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Our Beloved Summer: Episodes 5-6 Open Thread

The more time our broken-up couple spends together – thanks to their work agreement and the documentary shoot — the more it’s clear that there are unresolved emotions between them. Big emotions. Emotions that sneak out either when they’re upset, threatened… or when they think the other won’t notice.

 
EPISODES 5-6 WEECAP

As if the drama heard me thinking that we needed to see more inside of Yeon-su, and that Ji-woong was opaque and interesting and needed to be unpacked more — well, that’s exactly what they delivered in this week’s episodes.

For much of Episode 5, we stick around Ji-woong, and what we see of him convinces me that even though I love our OTP, his is the more interesting and complex character. Flashbacks to him and Woong as young boys tells us everything we need to know about Ji-woong’s somewhat strange and passive behavior. As a young boy, he was practically adopted by Woong’s family, who whole-heartedly treated him like their second son. It’s an adorable set of sequences, watching him get pulled into their warm family life as a boy, and watching the two grow up like brothers.

Ji-woong remarks in his narration that Woong was never jealous of him, or at all unwilling to share his family or his life — and Woong’s detachment is indeed one of the most interesting things about him. Ji-woong saw a change in Woong, though, right when Yeon-su came into their lives. Suddenly Woong sprung to life when he started dating Yeon-su.

Present-day Ji-woong is locked behind the camera, watching the lives and romance of his friends play out in front of him. He feels as if his life is merely to act as a foil for them — and now that we’ve got all the backstory on Ji-woong’s childhood, it’s easy to see why.

Woong always shared his life with Ji-woong without much mind, but when it came to Yeon-su, Ji-woong knew that was something that would never be shared. Yeon-su caught both boys’ eyes back in high school, and though Ji-woong seemed even more smitten than Woong (my heart!), he never acted or voiced his feelings, as if he were afraid to walk on ground that wasn’t his. There’s something absolutely tragic and lonely about the character of Ji-woong, watching from the outskirts.

Back in the present day, the Soen opening event is coming up fast, and Woong works himself to the bone for 95 hours (on video) for the project, in advance of the live event. Despite the charged and unpleasant moment that we ended on last week, Woong quickly moves on (or seems to) (or pretends to) from the conflict with Nu-a and the live event they’ll now tag-team on. (However, he makes sure to confirm that Team Leader Jang doesn’t like Yeon-su romantically, hah.)

But Woong and his rather emotional encounters have gotten to Yeon-su. She’s worried about the hurt he felt over Team Leader Jang booking Nu-a without her knowledge, and later she’s worried about him while he does the 95 hours of drawing. This leads her to his house the night before the event with some tea to help him sleep.

As is usual in dramaland, we’re left with the scene hanging, and only snippets of it shown to us — Woong collapsed on the couch, Yeon-su leaning over him, Woong pulling her in close. As the episode progresses, though, we’re shown more, and it’s also made clear that both parties not only remember the encounter, but are greatly affected by it.

This renewed attraction hangs in the air between them as the live event is finally underway. Woong looks adorable (*squishes him*) and despite being nervous, goes into artist-mode even with the crowd and cameras watching him. Compared to the showmanship of Nu-a (omg, I love cheesy Kwak Dong-yeon here), Woong feels like the true oddball hermit artist that he is.

The “debut” of Ko-oh is a success, and leaves its impression on the public — and especially Yeon-su. She’s just seen a side of Woong she never knew before. It affects her deeply, and Ji-woong notices.

At this point in the episode we’ve gotten a bunch of much-needed backstory on Yeon-su, so it’s even easier to feel for her. Before, most of our empathy sat with Woong, the abandoned and petty puppy. But as we learn more about Yeon-su, it’s hard not to feel for her equally.

Though she had a superior attitude all through high school, we learn it was all a mask to hide her deep inferiority complex. She grew up poor, and then her and her grandmother’s situation got worse when they were slapped with debt from her uncle. Though she’s happy with Woong — and they’re so cute when we see flashbacks of them dating — she’s so miserable in her life that she chooses to get rid of the thing (Woong) that makes her happy. And she’s so terrified of him finding out that she’s actually full of carefully-hidden fears and insecurities that she dumps him before her soul can be exposed.

I have to give this drama credit for being much more emotionally and psychologically rich than I first anticipated. I thought we were mostly going to get cute rom-com antics and a bickering couple with predictable character arcs. But Our Beloved Summer has quite a bit more depth than that, from the way it looks at relationships, to the impact our self-perception has on how we live our lives.

Next week is our halfway mark already (how did that happen!), and I can honestly say I’m looking forward to our couple’s continuing story just as much as I’m looking forward to the deeper pockets of this story. Each of our characters has nuances and flaws that make them — and their inner struggles — both unique and easy to relate to. I love a drama that makes me smile while I’m watching, and then gives me something to think about after.

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Whilst I love our OTP, love the actor who plays Ji wooing.
Can’t wait for next week

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And don't forget the epilogue.

I think Woong somehow knows Yeonsu's insecurity, and starts to be serious about his life. No one, including Yeonsu, would imagine Woong, who always wants an easy life, would start to find jobs to make their life more secure. His soul as an artist (which Yeonsu first discovers in Ko-oh's debut) begins there.

Think of that, I believe all Woong's silliness in the beginning of this drama (spraying water and salt, talking mean and childish to her) is a way he protects her dignity. She is a headstrong girl who don't know how to apologize, and he makes sure, as he said to her, "always wait for you, because I will always lose to you." He always don't mind to hurt himself to get his revenge, so does when he love.

So I think, he always knows.

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Just a side note: it's pretty silly to think any pairs of actor/actress really falls in love in real life as well, which I never feel that (Probably except IU/Yoo Jin-gu and Hyun Bin/Son Yejin in Hotel del Luna and Crash Landing on Yourespectively), but by watching this drama, I sometimes do think Choi Wushik and Kim Dami do.

This is how great they are.

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I have a weird relationship with this drama. I really like it and the actors are doing a great job.

But I found every character so weird, they are so hurt but mainly by themselves. The way the story in unfolded is so weird too, we got nothing in a chronology order but it doesn't hinder us to understand the characters.

For Yeon-Su, I would have prefered they didn't take the cliché road with the very poor FL who lived with her grandmother, the big debt and the hospital bills to pay... They could have chosen one of them, not all the bingo card.

I was surprised to hear so many Yeon-Su inner thoughts, it was kinda new.

A shallow note, I love Woong's new style when he's in famous artist more, he looks so good :D

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You know why the unfolding of the story so weird, @kurama? Because the TV drama is just half the story.

As the story unfolding on TV, there is a webtoon also ongoing in sync with the TV drama (also cc @missvictrix). The webtoon is more focus to their high school years, and it shows more motives about both characters, like, Woong's bad grades is in fact intentional due to his merry-go-round purpose of life, and his seriousness about drawing in the beginning (which Yeonsu didn't notice until Episode 6; it is, however, a nature and an interest he has all along). We also know from the webtoon that why Yeonsu initially want to get into the reality show all those years ago (her family's financial problem), and a lot more. Go check it out.

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I love the little nuances in both of them like in drama Wong smiled at her at the school assembly and in webtoon he sticked his tongue out. The webtoon author is one of my favourite.

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Thanks for the webtoon link -- interesting that they're being created concurrently! (I dare not get into webtoons for fear I will never be able to escape once I do, much like K-dramas)

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🤣 That's my case! But on the other hand I'm cured from drama addiction. You would love Spirit Fingers (the same author as MBS). It's finished so you could binge read it. 😉

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I love everything in this drama. The actors are simply amazing. And all those layers and the different points of view. Everything is interesting and brilliant. It's a common story yet it's been made new and original by the way it's told. Doesn't happen often that I fall so hard for a drama.

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This is a drama I was greatly anticipating since the casting was announced, and it has exceeded my expectations so far. As you said, it's psychologically richer than I anticipated, and although the story is simple and the plot uncomplicated, it still manages to feel nuanced and interesting.

I felt for Ji-woong as well, although it's difficult to root for him to get what he wants when Yeon-su and Woong are so obviously still hung up on each other. I like his assistant a lot and hope he might look her way at some point; their exchange in the car about co-workers secretly crushing on him was pretty adorable.

I continue to love the tone, which is sometimes playful but very effective at showing the lingering pain of a broken heart, even years after a breakup. The actors play off each other perfectly and seem very in tune. And the OST is lovely, too.

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This is my favorite drama right now, hitting all the right notes, including the literal ones on the OST! 10cm’s pure emotional voice, V’s rough around the edges styling, love it all. I really do identify with the FL and how she approaches life. If I would have met my husband in high school or college, this would have been us. And actually, I ended up breaking someone’s heart in college much like Woong. The drive to be the best to hide her inner failings and poor self- esteem is far too real. I like that we know the motives of each of our main characters. It makes them all more likable.

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The drama is getting better and better each episode.
This week, it's about Jiwoong and Yeonsu.
I like that it has so many layers, there is always something new to tell.
Now we understand why Yeonsu is one hard girl, even to herself, and Jiwoong's position in the story. How can a second lead can be so likeable without being too good or too kind?
He's different from stereotype of second lead who would risk everything and declare war with main lead for the girl.
Woong is a generous person with his heart. He doesn't mind to share with his bestfriend. He would do anything for his girlfriend. Even to wait and guide her to apologize.
I sort of understand Yeonsu. She was so underprevilege that she has to compensate her inferiority complex by becoming excellent and strong in everything but hiding behind a strong wall at the same time.
Emotions are not allowed because they are signs of weakness.
At first, tears is a weakness. Then anger is also a weakness. Lastly, laughter also becomes a wekness. To be strong, you have to be emotionless. If you don't feel, you'll be okay.
With Woong, she feels all those feelings.
Fot her, he is her strength but also her weakness. And she can't allow that.
The drama is so realistically beautiful.

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Ah, love your comment! <3

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I really love this drama from the get go. It helps that it has Kim Dami and Choi Woo Shik as the leads who play off each other really well. Their chemistry and nuanced acting are hitting all the notes for me. The OST also compliments the tone the story is going for. I really like how the Show slowly peels the layers of the leads' stories and emotions. It just makes me want to watch the next episode asap.

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I love this Kdrama style where backstory depth is revealed slowly and gives insight into the characters in the present. The documentary filming is interesting , I like the inclusion of it as a storytelling method and a tool for comparing the past and present. I’m a little bit sad for Ji-woong all around, will there be something good for him ?

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Ji woong has always had good things around him even though he might think they do not totally belong to him. He has a family who took him as their own son and a figurative Brother who never blinked an eye when giving.

The things he can't have like Yeon su is making him undermine the good things that has been going on in his life for years. It's even blinding him to see people around him showing him real interest, for example, his female co-worker.

I hope he comes to appreciate where his life is in right now and look around him to gain true happiness and contentment.

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THIS! this is the arc I really hope to see for his character. I dont think he's ungrateful in itself, but as you said, I think he just weights more on the things he doesnt have than the good things. him slowly realizing this and changing is the development I want to see for this character.

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I really would love to see that <3

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You're right. That's the only character development I want to see too.

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Think he might realize this while completing the documentary and also adress his own issues or regrets and finally appreciate his own life and the ones who are by his side...The Senior PD told him he choose him for a reason and he needs to find the answer himself to why...

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Interesting! I always thought it was Choi Woong who sort of took things for granted; the conversation with Yeon Su about ambition really highlighted their difference in upbringing. YS who had always struggled with being poor was all about survival and CW who grew up comfortably was just looking to maintain his lifestyle.

But i see Ji Woong got really lucky too when CW’s family accepted him as their own. His life could’ve easily gone the other shitty end, but it didn’t, and I’d like to think his adopted family played a big part in his success.

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This drama has absolutely won my heart. It is *such* a good example of quality writing building up layers of understanding so that we're constantly having, "ohhhhh" moments.

I find Yeonsu so relatable and can easily emphasise with her need to be in control. Learning of the scars her poverty left her with – the friends she lost over her inability to buy snacks for them or to reciprocate birthday presents – and the way she dealt with that awkwardness/shame with outward aloofness, hardness and a need to control her academic reputation made perfect sense to me. Then, having built up this shell and the reputation that goes with it, an absolute fear that anyone else would see vulnerability – hence her request to Ung that they don’t make their relationship public at school. Even when they go to university and their relationship is known, her pride to be seen as an achiever who is in control of her life made it so hard for her to admit fault (recognise she’s not controlling well) and ask for forgiveness. When she was suddenly saddled with her uncle’s debt, highlighting the lie that she is in control and causing the poverty-scars to resurface, yes, I can believe she would make the choice to abandon Ung due to her “inferiority complex” as she put it.

As well as giving her a believable set of traits/self-beliefs, I appreciate the way the writer hasn’t given her full command of what she’s thinking/feeling/doing. The way her story came out in ep6 was patchy, jumbled and sometimes didn’t quite fit or make sense. I came away with the impression that she THINKS she knows why she’s doing things but sometimes she doesn’t know herself well enough to actually know what’s going on. Again, utterly relatable! On top of this, she is also unaware that Ung knows her better than she thinks. Take, for example, when they were in the library together at university. Ung said to her, “You can always say it [sorry] to me”. He understands why allowing her guard down might be impossible for her in other relationships, and tries to help her grasp that he is her safe place. He “gets her” far more than she gives him credit for, and this is why her decision to throw him away is so painful to him.

Final shout out to the drawings – I LOVE the drawings that Ung produces – anyone know who the actual artist is? The one he drew of the tree at school while his friends were playing basketball was just stunning!

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You star! Thanks!

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Last week I binge watched episodes 1-4 and I was seeing myself in Ung, but this week Yeon Su was so relatable.

Probably last year I'd judge Yeon Su decision, I wouldn't be able to understand her at all, but this year I had this kind of situation with my friends from collage, and I took a similar decision, so now I get that she really needed to protect herself. So even if that break up hurt them I think it was necesary and important for her (maybe even good for their relationship in some way).

Ung saying that all he wanted was a peaceful life and then thinking
it sounded pathetic was hilarious. Dude I feel you! I now how valuable it is.

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Been awhile since i feel THIS invested in a drama.... And usually it's due to my huge love for the actor/actresses. But this one..... I barely watch anything from Kim Dami, and while I had always anticipated anything Choi Wooshik strared in (ever since hogu's love anybody remember thAT) i don't think i have watched many of his projects and I really fell in love with the drama AND the leads.... Now all i do in a week is wait for monday... I mean who waits for monday??????

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I knew it wasn't his lack of sincerity, that didn't make sense. I am glad they explained why she broke up with him, that makes much more sense with her character. I just love this drama and how they are unfolding the layers of each character. I also want to add the Ung's parents are really superstars, I mean what kind and caring folks. Also Kim Dami is killing it in this role, I think it helps she has such great chemistry with Choi Woo-Shik (far more than she had in the other drama we don't talk about).

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I totally agree with their chemistry. it's really like they said... that having done another project together before helped a lot to act in this one bcs they are way more natural around each other and this reflects in how they're portraying these characters.

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I just love every bits of this drama... the epilogue was just sp heart wrenching, I could feel every emotion, every pain... I just hope that by the end of this drama they both learn each other's love language and have learned how important communication is in a relationship.

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I always have to thank @missvictrix for her thoughtful recaps--they increase my appreciation of the shows so much. Anyway, I agree that I went into this show just thinking it would be something to satisfy my rom-com addiction, but now think it could be something more. Recognizing that its still fairly early in the show, the one disappointment I had in the last episodes was that the weirdness of the documentary filming seemed to be emphasized less than in previous episodes. I think that's a pretty interesting, if only because it emphasizes how you remember things vs. the way they were. Also, along those lines, my second disappointment is that we didn't see more NJ, who is so surprisingly thoughtful as a pop idol. The way she remembers Ji-Woong falling asleep while she was being filmed shows how observant she is. She would be a great character to highlight, as someone always having to always live an observed life. Is the actress playing her, Roh Jeong-Eui, a pop star, model, or instagram celebrity in Korea? Because it seems to me she perfectly captures the kind of detached narcissism which you'd have to have to endure constant public attention.

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Thank you~~! I agree about NJ and have a hunch we'll see into her character a little more. (Totally with you on the "detached narcissism" haha)

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For those interested, the full song from V is finally out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj8TV9q59P4

Not sure why it's so lovely, but there it is

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V and 10cm are perfect for this drama.

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The OST kept on playing in my head. I wish I could hug Yeon Su during her hard moment... It must've been tough...

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I really enjoyed seeing our two little Woongs history, they’re adorable together. Two boys that seem different on the outside but bonded by their loneliness. I hope the friendship lasts!

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Im happy we got to know more about Jiwoong... From the beginning, I womdered.the most about him... what was he like.. what was his story since he was pretty much the beloved son and heir of the Woong franchise lol He puzzled me to no end... Im kinda glad to see this is not the typical love triangle because id Jiwoong somehow knew he didnt have a chance to fight for YS... Hope Jiwoong gets his own reason to be happy and feel alive instead of feeling hes living an insipid life or not feeling ok with what he actually has... YS... we didnt get too much of her either before but I thought we could get a sense of her feeling the need to succeed because of financial reasons... The moment she agreed to do the docu for the money, made me think she was the type to put all on the line to improve her livelihood. I didnt expect a Candy story for her but well... I get her as a teen for not wanting her friends to pity her and treat her differently but its sad as a young adult, she didnt think of at least telling her bf what was going on and instead chose to break both their hearts like that...

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