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Doom at Your Service: Episode 1

I’ve been eagerly awaiting tVN’s latest fantasy romance Doom at Your Service mostly because it means seeing Seo In-gook and Park Bo-young every week, and who doesn’t want that? Despite the drama’s rather dire premise, the premiere episode was fun and upbeat. After having the absolute worst day you’ve ever seen, our heroine finds doom literally knocking at her door with an offer she may not be able to refuse. And not just because she’s entranced by doom’s handsome face, although it certainly doesn’t hurt.

 
EPISODE 1

TAK DONG-KYUNG (Park Bo-young) sits in a doctor’s office and stares blank-faced while he tells her she has multiple brain tumors. When he says she’ll need to be admitted for a week for a biopsy and examination, Dong-kyung says that’s a no go; she can’t take that much time off work.

Exasperated, her doctor explains she’ll only live for another three or four months without surgery. Even if she has surgery and lives another year, it’ll be tough on her due to all the symptoms. The biopsy itself can be dangerous.

Dong-kyung asks if she’s going to die. He says yes. She takes that in and stands calmly. Then she hands him an event plan for “Doctor King Yeomra” and peppily asks him to kindly send his episodes in on time, although she knows he’s busy.

It turns out he’s also a writer, and she’s his editor. She says he seemed like a “real doctor” today (which he is) and thanks him for getting her in early for an MRI. He’s at a loss as she smiles, wishes him luck, and leaves like he didn’t just give her earth-shattering news.

Dong-kyung walks through the hospital in a daze and bumps into someone wearing a white doctor’s coat. She looks up at his face and stares in awe until MYEOL-MANG (Seo In-gook) says with a smile, “I know I’m handsome, but I’m busy.” Pfft.

Myeol-mang waits in the emergency room and counts down. While several people are rushed into the hospital after a stabbing incident, Dong-kyung stares at her bill in dismay. Recalling that she only has a few months to live, she asks for a three-month installment plan.

In the ER, the man Myeol-mang is waiting for arrives. Using some kind of hypnosis, Myeol-mang convinces the nurse to leave him alone with the patient who is the perpetrator of the stabbings. Myeol-mang commands the man to open his eyes.

He accuses the man of stepping on his doom turf and begins strangling him. The man’s wound heals when Myeol-mang “collects” his doom, but Myeol-mang vows he’ll return it to him one day. His fate now is worse than doom: it’s life.

Myeol-mang goes up to the roof where a goddess (Jung Ji-so), dressed in a hospital gown, waits. She’s essentially his boss and likens herself to a gardener tending to human lives. She calls him the butterfly that pollinates her flowers.

Her peaceful demeanor remains unchanged by his anger at being forced to do this work for her for eternity. He grumbles that it’s his birthday, but she reminds him he was never “born” as such and isn’t human. She sends him to “become someone’s wish” as he can only on this day. Myeol-mang laments that even his birthday is all about humans.

Meanwhile, Dong-kyung sits at the bus stop researching her condition. She takes a call from her boyfriend who sounds frazzled and asks her to meet him urgently. The next thing we know, a pregnant woman is throwing water in Dong-kyung’s face at the café where she was supposed to meet her boyfriend.

Dong-kyung takes in this latest catastrophe, calmly explaining that she didn’t know he was married. His wife refuses to believe her and continues to cause a scene. Dong-kyung finally starts to lose her cool and exasperatedly asks who she gets to unleash her anger on in this situation.

Maintaining an impressive amount of control and poise, Dong-kyung takes a breath before continuing. She’s willing to be the villain in this story because she understands the wife needs someone to blame. Dong-kyung genuinely wishes her a happy life with her jerk of a husband, both for her and her baby’s sake.

Poor Dong-kyung’s horrible day is getting worse by the minute. Before she can get out the door, the wife starts having abdominal pain. She ends up rushing with the wife to the hospital and serving as her guardian until they can contact the cheating husband.

The wife is fine (stress-related pains) and has now calmed down enough to be more rational. She admits it was easier to blame Dong-kyung for everything, even though she knew something was off about this situation.

Dong-kyung meant what she said earlier and encourages the wife to blame her and live happily. She tells the wife she’s dying soon anyway, so it doesn’t matter. Dong-kyung sincerely wishes her a good life and leaves.

When Dong-kyung returns to work, she’s yelled at for being late. CEO Park is a misogynistic piece of work. His response to hearing she went to the hospital because she hasn’t been well is to go on a rant about how women are always complaining and “getting sick” for no reason.

Because Dong-kyung hasn’t had a hellish enough day, her encounter with the wife is trending online complete with video. CEO Park sees it and plays it loud enough for the whole office to hear, asking if it’s Dong-kyung.

She denies it’s her, but he keeps pressing, so she mutes the video. When he yells like she’s the one being rude, Dong-kyung finally loses it and shouts back, “So what if it is me? What are you going to do about it?!” Everyone stares at her in shock. Dong-kyung announces she’s taking one of her meager vacation days and marches out.

Myeol-mang walks down the street and pauses outside of a bakery. After staring at the cakes, he keeps walking. Meanwhile, on the subway, Dong-kyung reads the vicious hate comments about her. Someone alerts her that a man is filming her, so she confronts him.

When he runs out at the next stop, Dong-kyung chases him all the way out to the street. Nearby, Myeol-mang gets in his car and starts the ignition. Two cars crash. He takes out a cigarette and lights it. A massive hole appears in the middle of the street right below the feet of the man Dong-kyung was chasing. She stares down at the man, stunned.

Myeol-mang’s bad mood gets worse as he ruminates over his conversation with the goddess and wonders what makes humans so special. Outside, Dong-kyung gets caught in the pouring rain without an umbrella on her walk home.

Her little brother TAK SUN-KYUNG (Dawon) calls asking for money. From her response, this is a typical occurrence. He gives some excuse about crashing a rental car in Jeju, but he’s actually playing games with his friends at an internet café.

Dong-kyung scolds him for being like this on their parents’ death anniversary which he forgot about. He’s unfazed and brushes it off. This poor woman. After hanging up on him, she buys a cake and arrives home drenched.

Dong-kyung narrates that she learned to hold in her tears at age 10. She places her parents’ wedding photo on the table and sits down to eat. We flash back to her parents’ funeral where she holds her little brother’s hand as their relatives sit nearby discussing whether to send them away or have a family member raise them.

Now she concludes that all those repressed tears must’ve settled somewhere in her brain, causing her illness. Her aunt KANG SOO-JA (Woo Hee-jin) calls from Canada and makes sure she bought cake for her parents – it’s better to celebrate than be depressed.

They chat comfortably and seem close. Dong-kyung keeps her diagnosis to herself and lies that she’s doing well. Her aunt happily notes that things are finally going their way. After they hang up, Dong-kyung tells her parents she’s dying and asks if it hurts to die.

While drinking on the roof, Dong-kyung gets a text from her cheating ex who wants to explain. Then, she receives a text about her loan being overdue. Several shooting stars light up the night sky, and Dong-kyung yells out her wish: “I hope the world goes to hell! I wish everything would stop existing! Bring doom upon the world!” With that out of her system, she laughs.

At home, Myeol-mang hears the wishes of people throughout the city, most of them wishing for personal gain. Suddenly, Dong-kyung’s wish for doom rings out. He scoffs that he smells alcohol in that wish and heads out.

The doorbell’s incessant ringing at 3:33 A.M. wakes Dong-kyung who has literally drunk herself under the table. She stumbles to the door and looks out the peep hole. A train makes its way through a snowy mountain scene.

She rubs her eyes and looks out again. This time, she sees the Duomo in Florence, Italy. Baffled, Dong-kyung slowly opens the door. Myeol-mang gives a cheery hello and says he played a little trick to get her to open the door.

Dong-kyung recognizes him from the hospital but is speechless when he introduces himself as Myeol-mang (which means “doom”) and insists she called him here. He pushes past her and makes himself at home in her apartment.

Seeing the table set up with food and a photo of her parents, he guesses it’s their memorial day. He adds that today is his birthday. Dong-kyung naturally thinks he’s nuts and politely wishes him a happy birthday while secretly dialing 112 (the police). Her phone powers off.

When Myeol-mang mentions her doom wish, she thinks he’s been stalking her. Dong-kyung tries to leave, but her door won’t open. Myeol-mang helps himself to cake and says they don’t have time for this. She’s going to die in 100 days.

He explains that his birthday “crosses over the centuries and leaps over destiny,” so she should take advantage of this rare opportunity. Dong-kyung has an epiphany and gasps that she didn’t know her brain tumors could cause fascinating hallucinations like this.

Myeol-mang chuckles and says he’ll give her more time to wrap her head around this situation. His birthday isn’t over yet. He leaves with a smile and a promise to see her again. “Is this a dream?” she asks herself. Outside, Myeol-mang answers, “No way.”

Dong-kyung falls asleep on the couch and finds herself transported to Myeol-mang’s lair which is sort of cave chic; there are massive rocks and candles everywhere. Myeol-mang apparently has the power to enter her dreams whenever he wants.

She’s amazed at the level of detail in this dream and goes poking around his place. Myeol-mang’s causal speech irks her, but he argues she started it with her doom request. He gets up in her space, and Dong-kyung decides she needs to leave.

She opens the front door to find herself thousands of feet up – the house is built into a cliff. With a snap of his fingers, Myeol-mang transports them to a beach since she that’s where she wants to be. He says it’s a thank you for the cake.

Dong-kyung starts to entertain the idea that he is doom personified and wonders what he needs her for. Myeol-mang explains that there’s a system in place, and he needs a human client to bring doom upon the land. She’s the only one who made a doom wish when the star died.

He laughs at her assumption that he’ll wink out of existence like in fantasy novels if he doesn’t fulfill her wish. Myeol-mang says it’s a mandate that he becomes someone’s hope on his birthday. Her alarm goes off, so he snaps his fingers and wakes her up.

Dong-kyung is relieved it was all a dream. That is, until she finds Myeol-mang’s dirty shoeprints on her floor. She gets to the subway station where Myeol-mang pops up around every corner and offers to make her dying days painless and even grant her a wish.

She ignores him and gets on the crowded subway only to find it suddenly empty except for her and Myeol-mang. “See?” he says, “You want it too.” The lights flicker, and the car is full again.

At work, Dong-kyung learns from her colleague JO YE-JI (Song Joo-hee) that CEO Park fought with his girlfriend the previous day which made him extra touchy. She begs Dong-kyung not to quit.

They’re interrupted by KIM DA-IN (Choi So-yoon) who informs Dong-kyung that a writer named Siberia is here for a meeting. And who does Dong-kyung find in the meeting room but Myeol-mang, masquerading as Siberia.

He reads Dong-kyung’s thoughts and assures her she’s not crazy. She’s naturally bothered by the fact he can hear her thoughts, so he encourages her to enter into a contract with him. He doesn’t listen to the thoughts of his clients.

Dong-kyung leaves in a huff, but she can’t escape the ever-present Myeol-mang. When she gets to a crosswalk, she sees him waiting on the opposite side. She narrates that abstract things like death and doom are hard to fear until they become tangible. Abruptly, Dong-kyung is hit by a terrible headache and drops to the ground in pain.

The light changes as she sits in the crosswalk cradling her head. Cars begin swerving around her, but a distracted truck driver heads right for her. Time pauses. Dong-kyung looks around in amazement, and her eyes land on Myeol-mang.

He walks toward her and says god is on his side. “It’s your choice. Will you die here or take my hand?” Dong-kyung hesitates and then slowly reaches up to grab his hand. The countdown to her death starts: D-99.

 
COMMENTS

As a fan of both Seo In-gook and Park Bo-young, I was really excited for this one, and I’m not disappointed. I’m always a little apprehensive when dramas bring in fantasy elements since it has the potential to go awry. But when it works, it can be a lot of fun. Thankfully, this first episode struck a good balance, and the fantasy elements are incorporated well into the story. Dong-kyung as a character really grounds everything and adds an emotional center. Myeol-mang is fun and mysterious as doom incarnate, and the interactions between our two leads are entertaining. Given the premise of Dong-kyung only having 100 days to live, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect in terms of tone. I like that it’s offbeat and whimsical but with a touch of melo. It’s fun without trivializing Dong-kyung’s plight, although I have a feeling we’ll lean into the melo as we move closer to the end of the 100 days. I don’t mind some melo, but I like the playful vibe of the drama and hope it doesn’t lose that.

The premiere episode focused heavily on introducing Dong-kyung and setting up her situation. So far, I’m loving her as a heroine and not just because Park Bo-young is adorable. Dong-kyung is pragmatic, mature, and kind without being a pushover. Despite all the truly awful things that happened in a span of 24 hours, she handled it with dignity. I’ve seen drama heroines have bad days, but this was on another level. I appreciate how the drama showed us so much about Dong-kyung as a person through her reactions to everything happening to her. She’s the type to hold everything in and pretend she’s fine, which makes sense given her parents’ early deaths. She’s empathetic and understanding, but not to the point of letting others demean her. The way she dealt with her boyfriend’s secret wife was classy and sympathetic. Even after having water thrown in her face, she maintained her composure and genuinely wished the woman happiness (and accompanied her to the hospital). Dong-kyung knows when to stand up for herself, though, like she did with CEO Park. That man made my blood boil, so I was really happy when she refused to let him treat her so disrespectfully.

We’ve only scratched the surface with Myeol-mang, but I’m already curious about his story. He’s clearly sick of having to work at the goddess’s bidding and existing solely for humans. The goddess said that he was never human himself and wasn’t “born,” but he seems to see himself as a person – maybe not human exactly, but someone with an identity beyond doom. Although he doesn’t like having his life be all about humans, from his interactions with Dong-kyung, he doesn’t seem to hate them. He’s gloomy and angry – which makes sense since he’s literally doom – but his demeanor with Dong-kyung is playful. He’s certainly eager to get his “birthday” event going judging by his incessant pestering of Dong-kyung into striking a deal with him. Now that Dong-kyung has agreed, I’m looking forward to seeing how things play out between them. She may have wished doom upon the world while she was drunk and desperate, but Dong-kyung seems the opposite of vindictive. I’m excited to watch their partnership unfold and, of course, turn to romance along the way.

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It's here, it's here! Thank you quirkycase for taking up the recaps of this lovely show!
I was hoping DB will recap this!

I loved first 2 eps so much! They were everything I hoped for and more!

Plus SIG is love! 😍

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did everyone hear that? "Plus SIG is love!" i heard that and second it!!!!!!!!!!

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Everyone should hear that! It's the truest spoken word hehehhe!

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The first episode set up the scene nicely. Seo In Guk and Park Bo Young are usually great and here too, so far, they do not dissapoint.
I just hope it doesn't go heavy on the Melo as we move further in the story.

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I'm finding little in the series that could be describes as 'whimsical'. This show is dark, sometimes VERY dark, and not because the director misjudged the tone. I think its meant to be that way. God is depicted as a 20 year old hospital patient with a fatal heart condition? That is dark. I wouldn't describe Park as a 'plucky heroine', either. Her reaction to her medical prognosis was grim resignation, the same grim resignation that she displayed towards her job, her finances, her family and her love life. I'm watching it but I'm not expecting a fun fantasy romp.

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I agree. I thought this was the darkest thing I've seen this year.

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Omo, thanks for the comments. This is definitely a hard pass for me at the moment then.

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I like it, but I think it's going to hurt.

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You like to hurt yourself MG. Or you like to see others hurt (you like to torture poor LT.)

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@mmmmm There are certain actors that I just can't resist. I'd prefer this to be a comedy with heart but I'll take what I can get.

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LT liked my above comment a minute ago -faster than you replied to mine.
I love happy things and beautiful people. I hope shows like that will come to me soon.

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Happy Happy
Joy Joy
Stab Stab Stab

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I can see that MG has a loyal heart.
LT, I hope you have a new hobby that doesn’t involve a love stab soon or I’ll feel pity for your imaginary Baby Bear.

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Happy Happy
Joy Joy
Stab Stab Stab

@leetennant has pretty much summed up most k-dramas.

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Genuinely curious why you pick this as the darkest thing you've seen this year?

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The whole idea that the deity is terminally ill and sends a minion out to reign doom upon us "for our own good". Philosophically it's frigging dark.

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Interesting take. I never see Doom as a particularly dark concept (although the choice of word is not particularly endearing). I see it more as a balancing power. Yin/yang, day/night, life/death. Just part of nature. While it is ofcourse sad and devastating for the individual at the time of event (and perhaps the following duration of time), in the bigger scale of thing (time/ universe/ deity scale), it's perhaps neither good or bad. I think maybe it's also why i struggle to understand Doom animosity towards his life/job.

Or perhaps it's more a reflection on me? 🤪 When Doom start talking about doomsday, my response is can you be bit more specific? Are we talking about destruction of humanity only or planet earth or the galaxy or like EVERYTHING... not sure why we never have that kind of conversation to our many deities in kdrama...

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Also, as Bob says, there wasn't anything courageous or 'plucky' in the female lead's behaviour. Her entire attitude was that the world was so horrible that she really couldn't expect better than to find out she has a terminal illness and a married boyfriend on the anniversary of the day she buried her parents. She's decided to die because she doesn't see a point in fighting to live.

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A reason why the show's not 'whimsical' is Park Bo Young. Her schtick is usually a hard-edged cynic in an incongruously petite package. Someone like Yoo Inna would have played this character all bumbling anxiety, PBY is playing just the opposite.

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"God is depicted as a 20 year old hospital patient with a fatal heart condition."

I think this plays into the theme of birth/death/re-birth (the cycles of life) and the give-and-take aspects (sacrifice and reward) of relationships and events in life. I am thinking also of various religions that have this aspect of death and rebirth in relation to deities. The second episode does go into this a bit, I believe.

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I agree, I think they're shooting for an end of a cycle/rebirth concept with PBY's emotional death and rebirth being a metaphor for the death and rebirth of the world. Or possibly the other way around.

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Dark is exactly the word I have been looking for. Thanks! The premiere week gave me a sense of unease, and curiosity at the same time. The story reminds me of a painting I saw in a museum, of a beautiful dark angel of death coming for a woman in her bedroom; the woman seeming to desire this angel, reaching out to him. Passionate and dark. Reminds me also of the YA books I used to read of demon/evil/bad guy romantic partners,the female lead drawn to these dark characters with hidden hearts. Its pacing is slightly slow, and the dialogue is a little disjointed. I can't seem to really connect with SIG, but PBY's story is intriguing. Curious to see how she wishes to live out her life (most likely with Doom too) . Will wait for episode 3 to decide.

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About the teenage "God", episode 2 shines some light on that which kinda seemed agreeable.

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I've read all the comments above and I can't decide whether to pick up the show or not. Reading the recap, the show seems interesting. At the same time the above comments makes me kind of hesitant

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Interesting how you interpreted her reaction as grim resignation. My own interpretation of her actions after learning her diagnosis was that she hadn't fully graped the severity of her illness and the fact that she was gonna die in 3 months hadn't sinked in. This could also be a form of shock.

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I love the tone of the storytelling and @quirkycase echoed perfectly my thoughts on Park Bo Young's character. I loved all her reactions at the news and situations she was faced with. She's grounded without being boring, dignified without being stoic. I just love it. Sensitive and emotionally aware without cringiness. After rewatching each episode twice (and it's only mid-week, what am I to do), I think I'm ready to camp here and actually get out my non-commenter's cocoon for this one. Please be good to me until the end, drama.

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It kinda reminded me Goblin, an immortel tired to live. But the Goblin was an human before when Doom never was, I liked the metaphor of the garden with the Butterfly. His house reminded the Grimp Reaper's "tea room" in darker.

The pair PBY and SIG works very well! It's not my favourite SIG's style for him but I could watch him in anything.

We didn't see the 3 second leads, so I'm curious how they will blend in the story.

As a Swiss, I liked the choice of the landscaping 😀

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i love these 2 actors together!

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I was both excited and nervous about this since PBY and SIG are both fantastic actors but also both have very different energies and styles. But unlike the mess that was Abyss, they're actually letting PBY flesh out a complex character and not force her to rely on her trademark cute. As such, she and SIG are meshing in a lovely way.

Having said that, as Bob noted above, this was dark. Far darker than I was expecting. There's a real sense of hopelessness and misanthropy to Korean dramas this year. I can't say it's my favourite thing since, as a depressed and cynical misanthrope myself, I kind of rely on Korea to counter balance that. Since our female lead's two options are to die and doom somebody or die in pain alone it's not exactly an uplifting choice.

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You know I didn’t realise this and I think that is why PBY shines in this drama but I’m so glad her character is so much more fleshed out in this drama.. she’s a great actress but along the messes that were SWDBS and Abyss (although I didn’t actually watch this one) I forgot just how good she could be.

Both her and SIG are super cute and funny but so good with heavier material as well!

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She was cute in SWDBS. She did a great job, since the drama was supposed to be a comedy. But the big problem was the writing and the plot... the waste of talent. Still, again... She saved that show.
Abyss is another story.... Abyss was bad from minute one. Abyss was so bad that it made you feel less bad that you watched melty or do do sol sol mi la sol, etc.... 😒
You know what I mean.

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Thanks for expressing my happiness with PBY here, I feel in the most recent dramas I've seen her in (Abyss, Strong Woman DBS (which was zany and fun but not her best)) that she was almost reduced to just cutesy.

So far, with her blending melo and pragmatism and exasperation at SIG and her writers, this character has potential for complexity that I hadn't seen in her since Oh My Ghostess.

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I love it already. Dong-kyung and Myeol-mang have palpable chemistry. I ship them since their first meeting at her house. His cheekiness is the perfect foil for her innate goodness. Park Bo-young and Seo In-guk are perfect for their roles.

Dong-kyung's reaction to her diagnosis was relatable. Not glioblastoma, but my first thought was one, how much is it going to cost (a whopping 686,200 won for Dong-kyung), and two, I can't take that many days off work (if only procedures can be done on the weekends). Your brain always allows you to compartmentalize in bad situations.

Was her aunt at her parents' funeral? Thanks a ton for the recap, @quirkycase!

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How I miss PBY and SIG in a drama and now they're in one drama together. A pairing I never thought I wanted till this came. The premiere week did not fail.

Thanks for the recap quirkycase!

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AARGH!! it's finally here!!

First off thank you for recapping this @quirkycase

It feels great to come back to a SIG drama after 3 years, where he went from one sexy and dangerous character to another, this one feeling like an upgrade with what him being a fantasy being with powers of destruction. Not at me swooning at him wreaking havoc teehee 😍😍😍

I love all the supporting characters, PBY is great in this and my love LSH is gorgeous and I'm excited about the contract relationship and hijinks that will ensue and the chemistry is already sparking, so far so good.

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Maybe I was expecting too much but the drama so far is missing something for me. Also, not a fan of the male lead's styling/acting. Like he's trying too hard to be cool like the iconic male leads with superpowers before him. PBY is great here. Lee Soo Hyuk is cool too. And he's got a certain Professor Snape vibe about him that I like. I'll watch a few more episodes to decide if this one's a keeper.

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I agree that it's not very good. At least the premiere episode was very meh. Also, I'm not seeing good reviews from other sources so I'm probably going to drop it.

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Agree on the styling. Lee soo hyuk seems to be as mysterious (if not more than) as Doom. I am drawn to Lee Soo Hyuk's character here and I wonder if he has secrets of his own. Is he crushing on PBY's character? I can't really see for sure.

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I like Lee Soo Hyuk as well, but his character isn't doing much for me right now since he's been in all of a handful of scenes. I also hope his character isn't the typical cold/cool male character that he usually plays...it gets boring after awhile. I know he suits that type of character well, but I'd like for him to branch out more and play other types of characters. We got a bit of that in the travesty of a drama called Born Again. He was able to play a softer, caring type of character for a bit, and I thought he did quite well.

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I was really excited for this show and positively intrigues too since each of the promos showcased a different aspect of the story.

So far, I loved the opening week! The setup and the tone of the show are so well done. It's all very subtle humour and the chemistry between the leads is palpable already. I hope the show stays consistent throughout.

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It was good to see SIG and PBY again. But the episode didn't fully land for me. I thought we dived too quickly into the grim world-weariness of Doom and the Goddess with no real set-up. And the misery train that was Dong-kyung's life was just tiring to watch.

The second episode on the other hand worked much better because you could see the leads' chemistry start to crackle.

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I was really excited to have SIG back in small screen. It's been too long... So I'm actually a bit sad that I feel underwhelmed by the premiere week.

I think my main issue is that I just don't get Myeol-mang. What's the deal of wanting to bring doomsday? Is it like a Deity version of a bad day/century/milenia in the office? Is it anger or boredom or loneliness or something else? It's the premise of the story and I just don't really get the why. Perhaps I'm being impatient and Show will get us more in depth on Myeol-mang character and motivation.

But happy SIG is back and PBY is just adorable.

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I was saving this comment for episode 2 recap but I felt like the script was leaning too heavily into ambiguity. I'm sure it's so they can misdirect us and come back later to explain that things are different then they appear. But Myeol-mang's... everything... is too unclear right now.

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It seems to me that when in scenes by himself, Myeol-mang is quite restless and unhappy. When in scenes with PBY, he is conducting his job as doom with the special benefit of granting a wish. In conducting his job he puts on his professional face and smile, and in granting the wish he can be more playful.

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I had a similar thought since ep 1, I love gods that act as humans but there must be a reason for it. The goddess which seems to be his superior acts like a deity, she seems to care about human fate but doesn't think like a human, while he has lots of ordinary feelings. He seems to be bored, angry and frustrated, he seems to almost envy humans. I had the idea that maybe he was a human and only acts as a god, maybe his memories were erased and replaced? Probably not true but it could be interesting.

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For various reasons, I would say it's highly likely he was previously a human. Of course at week one I could be very wrong.

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It's not wise to expect too much from the writers but I felt it was a real possibility, the way the goddess asked him if he head ever been born felt like some kind of hint about his past.

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I feel that this is what Show is hinting us. That Doom was human. I feel that would be more believable compared to an angry, bored and jealous deity.

What i hope won't be the case is for Doom and Dong-kyung you be connected from past live and are fated to be.

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This is interesting because I was hoping the opposite was true because I think his character would make more sense that way. More about this is episode 2 though.

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Yeah, I feel like this is likely to be the case as well. I remember from the 5 minute preview, there was a scene where it shows Myeol Mang at a funeral crying with Dong Kyung's voiceover saying "she saw him crying." If they do end up going the route of him previously being human and his memories were erased, it would be soo much like Goblin

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I took the whole doomsday thing as Myeol Mang will die so he doesn't have to carry out his duties anymore, so that is why he wants her to wish that.

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I agree -- the first two episodes (more so the first one) fell short for me. They seemed long at times, but that sometimes happens as they need to set up the story, so I was willing to look past that. It wasn't a super strong premiere, but decent enough. I am also biased though because I love Park Bo Young lol and was going to watch this drama regardless. I also like Seo In Gook and Lee Soo Hyuk so yeah.

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Where can I watch this?

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Viki

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The colorful posters definitely made me think there’d be a different tone to this. That being said, I really liked the first episode. The fantasy element was interesting and added to the drama while our leads each have their own issues with quirks that flesh out their characters. Definitely one I’m gonna be looking forward to week to week.

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I hope the next episodes will pick up. These two episodes fail to hook me in completely. The whole thing gave me too many Goblin-vibes except without the fun don't-take-itself-too-seriously comedy between the Goblin and the Grim Reaper. At least the female lead character here is more compelling than in Goblin (and older!).

For a fantasy, I found the plot pretty thin so far. I am worried how they'll be able to stretch Dongkyung's "wish or not to wish" thing for 16 episodes...hopefully they will flesh out the secondary characters next week and provide more interesting side plots. I am intrigued by Lee Soohyuk's character. I hope he won't be reduce to mere "second male lead".

I love both Park Boyoung and Seo Inguk. Hopefully their chemistry will add that je-ne-sais-quoi that is missing for me right now.

Did the writer or PD-nim watch Vincenzo? Or did TvN strike a deal with a lighter company? Is this the new trend? hahahahaha

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Did you hear me say out loud, "What's with all the old-style lighters?" ?

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I am so happy I didn't watch Goblin! No offense, I know it's a classic, but I never felt the interest, and now, watching dramas like this one, I am glad I don't need to compare.
Although, hello, by the way.... I watched my girlfriend is a guhmino, and having watched this whole premiere, even the preview from ep 3, I already got the girlfriends guhmino's vibes.... I know you understand what I am taking about....

Anyway, I want to enjoy this show in itself. I hope it will be good.... finger crossing

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I'm curious to see how much screen time they're going to give to Lee Soo Hyuk and his love triangle with the other girl and guy. He barely got a handful of scenes in the first two episodes!

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@quirkycase Thank you for this recap. The first episode had a solid setup without feeling too overwhelming. I love that Dong-kyung is not afraid to stand up for herself when she feels it is necessary. I'm tired of seeing characters taking verbal/physical abuse from other characters.
I do hope that the writer(s) have set up a solid fantasy world with rules that are consistent. I want to learn more about Myeol-mang and the world that he inhabits.

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Thank you @quirkycase for the speedy recap! I was really anticipating this series with the great cast and PD, and as a lover of Goblin- the storyline absolutely drew me in.

I have been watching the trailers (especially the last highlights release https://youtu.be/uDFhDF5mgTo ) so I was not at all surprised by the overall tone.
Then I heard it was written by the same writer as Beauty Inside- which was a complete failure for me. Dang....

Writing makes it or breaks it. I hope Doom turns out to be fantastic.

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Although I am going to be happy with all the love story among this supernatural premise, and both Park Bo young and Seo in gook look gorgeous, I wish I can have a drama where the relationship is not romantic per se... (maybe that's the reason why I love My Ajusshi so much), because romantic love is not the only kind of compelling love ever.
The looks are also important to me. I think I am simple enough, and vain enough, to enjoy whatever drama where whatever is happening, these actors and actresses look like models, beautiful, very good looking people. Sadly, unreal. I wish I could have more average-looking people living a compelling story.
They always make us seem like only pretty people fall in love and only them happen interesting things in life... 🙄
I understand the aesthetic reasons behind that, and again, I am superficial enough to enjoy better a production where the characters are so beautiful in the outside, but then again... I wish, I wish...
Now coming back to this premiere: I was engaged and I can't deny I did enjoy it a lot... I agree with @quirkycase that most likely the drama will turn on very melo, I bet sooner than later, but still, as long as it is compelling and it will make some sense, I think I am ok with that.
I can already figure out he is looking for the opportunity to stop doing the job he is "doing", which he hates, because of the deal with her, but she will be so crazy in love with him she won't want it...
Please, drama gods, dont bring us anymore noble idiocy, for this premise gives us a perfect context for it.... 😒😓😡

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By coincidence I had just watched the 1998 film 'Meet Joe Black' which was itself a retelling of 'Death Takes A Holiday' (1934). This looks to be another take on the theme. The screenwriter is Im Meari whose only other writing credit I can find was the series 'The Beauty Inside', which the Beanies generally liked, I recall.

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Every drama has its fans and anti-fans.

As a general barometer, the 2018 year-end bean count gave 2 beans to The Beauty Inside vs. the pack leader, My Ajusshi, which ended up with a total of 39 beans.

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That's a nice way of putting it.
Not that I would know since @mindy has me under a permanent lifetime ban to never watch The Beauty Inside - a ban that for some reason only applies to me 🤔

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@mindy is a true friend

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There's actually a couple good arcs within TBI, but not worth breaking mindy's ban.

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I loved Meet Joe Black even though I know most people hated it, but I really enjoyed it.

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First, Brad Pitt was super sexy in blond and the accident at the beginning was so funny, worthy of a Kdrama!

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Yes, lol, that terrible terrible car "accident" lol.

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I remember that everyone laughed in the movie theater :p

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I love it. I love DK's assertiveness in the face of the most awful set of circumstances and I love Myeol-mang, especially when he does not need to do a thing for "things to happen ". Sure it's a dark, dark situation. I'm tipping that in this bleak situation, DK chooses to live a great life, and that's what I suspect it's going to be about. How do we live, even when it's all sh**. It probably doesn't take a genius to work out that the person dearest to her will be him and that might be where the melo kicks in. I'm so with this drama, and I'm banking on deeply satisfying catharsis, as well of course loving the pretty. Only kdramas do stuff like this. How I love them.

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oh how i agree with you! i love your comment!

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I like her first choice!

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I sometimes think about how I would go about life if I only had a few months to live. Would I go out and "seize the day"! since that seems like what terminally ill young people seem to do and that seems like the expected thing to do or would I go on as normal for those months (work, putz around the internet, continue frugal habits) because what's the point in cramming some great experiences? Maybe it will be something in between? Still, it will end, and there may not be an "other side" for me - at least not one that I will be conscious of - so what's the point in doing anything?

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It's a genuine dilemma. What would I do. It actually happened to a close family member. It was so sad. A living nightmare. Doctors said 12 weeks and he lived for 20. It was exactly the same diagnosis as here and I saw its progress and it's exactly as the doctor describes. So this drama bites real for me and so does the dilemma. Doom opens up the possibilities. I can live with the dark because I've seen it and we came out the other side, even when we lost someone we loved so much.

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I'm sorry for you and your family's loss. I feel like I've always heard of glioblastoma as being one of the worst cancers.

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Thank you. It was actually from melanoma would you believe. 10 tumours in the brain. Probably too much information. But it's over now so I can line up for a cathartic viewing without having to turn away.

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Halfway into the pandemic I (semi) joked that people often ask what they'd do if they thought they only had 3 months to live. In my case, I quipped, I apparently would work 12 hour a day from home on a computer game project under deadline.

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LoL. Your legacy for the future.

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I am already charmed. I like writer lay the contrast between DK and MM in one represent life and the other death, and how integrated they are. A very universal part of nature. So looks like we gonna explore how to make the best of life the time we have on earth, as we can see DK desire to live.

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I'm loving it!! To be fair, it took a little while to get into the first episode. Thanks, quirkycase, for recapping it and providing commentary and a space to talk about it since it's hard to pin down the atmosphere and the characters. The drama is more melancholy and mysterious and dark (more evident in ep 2) than I had expected, and I was pleasantly surprised. The only teaser I saw so far hinted at something more comical. There is something about it that feels like a j-dorama crossed with some Goblin-esque stylistic touches.

Seo In Guk is just hitting new heights of hotness. And Park Bo Young proves why people love watching her acting. She can make you feel for the character just by sitting there in silence.

The god character being a sick, young woman is also very interesting.

Lastly, suddenly collapsing into the ground because of a sinkhole suddenly forming is one of my worst fears. Glad it happened to that creep taking that video of Dong-kyung. Disappointed it wasn't deeper!

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Idk why but this drama reminds me of the old kdrama. Hmm like this is the kdrama that i missed so hard which that feeling are missing in nowadays kdrama. The uniqueness, the weirdness, the mystery behind myeol mang. Is he not human? Is he grumpy because he is doom? He seems lack of love and like a lost child.

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I think Doom will eventually become a cat. & DK will ... maybe die but become a divinity-cat lady. Who can feed Doom... or not.

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Reasoning: he has served all humans. All humans serve cats. But DK won't. Muahaha

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Just think, all that cat food PPL potential.

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With all the high profile Kdrama misfires over the past year 'Meow the Secret Boy' looks better in retrospect than it did at the time.

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First two episodes were miss for me. I could not connect with the show or its characters.
The mythology is not clear and I not convinced with Myeol-mang’s characterization. I would have same attitude towards the world if I was in his shoes but I am a human and he is not. He was never human so where does this distaste for human world comes from?
I did not find Dong-Kyung pragmatic at all. I thought she is fed of everything and she does not care about anything at all.
I felt like show is trying too hard and I am not convinced at all.

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Maybe you were expecting too much. For any fantasy show to set up a good mythology, so that we can be involved and understand its logic, they would need to devote lots of time in explaining it, in itself alone or with historical references... And that is just very difficult. They have a format of 16 episodes, each with their own ingredients and subplots, which need space and time... as a creator myself, sometimes I have to defend the writers, most of them do what they can in a very competitive world.
Coming back to this show, let's assume, this is their way to tell the story. If watching without judgement doesn't work, and you still don't like it, well... that's also ok. But for this and other shows, maybe the best is not expect too much from them... doghouse that we won't be disappointed 😂😂😂😂😂

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May be you are right about expecting too much. If it was only fantasy show airing, I would have been less critical of it. I could not help it to compare it's story pacing, handling and characters with Sell Your Haunted House.

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I'm not quite sure what to think after episode 1. PBY was amazing and I was pleasantly surprised at the show's descent into darkness. I did find the whole light and fluffy premise a bit off with the Doom theme. I think this show might need three or four episodes to settle into its genre.

However, I hope SIG's styling is of the emotional mirroring kind, where all the blackness will progress towards brighter and less rigorous lines. I absolutely love SIG, but he looked like a brick in the first episode. And is it my eyesight growing worse, but was his hair a greyish tinge of green?

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i think it's blue.

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I thought it had some silvery quality to it. LOL. This could be the new internet debate. Tell us which color you see. Here are the choices: green, blue, or silver.

:)

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This drama confused me honestly. I'm glad the beanies told me the hospital girl was God because I was wondering what deity she was supposed to be. As for SIG as Doom, I love it, but that may be my bias. As for the character having a birthday, I don't get it, but maybe it is one beanie said they are being vague now to clarify later.

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I think either they remain vague for the sake of using the time in energy in showing us maybe cute or secondary characters, etc... or... They will clarify later, which will be even more confusing, because you are an intelligent audience and can fill the holes.... And at the end through a miracle nobody understand (like in Abyss) they will end up together and nobody will die 😂😂😂😂😂😂

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I hate to be vain, but Seo In Guk styling is off. Too “made-up”. Face is too bronze and looks like some injection was made to make it plumper.

Anyway it distracted me.

I loved SIG looks in Hello Monster, he was also well made up but came across as natural

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In hello Monster he was human, here he is supposed not to be

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i tried to pay attention to this drama but i kept getting distracted by the visuals and have to rewatch cuz i clearly was not reading the subs

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Ok. here's the deal, No more handsome guys with lighter or cigarettes, it's not good for my health

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I absolutely loved the first two episodes, something about the eerie atmosphere made their chemistry and relationship exciting to watch. Had he been in love with her in the first episode, when he locked her inside and messed with her, I wouldn't like it as much. But the way they portrayed it, he is a non-human who messed with her and found it funny, later as he comes to respect her, he will not do it as much, hopefully.

Some comments have given question to how the story will last 16 episodes, and after thinking about it, I agree. So far, the plotlines seem to be 1) FL deciding whether to wish for doom or not, 2) FL getting her life back together (which I hope but doubt will feel rewarding regarding the job harrasment, but then again, the second episode surprised me regarding the adultery story), 3) The mystery of Doom and his past, 4) The god's involvement, 5) Low-key triangle drama with turtleneck-guy?, and of course 6) development of the main pairing, 7) the writer friend's career and love life.
While I listed seven things, I wonder how that is enough to fill 16 episodes. I am afraid that the first two weeks will be a delight with all the special effects, eerie humour and smart characters, but after that, they will need to drag the time to fit sixteen episodes, and it will become boring, overly melodramatic, characters, ESPECIALLY the FL, will become stupid and passive, and the story will become about the ML and his pain, his past and something about the FL being treated more as his possession than her own person.

I am probably being overly pessimistic, but I have been burned before by a couple of amazing episodes that then drag on too long, so I will call it cautious for now.

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I am already calling it ahead that this drama is gonna climb into my favourite-drama charts. It has all the ingredients for my fav drama recipe.
Now all that it need is, that I just didnt jinx it!

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I’m all in (again). 2021 is going to be my biggest bean year, it seems! I’m good with the premiere, the dark humor, “doom” lamenting his lot in existence, but am here for the love story between two opposite beings. Doom thinks he’s found his soul-mate. She’s really just a girl who had a really crappy day. I’m sure he’ll start loving humans by the end of this, these beings he abhors so now. Loving SIGs look here and PBY is still effervescent, even when she’s depressed.

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I had high expectations for this drama but the first two episodes were meh for me...
Maybe I'm not just into Seo In-gook? I don't know... I'm not sure what Myeol-mang is or what his deal is, but I feel like Seo In-gook doesn't fit this role... His vibe is more like oppa next door type thing. I know he is good at acting and trying hard to be mysterious but something is missing... at least for me.
I guess I'm the only one who feels like that in the entire world...

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I actually really enjoyed these first two episodes! Fingers tentatively crossed for the rest!

I forgot how much I enjoy watching both SIG and PBY ~ they both have such a charm, I hope that combined it doesn't fizzle (which seems to happen too often lately for my taste)

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Is 🥧 Guy watching?

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No... he’s pretty busy with work right now so I’m watching on the days when our time off doesn’t match up.

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I am so here for this DRAMA!!!! Seo In-Gook & Park Bo-young Together! Thanks, Drama God's!!!! I will worship the Forever......................................

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Gonna be superficial here but I'm liking the prettiness of it all...

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This was a funny and weird episodes. Not sure of what exactly was happening but I liked it!!

Not much to add rather than I already love Do Kyung!

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I like Seo In Gook, but I am not sold on his character yet or his portrayal of the character. At times, I felt like he was trying too hard to be an overly confident prick lol. And his character is much too full of himself and cocky. Maybe that IS how Myeol Mang is supposed to be, but it doesn't seem too natural yet. IDK. It could also be how his character is written, so really, could be no fault of SIG at all. It could also just be that I'm not used to seeing this type of male lead? IDK. We shall see how it goes.

I love PBY and she will get a pass from me for almost anything lol, but at times I wasn't sure of her acting -- mostly in the scenes where she is exasperated.

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Agreed

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I am addicted!

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Off to a good start 😁. I really hope it won't be too sad as I'm still recovering from another sad drama

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I get the for this drama and the idea is good and all but I feel like it ended up failing in the delivery giving a sense of poor execution, the details and characters backstories seem to not have a clear and easy to follow progression and the main characters acting styles do not mesh well with each other in my opinion which is unfortunate if we compare this couple's chemistry with In Guk's couple chemistry in the smile left your eyes you can clearly see that this seems to mot be working out too well, the music and special effects sometimes are placed when or where they are not needed, it'd would've been way more realistic if Doom didn't use his powers every little second, I have a lot of issues with this drama but have difficulty explaining them but I also feel like everyone is sugarcoating and being too accepting of all these flaws so...

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