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Beans of Wisdom: What’s our setup?

This week in Beans of Wisdom…

risa reacts to an entry in last week’s “Beans of Wisdom: Cons and lies.” In comment #9, she writes:

No one should travel with the lady from Faith. True, but I’m so grateful that that character exists. When I see someone in a sageuk who’s obviously had a ton of plastic surgery, I no longer experience cognitive dissonance– I just tell myself that they must’ve been another of the time-traveling plastic surgeon’s patients. (I suggest their story be called The Time Traveler’s Knife.)

 

Lauren writes about our team in “Police Unit 38: Episode 13” comment #6.1:

I think what’s great about this drama, is that whilst the trust was broken for the con they were in, in particular, the bond between the team was never truly broken. Because they are pretty much a family. You might be angry, but you never truly hate them deep down.

They were angry that Jungdo deceived them out of their money, but at the same time, he covered for them when he was arrested and took all the blame (will we find out how he got his 10 years reduced to 2years + parole…). So the money was gone, but the friendship was never gone. It’s a bit reminescent of how Mijoo slapped Jungdo in the first episode. There will always be that friendship between the team, no matter what happens.

And now, for this last con, the team has the last piece in the puzzle, which was missing information the last time. Jungdo’s motivation. They can trust him now, because they are now all on the same page about the reason why they are doing this. Like Jungdo since the beginning, it is no longer because of the money.

pogo adds:

It’s rather poetic that in trying to avenge his family, Jung-do created (however inadvertently) another one. because that’s what they are, really – unconventional, but certainly a family, and even if they’re mad at Jung-do, they’ll still reunite to help out one of their own (Grandpa).

 

In “The reign of blood begins in Scarlet Heart’s first teaser,” pastmidnite has a question in comment #27:

The narrator…isn’t it KHN’s voice?

Which YY answers with:

It’s Lee Jun-ki’s. I know it is because he speaks to me all the time in my dreams.

 

Dee asks in the same post at comment #7:

Why is Lee Jun Ki’s face half hidden by either his hair or mask? 🙁

Which DarcyLove answers with:

Maybe he is also a vigilante..??? Or maybe he has a scar he has to hide?????? maybe??????????

mary:

SPOILER

When his character was a kid, the eunuch bought him a very hot meal and left. Young Jun-ki opened it immediately without waiting for it to cool. The meal was a piping hot Subway which popped out of its wrapper and seared Young Jun-ki’s face.

Young Jun-ki, in his anger, took out his sword, stabbed the eunuch, and disposed of the body. But the sandwich has left a mark which proves Young Jun-ki as the killer. So he covered up his face to hide the Subway-shaped scar from prying eyes.

END SPOILER

YY adds:

For a long time after that, the young prince has a recurring dream. In it, he is awoken by the sound of splashing water in the bath area. He is startled to see the piping hot Subway which popped out of its wrapper and seared his face broodily taking a cold shower. As the prince stares in horror, the subway slowly turns and drones, “I beeee pipingggggg hotttt I beeee takinggggg a colddddddd showerrrrrr…” There the dream ends, and the prince is jolted awake, drenched in sweat…

Lisa continues:

…only to meet face to face with the young heroine, Haesoo, who had been enticed by the Subway smell as hunger drove her to track down the source centuries away But the last thing she had expected was to encounter the young 4th prince and the other princes bathing with a Subway sandwich.

“Alas!” thought the 4th prince. “Was I not dreaming?!”

Not knowing how to deal with this predicament, Haesoo gave the 4th prince a friendly wave and slight smile, covered her eyes, and retracted several steps before spinning around and breaking into a full run. She will need to make the Subway stop another time!

 

Meanwhile, redfox describes the twistiness of “Police Unit 38: Episode 14” in comment #1.1.2:

just when I think I´ve got the knicks of it they kick me in the guts and run away giggling evilly.

Jung Do as a thug. If a thug looked like this, I would give him all my money, my dog, my hamster and my neighbors´ car (well, I don´t have one myself). Actually, I don´t have a hamster or a dog either, but I would get them from somewhere and then give to Jung Do. …. Actually, I don´t have money either. Take me! LOL

 

This week’s cameo in “Doctors: Episode 13” has angieya commenting in #12:

Ahn Dan-tae-ssi, you became a single father, what did you (or rather Nam Gyu-man? Eeek) do to Gong Shim? Sorry, I couldn’t resist hehe but I needed to think of something lighter to relieve the pain because oh my gawd, this week’s medical case(s) is seriously heartbreaking.

Andee writes a similar comment in #15:

Wow, I can’t believe all the crap Dan Tae has gone through. Not only did Gong Shim leave him and their two children, he also got fired from being a lawyer! What else will the poor guy have to go through? Where is Jun Su when you need him?!

I kid, I kid. But seriously, Nam Goong Min’s acting these two episodes is amazing. I’m glad he took the cameo.

 

Dexterinthelaboratory takes a page out of W’s book in “Age of Youth: Episode 4” comment #13:

If this was a comic, I would totally go in and beat up Ye Eun’s ass of a boyfriend, warn Eun Jae that sparkly boys are pure trouble and possibly vampires, dance with Ji Won until she forgets her lack of boyfriends issue and promise her that we will marry Incase we are still single when we are forty and give a bear hug to Jin Myung and Hermiome’s time Turner to get through life and college.
I will be the key to their life.

 

deathbychocolate writes in “W–Two Worlds: Episode 5” comment #85:

Some things this show reminds us, beanies:

1. Never, ever leave a guy alone who just step out of a manhwa, who’s actually there to say goodbye and just gave you a heart-attack inducing kiss.
2. Never, ever argue and do fanwars with your boss. It can greatly affect your professional life. Ship your OTP in the confines of your mind, your room or here in Dramabeans anonymously.
3. Never, ever provoke a guy with a gun. 100% sure nothing good will come out of it.
4. And last but not the least, if you’re a writer planning to write a fiction. BEWARE! Always, always have an end in mind for your story, make sure to cover plot holes and establish your characters clearly. You never know, you may wake up one day in an interrogation room, having to explain your thought process. Be prepared. Bring supporting documents. Your life may depend on it. ?

 

While in the same post, Tai asks in #7.2.2.1:

why do i get the feeling the drama writer has had elaborate revenge fantasies about murdering lazy writers who ruined her favorite fictional stories? i mean…it was so awfully specific…

 

Yesindeed starts the cat-talk in “Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 9” comment #7:

The whole episode is a blur to me because of that kitten in the end. How hungry must he have been to grab and eat that potato stick. Plus even if he ruined the memorial, I don’t think I could be so cruel to shoo him away when he is so young and hungry. Watching stuff like that just ruins me for me.

Tyn123 replies:

Mate if that kitten ruins my parents memorial service I’ll had grab it and threw it off even though I am allergic. It’s disrespectful to the dead. I thought she was too nice in that scene. Like I would have slapped the shit out of Haru for throwing money on my father’s memorial service.

While Sue says:

If I grabbed and threw a kitten off while doing my parents memorial service my mother’s hand would probably reach from the underworld and slap me, since my mom loved cats!

 

dramadreamer says in “Lee Je-hoon offered time-travel romance Tomorrow With You” comment #52:

Park Hae Young – if you are reading this now, don’t give up. The past can be changed. You can reinvent your self in this romcom . Drive your thousands of fans crazy as you smoulder in your Porsche as billionare time traveler, cruising on the highway with a vulnerable, needy and heartbreakingly beautiful Shin Min Ah beside you. Make her feel like a Venus. and pay attention to all the Signals telling you how to win and woo her heart . The future is in your hands. Do Not Mess Up. I repeat – this is your last chance…. chik chik chik….. (dead tone)

 

JRose is concerned about someone else in “W–Two Worlds: Episode 6” comment #2.2.3:

If you think about it, does that mean that the money he paid for the manhwa books vanished from the cash register/safe? I’d be a very flustered employee of that happened to me.

angieya:

Lol that’s what I was thinking as well, somebody’s going to be pissed that couple hundred $ are missing. 😛

ina

Lol! That was exactly what I was thinking! Like OMG…I don’t want to be that cashier for that night.

 

theravennest writes in comment #60:

People are a bit angry over Kang Chul’s darkness (shooting Yeon Joo and her father) but in my opinion that darkness and that rage are what elevate his character out of his trope-y manhwa existence and into “real life.”

I feel like people are expecting the hero his manhwa profile outlines but in actuality the very nature of the drama’s story requires that he buck that hero label.

Usually hero stories involve good people struggling to do what’s right while resisting the urge to do evil. For anti-hero stories, people are doing bad for good reasons or doing good for selfish reasons and sometimes they even end up on a redemption arc. Kang Chul is far closer to the anti-hero side of things. Especially the selfishness aspect. His need to distinguish himself from the page regardless of what that means for others (those locked in stasis in the manhwa, Daddy Douche’s life, etc.) is at the heart of his journey to existence.

Kang Chul is in a “meta state,” shall we say. He is fighting for his right to exist, for free will and autonomy, outside of the page. That means rejecting what has been preordained by his creators, Daddy Douche and Yeon Joo as it turns out. Yet, because he was originally written to be a tragic but good and perfect hero trope, breaking free of those controlling him means doing unexpectedly cold and cruel things…for now. In addition, he’s also struggling to reject the label of “monster” that Daddy Douche has given him now that Kang Chul is sentient.

It’s easy to see how negative the dad’s creative control is but I think Yeon Joo’s, while kinder, is just as detrimental on an existential level as it means Kang Chul still has not achieved real autonomy.

Ultimately, I think Kang Chul taking control of his own narrative and becoming truly real means breaking free of both Daddy Douche and Yeon Joo.

It’ll be interesting to see where they take Kang Chul during his journey. Can he break free from his creators? How? Will he find a middle ground between acquiescence to the kindness his manhwa profile says he is to have and the cruelty his existential rage awakens within him?

 

Pebble says in “Beautiful Mind: Episode 14 (Final)” comment #6:

There are so many things normal people are taking for granted, while YO had been meticulously and conscientiously expending utmost effort into managing these under that stoic and collected composure of his. Love requires effort, no matter it is our love for our work, our parents, our friends, and needless to say, in the way we express our love for that special someone in our heart. There was a time when there was much hype surrounding the book by John Gray “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus”. What YO said to JS does not only apply to him as an “abnormal” person, but it applies to everyone due to the inherent difference in the thought process of men and women. Hence, the willingness to invest effort for the long haul is what it really takes to keep a healthy relationship going.

 

In today’s “Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching,” Kestrel noted in comment #4:

Pretty sure Kang chul was resurrected by yeon Joo’s desperation to get out of her blind date…

Tai:

HAHA. I also like the theory that KC was ready to die and float around in a watery limbo for eternity until he found out that Yeon Joo was going on blind dates XD (it helps that she thought of him right away. awww)

 
And in “W–Two Worlds: Episode 5” comment #113, deathbychocolate asks:

Now, might be also a good time to question my existence. Why am I here? What am I created for?

Lord Cobol answers:

As David Letterman said many years ago, in a promo/teaser for his show
“I believe everyone was put on this earth for a purpose. Perhaps yours is to watch television”.

Now that’s a setup that makes sense to us!

 

Thanks to all the beanies who keep the beanut gallery a fun, insightful place to hang out in. And for those who haven’t read it yet, please take time to read the Dramabeans Commenting Policy.

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Beanies are so creative and funny! I love you all!

P.S. Subway should think of sponsoring this website!

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All roads lead to Subway on Dramabeans.

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Wow! To think I actually ate at Subway three hours ago. I didn't realize I was risking death or scarring while doing so. I tell you, Korean dramas just change you. I was terrified of white trucks and rain and now I have to add Subway to the list.

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Go with the force @Sue

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This running joke is becoming a favorite of mine. Why dont kdramas just have regular commercials instead of painfully unsubtle product placement? It boggles the mind. At least y'all can make some good jokes out of it haha. (I dont even like Subway which makes it all funnier somehow)

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I don't like Subway much either, but that's neither here nor there. What's puzzling is that when I see them eating Subway on the dramas, the sandwiches don't look good. They look like they taste like cardboard. Perhaps directors are secretly resentful of Subway and purposefully do the lighting all wrong, or something.

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okay first time commenting hilarious beans of wisdom but who else feels like a good old makjang plot with birth secrets and stolen ives/identity i mean literally al the shows on now feel so deep i need to watch something that lowers my IQ again anyway here's to hoping W stays good to the end and there will be no need to organise assasination class to go down and kill writwr nim cause that's gonna happen if i see any stupid rubbish

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Don't worry for too long! Soon, Park Bo Gummie will appear in Moonlight Drawn by Clouds and if he doesn't make you drool out some braincells just by looking at his gorgeousness and swoon out some of that increase of IQ you've been getting, then I dunno what will.

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*cough* *pushes Song Jae-rim and So-eun's new weekend drama* It's gonna start soon. :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwgygRy7HAo

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OMG! YASSS! Im so excited! I so wanna see all the behind the scenes!

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Yay!!!!! I just watch the trailer yesterday. One more drama to be added. Solim couple can you be real this time? I hope their chemistry will surpass WGM...

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OMG!!! I forget it!!! There's still my adorable couple
Thank you thank you thank you

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omg they are gonna be in a drama??? How did they get them to agree to this! last i heard, shiz got awkward as heck for them cuz of some obnoxious netizens re WGM. cuz apparently they cant separate fiction from reality. I'm glad they can work comfortably together again. they do have great chemistry!
Im def gonna check it out. I miss seeing them both in things.

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There are shows that keep dropping our IQ like those makjang weekend dramas and then there are shows that keep challenging us, like W, The Good Wife, Police Unit 38 etc.

Don't worry there will be romcom like Jealousy Incarnate, Legend of Blue Sea and Tomorrow With You.

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Ahh, the other comments about Lee Jun Ki covering half his face because he's Zuko and needs to restore his honor cracked me up bad too.

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Gosh the comments are so good. That's why I love this site. People aho use some logic, humour and wit. Rather than mindless yapping over their oppa.

Have to say though this ongoing Subway joke is hilarious. Can someone, anyone ask the Korean fans at Naver how much sponsoring Subway is doing? I am wondering if it's even in the daily drama. I will have to say though have eaten Subway semi- regularly the last 3 months. Even though I've avoided it like the plague the last decade. Groan.... stupid PPL. And the only thing I like in Subway are the fresh vegies and sweet onion sauce. One of the meatball ones was terrible. Terrible terrible terrible. Geez. And people eat that regularly?

I still prefer kimbap for lunch. Blame it on the dosirak scenes. In Kdramas.

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ROFL. See? This is what Subway wanted all along. Now we're so attached to making jokes about them that, should they ever leave, we'll be left thinking about them, wondering where they went, why they disappeared. They'll be like the Won Bin of PPL and we'll be petitioning for their drama comeback. And then when they show up again, everyone will rush to watch, unable to believe it.

Who am I kidding. They'll never give us the chance to miss them that much. NEVER.

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"They’ll be like the Won Bin of PPL"-- that got a toxin-releasing cry-laugh out of me-- thanks, Chandler!

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"The Won Bin of PPL"

omg, dyyyyyying ?

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"The Won Bin of PPL" LMFAO
This looks like a comment that'll be featured in the next Beans of Wisdom, just saying! Also, W is ruining my life *sigh*

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Wish I could remember that article- Last week I read there is PPL contest (Interesting PPL in shows) as part of some awards ceremony.

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Oh I found it.
Seoul Drama Awards Organizing Committee is having a design contest. This is contest with the topic of drama PPL for the first time, and anyone can participate who is interested in a drama. Applicants need to submit a video clip of 72 seconds or less including indirect AD for a Diet brand 'Calo cut'. They can create one from scratch as well as use parody from drama scenes. Winner will be decided on September 30th (first prize will be W5000,000/about $5000).

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"The Won Bin of PPL"

This line is gold!!!

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Speaking of Subway...where's our recent dose of PPLs from them? It's been a while. Omo, hope I didn't just jinx it. ?

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Great, now the next ep of W will have Kang Chul shooting all the foot-longs at his local Subway...

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I can just hear him now, "This is not even real food! Do you know all the suffering you've caused me all these years?"

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For the next few weeks, are we going to have dramas to comment about or just Olympic events?
High-hurdles of Wisdom ?
W - Withdrawal-symptoms of Wisdom ?

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Lol...I'm still imagining Kang Chul being part of the Rio Olympics, I should check out the shooting competitions, also Gary Choi in tennis, our weightlifting fairy is still playing doctor atm, who else...
Oh, or is Kang Chul competing as his alter ego in the swimming events alongside SIG? (ha, see I always manage to bring him up no matter how ?)

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There's actually a ring of truth to the Olympics shooting gold medal detail about Kang Chul - the men's pistol event silver medallist in 2004 was a Korean, Jin Jong-oh (he won three golds in 2008 and 2012).

He's competing in Rio, I trust things will go all right. Since he's not a manhwa character getting sucked into an alternate reality and all :)

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You can never be too sure. :) Maybe we need to check the last 20 years Manhwa. He might not be the inspiration for KC's character but it may be his life story. Hekhekhek

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speaking of mixing real life and virtual characters, what if a faceless murderer appeared on Dramabeans for not making it to the finals, uh, I mean, Beans of Wisdom? But perhaps he /it would bump into the Commenting Policeman. He/It´d shoot and get the message: "Your bullet is waiting for moderation."

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Touche, redfox!!

“Your bullet is waiting for moderation.”

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If W gets pre-empted by the Olympics for two weeks straight I am going to scream. This is not a show where a break in momentum makes sense.

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I heard it's three weeks.

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NOOOOOOOOOOOO WHYYYYYYYYYYY?!!!!!!!!!!!

Does MBC not want ratings or something?!

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IKR. MBC finally has a drama that I'm dying to watch every week and they do this?!?! What kind of cracked scheduling is this?!

That said, I do have some positive news. MBC is still planning on airing episode 7 this week, just not episode 8. Then I think we have to wait 2 weeks. Grrrr. I hate getting on an even-odd schedule with a show like this. It messes with the flow, but I'll take what I can get.

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GET THEE BEHIND ME SATAN! *pulls out cross, red beans and salt*

I really hope that isnt true, I dont think I can handle that being true. *hyperventilates* its just a rumor Tai...a rumor...it'll be okay...

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I'm doing mind conditioning right now. I hope it works. Hehehe. If not, withdrawal syndrome then. ?

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Three weeks without W? During this time, I guess I will be in a limbo, like Kang Chul in episode 6, suspended in the moment while I eagerly await the 'To be Continued' chevron.

No W --> no W days (Wednesdays)!! :(

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MBC may be in the state of mind where they think distance makes the heart fonder...And look at how well it turned out to be for Ardently Fondly.

Expelliamus. * black and pinto beans from chipotle are hurled at MBC headquarters*

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My condolences, Miranda & Co. ;-)

Wow, MBC really did sort of learn something after butchering 12 episodes off the tail end of THE KING'S DAUGHTER, SU BAEK-HYANG during the holidays and the Sochi Winter Olympics! It was totally frustrating so close to the finale, which was okay, but not the ending I really wanted to see after watching 100+ episodes.

After the torture of waiting with bated breath for one or two episodes per week instead of five, I would have greeted a time-out with open arms if it meant the story wasn't compromised. It would have cut the cast and crew some much-needed slack in the live shooting schedule during winter, too.

I agree that starting and stopping for 3 weeks of hiatus in the middle of the show stinks... but at least you can rewatch the opening episodes for a refresher before the broadcasts resume. The episodes of SBH that were not filmed because of MBC's bone-headed scheduling will never be seen. Grrrrr.

Thankfully, my hair has grown back...

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Is Subway a sponsor on Dramabeans?

(If they aren't, they should be.)

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Why would they pay when we keep advertising them for free?

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Perhaps cos they are pretty infamous around these parts lol. Talk about piping hot subway sandwiches scarring hot Joonki's hot face, or Tuna salad subways causing Gong shim's bald spot LMAO. Subway had only been deployed by the Dark forces. Death by subs is all we've read so far.

Subway you'd better pay up, so you can join the side of the light lol, and fight the good fight. How about Kang Chul being resurrected because he missed his chicken caesar melt sub so much? :D

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LMAO! Kai, subway causing Gong Shim's bald spot? *Dead*

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Maybe I comment this so much so that if I go missing someone will know what happened. Forget billionaire pretty boys. I can spin that. Try to make him fall in love with me. But I've done so much to MY characters...I can't handle revenge...

Protagonists...please understand me...it was all for the fans T.T Sorry I did that to your parents...

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Thoroughly loved this bunch of 'beans of wisdom' and lol'd at @Redfox in her Squad 38 comment!
I'm a 50+ years-old author of a national best seller, writing my second book which is already garnering interest in Hollywood. I read world news online every day, including BBC, NY Times, Korea Times and am working toward a late-life degree in astro-physics. WHY AM I TELLING ALL OF YOU THIS IRRELEVANT DRIVEL????? Because what I read first every day - and several times all day long every day - is whatever is posted on DramaBeans!! Because all you DB reviewers and commenters are some of the brightest and most creative people in any of my world of boring pseudo- intellects. Dramabeans is joy. Thank you GF and JB and all the great reviewers!!!!!!!!!!!

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You're an author?

I hope you don't make your characters suffer too much - after W, I'm starting to fear for the life of story creators!

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Better be safe than sorry Mr/Ms Author. ? I hope you're not writing fiction. ?

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always pleased to burst your stomachs.

speaking of the irresistable thug, get your hamsters ready:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CoqG1juVIAAmOk8.jpg:large

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Who is that? @redfox

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Seo In Guk

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OMG! I can't believe I didn't recognize SIG. FOR SHAME,FOR SHAME! *crying inconsolably* I'm sorry Oppa, I didn't mean to. And thanks for the teasing pic @redfox

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Wow! I made it to Beans of Wisdom! It's like the Hall of Fame. LOL

Thanks for all the witty and funny comments that always make me think and laugh! ^^

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yeah I'm squealing a little inside that I'm featured for a PU38 comment.

I can't believe it's ending though, who is going to scam us and make us like it now? /sob

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we can take turns scammin each other. I scam something out of you, then you scam it back. Or you can go first. Just don´t touch my raspberries, everything else is a go.

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but...but scammin' won't be the same without Seo In-Guk huhu

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well, if we take their word though: "We´ll be back!" @ the end of ep 16...but can we trust that word :-(? Gah. But the ratings were 6% I heard? Then maybe...

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Haha... I always enjoy reading your thoughts. I guess just gotta wait for the next SIG project. ;)

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I always feel a nice ping of validation when I get on it. Which is silly of me but man I can take what I can get. XD
W is the drama my long time fangirl self was waiting for all along. (Its just amazing watching it after being in and out of fandoms since you were 12. and esp since my earliest fandoms were manga ones!)

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I totally feel the same! ^^
Oh yeah, W is definitely my weekly highlight at the moment. I'm pretty consistent in terms of fandoms and was planning to watch cuz of LJS. I don't mind HHJ either. How good it is just surprised me!!

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I screen capped my comment so that I can prove that I've made on to the Beans of Wisdom-dramabeans commenters hall of fame!

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Omigosh! I did the same thing! LOL *high fives* Also cuz I wanted to keep a record of this "story." XD

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Why does Lee Jong Ki have his face half scarred and covered? Because of kdrama math:
scars = tragic
and
covered = mysterious
and
tragic + mysterious = bad boy ripe for our heroine to reform with her love.

Otherwise we might think he's the handsome friend and confuse him into second lead status. Horrors!

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YY and redfox comments are the funniest. XD

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OMG! @Won Bin of PPL. *Dead*

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I love the theory of Prince Zuko of Avatar on the path to redemtion for Lee Jun Ki's character. God I loved that series which suprised for i though it was going to be mindless children fun. Little did I know. Tho movie adaptation 'The Last Airbender' was such a...a...I lack words. But the reviews were totaly hilarious especialy Roger Erbert and IMDB. Whenever I have a bad day, I just read the reviews and its an instant cure,seriously you should try it. They are the highlight and only positive thing to come out of that...that...I lack words. And Dev Patel. Dev Patel is such a good actor,felt bad for him being involved in that project.

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BTW he kinda looks like Jericho Rosales

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It's been a while since the last podcast -- any chance of something to help us thru our Olympic-sized drama-drought?

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In response to theravennest:
I love the fact that Kang Chul is so adept at the charming appearance all the while demanding to know the context for things. I don’t read this as a part of his set up as much as a resistance to the set up. It is after he does not die the first time that Kang Chul comes to take his place in the world. Scenes change. He is actively working within the parameters set up by that world not just passively responding to circumstance. He in some sense moves beyond the nihilistic reading of the world that Dad has created. His quest for meaning can’t be confined to a desire for revenge or for the apprehension of the culprit. His actions extend beyond himself. They have in some sense been colored by empathy. Always looking for the context of people’s actions, he knows that ordinary citizens can end up in jail and that people become the victims of random violence because he has been there. He works toward correcting these injustices. Couldn’t his empathy be in some sense a choice, an act of resistance? It definitely does not seem to correspond to the way in which Dad sees or addresses the world. What you are calling his dark side, I consider his resistance, a resistance that isn’t just about autonomy, or a buried urge to be cruel or succumb to evil. That might be how Dad would read his resistance. Why he would call Kang Chul a monster.
One of the beautiful characteristics of KC’s and YJ’s first conversation is that they immediately read through the surface of each other. As soon as he begins to suspect that she really is the key to his life, opening the door to all the secrets, providing the context for all of the circumstances of his life and those around him, he demands to know. It is not cruel from his point of view. Scare a girl so you can get the answer to the problem of evil. For a guy who lives in dread, sleeps with a gun and has seen horrible things happen to those around him, why not demand answers? He does not yet know why she is holding back. And, she doesn’t understand how it is that he could shoot her because it goes beyond his set-up. She does not know everything about him.
This leads me to the second time he pulls a gun on a human being. Prior to “the judgement for awareness”, K.C. assumes there is an answer to his questions, a context that will make sense out of the suffering that he and others have and continue to endure. When he encounters Dad, the set up is revealed: there is no meaning or culprit to find. In fact, his life and suffering (as well as others) has been commodified in order to build up the life and fame of a man whom he can’t respect. K.C. then demands a meaningful end for himself and his friends. His friends are still in stasis. He is planning on going back into his world. The father refuses K.C. and claims that he can’t create a meaningful context because there is no meaningful end to be found.

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(con't)
I think Dad lives under a false dichotomy: you either numb the pain of existence through various means or you strike out in existential rage. He lives this way. He does not see how Kang Chul could live beyond the set up. I read K.C.’s shooting of Dad as a denial of this interpretation. While you could say that K.C.’s demand for justice fuels his existential rage to the extent that he shoots Dad, part of his resistance to the setup has been his empathy for others and his quest for context/meaning. I don’t think shooting Dad is just a selfish act to assert his autonomy, to free himself from the page, to overthrow his creator. Demanding recognition for the suffering Dad caused, a demand for context extends beyond himself even though he is the main character.
See, I hope that Kang Chul isn’t an anti-hero at the end of the day. I’m hoping that he will reveal himself to be an existential hero. That he does not fall into the nihilism of Dad’s interpretation of reality. That, he will wake up in a world that he knows to be fabricated, without explicit meaning and go about the task of creating meaning within that world for himself and for others. And, I don’t think the key to creating that meaning or finding his identity hinges upon rebelling against the setup or pursuing personal autonomy. Meaning can be created in relation with others as you resist being absorbed in the apparent setup of one’s circumstance. This is why I loved Signal. The main characters resisted the corruption within the Police force while working within the system. They didn't do it for personal gain or esteem but for justice, to relieve suffering and to prevent future injustice. The Young cop found meaning in his job alongside others.

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Awesome insights!

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Ever since there's been so many comments about Subway sandwiches on Dramabeans, all of a sudden I keep getting Subway ads on most websites I go to. What is this sorcery and who's behind all of this?

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