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Oh! Master: Episodes 3-4 Open Thread

Our cohabitating actress and screenwriter might squabble over little things like eating habits and unshut doors, but they’re actually quite considerate of each other. Whether that means being understanding about artistic needs, kind towards an ill mother, or wary of a possible stalker, our leads are getting close pretty darn fast! And I’m not complaining.

 
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP

Peach butt scandal aside, the second week of this drama really cemented why I’m enjoying it so much: its old school vibes, its heart, and its unabashed use of rom-com tropes. These tropes, in particular, range from the very best (forced to cohabitate, forced to enact skinship, and a heroine that needs rescuing), to the very worst (a terminally ill mother who refuses to tell her child). But of course, everyone responds differently to storytelling tropes, and whether they feel like rat poison or catnip, so YMMV.

For me, I found these tropes enjoyable — mostly because they’re well-balanced with the old school feels and the heart-warming parts of the story — so much that by the time we reached our archetypal rescue moment at the end of Episode 4, I might have uttered a very loud fangirl squeal.

Contract signed and in place, Bi-soo and Joo-in continue with their everyday lives, except they’re under the same roof of their favorite hanok. Little squabbles come up, and are humorous, but overall these two are pretty communicative.

For instance, though they might disagree on a practical (and ideological) level whether doors exist to be closed or opened, Joo-in is not above closing doors completely to be considerate of Bi-soo. Likewise, Bi-soo is willing to pack up and spend the night away from the house when Joo-in’s mother comes for a visit. So as much as Oh! Master is about squabbling celeb-artists, it’s also about parent/child relationships — and just like during our premiere week, this adds a really nice dimension to an otherwise lightweight story.

In terms of plot, we don’t have a whole lot going on in Episode 3 and about 86% of it takes place within the hanok — if I had to sum it up, I’d say this episode was solely for our leads to get to know each other a little bit more. And for us to take in those moments where Bi-soo looks at Joo-in for just a beat too long. It’s not just me right?! I’m already mini-swooning.

If Bi-soo is attracted by Joo-in’s looks and personality, who can blame him? She’s pretty amazing, and only more so when we (and Bi-soo) see her tenderness when it comes to her mother and her Alzheimer’s.

Then, that same dynamic holds when we see the inverse: when Bi-soo is incredibly kind and understanding of Joo-in’s mother, it is Joo-in’s turn to see something special in Bi-soo. It’s one thing to agree to leave the house to avoid a misunderstanding, but it’s another entirely to play along when Joo-in’s mother thinks that Bi-soo is her deceased husband.

I had mixed feelings on this confusion of persons and generations, at first, as it hit a little close to home with my own grandmother, who in her last days refused to believe she had a daughter and insisted my mom was her sister.

If Oh! Master had played this angle up only for the hijinks between Joo-in and Bi-soo, I might have been a little disappointed. But take the hijinks, and add in all that tenderness and understanding, and this plot arc actually becomes quite touching. So, even though Bi-soo was already growing on Joo-in, seeing him treat her mother so well brings them even closer.

Growing closeness and understanding between our main couple? Must be time for the heart-crushing second lead to show up! And we meet him this week — he’s Joo-in’s dear old friend JUNG YOO-JIN (Kang Min-hyuk), and yes, he’s as twinkley and adorable as expected. I loved these two and their easy friendship right away; as much as I love our OTP, I’m already anticipating some good old-fashioned love triangle agony.

The final bit of plot that pulls our leads together this week is the random and quite insane fan that somehow finds her way on Joo-in’s team. Tonally jarring and a bit ridiculous, yes, but I can’t say I minded much at all. I’m here for Bi-soo’s concern for Joo-in’s safety, the absolutely delicious moment where our heroes are rushing to save her — and that hug on which we end the episode? The comfort and care in that embrace is everything I love about K-dramas.

 
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omg omg omg these episodes were so cute. As @mindy pointed out in her fanwall Joo-In's response to Bi-Soo's habit of closing doors really cemented his attraction towards her. I think this is one of the very few times where the female lead made me swoon. Also I think Joo In was also gawking at Bi Soo in the suit. Kang Min Hyuk seems cute and adorable and that is all I can say. Agree with you on the stalker storyline being tonally jarring but I didn't mind it when the leads hugged in the end. I really didn't want the episode to end. @missvictrix you have perfectly captured the charm of the drama. The tropes are there in sufficient numbers but the show has such a tender and delicate vibe around it. Also I have a major crush on Nana now

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and i still have a big crush on Lee MInki!

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It's both of them for me.

This whole show is just super indulgent for me and I can't get enough of either of them. I may have a problem.

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Joo-in is obviously a really good person, but to me even Bi-soo has been pretty sympathetic from the start. Arrogant and fussy and rather spoilt, sure, but nonetheless a person whose better instincts one can successfully appeal to.

I would still have dismissed Oh Master as fluff, though, if things hadn’t got interesting with the mothers this week. The fatal illness / Alzheimers and old friends tropes have been milked for all they’re worth in K-drama, but I kinda like how they are used here. For a start they have made the two mothers proper characters in their own right, not just appendages to the two leads. I like how they acknowledged that friendships can be put on hold when one is preoccupied with love and happiness and grief. And I’d like to see how the two ladies and the record shop owner interact when things get harder later.

Only one thing irked me a little bit, and that was Joo-in and Bi-soo’s reaction to the guy in the stationery shop. Not everyone can afford a permanent place in a nice pastel-coloured care home, so I don’t think either of them has the right to judge the guy's friend who is worn out by his Alzheimers-stricken dad.

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I definitely see what you're saying on that last bit, but I also don't think the first thing you should say to someone who has an ill family member is "that must be a headache". It's hard, definitely, but I don't think I'd appreciate a stranger saying that to me, either.

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Actually what annoyed me about Bi-soo's behaviour wasn't that he took offence (I don't think the shopkeeper is a completely stranger, but he did get a bit too personal with a customer), but that he loudly criticised a random ordinary guy on the basis of a comparison with a top star who can afford the best care money can buy. Of course Joo-in might have had to take care of her mum since her dad's death. But Bi-soo doesn't know that.

I'm fixating on this cos I suspect it's going to be one of the main things bringing Joo-in and Bi-soo closer together. I'd love to see them bonding over and sharing their filial responsibilities, and I don't want any disproportionately heavy stuff, but I do hope the show doesn't continue to make it all look so easy.

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I doubt he would've said anything if it wasn't because Nana was in the same place hearing the owner commenting on her specific and rather personal notes. The owner is basically commenting about her in front of her (without knowing it's this person) so he is saying it to her as well.

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Yes I agree that he got snippy mainly because he was afraid she'd be upset, which is another instance of his being more considerate than he initially appeared to be. But the writer of the show needs to remember that his two main characters are currently in pretty privileged positions, so comparisons with the average man/woman on the street should be made a bit more carefully.

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OK, I knew during episode 4, Bi-soo almost turned as a singer-guitarist and even if Lee Min-ki knew how to sing and I don't know if he lipsyncing.

Also on the same episode, I also knew that before Bi-soo's successful rescue to Joo-in (as a paid tribute to Bi-soo's TVthriller writing obsession), Joo-in was kidnapped by someone. I think this funny rescue made me felt like into my another dimension to this rom-com.

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I don't care about tropes in Kdrama, espacially in a rom-com, it's why I like Kdramas. But in this one, after 4 episodes, I think I could have filled out a tropes bingo card... They could espace out them and make them bringing something else to the story. For now, I'm not convinced by this drama.

But at least, cutie Kang Min-Hyuk is finally here \o/

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kang min hyuk won't get the girl, but he's so cute... isn't he too young, btw? or does he just have a baby face...

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He has a baby face. He was born in 1991 like Nana.

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'91er Minhyuk really doesn't age xD
btw, here are baby Minhyuk and Nana 10+ years ago! :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btqtftCnC-s&ab_channel=AfterSchoolCraze

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O.M.G. so YOUNG!!!

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Weeee, thanks for the weecap, @missvictrix!

This week was half absolutely adorable, and half uneasy. I love the dynamic and chemistry between Bi-soo and Joo-in even more each and every episode, and I'm willing to forgive a lot for it, but gah, I don't trust this writer! They promised this show was going to be bright, easy, and comfortable, and much of the time it IS, but Bi-soo's mom's storyline makes me so nervous. Why, show?! Whyyyy?! If anything bad happens to her I'm calling the cops!!!

I hate the stalker storyline trope, but GOD that hug at the end. Yes, I am trash for them.

The scenes where Bi-soo and Joo-in walk back from the store and pack up his stuff, and when they talk in his room after the day with mom were my absolute faves. With the looks Joo-in gives him, it's no wonder that Bi-soo has fallen already, and I loved it so much when he told her about his compulsion to close doors and she reacted so empathetically instead of thinking it was weird. He seemed surprised. And then when she told him he was a good person! Gah!

I like that Bi-soo isn't doing these things just because he likes her (although he clearly does) but because he wants to. With things that matter, especially concerning family, he's really an empathetic person. Also, I LOVED HIS HEDGEHOG TIE AT THE AWARDS SHOW. Shout out to the stylist who gave him that, lol!

As for Kang Min-hyuk, I have nothing against the actor (I don't know him) but his character is just so unnecessary. Does the writer really expect us to care about a love triangle when we've already spent three episodes with our wonderful OTP? I also hate the pining best friend second leads. Dude has obviously liked her from the beginning and has made NO MOVES, but now that she is getting close to another guy of course he's going to intervene. Ugh. Why. You had your chance, man.

For all the things that make me uneasy about this drama, an OTP this strong is enough to make me just go along for the ride. I. Am. Trash.

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"Oh My Tropes" is not what expected in the last two episodes. I thought the TOD was a useless device. The new tropes are forced. The lead characters personalities along could bring about the change that the writer envisioned to the story. The first example was the little girl in the record store. But heaping every old trope into a soup pot as a quick means to get the leads together was unnecessary since the rental contract was the catalyst to them becoming a quirky, odd couple. The characters early personality traits were enough explore a roller coaster push-pull relationship. It is too early to give up on the show because I really enjoy the main leads interactions and chemistry.

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I find it cute that the logo on Bi Soo's computer is pineapple (instead of apple). Lol

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This is starting to resemble K-drama madlibs. The characters' personalities are whatever the writer requires at the moment. Wasn't our male lead in a coma for three days that everyone forgot about? The tone of the show is wrong for its multiple cancer/Alzheimers/death ghost side stories. The dangerous stalker storyline had no setup, as random as the male lead being hit by a truck. Is this series a makjang in disguise?

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Despite all the tropes, I actually think the characterizations are consistent, and the best part of this show. I'm not sure what you're speaking of specifically, but concerning Bi-soo: Bi-soo is grouchy about his work and doesn't like being distracted, but he's empathetic about other things, especially concerning family. I don't think it's surprising at all that he softens around Joo-in and her mom, given how close he is to his own mother.

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Is this series a makjang in disguise?

This is the question I ask of every single kdrama. When I first started watching Asian dramas in 2017, I hadn't realized kdramas had a penchant for jamming in multiple genres. Makjang can rear it's head when least expected and even the lightest of comedies can have a sense of han thrumming below the surface.

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typo: *its head*

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This drama is my comfort, I'm just so in love with it amongst all the moody/thriller/dramatic shows right now its super refreshing. LMKs long awareness stares had me hyperventilating and not knowing what to do with my self. Can he look at me that way? Nana is simply delightful and lovely to look at, her character is just so likeable...there's no one i dislike in this show.
When they introduced the stalker character my first thought was how many tropes you going to have show ? You already have the supernatural dude in white, now we have a stalker ? Thank God it ended fast.
Can't wait for next week, in the mean time I'll be rewatching LMKs long stares on repeat

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When they were drinking in his room and Joo-in looked at him with such adoration in her eyes and he stared back, almost in disbelief. I was somehow drowning in both of their eyes at the same time. Don't ask me how.

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Girl, I won't, if this keeps up I'll be needing a life jacket each episode

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that moment when he stares at her got me good

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“Peach butt scandal”. Lol. I wonder if @mary’s apple-butt would object to the literal objectification of butts into fruit, haha! Sorry, I’m planning on watching these episodes later this weekend. I’ll read the rest of the wee-cal then! I just laughed so hard at your first line!

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@missvictrix and others have referred to the show's old school vibes. Can you help me understand what that means? I occasionally watch older shows pre-2015 and, frankly, some of them are wretched. I know don't mean "old school" in that wrist-grabby way but I'm still not sure what folks mean.

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I'd say most the tropes add up to catnip for me. I'm giddy watching the OTP grow closer. Beneath all the crabbiness, fussiness and professional anxiety are two beautiful, kind souls. I'm rootin' for ya!

While I usually find childhood connections tiresome, I'm intrigued by the history linking the two mothers and look forward to seeing them strengthen their connection. Their reunion was so poignant!

And as much as I despise love triangles, the friend-zoned bestie seems to be a decent person. I absolutely adored Jin's charcoal portrait of Joo-in astride on a unicorn.

One trope I've simply had enough of is the g-d TOD. It's commonplace but deeply unsettling. (My own husband and son were once t-boned not far from home by a driver who ran a red light. No injuries but I nearly threw up when an acquaintance called to tell me about the accident.) What the heck is going on with that weird story line. Is Bi-soo living under the sword of Damocles?

I'm fascinated by the character styling. After years of watching characters in tiny skirts, skyscraper heels and sprayed-on suits, it's kind of cozy seeing characters dressed so comfortably. (The track suit/high fashion mash-ups in Hyena nearly killed me dead.)

Another detail I like is Joo-in's anxiety about renewing her advertising contract. The Ep. 90 of the Drama Over Flowers podcast explained how actors make most of their income from advertising and not from dramas or films. That contract is worth millions and will give her financial security—especially when she has her mother's long-term healthcare to manage.

Like @manichan, I'm quite smitten with Nana. I've finally got the gumption to finish Into the Ring/Memorials!

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Ohhhhh... what can I say about this show?
I'm in love with the leads. They are adorable in their own ways and seeing them together is super lovely. The moms captivated me too, gosh... they are so cute! Episode 4 melted my heart completely.
Bisoo is an interesting character, he's very expressive. At the same time that he can be a total jerk, he is warm; he is a good person with a complicated personality (I love this duality). I think that's the reason that LMK chose this project, so he could act with such a character. I don't think he chose this just basing on the script because... you know... theres nothing new, nothing surprises me. Episodes 3 and 4 proved that to me. I expected everything that happened. Which is... sad?
I don't know if I'm being too mean, but I was with a high expectation about this show. Maybe I'm feeling like that cause I was thinking that it would work in a total different way (guys, do no expect anything). I'm enjoying the show because of the cast. If I have to be honest, OMLL is a total chichè. It's not a bad thing, but is nice watching impredicable things, you know?
Creativity, pleaseeeee visit the writer and tell him some nice stuff. Tell him that he has a fabulous cast in his hands and that he needs to use them in the best way possible.
After saying this, I feel good. I'm happy with this kdrama and happy to see Nana and LMK working together. The show is lovely btw. Did I mention that before?

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Lets see if I've got this straight. The (fictional) show lost lost its lead actress after she got into an argument with the writer while taping a scene. But that happened before the network had agreed to pick up the series and there was only a partially finished script for episode 1? So what scene would they be filming?

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It's not about getting picked up; it's about not getting dropped. Securing Oh Joo-in as the new FL means the network will keep the show. Kdramas usually have 3 or so episodes in the can by the time they begin broadcast.

I'm curious how networks weigh the economics of continuing or dropping a series. River Where the Moon Rises (2021) replaced their ML (accused of past school violence) after six episodes and is now reshooting the entire series! Josean Survival (2019) dropped the ML (sexual assault) after Ep. 10 and finished the series with a different actor. But Joseon Exorcist was cancelled after two episodes after widespread protest against the show — and all the sponsors dropped out. (I can imagine the catastrophic financial wreckage from that series—on SBS, the production team, actors ...) In 2019, I was among the viewers disappointed when The Running Mates: Human Rights was cut after 14 episodes because of low ratings. What a shame; the cast and the writing was quite good.

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episode 3&4 sold me. i'm in and there's no way out

loving the different kind of chemistry and vibe we are getting from both coupling. tbh for me Kang Minhyuk and Nana gave off a very friendly vibe (doesnt help that they are same age) and Lee Minki and Nana gave me kdrama lead vibe(?)

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These episodes were great. Missvixtrix is right in saying this is old school rom-com- but there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact “old school” can be very fine indeed. It is not just a matter of doing something well or that in times like these we need something like this. It is that storytelling that understands and uses archetypes can tell a deeper story.

A great example of this is the final scene of the musical MAN OF LA MANCHA. In this story Miguel Cervantes waits in a dungeon for trial by the Inquisition. His nasty fellow prisoners force him to tell them about his upublished novel. He does this by having them and himself act out the story of DON QUIXOTE and in doing so he makes them see themselves in a new and better way. The final scene ends with Cervantes climbing the stairs to go to his trial with the prisoners singing to him a song he had sung to them: “To Dream the Impossible Dream”. He and they think that after a lifetime of hardship, struggle and failure Cervantes is going to his death. What makes this scene so wonderful is that the audience knows what the characters do not know: Not only will Cervantes live but that he has in fact triumphed. Long after the names of his tormenters are forgotten his name will be remembered by people in countries he has never even heard of and his wonderful book translated into almost every language. It is what the audience knows (plus a great song) which makes that scene so very powerful.

Tropes and archetypes are things that we already know and by employing them the show can actually tell a better story. For instance we know the exact moment when Joo-in falls in love with Bi-soo- and it is not when he rescues her. It is when she sees him dancing with her mother. The rescue merely takes the relationship further- now she knows that he already cares for her because he had paid attention to the threatening letter, understood that it was a real threat and had even been able to act on that knowledge before it was too late (though not before my wife was yelling at the TV).

To say that we are loving this show is almost an understatement. My wife has become a really big fan of Nana who is giving a first rate performance.

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I love how Nana embodies this character. I feel like Joo-in would be the coolest friend ever. I love how she takes out her frustration with a punching bag and talks the entire time. Super entertaining.

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I don’t care about the tropes! I’m enjoying this drama. I miss this kind of drama where the leads are normal, present-day people, not time-traveling, reborn, supernatural or extraordinarily skilled characters. Love the chemistry of Nana and LMK. 😍

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I’m still really enjoying this show. Yes it’s got tropes, but when they’re done well I don’t mind them. Both our leads are charming, in their own ways, and they’re peppering in cute moments throughout. The stalker/psycho fan is probably the trope I’m least enthused about, but it seems like it’s wrapping up pretty quickly so I’ll muddle through it if it brings our pair together.

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I’m loving this show. The chemistry between the leads is great. The moms are awesome - so relatable. I’m surprised no one has mentioned the characters who have absolutely stolen the show for me: the TEDDY BEARS! If you watch the background, you’ll see the teddy bears mirroring the characters and reacting to the action in the scene. There were a couple of times I became so involved in watching the bears that I missed the dialogue and had to rewind. It’s so cute. I love it. Little Easter eggs like that make me feel like the production team is really having blast making this show, which makes it even more enjoyable for me as a viewer. So, watch out for the teddy bears!

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