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Men Are Men: Episodes 1-2

Men Are Men starts strong, giving us a heroine who has taken a stand against a conventional life, but faces roadblocks she never imagined on the way to her dreams. As if that isn’t enough, she’s dealing with suddenly surfacing memories from past lives, and a mysterious man who seems to be pulling strings in her life from afar. But she’s no damsel in distress, she’s refreshingly prepared to stand up for herself when she needs to, and confident enough to forge her own path. I’m in.

Note: This is only a first episode recap.

 
EPISODE 1 RECAP

A woman walks down a dark hallway, lingering outside an apartment door before heading to the roof. Inside the apartment, webtoon writer OH SHI-UN (cameo by Lee Shi-un) makes excuses to his producer about not being able to work because of his sick mother—until she calls him out for fanboying instead. From outside his window, which she threatens to break if he doesn’t let her in. This is our heroine, SEO HYUN-JOO (Hwang Jung-eum).

Elsewhere, HWANG JI-WOO (Yoon Hyun-min), dressed for mourning, drops a white chrysanthemum into the sea.

As Hyun-joo works with the writer, we see a montage of all the writers she manages, and how above and beyond she goes to make sure they keep up with their deadlines—including providing them with herbal supplements, keeping them awake, even serving as a model. While Hyun-joo is distracted, someone calls the writer and assures him he’ll soon receive payment for the secret job he’s doing for them.

In a graveyard, Ji-woo lays flowers at someone’s grave and promises they’ll meet soon.

Hyun-joo rushes to a wedding, where we meet her group of friends, whom she’s known since kindergarten: one is single and was promised the bride’s bouquet, one divorced after a short marriage, and one married early and happily. “And I,” narrates Hyun-joo as she watches, horrified, as the flung bouquet misses her friend and comes toward her instead, “am neither single, married, nor divorced…”

She falls back as she tries to avoid the bouquet, and into a memory of nearly drowning as a child.

27 YEARS EARLIER

7-year-old Hyun-joo’s accident causes her to remember three of her past lives, specifically, being left by the same husband in each of them, in the Joseon era, the 1940s, and the 80s. Wow, it takes a special kind of jerk to leave someone behind in a protest where police are beating and killing people. (The man has Ji-woo’s face.)

Young Hyun-joo awakens from her coma craving soju and cursing her past-lives husband, to her parents’ horror. The doctor tells them these are just dreams she had during her coma that she believes are real.

Hyun-joo tells her class at school that her dream is to never marry—written in Chinese characters, ha! I love this sassy child actress. She makes a kid with a crush on her cry (after pointing out that he confessed to a little girl in another class too), and the ensuing commotion gets her sent back to the hospital. After plenty of treatment, she slowly forgets. As the years pass, we see her with a succession of terrible boyfriends.

By 2015, Hyun-joo is an aspiring webtoon writer and believes all men are the same—until she meets a man who changes her mind. They date happily for a year, and he proposes. Hyun-joo invites her friends and family to a wedding venue, where introduces the companion she’s going to spend the rest of her life with: herself.

She tells the audience that she realized that she can think of lots of reasons not to marry, and none that make her want to, so she’s decided she’s just not fit for marriage.

Hyun-joo vows to love herself and prioritize her dreams instead of trying to find an impossibly rare chance at happiness. PARK DO-GYUM (Seo Ji-hoon), on leave from the army for the occasion, applauds her speech. Hyun-joo’s mother has a meltdown. A man in a suit watches from the back, but we don’t see his face. (I’m 99% sure that’s Ji-woo.)

And now we’re back in the present. Hyun-joo narrates that her marriage-free life is not the utopian one she imagined. But she promises herself that in six days, she’ll be able to do whatever she wants.

EPISODE 2 RECAP

Ji-woo reads Hyun-joo’s webtoon in his office (although he closes all the tabs of his browser at once like an actual psychopath when his secretary enters). He seems unwell, and pops a pill before his board meeting.

He’s the CEO of a pharmaceutical company, and he calmly exposes a board member’s attempt to sell their new anti-cancer drug to a competing Chinese company. The men begs for another chance, but Ji-woo tells him to take it up with their auditing team.

At MyToon, where Hyun-joo works, her colleagues congratulate her on having the webtoons she manages ranked highly for the first half of the year—perhaps a promotion is on the horizon? But her awful boss soon appears to harass her with misogynistic taunts, though she holds her own impressively and even cleverly turns his own words on him.

But she has a new problem: Do-gyum, now their star webtoon writer, has suddenly run off despite his upcoming deadlines. She chases him down at the airport, and he explains that Hyun-joo’s boss is planning to fire her. Do-gyum refuses to create any new episodes until the company rescinds her dismissal.

Hyun-joo confronts her boss, who tells her that the other webtoonists, led by Writer Oh, petitioned for her to be fired due to abuse of authority. He hands her a statement where they claim all kinds of offenses, which she denies, shocked. In response, he plays a recording of her yelling horrible things earlier in the day. Writer Oh had called and asked her to impersonate a boss abusing employees, which she did enthusiastically, thinking it was for his webtoon.

She explains, but her boss doesn’t care—the writers are threatening to take this story to the media. Hyun-joo asks about the promise he made five years ago when she applied to MyToon’s competition and he offered her a job as a producer instead: if she did well for five years as a producer, he’d debut her webtoon.

“I only have six days left,” she points out. She worked day and night, refusing offers to work elsewhere, and now he’s firing her? He gives her two days to bring Writer Oh to him and exonerate herself.

Meanwhile, Ji-woo creepily looks at photos of Hyun-joo. His secretary promises him that the matter will be taken care of soon. Ugh, is he bribing Writer Oh to ruin her career?!

Do-gyum accompanies Hyun-joo to find Writer Oh. They track him to a showcase for Yuna, the idol musician he’s obsessed with, but he spots Hyun-joo and hides. Writer Oh follows Yuna and her bodyguard out of the venue after the show—but it’s actually Hyun-joo and Do-gyum in disguise.

Before they can grab Writer Oh, Yuna’s manager sees them and thinks Hyun-joo is the real deal. Panicking, Hyun-joo pulls Writer Oh into Yuna’s van and Do-gyum follows. The manager angrily dumps them at the side of the road a few minutes later, ha.

Writer Oh leads them on a muddy chase, but they finally catch him. Hyun-joo demands to know the reason for his actions, and he admits that someone ordered him to do it. We cut to Ji-woo, creepily looking at an embroidered handkerchief.

But when Hyun-joo gathers the writers at her company, Writer Oh goes back on his confession, which apparently pointed to Hyun-joo’s boss as the instigator. Skeevy Boss vehemently denies involvement, and the writers stick to their original story that she was violently lording it over them.

She points out how much personal time she’s devoted to helping the writers and catering to their whims, but her boss tells her she’s fired.

Do-gyum enters then, ripping away the things each writer has received that they’re wearing on their bodies, even spraying one dude in the face with the herbal medicine Hyun-joo bought him. He tells them to have a sense of shame, and grabs Hyun-joo’s arm, ready to walk out. But Hyun-joo stops him, and kneels in front of her boss. Girl, what are you doing?!

But it’s really to pull off one of the prized dress shoes he’s always wiggling in her face and fling it out the window. She tells them she wishes for their collective ruin, takes Do-gyum’s arm, and leads him out.

Her colleagues are waiting miserably outside, and they watch sadly while she gets her things from her desk, including the calendar on which she had so excitedly marked D-DAY, my dream will come true!

Hyun-joo tearily gets into the elevator, where Ji-woo is already waiting like the stalker he is. Ji-woo slowly offers her his handkerchief, but suddenly the elevator shudders and gets dark.

The emergency call button isn’t working, so Hyun-joo calls Do-gyum for help. Ji-woo has some kind of attack in the corner, seemingly unable to breathe. Hyun-joo notices and asks if she should call for an ambulance, but he passes out on the floor.

Though she’s frightened, she remembers her first aid training and begins CPR. Chest compressions don’t work, so she awkwardly tries mouth-to-mouth—but when she puts her lips to his, she’s suddenly flooded by memories of a man leaving her in those same three lives.

Hyun-joo pulls back from him with a gasp.

 
COMMENTS

I’m generally a fan of Hwang Jung-eum, despite her tendency to go over-the-top sometimes. She has such a likable, charismatic presence on screen that it’s very hard for a drama to make her boring (I would have said impossible, but Handsome Guy and Jung-eum exists). Right now I’m fresh from her wonderful performance in Mystic Pop-Up Bar, so I’m happy to dive into a new drama that will hopefully center around her character as well. The parallels to her last role are amusing: not just the past lives angle, but the fact that she’s apparently sworn off men due to deep wounds from the past, and is close to a deadline that will be the culmination of years of struggle.

The similarities are superficial, though. I’m intrigued by Hyun-joo, a heroine who has decided to live unfettered by romantic love. She chose radical self-love after a lifetime of terrible relationships, no doubt helped along by the buried memories of heartbreak and betrayal that emerged at such a formative age. It’s completely understandable that she would give up on men (who among us hasn’t wanted to do that?) but that didn’t end up with her prioritizing herself the way she’d envisioned.

Instead, she’s devoted herself to her career, exhausted and debased herself trying to achieve her dream of becoming a professional webtoon artist, only to have all her work turned around and thrown in her face in the worst kind of betrayal. I was disturbed at first by how willing she was to do all kinds of questionable things for the writers she managed, but even that gets turned around in Episode 2 as evidence of her teeth-gritting determination to make her boss deliver on his promise. She is, in fact, unwilling to take anyone’s crap unless she has a very good reason.

It’s not explicitly pointed out, but you can clearly see that sexism is at play here, given that her boss devalues her work but is happy to have her manage an entire team of male writers for five years, touches her inappropriately and makes sexist jokes to her face in the workplace. The webtoon writers use her as their personal servant, and I saw no evidence that MyToon’s workplace culture frowns on this practice, or even has any female webtoon writers. I’m interested to see if the drama will end up tackling this in a satisfying way, given how her career relates to Hyun-joo’s decision not to marry, and the broader context of the #NoMarriage movement that has been gaining momentum in South Korea in recent years. That also aligns well with the Korean title for this show, which loosely translates to “all men are the same,” although the official English title seems to be the much more fluffy-sounding To All the Guys Who Loved Me.

This show is billed as a rom-com, however (despite the jarring thriller vibes whenever Yoon Hyun-min is onscreen), so I’m expecting that she’ll find romance at the end, even if it plays out unconventionally. We’ve already met the two male leads, with their dramatically different roles in Hyun-joo’s life. The drama’s synopsis tells us that Do-gyum is a childhood friend, and he’s so in her corner that he’s willing to leave his job in solidarity with her. That level of loyalty is unmistakeable evidence of love, although at this point it seems more familial than romantic. (Still, they don’t lack chemistry—in the scene above after she was fired, the way he went smoothly from having his arm around her to holding her hand, all while gazing intently at her face, had me swooning.)

Ji-woo, however, has only barely met Hyun-joo, but we’ve seen the many threads that connect them in these first two episodes. We’re clearly being set up to believe that he’s the one who ruined things for her at work. It’s been signposted so obviously that it almost has to be a red herring; then again, that’s a lot of circumstantial evidence, and we did see Ji-woo’s secretary call Writer Oh. (Besides, who would ever trust the CEO of a pharmaceutical corporation, am I right?)

Regardless, even if this is all an elaborate misdirect and the only morally questionable thing about Ji-woo is that he stalks Hyun-joo, it’s enough for me to put him on the Bad List. And then there’s the past lives angle, which seems to indicate that no matter how many times these two fall in love, he will always leave her. But it’s Yoon Hyun-min, so my drama senses are telling me that he’s obviously going to be endgame here.

I don’t care, though. It’s early, but Do-gyum is the one I’m rooting for, whether as a love interest or a lifelong best friend. He stands up for Hyun-joo but follows her lead, he supports her decisions even when they’re unpopular, her parents love him already, he’s a major cutie…there is no downside here. And my hope springs eternal—this PD directed Chief Kim, after all! Maybe the real happy ending here will be Hyun-joo and Do-gyum starting their own webtoon company together, while Ji-woo reads their comics in his dark office. Creepily.

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When did the supportive best friend ever win the day? It would be really sad to see Seo Ji-hoon elbowed out of the way by the villain of past lives, even that villain decides to make up for all the past bad moments.

Aren't there some parallels to Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter here too? Will Seo Ji-hoon also turn out to have played a part in her past lives? I bet he will.

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You beat me to the parallels between this and Mama Fairy. Did you notice when she was the little girl in the classroom and she showed her picture - there was a deer in the corner.
In Mama, lots of fans were not happy that she didn't end up with Yoon hyun min. Personally, I'm always in the Seo Ji hoon camp. But I wonder if they're going to turn things around so that Yoon hyun min "gets the girl" so to speak.
Or maybe you're right, SJh will have connections with her past too. There are already mysterious connections (cue the music)
to keep us interested.
And I had to lol at the tent scene with the two guys being misunderstood - or were they? I'd love to see it go that way, but I know it won't.
I'm all about the two men. Never cared for this actress (thought I don't intensely dislike her like I intensely dislike some other female actors) but maybe she'll grow on me. But right now I don't really care who she ends up with, if anybody.
Or maybe the drama will actually be deeper than shallow...

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YES Geummie fan here too! when i saw that YHM and SJH were reuniting for another drama that addressed the whole past lives thing yet again... this might just be the 'second chance' some Mama Fairy fans have been waiting for? just that it's not Ok-nam being the apple of their eyes. the cool thing though is that the 2 male leads already have some sort of familiarity and chemistry, which is ever so important. looking forward to that!

i'm very happy that Seo Ji-hoon seems to have gotten a pretty fun character here; i had looked forward to seeing him in 'Meow' but Jae-sun seemed so... lifeless half the time :(((( so seeing the different sides and expressions of Do-gyeom has brought me much joy in these 2 episodes!

here are the Men Are Men locations we've found to date on KDL: http://koreandramaland.com/jobs/?search_keywords="that+guy+is+the+guy"&submit=

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not sure why the link doesn't display properly! just copy and paste into your browser :)

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This is absolutely like a sequel to Mama Fairy, including the past lives and guess-who-is-the-true-love arc. I powered through the Mama Fairy for Seo Ji Hoon and the awesome bromance with Hyun Min, guess I will be doing the same here.
Kept my expectations low, i don't like HJE in comedic roles, but she was awesome in dramas like Secret.

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The Mama Fairy similarity had me watch it (sort of again) but from episode 6 on. Interesting...
Maybe it was just a short homage to Mama.

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All we need now is a cameo from Moon Chae won.
That should seal the deal.

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She can cameo as an old friend who came to advise Hyun Joo not to get married, because her own husband is not who she thinks he is

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I am so glad you are recapping!!! I really liked the first two episodes of this. They were not what I expected, in a good way though. I hope it continues to be good.

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I don't think it's being recapped, just the premier :(

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Oh😧😥

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Sorry @kafiyah-bello, I don’t have time currently to recap the whole thing. But I did want to at least do the first episode. If it ends up being good, I might do a series review though.

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Oh okay, thanks for all your hard work.😅

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❤︎

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Thank you for the recap @laica!

I enjoyed the first episode.
Especially the scene when young Hyun-joo and her parents were in the hospital.
That child actor... She is sooo good!
The way she talks was hilarious!
And I liked her memories/flashbacks while sleeping.
Hwang Jung-eum in the Chosun era Hanbok and other retro costumes were awesome!

To be honest, I wasn't into Hwang Jung-eum's over-the-top acting before...but now I'm totally okay with it now. I loved her Wol-joo in Mystic pop-up bar. She fit the character so well.
Anyway I'm happy to see her in a reincarnation themed drama again, this soon!

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The child was fantastic, and the parents as well. The moment she asked for soju and her dad was willingly going for a bottle, was really funny!

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I also started liking HJE so much after MPUB. She does have a knack for picking crack dramas so I'll watch a few more eps of this and see if it's good. I'm not too keen about the reincarnation thing though. Feels like we've had so much of the fate thing recently. The child actress was awesome though!

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I really wasn't planning on watching this one because it has love triangle written all over it. But I'm glad I gave it a go. The past lives connection has me intrigued. I've always liked HJE and never had the issues that others have with her. Like most actors, she's picked some duds but I've never dropped a drama over her. Always it's the writing.

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same here, just like @laica said, HJE has a certain charisma that I cannot find in other Korean actresses, she may not be as pretty as other actresses, but she is literally oozing with charisma when on-screen that she becomes more and more beautiful as you watch her,plus her comic timing for me is one of the best-although others might disagree-and let's not talk about her dramatic acting prowess, one of the best in my book.

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I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the synopsis and the teaser, but going into the first two episodes I quite enjoyed it. The triangle really could have been scrapped and instead have Seo Ji Hoon be a good guy friend to Hwang Jung Eum, but that will never happen in dramaland, because I adore their relationship.

Even if Hwang Jung eum isn’t the most popular among some people due to her screaming I actually really like her as an actress and always drawn to her dramas. I can already feel the chemistry between her and Yoon Hyun Min and hopefully there is more to come.

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So I love the first 2 episodes and more than that I love how well the story is about someone who does not want to get married. As if Kdramas were any less relatable to our real lives and this one just took one step closer.
And I absolutely adore HJE here, she is loud but she is my kind of loud not at all annoying just fun n entertaining.

Laslty... I want the drama to remain same about Self Love till the end and she MUST not marry any men, yes YHM will be sad but ill be angrier if showing all her past traumas abt marriage she jumps on to marriage ship just for the male lead.

rest in next episode recap.

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I forgot to mention that CPR on YHM by HJE.. lol it felt so similar to Fish CPR in secret life of my secretary.
PDnim please dont think of us as fools who would fall for such stupidity.

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All I can say is - I love Seo Ji hoon so much.
If this is a story about her not having to get married, so be it, that's perfectly fine.
But I hope there's more depth to it.
Personally, I'm not married and it's tough being with only one income. I'm beginning to believe most marriages would be just as well off "arranged" rather than depending on attraction (love, ha) that doesn't last. Please feel free to disagree!

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Addendum: apparently I missed some scenes in the first ep and went back to watch. It looks like the typical past lives where they never got together in the past, but won't have anyone else, so this time they'll end up together, finit. And they'll live happily ever after for infinity and beyond. Or maybe they won't need any more reincarnations. Seo Ji hoon will end up with the 2nd female, the daughter of that seemingly sinister lady (played by the famous actress that I can't remember her name or what she's been in).
That is, if it's typical.

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At least modern arranged marriages will (usually) let the couple meet and affection to grown before the marriage. Does anyone anywhere meet their bride the first time on their wedding day anymore?

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There are still countries which have this kind of marriages on daily basis. I don't know how the woman needs to feel on their first night together, because often men take a woman as a possession and if the woman isn't ok with sexual intercourse they'll do it anyway.

My grandma used to tell that love can grow on you. She was in kind of arranged marriage, but I genuinely think that my grandma and grandpa liked each other before little bit. They've had 4 children and although my grandad had problems with alcohol almost his whole life my grandma understood why and she was one of the kindness unselfish person in the world. I miss them so much!!!

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There was once an American reality show with that premise.

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I think and have seen arrange marriages work just as much as love marriages....I don't think failure or success of relationship depends on whether you fall in love first or grow to love each other after legally signing on to be partner to one another, I think it boils down to how much you're willing to respect the other person and compromise without regret... ..That is the reason why divorce rate is 45 to 50% in West even though around 88% get married after falling in love.

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I'm glad to see you mention respect. When I tell my teens about relationships, I always say that you don't hear people talk about respect nearly enough. I think whether marriages are arranged or not, the divorce rate has more to do with the stigma the culture places on divorce. In the US the stigma lessened and no fault divorces hit the books in the early to mid 80ies.

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You are so right about having only one income.
When you live alone, there are certain fixed costs that are the same whether you live alone or 5 people in the same house.
I've always thought that the best way to live is to live with a couple, but only if it makes you happier than you are on your own.
Speaking for myself,I'm happy with my life, I don't really need someone around as a couple, but I would change that the minute I found someone that makes me even happier.
The problem is people just going into relationships because "that's the way it should be", because you have to get married and have children to be happy.

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The main reason this drama piqued my interest was because Hyun-Joo's resolution to not get married hit close to home. What she said at the wedding about not finding reasons good enough to justify getting married is verbatim what I've been saying to my family, who's becoming less subtle about "settling down" now. It's frustrating being told that you have to get married because "you have to" or that staying single isn't considered a valid life choice.
I realise ultimately Hyun-Joo's going to change her mind, and her decision is based on past trauma rather than satisfaction with her life as it is, but I wonder if they're going to tackle the angle that being unmarried and still satisfied with your life is, in fact, perfectly possible.

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I also would love the being single as a choice would be explored. I mean: not just “you’re single because no one wants you” but “you’re single because you don’t need to be with someone else”.
I also get HJ made the resolution after learning her marriages in previous lives had gone wrong, so I guess the drama is going to try and change that.

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+ @Linda Palapala

I was good when I was single and sometimes I miss my bachelor's life. Even if you meet your prince charming he doesn't stay that way the whole time and everything is about compromises.

Me and my partner are not married but because of our children we have our separate bank accounts plus one common one from which we pay our living expenses. I still admire single moms how they're able to manage because family life is expensive, especially when I am a stranger to this country and we need to go to my hometown at least once per year to keep me sane.

My sister will never get into relationship because she doesn't have time for that and she despise men little bit. She was burnt in her early twenties by a guy she liked a lot and she found out he was having two girlfriends at the same time. She'd never again regained trust in men afterwards.

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I'm a single mom too. At first I was naive and thought it would be no problem finding a job, but I was already older and when trying to find a job found out when they knew I was a single mom I wouldn't get hired. Finally got a job - one Sat morning I made less working than it cost for childcare.
@kerouregan Your statement about separate bank accounts, etc., reminded me of the contract marriage (even though they loved each other) renewed every year in Because This is My First Life. I thought that was a great idea for them!
All these comments from everyone are great.

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Chapeau !!! It must be hard!

My parents have separate accounts their whole lives and my mom is the one who is doing all the savings. When we wanted something to buy as children we knew we'll be under severe investigation with our mom so we went to ask dad and he gave us that money. He just asked us "Do you need that?" He had it hard and they're still very supportive.

I'll go through surgery in few months and I'll need to write an agreement with my partner about our kids if something goes wrong. I still didn't do double nationality for them but I have to do it that I can have my 🃏 ready.

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Besides, who would ever trust the CEO of a pharmaceutical corporation, am I right?

Uh, when the vaccines come out, us.

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We'll have to first wait to see if in the U.S. Big Pharma charges 1,000 times the cost of production for the vaccine.

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You are right.

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You seem to have misunderstood my joke, so let me clarify: the doctors (bless them) will be providing us with the vaccines. Pharmaceutical company executives will be profiting from them.

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As for the HJE screamy/screachy thing, she has established a loud/physical/active acting style, or at least a reputation it, PDs & writers seem to have caught on, and she's now the go-to girl when that's what they want. So expect to see more of it, and expect it to work. Mostly.

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I'm already a little tired of it...

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I always wonder if SHE established it or if this is what PDs ask her to do because they think it's what people like about her.

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The right answer would be domestic audience lap it up. Hwang Jung Eum gets criticism but never for her acting or physical comedy, rather her personal choices regarding cosmetic surgeries. Its the same thing like Aeygo, Koreans dig it but it makes me annoyed.

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I suspect that's true and something I don't get is why a lot of male actors usually deliver the same physical comedy performance but never get any criticism.

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Never? I think male actors can get the same criticism.

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I haven't seen every drama she's ever been in, but I think I noticed (and loved it) in Kill Me, Heal Me. That was a pretty big hit and I do think she does it because she does a certain #of comedies and it is asked of her. She did tone it down in Mystic Pop Up. But when you look back at some of her acting gigs from earlier in her career, I don't recall that style. Haven't seen them all though.

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I was only able to get part way into the premiere (Viki subtitling). The opening bits I did see seemed an odd throw-back to oldschool dramas. We're living in a post 'Melo Is My Nature' world and our rom com expectations have been raised. Admittedly, I only saw the first few minutes of the premiere which are usually a bad indication, and also I'm always hunting down oldschool dramas to watch so why am I using that as a criticism?

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Parts of it are too over-the-top silly for me, but then there are interesting bits that keep me going.

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I liked the premiere.
I came here because of Yoon Hyun Min. I've only seen Hwang Jung Eum in MPUB, but I've never been attracted to any of her dramas, and I'm new to Seo Ji Hoon.
It's clear to me that JiWoo is the man in HyunJoo past lives and he seems to remember her, and that's the reason he's behind this plan to get her fired from her job.
I've also noticed the sexism, although very few dramas are out of it (if any...). I like the fact that our FL is a woman that decides she doesn't need someone else to be happy and she wants to live her life making herself happy and taking care of herself. Once you get there, once you're happy with your life, then you can make others happy as well.

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My family isn't pushing for marriage but they act as if 30 is death sentence to prospects of finding suitable partner. I am nearing 30. Getting married for the sake of it is not on my goals. And it irks me. Guys in their 40s marry people aged 23-25 all the time so why can't a woman marry late. So, I find Hyun Joo relatable. I found her quite charming. I love her friendship with Do Gyeom and you're right, he is swoony at times but she barely notices. Ji Woo, I did not like how he messed with her career. Why, not sure. He seems jealous of Do Gyeo yet doesn't seem like he will sctively pursue Hyun Joo. So, why? Is he repenting...I get terminal illness vibe from him. So, lets see. So, far this show seems fun, light with right amount of mystery.

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"...so why can't a woman marry late." She can but it is usually a matter of children and the clock ticking. That's the cruel biological facts of the matter.

I was a few months shy of 31 when I married, and if I hadn't of met the right guy I would definitely not have desperately tried to settle down with just anyone. Too much divorce in my family. I'd rather be on my own.

I agree that the gal has friend-zoned the 2nd male lead.

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I don't see why I have to give birth to child to be a mother, that's just me though...I have given it some thought, if I can't at some point concieve biologically, hopefully I will be able to adopt. I hope I find a partner who is okay with it though. I don't want to do it alone but again, not a deal breaker.

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I think adoption is a great option. I in no way meant that adoptive moms are not moms, but I do think that the majority of people who adopt do so because they cannot or have aged out of conceiving/carrying to term. So, yeah, a woman can marry late but there is no getting over the biological clock and men just don't have the same concern, hence the 40 year old marrying the 25 year old.

I have friends who have adopted; one local adoption in the U.S., one out of Russia and one out of China. I have heard all their adoption stories...all amazing but very different experiences.

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I hadn't thought of it that way, but you're right - Ji Woo manipulated circumstances and her. Not nice. And it is "just the right amount of mystery".

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The premiere episodes weren't the best, but they were really funny. Hwang Jung-eum has good chemistry with both guys already as was expected. Rolled my eyes at her running errands for the artists, and the verbal promise from her boss not kept, although the shoe throwing, ginseng shower and pants pulling made up for it. Its a light watch, so going to stick with it till the end.
Maybe both guys won't have marriage on their minds just like her, or she may get the chance for a happy marriage with Ji-woo after so many lifetimes. Will they write a romance between Do-gyum and the secretary? Her mother is also quite creepy!
They are also showing different scenarios with Hyun-joo's friend circle, I wonder if they will elaborate on those. Her friendship with Do-gyum is really sweet right now! Her parents are funny!
I agree with all your comments Laica! Your last sentence cracked me up! There was an epilogue which showed that it was Ji-woo at the announcement. It took him quite a long time to execute his plan if that is his doing. Can we get series reviews if the drama is good?

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Oh I missed the epilogue! Thanks for pointing that out. And I’m glad that last sentence made you smile, that was the goal. ;)

Not sure if I’ll do a series review, but I’ll keep watching so if it is good, maybe!

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Alright thanks a lot!

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The first two episodes were better than expected. I agree that HJE's character is similar to her MPUB role because of the eerie dreams of past lives seeping into her present life. I hope the series continues to stay on the comedy side of the independent woman who does not put marriage/children/traditional roles over her career and personal happiness k-story.

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This reminds me of Born again
Oh no Not again 😳

First episode was ok but still cat on the fence 🤔

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Where can I watch this? I don't see it in the usual places...???

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Ah, never mind, I realized its on Viki as All The Men I've Loved!

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I enjoyed this one a lot, surprisingly. I've never had an issue with Hwang Jung Eum (KILL ME, HEAL ME is one of my favorite K-dramas), but my interest in her has been piqued even more so lately by all the rave reviews on here for MYSTIC POP-UP BAR. (I have started this one already, actually.) I liked Yoon Hyun Min a good deal in MY HOLO LOVE. So with these two names, I was definitely excited to check this drama out.

And I'm not disappointed. Throw in the unexpected fantasy element (was this mentioned anywhere at all in the drama's description, by the way!?), and I am in. For now. I do have a tendency to take months to years to finish TV shows. But it has my interest, and that's not easy!

I do like Do-gyum, but I'm also super interested in Ji-woo. He's obviously been looking for her, and I'm assuming this is because he remembers her too...? (Though she's probably not going to think her flashback is related to him, I'm sure. K-dramas can't go the easy route!) I'm thinking Ji-woo is endgame, so this love triangle is gonna get angsty later on, right? *sighs* Consider me tentatively optimistic that I will live-watch it for the duration of this airing.

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LOL @ "I do have a tendency to take months to years to finish TV shows" 《~ thiiis xD even in a "binge culture" I still often am the total opposite as 1. I like to make things last as ~long as possible & 2. I have soooo many interests, that I get easily & frequently distracted.. but recently my K-addiction got "rebooted" for the first time since 2017 haha so I finished most of the ones I'd been holding onto & started a bunch of new ones & now.. it's gonna be a crazy year for sure if I keep it up ♡

Also I really only started this so soon cuz from all the pieces I kept encountering, I got the impression that there may be trio-shippy vibes (as opposed to typical cliche "either/or only" ones) & that's my ongoing goal to find re: truly enjoyable stories, so my curiosity didn't stand a chance! I'm 2hrs in & got my #fingerscrossed ♡

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Pilot ep is okay I guess. I enjoyed Hwang Jung Eum’s Mystic Pop-Up Bar so my expectations were quite high. Still fun though, with a few lol moments and the second lead Seo Ji Hoon is already stealing my heart, he’s so charming!

P.S. Why does HJE have a kissing scene on the first ep already? I waited 12 eps in MPUB for that to happen but they refused to give it to us! My Woljoo and Chief Gwi heart is dying here.

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Is the character of Ji-woo being played by a Gong Yoo impersonator? Its distracting how much Yoon Hyun-min resembles Gong's Goblin character, down to the skinny suits and the middle hair part.

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I was better than I expected, but her screams still annoys me. I am curious about the past, so I will give it a try. I really wish they would do a drama where she sticks with "i love myself and dont need a romantic relationship". Just once. I dont know, I am just curious to see where the options that the writer could have out there. But I know she will end up with someone, so...

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There are definitely sooo many other options one could take in telling stories about a person's relationships, but the majority seems to be hooked on the "choose one (& only one) to be head-over in ~traditional romance with" kind of goal-ending lol.. if ever they finally get into more rarely represented routes like sincere queer/poly ships, genuinely ace/aro chars (not just ones that need to be "fixed" / "cured", sigh), independent ppl with ~platonic lifemates, etc & so on- then that'll be *real* progress! ♡

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