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Thirty But Seventeen: Episodes 31-32 (Final)

You may have thought that all the secrets were finally revealed, but Thirty But Seventeen has managed to save some surprises for its final hour. But this truly is the end, and that means living with some answers that weren’t what we expected. When the dust finally settles, it’s time for everyone to find their way out of this intermission and on to a new future, one which hopefully brings a satisfying resolution to all.

 
EPISODE 31: “In all sincerity”

Seo-ri’s aunt sits in her car, several missed calls awaiting her attention. She plays her voicemail and listens to a message from Woo-jin.

In his message, Woo-jin earnestly relays the effects of Seo-ri’s aunt’s silence and how Seo-ri is blaming herself for her family’s breakdown. Woo-jin says that he knows what living with blame feels like, and begs her to reveal herself and what happened to Seo-ri’s uncle.

So as Woo-jin and Seo-ri were canvassing the neighborhood near the closed florist shop, Seo-ri’s aunt was making a difficult decision, and that decision leads her to the doorstep of her old house as Woo-jin and Seo-ri arrive back home.

Seo-ri’s aunt can only cry and apologize as she looks at Seo-ri. Seo-ri asks about her uncle, and her question only seems to make her aunt cry harder. Her aunt embraces her, and tears well up in Seo-ri’s eyes as her question increases in urgency.

Sitting in the backyard, Seo-ri’s aunt proffers a stack of hand-written journals to Seo-ri. Seo-ri’s uncle has left journal entries behind written to Seo-ri, and they contain his own list of “if only” wishes that could never be changed.

Seo-ri’s uncle feels guilty for lying about his business trip. But it turns out that he did so not because he wanted to hurt his family or run away. Through the entries, he reveals that his business partner betrayed him and left his company staggering towards bankruptcy.

Even so, Seo-ri’s uncle is determined to keep the house that Seo-ri loved so much and refuses to sell it to avoid bankruptcy. Her uncle begins writing again after a year away, confessing to turning to excessive drinking to cope. His new entries encourage Seo-ri to wake up and meet her new cousin.

He was the one to draw up the divorce papers, not Seo-ri’s aunt, because he wanted to ensure that the house wouldn’t be taken in the bankruptcy. And in the end, the stress and anguish of losing his livelihood and his beloved niece weighed too heavily on Seo-ri’s uncle. He died from liver disease, collapsing next to Seo-ri’s hospital bed.

Now at her uncle’s grave, Seo-ri cries with the Euro bill clutched in her hands, the one her uncle once told her would lead her back to him. Woo-jin places a hand on her shoulder as she crumples to the ground. Seo-ri sobs that she wishes she had just gone on thinking that her uncle had abandoned her, rather than discovering the truth.

As they rise to leave, Woo-jin gives Seo-ri an envelope that Seo-ri’s aunt gave to him. The envelope contains a key to a bank box. Seo-ri’s aunt chose not to use any of the money she received for finally selling the house in the end, and now that money is Seo-ri’s. Woo-jin tells Seo-ri that her aunt felt too ashamed to give the key to her.

Seo-ri continues to cry. “If they had just sold the house, he wouldn’t have suffered like that.”

Later, Seo-ri sits in the yard with Deok-gu and stares at the sky. Jennifer and Woo-jin watch her from inside, and their reaction suggests that they’ve been finding Seo-ri in this spot more and more often.

Jennifer has a quote for this situation for Woo-jin: “The only cure for sadness is to do something, by J.H. Lewis.”

Woo-jin joins Seo-ri outside, rattles the moon rabbit charm now attached to his art case to get her attention, and asks her if she’ll come with him to fix the sketch he drew of her so long ago. Seo-ri smiles as she asks Deok-gu if he’s up for a walk.

As the pair drive along the highway, Seo-ri realizes that Woo-jin has more than a short walk planned. They arrive at the beach, just as they did the last time Woo-jin took Seo-ri out to cheer her up. Woo-jin is the first to shout a cheer into the ocean, and Seo-ri chides him for stealing her style before she joins him.

Woo-jin, Seo-ri, and Deok-gu romp on the beach all day long. Woo-jin takes photos and works on repairing the drawing of Seo-ri, the rabbit charm dangling from his case. The sun begins to fade as the couple sits together on the beach.

They look at the drawing together, and Seo-ri tattles on Deok-gu for his dirty paw prints on the drawing. Seo-ri has one final critique: the drawing has gotten her hand wrong.

Seo-ri takes Woo-jin by the hand and positions his fingers properly, and then lifts them into the air to capture the moon between them. Seo-ri shares the wish-granting rabbit in the moon story, and shakes the matching rabbit charm affixed to Woo-jin’s art case, which she tells Woo-jin her mother had made for her.

The pair sit out there together, staring up at the sky. Seo-ri gently thanks Woo-jin, for letting her stay by his side always, and Woo-jin repeats the same words back to her.

The next day, Chan speaks with the director of the pro rowing team and delays making his decision. His teammates rush up from where they’ve been watching the exchange, impressed with Chan and his possible future.

Coach sends everyone scattering to practice, though Chan hangs back. Coach notes Chan’s conflicted expression and asks why he isn’t happy about his new opportunity. When Chan tells his coach that he’s only just started to consider the pro team as an option, Coach tells him to do what will make him the most happy.

Seo-ri meets up with Hyung-tae to let him know what happened to her uncle. He’s sorry to hear it, and also sorry about his own behavior towards Seo-ri. Hyung-tae confesses to her that he was resentful towards these strangers that had somehow swept in and met her before Hyung-tae had the chance to see her awake.

But now he’s able to call them her family, and he’s grateful that she met them and was taken care of after she woke up. Hyung-tae admits that he still has some “if only” feelings lingering, but in the end, he likes being a doctor. Then he asks Seo-ri if she remembers what he used to say in school, and they both laugh, “Yo, this is what you call hip-hop mentality, yeah.”

Afterwards, Seo-ri returns to work at the design studio alongside Woo-jin. There’s a blip of discomfort when Hyun wants to create a profile for Seo-ri on the company website, and Seo-ri knows she doesn’t have much work experience to list.

Both Hee-soo and Woo-jin divert for Seo-ri, and Woo-jin asks Seo-ri along to help with some photos of the music therapy session his therapist is running for their upcoming stage work.

Seo-ri smiles big as she watches the performance through the camera. Afterwards, Woo-jin’s therapist asks if Seo-ri is the one that Woo-jin’s been bragging about, and Woo-jin sheepishly admonishes him for breach of doctor-patience confidentiality, ha.

Later at home while Woo-jin studies the video, he can’t help but pause on Seo-ri’s gleeful smile. Woo-jin flips open the music therapy guidebook that his therapist has provided, and he notes that music therapists are those who have a love for music. Woo-jin immediately thinks of Seo-ri and her desire to work somehow with music.

Woo-jin takes the book to Seo-ri to share his idea, but she pulls out her own copy from her shelves. She had the same inspiration after the music therapy session and picked up the book from the library, but she also confesses that she’s looked into what’s required to become a music therapist, and it will take a long time.

By the time that Seo-ri gets her GED, a college degree and completes grad school, at least eight years will have passed. Both Woo-jin and Seo-ri sound dejected at the thought of so many years, but Seo-ri says she’ll keep looking into it.

Just as one idea for the future arrives, another opportunity turns up in Seo-ri’s inbox. Hyun spots an email to Seo-ri from Tae-rin come in on her computer, and Seo-ri eagerly settles down to read.

Tae-rin writes from Berlin, where she has been enjoying her time studying at a small academy. She met a professor from Seo-ri’s audition for the music school when she was younger, and that professor has made an offer for Seo-ri to come and study at the academy as well.

Tae-rin says that it wouldn’t be for a degree, but they could enjoy playing music and studying together. Tae-rin writes that she’s grateful to Seo-ri and would like to pay her back, and also that it would be a shame to let Seo-ri’s talent go to waste. Woo-jin notes Seo-ri’s stunned look as she sits back from her computer.

Once at home, Seo-ri talks out the offer with Woo-jin, who says that he’ll support Seo-ri no matter what she decides to do. He points out that he’ll be with her for forever anyway, so she doesn’t need to consider him as she makes the decision for herself.

Seo-ri has support from her co-workers as well to encourage her to take the opportunity. Hyun says that Seo-ri would obviously be a fool if she passed it up, while Hee-soo reassures Seo-ri that the company will manage without her classical music expertise. But even with all the support, Seo-ri’s not sure what to do.

Seo-ri calculates out all of the time she would spend pursuing music therapy in her trusty notebook, and she can’t find a way that wouldn’t mean dedicating eight years of her life. She gasps when she realizes that when she’s finally done, it will be 2026 and she’ll already be thirty-eight years old.

Seo-ri retires to the couch with Deok-gu to mull over her difficult decision. She sighs heavily, but then looks up when she hears her sigh echoed across the room by an equally uncertain Chan. Chan too has a big decision to make that will shape his future in a major way, and neither of them is eager to think through it all.

But in the end, Chan reports to his coach and announces his decision. At the same time, Seo-ri emails Tae-rin to let her know she’ll be joining her in Berlin shortly.

And so we arrive at the night before Seo-ri’s departure, Seo-ri looking at her plane ticket. Woo-jin tries to be strong and cool as he peeks in on her, but it’s obvious from his mile-long sticky notes of suggestions that he is a nervous mess. When he offers to drive Seo-ri to the airport, she insists that she’ll just take the airport bus instead.

Woo-jin appears hurt, but Seo-ri stands firm, that she’d like to go by herself, like an adult. She tells Woo-jin that they’ll just cry again at the airport, and that she wants to be done with crying.

The chyron announces the day of Seo-ri’s departure. Woo-jin finds Seo-ri waiting for him at the bottom of the stairs. Woo-jin gives Seo-ri a hug, tells her that he’ll see her in October when he visits her in Berlin, and then rushes off before she can say anything.

Woo-jin supposedly makes it to work, though he’s too distraught to show his face in the work room. Hyun reports in to Hee-soo that Woo-jin’s hidden away in the other room crying buckets.

When Woo-jin returns home, bleary-eyed, Jennifer tries to speak with him, but he holds up a hand and asks to be left alone. Upstairs on the landing, Chan also tries to speak with Woo-jin, but again he holds up a hand and turns in to bed.

Woo-jin lies down, where he spots a letter from Seo-ri on his bedside table. He whimpers her name as he looks at the envelope.

EPISODE 32: “Another door to happiness”

Woo-jin begins to read Seo-ri’s farewell letter, and Seo-ri’s narrates it in voiceover. It starts as one might expect, “I’m likely in the air headed to Germany now,” but as Woo-jin reads on, it rapidly turns into a not-so-farewell letter.

Seo-ri begins to list all the things that would come of her going to Berlin, how she would learn from a great professor and improve, and as that list comes out, she realizes that she doesn’t want any of those things.

“Wait. I realized this just now. I don’t think I want to go. Yeah, why should I go?” Her stream of consciousness pours out into the letter, as she realizes that studying violin performance is no longer her priority.

Seo-ri writes that she wants to see Woo-jin and Jennifer, and spend time with Chan and his friends, and see Deok-gu while he’s still healthy. And at the end she concludes on the back of the letter, “I’ll wait for you in our spot.”

Woo-jin stumbles to his feet and out the door. Chan and Jennifer shake their heads to themselves as they watch him lumber out. They obviously know already that Seo-ri is here to stay.

Seo-ri continues to narrate her letter as Woo-jin races to the bridge. She says that she wants to spend the rest of her time with the people she loves, and that of all people, she is happiest when she’s with Woo-jin.

Together at the bridge at last, and with Woo-jin right in front of her, the words tumble out of Seo-ri as fast as they can. Seo-ri knows that she always says to try everything, but she already knows that she doesn’t want this, because she knows what she wants. Seo-ri says that she wants to become a music therapist, she wants to grow and take her time surrounded by the people she loves.

She admits that she was scared of how old she would be before achieving her dream, but that she understands now that age is just another number, not a limitation or a designation of how far behind she is.

“Aren’t you out of breath?” Woo-jin chuckles at her endless stream of words, and they smile and hug at last.

As they pull away, Woo-jin has to ask why he’s only hearing about this now, since Seo-ri wrote the letter last night. So Seo-ri reviews her attempt at telling him this morning, when Woo-jin rushed away before she could say anything. Additionally, Jennifer, Chan, even his co-workers all tried to tell him, but Woo-jin kept isolating himself to cry. Awww.

Seo-ri lists off all the things she’s looking forward to doing, and Woo-jin realizes that he has to cancel his plane ticket. He admits that he bought a ticket to fly out tomorrow to see Seo-ri right away. Seo-ri asks him why he was crying all day long when he knew he would see her the day after next. Double awwww.

The two smile and tease as they walk down the stairs together, arm in arm.

A few months later: Chan packs up his room. It’s finally time to move back home, and his friends are there to help. The boys have even managed to add a silver medal to their necks. They sigh that even Jennifer is leaving now that her six month contract is up.

Chan pulls out a university pamphlet and the card from the pro team director, and his friends tease him a little about how much he agonized between these two potential futures. “Do you have any regrets?” Deok-soo asks. Chan smiles and says that he has none. Their laughter is interrupted when a mighty crow echos through the room, and not-so-little Chick Jr. pops his head up.

Downstairs, Woo-jin asks Jennifer if she can stay on at the house even when Chan is gone. But Jennifer has plans, and they aren’t being a maid anymore. She smiles as she tells Woo-jin that she’s off to do as he said, and explore her right to keep living and making precious memories. Woo-jin can’t argue with that plan.

Seo-ri is in her room with Deok-gu (who is wearing overalls!). Seo-ri thinks about all the departures, and how once Chan and Jennifer are gone, that will leave just her and Woo-jin in the house. Her blush is intense as the thought sets in.

Seo-ri is still trying to work through that new realization at work, and Hyun manages to add fuel to the fire when he spots a receipt from a jeweler where Woo-jin has placed an order. Hee-soo and Hyun look at Seo-ri, as they all come to the same assumption about what exactly Woo-jin picked up at a jewelry store.

Woo-jin shows up at work dressed very nicely, further confirming their suspicions, and asks Seo-ri to go to a restaurant that evening. Oh man.

Seo-ri squirms in her seat at dinner, trying to decide if she’s ready for marriage. Woo-jin reaches into his jacket pocket, and as he does, Seo-ri blurts out, “Okay, let’s do it!”

Seo-ri rambles and shouts out her affirmation, to what Woo-jin’s not exactly sure. When Seo-ri finally supplies the word “marriage,” Woo-jin’s face goes blank, and Seo-ri quickly realizes that’s not what’s happening. Woo-jin pulls out a jewelry box, which contains a copy of her moon bunny charm. He mutters to himself, “Perhaps I should have had a ring instead.”

The couple head to a park to discuss their expectations after the misunderstanding. Seo-ri admits that the house being reduced to just the two of them makes her nervous. From Seo-ri’s perspective, she feels like Woo-jin always has to wait for her to catch up to him in life.

Woo-jin tells her that he doesn’t want to rush her or to make her feel lost in time ever again. He only wants to enjoy the comfort of being together and taking their time. And he also reminds her that it’s not just the two of them, because Deok-gu is still with them.

“Ah, I fell for you again,” Seo-ri says. They smile and hold hands.

A few days pass, and it’s time for Jennifer to leave. Woo-jin narrates in voiceover that the household agreed not to do anything sappy for her. As Jennifer leaves her room, presents await her from Deok-soo and Hae-beom. Next to that, Chan has a present as well, and his note ends with a “by Chan,” as if his words were a famous quote that Jennifer was relaying.

Making her way through the house, another gift awaits her at the door. Seo-ri has kept her promise and purchased some very fancy shoes for Jennifer as a farewell, with a note that concludes, “By Seo-ri.” But Seo-ri can’t manage to keep from being sappy, and rushes out of her room to give Jennifer a hug anyways. Seo-ri repeats the first quote Jennifer gave her. “Deuk Jo Ga Yeon, meeting a beautiful fate for the first time.”

Woo-jin is waiting for Jennifer outside, the final farewell. Woo-jin offers to drive her, but Jennifer wants a fresh start on her own. Jennifer strides away on her own, her new shoes sparkling as they hit the pavement.

Woo-jin continues to narrate as Chan and his friends leave the house as well. Chan walks out, his baby chick now a grown chicken (whom thankfully Chan has found a suitable home for and won’t be stashing him in his parent’s apartment).

The chyron rolls up to announce two years have passed.

Seo-ri visits her uncle’s grave, and on her way out she spots her aunt with her son, Min-kyu. Min-kyu allows Seo-ri to fawn over him, while Seo-ri’s aunt remains distant.

But Seo-ri won’t let that go on, and she grabs hold of Min-kyu’s hand and tells him to hold his mother’s hand with the other. Seo-ri casually mentions that she got into college, and then asks if her aunt will treat her with a meal to celebrate. Seo-ri’s aunt can’t help but smile as they all walk hand in hand.

Chan has taken first place in a rowing competition, beating out even the men from the pro teams. Hae-beom and Deok-soo, his college teammates, cheer him on from the crowd.

The director of the pro team is there too, and asks why Chan decided on college rather than joining the team. Chan recalls the moment that he learned that Seo-ri had decided not to go to Germany. She told him then that she hadn’t given up, but had made a choice.

So Chan responds to the director that trying to become an adult too fast hadn’t worked out for him, so he chose to take his time and enjoy things at his own pace.

Chan makes his way to his uncle’s house, where Woo-jin and Seo-ri are preparing food to celebrate his victory. Soon the entryway piles up with shoes as Hae-beom and Deok-soo arrive congratulate the great Yoo Chan.

Chan even gets a chance to video chat with his chicken, who now lives on Jeju Island with his grandfather. Grandfather looks a little peeved at how big the chicken has gotten.

The get-together just isn’t the same without Jennifer though, and Woo-jin sighs this aloud. But just as he says it, a pair of sparkly heels also turns up in the doorway, and Jennifer appears with a whole new look. No more black and white, she wears a blue dress, her hair loose, and a big smile on her face.

But there’s still some of the old Jennifer in there. “Oh no no,” she wags her finger, looking at the small celebration feast. She takes the reigns in the kitchen and soon has a big Jennifer-style feast prepared. The group laughs and jokes and updates their group photos.

Seo-ri volunteers at the hospital where she was once a resident. The old woman who gave her that pink cardigan is there, though she doesn’t acknowledge that she recalls Seo-ri, other than a gentle hand squeeze and smile.

Tae-rin arrives, and Seo-ri and Tae-rin finally play their duet for the patients and staff, who cheer them on.

Woo-jin continues life as a designer, though he’s figured out how to politely ask permission before measuring objects that people are sitting on.

Chan has his entire team using his, “Don’t think, feel!” motto as they row in unison at the gym.

Jennifer has moved on, opening her own restaurant with her own specialty dish. Her former sister-in-law stops in for a meal and they smile in greeting.

At the design studio, Hee-soo announces that they’ve secured a new musical stage assignment, and the entire studio dabs in celebration together.

At home, Woo-jin smiles at Seo-ri, who rolls over in their shared bed. Woo-jin wants to open the skylight.

They swing it open and as they look out over their neighborhood, scenes from their lives together, all of their greatest hits that we’ve been along to witness, play again, as Woo-jin narrates in voiceover. “They say that when one door to happiness closes, another door to happiness opens. But many people only focus on the door that has closed, and don’t realize that another door to happiness exists.”

Woo-jin narrates how the simple things have brought them happiness, and that they’ve learned to open that new door, just like Seo-ri taught him to open the skylight. The camera swings down to their table, where their wedding portrait sits in its frame. Swinging back up, Seo-ri’s wedding band glitters on her finger.

They smile at each other, and for a moment, it’s their younger selves, looking out the window and smiling together.

As the camera flies up and out of the scene, Woo-jin and Seo-ri wave at the camera, and the entire cast is revealed below, all waving good-bye to us, the audience, who came along on this journey with them.

 
COMMENTS

Theme, repetition, and commitment to character are the strengths that round out the beautiful experience that was this drama. This show took its time and was willing to revisit scenes, moments, ideas, all in an effort to allow us as the audience to witness the growth of these kind humans.

No one ever acted out of character or did something unnecessary just to move the plot or cause conflict. Characters had habits, and we as viewers came to rely on those, and squeal when we saw another sticky note or a pair of shoes as a gift. Simple things, the table in the garden, the tree, watering the plants, the rabbit charm, the bridge, all through repetition, became symbols for big emotions, and I loved seeing those moments through to the end.

Even Jennifer became a symbol of change. In the beginning, she is the catalyst, the newcomer who encounters each of the new members of the household. At the end, she moves from room to room to say farewell to the people who have changed her life, and to those she has helped change for the better. Her final moment with Woo-jin is two people who understand each other’s pain so completely, and can see in each other how much they have healed, and how far they have yet to go. Woo-jin was her greatest pupil, and also the one to help her the most.

At every turn, I kept expecting a breakdown of communication, any of the usual tricks used to stir up conflict. But the show trusted these characters more than I ever did, and it was such an amazing ride to follow along with a group of people so willing to love and trust one another. All of that anticipated Chan angst I suffered, for no reason. And every time I made that mistake, the show wagged its finger at me like Jennifer, “no, no, no,” and instead gave me everyone taking care of one another.

The show stuck to its concept of no villains. In the final reveal, the last potential “villain” of the story was revealed to be someone more dedicated to Seo-ri than even she anticipated or wanted for those she left behind while she slept.

Seo-ri’s aunt’s behavior was not about cruelty, but about guilt and shame. Seo-ri’s aunt felt like she lost everything after the accident. Her niece, her marriage, and eventually the man she loved. After all that, she had to sell the house anyway, and she had to wrestle with the resentment and guilt for these past thirteen years. I was happy to see that they gave it time, but are building up their relationship again.

Seo-ri was so attached to that house. Before she ever cared about her new friends and family, it was about returning to that house. And it wasn’t because it belonged to her, but because she couldn’t have what she really wanted, her family restored, and so it stood as a placeholder. So it was so painful to see her uncle try to save it for her, and for Seo-ri to wish that he hadn’t bothered. She would have rather had him in her life still.

I loved the idea of Seo-ri returning to music by way of music therapy the moment they introduced it. One door closes, another opens, and perhaps this one is even more meaningful to Seo-ri, someone who didn’t really love performing as much as she loved just enjoying her music.

So when the show tried to convince me that she was headed to Germany, I didn’t believe it for a moment. I mean, I did love that Tae-rin thought of Seo-ri and reached out with an opportunity to try again. But this path was about trying to recapture something that had already passed by. As much as it was unfair that Seo-ri missed that opportunity, it felt like a step backwards. It denied the opportunity that fate dealt to her. Fate is not kind or fair, but sometimes you find something even more important and worthwhile in the rubble.

So when the show turned back and let Seo-ri stay, it was such a beautiful reversal of what’s become a common finale trope. So often the pair finally gets together, but still need to do some growing, so one of them goes off to pursue their dream. And the trope itself isn’t always bad, but it’s also so refreshing to see an instance where it doesn’t have to be the only option. Seo-ri doesn’t give up, she makes a choice, and she chooses what will make her the happiest. She has grown so much, and has proven to us all that age is just a number.

And look at Woo-jin now. Woo-jin is unrecognizable from the shaggy yeti that arrived in the first episode. And it’s not just the shave. Woo-jin’s big smiles and exuberance are a perfect match for the moments when he was a young boy with not a care in the world and a big crush on a girl.

In the end, I am left with only happy, fuzzy feelings about this drama. Honestly, not a whole lot happened. Two people opened a skylight and fell in love, slowly but surely. But I loved being there to witness the smiles, knowing how long it took everyone to get there.

How could it not feel like a journey we all went on together, when the cast even waved farewell to the camera as it flew away overhead in the end? Farewell my friends, live well!

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That was a cute ending to a lovely show! I had zero expectations from this show going in from the teasers & plot.. but it was such a pleasant surprise !! all the 3 main leads did such a lovely job! esp Shin Hye-Sun conveying the awkwardness of a teenager's body language in an adult body soo perfectly! She is one actor I'm going to lookout for!

one minor thing i dont get though.. why didnt the aunt just pay for woo ri's hospital bills with the money from selling the house if she couldnt bear to use it?!? like what even was the point of abandoning her niece w/o hospital payment (so most likely woo ri would've died w/o ventilation support if the driver didnt step) and not even using the house money.. sometimes drama logic is sooo strange.

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The Aunt was the one thing that made little sense in this. Her story was tracking along nicely and then... she just abandoned her niece for no reason.

I guess we can say she couldn't cope with everything she'd lost and wanted a completely fresh start. That makes sense to me. But since she didn't spend the house money then I have no idea why she wouldn't have put that towards Seo-ri's medical bills.

Seo-ri wouldn't have died without that payment but she probably would have ended up in a horrible public facility where nobody took proper care of her.

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Those were my thoughts too!!! Several things about decisions made didn't make sense. But we forgive it for being an overall sweet show!

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YES!!! I made my comment before reading you folks' and I thought the exact same thing. Everything else was just about perfect though so I'll let it slide :D

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I'll give Auntie a pass as she likely had a nervous breakdown after Uncle died and left her with a small child on top of all the bankruptcy fallout.

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Exactly my thoughts. She did nothing to help her and she did not even bother checking that the bills were paid although she did have the money. If I was SR I would not have accepted her apology. She was the only adult in SR's life left and she did nothing. She has her own business but she did nothing to help her niece at least financially.

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Yeah that was a big plot hole.

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The only thing I could think of there was that maybe there was a gap between realizing she couldn't keep paying Seo Ri's bills AND the house bills (houses are EXPENSIVE to run), she fell behind on payments and was ducking the hospital's calls, and then she found out someone else was paying. So if there's an anonymous benefactor out there willing to pay... Why not put the funds in a bank and wait it out?

Admittedly that wasn't explained, I made that leap all on my own.

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I may have missed it, but did the aunt ever find out that it was Woo Jin who saved her boy?

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@tizzy
It was Chan who saved him. She did thank him (was it at the hospital??) and she said (maybe to her son or herself) that she would visit him at his home, to thank him properly. I was waiting to see that scene, during which she'd have recognised Seo Ri, but that scene was never shot or shown.

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i'm pretty sure the plot changed because of the episode cut. i dont know if you remember, but there was a preview in ep 15 where it showed a grandma telling seori and woojin that 'i told them to abandon you. don't blame them, blame me'. this scene was nowhere in the final episode, but i think its safe to say that the aunt/uncle wouldve been much more developed/logical/not rushed/changed if not for the episode cut.

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Ooh a preview? I missed that!!

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Oh you’re right @growingbeautifully, I meant Chan! Yeah it looks to me that scenes were cut because they reduced the number of episodes. I felt that the last two episodes were kinda rushed, like revelations and resolutions happened too quickly compared to the rest of the episodes when we were waiting for the plot to move forward. But I’m not complaining, I still enjoyed it.

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... which is honestly such a pity, because i felt that 4 episodes could have done a lot. ensure all the "secrets" are developed, logical, and not revealed too quickly. give each side character their proper ending, complete with cute scenes and ri-an ends up with Chan. more cute and beautiful scenes between woojin and seori to oogle over... i love this drama so so much but i can't help but think "what if" because the writing was so fabulous and tight that i knew that the 4 episodes would be fantastic as well. the episode cut made us lose out on the characters, writing, and plot. but, i still appreciate it as it is.

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I also noticed that and it's nowhere to be found in the last episode. Did they suddenly change the story? Also, the aunt was supposed to visit Chan to thank him for saving his boy.
What happened to the girl who haf a crush on Chan? Did Chan ever see the banner that she put on the school?
Also, why sell the house if the aunt wouldn't spend the money.

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The house sale makes no sense. SR inherited the property from her parents. Her uncle was only her guardian. The house was not his property. It would have never been a part of his bankruptcy or divorce. The only way it would if he and the aunt fraudulently conveyed it to themselves to take the proceeds for themselves.

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@welh This reminds me of Full House. I still can’t imagine how the house owned by SHK’s character was sold to Rain by her friends. But then with dramas, we throw logic out the window, LOL.

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A drama with no evil, wicked parents, no chaebols, no love triangle, no birth secret, no backstabbing friends. Couldn't escape the truck of doom.
A enjoyable drama.
The ML's friend was a good wing woman, & most people were nice. Even the bad ones were only slightly bad or human errors, not the makjang like stuff.
I loved the restaurant scene, a beautiful romantic, funny and touching moment.
Wish we've seen the wedding!
Just wondering, what happened to the girl who had a crush on Chan? did they forget about her? did she finally get introduced to Mr. Gong?
The most shocking part of this drama to me is that there were 2 dogs! 😧 I always just thought the dog looked tired sometimes and alive other times.
I have to say, this is the best drama ending I've ever seen. The ending scene feels so contentful, with an aerial scene of Yang Se-Jong and Shin Hye-Sun waving to the camera (as well as the production crew 😊).

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Lee Ri-an - the girl who had a crush on Chan - ran away with the Fourth Rower and is currently topping all her classes in University while he competes in a rowing four with people who include him and love him for who he is. They're very happy.

Revenge not included.

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LOL. That's the best one. 🤣🤣🤣🤣
In my imagination Chan started to acknowledge her and maybe she also supported Chan in his later rowing competitions or was invited to the wedding ceremony.

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I like to imagine that she and Chan got together, and somehow manage to dodge Woo-jin until the date of her and Chan's wedding. By then she was like 30 and Woo-jin didn't recognize her.

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ROFLMAO! I never could figure out what happened to the fourth man. He must have transferred in after freshman year and wasn't as close as everyone else. Sheesh!

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*tears up* I’m so happy for him, his journey from darkness, to finally moving past his desire for revenge, was perhaps the most poignant story of this drama...

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Hahaha, as much as this is funny it is so in line with the rest of the show and its theme of finding another door to happiness. LOL!!!

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no super natural element, no family problem and no jealous 2nd female lead, yet managed to be interesting till the end

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What I really love and appreciate about this show is not the plot, but the growth and development of the characters! With the show taking its sweet time developing the characters, the final episodes became full of revelations and heartbreaks, so it was so satisfying to see these lovely characters grow and mature into people who are ready to face life and the problems with it.

Thank you for making me smile every week and thank you for being a show full of lovable characters, Thirty But Seventeen! I will surely miss this family! 💖

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Hurray for character development! It was refreshing and sweet. I loved how Woo-jin gave Seo-ri the time and space she needed to mature.

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Ughhhhh I love this show. You’re right. Not much happened but it was so heartwarming and true to itself. I’m spazzing at the thought of the show and so will have to return for a more comprehensive and somewhat intelligent response to the show.

I started this show bc I had forgotten about the dramafever account I opened up for my mom and went back to look for korean shows suitable for my kids. I randomly came across this show, remembered it came up on dramabeans, and casually started it for my nighttime nursing sessions. And then I fell in love with the characters!!

I’ve seen five shows in the past 6 yrs and three of those were the answer me series.... so this show is quite special!!

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3 answer me series (live watch) + healer (not live watch) + thirty but seventeen (live watch) = 5 dramas in six years :).

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Just a few more thoughts. I love how the little moments added little personal touches to the drama. For ex, I really liked the scene of seori and woojin at the fancy restaurant. Seori freaking out and immediately blowing out the candle bc she wanted the restaurant to be just a little darker in her mortification was so funny but something she would totally do. The fact that they were at a fancy restaurant date like real grown-ups, seori saying she feels at least 25 now, woojin wanting to go out somewhere nice bc it’s been awhile since their last date (even though they see each other every day at work and home) ...that little scene helped show the subtle changes and growth in the characters and relationships.

Sth else I enjoyed was seeing how the characters started picking up each other’s signature phrases.. I totally do this with ppl I spend a lot of time with and i thought it was a fun running joke and subtle way to show how close ppl have gotten. The classic ex is woojin already having picked up the ‘Jeom, jeom, jeom’ (dot dot dot) from seori.... Another ex, seori saying, ‘oh, I fell for you again’ to Woojin...and seori yells, “doo doong!” when she thinks woojin is going to propose... to chan’s Rowing team all chanting ‘don’t need think, feel!’.

Also, LOVED jennifer’s Entrance in with her hair loose, gorgeous dress, sparkly shoes, and of course, her silvery voice lilting and intonating. So pretty. I’m just so happy she was able to let go of her grief and move on.

I wish I could be a seen the wedding, but I also understand why they decided to just show the picture. Seeing them together, committed to forever is sufficient and heartwarming. They were never about big grand sweeping actions , but they fell for each other twice! in the small genuine moments.

Im going to miss these characters so much!

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Sweet perfect ending ! And love the final recap too.

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My main memory of this show will be smiling for two hours every week. So no matter what other gripes I have, I'll be grateful to it for that. I could honestly watch this little slice of joy once a week for the rest of the year and am disappointed it's over.

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Yeah I told my hubby that I didn’t want to watch the final episode... and he assumed it was going to be a bad ending, but I told him it’s bc I do t want to say bye 😭

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Me too! I didn't want to say goodbye, so I've only just now brought myself to finish the final episode. This drama was so beautiful.

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Really one of the more satisfying conclusions to a drama. These last two episodes did an outstanding job in tying up almost all loose ends (seems like the only character we didn't get closure on was Ri-an) and giving our wonderful characters a happy send-off. By the end, I loved all of the characters in this drama, especially the main leads. The resolution of the mystery surrounding Seo-ri uncle was a real tearjerker. So glad the uncle remain devoted to Seo-ri until the end. Despite the heartbreak of associated with some of the storylines, overall this was truly heartwarming drama. Definitely one of my favorites of 2018.

The screenwriter, Jo Sung Hee, is now on my autowatch list.

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The flashback to the uncle and that moment the uncle collapsing by Seo-ri's bedside had me in tears.

Thinking from the uncle's perspective. His brother and sister-in-law died one day, leaving his niece orphaned. The uncle was not a father but had to suddenly be one for his niece. They had a few good years and then a series of tragedies. How could he sell the house that held Seori's memories of her parents? I'm so sad that he died suffering.

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I love how the writer wrapped up all the stories. Every episode have given happy feelings (except when it made me cry due to the heartaches).
Overall, this show left a lovely happy feeling and made every character very endearing. Gahhh, I will miss looking forward to every episode.

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We need a new heartwarming series. I almost didn't watch this one and now I'm so glad I did.

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Same. I was initially on the fence about this but also glad I gave it a chance.
It also made me discover YSJ and AHS. I already like SHS from Forest of Secrets so the male leads were a revelation.

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AHS has a bright future. I won't forget Chan.

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Ah. I’m gonna miss this drama. Started because my mom recommended me and ended it with a current obsession with Yang Se Jong. I really like how he portrayed Woo Jin here. The way he talked and occasion closing his eyes when he emphasised his words, like the scene where he was encouraging Seo Ri to pursue her dreams and he would be waiting for her. I enjoyed the scene because of how he portrayed his character. And I’m gonna miss those times where he places his hands up, signalling that he needs alone time. That scene was hilarious and I was trying to keep my laughter while I was watching this episode in the library.

Goodbye show. Glad that I never made that choice of not watching it and listened to mom.

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I second that about YSJ. I didn't watch TOL when it was airing, as I know that drama was bashed a lot, and I thought YSJ looks bland and too young to lead a drama.
Now that I have watched him in 17 to 30 and TOL, I finally get the hype about him being the next hottest young star. He brings so much life and subtle characterizations to each role. For a young actor, this is amazing.

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@kai55,

By any chance did you watch DUEL? Yang Se-jong turned in a stunning 4-way performance as a pair of clones, their donor, and one clone impersonating the other -- the last of which was truly a doozy when it comes to nuance. I could readily differentiate them, but the baddies could not. He was absolutely daebak.

As for TEMPERATURE OF LOVE, YSJ's acting was dandy, and he convincingly smooched up a storm that would have given his rival surgeon in ROMANTIC DOCTOR, TEACHER KIM (played by the smoldering Yoo Yeon-seok) a run for the money. (In RDTK, he played a tsundere -- who eventually thawed out a skosh in the supportive environment of Doldam Hospital. By the time Dr. Do In-bum finally cracked a smile, the Beanies rejoiced to the hilt in the recap thread.) It was the other characters in TOL that frustrated me, in particular his parents and the female lead. Seo Hyun-jin's performance was excellent, I just came to loathe her high-handed character. The chef, on the other hand, made discernible progress as a human being until Kdrama Finale Derangement Syndrome kicked in. He should have run for his life. Just my embittered $0.02. ;-)

After his tragic turn as the young Lee Gyeom in the Joseon timeline of SAIMDANG, LIGHT'S DIARY, I'm looking forward to seeing him in a full-blown sageuk.

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I just finished Duel last night, and I really really enjoyed that drama even though I don’t tend to prefer watching thriller dramas because of the tension while watching as it airs. But since it’s completed, I binged it and enjoyed the tension. Totally loved all of YSJ’s characters, especially Sung Joon... or maybe Sung Hoon.... I cant decide now! Totally saw the ending coming though, but I still felt sad :( I was telling my mom that he’s really good as a newbie, and even though he’s the second lead in the drama, he had lots of scenes and his characters were challenging since he plays lots of characters and they are all of very differing personalities in which he portrayed it really well. Especially the last episode where both clones had a showdown, I was entirely awed.

Damn it. So much rambling YSJ, but I’m not complaining. Glad I just started TOL so I can enjoy more fluttering hearts.

Not sure if his other dramas are worth the watch though since medical dramas aren’t my type either, as well as sagueks... or maybe I will just search for his cuts if they are available.

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@melovestage,

I don't usually watch medical dramas, but BEAUTIFUL MIND and ROMANTIC DOCTOR, TEACHER KIM are both exceptional. Like LIVE, which is basically a character study of people who work as police officers -- but is NOT a police procedural -- RDTK is about the process of of medical students becoming, not perfect physicians, but doctors who are needed by their patients. I cannot express how wonderful the ensemble cast is.

(BEAUTIFUL MIND is also an unusual drama in a hospital setting, but it has much more to do with questions of nature vs. nurture, and what makes us human. Jang Hyuk is terrific as the prodigy neurosurgeon unable to feel emotions owing to a surgical injury when he was a child. Because of this, he is labeled a psychopath, which could not be further from the truth.)

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I saw his name appearing on the fanwall before but didn’t notice him. But like you, now I know why. I’m watching TOL now, just started ep 2, and I’m already getting butterflies in my stomach thanks to YSJ.

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I have finished TOL but just started Duel, a bit darker than my usual dramas, but I am enjoying the performances.
Will probably move on to Dr Kim as recommended by @pakalanapikake

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Duel is dark but enjoyable because of YSJ :D. Considering Dr Kim now too, but I’ll see how it goes~

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Thanks @abirdword
An extremely sweet ending. So sweet that my teeth hurt!! Joins the ranks of Strongest Deliveryman in being so 'nice'. Practically everyone had their sensible, logical and good resolution. Even Chick Junior!!!! LOL.

I liked the balance where first Woo JIn leaves and returns and then Seo Ri almost leaves but doesn't. Each time they are crazily depressed to be apart.

One scene that we were not shown was the meeting up again of Chan with aunt and her son. She had been grateful that Chan had saved her son, and had wanted to visit him. But that scene was not in the show. However at least Aunt with cousin, Min Kyu, gets a moment.

This was one strongly character-driven show, with every character worthy of note, so I can't help ruminating on each character in turn.
I was satisfied with Jennifer's arc (we get to know her Korean name, Mi Jung!) and that she became her natural self again, once she embraced her right to feel. It was great to see that yellow shoes is still in her life.

Chan's and Seo Ri's decisions to not go professional and to not go to Berlin respectively, also felt very appropriate to their characters. They didn't want to be in a hurry or to meet other people's expectations. Instead of thinking, they felt, and followed their hearts.

Soo Hee stands out as one of the best bosses in kdrama (together with My Ajusshi). She has great empathy and understanding of the needs of her people. Instead of going for qualifications, she too went with her heart, to give to her staff what they needed rather than demanding they give what she wanted.

Hyung Tae was quite extraneous, but at least he was given a couple more things to do. I'm very pleased that Tae Rin was given more scenes and a little arc of her own and that it was well rounded off with finally being able to play the violin duet with Seo Ri.

Woo Jin actually speaks to people and asks them for permission to measure things in public and Seo Ri meets again the granny who gave her the pink cardigan.

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Poor Ri An! She became the unnecessary extra. I feel that the show had intended to do more with her character, but that they didn't get around to it.

On the whole this was a great show. It would have been near wonderful if there had been fewer near misses (there were so many it felt like they were trolling the audience), and less ridiculous, unnecessary suffering by Woo Jin over Seo Ri when she had not left the country. That whole section of 'respecting' his wanting to be alone and not telling him Seo Ri didn't go, was just off, when it was obvious he was upset because he thought Seo Ri was gone, was just kinda off.

However props to the writers for the great conversations, the sincere admission of feelings and decisions and bringing the characters together so organically.

Best funny expression - Seo Ri's at the fancy restaurant, scared out of her mind but forcing herself to accept a marriage proposal that was not due yet. Props to Shin Hye Sun who managed all those expressions flitting across her face. I think I shouted with laughter at that non-proposal scene. Much 2nd hand embarrassment for her as well!!!

Cute shots through the series: The yellow shoes, the mismatched slippers, the gifts of shoes, the shoes that congregated when the family did. Shoes that carried valuable people into and out of our lives.

I really like the farewell, the breaking of the fourth wall and the quick view of the crew waving at us, the viewers. What a good use of a video taking drone! My peeve about it was that the drone rose too quickly before we could get even a quick glimpse at the crew's faces.

All the little things that did not quite make sense aside, this was one very enjoyable show. I squealed with laughter and delight, I cried tears of pathos and joy and I feel warm and happy all over when I think of it. A round of applause to all who had a hand in making this show! 😄

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Very well said, @growingbeautifully!
The fake proposal scene had me in stitches, I think it's one of the best comedic scenes in drama history.

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The secondhand embarrassment was strong, but I was laughing so much! Seo-ri blowing out the candle in a well-lit restaurant like it was really going to help make it darker was hilarious haha

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I also love that she accidentally extended her right hand first! And then thought, wait, it's the left and stuck that hand out. Best non-proposal scene ever.

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I know! She was too cute...

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and less ridiculous, unnecessary suffering by Woo Jin over Seo Ri when she had not left the country.

I was debating whether I was going to raise that since the show has ended and it was mostly lovely and I usually stick to how I feel about something overall at the end rather than nitpicking.

But since you brought it up anyway...

Oh dear God, I HATED that. I said in the last episode that sometimes rom-com writers don't think things through and this is one of those times. The idea that she decided not to leave and just... didn't tell him. And everyone in his life let him think she had while he sobbed at work all day.

And then she... what? Left the house in the morning, went to the overpass and waited there for 8 hours in the hope he'd finally get her letter and turn up? What if he didn't read it until the next week? Was she going to lope home when it got dark, sneak into the house and then run out the next day to wait again hoping that this time he'd read it!. How long was she there? He spend the entire day at work!

I know it was all about the overpass but that was just unnecessary and really silly.

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@leetennant
Yes, I do the same thing too, or usually I forget the parts I'd nitpick on at the end of the series and just give the positive vibes. But this was at the end of the show (so how to forget it!) and it generally bothers me when people are allowing others to be in pain. 'Respecting' his desire to be alone to grieve when there's no need to grieve bordered on the insensitive and inconsiderate, even callous ... which those characters had never shown themselves to be. It was out of character.

Once again the writers go overboard in not just giving us 1 or 2 instances but that at every opportunity, everyone does not tell Woo Jin. It was just like the near misses: a couple are understandable, but the writers engineered many a situation where the discovery could have logically been made, only to backtrack, to add tension.

Maybe they felt it was necessary to do that in a show without real villains, but they overdid it. I felt that the viewers were being played after a while. That is why I can only say that I did enjoy it and thought it was a very sweet and healing show, but it does not hit the mark of being a wonderfully great show.

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@leetennant ChinguMode,

Maybe letting Woo-jin stew in his juices was Writer-nim's symmetrical payback for his having nearly flown away to points unknown. Hrrrmph!

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Maybe!

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This is one of the most beautiful dramas I have ever watched and also beautifully told.
I have a lot to say, but need to go to work.
I cried also during your recap, @abirdword, thanks a lot!!!!!!!
This drama is a Rewatch must!!!!!!😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

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I also teared up!

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Aha, so I'm not the only one. Thanks, abirdword, lovely recap and comments!

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Thank you, show, for beautifully written and kind characters.
Thank you for teaching a valuable lesson: that sometimes it's more than OK to take things slowly and just enjoy the moment. You helped me make a couple of important decisions.
Thank you for creating a dorky and sweet male lead who truly supported the female lead. And for casting Yang Se-jong. He was perfect.
Thank you for showcasing Shin Hye-sun's talent.
Thank you for making side characters shine.
Thank you for the laughs and the tears and – oh my – to dogs!
I'm so thankful that I forgive you for wasting Ri-an. In my imagination, she's a top student in a prestigious university paving her own path.
And finally, thank you for pulling me out of my kdrama funk. It was about time.

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My sentiments exactly! @captblackdog

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This is one of those rare dramas with a really satisfying ending where we got to see almost everything tied up in a neat little bow. I like how the ending wasnt rushed nor prolonged.

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never knew i would miss 30 but 17 so much until this heartwarming finale 😭😭i will miss this family so much! will definitely check out all of these actors’ next projects 😉

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Overall a very sweet show. Glad I didn't have to drop another YSJ drama after TOL. My only wish- there was atleast one scene of chan and WJ together. But they had to wrap up everything in the given time. So I'm satisfied.

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I forced myself to finish TOL for YSJ and KJW. I'd love to see both of them in another sweet drama like this.

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I'm so glad that THIRTY BUT SEVENTEEN has displaced the distressing elements of TEMPERATURE OF LOVE from my memory -- mainly by having a cast of characters who are decent human beings. Interestingly, Kim Jae-wook and Ahn Nae-sang are both in THE GUEST, which is pretty darned creepy. On the other hand, I'm really enjoying KJW's performance as an exorcist. His barista buddy from COFFEE PRINCE, Kim Dong-wook, is also doing a terrific job. ;-)

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I'm not brave enough to watch it. I'll wait for something sweet.

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@pakalanapikake
Yes I'm watching the guest too. It's pretty scary, but in a good way. I want to keep watching it.

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I totally agree--YSJ nailed it! And I too drop Temperature of Love...

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Such a nice review @abirdword! Love it! I went back to re-read it.

There were so many lovely themes to remember:

She admits that she was scared of how old she would be before achieving her dream, but that she understands now that age is just another number, not a limitation or a designation of how far behind she is.

- This really is one of the most comforting themes of this show, at least it's a great comfort to me. It does not matter how long it takes and how old I am, but that I keep growing and moving ahead. Being older does not mean I'm behind. Such a nice thought!

One door closes, another opens

- This together with the caution that our being so focused on the closed door causes us to fail to see the one that opened. Such good advice!!!!

Seo-ri doesn’t give up, she makes a choice, and she chooses what will make her the happiest.

- We have to determine if we are choosing or just giving up. Then it does not matter to others if it looks like we made the wrong decision, because we chose for the greatest happiness.

Kudos too to a show that gave us a heroine who having lost everything, never felt sorry for herself but kept right on going, growing up as best she could. And kudos for wonderfully good people, who really do exist in this world, who supported Seo Ri without asking for anything in return.😃

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So true! Kudos to the writer, the actors and the production crew for making such a great-feel-good drama; their hard work will continue to live on.

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What a sweet and satisfying send-off to this loveliest of shows! This episode wrung a few tears out of me, but they were tears of gratitude for the healing and heartwarming journey that Show took us on. 30 but 17 had its share of flaws, but it was one of my favorite drama rides ever.

Thank you, TeriYaki and abirdword, for being enthusiastic chaperones, and thank you, Beanies, for magnifying my love for this drama with all your great comments!

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Thank you for the recaps ! It was nice to share this good drama with Beanies :)

I was happy that she didn't go to Germany because I didn't think that she needed that to growp up or to find herself. If I did like the kisses scenes for the reunion in Coffee Prince or Oh My Ghost, I never really thought it added something to the stories...

I like the two friends of Chan, it was so cute they wrote a message to Jennifer. I mean they're only teenager but the way they cares about all the members of the family was very cute.

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Part 1 of 2

Thank you for your recap and summation of the final episode of THIRTY BUT SEVENTEEN, abirdword! And thank you for sharing the recapping chores with TeriYaki. The two of you have truly enhanced my enjoyment of this show with your careful attention to detail and lovely insights.

This drama has struck me all along as a series of character studies swaddled in mysteries, with the primary focus on Mr. Gong, nephew Chan, former resident Seo-ri, and mysterious housekeeper Jenniferrrr. Among the supporting characters, Chan's crewmates and Woo-jin's design colleagues are memorable allies. Fang and Chick Jr. – and the plant that rejuvenated at the bottom of the stairs, along with the crape myrtle tree in the garden – stole the show in their own ways. In the final analysis, even faux-heavies Tae-ri and Doc Hyung-tae were not so much baddies as misunderstood, fallible human beings with good qualities and generous spirits.

In the end, the show subverted a passel of tropes, which has been a refreshing switch from the usual Kdrama fare. The final revelations about Seo-ri's aunt and uncle struck me as realistic, and gave me as much needed closure as they gave her. Uncle's unflagging love and devotion exacted a stiff sacrifice, so I am relieved that he did his utmost to look after Seo-ri.

Time is one of the major themes of the show. Chan's wisdom in deciding to take his time growing up is in keeping with his thoughtful nature. He has learned from his ringside seat at Samchoon's crisis of spirit, and intimately observing the emotional price Woo-jin paid for 13 long years. To borrow a phrase from Gestalt therapist and writer Barry Stevens, “Don't push the river.” It's an appropriate motto for a champion rower. To which I would add another: “Paddle with the wind,” the translated title of a favorite print by Hawaii painter James Fitt.

- Continued -

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Part 2 of 2

I appreciate the message that dreams can and should evolve along with the dreamer. What is apropos early in life may actually serve as a developmental stepping stone to a new dream that is better aligned with one's more mature gifts and abilities. Sometimes a dream becomes a ball and chain that prevents us from growing into our full potential. The good news is that one is free to make a different choice. It is not merely a matter of “giving up.” In a similar fashion, what may appear on the surface to be “running away” may actually be “running towards” a new reality that is approaching from beyond the horizon and cannot yet be seen.

Sometimes it's not the content of a dream that matters so much as one's commitment to going for broke in pursuit of that for which one's soul yearns. Just as we can reinvent and recast ourselves as our self-knowledge evolves and our circumstances change, so too can we revise our dreams. If we are fortunate enough to share our journey with those who love and support us and hold our highest good in their hearts and minds, we are truly blessed.

Thank you again, abirdwork and TeriYaki, for your faithful service to THIRTY BUT SEVENTEEN fans. It has been an honor to live-watch the show with you and so many fine Beanie colleagues. Aloha until we meet again for another Kdrama. ;-)

-30-

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What a thoughtful and inspiring comment @pakalanapikake.

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You're most welcome, @ndlessjoie mugyuljoie. This has been one of the most inspiring, uplifting dramas I've seen in a while.

One other quote I meant to include: "It's never too late to have a happy childhood" -- from Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins, which I admit I've never read. As Seo-ri and Woo-jin know only too well, there is no way to change the past. But all it takes is one decision to change how we regard the past. A change of attitude can free us to appreciate in the present moment aspects of our lives that we could not see or embrace as they were happening. Our past need not predetermine our future. It's all a matter of perspective.

Jackson Browne's "Fountain of Sorrow" also comes to mind. "I'm just one or two years and a couple of changes behind you in my lessons at love's pain and heartache school" could have been written about Chan. It's on my fan wall: http://www.dramabeans.com/members/pakalanapikake/activity/609524/

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I am reading the quotes in Jennifer's voice and tone......

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@niklas kang,

Omo! I'm hearing her declaim "Fountain of Sorrow".... ROFLMAO!!!

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OMG pp your words are beautiful! I've always loved your analysis on dramas but since I loved this show so much I really enjoyed reading your farewell thoughts 🙂
When I get some time I'll read some of the recaps I've missed for this show & find your comments as well.
Pretty sure they are well written & thoughtful ^^

And, I completely agree with everything you said. I had similar thoughts as well (not shaped into words though).

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Aw, thanks, @fatcat007 🐈Kitty\\\'s UB 🌷 NOT SO PERFECT BUT SO BEAUTIFUL 🌹.

I may have saved most of my comments for the finale. For a while there I was live-watching a bunch of intense shows (LIFE ON MARS was terrific, and deeply affecting), and just couldn't keep up with all the recaps. But I've been tuning in all along, and am very glad I did. The complete absence of homicidal psychopaths and deranged chaebols has made THIRTY BUT SEVENTEEN a serene oasis in my Kdrama viewing schedule. Now off to watch the conclusion of TIME. ;-)

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I was thankfully able to follow Lom. Gosh that was an intense show! I enjoyed it a lot even though the ending left me scratching my head.

Also "The complete absence of homicidal psychopaths and deranged chaebols has made THIRTY BUT SEVENTEEN a serene oasis in my Kdrama viewing schedule." 🤣🤣🤣 Yes. Same here.

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YES!!! Can we get more K-ds sans the psychopaths and deranged chaebols, please!!! Oh, and also without the damsel in distress heroine.

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Totally random tangent but your mention of deranged chaebols made me think of how frequently they usually have abusive fathers and made me remember how WONDERFUL and understanding Woo-Jin’s dad was in this drama.

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I would have really enjoyed more interaction with
Woo-jin's father. He was such a good sport, he even let his grandson send Chick Jr. to Jejudo. I guess Gramps was ready to have an organic alarm clock. ;-)

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Wow! @pakalanapikake Your comment was beautifully written.

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Thank you, @yayabean. ;-)

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My favorite drama of the year. I honestly did not have any expectations for it and watched the first four episodes out of boredom.

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17 but 30 was a very sweet and cute show, and I enjoyed the OTP as well as the shenanigans of Chan & his 2 pals, as well as Fang. I'm glad everyone's long intermission has ended and they can move
on - even minor characters like forgotten Doc got to move on with their lives, which was nice. Although I still don't understand Rin Kim being jealous of someone who woke up from a coma after 17 years.

Glad it ended the way it did without uneccessary makjang :)

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This show grew up on me so much, I'll miss the characters.
I liked how it ended, tied up neatly & giving each character a bright future to grow more.
Thank you for the recap 🙂

Side thoughts:
1. I love how not only Seo ri & Woo jin healed each other but they were such a warm influence on Jennifer. ^^
Especially Woo jin's interaction with her in this final ep.
The characters were all so warm & giving & healing. T.T Despite internal struggles it's amazing how they were such a positive influence on so many people.

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This ending was very pat. Everything was convenient and beautiful. I liked the ending, but I didn't love it. I am glad however that the sadness ended with her uncle, and no more after that. The characterizations were and still are some of the best, it made this show what it was and I am thankful for the experience.

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This was such a sweet and heartwarming show ❤️ I only started it a couple weeks ago and honestly I was a little on the fence with the first episodes because the humor (choco pies and chihuahua burps) wasn't working for me. It was charming enough that I kept watching though and it's now one of my top 5 favorites! It was so refreshing to just watch these characters heal and grow and find happiness without any unnecessary conflicts. They were all so genuinely kind and caring and I fell in love with this adorable family. The cast did such an excellent job, especially the leads. Even little Deok-gu/Fang was great haha.

The side characters were lovable too, Hee-soo was probably my favorite. She's a great friend and boss and her line about still feeling like she's 20 and just pretending to be an adult was one of my favs. There are so many great messages in this show, and I really appreciated the ones in this episode. It's ok to take things at your own pace, you're not giving up if you decide to take a different path-you're making a choice, and you don't need to let your age hold you back from doing what will make you happy.

This is just one of those feel-good dramas that you can watch over and over and I'm so glad I picked it up. Thank you for the recap!

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A lesser drama would have had Hee-soo one-sidedly crushing on Woo-jin, but here she is the cool boss and mentor.

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I loved how the show stuck with no villains and everyone was just a unique character on its own. People in this drama actually COMMUNICATE and there were no noble idiocy. The growth of all the characters were so beautifully illustrated. Huge step for kdramas and I loved every moment of it.

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I liked how they slowly revealed Jennifer's character. Remember at the start when she was so robot-like we were wondering if she was ACTUALLY a robot? but instead we found out she'd been practicing to control her emotions because the trauma and breakdown of her husband's death apparently lead to her miscarrying. So, while Jennifer helped them all a lot, they helped her too and that was really sweet. Her restaurant / meal kit place must be AMAZING.

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Uh, oh, the wedding photo reminds me of the ending of Legend of the Blue Sea. I feel a lil bit disappointed that I can't see Chan, Deoksu, Haebum, Fang and Chick Jr. being the groomsmen, but it's okay since marriage scene is not their thing.

But the ending is just feel right, not OTT but not an understatement either. Everyone just doing what they want to do and what makes them happy, and goodbye 30but17! You guys will be missed 😢

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"Fate is not kind or fair, but sometimes you find something even more important and worthwhile in the rubble"......
Thank you so much for the recap, it's been really nice riding. Thank you show, I'm definetly would check your next production.
This show keep healing some of my problem in the real life and I learn so much for each character, even I enjoy RiAn character so much. I would rewatch this drama for this weekend.

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I really enjoyed this drama. All wholehearted people coping with life. Drama without foul play or evilness is the best. Although much of it really seem unrealistic in life, it’s well played in dramaland.

This drama had many similarities with High School King of Savvy, written by the same writer. Both are stories of the protagonist forced to group up 10+ years in the blink of his/her eyes. It just reminds us how we grow so much between our teen and 30’s.

Just a few recycled setups I noticed:
- Chan is a jock like MinSuk who falls in love with a girl 10+ older, has 2 dumb and dumber teammates, AND a personal stalker😅
- SeoRi jumps from high school student to full time worker, also like MinSuk
- SeoRi decides to study in Germany, then gives it up to stay with her lover, like MinSuk
- SeoRi and MinSuk talk like being chased by raptors all the time😅

P.S. The not-a-proposal scene had me gasping of laughter and secondhand embarrassment.

Thank you for the recaps!

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Thanks for the list of similarities with HSKS. I watched that show but I have forgotten all those points!!!

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Thank you for the comparison; I never would have made the connection! Now I need to watch HSKS again. Not bad, though. And that non-proposal scene was gold. I am definitely finding it on YouTube and saving it to my favorites list!

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We're so so lucky that they cut this to 16 hours from the original 20. I suppose the filler would have given us a love triangle with the doctor, and/or more torture for Chanie.

After watching a string of romance dramas that were disappointing, this one got me to love and root for the couple to the end. Watching this show was effortless, whereas some shows I've had to treat like homework and force myself to finish because I hate where the story ended up or I grew to dislike the couple.

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Was it ever explained how Jennifer came to be hired as the helper for that house?

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What I vaguely recall is that Woo Jin's sister (Chan's mum) said that she'd hired a housekeeper to keep everything in order while she and her husband left the country for a few months. It was probably one of the usual Kdrama coincidences that brought the victims of the bus accident together.

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Everyone else has said so many good things so I'll just leave it to you all!

I said in a previous comment that suuuuuurely they wouldn't kill off Seori's uncle, because she's had so much grief already but nope they had to go and do that!

Also, I loved the final scene with Seori and her aunt (and her aunt's kid), purely for the fact that you can really appreciate Shin Hye Sun's height here. Usually she's surrounded by men taller than her or around her height, and she's styled in a way that makes her look shorter, but in that scene she towers over her aunt (and the boy, obviously). It's so rare seeing tall actresses so it really stuck with me!

I'll miss this show. They did a really good job wrapping up, especially considering it was apparently meant to be 40 episodes rather than 32. I was worried about the pacing of the last few episodes but overall it was fine. It was such a character driven drama that it worked really well. Ahhh I need something else to watch now!

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Thank you, Show, for breaking the fourth wall and bidding farewell to us as well. We love you, too! Seriously, one of my favorites.

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This one is another drama that I picked up after reading the great recaps on dramabeans. I started watching probably half way through and I thoroughly enjoyed the drama! It was such a sweet but sad story. I'm not that big of a fan of Shin Hyesun but her portrayal of a 30 year old adult with a delayed mentality of a 17 year old I thought was spot on. She made you believe that it was just yesterday that Seori was 17 and she had to fast forward all these years to what she is now, an adult. Yang Sejong once again reminded me what a great actor he is although his character kind of felt somewhat similar to Temperature of Love. I loved how it tied up all the loose ends but didn't felt rushed or shorted in any way. It felt like the perfect ending to a good drama. Thanks for the wonderful recaps as well!

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Aaaah with the final recap out, the show is officially over :'(. Thank your recappers for this wonderful journey. This drama will be ranked among my favorite romcoms, along side with WFKBJ, INAR and BTIOFL. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I loved EVERY. SINGLE. CHARACTER.

But let us all petition for 4th rower together the story he deserves. And the girl who has a crush on Chan.

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As hard as I tried, I cannot decipher what WFKBJ, INAR and BTIOFL meand.

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I am sorry @yayabean (i will try and be more specific next time)
INAR= I'm not a robot
WFKBJ: weightlifting fairy kim bok joo
BTIOFL: because this is our first life

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Ah! Thank you @JustMe. Those dramas are actually some of my favorites too! :)

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O/T For the longest time whenever I saw WWWSK
I thought WYWS.
WWWSK: WHAT'S WRONG WITH SECRETARY KIM
WYWS: WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING.

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I loved how they choose their own way of successfull without sacrifice the happiness of the time they could spend with the family and friends, both chan, seo-ri, and also jennifer.

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Such a lovely drama. Shin Hye-sun deserves special props; I didn't notice her much in her supporting roles before, but she totally sold being a teenager who's tragically forced to grow up much too soon. Impeccable comedic timing, too; that not-a-proposal panicked speech was hilarious, and I lost it when she blew out that candle in a (useless) attempt to hide her mortification. Here's hoping she gets some more lead rom-com gigs.

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This was such a beautiful ending
OMG
I have no words
Usually when a drama starts following a trope I always end up predicting what actually happens at the end but not for this drama
When Seo ri actually came back it was so refreshing and I felt like I was pulled back into the drama again. I also loved how this drama was carried by the characters and their personalities, their situations rather than a story that was crafted. I have to say this drama really has a way of making you fall in love with all its characters. When I was watching the last episode I just didn’t want it to end, however when I reached the end it just felt like such good closure. This drama couldn’t have ended on a higher note.
Overall I just really loved how this drama took those classic cliches and made them into something fresh and beautiful. Every episode kept leaving you hungry for more. And this finale tied up the drama beautifully. I have to say this is definitely the best drama yet this year.

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@hisui298
Speaking of "This drama couldn't have ended on a higher note." - So true. I felt that ending with Woo Jin and Seo Ri popping their heads out of the skylight, way up high above the crew, was a reminder to keep looking to open many more doors to happiness, such a hopeful and optimistic ending.

On top of that, they even remembered the viewers and waved at us!!! Sooo good! 😋

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If the drama ends by zooming those shoes after their owners gather happily, I will give a huge smile to the screen as well. But having the leads waving hands with the rest of the crue is also a sweet treat 😍
Glad I decided to start watching this at ep 5 after reading the first 4 recaps on db. Now, time to gossip this heartwarming drama to my friend (who hasn't been able to find a good one after BTIOFL) 😁😁😉

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The characters in this drama felt real, in the sense that no one was the evil villain or the damsel in distress. Instead, they all helped each other in different ways and became a true family as a result. I felt proud of their personal growth and I am glad I stayed tune to watch.

Although, I love all the scenes with Chan and his two best friends-- they were just too too cute--it was Jennifer who made me tear up a few times. The actress was superb.

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I agree that all the characters felt so real. Chan and the triplet buddies made me laugh so much! And same, it was Jennifer who made me cry. I rarely cry during movies/dramas, but her scenes moved me to tears in the last few episodes.

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I was relieved to see that the writer did not forget to give Jennifer a happy ending.

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If u watch ep 16 preview, it seems someone told the aunt to abandon her niece. I feel last ep might have be last minute edited...
I love that drama but as everybody said, why didn't they explain her aunt point of view better

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AWWW SO CUTE

- this has to be one of the best dramas i've watched that wrapped up the ending SO WELL! NO LOOSE STRINGS! ugh so good my heart
- i loved the short scene of seeing their 17 year olds popping their head outside the window
- i loved the scene where they showed the rest of the crew at the end!!! i duno just something about breaking down that 3rd wall and giving a nod to the people behind the scenes
- i guess that means that the aunt DID abandon seo ri? she sold the house and never visited her or paid for her hospital bills..
- chan and jennifer and the friends leaving the house was so sad...but also so close to reality. people move on, life goes on and nothing lasts forever :'(

i have to stay this has shot up my list of favorite dramas in 2018. it was just so cute, light hearted yet deep and emotional and the characters, such strong well developed and well liked characters, and the feeling of warmth and family...brought so much joy to both me and my computer screen lmao

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Absolutely wonderful drama and I this might be my favorite final ending for a kdrama!! I'll always cherish it!

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THIRTY BUT SEVENTEEN was a wonderful drama with a great ending. Thank you @abirdword and@teriyaki for the recaps and all the beanie comments. Kudos to all involved in 30B17's production, in front of and behind the camera.
One of my rules of life is: "There is more to the story". I think a great example was when Seo-ri was able to tell Woo-jin that his memories of their youth was not the total story. There was more. When Seo-ri added her memories then Woo-jin was able to get the full picture.

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Perfectly lovely.

This drama was light and sweet and just right! There was almost nothing I'd have done differently, which happens close to never for me in dramas.

At one point when they were sitting on the stairs together I thought it would have been nice if they flashed to their teenager selves sitting together - and then they even did it in the final scene! Love!!!!

One thing I didn't understand was why the aunt saved the money because she felt guilty spending it, but didn't use it to pay for her hospital bills, essentially just leaving her to perish...good thing that didn't happen though, and that they're on good terms now! (Phew!)

Favorite part: The Chan Chick Jr. facetime!!! Everyone in the gang was there at the end!

So wonderful.

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Thank you TeriYaki and abirdword for recapping this sweet drama. Abirdword, I concur with everything you said in your final comments!

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This drama was great from start to finish. I think this has got to be one of my top faves of 2018 out of the handful of dramas I've watched this year!

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i'm 6 episodes in and i'm debating whether to soldier through a couple more episodes or drop this altogether.
I am bored, I can't really warm up to both leads, story is very vanilla... I want stakes, get me interested, on the edge of my seat, give me some romance or get me laughing... give me SOMETHING please.
It's not good that the person I find the most entertainng is the nephew (Chan) or the dog. The housekeeper make me smile also

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not forgetting to mention, role of hyungtae was so under-developed that it was as if the production team just gave up on developing his story line LOL
there i thought hyungtae would be the second male lead instead of chan but i was wrong aye haha

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