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Greasy Melo: Episodes 5-8

Everyone seems destined to end up at Chil-sung’s restaurant (or building) one way or the other. Even though we get introductions to a few of the quirky minor characters that will undoubtedly give the show some seasoning, it’s a little odd to think we’re two weeks in and we still don’t know much about everyone. But each episode is so fun and flies by so quickly that I can’t complain — except I’m left hungry for more!

 
EPISODES 5-8 WEECAP

Sae-woo and Poong both avoid reading their fortunes, perhaps more out of fear of what it might say than anything else. Sae-woo’s overprotective horse freaks out when it seems like Poong will leave the emotionally fragile Sae-woo on her own (why yes, the horse can understand what’s going on, and he can talk).

Poong assumes the horse is acting up because he’s hungry, and Sae-woo reminds Poong that he still hasn’t fulfilled his jajangmyun promise. He doesn’t know what she’s talking about, because he doesn’t recognize her since she’s still wearing her fencing mask. But he agrees, nevertheless, since she’ll be his first customer.

Chil-sung also doesn’t recognize Sae-woo due to her mask, but gruffly agrees to wait on her. He’s baffled when she asks why he’s always around her, pointing out that she’s the one at his restaurant. When he threatens to have her horse removed from the premises, Sae-woo realizes that she’s about to enjoy a delicious meal at a time when when she should still be suffering, and leaves (but remembers to take some radish for her beloved horse!).

 

Poong is furious, reminding Chil-sung that in order for his revenge plan to work, he needs customers, and they won’t get customers if Chil-sung keeps scaring them away. Poong forbids Chil-sung from interfering with the kitchen or do anything that would disrupt the restaurant.

Thanks to her family’s funds being frozen, Sae-woo is broke, so she goes upstairs to the loan offices. Chil-sung finds her there, and they’re both like, “You again?”

 

He doesn’t want to give her a loan and tries to kick her out, but she pleads. He reluctantly agrees, but only if she takes off her mask. She does, and Chil-sung’s gobsmacked to realize this masked woman is Sae-woo. He does a complete 180 from grouchy gangster, suddenly filled with tender concern about why she would need to borrow money. She explains that she needs 10,000,000 won for surgery due to cancer.

Meanwhile, Chil-sung’s boys are out drinking and grumbling about how they’re supposed to be Poong’s underlings from now on, even though to them he’s a nobody. That doesn’t sit right with any of them, so they make a plan to capture Poong — and force him to get a matching gangster tattoo.

 

They also make him get a tattoo of the Big Dipper constellation — or the “Seven Brothers” — and they put his name on the last star as a permanent reminder that, no matter who he is in the kitchen, to them he’s just the maknae. Ha!

Sae-woo visits her father in jail. He’s outraged to discover that Sae-woo’s groom skipped out on the wedding, and says she should just get divorced (since they’re technically married due to registering it a month prior to the actual ceremony). It also means there’s no one to take care of Sae-woo, but Dad tells her to hang on a few months and he should be out in time. He was framed for the corruption, and once it’s proven that he’s innocent, Sae-woo can go back to her old, comfortable way of life.

 

Dad is also worried when he finds out she borrowed money, but she says it came from a good guy. She then shows her father her fortune. It’s a quote from Stephen Hawking that says, “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet.” Sae-woo says a different good guy gave her the fortune. Haha, now Dad’s worried because she knows so many good guys.

He asks her which guy is the better guy, and Sae-woo decides it’s the one who gave her the fortune cookie. But Dad thinks it must be the one who loaned her money, because what use is a fortune cookie?

 

Back in the kitchen, Poong declares that he’ll only teach the boys how to cook when there’s a customer. They scoff, pointing out they never have customers. Everyone’s surprised, then, when they hear a voice from the restaurant, asking to order.

It’s the gum-peddling granny. Even though the gangsters scoff that she’s not a “real” customer and try to kick her out, Poong insists that she’s still a customer, so they’ll fulfill her order. As the boys reluctantly hustle under “Head Chef” Poong’s orders, who should walk into the restaurant but Dal-hee and Seung-ryong.

Gum Granny takes their order, but they’re only really there to kill time until they can rent out the clinic space in the building so Dal-hee can set up her own practice. Because of course we need everyone under the same awkward roof!

Now that she has the money for the surgery, Sae-woo goes to the doctor to ask him to perform it — on her horse. Bwahaha! So her horse is the one with cancer, even though she was moping around like she was the one who needed it (making everyone — including us viewers and Chil-sung — think she was the one with cancer).

Back in the kitchen, the gangster boys are getting more and more irritated at Poong’s exacting orders. Poong takes over the noodle-making when one of the gangsters hurts his shoulder, and that’s when he spots Dal-hee in the restaurant. He hides, trying to come to grips with the fact that his (ex)wife is there. Poong becomes a total control freak, desperate to make the most perfect dish ever.

 

He learns that the boys wash the woks with soap — a big no-no, since the soap particles linger and make everything taste like dishwater. The gangsters are defensive: “We’re hygienic!”

Poong flies out of the kitchen to stop Dal-hee from eating her jajangmyun — but it’s just an oppurtunity for Seung-ryong to smirk and tell him how terrible the food is, and that Poong will never be successful and beat Giant Hotel. Ouch.

At least Gum Granny thinks Poong’s food is delicious, and even the gangsters are won over when they finally try the food. They’re now supportive of their new maknae, but Poong fires them all because of the lazy mistakes they made. Poong points out that just because the loan contract with Chil-sung said Poong had to work with the gangsters, it didn’t say he couldn’t fire them.

 

Chil-sung orders Poong to leave, but Poong instead puts up a “help wanted” sign. Sae-woo walks up just then, delighted to realize that there’s a way she could earn her living expenses. The gangsters straight-up call her crazy when she says she needs to be paid 15,000,000 won a month, but Chil-sung does his best to shush them.

Just before she leaves, Sae-woo asks Poong what his fortune said. He has no idea that she’s the same woman from the bridge and just blows her off.

The gangsters want to get back at Poong, but Chil-sung just orders them to think long and hard about what they want to do with their lives. Then he books it out of the restaurant, chasing full speed after Sae-woo, only to pretend that they “just happened” to meet at the same bus stop.

 

Gah, I love how pun-filled their conversations are. When Sae-woo tells him having a crush on someone is no big deal, Chil-sung is elated. He’s essentially been given permission to have a crush on Sae-woo, even though she’s still technically married.

After her horse’s surgery, Sae-woo sends Chil-sung a text letting him know the surgery went well. Oh, and that he can’t ever have a crush on her because she’s a married woman. Then she’s sad when he doesn’t text back. Ha!

Poong finally pulls out his fortune and reads it: “The one before you now is your true love.” Hmmm.

 

A woman walks up to the restaurant, looking for a job. She is CHAE SEOL-JA (Park Ji-young), and her knife skills are on the same impressive level as Master Wang’s — to no surprise, considering they were trained in the same kitchen (and even had a torrid affair!). She’s been a private chef for the past ten years, but now is looking for a new job and a place to live.

The gangsters, who have been secretly watching, are in awe of Seol-ja skills, but they also are determined to get their jobs back. They pull out the contract Poong signed with Chil-sung, pointing out Chil-sung has the real authority. Chil-sung demands his boys go through a test just like Seol-ja. He pits Maeng-dal against Seol-ja, and if Maeng-dal wins, then the boys get their jobs back.

 

Seol-ja makes the requested dish to utter perfection, and Poong hires her. As for Maeng-dal, well, he’s still in the walk-in cooler, trying to hide from everyone. Is it from embarrassment due to his lack of skills? Or is it because he wanted Seol-ja to win since he fell in love with her at first sight? Who knows, but because he lost his chance to get his boys hired back, Chil-sung orders Maeng-dal to stay there and freeze to death.

Poong’s annoyed that Chil-sung hired Sae-woo to work at the restaurant, despite the fact she has no experience. He rudely tells Sae-woo that she’s useless and he doesn’t want to work with her. Poong immediately promotes Sae-woo to general manager, which means that not only will she make more money, Poong won’t be able to fire her.

 

Pffft, Chil-sung and Poong have a childish “You can’t do that!”, “Yes I can!”, “CAN’T!”, “CAN!” screaming match. It only ends when Chil-sung says that if Poong has a problem, then he can take it up with a lawyer.

Poong leaves to do just that, but Sae-woo stops him, still curious to know about the fortune he received in his cookie. He ignores her, and she wonders if he really hates her that much. Poong bluntly tells her that it’s infuriating she only got a job because of her connection to the building owner. So, yeah, he hates her.

 

Seol-ja finds Maeng-dal shivering in the walk-in cooler. She assumes that he must have stayed in there so that he could make sure she’d win and get the job. She then asks if he’d like her to help him melt his lips — with her own lips. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

They head to a nearby hotel (Giant Hotel, of course) because, as Maeng-dal explains, he lives with roommates and doesn’t want to, ah, disturb them. Seol-ja is shocked that someone his age doesn’t have his own place, and walks off in a huff.

Poong goes to the lawyer, but the lawyer is on Chil-sung’s side, so Sae-woo gets to stay as General Manager. Poong is, of course, angry about it, and returns to the restaurant, looking for Sae-woo — but she’s nowhere to be found.

 

In limps IM GEOK-JUNG (Tae Hang-ho), who Seol-ja worked with previously and is now unemployed and down on his luck. Feeling embarrassed about his bad leg, Geok-jung timidly asks about the position of noodle maker. Since he comes with Seol-ja’s approval, Poong hires him on the spot. When Geok-jung points out his disability, Poong is like, “What, do you cook with your feet?” Aw, Geok-jung’s thrilled to finally have a job.

Poong is still angry about Sae-woo becoming manager, but finds a plate with a fortune cookie. Instead of a fortune, it contains Sae-woo’s resignation.

 

Poong realizes that Sae-woo is the woman in the mask from the bridge, and re-reads his fortune (“The one before you is your true love.”) Now it’s his turn to sprint out of the restaurant and chase after Sae-woo. He finds her at “their” bridge, worried that she’s considering jumping. She’s not — she’s just drowning her sorrows in beer.

He’s definitely relieved, although they bicker some more. He admits that he couldn’t stop thinking about her, his first customer in the fencing mask. She’s still curious about what his fortune said, and he lies that he threw it away without looking at it, afraid whatever it was might come true.

 

COMMENTS

I love this weird and wonderful show. There are so many odd little moments that make you go, “Wait, what?” (like the CGI gangster wings!), but I’m hoping we’ll find out they mean something important later (maybe our gangsters are really angels?). I mean, I don’t know why “poop” or “gum” is a running theme in this show, but I’m actually kinda enjoying it as a weird kind of symbolism. Maybe the show is trying to teach us that when your life has become total crap, the only way to move forward is to stick together, like gum. Or maybe it’s just odd moments being odd moments, nothing more.

I do feel like there’s legit magic in this show, though. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Gum Granny turned out to be a mythical creature in disguise, here to sell her gum and make sure everyone’s dreams actually come true (just, y’know, not in the way they’d originally planned). There’s certainly a ton of history that still needs to be untangled first, starting with Seol-ja and her relationship with Master Wang from ‘way back when. I’m really looking forward to getting to know all the minor characters that have cropped up this week, and how they fit into our one big “Happy Wok” family — or at least keep track of how many characters Lee Mi-sook is playing. I think I’m gonna need a cheat sheet for that, though.

 

All the weird little character details are so delightful, though. I cackled when we found out that Chil-sung even sleeps in his sunglasses. But that actually makes the moments when he takes his sunglasses off seem all that more meaningful, as though they are his own mask he wears to deal with the scary world. When he doesn’t wear his sunglasses, suddenly the scene feels so much more intimate and sincere. I also love that he has a huge picture of Al Pacino in The Godfather on his wall, just because I still want him to be the fairy godfather for all the down-on-their-luck folk that are flocking to his building, hoping for another chance. (Although, I was surprised that it wasn’t a picture of Nietzsche.)

I’m not really expecting deep messages from a show with a talking horse, but I do appreciate that there is enough heart (you gotta keep chewing through the sour to reach the sweetness) to prevent the wackiness from going too far off the rails. The only thing that makes me hesitate is this dang love triangle. The adorable chemistry between Sae-woo and Chil-sung makes me so happy — I get a silly grin on my face during their playful banter, and my heart melts over the fact that he’s clearly head-over-heels for her and concerned about her and wants to help, and that she’s a little charmed by him, too.

So now I’m groaning that the show is literally telling us she’s apparently Poong’s “true love.” But he doesn’t deserve her! He’s been so mean to her, and is still obsessed with getting Dal-hee back. Sae-woo has her own troubles to deal with, she doesn’t need his drama added to her own! She hasn’t even been able to eat jajangmyun yet!

 

 
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LOL, the maknae tattoo!

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I just asked a tattooed acquaintance how long the wings portion of the tattoo would take in the real world. For a single-color, no gradation design, he estimated:

1) Day 1: line work is about 5 hours
2) Day 2: solid fill is about 3-5 hours.
Total hours: 8-10 hours!

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Plus days of healing in between. ;)

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...well show dearest you had me there for a moment. its not saewoo but rather her horse with the cancer. hahhah...never could have guessed that scenario. well played show,well played!!

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HAHAHAHAHAHA, mee too! I thought it had to be Sae-woo, and I had imagination what's going to happen, like when she would tell Poong or Chil-seong, or when it was just a false test result, LoL.

And I was quite surprise: IT'S THE HORSE WHO HAD CANCER, LoL.

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Can Sae-woo actually hear the horse's thoughts? Wait, is the horse the 3rd lead as part of a love square in this Wok? Will he get a growth arc of his own as a cancer survivor with his not-quite-unrequited love? Is there something special about his poop that I am not seeing that Viki decided to blur out his pile like they would with knives?

Thanks Writer-nim for greasing my wheels with all the melos. I need to know!!

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I didn't even notice that the pile was blurred...hahahaha

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😆 Here is the screen capture outside of the restaurant:
http://www.dramabeans.com/members/kimbapnoona/activity/489725/

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Thank you! *giggles*

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The problem is that Korean censor standards means that knives etc are blurred out. So I couldn't work out if the blurring was a joke by the PD or a censorship thing. If it was a gag, then it was muted by the confusion.

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Also I spent a lot of the episode pondering the similarities between poop and jjajangmyeon. It's one of those elements that I just don't get it, although I do find interesting in the context of the show's references to both death and nihilism (Nietzsche, cancer) and life (food, sex). Poop is somewhere in the middle of all of this and it looks like jjajangmyeon.

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LOL that's called Thinking Too Hard

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Well jjajangmyeon looks like poop. And in a show where little of the randomness is actually random, a terminally-ill horse crapping in front of a restaurant that serves food that looks like crap is unlikely to be random either - especially when that horse will now live.

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While I'm enjoying the drama, I'm just not loving it as much as I had hoped (it was the drama that I had looked forward to the most). It was the same with Jealousy Incarnate. While Jealousy Incarnate was a good drama, that drama and its H/h just never really clicked for me. I'm hopeful that this drama will grow on me because so far I'm not finding it as funny as Laughter in Waikiki or its characters as endearing.

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Rather than "weird and wonderful" I've found this show tries to be too slapstick and silly. Like, it's trying too hard and failing. However, I'm still gonna watch it for Jiho and given all kdramas tend to become more serious, that's what I'm hoping. Surely it can maintain a balance of a sense of humor and seriousness without being Laurel and Hardy

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If you are hoping this show is going to transform to become a more serious everyday drama, I think you're going to be dissapointed. With this writer, nothing big's going to happen, nothing will seem to be happening but the fun will come from the character interactions which she does so well.

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I didn't really mean a serious every day melodrama, but just tamper down the silliness, it's too much and it isn't funny (at least not what I consider funny).
So far, I haven't felt any "fun" from the character interactions, It's like she's saying, hmm, what else can we throw in to be slapstick? Wait, let's have the horse poop. And how about a silly hat? ETc.
btw, what else has she done? I'm curious as to other dramas with "character interactions which she does so well". I wonder if I've seen any of her other dramas. I love when characters have great interactions, but these just seem to be over the top, too much.
I do sense some depth of seriousness underneath though, esp with Jiho's character. I'd just like some depth, which I still am expecting. I don't believe it's going to be all silliness all the way. That would get old, er, it's already old.
The above is of course only what I like and my opinion...plus it's midnight and my brain's getting a little foggy. I do appreciate your input, I'll think on it.

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The last half of the 8th episode was encouraging - more of the kind of drama I've been waiting for.

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I was kind of on the fence with this show wondering if it was just going to continue with the over-the-top slapsticky type humor, and then the horse started talking, and I realized I was all in. It's so weird, and the odd little magical moments make me also wonder if the magic is part of this universe. Are the gangsters really angels? And Chil-sung as a fairy godfather would be perfect, but I don't want him to be a heartbroken fairy godfather at the end. Their chemistry is too good for that.

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I find the weird and goofy interactions between Chil-sung and Sae-woo absolutely delightful! Their wavelengths feel so perfectly in sync that I kind of now want a spinoff drama of Jang Hyuk being the goofy gangster boss with the heart of gold and Jung Ryeo-won as the badass Godmother (dash of Ma Yi-Deum) with a touch of innocence.

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How cute was it when he surprised her outside the restaurant and they both just stood there giggling for a while? It was such an unexpected yet perfect response to the situation.

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I tend to prefer my shows to be supernatural fantasy OR magical realism right up front. I think I'd be disappointed if this turned out to have actual magic especially after the abysmal pointlessness that was Evergreen.

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I really want to know who's voicing the horse because the voice seems familiar but I can't quite place it.

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Shin Dong Yup

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Thanks so much!

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Is this drama going for ship war? Cause I'm all team Chef Poong, but I don't want our Mr. Light to be heartbroken at the end because he seems head over heels for Sae Woo.

One thing I love about this writer is that I somehow can predict where this drama is heading to, but I still can't wait for it because I know it's not going to be boring with her over the top characters.

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I don't want a ship war, mostly because I can feel myself having an opinion on this one and Ship Wars are only fun from a distance. I'm still scarred over my NOTP war on the My Ahjussi page.

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It’s getting weirder and weirder and I am so here for it. I loved everyone in the cinema watching Notting Hill, and Jang Hyuk’s later Julia Roberts callback. He is the cutest gangster with a crush I’ve ever seen. It also kind of moves me how much Poong and Sae Woo believe in their fortune cookies. There’s a kind of childlike purity in that which makes me want only good things for them.

Also, how visually lovely is this drama? The scene where Poong steps outside the restaurant and watches as his Cutting Part magically appears among the cherry blossoms was one of my favourites. The whole restaurant set is a treat to look at.

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How hilarious it is to know that thugs love Notting Hill as much as the next ahjumma, even while watching it with sunglasses on in a dark theater!

Okay, so this is not at all with childlike wonderment, but rather with the upmost childishness, but I must play the obligatory American fortune cookie game:
Sae-Woo's fortune: Look up at the stars and not down at your feet, IN BED.
Poong's fortune: The one before you is your true love, IN BED.

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In our house, we like to say "between the sheets." ;D

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I know it was meant to be comedic, but the tattoo scene was really triggering for me. Maybe it's the way the scene was shot but the way the gangsters held him down and forced that tattoo on him felt way too violating. Doesn't help that the tattoo was really big as hell and would HURT. But other than that, I quite enjoyed this week's episode, although I can't see CS's lackeys as innocent bumbling reformers anymore lol.

I don't agree with OP tho, SP's never been mean to SW other than when he thought she was getting a job as manager, which imo was justified. He hates people who gets positions thru connections, which is understandable. Besides when she was at her lowest point he was the one who made her feel better without even knowing who she was. I know a lot of ppl find SP arrogant, which he is but I hv no problem with him owning his ability. He has a temper but it doesn't help that he's surrounded but such infuriatingly useless help who won't listen to him.

CS is a cute ahjussi with a crush, but I need more characterisation before I can ship any of the couples, bc SW needs more characterisation too tbh. This show is a hot mess, I really hope once they're done with the introductions we'll get a tighter plot with better editing.

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This drama is utterly ridiculous, but I love it.

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Also: shoutout to Lee Mi Sook’s giant sparkly hair bow in the hotel lobby scene. Why do I now want to try wearing one of these even though I know it will make me look crazed?

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That was Giant Sparkly Hair Bow PPL. Go ahead and wear one, all the cool people are doing it.

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I realized at least three things watching this pair of episodes:

1) My Kdrama heart is big enough for two biases. As Kim Kang Woo's Our Husband Oh Jak Doo winds down, I'm already building a shrine for Jung Hyuk. (They reshot JH's earlier scenes. He's clearly too charming in a cravat and colored shirts.)

2) I need a bigger wok.

3) So that's how pros make matchstick cuts!

I want to know that gum seller's story. It seems she knew Chil-sung's father. What's her deal?

*returns to sharpening knives before leaving for work*

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I get that the sunglasses are a running gag in the show, but I feel so relieved every time Jang Hyuk removes them so I can properly melt in the presence of his hearteyes *sighs*

Re 3), I am not sure if that's how pros make matchsticks cuts, but it is a very efficient to make a giant mess in the kitchen while maximizing the exposure to the onion vapor.

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Yes, the onion scene was absurd. *adjusts swimming goggles*

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We're talking about the cucumber cutting, not the onion. If you blinked you could have missed it!

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1. Jang Hyuk in his suspenders and sunglasses is making saying goodbye to Kim Kang Woo as swoony vest wearing Jak-doo much easier.

3. I'm too impatient, and am pretty sure I would cut myself, badly.

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Suspenders, vests, plaid.....are we into ahjussiwear or hipster look? 🤔😆

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In my part of the world, the quality of the haircut and beard eases the look into the hipster zone. (*strokes husband's beard*)

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I was totally enthralled by #3 too!! It was very illuminating! I need a chinese knife skills class!

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Bit by bit, everything started coming together. I can glimpse how 'Hungry Frying Pan' will turn into some sort of refuge for people who desperately trying to find a second chance at life.

As usual with this writer, I freaking love the conversation. The double (maybe triple) meaning, the deliberately misleading sentences (especially all those pronoun-less conversation), and how almost everything they said is bordering absurd but strangely, resonating enough to make it felt grounded.

p.s. I do miss Jealousy Incarnate PD though, because the editing and directing here didn't click quite well with the writing and acting.

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I miss the JI PD too. The editing and directing definitely at best leaves something to be desired, and worst leave the viewers confused, Jealousy Incarnate IMO has one of the most beautiful soundtracks. For a wacky and at times wistful shows like this music can immensely enhances the feels.

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MTE. I'm enjoying the heck out of the parts of this show that I love, but I'm also kinda mourning the brilliant show this could've been in the hands of a better PD, editor, and sound editor. I'm just gonna have to work at choosing what I focus on-- luckily, there's much to delight in.

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I'm hoping they will find their groove with the editing as the series continues.

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I absolutely loved the way they used music in the first two episodes. I thought their choices were a bit more random this time. But then I thought the entire episode was random so maybe that works?

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"She hasn’t even been able to eat jajangmyun yet!"

This is my biggest concern. GIVE HER (me) THE JJAJANGMYUN.

Ha, I laughed when the operation scene came up. Surely they don't put horses on an operating table? Can you get one up there? Anyway, loving the show. The wackier the better!

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Haha my thought exactly when I saw the horse on the operating table. Also that vet's office looks nothing like any vet's office I have ever seen (of course, it is set up to be intentionally misleading 😆)

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blnmom, " Surely they don't put horses on an operating table? "
As an animal loving nurse, your question got me curious.
I first thought that they might have several people lean a sedated horse against a tilted upright table with some hydraulic capability, strap it to the table, and tilt the table horizontal.
But after doing a couple of quick google searches, I found 3 or 4 photos and a video that all showed using a hoist/pully type thing in the air to pick the "sleeping" horse up by it's delicate lower legs and depositing it on the tables that have all sorts of adjustable functions.
https://media.gettyimages.com/photos/thoroughbred-horse-is-hoisted-onto-an-equine-operating-table-ahead-of-picture-id117008008?s=2048x2048

Here's one description, but it seems a bit dated.
The short video clip I saw had wraps around the horse's 4 lower legs connected to the overhead hoist, and swung the horse over the table:
" Then, a large hoist that's been hanging above you the entire time comes down. Ropes are placed around the horse's ankles and the horse is hoisted by his feet up into the air and the surgical table is quickly wheeled beneath him. When the table is in place, the horse is carefully lowered onto the table on his back."

Short video clip:
https://www.facebook.com/302602791619/videos/10152214646316620/

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I read recaps for "Chuno" and have thought for years that Jang Hyuk is the bee's knees, but I'd never seen him in anything until this show. I tried several times to watch this but couldn't get into it. (In the meantime, I reread all the recaps for "Fated to Love You.") But I persisted, mostly because PakalanaPikake, ChinguMode, and others seem to be enjoying it, so I figured there had to be something to it. Today I made myself finish the first episode, then it was on to the second, and now I'm hooked.

I'm sorry to see that the show is now making an open bid for the Poong–Sae-woo love line, because I really can't see past Chil-sung. Lord, that man is fine. Jang Hyuk looks like he's about to burst into laughter in every scene, but he still infuses Chil-sung with a manliness that I can't resist. And his heart-eyes for Sae-woo are sometimes too much for me.

I love that there are so many characters now, and I especially love the beautiful older women. This is my first time seeing all of the leads in anything. Jung Ryeo-won is surprisingly likable. Junho is...not registering on my radar at all, as Jang Hyuk is jamming all signals. I have good memories of the actor playing Maeng-dal from "Liar Game," and I like Geok-jung and the actor playing him. And, again, I love the beautiful older women. I think it's actually rather brave and subversive of Lee Mi-sook to be playing a decrepit character, at her age, but her other character is gorgeous, so I guess she's not risking her brand much, haha. And I have found Park Ji-young formidable since "Scarlet Heart," so it's nice to see her here, looking softer but still impressive.

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*slapping forehead* Aaaaaah. I was confused Odilettante's reference to Lee Mi-sook's multiple characters. Damn!

Junho is...not registering on my radar at all, as Jang Hyuk is jamming all signals.

Yaaaaaas!

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"Junho is...not registering on my radar at all, as Jang Hyuk is jamming all signals. "
YASS.... THIS MADE MY WHOLE WEEK... just dang so witty and so true!

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@lindl,

Am so glad you're enjoying WOK and Great Happiness [Dae-gil] himself. (But how have you ever managed to avoid actually watching CHUNO?!)

I laughed aloud over your jammed radar. Because I've been watching Jang Hyuk in all sorts of shows over the past few years, I suspect that I have automagically developed extra bandwidth to appreciate other accomplished and hunky actors onscreen with him. Thus I get to drool over both him and Junho. And the classy and photogenic Buster. ;-)

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"Junho is...not registering on my radar at all, as Jang Hyuk is jamming all signals."

I am an avid Junho fangirl and still feel this way! I can't tell if it's the power of Jang Hyuk or the way they've written the Poong character (I find it hard to relate to him and find him offputting without the charm of the other characters). I haven't seen Jang Hyuk in a drama for a while and I somehow forgot he's simply magnetic.

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So there are dramagods! Am so glad it's not her with the cancer, altho am sad about Buster.
Chil-seung and his super adorkable "oh, what a coincidence!" and "sneezing!" seemed to fit quirky Seo-woo much, I'll be sad if they are not meant to be. But then the casual beer sharing with Poong happened, wow, they are so comfortable with each other already. Plus fate seems to be in Poong's side? Don't make me take sides, show! Guess the only match am sure if is Chil-seung + Maeng-dal ><

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Oh, yeah, the sneezing! What was that? Super cute. I laughed so much at it because it was completely irrelevant to anything. I wonder if it was an adlib.

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I also think it was an adlib. JH loves adlibing. He did a not during Fated to Love You too.
And he is not saying 'aachhoo' but 'sneez' in Korean which makes it funnier.

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Her reactions to him doing it were funny and natural as well. I loved that scene so much!

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I did wonder about what he said exactly, thanks for the translation!

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When SW with CS is fun and quirky
When SW with Poong is relax and comfortable (esp in the bridge scene)

so idk 😅😅

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I get a friend vibe from SW and Poong For sure. But that said, a little skinship can go a long way....

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That's what I thought too, like wow, indirect kisseu already? ^^

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Am I weird that I like the fact that Joon-ho is left-handed? it makes him looking so sexy!

The way he ate Jajangmyeon reminded me of Seo-Yool... :)

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yesssss I thought that too since Chief Kim
The way he is eating is so delicious and sexy, and one of the reasons is because he left handed
okay I’m weird.. sorry 😅

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@nomunamu Namu,

You're not nuts... or maybe we both are. One of my college buddies was a lefty. As a righty, watching him eat with chopsticks was strangely fascinating. I don't know why, it just was. ;-)

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One of my favorite parts of Jealousy Incarnate was the frenemiship between Lee Mi-sook and Park Ji-young. I'm delighted to see them come together again in GM, and especially in roles that are so different from their JI characters. Wouldn't it be great if they traveled through a couple more dramas together, like Sung Dong-il and Lee Il-hwa have done in the Reply series?

I, too, thought that maybe Gum Granny is a supernatural being. Either that, or she's a Birth Secret Mom. I'm fuzzy on the details-- have we ruled out that she really could be both Poong's and Chil-sung's mom? (Didn't she say something about feeling like they were her sons?) And/or she could be younger Lee Mi-sook's mom. In any case, I love her, and I hope Lee Mi-sook is having a blast playing her.

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Yes, I'm curious about whether Gum Granny is someone's mom.

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Thank you @odilettante for the weecap
I’m enjoying this week episodes 😆

• okay so the one who got a cancer is our horse, Buster... lol they tricked me... now I please forgive me doctor, I’m already want to make a comment about the way you gave explanation to your patient 😅
• when Poong got a tattoo, I’m not sure if I want to laugh or feel bad for him
• Poong’s ex wife and that jerk ceo... They intentionally really want to open clinic at the same building with Poong’s resto now? woaaa
• my favorite part : the shouting war between CS & Poong LMAO
I keep repeating that part and still laughing
• and idk but I get the feeling that Seol Ja and Geok Jung is a former employee in SW household, and Lee Mi Seok is her mom (the young one) 😝

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I've been wondering the same thing...

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Me and my sister had that exact shouting war... when we were 6.

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I love this show!
I loved it when granny Lee Mi-sook stuffed gum in both of their mouths. None of these guys is scary, their hearts are too big.
I though that Poong was overly harsh with Sae-woo and was getting annoyed... then he ran all the way to the bridge where they met and drank her beer. Sae-woo has charmed these two just by being herself.

I don't care who she ends up with, I just want them all to have a happy ending, especially Chil-seong!!

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These episodes got even wackier. Wacky, I can embrace, but I really need the PD and editor to step it up.

Chil-sung continues to entertain me. Jang Hyuk is all over the character. The punching bag made its appearace and I was like "Yep. Of course."

I'm glad SW doesn't have cancer although I'm sorry the horse does.

Poong continues to frustrate me.

The fortune cookies have spoken; I don't mind if SW are Poong are the OTP, but I thought the fortune cookie reveal and everything that came after was kind of hamhanded? Rushed? I don't know. It didn't quite work for me.

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I can't really say I love this show yet, but I enjoyed what I watched so far, although it was kinda all over the place. I love and already connected to all characters, except... Poong. Sadly I must say, Junho's approach on his character yet to convince me - I can't connect to his character. It's clearly not a good sign when I keep picturing other actors in his place while watching him as Poong. Anyway, since this drama is fun to watch, I'll be continue watching for now. It's over the top at times, but the actors seem to have much fun doing this drama so maybe that's why we can enjoy this.

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Yeah, it's strange because he managed to do the asshole+charm combo so well in Chief Kim, but Poong is missing the charm and quirk. Maybe it's the directing or writing, who knows, but he hasn't seemed to settle into the character yet. Hoping he finds it soon!

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Maybe Poong's true love is Buster, not Sae Woo.

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That would explain so much.

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LOL.
I could get behind that.

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Better not. You know what happened outside The Happy Wok. ;-)

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what happened? The pooping?

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Aside from the possibility of being pooped on, there's also the risk of being kicked.

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Hahaha, a love that can't handle a little poop or being kicked isn't love at all! Or maybe that's what we call a love-hate relationship.

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Any man who is happy to clean up after his beloved is worth his weight in bean paste.

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Yea, slide in a Beauty and the Beast or Poong and the Horse twist for us so Chil Sung can be with Sae Woo and everybody except bodybuilding jerkface can be with their true love! Hahaha

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I reaaaally want to like this. And to a degree i do. But some moments seem too dragged out for my taste. So much of the power struggle between Poong and Chilsung seemed repetitive. I wish the writers resolved that issue after 1-3 times of that bit. And it was kind of infuriating that the lackeys were not respecting Poong in his own kitchen lol But other than that I love it so far. The talking horse really is the one that took my heart lol

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The problem with falling in love so fast, is that you then have to get to know your lover after. So I spent most of this episode going, "Is this really true Drama Love? Isn't this Love just a liiiitttle too crazy for me?

The talking horse SPOILER the horse is not talking, she just believes the horse is talking END SPOILER at the beginning in the field gave me delightful magical realism vibes but then the show seemed to fly off into randomness that I was having trouble piecing together.

While the first two episodes had a lot of random elements, I felt all those elements had meaning. But in this I was struggle to stitch them together to make something coherent out of them.

I really like the observation about the sunglasses though. If Chil-sung's mask is his sunglasses and Sae-woo's is an actual mask, what's Poong's?

She hasn’t even been able to eat jajangmyun yet

But neither has Chil-sung! Considering how much time they put into establishing that Poong has the jjajangmyeon that both Sae-woo and Chil-sung need, it was agonising to watch them both nearly eat it throughout this episode but not actually get it.

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I really like the observation about the sunglasses though. If Chil-sung's mask is his sunglasses and Sae-woo's is an actual mask, what's Poong's?

Interesting question. His marriage, maybe?

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I'd say his anger? We didn't get to see it a lot, but prior to his betrayal Seopoong was for five minutes much happier and less prone to screaming lol. After, he walks around wearing his wok like an armour and becomes like a prickly hedgehog. 1 bc he's hell-bent on revenge, and 2 cd bc he's keeping everyone at arm's length afraid of getting hurt again. It's hard to sympathise with a hero who's hurt and angry and lashing out, especially when all the other characters are happy and carefree, but that's what makes him interesting for me lol.

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Yes I want to say his cooking although I'm not sure that works entirely.

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@leetennant ChinguMode,

"If Chil-sung's mask is his sunglasses and Sae-woo's is an actual mask, what's Poong's?"

His chef's uniform. He's really a noodle-slinger at heart.

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If Chil-sung's mask is his sunglasses and Sae-woo's is an actual mask, what's Poong's?

agree with @Ona... His anger or for me is more like His shouting and his pride as a Chef

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Loving this goofy and bubbly show so far and I'm also totally charmed by chil sung and already committed to that ship but ugh, now they're trying to give us coded messages about who shell end up with and since the fortune cookie alread said that I'm guessing shell end up with poong *sigh*

Anyway, my only serious complaint is how these episodes are broken up. Because its in 30 minutes installment so sometimes the story feels disjointed and not cohesive

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Hate it, hate it, hate it! Chopping the episode half just so they can air ads? They're ruining their own art! If they want to make a 30 minute sitcom, they should do it instead of making these long, arty episodes and then cutting it to pieces.

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Blame the weird law about advertising and PPL that they have to work with.

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Jang Hyuk said in an interview that he himself came up with the idea of sunglasses and suspenders for CS. The former is becoz CS doesn’t want others to read him, and he only takes them off when he needs to express his sincerity. The suspenders are becoz he wants to DS to show a sense of youthfulness in an adult body.

As for Al Pacino, well that’s JH’s favorite actor and his favorite movie is The Godfather haha

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Thanks for those BTS tidbits, @prettysup!

I thought as much re: the sunglasses.

Now that we know why Chil-sung has the portrait of Al Pacino on his wall, can a bust of Nietzsche be far behind? It might be at home instead of in his office. ;-)

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Oh btw I think there’s a typo error up there, it’s CS who wants SW to be the general manger, not Poong.

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As much as I ship Poong and Sae Woo, I can't be sure that the fortune is talking about SW. "The one you love is in front of you" is pretty vague. Couldn't it be that the fortune is actually about restaurant or cooking according to his own terms? Unlike at Giant Hotel, he can finally cook dishes how he wants to and be rewarded for it.

But then again, there's a talking horse in the show so I might be wrong lol.

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Odilettante, thank you for the recap. The show has a bit of a fairy tale feel. Horses that talk or people that think they do, fencing masks, angel wing tattoos, mystery granny. Watching Seol-ja cook that dish was mouth watering.

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Show, you had me when the horse suddenly starts talking. Horsey understands jumping over the bridge means death for his human love. I'm laughing and rolling my eyes at once which is a difficult thing to do. Haha..

About the gang scarring Poong by forcibly tattoing him-if I were him I would kill them for their meat but he seems oddly ok with it the next day. It is as if he managed to peel off the cheap sticker on his back.

Poong, can you please cook soon or at least the jjangmyeon for the poor girl soon.

Strange assumption - I have come across jajangmyeon in a lot of korean drama so I'm assuming that it is a famous dish served in chinese restaurant. The fact is to my understanding as a chinese, it is not remotely as famous as it made out to be, I mean I have never tasted jajangmyeon and didn't know what it is till it showed up in k-drama. But there are many other types of noodles in chinese culture and I really didn't know that jajangmyeon is one of them. Maybe some chinese beanies here know otherwise, kindly enlighten.

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It is Chinese cuisine Korean style. For some reason Koreans call it Chinese food... I suppose it's a form of fusion food that they've developed over the years. It vaguely resembles Chinese food in that it uses black bean paste and yellow noodles. But it's definitely uniquely Korean.

I've had jajangmyeon only in Korean eateries here in my neck of the woods.

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Same here, I am Chinese but I have not eaten jajangmeon anywhere else except in Korean restaurants haha...

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Perhaps it's more famous and/or popular in some countries with Chinese majorities/minorities. Jajangmyeon's hardly eaten in Chinese restaurants in Malaysia as far as I know. Not in Korean restaurants here either.

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Ah well, I wasn't too far off. ;)

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If you don't mind me asking, where are you based?

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I come from a land down under.
:D

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Ah, so it was from Shandong. Thank you.

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“About the gang scarring Poong by forcibly tattoing him-if I were him I would kill them for their meat”

yeah me too!
but maybe it’s true that the wings part is the sticker tattoo (idk what it’s called) and the real tattoo is only the constellations 😅

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I was more surprised that the gigantic poster in the room wasn't of Julia Roberts considering how he's been crushing on her for decades.

Feeling my age when I saw them all gawking at Julia smooching Hugh at the cinema. I saw it in the cinema when it first came out too but I can guarantee you that nothing that interesting happened in the stalls. Not sure how Chil-Sung manages to watch anything with the sunglasses on either.

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Thank you for recapping, odilettante!

The show is a three-ring circus, and I'm enjoying it.

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I can't take Junho's acting of being angry or strict seriously. I still see him soft. I don't know if I make sense.
Anyways, this show is entertaining. I want Jang Hyuk and Jung Ryeo Won loveline.

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I might be the only crazy one who think the Poong getting the tattoo is sexy? lol 😆

TBH, I am still a bit disappointed with the editing of this drama and esp how they potray Poong. There are toooo many characters and the main ones seems less polished (?) hmm.. but I’m just enjoying it as much as I can. I’m already a happy IT-ppa, being able to watch Junho every week hahahaha

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Yay to Chil-sung for Sae-woo! But wait, she IS officially married to that jerk who ran away, right? Dang that sucks.

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This show is indeed weird and delightful.

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Horses in a drama? Time to come back and comment!!! I'm baa~~~ck...! Okay, I'm at the start of Episode 5, where we get the horse's monologue. I LOVE THIS. My first horse and I were like this, and he HATED everyone else. That was MY little guy, and I was his. He was even that orangey chestnut like this one! I am loving this drama so far with all its weird quirks, and I can't imagine another person portraying any of the characters (esp. Jang Hyuk, hahaha). And the fact that our horse gets as many costume changes as any of the humans has me grinning like an idiot. I'd better end this before it becomes a paper on just the horse. More later when I catch up on episodes and read other comments!

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I usually do not develop second lead syndrome but this time I might: Chil-sung is such a wonderful character- a bad man struggling to become a good man, who dreams of a better life not just for himself but even more for his boys. The moment when Sae-woo looks him in the eye and asks him to be her light may have been one of the more romantic moments, in a way, that I have seen in a Kdrama- it brought tears to my eyes. Of course, that is when we all thought that she was dying of cancer. I really like her, so I am glad she is not (sorry horse), but why couldn't Poong end up with someone else (but not his ex-wife- I am done with her and would have been happier if we never saw her again unless it was when she tries to crawl back to Poong and gets kicked to the curb). Why not Seol-ja? And the maknae tattoo? Sheer genius.

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This drama is so boring. I've watched until ep 8 and its still boring. I want to drop it but those 2 are my fav actors.

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