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Sunbae, Don’t Put on That Lipstick: Episodes 1-2 Open Thread

It’s here, it’s here! And it’s as swoony as I wanted. Sunbae, Don’t Put on That Lipstick introduces and sets up its character dynamics pretty quickly in its opening week, getting right to the heart of the matter: a heroine who’s dating a two-timer, and the protective hoobae who’s got eyes only for her. Can’t. Stop. Squeeing.

 
EPISODES 1-2 WEECAP

There was a lot that I enjoyed about this premiere week, but leading the pack was the quick way the drama introduced its setting and our two leads. Our heroine is YOON SONG-AH (Won Jin-ah), sunbae to the rookie on the team, CHAE HYUN-SEUNG (Kim Ro-woon), and we meet them in medias res. Song-ah has been training Hyun-seung for a bit, and we see them in action at a meeting with a client — it’s clear they make a winning team.

It’s also clear (at least to us) that Hyun-seung has feelings for his sunbae. Sure, it’s the entire premise of the story, but I liked the way the drama showed it to us in action. More than the adoring, hidden glances, Hyun-seung is also pretty frank: he asks Song-ah outright why she only sees him as a hoobae (even though he’s only a year younger than her). Also, he pretty boldly calls her his girlfriend while they’re out doing market research. It’s for cover, but it’s also obvious that he’s trying it out: how it feels for him, and how Song-ah responds.

The marketing team at Klar Cosmetics seems to be pretty fun (I’m especially glad to see Ahn Se-ha after his turn in Zombie Detective), and I’m looking forward to more of their personalities in the future. But this week, the team at work exists to stir the pot and thus, create plot-stirring events.

A colleague was secretly dating someone else from the company: this stirs up a conversation about dating a coworker. We also hear that there was a lot of teasing of Song-ah and Hyun-seung when he first came on board — and that Song-ah worked hard to dispel all those rumors and keep things professional. But you can see why the rumor came about: they’re freakin’ adorable together. (Sorry, I’m OTP-ing to the moon already.)

Because of Hyun-seung and his Song-ah radar, he’s soon able to pick up that something is off. When they’re at a team dinner and she bolts off after saying she’s headed to the restroom, Hyun-seung follows her. What he witnesses is a lover’s tryst between her and their boss, BRAND MANAGER LEE JAE-SHIN (Lee Hyun-wook). You can just see his heart shatter. And like anyone with a shattered heart, he tries to pretend everything is fine, but it’s not.

Now that Hyun-seung’s learned about the secret relationship, he sees signs of it everywhere — mostly importantly when the couple meets during work hours. Jae-shin goes off to a meeting, and like clockwork, Song-ah fixes her lipstick, and then follows him a few minutes later.

There’s nothing particularly startling about this, but the drama captures so well that feeling of something you’re used to seeing everything day (Song-ah putting on lipstick) transmogrifying into something with a totally new meaning behind it.

We learn a little more about Hyun-seung than we do Song-ah during our premiere week, and it provides a lot of color and context around his workplace crush. In particular, the fact that the drama chose to give Hyun-seung two noonas instead of the typical comic relief guy friend was such a great choice to me.

The relationships between these three siblings, and just the fact that his sisters are who Hyun-seung goes to, says volumes about him (as a character) and the drama (making nice decisions).

So where does Hyun-seung take his heartbreak? Right to his sister CHAE JI-SEUNG (Wang Bit-na). He’s more shocked than heartbroken at first, but he’s also able to understand that Song-ah’s secret dating was the reason she didn’t seem interested in him, or to pick up on his hints. The fact that it makes sense, and that Song-ah seems so happy, makes him seem willing to relinquish the crush. Until all that changes — and it changes fast!

Hyun-seung is visiting with his sister (who seems to run their family’s wedding business) when he sees Manger Jae-shin with his fiancee… planning their wedding. It’s cheating, and it’s the absolutely worst kind around. Hyun-seung immediately takes a different tack, since he has no reason to give up on Song-ah now. On the contrary, his reasons to love and protect her just grew tenfold.

We knew he was not only sweet on her, but sweet to her, but now that this cheating boyfriend is exposed, there are elevator face-offs, meeting stare-downs, and a quickly-hatched plan to reveal the whole thing to Song-ah.

When Hyun-seung overhears one of their secret meetings at work, he directly confronts Song-ah about her secret dating. Things escalate quickly, though he doesn’t tell her the truth about her boyfriend in this scene. Instead there are only hints, and the soon-to-be-iconic scene where he rubs her lipstick off with his thumb and delivers the line that is our drama’s title. *Collects self*

Instead of telling her the truth, Hyun-seung decides to show her the truth, despite her resistance. Hyun-seung gets rather assertive here (I have mixed feelings), and later that evening, forces Song-ah to witness what her boyfriend is really up to. And it doesn’t get more real than seeing the boyfriend you adore with his fiancee, who’s trying on wedding dresses.

It’s a painful part of the show, for several reasons: we feel for Song-ah with her heartbreaking shock, we feel for Hyun-seung who hates to cause her pain, but also, this was taking “cruel to be kind” to a whole new level. It’s rather ugly. In his defense, even Hyun-seung doesn’t like what he’s doing. He knows it’s cruel, and not his place (and so does his sister), but he says that he can’t bear seeing Song-ah mistreated. “She’s going to hate me so much,” he acknowledges.

As can be expected, Song-ah’s upsetness is channeled towards Hyun-seung as much as it is towards Jae-shin, and you could cut the atmosphere in the office with a knife. Her anger is understandable, though, and while Jae-shin probes to figure out what he did wrong, Hyun-seung steps back and gives her space.

After just the right amount of suffering, Song-ah finally breaks down. She’s passed from denial into anger — and now she’s ready for revenge. As our episodes close, she runs into Hyun-seung on the street and asks how to get back at Jae-shin. Hyun-seung calmly tells her to date him. And we’re off!

I actually wasn’t expecting a fake dating angle here, and I’m not particularly thrilled with the prospect. I’m more interested in keeping that layer of richness and pining and things unsaid, rather than just fake dating hijinks. But then again, Hyun-seung quite clearly confessed to her, so now there’s no secret left. (He really was determined to get that confession out there, especially after thinking that he had lost his chance to be honest with her.)

Sunbae might be pretty standard fare so far, but I’m shamelessly sold on these characters, the set-up, and this romance. With so many great moments packed into that first episode, I can only expect that there is a lot more swooning in store for us. I am ready.

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I love how art is so subjective. I was creeped out these two epispdes even if I wished I could be left swooning. CHS has that in him but he consistently crossed the line. But the breaking point for me was him rubbing her lipstick off. YOU DO NOT TOUCH ANYONE'S LIPS, especially an office colleagues that happens to be your sunabe.
That said I guess I liked the brother sisters dynamic the best. CHS and his noonas are a heart warming family. Everything else is atypical.

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I agree. I found CHS's behaviour creepy too especially for a professional colleague. He could also have found a non-invasive way to let Song-ah know what was going on but he chose the most cruel method possible and then doubled down on it.

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Non-invasive... not possible. Because she is dating her boss, her private life has already spilled over into their professional life. But how could he tell her? She is his trainer, cheaterpants is the boss. Song Ah and the manager are not an acknowledged couple, so that precludes any public reveal. Song Ah already knows that he likes her so she would view anything he told her in private as biased and self-serving. He waited a month for the boss to reveal it on his own. Frankly, I didn't see what he did as the most cruel option; passively not doing anything at all and letting her get blindsided by the wedding would have been more cruel, especially if she found out that he had known for three months and hadn't said anything. It would have been less cruel to just tell her, but would she have believed him? I don't think so, and obviously neither did CHS.

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Similar to yours, there seem to be a lot of comments here which focus on "she would not have listened, she would not have believed him". To me there seems an interesting gendered assumption about the woman's behaviour in this scenario. Why are we assuming what she would do?

The second issue is that he never thought of her as her own agent capable of making her own decisions. Even assuming that "she would not believe him" - so what? That would also be her decision - to live a life of lies if she so chose. His behaviour strips her of choice and agency.

And to respond to your point about there being no non-invasive way to say it, somebody on Reddit suggested a fairly simple way. He could have just congratulated Mr. Cheater on his impending wedding by saying that he saw him with his fiancee at his sister's store and she told him they were getting married in 3 months. If even a random Reddit commenter could come up with it, I'm sure kdrama writers were capable of writing a dozen such scenarios.

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Your random redditor example is a very flawed argument. I am not really going to disagree with the rest of your post but the entire concept of "if one person can think of something, EVERYONE else can think of it two" is just downright silly. Humans do NOT all think the exact same way (hence your diagreement with another poster, and mine to you.

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I agree too. He overstepped his boundaries number of times of the 1st episode and I was done with him by the end. He had no right to get mad at her for dating a cheater. Liking someone doesn't mean you own them. If he was the 2nd male lead he'd be creepy not swoony but because he's the 1st male lead we have to like him. Makes no sense.

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I totally agree with you.
He crossed too many lines.

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This spot on. All I could do was scream, this is so inappropriate if he had really wanted her to know he could have mentioned anytime the three of them were in the elevator congrats on your marriage. Instead he stared the man down like a possessive control freak. That was very disturbing and frankly I think this drama is a drop for me. Yikes.

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I agree it was disturbing and should have earned him a tight slap in the face. As a working woman....I gagged at that scene.....swoon, Nawwww 🤢🤢 ....women get slut shamed at speed of light, why should I make excuses for harassment ....because he is goodlooking. Nope.

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The way she was just shocked and didn’t shout him back, and him patronising her 🤬

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Her reaction was pretty understandable. Some people can't defend or fight back immediately, they just get shocked and numb.

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I also like the siblings. I hope they give good subplots worthy of us watching

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Yeah, I think they are making the mistake of bringing too much manhwa behavior to seep into the ml performance. I only read the first chapter of this particular manhwa, but this possessive/entitled attitude is typical of the genre, and it feels horrible when acted out by real people. His behavior was red flag after red flag, and honestly, I would be a bit terrified of him.

How dare he touch her lips! I can't believe she didn't smack him away, and then wound up getting into a car with him going god knows where. It doesn't matter how attractive you are, that shit was creepy.

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When he touched her lips I literally yelled at my computer! I understand he likes her but he was being way too pushy. He got one point for backing off after showing her that her bf was a cheating jerk, which I appreciated. I was worried he was going to get even more bold and do too much.

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Ah, I was looking forward to this so much. It has some promising elements—like Miss Victrix pointed out, the motif of the lipstick is used well (save for the last scene in episode 1, one does not reach out to touch someone's lips without permission! It violates personal boundaries, and it's germy!). Also, I love the glimpses of Song-ah's friendship with her housemate, and Hyun-seung's banter with his two batchmate colleagues.

But as I've been discussing with some other Beanies on the fanwall, the execution (directing, editing) is messy. First, the poster and teasers were gorgeous, with a retro, mellow vibe to them. But episode 1 genre-pinballed from slice of life office drama to weekday family drama, then to a sweet romance (the flashback to their first meeting) and melo (when Hyun-seung finds out Song-ah is dating their BM). There's also youth drama bits (the exercising; someone tell me why we were made to follow the perspective of a tennis ball?!) and finally, makjang when Hyun-seung sees the second leads together at the wedding boutique.

I don't mind gradual shifts in tone as a show progresses, and I knew it was going to turn melo/ makjang from the highlight reel, but I was left absolutely disoriented by this genre roulette within the span of an hour.

Also, the show didn't take the time to acquaint us with the characters properly, which is an issue especially for Hyun-seung and his troubling choices in how he approaches Song-ah. Instead, the show tosses the reveals at us and expects us to feel deeply for the characters (something I got from the music and camerawork that lingers as they sit there contemplating their emotions).

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Don’t forget the mother and all the angst that she will bring...

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She's a walking talking time bomb that's about to explode

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Oh yes. I found it strange that she was brought in so early with no clue to the viewer as to what's going on between mother and daughter, but it definitely didn't bode well.

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Yeah, I really felt that I was missing something almost to the point where I thought I had skipped over some explanation of their relationship

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Omg i am in the middle of watching ep 1 rn, we really do follow the perspective of a tennis ball LMAO I'M WHEEZING 🤣 🤣 🤣

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Right?? I swear of all confusing moments that took the cake

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Hmm I dont know if I can stick around for this one to be honest. I mean Ronwoon is beautiful as always but the plot is a bit slow paced. It is giving me When the weather is nice vibes in terms of pacing.

Now, for me so far, I don't like Ronwoon character yet. I feel what he did was selfish, self serving and shady. There were other ways he could have told her that her man was cheating but his method was heartbreaking. I mean taking her to see her guy look at wedding dresses with another woman. OUCH that was mean! Like really mean.. its possible he didnt mean it like that but it was almost like he subconsciously wanted to hurt her for loving another man.
Next, the 2nd male lead is far too attractive and with a sympathetic situation. I mean the girl is shameless and basically blackmailing him into marriage . Its obvious he genuinely cares about our FL. Also, my gosh but that mans voice is like thunder wrapped in silk.. 🔥🔥🔥🔥.... whew.. his voice and his eyes got me, I think because he has an interesting face more than a handsome one. Its one of those faces you can stare at. Anywho, I felt sorry for our FL and Ronwoon character got turned down multiple times and was told to back off and he didnt. Persistance can be viewed as stalking, so he needs to chillax. I am hoping that his character grows though. I am still cheering for Ronwoon though because well its Ronwoon. Gosh, he looks like a young Choi Siwon. They def should play brothers in a drama sometime in the future.

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I can feel you. If LHW is a choice no matter how tall, cute and handsome RoWoon is...

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Your description of his voice "thunder wrapped in silk" is gorgeous and I agree with your assessment.

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I also don't think Rowoon is particularly good looking, but I did not get creepy stalker vibes from him, either. I think he is wrestling with some powerful emotions and a situation that is out of his control, so there is a bit of flailing going on. I felt that he was as shocked about removing her lipstick as she was, that this was a completely unplanned action compared to his carefully orchestrated reveal of the boss' true intentions.

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Thanks for the weecap!! I’ve been missing watching a drama with your witty and bright weecaps... but... I don’t know I can stick to this one.

I have mixed feelings: I like all four actors and dislike all four leads (maybe Song Ah is the one I like a little bit).

I liked some scenes: HyunSeon and the seat belt, the office mates (I think they can be really good in the drama), HyunSeon and his sisters bonding, and him confessing, because he had the right, and what can I say? It’s really hard for me not to be in LHW’s side, even if his character is cheating (which by the way I think he is not... exactly). But I utterly disliked HyunSeon crossing the line so many times: removing Song-Ah’s lipstick (you don’t touch someone’s lips without consent!!!!!!!!), or him being all testosterone while talking to JaeShin (what the hell was that conversation about tennis, ha, tennis... now you call that tennis!)

This is going melo meets revenge meets makjang and I don’t think I can deal with it...

I’m not really sure if I’ll watch next week, tbh.

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All of this. It reminds me of another drama I am watching, the writer is trying to make the Hyun Seon sympathetic by using something that usually doesn't require nuance to be wrong such as cheating and removing nuance so we can empathize with his creepy actions. He is super possessive and it is incredibly off putting.

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Yeah where did that tennis convo come from. Did I miss something? Does PD jaeShin know that something HS? Why did he suddenly ask him out for a game. It came out of the blue.
Until that point JS seemed every bit professional at work and maintained a distance from coworkers. And then this happened!!!

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I just couldn’t understand. He refused to go on a game with the other MB, but suddenly asks the guy who knows about his both relations to and play a match... and they were all... who’s got the biggest ball? What the hell was that?

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The editing was pretty off. Many scenes just appeared out of nowhere.

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I think he wanted to test the waters. HS was suddenly rude and sibylline with him. They work together, so it's not surprising he knows that HS plays tennis and it was an opportunity outside the work to discover what HS is talking about. I don't think that Jae Shin understood that HS knows about Song-Ah and his wedding plans. He didn't ask Song-Ah if HS knew about them when she said she wanted them to be public.

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ok! Thanks for explaining. I thought about it.. I do think there was a scene when Jae Shin asks Song-Ah if she is being too concerned about HS. And she asks if he is jealous. Add to this office rumors between HS and Song-Ah. So he probably has an eye on him already.
And in the elevator, HS behaves weirdly. Asking her to come stand beside him. And he has been a bit snarky with Jae Shin.
So may be, he wants to see what HS is upto by creating a situation outside work.

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He did wait a month after he found out about the cheating before he showed Song Ah what was going on. That must have been a horrible month, seeing Song Ah behave as usual while knowing she was being used.

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Why do you think he's not cheating?
One way or the other he is cheating both women.

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I know he is cheating.
I think (and this is because my absolute and non rational devotion for LHW 🤷🏼‍♀️) that he is not going to marry her. There is no wedding, that’s what I think.

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I also think there would be no marriage but won't that still mean he's cheating the fiance?
I mean it's clear he doesn't like her and maybe sincerely likes Sunbae(lol this show was so atypical, I don't remember the names of the characters) but still he's cheating the both of them, marriage or no marriage.

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I don't see how he can possibly not marry the fiancee - it was clear that he does not love her, has never loved her, but a) the marriage will be excellent for his business ambitions, b) she is his best friend's sister and he does care for both of them and c) she attempted suicide because she wanted him and no one else. If he leaves her, he destroys everything. I do not like the way he lied to Song Ah for at least six months, letting her think they had a future and taking her trust when he's already decided he would have to drop her. But the show took pains to show he has been painted into a corner.

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He was painted into a corner. What is really painful is that he is not someone who should have to marry in order to get ahead- he is in fact extremely competent and capable but would lose everything if he does not marry the fiancé. But, if he was going to make that choice he had to break it off with Song-ah- This is where he went wrong. There are actually too many people whose reasoning is "Because I am a victim it is OK for me to make a victim of someone else". Two wrongs do not make a right.

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I have mixed feelings about these two episodes (leaning towards negative more). I did not find CHS swoony. When he wiped her lipstick, I saw it as violation of her personal space.
I find reason behind BM Lee marrying quite mackjangish and straight out of old movies. Lee Hyun-wook does melancholic well. We can always feel his sadness but I do not find sympathy for him. He has made his bed and now can lie in it. He is deceiving Song-ah knowingly and making her third party. It makes him a total jerk.

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I actually liked the first few scenes but by the end of episode 1, I didn't find it swoony and even his actions in the 2nd episode. He forced himself to her by crossing a lot of lines. And not really excited with the fake dating that's about to happen.

I might check out once in awhile since I have no Mon-Tue and I still like the cast but there's that thought of dropping this at any moment.

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I'm with most of the commenters above me. Boy how I was looking forward to this one and didn't actually have problems with the acting by all four actors. In another setting and drama I'm sure they would make a very strong ensemble, but the execution and characterisation have made this drama very wanting so far. I find the ML's choices of action very disturbing so far and cannot relate to any of the characters. I feel bad for the second male lead, and would have been able to relate to him if he did not consciously deceive his lady. Well I'm sure that will leave room for growth for all of the characters, but I wish they didn't go with the fake dating. That one crossed the line for me. I still want to stick around, so would check out Ep 3 & 4, but if they keep this characterisation up I'm not sure if I would feel comfortable enough to keep going.

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I have yet to watch the second ep but here I am reading this (cause I love spoilers). I might ff watch this just to see where the story leads us.

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That seems like the best option right now.

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Did we need the manipulative second female lead and forced marriage arc? Please its 2021 and 2001.

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I wasn't planning on watching this. It seemed pretty basic fare. Then the recapper convinced me, then I read everyone's comments. I really don't know. I love Rowoon, and willing to give anything that he's in a try if it is interesting. This drama seems to want to go the roller coaster of events route, which gives me my concerns. Because as quickly as they want to get these characters together, few dramas have the creativity to keep them from having some grand "misunderstanding" midway through, and I just can't. So even though I would love to add a must-watch to my list right now, I might have to wait this one out.

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As I said in my comment that art is pretty subjective so you should try it to see for yourself but I will have to say as you mentioned it is pretty basic fare. Sometimes basic plots work so well and I was hopwful for Lipstick too but the characterization is pretty flawed.

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I went in blind and was quite surprised initially. I actually like Ep 1, until the end. The genre of this show is super confusing. Is is melo? dark melo? revenge makjang? Where is this going?

They are making it hard for me to like Hyun-seung's character. At times he seems so genuine and kind and then he crosses the line (many times). I especially hated the way he treated her when he revealed her bf was cheating. It was confrontational, rude and way out of the line. Amidst all this he also confessed! I get it, he was desperate and cared for her. But this was all so messed up.

Now after Ep 2, I have re-aligned my expectations from this show. I am going to watch next week to see if I can still enjoy this. At least, its clear this is no noona romance.

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This is not your typical noona romance - it actually reminds me more of WWW, where yes the guy was younger but not willing to be treated as less than equal.

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It is not really that much of a noona romance- the FL is only a year or two older than the ML. I really feel like the writer is trying for a non-standard formula rom-com.

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Rowoon's character in the 1st ep kind of put me off, coz he was always on the borderline between acceptable and unacceptable. It kind of toned down in the 2nd ep, so I'm glad. I really hope that he entire purpose of work for him is not for the FL/ a one-sided crush.
But apart from that I enjoyed the show quite a lot, mainly coz they focused on Won Jinah. I could understand how and why Jinah's character dealt/ dealing with things the way she is.
But still I wish they work a little more on the other 3 main characters as well. Make Hyunseung seem a little less creepy, make Jaeshin a little more sympathetic (he made a choice to continue a relationship even after being forced to marry someone else, I cannot find sympathy in that, there needs to be backstory) and make sure that Hyojoo (Joobin's character) get some psychiatric help (coz she really need it, if she is that dependant on someone else, to the point of taking her own life). And I seriously hope that they use the remaining 14 episodes for that...

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I really liked the 2 episodes. I didn't expect that the story would be so fast. We already know the intentions of each character : Song-Ah wants revanche, Hyun-Seung wants to seduce Song-Ah, Hyo-Joo wants Jae-Shin and doesn't care about the way, Jae-Woon wants to be President. What Jae-shin wants it's not clear... How he expected to hide his wedding to Song-Ah?

I think Hyun-Seung took a cruel decision to show to Song-Ah the truth but in the same time, there wasn't a good way to do it. It's hard to talk about something that doesn't really exist because the two protagnists never talked about it. Hyun-Seung showed that he has feelings for her, so just his words wouldn't have been convincing. I don't think he did it for him because he was ready to let them date in secret because she was happy. He did it because the truth itself was ugly.

I think Hyun-Seung crossed some limits and I liked it, not the fact he crossed them but the fact he's not the perfect puppy. I felt like the characters were real from a real story and not from a fair show.

I really like Hyun-Seung's relationships with his sisters. It's rare this kind of relationship, when the siblings don't hit each other :p

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What are you expecting with drama with title like that?
I mean no body tell me whether I should put lipstick or not on my lips??
Heck it is my lips what are you going to do about it?? 🤷‍♀️

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Is this supposed to be Makjang?
Hyun-seung's behavior is very Makjangy and the story is more Makjang than a romance drama.
It seems like Hyun-seung is thinking about his sunbae 24-7... I can totally imagine him turning into a psycho stalker... (I know Ro-woon won't since he is ML)

I'm also glad to see Ahn Se-ha in here! Hope he had a bigger and more important role than that though.

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Is it possible to have a Makjang Rom-com?

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I can now watch this on one ogf my televisions (the one with a third HDMI port).

Over the weekend- and with the help of my son and his smartphone- I finished setting up my Firestick and was able to 'sideload' the iQIYI app (because Firestick is an Android device).

I am looking forward to watching this.

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The fake dating really feels like coming out of the left field. If show's going to do that, kinda wish it had taken the comedic route, I'd probably find it an easier watch... Now it feels like Hyun-seung is taking too much advantage of the bad situation to get to Song-ah, it's a bit of an unhealthy start for a relationship.

Also find him very forward about touching her lips and stuff, but will hold judgment due to the "in medias res" and not knowing yet what kind of bond they forge on the training days. She seems to trust him enough, even if she doesn't see him as a guy at all, LOL at the seatbelt scene.

Will watch more of the show, probably with FF button for the angsty bits, if only to check the adorableness level of the Director + Middle Sis. (Love Lee Gyu-han!)

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Oh, and love the meaning behind the title!

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Nobody forges a bond during training that allowes a male trainee to touch the lips of his female boss aggressively. That's first on 101 ways to get fired for sexual harassment. If they glorify this shit, I will stop watching this. He is already taking advantage of her vulnerable situation to score brownie points with unequal power dynamic that would make her as his boss loose more, her entire career if exposed. This show reminds me of the hulu show A Teacher minus the abusing minor part. This has so far really made all the wrong choices in terms of writing. All the pastel filter and romantic music is not making up for it.

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Am actually remembering how the interns end up sleeping in the same room due to finishing their work in Misaeng, and thinking people can get familiar fast if they spent a lot of time in that kind of situation. But I could be wrong since their office seems to have work-life balance... Guess am just wishing I could understand why he is so forward with his sunbae and why she still followed him to the bridal place.

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Agree with the fake dating coming out of nowhere. I simply thought, "Now that is *not* a good move...". Felt like me that our ML is so far gone in his devotion to FL that he would use any excuse to get close to her, but this is not going to work! Being used to get revenge on a cheating boyfriend - does he seriously think this is a good idea?! I'm being asked to swallow something too large here...

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Yeaaa, am also thinking the whole plot would be easier to swallow had it been off-beat/quirky from the beginning! Maybe like a lot of comments say, show is about flawed leads...

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I was really disturbed by the main lead's behaviour too but I kind of understand where was coming from?? coz you can't really tell someone their partner is cheating without any proof! He did wait for a month & only stepped in when he realised JS wouldn't be honest w SA but yes the way he did it was vvvv wrong but I can't ignore the fact that he apologized for it right after and after SA told him to piss off(rightfully so!) He actually stepped back and gave her the space and time so there's room for growth and character development and I'm hoping the writer will use that well in future!

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Something helpful to know. The alternate title is 'She Would Never Know' and you can find it streaming by that name.

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It's been unimpressive. Like someone commented already I disliked all leads in the two episodes ( with a tinge of sympathy towards LHW. Just can't help it !!!!!) . And it doesn't help that the ML has already crossed so many lines. Esp the lipstick scene. Imagine doing that in real life at your workplace. The only positive thing was the bond between ML and his sisters. Also since the cheating trope is already out will there be enough story to survive 14 episodes?? I have my doubts on that.

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I started this with low expectations, so the 1st episode seemed nice, except the lip-touching.

Then... what happened in ep. 2??
Beyond all the things other Beanies wrote, I found very rude the way HS ordered SA to meet him after work, and then to get off the car. Like, really??

And the mum, the marriage to avoid a suicide (??), the glass of water from the preview seem so old style...

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I was surprised that Hyun-seung showed Song-ah the proof of cheating.
I have never seen a main lead being practical and efficient? like that at the 2nd episode... Isn't that usually something an evil/mean side character would do?

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But being practical and especially efficient- which it was- comes at a price.

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I have only watched ep 1, people, and let me tell you: I didn't like it... sadly.
I don't know for sure... I would say mixed feelings, like many of you have stated as well.
I don't hate the drama or the leads, but I don't like any of them either. I also didn't like Rowoon trying to remove sumbae's lipstick by directly touching her lips. She has maintained a drawn line between them. They don't have such trust... I know that was written because of sticking to the drama's name, but I didn't like it.
Let's see what happens later. I hope I have the strength to watch the next episode.

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When I first heard about this show I thought that it was formulaic but that is OK if it is well done. And up to a point it is. But I think that the differences may be what makes this show so worthwhile.

This big difference is the character of Hyun-seung. Our ML is not the standard model ML. Many have leady noted how inappropriate it was for him to touch Song-ah's lips. Yep, you're right- no argument there. But it does show us that our young man has a good heart- and very very rough edges. He acts before he thinks, and while those actions stem from a good heart they can still be disconcerting and, yes, inappropriate.

This explains why he revealed the truth about Song-ah's boyfriend the way that he did. He did not just want Song-ah just to know the truth- he wanted her to know it effectively, so that there would be no chance of her being vulnerable to any future attempts by her boyfriend to suck her back into a relationship. He knows that Song-ah will be very angry at him and that it will probably preclude her dating him BUT he cares enough to pay that price - being effective is more important than trying to lay clever groundwork for a future relationship. Do not forget that Song-ah is in a relationship with her boss- and the potential consequences of that could be disastrous for her- so extracting her from that relationship quickly and above all completely is very important. Being effective is more important than being nice at this moment, even if he must pay a price for it- and so he acts accordingly, and it works. Of course Song-ah is just as mad at him as at her ex-boyfriend and she is right- but he is right also.

I like the character of Hyun-seung- he has real flaws and a lot to learn.
Of course he has his sisters to be his wing-women and provide guidance- and it looks like he will need all the guidance that he can get. But that is the sort of detail that adds depth to a show.

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Agree, I actually like him as he do have good intention. Regarding the lipstick scene. I think many did not see that the lipstick have a symbolic meaning. She is wearing the color that she always apply when she meeting her boyfriend. So when he says "I wish you wouldn´t put it on." while he remove the lipstick as he wish her to stop meeting her boyfriend because of what he had learned. PD talked about this scene in the press conference. Yeah it would be wrong in real life setting, but that is the intention behind the scene.

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Agree, on all points. HS has a close bond with his sisters, so he is used to being close to females and sharing with them, but on the other hand this is his first love, he is a relationship newbie and so definitely not making the smoothest of moves. In the lipstick scene I like how he seemed as shocked as he was; he seems to be swinging between acting impulsively and overthinking the situation (entirely to be expected). I foresee lots of angst in his immediate future.

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I did not see any chemistry between leads .I guess we will see a love triangle but I don't think main female lead is enough to carry it! The tone was totally different at second episode .It was almost like watching a different drama.

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Given what happened it would be way to early for there to be chemistry between them.

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I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought it was a line he was crossing when he wiped off her lipstick. I was thinking in my head “Is this something only stupidly attractive people could get away with? Or was she just so shocked in that moment?”

That being said, I still enjoyed both the first episodes. I’ve been a huge Won Jin-ah fan since Just Between Lovers, and her last project I watched nearly broke me (Melting Me Softly was SO bad). The characters seem flawed, but interesting, and I love the ML’s relationship with his sisters. Then there’s also characters I already dislike...a lot. Her mother really rubbed me the wrong way and seems overbearing in just the worst ways. The mother from ‘Something in the Rain’ was specifically why I dropped that show she was so awful.

I’m watching next week at least to see how it continues on. It’s rare I’ll drop a show opening week (though this has been a double edged sword in the past) just because I think most things can be salvaged. This definitely has potential to go either way, so I’ll be checking out at least another couple episodes.

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I love Rowoon but this character CHS is too stalker-ish even though his intention is for YSA's best interest

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I liked the two opening episodes a lot (apart from the weird editing). Only I didn't find them cute. Was I supposed to find them cute?

I have a high threshold for characters that are unlikable in the opening 2 episodes (hello character growth! we do have 14 more episodes to fill) and all our main 4 are deeply selfish in their own way.

This is what they're thinking:
Hyung-Seung - if I show my crush that her bf is cheating on her in the most painful way possible, she'll leave him and will love me instead (that's not how this works)
Song-Ah - my mother doesn't want me dating anybody so I'll just date someone for 2 years behind her back and then we'll get married and it's all fine (that's not how this works)
Jae-Shin - I'm going to marry this other girl for REASONS but I'm not telling my gf because I love her and this is going to be fine (that's not how this works)
Hyo-Joo - I'm going to commit suicide because then the guy I've got a crush on will marry me and it's not about how you get someone, what matters is that you get them (that's not how this works)

So all four are deluded in what they believe, and that they are equally flawed & deluded balances the show for me. Kudos to the four actors for making me feel some sympathy towards all of them. I think they all have a lot of growing (up) to do and I'm willing to stick along to see how this plays out.

*note to self: if I've misread this drama and some of those behaviours were not supposed to be problematic - drop like a hot potato *

As a side note, I much prefer the title that other sites use She Would Never Know . It points towards all those misbelieves.

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I would qualify what you are saying about Hyung-seung- he is not as deluded as you think. He clearly understood going in that while he would definitely succeed in separating Song-ah from her boyfriend he also ran a very high risk that she will not rebound to him but would instead give him a stiff arm for what he has done - and ultimately end up with another man altogether. This is why he feels a need to do two things on the way to the Big Reveal: First, he confesses. Second is that he reveals something else as they approach the palatial bridal shop- he gestures to it and says "I own this. You must not be used to wealth". He probably owns a majority of it (say 51%) with his sisters owning the balance- but the fact is that while he may be working as an underling at her job he is actually a rich man- unlike Jae-shin, who is not rich but has a chance to marry into wealth. Why is he working at the cosmetics company then? It may be that this is simply his way of staying out from under the feet of his very capable sister who is so very good at running the family business. But, in any case the confession and reveal were clearly ways of trying to improve the odds of Song-ah choosing him after all the dust has settled. He would be the first to say that it did not guarantee such an outcome- but at least he could improve the odds.

So in the end I do not think that Hyung-Seung is deluded at all. He understands that he might not ultimately get the girl, and he is willing to make that gamble because even if he loses he has still pulled Song-ah, the girl he is in love with, out of the fire.

What was really impressive about him is the way he immediately seized the chance to date her when she asked him what to do at the end of episode two. I have to admire that- this is a man with a plan. Sure it starts with fake dating but he will diligently work on changing that.

As a side note please note that Hyo-joo's brother is convinced that Hyung-seung's unmarried sister is his ideal match. In truth his family would indeed accept her as a daughter-in-law in a heartbeat. So far she has brushed him off like a piece of lint- which makes sense given that his attempts to impress her with his socio-economic status is meaningless to her because she is actually at the same level as he is. This will obviously become a secondary romance.

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I don't think HS chose to be cruel to have a chance to date her. It's hard to make someone who dated a guy for 2 years believe that her boyfriend will marry someone else in 2 months. She wouldn't have let him talk about it. By showing her the truth, she can't pretend that is a misunderstanding or denying it. I think he did it because he wanted her to be angry and to stand for herself.

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He didn't even try to tell her. That's what really bothered me.

He told her to get into his car, told her he liked her, kept her in a room so that she would see her bf with the fiancee and then stopped her from talking to him there and then.

I still think he did it in a fit of jealousy from seeing them together and it hurt her.

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Question - why did the writer and director decide not to include a scene where he tries to convince her with words? This was a very deliberate choice, really shaping our perception of the male lead.

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Because she would not listen if he did- she has been dating the other guy for two years . Although she would have found out eventually it would have been extremely messy- so messy that it could have cost her her job.

There are times when being ruthless is appropriate. And that is how I see him- not as cruel but as ruthless when that is called for. His reasoning is actually impeccable: He had to make sure that she found out in a manner that leaves her freedom of action, where she knows so clearly and unequivocally that she actually has choices about what to do about it. Just telling her would instead have resulted in a messy drawn out reveal in which her boyfriend was first denying it, then trying to hold on to her anyway with promises, etc. By the time it was over the family that owns the business would likely have fired her.

Indeed, by being ruthless and forcing a total clean break and dating Song-ah Hyung-Seung is not only protecting her job but is even protecting her now ex-boyfriend: If Hyo-joo's brother or Hyo-joo suspect anything Jae-sin need only point to the fact that Song-ah and Hyung-Seung are dating to 'prove' that it is not so.

Remember that there is a reason Hyung-Seung drives such a nice car- he grew up rich and is still rich. He was taught by his parents and his sisters to take actions that are effective. Plus, as he himself has noted, he has a very protective nature. He is NOT going to pussyfoot around for the sake of being nice- not if that could lead to failure and his loved one losing out. Song-ah is going to be hurt no matter what he does, but by his being ruthless she suffers that hurt without suffering any real loss.

I really like our male lead. Song-ah does not yet realize how very lucky she is.

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I was reminded of our conversation about office romance, @leetennant ☺️ it got me wondering if this drama was on your radar because you would feel so strongly against it, too.

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Oh yeah, I'm definitely not watching this.

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Maybe you should start this after Habaek.

Yes, LT. Sunbae beckons.

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😬

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LT, I was thinking of you! Watching this drama through a different lens from a lot of other people reminded me of that time that you and I thought My Absolute Boyfriend was a deep & meaningful exploration of what matters in romantic relationships. Until it became clear that it really wasn't lol.

I'm sure I'm wrong about what this drama is trying to say as well...

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Oh gosh @cloggie I can add Absolute Boyfriend to the list of dramas about which I wrote stupid things. The other one is Manhole. I'm just glad I wasn't hanging around the site when I was watching Blade Man because that'd be on the list too.

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The first half of Blade Man was all about toxic masculinity. Honestly. The second half... I don't know. I didn't watch

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Remember when you thought Memories of the Alhambra was...

Nevermind.

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🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

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Office romance stories make me nostalgic for past office romances (sigh).

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Sounds like you a had a few! Are you the sunbae, hoobae, or were you the same age?

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Amazing how perspective changes everything. Few years ago, I was in love with workplace romances as a college kid. Now, imagining workplace romances with coworkers (both hoobaes and bosses) makes me shudder. I revisited what's wrong with secretary Kim last week and it hit differently this time around now that I have a few bosses of my own. Was gonna give sunbae a shot, but think I'll skip.

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After a lifetime in the business world I don't find workplace romance dramas realistic at all; I didn't have one myself, but in my observation most workplace romances are short and messy. So I view them more like speculative fiction, like dramas about princesses or Candies.

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I too haven't had one myself. But I suffered second hand due to my best friend's breakup with her co-worker who she had to continue working with. Lesson learned.
Work dramas lost their sparkle after I started working. But high school and college romances suddenly started being appealing. Probably because I miss those simpler times......

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That scene in the wedding organiser's place was excruciating, and it must have been ten times worse to have her junior staging and witnessing the whole thing with her. There were so many other options! All of them would have left her with more dignity. Honestly, by the time that was done I didn't even find KR handsome! And if any man wiped my lipstick off with a finger, he would be speaking in a high, squeaky voice for a VERY long time. Shame, this had such promising preview!

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Where can I watch this?

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I was living for the glares Hyun Seung was giving the BM. I wasn't a huge fan of the way he revealed the cheating to Song ah. It was also interesting to see that he and his sister knew it was a cruel way to do it but thought the pros outweighed the cons. It was honestly probably the fastest way for her to accept it, but doesn't mean it was the best way. It'll be interesting to see how they play up the fake dating since Hyung Seung has already confessed. Anyways I am greatly looking forward to next week. I like the sister dynamic and the director being interested in Hyun Seung's sister will add some laughs.

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Against the wise advice of @mindy, I watched episode one of this. Dear reader, I hated it. Can we please be done with romanticizing creepy paternalistic male leads "protecting" the object of their "affections" by stalking and isolating them?

Also, lipstick samples are gross in the best of time, but in covid times? No, just no.

Anyways, I'm not going to bother watching episode two because I haven't been this turned off from a drama since, well, Melting Me Softly.

Oh, and the editing was weird and confusing and off-putting.

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It gets worse...

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geezus...

Do yourself a favor and just jump ship now.

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I will eventually. I'm not sure why this has to have two actors who draw me like magnets.

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I agree with a lot of the criticisms of the other Beanies but... am I the only one disappointed that this is totally not a Noona Romance drama?
Like, I don't need them to have a crazy age gap or anything (especially not a creepy one) but wasn't her whole reason for not seeing him as an option supposed to be his age?
Because... I'm pretty sure he said he was only one year younger than her??

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