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Forest: Episodes 17-20 Open Thread

This week our leads turn honest about their attraction to each other — but once they do, it’s time to deny it completely, and forcibly. However, when they both find themselves in the Philippines on business, circumstances push them together, and though some painful truths are revealed, their relationship only continues to deepen. Gotta love a drama that invents scenarios solely to convince us that these two are soul mates.

 
EPISODES 17-20 WEECAP

Even though it was San-hyuk that was left sitting in the middle of a raging forest fire, it’s Young-jae that winds up passed out in the hospital. But don’t worry, she’s fine. So is San-hyuk. And so is the forest, apparently. Rather than that fire being the climax I expected it to be, instead it serves to confirm the fact that San-hyuk was the one responsible for the devastating fire that struck the forest when he was a kiddie (after which he and his grandma fled to Seoul).

Speaking of the forest, there’s not a whole lot of forward movement this week. Young-jae manages to collect some of the mountain water and send it in for testing, but the results come back normal (though we’re led to believe this is suspect). Bo-mi, in addition to being pursued by Choi Chang (I don’t know what he sees in her), finds an odd machine-bored hole when she’s bickering with Young-jae in the forest. There are no answers around what that could be yet, nor around the explosion/mystery men that started the fire last week.

Since we’re not really focusing on the actual forest, and the village’s history/mystery still feels mostly tangential, what do we focus on instead? Resonance. Young-jae finds some tuning forks at the hospital, brings them home, and creates a full-blown come-on to San-hyuk using them as a metaphor.

The two share a super straight-forward yet bizarre conversation about sound waves, resonance, and matching each other’s vibrations. San-hyuk (after calling himself a/the devil?) says he has matched her “resonance” all along which is pretty much like him admitting he’s in love with her. I wanted to get behind this scene, and its metaphor, but it was just a little too strange and out of the blue. The conclusion is that the two need to part ways, and that though they’ve just acknowledged their attraction/love, San-hyuk’s got more important things to do, like business.

That business takes him to the Philippines where he’s to carry out his plan to oust Taesong, gain control of the area, and move the rescue unit out of Miryeong once and for all. However, as usual that proves harder than he expects, and as always there’s an unexplained resistance to discussing the unit, and an even greater one to moving it. Rather than building a sense of interest and mystery, this is just getting tiring at this point.

Also in the Philippines at a conference, Young-jae seeks the counsel of some “great” psychiatrists, like her old boyfriend who’s actually a renowned PTSD expert (*insert goat baaing*). They discuss her patient from the rescue team (the guy who exercises to deal with his trauma), but we (and she) know she’s really thinking about San-hyuk and his trauma.

However, all this out-of-forest business is really just a mechanism to get San-hyuk and Young-jae into some sticky situations, and create excuses for them to bond, bicker, make meaningful wish lanterns, and sleep in/on the same bed for 15 hours.

I wish I knew what made San-hyuk change his mind, but by the time the two are back in Miryeong, he’s done a 180. Sure, three days ago he said business and success were his only goals, but now? He wants Young-jae to be his goal. He asks her to stay by his side. I think they’re officially a couple now.

This drama is supremely unsatisfying in many ways, but I have to admire its ability to drop plot lines and then pick them up again, weaving them into the story in a way that’s not only implausible, but makes you forget why it matters in the first place. Right now I mostly feel insulted on behalf of the body-building rescue work whose entire character exists solely for San-hyuk’s own plot line — I couldn’t help but chuckle to think of Eun Dan-ho in Extraordinary You.

Anyway, now that our couple is together, maybe we’ll get a little more forest mystery, and a little less plot randomness. I think I could stand to see San-hyuk and Young-jae on the same team, flipping tables to get to the bottom of whatever strange things are going on in the forest. Just no more tunings forks and wish trees, please.

 
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Sigh...I really feel the English translation is doing this drama a big disservice. I actually liked the conversation about tuning forks and the devil. As I did the lizard tail one. BUT I watched the dialogue in Chinese because I was frustrated with how slow the English subs were coming out. The dialogue is what’s keeping me watching. That and the delivery by PHJ. Both Chinese and Korean are highly pictorial so the nuance behind it is actually beautiful. It gets lost in translation and sounds really peculiar as a result. And I guess the divide between the Chinese language and Korean is not as vast as that of Korean and English. There’s no way around it unfortunately. I agree that the plot isn’t as tight as it should be and goes off on weird tangents but it is the dialogue in these quiet moments between the OTP that is keeping me invested.

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Like many other beanies, I do find the dialogues in the drama quite bizzare so I’ve been wondering if it’s because of the English translations, like you said, that cause the intended nuance to be lost. I wonder how the native Koreans feel about the dialogues.

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Well the native Korean that I talk to on forums feels the same way about the English translations. She loves the Korean dialogue in Forest and finds the inherent meaning gets lost in translation. I have tried translating the Chinese to English and she’s right. It just sounds crass and obtuse in English for some reason. It sounds beautifully poetic in Korean/Chinese.

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This confusecap is amazing. It almost makes me want to pick this show back up. Thankfully I won't be tempted to do anything crazy like that. I'll just continue to enjoy the dumpster (forest) fire from here.

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Should we start a betting pool?

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Conversely, I've actually picked it up ---- and I am actually quite entertained! LOL!! I know. I like PHJ - have for quite some time - but was sometimes scratching my head over his choice of dramas - same like I'm doing here - however - cos of all the comments by Beanies - I entered this drama with zero expectations - and am not totally put off 😂.
Turning off brain does help.

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I like the show mainly because of Park Hae Jin...even though the show is lacking in many ways

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@missvictrix's weecap made me giggle.

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I'm here for it and not watching the drama.

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I just have more questions? Weren't they already dating , what was the stethoscope scene about then?

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Allow me to explain.

The stethoscope scene was a prelude to the tuning fork scene. Both have metal in them. Metal is hard. It is a metaphor for Cold Oppa. Yet, Oppa is soft, inside. The diaphragm is Oppa's soft core. Similarly, the tuning forks are hard. But the vibrating motion is the trembling and wavering of Oppa's heart. They were not dating in the stethescope scene. They were flirting.

Just kidding. Lolol. Both scenes were bizzare. Can't decide which scene is more bizarre.

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LOL!!!!!😂😂😂😂😂😂

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Hahaha, yeah I don't know why they keep bringing out tools to show his heart. What's next... a chainsaw?

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Chainsaw Farewell Scene.

Oppa is slicing into a something with a chainsaw. Dr. YJ appears. He sees her reflection in the blade.

Oppa: "Goodbye. I am moving out tomorrow."

Dr. YJ: You've been saying that a lot, but you are still here.

Oppa: I am leaving. For real.

Oppa: Hate me. Think of me as a chainsaw.

Dr.YJ: You saw my heart in two.

Oppa: You can stitch it back again. You are strong. You stitched back the lizard's tail. Goodbye...

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Love it :)

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Oppa: And whenever you squeeze your bicycle horn, think of me. And I will hear the vibrations, and think of you (music swells. OTP stare soulfully. Tree leaves quiver.)

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Hahahaha I prefer the stethoscope scene... the tuning fork scene wasn’t entertaining at all. No naughty hands and hot kissing

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With these last episodes at least we have fleshed out some of the plotlines and things make a little more sense- although there are still major illogicalities- like it Young-jae that had to be hospitalized rather than San-hyuk.

I am still not feeling the chemistry between our main lead characters. But I very much DO see the chemistry between Choi Chang and Bo-mi. More to the point Ms. Victrix I really do see what Chang-choi sees in Bo-mi: They share core values, like the importance of following the rules, being truly dedicated to their work and living life courageously. Bo-mi is smart, beautiful and competent- and as much of an outdoors person a he is. Instead of freaking out when she sees a snake, she first notes that it is non-poisonous and then picks it up and plays with it. When you get right down to it there are not many men who would not fall for Bo-mi.

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I am not feeling the chemistry anywhere - I can't say the writing helped matters with the cringeworthy "confession" accidentally broadcast (who says out loud to themselves, 'when should I kiss them'???) over the PA system that clever Bo-mi somehow didn't understand was happening, did by mistake, and finished off with an out-of-character Shakespearean soliloquy in her car...
Not to be outdone in the lame romance department, our hero made this stirring confession: "I don't care if you pity me, so long as you stay by me." Facepalm.

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The accidental Very Public confession by Bo-mi was truly funny. In fact to me it was one of the few well written parts of this show. And it came at a good time dramatically because even if Chang-choi has not 'confessed' his feelings he has definitely done things that have made them known to Bo-mi- or she never would have been talking in the first place.

On the other hand, I have to agree with your assessment of San-hyuk's confession- face palm indeed.

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I found it hard to believe that the scenes between the second leads were written and directed by the same team that wrote and directed the scenes for the main leads. As you’ve pointed out, the arc for the secondary couple is beautiful and natural - while the arc for the main couple is anything but.

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Hypothesis: The scenes for our secondary couple are being done by an extremely talented assistant writer who is far more talented and knowledgeable than the main writers. Wait- isn't that a plotline from a K-drama (or 2 or 3)?

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There are loads of chemistry between Oppa and the second male lead, and between Oppa and the Chief. @leetennant sees it too. Lots of tittilating lines too...too racy to quote here.

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Proving once again that there is resonance between them...

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Yeah this is the gayest thing I've seen since Heirs.

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I get frustrated when the writer has given sooooo much screentime to do the main romance arc right.... and instead they give us mostly out-of-place emotional progression and forced settings....
Luckily the Taesung plotline is moved forward this week. The conflict between Choi Chang's dad and the second leads can be something interesting in later episodes, maybe?

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I am counting on that conflict between Choi-changes dad (and Taesung) and our secondary couple- and the strain that it will put on their relationship.

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I just can't... There she is in the hospital after a (fake) harrowing experience with perfect makeup and hair - and in the hospital from coughing too much (Corona Virus??).
"The refreshing sound of your bicycle horn..." - Seriously? Just when I think the dialogue cannot get worse, it gets worse.

I looked pretty close, but did not see a single living creature in the forest this time.

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Oh, I forgot about the refreshing bicycle horn...! Sometimes I wonder if the dialog in this show isn't the output of a committee - after an hours-long drinking game.

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Your committee hypothesis actually makes some sense

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The coughing. Overdone. Annoying. Giggled at "the refreshing sound of your bicycle horn." In fact, I fell over laughing. And his face was so serious when he said it, it cracked me up.

I was very disappointed to see that there was no live forest wildlife representation. The clams are not happy. But the fish are somewhat appeased; they appeared in varying forms: last week, a sliced, cooked version - grilled or fried, undetermined - in a bowl of rice; this week, in a greyish, plastic decorative toy form - quite splendid, indeed - at the door.

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Ah, the fish motif! I must write a monograph on it.

And the mysterious disappearing hole... could it possibly be the lair of the Great Migratory Land Clam? Definitely a three-pipe problem.

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My theory on the Great Vanishing Hole is that it is the entrance to the Morlock caverns.

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So, I will again ask the important (🤣) question from this episode.

What’s with the hole in the forest ground discovered by our female leads?

Could it be the burrow of a unknown species of large land clams?
Could it be the remains of a core sample taken for some nefarious reason?
Could it be the badly hidden air vent for Taesong’s underground lair?
Could it be a dead end never to be seen again?

What could it be, beanies?

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That was clearly a bore hole- perhaps a kind of well to pore toxic waste into. it was not in a place where you could use a large machine without churning up a lot of ground around it - so it could not be that deep as it was done with a hand augur.

If it was an air vent it would have been lined with something to prevent its collapse.

Given the penchant of the writers it is also probably a dead end never to be seen again- and indeed it has disappeared by the end of episode 20.

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Dang! Missed that part totally when I FF. Will however ponder the origins of the mysterious hole. Could it be the lair of the dreaded Drop Bear? Woody Woodpecker and his extended family? @missvictrix's baa-ing flock of lost sheep who have tunneled their way from a parallel universe?

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YY, drop bears live in trees. They are an arboreal carnivorous koala. They would not be near a hole in the ground. The clams, however.... the CLAMS...

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I knew the clams would draw you back in just when you thought you were out!

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How did the clams get to the hole? All I see them do is open and shut. They just stay in one spot, opening and shutting, opening and shutting. I don't see them do anything else.

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They came from the hole running from the Clam Zombies and unwittingly bringing the infection into this universe.

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In most forests squirrels gather up nuts and hide them. But the mutant squirrels in this drama gather up clams. Pretty obvious actually.

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OMG I loled so hard on my bed. It’s almost 3 in the morning now and here I’m reading your clam stories. THESE comments are so funny, I guess that’s why Forest, to me, is one interesting drama; many Beanies made so much fun out of it it becomes something special.

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@hebang All the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end watching the videos. Ewwwww. So slimyyy...ewwww

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@windsun33

Wow, once you pointed it out, it really is obvious. Mutant squirrels hiding clams! Just brilliant.

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Those squirrels were once normal, happy squirrels, but they became mutated after Oppa caused the forest fire during his childhood.

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The mutant squirrels would look cooler if they wear clam shell helmets on their heads. Like Oppa with his helmet.

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I didn't think it was possible but these comments are actually getting weirder.

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@missvictrix's baa-ing flock of lost sheep who have tunneled their way from a parallel universe? “

I like the way you think! Sort of like Tunnel, but through the multiverse instead of time...and small enough to be unsuitable for a person, but big enough for some things - just enough to be frustrating to curious humans...hmmm sounds like the work of yet another theologically confused kdrama deity out for a guffaw or two.

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Now I know what it is. Manhole.

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*Giggles* Resonating manhole.

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Did you watch Manhole? I never put it on my list...

And @yyishere. The connections your mind makes!

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@hebang
That reference is much funnier if you've seen Manhole.
Also... don't see Manhole.

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@hebang I can't help it...*giggles*

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never gonna eat a clam again!

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Sometimes you eat the clams, other days the clams eat you.

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@windsun33 Laughing so hard. Oh, man.

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Really wish we could edit posts where formatting gets lost...3rd try. Two parter post--so 1/2.

This is too fun to not play along...I have been waiting for a guest appearance in a near future episode by @sincerelytod, where ToD is carrying the toxic waste that is making the villagers sick.

ToD will first be spotted from a distance by our second lead female who will yet again not manage to get a fleeing vehicle to stop for her.

Our sub villain, having been chastised by the lead villain will be seen brooding and picking up a phone. He will bark out that they need the plan to move forward faster, so they better find a way to meet this new deadline.

Just long enough for us to have thought that was ToD’s only guest appearance, two brief confusing cut scenes will happen. The first where our lead male first drives by the ToD while yet again trying to lose the tailing car behind him in a city setting. That will then cut to where our lead female sees ToD driving down the forest road as she rides her bike to the clinic with no way for viewers to figure out how much time passed between the two scenes.

Then there will be some patients of the week boarding their clinic shuttle bus. As the bus leaves, it will reveal ToD parked nearby, the driver on the phone animatedly arguing with someone but we can't hear exactly what they are saying.

A brief scene shows our second lead male at a computer pondering over what to do for his big dating event, and the Chief is seen leaving the Rescue office as he answers a call on his cell.

This fades to our female lead walking through the clinic, having tended to all the patients. The nurse stops her as she walks by the reception window to tell her she left her water report behind. It is only then that the lead female will suddenly remember seeing ToD, and will wonder what an unmarked tanker truck might be doing on rough mountain roads.

Some other corporate filler that doesn't further the plot in any obvious way will then eat up time. It could be more scolding from higher ups, or another secret office lunch meeting discussing progress without hinting at what steps come next.

The next shot will reveal the formerly seen angry driver running furiously after ToD. The camera will pan around ToD to show it is now being driven by badly CGI'd squirrels--with two handling the pedals, two the gear shift, and one steering with the last acting as lookout on the dash trilling out directions.

This fades to our second leads are again traipsing through the forest together, and as they reach the road side our second lead female admits to our second lead male that she yet again could not get an ID on a suspicious vehicle. At that pivotal moment, ToD will come barreling down the road. She will be snatched to safety by him, and the camera will follow ToD with a zoom in to the rear of ToD which reveals the digging auger bit drops off the truck after it hits and bump, we see the auger roll to the side of the road...

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2/2
...while the camera stays continues to zoom into the bumper, which is dotted with clams singing trot music as the sway with the rhythm of the truck bouncing. The camera cuts back to show the second leads rolling to the side of the road. An accidental kiss may happen if the Writers managed a perfect saving throw during their meeting with the Director to avoid summoning the Amnesia Trope.

That scene will fade to the two leads arriving home, both lost in thought and awkward with each other. As they both reach for the door knob at the same time and bump hands, she will quickly turn away and wonder out loud what an unmarked tanker truck was doing on a forest road. This will capture the attention of the lead male, who will make an excuse to push past her rudely and go inside to call his lackey and ask exactly what an unmarked tanker is doing on a forest road. The split screen freeze will be both of them looking annoyed, with no whiff of romance whatsoever in their eyes.

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You are killing me. I laughed so hard, what with singing clams and squirrels manning ToD.
Tagging @leetennant @windsun33 @hebang @oppafangirl @msrabbit @transient @skelly

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Oh that is tooo funny. If only this would happen. This would have been a good Monty Python script btw.
thank you for the laugh!

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Everything sounded on script, then whoosh, a hard turn off into craziness! Loved it!

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Bravo Lily, this was hilarious to read! How I wish the writer could see this and work it into the script. We need the CGI squirrels!

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I'm glad folks enjoyed it. It was only possibly thanks to everyone else's notions for the show.

I did realize re-reading this thread, though, that I should have had the auger roll into a manhole.

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@lilyleftthevalley your work is flows so naturally with the drama writers' crazy storytelling way.

I must find away to bookmark this thread in my wall. It's too funny

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@transient Thankies fer saying so. I should give a shout out to Pegasus Market with all its zaniness. That show has left my mind open for all sorts of possibilities.

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@transient I learned something new today because of your ponderance! The three vertical light gray dots on the side of a comment have options, one of which creates a permalink for that comment in your browser address bar to copy from. (I'm a geek. Learning is fun.)

themoreyouknow.jpg

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So many *bad dramas* to choose from this season! I hate-watched 'Melting Me Softly', dropped 'Why Are You Bread' after 2 3/4 episodes, and am currently enjoying the unpleasant combination of fat jokes, gay jokes, poop jokes and casual domestic violence in 'Love With Flaws'. Oh, and I forgot 'Touch'.

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Yeah... 'Why Are You Bread' was crap....Lee Se-young was totally wasted in this show....
'Touch' is not as bad but mediocre in every sense possible, though the 2 leads were doing a pretty decent job there.

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MOST MEMORABLE LINES

1. DR. YJ: "ALL MY CELLS ARE YEARNING FOR HIM."

ME: All MY cells are yearning for Oppa, too.

2. DR: YJ: "WHY DOES THE RESONANCE IN ME KEEP GETTING LOUDER?"

Me: Maybe, if you stayed away from tuning forks, it might help.

3. OPPA: "I RESONATE FOR YOU AS WELL."

ME: Um, okay. As long as your quivering parts don't interfere with your Evil Plan...

4. OPPA: "THAT WOMAN IS CRAZY."
ME: Talking to yourself LOUDLY in a bar at a posh hotel is very normal behaviour in this show.

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I need to catch up. I'm still at ep7-8 😅

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Lol. 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

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Yes, you must use your FF most judiciously in Forest, or you will pass by some magnificent Gems of dialog.

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I want to like this drama because I really like Park Hae-jin, but this drama is just.. bizzare in so many ways.
And while I don’t hate it, I find myself more entertained reading the recaps and beanies’ comments 😂

Thanks for the recap, missvictrix!

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Totally understand and agree with you. I will admit I watch this when it's barely subbed (but ff alot) and then on the weekend to see if I understood it well.
It's like a bad wreck that you can't turn away from.
But the recaps and comments are the best part of the show!

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Thank you for the recap. It's so much fun to read

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Your post killed me. I laughed so hard at the mutant squirrels.

A group of brave Clams seek refuge in the Manhole.

Oppa Wan Kenobi trains them in the Forest.

"A leader is coming soon, Clams."

The clams breathe in. Out. In. Out.

"Her name is....SQUIR-REY..."

COMING SOON!!!

THE CLAM WARS!!!

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@windsun33 So I'm in the shower and I suddenly have this image of mutant squirrels rolling clams about, and gathering them, and I start giggling. Honestly, you guys are killing me. I blame you, @leetennant! I can never look at clams the same way again. Or manholes. I can't eat mushrooms without thinking about @katakwasabi's magic mushrooms. @hebang's weekly Important Questions crack me up. I almost gave up watching, you know, but @missvictrix's snarky weecap drew me back in. Don't you give up on me, guys. I can't do this without you.

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Oh this is so much fun. I'm at my brother's house right now and when he saw me giggling so much I had to explain. But nope - you have to see the show to understand the importance of mutant squirrels in clamshell hats gathering the zombie clams.
But the manhole reference just about did me in. That was one show I simply couldn't finish...

One more day to wait until I get to see Oppa and the doctor explore the meaning of the clams and how much fun it is to squeeze that ball bell horn on her bike.

Thank you everyone!

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The nonsensical plots and subplots gives me headache. Stopped watching. I think one of the most pathetic K-dramas

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Seems you haven't toed into the territory of K family dramas yet

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I'm regretting my family/weekend drama right now, but this still looks worse.

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:) :D

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I haven't even watched the latest episodes. I'm bored of it now. To watch them would feel like a chore.

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Also, most commenters keep calling our main guy Oppa, I almost forgot what his real name is. Park Hae Jin, maja?

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Park Who Jin

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