Sunbae, Don’t Put on That Lipstick: Episodes 5-6 Open Thread
Work and life get more complicated for our leads, with new opportunities offered, and some important changes forced upon them. Despite what happens in their office life, though, what’s most telling is how it affects the relationship between them. Even the smallest moments can have an impact, and the drama offers an interesting look at how relationships shift.
EPISODES 5-6 WEECAP
Did Hyun-seung and Song-ah have a moment in the club? Yes. Yes, they did. Hyun-seung is completely content to stare at Song-ah adoringly, but Song-ah is flustered, and runs out of the club to collect herself.
Whether Hyun-seung caught on or not, he doesn’t waste any opportunity presented to spend more time with her — even if it means drinking with Song-ah and her best friend KIM GA-YOUNG (Kang Hye-jin) (who’s quite clearly onboard the ship!)
The dynamics this week were pretty interesting, because at the same time as we see Song-ah begin to see Hyun-seung in a different light, we also see them pulled apart a bit. Jae-shin is not above separating them as a team, and he rashly assigns Hyun-seung to a new trainer and a new team, which means that Hyun-seung’s work life has just done an about-face.
I know that this drama is more about relationships and romance than what it’s like to work in a big corporation, but something about the way this job shift was captured felt quite authentic. Maybe it’s because I’ve been there before?
You’re working for a team with people and a dynamic that you like, and you’re just learning the ins and outs when suddenly you’re in the middle of a new team. That means new people, new priorities, new pressures — and of course for Hyun-seung, no more Song-ah around him from 9-5 (or longer) every day. But perhaps this is a case of separation making the heart grow fonder?
The more we see of Hyun-seung, the more I like his personality. He’s polite and flexible — he takes the team change punishment without complaint, and puts in his all in his new position, even when that means grumpy salesmen, fawning ajummas, having to become an emergency model at a Klar event, and pulling an all-nighter to solve a product packaging problem.
Hyun-seung is also pretty mature as he handles a new curveball: Song-ah has been offered a big promotion and move for the brand’s upcoming push in Europe. We know he’s devastated, but he doesn’t show it – instead, he tells Song-ah (quite swoonily), “I”ll support you whatever you decide.”
I am no fan of the “sudden overseas opportunity” trope we see so often in rom-coms, so it was a nice change to have this moment moved up in the plot. Instead of breaking up a couple at the end of the drama, this overseas opportunity became: a) a showcase for Hyun-seung’s maturity; b) an important decision for Song-ah as she considers her future; and c) an uptick in not only our love triangle, but the corporate struggles of Jae-shin and DIRECTOR LEE JAE-WOON (Lee Kyu-han).
I feel like I haven’t seen Lee Kyu-han since Que Sera Sera, and his role here is so strange that I haven’t had much to say about it yet. His crush on Hyun-seung’s sister is hilarious and acts mostly as our comic relief, but there’s also a bit of nefariousness in this character, too. And that pulls us back to Jae-shin and his connection to Jae-woon and his father.
I appreciate the time and space the drama is giving to understanding Jae-shin, and what makes him tick. With each episode we get a closer look at his tortured soul and what’s driving him to succeed — or rather, to stay on the path that he’s on with the Lee family. It’s understandable that he’s using their coat tails to rise up, but it’s also tragic (almost in the classical sense) — in a way, his is the more dramatic storyline. I’m curious what will become of him. Will he stay on his path, or will losing Song-ah change his trajectory?
Another set of interesting relationships in Sunbae is Hyun-seung and his sisters, and whether they’re pressure or support, I think the drama gains some grounding from their presence. However, something feels really amiss with middle sister CHAE YEON-SEUNG (Ha Yoon-kyung) and her husband. I can’t put my finger on it, but the way their family is handled is troubling, and I don’t want to be troubled! I’d rather focus on the growing cuteness between Hyun-seung and Song-ah.
And grow it does! Hyun-seung is manning up and dealing with his job change, but Song-ah is interestingly affected by it. She still answers his, “Sunbae?” even though that’s not her role anymore, she worries about him when the sales team takes him for a multi-round night of drinking, and she goes to help him during his sticker-affixing all-nighter. I could make this entire review just a rehashing of all their cute scenes, which is usually what I feel like doing after watching them, but then restrain myself.
From Hyun-seung’s drunken “I miss you,” to his hilarious behavior trying to give her everything in his fridge, to the epic victory dance when he learns he’s not taking the overseas gig — it’s all pretty cute. And it’s not lost on Song-ah.
The drama she’s been through has been painful, but it’s also given her some new perspective. With the contrast of Jae-shin and Hyun-seung’s character laid bare in front of her, it makes sense she’s starting to see Hyun-seung in a new light. Bring on the cute!
- Premiere Watch: Sunbae, Don’t Put on That Lipstick, Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce)
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- Kim Ro-woon relentlessly, romantically pursues Won Jin-ah in new JTBC office drama
- Kim Ro-woon is a swoony noona-killer Sunbae, Don’t Put On That Lipstick teaser
- Script reading for Sunbae, Don’t Put on That Lipstick with Won Jin-ah, Kim Ro-woon
- Won Jin-ah, Kim Ro-woon confirm new JTBC drama