Rating:
Average user rating 2.6
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Backstreet Rookie: Episodes 3-4 Open Thread

Our smitten part-timer continues to try to win her way into… a permanent spot as a part-timer at the convenience store. With a penchant for justice, and using her fists, our heroine continues to muscle her way in our hero’s life — first his store, and now his love life.

 
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP

In its second week, Backstreet Rookie settles into its tone, and all the wacky fight scenes, cameos, and movie scene reenactments continue. It might not be for everyone, but it works for the drama, and watching Ji Chang-wook and Kim Yoo-jung dance it out a la Pulp Fiction was pretty silly and fun.

Don’t stone me, but I actually like these two opposite each other — they have a wackiness that matches each other’s level, and the dynamic between them continues to be the drama’s strength (i.e., feisty, smitten part timer vs. clueless-but-trying-to-be-serious boss). Saet-byul, in particular, is a lot of fun as she balances her girlish enamourment with Dae-hyun, and her MMA fight skills and pursuit of back alley justice.

Saet-byul is pretty, petite, and perky — no one expects her to have quite the beast mode that she does, and watching our characters find out is pretty funny. One of the first people to learn about Saet-byul’s fight skills is Dae-hyun’s friend HAN DAL-SHIK (Eum Moon-suk). Yes, that friend. After a terrible + offensive introduction to him last week, I was left unsure of how to deal with him as a viewer, or why he was even around. This week, though, things are a bit tamer, and he and Saet-byul’s bestie have even got a budding love-to-hate relationship going on (and I expect that’s his webtoon she’s reading, too).

However, Dal-shik’s main job this week is to witness Saet-byul beating up some boys who stole from the store — and then slowly convincing Dae-hyun that, “There’s a monster behind that smiling face.” (Later, he even calls her Connor McGregor hahaha.) As much as I admire her fighting skills, I was glad to get the backstory to explain them, and this week we see some sweet flashbacks with her and her deceased father sparring in his dojo.

Dae-hyun might not believe Dal-shik’s story about his part-timer at first, but his girlfriend YOO YEON-JOO (Han Sun-hwa) learns her true colors (and true identity) pretty quickly after an epic bathroom fight scene. Yeon-joo is on the verge of being mugged by some iljin girls when she’s inadvertently saved by Saet-byul (oh, and spun helplessly into the bathroom stall).

Not only is this scene important because of the misunderstandings that ensue (Dae-hyun misinterpreting Saet-byul’s actions yet again), but it’s when our characters start to tie together. Here, we have the first convergence of Dae-hyun, Saet-byul, and Yeon-joo, and it signals the official start of the girls’ territory battle over him (and yeah, he’s utterly clueless).

But this drama is more than a wacko love triangle, because all our characters are woven together already at this point, in a way that’s ripe for even more chaos as the story continues. Saet-byul works for Dae-hyun who’s dating Yeon-joo who’s friends with the high-ranking JO SEUNG-JOON (Do Sang-woo), both who work in the corporate office of the chain that our convenience store belongs to.

As if that mouthful wasn’t enough, there’s another potential complication introduced this week, too, in the shape of the ultra adorable KANG JI-WOOK (Kim Min-gyu). He used to go to Saet-byul’s father’s dojo, but now he’s a celebrity with an ad campaign for our convenience store chain. Yep, they’re making it pretty obvious that all these strings attaching our characters (and our characters’ hearts) and sure to get mighty tangled, and sooner rather than later.

But first, a victory for our heroine. Her efforts at the store have paid off, and not only does she win Best Employee (via Corporate, again), but Dae-hyun accepts her as an official part-timer — and begins to recognize her true value. I’m sure you can guess which of those three has the most meaning for her. Dae-hyun congratulates her with a little bouquet of pink roses, speaking the language of flowers (mostly) accurately… and it’s pretty clear that’s pretty much the same thing as saying he speaks her language.

Backstreet Rookie sure made some waves after its premiere last week, but it seems to have settled down somewhat, and I enjoyed it a bit more than last week’s episodes. Now that Saet-byul’s position is permanent, I wonder what lies in store (pun intended)? I’m hoping for more wacky dancing, and some saving of the clueless Dae-hyun. Right now the corporate storyline is as dull as they usually are, but I have a hunch the story might turn into Corporation versus Neighborhood Store, and that’s a fight I can get behind.

 
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Just wanna share a quick note before all the snarky comments drop. This show is getting better and is not the trash some anti-fans are calling it. The humor and character may not sit well with everyone but all that does is it’s offensive and everyone has different threshold as to what offends them.

I’m quite taken by the zany manhwa vibes, the clever parodies used by the PDs and the quick plot developments. But I wasn’t feeling the show. It was cute and all but I wasn’t invested on the characters till ep 4. The build up to that was good. Loving the show currently and waiting for more. Rooting for SB! Love all the gender reversal and the fight scenes. JCW got kicked over the moon. LOL.

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You speak my heart Chingching. Although i’m not too sold by the drama yet, i’m still appalled at how badly-received this drama is. Most people cite the age gap thing, which sounds like it’s super universally offensive, but to me, coming from someone consuming too much Jane Austen, i don’t find that age gap a problem (a blessing in disguise? Maybe?). I think the show knows where it’s going with the wacky vibe and the over the top acting. I’m waiting till everything is a bit more interesting and complicated to binge.

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She is 22 years old and he is 27-28? in the drama. They actually properly interacting also when she is 22 but gosh the comment mention him like a predator.
It's true that 22 years old can have a crush on older guy, even at 19.
She even questions why she even likes him but she felt it, he is nice to her, that's simple yet people are bent hell of "I don't get how she can like an older due".

Man, trust that young woman can have agency too, she chose the drama as an actress, the character is meeting after she is 22, he is a nice guy so don't even think that she likes him. Anyway, I think it feels like people are messed up to infantalise the normal relationship and a 22 years old. They even said she dressed too sexy, did she?
even if she did, it's her choice, let her be, she is beautiful

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Young-girls-chasing-much-older-guys.... must be the latest craze in Dramaland. In HP, a 20-something chased and cornered a 40-something senior .... and fangirls where jumping up and down. Other viewers were in "awe"....oh how romantic. In the past just the thought of it is already repulsive; and reeks of desperation and poor taste. But not anymore...it is the sign of the times....
Just saying.

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there is always a young girl liking male lead in dramaland, at least once a year. Gentleman Dignity has like 20s to 40s but that was good story telling. That drama with sooyoung heart transplant, find me in your memory has 13 years. It just people don't usually see the age unless it's pointed or said.

in HP it's 20 to 40, I can see where the ups and down jumping started but the "awe" was quite weird

but here 22 to 28? it's 6 years and people are criticising her outfit like she is wearing a bikini and criticising him like he watches her all day and grooms her spesifically.

it's the weight of the comment that baffled me. In the old days, the 22 to 28 will not receive this much backlash.

I think the trend is younger guy x older female, The world of marriage, WWW, Hyena, boyfriend, something in the rain, pretty noona. It gets more and more each year but no one really thought of its because no one knows the boys age.

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what is HP?

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In fact, by the standards of Jane Austen's time this age gab is positively tame. More to the point, given the greater economic stresses on families in our times a seven year age gap may soon be seen as not only normal but even desirable. The ideas on pairing people that prevailed in 1810 were not appropriate in 1960- but I suspect that 1960s notions may now be out of date as well.

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That is to say so many 'values of morality' that people hold are relative in terms of time and geography. Yet I hear so many definitive opinions: that this is good, that this is bad, etc... making me scratch my head. The age gap can makes people where i'm at speculate and generate all sorts of bad stereotypes, but this much bad reaction is pretty rare. And it's not the first drama to feature age gap too, why now then? Maybe because of the popularity of the leads?

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Indeed this age gap is not at all unusual and it is certainly not inappropriate.

To some extent it may have to do with the fact that people remember the female lead as a child actress and are having a hard time accepting that she is an adult now.

But there are also those people who misuse morality as a means to make themselves feel better by putting someone else down (even though it never really works). Those people are forever looking for a reason to be offended.

It is such a shame that there are people who may be missing out on this show because of the badmouthing. This is a show which puts the comedy into romantic comedy. Some of the vibe is distinctly similar to PEGASUS MARKET- but with a love story at its center.

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My beef with a wide age gap...is the distorted/unequal perception it brings with it. If the girl is the chaser... then it is mildly treated and called Romance, or a crush landing... pursuing a crush ...whatever.

If its the guy chasing, and the gap is substantial or noticeable....then it can easily look bad.... stalking, targeting, obsession...or worst Pedophilia, if not Hue Hepner syndrome. In some milder form .... it is simply "Cradle Snatching". Of course, the severity varies according to the looks and body type of the girl, especially if she looks and acts much younger than her age (mentally and physiologically...etc). In this drama, FL looks a bit younger than 22.....
just musing.

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Wow, your opinion about this show is the complete opposite of my impression. It’s like we’re not even watching the same show. After watching ep 3, my primary take-away is that Melting Me Softly looks good compared to this mess. And that’s saying A LOT about Backstreet Rookie.

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Ratings for this drama went up so that’s a signal it’s not the same level as MMS. The PD of BR is of a different level also. Not everyone is gonna like it as our preferences differ but I’ll say he’s got a clever way to present the drama. Most comments have also improved.

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In fact the ratings for episode 4 were downright impressive. As they should be. I know that it left me with a smile on my face.

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technical wise, this drama shot better than MMS,
MMS actually has plot and idea but the way it filmed is awful. Objectively, this is better, regarding story, MMS a little bit of an edge in the earlier episode.
I think the directorial style is also a style that not many people think as good but it has a point, MMS just doesn't shot very well

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Why everyone eats open mouth in the show 😁His mom is the most awful one 😁I like Seat-byul. She is fearless young girl! Ladies run the show 😁

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LOL. I noticed that too. I feel eating/choice of food is a way to show the social divide in this drama. Commoners eat noodles, ramen and tend to enjoy their food without restraint? I love how DH compared himself to blocks of ramen.

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All that eating with mouths open and talking with your mouth full is normal in that part of the world and I find it kind of nostalgic even as I find it annoying. The more noise you make while you eat, the more it shows you are enjoying your food.

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I really liked the last episodes because we really learnt more about our main characters specially SB. She's strong outside but she's lacking love in her life from family. She's the one responsible for her little sister (I'm pretty sure she will screw things for SB...) She has values and works really hard. But she needs someone to care of her too like DH did at the police station or by scolding her. DH is learning to be less judgy and trust SB, he makes his own opinion and doesn't follow what other people says to him.

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You are right about what DH is learning- and it is important. But what SB is also seeing- accurately- is that DH is in fact coming to love her: That is the significance of what he said and did at the police station and especially in his scolding her. He does not know it yet but her plan is working.

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I also liked that we learned more about Yeon Joo too. I like the scene where DH confronted her about Saetbyul and I find their interaction in front of her house cute. And then her mum decides to arrive 😅. Then she told mum about DH, she said she finally have the courage to tell her.

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Personally, I was skeptical at first after watching the first 2 episodes but I gave it another shot since this is Yoojung's show. And yeas, the 3rd and 4th episode did not disappoint me this time. Its getting better and better. I laugh and giggle a lot especially during the last episode. Now, I'm excited for next week. Thanks for recapping btw.

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BR is a drama when people judge it just by its cover and completely dismiss everything that it has, funnily, that's what the female protagonist is dealing with.
People love to talk big about "character development" but doesn't actually want to do the journey with the character.

The reason I am saying this because I've watch episodes 3-4 and entertained, laughed when the she tell the store thief to reflected on themselves and all the besties story.

This drama may not bring the big bad theme of corruption, mental health or romance in a lifetime but upon seeing this, I feel sad for the character because they actually lived a hard life that can happen and still happening in real.

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People love to talk about "unstigmatised mental health", "unstigmatised curve" but what about a dropout high schooler who loves to dress up and good at fighting? Ooh, she doesn't dress as her age, there is no girl like that, she is a caricature, she must be playing around. Just because she is happy and with her friend doesn't diminish her struggle to be seen as failed in society and how her beauty makes people feel she is the problem and she can't like older men.

People love the "non-toxic male lead" but when we have this community service graduate who keeps being discriminate and now run a convenience store but dating a chaebol because he is actually a nice guy, people say he is boring and he shouldn't like a 22 years old because people will see him as a predator when he didn't even groom, look or even look at the girl as a potential romantic partner. Quite slow for 4 episode,

People in this drama is a reflection of society, even to the guy with bob-Marley esque appearance.
But then this is just the beginning, the drama just start and no one wants to see them changes or even see what will happen

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When Saet-Byul almost cried when she thought about her dad, I find it so moving, but when she just missed the last bus, I find it so real too. We aren't perfect and we aren't always a model citizen, this drama reflected the life of people that aren't seen as important, people who probably wouldn't be famous, people who live like us, some without parents, lose our confidence, lose a year of school, getting into the wrong crowd but that doesn't mean we can stop enjoying the world and act happy, it's not the end of the world, people just keep living their best.
Hard to say I am not disappointed with people reaction.

I like to see a drama till it ends to make a valid understanding, even to the reggae man.

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@egg_salad
Sorry I missed your beautiful post earlier.

I'm with @sunshinejisoo in awe of it

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I want to like your comment for 10000000x if I can.

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Episode 3 opened with our lead characters performing The Twist. It was fun.

Now that people have had a chance to actually see the show I noticed that there are fewer negative comments. This show is not what was described by the anti-fans. Sexist? Saet-byul believes that “A woman speaks with her fists” (remember that this story comes from a manwha) - she certainly does not agree with the notion that a woman “needs a man to protect her”. More to the point she utterly rejects the notion that a woman cannot pursue a man (so do I). In short- Saet-byul is a feminist.

I am still not sold on the male lead’s Rastafarian friend, who probably could have been eliminated from the drama adaptation with no harm to the story. But maybe I will be proven to be wrong. I will say this: I have a co-worker who is Rastafarian- and one of the nicest, kindest and most considerate people I have ever known. So I will wait and see.

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People got tired repeating the same thing. That's why you don't see that many negative comments.

“A woman speaks with her fists” - is such a dumb statement. A woman, similar to man, should speak with his/her mouth.

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Of course it is a dumb statement- but remember that this story is an adaptation of a manwha. The statement is the exact sort of over-the-top declaration that one finds in a manga/manwha/graphic novel and I sure was taken word for word from the manwha that this drama was drawn from.

This drama strives to preserve the spirit of the manwha from which it is drawn. To truly enjoy it one has to accept the manwha conventions that come with it, just as enjoying a Chinese Opera requires accepting the conventions, including the unusual vocalizations, which are unique to that art form.

Not everyone is going to be able enjoy this show but many people will enjoy it and I am glad to see it getting the audience share that it truly deserves. The fact is that we need some shows right now that are simply fun- and that is what this is.

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agreed. and no story or plot to discuss. same people posting comments over and over again. about 20% in this post came from the same person. lol

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I suspect that at least some of he 'unregistered' post were exactly what you describe. It is a common tactic of trolls.

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I follow this drama through this comment section... And it's fun but I wouldn't want to be the writer, the trash talk could put a person in a comma...

I won't watch it, because am tired of nonsense second female lead plots... Why can't she have her ma n and keep him?? She will surely become this undeserving she devil just to justify our female lead... So instead of stressing about that I rather laugh at this comment section

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In fact the second female lead is a user- she was even the guy's supervisor so that the relationship was inappropriate from the beginning. And there is no way that she would marry him. He is nothing more to her than arm-candy. Just because she is a woman does not mean that her behavior is any better than it would be in a man. While she may indeed become a 'she devil' in the course of the show what she really is, pure and simple, is a hypocrite.

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So isn't the ML the FL's supervisor here??

Can't say much about the rest because I don't fully eat h this...

All I have to say is this, since I believe the responsible person should be the person in a relationship and not the person outside of the relationship, I have nothing to say about this brush at the male lead and affairs... Even if oh no he is dating a hypocrite (can't argue because am not watching on a normal day this will all be issues a couple can actually try working on, but home girl is not the lead of this story )

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To be fair, she seems cute with him, she saw him as genuine nice guy and come clean about what happened.
She come off as pretty normal, he likes her and she likes him. She happen to be his boss (when they were working) and she still don't know how to talk to her family. She apologized about treating saetbyul wrong but she also start realising that other people can like daehyun and she is jealous.
So far, it's pretty normal.

Also, why everything should be toxic. The seed to breakup between yoonjoo and daehyun it's not because saetbyul is better, it's the noodle analogy that daehyun said, with or without saetbyul, their issue remains.

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That is exactly right. The problem with their relationship has nothing to do with Saet-byul.

I think that the moral issue here is not that Dae-hyun used to be her subordinate - because that is no longer true nor that Yeon-joo has no feelings for him-she clearly does. The moral issue here is honesty: She knows that she cannot introduce him to her family and now that her mom has spotted them she has to equivocate. She has already lied to him about her father's birthday and no doubt has lied to him at other times. To her these were 'white lies' designed to allow their relationship to continue even though it cannot move forward. But telling the truth is an important moral principle and it is being violated here in one of the worst ways possible.

The worst lies are the ones that we tell ourselves. That is what Yeon-joo is doing to herself. She has convinced herself that she has a normal girlfriend/boyfriend relationship which will somehow magically turn out OK. But it simply cannot- and because she cannot admit this she is helpless to change the situation. She needs Saet-bjul's help- just as she she did when she was being mugged in the ladies bathroom. And the help that she needs is for Saet-byul to seduce Dae-hyun away from her. Think of it as the relationship equivalent of tearing off the bandaid. It will hurt but it will also set her free to form a new attachment with a man that she can have a real future with.

So this comedy is a show where you do not have to look down on, hate or pity the second female lead. We can even see her as being a perfectly decent person who is simply in a bad situation. Fortunately for her, help is on the way.

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I don't think she's being played that way. I mean I can't say for sure that she will not become like that, but all of her jealousy so far has stemmed from understandably questionable moments. She sees her boyfriend drinking with the girls when he told her he was going to clean up the mess (which he never comes clean on) and then sees him giving her a piggyback ride. If I was her, I'd be wondering what was going on (and I would have already called him out on it). She on the other hand did come clean about who she was with on her father's birthday and has been steadily fighting that co-worker/friend's advances (She insists on being talked to formally and for him to speak her boyfriend's name respectfully).

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Over the past few years I've read and heard people talking about the excitement of noona romances in Kdramaland and nobody has argued about it,so I am confused why everyone is so up in arms with this age gap. I'm sure in real life we all know, or know of, couples of varying ages in relationships, so long as they are of legal age and one person is not being taken advantage of why would we care? Yes there are some parts to this story that need addressing, the Rastafarian and his adult drawings needs to go as does SB's friend that argues with him, neither of them add to the story. I also hope that the mother's tendancy to beat her husband gets addressed properly but that's a long shot in Kdramas where wives hitting husbands and adult children is seen as the norm. I took the kiss as a bit of bravado and didn't see it as anything different to the falling on top of you first meetings that happen. I think the turn around of rich woman with poorer boyfriend is interesting for a change but if she hasn't been able to introduce him to her parents in two years and lies to him then you know that relationship is toxic. I think our leads are doing a great job and their story is the only one I'm invested in.

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I am not sure that a seven year age gap would even qualify as a noona romance anymore.

One of the reason's that we can be happy about where the story is going is exactly what you have noted with the second female lead: She cannot be serious about our male lead and would inevitably dump him in time. At best she is simply stuck in a rut and simply does not want to bother with finding another boyfriend, even though she cannot marry this one. If Saet-byul is successful in her seduction then she has really done Yeon-joo a serious major favor by forcing her out of a relationship which is a waste of Yeon-joo's time even as it is a waste of Dal-shik's time. Add to that the fact that Yeon-joo perhaps will learn valuable lessons about how to be in a relationship and she is really a winner and not a loser here: She will now be in a place where she has to be more serious in choosing a man- and more serious about that future relationship. It is even possible that the day will come when she sees Saet-byul's intervention as one of the more fortunate things that ever happened to her.

I think we all agree with you about the Rastafarian friend.

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what about the portrayal of the character with the dreads?

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No one really likes him and we find him largely pointless, although at least he is not as annoying as he was in the first episode.

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I wish he had a different hairstyle, other than that his character is pretty harmless. I find him useful when he takes care of the store. He's not even a part-timer, he's just a friend helping out when the store owner and Saetbyul have urgent or non-urgent stuff to do elsewhere. He keeps the store alive when the actual workers are away doing stuff for plot 🤣

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Did anyone notice the scene when the new applicant for the part-time position met the webtoon writer friend? It was straight out of The Fiery Priest. (Same Director, Myoungwoo Lee) It was an absolutely hilarious reference to a gangster's racial bullying of an immigrant worker from Thailand (from memory). It made me start to think about all the prejudiced responses that have happened so far in BR - Yoo Yeon-joo referring to Saet-byul as a lowly person; all the reactions to Han Dal-shik, especially the friend who is both repelled and attracted. The boys who steal from the store who show contempt for SB because she is a young woman.

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There were some laugh out loud moments this week. The opening dance, the Fiery Priest flashback, the two fight scenes, including Choi Dae-hyun's knock out, and finally the piggy back that was sprung. A sad moment was in the police station when Dae-hyun told the offensive man not to say that someone was like a daughter to him, and Jung Saet-byul teared up because of her father.

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Thanks for weecaping this show. I am enjoying more each episode. Granted that first episode was a bit off the mark in not be even remotely PC. But they've toned down reggae boy to a just kinda dumb sidekick.
The backstory we are getting on Saet-byul’s history is interesting and helpful to understand her. She's learned that she HAS to be tough in order to survive.
However Dae-hyun is still so easily swayed by his girlfriend and it's hard to watch, but I think he will change throughout the show. He's already shown bits of strength in his convictions.

But what got me the most were the references to Sky Castle the first night then the reference to Fiery Priest the second night. When the job seeker said he used to deliver Chinese food I finally placed him. It was so funny to see him back in the role for a tiny bit.
except for Reggae boy falling to the ground what was that about?
So I'm still going to watch this and ignore all the hate comments.

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It looked like the power balance between the two characters had changed in this reincarnation. Remember how it turned out the delivery guy was a royal bodyguard? So this time round, the bully gangsta, now webtoon writer, is frightened of him.

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I forgot the part about Songsak turning out to a Royal Guard!!!!!

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I think the reggae boy falling down is a reenactment of one if his scenes in The Fiery Priest. When I watched Songsak and reggae boy in ep4, I noticed that the characters were momentarily posessed by their Fiery Priest characters 😅.

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Was the actor who plays reggae boy in the Fiery Priest? I looked and wondered if he was the annoying little guy with the horrible wig. But I don't think he was.
Anyway it was kind of funny in a really weird and random way. I appreciated it.

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Yep! It's the same actor. He's bob hair from Fiery Priest.

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Oh - then that is why he's familiar! thanks for clarifying that!

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I want to love this show but I cannot get over Dalshik's character. I wish they would get rid of that nasty dread wig at least. It's so hard to watch him in 2020 I didn't think I would have to suffer through a character like that to look at Ji Chang Wook.

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I'm wondering because he is a webtoon writer if the actual writer is indulging in self parody.

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@jorobertson

Once you put it that way, it would make it even more meta than just a Hitchcock Easter egg appearance.

Every time the story needs to solve a detail or jump the story, Dalshik actually magically appears. (it's the "black box" of bank heist movies - a device that magically solves details)

So whenever the writer needs a magic solve, they literally insert their parody-self to solve it and move the story along. You can so see this as a Webtoon device.

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I wonder!! I just seems so close to self parody. I'll be keeping an eye open for further appearances. You've taken this up a level.

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But also potentially a comment on where the immersive worlds so many love actually come from.

Our crystal palaces are products of sweat, tears and a little crazy.

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@jorobertson
Dalshik was the writer's "magic solve" again in ep5...and it was so obvious after your comment.

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i haven't seen it yet. 🤣🤣🤣

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Once you know what the writer is doing - it's hilarious

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You know what? I quite like this one.
I enjoy JCW's character. He is such a positive and wholesome guy but he is not stupid. I don't think he ever considered SB a love interest, I am not even sure if we've got a scene where he sees her as a woman but he is definitely fond of her and wants to protect her which is endearing.

I liked SB in ep. 3 and 4 much more too. She is toned down and we got a glimpse behind the reason she fell in love with him at first sight. Her wardrobe is A+ and I am relly envious of her figure.

Now that DH let her in, I can't wait to see more of their interactions. That flower and then piggyback ride scene showed the chemistry between them. It is definitely there and I hope the next episodes won't disappoint. It seems like a slow burner on DH's side and I am here for it.

I think JCW is proving that he is a very capable actor, I know a ton of people don't like him on this site but he is delivering it for sure. But anyone who's seen him in Empress Ki knew it already.

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@hanabi (@oldawyer)
Thank you, finally someone actually talking about the show!

This drama is so about the distorting lens of "crush" (or love). It is full of Saet-Byul's conformation bias.

One of the things I find so interesting is how ATM, the entire story is written through her lens (even most of Dae-Hyun screen time) . She only sees things that reinforce her 'crush/love' and how Dae-Hyun's normal behaviour as a boss grates when it punches through her rose coloured glasses.

It is funny how her 2 little side kicks (Geum-Bi & Eun-Zo) are actually our corrective lens. Their rebukes about her love actually remind us that her crush means she is not a reliable narrator. Nearly everything Dae-Hyun has done has been what you would expect from a small employer for an employee. Her side kicks see this and remind us and yet we are so conditioned by RomCom tropes that everytime his normal employer comments/actions stop her crush we emotionally side with her and see it as rejection or cruel.

Ep3/4 you can really see how her red buttons keep getting pushed - some may simplify it as daddy issues after 03/04, but I suspect that it is more finally meeting someone who actually treats her with some degree of respect. Remember, SK Drama is full of stories how parentless children are disrespected and treated with brutality and/or suspicion.

I'm with you @hanabi, so far I have yet to see an instance where Dae-Hyun has acted romantically to her - the closest we have is her giddy interpretation of events - but that is not his actions but her. If anyone can point to examples, let me know.

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You are right that all of this begins with a crush on the part of Saet-Byul. But this is actually how romance works, even in real life. It starts with one person crushing on the other, who usually is not as interested. Yes, there really are occasions when two people meet and both fall in love simultaneously, but that is the exception, not the rule: Nor is it necessarily for the best since both people are operating at that point with rose colored glasses until, one day, reality intrudes.

I do not think that Saet-byul is simply projecting her fantasies onto him. When she first met him she got to experience what his real character was like- and her subconscious took over from there. Do not forget that she waited three years before taking action- so there is even some judgment involved.

I do believe that his actions in going to the police station (fully prepared) to help someone he knows his girlfriend wants fired is a pretty good indication that he is in fact more emotionally engaged than just being a boss. And, like it our not, that piggyback ride also reflected the fact that, still at the subconscious level, he is starting (just starting mind you) to fall for her, as did his choice of flowers and the scolding.

This is actually how it works: One person falls for another and decides to do something about it. And then the other person takes notice and starts to pay attention. The beauty of this more normal process is that over time the two people have to learn about each other and at each moment has to make a choice about loving the other. That is how real love comes to be. It starts with one person's infatuation but over time it becomes real love.

Is Dae-hyun acting romantically towards Saet-byul? Not yet. But she has started to get under his skin. Do not forget that he still has his girlfriend and he is not the kind of guy who even wants to be a two-timer even if his current romance is a total dead-end. My guess is it will be even deader once his girlfriend's mother does some digging. But in the meantime it would be totally out of character for him to act romantically towards another girl right now. That is why we see only the very first stirrings of interest.

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@oldawyer
I hope you don't mind but as almost no-one is actually discussing the details I though it might be interesting to discuss our takes...

Agreed, love/romance usually starts one sided and yes she is seeing and attracted to him/his character. However, that does not mean DH has done anything romantic (different to nice or considerate) or SB does not have rose coloured glasses on about his actions. The ep4 flowers are the perfect parallel for how they are operating on different plains ATM. He thinks they are about admiration, greatfulness and faithfulness - she also knows pink roses have another meaning as a declaration of love and can't help letting that infuse her giddiness.

I don't rule out that her affections may evolve or it becoming mutual hence why deliberately used "crush"(or love) and 'crush/love'. Your point that she waited 3 years is also a strong indication that the crush is moved to different relationship potential and she is far more serious. (That or either a full on crazy version of crush). However, I try not to think that just because someone likes somebody that means they have to like them back or that everyday or normal responses are signals they love you. Women have suffered that curse and excuse for far too long.

Have you forgotten the kitten scene? The police station scene is Dae-hyun saving another lost kitten. We know this is the normal him and a common occurrence as Yeon-Joo asks what he saved this time.

I suspect he constantly goes against GF Yeon-Joo's actual wishes even though he still runs to her at the drop of a hat. The puppy, the kitten, the job, the store are all things that irk her. They don't place her at the centre (as she sees it) and have been creating friction for years.

The biggest problem for Dae-hyun and Yeon-Joo as a couple is how they fundamentally see the world. He is the forever emotive puppy saver and that is just not her. We have a saying the best partners don't have to be that alike but they need the same level of cynicism. I agree, Dae-hyun is on unsteady ground not only is he a little clueless he is uncomfortable in his current state. Given how he and SB view the world in parallel ways you can see that trajectory being hard to stop if it gets rolling.

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The kitten was the last straw that lead to his losing his previous girlfriend. The current one then possibly saw an opportunity to grab a handsome boyfriend.

Of course, you are absolutely correct in saying that just because someone has a crush means that the other has an obligation to return the feeling. That is why at each step involves choices- and one perfectly legitimate choice is to say no.

But I agree with much of what you have said here- especially regarding Yeon-joo and Dae-hyun's world view. This is why pressure from Yeon-joo's mother and and Seat-byul's seduction will be able to separate the two with comparative ease- their relationship has no real foundation besides mutual physical attraction.

But Saet-byul and and Dae-hyun in fact do have more in common: As you noted they see the world in a parallel (not identical) way. Dae-hyun saves the helpless. Saet-bjul defends the helpless (including Yeon-joo). They both believe in acting selflessly to help others. I think that there is real symbolism to Dae-hyun first meeting Saet-bjul occurring immediately after rescuing the kitten and then being being dumped.

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@oldawyer
..."real symbolism to Dae-hyun first meeting Saet-bjul occurring immediately after rescuing the kitten and then being being dumped."...

Ooh! That is such a nice detail I hadn't seen

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This conversation is so much better than the ones around the first episode.
Saet-byul is seeing pretty much only what she wants to see right now, but we are only into episode 4. The image of everyone being a part of the lens in how we see is a good analogy.
Dae-hyun has not done much romantically, but he has a done a LOT as a person who treats her with respect. And that goes MUCH farther.
I think that her feelings for him will ultimately be the catalyst for him to really step out of his comfort zone and stand up to the current girl friend. And I think he will also stand up to his parents (i.e. mom) and tell her to stop beating his dad.
I'm looking forward to that.

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I ma just as glad that Dae-hyun has not yet done much romantically. He is not a two-timer. He has to go through the process of separation from his girlfriend first.

The beauty of this pairing is that each brings separate strengths. It may actually end up being Saet-byul who stands up to her (future) mother-in-law.

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I agree. It never crossed his mind for a minute. Everyone else can see her appeal, but he is actually suspicious of her. JCW is an amazing actor. My heart broke for his character in Empress Ki. In Healer he has many sides to his character, and he makes us feel every step of the way. In BR his timing is sharp.
SB is beautiful and has a naturally beautiful body. I can't see why people see her as inappropriately sexualised. I find it weird that so many women in k-dramas wear such baggy clothes.

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It is weird that so often K-drama actresses are almost de-sexualized by the clothing that they way in their shows. The first time that Shin Hye-sun was actually dressed in a truly lovely fashion was ANGELS LAST MISSION- and people finally got to see how beautiful she is.

While I would not like to see the pendulum swing the other way there is absolutely no excuse for not dressing actresses (and sometimes actors too) in attractive clothing. Sometimes the character actually demands something different but if not why not dress them in a classy, tasteful manner?

Kim Yoo-jung does indeed have a naturally beautiful body (which she probably works very hard to maintain).
I have yet to see her dressed in anything in this show that could be considered tasteless or over sexualized. The show is not hiding her body either and that is entirely right in a romantic comedy.

I do not believe that I have ever seen JCW act before. You are spot on in describing his timing- he should do more comedies, where timing is everything. And you are right about his character's initial reaction to our FL- his original attitude towards Saet-byul is suspicion bordering upon outright hostility. The change that has taken place over the last two episodes is that he has come to trust her. While he still has no conscious romantic feelings for her it is important to remember that trust is the very foundation of love.

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So nice to find a like minded person re BR. I had Shin Hye-sun in mind. The other one I was thinking of was Han Ji-min in One Spring Night. So daggy. Sure they must dress in character, but sometimes it seems excessive. I was beginning to think that loose clothes are the new thing. Seo Ye-ji's character in IOTNBO comes as a relief, although once again, this is in keeping with her pathology.
There are many women who would not look particularly sexy dressed in the same clothes as Kim Yoo-jung. It just so happens that she hits it outside the ball park. I'm of the opinion that you don't have it for long, so when you've got it, flaunt it. But I guess her body unshrouded is confronting for people of different cultures with different standards of concealment. What I find interesting though is how the criticism is transferred to the show.

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@jorobertson
To me, it is an extension of SK Drama's undercurrent of the M/W dichotomy for women. Its like dramas go full-on hair shirt about womens dress and women's form. These issues repeatedly pop up on the edge Beanie discussions about candy/pot plant syndrome/talented women/etc.

When there are only 2 choices, even the smallest stepping away from 'ideal' is enough to cast you all the way. I am happy Kim You-Jung has both the name (and figure) to break the mould a bit...let alone the spirit to withstand the web comments.

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I don't mind Yeon-joo, but at the same time it's obvious that Dae-hyun isn't really in love with her. For me, it feels more like he thinks he's in love with her; he's like a puppy, devoted. More than love, I think he admires her confidence and he's confusing that with love when they first met.

But at least he can hold his ground when he needs to.

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Okay, so I managed to catch up marathoning the 5 episodes and I’m loving it! Actually loved it from the pilot ep and I don’t get the hate they’re giving this show, it’s a comedy for crying out loud. I enjoy it’s slapstick humor, the over the top characters, the loud eomma Kim Sun Young, and oh my goodness I’m in love with the gorgeous Kim Yoo Jung as Jung Saet Byul. She’s so hardworking and the girl can kick ass, I wanna be like her when I grow up! I love Ji Chang Wook so I’m fine with his comedic antics here and hope that we will soon see Dae Hyun grow a spine coz he does everything Yeon Joo says, he’s so whipped. So glad I started watching this, and I am really enjoying it so far!

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I really really want to love this show and I do, until the friend comes on screen. I cringe! Between the fake locs, the buzzing noise (to say that he is dirty), ugh. And then the scene when the Nigerian man walks in and they end up dancing around the store, singing a *I think a Bob Marley song. Just no, no, no. I'm all about diversty&Inclusion but that isn't what they should aim for.

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@alyhblu
Check out the discussion following dramalover4ever 's observation (comment 13 thread)...you may see Dalshik in a different light.

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🥰🥰🥰🥰👍🏼I like

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Can somebody explain to me the scene of the webtoon creator friend meeting this (what seems) random guy at the store and fainting after what felt like the most awkward and nonsensical mime act? I was so lost there, so I'd like to know what was that about.

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