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96

Will You Have Dinner With Me: Episodes 11-12

The frequency in which our leads meet up is increasing quickly, and each hangout is more effortless than the last. Sparks fly when they’re around each other, and their company is a great escape from their pasts that keep trying to tie them down.

 
EPISODE 11 RECAP

When Hae-kyung returns to the samgyupsal restaurant, Do-hee is too drunk to walk. She falls into his arms and Hae-kyung apologizes when she slurs that she would’ve waited for him to come back if he’d asked her to. In fact, she was waiting for him to ask.

However, she’s not actually talking about him. Do-hee continues that the years passed by and she still heard nothing. She laments that they dated for six years, “How could he just leave without explaining anything?”

She compares her relationship with Jae-hyuk to meat that has gone cold. Instead of throwing it out, they could’ve reheated it, or added it to another dish. They could’ve made it work.

After receiving intel from Byung-jin, Hae-kyung’s mom pulls up at the restaurant with her book in hand. Hae-kyung runs into Mom while supporting Do-hee with one arm and Penguin in the other. He introduces Do-hee as his girlfriend which surprises her, but she goes along with it.

Even in her drunken state, Do-hee remembers not to say her real name. Taking inspiration from the book that Mom is holding, she introduces herself as Lee Moon-jung. Mom’s delighted to meet her and gifts her book to “Moon-jung,” telling Hae-kyung to answer her calls.

On the drive home, Hae-kyung asks why she isn’t asking him about what happened. She reminds him of their rule to not be curious about the other’s personal life. Do-hee brushes off his apology, happy with her penguin prize.


Do-hee is fast asleep by the time they’re in her neighborhood so Hae-kyung pops into the convenience store, then waits for her to wake up. When she does, he hands her a carton of strawberry milk, asking her to respect his preferences when she comments that she usually goes for the coffee flavor. He watches her carry the stuffed doll home.

The next day, Do-hee wakes up and, seeing Penguin, recalls her celebratory hug with Hae-kyung. She’s giddy with excitement until she remembers how drunk she got, suddenly mortified.

Geon-woo brings No-eul a healthy kimbap breakfast. Although she’s not in the mood, she cracks a smile at a cheesy joke and muses that smiling is hard. “Perhaps that’s why I can’t let him go. I guess I’m supposed to cry next to Hae-kyung,” she says, knowing that she’s being shameless. I’m not really following her logic, to be honest.

At the office, Jin-kyu and Jung-hwan can tell that something is off about Do-hee but are too afraid to approach her. Jae-hyuk arrives with coffee for the team and pulls Do-hee aside to talk. She’s not having it today and doesn’t believe that it’s work-related until No-eul shows up.

They discuss the project and No-eul suggests shooting a pilot episode for now. Do-hee wishes her well and leaves, but is drawn in by No-eul’s confident claim that they can hit one million hearts with just one episode. When she asks how, No-eul answers, “Jin No-eul and Kim Hae-kyung.”

Hae-kyung waits for a patient to arrive while looking over her medical chart. It’s Sandara Park! Formerly an idol, she’s now an actress who recently starred in a new movie. Hateful commenters targeted her weight which caused her to resort to extreme dieting. She now suffers from anorexia.

He patiently lets Sandara cry her heart out. Although she wants to eat, she can’t once the food is in front of her. Hae-kyung suggests adjusting her goals and starting off with some comfort food instead of forcing herself to eat. “You may need to undergo surgery,” he tells her.

Hae-kyung scrubs in with Byung-jin’s assistance as if preparing for surgery…but they’re actually just suiting up to cook a grand meal. PFFT. Hae-kyung expertly dices vegetables and as his confidence grows, he shows off a bit more. Byung-jin looks like he’s about to pop a vein as he scrubs the abalone clean, trying to match Hae-kyung’s intensity.


They get really into it until a voice cuts in abruptly (cameo by Kim Sumi), startling Byung-jin, hee. She barks step-by-step instructions at the pair and scolds Byung-jin throughout the phone call. Hae-kyung is unaffected, intoxicated by the aroma of his own cooking.

Byung-jin slaps Hae-kyung’s hand away to serve the abalone congee to Sandara and continues interrupting to interact with the superstar. Hae-kyung advises Sandara that what she eats isn’t as important as her attitude towards food. “It’s like life. You’ve done great so far,” he emphasizes.

Sandara musters up the courage to take a bite, pleasantly surprised at how delicious the meal is. Success! But before she can take a second bite, Byung-jin asks for a photo (to Hae-kyung’s annoyance). To spite him, Hae-kyung takes a selca instead and blocks Byung-jin’s face, then kicks him out so Sandara can enjoy her meal.


Do-hee announces to Ah-young that she’s on board with the project, though she doesn’t share the reason why. Ah-young has picked up Lee Moon-jung’s newest release for Do-hee, knowing that she likes the author. Having already received a copy, she awkwardly rejects the gift.

Hae-kyung sees two missed calls from “Writer Lee Moon-jung” and thinks about how she’d asked him to accompany her to the doctor’s. She nervously walks down the halls of the hospital alone.

Every time Do-hee’s phone lights up, she’s disappointed that it’s not Hae-kyung. Jin-kyu pops up to offer dating advice (which she promptly rejects) and So-ra notices Do-hee’s attachment to her phone. Do-hee picks up the book and starts reading: “That night, he sparked a fire within me…

She and Hae-kyung clink their glasses during a private candlelit dinner and Do-hee suggestively asks, “Are we only having dinner?” Hae-kyung pulls her onto his lap and she initiates a passionate kiss. Do-hee wakes up to an empty office with her lips still puckered, shocked at her own dream.

Do-hee finally receives the text she’s been waiting for: “Will you have dinner with me?” She can’t help but be reminded of her fantasy when she spots Hae-kyung through the window of the restaurant. They’re having sashimi tonight!

They both apologize for their behaviors last night. Before he can dig in, Hae-kyung waits for Do-hee to snap some pictures of the meal. “It’s an occupational habit,” she explains, but doesn’t deny nor confirm Hae-kyung’s guess that she’s a photographer.


Hae-kyung starts rambling about the health benefits of tuna and Do-hee rolls her eyes, “Are you a doctor or what?” He’s unfazed by her clear disinterest and continues his lecture until she blatantly ignores him. “Don’t you think you should at least pretend to listen?” he asks. PFFT.

He doesn’t argue when Do-hee says that what he just did was a monologue, which leaves no room for conversation. They amicably clink glasses and Do-hee suddenly says, “I hate it when people only think about themselves.” Haha, she once again has to clarify that she’s talking about an ex, not Hae-kyung.

Back when she was dating Jae-hyuk, he’d made her eat sashimi dipped in chili paste – which she hates. She and Hae-kyung bond about ssamjang being the better choice and she beams that he’s more than qualified to be her dinner mate. She gets sulky when he accidentally leaves her hanging.


After dinner, Hae-kyung mentions that they didn’t have enough rice wine. He jokes that he didn’t order more because “Who knows what you’ll do after you get drunk again?”

Do-hee changes the subject – it’s a shame that the spring flowers are already gone when she hardly got a chance to enjoy them. He muses, “These flowers will bloom again next year,” and Do-hee finds it interesting that he’s not a sentimental guy despite looking like a star of a melodrama. Hae-kyung: “So you think I’m handsome?” HAH, they’re so cute.

The next morning, Do-hee puts on a one-woman show of Tae Jin-ah’s hit song, finishing it off with a dramatic kiss for Penguin. She practically skips into work but the cheerful atmosphere cuts short when So-ra runs in with bad news. No-eul’s being charged for fraud, and it’s all over the headlines.

Ah-young holds an emergency meeting to cancel the show, which Do-hee finds harsh. It’s not No-eul’s fault – it’s her mom’s, and it’s not even confirmed to be true yet. Do-hee recalls No-eul’s answer about reaching one million hearts.

She’d joked about starring with Hae-kyung, but her true answer was that she believed in Do-hee’s skills as a producer. Do-hee claims that she’ll go to the top with No-eul and Ah-young tells her to be realistic, “Show business is all about the public opinion.” They can’t go down with No-eul.

Jae-hyuk leaves to meet with No-eul, and Do-hee follows closely behind. Jin-kyu thinks they’re crazy and sighs, “How are we supposed to do a project with her?”

EPISODE 12 RECAP

Jae-hyuk attempts to start a conversation in the car, but Do-hee shuts him down. No-eul offers to quit when they meet with her but Do-hee says, “Running away is the most irresponsible thing you can do.” The meaning of her words isn’t lost on Jae-hyuk.

Do-hee tells No-eul they should do the show together. She’s not helping No-eul, just investing in her because she knows she’ll do great. They tell her to stay safe and will reach out once things are settled on their end.

While grocery shopping, Do-hee picks strawberry milk instead of her usual coffee flavor. She beelines for the ramyun that’s on sale, surprised when Ah-young puts them back. Ah-young comments that low quality products should be shut out (referring to No-eul), but Do-hee is confident they’ll reach a million hearts.

Hae-kyung receives a call from Geon-woo about the viral debt scandal. Although he claims that he doesn’t care, he searches up articles the moment he hangs up. Worried, he heads to Geon-woo’s studio where No-eul coolly asks him to guest on the first episode of the broadcast.

He scoffs at her audacity and she admits that she’d do anything to survive. “Can’t you just help me?” she insists. Hae-kyung raises his voice and fumes that he can’t – no, won’t – help her anymore. “After leaving me like that, you really can’t be like this to me,” he says, choked up.

Geon-woo enters and Hae-kyung tells him, “If you ever call me again because of things like this, I won’t see you either.” He leaves with conviction and No-eul notes that this is the first time she’s heard him yell. “Even when I cheated on him, he didn’t yell at me.” Damn.


During dinner with So-ra, Do-hee checks her phone at lightning speed, visibly disappointed when she realizes it’s just Ah-young asking if she’s home. So-ra tries to get Do-hee to spill, asking if she’s interested in the Jeju man. Do-hee strongly denies that it’ll develop into a relationship, which confirms So-ra’s suspicions.

Do-hee says she’s bothered by the fact that she embarrassed herself in front of a complete stranger. So-ra reasons that if that’s the case, she can simply not see him again – but it’s plain as day that Do-hee doesn’t see that as an option.

So-ra spells it out for her, “Which one bothers you more? Embarrassing yourself in front of a stranger, or in front of someone you want to impress?” She tells Do-hee to think about it; they sound similar but have completely different meanings.

At home, Hae-kyung thinks about how Do-hee had gone through an equally painful breakup. He opens up their chat and sees that it’s only filled with messages regarding dinner logistics. Meanwhile, So-ra borrows Do-hee’s phone and pretends to call her mom. When Do-hee heads to the restroom, she pulls up the dinner mate chatroom.

Ah-young pulls up at the convenience store by Do-hee’s, less than pleased when Ajusshi tells her that Do-hee isn’t home yet. He offers her some coffee and though she rejects it at first, she ends up joining him and is surprised at how good it is.

She thinks Ajusshi is making fun of her lack of coffee knowledge when he says the coffee is named Panama La Esmeralda Geisha. He accurately tells her the origin of the name, and she’s impressed that it matches her findings online. They thank each other for the coffee and mandoo respectively before she leaves.

Do-hee agrees to go on a spontaneous camping trip, so So-ra picks her up the next day and they excitedly set off on their adventure. When they arrive, So-ra claims that she needs to buy wine, telling Do-hee to watch their stuff and to perhaps look in a mirror, haha.

Someone taps her lightly on the shoulder and she turns around to find Hae-kyung beaming at her. Do-hee quickly realizes this was So-ra’s doing when Hae-kyung shows her the text that he received. Exasperatedly, she asks, “You came all the way here just because I told you to?”

Do-hee feels bad when he heads back to his car. Flustered and not wanting him to leave, she asks, “Will you have dinner with me?” He agrees easily – he’d just gone back to grab the wine that he’d forgotten.


They’re awed by their fully equipped campsite and Do-hee is so excited that before she realizes it, she says, “It’s a shame that we’re not staying overnight.” Cue the awkward eye contact! It doesn’t take long for them to realize that all the other campers are couples in matching outfits, acting all lovey-dovey.

Do-hee announces that she’ll make stew but when Hae-kyung asks if she’s good at cooking, she admits that she’s terrible. She’s impressed that he can cook, so she puts herself in charge of grilling the meat instead.

Hae-kyung helps her start a fire and she sneaks glances at him while he prepares dinner. She haphazardly slaps a slab of meat on the grill and in the process, her shirt catches on fire. Hae-kyung rushes over to save her, wrapping his jacket around her waist. Of course, they fall on top of one another and share a charged moment before he tells her she’s kinda heavy.


Jae-hyuk delivers pizza to the 2N Box team and finds out that Do-hee went camping with So-ra. However, So-ra waltzes in and, not realizing that Jae-hyuk is around, lets it slip that Do-hee is actually camping with a man. Jae-hyuk excuses himself.

Do-hee heads into the tent and her entire face goes red. “Did he put out a fire or set one?” She’s reminded of the line “That night, he sparked a fire within me…” from the novel and starts to imagine things getting physical inside the tent. Heh. She shakes off the thought and gets changed.

It’s Jae-hyuk’s turn to show up at the convenience store but interestingly, Ajusshi recognizes him. He’s shocked and doesn’t look happy, turning around to hide from Jae-hyuk. Jae-hyuk knocks on Do-hee’s door, but she’s not home. She left her phone inside the tent and misses his call.


Back at the campground, Hae-kyung is amused at Do-hee’s embarrassed claim that she’ll just wash the burnt part off the meat. When dinner is served, Hae-kyung decides to join in on the photoshoot. Do-hee coaches him and they adorably snap pictures of one another.

After dinner, Do-hee mentions that she wants to wish on a shooting star, but keeps her wish a secret. When Hae-kyung doesn’t question her further, she asks, “Aren’t you curious?” He is, of course, but is trying to respect their rule to not be curious about personal details. He adds, “You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to. And if you want to, you can. Whether it’s your wish or something else.” Do-hee invites him to do the same.

They make a toast and Do-hee divulges, “I wished that my heart wouldn’t get cold. Both my heart, and yours.” She sets down her wine and decides, “Let’s stop being dinner mates.” Hae-kyung is taken aback and she explains, “I broke the rule. I crossed the line.”

 
COMMENTS

Oooooh, it’s happening! Hae-kyung has been letting Do-hee dictate the boundaries of their relationship so far, so it’s fitting that she’d be the one to end their contractual friendship. I have high hopes that this will be a step forward rather than a step back, considering how smitten they both are. Hae-kyung absolutely lights up whenever he’s with her, which is SUCH a contrast to how pained and angry he is when he’s with No-eul. I don’t mind that we’ve gone this long without the big reveal happening, since it allowed the two to share their experiences without being held back by their preconceived biases about one another. They’re in way too deep now, and for my own sanity, I need them to admit their feelings for each other before one of their exes does something crazy to mess things up.

What I love most about this pair is how they’re curious about each other’s tastes and habits. Do-hee choosing strawberry milk over her typical coffee flavor and Hae-kyung joining in on the food photography (despite looking mildly judgmental the first few times she did it) just goes to show that they’re actively taking an interest in one another. They are honest and there are no false pretenses because of the nature of how their relationship started. This results in Do-hee feeling more comfortable to speak her mind (like she typically does outside of romantic relationships) instead of holding things in and letting it fester into a bitter feeling. The peppered steak and chili paste sashimi were really minor things, but she chose not to let her preferences be known to Young-dong and Jae-hyuk. Although both are jerks, neither meant any harm and had just wanted to share food that they loved. They just never learned how she really felt, and I would imagine that she probably never raised any other concerns with either of them, which would’ve been suffocating.

I am continuing to enjoy the cameos. Whether long or short, they’ve each made an impact. This episode highlighted how public figures are affected by the words of others, starting with Sandara. (Off topic: I really enjoyed the fact that they played 2NE1’s “It Hurts” when she entered the clinic! Love that song.) Her situation showcased how malicious comments made from behind a screen could have such drastic effects on the psyche of a celebrity. No-eul’s scandal shows how quickly public sentiment can change – and nobody even cares about the truth. Even Jin-kyu, who has been such a huge fan, decided to drop her when the news broke out. I still don’t like No-eul (I didn’t actually realize she cheated on Hae-kyung until this episode…there is not a single positive thing I can say about her at this point) but it sucks to have your success stripped from you because of someone else’s mistakes. Now that Do-hee is determined to work on this show, I’m looking forward to seeing her killing it at work. She’s portrayed as very passionate about her job, but we have yet to really see her in action. I’m ready for the one million hearts, and although I do hope it doesn’t involve Hae-kyung (I don’t want him interacting with No-eul any longer than he has to), that’s probably where we’re headed.

I find it mildly hilarious that Geon-woo is conveniently close to every single person involved in this love square. With the show’s love of coincidences though, I shouldn’t even be surprised anymore. I am surprised that Ajusshi has a connection to Jae-hyuk, of all people. I suspected that his story would come into play sooner or later, but never would’ve imagined that Jae-hyuk would be involved. It makes me wonder if Jae-hyuk’s sudden disappearance had a more sinister reason behind it? Ajusshi definitely didn’t react well to seeing him, but I can’t tell if it’s because he wronged Jae-hyuk or if Jae-hyuk wronged him. I was getting sick of seeing Jae-hyuk just kind of…floating around doing nothing besides annoying Do-hee, so at least he’s getting an interesting back story. To be honest, he seemed really sweet when he dated Do-hee. I just wish that he saw the pain he put her through, and instead of trying to erase the fact that it happened, owned up to it and let her find her own happiness elsewhere. That’s the least he can do for someone he claims to love so much.

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Thank you Selena for your recap. I agree with you about the questionable connection between Jae-hyuk and Ajusshi, it looks like there is some bad blood between them. Did they meet in jail or did Jae-hyuk cause trouble for Ajusshi and that is the reason he is homeless and a broken man???

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I'll never get tired of saying how amazing the chemistry between the leads is. Almost breathtaking. Both actors are doing a great job here. I also noticed how different is HaeKyung when he's around DoHee (bright, smiling, happy) in contrast with how he is when around NoEul (dark, glummy, angry). And, tbh, who would be happy around someone like NoEul... we've learned in this episode that she cheated on him, and that he knew!!!! And she behaves as she has all the right to get this man back just because she says so... Truck of doom, please, hurry up!

I said in previous recap that I my theory about JaeHyeok's absence is that he was in jail. And after watching the ahjussi's reaction to him, I'm more convinced. My wild theory is that there was a car crash and as a result his wife and daughter were killed, and the driver was JH.

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Aww, me likey your car accident theory, sounds very plausible.

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High five on gushing about the amazing chemistry of the 2 leads every episode! You and me both hahaha

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Anticipating hobo ajusshi's story so much in the coming episode! Yes yes yes about car crash + jail theory, if ajushhi was the one driving it'll explain his guilt and self-punishment. And maybe Jae-hyuk punctured his lung or something, hence the medicine.
Or... maybe the killer was Jae-hyuk's Hyung and he went to jail as a replacement, and the Jung family is scary because it's actually a mob group. (Whoops, different show, hahaha!)

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I was initially thinking Ahjushi had come up against infamous Jang family in his con artist days and he ce his shock at seeing JH, but this theory makes much more sense.
JH and HK are the only two of this love rectangle who currently do not have any prior connections.so was getting nervous when JH spotted and asked bout HK when he saw GW's insta. Really hoping that HK isn't somehow his secret therapist so I support this theory 💯 since it means JH's disappearance act isn't related to his health 🤞

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The OTP chemistry makes me dizzy. Beyond the obvious visuals —my God, they're both so pretty—their mutual curiosity and comfort is absolutely entrancing. (Have you checked out the juicy @dinner_couple Instagram BTS of the actors/director cracking each other up on set and during their press conference?)

As @selena mentioned, it's wonderful how HK lights up around DW. Can we talk about how sexy it is that Do-wee makes Hae-kyung chuckle all the time? Why isn't there more laughter in rom-coms?

Hospitalization was another theory I've considered behind Jae-hyuk's sudden "departure." If he did accidentally kill Homeless Ajusshi's family, JK's family must be terrifyingly powerful if they managed to suppress the story—even from other family members like Geon-woo.

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Oh, that IG is gold!!

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Somehow I stumbled on that IG account and am LOVING all the BTS videos!

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I'm with you in the Truck of Doom @eazal. I love how the leads are so comfortable with each other. It just feels so organic

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I know, I know. We are driving it side by side!!!

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So JH can now drive the ToD?

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Song Seung Heon is so dreamy. I'd like to have dinners with him.

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Omg, I almost faint on every episode, he’s just 😍😍😍😍

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Count me in... My best friend and I talked about how he ages like a fine wine... LoL...

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Give a glass... or two 🍷

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Yes he is - I find myself wanting to take so many screenshots of his face throughout each episode. Dreamy is a good description.

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he is the first reason i am willing to watch this. the second is seo ji hye. i think she is beautiful and talented actress that fall to typical roles (cold and rough). really refreshing to see her in rom-com. Add in song seung heon - i think they look good together, their acting matched up, the chemistry was way up..i like the story, but i do think it can be better..just some forced comedic scene and noble idiocy reduction will be great..

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Oh I so love the blooming romance between Do-hee and Hae-kyung. I hope when they finally realize who they really are, it won't blowup to much.;(

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Ah, yes! Blooming is the perfect adverb for their love and withholding their true identities makes it all the sweeter. As frustrating as it may have been for some viewers, there's a huge payoff for having our OTP build their rapport to this point. It would've been a different drama if they'd been forced grudgingly to work together before they knew each other personally.

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I don't think it will, I believe part of the set up of them getting to know each other is that when they finally find out their names and professions, it will be more funny than anything. At least that is my hope, so I'm with you, hehe.

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I don't know whether to laugh or cry about Na-eul being so happy getting yelled at by Hae-kyung. How real was their dating life if they never got into a big fight after so many years..?

Loved @selena comment on our dinner mates comfortable and honest rapport with each other. Hae-kyung must've found her refreshing because she's so upfront about approving or disliking his action (e.g.: his monologue ^^), while Do-hee must've have felt liberated to be able to voice her inner thoughts to someone who listens without judging.

When this two are in a real relationship (taking cue from the ending, squeeee!), am wondering whether they will revert back to their old MO..? Would love them getting together soon so show have ample times to explore this.

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Also, that title screenshot is a hoot! Poor Byung-jin thwarted by petty Hae-kyung!

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😂😂😂

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NoEul needs intense therapy. She has some real issues she needs to solve.

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No Eul strive for the drama and the shocking attention, her reason for break up is that "he is boring, he never gets jealous"
I get the idea that you want some playful emotion from your lover but then try other things? Like cooking and ask him to try something he doesn't like, he is quite playful with his assistant and do hee, why would you cheat?

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I like that she did not pretend to be interested in his monologue about the benefits of tuna. She probaby would have with her other two bfs. But here she's honest and open. And I like that he's not offended.

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Every episode is such a pleasure to watch just for the two leads! (and just about everyone else actually, except the 2 second leads -.-")

I have actually come to like how the plot is deliberately scripted this way. The fact that they don't know each other's identities yet, and yet it is precisely because of this no-strings-attached (supposedly) dynamic that they can be totally comfortable with each other and say things to each other that they usually won't say to anyone else they know. There is just something so real and understated about this process of them understanding each other organically like that, which makes the whole developing-feelings-for-each-other thing feels so... right.

And I'm really curious about Ajusshi's back story right now~

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Honestly, I found this drama weird.

I think the way Hae-kyung treats his patients really interesting, but they add a comedic side that kills the interesting side of it.

For now, I'm curious how DoHee is good in her job, because the part she let people fought during the show for ratings or the way she's trying to mee the famous doctor are really not convincing me she's good at her job.

The actors have chemistry but the fact their characters's meeting are too forced by destiny aka the writer, doesn't make me really root for them. They don't know each other names, jobs, friends, family... When actually they should!

I'm not interested by the supported characters. Ye Ji-Won is a good actress but she always chooses extreme characters and I'm tired of her acting now, the exes are boring, the cousin/friend doesn't bring anything to the story except to be the link between characters that nobody knows. The homeless guy seems more interesting, how his background story is connected to Jung Jae-Hyeok?

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Thank you @selena for the recap. I love that Do Hee is so self aware about what she likes and dislikes and how she corrects Hae Kyung when they were eating sushi. I would have been super annoyed at nutrition lesson when I was hungry. I think what Hae Kyung finds amusing and ultimately adorable about Do Hee is that she encourages him to try new things. He's a guy who knows what he wants and is always in his zone, so to see someone so different and partake in what they do and enjoy it is something new for him. I don't even wanna talk about No Eul because I have no sympathy for her. My heart hurt for Hae Kyung when he asked her how she could do this to him

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Oof, I feel your last sentence, his expression there was heartbreaking.
Then No-eul said she's so happy he yelled o_O Like @eazal said, the girl really needs therapy, or better yet TOD...

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There's nothing good about NoEul.
Maybe another actress could have made us empathize with her, but Son NaEun poor acting is not helping at all.
Because, you know, JaeHyeok is as annoying, and also HK mum, but actors are making them a bit real and human...

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Totally agree. Jae Hyuk and the mom are shameless but at.least they are well acted enough to give them depth

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i love son naeun on Apink. but here..pfff..just bad acting, bad character..seeing her side by side with song seung hun just make her looked worst. like everytime they are on screen, they looked like they play in a different drama. i cant sense the love between them at all. maybe just the bad writing...i would love to see son naeun on better roles next time

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I feel two levels of happiness while watching this show. First, it's irresistible watching Do-hee and Hae-kyung's mutual affection deepen with each encounter. And I enjoy many of the supporting characters, especially Nurse Byung-jin, CEO Ah-young, and Homeless Ahjusshi.

Second, it's thrilling to watch a pivotal moment in Seo Ji-hye's career. She's been acting for fifteen years and even has some first lead roles but this feels like a star turn. Seo Ji-hye absolutely killing it—not everyone can do comedy and drama and she's got both in spades.

I've only seen her in Crash Landing on You and Jealousy Incarnate. What else would Beanies recommend from her catalogue?

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Totally agree with you SJH. I only discovered her in CLOY and I’m totally in love with her acting.

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I think she was really good in Black Knight (but I didn't finish the drama...) as antagonist. Her style was great.

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Agree - that show kind of just turned into...a tripping mess, but I was impressed by what SJH did with the material she was given.

She got some good props for her role in Heart Surgeons - that's on Viki.

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OMG...She was Hwa Shin's other love interest in Jealousy Incarnate!!I loved her in that role!!How did I not recognize her in CLOY.Thank you for giving me another reason to re-watch JI.

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I guess it's her experience taht gives her a kind of command over her character. She is consistent even when she interacts with supporting characters

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I remember reading comments around the time that CLOY was airing as to why she isn't more popular given her beauty, which has been described as "godess level", and acting chops. I've only seen her in CLOY and Will You Have Dinner With Me. I saw her in a few variety shows and I love how shy she is while at the same still being incredibly charming. Hopefully she continues to get interesting projects.

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I absolutely LOVE her! Her character, Dan in CLOY and this character Do-hee are so different. Yet she has the range to portray the differences.
But I love Do-hee and how Seo Ji-hye has made her so loveable. Both Do-hee and SJH are fast becoming my favourite character and actress.

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Since you asked for recommendation of Seo Ji-hye’s works, I absolutely must mention ‘Punch’ (2015). It was my first time watching her, and I was blown away. And that was no small feat in a drama consisting of career-high performances from Kim Rae-won and multiple others. She had a supporting role, but a very memorable one in an outstanding and near-perfect drama.

I’ve followed her ever since and always wondered why so few people notice her. She acts so well, she’s gorgeous, and she’s charming in different ways. She reunited with KRW in Black Knight (I love them as a pair) albeit in an antagonist role. Her beauty, her style and her outfits are the best things about that drama (a legendary wardrobe in my book). She got 2nd lead roles in high-profile dramas like Jealousy Incarnate and CLOY, and made so much more of the character out of what was given (these roles are all paper-thin in characterisation tbh) that she got more people to notice her, CLOY being the latest example. I’m not surprised because I know how much more she’s capable of, and in fact I felt bad for her as she was given so little to do in those projects, but at least those were dramas that a lot of people tuned in.

She was the female lead in Heart Surgeons, but that was a medical drama mostly focused on the 2 male leads with no romantic angle. It’s decent, but nothing special.

Happy that CLOY helps her make strides in her career. It’s long overdue. Really enjoying her in Dinner Mate and she’s again surprising me, this time with her romantic comedy charms. She’s truly multi-faceted!

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Thanks for your thoughtful recommendations, @bma718! I'm adding Punch and Black Knight to my watch list. Have you seen the BTS videos from https://www.instagram.com/dinner_couple/? The sparkling dynamic between our lead actors is really making something special on screen.

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Thanks for the recap, @selena! Indeed our leads are crossing the Stranger Zone to Danger Zone. Hae-kyung is pretty much toast when it comes to Do-Hee. Aside from lighting up when he's with her, his first instinct when he's pissed off is to contact his Dinner Mate. He could have easily told his mother that she's a friend (albeit a very drunk one), but introduces her as a girlfriend. He's instinctively protective. As mentioned in @lollypip's recap, I'm also surprised no one's been tackle-kissed yet. Hae-kyung is probably *this* close to doing the tackling, and it's only his respect for the barriers that Do-Hee has set that's stopping him. He's already lowered his own boundaries, giving Do-hee permission to tell/ask him anything.

The biggest LOL moments for me (aside from the cameos from Kim Sumi and Sandara Park) is Do-hee swatting away her sultry dream whenever she thinks of Hae-kyung. Yup, she's also toast.

I rarely pick on a character but No-eul is just nails-on-chalkboard. I'm not really sure if it's bad acting or character-driven, but Son Na-eun just drains the energy in the scene, especially when compared to the blazing glory is Seo Ji-Hye. Where those truck keys at?

The pacing of the side stories, particularly of Keanu, really add so much to an already interesting main story. I'm thinking that Jae-Hyuk's powerful family may have done something to bankrupt him so he ended up on the streets.

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LOL at "nails-on-chalkboard". I do not want to pick on Son Naeun also but she is just bad in acting. She's worse than Suzy. And I hate that I can't fast forward her out as she now has many scenes with SJH.

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We're all on the same boat.
Or should I say driving the same truck of doom??

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Hi beanies from outside Korea...where are you watching this?

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I'm watching legally at iQIYI: https://www.iq.com/play/19rrhlt9jt. The VIP account gives you access to the newest episodes (free first month; $6.99/mo USD).

I have three quibbles with iQIYI:

1) No control over appearance of subtitles. The default is white and normal weight. I wish it worked like YouTube's where you can change color, font weight and background color/transparency.

2) Like most streaming services that are NOT Viki, they always use character names in place of "seonbae", "hyung," "eonni," and "dongsaeng." At least in English.

3) No previews for next episode. They just chop it off at the end.

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Also, use 저녁 같이 드실래요? if using iQIYI's search box.

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I tried signing up for a month on that site but kept getting nothing. It was really odd and I don't know what I'm doing wrong. But I watch it on an 'illegal' site.

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Yeah, their user interface is awkward. I think it took me a couple tries too.

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Thanks, I will try it. I have Viu, Viki and of course Netflix, but could not find this.

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I want to thank you for pointing this out earlier....working my way through DM half an hour/day in iQIYI and enjoying it tremendously. Now have to go off and check that instagram acct....

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Also watching on iQIYI.

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Not totally legal watching from me.

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Seriously, WHY isn't this on Netflix?!

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I'd rather have them on Viki.
Netflix usually don't release dramas in my zone until they are over in SK, so if I want to live watch it is again a not totally legal for me.

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It is getting a bit much how they’re all connected to Geon Woo but I’ll roll with it. My heart really broke for Hae Kyung, guy really can’t get a break - his mom, ex & even best friend is not helping. It’s no wonder Do Hee would like a safe oasis for him.

What is up with Mum showing up at the bbq place with her book? Really not helping your cause there lady - just super annoying!

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In @dinner_couple's Instagram, they include this BTS where even the director jokes with Mom, "Do you always carry a book with you?"

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Since she was forever hounding him to read this book, I was expecting it to be a heartfelt exploration of their difficult mother-son relationship. Imagine my surprise when Do hee opens the book and straight on reads a hook up scene.😂. I thought you were looking to mend fences ,mommy Lee..not scar him further

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Hahhaha oh yeah i thot there was thoughtful scene about her son or stg 😂😱

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Well it is a novel, so a mother-son relationship may be part of the plot, as well as romantic leads. It's just Do-hee's blind luck that she opened the book at the spicy part since she's been wool-gathering about her dinner mate. 😉

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😂😝 Thanks for the IG link, i’ll prolly spend hours going thru it!

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During their sashimi date, our OTP enthusiastically agree that ssamjang is the best sauce for sashimi—not chili paste. This episode finally explained a Korean pun I completely missed two years ago from my first Hong Sisters drama. They're famous for their linguistic gymnastics and, as non-speaker of Korean, I'm sure my subtitles 98% of it—unless it's Viki.

Ssamjang, ssamjang ... percolated in my drama-pickled brain. Sam Jang is the third taekwondo form but ... wasn't that the name the deities called the heroine in Korean Odyssey/Hwayugi?

Our little monkey, Son Oh-gong, is initially obsessed with eating Seon-mi, whose "true" name is Sam-jang. In Ep. 3, he weeps at both the thought of dumping the delicious sauce and eating Sam-jang, whom he now loves because of the geumgannggo (magical bracelet). All this talk of eating, sauces, and love did add a bit of frisson to the OTP's scenes.

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Wow!!! Thanks for this!! 😱

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Omo,still blushing over all that eating ssamjang lines LSG kept throwing out with a straight face.Have a care for our delicate ears and overactive imaginations,sir

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😜

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So, on that matter, that scene where Hae Kyung and his nurse were *really enthusiastically* preparing the abalones/chopping the vegetables... were... interesting.

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😂😂😂

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🤣🤣🤣🤣, damn

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Yeah, "eating" wordplays... erm... yeah 🤣

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This is the romance I look forward to the most out of the dramas I am watching. Their dates(because that is what they are) are so normal and wholesome. Plus my dude got her a giant Penguin, I mean come on, plus his face🤩, so thanks for the recap. Ha

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The unsung hero in that scene was the announcer.. "Wow,so handsome" 😂

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So true, his English was so extra🤣🤣🤣

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The exchange between the two when Hae-kyung shows up at the campground got lost in translation in the subs and was missed in the recap as well. I thought it was funnier in the original Korean. Do-hee actually says, "Who would come all the way here just because they were asked to?!" And Hae-kyung shrugs, "Me!" before heading back to his car.

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Thank you! I'm grateful for native speaker insights! I also catch same-day recaps at DramaMilk where @V will also describe accents. For example, during their rooftop date (Ep. 5/6), Do-hee used an imperious sageuk accent when she admonished Hae-kyung for "coveting" her rice bowl.

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Haha, I'm not a native speaker -- I'm 1/4 Korean but most of my exposure to Korean comes from dramas. After years of drama watching I'm at the point where I can understand most basic dialogue, and I can often identify errors in the subtitles.

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Superb. After three years of drama watching, I might know 10 words. At least I can tell when subtitles don't use honorific titles. I was a kdrama virgin when I caught Live Up To Your Name and I was quite confused when my ears heard noona but the subtitle said, "Yeon-kyung." Thankfully Google cleared it up and I now have a deep appreciation for culturally-rich subtitles at Viki.

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Curing anorexia by preparing a single meal. Hmmm.... not the worst psychiatric approach in kdramas recently, but still a bit off-putting to me. At least, it's a start (I hope they continue their appointments though).
But why would anyone with Hae Kyung's well-being in mind tell his mother where he went on a date? *facepalm*
And apart from that and worrying about Do Hee's drinking habit, I would like to add on to the praise of the chemistry of our leads and the way the screen lights up when they are together. More of that, please!

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Oh totally, actively suppress anticipatory shudders whenever any cases are presented to HK. I was almost put off with the depression case few eps back , when it looked like the widower's years of trauma seemed to be 'cured' by one meal session with HK! Thankfully he threw out a line about scheduling recurring appointments so it wasn't as bad as I thought. For the anorexia case as well, there were few lines about it being a journey but it's very 'blink and you miss it'. It's tricky coz the show is mainly using his patients as cameo vehicles so the stories need to be wrapped up in an ep. It'll certainly help to have atleast 1-2 recurring patients to show that mental health issues can't be dealt by a 'once and done' approach. Hoping that the show would just keep the focus on DH's workplace. Shouldn't be hard,since most of the action seems to be centering around the studio soon🤞
DH's drinking,sigh.It's a lot.

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A quick scan of PubMed shows a few articles in the literature calling for better representation of psychiatry in media. It's a really low bar to be relieved that Hae-kyung doesn't date his patients.

I'll always remember the psychiatrist mother of my then-boyfriend raging at the multiple breaches of ethics romanticized in the Barbara Streisand film Prince of Tides. It's frustrating how, 30 years later, mental health professionals are still being misrepresented in pop culture.

I think HK's Jeju heartbroken patient, Park Geun-hee, is that recurring patient you seek. She's the Ep. 1 catalyst—she's the reason Hae-kyung went to Jeju and she's the one who insisted that he following Do-hee to help her. In Ep. 7-8 (around 46:16), HK visits her at the Jeju hospital where she laments her condition. He tries to comfort her that she's not weak. "Even the gods fail in love."

Most recently in Ep. 13-14, the day after the camping date, Ms. Park dejectedly apologizes on the phone for skipping her appointment. (What's the penalty for skipping appointments—especially when the doc flies one hour each way to visit you?) I hope to see her more of her.

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I was very happy to see the Jeju patient again. Of course not happy about her state of mind, but that the show doesn't shy away from showing that mental health issues don't dissolve by eating a nice meal together or witnessing a couple breaking up. Healing is not a straight way, it is a wandering path that takes many detours, steps forwards and steps back.

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Ah,have just watched those episodes and was wondering who stood the doc up. Thanks for reminding me of our initial lovelorn Cupid.

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Did this delusional bitch just say "Even when I cheated on him, he didn’t yell at me" THE NERVE! THE F$$%# GALL of this chick. There are no words

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That's the type of person you have to leave the city and change your name to find any peace....cause they fucking nuts 🤣🤣

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Honestly, I can understand her, I mean not her-her more her way to think.

It looks like Hae-kyung doesn't really express himself, he keeps everything for him. He expressed his love by making everything he could to make her happy but without opening himself to her, showing a neutral face and not his real feelings. She acted like a kid who needs attention and she cheated on him to make him react and he didn't.

I don't think she was wrong to break up with him if he didn't make her happy, the way she did was not really nice and she's very wrong now to come back like nothing happened and to think it will be better.

But we can see he's different with Do Hee even if he's the one making her speak more than he's the one sharing his feelings.

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I don’t know if anyone knows where I can find that Tae jin ah’s song or is it just jade for this drama?
I’ve searched YouTube but I just couldn’t find it and my trot loving self is sad 😔
Does anyone knows where I can find it please?

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kH4tnreaVmU

and on Spotify as Run Across Her (From "Dinner Mate")

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Thank you!!!!🥰🥰

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I’m confused why everyone thinks that Jaehyuk went to jail? He was a reporter from NBC doubt they would hire someone who killed a person or went to prison for 6 yrs. Ajusshi doesn’t seem the type to just “turn” his chair if Jae-hyuk killed his family either. I’m loving the chemistry but I’m getting a disconnect from the atm of the drama. It’s light and fluffy and then it becomes dark and dangerous with the ex within a second...

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That top photo though.. Hae-kyung being so petty with Byeong-jin 🤣

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seriously this drama could have been better, if they focus on the drama title *Dinner Mates = yummy food, instead of the absurd crazy psycho exes, that i really do not have sympathy at all. 5+ freaking years, and they just come out of nowhere, begging(more like forcing) for love, what psycho people. Lucky, they make Do hee character to be awesome, and consistent from the beginning to the end.

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