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Memorials: Episode 2

Rounding off its premiere week, Memorials continues to be a pleasantly surprising breath of fresh air. While our heroine starts to navigate the campaign waters, she finds it to be rougher sailing than anticipated. Lack of support, not only from voters, but even her own personal circle only makes matters worse and as she struggles to keep her campaign boat afloat, she’s thrown a lifeline from the last person she expected.

 
EPISODE 2 RECAP

As news warning against illegal campaigning plays in the background of the bar, Han-bi and Ja-ryong watch Se-ra and Gong-myung stare each other down. Gong-myung slides candidate materials across the table and Se-ra huffs that he withheld it from her. Gong-myung retorts that she caused a commotion by applying last minute with her 50 recommendations in tow. Se-ra shrugs and asks him to leave if he has nothing else to say. Gong-myung asks if she’s running because he’d mentioned the salary and Se-ra nods cheerfully.

Se-ra points out he’d said people don’t care about the elections, so she’s cornering a niche community. Sighing, Gong-myung points out there’s other people in the running and the fewer the voters, the easier it is for the candidates backed by an organization. Se-ra blinks she also has an organization and introduces judo champ Han-bi and top student Woo-young (although she quickly denies involvement). Shaking it off, Se-ra says they’re hopeful and Han-bi and Ja-ryong return her cheer. Unimpressed, Gong-myung mutters her recklessness hasn’t changed. Aloud, he tells Se-ra hope and potential are different things and takes his leave.

Answering a call from Min-jae with a cheeky “who’s this?” Se-ra winces when he demands if she’s lost her mind: “Is entering the by-election a joke? I told you to find a job, not to fool around!” Se-ra argues she wouldn’t joke with 2,000 dollars, wondering if he’s upset because Chairman Jo didn’t nominate him as promised. She points out she was able to become a candidate by simply submitting the paperwork and he falls silent. Suggesting they just worry about themselves, Se-ra hangs up. Atta girl!

The Aeguk Conservative Party Rep slides Oh Byung-min’s profile to Chairman Jo and says to support him in the upcoming bi-election. In exchange for getting Byung-min elected, he promises Chairman Jo a position on the Seoul city council. Chairman Jo says he’d prefer the National Assembly and the Aeguk Rep agrees to issue a nomination once Byung-min becomes a district rep. Leaving the meeting, Chairman Jo muses he’ll be moving to Yeouido if they succeed and Min-jae can take his place. Min-jae’s expression is strained as he agrees and Chairman Jo orders him to get the personal details of the remaining candidates.

YOON HEE-SOO (Yoo Da-in) struts into another candidate’s press conference as a representative of the Progressive Party, wondering why there’s such a fuss over a district rep election. Meanwhile, Woo-young returns to the bar and sighs at notices on the door declaring it Se-ra’s campaign HQ. She finds Se-ra and Han-bi watching a video that promises to help master public speaking. Se-ra explains she needs to talk to get votes and says she’ll study pledges next. Woo-young points out promises mean nothing, as she should know from all the job interviews that nix people who simply promise they’ll do their best.

Han-bi argues voters are less scrupulous than hiring managers, but Woo-young agrees that’s the problem – voters don’t care enough to look past the first two candidates… and Se-ra is independent candidate 5! The next day, Dad greets elementary students under an election banner as we’re told there’s 13 days left until polling day. Candidate 1 is the Aeguk Conservative Party nominee, Byung-min and is that Mom I see dancing in his campaign party? Next is the Progressive Party’s nominee, Son Eun-sil. Unlike the crowds surrounding the first two, the independent third candidate leads his campaign through the market, while candidate 4 is a monk.

Finally, we see Se-ra with a cute headband declaring her Queen of Complaints, staring mournfully up at the opposing 4 candidates banners. She wonders if they woke up at dawn to hang them as she gathers up her own banner. Gong-myung walks up and reminds her banners hung on private property without permission are illegal and removed. Se-ra rolls her eyes and Gong-myung asks how her parents feel with their only daughter running for office. Defensive, Se-ra says it’s a secret and Gong-myung sighs. Se-ra mutters she should’ve headbutted him before leaving the office and he barks at her to pick up her poster, warning he’ll be checking back later.

As he walks off, she motions angrily behind him, turning away innocently when he glances over his shoulder. Se-ra and Han-bi head to the market to campaign and are immediately turned away by annoyed vendors. Eating dango in defeat, the friends agree that tomorrow they’ll buy first and then campaign. Passing a group of elderly men, Se-ra attempts to appeal to them… only for Han-bi to drag Se-ra away when the men grumble Se-ra should focus on getting married. Meanwhile, Woo-young tracks their “progress” on social media at work and sighs over a baby bag that as a mother she can’t play with them.

Unfortunately, Woo-young is fired upon returning to the office. Her boss claims it’s cutbacks but Woo-young asks why she’s the only one leaving, adding she barely used her maternity leave. Her boss argues he can’t fire the father with two kids or the man getting married next year, tutting she shouldn’t have gone to the bathroom so often. Woo-young barks she has to use the bathroom to pump breastmilk since there’s no company lounge for female employees. Her boss balks and she demands why she should be polite while being fired… only for her to snap out of the fantasy and leave the office dejected.

That evening, Se-ra fumes over Woo-young’s firing. Drying her eyes, Woo-young sighs she couldn’t fight back because a bad reputation makes it harder to find a new job. She sniffs she’s at a disadvantage as a wife and mother. Se-ra declares her boss crazy, insisting she recognizes talent – and suggests Woo-young join the campaign. Ha! Woo-young isn’t amused and says they should just focus on finding work. Woo-young thinks Se-ra is just getting revenge on Min-jae and says no one will vote for idiots – not even her.

Her words only invigorate Se-ra and by morning, she presents Han-bi with the math on how many votes she needs to be elected (6,000 – 9,000). Han-bi points out they’d struggled to even get 50 people to support her application and Se-ra says that’s why they’ll target the campaign at female voters between 20 and 40 like Woo-young (which totals 10,000 voters). So the ladies head over to the kindergarten and Se-ra shouts promises to support the moms as Han-bi (dressed as Wonder Woman) waves a banner at moms dropping their kids off to school.

They’re largely ignored, so they change locations to a street corner– and Han-bi changes outfits to Cinderella. Just inside the café behind them, Woo-young rolls her eyes as she eats with her fellow moms. Every phone in the establishment gives a 2pm alert to fetch their kids and the campaign ladies cheer at the moms bustling past. The café owner barks at Se-ra to stop disrupting business and Woo-young averts her eyes as she rushes past her friends.

Gong-myung finds the posters outside the elementary school have been vandalized (with Se-ra’s the most unrecognizably altered) and asks Dad if he saw who did it. Dad sheepishly says the kids did and unfurling a fresh poster, Gong-myung tuts at Se-ra for not listening to him. Seeing the clean poster, Dad’s eyes bulge and he demands why his daughter is running. Elsewhere, Se-ran and Han-bi continue their campaign in the park and Se-ra ignores a call from Dad, sighing she’s been keeping her distance since bombing the job interview Dad got her.

Godzilla-like footsteps thunder from their left and Se-ra turns to see a red-faced Dad charging her. She runs and he gives chase as Han-bi sees Gong-myung wheezing their way as well. Dad is eventually forced to stop to catch his breath and Se-ra stops when she sees Gong-myung holding him up. At home, Se-ra sits repentantly and finally asks if Dad trusts her. He immediately says no and says after losing over 10 jobs since graduation, she has no business in politics. He points out she has no money and Se-ra says that’s exactly why she’s running, likening to applying for a job.

Dad orders her to stop, but Se-ra refuses and he growls she’s tearing him apart. She easily avoids a pillow lobbed in her direction but when she criticizes his aim, Dad launches a second into her face. Mom arrives home in her Candidate 1 garb and Dad explodes, storming off to his room in annoyance. Mom chastises Se-ra for campaigning when she could’ve used that money to pay off “their” debt and Se-ra retorts she could stop putting them in debt in the first place.

Mom promises to do her best to repay their debt if Se-ra gets a job. Hearing her refusal from his room, Dad barks at Se-ra to get out of his house if she won’t quit and Se-ra mutters the house actually belongs to the bank. All the same, she’s left hauling her suitcase up a hill, grumbling about the lack of familial support. She sees Gong-myung refreshing the candidate posters and tries to sneak past. Unfortunately, her bag has come open and is leaking her belongings. Against Se-ra’s throaty protests, Gong-myung starts helping and snorts when he picks up her candidate cards and realizes it’s Se-ra.

They finish repacking the bag and Gong-myung walks with her (although he refuses to help carry her suitcase). He guesses she got kicked out and isn’t fooled by her lie she’s moving with a friend to avoid disturbing the family. Gong-myung tentatively asks if Min-jae put her up to the election to divert voters and help Chairman Jo. Se-ra scoffs her boyfriend isn’t that terrible. Gong-myung suggests she give up, as advice from a former colleague. Rounding on him, Se-ra offers her own – she tells him that people at the office gossip he’ll never get his old job back.

“But I don’t agree,” Se-ra says, “You can’t live the life people expect you to live.” She vows to get elected and says he should do his best, too. Gong-myung snorts he’ll be reinstated before she’s elected and Se-ra proposes a bet. Taking his hand, she slaps her candidate card in it and shakes, saying voting has nothing to do with math, but the heart. Watching her disappear inside, Gong-myung calls her romantic and heads home. The next morning at school, Ja-ryong sees construction beginning on the distribution center next to his school.

PART 2

Pushing her stroller, Woo-young runs down the street and bursts into the bar. Han-bi, Se-ra, and Ja-ryong look up from their meal as she clicks on the news announcing the outrage over the new distribution center and mentioning an unknown part-timer who was fired for speaking out at the meeting. The Progressive Party calls for the current officials to be held responsible and Woo-young proudly announces this is Se-ra’s opportunity to gain support. Se-ra crankily points out Woo-young ignored them just yesterday but Woo-young waves it off, arguing Se-ra should channel the moms’ rage into votes.

Se-ra whispers into Han-bi’s ear – knowing it gets under Woo-young’s skin – and Han-bi translates Se-ra feels uncomfortable acting as a champion of justice when she became a candidate for the money. Woo-young groans that she’s not lying and says this issue Se-ra’s only chance. Meanwhile, Gong-myung is plagued with calls from reporters trying to contact Se-ra and Dae-cheol worries their office will be blamed. To Gong-myung’s surprise, Se-ra’s dismissal came as a direct order from Chairman Jo.

That evening, Se-ra stares despondently out the van window until Han-bi slides papers into her lap. Woo-young tells her to memorize it and when Se-ra notices it’s a speech and they’re headed towards the Mawon District Office, she screeches at her friends to pull over. They manage to drag Se-ra to the rally but are forced to release her to retrieve the speech from the van. No sooner do they leave than the spokesman calls Se-ra to the stage as the wrongfully dismissed part-timer. Gong-myung is surprised to see Se-ra while Hee-soo of the Progressive Party is equally stunned when her candidate explains Se-ra is an opposing candidate.

As Se-ra takes the mic, Woo-young and Han-bi frantically wave her speech in the air but it’s too late. Deciding to wing it, Se-ra energetically introduces herself as the fifth candidate… and is met with deafening silence. Luckily, she swallows her embarrassment and recounts how at the controversial meeting, half the District Assembly seats were empty, several of the reps present were asleep, and the rest were trying to commit fraud. Se-ra adds that while she was upset, the thing to focus on isn’t losing her job, but the fact that a distribution center with heavy truck traffic is being built near a school.

Quoting a “cranky colleague,” Se-ra says he’d told her hope and potential are two different things: “He’s right. I’m a candidate that will never be elected. However, if we don’t have hope, what future is there for us?” She continues that of the 564.1 million dollar Mawon District Office budget, she only wants her salary, vowing to listen to the people and ensure the budget is distributed properly. “I know this day has been full of lies,” Se-ra concludes, “but I really mean this, so long as you choose me.”

The applause returns and even Candidate 2 joins in. At the back, Gong-myung can’t help a small smile as Se-ra beams at the crowd cheering her name. On the flipside, Gong-myung’s former boss, Chief Won, calls Chairman Jo to suggest placing the blame on the district reps. Slamming his phone down, Chairman Jo listens to the cheers for Se-ra outside and assures Min-jae that despite the bad press, this will blow over. Min-jae offers to talk to Se-ra but Chairman Jo waves him off. Instead, he wants Gong-myung brought to him. When he starts to mention a death anniversary, Chairman Jo simply nods and says he needs to meet someone.

That someone is Dad and he nervously accepts a drink from Chairman Jo as well as a box of red ginseng for Mom. Dad tentatively asks why he’d wanted to meet and Chairman Jo tsks he should’ve found Se-ra a better position, agreeing she wouldn’t be satisfied with the company that fired her – no wonder she’s running in the election. Dad quickly assures Chairman Jo that Se-ra is just acting out and hopes she’ll get married soon. Chairman Jo tuts that even if she were elected, the position only lasts a year… she should focus on finding a stable job and husband. He mentions an opening for a level 10 civil service position, thinking it better suited for a woman. Looking uncomfortable, Dad says nothing.

At a bus stop filled with bouquets, Gong-myung sits somberly on the bench. He places a banana milk on the sidewalk and blinks back tears. Min-jae pulls up and introduces himself as Chairman Jo’s secretary. He says he came to fetch Gong-myung and is told to leave, but at the mention of his brother, Gong-myung gets in the car. They drive off just as Se-ra walks up to the bus stop, drinking her own banana milk. Noticing the milk on the sidewalk and the bouquets, she jumps up and looks around… and sees the bus stop sign she’d reported is still broken. Irritated, Se-ra takes pictures and before Gong-myung can follow Min-jae inside the house, his phone buzzes.

Skipping pleasantries, Se-ra says she texted him photos of her unresolved complaint and Gong-myung sighs he’d thought she called to apologize for quoting him out of context. “Apologies are for when you feel bad,” Se-ra retorts, “and I don’t feel bad.” Gong-myung tells her to contact the service center and hangs up before Se-ra can argue. Still, he checks her photo and scoffs before heading inside to find Chairman Jo sitting before the altar of a young boy. He says Gong-myung should attend the memorial as the boy’s brother and then introduces Min-jae as his right hand, adding he’s like a son… while Gong-myung is the person who hates him most in the world – his eldest son, Jo Gong-myung.

At home, Se-ra asks why Dad called her back after kicking her out. Dad grumbles she could pretend to listen to him, snapping she didn’t even let him finish talking before refusing. “This is why you got him in trouble,” Dad mumbles, but doesn’t explain who he’s referring to. Instead, he tells her if she wants to serve the country, she should be a civil servant – not a politician – and says if she withdraws from the election, the position is hers. Mom shushes Se-ra’s suspicions by sticking a red ginseng packet in her mouth, growling at her to take the offer. Se-ra wants to know where the ginseng came from. Dad tells her if she doesn’t accept the job, he’ll disown her. Se-ra insists on knowing who gave him ginseng, but he won’t answer, and Mom doesn’t know.

Chairman Jo tells Gong-myung to come home, quit being a civil servant, and learn while working under Chairman Jo. Gong-myung firmly refuses and Chairman Jo warns that Chief Won will never take Gong-myung back after he upset her, adding if she’s reelected next year, Gong-myung will be stuck in the service center. Gong-myung asks if Chairman Jo has been observing Jong-dae’s (his little brother’s) death anniversary and Chairman Jo just sighs. Eavesdropping in the hallway, Min-jae is startled by the doorbell and walks over to see Se-ra at the gate. He buzzes her in and steps out to demand what she’s doing there. Holding up the box of red ginseng, she says she came to return something.

Chairman Jo joins them and Se-ra says she came to return his gift, adding Mom opened two packets not knowing it was a bribe, so Se-ra added a five dollar bill. Chairman Jo feigns confusion over the word “bribe” and Se-ra quips, “I believe monetary or material gifts with a purpose are a bribe.” When asked if she’s refusing his offer, Se-ra nods. Chairman Jo tuts he was doing Dad a favor but Se-ra won’t take a job through connections. Gong-myung listens as Se-ra assures Chairma Jo she’ll campaign to the end – and get elected. Chairman Jo muses she’s a romantic and takes the gift from her. They politely bid each other goodnight and Se-ra sees Gong-myung… and realizes he’s Jo Gong-myung.

Flashback to summer, 2001: The kids sit outside and split an ice cream, but it doesn’t break even. Gong-myung celebrates the larger half, but seeing Se-ra’s disappointed pout, he offers to let her bite off the extra to make them even. Se-ra gleefully takes a huge bite and when Gong-myung argues, she holds their ice creams together to show they’re now even. Ha! He wails over his ice cream, demanding it back as Se-ra watches blankly. In the present, Gong-myung leaves Chairman Jo’s… and tips over Se-ra’s outstretched foot.

She greets him familiarly, and Gong-myung snaps he’s Seo Gong-myung now. At his harsh tone, Se-ra argues they were close friends but Gong-myung says he can’t recall, and he stalks off. Freezing when she tentatively asks if he always comes home on this day, Gong-myung spits that whether he comes home, or the bus stop sign is broken, it’s not her concern. He tells her to stop daydreaming and get on with her life: “I’m ignoring you because of the way you carry yourself.”

Se-ra is still fuming the next morning as she cracks eggs into a glass. Woo-young and Han-bi exchange a look as Se-ra declares war and downs the Rocky special. Campaigning with a new vigor, Se-ra now has a small smattering of supporters. As she poses for pictures with them, the Aeguk Conservative Party candidate, Byung-min, watches her with interest from his float… as Mom dances in his campaign party.

Arriving at work, Gong-myung learns from Dae-cheol that Se-ra succeeded in making the company that owns the distribution center back down and decide against building by the school. The same news reaches Chairman Jo and Min-jae says there will be an announcement the following morning. As the protests against the distribution center continue that evening, everyone’s surprised when Chairman Jo joins them and takes the stage. He points to his office in the building behind him and says that while working late addressing the citizens concerns, he’s heard their protests and was touched.

He calls Se-ra to the stage and neither Gong-myung or Woo-young are able to stop her in time. Chairman Jo says Se-ra reminds him of when he’d started as a politician and then both her and Gong-myung’s eyes widen when he announces his youngest son also went to the school in question. Se-ra looks to Gong-myung and he scoffs in disbelief as Chairman Jo bemoans the loss of his child in an accident. He declares his wish for children’s safety brought him to decide all plans for the distribution center have been canceled.

Cheers erupt from the crowd while the Progressive Party, Woo-young, and Gong-myung grimace. Chairman Jo calls for a round of applause for Se-ra and Chief Won snorts in annoyance. Assemblyman Heo tuts if only she’d announced first – and Chief Won snaps that she gave him his position to spy on Chairman Jo, not get in trouble! Afterwards, Gong-myung catches Chairman Jo and angrily demands why he used his dead son. Chairman Jo says cherishing his reputation won’t bring him back when even his living son can stand him: “You’ll understand me one day.”

Woo-young smacks Se-ra for going onstage and Han-bi defends she was called by name. Se-ra pouts that Chairman Jo didn’t even refer to her as a candidate and Woo-young cries he was mocking her. Se-ra’s equally upset and matters only get worse when Han-bi sees an online post calling Se-ra unfit for office because she got a job with connections. Her friends roll their eyes at the lies but Se-ra says Dad’s friend got her an interview at her old company. Before long, a video makes it to the office and Gong-myung asks if they should catch the poster. Sighing, Dae-cheol says the election will be long over by the time they do, so these incidents always result with the candidate resigning.

Office maknae Young-kyu wonders who Dad’s connection could be and Gong-myung rushes out of the office. Steeling herself, Se-ra grabs an envelope and bids her friends goodbye. She barely makes it out the door before Gong-myung catches her and snatches the candidate resignation form out of her hand, imploring her not to quit. Se-ra snaps he was the one telling her to quit from the beginning but Gong-myung just rips up the form and as the pieces fall around them like snow, the pair stare at each other.

Epilogue As young Gong-myung sobs over his ice cream, Se-ra slings his backpack over her shoulder and reaches out for him: “Let’s go, crybaby.” Pouting, Gong-myung holds out his hand, declaring: “Back at you. I reflect it.” Without missing a beat, Se-ra intertwines their fingers and giggles.

 
COMMENTS

Y’all, I’m nervous by how charmed I am already with this story and these characters. I honestly don’t mind clichés when they’re used well, and Memorials continues to do just that. There was a palpable tension between Gong-myung and Chairman Jo last episode and it makes perfect sense now that we know they share a tumultuous relationship. I love that this was revealed so early, not just to us, but Se-ra as well as the pieces clicked, and she remembered Gong-myung. I had wondered why she hadn’t recognized him, and it makes sense now that we not only know Gong-myung changed his name… but also experienced a personality shift. It’s understandable after the trauma of his younger brother’s death and I wonder if that was the event that separated him and Se-ra in the first place.

Se-ra also seems aware of the incident and I suspect there’s more to learn from it. Now that we’ve actually seen glimpses of the snake behind Chairman Jo’s politician mask, I can’t help but wonder if he had something to do with Jung-dae’s death – even if it was simply negligence. Regardless, his lack of compassion is disgusting, and I am happily routing for our heroes to bring about his downfall. I also can’t wait to see more of Se-ra telling Min-jae to piss off. From the looks of things, he checked out of their relationship long ago and now that they’re broken up, the fact that he still thinks he has a say in what she does or that her actions are somehow directed towards his life makes my blood boil. He may have succeeded in taking Gong-myung’s place as Chairman Jo’s “son,” but he gave up Se-ra in exchange and Gong-myung is clearly getting the better end of the deal.

When it comes to support, Se-ra is really struggling against the tide. She broke up with Min-jae over it, and I was a little disappointed by Woo-young’s continual pessimism… until we saw that she holds a lot of responsibility on her shoulders. As the first of her friends to get married and have a child, she feels the need to be the “adult.” It was infuriating to watch her get fired over blatant office sexism, but seeing her throw herself into Se-ra’s campaign was so fun and who doesn’t love great female bonds? Se-ra’s parents are another matter. I love Dad, I really do, and not just because Ahn Kil-kang is amazing. He loves Se-ra and is doing his best to take care of her with his gruff affection. It kills me to see him groveling to Chairman Jo when not only do we know the man is garbage, but we can see how much pride Dad swallows in order to ask for help for Se-ra.

It’s gonna be all the harder to stomach when Se-ra and Chairman Jo go head-to-head, but I’m hoping Dad won’t be fooled by Chairman Jo’s false pleasantries much longer and will come to realize Se-ra is doing just fine. Perhaps Gong-myung’s influence will help? The men interacted only briefly, but I’m already itching for bonding between them! Especially after witnessing Gong-myung’s strained relationship with his biological father, I’d love for him to get some positive father-son moments with Dad, possibly bonding over their shared exasperation towards Se-ra. All throughout this episode I was waiting for Gong-myung to give in and support Se-ra and I was finally rewarded with that end scene. The pacing of the first two episodes was perfect and if that continues throughout, I will be a very happy camper. There was a lot of information to get through and yet I didn’t feel overwhelmed which is always a plus. If anything, I’m left with lots of questions and a burning excitement to see what messes our spunky heroine gets her hero into next!

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On Viki the second episode is only 25% subtitled in English. I watched the first episode at 87% and get the gist of it but probably missed some of the humor it is now at 94%. Episode 3 airs today.

Given that the subtitling team is obviously struggling I sent a message in to Viki asking for help for the subtitling team. I hope that they have some kind of back up for situations like this.

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Some series do get the slow treatment on Viki. I recall the series 'War of Prosecutors' (Diary of a Prosecutor) had suffered the same fate. It was the legal jargon that was usually the last to get translated, I remember.

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This is a quirk in Viki’s business model that I find strange. I am repeating myself. Why is Viki using volunteer subbers to subtitle INTO THE RING when Kocowa is making it available subtitled fwir within a day.
I just checked (US 12pm EDT) Kocowa and episode 3 (or 5/6 depending on your math) is not available but I expect it will be available by this evening.

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I agree that something is off here: I thought that when Viki received KOCOWA shows that they would be supplied WITH English subtitles and that only subtitles in other languages would need the volunteers.

On the other hand, I also know that some shows from a KOCOWA network are being sold to iQIYI instead of KOCOWA (like BACKSTREET ROOKIE).

Clearly something is going on in K-Dramaland.

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I've just finished watching episode 2 at 97%. More than a week after airing. I don't want to go to illegal sites when I'm already paying the service. Viki should revise this.

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Thank you for the recap!

Im also happy with the pacing so far, as well as the casts! Very loaded.

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The veteran casts are impressive. They are talented individuals and them being in this show displays to me that there was something more to the script to attract them. It's going to be a bit sad seeing Gong-myung go against his estranged father, but I think its been a long time coming.

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Yes, same thoughts! It's kinda reaffirming that this will be a good show.

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Anh Kil Kang, Jang Hye Jin and Ahn Nae-Sang 💗 💗 💗

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Also Yoon Joo-sang who was the mentor to Lee Bo Young's character in I Hear Your Voice. Is it just me or does it look like his character in this show is also setting up to also be the mentor to Se-ra?

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I've only watched episode 1 and 2. Viki is really late with subs.
I also love him!!!

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@eazal that sucks that Viki is so late with it! I noticed that Kocowa has the subs readily available the day the episode airs in S.K! Thank god this show's humor lands and not the ahem show (G.C cough cough) mostly faltered lol. I hope you're able to watch Ep 3/4 (Ep 3 for one was particularly moving!). Solid supporting cast filled with veterans! Since its also a Office comedy as well as rom-com, I guess we'll be seeing more of those interactions!

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This is the actor playing the retired journalist, right? Yes, absolutely - I think he will be Se-ra's mentor in the assembly/council. He looks like the sort who would give her the wings to fly. But I also worry that she's an independent, and he's affiliated (?), and that would create problems?

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@pickleddragon Assembly Bong? The person who told Se-ra about the 30,000 won. Then yes, he seems like the person who will prob. mentor her. His role in dramas tend to be the father figure type.

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Just watching all of them on screen made me happy and comfortable, and made me feel like this would be a show with promise.

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This show is amazing! I love our two main characters, they both have their own principles that they believe in but they way they handle them gets them into trouble. The two of them together as a duo are going to be amazing, and I can not wait to see them team up and bring down the corrupted politicians together!

The pacing, the cinematography, the black comedy, and the visual gags in this show gives this show a unique spin on a genre we are familiar with. I love that we are going to see Se-ra's arc as someone who goes in it for the money, and leaves hopefully the appointed council woman by the end?! Gong-myung being the main villain's estranged son was an interesting reveal, and coupled with the 2001 scenes reveals someone who used to be bright compared to how he is now.

Both characters are written well, and their interactions already demonstrate the fiery chemistry these two actors both have together. Great idea having them work together for the same/common cause, and through that we will see more of our burgeoning couple's feelings towards one another. Me thinks that its already there but buried underneath trauma/undisclosed feelings, that scene when he tore up her resignation letter and it 'snowed' swoons lol. He does care about her, even if he doesn't think he does. Parks and Recs did a great job showcasing regional politics and the crew into a funny and heartwarming show. I hope the show continues to be this great till the end!

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There were several things that happened here in episode 2. Se-ra went into this for the money- and because nothing else had worked for her. When she first got onto the stage that was still her motivation- and she was being used as a prop by the Progressive candidate- who is every bit as manipulative as Chairman Jo. But while she was up there she suddenly realized that it could not just be about the money- and suddenly she was eloquent, as someone who had found her true calling.

The second time she was called up it was again as a prop- for Chairman Jo. But the problem for Chairman Jo was that even as he was stealing credit for what Se-ra had accomplished he had also legitimized her as a serious candidate. Which in turn lead to the rumor mongering about her seeking a job through connections had to be done- to push a now significant candidate out of the race- which normally would have worked and almost did- if Gong-myung hadn't shown up and torn up her resignation.

And that is why you are right to note that there is already chemistry between them. Because this is a huge change for Gong-myung- He has been like a emotionless robot for a long time, but suddenly, now that he has reconnected to his childhood friend, he is acting from passion and impulse. I know that this is a common trope but here it works. The use of visual gags, etc. adds to the comedy, but also serves to under score the connection being reformed between these two people. Just two episodes in both of our characters have already grown as people- and grown towards each other even if neither of them realizes it yet.

I hope that not only does Se-ra get elected but also that Gong-myung and his father can reconcile. I know that the father seems like the main villian but from what I can see he is not, in fact, the principal villian in this show.

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The show has done a great job showing Se-ra's soon to be arc and growth. She goes in for the money at first, but what we seen thus far is someone who cares about her community and fighting for the common good. Someone who is as excited, earnest, and passionate like Se-ra is needed in politics esp. right now (Which oof let's not speak about that).

The trope here worked because it showed a glimpse of what's to come between the pair, and how he once was before he became jaded from life's experiences. Despite his demeanor, he does care but he's not someone who shows that unlike Se-ra. He re-applied the defamed posters, and told her not to quit. He's been a positive influence compared to her a-hole ex. He needs a spark and she fits the bill, I think there's this weird 'sexual' tension whenever they interact.

Side-note: I like that we get the tropes out of the way first: Him being revealed to be the Chairman's father made sure that noble idiocy wasn't going to occur/same with her knowing Gong-myung's true identity too. Now both Gong-myung and Se-ra can work together w/o much secrets (Well knowing the biggest one).

It's a black comedy, and I like the dry humor. It's not over the top humor and it works with the show's tone. I don't know too much about their relationship (Gong-myung and his estranged father) so I can't say for now. It seems like he was very hurt still by his estranged dad, and resents him for using Se-ra for his own political motives and his dead brother too. Woah 2 episodes, and a lot has been set up. There's a good heft and 'meat' to this story. Hope it continues to be this great going forward. I believe they been shooting the show since April 10, so I've good feels thus far.

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Honestly, I think there's enough material to pull off the comedy without the gags, but I can see why some audiences might find that a draw. I'm hoping that the visual gags don't overwhelm the show.

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Also, are they going to set up a bigger / principal "villain", do you think? This seems to me to be local politics, and it gives the vibes of local, petty stuff being resolved through the show. Anything bigger (like drama-favourite large-scale corruption) would make it too serious, and take away from the light-heartedness of it all, I feel.

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Honestly not really sure tbh. The PD did Justice which was a dark and dreary crime thriller to a 180 with this Political rom-com. I do have to LOL that Nana played a prosector out to get Park Sung-hoon there, while he was out to kill her. Now they're a couple here lol.

The PD did say that he wanted to make a show highlighting today's youth: And said Se-ra and Gong-myung represent the youth today. He said during Covid-19 which made him feel down, this show brightened his day up and he said he wants to keep it light and fun to watch. We shall see if he keeps his promise! The PD did say this focuses on regional politics, so I don't think they'll dive into large scale territory just local territory with taking down corrupted politicians (SR/GM both), and things like fixing the street lights/roads so it seems like a Parks and Recs type of show with a small zany group of folks coming together for the community in the end despite their differences ($$/greed/corruption).

Tbh, I feel like most K-dramas tend to deviate into other emotions in the middle/end. As for the villain, prob. Se-ra's political rival ex bf and Gong-myung's estranged dad.

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Thanks for the PD's notes on this - it's always interesting to see why people make the shows they do, and how they eventually get received. It sounds like this will be a pleasant watch throughout, if it keeps up this pace and flavour.

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And I didn't know about the PSH-Nana connection from the earlier drama. Sounds hilarious! Someone obviously picked up one some chemistry there, and decided to mainstream it...

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I like that they've set them up as friends pretty much from the start. Even though she has labelled him a "jerk", I don't think she feels that way about him - certainly not after the revelation/discovery that they were childhood companions and good friends.

That paper snow was so cool, and then what it was followed up by later was super-funny.

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Thanks for the recap! I like how this drama is showing how difficult it still is for women to have a career. No matter what path we choose, people will still have something to say and do to prevent our growth. I’m glad it’s also showing how powerful women voters can be, and I’m hoping to see more of that throughout Se-ra’s campaign.

I’m enjoying the childhood connection here. I know it’s been used way too many times that it can make our eyes roll, but I like how fun it’s used here. I agree that Se-ra knowing about it this early is a good thing. And I love how she blatantly said “We were close then!” haha. Se-ra obviously knows what happened to Jung-dae and I feel that it’s one of the reasons why she’s very particular about things.

I’m not sure what to feel about Gong-myung being Chairman Jo’s son. I don’t particularly like that in dramas. But based on how Gong-myung has been behaving, I think his integrity’s intact and there wouldn’t be any problem. And that ending! Yes, I’m hopeful. Oh, I didn’t think about the possible bonding between Se-ra’s dad and Gong-myung, but I’m looking forward to it now that you mentioned it =D

Chairman Jo’s annoying~ as expected. And like I said last episode, I’d love to see a show where the good guys are winning. Of course, it’s highly unlikely in real life that someone like Se-ra can successfully go against the very organized conservative party, but it’s not impossible. And I like how this drama is reminding us that there’s still hope. These guys have my full support. It will be definitely be a fun campaign.

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Korea recently held an election and the Democratic Party of Korea which is liberal/centrist won more than what people expected/came out on top. I hope that Se-ra's win signals that considering the Conservative party in Korea is umm (list of expletives).

I'm a bit cautious of him being Jo's son, but he has been estranged for his dad (maybe since he was young?) Perhaps after he and Se-ra met, they separated? Thank god the facts were laid out this early, none of that in halfway or in the end where noble idiocy comes.

Someone said that in the show, the election takes 13 days from now or something? So she has 2 weeks or so to rise her status, will she win not sure? I do like that it shows women getting into politics esp. younger women. Se-ra said she would give regulation to women in her proposal.

Glad to see a strong female character who strives for justice and good in society! And its not another rom-com where the female lead is doing something frivolous (nothing against that but it gives the story more heft) imo.

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Thanks for that Korean election info! It makes watching this drama more interesting.

And yes, I also like that the facts about their childhood are laid down this early. It prevents it from being used as a dramatic plot point in the future. I feel that now that we've gotten over with the reveal, we can enjoy their present relationship more =D

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No problem!

So far the show has used the childhood trope into something that actually has weight and heft to the plot and characters. I can definitely tell for Se-ra, she saw Gong-myung as a old childhood pal whereas for him, I think he thinks back more fondly on it. I think for him it was love at first sight compared to her which I think is much later lol.

Yes IA! Even with regarding the son reveal too! Hopefully with those two big secrets out, there wouldn't be a silly noble idiocy or dramatic plot within the show's couple. Plus, I feel like their relationship even now, I notice Se-ra treats him still like the 9 year old she remembers from the past.

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"Plus, I feel like their relationship even now, I notice Se-ra treats him still like the 9 year old she remembers from the past."

- So true! With the hair ruffling and the ear pulling and all that. I'm not sure I find that too amusing, at least not if it is sustained. Gong-Pyung just looks utterly shocked and traumatized when Se-ra does things like this. Part of her growth arc may require her to move away from this.

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Pleasantly surprised that the childhood connection and the (sort of) birth secret is revealed so early in the show. And Gong-myung's quick turnaround too! The document rip/throw is usually used to convey some demeaning act, it's cute that show framed it as a romantic scene here.

Amidst all the politics and family discords and unjust life, am also utterly charmed by the two people in the center. Se-ra is so refreshingly blunt, calling that bribe a bribe and her stance about living her life following her own expectation, not other's. Her words affected Gong-myung already, and if he decided to go head-to-head with his estranged father, she sure played a big part in it. And she definitely can use his knowhow against the seasoned politician who is not above using a personal tragedy as a ploy. I think Chairman Jo is going to be a character we'd love to hate, he's definitely one smart and devious villain.

And Se-ra's dad really needs to know stat about how she used her saving to support mom. It hurts that she didn't receive the appreciation she deserves!

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I felt bad for Woo-young but I'm happy that Se-ra's friend circle is now all aboard. Also the editing on the bit where Han-bi tried to do mental math and immediately went for the calculator app was so funny.

I'm excited to see where some of these relationships go (especially Dad and his odd relationship with Chairman Jo) so if they can keep the regional politics this entertaining throughout as well, this is going to be fun

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I like it because the story is pretty fast until now, no time to be bored. I like the interactions between our main characters, they share the same strong moral sense but some past too.

I really like the main actor who can show his characters's emotions just with his face very subtly, it makes his character more interesting. I'm curious how they all connected to his brother's death.

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Me too @sunny, super charmed. I didn't expect to be as charmed as I am. I honestly went in expecting to not really like this especially with Nana's previous lackluster performance. So I'm rooting for this show to do well.

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"Charmed" is the best word for this show so far!

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I started watching just because it's there, not expecting anything. But I was very pleasantly surprised as how invested I've become by the end of ep 2.

I already fell in love with the couple. I love the contrast between them. Nana and Park Sung-hoon do very well so far.

I also love the "indie movie" vibe the drama has.

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Ahn Nae-sang is playing pretty much the same baddie he did in that pretty bad drama 'Eccentric! Chef Moon' a couple months back. I'm not the biggest fan of him playing these sorts of characters. He seems more fitting to play the diffident father characters in 'Meow the Secret Boy' and 'Radiant'.

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First of all, I want to talk about the use of camera in the drama. I love all those fisheye lense style. I just LOVE it!!!!

I'm really enjoying SeRa (I love the way Nana is portraying her!!) and Gong Myung's interactions. They're so different, and yet you can see that invisible thread that is pulling them together.

I have the feeling Chairman Jo did something in the past that affected SeRa's dad (both Ahn Nae Sang and Ahn Kil-Kang are my all favorite), and he also may have something to do with his son's accident, which probably was a car accident on that bus stop where Gong Myung was sitting... the banana shake was probably his little brother favourite drink.

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The fish-eye lens! - I caught on to that too. It's unnervingly intimate, disturbing, quirky, and funny all at the same time. It's insightful of the characters in ways that a standard form camera angle would not capture. This was a good and interesting choice!

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Based on the absolutely delightful first two episodes, this show deserves so much more love!! I hope the comments section improves over the weeks and doesn't descend into a Nobody Knows -like tragedy (assuming, of course, the show keeps up as well!). Thank you, @sunny for an excellent recap, as ever. 
 
While the show has a veteran supporting actor cast, I am also excited about the younger supporting actors doing their bit, e.g., Yoo Da-in (whom I've only ever seen in Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, and Han Jun Woo, who was memorable in both Be Melodramatic and  My Unfamiliar Family  (he's picking some diverse roles.. It looks like it's a great ensemble overall, and that is so essential to elevate drama quality.

This also reminds me of so much from other shows - I don't know if it's deliberate or my overworked kdrama-fied memory just playing tricks. In the first episode, it was City Hall, which continues here - I think Kim Sun-a's character there too was allotted "No. 5" as her ballot number; the difficult father-son relationship that Cha Seung-won's character had is also reprised here. In this episode, PSH's long coats and the many walks up the hilly bylanes of Seoul (that scene where the suitcase comes apart, especially) remind me of A piece of your mind.

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Wait what happened in the Nobody Knows comment section?

There's a good amount of veteran talents and newbies/rookie actors in the supporting cast. Han Jun Woo is a cute guy, but his role here seems like the cunning type since he wants to ascend to the top. What will also make this show is having the second leads/supporting cast to also be well established too. I would hate it if the Second leads here turned out to be just ruthless all the way. Since this is also an Office Rom-com (The PD said this was their genre), that I'm sure those will come more into the fold.

Tbh, not shocked at this show being underrated rn. Politics isn't the most attracting genre esp. in K-dramas, and the two leads while talented aren't established leading actors rn so its been under the radar. Could be a scenario where it emerges as a cult favorite down the line.

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Ha, the comments section in Nobody Knows crossed 50 only once or twice, in its entire live run, and those who were following diligently, like me, kept lamenting that not enough people were watching what was a darned good show. That had a cult following, for sure.

I agree about the second leads. I hope the show stays gentle and pleasant throughout, with happy resolutions for everyone. It feels like that sort of drama already anyway. based also on your earlier comment, there won't be too much tension and angst, I feel (or at least it will be resolved with a good dose of humour).

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Ah I see! Rom-coms used to be a very hot genre in the early to late 00s/10s. So I think most people are burnt out by them/or just following for the OTP. Here, the romance rn has been a slow burn. It might pick up a bit more once their romance/love line shows more. Hope that doesn't get dragged on too long, after all rom-com is the main genre.

It does mean that we do like the show to care in a good way that it sustains its quality throughout to comment on the path we hope this show doesn't pivot to. I hope that the PD keeps his word and keeps this one a fun and not heavy handed watch.

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Oh Nobody Knows was not a rom-com - it was a thriller, with a very very charismatic FL, and a great ensemble cast of young children.

And I like the slow burn so far here, it fits in well with the drama theme, and the characters. Fingers crossed!

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@pickleddragon I meant to write about Into the Ring for why there might not be as much comments b/c the rom-com genre has been played out to death lol.

There are so many shows now, and with other avenues for entertainment that there are lots of great underrated shows that just come and go. There have been only 4 dramas that I seen get a lot of buzz in S.K/internationally (I.C/CLOY/WOTM/H.P) and they're all cable. I hope that the shows that are under the radar get more love later on.

P.S-Are you caught up to Ep 4 of Into the Ring?

I hope that the show dives a bit more into SR/GM's relationship (not just romantically but also on a deeper level). Esp. GM who I feel has a lot on his chest to let out his emotions when the time comes. That'll be a breaking point in their relationship.

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@soulsearch12 Ah got it! - I'm getting to Eps 3 & 4 soon! I've been spamming the Eps 1&2 pages until then :D

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@pickleddragon Good to know! Or else I might've spoiled something! Lol, I know that feeling. Hope you post your thoughts to Ep 3/4 when you've time!

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The ML's coworker was a student in Extraordinary You, he's pretty fun. In the BTS of EY, he tried to wear Rowoon's jacket (1m90 vs ~1m75) it was funny.

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He is also in Once Again as the doctor friend to LSY's character. He is also delightful there in a small role. When I find out he's 28, I was like "He's so baby faced though!"

Seems like he's the same small cutie here. His role could act as the diffuser to both Se-ra and Gong-myung.

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I was surprised too by his age. In EY, the main actors were born in 1995, 96, 98 and 99 and he wasn't looking way older than them.

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Haha I can picture that exactly. With PSH just as tall, maybe they'll get him to do something similar here!

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