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Greasy Melo: Episodes 13-16

This week’s special menu is a heaping bowl of budding bromance. Poong’s rough-and-angry edges seem to be gradually whittled down; Chil-sung’s past comes back to haunt him; and Sae-woo is confused (not that I blame her). At least we have Gum Granny, the fount of all wisdom. If only people would actually listen to her.

EPISODES 13-16 WEECAP

Despite saving Poong from being burned (by literally throwing herself at him), Sae-woo is super apologetic. After all, it was her fault there was a fire to begin with. Poong is still shaken down to his very core by the realization that Sae-woo makes him feel something, but he comes to his senses and gruffly orders her to go change into a non-burnt outfit.

Even though Sae-woo burnt all the ingredients (and the chef), she’s delighted to realize that she can return tomorrow and be part of the kitchen staff.

Chil-sung kicks out all the drunk office workers, explaining that their chef had an accident. By way of recompense, he offers them a free lunch if they come back tomorrow.

Sae-woo decides to help clean up by washing the burnt wok. Chil-sung doesn’t understand why Poong still uses that old thing and offers to buy him a new one, but Poong’s heart starts to loudly beat as he glares at She-woo. Poong’s furious (at himself, most likely) that he might be falling for a woman who still loves her husband.

After Sae-woo cleans the wok, Chil-sung apologizes for yelling at her earlier. Sae-woo admits that she actually didn’t mind, since it made him sound like he didn’t like her. He confesses that he’s stopped liking her, no really, so she no longer has to feel nervous around him. Then he cutely asks if she’s upset that he no longer likes her, but she just grins and says she’s fine.

Haha, then she tells him she likes it when he yells at her because then she knows he doesn’t like her. So he screams “GOOD-BYE” as she leaves. Pfft.

Sae-woo finds Poong drowning his feelings in soju. Despite his grumpy, “Go away,” she cheerfully tells him that she’ll be the ladle to his wok. His sour attitude finally makes her leave, and she adorably practices holding an imaginary ladle as she rides the bus home.

Poong pulls out his fortune and reads it one more time. He leaves in his empty soju glass and staggers away. He wrestles with the decision to keep wearing his wedding ring, ultimately choosing to keep it on so no one will know what he’s really feeling. (He also meets a super cute kitty, for no apparent reason except to melt my heart.)

The next morning, Poong arrives at the restaurant in time to catch Chil-sung taking a few eggs from the restaurant to use for his own breakfast. Poong offers to cook him breakfast for a favor: he needs someone to wash his hair (‘cause the cast means he can’t do it himself). I’m not sure which of the two gets more drenched in this shower endeavor, though.

After breakfast, Poong readies his team for the influx of office workers who will be claiming their free lunch. Despite all her practice, Sae-woo still hasn’t mastered the ladle. Poong harshly berates her, but when Sae-woo’s out of earshot, the rest of the staff try to persuade Poong to be nicer to Sae-woo (without revealing their secret connection to her).

Chil-sung’s rival gangster (a cameo by Ryu Seung-soo) arrives at the restaurant. Due to the busy lunch rush, he finds a spot in the private room that’s papered with 50,000 won notes. He starts peeling them off the wall, declaring it payback for Chil-sung taking his money.

When Sae-woo says that he shouldn’t do that, the gangster reveals what kind of monster Chil-sung really is. Chil-sung has been convicted three times, and the knife he’s been using to peel off the bank notes actually belongs to Chil-sung — it’s the same knife that Chil-sung used to stab him in the stomach years ago.

Chil-sung hurries downstairs once he sees who’s on the security camera. He orders the other gangster out, and makes it clear that he’ll be stabbed again if he doesn’t leave. The other gangster warns Chil-sung that he’ll be back.

Exhausted, Sae-woo lies down on a bench to take a break, then scrambles up when Poong appears. He checks her forehead, worried in his gruff manner that she’s overworking himself. Sae-woo reassures him she’s fine, but Poong yells at her to go see a doctor. They can’t have her getting everyone sick and forcing the restaurant to close for a day.

Chil-sung is also worried about Sae-woo, but more so because she’s dealing with the realization of what a violent gangster he was (and could still be). When Poong tells him that Sae-woo is at the hospital, Chil-sung practically runs there to make sure she’s okay. He’s still under the impression she’s recovering from cancer, and isn’t aware she’s just picking up medication due to exhaustion.

He confesses that he went to jail three times due to (1) beating up a detective, (2) intimidation and assault, and (3) attempted murder. He knows that he’s not a good guy, so she shouldn’t like him. Sae-woo reassures him that no matter how many crimes he’s committed, she’ll never like him.

Chil-sung and Poong have a nice moment as they sit outside the restaurant and discuss Poong’s failed revenge plan. Poong admits that the restaurant has actually lost at least 5,000,000 won due to the free lunch they had to give the office workers. But Poong is confident that the office workers will help bring in customers due to the viral marketing of social media.

Chil-sung warns Poong that if things continue at this rate, the restaurant will be gone in three months — as would the building, since Chil-sung bought in on a loan. Haha, I love that their money woes bring the guys closer together. Aw, but Chil-sung’s boys are sad that he’s hanging out Poong instead of them.

Ooooooh, Chil-sung’s rival gangster is actually working for Seung-ryong. The gangster vows to help Seung-ryong get rid of Poong and the restaurant, especially since it means hurting Chil-sung, too.

The rival gangster and his boys barge into Chil-sung’s building, finding him in the loan office. The gangster demands his ledger back, but Chil-sung just orders them out. When the gangsters start to search for the ledger, Chil-sung beats them up.

But he’s no match for all of them, and the rival gangster stabs Chil-sung in the stomach, demanding to know where he hid the ledger. Chil-sung would rather die than hand it over, since it would mean that all of the clients he inherited from his rival would be start to be harassed again.

Despite his bloody wound, Chil-sung manages to escape the other gangsters. He only makes it as far as the kitchen, where he finds Sae-woo practicing her wok-and-ladle skills.

When the other gangsters arrive at the kitchen, Chil-sung grabs Sae-woo’s hand and drags her into the walk-in cooler. Aw, but he’s polite about it as he apologizes for holding her hand.

Chil-sung’s boys arrive at the restaurant, surprised to find the rival gang there and their boss missing. The boys jump in to defend their boss’ honor, and full-on brawl destroys most of the restaurant.

Chil-sung feels obligated to go and help his boys, but he’s too wounded to do much good. Sae-woo begs him to stay put so he doesn’t get killed.

As she clings to him, Chil-sung is surprised to find out that she’s not afraid of him like he thought she was. He’s concerned that being in the cooler will make her cancer worse, but she explains that it was her horse that had cancer. Sae-woo admits she let him think it was her so that it would keep him from liking her.

When they hear the rival gangster getting closer to their hiding spot, Chil-sung readies himself to defend himself and Sae-woo. Much to their relief, the rival gangster turns back around to join the rest of the gangsters in the fight. Chil-sung suddenly leans in and kisses Sae-woo.

Sae-woo inwardly panics, wondering if she’s allowed to enjoy the kiss. A falling pig’s foot — the exact same kind that Poong is out purchasing right that moment — falls on Sae-woo’s head and breaks up the kiss. Ka-thunk goes both the trotter and the anvil of symbolism.

Poong arrives at the restaurant, horrified to see the melee that’s going on. He calls the cops and tries to break up the fight, but only gets his broken wrist crushed even more under the rival gangster’s foot as the gangster warns Poong that Seung-ryong isn’t someone Poong can win against.

At the sound of police sirens, the gangsters flee, leaving the destroyed restaurant empty. Or almost empty, because Poong finds Chil-sung and Sae-woo still huddled in the walk-in cooler. Chil-sung gasps that Poong shouldn’t tell the cops what happened so that his boys don’t get into trouble. Then Chil-sung passes out.

Sae-woo speeds through the streets as they drive Chil-sung to the hospital. I love that Poong is the one holding Chil-sung safe in the backseat. Chil-sung is rushed off to the operating room.

Poong worriedly notes that Sae-woo isn’t looking so great herself. She’s suffering from hypothermia, and a nurse asks Poong to help keep Sae-woo warm by massaging her extremities and hugging her. Poong stutters out: “H-hug her?”

He can only do so much massaging with just one working hand, so he gets into the bed with Sae-woo, holding her close to get her temperature up. Sae-woo regains consciousness for a moment to see Poong’s face next to hers.

Poong whispers that it’s just a dream. Sae-woo smiles and snuggles close as she shuts her eyes, believing it to be a nice dream indeed.

Sae-woo’s family (because Seol-ja and Geok-jung totally count as family) rush in and Poong rolls out of the bed to avoid being seen.

Jung-hye and Seol-ja are angry at Poong because he only called them to tell them that Sae-woo was at the hospital, but apparently didn’t bother to stick around. Ha! If they only knew he was hiding at the nurses desk, waiting to confirm that Sae-woo’s temperature increased to a normal range.

Chil-sung’s surgery went well and he recuperates in his own hospital room. His boys reassure him that the rival gangster didn’t get the ledger. They promise to get revenge, but Chil-sung warns them to be cautious. Instead of dealing with the rival gangster, maybe it’ll be a better idea to look into how Seung-ryong is getting his money. If the Giant Hotel CEO is working with gangsters, then there’s gotta be some sketchy funds somewhere.

Sae-woo also visits Chil-sung in his hospital room (after sneaking out of her own room). She tells him that it’s finally time to be honest: she and her husband have been having problems, but she’s not over him yet. Plus, she had a dream. It should have been of Chil-sung since they kissed in the cooler, but instead she dreamt of Poong holding her.

She admits that she enjoyed feeling warm and comfortable in Poong’s arms. Sae-woo starts to cry, wondering what’s wrong with her that she likes so many men. She pleads with Chil-sung to give her some time to figure out her feelings, reassuring him that it has nothing to do with the fact he’s a gangster.

Chil-sung points out that Poong doesn’t treat her nicely and didn’t even want her to be hired in the first place. Plus, Poong is still married (at least, as far as Chil-sung knows). But Sae-woo believes that what matters most is who she likes — not who likes her.

Jung-hye has been eavesdropping on her daughter’s conversation, but suddenly gets pulled away by Gum Granny. Jung-hye is disappointed that Sae-woo is torn between men that Jung-hye doesn’t approve of. Gum Granny grumps that Jung-hye should keep her nose out of it.

Gum Granny is there to visit her son, which she boasts is the best son a mother could want. But Jung-hye finds it strange that such a great son would let his mother become, well, Gum Granny.

Aw, Gum Granny’s son is Chil-sung. Not her birth son (at least, that we know of — hey, this is a melo!). But an adopted son that she took care of ever since he was recovering from an accident when he was younger. He tries to ignore her but she pleads with him that, if he ever finds a woman he likes, to treat her well and not scold her or let his pride get in the way of admitting how much he likes her.

Chil-sung grumbles that he would treat a woman well and give her everything she wanted. Gum Granny insists that some men act mean to the women they love because they’re afraid of admitting their real feelings. Chil-sung retorts that “real men” don’t act like that.

Master Wang runs into Seol-ja at a sauna. They’re both shocked to see each other after all these years. Even though it’s been twenty years, Seol-ja is still furious that Master Want stole her money and left her alone in China. He promises to pay her back — he’s rich and famous now, he can afford to pay her back a hundred times. But she only wants what she’s due.

Thanks to the gangsters’ destructive fight, the restaurant gets a bit of a sprucing up — and a name change, from the “Hungry Frying Pan” to the “Hungry Wok” (with a snazzy new sign!). The repairs also put the restaurant at least 13,000,000 won in debt. Yikes.

A new name means a new menu, and Poong introduces his “Whole Shrimp” menu that has never been done before. Everyone’s salivating as he describes the dishes. The kicker is that this kind of dish could be sold for 150,000 won at the hotel, but they’ll only sell it for 18,000 — at cost. They won’t make a profit, but they’ll at least start to bring in customers.

Later, Sae-woo thanks Poong for for his help at the hospital. He awkwardly asks if she remembers everything that happened, and she reiterates that she’s thankful he carried her on his back. He’s annoyed but relieved that she can’t remember him holding her, and blusters that he didn’t do anything.

He continues to berate her, pointing out all her weaknesses and deficiencies in the kitchen, before finally storming out of the restaurant. Hey, Gum Granny, where’s your “be nice to girls you like” lecture? ‘Cause I know someone who needs to hear it.

Poong orders Geok-jung to follow him, and they go to Giant Hotel so that Poong can retrieve his recipe notebook. He demands to know from the hotel staff if they know where is book is, but they lie that they haven’t seen it. Master Wang threatens to throw Poong out. The sous chef (who is the one who stole Poong’s book) tries to act tough, but Geok-jung easily protects Poong from being hit by a rolling pin.

Bo-ra, another of the chefs who used to be Poong’s friend (and who knows the sneaky sous chef has the recipe book) nervously drops her cleaver. Geok-jung shoves her out of harms way, letting the knife fall into his foot instead — but his lame foot, so he doesn’t feel anything.

Poong still worries as he helps Geok-jung limp out of the kitchen, taking him him to the hospital, anyway. Geok-jung is only concerned that Poong didn’t find his notebook. Aw, Bo-ra watches her new hero Geok-jung walk away. It’s her turn to have hearts in her eyes.

Master Wang sends Seol-ja the amount of money he owed her (plus 100x interest, like he promised). She responds by sending him her phone number, and he makes a date with her later that day. As Seol-ja dresses up for her date, she remembers when Master Wang left her twenty years ago, and how she went begging for a job to support herself. Jung-hye took pity on the young woman and hired her.

Poong practices his “Whole Shrimp” menu, which is difficult to do one-handed. Sae-woo offers to help, but Poong points out that her inexperienced efforts in prepping the shrimp means only a portion of them are actually usable.

She films him cooking the shrimp so she can have it for reference. When he looks at the footage later, Poong grumbles that she cut off the head. When she insists that all the shrimp (including the head) is visible, he retorts that she filmed it without showing his head. Haha, he pettily points out that she missed the most important part — the chef.

He’s not the only jealous one, as Maeng-dal follows Seol-ja to the restaurant where Master Wang waits for her. Except at the last minute, Seol-ja backs out and sends Master Wang a text saying she won’t fall hopelessly in love again. Then she tells Maeng-dal to join her for dinner.

Sae-woo joins Poong outside the restaurant, where they enjoy a beer together. Poong sighs that his recipe notebook has over a 100 recipes, and all the results of his trial and error attempts to perfect his recipe. He can’t remember the exact recipe he created for his “Whole Shrimp” without it. He whines that his notebook is gone, his wrist is hurt, and his wife left him. His life is in shambles.

He takes off his wedding ring and sets it on the table, repeating that he’s no longer a married man. Just so Sae-woo knows. Then he shares his earbuds so they can listen to his favorite song. After all, the “wok and the ladle” can do that much, right? Poong asks if Sae-woo is hungry, then says that he’ll make her noodles.

COMMENTS

How can such a simple offer to make noodles seem so sexually charged? This show is confusing me because I just want everyone to be happy together, but I don’t think dramaland is exactly ready to accept polyamory as a viable option. I’ve warmed up enough to Poong to decide he might be just a little bit worthy of Sae-woo after all. I mean, how can I hate a guy who totally melts when a kitten climbs into his lap? But I also appreciate that he seems to be working through the shock that he might actually like Sae-woo (and not just because a slip of paper told him so), and is beginning to treat her with respect. Yes, he can be bossy in the kitchen, but he didn’t complain when she literally kept stepping on his toes in her effort to live up to his culinary expectations.

My heart still belongs to Chil-sung, though. He maybe a tough gangster who’s gone to jail three times (which probably why he greets people with his standard “three” sign). But he’s also so protective and caring about other people, including those on the rival gangster’s ledger. The fact that he’d risk his own life to make sure the people who owe money won’t get brutally harassed for repayment makes his past crimes fade away in my eyes. He wants so much to stay out of trouble and help his boys live normal lives. He’s definitely no “monster,” unless he’s the cute’n’cuddly kind.

That’s not to say Chil-sung can’t be dangerous. I think it’s interesting that he decided that they should go after Giant Hotel’s funding. I’m assuming that the money he used to get a loan for his building came from what Chil-sung stole from the rival gangster, and I have to wonder if his building is somehow connected to Sae-woo’s father. He did have a contract or paperwork of sorts with Sae-woo’s father’s name on it. As much fun as I’m having watching the day-to-day operations of a restaurant (which, admittedly, still hasn’t had any real customers), I can’t forget that there’s a corruption scheme out there. The best way to a girl’s heart is to save her father from a lifetime in jail, right?

Even though the show still sometimes feels disjointed, I love watching all of our characters’ arcs slowly come together and reveal how they’re all connected. It might be easy to gloss over the minor plot threads when the main trio take up so much love and attention, but the minor characters are delightful in their respective quirky ways. I’m already anticipating Bo-ra to be the first to abandon Giant Hotel and join the Happy Wok team (and tell Poong who really stole his precious recipe notebook!).

I might be confused about how I feel when it comes to the main romance, but I’m definitely all aboard the minor lovelines and hope that Seol-ja and Geok-jung will have delightful adventures with their new budding romances (or potentially budding romances). Happily-ever-afters for everyone, please!

 
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This drama continues to hit all the right notes for me. I am torn on the main love line as I really like both Poong and Chil Sung and want both to be happy. On a positive note, I'm glad we got minimum screen time of the ex-wife and Seung Ryung - they are just drags on the storyline.

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100% agree about his ex wife 😆😆
I’m so annoyed with her
She aborted their baby, cheated him, but I also don’t think she really in love with the CEO
She came to injured Poong, and ask who did it to him, if it’s the CEO, suddenly feeling worried about Poong
ooh really girl, I hate her 😒

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Did Poong really love her, though? His appeal notably had more to did with what he promised her father than her.

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We will see more of the ex-wife- and hopefully only a little more of Seung Ryung. I cannot stand that arrogant, silly, stupid manchild. Please give me a villain I can respect.

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This show has so much heart, even if the directorial style is disjointed. I loved the evidence that even noodle guy is starting to feel like part of the kitchen family. I would like to point out that we know Poong can be warm and caring, we saw how well he treated his kitchen mates before the crushing betrayals. Right now he is just in a hole full of bitterness and anger because every, really everyone, turned on him. And why isn't that kitten reappearing? Happy Wok could have a restaurant cat!

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Yes, Poong is so warm all the time, I realised this episode. He worries for and takes care of Sae Woo, Chil Sung and Goek Jung when they get hurt. He trusts in the word of his former colleagues when they lie to his face about his recipe book. The yelling is borne of an unyielding professional perfectionism which is part of his "innocence" as Chil Sung might put it - his belief in the power of talent and effort. And yes, a touch of romance-denial, for sure. But otherwise he's such a softie!

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myheartisomg,  "...The yelling is borne of an unyielding professional perfectionism ...- his belief in the power of talent and effort. ..."

Much as I like Jang Hyuk (Fated To Love You (!), The Client, etc), and I don't recall having too many issues with Jung Ryeo-Won in Bubblegum or The King Of Dramas, but for the last few episodes, my patience with the writers and the characters is being increasingly stretched toward the dropping point.

Regarding Chef Poong's (LJH) "unyielding professional perfectionism", I'd like to see a lot more of that.  
Poong's natural talent was trained. Why isn't he teaching some basic skills to the staff when they have no customers?
Instead of getting his broken wrist healed as quick as possible, why is Chef doing so many strenuous things that will endanger his whole career if it develops malalignment and scar-tissue and doesn't heal correctly, with full function,
 let  alone attacking professional thugs after calling the Kdrama cops (who warn off the bad guys with their siren, then never show up).
I didn't see him getting his crunched wrist getting rechecked.
 Why is long haired Jung-Hye not tying her hair up and possibly also keeping it under a clean hairnet or cap, while in the food prep or serving areas? 
Why don't all of them wear hats while working? It seems to be a sanitary law here.
Why was the place open when the "useful" staff, (especially highly skilled Seol-Ja), was gone and he clearly couldn't do any cooking functions, so that big crowd could come in?
Why weren't they politely turned away, perhaps taking names for a future discount? Or why wasn't the staff called back while drinks were being served?
As soon as Chef was hurt and got his cast, why wasn't the menu temporarily severely reduced to a few items the staff could handle with his supervision?
Why don't they have any marketing strategy and advertising?
Why do we have to watch the off-putting, ongoing fumbling incompetence of Sae-Woo, who could be shown how to chop ingredients,
and have Seol-Ja, who has demonstrated her skills, assisting the chef?
(Have some forced romance, anyone?)

Mother Jung-Hye's weakness, complete incompetence, unwillingness to learn, and being so coddled by her employees is a real turn off.

There's the hospital ER critical hypothermia treatment farce.

"his belief in the power of talent" ?
There's  been far too many Dan Sae-Woo (JRW) inept, bungling, useless and harmful scenes to accept her being kept around for more abuse. 
She's another typical Kdrama difficult female lead character that unbelievably has multiple men totally devoted to her. 
She's supposedly had "advantages" which must have included some kind of education, was a married woman, but she sees a stabbed man, covered with blood, collapsing, and her response is to repeatedly ask him if he's OK, instead of immediately calling their version of 911?
 Her total lack of food prep experience and clumsiness is...

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I wonder if it's possible to have some kind of warning when the word limit is reached?
And how about a comment EDIT function?

...... Her total lack of food prep experience and clumsiness is not endearing.
Her driving to the hospital and turning completely around to look at the back seat, was nerve-racking.

The drama will get better, right?

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Junho and that kitten!!!! The visual I never knew I needed in my life!!

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You should check out his instagram @le2jh if you haven't already. He is a total cat ahjussi - he has three at the moment and they make frequent appearances :) He even wrote a song in tribute to his cat Lambo who died (it's called 'Fine', it's so lovely).

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I just checked his instagram... He is indeed a cat ahjussi... LOL 😂😂 All his cats are sooo cuteee... 😍
His love for cats reminds me of Bambam. He too always posts photos of his cats and constantly missing them when he is abroad..

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His cats are so cute!!! Thank you for letting me know about his instagram account. :D

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@myheartisomg thanks for sharing his instagram account. Who wouldn't love a cat person.....

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The budding bromance between SP and CS was the highlight for me this week.

I like SP and SW, but I'm just not feeling the romance. Something is just off for me and thus I spent a lot of 15-16 bored. That's not to say I want SW and CS together. CS's crush has been adorable, but I'm ready for him to move on.

The kitten was cute.

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Me too, me too, I loved that breakfast scene and that Poong's surprise "hyung."

Which reminds me, HELP: was that margarine or mayonnaise that Poong mixed with the salted fish roe for the breakfast bowl? The container looks like Japanese or Korean mayonnaise, but it makes more sense if it were margarine--it's often mixed into hot white rice. But does margarine come in squeeze bottles in Korea (and/or Japan)?

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There wasn't a label on the bottle but I'm pretty sure it was mayo. Korea sells it in squeeze bottles like that. I've never seen butter/margarine in a squeeze bottle.

Anyway, that dish looked GOOD.

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Yep, must be mayonnaise. Rewatched the breakfast clip a few times (for the bromance as well as the recipe) and found the consistency to be too soft to be margarine.

I have that salted roe in my freezer and I have all the other ingredients except, believe it or not, EGGS! As soon as I get eggs I'm definitely making this.

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This show is so clever. But maybe a little too clever?
I spent most of these episodes trying to track when Poong and Chil-sung were wearing their combinations of white (light) or black (shadow). Or how often the cold/hot theme was used both literally and figuratively. By the end, I realised I'd missed plot.
On the one hand, I love that every scene has three meanings but geez keeping track of those three meanings can be challenging.

I'm trying so hard not to get into a shipping war so I'll simply say this: Sae-woo was in the freezer with Chil-sung (cold) and then developed hypothermia despite the kiss. She only warmed up because of Poong, who was pushing her away because being next to her was "too hot".

Her confusion comes from feeling obligated to Chil-sung because of his treatment of her and because of his openness about his feelings. She does not really reciprocate at all. Poong is the one she's truly drawn to. But her husband's about to pop back up any minute as well so I don't expect smooth sailing, even if Poong is ready to consider the idea.

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Yes, her husband will be back as soon as her dad proves his innocence. I hope this is not going to be a major source of angst, because it's obvious that he "loved" her for the opportunities she could offer him and not for herself.

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Actually, his wife might try to come back too, when Chil-sung finds a way to take down her boyfriend and Poong is doing well over at the restaurant. I hope that doesn't get more than a few minutes of screen time either.

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Right back at the beginning she rejected his food. But if you look at it again, the food she rejected was the fancy Chinese restaurant food she claims to want and she rejected it for the greasy jjajangmyeon she claims to hate. So his wife is definitely going to realise she made the wrong choice and secretly wants jjajangmyeon (Poong) over Michelin-star (Douche what's-his-name McDouchface ).

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Teach me your ways, @leetennant!!
I am not nearly as observant as you are. I was missing all of these light vs dark, warm vs cold clues...
Where do I sign up for enlightenment, please?

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I would enjoy this show so much more if I can pick up all the symbolisms you do lol.

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Wow - what excellent analysis you give! Now I'm going to have to go back and re-watch everything. I can't keep up with symbolism stuff since Korean isn't my native language. I have to divide my time between subtitles and what's happening on screen. That doesn't leave me enough time to catch all that -which is why I started coming to DB in the first place. I wanted to know what all I had missed and between the recaps and the comments it made a lot of difference. I usually find a second watch improves my understanding of everything, but I don't have time for that often.

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@rukia @almond @kingsqueen
Wow, you guys, I'm so flattered that you enjoy my comments. I love this show and it's so good to enjoy it with other people.

I also don't speak Korean so things like Sae-woo meaning "prawn+" and then Poong making a three-course "prawn" dish passed me by.

+I just can't use the American 'shrimp'. Those are clearly prawns.

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and Poong's favorite ingredient is prawns...!

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Wow... this makes a lot of sense coming from this writer. Before reading your comment, I was thinking Poong might be second lead after all with the kitten's appearance. Cos dramaland sometimes gives its second leads a cute consolation pet instead of a loveline. :|

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You're smart. I just wanted to say this, because Holy Hades, you picked up on stuff that I did not pay attention to *at all* (I was just plain mesmerized by the bonhomie between Poong and Chil-sung and the little bits of interaction between SP & SW and between CS & SW. I dunno how you picked up on this, but this is a really interesting and illuminating way of trying to pick up on course of this show (also, the three meanings ties back to Chil-sung's hand sign; I guess this show is obsessed with threes).

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Chil Sung's three hand sign is clearly taken from Jang Hyuk's real life three hand sign. He is always teased for making this unusual sign. DCS is kind of spoof of JH in this drama. If one is fan then she or he will know.

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This is my first time watching a drama with Jang Hyuk; I didn't really know who he was before this drama (I came for Junho).

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Like I've said only fans will know. Not like DCS is completely like Jang Hyuk but DCS's likings are similiar to JH. Sunglasses, three hand sign, martial arts, Godfather movie, horse, Hong Kong action movies, philosophy and many more. Not just this even many incidents too. Initially JH characterized DCS differently but later writer asked him to express DCS like his own personality. They reshot his scenes in initial eps.

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Jang Hyuk kept making three finger sign (for pictures) in Carefree travelers, and he said it just happened that way, but others concluded -He is bragging about having three kids. lol

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Maybe it's true. His third finger appeared after having his baby daughter in 2015.😂

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When she kissed Chilsung, she said it felt warm, however.

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True, but she still got hypothermia until Poong's intervention.

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Because she was in the freaking freezer! Everybody feels cold in the freezer. Maybe she should've kissed him back to feel 'warmer'. By the way it was quiet funny to see Poong warming her with body heat. How ridiculous! Maybe writer watched Twilight.
Jacob warming Bella with his body heat. Plot-twist SP is a warewoolf.

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But that's the point of @ChinguMode 's symbolism isn't it? It's not just SW feeling cold towards CS's interest, CS literally left her freezing and SP was there to literally warm her up. I guess the writer's into physical manifestations of her characters' feelings rather than just letting them talk it out lol. I can't say it's an effective method for me, but it's creative nonetheless.

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@almond
Lols. I'm not used to such intricate symbolism. Maybe the writer herself tangled in the web of sybols that she forgot to come out of it.

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@almond
People either love this or hate this. I personally love it.

The advantage of television is that you're given scope to communicate visually as well as through the other elements of storytelling. So for me a great show has strong semiotic communication, such as visual metaphors.

For me, having a character cold in their interactions with a person in one scene and warm in a scene with another is a far more effective means of communicating a person's feelings than 15 minutes of awkward exposition or people talking out loud to themselves.

But, yeah, it's either something you love or hate.

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That whole thing was amusing to me when hospitals are filled with heated blankets just for situations like Sae Woo's 🙄 But take it from me, there's nothing dreamy about the blankets 😉

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Wow, that is a great theory with the hot and cold. It makes sense and it explains Sae Woo feelings in all of this.

That husband is going to pop up any second and I can't wait to see how he explains his radio silence while trying to convince her he still loves her. That and his parents + stalker/obsessed coworker who wants to marry him. He is going to have lots of explaining to do.

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Maybe too clever for you, but thankfully we have you to enlighten us! Seriously, I didn't get the hot/cold symbolism at all (smacks forehead) but oh, yeah, you got it all right. Keep it up, we appreciate it! And maybe someday I'll be able to "get it" on my own (but probably not).

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Now that I've re watched several scenes, I'm seeing double meanings everywhere.

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the scene where the bish ex-wife came when poong was outside the restaurant. it's kind of symbolism when sae woo went into the restaurant = like sae woo slipped into his heart without him knowing hihi

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It's been obvious from the moment they met on that bridge that the writer sees them as the OTP. I mean, she's obsessed with jangjangmyeon and he makes the perfect bowl--it's in the premise.

Maybe if CS was anyone but Jang Hyuk. He is just not second lead material. And it's refreshing to see a man who just admits his feelings. Sae Woo encourages him or he would not have been so persistent. They have such a natural, quirky chemistry that I find myself rooting for them even though all signs point to Poong.

And I still can't connect with Poong, despite adoring Junho in everything else he's been in. I wish he'd dialed into more of his quirkiness for this role--maybe it's the fault of the director IDK. He is so self-centered and has such a hard time seeing things from anyone else's POV. His love for his wife was all about him and not about what she needed or felt--the same goes for what he feels about Sae Woo. Same for everyone who works for him in the kitchen. Same for CS and the gangsters. I find him so dialed into his own wants and needs that it's really off-putting.

That said, their chemistry is getting better by the episode, and only expect that to continue.

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I don't understand why Jang hyuk isn't 2nd lead material. Why all the hero worship for him? I just don't see he's that great. I mean, he's a good actor and all, but most comments I read anywhere about him, fans think he's the best actor ever. Just, no.

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Fans everywhere think that their favorite actors are the best thing since sliced bread!

Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but I don’t think that attitude and that amount of gushing is exclusive to Jang Hyuk fans. No actor is universally liked, so of course you won’t always agree with people. I like him and definitely can see why his fans love him, but I’ve never finished a drama of his that I’ve started.

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Ha, ha. I was going to use the phrase "best thing since sliced bread" but didn't think anyone would know what it meant!

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I like Jang Hyuk but I don't think he's perfect. Some dramas he's awesome, in others not quite. But that's not the point. I don't mind my fav actor being 2nd lead. A coherent and good story is more important.

I've put this show on hold but if the OTP is going to be Poong and SW then so be it. It was the same for APAD. I was fine if the show wanted to make Min Ho and Bo Young the end game even if I liked Dr Ye better. The journey there is more important.

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What's the formula for "first lead", "2nd lead" anyway? Is it billing? Is it "whoever gets the girl"? Why does it have to be that way? Why can't they both be leads? Why can't it be a trio? I like the bromance just as well anyway. And it's going to be the three of them against the CEO.

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Frankly I have no idea. Maybe it's because I don't pay that much attention to it. Of course,it is more obvious in some dramas than others.

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Often acting valued not onpy based on an actor performance but also based on the story/charachter and production... no matter how good an actor, if the charachter is not well written or the PD push the actors to over-dramatic acting the actor may look bad (while really good in their previous/next project)... I agree that JH wasn't perfect in all of his projects but he was really really good in some f them... just like all other good actors he can't be his best when a story/PD is medicore...

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This has nothing to do with wether you think he is a good actor or not or wether you like his style. But he has a lot of experience and has worked hard for many years so he has earned some respect in the industry and from at least a good part of the audience. He just finished a drama where he did really well and got praise and even a Baeksang nomination. He is not just “any” actor. I’m not saying he is perfect just because he is my favorite but he does deserve respect because he has earned it. Naturally his fans worried when he voluntarely relinquised his first lead status of so many years to support a much younger actor (wether he is good or not has nothing to so with this). But ok, he decided this based on the trust he deposited on the writer and PD (and who knows what goes behind these decisions, actors belong to angencies) The drama was promoted as a “three lead drama” but now it clearly is not. You tell me if that is fair. It is not imo but whatever, nothing can be done. Now all is left for us his fans is to hope that the writer has at least some plans to develop this supporting character to some deegree. As usual he is doing his best for character, the writer needs to cooperate. Anyway you don’t see many senior actors doing something like this. It speaks highly of his love for acting that he will overlook the things that to other actors are vital (first lead status) even if you don’t like his style please respect him and give him the credit he deserves. This production is benefiting from his presence, because he still is a recognized A lister. Denying that is actually very petty, no matter what you think of his skills.

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Damn I made so many speling errors and typos! I can’t edit them. Sorry about that.

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I wasn't just thinking about the "2nd lead" comment, but other dramas and other commenters as well. I'm not denying he's a good actor (though a couple I saw him in I thought he over-acted), but the attitude of he's so fantastic that he's above everyone else that I've seen from other commenters, that I just didn't see. I meant no disrespect to him professionally or personally.
I have my favorites too that I like to praise that perhaps others wouldn't agree with. Personally, I think Junho is great at emoting and so place him in a high position.

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But it feels very much like a 3-lead drama to me, Jang Hyuk is at least as prominent as the other two actors. His character drives the story more than the others so far. Just because he doesn't end up the romantic lead doesn't mean it's not a lead role.

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@bbstl: I'm liking how it's a 3-lead, especially now that they've establish they don't know whether to choose friendship or love. It's her choice, after all.

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Replying here because there’s no more room down there. My simple answer to why some people think JH is awesome? Same reason you think LJH is awesome. At the end of the day its a matter of taste and preference. I find JH to be fantastic, when he is well directed. I never expect an actor to be perfect but some have more skills and experience and hard work does wonders too. Then there’s the matter of charisma, sex appeal which is all in the eye of the beholder too. The matter of versatility which people judge in different ways. And the matter of what do you value most in an actor and what are you willing to forgive? (Personally what I value most is when actors can express with their eyes, I forgive mumbling and non-perfect ennunciation which can drive other people crazy) I personally love JH in some roles and even in some scenes more than others (in some I even disliked, overacting can be his weakness but he also has many strengths that compensate especially when he plays subdued characters that express only with the eyes. He also has martial arts skills that make him good in action, and has enough range to go from comedy to drama) But in general, who am I to judge who is best or worse? All I can say is who moves me more, who convinces me more at a given time. All I can talk about is about my own preference since Im not a professional in the field of acting to be a judge. In summary, at the end of the day its a matter of taste. One person’s garbage is another person’s treasure. Maybe to you he is just so so but to me he is awesome and that’s ok 😊

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You're right... I was talking to a well known director and he was saying that good acting is a matter of taste to a great extend... apart from some terrible actors (wooden expression, dead eyes, lack of vulnerability, bad body movement, extreem facial expression, etc.) if an actors sustain their reputation in the movie industry for long time and made a good resume we should respect them as good actors, weather we like them or not...

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Talking about good action. Korean actors have it all over American actors, imo. My daughter has me watching some Criminal Minds episodes with her and while the main cast are fine actors, the side characters are terrible actors, wooden expressions, etc.
You're right too, directing has a lot to do with what the actor can accomplish in a part.

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@linda-palapala, totally off-topic but my daughter is also like yours. I've gone through all 13 seasons of Criminal Minds with her (binge-watching over a few months). Just hope all that watching is not turning us into budding psychopaths...

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The formula for first lead has to do with billing/payment (tho Im guessing that depends) but also importantly, screen time. This drama was initially promoted as three lead drama, but so far, its not what we are seeing and at this point it I don’t think it will change or it makes sense to change that. I just read an article translated from Korea where they specifically mention how JH while being a “second lead” and having less screen time is still managing to shine. This proved what I was already perceiving. He is clearly the second lead, based on screen time alone. This would be perfectly ok if they had not said initially he was going to be co-lead. It was a bit deceiving and I guess you can understand why many of his fans were disappointed. If they had set the expectations correctly, it would’ve been different. And like you said, In other dramas we have seen many cases of co-leads but I’m 99.9% sure its not the case here.

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On this subject, a prime example of a bit of deception on the PD and promotion dept as far as leads and "who gets the girl" was "The King Loves". Since I was an HJH fan, even though he was the 2nd lead and it was obvious he would end up with Yoona's character, I was happy. But I totally understand the dismay of fans who were misled to believe Im Siwan would end up with her.
As far as Wok is concerned, I was a bit surprised the Junho has most of the screen time (at least so far). It was promoted as a 3 lead drama and even so much as it looked like JH was a chef too. But I'm used to promotional deception so I didn't pay attention to that.
Even so, it's only half over. So who knows what's coming.

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Actually, my point of "who's first lead" was not literal, but our perception of what constitutes the first lead and thus our expectations are often faulty.

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@Linda Palapala
For those fans he maybe the best actor ever. Some people love him, some just like him and some criticize him. This is also true for pretty much every actor. No one is universally loved. Personally I like him but I think he doesn't get many quality projects where he could get the chance to reach the 'greatness'. Only few 'lucky' actors always get the chance to be the part of 'great' works and to play 'great' characters. He has done a few bad dramas too and I feel he was also demotivated for a while that's why he also has many critics.
I can see some people saying that he is too great for this drama in comments section but this doesn't mean they are necessarily hero-worshipping him. I see it differently. JH has been in the industry for a very long time and he worked really hard(probably more than his peers) to maintain his presence even though many things go against him so it infused his fans' mind with certain kind of admiration for him. They identify with him. It was built over the years. On top of that in most of his dramas he takes very large share of screen-time so seeing him playing relatively insignificant part here may have unsettled some of them. They expect more for him and it's true that he is too old and seasoned to be part of a cheesy love triangle.
Personally I respect JH's choice and I'm even fine with low screen-time. But I don't like the fact that instead of developing his(and also other protagonists') characters all he is left with is being third wheel of the love story. I would love to see his backstory and his budding relationship with Poong's character. Their triumph and getting Poong's revange. But all we get is very old school love triangle where a goody good 2nd lead is constantly persuing and then getting rejected by the female lead. It's no fun. If they have casted JH then they should've given him more to do. But then the writing is lacking in every aspect and all of the actors are also suffering. Like Lee Mi Sook is a 'great' actress but she even doesn't have a proper character to play.
I don't think JH signed in for this that's why he looked clueless in the press conference and even in vlive (you can watch this). It's so unlike him.
For the shipping problem, the funniest thing is JH even doesn't have romantic image. He mostly plays grey characters who hardly ever get the girl. So he hardly ever gets shipped with the costars. But this time his character is very-very likable. So it's more like people are shipping DCS with SW not JH with JRW.

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I had no idea one off-hand sentence in my reply would cause such a stir! Love it. Seriously.

All I meant was that the second lead in a drama is meant to be likable but less charismatic than the lead, and therefore you don't feel as bad when his heart is broken. But second lead syndrome is painful. I rarely have it. And I am actually bitter that JH is just killing it and causing me severe SLS. That's all I meant.

I'm not some avid JH fangirl, I've only seen him in a few dramas but I've liked him in all of them. He's just really stood out in this drama and I cannot deny his charisma and talent. It wasn't about him getting the shaft. He's a grown man and can make his own choices in drama roles.

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It wasn't about him getting the shaft. He's a grown man and can make his own choices in drama roles.

God, thank you. Seriously. No more comment.

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Ehhh it’s not as simple as that. Actors belong to agencies so its not 100% their choice all the time but thats a long story and not worth discussing here. Actors also get deceived by premises, like the audience does. This drama has been a dissapointment to me. This writer was great at balancing character importance and creating a mature beautiful story in Miss Korea. Its the total opposite in this drama. But like someone else said not just Jang Hyuk’s talent (or experience if you don’t think its talent) is wasted here, everyone else’s is too. They really should not have side characters played by great actors if they are going to keep them undeveloped and in the background. All in a favor of an increasingly tedious and repetitive “love” story. Whatever story the writer was hinting at, aside from “wok, ladle, wok ladle, wok ladle” hast gotten completely diluted.

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I don’t think the hot-cold thing really played a difference. She was cold because she was in a freezer and got warmed up because she was out. No matter how much screen time they give Poong and SW. I see no chemistry.

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Your heart might belong to Chilsung, but my heart has always been with Poong and always will be with Poong. Not confused at all on this issue. He belongs with the other lady, he has much more chemistry with her.

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Er, I mean Chilsung has more chemistry with the other lady.

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What other lady? Me? Then I agree :D

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I need to go back and figure out who's who with what name...the older lady he has more chemistry with. (Is it her mom?) I've fast forwarded thru too many scenes...

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It means Lee Mi Sook?

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Am I correct that Lee Mi sook is playing two parts? Weren't she and the other lady in Jealousy Incarnate?

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You mean the old lady selling gum who always visits him whenever he ends up in the hospital? I also think she's his mother.

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Thank you, @odilettante for this weecap!

I really enjoy this drama.
The kitty (a happy random happenstance, if I ever saw one) was one more cunning ploy to charm me. It worked. ^^

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What a cute kitten, and he played his part so well!

It reminded me of the Twitter story that's hot right now about a Londoner named Paris Zarcilla who discovered a strange cat and her newborn kittens under his bed last weekend 😽😽😽

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Team Chil Sung, I've decided. Poong can work out his feelings without screaming at her. I can't abide that and one of my biggest pet peeves in dramas is where the guy that gets the girl is the one that was rude one moment and then kind the next. I don't like it and it's semi abusive. Why can't the guy be well adjusted from the get go. Meh, Chil Sung forever.

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Poong is screaming and getting mad because he is or was totally isolated after losing both his wife and his job. It is actually a normal defensive reaction. The alternative is to curl up in a ball and whimper. Like it or not, anger is a more productive attitude in the emotional wasteland where he found himself. And being attracted to another woman at a moment when he has just been devastated by the first one means that he feels fear- once burned, twice shy, as it were. You cannot understand either Poong or the plot until you grasp these simple truths.

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I don't care what his reasoning is. It doesn't give him a right to treat her like that. Everybody goes through things, you don't treat people badly, which is what he is doing just because of that.

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I can “understand” why Chef Poong is a mess right now. What I don’t understand and I wish someone would enlighten me is, why does DSW tolerate his constant yelling? I wish she would at least defend herself. Then I would probably not be so bothered by their dynamic. He has had nice gestures with her but the screaming has to stop imo.

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She probably tolerated it because she felt he IS the chef n she was not living up to his expectations in the kitchen (the place where he yells the most). I think she's beginning to stand up to him though, like when he pettily got annoyed she didnt include his head in the recording, and thus she took a jab at him, sarcastically pointing out his wedding ring.

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You may be right. However, she is a beginner and genuinely trying her best. It's one thing if she was a trained chef or had even had cooking lessons. She hasn't had any of those things, yet he is yelling at her as If she should know it, without question. I do hope she does actually stand up to him soon.

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Yeah, I think basically we all agree that he should tone down his yelling lol, despite some of us understanding why he did so. From the looks of it seems like he'll stop soon though, we can already see progress in how he let her step all over his feet hehehe.

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Well if these episodes tell me anything, it's that my theory that SP needs a furry friend is true lol. 11 episodes in, and that scene with the kitten is the softest SP has ever been, and my heart needs MORE. Just give him a pet kitten and all of his anger will be regulated in no time lmao.

The love lines are still messy af but I guess that's just the writer's style? I hope it clears up soon tho, bc there's nothing I hate more in Kdrama than unnecessary love triangle angst. I watched this drama thinking we'll get to see SP slowly taking his revenge /and/ finding new love.. But I guess I'll hv to wait another week for that to kick off. The budding bromance is what I've been waiting for and I truly hope CS realising SW's feelings for SP won't get in the way of it. I want more of domestic Chilpoong pls. And maybe teach the kid to fight lmao, find something to channel all that angry energy into.

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Chilpoong kkkk awww Ok now that you named the bromance I kinda have to get behind it. I can’t help myself!

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I must try that 'whole shrimp' menu. It is imperative.

Aw man, why can't there be a Hungry Wok on my street corner so I can run down for jajangmyeon whenever I feel like it? I'd happily help them cover their debts, as long as they let me sit by the kitchen window to watch Poong and the gang do their thing. If Chil Sung can keep the soju coming of course, and the gangster boys can keep me company while I eat. I'd even pay the most expensive price for Granny's gum!

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Glad the show seems to pick up speed with Poong thinking up new menu and actually thinking how he can win over the hotel, and Chilsung planning to pursue the hotel's shady funds. Still not sure the love triangle is resolved after Saewoo confessed to Chilsung that she 'thinks' she likes Poong more though. Seems too early in the show for that. Also, despite the writer's obvious clues of the Poong-Saewoo pairing (wok and laddle, his winning menu is 'shrimp', etc.) I think the writer will still pull some twists along the way. I find it interesting how on some occasions Saewoo doesn't want to be alone with Chilsung (afraid that she'll get too comfortable n fall for him?), and just the way she insists for Chilsung to stop liking her may spell something different. I'm all for Poong-Saewoo relationship to develop though, lol. It'll also be interesting to see how the bromance will develop now that Chilsung may see Poong as a love 'rival'.

I can feel chemistry between Poong and Saewoo, and trying to understand why some people aren't really buying into it. Well, I've noticed that so far Saewoo doesn't really show much clues that she's attracted to Poong, she acts just 'normal' around him, aside from some glances at his wedding ring. I mean, she doesn't get flustered around him or anything. I think up until that 'dream' she hasn't realised her feelings either. What's more is that she doesn't know Poong likes her, while with Chilsung she knows he adores her and they interact based on that and that's what makes their interaction more adorable for some (or most), I guess.

Now it'll be interesting to see how she'll respond when Poong starts to open up and if they'll really end up eating noodles in the next episode lol. And btw, loving the side characters and their stories as well.

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It took me 15 episodes to remember that the Korean word for shrimp is "saewoo", lol.

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if someone didn’t tell me Sae woo means shrimp I won’t realize until this drama finished 🙈😅

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I knew what her name means, but now kinda wishing it's not shrimp but like... planaria maybe, so she can duplicate herself ><

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I guess the writer's trying to build SP up ala Gordon Ramsay, firy in the kitchen by way of if you screw up I'm gonna yell your ear off. I don't actually mind SP being harsh in the kitchen. It's his workplace, and things need to happen quickly or food gets burnt. Like, that's just something you need to take account of if you choose to work with him bc SP's always made his priorities in his kitchen clear. But I think these sorts of characters might not translate well in kdrama, particularly if it's a romcom.

Of course, being harsh to SW out of the kitchen is another matter, and I seriously hope the writer is going to start letting SP actually talk about his feelings like he did at the end of this week's ep, instead of just yelling out his frustrations.

Also, I know CS is sweet and in love with SW, but his insistence to woo her even tho she's said time and again she's not interested is starting to bother me. Kdrama needs to stop framing unwanted affections as romantic. I imagine it will stop now that she's pretty much stomped on his poor heart, but pls. Give Janghyuk something more to do with his role.

Junho and JRW actually has great chemistry together, if only the writer won't keep forcing them together in the most random and forced ways lol. I actually really enjoy the drama when i just watch it, but the developments are really frustrating.

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Agree with the yelling in the kitchen lol. I mean, if it were me I would've smacked him with the laddle lol, but yeah, that's his way I guess. Though, not denying that afterwards he amps it up to conceal his feelings, and it did make me cringy. The 'wok and laddle' arrangement, other than meant to be romantic I think also meant to teach him about teamwork n accepting others' imperfection (as he already started to do by pretty much staying quiet as SW kept stepping on him haha)

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There's something about Chil-sung's persistence and White Knight thing that's bordering on Nice Guy for me. I feel like he's trying to make her feel obligated to return his feelings. He's not doing it on purpose (I don't think) so it's unwitting from him. But I don't entirely like it.

In comparison, I find Poong yelling at her in a work context about specific performance issues less problematic, even if I know he's motivated by his own confusion.

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One thing I will say about Poong is that he's honest about his work expectations from the get-go. 100% he's an irascible piece of work in the kitchen, but I think the fact that he's pretty up front about what working with him will be like makes up for it.

Re: Chil-sung, I might be misinterpreting him, but it doesn't seem to me like he's trying to woo Sae-woo, although I can see how it might come off that way. It seems more like he just likes being around her and having some role in her life, even if it's just as kindly Mr. Light. On the other hand, the kiss is definitely inconsistent with this interpretation, but I'm not sure if that was just a "I'm about to die so I'm not thinking clearly" aberration or more reflective of his true intent.

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I'm also quite surprised when he made a move to kiss her (although yeah that is to be expected), cos all those while saewoo kept asking him to stop liking her n yet he made a move, so it did feel a weeee bit off for me. Not saying that it was ill-intentioned, and kinda still understandable cos maybe he wasn't thinking straight.

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Really? She asked him to stop liking her but didn’t even try to stay away from him. She lamented his crush ended so soon at the bus station. He thought he has permission to have a crush on her. Then she farted to his face, and reiterated “please stop liking me” but keeps hanging around him, winks and smiles making him sneeze, knowing full well how he feels about her. Then totally and absolutely allowed him to kiss her only to be interrupted by a pork leg. Later tells him she has dreamt of Poong but “please Ahjussi wait for me”. I’m sorry but her behaviour towards him is confusing (and its meant to be like that to keep the annoying triangle going) Its just some of us are adamant in seeing one or two character’s perspectives. From the perspective of DCS the kiss made perfect sense and it was slow enough that she could’ve stopped it if she wanted.

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It’s Chilsung’s nature to help others. I don’t get a pushy or clingy vibe from him at all (yet) Every time he helped her like when he lent her money or went with her into the freezer (he even apologized for holding her hand) Yes, he likes her but I doubt he is expecting anything from her when he has these gestures. And when he run to see her at the hospital it was because he thought she had cancer so he got worried. But he is a nice guy to everyone, not just her. He is not super developed as a character but that is one characteristic of him that is quite consistent.

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I think the way they both treated her when she was in the mask and they didn’t recognize her says a lot. SP was kind and talked her off the ledge and offered her food which were genuine good things to do. CS kept trying to kick her out until he found out who she was, at which point he was happy to play the ‘white knight’ role. So despite SP being such a yelly ass in the kitchen I think he has a good heart.

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I don't know..I thought he was trying to kick her out because he didn't want to her lend money. As in, even though he's supposedly a loan shark, but Light and Shadow loans seems like something he sets up for the people that owe bad mobster money. Not saying that him lending her money then makes him *not* a Nice Guy, but if your crush said she had cancer...

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CS is not only kind to SW but to all of the people in general. In the scene where SW comes to borrow money while wearing mask CS clearly tells her not to borrow money from his because it's a bad idea to borrow money from a gangster. He denied her request for her wellbeing not because he is heartless.
Not just this in the tailor shop too he was avoiding SW untill he had to beat CEO's henchmen and he clearly asked SW to not to appear in front of his eyes. So it's not him who is hopelessly following SW and making her obligiated but the 'fate'. SW walked in his building on her own.
SW herself seems to love the attention he was giving her and she tells him in the hospital that she is not too sure about her feelings. Means she wants to keep even DCS on the hold.
I don't think DCS crossed any boundary in any way to make her feel 'uncomfortable' and he is clearly a guy who doesn't hesitate from showing his feelings. His crush is too innocent and harmless just his character is quiet 'cartoonish' so his actions are exaggerated.
I think he'll be civilized now SW was upfront with him regarding his feelings.
For the kiss I think it happened because he was hit on the head and was stabbed on the stomach so it could be his last wish before dying.

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She totally loves his attention. And its totally understandable in her situation too (She just got dumped so Chilsung’s crush probably boosts her self esteem) I can’t believe some people are not seeing this or choosing not to see it when it’s do blatantly obvious. She literally asked him wait until she sorts her feelings! She has put him on hold. This bothered me btw. I love DSW and respect what she said about “It’s not about who likes me but about who I like” but I don’t approve that she asked him to wait, to keep him as a plan B.

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Well, I guess CS didn't take too kindly to her horse taking a dump right outside his building. ;)

When Poong knew her with the mask, she was the woman with a personal crisis.

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Why would a normal person take too nicely to someone's horse taking dump outside their building???
On the top of that his minion has to clean it and her horse was again standing in front of his building probably preparing for another dump.

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Oh I agree. That was my point to the previous poster.

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@lilium
I am really sorry. I misunderstood your comment. I'll read carefully next time.😓

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No worries!

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Chilsung has actively tried to avoid her and then she “winks winks” at him. This is a very typical kdrama trope though. Nothing major to analyze. Also, if you consider screen time, Jang Hyuk is clearly the typical second lead. I don’t really see why there is so much speculation here. The OTP is obvious. The problem is not all of us see their chemistry. Jang Hyuks, and Jung Ryeo Won’s chemistry however, feels natural. However like someone else said, chemistry is in the eye of the beholder. At the end of the day, the writer is pushing Poong and Saewo down our throats and that’s that.

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To be fair to the writer, all of the love lines are forced as hell lmao. CS's love at first sight is not exactly subtle organic progression. It's just much easier to justify his actions with just "oh yeah he saw her once and fell in love so everything he does for her now makes sense", which is just lazy writing imo. I think the reason most ppl can't see the chemistry btwn Junho and JRW is bc they're already on team CS, which is fair bc CS was already in love from the first ep. But chemistry is also subjective. I think there's def strong chemistry between Junho and JRW bc there's already an implied sexual charge between them and really up until the last two episodes, they barely interacted.

Chemistry is not the problem between any of the actors imo, it's the writing that's a mess. The writer might be good at symbolism, but her character development and narrative is all over the place, and I'm just really starting to get impatient waiting for these characters to actually fall into place so some good old revenge can finally happen.

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I don't entirely disagree about the narrative and character development being something of a mess but I just accept it as part of the overall insanity that we're meant to feel. I'm not sure if the love lines are supposed to "make sense" in the way it does for other rom coms.

The issue has never been about chemistry to me. I don't know about anyone else but I have never referred to chemistry or its lack thereof. The leads all have chemistry with each other. It's the way the romance between SW and Poong took off that I mainly objected to. The whole debate of which guy is nicer ie. so who deserves SW more... doesn't wash with me either.

As this is the writer of Jealousy Incarnate, I'd say good luck to the desire for a quick resolution of the triangle. :D I just accept that this is her MO although I would agree to some degree that she would have been better off working on character development before pushing the love triangle as hard as she has.

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I think I know what you meant by organic progression but I definitely I felt it more with Poong & SW, I guess accept it with CS because am used to love at first sight in my dramas, but for some reason I really didn't like the cookie fortune/true love angle when at that point the interactions between Poong & SW didn't seem like they were leading that way.

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I couldn't reply to your reply to me above so I'm writing it here lol. Sorry if my point got misunderstood, was writing it in a hurry. In no way was I implying that he did it against her will, yes she couldve stopped it if she wanted to and yes she even thought it was warm. Also agree with you that SW isn't being clear about how she feels. Both guys are clear on their feelings, it's SW we're not clear about (and hence, of course, the love triangle). I guess what I was referring to when I wrote the kiss comment was there was a scene when CS tried to convince SW that he no longer likes her so she shouldnt be uncomfortable around him (I think there was such a scene). But then I said the kiss was understandable cos the situation made him not think straight.

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But... but... in reality and outside of Gordon Ramsay world, the kitchen IS a stressful working environment. Even the calmest and nicest chef is basically a ticking bomb in the kitchen.

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Yep, working in a kitchen is a very high pressure job, and I think some viewers tend to forget that SP is actually a highly qualified chef with 2 michelin stars under his name. Which can't be helped since this is something I think the writers forget sometimes too lol. But anyway, cooking isn't just a job, and his food is everything to him so of course he's going to be a high level perfectionist. Expecting him to go soft just bc he's teaching someone he likes is just unrealistic. However, he does need to tone it down when he's not in the kitchen lol, but I think he's already starting to so I'm looking forward to SP's softer side.

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How is it that I'm rooting for both men? Happily so? This is very confusing for me.

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I think in part it's because the two men being attracted to SW brings out different aspects of their personalities. When CS is with his men, he's a different beast. Poong seems more boyishly vulnerable. I also think it's because we have Hyukie playing CS that we are caught in this bind to some degree. I love what he does with the character as he's crushing on SW. His vocal delivery changes, he drops a tone, he drops his swagger and turns all shy and the thing he does with his eyes when he looks at her. He's sweetly comedic.

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Hi hi.. It's like his real life shy self.

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CS shyness feels too authentic and adorable. I’ve noticed the change in the voice too *sigh*. This SLS will kill me.

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That is JH's authentic and adorable shyness. :-)

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I have resigned myself to the grievous reality that I will have to suffer the agonies of SLS all throughout the drama (although I'm not sure if such categories apply in this) :D It's not that I don't like Poong but I just love Chil Sung more. ;) Still as long as the writer insists on messing with our hearts and minds, I will play along to the tune of the triangle and enjoy my little CS-SW moments. What else can I do? I just love this off-beat if sometimes disjointed drama. I salivate over the food porn and I love the antics of my gangster boys. Despite the nuttiness, the show has plenty of heart.

What I'm really looking forward to though is watching the David and Goliath showdown between Hungry Wok and Giant Hotel (which is such a seedy joint of scumbags despite servicing a high end market). That should quell some of the murmurs of my breaking heart.

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Just to add... the bromance is strong in this one.

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I still laugh when I see the name of the hotel.

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Gotta love the writer's reasons for (what I assume is) the OTP's skinship thus far: 1) I'm kissing you: because I want to prove that we are the kind of people capable of acting on our "instead of feeling like flinging ourselves off of a bridge, let's have a fling" solution (we're kindred spirits who can save each other), 2) I'm lying on top of you: because I literally caused your body to be on fire (there's plenty of heat between us), and 3) I'm snuggling with you in bed: because you could die without my life-saving hypothermia treatment (I give you life). Wacky and wonderful!

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I know, right? And the reaction of Junho is some mixture of "the clouds have parted and I have communed with the heavens" and "oh shit shit shit please don't tell me I like her".

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Not to mention that she's been perpetually hungry for his noodles, which he has now fed her twice.

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Jagga-nim, why you do dis? Just when I had committed myself to Poong, you unleashed that kiss between Sae-woo and Chil-sung + Sae-woo earnestly telling Chil-sung she was okay with his criminal record + Chil-sung basically going out of his way to protect Sae-woo from the thugs, even though the MAN IS LITERALLY BLEEDING TO DEATH. And then, as if that weren't enough, you have Poong snuggle Sae-woo + Poong silently let Sae-woo literally walk all over him + Poong suggestively offer to make her noodles (doesn't "do you want to eat ramen?" = Korean version of "Netflicks and chill"?).

The writer for this show is a cruel cruel cruel tempter.

Over-reactions aside, I really love how well-acted and how sincere all of these characters are. Despite being an honest-to-goodness golden spoon, Sae-woo never comes across as vapid, vain, mean, or any of the other cliches which I tend to associate with drama portrayals of rich heiresses (learn something from this, The Great Seducer); she's like some kind of sylph, just so effervescent and resilient and honest (both to herself and to the people around her, which is pretty unexpected I unfortunately see "heir(ess)" in a TV show description and I immediately think "Machiavellian"). And Poong and Chil-sung are just amazing in this. I'm still team Poong, although I might switch back over to team Chil-sung if he continues to be so endearing, even though I defected from team Chil-sung as recently as a week ago (I believe it was Sir Winston Churchill who said, "Anyone can rat, but it takes a certain ingenuity to re-rat”).

I never noticed that the three fingered gesture Chil-sung does might be a hat tip to his criminal record. That's a pretty cool observation and I'm frankly jealous I never picked up on it!

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thank you @odilettante for the weecap

• woohooo BROMANCE 😆😆 when I heard that Junho and Janghyuk headlining this show, I already excited for their bromance, and it took 13 episodes to see a proper bromance scene... yeay!! I hope CS realization about Poong’s feeling to SW don’t change their budding bromance

• okay, I didn’t realize that it’s pig’s foot that hit SW during her kiss with CS, I think I kinda understand the connection with Poong (in the butcher) but I also think I’m not undertand it too 😅 like Poong comments about the knife is sharp then CS got stabbed, his complain after purchasing etc
Someone please help me 😅😅

• I also think Poong is caring person since the beginning, we can see it during the first episode before the betrayal, the way he acted with SW (without knowing it’s her) in the bridge, with GJ and many scenes so far... but yess he is a hot tempered in the kitchen (and when in denial about his feeling), for some extent I can understand it, because I also like that when I teach someone 🙈🙈 (not that shout-ty like Poong, but my tone is not nice anymore)

• the last sceneee... Poong is so swoon worthy 😍😍😍

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I still like Chil Sung and Sae Woo better. In another drama, they'd totally be the cutest couple with that well matched quirky energy...I guess. I don't mind Poong being a yelly asshole in the kitchen because that's what the kitchen is like (especially if you're slow and inexperienced) but I'm just so over the tsundere Im-mean-to-her-because-I-like-her trope in Kdramas. Although, Kdramas seem to be evolving with the male lead gets the girl trend (same with this show) so I can't call it SLS syndrome. Maybe it's Jang Hyuk channelling charm into his characters syndrome. I don't know.

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Mileage varies a lot with this because I don't find Poong tsundere at all. He's a total sweetheart 95% of the time and the other 5% is entirely about him trying to be professional in the centre of utter chaos.

There's a lot going on and I could be wrong but I can't think of a single example where he's been horrible to her outside a work context. A tsundere lead is nasty just because he's emotionally incapable of being otherwise. That's not Poong.

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yes he is a softie
the fact he accepted SW’s mom as a staff at the end (after rejected her fourth times) and the reason because she’s cute lol

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And he was furious at Chil Seung for hiring SW because she doesn't have experience.
SW herself chided CS for giving her unfair advantage in hiring process.
These character seems to keep changing their values.
The writer is inconsistent.

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yups I can see the inconsistency
I also do think Poong’s anger during that scene is confusing, but somewhat I can understand it (just a little), getting a job because of the connection is make him remember about the CEO, and all unfair treatment he got in Giant Hotel

but at the end of the day I choose to accept this drama as the way it is 😆 with this mind I can enjoy this drama to the fullest

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He was angry at CS bc CS wanted to hire her as the restaurant manager. It's definitely ridiculous bc she doesn't have any experience, and she'll hv authority over SP too according to CS, which made him furious bc he was just screwed over by another person in a position of authority and didn't deserve it (re: CEO).

Hiring her to be his 'ladle' is a different matter, mostly because his wrist is broken and he's desperate. But also bc regardless of how harsh he is, SP is shown to be grudgingly considerate and he knew she needed a job. Of course, then she needed to go through rigorous training bc her job is still quite important, and let's face it I Know SP is scary and harsh, but SW IS a little slow lmao, how many times does he have to bark out the same instructions until she gets it smh. But she's a hardworker and she's persistent, and he also sees that which is why he thinks they can make it work. I like their dynamic in the kitchen, I hope we can see them working together seamlessly soon.

It would be nice if the drama ends with SW being a great Chinese cuisine chef in her own right. Man, there's so much material to work with in this drama, I'm so annoyed they're wasting all this time on a dumb love triangle.

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@Lis
We were talking about SW's mom not SW.
But even in the case with SW, CS provided her the job because she was in desperate need of money. She was supposed to have the cancer. Maybe that's why CS hired her not just because of his crush. In the real life too most of the people get the job through the connections and nothing is wrong with that unless somebody is abusing his authority like the evil CEO.
CS didn't hire her as a chef because she was not competent. Honestly doing managerial work is much more easier then learning professional level cooking skills so for SW best work is being the manager.

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I didn't find this inconsistent. SW was being hired as a restaurant manager, a job that requires a lot of experience with both a kitchen and a business.

Her Mum was hired as a dishwasher. That doesn't require much training. Once he saw how desperate she was, he gave it to her out of kindness. Also, that was HIS decision as a chef, not something that was imposed upon him. I suspect if Chil-sung had discussed it with him first, he wouldn't have had such a problem with SW being manager.

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Yeah I think he doesn't hesitate to show his feelings to those he cares for (I mean, look at how he was towards his ex, which even made him look pitiful). With SW I think it's because he thinks she's still married n in love with the husband, thus off limits.

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i think SW will end up with CS. haha
she thinks that she dreamed about Poong but that's the reality. she felt warm bc she was frozen to death and he huged her. that's the trick of script. she doesnt think about him.

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We need more scenes with the kitten, it was sooo cute
I liked SW talk with CS in the hospital and her saying it's about who she likes, I liked she talked about her feelings and didn't beat around the bush.
I loving the side charactors and their little arcs.

Still team CS but I am preparing for heartbreak.

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Because she was in the freaking freezer! Everybody feels cold in the freezer. Maybe she should've kissed him back to feel 'warmer'. By the way it was quiet funny to see Poong warming her with body heat. How ridiculous! Maybe writer watched Twilight.
Jacob warming Bella with his body heat.
Maybe SP is a warewoolf.

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Um, sharing body heat is one way to stay warm. It is scientific and thus not ridiculous.

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In a hospital?
Though drama is full of ridiculousness so I'll let it pass.

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Why are you so angry? I have been lurking on this website for prolly ten years now because I found the comment sections are civilised and reasonably nice, unlike some other kpop/hallyu websites. Your comments, on the other hand, sounds hangry. I feel this website is changing lately, and now even more.

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@Lou
Dear friend drama like this are probably turning me into a shithead. I was also civilized in the past.
But I've also been a lurker here for quiet a long time while I agree people here are much more 'nicer' but it's not like it was ever free from the 'nasty' comments.

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