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My Liberation Notes: Episodes 5-6

We get some development on the relationship front this week as our two reticent introverts start growing closer. Meanwhile, our eldest sibling finds herself in the throes of a crush she can’t shake, but that might not be all bad. Things are looking less rosy for our middle child, though, who finds himself struggling at work as frustrations pile up.

 
EPISODES 5-6 WEECAP

The family is awestruck after Gu’s practically superhuman athletic display. As expected, the rest of the family keeps their curiosity to themselves while Chang-hee pesters Gu about who he is and tells everyone in the neighborhood about Gu’s impressive ability. He guesses Gu must be a former national athlete, but of course, Gu gives nothing away. The fact that he even showed them this much is surprising.

Mi-jung, interestingly, is disappointed because it’s yet another thing he’s holding back. She takes quite an interest in Gu this week in her subtle way, making trips to accidentally-on-purpose run into him. But she tries to take her friend Hyun-ah’s advice and tells herself like a mantra that she’s worth it and won’t beg for love.

Turns out, she doesn’t have to. Gu asks if he’ll truly be different if he worships her. Mi-jung perks up at that and asks if he’s going to do it. His swoon-worthy reply: “I already started.” Mi-jung’s little smile is sweet to see.

Despite this progress, Gu is still hot lukewarm and cold. He walks past her one moment with barely an acknowledgment, but then he gathers his courage and braves asking her father for her number. It’s adorably awkward.

I don’t know what it is, but I’m all in on this surprisingly cute, weird, yet compelling relationship. Something about these two lonely, introverted people bonding makes me feel all warm inside. Mi-jung and Gu begin to loosen up around each other. They start regularly texting and going on (silent) dinner dates. He even lets her hang out at his place in the evening during his usual solitary drinking time. And most surprising – he starts smiling! Mi-jung even gets a few chuckles out of him with her quips.

Their connection leads to changes in their daily lives. Gu starts to live more like a person and even cleans up his place, sending Mi-jung a picture when he’s done. Mi-jung engages more at work, chatting and smiling with her coworkers.

The Liberation Club starts to make some progress, too. They decide, at the club lady’s suggestion, to each keep a liberation journal. Mi-jung shares her entry, a breakthrough about realizing why she feels so alone: she doesn’t truly like anyone.

She also tells Gu, explaining that she’s felt isolated and apathetic since she was a child, and there’s no one she 100% enjoys being around. Gu relates to her feelings of social exhaustion, saying he often hates having to listen and respond to others.

While Mi-jung’s work life is looking up, Chang-hee struggles. Ironically, he’s driven crazy by his coworker’s constant talking, but it turns out there’s more to it. One of the convenience store owners who leases with their company is selling his location. Chang-hee presents the opportunity to his father, although he knows he’ll refuse. Sure enough, he does, even though it’s a prime location pretty much guaranteed to make money.

Chang-hee doesn’t have enough capital to invest, so he can’t find a way to buy it himself. But then chatty coworker Ah-reum swoops in and secretly gets her father to buy the lease behind her company’s back. Apparently, this isn’t the first time she’s done this. She then throws a tantrum about how they’re acting like she’s done something wrong when she obviously didn’t know her dad would do that after she casually mentioned the store to him. Yeesh.

Chang-hee is so fed up with her antics, he says he’s going to love her as revenge since he ruins the people around him. Pfft. In fact, there’s a woman at work with her eye on him, but Chang-hee is hesitant to start another relationship. He knows he can’t provide the family life and stability most women are looking for and can’t justify another dead-end relationship.

At home, he keeps pestering Gu and trying to befriend him. But then he goes a step too far, as Chang-hee often does. He walks into Gu’s house uninvited when he’s looking for Gu and finds the door unlocked. When he spies an entire room (!!) of empty soju bottles, he calls his friend Du-hwan over to help him clean them up. Dude, boundaries.

Gu arrives home and is NOT happy. He orders them out but surprisingly holds his temper. When Mi-jung learns of Chang-hee’s actions, she angrily calls him arrogant. Even if everyone knows about Gu’s drinking, being caught like that must’ve been embarrassing. Although it does later help spur Gu to clean out the bottles on his own, it certainly wasn’t the right way to go about it.

I have to say, Chang-hee is a lot. Sometimes I find him incredibly frustrating, but he’s also surprisingly endearing at times. I attribute that entirely to Lee Min-ki who makes Chang-hee way more palatable than he has a right to be.

Meanwhile, Ki-jung’s crush on Tae-hoon grows when she has another encounter with him at his older sister’s restaurant. She can’t get him out of her head and is falling hard. She regularly updates her boss Jin-woo on the situation, and their coworkers side-eye their newfound closeness.

I actually kind of like her and her boss together – more than I’m feeling her and Tae-hoon, honestly. Given Ki-jung’s very vocal opinion on single parents and dating, I can’t root for her to start a relationship with him. But she and her boss have a fun budding friendship and get along surprisingly well. Maybe things will take a turn…

Coming home one evening after work, Ki-jung catches Mi-jung and Gu walking home together. She is not for the relationship, but Mi-jung points out the hypocrisy – Ki-jung has said they need to stop being so picky and “practice” dating, which is what Mi-jung is doing.

Mi-jung is sick of being so calculated in relationships. With her runaway sunbae, she liked dating a guy who had his own business but didn’t want him to do too much better than her. From now on, she’ll be entirely supportive of her boyfriends, giving them the support she’s never received from anyone.

I love how Mi-jung has decided to do this relationship for herself, making it about what she’s willing to give and loving how she wants to. She’s dictating what the relationship means to her and being very upfront about it to Gu. Mi-jung gives it to him straight and says she won’t interfere in his life or ask questions. Once she feels whole, she’s out. Gu laughs (!) that she’s cool: “I just worshipped you.”

But of course, when things are going so well, something has to give. Someone texts Gu asking where he is, saying he doesn’t need to hide anymore. That now is the time to make a move. And through these texts, we finally get Gu’s full name: Gu Ja-kyung. (Which is one of the national athlete names Chang-hee threw out!) Gu doesn’t see the text yet as he left his phone at home while he’s in the fields.

We end this week’s episodes with a much less impressive jump from Chang-hee who decides he can totally do that jump too. Gu sighs that it won’t work, but Chang-hee doesn’t listen. I love how impassive Gu is while waiting for Chang-hee’s impending face plant in the ditch, which is exactly what happens.

So what is this “move” that Gu and his friend are supposed to make? And why does he no longer need to hide? Gu has finally started coming out of his shell and even laughing, so I’d say he’s already stopped hiding in a sense. I’m curious to see whether he’ll choose to stay and see his new change through or pack up and head back to whatever he left behind.

 
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Thank you so much for the recap, @quirkycase!!!

Still love, love, love this show! So lowkey and yet so much fun at the same time? I don’t know how this writer is working her magic but I looooove it.

I was skeptical about the romance aspect about the show simply because I wasn’t the biggest fan of the romance in Oh Hae-young Again and thought this writer’s real strength was platonic and familial relationships, but I actually really like how they pairings are shaping up.

Mi-jeong and Gu already have so much chemistry and their texts are so cute. I’m not too sure about her “I want to love someone completely” mission—it seems like a recipe for disaster for them both—but I trust the writer to go somewhere interesting with it.

Gi-jeong and Tae-hun’s conversations were so nice in ep 6 as well, I can’t wait to see how their relationship goes, especially with his kid lol. Even more than them, though, I love her relationship with her boss! It’s so refreshing! I hope they stay friends throughout.

I’m placing all my bets on Hyeon-a ending up as Chang-hee’s real girlfriend, because all of Lee Min-ki’s fake girlfriends end up being real girlfriends, lmao. Dal-ja’s Spring, Because This Life is Our First, Beauty Inside, and now possibly this lol. He has a thing for the fake girlfriend trope, it seems. I love how relaxed he seems around Hyeon-a.

Also, I’m tickled by how many people are saying Lee Min-ki is a revelation to them in this, and I’m wondering if most have only seen Because This Life is Our First (which I looooove) and Beauty Inside (which I haaaaaaate), because quirky, bubbly guys are his bread and butter (and yet they never feel the same). Expand your horizons! He’s so funny and has such a unique, kinetic energy to his performances, even with “unlikeable” characters. Watch a lil bit of Shut Up: Flower Boy Band, give Spellbound a go, drop in on Dal-ja’s Spring, maybe even pay The Lies Within a little visit (although I don’t recommend the drama as a whole lol), pop some Shoot Me in the Heart or Very Ordinary Couple on the TV. You can thank me later.

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Lee min ki has been typecast in recent years though, same with park min young and ji chang wook etc even if they have a diverse resume. Noone could say the same about kang ha neul or maybe park seo joon for example as they've never played the same role twice.

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I'm not sure that I agree he's been typecast. Se-hee would and Chang-hee's compatibility charts *would not align*. A haughty face blind chaebol, slightly clumsy detective, and a touchy writer are also very different from Chang-hee. Like, I'm really struggling to find the typecasting here beyond Male Lead.

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And lets not forget the old drama I Really, Really like you where you end up loving his pretty unlikeable self. He's magic

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I always enjoy watching LMK's physical control and his expression of character through body language. For example, he's been shown running - either for exercise or from bad guys - in a number of his roles, and it's obvious that he really can and does run regularly. His form is easy and natural. He doesn't need running scenes edited to show him just huffing to a stop to disguise how bad he is at it, as so many actors do (looking at you, Ahn Hyo-seop and Rowoon). In MLN, however, his run-up to his failed jump and his dashes for the bus are just a little awkward and match Chang-hee's slightly out-of-step, dorky personality. It's the same kind of meta-fun as seeing a character singing badly when we know the actor really can sing.

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What makes this drama special is that this is not just a story about friendship and love and familial ties, but also about what is it like to live in modern society in this time and age. Which was an unusual enough exploration to find in k-dramaland, even with the massive choices it offered these days.

I'm impressed with how Chang-hee's close friendship with Hyeona shed an important light on his personality. Because it was in those meetings that, for the first time, I saw him being comfortable in his own skin. For all his talk about not wanting to give the wrong 'too good' impression, Chang-hee does want to be more than what he seems amounted to, and it's especially apparent whenever he is around his female acquaintances. But there's a marked loosening of pressure in him around Hyeona, and it's nice to see, whether or not they'll be the end game. (I'm shipping though 😉)

This week is also the first time Chang-hee's words resonated with me a lot. That quip about him knowing when things just about to go bang if he didn't restrain himself. But most importantly, about how he lives like a drizzle. I think there's something in all of us that want to have some meaning in the world, to give a good impact on others however small and fleeting. And that little story about the old man who needs to catch his bus is exactly that. A conviction that maybe the small nice thing we did (however begrudgingly) made other's lives a bit lighter, even for just a few seconds. And how it then help us back to feel a bit better about our own life.

As for Mi-jung, she continued to steal my heart. I found her belief in the power of words to be very relatable. It was the reason she keeps silent unless there's something important she wants to add. It was the reason that made her quiet observation hit right where it hurts (like her quiet words to Ki-jung about how her hunger is not really a hunger, or her words to Gu about how doing something you've never done before would turn you into a different person). I think this is also the reason Gu stopped himself from saying anything by the end of eps 5, because there's something about him that seems to have the same belief as Mi-jung about how powerful words can be.

So really, I shouldn't feel this blindsided by how impactful their exchange in eps 6 turned out to be. What else did I expect from 2 people who are very aware of the weight of their words when they finally communicated properly?

The build up is just so good, though. How Mi-jung translated Hyeona's wise words about "not becoming a person who ask for love" into a vow to worship someone without asking for anything back. Mi-jung's way of wording things might be highly unusual, but I wholeheartedly agree with what she sent to Gu: " I like that I don't have to measure your affection". It's a 'freeing way' to love someone. Not preoccupied by the need to balance the scale between them. Giving as much as we are willing to give...

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... without setting ourselves up to disappointment.

And then we got to that exchanged messages between Mi-jung and Gu, and I cried so hard when Gu sent the photos of his clean house to her. There's something cathartic about their conversation. They don't change because they tried to change each other. They just love each other in their own way, love each other the way they are, and they find themselves ready to grab a chance for a change.

The way Mi-jung react just hit me on the feels. She knows it's an achievement. And Gu knows that she understands that. But she doesn't show her surprise or react like he just did the impossible. She does appreciate the fact that he let her 'inside' and she reciprocrated in kind, but she doesn't set a pressure on him to keep changing or to have certain reaction now that he started changing or anything like that. Somehow, I think that's the exact reason he'll be able to keep doing that, to keep to his positive change one step at a time.

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Very true what you said about MJ and Mr Gu. They're both people who don't speak just to make some noise. How wonderful it must be for them to find someone on the same wavelength they can confide in, to be able to voice their thoughts without restraints.

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"A conviction that maybe the small nice thing we did (however begrudgingly) made other's lives a bit lighter, even for just a few seconds. And how it then help us back to feel a bit better about our own life." You wrote this beautifully. I cried during this scene. It's really a good reminder on how important is our reaction in our daily life. This will stay with me for a long time.

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The praise and worship has started 😆

"I don’t know what it is, but I’m all in on this surprisingly cute, weird, yet compelling relationship. Something about these two lonely, introverted people bonding makes me feel all warm inside."

This literally sums up how I feel.

Chang-hee can be sweet but he really needs to learn boundaries. Ugh

I love this drama to bits.

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Mr Gu had me at "It's me, Gu."

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I know it wasn't so relevant but why did ahjumma put uri Mi Jeong to fold her clothes? She literally fold everyone's except for MJ's and was waiting for our girl to come tired from work to fold her freaking clothes? Ah, but she ain't tired to make some food for Chang Hee and his drink buddies.

I remember when ahjumma told dude Gu MJ is ahjussi's favorite child. AHJUSSI'S.
But what's the point of being his favorite when he treats every single one of his children as equally invisible? I think everyone is invisible for him expect for dude Gu, tbh.

PS. I didn't know Mi Jeong liked the "something good is going to happen today" sign. I thought she hated it as much as Ki Jeong and I do.
I hate that sign with all my heart. I would develop serious anger issues if I had to read that every single day of my life. LOL

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I think Mi-jung did hate that sign before. It read like an ineffectual, empty words of encouragement in the face of her monotonous and exhausting life. But then she experienced some unexpected changes in her life because of her message exchange with Gu, which then made her look at the world through a kinder, more positive perspective. Suddenly the sign didn't read as bad anymore since something good did happen in her life recently.

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I think you're right. She probably started to like the sign after dude Gu.

I wonder if the same will happen with the other sibilings.

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I think the high light of these 2 eps is Chang-hee. I love his child like enthusiasm on finding new idol hyung that is Mr. Gu. He knows he annoys people because sometimes he can't stop talking (the scenes where he makes urgent phone call to stop his next desk friend from talking is hilarious). But at the same time, he is just felt grounded. As Dao De JIng says The greatest wisdom seems childish. 😂
Mr. Gu is in-law killer: Go straight asking phone number to the parent and stop driving to give the daughter ride when the parent around. 😆
Mr. Gu: What can I do when your parents around?
Me: *smirks* What are you going to do when her parents not around Mr. Gu?
I think Mi-jeong thinks about her mother that isn't happy about her children is not quiet right. I think her mother is happy enough with her children. Love how she adores Chang-hee when she looks at Chang-hee photo as a kid and then she goes straight grumbling again on how immature Chang-hee is despite his age.
Not a parent my self and dont have any confident to be a parent. I think if I am a parent to see my children grow up healthy, without a major misshape, more or less going to be fine when I am not around anymore to watch them, it will already give enough happiness. They don't have to be the richest chaebol, the most genius scientist, or a president. Isn't that how a parental love suppose to be?

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When he asked for her number from her father, there was this beam of pride and delight and sweet uneasiness on my face. It has the scared teenager vibe, so so adorable. Mr Gu's face does a whole lot of talking, his adorableness is clearly seen on his face. I'm looking forward to what happens to this two at the end of thier worship. And they do not act like they're not supposed to be together or caught worshipping each other. The way they kept waltzing without batting an eyelid or facial movement when Ki-jung slighted was badass.

I'm rooting for Ki-jung's boss/coworker. I'm also rooting for Ki-jung herself, irrespective of what falls on her feet. Her boss has this look of ' I just can't get to know all about you each time you talk' or ' you don't cease to amaze me' face when they interact, I can't place which one. And he's one of the healthy bosses I've seen in dramaland, very conscious of his statements and Ki-jung's comfort.

There are people you can try what Chang-hee did with. But man, you both do not even have a friendship that gives you that right. I'd ban you outright from stepping foot into my space till I'm done being pissed.

If that robot scene was PPL, I'm sold.

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I'm rooting Ki jung and her boss too. They seem having the same wavelength, like Mr. Gu and Mi jeong, only in different frequency from them. I can imagine they talk to each other for hours without being bored.

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Just thinking about how you describe Ki-jung and her boss, it's just so dreamy. The same way I drip for Gu and Mi-jung on screen.

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I might be a minority. I like them as friends! I like what they have now. I don't see them as a couple.. not yet.

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I see them as friends too,I love how it all graduated. However, it doesn't stop the shipping from me. It might not happen, but I'd like to see the writing explore that fine line.

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I'm not excatly shipping Ki-jung with her boss (or even Tae-hoon) for now, but her interaction with bith men reminded me of what she said to her friend back in eps 1. About how while having sex is nice, what she craved is a nice conversation with a man where she can really talk about all "the important" thing. Whether or not any of these men are going to end up with her, I'm happy on her behalf that she can talk what's really in her mind around both of them instead of censoring herself like what she's always done before. Ki-jung has an interesting perspective on life and I'm glad someone appreciate that about her.

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Regarding the robot, I thought Ki-jung meant a clothes washing machine but for people. Because that would be a brilliant invention if you add detergent, turn on, and the machine washes you for you.

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"Dude, boundaries" made me laugh out loud @quirkycase because that's what I muttered while watching.
The personal growth of every character is being masterfully written and acted. The director is on point as well, since we rarely get taken out of this story by strange camera work or poor editing. This drama is akin to a finely woven tapestry - each color and thread chosen and worked with skill (looking at a beautiful Navajo rug as I read these comments). Grateful that we get to enjoy the work of so many artisans.
This drama will not get big viewership numbers because it cuts a little to close to the truth of living in times of upheaval and change. I can totally understand the younger generations in SK giving up on the traditional expectations of love and marriage and especially home ownership. Will continue to root for each character to find a personal place of contentment.

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I can totally understand the younger generations in SK giving up on the traditional expectations of love and marriage and especially home ownership.

Feel like this is the story of Millennials and Gen-Z worldwide, not just in SK.

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Well, it seems like the root of the 3 sibling's misery stems from their unhappy parents, with their father being the central locus of where that misery stems. The mother seems fine, just severely disappointed after decades of staying in a stifling and unhappy marriage, bur the father is a real miser. There's so much tension and resentment in this family that I expect us viewers are going to get a long overdue explosion and fight between the family.

Chang-Hee: I find him hilariously self-aware and I like his rants. He has a naturally bubbly, happy-go-lucky personality that's been repeatedly crushed of his father's disapproval. No wonder his self-esteem is so low and he's insecure in romantic relationships - his father keeps shitting all over his hopes and dreams. Parental disapproval is a crushing thing for kids to grow up under.

Mi-Jeong: Man, I really felt her humiliation and pain when her asshole boss asked aloud why she wasn't invited on the Guam trip with her coworkers. MJ looked like she as on the brink of tears and just trying to hold it together. The girl feels unwanted and it's eating her up inside. Again, I don't think her coworkers are bad people. They're actually quite friendly and they're eager to make friends with her - as shown by the hand cream scene - but MJ herself is bad at social interaction and can't meet her coworkers halfway.

Mi-jeong & Gu: I'm very iffy on this budding romance. Mi-jeong is so desperate to be wanted that she's throwing herself at the nearest available person. I'm better if they remain friends. A romantic relationship between two depressed people - one an alcoholic and another passively suicidal - is just a trainwreck in motion.

Question: Where are all thee siblings' salaries going to? They all work white-collar office jobs and save rent money, so they should be saving up quite a bit of money. Why are they all so broke (beyond the lending money bit)?

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I'm annoyingly torn with mijeong and gu too ugh I blame the writing and actors. I didn't anticipate romance in this drama but damn the intense chemistry they have. There's been a few romcoms this year and none even come close. I'm trusting the writing on this I don't want it to do down the tropey route.

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Same. They have chemistry but they shouldn't be in a relationship.

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I feel like Son Seokkoo is just able to create chemistry with everything - even inanimate objects. He has chemistry with his pile of soju bottles too.

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A thousand likes for this comment 😂

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Hahah. Love this comment. Just made me spit out my water.

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How about when he hesitatingly put a paper napkin by her plate in the pork cutlet place? I was waving away the feels...

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Agreed on Mi Jung and Gu. I don't think it's healthy to be in a relationship for both of them right now. And I'm not particularly liking how it is also going a love conquers all route, where love can change your depression and alcohol addiction. I don't know if the writer will make sense of it later but they are better as friends. Plus the changes in them were rather quick, opening up to people around you and cleaning off sth you've put off for months just when you began talking to someone.

I'm also not sure about Ki jung and Tae Hoon, she clearly isn't someone who will be okay being a step mother and it seems like she's completely ignoring that aspect of Tae Hoon's life.

Regarding Chang Hee, yes dad can encourage him but I think he is right to not sell his land for sth Chang Hee wants to do. I think they probably earn from that land too and as Mi Jung once said, they don't have factory work (Sanpo sinks I guess), in the winter. I would certainly not want dad to sell a means of livelihood for Chang Hee's investment. Which brings us to your point regarding their savings. Chang Hee's been working for quite long, has no savings, neither investments, which is why maybe dad is harsher on him because he wants him to do better. He clearly isn't setting the same expectations on KJ or MJ as patriarchy dictates.

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I think in ep one (?), Chang-hee lost his money in stock related invesment and still owing some more that made his parents must pay for his debt so his mother keeps his salary for him and also takes some for the money his father had already spent for him.

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Oh yes this was mentioned before. Which is why I guess Dad is not a miser, he's just trusted Chang Hee before so he doesn't want to sell his property for him trusting him again. Honestly if parents have spare money then its reasonable for them to help but if its their only property that also earns them a livelihood, not so much, unless it's a very serious need.

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I don't think it's healthy to be in a relationship for both of them right now. And I'm not particularly liking how it is also going a love conquers all route, where love can change your depression and alcohol addiction. I don't know if the writer will make sense of it later but they are better as friends. Plus the changes in them were rather quick, opening up to people around you and cleaning off sth you've put off for months just when you began talking to someone.

Agreed. I'll say that these two aren't in love. They're in lust / attachment stemming from sheer loneliness. They don't know anything about each other (she doesn't even know his name). I get Gu's seductively "broken" pull and appeal, but any healthily sane person would interpret those as danger and not as attraction.

I'm going to put some trust in the writer that she doesn't go down this "love conquers all" route because man, the only thing a romantic relationship would do for these two is worsen their depression and alcohol addiction. You cannot find meaning and absolution in life through romantic entanglements alone. It is a recipe for disaster.

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You cannot find meaning and absolution in life through romantic entanglements alone. It is a recipe for disaster.

Totally.
Plus what they are calling as love or worship is only coming out of their loneliness of having someone to talk to or belong to. That will not make them whole unless they've figured out how external factors like loneliness will not bother them.

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I agree with you as far as the show and the characters, but the idea that finding the meaning of life through romance is a recipe for disaster totally belies my own experience.

By romance, I don't mean just being sexually attractive to someone, which was always an iffy proposition for me, but being fortunate enough to somehow attain the love of someone outside of my family.

I admire those who have the fortitude to find meaning within themselves and their experience apart from someone else, but I couldn't do it, and, not to be too overdramatic, it would have been a disaster for me to attempt it!

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When he said that is why I worship you, I got chills. SSG and KJW are murdering these roles (it is a bloodbath of talent). I love this drama so much. The writer just understands people. Also when Chang Hee face planted, I laughed for 10 mins. It was so funny. LMK was perfect, his face when running, and then the thud. 😂😂😂😂. Did I say I love this drama, because I do.❤️❤️❤️

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Can we be friend with a drama? I think MLN is like a friend I have been searching for. Its type of jokes fits me, the way of the drama views the world is the same with me. Watching this drama reduces my anxiety Lol. I am not alone after all.

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A drama being "a Bloodbath of Talent" is going to be my new benchmark of greatness. I love it.

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I remember Gi Jeong said that she didn't even want sex, all she wanted was someone to talk to. She started out being so "undesirable" that everyone, including herself, didn't believe she would end up with anyone. But now suddenly she finds herself not one, but two dudes who fit that very description, who she can enjoy conversations with? I don't know why, it just tickles me lmao. Needless to say, I'm shipping her with both guys, it could go either ways and I'm fine with it, just here to enjoy the ride~~

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I envy Mi Jung's & Gu's budding relationship. They started off awkwardly, but that's okay. There's no pressure to impress the other person. No pressure to keep up with common interests or talk about current events, etc.

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I really love this drama. There was so much good in these two episodes, it's hard to know where to begin.
I love the budding relationship between Mi-jung and Gu. It may not be "conventional", but how many times have conventional relationships crashed and burned? The relationship is comfortable and right for them, and that's all that matters.
Love, love, love that Ki-jung has found a friend in her boss, whatever may come of it. And I like that now her co-workers are giving HER the side-eye.
As far as Chang-hee, I related most to his story this week. I thought the scenes where he and his friends were drinking outside of the window were hilarious! I was traveling over the weekend and watching on my phone. My traveling companions do not watch dramas and they were giving ME the side-eye and wondering why I kept laughing. I loved the one friend's line, "Why do you care what an alcoholic says?" or something to that effect. It was so natural.
I also loved when mom's face softened as she looked at the picture of Chang-hee as a boy. That was sweet. Before that, I didn't know she could smile.
I could also identify with Chang-hee's frustration as he was trying to buy into the store franchise. My heart went out to him that he had no one to support or understand his dreams. I've been blessed with parents who have always encouraged and supported me, even to this day at my advanced age, and it's made a difference in my life. I think that's why Chang-hee feels like a loser, even though he's not. He needs to prove to himself that he's capable of slaying dragons and taking care of those he loves. So far, no one's ever told him he's got what it takes, and I think he especially needs to hear that from his dad.

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My reaction to the show so far is slightly out of step with everyone above--although I want to stress, I totally respect the opinions of every commentator here, and appreciate it when someone says something that I can't see in the show, especially one as complex as this one.

Despite my great enthusiasm about the aesthetics and technical skill of the writing, acting, and directing of this show, I believe it is just too one dimensional in the emotions its portraying. The characters are wonderfully written, without a doubt. The various forms of self-absorption in all of the main characters is beautifully captured by the actors, in ways that still have me generally sympathetic with them. In fact, I actually see a lot of myself in Ki-Jung.

But that level of identification makes me uncomfortable, because so far this is just a character study in types of self-absorption. None of the characters, none, display any real joy, ever, nor can you say there is ever any real generosity, either in terms of actions or even of spirit.

Chang-Hee's actions with the automatic teller are a perfect example--he lets the guy go in front of him, is angry about that, expresses a certain satisfaction that the guy doesn't have money, but then is also proud of himself for at least allowing the guy to catch his bus. The story, then, is not one of real empathy, but how he evaluates or "rates" himself in his degree of empathy. Rating herself is also a big theme for Ki-Jung and her friend. Me-Jeong might find contentment with Gu, but it won't be in love, because I'm almost positive that the love will be ill-fated in the end. It will be that she has shown herself that she can be involved with someone without self-doubt.

Do these various characters express a contemporary truth? Yes, of course, but its only one truth, and right now its pretty unrelieved in its self-absorbed despair. I will keep watching to see what happens, but I really hope there will be some other emotions shown by the show and these actors, all of whom are exceptional so far.

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Valid points, all - especially the self-absorption. But aren't we all, as flawed human beings, wrapped up in our little personal story?
In this writer's previous drama, My Ajusshi there was a distinct subplot with a former neighborhood hero becoming a Buddhist monk. I trust writer-nim will emphasize that the only person one can change in this world is the person who stares back as you brush your teeth. The courage start down the path of that change requires intense commitment and hard work.
Just my own personal viewing lens.

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@jossie4cheryl Thanks for your reply! I have to admit, I was in part responding to your tapestry image, but I didn't want it to seem as if I was challenging you directly! But I guess I am, because my issue so far is that this is not a tapestry, yet, and given the quality of the writing, acting, and cinematography, it could be.

Right now its a portrait in modernist alienation, which has its own tropes--the gazing out the reflective train window, the kind of anxious self-obsessed monologues I was referring to, and the elliptical, meaning-filled phrases between Gu and Mi-Jung. The office is a lineup of identical computer monitors presided over by an authoritarian boss; the lush fields and buzzing insects are oppressive, even the beautiful mountain is symbolic of the weight of humanity. This is all great imagery, very well done-so I give it full credit, and the acting is excellent as well.

It is an evocation of modern life I've seen many times before, though. And Gu, for all his athletic prowess, and the great imagery of a tremendous leap, is thus far a pretty stereotypical character as a troubled loner whose enigmatic aloofness makes him attractive to both the brother and sister. So I was really hoping that by the 6th hour there would be some variation in these themes.

I'm not seeing it so far, but after I wrote this, I realize there's 10 hours to go, so I can't be too hasty. My impatience and inability to maintain aesthetic distance is maybe a sign that I don't like to look in the mirror when I brush my teeth!

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In a hypothetical Gu-less world, I'd ship Ki-jung with her boss and Mi-jung with Tae-hoon. Ki-jung and her boss are both eccentric and love gives them meaning in life, while Mi-jung and Tae-hoon are nice introverts who have a lot in common and his daughter would like her. However, Mi-jung and Gu fulfill each other and make each other feel like living. He's effortlessly swoony, "I already did it. Earlier today."

I ship Chang-hee with Hyun-ah who accomplished in five minutes what he couldn't do in years with no-boundaries store owner. They're friends who know all of each other's quirks and could be themselves in a relationship. Chang-hee may have crossed the line when he cleaned up Gu's empty soju bottles without permission, but I saw it as helping a loved one similar to an alcohol intervention, so I appreciated when he told Du-hwan to let's throw them out once Gu leaves.

There are moments when I laugh and don't even know if they were intended to be comedy like Chang-hee asking Gu if he can just tell him his name (how amazing that he guessed right) and Gu's terse texts "It's me, Gu ssi," but I bust a gut at Ki-jung telling Du-hwan, "I have to keep walking, or else I won't make it."

Many thanks for the weecap, @quirkycase!

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I'm shipping the same couples that you are. I feel like Mr. Gu and MJ are similar to the main couple in My Mister. They will be friends who have each other's back, but not romantic.

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@quirkycase I kept nodding my head reading the recap! thanks for putting down your thoughts.

So many favorite moments!
> Chang-hee fanboying Mr.Gu!
> Mi-Jyeong and Gu's growing bond - how sweet to see her smile and Gu's smile.. they make me feel things!
> More sexy Gu's shorts and sleeveless tees!
>Chang-hee's jump - NOT! lol

I don't know how I Will survive anymore of MJ-Gu getting close. I screeeee-ed when Gu asked daddy for phone number.. lol. Dad confirmed it was indeed the youngest daughter (he has 2 daughters - Daddy wants to make no mistake..lol) and gave it to him. And Gu stopped the van for her! Daddy sees him and says nothing.. lol... This is Gu who wondered how to 'worship' with her entire family around. Dude!! Look at how suave his flirting game is!

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I loved all these moments, and particularly agree that we need more of Gu in shorts and sleeveless tees. With that build, I'm convinced he was an athlete.

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Thanks for the weecap, @quirkycase.

I think it's safe to say he'll always be just Gu to me 😅. I love the character. And I'm so happy that he's treating himself like a human being. And I hope that through Mi-jung, he comes to see his worth.

I was as sympathetic toward Chang-hee this episode as I was annoyed at him. As someone who hates her stuff being touched, I was so annoyed at his actions, throwing out Gu's bottles like that. How dare he?

I kept having to pause and squeal and/or happy wiggle every time Mi-jung and Gu interacted this episode. It's not because it's romantic or anything, but because it's so cute and I'm really, really rooting for their friendship. It's a beautiful, beautiful thing.

I like Ki-jung better with her boss. They have a great dynamic, and the fact that neither of them is looking to be romantically involved with the other makes the possibility of a romance between them all the more exciting. Theirs is a ship I want to sail.

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This family is so dysfonctionnal, I love them!

Mi-Jeong : I liked how she realized she was a part of the problem in her last relationship too. Clearly, he was a jerk, but she wasn't perfect neither. I totally want a romance between her and Mr Gu, but I'm not expecting wedding and babies, just a great liaison that makes them feeling alive again and gets them out from their numbness.

Mr Gu : SSK is a feast for the eyes. I'm really curious about his past. The fact he has the same name than the athlete!

Gi-Jeong : I like her friendship with her boss, I don't want them to be together. He's a womanizer, a nice one, but he still dated a lot of women from their office. She always falls in love with guy who are nice with her, so once, it would be nice she doesn't.

Chang-Hee : He's funny. I hope he will get the promotion now his colleague showed her true face. I hated that he went in the house of someone without permission and took the liberty to clean. I understand it was a nice gesture from him, but bundaries are important!

I found weird that Gi-Jeong is not involved in the house tasks or in agricultural work. Usually, it's the eldest who would help the most the parents but in this case, she does nothing and her parents never ask. Mi-Jeong is the one doing the most of the tasks.

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Yeah that's surprising. It's usually the eldest doing all the tasks while the youngest is running away. Also in many families, the youngest is the most liveliest of all and clearly not someone invisible but Mi Jung is sort of invisible.

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Speaking as someone who is the youngest in my immediate and both sides of my extended family, I too am one of the quietest people in my family. I grew up with two brothers and one of them was very, well, loud, and attention-seeking, LOL. I definitely can sympathize with Mi-jeong, because I think I would be the exact same way growing up with Gi-jeong and Chang-hee as siblings.

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I'm the youngest and the quietest one :p I think this part depend a lot the personality of the siblings.

But for the tasks, maybe they counted on the son being in a patriarchy society. Chang-Hee helps a lot.

Mi-Jeong is like her father and she liked helping him to make cabinets. So she helped naturally, I guess.

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Usually parents know what each child do best, and give house task according to it. A family with 2 daughter, my mom never asks me to cook, my sister is the one who cook and I am the one who do house cleaning. 😅

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It feels like Gu opened up a lot all at once. Texting, letting her into his home--so much happened in episode 6 and it feels too quick. Especially for Mijung who wants to be worshipped, without anything in return. Mijung will realize that loving and supporting without expectations from the other person is not sustainable.

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What I feel about the show already expressed by other beanies.
It doesn’t matter how MJ and Gu will end up, but for now, they are happy with what they have. We should be happy for them and cheer them up that life, no matter how dark, sometimes can have rainbows too.
And if someone like Mr. Gu picks me up at the station…..
Someone please call 911.

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I have to admit that a real life Chang-hee would drive me to the edge, but a drama Chang-hee played to perfection by Lee Min-ki is amusing and flails so very well. Annoying as he is, he is also self aware (somewhat) and so here's hoping for some growth in the emotional intelligence of this man.

Mi-Jung, on the other hand, is just the type of person I understand and would want to hang out with... you know, sitting separately and not interacting. The perfect prescribed "fun" for this introvert. I too resent forced work socialization and would sign up for her club in a hot second. As for the growing relationship with Mr. Gu, I wasn't too sure about her motivation for approaching him to be worshipped, but I think the way they are slowly getting to know each other is working for me so far. Additionally, the directing of their interactions together alone and when others show up is just wonderful. The subtle details in positioning and expressions are so well done. My biggest reservation is that I hope Mr Gu's backstory doesn't eventually overshadow the core story of the siblings.

Thank you for the recap @quirkycase.

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I worship this show. It’s also the funniest kdrama I’ve seen this year (but also I’ve only maybe watched less than 3)

I keep feeling like the siblings are just me split three ways. The characterizations in this show are beautifully well-rounded. No one is completely likable nor unlikable. We were introduced to Gi-jeong’s boss as an office womanizer but now it’s adorable how he and Gi-jeong have now formed some kind of friendship. I hope it doesn’t cause any nasty workplace problems.

Changhee in particular is…so fun, lol. He’s clearly well-intentioned but his brain just works differently. A lesser actor could have easily turned him into such a maddening, insufferable ahjussi.

I was grinning the whole time during Changhee's drizzle monologue. Not only did his words hit home — I think that being able to positively affect society or even just one other person is a quiet desire that we can all relate to. But it was delightful to see him ramble on and let his guard down around Hyeona, who’s just the most wonderful beam of sunshine. She doesn’t tolerate him or judge him, she simply listens and takes in every word. I love that she started the fake girlfriend theatrics on her own, and that she’s the kind of doting BFF who’ll grab your face and plant a big smooch on your cheek, lol. If the show is taking her and Changhee into a *Ship* then yesser I am on board.

Gu and Mi-jeong, I love whatever it is they have. One of my many favourite moments is them having a drink in his house, facing each other and just at ease with each other’s company. Those precious tiny smiles. No pressure to force conversations just to break the silence. They’ve already begun to change as people and winter hasn’t even come yet.

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I just simply love this drama for all the reasons everybody else here does. I am rooting for Mi-jeong and Gu and their relationship and really worry about the impact Gu's past is going to have on these two. He said himself that he is not one of the good guys.

The drama feels so real that for a split second I thought about googling the name of Gu, once his full name as one of the national athletes was revealed, to find out more about him!

I fully agree with the father not offering to sell his land so that Chang-hee can run a store, even if it was as an investment, I would not trust him with my money either. There is no guarantee that he will be able to run the store as successfully as the manager before. As much as I enjoy how Lee Min-ki is playing his character, this man-child is really annoying with his constant complaints. I still love watching him!

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I love this show! But the scenes with the magical realism are throwing me off. Both the jump and the robot dude that picked up Ki-jung came out of nowhere. I hope they keep it literary and don’t explain any of it. I also hope it’s not something that will be become increasingly common as the drama proceeds. It seems like the right amount of nuts-ness for a show that’s pretty sobering.

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All three siblings have decent jobs, they all live with their parents, and the parents both farm and have a cabinet business. I don't understand how the family is not rolling in money.

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I adore the siblings!

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The moments with Gu and Mi-Jeong are my favorites and a true gem. They are sizzling, but not in a sexual way, way more than that. I don't know how to explain it, but their interactions are so simple, but so full of meaning, so quiet but so charged. I love it! Chang-Hee can be frustrating at times but I love that he is just a guy with a good heart, who says whatever he wants, talks and complains a lot, but a good guy. I would like a backstory on Dad: Mi-Jeong is right, he just does not look happy, and I wonder what may have caused this.

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