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Trot Lovers: Episode 7

Everyone is laying their emotional cards out on the table as our love triangle gets fully underway. One of our leading men seems more than willing to admit he likes Chun-hee, while the other is still trying to figure out what feelings are actually for, and Chun-hee is in the enviable position of having to make a choice. Whatever is a girl to do?

EPISODE 7 RECAP

Chun-hee receives a text message just as she’s about to go on camera, warning that if she doesn’t come to the designated location immediately, she’ll never see her father again. She only hesitates a moment before running out of the studio. Luckily Joon-hyun follows, catching up to her as she frantically hails a taxi. He tells her that if she doesn’t do this TV appearance it’s all over, but she’s too terrified for her father to care.

They end up in an abandoned building, but of course there’s nobody there. Chun-hee’s father is, of course, perfectly safe, as he sees her album for sale at a street stand and smiles with pride.

The police are called to the abandoned building, where they correctly determine that the threat was just a prank. They promise to look into the sender of the threatening text, but that’s all they can do.

Chun-hee still isn’t convinced that Dad is safe, and Joon-hyun tries to calm her — but what really calms her is an unexpected call from her father. He tells her that he saw her album and her TV appearance, and how surprised he is to see her becoming a singer like her mother.

They’re both overcome with emotion as Chun-hee begs him to tell her where he is, but he just promises to come home later and says that he’s watching over her and Byul. He says he’ll call again and hangs up. Chun-hee cries in relief that her father is okay, and Joon-hyun just grins, happy for her that she’s finally been able to talk to him.

The KBC station director has a fit over Chun-hee’s disappearing act, but is relieved that Soo-in was there to take her place (how very convenient). He vows to ban Chun-hee from broadcasting permanently, and Joo-hee “humbly” apologizes and takes responsibility, since she recommended Chun-hee for the show.

Soo-in isn’t stupid, and on the drive home she asks her mother if she had anything to do with Chun-hee not showing up for the broadcast. Joo-hee just tells her daughter to stay quiet and feign innocence. She delivers the news of Chun-hee’s banishment from broadcasting to Geon-woo and to his credit, Geon-woo looks skeptical of her version of events.

Joon-hyun and Chun-hee apologize to the director’s assistant, who doesn’t seem willing to cut them any slack. He mutters that Chun-hee is already arrogant after releasing her album, which infuriates Joon-hyun. He takes offense to the way the man talks about trot music and they trade loud insults until the assistant finally vows that nobody at the station will help them, and stomps off.

Later, Chun-hee sits at home in the dark, the assistant’s ugly words echoing in her head. Joon-hyun natters on about the price of produce, trying to get her out of her own head, but she says dejectedly that she blew a big chance and she doesn’t know what she’ll do now. Adorably, he just poke-pokes her with his toe and gives her a soft “Choi Chun-hee, fighting!”

The next day they talk with Geon-woo, who admonishes them for their unprofessional behavior, and Joon-hyun argues that nobody could be expected to ignore a text like that. Geon-woo softens a bit and allows that for trot singers, stage performance is more important than television, so he’ll see if he can find her some stage events.

Joo-hee and Director Kim have a meeting of the evil minds, and devise a plan to sabotage Chun-hee in regards to stage events, too. Performers begin to refuse to stand on the same stage as the girl who ran out on the live broadcast.

Joon-hyun and Chun-hee drink at Coach Bang’s restaurant, and Coach reminds Chun-hee that she wasn’t always successful at track meets either — sometimes you fail, but that’s okay. Simple yet wise words.

She calls to Tae-song, who’s working (hiding) in the kitchen, to bring food. Tae-song girds his loins and brings the food to the table, but Joon-hyun refuses to eat food that he’s touched and starts to leave. At Coach’s urging, Tae-song latches onto his leg and begs him not to leave.

He gets brave and tells Joon-hyun to hit him until he’s not angry anymore, but cowers when Joon-hyun actually raises his left hand in a fist. He holds Joon-hyun’s hand, only to hear, “I’m right-handed,” and catch a right hook square on the jaw.

They sit outside, where Tae-song admits that he was crazy to go along with the plan to ruin Joon-hyun. He begs forgiveness and offers to manage Chun-hee, willing to do anything to be with Joon-hyun again. Aww.

Soon Joon-hyun gets a call offering Chun-hee a broadcast, the loophole being that it’s not with a major broadcasting station. The details aren’t clear, only it’s a cable station and they’re filming tomorrow.

The loan sharks lend them a car for the trip to the filming location, and give Chun-hee some really sweet encouragement. Joon-hyun hands her the keys with a bland “I don’t know how to drive.” She points out that he was driving the van when they first met, but he reminds her with a bright smile that he never left the parking lot. Hee.

Soo-in gets caught mooning over her headband souvenir by her mother, but denies that she went to an amusement park. When she leaves the room, Joo-hee goes through her phone and sees the photos she took with Geon-woo, and gets a conniving glint in her eye.

Later she calls Geon-woo to invite him to a party celebrating her own debut anniversary. She confronts Soo-in about liking the president, and says that she considers him good enough for her daughter. Ugh, the ONE sort-of friendship Soo-in has, and Mom is going to ruin it, isn’t she?

After driving in circles until dark, Joon-hyun and Chun-hee finally arrive at the home where they’re spending the night. The house is dark and spooky, and the ajumma owner is holding a memorial for her dead husband, even talking to him as if he’s still alive. She directs them to their room, saying it’s the only one available and they’ll have to share. Oh darn?

Joon-hyun is jumpy as a cat from the strange ajumma and her creepy house, and Chun-hee has a little fun with him, scaring him on purpose just to see him flail. She takes a bath while Joon-hyun guards the door, though I doubt he’d be much help if anything did happen given that he looks like he’s about to cry.

She fusses at him for leaving the door open, and they bicker over whether she has anything to see anyway. Joon-hyun insists there’s nothing to see, but tries to take a peek anyway. Cheeky boy. Suddenly the wind picks up and blows a dress off the clothesline and over his head, and he runs screaming into the bathroom, screaming again to see Chun-hee in all her bathing glory.

The ajumma offers them the food from her husband’s memorial, and the ajumma gets wistful as she recalls how he never said he loved her, but she loved to hear him sing. Chun-hee offers to sing for her, and sings a gorgeous a capella rendition of “By Reason of Being a Man” by Jo Hang-jo, her strong voice telling the story of a man who hides his feelings:

Whether you live in the world smiling,
Or hiding a story they can’t tell
I hold my sadnesses close and treasure them
Standing in front of you
One day, my heart will open and make a sound
Make a sound and cry
All this time spent burying things inside by reason of being a man
Those days were so long

Something in Joon-hyun’s face changes as the lyrics seem to resonate with him, and he watches Chun-hee sing with a longing expression that speaks volumes.

As they lay in their room that night, Joon-hyun is quiet and thoughtful. He checks to see if Chun-hee is sleeping, and she rolls across the floor, throws a leg over him, and snuggles his face to her chest (the position she sleeps in with Byul). It’s more motherly than anything else, and it’s sweet how Joon-hyun closes his eyes and relaxes into the maternal comfort for a moment, before gently disentangling himself and going to sleep outside.

In the morning he complains about bug bites, and Chun-hee asks why he slept outside. He accuses her of falling asleep too easily with a man in the room, and she’s all, “PFFT, you’re a man?” His pride wounded, Joon-hyun stands up to prove it, bracing his arms on either side of Chun-hee’s head and getting in her face. RAWR.

He inches even closer as he asks, “Then am I a girl? See, you’re nervous. I’m a man, right?” He smiles and leaves, leaving Chun-hee to deal with some new, confusing emotions.

Joo-hee’s debut anniversary party is underway, and it’s obvious that Joo-hee is pushing Geon-woo and Soo-in together. Geon-woo looks uncomfortable but stays polite. Joo-hee talks with a sunbae of hers, the one who refused to share a stage with Chun-hee, and they gloat over how they spread the word among their performer friends to shun Chun-hee. Geon-woo overhears, and angrily leaves the party without a word.

Joon-hyun and Chun-hee arrive at the filming location, only to find that her audience will be…a herd of goats. The show wants to find out what happens to their digestion if they listen to music. Eww, they’re trying to find out of the goats will poop more if they listen to music, aren’t they?

Chun-hee gamely sings for the goats, and Joon-hyun gets more and more frustrated as the director shows more interested in filming the goats than her, ordering her to stop and start many times. Finally Joon-hyun complains that she’s been singing for hours, and the director says they’re ruining the mood.

They take a break, and Joon-hyun misdirects his anger at Chun-hee, yelling at her for letting herself be treated badly. She counters that it’s still a stage and she wants to see this through. Joon-hyun goes to get water and Chun-hee sings for the goats again, but this time they rush her and she falls, cutting her arm badly.

Geon-woo arrives, and looks horrified and embarrassed to see Chun-hee standing in a paddock singing for livestock. They wrap up filming and Chun-hee smiles to see him, but Geon-woo makes a beeline for Joon-hyun and demands to know if this is what he intended when he bet his guitar on Chun-hee.

Joon-hyun agrees that the situation is terrible, but takes offense at Geon-woo’s verbal attack. At least he’s trying, whereas he hasn’t seen Geon-woo do anything for her as president. Chun-hee apologizes to Geon-woo and Joon-hyun turns his anger on her, asking if she liked singing for goats. He says that if she’s going to just do whatever she wants, then he quits as her manager and producer, and walks away. Chun-hee tries to follow him but Geon-woo holds her back, insisting on doctoring her cut arm.

It starts to rain and Joon-hyun runs back to the set, where the director tells him that Chun-hee went to the hospital. He panics, not knowing it’s just a cut on her arm, and begs a ride from Soo-in who showed up in search of Geon-woo. They go to the hospital and the house where they spent the night, but she’s nowhere to be found.

Meanwhile, Chun-hee and Geon-woo are stuck in the mud and stranded in the car. She proposes a game to pass the time, in which they make silly faces and the first person who laughs loses. This results in the funniest dorkface I’ve ever seen from Geon-woo, and Chun-hee loses (so do I *giggle*), earning a hard flick to the forehead.

They end up sleeping in the car, and get out to walk when the rain’s stopped the next morning. He apologizes for calling her unprofessional, and she asks if he came all this way just to say that. It’s not, and he blurts out, “I came because I missed you.” Chun-hee thinks he’s joking, but he says again that he really did come because he missed her.

She nervously changes the subject, and they get to the road just in time to see Joon-hyun and Soo-in, who have been looking for them all night. Chun-hee lights up like a Christmas tree to see Joon-hyun, but he stalks right past her and cold-cocks Geon-woo.

He demands to know what Geon-woo has done to Chun-hee, and throws another punch which Geon-woo blocks easily. Chun-hee is horrified and apologizes to Geon-woo, but both men are too locked in their alpha-male confrontation to notice her.

Joon-hyun says that they were unreachable all night so of course he was worried, but Geon-woo counters that what he’s really worried about is the fact that he was with her. He says he’s more got that she’s with a manager who doesn’t even notice when she’s hurt. This takes the wind out of Joon-hyun’s sails, and he walks away. Chun-hee apologizes again and follows him.

Joon-hyun is silent as he walks with Chun-hee behind him, demanding to know why he punched Geon-woo. He finally stops to ask why she worries so much about the president. He asks if she even cares how worried he was, his voice escalating to a yell as he asks if she even knows what he was thinking all night. He notices that she’s wearing Geon-woo’s coat and jealously pulls it off her, throwing it to the ground.

Chun-hee asks what’s wrong with him, that he’s punching Geon-woo and now destroying his clothes. He just yanks her in and kisses her, hard. She pushes him away and slaps him, then calls him crazy and runs off. To his credit, he looks like he realizes exactly how stupidly he just behaved.

Chun-hee gets back to the ajumma’s house first, who tells her that Joon-hyun was frantic all night looking for her, and now she looks like she feels bad for worrying him. He shows up and just silently walks past her to their room. Once he’s alone he slaps himself a few times, telling himself to get it together.

Soo-in drives Geon-woo back to Seoul and tries to explain the “misunderstanding” at the party. She says that her mother does those things for her, but Geon-woo astutely figures that it’s not a problem between her and her mother, it’s between him and her mother.

Joon-hyun pretends to sleep on the ride back home, but adorably sneaks peeks at Chun-hee when she’s not looking. Chun-hee can’t sleep that night, replaying Geon-woo’s almost-confession and Joon-hyun’s kiss over and over in her head.

Joon-hyun is also restless and they run into each other in the living room, and Chun-hee says that she doesn’t want things to be uncomfortable between them. He just blows off the kiss like it was no big deal, saying he’s always been kind of crazy like that. Chun-hee looks a bit disappointed to think that it didn’t mean anything to him — but it did mean something, and Joon-hyun feels it as he stands in his room holding his pounding heart.

Back in the studio, Chun-hee practices as Joon-hyun watches her, his heart in his eyes. He meets with President Jo to ask for his help lifting the broadcasting ban. President Jo cryptically says that when you’re stuck in a corner, the only thing to do is attack head-on.

Joon-hyun embraces this with gusto and begins turning up everywhere the KBC station director happens to be. He brings him energy drinks, intercepts jjajangmyun delivery, and even shows up in the men’s room with an impressed thumbs-up for the uh, “little director.” PWAHAHA.

He begs over and over for the director to lift the ban against Chun-hee, and when he brings the director hot coffee and is burned when he pushes him away, he finally gets through. Later Geon-woo calls the KBC station director, but as soon as he mentions Chun-hee, the poor harassed man lets out a half-crazed wail and cries that he’s already lifted the ban.

Tae-song happily sings and dances as he cleans the restaurant, and Coach Bang catches him with a rose in his teeth. She asks how long he’s been able to sing so well, and tells him he should be a singer. Tae-song looks pathetically grateful for the compliment, like it’s been forever since anyone was nice to him, and drops to one knee to gallantly offer Coach the mop…whoops, the rose. She accepts, and Tae-song sees her literally surrounded in sparkles, haha.

Later Tae-song chats with a friend online, both of them waxing poetic about the perfect person they’ve met. He doesn’t know that he’s actually chatting with Pil-nyeo, who’s talking about him, and neither of them realizes they’re sitting right across from each other in the same internet cafe.

Joon-hyun is in a fantastic mood as he goes to tell Chun-hee about the ban being lifted, but Geon-woo beats him to it by seconds. Joon-hyun’s face falls but he slaps on a happy expression, only to have it fall again when Chun-hee tells him that the president got the ban lifted. He bravely smiles at her and thinks that as long as she’s happy, he’ll be happy. Awww.

Chun-hee’s remake of “Hot Pepper” is becoming a big hit with all age groups, with copies of her album flying off the shelves. Chun-hee and Joon-hyun even pass a group of small kids singing it, which seems to tickle Joon-hyun pink.

The whole ragtag group, including Tae-song and the loan sharks, meet for dinner at Coach’s restaurant to celebrate her album’s success, and Chun-hee passes out gifts she got for everyone. Everyone except Joon-hyun, who looks sad to be left out.

They’ve all been so busy that the house is a wreck, and Joon-hyun, Chun-hee, and Byul act like a real family as they bicker over who made which mess. Joon-hyun literally kicks Byul and Chun-hee out to school and practice, and stays home to clean. I swoon.

It’s impressive how the previously spoiled-rotten idol throws himself enthusiastically into the housework, doing laundry and scouring toilets, and even scrubbing the shoes he bought for Byul. When Byul comes home, he invites her to help him, and they both sing “Hot Pepper” while doing the floors. They play air guitar and dance and are super-cute together.

Geon-woo takes Chun-hee out to dinner and asks if she’s thought about what he said about missing her, clearly stating that it was his confession in case she missed it. He officially asks her to date him, but she stammers that she’s just got so much to do lately, with singing and taking care of Byul and her father being gone, and has no time for dating.

When he drops Chun-hee off at home, Geon-woo half-jokes that he got rejected, and asks if there’s someone else she likes. She denies it, but he says it doesn’t matter since hearts change so easily. He sends her up with a smile, being a good sport about the whole thing, but as he drives away he finds her phone that she left in his car.

Joon-hyun leaps at Chun-hee from where he was hiding waiting for her, and fusses at her for being late. Geon-woo rounds the corner in time to hear Joon-hyun saying that she has no manners towards the people she lives with, and they head up to the apartment together, joking and laughing.

Geon-woo is left standing outside, stunned by the realization that Chun-hee and Joon-hyun are living together.

COMMENTS

Once again, Trot Lovers delivers a lot of plot and character development within the space of one short hour, and I love it.

First of all, Geon-woo’s confession…I think it’s interesting how he’s the one out of the two guys who steps up and makes his feelings known first. He could easily have explained his presence at the goat farm as being concerned for Chun-hee’s career, but instead he just characteristically gets to the point, and admits that he missed her. Then he takes her out to make it crystal-clear that he likes her, and wants to date. I really like this character for being open and honest, and not doing the typical second lead thing of being so nice and vague with his interest that he gets friend-zoned before he even gets a chance with the girl. By declaring himself early on, he puts himself fairly into the running for her feelings, even if he has to then take a step back out of respect when she says that she’s just not ready to date.

The problem with his approach is that, while he’s saying all the right words, Geon-woo isn’t actually doing much to show Chun-hee that he has feelings for her. I can understand her confusion when he confesses, because he’s done absolutely nothing to clue her in that he feels anything other than responsibility towards her as her boss, much less made any attempt to get to know her as a person. In fact, he’s made more effort in that direction towards Soo-in than towards Chun-hee. Even when he flirts, it’s always with this feeling that he’s possibly just pulling her leg…and while his sense of humor is quirky and endearing, the built-in ambiguity isn’t doing him any favors when he starts to genuinely like her.

And then we have Joon-hyun on the other end of the spectrum, who is actually going to the daily effort of taking care of Chun-hee both professionally and personally. For a guy who previously wouldn’t lift a finger unless there was something in it for him, he’s turned a major corner and is now willing to do anything for Chun-hee, no matter how humiliating or embarrassing it is to him personally. If that’s not proof that you care for someone, I don’t know what is.

But the hitch is that he can’t seem to admit that he’s got feelings for Chun-hee. I think that having strong feelings is a new thing for him altogether, so it’s understandable that he’s having a difficult time even identifying his emotions to himself, much less to her. It’s scary to make yourself vulnerable that way, especially when you’ve spent your whole life building up walls to avoid being hurt.

One of the two most telling moments about Joon-hyun’s stunted emotional growth, was when Joon-hyun let his jealousy rule his actions and kissed Chun-hee. As much as I want these two to kiss and be happy together, that was so not the way to go about it. He earned that slap, because that kiss wasn’t about his feelings for her — it was about jealousy and possession. I think that his actions in that moment showed that Joon-hyun has a lot of maturing to do before he can hope to have any kind of romantic relationship. he needs to stop getting angry and stomping off like a child every time things don’t go his way. When he learns to stand still and use his words, then he’ll have earned a real kiss.

The other moment that really tugged at my heart for Joon-hyun, and the one that makes me think he even deserves a second chance, was when Chun-hee pulled him to her in her sleep. The longing on his face as she held and comforted him just broke my heart. There was nothing in his expression about attraction to her — it was totally the face of a little boy who never got much, if any, maternal affection. He’s probably never had anyone, not even his mother, show him that he’s worthy of love just as he is. That moment of vulnerability explained so much, and is the main reason why I’m willing to give him time to work through his maturity issues, especially since he really does seem to be making the effort — even if he does backslide nearly as often as he takes steps forward.

I also appreciate how the show is subverting another drama trope, in that Chun-hee actually has valid, understandable reasons for pushing both suitors away. She’s not just being dense or wishy-washy. Any one of the things she’s dealing with — father gone, young sister to raise, trying to be successful in a very difficult music business — would be enough to make any girl too busy and confused to even consider dating. Now she has one man declaring his feelings honestly and openly, and another who’s living with her and kissing her and doing all the things a partner does, but denying that it means anything. No wonder she’s too confused to even begin to think about what it is that she wants. On the one hand it must be terribly frustrating, but on the other hand, she really can’t make a wrong decision in this case, because both guys are pretty great and genuinely care for her. I just hope she makes a decision soon, because I’m ready for some real, mutual kissing to start happening around here.

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Not gonna lie. I felt really bad for Joon-hyun when Chun-hee thought the president was the one who lifted the ban.

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I sort of did also, but I guess the writer felt it was more important for her to jump to conclusions now so it can come to light later. Most k-dramas are built on jumping to conclusions and false assumptions :P

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episode 8 is good. there's a lot of complaining below with this ep. eherm.. maybe you should just stop watching if you dont like it. but i do agree with the kiss scene, it was just a bit too early for that and too cliche. they just have to get it in there, huh?! but i like the atmosphere between them so jus take it slow for now. /

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yay! so cute this show <3

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I'm not sure I like how angry and possessive Joon-Hyun got this episode. I agree with Lollipip and I'm still on his side, but it made me uncomfortable and then it seemed like the show spent the rest of episode trying to make him look extra self-sacrificing to make up for his behavior. It came off as a little forced to me, instead of natural character progression. And he needs a new hair color asap! And the increasingly uneven directing and inappropriately timed background music are starting to drive me CRAZY! STUPID WATER DRIP SOUND, lol!
However, despite all that the show still manages to have my heart and get me in the feels when it counts- mostly due to Eun Ji's fantastic singing. The show IS called trot lovers, and it manages to do that one aspect really well. Fighting Trot Lovers, here's hoping you keep up the heart-warming! *fingers crossed*

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sorry *LollyPip

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Oh my word, that drip sound is so annoying!!! I keep thinking someone is trying to talk to me on Skype. I have checked so many times its ridiculous. I'm glad I am not the only one hearing it. Hahaha. :)

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Did anyone else get the feeling that that kiss came out of nowhere in the show and went nowhere, since noone really aknowledged it in any way afterwards.

It was really weird, like the show is trying not tho give too much momento to GW with his confession. ...

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I thought it was just kind of weird, an inappropriate gesture to cover up his feelings of jealousy and perhaps just plain old possessiveness.

While I am loving the lead girl and the singing (which there is not enough of), I am already starting to get thoughts of hitting my fast-forward button on some of the other scenes.

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I am very disappointed with the writer of this show. Everything is so mediocre, disjointed and predictable. The one thing I am trying to wrap my head around is why is the dad still in hiding? It's not like the loan sharks are still giving Choon Hee a hard time. It's like the writer only did that so they can squeeze some family tears into the show. Also, Why is Joon Hyun so disrespectful of the Geon Woo. Last time I checked, he was everyone's boss. The casts are doing great but the writing sucks.

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I can't figure out why the dad is still hiding either - makes no sense, like the writer just kind of forgot what to do with him. Maybe the dad was just an afterthought, because - you know - every lead poor girl needs a debt ridden dad.

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The writing/editing was so promising at first.......
I love all the A Capella singing, but I'm getting mighty sick of the Hot Pepper song already.

I also do not understand why the Dad is still in hiding.

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I have to voice a "WHAT THE ACTUAL F***?"!!!!

The Men's bathroom/"thumbs up" for little director moment and the hot coffee incident were wayyyyy too weird.

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no no no
OK. I'm not hating on the drama. BUT, there are parts of it which remind me why I'm getting fed up of Korean dramas.
I hate that Joon Hyun felt he had to prove he was a 'man' by getting all up in her space. Ugh. WHY?
It is NOT appropriate. It does NOT prove you are a 'man'.
Korea - why do we still have such idiotic ideas about what a 'man' is/is not?
I am sick of seeing shows do this. It ain't romantic/manly/swoonworthy/sexy. It's goddamn uncomfortable and just plain disrespecting other people's space/comfort to prove a bloody useless point.

Also, the kiss?? WTH? And to blow it off like it's nothing, fine, but to NOT apologise for getting in her space and forcing himself physically on her? No. NO NO.
I don't care that he has feelings for her he hasn't realised if that's what it was. It's just.. so goddamn Heirs. It's not cute.
There's a similar scene in Savvy, but that one is quite clear in that it was a violation. It's made very clear such a thing is discomforting, when it comes from somebody you had no intentions to have such an interaction with/dislike. And in that respect, I can see how this does not seem as violating. But.. it niggles at me! It niggles at me that they make it seem OK. They make it seem semi romantic.
But there has been no clear sign or mention of Chun hee considering Joon hyun in a romantic way and so I feel this can be considered the same way as in Savvy. It just seems less horrific because he's meant to be a decent guy (and for all other things, he's shown to be OK) and we know him and Chun Hee are the OTP, whereas in Savvy, the guy is, though sometimes sympathetic, not the "good" guy in the drama.

And you know what's sadder, it is that some girls may come to think such an act is a sign that somebody likes them. OK, perhaps they do. And perhaps in a different relationship (actual lovers) it's an act that can be carried out without the baggage of ickiness that comes with non consent and as of yet unrealised/confused feelings. Such an act of forcing one's self onto another, whether you do it out of 'love' or not, is NOT romantic if it's not consensual. It's discomforting. It's disrespectful. And decent guys should apologise if they do such a thing, realising WHY it's wrong.

Korean drama writers - please get a grip. Stop romanticising acts that wasn't 100% consensual. Stop forcing your male leads onto females. Just stop.

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i've just calmed down and realised I've written a crap ton about a show that is mediocre at best, and one I don't actually care about.
Too much time on my hands and frustration at the same old things being romanticised in certain Korean dramas I guess.
Either way.. Not sorry for the comment itself, except perhaps for its length. >,<

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Thanks for writing that - you saved me a lot of typing.

This ".. It’s just.. so goddamn Heirs..". - Exactly.

I don't know if it is the poor writing, plethora of overused clichés making a comeback, or just general mediocrity in so many recent dramas, but I am also getting fed up with many of them. My tolerance level is way down lately, perhaps just summer slump, but not seeing much on the horizon that excites me either.

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My tolerance level is way down too. Maybe it's just having watched too many dramas at this point and getting tired especially with overused clichés that show zero connection to real life. Or when they claim something that is blatantly not true (the 'ugly' argument for female characters *rolls eyes* --> that came up in the most recent Triangle episode and all I could think was that no one talks like that, except high schoolers that are having a really bad day).

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"It’s just.. so... Heirs."

LOL

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I want to like your comment 100 times and more (but I don't want to skew the count).

I hate this kind of idea – of "masculinity"/"femininity" and of "romance" – that dramas sell too often.

Why is that you can only be "male" or "female" if you are considered a sexual/romantic partner? Are people that incapable of platonic relationships that they can't even stand close to each other let alone have any body part accidentally brush against each other (whether bumping into each other, grabbing someone's should to pull them out of harms way or whatever)?

And forced kisses... how old is he to act that impulsively on feelings that he hasn't yet figured out yet are 'love'? (I'm putting that in quotation marks because acting like I'm not sure it deserves to be called 'love'.) How old is he not to have figured out he sorta likes her / is interested in her, regardless of whether that develops into anything more serious in the future? It's not that difficult.

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Ciara,
I just wanted to clarify that being a "man" may have gotten lost in translation. When he got into her face, he was not trying to be "manly" or show her that he is "the man." She was saying that she does not see him as a man, meaning she is not interested in him romantically or sexually, so he had to make her uncomfortable with his closeness, which made her uncomfortable because apparently there is attraction on her side as well.
To clarify, I am not condoning this behavior one bit. Just wanted to clarify that one scene.

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Thanks for the clarification. :-)
I understood those were his intentions but I didn't articulate that as well as you did here, so thank you.

When I look back on my comment, another thought came to me, though it's not fully crystalised I just want to mention it and ask for some thoughts. Is it just me or does it seem like the definition of being a man, is to be attractive to women?

This isn't really perfectly relevant to this drama and to that scene (because JoonHyun is at a stage where he has kinda fallen for ChunHee and so may be wanting her to like him/consider him as a romantic partner) but in terms of Korean dramas in general.

Some of them show men who do things to prove women are attracted to them, even when perhaps the women never before had any inclination of those sorts, or even when they themselves never showed a clear indication of liking that person (i.e. done out of spite/show of authority/anger). It's kind of disturbing really.

And then drama writers go full steam ahead and write some women swooning at these acts. I'm not saying it's wrong for women to swoon, if that's the way they're inclined (no seriously though, I'm not saying that), but ultimately, it's an act of invading one's space and whoever the person is, whether a 'good' person or a dick, I'd feel uncomfortable regardless of whether I thought of him romantically or not. I just.. think it's really harmful to young impressionable girls who might think that's the normal way men should act, and the normal way they should respond, because it's totally not right and should not be the norm.

My mind isn't 100% clear on what my thoughts are on this, but it's just a thought that came to mind.

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I don't know..
Like I said I'm unclear about this.
But there's something about men in Kdramas getting in women's spaces like that as a way of proving a woman is attracted to them sexually, and that in turn proves they are manly, are a man.
Sometimes, no I guess it's most times, this is done to prove that specific woman (often the object of their affections/crush) thinks of them as a man/romantically.
Other times, seeing a woman be uncomfortable by proximity, and asserting that form of physical authority is like some weird warped way of proving this guy is a 'man'. It's like authority, or repression of woman's personal right to having her body and personal space be treated with respect, is synonymous with being a 'man'.

OK, I just realised those are two not really linked points I've just made. I'll stop here. I'm starting to get a headache.

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I think your points are valid and I have similar concerns, because some typical scenes in k-dramas that I find problematic seem to be written in a way to suggest that certain behaviours are "romantic" and "swoonworthy" – the getting into another character's space to prove manhood, stalking, or sometimes excusing simply vicious acts (e.g. by love rivals) by their feelings for the hero, forced kisses – which I find anything from disturbing to criminal. I wonder if such acts are considered romantic by (some) drama writers, or whether such notions apply more widely in Korean society because by reusing these behaviours in such a manner dramas give the impression that this is normal. But is it really so or is this a distorted representation? (I do not know the answer to this.)

I get whoneedssleep's explanation that "she does not see him as a man, meaning she is not interested in him romantically or sexually", but it still sits with me uncomfortable. Is this meant metaphorically? Or literally?

If it is a linguistic expression or a phrase (an idiom perhaps) that simply means "you're a nice guy, but I consider you a friend only" it would be okay (in that case, it might be simply something that comes across awkwardly in translation), if it more literally suggests something about a person's masculinity/femininity, I have find it problematic because I think we should be able to have platonic relationships with people of the opposite sex (including with people that we might actually find sexually/romantically attractive but do not get involved in for various reasons).

I'm not sure if I have explained myself well, btw...

Note: Though I understand there may be cultural preconceptions in this, which is another complicating factor that needs to be acknowledged.

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Ciara, i think your points are linked. I think that "as a man" in kdramas tends to have two possible meanings.

One, as in "do you see me as a man?" (you also hear "do you see me as a woman?") means do you see me as someone you are/could be attracted to, or do you see me in a non-platonic way, as a potential romantic partner?

The other one tends to be linked to manliness/machismo, as a way to show that someone is a "real" man.

And sometimes you get situations where the two overlap, so the guy try to get the woman to see him as a man (i.e. in the first sense, romantically) by getting her to see him as a man (in the second sense) by being all macho and aggressive.

But that kind of forceful invasion of space thing isn't limited to kdramas. It happens a lot in (Western) romance novels too (or did, when I used to read romance novels). I guess it's the notion that women find all that forceful overwhelmingly sexy, because it's just sooooo manly.

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I am writing this comment on my phone so please excuse my awful grammar. Let me preface this by saying I hope I don't offend anyone. I went to college with a large number of Korean students in the studenot body. My roommate was Korean and many of my friends were from Korea or Korean American. My roommate dated a guy (Korean) who was ultra macho to me. I didn't watch Korean dramas till years later. He would grab her wrist and drag her away...he would 'corner' her to prove his manliness. I was surprised that none of her other friends thought his behavior crossed the line. I straight up told him it bothered me. I had a bunch of Korean guy friends who weren't like this guy at all...but I think that gender roles vary from culture to culture combine that with a character being immature makes Joon Hyun's behavior more plausible.

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@alua
I think I understand your points and tbh, there's a lot I'm not sure of either and tbh don't know how to answer the things you posed in your comment.

with regards to your first point - some dramas make it a point of showing the discomfort of forced kisses/invasion of one's personal space and the likes. The most recent one I've seen was in Savvy. But every so often they come out in dramas and are given the air of being OK, or even swoonworthy. I'm not sure if it's distorted representation or not either, but it's thing that I've become increasingly disenchanted by as the number of Kdramas I watch goes up.
I think regardless of whether it applies more widely in Korean society or not, it's used by some as a way of representing a way of showing your love, but so often it's done in a way that is icky and feels wrong when I think about it for longer.

All in all, I don't know. I'm just frustrated at the logic used to explain a person's actions in certain dramas.
I'm not thinking straight on this one.

@Because of Reasons

Thanks for that! You put that incredibly coherently.
And you're right.. It's not just limited to Korean dramas I realised.
Ahhhh, why am I caring so much about this one drama??
I don't even know. Perhaps it's because it's the ideal one to use as an example of the many flaws of the mediocre Korean drama.
Anyway, like I said above, I'm not thinking straight right now, feeling a little woozy, so I'll stop my babbling right here.

Thanks both for responding.

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@Tara

Man, that's wrong..

You've just reminded me of something though.
alua mentioned something about whether it's representative of Korean society and I've just been reminded of that phrase in Korea (for which there are equivalents in other countries), 상남자. As in, like, macho/'real' man.
It is kind of a 'thing' (don't know how to word this well) where boys are to be brought up as 'real' men. And in variety shows, though there is no condemning of other temperaments, there is a thing where an action or delivery with words is given this air of, not exactly praise but approval(?), for showing a boy or a man is a 'real man'.
Then there's the whole not going to the army is looked down upon, being sensitive/scared/crying a lot is somewhat discouraged with the excuse of 'don't cry - you're a man' as opposed to say, 'don't cry - this is a silly thing to cry about whether you're a guy or a girl'.

OK. That was relaly rushed. Sorry if I've been short thinking on anything. Let me know. I'll deffo read up on anything I missed/others point out later.

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Wow, very deep topic.

My 23yo daughter and I watch dramas together and I still make sure to discuss what is healthy relationship behavior and what is DRAMA, whenever the examples arise.

I am a big believer in using observed bad choices (most tv) as an opportunity to discuss what we would do.
And sometimes I just say "that is not healthy" and continue to enjoy the drama with the clear understanding that the drama does not represent reality.

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I am not a fan of forced kisses in any manner whatsoever but I never get the angst over the K-romance tropes on these pages. These shows are aimed at Korean women, more often than not the writers seem to be women. It's a recurring trope. It has a hooked audience - if it didn't sell, it will change in a snap.

Without even getting into 50 shades and the massive sales, a lot of western dramas are regressive or faux feminist to Asian eyes. But its a drama at the end of the day and we don't really write reams on how we are so much over the sexist consumerist SATC spin offs. Plenty of women apparently like watching dramas. Without you know actually applying it to their lives. The rest of us don' bother and read a book or something.

I don't know how many Koreans comment here (I am not Korean but am from Asia) but seriously what is the point in Korean drama makers adopting a Western romantic fantasy model? Pretty sure people watch them because they are different. People keep complaining on DB and yet seem to return to every new show with the same tropes.

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I just zip through the show on Dramafever, pausing whenever something that looks clever turns up, and whenever Eun Ji sinks, or whenever she looks like she might sing, or, what the heck, whenever she smiles that blinding, effervescent, curly-lipped smile of hers.

I can't believe all Apink does with that splendid voice is run it through the auto-harmony on every song. It's like using a Ferrari to deliver groceries.

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I was actually surprised at how good her voice was, considering the limited exposure she has gotten up until now. I am not a k-pop fan, though I do enjoy keeping up with the antics of the industry.

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I tried listening to a couple of Apink songs after hearing Eun Ji in this show. Gave up when I couldn't find anything that didn't sound like commercial jingles for cat food and cleanser.

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Hahaha listen to Eunji when she's not singing songs from Apink! Stuff like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=se6iCPanGkU emphasizes her vocal talent way more!

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"..that didn’t sound like commercial jingles for cat food and cleanser..."

LOL - so true. A few days ago I had to prove to myself once again that k-pop was not for me. Went to YouTube, and there are several videos on there for k-pop top 50 clips and the like. I picked the most recent one for females, and out of the 50 songs (by 35 or so groups), I realized that if you close your eyes, you would never be aware that they actually ARE different groups.

There were one or two that stood out, but overall I was really struck by the sameness of almost every song and every group.

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You should watch the Fine Brother's "Youtubers react to K-Pop" (and "Kids react to K-Pop").*

I like some K-pop songs, and some videos are fabulously made however bizarre they are (Big Bang's 'Fantastic Baby'!) but when I listen to a whole album the songs just start melting into each other...

{*Off-topic but I also recommend the "Youtubers react to Babymetal" video.}

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Oh my goodness. That's a pretty good representation of a lot of their songs. I love their first few singles, but then they just kept trying to do the same thing over and over (and badly at that), then tried to move the girls in a more 'adult' direction (that looked barely any different from their original image, lol), and I've just lost all interest in their music.

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that is why I also find Eun-ji a misfit in Apink as if she doesn't fit. She looks more mature (maybe because of her mature roles). I remember how many times I watched her duet with SIG singing All for You

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edit--
that is why I also find Eun-ji a misfit in Apink. She looks more mature (maybe because of her mature roles). I remember how many times I watched her duet with SIG singing All for You

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Check out her duet with Seo In-guk from Answer Me 1997 as well.

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Thanks for the recap LollyPip!

Yoo Eun-Mi as Choi Byeol is an absolute delight.

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I am so pleasantly surprised by this show, guys.

I am so glad that forced kiss wasn't framed as romantic. It happens too often, where she fights for a second and then melts. She knows what respect is, and that wasn't it.

That said- OMG BYUL AND JOON-HYUN.

I hope Soo-in gets away from her awful mother and doesn't turn too evil.

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Argh. It looks like I'm the only one left now (besides LollyPip -- thank you!!) who loves this show. So much. I go around singing the Hot Pepper song. Loved both Gunwoo and Joonhyun this ep, despite obvious flaws.

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You're not alone. I still love the show completely!

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I like it a lot too. It's zippy and I adore the female lead. Her character is refreshing. Also, the recapping is awesome. Thank you!!!!

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Seriously. One hour twice a week is not enough.

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Same!! Glad I'm not alone, after all the negativity in the comments this time. It's not particularly new or anything, but somehow it hits all the right notes for me. Monday can't get here fast enough!! (Kdramas are the only reason I ever feel that way.)

And I wasn't as offended about the kiss, in that she did slap him off and he seemed to realize he'd gone too far. I do wish that they would've later addressed it more directly... but for a Kdrama I still feel like this was a step forward.

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I'm loving it too.

And I honestly don't understand all these negative comments. Joon Hyun's actions were obviously not the best way to go, but they were understandable. Sleep deprived people who have been in a panicked state all night while fearfully looking for someone who has disappeared do not make the best decisions. Especially ones that have never learned how to handle strong emotions in the first place. He realized he went overboard immediately upon calming down a bit.

What I don't understand is why no one ever says anything about what Chun Hee does wrong. Was it too difficult for her to send Joon Hyun a text or something before leaving without him? Trying to contact him only after she was stuck was too little to late. Why even go to the hospital for such a small cut anyway? She never even apologized for worrying him so much. Joon Hyun lets it go pretty easily once he calms down. I would have been pissed for days at the very least. It's very reminiscent of when she left him buried and no one thought much of that either.

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"Why even go to the hospital for such a small cut anyway?"

To prevent Tetanus (and/or receive a tetanus shot if needed)...Geon-Woo was right to insist that Choon-Hee get treated at the hospital for the cut on her arm.

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Seriously, soap and water. Peroxide and/or neosporin and a bandaid. I wouldn't bring my children to the doctor for something like that. Seeing a doctor for that is such overkill.

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Yes, ideally one wants to avoid overkill for situations like that. But, the bacteria that cause tetanus, Clostridium tetani, are found in soil, dust, and animal feces. When they enter a deep flesh wound, spores of the bacteria may produce a powerful toxin, tetanospasmin, which actively impairs your motor neurons.

Choon-Hee was way out in the middle of nowhere (probably the boondocks) and in a field singing to goats and somehow ended up with a cut on her arm.

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Yes, barnyard wounds need serious first aid. [Repeated first hand experience here.]

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Right, such as thoroughly cleaning the wound, disinfecting it, and applying an antibacterial ointment. Then keeping it clean and dry and regularly checking for any redness, swelling, or heat. None of which requires a doctor, unless of course one or more of those conditions arise. But I'll agree to disagree on this one.

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Actually when Chun Hee was in Geun Woo's car which was stuck in the forest, she said that her phone did not work, and so as Geun Woo's phone. Then they just could not text or call anyone for help.

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Like I said, too little too late. She didn't even try to let him know she was leaving. That's so rude and self-absorbed. She had a scrape on her arm. Nothing major happened where she couldn't take a minute to let him know what was going on. He's stuck there without her. He can't drive and they were in the middle of nowhere.

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nahhh I still love it, so what it's not reinventing the wheel but I like it even so, the characters are cute and fun, the music is good, there are bad guys and good guys. i think there's also a surprising amount of depth to most of the main characters so i think it's deserving of being watched and appreciated.

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Lollypip -

Thanks for the recap. I like Eun Ji, little sis and our parachute president. The loan sharks too. The rest are ho hum.

Evil mom, no actually Team Evil is snooze worthy. Don't care for lead guy either. His character is a hot headed chump. No cutesy act can redeem him. I think the writers lack imagination. Sorry to see what could have been an engaging show turn out to be a mediocre mess.

I 'll continue to watch for my lovely Eun -Ji. Eun -Ji. your 1997 hubby is rocking in his drama. Too bad there wasn't a reunion. So sad.

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still waiting for Geon-Woo to kill someone ... I know it's coming....

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Haha, at the end of this ep where Gunwoo sees that CH and JH are living together, I was half expecting him to start twisting his nail ring around. :-)

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exactly my words. I was like: "OK....now he is going to flip! Go inside, hide, run!" but I think with this personality he is more likely to be confused: "Why does she not like me? Huh? Why? WHY? I mean ....why? Huh? huh?" this sort of reaction. and just keep doing things for her, always confused, confused, sooooo confused. I love his confusion, surprise and weirdness.

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ah but no. he is just heartbroken. oh so sad! omg Geun-Woo poor thing. oww. lets give him a group hug *jumps*

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or not very broken.... make it that I am confused. soooo confused.
but he is so hilarious.

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I’m loving how fast we’re zipping through the typically melodramatic parts of a drama of this kind. Especially in the romance department. We got a few episodes of Joon Hyun acting like a total idiot and then the writers were like ‘That’s enough of that. Let’s actually let him be likable now.’ Of course, it hasn’t been a complete 360 for Joon Hyun. He still does a lot of stupid things, but he’s changed so much so quickly, and I love that.

I'm gonna be honest though. I started out really loving this drama, but I found myself just not interested in watching this episode. I even got half way through and then got distracted by something else, lol. I'm gonna stick with the drama, because I still think it's enjoyable, but I don't know that I'll end up loving it as much as I originally did.

Side note: When Joon Hyun asked if there was a gift for him and Chun Hee said no, I was just like ‘What?!’ (I literally exclaimed that out loud, I was so surprised.) I mean, yeah, he’s hard to deal with at times, but he’s also worked really hard to help her out. To give everyone else a gift and not him is kind of rude. She at least could have handed out the gifts when he wasn’t around.

And that kiss. Makes me feel conflicted. Forcing kisses is jerky. But I also like Joon Hyun and want him and Chun Hee together.

Conflicted.

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this drama was good but this episode show me why i choose marriage not dating and i'm really fed up by how men want to prove they are a ‘man’ by getting all up in women space ever since i watch thai drama how in any drama the man rape the girl and then he tell her i did it becouse i love you and she get mad in the end she tell him i forgive you
and the kiss was blah i dont feel the romance
I ‘ll continue to watch for Eun -Ji Singing

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I want the two leads to end up together...because Geun Woo is mine muahhahahha.
But in all seriousness, they're literally a mini family. Just end the drama here.
I feel really bad for Soo In, she started out as this mean, manipulative girl but now she's....more naive(?) The writing of this drama confuses me. However I'm only watching this because of Shin Sung Rok, the lack of this week's You're All Surrounded, and the fact that I'm too lazy to catch up on Gap Dong.

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No, Geun Woo is mine! LOL!!!

As for Soo In, she's now just playing innocent in front of Geun Woo while letting her mom or anyone handy to do all the dirty work. Sometimes I wonder which is worse. The person who really gets their own hands dirty or the one who indirectly encourages another to do it for them.

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A lot of cliches but still enjoying it. You know that you've watched tons of drama when you know when the lead guy will kiss and I kinda hate the show for that. I literally rolled my eyes. Anyway, I really like how humbling Joon Hyun's situation is and how he doesn't care if he didn't get the credits. Byul and Joon Hyun is so adorable.

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I adore this show !
Yes, its nothing new and the editing and directing lack lots.
Yet, my heart is there, maybe I just want any light drama or maybe its just Eun Ji !

She is radiant ! There is no scene where I like her even a little bit less. And this has not happened for any kdrama female lead at All !

And her voice *closes my eyes*,they soothe my soul !
Why why isn't this a musical drama !!!!

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While I understand the negative reactions to how the show is run based on the comments above, the show itself is actually doing pretty good.

Ratings should that it's continuously on a upping trend, with the latest episode having the higher rating so far out of the 8 so far. I am not sure when Triangle ends, but it might be positive thinking that, this show will take the Rating #1 spot after Triangle ends given it's trend.

Now onto Actual Episode 7 stuff.

While I am pretty sure everyone agrees here that kiss was just done at the most absurd and weirdest time, and ended up being very awkward, we still see throughout the entire episode that Chun Hee is developing something for Joon Hyun.

I especially like the part before the kiss where when they (all 4) met at the road after the rain stopped and Chun hee was as the OP states "lights up like a christmas tree" and ran over to Joon Hyun. Some may have been swooned over if they just embraced there but I on the contrary liked it how Joon Hyun stayed to his character (at least for now) and raged at the Geun-Woo instead. We're at the mid point of the show and his development for Chun Hee should be showcased slowly rather than immediately. The blindside awkward and weird timing kiss was I think a good follow up for that. They can have their so called mutual kiss done towards the end near Episode 13-15. (assuming the show is 16 Episodes)

I think the shows directive should be stayed in the current area, but we sadly still don't know anything about why her dads still on the run, the relation between Soo In's mom and Chun Hee's mom, and is Director Wang like her bf or something? He sure acts more like a partner/husband to Soo In's mom than a director of S2.

Basically the makjang.. no not really makjang but subplot still has to be revealed and I think it'll slow down the current way the show is run for a week or two, depending on how many episodes they are going to use to cover these points up.

The only one point I don't get is, for a person who has pretty much been the King of Idols, and hence not do anything (as seen in ep 1 with the marathon) how does this guy know how to do chores properly? You'd imagine Tae Song would be used to doing everything but what do I know right? If I can cook as good as him without having ever or rarely cooked in life, i'd be a chef by now. Dramaland at it's best. Not that I mind it, just something I found odd lol

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I imagine before he was famous he must have lived alone and had to work hard, furthermore his mother seems quite flighty and probably expected him to cook for her whenever she decided to come home. I would like a lot more backstory to Joon Hyun and his family situation like where is his dad? how did he become famous? etc etc

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I was going to Cry when Jang Joon Hyun will leave Choi Chun Hee :( Is it OnLY 8 Episodes ? there arent any more episodes? I feel Incomplete :(

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I just found out that Shin Sung-rok has a background in musical theater. I hope he will sing on the show!

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Why did the writer make the lead so unlikable? He's a grade A jerk.

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this drama has so much potential with likable leads(despite me hvg some issues with the huge age difference but thats another story). now i cant even muster up the interest to read the next recap not because the recappers are doing a terrible job but because the drama is so....lackluster. i blame the writing..thats the source of all the misery for this drama and for us viewers who definitely deserve a quality entertainment.

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