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Because This Life Is Our First: Episode 8

As our main couple maintains their distance with each other, keeping up the roles of landlord and tenant, the line continues to blur between them as feelings and motivations start to cross the boundaries laid out by their contractual marriage. Though the main couple makes strives, another couple faces an insurmountable challenge that may break them. Despite the stark reality portrayed through these characters’ lives and relationships, the show never loses its humor because sometimes it’s the little things in life that make us smile.

 
EPISODE 8: “Because this is my first husband”

Se-hee scrolls through the list of user complaints and finds Bok-nam’s profile with the reason listed as stalking. Ji-ho comes out of her room holding the book Bok-nam gave her, and Se-hee stares at her. She asks him if something’s wrong, but Se-he avoids answering her question.

He asks Ji-ho to take Cat to the vet tomorrow, early in the morning, and Ji-ho agrees, despite having to go to work at that time. Though Se-hee’s sudden change of heart confuses Ji-ho, she doesn’t linger on it, and texts Bok-nam to switch shifts with her. She notices Bok-nam’s nonsensical English phrase on the back of the book, and smiles at his failed attempt to be charming.

In his room, Se-hee calls Bo-mi and asks for more details about the complaint lodged against Bok-nam.

The next morning, Se-hee gives Ji-ho instructions about Cat’s vet visit, which includes taking a taxi instead of the bus. Ji-ho assumes it’s for her sake and politely declines, but Se-hee clarifies, “It’s not good for Cat.” Heh. Before leaving, Se-hee tenderly tells Cat to have a safe trip.

Elsewhere, Sang-gu merrily skips to work, remembering last night’s event with Su-ji where she admitted to being attracted to him as well. Replicating a scene directly from 500 Days of Summer, Sang-gu winks at a reflection of himself as Jo In-sung and proceeds to greet everyone and dance down the street as passersby join him in his musical sequence.

Bo-mi interrupts his giddy morning commute, taking him into the office, where Sang-gu scans the complaint list. Bo-mi explains that another user reported Bok-nam for excessive contact, which includes calls made to her workplace after she blocked him on their app. Se-hee suggests double-checking the report with blacklists from similar apps, which Sang-gu can get through Won-seok.

At the veterinary hospital, the veterinarian and nurse examine Cat and tell Ji-ho that Se-hee is a reliable husband and a manly man. Ji-ho finds that assessment surprising, so they recount the story of Se-hee’s first visit to their hospital with Cat, when they’d told him to be prepared for the worst because of Cat’s condition. Se-hee had slammed the table, telling them to save Cat no matter the cost. Back then, Se-hee wasn’t even Cat’s owner and had found Cat abandoned on the streets.

Se-hee and Bo-mi visit Bok-nam at YOLO cafe under the guise of buying snacks, and Se-hee comments on the heavy tools inside his bag. Bok-nam says that they’re essential for him as a motorcyclist since they help him fix his bike as well as women’s hearts. Well, that’s creepy.

Se-hee gives him the side-eye, clearly finding him suspicious, and pays for the snacks with a credit card. Bok-nam comments on his changed signature, but Se-hee points out that last time he paid in cash. Bok-nam laughs off his mistake, saying that he confused Se-hee with someone else. How far does this all go?!

As Ji-ho heads to work, she ponders the story she heard, but dismisses it since an angry Se-hee is unimaginable to her. Hearing familiar laughter, Ji-ho turns around and is shocked to see her friends walking towards her. They’re also going to cafe, flashing the coupons Bok-nam gave them last time.

Once they exit the cafe, Bo-mi says that Bok-nam looks too nice for the report to be true, but Se-hee deadpans, “You look ordinary from afar as well.” Pfft.

She gives him an exasperated look, but changes the topic, bringing up the cost of Bok-nam’s expensive motorcycle. Though Se-hee pretends that he’s uninterested, he leans in so she can tell him the cost.

Ji-ho and her friends arrive right then, witnessing the two’s close proximity, but Su-ji’s attention quickly turns to the expensive motorcycle. Ji-ho and Ho-rang gasp when they learn that the motorcycle costs as much as a car, and down the street, Se-hee’s eyes also widen after hearing the amount. He acts like it’s not a huge sum, but his nervous step back betrays his indifferent facade.

As they turn to leave, Se-hee trips over Bo-mi’s foot, causing him to lurch forward in the direction of the parked motorcycle. Everyone holds their breaths as Se-hee falls towards the bike, but in an impressive display of nimbleness, he twists his body at the last second and narrowly misses it.

Having seen everything, Bok-nam jokingly warns Se-hee to be careful, unless he wants to pay off the compensation costs for years along with his mortgage. Se-hee huffs, calling that an exaggerated statement, but danger strikes again when a scooter suddenly zooms extremely close to Se-hee.

The near-crash causes Se-hee to fall towards the motorcycle, but in an even more impressive display of athleticism, Se-hee uses his momentum to launch himself over the bike, spinning in the air before plummeting to the other side. While the motorcycle is unscathed, the same can’t be said for Se-hee’s pride, and he pretends to pass out to hide his shame. Hahahaha!

Sang-gu visits Won-seok’s one-room office, and is surprised by the lack of respect Won-seok’s employees show him. Grabbing a coffee outside, Won-seok vents his frustrations about work and love to Sang-gu, explaining how Ho-rang recently forced him into celibacy because of their marriage issue.

After sharing his worries, Won-seok asks what Sang-gu will do about his own problem concerning Bok-nam, and Sang-gu informs him that the main issue is Ji-ho. Since she works with Bok-nam, they can’t act rashly, but Sang-gu isn’t too worried about it because they have Se-hee—the man who doesn’t even bleed!

…but of course Se-hee bleeds, and is currently getting stiches. The doctor asks how he got his injury, and Ji-ho stammers about a motorcycle. The doctor jumps to conclusions and assumes Se-hee was riding the motorcycle, which causes Ji-ho’s friends and Bo-mi to stifle their laughter.

Ji-ho starts to explain that he was trying to avoid the bike, but the nurse assumes that Se-hee got into a crash with a moving motorcycle. Se-hee finally interjects, telling the doctor that he got injured while trying to avoid a parked motorcycle.

The nurse incredulously asks if he did it to avoid scratching the bike. The doctor chides the nurse for asking such a silly question, and laughs at the thought of some lunatic sacrificing their body because of an expensive bike. Unable to admit the truth, Se-hee excuses himself and shuffles out of the room.

In the car, Ho-rang and Su-ji awkwardly compliment Se-hee’s athletic prowess, but Bo-mi pops up from the backseat, having joined the two rather than become a third wheel with the couple. She bluntly states the truth that everyone is thinking about Se-hee, and says that she would have been too embarrassed to even acknowledge him if she was Ji-ho.

Abruptly, Bo-mi asks them about Bok-nam, and the two friends assume she’s interested in him. Ho-rang passive-aggressively tells Bo-mi that he’s out of her league, but Bo-mi retaliates, saying that she would rank higher than Ho-rang in the dating app. The two exchange barbs, but Bo-mi gets in the last word, pointing out Ho-rang’s lack of manners.

Se-hee stops by the pharmacy to take some medicine, and Ji-ho asks him why he worried about the bike more than his own body. Se-hee explains that his medical bill costs less than fixing the bike. Remembering the veterinarian’s words about Se-hee’s manliness, Ji-ho scoffs at the thought.

She gets up to go to work, but Se-hee stops her, asking her why she chose that cafe. Ji-ho thinks that he’s concerned that their workplaces are so close, but before he can clarify, she tells him not to worry since she’s actively trying to avoid situations where they have to act as a couple. She also explains how difficult it was for her to even get this job, so she would appreciate it if he didn’t speak so lightly of it.

Su-ji grabs her things from her car before going to work, and the sight of Sang-gu’s doll makes her smile as she remembers his multiple confessions. On her way in, she runs into Park, who deliberately stares at her chest, knowing that she isn’t wearing a bra, and Su-ji covers herself with a file. Ugh, he makes my blood boil.

In the bathroom, Su-ji puts on her bra, but outside, a couple of female workers start gossiping about her and last night’s happenings. Their talk quickly turns to why Sang-gu called out the CEO for making advances on Su-ji, and they gossip about her no-bra habits, calling her an escort. Once they leave, Su-ji exits her stall looking worn, and stares at text message from Sang-gu.

Won-seok arrives at Sang-gu’s office, but Bo-mi greets him instead since Sang-gu is out meeting an important VIP (aka Su-ji).

Su-ji finds Sang-gu at a nearby cafe, and scolds him for showing up at her workplace. He tells that he was planning to wait until she was done with work and even brought work with him, and takes out his stuff, including a rose to commemorate their first day as a couple. Right then, Park walks by with another coworker, and Su-ji wearily orders Sang-gu to follow her outside.

Ignoring his rose, she tells him harshly that she only wanted to sleep with him, not date, and explains that she was only fooling around that night, thinking that he was the same as her. Her words hurt Sang-gu, and he calls her a mean person, which she doesn’t deny.

Sang-gu finally explodes when Su-ji tells him to stop interfering, and asks how wanting dinner and meeting someone you’re interested in are things that warrant such a negative response. Su-ji informs Sang-gu of the harsh realities women face and explains how the repercussions of breakups disproportionately harm females.

He’s unable to comprehend her concerns, instead seeing it as a twisted viewpoint, but she calls him out on his naivety, telling him that the world hasn’t changed. If he really wants to sleep with her, then he should sell his company first because only then will she date him.

Se-hee looks over the blacklist from another app that also includes Bok-nam for similar stalking behavior. Won-seok points out the similarities between Bok-nam and the recent kidnapping incident (where the culprit has yet to be captured), but Bo-mi interrupts, firmly believing that Bok-nam doesn’t look like a criminal.

Won-seok thinks they should tell Ji-ho, but remembering Ji-ho’s words about her job, Se-hee says that they should wait until they get solid evidence since both Ji-ho and Bok-nam could get fired. Won-seok doesn’t see why it’s a big deal, but Se-hee tells him that a part-time job can be important to someone, giving them no right to ruin it.

Noticing Se-hee’s injury, Won-seok asks how he got hurt, and Se-hee gives a vague answer that causes Bo-mi to audibly laugh.

Ho-rang looks over the lacy undergarments she bought today, and holds up a red one for Ji-ho to have. Bok-nam comes by their table and says that the white one suits her better, since she looks good in sleeveless white shirts because of her shoulders.

Ho-rang teases Bok-nam, asking if he saw her shoulders before, which triggers a memory for Ji-ho of a similarly odd situation where it seemed like Bok-nam knew her previously. He quickly covers up his mistake, and Ji-ho uneasily brushes off her concerns. No!!! Trust your sixth sense!

Won-seok hands out his business card, introducing himself as the CEO of “Get Up-larm” (a mashup of “Get Up” and alarm), and Se-hee and his coworkers recognize the app. Won-seok is excited that they’ve used his app, until Se-hee adds that they’ve always wanted to ask the developer a question: “Why did you make this app?”

Won-seok gives his pitch about his app’s purpose of friends waking friends, but Se-hee points out an easier method of setting multiple alarms that would make the app useless. The final nail in the coffin is Bo-mi’s question about profit, and Won-seok quietly says that there is none. Poor puppy.

Ho-rang waits for Won-seok to come home, dressed in her new undergarments to drive him crazy, but once he steps into their flat, she notices his dejected expression. Forgetting her petty plans, she rushes to Won-seok’s side, and he cries into her arms.

Sitting on their pink couch, he tells her about the embarrassing encounter at Sang-gu’s company, and Ho-rang grows indignant on his behalf. She defends his app, and can’t believe Se-hee’s audacity after making a fool of himself to avoid paying for a rearview mirror.

Ji-ho and Bok-nam clean up the cafe, and he teases her for all the mistakes she made today. He notices a call from “landlord” on her phone, and Ji-ho steps out to take it.

Se-hee stiffly asks Ji-ho when she’ll be home, informing her of a soccer match tonight, and then asks if she’ll be taking the bus. She wonders why he keeps asking about the bus, so he starts to babble about the safety and efficiency of taking the bus home. Even he realizes how weird he sounds right now (and Ji-ho affirms it), but he doesn’t explain the source of his concern..

She asks if he’ll be taking a taxi to bring Cat home, and Se-hee says that he will. Before hanging up, he confirms their meeting time later to watch the match, and without the full context, Ji-ho huffs at Se-hee’s odd behavior especially since he keeps pressuring her to take the bus while Cat takes a taxi home. Heh.

Se-hee checks a message from the veterinary hospital, reminding him to pick up Cat before 7 o’clock tonight, and as he leaves, a couple of coworkers call him over to solve a Rubik’s cube. Though Se-hee holds the record for their company, he simply stares at the cube, and the others leave, getting tired of waiting for him to solve it.

At the bus stop, Bok-nam rides up to Ji-ho on his motorcycle, but she refuses his offer to drive her home. He asks if it’s because of her husband, and mentions how he overheard her conversation through the window. He criticizes Se-hee for never coming to pick her up and prioritizing Cat over her, and his last comment strikes a nerve. So when Bok-nam invites her to grab a beer, she gets on his bike, momentarily dropping her bag in the process.

Meanwhile, Se-hee gets in a taxi and continues to stare at the Rubik’s cube.

Won-seok learns about Se-hee’s fiasco this afternoon, and finally comprehends why everyone says that Se-hee only cares about his loans and cat. He calls Se-hee the weirdest out of all of them, which somehow explains his record for solving a Rubik’s cube the fastest. When Ho-rang calls the cube a kid’s toy, Won-seok yells at her, clearly disagreeing.

Bo-mi calls Se-hee after learning more about the kidnapping case through her policeman uncle. In that case, a spanner wrench was the only evidence found at the scene of the crime. Uh-oh.

Determined to prove Ho-rang wrong, Won-seok borrows a Rubik’s cube from the kid downstairs (heh) and rambles on about the logic behind it. Ho-rang finally throws up her hands in frustration after thirty minutes of his explanation, and leaves him outside.

Se-hee starts to solve the Rubik’s cube in the taxi, and memories come flooding back to him like pieces of a puzzle. Once the cube is done, Se-hee seems to have put the clues together, and calls for the driver’s attention.

Sitting on a bench, Ji-ho checks her watch, remembering Se-hee’s call about the soccer match, but resumes drinking her beer with Bok-nam. He suddenly asks why she got married to Se-hee, and she tells him that he’s thrifty and stable. He points out the fact that she saved him in her phone as “landlord,” and says that marriage doesn’t seem like a big deal.

Won-seok is contrite about annoying Ho-rang with the cube, but she tells him she’s more upset about him being belittled by others. Touched by how angered she is on his behalf, Won-seok asks why she wants to marry someone like him who makes no money and is struggling with his company, but she simply tells him, “Because it’s you.”

Se-hee arrives at Ji-ho’s bus stop, and calls her phone since she’s not there. He hears it ringing, and on the ground is Ji-ho’s phone, having fallen when she dropped her bag.

Back at the bench, Ji-ho tells Bok-nam that though Se-hee’s job and house did play a part in her decision to get married, she wouldn’t have married anyone else—she married him because he is Se-hee. Even if marriage isn’t something amazing, it’s also something she thinks strangers can’t look down on.

Bok-nam seems sad to be called a stranger, and asks if Se-hee will come to her rescue if something happened to her right now. The air turns chilly as he presses her to answer, and Ji-ho jokes around with him until he says that she shouldn’t have married a fake husband. Run, Ji-ho!

Finishing his beer, he goes to his bike, and asks Ji-ho why she’s so surprised—he’s actually not a stranger. He grabs a wrench from his bag, and with a creepy smile plastered on his face, he slowly walks towards Ji-ho, who’s too shocked to move.

Drenched in sweat, Se-hee suddenly appears, grabbing Bok-nam and throwing the wrench away. He tells Ji-ho to come watch soccer with him, but Bok-nam retaliates, grabbing Se-hee’s arm. However, Se-hee doesn’t back down, warning him to let go.

Bok-nam goads Se-hee to punch him, but Se-hee says that he doesn’t punch people because it costs too much. Approaching the motorcycle, Se-hee kicks the mirror off, and admits that it’s quite an expensive bike. He promises to pay it back along with his house, and then kicks the motorcycle to the ground. YEESSSSSSSSSSSS!

Bok-nam rushes to his bike, and Se-hee walks to Ji-ho. With an outstretched hand, he tells her, “Hurry up, so we can go to our home.” Swoon.

As Ji-ho stares up at him, she thinks to herself, “We can’t understand each other if we don’t try. Even in a world like this, love still exists.” He takes her hand into his, and leads her back home.

 
COMMENTS

Be still my beating heart! I loved how the episode built up to the final scene where Se-hee knocked over the motorcycle because part of the catharsis was knowing how much this act was deliberate on his part. It was hilarious to see him flounder and make a fool out of himself to avoid paying compensation for scratching the bike, but what amazes me is how the show uses these moments for multiple purposes. Not only was it a funny scene, it also reinforced Se-hee’s character as well as Ji-ho’s disappointment in him, because to her, it seems that money means everything to him, even more than his own body. In addition, Ji-ho starts questioning her own place in Se-hee’s life, interpreting his (more than usual) odd words to mean he prioritizes Cat over her. Thus, his actions at the end not only convey to Ji-ho that Se-hee does care for her, but that he does a lot. Though she doubted the story about Se-hee getting angry over Cat’s welfare, the ending scene proves that there’s more to this meticulous and rational man who’s also strongly protective and compassionate.

In that sense, I’m happy with the way the show treated Bok-nam because it’s much more interesting to seeing Se-hee’s normal characteristics shine rather than a full-blown jealousy which seems a bit more foreign with his sense of self. That isn’t to say he didn’t feel jealous, but ultimately what caused Se-hee to act was not because he had changed as a person but simply because he’s Se-hee. Like Ji-ho said, there’s more to him than what people assume, and this is what makes me love this couple so much. They’re both quiet and introspective, and at their core, both are kind people who would never purposely harm another person to better themselves. If this ending was any indication, it seems that Se-hee may have realized that he no longer wants to be just landlord and tenant, and quite possibly the “us” that Ji-ho craves will finally come true.

If our main couple made my heart flutter at the end, Su-ji and Sang-gu’s relationship made me seethe with anger. Su-ji is amazing, and Sang-gu has turned out to be a surprisingly earnest and heartfelt person. His opening parody scene was adorable, but the choice of movie did make me a little worried since I wondered if it was foreshadowing something about their relationship. Though neither is perfect, the show has depicted how these characters have changed a bit because of each other in lovely ways. Sang-gu has become more open about his mistakes, and actually seeks forgiveness for them, letting Su-ji dictate the terms of their relationship. As for Su-ji, she’s starting to let her guard down and let a man enter her life beyond a one-night stand. It’s clear that she has begun to develop feelings for Sang-gu as evidenced by the doll and the way she smiles, which is what makes me sad (about their fight) and angry (about the real cause of their fight).

I don’t think Sang-gu jumped to conclusions about them dating, and his complaint about her harsh reaction wasn’t undue. However, I think Su-ji’s cruel words were intentional in order to make him hate her and stop pursuing her. While it is frustrating that Sang-gu doesn’t understand how sexist society still is, it’s really these social norms around gender and the workplace that irritate me. Park continues to be a living plague on this earth, and I really want him to get his comeuppance, though part of the frustration is that he knows he will never have to be held accountable for his microaggressions and sexual harassment. Besides Park, the gossip in the bathroom really infuriated me because it painfully captured the ways a lot of women are still treated and viewed by society.

Even though the female coworkers knew Su-ji was the victim of a CEO’s sexual harassment, they focus on gossip about her and Sang-gu. Despite being the irrefutable victim in this situation, they talk more about her than they do the CEO and his atrocious crime. Essentially, they start to slut-shame Su-ji, and in a way, they engage in a form of victim-blaming by assuming her “promiscuous” behavior (of not wearing a bra, mind you) somehow explains why men fall for her. Then the kicker is that one of the coworkers feels “disappointed” in Su-ji, and right there is when I lost my mind. Somehow Su-ji must uphold a pristine image as a “pure” woman while lecherous older men can get away with their crimes, and the fact that this backward hypocrisy was the cause of my adorable couple to break up before they even started was the source of my anger. I only feel bad for Su-ji and Sang-gu (neither are at fault or should be blamed since both are victims trapped by societal norms), which is what makes me so mad (in a good way)! Seriously, show, well done.

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I have a lot to say but I want to start by appreciating how this drama has dealt with how we perceive others to be “normal” versus “abnormal”. I touched upon this on my wall while watching the episode but I’ll expand it a little.

Se-hee is considered by almost everyone in his life to be “abnormal”. Won-seok and Ho-rang discussed this at the end of the episode, too, talking about his “weird” priorities and way of life. But the truth is that Se-hee is so sweet in his logical way. He’s not emotionless; his lifestyle and way of expressing himself are just a little different from most other people. But none of that matters. None of that changes how kind he can be or how respectful he is.

Bok-nam, on the other hand, is the type of person that all people (female and male) fawn over. He’s good-looking and charming. He’s what most people would consider to be normal or even ideal. What they don’t realize is how ugly he is under that exterior. He’s twisted and far from ideal or “normal”.

I thought this whole episode very effective in getting that point across, and that’s why I actually liked the use of stalking here. Like so many things in this drama, it was used so well to drive home a very important point that the drama has been trying to make this whole time.

Aside from that…

CEO Ma’s (500) Days of Summer dance break gave me LIFE. I loved it sooo much. It was fitting AND fun! And Bo-mi’s interactions with CEO Ma and Se-hee and Su-ji and Ho-rang and basically everyone are some of my favorite parts of every episode. I love her. A lot. She’s a riot and has such a natural, deadpan comedic chemistry with everyone in the cast.

Also, I noticed in this episode that Bo-mi’s skirt was quite short. In a workplace like Su-ji’s, that would get her terribly lewd comments from coworkers. Bo-mi doesn’t have to worry about that in her company, though. All of her coworkers clearly respect her and she’s free to dress and act as she wishes. It makes me feel even more sad for Su-ji and her situation.

The way Se-hee’s whole face so subtly changes when Ji-ho says she is going home by bus. He looks SO HAPPY (by his standards). Lee Min-ki's microexpressions in this show are sooo effective. I can only imagine how hard it is for him to be so stoic through most of the scenes. Then he makes just the tiniest changes to his face and it makes such a big impact. Ugh.

Se-hee dramatically avoiding crashing into the motorcycle not once but twice had me dying from laughter, and I totally lost it when he just fell face-down onto the pavement (sorry, Se-hee!). Comedy gold right there. Not to mention how embarrassed he (and everyone else) was in the hospital. “You fell while riding a motorcycle?! We should test you for a concussion!” “Uh, not exactly....” “You got hit by a motorcycle?! We should take a CT scan!” “Um… no….” And of course, it just made it that much more gratifying and EPIC when he kicked off the mirror and pushed the bike over at the end of the...

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...episode. I love that this writer can incorporate Se-hee’s rational thinking into the best scenes--”I’m not going to punch a person, that would cost me too much”. HA.

Also, can we talk about how Se-hee offered Ji-ho his HAND instead of grabbing her WRIST like almost all K-drama male leads would do in this situation? I just appreciated it so much. Such a subtle change but it made a big impact on me. Wrist-grabbing isn’t romantic! Future male leads take note!

Speaking of the ending, usually I find myself rolling my eyes at these types of “damsel in distress” scenes (like in WYWS not too long ago), but I didn’t here. Part of it is definitely because it was so shocking and epic that my jaw just dropped to the floor while I made high-pitched noises. Besides that, though, I wondered… was it just my bias towards this show? Because I’m definitely biased. I’ll admit it. I’m biased towards everything that I like this much.

I think I figured it out, though. I didn’t have an issue with it (and I let myself appreciate how hot it was) because Ji-ho has been shown to be capable. In her previous terrible encounter, she was able to get herself free. She was also able to gather her courage and speak her mind to her assaulter and his supporters (AKA her other coworkers ugh). “Shut up or I’ll put you in prison”! Such an iconic line. But we all need a helping hand sometimes, especially in situations like that, so as long as Ji-ho continues to be capable by herself as well then I’m fine with Se-hee helping her out. Also, I really hope she can put him in prison. Lock him up. Show him how she is SO not easy and is SO not a pushover!

On a similar note, I also don’t inherently have a problem with Sang-gu helping out Su-ji as long as in the end she can stand up for herself as well. Again, we all need a helping hand sometimes. I just hope Su-ji can show her boss that she won’t take his crap anymore… and I do think that will happen.

Overall, I really trust this writer. When I have a reservation about something going on, it’s usually solved very quickly and I like how she continues to subvert my expectations in new ways. This drama is a gem and I can’t wait to watch next week.

And if you don’t mind, I will end this post on a shallow note:

LEE MIN-KI’S EYES. 😍💖

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I love his eyes too .and his hair. and his expressions . oh well I think I'm in love with sehee or Lee min ki or both .I can't tell anymore. BTW love your comments.

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Me too.. I remember I liked him when I first saw him way back "I Really, Really Like You" drama.. but I now I LOVE him!!! 😍😍😍 He's totally nailing his character as See Hee.. I'm really glad he chose this drama..

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I first saw him in Shut Up: Flower Boy Band and was blown away by his performance even though he was in it only 2 episodes or so. So completely different from this role, too. Color me impressed.

The only other thing I've seen him in is the movie Spellbound with Sohn Ye-jin, which was a joy to watch btw. And another COMPLETELY different role!

Dal-ja's Spring is on my list, though!

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There's a movie called Ordinary Couple that's fun to watch with him in it. I have a hard time taking my eyes off him, he's almost an ugly-handsome to me, maybe the thin lips, but I find him far sexier than most kdrama actors, even in this role, where his character is right for her but would bore me to tears.

This show is so topical, hey? All about women dealing with almost normalized sexual harassment, when Weinstein and Spacey, and the Fox news guy previously, and Trump's p***y grabbing remarks, are finally being called out.

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I just watched Spellbound last night and he looks so different. Although the movie freaked me out a bit. I would have to say hes hotter with his hair styled differently from SH. Haha. The SH part makes him look more ahjusshiish.

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@mindy yes.. his character in Shut up Flower Boy Band also left me in awe.. I cried for him..and the show was never the same after he left.. and to think he was only doing a cameo. 😭

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Se-hee has blurred the lines between landlord-tenant, and Lee Min-ki has done the same between actor-fan. Er, whatever that means. I'm in-love, is what I'm saying. Haha!

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yes, microexpression is the word. so subtle yet so profound.
he is definitely not emotionless. Its just that he rations it. its for him, his work and cat. Now he chooses to add JiHo. That's all. For him, he has to rationalize his energy expended on emotions.

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"He is definitely not emotionless. Its just that he rations it. Its for him, his work and cat..."
Absolutely. You said it perfectly. He's rationed his effort, involvement and dedication and Ji-Ho is going to be overwhelmed as he adds her into his small circle of high priority. He's honestly one of my favorite male characters and it's not because of his lanky frame and broad shoulders...

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"and it's not because of his lanky frame and broad shoulders..."

...but that doesn't hurt. 😜

He's already one of my favorites as well. And not just dramas but fiction in general!

What did we do to deserve a male lead like Se-hee?

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Nam Se Hee will definitely be included in my list of favorite kdrama characters of all time.. 😍

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That's a good term - microexpression. I think that's why it's so hard to get a screencap of him. Someone asked if he's really all that good because she hasn't seen the drama but he has the same expression in all the photos. It's because the changes are so subtle but convey so much that you really have to watch the scene in action to really get the full effect.

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Totally agree!! I've been saving screenshots of his face from episode 1, but I'm not fully satisfied.. is there a way to capture screenshots that are moving/converted to gif. Hee hee..

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It's great how he keeps offering her his hand like at their wedding. The wrist grab move doesn't really bother me (unless it's clear the girl doesn't actually want to go or tries to resist) but this is just so much better, he doesn't just make assumptions, instead makes an offer and gives her the choice so when JH takes it is because she wants to.

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It's a delight to read such a great post like yours..!

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"Also, can we talk about how Se-hee offered Ji-ho his HAND instead of grabbing her WRIST like almost all K-drama male leads would do in this situation? I just appreciated it so much. Such a subtle change but it made a big impact on me. Wrist-grabbing isn’t romantic! Future male leads take note!"

yyyaaaaaaaaaaaaaasssss!!!!
your comments give me life!

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I'd like to add that this "gentle physical persuasion" reminded me a lot of "1% of Anything (2016)", when Da-DA explicitely tells Jae-In to stop with the wrist grabs and actually DOES it to him eventually, to which he complains because (as we all know) it's EFFIN UNPLEASANT !!!
of course, I still think that BTIOFL did it better. Waiting for her hand and then gently grabbing it to go to "OUR" house... MY HEART!!!😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

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Ohh, I've heard so many good things about 1% of Anything. I really need to get around to watching it!

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Yes! I really hate the wrist-grabbing trope. It's never nice and the contrast of SeHee taking her hand makes a very huge change.

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Sorry for my rambling comments! Thank you so much for your recap, lovepark! So glad you're loving this show as much as we are!

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I'm glad you write novel length comments every recap so I don't have to hahaha
Don't apologize! It's great!

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I get worried that people will be annoyed if I've touched on almost everything in the episode lol... especially if I'm one of the first people to comment... I'll admit that I have been refreshing the front page like clockwork every 10 minutes or so all day while waiting for this recap. When I saw that it was posted, I clicked on it so fast!

But no matter how much I ramble on and on, people end up with many more insightful comments about different aspects of the episode. Much more insightful than mine! I just love to use this site as an outlet. I don't have very many friends who watch dramas, so this is my only way to squee!

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Well, I don't get annoyed haha. It's okay to be that excited about a show ad to go through everything you appreciated in it. You wouldn't be the first and you certainly won't be the last.
Dramabeans is FOR squeeing! I was just thinking on my walk down to work, at how much I love that I can post random fun things about kdramas and HAVE people to squee with me over them! Tis why DB is so great.
And you have some great insights yourself. The 'normality' thing for example. (Especially since I'm on the supposedly 'abnormal' end of the spectrum)

Side note, but the way Ji Ho's friends fawned over Bok Nam irritated me- I dunno about others, but if my girlfriends get guys that are interested in them (married or NOT! Excuse me mister inappropriate Bok Nam, back away from the married lady, thank you), I always give them the side eye till I'm 100% sure they're not gonna break her heart (again).

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I love reading your commentary! So please bring it on. :) I was also checking periodically throughout the day to see if the recap was posted. I don't think we're the only ones. :p

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No because we are all so tickled that other people are showing that we are not alone in out current obsession with this show

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I also have this as my only real outlet for my kdrama interest. My sister will listen but her heart isnt really in it she likes anime and fan fic so she gets it but its not the same. You guys have the same points of reference as me so it feels more comfortable to let loose with the crazy

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Great insights, Mindy! Really love reading your comments because it really speaks my love towards the show. Looking forward to your insights in the next episodes. :)

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I enjoyed your comments as well! You’re a good writer. Tbh I tend to skim over longer comments but I liked what you had to say. You pointed out some things that made me fall even more in love with the show

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I am a huge fan of your thoughtful comments. Not rambling at all. Keep 'em coming and thank you!

I absolutely live for LMK's eyes! The way they go steely hard and suspicious when they refer to Bok Nam (also flashing angry. Seriously. Lightning bolts. If looks could kill...) and then go soft and relieved and worried at the sight of Ji Ho.

AND his small smiles that are so quick, you almost miss it. It's weird to watch him in other dramas or movies (this is my first time watching him on TV. Watched Spellbound soon after.) as it's a bit jarring for me to see him so animated. :)

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A couple episodes back when he told off Sang-gu and Won-seok for disturbing his concentration I swear I could see fire in his eyes hahaha. That's what you call a killer glare! And of course that look at the end of the episode. Man.

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I always enjoy reading your thoughts, @mindy! Thanks for articulating what many of us want to say about this gem. 😍

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Aw, thank you! 💖 Sometimes my thoughts aren't very coherent but I do try!

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Se-hee flipping through the air to avoid the motorbike is totally me trying to dodge my responsibilities.
That scene was gold.😂😂😂

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Matrix revisited :-)

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I love how passionate you are with your commentary. Totally agree with Se-Hee/Lee Min Ki's micro-expressions. You gotta pay attention to his facial expressions/body language to catch whatever he is feeling or not feeling at the moment.

I loved how he handled the situation when he first heard about Bok-nam's stalking case. He wanted to check the facts and get evidence first before he ruins anyone's business. He was so careful not to affect Ji-Ho's working arrangement until he was sure about the whole situation. He's extra appealing to us like this when he's being uncharacteristically sweet and thoughtful to others (esp Ji-Ho).

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I liked the use of the puzzle cube as symbolism for Se-hee trying to work out the best way to handle the situation. He needed to gather the information, and consider what the risks would be if he intervened before he took action and possibly created more issues. Just like how with a puzzle cube, sometimes the wrong move can make it harder to solve.

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I also thought that was just a random puzzle cube ppl, but was pleasantly surprised how it was incorporated to Se-hee putting two and two together regarding Bok-nam. 💪

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I miss too many micro expressions because of subtitles!

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Just re-watch until you have all the dialogue memorized, and then you can watch the expressions, lol

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That's what I'm doing too.. I wouldnt want to miss Lee min ki/Se Hee's microexpressions.. 😍

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his micro expressions are impressive indeed also Lee MinKi has such beautiful expressive eyes.

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I loved how they explained that because usually it annoys me when the guy withholds information from the girl thinking he knows best and can protect her himself, but Se-hee had a logical reason to wait - to make sure he didn't accuse an innocent person and jeopardize Ji-ho's new job.

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YES! He didn't just jump in and make things worse due to miscommunication and assumptions.

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And his voice! His delivery is sometimes softer when he's talking to Ji-ho AND I AM LEFT SWOONING

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I think what I really loved most about Bok Nam's appearance is really showing the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Se Hee may seem abnormal & people (viewers) did think he was playing with her, but he really wasn't. Bok Nam seemed to be everything Ji Ho should have wanted in an ideal guy: good looking, young, enjoying life, PDA, etc however, the writer also showed how shallow people can be. Bok Nam was saying all the right words & seemed to be nice yet most refused to see him as anything but creepy/annoying. Why? Because he seemed to have it all while Se Hee is older, a tad bit colder, keeps to himself more, & frugal.
It's honestly interesting b/c I read many comments about Bok Nam & 9/10 people were on his side because he looked good & seemed nice, no one actually realized the writer pretty much exposed this mindset & told us why we shouldn't flock to someone based on what's on paper.

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I would hands down pick SH. Based on looks too. I love the manliness he exudes. He has an aura and charisma. I can't believe i didn't find him very attractive before. He's so hot! ha. But that goes against what the writer is trying to say about judging from outside appearances. :p

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I must agree. My thing for Lee min-ki aside Se-hee is hands down my type of guy.

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Oh for sure, I'd pick Se Hee any day. He's an ideal husband tbh, it's interesting how some still don't see it. He's not emotionless, he just has a different way of expressing himself, but won't lie to you or sugarcoat anything.
The writer is pretty clever imo While looks are important to many, they're emphasizing you need to really have a connection on a deeper level.
I've always thought Lee Min Ki was hot, if you haven't seen Spellbound with Son Ye Jin, you should really watch.

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Yea I agree with this assessment. I don't think he's emotionless, robotic or even some people were calling him autistic. He's the type I believe that once he allows someone into his inner world, his chosen "someone" he will love fiercely, passionately. I have a friend like this who is so emotionless, very blunt and resembles SH very much. But he fell in love and he's soooo tender hearted and soft to his wife and now 2 kids. I totally see SH being this way too.

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Everyone mentions spellbound. Maybe I should. In too invested in the lee min ki and Jung so min couple that I don't know if I can ship him with another right now. Haha.

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Oh, thanks for the recommendation! I love Son Ye Jin as an actress, and I realize now that LMK is a great (and hot!) actor, too. Spellbound must be interesting!

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Just commenting @shai21 to thank you again for recommending Spellbound! It's such a quirky movie. Though the plot and themes are totally different, Spellbound's vibe reminded me a little of Warm Bodies's -- a nice and smart mix of light and funny and sweet and scary.

It was quite a little jarring to see LMK though as someone other than Se Hee -- but I guess that's just a testament to his acting chops. (He apparently has had good comedic timing and has never been shy to look silly in front of the camera!)

Anyway, thanks again! :)

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I would pick Se Hee anytime too.. well maybe if I'm younger, I would fall for Bok Nam's dimples and pretty boy looks.. but as I grow older my standards change and now I'm attracted to guys who have so much sense when they talk and act.. and has a soulful eyes like Se Hee..😍

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People were on Bok Nam's side????
*is shocked* *was put off by him from like 5 minutes into episode 7* *and then proceeded to be irritated by him every time he was on screen*

But I don't trust people easily, especially immature arrogant ones, who's opposition is a lovely, logical, cynical cat ;)

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OMG Yes, I read comments & people were really like "I have SLS already" and "Bok Nam is better" when he was on screen for all of 5 seconds. He was saying all the right things you'd expect a male lead to say, but he irritated me when Ji Ho met him. I didn't like how he made her think "Bok Nam" was still a dog even though she clearly was concerned. Yeah she's a bit dense sometimes, but I just hated how he manipulated that which in turn made her feel indebted to him once she got the job.

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O.o
He literally within like, 1 day of knowing her, 'so what if you're married- you can still see other guys right?'
I pretty much never get SLS anyway, certainly not when so called 'SL' is only introduced in like episode 6.
I feel like people might have been saying that because they found Se Hee's behaviours off putting (like a lot of the people around him lmao)
But as soon as he said that I just dropped any sort of anything I had for him prior (which wasn't even that much because I didn't really care enough about him prior haha)

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<Bok Nam was saying all the right words & seemed to be nice

I never thought so. I thought he was controlling and manipulative from the start (the dimpled smile didn't manage to cover this up) – giving Jiho zero agency. For me, that would put me off pretty quickly AND, in fact, it would be a huge red flag.

As for looks, it's subjective. Definitely not that handsome in my book and tbh whenever dramas try to pull that "EVERYONE thinks he/she is the most handsome person ever" I roll my eyes. People just don't all have the same taste in looks.

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Bok Nam was a turn off for me, but he harbored all the traits of a typical male lead & many did find it swoon-worthy that he he was acting like that. It was until he really started showing he knew way more that people started seeing his true colors. The writer did it on purpose, they showed just how shallow people can be & how they'll ignore red flags if they're distracted enough or the person seems too good looking to be a danger.
The actor is considered to be good looking & I can agree,he's definitely not ugly. Of course everyone has different taste, but you also have to remember "everyone thinks" is just a genera statement & typically refers to a situation when many people feel the same way.

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<harbored all the traits of a typical male lead & many did find it swoon-worthy that he he was acting like that

In a kdrama. In real life? He was telling her what to do, not even given her a moment to answer (his phone call), being very much in her space (tying hair etc). Once, I'll maybe ignore it. More than once, it's off-putting to creepy.

<also have to remember "everyone thinks" is just a general statement

It wasn't presented as such though. Everyone at Sang-gu's company was swooning over him, saying he got the highest score and seemingly agreeing that his looks were the most handsome ever. And both Ho-rang and Soo-ji were like swooning over him because he was so good-looking. That just not realistic to me – and this is a drama that started out more realistic than most, which is why (for me) the whole Bok Nam story is just very out of place. It's going back to the usual kdrama tactics of overly dramatic in a drama that looked like it was going to do something different. Well, it's still somewhat different, but I would have liked it much better without this story thread woven in.

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With the looks, it's partly a culture thing, too. Unlike western societies where there can multiple look variations that are considered beautiful, Korea has a more defined idea of "beauty" so it would be more common for people to be in agreement on who is beautiful/handsome. (Of course correct me if I'm wrong, but that is what I've gathered from talking to Koreans, k-dramas, videos, etc.)

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The writer has always poked fun or gave a different perspective at drama tropes. Bok-nam had the face and traits of a typical kdrama lead. He even talks and acts like one, and well people fell for him. But Bok-nam had plenty of warning signs so it still irritates me that some only saw his dimples and ignore the rest.

I was never a fan of male leads invading the space of female leads. Trying to establish some kind of connection while thinking it is okay to say something that might be considered as a compliment but it is actually uncomfortable when heard from a stranger or even a colleague. Sure we could do away with the stalker thing but at the end of the day, Bok-nam wasn't still respectfully of Ji-ho's space/privacy.

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" Se Hee is older, a tad bit colder, keeps to himself more,.." His mom did explain to ji-ho that the men the their family were shy but those kinda of men take care of you behind the scenes. She then used the term "tsundere" meaning someone who seems cold on the outside but is actually caring on the inside

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I think nobody liked Bok Nam just cuz everyone already boarded Se Hee ship, but we fell into a trap cuz according to drama rules a nice second lead without a flaw should have appeared.
I would say many were even glad that he turned out to be a bad guy cuz he felt so unnecassary and we only accepted him as a tool to help debelop the plot and be a competitor for ji Ho's heart. And it is nice how writer fooled us, like " oh, you think you know what will happen, you are wrong". But, there could be a twist again and Bok Nam could be a good guy, with this writer everything is possible.

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I think Bo Mi can dress herself freely because Sang Gu is the CEO and he doesnt give a damn about what people are wearing, as long as they perform well. Funny enough, Bo Mi is the only female worker there.

I think Su Ji might secretly wished she is part of that office, with a boss (and comrades) that respect women as fellow human being and not as an object.

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That’s a great point! Remember, Sang Gu was wearing pink.

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Yeah Bo Mi was so blessed to be part of Sang Gu's team.. even she's the only female there, she's respected and the team is like a family.. really opposite of what Su Ji's getting at her company.. can't she just quit and join Sang Gu's company???

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Bo-Mi may not deal with the sexual harassment issues like Su Ji but she's definitely dealing with her own challenges. Bo Mi makes a comment (I believe in episode 2) that she wears skirts/dresses to remind her co-workers that she's a woman. I don't think we've seen her in pants the entire series.

She downplays her looks in her office (evidenced by her not wearing make-up in the office). In fact, she seems to have another life completely separate from the office. Lastly, Bo Mi has a drier sense of humor and demeanor which helps her to fit in with the boys. Has the show told us what exactly she does in the office?

Though Bo Mi's environment is better in some key regards; I'd argue that Bo Mi has just as serious problems as well. Bo Mi has to fight to maintain her presence and to be recognized.

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Yes, remember when her co-worker gave her a lift and she asked to drop her off at some place and put a lipstick?
I thought she told Se He she is wearing dresses to remind herself she is a woman, not to colleagues? Maybe I misread the subs.

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Still Bo Mi wears a bra, I do understand Su Ji's love for freedom, but why take off your bra when you are just out for the business meeting and then put in on again?
Too much work and people will misunderstand, could she wait till she leaves the office for the day?
There is a thing called dress code in business places, so wear a bra or at least put something over your blouse like cardigan or jacket if you do not want to wear it.

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Personally, I feel the skirts are too short in this drama. Not that it makes any difference in terms of the treatment or anything, I was just wondering how uncomfortable it might be for the actresses (See the skirt when she took Se-Hee to meet her parents and had to sit on the floor). But perhaps the point is to highlight the sexist society.

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That's just the fashion/style in Korea. Short skirts and shorts, even at work, but never cleavage, nor shoulders and sometimes not even arms! I swear, in 25+ C weather last month everyone was wearing long sleeves....

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But rest of the dramas have normal dresses, the kind which doesn't feel too short. Maybe it is something which I don't know of.

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Skirts are often short in the dramas, unless it is about ajummas in their 40s or procedurals

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Koreans will wear freaking miniskirts in the winter, I remember being amazed witnessing this.

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@mindy,

CEO Ma’s (500) Days of Summer dance break gave me LIFE. I loved it sooo much.

I enjoyed that dance through the park by CEO Ma & Co., too. But I think it truly has its roots in David Naughton's [AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON] iconic turns for Dr Pepper starting in 1977. ;-)

Dr. Pepper - "I'm a Pepper" TV Commercial 70's
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvCTaccEkMI

There's another one set on the Mississippi at St. Louis, with the Gateway Arch in the background -- with Popeye. And one with cable cars in San Francisco. ;-)

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I can't watch the video roght now but I will when I get home?

If you watch Sang-gu's scene and then watch the scene from (500) Days of Summer it's almost an exact carbon copy, though. ;) Same music, too (if you watch the Korean broadcast of the ep--on Viki they must have had to change it for copyright reasons). And Bo-mi even says to him "Is this a time for you to have your (500) Days of Summer moment?" Hehe. So I do think this writer was inspired by Summer, although the scene in Summer may have been inspired by that commercial!

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Let’s go to our home.
In informal language.
FREAKING SWOONNN.
I love our nerd!!

This arc almost went borderline makjang, but the ending really saved it for me.

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I also laughed so hard at the scene where se-Hee dodged the motorcycle LMAO. The background music of this drama is pure gold.

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that flipping was hilarious...Sehee is so funny, he tried so hard not to add more expenses to his financial book lol

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Yes. the informal language is what did it for me. Made is SO swoony and hot. ESPECIALLY coming from SH.

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Ah, more insights from Korean speakers. Thank you for highlighting this!

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Yes, especially since he normally speaks in a really highly formal way. All the -nica and -sumnida endings are really formal.

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Ahh, loved that part. Swooning even more now that you mentioned he said it informally! ❤️

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I love the contrast shown in this show with SH being the embarrassing, bumbling fool that he was with the autobike debacle earlier on. (I was so embarrassed for him) To the amazing ending, in which he came through to be that "sahn namja" that JH was doubting throughout the episode. The moment he kicked the mirror and bike down showed how much he truly cared for JH. There wasn't any logic to having pushed down the bike, he already found JH safe and sound. It goes to show how much he cares about JH and her safety. I wasn't a fan of the stalker approach, but I do concede something had to happen to speed up SH coming out of his shell. I love at the end how he dropped formal language and spoke to JH in banmal, using the choice of "our" home which was so deliberate. It felt so intimate and personal. Finally, I love how he extends his hand out to her. Unlike many kdrama heroes who love grabbing their heroines by their wrists, SH remains respectful and by extending his hand he's asking for her consent. When she hesitates, I like that he makes the choice to cross the line he had earlier drawn to grab her hand. To reach out to her. Ah!! Cannot wait to see the next episode!

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One point I want to add about the hand gesture. It is actually a repeat scene of an earlier episode but with one subtle difference. The way they deliberately filmed it, to me, indicates that they wanted to convey this message.

The first time SH raised his hand to help JH up, he simply raised it and waited until SH placed her hand in his. This time though, he raised it and waited until she got her hand partway to his, then he moved in and placed his hand under hers. I believe this is meant to establish that he is changing from a passive supporter to a more established partner in this relationship - he wants to let her respond to his move but won't be passive any longer.

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nice observation! the wedding hand offer was more out of kindness and support, but now he is asserting himself in her life - as a landlord or partner or husband doesnt matter, but he is part of her life now.

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It's crazy how just handholding can cause so much fluttering hearts. They're really doing a great job of organically developing their relationship. Theres many times when I watch kdrama and I don't understand how the lead couples fell for each other.

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true! its progressing at the right pace. I can totally relate to this. I can see how they are perfect for each other. Both are kind hearted, non judgemental, respectful and caring people. Both of them are logical in their own way.

Also, They have met each others parents, understood each others background, they know about each other and talk without fear of judgement - its almost like they are doing a compatibility test on a dating website, except its all real!

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@maple
You should totally start a list of nonsensical couples on the Open Thread. Let's start with the couple from Full House

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@tummy reading your break down of the hand holding made my heart flutter! This show is too good! 😍

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swoon. I love love his casual shifting of Jiho's hand to hia arm during the walk down the aisle in the wedding episode. Confident and casual. No biggie. Swoon.

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Foreal. Who knew SH had that kind of confidence? It was very natural taking her hand and then linking it to his arm. Boys not gonna have any issues in the skinship department.

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I saw the motorbike kicking, also as a way of saying to Bok Nam, that "yes, my life style is not the same as yours, and actually, it's okay if I have to pay off till 2048, because that's the lifestyle I've chosen, and it's not something to be looked down on, and you're still an arrogant twat, and should back away from my wife" :P

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Knowing Se Hee and the rubik cube, I wondered if he'd already decided that the motorbike was Bok Nam's weak point and that even if he broke it into stardust, Bok Nam wouldn't easily sue him since that would reveal the the attempted assault.

Of course, the fact that he is willing to pay off until 2048 regardless is amazing and swoonworthy, but I don't think he kicked the bike without any logic behind it, even in his bloodshot fury mode.

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Most likely. I can't really see Se Hee doing anything without logic behind it hahaha. Even if/when he's in love, I hope he's still uber practical about it, because that is true to character and would also be hilarious on screen.
Se Hee is the kind of guy who knows where to hit home to either make someone feel comfortable (Ji Ho's mother), or uh, make them shut the * up (Bok Nam)

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of course he thought through ALL the possible scenarios. Only after knowing he can handle it all, he went for it! This is Sehee after all! i would not expect anything less from him.
I also feel he wanted to convey the message to Ji-Ho that she is important to her. love or not.

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Wooooo!
I don't really have anything to say other than that I clapped when he broke the mirror on the bike, and that 'let's go to OUR home' was totally intentional and that this show is the highlight of my week sometimes, and still makes me smile every time, and keeps pleasantly surprising me and I hope you all have fun in the comment section whilst I'm at work ;) (and that was a lot of ands)

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With the way this drama is building the relationship of our OTP, I am going to have a serious case of literary fetish like our heroine!!

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Today I was having a conversation with someone and they brought up the semantics of 'our' vs 'mine' and it was a really strange coincidence. I could barely focus, I kept thinking about BTLIOF!

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And he said that in BANMAL

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I'm mad I missed that shift because I've been waiting for them to speak informally with each other for forever. I'm still not super great at picking up those differences. Well, found my excuse to rewatch hehe

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I doubt they'll start talking to each other in informal speech afterwards tho. Probably later? But Korean is my mother tongue so hearing SH say it was so exciting. It made the moment feel so much more personal and a shifting in dynamics with their relationship. It's crazy how just dropping to banmal can change the feel of the entire scene. I really wish you could hear the difference too! I'm sure you'll start picking it up more, the more kdrama you watxh :)

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I suspect it will be a little later. I guess we'll find out haha.
I really wish I could too! And I know how much impact it can have and how much it can change a scene, or an interaction. Haha I actually find the Korean language super fascinating, just from a linguistics perspective along, never mind being able to understand dramas, so I do want to learn properly (at the moment I just learn via Duolingo, the app, and go off what I've picked up from dramas and YT videos). I can pick it up with some word endings, like the more obvious endings, and names are easy, but yeah.

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I have yet to understand why banmal can be romantic. It explains that it is casual. Maybe someone can explain? Because I want to squeal too. I only squealed at the words 'our home'.

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I'm so glad you've mentioned how important the banmal is. Not speaking Korean I would have never known the significance. Thanks!

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@light when you use banmal it indicates, familiarity and closeness.

SH was a character who never dropped banmal with JH and was very formal in his speech with her. So for him to drop it at that moment, it was very significant and why so many of us were squeeing in that moment.

You're right that banmal is casual. You could use banmal with your friends or someone younger or some even with their parents. Or banmal could even be used to be rude to someone.

Koreans will actually even verbally discuss with each other "hey, let's drop to banmal" or "just speak to me in banmal" and gain permission to speak in banmal.

It's hard to understand the context of using banmal if you're not too familiar with the language or culture. I feel like it could be a hard concept to grasp since there isn't really Anythinf like it in the English language. Or maybe I just suck at explaining. Haha. I wonder if someone can clarify it better.

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I have a story relating to banmal. I obviously know about it cause that's my mother tongue, but I was born and raised in the states. We had a family move from Korea and there was a girl who was older than me by 7 months. She was a grade above me and she was so pissed off when I spoke to her in banmal. We were just middle schoolers at the time. But in America we have no concept of banmal and I was quite stubborn in why I had to speak in jondaemal (formal) to a kid that was only 7 months older than me. It's then that I realized that banmal/jondaemal is such a huge thing in Korea. It's hard for me at times though because it places such an emphasis on hierarchy And status.

You can see it in how it's depicted in Korean dramas. Freshmans groveling to their senior (sunbaes) where as in American culture, different grade levels can be friends.

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A good drama that's depicting this concept right now is go back couple. These characters go back in time and they're still stuck in their adult mentalities so they speak banmal to college students who are supposed to be their sunbaes. They get caught on it all the time and they awkwardly tack on that "yo" at the end.

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Here's a great article from dramabea a! I knew they would have something
http://www.dramabeans.com/2010/07/glossary-banmal/

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Whoops. Sorry for the explosion of posts regarding banmal. ☺️

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I wish I could say I caught this, but I didn’t, and it makes it 10000000x more swoon worthy! *i probably would have had to be carried off by him, forget the hand-holding* This would have gone from a G rating to NC-17 in no time flat after this scene. Forget Su-Ji jumping Sang-gu.

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What kind of witchcraft does this writer possess to make grammar sooooo sexy????? GRAMMAR!!

Lee min-ki is too sexy for honorifics.

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... I might just be a language and lit nerd, but grammar can totally be sexy...

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I expect nothing less from my favorite Dramabeans wordsmith @sicarius! It is the kind of passion for grammar and literature that will keep our Literary Fetish Club strong!

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Hahaha exactly!

I'm just here thinking about Shakespeare and classic prose with more archaic English techniques and how it's so frakking beautiful, to the point where yeah, I'd call it sexy hahaha.
Also using whom and whilst is just so much more fun and sounds so much, yes, sexier than who and while!

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I will just uselessly comment that maybe of your profile picture all your comments are so cute,lol

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Hahaha do you mean my profile pic doesn't match me being cute?? :P ;)
Thank you? I think :P

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He chose jiho over kitty that's love right? right??

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/cliché response coming right up.../

If that's not love then I don't know what is (ノ∀`♥)

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At the very least he values Ji-ho and Kitty equally! And with how much he likes Kitty... Yup, it is love.

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Wow, is it even possible? What if it will be Ji Ho over Kitty someday?? I will be shook

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Are we getting an episode of Kitty being jealous? ; ))

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I think nobody realized that kitty is the real second lead in this drama lol

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That's why Kitty's spot at bed should be replace by JiHo. Soon...

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Kitty loves Ji-ho too!

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Yes... we will see how SH met kitty.

Obviously, a montage of those times where kitty and SH got close to declaring their love but backed away.

The scene where kitty was about to make her move but JH moved in that day.

And now, how kitty is an OTP shipper like the rest of us and faked her sickness in an attempt to get JH to see that SH can love.

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Haha.. you're hilarious!!! 😂😂😂

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This could be real. #WingCat

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This is totally canon in my book.

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And he was willing to pay for the motorbike's damage until 2048. That's true love!

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kitty is sehee's Horcrux

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I don't think so... Se Hee would never be capable of ruining his soul so much that he could rip out piece of it and place it in another vessel. Se Hee is too kind! only evil people can have horcruxes.

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maybe the umbrella in While You Were Sleeping can be a horcrux. cuz' Yoo Bum is looking mighty evil.

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That ending!!
The "Let's go to OUR home," the way he looked at her, AND even taking her hand! Initiating contact! I just melted into a puddle.
I'm rubbing my hands in anticipation to officially see them fall for each other, especially Se-hee.
Now we only need a couple name. Ji-hee?

On the other hand:
One thing that really struck me in this episode, which I think was portrayed with such subtlety and finesse, was Ji-ho's reaction to Se-hee's thrifty antics with the motorbike.

Unlike everyone else, she wasn't mocking him or utterly embarrassed of him (although she might have been embarrassed FOR him), and she didn't judge him for his choice either.
Instead, she was sympathetic. I think because she saw a bit of herself in him. After all she is (and I quote from their wedding day) the person that "married him for a housing discount." She can't really judge him for being so sparing.
And if her friends reacted that way with Se-hee, how would their reaction be if they knew the real reason she got married to him? I think JH is aware of this, which is why the situation was no laughing matter for her. It only highlighted how similar she is to Se-hee.

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I also think Ji-ho's reaction to the motorbike incident was really important to Se-hee. I from his glances in the hospital, it seemed like he was in part worried about what Ji-ho thought. And also, I think the scene provided a bit of a balance between the two of them. The day they met, Se-hee witnessed an embarrassing moment for Ji-ho and was understanding. So when Ji-ho witnessed his embarrassing moment and was equally understanding, it helped them be a little more equal.

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Hee-ho?

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