Rating:
Average user rating 3.9
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Sunbae, Don’t Put on That Lipstick: Episodes 15-16 Open Thread (Final)

Our couple promised to stick together no matter what, but the lengthy and long distance separation took its toll. In our finale, we learn what broke them apart, and then watch what happens when they come face to face again, three years later. Is the rupture in their relationship irreparable? Or will they be able to resolve the issues that pulled them apart, and earn their happy ending?

 
EPISODES 15-16 WEECAP

After a painful and perplexing bit of episodes last week, we get all the details filled in — what happened when Song-ah left for Europe, what happened to our couple during the time she was there, and why they had such a painful encounter when they met again in Seoul three years later.

It was pretty sad to see it play out, but also rather realistic when we think of the dynamics we had been seeing in their relationship. Song-ah and Hyun-seung keep their long distance love going, but every six months or so when they’re due to visit each other, Song-ah’s work responsibilities throw a spanner in the works. Hyun-seung is ever the understanding and patient partner, but eventually it’s Song-ah that feels so bad that she pushes them both into a teary, tortured breakup.

However, three years later, she has decided to leave her post early. She comes back to Seoul, later admitting it’s because she misses home — and misses Hyun-seung — and pretty soon she’s even back on the KLAR team. I love this crew of people, so I’m happy she’s back with them. Everyone has advanced in their careers, but they’re still the same bunch, and everyone is as concerned about how Song-ah and Hyun-seung will handle working together as we are.

In the beginning, it’s as awkward as can be expected. Hyun-seung is cold but polite, and clearly (and understandably) has a wall built up. We learn from his friend how hard he took the breakup, and it’s hard not to feel on his side of this… which is why their reconciliation worked so nicely.

Now, it’s Song-ah’s turn to pursue Hyun-seung, and she does it quite adorably. She’s open and honest about her feelings for him, she tries to “show her sincerity,” and she also deeply apologizes for how she treated him. It’s the recognition that Song-ah didn’t appreciate Hyun-seung fully, or make him her priority, that really lands this whole thing for me — and that makes their reconciliation so delicious. (Also, their chemistry continues to be the death of me.)

I liked this section of the drama much more than I expected to. Rather than feeling rushed or pat, I liked the balance it (eventually) brings to their relationship — i.e., that they are now reaching, yearning for, and valuing each other equally. Also, on a more shallow note, I could watch tortured Hyun-seung all day, from the tension between them at work, to the way he’s so obviously as attracted to her as ever, and trying to subdue it.

The Hyun-seung we meet three years later might seem cold, but it doesn’t take much at all for Song-ah to melt him back into his former marshmallow self. She does all of the things that he used to do for her — which signify she’s putting him and his needs first, whether it’s bringing him food when he’s working late, noticing when he’s feeling sick, or making sure he’s safe during a fire “emergency.”

She’s not shy that she wants to get him back, and Hyun-seung all but tells her to try to win him over. It’s sexy, yes — but it’s even more so because it’s full of forgiveness. It also hammers the point for me about how this drama really centered on the qualities of our hero. We saw early on how those qualities are capable of coming out too harshly and aggressively, but we also saw how they make him into someone of uncompromising character. His love of Song-ah trumps any pride or hurt or other negative emotions, and in his own time, he takes her back.

As for the wrap-up of our other storylines, three years later, Ji-seung and Jae-woon are getting married (aw!). They have their little spats, but these two seem to complement each other well, and both play the role of the mentor and confidant for the younger characters. It was lovely to see this play out with Ji-seung comforting her sister, and with Jae-woon and his new “hyung” relationship with Hyun-seung.

As for our previous aggressors, Jae-shin and Hyo-joo, both find themselves in a good place after our time jump. Old wounds have healed and they’re able to meet amicably and look back on their past after learning from it. It’s a nice healing moment, but it also paints a sad contrast for the conclusion of Yeon-seung and Woo-hyun’s story (and marriage).

Three-years-later Woo-hyun looks so happy and at peace. He’s more engaged with his family than we’ve ever seen before, and it made me feel so hopeful for their family unit. Alas, we soon learn that it was just a chapter for them.

Yeon-seung agreed to keep their marriage intact while Woo-hyun looked into his heart, and three years later he’s done that. He’s ready to accept that he’s gay, and to leave the family. Ugh, this hurts my heart, and seeing little Ha-eun sobbing in her bed all but killed me. This storyline was handled very gently, but I still found it quite sad, and it added a bit of bittersweet to an otherwise happy and healing drama ending.

But back to the happy, and our wonderful main couple, it’s rare that a dramaland couple affects me as strongly as this one did. The middle of the drama, when they were happily dating and in love, was the stuff that butterflies are made of — and it’s not because the drama did anything that other dramas haven’t done. Instead, there was just something in the chemistry, something in the tone, and something about the love that was depicted that will last a long time in my heart.

It’s as if Sunbae knew, too, and they gave us that delightful easter egg of an epilogue moment where Hyun-seung and Song-ah are in their wedding tux and dress, ready to seal the deal. (It’s also a nice callback to him offering his hand, and Song-ah gladly taking it this time.)

In short, it’s the perfect ending for this couple, and there’s nothing more I wanted from this drama than to see them happy and committed to each other as a married couple. Sometimes the most quintessential endings are the most delicious.

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Well.. that was an interesting ride. I cant figure out quite where the charm of the drama lies, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It's very slice of life, while still being fantastical - I mean, a guy thats simultaneously good looking, rich and devoted such as Hyun-seung is clearly a fantasy? Or the fact that the whole Hyo-joo/Lee Jae-shin set up was incredibly makjang. Its fantastical, yet has a slice of life feel. Its isnt particularly quirky or charming, and yet is very enjoyable. Not sure what's going on here. But overall glad to have watched it.

I did feel Won Jin-ah was underutilized and has the potential to bring so much more to a role. Separately, I also felt that this is Rowoon's best performance yet. Hes improving by miles and growing into a serious actor. I'm surprised. As an aside, I wonder what SF9 fans feel about his kiss scenes? Not a lot of Idol actors out there with such passionate onscreen kisses.

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As a SF9 fans, I (or mostly fans in fandom) didn't mind at all with his kiss. Having 7 of 9 members as an actor we get used to it :))
side note: yess Rowoon improves so much that I see him not as an idol but an actor. Definitely he will get more love calls from PD or Writer in the future

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Thanks bil! I didnt know there were so many actors in SF9. And yes, looking forward to more shows with Rowoon!

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I think in general, the fans want their idol to be knows as a good actor and it means to let them having kiss scenes.

Rowoon is not the first one. Eun-Ji (Apink) in Reply 1997, Hyeri (Girlsday) in Reply 1988, L (Infinite) in Last Mission..., Suzy (Miss A), IU, Junho (2pm), etc.

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As someone wholly ignorant of the Kpop/idol zeitgeist, I find this a distinctly odd direction in this thread. :P

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A big chunk of Korean actors and actresses are either former or present Kpop idols who wear both crowns in both industries. I wouldn’t call them actors, tho. They are better described as entertainers. Their female (male ones don’t care if they kiss or not) fans’ support and approval help them transition and navigate both entertainment industries smoothly. Or not. In any case, the idols don’t dare to aggravate their fandom.

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Am I really the first to comment here?? I am not sure if I will be fair though.
I watched this show (with lots of FF), in order to support Won Jin ah. I feel she is growing as an actress and that's great. Not that her sumbae character needed much effort, but there were some micro expressions once in a while that showed me, she is working and that's great.
Support cast: not that bad. Nothing complicated.
Plus: I enjoy very much the siblings/niece dynamics, I think it was fresh and well done. Usually I feel dramaland neglect siblings unless they use them as antagonists or trouble makers.
Now the bad:
Personally, I didn't find much chemistry between our OTP... why? I don't know. I didn't find them that compatible.
Also, I found their romance a little bit forced, and not because he fell for her first, and basically took her out of her first relationship, but because I didn't feel any of them were much of use for the other one, except for: being or becoming the lover.
I know, I know... becoming a loved one to someone is good enough, and in this kind of love it's enough to just be able to feel the butterflies??? 🙄
But again, I didn't feel they were more than people who wanted to date and fill up an empty spot in respectively hearts. So much that at the end Song ah said it herself: I missed him, I didn't understood the privilege just to love somebody... something like that, she said.
It sounded romantic, but I found it little bit cliche. I would ask why? Why Hyun seung? And what possibly answer she could give me? The other way around is true. Why Hyun seung was in love with her? Apart from being good at work, what did she have that he fell for her?
I never got to understand it. I felt all romances in this drama were shallow, and not necessarily because they were vain, but because they were kind of empty.
That being said, it is an easy watch. I am glad it ended. No rewatch value, but at least they didn't come up with truck of doom, or one of them with a terminal illness 😂😂😂😂

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Thak you for the weecap!

Gotta say though, "... for Song-ah to MELT him..." gave me some major flashbacks I'm sure I don't like...

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@ladykrueger haha that was completely unintentional! I would never inflict that memory on anyone willfully ;)

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Aahh I'm not ready to let this drama end.
This drama is not grand or have a high ratings, but it definitely has special spot in my heart. Same with 20th Century of Boy and Girls, I really enjoy watching Sunbae because it feels so warm and didn't have villain character. How about the OTP? Aahh I love them so much, for me their chemistry is really good. Not mention Rowoon has chemistry with every character in this drama! Not only with Won Jin Ah but with his sisters, his coworkers (I will miss KLAR team), and his niece.

Everyone has happy ending except Yoon Seung :((, but maybe she can be happier when she let her husband go (I'm crying with Ha Eun too).

For Jaewon and Ji Seung, aaw Ji Seung propose him, it's nice to see Jaewon was moved to tears, and finally he can be bestfriend again with Jae Shin.

Conclusion: The main story maybe seems simple or cliche, but I enjoy watching the drama from the start till the end because of the characters, the relationship between them, the tone?, the soundtrack, and not forget I like everything that Hyun Seung and Song Ah wear, their office outfit looks good on them.

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I forgive the breakup and time jump since the final episode gave us so many cute moments. This will go in my list of most satisfying endings in k-drama land, every side story had their own wrap-up albeit some not so happy endings.
My favourite scene was both of them trying to "convince" Song Ah's mother that they belong together. Credit to Rowoon for his little facial expressions that complement the scene so well.

On a side note, Rowoon will definitely be seeing more lead roles coming his way. This must be his best work yet, although I'm embarrassed to say I watched him in 2 of his previous dramas About Time and When Stars Land without realising who he was (I still don't remember him specifically in those shows. He was just another handsome dude that didn't really stand out).

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This drama is a good ride, with the romances handled quite well - different strokes for different pairings. The divorce was heart wrenching, I wasn't expecting the couple to dissolve after that much work they've done in working together to accept his sexuality, never did it occur that they'd go on with 'he is gay'. I really wished they remained a couple.

Watching this weeks episodes I realised a parallel between SongAh/Hyunseung and HyoJoo Jaeshin romance. Both relationship were so much alike although one was 'somewhat' and the other warm, they shared a similarity- only person was ready to throw in everything for the other and in this case it was Hyunseung and HyoJoo. They were comfortable with doing all the work if the other could just do one thing - be there. That was the one assurance they wanted from their others and it's just funny that both JaeShin and SongAh threw the efforts of Hyojoo and Hyunseung to their faces, and it took SongAh MinYoung's point of view to understand what she should have being to Hyunseung and Ji Seung's admonition to realise what her actions cost HyunSeung. In my opinion, SongAh is in no way different from JaeShin and it took them being with other people for me to realise that.
JaeWoon is such a sweet character and his chemistry with JiSeung was everything dreamy, everything our main couple should have been. He has such a heart of gold and a heart thats full of love so much that he couldn't stay angry with JaeShin forever ( I was very sure of this). Teary eyed sulking JaeWoon+ perceptive JiSeung is a delight to my screen.

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It seems to me that Kdrama is starting to push the whole gay thing. The parents were compatible and Woo-Hyun is conflicted but bisexual. To destroy a marriage and the happiness of our little Ha-Eun to go into a lifestyle that has high rates of mental health issues, disease, and substance abuse when they obviously could hold out long enough to finish raising her seems something a gay (or Progressive) writer would promote, no matter the consquences for the ppl involved.

Jae-Woon and Ji-Seung were great together...perfect fit albeit her personality brought calmness and sanity to him. Happy couple!

Wish we could have seen more of Jae-Shin, he was an interesting character...highly intelligent and competent, but having to find his way morally. His "reunion" with Jae-Woon was great...they now can be real friends.

I too didn't feel the chemistry with the OTP...maybe because she appeared so much older than him. But it was still an enjoyable drama.

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This comment is extremely homophobic and the fact that you can't recognize that shows the kind of person you are. He was struggling with his sexuality and came to terms with himself. Being gay isn't inherently what causes substance abuse or health issues in the LGBTQ community, its a side effect of society refusing to educate people on gay sex and rejecting LGBTQ from society on a socio-political level. He never had a choice; the show also showed from start to end that he never loved her romantically, but he loved her as someone who could give him the "normal" family and life that he wanted. Their chemistry was love that bonded them as a family, which they will always be. Him being gay, and accepting being gay doesn't change that. While I would love to see a bisexual character not just in dramaland but like anywhere because bisexuality doesn't get enough media coverage, that wasn't the point of their story. They didn't destroy anyone's happiness. He was finally happy after years of being depressed trying to deny who he was. They are all free of that now.

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I know many gay people, some of them colleagues and close friends and none of them have the pathologies mentioned above. We all need a better understanding of human sexuality and there is a real need to strip away the myths surrounding it.

That being said the story here did not do that, in fact it was trite and formulaic, Gay person suffering from being in the closet, etc. Had the writer made the character bisexual then we would have seen the gay chef's behavior as the sexual harrasment that it was- and now we are really exploring the topics properly. It also would have been a better dramatic fit for Woo-hyun's behavior prior to the 'big reveal'.

I actually loved this show but not this aspect of it.

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@oldawyer
Do you think him being in the closet is the only reading of timelines?

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The actress playing Song-ah is in fact 5 years older than Hyun-seung.

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Kdramas are not pushing the gay agenda, but rather acknowledging it. I am actually happy to see dramas portraying LGBT community a bit more sensitively rather than using them for gay jokes.
I am not sure he is bisexual. He was gay and refused to accept it himself for fear of acceptance. He lives unhappily and that was not lost on his wife. She clearly knew he didn’t love her like others and she came to accept it as his personality.
Yes it is unfortunate he got into a marriage with a women he cared for but didn’t have romantic feelings for. What matters is she was able to forgive him and help him because he was family. Irrespective of his sexual orientation he will always be a loving father to his child. Ha-sun is a wonderfully perceptive child and I don’t think she would be happy to see a fake marriage as she grows up. Yes it’s hard on her now. But with the abundance of love around her (parents, uncle, aunt etc) she will grow up to be a wonderful person.

I really felt so warm when I saw Jae Shin reach out to Jae Woon. Finally they are meeting as equals and I am rooting for their friendship. Jae woon is a wonderful person and I am thrilled about his happy ending :)

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It is only natural to interpret the events through his perception, that is the way the narrative was constructed. However, I do question what that framing does to her. Where is her agency in that wording.

Just as an aside, thing that appear similar may not be the same. With SK Drama's underpinning of family, prevalence for victim blaming, and status of women, character motivations and reactions in that SK cultural overlay means characters reactions may not be as they appear to us.

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"Lifestyle"
"The gay thing"
"Mental health"
"Consequences"

You really need to self-reflect on your homophobia a bit.

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@Islander North
I don’t think Woo Hyun is written as a bisexual character. Most bisexual men don’t experience hardship while keeping up their heterosexual relationship/marriage and seeing their male lovers at the same time. It’s not a sex problem for them. The problem is infidelity, and whether the female partner agrees to share her man or not.
The doctor’s dilemma in this drama looks like he is a gay man in denial who struggles with his sex life. It’s very sickening, undignified position to be in for poor him AND his wife. That’s why he wants to free her. Divorce will help her find happiness with a different sex partner. It’s very honest of him.
equally.

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I agree that the writer intentionally wrote his character as gay- that was the problem. It was a problem because dramatically it did not fully fit his actions up to this time where making him bisexual would actually have fit his actions and his words better (and would have lead to a happier conclusion for his family).

In a sense what I am really saying is that the writer showed a lack of imagination here.

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Maybe as you say, the writer had a bit of a lack of imagination. Looking at the circumstances that brought WooHyun ans the chef together, it was just a regular thing amongst human relationships. WooHyun saw a friend while the chef saw more than that, he even saw beyond that. He mistook the too-closeness for a connection, likely. We might have a friend of the same sex who we connect with on a different level but does it make one more homosexual, does having a friend of the opposite sex that we connect with make us more heterosexual. Of course some friendships might become romantic for example that of the late photographer and his friend in episode 6 of Her Private Life, but none of them was burdened. Just as he couldn't look his wife in the eye, he also couldn't look in the eye of the chef, he..... maybe was burdened, which was most likely the case. It wasnt the burden of coming out as gay, cause man it takes a whole lot of courage, but more of another kind. Besides, him refusing any hand of close friendship from the chef with him and his family wasn't denial, at its minimum.

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What a wonderful drama it turned out to be!! To think that I wanted to drop after the second episode :) I am so glad I didn’t.
I really liked how they show the couple reconcile. It was slow yet so beautiful to watch. Sad, yet calm. It was so much like their personality.

I kind of got frustrated that Song Ah never told her boss about her BF Or her long distance relationship. Sometimes you need to be open and honest to have a better work-life balance. It’s true that not everyone is comfortable with this. But the boss and her seemed to have a good relationship.

And I didn’t not expect RoWoon to deliver this role so well. I was pleasantly surprised to see him carry this role. I look forward to his future projects.

Ha-eun- poor girl. But I am glad everyone around her is coming forward to give her more love and making her feel more loved. The siblings are the best and I love them to bits.

And thank you @missvictrix for the weecaps and your thoughts. As always, a pleasure to read.

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@mayhemf Agree agree agree! I'm also glad people stuck with the drama — it really did turn into something special ♥

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Thank you for all your weecaps @missvictrix. This show was such a delight to watch from beginning to end. Rowoon is amazing and I look forward to more of his work.
But what was so nice about the show were all the side character (KLAR team) and the siblings and their stories.
Not everyone had a happy ever after - but it was more of a real life ending.
I too was so sad the husband finally accepted his sexual preference, but how he was so much happier to have someone who accepted him was so telling. It broke my heart that they divorced, but that is reality. The writer handled the 'gay' story well and focused on love, acceptance and forgiveness rather than the torrid love affair.
And he wasn't played as the total queen they usually make gay men out in kdramas. whew!

One of the other stories I loved was how Song-Ah's mother finally created a life for herself and was so much happier!

Overall I liked it and was very satisfied at the ending.

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It was so refreshing to see a non toxic workplace in kdrama. I loved the coffee room chit chats and the team dynamics.

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Two girls tried and they regretted it pretty fast :p

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@stpauligurl I think I'm in denial that it's over - weep! So so so pleasantly surprised with Rowoon. Up the oppa list he goes!

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Me too!! I don't know what I'm going to do this coming Monday. :-(

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Binge watch the whole show all over again...lol. I went back to About Time and Where Stars Land to check him out again since I did not remember him much. He was rather forgettable in About Time, rather skinny too (there's a half naked scene of him in there in case anyone's interested!) But his role in Where Stars Land was a bit Hyun Seung-ish.

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Extraordinary You was a great drama! I loved this one. It was original and Kim Hye Yoon and Rowoon had a great chemistry. They're so cute.

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I pretty much agree with everything said in this recap about the episode and the drama, and I am sad to see it end. However, the show has been terrible for my self-esteem as a romantic partner and sibling. The Hyun-Seung character served like a scold to me to be a better person.

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She Would Never Know She knows now!

Yoon Song-A : I really like her character. Her parent's story made her to invest herself in her job more than love stories. She's discret person but it was nice to see her opening herself to Hyun-Seung by talking to her studies or her mother. She shared a part of his life with his friends or his family. She felt confortable enough with him to go to him when she was sad and to say she liked him. The break-up was super sad but I understood why she did it. She felt selfish and it hurt both of them. The solution would have been to return with him in Korea and not one year after but I think it was a good thing she realized how she loved him because she never thought she could love someone like this. She finally did it. It was super cute to see her trying to win him over. I liked the parallels between the beginning and the end : the bus scene with one staring the other, bringing food, helping each other, drunk scenes.

Chae Hyun-Seung : at the beginning, he was very sure of him ( I mean he's handsome, smart and rich) so he was very straightfoward. If he was too pushy, I think the way he handled the secret was pretty good. It was rude but it helped her. But for their relationship, he had to learn patience. I think one of my favourite scene with him was the ramyeon one. Song-Ah was worried for him and he asked why, he was waiting for her answer to take a decision and he finally stepped back to give her space. I think all the Chae siblings have a big heart, his way to love was beautiful.

Lee Jae-Shin, Lee Hyo-Joo, Lee Jae-Woon : I was happy for the conclusion of their relationships. It started badly when they were young but ended well as adults.

Chae Yeon-Seung and her family : I didn't think they will stay married until he finds his trueself. I admire Yeon-Seung for her patience to wait for him to be ready to be himself that she will have her freedom too. Ha-Eun made me cry so much. But it was beautiful to watch her family around her who was worried about her. The fact she can phone to her uncle knowing he will come showed the bond they have.

Chae Ji-Seung: She was a nice character! A professionnal career woman but with a big heart. They were cute with Jae-Woon.

KLAR Team : They were the best colleagues. They were so fun and supportive.

Song-Ah's mother : their relationship developped pretty well. She was so funny at the end by saying that Song-Ah wasn't good enough for Hyun-Seung 🤣

In a general way, I really loved the production of this drama. The story was super simple but I didn't care. At the opposite, it was refreshing we didn't have a big villain, they were normal characters with normal issues who had to take decisions. They were surrounded by family, friend, colleagues and it let us see what kind of people they were. The love story was sastifying with a lot of cute moments or more sexy ones but well balanced with interesting discussions.

The actors were great...

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The actors were great. Won Jin-A made me forget about Melting. Rowoon was perfect in this role. I hope for him he won't always put in the same "handsome and tall idols" group as Cha Eun Woo, because he really showed a better acting performance.

I really liked the songs and the colors used in this drama, it helped to make this love story.

Thanks to JTBC to show us all the BTS scenes. The PD was pretty funny :D

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Oh a detail, I really liked how alcohol wasn't overused. I'm kinda tired by FL or ML being drunk in every episode, doing stupid things. In this case, the ML was once pretty drunk, showing the work tradition, but he was super cute by making her drink orange juice and eat. The second time, he was just tipsy. The same for the FL, it happened at an event connected to her job.

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Cha Eun Woo could'nt hold a candle to Rowoon (don't kill me Astro fans!).

And arrggghh....don't remind me about Melting!

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I like Cha Eun Woo in entertainment shows, he's funny and super handsome. But in acting, for me, True Beauty worked thanks to Moon Ga Young and CEW was disapointing (at the end, he was better). But for this drama, I really think Rowoon shined more than WJA. So it's kinda frustrating to read all these articles that put them in the same category of acting...

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Agreed...the only time I ever watched CEW was in True Beauty and I found him very wooden throughout the show. Like he was just there for the pretty face. I couldn't relate to him at all.

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Thank you @missvictrix to weecap this drama :)

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@kurama Yay! Love your points above -- and thanks for the Cha Eun-woo chuckle ;)

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I must agree with you on the KLAR team! No toxicity. Just building each other up. There was even no angst amongst them when Song Ah returned from Europe, that's great work relationship and how it is supposed to be.

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I really liked his friend Lee Se-Rim too. She looked interested by Hyun Seung at the beginning, but when she understood he was dating Song-Ah, she was supportive. I liked how she saw through him both times.

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Sunbae Don’t Put On That Lipstick was a wonderful K-drama with relationships that endured and changed without a single truly evil enemy of the people in it! I wish it was a 52-episode weekend drama! Roo Woon, as I’ve gushed before, is my new bias.♥♥ I loved the closeness he (as Hyun-Seung) had with his sisters and adorably witty niece. Actress Wang Bit-Na really captured my attention (she is also in River Where the Moon Rises) with her smart acting and charming stage presence. She is very classy. Song-Ah grew on me over time and I loved her story of following her dream, living it out (remember her mentor said to pick what she would regret less); however, time affects our perspective and we get to change our minds in life, right? I could hold it against her for hurting Hyun-Seung (I want him to know I would never do that to him!!), but her efforts to reassure him and win him back were make-up-after-break-up perfect and I love her for that. Hyo-Joo deserves applause for her recovery journey and ability to face Jae-Shin with inner strength. So, two weddings, a divorce with as much family support as one could hope for, and two people free to go their separate ways makes for as happy an ending as any K-drama I’ve seen and I love it!

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I was not as satisfied with the final episodes. It should have been harder than this for Song-ah to get Hyun-seung back. But at least we got a really pretty picture at the end.

I was even less satisfied with the resolution of Woo-hyun and Yeon-seung. There was a dramatically better route- and it would have explained Woo-hyun's depressed state even better. Yes, Woo-hyun is not 'straight' and can fully enjoy a sexual experience with a man- so our gay chef assumed that he merely had to keep the pressure on- sexual harrasment in other words- to push him into the gay box as it were. But what if Woo-hyun was actually right when he said he was not gay? What if he was in fact bisexual? The chef's pushing would have been genuinely offensive because he may be bi but Woo-hyun is not promiscuous. Woo-hyun was genuinely repressed sexually by the chef's insistence that he be a gay person when he was in fact something else.

Ji-seung and Jae-woon- It took them three years to get married? Why? Dramatically it would not have hurt our main couple's story if they had married two and a half years before Song-ah returns.

OK, I am nit-picking here and in fact this has been my favorite show and one I enjoyed a great deal.

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I wished they had handled YoonSeung Woo-hyun better than they did as well. With the character they were building, the preference he became felt out of place.

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Totally agree with your point that it should have been harder for Song-ah to get Hyung-seung back. We already saw how HS treated his ex-girlfriend who had broken up with him - absolutely stonewalled her. So he seemed to cave in to SA waaaaay too quickly for me. She needed to do more to convince him that she wasn't going to bail on him again in the future (his greatest fear, according to his sister) but this was skimmed over entirely. Why?

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I don't think it's the same situations. His ex cheated on him and when she came back, he already had feelings for Song-Ah. Song-Ah chose her job over him, but she still loved him and when she came back, he was still loving her. Making things harder for her was hurting him in the processus. So what's the point? Hyun-Seung chose his own happiness by accepting her back.

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This is very well put. Hyun-seung was also suffering seeing his love "suffer". He was trying his best to be cold and just keep everything at a professional level with her not because he was really angry with her/hate her, he's just very scared and hurt. We can see it in the way he looks at her, he's fighting with himself. Big kudos to Rowoon for delivering such a nuanced performance.

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I really enjoyed this drama and am so glad that I finally jumped in. I loved the character development with so many of the characters growing and changing, plus the ever supportive office group. I rewatched both these episodes. At some point it hit me that I was getting some of the feelings that I had while reading Jane Austen's Persuasion (my favorite book ever)! This drama might end up on my all-time top ten list.

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Interesting take. Although, IMO, while Anne Elliott, despite her high intelligence, was too romantically immature to know what she really wanted, Song-Ah is an otherwise confident young woman who had to learn her strongly held emotional perceptions were simply wrong for her. In that respect, I think a closer comparison is Emma Woodhouse, even though I agree the overall tone of the show is closer to Persuasion.

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I think the parallels with PERSASION are indeed there.

One of the deepest themes of PERSUASION is Anne's regret and this is certainly what the writer used here. Anne and Song-ah had different reasons for what they had done and neither had acted irrationally but the underlying desire and longing for their respective men were not banished by the rationality of their decisions.

In both PERSUASION and here the woman's choice left their respective men deeply hurt but still yearning for their lost love.

PERSUASION was a very mature work by Austen- one where the male characters are fleshed out in real depth and the male viewpoint more fully presented than in her earlier novels. One can only wonder what we would have seen had Austen only lived another decade.

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@okiejune Oh, also a favorite book (and Austen) of mine! What a great parallel to think about the romance from Song-ah's angle -- love it.

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The thing I liked about this drama is that most of the characters were at the better place from where they started. They went on a journey and found growth and acceptance.
I liked how Jae-shin went from despicable, manipulative jerk to a person who apologized to the people he had wronged, made peace with his past and himself.
Hyo-joo got over her obsession and Song-ah made peace with her past and her mother.
I still felt bad for second noona. She genuinely loved her husband but it fell apart at the end. I did admire her courage. There are very few people who are willing to help others when their own world is falling apart.
I did not love this drama but it was a nice watch. The story was quite cliché but it treated most of the characters respectively and nobody was villainized. Each character was a person with some shades of back and white except the Hyun-seung and Ji-seung. After first two episodes Hyun-seung character became and remained perfect.

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After dealing with termites last week I am back for the ending. I loved all of the weecaps @missvictrix thank you for them! I loved reading everyone’s comments every week. I loved reading what everyone enjoyed and did not enjoy above. You all make my watching experience so much better and I am grateful for this community of drama lovers!

I have to be honest, I enjoyed the drama. I would be lying if I said I didn’t. I swooned over the main couple and had butterflies. I loved each of the characters. I looked forward to this drama each week. I LOVED Rowoon. Though he hasn’t reached bias status for me yet, his character is on my list of best boyfriends in dramaland.

Now comes the unpopular opinion:
I thought the drama was shallow and had the potential to be a lot deeper. I think I complained about this every week so I won’t repeat it here.

Let me instead complain about something else. In the end, I wondered what the drama was about and kind of reflected on the titles “Sunbae, don’t wear that lipstick” and “She would never know.”

I couldn’t really answer what the drama was about. It was just a collection of love stories of people who knew each other or were related. Only one story, in my opinion, was well developed and at times there were unnecessary hurdles for them to face (think BM Seo). That was the story of SA and HS. Theirs was basically an office romance/love story dealing with love, ambition, and work. The other stories, however, were on a variety of different topics.

Also, the titles refer to scenes or situations at the beginning of the story. “Sunbae, don’t wear that lipstick” was a provocative scene that put things in motion SA and HS but isn’t really covering the totality of the drama (or perhaps I am missing something). “She would never know” at least refers to 3 storylines: HS + SA, SA’s mother, and YS not knowing about her husband’s sexuality. But, for me, it is hard to say that that was what the drama was about or that it delivered a powerful message on keeping your partner in the dark about important things.

I don’t think that all dramas need to be deep but when you come with interesting topics and don’t sufficiently explore them, it leaves you (me at least) with the unsatisfied feeling of missed opportunities.

I am sorry to see it end though.

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I remember wrote an OT post back in early Jan about my most anticipated dramas in 2021, and Sunbae is one of them. I expected it to be about romance, with great visuals (picture looks prettyy), and beautiful pairing,,and it really delivered! I'm a happy viewer <3,,
I know now that coming into a drama with simple expectation really helps hahaa..I enjoyed it so much more because the drama gives more than my expectation :) other than enjoying the OTP romance, I also really like the siblings love and support, relatively healthy (and quite accurate) work dynamics, and story to show that heartbreaks could lead into a better place and better character (especially for 2nd noona and jaeshin-hyejoo).
yes, it's not a perfect drama in my book, but the warmth I felt watching the story unfolds stays with me longer than i've expected, and for that i bid farewell to Sunbae with a thank you :)
@missvictrix thanks for the weecap, and until next roowon's kiss,, err, drama ;))

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I’m so sad! I will miss my coffee drama. This drama never failed to put a smile on my face. It’s slow pace and soothing leads literally brought me joy. The storyline wasn’t that stand out but it was just something about HS and Song Ah that makes this one of the best romantic dramas I have seen in awhile.

I live the progression from Episode 1 with HS and his one sided love to episode 16 where we see Song Ah propose marriage. That was quite a journey. I hope these two do another drama because Wowza😍🥰🥰🥰..

Goodbye my feel good drama 🥲.. it’s been fun

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I liked the proposition! I wasn't expecting that when she started with the cherry blossom. But it was nice it came from her :)

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I just finished watching the whole series twice (back to back) and the last 2 episodes 4 times. I guess I just really enjoyed seeing Song-ah trying to win Hyun-seung back. Just as he so deserved, to be showered with love and affection. I am so happy this drama turned out to be such a wonderful watch overall because I came in with no expectations. The one and only reason that I decided to watch it in the first place is because of Rowoon. But I love the world this drama created. The camaraderie at work, the Chae family relations and the fact that there is no one true villain made this drama an easy watch for me. I will miss this world, I will miss Hyun-seung. He just joined Xiao Nai of Love O2O on the top of my best drama boyfriends. I love the way he loves. If I could describe Hyun-seung's love in one word it would be steadfast.

Thank you @missvictrix for your hard work!

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@ellafelela I miss Hyun-seung too... This might be a drama where I have to go back and say hi to him every now and then. Steadfast love, indeed!

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I don't know how many times I watched the ramyeon scene. Rowoon was perfect in this scene.

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@kurama I think I saw you made a comment about that ramyeon scene before. How his "why" was such a loaded question. It felt full of uncertainty, anticipation and hope. To me, Rowoon packed that one small word with so much emotion it's as if I can feel what he's feeling at that moment. I got that same vibe when they were finally talking in the car after their work dinner on ep 16. When Song-ah was apologizing and feeling guilty again. When Hyun-seung asked "So, are you going to give up now?" I can feel his fear, dread and anxiety in just that one sentence. Rowoon is shaping up to be a really good actor. I can't wait to see more of him! I love him so so much!

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I loved this scene because we can see they were not talking about the same thing. Song-Ah thought he was swayed by his ex and when he wasn't at all and was honest about it. It was his feelings for her his issue. His acting made me feel everything.

So the scene in the car when he asked about giving up was great indeed.

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My Mondays and Tuesdays will never be great again! Sunbae is the first drama I've watched completely during the eight weeks that it was broadcasted. My affinity to this drama, at first, was because of Won Jin-ah because I LOVED her performance in Just Between Lovers (my favorite drama!). Though she does not have many works under her belt yet and Melting Me Softly is the drama most people prefer to not remember, Won Jin-ah was perfect in this role. If you've seen JBL, you'll know the kiss scenes in it are slightly awkward (maybe because Won Jin-ah was a newbie?), but Sunbae is much better. Gradually, I kept watching this drama for both her and Ro-woon. Ro-woon really stepped up his game in this drama! His acting is more natural and his chemistry with Won Jin-ah is beautiful. I would watch a drama that just has close-ups of his face, honestly.
Small nitpicks about this drama: Why wasn't there a better shot of the last kiss on the pink-filtered street? I don't know if that street was the same one they used for the drama poster but for some reason, I wanted a shot in the drama that mirrored its pretty poster. I wanted the hugging couple smack-dab in the middle of the street, not the couple on the side with a car passing by.
In the first episode, Hyun-seung gives Song-ah a different lipstick that he thinks suits her better. I would've loved to see that lipstick make a return. For example, she wears it and he recognizes that she is.
Hyun-seung's two friends were a little bit unnecessary to the story but they provided some laughter.
Ultimately, this drama was quiet and peaceful. It had funny scenes with the KLAR team and never dived too deep into anguish. Supporting characters were a nice complement to the story. It's comforting to see people who are passionate about their work and their love. Looking forward to Won Jin-ah's next drama (although it looks VERY different from Sunbae)!

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Hellbound looks very dark but I like the actors.

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I agree 100% satisfaction came from watching this drama! 1st of all, I gotta say: COULD THERE BE A MORE BEAUTIFUL MAN THAN KIM ROWOON??? On top of that he is a sincere actor; everything he said and did seemed totally authentic, even if it was slightly corny. Standing at 6’3”, he still managed to seem adorable!!

Won Jinah’s character was cute but also managed to be a strong, professional woman and he liked that about her...seeing a man in love with a strong woman he see’s as an equal wins BIG in my book!! But it didn’t stop there, the pièce de résistance is the chemistry this couple treats us viewers with!!! Honestly, his eyes looking at her with this twinkle as they looked deep in her soul and her eyes looked back with such sincere adoration as if to say, “I must be in heaven to have such an Angel in front of me!”. They were MAGICAL together!!!

All the friends and office acquaintances were great too; they created a nice backdrop for this blossoming romance.

One last thing: THE CLOTHES!!! OMG!!! Rowoon being so tall made his vast array of expensive looking tweed, plaid & wool jackets & coats look like a million bucks!!! Paired with beautiful turtlenecks next to his caramel-colored perfect skin made him a sight to behold! Songah also had a lovely collection of what looked designer big legged pants that flowed beautifully with matching tailored jackets!! Hyun-seung‘s sisters also wore magnificent clothing! I really can’t think of anyone who wasn’t fashioned superbly in this drama!!!

I just finished Love Alarm 2 which was SO disappointing!!! I’m SO glad I had finished this drama right before it so I’m glad I at least have a feel-good beautiful drama to offset the Love Alarm flop!!! This was SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL!!! I want a Hyun-seung in my life!!! We can all dream, rite???

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YES, especially to your comment about the clothes! I'm sad I didn't get to mention the fashion while covering the show — what a fabulous job they did. A treat for the eyes. Like Rowoon. ^^

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I really hope that Rowoon will still keep his tan complexion, he looks so good with it!

I loved the fashion in this drama. As a person, who doesn't wear skirt, I loved every Song-Ah's pants! I admired her way to walk and run with high heels too.

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The clothes are great! Won Jinah is beautiful and looked stunning in those professional looks, but the highlight is Rowoon. He looks like a model, and moves really well. It's a treat to watch him sporting all those pretty outfits. I'm like Songha, I just love looking at a good looking dude in a turtleneck 🤣

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JTBC drama has released 32 minutes of BTS \o/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LBGEtM-heE

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Yay! I am going through all the BTS clips one by one on JTBC's Youtube channel per your previous recommendation and I am loving every bit of it! Thanks for the links!

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You're welcome. It's funny how WJA and Rowoon are dorks behind the camera. They have so much difficulties with their cringey lines! The PD is super cute, he always acts as the FL with Rowoon and he loves it 🤣

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If I was the PD I would too lol!

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Still at the beginning of ep 15 because I'm waiting for iqiyi to make eps 15 and 16 available, so I'm missing some information here and scrolled down with my eyes closed just to get here, he!
I'm loving this drama so much! It apparently has all the tropes - now it's the time leap and the breakup before the OTP gets back together for the finale - but somehow they manage to make the characters so relatable and real. I totally understand her decision to go and loved their last days
together beforee she left. Them just hanging out at home is so sweet - and 🔥without being too on the nose, he!
That conversation "don't feel unsure"/"don't feel guilty" felt very real and it makes it clear that they are aware of the relationship's unbalance and why. Songha simply isn't in the same place as Hyunseung, and she constantly feels like she's letting him down. It must be burdening, and a bit triggering for her taking into account how her Mom spend years trying to keep her from being independent to have her around as an emotional crutch. The separation is very sad, but the drama feels real to life in that too: that sometimes you meet a person who's right for you, but the timing is off, you need to go through some experiences on your own before committing to a relationship, and that's ok. For once, kdrama people don't drop everything else for love - I find that a healthy message!
I'll hate to watch that breakup, but I'm eager to see them getting back together stronger and on a equal footing 💚

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I think this drama handled very well cliché like the ex girlfriend who didn't cause a rift between the characters or made them becoming something they're not. The story went forward and not backward.

I think it's the same with this separation as hurtful it is.

I like this couple because of their honest conversations.

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Yesss! I'm very pleased that new kdramas are moving on from noble idiocy and dragged out misunderstandings

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I agree. The love story between the sister and the CEO didn't cause issues for example. She didn't think not to date him or to break-up because of her brother. And Hyun-Seung didn't ask her neither.

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So did you watch the end now ? :p

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I did! Watched the two episodes in a breeze. I'm happy about the resolution for all characters, and Hyunseung telling Songha to try to win him over was such a great (and unexpectedly hot) moment 😗
Loved:
-all the cute OTP bits, Songha repeatedly confessing to HS was so great,
-saying goodbye to all the characters, big and small,
- the healing moments between Jae-shin and Hyo-joo and JS and WS,
- the co-parenting and and the sister's thoughtful divorce,
- Songha'd mom living a happy and independent life
So much stuff that drama did right to the characters! And I became a Won Jinah fan - Rowoon was solvent, but she really sold the character and gave Rowoon great acting to rebound from. And, as a bonus, the raincoats and office outifts in this... Chef's kiss until the very end!

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I really think both actors did great in their role.

Hyunseung telling Songha to try to win him over was such a great (and unexpectedly hot) moment I wasn't expecting that but oh yeah it was hot. Seing Song-Ah fighting for their love was super cute. It was nice to see her in this role this time.

Each character had a nice conclusion :)

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Did the co-workers find out their boss was dating Hyundai-seung’s sister? Did I skipped over that part accidentally, or was it never shown?

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They never really showed it.

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