byung-heon is badass, Jung Jun-ho is warm, Kim Seung-woo is coldly professional, Kim So-yeon is sexy and strong, and TOP is… well, he’s TOP. Next to them, Kim Tae-hee sorta fades.

 
THE VERDICT

Stylish, entertaining, well-acted, well-produced. Probably going to be a huge success. I won’t gush wildly and call it an instant winner, but it’s off to a promising beginning. Definitely worth at least checking out.

 
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You're beautiful is betterrrrr!!! :)

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Please, what I want to know is..

Where can I watch the first two episodes????

I am dying to watch it but don't know how!

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hhhmmmm, well i'm not sure about this drama at all. I watched the first half and enjoyed it throughly, but when it went into the flash back, i started to get bored. Who cares that he went to "spy school" or whatever the hell that was and bonded with his room mate? - I wanted to get back to what the hell happend in Hungary and all the drama in there!

I watched the second episode and pretty muched fasted forward my way through that again - i'm not really interested in his "rookie days". So i might end up givening this one a miss.

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I try to watch Korean dramas in any kind of genre so as not to really get sick or stuck in just one common fare or theme, though generally Police Themed/Spy Dramas are not really my cup of tea, IRIS was an exemption since I decided to watch it because of Lee Byung-hun and Jung Joon-ho and the 1st Episode didn't disappoint as every scene was breathtaking (the action scenes of course), though it showed more about the friendship between Hyun-joon and Sa-woo (which I really enjoyed - LBH and JJH really acted good here) from a good start, before Choi Seung-hee enters their lives that is. Anyway I expect more exciting scenes in the upcoming episodes, and more heartbreaking/heartwarming scenes

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LOVED it!

Funny, action-packed, fast paced, attractive cast, explosions, shirtlessness, shameless flirting. Love.

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@52. Here is the link to IRIS. ^__________^ Have fun watching!!

http://www.mysoju.com/iris/

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@52 Here is the link to IRIS. Enjoy!! ^________^

http://www.mysoju.com/iris/

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#30: "Overall, I hope the best for this drama, but somewhere in the depths of my mind I feel like there is a possibility that I will drop this drama."
agree with # 30.
LBH is so good ( I do love both LBH and Kim Myung Min, but LBH matches action characters (like a car rider in Addicted, a guard in All In, a killer in The Good the bad the weird...) while KMM matches professional ones ( doctor in white tower and conductor in Virus))!

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Unbelievable, I still didn't watch the episodes! It has influence on me, though... I wrote "accept" instead of "except", and omitted a few propositions on the way... I wonder what Freud would say about it...

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@46agent darwin

hey! thanks for that info... i was wondering if that scene was based on factual events....

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@ 42 heejung

oh! that is Yeonsei University.... that school looks really, really beautiful.. kinda like some schools here in MA...

thanks!

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@Agent Darwin, @MEIKO

It looks like the IRIS explanation of Hungary's 1989 actions is correct. Here's what the BBC has to say about it ("Hungary marks 1989 freedom event... The decision paved the way for the fall of the Berlin Wall three months later. The open Hungarian border with Austria allowed hundreds of people to leave communist Eastern Europe.") http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8209173.stm

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This is totally unbelievable! I keep misspelling, making typos etc I should just watch LBH in action. It will fix it :-)

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"while KMM matches professional ones ( doctor in white tower and conductor in Virus))!"

As an action guy, KMM was pretty good in the movie Open City. Brought the pain and with glee. :D

This is probably the sweetest, softest persona LBH has adopted for am action story. It's revealed later that his character has bad stuff going on in his head, but he really comes across as almost a well-adjusted Regular Guy here.

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I see the wave but I guess my mindset is not in the same wavelength as Iris. I tried watching 20 minutes of it but somehow it reminds me of other thriller/action movies. Not to be shot dead or anything, I actually am not a fan of LBH ...is that why I'm not attracted to the series?

I'm wondering if I should give it a second chance. I mean 20 minutes into the show really doesn't speak much but that determines the level of my interest. +_+ Maybe after midterms are over...

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For a drama, it's really good and different, but compared to other things I've seen, the first episode was SO cheesy. It was good but felt like a corny American-styled movie. I liked the second episode better though, I think I'm bought.

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@37 mookie
Actually I think KTH is even more perfectly cast than SYJ because her CSH is exactly what she’ll be in real life IF KTH chooses to be a profiler/psychoanalyst. Academically a smart cookie, if stuff is in black and white in prints, she can devour like nobody…but this ‘greeness’/vulnerability (both as the character and an actress
) bring a genuine juxtaposition against Belleza’s babydaddy. She can know all the psych book stuff, and be a superior, but not all doctors can cure themselves, right?

I think the description of how CSH should be, makes sense and i think being such a character will make the story more believable (lol! actually most doctors have strange personal probs!), but, sad to say, so far, I didnt see "that" character in KTH... so far, the aura she exudes is...plain "pretty" woman (that needs to be assisted now and then-fragile)....her dialogue speaks out smartness but I just dont see that on her face (am not saying she is dumb); her scenes with the japanese were weak (she looked awesome though)..her coyness (with the japanese) looked fake....

btw, I kinda understand now, why she is a CF queen... she really is pretty, if not beautiful, on screen....

but then..., i might be taking back all I have said...this is just the second episode anyway.... ^-^

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Also, LBH is so cute but i heard he's sort of a man whore? With those looks who can blame him though. :D

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BTW... (SPOILER!)

as hot, sizzling and yummy the kissing scenes was, i was a little bit perturbed by the fact that "NSS"leader CSH was practically making out with one of her team members...and that under the table "flirting" was..aaahhh... my first thought was, "wth?!" LOL!!!

LOL at loveydovey... man whore! ^-^ can i put my name and number in his black book?! lol!! If his schedule is full, ill have JJH then!!!

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Iris drama is bada$$ amazing....lee byung hung is the most bada$$ in the world!!

my lovely kim tae hee is still the same as ever..ever great smile!!!damn

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@javabeans

Thanks JavaB!!!! ^-^

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"Agreed!! KTH cannot act!! Why did’t they cast some other actress like SHG"

Actually... Song Hye Gyo isn't much of a better actress.
Kim Tae Hee really does fit the role. The kind of woman who seems pretty and nice, yet watches a man get tortured - her lack of ability to express emotion pretty much works here. It works so much I'm like "Geez woman! How can you keep a blank face while look at THAT guy!"

Looking at LBH, even if I was a cold NSS agent, I would have left my loyalty for LBH anyday~

I haven't watched the second episode, but I really liked how ep 1 started. This almost makes me feel bad yet thankful that I don't live in Korea and decide whether I want to watch You're Beautiful or IRIS on tv. It's a hard choice, and I now understand why IRIS had such high ratings.... *sigh*

I wonder what it would have been like if IRIS went against Queen Seon Deok on Mon/Teus.

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What's funny is that even though this drama is similar to Story of a Man, realistic with a mixture of action,romance and comedy, it has much higher ratings.

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[email protected]: Obviously, British BBC is far more reliable...hehe...I relied on American CNN!! ^__________^

Nevertheless, wonder who is the financier of the East Germans to take such a deliberate effort to free to West Germany. If you look at the map, you will know what I mean i.e they have to cross over to the former Czechoslovia, then to former Yoguslovakia, before fleeing to Austria, then to Southern Germany. Along the way, there were soviet checkpoints all over.....:P

@ 72 Biscuit. You are right, now I think of SHG, I am picturing an awelooking frighten mare when witnessing LBH being tortured. As for CJW, I am picturing a tearing, sobbing and possibly howling CJW!! ^_________^

I guess, KTH has beautiful eyes, but they are not soft or innocent eyes. They are eyes like python. It amazed me that the forensic pathologist alerted KTH to be more careful with LBH, but in actual fact, from a male observer perspective, KTH is the one that all mankind has to be wary about!!

On a complete separate note, for those of you who like Jane Austen, BBC is now broacasting Emma for a limited period. You can also download it through iPlayer.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00n7pk1/Emma_Episode_1/

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Beside all the other delicious physical attributes of LBH , he has a very sexy voice. Tho' I don't understand Korean, I like the way he talks. I remember after watching Bittersweet Life all I did was keep thinking of his voice.
It 's nice to see his boss is the same boss from BSL.

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YES!!!

I was hoping and hoping that you would recap this series! What a treat to see it pop up on the page when I visited today!!! :D

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I skipped Episode 1 because of time reasons and am just wrapping up Episode 2. I LOVE IT. It's like all of my favorite movies in one, because it has comedic elements, dramatic elements, spy elements, and ACTION. I'm frankly surprised that the action isn't too overwhelming; I was half expecting it to be boom after crash after kaboom, but I think it's well-balanced. And good thing it is - it costs so much!

Also, I was wondering what the "correct" spelling of Lee Byung-heon's name is. I've seen it as Lee Byung-hun on most American websites but have also seen it as "heon" too...Any clarifications?

Thank you so much, Javabeans! I hope you'll continue to recap this series. ;)

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@ Molly
It's pronounced "huhn" - spelling varies depending on whether you follow the official romanization rules or not. By official rules, it would be Byeong Heon, but names don't always follow the official rules (and I think names are exempted anyways), especially since most people were born before they went into effect. Some people probably spell it Byung Heon, so as not to confuse it with pronouncing it 'Byung Hoon'.

No one spells the surname Park as Bak...or Hyun Bin as Hyeon Bin.

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Did anyone ever figure out the song that is playing during the rainy wrestling scene (and then later when they are running away)? I'm hooked on that song, I've been watching that rainy scene on repeat. *cough* of course it has noooooooothing to do with shirtless LBH and JJH.

But yeah, anyone know? Or at least know when the OST comes out? Thanks!

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I think you guys should stop bashing KTH , give her a chance to improve rather than bashing her, you guys stinks and do not need bring SHG here. Gezz, grow up.

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LBH badass and super sexy!!! i love the part where the thug he knocked into in the bathroom told him to open his eyes wide before he knocks into peopl and LBH turned around with his eyes wide open and say said you asked me to open my eyes wide.........lol!!!! so funny!!!! just badass!!!

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can't wait to see Kim Tae Hee!!

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This is the millionth time someone has asked, but does anyone know the name of the song when they were running out of the club? I'm so hooked on it!

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wow, this is unexpected. i had skimmed through the 1st episode without giving it a real chance since i never got into any of the other big budget action dramas like "all in" but i think i'll watch it again. this year seems to be a year of many firsts, since it's also the first time i really got hooked on a super long period drama (queen seon deok).

while the cinematography is beautiful and lbh is great, kim tae hee's expressions are not quite natural nor fitting (especially her serious/contemplative expressions). she looks uncomfortable in her role as a sharp, level-headed secret agent. thus, her lack of charisma, as you so aptly put it. and she's such a pretty actress with potential, but each time, her acting falls flat (though, i'll admit, she's come a long way since her "stairway to heaven" days). she's greatest when she smiles, though.

but, in any case, your review is making me think i should take a second look at the drama since it was due to your initial reviews that i tried and fell in love with "a story of a man".

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@80 Sorry!! Have not think much of the implication until you pointed it out about SHG. But, what the heck!! Take it easy!!

KTH has very beautiful features, however, she lacks certain aura that I like to consider a beautiful woman/lady if you know what I meant.

Women like---Jane Seymour, Keira Knightley, Audrey Tautou, Nicole Kidman, the young days of Brigette Lin & Hu YinMeng, Winter Sonata days of CJW, Maggie Cheung in the Mood for Love---all have certain auras that made them attractive, but if you break down their individual features, they are not that beautiful. It is the combination of their features which make them so appealing!! ^__________^

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81 su chooo

LOL! Su chooo i agree with you. he cracks me up with this character of him. he did it again with SW when SW was doing the punishment after their night-out, running few laps dragging a tire. he followed him and help SW hold the tire. but when SW asked him to go away, he suddenly stop & let the tire go, making SW nearly stumbled .SW looked at him and he went 'you told me to go away/ you told me to let go' LOL!

also in Ep2, he did it again when they were in the lift of NSS building (just join NSS), there were him, SW and another staff of NSS. the staff said to him ' hey, relax your eyes, you're in the middle of seoul right now'. and just then JH REALLY relaxed his eyes. when they reached the office. SW looked at him and he went 'hey, relax your eyes' HAHAHAA! this guy is just so funny really.

oh another thing, i laugh hard too when in EP1, there was this scene of him in the morning just arrived at school. he went to adjust his hair, by looking at the mirror of a car. then the car suddenly moved, i laughed out when he followed the car, sticking at the mirror still adjusting his hair. LOL!

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Okay, this is spoiler. but i just need to get this out of my head.

(Ep2) This cracks me up big time when SH flirts HJ during the meeting by using her leg under the table. when the meeting ended, everyone started to leave the room, someone asked her 'you're not going?' she said' no, i want to finish some stuff' BUT the real reason was her ankle was handcuffed by HJ to his chair! LOL! HAHAHA!

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Tell you what? @86 & 87, I think the most funny scene is where LBH running with the tray and trying to beat the girl to get the seat opposite KTH!! Well, we guys did it all the time during college/university days. Even now occassionally!! ^___________^

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87 Fiey, i will be looking forward to episode 2 but i will try and hold off from watching until wednesday or thurday, if i can!!!!!! before episode 3 ,so that i dont get antsy waiting, and waiting.......but i will be looking forward to that handcuffed chair part with great anticipation!!! ha!ha!

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lol!!! 88 agent darwin!! i believe you when you say that!!!

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I don't know why, but I guess I am one of few to not be moved by Iris. I watched both episodes back-to-back and found myself fast forwarding by the middle of ep 02.

It is very slick and very much in the suspense thriller action genre, but almost to a cliche though. Even the opening scene in Eastern Europe places it in the John Le Carre-type communist-Russia spy thriller. Everything else that followed -- the flashback, the love interest, the focus on two superhuman-ish central characters -- seemed way too familiar, like something we have seen many times before. And we have, sadly.

I hope the North Korea angle will bring to the plate something fresh and new; maybe even with some genuine heart, like in the movie Joint Security Area, and in Shirin, I guess, to a lesser extent.

Maybe I hate too-perfect heroes. I like the flawed kinds, the ones you want to root for because they are the underdog somehow. LBH's character is so freaking perfect. He has a photographic memory; he can fight armed guards -- 10s of them at the same time WHILE full of nerve-destroying meds; can get the girl with one kiss...What's there to yearn for? The man has everything: looks, brains, cool job, the girl. Come on. Give the man a flaw! (...in contrast, we have a lead in You're Beautiful who is lonely, alone, incapable of warmth, a neat freak, doesn't like to be touched. Every part of me wants to hug his pain away! )

I don't know anything about KTH, but I really liked her. She was brainy, cool, and confident, and comfortable with the affection from /sexual tension with LBH's character. And she is gorgeous. I loved her 1960s look with that Japanese something or another (does everybody shower before partaking of the secks in Korea? :-) ).

LBH's pal is such a bland actor! He had no presence at all. I am assuming that he is the sidekick who will die a horrible death, leaving LBH depressed for a while and then motivated to kiss ass (maybe T.O.P.'s ass?).

The kiss between KTH and LBH made my jaw drop so hard, I have a dent in my floor now.

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@91, I know what you mean. I liked it but it wasn't mind blowing because it's kind of corny. About the kiss, SO DID I (lol)!! Realest kiss in a kdrama i've seen so far.

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hjkomo, thanks for clarifying that! In that same regard, can So-yeon be spelled So-yeun? I've seen it both ways.

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... so far IRIS rocks! Can't wait to see ep. 3 w/ T.O.P. Rrrrrr.....

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@88 agent darwin

lol!!! I completely believe you!.... even in high school days!... *making a face*... MEN!

and thanks for that heads up on EMMA! LOVE jane austen!

lol! on british BBC comment!

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@ agent darwin

cant watch the EMMA, Its only available in UK.... : (

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all I gotta say is "WOWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!

A MUST WATCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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episode 2 is AWESOME....

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to say the very least, i really didn't quite enjoy episode 1. i got quite lost in some parts throughout the episode. (i was really quite disappointed since i placed very high hopes in this show). but what i can say that i am SO GLAD i continued. and episode 2 proves to be really good. :)
Lee Byung-heon is really hot. (:

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cant wait to see TOP :-)

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