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[Friday Flashback] Full House

Released: 2004

Genre: Romance, Comedy

Synopsis: Han Ji-eun is an aspiring script writer living in the house that was designed and built by her deceased father. After she’s scammed out of her family home and left with nowhere to go, she strikes a deal with the new owner, Lee Young-jae, a snobby actor who’s failed marriage proposal to his long-time crush Kang Hye-won has made him a front page tabloid scandal. He offers Ji-eun a proposition: get fake married. If she can be his fake wife long enough for the rumors to die down and — hopefully — make Hye-won jealous, he will give her the house as alimony in their divorce. But what happens when playing house becomes reality and this mismatched couple starts to develop feelings for one another?

Why You Should (Or Shouldn’t) Watch Full House:

Long before Song Hye-gyo rocked the romance genre with her performance in Descendants of the Sun and Rain was introduced to (non K-drama loving) Western audiences as Stephen Colbert’s archnemesis, the two — now veteran — actors starred in a little show called Full House. (No affiliation with the American Full House starring Bob Saget and John Stamos.)

And what exactly is the house full of? Tropes — I mean, love — but also lots and lots of tropes. The kind of tropes that drew many Beanies to Korean dramas in the first place. Sageuk arranged nuptials aside, we don’t see many contract marriages in dramaland these days because it’s outdated, and audiences no longer need the pretext of a fake marriage to soften the scandalous idea of an adult man and woman cohabitating. Although it’s a trope I’m happy to see fade with the times — because they be a changin’ — I can still appreciate how it sets the stage for interesting character dynamics, and Full House is also full — Ha! — of zany characters.

Let’s start with our OTP. Han Ji-eun is spunky, eternally optimistic, and diligent, but instead of working a series of odd jobs, like any other Candy, she’s actively pursuing her dream to be a script writer. There’s a fun little layer to her characterization because her ability to write also makes her a creative liar, and while we never get to read and appreciate anything she’s written, we’re given a taste of her writing style via the tales of fiction she weaves to get herself out of sticky situations.

Our leading man, on the other hand, is a successful actor at the peak of his career — albeit with a few scandals. His wardrobe may be over the top and colorful, leaving him looking like he’s stumbled out of a three-year-old’s coloring book, but he’s all bravado. At heart, he’s just a little boy still secretly in love with his childhood friend. He’s pouty and petty, but as the series progresses he becomes noticeably matured.

When our characters meet, it’s not love at first, second, or even third sight for these two. Both characters are headstrong, but that’s about the only thing that they have in common, which makes it extra amusing when they are forced to cohabitate for the duration of their fake marriage. Their compulsory proximity, however, also fosters an environment that allows their relationship to evolve slowly and naturally, as annoyance turns into tolerance, tolerance into fondness, and fondness into genuine love. It’s hate-to-love romance at it’s finest, but we can’t appreciate their romance without acknowledging the characters that got them into their unorthodox situation in the first place.

Whether you love to hate them or just plain hate them — because there’s no loving them — this show is full of characters that leave you wanting to flip tables and throw things at the television. Admittedly, having a host of unlikeable characters is not everyone’s cup of tea, but there is something appealing about a K-drama where the primary conflicts skew closer to real life and involve interpersonal relationships.

While most of us have never been scammed out of our homes by our best friends,  more of us have encountered “friends” who have used us for their own personal gain or been strung along by a love interest who only wanted us once we were unattainable. That being said, I wouldn’t look to Full House as a guide for how to navigate toxic people. The show skews heavily towards forgiveness — I support burning bridges with people who sell your house from underneath you — so if you want to see annoyingly awful people get their just desserts, you’re going to be extremely disappointed.

With that said, it begs the question: has Full House aged well? Truthfully, mileage will vary with this classic drama. It really is a lot of tropes packaged in outdated cinematography, and that alone can be off-putting, especially if you’ve discovered Korean dramas recently and are accustomed to quality graphics and more nuanced romances. On the other hand, there’s something still endearing about the simplicity of this modern day(ish) fairy tale, so if you like to sit back and embrace the absurdity along with the romantic, then this Friday Flashback might be the drama for you.

 
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Oh I love this new experiment, Friday Flashback! I'd like to suggest these K-dramas as future topics of discussion: Sam Soon (oh, that would be so interesting to re-interpret in modern time, ahem), What's Up Fox (it went farther into sex topic than any other TV show at that time, and even more so in modern time) and Biscuit Teacher and Star Candy (oh that is my personal meltdown I still somehow keep coming back too, lol.)

As for Full House, I watched it in one sit-down, and it was one of those show I watched during the "getaway" K-drama phase, where tropes and non-sensical eternal roundabouts did not yet irritate me that much. Still I remember, besides the other characters, the main leads left me "wanting to flip tables and throw things at the television" numerous times. Their hot-cold relationship was dizzying at best, annoying at worst, but I truly appreciated the zest (and facial expressions) of Song Hye-kyo, and youthful vivacity of Rain, as they bickered and engaged in never-ending move-in-move-out. It's one of those K-dramas I re-watch on skip-the-annoying-parts mode but I still do.

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MY goodness, lol, I went down the rabbit hole of DB (because that's what having been completely snowed-away does to you), and found the discussion / re-caps of two of the three dramas I suggested:

https://www.dramabeans.com/2017/01/why-you-should-watch-biscuit-teacher-star-candy/

https://www.dramabeans.com/?s=sam+soon&paged=2

Looking forward to future installments whatever the drama subject but hope for What's Up Fox or even Lovers in Paris or Pasta, phulease.

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The Sam Soon recaps by samsooki were just stellar ❤️👍🏼❤️

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Oh and I found discussion about What's Up, Fox, yay! Thank you @daebakgrits for taking me down a memory lane full of past excitements with just this single post.

https://www.dramabeans.com/2017/08/revisiting-dramas-the-timeless-struggle-over-age-differences-in-whats-up-fox/

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“ my personal meltdown I still somehow keep coming back too “
Sounds like a wonderful Theme of the Month or special essays.

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Can I suggest that too to DB staff? 😂

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Biscuit Teacher and Star Candy!!!! Gong Yoo dancing on top of the desk in the hospital with his walkman after setting off the sprinklers will forever be my favorite scene of his

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I want to suggest Something Happened in Bali and I'm Sorry I Loved You. Angst party bring it on.

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I AM SAM SOON and WHATS UP FOX? would both be good.

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Same writer!

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I did not know that. A good writer based upon how well written both of these shows were.

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I really loved Fox and thought it never got enough credit. The memory of her throwing her model uterus into the sea still cracks me up so bad.

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I wonder if she’s working on something now. After Valid Love (2015), there’s been nothing coming from her.

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Was Valid Love good? Should I watch it?

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Never watched it. I remember at the time I skipped it due to the pressure of time and the theme which I couldn’t find relatable. It would be great if someone else can comment on it.

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@bbstl
yes, watch it!!

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Bisquit teacher is sweet but I cant litter my screen with the ugly face of the second male lead

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We definitely need a flashback for My Lovely Sam-Soon. That's the first kdrama I have memories of watching and it's still among my favorites.

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@bomibeans "getaway" K-drama phase" That is a perfect way to describe me when I first got introduced to K dramas :)

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I clearly remember my colleagues following this drama in 2004-2005, and not being a Kdrama fan then (started in 2015, late bloomer) I didn't get the hype. They talked about it over lunch and I thought the plotline was lame. Haha! I might just get curious enough to hit Play on this.

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As a relatively new Kdrama fan (cough, addict, cough), I’m here to say yes please to this new series!

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I am not so new, but I also want this to continue.

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Whenever more recent kdrama watchers complain that Song Hye Kyo only has one expression, I would agree with them but point out a long time ago, Song Hye Kyo was in fact more animated. Case in point Full House. She also took more variety in roles than cold reserved repressed woman afraid to love while her co-star - increasingly younger than her ! - falls madly in love with her - rinse repeat.

As for my enjoyment of Full House, even in my early Kdrama watching days, I was just so so with this but did appreciate the lively characterization of the leads.

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I was just saying this, I don't know when she started just being pretty for roles. Full House was my first SHK drama and she was so much fun in this, I wish I knew what happened.

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Ok this is a serious question - maybe it’s Botox? She has a very smooth and youthful skin and I wonder if whatever expressions she mustered in her youth just went away due to that. But then again Nicole Kidman had plenty of it but she’s still collecting trophies. I had it too, and (so far) no one told me it effected my facial expressions. But then I watched crying scenes of Lee Bo-young (especially the ones near the bed of her dying dad) in When My Love Blooms, and it was super noticeable. So I don’t know.

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Oh I didn’t know Lee Bo Young also had this Botox issue. In any case, there is hardly any backlash on Lee Bo Young vs Song Hye Kyo.

Coincidentally I’m re-watching LBY’s Mother (2018) and bawling my eyes out. I’m not sentimental by any means, and I super dislike slow healing dramas that many in dramabeans seem to love. But this is an exception. It is tightly written, suspenseful, unpredictable drama that is not at all cheesy but manage to get to you each and every time.

I realized some parts is almost - frame by frame - copy and paste from the original Japanese series - and that’s probably why I find it unpredictable (Unlike most kdramas).

I love Lee Bo Young and pretty much every one of her co-star here.

It didn’t get a lot of buzz during its screening but still won Baeksang Best Drama award, and may I say richly deserved.

Lee Bo Young’s acting is in fine form here.

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Obviously, I'm not Lee Bo Young's doctor, and I cannot tell definitely, but having worked at the plastic surgeon office many years ago as my alba, my eyes pick up on these things a mile away. I haven't watched Mother, but I can say Bloom is where I noticed LBY has done some botox on her face. I'm trying not to judge anyone here, I had it myself. I'm just curious how actresses balance looking glamourous as they are with looking expressive if the role requires it. It might be a double-edge sword. BTW, LBY is one of my favorite accesses and she absolutely killed it in When My Love Blooms. I've been trying to offer solution to mystery that is Song Hye-kyo, but I'm beginning to lean toward @kafiyah-bello -- it might be just indeed her delivery and performance.

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That is possible it is botox, but you can be animated even with botox. She is just stiff all the time. Her delivery and performance. Side note I wish all actors would stop with botox, I can always tell and it takes away from the acting.

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Look at all the makjang ahjummas who have surely had botox but can still move their face in every expression known to man in just 5 seconds!

I wonder if some of the actors who don’t move their faces actually do it to prevent needing botox—that is, being expressive causes wrinkles so they try to avoid being expressive. I KNOW my forehead lines that I noticed at just 20 years old are from how much I move my eyebrows, haha.

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Lol, this discussion also reminded me of the last episode of Running Man. Kookie was complimenting and teasing mercilessly Eunhyuk about his "improved" appearance, and you could see why. Eunhyuk's skin looked gorgeous. I bet he's done at least some lather resurfacing. This was all so funny to watch...although as a Western viewer I was still a tad uncomfortable about them going on and on about his appearance.

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She was really good in this- and noticeable not as much later. My hypothesis is that she was steered into less suitable roles because of being one of "The Most Beautiful Women in the World". Big mistake if that is what happened.

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This makes sense.

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I watched this in 2017 and could only feel that it hadn't aged well. Wasn't particularly memorable either. I do remember being extremely pissed off at the 'friends' and the fact that they suffered no real consequences for their actions. The only other memory I have is SHK dressed like a 12 year old singing a nursery rhyme - probably the Three Bears one?

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It’s the three bears one, that scene has stayed with me as well.

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I watched the behind the scenes of that moment. It was very funny.

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I started my Kdrama's journey with Que Sera Sera, just because I found it with French subtitles, that was pretty weird but Eric Mun and Yumi were great together. So, after that, I thought I should try the famous ones like Coffee Prince, Goong, Full House (but not the very old ones because it was to find), I realized they kinda had the same pattern and Que Sera Sera was pretty different.

I'm happy that I didn't start with Full House because I'm not sure I would have continue to watch KDramas.

At the end, I got the feeling that the FL spent the whole drama cleaning the house for him and hearing the 3 Bears song. I don't think the tropes were an issue but the fact I never could believe in their couple. Everytime they needed a happy flashback, we got the honeymoon but they didn't really know each other at this moment...

I watched the Thai version and it was way better. I liked they kept the fact it was a Korean drama at the origin by making the characters visiting Korea.

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@kurama Did you like Que Sera Sera? I've heard much praise about it (and read couple of recaps here and there) but I could not get past episode 1. I forgot why. Recaps also sounded like it was too heart-wrenching and the heroine sounded like too much of a suffering victim....

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Que Sera Sera is quite a kind of its own drama. Back then, it wasn’t for the faint hearted and not a crowd pleaser at all. It takes a few episodes to decide if it’s your thing. BUT, I am a fan of Eric and Yumi for life because of this drama. Eric was the first k-actor that makes me cry for him in this role, LOL.

I still rewatch its ending every now and then - loving its haunting melancholy and glimpse of hope. The OST is among the best.

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The W&Whale's OST was really good! It really suited the drama.

I loved Eric's smile in this drama. Everything was just shining when he smiled :p

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The FL is pretty innocent at the beginning. But not really a victim.

This drama has some makjang moments but at the end, it's just the characters who made choices and need to assume the consequences.

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While Full House has not aged well, there are two things about it that I cherish, one of which makes me a bit sad. That one is how wonderful Song Hye-kyo was as a comic actress, as compared to subsequently. Oh my goodness, what happened? She was delightful.

The other precious thing is Rain's beautiful baby face. His petty petulant man-baby character aside, this was my first encounter with him, and I was captivated, discovering his on-stage performances and most of all his amazing skills as a dancer. Now he has gone through several stages of reinventing himself, I still have his back. He's an all-rounder and a true Korean beauty.

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With you 100%!

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Lol

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I will ride that man till the wheels fall off!

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OMG Ride with him! Sorry about that lol

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Hahahaha the former sounds great though

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This is the reason why we need an edit button...or do we....

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Hahaha

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😂

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😆 🤣 😂

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I fully admit I've had thoughts....urges if you will 😂

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@kaekarl 😂

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I wonder why she never again (with the exception of dots - and look how successful and loved that became) star in a rom com. Honestly I do t really like her in melodramas.

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It's a pity she hasn't done any more. I also have a theory that life has knocked the shine off her, and that's what I find sad.

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How SHK can be so animated then and stiff now is forever a mystery to me.

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It maybe the roles that she got to play later on - melodramas or makjangs don’t really do justice to all actors. I am not sure if she was offered that many rom coms later on her career but that may be one reason we don’t see her in livelier roles anymore. Also, think @jorobertson’s theory on life knocking off the shine off may have some merit in it.

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I agree with you about Song Hye-gyo. This was the best I have ever seen her as an actress.

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This was my very first K-drama!!! Oh the feels… I went back to watch it again this year and despite being shocked / entertained by the early 2000s fashion, I got hooked again. Those OSTs… the tropes… the bickering… the nostalgia…

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Think i've watched Full House in 2008 or 2009 when i started discovering kdramas and while almost everyone adored and raved about it back then i confess i was among the very very tiny minority that didn't like it....I remember i hated the heroine for her stupidity and her friends for what they did and that they never truly got to pay for their crime and that it was loud and even,don't shoot me bad acting...
I've also watched the Thai version and must say that i actually liked that one,not perfect but liked it a lot better...

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This one is definitely a classic.
This one has drawn millions of people into Kdrama, myself included.
This one holds a very special place in my heart because it was one of my best friends during my 3months bedrest of my difficult pregnancy. My son is now a highschooler, smartyass, sings well, and, people say, looks a lot like Rain. Shall I smile proudly or bang my head onto the wall?
It has all the absurdities you can get in one drama. Stupid (or evil?) friends, annoying 2nd FL, abusive ML, forgiving FL, bizzare outfits and everything in between. They just bicker, clean the house, eat, repeat. All throughout the drama.
But they do it so well! 😂😂
And the chemistry is brilliant, I guess that’s why I’m sold.
I got a chance of revisiting through Netflix and the first feeling was a disappointment toward SHK. She was funny, expressive. How could she ended up like in NWABU is still beyond me.

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*whispers*Ilovecontractmarriages/relationships.
I am surprised how strong your dislike of the trope is. I love when two people are put together for some kind of convenience and then learn to love each other unexpectedly anyway. I never thought of it as a ruse to calm the masses since it was hardly shown to be that in most of the shows I've seen, but I guess it could be a writer's ploy.
I doubt Full House has aged well, but I don't see the trope itself being outdated or just a proponent of "old-fashioned ideals". We have fairly modern kdramas that have tackled the idea with thoughtfulness such as Marriage Contract, Because This Life is Our First, and My Husband Oh Jak Doo. Marriage Contract didn't even have cohabitation. Because This Life is Our First contract does comes about because of cohabitation being "scandalous" and My Husband Oh Jak Doo's contract because being single is "scandalous" (and a serial killer). But, both had more commentary on what being together in any capacity (roommates, friends, lovers) really meant than actually reinforcing certain societal pressures. I just find that the reason behind the contract can be more than what you called it out to be at least in many cases.

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It’s one of my most favourite tropes too, and I had also never thought of it as an excuse to calm the masses - more an excuse to put two people in very close proximity to each other.

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Well all the dramas you named are from 2016-2018 - 12 years or more after Full House. I don't think daebakgrits was saying that the trope is only used to justify cohabitation. In fact she said the exact opposite - "audiences no longer need the pretext of a fake marriage to soften the scandalous idea of an adult man and woman cohabitating". So of course how the trope is used NOW will be different from how or why it was used then 🤷‍♀️

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It is amazing sometimes seeing the difference in how older and newer kdramas handle things - in Bad Couple, a successful magazine editor decides to have a baby on her own (modern drama with same idea is Oh My Baby). Oh My Baby looks at sperm donation and infertility treatments etc - in Bad Couple she secretly feeds her ideal man an aphrodisiac drug and engineers a car accident outside a motel 👀

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Good example! Same trope - way different attitudes and sensitives.

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*she secretly feeds her ideal man an aphrodisiac drug and engineers a car accident outside a motel * I'm going quietly laugh to myself all day

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This is after seeing him on tv and deciding he needs to father her child so deliberately manufacturing a meeting with him 😂 it’s insane (I have not seen it all the way through).

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Yeah, I don't think daebakgrits's essay came across as disapproving of a trope, more saying there are multitude of internal motivation in modern k-drama (e.g. inability to earn for decent living shelter or saving loved ones from death) that drives people to get on board with "fake marriage/cohabition", as opposed to the way "fake marriage" was presented in Full House, as fait accompli.

Regardless, I find tropes, including forced cohabitation, absolutely fun to watch. The problem is this: when the writers default to tropes to move along the flimsy plot with characters who lack any dimension or strong motivation. I find this "creative laziness" hard to stomach.

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That quote is part of why I think she's disapproving of it so strongly. How I interpret that sentence is better said in the positive: "the audience needed fake marriages to soften the scandalous idea of men and women cohabitating." The imperative being past tense because she thinks that current audiences don't need to be softened. But, my argument is that past and current audiences weren't needing to be soften. Yes, my kdramas I listed are newer than Full House, but I don't think that trope even back then was for that particular purpose. I just don't have as strong of a memory of those kdramas to make a real argument. 😅 I remember some cohabitation without contracts like Stars Falling From the Sky or 9th Inning 2 Outs but not the opposite lol
She also says "we don’t see many contract marriages in dramaland these days because it’s outdated...I’m happy to see fade with the times..." I don't think the trope is outdated because there's been other (slightly more current) dramas who have utilized it for various means and have done it well as stated before. Which is part of what you said on how tropes are utilized differently throughout the years. I do agree with that definitely.

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I love the trope too. I really need to watch Marriage Contract. I am just worried about the sadness.

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Definitely recommend. I've watched it twice and been itching to watch it again. It's sad but not depressing. They keep it realistic but hopeful throughout.

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I like the trope too, mostly cos it brings about cohabiting hijinks. I miss this kind of romcoms that actually has comedy in the plot..tho we can definitely skip the mean friends, annoying 2nd leads and maybe too brash ML.

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I really like this idea for a new series!

I watched Full House when I was just really getting into kdrama watching all the time (so maybe 2015ish), and it was dated then, but I also still enjoyed it? The clothing was -astonishing- and the set up was so hypnotisingly weird (how could they sell her house without her knowing? What?). I liked Song Hye-gyo in this role and didn’t even realise she was the same actress as in Descendants of the Sun wherein her character was so aggressively stupid it makes me angry to think about it 😅 (honestly possibly the most enraged a FL has ever made me; I complained about her even to my job-kdrama watching friends).

I think “your mileage may vary” is a good summation for this drama now; if you don’t like tropey, you will not like it.

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Yep - I actually could not finish DOTS for that reason

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I didn’t finish it either. I made it maybe 2/3 of the way through which was 2/3 more than it deserved.

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I watched Full House in 2019 and it definitely didn't age well. Don't get me wrong I absolutely loved it for about 8 episodes before it started to go downhill. Song Hyekyo and Rain had amazing chemistry but it went to waste in the last half of the show with constant arguing and Rain calling SHK a rice cooker, and SHK just cleaning the house every episode while screaming at him. A lot of misunderstandings that made me want to drive my head into a wall. I think a lot of classic dramas suffer from this, another drama that comes to mind is My Girl (with Lee Dongwook and Lee Dahae) which I also loved at the start until the angst hit.

But I absolutely loved Coffee Prince from start to finish which I also watched in 2019. That drama definitely aged well. But nevertheless, there's a magic to classic dramas that I really love so I've been looking to watch more so if anyone has more recs I'm all ears!

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How old does a classic drama have to be?

Some I’ve loved:

The Greatest Love (aka Best Love) - 2011
My Girlfriend is A Gumiho - 2010
My Name is Kim Sam Soon - 2005

I personally couldn’t deal with the unnecessary angst towards the end of Coffee Prince, so we may not have the same taste 😅

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What a wonderful idea for a series. Encore, encore, encore!

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May I suggest some classics of makjang? Like …
East of Eden - I mean it’s only 56 episodes…

Or something that doesn’t have a traditional happy ending?
I’m Sorry I Love You
Something Happened in Bali…

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ISILY and Something Happened in Bali have been on the top of my to-watch list for YEARS. Alas, my heart does not stomach more than one teary-ending-melodrama a year, so depending on 2022 melodrama offerings, I might just be able to check at least one of them.

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I watched I'm Sorry I Love You after only having watched a few rom-coms and was like "What in the heck is this?" I think I was in shock for awhile lol. I haven't watched Something Happened in Bali, but I have seen the ending, and it was something else too.

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Bali and ISILY, many early kdrama viewers still carrying the scars of those endings! 😲 But those were back in the days when you couldn’t be sure a kdrama would have a happy ending, which I kind of miss. Look at how Yumi’s ending freaked people out just over a breakup 🤷🏼

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I love shk but to this day this (and later dots) remains as the only shk drama that I actually liked.

Suggestions from me for future Friday trip down the memory lanes are:

From the 2000s

1. Lovely Sam soon
2. Coffee prince
3. Goong

From the 2010s

4. Secret garden (can’t believe it’s been 13 years!! Where did the years go?!!)
5. The king two hearts (can’t believe it’s now been 10 years since Earnest bot came to our screens!!)

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I would love to re-visit Secret Garden. The show was a bit of a hot mess, but the dialogue from the first minute to the last was like music to my ears. (I love funny repartee, lol.)

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@Bomibeans - do you remember if Hyun Bin does that awful sexist KDrama move of dragging the female lead hither and dither? I hate when male characters do that. With the fires of a million burning suns. I have noticed in more recent ones that there is less of that odious move but it is still there to my dismay in many shows,

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I can’t remember for sure if there was any scenes like that but there could be one or two of those given it was in 2010. However, think the likelihood of that is very slim since in this drama ha ji won stars as an action stunt hero. If hyun bin tried to move her hither and dither, chances are he got high kicks in the sheens - I do remember some scenes like that where his butt got kicked by the fl, but can’t remember if it went the other way round. If you haven’t watched it, I would recommend you do. It’s been a very beloved, one of those very early (if not the first) body swap dramas.

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@tazzo: Thank you!☺️

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It was an early watch for me and it had a magical quality that has stayed with me and that took me deeper into the kdrama rabbit hole, from which I have not yet emerged.

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Oh yeah, he grabs her wrist more than once. She kicks him in the shins more than once. But sometimes when he’s grabbing her wrist, he’s actually her grabbing his wrist . . . because, yunno, body swap 🤪 I recommend it highly.

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@dncingemma I’m not gonna lie, there were scenes in Secret Garden, where Hyun Bin’s character came across as some special kind of jerk, while the main heroine came across as some special kind of a virtuous high-horsing case. And yet they are one of my favourite pairing in all of k-drama. They balanced each other really well, at no point I felt like Ha Ji-Won was dicked around by the main lead, she stood up to him many times, and was really strong, physically (she was a stuntwoman) and mentally. The acting was stellar. The situations in the plot were hilarious (sans horrible unamusing mess that was mother-in-law.) And the OST will literally haunt you for months. I think the best I loved about Secret Garden was the dialogue. I’m actually lamenting the loss of the gift that was “early rom-com” Kim Eun-sook, her latest offerings of DOTS and Eternal Monarch are grey shells (or ghost written?) of what she’s capable of. I swear if she were born in the US, she’d be writing episodes of Succession and collecting Emmys right and left for that brilliantly smart dialogue. So, I definitely, 100%, with no reservation recommend you to watch this absolutely amazing classic story full of witty repartee and whole lot of heart.

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I personally love Secret Garden. It made me laugh out loud many times and there are walking scenes that Hyun Bin did that I adore.
However, you have to go in with eyes wide open that he is a problematic hero who can be controlling and stalker like. And other things too. Really he is an ass through much of it.

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Yeah for sure it was bit of a hot mess lol but something about it still works for me even today. These five dramas are my go to dramas, in that order, that I revisit whenever dramaland is in a slump due and I don’t have any on air dramas that I want to watch.

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Forgot these for suggestion for future Friday memory lane trips:

6. My girlfriend is a gumiho (fell in love with shin min ah in this one)
7. A love to kill (fell for rain on this one, though will never ever rewatched this)

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I haven't seen A Love to Kill, and I think I really must. With Shin Min-ah! How on earth did that get under my radar?

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Fair warning though, it will leave your heart ripped apart. I still haven’t recovered from the heartache and extreme sadness I had from this even after all these years later. That’s why I said I will never ever rewatched it. However, I think this was a classic melo that was done right, but it will leave you with a deep bleeding wound because it was beautifully made. It’s was a 2004/2005 drama so do go in with a grain of salt. you will need to go in with a high tolerance for melo and grey lenses for those early Bally wave dramas.

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After these dramas, maybe other ones could be:

8. My girl
9. Scent of a woman (the tango scene still wakes the hidden lusty demons in me lol)

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I watched Scent of a woman again over christmas, such an emotional drama!!

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Perfect list! 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

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Thanks! ❤️

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Rewatching Goong is my annual ritual haha. I absolutely love the unique OSTs and how pretty the drama looks (props to the set designer and the stylists!), these elements really age well. Story is bit all over the places but has many memorable romcom scenes. Shin is a jerk for 1/2 of the show, Yul is a thoroughly unbearable brat, and Chae-kyung is in trouble in every single episode 😂but I still adore her happy-go-lucky personality. I'll always have a special place for Goong in my heart ♥️

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just here to show appreciation to the king 2 hearts

earnest bot!!!!!
my heart still hasn't recovered

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Mine too sister, mine too. If you look closely, my avatar is earnest bot. My heart took such a beating. Can’t wait for Friday flashback with the king to hearts.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this trip down memory lane. I remember this show fondly because Rain and SHK were both endearing in their roles despite the character's annoying habits. I remember loving the show the first time I watched it. I will not watch the entire thing again but maybe scenes I love between the leads. I really like how their enmity toward the other turned to affection. I do remember the side characters being unlikeable especially Ji Eun's so-called best friends and Hye Won. But I guess this is one of the earlier enemies to lovers and cohabitation hijinks dramas I enjoyed.
I enjoyed this new site feature and hopefully I will discover old dramas I havent watch through this. Or relive another older dramas so I can remember it fondly.

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This was one of my early dramas! and i was helplessly drawn to it. But even then i found myself wondering why they were cleaning and doing cores endlessly. It was all "cook me food", "clean the house" and i was wondering why a busy top actor has so much to think about housework! but i loved it then and i have a fondness for it even now.

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I still wonder what ever happened to the handsome actor playing the second ML? He was a real cutie. He was in dramas in that mid-to-late 2000s time and then disappeared.

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I am truly loved this new Dramabeans feature and I wanted to be this as a regular feature now! Because so many oldest Kdramas that will discovering some retro gems from the past.

For my suggestions for upcoming old Kdramas that Dramabeans Friday Flashback should be listed including some rarest, oldest Kdramas that never listed yet or missing from the Dramabeans archive:
1. Sandglass (1995): https://www.hancinema.net/korean_drama_Sandglass.php
2. Papa (1995): https://www.hancinema.net/korean_drama_PaPa.php
3. Star in My Heart (1997): https://www.hancinema.net/korean_drama_Star_in_my_Heart.php
4. Models (1997): https://www.hancinema.net/korean_drama_Models.php
5. Heo Jun (1999): https://www.hancinema.net/korean_drama_Heo_Jun.php
6. Coffee Prince
7. Winter Sonata
8. Endless Love

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What an amazing list! I’ve been trying to find couple of these dramas to watch some years ago with no success. I wonder if I can watch some of them now.

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Winter Sonata is such a classic, it and Dae Jang Geum really started the kdrama/hallyu wave across Asia. WS is soooo schmaltzy (I guess we call that cheesy now), I’d love to hear what today’s viewers say about it. Also … MAJOR scarf representation. 🧣🧣🧣

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Oh, and p.s., I love this Flashback Friday idea. So fun to visit older shows that are the foundation of today’s dramas and also to talk about how they were breaking open kdrama in their day.

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Please also share where we can watch these retro dramas legally. For Full House its on Netflix and Viki for anyone who is interested.

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Oooh nice segment! 2004 brings back lots of memories, good and bad. It is also when I entered the world of kdrama with Stairway to Heaven. Kwon Sang Woo was my first bias. Then there was no turning back since then! haha. I was so crazy about kdrama that I used to visit the DVD shop compulsively looking for new titles. And even joined a fan club and saw KSW in person!

Looking forward to more Friday Flashbacks. Let the good ol' times roll!

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And this is why the contract marriage and forced cohabitation is the greatest trope of all!! The friends stealing the house was a stretch too far, I don't really understand how they pulled it off. If anyone has seen the amazing remake Full House Thai with Aom and Mike, the story was changed so the FL's family sold the house whilst she was away on a writing trip or holiday to SK!
I watched Full House (original) fairly recently and I think it's aged pretty well. The set up is simple and I think what was great about the characters is that because of the living situation, they had to show their sides of their personality that would be hidden for most of the drama.
it's interesting how the camera angles/ make up styling had changed, I miss the awkward angles and the more natural, clumsy production style.

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In the recent Chinese version Midsummer Is Full Of Love, the friend gets the FL drunk and convinces her to sign some sort of mortgage to help her out (and then sells off the mortgage without her knowledge). It wasn’t a GOOD explanation but it made more of an attempt than the original 😅.

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KBS World YT channel has posted all the episodes subbed: https://youtu.be/ahZe60kisOc

I love this song from the soundtrack, such a cute fanmade MV: https://youtu.be/QnVUbvqqMFE

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In January of 2010 my mom died and for some reason the only thing that brought me comfort was watching Rain kick butt in Ninja Assassin. I have no idea how many times my friends went to the theater to watch this movie with me while I put my feet up and oogled Rain and cried in turn.
I do remember when the movie finally left the theaters and there was a lump of time before the dvd was released. I went to the internet looking up Rain. The first thing that popped up was Full House. I had never heard of kdramas and my first thought was, "like the Olsen twins? He wasn't in that...." But I clicked play and was gone. After the drama was over I sought out his music videos and then watched Full House a few more times and then when Ninja Assassin was finally released on DVD I bought it and Full House and for months those two things were the only things I was interested in.
Full House doesnt really stand the test of time and I may like AOMikes version better but goodness I love Full House.

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I would like to 👍🏼 this a hundred times if I could ❤️

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I did the very same thing. full house was my first drama because of Rain. I have been following him ever since. anything he does I'm on it. I saw ninja assassin too and speed racer which he was also in. I've bought every movie and drama on DVD that he's been in and all of is albums. he holds a special place in my heart. without him i wouldn't know anything about Kdramas and I wouldn't be learning Korean either.

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I like this new feature, but it would be nice to know the pick at least a week ahead so those of us newer to Kdramas could watch it and share in the fun. I happen to have seen Full House, but there are many I still haven’t caught up on.

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oooh that would be fun! A monthly drama like a book club! :)

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Ooooh a beanie-wide buddy watch! That would be awesome. Great idea!

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I am tolerant towards tropes- I simply ask that they be done well, so if I were watching this show for the first time, they probably would not bother me.

But at the time I watched FULL HOUSE K-drama was still very new to me. I watched it in my pre-streaming days on DVDs borrowed from my library and I loved it. Song Hye-gyo and Rain were so good together and the romance developed so naturally. For no other reason than this I would not hesitate to recommend this show to anyone who has not seen it,

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I happened upon Coffee Prince on Netflix in 2013, and it became my gateway drama. I tried Full House not too long after, and I made it about three or four episodes. I'm shallow. The hairstyle and clothing were so dated, it completely took me out of the of the story. There are several older dramas I would like to watch but it's hard to get immersed given the hair, wardrobe, filming style, and acting.

Rain and Song Hye-gyo were not the best actors at the time, but they were lively and had that hard to define "It factor." Over the years, Rain's acting has improved a lot: I enjoy him in comedy, but he shines in quieter dramatic moments too. Unfortunately, Song Hye-kyo has completely regressed. It's a shame.

I still like the contract marriage trope, if there is a somewhat plausible reason for it. Because It's My First Life did it well. My Daughter Seo Young had a contract marriage that I enjoyed. My Husband Oh Jak Doo and Ojakgyo Brothers too.

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Funny that just watched it on Netflix ! I can only blame a sleepless night ! Song Hye-gyo was not a good actor since the beginning :) I loved whatever Rain was wearing. It was very cheesy and addictive as any other KD :) Lack of acting, no proper story but I still wanted to watch till the end :)

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Friday Flashback is such a lovely idea! There are so many classics to explore. Hopefully, I’ll even get some recommendations out of it, because my knowledge of dramas prior to the mid-to-late 2000s is abysmal. I only started watching dramas around 2012? God that seems so long ago…

Full House is a product of its time through and through, and if I’m going to be honest, that doesn’t really bother me. I remember watching it with a friend a few years ago and finding it outdated. However, as I kept watching the episodes, I came to the conclusion that I’m not really watching it for a modern outlook on romcoms, romance or marriage. The nostalgia factor was what kept this in people’s hearts and that’s the healthiest way to look at it. I have no desire to retroactively declare it “problematic” (although some aspects definitely are, and even was back in 2004).

That being said, I’ll fully confess to not exactly loving this drama even back when I watched it for the first time. Maybe because it was already outdated when I watched it circa-2013, or maybe I just didn’t like the overall execution. Full House isn’t typically a drama I personally go back to for a nostalgia factor. I totally understand why many do however, especially if you watched/started watching dramas around 2004. There is a charm and ‘IT factor’ to the drama I’ll not deny. And god knows I’ve watched enough shows these days riding on the hype train, so I get it. Besides, even I - the perpetual hater - have things I find charming about Full House. Song Hye-kyo is the best she’s ever been here. She was joyful, animated and had a truly infectious zest for life - qualities sorely missing from her later performances. It’s a shame, really. She’s the standout performer here, but in the year of our lord 2022, I can’t stand her onscreen. I wish she did more roles like Han Ji-eun. As for Rain, he’s a bit too much of a classic bad boy kdrama lead for my current liking, but I suspect that’s what adds to the overall old-school charm. That, and his god-awful 2000s wardrobe. I think we collectively lost our minds back then. How on earth did we think that was fashionable? But yeah, they were a great OTP and one even I find to be a classic pairing. Also, I’m a sucker for the fake dating/marriage and forced cohabitation tropes to this day.

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I forgot to add this to my original comment (once again wishing for that edit option!), but if anyone wishes to watch a somewhat more modernized version of Full House, I highly recommend the Thai remake. It’s not perfect by any means, but the main couple is lovely and have great chemistry without missing the ‘IT factor’ that made the original so memorable.

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I'm sad I haven't been able to enjoy Song hye kyo in anything else since Full house!
Defintitely agree about the Full House Thai remake, the Second female lead was still annoying but they did a really great job with updating the original drama. The chemistry between Aom and Mike was off the charts too!

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AOMike are fire together. So, after watching them in Full House go on ahead and watch them in a great ISWAK adaptation, Kiss Me.

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They made their versions way better than the Korean ones.

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Not gonna lie, I still habitually check their mydramalist pages hoping that they are going to work together in another drama. I want them to do all the dramas together.

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I watched that adaptation too! Full disclosure, I HATED the Korean version for pretty much every reason under the sun. Yet somehow, the Thai version was…amazing? The characters felt like actual people, the chemistry was electric, and there were no cringe-inducing antics from the female lead. The male lead was also a normal and reasonable guy. He honestly came off to me as an introvert instead of an asshole like in the Korean version. I loved it.

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I can't remember when I watched Full House, but I do remember loving it because I'm a rom-com girl. It's been almost twenty years, so my memory is fuzzy, but one heart-fluttering scene I remember is when Song Hye-gyo stayed over at Rain's parents'? house, and he called her to ask "When are you coming home?" in his usual gruff manner before sweetly asking, "Should I come pick you up?" because he missed her. That and the confession scene in the tent where he proposed? and said "saranghae" for the first time?

I'm thankful I watched the classics like Full House when they became popular at the height of Hallyu because I don't think old dramas have aged well. Friday Flashback is so nostalgic.

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I watched Full House for the first time when I was 9 or 10, after that I used to rewatch it every semester break (that one time students get a month holiday) until I was 13? And now, I still rewatch it from time to time, sometimes I just go "Oh I miss Full House, gonna watch some of my fav eps!" Obviously, things have changed, and a lot of styles/values/issues are outdated but well I LOVE Full House. In fact, it's still my favorite k-drama ever although I've watched so many other (better) dramas.

Call me sentimental, but I probably cherish it more because it was the first drama I was actually obsessed with. Nothing quite beats the chemistry, and oh I just love the house!

I know some characters are beyond infuriating or just simply unforgivable (I would've put Dongwoo & Heejin behind bars and made sure they would stay there for a LONG time), but the thing with Full House is... it's a perfect balance of everything (at least for me). And the best thing about it, and what makes it so memorable for me, was Hyegyo and Rain's chemistry.

I wish Hyegyo will take roles like Jieun again instead of melos because I know that she could do more (I watched bits of NYWBU and it was.. bland). I still love Rain with all my heart because he's just soooo good at everything. A very hard working, dedicated all-rounder. I love him both as an actor & singer, and his craft in both industries deserves awards (& he's won plenty of those). Now his character in Ghost Doctor kind of reminds me of Youngjae and oh, he's still as endearing and wonderful.

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No one asked but my fav eps/parts are the one when they visited Youngjae's parents for the first time (this was IT, , when Youngjae childishly pretended that he accidentally cut off his finger while cooking, and when they drew accessories on each other.

We get everything in this dramas: the banters, the petty fights, the classic s/he loves me, s/he loves me not, the annoying second leads... we have it all.

Other dramas that I love to go back to: Princess Hours (okay sometimes I come back just to see the teddy bear miniatures at the end) & Playful Kiss

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i still love the drama and plan to watch it after a decade of my last binge

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I graduated from high school in 2004 (yikes!). This was one of the first dramas that I watched with my mom and sister. I recall wanting to kill the "friends" that robbed the lead character of her home. I'm not sure if I could re-watch this drama for some of the reasons @daebakgrits mentioned.

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