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Destined With You: Episodes 7-8

Our show reaches its halfway mark this week, with no concrete resolution as of yet in the romance department. But why focus on romance when we can have jealousy, affairs, stalkers, and black magic, right?

 
EPISODES 7-8

After Shin-yu’s declaration of love for Hong-jo, Jae-kyung remains unfazed and both men resume their bickering. Hong-jo is forced to tell Jae-kyung the truth about the love spell, but he doesn’t believe in spells. “Aren’t you guys old enough to tell reality and fantasy apart?” Jae-kyung chides them. And he’s right, because Shin-yu has reverted to his default “I’m in love with Hong-jo because I’m under her spell” setting. Tsk. Jae-kyung calls Shin-yu out on his use of the spell as an excuse for the interest he has always had in Hong-jo. And once again, Jae-kyung is right but I don’t like his tone.

To prove the efficacy of spells, Hong-jo uses the Fair Skin spell on herself, but there’s no difference between before and after, and that’s all the confirmation that Jae-kyung needs to disprove their theory. Since the spell theory has been proven to be false, Jae-kyung tells Shin-yu to stop messing with Hong-jo — and this time, he’s not speaking as Hong-jo’s neighbor or a colleague, he’s speaking as the man who regrets turning her down. Nevertheless, both men put their rivalry aside for a minute to inform Hong-jo that Joong-beom (a.k.a. Garden Man) has been spotted hanging around the neighborhood. Hmmm.

Destined With You: Episodes 7-8 Jo Boa Ha Joon

Now that Shin-yu no longer has the spell excuse for his feelings, he does the next best thing: seek medical opinion. The doctor tells him what he wants to hear: his feelings are a result of neural coupling — a condition where the brain hears a story, and reacts in the same patterns as the speaker’s brain. In Shin-yu’s case, this story is about the generational curse in his family and the spell book, and the speaker is the owner of the spell book (Hong-jo). Pfft. Shin-yu will really say and do anything except accept the fact that he’s genuinely in love with Hong-jo.

Meanwhile Hong-jo has gone further and tells Jae-kyung about Shin-yu’s illness. And when Shin-yu confronts her, she says she did it to protect his pride because it sounds better if he believes in spells due to his illness rather than because of love. But that’s not your call, sis. You just made Shin-yu appear even more pathetic to Jae-kyung.

Anyway, Shin-yu isn’t one to back down, and he puts Jae-kyung in his place with a “Don’t act like you’re anything to Hong-jo.” Jae-kyung replies with a “I think I might become one.” But you aren’t at the moment, so stop thinking rubbish thoughts.

Destined With You: Episodes 7-8 Rowoon Ha Joon Destined With You: Episodes 7-8 Rowoon Ha Joon

Word soon travels around City Hall about Na-yeon and Shin-yu’s relationship, and Hong-jo’s colleagues take her out for sympathy drinks. Hong-jo runs into Shin-yu in her drunken state, and I lol-ed at the way Shin-yu saved her number on his phone: Civil servant (haunted house). This is exactly how I save people’s numbers!

A worried Shin-yu buys Hong-jo a hangover drink, and Hong-jo finds the gesture absurd. Why would he worry about her? Is it because he’s under a spell or because of neural coupling? What’s his excuse this time? She tells him not to confuse her any further, and then notes that he no longer calls her. “You told me not to,” Shin-yu replies, sadly. And I’d give him a comforting hug, but I’m not about to join his harem.

Na-yeon, on the other hand, has conspired with Shin-yu’s dad to fix their wedding date, and her prospective groom is the last to find out about his upcoming wedding. But Na-yeon’s happy bubble bursts when she receives several suggestive pictures of Shin-yu and Hong-jo from a burner phone. Lawyer Shin-yu is more concerned about the anonymous sender of the stalker-like photos, but all Na-yeon sees is her fiancé and her “friend” about to lock lips in the picture.

Na-yeon heads to Hong-jo’s to register her displeasure with a slap, and Hong-jo maintains that there’s nothing going on between her and Shin-yu. “Don’t get the wrong idea, it’s not that there’s nothing going on. You’re nothing,” Na-yeon retorts, and it’s her hypocrisy for me. The nerve of her to be upset about her fiancé’s affair when she’s having an affair of her own with Hyun-seo. Ha! I was kidding last week, but it looks like Hyun-seo won’t mind being the mayor’s son-in-law after all.

Na-yeon’s slap is the final straw, and Hong-jo returns the wooden box to Shin-yu. As the king of excuses, he should have come up with an excuse to his girlfriend. Why would he admit to being swayed by her? “Because it’s true,” Shin-yu replies. “You swayed me and are still swaying me.” Gah! Is it the raw honesty in his words or the pining in his eyes? This moved me more than any of his previous confessions. But I wish I could say the same thing about the subsequent kiss.

Our OTP is nowhere near having a rewarding kiss, and I’m glad that Hong-jo pulled away. It’s so hard to root for these two with Na-yeon’s shadow hanging over them. “What about you? Can you say you never wavered when you saw me?” Shin-yu asks Hong-jo. But that’s not the point, you frustrating pillar of handsomeness! For all of Shin-yu’s reluctance to push through with the wedding, I don’t see him firmly putting his foot down with his dad and Na-yeon. Instead, he’s in this emotional affair with Hong-jo, and that’s why I cannot wholeheartedly support their romance.

Destined With You: Episodes 7-8 Jo Boa Rowoon kiss

The wooden box goes back to shaman Eun-wol, and she tells Shin-yu that the only way to properly end things is to bury the box in the exact place it was found. Cue: our OTP on a hiking trip to the demolished haunted shrine. Hong-jo trips and loses her hold on the box, and it breaks to reveal a secret compartment where a black magic spell book is hidden. Alone in the mountains with a book of black magic? This is the part where I’d have abandoned the mission and ran for my dear life. But our OTP carries on to the ruins of the shrine.

Like in every good horror movie, an eerie sound comes first. Next, they see a straw doll wearing the pajamas that were stolen from Hong-jo’s house last week — and there’s a paper with Shin-yu’s name on it nailed to the chest area. (Are those bloody letters?) Damn! Garden Man, is that you? Have you graduated from stalking them to cursing with black magic now?

Garden Man is also our OTP’s number one suspect because he’s no longer trying to hide his creepiness. After unnecessary skinship, Hong-jo had to report him to Eun-young, and as City Hall’s legal representative, Shin-yu paid a warning visit to the man’s greenhouse. But it looks like someone didn’t get the memo to back off, and things have taken a more serious turn.

Destined With You: Episodes 7-8 Jo Boa Rowoon

As a result of the unexpected events on the mountain, the wooden box lives to see another day in the sun. Shin-yu equips Hong-jo with pepper spray and a stun gun, and nags about the poor security of her house. He even tries to get permission from Jae-kyung to install a CCTV in front of the house, but Jae-kyung insists on taking charge of the installation. *Rolls eyes* It’s not the time to flex overly protective muscles, bro. Your neighbor is in danger for goodness sake!

In the meantime, Shin-yu and Hong-jo follow the How to Lure Out Your Stalker manual: they go on a fake date — the dress up, fancy lunch, and spending the whole day together type of date. Cute. At the end of a fun day, Shin-yu confesses that he doesn’t want to believe in temporary feelings, but he can’t control himself when he looks at Hong-jo. In reply, Hong-jo says she doesn’t want to steal someone else’s boyfriend. “Let’s just stay as colleagues. Let’s not get any closer.” Honey, y’all are way past that point, but okay. For what it’s worth, it’s another full moon.

Their stalker doesn’t show up on the date, but Shin-yu visits Garden Man’s greenhouse anyway, and he sees some straw scattered on the floor. By the way, the fearlessness of K-drama male leads should be studied, because why is Shin-yu visiting a suspicious man’s place at night to interrogate him without backup? Garden Man shows up looking more menacing than ever with his garden shears, and next thing you know, Shin-yu is on sick leave. What the hell happened to him?

The Park Maintenance Team prepares for an upcoming festival, and of all times to check out the location, Hong-jo chooses to go at night. The lights suddenly go out, and an unknown number calls her phone. A hooded shadowy figure trails after her as she hastily makes to leave, and as the shadow grows closer, ominous music plays… sigh. I have no words. I absolutely refuse to be worried about an OTP that has zero regard for their safety! *Panics*

While our main romance is yet to have a breakthrough, romance is blooming for our side characters and new relationships are being formed. Mr. Gong has an upcoming blind date, but for some reason, Eun-young is not as enthusiastic about it. Jae-kyung has been more upfront about his intentions towards Hong-jo, but his dead jokes have already sunk that ship.

Finally, there’s the iffy case of Shin-yu’s mom and his best friend KIM WOOK (Lee Tae-ri). First, Wook was Mom’s almost-divorce lawyer, and now they’re stargazing together? That whole “I’m full of love, but there’s nobody to receive my love” and “I want to receive lots of love, but nobody gives it to me,” exchange made me feel super uncomfortable, but I want to trust that the show won’t go beyond a mom-son relationship when it comes to them. Because if I see one more affair in this drama, I will riot.

 
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I'm enjoying this drama so very much. Perhaps too much. Magical love-drug spells and potions don't bug me, nor do two-timing/cheating situations. I truly get why they bother others, they just don't bother me to see on screen. For me, this drama is about what it means to "be swayed" in the context of a pretty-low-stakes forbidden love.

Here's my issue, though. I've started to really care for Hong-jo, and when I start really caring for the FL (*cough* HeartBeat *cough*), I know that I'm in (too) deep. Yes, that's right, this show now has the delightful opportunity to punch me in the gut as bad as HB did. I'm invested.

Now that it’s got me where it wants me, I have some questions for the show:

1. Where'd the Red Hand go, and when will it be back? It will be very disappointing if it doesn't come back, but I bet it will, what with the past life stuff coming.
2. Tell me more about Jae-Kyung's crappy relationship with his father. Do we already know his father?? Are he and Shin-yu half-brothers or something? That'd be creepy and wonderful. I doubt it, but still.
3. Does Na-yeon actually care for that chaebol jerk? If so, why? If not, what is she trying to work out by keeping him? The show still has a shot at not making her a caricature. I'd like to see it do so.
4. I do wish to know what forces are keeping Shin-yu from breaking it off (again) with Na-yeon. I'm assuming they center around his father--which would make a nice parallel, perhaps to Jae-kyung's situation if they ever delve into it--but whatever it is, I bet all of us would like to know more about why Shin-yu is behaving like he needs to stay committed to her (so far as he is).

PS: When Jae-kyung laughed so adorably at his own "I'm disappointed my magic spell/poem didn't actually turn you into a flower" joke, well, let's just say it confirmed my suspicion that this show has my whole heart. It melted an unsympathetic me like it melted an unsympathetic Hong-jo.

PPS: I'm also not sure who broke character more, Rowoon in the scene with that dog last week, or Ha Joon in the scenes this week at “FL/2ML House” (in the garden and then in Hong-jo's apartment—kicking that stool away from Rowoon, ha!). Both of them seemed to be unable to stop themselves from cracking up, and I loved every minute of it.

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Your PPS = comedy gold. I had so much fun and laughter watching them both outdo themselves or get under each other's skin in the scene that preceded the PPS.
Kicking that stool has to be it cause that one where one of them which happens to be Ha Joon is winning two in a row. That's was so unfair to Sin-yu.

It is really cool that they're enjoying themselves.

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Ikr…I watched them both smiling, but I felt Dog scene kinda lesser distraction than Hajoo’s one…again I thought it was only visible for me since I am watching the same eps for 3rd or 4th time..

The two timing of ML in this scenario where super natural elements or scientific reason doesn’t bother me too..dramas will be boring if things need to be politically correct even when fantasy is involved…

I am glad to see someone on same page as me!

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Oh, I don’t even know what “politically correct” means. Two-timing simply doesn’t bug me. It bothers plenty of other people, though, as clear from below! It’s also just cause for divorce in many societies…as we might be seeing directly in Shin-yu’s parents’ arc.

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Two timing triggers me a lot, but this supernatural spell stuff everyone is vulnerable so I am not fan of hasty decision because things of control, so glad they are taking their own sweet time to figure out stuff.

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Something can be shitty without it having anything to do with Political Correctness, neither pro nor contra.
And as a person who sometimes have a really hard time tangling myself out of expectations I cannot fulfill, I see Shin-yu as a victim in that relationship, not the perpetrator.

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Agree, he is victim aswell…so that is the reason I give a pass in his two timing as he is struggling and also he is aware that he is mess!

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Actually, the beautiful gif Seonha made ... Shin-yu being dragged up the hill - would be a perfect picture for how actively he is persuing a relationship he already ended. He just don't have the energy to end it *again*, and make everybody angry, when there isn't a single person cheering him on.

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What a sensitive and amazingly generous insight, Cecilie. It can be super easy, especially in the context of (so-called) light and breezy rom-coms to expect all of the characters—especially the men—to be their best all the time. In this case, Shin-yu should not only be able to know exactly what his societal obligations are, but act on them properly with little or no failure because of reticence or doubt.

I’m with you, though. His mess is pretty glorious. OOH, what if it happens that he and Jae-kyung have their own “enemies-to-lovers” thing and become friends by the end of this. I’d love that too.

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To me, his mess is obvious. It's sad and also ... Honestly, though his fine features are not my style of "attractive", his mess is sexy.
As for Jae-Kyung, ... I find his lack of humour funny and kind of adorable, too, but apart from that, I am appalled at what a terrible person he is. I wrote up a whole thing about it but I am not sure where the right place to put it is.
But in short, he was amazingly terrible towards Hong-jo when they first talked. He lies to her. He is not attracted to her. And he is probably ungenerous

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FAN WALL. I wanna read. I’ll have Jae-kyung gifs today too :)

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I have written a bit here and there about Jae-kyung, but I will gather my skirts and make something fan-wall-ish. I will just finish my rewatch first.
@attiton

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I wrote the Jae-kyung thing I promised. It ended up being in three parts.
It's here:
https://www.dramabeans.com/members/CecilieDK/activity/1456003/

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I totally agree. I know that I should care that he's technically cheating, but, like... I don't.

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Because it's only technically. He has broken up. He has not said "yes" to marrying her. He gave her a hug, and he should have been clearer, but I think he was just kind of comforting her, and also himself too a bit, in his unhappiness. He is not into her, and she is not into her, though sometimes she seems convincingly so. She is lying, cheating, and scheming, and she is planning the marriage without even bringing him into it ... how should we feel bad about him not living up to that Ken Doll Case she and their families have ready for him?

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I hear you, Cecilie. I really do. But even if he’s not agreed verbally, he doesn’t contradict her in public when she calls him her fiancé and also, he tacitly agrees, at least, that there IS a wedding date when alone with his family. That is, he wonders why he was not consulted on timing…he doesn’t push back that he wasn’t consulted on its existence.

I agree he doesn’t want to do it AT ALL and has not agreed in his heart, but he’s not externally made that happen at all—and that’s pretty cowardly at this point, I agree, even if that cowardice comes from his sense of family responsibility.

We’re discussing below how this sort of behavior makes “more” sense in the Joseon context, but when transposed to the 21st century…it doesn’t work at all. I’d like to think that this is something that the writers are playing with rather than something sloppy—but either way it’s been fun to think about.

What DOES responsibility to your family in marriage look like in 2023? What does it mean to follow the romantic ideal of “love first” in 2023 when you are also stuck in old-fashioned obligations?

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I don't know how Real Life is on this point, but if any K-dramas is something to go by, marriage between rich people have near-Joseon standards. The general practice of blind dates also in lower classes (like, middle class) and of parents being *very* engaged in the process, leaves me with a feeling that it is not *very* easy to break out of.
In his case, I am not so much thinking about family *duty*, as much as that it takes a lot of emotional energy to break up (even for us normal ones) and he already did, and is being ignored. Most of the times, he seems something like depressed - i.e. with hardly the energy to walk.
Hong-jo has - untill her last protest here, after the kiss - continually told him she did not want him. So he has been told that if he correctly and valiantly goes against his energetic cheating girlfriend and both their families, he will be left with ... no one. No one will be waiting at the finish line, but everybody will be angry.
It's a new developement that Hong-jo has said that if it weren't for SFL, ... but even then she said that she didn't want to be the homewrecker. Still, I think it will make a different, ... when he has escaped his present kidnapper, as I suppose?
It will make even more difference if they happen at some point to compare notes and see that SFL is neither anyone's best friends, nor fiancé.

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So he has been told that if he correctly and valiantly goes against his energetic cheating girlfriend and both their families, he will be left with ... no one. No one will be waiting at the finish line, but everybody will be angry.

Again with your amazing interpretations, @cecilieDK. This is such an apt justification for why he keeps asking her if she cares for him—it looks cowardly (and, in part, it is), but he has a lot on the line here, if he really is as committed as we might be led to believe about his family obligations.

Being left alone is a frightening thing indeed.

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Also
I once visited a friend who had his to boys, aged toddler and pre-school , with him, and they decided to play indians, and I was tied to the totem chair, while they danced around me. I would like to make the kids happy, but I was feeling strangely under the weather. Turned out, I was having a fever. Their dad finally freed me.
But ehm, this story is a bit about being Shin-yu in this whole engagement business. There needs to be a real reason for him to break out and make his girlfriend "sad", as she had managed to make everybody believe, and everybody else mad. And he is dead-tired to begin with. And he thinks he is probably, maybe, going to die soon anyway. Remember that. He doesn't know if he is actually freed from that terminal disease. My allegory even have overwhelming and long-lasting infatuation and sleepless, tear-filled nights in it, but let's keep that in the margins.

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That is what bugs me. I think Shin-yu is not well-characterized enough to make his behavior understandable. I never felt like he was under his parents' thumb and constant nagging. His mom seems like she would be in his corner if he decides to break it off with Nayeon. He isn't under any sort of pressure from guilt. Like did Nayeon pay for his law degree or something? He's a successful lawyer who would rather quit a highpaying law firm position than bow down to an unprincipled client.

Not the best example, but in The Real has Come, the ML intended to go through with the arranged wedding due to feeling like going through with it would make it easier for his mom who had raised him for 15+ years as a single mom until she married into this stuffy family that distains him. He was used to being bullied.

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@asianromance
@asianromance

😍

"Shin-yu is not well-characterized enough to make his behavior understandable".

Absolute perfection  👌  the way you have cut through the clutter and pinpointed the exact issue bothering us.

The Real Has Come! example is also spot on. A well qualified, professional, independent doctor - we are able to perfectly understand his motivations and intentions for going along with the arranged marriage plans.

Jang Shin-yu - as a K-drama ML has been inexplicably opaque in his motivations and intentions. We actually are never shown why he works in a certain manner - inner workings of a lead being non-existent (for now) is mind-boggling.

We are not provided with any hints or interactions which let us know:
- how he got (or let himself be) attracted to Hong-jo,
- why did he interrupt Hong-jo and SFL in their initial conversation where SFL was (fake) apologizing and make rude remarks to Hong-jo,
- why he keeps asking her if she's swayed,
- why he's not breaking up with SFL,
- is he now "cured" or believes himself to be so,
- if he believes that spells don't work, he's still ill and may die young, why has he agreed to the arranged marriage and why is he pursuing (is he) Hong-jo.

Perhaps all will be revealed but there do not seem to be even breadcrumbs suggesting any hidden inner motivation.

This lack of inner dialogue makes it very difficult to relate to any character and is probably fatal for a lead.

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@asianromance About being sufficiently well-characterized to make Shin-yu's behaviour understandable.
What I am trying to demonstrate is not my huge potential for understanding people who cheat, or anything like that.
To me, his inaction feels immediately recognizable, and even if I would love to know more about what made him see ice in a glass and a bloody hand crawling up his chin, for example, I don't need that to fully understand that he, in his hopelessness does not act to stop the relationship and the wedding plans, as he ought to.
I know the feeling of being ill and not have the power to protest. I know the feeling of having tried to protest and being overheard (as in: ignored) and just "... phew ... What now? Nothing matters, nothing I do works out, anyway. No one listens."
And if at least Hong-jo said: "Break up with her, and I'll be there for you." But she doesn't. So he is being what he hate, even if he tried to break up. And as I said before, 2FL is vigorously interpreting him as well as Hong-jo; Without apologizing for bullying Hong-jo so that she had to leave school, she says she is sorry about her dad. And when Hong-jo says: "I was very upset, but mu dad didn't die because of you", 2FL interprets it as Hong-jo having forgiven her, and presents her as her "best friend in High School" (or college or what is was).
When Hong-jo hands her a napkin for tears that aren't really there, she promptly declares to Shin-yu: "She made me cry!"
Like wise every gesture from Shin-yu and, we can imagine, anyone else in her life, is twisted and interpreted in her favour, and Shin-yu, too, is coaxed from having been kind to be her fiancé.
She is fly paper, she is quicksand.
And Shin-yu has nothing and no one to help him get out.

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Yeah, I think, also, that we're supposed to be okay with it because his fiancée is also cheating...on a different level. I know this is subjective.

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Ya know, I think I’m enjoying this because I’m not terribly invested in it. I don’t much care about the two-timing for somewhat contradictory reasons: real life is messy, so dramas get to be, too. It’s just a drama, not real life. It’s a drama, so there will be some (probably nonsensical) justification why it’s not really two-timing or it doesn’t count. The drama identifies it as two-timing and doesn’t pretend it’s not happening. (I still suspect she's blackmailing him.)

It all comes back to it being a show I can’t and don’t take seriously. There are parts I really enjoy: the OTP alternately snarking and gazing moonily at each other, the clownshow rivalry between the MLs, the shaman, the backstory hints, the SML’s deadpan jokes, the clothes because I’m shallow like that. There are parts I just sit through: SFL, stalker, parents, coworkers, mayor. Overall, it’s entertaining enough for this moment, for me, and the beanie commentary is inspired, which counts for a lot.

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Wait, what, you’re enjoying it? For like all the reasons I do?

Squee. Just squee.

You get more gifs.

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Yes please!!

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👏👏👏👏👏

I think you just saved my life!

“I think I’m enjoying this because I’m not terribly invested in it.”

2 mins into episode 8 when it was confirmed the he didn’t break up I was screaming at Jang Shin-yu along with @enriquequierecagar

I was able to calm down only thanks to @attiton and her carefully curated gifs.

Then I remembered what our meditation teacher told us - you don’t have to agree with all the teachings just take what serves you well for now.

These days where all K-dramas are - in the words of @lordcobol - “Trying to out-Heartbeat Heartbeat”, the only way to still be able to enjoy K-dramas is to enjoy what you like, otp, clothes, scenery, tropes and ffwd or ignore the rest.

The Beanies comments are 🔥 and are always up for writing a better drama!

Thank you all for your inspired comments, insights and analysis. I will be firm in my one and only resolve to watch K-dramas for FUN!!

👍

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Yes, yes, zen, yes, zen. I’m emotionally invested in DWY like dukkha is going out of style.

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That really made me laugh out loud ... and made my co-passengers try to take a peek of my screen!!

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I'm enjoying it a lot too, and I agree with what you said. I don't watch dramas for morality lessons, lol.

She HAS to be blackmailing him, right?

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@unit Thanks for the perfect guide to how to enjoy this drama. I am following your playbook here and watching while continuously telling the characters what not to do and what they should be doing instead.

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And I’d give him a comforting hug, but I’m not about to join his harem.

So, not gonna join the harem like @unit says?

Unit, this really made me laugh, ‘cause this stance of yours is simply polite. This self-knowledge is gonna leave room for all the other people who would gladly join! 🤣

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I'll be cheering y'all on from the outside. 😄

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Oh I patronise them all the time! ‘Just break up already’ ‘turn the freaking torch on’ ‘what are you doing?’ ‘Don’t touch her you creep!’

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Never thought an episode 8 kiss will make me drop a drama. This is it for me.

The drama plot is meandering and so far I have no idea about what to make of the spells and curses. Did he get cured of red hand, if so, why are they doubting the spells. It’s almost like everyone forgot about red hand, writers included. Characters are not likable and are inconsistent. The whole 2FL affair was just terrible writing.

I am ok with messy situations and even flawed leads but atleast give us something in the plot to make us continue. The show had a chance to undo the spell and make Shin Yu realize his love for Hong Jo and suffer. There is nothing wrong in a male lead falling in love with another woman or realizing what love is. It’s how he handles it that matters. In this show he is not suffering but just two timing or unwilling to break up unless he is sure Hong Jo has feelings.

Also, better written second leads and side characters could have elevated this show. The 2ML is boring and entitled who won’t ask the FL out but will act like her boyfriend. The 2FL for random reason is sleeping with someone. The office ladies are caricatures.

It doesn’t help we have this random parentless boy appearing out of nowhere every few episodes. It’s good and funny in parts but the moment I hit the stop button, it’s all forgotten.
My only take away these episodes was that Ro-woon has pretty fingers.

Until the next rom com.

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I actually like that Jae-gyeong is such a plodder - his dead flat delivery amuses me - but agree that the two-faced yet one-note SFL and her sister Furies at the office are seriously disappointing. Park Kyung-hye could play that character in her sleep. It's lazy writing; the writer obviously couldn't be bothered to create even minimally original or differentiated secondary characters so she just pulled some ready-made ones off the shelf. The kid was OK as pint-sized Greek chorus but I cringed when they introduced the icky (and equally unoriginal) childhood-romance talk.

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I know! @mayhemf and @elinor isn’t all of this just amazing??? I mean, if the writer isn’t going to try to be original, MAYBE THE ENDING WILL NOT CRASH AND BURN. 😉

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LOL, experience has beaten us down so hard that our expectations are pitiful, broken little things. 😂

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🙌

All hail the master of expression.
This is exactly how we feel but are unable to verbalise.

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I would have liked Jae-gyeong if he wasn’t part of the love triangle. He is funny by himself pelting out dad jokes.

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Seonding you on Jae Kyeong. If not for his intiall response followed by his overbearing attitude, I would've like him more.

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I agree! It would be great if he were just a friend like in Dal Ja's Spring.

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Saw that Jae-kyung was recapped in episode 2 as having “politely but firmly” turned her down. Saw that. Politely My Behind! If someone blushes in front of you, it is not polite to ask why, unless you hope to be the reason or you are a close friend. If they say they only do that in front of people they like and “This maybe sounded like a love confession”, and you are NOT interested, you politely but firmly say that of course you understand that wasn’t what was meant, that some people blush easily, and it is nice to have people at the workplace whom you feel at ease with, but by the way, it’s getting late, and see you sometime around.
You do not ask them to confirm that it was a declaration of love, and the say “I like you, too” before rejecting them. Only mean people do that! He is not a nice person. I had forgotten exactly how terrible that scene was, but rewatching it (it’s because of @attition she started it!) I was just aghast at all the opportunities he had for avoiding putting her in an awkward(-er) situation, and instead led her on, like an eel’s ruse (the eels can get easily in and difficultly out, and for every attempt to escape, they are more caught).
@cayong03
Furthermore, I suspect him of only being interested in Hong-jo because the secretary said he ought to be. Several things seem to point at him not being into women at all, starting of course with his total lack of sexual tension towards ... anything, but also implied in the food, that Hong-jo kept smelling oyster and eggplant in, while he insisted there was only eggplant. Nudge, nudge.
He said he lived alone for two years, but he arrived while having an argument with presumably someone he had just left, "The deposit is my last gift for you!".

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I like where this rabbit hole is going ... but shall I follow ...

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I miss the hand, it was the most interesting part of the pilot.

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Oh, I bet you money that it’l be back. The question I have to add to this is—will its justification be lame or not?

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if I had to rehash the drama then
the hand is actually the hand of an editor who found some raw footage that doesn= t make sense and at first puts together a stereotypical romance fantasy and we see it on @this side@ of the fourth wall looking puzzled and trying to ask advice. then it tries a suspense thriller but the dark park makes it realise the footage belongs to a sci fi and the park plan is actually a map and a sign and then aliens some and kidnap everyonebut wait, the hand finds more footage, so maybe this is not it_ but what to do they are already in a different solar system! oh no! and this with the annoying fiance left behind who tries to treat the hand as a chihuahua. then aliens bring Shin Ju back cause he started kissing them and the captain had a mental breakdown, and Hong Jo turned the control panel into a topiary sculpture so the ship is stranded on moon, which is why there was so much about the full moon.
the hand get a mental breakdown and quits, but the notes, spellbook and storyboard end up in the national museum where the hands greatgreatgreatgreatgreatgrandchild wipes dust from the glass.
the aliens are still on the moon.
the end.

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Exactly. Who is this child? Is he a tiny little God (probably not as he enjoyed that Subway sandwich a bit too much)? I bet his last name is Shin.

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Lessee! It would appear that his name is Oh U-ram and he seems to have some relationship to someone at Onju City Hall? I mean good to know? Maybe that’ll become clear one day!

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Hmmm, more Goblin references are becoming visible through the fog: Shin, Subway, youthful god ... I'm sure that kid will show up if we ever make it back to Joseon.

Does anyone know what the name Shin-yu means?

Oh yeah, the poem is "The Flower" by Kim Chun-soo.

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It would depend on how it is spelt in the Hanja letters as I understand but without that info and individually ‘shin’ means faith (as well as god) and what sounds like ‘u’ could also be ‘yoo’ has been mentioned to mean friend or courage. Of course, the combo might mean something else entirely.

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I should have said “Hanja characters’!

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As I don't know nothing about Korean characters, I remember just when they were asked about that, Jo Boa answered Big for Shin-Yu and redness for her face for Hong-Ju. But in the episode, she said big (hong) and morning (Jo). Maybe the writer chose name with double sense :p

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@kurama: Interesting.
Hanja characters are the Chinese ones and since the majority of the contemporary Korean names are of Chinese origin, parents register the names using Hanja and then write them in Korean. My Korean teacher said that a minority of pure Korean names are also in use such the unisex name Haneul which means sky.

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It would be interesting if his name means “the courage (to have) faith”. In this context, that he could free himself from the bonds of illness and the ennui that he has felt by maintaining faith (but in what is the Qn?).

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Perfectly said, Blue!

I’m not super into romance so I usually don’t have much to say one way or the other after kisses other than “that was nice!”, but I don’t think I’ve ever been so put off by a main couple kiss before in a show like this. It was so NOT romantic! Am I still supposed to root for them?

Like, I can understand that happening in a show that is less of a traditional romcom and more on the melodrama side, but this is such a tropey supernatural romcom drama and this whole cheating storyline is not something most people are signing up for when they click play. I am one of those people.

I dunno. If you’re gonna have one of your leads technically two-timing, at least let the character have the decency to not KISS someone before they’ve actually officially broken it off with their SO. It’s disrespectful to both parties. Sure, Na-yeon is also a cheater, but he doesn’t know that, and Hong-jo definitely doesn’t deserve this. They got me shipping her more with the second male lead after that despite how annoying he has been as well, lol.

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You and I think alike. I haven’t dropped it though. I am hoping it will go back to the enjoyable fun ride we all enjoyed a few episodes ago!

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I decided that I will use my time wisely and catch up on Moving.

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The Park Maintenance Team prepares for an upcoming festival, and of all times to check out the location, Hong-jo chooses to go at night. The lights suddenly go out, and an unknown number calls her phone. A hooded shadowy figure trails after her as she hastily makes to leave, and as the shadow grows closer, ominous music plays… sigh. I have no words. I absolutely refuse to be worried about an OTP that has zero regard for their safety! *Panics*

@Unit, why didn't put the word cliffhanger? I was not afraid that Destined with You might turned into unexpected genre horror soon after this cliffhanger (and that ends of first half). Also, for the second half (eps 9-16), I need the sageuk scenes, I don't want to have a disappoint ending and I need to stop preempting/not airing this Kdrama for the Chuseok period, show!

As for TV ratings, I saw the ratings on this Kdrama's Wikipedia page that it was a highest rating (2.9%) for episode 8 and I prayed for 3% and above... promise me.

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So I came back, my fellows beanies wore me down. I am still not sure why he likes her. They haven't fully explained it, but I am a FULL on sucker for a ML saying he is swayed. There is something about this phrasing that gets me all in, so I am rooting for the OTP. That being said I love 2ML, I find him insanely delightful. He is so earnest in his bad jokes, so it fully endears me to him. Now I also don't understand why Na Yeon isn't just with the weirdo Chaebol psycho out in the open. What does it accomplish to just have him for sexy times. Maybe the show will answer that, but it seems unlikely. SIGH.

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YAY! But also boo. Sad that you felt “worn down!!” I am with you on all of the points that have drawn you back into the drama…”swaying” and the dorky 2ML…

I really would like Na-yeon to get more of a full-on character, although I don’t hold out much hope. I know plenty of women who behave like she’s behaving, but wouldn’t it be nice to know some motivation for it and what she’s hoping to get out of it (and probably is NOT getting out of it)…

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"worn down" isn't a bad thing, if I really hated the drama nothing would have brought me back. As for Na Yeon, the only way to justify his two timing is to make her worse. So putting her very very familiarly with psycho slimeball chaebol is the only way. I don't except any dimension, lol.

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Could I wear you down to hope for some? Maybe your karma’s better than mine and you can sway the Zen flow in the direction of giving this 2ML some motivation in her drive to live her best life?

Pleeze? 제발?

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Lol, I hope they show some dimension for you, but honestly I'm not hopeful, but Heartbeat has given me doubt for my predictions.

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@kafiyah-bello To this I say, https://imgur.io/rONTeTu

(Safe to click, I promise)

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@attiton, sending hugs, love, and luck. lol

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Yes! When he said “swayed” it was so poetic. I’m a sucker for a good word. And I forgave his inconstant heart… Oof, I did it again. It’s his cheating, two-timing heart. Break that spell Indy… Nope, he’s got me. I’m swayed.

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"Now I also don't understand why Na Yeon isn't just with the weirdo Chaebol psycho out in the open. What does it accomplish to just have him for sexy times. Maybe the show will answer that, but it seems unlikely."

There's something going on btw Haum chaebol-bad guy (forgot his name), the Mayor, and Mayor's daughter, NaYeon. I recall in prior episode Mayor had SinYu come in to meeting with Haum chaebol, and thereafter, SinYu indicates to secretary that Haum will pay 3.8billion won to compensate for use of road (?) in exchange for development rights. NaYeon is somehow in on the dirty dealings with Mayor I think.

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I find the 2ML delightful too! I also don't get why Na-yeon just doesn't go out with the rich ceo guy, since his wealth and social status is probably higher than Shin-yu's. It actually makes more sense to me to be openly dating the CEO and having a handsome city lawyer as the sex buddy.

I usually find "swayed" a bit romantic, but here I find it the opposite since Shin-yu's still dating Nayeon and he's reluctant to like Hong-jo..so it almost feels like he's implying Hong-jo is some sort of seductress, using witchy powers to lure him into cheating - even though the Fair Skin spell failing implies that the love spell didn't work.

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I guess I don't really see it as two timing her. Not only because she has clearly been cheating on him from the beginning, but because he broke up with her and then his parents insisted they were getting married. So I get your reticence since he hasn't objected per se to the marriage, but it is obvious he doesn't want to marry her.

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I don’t like 2M1F love triangles as it seems that inevitably they devolve into a dick measuring contest. Here it has been slowly but surely occurring and consequentially Hongjo’s agency has been undermined in a number of ways. I would tolerate it if the writing was better and wasn’t so sloppy. Drama, stick to your strength which is the pay-dirt you’ve struck: The inexplicably great chemistry between Hongjo and Shinyu. Almost everything else is bad to mediocre except Jaekyung’s occasional self-consciously delivered jokes.
One more thing: Hongjo, seriously uncool to violate the privacy of Shinyu by revealing his illness. Not on.

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So messy. So, so messy.

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Yeah. Bad mess sucks and good mess could enliven a mediocre story. Here we have a bad mess which is edging ever closer to upending the passionate chaos our 2 leads are navigating.

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I love the mess. I love how bad it is. I love how this show actually has me feeling like I feel when I, personally, am in a mess—but here, it’s not actually my mess(!), so I can just swim in it, seeing how it works out for someone else (not ME) this time 🙃

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I get it but a bad mess is psychologically destabilising both in RL and here so I wish you a good mess if you have to encounter one again. Here, the bad mess is threatening to undermine my enjoyment of the chemistry which is the only reason I am sticking with this.

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Oh @dncingemma it’s always a mess Chez Seon-ha.

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I wasn't really as pissed at Hong-joo at the reveal as the rest of you beanies. But what's pissing me off in it is that I don't know what she told him that warranted Jae-kyung calling Sin-yu something along the lines of desperate and hiding behind an illness. The guy was truly ill and it seemed the disease cure spell worked. I was expecting to see Jae-kyung to once again put aside his tussle with Sin-yu and inquire about his welfare. You know, as colleagues. Also, the obvious more than colleagues inquiry.
Jae-kyung's words has me wondering what the hell Hong-joo said as an excuse for Sin-yu's actions, more than being totally pissed at her violating his privacy. I hope it's Jae-kyung speaking independent of himself cause if it's as a result of Hong-joo's explanation, that is her rubbing salt to his violation.

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I wasn’t upset when she did that at all, because when she started saying it, I thought, “She’s trying to get in good with Jae-kyung…this tactic will work.” Those were just her priorities. Shin-yu hadn’t really given her reason to stay “loyal” to his secrets, now, had he? Then, she had a CYA moment when he called her on it—and look, in the end, no one ended up too mad about it.

Love is a dog-eat-dog world in DWY! White magic, black magic! Male egos. Women looking out after their own needs (in some cases “well enough” [Na-yeon, especially, perhaps] in other cases to a “meets-minimum” standard…)

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I agree that she had no reason to stay loyal to his secrets. I think she was trying to defend Shin-yu when she revealed his illness. Jae-kyung was questioning why the man who has everything would believe in dumb stuff like spells. An implication that Shin-yu's some shallow, rich dude who plays around. So Hong-jo is explaining that Shin-yu isn't like that at all and his belief in the magic spell comes from needing to resolve an all too real illness.

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I hated that breach of trust. She had no right to reveal his illness to the 2ML. I understand why she told the 2FL though.

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Did she tell the 2FL about his illness too? I blanked that!

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Yes after the slap and kiss incident. The next day.

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Yikes. I completely missed that.

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The 2FL was told by his father. She told him she knew about it when she asked him to marry her.

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I didn't like it either, but TBF I saw it as her trying to defend him. SML was all "He has everything", and she was like "You don't know about the depth of his suffering. He is a real person with real feelings."
(Even if some of them are really hard for him to admit, we can easily agree).

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About Jae-kyung ...
Remember the "Housewarming Party for Two"? He had been advised by secretary to date Hong-jo.
She said it smelled like eggplants and oyster. He kept insisting there was no oyster. What I'm thinking is ... Is he like, using her as a beard?
Also, he practically described the condo he had lived in as a closet, seeing nothing but the blinds for years, while he lived there. And that he wanted a garden. He also said he lived alone for a long time, but when Hong-jo first saw him at her house, he was arguing with someone on the phone that the deposit for the apartment was his last gift for them. Did he leave a lover behind, suddenly?
(And then they sat down to watch the garden wall and the rain).
And while I am most inclined to consider the Evil Garden Man as the "Flower" to be prevented in the "accidental" (destined) disaster spell, I *could* be the flower interested 2ML?

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It’s interesting that you wrote this as you’ve collated some interesting points! On the other hand, without much justification, I’ve started harbouring some misgivings about the 2ML like how did he end up being the downstairs tenant in a big city like Seoul? ‘’Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine” kind of a disbelief.

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The secretary had said he should date Hong-jo. So maybe he thought that was a good idea.
He also could be interested in someone else frequenting that place, just saying.

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Just like how there is always just one coffee shop in all of kdramaland Seoul that everyone goes to!

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He cooked oyster sauce eggplant. She smelled oyster because the sauce is made from oyster, but there was no actual oyster in the dish.

He was arguing with his father on the phone. Netflix didn't translate it, but he said, "That was my final present for you, abeoji." His father is a grifter.

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So the
"There's oyster and eggplant"
"No, there is ONLY eggplant" (repeat ad nauseam)
-dialogue was simply and only a discussion of ingredients and not like, a metaphor or anything? Sure! 😉
Interesting about his father.

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My only takeaway from that scene is our heroine is dumb. He corrected her once already, yet she made the same mistake again.

There has been no indication that Jae-kyung is gay. On the contrary, I believe that he has liked Hong-jo ever since he posted a compliment for her. He was just pushing her away due to his dysfunctional family. He told her as much when he rejected her, "I'm very cold to my family... If I weren't who I was, when you confessed your feelings for me, I would've been happy."

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@panshel: A tad harsh to conclude that she is dumb on this basis as she could have been nervous. It could and has happened to the best of us.
You don’t like the 2SL much, do you?😉

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He's dumb too -- he forgot to press the rice cooker button. I understand why you all don't like him, but I don't believe that he's the evil stalker.

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It's more like it's a strange thing for the scriptwriters to use the ingredients' list to demonstrate, for som reason, the stupidity of the heroin.
Since we are looking at scripted dialogue, it's fair to assume it's not arbitrary.

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I have expanded on my idea on my fan wall, quoting you, panshel, so I thought I'd let you know.
😊
You are welcome to engage, if you want to.

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"a dick measuring contest"... AMEN! I hate that. Especially when the girl just stads there watching while the two stupid males decide what is best for her.

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I'm still enjoying this drama for what it is inside my head : my weekly shut off my brain and serve unrealistic story with romance sprinkled in as I relax with dinner. And so far its serving its intended purpose. Hence why I don't mind (too much) the iffy two-timing situation as much as I would in other dramas or reality (where this would be a dealbreaker I realise). For now I too continue to be swayed by the story and the characters. Hong Joo more than everyone else but Rowoon's eyes do be beckoning at times.

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I'll sum up my thoughts in bullet points so I don't go raving on about some secondary characters who are doing a perfect job of pissing me off.

I don't know how you guys didn't laugh unless your fanwall reactions were for another Destined With You but, I had a swell time watching episode 7. I choked on my food while watching.

Na-yeon just gives me more reasons to solidify my dislike for her. Her slapping Hong-joo... unacceptable.

I wasn't exactly giving a thumbs down reaction to Sin-yu's father's regard for his wife in the past few weeks. I saw it, didn't like it and moved past it. This week got me really pissed. And it wasn't because he ghosted their outing. It was his slap on the wrist reaction to his wife's emotions and voice when she returned home and found him sleeping... sleeping 🤯🤯? I thought he ghosting would be the height of it that I never expected him to top it up with something more appalling. There's no way I'm moving last this one.

I hope there's no romance cooking between Sin-yu's mom and the young lawyer. I like the fountain of youth he's making Sin-yu omma feel but that's it for me.

That episode 7 ending kiss should have been followed with a strong reaction, not a flustered one. Especially when it clearly wasn't consensual at the beginning. I wasn't expecting that Hong-joo would be replaying the event in the privacy of her apartment and thoughts and not be pissed at the invasion. She freaking just got slapped, by your fiance, and one of the things on your mind was to pull in for a kiss? Dunno, it got me giving the 😒 and 🙄.

I'm already on the SL ship waiting to be burnt but I'd really like Jae-kyung to not be protective when Hong-joo is involved, especially when Sin-yu is in the situation. It's not it. Let's not appear as what we are trying not to be.
Is Bong-sil a popular dog name in South Korea. I betted my next spoon of food that she'll name the dog Bong-sil and she did just so few secs later.

And, I want to see them interact outside of Hong-joo. Sin-yu is a lawyer and Jae-kyung is the City Hall's PR amongst his other work capacities. Let us see the result of the reason why Jae-kyung went to such lengths to scout/hire/poach Sin-yu out of his previous employment. They're two men who are well established professionals in their craft and already have enough things to cause interactions between themselves so it's really absurd that the only thing that happens to cause them to have a constant conversation is Hong-joo.

Did I put up Eun-young and Mr. Gong in the last beanie rec for platonic relationships? I'm willing to take their names out of that list and watch them morph into a different kind of friendship.

I've not been a fan of how defeated Hong-joo presents herself to Na-yeon. I was really glad to see Na-yeon flinch at Hong-joo picking up that glass of water. I wanted it splattered on her...

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...face, but found myself agreeing with Hong-joo decision calling her bluff and sus instead and showing herself the bigger person, never one to descend so low into Na-yeon's game. Somehow it was more satisfying and for the first time, I'm giving Hong-joo a very big thumbs up for paying Na-yeon in kind in the most appropriate measure.

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"Let us see the result of the reason why Jae-kyung went to such lengths to scout/hire/poach Sin-yu out of his previous employment. "

In a show all about destiny, Jae Kyung is just one of several individuals who are important to bringing SY and HJ together. She gets transferred to City Hall. W/in a couple of days (apparently) he takes a new job at City Hall immediately after she opened the box and said "Please, can you come". Yeah, she was thinking of Jae Kyung, but it was Shin-yu that CAME.

I also think Jae kyung must know Na-yeon well - he has worked for her father for years and definitely knew that she was in a steady dating relationship with Shin-yu. JK is jealouse of Shin-yu ("He has everything" or something similar).

In the past, was he good guy? bad guy? heck, we don't even know if SY was a good guy since he apparently (if writers aren't playing games with us) dismembered Aeng-cho who was, again "apparently" Hong-jo's ancestor.

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That's stating the obvious. I still stand by the thought that nonetheless, they are professionals in their fields. Destined With You can do better even if it is a show about destiny.

All the time spent repeating the same cycle of cliches and lines from ep 3 to 8 can be spent doing something else. Imagine if FLAW aired as a drama centered on meteorology and there was no story centering the main characters around the weather and how going about their jobs also provided avenues for them to interact.

They have a unique job description and office setting here. They are also getting paid for their jobs. Let me see them interacting as much as possible via work and not simply meeting thanks to being entangled in a triangle. They could have just written them as teenagers if they don't know how to write an interactive office story for the four main leads.

I've seen silly office romcoms in the past years. And they've done way better than DwY in this regard.

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I think when it comes to office rom-coms, many kdramas have trouble marrying the rom-com to the work aspect. They've gotten the general office culture, but nothing much about the ins and outs of particular professions in a particular industry. Also, the parks department seems overstaffed while the law department seems understaffed.

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Sir, could you please respect yourself and show some common decency for the two females you are toying with and desist your behaviour. 
The FL has repeatedly told you to stop but you do not listen.
 Fix your own house before making any pledges of love.
 If this was just an everyday, run of the mill guy who was behaving in this manner to a close friend we would have no hesitation to tell them to stay the h@ll away from this dude. 
If the show expects this behaviour to be viewed as romantic, cast an actor who is capable of delivering a nuanced portrayal of a man torn, in love. The perfect example of this would be Namkoong Min from My Dearest. His character is pretty shady and has treated the female lead appalling at times but he still has all of us behind him hoping he gets a happily ever after.
 Each episode is repetitive, follows the same formula and the characters remain static (except the 2FL who is now having an affair)- ML tells FL he doesn't want to but he likes/ loves her, FL tells him to leave her alone. He/she goes away to think. They then get put in a situation where they have to spend time together. Insert office colleagues, weird family dynamics of the ML's and a sprinkling of 2nd leads. 
This is a drop for me. 
Thanks for the recaps unit. 

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He is not toying with 2FL. She is toying with him.
He ahs no say in the matter. He tried to, but was ignored. Now, he is just being dragged along. Miserable and resigned.

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I am loving this drama more with each episode …I was so excited to see that we have black magic now…and cliffhanger of what happened to both leads

having watched many dramas, there is still element of freshness along with old soul of my fav dramas…there is no goody shoes characters and that makes drama real for me…

yes, I am frustrated why ML isn’t running to FL , but listening to his thoughts in ep 8 confirmed my notion that it’s not simple to break up a long relationship when in confusion…my heart broke during their conversation under that skywalk..I literally got butterflies when Shin-yu fixed HongJo hair, such details and fighting to hold their feelings together is more romantic for me…the angst is worthy!

yes few characters are blueprint, like SFL , but I am hoping that they utilize in a way that makes sense in the prev life…

I can’t wait for next week, I am so waiting for Wednesday every Thursday morning after I finish watching second ep of week…lol…

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YES! The black magic book. So excited. Seriously, what we need are more plot points. How’s it gonna work? Can only Hong-Jo cast a spell from there too?

As @ceciliedk said over on the Fan Wall (I’m paraphrasing), “there’s probably no more obvious metaphor for any OTP’s relationship than ‘she’s the only one who can open (your) box,’” and inside his “box” are a set of good things/spells and set of bad things/spells. Squee. So simple. So unoriginal (in a good way)! Let’s do this.

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Yes, I am hoping to see who has access to the black magic aswell, since they already started black magic which is curse to dispel longing between Shinyu and HongJo as per sharp netizens who investigated screenshot of the book..there is so much to story beyond this two timing and it’s my kinda story of super natural things lol…

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Remember how, to make the love potion, you needed to place a red rose in goat's milk?
Well, if you cut off the head of a black-coloured rose so that is falls into a glass of water and seems to be drowning ... what then do you think happens? Because Evil Garden Guy did that. While talking about ... something about women having to do what they were told, or something. Saying it to ML.

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Maybe this whole thing of love spells and evil curses ends up with him needing his own heart to tip the scales in the right - and real - direction.
Like in Good Omens. (I am talking about the book, and the first season, which is a filming of that book).

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I read a nice write up in tumblr about this spell vs curse…they mentioned that they key might be in accepting their destiny..I am not sure if external links are allowed here…

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He might be moving at a snail’s pace—but Shin-yu is indeed coming to terms with the fact that these are his feelings. He, too, is out of excuses. He’s not doing to many good things with this realization yet, as many have noted, though…

It would be so awesome if he were to end up doing right by everyone because that was the actually way to cure his disease, though, wouldn’t it? He, himself, was causing his own trauma through self-absorption and selfish behavior.

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I am quite sure that his inability to love and his illness were connected, at least. Magic or nor not. Or magic as metaphor, most definitely.

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So I am going to give this drama 2 more episodes…it was going well until episode 8 which was all over the place.

I am beyond officially over the love square and it’s reading ick even though the fiancé is not a good person and a two timer to boot. Now they’ve added a stalker and coma storyline…this story is looking to go off the rails. I don’t understand why k drama producers can’t tell a tight romantic story (in about 10 to 12 episodes) without introducing all kinds of unnecessary storylines that exactly no one asked for.

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Okay alright so lol a lot happened but here’s the overall sentiment from me; although I was frustrated and yelling at a number of plot points - most specifically at Jang Shin-yu just looking forlorn like he couldn’t do anything - when the dust settled I realised that I wasn’t frustrated in a really angry, ‘urgh I’m going to drop this’ sense but more like in a passionate, ‘omg what are you guys DOING but also what’s the next scene going to be 👀’ kind of way. I’d compare it to watching Gossip Girl or something, strangely addictive despite the plot throwing everything including the kitchen sink as @indyfan put it. The mess and sheer unpredictable-ness is strangely addictive, and I think I’d credit the cast for being a major reason as to why. They’re doing something and it’s working for me.

SO some thoughts:

- This was the first time I was fully, wholeheartedly able to understand, empathise and be on Hong-jo’s side. I really felt for her, especially because Shin-yu is being a jerk with his whiplash-y actions and words
- Jae-kyung was really cute this week!! He loosened up a little and I started liking him a whole lot more, even his jokes were funny - I was surprised when I laughed! He also took the spell thing far better than I would’ve in his situation, he didn’t even look at them like they were truly insane even after it was ‘proven’ it didn’t work
- Na-yeon thing is annoying as from a plot point of view, the reason why they decided to do that is so glaringly obvious but whatever, I hope we do away with her character now and not have her cause unnecessary trouble
- Shin-yu’s dad is really annoying me with his lack of care or attention towards his wife 😡
- I hate that Shin-yu is still with Na-yeon and the fake date idea was dumb BUT BUT BUT there were lots of cute moments for the OTP this week. I was angry watching with love hearts in my eyes hahaha
- I have no idea what to say about the doll (or many other plot points to be honest lol

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Like ML says everything is a mess and he knows he is trash…lol..

I am loving all the eye talking they are doing, aswell as some confirmation from dialogues just in case lol…

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I’m so very much with you, @lapislazulii. For me, it’s like I not only can’t but also find I don’t want to look away. I’d be OK with Na-yeon leaving the story—but better yet from my POV would be to find out what her deal is and let her also get her own life. She clearly doesn’t actually care for Shin-yu, and given how annoyed she was when chaebol dude hugged her in bed, I don’t think he’s the one either. So, she’s tending to her sexual needs…great! But why this way? Given that the show will almost inevitably be about how great monogamy is—what’s her character have to offer us? I mean it just could be so great. I’m going to make it great in my head. Maybe I’ll channel @minniegupta1 and try my hand at fanfic eventually. Probably not, but I should be so lucky to have Minnie’s drive!!

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I wonder if NY's affair with jerk chaebol is supposed to mean that SY has little to no sexual attraction to her along with the obvious lack of romantic one. It's actually not the first time this idea pops us - Wook has been asking SY about that earlier, worrying that his friend's illness might be impacting negatively THAT aspect of his life as well... I actually wouldn't put it past SY to use his health as an excuse to minimize the skinship lmao. Even before HJ and the love-spell-or-maybe-not chaos he seemed awfully uninterested in any intimacy with his "Goddess" girlfriend. Now the question is why NY keeps putting up with him then? Because he's a better catch image-wise than her side guy?

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Yes to this. Given that convo at dinner in episode 1 or 2, it seems to me that she (or more likely, her mayor dad) is in this to marry up, that is, into a family written into the Joseon records (or however they put that). Chaebol dude is clearly not of that class.

But why Shin-yu’s (happily to me) nameless dad wants him to marry her is still beyond me—it seems to be about their children?? Do you have thoughts on that, @gikata?

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Good one! Haven't thought about mayor's family being not all that compared to THE Jangs, but of course. Now it makes even more sense why NY is trying to speed up the wedding despite knowing SY is very sick AND fell for another woman... She wants to get his name, even if it's gonna be the last thing he gives her.

I feel like it all is one big karmic recreation of their Joseon tragedy - he's engaged to a woman he's not supposed to break up with easily even if he truly wants to be with a woman of lower status (HJ) - as if fate FORCES our players in the same situation again to see whether any of them learned their lesson and will make different choices this time around. That's for supernatural aspect.

As for why daddy dearest insists on wedding so much - well, I'll be the cynical one and say that dad believes SY ain't gonna make it, but since their precious bloodline needs to be continued... It's all but spelled out loud here - SY MUST marry and produce some kids to keep the clan going before he's gone. That's what Jang men did for generations since the curse started. No wonder the boy isn't very excited about fulfilling his breeding horse role... In a slightly different drama I could've even theorize that dad is afraid of becoming curse's target again if SY was to die before passing the torch to his own son, but I don't think the man is THIS heartless. Yet. Who knows? WE also shouldn't forget that dude knows NOTHING about his son's current love life mess and may be genuinely convinced that SY only pushes NY (perfect woman in everyone's eyes) away due to noble idiocy reasons.

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@gikata Oh, I take your sageuk-type point about who has to marry whom and why (and then the continuation of the bloodline thing)…with then the present being a reincarnated “what were the lessons learned” situation. I fear that might end up being tedious. I’m gonna hope for the best because at least there are two spell books now… :)

I really want the success of this OTP to hinge on Shin-yu authentically wanting to treat people better not being “past-lived” into it.

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“I feel like it all is one big karmic recreation of their Joseon tragedy - he's engaged to a woman he's not supposed to break up with easily even if he truly wants to be with a woman of lower status (HJ)”

I’m 💯 with you. It’s just the parallel doesn’t work as well when you’re no longer in a restrictive society such as Joseon. The cost of his breakup in the modern era just doesn’t match up.

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@indyfan , yep, he only has to realize this important difference and pack his bags out of this marriage asap. But I feel like there's going to be some nasty consequences anyway - both him and HJ technically work for NY's dad... Will she end up jobless for loving him? Well, still better than dismembered, I'd say)))

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I really want the success of this OTP to hinge on Shin-yu authentically wanting to treat people better not being “past-lived” into it.

Ouch, that's one thing reincarnation romances can never deliver))) But we'll see how well (or not) drama goes around that... Plus we have plenty of characters who I suspect won't have any past life memories and thus will operate independently (sort of). Btw, it's possible that SY remains the only one with "flashbacks". HJ is yet to have any so far, right?

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@gikata That sounds right for the moral/ending. Pls no tragedy for this lightweight show. Losing your jobs is awful. Tho less so when the boy is Richie Rich? I still feel modern romances can't show doomed love with quite the same weight as historical ones. *Cough* My Dearest. *Cough*Cough.*

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Considering why the dad wants this marriage so desperately: doesn’t the „curse“ seem to be passed down in the Jang family? I had the feeling that the dad was pretty much aware of this „problem“ that he passed on to his son. (The whole “our family owns a shrine and the youngest son is in charge of it” situation, too.) Somehow marriage seemed like a way to „do it all away“, which is why he married quickly („and look how it went for me“ initially seemed sweet as his parents gave of adorable, normal vibes, but kinda leaves a bitter aftertaste now). And if it’s only that the father is cured once he has a son, LOL! That seems pretty outrageous (if you decide to have kids because of it), but his father does seem pretty egoistic, too… 😅
Both parents literally jumped at the news that solving a riddle could “lift a curse”… 🤔

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@indyfan , yeah, that's my main problem with modern romances - stakes are often unnaturally high for the sake of angst, which feels fake. Sageuks are better in that regard with their endless stifling rules and draconian laws.

My biggest ray of hope is that tragedy already happened to them - in past lives, so we're sorta done with that and can move the plot somewhere else. And lol, losing your job to date the guy THIS loaded doesn't sound very bad indeed. Plus mayor isn't a lifelong occupation as far as I'm concerned...

@sonai , oh, I'm sure parents know, at least dad! The actual rules of curse's inheritance are unclear so far, but I've seen two big theories online - that you're safe once you pass it down to your son, as you said, and that the key is marrying for love (or at least there being one-sided feelings). SY's dad has a loving wife (who may or not may endangering his life with that divorce threat lol) and overcame his illness somehow, grandpa is still alive and kicking as well, tho we don't know much about his marital life. The only thing that's clear is that there IS some loophole, but none of Jangs unfortunately know what it is. We've also been lowkey told that HJ can end the curse once and for all... but again, how?

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@gikata Yes, up to this point Hong-jo has only had that one vision of Jae-kyung in her modern house—no other visions that I can remember.

Also, don’t say “Ouch, you’ll never get what you want from this show.” LET ME DOWN EASY. I’m fragile. :)

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@sonai Yes, we’d like more “curse rules,” plz. Although HeartBeat has taught me that Korean “television” is more than willing just to change all the rules mid-stream and betray expectations.

So, I want TWO things. I want there to be clearer curse rules at this time, and I want them to be consistent. Thx.

You wouldn’t happen to have any sway over the DWY show runners, would you?

PS: I got the impression, although, I may be mis-remembering that the father’s curse was lifted after SY was born—at very least, I am 100% positive that he claimed that his was “curable,” whereas SY’s is not…

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@attiton “You wouldn’t happen to have any sway over the DWY show runners, would you?”

Ummm suuure, let me quickly don my white dress, grab my foldable table and shaman suitcase. 😂 The “Get a grip, show makers” spell seems just right for this occasion!

But you are right, it was mentioned Shinyu’s illness is “incurable”. 🧐 But there is still hoping that Hongjo holds the key to that! So let’s see how this plays out. Anything can happen at this point!

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