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Tell Me That You Love Me: Episode 2

Even better than Episode 1, the tender pain of this drama has me in a chokehold. It’s going to drag on, and drag me right along with it, and that’s what I’m banking on. With its background of rain and symphony sounds, I’m settling in for a hurts-so-good love story that’s looking to heal its characters (and us, if we go for the ride).

Editor’s note: Weekly drama coverage will continue.
 
EPISODE 2

We start with turbulence. Mo-eun was once a flight attendant and she tells us that she got used to it when flying, but when it comes to life, turbulence is tough to overcome. She’s 33 now and her career change to pursue acting is a recent endeavor. She’s anxious and faltering and wishes there was a manual for life like there is on planes.

This is the mood for the episode as our characters try to connect and falter, anxious about themselves and their pasts. The drama’s strength so far is its ability to go from somber to smiling in a heartbeat and to make us feel the story more than tell it to us. When the leads are in their own spaces, there’s a sadness about them. But the second they see each other, their faces light up — and so does mine.

We pick up where we left off with Mo-eun and Jin-woo meeting on a Seoul street corner. Mo-eun has clearly been studying sign language because she already knows enough to get her point across and to understand at least part of his response. What they’re saying isn’t as important as the fact that they’re trying to communicate.

We then learn more backstory about each lead. Mo-eun has been lying to her parents about why she quit her job (they think she’s studying for the civil service exam, not studying to be an actress). And Jin-woo tells his oldest friend that he feels most comfortable being alone (with only the slightest hint that someone he cared about may have died in that traumatic fire). But as the episode progresses, it becomes more and more clear why Jin-woo might feel comfortable alone. He faces daily prejudices for being deaf and has to give more than he gets when he interacts with others.

In a crazy K-drama coincidence, the museum where Jin-woo teaches is across the street from the café where Mo-eun works (and, wouldn’t you know, Mo-eun’s bestie, Ji-yoo, also works at the same museum). The plot moves forward when Jin-woo receives two concert tickets for a singer that happens to be Mo-eun’s favorite.

In a precious scene where our leads cross paths at the museum, Jin-woo offers Mo-eun the tickets. She invites him to come with her but at first he declines. He tells her he can enjoy music — through vibration, sheet music, and his memories of sound — but she wouldn’t have fun if she’s with him, so she should go with someone else.

What works really well here is that he’s super curious about her, asking questions, and she’s repeating all his signs/questions back to him, in order to learn more sign language. I mentioned last episode that I liked not having voiceover, but it’s even clearer here how much it adds to the feeling of the story. Whenever they’re together, it’s fun and sweet, but never syrupy, and that added dose of realism hits home.

Finally, Jin-woo agrees to meet Mo-eun at the concert, and so, their first date is set. But things go awry when a young boy who lives nearby goes into Jin-woo’s house to play with his newly adopted cat and Jin-woo has no idea the boy is there. The boy falls asleep while Jin-woo is working and hours pass. In the meanwhile, his hysterical halmeoni has called the police, who knock on Jin-woo’s door out of suspicion (and this halmeoni already has it out for Jin-woo because she’s a bigot).

They arrest Jin-woo for kidnapping and we see from his perspective how confusing and frustrating the whole thing is. He can only understand what’s happening from reading people’s faces. “I try to listen to what they say without looking away. Because only then will they try to listen to what I say.”

Unfortunately, even though he’s trying to understand them, the police do not try to understand him. Rather than communicating through writing, they force him to sit around the police station for who knows how long waiting for an interpreter. The drama does a good job infuriating me right along with him, and the scene works because there’s no makjang tone to this event (escaping the problems of the fire scene from last episode).

All of this happens right at the moment that Jin-woo is supposed to be meeting Mo-eun at the concert. She’s got some frustrations of her own when he doesn’t appear and ignores all of her texts. Finally, she leaves.

When Jin-woo is released, he runs to the meeting spot, but Mo-eun is gone. He sits, head in his hands — and then we see Mo-eun behind him, coming back to look for him one last time. She approaches, with her shoes entering his view, and the way this moment is captured as he slowly looks up from her feet to her face is wow.

She wants to know why he’s so late. But he knows anything he says will sound ridiculous. So, he apologizes for not keeping his promise. Then he says that he never should have made the promise because even if they went in together, he wouldn’t have been able to feel what she feels. (Oof. Let that sink in for a second.)

In response (and not fully grasping what he’s just tried to convey), Mo-eun asks if he wants to hear her sing, since they missed the concert. She puts his hand to her throat and sings, so he can feel the vibration. It’s very intimate and it’s made even more powerful because the sound cuts out, so we no longer hear her singing. We’re just watching, like Jin-woo is.

“I read sound with my eyes. Every time I blink I’m disconnected,” Jin-woo narrates. But there’s no break in his feeling. With his hand on her, it’s like she’s telling him it’s okay to close his eyes. We see in this end scene the same thing we saw in the last one — that Jin-woo is an overthinker, afraid to trust, but hopeful underneath his guardedness. The episode ends when Mo-eun suggests there are lots of things they can do together.

Well, now I’m just in love with this drama. It’s all about the moments. Little, tiny, feeling-filled moments that creep in and surprise me until my chest is in a clamp. Jung Woo-sung is very charming. And all the emotion and warmth is coming from facial expressions. The actors are miserable in one moment and alive in the next and the contrast is enough to knock me off kilter and send in the swoons. I’ll be paying excited attention to see if the drama can keep this up.

 
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I have to wait for beanie @welh640 whether if this beanie will be claim to fame by appear onscreen as an extra on this Kdrama or not.

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May I ask why they would like to appear in this drama? And which character would they play???

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The Beanie was in Seoul when they happened to walk into the drama being shot. You can see the pictures on their fanwall.

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That is why I started watching this drama. I like it so far, but I don't know if the story line and pace will last the full run.

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Thank you, @dramaddictally for this weecap. I have nothing to add, but let me tell you reading yours made me relive the experience of watching these gorgeous 2 eps and tear up a bit again.

😇😇😇

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Thank you! 💙

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💓

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+ 1 ^^ yes, exactly that!

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It’s very intimate and it’s made even more powerful because the sound cuts out, so we no longer hear her singing. We’re just watching, like Jin-woo is.

This moment was epic. While it made us walk in Jung-wook's shoes for a minute, Jin-woo was allowed to enjoy the silence more than we did.

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How do we petition to get this in the USA?
Thanks for the recap!
Us beanies in the USA are missing out 😥

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I keep hoping it'll show up on Hulu in a few weeks. That has happened with a few other Disney+ dramas. But of course others (like "Love All Play" and "Soundtrack #1") still haven't appeared, so I'm not too optimistic.

May need to succumb to the darkside.

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Looks like a definite trip to the dark side for me. I really want to watch this one so I join you in hoping for Hulu and trying to find it elsewhere. (gotta cover all tracks, right)?

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Soundtrack #1 is on Disney+ in the US, so perhaps you mean #2.

The whole Disney/Hulu thing in the US is so frustrating. I’m sure they look at their nonexistent ratings in the US and think there’s no market. 😬 No, it’s because you won’t let us watch it.

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I don't have Disney+; I only have Hulu. So I can only see the Disney+ stuff that shows up there. Soundtrack #1 hasn't yet, so I'm not that confident about #2.

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Ah, I understand. Yes the few things that landed on Disney in the USA (like Soundtrack, Snowdrop, etc.) remain at Disney.

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Woo hoo! Thank you for recapping this show dramaddictally.
It’s going to tear our hearts to shreds but if it continues like these first episodes, it’s going to be worth it. It really is gorgeous.

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I felt that the FL is doing too much for the guy she essentially doesn't know. Her saving him in that cafe was more about her kindness and bravery, so that was fine. Her running after that bus, learning sign language and waiting for him were nice gestures and enough to see that she was putting in a lot of effort in that budding relationship. Her singing in the middle of the street with his hand on her neck was just an overkill.

I am loving the show a lot, but the ending left me a bit confused (?). I heard in the original the FL is very young. Such behaviour and going overboard feels a bit more in terms with the girl who has no romantic experience, rather than a somewhat-jaded adult. As much as I like the show aging the FL up, I do with the writer also thought about adjusting the other factors to her age as well.

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Yeah, I was also surprised she waited for hours and then even came back later for a guy she barely knows. But I just chalked up to her being really nice or really into him?

I wish they'd committed the character to being the actress' actual age tbh.

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I think for the FL, she is really into him. To me, it is quite believable as someone like the FL might fall that deeply and easily for someone like the ML. She seems to be trusting by nature. Maybe too trusting; the ML is the opposite and this shows the contrast between these two ordinary people well.

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I remember few weeks ago I was thinking as of why in Kdrama, it's the writer that's fully kinda determine if a drama's gonna be good or not. Like a director's filmography doesn't really say anything about his next project. I think the biggest reason is I have yet to watch a director with style so distinct (not only cinematography-wise, Oh Haeyoung/Marriage not Dating director is VERY distinctive for this) that it could actually affects the storytelling.

And for the first time, I think I would say Our Beloved Summer's director is gonna be the one. These visual beats and sound editing decisions that he decided to incorporate into his dramas makes the scene more intense I believe than whatever was written on the script as I'm sure the script wouldn't be able to be that visually descriptive.

That last scene, where we kinda get a peek of Moeun walking behind him, KNOWING that he wouldn't be able to hear her coming towards him, to him seeing her suddenly standing in front of him, to that singing with his hand on her throat........... god that was BEAUTIFUL.

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I have nothing add either, both episodes were lovely and I look forward to the next.

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Why is the old neighbour lady acting like deafness is contagious? People keep inventing new and exciting ways to be prejudiced. At least the kid is attempting to communicate with Jin-woo on his own terms. Of course, don't get me started on the kid... or the cops...

I have nothing but respect for Mo-eun's brother, he hustled his way into some free accommodation. Also, I don’t even need a character map to tell the friend is in love with her. Pumped for that upcoming love triangle/SML action.

I was so scared he wouldn't make it at all to the concert venue and she would get angry. I was relieved he made it but still scared she'd blow up at him without waiting for an explanation. Instead we got a scene that felt more intimate and romantic than an actual kiss?

Anyways, these are two very nice and wholesome people. I liked how there was no unpleasantness; she just trusted his character, and assumed he had a good reason to be late. Hope this energy continues but it *is* a melodrama... T-T

P.S. I’ll fight the whoever abandoned that poor kitty... Good on ML for adopting the lil guy :)

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I was relieved he made it but still scared she'd blow up at him without waiting for an explanation. Instead we got a scene that felt more intimate and romantic than an actual kiss?

And I was suddenly reminded of how he sat looking all hopelessly at the floor when he saw her shoes in front of him.

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I am loving the sound of this drama already and I haven't even been able to watch the first episodes. As a hearing impaired person myself, I am quite drawn to this and I sure hope to find it somewhere to watch it as I don't have D+.

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“ What they’re saying isn’t as important as the fact that they’re trying to communicate.”

Perfectly expressed. That is why what she’s singing or how well / badly is irrelevant and it was an inspired choice to cut off the sound.

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