Sunbae, Don’t Put on That Lipstick: Episodes 9-10 Open Thread
As our heroine deals with some hardships at home, and the complicated relationship with her mother, she’s pushed closer to the hoobae that always seems to be there for her. Her feelings are clearly turning a corner — and it’s hard to blame her when she has someone like our hero waiting patiently at her side.
EPISODES 9-10 WEECAP
Though this week we focused mostly on Song-ah and her complex relationship with her mother, I can’t help but open with a thought on Hyun-seung. He’s had an interesting trajectory, hasn’t he? He started off forceful and aggressive, but we’ve learned that that was really just his fierce protectiveness of Song-ah (and his own past hurt from the same scenario coming out).
He’s been nothing short of wonderful to her, he’s got no lack of wonderful character traits, and basically after this week, I feel like he’s too perfect to be real. I mean that in the best sense, of course; I love a hero that exemplifies heroic traits, especially the ones that aren’t highlighted too frequently, like patience, gentleness, and the courage to make the right decisions (like bowing out of a slimy hostess bar situation).
After Song-ah asked him not to distance himself from her, Hyun-seung has all of his hopes renewed tenfold. Just like that, he’s back in cute puppy mode, happy not to have to hide his feelings. As for Song-ah, her feelings for him continue to develop, not only through this proven devotion, but when she realizes how much she cares about him too. And for that, we need a convenient drama fever.
I do love fevers in dramaland. They’re absent of any ugliness whatsoever, and strictly involve only a good night’s sleep, a possible fever reducer, and a loving someone to dab your forehead all night long. And that’s exactly what happens here. I might have seen it a few dozen times, but I can still enjoy it as a storytelling mechanism.
It’s also fun in this capacity because Song-ah is in Hyun-seung’s world/home here for a change — and after his swift recovery, we see how quickly he again switches to caring for her. He tucks her in on his couch, and promises her a beautiful, unending love. How do they make a moment (and line) like this so tender, and so free of schmaltz? I’m not sure, but there’s something about Sunbae’s tone that makes it possible.
As I mentioned earlier, we get a good peek into Song-ah and her mother’s relationship this week, and it was definitely time to unpack this part of the story. The drama made the friction and complexity of this mother/daughter dynamic all too clear, but it was good to get more insight on what is getting between them.
I knew I didn’t really care for her mother, but I didn’t know exactly why, outside of it just being a knee jerk reaction. But now, as we learn more about her husband’s infidelity and untimely death, it makes a lot more sense. Song-ah’s mother is clingy and full of self-pity; rather than face what happened to her marriage, she went into deep denial and held her daughter responsible for her unhappiness. It’s so toxic and sad, but we needed to see it so we can understand Song-ah’s harsh reaction to her.
Her mother’s surgery and cancer scare serve to bring them together geographically, but also emotionally. It’s messy, but it’s also good — communication and a bit of confrontation are clearly necessary here.
It adds a lot of depth to Song-ah’s inner life for us to see more about her relationship with her mother, but of course it also plays out in her romance. Because when you’re troubled and hurt, it makes a lot of sense to seek out the man that’s been promising to stay by your side, and cares about your happiness and comfort above all else. And I’m not being facetious — I do love that Song-ah actively seeks out Hyun-seung. His hug is everything. She disappears into it and has the cry she needs. And when she calms, she confesses to Hyun-seung that she likes him.
And now the cuteness can begin full swing! And it does. The official-but-secret office dating is off to an enthusiastic start, and draws a nice contrast with Song-ah’s previous secret office romance with Jae-shin.
Jae-shin is clever, careful, and I might even say he’s sometimes calculating. Hyun-seung is basically none of those things. He’s got a huge heart and it’s right there on his sleeve for all to see — it’s hard for him to hide his happiness, and his love of her. They’re adorable. And the character of Hyun-seung is swiftly heading to my list of Best Boyfriends of Dramaland.
As for Jae-shin, the loss of his father complicates things for him, and I do like how the drama doesn’t shy away from showing his mix of relief, grief, and guilt. Jae-shin’s tragic trajectory continues, and though he has a devoted woman at his side, I’m not sure how long he’ll be able to continue living this way.
For some closing thoughts on the drama as a whole, I’m really enjoying the slower pace of the plot and its pivotal moments. But, in a way it’s also been a bit of a trick, because I can’t believe there are only three weeks left! I love our couple and have every confidence they are solid (and welcome all the future cuteness, and some more/better kisses, please). But, there’s also quite a bit that looms in the drama’s final weeks — though interestingly, it’s not so much about our couple, but the people around them (viz., Hyun-seung’s sisters).
There are a lot of dotted lines to be connected, and I’m not even sure I know how the story will handle them yet. But I kind of like it that way. Sunbae hasn’t been the drama I expected — it’s far more even-keeled and simple — but I really like it for that fact. And here’s hoping things stay that way as we get further into the drama.
- Premiere Watch: Sunbae, Don’t Put on That Lipstick, Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce)
- New stills for JTBC’s Sunbae, Don’t Put on That Lipstick
- 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