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Iron Man: Episode 1

If promotional materials failed to sufficiently prep you for one of the most bizarre premieres to ever grace the airwaves, then take this as a cue to gird your loins—Iron Man, KBS’s newest addition to the sparse Wednesday-Thursday lineup, has a lot going on. And surprisingly, it’s not just that the hero of the story sprouts a lot of blades, but because his pain has the power to change the world. Literally. I couldn’t make this up if I tried, but now I really want to meet the person who did.

Ratings-wise, Iron Man premiered last with 6.6%. Competitor My Spring Days started out with 8.1%, while It’s Okay, It’s Love’s penultimate episode took the lead with 11.4%.

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EPISODE 1 RECAP

The sun rises on a lavish, modern mansion perched at the top of a well-manicured hill. Inside, a TV remote is beaten against a stair corner until it breaks, while other household furniture items are slashed in half by invisible blades.

Outside, it begins to rain. A tree is also neatly cut in half, as are the raindrops. We seem to be viewing the world from the perspective of someone unsteady on their feet, suddenly finding themselves lying on their back in the rain…

The next morning, the head maid of the household, MADAM YOON (Lee Mi-sook) curses her terrible luck—the “master” of the household has started having episodes again. Could this be related to the destruction from the night before?

She goes to the master bedroom, only to find SECRETARY GO (Han Jung-soo) leaving it. When it becomes clear that Secretary Go doesn’t want her to enter the room, Madam Yoon makes enough of a fuss about how the master wouldn’t want to miss his breakfast that he eventually moves out of her way.

When she reaches the inner door, she alerts the “Chairman” that she’ll be letting herself in. Inside, she finds our hero(?), JOO HONG-BIN (Lee Dong-wook) sprawled out on his bed. He doesn’t open his eyes at first, but sniffs the air like an animal.

Hong-bin suddenly rises and tells Madam Yoon to move back. She does, but he ends up in her personal space anyway to look her in the eyes and bluntly ask why she’s being extra subservient with her words this morning.

Clearly afraid of him, Madam Yoon swiftly apologizes for whatever she did to upset him and explains it away as being due to nervousness. But due to Hong-bin’s alarmingly keen sense of smell, he’s able to identify everything she put in her mouth that morning, down to the brand name of her toothpaste and flavor of her mouthwash.

And because of that same sense of smell, he already knows exactly what food his army of maids is preparing downstairs, and even one ingredient which has gone bad. Madam Yoon reacts with alarm and disbelief, at least until she herself can confirm that he was right about the closed jar of food being spoiled.

While looking for something to wear, Hong-bin keeps throwing shirts out that smell unappealing to him for this or that reason indiscernible to the normal nose, but Secretary Go displays some superhuman abilities himself when he catches a hanger Hong-bin tosses out.

After chewing Secretary Go out for his poor choice in skin products, Hong-bin later growls to himself about his sense of smell being super sensitive lately. He doesn’t seem to understand why.

Hong-bin proves to be just as rough-tempered at work, where he beats up a couple of employees for suggesting a change in their product line. He also seems quite happy with himself when he lobs a laptop at one of their heads (there goes the CG budget), and while their screams can be heard from inside, Secretary Go calmly makes a call to arrange for the room to be repaired and the broken electronics replaced. It’s almost like he’s done this all before.

To say that what follows is a trip to Crazytown with Hong-bin as the mayor would be an understatement, but here goes: After another beating is administered to his employees for their incompetence, Hong-bin makes a hurried speech about how he detests people who can’t do their jobs before switching the subject to his eyes, which suddenly feel like they’re burning out of his skull.

But then, psych! He threatens the employees that he’ll gouge his eyeballs out and use them as bowling balls against them unless they submit their letters of resignation immediately. The two employees commiserate after their boss leaves, swearing to themselves that they won’t be fired, because they’re quitting. For the record, I have no idea what’s going on.

While being chauffeured home by Secretary Go and another indentured servant, Hong-bin crabbily insinuates that the two are sleeping together because they both smell like the same, awful skin product he can’t stand. After he kicks the two of them out and opts to drive himself home, Secretary Go and the chauffeur bicker over him stealing Go’s expensive product.

Hong-bin listens to the news on the drive home, hearing a strange report about a bunch of trees being cut down the middle—and it’s not even an isolated incident, either. This same incident happened two weeks ago on a similarly rainy night like last night, leading the police to believe it’s the work of an insane person.

We meet our heroine, SON SE-DONG (Shin Se-kyung, reprising her role as Shin Se-kyung) as she physically blocks her angry landlord from entering her apartment while protesting her innocence regarding her definitely not allowing men to live in her apartment.

A slow pan of the interior reveals a literal harem of boys sneaking out of the window, while outside, Se-dong continues to argue that her mother didn’t raise her that way.

And maybe her landlord would’ve believed her, if not for the one harem boy who makes a ruckus when he tries to retrieve their shoes from the closet so they can all escape. Luckily for Se-dong, by the time her landlord bursts past her, the apartment is testosterone-free.

But when Se-dong can’t help but stare out the window after realizing the boys have hidden themselves on the ledge, her landlord runs to poke his head out in the hopes of catching them. The boys flatten themselves against the wall to remain unseen, while Se-dong quickly closes a cabinet door containing one of the boys crouched inside.

Once her landlord leaves, she ushers the harem boy under the cabinet to come out… only for him to cry that he can’t, because he’s physically stuck.

So she goes out to grab the rest of the boys, and collectively they all put their backs into freeing their comrade. Because of the noise, Se-dong fails to notice that her landlord has re-entered, and is caught red-handed.

While a man we’ll come to know as SEUNG-HWAN (played by Shin Seung-hwan, who I’m guessing lost the name lottery) runs to the hospital after missing the bus, Hong-bin is forced to visit the two employees he put there.

The smell of the room bothers him so much that he stands by the doorway while Secretary Go hands out promotion notices to the injured men in order to keep them quiet and happy. Ha, I do love Secretary Go’s deadpan congratulatory applause though.

Suddenly, Hong-bin hears voices from the next room, which oddly sound like Se-dong and her harem. He stops outside the curtain with tears in his eyes, just listening.

And it does turn out to be Se-dong and her harem behind the curtain, since the boy who was stuck under the kitchen sink is now sporting a back brace all of them are now scribbling on.

But Hong-bin thinks he hears someone else, a “Tae-hee” specifically, as he pulls back the curtain in emotionally-affecting slo-mo…

Seung-hwan shoves his way past Hong-bin, and no one else seems to notice he’s even there as Se-dong pushes her way past him to leave. Hong-bin’s eyes close as he detects Se-dong’s scent (never thought I’d write that sentence), which prompts a stock image montage of different flowers, fruit, sugar, spice, and everything nice.

On the flip side, when Seung-hwan runs after her, Hong-bin interprets his scent through images of garbage and filth.

Seung-hwan attempts to talk Se-dong out of going to the man who bought their company, even though she doesn’t want the actual company back, but the intellectual property he bought with it. I’m guessing this has something to do with her being an artist, since the “Monstro” thing she keeps mentioning sounds like a character or the title of a game.

Regardless, she thinks that getting whatever-it-is back will save the harem boys from being beaten up like they were today, even though Seung-hwan tries to tell her that the CEO who bought them out, Joo Hong-bin (ring a bell?) is known to be a devil—so much so that not even a picture of him can be found on the internet.

He can’t change her mind, but no sooner does Se-dong leave that Hong-bin is revealed to have been listening in on the entire conversation. He calls Secretary Go to ask if he really does look like a devil, before threatening his loyal manservant with death if he doesn’t pick him up and get him to the company before Se-dong arrives via bus.

Secretary Go proves that there was a use for that “Two trains, each having a speed of 30 km/h…” question we all endured in elementary math class when he calculates the speed they’d need to go to get there faster than Se-dong.

But in their hurry, they collide into another car, with an occupant Secretary Go not only recognizes but also respects by calling him “Elder.” The man walks over to Hong-bin, who’s all but hyperventilating in the backseat as he thinks of the ticking clock winding down, and knocks ominously on the glass.

Se-dong gets sidetracked from her journey when Seung-hwan calls her with bad news: Someone we don’t know called him about someone else we don’t know buying a plane ticket to flee to the States. Whoever it is, she has to stop him.

Hong-bin doesn’t want to acknowledge the elder they hit, even though they seem to have quite the history together—but when the elder wants an apology, Hong-bin vaults over the car in a feat of superhuman agility to kick his chauffeur square in the chest as punishment for him not doing the apologizing.

It becomes very clear that Hong-bin’s rage about apologies has little to do with the car accident and more to do with whatever-it-is between him and the elder.

But as he all but foams at the mouth about the situation, storm clouds begin to form, causing Secretary Go to urge him to calm down. Waitaminute… so rain in this show isn’t the full moon to Hong-bin’s werewolf, Hong-bin’s mood can actually control the weather? He’s Wolverine and Storm?

When Hong-bin only grows angrier that the elder isn’t apologizing to him, Secretary Go hoists him over his shoulder and begins running down the street. Storm clouds continue to brew overhead as Secretary Go falters to the sound of something-like-but-not-necessarily-bones-breaking.

He continues on regardless, and dumps Hong-bin in a wrestling ring. Knowing the ramifications if Hong-bin were to cause a storm, he asks Hong-bin to let his frustrations out on him, essentially becoming a punching bag for Hong-bin’s superhuman blows.

Real talk though, I don’t know if this is supposed to be a supernatural fight or if it’s just an exaggerated one. Right now I’m fairly convinced that Hong-bin is an amalgamation of every character from The Avengers, even though he’s got worse anger management issues than the character famous for having anger management issues.

While taking punch after punch, Secretary Go ekes out that Se-dong should be at the company by now, which at least causes Hong-bin to pause as he remembers her scent fondly. But then he goes right back to beating the crap out of his secretary.

Se-dong isn’t at the company though, since she intercepts her sunbae as he attempts to flee to the States. She’s hurt and betrayed by him running out on her, especially since it’d mean saddling her with paying back the loan they took out for their company.

According to her, they’re this close to success for whatever it is that they do (video games?), but her sunbae doesn’t care to hear the details and attempts to run past her. Se-dong’s loud, hysterical sobbing about how he’s running away after selling their company isn’t enough to stop him.

Hong-bin has another reason to be angry when he makes it to his company to find out that Se-dong never showed, since she’s busy chasing down her sunbae at the airport.

Since her sunbae is the one who sold them out to Hong-bin, Hong-bin calls him directly to ask about the circumstances surrounding the sale—he knows that the man didn’t consult with the rest of his employees before the deal was made.

Her sunbae, currently trapped in an airport bathroom with Seung-hwan right outside the stall, doesn’t care to talk about the shady deal since he already benefitted from it money-wise. But that makes Hong-bin angry, and he literally has a “You won’t like me when I’m angry” moment.

A dour-looking woman dressed in every piece of jewelry she owns disembarks with a young boy she seems to hate, and sends him into the men’s bathroom alone.

Seung-hwan notices that the boy doesn’t even know how to pull down his own zipper and helps, while outside, gangsters arrive to chase down the bedazzled ajumma.

In the process—and hand to God, I’m not making this up—one of them trips over a piece of luggage and goes flying toward Se-dong with grabby hands outstretched toward her chest. Then they’re frozen in that position as the camera completes a full 360 degree slo-mo pan around them in this drama’s version of Sword and Flower’s version of the upside-down Spiderman kiss. (It’s the same PD. Unfortunately.)

The moment ends when Se-dong slaps the gangster before screaming bloody murder. Then she throws him to the ground before screaming some more.

Then, she tells Seung-hwan that the man touched her chest so Seung-hwan can launch himself on the man screaming, all while Se-dong continues her high-pitched wailing. Okay, that’s it. I tried. This show is too f*cking insane, even for me.

Se-dong, Seung-hwan, and the random gangster get taken to the airport police station where she pleads her sexual harassment case until the gangster is carted off. Only then does she remember she was chasing her sunbae, but it’s too late—he’s probably well on his way to America by now.

Just as they’re leaving, a woman reports the boy Seung-hwan helped in the bathroom as being lost. The boy isn’t comforted by the sight of the officer and cries, because it reminds him of a seizure-inducing series of flashbacks involving police officers and abandonment issues.

Se-dong steps in to calm the boy down, but no sooner does she try to leave him with the officer once he’s stopped crying does he start right back up again.

In an orb-shaped room suspended from the ceiling, Hong-bin flips through pictures of the woman he thought he smelled earlier. (Ah, so that’s why he followed Se-dong.) He flashes back to being with her when his father/the elder from the car crash, JOO JANG-WON (Kim Gab-soo) confronted her about being too poor for his high-born son.

The memory makes Hong-bin angry, and the angrier he gets, the more the lights start to flicker as a storm begins to brew outside. Secretary Go has only to hear one crack of thunder to know something’s terribly wrong with Hong-bin, and rushes to get to him.

Hong-bin grits his teeth as blades—legitimate, metal blades of different lengths—sprout from his back like a porcupine. And as he stalks outside in the rain with his new weaponized backside, whole sections of the city lose power from the force of his rage.

But then he suddenly loses consciousness and drops like a sack of potatoes onto someone’s roof somewhere.

Madam Yoon gets a call from the bedazzled woman from the airport claiming that the six-year-old boy she brought with her is Hong-bin’s son. The lover he can’t forget, Kim Tae-hee, is the boy’s mother. But the woman can’t stay on the line to say more, since she’s being hunted down for [insert reason here].

Hong-bin wakes up in his own bed, blade-free, thanks to Secretary Go. It seems like he may not know about being a Tim Burton nightmare since he believes the lie Secretary Go tells him about how he fell asleep at the office with a light fever.

The first thing he asks about is Se-dong, who has somehow been allowed to take the unclaimed boy (possibly his son) home from the airport. As she carries the sleeping child on her back, her sunbae calls to tell her that Hong-bin wants to meet with her.

Since she doesn’t know what Hong-bin looks like, she doesn’t recognize him standing outside of her house. He recognizes her less by sight and more by smell, which is so intoxicating to him that he closes his eyes and cups the air closer to his nose to breathe it in. Because what he’s smelling isn’t just her natural pheromones, it’s her breath, as evidenced by the multiple close-ups of her mouth breathing.

Se-dong just stares at the man who asked for her by name, now poised on one leg—all the better to smell her with.

 
COMMENTS

Normally when I feel like I haven’t watched something so much as experienced it, the connotation is usually positive. To experience a thing instead of just bearing witness to it must mean that whatever that thing is carries some kind of inherent worth as compared to something easily digested and forgotten.

And while I still believe that, I also came to realize that one can “experience” playing with a litter of puppies the way one can “experience” being robbed at gunpoint, in that both events are bound to leave an imprint. Which is pretty much where I’m at with Iron Man—in no universe would I argue that it was time well-spent, but a show that’s this out of its mind from the starting gate? A show that looked at the already ground-level bar for insanity set by Dr. Jin, said to itself “I can do better,” and dug a it-puts-the-lotion-on-its-skin-or-else-it-gets-the-hose-again hole solely for the purpose of lowering said bar? That just has to be worth something. We have to learn from this.

That being said, and knowing that this episode was produced, directed, and acted after multiple people had multiple chances to sit down with the script, I’m willing to accept that there might totally be an audience for this show and I’m just not it. But there’s also the chance that there really isn’t a perfect audience just waiting to consume twenty hours of Iron Man, not because the premise is as outlandish as it is, but because a great majority of the moments that begged to be taken seriously were unintentionally humorous instead.

It doesn’t help that there clearly were supposed to be comedic beats interspersed throughout, since that just blurs the line between when we’re supposed to be laughing from when we’re not. I definitely don’t think it’s a good sign when I know I’m having the opposite reaction to the intended effect, since the broad, slapstick-y moments fell flat compared to some of the moments which tried for poignancy and failed so very, very spectacularly.

To be fair, while I’d normally try to break down what worked from what didn’t, this premiere misstepped so early and so frequently that I wouldn’t even know where to begin. It’s a shame when you consider PD Kim Yong-soo’s body of work—which, while progressively going from the unforgettably brilliant White Christmas to the unforgettably confused Sword and Flower, has always had a distinct visual style I’ve always had a soft spot for. Yes, Sword and Flower was also a failure of conception, but it at least attempted to compensate for its lack of substance with style.

Which isn’t to say that was in any way a good thing, because it wasn’t. But since I’ve seen and recapped the last three dramas from this director, I can say that Iron Man feels the most toned-down visually, so much so that it’s lacking a distinctive flavor. Well, aside from the fact that it has a hero who grows metal blades from his back when he’s angry. And one who apparently controls the weather with his mood. And disrupts entire sections of Seoul’s power grid. And smells people’s breath to learn their life stories. And has no idea he can do most of those things.

I feel like it’s such a belabored point by now, but it bears repeating when shows like this happen: If you’re going to set up a world even remotely more mystical than the one we currently live in, you have to establish rules. Without them, we’re as good as lost, and it isn’t even like this show is based off some pre-established fantasy lore like we could expect from vampires, ghosts, or even time travel. The premise for this show is just too specific to the only story in pop culture where a man has the power to grow metal blades from his body, and I just really, really hope that there’s going to be a reason for Hong-bin’s blade-growing abilities that isn’t just based on the writer’s affinity toward Hugh Jackman. Really.

So when you have a hero with all of these untold magical powers (is there a drought whenever he’s distracted?), it makes logical sense to have the heroine be the straight man, the Lois Lane to the hero’s alarmingly-maladjusted Clark Kent. What happened instead was the feeling that I was watching two different dramas—a melodrama with Hong-bin and his Thor/Hulk/Wolverine/Storm abilities, and a romcom starring Se-dong and the lovably scruffy flower boys she lives with. Both could be complete dramas in their own right, especially since the latter is overstuffed with pre-existing character pasts and issues we were only barely let in on. For Christ’s sake, Se-dong just unofficially adopted a tiny human. If that’s not a sixteen episode drama made for tvN, I don’t know what is.

But trying to cohesively combine those two vastly different worlds into a believable whole begs the question: Why? And also: No, seriously, why? At the end of the day I guess it’s better to have too much to explore than too little, even if I can’t say this first outing has been the best confidence-booster. I’ll be watching out of sheer curiosity for such an unusual premise, so if Iron Man somehow pulls itself together and gets to that point where it can be taken seriously, it will have earned any praise that comes its way. I just wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.

 
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I managed to watch about 35 minutes of the first episode, and then moved on to something a bit less bizarre - "Zombie Cheerleaders vs Vampire Robots".

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Yeah, I have major doubts that I'll be able to make it all the way through even one ep.~ this looks like it's gonna be an epic fail. (And with the actress I'm most allergic to as the lead.)

However, I'm so happy to see that Heads did a one-off recap. HN2 + WTF → a delightful alchemical reaction in which wretchedness leads to goodness.

*fumbles around for loin girder*

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The opening paragraphs are so intriguing, and it's Heads writing, so I read on, thinking that if the recap reveals the show is good enough, I might check it out, until I came across the name SSK. I had forgotten that she's in it. That's that then.

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Same here, watched about 20 mins and switched off.
Btw, thus was definitely a WTFcap loooool. So many gems in your recap HN2, it was a blast to read

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If you are going to watch this expecting to find reasons and answers to how his powers work, you'll really be disappointed. I was able to watch and enjoy the entire two episodes, just had to keep an open mind that this show is expected to be ridiculous and over the top. The relationship of the secretary and Dong wook works and carried the first two episodes, the female lead is annoying as an actress. I have read negative comments about her performance in When a Man loves but kept an open mind for this drama since I haven't seen that one yet, sadly though her "cutesy act" is not cute at all and her surprised reactions looks very rehearsed.

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I like both your comment as well as the excellent summary by HeadsNo2 in the above.

Iron Man really is an unusual drama. Normally, I am very quick to make up my mind about a new drama. For example, it took less than 20 minutes for me to write off the one that is ending now - that Jo In Sung showcase for voyeurs disguised as a serious drama. If you like to ogle at him, do it. We just don't need a 16-episode exercise in fakery.

Then there is My Spring Days, in which I keep anticipating Josh Duhamel to appear on screen any minute now. It has a lot to offer - solid compelling story, leading couple with perfect comic timing, beautiful photography, etc., along with an unblushing array of Kdrama clichés for those who must have them in their medicine.

But this one ... Well, I am so far inclined to give it a little more time to finetune its story and the tone. But not too long.

Lee Dong Wook can make it or break it with more nuanced acting. The heroine can go easy on the ugly duckling angle. You will turn into a swan, right? And soon, I hope. No one is interested in a duckling that really is a duck.

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...what "ugly duckling angle"?

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"Normally, I am very quick to make up my mind about a new drama. For example, it took less than 20 minutes for me to write off the one that is ending now – that Jo In Sung showcase for voyeurs disguised as a serious drama. If you like to ogle at him, do it. We just don’t need a 16-episode exercise in fakery."

No offence, but I'm genuinely bewildered that someone who was able to digest a whole episode of this show couldn't give IOIL a chance more than 20 mins. Honestly I think you should reconsider your drama watching criteria or should I rather say "indurance" scale.
IOIL's first elisode like most other KDramas was hard to warm up to at the begining, the script was fast paced and trying to sound smart or cool but somehow sounding fake, and Jo In sung's character was giving a certain aura that was intended, but if you had given the show a chance you would have been amazed at how profound and sophisticated his character turns out to be. Above all the JIS whom you refer to as a "showcase" beyond doubt proved to be a brilliant actor on all levels, and as a viewer who had never watched any of his dramas before I was deeply impressed with his performance and believe me I'm not the easily-impressed type.
I don't know what exact genre you prefer, but if you like originality and ideas and characters that feel fresh and a plot nearly free of the usual KDramas clichés, trust me you should seriously give IOIL another try.
On a side note though, unless you're the type who's bored easily, I believe you should give any drama more than a few-minutes chance. There are gems hidden beyond bad starts.

Good luck with Iron Man. It seems like loads of fun ~_^

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I agree. IOIL was a FANTASTIC drama!!!! I don't understand that dismissal. OMG such great writing and acting!!
This one is so far great fun (I've seen 2 episodes). It had a Led Zeppelin tune playing (absolutely a wonderful thing for me, can I just say) and just is so over the top w/o making me crazy. I did manage to watch & mostly enjoy Dr. Jin (OK, JaeJoong had a lot to do w/that) & could not watch Blade & Petal (just, something about it annoyed me). This tho is NOT annoying me :D Maybe because I AM all about the Wolverine LOL

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exactly. I love Lee Dong Wook as an actor but "Wild Romance and Iron Man" is totally disastrous. I hope they could improve more with the scenes, the acting, the plot actually and KNOW WHO THE TARGET AUDIENCE IS. If they wanted it to be funny, they don't have to try hard.. some are really overacting..aka OA. haha

I'm just watching this series because of Yoogeun. haha SHAWOL here.

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hahaha.. WTFudge!

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15 mins for me. I've never had such a visceral reaction to a kdrama. I even watched Dr. Jin for JJ, but not even JJ could make me watch this mess.

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oh wow.

3 things:

1- for me, when a drama opens with anger/violence/confusion, it offsets my ability to cognitively make connections/understandings that are usually vital to the show's outcomes. so yeah,this drama launched me into weirdness. AND what's up with BladeBaby? he has got some serious anger issues. Which also throws me, b/c it is hard for me to see LDW so angry. i don't like him angry. OY

2- this is gonna be a loooong journey of a drama---just look at the screen grabs. they're crazy indicators of what is to come (good job, btw, on the screen grabs--lmao)

3- HeadsNo2: if you recap, i'll watch. but i can't promise i'll be happy about it.

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I don't think i can watch this drama it's really awkward

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Thanks for the recap.

I have an issue with his powers too. And you forgot that he seems to cause a local earthquake, by the way. I feel as if the creators just dumped all kinds of powers on him so they will have material to use later on, but a) it's an overkill and b) they did not and I believe cannot establish rules for them that make sense within the same world.

Because if they go with "They are symbolic of his anger", then why don't lakes boil and pipes burst or something? If he can control the local weather and entire city's power grid, why is his wrath limited to those and doesn't generally undo everything around? And where do the blades come from? It's not like he has a metal skeleton, as far as we know. They don't even look like they come from specific bones, they're just all over the place.

I struggle to see how they plan to explain all of this. If they do, but it stills looks like a try-hard attempt to make options for themselves at the expense of a tight, reasonable (for superhero standards) approach.

Everything else, I liked, aside from the acting of the two leads. I knew Lee overacts, but it seems Shin is going the same road now. They need a healthy middle here. But the side-characters are fun and curiosity killed the cat. And I do love the PDs work here. I have only watched 'White Christmas', but this is lovely so far too. At least it will be entertaining. Even if perhaps for all the wrong, or minor reasons.

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"Everything else, I liked, aside from the acting of the two leads."

That's a pretty major drawback, though.

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It is, but I find a lot of drama leads bad actors, since they are usually cast for the looks + age + popularity combination, as far as I can see. So it is something I am used to and something even drama creators often address by packing the cast with interesting characters and actors around the leads.

Not always though. Sometimes, everyone and everything is unwatchable. This one is entertaining enough in an "out of its mind" way so far. So I at least want to see how it goes when it settles into its routine. The first week is often deceiving.

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"And you forgot that he seems to cause a local earthquake, by the way. I feel as if the creators just dumped all kinds of powers on him "

Sooooo... is their angle to pioneer a whole new genre, the Existentialist Surrealist Drama?

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If I believe they had an angle, I would not be so worried. But let's call it that. It sounds prettier. :P

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LOL

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This show is just all over the place. I can't make heads or tails what it is supposed to be.

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I am actually enjoying this show, but then I like manga. I am watching this much as I would a manga adaptation, which means holding on for a crazy ride and waiting patiently for explanations. lol I am very willing to jump into Crazy Town and play tourist.

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Well said. Me too.

I can also understand why Lee Dong Wook signed on for the show, and why other people read the script and let it go. It's actually funny. Like, it's so weird, but it has a quirky sense of humour that LDW would appreciate.

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Funny cos i like it but im not a manga person. I even tried to explain it to my dongseng so that she can give it a try but she's really not convinced.

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Yeah.. . I like manga and there is no way I am watching this. I guess I have different expectations for Kdrama.

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I knew it would be bad, just not THAT BAD!

Come on....just think about it, dozens of people had to read this untill it got to us and no one, not a single PERSON said "wtf are you doing?!"

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LOL...It is strange a drama!!

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( . . . )

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/\/\/\

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*~~~~****~~~~~~~

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I think the episode was hilarious. It was so random and ridiculous, but i was laughing out loud and not necessarily in all the wrong places. I'm definitely gonna keep watching to see where they go with it.

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Same, seems like the majority of people thought it was really bad but I don't see why. It's meant to be over the top and weird, I like it for being able to just watch it and not really think about the logic. Like you said its so random and ridiculous but thats what i found funny. I like this as a drama i can laugh along with and have no idea what its going to do next.

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I absolutely agree. I wasn't expecting it but I walked into a hybrid manhwa influenced by Roberto Rodriguez and Quentin Tarentino. After suffering through the endless angst of Hotel King, this was so refreshing. If the writers and PD keep their edge, this could be wonderful. I am ready for quite a spin.

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Strange show and not in a good way. I'm not sure what they were going for and given the ratings, I guess nobody else knows either. I don't care about some violent douchebag and his issues and how he's going to change. I won't even get into how his powers make no sense. On top of being weird, the show is unappealing on several levels.

Candy girl should run away quickly because I fear for her safety.

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1 actor passing a drama, that happens. 2: It's rare & worrisome. LDW saved this ship by signing at the last mminute and I don't think it's because of the humor in the show... Big bucks for him, that's what I guess and hope.
Thanks for the recap & the enlightening (slightly snarky) comments. Definitely not a show for me, in any way.

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My thoughts exactly --big bucks and future good-will from the production team.

I read this great recap and laughed out loud so many times ... and the crazy is a little appealing and a lot off-putting. I seriously have no idea whether or not I want to watch this.

But I need something non-boring for elliptical time and this might work. Still ... I don't want anything so crazy that I fall off the machine in shock, horror or helpless giggles.

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HeadsNo2, your recap of Iron Man was funnier than the episode itself. You cracked me up!

"We meet our heroine, SON SE-DONG (Shin Se-kyung, reprising her role as Shin Se-kyung)..."

"Waitaminute… so rain in this show isn’t the full moon to Hong-bin’s werewolf, Hong-bin’s mood can actually control the weather? He’s Wolverine and Storm?"

"this drama’s version of Sword and Flower’s version of the upside-down Spiderman kiss. (It’s the same PD. Unfortunately.)"

I was snickering you can't make this stuff up. Alas someone really took a chance and did.

Positives:
Secretary Go (Han Jung-soo)
Madam Yoon (Lee Mi-Sook)

Interesting Storylines:
Jung Yoo-Geun Chang (Hong-Bin's son) - backstory of abandonment and fear of police
Kim Kap-Soo (Joo Jang-Won/Hong-Bin's father) - backstory of antagonistic relationship between Father & Son
Lee Joo-Seung (Jo Hong-Joo) - backstory of strained Brother/Sibling relationship

Subpar job of fully establishing the world-building/constructed world. It's lacking cinematically and visually...much more is required. Failed to impress at showing a stark contrast with the weather elements (sound/flashes of rain, lightning, and thunder), sharp metallic blades penetrating and piercing through Joo Hong-Bin's body, his mood swings, his modern residence, and the office setting vs. the world of Son Se-Dong and her posse.

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Update: Only judging Iron Man (aka Blade Man) by the first few episodes doesn’t do it justice. It’s the type of drama where people have to watch for themselves and make up their own mind. Because truthfully it’s hard to tell what a person’s reaction will be and if they really get what the drama is trying to do…what its intent really is.

Iron Man – takes time to grow on you and is a drama that can best be described as a hodgepodge of so many things – unique and different in its own right. Genre combinations so random that it’s kooky: a comic book/manga, a video game, a fairy tale (Snow White & 6 dwarfs?), a rom-com, science fiction, a fantasy, a melo, a mystery, etc.

Moments are fluid, beautiful to watch, and emotionally stirring. The main cast of characters are layered and far from one dimensional.

I made a snap judgement with my first impressions of Iron Man's cinematic style and visual images on 9/13/14. Visually, there’s always something that draws your attention whether its in the background or the forefront of a scene. For example: the camera will often contrast the architecturally modern house, stairs, bedroom, etc. by starkly juxtaposing it with standard images normally in a kdrama (the small standard 1-2 room apartment, office scenes, coffee shop scenes, outside views of hills to climb up or down, street scenes, running or walking past small businesses, skyscrapers, riding in a car, time spent in the countryside, etc.)

Be forewarned Iron Man's (aka Blade Man) episode count was originally slated for 20. However, it was reduced to 18 which impacted the story's flow/direction, the way certain truths were/were not revealed, and character endings.

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I was intrigued with Episode 1, a bit disappointed but wanted to see what they'd do with this. Episode 2 was a vast improvement...pulled it together. Now looking forward to it. I'm hopeful.

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Please, Please Please. Does ANYBODY know the name of the instrumental song played in this drama? (I know it was played one time as they chased the guy in the airport.) It's driving me nuts.

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The guitar? I rewatched that part but it's not familiar to me.
Hope someone else (who's watching) can help.

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I listened to it again to see if I could help--I'm usually pretty good. But this time I can't tell. For fleeting seconds it seemed familiar.... then not. Back and forth. It's possible it's just a generic guitar riff. I'm interested if anyone does know. I'll keep checking back.

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Thank you, both of you for trying. Yeah, the guitar. I KNOW I've heard it before. (I even searched online for instrumental rock songs and listened for about an hour--yeah, if I thought my head hurt after watching the first episode, it's really aching now.)

So I will check back too--because I really, "chincha" want to know what is the name of the song.

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I'm not sure it's an instrumental rock song. When I felt I had a glimmer of what it was, my take was that it's the background to a song, or a solo in between.

LOL! You sound as obsessive as I am. I had to search high and low to find out what the Korean pop song was in the famous water fountain kiss scene in Reply 1997. It grabbed me. (Well, the whole scene did. I can watch that kiss over and over again.) After a long search I found it... it's "Young Love" by Yangpa.

More 1997 trivia: Her stage name Yangpa means onion. It was only after I watched the series a 2nd time that I realized they'd referenced it earlier. Here's the recap from Dramabeans:
http://www.dramabeans.com/2012/07/answer-me-1997-episodes-1-2/

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Yoon-jae sits at home, stewing about something else. Flashback to nine hours earlier in his day, when Sung-jae was insisting he had to listen to his new Yangpa tape. Yoon-jae calls her name ridiculous (it means onion) and her song “Youth’s Love” childish.

He scoffs that if a song like that becomes a hit, he’ll strip down and tumble ten laps around the field at the all-girls’ high school. Cut to a month later, where Joon-hee and Sung-jae watch, as Yoon-jae does cartwheels around the field, in nothing but his tighty whities. LOL.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

I can't find it right now, but in my research I think it was her breakout hit when she was 18. It was #1 on the charts for weeks. As I remember at some point the girls moan about it, that #1 wasn't their beloved band HOT's song.

See what I mean about obsessive?

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As you can see above, I hadn't checked Dramabeans first. You're smart. Would have saved me hours of time. Duh.

FYI: if you want to hear the song, scroll about 1/3 down where the Episode 2 recap begins. It's the SONG OF THE DAY. Better still if you watch it with the kissing scene. Starts 27 mins into Episode 2. :-)

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Oh, I just read that Cubby found it. Bless her heart. Yes, those thing drive us insane!

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If it's the same music they were playing while the landlord was searching the apartment for "the harem" it was "Moby Dick," by Led Zeppelin. Or an incredibly close soundalike.

I'd have to go back and check if they played it in the airport.

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Bless you, cubby! Yes, it was the same song played in the apartment search. My sanity (or what is left of it) has been saved!

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Happy to be of service. Those types of things will pick at my sanity as well

Honestly, I saw both episodes, and I don't know what I think yet. It may be "too weird" even for me (e.g. Suspicious Housekeeper). In episode two there was a long shot of Lee Mi-Sook sitting at the world's longest table (by long I mean distant) that looked so cinematic that I was really can't help but admire the construction of the show from a design/photography aspect. Then there's that Led Zeppelin music cue (Moby Dick/Monstro, clever!) that really grabbed me, mostly because I was surprised they could actually pull off using Led Zeppelin (Unless the producers are just pulling a fast one, the band has eased up since the old days when they licensed their music to No One Ever.).

(mostly off-topic, but up to now my favorite Kdrama clever music cue was in a later episode of I Summon You, Gold! when Yoona swept into the jewelry company to the strains of Aram Khachaturian's Masquerade Waltz. I think it was the cleverest thing that show did.)

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THAT would be Led Zeppelin. I wonder if Jimmy knows....

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Thanks for the recap, Heads. :-)

Add Edward Cullen's special smelling ability, which just makes this fail all the more catastrophic. -_-

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This drama it’s really awkward !!! but i like it a little bit !
thanks for the recap . you are the best ^^

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Ahh, if anyone has the resume to comment on Blade Man it would be HeadsNo2. Thanks for doing this episode. While it may yet be possible to delve below the oceanic depths where the bar set by Dr. Jin resides, I'm not sure that this show has quite travel that far. But it has only had two episodes to try, so we'll cut it a break for now.

If it was half as bizarre, I don't think I would like it. But because it goes so far past the realm of reality, I think it crashes into magic. So far there hasn't been any internal contradictions... 2 episodes in.

While I'm still not 100% on the leads, I really want to see more of Secretary Ko and the seven dwarfs. Autumn you liked Madam Yoon? I don't know why, but she makes my skin crawl. Anyone want to bet that Ko and Yoon aren't human?

Since the second episode managed to avoid the appalling violence and dander references of the first episode, I think I'll enjoy the freefall a little while longer.

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"Ahh, if anyone has the resume to comment on Blade Man it would be HeadsNo2."

LMAO, right?! I knew it could be no one else.

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Do I see Shin Se Kyung with expressions? :D

And Lee Dong Wook has grown so gaunt. EEKS

Sorry for my superficial comments. I haven't watched the ep...

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Eeks! is right. Every time I've seen him lately I think please Dong Wookie...put on some weight!

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Hear hear! He was much better looking before.

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I agree. His "My Girl" time.

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Or even just a couple years ago as a baseball player in "Wild Romance". Healthy, not emaciated.

I only saw 2 episodes of "Hotel King"... not my cup of tea. If you watch "Roommate" you'll see just how much he starved himself while filming it. I don't know what the HK producers were aiming for... ultra sleek in suits? Beyond me.

Iron Man is on the heels of HK. Hopefully he'll gain lbs now. I want shower scenes to be hot, not painful to watch.

We all have our ups and downs. (If you look at LDW's army photos you'll see the other end of the spectrum, back when his nickname was White Pig.) I do hope this anorexic phase ends soon.

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"Do I see Shin Se Kyung with expressions? :D"

Yes, you did and so did I!! That was one of the few bright spots in the show even if the tone was purposely campy and forced.

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Thanks for recapping this. I will just say that slapstick is hard and this isn't working. Oh, and I'll also say that when the old lost child trope popped up, I thought, "Seriously? You're addig this to the mix?????"

Because if we have some complicated plots, convoluted themes, and weirdnesses, I would like to see the weirdnesses/complications, and convolutions worked out in a kinda sorta authentic manner. And when I saw lost kid, and scared ahjumma, and heroine taking lost kid...I just knew there would be so many kdrama tropes, machinations, coincidences, quickie solutions, and easy answers to this kettle of overplotting that I just didn't want to be disappointed. I could be wrong but at least Dr Jin was funny...and he didn't go beating up people.

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Wow, this seems crazy. I will have to check it out when I have the time though, just for kicks LOL.

For now though, I'm loving it's competitor, My Spring Days :)

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any where i can watch MSD in true HD?

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I watch it at kdrama.com. I, too, am enjoying My Spring Days, even though I forsee some makjang coming its way.

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It's in HD at myasiantv.com. There it's called The Spring Day of My Lifes

http://myasiantv.com/drama/the-spring-day-of-my-lifes/

I was surprised by how much I liked the first 2 episodes of this.

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Also... When it's subbed there, at first you'll see SD (standard definition) next to the episode in the list. Once it's available in HD (usually doesn't take long) there's a trick:

1. Start the episode
2. Hit Pause
3. Now you'll see 360 on the bottom bar
4. Click this and change to 720
5. Start the episode again.

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kdrama.com has it available up to 1080, but you need fairly fast internet for that. (I have something like 100Mbps, so not a problem for me).

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Don't you need to have a premium membership for that? Highest I'm able to get it 576, which isn't bad. But not HD.

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Well, after watching the first two episodes, all I can say is, I'm only watching for Secretary Go. He is so oddly adorable and I just love him. (But then, I usually like the secretaries of chaebols. One day, I want one to be the main character in a drama. I would watch that all day.)

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That is a great idea! And his boss is involved in a epic melodrama that we only get to see pieces of and the secretary would be involved in a rom-com about the great information network. (it is truly amazing the information secretaries find out).

It would NOT be a workplace drama (There would obviously be a lot of office scenes, but a workplace drama has a specific feel, like medical dramas. We want the melodrama setups.)

If only wishing made a hair's breath of difference.

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Yes, sadly we can only hope at this point, but you never know, perhaps one day that drama will be aired!

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I'd rather watch this kind of bad show than the Heirs kind of bad show. If it had an Mystery Science Theater 3000 commentary track, it would be perfect.

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What an idea.. cos knowing the premise i have a series of comments while watching. It's kinda bizarre, reminds me of Nomade a little bit (or any jdorama with physical action)

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That MST3K idea is brillliant. This is totally the kind of show that would benefit from the Mystery Science Theatre treatment.

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Absolutely!!! What a great idea! I didn't, and probably won't, watch this drama, but I did read the recap. It seems like a B drama in the same way we define B movies, which are ripe for MST3K material.

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Ha! Excellent. :-D

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It seems this is an idea a lot of us have had, and there are so many dramas that would be even better if they were on Rifftrax, (the MST3K guys) like Dr. Jin or Sword and Flower. For now, I guess the comments on Viki will have to do. lol

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Sword and Flower would be daebak with a commentary track! I wish there was someone out there ambitious enough to do this!

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I didn't make it through the first episode either, had to bail at the hospital scene - I couldn't tell if I was supposed to be amused at the hero assaulting his employees (laptops can kill if thrown at a cranium), but I was totally confused by the promotion scene - is this normal procedure at this company? If these dudes are truly screw-ups why promote them? WTF is going on with anything in this show?

Nothing in the recap made me regret that decision, though I do hope it continues to get recapped so I can enjoy the crazy without having to waste my own time:)

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I didn't watch cause well... batsh*t crazy just isn't my thing. My morbid curiosity brought me to the recap though and it was worth it for the Silence of the Lambs reference. That made my night.

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After reading the recap....it actually sounds interesting. Lol. I think I may just check it out. I'll embrace crazy sometimes.

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Am I the only one who actually kind of mad that Ji sung didn't take the role ... I think he could tap into the crazy better than LDW idk I was just lost and during episode 2 the only thing that kept me alive was the kid smh I love u wookies I do but maybe not enough to continue with this I'm sorry

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I enjoyed the 2 eps and looking forward for the next 2 eps next week.

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"A show that looked at the already ground-level bar for insanity set by Dr. Jin, said to itself “I can do better,” and dug a it-puts-the-lotion-on-its-skin-or-else-it-gets-the-hose-again hole solely for the purpose of lowering said bar"

Lol! It seems that Dr.Jin finally has its competition. That doesn't take as long as I first thought it would be ^_^

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The oddness of episode 1 reminded me a bit of Edward Scissorhands and/or most any of Johnny Depp movies. I was surprised how much LDW reminded me of Johnny Depp, being able to portray an oddball character so well.

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Interesting take. I can see it.

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I love it that you said. I don't know if i necessarily see the similarities between LDW and Johnny Depp but the Edward Scissorhands similarity I definitely see. The feel of it, and the music in some places. Maybe the cinematography? But yeah, when I was watching it I did think that to myself, that it reminds me of ES. Is that what they're going for, do you think? I mean, they both have blades sprouting from them, lol

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hmmm... a lot of negative comments intrigue me...*rush to download it*

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Just finished watching 2nd episode. This is one hell of the drama. There is nothing odd about the drama. Its a mixture of fun, melo and scifi which I really like.
Looking forward to the next episode.

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That was bizarre.

Like Heads, I watched out of sheer curiosity and will continue to watch for that unless at some stage it starts to bore me to tears. Everyone talked so much about expecting a train wreck and it still may come to that but I watched it like I would watch a cartoon (Hong-bin’s rage episodes cannot be swallowed otherwise) and I must say so far it didn't bore me as much as Pretty Man. But the overacting is reaaally bothering me.

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I actually rather liked Iron Man/Blade Man. Right off the bat it was clear to me this was not SERIOUS DRAMA so I figured, ok, time to sit back and just see what they throw at me (everything and the kitchen sink). I actually managed to laugh quite a bit - and I didn't have the "in the wrong places" feeling that others seemed to experience.

The only thing in the show that I really am not a fan of is SSK...I still can't get that awful show-that-shall-not-be-named (initials F.K.) out of my brain no matter how hard I try.

I really liked Ann (@planoslp)'s comment about preferring this kind of "bad" (if you think it is bad) to the bad of something like Heirs. That thing was trying so hard...and ended up, imo, a tortured hit and miss experience. Maybe I'm wrong but I don't get the sense that Iron Man is trying to be taken too seriously. For me, that somehow makes all the difference.

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I agree with you that Blade/Iron Man doesn't want viewers to take it too seriously, that's why Hong Bin is so comical when he smells!

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I must be one of the few that actually likes this drama, or even the only one that likes it commenting on DB!

I find it really comically funny. I know I shouldn't laugh at people getting beaten up, but how its shown in the drama makes me crack up.
I get the premise of the story, I don't think any of it is weird. It's funny, wacky and endearingly cute at times.

I love secretary Go, and the little boy is cute (formed after watching episode 2).
I like that Se Dong is like the mother hen Noona to all her boys, they all have such a close and much respected and endearingly sweet relationship with her.

I'll continue to watch this making me LOL drama, I'm sure
it will continue to entertain me.

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Dafuq?

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Heads I'm worried you might pick this drama up, kkkkkkkkkkkk since you don't have much lucky picking kdramas to recap. kisses and thanks for working hard.

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Hey Heads! Does your age end with a NINE by any chance or the numbers total NINE? hehe

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I concur with liz. Here, Heads. On behalf of international k-drama viewers, we wish to offer you a basket full of apples.

This drama's got "train-wreck" written all over its blades. Hong Bin needs to attend anger management sessions while Shin Se Kyung should attend acting class and Han Jung Soo be cast as a male lead, with loooots of fanservice. ahah

On a much somber note, is anyone else concerned with Kim Gab Soo's well-being because of the weight loss and his overall posture/facial features?

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This show has a lot of entertainment value as long as you have the "it's so bad.. it's good" mentality going in. Like watching Snakes on a Plane.

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Agree. And -- like Snakes on a Plane -- I think they may be in on the joke. Intentionally over-the-top. As BJ and Minihaha said above, they don't take themselves too seriously. I'm in for the ride.

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Alright...I was totally going to pass this at first 'cause it just looked a bit weird... but after reading the intro and epilogue of the recap, I think I have to watch it myself to believe it. I'm cracking up. I hope that was intentional... lol.

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Ha ha! I watched both eps! And unless am totally swamped with work I dont plan on stopping-trying to challenge my brain to make sense of it all-if anything my little brain gets a much needed workout from it-win win?!!

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I can foresee the ominous sign when Ji Sung rejected the offer to be casted in this drama. More ominous signs when it was revealed about its theme and batsh*t storyline. The final ominous sign has got to be, Shin Se Kyung as the lead heroine in this drama.

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Thank you for the recap.

Wow.

I have no idea what happened, but the recap was hysterically funny, and the final image was the perfect topper.

Thank you.

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here we go again...

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Despite having to stop to yell about the stupidity I managed to watch both episodes. Also I think I'll keep watching.

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While reading Head's recap, I had a few fond flashbacks to Strongest Chil-Woo's recaps. I know the show won't get regularly recapped, but I would LOVE to read more posts like this one;). Thank you for making me laugh!!

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Weirdly...I am actually not minding this drama. I basically watched the whole thing with a wtf look on my face. LDW astounding anger management issues are beautiful to watch. He's just so crazy angry all the time, and for no reason! His facial expressions are hilarious. SSK i just skip through. Her face is pretty...but i find it really bland - in the way that no matter what facial expression she is pulling, it's the same :P

If you watch this show with no expectations, and no emotional attachments, it's hilarious :P I think i might make this show my guilty pleasure.

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I think it may be bland on purpose at this point, in the way Lee Yeon-Hee's expression did in Miss Korea for much of the beginning. Coping with the hard knocks life has dealt them.

SSK looks like she could be Lee Yeon-Hee's double, or younger sister. I had to look twice.

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this was an amazing recap thank you so much i enjoyed it a lot and almost cried laughing
i think i'm going to see how far i can get in the episode just because i find this so hilarious but really thank you so much this recap is gold

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The secretary-bodyguard-punching bag and Shin Se Kyung's pretty face are the few positive things in this show so far. And the rest is no good specially Se Kyung's acting, the irritating abandoned child and most of all Hong Bin's character.

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I actually went in thinking it would be a low-budget random boring love-story.

But after watching the first ep (without subs, so I had to guess what it was about) I found it executed rather nicely. Its over the top-funny, not haha-funny. But I like the camera angles, I like our hero's goth-look (that wasn't intentional, I assume, lol), I like the randomness of everything.

For me it has a strong theatrical vibe, what with the long intro by Madam Yoo and such. However, they are keeping faaar too many things from their viewers, so some may turn away if some of the secrets are not brought out in the open soon. Let's wait for next week. :)

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Dear HeadsNo2,

You made me snort out tea from my nose on multiple occasions with this.

I pity you for the suffering you must have endured, but I hope what you have managed to accomplish here makes it worthwhile.

This is a piece of art.

Thank you.

Love,
Jhu

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Is this like X-Men, k-drama style?

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