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Vincenzo: Episode 1

The tvN dark comedy Vincenzo starring Song Joong-ki as a mafioso sounded so bonkers that I just had to check it out. Since the story is only beginning to take shape, it’s hard to know what to make of it yet. But I have to say, it’s more coherent than I anticipated. The premiere episode focuses predominantly on setup and introducing the large ensemble of characters central to the story. The wacky premise and cast of characters suggests we could be in for a lot of fun and hijinks. And, of course, there’s Song Joong-ki being all dark and mysterious which doesn’t hurt.

 
EPISODE 1

VINCENZO CASSANO (Song Joong-ki) stands staring at a building and proclaims, “My goal is to tear this building down.” We see it crumble to the ground.

72 hours earlier, Vincenzo wakes in Rome and readies for the day. A chyron tells us he’s the consigliere – or legal advisor – for the Cassano mafia family. He’s driven to the heavily guarded mansion of someone named Emilio and presents him an offer from his recently deceased boss Fabio.

It’s less of an offer and more of a threat, really, since Emilio killed a close friend of Vincenzo’s boss Fabio. When Emilio refuses complete with racist remarks, Vincenzo smiles and curses him in Korean before walking off.

During their conversation, a plane has been flying overhead crop dusting. But rather than pesticides, it’s been spraying the grounds with lighter fluid that Vincenzo ignites by tossing his lighter behind him on the way out. The vineyard goes up in flames. Emilio is very angry which we know by his intense gesticulating, grit teeth, and screams to the heavens.

Vincenzo goes straight to Fabio’s funeral where he stares at his open casket, calling him, “Father.” There’s tension between Fabio’s biological son Paolo and Vincenzo with Paolo whining about how his father trusted Vincenzo more. As the new boss, Paolo wants his “brother’s” loyalty which Vincenzo would happily give were he to deserve it. Damn.

That night, three men sneak into Vincenzo’s and shoot several rounds into his bed only to find it empty. Vincenzo strides out of the bathroom, gun raised, and shoots all three dead.

He calls Paolo who’s stunned to hear he’s alive. Aboard a plane, Vincenzo tells him he let him live out of respect for Fabio. He does blow up his car, though. Vincenzo is leaving Italy for good and warns Paolo not to look for him because he’ll kill him next time. On the flight, Vincenzo examines files on Geumga Plaza, a building slated to be demolished due to a conglomerate’s “tyranny.”

Elsewhere, HONG CHA-YOUNG (Jeon Yeo-bin) strongarms a whistleblower with threats of a suit from her client. She literally has him pull laminated bills out of a cake, so it’s safe to say she’s a bit eccentric and, shall we say, spirited. Deed accomplished, she meets up with her bubbly intern JANG JOON-WOO (Taecyeon) at the courthouse.

In court, she argues for a pharmaceutical company the opposition claims is responsible for the deaths of its test trial participants. That whistleblower was a star witness, but she got him to recant, so the trial is adjourned.

Outside, she and the opposing counsel get into a little tiff. It turns out, he’s her father HONG YOO-CHAN (Yoo Jae-myung). They’re not on good terms, and he even accuses her and her client of being like the mafia. She begins crying and begging him to call it quits, worrying this is taking a toll on his health.

He deadpans that she should be an actress so she’d have less chance of hurting people. Cha-young’s crying immediately ceases, and she asserts that he can’t beat her. Her father insists he’ll find a way to disown her, at least.

Meanwhile, Vincenzo arrives in Korea with a plan. He’ll wrap things up within a month and head to Malta. But the big bad mafia consigliere immediately gets swindled by a fake taxi driver who spikes his water.

While he’s out cold, the authorities in charge of Italian organized crime get wind of Vincenzo’s arrival in Korea. Zealous TEAM LEADER AHN (Im Chul-soo) wants to track him, sure he’s here on mafia business, but his superior chastises him for overreacting. Team Leader An petulantly marches out in silent condemnation.

In her office, Cha-young’s celebratory song and dance ode to her own awesomeness is interrupted by her boss ATTORNEY HAN (Jo Han-chul). When he tells her she’s getting a bonus, she sucks up to him by turning on the fake tears of gratitude. Alone, she grumbles at the amount.

Vincenzo wakes up as the pair of swindlers are pilfering his cash and designer products. They knock him out and leave him stranded with only about $50 on him. Dirt on his face, Vincenzo throws a tantrum in Italian and boards a bus where passengers gawk at his handsomeness and pity his disheveled appearance.

He arrives at Geumga Plaza, and we flash back to five years ago in Milan where a friend of Fabio’s had asked for Vincenzo’s help hiding his gold. Vincenzo employed their tried-and-true family method of buying a dilapidated building in Korea (Geumga Plaza) under a friend’s name, making a business front, and hiding the gold in a biometrically-secured, underground saferoom.

Vincenzo meets his friend CHO YOUNG-WOON (Choi Young-joon) who’s been handling his affairs and gets an update on Geumga Plaza. The pharmaceutical company Babel bought up the surrounding shops and has been pressuring Young-woon to sell which he’s refused on Vincenzo’s behalf.

He leads Vincenzo to his new abode which is a far cry from his old life of luxury, which he tries to take in stride. Young-woon has already moved in Vincenzo’s belongings and informs him he’ll set up a meeting with the tenants for the next day.

LEE CHEOL-WOOK (Yang Kyung-won), who had been following Young-woon and Vincenzo, reports back to Yoo-chan and NAM JOO-SUNG (Yoon Byung-hee). They wonder what the man giving off a “handsome movie villain” vibe is doing renting a unit above their law office Jipuragi. Yoo-chan decides they should alert all the tenants.

Most occupants have moved out, but Yoo-chan’s law firm and a handful of other tenants remain. Young-woon gives Vincenzo a tour through the halls where the lights flicker and the roof leaks. With each business they pass, they’re treated to dirty looks and hostility.

Vincenzo is increasingly put off by the uncouth behavior of the tenants and just wants to get to the saferoom. Young-woon had to choose a new tenant for the business directly above it: Nanyak Temple.

Vincenzo smirks to see a Buddhist monk sitting lotus position right atop the entrance to the gold-filled room. One of the monks spots Young-woon and announces that Nanyak Temple has joined the Development Opposition Committee (led by Yoo-chan).

After the monk passive aggressively comments on his dirty suit, Vincenzo heads to the building dry cleaner’s. TAK HONG-SHIK (Choi Deok-moon) laughs off his claim that the suit is rare and expensive, even mistaking the brand name for the similar sounding Korean word for “testicles.” He further frustrates Vincenzo when he says he can’t get it cleaned by the next day.

A crowd of tenants has gathered outside to stare at the newcomer. Yoo-chan approaches Vincenzo and introduces himself. Vincenzo introduces himself likewise as an attorney and confuses everyone with his foreign name.

When they hear he’s from Italy, they boast that CHEF BAEK (Kim Hyung-mook) trained as a chef in Milan. His inability to specify where in Milan he studied makes that claim dubious as does his look of panic when Vincenzo greets him in Italian.

Yoo-chan acts cautious with Vincenzo, guessing that Young-woon brought him there to advise on legal matters about selling the building. None of the tenants believe Young-woon that he won’t sell, but Vincenzo promises to clarify at the meeting the following day.

At his temporary home, Vincenzo struggles with the temperamental shower and about scalds himself to death before collapsing in his bed. Thanks to a noisy, persistent pigeon outside his window, he stays up and reviews a court document for OH KYUNG-JA (Yoon Bok-in), a woman currently serving time.

We flash back to her trial where Vincenzo watched from the gallery. She was a housekeeper accused of attacking and killing her employer Chairman Hwang. Her lawyer sat back while the prosecution tried to use how she’d given her child to an orphanage to smear her character.

She’d lost her cool and yelled that Chairman Hwang had sexually assaulted her and many other women, but no one seemed to care. Now, Vincenzo reads that Yoo-chan has been appointed as her lawyer, but Kyung-ja is refusing a retrial.

The next day, CHOI MYUNG-HEE (Kim Yeo-jin) dances her heart out in the laundromat and brazenly confronts two men who laugh and take pictures of her. Elsewhere, Vincenzo dines at Chef Baek’s restaurant and does not appreciate the food. He haughtily deems it trash and calls Chef Baek a con artist for his claim of studying in Milan.

Vincenzo next heads to the prison, presumedly to see Kyung-ja, but chickens out and leaves without going inside. Yoo-chan arrives right behind him and meets with his client. He visits monthly and has helped Kyung-ja get treatment, although we’re not told what her illness is.

They’re clearly on good terms, but she adamantly refuses to talk to him about a retrial. She seems to be punishing herself, claiming that she’s committed many wrongs in her life.

Yoo-chan intercepts Vincenzo’s meeting with a Babel representative and insists they all go to Jipuragi’s office. The representative is incredulous that their generous offer is being soundly rejected. Vincenzo’s “client” intends to raze the old building and erect a new one, allowing the tenants to keep their lots. When the representative threatens him with the might of Babel, Vincenzo coolly advises him to never threaten him again.

The tenants gather for the meeting where Vincenzo informs them he’s drafting an agreement for them to sign, ensuring they’ll keep their lots. They’re suspicious since Vincenzo isn’t even licensed to practice law in Korea, but they end up voting to trust him and Young-woon.

Yoo-chan remains unconvinced and privately tells Vincenzo he doesn’t trust him “You represent money, but I represent people.” He’s prepared for when they’re betrayed and Babel buys the building; he’d rather Vincenzo honestly go about his business rather than deceive them all with this act.

Young-woon returns to a dark, quiet house that night. As he calls out to his family, he’s struck from behind. Men drag him into the living room where his wife and daughter are being held hostage. A man pulls out a sale contract for Geumga Plaza.

The next day, Cha-young finds a document on her desk. It’s a notice that her father is relinquishing his parental rights due to “ethics violations.” That’s some hardcore disowning. She can’t even reach him since Yoo-chan treats her calls like spam. Elsewhere, the enforcers get Young-woon’s stamp on the contract and leave after the transaction is complete.

Cha-young rushes into her father’s office, demanding to know what he’s trying to do. The family registry system was abolished, so it’s not like he can remove her from his registry. “I can try, can’t I?” he responds. All she can do is laugh, although it sounds a bit unhinged.

Vincenzo, meanwhile, is livid when he finds his precious suit has shrunk and resorts to cursing Hong-shik out in Italian. Hong-shik is unapologetic and blames the suit’s “cheap fabric.” Vincenzo’s tirade is interrupted by the building’s loudspeaker calling everyone outside.

As the tenants head outside, Vincenzo gets an apologetic call from Young-woon who promises to make this right. Before he can explain further, the driver’s side of Young-woon’s car is viciously struck by a Truck of Doom.

In Yoo-chan’s office, Cha-young is still going over the document he sent her detailing that she’s no longer allowed to call him anything meaning “father” and that all childhood photos of them together are to be donated to the Geumga-dong History exhibit. Pfft. Being dramatic obviously runs in the family.

They get in a shouting match about their values and end up agreeing to cut ties. As they yell back and forth, “No, you shouldn’t call me!” Cheol-wook runs in and tells Yoo-chan to hurry outside.

Notices are being posted all over the building about the sale. Flanked by gang-type enforcers, CEO Park from “Ant Company” introduces himself as the chair of the Development Committee and threatens the tenants to peacefully comply.

Yoo-chan isn’t scared to stand up to them and cite the illegality of their actions. When one of the men shoves him hard, Cha-young jumps in and shoves him right back. Ha, even in this situation, Yoo-chan objects when she names herself his only daughter.

Right as things escalate and the man goes to strike Cha-young, Vincenzo makes his dramatic entrance. His request to talk is met with one of the men trying to attack him. Vincenzo quickly and efficiently incapacitates him.

Then, Vincenzo punches CEO Park in the nose. He whips out Hong-shik’s measuring tape he swiped and in a few swift moves, he has CEO Park dangling out the widow by the tape wrapped around his wrist.

He notes CEO Park probably wouldn’t die from a fall of this height unless he’s unlucky and lands on his head. Vincenzo calmly states that he won’t forgive the illegal buying of Geumga Plaza. “I’ll get this building back no matter what.”

Vincenzo smiles coldly while the tenants erupt in cheers. Only Yoo-chan looks concerned by the fact that a lawyer is nonchalantly dangling a man out of a window.


 
COMMENTS

Well, that was a long premiere, although lengthy episodes have become par for the course with tvN, so I shouldn’t be surprised. There was a lot going on, though, and it seems we’ve barely scratched the surface. So far, we’ve only got an outline of how events and characters intersect. Because there were so many characters to introduce, some like laundromat lady Myung-hee remain a mystery for now. I’m assuming she’ll be important later, or else that scene was just a very strange aside. Also, I somehow missed that Taecyeon was in this, so his brief appearance surprised me. This is shaping up to be quite the ensemble drama which I do enjoy, even if the deluge of characters this hour was intense.

One thing that has become apparent is that this writer (Park Jae-bum) has a distinct comedic style. Like in his past works Fiery Priest and Chief Kim, we get an absurd premise, quirky characters, and a playful atmosphere where nothing is taken too seriously. I appreciate how the comedy comes from multiple angles – the ridiculous situations, the characters, and even the music: the romantic swells of violins that died out whenever something didn’t go as planned or how the music mirrored the sputtering shower. He intentionally plays on absurdity and leans into it rather than trying to make things “realistic,” and I think that’s necessary for this type of comedy. We always get at least one truly bizarre and zany character, and Cha-young most definitely fits the bill. I loved Jeon Yeo-bin in Be Melodramatic, so I was looking forward to her performance here, and wow is this a different role! We haven’t even spent that much time with her yet, but she’s already made an impression. Cha-young is hyper and downright weird, and it’s hard to tell who she is under her animated persona. She’s obviously smart and savvy and willing to use whatever tactic gets her a win. I’m curious to find out who she is under the surface.

I like how neither of our leads are “good guys,” so to speak. They’re both unabashedly in it for themselves and willing to get their hands dirty. Although, I’m sure Vincenzo’s are a bit dirtier than Cha-young’s. Despite his politeness and air of elegance, he always seems poised to strike like. Of course, his outbursts show a crack in his suave façade and indicate he doesn’t have it quite as together as he tries to project. My favorite Song Joong-ki drama to date is Nice Guy, so I’m excited to see him in this kind of semi-villain role again. He’s already killed three people, blown up a car, set a vineyard on fire, and dangled someone out of a window, so I’d say he’s safely in antihero territory at a minimum.

All the signs point to Kyung-ja as Vincenzo’s birth mom, and I’m guessing that’ll be his tragic backstory that led to his mafia career. His return to Korea five years prior must’ve been for her trial. It looked like she recognized him at the trial, so either they’ve been in touch or she’s kept tabs on him somehow. Since Yoo-chan is her lawyer, I’m guessing his and Vincenzo’s relationship is going to get a touch more complicated. I love a good reluctant friendship, and we know from Chief Kim that this writer can do those well. I’m looking forward to watching Vincenzo navigate the residents of this chaotic community at Geumga Plaza as he tries to get his gold out from under their noses.

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Our little baby is all grown up and ... and saving China... I mean conquering Arthdal... I mean burning down vineyards in Italy.
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Four for you Carrot Boy! You go Carrot Boy!

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Magic Horse and Carrot Boy- I wonder who wrote this? 😇

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Was looking forward to this drama because I was wondering if SJK could pull off the Italian-- well I think he did, just not enough "Italian hands" for me. LOL. Surprised to find myself enjoying the dark comedy, the classical to metal rock bgm, the quirky characters, and the premise is absurd enough (hiding Chinese gold in Korea?) that it holds my attention for an hour and a half.

I haven't seen the Fiery Priest, only Chief Kim and writer seems to like having the bad guy turn out to be the good guy in the end, albeit not exactly starting with the purest of intentions. Anyway, I'm tuning in... and learning Italian curse words while at it. >.<

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Me too...haven't watch Fiery Priest and Chief Kim yet. Wondering all these hype about Vincenzo are worth for me to tune in.

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Chief Kim is worth it.

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Fiery Priest is worth it, too.

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It took me longer to warm up to Fiery Priest but I enjoyed both.

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I didn't watch either, but they're now on my Might Watch list after watching the 1st ep of Vincenzo.

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Yeh, everybody knows Chinese gold gets hidden in Toronto, not Seoul. ;-)

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There's a lot going on. The things that stood out for me are

1. The Shower Scene. I liked the play of light and shadow on the soap suds. I was especially wowed by the length of time it took the bubbles to stay prone on Vincenzo's back. Not that I was looking at his back. I mean, I did glance very quickly at his back, but that was to check if @leetennant was there. LT has a habit of draping herself on anonymous backs.

2. The Measuring Tape scene. My jaw hanged open the whole time the baddie was hanging out there. Thank goodness I remembered that measuring tapes in Korean dramas are particularly resilient. And @ndlessjoie would be quick to point out that the Clam Squad, armed with their tiny teeth, are waiting down there to gnaw through the baddie's neck in the event he survives the plunge.

I know that this post sounds deranged, but trust me, it makes sense. And no, contrary to @ally-le's speculations, I am NOT that measuring tape.

Sidenote, totally unrelated --- @wishfultoki still gets chills when she watches the tornado in CLoY ("gosh, YY, you were awesome up there"--- toki, that was what you were thinking, were you not?)
@eazal On a sad note, no cat has appeared so far. @bbstl's cat is not pleased.

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1. Personally I would like to know why Carrot_Boy_ Concierge_Mode is so incompetent at showering that he didn't try to rinse his face BEFORE the issue with the beat boxing shower head- but then again, he has always been a bit slow.

I join you in the sadness of having no cat thus far. I like cats.

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Again - how did he manage to lather up like that without water?

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His body is watery. It seeps out from his pores on demand.

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😆🤣😆🤣

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K-drama soap does not observe ordinary rules of chemistry!

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Wait. . . is @yyishere trying to tell us that she IS the soap?
If so, she’s got a lot to answer for 🤔

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It wasn’t soap lather. Magic Horse’s lather rubbed off on him...

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ExCUSE me?!?

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I have been thinking maybe Pussenzo is the guardian cat in of the hidden gold.

Also: I love Taec.

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❤My heart is missing, ❤
❤Taec has taecken my heart. ❤

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But YY, I thought I definitely saw you in this one. Were you cameoing as the lighter fueled fire then?

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❤I would love to be the curls 💓 bouncing 💓 on Taec's head ❤

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Ah, you’re a major character! Congratulations on the progress of your career!

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Yes, the soap suds..i only had eyes for the soap suds, I swear.

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I thought you were the soap or the shower head. How did he manage to soap up like that without any water?

The clams are still waiting and all but one have returned to the indestructible luggage in another drama. The lookout they've left behind has his eye on the Italian restaurant owner lest they all become one of his inedible pasta concoctions.

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He was showering and the water was running before the water went off and then when it came on again it was extremely cold or extremely hot.

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Actually, the zombie clams are the silent partner in the restaurant. The Chef is a puppet inhabited by a colony of zombie clams. That’s why the food in that restaurant is a little off.

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The restaurant makes sense now.

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It's times like this that I go down on my knees and thank the Good Lord that you are here, Tool, to explain everything so clearly.

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From duct tape to measuring tape, your transition was seamless. (Har-har-har!)

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wait, the duct tape is in the other drama...

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Right, her cameo was duct tape in that drama, and measuring tape here. I’m certain of it. Hence the transition.

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Good one!

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Bobo says that we saw an Italian cat! 🐈‍⬛ Or am I confusing it with an Italian cat I saw on CNN’s “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy”? Which, btw, is fantastic and a great accompaniment to Vincenzo for hearing spoken Italian. (But eat before watching.)

Well, anyway, there are never enough cats 😾

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I need to be on my toes since YY is now slandering me across multiple shows that I - and I cannot stress this enough - AM NOT WATCHING.

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I really enjoyed Fiery Priest, but somehow did not feel Vincenzo in this premiere. It just felt like the writer had gotten lazy and basically just gotten the same formula from Fiery Priest and transplanted it into a new setting, and somehow the cast here didn't seem to make the dark comedic feel work as well as Fiery Priest. Jeon Yeo Bin gave me a strong feeling like she was trying to imitate Honey Lee's character in Fiery Priest, but failing to work it as well. Her character, whether writing-wise or portrayal-wise, may perhaps have been better off being completely different. Not sure if I'll be hanging around :/

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It took me about 4 episodes to warm up to Fiery Priest. I'm hoping this one will pull together about then too.

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It took me around the same time to get into the vibe of Chief Kim.

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I said on the wall that it feels like someone told her to imitate Honey Lee in Fiery Priest. Their characters are written almost exactly the same and Jeon Yeo-bin is even doing the same mannerisms and facial expressions. I thought Honey Lee was too OTT in Fiery Priest but at least it fit her persona.

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Same here. It seems like if you haven’t seen the Fiery Priest or Chief Kim, Vincenzo can be a refreshing kdrama. Unfortunately for me, it all seems too familiar. I love Joongki, but he’s not doing anything breakthrough-ish here in terms of acting.

I’m still watching, but not loving it.

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Right? I find SJK acting in this drama much cringey than female lead. I did watch first eps of Fiery Priest tho...and similarities between Lee Honey and JYB are too much there.
Since there will be another 18eps to go, I might binge-watch Mr. Queen and old dramas and many more Kshows.

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OK, so of the new shows this one is unquestionably the most fun.

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I was expecting such a terrible mess that I enjoyed the premiere a lot. I had fun, lots of fun, I loved all the absurdity and the fact that the show is not taking itself seriously.

I’ve already said that SJK’s Italian is not that bad. Not at all. It doesn’t mean it’s good, of course, because he would never pass as someone who’s lived his whole life in Italy, but he and his coach have done a very good job considering he didn’t speak a word of the language. His phonetics were quite good, although he lacked intonation, and some more “hands talking” would have made him more believable. Italian and Spanish people gesticulate a lot when speaking.

I also found funny how lightly the Italian sentences were translated by Netflix. I mean “cazzo” it’s not exactly stupid and “vaffanculo” is certainly not mind your own business.

P.S. I love how sweet and goofy Taec is here, even if we only got a glimpse of him. I want more!!

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i was wondering how good his Italian was since i don't speak the language but the bus stop scene where he was swearing at Korea made me laugh at how passionate he delivered it.

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I don't speak Italian, but I had to learn its pronunciation for my major. It's very close to Korean phonetically with straight vowels and the double consonants are similar to Korean double consonants, so it should be easy to sound pretty good if you're a Korean speaker.

I'm also enjoying Taec here! Poor dude was probably pigeon-holed as the serious smoldering type because of his looks. I hope he's having fun with the role!

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We have deviated at last, lol. I didn't care for this episode at all. I think I chuckled twice and then stared baffled at the screen. However, I will maintain that SJK is one of the most charming actors, and he can get me to watch anything, so I will continue to watch for him. Taec is doing well too, but this is where he does his best work, when he gets to be goofy.

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I noticed that Taec seems to speak with “Italian hands” quite a lot. Then again, Koreans call themselves the Italians of Asia.

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I wasn't sure what to expect from the writer who did Blood but also Chief Kim / Good Manager. So far it's more like Chief Vincenzo so all is well.

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This was a solid premiere. The mixture of comedy and darkness is balanced in a way to make this show entertaining. It's also great to see that this drama is on its way to becoming another ensemble with the tenants who i'm sure Vincenzo will grow to become attached to unwillingly and i'm especially excited to see the actor who played pyo chi soo from CLOY again. There is also so much honey lee energy exuding from Jeon Yeo Bin in this character and i'm looking forward to her teaming up with Vincenzo to form an uncanny partnership, hopefully filled with lots of bickering.

It's so strange to see SJK in a darker anti hero role because i've only seen the fluffy side to him but i can totally see him pulling this off and i'm sticking around to hearing his Italian.

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The music, y'all, the music! SUCH a relief to not hear inappropriate kpop-inspired-BGM or worse, english-language songs, peppered through the episode.

Definitely the strongest premiere of this week, of the ones I watched (3 out of I lost track of how many).

My summary:

-- Measuring tape was good, but the Shower was perfect. 😂
-- The building tenants are interesting though a little predictable.
-- The Italian was a little cringe-y for me - he spoke too slowly, for one, and like others mention, no "hands".
-- Taec still can't act, poor child.
-- SJK has a face that I can't unsee and therefore, does not exude mafioso-like vibes at all, IMO.
-- The women could generally have been better written, though I feel that Choi Myung-Hee (Kim Yeo-jin) may be the one to watch out for here, or some of the side actors.
-- Yoo Jae Myung's earnest prosecutor character seems like a dark comic reprise of his earnest doctor role in LIFE.

Overall, this is the one show I can see myself watching another week of, but even comedy can be done badly. I wasn't a fan of FIERY PRIEST, though I enjoyed CHIEF KIM, so I have a 50-50 record with this scriptwriter. I'm still on the fence here.

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"Taec still can't act, poor child."

💔💔💔💔

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The fact that he can’t act (and let’s face it, he can’t) doesn’t make him less lovable.

We love Taec ❤️

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Amen. He seems so adorable

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The music! Yes! Such a nice change!

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oops nvm

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Heavens, I agree with everything you’ve said! The music is just EXCELLENT and keeps cracking me up. It took me 2 episodes to click in for Chief Kim, so I will wait a while although this feels like kind of a mess to me so far. The FL is really bugging me, though 😣

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"Yoo Jae Myung's earnest prosecutor character seems like a dark comic reprise of his earnest doctor role in LIFE."

Which is why I am calling it now, he will not live out the series. This is a antihero tale and that is what Vincenzo and his daughter are and that is what it is going to take to get revenge for his death.

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Noted! Good theory. Although does the writer do main character deaths? That'd change the tide too drastically.

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Technically, Yoo Jae Myung is part of the supporting cast. Which is why I think it will happen. Something has to happen for it to truly effect Cha young and her father being murdered just might be it.

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why do i like this show?😅

this show is pretty much "lawless lawyer" with "startup" cinematography and with yeobin/chayoung bizarrely doing her best impression of jeon jihyun/cheon seoyi from "my love from the star." weird faces and "my sassy girl" turnt up to max volume. for some reason, i thought she was gonna play a semi-serious character or straight woman, like in "be melo." whoops, that was a wrong prediction.

like "lawless lawyer," the show can't be taken even remotely seriously as a legal drama with the 5000 conflicts of interest and the "ocean's 11" gold heist vibe. and there are rumors swirling that taecyeon is the main villain of this show. yes, THAT taecyeon, the guy who is still proudly dishing konglish sayings like "right on" and "oh my god" as if it was 2010. MAIN VILLAIN.

yet, i still like this show. why?🤣

maybe it's the sheer lunacy of the above. the fun of it all. or the hublot/ferrari PPLs. but really, it comes down to one thing and one thing only: SJK cursing in italian. mamma mia! this is a spicy meat-a-ball!

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Anyone who can bring up Lawless Lawyer with appreciation is alright in my book.

That show was so bad it was so good.

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@ltung23 When I was trying to describe how wildly different the vibe shifted around in this show to my spouse, I said, "It's like Lawless Lawyer and Pegasus Market had a child." Somehow Start-Up never hit my radar, because I had to look that up. Another added to the list.

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It is like Stephen Chow mocking John Woo.

Looking at Song Joong-ki' Vincenzo burning down a vineyard at the top of the show, I was like it should be a high stake mafia movie ... then when he goes back to South Korea, he is scammed by two simple "taxi drivers" ...

The show draws a lots of jokes from Hongkong's Stephen Chow (周星馳), mocking John Woo (吳宇森)'s almost every symbol in his movie (think about the pigeons outside his bedroom window). Those tenants in that rundown shopping malls make me think about Stephen Chow's Kung Fu Hustle (《功夫》, You really should watch that first) Song did mentioned that the show is like Chow's Shaolin Soccer《少林足球》, I guess he is right for a part only.

The show's originality is not create a show from scratch, but drawing everything from Godfather to Hongkong comedy, and recreate a whole new show, mocking all those cultural icon, as well the lawlessness of South Korea. This is a joyride I am looking forward to.

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And by the way, those seems random classical music is a good fit to the scenes, that shower head has a character, by the way, I guess ...

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Yes! The action+comedy cinema vocabulary that this show is drawing upon definitely gets a big thumbs up. But, I mean, Godfather parodies have been done before. So what's the extra here, is what I'd like to ask.

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Think about John Woo, @pickleddragon. The director who is famous on making Hongkong Triad (another version of Mafia) movie. He has a signature of slow motion (think of Vincenzo lighting that vineyard), as well using lots of pigeons in his climax scenes. His style is definitely a bit different from Godfather, as he is more vulgar, yet keep a bit high class and symbolism from Italian Mafia Movie.

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John Woo slow motion is epic.
A bit tiring, but epic anyway!
I remember watching his movies after having an exam in college. It was perfect: you didn’t have to think a little bit.

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Looking at his filmography, I realized I might have only watched John Woo's Hollywood films, and not his HK movies. Gosh, so much more to watch now!! I've definitely watched more of Stephen Chow's HK movies, though not quite enough!

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*stares in church shootout in the cinematic greatness that is Face/Off*

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Yes, @larelle79, John Woo's most violent scenes (most of the time, also the climax of his films) always stage in a church with lots of pigeons fly by. Both symbolize peace and harmony, and the fight scenes are simply the opposite of these symbols.

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Haha got it. The referencing is obvious. Show is basically having a lot of fun. I'd only question if this is sustainable over 16 eps.

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20 episodes. It’s 20 episodes. 😬

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oh gosh I didn't realize it was 20 eps 😂

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I'm already fretting how well this can be pulled off continuously as well! I'm still bracing for disturbing dark 3rd Act climax with his soon to be crush in danger, but am wondering if they will pull off the humor snap to break it or will instead resolve it as usual. (Now, if he's the "damsel in distress" and she saves him in such a case....I will be so thrilled.)

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Yes, this show has jokes like Stephen Chow's movie which I love!
周星馳 is the king of comedy of all time.

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Koreans love physical/broad comedy. Stephen Chow is amazing, The Fiery Priest also seemed to borrow him a lot too. KNG said that Stephen Chow is his idol. In Vincenzo, I can see how it bleed a bit in here too. I think the fact that this show knows its tone helps a lot too. Not perfect, but definitely has the potential to up its game in the 2nd half.

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At first, I thought it was super ridiculous that he was so easily scammed when coming to Korea given how he threatened his brother. I mean, it's obvious he thinks very little of his bro and therefore wouldn't be as concerned, but now I'm wondering if they're trying to play up the "doesn't understand Korean culture" fish out of water trope. I mean, he NEVER thought--even for a second--to have some sort of security watching his friend's family when the entire rest of the area had already been bought up? 🤔

I get the idea of no one is infallible, but...if he's that smart and has extensive mob experience...he should have seen that coming. 🤷

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Song Joong-ki looks sooo good in suits!! 😍 Every time he’s shown on screen, I’m amazed at how handsome he is 😆 Song Joong-ki in suits is enough reason to continue watching hahaha. And I like it when he’s given roles with more dimensions so I’m really looking forward to seeing Vincenzo’s complexity and struggles, given that he obviously has a huge backstory.

But I am yet to understand Hong Cha-young… I haven’t seen Jeon Yeo-bin’s previous works so I have no bias, but based on this episode, I’m a bit bothered that she seems to be only acting the part and is not really being the character. She’s good when she’s serious but not as convincing during funny parts. In contrast, Yoo Jae-myung has once again made me believe and root for his character. I’m excited to see more of his Hong Yu-chan.

Also, I really enjoy Korean comedy, but there were times when I felt that some scenes don’t fit well 😕 They made me cringe and somehow reminded me of KDramas of the 2000s. Or maybe I just didn’t expect it to be this kind of funny? 😬 But thanks to this recap I now know that it's the writer's style. Okay, I'll keep that in mind and just have fun XD

Yes, the premise is absurd and the characters interesting haha. The tenants, I suppose, will soon become the neighbors that we love, like in other dramas. The others are also intriguing, but I’m particularly looking forward to Kwak Dong-yeon as the “evil chaebol” hihi.

Lastly, I told myself that I’m not gonna take the legal parts seriously and just enjoy the show, but I’m just really curious.. doesn’t Korea have conflict of interest rules, especially if the opposing counsels are very closely related? 😅

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I honestly thought Jeon Yeobin's character gonna be a serious and cold one and remember thinking maybe that was why she was casted and the very first scene she was in (with the cake and all the checks) I got a Cheon Songyi's kind of character (which is fun!). Also love the hints that she might actually bribe the informant to prevent him from actually being harmed by Wusang and she seems like she does have a soft spot for justice yet she just find the world doesn't work like that

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I watched both episodes and I liked them, though I can't yet say if I'm in love with this show. I have never watched any show starring Jeon Yeo-bin, I find her to be a competent actress, but I didn't like the fact that she very much reminded me of Jeon Ji-Hyun, so maybe it's just her character, not her acting. I don't know what's going to happen in the upcoming episodes but I don't ship the mains very much, I don't have any problem with their chemistry, the fact is, I don't find myself in need of shipping anyone with anyone in this show. I'll be ok if there be no love line, can't they be just colleagues?!!! I mean that's possible in real life, why not?
I have a hypothesis that's bothering me and I think I'm not alone in it, Taecyeon's character is suspicious, I'm waiting for the next episodes to confirm my thought.

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I remember a beanie’s theory that Taec might be Babel’s Chairman pretending to be the intern. I guess we have wait and see!

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I think they don't cast Taecyeon just as a sidekick, so I very much agree with that theory, we have to wait as you said :D

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I tuned out of Arthradal midway and even SJK could not keep me watching.
However this one seems promising. Watched the first episode and I am already loving it. 🥰

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Arthdal is not that bad, it's just too deep in thinking, too hard to understand in terms of a Sageuk (in fact, Sageuk is some kind of drama that should think about all these kind of things), as well a way too good drama jam into the middle of its run.

Putting Hotel del Luna between Ep.12-13 of Arthdal due to "needing time to deal with the drama's CG" is BS for me. I always fascinated by this decision of tvN. Before HDL I even don't know who IU is, now I am reading about her and listening to her music in a daily basis.

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Arthdal would've been not bad if I had showed up more.

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I love the deep look in SJK’s eyes. They’re alluring.

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*BLUSHES FOR YOU*

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Not only the eyes :p

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@yyishere @kurama Somehow it’s only the eyes that drew me in. He is, fortunately, not my type so ...

*hands SJK to YY and Kurama and runs to Sissypuss the Cat threads*

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We will still report you to Kim Seo-Ho! :D

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Oh Baby Kurama you always know me so well!

I’m not that close with Baby lately because many things distracted me, but he is still my number 1.

*kisses Baby’s cheek*

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He's vacationing with me.

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*wakes up @ndlessjoie*

Baby has always been with me.

You can have SJK though, it’s a little sad no one wants him. *sad face*

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Thanks, but no. *HANDS BABY RIGHT BACK TO MM*

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If I understand this correctly, Baby Kim Seon-ho is with me and I and YY don’t want SJK so..

*hands SJK to @kurama*

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For now, I'm too busy to swoon at Rowoon in She Would Never Know.

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Oh I’m sad for SJK.

*puts him in the back seat of my car*

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@mmmmm What a sacrifice on your part! xD

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🥺

This is really a sacrifice.

My attention can only be directed at one thing at a time. This is a burden.

☺️

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Poor SJK ...

How many hands has been exchanged by now?

Note I don't want SJK, I want LJE.

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This was the first time I have ever found him attractive.

It is working with this show.

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I especially love his eyes here... 👀

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I can't help but pause every close-up 😊 His skin is so flawless and he really looks good even in pj's!

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It was a fun ride honestly.

I loved the Italian scenery, the classical music (the music during the shower scene that followed the water flow), the humor, Tiger Park's cameo as a taxi driver and thief, the Italien language, etc.

There are a lot of characters with the tenants... My mind will have to work hard.

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Yeorobun, bear with me while I squee:

SJK was a total badass! And boy, is he sexy! The face, the body, the bravado, charismatic, magnetic, those lips, that smirk? Okay, I'm done.

The opening scenes in Italy were fire. Literally. Except the CGI was godawful. And I was pleasantly surprised to see decent foreign actors in a K-drama FOR ONCE. The OST was cool, too.

(I'm looking forward to learning about where they shot those scenes on KDL. Whoever founded that site, you're a rockstar!)

A whole mafia consigliere getting his ass handed to him by petty thieves? Vincenzo, yo, that was embarrassing af. Lol.

The flaws:
• This is my first work of JYB but I found her acting over-the-top. Like she was trying way too hard to secure a spot in the Annals of Iconic Women In K-dramas. I'm told she said the character was supposed to be intentionally annoying. But I don't buy that excuse. Intentionally annoying can also be fun and lovable. Just ask the Trinity: Cheon Song Yi, Jang Man Wol & Ko Moon Young — all of whom rank very high on the aforementioned annals.
She also reminded me of Honey Lee's character in Fiery Priest. Then I read it's the same writer. Come to think of it, I see shadows of Fiery Priest and Chief Kim in here. Can you plagiarize yourself?
• The drama is a little too long but I never got bored and time flew by quickly.
• 20 episodes is just asking for it. Too much room for the drama to eff up.
• Vincenzo is pure awesome but he doesn't yet have the emotional depth/pathos/heart compared to Kim Hae-il in Fiery Priest in the first two episodes. The “seeking redemption for accidentally killing kids and saved by his mentor priest” backstory that made me rally behind him all the way to the end. Maybe it's too soon but Vincenzo doesn't have it yet and I hope to see his backstory, including his childhood in Italy.
• I love the wacko characters but some of the tenants are problematic. And some of the humor, too.
• The overzealous security agent annoys me with his xenophobic leanings, more so in EP2.

Out of all the new premieres, this one was the strongest and my favorite. Now my hope is that the story stays on course for the whole crazy ride or imma run the drama over like that truck of doom.

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The guy is sooo hot :) He is like ageless alien ! He can be 20 , 30,40 ! Beautiful to look at :) I very much liked the first episode especially cinematography but second was a disappointment .He arrived Korea and things become boring and stereotype! I ve watched Fairy Priest but the humour was pretty different . I didn't like main female lead so far. I also do not see any humour the way that she walks or dance ! What is connection with the story !

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"He is like ageless alien"
It's those Neanderthal genes :)

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there's something about these young people... we never looked like he does when we were 36, right??? wth.... must've been all those preservatives and processed tv dinners we ate in the 60s....

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Hahahaha...
Even my husband couldn't recognized him in suits, although he did watching the whole Chronicles 😅😅😅.

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Bloody... purplebloods.

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Yeah, I had to giggle at that nod of an "insult". 😁

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It's fitting that we get a recap of this show by someone with "quirky" in the moniker.

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😂😂😂

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🤣 😂 🤣

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I liked Jeon Yeo-bin in Be Melo, but I am disappointed by her acting here. I find her antics not funny at all, and I end up confused with her facial expressions that it seemed she was trying too hard. On the few scenes that she is being quiet and serious, she was nailing it. Maybe comedy is not for her.

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I love her in Be Melodramatic. It does feel like she is trying too hard that she seems awkward in some scenes. Hopefully she settles to the role in the next episodes.

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She seems like Cheon Song Yi except with ten times the loudness

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I am not familiar with Cheon Song Yi, what show was that?

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You From Another Star

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Another show I can’t get through.

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Oh noooes, really? Gosh, I rewatch episodes to improve my mood on bad days. So “sawry” you don’t care for it 😢

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I love Cheon Song Yi! But not so much Cha Young because we were shown Song Yi's vulnerabilities early on as a charming ditz.

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yesss

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I enjoyed watching the first two episodes. It helped me warm up to the setting fairly quickly. I like SJK and Taec. But mostly tuned in because I like the writer's previous work, Chief Kim. This was the show I enjoyed the most out of the three new shows I tuned into last week.

Not sure if I like Cha Young yet. But I like Vincenzo and Lawyer Hong Yoo Chan right off the bat. Assistant Taecie is okay so far.

I really needed a fun show and this just fits the bill. After MQ, I just want to continue the feel good trend. Bring on the hijinks, show. I feel like Vincenzo may pull off a Robin Hood with that ton of gold once everything is said and done. We shall see.

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I watched the 1st episode but not really enjoyed it because it felt familiar so I thought I'd give a chance to the 2nd episode, hoping it'd get better.

Then I watched the 2nd episode and "This is totally The Fiery Priest!" and then I checked who the writer-nim is :D

I was a big fan of The Fiery Priest that's why these exactly similar vibes, humors, and characters in Vincenzo serve me a cold bland dish. I guess I will drop Vincenzo and visit your recap instead. Jeon Yeo Bin acting doesn't work for me here though I loved her in Be Melodramatic. In Vincenzo, her character is just too much and how she portrays it was cringeworthy.

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Well, I watched it. I can’t say I liked it at all. But I also never got into Chief Kim and skipped Fiery Priest, and all of DB (at least on Discord) knows that Sjk has never kept me intrigued long enough to finish even one episode of a drama. So me finishing both these episodes was a feat. Maybe I have no sense of humor—all the jokes, drawing on and making fun of those Hong Kong movies really are not my cup of tea to begin with. Everyone is just so loud in this. The FL is grating. Teak is actually my favorite character here. I totally think he’s sus. I really like his Konglish. I wish he was on my screen more. I think his acting is better than the female lawyer who I don’t think I’ve ever seen anywhere, but gosh the overacting here is giving me a headache. It’s probably purposely done, let’s hope it’s purposely done. And how fast can a vineyard burn? I was getting flashbacks of A Walk in the Clouds with Keanu Reaves—bless that man— but even at that unbelievable rate, the vineyard took longer to burn. Oh, and no pixelated blood scenes. That was surprising, must be because it’s Netflix. Netflix loves SJK, don’t they? Dots, Arthdal, Space Sweepers, and now this are some of his works readily available there. He may be the Korean equivalent Tom Cruise (ugh, someone else I can’t watch). I really sound more deranged than @yyishere at this point, so I’ll just stop. The whole thing. I may be back for the episode 2 recap, but I’m probably done with this one after the premier week. Oh, I did like the Italian buildings and vineyards. Gorgeous. Would have paid to see more.

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Taec speaking Konglish it the cutest thing of this drama.
Have I said I love Taec? No? Then, here it goes: I love Taec!!
I also love Keanu.
And I totally get why you think SJK and Tom Cruise are alike. The seem nice guys and handsome and have a wonderful smile, but... that but is soooooooooo big.

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Whoa, there was a second in this show when SJK was in profile and I realized, there’s a resemblance to Tom Cruise! Then I thought how Beanies would think I was crazy if I mentioned it ☺️
So, I have a technical question about the vineyard fire. Could anything the crop duster sprayed down remain flammable in the open air for that long? Seemed highly unlikely to me.
Also, I thought he tossed the gold lighter with the interesting engraving behind him to start the fire, but he still has the lighter in Korea. Obviously it and its engraving Mean Something.
@ally-le, definitely try watching”Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy” on CNN. Although it will make you want to book a direct flight for Rome 🍕🍝🍷

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I think we’re all a little deranged with all new drama crop this past week. But yeah, there’s definitely a resemblance in my mind. I know, how many lighters does he have?! Maybe @yyisher’s cameo is the lighter. Maybe she can shed some “light” on the situation. I’ve seen that recommended to me. Just haven’t pressed play yet.

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I suspect he has a boxful of those lighters...

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🤔 perhaps. Leading to the next question, why?

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That would explain how his lighter magically reappeared in the next scene. He bought them in bulk for all the slow-mo lighter throwing scenes in his life.

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Now, I kind of want a boxful of the exact same lighter for overly dramatic parts of my day. I’m sorry, you can’t ever eat *insert favorite food* again... *clicking lighter* *evil smirk*

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@ally-le I don’t know why the thought of you doing that cracks me up so much. I’m picturing my allergist burning down groves of nut bearing trees on behalf of my allergies.

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oh my gawd... i was absolutely DROOLING watching Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy.... i am booking a flight as soon as pandemic is over (gluten sensitivity be damned)... tho they (and every other country in the world) won't let any americans enter the country after what coronavirus devastation our past orange creature caused in the US.

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Isn’t it GREAT? It’s so lovely to see sunshine, and people hugging and eating together. I feel almost like I got away for an hour 🌞🌞🌞

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So, I have a technical question about the vineyard fire. Could anything the crop duster sprayed down remain flammable in the open air for that long?

Napalm.

The problem is that the smell would also be present.

The scene has a few other issues, like the quantity of fuel required to ignite that big an area that fast would be a Lot. And for the scene to work, V had to stroll in/through a sprayed area, most likely leading to at least a charred V, etc... but it was such a pretty scene!

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Thank you! 🔥

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I was impressed with his invincibility.

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😂

It's his secret superpower!

I did kind of assume that they sped up the rate of how the fire spread just to match the car driving out normal speed.

It did bug the heck out of me that they don't show how he gets through the gate, though. I thought they'd speed up at the last minute and bust through as the armed guards leap out of the way because that's always a classic. 🙄

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Let's not talk about that plane scene since anything aerosalised from that altitude would have sprayed all over VINCENZO and his car as well and when he threw his lighter he would have been the first one to go up.

This was a ridiculous episode. I kind of loved it.

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What, there's no screenshot of the shower scene?

Okay, back to Tumblr where I can see plenty of them. 😃😃 🚿🚿🧖‍♂️🧖‍♂️

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I legit thought this would be a dark Mafia show, but I guess I missed out the fact that the writer is actually the writer of Chief Kim. What more to say, l LOVED it!!! Everybody in this show have their own kind of craziness, and the entire cast is awesome. So many laugh out loud moments (that shower scene, my gosh 😂), perfectly blending with those classical music inspired BGM tracks (although I'm not that much into classical music, they are so cool and such a breath of fresh air... I'm kinda tired of hearing the same half-English kpop-like BGM scores)
This is totally gonna be my happy pill for sure.

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I absolutely love this drama. I didn't know what to expect going in, but black comedy is an apt description. I was completely hooked and from the premiere week, it looks like it will be an interesting ride with the whole cast of crazy characters.
I will say i was very impressed with SJK speaking Italian. He must have a knack for languages, cause his english is pretty good too. I liked that this writer made him revert to italian whenever he was angry or upset, because to me that strikes as authentic. we are led to believe he was adopted by the mafia family and grew up in italy so he would presumably be more comfortable speaking italian hence reverting to it when he is upset. It just added to the premise that he was supposed to be italian-korean. I am looking forward to next weeks eps!

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I loved Chief Kim, but I did not get past the first episode of Fiery Priest and based on the comments this is very reminiscent of that drama. I will still watch because SJK is just so freaking charming in everything he does and frankly I can't help myself, but I hope it gets better for me.

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oh, fiery priest was quite delightful -- and yeah, i think you have to get past the first couple of eps... but it was well worth it in the end. campy - yes. funny - most times. silly - sometimes to a fault. endearing --- YES!! and Honey Lee adds to the equation!

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Yes, it might've been 4-6 episodes before I fell under it's spell. It was a delight, mostly.

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I was sooo looking forward to this drama. Finally started!
It didn't disappoint me, at least ep.1 didn't.
I loved where Cha-young brought a cake was TQ delivery (from Good Manager/Chief Kim).
I'm sure Taecyeon is in fact a bad guy. His acting seems a little too much, like forcing to be clumsy and fluffy.
But okay, see how it goes.

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I also think he is the bad guy cosplayign for unknown reason as a goodie goodie character,guess we'll find out if we are right. Love this little stuff theya dd here and there connecting the shows,like also mentioning the Law Firm Go and Goo...It would be amazing if Kim Sung Ryul and Fiery Prist make cameos...

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Did they mention Law Firm Go and Goo too? Where?
I guess I missed it!

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Looked it now again,it's in ep 2 :D

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