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Doctor Slump: Episodes 5-6

From enemies to neighbors, these ex-rivals may have dreaded this reunion at the start, but now, as they’ve gotten to know each other better, they find themselves becoming friends and possibly more. During the worst period of their lives, our protagonists find hope in the most unexpected places, and though everything might feel terrible at the moment, their good days aren’t over yet.

 
EPISODES 5-6

Doctor Slump: Episodes 5-6

The first words that come to mind when I think of the leads are cute and silly, which is definitely a universal feeling they exude… except to high school Ha-neul and Jung-woo. During their rival era, our heroes never understood why their peers fawned over the other, but life has a funny way of flipping expectations. Now, as Ha-neul and Jung-woo stand on a train platform far away from home, their hearts flutter at the sight of the other person, and they wonder why they feel so happy around them.

Though Ha-neul is grateful to see Jung-woo after her canceled interview, she asks why a “friend” would come all this way just to console her. Jung-woo scans the room for an excuse, and his eyes land on a tourism pamphlet. It’s an obvious lie, but Ha-neul grabs his arm and takes him sightseeing. They ride bikes, pose for pictures, and spend the whole day together — clearly falling deeper in love yet too stubborn (and dense) to acknowledge it.

While our leads run to catch the last train, an elderly man faints in front of them, and their medical training kicks in. As Jung-woo performs CPR, the motion triggers his unprocessed trauma, and he freezes. Noticing his behavior, Ha-neul takes over, and their quick intervention saves the man’s life. Alas, they missed their ride in the process, but Ha-neul has no problem staying the night unlike an aghast Jung-woo.

Of course, they grab two rooms, but for the first hour, they are stuck together since the staff are cleaning. Despite all their talk of being platonic friends, they both jump up when Jung-woo accidentally sits on her hand, and they threaten to end their relationship if anything develops between them. After a couple of beers, the other room becomes available, but Jung-woo is afraid to be alone because of his recurring nightmare. At his request, Ha-neul stays to play cards, and though she has a list of questions she wants to ask, she lets them slide for tonight.

In the morning, Jung-woo sends Ha-neul home first since coming in together might give off the wrong impression, but when she arrives, she overhears her mom and brother talking about her interview. Rather than face reality, she hides in an arcade, and Jung-woo soon finds out about her detour and comes to keep her company. Even after the sun sets, Ha-neul cannot muster up the courage to go home, so Jung-woo suggests visiting their old school.

Seeing their high school classroom reminds them of the past, and they each share what they would do if they could go back. For Ha-neul, she wants to retake the college entrance exam since she was sick that day, and though she already knew she would not get into her dream school, seeing the rejection was still devastating. Hearing her answer, Jung-woo wishes he could give past Ha-neul a hug, but since he cannot, he tells present Ha-neul to stop caring about what others might think and start taking care of herself.

Doctor Slump: Episodes 5-6

With Jung-woo’s encouragement, Ha-neul goes home where her family waits for her, and she tells them that the interview went poorly. To her surprise, they take the news well since they were against her moving in the first place, and Ha-neul realizes that failing is not so scary after all.

These warm fuzzies come to a halt, unfortunately, once Kyung-min enters the scene. Suspicious hyung keeps the allegations going strong when he informs Jung-woo that he found a secret pen-camera in his office and conveniently forgot to tell him about it until today. Jung-woo finds a couple more littered throughout his clinic and hands them over to the police with Kyung-min in tow.

Despite his misgivings, Jung-woo assumes the best about his hyung, and instead, tells him to apologize to Ha-neul since his actions, no matter how unintentional, ruined her chances to get a job. In response to his request, Kyung-min asks if he likes Ha-neul, and then tells him that he is disappointed in Jung-woo because he does not deserve to be happy right now. The audacity of this man!

Doctor Slump: Episodes 5-6

Jung-woo returns home with Kyung-min’s words still weighing heavily on his mind, but his face brightens when Ha-neul pops up behind him. Finally broaching the elephant in the room, she asks why he treats her so nicely, and for a moment, Jung-woo nearly confesses. However, he hears Kyung-min’s accusation in his head, so he claims to only see her as a friend. Ha-neul hides her face in mortification, and the embarrassment increases tenfold when they find her entire family grilling meat on the rooftop.

Just when it feels like our leads might backtrack on the progress they made, Jung-woo confronts Ha-neul and clears the air: he is the one who is unworthy, so she should not feel embarrassed. As she processes his words, Ha-neul puts the clues together after her therapy session where her doctor mentions PTSD, and she immediately rushes to Jung-woo and hugs him. Despite the guilt he carries, seeing her makes him happy, and he admits to missing her.

Similar to her ambivalent state, Ha-neul does not understand what her heart wants, but one thing she knows for certain is that she does not regret the hug. Accepting her emotions, Ha-neul confesses to Jung-woo, and in return, he matches her honesty. Though they like each other as more than friends, they are uncertain about their degree of interest, so they decide to put their feelings on hold while Jung-woo deals with his situation.

Doctor Slump: Episodes 5-6

Now that Ha-neul is aware of his condition, she suggests therapy to him, but Jung-woo bristles at the comment, saying that he is not weak. She apologizes for overstepping, but he realizes his mistake and how he sounded. Later that night, he tells her that he will go to the hospital if she comes with him for support, and they turn it into a date.

While getting help is the first step towards healing, Jung-woo still feels crestfallen as he takes his new medicine in the park with his old rival. He mentions how they used to be on top of the world, but Ha-neul assures him that their good days will return soon. Proving her point, she stumbles across a coin in the street and dances to celebrate this fortuitous luck. She treats him to a round of Tetris, but they end up hogging the game and getting chased away by grade-schoolers.

Jung-woo takes Ha-neul to karaoke instead, but while he sings, she mishears the lyrics and assumes he is saying her name. On their walk back, she sheepishly asks why he confessed when they promised to put their relationship on hold, and Jung-woo bursts her bubble. He teases her for misunderstanding, and Ha-neul tells him that she takes back her interest. As they bicker playfully, an old classmate (cameo by Lee Sung-kyung) recognizes Jung-woo and invites both of them out for coffee.

Doctor Slump: Episodes 5-6

The old classmate remembers her relationship with Jung-woo a little differently from him and talks about how nice he was to her. He even gave her extra sausages at lunch and an entire eraser during study hall. None of these events ring a bell for Jung-woo, and for good reason. As it turns out, his attention was solely on Ha-neul back then, and what the classmate thought was flirting was actually Jung-woo acting petty towards Ha-neul and coincidentally treating her well in comparison. Pfft.

Once the classmate leaves, Ha-neul reminds Jung-woo of how he acted in high school — he gave her peppers instead of sausages — and shoulder checks him on her way out. Though she recognizes her own jealousy, it takes a couple of analogous circumstances with her family for Ha-neul to see things clearly, and she brings Jung-woo a peace offering along with an apology.

He jokes about their encounter with the classmate, and to his shock, Ha-neul admits that she felt jealous. She calls it an ugly emotion, but even so, it did not diminish her feelings towards him. She questions if these emotions are appropriate, though, and Jung-woo reveals that he feels the same way. He has so many things to tell her and casually drops “I like you.” He promises to confess properly after getting his stuff in order, and Ha-neul pretends to be uninterested while failing to hide the smile plastered on her face.

Meanwhile, things start developing with our other couple as Hong-ran and Dae-young finally meet each other in the elevators. She takes interest in him when he plucks a lady bug off her shoulder, and he perks up when he sees her name. As the elevator fills up, he asks her out to coffee by writing on his hand, and she accepts.

Their initial meet-cute sours, though, when Dae-young brings up his YouTube channel and asks why she subscribed. She tells him that she must have accidentally done it and then unsubscribes right in front of him. As their short-lived date ends, Dae-young mentions Jung-woo for the nth time, and Hong-ran asks why he keeps bringing him up (a.k.a. the jerk who strung her friend along).

Dae-young jumps to Jung-woo’s defense, completely unprompted, and fights to clear his tarnished name. Hong-ran is taken aback by his fervor, especially since he told her that they aren’t close, and they huff at each other in indignation. As they turn to leave, she notices a dragonfly on his head and plops her cup over it. Hong-ran explains how her son loves insects and begs Dae-young to shuffle with her to a craft store to buy a cage.

Doctor Slump: Episodes 5-6

I guess this week won’t end on a happy note since Kyung-min returns to the screen, causing our cute leads to separate early for the night. Unlike me, Jung-woo forgives Kyung-min for his comment since he agrees with the sentiment, but after this meeting, he looks more dejected than usual. On his way home, Jung-woo notices someone tailing him, so he turns the tables and chases after them. He manages to tackle his stalker, but before he can see their face, they smash an empty bottle against his head.

While Jung-woo bleeds in the middle of the road, Ha-neul waits for him on the rooftop and hears his door swing open. She sees that his window is open, too, so she steps inside to close it and tidy up some of the papers that flew to the floor. As she picks up the items, she spots another camera-pen, and in the midst of her distraction, the camera zooms menacingly towards her head.

Like many others, I’m not a huge fan of Jung-woo’s surgery mystery and think the story has enough character-driven and interpersonal conflicts to move the plot without it. However, since the mystery element is here to stay, I don’t think it deters my enjoyment either, and at least for now, I see it more akin to set dressing — important for the tone and overall production, but not necessarily the center stage of the drama. The mystery definitely feels more forced in terms of storytelling, and unlike Ha-neul’s situation which has been depicted as the accumulation of decades of pressure and overwork, Jung-woo’s story is more dramatic.

However, the mystery is less of a complaint and more of an observation at this point because the true star of this show is Ha-neul and Jung-woo’s enemies to friends to lovers trajectory. The growth between them is slow in the best way possible, and their relationship does not feel frustrating because both leads are refreshingly honest with each other as well as to themselves. As soon as they recognized their feelings, they addressed them — albeit not always in the most articulate manner — and they never let misunderstandings fester for too long. The characters talk to each other, not simply at each other, which means they listen and learn. As a result, Ha-neul and Jung-woo have changed from the start of their relationship and continue to be better than they were before.

While Ha-neul and Jung-woo found comfort in each other from their shared experience and lack of judgment, their relationship has deepened since then, and with that, so has their ability to comfort. At first, the mere presence of the other brought them an odd sense of peace, almost like an instinctual bond forged between kindred spirits, but now, they are actively trying to understand the other person and offer them the help they need. For Ha-neul, this means understanding her tendencies to avoid conflict stemming from her need to meet others’ expectations, and for Jung-woo, it means realizing that he masks his pain with a smile and believes self-sacrifice is the only way to feel worthy of love. As they spend more time together, Ha-neul and Jung-woo feel safe around each other, and maybe for the first time in their lives, they found a friend and potential love interest who cares for them as a person even at their lowest.

 
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Not interested in Kyung-min as a villain or as a friend with a bad attitude. Not interested in who else could be the villain. Not really interested in Hong-ran and Dae-young and the bugs. Seriously, the dragonfly scene was a little over the top.

Just give me more of the play-fighting, the comforting, and the honesty between our leads. I love PHS's expressive reactions, even when he's alone, talking to himself.

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Agree. For me, the ship for the second leads has sailed. It's too late and too short to be invested in them. In fact SFL irritates me, even though the scenes with her kiddo were cute.

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I was kind of here nor there on the SFL till the coffee date when she irritated me with the 'omg I must've been insane, how did I subscribe to this' etc. right in front of his face at the coffee date 😬 Like I get being shocked, but that felt a bit insensitive since he was sitting right there. Also, like yes as a best friend you tend to be hyper-protective and a little dramatic in the course of that, but why is she anti-Jeong-woo after hearing about the 'rejection'. Because even with the facts as she knows it, he said 'I'm sorry if I caused confusion, I'll be more careful next time' which isn't exactly a jerk thing to say, plus idk benefit of the doubt since she wasn't there/doesn't really know much about him?? 😭 Maybe this is my own viewer bias creeping in since we know what happened/know him better, idk.

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Scenes between them so far seem strangely devoid of life and charm. I like him but he is relentlessly dim for someone who qualified as a plastic surgeon and owns a clinic. His staff are dismissive towards him, his disrespectful daughter treats him like an idiot and his ex-wife is no doubt a barrel of laughs too as she left him and the daughter behind. He looks great but acts like a doormat, whereas there is nothing interesting or particularly likable about Hong-ran, who doesn't seem to have a personality at all. She eats and talks on the phone, shows up periodically to fire questions at Ha-nul and doesn't like bugs (or does like bugs?) I neither know nor care. Why doesn't she start a secret doomed affair with Ha-neul's little brother and then the 2ML can meet a social media influencer. Because together these two are as dull as dishwater.

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The SFL has gotten on my nerves since first appeared on screen. I don't like her character at all. She is not much of a bestie either since she doesn't listen to her friend and instead talks at her instead of to her.

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Absolutely. She is a dreadful friend who never shuts up. Does she really just care for her friend's love life? That's all she talks about and she is never of any help. The two main leads just have terrible friends.

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Thanks for the lovely recap @lovepark. Theoretically, I am "currently" watching 4-5 dramas but when I have time to perhaps catch up on others or re-watch an episode of Dr. Slump, I re-watch Dr. Slump - probably the first time in a year that a drama has held that kind of appeal.

I don't mind the mystery - yet. It's a plot device for keeping our couple together-but-not-yettogether so I'm good with it provided it doesn't overtake the actual simmering romance. These two have much to traverse thru emotionally/psychologically and jumping into a hot romance would have red flags and sirens.

Sooner or later, Jung-woo's Mom will show up. . . .probably right around the time they share their first kiss. So, anyone have any bets on the "Episode 8" kiss - will it happen or not?

Totally off-topic but the pastoral scenes at "Hwanbon" were actually filmed at Daegwallyeong Pass (a name which will be familiar to viewers of Live Your Own Life). It's on my bucket list for trip to South Korea. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daegwallyeong

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I have seen it in a few dramas Scripting your destiny and Plus nine boys. I recognised the sheep and the wind turbines.

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Given the trajectory they're on, I think I'd comfortably place a bet on an episode 8 kiss happening! Or I've just been baited completely by the writers hahaha

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I think so too. Moreover, they still have a mystery to solve, and to clear his name in public (the reason he went down so fast is because of public opinion. If he was an obscure surgeon he would have continued I guess because his license is not suspended).

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BTW, I found it convenient that the person of interest in the mystery is the creepy anesthesiologist who now disappeared? And our FL just happens to be one. I fully expect the next few expisodes to go all CSI:Korea on us with HaNeul cracking the code...

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YES this point!! It clicked for me during this week's eps too, and also I can see it maybe meaning they might work together when all of this is over??? Or maybe that's wishful thinking idk but it would be kind of cute!

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@lapislazulii They do work together. It's in the teaser, where they are gowned up and smile at each other through their masks - that famous PHS melo smile that melts hearts.

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I accepted the fact that the mystery had to be included as part of the ML's eventual redemption. My guess is that Kyung-min is having money problems and he accepted money from some rival Macau gang to murder the woman and he used Jung-Woo to do it. I can't help but think that this series is a mash up of "Our Beloved Summer" and "My Lovely Liar". Both of which I enjoyed.

Before we get to the kiss, I'd also like to take bets on these two being found in bed together in the next episode after another night of fighting/drinking. Annoying brother is who I'd guess finds them together.

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LOL!!

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I'm not taking that bet (when they are found in bed together) - but agree, it will happen before the kiss. 😊

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It reminded me of the Lake District in England.

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pastoral scenes at "Hwanbon" were actually filmed at Daegwallyeong Pass

Thanks for the info. The scenary was breathtaking and I wondered if people go there to refresh their minds and enjoy nature in peace.

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So many people from around the globe watch K drama’s so tourist attractions should be clearly labelled, then their selling points would do the work and potential tourists can see what’s available at each site.

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Your wish is granted! 🪄 😀
https://koreandramaland.com/

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This is such a great resource, thanks for linking it for those who may not know of its existence.

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Zindingo - thanks for that link. It is now bookmarked and I'm sure to be using it to plan my trip to South Korea (sometime in the next year). Not because I wish to see places simply because they were in a kdrama. I want to see them because when I saw something in a kdrama, I said - that - or there - I want to see it up close. 😊

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@reply1988 @kathryn51 It really is a fun site to browse through, and also great for travel planning because it shows so many places you'd be unlikely to find in a traditional travel guide. I'm pretty sure I know about it because another beanie referenced it at some point. Gotta love DB!

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I am sure the site is run by a beanie so beanies reference it here for the newbies as and when. Such a great idea for a website.

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Another set of lovely episodes with some very mature conversations between our leads and a lot of progression. I adore the leads and together they are absolutely delightful. I love Ha-neul!! She is amazing and I totally love her no-nonsense approach to her feelings. The way she lays them out casually while doing laundry was wonderful to watch.
I especially loved how mature both the leads where when expressing their feelings. Its there, but they are not sure what it means. Given how vulnerable they are, it seems such a mature thing to talk about upfront.

The cameo was a riot!! I loved the hijinks.

I love how Jung-woo instinctively is aware of Ha-neul and her feelings when she is next to him. He is learning things about her. Like he said he notices people he is interested in. He was 'interested' in her in school as a frenemy, and now he is 'interested' in her as a friend-crush.

Also, its amusing that they both are so competitive and somehow they both bring out the silly side in each other.. But as adults, they are able to laugh about it.

Gosh, what kind of friend says 'you dont deserve to be happy'. The kind you dump right then and there.

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The ‘you don’t deserve to be happy’ was outrageous and reminded me of 25,21 when Baek Yijin was all alone trying to survive and the victims of his dad’s business came to hunt him down.

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I really don't get why no one is seeing the anesthesiologist refusing to testify and then FLEEING THE COUNTRY as a huge red flag that there's more going on than medical negligence.

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I am so here for the romances (both main leads and second leads). I love how they just have fun together and hang out. It doesn't all have to be romance tropes and drama. It was also funny with the school crush and how all of the things she thought were the ML showing her interest, were actually directed at the FL.

Also, I posted this on my fanwall, but the psychiatrist is wrong: PTSD is not a common reaction after trauma. PTSD is the less common reaction - natural recovery is the most common. The exception is sexual assault, where PTSD rates are higher. But for medical trauma or a motor vehicle accident, PTSD is gonna be the rarer outcome (I get why he screened her for it, but maaan this psychiatrist and I see eye to eye on very little. What do you expect from Ki-ho's dad, though, LOL)

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Ah, one more thing: trauma-related guilt is a big predictor of PTSD and avoidance makes it worse, because it only gives a chance for those guilt-related cognitions to get stronger and inflexible. By talking about it, the ML is getting to hear corrective feedback about the causes and that will be helpful for recovery (what's less helpful: being told "you don't deserve to be happy." UGH)

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Okay, I lied, this is the last thing: actually, it would be more interesting IMO if he HAD caused the patient to die, and the story was him overcoming his guilt

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Yes, this is what it should have been. The ML is good hearted, good looking, genius and is a great support system for FL, but his entire situation is getting ridiculous as if the universe has it against him🙄🙄

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Hear this week at the pool from an 8-year-old: I have PTSD because my cousin pushed me in the water. Anyway, PTSD is as over-used as depression. Thanks for your clsrification.

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Oh yeah, don't get me started on how often the terms trauma and PTSD are thrown around.

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I continue to enjoy this drama. Best rom-com we've had in a long time. Although they are adults, it feels like a coming-of-age drama, because she was in a state of arrested development. The writing strikes a good balance between romance, drama, and silliness. I think what makes or breaks a rom-com is the reason the couple can't be together, and it seems realistic that they would be tentative given all the other things going on. I agree that the mystery elements seem to be on the back burner for now, and I hope things stay this way.

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Agree. It's very well balanced. And I am glad they chose actors with a very wide range to potray the characters. Plus I love the fact they are on screen 90% of the time. I love the Mom but everyone else is meh to be honest.

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Yes! I'm so appreciating that they are the primary focus. It's a really nice change!

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Arrested development, you say? Now I want this kdrama narrated by Ron Howard

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Like in Cindrellaman or A Beautiful mind?

Fight My Way was a great take off on Cindrellaman. This no doubt would make a great subject for Ron Howard but he would turn this into an Oscar winner, not a healing kdrama that you swoon and smile silly about :D

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Jumping in, but OP was talking about Arrested Development, the goofy, hilarious sitcom narrated by Ron Howard!

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Ah! I missed that bus completely.

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I wonder why Yoon Park accepted this role... After 6 episodes, we barely saw him and his character is just the clown of the drama.

I like the relationship between the leads and the actors are really fun in this role. It's cute and entertaining. But in the same time, I'm very frustrated by the fact they chose adult acting like kids, than the ML's issue was caused by elaborated plan by a villain...

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Last week I was slightly worried that the two of them would get together too quickly and I would lose interest in the drama (*cough* King the Land *cough*), but after the last two episodes I'm relieved. I think the writers have found a good and interesting way to keep the "tension" high, even though FL and ML know how they feel about each other by now.

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haha! I think everyone was a bit worried at the pace, but I was surprised at the direction it took.

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As I've said I'm in essential agreement that this show is being carried by the adult interactions between the two leads. For me, the two actors have great chemistry, but I say that recognizing that often when I feel in a romance two actors have great chemistry the consensus will be that they don't!

Where I would likely differ from many, and I'm just putting this out there, not to be argumentative about the show, but as an expression of my tastes. I liked the first episodes where they showed the high school interactions, because it set up a basis for their adult relationship. But now, for me, the show is going back to that well once too often. Their pettiness to one another because they didn't know how to express what was really attraction just wasn't THAT cute that it deserves continual iteration, especially at this point when they have advanced beyond their high school relationship.

Also, speaking of cuteness, at times their current cuteness goes just to the line for me, and just as I'm about to say--okay, enough of 30 something year olds acting like teenagers--they will actually be honest with each other, and I breathe a sigh of relief that the relationship is still one I can get behind.

By the way, the 20 something brother is a good example of the kind of kdrama male behavior that I know is supposed to be cute and funny but makes ME want to behave like a teenager and punch him.

I fully anticipate, though that the "friend" of the ML will force at least one misunderstanding breakup sometime in the next 4 episodes--not to mention the casino heiress murder story will interfere dramatically with the "healing" going on. So I'm sure there will still be plenty of incidents where I'll be shaking my head and muttering about a good romance being ruined. Can the good scenes outnumber the bad for 10 more episodes? I'll be really interested to find out!

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I overall agree with your take on the show. I like the HS scenes that show the moments of understanding and connection (like when FL heard the ML's mother berating him) rather than just their pettiness. I also really hate the FL's brother.

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I liked some of the flashbacks in these episodes but wish there had been fewer of them previously so they wouldn't feel overused. And I agree completely about the regressive teen-like behavior in the current timeline, as well as about the feckless brother. He and the so-called best friend have shown no positive characteristics except loyalty to the FL, and that loyalty is expressed in questionable, hackneyed, and sometimes hurtful ways. (Okay, the friend also seems to be a decent mother.) Yoon Park's goofball character cries out for someone nicer and more interesting in her own right, and the secondary romance is as flat as day-old somaek so far.

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The relationship between Ha Neul and Jung Woo is so lovely to watch. So many other romance dramas have the central romantic tension be the main couple having many misunderstandings (some deliberate and some unintentional) and then clearing them up (probably helps that this is not a chaebol drama). What a delightful relief to have the main couple start at what seems to be rock bottom so that there is no posturing to appear great or hiding what they fear is their ugly secret. Instead, they appear honestly, warts and all, to one another and are realizing that is sufficient and actually liked by the other. It also seems that they are discovering that this is a truer version of themselves now that they had been forced from rat race. The current day scenes, which are just more relaxed and more honest than their frantic and antic high school scenes, are so comforting to watch, and as they are falling for each other more and more, I find myself liking them more and more, individually and as a couple. I also like that even though they are starting from the place of knowing each other's "flaws" and troubles, this doesn't mean that this is the peak of the romance, which is often the case in other dramas. Instead, it feels like a slice of life romance where they are walking along a path and having their relationship naturally deepening as they journey--how refreshing it is to have this paced romance. This is not a sizzling chemistry, hot romance; instead, this seems like a more true love story that could last beyond the initial thrill of attraction.

As to the rest of the drama when it's not the two spending time together, I feel like I have been thrown from the safe haven honest zone to the farce of a world. Oh well.

Finally, another rant about the brother. Why can't he at least help out at the restaurant? Ha Neul even offered to help since her mom didn't have the part-timer help. I don't know what privilege is going on here--the maknae or the son--but I don't want to see him complain and lounge about anymore. Adds nothing to the story.

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I want the surgery mystery to be a much bigger part of the plot than it has been so far. Since they are both doctors (he is a surgeon and she is an anesthesiologist, so she has been part of hundreds of surgerys) I am puzzled why they have never talked about what really happened during the operation.

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Also, why should that women be killed? "Someone" is obviously targeting Honey-sik, but another person died because of this.

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Hi think Hyung -sik was just an easy target. Whoever used him to kill the woman were banking on his inexperience, fame and trusting nature to carry out their nefarious scenario. Prove that he was medically negligent and get away with murder scott free.
His meteoric rise to fame was his eventual downfall too. Ha-neul was so clear about how her life went - 6 years of college, 4 years of internship and 3 years as a fellow. And she could not even secure a permanent job. In contrast, JW has several clinics across the country already, thanks to his undisputed fame and the fact he is also great at what he does. And hence when his patient dies he takes it very very hard. It was supposed to be a routine procedure, not something where a person dies and he is pushed to the brink.
I on the other hand love the twist. Looking at the crimes committed around the world, some of them too audacious to even comprehend, I would not be surprised if something like happened to a doctor at some point somewhere in the world. The world is a messy place.

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This drama is like my weekly warm patch of grass in the sunshine (weird metaphor but I hope you get the vibe). It’s turning into a classic summer watch because we’ve had a recent spell of hot summer days here and the show seems to match the weather in in tone and energy. On a similar note to you @lovepark, I've taken the murder mystery/killer??/stalker plot line in stride because I’ve accepted it as part of the package when it comes to anything billed as ‘healing’, but also they’ve done well with mixing tones (for me at least) so I’m not that bothered by it; it's 'dressing' as you put it! I’d rather the drama come from an external source than from within the blooming relationship between the leads (famous last words probably, but I think Summer Strike went down this route and Dr Slump gives me similar-ish vibes).

The thing that stood out to me in particular this week was how refreshingly calm and simple things were. The two leads actively communicated, there was equal give and take in them looking out for each other, someone FINALLY suggested going to therapy for trauma & PTSD, and there was the very healthy realisation that whilst it’s nice to have someone there for you during difficult times, love (and a relationship) is not the answer to solving your problems - and extra 👏 for the mature realisation that yes you’re allowed to feel feelings (wth Kyung-min) but maybe jumping into a relationship headfirst without sorting through what you’re going through isn’t fair to yourself or the other person. And on the note of communication, yay also to recognising and being upfront about your feelings, both with the confessions but also the jealousy - whilst it was a cute bit of comedic fun, I appreciated that Han-eul had that time to reflect and realise she was being unfair, and then actually communicated that .

The story -and actors - have very believably developed Han-eul and Jeong-woo’s friendship; I genuinely feel it, it’s really sweet and comforting, and now it’s looking like it’ll be a very natural transition into something more. I don’t want to jinx it, but it feels like these two are the most most green flag drama pairing I’ve seen in a while, and after a spell of rather intense romance dramas that operated in the extremes of insta love, ‘I love you’ & and ‘I’d die for you’ lines being said after like episode 3, and star crossed romances that spanned across lifetimes, this feels like a fresh summer breeze in comparison - and therefore way less exhausting to love.

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💯 Communication is key. I also really like how open Haneul & Jungwoo are with each other, and that there’s no need to have misunderstandings, pouting & brooding to kick off progression in their relationship. For this reason, the feeling I’m getting here is kinda like in KTL: open communication & building of trust between the leads. So refreshing! I love it. A real comfort watch. 🫰

… Why did you mention SUMMER STRIKE though? 😖

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HAHA I'm sorry for the Summer Strike comparison!! I couldn't help it - I'm in the minority with this one for sure, but I actually really loved it for the most part (excessive drinking and the whole abusive dad plot line aside) AND it made me feel very summery like Dr Slump is ☀️

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I also love that summery vibe of both shows. Some dramas just do it so well, like “Our Beloved Summer” etc. Love hearing the cicadas, too (sadly they mostly block that sound out)! Just brings back carefree summer memories. (And I’m definitely a winter person who stops functioning in the heat, LOL! 😂)

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Me too!!! I don't know how people get things done in the heat, I'm either constantly sleepy or too annoyed to function - need the cold to get me up and going 😂

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I wonder what the ratio is of beanies who love winter when compared to those who love summer.

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@reply1988 Def a winter person here.

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We must live in totally different parts of hemispheres as I was going to say this was nice like a warm bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup on a cold winter night when you’re feeling a bit under the weather. Comforting and satisfying.

It is hard to walk a fine line between slice of life, comedy, and drama to satisfy all parties. Surprisingly I too am ok with the dramatic medical accident and set up because it feels like it adds some flavoring to the meal- like adding parsley to the chicken soup or some daring folks even add za’atar or chili paste.

I am sad the ratings dropped so dramatically this week since I enjoyed these episodes immensely. I don’t think we can chalk it all up to the holiday as it seems other Saturday dramas like “Captivating the King” gained viewership.

That cameo was gold and PSH and PHS really nailed their respectively reactions- confused but slightly alarmed at the violent jealousy and the barely contained seething jealousy.

I love the pacing of this show where issues arise but are solved within a reasonable time frame without prolonged misunderstandings or petty actions. Even the love rivalry ended quickly and resulted in early confession.

How enlighten they are to both realize that they should take things slow and try to figure out all their other issues before really pursuing this romance.

Hopefully our two couples will meet and interact and form a nice friend group soon.

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I really love your analogy of it being like a warm bowl of noodle soup (and also the extended analogy of the medical accident bit feeling like garnish, because yes!!). It's always really cool to see the versatility of 'art' being reflected in how people perceive it; we're both experiencing this drama as something warm but in different forms!!

I also did check out the ratings the minute I finished and was a bit shocked - I did actually think it might be because of the holidays but you've raised a good point in that other shows increased % in the same time. I wonder why there was the dramatic drop?? Here's to hoping it picks back up again next week!

Totally with you as well on being a fan of the pacing, things aren't been dragged out - he even more or less got to tell her about the recording thing in part - and it feels like there's no room for a misunderstanding trope to rear its head, but that kind of makes me nervous about what conflict they might bring into the fold in the second half. Either way, holding out tentative hope that writing remains strong!

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Most people here probably knew upfront about the cameo and were anticipating Even though I knew it was coming, it put a smile on my face.
Look, hyperbole is a major part of korean shows but I FELT the fear of Jung-woo during that scene, where he knew he was going to get it from Ha Neul. We all have seen this trope/scene before but it was one of the few times where the ML and FL actually made me feel it.

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Somewhere in the net there is a pic of a food truck pic that LSK sent to the set of Doctor Slump. It was funny because all the big pictures on the truck were about her and then 3 small frames of PSH, PHS and Yoon Bak all of whom she had worked with before. Now I wonder if she really did sent it for herself during the filming of her cameo as a joke. For the life of me I can’t find it again but maybe some other beanie sleuth can. It was quite funny.

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Ditto, I felt it too. The way he ran hehehehe! He was petrified.

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I think that as soon as Han-eul realizes something important, it's hard for her to lie about it, and also, doesn't really make sense unless there is an obvious reason to lie.
That total honesty and also the fact that it has always been hard for her to get friends - and she openly admits she is not sure how you do it - that made me just think: "Thank God for a little spot of autism here. A bit of extra honesty to get around all those prideful misunderstanding we otherwise see all the time." @darkcc

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How nice to watch two great actors Park Shin-Hye and Park Hyung-Sik.
Our leads do not need any side story :) Their interaction is enough to keep me watching.

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I do not like Ha Neul's best friend tough! She is the worst bestie of recent dramas :)

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Yeah it’s really hard to warm up to her. She seems a bit caustic but maybe that is why they became friends to begin with. Haneul isn’t the easiest person to befriend especially during her most driven stages in life. Now that she’s opening up to Jung Woo and even her family maybe their friendship will also grow.

Her scenes with her son are more endearing though so maybe we’ll see more of her supportive side. Single parenting even if only for weekends must be exhausting on top of her work schedule. Does she not have any partners to share call with?

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Sometimes when I’m enjoying a drama this much I have a million little things to say about it and a million little things I want to point out. And other times I just want to bask in it and go back and rewatch right away. I’m just having the best time with our characters.

I don’t mind the mystery at all and appreciate that they’ve given the leads different situations to deal with. Ha-neul is certainly in her present state from decades of overworking herself to meet others’ (but probably mostly her own) expectations, but I think Jeong-u’s trouble is also probably the result of a decades-long unaddressed issue. He was definitely naturally gifted and popular, but he has also been striving to try to be worthy of love, first his parents’ and then his classmates’ and colleagues’. And I have to believe it was jealousy of his success that played a role in whatever scheme he’s been caught up in now. He was being extraordinary because he felt like he had to be, and someone else (suspicious hyung is an obvious candidate) felt the need to take that from him.

Also, when Kyung-min said that to Jeong-u, I wanted to leap through the screen and kick him hard in the shins, Ha-neul-style. Nobody says that kind of nonsense to uri Jeong-u and gets away with it! Nobody.

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Those are throwing hands kind of words.

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Nobody says to a friend that they have no right to be happy.
I mean, maybe, if we try to imagine a situation where a friend would say that, if they are friends for a long time and then are in the middle of a very heated argument involving being in love with the same person.
But your friend has been framed for murder, is broke and accused in all the newspapers? If they can find a little bit of happiness, you as a friend is so happy. Also because otherwise it's your job to make their lives bearable, not an easy task. Super if they manage to do that themselves.

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It struck me that he wants Jung-woo to know he's not really his friend. To finally spell it out for him because he's been ignoring all the signals and deliberate clues for years, almost like he refuses to engage with any kind of obvious animosity. Kyung-min may have been needling him for years and getting no reaction which may have provoked his behaviour to become worse. Nobody likes to be ignored or disregarded, especially as an adversary.

With no real information it's hard to know just what his beef is but it seems he has reached the point of almost jumping up and down shouting, "Notice me!". He wants a reaction but still isn't getting it. I wonder if he has had a crush on Ha-Neul for years and is angry that once again everything will fall into Jung-woo's lap, even if he can never seem to keep it - academic scores, friends, success, money ...

Could he be the ridiculous masked individual that keeps flitting by the rooftop windows with apparently no motive other than to be seen? I don't know why I'm expecting this to be a random stalker fan, but after their chance encounter with an old school friend I do wonder if that actually was chance, or by design? I'd like to think it wasn't just an amusing scene dropped in for the sake of it to help pad out 16 eps, but if it is Kyung-min I'd be surprised. I think his animosity has a way to run yet before Jung-woo takes the bait and unpacks that can of worms.

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To finally spell it out for him because he's been ignoring all the signals and deliberate clues for years, almost like he refuses to engage with any kind of obvious animosity

I think Jung Woo is a people pleaser because he also did not confront his friends pocketing larger profits from running the youtube channel. Maybe he got habit from his constant effort to satisfy his parents' desire. I also think he masks those emotions with jokes of his good look and genius brain which makes him appear entitled.

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Yes, I think he's such a people pleaser - and it's worked beautifully for most of his life! But that's what I mean when I was trying to say that both leads are dealing with situations that have been prompted by their lifestyle choices up to this point. No blame here, but they are more parallel than they seem at first, especially given the dramatic nature of Jeong-u's issues.

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Having listened to many of his interviews, I feel PHS is also a bit like that in real life. Park Seo Joon has his name saved as 'Park - I love it all' which was really funny to hear. But I think lucky for him, IRL he has wonderful parents. I wonder if that is why he is so attached to the Wooga squad who he befriended quite late in life.
And that's where JW falters because there is no one to filter his inner circle and guide him to better people. He is surrounded by awful people. And people don't hesitate to hurt and kick him when he is down.
Some of it has been relatable and has brought back memories I am not too fond of.
Long time back, when I was prepping for MBA entrance exams, my best friend with whom I shared everything with, took a test in a new college that did not iinvolve a written exam and was soley based on IQ testing. I wasn't aware and she never told me about it. I came to know when the admission results came. That was when she informed me bluntly that she didn't tell because it had always been hard for her to see me succeed and be the more popular one and she didn't want me with her in that college. What truly hurt was she always knew about my anxiety about taking entrance exams. Worse, she never felt sorry about feeling that way or doing what she did. It's been more than two decades to that incident and it still rankles.
This was my best friend from school, a girl I had supported through some of the worst crisis of her life, including a time when her parent's bankruptcy almost made them homeless.
Our frienship ended that day though the tatters hung around for a long time.
Shitty friends exist. We just do not seem them as such. Unfortunately, neither do they.

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Yes, yes and yes to your first bit especially about how enjoying a drama makes you want to write out line by line commentary but also sometimes you just want to bask in it 😊

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The real star is the relationship....nailed it!

Fluff is my weakness and I'm enjoying the relationship slowly blooming, even with the OTT teen behavior. I think it sorta adds credibility to the nerdiness of FL. And ML's aegyo is so cute!

The cameo was a nice touch, and the as the bug scenes were funny. The mystery is just a compulsory feature of trendy rom-coms. Looking forward to next week.

Beanies, keep your comments coming.

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I would also like to take a minute to admire whoever planned the wardrobe of the two leads. They pull off chic casual wear so well and look just as gorgeous as when they dress up to the nine in that black suit or that beige dress.

I would also like to give a shout out to the beautiful cinematography. Those rooftop mixtures of colors is breathtaking in its causal simplicity.

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I’m in love with this neighborhood and the fortress wall across the street.

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I love that wall too❤️

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Forever a fan of the hoodie under a jacket look 🙌 On the point about the rooftop - the cinematography is beautiful but also I really love all the plants on the roof, it makes it feel fresh and really lived in!

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His outfits❤️, the lighting all great but as you say the rooftop really does feel lived in. It reminds me of the roof top on Let’s Eat 2.

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Spot on. Clothes look all comfy and chic. 👏

And the scenes are so beautiful. I also really, really love the shots of the neighborhood or anything outside, even all that countryside PPL in ep 5. There’s always so much to find on the panoramic neighborhood shots: convenience stores, tunnels, bridges, cars, CHERRY BLOSSOMS, etc… A bit like playing “Where is Waldo” 😂
The lighting is always perfect. Just look at all the warm and diffused light sources they’re using in every scene. Very cozy.
Plus: that basketball scene at the beginning of both eps? How did they film it? Using a drone, using a camera crane? Really good.

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Agree. Cinematography is outstanding. It's very thoughtfully done. The rooftop scenes are so eyepleasing that it often emits a sigh. Even the fluttering clothes add to the charm. They have managed to make the scenes on the streets vibrant too. It's easy to pull of when you have colours around you already (like in Hwabon) but even the munane scenes are so well done. The pink and the white against her rust camel coat in the backdrop of snaky grey roads on a dull sun-less day was so good.
This series is amazingly shot.

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I'd really not taken any more notice of Kyumg-min before that scene handing over the pen, but when he told Jung-woo in such a matter of fact way that he had 'no right to be happy', it was so out of the blue, not to mention out of place, it was chilling, not least because he seemed to be waiting for a reaction that didn't come, and was ready to say something more.

Any normal person hearing that would have demanded to know what he meant by it (and any normal person would also have asked questions about the delay in revealing the pen recording device). It seems he is tired of Jung-woo being so passive and wanted to provoke him but he didn't bite. Mr Creepy and Mr Avoidance.

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Yeah it did feel really out of the blue when he said that! Granted we don't know too much - or maybe I missed something? - about how Kyung-min and Jeong-woo became friends, still he's a bit of a ??? in a not great way.

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Yes real mystery. We know Kyung-min was his tutor from high school and therefore he must have been in college. That suggests that he was poor and in need of money if he needed to tutor while going to college.

They are "close enough" that he said he took out the largest loan he could to finance the new lawyer (or maybe it was to make sure they did what he wanted them to do rather than actually do what real lawyers should do like try harder to find the real culprit or at least who/why is trying to frame Jung Woo.)

Jung Woo did mention in a voice over that he was angry when his hyung said that, but he had so much guilt about not saving his patient that he wondered if he didn't react because deep down he already felt that way- that he didn't deserve to be happy. This was probably the first patient that died on him when it was totally not expected which hits totally differently for a doctor than a patient who you had a reasonable expectation due to the severity of their illness that they might die. Like he stated in his acceptance speech, a simple face lift and eye lid surgery should be a simple outpatient procedure and not life or death.

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Plastic surgery should be one of the areas of medicine where people should be at very low risk of dying. So when a death or serious injury does happen it must be shocking for all involved.

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I really want to love this drama but I find myself skipping through the scenes without our leads together... Also, the plot was too slow.. there's not much happening in one episode :")

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"You don't deserve to be happy." WTF. For the ML to hear that, internalize it, and still consider that dude a friend? And even after he held back the cameras and needlessly sandbagged his friend's job interview? How many clues does the ML need that this guy is up to no good?

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There is so so so much to love about this drama that I don't even know where to start. So I will start with the one that for some reason made it to the top of my list - Park Hyung Sik and his jackets.
I have been comfort watching the epsodes and I swear I watched them once just to check his jackets, and the colour coordination of his outfits. That pink and white with grey? That parrot green one? Or the khaki and blue combo.....or even that simple off white one. No one wears cooler jackets than this guy.
Every time I think I probably saw the best episodes, in comes the one that outshines it. There is so much energy, so much drama and such simplicity in everything. They made mundane interesting. Two people washing clothes in a tub and making it rewatchable - who would have thought!
High point: When Ha Neul confesses that feeling jealous made her feel awful. I just love love love this character. Not only she says everything that's on her mind, always, she is teaching JW to do it too.
The man has turned bottling up into an art. And yet it's not a lack of willingness, but rather, he had so much good going on for him that he probably convinced himself he didn't deserve to think about his misfortunes. And the thing about him not deserving to be happy - it comes from a shit place somewhere in his childhood.
Their interaction is pure gold. I can't think of another actor who does comedy at this level and actually gets to be a serious hero. When he went in panic - "I don't know what it was but please don't tell me, I don't want to know.." hehehehhe! By that time I was in stitches.
But the high point comedy this time came from Park Shin Hye. Her mortification and the way she yells at her family, omg that was hilarious. Absolutely spot on.
If I went back to my childhood, I woukd give you a hug.....there was so much feeling in that one sentence. Gave me goosebumps.
And they both made you feel - the top two students in Korea eating mental health medicine in a park decades later. A satire on pressure students face that spills over to their real life - boom. It's target.
However, as soon as the leads get off the screen, the dip hits. The second leads are terrible. Yoon Park must have accepted this career suicide mission to pay for his marriage expenses. I can't think of one good reason why he thought this was a good idea. There is nothing interesting about his character. He started off well, and now his character is just annoying. And he is paired against one the worst besties in the history of k drama land. She is just plain awful. It makes sense in a weird way - Han Neul probably hung onto the only person who wanted to be friends with her. And while she has EQ of the insects that her son loves is not surprising, it's a torture to watch her enact that on screen. These two should not be even called second leads. Their combined screen time has probably been less than 30 minutes, and half of it has been a pain to watch.
I hope JW...

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I hope JW loses his loser tutor Hyung soon. Who needs enemies when you have such great friends who tell you not they don't want to be happy. Interestingly, JW is catching on. His discomfort with the man is increasing.
Also, whoever planted those pens, why did they not retrieve them? Maybe they forgot a few and left them behind by accident? Or someone planted them to record something incriminating not about JW but someone else?
Maybe I am in minority, but I love the mystery element. And PHS is a beauty to watch in fight scenes. I hope we get some more of those cool moves.

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so glad that this drama opens up what mental illness really means and how you cannot just hope it will go away but have to work on it and maybe get medication.
Really liked their honesty. Hyung Sik plays that "I like you, but I am holding back (but cannot help smiling) so well

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With PTSD, psychotherapy is thought to be more more effective than medication (the most recently updated clinical practice guidelines developed by a major US federal agency actually outright stated the recommendation of psychotherapy over meds).

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And how he tells her he likes her and then says he will tell her properly later....and she is like OK, all shy, completely missing the fact that he also has actually confessed and their relationship could be now officially be on already. It cracked me up. Ha-nuel is precious.

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it could be and it sort of is anyway because they keeps showing up for each other and going out to have fun and all, it has all the elements they just not calling it that

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Yes, and it's quite often true between best friends.

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unlike Ha-neul’s situation which has been depicted as the accumulation of decades of pressure and overwork, Jung-woo’s story is more dramatic.

@lovepark Agree that Ha Neul's character and her struggles feel real because her backstory is grounded in reality, but Jung Woo's situation appears manufactured and is annoying to watch, the more they push the limits with the stalking/murder mystery. Park Hyung Shik is trying so hard, but I am getting bored his obstacles.

I love the slow build up of trust and care between the OTP, but the drama needs to give more screentime to Dae-young and Hong-ran. At this point, Lee Sung Kyung's cameo (by the way, loved it) had more content than secondary OTP. Can we also have more focus on Ha Neul's family? They have lots of untapped potential.

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Honestly, Hang-ran is running for the award of worst friend in the universe.
She doesn't listen to Ha-neul, not just on one occasion when Ha-neul says she depressed but on several. And it seems to be such a common theme that Ha-neul does not bother correcting her or making her own needs heard.
She is also incredibly quick to judge others based on literally no information what-so-ever. While this may be part of the comedic aspect of her character, it is also a recurring issue. She doesn't listen to what is said and comes up with her own conclusions (one case is how dead set she is that Jeong-woo is a "scumbag" based on nothing that Ha-neul said but on everything that she, herself, chose to understand and interpret... Not listening is definitely her super power).

She also joins forces with mom when it comes to setting up Ha-neul on a blind date. I appreciate that I am not an expert, but perhaps the first thing to do when someone is going through burnout and depression (in Ha-neul's case, I strongly believe this could be partially linked to Ha-neul being an undiagnosed autist - see my messy and poorly structured quick post about it here: https://www.dramabeans.com/members/DarkCc/activity/1534608/) is not to plan a blind date for them. If, like I suspect, Ha-neul's condition is connected to high-masking, a blind date would only force her to mask some more, which is truly exhausting. Thankfully, Dae-young is making enough of the conversation so she doesn't need to force a social mask.

Another element that I find truly worrying about Hong-ran as Ha-neul's official best and only friend is the fact she does not pick up on any of Ha-neul's feelings. Not that she should, of course, part of Ha-neul's character is how much effort she puts in keeping her feelings to herself. But this is also a massive contrast to Jeong-woo, who appears as a former classmate at first, and still picks up on all those untold feelings, and that is precisely because he starts verbalising them out for her that Ha-neul feels safe enough to explore her emotions and open up about them.

Even if it wasn't a rom-com with a love story, Jeong-woo and Ha-neul would still be better matched than Hong-rae and Ha-neul. For a start, he is a better friend than Hong-rae is proving to be so far.

So, anyway, while Hong-rae is not a mean character, she comes at the bottom of the list of best friend award. Behind Jeong-woo, and I'm tempted to list out every single dissertations Ha-neul read, the Tetris game, her new beige dress, and that cat that walks across the street in the background of a scene BEFORE putting Hong-rae's name on the list.

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🫘Beansprout🌱 award for coming up with my laugh for today with your excellent argument for how a dissertation would rank higher on the list for best friend contenders for Haneul than her actual show presented best friend Hangran. Keep up the good work☺️

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I agree with everything you wrote. If the goal was to depict a good female friendship, Hong-rae fails on every level. I see Ha-neul giving up on explaining things to her as not worth the effort because the girl does not listen. She keeps talking, and it gets very annoying when it happens scene after scene. It even happened when Hong-rae went on her blind date. She wasn't listening to him either, just talking to herself. She is an annoying friend. Best friend, no way.

I also would like to say I so enjoy watching a great female friendship or bromance play out as much as a love story.

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I really like in Ep 6, I think, when Ha-neul just asks Hong-rae to leave so she can have some peace.
And as you say, she is an annoying friend. Not a bad friend, and possibly, if she were less stressed out in her own life (with that incredibly irritating child of hers - just try jumping on top of me at 5 AM and see if you can survive another day, kid... Hint: you will not) and had more time to actually watch and hear Ha-neul, she might have been different. Hong-rae does appear to be going flat out in everything she does, so I guess that doesn't help being a good friend.

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He only sees his mother on weekends. He spends time with his grandparents during the week, so he has no idea how busy his mother is. Moreover, it is natural for a child to want his mother to do the same things as him, to live in the same rhythm, because he has her in his life so few days a week. when he wakes up and is hungry, he wants his mother to wake up too. Not only to make him food, but also to be with him. This is clear from the words he said that he wanted to spend more time with her and live together all the time. He misses her.

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@Cecee I absolutely loved your dessertion about Ha neul being neurodivergent. How very observant and beautifully laid out. The points that you make are amazing. Until now, I thought she said everything in her mind to everyone who would listen, but episode 5 proved she does not. I was at a loss because she does it with JW and has tried it with her friends, even her mother. Now I realise she shuts up because they don't read or accept her for who she is. HN is also very hard on herself, so she masks up. We see JW verbalising everything for her whenever she clams up, whereas she is not attuned to him as much but reads the vibes of his needs.
On the other hand, if we think about it, Ha Neul also does not often ask after her friend. For example, when Hong-ran tries to tell her about her coffee date, HN says, 'No, don't tell me, just leave me in peace'. This friendship is not the typical kind (and I still dislike the second leads and hope the second half does not waste screen time on them), and there is very little give and take. Seen from that POV, it's always Hong ran asking after HN even though she does not process anything HN says.
This becomes even clearer when one thinks about the break-in scene when she helps JW. She clearly states out why it could not have been a thug because he would be dead in that case. After all, tact is not her thing. But JW understands what she means and is genuinely touched. And once the dam has burst, she floods him with her feelings.
She does take every little thing at face value.
Anyone else would have read JW's running to Hwabon for what it was - a man supremely concerned for his woman who also happens to be a friend he deeply cares about. But she takes him at his face value when he says he is there for sightseeing and even grumbles about it, lol! But as she comes to terms with her feelings, her IQ sets off with a logical line of thinking, ending up with that fantastic scene on the rooftop.
She does not read his trigger and distress when he asks her to stay with him at night but instead spins a romantic dream around it. She is not entirely wrong, perhaps. With anyone else, JW might have even attempted to escape his nightmares by taking the usual 'have-s%x-until-your-brain-passes-out' route (I am pretty sure that's what he meant when he asked her without thinking but then improvised. A healthy 32-year-old man confined to a bedroom with his crush was definitely not thinking Go stop at that point, K-drama or not), but with HN, he plays cards because he recognises that not only is she not mentally ready for intimacy but also reads her arrested childhood like no one else and respects her too much to act on what must have crossed his mind a million times in that room. Their sexual attraction is strong (the way she fans herself whenever she is close to JW gives me stitches), but JW realised it early and continues to acknowledge that what he feels for her is more than a need for a rough...

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- tumble between the sheets or pure platonic pats on the back. His line about 'whatever it is, first I want to be ready' is beautifully relevant here. What is even more even more exhilarating for me as an audience is that they have kept the characters consistent. She has always been a little militant. He always has had a beautiful soul deep down (mean spirited eraser and sausage incidents don't count lol).

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Beautifully said @minniegupta1

I put my best autistic hat on when I watched their interactions, so I missed all the romantic signs. I did not even considered JW to Hwabon as being a romantic gesture. I read it as part of their mirroring bond.

“My friends wouldn’t come to Hwabon for me” says HN (or something in those lines) and I’d like to say:
Girl, you’ve got one friend and she’s not that great (mind you, she’s not bad either but HR is too lost in her own fast-paced life right now to do any better)
Besides, things are different between JW & HN. Even if there hadn’t been any attraction, I believe he would have still come to Hwabon because:

- he feels responsible (his former mentor screwed the interview for HN)
- he knows precisely what rejection feels like (because his trial is a form of rejection, when people don’t want to hear his truth but instead “condemn” him already - thankfully not legally, but socially and professionally, rejection is his reality)
- because HN was the first person unprompted and with no hidden interest who said she had faith in him (and for that only, for that completely free and honest kindness, it is worth travelling to Hwabon)
- because I think a part of him knows she would do the same for him (and not necessarily out of love yet, but also because he’s the only one with whom she can be herself and who welcomes her true self)
- because I think it is also JW empathic self (how do you think he can be the social butterfly he is? He pre-empts others’ pain and tries to lessen it as best he can, like he did by repaying his friends debts before his)

I am not denying that there is an attraction between them. But the autistic hat hid it for me. Like when he asked her to stay with him. I didn’t perceive it as a hidden sex thought disguised as a card game. I saw it as JW being afraid to fall asleep and have more nightmares. And as he puts it later, being with HN is healing. It’ll be more healing for him if he could open up more but he has a long life habit of not opening up and focusing his energy on others (even as a teen - and even though he was a little bit of a prick at times because kids are) but I think he acknowledges already that she can be a safe place to him. It’s just that he doesn’t know how to let his own mask fully fall. But once HN’s therapist gives her some handy pointers, she’ll be all out there helping him with his own mask. (A different kind of mask to hers, but an exhausting mask to wear nonetheless)

But anyway, that’s probably a me problem lol! I might wanted them to explore the friendship so much that I become blind to the rest

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Like when he asked her to stay with him. I didn’t perceive it as a hidden sex thought disguised as a card game. I saw it as JW being afraid to fall asleep and have more nightmares. And as he puts it later, being with HN is healing. It’ll be more healing for him if he could open up more but he has a long life habit of not opening up and focusing his energy on others (even as a teen - and even though he was a little bit of a prick at times because kids are) but I think he acknowledges already that she can be a safe place to him. It’s just that he doesn’t know how to let his own mask fully fall.

I agree, especially the part about her being his safe place. And I also don't think he conciously thought of sex at all. What I meant was that had it been anyone else, it would not have been hard for him to cross the threshold and initiate what a couple in their 30s crazily attracted to each other would have naturally done (he jumps like a jack in the box at her proximity all the time lol!). But not with Ha nuel.

But once HN’s therapist gives her some handy pointers, she’ll be all out there helping him with his own mask. (A different kind of mask to hers, but an exhausting mask to wear nonetheless)

It must be truly exhausting.

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Personally, I don't think that Ha-neul is autistic, I think a lot of her behavior and interests have been socialized. She had a LOT and a lifetime's worth of reinforcement for neglecting other interests other than academic ones. She's also interested in her field but I wouldn't say she's hyperfocused. I read research articles in my field for fun, too, lol.

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I should add I think that also explains her lack of social skills - she spent so much time studying and not engaging with her peers that she didn't have a chance to develop them. Overall, though, I'd have to know more about her childhood history, and just in general the onset and chronicity of symptoms across her lifetime. It is EXTREMELY difficult to diagnose autism in adults because there is so much to take into account, especially with regards to differential diagnosis.

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These episodes were not as good as 3-4, but they were solid. I don't really care about the mystery to be perfectly honest, so the more they add, the less interesting the drama. I do appreciate that they both know they like each other though. There are no questions, so romance finally happens, it happens without question.

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The drama is good, funny, I like the dynamics between the characters, but I really don't like the drinking scenes in every episode. I'm fed up with this alcohol promotion in Korean dramas.

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Agree.

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If you believe dramas, you'd have to think that humanity would die out without alcohol (since it's used as such a plot device for romantic development), lol

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Wow, so true. From dramas, you’d think that alcohol is as important to life as plasma 🙄

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Exactly and this would be the t-shirt worn by the male lead
‘alcohol is as important to life as plasma’.

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@cecee: I don't think they will give the autism diagnosis though (it would have been wonderful if they did) but I think they want to keep the aspect of depression above all else. Societal rejection of seeking help for mental health is huge - even someone like JW rejects it outright (I am not weak...sigh! How often have I heard that in my family).

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It's also a pretty classic PTSD thing, you think time will heal all wounds but if it's been 3-6 months you probably aren't gonna recover anymore at that point. Avoidance is also a thing - people would rather try to push it away and move on with their lives than talk about something that makes them really uncomfortable.

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As the time passes, does the 'freeze' factor solidify more?

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I agree, they will not give a diagnosis because as far as the writer is concerned Haneul is neurotypical & depressed. Only I think she’s an undiagnosed autist who’s been masking to the point of burnout and depression.

My first reading of Jeongwoo’s reaction when Haneul suggests getting help was: he still genuinely believes this will go away. He has not realised it is a real mental health issue, just like Haneul didn’t know she was depressed.

Oh god, don’t mention it: my family’s understanding of mental health is non-existent… and don’t get me started on neurodiversity! They are convinced people should just try harder, whether they are depressed or autistic, they should try a little harder.

*permanently stuck in an eye-roll motion*

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"Try harder"...shudder. Exactly.

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How cute are they! I love how open they are about their feelings, self-aware about liking each other, and don't deny it to themselves. Jung-woo's casual confession "I like you" made me swoon. "Are you saying being interested in me is like being 'infected'?" lmao I was relieved when Ha-neul felt apologetic by Jung-woo turning down her suggestion of therapy instead of being offended that he was implying she was weak. I was glad that she immediately regretted her jealousy, especially shoulder-checking him (Uncle: "Decent human beings don't do that."), but it was also cute how conscious he was of her reaction to the classmate.

I could not stop crying through the whole episode 5 -- from their opening narration "Why do you come to mind first whenever I'm upset? Why do your words comfort me?" to Jung-woo's wish "If I could go back in time, since I feel so bad for the younger you, I'd like to give you a hug." to Ha-neul's hug "It'll all be okay." to Jung-woo's confession "I missed you." Park Shin-hye does this teary-eyes thing that makes me want to cry with Ha-neul every time. Jung-woo knows Ha-neul so well in how she would be at the arcade to avoid going home, and she knows him that he must've been having a hard time. Yes, Jung-woo needs therapy, but he also needs to cry it out.

Even if Kyung-min hyung wasn't sus, he is dead to me now. How dare he tell Jung-woo that he has no right to be happy! I'm really thankful that Jung-woo and Ha-neul have someone by their side. Ha-neul's family overhearing her "rejection" was so embarrassing (did they not smell the meat?), but I adored Mom's defense that Ha-neul was only asking why. After Ha-neul realized that Jung-woo has PTSD, I was hoping that she would read between the lines of his lie about only seeing her as a friend.

A big thanks for your recap, @lovepark!

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Awww...your write up kinda brought a lump to my throat. This drama is a gem frame by frame, a treatise on how healing friendships should be. No pretense, to show off, just plain simple shoulder support (which sometimes also includes shoulder shoves lol!)
A jealous Ha neul is a treat to watch. A mortified Ha neul is hilarious. An enraged Ha neul is a force to reckon with (when she tells her family to mind their own busienss - I cracked up and rewatched, it was so entertaining.)
And when he said - I missed you...damn, my heart broke for the guy.
Just beautiful.

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The BBQing food next to freshly laundered bedding made no sense to me. Anyone of the roof would definitely smell and hear the food cooking and were the family sitting in silence or they went silent because they were nosy and wanted to hear the conversation.

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*On the roof

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They both had just arrived, and I think they were also emotionally very vulnerable and too engrossed with their mess to be smelling food and doing the math (it was also the first time the family was doing it). Plus the fact open rooftops and closely situated houses probably emit a lot of aromas anyway.

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Yes - i was wondering how they did not see any smoke or smelled meat….?

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Just watched our OTP in their guest appearance on Salon Drip 2 and finally answered one of my crazy questions. In LSK’s cameo when the 3 of them walk to the coffee shop she is shorter than PSH. Since in real life she is 3 inches taller I couldn’t figure out how that was. Then PHS revealed that in order to keep the right balance of heights between them PSH had to walk on some kind of elevation thing but one time they walked beyond it and he was shocked that she was still the same height because she started walking on her tippy toes. He and the host admired how much experience she had to share from being active for 20 years.

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I read she was taller than Park Hyung Sik and I went like what! That would place her at a 6'3 and I was like wow....I knew she was tall but...then re-read.

I watched it too and it was quite fun (though I missed some too as the translations were too tiny and moving very fast.)

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A few people have suggested that Ha-neul is somewhere on the autism spectrum, but has not been diagnosed. I sincerely hope this is not the case because it would completely detract from the issues of clinical depression and total focus on studying (as a student). To have Ha-neul diagnosed as neurodiverse would be used to explain/justify/excuse her depression and behaviour, rather than allow the story (and viewers) to reflect on the societal attitudes that resulted in her situation.

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But can it not be all at the same time? If she truly is neurodiverse, than it would have been even harder on her becasue then had she been diagonoed she would have been marginalised by design. Not that they need to tackle it but everything comes together and harder for people with disabilities.

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I understand the sentiment, but my concern would be that her depression will be attributed to her neurodiversity and this will influence some viewers. The risk is that depression will be associated with neurodiversity, and ignored/dismissed in children/adults considered normal. And people with depression will be "tagged" as neurodivergent, with the depression considered as a normal part of their diagnosis.

As the parent of bi-racial (Chinese) children, who have a grandmother, who was a teacher, I am fully aware of the pressures placed on East Asian children to do better educationally than their parents. In real life, I have know children who do after-school classes to improve their marks, and I have seen many shows where children attend after-school academies in order to do better in their education, exams, and future careers. What is the damage being done to children through this pressure?

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True. I did mention somewhere that this is probably why they did not go the neurodivergent path. And I am glad they roped in a perfectly socialable, extrovert yet bottled up personality like JW into the mental health camp. His reluctance, and the ensuing sadness at accepting what he deemed as his 'weakness' makes it even more relatable.

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It would not excuse or distract from her depression & burnout, though. It would be an addition factor to it. I’m not trying to distract from societal issues here but I might have out myself in Haneul’s shoes a little too much perhaps. She just felt very relatable

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He says he will confess 'properly' and not in a arcade or karaoke bar...

Who bets that's exactly what he will do and he will marry her with paper rings.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zdg-pDF10g

And their honeymoon will be in an arcade game room :-D

I was listening to this today and these two popped up in my mind and I had to share lol.

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That’s brilliant I bet you are right too. This would be the drama where we see the wedding too and they would have a unique element that is typical of their romance. The time we were not in love and Once again read the memo we want weddings that reflect the couples personality and are not a two second walk down the aisle to credits rolling.

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Taylor Swith had an epiphany when she wrote:

The wine is cold
Like the shoulder that I gave you in the street (that shoulder is going to hurt for a long time :D
Cat and mouse for a month or two or three (more like 14 years lol!)
Now I wake up in the night and watch you breathe
Kiss me once 'cause you know I had a long night
(Oh) Kiss me twice 'cause it's gonna be alright
Three times 'cause I've waited my whole life (coming soon judging by that tie tying scene in the trailer)
(One, two, one, two, three, four)
I like shiny things, but I'd marry you with paper rings
Uh huh, that's right
Darling, you're the one I want, and
I hate accidents except when we went from friends to this All accidents welcome. Ha neul makes no bones about this lol!
Uh huh, that's right
Darling, you're the one I want
In paper rings, in picture frames, in dirty dreams
Oh, you're the one I want
I want to drive away with you
I want your complications too
I want your dreary Mondays
Wrap your arms around me, baby boy......

Today I realised how beautiful this song is.

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This drama has really done things to you hasn’t it? Dramas that move into our hearts seem to be a rare species these days. I hope it continues to be a joy and doesn’t lose its sweetness.

I am so impressed with songwriters abilities to write songs that fit our moods and those who create music from thin air amaze me even more.

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I really like their low key confessions. We don’t have to watch them go around with tiresome misunderstandings, mixed signals and hurt feelings. They know they like each other now, they just want to be more ready and healed mentally.

And lee sungkyung cameo!!❤️ Will it be too much to ask for another one featuring lee minho or lee jongsuk (for psh) and han hyojoo or park boyoung (for phs)😄

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Does anyone know the brand of the black bag that turns into a bag pack on episode 5 worn by Park Hyung-sik? Thank you in advance.

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