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Backstreet Rookie: Episodes 15-16 Open Thread (Final)

Our confession is out in the open, but there’s one final hurdle for our couple until everything can be set to rights. The final episodes of Backstreet Rookie give us a feel-good message about people holding their own, being themselves, and finding their own version of a happy ending.

 
EPISODES 15-16 WEECAP

Our drama could have ended last week with Dae-hyun’s rooftop confession to Saet-byul, but we haven’t reached the end of our tale just yet. Rather than a quick acceptance sealed with a kiss, Saet-byul asks for a little time before she answers him, saying that she wants to wait to pass her GED first.

The presumption is that Saet-byul isn’t good enough for him, and it’s that logic that gives our drama its plot for the final week. Dae-hyun tells her on the roof, “You’re already enough. You’re awesome,” but the assurance of his feelings towards her isn’t enough for our pair to get their happy ending.

Yeon-joo has wormed her way into the heart of Dae-hyun’s mother, who’s disgusted by her husband’s behavior regarding his first love, the obsession with China (where she lives), et al. I didn’t find this plot line particularly compelling, but it worked well to bring Dae-hyun’s mom to a point where she was blinded by Yeon-joo. As expected, she presses her son to get back with her, and her insistence on Yeon-joo being a great match for him is enough to basically crush Saet-byul.

She was riding high after Dae-hyun’s confession (I mean, it’s the perfect confession after all — to be told you are awesome, enough as you are, and loved), and both of them are giddy and adorable. Their short-lived “some” relationship doesn’t last long, though (or long enough!). Saet-byul takes off for the hills, convinced she’s not good enough for Dae-hyun, after his mother’s words confirm her worst feelings towards herself. She leaves in noble idiocy, sneaking out in the middle of the night as one does in these situations.

Frankly, I was a tad disappointed that we had to go the route of noble idiocy. This drama has done a nice job of changing the pace of our usual plot arcs, so I wish they had kept it up and not dragged us along on this final journey. On the other hand, what does this brief time apart do for our characters? It cements their feelings for each other, it acts as time for Dae-hyun to do his side of the waiting, and it gives Saet-byul time to process what’s happened to her. It’s a bit understated, but I do like that the drama gives time to Saet-byul’s qualms after receiving the confession she’s been dreaming of for years. “Why am I scared?” she asks herself.

Our crazy-in-love couple of Dal-shik and Geum-bi earn their keep this week. They go to meet Dal-shik’s father and discover Saet-byul working in the gardens. Dal-shik boasts that as a writer he knows it would be better for Dae-hyun to approach her instead of them, so they alert him. It’s here that we learn an important fact: Dae-hyun also remembers Saet-byul way back when at the dojo, and he tells her that was a turning point in his life, and when he realized how much he wanted to help people. That, I think, acts as the final assurance for Saet-byul. Suddenly, any unevenness or disparity between them is disregarded: they are equals.

Our drama’s conclusion balances humor, heart, and some funny self-reference that I wasn’t expecting (but probably should have). Dae-hyun and his family have a good wrap-up, when his mother realizes that Yeon-joo isn’t remotely good enough (or good-hearted enough, IMHO) for Dae-hyun. She tells off Yeon-joo’s mother once and for all, and it’s quite satisfying. But we also have a moment of thoughtfulness within Dae-hyun’s family, when he tells them that he wants the very same simple life that they have, and that their bickering and financial struggles aren’t enough to counter the truth: that they love and depend on each other.

Then, our drama comes full circle. Saet-byul earns her GED, again learns how much Dae-hyun’s family values her, and she marches back to the convenience store where it all started. Dae-hyun is back to his true self as the store owner, and is as haggard as when we first met him. There’s a “Part-timer wanted” sign in the window, — except Dae-hyun’s added in fine print that the worker must be “Jung Saet-byul.” We get a cute reenactment of our opening scenes when she first applied for the job… and what do you know, Dal-shik and Geum-bi are spying on them, infinitely inspired.

Dal-shik’s next webtoon will be called “Backstreet Rookie” (or more literally, “Convenience Store Saet-byul”), and it will tell the story of their romance — A.K.A., the drama we just watched. I love some drama self-reference, so this was a fun meta poke at our story/storyteller, and also a decent ending for the character that’s been the biggest issue throughout.

Speaking of self-reference, our drama (and leading couple) suddenly becomes very aware of us as an audience. Just when we reach our final scene, when the happy hugs end and the romance and chemistry kick in, Dae-hyun is leaning in to kiss Saet-byul when they both look shyly at the camera, and reach out to cover it up. It’s the perfect cheeky moment on which to close, and though the drama its flaws, the sweet giddiness of its ending is pretty infectious.

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I absolutely loved so freaking much about this show. Goddamn it swept me off my feet.

In these final episodes, full of so many great moments, I was just so moved when Bong Hee walked into the office and saw her long lost childhood friend. Even though she was wrapping her mind around having been lied to by her husband, I felt her happiness and sadness at seeing her friend was the dominant emotion and it just moved my heart so much.

Also, Dae-hyun telling his mom what we all knew, that he liked the way his mom raised him, was another perfect moment. From the beginning I was so taken by his unabashed love, pride, and respect for his family, friends, and neighborhood and I am so so so pleased with the ending.

A+++ I loved this show

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I’ve got to say I was totally wary about this drama going in and those first 2 episodes left quite a distasteful taste, but I’m glad I stuck around. This drama wasn’t totally innovative but it had heart and cute at the appropriate moments. I really enjoyed watching daehyun and saetbyul’s story and I think their romantic ending was appropriate (I think the director/writer took on board the review from viewers).

There were some unnecessary characters and storyline the writer tried to explore towards the end but that all got scrapped as the drama tried to wrap up, which I’m not complaining about. I stayed for the convenience store storyline and that’s what I got and I’m satisfied.

All in all if this had a better premiere I’m sure people wouldn’t have been put off but I think it successfully told the story it came to tell.

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The *one* time they listen to viewers lol
I think it was clever how they ended it by breaking the 4th wall but I wished we had gotten at least one legitimate kiss.

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I loved them breaking the fourth wall it’s made the ending that much more heartfelt. I know after all those random kisses at the start they couldn’t give a legitimate kiss to seal the deal smh

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I haven't watched the last 2 episode T.T
and I am going to finish it after today's work.

Of all, I think KYJ gives one of her best performance here. Her character doesn't instantly react when the problem hits her but when she finally did, I understood her emotion.

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I thought Kim Sun-young completely stole the show as Dae-hyun's mother. She excels at playing the loud, boisterous, utterly ungenteel but warm-hearted and motherly ajumma character she also played in When the Camelia Blooms and Crash Landing on You. But you're not reminded of those other characters when you're watching her; it feels entirely original.

She also did a great job of making us believe in her as Dae-hyun's mom even though in real life they're not far enough apart in age to be mother and son.

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I wished her character was less physically abusive, but besides that I totally agree. The actress did wonders too. Played by anyone else I think we would have lost a lot of the nuance needed. It's no wonder they hired her even if the age gap didn't make sense on paper.

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It is REMARKABLE how distinct her ajumma characters are. Just like the mom in Go-back couple/hi bye mama/her private life/my strange hero. So impressive.

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I have such mixed feelings about the ending. I hated how ep 15 ended but then I ended up enjoying how they wrapped it up in episode 16. I do think SB needed some time to define herself outside of of DH but I'm glad she realized they really are each other's missing piece fairly quickly. This is seriously one of the healthiest OTPs of the year, and they had more chemistry with their hugs and almost kisses than many dead fish kisses we've seen (I still wanted a kiss though -_-). It makes me even sadder that people let their prejudices against age get in the way.
If they dropped it for Dal-shik, that is understandable. He really didn't get any better throughout though by the end I was sorta kinda ish rooting for that love line (but not really). I can't believe they still kept going with the whole dreadlocks style. Sigh.

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what about the dreadlock?

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Sometimes it felt like 𝐃𝐚𝐥 𝐒𝐡𝐢𝐤 was mocking the people with dreadlocks

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nope he wasn't .

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If you say so

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i also am so glad i stuck around for the whole drama. the first 2 episodes were hard to get thru but it is so worth it. i love the actors. i love ji chang wook even more (how is that possible) and kim yoo jung! his parents man it was all gold! did i mention Ji Chang Wook? cute story! (JCW)

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The ending of this show left me with a giant smile on my face- and tears in my eyes. It was perfect. But before that, like Missvictrix I was actually disappointed by the idiotic noble separation trope. It just did not fit this story. This rom-com has done so very well at standing tropes on their head and not following the standard normal rom-com path. I felt let down. I wanted Saet-byul to fight for her man! Particularly now that she actually has him. I could not help but wonder if this was not added to the story told by the web-toon by the drama writers because it seemed out of character for Saet-byul.

Not only that but why couldn’t other people just butt out and let Dae-hyun decide what is best for himself? Everyone acknowledges what a great man he is- so why not respect his judgment?

I even like how Yeon-joo resolved things- by taking a job at a Silicon Valley start up she is finally truly taking on a challenge without the ties of her connections. As a result she will not be trapped into a marriage to Director Jo- thank goodness.

And Dal-shik has abandoned the dreadlocks in favor of a his and hers haircut which he shares with Geum-bi. It now appears as if “fake Jamaican” was actually something he did to help him with his webtoon (though he no doubt will continued to be a Bob Marley fan). And, as silly as this pair is (none sillier) fortunately his daddy is even richer than her daddy- so they will face no real obstacles in their future. It was nice to see them actually working together on his new web-toon- which this time will be the romance he really wanted to write. They will always be silly- but in their case it is OK and it works.

And I love the fact that Dae-hyun’s mom never intended Saet-byul to leave- and even apologized for hurting her un-intentionally. She simply had never realized that Saet-byul loved her son. Now that she also realizes what was wrong about Yeon-joo’s approach to relationships (which she carefully spells out to Yeon-joo’s mother) she is no doubt very happy that Saet-bul will, in time, actually be an official part of her family. That scene where she sets Yeon-joo’s mom straight was one of the highlights of the final episode and it confirms what I thought before: In the end it is Yeon-joo who is not acceptable to Dae-hyun’s family, while Saet-byul is very nearly the ideal daughter-in-law.

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I didn't really see it as noble idiocy. I kinda saw it more like she wasn't fully ready to accept the relationship and it was kind of just the right time/excuse. If the m hadn't said those things, I still think saetbyul wouldn't have been fully ready to accept daehyun's feelings. I liked this a lot because even though she clearly and openly likes him, there is a difference between liking and being in a relationship. The show didn't assume that just because she liked him she had to rush faster than she was ready to.

Damn I love this show

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I really loved this show too. But while I think that the writers actually forgot what this character is like. Your explanation would make sense in a more normal rom-com with a regular female lead. But at the end of episode ten we got to see the real Saet-byul- a young woman who has come to know Dae-hyun as he actually is and he is indeed different from her fantasy- but who, even with his faults considered, is even better than her fantasy. And what we saw is a woman- not just a girl- but really mature young woman who announces (granted to an unconscious Dae-hyun) that she is going to be with him for the rest of his life. And remember that, after all the she has gone through, including taking care of her sister for three years, Saet-byul is actually more mature than Yeon-joo is, despite being ten years younger. Which is why I found the disappearing act so frustrating- it was not in character with Saet-byul's character. The writers wrote a script that simply fit the more familiar rom-com plot and characters rather than THIS rom-com plot and characters (Dae-hyun is as different from the standard rom-com ML as Saet-byul is from the standard rom-com FL). I really have to wonder if this part of the story was true to the original webtoon because it really did not seem to fit.

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I found Yeon-joo's escaping back to the States kind of a cop-out. "I didn't get my man after all, so BYEEEE." I really wanted her to squirm watching Dae-hyun grow his store into a massive revenue generator and receive even more recognition from the GS25 HQ. And good luck getting VC funding with that start-up -- all the Small Fish out here in Silicon Valley are getting gobbled up by the Big Fish. Next time I'm in Palo Alto, I'm going to look her up and give her that beating she so rightly deserves for breaking uri Dae-hyun's heart! 😡

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I really got the sense that Yeon-joo is escaping from her family more than acting out because she did not get the guy.

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Oh my god... your comment is hilarious 🤣... i would love to see Yeon Joo gets what she deserves... she never apologised... especially to saet byul.. (apology to dae hyun doesn’t count cause she’s trying to win him back). you should help write the second season .. it will be awesome she learned the hard way and i really need more dose of Dae-Byul 🥰

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I actually agree that a second season could be a good thing. I wonder if the webtoon carries things further? I understand that it was published over one and a half years, so there could be more to this story. Like could there be further adventures of Eun-byul and her girl group, and what happens next to "puppy"- and above all for our family now that Saet-byul will really be part of it.

Because this really was a story about family it could go much farther than where it stopped.

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Kim Yoo-jung was fabulous in this show- we really felt everything that her character was going through. When i watched her in CLEAN WITH PASSION FOR NOW I really thought that she would continue to do great things as an actress and she has proven me right. She is one of my very favorite actresses for a reason.

Can I take a moment to give some real praise to the male lead in this show? Ji Chang-wook also did a great job of portraying a solid young man of principle and integrity. One of the highlights of the final episode is when he explains to his parents that he wants to live the life that they live- that they are not failures but in fact a real success in how they have lived their lives. He portrayed that with such real sincerity that you could feel that he really meant what he said. And, when he explained how his saving her at the dojo ten years ago was a turning point in his life you could feel then too that he really meant it- and, as Missvictrix has noted, you can see why this was what finally removed the last of Saet-byul's doubts. Ji Chang-wook's ability to make us feel this things really is a tribute to his ability: In the hands of a more ordinary actor Dae-hyun would have been little more that a a cardboard cut-out. Dae-hyun is actually a very difficult character to portray correctly- in part because his kind of character is actually very seldom seen in a drama.

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JCW is such a talented guy. His eyes can carry so much emotion. I don't know how anyone could think he is bad. He's played uninteresting characters in badly written dramas but it doesn't say a thing about him as a human being or an actor. Really, his management is just not that good. I immediately fell in love with him as an actor when I saw him in Empress Ki. When Togon goes crazy, that scene just stuck and I haven't seen that drama since it came out. I hope him and his management team will carefully think over his next drama. I don't want to see his talent or youth being wasted on badly written screenplays.

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Your comments are spot on- and in fact this is why I felt a need to make a separate post to talk about Ji Chang-wook. I agree about your comments on his part in Empress Ki as well. The good news is that after his performance in BACKSTREET ROOKIE he will probably be offered better parts. So I look forward to his future efforts just as I do the future roles for Kim Yoo-jung and my other favorites. JCW certainly deserves better roles in well written scripts.

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I didn't like the noble idiocy plot. The couple was perfect until then. We had to wait a long time to see it, even after his confession, SB asked for time because she wanted to her exam result. I loved DH's answer that she didn't need to be a better person to date him, she was already good enough for him. After that, I hoped we finally got them being a cute couple. But they chose to separate them and it didn't bring anything to them as a character. And I feel cheated! I wanted a kiss! There was no use to listen public opinion at this moment of the drama.... But they were still cute at the end :)

After hearing several times the mum saying she didn't want DH to end up like his parents, I was so happy that DH said he wants to be like them, that he likes his job and his simple life. This scene was really beautiful from the 3 actors.

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In a general way, both JCW and KJY did great. JCW didn't have an easy role because his character was really average but he has a good timing for humor and he was great at showing empathy for the other characters.

KJY was perfect for this role. She has a unique energy and can be very charismatic. The fighting scenes were super funny and she did great. I liked her emotional scenes too. She could give her sensibility to her badass character.

The mum was super good too. She brought a lot to this drama. I love this actress! She's very good at playing "rough outside but warm inside" character.

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I liked he character of DH's mom as well- and in part because she was NOT perfect- note how she reacted when her husband's 'first love' came up- she totally loses it! Talk about a feeling of insecurity. But in some ways that makes her love for her family- including Saet-byul who she has now included as part of her family- al the more special.

KJY really did have a tough role- playing someone who appears to be average. Except that he is not really average at all but in fact an exceptional young man. It is that second fact that makes this a tough role.

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Yes, we deserved that kiss. But it has happened before- in fact I remember reading a guest Beanie submission titled NAE-IL'S CANTABILE OWES ME A KISS. Which it certainly did.

The 'noble idiocy' nonsense was nonsense indeed- and did not fit Saet-byul's character either. She is a fighter and she played by the rules and won: No way would she walk away now. I know that Missvictrix explains what the writers did as stemming from Saet-byul's sense of inadequacy. But that is not consistent with Saet-byul's character- she knows that others may look down upon her but in fact she is really as good- or better- than anyone. Which is exactly true- as Dae-hyuns tries to tell her: He says she is awesome and he is exactly right about that as he is about so many things.

And I too thought that what DH told his parents was both heartwarming and also true. It was one of the highpoints of the last episode and proves that what Kim Yoo-jung said about the show was true: It was really about family. I remember how surprised people were when that also turned out to be true of MY ID IS GANGNAM BEAUTY- which turned out to be a far better show than people thought it would be.

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I really, really, really hated the ending of ep. 15. I can't stand noble idiocy after all these years watching dramas. It benefits absolutely no character ever! I barely got over Find me in your Memory's NI and now they did it with BR too. I wish the writer chose something smarter. Oh, they have to be separated? Noble idiocy. It is the easy way out.

I got butthurt thanks to SB leaving without a word and turning her phone off and DH being so understanding about it, then they totally trolled the audience with the fake out lol I am actually okay with no kiss in a drama, I just don't think they got their revenge on the people they wanted to. Showing the crew was adorable and fun though!

All together, I don't feel regret watching it. It had a lot of great moments. KYJ became an actress whose next performance I can't wait to see. What a talent. JCW was great too, DH is in my top 3 JCW characters for sure. I wish I could see this pairing in a few years.

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I enjoyed watching this drama. Even my husband enjoyed the bits that he watched with me when he has time. I find the story interesting cos I wasn’t expecting much. But quite surprised at the parodies, parallels and meta. It’s really quite clever. Unfortunately it was so unfairly bashed and many probably didn’t want to watch cos of how bad it was painted.

I love the CGI especially those fighting scenes. KYJ has potential to do an action drama or movie. The girl is so agile! And I love JCW for thia role. I thought he won’t do so well in comedy but this drama changed my opinion. I also applaud him for willing to explore a role that does not make him look cool but quite the opposite.

I love all the side characters including DS and GB. I was uncomfortable with DS’s initial intro but move pass that, I was good.

The ending though could be different. I don’t need the kiss but I prefer them to end as a drama and not a production.

Anyway I was glad for no kiss cos of the name bashing for both JCW and KYJ. So better not kiss for their reputation sake. We did get one in ep 3. Haha.

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I hope that those who bashed this show are embarrassed now. It is more than obvious that they did so without watching it. The ratings for this show climbed steadily as word got out- and for good reason.

Despite the bad press a lot of people watched this show. They continue to watch this show. I watched it on iQIYI which is a legitimate streaming site that I wish I could get on Roku. They have a lot of shows- and, when I checked today BACKSTREET ROOKIE was the number 1 show in popularity!

There was a lot to this show and I really appreciated its surprising depth mixed with actual comic moments. The insertion of CGI was done very carefully- and always added to the fun.

It was not perfect but it was fun, entertaining and heartwarming. The people who do not watch this show are really missing out.

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Nope, not at all. I will continue to speak out about ignorance in terms of race. I am very shocked that so many people we alright with looking past cultural appropriation and the complete disregard for those of us who were offended by the character in black face. But hey, it's 2020 and bigotry is freely on display. Glad you enjoyed it! And yes, I actually watched episode 1 in totality. That was all I needed.

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there was black face ? where was black face in this drama ? stop getting offended over nothing ,u are probably not even black.all they did was portray a korean guy who loves the rastafarian culture . a socio-spiritual ideology popular in the carribbean islands with roots in africa .
some of you are so ignorant it's laughable .you have been brainwashed to get offended over everything. there are people in the world who love and follow rastafari culture, both blacks and some whites and there is no harm in a korean doing the same . he didn't denigrate the culture nor is the drama saying all rastafaris are adult webtoon writers .
real jamaican rastafaris will never get offended at people loving and emulating their culture but fake people who are neither black,african or carribean nor understand the philosophy behind the culture will start to get offended . you people are so tedious. you are the ignorant one and if you knew what the rastafarian culture stood for you would delete your posts.

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Amen. Speaking as someone who is partly Native American and who actually knows real Rastafarians (who are probably the nicest people I know) I really wish that the 'professionally offended' would just stop (did I mention being the proud uncle to five very bright half-Filipino nephews?).

Those who choose to take offense on my behalf- or my family's- by protesting 'cultural appropriation' are not doing me or anyone any favors. All healthy cultures practice cultural appropriation: For instance the Indians (the other kind- the ones in India) invented a superior mathematical notation which included the invention of the zero. The Arabs 'appropriated' this notation and in turn the Europeans 'appropriated' it from them - which is why we call them Arabic Numerals. Should the Other Kind Of Indians protest this and demand that we return to using Roman Numerals? If anything they should really just insist that we give them proper credit and start calling them Indian Numerals - an appropriate tribute to their accomplishment.

And should those of us who are also of European heritage demand that the people of Asia stop using the modern medicine and technology? Were not those things 'appropriated' from the West?

Those who think that they are fighting racism by such complaints are not doing that at all- they are instead perpetuating it by emphasizing differences rather than celebrating the rich cultural variety of our world and the many ways in which people can celebrate life. As someone who actually studied genetics I know that the 'modern' concept of race actually defies scientific reality and was a totally arbitrary system of classification based upon very minor variations that should have been treated as silly and stupid from the beginning.

And yes, I enjoy Fry Bread- if you ever get a chance go ahead try it- I won't take offense. And my sisters-in-law make great lumpia- you should try that too.

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This is exhausting , as a black African person who waded through 5 episodes of this show just for love of the male lead I will testify that yes that came across as blackface and yes I was offended by the character and I will not be shamed into denying otherwise. The very fact that you choose to continue referring to Rastafarianism as a culture when it's a religion rooted in pan africanism just says it all .Rastafarianism is a religion as real as Islam , Judaism , Hinduism and others

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Yes, this show was not perfect but I love it anyway. JCW and KJY did justice to this drama. I did not expect it but JCW was a revelation for his physical comedy here. I really could not fathom why people complained. Some party must have instigated it to drive viewers away but this show and the ratings proved them wrong.

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Before we close this chapter and forget about it, I just wanted to share a few thoughts with you all.

I appreciate that this ended as a heartwarming and memorable drama for some, but I want it also to be understood why the Dal-shik aspect of this drama was a real injury to our values, especially at this time. I wrote an essay about how these representations contribute to real-life harm here: Diversity in Dramaland: K-dramas and Racial Stereotypes. The Dramas Over Flowers podcast (which I co-host) also spent weeks researching and producing a special episode called Representation in Dramaland: Race and Identity. I ask anyone unfamiliar with this side of the conversation to please take some time to check these out.

I'm not asking you to stop watching or loving this drama or any other, I just want us to be able to put our reflexive reactions aside and listen to how some things affect other people differently, and how we all have the right to ask for safety from harmful stereotyping. I would love us to be able to have an open and honest conversation about this within our fandom without the people who are harmed by this being driven away, especially here on Dramabeans.

That brings me to my last point. I appreciate the effort that missvictrix has put into pointing out that Dal-shik was racially problematic, but there is still little to discuss why that was so. Moreover, what I and many other readers really needed to see was Dramabeans as an institution taking a clear, anti-racist editorial stance. The Dramabeans community is international and multiracial, and the editorial silence on this topic sends a message that DB is either unaware of how it is harmful, or it doesn't care. The lack of a clearly defined position of anti-racism has made a section of the community feel unheard, and even at times, unwelcome.

I love K-dramas. I love Dramabeans. I have given Dramabeans my best work and poured into it countless hours in the last six years that I have been a writer here, and even more before that as a reader and regular commenter. Though my time as a writer has come to an end, I want to see DB continue to succeed, and I want DB to be a welcoming and inclusive space for every member of the fandom, especially its most marginalised. However, that's not something that can or will happen without intentional effort.

I think there are three things that would help immediately:

1) Community moderators. It's difficult for a single person to manage the job of moderating discussions. A moderator is someone who can actively step in to facilitate a discussion and, when needed, de-escalate and remind members to mind their manners, while still allowing the conversation to continue. They are also...

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(contd.)

They are also the first points of contact for anyone in the community who wants to raise a concern.

With a really active and dedicated commenting community, it would be great to recruit volunteers from that very same source. Beanies who love this space the most would make fantastic moderators. You can do a recruitment call just like you do for writers, appoint 3-5 people and give them access to the comments dashboard so they can do the job efficiently and as needed. They would answer to the editor, and hopefully that lessens the burden on staff and leaves them free to concentrate on their other work.

2) When a drama appears that has problematic elements, please don't leave it to become an elephant in the room! I'd like to see issues addressed at an editorial level, if not with an article that discusses it, then at least by opening a dedicated space to facilitate that discussion. Dramabeans has done so in the past when javabeans and girlfriday tackled some difficult topics (i.e. the PSH rape scandal), but we've yet to have a good editorial-level discussion on race portrayals and racism, ableism, transphobia, more complex forms of sexism, and other types of representation problems. We've had missed opportunities in the past (see: Man Who Dies to Live) which show what happens when the editorial ball is dropped, and I don't think anyone wants to see a repeat of those experiences.

3) Open a dedicated channel for readers and staff to give feedback and suggestions. DB management would not be bound to take action on any matter, but it's a mechanism that can hopefully allow some community-driven problem-solving, and help lessen the burden on editorial staff.

I also want to make it clear that being critical doesn't mean we don't or can't love things. Part of showing that love is discussing its problems. And as an endeavour whose mission statement is to deconstruct K-dramas, nobody is better placed than Dramabeans to host that conversation.

Ultimately, taking actions like these will help make Dramabeans a better place for everyone, and I sincerely hope you'll take this feedback into consideration.

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Yes to all of this!

I watched the entire drama for Ji Chang Wook despite the discomfort and sometimes total despair I felt every time the Dal Shik character appeared. This would've been a light and entertaining watch for me if that character and Kong Boon Hee had been handled a little differently. I could write paragraphs about the last episode of this drama, but the lack of moderators and editorial stance on racism will keep me from further comments.

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I agree. This drama could have very easily been an unadulterated delight.

Tell me more about these paragraphs! Can we get you to write them for a very small blog runs by a very small podcast? XD

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I'll think about it.

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Yes to ALL of this and thank you for speaking out and taking a stance. It feels like we are alone in the wind at times as black women drama watchers but I couldn't be quiet on this one and I couldn't watch past ep. 1. We were totally offended. I don't hate anyone, wish harm on any actor or the production company but I did not enjoy what I loved going in (seeing JCW in a great drama). We hoped they would hear our voices (email campaign) & make adjustments. We (BlackGirlSeoul) host a podcast & used that platform to speak out about it because it was painful. Hopefully spaces like DramaBeans can be a place to heal & learn from one another instead of finger pointing.

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this is the issue with folks like you .DB is not your psychiatrist's office .it is a website that reviews dramas and people can voice their various opinions about the dramas.it is not a healing space .
stop dragging social justice and politics into every space and forcing DB admin into your politics.they are not the writers, producers or actors of the drama ,so why are you trying to force them to take a stance ? if u are offended, write to the producers ,boycott the drama but stop trying to make DB some kind of sociopolitical healing space. i am an american but the rest of the world doesn't revolve around american social justice issues and what you want it to be .i am against racism but the issue is that every nothing burger is defined as racism and it gets tiresome . practically meaningless terms like cultural appropriation are thrown around and people branded racist for every perceived "slight",while the real slavery, female oppression ,honor killing of women , child trafficking ,sex trafficking taking place in the world is ignored .

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There were a lot of discussions about it in the first reviews. People already gave their opinion about it.

I don't think dramabeans is the good platform to talk about this kind of topics as subject itself. Personnally, I'm not here for that.

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Hey Kurama. I feel differently. I don't think the discussion that needed to happen was ever given a chance to happen here. As Saya said, the site's delay in acknowledging that there was a problem and refusal to to take a stance on it made sure that most people who did want to have that conversation didn't bother talking about it here.
It's no skin off our nose. We go elsewhere to talk about this. But that means DB loses the trust and goodwill of a chunk of fans who're repeatedly disappointed by their silence.
And we've loved DB too long to not try to point out the problem. Though we're perfectly aware that we'll likely be ignored. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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I'm in total agreement with you @festerfaster.

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@kurama and I am with you. No one got censored, everybody could tell their opinion. This is not a u.s political site. I already don't use social media, don't make DB messy and toxic too.

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It sad that you say discussing these topics would have made db messy and toxic- it wouldn't have made it either.
That's the language someone who doesn't care about other people's problems would use.

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Thank you for demonstrating what I was talking about. These days people can't seem to have a level headed discussion about politics so they start to become personal and it makes things worse. Saying bad things and accusing people you don't know is toxic and suffocating, serves no purpose other than making matters more difficult. I really, really don't want to fight. I want peace.

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<3 <3 <3

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I beg your pardon, @Hanabi, but I did not at all demonstrate your point. A simple read through my comment will prove this.

I would like to reiterate: discussing pertinent issues that arise within k-dramas would not, in and of itself, make dramabeans a messy or toxic place.

I do find that written communication well lends itself to understanding the person behind the text; as such, I shall probably no longer continue this discussion. Do feel free to live your best life *double thumbs up*.

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maybe some of us enjoy dramas and come here to get away from real life not come here to care about other people's "PROBLEMS".stop trying to guilt others, you don't like a drama say so and drop it but stop trying to make this site what it wasn't designed to be and create additional burden on the admin. stop trying to create censorship,limit speech and make the admin responsible for comments you don't like.these type of actions have killed other websites .

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I love Ji Chang Wook, always have,always will.From Smile Dong hae to Five Fingers, Warrior Beak Dong Soo, Empress Ki, Healer, K2, Suspicious Partner, hell I even loved him in Melting me Softly, that's how crazy I am about this guy. I always support his choices, I might not always agree with his choices but I support them because they are his CHOICES and he's such a great actor I know he won't disappoint me, the plot maybe, but not him, never him. I liked Kim Yoo Jung in MDBC and after Clean with a passion for now I loved her and I wanted to see her in a drama with JCW. Funny thing is I never do this, I usually just go with the flow but I actually prayed for this and my prayers were answered, thank you God. I knew they'd be good together and I wasn't wrong. I'm not happy about the lack of a kiss scene but I'm not not happy about it either because at the end of the day, this drama was about so much more than that. It had heart, so much heart and the people who hated it before it ever premiered, those who hated it on opening week without really giving it a chance and those who were determined to hate it no matter what, have no idea what a great show they missed out on. I can't wait for their next project and I sincerely hope JCW and KYJ get to unite in another drama soon. All this to say I really Loved this drama, flaws and all and I'm going to miss it and them (Dae hyun (JCW) and Seat byul (KYJ) together.

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While this drama was lighty, bubbly, warmly, very easy on the eyes, happy ending, I watched it fast forwarded, especially on the half to the ending. It was not a very good written drama. Even when you casted people like Ji Chang Wook, Kim Yoo Jung and Han Sun Wha (she plays quite OK here), it didn't help.

I wish I could enjoy it more, but there were several things that made me couldn't really relate to this drama.

First, rich girl good character but highly snooty mother. And the written of Dae Hyun's parents also didn't help. A father who just wanted to use family money either for massage chair or vacation to meet his first love. Ouch...

Dal Shik character. Come on! It's 2020. Why should you write him so badly just because he wanted to be a comic writer? Who lived in a slump and ate from near-or-same-day expiry date meals from the convinience mart. Then turned out his father owned the whole village.

I don't want to start with Geum Bi's father....

And why Yeon Joo also suffered the same fate? Being poorly written, I meant. She seemed she set on the wrong foot, but eager to change for the better. So why not?

I forget that this drama has to have some suffering co-leads to make the main pairing lived happily ever after...

The idea was good though. A cast out beautiful determined High School graduate tried to win her first love, while tried to make ends meet and pursued her education. The hero, fired because of jealousy, at last found that owned and worked in convinience store also rewarding. He got job, family, lover and friend. The end.

I put too high expectancy on Chang Wook and Yoo Jung. Blame me.
I wish his and her next dramas will be stellar.

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I never got to comment on this drama and i keep wondering what I could have said if i did.
I did enjoy the show to my hearts desire and I loved every `𝑫𝒂𝒆 𝒉𝒚𝒖𝒏 and 𝑺𝒂𝒆𝒕 𝒃𝒚𝒖𝒍` scenes

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